Characteristics of the Narcissist

lack of empathy






Certain characteristics appear with stunning regularity among narcissists. Since narcissism is on a continuum, some will have more than others.

These characteristics apply to males and females

1. Self-centered. His needs are paramount.

2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.

3. Unreliable, undependable.

4. Does not care about the consequences of his actions.

5. Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.

6. Little if any conscience.

7. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.

8. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.

9. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.

10. People are to be manipulated for his needs.

11. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense.  If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.

12. Pathological lying.

13. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.

14. No real values. Mostly situational.

15. Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.

16. Angry, mercurial, moods.

17. Uses sex to control

18. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.

19. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.

20. Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.

21. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.

22. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.

23. Moody – switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.

24. Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.

25. Seldom expresses appreciation.

26. Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does.

27. Lacks ability to see how he comes across to others.  Defensive when confronted with his behavior.  Never his fault.

28. Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show or frustration rather than sorrow.

29. He breaks woman’s spirits to keep them dependent.

30. Needs threats, intimidations to keep others close to him.

31. Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.

32. Highly contradictory.

33. Convincing.  Must convince people to side with him.

34. Hides his real self.  Always “on”

35. Kind only if he’s getting from you what he wants.

36. He has to be right. He has to win. He has to look good.

37. He announces, not discusses. He tells, not asks.

38. Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.

39. Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.

40. Unilateral condition of, “I’m OK and justified so I don’t need to hear your position or ideas”

41. Always feels misunderstood.

42. You feel miserable with this person. He drains you.

43. Does not listen because he does not care.

44. His feelings are discussed, not the partners.

45. Is not interested in problem-solving.

46. Very good at reading people, so he can manipulate them.  Sometimes called gaslighting.


At this point we all know we’ve had enough if we only had to deal with a few of these characteristics. If you are worn out, exhausted, sad, anxious, it is normal. Not good, but normal. The faster you get out of the self defeated mode the sweeter life gets. I would love for you to fast track yourself out. I love this program’s premise about controlling reality so take a look and see if you think it might be the jet pack you need.

“We have power if we just embrace that power.” Marcus Allen

Get Your Life Back, Feel Good Again, Love Yourself, Love Again. When someone’s eyes have been opened it is like the cosmos gave you a gift. You can see what your reality was ,  and how you now have a chance to create a new one.  No matter how bad it was you are not hitched to the past but you have become a creator of the future.

Ann Bradley


  1. The stories of the crazy jealous ex’s that don’t let their partners have fun, friends, a facebook or even practice their own religion are the product of narcissistic behavior.

    I attracted narcissists. I had been in relationships with three and was friends with many more. I was asked to do favors and had been put down all in the same sentence. I put up with them because I felt like I understood the disease. I felt like they were the result of a bad upbringing and that it wasn’t their fault they were this way. Furthermore, I felt like this consumer/dog-eat-dog society brings it out in normal people and exacerbates the issues for narcissists. I thought I could help, I could show them the right way and I also felt deeply sorry for them. Then, I got beat up by two of them, two separate times. Both occasions were when I broke up with them.

    In my experience, narcissist cannot be fixed. Red flags are key.
    I think it is extremely important to review and remember this list to help avoid narcissists if you haven’t already, or haven’t experienced one yet.

    Nice guys finish last in these relationships. My current boyfriend was previously married to a narcissist. She was really funny looking, but took professional airbrushed photos of herself and stared at them all day to convinced herself otherwise. She never got a job or became educated because she believed her mother messed her up. She threatened suicide every time he tried to leave. She threw tantrums when she didn’t get what she wanted. She used him for his money, took away all of his freedoms and in the end when he had had enough, he couldn’t even tell her what was wrong with her. He told her he was gay. It was the only way out without another suicide threat. Well, when I left, I got chased down and beat. That’s what happens when you’re not careful enough with the break. (The flip-side sucks, just say you’re gay.)

    In retrospect, narcissists have been the most destructive force in my and my significant others life. What’s worse is that they’ll never know that. They’re never to blame, and their actions are always justified. For example, my boyfiend’s ex almost killed herself and their kids in the back seat trying to beat her own mother while she was driving (women are violent too). Before the police took her to jail she threatened suicide. In custody court she said it was because she was “threatened for her own safety” as she didn’t know what to do with her life or how to take care of herself. Her reason is typical narcissistic deranged reality crap. And, if someone threatens suicide so frequently and never tries or dies, they’re just trying to control or manipulate their way out of some consequence they don’t like. I’d be surprised to hear if any narcissist ever committed suicide.. ha!

    • I spent three years w/ a narc.broke up last jan.2011,it seems like theres no way to get him out of my head.The emotional games he played were incredible.The way he walked in and out of my life and my childrens life like we ment nothing.He turned the switch on and off like the switch on a wall.Every time the attention was focused anywhere but on him,there would be an issue,or the relationship would be in termoil.There were times whe he would give me the silent treatment for weeks,than I would end up being the ice breaker.I am finally getting better,but i still have urges to call him,but I am staying strong

      • Liz,
        You describe – very well! – the exact same situation I had with my sister!!! For decades! I stopped contact with her about 6-7 years ago and I still “can’t get her out of my head!” You say it so perfectly! I don’t know what the answer is, except knowing that life – NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS – is better without a manipulative narcissist in it.
        I wish you – and myself! – well!

        • Mine was/is a brother. He has a screw loose in his brain. Only happy if he’s taking somebody down with him, creating chaos within the family or controlling his wife. All of us siblings dropped out, finally his wife did. Now he’s moved on to our kids! He’ll never get it. It’s still not his fault. He has been so disrespectful to our mom, it’s sickening. He’s always in my head, 100 tines worse than my ex or my dad. I don’t have room for that anymore.

          Cut him loose. Life is better, but always looking over my shoulder. He stalks us all on the Internet and in person. At least I don’t have to speak with him anymore but he says it’s because I did something wrong! HA!

          • I’m living with a 34yr old brother & I’m 44. Our mother just died 2 months ago. I always said that the second she left us, if be gone so fast be wouldn’t know what hit him. Now that, that time has come, I feel guilty. Like I’d be abandoning him at this terrible time. He on the other hand has zero compunction about hurting me in berry way he can think of. I’m also afraid of him causing me trouble whever it is that I go. Do you have any suggestions?

          • So sorry about your Mom. This is a time of great upheaval and transformation. What comes to mind is that you are trying to make a difficult decision at a difficult time. Give yourself some space to get used to your Mom gone and the new feelings it brings to now be without her and make big life changing decisions. Don’t decide anything right this minute. Look into whatever you may have in mind, research or whatever needs to be done, but then maybe think of something else also. Make a decision based on the best knowledge you have, not fear or denial or anything else. I’d say give yourself the gift of a little bit more time to feel what you really want, feel it and know it. No action now – a bit more time for reflection. Best, Ann

      • Hi Liz this is exactly like what I have been going through with my ex. Almost exactly. Quite scary how much he has got inside my head.

      • hi liz i have just seen your post,you didnt use to live in newark on trent did you? i have a very good reason for asking,i have just had the same happen to me and i know one of his exes was called liz as he told me all about her

    • I would love to chat with you about this topic- I am smack in the middle of ending this difficult relationship and could use the advise of someone who understands, please help if you can!

      • Hi, Sorry you are going through this. Be sure and check William Eddy’s site – he’s both a therapist and lawyer dealing with narcissism and divorce. It should be a good source of information. http://www.billeddy.com/about.htm

        I do email and phone consults and you can find me here : https://narcissisticabuse.com/consultations-and-books/

        You can also put questions here and the community might answer – some have found a lot of help here from others.

        Best, Ann

        • I am curious if a person is constantly in the company of a narcissistic individual isn’t it possible as a defense mechanism to acquire some of their behaviors. I consider my self a loving caring husband and father but was raised with a narcissistic father. Since I’m a type -A personality and got tired of his shit I would treat him like he treated me. Fast forward twenty – thirty years we realized the treatment we received was because he was a narcissist. I do have some residual PTSD like behaviors because of him and wondered it that’s very common to be a victim and also have some behaviors like the aggressor as a result I’m

      • Me too. My narc is taking me to court, is engaged (again). My heart jumps a beat if he calls, yes I know I should stop answering but no contact would make me so sad . I’ve become co -dependent, it feels like I’m never going to get better .

        • I was married to such a person for nine years. He has continued his abuse to date. In those six years I was not allowed to work or talk to anyone except his relatives. When my sons were one and two years old I left him, he moved away but continued to have a financial hold on us, the salary I brought in was not enough to keep us going without his maintenance and alimony and he knew this, I was not skilled to do much better than that, I also have a special needs child, caused by his abuse before his birth to the child by kicking me and severe stress. I took care of my sons alone for the past 16 years. This year he said he had become very ill and lost his job but still had enough to keep his place going and suggested as a temporary measure we move in with him, I would get a small room and then I could look for work in the city his in and move on from there. I did not wish to do it, no relative of mine was willing to help, I knew what I was up against, in the end I had no choice, I lost everything my whole home, my pocesssions, the job I had, I did not wish to leave my sons alone with this person who was so narcissistic and abusive. What has happened, I cannot find work here, his already physically abused me, I am treated like a domestic servant, I have no transport, I do not know the city at all, his got work but made sure as a consultant he is only bringing in just so much a month, no more, so I cannot sue enough for maintenance, my sons who only knew of a mother figure for years are no rude and disrespectful and just as abusive to me, my relatives are of no help, I do not have parents they deceased, I am truly without hope, this is SA, times are tough here, shelters are in remote areas and because of lack of funding one can only stay there so long. I do ask myself why did this happen to a person who sacrificed the life I could have had to rather dedicate it like any good mother would to her two sons and this is how they thank me, they have more respect for this person who fathered them, who was never around, who had every opportunity to see them as I never kept them from contacting him, but he was enjoying life but me here I am again, fooled by what has transpired, no person to turn to, friends who have suddenly vanished even though I was there for them in their darkest hour, its tough as much as one wants to be strong its not easy, I heard just tonight, why don’t you f off to where the homeless go its a place called the salvation army they can take you in for Christmas because I am on leave now and you in our way and then they roar with laughter…………..

          • Jade,
            How old are your children? I know you said one is special needs. Is your other child not old enough to work?
            Your situation sounds desperate, social services could help your situation if you left and are responsible for a special needs child/adult
            These friends you helped when they were down, phone them and ask them to help you, don’t wait for offers. You need to get away from this man

      • Me too! These people are emotional vampires. The sad things is they never take accountability for their actions. I’ve been called everything possible. They are abusive in manner and purposely trying to break you down in order to control how you think and what you should say. I’m a very independent and loving woman. After meeting this person I became just as argumentative as he was! Peace comes when you break the chaotic cycle of abuse and move on. I’m putting my life back into perspective so I can regain my normalcy once again. You were never the problem, they are and will always be. We love unconditionally, but loving a narcissist is impossible because it’s all a game they play in their heads. The fact they cannot empathize is the handicap we face with them. They are emotionally bankrupt.

        • I am so grateful for your comment. Brought tears to my eyes. I too consider myself independent and loving. Unfortunately I have been trapped by my husband for 30 years!!! I am now 62. We both worked hard and raised his two sons and my daughter together and now have been retired for 8 years. I was totally naive about characteristics of a narcissist my whole life but since I have been retired and our children out on their own, I have become more aware of who my husband really is….a full blown Narcissist! I have never liked conflict/arguing and we have been doing our share for years! To the point I was hospitalized for a time with a ruptured ulcer. I want to end the relationship but when I bring it up he tells me I’ll never live it down. So I’m scared to file for divorce. The house we live in is a house I bought years before we met and I don’t want to b the one to move out. Do u know of a starting direction for me? God bless you and thank you.

    • What would be more narcissistic, killing yourself (a hypothetical narcissist) to free others of pain and your own self-hatred (to the contrary, they don’t love themselves) or continuing to live in the hopes that you would get over it and not cause pain for the few that did love you?

