Monday, November 12, 2007

Controlling, Selfish Men; A Woman's Survival Guide

Should you shield the canyon from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Dear Readers,

This is a blog for women who have been in a relationship with a controlling, selfish man. Often, along with his insistence on controlling you and his complete self-absorption, comes verbal abuse, emotional abuse and perhaps even physical abuse of you, their significant other, whom they purport to love.
This blog is a survival guide for those who have been unfortunate enough to experience this sort of relationship. I write from experience for my now ex-husband exhibited these behaviors. We, you dear reader and I, share this experience along with many, many other women for controlling, selfish men are shockingly common. I am in the process of writing a book on how to survive these men so that you will know:
(a) it’s not you, it’s him;
(b) his problem has a name, is predictable and understandable;
(c) other women share your experiences;
(d) some of the survival techniques that I (and others) have learned.


You are not alone.

Read on if your ex or current guy exhibits some of the following behaviors:

He was initially charming, adoring and loving to you, claiming that you were his “soul mate”;

He flies into a rage so often that you walk on eggshells, even though his anger is usually over ridiculous things such as how thick you sliced the zucchini;

He insists on controlling where you go and what you do and often he calls you repeatedly and insists that you come home even though he knows where you are, what you are doing and when to expect you home;

He controls all of “your” (joint) money, is the sole arbiter of what you both can buy, examines even your grocery store receipts and criticizes how much you spent on food even though he spends multiple times that amount (over your objections and his agreement not to do so) on non-necessities;

He socially isolates you by criticizing your friends, finding fault with your family, refusing to let your family visit and refusing to let you visit your family (at least without a fight);

He relishes fighting, will fight with you for days on end until you give in due to simple exhaustion and even wakes you up in the middle of the night to continue the fight;

He is angrily jealous and insists that other men are hitting on you when they are clearly not;

He does not know and refuses to learn the word “compromise”;

He has no empathy for you or anyone else, and evidences a complete lack of sympathy and interest if your grandmother dies;

He is a pathological liar who lies even about unimportant things such as how old he was when he was graduated from high school;

He exaggerates his achievements and talents, believes he is superior to everyone else on the planet, claims that he is the best at whatever he does and single handedly won every case and completed every project;

He has an excessive need to be admired and goes into a rage when you do not praise him to the heavens for simple things such as supervising the accountant’s preparation of your tax return;

He has an unreasonable sense of entitlement and prides himself on never paying retail;

He assumes that you will obey his every command and is outraged if you do not;

He uses people, taking advantage of everyone (including you);

He refuses to play by any rules, commits minor acts of vandalism, ignores the rules of the road, is completely without any sort of manners and cancels appointments with both friends and professionals at the last minute without any concern for them;

He is completely arrogant and claims to be the best, the smartest, has the best taste, is the most successful, etc.;

He projects upon you his own mental health problems, such as claiming to anyone who will listen that you suffered a nervous breakdown when you left him;

He distorts your reality and claims that what happened did not happen and that he did not say what you heard him say;

He is a hypochondriac and uses his real or claimed health problems to control you and others;

He is addicted, whether to alcohol, illegal drugs, gambling, day trading, sex (not necessarily with you) or prescription drugs;

He is either overly sexual, relishing his conquests and expressing surprise that you might object to his affairs, or is completely uninterested in sex;

He verbally terrorizes you, emotionally traumatizes you, threatens physical abuse or physically abuses you.

