What Am I To Him?

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For those who have become ensnared with our kind, it is a frequent question to wonder what you are to the narcissist. Of course, the short answer is that you are an appliance that is there to provide fuel first and foremost and there may also be the acquisition of traits from you and residual benefits. However, those that have begun to understand the narcissistic dynamic to some extent want to know how they have been regarded by the narcissist in terms of that dynamic. Of those questions, these are the ones which appear most often:-

Was I a primary source?

I don’t think I was devalued, why was that?

Have I been discarded?

Why did he not commit to me?

How has he moved on to somebody else so quickly?

Why did I have such a short golden period?

I feel like I am always hanging on for him, why is that?

It is typically the case that those questions are usually asked by someone who is an Intimate Partner Secondary Source (“IPSS”) although that person may not actually realise that this is the case. This article will discuss the IPSS and some of the peculiarities which arise with being an appliance placed in this role.

By way of brief re-cap, someone who is a primary source may be an intimate partner or a non-intimate partner. In the vast majority of cases the primary source is an intimate partner, thus a spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend. You spend most of your time together and this arrangement occurs so that we are able to draw fuel from you each and every day, that fuel is of a high calibre (because of the greater emotional connection you have to us by reason of being a primary source and also because of your empathic traits). Occasionally the primary source is not an intimate partner and is usually then a family member.

A secondary source is a colleague, a friend or a family member. The secondary source will be seduced so that their loyalty and fuel is secured. Of course this is not done in a romantic fashion but through charm, pleasantry, doing favours and handing out benefits so that the appliance is drawn to the narcissist and is then installed in the position of secondary source.

A secondary source has an elongated golden period. This is because of the following factors:-

  1. The narcissist only draws on the secondary source’s fuel intermittently (compared to drawing on the fuel of the primary source);
  2. The secondary source is usually more compliant and does what the narcissist wants because the demands made of him or her are not as extensive as those made on the primary source;
  3. The fuel provided by the secondary source stays fresher and more potent for longer because it is only drawn on intermittently;
  4. The secondary source is less likely to challenge,wound or defy the narcissist

Accordingly, a secondary source will  enjoy a lengthy golden period. They may not be ever be devalued. If they fail to provide fuel, become disloyal and fail to do what the narcissist wants, they may be devalued but usually they will be immediately discarded. This is because it serves the narcissist better to remove the ‘rotten apple’ from hanging around and polluting the minds of other members of the coterie. It is also easy enough to seduce a new secondary source or turn to other existing ones. Thus, where a secondary source becomes unreliable they are usually discarded. Devaluation may only occur where an example needs to be made of the secondary source (this is usually more of the case for colleagues and family members as there is a connection beyond friendship) or the narcissist feels a need for the negative fuel and does not regard the devaluation as likely to damage the façade.

All secondary sources commence their relationship with the narcissist from a non-intimate position and there they may stay for a very long time. Some however are promoted to the position of IPSS.

This happens when the narcissist is devaluing their primary source and is looking to replace them. The promotion of a secondary source to that of IPSS means that we are considering whether you are worthy of then being promoted to a IP primary source and the existing one is discarded.

When this happens there is also the likelihood of somebody else occupying the role of IPSS. We often have more than one as in effect we are holding auditions for those who may be promoted to the position of primary source. This results in several scenarios arising.