    • Sometimes the male narcissist will get the female… With me, it hapoened just as soon as my stuff was in storage, & my apartment was rented. He suddenly became a huge pig, acted like a real man whore. Wanted to party with a coke wh**e while I was working night shift.
      Suddenly unable to contr hus “man moments” out in public, even the wonen he stared at would becone uncomfortable, & embarrassed for me!
      One restaurant had 5 tvs with sports screens, they didn’t have tbe meat heart attack he wanted, he got into a snit…Despite 5 tvs playing sports, he told me there was nothing to watch but the young female staff & bartender. In other words, you know, it was MY fault!
      I wasn’t aloud to even speak about my job. If I did he would yelk at me about nit 1 more thing about that stupid job.
      I became ill with a bad ovary, the hormones made my skin breakout, I got moody…
      I did it, he was acting like a singke swinging guy… I went through his phone and tablet, & I was glad I did. In addition to the free, find a ****buddy sites.
      I found numerous trophy girls, women whose soul purpose was to stroke his ego, & a few past lays in his account. One ego stroker who talked dirty to him…
      Oh, & I got to meet his one female friend that likes to put her hands all over him, grab his ass, tell him how handsome he is, & bend over in front of him a lot.
      But, I’m the bad partner, because that’s completely NORMAL, & I should quit making it dirty.
      He alliwed one if gus friends to be extremely loud with themselves & their guests while I was trying to sleep for what often turned out to be 16hr psychiatric facility shifts (my stupid job, stupid career)
      I begged him for help with this guy. He was very vindictive, & didn’t like my objections to the coke w***e, & the rest of it…
      So, he allowed the situation to grow until I had hit my breaking point, left my post at work, & lost my job. He thought it was, still thinks it is funny!
      He took my independence from me, because I could no longer afford to move out of his house.
      He regularly suppirts situatiins that he kniws are embaressing for me, because he enjoys stripping away my privacy…
      He has staged phony conversations with his friends, about how much he hates cheaters…
      All the while, he cut me off from sex during my prime (eaely 40’s)for about 2 & 1/2 years…
      Until it drive me to go back through hus stuff.
      & During which time a whole host of reasons he couldn’t have sex with me came to light. I’m too frumpy, (I was suffering severe fatigue for a while) I am too lazy, I don’t get up at the crack of dawn like him…
      He is still blaming me for having been ill…His biggest thing in life is his image, so facebook is much more important than I am…
      As a result I have never haf a romantuc dinner with him, he is very cold, so I never get anything personal or sentimental for my birthday, or xmas.
      He is proud of his alcohism, he is proud of being cruel, mean, & cold.
      I had 1 of those jealous fits right before & right after surgery… Wonder why, mainlining underage porn is hus new favorite hobby, hoverjng iver his phone cobstantly, cganging the screen the se ond I walk in the room, bein gone when I wake up on the weekends, & suddenky having to run over to his mother’s a lit, are his newer tricks.
      Anywats, I was in the hospital having my left ovary removed… He was in facebook messenger talking with one of his ego stroking females talking to her about how I am batshit nuts.
      You see, it’s never, “well, she has had some hormonal fluctuations, to be straiggt with you, my behavior hasn’t helped.”
      No, it’s always something along the lines of, oh yeah!… The bitch is batshit NUTS!
      A prize fighting narcissist with reactive attachment disorder pertaining to his mother, and odd (oppositional defiance disorder) pertaining to both parents, he’s an only chikd. Dad cheated on his mom (he bkames his mom fir being weak) dad was an abusive absentee father.
      Yeah, I hit the motherload… I have no idea what I am going to do at this point.
      He tossed me around like a ragdoll 1 week after surgery…
      He ckaims ge will go to a psychologist, but I don’t believe he will. Because he gets angry immediately if I mention proof.
      Just like he gets immediately furious if I ask for receipts 4 my debit.. That tantrum is how you can tell he is lying. He is always SUPER quick to anger when he’s full of shit.
      Changes the subject, suddenly brings up the past… Like I don’t notice.
      I live him, it terrifies me. I think he will eventually kill me, if he doesn’t actually talk to soneone about the diagnoses I have brought up.
      I know I am right. Seven years of psych training. Obviously, I am not in perfect shape, myself.
      But, I am not hateful, violent, or manipulative.
      Nor do I cheat on him…

      • Forgot to add, it was all my fault he was talking smack on me to a facebook ego stroker. It wasn’t his secretive behavior, the sneaking around. Running up charges on my debit card…The oages abd oages if teen porn. No, I was reacting to nothing, according to him. I dreamt up the whole thing.
        The physical abuse was all my fault too. Because he LOVES too argue, he just hates yelling! I yell in response to his incessant attacking, verbal abuse, attitude, and arguing…
        Therefore, I forced him to attack me by having that completely natural response to him driving my blood pressure up like that…
        I will be completely SHOCKED if he actually gets real help from a psychologist. & Produces real, actual proof.
        So far, in over 3 yrs he has never kept a promise.

      • DLH, I feel you all the way. My father was an extremely hateful and violent narcissist, especially toward me and my mother. He was also an alcoholic, to add more insult to injury. He has single handedly ruined mine and my mother’s lives completely. There are many details I can give you that pretty much match almost everything you described from your ordeal. To make matters worse, I end up marrying a woman that turned out to be a first class, completely black hearted narcissist. Her colours and her whole demeanor changed as soon as we said “I do”. Because we have one child together, I only stuck the marriage out until our daughter became a legal adult. She has a son from her previous marriage which lasted only 10 months. Her first husband got sick and tired of her self centeredness and her loud mouth, and finally balled up and punched the living shit plum out of her. She so had that a long time coming, but that’s what ended her first marriage. I learned all of this long after the fact. I was with her for 20 long years, and no good whatsoever came from that marriage. Since nice guys always finish last I had gotten used to being kicked to the curb by everyone. Even her once closest friends have come to see her for the hateful, sadistic monster she really is. I have been divorced from her for 12 years now, and I have never been so grateful to get away from someone. About the only thing that rivals that was the death of my father. He did not even get a funeral because everyone that knew him best all came to eventually hate him. He really hurt and took unfair advantage of a lot of people, both within the family, and without. I have finally met a wonderful woman that is my true soul mate, and my life has improved exponentially. I wish you all the best, and now that you know what to look for I have no doubt you will meet a man that is worthy of you. Be patient, he’s out there.

    • As if it wasn’t traumatic enough that my father was psychopathic narcissist, I wound up “marrying my father” so to speak because my confidence and my spirit were so put down and crushed that I did not know how to attract a decent woman to share my life with. Every single clause to the defining characteristics of a Narcissist mentioned here all fit my now ex-wife (THANK GOD!!)verbatim; my father as well. I had already had to grow up in a very biolent, highly volatile environment with my parents. My mother wanted to take my sister and I and leave our father when we were toddlers, but he undoubtedly would have found us, and killed us as he promised to do. He was an alcoholic to add more insult to the injury. I underachieved in school, and I was unable to interact effectively with other people my age because the environment I was having to live in at home was destroying me. My father would always embarrass me, and/or condescend me openly in front of others, he was highly abusive, especially toward my mother and I. My sister grew a pair and eventually fought back. He was a chronic liar, a chronic conniver, and ALWAYS enveloped himself in self pity. And he was a chronic bully, always threatening, “promising”, as he chose to call it. Even when I left the nest he always managed to keep his blood sucking tentacles attached.
      Let’s jump ahead to when I met my first wife. The fronts she out on completely and totally belied her true character. She did come across as a touch manipulative, but being as naíve as I was I took it as a norm. As soon as we said “I do” her demeanor completely and totally changed. She was always manipulative, domineering, finger-pointing, accusing, legalistic, loud, and very overbearing and obnoxious. The neighbors down the street from us knew her as “The fat bitch that’s always screaming and yelling at everybody.” Always ever entitled, she would be the perfect poster child for the democrat liberal/communist party. She thinks God created HER so He could have something to worship. We have only one daughter that is of ‘our blood’, she has a son from “her” previous marriage. She was my first, I was her second. Her first marriage only lasted 10 months. She was even teaching the kids specifically to be disrespectful to me, especially in front of others. I put up with her for 20 years, and when I left her on December 2006, I was a complete and total train wreck. I tolerated her until our daughter reached adult age. I finally met a really nice woman in 2015 and we have been married for 3 wonderful years now. I will be 63 on my birthday this year, she will be 65 on hers. She had to grow up in a horrible environment also, but it was her mother that was the monster. My father died in 2012, and I know what it looks like when someone goes to hell. The expression upon his face was that of FEAR, or that of someone that just saw something of a horrific nature. I guess in the end, he saw justice. I only hope that my ex meets with similar justice.

    • @Anne Bradley – It is objectionable that you aim all the characteristics of narcissists at men. I have a narcissist ex-wife and a malignant narcissist in my oldest daughter. Your message would be much better if you dropped the gender nonsense. There are just as many female narcissists as male narcissists. Stop the sexist remarks.

      • If you read through my site you will find I discuss the gender issue many, many times and do not aim all the characteristics at men. A very aggressive men’s group recommends and links to this site because I have been quite vocal here and in my book on this matter and speak out against women using false accusations against men in divorce. I have offered my newsletters as venues for men to discuss their situations with their narcissistic spouses. I hope you find some of those posts. And if you are interested, my site http://www.narcissisticwomen.com is for sale. Best, Ann

      • Absolutely, Brad! I just finally figured out that my girlfriend was a narc! I had no idea about this insanity! I found Tik Tok therapists that started opening my eyes to this horrible disease! I finally got out 2 months ago and I am still reeling from it. However, the truth and knowledge about it is helping me realize how bad they are and she was so sick. She got into a big fight with me the last night I was there. She was harassing me very badly over the TV and I had began to ignore her. She blew up and started yelling. I told her to shut the fuck up! She cam at me and began swinging on me and hitting me in the face, so I grabbed her wrists and held her off. I finally let go and moved away. She literally stocked me into the other room. I took my eyes off her for a moment and she came in beside me and sucker punched me hard with in the jaw. I went down. I couldn’t believe what had happened for a few moments! My jaw was out of alignment and I couldn’t close my mouth right. I grabbed up my things and ran out the door and headed out. I parked down the street in a remote area and was trying to understand what had just happened. My phone rang. It was her. I did not answer. Her message sound as if nothing at all had happened. She sounded as cool as ever. She said, ” I hope you figure out yourself. You can pick up your things tomorrow.” I could not believe how she sounded and acted, as if noting at all had taken place!

  2. I could attribute all but 3 of those things on the list to my ex. Classic textbook narcissist and one hell of a SOB and POS all at the same time. I literally cannot stand to be in his presence anymore and the disgust that I feel when I am around him, arms and protects me from EVER thinking about reconcilliation. I am so happy I learned about this disorder because it changed my life.

    • Amen. Thank you. This comment is what we all need to hear. I am grateful mine left me. I hear it’s hard to leave them. Mine after five years is everything in the list… I wanted to read more.



  3. after a 24 year marriage we are calling it quits. my narcissist , with a pathological gambling disorder, has taken the liberty to block me from accessing our accounts & hid my jewelry. he plans to battle asset division ( he hid it in an LLC) and demands i sue him hoping to drain the rest of my money. I suspect he hopes the hardship will drive me to commit suicide, even had my apartment burglarized to push me over the edge !! However, i am still standing and His plans and crazy behavior has not killed me but the stress has left me with mounting hospital bills, and I have to apply for disability. I can’t describe the pain of a broken heart and the torn self-esteem i am left with. II don’t believe i will ever trust a man again

    • Bren,
      I too am leaving a marriage after 23 years. I cannot believe that I took this for so long. I feel as though I have lost my self and am wondering how this is going to affect our three children. The older two kids, seem to know how to handle their father; the youngest is a special needs child and he adores his father. I worry about him. My future ex is bent on having me spend all my money on attorney’s fees so that I will not get one penny of his money. He is doing everything possible to punish me for daring to break free from his control. The one thing that keeps me strong is that because I am still standing, it drives him insane. He has been hoping that I will fall and beg for him back. I have not and now he is doing everything possible to make me regret my decision. The best revenge, as my wise young daughter has advised me , is to be successful in life without him. Please find within yourself the courage to continue standing and to show him that you are strong without him. Trust yourself, believe in yourself!

      • Maddie, Your story sounds so like mine, I too have two very wise children but I just cannot seem to get over the pain and hurt and wish like you I could find strength, courage and self belief!

      • Maddie,

        You literally just described my life. I have been divorced 4 years now and he still tries to torture me and wants me to admit that I made a mistake by leaving him. I am still standing! He is a horrible evil man and has destroyed my children. Being involved with a narcissist is absolutely the worst – people do not understand. They are NOT normal at all – not even close. He will not be happy until I am destitute, homeless, and begging on the street. How dare I leave a successful lawyer! I’ll show you…that is how he thinks. Well I will make it no matter what!

    • NVRGVUP. No one can see your invisible essence. They can’t touch it. Walk proudly away knowing your free at last.

    • You are amazing! I’ve never known anyone else to have a gambling narcissistic husband but me! Please tell me more about your situation!

    • Run, Christi, Run! In my experience, you can never change these people. All you can do is limit your contact with them and heal from the damage they’ve wrought.

  4. Wow! I can definitely relate to all these stories!! I honestly never knew someone could be so self-absorbed in my life!! My husband did an excellent job at luring me in when we were dating. We’ve been married 13 years now and it has taken a toll on my whole life! He is a Truck Driver now and I am so glad beacause at this point, there is no way I could deal with him on a daily basis! It just blows my mind that a person can think about themselves like that 24/7!!! I feel for all of you!

  5. Pingback: Characteristics of the Narcissist « Steve Blizard's Blog
  6. My sister exhibited 38 of these 46 signs – Wow! Good to know have further validation of my assessment of our relationship.

