Silent Treatment: Preferred Weapon of People with Narcissism

couple crisisFor those in or getting out of a romantic relationship with a self-absorbed individual, the silent treatment can feel like a punishment worse than death.

Why Narcissistic People Use the Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse typically employed by people with narcissistic tendencies. It is designed to (1) place the abuser in a position of control; (2) silence the target’s attempts at assertion; (3) avoid conflict resolution/personal responsibility/compromise; or (4) punish the target for a perceived ego slight. Often, the result of the silent treatment is exactly what the person with narcissism wishes to create: a reaction from the target and a sense of control.

The target, who may possess high emotional intelligence, empathy, conflict-resolution skills, and the ability to compromise, may work diligently to respond to the deafening silence. He or she may frequently reach out to the narcissistic person via email, phone, or text to resolve greatly inflated misunderstandings, and is typically met with continued disdain, contempt, and silence. Essentially, the narcissistic person’s message is one of extreme disapproval to the degree that the silence renders the target so insignificant that he or she is ignored and becomes more or less nonexistent in the eyes of the narcissistic person.

Emotional Maturity of a Typical Narcissistic Person

The emotional maturity of a typical narcissistic person is akin to a 5-year-old child who pouts and refuses to play with a friend in the sandbox because the friend wants to share the pail and shovel. The 5-year-old refuses to talk with the friend and angrily storms off to play on the jungle gym with someone else. The bewildered child with the pail and shovel may feel confused, rejected, and may not understand why they can’t share. He or she just wanted to build a sand castle together.

Because no further communication can ensue unless and until the narcissistic person decides to give the target another chance, a false sense of control is nurtured. Often, the narcissistic person will demand that the target apologizes for whatever inflated transgression the target may have committed (the target may have set a limit or asserted a boundary against emotional abuse, for example). Sometimes, a person with narcissistic qualities will decide to abandon and discard the relationship when his or her partner presents an ultimatum or attempts resolution requiring compromise. The person with narcissism may prefer to end the relationship and start over rather than be in a position of potential abandonment. The 5-year-old storms off and plays with a new, innocent target on the swing set. It is too much work to share the pail and shovel.

How to Deal With the Silent Treatment

So how does one deal with the silent treatment from a person with narcissism? For those leaving a toxic relationship with such an individual, many therapists suggest that the survivor understands that the person with narcissism has not developed the ability to express a high level of empathy, reciprocity, and compromise. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse that no one deserves nor should tolerate. If an individual experiences this absence of communication, it is a sure sign that he or she needs to move on and heal.

The healing process can feel like mourning the loss of a relationship that did not really exist and was one-way in favor of the ego-massaging person with narcissism. The minute the partner disagrees with the narcissistic person or asserts his or her healthy boundaries, the narcissistic person deploys an arsenal of abuse tactics. The silent treatment is a favorite weapon.

Do not accept emotional abuse. Know that you are worthy of a healthy relationship with someone who can communicate in a mature, emotionally healthy manner. Play with someone who has the ability to share the shovel and pail. You deserve no less.

© Copyright 2020 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Andrea Schneider, LCSW, Learning Difficulties Topic Expert Contributor

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

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  • Toria

    June 2nd, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Reading this allowed me to recognize that what I have suspected for a long time now is true- my boyfriend uses the silent treatment against me as a weapon. He can say all he wants that he doesn’t, that he is just working things out in his own head, but I clearly see him doing the things that you talk about here, mainly that this act takes away any chance for me to defend myself or to voice my concerns and own anger because he will not respond in any way. It is passive aggressive but it is also so juvenile. I think that it’s time to tell someone to grow up or get out.

  • Janice A

    July 5th, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Thank u for your clear and concise article re The Silent Treatment & Narcissists. Unfortunately the abuser in my case is my 37 yo daughter. She started punishing me when I was admitted to ICU and almost died from renal failure. She was great while I was in the hospital but when my health prevented me from returning to nursing and disability meant an extreme cut in my income, she withdrew and stopped accepting or returning phone calls, texts or emails. I was very ill and on my own and could no longer manage until I got my strength back. She was cruel. I asked many times why she was treating me like this. She never had an answer. Even the death of my mother didnt change her attitude. Its been 4 years. I meditate and focus on lìving my life without her. The pain is overwhelming sometimes.


    July 27th, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    This information helps when dealing with a person like this. I work in a small office (2) people and I’ve put up with this for 5 years. If she wants something she will speak to you. The rest of the time she has nothing to say and she attacks you if you dare to speak to her. Very helpful to deal with this mess.

  • Justine

    July 29th, 2016 at 8:13 PM

    I’m so sorry you’re going through that. It’s frustrating when someone you care about and love so much just doesn’t seem to care, especially a daughter. Counseling is very helpful and I think you would benefit from talking with someone about it. Good luck with your daughter, hopefully she will see the light.

  • Catherine h

    October 17th, 2016 at 5:20 AM

    I can totally understand how you feel. My son is 49 now and has been treating me with the silent treatment for ten yrs. I no longer see my grandchildren i hung on to my grandchildren as long as i could but for three yrs now i havent seen them. Its very hard situation but after all this time i know its his problem not mine. I miss him every day but i am happy in my life and he seems happy in his life. But i could never have treated my parents in this way but what can i do. I send you my sympathy and totally understand where you are coming from. Best wishes Catherine.

  • Paola Z

    November 12th, 2016 at 6:02 AM

    I’ve been living this situation since 2 years with the boyfriend I live with: everytime he does something that upsets me I overreact and tell him a lot of bad things (not using bad words but literally telling him the long lists of wrong things that bother me) or I send him a lot of long textes about that. Then he uses the silent treatment snd he refuses to interact with me no matter how I talk or I literally beg him to discuss about it. He says that I go crazy and He never wants to have something to do with me when I overreact. It happens that we don’t talk even for days until I say I’m sorry if I overreacted and said bad things for what I realise it’s an unimportant issue. I can’t say if I’ m the wrong one or he is, but he actually manages to controll me using this technique. I want to stop him doing that, i would really prefer if he would yell at me when I overreact or talk to me explaining why he thinks is right.

  • shawna

    March 9th, 2017 at 4:47 AM

    Your daughter may have a hard time coping with the thought of loosing you, by cutting you off now she wont have the sudden, uncontrolled loss that death brings. There is nothing harder than watching your loved one die. It is not right of her, it is cruel and very selfish, however it could nust be true.

  • Lea

    July 20th, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    I ask what if this is my 20 1/2-year-old daughter now? Allegedly we have good rapport and we’re getting along fine over the past three years or so. She has not lived with me for about five years now. She moved in with her dad who has been diagnosed as a narcissist years ago. It may be inherited quite possibly as well as environmentally. I’ve been introspective and noted my flaws and imperfections and wish I could do a few things over again but I never harmed her. The only thing I can think of is there were a few occasions where she was screaming at me to not leave her with her grandparent and in another case childcare while I went to school or work. I was a single parent. When her dad came into her life she was almost 4 years old. She and I were doing fine before that. He took over and created so much stress for me it trickle down to her I am sure. Anyway, if anyone out there praise please pray for my daughter. Please also pray for the relationship between us. She is my only daughter and I don’t want her life to become messed up because of what she is doing. It was a parent she has unhealed wounds. Why would you treat me her mother like this. She’s giving me the silent treatment since late May. Go figure before that she took me out for lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day and my birthday. I know she is young and she’s also ironically a psychology major in college. It’s a good thing I have friends and a great husband. This teaches me to become more strong in my faith in my relationship with Christ. This also helps me to redirect my focus and live and let live better. None of us are perfect that is for sure. The other blow I had at the beginning of this year was my sibling did the same thing to me only before she gave me the silent treatment she highly criticized my type of personality. It was a mean streak I had never seen her before. Go figure, I protected her in childhood. I am 10 1/2 years her senior. I guess people have issues and we need to stop blaming ourselves. Being hard on our self is not going to solve anything. That is what I tell myself. When I realize our fault or short coming or something I may have done wrong I can’t simply asked to be forgiven and believe that I am forgiven. I also forgive others though I don’t necessarily trust him later on. I forgot to mention this… Her reasoning may be that she felt that I was texting her too often. It is the only way for me to communicate with her on occasion which I have done for the past several years. I respect that she has a life I always have otherwise I would not have allowed her to live with her father when she begged me to at age 15. I sacrificed a lot. So she could have what she want like a lot of parents do, and now I feel like for what? There is no reciprocal love apparently. Some people are just full of them self. Yes I am hurt but I will get over it one day at a time. I’m going to redirect my focus on what I have – instead of what I do not have. I will not allow people no matter how much I love them, to make me feel low. I have done nothing to deserve this. I hope this helps someone else. Your life matters so does mine. Some people are just not worth our time even if we have love them and have a bond… at least we thought we did. What a wake up call to human imperfection. What a wake up call to who do we trust?

  • Anne

    June 30th, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    I have the same problem with my daughter, and she exhibits the same narcissistic tendencies as her clinically diagnosed father (Narcissistic sociopath). It is heart-breaking and you did nothing to offend her. She has to grow up, but probably never will. I have many women friends, who are or have gone through this process (one daughter refused to attend her mother’s funeral) and who are all educated, decent, loving individuals, and they do not deserve this treatment. The problem is if they have children, they are restricted from interacting with their grandparents, and that is a real crime.

  • Grace

    December 12th, 2018 at 8:08 PM

    Are you guys all serious with this pity party about your children not speaking to you? If that’s happening then I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this then it is highly likely that YOU are the problem, not your children. To cut out your parents from your life is an extreme act and only one that will be chosen after all other avenues of setting up a functional relationship have failed. It is not a decision that any human would willingly make unless there is no other choice available. It is usually a direct consequence for actions you chose to make as parents. None of you are taking any responsibility for your parenting. It is highly unlikely that your children are to blame for the breakdown in your relationship. YOU are.

  • Sheri

    June 11th, 2019 at 2:52 AM

    Hopefully Janice has read a bit more about narcissism since the 2016 post. I doubt she will have recognized that quite possibly she is the problem and not her daughter. If Janice has demanded sympathy and wailed about health issues the way she is carrying on in the above post, I congratulate her daughter for setting boundaries. Regardless of what has transpired in the past, your child does not owe you anything. Anything your child does for you should be appreciated graciously. People want to run away when you demand. I know Ive taken it for 50 years from my mother. My sanity has to come first from now on. I do not deserve the demands and whining and guilt trips. Im not taking it any more!

  • Jessica

    July 3rd, 2019 at 11:00 PM

    My mother is awful. Abandoned me from age 13 to 19 and blames me for pushing her away. I still speak to her. No contact is not something you do to a parent unless they continue to abuse you and endless trauma renders hope dangerous.

  • Mohammed

    July 17th, 2023 at 3:43 AM

    I hope you’re better !! I’m here for you if you need to speak, you’re not alone

  • Cindy

    September 30th, 2016 at 3:52 AM

    I tried to befriend my Sister In Law against my husband’s wishes. He warned me. I did not listen. I even allowed her to call me names (like the brat she is) on a few occasions without calling her out…I just let it pass. The straw finally broke the camels back. I am done with her. I withdrew from her. Now she blames anything my husband her brother does or does not do, on me (he usually will NOT call her back, she has not seen me pestering him to return her calls…I won’t bug him ever again). I refuse to be the whipping post that both she and her mother would like me to be. Their own behavior lead my husband to distance them from his life LONG before I came into the picture. I admitted to my husband I should have listened to him….she IS CRAZY. With her you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Her half empty view on life and twisted outlook has left her with no friends at the age of 58. I gave up and have taken myself away from her. I don’t need her in my life. I have friends. My husband can make his own choices, he is a big boy, strong person, and totally capable of maintaining or continuing to speak to her. I’m not stopping him….he stops himself. So I am the person dishing out the silent treatment because interacting with her ends up with her calling me names and backstabbing….so what is the point of interacting with her, esp if my own husband hates interacting with her and my kids don’t like her and have no connection with her either. Distance seems to be the best solution. She blew it by being a brat and showing her true colors. My husband warned me “interact with her as little as possible”. I told him…”you were right, I should have listened to you and took your advice”. He liked that apology!

  • Browndog

    September 30th, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Cindy, sounds like you just set healthy boundaries, which may have been what your husband was advising all along. Setting healthy boundaries is not silent treating. We have entered into a contract with our spouses, not with all of our in-laws. You can set healthy boundaries, and if that includes maintaining minimal contact, you will still not be committing abuse. Silent treating is different. Silent treating is abuse. It breaks trust. It violates agreements by willfully causing distress and harm. Imagine your husband silent treating you in your home, and I think that you will see how there can be a major difference.

  • Lex

    October 26th, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Before someone who’s reading this post goes out and confronts the person that is doing the above, please do look at your own behavior and actions, that may be the very cause of the silent treatment. Some people clam up when they encounter a narcissist. The narcissist reads this material and then projects what they feel inside onto the other person as a meant to subjugate that person. The silent treatment is a defense mechanism, not an abusive behavior per se. People really need to stop it with the “abuse factor”, most of what I read on the Internet is pure rubbish when it comes to psychological abuse.

    Another thing about the silent treatment, if they do this and they’re a boyfriend or girlfriend, give them space, about two weeks, if they stay silent more, then tell them it’s over, in a non emotional way, break it off and walk away. Go no contact with them, keep away, move on with your life.

    When someone won’t talk, giving you the silent treatment, it’s not juvenile. It’s juvenile to come here, grab information that’s a bit off base and apply it to someone that hasn’t been psychoanalyzed by a professional and nor have you. Don’t try to be an armchair psychologist, you’re doing more harm than good, to both you and the other people you “pull” this on.

    Perhaps, the very reason why people go silent on you is that you’re constantly trying to get under their skin or trying to manipulate them by calling them names or mental disorders that may or may not exist within the target person you’re interacting with.

    Many people give the silent treatment to others because they’ve violated some social rule that they were taught when they were a child. It’s up to you to figure out what that was. Perhaps you’re blowing right past someone’s boundaries and you don’t even see there is any, which is actually quite common to people whom are suffering from narcissism and personality disorders.

    Basically, what I am saying is, get yourself checked out first and see if you’re not the cause of the whole shebang, it’s a possibility you could be. Many people don’t want to look within themselves and see the enemy but often times that is where he / she hides.

    Know thy enemy, know thyself!

  • Browndog

    October 27th, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Lex, I think that this article was written by a qualified author, is maintained by a qualified professional organization, and stands on its own merits. Judging from the number of discussion comments, this article has resonated with so many empathizers that it seems foolish to dismiss it. Victims of silent treatment rarely start out by making a pop psychology diagnosess of their perpetrator. They usually discover what is happening to them by virtue of suspecting that indeed they are the cause or deserving of the treatment they are receiving, and then going to a qualified therapist to eventually discover that such is not the case. One thing is certain, no adult can have either a healthy working relationship, friendship, or marriage with someone who refuses to communicate like an adult. Getting out from under the abuse of a silent treater does not require diagnosing the perpetrator any more than putting an end to being assaulted requires a diagnosis of the motivation of the assailant.

  • Cindy

    October 27th, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Good advice. I am guilty of NOT responding more quickly to bad behavior from my sister in law over the last 33 years. I usually shook it off and went on like nothing happened, attributing her behavior to chronic pain (JRA) and life of being babied by her parents. I guess I am too old and tired to do that anymore….so I have decided to stay quiet rather than letting her verbally have it between the eyes. I have figured out how to avoid her these upcoming holidays I refuse to be a whipping post for ANyONE, anymore. And that is where I stand. Let her call other people names. MY husband continues to avoid her and not return her calls. I see why he does what he does….crazy and childishness is hard to deal with in another adult.

  • Andrea Schneider MSW LCSW

    October 27th, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Hello “Lex”….with all due respect, you are missing the point…this article is specifically about Silent Treatment, which is an emotional abuse tactic employed by psychological abusers (which can include those with narcissistic tendencies)…You are mixing up No Contact, Silent Treatment and Ghosting…which are all different. I wrote an article about that here: for further study. Best regards to you in your healing journey. A.

  • Andrea Schneider MSW LCSW

    October 27th, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    I would also like to add Cyber-predators and trolls also lurk about on forums and comment on blogs to extract narcissistic supply by attempting to elicit reactions (both positive and negative) from their virtual audience for from prior sources of narcissistic supply. Forums are “hunting grounds” for psychological abusers in that way…and especially after they have had a limit or healthy boundary set, those individuals who are showing evidence of psychological abuse tend to like to project their negativity onto former love objects or sources of narcissistic supply. Individuals who have narcissistic tendencies have great difficulty owning responsibility and having accountability for their actions. A former love object of an extreme narcissist may be in No Contact in response to the abuser’s Silent Treatment. She is proclaiming that she won’t take his B.S. any more.

  • wayne

    November 17th, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    I’d agree with Lex except this has gone on for about 3 years of the silent treatment on and off… Never any real dialogue just I don’t want to see you or talk to you until I am ready speeches…..sometime 2 weeks, some times a month or more….She liked for me to beg her and ask what was wrong….The boundaries of which you speak were broken by her- name calling, rage, inability to tell the truth….inability to apologize when wrong… emotionless in response and blaming when you retaliate verbally in the same manner as them… For example: My friend had my phone number but never calls me or text me…her apt got broken into and she called me and I was basically blamed for not coming to her aid quick enough… large argument ensued. Didn’t speak to me for weeks…So, sorry these people in here and the person who wrote this article may know exactly what they are talking about….Silent treatment is not bad if it last for a day or two, but when we move into weeks of non-communication and you still won’t talk about the real issues -well ..All I can say I learned something about them and myself…..I am a Virgo bent on fixing broken things but even I can’t climb Mt Everest with out some equipment to help me…..So lets get healed everyone!!!!

  • Noe'

    November 29th, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Lex,..Thank You for Your Advice and Criticizm..I Respect It..You Started Out Very Innocently and Almost ” Got Away” from You there but, You reigned it in and finished strong…I just want to say very little , very little pertaining to My on going experience with Fiance’ I Should mention this although I really doubt it is a real factor, ..Long Distance Relationship!.. No trust issues ..It is just the determination and headstrong attitude of NOT WILLING TO ENGAGE IN IMPORTANT DISCUSSION OR DIALOG ON ANY CONCERNING OR MUTUALLY IMPORTANT MATTERS… I have looked at and Analyzed Myself , very carefully, thuroughly and honestly..I have spoken with ( unbiased ) others about this and asked for honest criticizm n feedback …Honestly?,.. I Have Probably Tolerated More Than I Should ?.. I Offer Up n Give Up Apologies that…really?.. I Get Nothing of Substance from way of Positive , Healthy, Productive ..Talk…

  • lisa

    December 19th, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Oh great lets all take a hard long look at ourselves and our behaviour that may trigger silent treatment. Well it is abuse if someone needs time out then they could just say leave it a few days but they don’t. If your being stalked or abused and ignore them that’s a different matter. The majority of these people using silent treatment in their relationship is abuse at its finest. Lets face it if your a couple you do have ups and downs not ignore each other you ask for space not inflict cruelty for days and hours. I know only to well what this does to a persons wellbeing. Silent treatment is usually a red flag of someone who is nuts that’s the top and bottom of it. Its not a method used by normal people I had silent treatment for three days because I asked my partner not to call me names. You know when you have done something wrong and it warrants the other person some time out but I doubt that’s the case when your researching this type of behaviour. I think your comments are wrong and may cause people using this website to question their own sanity and feel they deserve silent treatment ABUSE

  • sue

    March 4th, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    Well said.

  • sad

    April 16th, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Lex, you sound like the boyfriend I sent this article to. It can be healthy to take a break but nothing longer than a day or two. Using silent treatment as punishment is sick and abusive. If you need to spend weeks without talking to your loved one, I would think there are very serious issues. I could never discuss anything negative with my boyfriend or he would feel attacked. It did not start out this way. In the beginning he was so sweet and we could discuss anything. I have learned that was not his true self. People who can communicate and work through their problems are healthy, those who go weeks and months without talking to a loved one after an argument is abusive, and I agree more abusive than physical abuse. I was so very much in love with the man I met. He slowly unraveled me making statements that put me down when he was angry then would cut off contact on his phone and internet. I would desperately try to reach out to him in attempts to work it out and all I received was silence. It was only until he wanted to have contact again with me he would call and say how much he missed and loved me.

  • Benita

    May 27th, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    Cindy I so agree with you, my exe ignored me huffed with me until I said sorry. He only said sorry once because I was upset after a school run because I had not long miscarriared and he shouted he was nasty, but still felt was all my fault.
    When I suggested he moved back in with his mum because I was on benifits and he was working and I had children and did not want caught for benifit fraud. He was nasty and ended the realationship. He phoned me and text me loads afterwards while going to get my children from school. I ignored his phone calls and messages, because speaking to him he gained control
    Sometimes I had to ignore him and go think how I was going to respond to him or the situation. Narcs you can’t talk cas the don’t talk or shout to clear the air, they make it all about them and there needs make you feel worthless. So sometimes ignoring is not abuse it’s protecting yourself . Sometimes have to ignore adult phone calls so you can think probably what you gonna say and clear the instead of going on a rant and regret saying something you don’t mean. But never ignore or give children the silent treatment because that’s wrong. My exe I have little contact with him and mainly to discuss contact or updates on our baby. Which he looks like he loves him but don’t think he’s really interested in
    Him, just he lives in hope he can get to me

  • Vannie

    May 31st, 2017 at 6:43 PM

    It is very clear and most obvious after reading Lex’s comment, he or she is a flaming narcissist. I rest my case.

  • DK

    April 14th, 2018 at 2:01 AM

    It’s a cruel weapon. Silent treatment is a malicious tool used by the self absorbed narcissist type of person to manipulate others into conforming to narcissist desires. I know the difference. I’ve been in a relationship by marriage to one. I discovered I had my own issues of codependency, which attracted her to me. Her mom is one as well. Been around both for 30 years now. Trust me on this one, the author of this post is correct. Disassociating or withdrawing from a situation at times is what you are talking about, which is a healthy defense mechanism in a situation that has gotten out of hand. It’s a behavior tactic that healthy individuals use to straighten themselves out emotionally. Narcissist or the self absorbed do not have the acumen to self-reflect in healthy ways. They typically never apologize for any harm they cause. They tend to be master manipulators and wield silent treatment as a weapon of distruction without consideration of the damage and distress they are causing the other person to experience. I’ve stayed in my situation way too long. I ended up hurting my self emotionally and mentally trying to reason and rationalize with such people. They are impossible people. Living around two of them through me into a constant state of depression. I don’t know how to get out. The two I have been around are like “Jekyll and Hyde.” They can be charming at one time, then throw you under the bus in a blink of the eye. Every time I get ready to leave and finally take action, the charming routine kicks in. The silent treatment ploy is a very effective tool that draws you in. It’s a way to keep you chasing them and trying to figure out what you did wrong when you actually did nothing wrong at all. If you don’t agree with their position, then they use it to throw you in a tail spin. It’s definitely a weapon of destruction used to assail their target. It’s not simply a defense mechanism.

  • Anne

    May 3rd, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    I agree that each person is responsible to keep their side of the street clean. However when one person gives the silent treatment without ever explaining why and refuses to try to work on the relationship at all, that is immature behavior and abuse. This goes especially when it is a relative. You can change jobs, leave a partner, move, end a friendship, but you cannot change that the person is your child, parent, sibling, etc.. In these cases the person giving the silent treatment without trying to resolve anything is simply self centered and can’t be happy with themselves. I have a situation like this with a close relative. We have talked about the issues, we have both apologized, and I am diligently working on my issues. The other person is still giving the silent treatment randomly. I’m praying for them to receive the healing they need to have good relationships. As with most people like this they are having issues in many other relationships as well. I am not, just with this person. I think that says something.

  • Eric

    May 24th, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    I endured 2 years of a marriage with a covert narcissist. It was the worst hell imaginable.
    She often played on my profound fear of abandonment (I’ve been abandoned repeatedly since I was a child).
    She used repeated abandonments to extort me into continually acting against the best interests of and even emotionally harming my own children, to include attempting to emotionally extort me into abandoning them for her and her children.
    She would often use me for money, in particular to pay off her bills and debts in full, multiple times. As well as guilting me into doing her core coursework for her in nursing school.
    She was highly emotionally abusive, and the silent treatment was her favorite “go-to” tactic between outright abandonments.
    During abandonments, she would alternate between contact and opening the possibility of reconciliation to varying degrees (including promises), to suddenly cutting off contact and declaring the relationship to be “over, forever”. Sometimes within the same day. No reason given (except for some minor, trivial offense – say, I didn’t “phrase something right” when talking to her).
    She would also suddenly cut off contact and/or the relationship when she believed she found a “superior” source of narcissistic supply in the form of other men she would become interested in. Usually she only came back to wanting reconciliation only when the potential – and in at least two cases I’ve been informed of, real – “new stud” rejected her or didn’t pan out in exactly the way she expected.
    She would use the possibility of “another man” as a form of torture, as well. A prospect she would, in her own passive-aggressive manner, flaunt in front of me.
    When confronted about it, she would deny it vehemently, telling me I was “crazy”. Yet her own sisters have now stepped forward and informed me that she was outright cheating.
    Whenever it would look like I was moving on, at least for a while, she would give me sob stories (some of them pretty bizarre, such as her job “forcing” her to commit medicare fraud) designed to appeal to my need to rescue her.
    She has now found new sources of narcissistic supply. I am considered, I suppose in her eyes, drained.
    So now, I receive the silent treatment, permanently.
    Yet I have to clean up nearly $100,000 in debt racked up in my name. The destruction of my relationship with my children. The near destruction of my career. The loss of a home after my career was temporarily tanked. Any savings depleted.
    Mentally, I am a wreck. Not only did I have to endure the psychological effects of her mental (and oh yes, physical) abuse, I was denied any chance to confront her about what she did to me and my family, via silent treatment. I had multiple suicide attempts. She didn’t even visit me or check on me in the hospital, once. She saw the scars on my arms when she came back the third time and literally went about the rest of her day that day as if she hadn’t seen anything at all. It was business as usual.
    I have someone now who loves me deeply and dearly. Who fights so hard just to be with me, even at terrible cost to herself. I shower her with the love that my ex believed to be worthless. My love is, finally, reciprocated. I love holding her every moment of every day. Because in holding her, I am finally held.

    P.S. evidently my second ex did this to her first husband (I was marriage number three), as well. In fact leaving with their children when her second child was only 2 months old. And creating a situation in which it was difficult or impossible for him to see his kids. Then decrying him as a “deadbeat husband and dad”.

  • Benita

    May 27th, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    Eric I know exactly how you feel I was lucky I was about two weeks away from getting married, I had a lucky escape. But still have contact but as little as possible if it was not for my special needs baby I would have none I’m thankyou for my wee miracle.
    Stay strong hope you find your way and be truly happy in your life xx

  • Priti

    January 3rd, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    To be honest I have used the silent treatment in instances where if I did speak I would end up saying something I would regret. I did not use it to hoard power over others.

  • gayb a

    March 6th, 2018 at 5:19 AM

    Im a narcissist and think my mom is really hot

  • Katie

    April 7th, 2018 at 4:01 AM

    Hope you can find the courage to move on. You’re to be commended for being able to identify the narcissistic behaviour. These types are extremely toxic and make life miserable for those the are able to manipulate. Wishing you all the best.

  • Eleanor

    March 13th, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    My ‘partner’ is a Pakistani Muslim born in the UK, with definite autistic characteristics. He lives mostly in his Mother’s attic, and as is common with Pakistani families, many family members and generations all live in the same house. I am a white British lady, and have been in a relationship with him for 6 years, during which time he has had several periods of awful behaviour, whereupon he shuts himself away from the world in his attic, refusing food and refusing to communicate with anyone. He never speaks to the members of his family with whom he mostly lives, and treats them with contempt. He stays with me sometimes too. he treats his mother with contempt, and snarls at her when she addresses him. Pakistani Muslim males generally regard women extremely poorly, and in Pakistan itself, 90% of the female population suffer terrible abuse.He has no friends, and spends much of his time looking at his computer, and downloading appalling items on it. He also plays violent shooter games on his PS4 machine. He is a loner. He works as a driver, but has few interests, preferring this solitary existence. I am the only person he bothers with. He has now entered another period of refusing to communicate, and I have not received a call or a visit from him. He is playing the game of withdrawing communication, affection, and everything indeed, in order to hurt me. I have no idea why! The last time I saw him I dropped him off at his mother’s house and kindly wished him a good day at work. That seemed fine to me. But since then he has sunk into non-communication. I have not contacted him or confronted him about this strange behaviour, since I feel that he is hoping to hurt me and elicit an upset response from me. I feel I must be strong and sensible and rise above all that. In past times when this has happened, his family have contacted me and asked me what on earth they should do with him since he was deeply unpleasant and aggressive to them too. They have called me to their house to discuss what to do about him, and have marvelled at my patience in dealing with his awful behaviour. For my part, his behaviour, no doubt the result of multiple personality disorders, is tiring and upsetting to say the least. My patience is now more than stretched, and it would be wonderful if I had someone who is loving, kind, well-adjusted and happy for a partner. There is one way that I can end his frequent abuse, and that is to end the relationship. Then he will not have the opportunity to inflict the abominable silent, abusive treatment on me any more.

  • Neil

    October 15th, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    I used the silent treatment against my wife. We have now separated. She would claim she wanted to talk, but over the years I learned that this meant she was feeling down and simply wanted to use me as an emotional punch bag. Tiny things would set this off, such as me offering to lend a friend some money or buying some cheese (!). If she didn’t have a reason, no matter how ridiculous, she would invent something, such as I had had affairs with her friends, just so that she could justify herself going on the warpath. I ended up with acute anxiety, sleeplessness, loss of bladder control, and was prescribed sertraline, which helped a lot. Eventually I found no other way to deal with her except by refusing to be drawn in to the explosion of emotions and resentment that she was trying to provoke. It was simply a release for her. I believe it was something taught to her by her mother, as her mother (currently on husband number 5) exhibited similar behaviour both towards my wife, to me, and to her then husband (number 4 – since deceased).

    According to the article above I am simply a narcissistic abuser. Maybe I am, or maybe things are not quite so black and white.

  • brighidclaire

    November 27th, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Maybe she haas borderline disorder? Re-think anti-depressants. The withdrawal from them can be horrendous and they can affect your mood much in the ways you describe. Ignoring is meant to hurt the other person. If you did not intend to hurt her you are probably not abusing her. Maybe this is not a good match?

  • agatha

    June 3rd, 2014 at 3:41 AM

    If these are the sorts of games that you have to play then it is clear that you are not an adult enough to be in an adult relationship

    People who are mature? They can talk to each other and listen to what the other has to say without withholding either love or feedback

  • Cindy

    December 20th, 2016 at 1:41 AM

    Ahhh? Hard to do that when a person just wants to call you (me ) names and dig up imagined past deeds AND consistently ruin every holiday with their ‘subtle’ behavior. Boundaries can ‘look’ like silent treatment to some deranged people, when it is just boundaries that the other person does not like BECAUSE they just want to keep things the same and abuse the other person to make themselves feel better about ‘crap’ in their own life. I use to love the holidays, until spending them with my husband’s sister and mother, who hated anyone new that came into the family unit. I thought I was not trying hard enough to make a good relationship, until I saw them do it to my brother in law, and sister in law. I saw both MIL and SIL spread the bad behavior to them and they were kind and loving people. After I saw their behavior going after a new member of the family, I bowed out of trying to make my MIL and SIS happier with me, and laid blame where blame should be….on two unhappy people hell bent on making everyone else as miserable as they were feeling. My brother in law, just took it, like I did but my sister in law melted into a puddle of tears one day when her husband left her alone with his mom in the car. My BIL gave it to his miserable mother to leave his wife along or ELSE. The mother in law and her daughter went on a backstabbing rant accusing their new daughter/ SIL of having all kinds of power over her husband. My mother in law is dead, now. My children, the first grandchildren don’t miss her at all. My daughter thinks her grandmother went to hell. She was mean to my daughter when she was 3 years old. So….she is NOT missed and I don’t miss her evil ways, at all. She always said she was a Christian….ha, I have my doubts. My SIL continues and carries on her mother’s legacy. So …..we are all “giving her the silent treatment” by setting boundaries for her to live by …..she is not the mother of her two brothers. And she continues to ‘blame’ her brother’s silence on me, and my SIL…..not realizing her own bad behavior is the problem. So until she stops name calling, and screaming and accusing….I refuse to talk to her.

  • Cindy

    May 28th, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    My SIL is just plain….nuts. She likes to backstab and she hopes to not be caught in it….I guess. But if you put hateful things in an email, that gets sent to me….by accident, I guess she should be ready to apologize. She should expect a counter reaction….which is silence. I am NOT going to beg her to apologize. No raving….no confrontation…with words….just quiet disgusting silence. I should have NEVER tried to befriend her. I have plenty of good friends, she has none. And now I know why, she spread misery and hate and vengeance and meanness. She is just like her mother. I had hoped she would become more like her father, my FIL, who was a very kind person. Nope….she is her mothers daughter and not friend material, at all. My husband, and his brother are capable of thinking for themselves. Her emails condemn her and her own words condemn her. She has never said she is sorry for anything she has done over the last 35 years. I have. Nobody is perfect….but she thinks she is, I guess. I will never cook for, entertain her, invite her to events, give her free tickets, loan her my cottage, my kids, my time, my efforts. I am done with that woman. And she might write in to this thread and complain about not doing anything, the world is against her, she did nothing….nothing and she is treated like this by a cruel woman married to her brother and he should divorce her for the way she is treated……and we both, my husband and I go silent…and angry…and done with her…because she is NOT an adult.

  • Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

    June 3rd, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    Andrea, this is truly an outstanding article! I can’t thank you enough for continuing to write about this very important, but sorely overlooked and misunderstood form of abuse. I think that it is very important for more articles to focus on the strengths of the victims since far too often, it is assumed that the victim must somehow be defective to be sucked into something like this. This part of your article was the part I enjoyed the most:

    “The target, who may possess high emotional intelligence, empathy, conflict-resolution skills, and the ability to compromise, may work diligently to respond to the deafening silence. He or she may frequently reach out to the narcissistic person via email, phone, or text to resolve the greatly inflated misunderstanding, and is typically met with continued disdain, contempt, and silence. Essentially, the narcissistic person’s message is one of extreme disapproval to the degree that the silence renders the target so insignificant that he or she is ignored and becomes nonexistent in the eyes of the narcissistic person.”

    I say this because that part of the article shines a spotlight on the very reason why it is so difficult for victims to stop trying to reach out to the Narcissist to try and resolve the situation. I have found with many of the victims I have worked with that it is this reason for the silent treatment- “avoid conflict resolution/personal responsibility/compromise” that causes them the most distress. Most victims of this type of abuse are just as you described- “high emotional intelligence, empathy, conflict-resolution skills, and the ability to compromise, [willing to] work diligently”. They want more than anything to resolve the problem and be able to move on. In fact, I believe that it is because the Narcissists tend to mirror beautifully all of the qualities a victim wants or needs in a partner or friend, that victims are left desperately trying to reword and say in different ways things that will “bring back” the person they knew before. It doesn’t occur to them that the person they fell in love with never existed at all.

    I believe that once more victims are able to recognize these very strengths they posses that were targeted and manipulated, they may be able to find the path to healing more easily. The Narcissist has slowly convinced the victim that they are deficient and defective in many ways and the victim has slowly bought into this theory. For many victims, recognizing that they are truly strong people with much compassion, honesty, emotional intelligence and integrity is difficult to do. That’s how convincing these Narcissists are.

    Thank you so much for continuing to write about this very important topic, Andrea!
    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Ursula

    June 4th, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Hi Michelle. I was just wondering if all narcissists use silent treatment?? I believe my ex fiancé has most of the traits but I don’t particularly remember him using the silent treatment so much… However, I one thing that he did a lot was if I tried to avoid speaking to him during an argument ( and say I wanted to be left alone, he would carry on throwing insults and making sure he had the last word, often until I snapped, which he revelled in! Also if I ever dared hang up on him over the phone, this was a huuuge crime to him!
    Just wondered what your thoughts are. I have been taking a while to recover from this relationship as a result of his emotional abuse.

  • Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

    June 4th, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    That is a very good question. I don’t know if all Narcissists use the silent treatment to control their victims, but it certainly seems to be a method that many seem to like to use to maintain power and control in their relationships. The silent treatment is frequently cited by victims of Narcissistic abuse as being one of the most painful “punishments” the Narcissist doles out. But I think it might be important to consider other manifestations of the silent treatment. I believe that there can be milder versions of the silent treatment which may be just as effective at bringing the victim’s behavior more in line with what the Narcissist demands. I guess what I am saying is that I don’t believe that the silent treatment looks exactly the same in every relationship.

    But it is also important to note that there are many strategies used by emotionally manipulative people to control the behaviors of people around them. The silent treatment is just one of the many tools of this trade. In trying to determine if your ex fiance was/is a Narcissist, it might not be all that helpful to you to try and see if he fits into all of the descriptive categories you will read in the articles you find about Narcissistic abuse. One of the hallmarks of this type of abuse is that it is a very confusing ordeal where victims many times have difficulty really even identifying what exact behaviors were so destructive to them. Oftentimes what has occurred makes very little sense at all. Victims spend much of their waking hours in the aftermath of these types of relationships, replaying the events that occurred over and over again simply trying to make sense out of what happened. It is possible that as you continue to heal, you may understand aspects of what took place differently than you do now. In fact, I recently wrote an article about the difficult process of trying to put all of those confusing pieces of what happened together. If you are interested in reading it, you can find it here:

    The road to recovery for victims of Narcissistic abuse is a long one fraught with stops and starts along the way. Much of the difficulty can be attributed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which has frequently developed as a result of the constant “survival” mode victims have been living in. I will also include a link to a wonderful article about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome written by a woman in Ireland named Christine Louis de Canonville: The article (and the actually the entire site has outstanding information) helps to explain some of the common characteristics of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome as well as important information about recovering from the abuse itself.

    I don’t know if anything I have said is helpful to you at all. I truly hope that it has been. The sad part of this whole situation is that the entire mental health profession seems to be very far behind in understanding this type of abuse and the devastating effects it has on victims. I am extremely grateful for people like Andrea who are working diligently to try and get the much needed awareness about this problem right where it needs to be- out where everyone can see it. Now we just need more people to recognize how important this mission is to you and the many, many victims of Narcissistic abuse. Finding information about this abuse and the road to healing shouldn’t be this difficult to find.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance, Ursula.

    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Richard E

    September 7th, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    I’ve just read your reply and it explains the article even better. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have been subjected to a relationship with a narssistist and have tried all the resolution and conflict resolution that you describe in your reply to what I perceived as problems in our relationship. This was meet with the silent treatment “not now” until one night she said we need to discuss how we are moving forward in our relationship. Great I thought at last. She then went onto say she had bought a house and was moving out. No attempt at resolution.
    I thought what can I do and have tried to be friends as you describe to rebuild our relationship.
    Thank you.

  • Betsy

    May 16th, 2020 at 8:34 AM

    Thank you so much for this desperately needed reassurance. I am currently suffering through another in a LONG line painful episodes of the silent treatment from the man I have been in love with for nearly ten years. He always relents eventually with seemingly heartfelt apologies and reflections, but is also capable of strange assessments/accusations that expose a distorted reality. The closer we get to making progress, the harder he runs away, and then comes back anxious to talk and figure things out. He can be kind and warm, humble, generous and affectionate, and we laugh easily and enjoy almost everything we do together; all the things that matter to me. And then heartless. I have been feeling increasingly baffled and ashamed and barely able to function, and beating myself up for not getting away. Your post gives me an explanation, and some hope that I can turn my energy from my “obligation” to this damaged soul I have tried to “help” to instead finally saving myself. It’s so hard to admit that I have let myself be abused.

  • Jill

    June 3rd, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    My husband accuses me of doing this to him all the time but for the love of Pete sometimes this is the only thing that will even clue him in that there is something wrong!
    Even when I try to tell him what I am feeling it is as if he completely tunes me out. If I stop talking though, well that seems to finally get his attention a little more. That’s really sad but it is kinda the way our home seems to be functioning right now.
    I ask if it’s that I otherwise talk too much about stuff that does not interest him and he says no but you know that’s not the vibe I get.
    I don’t like resorting to this but when you need someone to pay attention and this is the only thing that seems to do it then yeah, I will resort to that.

  • Andrea Schneider

    June 3rd, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Michelle :)

  • Jordyn

    June 4th, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    It really is selfish when people behave this way. Kind of makes you look around and wonder for a sec if you have headed back to middle school

  • Morgan

    June 5th, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    It makes me feel like I am having to beg for attention and that is not the person that I want to be. I want to be strong and confident and that kind of beavior takes all of that away from me.

  • Andrea Schneider

    June 6th, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Michelle’s comments are right on and excellent resources…thanks again, Michelle. You rock! Andrea :)

  • Renee

    June 6th, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    To clarify, if, after a particularly bad argument with my spouse ( who I suspect has been empoionally abusive for several years) I am not speaking to him much for 1-2 days because I am so hurt does this mean I am giving him the silent treatment? He may reach out to me, apologize, initiate conversation, etc. but I am hurt and angry and cannot face him.
    Am I being narcissistic…or self-protective? I am often so hurt I cannot speak to him nor do I believe he deserves to speak to me! Thoughts?

  • Amber

    November 30th, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    Renee, just my thoughts here….I don’t think what you’re describing is narcissism. If your husband does get emotionally abusive, your silence is the result of being hurt, as you say in your comment. There is a habit I’ve noticed with narcissists in my family: They never acknowledge their own hurtful behavior…NEVER. They just let time pass, then start interacting again as if nothing ever happened. To me, this compounds the hurt. I’ve become sickened by this behavior and often my silence toward them is from sadness…because experience has shown me it’s no use trying to “talk things out” with a narcissist.

  • Abigail

    April 16th, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Amber you have jut described my husband to a tee , I’ve been married to him for almost 46 years he has been giving me the silent treatment for 5 weeks at this moment in time over some imagined offence and ignoring me as though I am invisible, treating me with contempt and trying to make me feel like a bad person, he is very controlling person and emotionally and verbally abusive for the slightest thing. I stopped feeling hurt long ago now I just feel weary with the whole thing, my children are grown up with families and are constantly pleading with me to sell up and leave him but I can’t face the hell it will cause. These narcissistic people will never change because they are incapable of taking responsibility for their behaviour and blame everyone else nothing is ever their fault I say to any young couples do you want to spend the rest of your life unhappy and disappointed wishing you were someone else?

  • X

    June 6th, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I managed to get out of such a relationship to find he had been hiding in the bushes in the grounds where I live watching me at night with binoculars he himself told me and seemed very proud of himself, I was terrified that someone could do that to another.

    My life was made hell by such a man he hid in the bushes watching me at night and would phone me and I did not know he was there till I was so scared he told me and he was so proud of himself. I finished it in the end and never want to hear from him again, over two years he made me so unhappy and no one deserves that

  • Amber

    November 30th, 2015 at 6:23 PM

    Next time he does that call the police.

  • Fran T

    June 6th, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Could you cite some good material regarding how a parent should deal with a narcissistic son?

  • Andrew

    June 7th, 2014 at 4:46 AM

    I came to the stark conclusion that perhaps I was in a relationship with a ‘narcissist’ and have found forums like this useful – just knowing that I’m not alone with how I feel is good. I still find dealing with the aftermath of my relationship difficult (even after 2 years) to the extent I’ve now gone for Psychotherapy.

    However, what I find problematical about what is being said here, is the labelling of people as ‘narcissists’ – as them as ‘abusers’ and us as ‘victims’ – it has the feel of black-and-white thinking – of good and evil – it takes us away from the complexities of what makes up a relationship. I don’t want to understand the hurt and suffering in those terms – there must be a bigger picture of why some people have those traits that we label as narcissists – and we have to ask ourselves why it hurts so much being with such a person – what has been our part in that relationship – why do we find it so devastating?

  • Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

    June 8th, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    You raise a very good point. The reality of this type of abuse is that it is very complex and the interpersonal dynamics that are involved with the relationships we are labeling as “Narcissistic” are very complicated. I believe that Andrea is writing about one facet of this type of relationship, meaning that she is highlighting certain characteristics about something that is a much, much bigger process. There are entire books devoted to identifying and explaining the many, many important elements of this type of relationship. However, I personally have found that it is not all that obvious where to find this indepth information about the dynamics at play in Narcissistic relationships. A couple of resources I have stumbled upon are:
    1.) The book, Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity,

    2.) The website- The Roadshow for Therapists. A great starting point to begin reading on this site is Now this entire site is fantastic (the links on the right side of the page will help you navigate the content).

    I have personally found that it was crucial for my own healing to recognize and change the ways in which I was engaging in the destructive “dance” of the Narcissistic relationship (explained more in the resources I just mentioned) in order to break the cycle of continued relationships of this kind. I have found in working with survivors of Narcissistic abuse that as a person begins to heal from this type of abuse, they become aware of previous Narcissistic abuse earlier in their lives. It is almost as if the previous abuse primes them to tolerate later abuse. And this process itself is a very complex process that evolves over time. The website I mentioned in the second resource does a fantastic job of explaining more about this “priming” effect.

    I hope what I have written is helpful to you. I think you will find as you learn more and more about Narcissistic abuse that it is quite a multifaceted dynamic. I believe it is a part of what makes healing from it such a long and difficult process. It is typically not about a person recovering from one “bad” relationship. It is so much more.

    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Andrew

    July 1st, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Thank you Michelle for your message, advice, and links to resources – I’m sorry I haven’t replied earlier because I do appreciate your help – it was interesting what you said about abuse priming someone for future abuse. I’m hoping I will come to some understanding of the complexity of it all with an open heart and mind.
    Kind regards

  • Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

    July 2nd, 2014 at 3:28 AM

    Andrew, please do not apologize. I am relieved to know that some of the information I shared might be helpful to you. There truly is so much that we can discover about ourselves through healing from this type of abuse, but it can feel a little bit overwhelming at times. The questions you asked in your post seem to indicate to me that you understand at some level that this whole process will involve much self reflection. And that understanding will be very helpful for you as you move forward.

    I once heard an analogy that seemed to make a whole lot of sense. The analogy was that healing from Narcissistic abuse involves sort of an “onion effect”. This may sound silly, but the idea is that there are layers of healing that we go through- each layer dependent upon successfully and patiently allowing ourselves to get through the layers before. What I found in my own healing was that as I began learning about Narcissistic abuse in an effort to heal, I had no idea what I would have to do recover. I had no idea where I really was anymore, so finding my way back felt utterly impossible. That might have been the scariest part- not really knowing where I was (or who I was) anymore. All I had was the memory of being a strong, happy person at one time in my life and I knew I wanted to find my way back to her. That was where I started my journey.

    But to be really honest with you, I had no idea where I was going. It wasn’t as if I could say to myself, “I am here now and I need to get over there to begin to heal”. In fact, it was really only in hindsight that I can say what the journey looked like. It is only now, looking back, that I can tell you just how far I had to go to reclaim my identity. When I started my journey to healing, really all I could do was learn as much as I could about those concepts that seemed consistent with what I had had experienced. There would be times when I would begin to feel a little bit stronger only to be knocked on my butt by some memory or trigger that would remind me of some other facet of what happened that I hadn’t figured out just yet. It used to bother me quite a bit that as I began to feel much stronger, I would still occasionally be temporarily taken out of commission by a memory or a realization that there was some other component to this journey that I hadn’t processed yet. That was where the “onion effect” made a whole lot of sense. As I made my way through the healing process, I was understanding layers of what happened and what that meant about me. As I allowed myself to process those layers, my brain would allow me to take in more of what happened as I was ready. To try and understand all of this at once would be utterly overwhelming for any compassionate human being. It is almost impossible for us to recognize at the onset of healing from this abuse just how much we have been hurt. There is typically a lot of trauma involved. However, because much of this abuse is non-physical, it is hard for us to recognize how destructive it has been. And while it may feel like our brains have been sucked out of our heads at times because of this abuse, the truth is that our brains are carefully protecting us from taking in too much, too soon. At some point I began to realize that the “triggers” I experienced were actually crucial insights that would help propel me forward to the next stage of healing. Once I was able to see this, I learned to be very patient with myself when I would experience a trigger. I would allow myself to have as much time and space as I needed to feel safe and process the important message that was inherent in the revelation (trigger).

    For many victims of this type of abuse, we have been slowly “primed” by previous Narcissistic abuse to want to desperately prove to ourselves and others that the failed relationships we experienced before were not for a lack of us trying to make the relationships work. We have no idea that for much of our lives, we have been set up to fail by the very people we built our lives around. Since Narcissists are master projectors, we bought into the idea that we were the ones with the problems and the deficiencies. As we begin to heal from this type of abuse, what we sometimes find is that we aren’t just healing from one destructive relationship, but several (and in some cases, many). When you asked in your first post here, “What has been our part in that relationship…?” you hit on a really good question. The “priming” I mentioned is us wanting to prove in the next relationship we are in that we are good people. Most victims have no idea just how good Narcissists are at pinpointing incredibly vulnerable people- in particular, people who are desperate to give everything they have to a relationship to prove themselves. Coming to realize all of this as we heal is painful. In my opinion, unraveling this pattern of being set up to fail is what makes healing from this abuse take so long. We have a lot to unravel!

    As you read and learn more about Narcissistic abuse, please be patient with yourself. I can tell you that although the journey to healing is long, the view on the other side in truly amazing. Be ready to learn so much about yourself.

    My thoughts are with you, Andrew.
    Michelle Mallon MSW, LSW

  • Fernando

    March 4th, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Mystery. That could be the answer to your questions. I’m not sure the abuser has a good reason to use the silent treatment. Get to know yourself. Have a healthy self esteem. Continue to have love and compassion. Don’t let people change you.

  • Les

    August 18th, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    When you’re the child victim of two narcissistic parents. It is black and white. My mother has been abusing me since I was a toddler. How was that any fault of mine ? It continued all through my childhood and even now at the age of 50 I am still getting abused. I have done nothing. I really haven’t . My mother even tells me that I never gave her a moment’s trouble growing up ! I was one of those high academic achievers that spent all my time reading books and doing homework. Didn’t have a boyfriend, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs. Was overly compliant,respectful and quiet. And yet I have been the victim of terrible name calling, accusations, blame, put downs, controlling behaviour, and slander all my life. All I have tried to do is work hard and study hard and be a success in life. Be a good person, a good wife, and a good mother. But here’s the thing, the better person I try to be the more abusive she gets. So you know, with a narcisisist there really isn’t “two sides” of a story. If you’ve been chosen as their victim then it doesn’t matter how you behave, you are evil in their eyes.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    June 7th, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    @Renee…yes, that would be considered doing the silent treatment or stonewalling…that doesn’t mean you are a narcissist, but I would definitely recommend that perhaps couples treatment to learn some communication tools that are constructive. See John Gottman’s work and “The Four Horsemen of the Apolcalypse” in his writings. @Fran— see my other articles (links in this article) which have a detailed bibliography for further reading — I like The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists by Ellen Payson, MSW, who address family relationships and also work relationships. :) Narcissism can be an issue in family and work relationships in addition to love relationships, and many books address all these aspects. @Andrew…this article addresses issues specifically with malignant narcissists/toxic relationships…of course, people are multi-faceted and some people may just have “traits” of narcissistic behaviors…those individuals may have insight and the potential for growth. If you read my previous articles, you will see what I am talking about…in no way do I believe people are as simple as black/white/good/evil…again, these series of articles address individuals who are survivors of relationships with toxic individuals who exhibit major qualities of malignant narcissism. Please read the previous 3 articles and you will see where I am coming from. Ok, folks, thanks for the feedback…I am going “unplugged” for a while….have a great summer. Andrea :)

  • Rosemary

    June 7th, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    What if the Narcissis is the Therapist?

  • Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

    June 8th, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    That is a very good question. I can tell you my own personal experience that therapists can be Narcissists and it can be horribly destructive. Unfortunately, because Narcissists tend to gravitate towards professions where esteem and trust is automatically accorded to them, the counseling profession is an ideal profession for Narcissists. It would be incredibly convenient if we could lump all Narcissistic therapists into one profile and say that they all behave a specific way but the truth is that it is so much more complex than that. What I am trying to say is that my experience with a Narcissistic therapist is just that- my experience. I have spoken with other victims of Narcissistic therapists and there are some commonalities with what I went through, but there are also some differences. In my situation, I had brought my children to the therapist for counseling and he convinced me that I could help my children if I saw him as well. I believed him. Shortly after he stopped seeing the children. He seemed so competent at first. By the time the emotional abuse began I ignored red flags and alarm bells that were going off in my head simply because he had earned my trust. When I finally refused to see the abusive therapist anymore I could barely function. I had gone from being a woman who had her head screwed on straight (I didn’t need or have a therapist prior to taking my children to see him) to a woman who couldn’t make the simplest decisions without conferring with her therapist. It took me a very long time after I refused to see this therapist any longer to understand what really happened in the relationship. The therapist I finally got up the courage to see after the abusive one was not familiar with Narcissistic abuse. Although she was very supportive, she was not able to help me understand that the terrifying PTSD symptoms I was experiencing and the trauma bonding were a very normal reaction to the destructive emotional abuse I had endured. That insight came after I stumbled upon the victims’ advocacy group TELL (Therapy Exploitation Link Line). If you believe you may have been harmed by a therapist, please visit this site at I am extremely grateful to all of the people with this group for the ways in which they helped me reclaim my identity and my life.

    I hope this has been helpful, Rosemary.

    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Diane Lemos, CACII, LAC, LCSW

    June 9th, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Growing up with a narrcisitic parent, I was often up set with his inability to take responsibility. Even as a therapist, I tried to stay in connect with my father but so many times I have ended up hurt.
    As a therapist, I work with many clients who either struggle with a partner or a parent who is a narcissist. Together, we look at that person traits and I use the DSM 5 to help my clients understand the disorder better. We work on coping skills and sometimes I support the client to disconnect from the person.
    Thanks for article… as therapists, we need to continue to talk about this subject.

  • Katie

    June 29th, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    I can certainly relate to this very informative information. Thanks for the insight. My ex was like this, he would sit in stone silence for days, and when I asked what was wrong, he would give a cold glare and say ‘nothing’, and continue. I finally divorced him and he carried out his promise to make my life hell, now 25 years later our 3 children are behaving just like him. He has won them to the dark side and are now estranged from me, and basking in his wealth, and pathology. It makes me sick, but is helpful to know the cause. Thanks.

  • Sam

    July 5th, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    This series of posts was so incredibly helpful to me. I am 3 months past a 6 month long distance relationship that ended abruptly when she said her feelings suddenly were gone, when things got too “real”.

    Everything you wrote was as if you had been sitting here listening in on every conversation I’ve had, both in my own head and with my ex GF. So much of her personality and interactions with me laid bare. Silent treatment is her go to weapon. There are paragraphs that are literally almost word for word messages I sent to her trying to explain how I felt, both on the upsides and downsides over that time period. I tried giving her space/time when she asked for it, I asked for boundaries that I could understand, she gave me nothing back for months. I went from being a daily all-consuming need for her for 5 months to literally not a second thought in her head, almost overnight. I’ve had this creeping sense that I was dating an emotional teenager but I think the 5 year old metaphor is more accurate.

    I have been in therapy and am focusing on healing myself here, but have been unable to reach some solid answers my rational mind needed, until I read these posts. The lack of reasoning or sense for the behaviors is the most troubling aspect of all of this. I’ve read lots of other relationship break up/narcissism topics online. Most are selling something and many more are well intentioned but slanted in raw personal experience and pain. This is the first objectively clinical take I’ve found with focus on what the victim feels, and it described me.

    I would like to second the sentiment that focusing on the positives of someone in the victim role here typically has. My ex-GF had me so confused and questioning so much of my own personality, “what’s wrong with me?” type of thinking, especially after I had just come out of my own painful divorce and felt I was just getting myself back together and ready to love again. I started wondering if I was being a narcissist and being arrogant by demanding too much (as if asking to *maybe* check in once a week for a couple of minutes on the phone or via text is demanding!!), which ironically is what brought me to this site.

    It’s amazing how much power your positive focus just had on my self-image. Reading what you wrote reminded me that I’ve always been genuine with my emotions, pain and pleasure, and that it’s not a bad thing to be honest and open about feelings, that I do genuinely care how other people feel and can empathize. Just reading that cleared up so much lurking self-doubt. Thank you so much.

    So here’s another dimension. Her ex-husband of a decade was/is an 11 on the narcissism 1-10s and probably a few other disorders, to the point of physical and verbal abuse, and endangering others (which is an entire other story involving police and a near felony stalking charge). It’s interesting that she is most certainly a victim of long term severe narcissistic abuse, possibly a lifelong victim of less aggressive narcissism from her parental relationships, and at the same time a perpetrator.

    Is that common? Is there any hope for someone to overcome those traits in a context like that? She’s also had a long standing therapist I think for maybe 20+ years, which is one reason I felt safe that she would be relatively unlikely to be a damaging person in our relationship. But here we are.

    I did genuinely love the person I got to know early in the relationship, and if there was anything I could do to help her I would… but I realize I probably can’t, because she probably never existed. I am definitely grieving the loss of the fantasy woman she sold me on, and trying to understand how I can trust myself to let someone else in again without triggering paranoia.

    I don’t blame her for anything. I just think it’s all so very sad, all of it… that we inflict these wounds on each others as humans, and it seems to be a cycle passed down generationally :(

  • andrea s.

    July 6th, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Sam–I am glad that the articles helped you. Human beings are multi-dimensional, and when we talk about narcissism in these articles we are talking specifically about individuals who have substantial challenges on the high end of the spectrum of narcissism, with difficulty seeing insight and how they can cause emotional harm to their significant others…to answer your question, sorry for your loss, and I hope that you have psychological support in place. Yes, it is common for someone to have such traits and for the origin to lie within the context of how she was raised…in terms of being helped, it all depends on her motivation and severity of of entrenched patterns–those who are very far on the spectrum of narcissism closest to sociopathy will have, unfortunately, limited progress…those with “traits” (which we all have) and insight, stand a much better chance of moving through and growing…I wish you the best…Andrea

  • Terri

    July 10th, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I am now recognizing that I have been married to a narcissist for 43 years. I receive the silent treatment on a regular basis. I retired from teaching 3years ago and have really felt the adverse affects of this since my retirement. When I worked, I knew I was very good at what I did and felt good about having a positive impact on the lives of my students and their families. I still have contact with some of my students. We have two sons and we have 5 grandchildren. Thank goodness for them or I would be wreck!! As my husband ages, I believe his behavior has gotten worse. He’s still working, they love him!! He is a perfectionist with his work, so I can understand why they think he’s the greatest. It has taken me years to figure all of this out!! As I read the other comments I can see I’m not alone. I have certainly figured out that my husband’s family is VERY dysfunctional. Both his mom and his dad had or have issues. His sister is a complete mess and very hostile, depressed and manipulative. To be honest, after 43 years,I’m exhausted! To leave, because of complicated property issues, I would have to sue my 89 year old father in law to even get my 1/2 of our property. I just don’t have the energy!! I finally looked at my sister one day and said,”Where the heck have I been that I didn’t see this more clearly?” I have always seen the glass as half full……now it just looks empty.

  • Lynn

    July 11th, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    Just to let you know you are not alone. My 2nd husband of only 3years just goes silent for no reason whatsoever,or at least none that he will let me know of,I find myself constantly looking at what I may or may not have done to annoy him and it is both frustrating and very upsetting. When confronted he will never say what the issue is and always make it look like he is perfect and uses the phrase ” oh it’s just one of your moods” which constantly makes it look like its in my imagination but it isn’t as I am never “in a mood” when he does this as it happens regularly. Living with him has been a nightmare and my spirit is well and truly broken the stress of these silences has affected my health badly. I am starting to read about this and have found so many psychologists who say this is a passive aggressive way of mental abuse and causes stress to the victim am starting to believe that is exactly what is going on. The advice is try and talk it through but if the person will not speak to you it is impossible and he goes into the silent routine so quickly it would mean yet another silent period so I hold my hands up and say I put up with it. My first marriage lasted 23 years and we used to have a row now and again like most couples but at least it aired any problems and we had and we were able to move on and even though our marriage ended it had nothing to do with rows or lack of communication so I cannot know how you have put up with it for so long as I am already considering how I can end this awful marriage, if that is what you can call it, as it has turned something that could have been good and happy and turned it into misery how can you love someone who treats you in this way so it has killed the feelings I had for him in too short a time.
    I am sorry to say I don’t have an answer for you but the people that do this don’t realise what damage they are doing to their partners and their marriages and are too wrapped up in themselves to see what is going on in front of their noses.
    Be strong Terri I really do understand your dilemma.

