Outside Looking In




You think about me every day. You wait for those teasing and tempting text messages which come through repeatedly during the day and then dry up around 6pm when you know that I am home with her. Once in a while there might be a sudden text at 9pm telling you that she has popped in the bath and that I love you, I miss you and I hate being apart from you. The text also warns you against replying and therefore all you are able to do is touch the glowing screen and try to feel the sentiment behind these electronic messages of desire.

How you cherish that period around 5-30 pm when every day we speak on the ‘phone, just you and I. I am driving home from the office and I use the half an hour or so to regale you with my compliments and to issue those promises that perhaps one day I will be driving home to you. Whatever you are doing you always ensure that you are available and your ‘phone line is free in order to engage in this call. You now arrange social engagements to take place later or you remain at your workplace, ensconced in the office, appearing to be engaged in a business call, save that you smile far too much for something that is work-related. That half an hour of heaven when we talk as if we were properly together, making plans, discussing the things we like and dislike, planning the next time we can snatch some time to make love without being detected or laughing about what was discussed when we met for lunch.

You manage to arrange to have lunch with me at least once a week. We deliberately choose a place that neither is likely to be recognised in and we place ourselves around the corner and out of sight. Hands held beneath the table and then removed when the waiter nears us, just in case. Stolen kisses, lingering looks and promises, oh so many promises of the wonderful world that awaits us once I manage to free myself of the chains of my marriage.

You listen carefully and attentively, showing the empathy for which you were chosen as I make oblique references to my miserable home life. Each time you gently press for more information to enable you to understand what it is that I have to ensure. What it is that I have to put up with and what it is that has driven me into your arms. I try not to say too much at first. I do not want our oh too brief times together to be spoiled by my tale of woe, but your sympathetic ear proves irresistible and I allow you to learn of the injustices that I suffer on a daily basis.

“We just do not get on any longer.”

“She lost interest in me sexually three years ago. I am amazed I have lasted this long.”

“Nothing I seem to do is good enough. No matter how hard I try, she always finds something to criticise.”

You listen and nod. I know you are desperate to weigh in and slide a knife between me and her and cut our bonds, but the decency that you are imbued with prevents you from doing so. You even suggest reasons why this state of affairs is as it is. You are kind, generous and understanding.

You thrill to my sudden calls out of the blue. You always answer after one ring, sometimes even less, thus denoting that your ‘phone is kept next to you at all times. Your voice always tells me how delighted you are to hear from me. When we meet your eyes, your kiss, your hugs and your spoken enthusiasm cause me to soar as I witness your devotion and desire.

You experience a surge of excitement when you are disturbed by a chime in the middle of the night and see that I have managed to issue another text to you.

I cannot get you out of my head and had to let you know. Don’t reply, I am in bed with her.

The delight that you experience at hearing from me when you expected not to is tempered by the knowledge that I am with her and not you.

The weekends are hardest as you often tell me. I can tell you want to say more but I know you are fearful of pushing me away by being too demanding. I text you when I can and even managed to call you, speaking in hushed tones from a toilet cubicle or a changing room in a department store, stifling my laugh that I have pretended to try on some clothes just so I can call you.

I keep you hooked though. I know how much you want me. I know you love me and I know you want me to be loved, to take me away from the misery of my marriage. I promise you that one day we will be together. Now is not the time, it isn’t quite right at the moment, there’s a family event coming up and it wouldn’t be sensible to drop such a bombshell with that on the horizon, there is a family holiday she booked it and I didn’t know until now but what can I do? I will have to go. I keep the promises coming and the excuses flowing and still you hang on.

I know you wonder why I keep my ‘phone close to me. You haven’t said anything yet but I am not stupid. I can see the suspicion in your eyes when I wake and immediately check my mobile.

“I am waiting for an important e-mail that may have come in from the States overnight,” I explain and issue a disarming smile. You nod. You seem to accept the explanation.

You have complained how you are unable to ever get me on my ‘phone when you ring when I am on my way home. How many times have you left messages asking me to pick up some milk or to collect one of our children from swimming or football only for me to pick the message up too late?

“I need to be available for my clients. They don’t know I am driving home nor do they care; they need to speak to me. After all, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have this would we?” I explain pleasantly sweeping an expansive arm at the large house and expensive furnishings all around us. You nod in acceptance. You understand my work is important. I tell you often enough that it is.

“I wish you would meet me for lunch when I come into town,” you say every week or so. I kiss your forehead and tell you that I wish that I had the time to enjoy lunch the woman I love but it is a sandwich and a bottle of fizzy water at my desk for me. There are targets to hit. You nod in understanding and tell me that I work too hard. I thank you and my mind drifts to what I will eat in that Thai restaurant I will be having lunch in tomorrow.