  7. I’m in the beginning stages of a divorce from a narcissistic husband. After 11years and no children, I have learned that I cannot live in such disarray anymore. He has crushed my self-esteem, caused me to resign from a promising career, and is trying his best at leaving me financially broken. I’m embarrassed at some of the behaviors and situations I’ve survived in this marriage. He has had continuous use of steriods and that only helped fuel his rages and several times I have seen my life flash before me. There has been numerous affairs I am finding out about and lots of wasteful spending. I’m attempting to survive this emotional roller coaster of dismissing him from my life. I’m attempting to settle it without filing suit against him for a divorce. I’m praying everyday that he one day realize he needs professional help. I’m seeking counseling to help me overcome some of the hurt and pain. I have loved so unconditional and he will always hold a place in my heart, but it will be from afar. I’m so glad a friend convinced me to research narissitist behavior. Thank you for opening my eyes to finally realizing an explanation for such hurt and pain that he has caused.

    • So glad you are moving forward. Protect yourself in the divorce – be prepared for more outrageous actions as he might be fueled by anger at your leaving him and want to punish you. Devious and manipulative are keywords which often stand out when looking at the behavior of personality disordered spouses in divorces. Remember always, guard your heart, your emotions and your finances. Best to you, Ann

    • Suzanne-
      There is no way to settle with a Narcissist. I tried for 3 years before reading a book by a divorce judge. He spent all but one paragraph of a 200 page book saying to settle out of court. In that one paragraph he said “if a spouse has gotten their way throughout the entire marriage then it will go to court”. It has been 5 years since I moved to another state – over a year since the divorce, we had court again this morning. By definition, Narcissists will never seek professional help. If they do, then they are not Narcissists.

  8. 46 out of 46 for my former N Boyfriend. Seriously.
    I wish I had known he was an N when we were still together, but no one told me. He told me he had depression and anxiety. His mother told me he had NPD and Boarderline PD AFTER he went to jail for the final suicide attempt which for the first time, also involved threatening me with the knife. Nice time to tell me, Mom….. I realize it’s a difficult thing to be a parent to an N, especially an adult N. I’m sure I eased the parental burden for the time we were together, but I also feel it is irresponsible to not inform a romantic partner of the reality of the N, especially if there are small children involved.

    • I guess he was a Toxic Narcissist. That’s the worst he could possibly be. How did I get so lucky? Only 1% or so of the entire worldwide population are affected by Toxic Narcissism. Why couldn’t I hit the lottery instead of meeting him? Ugh! Life is so unfair!

      • Ugh! I know….I say that same thing to myself….how did I get so lucky w those odds! “Why couldn’t I hit the lottery instead of meeting him” ugh!

    • I have been suffering from mental abuse since our daughter was 7-8 years old. we dated for 8 years before marrying because i was not Jewish. I converted and we got engaged, then married in 1998. I found out a year ago that I am an orthodox Jew. We are not kosher but my husband’s family were. During our 8 years of dating I became pregnant at 36. I was forced to abort because we were not married and I hadn;t converted. I was devastated hat on he day of the abortion, we went to our usual weekend place with friends. He treate me like crap the following day. He took his miser buddy out to breakfast and didn’t think twice about me. I was in a lot of emotional pain, I was in my thirties by then. We purchased a house together he put it in his name only, but being married and buying a house in NY means 1/2 of the house is mine. I made the first steps to purchase too, Not that that matters. In my forties he wanted to have a child and I was having trouble conceiving. I went through fertility treatments for three years. I didn’t want to continue with another IVF, but I did. I finally conceived and he was always saying that i would be a terrific mother. (throughout all of this I didn’t realize he was controlling me) I worked and gave hime my paycheck every week and kept a portion . I once came home with a new suit and he hit the roof…..I didn’t understabd why……I did work in an office and need a new suit. When our child was born, I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world. When our child turned 7 years old he began to become more controlling and the man that said i had so much to offer and teach a child because I would be terrific at it started to change and would not be on the same page with me when it came to child rearing. We were never on the same page, in fact we were in different books. We fought like crazy because everything had to be his way. He knew everything. He pushed me to the edge where I started to self medicate because I was so depressed. I FOUGHT TO BE THE MOTHER OF MY CHILD EVERY SINGLE TIME , HE WAS NOT ALWAYS CORRECT. He went as far as taking our child out when I had foot surgery, which by the way he never helped me with anything during the time I ws recuperating. He took our child to look at an apt and told our child that he was leaving me and not to tell me. My child came home and showed me something hat was purchased at a flea market that day. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND I WANTED TO GO OUT WITH THEM SO BADLY BECAUSE I HADN’T BEEN OUT IN OVER ONE AND A HALF WEEKS SINCE I WAS RECUPERATING. H e insisted that I needed to rest. What a manipulative liar. He obtained a home equity loan from our marital home and said he was buying a fancy condo. I was called in by my child’s doctor and my child couldn’t live with what my husband had done and told me. The doctor said to me that my child really wanted me to know because it bothered my child. Our child is now 13 yrs old. My husband became president of an important association and basically treated me like crap, Introducing me as Ms …………., my mine name. He did this in front of attorneys That knew us ( yep, my husband is a lawyer), when he was introducing me to Judges and other colleagues. He basically was placed on a pedestl and his ego blew up. He told me women were falling at hi feet, he told me he was smarter than me, he told me he didn’t need my support anymore because he had all the support he needed and he said a lot of very cruel and hurtful things to me. During that time I was so sad that I didn’t think of divorcing the love of my life, so I thought. He had to leave the marital home because it was in our child’s best interest. He moved into a brand new very expensive high rise with two bedrooms. I was completely KICKED TO THE CURB by this narcissistic SOB. I loved him so much and fought for him. He fooled around with a client that was part of a very serious investigation. He lied to me gave her tickets for a covert that were suppose to be for my teen and I. They were very expensive. I couldn’t believe the photo I found on his phone. He lied and aid he kept the provocative photo in case she tried something. NS, he took her out again for cock I mean cocktails, so he says. He’s a pathological liar, I have learned, I should have left him and gotten a divorce when I was finally looking back to myself. In shape, gym three time per week, yoga once a week, walking two to three miles every day. My self esteem was back. He moved back in and without a chance of me processing it. a couple of weeks later I thought I was having a heart attack, he took me to a hospital that isolated me and told me I may have tuberculosis. I stayed for a week undergoing a battery of tests. They ruled out cancer. I was released from the hospital without being diagnosed. I had to take TB meds for a month. I should’ve divorced him. I blame myself for being so stupid. He took me to another hospital……..more tests. I HAVE NON-CURABLE lung cancer. He is now mistreating me again. I am in so much pain, mental anguish and I am tormented> It bothers him now tat he’s my caregiver……it bothers him. This narcissistic said to me that he will watch me get sick and will not help me unless I play by his rules. I am devastated that I want peace and some love, comfort, hugs, laughter and happiness before I pass away. No one deserves this kind of treatment. All the money we have he hardly lets me see our stocks, and I know he’s been moving money around. We did of course decide to create a trst for our child. My life insurance and some capital gains are going into our teen’s trust, Half of the house will go to my husband along with our jointly owned stocks. I want out of this marriage but I don’t know if I’ll live for one month , one year or ten. All I want is peace and love. I need to be held by someone who really loves me because his love for me is pretty sick. What should I do………..?…….really ….what can I do? The uncertainty. My teen. It breaks my heart…..

      • Don’t let the cancer diagnosis define your life. Depression is the last thing you need. Please, please, find the MD’s helping people live with cancer, not consider it incurable or a death sentence. You need to get away from those people just like the toxin that is your spouse. Read the just published book Radical Remission – very well researched book.by Kelly Turner, PhD Look up Ty Bollinger and see all the people winning against so called incurable cancer. (Watch his docu-series that he just produced. Amazing. My MD lives with his “incurable cancer” – for 25 years! Also was on a transplant list – got himself off that too.)

        Your spouse is toxic. You need hope. It is there – You are stronger than you think. Please explore those who are survivors of the the “incurable”, “you have 3 months to live” factory medicine. You have a lot to live for.

        Best, Ann

      • Please get away from him. He is toxic to your entire being. You will feel better and have a chance at beating and curing ur cancer but you must leave him! I was sick all the time when I was w my narcissist. I have been a year no contact and am healing finally. They will kill us…I said that to my ex. My body was reacting to all the stress I was under and it was creating physical illness…on top of mental and emotional. You can do this…you can do this! You must be strong be a warrior woman and fight for yourself. You are worth it. I am praying for you that Jehovah will guide you and give you strength. I am sending you healing thoughts and loving energy. And a huge bear hug because you deserve to know love. Real love….we all on this forum do. ♥

  9. I have narcissistic personality disorder 🙂
    I really like this site, it is rather informative.

    • I don’t believe you have NPD. Narcissists don’t know that they’re narcissists. They literally would never take the time to figure that out because there is nothing wrong with them.

  10. Divorced from an NPD with kids isn’t fun either but is better than living with one day to day. Now that I am done fighting over college expenses, which I knew was coming, I feel like I am having post traumatic stress syndrome. 14 years later I have grown. He has not. Here are notes from the marriage:

    He was always right, it was always my fault, my opinions were wrong if they didn’t agree with his.

    “It is important who is right and wrong because it gives the person who is wrong something to work on.”

    “I always treat you poorly because you are just an extension of myself, and I treat everyone else better than I treat myself”

    “You have a character flaw since you like to be by yourself a lot.”

    “You need to throw away all the stuff you have from your childhood. I don’t have my childhood stuff, so why should you have yours? (this included a box of items that belonged to my deceased brother).”

    “I AM better than everyone else. Some one who is smart and educated is better than someone who is just a janitor.”

    “I used to be happy. I am not happy anymore. If you gave me more love and attention I would be happier.”

    “We are just puppets in life. Everything has been predetermined.” (in explaining why he always had excuses and was not responsible for his actions).

    “You made me do it. If you hadn’t done _____ I wouldn’t have needed to do it”

    After we were divorced 4 months: “I am not the babysitter. I am moving away so you will have to take care of the kids all by yourself and never have any free time.”

    “It surprises me that if William is smart enough to be educated, why he doesn’t think the same way I do.”

    “You shouldn’t pay attention to what I say, but should pay attention to what I mean. I don’t always say what I mean.”

    “I know you love me. And I could never stay mad at you.” (after ignoring my increasing frustration with the marriage, he refused to make any changes on his end, but expected me to make all the changes.” Then, after we were divorced: “she was the love the of my life but didn’t want to work on the marriage and was having affairs.”

    “I never studied for that class.” (his response to me getting a higher grade in a graduate level class – as an undergrad – than he).

    “You need to iron my clothes. You have responsibilities” (after waking me up from a sickness with a 104 degree fever)

    “What do you mean you don’t have enough time to yourself? You go to Target once a week. What else do you need?”

    “You have responsibilities.” (after complaining that I went to dinner with friends for the first time in 7 years.”

    He was really angry when I was on bedrest for my second pregnancy, as if it was my fault.

    “Morning sickness doesn’t exist. Women are just trying to get attention or have psychological issues.” When I threw up before I even knew I was pregnant, he was frustrated by not knowing how to explain that.

    He knew more than everyone, including doctors/PhDs who were specialists in their fields.

    “This isn’t what I signed up for.” after I refused to have sex with him in the room above where my mom and kids were playing.

    “People in Costa Rica (his home country) are much more civilized and family-oriented than Americans.”

    “Costa Rica’s educational system is much better than the USA’s”

    “I know I told you before we got married that I would help with the house cleaning and taking care of the kids, but I changed my mind.”

    “Orlando and Gilda think that its the woman’s job to take care of the man, even if the woman has to work outside of the house.”

    “My first wife was prettier than you. She had a pretty face and big boobs.”

    “You have banana tits.”

    He didn’t do things for people because it was the right thing to do. He did it because he said it made him feel good. He also expected big thank you’s and other forms of appreciation.

    We once had a calm discussion about being important or perfect. I said when I realized that I was just one speck of dust in the universe, it took a lot of the pressure off of me to be perfect or to care if I were the best or the smartest or the best. I was happy to exist and do my best. He said he couldn’t agree with that at all; it was very important what his status was in life and what others thought of him.

    I told him that it bothered me that all 4 people eating dinner spoke great English but the other 3 sat there talking in Spanish and left me out. And he always initiated the speaking in Spanish. He would later say “it’s not their fault you don’t speak Spanish.”

    “If the company is going to treat me like this, then I have the right to steal from them (office supplies, dishes, etc).

    He didn’t get up to help me get things that I needed when I was in the hospital giving birth. He said he was too tired to get out of the chair.

    After I gave birth to my daughter, he brought me a dozen roses. After I gave birth to my son, which had been a difficult pregnancy, he brought me cheap flowers from the grocery store. When I said that it upset me he said “I could have bought three CDs for the price of the those flowers.”

    “If you did more stuff for me, then I would do more stuff for you.”

    “If you want me to respect you then you should deserve it first.”

    “Don’t just stand there, do something.” (when I was taking a break from folding sheets and later, from raking leaves.)