  • Terri

    July 11th, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Thank you Lynn, I appreciate everything you shared. I think I have been able to deal with it because I’ve always been very resilient. I’ve ‘always been a happy, outgoing person. I am beginning to feel that my optimism was also detrimental. When I was teaching and my kids were home, I always just tried my best to work around the situation. Now that I’m retired, it’s not as easy. I don’t have a job to go to where I am valued, and loved by kids, parents, and staff. I feel for my husband……I now recognize the abuse that he suffered growing up. My dad was a little moody, my mom was a sweetheart,so when the very first silent treatment”punishment happened……I didn’t have a clue as to what the heck was happening!! My husband never valued my job as a teacher, not that I needed him to, but it would have been nice. I don’t think I’ve heard,”I’m sorry” and that’s exactly how his family operates, they have no respect for each other. As I said, our property issues are so complicated in this family, I don’t have any energy to fight them. His family has,for the most part,been good to me, except for my sister in law. I can definitely see how this has effected my oldest son, fortunately he sought youngest son, who was the apple of his dad’s eye is doing very well. I’m grateful that I have been provided for, I never had to work, but, I’m strong willed enough that I wanted my own money!! This probably sounds all garbled, It’s been a long and busy day. I appreciate that there are others who understand how challenging this is.

  • Terri

    July 11th, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    One one thing Lynn! I looked at my husband one day and said,”Your mad on Monday runs into your mad on Tuesday, which runs into your mad on Weds, just so you know, by Thursday, I really don’t care why you’re mad!” I try to stand up for myself, however, it is usually out of complete and total frustration.

  • MaryL

    October 10th, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Terri your story could be my story. I’ve taught for 40 yrs and I want to retire but have put it off because I don’t want to be home with my N spouse. He is still working but he works out of our home. He has always devalued my job to my kids and anyone else who will listen to him. He is fond of the silent treatment and practices his craft at least once a week. Know you are not alone .

  • Rebekah

    July 27th, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Can someone please help with finding a qualified professional. I’m willing to travel to see them. I’ve had very discouraging experiences in my efforts to find and talk to someone who understands and has knowledge of the extent of what I’m going through. Reading this article on narcissism and the article about emotional abuse described word for word what I’m enduring and have been enduring for 4 years. In actuality I feel my situation is much more severe/complicated then what’s being described. I’ve been reading a lot lately on my own as self help but most things just reaffirm things without helping. I’m truthfully at a loss, feeling trapped, isolated, and more alone then I ever have. I’m in Northern Ohio but I’m willing to drive a couple of hours to surrounding states for good honest help and understanding. Any information, resources, or even advice on where to find resources will really help. Finding this article has given me a little hope that the possibilty of professionals who understand these things do exist.


  • The Team

    July 28th, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can find one in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    If you’re looking for a counselor who practices a specific type of therapy or who deals with specific concerns, you can complete an advanced search here:

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

  • Kay

    August 9th, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    When I read your story and how long you have been going through this silent treatment it sounds exactly like what I’m going through myself for about 5 yrs now . I found out that he is remarried just recently and I hope that my world will get back to normal but, so far it has not . The silent treatment is so bad that it’s everywhere I go , when shopping , to Drs. Everywhere . I used to have lots of people that I thought were my friends but , not anymore . My neighbors no longer speak to me with the exception of one . And I fear that I will lose them like I have everyone else . If anyone out there has any advice please I’d love to hear it . Thank you all in advance . I read everything I can find about this matter. Another bad thing about what is happening to me is that when I do try and explain to someone what I’m going through it just sounds crazy . But , I can tell you this if anyone out there has ever gone through this you will totally understand how horrible this thing really is . I’ve tried to contact him in the past to see if I could talk to him in order to try and understand and even make things right with him but to no avail it never works . As a matter of fact I think it makes it worse .

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    July 27th, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Rebekah…Michelle Mallon, MSW (posted above)…is in Ohio and can direct you to local people. You are also welcome to email me and we can discuss other options…

  • roy

    October 20th, 2014 at 6:41 PM


    I am looking for help with a ex girlfriend who maybe a BPD case. I live at atlanta and work at baltimore. Can you help me ?

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    October 21st, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    Dear Roy,

    Thank you for your comment. You can search for a therapist or other mental health professional in your area by first entering your ZIP code and then selecting a specialty from the drop-down menu here:

    You may also call our toll-free Find-A-Therapist line at 888-563-2112 ext. 1. Our support team is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. We hope that helps!

  • Sharon

    August 9th, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    I have been discarded by a friend who says since I don’t listen to her, I should understand why she is stressed out and so she has to cut off all contact with me permanently.. I have always supported her and this behavior has happened for several years..however , this time it seems to be a discard.. I introduced her to many friends who seem to be the new supply and they know about the discard. Of course I’m more in mourning at the loss and she’s going about her life seeing friends etc.. She’s got them all fooled. I keep trying to tell myself to listen to your explanations .. It’s sad .. Recovery hurts

  • Mary

    August 21st, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I told my partner that I hate him in emails and text and that I should cheat on him so that he would pay attention to me. I appologized a few days later but he still gives me the silent treatment. What shoul I do to make him stop?

  • Laura

    September 29th, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I criticized my daughter’s new fad diet for her preschoolers and now she won’t let me see the kids or talk to her. I have been getting the silent treatment for almost 9 months. Do you have any suggestions for opening up lines of communication again?

  • miriam

    October 8th, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    so, obviously my long distance boyfriend since one year (altogether 4,5 years on and off) decided, since five days, that he won’t talk to me. before it all started, everything was good between us and the last thing he said was he’s going out for a musical event. usually when he goes somewhere, he shuts down his mobile data until he returns home and sometimes he’s away the whole day and there’s no way for me to reach him as he never communicates through sms or phone calls even if i try (which means we almost never made spontaneous phone calls to one another, but had to decide beforehand when we were going to talk. crazy, i know!). so that evening i was expecting him to write like he always does when he gets back home, but he didn’t. i spent the night awake worried that something might have happened to him, but forced myself not to write more than good night so as not to be a pain in the a**. in the morning i’m surprised he still hasn’t written anything (he always wakes me up with a message) and doesn’t write until late afternoon that he’s sorry (for having been away for so long without saying anything, obviously) and that he’s present now. i took my time before i sad my hello but i see that he doesn’t receive my message (clearly, he had turned off his connection again to either start isolating himself or to go out once more). the voices in my head go; “alright, let him take his time. don’t bother, don’t stress him.” the whole evening passes with no word from him. and the day after as well, and here’s where i start to become real nervous and write to ask him why he is silent. no answer, of course. in my worry and frustration, i call him and he doesn’t pick up but quickly writes that he’s busy and will call back later. i get extremely frustrated and start to feel that he is indeed consciously avoiding me (i recognise the pattern from before as it’s not the first time he has given me the cold shoulder or said that he will call me but doesn’t, although he has improved his communication skills lately and only been away for one day, at most, to to “clear his mind”) so i reply sarcastically that he’s always busy when i call (that’s how it has been; 80% of our phone calls are made only when he wants and has time, now that i think about it). no answer and i’m now dead sure that he’s messing with my mind. i write again that i’ll be waiting for his call and that if he doesn’t call me during the day, we will have to go separate ways. i know it was brutal, but the reason i was so quick to say that is because he has done this to me previously so perhaps it was some sort of defence mechanism on my part. anyway, this is when i’m assured that he won’t call back and that i’ve lost him so i wait for a few hours to collect my thoughts before i leave my last message in which i apologize in case i have done anything wrong but tell him that when he is ready to talk i will be here although i can’t wait forever and will assume that he doesn’t want to talk to me any more if he doesn’t approach me soon. again, he answers that he is sorry (which makes me even more confused because that’s all he says) and i wonder if that’s all he wishes to say. obviously it is, because he never answered after that and i haven’t either. it has been six days since it all started but three days since he wrote “sorry” and i’m really dying inside.

    i had no idea there was something called “the silent treatment” and found out about it just now in my desperation to figure out what i have done wrong. had i known about this behaviour four years ago when we met and he started doing that to me, i would probably not have given this relationship 5+ chances and 4,5 years of my life. it has helped a lot to find out about “the silent treatment” and now i see things in a different light. undoubtedly, he has issues which i know are caused by a childhood trauma (from the very little he has told me about his childhood). he is the kind of guy that carries a lot of pain inside and never wants to burden anyone with it because he has been taught not to complain and that nobody but him can solve his problems. this is something that has made me cry myself to sleep sometimes because it breaks my heart to see how lonely he is in his pain yet he refuses to let anyone in. it’s the first time now since we met that our relationship lasts for one whole year and we’ve built up trust and he has started to open up to me a lot more than he used to (although not enough)… until a few days ago when everything came crashing down again. learning about “the silent treatment” made me realise that i’ve been subject to emotional abuse and that his behaviour is not normal (i used to think it’s okay and that that’s how men simply are). so it made me really strong and today (maybe it was too soon?) i started disconnecting myself from him in social media networks and i plan to eventually just disappear like i said i would. maybe i’m jumping into hasty conclusions but to me it’s completely irrational that someone you are so close to needs five whole days to be able to speak up or he can even be so cold-hearted. i mean, hours, a day; fine! but five days and counting is not okay, or am i wrong? long distance relationships are specifically sensitive because communication is all there is. by taking that away, he’s taking away everything and how am i supposed to fix anything without his collaboration? i have told him this before and he always says i’m right. i’m thinking now his silence means he doesn’t want me any more and it’s time to move on yet i feel i have the responsibility to tell him about my findings regarding his behaviour in order to help him seek help. anyone out here with good advice? with regards to “the silent treatment” i read that the “abuser” exercises it for various reasons among them to punish the “victim” or because they’re simply not well. i believe in his case it’s the latter reason. he has had a difficult life lately in terms of finding a job and a steady income and it has affected the possibility for us to be together. our plan is to have him move to the country i live in in about two months and we’ve been planning everything with great enthusiasm so i don’t understand why he gave up so fast. and no, it’s not like we’ve never met. we’re having a long distance relationship, yes, but we used to meet regularly and he even lived here for a short while earlier this year.

    i also read that this kind of behaviour may indicate that the abusive partner is cheating. it’s hard for me to imagine he’s doing that but there is a woman that he obviously seem to have “dated” when he and i lost contact the first time in the beginning of our relationship. i’ve tried to ask him about her as they still talk and hang out but he used to say she’s nothing to him but a friend. but because he always becomes somewhat defensive when i mention her and i can see through his body language that he doesn’t want to talk about her, i’ve become suspicious and wouldn’t be surprised if what i’m suspecting is actually true. he was always very concerned about his integrity, btw, and would hardly ever tell me about his life back home, his family or friends. whenever i suggested i should visit him, he would say “time enough you will, let us work everything out and settle first”. everything is a mystery and a secret but i’ve always let him take his time, never asked too much, never pushed him or forced him to tell me anything, but asked gently sometimes because i want to know the man i’m planning my future with, because it’s a natural thing to do! is that too much to ask for?

    i’m seriously suffering now and i’m so confused. i haven’t told my family and friends about this yet because i’ll just break down in tears but i need help in how to move on. am i on the right track? should i just let go and try to forget him? should i write again? what should i do?

    i’d be glad if anyone out here would share with me your experiences.


  • Sophia

    October 9th, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Run girl, run ! Do not waist any more time on this man, he’s clearly emotionally abusing you ! I have been there, done that. This kind of people will always do that ! Run and STOP fooling yourself and trying to blame yourself for something that you have not done ! It’s not you, it’s HIM! Free yourself for good!

  • Sophia

    October 9th, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Sorry if I’m being too direct and insensitive Miriam, I too was with emotional abuser and narcissist for 2 years. I also wondered if that is supposed to be the norm and whether I perhaps not understanding him enough and blaming myself. Finally I realized what emotional damage as well a physical damage his silent treatment, along with manipulation did to me. Us women tend to often look for fault within ourselves and excuse this kind of behavior but what he is doing to you is NOT normal, nor the norm out there. I had been in a much better relationship prior to that so I could tell that something was off right away, however, when you love someone you are frequently in self denial. I endured 2 years of this and you have endured much longer. This is happening for a reason and you are finally realizing what is truly going on. You are on the right track and are currently doing the right things so please continue and stay very strong. You will find someone that will be emotionally available and you will see a HUGE difference and will be so so so much happier! Do not waist any more of your precious years. His behavior is absolutely not normal so please stop trying to justify it and excuse this’s absolutely cruel behavior. I really, truly mean well for you ! You will be grateful and happy that you did it. Do not contact him any longer, these kind of abusers thrive on that and they want to see a reaction from you and see you suffer, it gives them even more power and ammunition! As hard as it sounds need to not look back and simply move on!!!!! Hugs :)

  • love

    October 10th, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Every woman deserves to be pursued. It is not for you to fix him. Instead pray for him. Your boy loves himself so much and is blatantly inconsiderate of you. He’s probably moved on, but keeping the door to you open just in case he fails at his other prospects. It’s time for you to love you. Let go and let God. You seem like a loving woman, ive been where you are. Moving on is hard but the wounds heal and your vision gets clearer. Trust me, it gets better.

    All the best.

  • Cici

    October 12th, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    Hi Miriam

    My story is a copycat of yours! Long distance, my partner in another country, promising to come and live in my country…..the five years….silent treatment….it’s identical!!! Turning his phone off. It’s uncanny. Your partner is not from the ME is he:(

  • Jill

    November 13th, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    drugs/ and or an affair. I found out the hard way. Much luck to you, leave asap.

  • Cindy

    December 20th, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Been there. Best advice I can give you is…..sit down, someplace quiet and try and remember who you were before you got tangled up in this man. Remember how you felt about yourself before the guy. Do/did you like yourself 5 yrs ago? Look at how you have changed….and if you don’t like how you have changed being with this person….they are the wrong person for you. Set aside ‘feelings’ and analysis the pro’s and con’s. If there are more con’s…dump the guy and find someone that really loves who you are and does not promise you ‘air’ and ‘someday, we will…..’. An objective man I met and told my story to said…’he does not love you….a man that is in love would not do….blah’. It was like a two by four to my head and heart….and so my head said…”run…you deserve more than what this guy is offering.” I broke up ‘temporarily’, then met a great guy who was no ‘effort’ and made me feel good about myself and we laughed and laughed and have been together for 36 years. And if I had not taken a ‘break’ from the jerk I would not have met and dated my husband. The jerk did come back to me a few months later….but my kind and loving husband was the sane choice. The jerk, did call me one more time, after I married and said…”I am ready to get married, now.” And I said….”Who is the lucky girl?” He said nothing and that was how into himself he was….totally unaware that my life had progressed….and he stayed stuck in place. Grow a ‘pair’ about yourself and what you have to offer another human being. I offered the jerk, love and support, and he offered me uncertainty, and questioning of my self-worth. I almost let him destroy me over the course of 2 years. Leaving him was the best thing I could do for me. Don’t be afraid to start over. Your time was not wasted if you learned from the situation.

  • lisa

    December 20th, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    These abusers just like to spoil holidays I dumped mine three months ago I have been contacted every weekend asking if I have met someone been stalked by him I agreed to see him to talk listened to his lies after three days I found chats on his phone with a girl friend he met twenty years ago and hooked up with four years ago I messaged her to find out the truth then I had silent treatment for three days then when he decided to call I couldn’t talk to him so he text I won’t bother you again this man deliberately tried to reel me back to spoil Christmas like he has every year we spent together and he never gets new woman because he can’t manipulate and abuse them so he recycles his exs evey time he’s cheated it’s been not a new one but an old one in fact the truth could be he tries and leaves evidence even if he hasn’t to mess with my head I’m so cross with myself I let this man have the chance to emotionally abuse me again and it’s just undone all my healing over the past couple of months these people are evil I do actually think it’s spiritual they are possessed how can someone not have any compassion or empathy even nasty people sometimes feel bad not these abusers how can you stop abusing someone if your unable to feel anything and everytime you go back the abuse is thicker and faster than before we just open the flood gates for abuse tolerating any bad behaviour my partner said bad behavior breeds bad behaviour like I’m a carbon copy of him I have never give him silent treatment until now and that is self preservation from his evil mental mind games four years no change never an apology just him playing the victim when he does admit a problem it’s my fault I have too many barriers probably because he ends up destroying me

  • Julie

    October 9th, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    I am curious–what are the long term effects on a child growing up with a narcissistic parent, one who frequently treats their spouse and children in this manner?

  • Kathryn

    November 14th, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    Having grown up with the sole destroying silent treatment (as punishment) from my mom, the effects have been devastating. I am in my late 40’s and I am STILL suffering the silent treatment. The skin beneath my eyes is pure black now, and I firmly believe this has been caused by crying SO much. It just won’t cover up anymore – it appears like I have two black eyes. My face is dry, rough, and covered in spider veins, I think this is partly down to the salt in tears and I have shed bucket loads of them. I have no boyfriend or husband, as I am once again trapped at home caring for my terminally ill dad. He has never gave me the silent treatment but he did/does when my mom was/is around. He did/does talk to me when she is not there, However he has always been an enabler, all through my childhood and adult life. I have no-one at my back for support in the house. I have no siblings and friends won’t visit. Basically, I have got no quality of life. I am looking forward to going into hospital for major surgery, just to get peace, quiet and no silent treatment for a couple of weeks. Most people dread it. THAT is how BAD things are, and there is a waiting list of four years approximately, to see a councillor, though the last time I went to see one, she pretty much told me that councilling won’t help as I am back staying at my parents house, and cannot distance myself from my toxic relationship with my mother – due to my dad.

    I feel life has passed me by and I am existing, rather than living. I would not wish this on anyone, I envy ‘close’ families, and those who never use the silent treatment. It is also hard not having siblings to turn to, and most of the time, I feel so alone. In my opinion, the silent teatment has been the bane of my life.

    Sorry if there are any spelling mistakes, as I am getting the silent treatment once again, and I am typing through a watery, blurry haze of tears that usually takes up two boxes of mansize tissues.

  • Anne

    October 12th, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    I can hardly stop returning to this site! This has been a godsend! I have been a victim for 11 years now to the date! I feel so relieved that I can stop the madness but in doing so I will also be losing a son and two grandchildren. I will also be dealing with some very deep, very real abandonment issues from my past.

    My son married a very interesting young lady. I had known of her and her parents/brother for several years. Mom is a schizophrenic (late onset) and dad is a helicopter parent. Brother/son died recently but the circumstances surrounding the death were never revealed. It was kind of like he starved himself to death in the end.
    My DIL did not want anything to do with me from the get go. I had to be very specific as to the time and date of when I could come visit them. They lived down the way from me and I respected their wishes. I kept my distance thinking she would eventually warm up to me. If I called her she would never return the call. Never! I eventually would end up calling my son and he would make some excuse for her. She seemed to have a variety of friends and entertained often but I was rarely if ever invited even though my close friends were invited and pictures were posted on FB for me to see, I was hurt but was told by friends not to worry that she would get over it. My son, meanwhile, thrived and was doted upon by his in laws. They absorbed him to the point that my ex and I joked that he should take on their last name. They got pregnant in 2009, the same year I got remarried.
    The first year of my grandson’s life I did “something” wrong and the silent treatment intensified. I was removed from being a friend on FB and could no longer “see” my grandson. I called, left voice messages, asked what was wrong and never received an answer. Then about a year later contact resumed via my son but by now I am really walking on eggshells as my son is giving me what seems to have been a list of her demands…never by her mouth but through my son.
    This year, January, I asked them out to a restaurant as my husband and I were leaving on a trip and I had not been granted an opportunity to see my grandsons for awhile. When we returned in February my daughter came to visit. As always my daughter made her own plans and one of the plans was to visit her brother and SIL to see her nephews. Right before she left to go visit she said that she “thought” I was invited over also. It was late in the day and I declined since I had other things to do thinking I could see them “anytime” since we lived just miles apart. Well that has been the crack that broke the camels back. Later I was told by my son that I needed to apologize for what? my behavior? I am not quite sure, was it that I did not come out that day with my daughter? I apologized but true to her mother’s words several years ago she will only accept an apology after what she deems an appropriate time and amount. I apologized for something I still don’t know what it is and that they refuse to tell me when I ask him.
    This sounds like it has only happened a couple of times but the silent treatment is her way of coping with her life. Her friends have been the brunt of it but I am and have been her target of choice. My son is now acting the same way. He cut off all communication with me siting (sp?)petty grievances. I never invite them over, I don’t love them, blah, blah, blah, blah…. This spring they moved 18 hours by car away. They did not tell me they were doing this nor did they say goodbye.
    I have so many questions. I have tried to be brief and I have left many other instances out. I read this article on the Silent Treatment and it really spelled it all out. I want to think there is help for her. I am fearful that my son is and has been treated this way for all their married life. I have given up on ever having a relationship with them anymore. My loss is huge BUT I refuse to be a part of this sick, sick game. I hope this all makes sense. It is very late as I write these thoughts and I am very tired.

  • Andrea Schneider

    October 14th, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    thanks for the feedback all…to answer Julie’s question re: impact on children…truly, sustaining emotional abuse as a child is not good for development. Children can become the narcissistic supply of an individual with signifiant narcissism. With that, typically therapy with a skilled clinician is essential as is healthy, consistent and nurturing social supports in the child’s life. Andrea

  • Tony M

    October 18th, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    I think that this article shares a pretty black and white analysis of the so-called “silent treatment” painting anyone who engages in it as an obvious “narcissist”.

    Let me tell you however, that there are instances where the “silent treatment” shouldn’t be confused with “No-contact” in the case of an abusive situation where one is actually being abused.

    In my case, the abuser was female. She took my daughter and I hostage and interfered with my ability to render aid to my minor child. She then threatened and then assaulted me in my home, and I put up my hands in self-defense, making contact with her as she bolted towards me with her luggage as she changed her mind at the last minute after having agreed to leave as she had promised to. From the safety of my hotel, she then proceeded to call the police and paint a story that I had assaulted her. I get arrested, and the police come in with their bias, and tactics and generate a false confession. Meanwhile, she perpetuates an inappropriate relationship with my own attorney, launches a character assassination to solidify her delusional version of the story, and hides her violence behind being a victim.

    I fail to defend myself, but one thing I did do right was refuse to engage with her. I never came home. I refused to feed her more fuel. After three long years, I am sure after labeling me a narcissist thanks to articles like this, she finally decides to divorce me, convinced that I surely must be crazy, uncaring, etc.

    You know what? I cared much about the relationship. I tried to work it out with her… but there came a point where frankly, she was not only out of integrity by scapegoating me for her violence, she was, by refusing to take responsibility, playing a game that would only lead to more escalation.

    There are times when you don’t need to waste your energy trying to negotiate with terrorists. We do this in the political arena for a very good reason: Giving them any attention is giving them more attention than they deserve. Ironically, this article, when read by them get’s them nodding their heads at how messed up the other people must be.

    To be more complete, this article should mention a little bit about personal responsibility… sometimes when people are giving you the silent treatment, you messed up. You actually are being abandoned because of your behavior. You are yourself the narcissist, the borderline, the psychopath, etc… and people are just creating distance from you because you, well… suck. Sometimes, there really isn’t anything left to say because your behavior is so appalling to basic human decency that people really do just turn a cold shoulder to you because of who you are. It’s not that they are passive aggressive narcissists. They really are just sick of dealing with you.

  • Angela

    October 21st, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Hi. I disagree that silent treatment is result to our behaviors.
    We are justified to make boundaries when our value/feelings are walked upon.
    Silent treatment from narcissist is like a 5 yr old holding a grudge or turning his back on us, wiping us from his life without a normal talk. To fix. They are always right and victim is just that twice over.

  • Andrea Schneider

    October 19th, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    @Tony–this article is specifically referring to narcissistic abuse by individuals demonstrating strong narcissistic characteristics. If an individual is trying to leave a toxic relationship, then using No Contact is the preferred method to disengage. The article was not meant to address the silent treatment on a global level by individuals who are not narcissistic … either way you look at it, the silent treatment is not a healthy way to communicate. Andrea

  • Angela

    October 21st, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    Ten years!!! Within a month, his ex created havoc and he was determined to keep me. I told him I wanted marriage, he brought kids to my home weekends. It got very serious and family involved. We were to become Family.
    As troubles and jealousy mounted, I was told by sis to Push him, but when someone has troubles, I don’t. I told him he must choose, I won’t stay in mess. He chose me but not marriage-to fight her and keep me. Courts and moving kids’ schools issue. Son and he with me summertime, returned son to ex for school. He asked me what to do? I asked him, tell me, your kids. Canada, Caribbean, son put in boarding school even knowing he wanted the dad to marry me, I lost voice with stress, depressed to point of shocked look, couldn’t turn him away having sick parents and he ‘acted’ there for me, life threatening kidney illness/bleed…slow recovery with high blood pressure to any emotional stress, he ‘acted’ caring..then when his troubles so bad, he moved to his rented home–he doesn’t leave me…LTR so I need to understand. I slowly fixed my home, kids, life, mom passed away 1 1/2 yrs ago, twin grandkids born, he distanced his kids from me as I saw him less-not conforming to control and Shame led to punishment and rejection. I said No Visits to me 11months ago to not hurt me/insult after. No concern for wartime in Israel, no BD wish, no holiday wishes (every year with him but it came at price not to get marriage but only keep on thread), so basically being apart is healthier for me with values and respect. What little meaning he left for us gone, stopped loving when not getting his way? I reminded him of marriage and no disrespect. Neighbour/coworker of his said this year will be Very good, but entire family condone that I am not with him holidays and sis only sent wishes back to us all. Today I let he know that after standing by him to be strong, he was to respect me and my dad. And others who know us both stated that I am worthy.
    I was forced to do stand and punished for it. He won’t love me now! No need for love or to grow up, since I Did.

  • Angela

    October 21st, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    To add to my hell, he showed everyone how he cared and I wasn’t ok to allow visits to not deserve marriage???
    Then he moved to rented home and brother’s wife left home after 30 yrs emotional abuse in marriage.
    The brother ‘allows wife to visit her son.’
    The son kicked him out of home when he visited states.
    And a women’s work and she are not valued.
    I let them all know that men must Honour women to keep them.
    Is this family messed up??? 😃

  • Angela

    October 21st, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    Forgot to add more.
    With his work in bankrupt state for 2 yrs and stock worth only 18, he should be grateful
    Admitted in April that his son left work, and with kids over 18, his ex must payback half mortgage to stay with kids…or he rents/sells. The sis admitted chaos, I said he must fix and be ready for Fair action with me. She said I make conditions? I said yes. He can do as he wishes and I can’t protect my interests?
    Brother will Never allow him to give in.
    It is family Honour and women are there to be controlled and used.
    And they are superior and don’t Honour others.
    I hoped now with his messes and my stand, he’d decide. I wonder how bad it must get or how alone he’d be for them to keep controlling.

  • Andrea Schneider

    October 21st, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    @Roy– I do offer consultation/coaching via telehealth (which is not the same thing as psychotherapy) for those recovering from toxic relationships if appropriate. Andrea

  • Krista

    November 21st, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Looking for some advice.

  • Sonja O.

    October 21st, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    After reading this article, I made some realizations regarding my ex-boyfriend. Although I suspect some narcissistic traits in all of us, I feel that something is very wrong. I broke it off because of his lack of reciprocity in the relationship. for instance, I took off work to be with him when his mother passed, but he could not be with me when my sister had a heart attack and they were discussing bypass surgery. Now that it is over, and I can view events both past and present, I am wondering if he goes far beyond the normal “self-preservation” levels of narcissism. Although he does not show other characteristics of a narcissistic personality disorder, he does play the role of victim from his previous relationships (i.e. it’s all her fault because she cheated on me) avoids conflict in refuses to have serious conversations. (on several occasions I told him that I did not feel like I was important to him, and his response was “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel that way.” He does not reprimand his girls for rude or inappropriate behavior, and seeks to do anything that makes himself look good/feel good in the eyes of his children. He even said that he, “does not make a habit of talking to people that hurt him.” silent treatment. I am beginning to wonder if there is more to a narcissistic personality than the traditional indicators.

  • Andrea Schneider

    October 21st, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    @Angela– you are right, no one deserves the silent treatment. No survivor of narcissistic abuse brought on the abuse by the narcissist. The responsibility for the abuse lies completely with the abuser, not the survivor. Survivors of narcissistic abuse typically invoke No Contact with their ex abuser…that is not the same thing as the silent treatment. No Contact is setting a healthy boundary on behalf of the survivor to not expose themselves to any further abuse by their abuser. The silent treatment is a manipulative (in)action by the abuser to avoid responsibility for compromise, personal growth and accountability. The abuser is afraid of their own emotions and maturing. The silent treatment is designed to punish the target so that the target feels rejected and abandoned. Targets can respond with No Contact. Because the abuser usually returns to see if they can still tap that prior source of narcissistic supply. It is up to the target/survivor to slam the door shut permanently and dead-bolt the door several times over…no more contact with a toxic person. Andrea

  • Ali

    October 21st, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Going through this as we speak. Feeling so stressed and hurt I tried all day to get him to speak to me but he won’t answer my texts. This has been a cycle that’s repeated itself for 10 years and each time we break up I move on he comes back and promises to change, then he insults me, cheats on me and if I call him out on it I get the silent treatment.

  • Amanda

    October 21st, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Currently in an emotionally abusive relationship, still trying to sort it all out. Husband frequently gives silent treatment sometimes for days on end. Those are the must peaceful. He, however, just accused me of being narcissistic?

  • Luis

    November 6th, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    OMG, they do that all the time. My wife has told me I am a sociopath, that I need therapy and basically that I am the reason for our marriage to fail. I do need therapy, but she blows everything out of proportion and I am left to pick up the pieces.

  • Anna

    October 30th, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I found this by accident n my bf does this to me and now I feel so bad it hurts. I ask why am i not worth it. I m pretty. I have a career but for 10 yrs i got nothing. All he cares is the mother of his kid. I feel so desperate and depressed. Useless. I wish i could move on but scared.

  • Lara

    November 30th, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Trust me! He doesn’t care about her either!! Just a way to taunt and hurt you further!

  • Bethany

    November 2nd, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Living with a Narcissist is the equivalent of living near a “black hole”, and that’s exactly what they are – black holes – cause they suck everything around them, you cannot possibly be positive around those people. They are cowards who don’t even have the decency to recognize the harm that they cause! My husband gives me the silent treatment till I ask what is happening just to get things twisted against me, all of a sudden I am the one who is looking for a fight just because I asked what is happening!

    One day I got so mad that I grabbed him by the collar and lifted him, screaming that I was tired of being treated like that. My luck is that I am a hot blooded woman, I will not accept abuse and if I have to get into a brawl with him I will, and he will lose, and he knows that!

    I’m planning on leaving soon, those sick people are hopeless and it blows my mind how some women stay for 10, 20, 30 years waiting for a miracle to happen! They won’t change! They will only get worse and worse, and if those women have any self love left, I think they should leave, for the sake of their own sanity! They should leave before their self esteem is completely destroyed, which will happen sooner or later. I’m done with that coward, but I’m not stupid, I’m not leaving without compensation, he’ll have to pay for the damage he caused!

  • Lara

    November 30th, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    A black hole is exactly it!! It does make you angry when someone has the audacity to make you feel like you’re being argumentative or confrontational when you want to talk about an issue that’s troubling you. To hell with that!! He’s a grown man and I don’t care what you didn’t learn as a child, somewhere along the way life should have thrown up some red flags that signals help is needed in the area of communication instead of placing the blame on someone else.

  • #iamblessed

    November 8th, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    i just had a 5-month relationship. for years, he had expressed his intention on me but i disregarded it. it was on May 2014 that gave in and said i would give it a try. i was so into it to the point of giving my all on him. i was really grateful he came in my life, he made me happy, i felt a lot of things change on me for the better. at first i find it cute when he asked me bot to wear Red Lipstick on, not to wear shorts.. during the relationship, he criticized me the way i talk, the choices of words i use. he requested me to request for work reassignment, at some point suggested that i work in other country – the two of us. i almost consider the suggestion. for a number of time he gave me silent treatments. a number of times he lied to me. all those times, i tried to rationalize, tried to patiently understand, in short i just gave in. i would even apologize even if i dont know if it really is my fault. many times, i wanted to get out of the realationship but i just dont hablve that courage to do so. for a number of times, i would tell him, im holding on no matter what because i love him and i cant imagine life without him. weeks before our final breakup – he gave me another silent treatment..until he texted me that he wanted space, he is so occupied with many concerns and he just want space and he has to sacrufice for a deep reason. i find it so vague. but i was feed up as well, so i accepted it and told him, “its not what i wabt to happen but since he wants it, ill give it to him… i told him how hurt i am and that i dont deserve his rudeness and even thoygh i still love him i will now learn to let him go. and that was my last time i communicated with him.

    i dont hold any ill feelings for him afterall he made me happy..
    i dont want to hold regrets on the relationship afterall its all part of my journey..
    i dont want to look back because i know God has better plans for me.

    im on y 3rd week of recovery now, however reading articles abouth Moving on, Letting go, i came to read this articles about Narcissism — then i realized i got involved with a Narcissist. and it made me all so sad now all the more i cant imagined how i get myself be controled by one. i am thankful however i am able to walk away from him after knowing this narcissism articles. i am on my road to recovery, i hope i get there soon. i hope i get to rebuild myself soon.

  • sana

    November 10th, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Hello…I am pakistani in origin.married my cousin 8 months back ..I am a victim of silent treatment off and on. My husband gives it to me if I complain about his behaviour of neglecting me. He avoids me for weeks till I get extremely physically and mentally tired. I feel so sad about it.

  • The Team

    November 10th, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Sana. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can search for one in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    You can also search for a therapist by specialty here:

    We wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Sharon

    November 10th, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    My husband shows no interest in me…achievements etc. Anytime I try to share something about me he immediately puts the subject about him. Even if I say my arm hurts he’ll talk about his headache. He makes me feel invisible. If I tell him this he’ll twist everything that all I have to do is ask him or tell him…I could sit next to him with tears & he’ll never notice. I’d have to say look at me I’m crying.

  • Suzanne

    November 17th, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    I’m having exactly the same issue. How could anyone with a heart ignore the sadness and tears from someone they supposedly love? Let alone ignore their presence.

  • Lucy

    November 13th, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    My husband started the silent treatment about 2 weeks into our marriage. I was shell shocked the first time it happened, I was quite young and felt ashamed that I had done something to anger him. This behaviour came and went and I embarrassed to say I just got used to it. We have four children together and it’s easy to get caught up in their lives especially when they were little. Now they are away at school and at last count my husband hasn’t spoken directly to me since Nov 2009! However until recently I did not know this was a form of abuse. I have now issued divorce proceedings against him which he has predictably ignored, so I have a fight on my hands but am determined he will not win this time.

  • Mary

    November 17th, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I remained in a marriage for 24 years. The last time I had sex with my husband was 21 years ago- when our only child was conceived. He lied about consulting for 17 years yet spent 12 hours a day in the basement “consulting ” while I worked fulltime. He only helped his friends with idiotic tasks- fixing their cell phones and cars with no financial gain. Did nothing to help me while I worked fulltime x 24 years as it relates to stay at home parent- cleaning. Grocery shopping . Maintaining the house. Cook dinner. I had to do all of these things plus work fulltime. I guess he thought getting a fulltime job was beneath him?? He began biking 8 years ago and then forgot he had family or husband responsibility. Silent treatment started 2 years ago. I thru him out of the house 1.5 years ago and then filed for divorce 1 year ago. The hell continues with him. Takes more and more money from me. The house closes in 3 weeks and then I hope to never see this person again as long as I live. Funny thing is- he wanted the divorce so why does the jerk treat me like this? Because I have a job? Because he blames me for his poor choices to choose consulting instead of getting a job? I found out 1.5 years ago that his financial contribution to the family was pitiful and when I asked him about that he went into a rage and yelled ” what do you want from me”? If I were you I would run and seek divorce ASAP .

  • James

    November 23rd, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    My ex recently engaged in the silent treatment after trust was broken! Wasn’t cheating or anything to that extent but I apologized and it was sincere. This person is well aware of how great of a person I am and how horrible I feel but still chooses the silent treatment as the resolution. It always seemed like I was set up to prove against all odds that their was a such thing as a picture perfect relationship! I was told that all of their exes were just horrible to them and they were so happy to have found someone that wasn’t like the previous people dated. I have been hit with the I don’t want to deal with it so I won’t. What is the most positive way to break the berrier and help this person to realize what is happening? Do you drop gloves and run or attempt to re establish trust and help them? I’m fine going separate ways but I still care enough about this person to help them in any way I can.

  • Raven

    November 25th, 2014 at 4:27 AM

    How do you propose navigating a person who is Borderline with Histrionic and Narcissistic tendencies, especially when said person is your father?

  • Andy

    November 25th, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    I am so glad to have come across this website. It finally put everything together for me after 10 years of hell with my girlfriend. The compulsive lying, suspected cheating and emotional abuse i have endured has taken its toll on me. When we first met i was successful, confident and full of life and now i just feel worn out. alcohol would ease the pain for a brief moment but reality always come back when sober. i gave up my business which i loved because she thought self employment was too risky.
    In the end, i now realize that what didnt feed her ego through me, wasnt good enough. The silent treatment was the weapon of choice, along with playing the victim role to her friends and family. When we got involved she was going through a divorce and i saw first hand how she dealt with her ex and now i am experiencing the same evilness. I was too blinded by love to believe that could happen to me. It hurts but i know that the only way is to move on, lock the door from her and have no contact. I feel badly for the next person she will destroy and truly wonder if the universe has a way of taking care of these types of people in the end.

  • Lara

    November 30th, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    Andy I understand and its so pitiful. Whenever anyone is coming out of a relationship it certainly takes time to assess what his/her role was in the failure of it. I’ve never been through so many changes in my life but I can assure you that alcohol isn’t the answer. They take joy in watching you sink to the bottom of nothing after they have sucked the joy and zeal for life right out of you. I will never allow this again!!! I will be happy regardless!!

  • Karen M.

    November 26th, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I have gained needed knowledge with this article. My husband labels himself as a Christian but is no where near that title. He uses the silent treatment to his advantage and says it is to not argue. He has even put his hands up to his ears like a child. What do you call that type a person?

  • marie

    November 30th, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    I would do the same to get my peace.silent treatment is different from allowing someone’s words get you to say things u’l regret later.also if u stay silent so u can keep your sanity to deal with the issue rationally later when tempers are no longer flaring there is nothing wrong with that.

  • Liz

    November 26th, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    So glad i came across this site. Your description of the silent treatment is exactly as what i’ve been experiencing in with a fellow i connected with and was trying to get to know. Yes i too would apologize and try to make amends, yet no acknowledgment of what he has done wrong. I had unfriended him on fb, and then sent him a new invite as a gesture of my trying to reconnect with him. Yesterday he had agreed to speak with me on the phone to talk about what had happened, i called him at 7 pm..he never picked up, asked him politely to call me back when had could. 9 pm rolls round and of course i was anxious and simply wanted to resolve what really had amounted to a miscommunication….i appologized and left him a long heartfelt sincere apology for any pain i caused him from my actions and asked him to accept my apology if he agreed to. Otherwise i said, if he chose not to, i would respect his wishes also. Again, silence which is worth than being told to ‘bugger off’ lol., which i would prefer tot he deafening silence. I am prepared to simply walk away with what little dignity i have left. I have made all the overtures to make amends even though he too was at fault and hasn’t yet acknowledged this. I am so heartbroken as i thought he was a true friend. Should i contact him again down the road…or just simply establish no contact…then am i not too guilty of being silent and giving him the silent treatment…I am so confused. Any advise is appreciated. Thank you.

  • Been There

    November 30th, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I understand how you feel Liz. I’m a guy who thought a female co-worker was a friend as well. Why wouldn’t I? She told me she considered me a friend, trusted me and valued our friendship in an e-mail. We had a falling out over a miscommunication a couple of weeks later, which resulted in her giving me the silent treatment for two weeks, until I approached her. Although we talked that day and she gave the impression all was good between us, it wasn’t. She went silent again immediately. I asked to talk to her about a month later so we could talk about our falling out and she refused. That was in April and except for one day in May, when she had to speak to me regarding a work issue, we haven’t spoken. We see each other every day at work and we work six cubicles apart.

    I would just leave things the way they are. If you tried to contact him again, you’ll probably be seen by him as being creepy, a stalker or just clingy. You apologized and tried to make things work and have reached out to him. You have done all you could to make things better. He failed to live up to his promise to speak to you. He has shown his true colors to you. Let it go as soon as you can and move on. If he does contact you, you’ll have to decide if it’s really worth it and what you are willing to accept. Good luck.

  • Tam

    November 29th, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    It has been good to read this… I never thought for a second that someone who was supposed to love you could make me feel like such a door mat. I have finally gotten to the point where enough is enough and I am so sick of feeling tired and drained of energy. I will no longer apologise for….. Well…. I don’t actually know what!
    I have learnt that when he texts me and says “I really miss you Tam” that it means nothing… He is looking for a response from me and will disappear and repeat the cycle again and again… I can’t even count the amount of times he has used the miss you line… But it’s all a lie.
    This emotional hell that he has put me through has taught me many things though, and reinforced others I already knew:
    1) look at how a person treats you… Don’t just trust and believe words
    2) you deserve the kind of love that you will give someone else… Don’t settle for less
    3) the person for me will never get joy or satisfaction from seeing me hurt or cry.
    I admit that I was fooled… And I allowed him to continue the cycle over and over… But I’m so very tired now and cannot find it in my heart to be used and be treated like an option for a “fix” whenever it suits him anymore. Have gone no contact now… And will never break no contact, because i just don’t have the energy to go through it all again. I know I have a lot of love to give… But it is going to take time before I offer my love to someone again.

  • Lara

    November 30th, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    Tam I never viewed it as a cycle. I’ve never heard of anyone experiencing anything like this. I’ve been married to him 1 year and with him 2. Out of all this time we’ve only lived in the same house probably about 3 months. There’s never healthy discussion when he does something to offend me and he does go silent or elope whenever he doesn’t want to compromise or admit when he’s wrong. It so hurtful that he is quiet emotionless when he sees me cry and says that I’m the devil and that he’s not giving into or even acknowledging what I’m saying. Ive left him three times before and each time I find myself right back to square A. He has done enough to physically, emotionally and financially abuse me for a lifetime. I don’t know what I’m going to do but its time for a change.

  • Liz

    December 1st, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    Thanks so much ‘Been there’. Yes the silence is nuts and i would rather he tell me to ‘bugger off’ lol instead. The thing is i am currently in day 4 of No Contact (NC) and am trying to move forward regardless of whether i hear from him. However, at the time when i was trying to make amends, i did try to refriend him on FB, so this was before i went into NC. He has not accepted/declined it. I figure maybe he’s thinking “let her suffer” LOL. Now if i try to cancel the invite,do you think this may be construed as ‘breaking nc’ or perhaps being petty on my part?? I am hoping maybe he just needs more time to calm down and really think things thru and in the meantime though, i’m not just sitting idly…keeping busy and social as much as i can, so i can get on with things. I figure in a few weeks, i may not even care.

    Any thoughts and thanks so much, you seem like a nice person who unfortunately met up with a ‘not so nice’ gal. How do you cope with her being 6 cubicles down from you…must be ‘awkward’.

    Take care….Liz

  • lis

    December 4th, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Dont cancel ot but deactivate your account eventually he will wonder if u block him even find a way to check through a friend ect and he will contact u saying he misses u. Whatever u do dont go back because this is your only chance 2 make him feel low and worthless, if u go back HE WILL SWITCH the tables and make u hurt for making him feel that way. #trustme. Its going 2 be difficult being alone and not being controlled by him but u must pull through.

  • lis

    December 5th, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    Deactivate your account for 2months, it will kill him and give u time to heal even if not completely but atleast u won’t have the urge 2 call him. He will not change that’s the 1st thing u have 2 teach your brain…2nd think of how low this person is or made u feel, he can look u in the eyes when u cry and look disgusted while u boost hes ego, 3rd if u go back what are u gonna get from it. From my ongoing failure at going back and my history im telling u and everyone else, if u are together go no contact but “forever” ladies and gentleman because they will feel a sense of abandonment and rejection from something they thought they were so good at CONTROL. And if he left u NO CONTACT BECAUSE when he needs your supply he WILL be back but by thsn ur ready 2 be strong enough to not even reply. I was a victim and my narcissist went as far as leaving notes on my car saying he was sorry (gave him a chance and a week after I cracked and told him I loved him he left) Y????? He needed his control back. I wish I would of done things differently and stuck to my plan but I want u all to know so that u can all walk away with the satisfaction and finding someone who truly does deserve you.

  • Been There

    December 5th, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    Liz, regardless of what you do with your friend request, he will find a justification for whatever he ends up doing. Since figuring out my co-worker is a N, I have come to realize she is a liar and a hypocrite of a very high order. Yes, I believe I’m a compassionate person and, ironically, so did my co-worker. She told me I was “…always deserving of kindness” and I have the e-mail from her to prove it. Of course, that was before our fallout. It was awkward during the first month because I was hoping my giving her space would help mend things, but once she refused to speak to me about our issue, I had to let it go. Months later, I realized she was still holding a grudge against me when I noticed she would duck into a cubicle to avoid having to pass me when I happened to be in the aisle as well. I went to her cubicle and gave her an unconditional apology and went back to my cubicle. I didn’t think it would make a difference and I was right, but at least I can say I did everything I could do to make things better between us.

  • Get your life

    December 1st, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Silent treatment is a form o f abuse. Being married to my husband for 8 years now and every 4 or 6 months he engages in one. That will last for almost 2 months. Yes I said 2 months.

    He is currently doing silent treatment while I am 8 months pregnant, he ignores me and watches me carry heavy stuff all the time. Refused to go to his child evaluations. So many things he does while on this silent treatment.
    – refuses to eat the food I cook
    – washes only his clothes and son’s clothes.

    He says I don’t respect him
    — Please tell me how I can respect a man, that decides to engage in this kind of behavior?

    I forgot, please ask me what usually starts the silent treatment?

    — Your guess is as good as mine
    — Sometimes I am not even sure what it is
    — This time he said I slammed door on him during argument
    ( which did not happen)
    — Another time he was doing something bed and I told him to stop and then silent treatment ensued.
    — I never know what triggers it

    He told my mom this is the only way he can retaliate and told someone else he wants to put me in my place.

    I have finally decided that I have had enough and I am so tired of people trivializing it. They say “at least he doesn’t beat or cheat on you.” Well he might as well because the damage this is doing to our Marriage is on the same level if not worse.

    Silent Treatment
    – breaks the trust in your marriage
    – makes your wife/partner LOSE RESPECT FOR YOU ( because you are acting like a baby)
    – You make your wife/partner lose whatever feeling they have for you
    – How can they believe you will be there for them, if you can ignore them for that long and not care about them.
    – How can you ignore someone for that long, then come back and say I am sorry and you expect them to believe you? ARE YOU KIDDING ME

    Is like this block of ice that you keep chipping away. And after you stop your current silent treatment, it takes months to get those feeling back. But guess what you chip the ice again, cause you end up doing it again in another 3 to 6 month.


  • Deedee

    December 11th, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    My husband does the same things. He won’t eat my food when he’s mad. I used to care about the silent treatment but not anymore. The military separated us for a year so I had time to grow and heal away from him. I think he’s realizing that his silent treatment doesn’t affect me like it used to.

  • Laura

    May 5th, 2019 at 7:30 PM

    It’s so awesome to see people who say that the silent treatment doesn’t effect them anymore. It’s like you have built your own confidence and you are immune to the attacks, giving the attacker less power. If only we can figure out how to teach that to everyone, then these tactic won’t work any more.

  • Tarnz

    December 2nd, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    I live presently with my folks, who show signs of this majorly. My father has become more and more like my mother. My mother will give me the silent treatment, yell and curse at me if she does not get her way. they are both very controlling and try to find out everything thats happening in my life, where I have spent my money etc. financially and all ways. We also belong to a church and there is a lot of pressure even though I have been hurt to attend this. My parents say i need to just get over myself and move on. i am always blamed and told its my fault and that its your illness. My mother throws tantrums like a child and storms off, she refuses to cook and dad cooks for her always. i feel the treatment in the house is very unfair as mum gets away with everything. The fact is i know i am living in an abusive household, and it gets me down, but having the strength to get out is what I am struggling with and i feel some need to stay, must be the codependency in me. Also financially I would struggle if I moved out, but i have to say they affect my emotional makeup constantly and i am given limits and boundaries like a child even though I am 31 years of age. I have lived out of home before but returned home when my marriage failed. I tend to always get into abusive relationships as i am used to them/ I need help

  • Mary

    December 3rd, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    I found the Silent Treatment to be one of the cruelest forms of “punishment” inflicted by this dangerous narcissistic man I lived with for nearly a year, and knew for two and a half years. We were supposedly best friends. What a farce. It’s been 4 months since I left and I’ve come a long way, but there are days of feeling absolutely sick and sad and used when I realize the whole thing was nothing but a chimera. It’s like having sawdust in my mouth, my heart, my brain. All the emotion, time, energy I poured into this fellow. Always doing for him. God. Getting kind of tired of the sadness that comes out of nowhere after I think, “Hey, I think I’m getting better, think I’m enjoying my new life alone.” I’m so angry at myself for experiencing this strange “bereavement” that I feel. I KNOW what’s it’s like to lose someone you really love and who really loves you. My adult son died several years ago and it almost did me in. To put the two experiences even in the same “grief” category makes me sick. I guess I’m mostly angry at myself for trying to fill a huge hole from the loss of my son, the loss of a long-standing marriage, the loss of a sense of comfort and security with an illusion that became an utterly spiky, thorny, cruel experience — with just enough good memories from the beginning and interspersed throughout much of the relationship to keep me emotionally hooked. I despise that; I despise the narcissist. And I’m not very happy with myself either.

  • Completelyfooled

    December 5th, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Hi Mary,

    I know exactly how you feel. I am also having a similar experience with a narcissistic man. I am so mad at myself because I can’t believe how blinded I was. In the beginning we started out as really good friends and I never thought much about it until things developed further with constant emails and flirting. I ended up falling head over heals in love with the man and I thought he felt the same way. The first time we hung out together alone he told me he loved me and stupid me I should have known then. He was all I thought about and we had even planned our future together. It wasn’t until the past few months that i started seeing his true colors. He also likes to play the silent treatment game. He will talk to me and then the next day will ignore me and when I see him he acts like nothing is wrong and likes to twist my words around. He is the charmer and thinks everyone loves him. i feel so used and emotionally sick to my stomach for all the lies he fed to me. I even confronted him and told him he was a narcissist and I think this is what started the latest silent treatment game. He is so good at playing mind games it is sick. I am tired of being emotionally manipulated and abuses by him. I have been going to therapy for months and this has helped me see this man for who he truly is. I also think he has someone else too and is doing a good job at covering that up. All i am trying to do is move on and it is difficult when this man is still in my life so i am working on no contact. I just keep thinking about all the good memories we had and it brings me back to those times and i immediately try to snap myself out of it because i am just starting to realize that he has the problems and not me. I feel bad for the other women that he is going to pursue. This man was good at manipulating and I wish I saw this before i got so emotionally invested in him.

  • Jennifer G

    December 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Your story could be me. I used to think my fiance had to be seeing someone else because that is the only thing that would keep his attention away so thoroughly. I found out much too late that he was. It hurt, like death. He has told me since that because I let him treat me anyway he wanted, that I put no brakes on his behavior, I helped him into the arms of another because he never had to feel abandoned or alone. Like I felt all the time and that chilled me to my bones. I made possible all his abuses and disrespect. I’ll never live that way again but if I could do it over I would reject him with the same silent treatment and no response and not be around or let him come over. I would do that with no explanation whatsoever. One time I blocked his # on my phone to where I didn’t even know if he was trying or not. That worked but he just tried to suck me back in. Turns out the other woman knew me and about us and what I said to her eventually became her fate. I said You will love it when it’s your turn. I have seen him since and I just don’t like him anymore. What a horrible person he was to treat his partner in life so casually. He cannot tolerate being treated like he treats women. I hope you figure it out before you end up in a mental ward like I did. I kept showing up for more pain. Good luck!

  • Mary

    December 6th, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Yeah, Completelyfooled, I know what you mean. What’s so screwy is going back and forth, wondering have I imagine the manipulation, the abuses, the mental mind games, or is there some fundamental lack in me? As a cerebral narcissist he withheld affection, intimacy and sex, but I told myself (and, unfortunately, keep telling myself) that there must have been something wrong with ME. When I left I told him that I wouldn’t treat a dog the way he treated me, wouldn’t starve an animal of affection the way he does humans. It was all a mistake from the beginning, and I guess I was a willing participant because of the holes I had in my life and from being sad for so very long in many ways. I guess I feel bad for the women he’s pursuing — in a way — but I always see him in my mind’s eye as truly happy with someone else.

    There’s a way out of this, a way to get better, of this I’m sure. My own fear, and one I’ll have to deal with alone, is a fear of being alone for the rest of my life. In the long run, however, when I think back to how I felt the day I left that man and called the whole charade quits, it has to be better living alone that going through the strange torture I went through of knowing that my feelings were never reciprocated, that it was all a hoax, an illusion, right from the beginning. Who wants to be around someone who refuses to allow you to touch him or to do the normal throwing an arm around him when you’re feeling just friendly, just affectionate. That’s no way to live. I need to overcome the feelings of being duped, being secretly laughed at behind my back, being all part of a set-up. I know this: we have more courage than these narcissists do, because they never acknowledge their lack, just keep using and using, afraid of running short of even a yucky supply, which I must have been to him. Embarrassing and humiliating, but now I certainly see why none of his past women, or even men friends, seem to have nothing to do with him. Can’t ALL be me, I tell myself logically.

  • Susan

    January 11th, 2015 at 7:26 AM

    Yes sweet Mary. I was married for twenty years three kids. Man home every night with zero compliments, hand holds affection or hugs. I knew kids were going soon at 20 17 and 16. I spent a year trying to get him to change. He couldn’t think of one reason he wanted to get married twenty years prior with counselor, I cried and divorced. I still miss him he was family. But it was too lonely of a way to live. He will not speak to me ever and sees me as the blame. I forgave him and me told him I will always love him and now, I’m realizing my healing comes through me and God no one else including him can help. People like you help. I understand your story first hand it’s mine. He stiffened like a board if I wanted to hug him, never hugged me back. My ex was severe passive aggressive, the more I wanted the less he gave. I’m free and looking for one that wants to hug and love me well. In the mean time, I’ve got my kids labs and nice men to date. We go through life once. God wants us to be loved… susie
    It took two years to heal, but I still feel the scars and think it hurt my self worth a little, coming back a little more each day….

  • Beth

    December 7th, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    My mother is a narcissist and instead of marrying my father which most girls do, I married a narcissistic man. I am trying to ignore his silent treatment as if it does not bothers me. Ironically I have an MA in Conflict Resolution, so his behavior REALLY bothers me.
    I do not want to divorce him, is there any hope?

  • Laura

    December 9th, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    I’m so glad I ran into this site! I never get to talk about how I feel with my friends because I’ve been in a relationship with this guy for almost 7 years and they all think everything is perfect with him. I didn’t realized he was doing this to me consciously until I read some of your comments. The worst part has been realizing that he can see me hurting and crying but still doesn’t care about inflicting me so much pain. Every time I ask what’s wrong he answers he is tired (while ignoring and avoiding talking or even looking at me). Is it possible to love someone and purposely hurting them at the same time?? I feel very confused. He seemed like a good guy. But I hate this “punishing” act (specially cuz I haven’t done anything wrong!!). I’m not a child so I hate being treated like one. What should I do?

  • Jennifer G

    December 11th, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Laura – I ran across this site and read through many links and passages . I’m not surprised to discover there are many dynamics going on and I am on one side of each dysfunction i.e. codependency, empathy etc. It’s kind of sad because I feel doomed to repeat esp having extricated myself from a NPD ex fiancée, only to fall for another years later. So today we have the availability of chat rooms and while nothing takes place of interpersonal relations and treatment for problems, hopefully you can read some stuff and integrate it. Try and really wrap your mind around this : you can only change yourself, and how you perceive the situation. Let go of changing him right now because you need some relief from your pain. It sounds like you have a lot of years of a certain type of reaction and dynamic within your relationship and if you can change your ways, things can improve. But the problem will remain and it is his problem. I found relief in seeing my ex as a child, stomping his foot and saying ‘nyeh’ ‘nyeh’ ‘I don’t like this’ or whatever. Then I could laugh inside and try to address what the adult me knew was really going on.

  • Jennifer G

    December 11th, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Laura, Also try this. It says for men but it’s for women.

  • mike

    December 22nd, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    If someone is not with you they’re against you….. If you have sacrificed the safety of your life for that person, you should be held in high esteem….. Your time is very important please don’t waste it on people that don’t listen. Don’t let emotions control you

  • Jennifer G.

    December 26th, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Someone is listening. I don’t agree with the with me or against me topic here. It reminds me of all or nothing, black or white thinking and is too fascist for my taste. In life there are grey areas to operate from amd this is what I strive to do. Im not in the habit of abandoning friends but if necessary, like I just did the other week, I tell them what they specifically did that I choose not to engage with them anymore. I gave them an opportunity to remedy it months before ending it.
    There are so many mixed messages among guys and girls. And if one is an NPD ? Forget it everything they say is a manipulation to get what they want at that moment. How interesting it would be to go through life not having the ability to empathize or care about consequences of my behavior on others.

  • mike

    December 22nd, 2014 at 5:29 AM

    If someone is not with you there against you. Don’t talk to someone that talks to everybody. No can be trusted with out a reason. Words are weapons use them wisely. Think three times before you speak. Say something in your head. Then speak it. Always make it sound good. ‘ My father died’ or ” my dad passed away.” Body functions are always a bad topic. And remember your time is important don’t waste it on deaf ears.

  • Jennifer G.

    December 26th, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Then again, look where all that has gotten you. Ammiright? Good Fresh Ideas though.

  • Janet Smith

    December 26th, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    I am living with a son who exhibits these traits. He is angry because I moved away from where he wanted to live. Due to health reasons I moved to a warmer climate. He lacks the ability to go back. He is constantly critical. He gives me the silent treatment often. He is manipulative and controlling and we get Into a power struggle. When these tactics don’t work he is verbally abusive towards his younger sister. When he wants something he talks. At the end of the day I feel totally drained of energy.
    It is absolute bedlam. He is disruptive and rebellious. I don’t know how long it will go on.

  • Patricia

    December 28th, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    We are currently getting the silent treatment from our daughter because in her opinion our Christmas gifts were not good enough. She compares them to the gifts she got for us, which she says she carefully thought out, and that we did not put any thought into her gifts.
    We got her a $300 camera that we thought it best for her to pick out, and then we gave her various gift cards adding up toanother $200.
    She had given us a wish list of things like a new coffee table, a kitchen table, a hamper, and frames for pictures. None of these we could get, because we believe they should be personal taste for her apartment. She attacked us for the gift cards we gave her, saying it takes no thought to get them, and it was so predictable because they were on her list and there was no surprise.
    When she complained that she was not interested in a particular book and calendar we got her because they were not on her list, we told her that was exactly how we tried to surprise her, by doing something thoughtful and unexpected that she may like. She seemingly wants to have it both ways.
    In any event, she is now giving us the silent treatment. At times she will respond and say “I’m being civil,” but she is clearly trying to punish us. These responses are one-word responses and grunts. She will not let go of this, claiming to be “hurt.”
    How do we deal with this? It is so hurtful, and there is no reasoning with her.
    Thank you.

  • Patricia

    December 28th, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    I also wanted to add, that in the past year, our daughter has given nothing, not even a card, for my husband’s birthday or my birthday, which was only a month ago. She also never acknowledged our 25th wedding anniversary…never even called us on the phone.
    I see behavior here that she cannot give to others for the sake of giving….but when it’s Christmas, she gets all excited at buying for others because there will be something in return for her. Am I on the right track?

  • Lauren

    December 29th, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    This article summed the situation up perfectly.only difference is the narc is my brothers new partner. He has reciently divorcedafter a 20 year abusive marriage.he works very hard we are the only ones left of old family.he met her on internet.we are all that is left of old family.she was welcomed at first then horriable comments came from her in my brothers absence.i told my brother he doesnt believe them.he became engaged to her yet she is married.she has a history of conflict.i said the word mistress jokingly had to apologize 3 times in writing.she refuses to talk after a period of abusive phone brother came home alone this christmas.i had been critically ill he was on the phone to her 5 times a day even during meals.i spoke to him about respect.i feel she has manipulated him as an instrument to measure out the cruelest behaviour I have endured especially when I am still so ill..I also fear for his welfare..I dont wish to loose my big brother.he thinks she is his little angel. It is beyond heartbreaking.i have even said she is welcome here he said he doesnt want to be alone.i understand.he said he will talk to her again in a few months.forgive me but this is ripping me apart and I dont trust her.L

  • Lauren

    December 30th, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    I just wish to say I want the best for my brother.this woman has had a work colleuge fired and the colleuge picked her up and threw her in the supermarket freezer.i used to get the poor me routine and rescue me routine when I was on duty.when she had attention everything was fine.she was writting horrid things on social media and phoning my brother gave me some money to help out when I became so my late husband had done many years ago.thats family. She phoned threatening legal action and now I have a debit with the bank I paid the money back asap.i had to give good quality presents we usually do but she sent cheap tin garden figure.that sounds selfish I know my brother was embarressed.
    She threatened to kick in our family graves.i am beside my self with worry this woman is too close to the family.please advise.L

  • Mack

    December 30th, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Thank you for giving me insight into the mind of a narcissist. I am only just now learning that this type of person exists. I had what I would consider a friendship with a female narcissist that totally blew up with each of us saying some pretty hurtful things. We had a huge text war and then she initiated the silent treatment. This all occurred about 8 years ago. I tried to apologize hundreds of times over the years and she will still not speak or acknowledge me. She used smear campaigns to convince our friends that I was crazy, obsessive, and a stalker. All of it has been extremely hurtful and I have blamed mysef this entire time. A terrible burden to carry. It fills your mind with so much self doubt and depression. I am just now beginning to understand thanks to articles just like this. Thank you.

