The House of Discards



The discard. The end of the road, or so you might think. I have mentioned previously that I am of the view that the cessation of our current involvement with you would be better regarded as a dis-engagement because it is temporary in nature. When we bring the current relationship to a halt and there are many ways we achieve this, we will, at some point, return ready to hoover and therefore the discard is really a temporary act unless there is some intervening act. Nevertheless, I will continue to use discard because it is common parlance in the narcissistic debate and it is faster to type than dis-engage. The act of discarding you can occur in many ways but they belong to one of the five houses of discarding. Whilst we are creatures of economy and conservation of our energy and thus exhibit repeated and patterned behaviours, we are not so intransigent as to adopt differing methods of discard should the occasion merit it. Those differences may manifest from victim to victim or you may find yourself on the receiving end of several variants of discards from our kind. Whatever they may be, you will find the method used will belong to one of these five houses.

  1. The Vanishing Act

Probably the most popular form of discard. As far as you were concerned we were both in a relationship. Admittedly, matters had been difficult if not downright awful for some time, punctuated with periods of respite, but now we have just vanished. You cannot get in contact with us. You have rung our number and if it has not been changed or you have been blocked, it has just rung and rung. You have left repeated voicemails asking where we are, each more fraught that the one before it. Your texts have filled up our inboxes. Enquiries of friends have proven fruitless. Your calls have always been held up by the switchboard or a secretary at work and you have seen neither hide nor hair of us. The days accumulate and there is just a void. This discard is a massive silent treatment. It will take you some time before you realise that you have been discarded and often this comes by way of inference and implication. You are not told to your face or in a message that it has ended. Instead you learnt that we have been seen with someone else in a romantic clinch in a bar or walking down the road. You keep trying to obtain answers but they are not forthcoming. It is bewildering upsetting and hurtful. It is all by design.

You may interpret this form of discard as appearing cowardly on our part, that we could not even face telling you that it was over. It is nothing to do with cowardice. This method of discard happens for the following reasons: –

  1. We are utterly infatuated with the new primary source which we have ensnared so she is all that matters and you are reduced to an afterthought purely for sucking the last few drops of fuel from, before we delete you;
  2. We draw one last burst of fuel from your frenetic attempts to contact us. We may see your messages, we may listen to your voicemails and we may even watch you desperately knocking at our door as we peek through the blinds. This all provides us with fuel. Even if we do not witness your attempts to contact us, we still draw fuel from knowing how you will have reacted to this callous act. Once we have drawn this fuel we then forget about you (until it is time to hoover) which makes the silent treatment that this form of discard is, easier to elongate;
  3. The manner in which it is utilised is designed to annoy and upset. You are made to feel worthless. You did not even merit an explanation. We see no reason to provide one to you. You are worthless in our eyes;
  4. It reinforces our idea of omnipotence. You are a chess piece which is picked up and moved round the board and we decide when and where you move.
  1. The Savage Strike

This is where you are told that it is at an end. There can be no doubt in your mind with this particular discard, compared to the Vanishing Act. You are told in no uncertain terms that it is over and you are told precisely why we have decided that it is over.

“I am sick of the sight of you. You are pathetic and I realised I cannot be with someone like you.”

“You are selfish. I do so much for you, yet you never think about me.”

“You think more of the children than you do of me.”

“You have put weight on. I am repulsed by you actually.”

“You don’t make any effort anymore. You dress down, never do anything and I hate it when a bitch lets herself slide.”

“You are a parasite and I cannot stand you taking from me any longer.”

These are but a selection of the horrible and harsh words that will be thrown in your direction. You will be the one to blame for the demise of the relationship. We have been forced to take this action and now we hate you for it. We will insult you, label you and lash out with a verbal tirade. Very little of this will be based on a foundation of truth, but this will not stop us. This approach is adopted for the following reasons: –

  1. To obtain fuel from you by making you upset and angry, hurt and fearful.
  2. To identify things which are wrong with you so that you obsess about them. This undermines your confidence and means you will struggle (along with everything else) to move forward which makes hoovering you easier.
  3. If you make changes based on our insults, then when we hoover, we will see this as underlining our power because you have acted on what we have said.
  4. There may even be some early triangulation by us comparing you to the new primary source if we decide to twist the knife and tell you that we are leaving you for someone else.
  1. The Wedge

This discard is so-called because it is designed to keep the door well and truly open for our return and an easy hoover at some future juncture. It lacks the viciousness of the Savage Strike but also applies doubt in the same way as the Vanishing Act but you will at least know why (or at least you will be given some suggestion as to why it is at an end). Expect to hear comments such as: –

“I need some space.”

“I have a lot on and I need time to deal with those other things.”

“I am not sure what I want at the moment.”

“I need time apart to figure a few things out.”