“I wish they would leave you alone,” you sigh when I turn away from you in bed after having made love to you. Your hand lingers on my back, wanting to maintain the closeness and the connection as I attend to my ‘phone on the night stand and issue a late night text before placing it face down.

“I know but it saves waking up to a problem,” I say before turning back to you and kissing you as we nestle in our marital bed.

I know you cherish our weekends together when the demands of the working week intrude less on our domestic life. I can sense you looking at me as I sit, phone in hand, a smile of contentment playing across those lips but nowhere near as wide as the smile inside of me as I fire off a tempting and teasing message.

“Just seeing if Dan is available for squash next week. Tuesday night, so I will be back late,” I say across the room by way of explanation, opening up a gap in the week for someone other than you. You smile and nod and return to your book.

“I love you,” I say suddenly and you look up, the devotion and desire burning in your eyes and it seems so familiar almost making me say something, but the thought passes and I wallow in the admiration and love that you send towards me. You have never ceased to do that.

You do not know about her.

She thinks she knows all about you.

Neither of you really know what I am.

42 thoughts on “Outside Looking In

  1. Insatiable Learner says:

    Are you a mind reader, HG? I was thinking yesterday wishing you would write about this. Incredible! I think we are soul mates! 🙂 Looking forward to the article! Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Of course we are soul mates IL, you get me, nobody else does. The article should be along in a few hours as it is nearly fully formed in the Spawning Vat of Narcissistic Knowledge.

  2. Insatiable Learner says:

    Just to clarify your response to Brave Heart, HG. Is the IP secondary source kept on ice until the devaluation of the IP primary source begins? It’s amazing how much I am beginning to understand. You are a great teacher and mentor, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There will be a forthcoming article IL about the IP SS which will answer that and further questions.

      1. BraveHeart says:

        HG, would the spouse always be considered the Primary source, even though the majority of the positive fuel came from me for 5 years? Was I the Secondary?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes unless the spouse and the narcissist were separated and you were paraded as the new love of the narc’s life.

  3. BraveHeart says:

    HG, apprx. 3 months before the end of my relationship with the ex-MN, I began putting my foot down more and more because I knew there were no more excuses he could make as to why he wasn’t leaving his wife. I met all his deadlines for one reason or another and each time I’d get upset over changes not taking place, he’d tell me he knew I had done all that I could and that there was nothing more I could do. He’d thank me for being so patient during his “process” and tell me that he knew it was up to him now to show his love for me through his actions and not just his words.

    What do you make of him giving me credit where credit was definitely due?

    My side thought is this. He was in the “process” of securing his new victim and because it was so promising for him, he was basically telling me, it was up to him to end our Formal Relationship. He thanked me for being so patient with him (5 years) and now he was just waiting to show me through his actions that I would be discarded. How convoluted is that?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He was seeking to draw fuel from you so you would be appreciative of his comments and he was also testing you to see if you agreed or whether you would push that little bit harder so as to keep you in mind for a potential promotion from intimate partner secondary source to intimate partner primary source. I agree that he may well have had a new secondary source who was showing greater potential to become the primary source and thus, in effect, beat you to the prize. The wife would be discarded, you would be kept to one side (not discarded though – IP secondary sources tend to be put on ice for later purposes – not good enough to promote but not bad enough to discard) and the new victim would be installed as the replacement primary source.

      1. BraveHeart says:

        Well, so far he’s still with his wife and I’m not sitting on ice for him or anyone else ever again. Good, and better, luck to all the rest. Thank you for your quick and thorough responses, HG. It means so much.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No problem.

  4. Insatiable Learner says:

    Thank you very much for answering my question, HG. Very helpful and explains a lot. I really appreciate the insight. Thank you for allowing us to tap into your awareness. It’s absolutely invaluable!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you IL and you are most welcome.

  5. WideAwake says:

    This is my first comment and I have read everything sent to me. I recently experienced a narcissist/sociopath but I had no idea until confusion needed a reprieve, lol… I read everything I could find but was very careful not to place false labels and instead remained detached while curious. There is no question for me now but to recognize that my intuition was right on from the very first sign of a problem. The gas lighting had me spinning but never enough to question my sanity but questioning his, is what tripped me up. I went back and forth with master manipulator or distraught human being taking his hurts out on me. There is no question for me that he understands exactly what he is doing and this site has made me go cold on him. He pushed me right into the arms of self-love and what a gorgeous place to be. My happiness will not be dictated by him. I chose me!
    Thank you ❤️

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello WideAwake, thank you for your post and for reading. I am pleased that you have found this work of use to you and I look forward to reading your further contributions.

  6. BraveHeart says:

    Well now that I’ve learned all I have from HG, I can say exactly how and why it happened to me.