    He told me about all of his sexual conquests when we first started dating and then would bring them up for some reason on an ongoing basis. When I later told him there was no reason to tell me such garbage, he said “that stuff always comes up later on anyway so its best to get it out in the open.”

    • Your list of insults are nearly identical to mine. I never saw another husband treat a post partum mother like mine treated me. I often wondered if that had to do with extreme hatred of females. Hope you are better now.

    • I feel so similar to what you describe, this is just horryfying the way you have been taken down the drain…I met my ex husband more than 20 years ago, had 3 kids with him and filed for divorce in 2010. Even now he is using our youngest child, she’s 13, to try to destroy me. Can you believe it ?

      I filed a complaint at the police last Monday. I have been protecting this asshole for all this time because I lost my Mum when I was only 21 and was fortunate enough to have my Dad, who wasn’t someone very easy to live with either, until I was 38. How can we be so good and blind and lack self confidence ? And why does no one around us do something to help ? Are family and friends blind and deaf? Isn’t there a legal obligation to report this kind of misbehavior ?

    • Wow! Your list is so similar to mine. I was married for 32 years to a narc. He love bombed me in classic fashion in the beginning, wanted to move in together right away, was terrific with my 4 year old from my 1st marriage…then, it changed. On our honey moon he kept me up all night near the end complaining that I didn’t “initiate” enough. I truly tried to figure out what he meant by this…

      As soon as we were married he became cold and controlling with my son

      He disliked the little dog I had, and I gave her back to her breeder…

      He hated hated hated if I fell asleep before him, even if he was up past midnight on a work night.

      He wanted a spotless house, and started fights over little things like a small smear of grease on the stove…this fight went on from 8pm to 6am. I learned to be an amazing house cleaner, but it was never good enough. His stock phrase was “I live here too. I deserve a clean house”

      He spent hundreds of dollars a month on musical instruments and iTunes downloads-hundreds! Then got mad at me for not taking a second job because we were always low in our account. I worked a 40 to 45 hour week!

      In between the angry outbursts and endless arguments he would be wonderful – going on walks in the country, to his parent’s house in the Hamptons…

      He was disappointed when our second child was a girl – and later told her so!

      He was always great when company was around, and then when they left he would turn on me and 1. complain about the dinner mess 2. gossip horribly about the friends who had been there 3. get angry with me for spending too much time talking to them! Then, he stopped wanting to have anyone over – he never wanted to return the favor after we had been out to someone’s house.

      his moods swung from minute to minute, from cheerful and almost over the top happy to angry and sullen and awful – the whole family learned how to “manage” him. He could have 3 to 4 major swings in one day

      The biggest problem ,and the one that makes me really wish that I had left him in the first year of marriage was the abuse he put my son through. He never hit him, and things would swing from bad to good and back again, but my son told me 20 years after the fact that he was sexually abused by this man. I am now divorced, losing my house to the IRS, but very happy to be rid of this evil person!

    • I know this post is from 2012…. Would love to find out how you are now…… I read this list above of NPD. I think I fit some of them…?? …. but I know the guy I am with is a lottttt of them…. So that scares me. Can someone with NPD make you feel like you have NPD?…….

    • I was always told that another woman is a breath of fresh air compared to me. When I was pregnant with our first child, I started spotting and went to the emergency room. My ex told me if he had to come to the hospital he would never speak to me again. When I went to the hospital, I found out I had a fetal demise. I miscarried the next day. He was out at the bars all night for his birthday and showed up the next day pretending to be some knight in shining armor ready to take care of me.

  11. I recently broke off a friendship with a narcissist. I’m amazed that it took me 20 years to recognized her affliction, even with a degree in psychology and being extremely familiar with B-cluster personality disorders. I simply didn’t recognize her grandiosity as it was often covert. For example, she’d repeatedly tell a mutual friend that she made “so much more money” than me (so does Bill Gates, big deal).

    She’d been dropping straws on this camel’s back for years – minor controlling behaviors, judgmentalness, back-handed compliments, the occasional misdirected freak out over a non-issue. Then she dropped 3 giant hay bales in quick succession. She decided to develop a rule for herself and I also had to obey. Doing so would have prevented me from an activity I love and had been doing all my life – I even have a Master’s degree related to this activity. My disobedience caused her to freak out and I broke off all contact. Since then, she has expressed no contrition or accountability and has blamed me for the conflict. Of course, she can’t let it go, so although I screen her calls and have blocked her e-mail, she still tries to contact me to discuss “what we’ve been going through”. I’ve been going through freedom from control and craziness.

    I’ve made a point of not sharing the fiasco with our mutual friends and she’s been talking up a storm about how unreasonable I am over this “misunderstanding”. Not hearing my side, friends are lining up behind her. I still think taking the high road is the way to go. Her NPD has gone undiagnosed, but certainly not unnoticed for years.

    • Protect yourself from her and from all those who are stupid enough to choose her side. Don’t let anyone judge you. I am unfortunate to still have a 13 year old daughter living temporarily with this MONSTER father, who has never succeeded in being a loving, caring human being for anyone in his surroundings. It is really tough for kids being in this kind of situation, but I do hope police and justice will prevail in this matter.

    • Same here, although my friendship was about 5 years. They are so charming and appear to be caring people. She was an adopted only child, married and had kids. I should have known something wasn’t right though. She had no close friends and never went out “with friends”. I had a bunch of friends even though I had only moved into town within the year. Then the shopping trips, I would buy a pair of shoes, she would buy the same exact ones in a different color. This happened a few times with other items too, then the exercising to lose weight, get implants, hair and nails frequently. She started to change into someone I didn’t know after a while. Also was just superficial, didn’t like my other friends and tried to monopolize my time. I tend to be easy going and she was getting increasing hard to be friends with. Finally a year and a half ago I broke off contact after sending me another set of emails about all the things I did over the years that bothered her and that I needed to apologize for. Half the stuff was made up and just weird. Well recently she has been stalking my facebook, (I unfriended her a year and a half ago) but now I blocked her, why send me messages after all this time? I really didn’t think she was trying to see my posts but my daughter also received a sarcastic post on her instagram. Different people posted and called her a bully, that she was rude, then she started back tracking her comments. My daughter blocked her too. Is it rejection that causes the stalking behavior? what will it accomplish? I have kept copies of all the stuff she has sent me, in case she gets dangerous.

  12. Wow, some of these stories are awful. Makes mine pale in comparison. We can all agree that the aftermath is like a deep trauma.

  13. Thank you so much for this list! My son was married to a narcissist and she wrecked havoc on all our lives.

    Since then, I have found many friends whose lives were ruined by a narcissist. I continue to be amazed at how many are out there. I have shared this list with them all, and like me, it is like a light bulb going off and it helps so much to identify and understand. And what a relief that can be to an injured soul. Many thanks.

    • Hi – I see information as an infrastructure that supports us and moves us forward. My own journey began that way many years ago and helped me. I’m so glad you wrote and shared how it helps you and that you shared with others. Feeling all alone as a victim of the personality disordered is a lonely journey. We do need each other. Best, Ann

      • Interestingly, because of your list, Narcissists are now very easy for me to recognize when
        i hear of their actions.

        Everyone I was close to who was in a Toxic relationship, has not only recognized their
        spouse as Toxic, but has either successfully removed themselves from the relationship
        or it has been healing to them in the aftermath of that relationship. Knowledge is indeed
        powerful and freeing, thanks to you. And it is like they are freed when they read the list!

        Several included spouse abuse, one female to her husband and two females at the hands of
        their husbands. Interestingly, several have also learned how to “talk” to the narcissist who
        remains on the fringes, shutting him down by not responding to a rant as he tries to gain

        One friend, took your list to her male physician, who almost had lost his practice
        through his abusive secretive narcissistic physician wife. When he read your list, he
        immediately copied it to give to others, hugged with tears my friend and said, “You gave it
        a name!”

        • Linda – Thanks for telling the story about your friend’s physician as well as your friends. Ripples in a pond stories always resonate so positively with me. They say: we all make a difference when we make the effort. Thank you for being one of those who makes a difference. Best, Ann

  14. My brother has broken our hearts…in reading this list of traits, it seems he has all but maybe two of these listed characteristics. The traits he exhibits are overwhelming and seem to swallow up everyone around him. I worry for my darling nieces, his daughters. I am so sad about him and have always known he cannot be trusted. In my relationship with him I have always felt wrong and that I could never have an authentic relationship with him. Every time I have trusted him it has been costly. It is helpful to see such direct information to solidify my concerns about him. We are all sick of his behavior (the whole saga would make an unreal movie) and have confronted him with his volume of lies. He cut off contact with our family except for occasions of screaming tirades, cursing and intimidation. We have been labelled as judgmental, self-righteous, uncaring, unloving and stupid. It is interesting that we all have taken great care to show him repeated kindnesses regardless of his behavior and not to react to his tantrums…all to no avail. It terrifies me that I could be related to someone like this. I pray daily for him and also that God would keep my heart in check and not to be given over to bitterness. All of this is truly out of my hands and I hope that someday he will find the help he so desperately needs. Thank you for your work in the arena.

  15. I am a 53 year old gay man. I have 3 children and I am a widower (my wife passed away from a brain tumor 10 years ago. I always knew I was gay but did not accept being gay until after taking care of my ill wife, I became too overwhelmed – something had to give. Although I remained faithful, it was a relief for me to accept my sexuality. Several years after her death, I started “coming out”. I thought the hardest part would be telling people, but since then, I am devested by how the gay men’s world functions. It is dominated by permiscuity, lack of trust, emphasize on youth and penis size.

    I was in a relationship with a narcissistic man which started 4 1/2 years ago (9/24/2008-6/5/2012). He left me one day last June last June when he said he did not want to feel guilty if he should go somewhere that summer and hooked-up.

    I was devastated because he basically was not faithful to me during the whole relationship – he would always deny and I would somehow believe him. He used sex to control me, used my car for years because he wasn’t ready to get a new one when his broke and he lived at my house without assisting with money (he occasionally bought groceries) and it was easy for him to spend my money but only bought quality stuff for himself (which he made sure he got everything he paid for back when he left).

    I have never been so depressed and unhappy in all my life. I feel he stole my soul, heart, mind, and spirit. I feel so confused, hurt, and in-pain that I do not want to live – even though I have children who depend on me. I did try to end my life this last October – it should have worked but I have an enzyme issue that does not allow me to metabolize a lot of medications – and since this was a medication I could not metabolize it didn’t even make me sleepy – never mind suppressing my respiratory system.

    I feel my life is over. He made me feel unattractive, crazy, and without any self-worth. All the while he was cheating on me and telling me I was crazy. But I loved him and believe it or not still do! He played mind games with me so much for so long, my brain patterns value his life over mine. Now I don’t have him and I am depleted emotionally and spiritually – therw just isn’t anything left.

    Furthermore, being 53, gay, with 3 children, I am not a sought after commodity in this basically unhealthy gay-male community

    When he left me and kind of missed me, he would contact me. He said he struggled getting over me, but not like wanting me back, for now he could have sex “when he wanted, where he wanted, and with whom he wanted”.

    From what I hear, he is happy, has good friends and living a balanced life. And here I am, the partner that truly loves him, supported him, was committed to him – just wanting to die. Why?

  16. I am guy who just wrote last post (53 year old gay widower)
    My email is johnwschone@yahoo.com
    I take antidepressants – even though they don’t work and I see a counselor who is good – but I am still suffering.
    It has been nearly a year since my narssacistic boyfriend left me.
    The abuse has left me worse than dead. I know I have my own issues like being highly sensitive and codependent, but if there is anyone out there who has recovered from this devastating experience and knows how I should feel like living again please share with me ways to get better, please help me!

    I don’t show any signs of improvement – I still love my narssacistic ex and don’t feel I will ever be confident, happy, or hopeful again.


    • Hi – Please do some research on antidepressants. Paxil, for example, has been found to cause chronic depression. If you are taking them and they aren’t working as you say, they could be making things worse and keeping you from getting better. Do the research on this. There are doctors who understand other ways of assisting brain changes other than with anti-d’s. Ok, as to why you are still attached to your narcissistic ex. It may or may not be of any help to know that you are far from alone in this attachment behavior, whether gay or straight. Sometimes referred to as love addiction, it is not that uncommon, but certainly no place you want to stay in. But you already know that or you wouldn’t be writing.

      I strongly suggest this very easy to read, cut to the chase, put it all in perspective book as a beginning place for you to kickstart a new beginning and get over the ex and feel good about yourself. You are so not alone! Others have been there, done that, and gotten better. So can you. Try this book, and also google, ‘love addiction’

      Best to you, Ann

    • John,

      I have tears in my eyes reading this. I feel EXACTLY the same way in the aftermath of leaving a pathological relationship. This has devastated me in a way other losses have not; I am a very strong woman and very independent and this truly has left me doubting everything I have ever believed in, God included. It is a death in many ways and you must treat it as one. You love your ex because YOU are a loving person, but you deserve to be loved back and not abused. It does and will get better. You will get your life back in time and never be in another relationship like this ever again. Keep the faith, you are awesome.