  • Lauren

    January 1st, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Hi has been stressful christmas I too feel the burden as remaining family and so ill.i tried to talk to my brother alone saying you wouldnt bring this in on mum and dad if they were alive dont hurt me.he would walk away.ask questions of our friends whom backed me and told the truth.i wonder if we are the sensitive ones that can not let go if we know it is wrong.all I can say is true friends know you they know the truth about your character. Somehow we have to find a way to walk away.let go for your health and sanity.there are many lovely sincere people out there.L

  • net

    January 1st, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    First I get insults, cruel awful things said followed by the silent treatment which lasts up to a full week. Leaving me confused, frightened, lonely, and self loathing. I’m wondering is all who administer the silent treatment a narcissistic person? It’s strange, almost like two different people are in one body. One kind fun loving person and one unbelievably cruel with words.. it’s almost a cycle. Sometimes once a month, at good times once every two months. I can almost see it coming like a storm brewing. Is this narcissism?

  • Lauren

    January 1st, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Hi I at first didnt believe the venomous comments .we had a fast and intense phone was too good to be true my brother was happy we were friends.the nasty started when she saw how we lived.behind my brothers back..he doesnt believe what I say is true.then the silent treatment from her until one day her son got into trouble with the western australian police.she called me for advice.went against my professional the silent treatment again.even to my brother pretends it is not happening anything for a quiet life.i am sure he has depression.i would say the silent treatment is cruelity abuse and controlling.
    I am inches away from saying to my brother my only remaining family that he is welcome home but leave lorraine she hates her real name.up the health must come first.i suggest you become self sufficient and cut off the narc.they dont change and have a really cruel side to be doing this to someone they say they have done nothing wrong.take care

  • Jennifer G

    January 2nd, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Sounds like the person is raging, #net. I grew up in a house where raging was a daily occurrence. It’s awful – do they get physically abusive? How is their communication style, are they reasonable when you discuss what you don’t like or do they respond with silence and more abuse. Can you take a look at what you may be doing that contributes to the problem? Like what is going on before the cruel words. In my experience with ragers it helped to listen and communicate when things were calm and what stopped them on the spot was hugging them. Weird, I know.

  • fin

    January 3rd, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    I found this a very good article. It overlaps to family dysfunction and thanks to you, I now have a possible diagnosis for my mother, who when I asked one more time to have my feelings considered in our relationship, has for the last 10 months given me the silent treatment (again). I am 40 and this has been going on my whole life, alongside childhood emotional and psychological abuse in my youth. I wonder, is it reasonable for me to let go of any responsabilty to a future relationship?

  • Bryan

    January 4th, 2015 at 3:51 AM

    Worst thing about Narcissists is their incredible double standards and hypocrisy yet we keep on giving them the benefit of the doubt because our feelings are begging for forgiveness when all the time they are just taking advantage of our better nature.

    This is now my second [ in a row ] experience of a narcissist and, understandably , I am in introspective mode, questioning my failings at getting involved with them in the first place. Yet their charisma and looks will always leave the door open for potential engagement.

    On the plus side whether through time or ‘Karma’ it does appear to be the case that ultimately they do seem to get their just rewards by which time all us victims have wisened up leaving them alone with just their over inflated ego’s for company. At least this is what I am hoping for although in life there will always be someone out there who cannot resist beleiving a good line!!

  • shyla

    January 5th, 2015 at 1:19 AM

    I really needed to see this. What an eye opening read. I’m going through a breakup and the silent treatment was one of my exes favorite and most utilized method of punishment. It would always end by me calling or texting or contacting him…then everything is nice and back to normal. He’d very rarely if ever apologize for anything he did wrong. He would frequently snap at me for no reason or become brooding and moody without explanation. He is a fan of psychological warfare books such as the 48 Laws of Power/Art of Seduction/Art of War/etc and I realized he would use those emotional techniques in the relationship. I always thought I was being overly sensitive but everything in the article described his actions to a tee. The very very few times I seriously did not call or text when he was wrong and employed the silent treatment, he’d call and subtly imply suicidal implications. The entire relationship was control and manipulation of some sort. It’s been very difficult staying strong but I definitely couldn’t endure another year of the moodiness, constant nasty attitude without provocation, lack of emotional empathy, and silence/never being able to address issues. Glad I have some more insight from this site.

  • Lauren

    January 5th, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Hi shyla
    If the narc is giving you the guilt game dont play it is control.yet never walk away from a ambulance or and police to attend their home.that way you have given them attention and cleared yourself.let the professionals sort it out.i guarentee it will only happen a couple of times.write down what is important to you and draw a circle around it.look after what is in the circle. why think you are over sensitive when you care for others.i hate that tag.sensitive is good.i am begining not to care if my brother thinks I am fibbing or hurts too much he should know better it is his loss I am his only remaining relative. Lorraine can control him and be nasty she is not worthy of a good family my brother has to work it out for himself. Look on the silence as peaceful and take care of yourself please.

  • Lauren

    January 5th, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Just adding I still love my brother he is welcome home. I can not let this schoolyard bully game damage my life.

  • Lisa

    January 7th, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    Astonished to read this article. I just came out of such toxic relationship after 7 years. I have been so lost and bewildered and so stressed. Didn’t know what went wrong until reading this. I have been emotional abused all these years yet didn’t realize it. Until last month I decided that his silent treatment has reached my limits and so I call it quit.

  • The Grinch

    January 7th, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    People who know Stephen don’t believe me when I tell them how I treat him. He is textbook Narc and I cut him down to the core of his skeleton. I make fun, disparage, belittle and cajole him, always with razor sharp accuracy, lest it not cut deep enough. Half the year we don’t live in the same state so we do our thing by written proxy. Things will hum along fine, then not fine, then who ever knows with these fools and next thing I hear he’s telling the world how awful I am, then starts the ‘hate mail.’ I have had to figuratively wag my finger at this big tall scary guy in utter disobedience lecturing to get him back in line and after so many disses by the last time I saw him he was nervous around me ?! I know, like what should I expect but he is a marauding and psychological bully worse than I could ever spew out with words. My girlfriend tells me that I want to get hit ?! but I never quite let it get there.
    I have treated him this way almost from the gate — initially reacting to what I viewed as 6 year old baby brat behavior and He takes it — he takes it all and comes back for more. He barely likes me if I am not treating him this way. This summer I vilified him with a long voice message that got to him so badly he cried. With that I had crossed some sort of line that took a while to recover from.

    Of course in the strained relations we’re becoming completely severed – but if he didn’t have other supply he wouldn’t mind any of it. In between these bouts used to be classic enticing and mesmerizing traits but he doesn’t seem to allow that now. What I’m looking for specifically is any insight into why a classic Narc/Abuser would accept this behavior.

    He tells me all the time what’s wrong with me.

  • Jennifer G.

    January 7th, 2015 at 4:06 PM

    Sounds like they’re used to it #Grinch.

  • Lauren

    January 11th, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Hi just wondering what your opinion is.? My friends (sincere family friends) seem to think my brother’s narc wont ever contact sister (me) again .that she will not return to our family home or speak again because I stood up to her.what his private life is is his business. He wants to return home he is looking for property.they seem to think she wont come.she is much older and he was getting his affairs in order.he doesnt want to be buried with her.its like she is the house keeper.with fringe benifits.he has convinced her to cease all social media as she is very inappropriate. Christmas was an revelation for him.when we communicate its happy lite and dont mention her. I still want family but our friends say just concerntrate on health happiness she wont speak again its been a year now..even after apology gifts. what are your thoughts please….relieved I was not married to it. Do you document antisocial narc behaviours or let it pass.this could hurt my brother.

  • Jennifer G

    January 15th, 2015 at 3:55 AM

    Lauren: Document it !!! Trouble is with men in general, not just your cherished narcissist, what guy says to her may be wildly different from the story you get..

  • Lauren

    January 15th, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    Thanks Jennifer G appreciate your reply. The narc is my brothers new female partner. Her actions have had serious impact on this home.she lorraine has not spoken in 12 months and we are cleaning up her mess. I was so upset last night I thought of ending everything. I sms my brother he lives the other side of Australia. I told him I have never met such cruel vermon she would be happy if I did. I know it was wrong I feel broken.0600here time for fresh coffee.thanks again.J

  • The Team

    January 15th, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Lauren. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Lauren

    January 16th, 2015 at 3:52 AM

    Sincere thankyou for your professional concern.I am in Australia and have an appointment with a health care professional next week.we are made of tuff stuff down under.your site is good and I wish everyone well J.

  • Erica

    January 15th, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    Someone approached me from a literary agency who is writing an expose on a public figure I knew intimately. They found me through social media and will pay me for the story. They have offered anonymity by changing the names but the person will know who it is really about. Normally I would decline but that person still owes me money that getting paid would offset. Frankly they don’t give a rats ass who they rat on so, taking a tail off that I would like to take the project. That public figure, a textbook malignant narcissist , has already tried to smear me here and there. The people who matter don’t care and likely don’t believe it so; should I worry the narc will come after me or should I do this to rid myself of the daemon once and for all. The last laugh would be on them since they are so distraught at the idea of being found out for what they really are.

  • Mary

    January 15th, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    Interesting, Erica. Well, it would be a vindication of sorts if you were to take on the project. But, yeah, I think the narc would probably come after you and step up the smear campaign. If you’re prepared for that, then tally ho! Personally, I don’t think it would rid you of the daemon once and for all — these narcissists seem to have such staying power, but it sure might help feel as if you have some control and a say in the matter. Your side of the story would be heard — whether people believe it or not, that remains to be seen.

    Here’s the funny thing I’ve experienced: I’ve been pretty vocal with comments on a couple of narc abuse forums in an attempt to help myself better understand this whole thing, the narc, me, my own insecurities and things I need to work on. That’s all, just on forums. But I feel so guilty, so wrong sometimes for doing so. I have no idea if there’s been an attempted smear campaign against me from the narc because I’ve cut all contact and do not have any contact with people he and I knew together. I have no idea what he’s said or not said. Many people didn’t even know we were living together anyway, as he never mentioned me to anyone he may have known. But I STILL feel funny that I’ve turned this thing over, studied the whys of it all, tried to understand why this guy gave me the Silent Treatments — now I know because I’ve done my research and my homework :) — but I feel as if I’ve been “noisy” and “loud” about it, just from discussing it all in forums only. No smear campaign. I did talk to my sister a couple of times, but only in a rather general way. She knew I was hurting, knew I was miserable, knew I was absolutely lost. My point is, how will this publicly exposing the malignant narc affect you? Is it going to mess you up? Cause problems with triggers? That’s the concern. Not the narc at this point. Sounds like you’ll have to be pretty brave and ready for any onslaught of negativity that might come your way.

  • Erica

    January 16th, 2015 at 3:36 AM

    #Mary those are thoughtful remarks. Thanks. I wanted feedback but at this point I wouldn’t do it. There’s no honest way to leave my behavior out of it and truthfully … I like this person too much to expose anything and I like myself even more (to expose me). Brrrrr gives me the shivers. By like too much I mean that I don’t burn friends. It seems I have been placed on the left side of the narcissist’s supply, somehow from just a month ago when I was on the A team. I haven’t done anything differently except not let it get to me. They would have me on a slab and guillotine and yet if their supply was thin I would be welcomed back. I don’t know what your narcissist is like but this one has tried to smear me often and it seems to fall short. I don’t think anyone ever wants to deal with two people’s obvious personal issues. That and I think the ‘evidence’ speaks for itself. I also don’t think anyone involved is reading these, unless of course the narc put out an a.p.b. on it, as they tend to do in moments of .. sheer exasperation probably. I have learned that a person’s repertoire of coping skills is highly predictable. Also I don’t understand what you mean with all the players in your narrative, if you care to elaborate. It sounds like your new found freedom is very recent and that makes you the brave one.

  • Mary

    January 16th, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Well, Erica, it’s been about 5 months and the only “brave” thing I did was acknowledge that the narc was devaluing me big time, that a friendship that meant a lot to me needed to end, that I was slowly losing my sanity, mostly from the Silent Treatments and constant triangulation, and that one of us had to have the courage to keep this whole strange relationship from devolving any further than it already had. He wasn’t ready to, because he needed my part of the dough to keep it all running. Sigh. I felt a lot more for him than he ever did me, and that rather embarrassed me to figure out and come to terms with, because in the beginning he seemed to have as much hope for a deeper friendship as I had. Kind of humiliating to find that his behavior is repeated again and again in his life with other women, and that he is completely aware of it all and how all the relationships/friendships will eventually end. I think the man I lived with knows he’s a malignant narcissist, and — to his credit — I think he dropped a lot of hints along the way. But, when you’ve never dealt with Narcs before, it seems impossible that the things they tell you are just lies and manipulation to get them want they want, when they need it. The incredible boredom, arrogance, hubris, treating people as if they were beneath their contempt (including myself), and grooming others from their online and physical harem was a very painful thing for me to experience and admit as truth. He won’t smear me or get in touch with me in the future, well, because I’m a nothing to him and he has bigger and better fish to fry.

  • Leslie

    January 21st, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    Hi everyone.
    I came to this sight because I’ve recently went through a painful D&D. I’ve been with this man for 3 years. Slowly and very carefully planned this man controlled everything. We’ve broken up 5 times in the last 2 years and everytime I’ve had to beg for money, move back home with my dad and pretty much walked away with my clothes. He always comes back saying he’s a changed man and I always believe him. I was not allowed to work anywhere but with him for his business, eventually I had no friends, had alienated most of my family, no job, no car, no bank account as he controlled all of that. I left a few months ago and have made the terrible mistake of reaching out to him, begging for closure or an apology. Anything I can get from him but he’s ignored me completly and its devastated me. He still pays for my cell phone but that’s it. I’m looking for a job now, in therapy and trying to pick up the pieces. I’m 41 years old and never ever saw this coming and I’ve never felt so used up, miserable and tired in my life. I’m about to get on my dads cell plan and go full NC but something in me is afraid of it, I have reached a point that I almost want him to Hoover me again. It’s sick and twisted but I’m a bundle of nerves and on edge every minute of the day. I just don’t understand any of it and the worst thing about it is if he comes back, Im afraid I won’t be able to ignore him. Can I get some support here? Lol:)

  • Mary

    January 16th, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Forgot to mention: As for your comment about burning friends, I’m with you there. I have info on this man that I could have used against him just to exact vengeance, but that’s not the way I do things. The only thing I wish I’d done differently was to keep a cool head when I left and in the four emails (out of five months and all within a couple of months of leaving) I sent him. I did not keep a cool head. I was a sobbing, ranting, noisy mess when I left (not me typically) and a hurt woman trying to explain the impossible to a man who could never understand a scintilla of what I expressed in my emails. Wish I could have been calm and collected, but I was a basket case. I’d been in nearly constant contact with this man for almost three years, lived with him for almost a full year, and withdrawing from it all, from him REALLY felt like going off a drug I was highly addicted to. Very, very weird.

    Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

  • akue

    January 18th, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    A Narc could be the other half trying to label the other half as Narc. Did you ever ask the person the reason for their silent treatments? what about your own behaviour towards your other half? did you always disregard his/her feeling when they try to tell you what you done is unacceptable. withdrawing your self from someone who is hurting you could be the only way to your them that their treatment was not acceptable.

  • flygirl

    February 7th, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Narcs do tit for tat….if you say “Why are you giving me the silent treatment”….they will say “Why are you giving me the silent treatment”?
    You can never get a healthy discussion and mature conversation from them. They are dysfunctional in the brain. Dont waste your precisioius time.

  • Mary

    January 18th, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    Hi, akue:

    If silent treatments were the only aspect in the relationship/friendship, then what you’re suggesting might be possible. Having someone downright ignore you, not even look at you in most cases — while living in the same small space — for three days or more is punishment/abuse no matter how you look at it, not a healthy reaction to hurt. In my case, I never even knew if I’d done something “wrong” or not. It’s also a way for narcissists to buy themselves some time to communicate with other people (usually of the opposite sex) they’re interested in. The man I lived with would lock himself away for days during the silent treatment, stay on the computer all day, not even look at me when he had to walk by me. Who deserves such treatment? Especially when the other person doesn’t even know what she’s done. I used to ask, what have I done? It’s a cruel way to deal with others. Sadistic. When you get the full onslaught of a narcissistic silent treatment, there’s usually some grooming going on of another person — you’re on your way out by then, devalued, beneath the narcissist’s contempt, pointedly proven by treating you as if you are nothing but an annoying speck of a speck. It’s not healthy. No one deserves such prolonged silent treatment. It’s all about control, reminding the other person in the relationship that she or he isn’t worth the narcissist’s attention. I was rewarded with a small gift or word of praise when I was “good.” “You’ve been good this week,” or “You’ve been a good girl lately.” By the time you’re steeped in such a relationship, and you hear words like that, you’re strangely grateful, glad for even a crumb of acknowledgment and attention. Add many of the other pathological narcissistic behaviors to the silent treatment and you get a stew of mind-bending confusion and agony. When this is all happening during the devaluation (you’ve already been discarded in the Narc’s mind, anyway, whether you stay or leave), the Narc has someone else on the horizon, ready to step in to take you place. It’s the way of it. No one will ever tell me that I did anything to warrant days’ long silent treatments. There is little to no reciprocity in a relationship with a narcissist. Pain, punishment, reward and dosing. And then you’re out.

  • Erica

    January 19th, 2015 at 6:25 AM

    #Akue talk to the hand. leave her alone. “i’m miss world”

  • Erica

    January 19th, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    There was this girl I once knew who accepted abuse. She was too young and too small to fight it, or live without her abuser. When she got old enough, she realized she could remove herself, and she did. She ran away often and sought refuge at her friends’ houses. She was a good girl, took the bus with her friends and stayed in school. Got happy, away from the oppression.

    My Mom would eventually track me down and bring me back home but I used to beg her, “I’m fine here. Let me stay !” But she would insist and it was .. back to the agony. Domestic disputes were not police business back then and as an adult now I can stand up for myself and keep myself safe from such a person, and I do. I remove myself from those who would hurt me. I fiercely protect that little girl and am contented that I love myself enough to do so.

  • Katherine

    January 22nd, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Erica I experienced a mom like you have. It started very young with me out of 4 other siblings, two older sisters included. Why me i always thought. When I read about this “silent treatment” was a form of mental abuse, I was floored. She would do this to me all the time even when I wasn’t the one who wronged her. She has been gone for 7 years now and I still suffer from her treatment and mental abuse of me. I had no idea she had a narcissistic personality. It was always she was an alcoholic and that’s their behavior to be controlling. I have seen advice for partners and spouses to end the toxic relationship but how can you when it’s your own mother. I tried but the more I did, the more she disliked me and that killed me inside. Therapy, medication, and being less of a part of her target for abuse helped but I have to say that when she passed away I was devestated, but also relieved that she couldn’t hurt me anymore. I acknowledged that she must have hurt inside to do the things she did and I wished for her to find some peace as I still strive every day for mine.

  • Giudice

    January 19th, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    #Mary … I can’t be quiet about this any longer. You do know that much of his ‘narcissism’ is fabricated. It’s an easy exploit to allow him to do whatever he feels like doing at all times to anyone. It’s a lazy, pus** b**** move He’s old and wise enough to know right from wrong. You may recall I have some empathic abilities and psychic energy and I have been with him and felt his feelings with him and they are not an empty narcissistic feeling. He should be well capable of taking responsibility and not doing what he does. Don’t let him fool you with this convenient excuse. I have talked to him about this before so it is not new news.

  • Lauren

    January 20th, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    Hi I just want to say YES they know what they do.90% of behaviour is exactly that behaviour to punish and control. I have done a little homework on our family narc.Her behaviour is well documented at the state lunatic asylum.She is off her meds and upto her old trix.Real narc is a rare is abuse.

  • Mary

    January 20th, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Hi, Giudice:

    Do we know the same fellow then? How can that be?

    And, yes, Erica, I have become fiercely protective of myself now.

  • Mary

    January 20th, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    I’ve thought a lot about this. I’m not fooled, perhaps he is, but I’m not. A psychopath is a psychopath for the very reason that he KNOWS what he’s doing. Malignant narcissists, psychopathic narcissists (funny because he once labeled a woman who “did him wrong” a psychopath — sure takes one to know one, I guess — must have sniffed each others’ malodorous scent from half a country away. They both view other people as “Lessers.” Yes, they did, indeed they did. They were PERFECT for each other, and I’m sure he holds her in some strange, twisted high esteem because she brought him down big time. Heh. Heh. Heh.) take no responsibility because they CHOOSE not to take responsibility. It’s calculated, cunning, clever, manipulative and dishonest. It’s cruel and pathological, ESPECIALLY because they know what they’re doing. Of course it’s lazy, of course it’s a pus** b**** move. He IS old and wise enough to know what he’s doing, DOES know what he’s doing and continues doing it, loving it, thinking it’s a form of freedom — out of choice. It’s the furthest thing from freedom possible. Doomed to repeat the same behavior over and over and over again? Choosing to, knowing how it affects those that fall for it? Ooooh, dark and nasty, that is. It’s pathetic, heinous and pathologically dangerous. It WILL backfire on him, as I’m sure it has time and time again, because he’s impulsive, arrogant to a fault, suffers from terrific hubris and doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about anyone but himself. Oh no, this man has feelings, lots of feelings: rage, envy, jealousy, fear of being discovered, shame, love for himself and himself only, boredom so huge it threatens to engulf him, desperation and utter, utter loneliness. If he didn’t know what he was doing, if he didn’t have feelings, I’d pity him. Narcissists aren’t empty, they’re not devoid of feeling. Oh, no, not at all, but the feelings that fill them are so repugnant, we’re better off trimming our toenails or reading War and Peace or petting our sweet, lovable pets than dare to peek at the gooey mess inside them.

  • Crystal

    January 22nd, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    It is true, they know exactly what they are doing and every fool that believes in them and gets crushed is just another victory in their jar of hearts.
    Their picture perfect pretend love is so gloriously painted (in colors they pick perfectly to suit your needs that they dug out of you with deep seeded intimate question from the moment you met)on the outside while the inside intentions are painted black. Pure darkness, no truth or depth to their commitments.

    I feel as if the narcissist is really saying,

    “It is but a show my love , these are your lines and if you play your part just how I expect you to then I will play mine. However dear, of you ask for real love, if you acknowledge the deception , I will delete you and the needs I fill for you and the pretend feelings of love I am so amazing at sharing. I warn you baby, you will wonder if it was all just a dream. You will ache intensely if you point out any lie I tell or promise I break”.

    If you choose to be with a person like this , maybe you should be a good liar and actor.

    The truth will free you from a narcissist faster than they got to know you by asking 102 deep and meaningful questions the day you met.

    It is the most painful break up I have ever experienced. It is the only time in my life I can look at all of it and it is a fog , as if I were hypnotized .

    Had I been aware of his sickness I would have known I wasn’t special at all.

    My life is altered and I trusted in something that was all pretend.
    Forgiving myself is the largest climb.

  • Giudice

    January 21st, 2015 at 12:30 AM

    #Mary Wow. Well put. ! So you are speaking of your partner in life, then? Not your sibling, or your child. So how do you get your wants and needs met? It soundss like all you might be doing is catering to a bad man, a bully who is thrashing around in a cess pool and pulling your head down into it until you suffocate. I would prefer petting the pets and reading, alone without having to take care of some adult with bad behavior and negativity.

    That narc will never have to change, or feel there are problems within him if he always has someone who takes him in, gives him supply and he never has to even bother with that nasty old “abandonment’ feeling.

  • Giudice

    January 21st, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    I’m speaking specifically of a person in a position like you; it’s not always that easy to find new supply that sticks. With you it would seem the only lag time between the last woman he buried under his sadistic games and picking right up where he left off with you is the time it takes to shoot off an e-mail. Am I wrong?

  • Mary

    January 21st, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    I’ve never had a life partner. None of us ever really does. No, you are not wrong. Shoot off an email and it was done. On to the next mark, the next dupe, the next lonely woman. What I found confusing was your writing, “You may recall I have some empathetic abilities and psychic energy … ” a presumption that I know you somehow. Odd, that. And whether or not the news is new to the malignant narcissist, doesn’t matter. Of course it isn’t new news. But, it was news to me. This psychopath wrote that he left his wife for another woman, though she didn’t realize it at the time — which I do not believe — had many relationships during the time I knew him — hell, I was only a burp, a pause, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. A Lesser burp with little money, a car for transportation and the convenient ability to sign my name on several pieces of paper. For that I have paid dearly by losing my pet, my profit-sharing with a company I worked for for 13 years, my dignity. I guess I got what I had comin’ to me because of poor judgment, desires and vacancies in me that needed filling. My wants and needs? I fill them. And the narc may be forced to change when he’s back in jail or in prison. New supply is hard to come by when incarcerated. Unless, of course, he has someone to correspond with. Odd, that.

  • Jennifer G

    January 21st, 2015 at 11:32 PM

    #leslie I asked him to wean me off like a drug; slowly and … he did. (Gave him time to get the new trick in place). It hurts less that way and gave me time in between to try and pick up a life again. BTW In the past I would ‘warn’ some of the new vics about aspects of the narc that you would think most people would be wary of. Things related to his health that he does not disclose which result in all of his victims contracting illnesses. It’s gross .. point is it never stopped them, but they would get dumped somehow so now I do nothing. The way I look at it, if the girl is dumb enough to fall for a guy who they eventually learn is in another committed relationship, then .. see what happens.

  • Giudice

    January 21st, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    Responding to Mary .. Would you mind addressing the enabling factor of taking him back any lull he has? Being available at all, which it sounds like you still are, prevents the narc from hitting any walls in his own behavior. He gets to ‘let off steam’ and get his ya ya’s out by re-engaging you then blowing you off, and blowing you up, so to speak. If he didn’t have those outlets, he would take it out on someone else and maybe that’s the DOC answer. (Department of Corrections) with the amount of priors my narc has, his next one is gonna put him where he dreads to be. Maybe there he will figure out that he only has himself to blame for where he is but, probably not. Yeah, corresponding with an incarcerated person would be somethin, wouldn’t it? Something I wouldn’t do. How bout you?

  • Giudice

    January 22nd, 2015 at 12:52 AM

    Mary a life partner is so satisfying. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a couple and I think that’s what life’s about. Finding someone you love and sharing your life with them. Sharing, not obliterating. Speaking of Mr. Narc is unseasonably quiet this week — no more crying which can only mean his punching bag capitulated. While he plans his next European spree, she sacrifices life and limb so he can comfortably plan trips around his various foreign twits. You know he promises them the world, if only they lived in the same country. If punching baggher would show herself and her family even a modicum of respect, Mr. Narc’s world would crumble so vividly. The thing she vows to herself she will one day do, take him down, she has the power to do everyday and .. what does she do with that self love?

  • Giudice

    January 22nd, 2015 at 12:54 AM

    The no contact would destroy him without her doing a thing except respecting her own well being. Oh well, this is how the cookie crumbles.

  • Jennifer G.

    January 22nd, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    #Lauren — what exactly do you want from this forum?

  • Mary

    January 22nd, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Crystal: Spot. On. That’s it exactly. Man, once you dare to veer away from that narc script, you are toast.

    Guidice: I haven’t seen or spoken with this di*d* in months and months. I don’t re-engage. I’m too old for that and have slowly — painfully slowly — found an outlet in creativity, new friends, re-connection with my family from whom I had isolated myself (the narc hated my family, and somehow, someway, I started to agree that maybe visiting them wasn’t the best thing for me — brainwashing big time, but I allowed it somehow) and a new life. I walked away with nothing. I’d been in an over three-decades-long marriage that was crumbling before I met the narc, walked away with nothing but memories from that; my 32-year-old son had committed suicide the year or so before, and I was casting about for a way to escape EVERYthing. I was the perfect narc mark. The narc blew through my life in the beginning like a marvelous fresh breeze. Exciting and adventurous, funny and smart and yeah, a little dangerous. I didn’t KNOW he was a narc — God, if I’d known that, if I’d known what I know now, I’d have followed my instincts — I was aware of some oddness, a “this doesn’t feel quite right at all, at all” kind of thing, but was completely caught up in that massive “total immersion” and the romance of it all. I’m healthier, better lookin’, funnier, smilier, laughier, sexier and generally all-around better off now. I’ve worked really, really hard to pick up all the slivers remaining of me after nearly 3 years of knowing this man and a year of living with him, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (We’re both writers, so we worked at home and were together all the time, which is why the Silent Treatments became absolutely untenable.). I left nearly six months ago and it’s been a hellish road to recovery, one I would like never, ever to experience again. Yeah, I thought I loved this man, but I realize I did not. I loved someone, something, but it wasn’t him. BUT, the feelings I had, the “me” part of the whole thing were real. I’ve discovered a lot about myself in the process. I have walked hundreds of miles (literally :) — walking has been the chief way of decompressing from all this. Walking and thinking and crying and walking and thinking and walking and walking and slowly, ever so slowly, feeling better.)

    I’m sorry for all of you. Sorry for the pain, because I know what it’s like. And that strange no wanting to let go in the beginning, even when you KNOW it’s the best, the healthiest thing for you, is just mind-blowing.

    Leslie: little by little you’ll begin to feel better and, yes, you probably don’t want to give up that damn cell phone because that will mean you’re giving up the narc and an illusion, a chimera. But it the man you think you care for was never, ever there. It’s ruthlessly painful, all put into motion by a ruthless, nasty Hollow Person Who Never Was.

  • Andrea Schneider

    January 22nd, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    I am glad that this article has been helpful. It is important to get qualified support by a therapist trained in narcissistic abuse recovery. If life coaching is offered in addition to in person psychotherapy, that individual really needs clinical training as a coach to help with the delicate nuances of complex PTSD, among other circumstanced. I offer both psychotherapy and life coaching for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Please contact me through my profile if interested in either (also through telehealth options).

  • Brooke L

    January 27th, 2015 at 4:43 AM

    I just divorced a narcicist and I’m in my living hell

  • Can't believe this

    January 27th, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    You think you are living in a hell but you are about to live life. Free from his lies. Be happy that YOU are not like him. Be happy that YOU did not choose to live life the way he did. Manipulating, lying, abusing. YOU got OUT. Live your life baby! He has stained HIS soul- you did not do that for him. It will all make sense when you have surrounded yourself with good , honest, loving people. You will see him as a ” beDazzled garbage truck” and you will see that any woman that chooses THAT is desperate for live bc she thinks THAT is the best she can get. Be soooo happy it’s not you in his twisted grip anymore. You should feel like the heavens have opened and you are free to experience a living deserving relationship FREE OF ALL THE LIES!!!
    Someone else can have his morsels of crap he calls ” a relationship”.
    Good riddance!!!! Establish no contact rule.
    Let the weight of YOUR abscense do it’s work. He will like it if he knows you are suffering so don’t think telling him off will get you anywhere, he will enjoy it. Best thing is to start living joyously without his terrible, lying, selfish, silent treatment in your life anymore. It is soooo awesome once you shut his presence in your brain OFF. You can do it if you want to!

  • Dee

    February 7th, 2015 at 5:43 AM

    That is a brilliant response. I have cut and paste it into my self help therapy page.

  • flygirl

    February 7th, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    I agree. He will not change. I was married for 30 years. I traveled so I was not around much during the so called marriage. When we both retired, it came fullblown. Narcisstic is an understatement. He retaliated towards me and our home. Silent treatments were one to two days then weeks. I had enough. He left, walked out when I could not take his silence towards me. Left with a duffle bag never to return. I lived in a hell I did not know, until recently. It takes guts and courage to divorce from an emotional abuser. I am still learning two years alone now. Alone…yes, but I am surrounding myself with friends that show me how love is suppose to be. He refused to see his behavior as damaging and toxic….it was all my fault.
    He pushed me into a wall and told me I tripped….denial of an abuser. GET OUT. It is hard but so well worth it. You deserve better, keep saying that cause it is true.
    I found a great website “Kaleah”out of Sedona, an expert on Narcississm. Check it out, I was in therapy for two years and found her help well worth it. She was abused also.
    Pray, the good Lord will help you. Remember no one deserves to be treated badly in this life. No one. Stay strong. Live strong.

  • Sandra

    January 29th, 2015 at 5:01 AM

    I’m just starting the divorce process from my narcissistic husband of 14 years. He left our home to be with a man almost one year ago. They are having an affair that he said he doesn’t want to end but claims he is not gay. He said I drive him to his male lover by not appearing to be happy with the wonderful life he made for me and our two little boys. He was always mentally abusive and, at times, physically when his actions or opinions were challenged . At this point, he has cut off all communication with our 8 and 10 year old boys, me and most of his own family. My phone and emails are blocked and he has instructed his staff to not let me through if I call his office. I am a stay at home mom and am scared to death. Our children are incredibly hurt and blaming themselves for daddy’s abandonment. They are getting counseling but the pain is so intense, I fear for their emotional well being and growth. Can you tell me how your ex handled being served with divorce papers and how he acted during the process? Even though my husband has cut off all communication with us, I worry he will not like me taking control by filing for divorce. I’m sure he knows it is coming. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Hang in there.

  • Can't believe this

    January 29th, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    At some point, we have to except people’s choices. They may not be what we would choose for our life, but they are what they choose for their life. The whole situation is extremely unfortunate. It looks like the only communication you will have with him is through the divorce attorney. Accept that. The best you can do for your children right now is nurture them and show them unconditional love. Let them know that daddy made a choice that he is happy with it and we should be happy for him. Once you realize that you will see that everyone makes choices that we don’t agree with, that’s fine that’s life. You are in a position to move on and you are in a position to know that these are not things you would choose in your life( abondonment, lying, betrayal).
    You should find comfort that your choices are good and loving. You cannot change him you cannot erase what has happened and you cannot prevent his future life with that man.
    He has to live with his choices, so be it.

    What ever negativity he throws at you remember that is his choice to do -it is your choice to let it NOT bother you- it will happen, it will be ugly it will be hard.

    It is a paper that will have to be signed eventually whether he chooses to accept it or not… if he is an extreme coward and wants the best of both worlds by staying married to you on paper and not being a part of your life, he will soon find out it does not work like that.
    And don’t worry right now he thinks that he is on top of the world living the life of his dreams but I guarantee you you do not have to do anything evil or negative because bad things eventually catch up with bad people naturally.

    Be a strong loving kind honest person and that always is extremely beneficial in life.
    Your sons will adore you for not abandoning them. When he is old and his lover has left him he will be looking for someone to take care of him and his children will want nothing to do with his life.
    That’s when it will hurt him the most that’s when he will realize what his selfishness has done and that’s when you will not even care one bit because it was his choices and his bed that he made to lie in.
    So in closing it is what it is…. if he’s happy then that’s great do not let his choices affect your happiness.
    You have your whole life in front of you with your beautiful children why would you let another human being take one moment away from you with their bad choices?

  • Tony

    February 22nd, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    I am speechless, that man is beyond normal selfish by miles.

  • Can't believe this

    January 25th, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Wow wow wow.
    He visited my work ( a restaurant ) at first once a week then gradually twice a week then three times then four times. It was obvious he was just there to stare at me I asked him multiple times if he had a girlfriend and he always responded no I do not have a girlfriend. Before he asked me out , he started coming every single day..unexpectedly my father died ( he knew him) he was at the wake and the funeral all day long, not saying a word standing by my side.
    I thought this guy completely worshipped me. Everyone that saw him look at me told me he thinks you hung the moon. Why would I think there was another girl in his life? How would he have time for her he was seeing me every day and calling me every day. Little did I know she was receiving the silent treatment.
    Little did I know she was inside his house For Christmas when he had been calling and texting me the whole month of December.
    Little did I know that he was waiting for the perfect opportunity ( that I was 100%in his mental grip) to ask me out and the final discard to her was happening.
    I should have known the first time we were to become intimate after months of him staring at me he looked like a scared child. He set the tone by telling me he does not want this relationship to start with sex. Another tool of the narcissist to control and also because he could not be vulnerable.
    I believed he likes me 100% and I kept making excuses for the inadequate lovemaking which was beyond terrible actually it was less than 30 seconds. There was no caring or intimacy it was all for him nothing for me.
    I was so confused. How could this be possible he had been staring at me for six months. I started doing things blaming myself thinking I wasn’t sexy enough thinking I must be really bad at this tried a 1000 things.
    It did not make sense if he was not happy in the intimacy department and he was shutting down why was he continuing to call me three times a day and arranging our weddings every weekend and asking me who’s at the restaurant where am I where am I going and what a my doing. There are always red flags but I chose not to see them. on our second date he let me know that from now on we should sign our names together on birthday cards anniversary cards at weddings etc.
    what girl doesn’t want this? He was beyond hot quiet silent very respectful towards my family gave me so much attention what could possibly be the problem?
    What nobody knew was what was happening behind closed doors and when we were alone. He could not hold a conversation. When ever I spoke of pasta achievements or details of my daily life he always had to get off the phone or he would have to call me back or he would have to get up and wash his hands.
    His phone was always hidden from me I excused it because how could there possibly be another woman when so much time is spent with me. HA!
    He had DX he had me and he had the one that he was getting ready to go for after my final discard.
    The trips we took together was unbelievable. We went to an actual honeymoon destination for a 4 day “vacation”and I truly believe I was the only girl there not having sex. I kept silent and then I would get the courage to try…I tried different things and he let me know to stop stop stop. So confusing why would he spend so much money airfare private plane honeymoon destination beautiful resort and he didn’t want to touch me. Now I see why it’s because he wanted to go to that destination he wanted to do the activities there and I was just an object to take with him.
    Now looking back every single thing that we did together was not because he wanted to do them with me, it was because he wanted to visit these great places and he didn’t want to do it alone and I was the perfect object.
    I was unlike any other girl he had dated that should have been a sign. Granted he never told me about his past his own family spilled the beans. I couldn’t believe it he only dated women with children before me. No wonder his family loved me so much I had no baggage I was successful looks department not too bad and respectable family all the qualities parents would want their child to have as a mate.
    My first silent treatment left me so confused and shocked I only wish I had found these articles back then. I only wish that I stood up for myself and said “hey nobody treat me like this you are weird and you can go”. I didn’t I was always looking for the moment when he would show me attention emotionally. It never came. And he did Hoover back to me. I was very strong after my second silent treatment I never called or texted him. He slowly triangulated through friends to come start seeing me again at the restaurant and then he saw his opportunity to take me with him to a trip he wanted to go to.on the trip I calmly stated it’s too bad we lost so much time we could’ve discussed things and we could have gotten on in our relationship. That was the worst thing I did or you could say the best thing I did because I saw his true colors. He became very angry, which we all know anger is fear, because now he realized I saw him for the insecure a worthless piece of crap that he is. He pointed two fingers in my face in a crowded restaurant and let me know that nobody is going to tell him what to do. The people in the restaurant were staring. I wish I wish somebody would have come up to me and taken me away from him and told me “lady do not get talked to like that – leave this piece of trash where he is and get up and leave him”. It didn’t happen I had to learn that lesson myself. After that weekend I never called or texted him my father’s one-year memorial was the next weekend he never called or texted to acknowledge that because he was such a big part of my life when my father passed away. Oh and the best six months after my father died and I was having a brief moment of grief and I expressed to him I miss my dad he let me know -frankly -“I thought we were over that” . As a victim I thought oh wow I guess I should be over it I guess I shouldn’t be bringing negative thoughts into this relationship okay I’ll stop crying. If you are reading this let me tell you that is not what a loving caring person says to another human being a loving caring person listens to you and does not admonish you for having feelings.
    His family has kept in constant contact with me I think they feel terrible for what has happened, they truly thought that I was going to be the one, after all the trash he dated somebody like me came into his life and they thought the heavens had opened. They think that there is still a chance with him but there never will be .he had so many opportunities to treat me with respect and love and he didn’t do it. If you were treated like this in the first six months of a relationship what will two years three years four years and five years do?
    My biggest lesson is the intensity the jealousy the questions the idealizing the infatuation all of those things should have been red flags because those things are not normal…. He could not hold a conversation we could not go to other restaurants because now I realize he was fearful of running into any of his exes and that is why we always went out of town which at the time I thought this is an amazing relationship we are always going away for the weekend -ha ha!!!! I truly do feel sorry for the next girl like some of the posts have said because she has no idea what’s coming just like I didn’t. If one of his exes had contacted me at the beginning when he was worshiping me I would not have believed her , I would have thought she was bitter. Even to this day when people that had Maddis see me and ask me about him they are so shocked because in public he looked like he worships me and this fits his profile perfectly. To look like the perfect gentleman that worships me and it was all to make him look good and to fill him up with the worthiness he did not even possess. He did not want any motional commitment he did not want to physical commitment all he wanted was a girlfriend that he could fill his activity calendar with and to show the world wow look at this girl that I got.
    Kind of like decking yourself out in the most designer clothes when you are a piece of crap on the inside -same thing the designer clothes cannot make you a good person.
    He devalued me in the end he criticized me -I was beating myself up asking him calmly why are you saying this to me what are you talking about? Remember a cheater is afraid of a cheater. Always wanted to see who was texting me and who was calling me and who was talking to me and why was I talking to that customer. I should have known it wasn’t because he cared about me it’s because he was afraid that I was a cheater just like him.

    The unexpected rage the silent treatment the zero sex because he cannot be vulnerablebecause if he was vulnerable in the bedroom that would reveal his true persona which is nothing there is absolutely nothing in his core.
    The only thing he had was making racist jokes a lot of money to buy him a lot of things that made him look good and money to fill his calendar with activities which I now realize the activities were a way of not dealing with who he really was -he would find things to do to avoid the pain that was inside of him. it’s too bad because I really liked his family and they really thought I was the one they even let me know it that I was so different from the other girls.
    I’m glad I found my voice and I questioned him about certain things namely the no sex and he silent treated me and I did not respond. When he came back around the second time I thought it was because he wanted to work things out but it wasn’t, it was because he needed somebody to go on this trip that he wanted to go to. He treated me so badly on that trip I should’ve gotten up and left I should have I should have but Hindsight is 2020 and if that things did not happen the way they did I would probably still be in that mess with him and not be available for a true loving relationship that I deserve. I think he dated women with children or trash because he knew he had nothing to bring to the table but money and those girls were the easiest ones to lure. He knew how to play the game to get them to need him and fill his fuel supply of attention and when they got upset he loved it because it was the attention that he needed even though it was twisted. Smart girls that see the red flags did not give him the time of day. I wish I had not given him so much attention after the first month of him coming to see me at the restaurant I could have avoided all of this pain because if a guy likes you he wants to ask you out he does not stalk you for six months. He does not send his family to come see you where you work. The whole thing looking back is something I would have never imagined could happen to me but it did I thought I was smarter than this.
    Every single one of my friends say you are so lucky you figured it out before he gave you the ring because imagine if I took the ring then what would I have done. I would have believed that he will come around he will give me the attention that I deserve we are getting married would have gotten worse worse and worse. I do feel sorry for the girl with the child that was dating him for five years. She has no idea that he was seeing me all that time in the last year of their relationship. I do know he started contacting her again and she was ready to Prance on it.
    I’m still dealing with the fact that I thought I was in Disney World the whole time but now looking back I realize I was in the darkest castle imaginable. So many lies about the smallest things and I believed him. To realize that for a long time the person that you thought was telling you the truth about meaningless even trivial things like “where’s your favorite pizza place”it was all a lie it was nothing that was the truth. He could not tell me the truth about the pizza place because God forbid I go there and see him with her.
    I have had no contact with him but he calls his friend which is our mutual friend and asks about me every single time. You see you see what kind of attention he still needs he needs to know what I’m doing and who I’m seeing.
    He knows he is worthless on the inside and to me that is so sad.. Oh well he will go on living what he thinks life is…he will never know what a life of honesty and pure love and respect is.
    And probably any other woman he chooses that chooses to stay with him.
    She will push down her voice to not lose the fabulous lifestyle he provides and the whole time she will be searching for that inch of attention of real love which will never happen. He doesn’t wanted to he will never reveal his true self.

  • Marilyn

    January 28th, 2015 at 5:34 AM

    This article has been so incredibly helpful in understanding the power of silence as a weapon and the wounds that it inflicts.
    A year and a half ago, our then 12 year old son, was emotionally and spiritually abused by a Youth Pastor on a Mission’s Trip.
    On 3 separate occasions, my husband attempted reconciliation with him. Six months later, our Senior Pastor set up a meeting and listened to our complaints. His Executive Pastor, a personal friend of ours for many years, sat next to him and said nothing. No further attempts toward reconciliation were made.
    In May of 2014, due to this matter and other tensions with leadership, we resigned. Our “friend” and ” Executive Pastor” said nothing.
    Two weeks ago, I decided to be free from the angst of his silence and that of the Youth Pastor’s and wrote a letter of forgiveness and asked for forgiveness for anything that we might have done which resulted in their lack of action toward us, doing what Andrea stated, as making the final attempt to break the silence.
    We did not hear back from them. Now, if I thought I had forgiven them, I have to forgive them even more for this further abuse!!
    My question, is how does a young adolescent and his family, attending a church for 26 years accept that we are nothing to them; nothing to people we had trusted and in church for that matter!!? I want desperately to heal from this but truly don’t know how to rid us of the pain and sorrow of losing a place where we thought we belonged for so long.
    Any suggestions for dealing with this hurt and grief and the intense frustration and feelings of betrayal toward those who were supposed to care for and protect, and instead wounded and attempted to destroy through inaction and silence??

  • BT

    January 29th, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Going through the same issue with my wife. While we were dating, she was sweet, generous and thoughtful. A team player. After marriage, things started to change. Setting my personal boundaries resulted in arguments, pouting and the silent treatment. Things have been exacerbated by her mother, who is a controller herself. I love this woman and know she’s capable of good instead of bad. The narcissistic tendencies are really starting to show, and I don’t tolerate passive aggressive behavior.

  • Cafe D

    February 2nd, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    #Can you believe you’re being honest? If so then you did yourself a good turn. As you say, he dates single parents; he also does not disclose his multiple incurable transmittable diseases or that he is sterile, and was sexually abused himself as a child.

    It was a dicey time last year when his long time affair with a European woman ended in her suicide after she (was the last to) discover he had started sleeping with her underage daughter. He visits the daughter in France and she comes here now that the Mom is gone. I think she may have even turned 18 finally. Imagine your semi celebrity American boyfriend and your underage daughter both betraying you. A narcissist being loyal to himself, is what he said. He’s a good guy.

    This is a therapeutic board only in that it’s a place for some good information. All I hear is people leave, and for me that helps but barely helps to cope.

  • MP

    February 2nd, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    I moved in with my partner a year ago after dating on and off for 5 years. I knew he was moody and every now and again would fall out with me for what was trivial matters and wouldnt speak to me for about a week. It was always me who had to try and bring him out of his sulks. Over the last year we have fallen out time and time again each time he ignores me and takes himself off into the spare room. I have eventually had enough. I’ve reached breaking point after he hasn’t spoken to me for over 2 weeks. This time I took control and moved into the spare room. This seems to have made matters worse. I have tried and tried to make this relationship work but I’m exhausted and I’ve decided we need to sell up and go our own way. I have tried to talk to him many times saying I hate it when he ignores me but he continues to do this so I can only assume this is a deliberate act to hurt and control me. He has been raised in an environment where his dad has ignored his mum over the years and therefore he thinks this is normal. It’s not my normal. When I read this article I couldn’t believe it. It’s like it was written about my situation with my partner. I often say to my sister he acts like a 5 year old. I do believe it is a form of abuse that should not be tolerated.

  • Mommie Dearest

    February 3rd, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    My would be boyfriend/ np / abuser / lover / confidante has the m.narc gene. Until I read a site like this, I didn’t know what was really going on so it has been quite a blow. Makes an already down in the dumps girl, worse. At first I felt bad because my love could not be reciprocated if the person isn’t capable of it. But the more things fell apart the more I saw the absolute manipulations and malcontent and desire to harm the man possesses. I struggle to let him go cause I know he’s not good for me and you know it’s nearly impossible, even though I’m almost 100 percent there. I used to kiss myself that I choose life over this hostage situation. I’ve lived with an abusive man before; saw the red flags in this relationship and withdrew enough to keep physically safe but the emotional draw is too compelling. It’s heartwrenching at times and I don’t really have a support group, I read what I’m supposed to do and do that, although no professional help is $$$ possible. It makes me so angry that in a 50/50 gig, even a dysfunctional one, I have to suffer and he skates. It burns me up because he knows what he’s doing. If it’s considered BPD or NPD or whatever of me to say, taking action aka exacting ‘revenge’ is the one thing that gives me satisfaction. I do this lawfully, of course and my one saving grace is The Truth. It speaks to people and, being true it is relatively indisputable. I just ‘took it’ for so long in previous situations and I used to do nothing. The high road — well as a sometimes victim I have to say taking action in my defense feels much better. He certainly doesn’t take the high road – ever – and he seems to be doing just fine.

    IF he ever gets his own, I won’t know … or care. I like to see it happen now, and this is where I’m at a crossroads. This site has so little recovery talked about. I want tools, or help or relief. I also know I will never ever be able to dishonor myself like his ‘go to’ hostage does. That girl makes me a little sad for womankind but mostly nauseous. She takes care of herself when some one gets in the way of her greed for green. She could do so much good to lead by example instead of fry by candlelight. How can a young lady live with herself when her entire body is physically tormented, all her wants and needs ignored, the disrespect she tolerates at every level is mind boggling and she hasn’t really the concept of how viciously he denigrates her to others. I suppose it is helpful that she stays in such a cesspool of indignity because it is clear to those of us who have escaped exactly what life would be like if we did not.

  • Can't believe this

    February 3rd, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    If you want tools here they are:
    Believe that you deserve a loving kind relationship that is full of respect and reciprocity.
    I understand that you gave it your all you did your best and he did not accept what you were giving.
    Accept that you cannot change him.
    Accept that everything that happened is in the past you cannot erase it MoveOn live your life from this day forward full of truth and love …and this was a huge learning lesson.
    And also you should know this is not normal there is nothing normal about dating a narcissist and only when you surround yourself with people that are in loving relationships and you love yourself first you will see this.
    Imagine for a second if you love yourself and put as much effort into your self as you have into this relationship.
    It all comes down to loving yourself first when you truly do that everything else will fall away that is bad for you naturally…

  • Mommie Dearest

    February 3rd, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    #MP if you have a desire for change try stonewalling him. Give him the silent treatment, do not try or care to get him to communicate, and go about your life as if all was fine. Be sure to stay out overnight at a friends’ or something without a word of explanation and witness the effects on your tormentor. You can not play fair with one of these dorks and expect them to access their humanity. They just use it against you because they like to see you suffer and they think it’s boring that you always do the right thing. For them it’s something to exploit. I have noticed they can not tolerate what they do to others. Give it a try. Let me know what happens. It sure beats wallowing in depression ..

  • Andrea Schneider

    February 3rd, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    @ MP, I do not advise engaging in the same behaviors that a person with narcissism may engage in…on the contrary, going No Contact is helpful for survivors so they are not subjected to emotional abuse. This sends a very clear message to the abuser. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • MP

    February 3rd, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    Thank you for your support and advice. When I say I have moved into the spare room this is not a temporary measure to seek revenge it is me ‘leaving him’ as we both share a house with a mortgage and until it is sold we both have no option but to live under the same roof. A horrendous situation. I only wish I’d listened to my head and not my heart and never moved in with him or taken him back when he dumped me previously. A lesson learned on my part. Many experts say ignore the abusers actions and get on with your life but surely this is pandering to them and they are getting their own way. I’m no one’s doormat and not willing to be treated like a second class citizen. I’m glad I’m getting out and looking to the future however difficult I know it will be.

  • Crystal

    February 4th, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    What experts do not know is how amazing the love (though fake) is when you are getting it from one of these actors.
    It’s so confusing because all the things people say will exist in a good relationship are there. You have deep talks and he helps you with things and holds you and does everything you ever wanted to see with your eyes on the surface. But behind the mask there are lies , other women , promises you can tell he isn’t going to keep because of actions you see. And as long as you don’t mention it you get your drug… The affection and praise and help. Now we know that if you mention his hidden text apps or where he really was or who was really there or any single lie you know about that we will pay. No love , no affection and either verbal degradation and complete turning around of the argument to make you guilty for things you didn’t even know you did and wait…. Why are we talking about this when we were supposed to be talking about how you lied to me ? What the crap? Or the ever lingering threat of silence with no apology or explanation is always there.

    Narcissists study their prey. They are masters of building the set and charachter that each individual victim will become addicted to. They make themselves fit right into the empty space that aches to be filled. And losing them there is horrifically painful and life altering.
    No expert can tell you what to do and have it be useful until that expert can help you ease the pain of the void
    It’s always worse when these people leave us then where we had started. Because you sit there feeling as if you had a very long dream and you realize that your life is in shambles because you believed in a fantasy. That is rough to deal with. It’s like you loved someone who wasn’t even real and you wonder , what is wrong with me that I just did this? You wonder if you are so broken that love simply isn’t safe for you at all.
    And the silent treatment. I don’t know about anyone else but Id rather be called names and told it’s my fault than hear nothing at all for weeks or even months from someone who wanted to marry me 3 days before the silence began.

    I too made life choices based on trusting in the word of one of these sufferers of narcissism. So sad that someone who could pretend love so well was really not feeling anything.
    So sad that I am devastated and in financial trouble worse than ever because I believed he wanted to be a better man.

  • Andrea Schneider

    February 4th, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    @Crystal — thank you for your feedback…I am glad that people can find support here and other forums online… I want to add that not all “experts” are the enemy…some experts really and truly do understand the unique pain a survivor of narcissistic abuse has endured…you just have to find that right helping professional to guide you in that path. Wishing you all well in that healing journey. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Crystal

    February 4th, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I by no means mean that I feel like therapists aren’t trying to help. I love my therapist but having the right words to tell someone how to appropriately react to a situation is only one part of a whole entire scenario. And the how does that make you feel … That question in the case of falling for a complete fake just sets you back not forward. I mean it makes you feel stupid because really in your gut you knew better. It makes you feel visibly broken because people that do this to others prey on the broken. Then you feel afraid to just be yourself because people like him will be all you can get . It makes you feel betrayed and confused and like someone died cause they wanted to die to hurt you. Most of all it makes you feel angry that you feel anything at all. You know that Pretender didn’t deserve your love or your body or your time or a single feeling and yet here you are feeling everything while they feel nothing and they win and you lose. You lose the most because you love them and the person you live is likely not even real. Therapy is essential because the pain is not reasonable at all. You need someone to be there for you and your friends all think your just stupid. What sucks is I have my own problems , that’s what attracts the type but the things in me he used to fulfill what he lacked are not things about me I was in therapy to change. Now I’m afraid I am changed forever. Loving someone despite flaws , forgiving to extend grace , truly trusting in someone’s word all seem like foolish things to me now, my tenderness caused me to be hurt. How do I not lose my good traits now that someone has misused them so. How when I am so scared . If I pretend to be stronger or less gentle to protect myself haven’t I turned into a fake like him.
    I didn’t mean to offend miss Andrea, I’m sorry. It’s just very confusing and unless someone has tricked you and got you to literally change the course of your life based on lies you might not get that advise sometimes stings because these men were once or pretended to be the perfect most amazing boyfriend ever. Thanks for the response

  • Andrea Schneider

    February 4th, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    @ Christine V — no offense taken..I just hope you get the support you need and deserve. My best wishes to you, Andrea.

  • Tiffany

    February 8th, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    I don’t even know how to start to try to get out. My husband lives 1200 miles away and he will ignore me for days to months and I try so hard to get him to speak to me. I always plan on leaving but then when he speaks to me then I’m after his love knowing that im going to divorce him. Once I get his “love” I’m drawn right back in. I want him to change so bad. He had a car accident and killed two people and I want to be there for him. All he really needs is his mother though. I need help, I love my husband so much.

  • Can't believe this

    February 8th, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    You are in love with the idea of being loved by him. You don’t need “his ” love, you need love.
    There is nothing normal about staying in a relationship that has no reciprocatey .
    Took me a 6 months to figure that out.
    These narcissists get a hold on us bc we want love so bad.
    He is NOT the last man on eSeth and once you understand that you won’t look back.


  • Mommie Dearest

    February 9th, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    @can’t believe this ..The Silent Treatment needs to be illegal for anyone over 18. Thank you for that feedback. All you need is (self) love well I had to review your posts and see if you were actually in a relationship with a narcissist and I see that you also thought you would be smarter than to get involved with someone like that. It seems you saw him on a part-time going-on-vacation status so that’s good you have a life outside of him. You might do well to instruct the common friend to never give any details about you to him; and cite his propensity towards violence. I have found that generally most men think violence vs. women is wrong. If you allow him to know where you are and what you’re doing at all times you’re still feeding his ego and engaging with a man who thought none of your needs were worthy of attending to. I would think no man could keep a woman if he couldn’t fulfill that basic desire for sex and there is only one type of restaurant where an individual can come and sit and stare at an employee, day in and day out. Some people might suggest that a person who does that kind of work doesn’t love herself enough to respect herself. I’m just saying, you can love yourself plenty and, I do love myself but the all-encompassing grippe of a narcissist is a multifaceted terrible thing that self-love only goes so far to repair. I agree it is essential for a healthy life.

  • Can't believe this

    February 9th, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    I should have clarified the type of business I work at. It’s a family restaurant and he would come eat dinner with his friend . He would stay with his friend for 2 hours. Came for lunch too. He was always wearing super starched jeans and shirts, nice cowboy boots . It totally fit the personality of a narcissist ….to look really good on the outside because the inside was shit….
    Always using extreme well manners when greeting my family or anyone that was sitting with my family in my family’s restaurant. I should have known that there was something off when he did not ask me out for such a long time.
    And I should have known whenever he threw out some derogatory terms in a “joking” way. My family didn’t talk like that, I didn’t know any guys that talk like that, but he was always “joking ” when he said something mean or derogatory.
    The only reason I figured out he was a narcissist, is because I was trying to get to the bottom of why he would not have real lovemaking sessions with me. I thought maybe he had been abused as a child and he couldn’t before marble I thought maybe he was gay but was confused, I didn’t know and when I researched sex and vulnerability and I came upon descriptions of narcissists,
    It made so much sense.
    He always wanted to look at my cell and see who was texting me.
    He wanted to know about my past relationships and I thought that was a way to build trust and that’s what you do so I opened up to him and I said the truth the last time I dated a guy in why didn’t work out. When I then turned and asked him the question, but what about your ex-girlfriend what was she like what was the reason that y’all broke up?
    He did not answer , he did not give me what I had just given him.
    So they were red flags everywhere but I chose to ignore them because the way he idealized me and kept staring at me I kept saying there’s no way he doesn’t like me I mean look at how he stares at me whenever he’s around.
    And are we told that when a man comes into your life and views you as his whole world that that’s the way it’s supposed to be?
    The part that I kept waiting for an ending on for was the emotional bonding the opening up in the physical bonding and I kept waiting and waiting that may be the next date the next time we are alone that he would start opening up but it never happened.
    Even all the trips that we took I would come back from the troops broken thinking what did I just do why did I even go to this person?
    And I was afraid to break up with him because I thought he was so in love with me… HA!!!
    He needed me as his good looking objects next to him because he needed to show the world “look how normal I am because I have this kind of girl next to me ” when in reality there was nothing real about the relationship at all (behind closed doors).

    Now I have compassion for him

    I would never tell him this though.
    I understand no contact I understand you can’t get help these ppl.

    the whole thing has made me realize how much pain people can be in and I’m glad that I’m not him and I hope one day he gets the help he needs.

    I will not be a part of that shit train.
    There are plenty of guys out there that are capable of having mature loving honest relationships.
    Every single person has told me how lucky I am how lucky I am that I stood up and found a voice and questioned him and saw his true character before I stayed with him any longer.

    I know 100% that if I had never questioned him as to “what’s going on ? why are we not having sex and you’re my boyfriend ?”
    and tried so many things and he never gave me an answer. People that really love you , want to hold onto you and want to explain themselves so they do not lose you.