I had never heard of the mental illness entitled “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” until after I was separated. When I learned about narcissism, I recognized immediately that my ex’s craziness had a name. This was the first step to understanding why he acts the way he does.
Understanding that he has a psychological disorder is extremely helpful.
Even if your current or former significant other has not been diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, read on. There is very little difference between men who “merely” possess narcissistic traits, men who have a narcissistic “character”, men who have a narcissistic “overlay” on top of another mental health problem and men who have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The psychological diagnosis for your guy’s exact problem is irrelevant. The fact is that these men are self-centered, controlling and abusive.
Further, many, if not the majority, of men who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder are undiagnosed. They have not sought psychiatric help for in their view (and their view alone) there is nothing wrong with them. It is the rest of the world, in their opinion, that is “wrong”. Only when these men are forced, usually by Court Order, to see a mental health professional do they obtain a diagnosis.
In the hopes of helping you, dear reader, avoid some of the craziness that I endured, I will share what I have learned both through my own experiences and the experiences of those who have shared their stories with me. I look forward to reading your postings about your experiences.
I will post chapters of the book that I am writing on this blog for you, dear reader, to read and comment on. Do let me know if any of this is helpful, useful, interesting or reassuring.
Two items of note. First, in this blog I will refer to narcissists of all sorts as “the Ns”, which is simply shorthand for all narcissists of any sort, type or variety, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. Second, I will refer to my ex-husband as “the N to whom I was married” for I no longer wish to refer to him as “my” anything. He is no longer “mine” in any sense of the word. I prefer the distance created by referring to him as “the N to whom I was married.”
I hope that sharing my story will be of benefit to you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Pat Finley


42 comments:

Fighter said...

Give a look to some of the men on these sites:

http://www.lovefraud.com

http://fightbigamy.typepad.com

http://predatoralert07.wordpress.com

We'd be happy to share some of the internet narcissists (predators) we have on our site. If you write, one of us will get back to you. (cyberpaths@gmail.com)

Good blog!

Anonymous said...

reading your blog is a relief. i knew my husband was "special," but i didn't have a word for it until now. he exhibits many of the characteristics that you speak on, except for the abusiveness which may be due to the fact that i look him in the eye the same way that he looks at me; daring him to give me a reason to vent out my frustrations. we've been together for 14 years, and 3 children later, i'm finally realizing that i really don't know this man. quite often i wonder if he knows himself. thanks for the blog. i knew it wasn't me, but he was not honestly willing to accept any blame for our marital hardships. thank you.

Patricia Finley said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments. If I can help even one woman recognize what is going on, I will have succeeded.

More info is to follow!

Pat

Anonymous said...

i said yes to all in the list. i am married to a man who is in prison for murder. meet him while i had a break doown after my mother's passing. he was soo sweet,then started the mind games,his mother,his accomplice was collecting infos from me after she gained my trust.i was under training and did not know it. my life has been a living hell,i have had panic attacks,i fear his out bursts,tantrums...i am trying to get a divorce,he is playing the victim over the phone,behind doors claims that it is over when he says it's over.i 'm a nervous wreck!

Anonymous said...

i am the persson who wrote the post above. i am leaving this man and i live i fear, i fear his retaliation,his accomplice is his mother,i live in fear period- he wants to meet me in person,during a visit,the type of visit when we are alone for 2 days,he wants me to tell him in person i am leaving him,i will not go,it would end up bad. narcissists are no jokes,mine drew all the informations out of me which could harm me,not that i have done something illegal but which could harm my life in general,he knows how to keep me in the dark,suggestive threats said,with a smile on his face,he loves to hurt,got a kick out of it. if anyone has a doubt about a partner,run before it is too late.i made the mistake to try again,all my feelings,talks were not listened,all he considered was what he could get out of me, how to punish me.i am no exterior support,i considere contacting an association to seek help.
ladies, sweet men in prison are often tricky,not all of them, but remember that in many cases their survival is their main priority, not you,not your love.

Karl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

wow, thank you so much for this blog. it has inspired me! I am planning to get to work on my own blog about Selfish self absorbed, thick as pig shit women who are more concerned with what shade of nail varnish they will apply a week on Thursday OR what will my next hair coulor be OR looking through endless magazines for pictures of anorexic celebritys to aspire to be as malnourished as.
Maybe you all deserve a slap in the chops.. i bid you good day

Shawn said...