  17. My ex girlfriend fit EVERY SINGLE one of thoes. after the break up she spred a lot of lies and rumors about me….Saying im a “sociopath” (im not) …getting close to my friends and turing them on me…Just devoteing her time to creating drama in my life. When we were dating she hacked my facebok and blocked EVERY girl I had added…. including family members…She would get mad when I listened to certain types of music like rock or dustup. she would get over jellies when id talk to my friends while she’s near me. Tho some how it was like…she got into my head….I cant stop thinking about her…It felt like i’ve never loved anyone more then I Did her but looking into it more I see It was all fake and shes just a narcissist.

  18. Our company worked with Lantor Ltd/ Lenticular Promo.
    My job was a sales representative and my livelihood depended on my income.
    I know the manager at Lantor is a severe narcissist. When I placed orders for my clients the manager would say he did not like the art we submitted.

    He held up orders when we had event dates. He always blamed people in China, Weather, UPS/FedEx, or customs.
    I lost clients and finally my job because we lost a big account due to the manager at Lantor.

    The manager at lantor called my client and lectured them on having “pretty” artwork. He did not care about money and he always mentioned he was a CEO and he controlled – his company his rules. Looking back I feel bad for that german’s employees.

  19. I was business partners with a narcissist for 8 1/2 LONG years. This poisonous relationship damaged me in every way – financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. It was a hardship on my family as well. But, I got out and I’m on the mend. I’ve begun to write a book about my experience in hopes that I can help others. I think of myself as a “survivor”.

  20. I broke up with ex-gf of two years in June ’13. I always knew from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my intelligence that I was dating someone who was selfish, self-absorbed, lacked empathy, distant, deceiving, untrustworthy and unappreciative but had impeccable beauty and charm. I told her this many times in hopes that she would listen to me and change for the sake of the relationship. What I was really doing was saying that I was tired of her manipulating and emotionally abusing me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I now know that this was a form of narcissism.

    She cheated on me twice and never admitted this though I caught her with o man and actually spoke to one who confirmed it: an ex-spouse she was manipulating to get money from. She came to my house on both occasions crying like a baby and saying that she didn’t deserve me… however, later I learned that she was apologizing because she got caught and felt guilty, not because she cared for my feelings or was truly remorseful.

    Because a narcissist can charm and knows how to talk the bark out of a dog I accepted her apologies and tried to forgive her. This I found to be almost impossible and I had trust issues for over a year with her that led to numerous anxiety concerns when she went out or did something without telling me. She never cared to move in with me because she was ‘afraid you (I) would kick me out.’ She used this as an excuse to continue living her secretive life of attention-getting and ‘friendships’ which stroked her ego. She went to the gym 4-5 times a week, 12 hours a week while leaving her kids alone.

    The ex-gf constantly compared me to other bfs and commented often of how others paid for all of her expenses, bills, etc… The last conversation we had, her last digs were about how I didn’t love her children like I loved my own (older) children and only spent money on them. She would never admit that I lived for her and her kids, taking them on numerous trips, day trips out, dinners out, bought them gifts, signed them up for sports, taught them things, etc… I was essentially a ‘father’ without kids and playing the ‘husband’ without a wife.

    She was manipulative at the end, playing me a fool while she secretly was on a dating site finding another ‘source’ to manipulate and abuse. She continued to kiss me, hug me, talk to me, feed me while she was planning her big escape. It was a miserable ending of her ignoring my final requests to communicate and leaving me frustrated and confused. I have learned, as have many, how devastating it is to be manipulated, lied to and cheated by someone like this. They lack empathy and are only interested in what they can get out of a person who loves them. Essentially, they get you to fall in love with the ‘mask’ of who they are and with the charm and sex, make it difficult to leave them. They seek out nice, unsuspecting, giver-type people and hold them to a higher expectation than they set for themselves.

    They are extremely jealous and controlling to a point that you would feel guilty to even have a life of your own. They have no respect for the love that you give them and insist that you can never give them enough. My ex-gf always threatened me that she could have any guy whenever she wanted and had many male ‘friends’ in her phone that I never met or heard about. Don’t be deceived by this type of person. I don’t truly regret loving her, because I know that I forgave her and put up with her inconsistencies and manipulation because I truly loved her. She wasn’t a ‘toxic’ narcissist but absolutely had traits that would point in that direction. It has been hard not thinking about her, because as a ‘victim’ you constantly want to blame yourself for why the breakup occurred. You replay things in your mind trying to believe that she was a good person and never meant to treat me this way. That’s the damage that comes from being with a narcissist – they never take accountability or responsibility for their actions and you end up feeling that blame. If you finally have the reason to leave them and the strength they will either cry and make you feel sorry for them or will find another source as quickly as possible who will continue supplying the attention, love, money and devotion that they so desire but can’t reciprocate…. She never had boundaries, which are common for narcissistic people, and suffered I believe from a repetitive compulsive disorder to continue doing ‘bad’ things to the men who loved her. Everyone of her exs suffered as I did. I only wished that I had the strength of character and love of self enough to leave her after the first of many red flags surfaced.

    Don’t be another victim, get out of these kind of relationships. They will never change and honestly, don’t want to change. Why should they when there a idiots like me who allow this kind of behavior and even encourage it. If you forgive a woman who cheats, lies, deceives, you have lost their respect and they will continue until you are emotionally abused (which is a form of domestic abuse), lonely and empty….

  21. It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left Brett Gyllenskog swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.
    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.
    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.

    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.

    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.

    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…

    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.


    IT’S A LIE!


    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

    Love yourself and don’t look back.

    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

    • Thank you for a great post and words of wisdom from having been on the journey out and forward from a place of pain. Your words will make a difference to those you may never know about. This is important and appreciated. Best to you, Ann

  22. Pingback: Abuse on Wheels
  23. Pingback: Part 3: Opening the doors on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and narcissistic abuse | Happiness Weekly
  24. Pingback: The Behaviors and Actions of the Narcissist | Process of Elimination
  25. Hi, I really need help understanding things, if I tell my story it’d be great to receive advice/insight: I met my bp boyfriend 8 years ago (think he might be a narc too) he was sweet, warm, funny, self deprecating. I didn’t fancy him but he persued me relentlessly till I gave in & we dated for a year, I fell for him in a huge way but never told him. Things were amazing until he moved in (after 18 months together) then he started putting me down, criticising, nasty name calling, bragging that his exes were better looking than me. When I ask why he did this he says I wanted him to, I used him as a tool to abuse me, as I’m more comfortable with pain & cant face happiness in a relationship. When I ask how I made him do this he has no answer, he flips out if I tell him he’s wrong or if I have a different opinion to him. He says everyone is jealous of him, all birds become obsessed with him (his words) when I suffered a bereavement & turned to him for comfort he branded me a drama queen. I really believed he loved me but am starting to think he only is nice to me when he needs money/sex/somewhere to stay. He has never discarded me, yet I’ve thrown him out 3 times, last time was 3 months ago, usually I have to accept blame then he returns (he never does & always deflects.) This time I refuse to so he tried (feeble attempt) to win me back (only because he needs somewhere to live) but as I won’t admit to self sabotaging our special bond as he puts it he has now stopped contacting. I feel so depressed, despairing, desperate to have him back (why?!) I feel empty inside, life pointless – is this normal? I hope it will pass as it’s torturous (he’s moving on nicely, after a small outburst of anger at me dumping him.)

    • It is normal! Hang in there and it will pass…one day, a switch will flip and you will feel better, not so needy, and realize you don’t need him to fill an emptiness inside you. You are on the bumpy part of getting over a jerk, but remember it is worse being with him than missing him. Much worse. You deserve better and if you give yourself some pats on the back for getting rid of him you will see how special and smart you are and know you are so much better off being you, alone, than being his victim. Hang in there! You will make it through this time. Best, Ann

    • Don’t give in! He’s made you into a toy, someone to push around, reject and then attract again, these are not well balanced relationships and he will only make you suffer more. Go out and do things you like. Meet new people that make you feel whole, who make you feel good, loved, cared about, accepted for who you are. Contact family and friends you feel in peace with. don’t convince yourself you can’t live without this person. you may now feel addicted to him, that’s the toxicity of the Relationship. it’s like when you decide to stop smoking, using drugs, drinking coffee or Coca Cola. give yourself a break, travel, do sports. you’ll manage, take your time.

  26. The narcissist that I fell in with as an employee was a severe case. If it is not mental illness, then I am surprised. Of the 46 items on this list, I would say only the ones about sex and love or dominance of women were ones I had no real insight into. And I can name some more that I would say are not on the list.
    On this list, it does not say that they are driven in their actions and that truth coupled with the fact that a narcissist is always on, ready to erupt or respond and control in a second is why they are so dangerous. This coupled with the facts that they are highly manipulative and do not care about you, have no remorse and are highly secretive and cunning, with tremendous ability to read you….and dominate you – makes them your own personal hell.
    They are survival mechanisms of a high order – what I think some horror early in their lives left them with as adaptors to the world around them in a harsh uncaring sense because in nature it is only important in the end result that something lives on to keep life ongoing. We end up a sacrifices to their needs until we ourselves adapt and get out and move on. Worst of all, despite my relative advanced age, I had no idea such beings existed and were capable of such packaged evil for their own good. Beware them, recognize them and avoid them!

  27. Can anyone recommend a therapist or a few – in the Los Angeles area – that deals specifically with survivors of narcissistic abuse?
    Many thanks for any advice or leads.

  28. This list shocks me, because each and every one of the traits listed are completely spot on for my ex-husband. It is one thing to think the monster you are married to is a text book narcissist and quite another to see each and every one of his traits laid out in total clarity on the page.

    Thank you to the author and all the others who have commented for helping me realize it was not “all in my head” as he would say. After enduring just shy of 13 years of marriage to a man that once told me I was the most selfish person in the world for wanting to apply for a seasonal job that would allow me more time with our two small children, I continue to learn each and every day what a brave choice I made.

    I am making a better life for my children, and perhaps even more importantly for them, a home that is now filled with joy rather than sorrow, with laughter rather than fear and hope rather than hurt.

    • You go girl! We all celebrate that joy filled life with you and share in your happiness and abilities and wisdom. Congratulations, you deserve it. Best, Ann

  29. I think what scares me is how many of these traits are mirrored in my own personality. 3 years ago I was diagnosed borderline with narcissistic tendencies and I am and I know it. I display the traits but I am not a bad, mean or heartless person. I try to control myself because I genuinely care about certain people in my life. What scares me is when there is such a defined list and everyone agrees but no one ever looks at the other side of things. A therapist told me one…Shaye ai don’t think you have narc traits becaise you love ypurself and the idea of yourself but because you don’t and you want to change. But since no one fits in the world you know they can’t fit with you can they? She had never been so right. Im not a bad person. Im a mom, a fiance, a writer…and I have narcissistic tendencies…certifiable

  30. Yeap think only one of them wasn’t what mine did.
    I stayed n for what ever reason (guess because he still couldn’t / didn’t have control over me where my family were concerned ) he charged me w Assulting him even though I NEVER hurt him or have done the things his saying n his telling people (possible employers too) I’m a crazy pyho. Mined u I’m now just part of his ex’s club we all crazy but case pyhos !
    I kept saying he would stop I believed he would or kill me (he also knew he would seriously hurt me one day) I have since been proven not guilty although I am fighting an avo. I get it now that I’m out. He did me a favour I would never have left him I would have tried anything to help him c n believe in good n stop himself harming. I just can’t wait for it all to be over n I get a new good job n I can just walk n stand tall not that I don’t now. I even make sure if I’m likely to be seen that my smile is like the sun, blinding :). The biggest worry is that some poor GIRL will end up w him n she will get hurt n or a child or them both 🙁 biggest worry !!

  31. Last year I divorced my husband of 3 years because I was finally tired of his abuses. He has a lot of the things on this list. He was very abusive, both physically and emotionally, but none of it was his fault. He aalways said if i had just listened to him he wouldn’t have hit me. He would throw huge parties for his friends, use my money to buy everything then make me do all the work. One of the wives, whom I’m still friends with, asked me at one of the parties why I hated being with the group. I was confused bc I love people, my husband had been telling everyone that i prefer to cook to being with people bc I’m defective in social situations. My friends, male and female, showed to that party and i spent my evening talking to them. After all was done and everyone had gone home, my husband demanded that i never invite my friends again. I can only have his friends. Only now do i realize that was bc to his friends, he could make himself look like the loving husband and father to our daughter. He cut me off from family and friends and I let him bc i didn’t want to upset him. Now, I have a stronger than ever relationship with my family and I’m getting over all my ex did to me with their support and the support of my new husband.

  32. My father is a narcissist. It was pure hell growing up with him. Emotional abuse is very underrated particularly towards children. It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I finally understood my childhood. My brother who is four years younger is only now coming to terms with it. If you are married to a Narc get out of the relationship for your children’s sake.