  1. The existing primary source, let us say this is a wife, is being devalued. The narcissist embarks on affair with another woman who is the IPSS. She may have been someone he has known as secondary source friend for some time and has recently promoted, or he may have approached her and become a secondary source friend who is very quickly promoted to IPSS. In this dynamic you, as the IPSS, may know about the wife and she is smeared to you, she is abusive, unloving and so on. You are seduced and your responses convince the narcissist that you will make an effective primary source so the existing primary source is discarded and you are then installed as the replacement primary source.
  2. The scenario is the same as above however there are periods during your seduction as IPSS when the narcissist goes quiet. You may think that you are being devalued. You are not. As explained above, the narcissist regards a secondary source as an intermittent provider of fuel and therefore when this happens it is likely that a Respite Period has been granted to the existing primary source, thus the narcissist allows a golden period again, he is preoccupied with the existing primary source and you are kept on ice until the Respite Period ends. The devaluation of the existing primary source continues and your seduction continues once again. Eventually, the narcissist deems you worth of promotion, you are embedded and the existing primary source is discarded and you are installed as her replacement. This may take months or even years. During this period, if you accept the periods of quiet without complaint, there will be no comeback from the narcissist. If however you question what is going on, you will most likely be subjected to future-faking from the narcissist in order to maintain your interest. He will talk about needing to sort divorce arrangements out, or how the house is taking too long to sell, the children need to be sorted out, he hasn’t told his parents yet, it is not a good time for the soon to be ex-spouse as her father has died, it is her birthday next month, it is nearly Christmas and so on. This future faking is done because the narcissist regards you as too valuable to drop and wants to keep you in place as you are earmarked for promotion, but he has not yet decided that you are worthy of such promotion and thus has allowed the existing primary source Respite Periods until he is convinced you are a worthwhile replacement.
  3. The same scenario as two above but there is another IPSS. In order to better our chances of securing an excellent replacement primary source, we are devaluing the existing primary source and we are cultivating leads with at least two IPSS. Thus, we spend the occasional wonderful weekend with you but make various excuses as to how we can only see you once a month. This is being done for two reasons. The first is because we must make time for the ongoing devaluation of the primary source and also to spend time with the other IPSS who is being cultivated. The second reason is to test your resolve. If you reject such an arrangement then we will conclude that you lack certain traits that would make you a good primary source, such as you challenge us too readily, you lack ‘stickability’ and you are not responding to our charm and seduction as deeply as we had hoped or planned. In such an instance our attention will switch to the other IPSS but you are unlikely to be discarded. This is because you have shown potential, provided fuel and therefore we may as well keep you on ice to call on for fuel or to triangulate with the existing primary source and/or the other IPSS in order to satisfy our fuel needs.

If you do not challenge this arrangement then it is a straight fight between you and the other IPSS as to who will eventually be crowned as primary source. You may know about the devalued primary source but you probably will not know about the other IPSS. You will both be tested, so you can expect cancelled arrangements, occasional bouts of odd acts and distant behaviours. These are not acts of devaluation but are rather tests during your seduction to ensure that you are made of the right stuff to be promoted to primary source and also that you are better than your competing IPSS. The nature of this competition is such that you may be in front one month and thus things will seem to be going well with us and then you will be behind your competitor the next month so things will be less pleasant. You are jockeying for position and all the while we are obtaining fuel as we ascertain who will be the best person to be promoted. This could go on for years as you are strung along.

If you then learn that the primary source has finally been discarded but somebody else is being paraded around as our girlfriend and you cannot understand how that has happened, because there is still (albeit minimal) contact with you, then you have lost the race to become primary source. This other person seems to have come out of nowhere but they have not. They have been cultivated behind the scenes and we have decided that they would make the best primary source. The existing one has been discarded, the competitor IPSS who you knew nothing about (or might just have been referred to as a ‘friend’) is installed as primary source.

Even when this happens, you are still unlikely to be discarded because we still see value as keeping you as a secondary source. There has been some investment in you and if you do not cause a problem for us, you will be retained and at some future point there will be a resumption of the relationship to draw fuel, to use you to triangulate with the now being discarded primary source and even to consider installing you as primary source. This latter consideration arises where you would be a good primary source, but the competitor was deemed even better. However, once that competitor is devalued, your status as a good potential primary source is revisited. Unless of course another competitor IPSS is sought and this one is deemed better than you.

If you rail against this treatment as you find yourself side-lined when you expected to become the primary source, but some usurper has appeared instead, this may be tolerated for the negative fuel and the purposes of triangulation. If however you become problematic whereby you may expose us, causes problems with the façade and interfere with the newly installed primary source, you can expect to be devalued, smeared and discarded.

4. You may find that there is no primary source. You are referred to as partner or girlfriend but your engagement with us is intermittent, excuses are made as to why we cannot see more of you, there are occasional periods of silence and you are strung along in this position for some time, unsure of what you actually are. Are you our girlfriend or just a friend with benefits? When this happens it is the case that we will have several IPSS on our books. The combination of all these interests and the attendant fuel means that there is no pressing need for a primary source and we are content to alternate between the various IPSS until we establish one which is installed as primary source.