I also thank you for this blog. I love the comment the anon male wrote in about women being selfish. obviously this struck a cord with that guy! LOL. I've been with my husband for 18 years, married for 13, have 2 boys. He's had multiple women during our relationship. I wouldn't call them "affairs", but he wanted me to "get over it". Then I decided to emotionally withdraw from him so it didn't hurt so bad. He has been physically abusive several times. Once I put him in jail for it. He has held a knife to my throat (with the not sharp side touching me) giggling about what would I do if he cut me? He thought it was funny. I was scared. He shot me with a BB gun even when I was jumping around scared that it would hit me, and it did. He didn't care that I cried and was scared. He has done several degrading things to me too, as well as driving in a way that was dangerous WITH our kids in the car. He spends money on whatever he wants without regard to whether or not we have it to spend. He makes a lot of money as a welder throughout the spring, and then draws unemployment all summer, while draining our savings so we are left empty by the time he goes back to work, and then blames me for not making more money! I run a home based screen printing biz, and take care of our kids while he's gone, and I also teach yoga 6 days a week! I'm not lazy. I find myself defending all my actions, while he can do whatever he wants without telling me or informing me of anything!
Yes, men like this have something to teach us. I hope I've learned the lesson and can read the signs now. I am in the process of divorcing, and he wants me back. Tells me I don't try hard enough, and he's been through the going to church thing, telling me he's psychic, laying on guilt of screwing up the kids, etc. He's gone through all the tricks he can pull. I know he is a liar and manipulator.. I'm not falling for it now.
Thanks for reiterating what I already know!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I too am married to a narcissist. I thought for years, that it was my fault. He is not as abusive, but he hits below the belt. My best friend died recently, he thought I had critisized him and said," why don't you go talk to a minister or friend." He said it with a smirk on his face. He has said similarly disgusting things before. When I called him on it, he acted like I was the crazy one. He was only concerned. He then said it was my fault because I was critisizing him.
I thought I was going crazy. He would say horrible things and then say he would never say such things.
He suggested he talk to my therapist.He wanted to explain to her how concerned he was about me.
He has crafted this persona about what a loving husband he is, how he does all this stuff around the house. Everyone says what a great guy he is. This is the thing that made me think I was going crazy.
The first time I talked to my therapist about him, she believed me. She made me see that it was not all my fault. Though, some of the problems are.
I've decided that I have to just ignore him. Not try to decipher why he does what he does. Why he is angry when I try to help out. I am unemployed and can't make it financially without him.

Anonymous said...

I was married to a N for 25 years. He was selfish, self absorbed, stingy, and would fly into a rage at the drop of a dime.

He's never assaulted me with his hands but emotionally abused me for years by withholding intimacy in our relationship and controlling all of our money.

Finally, I had enough. Everything was about him, him and him. He only did nice things for me when it made him look good in front of others.

The man is a very good liar and can lie with a straight face and feels no guilt over it at all.

I'm free from his self-absorbed antics and his constant negativity and bad moods.

I should have left him years ago but for a variety of reasons I didn't.

The N man is aging without grace and no doubt will die a miserable old man without anyone who can truly love him. I loved him but he never believed it... It became tiresome to always prove I loved him. Enough already I though... let him sink in his own s..t.

I'm much happier now and I'm looking forward into developing the real me.

Thank you for blog. It was good to read that I'm not the only woman who married a N jerk.

HVSPP@yahoo.com said...

Dear Pat:

What a terrific blog. I had chills throughout my entire read because my sister is in the exact same situation. Amazing how similar the traits of the N are. "Look what I bought for my wife" (as I see my sister wear my old clothes) Isnt my wife lucky, she has it made. She gets to stay home all day and play with kids while I work the whole gruelling day. My sister used to work and make good money. Inhereited some money too. All gone. Nothing is hers, all is his. He checks all receipts. She has to account for every dime, explain why...Yet he buys everything to be a big show off. He must get the best deal and brag about it forever. The N needs constant attention, "how do you like my?" "isnt this the greatest?" "Did you hear what I did?" Real likeable, smart, smart guy. Seems to know everybody on a first name basis (like your art dealer) Often has great advice. The best negotiator ever. If he doesnt get a great deal, youll never hear about it (I know he has gotten ripped off a few times, made the wrong choice,he then blames someone else and/or we never hear about it)
Kid falls and scraps knee. "why weren't you watching him, what kind of mother are you? You cant do anything..." Yet, he has never changed a diaper, taken a stroller out of the car, carried a baby up stairs.

Could you right more about your kids and the N. I am worried about how all this is going to pan out. Im also worried if my sister is going to be able to handle what is in store for her. She is finally very aware of what is going on. This is probably a big step. He is a manipulative, powerful, deceitful man.
You already helped by writing your blog. Maybe you may want to contact me. Here is an email HVSPP@yahoo.com
Thank you for sharing your story. Maybe someday, my sister can share her story with you for your book. She has a lot of mind boggling stories. I could not go in detail.. did not want to be recognizable.
Thank you!!HVSPP

HVSPP said...