  33. wow – I know a woman a lot like if I replaced the word Him with Her in the list mentioned in this article.

  34. This is my son to a T. So very sad and hard to “breakup ” with ,but I have for my own saftey.

  35. I’ve just found out I’m a narcissist. I have been laughed at and disliked most of my life but became a single mom, married a naturally talented (deeply neurotic and inverted narcissist). I get it — finally, the “IT” I was missing. The veil that covered everything. I have had skin disease all my life, I was isolated hated, reviled in my home growing up. I just wanted peace and thought I was building something beautiful. My parents were abusive narcissists, so was I and so is my son. I supported my mom even though she took part in my sexual abuse by a family friend. My therapist always gives me reasons for being broken but I always asked her specifics. She said I am smarter than most doctors so fed my ego and I am deluded about everything I felt true and I see the truth of everyone’s opinion. My family do not like me, I do not have friends, my husband says if I kill myself it is my choice. I am lost and empty and I am not sure why I have so much pain as a narcissist. I supported everyone for decades, I got it ill and broken and now I am crushed. I committed suicide, again, last week. Took over 70 sleeping pills and antihistamines. I sipped wine so I would not vomit, I kept waking up the other times because I would vomit. This time I was careful and I had a knife, to be sure. I filled the tub ad got in fully dressed and as the medication kicked in I could cut deeper and then thankfully I was gone. But I am still here. I do not want to be anymore. I am just a narcissist cry-baby looking for attention.

  36. This list is literally a personality profile of the monster I’ve been married to for 13 years. I’m trying to work up the courage to leave this vile creature, but I’m terrified. We have three children between the ages of 5 and 10.

    In the early days, my husband saw someone who was sheltered , shy, and socially awkward. I must have seemed the ideal victim. The psychological (and sometimes physical) abuse have escalated over the years and intensified even more recently, and I have an intense dread of the future. I no longer have any close friends, and I don’t wish to overburden my parents. I really don’t know where to turn.
    My husband constantly plays mind games as well. Sometimes he says “I love you” in a mocking way. Other times he tells me hates me and has even threatened to kill me. He has assured me that he and his wealthy parents will make sure that I will never get custody of the children if I choose to divorce him, and he will destroy me. He has also recently had an affair, and there were probably others in the past. He keeps an ironclad grip on our finances, to the point where I have no money and am totally uninformed regarding our financial
    This has to end, but I don’t know how.

    • You have rights. You need to learn them. But doing so must be done in complete stealth mode. Find family law attorney websites for your state. These sites can be a gold mine of information about custody, finances, etc. Research many of them. Take your time, go to the family code and case law articles also. Immerse yourself in the legal aspects of divorce. The law does not want you a prisoner and you have many rights. Information truly is power in this arena. Marriage is an economic unit and you both have fiduciary responsibilities to each other. He is violating his. DO NOT DISCUSS THAT YOU KNOW THIS, never share your new info or plans with him. Go see some family attorneys for their 20 or 30 minute introductions. Many are free – but do this after you have some info under your belt. You have a right to finances, and in most cases, to funds to get divorced. Don’t let him see your computer history. My book, Divorce, The Real Truth and Hidden Danger, goes into all of this in more detail and shows my divorce and how it went from hell to, I won and I’m out. You can do this. Get info, get power, get hope and the road is taking you where you need to go. Best, Ann

  37. Pingback: How I Realized I Was In A Relationship With A Narcissist And That I Was HSP? | counterfeitconfessions
  38. My knight in shining armor, Mr. I will take care of you, fix everything for you, protect you, etc… As soon as we got married, even after I had red flags, I still married him beause he was able to explain things away. He begged and begged for a child since he’d had none. I was 47 when I had my daughter after his mother joined in on the pressure for me to provide him a child. Once pregnant, he lost his job and didn’t work for 3 of 4 years of marriage. I worked 2 jobs, 1 was 12 hour shifts right throuh my pregnancy while he slept all day and stayed up eating and online all night. I had 8 acres of property to take care of, he couldn’t becuase of his “back.” I was exhausted and worried about losing my home. Much more occurred but the final straw was when I came to him crying worried that I was going to lose the house I’d built before meeting him, after I’d lost the original in a flood years before. I offered to sell my beloved home, if he would trade in his BMW ($900/mth payments). He refused and said “That’s all I have.” I was devastated. I went to bed crying. Hours later, I heard him on the phone to his older female friend laughing saying “She thinks I’m going to sell my car, when she sells the house, I’ll take the extra money and put it into my retirement.” I freaked out. I asked for a dissolution, he pretended to agree, meanwhile liquidated his retirement acct, and anything else, except the car, which was paid for by the time he underhandedly filed for divorce in county 2 hours away, lying about the venue. He refused to pay his auto insurance, and cell phone bills and anything for our daughter for 2 years before divorce was finalized. The judge believed his lies. I thankfully was awarded custodial parent, but was left with all the bills and to pay him $400/month for debts he incurred post filing of divorce. I had hired a GAL and psychologist. Both agreed he should only have minimal visitations, juge gave him 3 wknds/month plus 1 midweek visit against professioals advice. Psychologist diagnosed him as extreme narcissist with somatic and histrionic disorder. Judge didn’t care. I got screwed over by the court system, my ex, his attorney, and my own attorney, whom I owe $30,000 to for doing nothing. GAL stated in court that he’d placed a GPS tracker on my car, hired a PI, stalked me physically and online and continues to harass family and friends. I have now had to move out of my beautiful home to hide out. I married my high school sweetheart who has been at my side and supportive through this hell. My ex has twice falsely accused my husband of sexually abusing my 4 y/o, the 2nd time my daughter disclosed to CPS that it is actually my ex, and that he’s threatened to kill me, and works on alienating her from me in every waypossible. She never wants to see him again and calls my husband daddy. I have a protection order on her and myself, and my ex shopped for attorneys and filed for a modification hearing so he can access my daughter again. She’s scared for me, and scared to see him again. I finally was able to qualify for legal aid, hearing is this friday on 12/11 and I still haven’t heard from legal aid attorney. My daugher disclosed her story to not only CPS, but Forensics, and her counselor. I’m so scared this different judge who seems to have ADHD, is explosive, and unprofessional, will grant him some for of visitation. He has horseshoes up his butt when it comes to court, and his lies are believed! How do I make the judge see the truth!!! He’s evil!!! I’m 52 and have lost everything I worked so hard for all my life. I barely have money to buy milk, my husband works to pay for all the legal fees, and we haven’t had a single moment of peace to be happy together. Living in fear, I’m exhausted emotionally, financially, and psychologically but have to keep it together for my baby girl, and to keep my job. While he lives at home with mom and dad, paying no rent, no car payments, and they continue to provide legal financing. I can’t run away with her, I look over my shoulder all the time, I can’t move, don’t deserve this abuse, but how do I make the courts open their eyes to what he’s done to me and to my daughter just so he can get her to blame my husband. My husband has been working out of the country for this entire year, not only would he never harm my daughter, it’s logistically impossible. My husband has been cleared 2x by CPS, by GAL, and psychologist. My ex is dangerous and is a great liar. Even I didn’t like the person I was being portrayed as. How do I end all this???????????????? I’ve prayed and cried and prayed and cried. I’m not me anymore and my daughter needs me. I need someone to step in and help me somehow. I just want to cry all the time because there’s no escape from the hell he’s created for me.

  39. Denise, a common, too common situation. Don’t focus on what is lost but what you have.It will calm you down. A good loving husband your kids like is very positive. You owe nothing to an attorney that has done nothing. Document failure to zealously represent you in a bar complaint, send it to the Bar and cc your attorney. Attach it to a motion for continuation and let judge know you know you have rights and aren’t afraid. They smell your fear and desperation and fatigue. I can’t tell you the number of bar complaints I have written that stopped abuse, zeroed out thousands in fees, and in a case this year, the “famous” family law attorney, quit after 30 years. She was opposing counsel in a case and I went after her. She dropped her client first! But all complaints have to be legit. Never made up stuff and delete emotion. This is just one way of showing power in a system of systemic abuse. Don’t ask a lawyer to help, they won’t. Maybe this isn’t even the right path for you but let the idea show you that possibilities exist. I just tweeted and asked people to come her and make suggestions if they can think of practical help for you. You’re at the end of your rope: tie a knot and hang on. You aren’t alone. Best, Ann

  40. I have been divorced for five years but my ex-husband continues to attempt to find ways to get to me. In a search for how to handle this I came across the information on narcissism. My ex has 42 out of 46 of the characteristics. Now that I’ve read many articles about the narcissistic personality so much of what I experienced in my 21 year marriage and divorce sound so familiar. My concern now is my two adult children. I have basically blocked my ex from every form of communication with me, but now he seems to be targeting my boys. He emails about my new husband and I – accusing us of all kinds of dishonest behaviors. How do I help them to deal with this? They don’t like to talk about anything related to the divorce anymore because they felt put in the middle for so long (mainly because of my ex). I know this is hard on them, though, and would like to offer them a source of advice.

    • Sorry he continues the behavior. He is looking for attention. The best way to extinguish behavior is not to reward it. I realize this makes it difficult on your kids as this is their father. If this were my adult child I would advise saying: “Dad, I hear you. But this isn’t a conversation I want to have with you.” Then offer an alternative topic: do they bond over sports? have a favorite team? ask about something – anything else that he can answer, maybe something he is good at and makes him feel good to talk about. “So, how about that Rose Bowl?” Teach them the art of deflection. If he insists on belittling you, they need to step up and end it. Now it is their turn to help – as adults, this is part of what we do and though they are our children always, they are also adults too with all that entails. Best, Ann

  41. Wow!!! So enlightening. I have been dating one for 3 years. We broke up last week for about the 8th time. I thought I was crazy. I didn’t know anything about narcissists till one of my clients told me about her boyfriend.

    I could not figure out what was wrong with our relationship and why we kept breaking up. There’s a pattern of every four months something happens where I can’t get ahold of him and then he blames me for being insecure. I suspected he was communicating with my friend and I broke up with him, then he asked me to marry him.

    I said yes and fell for it again. He moved in with my daughter and I, lived here about 4 months. We had an argument and he moved out last week saying it is my fault. I am in shock but also relieved. Arguing with this man was ridiculous – he never addresses the subject, he only degrades and puts me down and makes me feel bad about who I am and lifts himself and what he has done for me up. I have always felt like he had a secret agenda, thought he was a sex addict till he moved in and the sex really almost stopped. He used to be very generous till he moved in then acted broke. Thank you to everyone who has shared. Knowledge makes me feel stronger about walking away. And a fear now of going back. There is NO HOPE .

  42. My daughter is a narcissist and my sister. It is hard, to cope, but I am learning.

    • Keep on learning and it does become easier. I used to imagine putting on Teflon clothes to deal with abuse from narcissists – it works with all pathologies and jerks. Let it bounce off you. Best to you, Ann

  43. I’m trying to decide if the relationship I’m in now is with a narcissist…our relationship has a lot of these characteristics. He once complimented my appearance, and when I thanked him he said “no need to thank me, you are mine and I’m appreciating myself.” Not sure if I should be flattered by that or not. He also always finds a way to turn everything on me and make me feel bad when I am the one offended by something…somehow Im always the bad guy in the end…

    • Defining the relationship is less important than how it makes you feel. You said he always makes you feel bad. Call him a narcissist or a jerk, you deserve better. If someone came to you and said, “This person always makes me feel bad and wrong.” wouldn’t you want to see them get out of it? Do the same for yourself – gift yourself with the same wisdom you would give to a friend. You are worth it. Best, Ann

  44. I have been in a relationship with someone I believe has NPD or Borderline for the past 5 years now.

    We moved in together much too soon. I had just returned from military service and was beginnng to experience PTSD symptoms.

    She worked (albeit under the table) at the time, treated me very well and was kind. I did notice she liked to drink, but it wasn’t until a few months into the relationship that I realized just how much. Whenever I broached the subject, she would deny she had a problem. Her mother even tried to tell me, but she would deflect attention away from the issue and warn me about how her mother was toxic and was trying to drive a wedge between us because she could not stand to see her daughter happy. I did learn her mother had some OCD issues, but I got along with her in spite of them. Then, my partner would get into these blowouts with her mom (for whom she worked) and end up broke and constantly blaming her mother for everything. She said her mother had tried to break up her past relationships and she forbade me from speaking to her anymore. Inevitably, I determined there was a codependency issue happening between them. My partner love bombed me in order to keep me from finding out things she clearly did not want me to find out about her past (she is 19 years older than me). She said her adopted fther beat her and that she had been with a guy who had served in the Army, fell pregnant and lost the baby at birth and they covered the whole thing up because he had gotten cancer from exposure to certain chemicals. Her mother says she told her that she miscarried.

    There are so many inconsistencies, but who to believe ? Does it matter ?