We will not point to anything specific but instead we will rely on amorphous and vague observations all revolving around needing time and space. The ideas behind this form of discard are as follows: –

  1. It makes us seem like some kind of deep troubled soul which is both intriguing (so it keeps your interest) and draws sympathy (fuel);
  2. It keeps you hanging on because we make it sound temporary in nature. We just need time to work things out (chase down the new primary source) and therefore you are given the hope that we will come back;
  3. It creates doubt and confusion so you will not move forward but instead you will hang around waiting for our return;
  4. You will keep trying to “check in” with us during this discard period which will give us further fuel and allow us to triangulate you (“she is just a friend who is helping me gain perspective”).


  1. The Golden Wedge


As above but you actually receive a host of back-handed compliments as part of the leaving speech.

“You have been nothing but good for me, but sometimes it is too much so I need a break.”

“You have done more than most, but even that has not been enough and I just nee some time to figure things out.”

“You are wonderful, wonderful in so many ways. I love you, but I am not in love with you, so I need to be apart until I get that feeling back.”

“Nobody is as special as you are but even then it is too much for someone like me and I need to stand back and decide what I need before moving forward. I know you will understand, you always do.”

Akin to the Wedge this is designed to: –

  1. Have you think we are still wonderful because we have been so complimentary about you even though we are ending the relationship. Fuel will be forthcoming;
  2. Sow doubt. If you are so good, why are we ending it? Vague and amorphous answers once again follow to keep you hanging on;
  3. The terms of departure are as amicable as possible meaning that the eventual hoover is very easy;
  4. You retain hope and keep “checking in” during the period of discard. We gain fuel.
  5. Our façade is maintained

6 The False Discard


This is not intended to be a discard although if that does actually happen (although it is rare) we will still manipulate the situation so that it turns out to be a win for us. We will appear earnest and upset as we trot out such comments as: –

“This isn’t working is it? I can see I am hurting you. Perhaps you should end it?”

“Just let me go, please.”

“I am not good enough for you. Please, do the right thing and end it.”

“We’ve taken this as far as we can. It has been wonderful but I think you should draw a line under it, don’t you?”

“Please, just put me out of my misery. I cannot do this to you anymore.”

The intention is to cause you to be alarmed at the suggestion that this should end and therefore you will pour fuel our way with your upset and concern. It allows us to assert more control as we extort from you, your additional submission and obedience as conditions for us staying. Accordingly, we make you upset and anxious before agreeing to continue. We have gained fuel, gained new concessions from you, gained further fuel from your relief but also sowed seeds of doubt which will keep you on your toes going forward.

If in the rare event that you do what we want, we still win. We will have a new primary source waiting as a contingency and then we can tell all and sundry that you ended the relationship. This means we can seek sympathy from other sources, cast you as the villain (assisting our smear campaign) and engaging with the new primary source in the knowledge that you ended it so we are free to choose who we want to be with (conveniently forgetting that we of course had them already lined up and we pressed your finger on the trigger which killed the relationship).

16 thoughts on “The House of Discards

  1. K says:

    Excellent example of the Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence.

    I was the IPPS but when I caught my narc cheating and confronted him (with proof) he denied ever doing so and flipped the blame back on me, told me I had trust issues, said he hadn’t done anything wrong, and that he was leaving me. Just like that in one swift text and then the silent treatment.

  2. JH5046 says:

    Hello HG,

    Thank you for this material. It has been very helpful for me to navigate through the discard phase. I was the IPPS but when I caught my narc cheating and confronted him (with proof) he denied ever doing so and flipped the blame back on me, told me I had trust issues, said he hadn’t done anything wrong, and that he was leaving me. Just like that in one swift text and then the silent treatment. This included him blocking and unblocking me but never responding. I reached out to the secondary source and explained the situation to her and caused problems for him with his lined up source of fuel, so he then blocked me from all social media accounts (I’m guessing so that I could not interfere with his new fuel sources). He has since reached out to many of his prior sources, it seems like he’s flailing because he’s going years back to people who are in new relationships for many years. It’s actually comical to some degree.

    I do not want him back in my life, I want him to have consequences for his actions. He told me he loved me one week before completely discarding me, never apologized or even admitted what he did. So I have continued to reach out to potential new sources under an alias to expose him. I’ve also reached out to his friend that was interested in me, to express interest back and tell him the negative things his narc friend has said about him. Is this an effective way to shatter the narc’s self-esteem and at the very least bother him? I want to show him that he did not break me, that I will expose him for who he is to as many people as I can and that he can’t throw me out like yesterday’s trash and expect no reaction.