The IPSS does not experience the standard template of seduction-devaluation-discard and this is why many commentators fail to explain our behaviours effectively to someone who is an IPSS. The narcissistic dynamic is different. The reason for this is that you are effectively placed in limbo. You may not be good enough to be promoted to the position of primary source but you are too valuable to be cast to one side and thus the dance continues for as long as you will allow it without wounding or challenging us.

Those who do not understand our kind tend to fall into the trap of thinking that we are some kind of commitment-phobe and will dole out erroneous advice to you in terms of making you try to bring about that commitment. All this will do is cause you further consternation as the decision is ours, not yours.

If you find yourself in the position of engaging with somebody who treats you well, but only does so intermittently, who occasionally seems to test you (and it is often difficult to spot this) and issues lots of promises about what will happen in the future but there is never any delivery, there is every chance that you are an IPSS entangled with one of our kind.

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124 thoughts on “What Am I To Him?”

  1. This is one of my favorite articles as i have not encountered any other resource that would shed light on this type of non-traditional narcissistic dynamic. Your writing and insight are truly unique and unparalleled, HG! Quick question for you if you don’t mind. When you talk about intermittent use of secondary sources, including IPSS and DSIPSS, does the frequency of engagement thus vary depending on the narcissist’s fuel needs and can fluctuate from frequent and regular to protracted (months) periods of non-engagement/ silence if the narc draws fuel from other sources (for example, if the narc has a new primary source)?

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  2. I often question if he is actually one of your kind bc he doesn’t fit all the criteria. However, I read along and nod in agreement as so much sounds like him. Especially when I told him what he was and he accused me of being a a narcissist. HG, if it seems he fits most of the criteria and responds in the way you describe, then do you believe he must be one of your kind?

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  3. HG, This is my life right now!!! I told you I was confused about primary and secondary!!! Well, he is getting divorced, from you know the crazy wife. So I was the IPSS for a time, is that correct?? I’m long distance though, 14 hr car drive,(I have seen him 3x in the last 6 months) so I didn’t stand a chance being primary, wouldn’t he need face to face all the time??? And he’s also for sure a somatic, lucky me;). I’ve been excellent supply though, I’ve known him since we were teenagers. So he’ll try to keep me as secondary ?? I’m planning to go where he lives in May (it’s where I grew up and it’s a special birthday for my friend). I just implemented NC, it’s been a whole 72 hrs but I’m done with everything I know and have learned!!! Can I expect a Hoover right before I go or while I’m in town?? he’ll know it’s a small town and mutual friends. Thank you as always:)

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    1. You have grasped the dynamic correctly Red Rider and yes you can expect a hoover if the Hoover Trigger is activated and the Hoover Execution Criteria are met. Your no contact may have coincided with him “shelling” you so the hoover may occur if you physically appear before him.

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      1. Well, I have been busy reading the last week and studying thanks to your amazing writing;). But what is “shelling”? Is he trying to get rid of thinking of me? What happens if I reach out to him?

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  4. HG,

    I read your articles sometimes and literally have chills. Much of what you write, I’m sure, resonates with so many people who have been ensnared by a narcissist.

    I was an IPSS, as the narc I was involved with with in a cohab relationship with his partner for many years and they had a child together. Is the spouse always the primary source? Or is the ‘other woman’ ever the secondary source? I may be naive, but I have a hard time believing that the narc had a second IPSS. Is this usually the case? He did triangulate me with his partner, as there was a time that when we were ‘together’ we had a fight and said it was over, he then slept with her, and then came back to me and told me. He said it was because he thought we were over and put himself in the mind set that he had to make things work with his family. He also triangulated me with his ex-girlfriend when he told me he reached out to her over Facebook to ask advice on how to leave his current relationship so that he could be with me. He told me that she could understand what he was going through since she recently divorced. Anyhow, to make a long story short, although he triangulated me with these two, I don’t think he had another IPSS on the side. Do you find that this is the case sometimes? That they don’t have two IPSSs? I was seeing a counsellor because I was so mentally and emotionally damaged after the narc, and she told me that narcissists are compulsive liars. I have no idea what to believe anymore. I don’t know what was a lie and what was the truth.