Thank you for your new post!! They are all so accurate and well explained. I look forward to more.
HVSPP

Mercy said...

OMG, this describes my daughters boyfriend almost to a "T", except for the physical abuse, of course that may be happening too. They live out of state and I don't know what else may be going on. My daughter denies that there is any kind of controlling going on but I saw it the first time I met him. And his need to control is so evident now that they have a new baby. She can't do anything right. He even hovered over me when I changed her diaper. I have been a Mom for 23 years, I told him, I think I can handle a diaper. And he threw some lame excuse at me an then left the room.
Is there anything I can do to make her realize that there is a real problem here or do you think she just needs to figure this out by herself? The last thing I want to do is push her and my new grand baby away.
Mercy

Patricia Finley said...

Dear Mercy,

There is little you can do except suggest that she see a therapist for help dealing with the stresses of a new baby. If you attempt to suggest that he is a mentally ill narcissist, she will almost certainly have difficulty accepting this. Unfortunately, we often do not take our mother's gentle suggestions well even when they are made with our best interests at heart. Mom's suggestions often stike us as criticism.
If she is ready to hear that her husband is a narcissist, it may be different but I doubt it. This info will surely be better received from a professional.
So perhaps you could offer to pay for some therapy under the guise of helping her over the "hump" of managing a new baby. Remember, post birth depression is a common problem and can be the excuse that you can use to get her in to see someone, preferably a counselor who is familiar with narcissism.
Remember as you deal with this that her husband thinks that with the arrival of the baby, he's really "got her" in that she is tied to him. In his mind, conscious or unconscious, She now cannot leave him so he is free to show his true self - the Narcissist run rampant.
She, by contrast, is at her most vulnerable. After all, no one wants a brand new baby and a divorce at the same time.
He will exploit that vulnerability.
Best of luck, Mercy. You (and your daughter) will need it.

Pat

Echo said...

Hi Pat. I am nine years in on the scariest, tedious and most heart-wrenching relationship. I have only deduced in the last two weeks that my spouse has NPD (or certainly is towards that end of the spectrum). I have only got to your second post (I have a newborn with a congenital heart defect as well) but I look forward to my life being illuminated through your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Your blog described my ex, a medical professional, to a T. Oh, and my father. I don't want to date selfish men anymore.

Anonymous said...

I read this entire "N" article! It's exactly this guy I just decided to leave yesterday. I've been trying to get rid of him for almost 2 years. I looked this info up hoping to find some suggestions or encouragement that I can get out of this and get rid of him. Would you believe one of the many lies he told me was that he graduated from high school early, just like the husband on this site. He also told me he won the Lottery, has a house in Florida (we're in CA) and all sorts of other lies. I've changed my number twice and moved twice. He's managed to masterfully convince me to give him my number again and come back over my house for "love making". It's nice that I can share this on here and not feel stupid. One thing that I want to mention, not from a husband point of view, but from a "N" that you are just messing around with, like me, he has become the biggest Stalker on earth! When I changed my number he began calling hospitals getting transferred to all depts looking for me. I never had given him my work number. Guess what...he found me. Made all my co-workers gossip about me and also worry about me. It's not only embarressing for you to know what you've got yourself into but it's 100 times worse when others find out. I'm staying strong and keeping as far away from him!!! Thank you for this article/site that was created!

Anonymous said...

I'm the person that just left a comment about the "N" Stalker!
Something that he used to do for the first year but doesn't anymore and I am not sure how it faded out, but he used to lie and say he was doing the same thing as me. My friends call it the "One-upper" always one up from you. They are always a lil better than you! It was explained in this blog well too! Examples from my experience: I'd tell him what I'm doing for the weekend, one weekend we were going to Disneyland for my nieces b-day and he said oh ya I'm going to be at Knotts Berry Farm that weekend with my sisters kids. Another time I was going to a Christmas party with a friend and when I talked to him the day after and he asked me what I had did, he said oh ya I went to my roommates work party last night too and then he added that he won the raffle of 2 Kenneth Cole watches. I was blown away!!! Didn't talk to him for a few weeks cuz he was full of crap! Needless to say I've denied every single one of his calls for months, literally months inbetween this time I've been with him and he would still leave me a msg like everything was fine and just say hey I'll call you later after I go do this or that. I knew he had a problem and was somewhat mental but I didn't know that there were so many others out there and I know I seriously need to keep my radar out for these crazy men!