    I feel sorry that his mother is still hanging onto the dream of me being part of their life
    I think the reason I came into his life is to show the mom that there really is something wrong with your son because he could not make it work with me and there has been no real explanation.
    Oh and the reason that I know that I was the best thing that happened to his life is because his mother actually wrote me a thank you card once letting me know that I am so different from the other girls that have been brought around and they feel that God has answered their prayers and they are so blessed they feel so blessed that her and her husband sleep better at night now that their son is dating me.
    I really dodged a bullet and now I am able to recognize when girls are in the same predicament as I was because I can see it in their faces.

    Well I hope whoever is my story finds the strength to look at themselves in the mirror and saying I don’t deserve that shit from this guy and move on and be ready for loving good relationships because they do exist.
    only if you believe you are worthy of some. If you do not believe you’re worthy of a good relationship you will always be in a shitty relationship because that’s what you think you deserve.

    Like I said something like this had never happened to me before …where a guy was staring at me for six months and it’s true that when something is not normal you are confused that’s what I was for six months I was so confused because nothing was normal and this was not the kind of normal that was good.

  • Onamonapia

    February 9th, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    #Andrea the one girl has it down: What to do in the empty space that the n.p. used to vacuum. The void that develops after following the suggestions on this site. I sit on my hands, I disengage and am left with the thoughts, feelings and actions of the little girl in me. It is sometimes death defying, although I know they are just feelings and a feeling isn’t going to kill me. The quick fix of calling him up and meeting somewhere works pretty well.

    This is a sounding board, really not much of a veritable therapeutic tool. Our individual pleas are not always addressed and I read people’s qualifying statements and then nothing more from them. With no outlet such as this I might surely implode(and so I write).

    I notice most everyone finds relief in knowing there are other’s out there who suffer the same. So, that’s where I am going to suggest people start – a group. What already exists in the world at no cost? 12 step groups. So #AndreaSchneider what 12 step groups would you think might be related to our common suffering?
    I hear you suggest therapy, an optimum solution if you can afford it and have the ability to consistently go. I want to suggest since you have a board for these dysfunctions, you might consider having some resources to offer that can bring about some change, or relief or anything at all. I can’t speak for others although maybe I can since we seem to have the same ‘problem’. To the girl who goes to therapy for one thing and not all her problems: Time to get honest in therapy? Maybe? It’s a whole person approach or it sounds like you sit there, victimized. I sit here victimized, but I consider it better than sitting there completely trapped inside the little world the abuser helped me get into. @CHRYSTAL — Let your feet do the talking because the only solution I have read across the virtual world is this: You leave. You get it together however haltingly you can, and you leave. That is unanimous and I can safely say there are those who have gone before me and it never, ever gets better.
    You also leave behind any people close to the narcissist because of the pervasive deception and penchant for drama running through people like that will also bring you down. It is dealing with the consequences of that departure on my emotional health that are so challenging. And so, here I am and I write.
    I’m gonna see him. Why not — maybe go travel too like Vacation Girl.

  • Michelle Mallon

    February 9th, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    I would really like to respond to the concerns voiced by Onamonapia. I can really sense a level of frustration in your message that I too have felt as I made my way through the agonizing journey of recovering from Narcissistic abuse. I have really had a hard time with the fact that I can find articles about Narcissistic abuse (not a ton of them, but I can at least find them) but when it comes to finding a mental health professional who can actually help guide people through this, it’s like I am trying to find someone help me heal from alien abductions. It seems very few mental health professionals know what I am talking about. And often times trying to describe to other mental health professionals what I have experienced (and what so many people have experienced) results in being treated as if I have totally lost my mind. It seems utterly unfair that survivors of this type of abuse can learn that what they experienced has a name and that they are not alone but trying to find someone help them heal from it is almost impossible. I can’t tell you how much I agree with much of what you are saying. I can tell you that there are people working behind the scenes trying desperately to get the mental health profession worldwide to acknowledge this type of abuse. There are people who know first hand the terrible damage all of the misdiagnosis of this type of abuse is causing survivors who are trying to heal. There are people all around the world- like Andrea Schneider, Christine Louis de Canonville (Ireland), Tania Cusack (Australia), Julie Hart (Australia), Karyl Mcbride (US), Karin Huffer (US), Wendy Behary (US), Sandra Brown (US) and even myself- who are screaming their heads off trying to bring this type of abuse to the forefront of public awareness. It isn’t easy though. There are a lot of “hidden” obstacles we face in doing this. And frankly, it is exhausting work. I want to make a suggestion that might help all of us who are fighting to advocate for the “invisible” survivors out there. Contact the professional organizations for the mental health professions in your countries and ask them why this type of abuse is not being adequately addressed. Ask them why- given all that we know about the terrifying devastation and continued risk to victims who don’t heal from this type of abuse- why nothing is being done to address this. This type of abuse isn’t even addressed in the graduate programs for most mental health professionals!!! It’s crazy. But I can tell you that there are MANY, MANY more survivors of Narcissistic abuse than there are Narcissists. This terrifying form of abuse can only remain a secret if we, as survivors, allow it to. Change is going to have to start with us.

    I also have a survivors forum on FB where I have a list running list of mental health professionals who specialize in Narcissistic Abuse recovery. I am very careful about everyone who goes on that list. Please feel free to check it out. I add to it as new information because available and verified. The forum is an open forum and it is called Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: Hope For Victims and Survivors.

    Onamonapia, please do not lose hope! I am going to keep fighting to get this type of abuse acknowledged so that survivors of Narcissistic abuse can find mental health professionals who can recognize the symptoms of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, accurately diagnose the survivors of this abuse and effectively help them to reclaim their identities and their strength. I have a feeling Andrea feels much the same way. Please know that Andrea herself has been one of the inspirations for my journey. And while she is doing so much to raise awareness about this type of abuse, she is but one person. And as I said, the hurdles we face in getting this recognized are massive (and some have been thrown in our ways on purpose).

    We need help getting this type of abuse to be brought to the forefront of public awareness. Survivors must demand better in terms of the help (or lack thereof) they are receiving from mental health professionals. Every voice counts!

    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Onamonopia

    February 10th, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    @MichelleMallon thank you for your words and encouragement. Just to hear your `heart bleeds’ for my cause really helps me feel better. I will check out some names. There is a well known Coda/Cosa therapist at The Meadows named Pia Mellody and her teachings correspond, fyi. It’s from some of that work too many years ago that I’m able to not stay totally stuck even when it’s outrageously uncomfortable to give up. Apparently, in the city I live there are 12 step groups called Sex & Love Addiction which can help, or so I’m told after describing my addiction to a Narcissist. To @AndreaSchneider I didn’t realize this wasn’t a board but I get it now. Thanks for steering me to the resources; this website with its gazillion links isn’t all that cut and dry, organizationally speaking. At least not to me and I can handle volumes of input. Thanks for caring and sharing in your ‘free time.’

  • Michelle Mallon

    February 14th, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    Thank you so much for the information about Pia Melody. I just checked out her website. She has done a lot of writing! I am looking forward to reading more of what she has written.

    I want you to know that you are not alone in what you are going through. I know how frustrating it is to know that someone else has taken away virtually everything from you and no one seems to know how to help you get those things back. I don’t know if you have read a lot about PTSD and trauma bonding, but I know that realizing that I was “stuck” not because there was something wrong with me, but because of the severity of the trauma I experienced was very important to me. It doesn’t help when the people in our lives don’t understand why we just can’t “hurry up and get over it”. I knew that what I had experienced was extremely destructive simply by the way it had devastated me. However, communicating that people around me when I had no bruises, no broken bones… that was a different story. And finding a mental health professional who understands that the aftermath of this type of abuse isn’t just “a bad breakup” is a rare occurrence. It shouldn’t be so difficult to heal from this type of abuse.

    I don’t know if you have seen the survivors forum called After Narcissistic Abuse, but it was a helpful place for me to visit as I was making my way down the agonizing road to healing. Perhaps it could be helpful to you as well. That forum has a lot of opportunity for dialogue. It was set up to be more of an interactive platform for survivors. The admins Greg and Michelle seem to do a very good job with responding to survivors.

    I wish you the very best, Onamonopia :o)

  • Andrea Schneider

    February 9th, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    @Onamonopia… I understand your frustration…perhaps others who have found terrific resources can share here…this is not an official support forum…it’s an article to bring light to the subject…to the degree it helps people to feel validated and connect with qualified help, I am happy about that…because there is such a shortage of professionals who are qualified to help in this practice specialty you can see the tremendous need for more awareness,training, etc…..btw, I am not able to respond to every comment made here…I work full time (plus), and I am happy to respond to emails sent directly to me through my profile…kind regards, Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Andrea Schneider

    February 9th, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Also– I’d like to add, I have a list of resources at the end of my first 3 articles on narcissistic abuse recovery, including online support forums, literature, etc…please take a look as see what might be helpful to you…Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Raelene

    February 11th, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    Thanks for the article. After reading this it made me realize that the man I am in love with may be a narcissist. It’s been almost 3 weeks since he last spoke to me. I often blame myself because I suffer from anxiety & depression. I let my insecurities take over by wanting his full attention. Soon mixed emotions displayed through numerous texts of compromise. I was ignored, soon I began to send more texts explaining my emotional distress of why he couldn’t reply with a simple “hi”. I have a long history of emotional abuse as a victim & unfortunately as the abuser at times. The person I met has a similar background & that is why we shared so much. However, maybe that is the problem. Over the years he has never treated me badly, always respected me, & cared for me. I have been hurt so many times in a long term relationship & he seemed to good to be true. I guess I kept questioning his attraction & love for me, to the point where he just maybe gave up & stopped talking to me. He left me with no explanation & it drove me crazy. I fear I may have ruined a beautiful connection with this man who has always been there for me (just not here for me now). It takes a toll on my emotions. I guess I want to believ e that he still cares for me. With no response, doubt sets in.

  • Frankie

    February 14th, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Hi thanks for the article and all your posts. It is helping me get over the disappointment of having to leave a relationship with a woman who seemed so lovely and so right for me, but who quickly became spiteful and manipulative and would ignore me for days over nothing. She seemed either unable or unwilling to talk about things that upset her but instead preferred to cut me off whilst pointedly talking to and being nice to other people. The whole thing was baffling and hurtful. I have gone over things many times in my head but I know I did not do or say anything to deserve this total blanking of me. But looking back there were other signs that she is in fact a narcissist. I know I am better off out of it but I still miss her as she could be so great to be with. Thanks for the chance to say all that

  • Jack

    February 18th, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    Great article! The characteristics highlighted in this article sound an awful lot like my ex girlfriend, specifically the part about emotional immaturity. I told her on several occasions during her silent treatment episodes that she’s stuck in a state of arrested development, and she, of course, was highly offended.

    Here’s the deal: go with your gut instinct. If you’re with a partner who makes you feel like you’re the crazy one after you’ve been subjected to the silent treatment, run away as fast as you can. Compromise and empathy are not part of their vocabulary. If you come down with a serious illness one day, a normal loving partner will be there for you. But a narcissist will give you the silent treatment because you’re sick and you’re “harshing their buzz” and cramping their style. How dare you!

  • He Called Me Mac

    March 8th, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    My recent ex boyfriend is a classic stonewaller/silent treatment pro. And when youfinally do get the chance to talk, they expect you, after being dismissed and ignored, not to “create conflict” by stating your feelings about being silenced over the issue prior! Yes, it is crazy-making because when you rightfully express your authentic anger and pain and frustration they use it as leverage against you and say you are abusive to scream, needy to cry or want to discuss it… Basically, anytime the narcissist is held accountable you can expect to be punished severely with the with-holding of love, affection, corespondence or simple respect. You cam expect the narcissist to tell you that you are abusive by demanding the issues to be addressed with a therapist or as a couple who does not walk out when the other disagrees. Your tears turn to rage and you indeed look crazy and that is the insidious nature of their abuse: they literally deflect and devalue and discard everything about you until you are convinced it is all your fault. If you are like me, you attract these kind of people which compounds the mental anguish as you BELIEVE you yoirself must be the problem, not your pathological habit of giving other people the upper hand in your sense of dignity! You become ashamed. Apologetic. Anxious. Angrier! Sadder! You in fact become the very thing you were accused of which discredits your initial need: to be treated with reciprocity! They start taking liberties with mistreating you they would not likely justify in treating others because you are crazy, right? We must deserve it, right? The narcissist counts on throwing you off balance– anything to avoid his iwn culpability in his emotional impotence. The lack of closure is what kills me most– you not only realize the love they initially “gave” you (more like a loan shark) was fraudulent but you must also come to terms with the fact that they will likely NEVER offer genuine remorse, apology, accountability or atonement (as in, changed behavior on a permanent basis). Narcissists come in all variations, some are violent some are passive aggressive. But all of them have two tjings in common: they lack empathy and they lack the will to accept responsibility by proactively changing their habits/mindset. They will always find a loophole to be either the victim ir the person who is “too self respecting” to “put up” with “drama” (again, your feelings and concerns are always going to be reduced to drama or insignificance– their feelings and instantaneous whims are always going to be priority and all-or-nothing). I love my ex. He has hurt and humiliated me, effected my career negatively, put me through financial stress, and literally dismissed my value or presence in his life because my anger at his abuse was, in his eyes, “immature”. He never hit me or hurt me physically. Others have. But this latest ex has hurt me the most, because, frankly, he knew exactly how and chose to repeatedly instead of facing what it was in him that needed addressing. I have realized my codependency is a toxicity that inflames every relationship in my life and I take responsibility by literally working on it every day with journaling, meditation, group meetings and better longterm choices. Healing oneself is a process but it is also and first and firemost a choice! And I choose to learn from this. But I do wish my ex would have chosen to be self aware instead if self “protective” via gaslighting and stonewalling and manipulating. His need to have life on his terms is the definition of narcissism and immaturity. My need to be loved by someone like that or understood by him or connected to him is my sickness: codependency. We think acquiring their consistency will mean the pain was not the reality. We think we can live away their selfishness. We cannot. And we end up being manipulators for wanting to find a way inside and around their personality disordered thinking; we can only show them how we deserve to ve treated by treating ourselves with resoect and living our lives with accountability. I know I made a lot of foul mistakes with my interactions with him and I know that I am sorry but also quite aware that my apology or growth is not important to him, he just needs to feel it was not his fault– regardless of what I feel. Well, no growth I acquire will change him. Only he can change himself. My tears or love or enlightenment will not make a difference to him: but what I do with my love for him and myself will change MY life. I can love him but learn to accept he will never be capable of loving me let alone caring what he did to me. Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves. It is the most difficult to find at times, I know! It hurts so much but hopefully we walk away with stronger hearts, wiser eyes and softer words for the next opportunity to love. Xoxoxo oh, and, thank you for this forum.

  • riccapooh

    March 11th, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    He Called Me Mac
    Your comment resonates with me…17 years of struggle…The first 12 I thought if I was thinner and more beautiful he will respect me more (came into it with self esteem issues). I Lost 100 lbs. And he did treat me better. Then I got pregnant, 12 years of infertility (I had a 4 year old when we met who he “helped raise”) and now this crazy thing happens, but during my pregnancy no matter how emotional I got he treated me like I was perfect ( he often jokingly called me the ” vessel “). The last 4 years as resentment built up over things he didn’t do for us or things I couldn’t discuss, it got worse and worse. Gas lighting, crazy making behavior, provoking me into frustrated anger and calling me the abuser (I often wondered if that was true). One day he said something and I realized that it was twisted and I started to really pay attention. When I finally realized the evil he was doing l ended it. But we have this little guy. And we try to do right by him. But I am in that stage…the one you mentioned (I thought I was alone/crazy), where you become the manipulator, because…”please just realize what you’ve done to me”. I can’t stay away, and although we live apart, I run to him when I hurt-like always. I pretend things are okay-like always. Sometimes I try to discuss feelings, and regret it because I get punished-like always. Then I weasel my way back in(because now I know about narcissism and what he wants) by acting like I was wrong, being ” sexy”, or just stroking his ego. I know I don’t want that relationship back, but I can’t give up the thought that if he just understood. If he could just share feelings and vulnerability that this could work. And why wouldn’t he after 17 years of trustworthy behavior? I’m so lost…

  • Dee

    February 19th, 2015 at 5:53 AM

    Hi All,
    I’m recently divorced from my husband, who was a classic narcissist. When I knew the I could not handle anymore of the emotional abuse, he had given me the silent treatment for three months, followed by a period of shallow talk and arguments, then another three months of silence and sulking – in the space of one year! Prior to that he had done it before, but I prayed it away and believed he’d change the more I prayed, but meanwhile I was losing my mind, my self-esteem and my confidence. Soon enough I started living on antidepressants just to cope with my demanding job and raising young children!
    My challenge now is that many experts on this condition tend to recommend the no contact principle. How on earth do I do that when I have to co-parent with this person? He’s actually using these kids to continue with his silent treatment tactics outside the marriage, so I’m pretty much still subjected to the same! How would you advise someone in my shoes to move ahead and heal while dealing with the fact that I still have to negotiate visitations,planning for the children, etc.? He’s really enjoying the fact that he still controls the communication strings between us, so perhaps divorce may have not been the solution after all?

  • Mary

    February 22nd, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    I am divorced from a man that fits the same discription. I just use reverse psychology on him. Their main goal is being right about everything. Don’t ever talk to him in front of the children. Just smile and be nice. Cut all emotional ties. Don’t talk about him to your children unless he is emotionally abusing them. He most likely is. I just tell my daughter her dad loves her. He has a personality disorder. I reassure her how smart and wonderful she is daily.

  • Justine

    March 5th, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    Hi dee, that sounds so tough. I don’t have any advice, but there is a book called ‘will I ever be free of you’ by karyl mc bride that might be of help. All the best

  • Anthony

    February 21st, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    I have a question more than a comment. Do narcs use the no contact as one of their primary weapon? I’m still trying to understand how a simple I think it would be good idea if did something special for myself..since I do so much for others..

  • Anthony

    February 21st, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    Adding to my previous question/comment. I did just about anything and everything for my ex girlfriend..and her kids..bent over backwards…bit my tongue at Christmas…as she showed me the gifts she had spent hundreds of dollars on her new boss and his daughter. As she told me she had no money for a gift for me…feeling hurt..and her sensing that I was…promised me she’d make it up to me…fast forward my birthday arrives…and again same scenario..has anyone else encountered this type of treatment? The don’t call me again..the immaturity…and the quick to attack comments when you finally stand up for yourself?

  • Ag

    February 21st, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    My brother and sis did the silent treatment with me. I called to apologize to brother and he would cuss me out. My sis would never admit being wrong and would say I’m not speaking to you anymore whenever I proved her wrong. My brother hurt me so bad, but had to move on and realize he would take her side no matter what

  • cry me a river

    February 21st, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    I’ve lost my mojo for that person. It’s so not possible to respect a man who acts that way! A girl wants her man to .. be the man. Maybe he could’ve found some way to minimize the impact of acting like a little kid except my ex couldn’t fathom that; make up sex? No way. He was like a girl Everyone knows make up sex works but he’d act like. Ooo I hate u I can’t possibly be with you, .. even tho we are bf/gf and he didnt have a problem with it before he picked an argument. When we met he told me his first marriage ended because she hated him… I kept waiting to hear him say what he was doing that upset her so but it didn’t even seem to cross his mind! Every story with every girl he completely leaves his behavior out of the equation. He acts like the girl is to blame because she just spontaneously turned evil on him .. all throughout his long dating history, u’d think by now he’d have some insight into the problem. It takes two to tango .. girls who are being lied to and cheated on go crazy trying to navigate it all. It is NO way to live. Every other person in my life today, ESP if they’ve been around for more than just a passing fancy — no one else acts like he does. Immature and avoiding all personal responsibility and therefore never even trying to apologize for his part in a 50/50 venture. He must have some idea that smoothing it over when u see you’ve caused someone grief, is the decent thing to do. If he wasn’t so adept at faking it, he’d be immediately rejected from most people. or smooth it over when he sees he has upset them

  • Benjamin

    February 22nd, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    I have a different perspective on this and need some feedback. My wife of nearly ten years has told me she wants a divorce and sites the silent treatment as the primary reason. I am the one giving the silent treatment and I am doing it without even knowing it. I love my wife and children with all my heart and would never do anything purposely to hurt them, yet I have. When we first met I knew she was the one. I have always tried to protect her and give her a life without stress and arguing which is what she had to deal with constantly in her childhood. Our problem is that I have been deciding what is worth arguing or discussing and I have hurt her badly. Even though all I have ever wanted was to protect the woman that I deeply love, this forum has backed me into a serious corner. I am not a narcissistic person, I have just gone about things in the wrong way. How do I fix this…how do I save my family and marriage?

  • Crystal

    February 22nd, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    And don’t be all psycho you have to stay with me right now.
    Sometimes seperation helps people work through differences and realize what they appreciate.

    My ex literally turned looney and followed me and took off work for weeks to make me stay. I ended up committing myself to a hospital because I couldn’t take it anymore. Getting away from him to think got so impossibly ugly that I rushed into the divorce and had he simply backed off I am nearly positive I would have wanted to reconcile.

    Back off and ask her to write down the issues she’d like you to adress and take it to a therapist. Maybe you can get her to agree to a trial seperation if she sees she is being heard and respected. Silence is not the answer to dealing with anything that needs addressed to save a relationship. When you don’t speak for prolonged periods of time or communicate and work out problems what you appear to be saying is ” you aren’t important enough for me to adress , this issue that is important to you isn’t even worth my voice or ears”
    Nothing ever gets solved by ignoring it. It just lingers and builds up and eventually it will explode.

  • M. Hotchkiss

    February 24th, 2015 at 2:10 AM

    This reads like…me. LOL. It is my way or the highway. Okay!

  • The Ghost of Christmas Past

    February 24th, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    I can’t believe anyone bothered responding to #Benjamin. What does he do with your pleas for discussion and communication? Nothing. He stops answering you for weeks. The fact he is lobbying hard for the weakest link says it all.

    People go to the hospital to avoid dying from their injuries and you’re going to go against the MD / Doctors / Experts advice and jump right back into the situation that landed you there. Why bother to even leave the hospital nothing is going to change. Against all advice you might as well stand on the traintracks in an argument so heated with the narc. that you fail to notice the train barreling your way and just as you start to move in front of him to shield him from any impact, he grabs you and swings himself to safety leaving you directly in line with the locomotive. Your body cut in thirds, lying on the tracks, you finally realize you should have stepped off that train wreck in the many chances you have had.
    What’s to freak out living together he’s probably about to leave on some business trip where he has a different girl lined up in each city already. Soo excited! So deeply in love !! Try to go with him on a trip see what happens cause all I see you doing is taking the onramp on to the highway of an unhappy life. Guaranteed.

    HERE IS THE LIST FROM the very next page on this forum. It pointedly spells out what your killa narcissist needs to do and work on:

    •Catch yourself having self-important thoughts that make you the center of the universe; believing that everything revolves around you and your needs.
    •See people for who they really are—not what you want them to be, what they can do for you, or how they can further your agenda.
    •Be attuned to what other people are contributing in conversations and stay with it; let it be about them while they are talking.
    •Recognize that we all have valid perspectives and though you may not agree, you are not necessarily better or correct.
    •Take responsibility for hurting others or for being wrong—it doesn’t make you a “bad” person to be imperfect.
    •Catch yourself hogging the conversation, and invite others to have a turn.
    •Pay attention to reciprocity in your relationships; make sure you offer help and favors as much as you accept them, and that you are listening as much as you are talking.

    •Think that your needs, wants, beliefs, and perspectives are more important than those of others.
    •Consistently turn conversations back to you or make comments about how the subject relates to you.
    •Befriend people for what they can do for you or for how they can add value to your life; other people do not exist to meet your needs.
    •Assume that your suffering is more painful than the suffering of others, or that your situation requires greater attention and urgency than that of others.
    •Devalue other people’s input, contributions, or worth because they don’t hold the same status as (or higher status than) you.
    •Dismiss other people’s points of view by refusing to acknowledge your own wrongdoings, or to apologize when it’s necessary to do so.
    •Misrepresent yourself by creating a false persona that is not congruent with who you really are.

    Increasing awareness of your inner world and the effect your behavior has on others is an important means for achieving personal growth. Work on these things and the next time someone accuses you of narcissism, you may not even flinch, confident in the knowledge that you do not fit the profile.

    Take care little sister!

  • Crystal

    February 24th, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Having a tough time piecing together who is being addressed where in the comments and replies @ghost

  • The Ghost of Christmas Past

    February 25th, 2015 at 11:00 AM

    It’s all for you @Crystal. Except the do’s and don’ts are for your Narcissist that you suggested go to therapy. If you read it in a web browser it is easier. The phone jumbles it all together.

  • Frankie

    February 26th, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    This forum is so helpful. I find myself on here late at night when I start considering contacting my ex girlfriend in the hope we can form a friendship. I have to remind myself that that it is probably never going to happen. She would probably use silent treatment on me even as a friend. Bizarrely I feel kind of bad because I confronted her before when she was ignoring me and I let her know that I was annoyed about it and becoming unhappy in the relationship. I am beating myself up for maybe being a bit harsh, though I did feel provoked. That led to even more silent treatment. I wish I hadn’t said that one thing to her. She used it against me and probably would have twisted whatever I said, but every day I question if I was too harsh and if I hadn’t said that would we be in contact? I still think of her, she could be such great company! But underneath the charm she clearly has another side. I do find it hard to stop thinking about contacting her but when I come om here and read all the posts I remember the reality of how unreasonable she was and twisting everything etc etc and I get through another day of sticking to no contact

  • Anthony

    March 1st, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Frankie….is being with someone who uses childish games for you to submit to her really worth all that pain? I was in a similar relationship recently…I have everything…and received nothing in the hopes she’d come around or change…she never did..nor will she. That is part of their’s ingrained in them…for her to “change”..takes lots of therapy..and she would need to see the error of her ways.

  • Gordon

    March 2nd, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    I have been married to my wife for 42 years. I have endured the silent treatment for the past 8 years. It is my wife’s punishment for me for throwing away items she was hoarding. I am still very sorry I did. There are also other information control games she plays with information from our children. I love her and believe til death do us part which is why I stay. But, it certainly feels like emotional abuse every day in my home and my emotional health is starting to wear down. Guess it is time to accept living this way or move out and on towards healing?

  • Frankie

    March 3rd, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Thanks for your post Anthony. You are right, they will never change because they can’t see or accept that they are so dysfunctional. In fact what amazes me is how they can be quite vicious and hurtful yet claim that we have hurt them and that we need to change. I am honestly pretty good at recognizing if I’ve said something I shouldn’t etc and apologizing but she just kept saying that I needed to “think about my behavior” and figure out why I was being given silent treatment. She said a few times when I was baffled “you should know what you’ve done”. No, I am better off out of it! Gordon my friend I do not know how to advise you as you have been married so long, but no-one deserves that sort of abuse. I hope you find some way forward.

  • Gordon

    March 3rd, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    Thanks for the feedback. Means much to me. Your comments fit my situation and ring true. I can see it is time to love from afar.

  • Janette

    March 3rd, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    I am so glad I came across this page. I ended a relatioship like this because of a number of things but when I have tried to resolve any conflict or try communicate my side of the story I have been hit with silence upon silence upon silence. I have literally felt that I was going mad and that everything was my fault as I have been feel this way. Reading this has helped restore my sanity…thank you so much

  • Can't believe this

    March 3rd, 2015 at 8:04 PM

    The Facebook group ” stop the narcissist now” is really good. At first, I was shocked by the pictures with every “but then I realized how necessary they are to understand how wrong and abnormal this behavior is and how you need to run away from this behavior. If it wasn’t for the pictures I don’t think it would have resonated as much they are evil evil pictures that I would not seek out on my own to view.
    It’s so hard to understand when you have been in such an abnormal relationship for such a long time that it is not normal.
    When somebody deliberately withholds affection, attention and love that is manipulation, lying and evil.

    It is not normal. It is not normal. Run run run and don’t look back….. Go towards loving, honest, respectable, fruitful relationships that do exist….

  • tina

    March 4th, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    I am or was in a relationship with a entertainer. He needs raise at all times. I have never seen somone so in love with themselves but at the same time have such low self esteem. He gives me the silent treatment! He hung up on me after yelling at me for such a silly matter. This is not the first time. He goes days without any communication. It used to hurt so bad I would call and text. I now do nothing. I have given this relationship everything I have and I know I was amazing in every sence of the word to him.I know I need to leave and it is going to be hard because i do love him but i dont have low self esteem and I know what my worth is. I have spent the last year wondering and worrying constantly. It time to walk. Wish me luck!

  • tina

    March 4th, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    he says that he wears the pants and I am to do as told. He tells me he loves me, he buys me gifts and he takes care of me but none of it matters. As soon as I say something he might not like he shuts me out. I am a suoer kind person and I dont say anything for him to get angry about. I am usually so confused why he is yelling and shutting me out. The last reason is because I went for a walk and it started to get dark before I got back. He hasnt spoken since. He hung up on me. I am so done talking to you he said and he kept saying it before he abruptly hung up.It feels so awful

  • Tessa

    March 5th, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    OMG!! This explains a lot about a certain person I used to know. I can’t believe how right on this description is!! It makes me shiver with fear thinking of the evil actions that took place. I felt so worthless, like garbage to be thrown out and the ultimate feeling that I don’t exist at all!!I am so blessed that I am FREE from that abuse!! And that I have been able to slowly recover from this abuse. I am telling you this on Social Media, because I am a strong, some what intelligent person and I deeply Love, yet another sick person was able to almost destroy me and nearly kill me with emotional abuse! I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, if by speaking I can help someone else keep safe then I am using this horrific crime to make this World a little better!!🙏😇

    Give Love it’s a much better way to Live!!❤️

  • Charlotte

    March 5th, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I spent 6 months involved with a man who displayed such behavior and it was incredibly hard to walk away. The hardest part about being involved with a narrcistic person is that in my experience initially they literally drown you with affection and attention and you hold onto that even when the dark emotionally abusive side of them starts to show through. The man I was involved with would flood me with emotionally charged declarations of love, tell me things he planned to do for me, with me and then acted as if he had never said them. Weeks would go by and I would hear nothing after arranging to see me or remaining totally silent after I’d sent text messages or little thoughtful things that I thought he would appreciate. The silence was appalling and I found myself questioning every last word, act or even how I looked the last time I saw him, trying to fathom what I’d done wrong or provoked the silence from him. It made me question my sanity my worth became based on how he responded and treated me and I completely lost all sense of self. Thankfully I have managed to let go even though it’s painful because u do hold onto the good parts but then u question whether they ever really meant as much to that person as they did to you. Investing emotionally in a narrcisstic person is futile for the one on the receiving end of their erratic unpredictable sadistic behavior and I’m glad for these articles and hearing others experiences as it helps to remind me I made the right descision for my emotional health and well being to walk away.

  • secoué

    March 5th, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    O how I feel played.. I’m still a bit shocked. Have been in a relationship that he started very soon to tell me he love me, call me his girl/”spouse”, even called himself my husband, wanted me to move into his house, and presented me for all his friends etc. Everything seemed to genuine and I actually started to consider moving in with him (I live in the other side of the country). Then when I came home after a very nice weekend, he just suddenly out of the blue(!) didnt answer my phonecalls, or my sms, or my e-mails. I was really stressed out and believed he was angry or that some stupid misunderstanding had happened. After some frustrating days he suddenly sent me a very unpersonal text-message about “needed some time to think”. A bit shocked I replied “take your time”.. Still hoping to get a sort of explanation. The last week has been totally silent. I sent him an message yesterday and asked if he still had planned to come this weekend as we had agreed on prior to this silent treatment. No answer.. This morning I decided that this is it. I dont deserve to be treated like this so I just sent him a text-message “I give up. I still dont have a clue why you treat me like this, hope you find what you are looking for and wishing you all the best”. No reply, but a few hous later he removed me from his friendslist on Facebook (we are not teenagers, as it might seems like it. We are above 50..!). I been around for a while.. But still this is the wierdest, strangest kind of ending to a relationship i EVER have been trough. Isnt it a common curtesy to at least say goodbye? Where did the kind, caring and warm person I thought I knew go? I realice I have to give my self a closure on this. I’m usually good in communication with people, never been in this situation before. IF this is about a narsissit, can the fact that he wanted to play chess with me the last weekend, and the fact that I won – be the thing? (he told me he was quite good in chess when we played, but I’ve erlier won several chess-games with some of the best in our country – he didnt know..). We has never had any arguments. We were fine!.. The silly chessgame is all I can really think of

  • Anthony

    March 6th, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Your story touched me…my ex girlfriend always said that she as a girl he dad would play “head games” with her and that she became very adept to playing them herself. I should have ran to hills when I heard that..but no it wasn’t the chess game itself..but it is a game for them. I was in a relationship for years with a narcissist and they can destroy all yourself worth. They’re extremely good at glad it’s done.

  • Linda

    March 5th, 2015 at 11:45 PM

    This is so my ex husband! Unbelievable!

  • tina

    March 6th, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    I finally walked away just last night. I sent him a long text on what the silent treatment does to a person. I dont deserve this I went above and beyond in that relationship. The thing is I am quite certain he will call again. I have to be strong as this is the 4th time he has done this to me. He says he loves me and I am his everything. Really? I am officially done. I hope I can remain strong. I start to hear songs or think of good times and I start feeling sad.. then I remember the silent treatment. hurts so bad to be ignored. We are not children..we are both 50! The worst part is right before this last bit of silent treatment I loaned him 1000.00! i will take it as a loss and just let my heart heal.

  • Anthony

    March 6th, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Tina be glad it was only money…the torture that narcs can inflict is way worse..the lies..the cheating…the endless days and some cases weeks of silence and no contact.

  • Fiona

    March 15th, 2015 at 2:26 PM

    Tina, I have been through the exact same thing. The only difference being that I lent him £15,000.. I found out he was seeing someone else.. Which is why it has now ended… But the worst thing is that he turned it around and blamed me and is now ignoring me so I’ve not been able to get closure! I am just trying to convince myself that I’ve been saved and trying to move on.. It’s hard:(

  • Lisa

    March 7th, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    Trying to figure out narcissists is so emotionally exhausting. I’ve been dealing with one for the past 8 months and still haven’t mastered how to
    Not care. Going thru a silent treatment right now….beyond painful!

  • secoué

    March 9th, 2015 at 4:05 AM

    My “suvival attitude” since the silence treatment started exactly 2 weeks from now has been to continue “business as usual” when it comes to social activity’s with friends and family (even if I’m torn up inside), and I started to meditate and do yoga again – just to manage to clear my head and reduce my inner stresslevel. I’m not expecting to hear from him again. It seems like this is a “break-up silent treatment”. Either way, I’m totally done now. I dont need this shit and drama in my life. Hate it when people play games with others feelings. Discovered today that he is “snooping” in social media on me – using fake profiles. That fact alone just creeps me out and makes me glad I has manage to tell him that this silent treatment of his suprises me and that i dont deserve this from him. Thank you for this forum, it helps me in the process of understand what was going on and how to deal with this and take care of my self in a healthy way

  • Andrea

    March 9th, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    I am living with a man who has now started the silent treatment. I got out of a violent relationship only 5 months ago. I am so confused. I feel stupid and worthless.

  • sharon

    March 11th, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    I van relate. I also just got out of an abusive relationship and has gotten myself involved with someone that’s controlling and has been using the silent treatment for three weeks now. He will only respond if I get really angry and threaten to walk away then he will go right back to the silent treatment. Totally confused and hurt…

  • wade w.

    March 9th, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    I exposed my abusers lies to her coworkers and friends.. As punishment for bringing her lies and abuse to light I am on week three of the silent treatment.. I ve been with my abuser for 14 years.. I took care of her after our divorce when she was diagnosed with cancer despite her lies abuse and cheating..I thought it would change her but it didnt.. Ive become numb to her verbal emotional and psychological abuse.. What keeps me going are my children and the hope that one day I will be free .

  • Merve

    March 10th, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    I’m going through the same thing right now. Except we don’t have kids and it’s been 8 years. His whole family are abusers. He is completely same when he is away from his family. But after every interaction with them, his second personality comes out. If e doesn’t see them 6 months, we’re done for 6 months. One “hello” from them
    and the beast comes out.
    He also has abandonment issues since his mom left when he was a kid. Right now he’s giving me the silent treatment.

  • tina

    March 13th, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    Is this a narcissist? I just got out of a relationship.He abruptly hung up and I havent talked since. I am not sure who left the relationship him or me. This man is an entertainer and has been since he was a young man. He is now 50. He get lots of praise and standing ovations. He needed constant praise all the time. Even if he bought me something I had to act and talk about it for hours, if I didnt he would get upset and act like I didnt like it.He spent hours on grooming himself and constantly needed praise for what he wore how he looked and what he did. I couldnt keep up.He borrowed money from me constantly and I would gladly give it until I couldnt pay my bills. He wanted me to look perfect when i was with him. This was a long distance relationship. He would get mad (for nothing) like he had to find reasons to yell and then hang up then not talk for days. When he finally called it was clearly my fault for whatever it was. I would always let it go.This last time he hung up i had enough. I havent talked to him sense but yet he hasnt tried to talk to me.Its only been a week and a half.I still think about him alot and i am hoping that when he calls I can be strong enough to not answer. The silent treatment is so demeaning.

  • Ondy

    March 13th, 2015 at 11:36 PM

    My dad used to play this trick on me when I was a boy.
    Six weeks was the longest – not a word spoken (by either of us to one another while living in the same house) Didn’t really work on me. I used to hold up a ‘mirror’ to him when he did and that really pissed him off no end which made me feel a bit better, Not very productive all the same. It was only on his death bed (at home) that he told me he loved me so all’s well that ends well. I think he resented me because my mother gassed herself when I was aged just nine months. That was 57 years ago when I don’t suppose they knew much about post natal depression. The Old Man passed 20 years ago and strangely, I miss him :)

  • tina

    March 16th, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    I just received a call from him the other day after two weeks of no talking. I did not answer and the voice mail blamed me. I sent a text saying I had enough. He apologized and said he was wrong and he loves me. I never replied back. I love him and always will but I have found strength. I know he is hurting but these are his actions that created this!

  • josh

    March 17th, 2015 at 12:37 AM

    I’ve been in a relationship on an off for 3 years now with this girl. I can’t believe I didn’t see it. She’s a classic narcissist. I’m a very caring empathetic person and she lured me into her crazy life. She gives off the sweet small pretty perfect girl to the outside viewer but the silent treatment and her lack of caring really do show the true side of her. First I thought her weird moments where she “wants to be alone” for days or weeks at a time, were due to her trauma in her life. From her abortion to the sexual abuse by her father. Sure these traumatic events of her life could be contributing to her behavior, but still. I have been nothing but nice and helpful to her.

    I realize it’s all part of her game. I heard about her exes and saw how all those guys keep coming back and some stay gone for good. But when I ask about her past relationships she always has some story “he is with his new gf” but now I know she did the silent treatment on them. She told me stories about them showing up at her house to talk. Well now that shes blocked me on facebook, ignored my texts, calls, now I know I understand why her exes always showed up at her house. This is no random events, this is the result of a narcissist. They notice the good in you. As a relationship it’s very stressful learning that this isn’t just another one of her “leave me alone” moments but its actually called something – silent treatment. Abuse. It destroys me. I love this girl, my family loves her, we talk every day for 3 years now (except during silent treatment episodes) and have been super close not just dating but best friends too. It’s been a few days of silent treatment and I’ve had enough. I can’t handle it anymore. I’m not going to let my strength empathy, or compassion, become my weakness. Hopefully I can find someone who will appreciate that. But until then I’m going to try and remove myself because I’ve spent 3 years, it’s nearly impossible to change a narcissist, someone who acts like a 5 year old when they don’t get their way.

  • Lisa

    March 19th, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    I know exactly what u are talking about. My ex does same thing one week I think he wants to get back together the next he’s giving me silent treatment. I’m at fault for everything….I can’t ever do anything right. Constantly tells me I like to argue when I stand up for myself. I’m in the middle of another silent treatment and weirdest things Is he used to put restrictions on me via fb so back in jan I unfriended him and yesterday I noticed he now blocked me. Not like we can see anything anyway BuT I find these passive aggressive ways so very hurtful. I hope you find the courage to go No Contact w ur narc. I’m going to do same but I know it will be hard

  • Northern_Guy

    March 18th, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Interesting. I was the “covert/compensatory narcissist” in the marriage, but she used the silent treatment like gangbusters. In fact, she often framed things as if I was the one who was totally emotionally unavailable, but I remember many many times when I felt the distance becoming too great, and tried to use gentle physical touch, or foot rubs, or closeness to get through. It seemed like she would only want to be intimate when she was around her cycle (what some call “ovulation sex”). My own mother was never diagnosed – I thought anxiety and major loss (childhood and early adulthood loss) were her issues but I now think she is borderline or even narcissistic with the anxiety and OCD and major control issues falling out of that. Sadly, despite efforts NOT to be like my parents, I am very anxious and have low self esteem and very little faith in myself, so I (a) project this image of myself that I think people will find likable – classic narcissism and (b) need to control every minute part of my life. I loathe uncertainty and mock spontaneity. I don’t travel, or vacation, or go to parties and I don’t see the very few friends I have regularly at all. In a way, I have become my parents – my mother especially. It’s good that I am fully aware of this now, and don’t enter into relationships which are doomed to failure. I have many great ‘surface traits’ that I use to compensate for my severe need for control and to get validation from others.

    As difficult as a relationship with me would be, it also causes ME a lot of stress and strain. I pick partners who are “damaged goods” in some ways, because I perceive they will be less able to control me, or perhaps I make a covert deal that due to some sort of imbalance they *owe it to me* not to control me. I help them (fix them, help them with an unmanageable situation) then I expect them to help me, by allowing me to live in a bubble and expecting them to keep me company there.

    It’s really really messed up. What’s worst of all is when I actually DO help the other person get over their obstacle(s) (or they do it on their own) they realize, once the difficulty of their situation is gone, than to live in that bubble with me is suffocating, the same way I felt when I was living at home with my parents.

    I was caught in this horrific catch 22: I was desperately dependent on my parents (by their design), yet I was intensely resentful about the control and manipulation. It was like an addiction: the thing I needed (them) was the thing I loathed (them).

    Attachment theory is right. My attachment was insecure and volatile – my mother dolled out love and praise in a very conditional manner. If you caused her any anxiety (and god knows it didn’t take much) you were punished – and not in an obvious way. You were subverted and guilt tripped and were chastised by the martyr mommy who “did everything for you” and you “didn’t appreciate it” (read: didn’t sit quietly in a chair and be inanimate so you didn’t trigger mothers hypersensitive nervous system).

    Basically, her children would be full of self doubt, wired for stress, shamefully dependent yet often grandiose and entitled at the same time. Addiction, lack of planning, lack of direction, pleasure seeking, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, OCD…

    Horror is sometimes extreme stories of physical or sexual abuse, or just ice-cold neglect. But sometimes when you have a very mentally unwell parent, horror is the day you wake up and realize you are not only them, you now have children of your own.

    The idea of “infecting” my own children with this is the saddest thing I can think of.

    Yeah, I got control issues…

  • Janet

    March 18th, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    Thanks to all who have bravely exposed their private lives in order to help someone. I am adding my story as well. I am an over 50 year old woman who moved in with a gentleman in his mid fifties. Initially our relationship was wonderful, but I began noticing that if I disagreed with something that was said, I was told I was challenging him and trying to start a fight! He would then give me the silent treatment saying that I was causing him stress and that I like every other female he’s been involved with turn out this way – that he’s always been the one mistreated by “females” – a favorite saying of his is that females don’t not how to treat a man well. Only women do!

    Each time, I tried hard to quell my feelings when he ranted about something, but eventually my sense of fair play would step in and I’d try to present the other perspective and bam! we were back in an argument and I would be given the silent treatment. Usually within 3-5 days he would hug me and things seemed to be ok again. Last night he tried to show me something on Youtube “a conspiracy theory” type of subject and I just said, I didn’t have the same opinion and it sparked another incident. He said I had to show “masculine” energy by challenging him and that women like me, who are managers (he isn’t a manager) feels it necessary to exhibit this behavior. So this morning he isn’t talking to me. And he expressly said not to try to engage him in conversation about anything.

    I have realized that this man has an inferiority complex and feels the need to display his “power” over me in order to feel better about himself – I have decided it’s time to move on. Being alone may not be enjoyable, but having inner peace certainly is!

  • tina

    March 19th, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Janet,your right about inner peace. I didnt realize until i walked away how much confusion and stress he was causing me. I loved him so much and still do. Somedays I cant picture my life with out him..but sadly I have to. He will never change. I dont think he meant to hurt me, and now hes the one who is feeling sad and abandoned but I had to find the strength to go. Good luck!

  • The Team

    March 19th, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Tina. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here.

    We have more information about domestic violence here
    and additional information about what to do in a crisis here.

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Bellami

    March 19th, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    i was unfortunately the victim of narsasistic abuse not only as a child by my parents but as an adult in a 7 year relationship.Injust recently discovered what nod is & realized I had Ben traumatized as a child from this abuse & had subconsciously entered a relationship with someone who had the same disorder.This individual presented themself to be a wonderful, caring,thoughtful, trustworthy, partner….only to show there true self in the years to follow of selfish,emotionally & physically abusive,arrogant,manipulative,& vindictive.This person went above & beyond to gain my trust & love only to destroy it as well as my self worth as soon as they obtained the power too.I advise anyone who thinks or has any feeling they may be dealing with a narraacist to get away from them as soon as possible.if you research npd & victims of npd abuse you will see the long term damaging affects it can cause as well as realize that npd personality disorder cannot be treated they are incapable of love & therefore will only drain you of yours as well as your self worth.

  • Lisa

    March 19th, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    I’m hurting very bad. My ex started talking about getting back together last week to not trying to see me texting about how eveything is my fault. Now back to silent treatment and he blocked me on fb which we weren’t even friends on Bc I unfriended him back in jan. What was the point of that? I’m seeking support and hoping to hear stories of people who have successfully left narcs behind

  • Raelene

    March 20th, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Thanks for the helpful comments. I am learning more about narcissistic behavior. I am currently having trouble dealing with this from a person I’m interested in. He seems very caring and respectful to me. However, when I was having phone troubles with text messages being sent to him in bunches, he accused me of being overly emotional & that I was stressing him. He then have me the silent treatment for 2 weeks. It hurt so much, I even blamed myself for what happened. We eventually started talking again after I stroked his ego a bit by telling him “to be the kind person he is to at least talk to me”. I don’t understand him at times. He can be so loving by saying he misses me & thinks of me & says he’s mine, but can’t figure out why he acts this way.

  • Onamonapia

    March 21st, 2015 at 12:39 AM

    What do you want from me, my narcissist? Yes I have love for you. Yes I left you. I have been trying to for some time. Every move you make, action you take, breath you make is written about word for word in any ‘characteristics of a narc” handbook. Your current smear tactic is anticipatorily written about. You want things to stay the same but my feelings for you have changed. I no longer want to have anything to do with you. By your posts here u make it seem u want the same. On this fine website meant for victims of abuse which you have chosen to use as a public tool (again textbook narc) to manipulate others but after I dumped your ass you started saying you don’t want me anymore (textbook Narx try to leave u when they realize they are being abandoned). I changed up everything like u wanted it made no difference.

    I don’t care if you live or die; but leave me out of it. Do you understand the words leave me alone? Go away. Shoo.
    Sorry you suck but you’re not my nightmare anymore.

    You are the all powerful 50 yr old Oz and good for you. I am most satisfied in life that I am me, and not you.

    All your high profile moves make u look bad. I’ll be fine. You’re lying anyway and any decent person can figure it out. Or not, I’m cool either way you know why? I can reaffirm myself. Something you will never accomplish in this lifetime or the next, and one after that etc. Because you are a bastard.

    There but for the Grace of God go I.

  • Terri

    March 23rd, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    After reading this site it’s like a lightbulb went off in my head. Maybe this is what’s wrong with my so. almost seven years ago we were best friends. Inseparable. We couldn’t go a day without seeing each other. She told me she had fallen in love with me. I was hesitant but said lets give it a shot. The first year was remarkable when she wasn’t crying that I had family obligations and other friends. So in order to keep the peace I distanced myself from everyone. When we were good it was intense and I saw love in her eyes. But she was possessive and moody with me a lot. I always soothed her. She told me I’m the only one who ever treated her so good. About 3 years ago her grandmother passed away who basically raised her. Her mother is nasty and her father left when she was a baby. I was there doing everything to make life easier for her but she kept putting me down. Nothing I did or say was good enough. She mentally wore me down over and over. Thinking she was depressed I kept trying. For the last 6 months I refuse to be treated like a nobody. Told her to get help. She said I’m the crazy one. Yet I see her with other people and she’s the nicest woman. She has no other family just two sons. Has avoided me as much as possible cause she’s tired of being a disappointment to me. Yet when we do see each other she criticizes me. I miss her boys. They miss me too. I don’t know if this is a grieving phase or more to it. I’ve been depressed just trying too hard. Can’t understand what went wrong

  • Carol

    March 24th, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    I could have written this, if I had the words, I could have written this. This is what my life was about for a while until I decided:No more! I’ve had enough and I deserve better.

    I was wearing myself out running around in circles trying to fit my picture into his narcissistic frame. I tried to rationalise his silent treatment, telling myself he needed space and time to “think things through” or “work out his feelings” even when I had absolutely no clue what had brought on the silence.
    It got worse over time… and it hurt more and even though I tried to communicate this to him, he didn’t care! That is what got me wondering – that he didn’t care. What normal person does not care about the pain they cause others? What normal person seems to actually derive some perverse pleasure from knowing that their actions are causing another person pain? And for no discernible reason, too! Half the time, I didn’t even know what I had “done” to put him in this mood.

    I realise now that it was never about me… It was always about him and the emptiness he feels inside him. The lack of feelings,of a genuine sense of reality, of self assurance… If I wasn’t dealing with my own trauma after my experience with him, I would almost feel sorry for him… But I don’t. The only thing I feel is an accute sense of relief that I got away when I did, that I found out who and what he was before I lost myself, and that now he’s no longer my problem.
    I could throw a party!!

  • MP

    April 6th, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    This is me Carol. It is all about them. I dont think my partner cares. How can someone love you and treat you this way. Now ive confronted him and decided not to live with it anymore he says we are different and our relationship has failed because of our differences. He convinces himself that he couldnt live with our relatonship now that ive made the break. He is unable to see fault within himself and chooses to blame the situation. Why cant they take resoonsibility for their actions? Do they believe their behaviour is normal? I just dont get it. Im made to feel like im crazy and the one always in the wrong.

  • Carol

    April 7th, 2015 at 3:43 AM

    I know about the crazy-making, MP. I remember the first time I tried to leave because of a female “friend” who was flirting with him and making inappropriate posts on his FB. I drew boundaries on that and demanded he put a stop to it because he wasn’t single anymore and he had a responsibility to respect me and our relationship. I told him clearly that I felt uncomfortable with the posts the “friend” was making on his wall and if he couldn’t put a stop to it, I would leave.

    His response? He told me he had known her before he knew me (gasp!) and he knew she had a crush on him but he “wanted to let her down easy”. I couldn’t believe my ears! So I was just supposed to sit pretty and put up with it because he “wanted to let her down easy”? No regards about my feelings? The nerve! I told him I would leave him to his devices and have no part of it… That’s when he out rightly called me crazy. His exact words were: I have dementia and should be locked up in an asylum and the key thrown away. Why? Because “how could I trivialise our relationship and everything he had done for me, over something as minor as FB? How could I walk away from ‘the Greatest Love of our lives’ so easily? There had to be something SERIOUSLY WRONG with me!”
    This was about 4 months into the relationship and I hadn’t quite put a finger on what type of person he was (a narcissist) so he was able to confuse and beat me down with his words and manipulate me into thinking I was overreacting. He went into a rage, shouting and sobbing (yes, they can turn on the waterworks when it suits them) and before I knew it, I was making apologies and trying to calm him down! He made me feel guilty and unreasonable for having boundaries! I paid for that for the next 2 weeks through a solid wall of silence and cold treatment from him.
    I should have left him then… But better late than never. The important thing is, I eventually did leave. It’s been a little over a month now, and it’s not been easy but I’m taking it a day at a time. And I grow stronger and feel better with each passing day. Stay strong. :-)

  • MP

    April 7th, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    2 weeks seems to be the most common length of time for silent treatment from narcissists doesn’t it. It’s uncanny.

  • Mary

    April 7th, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    How about almost four months now! He has given me the “short term” ST, over our 37 years of marriage and I have stood there like an idiot and taken it! This time he stopped talking to me two days before New Year and does not show any signs of willing to start talking. We have two sons 35 and 33 and they have tried to talk to him but he tells them “he knows what he is doing” .
    My heart is in smithereens!

  • Carol

    April 8th, 2015 at 3:33 AM

    I’m sorry for your pain, Mary. After everything I’ve read on emotional abuse, I’m inclined to think that your SO does “know what he’s doing”… Don’t they all? They know the pain they cause with the silent treatment. They know how it hurts us and weakens our defences and sense of self-worth. It’s all about control and having things their way – on their own terms. How selfish. I do hope you start to feel better soon. Hang in there.

  • AER

    March 28th, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Amazing description of what I have lived with for 26 years!

    Thank you!

  • Anamika

    April 6th, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    This is my sister all over. After every fight, I have to apologize and make the first step. Every fight is a laundry list of how she has been treated badly. And the relationship consists of all action on my part and very little on her part. But nothing I do is good. For years I have been putting my love and energy into the relationship but largely it is taken for granted. She has been giving me the silent treatment for the better part of two months. Can someone be a narcissist and a victim? She is combining the role masterfully. I have never heard her take responsibility for any of her actions but she projects all the problems onto me. I am at the point of cutting her off.

  • Jolly G.

    April 7th, 2015 at 1:57 AM

    That could be written to any of us .. it’s the same problems, different hostages. The only common element is …. you guessed it.
    I want to hear what I do wrong I don’t hear it enough. I never tell him he’s wrong in assessments of me no matter how scathing because he’s not wrong. I need the help.

  • Nick

    April 7th, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    My ex in spades. We promised each other at the beginning of our relationship that we would talk through any difficulties we had, but inevitably, any discussion in which I was critical of her actions in any way, no matter how polite or assertively I framed it, was met with “well, that’s just how I am; it’s how I’ve always been and I’m not changing”. The days of silence afterwards led to me believing that the distance was just hurting our relationship and I would apologize for bringing it up and any ways in which I miscommunicated, and I would receive no such apology in return. I was always the bad guy in these things. I was already struggling with depression, but these situations just made it worse. Eventually it got bad enough that she decided to end it because I just wasn’t good enough.

  • MK

    April 8th, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    I have been in a long distance relationship for 17 years now…and while the first few years were great, in the last few years I get a sense of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I go crazy thinking about ‘what did I do wrong” then I try to manipulate my sentences so that I might get a reaction….I have tried loving mails / loving texts / indifferent mails / indifferent text…..the works. Sometimes a small argument will trigger something, sometimes nothing at all. We recently went on a wonderful trip, had a blast. But once we came back he was distant, and monosyllabic, post which I freeze….and don’t know how to respond in a normal and natural way…..and start to behave like a moron. The last time this happened….we actually had a fight, and he went silent on me for 5 frikking months!!! I wrote to him saying…goodbye,,,,,I wish you well / you were the love of my life….yada yada…..and he decides to come back.
    No apology, nothing. Just…..I now wish to talk. Like who the hell are you? God?

    Anyways, I don’t know who is the bigger moron, me or him. The crazy thing is, I am a self confident , intelligent business woman ……what is wrong with me?? Why am I doing this to myself. Help.

    Currently he is not talking for the past 10 days….though reappears on the scene sporadically….with a vague text response…I’m emotionally exhausted.

  • Janet

    April 8th, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    I wrote on March 19th about my narcissistic man and after he said not to engage him in any conversation (or dialog with him as he likes to say.) I decided to change my response. I decided to use the time to think about my life and where it has ended up. I started listening to soothing music and began reading a book called “Successful Women Think Differently” by Valorie Burton. I realize now that I have more control in my life than I thought.

    Well, now he’s approaching me asking if I’m ok, if I’m unhappy, would I like to talk and he has been trying to start conversation with me…. I finally got it – I was playing into his hands, giving him ultimate power over me by pleading with him to talk to me and work things out – he wasn’t interested in that – he just wants control over the situation and every time I responded the way he wanted, he felt powerful.
    By changing my response to him and my behavior, it has left him feeling uncertain. First, I had to take ownership of my own contribution to our unhealthy relationship. I am a person who respects others, treats them with courtesy and I don’t get enjoyment in oppressing others. I deserve to be treated with the same level of courtesy and respect, but if the other person doesn’t reciprocate – it’s up to me to either take it or move on. He is only treating me the way I allowed him to treat me.

    He doesn’t have the control unless I give it to him. I can only change myself and that has been such an empowering feeling for me. I am reconnecting with myself, learning to like myself. I’m working out again at a gym – my way! (I got so discouraged when he told me I wasn’t doing enough during my workouts – I wasn’t going at it hardcore like he does everything, so I didn’t care about myself – or about looking good for him.) Now I’m happy with my progress; that’s what is important – I can see the difference in my overall stamina and seeing some toning happening!

    The one real change is that I don’t have to live in this state of unhappiness – I can choose the path to happiness which is life without him. That has been my form of therapy.

    I hope each and every person here finds their sense of inner peace – remember – you deserve happiness.

  • Carol

    April 9th, 2015 at 6:21 PM


    I can relate. Lol. I remember the 2nd to last fight I had with my N, just after valentines (he blew me off because his ex showed up unannounced with their child in tow. Didn’t even bother calling to explain and excuse himself) Anyhow I found out about it and confronted him. Of course it was turned around to “I didn’t tell you because I knew you’d be upset” and “It’s quite clear you don’t trust me.”

    Basically, it somehow become about me and my “insecurities” and “lack of trust” and before I knew it, I was on the defensive! (Oh, wiles of these people!) Long story short, after telling me some VERY hurtful things that had little to do with the situation at hand, he punctuated the entire incident with the silent treatment.

    I let him stew in his self righteousness for a few days (by then I was too emotionally exhausted to care) then I send him a message saying if I didn’t hear from him by the end of the day, I’d consider the relationship over and pack up his stuff from my house and have it delivered to him. I had never done anything like that before so it must have really rattled him because just like that, he broke the silence and responded!

    It would have been funny if I wasn’t hurting so bad. And the thing is, just because he responded doesn’t mean he had seen the error of his ways. Barely three weeks later, he was back at the silent treatment and stonewalling again. I had to break the cycle. I left him. Hardest thing I ever did, but it just had to be done before I lost my mind and sense of self.

    Ps:I think the worst thing I did was to let him know early on in the relationship just how much the silence hurt me. It’s like I handed him a loaded gun and told him to take shots at me which he did with pleasure over and over again. The trick, I think, is not to let them see how much their silent treatment affects you. That way, it takes away the perverse joy they get when they know you’re suffering.

  • Mk

    April 9th, 2015 at 2:31 AM


    It is so funny that you say what you do. After reading everyones experiences and basically coming to this page….I had an Aaha moment….and everything fell into place. Suddenly I felt empowered. So yesterday at night….I sent him a hi text, in the hope of a response. He gv a brief hi as a response….when I said where hv you been? there was no reply. I took the courage…..and wrote again….Have fun…you seem to be enjoying this…
    Oh my God this morning he was a different person. I got 10 texts….all needing me to have a particular reaction – i am not enjoying anything / I am unwell / I am feeling lousy….my response to everything was …oh ok. I am feeling like a million bucks. No begging / pleading / requesting / rephrasing…..nothing. I stopped feeding into his garbage. Lets see where this goes. Stay tuned! Also women need to read a wonderful book called “Women who love too much” by Robin Norwood.

  • Mary

    April 9th, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    Dear Carol, thank you so much for your words! Perhaps you can’t imagine but you wishing me to feel better it means a lot to me. To all of you, thanks for this blog, it is reassuring and great support. Actually it is therapy to me! I’ll keep in touch.

    By the way, still not communicating. I am not going to be the first to try to communicate this time! I am not! Promise!

  • Carol

    April 9th, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    Dear Mary,

    That’s the spirit! Do not give him the satisfaction of “winning” by trying to break through the silence HE has imposed. I know it’s hard, I struggle with it daily and I’m the one who a left. I guess some weak part of me still hopes he’ll come after me, *sigh*. But every time I start to feel weak and sappy over “missing” him, and find myself inventing reasons to contact him (the mind can be so treacherous sometimes), I switch off my phone/device and distance myself from it by finding another activity and forcing myself to concentrate on it. The struggle is SO real, but what’s the alternative? More rejection and more hurt, and we don’t deserve that!
    Stay strong in your resolve not to contact him and just take this time to love on yourself… That’s what I’m doing, and I find that with each passing day, even on those days I “miss” him most, his hold on me gets weaker and the light at the end of the tunnel looks closer and brighter.
    Hope springs eternal.
    Hugs :-)

  • Janet

    April 9th, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Good for you MK!!