    He tried to hoover me on several occasions – the last one was in December when he left a letter at my door. I did not respond to that and so far, I have not heard from him. He’s a mid-range, cerebral narcissist and I am hoping that he just realizes that the energy he has put in to hoovering me will not be worth it, as I will not respond to him.

    Anyhow, in a nutshell…do you believe there was another IPSS? Or is there a change that I was the only IPSS? I used to think I was his primary source of fuel during the year we were together, but now I think that his common law was the entire time.
    Thanks HG

    Liz

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    1. The spouse is invariably the IPPS yes. The Other Woman is often the IPSS

      Yes some of our kind have an IPPS and one IPSS, some have an IPPS and two or more IPSS, some have no IPPS for a period of time but several IPSS.

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      1. Interesting. So if a narc has an IPPS and the other IPPS escaped, will they usually try and find a replacement IPPS, while still having their other IPSS who is still in the relationship?

        Out of curiosity, is your knowledge of narcissists something that you understand just from being a narcissist yourself? Or did you do research on this disorder to draw conclusions?

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      2. That is correct.

        It arises from who I am, but I have utilised the observations of the good doctors about me alongwith what I have I have seen in respect of others of my kind and also on the other side of the fence. I study, observe, watch and remember. It all makes me the more effective.

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  5. His secondary source kept posting her disappointments in his behavior online. I started to notice that what happened to her would then happen to me. When he stopped kissing her she posted an article about the importance of kissing to a relationship online. Then he stopped kissing me. She took pictures of food and drink she fed him and then he asked me for the same strange combination.

    I kept the game going just to get information that might be useful to me down the road. By this point I had leaned a lot about this silent game player. I was able to piece together so many tidbits including who his primary source was and then I went no contact. When he started to smear me I warned him that I could do the same thing to him but that it would hit him harder as I had absolutely nothing to lose.

    We occasionally catch glimpses of each other in passing and it’s a total ignore on both sides. I’ve claimed back my life and my emotions. I feel like the strong independent person I was before. But much wiser in many ways.

    Thank you HG for sharing your knowledge with me. What you and others have written about this topic helped me understand and heal. I feel sorry that people have gone through terrible things to reach this state but I also understand that there is nothing I can do to fix it.

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    1. Wow, you clever girl! I’m impressed you kept that info to yourself to use later on. Sounds like you handled yourself and the situation (and the narc) perfectly.

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      1. It wasn’t perfect. I lost myself along the way. It was mentally messy as everything that I knew about falling in love and being with someone was missing in this relationship. But it didn’t stop the falling.

        Because she posted things that identified him as a narc I started reading everything I could and my mind was blown wide open. I could even tell when he bounced back and forth between the two of us based on her comments and his behavior. I wish I could thank her.

        I was used as she was used and the next one who happens to have the same name as me will be used.

        Very sad to develop feelings that are never returned in any way shape or form. I saved myself because the other option wasn’t pretty.

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      2. Olivia, I’m so sorry for how you suffered. Honestly though, you should be proud of yourself for what you did manage to achieve.

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      3. Sunshine thank you for your comments. I’ve never heard the term back-pocketing but I figured there would come a time where I’d need ammo because I was not going to endure bad treatment AND be a victim as well. I didn’t ask him to come into my life. And I also exploded but I chose my time and my method. He stays away from me now.

        Sunshine you sound like a fighter too. Not just for yourself but for others. To me that is the key to regaining yourself after involvement with them.

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      4. An ex-boyfriend of mine taught me about ‘back pocket stuff’. That being things you learn or observe that you don’t react to there and then. Instead you ‘slip it into your back pocket’ for use at a later date. You can even say that at the time.

        That’s exactly what you did and perhaps something all empaths can learn to do, rather than reacting with emotion or an emotional explosion there and then.

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      5. Sunshine, how do you control your emotions so? If I ‘back pocket’ anything, I will implode. I need to emotionally explode to get it out of me.