    The MM became my boss 10 years prior to anything happening “at all” between us. Looking back now, I know he targeted me from the second his eyes set upon me. I believe now that because I didn’t acknowledge him with greatness (the way my co-workers did) that he took it as a challenge. I know this because within that first year we had a major blowup between us. He had promised me a raise after “highly encouraging” (his words) me to apply for a new “and better” job. It took many times, and 3 months of asking him where my raise was, before I finally just started ignoring him completely. Once I did that, he came into my office and sarcastically said, “hi”. I responded with a quick hello and turned and looked away. He asked me in boss form, “what’s up”? I told him nothing was up and he didn’t believe that for a second. He then said, “are you sure about that” and I told him, “yes, I’m sure about that”. His eyes then started going dark and he stared straight into my eyes and said, “if you’ve got something to say, then say it”. I stared him straight back in the eyes and said, “I can’t stand a liar”! He pointed straight at me and said loudly, “YOU, in my office NOW”! That’s when I said, “I’M RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”. As soon as I was in his office, and because I was so heated, I started crying (typical Super Empath) as I told him exactly what I felt and thought. The ironic thing is that was the first time I ever told him I felt like I had sold my soul to the devil. Little did I know how true those words would be.

    I remember leaving his office feeling like he had sincerely heard every single word I had said, and never before in my life (EVER) have I ever experienced that from any man. I know now I was being manipulated from very early on in our relationship. After the blow up between us, we went about our business and never had another conflict again. During the first 10 years, he did his thing, I did mine, but we were always kind to one another. After a while he started coming around a bit more and we’d have friendly conversations between us, as well as with others too. It got to a point where I considered him a really good friend. One day he got a new boss who happened to be a micro-manager. My boss never had a secretary because he felt like men were capable of sending their own faxes. One day he asked me if I’d be willing to help keep him organized with the jobs his boss was wanting by certain deadlines. He told me I was the only one he trusted (most everyone else was intimidated by him), so I thought, “why not”?.

    Well, now I know why not!!!

    The thing that most people will never understand, and I certainly did not until finding HG’s blog, is that married men/women who happen to be narcissists are very good at what they do. They know how to play on our emotions regardless of how wrong we know what’s happening is. My ex-MN was a master at what he pulled off. He’s a Greater narc and I know now that it was not my fault. I know I was targeted, preyed upon and manipulated without knowing what was happening and long before it ever happened. I’m not proud of becoming entangled with a MM, however, I have learned the most valuable lesson from all of this and that is finally, for the first time in my life, learning who I am and how to love myself.

    HG, I remember thinking that first day, when I saw my boss for the first time, “who do you think you are, you’re not all that” and even though he’s a Greater just like you – he really isn’t all that, because YOU ARE!!!

    Thank you 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for sharing that Braveheart and there is much force in what you have written. I am pleased that you have gained understanding and enlightenment.

      1. BraveHeart says:

        Thank you, HG. This man was extremely patient and took all the time he needed to get me where he wanted me. It still bothers me greatly that I fell for everything, even after knowing how I felt about him in the beginning. I didn’t trust him at all and was never attracted to him, but still he managed to lure me into his world and make it all seem so real. No one will ever truly know what it’s like to be manipulated into doing something that you never thought you’d do in a million years, but get entangled with a Narc, especially a Greater, and all logic goes out the window. I, for one, will never judge.

  7. Darkness Falls Again says:

    You can learn a lot observing, yet I do ask how do you knowingly allow yourself to become a mistress and not feel guilty?
    I mean no disrespect just curious

    1. Love says:

      DFA, I did not go into the relationship knowing he was married. He lived as a single man. Halfway through the relationship, I found out he was married and his wife lived in another country. He was here to complete his doctorates. Unfortunately, once I found out, I was already deep in love with him and could not tear myself away. I had a great amount of guilt. That’s why I say the role of the mistress is unglamorous and painful.

      1. AH OH says:

        I suppose it depends on what type of relationship you have with the person. I know of some mistresses that get all the fun and thier mortgage paid on top of everything else.
        The fact that he lied about being married shows what a cad he was to begin with.
        Most unfortunate.

      2. Love says:

        Very true. If both parties are consenting and aware of the nature of the relationship, then they can negotiate like a business deal. In that aspect, the mistress would benefit and probably would not be emotionally affected.

    2. Sharon says:

      Thank you, HG, I thoroughly enjoy your work!

    3. NarcAngel says:

      There is no guilt if you do not subscribe to whatever religion or moral dictates that you should.