    Unfortunately, we are stuck living together until he saves up money to leave. He used to threaten to pack up his stuff and leave all the time and there I was (I look back on those incidents with chagrin) urging him to talk this through, to work things out like an adult; fearful I was blowing the opportunity to be with a good guy but now I understand the threat was to keep me in line.

    When he last said it this last time – I agreed with him and said I think it would be better for us to split up. Well, the back-pedaling that occurred is amazing! Now he’s saying he wants us to stay together but I need to change in order for that to happen….

    I’m changing alright – but not into what he wants, hence the reason he broke the silent treatment after only a few days (LOL!)

    I told him I wouldn’t throw him out; I own the place and he pays 1/2 the mortgage payment. I said he can reduce what he’s paying to me to save up enough to be able to find another place.

    Like you, MK, I am confident in my work, as a manager. I hold other positions of leadership, yet I allowed this man to make me feel incompetent, insecure and completely at fault for our relationship. I’m a few years younger and I make double what this man makes, yet he scolds me saying I’m not working to my full potential. (Yup – he’s quite a piece of work). I’m not saying that he’s not right – I could find another job making more money than I’m making now – that would also be more stressful than what I’m doing and wouldn’t allow me the free time to do the hobby I enjoy.

    I know he wants me to be a submissive, beaten down woman. My attempts to respond during our “dialogs” as he said, were seen by him to be argumentative, stubborn and manly. He only wanted one way dialog – he speaks, I agree (or do).

    This morning during our commute to work, he ranted on about me being too friendly to people (a saleswoman asked us last night if we needed help in a store and I told her what I was looking for – he just walked on ahead). He said we didn’t need the help – we could have found what was needed on our own.

    That “dialog” just reinforced my resolve to not let him back into my heart because he broke silence a little earlier than usual. He doesn’t have a contrite heart nor does he believe he’s in the wrong.

  • mk

    April 9th, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Its good to hear that you hv finally cracked the code Janet!

    While I recognise the narcissit behaviour…we have had some very good times and he has been very loving. I dont know how to deal with that part. That is what makesleaving him hard…despite my new found bravado….
    Any thoughts anyone wants to share?

  • SLF

    May 16th, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Just my opinion but there is a pattern here, he goes silent and you contact him…He goes silent and you contact him. In my opinion and I am no expert I think breaking this cycle might be a good thing. Just my opinion. Discover who you are alone.

  • Creme Puff

    April 10th, 2015 at 3:34 AM

    Dude is on a role playing rampage on here. There are so many mixed up cross played narratives and it doesn’t matter. If only he would listen to me, let me help him, well you know what? It doesn’t matter.
    It doesn’t matter!

    The silent treatment — he has not silent treated me for years, ever since we stopped having sex (he married someone else – a lesbian that didn’t last) I obviously do/did enough for him that he found it worthwhile not to stop communicating but he sure used the crap out of me. And you know it just doesn’t matter any longer.

    He takes my advice and uses it to his full advantage; owns a house single handedy because of me. He would never have gotten that to happen otherwise, but did I get a tour? An acknowledgement even? How about a thank you — heck no he takes credit himself for my work in this and dozens of similar scenarios. He still ‘secretly’ covets me while telling smear tales with smatterings of reality in them, hoping to bury his one and only worthwhile xg.f. turned parent.
    As his Mommy and his Daddy I have been known to lambaste him with insults and cut his character a new a hole. He takes it and deals with the conflict so he doesn’t need to silent treat anybody, he can handle conflict and discuss stuff if he feels so inclined.
    He a lazy mo fo, is what’s up and his shallow inconsequential regard for you, for me, for the dog — is based on proximity. Oh his need for you is real but the way he seamlessly can replace one of you for another or me for you is downright ghastly ghost-like.

    Let’s say something happens — you wind up dead, or leaving him (one and the same in his heart) He feels bad for like 20 minutes at the most and then that feeling is vanished until such time it gets reignited.

    I have changed the way I perceive things, as I can only control my reaction and self. I expect to get hurt, I expect if I choose to deal with him he will be a supreme jerk. And he is, like clockwork. It doesn’t phase me or disgust me anymore I simply acquired ambivalence from so much insufferable non friendly treatment from him.
    He is quite unremarkably a gargantuan a-hole.
    I really would like all of you to stick around. He needs you — esp the poor child who lives with him; wait til you really try to sever it. Whoa nelly.

    He’s stupid, I’m silly for thinking better of him then he is really ever capable of. But please don’t forget him or move on because then he’ll come after me and I’m tired of being surveilled and other b.s. when he realizes I’m really going going gone. He wants to do nothing and get all; win win win and drain you of your life force. He does this to any girl as a knee jerk reaction to life until the only one left , ever is the little punching bag that had him thrown in jail. She must enjoy feeling trauma bonded, as she says, so there is no personal responsibility on her part to be well. The way he uses her is def-com able – absolutely jaw dropping.
    If you were to hear him describe it, he ‘has to destroy’ all that touches his heart. It’s just the way he was born, he says, and he has no control of it. What a way to take responsibility for the day. Aye?

  • secoué

    April 11th, 2015 at 6:34 AM

    Have been reading all your posts and realice that I maybe “the lucky one” since I “got away”.. After the first silence treatment week i sent him a sms stating that “this is enough” and that “I dont deserve this”. Then he removed me as a friend on Facebook.. (soo mature, he is only 52). So I guess I was “dumped with silence” even after he sent me a short message that he “wanted to see me again, and we had so goodchemistry”.. yeah right..
    Im slightly brused. I had genuine feelings for him and had believed all the crap about he wanting me to move together with him.
    It is hard to heal on my own and make my own closure. I hate the fact that I never got an straight answer from him of what went wrong. But now I have concluded, its not me, its totally him, and try to get over him by having the “mantra”: This is his loss.. I’m a nice person, and he has sabotaged this by never giving me/this a fair change. Silence treatment is just mean. To all you wonderful people out there who hurts like hell right now: You deserve better! Dont fall for their evil and dysfunctional strategies! Move on, find someone with a warm hart and the ability to love. We all deserve someone better than someone who treats us like this shit. Big cyber-hug from me! <3

  • Rebecca

    April 11th, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    Andrea, you wrote this:
    “Also– I’d like to add, I have a list of resources at the end of my first 3 articles on narcissistic abuse recovery, including online support forums, literature, etc…please take a look as see what might be helpful to you…Andrea Schneider, LCSW”

    But I can’t find the list of resources you’re talking about. I’m specifically interested in finding online support forums. Would you please provide a link? Thanks

  • Susan

    April 11th, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Great article. Now everything makes sense. I’ve been engaged to a man who 2 years ago walked out on me after I broke my leg saying that I didn’t show enough appreciation for him. He broke up with me while I was in this compromised state and didn’t speak to me for 7 weeks. Not one inquiry as to how I was doing etc. I put the relationship back together. He never apologized for his behavior. I just think its cruel to walk out on someone when they can’t even take care of themselves. On march 1st of this year we had an argument and again he gave me the silent treatment for a month. This time I broke the silence again only to tell him I couldn’t live with this and I ended our relationship which

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    April 12th, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Thanks for the many responses…I can’t possibly keep up with all the comments so if you need to contact me directly, please email me through my profile here at I think the volume of responses speaks to the need for so many to have access to high quality support. Rebecca— I am including the link to my first article on narcissistic abuse recovery I wrote for over 2 years ago here and at the end of the article is a resource list (which now needs to be updated)…I would also add Christine Louis de Cannonville’s work at and Michelle Mallon, MSW’s online support forum, in addition to Kristin Walker’s blog at The link to the article is: Best wishes, and please feel free to contact me directly if you have further questions. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Meka

    April 13th, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    I have been dating my boyfriend for 9 months, and I believe he us a narcissist. He convinced me to let him move into my home, talked about marriage and kids.I started noticing that he would disappear and not tell me anything, if I complained I was too blame or he came up with a lie. I have been called names and talked down to if I stood up to him. He has packed up all his belongings and left, only to text me and I let him return. He then eventually turned back to his bad habit of disappearing. This last weekend was the worst. He disappeared Friday night after I had went out with friends, and didn’t return until the next day, no text or explanation. Saturday he had a hang over, and I wasn’t speaking to him at that point anyway. Sunday I had to work for a few hours and when I returned he was gone again, not a word from him. This morning I decided to break up with him, even though it was his birthday, I didn’t care I was fed up. He blamed me for him leaving because I didn’t celebrate his birthday, but his friend did, even though he wasn’t here all weekend, and Hus birthday wasn’t until today. He tried to make me feel guilty, but I stuck to what I said and how I felt. He told me he would be out of my house by the end of the month, another way to control the situation. Since then he is now currently giving me the silent treatment. I just needed to vent, because at times I feel as though I’m losing my mind.

  • Mary

    April 13th, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    Meka, you are so not losing your mind, you are hurting because of his behavior. Get out now, otherwise this circle of “you are to blame” and ” I am so sorry I hurt you” and on and on and on, will continue for years, if not forever. No one has enough life to waste on people that hurt you. Go change your life now and enjoy yourself! Of course you deserve better! Good luck!

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    April 13th, 2015 at 7:00 PM

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  • Jen

    April 14th, 2015 at 3:38 AM

    I can’t believe I left my husband and best friend of 20 years for this man! I had no idea the torture I was to endure. I had an affair, moved myself and three children out of my marital home ( to do the right thing, he said) it ripped my family to pieces. Now don’t get me wrong I was clearly unhappy in my marriage, but I was also completely swept off my feet by this guy. The attention he gave me was more than Id had in my entire life. I was the most beautiful, caring, loving, sexiest girl in the world! Our sex life was amazing. The connection we had was like lightening for the first 7 months. He asked me to marry him every week at least. The funny part is he is married also still, while I’m in the middle of a divorce. He married a woman for money in exchange for citizenship. That should be a red flag right? Nope.. I could not believe I met my soul mate and could be so lucky! The sad part is Everyone in my life told me he was bad news. He also had a past with heroin. He told me he was clean and ” it never even crossed his mind” . He is on Methadone and drives 30 minutes daily to get his dose, which ~hey if that works for you who am I to judge. Well that changed over night as you may have guessed. He lied to me about a night he used in my bathroom and must had nodded off for a while, cause he was in there for an hour. He changed the story 3 times and only told me after 3 months of lying. I would eventually find 2 needles and question him and he lied to my face both times. Again after weeks of his lying about it he would text me the truth. But he ” needed me” in his life, I
    ” saved him” in the beginning. He recently said ” I won’t live a month without you” . He also blamed me when I would talk about leaving him cause I will not tolerate drugs in my life. How could I abandon him? He finally opened up and I’m tearing him apart he said. So months of lying to me and im expected to sweep it under the rug.. Oh and He was always getting a better job or Car . Literally he pretended to put a down payment on 1 car but talked about buying a 3 others for 6 months. No new car ever came about. The most recent truth I discovered is he has been searching for his ex during our entire relationship. Even though she
    ” lied,cheated and was fake” which I now realize was completely fabricated. I also now understand why she wanted to ” talk” with him a few times. Looking back it must be why he turned his phone off every night. He even slept with it sometimes! Well He must have found her because as of March our entire relationship has come to a hault. No cards, no going out on fun dates, no hanging out with my children, (he comes over when they are sleeping). Although as I said I also know he is using heroin again so I’m sure that’s not helping. I Am currently being ignored , I’m on day 3. He blew me off Friday, so I did the same on Sat and didn’t get a phone call or a text on Sunday or Monday. Just like that.. Gone. Like I meant nothing. I’m so thankful I now have this website to visit because otherwise I would have gone completely insane. I can’t tell many people about this as I’m deeply embarrassed and ashamed. He consumed every thought and minute of my day.. I’m so thankful I can breath again. I feel terrible I put my three beautiful little girls in his presence( they loved him) he charmed them too. Always buying them gifts and toys. Doing card tricks and talking about taking them places. What’s amazing is my 9 year old didn’t buy it, she never said it but I can read it on her face when she watches him speak. I can see her thoughts as he talks in his un educated thick accent. I’m so happy to have my daughters because they make me stronger everyday! I have to chose their destiny basically and show them this isint right. No one should be ignored and be littled and punished for feeling a certain way. He liked to say ” you must have something wrong with you” that’s his go to insult. Luckily I’m a strong woman with higher intelligence than him. I will pick myself up and move along. Life’s too short for this abuse. I wish everyone luck who is in a relationship with a narc. It can really suck you in without so much as a clue and before you know it, your whole world is upside down. Today is a new day and a new start to the rest of my life. May I be strong in my conviction and I know everyday I will get stronger and stronger. On my own.

  • tina

    April 14th, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    my narcissist after leaving the country without a goodbye, left me message after message about how wrong he was and please understand he was upset. I began texting him again and falling into the trap. Although he has been super nice he has asked me for another 400.00, due by today. I need that money but my soft side feels like i may give in. Whats wrong with me? I have given him so much money and who knows if he will disappear again. Its stressing me out. The money is needed by tomorrow. I know this man loves me without a doubt. He is always taking from me though and makes it like its what you do when you love someone. UGh Help

  • MK

    April 19th, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    I know Meka how you feel. I am on the verge of losing my mind myself. He has gone through a gazzillion problems, and goes on and on about how I don’t know how to care for him. I recently wrote a mail post a relaxed and warm moment in our relationship on his birthday to be specific….and he gave a very loving reply. Post that I was bold, and I wrote about my fears, and how my fears don’t allow me to be myself etc etc…..and how I have decided I am going to be this new person without fear and so on…..OMG the response I got was like acid dripping. Basically saying….”being yourself, does not lead to being caring” and that my hypothesis is bizarre….I was left slack jawed and frankly ready to slap him if I saw him. I deleted his phone number , and did not respond to his really insensitive mail…..but find myself having anxiety coz he has not texted…..being with a narc is like having a drug fix. Please please help me break the cycle,…..I can’t take it anymore. I love him but not when he is destroying me like this. What does one do? Coz I am weak and I keep going back for more of the same.

  • Anonymous

    April 24th, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    This article has shed some light on the fact that the silent treatment is indeed abuse. It most definitely feels like abuse and has only recently started to happen in the relationship of nearly 4 years. Right now I’m getting the silent treatment in addition to him having stepped over the only boundary aside from physical cheating that I have left; calling me a psycho B(fill in the blanks). He is convinced this was justifiable because I called him out for being cold about his recent rejections of my sexual advances. He said he needed sleep and didn’t feel like being miserable the next day because I keep him up too late. I know he values sleep and if he falls asleep on the couch I go to bed and do not bother him. It was just the way he coldly said it to me. I told him the way he said it hurt my feelings and that I noticed he’s been rejecting me more lately in the same way, (dismissive, cold). I told him it makes me feel less wanted because I will engage in his advances most of the time, because I think sex is an important intimate connection to maintain. I asked if there was a way we could find common ground on this issue so we could both win, (which I thought that is what I was doing because I had just put the kids to bed and it was a reasonable time of night and we were both sitting on the couch and wide awake with a movie on). He said what he said to me was the truth. That’s his line. I’m making something out of nothing. That’s another of his lines. By now he’s rolling his eyes while refusing to look at me and starts telling me to “let him sleep, that’s the ONE thing he asks of me.” He is clearly agitated and raising his voice. I told him please just speak kindly. It escalated from there with him going back to how I don’t let him sleep and threatening if I don’t leave him alone he’s going to flip. I saw what he was doing. He gets his way out of contribution by dismissing, eye rolling, yelling, threatening. I finally told him that I feel the way he deals with what should be a light discussion is controlling and I feel it is abusive. He countered that my not taking his command to leave the room and let him relax and go to sleep was abusive. The fiasco ended with him calling me the psycho B word as I was walking upstairs, which my daughter heard and was afraid of. This is the first time he ever called me a degrading name. This happened Monday. It’s Friday now and he hasn’t spoken to me, aside from when He tried to bless me when I sneezed on Wednesday and I said thank you, but very emotionless because I think that was his attempt and sneaking back in with no remorse. Tonight he is at a bar, celebrating the opening of the patio and they began serving the rum he makes. He looked at me for a split second today, which I tried to avoid. What he is doing tonight without me there to be by his side is probably another jab. But I will admit. It hurts. Am I crazy? Are all people that verbally or emotionally abuse narcissists? Am I abusive?

  • Anonymous in Ga

    April 28th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Hello Anonymous, I have never participated in something like this. But I read your words and could only think of how similar our lives are right now. I was married for almost 16 years to my first husband and in that marriage I was often abusive. I felt if I wasn’t heard or didn’t get my way I had the “right” to lash out at a really good and humble man. Yes he was passive most of the time but that gave me no right to be physically or emotionally abusive. We have 3 beautiful children who endured and witnessed my behavior. One day I realized I hated myself and my behavior and I began to develop new behaviors. Through a lot of research and self therapy I got better. But by that time it was too late. My ex had decided he wanted a life without me. I was devasted, because I had been getting better for almost 7 years at that point. And I felt our lives and marriage was so much better and stronger. Fast forward to 2 years after the divorce and separation I met someone new. He seemed to be just what my heart needed, someone to care about and not mistreat as I had my former husband. This man and I went through a lot of hard times. I knew he seemed to care more about his needs than mine but I felt he would not be this way if things in his life changed and I continued to love him through his difficult times. We talked marriage and finally we did last year. Although I had learned of some of his indiscretions I thought we could move past them. What I learned after we were married is that I still needed to feel and know I was loved and when I didn’t I allowed myself to boil over. I held in so much until I would eventually say hurtful things. At some point I learned to try to say only the things that hurt me and not degrade or belittle him. But the silent treatment and other forms of punishment from him grew increasingly worse after we moved into the same home. Whenever things became difficult he would threaten to leave and say we messed up by getting married. I begged to get counseling because I knew how much it had helped me. He refused and we would be ok just to return to no communication and the coldness towards each other. I felt as though I was protecting myself from him and maybe he was protecting himself from me. I don’t know, but what I do know is we have hurt each other and 7 children we blended into our “madness”. He has left me again after something that seemed to be so innocent. My heart is broken but I know that he cannot see,none the less admit to being abusive. To answer your question it is possible to be abusive and not be a narcissist. It is also possible to be emotionally abusive in response to abuse. I began as an emotionally abusive partner and saw my behavior change my first husband. To becoming a responder in an emotionally abusive relationship. Despite the role one plays, both are dangerous and has to stop on both sides. Please don’t misunderstand, there are some who do not respond to abuse with abuse but are true victims. But at some point both partners have to become determined to stop the abuse cycle and not carry it into another relationship.

  • chiquita says

    April 25th, 2015 at 2:19 AM

    My heart goes out 2 u guys. Im getting out of a relationship w/this lying, cheating sorry excuse 4 a married 1/2 a man. Much heartache, after a year plus, i realize i was losing my identity & enabling him 2 continue his game.yes, they tell u what u want 2 hear, they LIE W/NO REMORSE.

  • chiquita says

    April 25th, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    Narcissists have no morals, no empathy. They really see NO imperfection in themselves. This jerk expected me 2 buy him a truck. I admit i spoiled him 4 awhile but after i realized how he really is, i stopped. Hes given me the silent treatment for 2 wks. Now, no calls, b cuz i made him angry. Oh well, it hurts, i really that i was gonna have a breakdown but realized… i give him control when his actions upset me. THIS IS ENUF.

  • Andrea Schneider

    April 25th, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Anonymous– (and all who have commented)…it sounds like you are the victim of gaslighting whereby you are experiencing cognitive dissonance and wondering what is your reality and what isn’t…this is the result of the insidious nature of emotional abuse by a person with extreme narcissism. I have also written other articles about this on the blog under my profile. In addition, I had the honor of being interviewed with experts Christine Louis de Cannonville (who just published her first book on the subject of narcissistic abuse recovery), Michelle Mallon, MSW, and Kristin Walker at Kristin’s website — our interview will be posted next week…please download and listen to it…we address this question…My kindest regards and healing wishes, Andrea Schneider, MSW

  • LAS

    May 16th, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    Gaslighting indeed! What a nightmare. I had NEVER heard of it and I have a PsyD.

  • carrie

    May 4th, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    All I can say is I hope and pray to God I never meet another person like this ever ever again. These people suck all the life out of you and leave you beating yourself up over and over again well forget that B.S. Seriously.

  • StayedTooLong

    May 5th, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    I’m only about halfway through the comments but see that this is still an active thread, and felt compelled to add my voice. Please, those of you who are early in, RUN. Nothing will change (except to get worse), there is no help you can give, nothing you can change about yourself that will make it work. You will just be adding anger at yourself for staying to all of the anger and resentment you’ll be building up for your tormentor.

    Finally left after almost 25 years of marriage. A shadow of my former self. Thought staying for the children was the right thing to do. So wrong. My beautiful, brilliant teens are cynical and misanthropic and, I’m afraid, hopeless. I raised two chronically ill kids, kept a beautiful home and cooked wonderful meals, worked part-time, endured silent treatments, hare-brained ideas, you name it. None of it was enough. Now, he will stop at nothing to punish me for leaving: theft, tax fraud, litigation. Has no problem cutting off contact with our daughter, who was the apple of his eye and no problem suddenly warming up to our son, who he previously always felt threatened by.

    Not sure I “get” the people who feel a hole. His absence, for me, is the only hopeful part of this whole thing. Yes, I did love him (the idealized “him”), but I just woke up one day (his screaming before the final silent treatment might have had something to do with it) and said “I’m done”.

  • Susie

    May 16th, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Totally agree: GET OUT AS EARLY AS YOU CAN, once u’ve realised that what u’re going through is abuse.

  • Kristen

    May 7th, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    My heart is so broken and I have never felt so insignificant in my entire life. I just spent all of this money that I really didn’t even have to spend to try to make his birthday perfect. He accepted everything. We went to dinner and I paid. It was nice but very expensive. I thought it was worth it. That night, he was showing me a picture his phone and when he went to minimize out of it, I saw naked pictures of girls or a girl…I could never really tell, because I just got a glimpse. I asked him about them and I was upset…I totally went out of my way to try to make him feel so special for his birthday and here I felt so insignificant like I wasn’t enough to keep him happy. He said girls just sent them to him on his birthday after he liked there happy birthday posts on his Facebook. Why girlSSSS, though? I don’t know about anyone else, but I just don’t randomly send naked pictures of myself to a guy. I feel like he must have asked for them. Why would they feel the need to do that? He said they were married girls and that they weren’t happy with their husbands and like everyone who has ruined their relationships with him, they wish they would’ve realized what they had. He said he won’t delete them in case he ever needs them if the girl tries to blame him. I don’t think a girl is going to bring up a guy she sent naked pictures to unless she wants to really piss her husband off. I asked why he needed to download them to his phone though since they are in th Facebook message. I got no good response. The next day in the fight we got in again about them he said that he appreciates the female body and I shouldn’t have an issue with this and he won’t delete the picture. He acted like I was being completely irrational.

    I couldn’t sleep for a few nights after that because I wasn’t okay with or ho he kind of convinced me somehow to act like I was. I wanted to talk to him about it but he kept blowing me off and avoiding it. I think he knew it was what I wanted to do.

    His parents were in town but when he kept blowing me off, it made me think even worse things cause my mind was playing tricks on me. I called him one morning and I was very emotional. He said he was done with me and I begged him to reconsider. I didn’t expect it at all. He kept hanging up and wouldn’t listen to me at all. I said I was going to come back to talk to him about it (we work in the same place) and he said if I did that he would call security on me. Why??? I would never harm him and he knows this. All I wanted was to understand or talk about this.

    He said he would consider us staying together but he is very busy and has a lot to think about. He wouldn’t tell me when he would ever let me know…in a few days, next week, a month…when??? He never told me and has since been silent. I don’t understand. It wasn’t my fault he saved those pictures. It wasn’t even my fault that I saw them and it hurt my feelings.

    He turned everything around on me and said he doesn’t do expectations and I keep trying to do that. He said that I keep trying to change him. I wasn’t. I wanted to communicate with him how it hurt me and see if we could come to some sort of resolution to work it out. I don’t even know why I want to. I have been through this with him for years. Off and on. Loves me, hates me. Constant communication, none at all.

    I don’t know what is wrong with me and why I can’t be strong. I feel like I’m dieing inside and like I can’t breathe. I just want to be back to how I was six months ago before we started this again. This time he went further than ever before. He said he loved me. He would never say that before. Now he says he loves me but really dislikes my behavior. I really believed it was different and still wish it was.

    I don’t understand this or myself. I’m so lost. I can’t wait to get through this. The pain physically hurts me.

  • carrie

    May 8th, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I feel for you. Its really really difficult to just pick up those pieces and move on. I get it . sounds like we just get to a certain point where it feels like we don’t even know this person at all with whom we have opened up our lives, minds, and hearts. It’s even worse, for myself anyway to get actual proof beyond any reasonable doubt that what my gut has been screaming all this time I’ve wasted has been so totally right on. Kinda is making me get stuck on anger too much perhaps, and I’m still praying for wisdom and for any insight I may be missing.

  • Jessica

    May 16th, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Sounds very much like my ex. Then stalking behaviour would start whenever I began to get on with my own life. You can move forward from this. One day you will meet someone who treats you with the respect you deserve, and you will appreciate him all the more because of the cycles you got into with this chap. And if you never meet someone else, being alone and being ok with it is surely much, much better than having this crap in your life. The way he treats you isn’t love, but the high of getting his “love”/ approval sounds addictive. Calmness and routine now win it for me, any day. Look after yourself.

  • ger

    May 8th, 2015 at 3:15 AM

    Brilliant article . I realise now that it describes my situation and me perfectly. My sex addict husband has done this to me for 10 years and I have eventually garnered the strenght to tell him to go . Im distraught of course but am slowly beginning to realise that things can only get better . I have 2 young childern and think this is what made me tolerate this abuse for so long . I have to rebuild my life now. but I have been damaged and need help . I have a counsellor and some great friends. If good can triumph then i will survive this . I wish the same for all those suffering as I do .

  • Ann

    May 16th, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    I have used the silent treatment when I am done with talking to a partner who won’t listen to my feelings on an important matter in our relationship. When I am ready for a relationship to end, I no longer want to talk to the person. It just seems pointless. I don’t use the silent treatment with a partner who I love and who I want in my life. Parents use the silent treatment with a child who has behaved badly. Is this abuse too?

  • KB

    May 16th, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Yes it is. A parent should never use the silent treatment on a child. The damage is immense. I hope that if you’re doing this you will seek parenting support to find more positive ways of dealing with difficulties

  • Fernando

    May 16th, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    …when ‘I’ am done …. won’t listen to ‘my’ feelings …. When ‘I’ am ready … ‘I’ no longer want … who ‘I’ love, who ‘I’ want in my life …
    Ann, I would kindly, and gently ask to really look at your words that are being used in the context of resolving ‘relationship’ issues and conflicts. We have to be honest with ourselves and ask if we truly know what love is or are we labeling what makes us comfortable as love. We should all recognize the narcissist that lives within our ‘own’ hearts first.
    Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-7‬ NLT)

  • care e

    May 17th, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    Thank you Fernando.
    She kinda has a point though. A former friend and I just can’t get along. She always thinks I think she’s lying, gets mad and asks why I dont fully trust her , itst true.
    I confess I am not the nicest person in the world. I get bitchy and irritable and take that out on others but I don’t want to be like that anymore.
    The reason my friend won’t talk to me is because she feels there is no point. To give a bit of history real quick when she and I first met she shared somewhat of a romantic interest. We went out we texted all the time. Well she failed to mention she was in a romantic relationship with an older man whom she writes lyrics for his music. He is married but moved in a house we with her (my former friend) and I finally asked the right question since every question up until then gave her an opportunity to tell me.
    Had she said she was in a relationship and not kept on flirting with me , when she wanted something from me I wouldn’t be so angry and
    Feeling so used by her. I don’t like people that operate that way. She does it to other guys and that’s fine she’s entitled to do and act however she pleases I just can’t get past her doing me that way. Plus I know now a few things she totally lied to my face about which only goes to show my gut has been right on all along . which is a blessing and a curse. Our last and final fight was because I had a couple questions I needed answers to. She didn’t want to give them . ironic since she often goes overboard trying to prove she’s telling me the truth but its always at times wheni I didn’t even think she was lying. So I called her out on her sh*t, she said she doesn’t negotiate with terrorists and I said I don’t negotiate with narcissistic sociopaths , she called me an In f ing sane c*** and that was the end of that.

  • Narsisst victim

    May 16th, 2015 at 11:04 AM


    That was a great article. I have now figured that my soulmate and love of my life is abusive person. It has come to me as shock. Before i met her i was a single dad and she said that she will be a perfect mother and girlfriend to me. Everything was great for a while then she turned totally into a monster. Today is silent treatment day. She has not talked to me for 2 days. Not one word. She started , becouse i forgot to buy something from the shop. Also she throw away all presents i ever gave her before she lock her self in a room. Also she is calling me names in front of my sons and trying to make me the idiot of this family. Sometimes she even makes jokes about our personal things in front of family and friends. I have a working business and i am really good at sports. Everything is working for me and i am stable. I dont know what to do, becouse i love her . Maybe i can never fix this situation and should just quit trying, she blocked me on facebook and all social media and wrote to all friends in common that i am a controll freak and i should not be spoken to ever. Also i noticed that recently she has contacted her ex many times. I would like some advice on what to do. Feeling alone in my own family.

  • Rachel

    May 16th, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    You need to end things with her. You may love her, but no one who loves you would do the things you described. My ex was a narcissist, but I didn’t see it. He didn’t speak to me for days at a time. I worked so hard to keep us together, but I didn’t realize I was the only who made compromises. Our relationship ended when he abandoned me with two children. He lives 1,000 miles away. Two and a half years later I am happier than I’ve ever been and he’s manipulating someone new.

  • pauls

    May 21st, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Do you know if your ex shows signs of this behavior to the new woman? Was wondering if this behavior eventually comes out in every romantic relationship? Or does the narcissist single individuals out?

  • Mary

    May 17th, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    I am so sorry to read about your suffering. Read what you yorself wrote: you have two sons, you have a business, you are doing well . Do not ruin it for your sons and, and, and for yourself! You owe her nothing. Be brave and take advantage of her silent treatment and cut all ties.
    Why do you torture yourself? Let go and live your own happy life. Of course you will find your soul mate who will be a wonderful mom to your sons and make your family complete. The best of luck to you!

  • jenny

    June 14th, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Omg what are you waiting for? She’s an immature you know what not to mention the obvious that she’s also a cheat how horrible when we love such people and can’t seem to have the strength needed to boogie . Find your strength and leave her you’ll find a mature woman that will make you happy and don’t tell your new lady bout the monster you had before her

  • Maria

    May 16th, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Great explanation. Always thought my dad was narcissistic. We fell out, because I told him how he and his partner had upset me a number of times. He told me that they never meant to upset me, and because I had upset them by pointing out their unreasonable behaviour, I needed to apologise, otherwise he’d not speak to him again. We don’t speak now as I’ve refused to take all the blame. I’ve realised how abusive his silence is and want no more abuse. He’s used the silence treatment on his mum, dad, sister, friends. He’s very manipulative and childish.

  • Healed Therapist

    May 16th, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Good Afternoon,

    I always enjoy reading articles such as this! I am a LPC and I was conned by a Narcassist early on in my journey to become a Therapist. I had no clue. He was so charming and loving. He was “so in love” with me. Or so I thought. I ended up getting pregnant by him and everything changed. He was so excited the day I told him. The day after he told me he’d been cheating on me. I was done. But i couldn’t get rid of him…..we had a child coming. He started to show his true colors. He wanted me to marry him. And not because he loved me,but because of an image. I was so lost, hurt, and damaged my entire pregnancy. He would go from cold, to “love bombing”, to future focused, and then back to crazy cold. I refused to marry him. But my hormones were all over. So I dealt with him. He never went to a dr. appt. But he was there for the birth. He showed a more human side. And I fell for it. Well at least for my child I did. We moved together and the emotional abuse started. He cheated on me, told me he never loved me, took evert ounce I had of self esteem just 3 months postpartum. I kicked him out. Tried to work out a parenting plan. Gave him our son for every Holiday.And he was allowed to visit whenever. But because I didn’t oblige his “love bombing”. He took me to court. Of course he looked like the fool ans spent pointless money. Cause in signed the parenting plan with no issue. After that, the love bombing continued.And I would convince myself it was easier to deal than to not. so we were off and on for years. A lot of abuse, tears, cheating, and using. I finally got the strength to leave for good. He lied to his family and he tries to paint this false picture of me to others. I’ve learned to Not care. His family knows he has a Personality Disorder and everyone knows he’s a pathetic liar. He is currently giving me the silent treatment And I love it. Cause even though he is in a relationship, the love bombing still happens. And when I reject him. He gets angry. So now He won’t communicate about our child. And doesn’t pay child support on time. He’s over a year behind.It’s a continuous journey. I’ve studied and become a Narcassist expert in my field, as result of this. With several years of experience dealing directly with a Narcassist, my practice has greatly helped victims move forward, just like I did.

    So don’t be fooled and don’t convince yourself otherwise. They will not change. If you’re stuck dealing with a narcassist. Remember to never respond with emotion, Document everything, and embrace the silent treatment And give it no power over you. Use that time to really work on you and strengthening yourself to move on. I always tell my clients to write out incidents that have occured,so when the “love bombing” stage starts over, you can re-read it and not look back. Nothing has changed with them and it’s a forever cycle for as long as you let them in!!!! Hope this helped!

    Healed Therapist that helps to heal and empower others

  • Susie G

    May 16th, 2015 at 4:13 PM

    I have been reading your articles for a year now. They have all helped me so much. My mom and first husband of 33 years fit all the descriptions of narcissism to a tee. I know that they loved me as much as they were capable of, but both were impossible to please, verbally abusive and used this danged silent treatment. I could take everything but that, I just crumpled. It worked like a charm, because I would confess to anything, do anything, just to have what was the only normal I knew. Just say the least, my codependent behavior just enabled their behavior. I am struggling with recovery as a sixty year old woman. Is it too late to have a normal life? Thank you for this FB page.

  • Bestocome

    May 17th, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    No. Seriously check into Alanon. Amazing transformation for me at 61.

  • Paula S

    May 16th, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    does this behavior come out in all romantic relationships?

  • Delphine

    May 16th, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    This is completely exaggerated and insulting. All people have elements of various “mental disorders” within them. I suffer from post-traumatic stress due to childhood abuse and abuse by several people that I have dated, as well as some unforgivably terrible things that classmates did to me in high school. I used to buy into the whole “narcissism” thing to describe the people that had hurt me, but I quickly learned that it was immediately thrown right back at me by other people when I chose to do things to protect myself, like not speak to my ex-boyfriends (the “silent treatment” as this article calls it), or when I turned to self-improvement to try to better my situation in life. These articles I have been reading about “narcissicism” could really be applied to anybody in their own way. If we dislike someone else, or ourselves, we find a way to categorize them and find an excuse to deal with our own pain. The truth is, nobody is without a soul, and mistreatment of people in general comes as a result of fear, insecurity, or some other kind of pain. I have been accused of being “narcissistic” and of being “overly empathic”. In all of the people that I have encountered, and some of them fit this stereotype, I have never met a true “narcissist”. Just people in terrible pain who chose to alleviate it in sadistic way. Calling them as “emotionally intelligent as a 5-year old” is not only insulting to them as human beings, but also in the sense that sometimes, the most troubled people that we think feel no empathy were once so empathic themselves that someone or something hurt them repeatedly until they became completely desensitized to other’s pain in a way to pacify their own tortured minds. When it becomes a matter of “us and them” it is no longer about your own healing, but about elongating your own suffering.

  • april

    May 24th, 2015 at 2:38 AM

    Its tru they act like little kids mimicing u or over talking you or plain ignoring u

  • Andrea Schneider

    May 18th, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    wow–thanks to all who are commenting…the fact there are almost 300 comments tells me that so many have been impacted by the behavior of an extremely narcissistic individual….Delphine, to respond to your comment, please see my prior comments #24, 46, and 55….
    best wishes in healing to all, Andrea

  • leanna l

    May 20th, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    My man dose this sometimes when I’ve upset him or something has and he don’t want to talk about it almost all day he won’t talk no expression maby at the kids or tv show radio etc eventually talks but it comes out like a bomb shell. I ask him did I do something wrong are you ok but no is all I get

  • Ryan

    May 25th, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    This is a great website and very helpful. Just getting out the relationship with this Narcissist woman. I loved and cared so much for her. Often times I put her needs above mine. She was so sweet in the Idealization phase and then came the devaluation and the disccarding. she tested me about 3 months ago with the silent treatment for a week. Then things were OK for about 3 months. But about 2 weeks ago started the silent treatment again. Its been very hard on me. I sent her so many texts, phone calls and emails and no response. It is like I am dead to her. I guess it is a punishment she is giving me, But why would she punish me for loving her and caring so much for her. No Contact is the only way out for me, started it last week but failed after 2 days, but now started it again, on the 5th day.

  • Christie

    May 26th, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    I feel your pain. The man Ive loved for the last 2 years is a professional at the silent treatment. His usually last 2 or 3 days and typically are hard to handle but he’d always be happy and acted as if nothing happened afterwards. Silent treatment is his way of not having to fix a probkem or make a change he doesn’t want to make. By the time he starts talking to me again I’m so distraught that I don’t make him talk or do whatever it was he didn’t want to do. So he wins everytime while my self-worth and my heart get hurts beyond repair.
    You should be very proud of yourself for enduring the pain of not trying to contact her. It’s so flipping hard. The control they gain by utilizing the silent treatment does an alarmingly amount of emotional damage. It slowly breaks a persons self worth to shreds and makes them believe they are unworthy of ones love. Be proud and know that you will one day find someone that cherishes you and would never ever make you endure that kind of pain. Good luck and stay strong.

  • Christie

    May 28th, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    Ryan I’m sorry I meant to ask you how are things going? I hope good, I know how very hard a broken heart is on a person and basically their whole life is affected. I hope your finding peace and closure.

  • Ryan

    May 31st, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    Christie, I really feel for you. To love a man that is causing so much pain to you. Remember if he really loves you he wouldn’t be causing you pain and suffering. You and me are in such a similar situation trying to love cold hearted people. Well I am on day 11 of my No Contact. It is not easy. There are times I feel like calling her but I know it is not going to help me and will be back to square one with more pain and misery. Not sure if this forum will let us exchange emails. I can really use a friend now.

  • Sarah

    May 28th, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    Go Ryan, hang in there, keep reading. Try a website called ‘out of the fog’; also info on attachment styles in adults.

  • Ryan

    May 31st, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    Sarah, thanks for the information. Appreciate it.

  • MelbourneMan

    May 30th, 2015 at 11:28 PM


    I know how you are feeling. I too went through a similar experience. The N is so astute in the idealisation phase; I suspect their skill has been crafted over many years dealing with many different victims. They mimic and mirror you; you can’t believe how right they are for you.

    But when they bore, which doesn’t take long, your days are numbered.

    My N came back many times over an 18 month period, alway presenting as a victim. Each return was brief and entirely self centred, but always tainted with a little idealisation to keep me hooked.

    It was only after she dumped me without explanation that I realised what I had been dealing with – a female narcissist. When I read the traits of such people, I had that eureka moment.

    It’s been helpful learning more about these types and myself for that matter. But I have to admit getting over Her has been hard. It’s so hard to believe that that idealisation phase was fake – it felt so wonderful. Jealousy is another emotion. Notwithstanding that I know she has had multiple short term intense relationships over the last 18 months, I still feel jealous on bad days.

    Rational me knows I dodged a bullet, but staying in the rational space is not always easy.

    Ryan, remember this – you are better off without someone who treats you so poorly. They are not worthy of you.

  • Ryan

    May 27th, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Thank you for your kind words of support. it is sad to hear what you are going through. I hope you will be able to get out of that relationship and heal and find a genuine loving and caring relationship.
    Well no contact is working great for me and I feel so relived.

  • Christie

    May 28th, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    Thanks Ryan, I’m not quite as strong as you are at this point but I’m on my way. I did see him recently and unfortunately I broke down and showed my weakness by sobbing but the last two days I’ve felt much stronger. His hold on me has weakened immensely due to his unforgivable coldness when I was at my lowest ever and begged him to please tell me what I’d done or to have some mercy and let me go. He held strong and just stared at me. My heart will never quite feel the same for him. How could he watch me suffer for weeks and still say he really loved me? He can’t. I know that right now but when my heart cries it doesn’t care what he is or isn’t it just wants him back so the pain will stop. So now I’m working on getting my mind and my heart in sync and moving on even though I still love him. I’m slowly realizing I’ll never really be happy until he’s no longer in my heart or life.

  • Sandy

    May 28th, 2015 at 7:00 AM

    How I wish I’d known the silent treatment was an actual form of abuse! It was the first strong sign that I was dealing with something very painful I’d never known before, but I honestly thought it was just a weird way he had of handling conflict. Wow-did I learn an excruciating 8yr lesson by missing this very big first clue…

  • Ryan

    May 31st, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    MelbourneMan, Thanks for your kind words of support. I appreciate it. Yes, only in the devaluation and discard phases did I realize who she really was. All the sweetness in the beginning was such a fake. To the N’s we are just objects or their supplies. And they get pleasure in seeing us suffer and get empowered. It took a lot of strength in me to to get away from her and start the No Contact. Take Care

  • Kyle

    June 8th, 2015 at 5:37 AM

    I too believe I was in a relationship with an N. When she gave the silent treatment nothing I said could stop her from doing it. It was very painful. She is extremely selfish where the whole relationship revolved around her wants and needs. Her eyes were at times black, almost evil. I have recently started NC. Some days I wish I could have her back but I know she has likely moved on to a fresh supply because I refused to give in to her demands! Never met a woman like her and hope to never again!

  • carrie

    May 31st, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    This was my first and hopefully last relationship/friendship with a N. Funny her name also starts with an N. I will run for the hills next time I come across anyone like her. I’m seriously considering hypnosis to forget she ever existed in my life. Anyone know if this could work?

  • Ryan

    June 1st, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    Carrie, I was in a similar relationship (see my earlier posts). I am in NC day 12. I am also considering hypnosis. There are some videos on youtube that you can try. Take care.

  • Corrie

    June 15th, 2015 at 1:45 AM

    Thanks Ryan. I’m thinking I may hold off on that I’m case anyone needs help getting through this storm with a N or any other disorder. As much as I’d love to to just forget about this nightmare, it just wouldn’t feel right to just flip a switch.

  • merzi

    June 7th, 2015 at 1:18 AM

    I need an answer on whether the person I have spoken to in a year is a all started when we wrote messages to each other and he called to me and we talked about the messages and then he said that he would call back later so we could talk about it but he did not call, and the following days he answered so cold he did not call and wrote to me, I wrote what was wrong so he wrote that it was because he was annoyed at me over our repeated misunderstanding of our messages, and I tried to write to him about it because now I thought yes, finally the chance that we can talk about it, but then I tried to write good things to him that we would do well etc.
    but then suddenly he answered me not and that went a whole week on the way. so the last day of the week, I wrote that I hoped he felt good but I want to finish it here. I simply could not handle it. I was so upset that he treated me like that and just ignore me for so long. is this normal to do?
    I thought he might not contacted me because he didn’t wanted it anymore,
    then I asked him what he thought about to finish it? so he wrote that it ended there when I wrote it was over. then I felt myself very guilty that I finished it and I felt I made it worse. so I tried would to do it well where I explained in the message that I ended it because I assumed it was over because you never answered me in a week but then he didn’t answered me back… i was totally frustrated and devastated..
    so we contacted again and he wrote he wanted two weeks to think about whether he wanted it to continue .. for me two weeks does not make sense! but I made a mistake I wrote it was fine and he should just contact me. wish I had stopped it there .. the worst is, it passed more than two weeks a total of three weeks and it was not him who wrote first but I wrote to him if there was a reason we pulled more time out? so I finally got the message – he did not want to be with me because we have many misconceptions and he thought it could hurt a lot in the future … I answered him never back, but then after there went two weeks, he wrote a message to me that he wanted me to help him tell his future wife one as he was to marry, that we were no longer together because she has seen our old messages and suspected him to that we still talked together. this was insane! He has already found one he wanted to marry after two weeks? There are so many things I regret and feel I so stupid …

    and is it normal to ignore a person like that?

  • Frankie

    June 14th, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    I haven’t been on here for a while, I am glad to say that I am moving on from the hurt I experienced from a narcissistic woman. It was only a short relationship but long enough for me to fall in love and revolve my life around her on the basis that we would be together forever and my needs would be met too. However, after several instances of silent treatment over minor things, I challenged her, she blocked me and we were suddenly separated. I have heard nothing now for six months. You can imagine my relief when two people who were mutual friends (but mainly her friends) contacted me to say that they have now fallen out with her and they now see her for what she is. One of these guys had unfriended me but we are friends again now, he was so apologetic! It is a lonely place to be when you are the only person who has seen the dark side of the narcissist and others think they are charming and wonderful, but the cracks do start to show sooner or later. It is still baffling to me that I fell in love with an illusion, it seemed so real and wonderful at the time but I am getting on with my life now. Time does heal and I wish you all well.

  • Corrie

    June 15th, 2015 at 1:32 AM

    Frankie ,
    Thank you for sharing. Glad to hear you are okay and time has healed. Argh I hate this whole thing. I thought this shit only happened in movies starring jack Nicholson or other crazy films. I’ve always said when asked what movies scare me and am I afraid to watch, that my answer is none and that nothing scares me more than real life. True still but I never imagined I’d ever feel like I’m stuck in both. This bad horror movie that is actually reality is the last role I ever play in. I didn’t even audition for it. In sure there’s got to be a good reason for it though and one day we can be thankful for becoming free from it. Feels like war. I hate war .

  • Angelica

    June 15th, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    I love my N. I don’t even mind the war sometimes. I wish there was more positive intensity, but I enjoy some of our games. We sort of look out for each other however his true narcissistic tendency to never do the right thing just because someone asked him to, has killed the joy. He is a major joykill and at any given moment in all his enormous amounts of free time, he could have chosen to return the love in a normal human being fashion. Saying this again like a broken record makes me feel he is retarded or something because he takes any other suggestions to help him in his quest for greatness. I wanted to let him know I appreciate the love he was able to show. I’d wish him the best, but I do not. I wish him nothing, so his life can continue the way it was before this Angel stopped by.

  • merzi

    June 18th, 2015 at 4:51 AM

    I don’t get it… is it normal to use silent treatment in a whole week.. ??
    how can people do things like that like you don’t exist

  • Ryan

    June 18th, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    I got 2 silent treatments lasting over a week from my ex N. They were terrible. This is the woman I loved with all my heart and soul. After the second silent treatment I decided to end the relationship and move on. I still think about her but am so relived.

  • Merzi

    June 21st, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    I really dont know how a person can heal after being used like that…

    Silent treatment is really something that can change your self worth!

    What are your advice?

  • Mary

    June 18th, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    Dear Merzi,
    Sorry to say, but yes, it is possible. Take it from me that I have been married to a N, now for 36 years. Silent treatments can vary from hours, to days, to weeks, to months. My last one started Dec 29, 2014 and ended May 10 2015. Why am I still with this person? I really don’t have an answer for that but part of it is in the fact that since 15 years ago, we mostly live in two different countries and we are with each other only a few months a year.
    It is incredible the mood swings of my N! Now there is sun shining, and in another split second, there are thunderstroms, lightning, and cold, very cold showers.
    There was a time when I tried to get an explanation about my N’s behavior, but it was totally useless. My N, either “didn’t remember” quite well what happened, or minimized it to nothing. But all the time “it was my fault”. My N truly thinks he is always right, and I am the one to ruin his life. Go figure!

  • Theresa

    June 20th, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    wow I am learning so much I’m in a silent treatment again from my husband I did not realize that this is a medical condition, much of that I’m reading sounds exactly what I’ve been going through I thought I was going nuts wow thank you for the info.

  • Angelica

    June 20th, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    I love my N. still, I love my N. yet; when I choose to engage with him I have to assume the worst. Thank God one of us is real or this whole thing would never work.

  • Merzi

    June 27th, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Dear Mary,

    Thank you for your post…
    I hope the Best for you…
    The worst thing to do is just letting the N damage you totally… Because if you give it more time to letting yourself be in there it would only damage you more and more..

    Today Im Trying to move on, and I wish I never met the N. I remember myself before I met the N to be a really happy person who had so much passion for life… For my study, gym etc.
    Im so happy for that he is out of my life the Best thing that has happened to me instead of always being anxious, be the only one WHO gives and wants to Solve problems/ conflicts.
    Its not normal that somebody who wants a future with you can ignore you after soo Long time, where is the Care? The respect? The emotionel Bond?

  • Merzi

    June 21st, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Is it only me he did this to? Or is it something he Will do to his new target?

  • Maggie

    June 22nd, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Merzi, I do. I had forgotten how dumb my Nark is. If he loved me back instead of always kicking back and watching the horrors of his violent, rageful outburts, if he saw what we, his roommates saw, he would check into the mental ward.

    Lisas blog says it ALL. There is nothing left to say. Might as well close up this thread as the narcissist many of us speak about has used it to gaslight and further his agenda. Good therapy/Narcissist is meant for survivors, not a Narc tool.
    Here are some that speak to me:


    Narcissists are not normal. They don’t think like we do they speak out almost ALWAYS to provoke us to respond in a manner they can then use against us.

    They use NLP = Neuro Linguistic Programming – used in seduction/mind control.

    Narcissistic comments, translated. NARC SPEAK

    First comment is THE NARCISSIST SPEAKING
    Second comment is the TRANSLATION

    Q: What is with the flannel pajamas?

    Wheres the black lace I told you to go out and buy for yourself?

    I am only turned on by w*****, strippers, prostitutes and porn. I have a raging Madonna/W**** Complex. Because you are good and sweet to me, you have become sexless in my eyes.

    Q: What do you like about me?

    Come on… give me some supply here… I’m fresh out and my ego would like a hit!

    Q: If you really love me, you would understand me.

    You need to anticipate my needs better! I equate getting EXACTLY WHAT I WANT with someone’s love. Love is a THING to me…a means to an end…not an emotion. I have no emotions.

    Q:I feel a sort of twinship and kinship with you.

    You’re a great target. I’m lining you up as my next victim. Wonder if you’ll fall for the ‘you’re my soulmate’ line?

    NARC: We are not together.
    (very next sentence): I love you

    Confused? Good… because if I keep you confused and off-base you will be very easy to brainwash and control.

    I have no interest in doing anything with you and haven’t for a long time. I’m not attracted to you either. I don’t want you, but I don’t want anyone else to have you either. I know that’s wrong, but that’s just the way I feel.

    I don’t feel anything but I have some new targets going and need to keep you off balance because I’m not quite done with you yet. By the way I can’t feel a thing… just toying with your mind. I have deep rage and disrespect for all women. They were all put on this earth to service me! Kneel and worship ME ME ME! Hand me the whip

    Q: Easter is a time for forgiving

    I hope you forgive me so I can continue hurting you over and over.

    Q: I don’t love you yet, just give me time.

    I can’t love anyone… give me time to degrade and use you. We will never be able to be together. Now that I have you brainwashed and totally in love with me I’m going to grind you down and hurt you so badly you’ll never be able to get up again.

    Q:You know the answer!

    I don’t know what to say to brainwash you more, so I’ll let you twist and fill in the blanks for awhile.

    Q: She could stop harassing/ stalking/ bothering me. She just chooses not to.

    This is what I tell everyone to make her look like a whack-job and then feel sorry for me. Actually I am harassing her relentlessly, she’s just trying to defend herself… and I’m going to tell as many people as will believe me!! I love being evil and hurting good people.

    Q:Why would you stay with someone who abuses you, you come back for more, why?

    It’s all YOUR FAULT I’m abusing you. LOL!! go me! (rawr)

    Q: We are most INTIMATE ONLINE/on the phone than we ever could be in person.

    I actually like being intimate online more than in person cause its easier to fool you into believing I have feelings of intimacy just listening to my voice, its just easier for me to pretend everything over the phone rather than in person, that way you can’t see me rolling my eyes, watching porn on my computer while calling you a dumb b**** under my breath. Besides, I prefer hookers.

    Q: I see something in you…

    …I can exploit, use and abuse for my own needs… so bend over baby ’cause here it comes.

    Q: You were abusive to me.

    (PROJECTION) I was abusive to you and I didn’t like you calling me on it. I should be able to crap on anyone I want, anytime I want, with no consequences.

    Q: You were no fun. Where did the sweet, fun girl I married go?

    I am a destructive sociopath and I got bored… and I get off on hurting people and seeing their reactions – I was screwing around on you for such a long time and D*** you caught me. For catching me – YOU WILL PAY!

    Q: I don’t think you and I talking would do either of us any good.

    Since you have me figured out and won’t buy any more of my b.s. I can’t face you. You scare me and you might just reveal more of the sick predator I am.

    Q: Honey, I came back to the office just to see you.

    Actually I came back for something else but its a perfect opportunity to rope you in again!

    Q: I told you to stay away from me, I used to be a good person, but now I just play off other people’s insecurities. I can read anyone and tell you what they’re thinking.

    This is a BLATANT ADMISSION THAT HE’S A PREDATOR and uses control and mind games on others.

    Q: All I need in Life is some Good Loving, some Gratitude, and some Good Meals, and I’m Happy.

    And it better be all about me or I will grind your soul into the gutter, b****.

    Q: You mean too much to me. Please talk to me.

    Damn, you found out all my lies. I need to re-brainwash you. Hopefully you’ll buy this B.S. because I need to silence you!

    Q: I must say she does seem happier since she has her own house.

    DAMN HER!!! How dare she be happy without me?? Hard to smear someone when they are so happy to mutual friends!

    Q:We cannot be friends. I’m doing this for both of us.

    I could care less about you. I don’t want you around to warn my new victims…

    Q: I can change the tone of my voice and convince anyone of anything.

    Truth! He’s admitting he hypnotizes, mind controls, uses NLP

    Q: Having an affair really does help married people in lousy marriages cope.

    I can justify anything I want to do. Then I’ll blame you later and say I never told you that!

    Q: If someone is giving, I’m taking.

    Yes. I never give. I always take. Let’s see what I can take from people today! Yes, you won’t ignore my using and exploiting you. You want a real, honest, human relationship. I am not human so I am clueless about that.

    Q: Would i lie to you?

    I always lie to you, everyone else and even myself.

    Q: I told you i never wanted to be a part time dad.

    How can I twist the knife and blame you for having children?

    Q: I want the baby but not the mother.

    Babies don’t know any different. As soon as the baby develops a mind of its own, however – I will dump it faster than I dumped you. Besides, babies are great lures for new victims… er, women.

    Q: Sex is hassle, isn’t it?

    I’d rather beat off – I prefer to have sex with myself. The only person entitled to their anger is ME ME ME!!
    you want because I am not human and I am evil. So let’s make this your fault.

    Q: I would never do anything to hurt you.

    (BACKWARDS TALK) I love hurting you, it makes me feel so powerful and in control – so never defend yourself against me. Wait until I throw you away like a used condom!

    Q: People have more respect for me when I’m with you.

    I need you around to keep my image better. My image is EVERYTHING

    Q: You and I understand each other.

    (NLP) I want you to think you understand me and I have profiled and brainwashed you so thoroughly! Man I love controlling you.

    Q: So tell me, are you waiting? Are you waiting for me to be more?

    (NLP) I want you to wait forever while I toy with your heart mind and soul. I want you to be a PRETZEL. Bend over now

    Q: I won’t forget you.

    I already forgot but I want to make sure you obsess about me forever! OOOOO!! Power!

    Q: I even had to tell you how to be affectionate towards me.

    Control, Manipulation, Hypnosis, Mind Control and turning you into a dirty w**** and then degrading and dumping you. That’s the way I like it! If I buy you a camera, can you make private movies for when we’re apart, my sweetie? I think screwing around is fine for me. What about when you… I am so immature, everything is tit-for-tat with me. I will use ANYTHING to make you feel bad. ANYTHING! I love hurting you. I get off on hurting you.

    Q: You never loved me enough.

    It’s all about ME ME ME and you stopped giving me supply and having kinky bdsm sex with ME ME ME!

    Q: Talking to you is to fight with you.

    I LOVE fighting and drama – I live off of your emotional content! I create chaos – it makes me feel powerful!

    Q: Please wait until after Tax Season to tell my wife you found out I’m married. She’s a CPA and this is her busy season…

    …By that time I will have painted you like some crazy, stalker, bunny boiler and make sure she doesn’t believe a word you say!

    Q: Don’t call me…

    I know that you will and I don’t want to have to block your number, no one wants to hear their number is blocked.

    Q: I want you to call me…

    …So I can tell everyone you’re psycho when I know I am the psycho! I am going to mess with your mind!

    Q: I fear we are going to have a big misunderstanding and never talk again.

    I going to create a situation that justifies me discard and dumping you, and make you believe I don’t want to D and D you – it will make your head spin!

    Q: You know I have feelings for you.

    Feelings I won’t define. However I am envious, angry and downright jealous of you and always have been. You’re decent, real, honest, well-liked, talented and smart. Everything I am not. But if I imply I might ‘love you’ you won’t rip off my mask!

    Q: We can never be friends NO friend treats me like you did.

    I have NO friends – I have proxies and sycophants. How dare you figure me out!

    Q: I will always love you.

    I know saying that ‘love’ word gets me what I want. So I’ll say it even though I am clueless as to what it really means.

    Q: I see how happy you are and it’s killing me.

    I can’t stand people OTHER THAN ME being happy! I love drama. I get off on hurting people and manipulating their emotions.

    Q: Did she break up with me, or did I break up with her, it was all confusing… my friend said, she broke up with you and he said, oh good then I wouldn’t want her to hate me.

    ME ME ME – I need to be seen in a good light in case I want to go back and re-use old supply. This is great cause I can BLAME her for the breakup; nothing’s EVER my fault!

    Q: Has she said anything about me?

    Can’t believe she’s not asking about me!

    Q: I don’t think you understand my fear of loneliness.

    I am such a Narc I can’t be alone so I will screw around with whomever is dumb enough to have me. I am so empty inside I can’t even be alone for 5 mins.

    Q: I don’t like my urges either.

    And if you believe that I’ll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn. I love my urges, I have no impulse control and I refuse to do anything about it! I hope this line makes you feel sorry for me.

    Q: How will you just stay away from me?

    Now that you said that to me I am gonna be in your face because I know you’re so weak you will never block my calls, texts or emails or even get a restraining order like you should. I am gonna mess with you.

    Q: Why don’t we just “take a break” for 2 months, and see if we miss each other.

    Me? I could care less… see you, not see you. But I will keep telling you I miss you because it’s NLP to make YOU miss ME. Ah, sweet sweet CONTROL!

    Q: I think you just like the hold you have on me.

    You have no hold on me. No one does. So I will say this to make you feel guilty for saying you’re gonna dump me… BOO HOO POOOOOR ME!

    Q: I don’t have feelings so whatever you say doesn’t even hurt. You cant hurt me.
    (Wow, a moment of truth… they always throw a few in!)

    Q: I’m gonna see you again, we have mutual friends.

    I am gonna stalk you and follow you and harass you so BUCKLE UP BABY

    Q: Well then I guess you should just never call me again.


    Q: Why are you being like this?

    Why are you asking me to be human and have feelings? I just wanna sleep with you. Dang your nasty brain… you’re gonna rip my mask off and realize I am using you. Oh hurting people gives me such a rush! Power!!

    Q: Why do you get the impression there is something wrong between us?

    Q: You know I don’t have a girlfriend, I do this with nobody else.

    Because I’m a Narc I talk backward. A lot of what I say is projection or the direct opposite. I have LOADS of girlfriends! The one who’s dumb enough to marry me and a few others like you I keep on the side when I get horny. I’ll sleep with anyone, anytime!

    Q: I love you. I want you to love me. Do you love me?

    I know getting a woman to believe I love them makes them drop their defenses so I can do whatever I want to them. Love is just a word to me – like toilet paper or car keys. It gets me what I want… it means NOTHING.

    Q: I won and you lost and your child is a bastard.

    Winning is EVERYTHING to me. EVERYTHING. I must always win no matter matter what. I I I I ME ME ME ME…

    Q: You drag me down.

    You are too much reality for me… I am special and since no one will recognize me as special I will blame YOU for that.

    Q: She was just an ungrateful b****. (talking about his ex)

    [If they refer to any of their exes as: obsessed, a b****, ungrateful, bitter, a scorned woman/man, a stalker, a liar, a psycho, a bunny boiler… etc etc…. RUN SCREAMING because YOU will be next on that list]

    Q: She forced me to choose between her and the army.

    And she wanted me to stop sleeping around… something I will NEVER NEVER do!! mwhaaa haaa haa!

    Q: You have serious self esteem issues, you know there’s only one woman for me.

    And I want you to CONTINUE with those self esteem issues and make them worse so you will be desperate to believe any BS I tell you. There’s only one woman for me – EVERY 5 minutes!