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      6. Love,
        I would think that you have to have some sociopathic tendencies to back pocket an offense. I would do this with ease when younger and then formulate a way of getting back. I have since learned to let it go. Although if you catch me on a bad day I may verbally flip out…lol. Then I will rip and kill at will, a maniac psycho….hmmmm those sound like lyrics.

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      7. True ABB. I can regulate my reactions depending on the type of narc. For example, if provoked by a lesser, I hold back and won’t slap him because he would lose control and kill me lol. But I still would need to release some emotion, even if it is just baring my teeth, giving him dirty looks, and seething.

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      8. Oh I love the back pocket skill!! This is similar to a couple of skills counselors learn yo do yo deal with emotions in session as well as some teach. Similar to boxing and putting it on a shelf for another time. A very useful skill!

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      9. Ha ha Love! I doubt you can ‘back pocket’ everything. But you can always trying it in jest, to gain the upper hand. I.e. “Ok then… I’m just going to slip that into my back pocket.” And walk away.

        There will be times when you can do it. But I wouldn’t do it in a ‘normal’ relationship- as healthy relationships shouldn’t be about point scoring. But it’s a defence against the narc.

        ABB – if that ex was sociopathic, then I guess I’m clocking them up. He’d never let me touch his hair, wouldn’t go out in the rain in case it ruined his new shoes, and pulled a Zoolander smooch every time he went past a reflective surface (including shop windows), told me he usually went for the ‘slutty, townie type’, spoke down to hotel workers because ‘they are service providers and should provide excellent customer service’ and was crazily ambitious. I never considered that he was a narc too before – what do you reckon?

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      10. This is exactly where I am at. Fine tuning my back pocketing skills for everything. Ironically, even the narc told me to could to 10 before I ‘ran my mouth’. Aside from the fact he was setting me up over and over, I heard that one day and realized that this is what he does. He doesn’t reveal things entirely. Control freak that he is. So I adopted his mindset to see where I needed to do that. And it slowly became a way to finally turn off the emotional spigot he had turned on in me. I back pocketed him right out of my life in a crushing discard. So I hope. There is no bridge left for us to ever cross to each other ever again. I keep working on this skill. And I found that it was also the abuse I experienced that had turned it off earlier in my life. The ability to be a cool observer and gather my options rather than be triggered

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  6. We are nothing to them. It’s a riddle with no solution because the framework of the question is a false one to begin with. There is nothing which can be anything, except that which can give them joy in the moment, and if we love them unconditionally, then we will be glad and grateful to give them that, and be that for them, in that moment and with no expectations for anything else. In order to do that, we have to elevate quite a lot along our own spiritual paths, or be emotionally suicidal. Lol and btw, if we have narcissistic tendencies, even as empaths, then testing us will make us recoil with contempt, not try harder. I think the greater narc must know when to push and when to pull, i guess, as i discovered one told me, why won’t you sleep with me before marriage, when i can get any woman i want? My response was to immediately be turned off and tell him, then go get them; i have no interest in male whores. Before i found your site, i didn’t realize they could have a level in intellect and sophistication. Now i know that the most dangerous kind for me is the one who pretends to be a friend, a christian, a harmless wolf in sheep’s clothing… who takes the time to read me first and pull me in without threatening my ptsd instinct/wariness. I don’t think the pulling back and mind games will work with an empath with ptsd perhaps, unless, like you’ve mentioned before, I’m just a narc who doesn’t realize it. Given that, the more i read your articles, the more i realize i need to work on myself at very fundamental spiritual levels and become a truly kinder person, and i thank you again for the insight you bring to the vast amount of information inherent in this condition. You tackle such a morbid issue with clarity and a sense of humor, and you’re a great teacher.

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    1. HG – following on from Amber’s interesting post, do you have anything on empaths with narc traits or a narc side? Or can there be, please?

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      1. Everyone has them. Self confidence and believing in one’s self. Think about it. All the positivity, loving yourself first crap that is spewed across the internet daily is all narcissist, if you think about it. It is healthy and necessary for our survival as a species, in some respects. It’s when a person is extreme that it becomes a problem. The fuel is nothing more than attention. Attention from all, whether good or bad is needed for the narc to survive.
        Point is, we all have narcissist traits, otherwise why would you buy that pretty dress, wear makeup, or have any nice materialistic things. Think of the slaves in China. Think of the children in the gold mines. The Congo. All the atrocities of the world at the expense of others just for materialistic crap. Why? So, we can gain attention from others. So, we can feel accomplished and special. If that’s not narcissist, I don’t know what is.