Patricia Finley said...

Dear Friends,
Whatever you do, do not feel stupid that the N took advantage of you, fooled you or whatever. They are masters of deception. Trust me, I married one who had fooled me for quite a long time before marriage and for long time after marriage. All you realistically can do is shake your head, promise yourself that you will NEVER hitch your star to another N and get away.
Best to all,

Pat

Anonymous said...

I am so relieved to find this site. Have lived with an "N" for almost a year. It all started out too good to be true- he had been in love with me for years (he is a manager where I work unfortunately), I was "the one" (even though he was married at the time and had been with her for 17 years). Extremely sweet and generous with me, vacations, spa packages, you name it. No one had ever treated me so good. Convinced me to move in with him after almost a year. I was scared, the too good to be true fear. But I did not want to let this one in a million, wonderful man get away. Once he got me and all of my things there, the real him started to make appearances. Controlling, needy, withholding affection until I do exactly what he wants/likes, on and on. We live on a farm that his family owns, and they all live within view. He has my things stored in several different buildings on the property (perhaps to make it harder for me to leave). The last fit of rage was more violent than any of the others- he yanked me out of bed, picked me up and attempted to throw me out of the door- saying he was going to "call the sheriff and have me removed- there was no record of me there, my name was on nothing. Left a bruise on my arm that was there approx. 2 weeks. I found a rental house and can get in there on Nov. 1st. I just don't know how to get out safely with my things. Since the last fit, he acts like things are fine. His family is well respected and wealthy, it is a small community (I am from a neighboring town). I fear if I did have to call the sheriff, as convincing as he is, they would not believe me. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your story is helpful to read. I am still "recovering" from a (fortunately) very brief marriage to an N, but with whom I share a daughter. I have spent many hours regretting and wishing for him to disappear from the earth. It was good to read your section on forgiving yourself and moving on.
The interesting thing about my ex is how ridiculous some of his lies were, yet in the beginning of the relationship I believed them simply because it seemed impossible that someone would lie so drastically. I had never encountered that. From this I have learned to TRUST MY INSTINCTS. If something seems odd, check it out. There is no shame in asking blunt questions and checking his references, if something seems fishy. That is advice I wish I had known when I met him. Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I married to someone who lied me before marrying me that he was never married. got to know only after few months of marrige that he married. but i was such a fool that i tried to neglect this considering the factor it is too late to do anything else. and after that all kind of emotional, psychological financial abuse started and isolated me from my family and friends.. excessive controlling behavior... blamed me all the small things... and so many things are right in your blog like why zucchni is not cut at 45degrees angle.... glad that i am out of it now.. but it hurts so much going through the process of abuse and now divorce.. hope that one day life will be better!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this blog. I, 2 weeks ago threw out the 'Mr Narcy' in my life. Although I knew everything he had been doing to me was wrong, when I threw him out I still was utterly hurt, confused and damaged by past events and his behaviour since (the narcissistic rage has kicked in big time). 3 days later I put 'controlling men' in Google abd your blog popped up. I felt like I was reading about the Mr Narcy in my life, and the relationship we'd had, the parallels were amazingly uncanny, it was like reading about my relationship. Its helping me soooo much deal with the after effects both to me emotionally (I stopped blaming myself and thinking it was personal) and my dealings with him since (I don't get drawn in to the emotion he tries to create). I've realised since reading your blog it's not about me atall and never was, just all about him; a mentality you can never win with so you can just give up trying 
Luckily, my 1st relationship had a few parallels with this one so I recognised the (much more extreme) signs earlier so mainly knew what he was doing was wrong and that it would only get worse. My 1st relationship took me 5yrs to get out of, and although this one was far more extreme I'm thankful it lasted only 7 months (living together 4 of those) rather than the 5yrs. I believe his ultimate goal was always to move in (and take over) my mortgage free flat, and in hindsight I'm glad I fell for his sob story/flattery/undying love and let him move in early as I don't think his true colours would ever have emerged until he had and it thankfully hastened 'the reveal' process!
To all the strong survivors out there; forget them, move on, be happy and make a success of your lives. You deserve it ........and it will be the ultimate form of revenge.  