    Q: I am so taken with you, in love with you, you are the most amazing person I have ever met and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

    This line always works! And if you believe this I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale for you.

    Q: If you expose me, I will sue you.

    I know a lawsuit will never go anywhere but if I threaten maybe you’ll be scared enough to keep your mouth shut.

    Q: I never cheated on them, I just stayed with them too long but knew it was over long before.

    They let me stick around and treat them like sh*t longer than they should have… and I cheated like crazy and used porn and made them feel as bad as I could because I am SOOOO great!

    Q: I have only been in love one other time and until I met you I don’t think the love I have for you even compares.

    Since I can’t feel and have no idea what love is – this sounds about right!

    Q: She played the game with me and liked it!

    Everyone’s as pathological as me. Not my fault she actually believed me and has hurt feelings. Besides, now she’s blocking my access to new victims!

    Q: I feel like I’ve ruined your life!

    I know I ruined your life so admit it to me so I can feel powerful and do more damage!

    Q: I never watch porn.

    I never watch it when I think I am gonna get caught. But I am so addicted to it. Every woman I meet should look and act like the porn babes. If they don’t – I will make them miserable.

    Q: I prefer your hatred to your love.

    Hate – now that’s the only emotion I can relate to. I hate everyone! I want to be notorious. ATTENTION, I CRAVE ATTENTION! Positive attention, negative attention it’s all the same to me. Besides HATE I can relate to. To me LOVE is just a stupid word!

    Q: I know nothing of that spyware you found. Who knows on what strange websites you go and what you catch on them!

    I am gaslighting you babe – I am going to PROJECT and BLAME SHIFT until you barely know your own name. I will never ever take responsibility. EVER! I hate getting caught.

    Q: We have to communicate better.

    You are no longer doing what I demand you do. I had you nice and controlled – you need to go back to being controlled!

    Q: Every man wants to be king of his castle.

    I am OMNIPOTENT! If I tell her EVERY man wants to be like it totally justifies my behavior and makes her feel like crap.

    Q: I will always love you unconditionally

    I read this in a book somewhere… maybe she’ll believe it.

    Q: Sounds like you pretty much broke up with me too then, hey?

    So we’re even… this blame shifting things works great! Yay, me!

    Q: I hope you find a better boyfriend than me.

    Here’s an extra helping of guilt for you, to make you feel sorry for me. Maybe I can get some guilt sex out of it


  • Merzi

    June 27th, 2015 at 4:37 AM

    I can especially recognise this one
    ” Q: She was just an ungrateful b****. (talking about his ex)

    But I can also recognise the other comments but not with the same Q.
    For example when I finished it (I wrote to him that it was over), but unfortunately I went back, so he asked ” how can you dump me in a so short time?” He blamed me so much.. And I Said to him that I didnt wrote it because I wanted to end it but I thought it was already over ( because of the silent treatment) he didnt speaked to me didnt answer my messages after a week).. Then after this event he wanted two weeks to Think about if HE could forgive me because of me ended it, but more than two weeks where gone and HE dumped me and Said it was because of too much misunderstandings.. I did never answer him back Then I Got a message from him after two weeks. I was in shock.. He wanted me to help him tell his NEW fiance that it was over between me and him can you guys imagine this? Why did he wanted my help? And what was that all about?

    I dont understand myself.. I knew something was wrong when he suddenly after he gave me the cold shoulder did not contacted me and where the silent treatment began.. For me at that time IT WAS OVER! I was soo convinced of this! But still After couple of days I went back.. I still keep asking myself why??? How I totally changed my mind? How could this happen? After such a horrible treatment…

    Do you guys feel like me? Do you blame yourself too much for not handle the past situations Well with the narcissist?

  • Merzi

    June 27th, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    Dont understand why I keep want to search after if he really was a narc?

  • Diane

    July 5th, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Ohhhh wow I’ve read this 5 times I can do relate to all of it and unjust about to divorce my covert narc after 9 months of silent treatment… Xx

  • J

    July 21st, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Every time I miss him or get nostalgic of the good times I log onto this site and a few others and it gives me strength to maintain I thank each of you for sharing your personal stories and helping each other to do the right thing and move on. I have a narcissist father and seen my mother suffer and endure the pain to give her children a happy home. I was sexually abused in school for years until I faced the courage to deal with it. For all the aggression I had against my father I ended being in a 6 yrs relationship with a N (I had a realisation he was one only now!) who walked out on me 2 months before we cld get married, and had his family call it off and make it my mistake. And my mistake was I am an unlucky person!! With no closure I moved on. I don’t know how I bounced back with no therapy and with a will to re deem myself. I met a very nice man and dated him for 2 yrs and cheated on him with a N. We had our issues but I shld never have cheated. I’m ashamed of myself.I am otherwise a very moral person who believes in walking away than cheating. However I became that person. The N I choose to be with is now giving me the silent is close to 2 weeks and I have anxiety and old abuse feelings crop back up which I had for 6 yrs with my first N ex. When I chose the 2nd N I didn’t know he had a disorder and believed every word of his when he would ill talk bout his ex wife. He even showed me clinical reports of her being a schizophrenic. So I believed what he said. He would call her crazy a pycho b***h who ruined his life. Would say she drives him crazy with the fights and the taunts and how he didn’t feel good enough. How she called the cops on him and blamed him for sleeping with the help whilst he would work all day and make good money to provide for her and the family. He is very affluent and could afford to get help and 2 nannies and a driver for was always her fault and never his. And because he was soo good to me for 2 yrs I trusted him blindly. It was a long distance relationship and he would fly me to places so that we cld be together and inspite of a busy work schedule we would talk and text all day daily. While attending parties he would be on the phone with me. I was the love of his life and spk of y he didn’t meet me sooner. He would call me his life his sunshine. Now when I look back i would feel a bit uncomfortable when he say atuff like don’t rape me in my sleep, I’ll jump out the window if u don’t come see me, but I also let it pass as he’s being overtly silly. I am successful in my career and we belong to the same industry and so we would discuss work share ideas. He even wanted to start a new company with me. For him I am the smart and intelligent girl. He has been very attentive to my needs. Would travel overseas and share his new nos for that country and constantly keep texting then as well.the had told me that he n his ex wife would do therapy and he found out then he was BPD with a hint of hypomania and he showed me those reports. Few months back he went in for another psyc chk wherein it was detected he has narcissism.i have never pulled him down but tries to help him through his emotions and reactions including emotional breakdown in ref to losing his child. As he is fighting for custody he n his ex wife maintain contact and theb start their fights. I figuted he had an issue with the alcohol abuse or rash driving etc but didnt realise what N is all about.since June start the issues. He went for a family holiday overseas and got drunk and asked me if it’s ok if he cld sleep with someone while I remain his special love. I obv fought with him and he called me names and hung up. Next morning he asked me to forget it as he was drunk talking and testing me. Since then he has been distant no calls and few texts saying busy with legal matters n court. I did bring up my insecurities and he would send me a few more texts. Even thanked for not nagging n being patient.met him for dinner and lunch when in my town and I maintained my distance as i just had a feeling that something is wrong. A few days from thereon sat I got a few texts and since evening no communication.he went out drinking with friends and I heard from him only the next day in the evening so I got to know. To which I told him I’m irritated for not being kept informed and he snapped saying he wishes not to speak to me. Its been almost 2 weeks and I have tried to reach out a few times to resolve and chk what happnd. He read No response. I told him its disrespectful and hurtful to read n not reply but he read n didnt reply.After a few days when I chkd if this is a break up he said he needs his time he has a lot happening right now so I told him to take care. 3 days after I said I’m worried and confused and he replied saying don’t worry I can take care of myself. I even told him I feel lost without him but he read and didn’t reply. He is loved by all his friends so obv for them I am overreacting and shld be patient else move on. If he wants to come back he will! I feel like an ass who gave him everything and if he has found his new supply the least he cld do was have the guts to say it’s done! N what if all that he told me about his wife is him!! Iv previously shared with him all my feelings related to abuse been emotional about how my ex N was with me and now I feel soo naked that the one I trusted is the one hurting me.

  • J

    July 21st, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I feel guilty thinking what if he really does need his space,but then y now would he distance himself when otherwise he has shared so many of his issues. Then I feel anger n disgust at him n me for letting him do this to me. My head hurts I feel a sense of emptiness and I’m also tired. I want to maintain NC but then I feel like yelling at him n standing up for myself. I also feel embarrassed that he would be flauting his new chick before ppl who I tght were our friends. I don’t know how n what to feel. He didn’t tell me my fault so iv gone over n over it in my head. I am a normal sensitive person who has gone through my share of abuse in my growing up yrs n knowing that he chose to do this to me gets me furious.I realise now what he did to his wife. So she suffered n he got me as a genuine person who cares for himn loves him. I suffer n he will find/found someone else who is innocent to all this n ruin her too. Where is karma in all this!!

  • Sharon

    June 24th, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    I also have started Alanon, because my N is an alcoholic. I loved him to distraction..only for him to continuously cheat. I booted him out of my house 6 weeks ago, after catching him calling an old girlfriend…again..and publicly outted him as an alcoholic, liar, and cheat. Now everything is MY fault..and I’m getting the silent treatment. What he doesn’t realize is that the longer I go without hearing from him, the stronger I get. I refuse to let him destroy me.

  • Diane

    July 19th, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    Hi Sharon. My narc would be afraid of me after an alanon meeting. She couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes and I was stronger after a meeting. Good for you for going. Its been some time since I went. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Genevieve

    June 28th, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    I’ve been involved with someone online for nearly 5 years and out of nowhere he goes silent. It is maddening. I wonder, when a narcissist discards you, do they let you know? Or do they just stay silent til you tell them goodbye? This person reads everything I send (I can tell as I am on Facebook and the checkmark is present) they haven’t deleted me or told me to go away they are just stone cold silent going on 8 days now. They’ve done this before. It’s just horrible. It hurts beyond belief. I wish I could be so cold and uncaring. I wish I could do to him what hes doing to me.

  • Nic

    July 2nd, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    I have been beating myself up for months while dating someone that repeadetly gave me the silent treatment. Everything would be great for a few weeks, then he would disappear for a week or so. I would get crazy asking myself what is going on, when I would reach out to him he would get mad, ignore me more then break up with me. Repeating this cycle for months. I finally let go after a month of being in a very sad horrible place torturing myself that I did something wrong and I couldn’t live with out him, he came back giving me the impression he wanted to work it out. Meanwhile continuing to date other women and meet women online. Until today I said enough is enough. He then blamed me for the failure of the relationship again. Saying I annoy him when he wants to disappear. I was very strong and independent before I met him. The last five months have been the lowest I have felt in my 35 years. It has been more difficult than dealing with a death. I found this article and it’s like a lightbulb. I actually emailed it to him, kind of like a ha ha I finally figured out your games.

  • Beth

    July 3rd, 2015 at 3:37 AM

    Hi nic I read your comment as I have been reading about narcissists. I have just come out of a 3 year long relationship with a man whom I had a child with and it has been the hardest time of my life. I had a breakdown last year and have to have medication to help me. My ex had a number of secret lovers / girlfriends and would make me feel terrible if I ever mentioned the fact that things were not right, I was treated like I was just an old bit of tatty rubbish and was constantly ignored , belittled , bullied , financially deprived from him , deceived the list goes on ! I have never had such a hard time in all my life and would like to say that these people should be punished when they wreck peoples lives and minds. As with all narssistic personality they are the ones who are low and have very little self worth, you must remind yourself everyday that you have more power and more worth than your partner ever will. X

  • amy

    July 3rd, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    I have been in the same relationship for almost 5 years. We broke up for 9 months and got back together in April. He swore up and down that he had changed and things would be better. They were not. I get the silent treatment, he walks out on me constantly and has a lock on his phone. I’m done being a doormat. This article hits the nail on the head. No more anxiety for me. I’m 38 and i have a full life ahead of me. I hope you stick with your choice, do not let him back in. It sucks to let go, but once you have yourself back and your life back…it’s amazing.

  • dk123

    July 4th, 2015 at 1:05 AM

    I don’t want to say I’m glad to hear your story because no one deserves what you’ve endured, but reading your comment gave me comfort in knowing I’m not alone, I’m not crazy and I am not to blame. Thank you and I wish you every happiness in life… you deserve it. You don’t deserve to be trampled on.

  • Beth

    July 5th, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    You are not crazy DK , your narc is . This is how these “creatures” lure you into their “game “. I also thought there was something wrong with me that I was crazy and therefore the lies and the abuse I received daily must have been in my head. Wrong ! I’m so glad I found this site to share my story and to help others too, it was only yesterday that my ex was dropping our son back after having him for two days. My sister came to be the ” third” party so I didn’t have to see him . .and he really didn’t like not seeing me and have her a barrage of insults calling me “mental” he was suppose to give me child maintenance yesterday and I received nothing. This Is another trick of his to lure me into contacting him but making sure I get the full rath of his fury that I have even dared to breathe !

  • QueenTrumpsPawn

    July 2nd, 2015 at 7:54 PM

    #Nic welcome to the mourning club. Where good girls go bad and bad men go free.

  • Tom

    July 5th, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    It’s not just men who resort to these kind of hurtful tactics. I was seeing this woman for many years who used the silent treatment on me just to mess with me, and it usually came about after something didn’t quite go her way, or whenever she was under a lot of stress. It was rather obvious that I was a “part” of her life but not a priority. She used me as a tool to lift up her ego and spirit and was very affectionate and loving when she needed my presence and affection. By the same token, I often went from hero to zero in an instant whenever there were more important things on her agenda; it was all about her choreographed dance of compartmentalizing people in her life. She wouldn’t even return a text or pick up the phone when in silent treatment mode, and I’m talking about texting her once every two days or so.

  • dk123

    July 5th, 2015 at 11:39 PM

    Tom I’m sorry for what you’ve endured. I know it’s not just men. I hope you’re free of your tormentor and you find someone worthy of your time.


  • Kelly

    July 6th, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    I recently recognized I was being emotionally abused by a Narcissist. I fell in love with him and I was blind to all the signs. My mother is a narcissist and has been for years. I have been practically emotional abused all my life. The guy I have been dating started off nice until months later his true colors started to show. I felt my self worth and self esteem slowing fading. He took advantage of me sexually, emotionally, and mentally. If i didn’t do something he agreed with or give him what he wanted he would give me the silent treatment. When I wanted to discuss our relationship he gave me the silent treatment. I realized I had had enough i stood up to him. I told him he didn’t love me. He was using it to get what he wanted. He replied with a statement to make me feel guilty for standing up for myself. At this point I didn’t care anymore!

  • carrie

    July 6th, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    It is such a release and feels pretty good once you or realize what’s going on and stand up for yourself …and when you finally just don’t care anymore.
    Kind of like that one scene in the early 90’s movie Office Space when the main character gets hypnotized and wakes up late one day and decides he doesn’t care about work anymore.

  • Frankie

    July 7th, 2015 at 12:28 AM

    This forum is a great support to so many people, it shows how widespread narcissistic abuse is and it is great that it is being exposed for what it is. For me, having moved on a lot, I have had a recent recurrence of “fallout” from my former relationship because someone I know is now involved with her. I don’t know if it’s a sexual relationship but in any case this person is bailing the N out financially and has clearly formed a close friendship. This person has now unfriended me on Facebook and for weeks now has been barely able to speak to me. I still have to see her at groups and it’s really uncomfortable. She has no clue that she is being abused and will sooner or later be discarded like I was and all the compliments the N is paying her, telling her she is sexy etc (I’ve seen this on FB) will be withdrawn. One thing I am realising about narcissists is how much they are CHAMELEONS. I thought I was with someone who shared my interests, liked certain music, sports, supported causes etc etc but it was never genuine, it was only to get me on board and get me where she wanted me. This woman that she is now friends (or whatever) with is someone that the N really disliked before, in fact she was really nasty about her. Not just this one woman but they are part of a group – the N is at present immersed in this group even though last year she slated every one of them and what they stood for. Thank the lord I understand what is actually going on here, ie the N is using them for her sick supply or it would be driving me crazy. As it is I have to work at not being angry about it, it grates on me that they all think she is charming and wonderful and I get unfriended. Anyway, good to get it off my chest here and I am sure that in time she will drop them too, and this one particular woman especially will no doubt suddenly wonder what hit her. At least I now have the friendship of two people that at one time thought I was the “bad guy” but now she has blocked them and is totally hostile to them they now know the truth. And when that happens it is such a relief! Al the best to every one of you x

  • Lisa

    July 8th, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Thank you..
    I’ve been through this type of abuse and will now go no contact. She was my best friend but treated me like shit. The silent treatment being the worst.. It makes me feel worthless.

  • Jenny

    July 9th, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    Open letter to my Gay Narcissist: You’re so boring. We go silent treatment, as previously discussed after we sort out that my Narc moved into the building next door and failed to mention this to me or his hostages. What’s the deal? We have felt your presence spying from across the schoolyard for 4 months or more. We’re not looking to be abused by you anymore. Eat sh** a**hole. Leave me alone.

  • Frank

    July 13th, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    I hate having to admit I’m in this same situation with my fiancee. She really knows how to turn up the silent treatment. I’ve been with her for 11 years and recently they’re getting more frequent.

    I’m exactly as the article describes the target – high emotional intelligence, empathetic, etc. so I feel a lot of times she does the silent treatment to me especially because she knows it destroys me inside.

    It’s amazing how some people just have that ability to cut someone else down that they supposedly care for. I’ve told her plenty of times how agonizing it is for me, but it hasn’t stopped or slowed her down. It just makes me feel like she doesn’t care.

    I’ve been with her 11 years and it’s amazing how my self-confidence is in the dumpster. I just feel beaten up by this.

    I admit at times, some arguments are my fault but the minute I realize it’s my fault, I tend to apologize instantly and sincerely. Which is never good enough – I still get the silent treatment, even when I apologize.

    Which brings me to another thing – when she screws up, you have to drag an apology out of her kicking and screaming. Yet when I screw up, I own up to it and apologize but it’s never enough. I can walk backwards, on my knees, through broken glass and it still wouldn’t be enough. She holds out until I’m begging and groveling for her to forgive me.

    It’s led to a lot of similar feelings in this article. I have a lot of resentment – especially over how I feel I apologize a lot of times for things that weren’t my fault simply to diffuse things and get her speaking to me again because I know that sometimes unless I apologize, it’ll be a very long time.

    It’s given me a lot of hopelessness in my relationship. It makes me feel like she has so little feelings for me in order to act like this. It’s kind of like trying to fight a kamikaze pilot… I mean, it’s almost terrifying to try to fight an enemy who you know has no problem killing themselves to take you out. How do you fight someone like that? In the same respect, it terrifies me in the relationship because how do you resolve conflict with someone who has no problem destroying the relationship just to make you grovel?

    Today was the final straw…I was a bit grouchy earlier today and when she called we got into an argument. I realized that it was my fault and I apologized profusely. It didn’t matter. She hung up on me so I called back (because I always have to be the one to call because she never will..) and started getting the silent treatment. I begged her not to do it and that I knew it was all my fault and I kept apologizing profusely but still got the silent treatment. Finally I had enough and I sent her a copy of this article telling her I can’t handle this emotional abuse and she wrote back and said, “F**k you. I’d rather not talk to you than insult you.” And this is AFTER I already went belly up and apologized.

    Sheesh…what a mess.

  • Beth

    July 14th, 2015 at 12:40 AM

    Hi Frank it really sounds very similar to how my recent ex partner used to treat me. I have got a lot stronger and have found perspective on my whole situation now as being in a relationship with a narc does destroy you and they have such a cunning way of making you feel powerless . Your apologies to your finance I can guarantee you frank are not needed, these people are like human mirrors and will reflect their personal hurts insecuritys , demons , all of what they hate about themselves onto you . I was always apologising for to my ex for arguments , the silent treatment only hightens all this I found as would get increasingly frustrated and low about myself. In your own time frank you need to step away and see this woman for what she truly is a child in a woman’s body . And nothing else. You deserve to be loved by someone who will appreciate you and love you properly x

  • Tom

    July 14th, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    Frank – she sounds really intense and knows how to emasculate you by kicking the silent treatment up a notch. Try the no contact strategy; you should be able to elicit a response because silence on your part is counterintuitive to what they’re trying to get out of you (begging, pleading, writhing in agony).

  • Glinda

    July 15th, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I am impressed to learn that my NARC’s long time hostage is looking out for herself. Hopefully she’s not even reading this in her quest to leave him out. He will have fallout.
    You’re gonna feel guilty! As an enabler we feel that when we stand up for our boundaries. Know that it’s coming and observe the feeling and don’t give in to your impulses. Feeling bad is part of the process. That guy thinks everybody acts like him – from a place of shallow manipulations. All that talk for nothing “how people act who have humanity”. 
    I text myself or write to my other phone # so I can send text/email and be heard by someone who cares: me. Well he eventually spyware hacked my phone probably to read what I wasn’t sending and lately he’s taken to posting pics from my internal storage. Swell guy.

    To the silent treating hostage I’m not gonna say you’re better off. You may be, u may not feel that way but you’ll gain the value of remembering you CAN have a life of your own. And yes pretty much every other guy you ever meet treats you better than he does.

    I’ve been trying to jump off this trainwreck for a minute here, two steps forward, three steps back. I’m so happy he’s out of town I can breathe!! His overbearing negative personality is stifling.

    I’ve also read further into the blog of a woman who is surviving the worst of malignant Narcissists which I am learning there is no doubt he is.

    It’s frightening reading Lisette’s blogs and their exact parallels to my story and maybe yours too. In the 3 years I’ve known him there have been three deaths by suicide of women involved with him where he was in their business until they left. One woman’s story I read on here … He points out their deaths or I wouldn’t have put it together. Does he feel bad or is it the ultimate Narc “win”.

    I value my life. It’s time to GO. 

    I read that being silent treated makes the narc feel small, worthless and powerless. Oh welcome to our world! Ice…ice…. ice him OUT!!

  • Glinda

    July 15th, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Ive gained a wealth of understanding from this site on Malignant Narcissicm

  • No Sympathy

    July 15th, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    Here’s what we are dealing with :

    House of Mirrors
    Malignant Narcissist, Covetous Sociopath, Bully, Liar, Slanderer…

    It doesn’t matter what you call them: malignant narcissist, covetous sociopath or bully. They are one and the same. They are all predators who target people that provoke in them a desire for something they have, or for something they are. The covert power game and systematic destruction of another who put puts their wretched selves to shame is sport for the malignant narcissist. They excel at it. They’ve been practicing since birth. It gives them a thrill and makes them feel alive. That is why malignant narcissists are unsafe for human interaction, period.

    If you have been targeted run like hell.
    ’ve stayed out of reach of these two dangerous predators for 20 years and yet they still managed to stalk me and wreak havoc on my life over the phone, online and through email. Truth If you’ve been targeted by a malignant narcissist – particularly a family member – you will NEVER be safe in their sphere of influence because they will never stop trying to destroy you.
    If the malignant narcissist can extract information from anyone, and I mean anyone, who is in contact with you, they will. They will create a smear campaign over the most innocuous slice of your life. For example, you tell Bob that a car rear ended you; the malignant narcissist knows that you’re in contact with Bob, and even though the malignant narcissist doesn’t have a relationship with Bob, she calls him now and again just to see if she can dig up dirt on you – that’s how brazen and predatory the malignant narcissist is. The blood thirsty malignant narcissist manages to pry this tiny tidbit of information – about a minor car collision – out of Bob. The malignant narcissist then concocts an elaborate pathology of you based on a 5 second mention of a fender bender. She/He spreads her/his work of fiction far and wide in order to generate a negative view of you in everyone’s eyes. Remember: the malignant narcissist is ravenous; she/he hasn’t had their supply since you went no contact; she is irritable and aggressive and is chomping at the bit to destroy you by any means possible.

    If the malignant narcissist can’t violate your mind directly, the next best thing is to dirty up other people’s minds with bad thoughts of you. This is achieved through lies, slander, false rumours, undermining, creating doubts and suspicions and by encouraging and manipulating people to withhold information and spread misinformation.
    Don’t think for a second that sharing an innocent piece of information such as being in a fender bender is harmless – it isn’t. Any information about you is ammunition for the devious malignant narcissist and it will be used to attack you.

    That’s why it is so important to sever all lines of communication that are open to your abuser. Even if you don’t care what her cohorts and copycat abusers think, she’s still getting a power rush out of the game.

    And the worst part: the slimy bitch will malign you all under the pretence of “concern”. It’s enough to make you sick. She puts on a schmaltzy performance as a “caring” person; meanwhile, behind closed doors, she’s plotting your destruction.

    And people buy their act. What a joke! It’s no surprise that narcissists surround themselves with imbeciles.

    No wonder people are taking to the internet for shared information. Narcissistic abuse is not only an assault of a person’s human dignity; it’s a never ending cycle of re-victimization by an abuser who literally gets high and mighty through the process of your destruction. In short, narcissistic abuse is an assault on a person’s human dignity by those who have NO dignity – an outrage!

    Malignant narcissists are disgusting, filthy, reprehensible creatures. They are violent mental and emotional rapists, and as such, they think like rapists. A rapist knows that they are dirty. They are secretly ashamed of themselves for their perversions. So, in order for the mental rapist to feel clean, they must dirty up their victim. That’s where spreading rumours, lies and slander comes in. But we all know that slander is just projection. So, whatever LIES the vile narcissist is spreading about you, is actually the TRUTH about the narcissist.

    Unfortunately, most people are easily duped into swallowing the narcissist’s load of crap. Narcissists are masters at manipulating people through their emotions, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions.

    There is underlying sinister intent to everything he says and does.

    Another thing that people don’t get is that the narcissist needs NO reason to be hostile to their target. Normal people attack for natural motives like revenge or retaliation. Not so the narcissist. They simply attack people who possess something they want. For the narcissist believes that everything belongs to them, and if someone has a little of something, he needs all of it.

    Pathological greed, entitlement, and covetousness are what makes the malignant narcissist a dangerous predator. They are forever out to take, keep from, destroy and besmirch whatever they can get their grimy paws on: be it your job, you home, your relationships, or your reputation.

    It is sheer malevolence to want to damage the most valuable possessions of another. It is sheer malevolence to be hostile to others getting what makes them happy and feel good about themselves.

    And, it is beyond sick to have ill will toward people who aren’t harming you, have never harmed you, and have never threatened to harm you. !!!!!

    Malignant narcissists are pure evil. Just look at who they target:

    vulnerable children, people who love them, family, and the innocent.

    Convicted criminals who steal out of necessity, or shoot someone who tries to fight them off in a robbery, or commit murder for anger or revenge are better than the malignant narcissist. The criminal isn’t a threat to anyone else because he doesn’t go around wishing to hurt others or see harm come to them. But the malignant narcissist does – in every waking moment of his sad, sorry existence. He is a pestilent, disease spreading low-life and the driving force behind his predation is insecurity, greed, entitlement and covetousness.

    Remember; he’s not normal. He’s incapable of aquiring positive attributes for himself, so he must take from others to even the score.

    The malignant narcissist’s spiteful envy compels him to steal from you and make damn sure that you are severely harmed in the process. This clandestine power game is priority number one, and all of the malignant narcissist’s energies are devoted to it.

    The objective is POWER, CONTROL, and DOMINATION and he will stop at nothing to win. Causing the downfall of others gives him pleasure and victory means disempowering the target to a state of suffering and loss while aggrandizing himself.

    So sad, that the pathetic pu**y narcissist must resort to such tactics but he knows no other way, he’s abnormal: socially, morally, emotionally and psychologically RETARDED.

    However, beneath the extreme treachery, the malignant narcissist is still able to project an “image” – albeit campy and over-the-top. So, when people don’t incite his jealous rage, he lays on the smarmy charm thick with a spoon and slyly uses those dimwits to spread vicious rumours about his victims. All the while, maintaining a false front as a well meaning, do-gooder. Blech! That is precisely why these sickos – particularly women – can continue harming people. Why is the average person so gullible? Narcissists are lousy actors.
    Malignant narcissists love their perverted sport, and they never want the game to end. It’s all they have. Let’s face it; their lives are sad, so very sad. Take away the narcissist’s only reason for living – to hurt others. Don’t be their play thing. Stay Far Far Away.

    As far as I’m concerned; dealing with a narcissist on any level is just one big mind game and power struggle… the trick – like you suggest – is not to let them know your playing. It’s fun to outwit the devil.

  • cw

    July 20th, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    Well that afll summed them up pretty good.

  • Diane

    July 19th, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    Had a narc ‘friend’ come down on me so badly because I had joined a private step group without her that I felt like she was grabbing me by the neck (through the phone) and pinning me up against my brick wall in the air. I got angry at this and told her I had doubts about our relationship. She has since blocked her phone number but called me in case she needed me in the future with legal matters. I blocked her number and feel extreme guilt because I know she is emotionally childlike and thaws out over time but I don’t want her being the only one in control over this. Now I feel like I’m playing this “childish”game and I don’t want to. It’s s frightening feeling not knowing when she’ll call and her being the only one in control over me. I hope if I get a comment it will be kind.

  • Kai

    July 26th, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    I just found out today that I’m the unwitting, unprepared victim of a narcissist. I never saw this coming. He just shut me out. Never told me it was over. Never told me he needed to be away from me or that he needed some time to himself. Nothing.

    He literally just disappeared. It’s terrifying to me how shaken to my absolute core I am over this. I’ve become a desperate mess where once I was confident and secure, I now have this constant sense of dread and fear. I jump at the slightest startling, unexpected sound. It’s surreal. My stomach is in knots. I keep begging him to talk to me.

    I have no idea how to cope with this pain…….I can’t stop shaking. I can’t stop crying. :(((

  • Bianca

    September 11th, 2015 at 1:46 AM

    I 100% feel the same way as you. And my guy meets the narcissistic description perfectly.

  • Carrie

    July 27th, 2015 at 8:49 PM


    I know exactly how you’re feeling and I just want you to know you’re in good hands now. Keep reading up on here and anywhere else on narcissism. At first I didn’t want to believe anyone I cared about so much could ever actually be such a mind blowing and awful thing such as a narcissist and a sociopath. It feels mean to even say those terms. Its also not good to throw them around lightly and I wanted to be sure of it beyond a reasonable doubt that this is what it is. I don’t believe most narcissist cases know to the full extent just what all effects and trauma and pain they put others through that try to get close to them. I don’t believe its just that simple and they are just mean and evil. That’s not to say at all that its justifiable what they do. I just think they don’t care. They really don’t and when it dawns on them how much we do , they run for the hills because they’re cowards and can’t and won’t admit it that they dont care. Maybe it makes them feel bad to even realize that so they run..
    What I do know Kai, and want you to know is that you will get through this dark tunnel. There is little light and even more at the end of it. The confusion, the pain, the emotional roller coaster , the tug of war. It may happen again, with someone by else or the same person may come back. It will not work out if they do come back. I’m 99.9% sure.
    Nobody that cares about YOU would act like that. It is just not normal and its dangerous actually. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and eventually get back to loving you for who you are and you’ll again one day be back and comfortable in your own shoes and skin. Not only that but you will eventually meet someone who is so much more that greater and will make up for all this crap you didn’t ask for or want to deal with.
    I promise. One day at a time. Some days
    Will be better than others. You’ll go back. And forth but healing a step at a time. Just know you did nothing wrong and save that love and hope you had because there is someone who does deserve it and will return it I promise you this. Or I would not say it.
    Keep your head up and don’t beat yourself up k kiddo? You ARE loved :)

  • Kai

    July 28th, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    I deeply appreciate your kind, encouraging words. Every bit of kindness helps exponentially, so thank you a million times. You are right, of course. I know it gets better. I’ve had breakups in the past, but they were mutual good-byes, see you laters, take good cares, I wish you the best, etc…..there was communication!

    But this? This is an animal of a completely different nature.

    However, I know that I cannot change him or control him. I’ve done a lot of reading this past weekend since his disappearance. I contacted him quite profusely at first, but then I read somewhere where you have to shift the focus onto yourself, stay true to your own core values, and separate yourself from his actions while taking care of yourself emotionally. By begging him to talk to me, I realize I was feeding into his sense of power and control over me (and probably giving him a big head in the process!).


    I’m over that part. I’ve decided that every time I start to feel the stomach churn, that old familiar resentment and anger, I immediately shift my focus to my core values. I remind myself of the authentic me, which by the way, would NEVER have given this guy the time of day. Who I am in my soul is a person who gives love, friendship, caring, kindness, joy, etc…and therefore, I expect the same in my relationships. Admittedly, this time with this guy, I myself was emotionally unavailable, which is how I drew him to me, I think. I’m not blaming myself for his actions, but I recognize my role in how this relationship developed and this realization will help me the next time, I’m sure.

    I blocked him from my numbers today and I sent him a goodbye text yesterday. I have not contacted him since, and I will never contact him again. I choose me, not him.

    Does it still hurt? Absolutely. I’m in pain over having become so attached to someone I’d convinced myself was perfect for me. But I also know that the signs were there. I could feel him pull away when I was loving and caring toward him. I honestly believe that he wants his relationships with women on a shallow level because he’s too afraid to love wholly with his whole heart. I think that is why he lied to me constantly about other women, deprived me of affection and loving actions, and cheated on me. I make that statement with 100% proof, not only because he let me see his phone, but he also confessed.

    Because he confessed, I tried to stay with him, but it just didn’t work. After the first few lies, the trust was gone and by the time I found out about the last woman, I was already gone in my heart by then. I wasn’t even shocked.
    What did shock me was his play for my affections and the way he begged me for another chance. He seemed 100% sincere, crying, and the words he chose to manipulate me into that chance seemed believable at the time.
    But, as soon as he had me on that hook again, he did the disappearing act. He gave me the silent treatment and cold shoulder for three days. He’d given me the silent treatment before, but usually it was only for a few hours at a time, never longer than a day.

    He did try to text me and called me several times yesterday, but I ignored his calls and I made the decision to leave him for good. I honestly don’t care where his head is at and why he did what he did anymore. That’s what happens when you choose yourself over him. The detachment I feel is a relief and it’s helping me heal.

    Moving forward, I know that not all men are not like this. They wouldn’t abandon a woman pregnant with their child and they wouldn’t just cruelly and coldly shut a woman out. I know that when I’m ready to embark on a new relationship, because of this happening to me, I can now set boundaries in a way that will not allow this to happen to me again.

    Again, I appreciate your support, Carrie. It means the world to me.


  • Beth

    July 29th, 2015 at 1:31 AM

    Hello Kai again what Carrie has said to you ….your doing 100% the right thing . It is the hardest breakup you will ever endure one from a narc. But I swear it does get easier. Little by little you will find yourself loving you again and loving life. I was in my relationship for 3 years with my narc ” Mr M” and we have a little boy together. Only two months ago I decided to end our relationship for good after seeing he had been behind my back again. It still hurts sometimes I remember something that I had seen or happend that didn’t quite add up as he had a ton of secret girlfriends never knowing if I was going mad or it was actually him was painful and draining on my mental state. Living on egg shells and Sharing my so called partner in life with others was not my way forward in life. It is even harder as we have our son together but I do not regret moving forward. And where I had lost myself completely Iam now finding little bits if me I had forgotten. Stay true to yourself Kai and remember if you give him an inch it’s wasted. Keep that man out of your life , you have won the biggest jackpot in life …….your freedom for life and love. This man isn’t free he is in his own tormented world where he will never be happy and never change. Lots of love Kai x

  • Ryan

    August 2nd, 2015 at 5:21 AM

    I cannot believe how effective this form of abuse is. Also that more an more people are using this. I am a strong willed, motivated, compassionate, loving, empathetic man, who before meeting this person was 100 percent focused on bettering myself as being slightly narcissistic myself in previous failed relationships. I learned new ways to deal, and treat women with respect and love. I have stayed in a toxic stew of silence to my hearts discontent, verbal battery, blame shifting, and downright unstable behavior for two years. If there’s a mental break point now is the time, as I have tried to diagnose every issue at hand only to be blamed. And have slowly lost the motivation for life. I don’t really know why or how I could put up with this. I am very mature for my age and have had many many relationships. She’s had two. She is about to have my child. I worry for my daughter. I do not want this to go on any longer I need to b the best I can be for her and myself, I just can’t bring myself to pack up again and level with her about to have my kid. She says she cares, and sometimes I do actually get acknowledgement, when I run on and on and don’t give her time to speak nonsense. But usually I am ignored. She has nothing to say unless it’s gossip, to complain, or to blame. That’s it. I only wish to raise awareness women do this too, and a once strong minded man here has now began to doubt himself and lose motivation to continue bettering himself. Should I leave ladies. How is it having a child with this person and can it be done in a manner that dosnt hurt my daughter if we are not together. I ha plans to have a child when I was ready and with the right person, this was not planned. I do not have regret only for allowing for my inevitable failure working alone in this toxic relationship.

  • Kimmy

    October 23rd, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    Just leave just stop. He won’t change, you change! Even a therapeutic person on here, I come to learn is still in touch with their NPD, all these years later and all this work done. I can hear it now , “just a good FR. Part of my process”, or something. I’m saying even an expert doesn’t do what they advise me and everyone else.
    I need a vacation..

  • Idk

    August 16th, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    How long before you feel better? I am leaving the one man I have loved the most in life…I have tolerated the abuse to avoid this pain. I have acted completely without grace due to the fact I know I am about to get the silent treatment. I go into complete despair. I have tolerated years of this. I have already had a very hard time due to my last relationship…I have 3 children and their father passed 2 years ago. We were divorced due to circumstances that were out of his control…also heartbreaking…mental illness took my last relationship. Now I have subjected myself to this? The one man I have known most of my life and the first man I have ever loved (teenage love). As a previous person posted…maybe Carrie? I don’t think he knows what he is doing is actually abusive. It is just really hard for me to believe he would intentionally do this to me. Like you…there isn’t anyone I can tell this to. I sent him an article about this hoping he would see that this is abusive. I told him I was deeply disturbed by all this and that we needed a break. Maybe he will choose Budha and we can heal together. No one can be doomed to the life of an abuser if they choose not to be, right?

  • Jo

    July 29th, 2015 at 4:09 AM

    I Don’t know if anyone will actually read this but I have nobody else I can talk to about this. Saturday night I tried to be affectionate to which point my so called other half said , sleep. It hurts when he does that, so I moved and he turned over in bed and made a comment which suggested I had put a barrier in the way. The next was was only a few bits of conversation here and there. But we saw someone he knew at the shop who he laughed and chatted with and we went to the pub in the evening and the same thing. Twice through the day I tried to hold his hand for him to basically take his hand away. Monday morning he gave me a kiss goodbye and then nothing. I text him Monday night just a hope your ok. He replied with you cant have still been doing overtime till now. explained had gone to yoga and had coffee with a friend. All I got back was “Good for you”. I replied with just a x and have heard nothing since. I didn’t contact him last night and intend not doing so again tonight. Its not the first time this has happened but when he does come back if he does I know that I will get such a hard time and the blame for something. The interesting thing about reading some of the articles is the stop eating, I haven’t eaten since sunday morning and I just face anything. I did this once before and I lost a stone again because of his treatment. I wish I didn’t feel so alone.

  • Sade

    August 10th, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Jo, I can totally relate to ur problem. Would really like to chat with you. Im going through a similar situation.

  • Idk

    August 15th, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    I read your post. I know how you feel. It only gets worse from where you are now. There are a lot of men out there. Likely you believe none that you will love as much as you love the one you have… I am having a hard time too. I was just looking for answers and have come across several articles about this type of abuse. I suspected it was due to the despair it brings and that he is completely aware ofmy despair. I do not believe if you truly feel love you would do this. It is not about whether you are lovable, they just choose not to love.

  • carole

    October 9th, 2015 at 3:28 AM

    My husband withdrew all his affection to punish me (for what i have no idea) by sleeping at the bottom of the bed. His excuse was he couldnt get comfortable sleeping at the top…this went on for around 3 years then after a period of him giving me the silent treatment i told him i would prefer him to sleep on the sofa until he sorted himself out. Over 2 years later hes still there. Its my fault of course

  • Jo

    July 29th, 2015 at 4:37 AM

    In addition to my last post, im so sorry to hear that its such a common thing. As a loving kind person , yes I have my flaws but they do not involve being mean to someone I claim to Love. Why would you want that. Reading through some of the posts the thing that came to mind aswell was the fact that when we first got together he told me the one thing he hated most was the fact his ex wife would ignore him for a week out of a month. I don’t know anymore than that. So is that a punished becoming a punisher ? My stomach is in knots, I feel exhausted and struggling to sleep when I go to bed even though I tell myself to stop. The biggest light bulb moment for me today has been he punishes me by turning away from me or giving me the silent treatment then I punish me by not eating. Its not intentional though I think its how I have learnt to cope with the stress of the situation.

  • Ann

    August 11th, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    I have been struggling for years as to whether or not to stay in my narcissistic relationship. Our daughters have their own families now and have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. My daughters do not think their narcissistic father will take care of me. I am at a loss as to what I should do.

  • Jo

    August 12th, 2015 at 12:44 AM

    Sade – Im sorry to hear you are in the same situation.
    Ann, please do what it takes to make you happy. At the end of the day don’t stay because your scared of what the future might bring. Do what you need to do for you. x

    My two days of hearing nothing turned out to be my fault. I apparently ignored him. But my situation has left me looking at myself and how I avoid conflict when im hurt. Because I shut off and barely speak, he takes it that im having a pissy and im ignoring him. Where usually im just hurt inside and don’t know how to convey what I need to. The same as when something is wrong I don’t say and then do quiet. It doesn’t excuse how he is when he is cheesed off at me though.

  • Browndog

    August 18th, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    This article by Theresa Schneider and Teresa Cooper’s article on the Silent Treatment easily found on the web both really nailed this situation.
    I recommend the recently published Three Faces of Evil to those experiencing such treatment. IDK, in it you will find that kind, optimistic people who act like adults attract narcissistic abusers. It is common to have more than one of these relationships until we as targets learn to recognize the traits of these venomous people.

  • Chris

    August 20th, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    It’s so helpful reading this.

  • Mekenna

    August 23rd, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    What if it’s my dad though? He’s emotionally abusive and has been giving me the silent treatment for a week and acting like I don’t exist. He purposely shows so much love to my siblings in front of me. He’s mad because I tried to stand up to him and how he was treating me. I can’t just “break up with him and move on”

  • Sophie

    August 30th, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Mekenna… how old are you? Just curious. Is your dad verbally or physically abusive? I am the daughter of an N father. I feel your pain. Do you have a school counselor you can go to if you are indeed still in school? I’m 48 btw. Was 35 the first time I really stood up to my dad. Nobody should wait that long but you can’t take that on alone if you are under age and live at home. You need support.

  • Renee

    August 23rd, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    My husband and I live in two separate states due to our jobs we cannot work at the same location. So the only day to day communications we have is phone calls.
    I read your article, I have told myself forever, several years that my husband is emotionally abusive. I have tried and I have told him that his silence, when he doesn’t like my disagreement of his position on something, is abusive and that I don’t like the silence. I grew up in a loud house with several family members, the only time it was silent was when there was trouble. He knows this and yet he continues to shut down when I disagree with what his opinion is. The last time I told him that if a person does not trust their spouse they should not be married in the first place. 3 days later, he still has not contacted me, text me, or spoke to me. After these silent treatments he always says well he doesn’t cheat, doesn’t beat me and he doesn’t drink so he is not abusive…..yet if I continue with my stand for myself he will cut me off and shut down again. I have finally taken the stance that I will not call him or text him when he acts this way. He will call me 2-3 days later and want to know why I haven’t called him!! I am at my wits end and know this is not a healthy relationship to be in. I have no friends anymore because he claims that married people should not go out with non-married friends because it leads to cheating!! I use to go out to see friends, I use to enjoy dancing, I use to just go hang out and read a book but if I do any of those things, I get the 3rd degree, who are you with, why are you going, who did you talk to/see why you were out. So I just quit going anywhere and stay in the house. Now I am depressed and anxious all the time, if I go out will he call and get mad? I stay home and I am depressed and unhappy. I KNOW I need to get a divorce and save myself, I am at the point (45 years old and second marriage), that I will never seek out another relationship if I get divorced, I just can’t take the emotional destruction anymore. Thank you for a wonderful article that makes me realize I am NOT crazy.

  • Hazel

    August 25th, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    I really dont know if nt boyfriend is a narcissistic or not. When i met him he won my heart by the way he was. He would write me messages love notes, omg he showed me ge was in love w me. He would say i was his Rock n that he was gonna protect me n take care of me. We started living together n he did a changed a lot. He would check my messages, social media, Call logs n you name it. I had no problem because there was nothing for me hide. Then he would try to pick a fight for everything. I started getting irritated and walking in egg shells. I asked him to leave several times and he wouldn’t. After our last fight he left. He says he wants to work things out but i feel him distant and he doesn’t call me like he used to. I already apologized for what i did n how i acted but still all i get is “u don’t get it. .i love you” he doesn’t want to talk to me. I fell him distant and he comes over for a little bit n then he leaves giving me excuses. I know he is not cheating on me but i feel horrible. I want to give him space but i feel i will lose him. I am in love with this man n i don’t want to loose him. I’ve been crying for more than 4 days already. he does have an issue. ..He has a bad temper and he doesn’t really want to give me money for bills. I hate th at fights are always about money! i would like to hear your input. One last note. .i sent a heartfelt text asking him to be honest with me and that i really loved him n all i got back. “I have a lot going on right now. .don’t do this i have a headache” 😕😕😢

  • Had enough

    August 29th, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    Leave this relationship and run as fast as you can to get away . His behavior will continue as long as you let him . I was in a narcissistic abusive relationship for over eight years. There were times we broke up only to be sucked back in. Cut all ties with him . I know easier said than done. I’m much happier now than I’ve been in a long time. I wish you luck and strength . You can do this Hazel !

  • FreeAtLast

    August 30th, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    The silent treatment is only abuse if the “victim” is still emotionally attached to the narc. Once a person detaches and is on a healthier path the silence is peaceful. And sane.

  • AuldLangSyne

    September 24th, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    We have been in daily contact for years. The NPD and me. I’m used to it I like it and this afternoon I feel the loss.

    He had found some innovative ways to keep us hooked in our mutual obsession that were working. He came up large off my work, to the tune of $500,000 in equity alone and I would think his greed quotient was satisfactorily met. As usual we’d burn each other back and forth; with any losses for me always greater than his wins. Then he would do something outrageously funny and sweet and with laughter and realistic communication things were vastly improved.
    The scales were extraordinarily tipped in his favor. Nothing was asked of him that he didn’t already want to do.

    There was a payoff for me, of course, which was mutually beneficial for him so when it became apparent he was going to refuse to do anything requiring any effort on his part, things turned ridiculous.

    I started to withdraw from this alliance out of self respect and he removed his only superior charm, while shaking his hand in the air “I will NOT be forced to feel good while you suck me off!” Or something equally charm-less.

    The amount of time we spent and the nature of our confidential discussions made us close over time. He went BAT SH*T when I tried to leave earlier this year so when I saw an opportunity to feed him alternate supply I did and it worked. I could breathe. That lasted for a while and then it stopped. I took three days in July and went radio deaf. When I tuned back in he was on a Narcissistic frenzy of epic proportions like he hadn’t slept the entire time I was out. I’d not seen such a thing but we’d always been in contact. How great would it be if he spent a quarter of that energy just doing the right thing?

    So none of this amounts to much in terms of showing up for the friendship. Instead he’s put a lot of effort into the new supply. What a smart fella!

    What saves me, I guess is that he CAN fake himself out like that and OVERRIDE any thoughts about making some small effort on his part to keep all parties happy. He’s too old and in too thick of a user mentality crowd not to know better. It’s funny to see him act surprised when he gets ducked over

    He takes my distancing as a reason to bully and spite me, even as I remain loving and giving for the few interactions I allow anymore. I did everything to keep him in check and it worked for a long time but when I started to seriously withdraw my assistance earlier this year things started falling apart for him. Futile I know, but my point was to demonstrate what happens when he refuses to do the tiniest thing to maintain a friendship. He takes it like a challenge in a duel and spent days and weeks wasting time trying to hurt me, rather than 20 minutes doing right by me. He will even take the things he’s promised me (hah!) or money or favors he knows he “owes” and give them to other people. Just to be a bad sport. It’s very unbecoming on a man.

    We stopped being lovers last year when he finally told me he’s never gotten a girl pregnant. He had been willing to help me try, even made fun of me that it didn’t work so I challenged him to “break my heart by getting some other girl pregnant”. And he did. Oct/Nov last year. It didn’t break me, it was meant to burn HIM.

    It seems his latest supply is neatly falling for tricks that normal people might question and it won’t be long for furious problems to start again. As the cookie crumbles.

    For me today when I need a friend there is no excuse for him not to be supportive. Just a month ago when he came home and was devastated and crying in pain over leaving a girl, I was the one who soothed him. I helped him through it None of the pygmie goat crew were called upon. He knows precisely how it feels and just how much and often he’s been soothed.

    I have news for him its so hard to dry up the friendship overnight. He has gotten so unduly paranoid that he rarely resorts to normal communication and I closed up other ways to steer clear of the Narc Frenzy path. My friends think it’s really bizarre and weird and I find it difficult myself to describe how this sabotage and subterfuge unfolds.

    It is like making a toast to the new supply “May the flame that burns brightest in this one instance not burn out fastest.”

    What happened to my FRIEND!

    There is only one guarantee with this NPD; You will GET your TURN!

  • carole

    October 21st, 2015 at 4:17 AM

    Hi FreeAtLast
    I’ve just had this very discussion with him, after another rant of accusations.
    I’ve said the same, I’m not explaining myself and I’m not upset I simply don’t care.
    I’ve emailed him about his condition but he’s in total denial and I know he will never admit to his actions.
    So pleased he’s leaving

  • Bela

    September 3rd, 2015 at 4:22 AM

    I really need your help and advice. My partner has NPD and I found out that recently. In our relationship he always demaded to have full control over me and my life and I accepted that because we had the typical BDSM relationship. I was the submissive one. Also he was my first and only partner and I always followed his lead no matter what. I was the perfect NS. About an year ago, tired of his treatment, I tried some reverse psychology techniques. I changed my behaviour, started to disobey him, seemed not so interested anymore, denied to met him over some excuses( recently found out that this is the so called narcissistic injury). I did all that so that he behave better with me. It worked somehow because he was afraid of losing me but because I had so much anger on him, I exaggerated and then he got tired of the “new” me. He told that it is over and he’s done with me. That happened 6 months ago. From that moment I beg him to come back every single day. Firstly, he said a strong no. Then he told me that I should pay him if I want to see him again( it was not about money because his financial situation is very good, it was about humiliating me). I agreed and I payed him. After meeting and paying him, he changed his mind and told me he no longer wants this deal because it’s not fair for me and that maybe he’ll come back for good. A few days later, he to forget about him and never bother him anymore. But I did write to him. He changed his mind and we met again 3 weeks ago. He told me that during the meeting I wasn t allowed to talk and that I only must listen. He talk to me like in the good times and I thought we were back together. But no because the next day he was cold again. And now for 1 week he didn’t replied any of my messages. And I write to him every day. Also, it was my birthday. He didn’t even wish me happy birthday. Those last 6 months have been a torture for me, I feel that I am loosing my mind, I just want him back. I know it’s toxic but that’s my choice. I write to him everyday because I know he wants that. I tell him all the things he wants to hear, that I am sorry for acting like I did, that I would never do it again, that he has full control over me, that I am all the submissive he wants, that my life without him it’s a nightmare. My question to you is: What should I do to make him stop this punishment? What does he want from me that would make him stop this punishment? I know that u ll probably say that I should leave this relationship because it is toxic, but I don’t want to. Every human being has the right to make his own decisions. It will really help me any advice on what should I do to make him stop the punishment. Or if nobody wants to advice me on that, then at least tell me if you think he ll leave me for good or if he ll be back.

  • Natalie

    September 3rd, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Hello girl i’m really sorry , first of all u need to understand that this is not life theres nothing u can do to change him cos narcissists are perverse he needs ur suffering to feed his ego, its all about his ego , while u are suffering , while u are losing ur time he is enjoying this, when u realise of the time u wasted on him u will regret it, i was dealing with a narcissist man 8 years of my life and now i see how wrong i was , he never stopped lying to me i begged him to be honest to me and there was no case, he always humillated me with his past , he never wanted a serious relationship with me , he only liked to use me to feed his ego, these kind of people dont change, love makes us blind but we need to choose ourself , a better man can love u properly as u deserve its not easy to face this and to believe in love again but everything is possible , if there was a solution for this i would say it but the truth is that narcissists dont feel as we feel as human beings its all about them and we dont exist to them, i know how hard it is to move on when u are in love but u need to use ur brain not ur heart , be reasonable and honest with urself, we cant love to a person who wont ever love us, u cannot become his slave cos he doesnt give u anything good its not healthy for u, u need to choose urself be strong, be an strong woman and give him his own medicine start ignoring him use the no contact and be strong every single day then u will start getting stronger everyday and u will start feeling that u are better off without him, he will do exactly the same if u dont put an end to the situation cos these people dont ever get tired of playing, he is perverse ,cynic ,sadisctic as any other narcissist and u must undertand this is their psychology and narcissism its a pathology a serious pathology , u are not the guilty its their fault u are the victim not him, act as an strong woman , narcissists need servants to serve them when they want ,when they get tired of u they walk away from u after using u to their own benefit without guilt and remorse, they walk away from u looking for another victim to satisfy their narcissist needs, dont take him back cos he will continue playing with u, move on heal yrself and u will find a real man with time , this is my best advice for u Bela, good luck and i wish u the best.

  • Jeri

    September 5th, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    I have been in a relationship with someone for 3 and a half years. We were great at first. Then about 9mos into it I caught him in a lie. Since then I have caught him in one after another. He kept promising he would stop but had definite limits as to what he was willing to do to rebuild trust. Conversely he called me the love of his life, referred to me as Mrs. (His last name) and would send me emails with live songs often. All those things were great but they didn’t give me assurance that he was being honest about the things he had lied about. I tried everything, mostly things that required work from me and not him. Blind faith. He abused all privileges. I on the other hand let him back in time and again without requiring work and it got to where I never even got an apology sometimes or if I did one that was weak to say the least. I felt very unimportant over time, very lost, very insecure. I am in therapy and 30 pounds heavier. It created intense fear in me to the point I was having panic attacks, constantly suspicious and always on edge. He truly acted like he didn’t get what his responisbilty was. It got to where he would say mean things to me and even laugh at me when I was upset and crying. He would furiate me and then call me crazy. He doesn’t not take daily care of his children, has been married 3 times and is a financial trainwreck. He gets mad if someone questions him in anything. Recently in the midst of failing efforts to heal he finds that he has a work trip to Vegas. He even invited me to go. Then within a week he starts saying that I shouldn’t maybe stay everyday he stays and even starts talking about the naked pools at the hotel. So I calmly tell him I’m feeling some anxiety about this whole thing because of his shift in excitement for me to go and talking about naked pools. What girl in my situation wouldn’t fear that. He became upset and didn’t get why I was upset. He said he can’t do anything right but he also doesn’t try. I sent him an email with an article about reasons that are ok for one to leave the person they love and talked about how upsetting this whole thing is with no rebuilding of trust over time and the things surrounding this trip he was doing was very upsetting and created fear. I essentially was saying goodbye. I have not heard from him since. I saw him at a football game and I saw him look up arm two doe at work one day when he drove by. It’s been 16 days of silence and I have countered with not contacting him at all because I feel like I am facing the fact that maybe I was with someone who didn’t or couldn’t love me or anyone really. I guess I need a little assurance that this silence from him is inappropriate and not just because I was unreasonable. It’s been a very difficult few weeks but I refuse to contact him. I guess I don’t understand what kind of person wouldn’t appropriately acknowledge or deal with a breakup by discussing it. Whatever this tactic is only makes me more ok about my decision. Is there something wrong with him?

  • Louise

    October 20th, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    I realize your post was over a month ago.
    For what it’s worth – perhaps there is something wrong with him (narcissistic traits) or NPD. But, if not he sounds like a very selfish man. Either way – he doesn’t sound like he is willing/capable of empathizing.
    Best Wishes

  • Gillian

    September 6th, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    I have been in a relationship for two years with a man who had paranoid personality disorder. I believe he also has elements of narcissism but I am not certain. He is currently employing the Silent Treatment for something that I cannot yet identify. Because I am aware of his condition I am very attuned to certain triggers but missed something this time. We never argue or even disagree. Our relationship is really good… when it is good…. but stress at work seems (?) to trigger my partners episodes. He has been okay for about 7 months. We just spend a really nice weekend going to live music, hiking, dining out, making love. Sunday we watched movies, he made me a lovely lunch, we went bike riding in the evening then afterward went for coffees and sundaes. We came home, kissed goodnight (we don’t live together but are in the same condo complex), texted our typical “good-night, sleep well” texts. Monday morning he was no longer speaking to me. When this happens it is so sudden and I am completely blind-sided. There is literally no warning, no bickering or disagreement that sets it off and it is really painful for me as I love this person very much and he is my best friend. I know it is not his fault but that doesn’t really help when I am on the receiving end of this disorder. There is also no way of knowing when and IF it will end.
    I intercepted him in the hall on day three and he would barely speak to me. I asked him if he was angry with me (no), if he was breaking things off with me (silence, why he isn’t speaking to me (silence). He finally said that if we stay together “we may have a fight in the future” and “women always yell”. That was all I could determine. Because of his condition I have been keeping a detailed journal of our dates and outings so that I can track any changes in his behaviour. This helps me to diffuse situations early if I can or at least prepare myself for a rough time. I could not find a trigger for this current episode. I am never sure what to do so I have keep texting him the usual “Good morning, hope you have a good day” and “Goodnight, sweet dreams” just before bed throughout this. I don’t say more than that- I want him to know I am not mad at him. I am hoping it will make it easier for him IF he forgives me or wants to re-establish contact. It usually works but this episode seems to be quite a bit more serious than others.
    After 2 more days of silence I asked him if he wanted to go hiking with me (we typically go hiking every day after work and we are always active on weekends) and he texted “7 pm sharp”. I was afraid that he would stand me up but he didn’t. However, he did not look in my direction at me or speak to me for the entire hike. He completely ignored me but if I trailed behind he waited. It was extremely uncomfortable and very vexing for me. He put me through one episode like this last year and it lasted a month before he would speak to me. It was also precipitated by nothing that i was able to determine. There have been a few single-day flare-ups since. I think it is a good sign that he went for a hike with me but it was really gross when he would not even acknowledge me. It has been another three days of silence since our hike.
    I am better equipped to handle things this time but am so confused. I have some questions:
    Why would he go hiking with me – then totally ignore me?
    Is there anything at all that I can do to ease him out of this episode?
    If our relationship survives this is there any way to prevent or reduce the chance of another occurrence?
    He has a very important and high position in our local government in the city where we live- how do you think this affects his job? Would he be able to cope during an episode in a normal manner or does this sort of thing also translate into difficulties at work? Thank you!

  • Tamara

    September 22nd, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    I used to be you. I have learned that you will never change him. Do you want to live like this for the rest of your life? If not, move on. He is not worth it.

  • carole

    October 8th, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    You are describing my husband exactly. Im just coming to terms with myself for all my wasted years on a controling silently abusive husband all 32 of them.
    I look at him now and feel nothing. How could i have loved this man so much. He totaly wore me down with his constant negativity and silent treatment.
    In the last 3 years ive gone from feeling hurt and upset by him ignoring me to feeling happy that he is not talking to me again. He doesn’t accuse me of sleeping with half the village. I used to email him if i need to ask anything, he never did answer.
    Im over the whole situation and ready to begin my life again. Im not angry or upset but i am very sad. Sad that ive spend 32 years with a miserable moaning negative guy whos whole life evolves around him. I met him at 23 and im now 55 years old ive worked all my adult life while hes squandered thousands and many thousands away at the gambling house while ive been struggling with all the households expenses.
    I stopped taking his behaviour personaly a few years ago after a 10 week silence. How hard must it be to be miserable.

    Oh hes promised me on so many occasions that he will change and i wanted to believe him but now know he wont. I feel a quite sorry for him and ive stopped blaming him. I honestly believe he has no control over his moods
    He doesnt show any interest in our 2 sons or our home and i know its him. He needs help but not from me and i cant see him seeking help for his problems. I dont love him and im glad

  • Lia

    September 7th, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    I’ve been with the person for 6 years. Unbelievable how much time I’ve wasted. So many of my best years. I could have been looking for the right guy. I believe he is a narcissist. However, he doesn’t fit the description in a lot of ways. This is what confuses me. If he IS one, it’s not my fault. If he is NOT then maybe I am to blame for the way he treats me. Often, people say narcs initially win you by building you up, showering you with attention and adulation and compliments. He never did this.

    From the start, he would vanish for days. Never more than 5. I used to bombard him with texts. Begging him to talk to me, explain what I did etc. he controlled my moods. I can’t tell you how many outings with friends and family I cancelled because of how horrible I felt.