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      2. J, good point, yes you are right about healthy narcissism. I guess I meant traits in an empath that go above healthy narcissism on the scale or spectrum.

        HG – do you mean that super-empaths have narc traits over and above healthy narcissism?

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      3. No, they have narcissistic traits but they do not outweigh their empathic side (save when there is a supernova occurring) but there are stronger than usual narcissistic traits with the super empath than say compared to other empathic people.

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      4. I guess that makes sense. He had two with his first wife and left them without looking back. Has a strained relationship with them bc, of course, his first wife was “crazy” and it’s her fault they are not close. His 8 year old daughter is the one who gets all the attention. I’m not sure what fuel she has to offer except I think she idolizes him and genuinely believes he’s capable of loving. His older children seem to have a better understanding that he comes and goes from their lives. I felt so rejected by him until I realized he’s not even capable of having a real relationship with his own flesh. Of course, he looks like the loving, doting father on social media.

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      5. Little mirrors. I like that. Sadly, I’m beginning to see that dynamic emerge with my ex-husband between our daughter together and his two babies with his new wife. Luckily, for peace’s sake, our daughter is the golden child, but even she questions some of his reactions to things. The babies are 2 and 10 months. It will be interesting to see how things progress. I already know the one who tests his patience. He refers to her as “Tornado (insert name).

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      6. I guess that must be me, HG. I recognised a lot of myself in the super-empath. I get on with everyone, including narcs, but I get oh-so-irritated when I observe them trying to control people and things, or manipulating people. I have to challenge, become a contrarian, resist, unseat them. I don’t give up. I can’t help myself, and sometimes a conflict with a narc feels good. I fear these are narc qualities.

        My ex once said to me “I think I prefer it when we don’t get on.” I had to make a note of that- how fucked up is that?!

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    2. Amber, like what you wrote. I wonder these days about my own narcissist tendencies. But I am more interested in what you said about the recoiling part and about empaths with PTSD and how we react to his kind. I knew he had activated all my PTSD and sadly told it to him once. That was when I thought he was someone else and would have wanted to know what he might do differently. lol. Funny idea now!

      I don’t mind becoming a kinder person, but its very hard for women to become kinder without becoming doormats in this world patriarchal culture. I don’t want to lose my inner dragon and become sugar and spice and everything nice!

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      1. “…but its very hard for women to become kinder without becoming doormats in this world…” Couldn’t agree with you more, Sarabella.

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      2. I disagree about the kinder doormat thing. I am kind and nice but if you treat me like a doormat, I am out. I will give you a chance to correct your behaviour but, if you don’t I will leave you. My threshold of pain may be higher now as an empath. Before I would have cut you to the quick immediately. If you didn’t like it too bad.

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    3. I think I was reading Amber’s comment and thinking of one of HG’s posts about the empath that doesn’t behave empathically. I did lose my quick, ” treat me bad and I am gone” response, but my mother conditioned it out of me. She finally broke me down. I became way too spiritual in all the wrong ways. Forget turning another cheek, forget useless ‘understanding’. I am gone now even if I might be wrong. Its a swinging pendulum and I hope it will resolve in balance instead of these two extremes.

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  7. It gets even more challenging when your therapist reassures you that of course this person must feel a connection and bond to you since they keep returning. It does get lumped into someone being afraid of commitment, their feelings or just not having the full potential you seek. But it keeps hope afloat in a damaging way.

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    1. What the F*uK MLA !
      I’ll keep saying these so called ” therapists” have very little understanding of NPD let alone be able to explain it .

      I actually went to see a councilor last week & asked him what he knew about narcissism, I might just as well asked him about how much he knew about quantum psychics from the reply I was given .

      No wonder victims remain confused. It makes me so angry *

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      1. Hi MLA and NSS,

        It is frustrating and potentially harmful and dangerous when therapists give such ill informed advice. I think it should be required learning in the field. The odds of having a client who has had interactions with narcissists and experienced the abuse is so high.