Anonymous said...

Dear Pat, your blog is one of the best descriptions of what its like to deal with a narcissist I have ever read. My mother was murdered by my narcissitic stepfather in December. Narcissists are dangerous and we can not underestimate the evil they are capable of.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pat,
I live in Estes Park - as does my ex with narcissism.
I read your blog and knew I had met a fellow. I dated the narcissist for 1 yr and was married for 4. VERY luckily for me I found the porn/sexual cheating and got him to a psychologist who specializes in dealing with sex addiction. He diagnosed narcissism and led me to see I would be better off leaving.
It took 3 years to get any settlement and I fought hard for the bit I got back - not as much as I had put in. He is now married to some-one else with money - as yet she is still madly in love and believes I was the one who treated him badly.
I am about to leave this area and am wondering whether or not I should warn her. She may not believe me now but as his mask slips i will have at least given her advanced warning and she may protect herself a little earlier as a result - what do you think?

Jackie

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I'm on the threshold of leaving; your words bring me comfort.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I'm not alone!

So GLAD I called off the engagement!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am desparate to find a support group to help me survive what I've just gone through with my narcisstic partner, however, I cannot find one. Are you aware of any in the Denver metro area?

Anonymous said...

You have written the most accurate and helpful description of an N that I've ever read. I'm married to one - and am now in therapy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blogs on this issue. I am living it too. My husband is an Attorney/CPA. We have been married for 16 years now. At first I thought something was wrong with me so I went on anti-depressants / anti anxiety medication to help me. That caused health issues for me so I went off the medication. He has severe mood swings... I didn't know that everything was a lie. As time went on I discovered all his star athlete stories were lies, dating models were lies, his black belt in karate was a lie, after marriage his mother told me about a couple ex wives I didn't know about...He is sneaky about our finances, his out of controll spending...I am not allowed to do things with my friends or family. Additionally, his pathological lying has destroyed our relationship. I am told to deal with it or get over it. My marriage is a mess. Our children see it too. He lies to them all the time. I am at a point of not wanting to survive this. I am so done. I gave up everything for this. I feel stuck. I am not sure how to get out of this. He threatened to destroy me. I believe he can.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I am a 26 yr old woman that has battled with my sanity for the last 6 years in a relationship with an N. Every blog I have read validates to me that the N was the insane one, not me. The relationship started beautifully, despite the fact he was twice my age. Small cracks of his 'real' personality started to show and he convinced me that I was full of faults. I had to fawn on him to make him feel special, I had to explain text messages or time spent away from him to make him feel secure. I had to be grateful to be in the the company of such a superior and powerful being. He always had a problem with MY behaviour and I was always on edge and had low self-esteem. My early 20s was the most stressful and confusing times of my life. I had panic attacks, went on anti-depressants, plus went to a psychologist to help figure out why I was so damaged. What did he do? Nothing. I guess this was my lesson not to be such a pushover and not to believe everything I hear.
After 6 years, 6 break-ups with this guy, I am beginning to rediscover my true self and build up my self esteem which was damaged from this self-absorbed, calculating and soul-less N.
The other battle is to stop feeling sorry for its doomed future.
Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

I am currently going through a divorce with a giant "N". Your posts speak to me in incredible volumes. I am gaining inspiration and tools from your posts to succeed in mediation and life after this abuse. THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Patricia,

Thank you SO much for writing this... I stumbled across the definition of NPD on wikipedia after I had ended a relationship with an N, and I was overwhelmed by the revelation --- the realization that the monstrosity I had endured had a name!! I felt that I knew the exact poster-child for NPD! As I read through the characteristics, my mind began to recall memory upon memory validating everything I was reading.

What your article did for me that Wikipedia couldn't, was it made me realize I was not alone in this. It lent a personal touch that made it so powerful, and most important it gave me HOPE.. the sections where you wrote about letting go, and about refraining from warning the new woman.