    The love bombing turned into accusations of me cheating on her (I separated three years ago for nine months thinking she needed to get sober and that it was the alcohol addiction driving her jealousy, her extreme mood swings and her inability to get/keep a job). She had proposed to me the year before the separation. My primary concern was how self-absorbed she was, how she exacerbated my PTSD (for which I had been diagnosed by 3 different mental health professionals) by ignoring he symptoms at times and then, at others, accusing me of playing them up to get out of doing housework, triggering episodes by screaming and yelling and carrying on all through the night even when I was worked two or three jobs, accusing me of cheating on her when in fact I had gone to the movies with my father (we used to go after he got off work to late night showings a few times a week). I wasn’t allowed to see anyone because she said we never spent enough time together. She is sober now, but continues to display many of the qualities listed here.

    Everything is my fault, and the slightest adjustment to my schedule causes her to text, call multiple times. She uses my mental illness to gaslight me, even though I work and meet the goals I set for myself (getting a college degree, attaining my career). I recently lost my job due to unethical practices taking place and she told me several times it was my fault because I have a hot head.

    Umm, no.

    I don’t deserve to be woken up when I am sick and yelled at because she can’t find something she loses all the time, or because she wants me to stay up and entertain her. She makes me take care of everything and accepts no responsibility for her poor choices. In fact, she just called me to interrogate me about an issue with our landlord and instructed me on how to clean the house (I am the one keeping it clean because she won’t allow me to neuter two male pets because she knows more than every vet out there and is certain it will “change” them permanently).

    Every time she gets a job, she gets sick or injured and can’t go. When I get sick, I go to work, keep the house clean and rest when and only when I can. I have not missed a day of work because of my menstrual cycle or headache or because I don’t like my job or because my boss is mean.

    She is always the victim. She can never be at fault. She can never do anything by herself and I am not allowed to pursue my own individual interests unless they are approved by her or I have asked in advance. Spontaneous meet-ups with my family or friends quickly turn into tantrums, during which I am accused of not loving her or wanting to leave her or wanting to be with my best friend instead of her (who is like my sister to me), or how I want to break up with her. There is always some excuse and it always my fault. Projection, gaslighting, love bombing, bait and switch, then dosing…we go round and round. She told some girl I hit her and bruised her and I ended up in jail with my teaching career on the edge of being destroyed by a potential felony, even though she had been drinking and blocked me from leaving during an argument she started, and even though I had pictures of bruises. The police believed that I was the abuser. Me ?!?! For defending myself ???

    I don’t know. We have a one year lease. We fight nearly all the time. When I do choose to stay home, all she does is complain about how we never spend any time together and freak out about money problems (that could be easily resolved if she would go get a normal job and stop making excuses or being overly selective about the ones I find for her), and get mad at me for not coming out to smoke with her every 5 minutes or not wanting to stay out in the cold when I am sick for the entire night. She gets angry with me for seeing my friend, calls me endlessly, and if I ignore her long enough, she will pretend to be sorry and cry and send me music videos and post stuff on my timeline on FB about how much she adores me and is blessed to have me. She even goes so far as to drum up some false flag to get me to come home, and then as soon as I come through the door, she turns on me. She will keep me up all night.

    It never ends. She starts 9/10 fights over senseless, petty non-issues. It is clear she thinks she is better than me and my family even though her family is just as messed up-if not moreso. I mean, when your mother and grandparents are telling your partner all about your lies and deception and shenanigans, you would think you’d finally give it up and be honest and try to be a better person.

    I tried for counseling, she said she would go. Still hasn’t happened. Any time we were behind on bills, it was my fault and I had to deal with all the fallout. I still do.

    She is finally working again, sort of, under the table. But it’s not nearly enough to pay what we owe. She keeps saying she will look for a better job and how she is so qualified for this or that, but then she finds an excuse, such as she doesn’t know how to set up the computer or she needs help with her resume. 45 years old and still can’t do her own resume. She HAD a job for 5 years, got fired for fraternizing with a subordinate employee. She can spruce up her own resume. I am half her age and have gotten hired at plenty of jobs doing my own cv and cover letters. I get calls all the time about jobs and I discuss the pros and cons with her but she never cares-it is all about the money. It doesn’t matter if I have to work 2 or 3 jobs to pay ALL the bills and then eat out all the time and pay for cigarettes or Star Wars figurines, or whatever other random shite she buys without talking to me about it, but if I ever buy myself a burrito after working all day without eating since she won’t even cook or help around the house since she’s injured and can’t work for one reason or another, I never hear the end of it. I am selfish, I am nasty, I don’t love her.

    What do I do ? I cannot afford to break the lease. I honestly have nowhere to go and I cannot abandon my job.

    I can’t live this way. I can’t marry her and she keeps accusing me of not wanting to be with her all the time and how I am breaking her heart….and then she turns nasty and vindictive and wonders why I don’t want to be around her. She walks away whenever I try to tell her how her behaviors hurt me deeply, then continues to rant and rave behind the door.

    I am lost.

    I hate feeling like I would rather be back in a combat zone the rest of my life than be married to someone who just does not care about me.

    Prayer is not working.

    Hotlines are useless.

    I feel I am losing my mind.

    She makes me doubt and question everything, from how to dress myself to how much I eat to how to do my job, to what to say to people like friends or family, to how to drive. I cannot drive in the car anymore without feeling incredibly inadequate or incompetent-with her there, it is of course worse, but even alone, i do not trust myself.

    I can’t cook, clean or DRESS myself properly. My mother raised me that way, apparently. I can’t pay bills or interview for jobs either. I can’t feed our pets correctly or talk on the phone or…the list goes on.
    She says she supports me but she doesn’t. I went to film school and she FREAKED OUT. She was so jealous, all the time, and clingy and crying….I was working 70+ hours a week, but she thought I was partying all the time and ignoring her and being selfish.

    I am by no means a saint. I am flawed. But I supported her when she wanted to take classes. I enrolled her, set up her financial aid, and even logged in for her and did the first two assignments for her. She made excuses, pitched a fit and failed the classes without withdrawing or dropping and then blamed me for not dropping them for her. This happened at a JC and then at a four-year. Now she has loans and guess who has to take care of her loan issue ? Me.

    I love her, but she isn’t who I thought she was or she has changed. Either way, I am sick of being her emotional whipping boy.

    I need to find a way out.

    We are not married.

    We have no kids, but the pets would trigger a great deal of nasty, spiteful behaviours on her part.

    She has zero healthy relationships. Even her closest friends seem to know how messed up she is and keep their distance.

    I just don’t know how to get out of this safely. I just want to run. Get out. But how can I ? How can I leave ???

    • Devise a plan. It is your goal- do NOT tell her. But keep it in the front of your mind and actions. The plan is how to exit. Consider yourself a start up in stealth mode. Whatever it takes – think of yourself as bootstrapping your way to a new life.

      Go to the library or a bookstore and find, Learned Optimism. You will find out how to get through hell and not lose your mind. Find ONE thing you can control – perhaps learning to say something that protects you with her: “No, I will not do that. Enough.” And stick with it. Pretend you have teflon clothes – what she says will bounce off you. You must find little ways to sabotage her, even if she isn’t aware. It will give you strength and in time, it will slowly build up until you are strong enough to find the way out. The path will reveal itself to you but you must find some small area to control and feel good about – and make that plan and inch to it! You can do it. Please, look up Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman, PhD. You will find out you are not helpless, you only think you are. And as long as you do that, you can’t move forward. That is called learned helplessness – and you need to understand it to leave it. Best to you, Ann

  45. Pingback: » Abuse on Wheels
  46. HI, I need some really good advice. A narc tried literally to destroy my life. I was a happy, go lucky, decent, sane person until he stepped into my life. He was married and would not leave me alone. He kept on and on wanting a sexual fling to the point of pathological and weirdo like. He blamed his wife for being a rag bag old mean hag. He said he was just using her to raise the kids, cook, clean, and basically take care of him. Come to find out she pays for everything and he wastes $$$ like mad. He abused multiple business associates in his past, he abused multiple credit card companies, he cheated on his previous ex wife, he womanizes, he cons. The works! The list of stuff never ends to the point it made me literally sick and I ended up in the hospital because of him. Now I have PTSD and trust no one. All I wanted to do was go to work, do my job, and have peace and quiet. He started treating me very mean and cold because I would not pay him any attention and basically I was told I would be fired or I could quit because he needed to find a side piece or “gal” to “take care of” his needs other than just typing letters and basic accounting, he stole from his business partner and the partner had to end up filing bankruptcy and start a whole new organization, his own wife now abuses alcohol and drugs to cope with him, just tons and tons and tons of toxic garbage caused from this narcissist. My big question is how to MOVE ON? How to let it go? In all honesty he should be in jail…not just jail, but prison for all the harm he caused. Not 1 oz of care in the world by him, he has now since moved onto others, and it was mentioned in passing he likes to do this to all kinds of women, he abuses any/all business associates or anyone dumb enough of to formulate a business with him and then they learn the hard way what he is all about. What is the best therapy? Meditation? Herbs? Books? Cds? To get over this garbage? It’s amazing how 1 or 2 people in life can literally suck the life right out of you.

    • First, don’t worry about others. Like oxygen on a plane goes to parents first so they can take care of the kids, give yourself some peace, love and oxygen. You will be no good for anyone, yourself included, unless you begin to love yourself. Sorry for his wife,really sorry, but you can’t take care of this problem. Lots of things can help as you mentioned – and yes, mindful meditation is one of them. I used to go for a “spa” visit (that’s what I called them) in the middle of my divorce: I would get on my bike, bring a book or paper and go to a coffee bar for an hour. I zoned out there and it felt great. You may need a support group or short term therapy or vitamins for stress or a week-end hiking or swimming. I don’t know what makes you feel better but do some of whatever it is. Music, films, books – absolutely. Find websites on EFT – (emotional freedom technique). It was designed by a Stanford PhD in engineering and is being used in VA hospitals for returning vets with PTSD. There are youtube videos for it – check them out. Try this – it has been a lifesaver for me. Keep on going and know: This too shall pass.. In fact when you get anxious know that it will pass as will all the bad feelings and keep on reminding yourself of this. Best to you, Ann

  47. Hi
    I fell in love with a wonderful fun loving, intelligent woman and we had such a great time together…….but….she’d previously been involved with a narcissist (who’d caused her marriage to end and her to attempt suicide). He hoovered her right back up. as she was still recovering from a divorce, she mentioned this male friend who was transvestite, transgender, gay etc. I knew I couldn’t be everything for her, so, in my innocence, I encouraged the relationship. (when you love, you trust)
    Then he started with the nasty texts and emails…….she’d spend days away with him and he’d “fall asleep” so she couldn’t come home to me……every week it’d be a different drama…….and our relationship suffered.
    To the point that we became little more than friends and I had to ask her to leave as I couldn’t bear to see her repeatedly hurt by him.
    she’s come around to mine once since she left and I didn’t recognise her….she’d lost weight, had bags under her eyes and was totally emotionally flat and preoccupied.
    The woman I loved is gone, I know that. Her family however, are convinced that she’ll come back to me. How do I rebuild the friendship and support when/if she does?

      • Share time and be authentic. Building trust takes two, and it takes time. If the bond is there, you can be a support, a friend, and ask for the same from her. Do things together, have fun, – so if the ways of being together are still there you can build on them. Best, Ann
  48. I’ve noticed a friend of mine has a lot of these characteristics but if anything reading these comments will help our friendship because I understand now

  49. 43 out 46
    Yes I was with a narc. I think that I am okay and also know that I am a survivor of his physical, mental and emotional abuse. Thank God I began doing some research on the subject and this last time he walked away it did not bother me. Do I still love him? Of course I do BUT I FOUND AN EVEN GREATER LOVE IN AND FOR MYSELF.

  50. I too was involved with a narcissist. Glad to be rid of him he was not my reality and never would be. My involvement only lasted a few weeks but I feel for those on here who have had years of this shit. Melxxx

  51. Sites like this one are ridiculous. I am married to a woman that put her foot through a glass door after the birth of our first child. Then she kicked the door open breaking the frame of our child’s nursery. The police had to be called. Then when I was suffering from a debilitating virus that almost killed me, she threatened to drop a book case on me. Then after the birth of our second child five years later, she attacked me again in front of the children and I had to call the police again. That was when she finally agreed that there might be something wrong with her.
    Fast forward five years later, she is off her meds and destroys our christmas tree and acts in an extremely angry rage. I trick her to get out of the house, only to have her pound the door and windows, never ceasing, until she became a greater threat to herself and us. The police are called, she promises to leave us alone and go to bed in a separate room. Once police leave, she again attacks at us, chasing my ten year old daughter out of the house into the back yard, and frightening my five year old son. Instead of hospitalizing her, I tell the police to let her go with a friend of hers. The next day she plans with her friends to divorce me, within one week they mover all her stuff out of the home, and ten days later she files for divorce, devastating my children. Now she claims she was off her medication and secretly drinking alcohol because of the “toxic” environment I created. All year long she said to me in person, in private conversation, texts and email, in public social media, and to her friends, that she was happy, that our relationship was the best it ever was and how lucky she was to be in love with such a man. Never did she at anytime infer, or question that position.Even when we were had arguments. But now, all of a sudden, I am considered a narcissist based on these type of web posts because when she would act violently towards me, I would claim that her actions were the bigger problem than whatever our relationship problems were. We had normal relationship problems, but we had to deal with her violent screaming and hitting issue first before we could deal with the relationship. Since no relationship is perfect, such issues would always exist, but the violence had to stop. These sites are irresponsible because they make every “jerk” into a narcissist and relieve the other partner of responsibility.