    I should have left him right away. But I had had such strong feelings for him immediately, that it was impossible. And since I blamed myself for his behaviour, I wanted to fix my shortcomings and make him love me.

    I realize something within me is highly damaged. His behaviour and treatment would never be tolerated by a healthy person. He is much older than me, and if I’m being honest, he’s not all that attractive, realistically. To me he was perfection, in every way, though. I have had numerous men wanting to be with me in the past 6 years. I have shunned them, in favour of him. It’s as though I am only fulfilled when there’s a challenge. And he is the biggest challenge of them all.

    All these years later, he no longer disappears and ignores me at random. But if I ever dare call him on something or blame him for making me feel bad, he will twist everything around back at me. He can’t accept blame. But the scariest is how he interprets things I say. I have learned to watch my words extremely carefully. But even still, he misinterprets things and gets angry. I can almost tell him the sky is blue, and he will get horribly angry, asking how I can say something like that and why the hell would I blame him for it and how I’m a huge selfish b****.

    An exaggeration yes, but not even that much.

    He never cares when I’m sick. He never cares when I’m stranded with a broken down car. He is never there for me.

    If I talk to him about things in my life, he seems bored and aggravated. He puts on a fake smile which I despise. I have asked him who he thinks he’s fooling with such a smile. He laughs it off. The other day I told him it makes feel bad me when he ignores my conversations… how did he react? By ignoring me. It’s been a week now.

    I’m not crying. I’m not horribly depressed. It’s happened a hundred times already. Probably more. I’m more numb now. I’m angry. I’m still shocked at his behaviour. I’m upset. I miss him. But I’m still breathing.

    Is he a narcissist or just a selfish cranky piece of s***?

  • Jennifer

    September 7th, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    You should definitely look into that with a therapist like Goldie. How confusing to get so many conflicting mixed messages, but that’s the way of the Narc. Obfuscating … My Narc isn’t even good at it. He really sucks at it that’s why it’s so easy to tell when he’s lying, which is all the time. He has no life or real friends so he wraps us all up in his two-point charade game then he defaults to baby brat behavior when everyone starts dumping his a**. And boy do they dump! This year alone … wow. Good thing he doesn’t worry about everyone always leaving his life because they can’t stand the way he treats them. And no one finds his b*tch rants very masculine. His only friends are his friends dogs, because he can hit them so they shut up and you know how dogs are loyal. The Narc and his Dogs. Sounds like a band name. Forgive me I’m just talking nonsense here.

  • Jennifer

    September 7th, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    After Friday night, I wanted to talk about the punishing sexuality of the Narcissist but Narc Speak and a web article of the same title The Punishing .. pretty much cover it all. I did make some new friends from the deal, at least.

  • R

    September 14th, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Whoa. That sounds like my husband to a T. All but the name calling. He’s only done that a few times. I wish that were the worst of it, though.
    I just told him, a couple nights ago, to stop verbally abusing me. I didn’t think I had it in me to tell him. In the past, I have avoided all conflict because I never really know if he will fly into a rage or walk out and ignore me. I am so dependant on him, it’s unhealthy, I know. But I love him. Not in the sense that I worship his every move, but love him as I want what is best for him.
    Divorce us not an option in my eyes. Never was, never will be. I promised him. My promises mean something. Besides, I know that he would just give in to his dark side if I left. To him, that would be the “ok” to do all of those things he knows he shouldnt.
    He does come out of it at times and it’s so wonderful. He will be nice and be genuinely interested in my life and feelings. But that’s only very rarely.
    I’m so sad, and hurt. I have given everything to this man. I have watched our family through multiple deployments. I have put up with so much, telling myself that he needs me and I can’t give up on him. There’s so much pressure.
    Now that I’ve set a limit for the abuse to stop, he won’t speak to me or acknowledge me. I’m trying to be civil, but I promise I’m not crawling back to him this time. I know he’s just trying to manipulate me by giving me the silent treatment, forcing me to say that I was wrong and he was right. I thought our love was so much more than that.
    The pain is unbearable at times, but I keep telling myself that my kids deserve better than this. Even if the rest of our marriage is empty and void of compassion, I’d rather he ignore me than treat me so disrespectfully and horribly. It stops here, and it stops now. My children will not, and can not, continue to watch their mother be put down and stomped on for every little thing. I’m holding my ground for myself, and my kids. And I’m praying everyday for him to get better and for me to do God’s Will.

  • The Team

    September 14th, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    Thank you for your comment, T. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here.
    We have more information about emotional abuse here and additional information about what to do in a crisis here.

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • And

    September 7th, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    yep, this is true. The idiot I was with often went silent which I mostly ignored. The strangest thing is that when they try and claim you back you are forbidden to discuss the stupidity of this behaviour, which they deny.
    Mine creeps back every 6 months regular as clockwork. He has new targets which we don’t mention. I’ve learned not to confront him, so I just mirror his communication for an easy life.
    The risk of the rage is very real, I once confronted him to my cost. Narccists are totally ridiculous, never loyal, never responsible for their behaviour, and expect those around to pander their every need & want without question. A middle aged man in full tantrum mode is an ugly sight but it happens.

  • Molly

    September 28th, 2015 at 9:53 PM

    This is to And. Can you explain more about the middle aged tantrums in question? #curious what a man looks like acting that way. Thank you.

  • Andrea Schneider

    September 14th, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    T – I definitely agree that finding a therapist who specializes in trauma work is essential — but specifically working with a therapist who has been trained in narcissistic abuse recovery is essential. I offer telehealth options if you are interested. Glad the article resonated with you. Sincerely, Andrea

  • Mike

    September 24th, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    I enjoyed reading you article. I particularly like that you point out that the victims are often good people who just fail to see the person they’re with for who they are and try to find conflict resolution as a normal caring human being would. I read some of the prior posts from last year.
    In my case my fiancee was a therapist. She treats abused teens and thoroughly enjoyed the control that she had over the children and their parents. She talked about it every day after she came home from work. I had known her for 30 years. We had grown up in the same small hometown in the heartland and had reconnected at a 25 yr high school reunion. We both lived large cities in different states at the time. Everyone of our friends thought this was the best thing to happen since sliced bread. Neither of us had been married or had children. After a year long, long distance relationship, flying back and forth every other week, I found a job as an financial accountant where she lived and we moved in together. We seemed like the perfect normal middle class couple. After about three months I had started noticing odd behaviors and the fact that she was keeping odd hours. I became suspicious and our relationship started to deteriorate. Whenever I would try to set a healthy boundary, she would break it and always have an excuse. She started saying that I was the one with the problem and convinced me to see her doctor and start taking psych meds. I trusted her. She’s a professional therapist right? Eventually I learned that she was having an affair by reading the texts on her phone. I also learned she was on adult friend finder with a profile seeking casual sex with lesbians, bisexuals, and swinging couples.
    The day I confronted her about the affair she was having with a woman she worked with, she immediately deflected blame onto me for invading her privacy. She would not answer any questions or even acknowledge the affair or explain her closet sexuality issue. Instead she immediately kicked me out of our home and started the silent treatment. Since I had moved to where she lived to support her career and education (she was in school working on her second masters) I had nowhere to go and checked into a hotel. After four weeks of numerous texts trying to resolve the return of my property, since half of the things in out home were mine, I received no response. In the meantime, she had changed the locks, called the police and requested a hearing for an order of protection. Mind you I never revisited our home after I left. Only text and e-mails. We had the hearing. The judge had her read my communications and She (the judge) said there is nothing harassing or threatening in anything you’ve read. He just wants he things back so he can get on with his life. You need to work this out. The order was denied.
    After no response from her for another month, I had to call the police and report my things stolen and sue her for some money she owed me. During this whole time, she had been undermining my credibility with all of our friends and family saying how horrible I was and how she needed to get an order of protection against me.
    It has taken me months of therapy to realize just how crazy this situation was and that I was doing the right thing. I didn’t trust my own thoughts for months after I got out of this situation. Everything I did was twisted back and blamed on me. I feel for anyone that has to go through this experience. To this day she has never accepted any responsibility for her own actions. Instead she has completely attacked me through our mutual friends, and within a month of me being kicked out started seeing one of my other old high school classmates who lived in the same city. That relationship of course failed, she’s already on her next victim, all the while maintaining a side relationship with this woman. I have unfriended and blocked almost everyone we knew just to avoid having to deal with her or any questions. I’ve left a lot of things out just to keep it short but suffice it to say, there is no excuse for how a narcissist treats other people in a relationship. The best thing you can do is get away fast and stay away. I didn’t know that before but I sure do now.

  • Molly

    September 28th, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    Sounds like you are getting smeared from all kinds of sources! Poor thing.. I learned in therapy that when three separate unrelated people say the same thing about my behavior? Trust that I am doing that behavior.

  • Cind

    September 27th, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    What about dealing with a stubborn and toxic person who will take your attempt of resolving a conflict as a confrontation, an attack? Worse, that person will undermine your reputation by telling everybody how “evil” you are in your “confrontation” and that you’ve hurt him/her?

    In situation like this, isn’t it best to not say anything at all to cut off a toxic relationship?

  • Miracles

    September 28th, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    Dear Cind – How did you try to resolve the situation? Usually people don’t start out toxic and in Narcissitic relationships the 51% rule applies (that the victim needs to look out for themselves more than the blood sucking Narc) Some schools of thought say a Narc victim has no reaponsibility in what happens when a predator seeks them out and systematically breaks them down in a calculated, uncaring sadistic manner. Does that help your question?

  • Jimmy

    September 28th, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    My situation is very complicated but fits everything explained in this article.. I started dating this girl who was everything I wanted at the time.. I just came out a really bad relationship and it was due to substance abuse that we split apart but all that is the past.. Then I met this girl who said she wanted to heal me and never hurt me.. Continuous reassurance that she won’t ever break my heart,just love me and etc.. Vonerable at the time I allowed her in. About a year later, both of us having ups and downs as every other relationship, even staying with her family months at a time and spent holidays with them. I seemed to be accepted by the family..after alot of planning and her convincing me of a perfect family, she fell pregnant with our child.. Suddenly her family ostracised me so the relationship took alot of strain. She started making promises to move in with me but when I would argue with her to stand up for us and then she would suddenly become distant.. After therapy for a week or two she started ignoring me and so I would react.. Eventually she knew how it effected me when I did tell her that hurt me the most. It became more frequent and I would react.. Mostly negatively over being really hurt and really confused. I continuously tried to ask her if we can do therapy together but she turned on me and said I need help which made me doubt myself and my morals , I kept explaining being ignored hurts me but she carried on for a reaction (which I foolishly did).. About 2 day’s before our baby was born after being ignored for most of the nine months of me trying everything I could,she had a psychologist letter attached to an attorney letter. Taking my surname from my child, 1:30 hours a week of supervised visitation and I couldn’t be present during birth etc.. She suddenly unblocked me but was cold.. I said an apology from my side for my reactions to the past months. She replied to me “discuss with lawyers when we talk about the situation” and she blocked me again.. I don’t know what to do anymore.. Ive been struggling with heart break after being ignored and I get highly emotional, please someone please tell me what’s best for me and my relationship with my child .. I am so afraid of her but I want to be there for my child.. She has made me look so bad and rumours she is spreading about me to break me down is causing alot of heartbreak.. Please help?

  • Miracles

    September 28th, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Jimmy — I know it hurts, and it’s hard. Maybe you should do what she’s asking and leave her alone. Be cordial, visit the child. Sometimes no response IS a response. It’s difficult to give an objective opinion with no knowledge of her story about your situation. She has a T and perhaps is following that professional advice. Taking your name off the birth certificate is a major indication that she doesn’t want to deal with you. Sorry.

  • Lifeeverchanging

    October 1st, 2015 at 7:11 AM

    I am sorry to hear of your situation.

    Know that regardless of the situation, the conflict—you have a right to a relationship with your child. The child has a right to know their dad—this is a protected legal right. It makes no difference what her therapist says—she is not granted unilateral decision making over your child. Unfortunately her sense of entitlement is intimidating, hurtful and places you in a position of asserting your presence and involvement with the child in a legal setting. It is your right. It does not look good for the mother to deny access to a parent wishing to be involved—there must be grounds (with evidence) for this. The courts, however flawed, are attempting to place the best interests of the child ahead of parental conflict. This child being alienated from a parent from birth has a major impact on the child’s life, feeling wanted and accepted, feeling secure. Don’t give up. If you want to know your child focus on seeing the world through their eyes. The division and conflict with the mother is your adult responsibility—please don’t feel you should back down in this case just because she seems to be using the child as a means to hurt you. You both have a right to a relationship with your child—she had no right to call it for you. If you agree with it in your heart you will move forward with less weight on your shoulders and more clarity—if you don’t however, you owe it to yourself and your child to represent your truth. Stay strong and try not to get swallowed by the lies.

  • Colleen

    September 29th, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Thank you for posting this article! I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. A few years ago a left a marriage after 13 years of being emotionally abused with severe silent treatments. I feel like the writer knew about my marriage and wrote about my ex husband and I. For years I lived with over the top reactions when I tried to communicate and work on the marriage. I am a very empathetic person and I could never understand how my genuine and kind efforts to discuss things or why expressing that I was hurt by something would be cause for “punishment” and continuous silent treatments that could last days at times. In the beginning I would always apologize after he was so convincing that I was wrong in doing so. I was a caring person and I didn’t want to feel like I hurt anyone. He would always punish me like I was a child and a “how dare you” attitude. He never compromised while my philosophy in life was always “compromise is the key”. I lived with years of being hurt and lonely and frustrated with feeling like I was always misunderstood. Fortunately, I began to build more strength and a strong desire to change my life and to be in better situation. I mustered every ounce of strength I had one day and filed for divorce. It was a very difficult process to go through. It is worth noting that my mother has a borderline personality disorder who also gives silent treatments. I married what I knew but not what I wanted. I have been in therapy with an amazing counselor that has been an angel in my life and healing and getting stronger every day. There has been more peace in my life that has been well deserved. People underestimate how much these horrible silent treatments hurt and how intentional they are. I never read much about the emotional abuse aspect and therefore I underestimated all that I have been through and what job he did on me. You only read about physical abuse or verbal attacks. I couldn’t explain to some what I went through. Many thought I just gave up too easily on the marriage which was far from the truth. I went to four counselors who were of some help but not good enough. He never wanted to go and eventually I was rowing a boat with one oar and going no where fast. I am so happy now to take care of myself and looking forward to enjoying the rest of life the way it should be – with contentment.

  • Catje

    October 1st, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    How my partner and I have conversations reminds me some of this silent treatment. When he initiates a conversation, he is very animated and makes constant eye contact with me. I always respond to him and comment and keep the conversation going. But when I initiate a conversation, very frequently he will completely ignore me; even to the point where he’s gotten up and walked away. It’s like talking to a brick wall. Or he’ll wait until I’ve spoken, for example about something I’ve done that day, then immediately start talking about what he’s done, at great length, never acknowledging what I’ve said. Or start talking about something else entirely. He doesn’t seem angry, and when I ask him why he doesn’t respond, he’ll say he’s thinking about something more important, or thinking on a “higher plane” (whatever that means). And then he will get angry when I ask him. This feels like the silent treatment you describe, is it? Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    October 5th, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    You can’t “break up” with your child. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage and it is had to see the man I love being constantly abuses by his own daughter. I have me turned to him her narcissistic tendencies. But I have to tread carefully. This man loves his children and is an awesome father, not perfect but loves unconditionally. For years this has gone on. She is all “I love you daddy” as long as he Green with everything and gives her what she wants, but the minute he tries to parent… she is gone. Won’t respond to texts or calls. He is shattered for weeks. Just when he starts to be normal again…I love you daddy is back as if nothing ever Happened. He won’t say anything because he is afraid she will shut him out again. She has severe entitlement issues and nothing we do is good enough. We bought her a car, wrong one, she refused to drive it. We buy her clothes, we have never seen her where them. She knows that all she has to do is ignore him and she will break his heart and more.. she doesn’t care. I have lived with seeing him like e this way for years. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating to see him being g abused by his own child. Bit how can I help him? She is his daughter, he loves her unconditionally as he should but he stays in a state of constant turmoil afraid to say or do the “wrong thing” now to top it off, she is pregnant with his very first grandchild. Already 8 weeks in and she is mad and no longer speaking to him. This will last for about a month or two and she will be back. Like nothing happened. Expecting her feet rubbed and to lay some serious spoiling on the Mom to be. I’m at my wits end. I love her but I don’t like her. She is cruel and truly does emotionally abuse him

  • carole

    October 7th, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    About 18 months after i met my husband i started to have doubts. He charmed me bought me clothes shoes chocs and i believed him when he told me he had a blood disorder which was life threatening.

    He swept me off my feet and i was in mad love but it didnt take long for me to realise there was something not quite right about him.

    At first it was little things however he always managed to upset me.

    He would ridicule me around friends but he was “only joking”.

    We married after 6 years and now been married 26 years.

    Im just about to start divorce procceedings, ive fought a losing battle for years and now know he has a mental health disorder wuth traites of both personality and passive aggressive disorder.

    For years i did not see it, i cant believe ive known this man for 32 years and have just realised he is mentally unstable.

    He gambled all his fathers money away and did not put a headstone of his grave.

    He refuses to contribute to our household running costs and shows no interest in our home.

    The turning point came after i realised he had started to stop speaking to me.

    I had noticed a few incidents prior but work and kids kept me busy so didnt think much of it.

    Then the 10 week silent treatment came.

    Id been aware he was quiet and asked him if id done something wrong to which he said with a tone to his voice ‘no’

    I decided to play him at his own game and see how long this childish behaviour continued, it was 10 weeks and ended after prior arrangements to see a band with a group of friends resulted in him totally ignoring me all night which did not go un noticed.

    I was in tears and took to the ladies at home time only to see him walking towards me end asking “is everything ok”

    I could not speak to him, i was humiliated upset and stressed about his behaviour.

    He told me later he had intended to ignore me but could not give me a reason why shrugging his shoulders.

    He has always treated me as his enemy and if i was happy it was as if id done something to him.

    On reflection, i am shocked ive allowed his unreasonable behaviour, i have no idea why as im a strong woman.

    I developed chronic fatique syndrome around 12 years ago and for 7 years i slept for days, 6 days was the longest and he had to tell me how diffucult my illness was for him. How hard he was finding our children and showed no empathy towards me. One time i had an attack which ladted for 3 days he only looked in on me once, he denies it but i know he left me without any food or drink for 2 days.

    I knew a long time he was very selfish, always making himself out to be the driving force behind my business.

    Our youngest son has mild autism and needs time out the home but his father never has time for his kids either.

    I now know in all the years we’ve been together everything is all about him.

    He is very critical and negative about me and takes great pleasure in seeing me fail yet is constantly looking for prase

    Ive overcome my illness and now back to being me, he hates me right now and finds fault with everything i do.

    I took my youngest son away in the summer for a week and by then he had been sleeping on the sofa for 18 months yet on our return he broke down and went from tears to accusing me of sleeping with everyone including my oldest sons friends.

    Because hes lost this control over me hes started to sit with hands in head looking forlorn wanting sympathy and our oldest son is feeling very sorry for his dad and asked me to talk to him.

    I should have left him years ago but have no answers. I just need him to leave. This propery is mine i pay every bill and the mortgage.
    We own a rental property jointly andvthe plan is hes moving into it but needs a couple of months.

    I just know it is not going to be that easy.

  • The Team

    October 7th, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    Dear Carole,

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here.

    We have information about emotional abuse and spousal abuse here:
    And here:

    Information about what to do in a crisis is available here:

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can search for one in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. Our support team is available and happy to assist you Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. They can be reached at 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    October 7th, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    Carole– your needs are very complex, including dealing with an abusive relationship and special needs parenting…depending on where you are located, I may be able to help you (those are both practice specialties of mine) — I also offer telehealth options for those who are geographically far — please feel free to email me directly — Best wishes, Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Browndog

    October 19th, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    For Susan who posted in January, 2015–
    I just saw your post last night and I am living this. My heart goes out to you. When devaluation begins, nothing comes out of a narcissist’s mouth but criticism. Their creative ability to cause pain with words and emotions is boundless. I went to counseling for months to discover if my need for physical and emotional support were abnormal. I learned that what is abnormal is believing that such needs are a sign of being weak and needy. It is the person who lacks capacity to feel who is a pathetic weaking. My sense of heartbreak and loss has gradually given way to my being really pissed at both myself for giving this narcissistic woman the credibility to influence my believing that such an asinine thing might be true, and her for promoting it. Like you, I felt heartbroken and depressed until I woke up. I was mourning the loss of a person that turned out not to really exist.I had never heard of narcissistic abuse until I started researching emotional neglect and then BANG. What I found describe her and my relationship to her to a T. Now, I cannot wait to be completely free of this toxic narcissist.

  • Evan

    October 20th, 2015 at 12:32 AM

    The worst is when as a grand finale, a female abuser uses the court as the ultimate weapon. After 2 years of abuse, I finally told her and her friends off and walked away. My punishment? A restraining order. While unemployed. Virtually guaranteeing I’ll not be able to get work. All I can hope for is a fair chance defending myself against a malicious smear campaign by emotionally immature girls 12 years my junior. This article explains exactly what I’ve gone through, and it’s been hell, and just got worse.

  • Browndog

    October 21st, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Carole, I wonder if uncommon sleep positions are a symptom of some narcissistic NPDs? You noted your husband slept at the foot of the bed and gave you all sorts of reasons why. My spouse sleeps with her head under a blanket and pillow under a pillow and barricades herself from contact. I used to love to begin to go to sleep by cuddling with my arm around her. After we married, she soon rebuffed that and ended it. Long ago I found a web page that mentioned sleeping with a head under a blanket is a trait of a toxic personality, so sleeping under both a blanket and pillow might be an extreme case. I learned that her single mom that raised her kids and had little use for men did the same and her divorced daughter does same. Sleeping at the foot of the bed is a new one. Never kisses goodnight; never says good morning. Now looking back, I could see that she never initiated hugs, kisses, an “I love you” or ever gave a supportive comments other than in our early dating. She never reached out to hold hands or be touched–only didreach out when she wanted sex which was early on in the idealization phase. Soon after we married she set up a manic regimen of activities from early morning through evening so there was never time for us. I am supportive of all of her activities, and I can fill my day with mine easily. The deal breaker for me was the abusive treatment that constitutes 100% of the time we shared at home. She passed through the devaluation stage months ago and has been in the discard stage. Talk about silent treatment– she isolates herself with her computer, facebooks on it most of the time and watches online televised programs at the same time she is knitting. Attempts to get her to talk about anything relevant bring monosyllable answers, eye-rolling, scowls, criticisms, or labels. When I travel, I ask her to join me and she never does. I call her about every night, and when I last traveled and said “Hey…miss you, you could call me too sometimes” the response was “Why would I want to do that?” When I returned from my last trip I got in late I almost went to a motel because I knew she would be gone on her own trip the next day. I should have done that. Instead, I thought that I could quietly go to sleep in the guest room and not wake her. But she did wake up and started cursing and chiding me that I had woken her up–nothing like “welcome home,” “how was your medical treatment?,” “how was your visit with friends at the homecoming?”–just degrading comments about me and all concerns centered around her. She has currently gone to see friends in CA, been gone for over a week and has never called once, not even to let me know that she arrived safely. I am enjoying the wonderful peace, time with friends and our dog and laid back time that doctor advised to ensure good healing from my treatment. I hope she extends her visit for a long time. Am starting to look for a place of my own in a day or two after I finish projects that I am obligated to do by deadlines. Being married to and living with a narcissistic abuser is a state of not having a real home. Sorry about the length here–your description of what is happening to you is one that resonated too much with me. Hugs and best wishes for emerging from your nightmare into a bright happy life ahead.

  • carole

    October 23rd, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Sounds a lot like my husband Brown dog. He started to sleep at the bottom of the bed during one of his silences if I remember correctly. His punishment to me for whatever he’d imagined I’d done. He also spent a lot more time in his workroom even eating his meals in there showing no interest in any of us. He would deny it of course but still continue. I then discovered he was using online gambling however i was unaware of the severity of it until he was financially desperate and had to tell me still playing it down and nothing he couldn’t control.
    I looked at him sitting on my bedroom floor looking all sorry for himself wanting me to be sympathetic and I just felt nothing.
    Over the years there’s been one thing after another, I was livid working my ass off keeping the business afloat running our home paying all the bills while he contributed very little financially yet thought nothing of gambling thousands and thousands…I’m living through another silent phase right now after being accused yet again of seeing another man..his ego won’t allow him to accept that it’s his fault I feel this way, I’m not emotionally attached to him so don’t defend myself.
    He would rather continue to live like we are even to the point where our youngest son is effected by his moods instead of sorting his life out and moving out. It’s as if he gets some sort of glee out of it. He’s not sorry only for himself. He knows he has to be gone before Christmas and he’s going to drag it out until the last minute.

  • Bobbi

    October 23rd, 2015 at 4:49 AM

    Me and my twin sister have always been very close, until recently when we had an argument. After a day or so, I apologized. She is refusing to talk to me. I’ve reached out several times via text and she will not respond. I am getting married in 8 weeks and need her love and support more than ever.
    We have never gone through anything like this and it’s breaking my heart. I don’t know what to do. We are both grown adults. She is married with children. This type of behavior seems so immature … HELP

  • Browndog

    October 23rd, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Wow. It seems that if you just told her what you told us on this list, she should respond: “We have always been very close. I am getting married in 8 weeks and need your love and support more than ever. We have never gone through anything like this and it’s breaking my heart. I don’t know what to do.”
    We don’t know what the recent event was that caused your break (and do not need to know), but your sister seems extremely upset now. When we are that upset, it usually is best to call a break and not say anything until we get control over ourselves. If you send her what you provided for us, she may need to sit with this a while.

    Because you have been close for life, it does not sound like you could hold that long-term closeness if either of you was a hopelessly NP. All you can do now is reach out to tell her how you feel. Once you have done that, you have done what you could do. Her actions are her choices then. You will need to live your life and not get pulled down by her choice. At some point, she may realize that she will regret her own actions for life by silent-treating you and failing to support you at this time. Hope this ends happily for you both.

  • Kristin W.

    October 24th, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Part of the therapeutic process is to continue to hash this out for as long as it takes and how admirable of Andrea Schneider to do this for her readers, clients, and friends. These predators know who they are and how they damage people. They’ll never reach the acclaim, love, attention they feel they so richly deserve. They are, in fact, caricatures of themselves in a sad, lonely, jealous, and depraved life. They age so badly. But don’t feel sorry for them. They have a choice to evolve and they simply take the easy road of self-delusion. Thank you Andrea for continuing to write about this subject. It helps the many that are too afraid and managed down to speak out.

  • Michelle

    October 26th, 2015 at 2:50 AM

    Kristin W- you are spot on!
    “They’ll never reach the acclaim, love, attention they feel they so richly deserve. They are, in fact, caricatures of themselves in a sad, lonely, jealous, and depraved life.”
    It’s terribly disturbing to watch how people like this will chose a path that involves tearing others down to appear to raise themselves up instead of actually trying to raise themselves up. The negative drama that surrounds people like this is a huge red flag. And thanks to Andrea and others who have been so dedicated in trying to help all of us recognize there traits- I can see this dynamic pretty clearly as it unfolds- wherever it unfolds. Thank you Andrea for your courage and strength in helping the rest of us identify this craziness when it presents itself!

  • Wren

    October 26th, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Thank you for this wonderful article. Reading this helped me understand that I was groomed into a perfect target for narcissists, since my narcissistic biological father sexually abused me for many years as a young child, with my mother turning a blind yet angry, hateful eye. Ever since then I have tried to reason against emotional abuse with narcissists. What it has given me I refuse to return to my marriage, and my parents and sister, are currently 2 years into a silent treatment phase (because I spoke out about the sexual abuse). This time im glad they are all gone and i dont want them back anymore. I have started taking care of my looks and am being targeted almost daily by narcissistic men who want to have sex with me or own me. I’m saying NO like a toddler after finally learning healthy boundaries, and it sends the narcs into a silent RAGE. I’ve spent 15 years fixing my problems in therapy for my ex husband, while he sat on his arse blaming and complaining, only to find the only thing that had changed in the end was my understanding of the situation and my own behaviour. Dont waste another moment of your precious lives on narcissists, people. You will never feel as happy as the day you find your freedom and self love. I am working on my narcissist knockback lines, because I have absolutely 1000% run out of sympathy for these unethical, unhealthy, selfish, cruel abusers. No thank you to Narcissism, I’d rather enjoy my brief time on this rock spinning around in space!

  • Natalie

    October 27th, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    I read ur post and i must say congratulations for ur strenght, u are a real fighter, u are doing the right thing after a long time i realised too that its me who had to change and stop giving and trying to make things right i could understand myself and my situation , i got the same problem with narcissist guys using u and discarding u its what they want and if u say no they give u the silent treatment its insane the best is ignoring these abusers. Good luck with everything. Xx.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    October 27th, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    Most welcome, Wren…so glad the article resonated with you. Glad I could help. Thank you to Kristin and Michelle for your kind words. Indeed the narcissist is a sad caricature of him/herself…sad for them they don’t have the ability to self-reflect and make the necessary, enduring changes for healthy relationships. Andrea

  • Michelle

    October 27th, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    To Mike who posted on September 24th 2015:
    Dear Mike,
    I want to start by saying that I am very, very sorry for what this woman put you through. I truly hope that the therapist you are seeing now has helped you identify the trauma component to what you have been through. You were truly living in an emotional warzone- an environment where reality as you thought you knew it was turned completely upside down. The healing from emotional trauma takes time and is full of stops and starts as you make your way through a new understanding of what happened. As you have probably come to learn, that new understanding cannot happen without the important insight regarding the terrifying reality that there are manipulative predators who walk among us. And their biggest weapon in being able to wreak the havoc they cause is the overall lack of awareness in the general that these people even exist.

    One of the things that makes this type of abuse so insidious is that the manipulation is typically played out with victims who are very trusting, honest, compassionate, reliable, hardworking people. Most survivors of this type of abuse have a very keen sense of self responsibility and are quick to accept blame even when it is not theirs to accept. In healthy relationships where this trait is shared by both people involved, this ability to look critically at our own behavior can become the cornerstone of very trusting, long lasting relationships. However, with people who lack the ability to look critically at themselves (and instead look outwardly to find blame for their own shortcomings) this can spell disaster. And what I have found is that people like your ex seek out people like us because we are willing to put in whatever it takes to make a relationship work. And when something goes wrong, we immediately look at our own behavior to see if we are the cause of the problems. People like your ex have learned that people like us make for very easy targets. We see the world and other people as being like us- caring, compassionate, trusting, hardworking. It doesn’t occur to us (until we have been hurt this way) that there are people in the world who lack empathy and remorse.

    The fact that your ex is a therapist is very concerning. It is incredibly unlikely that her destructive behavior was isolated to just how she treated you. Unfortunately, pathological narcissists can be found in most every profession. However there are some professions that, due to the inherent power and trust that is implied in professional relationships, can be more attractive to malignant narcissists. The mental health profession is no exception. In my work with survivors of therapist abuse I have heard many heartbreaking stories of this same type of emotional manipulation. As long as narcissistic abuse remains so poorly understood and recognized, I expect that this type of abuse in therapeutic situations will continue- unchecked.

    One piece of wisdom I would like to share with you before I stop “talking” is a book that made a tremendous difference in my own ability to heal after what I went through. The book is Staling the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity by Marie France Hirigoyen. In it, the chapter entitled “The Victim” was the first glimpse I ever got that perhaps I got sucked into this nightmarish hell because of my strengths, not because I was weak. That was a huge turning point for me in healing.
    Stay strong, my friend,

  • Browndog

    October 27th, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    Holy cow–what you went through is astounding. Check out the September 18 entry in the archives at the After Narcissistic Abuse WordPress-hosted site. The article is “What Happens When Targets Aren’t Believed.” You are not alone, as you may see from comments section. When men are the victims, we already have two strikes against us, and your therapist-predator seemed full aware of it in the way she recruited the courts and police to serve as her own flying monkeys while she tried to disguise herself as the victim. I hope things are better for you a month later.

  • Browndog

    October 27th, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Michelle, thanks for your post and the book recommendation. Publisher does not allow it on Kindle so I ordered paper copy.

  • Michelle

    October 29th, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    You are very welcome! I just loving reading your responses to survivors here. You can tell you have made it very far through the healing process! Big hugs to you!

  • Browndog

    October 27th, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    Hope things get better for you soon. Thanks so much for your story and comments. They helped me.

    I’ve found that silent treatments can be the N’s own poison pill. They will invoke all kinds of fabricated reasons why they are carrying out their abuse, but one characteristic is always there–it is always about them –their peace, their justification, their sprituality. There is never a thought of its impact on those whoare hurt simply because we about them and on on whom they unleash this emotional abuse . The end result is that it eventually drains us of ability to care what they think or do. Excuses to justify silent treatment are as vacuous as the excuses to enact thermonuclear war.

    If I read one more person on these sites trying to justify silent treatment as their enacting of “no contact” in the home, I think I will puke. No contact is what we enact when we are on our own. No one has to live with it or its effects who does not try to disrespect our space. The people living in shared space under the same roof don’t have that choice. It’s like radiation–odorless, silent, invisible and 100% fatal to the spirits of all who get overexposed to it.

  • carole

    October 28th, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Hi again Browndog
    You share my thoughts exactly. It’s effected my son who is now worried his dad might kill us in our sleep. I simply can not allow him to live in our house. I’ve an appointment to seek legal advice on Monday, I feel weak and worn out with the stress of it all and yesterday afternoon was another tirade of abuse from him.
    Apparently I’ve been discussing his personal business. I don’t know who with or what I’ve said and all our mutual friends know we are not together. For some reason I don’t feel as strong today as I have felt but thankfully he’s giving me the silent treatment again. At least I don’t have to speak to him.

  • Evan

    October 28th, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Going through what Mike did, have been a victim of my ex-girlfriend for the last 2 years, and never once stood up for myself, only did the desperate emailing asking why/what/who in the midst of lies and silent treatment and social exclusion and stonewalling and slander and mocking and sabotage. Until about a month ago, when I realized who I was dealing with, and finally stood up for myself when I saw her out with her friends. Of course it was intense, 2 years of emotion came out in a 5-word vulgar sentence in the span of 3 seconds and then I gave her the finger and walked away. I finally felt emotionally disengaged and felt a burden lifted as I proceeded to go on with my life unconcerned with her or ever talking to her again. Until….a month later I get served a restraining order. Now I have to appear in court this coming Monday, with seemingly no defense other than my stories of her narcissistic abuse, while her and her flying monkey roommates who were her accomplices in all of this sit there and most likely lie their butts off while playing the victim. All because I finally had something to say about it. Never threatened anyone, had never even yelled with her before, we had never even had an argument that involved yelling, let along any fear of physical aggression or any other threat. So far every community center I’ve gone to for counseling/legal support has turned me away, because I’m the “perpetrator” in the TRO. I can’t afford a lawyer, and really have no clue what to do. She is willing to exploit her gender and use the court as a weapon to cast her final abusive blow and literally try to ruin my professional and personal life over that. I’m in shock and don’t know what to do.

  • Browndog

    October 28th, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    There must be some evidence for what made made you so angry. If this person has been your ex for two years but this person has been working through that time to injure your reputation, there should be some basis for that. The worst mistakes we make is when a NP pushes our buttons and we start to “mirror” them by responding in kind. If we do not do this with others, it may mean we have started taking in their toxins. If we do this with others, then we have to worry about how we are causing this. I am painfully aware of my failing in efforts not to respond in kind, so this is no one-up message. About all that you can do in the court is to explain what led to your telling her off in public and express a desire for no contact. After that, exercising no contact sounds like the best choice that you can make.

  • Evan

    October 28th, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Thanks, and to clarify I’ve known her for 2 years. One year as an emotionally abusive girlfriend, then a year as an abusive “friend” (sometimes with benefits if it suited her) after we reconciled when she broke up with the guy she lied to me about when we were together. She convinced me to trust her, apologized for the behavior, admitted she could see how it could be seen as cruel or torture, summarily threw her roommates under the bus as scapegoats that sabotaged us and manipulated her behavior. Then guess what? The whole cycle over again. And I get ghosted again with no answers left holding the emotional bag as she moved on to yet another guy/victim. My telling her off WAS my going no contact, but figuratively dropping that emotional bag she left me holding at her feet as I disengaged for good. All I wanted was an explanation, to move forward with some understanding and peace, not animosity. She wouldn’t have it, didn’t have an ounce of empathy, kindness, respect or anything. I gave up way too much in all this, and deserved to express myself and my pain if she couldn’t do that and thought I was her door mat she could toss without hearing what her behavior feels like.

  • Browndog

    October 28th, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Carole, sorry to hear you are having a down day. Their treatment of us exhausts us. If you or your son fear for your safety, you a should get some local advice about access to a local shelter. My day wasn’t great either, but I’m just upset after more deprecation and I’m just down, not living in fear. Above all, stay safe.

  • Browndog

    October 28th, 2015 at 9:23 PM


    I am so sorry for what you have been through. It does sound like something I experienced, and most others on here probably have too. My gut sense tells me that you must have loved her deeply to have hung in there for two years under those circumstances. The pain of grief caused by loss of a loved person is very real, even when the person herself turns out to be something very different.

    I think that makes this kind of loss much more painful than a breakup between two people both of whom can feel empathy and love. In that latter case, there is closure. In the cases we lived, it was as if the person we loved probably died but vanished. We lost that person we loved with no closure. We are tortured with our hope that they are somehow still alive–inside the body of that real person who just looks like the person we loved who is gone. We are then living the nightmare.

    In reality, we are grieving over the loss of an emotional retard who is incapable of caring. But grief doesn’t go away simply because we have new knowledge, awareness or insight. Knowing the evil of MS Hyde cannot heal our loss of MS Jekyl. We get to choose how we feel about some things, but grief is not one of them. We have to find our own way out of this to heal. Returning to whatever, people and places we enjoyed together hold the constant reminders of our loss that can rip our hearts open again. That is why no contact seems the only path out of the nightmare. No contact is painful too, but it offers time to see how not to fall for the same kind of person.

    Until Monday, my other idea (I don’t have expertise to grace this thought with the label of “suggestion”) is try to think about how you might view this from the standpoint of the court. What might be their concerns? My guess is that safety for her weighs high, but safety for you should be a priority too. Safety perhaps includes safety from having both your reputations slandered. Is it possible that you could ask for mutual NC and that NC include court-ordered abstention from discussing each other on social media? I don’t know. Realize that you cannot afford a lawyer, but if there is a university with a law school nearby, someone there such as a law student might be able to advise you. Hope all turns out well Monday, and that you heal well.

  • Mike

    October 29th, 2015 at 2:05 AM


    Thank you for responding to my post. I have found these types of forums and communicating with others with similar experiences to be very therapeutic in addition to my regular counselor. While I cannot seem to undo the literal damage that has occurred, I have been moving steadily in a more positive mental direction and rebuilding my self-esteem and confidence little by little every day. Some days are better than others. This experience sure makes one re-evaluate whom to trust and be much more cautious/suspicious of other peoples motives. How I wish I had never been in such a situation but as you noted, like many people, I was never truly aware people like this existed outside of television or the news. I will definitely check out the book you have recommended. Thanks again.


  • Michelle

    October 29th, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    I am so happy that you saw my reply. I was worried it would get lost in the sea of important comments survivors are posting here. I wanted to let you know that I also maintain a survivors forum on Facebook for survivors of narcissistic abuse. It is called Narcissistic Victim Syndrome -Hope For Victims and Survivors. I try to keep it current with important articles and information from the people at the forefront of advocating for increased awareness about narcissistic abuse. And yes, our Andrea is one of them!

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    October 29th, 2015 at 8:47 AM

    @BrownDog — I think you are brave to post about your situation. This is a really tough subject, and not a lot has been written about females with narcissism — it’s great you are bringing light to this concern and offering support to men who have experienced narcissistic abuse…sending you healing wishes, Andrea

  • Mike

    October 29th, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Browndog and all men on this page in particular. There is a page I follow on Facebook called the female narcissist. I kinda like it. Whoever runs it really relates to men who have been in a relationship with a female narcissist. There’s a few other good ones too but are more generalized. I saw your comments back to me too Browndog. Thanks for caring. It is rare to see men talking about it. I think men in particular are kinda taught to accept a certain level of irrationality or erratic behavior from people they are in relationships with, at least I was. And I think it came from my mother and sisters growing up. Being told things like, it’s just women’s mood or whatever and to shrug it off. Men aren’t told to protect themselves in harmful relationships or to involve the police. “A real man can handle it.” But with a narcissist you will always lose unless you are really on top of what in reality is going on. From I can tell many don’t figure this out until it’s too late. By then the system has been manipulated to work against them.

  • Browndog

    October 29th, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    Andrea, Michelle, and Mike–
    Thank you so much for your reaching out.
    I do not feel at all brave coming from where I am. I have sadness, and I struggle to stay out of being pulled into depression. Michelle, rather than being far along in the process, I am only feeling like I maybe am emerging from the worst of grieving the loss of the woman I loved. That loss surely is not gone. I still feel that grief even though I now recognize and accept that she was not real. When the deprecation comes, I do not yet feel rejection of the person she iso much as I feel sadness in the way we should be spending our time together in enjoying friends together, hugs, cuddles, walks with our dog, yard and house stuff together, and to be sure ,alone time and time for our separate interests too. There is nothing safe any more for me other than alone time and separate interests. It is not a way to live, at least for me. If I feel or appear stronger than I think I am, it is because I have gained support from others here, both men and women, who are hurting just as badly as me and usually far worse. I have gained so much support from your courage to share your experiences.

    Yesterday I gained a new insight. I had heard of the effects of narcissistic abuse as being like those of PTSD. Although I have never been in a war zone and would never claim to have that disorder, I learned yesterday how reacting to an abuser would definitely lead to a similar runaway reaction, much as a veteran might experience after an unexpected noise or movement. Yesterday after weeks of silent treatment, my NW started talking about some things a service center had found wrong with her car, one being possibly caused by an off-road trip. As soon as I heard the phrase, “you are the only one who takes it off road…” I already anticipated that a creative way to hurt me was forthcoming, and that I was being berated for driving her cart alone, which I never do. The adrenaline started running through me like electric shock. Immediately I received her thanks for my validating her judgment that I am too sensitive, a common dismissal used as an invalidation. I just needed to get out of the house after I saw myself starting to respond in kind.

    After I had some recovery time, I realized that I HAD presumed too much of the intent was negative, and she was right– I had moved too quickly into defensiveness before pausing to hear the entire message. I went back home, admitted that was the case and apologized. It made no impression on her, but at least I felt progress in seeing and taking responsibility for my part. By writing about it here, I hope not to respond in kind again. Screwing up by reflex- reacting made me realize my vulnerability though, and the undesirable ways the abuse toxin has been changing me in bad ways.

    These assaults, and they are assault, eventually take a physical toll. I could feel the impact from the adrenaline and heart pounding. It drove home the lesson to me that prolonged emotional abuse, like silent treatment, really IS physical abuse. The damage is just internal, to the blood vessels and organs where no one can see it. There is no law against such abuse and no protection from it, as Mike noted.

    Emotional abuse is deadly, and lack of protection for this does not seem to exist for victims who are women or men. Admitted–men rarely need to worry about overt physical abuse, which is evil to its core and is not being trivialized here. From reading about NP, they do not tend to “act out” on their victims in public. I don’t know whether health providers, if better trained, might see the signs building up in things like unexplained heart irregularities and blood pressure spikes.

  • Michelle Mallon

    October 30th, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    Mike and Browndog,
    I think that it is incredibly unfair that male survivors of narcissistic abuse do not have the same level of support when it comes to healing from this type of abuse. And just knowing how much it infuriates me that any survivor (male or female) of this type of abuse faces an uphill battle just getting accurate information about what this is and how to heal from it, the fact that for men there is even less support is even more infuriating. I would like to point out that by being here on this comment board, you are both helping male survivors find that voice. Just knowing how much getting any information out to the public about narcissistic abuse is a “grass-roots” effort, I have a feeling that helping male survivors feel more supported is going to take the same approach. It is going to start and grow through people like you both. Your courage and strength can and will help so many other survivors! Please do not let your voices only be heard here on this board. Survivors’ forums on Facebook that are being run by genuinely helpful people will be grateful for your assistance in helping men find their voices too. And I truly believe that this will not only be beneficial to make survivors but it will be important for the full scope of the devastation that is narcissistic abuse to be delivered to the rest of the world. In some places, there are incredibly skewed ideas about the whether or not there are as many narcissistic women as there are men. I believe that has led to huge misconceptions about what narcissistic abuse even is. Your stories, your journeys have to be heard. There are many, many men suffering in silence because they do not yet have a voice. I know this pain personally because I watched my own husband go through it with his mother. For the longest time, neither one of us knew what a narcissistic mother was. We only knew that we were unable to ever make her “happy” with what we did. It was never enough. Once we did learn what narcissistic abuse was, I was shocked to begin to learn the extent of what my husband had been through. He had suffered in silence because the guilt and shame that were used to control him were so insidious and had been instilled in him from such a young age that it had almost paralyzed him completely. He has been No Contact with his family for almost 4 years now and he is a very different man than he used to be. I know how much learning about maternal narcissism has changed his life. And I am certain that there are many, many more people out there who need to hear your stories to recognize their own struggles so they can find the currently hidden path to healing.

    I would be honored to have both of you help me communicate the articles and resources that have helped you both begin to heal from this to the survivors who come to my Facebook group to find accurate information to help them heal.

    Michelle Mallon MSW, LSW
    Facebook: Narcissistic Victim Syndrome- Hope For Victims and Survivors

  • Browndog

    October 30th, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Michelle, when you shared: “We only knew that we were unable to ever make her “happy” with what we did. It was never enough. Once we did learn what narcissistic abuse was, I was shocked to begin to learn the extent of what my husband had been through. He had suffered in silence … it had almost paralyzed him completely.”

    In reading posts from other men, the ones that often stick are those where they disclose lack of any positive support from their wives or significant others. “YOU can’t please ME!” seems to be a recurrent but unspoken mantra. I read of NA in the workplace, and the same unspoken mantra of bad managers who kiss up and kick down seems there too. But facing this daily in the home is far worse.

    I noticed that my inability to please began in the devaluation stage with emotional and physical neglect (not talking sex here, but affectionate touch and comments). If I am at all typical of other men, then that is when we men start to doubt ourselves with thoughts of: “Am I too needy?” “Am I too sensitive?” “Am I too dense or insensitive to understand what she wants?” When I do not remember things in the same way she does, and she labels me a liar, Am I a liar without knowing it?” “Am I really repulsive? Disgusting?” At the bottom of the pit lies “Am I a narcissist who needs to be stroked?”

    I took all of these questions to a therapist who it happened I found on “GoodTherapy” and I REALLY wanted to find answers. I already knew that my marriage was headed into crisis and I asked my wife to go with me to a counselor. She refused to go but affirmed to me: “There is something wrong with your brain.” So I went alone truly eager to learn and opened myself. I learned that I was not a narcissistic person, was low on any tendencies toward entitlement, but was in some danger of depression because of the way I was living rather than from my innate predisposition.

    A male child growing up with this treatment from a mother is unlikely to be able to get any help. Mothers themselves doing this may not perceive what they are doing. Michelle, as you say, we need to learn the pattern to look for before we can see what is happening.

    We men really take this in, because the person conveying “You cannot please me” is the primary person in our lives. We open ourselves up to her in ways we open to no other. We give our women, mothers, wives, intimate girl friends, that credibility on a platter because we believe in them. We do not demand that they “earn” this credibility nor do we “test” them. We believe in them. We want their love, support, to share happiness together and also to join them in cooperation to deal with some of life’s bad challenges. They are the most important people in our lives, and what they tell us is important. It has impact –severe impact both for good and for evil. Like women, we want to know we are seen as credible partners.

    Women, please believe that this is what normal men want. We do not want adulation, mindless agreement, subjugation, or to keep you from your careers, friends and interests. In fact your doing things that you want is one of the important ways that we see you as beautiful–just in watching your doing them. People—men and women alike—deserve to feel valued. When you invite us to participate or just sometimes watch things that you do, we feel valued. When truly neglected, devalued, and gaslighted, it takes from us men our ability to be supportive of you along with our ability to take care of ourselves. We hate that. Under prolonged neglect and devaluation, men, just like women, will make terrible decisions as part of the paralysis that Michelle mentions.

    BTW, Michelle. You husband was so lucky to have found you as his wife!

  • Michelle

    October 30th, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Even though it looks like my most recent message was written after you wrote the reply on 10/29@7:51pm, I don’t think it “appeared” until this morning after I replied again. I am saying this so my response from earlier today doesn’t seem superficial since it doesn’t address any of what you said right before I posted it.

    Browndog, I want you to know that you are absolutely on the right track to reclaiming your identity and your life after this kind of abuse (and I agree with you- it is very much abuse and it is an assault. There may not be any bruises, but the reality is there is much devastation with this kind of abuse. The lack of any physical marks or bruises only results in us being less likely to identify that it is abuse.) The agonizing feeling of just utter devastation and loss going through this feels crippling. I can remember thinking I would NEVER be able to get through it. And yet here I am- whole again. It took a very long time to get here and I learned so much in the process of getting here. I oftentimes think about how lucky I was to even find this path to healing considering how difficult it is to learn that there are people like this in the world. It is knowing that had I not stumbled upon the right social media site when I was desperately searching for answers that keeps me visiting comment blogs and social media forums trying to help other survivors find the road to healing. The only reason I made it through was because survivors before me held out a torch to light that hidden path.

    There is absolutely a trauma component to this kind of abuse and it is frequently overlooked by mental health providers. I have actually had survivors reach out to me who have said, “My therapist told me that what I am feeling can’t be related to trauma because I wasn’t raped and I wasn’t attacked. He said trauma is a one-time thing.” And that is incredibly upsetting! The psychological abuse that survivors have endured is often times so insidious and destructive and yet the survivors have been made to believe that THEY are the reason for their difficulties (being told “You are too sensitive”, “It’s your fault I act this way”, etc again and again until they begin to believe it. You seem to be keenly aware now of the physiological changes that occur in your body when you are confronted with this crazy logic. It is important that you continue to listen to your body when you sense this happening. These are red flags that will become the foundation of you setting up healthy boundaries. The sad part is that you probably felt those things before when your NW initially started behaving that way towards you. But over time, you silenced those alarm bells because you believed you just needed to be more patient and understanding with her. In fact, probably other people even encouraged you to silence those alarm bells because they thought they were giving helpful advice. Until a person encounters another human being who can project and destroy the way a narcissist can, they have no idea how damaging this advice can be. I noticed in your earlier message you said “After I had some recovery time, I realized that I HAD presumed too much of the intent was negative, and she was right”. The truth is that when you are dealing with your NW, you never know how much of her intent is really negative. If you had to rely on her admitting she was being negative, she would tell you she was never being negative. That inability to really know for sure what her intent might be is a byproduct of her own manipulative behavior and refusal to interact with you as a genuine person. So I would like to reframe the interaction you had with her- you did not screw up. You reacted in a way that matches the abuse she has perpetrated on you that she hides under a layer of abuse and ambiguity. And you are not going to get a confession from her that she did in fact say what she said to upset you. She is going to claim she was innocently pointing out something she believed to be true and that you misinterpreted it. I have a feeling that elsewhere in your life you do not have such difficulty “reading” people. And I would be willing to bet that most of the people who have come to this board for support can identify with that exact interaction you just mentioned. We have all seen that “episode” of narcissistic abuse play out a thousand times- except with us as the person in the show. It’s a rerun of the same old narcissistic drama that we have all come to know so well.

    Emotional abuse is incredibly deadly. And it is very important that people like you continue to speak up about your experiences. This type of abuse is terrifyingly common. There are people all around the world who know the pain and devastation of this abuse but still have no idea that they have been set up to fail in these relationships. I attended a workshop a couple of weeks ago with Eleanor Payson, author of the book, “The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists”. It was a wonderful experience. Probably the thing that really got to me was hearing the stories of other survivors from so many different backgrounds of abuse. Parental narcissism is so common but yet so poorly understood by most mental health professionals. It was beautiful to be with these survivors as they were beginning their journeys to healing armed with the knowledge that they hadn’t failed at all in these relationships. They were in relationships where it was impossible to ever succeed. And they were beginning to break free from some of the guilt and shame of never having been “good enough”. It makes me start to tear up just thinking about it.

    But I have to confess, I haven’t known about narcissistic abuse for all that long- just about 3 years now. For a long time, I had no idea how to help my husband. And what was even worse- he didn’t know how to help himself either. Neither one of us had any idea just how destructive this type of abuse was. It was only after I was nearly killed by a narcissistic (and quite possibly sociopathic) psychologist that I had taken my two young children to see for counseling that I began to learn what narcissistic abuse was. As I began to heal from this terrifying emotional abuse, I began to recognize some of the same paralyzing behaviors in my husband and even my children. As I began to make sense of all of this, I was able to help my husband recognize why he was feeling the way he was. And I have to tell you that seemed to ease his mind so much. It scared the hell out of him to not know what was going on inside him. I knew that feeling because I had felt it before.

    Please keep surrounding yourself with people who have been through this and “get it”. It makes recovery a lot less lonely.

    Hugs, my courageous friend,

  • Browndog

    October 30th, 2015 at 11:39 PM

    I took some mental health days from my NW, told her so, did not ask permission, and am doing a road trip which is kinda meditative. This might be short as a result., but none of your responses have or do seem artificial, no matter what the sequence.

    You noted: “You reacted in a way that matches the abuse she has perpetrated on you that she hides under a layer of abuse and ambiguity. And you are not going to get a confession from her that she did in fact say what she said to upset you. She is going to claim she was innocently pointing out something she believed to be true and that you misinterpreted it. I have a feeling that elsewhere in your life you do not have such difficulty “reading” people. And I would be willing to bet that most of the people who have come to this board for support can identify with that exact interaction you just mentioned. We have all seen that “episode” of narcissistic abuse play out a thousand times- except with us as the person in the show. It’s a rerun of the same old narcissistic drama that we have all come to know so well. ”

    Wow. Wow! It is almost as if you had bugged our later conversation. She began proposing that I had these reactions from others. As you perceived, I do not have such communication problems with others. I responded that my interchanges with her were unique.

    I know that I will never get either any admission or apology from my NW. I realized months ago that the parts of her brain that recognize good reasons to do either just are not wired into the system. Being able to see my part that I could have done better affirms for me that these parts of my brain are intact and functional. I do not expect fixing me to translate into fixing her. Still, since no exchange with an NP will yield any collaborative benefit, I can at least salvage some reflective training time to look at myself from these encounters. Afterwards, I will be better, and the NP will emerge still “knowing all” and learning nothing.

    A follow-up event occurred when I asked if we were meeting to eat after our separate classes for dinner, which we usually do on Thursday nights. The response was “We will have to see.” So I pushed in accord with what I saw in your words was refusal “…to interact with you as a genuine person.” I simply said: “That was an obtuse answer. Are you going to me there or not?” As I anticipated, there was the rage and an hour later the anticipated narcissist action of not meeting “because of the way we are at odds.” I went alone after my class, enjoyed the time alone, and wrote my post last night to this list.

    I have seen the word “obtuse” more than once in reference to the answers and responses NP give. In my experience, obtuse answers are their M.O. Answering questions with questions, as in “Did I say that?!” is a template response trotted out to avoid meaningful communication. In short, you nailed it. You are absolutely reading this exchange for what it is. Thanks!

  • Sue H

    October 31st, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    Not all silent treatments are about you committing abuse sometimes that is the only thing you can do when abused. I have had my husband say devastating things to me in public and then when you leave he will say “oh I guess I shouldn’t have said that”. How do you speak after that all you can do is keep to your self. The silent treatment is not always about trying to get someone to comform sometimes it is the only course of action to protect your self emotionally

  • Browndog

    November 1st, 2015 at 7:33 AM


    Sorry to hear of your being mistreated in that way. It had to be hurtful, and you must have felt too stunned to engage. When I read your post, I was thinking a proper response might have been “Damned right you should not have said that! Do you have any idea how hurtful and destructive that is? The only good is that you just disclosed that you yourself suspect it was wrong of you to say that. In all honesty, I wish you could feel the hurt that I felt just so that you could know just how very wrong that was. Right now, I am so hurt that I am too upset to even talk more about this–so time out.”

    When we are the victims, we are easily paralyzed and cannot bring our resources to do or say what might deal effectively with the moment. Withdrawal may be all we can do.

    Withdrawal is what I believe that I am doing now physically with a mental health road trip this weekend. I am letting my NW know each evening where I am and checking that she is ok. That is by text so that there is minimal opportunity for abuse, which includes refusal to answer a phone in silent treatments. But I have physically withdrawn for a few days because I could feel the physical symptoms in my body and figured that I would be back with the heart irregularities if I didn’t get distance from silent treatment punctuated only by negative comments and criticisms.

    I see silent treatment as different from withdrawal. You reported being devastated by verbal abuse that you cannot engage with. In your way, it sounds as if you moved into withdrawal. In our different ways, you and I may be doing the same things, so I truly hope that what we are doing is not abuse.

    Silent treatment, to me, (hope our more knowledgeable moderators will give us some help on these boundaries) seems different from brief withdrawal to pull self together. Silent treatment is long-term. It seems an effort to isolate the victim who has been rejected, to make the home not a home, to drive the victim away, or maybe even intending for the victim to die from stroke or heart attack imposed by prolonged stress. To me, that is assault, not a withdrawal. After withdrawal, it seems a healthy person will approach their partner and state they need to talk about it–now if the partner is able, and a bit later if the partner needs to think more on it before discussing. The person who enacts withdrawal knows not to let it progress into toxic prolonged silent treatment.

    From what I read on these sites, silent treatment cannot hurt a NP. Silent treatment hurts only the person who wants normal interaction and normal affection. Healthy individuals reach out for those things, and are hurt in doing so by narcissistic partners’ silent treatments.

    In my experience, NPs like to pretend, even rationalize to themselves, that they are denying intimate communication, affection and normal interaction as a kind of self-defense, when they really are starving their partners of affection and enjoying doing so. The NP will NOT go to counseling to resolve this if a victim asks her/him to do so as a way to restore a healthy home environment. Instead, the NPs will go to their flying monkeys for encouragement to step up the abuse.

  • Laurie

    November 15th, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    Hi Browndog,
    I wanted to clarify that A Narcissist can not tolerate the silent treatment being done to them.

    It makes them feel small, worthless and insignificant.

    Have you ever done one to your abuser?

    They will whip themselves into a frenzy to get your attention. Do horrific back stabbing things or call the police on you.

    They really cannot take what they dish.

    I read all of this on well-established web presences about Personality Disorders and from personal experience.

  • Michelle M.

    November 1st, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Sue and Browndog,
    I believe that what Browndog has just described is a very eloquently worded explanation of what might look the “same” on the surface, but is very, very different underneath. I think he is 100% spot on with what he has explained. And I have a feeling that you have probably even been accused of giving this person the “silent treatment” because you failed to speak. But the truth is that the reasons for this failure are very, very different. The withdrawal that Browndog mentions is incredibly common for survivors of this kind of abuse. You have been through so much and you have likely tried everything you can think of to effectively communicate with your husband. All of the things that you have probably tried in the past to bridge the gap between you and someone else are not effective with your husband. Anytime you try to be genuine and honest, you are likely met with verbal assaults and warped thinking that leave you in a tail spin for days, perhaps weeks. This whole process of being undermined at every turn in trying to reconcile these differences (and even being covertly “punished” for your honesty and attempts to be genuine) results in something called “learned helplessness”. It is a feeling of overall paralysis that results in being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No matter what you do, you lose.

    Learned helplessness and the realization that no matter what you do (unless it is to “buy into” your husband’s warped reality of the “problem” which will ultimately leave you all to aware that you failed yourself) you will not make the situation any better is an important distinction for you to feel. It is, in fact, this very feeling that will hopefully begin to elicit in you a response that indicates that you cannot change the situation because it is not yours to change instead of leaving you feeling that you have been a failure at coming up with some magical solution that will make your husband happy but not sacrifice your own integrity.
    Hugs to you Sue,

  • Browndog

    November 1st, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    Michelle, thanks for helping to clarify for us the difference between silent treatment as an assault and withdrawal as a practical mechanism to resort to for survival. Your statement: “Anytime you try to be genuine and honest, you are likely met with verbal assaults and warped thinking that leave you in a tail spin for days, perhaps weeks. This whole process of being undermined at every turn in trying to reconcile these differences ….” really helped me. It precisely describes my experience and feelings. One thing your post made clear for me: if I find that in the long term I am the person reaching out for reconciliation and I am being undermined by refusal to communicate, I AM experiencing silent treatment, which is abuse. I am NOT experiencing another person’s withdrawal, despite what this person uses to try to rationalize his/her actions as reclaiming peace or spirituality or practicing from integrity. These actions when exercised repeatedly in a long-term pattern are really those that seek to kill the spirit. I am more confident now that the difference is knowable.
    Sue, thanks for sharing your story. It was especially timely for me while I am on this self-imposed retreat to be challenged to think about where the boundaries between silent treatment and withdrawal lie.