Also important characteristics that were not mentioned in wikipedia, but I experienced...like the N-Stare, and the stealing & squandering of my money, projecting that I was the one being emotionally abusive, I had mental problems, etc,etc. By the way, I love the use of the term Revisionist History...

I'm so thankful that you had the strength and heart to write this article... And I look forward to reading your book! More women should be aware of this personality trait. Most women are taught to be wary of certain traits in men, that could imply they are cheaters, serial killers or rapists. Unfortunately most women are unaware of the narcissist trait--- which in my opinion in just as lethal, if not more so due to it's gradual, subtle destructive nature --- and as a result fall prey just too easily.

I was in a relationship with an N for about 3 years... and I'm so thankful it wasn't longer than that, and no marriage or children were involved.

In spite of the (relatively) short time, alot of damage was done.

I am currently in the recovery process and working on the "letting go" phase....

I try to stay away from feeling like a victim...reminding myself that in spite of his deceit, it was still a choice I made to be with him, a choice to ignore the warning signals, and that I am responsible for my choices.

But when I come to this realization, I also have to remember to be easy on myself by not beating myself up for those choices.

I have a little battle everyday..but I'm thankful that the worst is over!

I would very much like to share my testimony with you in a more private setting (perhaps via email)

Also if you would like to use my testimony (anonymously of course) in your book I am more than willing to share.

The more women who are aware of this, the better..My concern is for those who do not recover from the abuse

It's by the grace of God and the loving support of family and friends (that I had withdrawn from during my ordeal) that helped me pull through and regain my strength.

I think it's extremely important that women have a support system as they go through challenges in life

Thanks again for a wonderful article

amanda said...

Dear Patricia, yes you should write a book. finding your site after i tried every way to reason with a narc i am separating with, was such a relief i always knew this . you made it clear to the average person.
i am writing a suvivors manual would you be interested in collaborating. your experience and legal veiwpoint would be invaluable, its very validating for woman to see anyone call fall into the narcs trap and that there is hope.
amanda

Anonymous said...

Hi there to all of you! I have live with an N for eight and some years now but the saddest part is that everyone warned me about marrying him but for some reason I thought I would be the one he would change for. Now I suffer from stomach problems, panic attacks, and even get so angry at times,the list goes on. I have tried to leave him and did for a year and something but for some stupid reason I can never completely let go. As many of you he watches my every move, I have no friends other than my mom and poor baby she wants so bad to see me gone from him and to be happy again. If anyone could help me to understand that these personality types will never change no matter how good you are and try to give in to their every whim.I want to be happy again but still I do not want to hurt him and by the way I am his sixth wife and he still blames the wives and says it was them that hurt him.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for taking the time to write this blog. I am a young man with a fully blown N for a father, it seriously hampers any relationship with him. though reading this I have come to see a lot of those traits are my own as well so here's hoping this will help me overcome them. thanks again and soldier on, no one deserves to be brow beaten. James.

Anonymous said...

My dear Patricia!
Thank you for sharing your bizzare experience! I found it believable, satirically funny, intelligently written and most encouraging. Your writing has really struck a chord regarding my personal experiences with N's! Today, I am buying a one way plane ticket back to Australia. I have nothing to lose even though I have nowhere to go when I get there! Thats OK! I would rather have nothing than be subjected to twisted controlling patterns of abusive behaviour which will never change. I am an old vetran! At 51, I would like to think that I posess more wisdom from my past experiences with them. I will sit back and just watch from now on! That little old lady living by herself (later on) might not have much, but she will hopefully be happier within herself.

Anonymous said...