        As a survivor and therapist it makes me angry too. I share as much as I can with colleagues though unless you’ve experienced it you really are clueless.

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      2. Hi NSS! When I would try to share relevant blog articles from HG that matched JN’s behavior towards me, I would get that nod, like “oh Sweetie, you’re going off the deep end”. And she would try to switch the topic back to me being in the 5 stages of grief post divorce. To all the commentators seeing a therapist and they at least entertain the discussion and maybe read what resonates with your situation to engage and help, at least you have that progress.

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      3. MLAC,
        I just watched CNN Fareed Zakaria and his first topic included comments on how politics and narcissism are inevitable. Donald Trump is raising awareness. HG is ahead of it though in telling how and why they think like that. Therapist’s will be forced to keep up.

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      4. Hi ABB,
        Indeed this is the silver lining, Though #45 is far more of an obvious bumbling type of narcissist and not the smooth, under the radar, more charming dangerous type that many women run into. It’s a start though I seriously think all therapists need a course in HG.
        Like I said earlier a few months ago, I had a hard time finding a quality therapist that knew about this. Thank god my trainers knew of HG and of the dangers.

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      5. Hi Indie & MLA.

        I’ve been in the same situation with therapists, mentioned the blog, how it’s given me answers & helped me move on .
        At the same time experience shows that dare you mention to anyone that the blogs helped more than therapy & you can see the reaction…. Oh NNS you shouldn’t be reading things like that , it won’t do you any good , potentially it could delay the healing process, blah de blah .. And my answer is always don’t judge it without reading it !.

        A woman I mentioned it to recently ( now a councilor for abuse victims after she experienced it herself ) said she’d definitely take a look just to see what ” the slimy characters playing at ! ( sorry HG) . It’s as though they think that somehow they know better because we are there for help .

        Indie you’re so right. Without the knowledge how can any therapist even begin to understand what they are dealing with . It’s highly dangerous as Clarece has proved with her initial comments. Things need to change .. we know that, but trying to persuade the very people there to help is a different matter . x

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    2. Yeah my mum always used to say, “If you love someone, let them go. If they leave, they were never yours. If they come back, they’re yours forever.”

      What bullshit

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      1. Well, according to HG’s binding narc contract, it is until death do us part.
        Exactly, though, that timeless piece of advice perpetuates hope and hanging on in these scenarios. It definitely made me think each time he had returned that he must love me even more. Stellar.

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      2. Yeah, and he used that in me. And a friend who doesn’t get NPD also pulled the “I think he wants your attention more than anyone’s”. Riiight. So clueless.

        I am NOT his forever. Never, no way. He is never going to hear or see of me ever again. Never, no way. He had his ugly fun. He will never, ever get a third chance.

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      3. Hell no. If you don’t want me (discard), I sure as hell don’t want you – ever again!

        I’d PAY to keep you away! All contact through lawyers only – oh the peace & calm.

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      4. Sunshine, then my efforts to counter discard him were correct. I was also operating from that space. I struggled on with the lies and CD that made it hard to do. I had left my heart battle and was in my heart/head battle. That phase lasted too long. Head wins now but I won’t deny the depth of sadness for how it all went.

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      5. I have a question. Does the ‘ours forever’ thing still apply even when they are using other people to try to get you to sign divorce papers, and are talking to everyone else about you, instead of TO you?

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  8. Thank you for this! Everything makes much more sense now!

    One things I still wonder. My narc was very openly with me in the public places. Holding hands, kissing, hugging… introducing to his friends (who have also met the gf frequently) like a trophy prize.. Why take such high risk to get caught up?

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  9. He doesn’ t live with anyone except his parents.. therefore all his victims must be secondary sources? except perhaps that he might have a favourite one?

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      1. Thank you for aswer me HG
        wow!
        and now all the other sources then are secondary… except i think for the attachement he has with me because i met him where he was very young ( i am much much much older) and had not yet practised his Narc behaviour ..because he hadn’t any relationship previously.. ( so he claims, and i think that is true)
        wow it makes me realises that i saw him “growing” into a Narc ! it explains why his totally platonic attachment to me.. and why my despair is so great…
        Scary..
        what do you think HG?