    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Julie, whilst what you are doing (exposing and potentially derailing appliances within the fuel matrix) could be effective, you should exercise caution because

      1. This is causing you to continue to ‘engage’ with the narcissist (even though you may not be doing so directly, you are thinking about him, talking about him, plotting about him etc) and this is maintaining the emotional infection. You have not stated when he disengaged from you but I suspect it is recent and therefore you may not have given sufficient time and application to purging the infection and getting your emotional thinking under control.
      2. Given (1) the risk is that you become ensnared again (even though you may well think this will not happen) and also you may not be as effective in what you are doing as you would like because of the proximity of the disengagement and the impact of your emotional thinking.

      1. JH5046 says:

        Thank you very much for the reply!

  3. I had a #1. Lucky me. After 7 years. But you are sooooo wrong. It’s the big C. COWARD.

  4. Snow White says:

    I remember reading this and learning so much before from it. The knowledge here is excellent. It pieced a lot together for me.
    I remember more as I read more.
    I recalled one of the first days that we went somewhere. I was face painting at my school carnival and she came with me. Everything seemed fine and we both left when it was over. I went to my niece’s birthday party and a couple minutes later she texted me ” I’ll talk to you in two weeks”. That floored me!!! I had never heard anything like that.
    Of course it made me upset and I kept asking “why” and “what happened?”
    This was the beginning of “that” behavior and it continued from the friendship through to the affair.

    I look back and can’t believe that’s how it all started. I know she was getting fuel and binding me to her already but did she really have that detailed of a plan to carry out with me? Was she that sure of herself? It’s amazing to see it from the friendship stage and how it progressed. I really had no idea.

    That wording just like ” let’s see how long we can go without talking” and ” talk to your other friends” seemed so far out there. I loved this article.

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    Very enlightening! Thank you, HG! I was a special/intimate friend with my narc. He is newly divorced and has a new primary source. We used to be very close. Communication is sporadic now. He does respond to me every time I reach out. Told me I was an amazing person and he is proud of me. Last time we spoke he said he would try not to be so distant in the future. Is this a golden wedge type, HG? Will he contact me at some point? I decided to stop checking in. He knows where to find me.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed it is IL and you are right to stop checking in. He will come looking for you in due course for the purposes of a hoover.

  6. Bianca says:

    Hello H.G.

    I’ve got a question. Hope my English is well enough. My Ex started an arguement. He said, if i don’t spend my day with him, then our relationship would end. I answered: „ok, then it ends!” He became an access of fury. A few days later he said: „lets stay friends!” He told me we had nothing in common and i can’t give him what he deserves. I was rebellious he meant. I declined a friendship. He became very angry. For 5 months I heard nothing from him. A few days ago I met him at a Party. He still offers me a friendship. What does friendship means for the narcissist?

    Was it a false discard?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Bianca and welcome, your English is certainly better than my ability in your native language.

      Your ex’s reaction to your response was his ignited fury because you did not give him fuel and you criticised him.
      His follow-up remarks were designed to try and draw further fuel from you by relegating you to a secondary source (inner or outer circle friend) and saying you cannot give him what he deserves (both a put down and an assertion of his sense of entitlement).
      He offers you this friendship because he has a primary source which is giving him fuel but he keeps stating it because he knows it has the potential to upset you (so you give fuel) but also in order to test your resistance to him, so he can hoover you.

      A false discard? I would actually say that the concept of a discard is a false because we will come back (if the conditions are right).

  7. Stephanie Barney says:

    A very painful memory just came up with this. Before marriage we had finally decided to live together as we were committed to staying together and getting married. I had been out of town with work and got home very early in the morning and he was nowhere to be seen in the house. His car was gone as well as a few odds and ends. Even the bed was made the same way it was when I left. Like he had gone more than one day. When he got home a couple of hours later, I asked him where he had been. His response was “It’s none of your business, it’s over between us”. Um, just like that? It stung like nothing I had experienced before. And even more so because he really raised his voice at me and he never had done that before. This. Just this. I need a big long crying jag and then suck it up buttercup and get through this.

    “I’ll rise up out of the dark and I’ll rise up unafraid.” – Andra Day


  8. Ha ha…false discard. My ex did this in the beginning, but he never left. He even told me that he wished I would have cheated on him so he had a reason to let me go. I don’t understand that, from what I understand, y’all don’t need a reason.

  9. All Done says:

    What about the memories ? The children? How is it that years and years of memories can be forgotten ? And a child you made can be forgotten? This is unthinkable to forget and never speak to my children again, I made them, they came from my body .. how could you forget your children, kustbto take on someone else’s children…they have done nothing to deserve this treatment…

    1. Broken says:

      All done. I totally want the answers to those questions. How do you throw away years of memories and your kids? If I could make him feel a ounce of what he has made me feel. Not to mention our kids after years of on and off again abandonment. I’m just glad I never relied on him financially or to provide for us. He only ever provided for himself, if that. I was his stupid wife who provided while he pretended to be house dad of the year. And got sympathy by bad mouthing me to others. What a idiot I was to believe someone loved and wanted me.

  10. Reblogged this on NarcMagNet69x96.

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