OMG I am separated (12 MO) been married 15 yrs to a narc and I read about them having the best of everything. My ex did exact same bought best bike $1500 rode it once 8 years ago. Has to have best golf clubs, bought gym membership for 12MO for $800 when he just left his job w/o consulting me and about to lose our home. Went to gym 8 times in total. Bought our then 2 yr old a $200 remote control airplane. Our son is now 8 he took him once to park with it after I pleaded with him. Our boys wouldn't let him play with their DS so he went to buy a Wii and planned not to allow them to have a turn but I refused to let him get it. I have been researching NPD for two yrs which has given me strength to stay away even though he still sends two page letters (one apologizing for leaving me make all decisions alone when he wouldn't let me have a say in anything). This has been one of the best sites I have visited. Thank you for sharing so much. I am about to go to court for financial settlement but will try to convince him to settle ourselves. He is currently pretending he has not received any contact from my Laywer but filed a caveat on my house the day my Lawyer filed a case at the magistrates court. Hopefully it will be over soon so I can finally get some peace. Sad part is have to deal with him for ever due to children with the con artist.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah I wrote above. He also put a steak knife to my eye etc once so i can sell house (in my name only) and while in process trying to win me over became super religious but never went to church prior to this last 15 yrs. When I went to his friends place he was staying I asked to see his room where no icons of Mary and Jesus he has been walking around with. Now I asked him to take our sons to church 4 Greek Easter and he went to footy instead! Soooo religious streak didn't last more than six months!!!

anonymous said...

I have read several of your blogs and am astounded by the resemblances to my situation. I have been with an N for twenty years and married for 18 of them. I lived in constant fear of leaving him despite the fact i was the bread winner whom ran the household and raised 5 children. I knew he would destroy me and my children when i left him, my fears were substantiated. It took three years of planning before i left and have spent the past two years in court trying to divorce him. He testified to my physical abuse (to which the judge scolded him and threatened purgery charges), convinced a seasoned therapist to testify to his victimized state as a result of my behaviors, convinced all 5 children to turn against me, and even initially fooled the courts. Somehow i ended up with primary physical custody, all medical costs and paid him 74% of my income in child support. Finally, his true colors are showing and others particularly professionals are attempting to right some of the injustices i have fallen victim too. Unfortunately, not before
losing my relationship with my oldest two children, business, house, nearly all assets and reputation in a small town for a while. Despite all of this, i never regretted leaving. I do look forward to a day when i can sleep without fear of him breaking into my home again or using others particularly our children to terrorize me but highly doubt i will see it. I was fortunate to have been a strong minded woman whom constantly and silently fought to prove i was not as inadequate as he claimed which gave me the strength to endure the horror of these past years. Looking back after being away for two years and seeing a therapist, i cannot believe i was insane enough to believe his lies, live in isolation and succumb to as many of his demands as i could. I never again will subject myself to similiar abuses by anyone. Thank you for your postings and bless you and your readers.

anonymous said...

20 years ago my parents whom live 5 miles from my home saw character flaws in the N that i married. They never liked or trusted him with good reason. Despite the fact that he alienated all family and friends for decades, they still doubted me in the end and felt some sympathy for him. I pushed them out of my life at first because it was easier than fighting him, then as time passed i felt guilty and stayed away, then soon felt shame and helplessness essentially giving up contact. Dont give up on her and despite his wishes, stay involved in her life. She will need you when she hits bottom. Life with an N is lonely and exhausting, it will take a toll no matter how strong she is. I was always strong and knew my life wasnt right but i blamed myself for everything and always tried harder to please him in order to keep my family together, big mistake. I sought therapy but covered for him for years even attempted suicide a few times. Getting away seems impossible but now i know it really isnt any more difficult than living with him. Be patient and supportive. particularly close attention to her self esteem and mental health. An N takes a serious hit to both and she will need you and a strong sense of self to break free. Best of luck in helping your daughter.

Anonymous said...

Your blog just blew my mind.

I'm going through a divorce right now. He initiated it, and I realized that it was just another way to control and punish me.

I knew he was arrogant, controlling, selfish, etc. What I didn't realize is that his behavior was textbook NPD.

I should have left 2 years ago when I threatened to. I would have saved myself the grief, embarrassment and pain.

When we met, he was so sweet. I haven't been married to that guy for years. I remember him telling me that he learned to drive a standard transmission truck when he was 7.. 7!!

He's currently trying to force our daughter and me to move out, and start over with nothing. He wants to keep HIS house. The same house he refused to even change a light bulb in for over 10 years!

I'm filing a motion for an emergency hearing in the morning. After reading about NPD, I'm considering requesting that he see a therapist before I agree to any custody.

Can someone with NPD get better? Is it possible?