    • I’m confused. If the characteristics don’t apply to you, why are you offended? Also sounds like your wife or ex-wife is bipolar not narcissistic. I’m really not understanding your post.

  52. I’m in the midst of another break up with my narc. 4 years of his love/hate. I fall for it Every time he wants me back. I’ve lost everything including my self esteem, self worth. I’m scared and feel addicted to his “love”. He is every bit of the list with the exception of his finances. He is to proud to not have money. But he won’t let me work and gives me very little to get by on. As soon as I get a job and start feeling better he comes back professing his undying love for me and I believe him. Then in a few days he hates me, degrades me and kicks me out again. I’ve exhausted my resources; my family and friends are fed up. I am tired. I feel like I would be better off dead. Bit I’m not threatening suicide. Just in to much pain. I cannot say no to him. I ended up marrying him but he filed for divorce within 6 weeks. He’s so cruel why can’t I break free of his abuse? Help me

    • It is difficult, isn’t it? The ties that bind are strong indeed. You know, and I know, and we all know, you cannot change him. But you are worth saving. Don’t take this on as a grand undertaking – do it slowly, bit by bit. Come to understand you can change and you are worth the effort. Think what you can do, not what you can’t. Look up learned helplessness and see why you can break out of it. Take a day or two to think about what is possible, not what is impossible. What steps are within range for you to save yourself? My question – can he really stop you from making money? Come back to us when you have a chance to think things over – in your favor! Best, Ann

  53. I would use gender neutral language, to describe a narcissist.
    The three narcissists in my life are mother, sister and wife.
    While male narcissists are no doubt in abundance, so too are female.
    It will benefit everyone to describe a person with these traits, not a gender.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. In my opinion, sites like this lose credibility when they fail to acknowledge this.

  54. Your list of the ‘Characteristics of Narcissists’ is the best I’ve seen (I was directed to this list from the flyingmonkeysdenied.com website). But the list is not complete yet, IMO, and so I’d like to add here a couple more characteristics that not just I, but others on numerous other websites, have noted. I think these are important (and common) enough to be added to your list – it was, after all, one of these characteristics (the first one I will be listing, below, ‘inability to self-reflect’), that started standing out to me, and had me confused, and that led me, FINALLY, through google searches, to the discovery that my husband was NPD…. It’s really important to note, too, that just looking up the DSM(5?) characteristics of NPD can leave one thinking that ‘oh, maybe it’s NOT narcissism/NPD’. Which is a serious shame as I assumed my husband (a covert narcissist) was not NPD because I did not recognise his ‘traits’ in the DSM description, and so I went another year without realising that he is actually full on 100% NPD. And the shame was that that meant one more CRUCIAL year without getting help for my children and myself – it really cost me! So a good and completely ‘characteristics list’ can literally be a life saver…

    1) Inability to self-reflect (this is a KEY characteristic to identify a narcissist)
    2) Has the emotional maturity or emotional intelligence age of a child (I strongly recommend that readers google ’emotional maturity age of a narcissist’ to help gain a whole heck of a lot of insight!)
    3) Believe/expect that others can read their mind (in other words, they don’t need to TELL you things, especially about how they feel about something, because you’re supposed to be able to know those things already from ‘reading their minds’. That is not uncommon behavior with children… so, see ‘2’ above)
    4) You feel like you’re walking on eggshells around this person, afraid to say or do anything to set them off (another KEY way to identify that this person is possibly a narcissist)
    5) Physically abuses (punches, breaks, smashes, destroys) items when angry – but only items that belong, or mean something, to YOU. NPD’s NEVER break their own personal items (another KEY trait, that will identify that this person is NPD. This is a ‘control’ behavior, these actions are done to keep you in line, to make sure you never do whatever it was you did or said again. It’s a THREAT) Note: Some NPD forums use the term ‘bunny boiler’ to describe this kind of behavior from both male and female NPD’s. Makes sense.

  55. I am stuck. My husband ruined my life and that of my immediate family. Looking back I see that what I’ve dealing with is marriage to a narcissist from the very start. He rushed me into marriage because he couldn’t maintain his facade. Once married he had the position to “torture” us. Right away he tied up the finances as a way of manipulating me. I couldn’t financially leave. After 5 years of havoc i was completely dependent on him. My children’s rebellion to his behavior was the root cause of a car accident permanently and physically injuring my youngest with a brain injury. At that point I was dependent. 23 years later I’m still dependent. Just when I think I can separate my daughter will fall and I need his help to get her up. My one thought at this moment is that all young people need to be educated on understanding human dysfunction before they are old enough to make adult choices. By the way my son was driving the car that caused the accident.

    • Hi – so sorry for all that you describe. Truly awful behavior on his part. I would like to make the suggestion you delete the word stuck. Let’s unglue you. What so many don’t realize is that the law gives you rights. If you can use those rights you can salvage your life. I am assuming it is finances – no matter what state you are in people in long term marriages still have economic rights they are usually unaware of. Including the right to use family money to pay an attorney. Please don’t mention your ideas about this to anyone, especially your spouse or those who seek to him. State law for your state will be different than any other, so get online and research family code for you. Many family law attorneys give great free advice on their sites, start the learning process. Please look around the internet, calmly and slowly and build u hope as you learn. You may be surprised that door exist that you can walk through.Look around this site too. Best to you, Ann

  56. Oh hell. I have NO idea what to do about my situation. I’ve only just learned about what this beyond jerk status really is. I cannot believe I’ve answered yes (boyfriend actions. I was checking) to everything I just read. This guy is literally killing my mind, everyday. Nearly 12yrs now & I am emotionally broken. There have been times when he is like pissed off for whatever and he will sit in the room as I sleep and still make horrible remarks, degrading everything he can about me. That’s sick twisted brainwashing. Omg I have got to get out of here! We have a 7yr old son. I need to save him from this bu****it.

    • Sorry to hear about this. But there are ways out. First, put on a metaphorical teflon outfit so what he says bounces off you. Make this a visual and do it often. It helps to gain control and not absorb the negativity he throws at you. Be calm for your sake and your son. Give him (your son) a place for peace and love so he will not be harmed by the actions of what is going on around you. Then, in stealth mode, begin to research divorce attorneys and books on narcissism. I recommend Splitting by William Eddy who is both a therapist and an attorney. Begin here https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/billeddy/ take some time to learn and make plans. If Katie Holmes can do it in stealth mode against the entire Church of Scientology, so can you! Also, take a look at my page on divorce http://www.divorceandlawyers.com and find other posts on this site about divorce. Put the word divorce in the search box on this site. We are all here for you. You can do it. There is another side and you and your son can get there. Best, Ann

  57. I just came across this while searching for answers to what is wrong with my boyfriends teenage daughter, almost every characteristic fits her. She is currently failing her junior year in high school and just lost her job all due to the fact that she doesn’t go. She has her grandmother and I’m sure a number of other people convinced it’s not her fault, she has panic attacks, or she is depressed, or she was throwing up. There is always a reason for why she can’t do what she is suppose to and none of them involve her taking responsibility for any of it. When we force her to go to school she tells the school she is going to kill herself, they send her home. She has been sent to a mental health facility and released after a thorough examination and all they can say is she is depressed. We got her into a counselor, she quit going because the counselor was at the mental health facility and it brought back bad memories. She disrespects everyone in her family and cusses and screams when she is told no or held accountable in any way. She has been handcuffed by the police twice due to violent outbursts and physically attacking her dad. She even accused her ex-boyfriend of rape and was mad when we didn’t call the cops but her story changed so much we could never tell what was the truth, she went out at 2 a.m to meet him in a secluded parking lot of a storage facility. Good thing we didn’t press charges, she ended up dating him again shortly after this incident. She seriously could of ruined this kids life. I am at my wits end with this child/almost adult. She turns 18 this year. I hate to say it but I’m hoping she decides to move out after her 18th birthday.

    • It actually sounds like “bad wiring” in the brain – leading to lack of impulse control, anxiety, depression, etc. There is a lot of research going on – and a new inhalant drug in the works, on ketamine. Currently there are MD’s who use ketamine infusions to calm people down and get them out of suicidal and depressed moods very, very quickly. Sometimes one session is all it takes, though usually more. Here’s one article, but there are hundreds. Don’t give up on her – doesn’t sound like a choice she is making. And it can be difficult being at the mercy of a disordered brain https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/ketamine-depression/

  58. I’m happened upon this while looking for answers. I was with someone for 6.5 years who fits all but one of these points. He ghosted me as soon as he found a “better” replacement… and made sure that I knew all about her. But, this is not my concern. My concern is my anger. So much anger – mostly at myself for staying so long. Because, if I’m completely honest, I knew. Almost from day one, on some level I knew; and yet, stayed. Why? And now, he’s moved on to the next and is quite happy. While I’m left obsessing about why, should I warn the next, why did I stay, what is wrong with me….. and hating myself for still being invested in someone who put me down and humiliated me, repeatedly, for so long.
    Thanks for “listening”.

    • Nothing is wrong with you. We are not all wired to pick up what is not good for us – sometimes they (the narcissists) act in stealth mode and we have not encountered people like them before so we let out guard down and let them in. We are human and it’s ok. Obviously the level on which you were aware wasn’t the impetus you needed to act as a red flag warning system. Whatever bonding needs you might have had were strong and didn’t give you the freedom that came later on – the freedom to see him for who he is and act on it. Look, the world is hard enough on us, don’t join them! Be kind to yourself and you will find the world a bit kinder too. When I get upset at me or a driver on the road or whomever I remind myself, “Raise your vibration level”. It helps – I start to feel more in tune with others and it is calming. The last person I want to be angry with is me – I need to take care of me, not send bad vibes. We’re human, we want contact and love and sometimes we don’t make the judgment call best for us. It’s not a crime and we aren’t bad – now you know about him. Celebrate that. Tomorrow has a whole brand new set of possibilities and maybes. Go see what you can do with them, ’cause the past is untouchable. Let it drift away. Best to you, Ann

  59. I’ve read all of the comments and come to the realization that I am not alone in my experience with a narcissist. My ex-husband was the epitome of the word. He presented as a man who’d previously had issues with infidelity and violence in his first marriage but gave his life to Christ and was now a changed man. There were signs a time or two before marriage but I excused them away. I didn’t know what a narcissist was then but I am fully aware now! I won’t take up tons of time with intricate details but I will say that I’ve experienced the physical abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse and manipulation, and serial infidelity. This was a man who was terrified of being cheated on yet cheated on me with a married woman. He left me for her and I took that opportunity to file for divorce. I knew that his pride would never allow him to apologize and ask me to take him back. I knew that he had to leave me. He would’ve NEVER allowed me to leave him. That woman divorced her husband believing she had found love but the one thing she didn’t realize was his biggest fear was being cheated on. If she did it to her husband, he KNEW she’d do it to him. He destroyed her life and mine SIMULTANEOUSLY! I admit that he’s still in my head. I don’t trust myself to make sound dating decisions so I simply don’t date. I was fooled once but I refuse to be fooled ever again. I’ve taken a lot of time to dig into the fabric of me and figure out why I stood still and accepted his foolishness in the first place. My divorce has been final for 9 years now and still, I struggle with this. I’m in need of therapy.

  60. It’s actually been 7 years (2013) since I divorced him.

  61. Hello, friends
    I, too, haver had a horrible experience with a narc. She hid behind God in her Christian superior ways. At first, that was my attraction to her. I have had several women cheat on me so I felt that her Christian values would be a safe place to be. WRONG! Little did I know, she was a narcissist. I didn’t even know about this condition. I only began to hear about it in the ending months with her. I began to realize she had many, if not all of the traits. Tok Tok videos have many therapists
    posting about them. The truth of it all began to sink into my head, then it happened. She physically attacked me in an argument. This had never happened before. Typically, she just threw my things out into the driveway and kicked me out of the house. Not this time. She started swinging on me. She sucker punched me in the jaw, hard! These people are to be avoided like the plague. I’ve never been so confused and hurt in all my life! Emotionally drained. She sucks the air right out of the room with her neediness. Your needs will never even be considered! NO conversation, just her talking about her past and how hot she was. No education, but the smartest person ever! I am aware now and will never forget the red flags I ignored! STAY AWARE OF WHO AND WHAT YOU ALLOW IN YOUR LIFE!!!

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