  • chavj

    November 2nd, 2015 at 1:27 AM

    Please help me understand my situation. I really loved my N and now started 3rd year of relationship. In two years he broke up with me after every five days in insecurity issues and was overly possesove that I couldn’t talk to any guy friends. I did alot for him like spending money aborting his baby thrice and still he will break up no matter what the situation is. Now we spent a good date and did everything. In morning all of sudden he checked my watsapp and got offended by my friendly chats and checks my Facebook. He deleted most of fb guy friends and my pics with friends where I wore a dress he never leallowrd. He physically abused me alot even with belt took out money from mt purse and pushed me out of his house 10 days before . I was physical hurt and cried alot but he pushed me out. Since then he is putting romantic watsapp status (which he did in all break up) and now he has started putting pictures with his team and girls on watsapp and Facebook . I had a heart attack seeing thode happy pictures with he holding girls in each hand from his team. I better die. Please I beg you to make me understand why is he doing that? I should have gone to his place by now in anger but I haven’t. Pleasr HELP


  • Michelle Mallon

    November 2nd, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    I’ll be really honest with you, I can’t answer the question about why this man treats you so badly. There is no reason on earth why anyone should treat another human being so badly. And even if I could come up with a reason, I don’t know that it really matters. You should not be treated this way regardless of the reason. It sounds like you have been very patient and understanding with him and you have held out the hope that this patience and understanding would eventually help him to change his behavior. However, that has not happened. I have a feeling that the person you were before you met him would not ever have envisioned allowing someone to treat you so badly. The really sad part of Narcissistic abuse is that survivors of it oftentimes recount personal stories of having given literally EVERYTHING they had to try and make the other person happy and it was NEVER enough. That is the hallmark characteristic, I believe, of a Narcissistic relationship- one person gives everything they have believing that it will eventually be enough. But the truth is that we are set up to fail in these types of relationships- there is NEVER enough that anyone can give. This man is killing your spirit and eroding your identity. I strongly urge you to read the book “Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity by Marie France Hirigoyen. I have read this several times and I truly believe it is the reason why I have been able to heal. I think it may be helpful to you as well.

    One last thought, there is this quote that I found a couple of years ago that I love so much. It seems to really explain the insanity and emotional draining that is Narcissistic abuse. Perhaps you might find it helpful too.
    “I poured everything I had into you but you were still empty”

    Hugs my brave survivor,
    Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW

  • Browndog

    November 2nd, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    What you described is happening to you is chilling. You do not need to “understand” this brutality. You just need to get yourself safe from it. Go ASAP to this site and see if you can get some personal support

    If you have a battered womens’ or community shelter, get in touch with the people there to get help. Nothing you might have said or done could ever justify this kind of treatment.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    November 2nd, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Also, there is a difference between No Contact and the Silent Treatment…the latter is an emotional abuse tactic employed by an abuser. No Contact is a strategy of healing survivors can utilize to heal and move forward in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse. There is so much pain I am picking up on this blog. Please connect with skilled and qualified helping professionals who can assist who have training in narcissistic abuse recovery and trauma work. Healing wishes to all, Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    November 2nd, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Michelle M — thank you for your wise words and commentary… you are spot on! :)

  • Browndog

    November 2nd, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    I am sorry — I did not realize that this site strips off web links. The link I tried to put you in touch with was Crisis Text Line. It has a list of resources. You can find it by Googling. The loveisrespect hotline might have someone there who might be able to talk with you 1-866-331-8453. The other is the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. I could not quite tell from your note if you were being hit with a belt or if that is not the case. If you are being hit or physically abused, you likely need to get distance from the abuser. Check also on counselors in your zip code that can be searched through this goodtherapy web site.

  • Browndog

    November 4th, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    After experiencing this four-day retreat, I feel restored. While I do not look forward to going back later today to a house (it no longer is a home) in which active silent treatment punctuated by gaslighting awaits, but I feel strong enough to let it run off my back. It was wonderful to hike, bike and drive in beautiful outdoor weather and to spend time in the supportive company of friends and be in contact with others that I did not visit. Was able to read Andrea’s Soul Vampires…. book in a single evening. It portrays everything I lived these past twenty months and in the sequence in which the events are experienced. Cannot believe how devoid those twenty months had been of peace, affection, warmth and laughter. This trip enveloped me in all of that. It is a reminder that the world of the NP is not real. Once we stop believing in them, they can have no power. Looking forward to another trip in a week, work though some of it is. Ahhh sanity. YES!!!

  • Chika

    November 4th, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    Unbuhlievable! Just when he finally stopped stalking me .. Jesus dude I think you’re more obsessed than I ever was. That’s a terrible place to open a restaurant. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? I thought you didn’t think all that much of me. Well that’s a dubious statement. You know your effect on people. Don’t you have a nice, albeit short line of willing hostages to sit on the dunk tank seat?

    You’re not good at batting for nothing .. Aye batta batta Schwiing!

    So you struck out at the divorcee’s place? I thought she was your ROCK ;-)) . What with all her bills paid by a real man; your bills paid by a real man. I guess you can’t keep ‘up’ with your job there.

    Son of a bee, don’t act so TEXTBOOK. You’re getting old now time to get it right! Right out of my way. I do appreciate your concern but I’ll deal with my emotions around it. You’re better off without me, I don’t have enough tattoos for your taste, remember?

    What’s a Narcissist’s type .. Anything with a heartbeat. Buy Buy Kiddo.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    November 5th, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    Browndog — I am so glad that my book helped you…Soul Vampires: Reclaiming Your LifeBlood After Narcissistic Abuse…good for your for moving on in your healing and recovery…no vampire bites for you!! Peace and Healing, Andrea :))

  • Browndog

    November 7th, 2015 at 5:56 AM

    Andrea, it was very helpful. It especially brought together much of what I learned from other sites about the extreme entitlement that NPs seem to have. The whole retreat time gave me the clarity to sublet an inexpensive condo when I returned and to start to leave this toxic house. I will start by setting up my office there and am looking forward to having art and pictures back that I used to have back up in that place.

    Since buying a house together I have been unable to unpack my professional library, hang any of my wonderful pictures or paintings or even keep photos of friends and family on the fridge because NW says “We must both agree to hang anything.” But “hanging such things or lots of books destroys ‘A LOOK.'” Talk about entitlement…

    “The look” with gray barren walls reminds me of a 1940s Nazi concrete bunker. This morning, I re-read some of the archives here, and I saw your advice back on February 3rd, 2015: “… I do not advise engaging in the same behaviors that a person with narcissism may engage in….” which is really great advice. If we recognize narcissistic abuse as toxic, why practice to act like a narcissist? Letting NPs infuse that into us is may be one of the worst effects that we let them slip in on us. My task now is working toward ridding myself of the toxins that have slipped in.

  • Amy

    November 8th, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    My ex is trying to get back with me after breaking up with me abruptly 4 months ago.
    During the break up I have found out as a way to “cope” with his loss, he had a party at his home and found out he’s brought girls over. I discovered some uncomfortable pictures on a social media that this girl has taken in his bedroom dancing. Now that he wants to work on getting back together, Even together when he brought the girls over, I asked him why he is still “friends” with them on social media..
    I expressed how uncomfortable I was and was not able to even consider getting back if he is still linked to them via social media.
    I explained how he is being defensive on not deleting them vs arguing with me trying to get back with me.
    And for 2 days now I have been given the silent treatment… How do I deal with this. I am so hurt. We were in a long distance relationship for 2 years.

  • Browndog

    November 9th, 2015 at 12:04 AM

    He broke up with you…and HE is “coping” with loss? Uhhh…thinking three words: “Run Amy, RUN!”
    Were you happier and feeling more in control of your feelings after four months of no contact, or are you now happier with this hurting that you have told us about coming recently back into your life? Just tune into what this recent change is doing for you. You cannot control his seeing other girls, but you can control how you are going to take care of yourself while you are vulnerable. Would you consider “unfriending” this attraction for a while on your social media? Rather than an act of being a nasty person, it is a chance to set a boundary that prevents your getting sucked into monitoring his personal activities, which are going to hurt and upset you every time you go to your media site to visit with others. If this guy is an NP, he may get off on knowing that he commands your attention. The fact he commands it in ways that sound toxic to you probably does not even concern a narcissist.
    Hugs–treat yourself well through this challenge.

  • PollyAnna

    November 9th, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    This girl’s pretend relationships are so tedious. She’s a troll I call Fakey Girl™ as she considers herself quite the Role Player. Earlier this year she decided she wanted to be a part of the action and started writing herself into the narrative. Even responding to herself since her stories show she doesn’t really know what its like being in a grown up relationship with a man, much less a Narcissist. In keeping true to himself, King Baby Narcissist occassionally plays into the game, just to keep his victims thrown off. Shame on her for making light of true victims searching for help on these pages.

    Some are sicker than others I suppose. Fakey™ should stick to what she knows: nothing. Get the job already and maybe a life.

  • Browndog

    November 9th, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Have to admit that some posts I have see make me wonder how they got posted after someone supposedly reviewed them and approved for sharing. Some look like they are written while the writer is drunk or high on drugs. If any idea or a real thought is in there, it’s not one I can pick up. This isn’t the kind of discussion site that I intuited would be attractive to people who are drawn to contribute craziness. If these folks are not screened out, it’s likely that people who do were drawn here by the original article will stop coming. The archives really become part of the article, which is outstanding.

  • carole

    November 10th, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I found this site purely because I was looking for something !! Answers as to why my husband was the way he is….and needed to let it out what I was going through

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    November 10th, 2015 at 6:44 AM

    In reviewing so many of the commenters on this blog (and my other articles) and in working with my client survivors in my practice, one of many themes seem to be emerging…1) take much care and precaution with dating websites where extreme narcissists/trolls may be hiding behind their profile or the guise of being a relationship coach (with absolutely no credentials or training and can actually cause harm) and 2) survivors comments about trolls (who are cyber-bullies and extreme narcissists who choose to hide behind a profile and attempt to extract narcissistic supply from unsuspecting targets. The Internet is rife with such predators. For those who are needing direct support, resources, and qualified psychotherapy/consultation, please email me directly through my website. Unfortunately, I am not able to respond to all comments on all articles because of the volume of responses. Kind regards in healing, Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Browndog

    November 10th, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    Carole, there is nothing that you have posted that I don’t get.
    Amazing how many of us find a site like this after searching for a few answers by key words and unexpectedly find that our experiences fit a known pattern that we never knew was shared by others or even constituted a pattern.

  • Shannon

    November 12th, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    I have been looking for more answers…here is another great article and empowering.

  • Browndog

    November 13th, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Shannon, thanks for a great article. Good comments by folks following it too.

  • Mercedes

    November 13th, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    Thank you for this article so informative…one time my narcissist gave me the silent treatment for 15 days because I left the house before he came back in from the wood shed…he would not answer his phone, texts,voice mail or email…and I mean nothing…i was beside myself with grief…than he suddenly showed up out of the blue walked in and did not say a word…just carried on like he didn’t leave…stayed for 8 days while I nursed him through the flu…and one night he got rude and I said goodnight I am going to bed…he slept downstairs in the spare room…I went down in the morning to get something from the spare fridge…I didn’t say anything to him he had the blankets pulled over his head…when I came home from work that day he was gone again…

  • sweetie619

    November 17th, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    It’s so disrespectful. I used to get mimicked for this comment by my partner but I’m going to say it because its what I believe. How does a person treat someone they are in a relationship with and is supposed to care about and love? It’s not the action of a loving caring person.

  • Jeff

    November 16th, 2015 at 4:20 AM

    When I first met her I thought I,d found my soul mate, she liked everything I liked and we just clicked instantly I felt so happy..she was so so pretty and seemed to really like me.
    For two years it was like this, my children loved her to bits, I’m a single parent of one ..the othe girls live with mum but I had them (had !!) every other weekend.
    We all used to go out and have a great time..really fun times.
    I knew she had a baby at 14 but that never bothered me at all, she seemed so well balanced and so bloody nice !
    From day one as I,m used to being the dad/provider I paid for everything..her bills sometimes, fuel in her car, jewellery, clothes, make up, TVs , decorated her home, bedding, paid for her hair to be done, make up etc etc.
    I didn’t mind …she only worked part time and I had a good job and I’m generous I like to be nice.
    Never understood why she didn’t work full time tho and why a woman so pretty had never been married.
    I don’t remember the first silent treatment as there’s been so many since, over some trivial remark or just comment over a tv show.
    At Christmas once when we were shopping and I was picking stuff up and asking if my girls would like this she would say no to everything ( I know what they like I’m their dad) and I got the feeling she just didn’t want me to get them stuff.
    She works part time and has very little excess money, she’s in a rented council house but won’t work full time and struggles with bills etc.
    5 years she’s been round my place every weekend and doesn’t spend a penny, I feed and am just a slave when she arrives from Friday till Monday. We go away, I pay for everything…in the 5 years together she has bought fish and chips twice !! But she did get Xmas presents for me in the beginning, but never for my kids even tho I got her grandchildren and daughter presents and cards.
    I also used to get her mum And dad stuff if needed and have many times bought her shopping/ food.
    Then the cracks started appearing…she would get drunk and have a few little dogs and comments about me and often my girls, she was insanely jealous of my daughter who lived with me which got worse with time.
    We went away for our 3 years together and I booked the Hotel and paid as usual, she got drunk the one night and really started verbally abusing me and in the end dumped me, we still had another day left but came home early..on the journey home which I hatedshe was as normal as you like.
    Dropped her off at Hers and she got her bags and said it just wasn’t working..baring in mind that I was still wondering what I’d done.
    Anyway, turns out after a week that she’s been out with another guy, week after she rings me asking me if I would like to come round to see the dog !! I said no and that I know you’ve had someone else lined up ( same guy that text her before our 3 year anniversary at 11pm) and he just hpened to work at the same hospital.. She denied anything had gone on and he was just a friend.
    I took her back.
    We then got engaged !! Within 3 weeks she had put a deposit on a dress and was full on talking living together and all that..
    My landlord rang me and said that he may be selling the house that I rent and I explainedthat to her…she then turned her spare room into her granddaughters bedroom which made me believe that she didn’t want my daughter . I let that one go
    Long story short….she became more and more abusive, the silent treatment got a lot worse and I began to feel like crap, I didn’t want to see her or I was finding excuses for not going to see her.
    I’ve asked her to leave my place on many occasions when she got drunk and been abusive, I’ve recorded her because she always denies having said those things and that I need to go see a shrink cos I’m mental.
    I’ve had the police on the door step after asking her to leave…she’s told them ive stolen stuff from her bag and next day when I ask her why she sent them round she’s denied even ringing them…crazy.
    She’s punched me in the face and said if you’d havegone to your room it would of never happened.
    5 moths ago I just had enuf, I rang and said it was over and that the pain was becoming constant , she replied ” well we aren’t going anywhere anyway” …..5 years and that’s all she can say.
    She said she needed to go find her dream !
    I just said ok.
    We spoke now and again after that for about a month…then I one day found out that she had been sexually abused by her dads brother
    I rang and tried to say I felt for her and I knew what had happened and that it had been covered up for 30 years. I,m here for you I said.
    Phone went down…and nothing since then.
    Nearly 4-5 months since then
    My children started not coming when she came round because they saw what she did to me.
    She put a wedge between me and my mum (mums a NPD).
    She bad mouthed her work colleagues and it seemed like she was always the victim.
    Was always suffering from something.
    Never gave a crap about my day..just hers.
    Always her problems, her dysfunctional family, her this her that.
    And stopped telling me she loved me years ago.
    Her brother has mental problems, his kids have been diagnosed with mental problems, her mother is just the scale in that area. Her daughter is nice but for 30yrsold very slow, speech, actions just not quite there and her two kids are very very unruly and the young boy of 6cant talk very well at all and the girl of 7is just evil in her ways but does have a nice side as long as she gets her own way.
    So why do I miss this woman so much ???

    NPD/ plus lots of other stuff I still feel I can fix !!

    Thanks for listening all.

  • Browndog

    November 16th, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Every legitimate authority I have consulted is pretty consistent with what is stated in Andrea’s article here and in the blog article that Shannon provided: SILENT TREATMENT IS ABUSE. Victims of silent treatment feel small, isolated, devalued and discarded. Why would I want to do that to another human being?

  • Browndog

    November 16th, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    Isn’t it amazing at the attraction people who are not good for us nevertheless hold and retain even when they prove beyond a doubt that they are not good for us? Like the fictional vampire, which is a suitable partial title of Andrea’s book, the bite infects us and works to change us from who we really are. What’s even worse is that healthy blood seems to most attract the vampires.
    You mentioned your EXGF was sexually abused as a child. How do you really KNOW this to be true? There was a fad about 15 years ago of “recovered memories” spawned by the book “Courage to Heal” book. I went to a presentation by the book’s author in 1989. After seeing the author and hearing her claim that ALL of us in attendance were there because we were sexually abused as children, I felt I was in the presence of a person power-tripping to recruit disciples. The book had a cult following which reminded me a lot of intolerant religions. It programmed its followers to attack anyone who failed to “BELIEVE.”I wasn’t surprised to see the central premise of that book largely debunked as legitimate scholars started to study recovered memories, but it took years. In that time, it provided too many people who were never sexually abused as children with an excuse to enact terrible behavior. It sounds to me like you have been exploited and discarded, if not by a narcissist then by someone who is sounds at least borderline certifiable. Take a deep breath and feel grateful that she has gone from you and your childrens’ lives. It sounds like your next task is to recover yourself back to the person you were before you let yourself be drawn into a relationship with a wrecking machine. The person you were didn’t sound half bad.

  • sweetie619

    November 17th, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    I left a comment maybe a month or so ago as my partner does the silent treatment when He feels I have done something wrong and He feels like he deserves an apology.
    Three weekends have been OK but the last one has resulted in me receiving the silent treatment again.Bearing in mind I sat in bed crying on Saturday and he just turned over and went to sleep. Before I started dating him two years ago I used to speak to a lovely guy who’s wife had cheated on him with his best friend. He vowed to never date again. But there was something between us. He couldn’t cope with it and I didn’t hear from him until this year. We just talked and last night I met him. And he is kind caring loving and the same person I started falling for three years ago. I’m not saying what I’ve done is right but he has opened my eyes to how badly I have been treated. Nobody has to put up with it. It’s scarey as I am now going to finish my two year relationship if he contacts me, I doubt it because he will wait for me to do it. I’m prepared to risk jumping the ignorance train for one that could potentially make me happy and so should others. You shouldn’t have to watch what you say , walk on egg shells or be ignored. People deserve better x

  • Browndog

    November 17th, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    The site went down for some reason this evening so your post is not being ignored. First of all your question: “How does a person treat someone they are in a relationship with and is supposed to care about and love?” to any person who is not dumber than a post is not a question that ANYONE should ever be laughing at. It is simple, beautiful, and powerful. Many of us wish our partners who resort to silent treating had the mental capacity to ask that. Speaking for myself, your prompt has taught me to ask that of myself more often. Suffice to say that it takes a capable and smart person to ask such an important question in that way.
    To solve your other dilemma, advice should come from the more qualified people who actually run this site. Maybe try asking yourself: “why am I staying in this relationship?” Then try maybe asking your partner “Why are you in this relationship with me?” Don’t go for these wanting to shut out an answer that you may not want to hear. The main thing is to get answers will give you truthful information. If you want to remain in the relationship after you get these answers, you both may need some coaching from a counselor. If the answers you get make you not to want to remain with your partner, then you might benefit from support from a qualified counselor now simply because you are vulnerable from having been devalued. The first person who SEEMS to offer the love and understanding your life has been missing could put you back in the same cycle. You seem bright, caring, and empathetic. These are qualities that attract both really good partners and really destructive narcissists. Some time with a qualified counselor may help you to hang onto yourself when the latter is trying to draw you in.
    Hugs-! Your weekends are not meant to be spent crying.

  • Browndog

    November 18th, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    I wanted to follow up on your October 30 request: “I would be honored to have both of you help me communicate the articles and resources that have helped you both begin to heal from this to the survivors who come to my Facebook group to find accurate information to help them heal. Facebook: Narcissistic Victim Syndrome- Hope For Victims and Survivors.

    As soon as I clicked on that site, I saw that not only my identity and photo but also those of all my friends and associates on FB would become part of this as a public forum. If you establish a secure site, perhaps on WordPress and set the security settings high, I believe that it might enable the kinds of forum discussions that you want. Facebook is a great place for the informal banter and news such as we might to have public. It is a terrible forum for any serious discussions that should be confidential. In my experience, Facebook is one of the most unsafe places on the web.

  • Wednesday

    November 22nd, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    I’m so glad to have found this site. I’m so in love with a man, but he continues to torture me with silence. I poured my heart and feelings to him, he stood, listened and when it was his turn to engage in the conversation, he picked up his phone and called his dad. The laughed and joked awhile, then he went about his business as if I’d said nothing. It keeps happening over and over until I’m enraged, devalued, depressed, and wanting to leave. He will then say how he misses me, loves me ect…..I’m so tired of it. The song by the clash ” should I stay or should I go” plays continually in my mind, lol….this nonsense has got to ends before I go insane!

  • Michelle M

    November 24th, 2015 at 3:26 AM

    I am so glad you saw my message asking if you could help me find good articles and resources for the male survivors who come to my support forum for help in healing. To answer your question- I have thought about making it a closed group. However, there are a number of reasons why I have not. The time and energy a closed group might require are beyond the scope of what I can effectively give right now. For a closed group to be helpful to the survivors who are a part of it, there must be a fairly high level of response on my part to the concerns that survivors are expressing. Closed groups can allow for much more open sharing- which is good. However, if I know that I do not always have the ability to respond at length or right away, that profound sharing on the part of the survivors who post may feel like their stories are being dismissed or ignored. For me, I remember as I was healing that one of the worst feelings in the world was the feeling like I was being ignored. It scares me to think that my inability to respond the way I would need to to nurture the survivors who come there could harm them. So for now, the group is an open group. The focus is on getting accurate information about healing out to the people who are desperately searching for it. Please don’t assume that your input can’t still be important. You do not have to post publicly on the site to help me communicate the articles that you think could be helpful to men. You could message me and we could work together to add in the support piece for men. I have a number of men who are followers of the site. They sometimes recommend articles too. Hopefully we can just give this a try and see how it goes???

  • Browndog

    November 24th, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    Michelle, you said: ” For me, I remember as I was healing that one of the worst feelings in the world was the feeling like I was being ignored.” That is so understandable to any person who has shared this kind of abuse. Victims of silent treatment are being shunned and being disenrolled from the person and the family that we believed was ours and to which we were overjoyed to be a part of. Worse, the shunning is not because we have done anything. All we had to do to be victimized was to remain committed and present as the cycle moved from idealization to devaluation to discard. At the final stage, the abuser is tired of us, wants us gone and resents the fact that we we are alive, share their space, and draw breath in this world. Few who have experienced this cycle from a person that they love know how devastating that living it is. So sorry that this happened to you too. I am thankful that you survived this and are turning your experience into helping others.

    This is currently a very hard time for me. I am by nature an unusually inclusive person. I do not like even putting the dog separately from us because I worry she will feel excluded and punished. I opened myself to loving the kids of my narcissistic wife, and they are now visiting with us. I have always loved being with them and know that this is the last time we will spend together. My spirit is very heavy right now.

  • The Team

    November 24th, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    Dear Browndog,

    Thank you for your comment. In times of difficulty, it may help to talk with a therapist or counselor. You can locate one in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    Please know that help is available. We wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,

    The Team

  • Browndog

    November 24th, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Thanks, Team. I do have a counselor. Unlike what happened earlier in my relationship with my narcissist wife, I understand the reason for my feeling since it is made from my experiences.. I am neither surprised nor paralyzed by it. I simply felt like acknowledging in this forum that I do feel pain in this situation. But I know that I can deal with it and get past it. if in the situation I described I felt no loss, I should probably worry more about that.

  • Michelle M

    November 25th, 2015 at 5:16 AM

    I can definitely understand that feeling of heaviness. That pre-emptive feeling of knowing what you are about to lose but yet still feeling like you might still somehow find a way to make all of this work- almost as if you have a choice as to whether or not you remove yourself from this destructive relationship is so heavy. Do your wife’s children have any idea that she is abusive or is this something of which no one will speak? I guess what I am asking is whether or not there is any possibility that your understanding of what you have been through may be the key that unlocks the prison door for them too. I think that the only way that you might be able to remain connected somehow with the children is if they have begun to see behind their mother’s mask. If they have not (or have not indicated this to you), then I have a feeling you may need time away from all of them to begin to heal the trauma you have endured. I know for my husband, extended family members who knew some of the extent of what he had been through, would (with good intentions) suggest things that made him believe he just hadn’t tried hard enough and he would second guess himself. He has cut off contact with the entire extended family as well as the immediate family. This has been almost four years ago. I thought at some point he would want to have contact with some of the extended family, but he has not. I think this is because he knows he has made peace with his decision and that other people may continue to try (with good intentions) to get him to “try again”.

    There really isn’t much of a choice in a situation like this. Once your eyes have been opened to the reality of what you are dealing with and the hell you are living in, staying is nearly impossible. I have a feeling that you understand this. When you are fully aware of all of the abusive and manipulative tactics as they are happening, it is incredibly difficult not to feel your own inner need for respect and dignity kick in and take over.

    Perhaps as you gather with the family with your eyes open more than they ever have been to what is going on, you will begin to see some things you couldn’t before. In the aftermath of narcissistic abuse, one of the most painful components to healing is mourning the loss of what really was. It is quite possible that this holds true not just with your wife but, to some extent, her children.

    Thinking of you Browndog. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Mimi

    November 25th, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    There comes a time when i physically or mentally can no longer speak. It has nothing to do with control it has everything to do with self preservation….it does not matter what I say I will be yelled at or told I’m wrong. Silence is safety.

  • Browndog

    November 25th, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Michelle, thanks so much for your caring and taking time to acknowledge my living in this reality. You obviously do understand this feeling. It is my intention to share these days in the best ways to the degree that I am allowed. I have no delusions about my ability to remain in the destructive relationship that I know is real, but I so loved the relationship that I thought was real that I will acknowledge the good parts of that, my sorrow at finding what eventually proved to be the reality, take the good forward and not wallow needlessly. I have no desire to undermine my wife’s relationship with her kids. I have never said a bad word about her to either of them. Indeed, I believe that they see a different person than the one I am shown. They are an extension of her; I am not and thus they will never be in the relationship where that par of her character appears. They want to believe in what she shows to them and my guess is that they are safe in that they will never will see anything else. If they did, it would benefit no person and only hurt them. I am quietly supporting their visit from behind, and if I do this successfully, they will not have their time here reduced by feeling my sorrow. Today at times I felt my body riddled with the feel of little shocks and my hands even tremble from what I feel though. Thank you for reaching out in the way you did and at the time you did.

  • Browndog

    November 25th, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    I acknowledge the feeling of deferring to do to what you believe that you need to do to help you survive. The differences between silent treating a partner and withdrawing from abuse have been clarified on this particular forum. There is no need for me to repeat that here.

    For me, I think that it is important to validate myself FOR MYSELF, without arguing or justifying self to a narcissist. As an example– , I had bought a bag of tangerines for our guests (her family) several days ago and set them out on the kitchen island. I was immediately criticized for that by NW stating she had already bought some (she had bought two) and had them in a refrigerator drawer. I said “OK” and let it go, Two days later, the guests ate all but two from the island, so tonight I replenished the stock. My NW immediately noted that I should not put these out because two were left. I just noted that “everyone is eating them so I will tear open the new bag so they can know these are here and place it next to the remaining two.” The response was a snarling ” Do whatever the fuck you want.” I then affirmed “I don’t need that” to validate that I neither needed to be cursed at nor snarled at as part of my life. I did not to respond in kind with cursing or snarling or try to justify. The NW, always needing to have the last word retorted, “and I don’t need THAT” referring to the affirmation of myself. Goes without saying that a narcissist does not need any victim validating or affirming self, so I did not need to grace that with any further response. To state that I DON’T need that kind of treatment was to affirm to myself my need to get such abuse out of my life, and to support the actions that I am now taking. The affirmation was for me, not for her–although she made it “all about her.”

    Just going silent can affirm to ourselves that if we just go limp with a narcissist, they will eventually care and become loving again. They won’t. They will just persist with their unending litany of put-downs and criticisms because they need to do this to a target. We don’t need that in a relationship or in our lives.

  • sweetie619

    November 26th, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Its funny when I read a post and have an aha moment. After last weekend with my partner of two years I left his Monday morning knowing I couldn’t do our relationship anymore. I can’t even remember why I got upset Saturday evening but I sat on the bed and cried whilst he turned over and went to sleep. Nothing not even on Sunday. So I didn’t message him all week and he didn’t until the following Sunday he just said ” I guess that’s it I haven’t heard from you in a week”. I did say he could have messaged me. Then the accusations and insults started, accusing me of talking to someone else, how when I spoke to him the weekend I only grunted. I was told not to go there with the fact he hadn’t messaged me. But the best line of all ” he didn’t have to put up with my self centred , ignorant childish tantrums. I replied saying I didn’t want a b$tch fest and that I didn’t want the finger pointing and conversation how I was to blame for everything. Which resulted in me being told if he couldn’t point the finger there was nothing left to say. I feel so bad for so many people on here. This week I have had tears because its over but not for him but because I realised my self esteem and confidence have taken such a hammering.

  • Kariuki

    November 29th, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    I have read all your posts, atleast each one posts is sounding to what I have been undergoing through. I have expressed this kind of rejection from my cousin and now my current girlfriend, trust me it is one of the worst feeling ever. Worse than death, it makes you feel like nothing. God people, as you go to your next relationship please set your threshold of respect, your much worth than the love. There is no good feeling like being appreciated. And that’s, what your narcissists feeling will never put across, his or her work, is to break you down to extremely nothing.

  • Anna

    November 30th, 2015 at 1:27 AM

    What if you are forced to stop responding to someone who is hurling insults, abusive accusations & nastiness. Is it stonewalling if a message is sent that the behavior wont be tolerated & making it the last message no matter how much sludge keeps coming back? Is it stonewalling to not respond to the abusive messages?

  • Browndog

    November 30th, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Andrea’s article at the top of this thread says it all in a few words: “…many therapists suggest that the survivor understand that the person with narcissism has not developed the ability to express a high level of empathy, reciprocity, and compromise. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse that no one deserves nor should tolerate. If an individual experiences this absence of communication, it is a sure sign that he or she needs to move on and heal.”

    When you say “…as you go to your next relationship please set your threshold of respect…” most victims begin relationships with a good threshold of self-respect. The problem here is that the wonderful persona a narcissist presents at the outset conveys the respect needed to breach our boundaries, and we fall in love with them. What we do not know is that they are not in love with us. After we commit to the narcissist, the real persona of the narcissist begins to show and the devaluation soon begins. Silent treating becomes the normal mode of narcissists’ relating to victims by the stage of discard. That is when: “an individual experiences this absence of communication” and our hearts are broken when we realize what silent treatment is: “…a sure sign that he or she needs to move on and heal.”

  • Browndog

    November 30th, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I do relate to your feelings of frustration. The difference between silent treatment and withdrawal are difficult to see, especially when the love we have for the person who is verbally abusive is what is giving them so much power to hurt us that we start to doubt our own sanity.

    For a start, see Andrea’s comment, October 21st, 2014 at 4:27 PM on this site.

    Here is my take from my experience with a flaming narcissist. First, no one other than ourselves can “force” us “to stop responding.” That is our choice– no copping out blaming another person for our choice. It is also a narcissist’s go-to choice. We can choose not to fight, but we can communicate that choice, which is not silent treating. How about, “I feel I am being devalued, this hurts me, and I will not engage in what feels like an abusive exchange that solves nothing. I am willing to communicate to understand your concern and even to cooperate in finding a reasonable solution. Right now, I am too hurt and upset to do this well. For now I need to withdraw from this exchange. We should talk later.”?
    As long as we are committed to living with a person, we are obligated to respect, communicate, cooperate, and, yes, even compromise when we would rather not. If our partner proves incapable of living up to such a commitment, which is what a narcissist proves with devaluation and silent treatment, we probably should choose to get away from them permanently. After we do separate to our own space, enacting no contact is appropriate. Still, that is still our choice, no one can “force” us to do this.

    But as long as we are living with someone whether it is a spouse, a parent, a sibling or a roommate, silent treating produces a toxic living space. Silent treatment, like striking a person, IS abuse. When living with an NP, it is hard not to respond in kind when they silent treat us. I believe that “turning us to their dark side” is a way that a NP succeeds in making us someone less than who we were when we entered the relationship. We need to be very conscious of when our choices are us acting or us reacting in kind.

  • Joanna M

    December 1st, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    Lord, my father is the ultimate baby. He is so insecure that when I was an innocent six year old girl, he would pull The Silent Treatment on me if I offended him. A six year old child frightened him! As I grew, I became less and less loved and valuable to him. I (gasp) challenged him, did not flatter him, cater to him, worship him, and in general did not behave as though he was God. It hurt so bad when he coldly ignored me. I still hate him for it.

  • The Team

    December 1st, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Dear Joanna,

    Thank you for your comment. If you would like to discuss this, or any other concern, with a therapist or counselor, please know you can locate one through our website.

    To see a list of mental health professionals in your area, simply enter your ZIP code here:

    Kind regards,

    The Team

  • Colette

    December 1st, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    I’m so GRATEFUL I READ this amazing article!
    I’m not crazy and he is a complete narcissistic control freak. Wow, I have lived trapped in this year long emotional pain … I’m so glad to know what was happening to me is real ! Living with this kind of emotional abuse is completely detrimental to one’s well-being .. Time for me to get out of this once and for all.

  • carole

    December 1st, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    I feel like my life is falling apart around me….I’ve recently been on the verge of a mental breakdown after fighting with my oldest son. I’m so hurt at how nasty and disrespectful he was to me and I’ve thrown him out. He’s apologised but I’m not ready to speak to him yet. I’m on the verge of tears every 5 mins and it’s just another crushing blow in my car crash life.
    Drugs have played a part and I’ve done all I can to help him, he left home 18 years ago and 18 years later he returned. Of course people change but is this my same son, my best friend who’s chosen to party and stay up 2 days running, sleep deprevation and paranoia turned him into an unreasonable angry unrecognisable person
    Oh of course the narc downstairs has a smile on his face because my son, not his has”proven himself to be the lowlife he always said he was”.
    While our own son has just bought his 1st house with his girlfriend and moved out, on the same day.
    He’s 21 and so much more nature in every way than my oldest son and I couldn’t be prouder and I know he’ll go far.
    I’m upset and feel a deep loss for the son I’ve lost to his own coping mechanism after splitting with his long term partner.
    2 weeks ago the narc hadn’t been speaking to me on and off for weeks.
    He even tried to hug me after I lost the plot with my son….I just felt like he had what he wanted, my son out, now he’s chatty and happy and running around after me, I can’t stand it, I just want to scream at him and tell him to f off but can’t because of my youngest son. He’s happy his Dad’s happy, I feel trapped and need him to leave like he promised.
    He’s now asking if he can stay until after Christmas, it was only 2 weeks ago I told him I couldn’t stand the thought of spending Christmas with him and he promised to be out before.
    He’s trying to worm his way round me and knows I’m vulnerable.
    But I’m not stupid, I feel weak but not weak enough.
    I’m having a bad time but I’ll pick up again.
    I’ve got work in a few hours so must try and get some sleep. I can hear him snoring on the sofa and I want to slap him but I won’t.
    The real him will be back soon, he just can’t help himself and I’ll be ready 😊

  • Lucy

    December 2nd, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    I read and disagree with most of what is said. I feel after doing some research on my own that I have been a victim of a narcissist. For 3 years my relationship has been on and off. He charmed his way into my life, loving, caring, and affectionate, communicative. As time passes on he made my hope s of having a secure relationship into a nightmare. His behavior changed causing me to feel insecure with the doubts and lies, deceit he brought upon our relationship. When questioned, he would find an excuse to pack and leave. The communication was nonexistent. We’ve changed our wedding plans 3 times because of so called situations with either his job, or family. So I changed everything to benefit him. Well to make the long story short, I finally realized after our last argument, I can’t go thru this anymore, feeling sad, unaccomplished and abandoned. After he took all of his things out of the apartment and the chances that were given to our relationship was going nowhere, it was more than obvious I needed to move on. He would continue to act like nothing was happening and insisted on working on us, evento after neglecting and abandoning our relationship several times I decided to walk away and not talk, text or have any more contact with him. My self worth, my dignity and respect finally mattered to me. This was a toxic relationship, and my silence to him is my inner peace. So in this case, my silence is not a treatment, its a cry that I needed to finally let a poison to be released out of my system.

  • Lisa

    December 4th, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    Ur silence is totally normal and necessary for keeping urself on track to a healthy happy you. It’s hard to love someone and want for their happiness but these narcisstic people will never b happy no matter who they r with until they admit and address their behavior. Take it from me… Seven yrs of therapy with three different therapists and he’s gotten worse than ever. Put the past and him behind u and build yourself back up… It’s the only solution!

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    December 2nd, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Lucy — sounds like your actions describe “No Contact”, which is not the silent treatment (an emotional abuse tactic)…No Contact is designed to protect the survivor from further abuse. See my article here for further elaboration and comments above on this thread:

  • Browndog

    December 2nd, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    From what you describe: “after he took all of his things out of the apartment and the chances that were given to our relationship was going nowhere, it was more than obvious I needed to move on.” He apparently has left; you are now both in your own space, and you have chosen to go no-contact. Many therapists advocate that going no-contact under those conditions is a good thing and some will argue that it is absolutely necessary. I too think that it is a healthy decision to not live with one foot in a hopeless committment and one foot in aspiring to get free of it. Silent-treating a person only occurs when we do this to a person with whom we have a committed relationship and with whom we have an obligation to communicate and cooperate in good faith. You no longer have that. Now that you are in your own space, have ended the relationship, concerns with “my” inner peace, “my” self worth “my” dignity are totally appropriate. I don’t see what you are finding to disagree with on these pages.
    Disagreement with most of what is posted here seems close to denying the reality of the victims who posted here of the emotional damage that they suffered when silent treatment was enacted on them while they were living together or working together with an NP and maintaining a commitment to cooperate in good faith to resolve issues. Silent treatment is not no contact.

  • Browndog

    December 2nd, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Hi Carole,
    Sounds like you are going through a hard time and maybe it’s a good idea to talk with a qualified counselor. Maybe having a professional present so that any conversation with your partner can be controlled and make it constructive would be worthwhile too. Would he go with you? You are in a place where you really could use some support with what is possible from talking on a web site like this. So sorry you are going through all of these things at once. Hugs, and best wishes for a brighter day ahead.

  • carole

    December 2nd, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Thank you Browndog. I didn’t sleep at all last night and been working all day today but feel strangley calm.
    He says he loves me and always has, who knows what his love is, I know I’ve never felt loved and that he’s never treated me the way I’ve wanted or even needed to be treated. More dismissed as a irritant or nuisance.
    He’s starting to slip today, he can’t keep up the pretence of niceness and his narc side is creeping in as the days gone on.
    I actually think it must be quite sad living inside his mind. All those wasted hours of loneliness and isolation spent in his workroom plotting and planning how he could drag me down.
    I’ve had a bad few days but all the emotions I’ve felt are subsiding. My son called me today but I’m not ready to speak to him yet….I think some me time is what’s needed just now….

  • Browndog

    December 3rd, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    Hi Carole.
    I too go from calm to days feeling sad and down, and back again. I think that it is a physical body response from the stress that we feel. The body has a limit to how much adrenaline and cortisol it can process, and it has to turn off flight-fight at some point. Those natural chemical defenses for survival were never designed for longtime use or exposure. I’ve found acupuncture as wonderful for breaking the cycle and returning to calm.

    One of the things that really struck me from your description is how much your narc differs from mine. Mine never says “I love you” hugs me, or initiates any physical contact. The fact that yours still does these things made me think that there could be some hope at your end and that he might even be amenable to going to a counselor so that he (maybe both of you) can be coached to meet one another’s needs and have happier lives. Mine refuses to attend counseling; there is no hope at my end. The silent treatment has made “home” so toxic for me that it is now health-impairing. I have to leave it simply as a life or death decision. For you, I hope things can be salvaged. At least this site is a support. There is another site you might want to join where victims going through similar difficulties to ours gain support–look up narcissistic abuse recovery and runboard. You will find people there with situations surprisingly similar to what you described, and it is free. Monitored by an amazingly dedicated volunterr who founded it.

  • Lisa

    December 4th, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    All must remember… They will say and do whatever they have to to keep you under their control… If they can’t… They don’t want you… Run my friends… Run as fast as u can!!!

  • carole

    December 7th, 2015 at 1:52 AM

    Hi Browndog
    I don’t believe for a minute he cares about me, I don’t think he ever has. His telling me he loves me and wanting to comfort me is a ploy. He’s walking around like the cat that got the cream, he’s winning at the moment, getting what he wanted. It’s a game to him. He thinks he can stay and I’ve not had the energy to constantly remind him that he still has to leave.
    He’s got it cushy in my house, he doesn’t have to worry about supporting himself or paying any bills.
    I’ve just had another attack of cfs which kept me in bed 3 days….unlike before when didn’t once look in on me for 3 days he’s been getting me drinks, making meals and constantly asking if there’s anything I need.
    I’ve been with this nan for over 30 years and I know this is not him, he’s doing what he thinks he has to so il change my mind.
    None of this is for me, thus is for him, to keep his place here.
    I know him too well and it won’t last.
    He’s made no moves towards me and will happily sleep on the sofa forever as long as he doesn’t have to support himself.
    This is not the real him or who he is….I’m not fooled

  • Browndog

    December 4th, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Lisa, after seven years, three therapists and no improvement, it sounds as if you have put in your best efforts and are making a wise decision. One thing was unclear from your 8:49 post–was the therapy you mentioned joint counseling, just you, or just him?

  • Lisa

    December 6th, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    The first two therapists we joint… One for two yrs… She retired then next one for five yrs. the therapists we have been seeing since his arrest in August r singles… His a male friend of family… Mine a woman who works with him referred me to… First group session was a disaster. My therapist expressed to me that her feeling was that his therapist should not b working our case because he is obviously too involved with my husbands family. What a nightmare!

  • Traci

    December 6th, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    I divorced my narcissistic husband a year ago after 30 years. He did the silent treatment our whole marriage, once for 3months because I asked him to mow the lawn. One day after the umpteenth million time of the silent treatment I googled his symptoms and sat there with tears pouring down my face reading about NPD. I put up with this nonsense for a ridicolous length of time. While we were going through the separation I started seeing a man I’ve been friends with for 20 years and we fell in love. I’m happier with him than I’ve ever been in my life but my 2 adult sons will have nothing to do with me now if they can avoid it. Apparently the fault was with me, not their father, who incidentally was a terrible father as well as husband. Very despairing right now.

  • Browndog

    December 6th, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    Thank you for responding. You must have really cared that this could work as shown by all the work that you were willing to put into this. The relationship and the counseling both sound unsatisfying. An end to both seems better than continuing with more unhappiness. So sorry this happened to you.

  • Browndog

    December 6th, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    I also know that feeling of pouring tears and of silent treatment. You are lucky to be alive after 30 years of this abuse. Within a year of being gaslighted and silent treated, I started developing stress-related physical symptoms, so when I hear of someone who has spent decades under this and survived it, I am a bit in awe.

    The situation you describe of the reaction by your sons is very common. You can read about how victims of narcissistic abuse are often not believed at Christine Louis de Canonville’s site and in a recent posting in September titled “What Happens When Targets Aren’t Believed” on the After Narcissistic Abuse web site. There is so little public awareness of the NA pattern. Few have any way to understand what we have gone through unless they have experienced it first-hand. We fell for it, so it is not surprising when friends and family also fall for the narcissist’s charm and take sides. You were married thirty years, and you decided to divorce only a year ago. Realize that it was three decades before you understood the futility of your situation, so your adult sons likely will need more time than a year to come to grips too and deal in their way with what is still an unfamiliar situation. I know this a bit because my parents separated when I was an adult, and I loved them both. I am glad that you now have a supportive partner. That is huge. Thanks for sharing your story here.

  • Traci

    December 7th, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have been in counseling for 3 years. I am a nurse practitioner and wish that I had recognized this from my psych classes. My counselor assured me that this is common that we don’t recognize this disorder for many years. As health care providers, we are nurturers and this is exactly what narcissists like. Even after three years though and getting to the point that I can now feel pity for him, I still have a lot of anger. I didn’t realize until I got out how much damage he had done to me and to my children.

  • Browndog

    December 7th, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    “…unlike before when didn’t once look in on me for 3 days ” Wow–that is so uncaring and inhumane, but I know this from experience too. When you need to count on them, they are not available; when you want to support them, they try to push you away and then blame you afterwards for not being supportive enough. I do understand that when you have experienced this, you KNOW something that you wish you never knew.
    I should have seen this kind of treatment as a danger sign in my own NW before we married. Had I read the blogs on narcissistic abuse, I would have known not to get tangled up with this person. What you describe is not a way to live, and so you have to do what you have to do now. Wishing you a happier situation soon.

  • Amanda

    December 9th, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Thank you so much for this article. I just broke it off with my boyfriend after three silent treatments in two months. After the second, I heard all of his demands for me to change but was unwilling to change anything himself, which lead me to believe he was using this as a type if control. The third silent treatment, I just said screw it. I’m not going to be treated this way any longer. I feel like I’m dating a five year old!

  • Traci

    December 16th, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    Before I realized my ex had ND, years ago my son in law told my daughter “Your dad acts like a five year old”. Bingo. That article rang a bell with me too. Blessings,

  • Browndog

    December 10th, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Amanda, it sounds like your breakup is akin to getting off a plane with a bomb on it. Is it crazy to express some empathy for your loss and congratulations in the same note?

  • JS

    December 10th, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    I was with my ex a year and a half and it was just frustrating and degrading how I tried so hard to get through to him pleading, texting, emailing couldn’t speak to him, and never any reply like I was talking to the wall. Anything I would present to him in conversation even if it were can we plan something, it was always let me process it. What was there to process?? Is he a computer??! The lies, the cheating the deception, the gaslighting, I felt so degraded for putting up with more and more that my gut even though it tried to tell me all along, finally I was feeling so nervous, it was shouting to me this is so wrong. I was a confident happy person and I was walking around like a zombie. I knew I had to get away. It didn’t bother him in the least I never got a goodbye. The very last text he sent me in reply to mine is below; it’s all about him, he actually replied! Maybe for him this was the best he could do in offering an explanation, but it’s still riddled with promises he very well never intented to follow through on.
    “I love all u wrote. . U are the most special person. .!! I’m just stuck lately with not being motivated. . My mind wants to do 100 things I end up doing one or none of them.. the motorcycle has brought happiness to me and I do a lot of things on my own with it which makes me happy.. no stereo no phone just me in the wind it’s very nice feeling and I would love to have you on the bike.. All the things that I do that I say God.. Shed love that.. I wish she was here she would look so hot in leather & boots..! I want to give you 1000 percent … not100% and I’ve giving you 47% and that is not fair at all you deserve much better but I could be much better and then you would deserve me and I would deserve you…. Ya know that comment should take the cake.🎂…! I’m an excellent excellent writer yet I seem to not be able to put pen to paper or mentally put down what I want to say and that seems to be a problem I’ve noticed that about myself what’s wrong with me..!! I get things out in my music which is why I keep doing it because it brings out stuff in Me and I can write songs doesn’t always come out perfect but at least it gives me some type of a expression and gets things out… I want you to come help the hospital and do all this stuff and you are wonderful with all that and my family everybody loves you and you are loved very much by me I just want you here I guess all the time and you have a job in the city and I can’t take you away from your parents and Lulu and It wouldn’t be right and I don’t know what to do or how to manage it….. I just want an everyday situation a house of our own and just so I can be settled I’m not settled and I keep rearranging the trailer like I did again recently well that was the best rearrangement ever with selling 70% of the stuff which is been great lately also keeping me alive if I have no income I’m hoping that will end soon… I still don’t know what’s going on with my stomach …. I’m still on a bland diet and I’m taking it easy I’m still losing weight which isn’t a bad thing at all but that could be a concern and that could come back and possibly even kill me I’m not sure… So I have a lot on my mind I have all feelings for you happy sad mad frustrated which is pretty much all that you are having for me which makes us pretty once again perfect together yes a second that takes the cake comment…🎂
    I think it will be good if we saw each other in person instead of phone calls and texting and wondering what each other is doing and blah blah blah even though I don’t normally say blah blah blah… So if I surprise you this week in the city you will have to leave work finally sick cuz you’re not coming back in if I’m there… Or the other option is I’ll have to crawl under your desk you’ll be making so much noise that they’ll ask you to leave….”
    This was the very last I heard from him 2 months ago. I feel bad that there was no goodbye and in my heart know that I most likely have been replaced. My mind feels like a recorder that just plays over and over specific times I felt so happy but now realize the lies that were taking place as I was unsuspecting. When each of these individual deceptions, and more and more come to mind each day, I wish they would stop, I almost feel suffocated as if it builds up and I can’t breathe like I’m going out of my mind. It’s incomprehensible to me that someone can have no heart, no sentimentality, someone who said they love me right to the last text could forgot me like a old newpaper thrown away.

  • JS

    December 10th, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    He called me that same day and made no mention as to getting together that the weekend had arrived. My reply was, “If you’re with someone forget about me and let’s end this charade. I am not 2nd to anyone. You want to see me during the week but not the weekend and you’re supposedly free? Put your money where your mouth is and prove it. I hadn’t heard back after a week I blocked his number and texts. In essence even though I cut him off I don’t think he would have even tried calling if I hadn’t blocked him, I believe he found another or back to an old one. Either way he couldn’t be bothered trying to keep the mask on and me taking it off.

  • Browndog

    December 10th, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    From a person who knows the feeling of being gaslighted, silent treated and discarded, I am really sorry to hear that you are experiencing the fallout of this too. Many share what we are going through. The narcissists’ lack of valuing their relationships and their views of people as disposable are indeed incomprehensible. I first learned about the effects on people like us at a site reachable by googling for the-effects-of-gaslighting-in-narcissistic-victim-syndrome. I am so sorry for the emptiness you are sharing now. Rest assured that you are not alone and that there was nothing any of us could have done to change the situation. We were viewed as disposable from the start.
    You have reached a good site here and might want to get a counselor from the goodtherapy directory to help ease you through this. It’s especially hard at these holiday times.

  • JS

    December 10th, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    Thank you Browndog it helps to hear someone who has conquered their trauma, I know it will pass it just sucks. I’m sorry
    I put up with so much I knew I was degrading myself and tried to rationalize that I was independent and didn’t need so much love and affection. I guess that with their years of coping like that, that’s how they became a narcissist. How ironic.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    December 10th, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    The holidays are truly a challenging time for “hoovers” during the holidays and for survivors to feel vulnerable. I have a few suggestions as well – you are welcome to check out my website and read the article on Holiday Hoovering (my own blog) and also my new ebook Soul Vampires: Reclaiming Your LIfeBlood After Narcisssitic Abuse (available on BookBaby and Amazon, among other platforms) — there is a companion workbook and resource section in the book that may help during the holidays. When seeking a helping professional, be sure they are versed in understanding narcissistic abuse and trauma recovery and a licensed psychotherapist. Some, including myself, provide telehealth options. My kindest wishes in healing. You are not alone. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • JS

    December 11th, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    Why do we compromise ourselves and keep sweeping their actions under the carpet choosing the things we like about them to override the bad, when we know it’s wrong and it eats away at us and makes us feel belittled only to be cast aside in the end? Normal people feel when someone accepts love (which they do) they would return love we think that goes without saying, but not with them. They take and enjoy it and give nothing back. That’s what stings. The things you liked about them, the fun, the laughter, the bits of affection, they really are warm and funny and sweet when they are with you, you can’t rationalize how they can feel that way and then do what they do to you behind your back. I guess it’s like the Fleetwood Mac song, “Players only love you when they’re playing.”

  • JS

    December 11th, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    I am not apprehensive that he will hoover at all. I am sure he has moved on not giving me a second thought. He’s most likey excited about spending the holiday with someone new whom he can lavish all his attention on. I feel sad that only last year, it was his idea to include his mom and daughter in my family’s celebration, seeing a show and opening gifts. Afterwards expressing it was one of the best Christmas’ ever for him. Shortly afterwards I saw online that he had ordered a heart necklace on Amazon for someone else. Previous to Christmas I found out he was seeing a married woman who was in his band. He always had his phone on silent and I answered it. He accused me of invading his privacy and ruining a 5 year friendship. Can you imagine what kind of thinking is that when I had been with him for 7 months at the time thinking it was only me and him. I think I was too shocked at his illogical inappropriate reaction to even react. We broke up but he came looking for me again which was around last Christmas. I took him back and got swooped up in it once again. He never addressed what had occured, my assuming his return meant he was sincere only to find out she was still in the picture, always had been fron day 1. He was always mentioning women who were friends. Now I realize they were probably women he dated from time to time whom he kept around. He didn’t have any male friends. None. Only acquaintances who were fleeting. He’d meet new people all the time whom he was very impressed with and then after a while lose interest. Everything in his life was inconsistent though he claimed to want stability but he created his own havoc.

  • Browndog

    December 11th, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Hi JS.
    I do recommend Andrea’s Soul Vampires… book and also her good advice.

    Phew… I am not a person who has “conquered” the trauma, but I do recognize it now for what it is. A counselor is helpful, but a counselor who has never experienced narcissistic abuse is restricted to knowing about rather than knowing. Both knowing about and knowing can be helpful to us their clients, but people who have been through this can offer a connected/esthetic knowing that degrees, certifications and licensing exams cannot confer. Others who have been through this have provided both knowledge and empathy on this site and other sites to me, so reaching out to others is a way we can “pay it forward.” In posting here, you have reached out too–so thanks!

  • Browndog

    December 11th, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Wow– you described him as an ex — did that mean ex-husband or ex-boyfriend? I don’t know the level of commitment you were into. It just sounded deep.

    The fact you did get hoovered in last Christmas maybe means Andrea’s caution about our holiday vulnerability just came a year too late for you. Now that you are aware of what is going on, your ex probably knows you are aware of how he operates and might not try to hoover you. Still, I can tell from the way you recall him that you do miss parts of him and times with him. What this communicates to me is that, you did love him. We who are victims of NA all feel that pain of loss of the person we love. We are caught having to come to terms with the person whom we bonded to and miss never existed. We were building a bond with them every moment together. It was so magical for us that we assumed that they were doing that too. They were not. Because they do not (cannot?) bond, they can lose nothing of themselves in a breakup–which is not even really a breakup–it’s just a passage of time during which they are discarding us. They will not miss us. We cannot understand that. We can know about it, but not really know how they feel and rationalize their actions or inactions. Probably if we could know, then maybe we could not love. In that case, probably better to know about than to know.

  • JS

    December 11th, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    He was an ex boyfriend, I was an ex nothing. Apparently I thought it was more serious than he did but it wasn’t my imagination. When I think about how he has trivialized it, I almost feel insane, like my mind and breath are being taken away. I know it’s an over reaction but my brain as much as it reads is in conflict with itself, as if it is too much to comprehend. Like it overwhelms me physically, It cannot accept how someone can not feel, have no sympathy for someone whom they spent time with, someone who never gave them reason to treat this way. To just put someone out of their mind with no accountability, no explanation.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    December 11th, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    @Browndog – some therapists have also had encounters with narcissists either at work, family or love relationships… but they generally do not disclose personal information to their clients….. never make assumptions about a persons qualifications… also, those without clinical training can actually cause harm to clients — I have seen this on survivor forums….bottom line, be discerning with whom you receive support from.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    December 11th, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    furthermore, I just encountered a website in which a life coach was claiming to treat C-PTSD, PTSD, depression and anxiety as a result of narcissistic abuse — not only is this illegal, it’s unethical. Just because a survivor wants to help others in their recovery, that does not give them the clinical qualifications to treat the above conditions — I have great concern that so many are hanging a life coach shingle out to jump on the narcissistic abuse recovery bandwagon to make a fast buck — survivors who are vulnerable just want help and have a hard time discerning WHO is qualified to help them and who isn’t….generally speaking, if you are recovering from narcissistic abuse, much less psychopathic abuse, you need to be working with a clinical psychotherapist who can address not only the delicate nuances of narcissistic abuse (a specific form of trauma) but also all the potential ramifications that accompany that recovery (depression, anxiety, C-PTSD, PTSD)…a survivor can certainly be helpful in blogging about his/her experience, but to claim to know how to help survivors with the very intricate and complicated nuances of recovery is being dishonest, deceptive and can cause harm. If you are a survivor, interview a LICENSED clinical helping professional (LCSW, LMFT, PhD, PsyD in clinical social work, counseling, psychology) to assist you who is trained in narcissistic abuse recovery/trauma recovery and has a strengths-focus in their practice. You can’t just hang a “life coach” shingle and know how do to this recovery work unless you have the training to help a client through it. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • JS

    December 11th, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    I won’t opt for therapy, I just needed an outlet to vent. Thank you Browndog. I did have a setback and sent a Christmas card to him and his 12 year old daughter who I was close with as well. The following day I thought I shouldn’t have did it, it was only going to boost his ego but no harm done as his calls and texts are blocked. I have to learn to harden my heart and be less giving, less sensitive, less sentimental and realize there are heartless people in this world. The less I dwell on it, the more recharged I get. I will try not to dwell, getting past the next two weeks will be a bit difficult, once it’s over I won’t feel as bad. Life goes on and so will I. I always thought well of myself and am not going to let someone who is a horrible human being defeat my spirit.

  • JS

    December 11th, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Thank you Andrea as well.

  • Browndog

    December 11th, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    I agree. One problem has been that in some states anyone could hang out a shingle as a counselor, and they did a lot of damage. In a state where I once lived, two of them actually killed a child during a quack treatment. As Michelle Malon noted from her experiences, even otherwise legitimate people may not all be helpful . I think your advice was good on picking a person who has some expertise in narcissistic abuse. I wish that more did have access to those who had that expertise. Further, those of us who think we are dealing with NA may actually be dealing with something else.

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    December 11th, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    Wishing all healing during the holidays…I know it’s a difficult time…and yes, absolutely, the helping professional needs to be an ethical licensed individual — if they also have a life coaching role, that’s ok — but if they are working on clinical issues like depression/anxiety/PTSD, then they better be a licensed clinician or they are practicing illegally and unethically…. I hope hope that a licensed professional would also practice what they preach and get their own treatment/therapy to keep their own personal “stuff” separate from that of their clients — always good to interview the helping professional and listen to “gut” instinct…Michelle Mallon is great – she is working on a vetted list of licensed providers who are ethical… Healing wishes during the holidays and always….I will be powering off electronically soon, so if there is a specific need, please email me directly through my website…. Peace to all,Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Browndog

    December 11th, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    JS, you said: “Thank you Browndog. I did have a setback and sent a Christmas card to him and his 12 year old daughter who I was close with as well. …but no harm done as his calls and texts are blocked. I have to learn to harden my heart and be less giving, less sensitive….”

    Just some sharing here; I am guessing that it is always difficult to know when we actually committed a setback or when we are acting in ways true to our better selves. A qualified counselor can be good for sorting out where our hearts and motivations are when we have been discarded by a person that we had the capacity to care deeply about. While healing, some professional assistance in helping us not to lose that capacity as we disconnect with the person that cannot handle their relationship to us responsibly can be valuable.

  • Browndog

    December 11th, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Oh..Andrea, just to clarify my posts above which might have given a wrong impression: my “expertise in narcissistic abuse” referred to professional expertise and training, not to any necessity of having been abused. It seems obvious that a healer does not need to have contracted a deadly disease in order to become really good at treating it, but maybe I should have stated that earlier to leave no doubt. Others who have contracted and fought the disease can be supportive in how to deal personally and internally with coming through this. But neither one nor all of them put together can replace the expertise that the healers have worked hard to acquire.

  • Amy

    December 14th, 2015 at 6:08 AM

    Im going through this now…3rd day of silence from my bf. hes did this 1 other time in the last 3mo. I am shaking with panic/anxiety. I suffer from this disorder anyway but the silence is making it 100 percent worse. I wish he’d just tell me if its over or not so i can get past this.

  • JS

    December 14th, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    It’s so unfair and inhumane. They disregard you and refuse to acknowledge until they chose to return. I wish I had discarded him when my inner gut told me to. The suffering will only get worse. Please muster up the courage to get rid of him before he can do it again and again until be is tired of it and find someone new. Don’t waste any more foolish time on a narcissist. If you really look into any good memories they were all one sided, you were sincere he never was, their lies taint the memories like poison.