      1. Love says:

        The guilt for me was solely because I put myself in the other woman’s shoes. If I was married, I wouldn’t want to be cheated on. I saw her as an innocent person who probably believes in love and hopes for a happily ever after. I was once that girl too.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Hi LOVE. Thats empath thinking. Always in the best light. That what they have is good, that she is innocent and has hope, etc. it could be awful and shes greatful for the break. She could be cheating herself. Perhaps she just wants a provider and him having sex outside of the marriage allows them to continue on. So many variables. None of them my concern. We can only ever say what we think we would do, but if it were done to me and i became aware, the sex would not so much concern me but them thinking they had put one over on me would to some degree. I dont even know that I would end the relationship. Most likely because sex can be nice but for me it is viewed mostly as an act and a tool. Not the spiritual coupling most paint the picture of.

  8. Insatiable Learner says:

    Thank you for this piece, HG. Recognizing a lot in here. Very sad. Why and when would you discard an intimate partner secondary source, especially, if she still provides a lot of positive fuel? Do the same rules/ principles largely apply to an intimate partner secondary source, like hoovering or narcisstic contract/covenant, like a primary source or are they substantially different?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      An IP secondary source would only be discarded if they failed to do what we wanted repeatedly, challenged us, repeatedly criticised or threatened exposure. Instead, the IP SS may be ‘put down’ for a period of time but that is not a devaluation move. From our perspective we dip into the SS on an as and when needed basis and when we do not deal with you, that does not mean you are being devalued but rather that we have no need to draw fuel from you at that point, but we shall do so at a later juncture. Secondary sources tend to have prolonged golden periods owing to their compliance but also the fact that our interaction with them is intermitten (compared to the primary source) and thus the fuel provided tends to remain fresher and more potent for far longer.

  9. Becky says:

    HELP!!! I just had my first session of court ordered co-parent counseling with my ex. He told lie after lie. The counselor didn’t seem interested in hearing me refute him with actual facts and proof even ( I have him recorded on some things). It was so frustrating to sit there and have him totally paint me as the bad parent that is putting the kids in the middle. It’s his actions that put the kids in the middle. How do you convince the professional that he is being totally played. I was actually looking forward to this meeting because the last psychologist saw right thru him jut by talking to my 17 year old. Of course my ex wouldn’t talk to that guy. He was the first one to suggest that I communicate with my ex as little as possible. Now my ex is complaining to the court that I don’t talk to him enough! My son is 13. What do I do?!?! Anybody have any suggestions?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Helo Becky, it sounds to me that the relevant counsellor is not very effective. I do not necessarily mean in terms of not seeing through what is being said about you (and keep in mind that we are convincing) but rather I would have thought that the counselling would be focussing on HOW you can co-parent together for the good of the children rather than turning it into a blaming session. Are you able to get a different counsellor? If not, I wonder if you would be best served by stating that you do not accept what your ex is saying but you want assistance in how to co-parent for the good of the children and thus you state your position, do not get involved in giving him fuel (are you both in the session together with the counsellor ? If so, that is why he is doing what he is doing) and you focus on the children. Any half-decent counsellor will seize on this healthy attitude rather than the mud-slinging and you will also be denying him fuel so that he may well start to show his true colours. Don’t engage your ex, that is what he wants.

  10. Lizz sieling says:

    Excellent writing once again hg!! You are a brilliant writer on this subject which is not easily understood by others.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Lizz

  11. Indy says:

    I frequently feel that way, especially when I was a young child. I remember being inside a dark apartment during a fall afternoon, looking through sheers on the windows as the children played outside in the sun. (I was a child of a mother with depression who slept a lot).

    Other times, I will walk the sidewalks in neighborhoods at dusk and see lit windows of homes with other lives and I wonder, what is their life like?

    I can relate.

    1. Love says:

      Hi Indy. I’ve always ‘window-watched’. Its very interesting to get the vibe of the home. You can sense so much from each house.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Is yours a House of Love?

      2. Love says:

        No, just love in a car. 😉

  12. Cara says:

    And you’re playing them both. Neither of them has any idea what you really are, but sooner or later you’ll get bored & look to replace one (or both) of them with a newer model…you get a new car every so often, don’t you? And you upgrade your mobile phone every couple years, right?

  13. Love says:

    I have been in both positions, and they are equally torturous and painful. I always tell others, the role of the mistress is unglamorous and the loneliest place to be.
    The only time I truly enjoy is the very beginning, where I know nothing of him. Yet, I am so captivated by him. His mystery is intoxicating. I am energized and will work arduously for his attention. He is the most powerful at this moment. I wish this point in time would never end. I wish reality would never bare its ugly face. I want to live in this fantasy forever with this God-like man who has no flaws.

    1. divined1va says:

      It seems to me the mistress, now his girlfriend since I divorced him, is living it up and feeling very much like she won . Though I wonder how she doesn’t have any shame.

      1. Seduced says:

        wait for her fall… they always do… you or someone else might become a replacement in the future…

  14. Starr says:

    Do you feel that when you cheat you are in reality cheating yourself out of love and a lasting bond and relationship ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not at all.

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