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    1. I think I am monopolizing this big lately, but this song just came on and I think it must be about a narc! Read the lyrics.

      “Reason To Believe”

      If I listened long enough to you
      I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true
      Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
      Still I look to find a reason to believe

      Someone like you makes it hard to live without
      somebody else
      Someone like you makes it easy to give
      never think about myself

      If I gave you time to change my mind
      I’d find a way just to leave the past behind
      Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
      Still I look to find a reason to believe

      If I listened long enough to you
      I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true
      Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
      Still I look to find a reason to believe

      Someone like you makes it hard to live without
      somebody else
      Someone like you makes it easy to give
      never think about myself

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  10. I’m sorry HG. I know I have many questions. So, how do you feel if the primary finds out about the secondary? Mine was “caught” as his wife found out we’d been having an 18 month affair. He claimed she basically knew of me and I was going to be promoted to primary once he got his finances in order. When she confronted me, I admitted everything. I’m pretty sure he thought I would protect him but I didn’t. I became a threat bc I started to expose him. He discarded me as if I never existed and now seems to have ridden off into the sunset with her. What do you suspect is happening there?

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  11. thank you HG
    My God…. 8 years of witnessing the metamorphosis, and i have been the god-mother, spectator, and favourite side dish source..and punch bag all in one..
    .. and wow.. the unecpected “initiation” which started with me…
    Wow!
    Scary stuff..
    again, fair assessment HG?

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  12. Good old Wilson Phillips … Victims of a Nararcisst possibly …. “Hold on for one more day” another one … x x

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  13. What am I to him?
    I’m not interested in that any longer. Too obvious.
    I have already deciphered the hieroglyphic. I have translated The Rosetta Stone into Castilian.

    What was he to me?
    This is the question I haven’t answered yet.

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  14. Hi HG,

    I was an IPSS candidate (based from what I shared with you through recent email consult). I forgot that at the end of 2 months, I ended things with him because I didn’t like that we had to be a secret. For 2 weeks, we still spoke and then I changed my mind because I had such strong feelings for him and wanted to get back together with him and he felt the same way.

    At the end of 3 months, then at 4 months, and then at 5 months, I know from you through our email, I was slowly being devalued and discarded because there was a slow change in behavior and conversation.

    Looking back on it, I noticed that the change started slowly after we got back together. Why is that and did the mid-range narc feel narcissistic injury and a challenge from this and so decided to not promote me but still engaged for fuel (for the second time around)?

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    1. You challenged him in an unacceptable way owing to your desire to no longer be secret. Whilst you returned he was testing your through these behaviours to see if you would be a suitable IPPS and he decided that you would not be.

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      1. HG, so in Lauren’s situation, has the IPSS been placed on the shelf? What responses to the testing behavior of the narcissist would be considered good/ passing these tests from his perspective? Thank you!

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    2. Hi Lauren, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your current situation? Are you still in contact with him? Would love to know more if you are ok sharing. Very best to you!

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  15. HG
    If the meaning of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

    Can a person who knowingly cheat with a married man/ woman be an empath?

    The question is more for those that knew up front but chose not to care. I see that as self absorb. To put yourself in the other person place albeit wife/husband would require someone with empathetic traits.

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    1. Hello Entertainment, yes they can but the act of either cheating on one’s own partner (having an affair with a married narcissist) or being single and engaging in an affair with a married narcissist, is a narcissistic trait. One can be an empath and have that narcissistic trait. Keep in mind the seduction technique of the narcissist. He or she will invariably portray that they are in a loveless marriage, they are being abused etc and the victim’s empathy for the narcissist’s (false) position will outweigh their own empathy for their own spouse (if they have one) or the spouse of the narcissist.

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      1. HG,
        Thank you for your response. I would think that unrealistic expectations might be an issue for the other person. They suffer through this sort of permutation more brutally than the other parties.

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  16. Entertainment,
    I suffered greatly with the unrealistic expectations. As the other woman, you only see the at their best. You don’t see what they are like in everyday life. It’s easy to create a fantasy world and never know the difference.

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    1. Disillusioned,

      The latter sentence is the life of a narc. All fantasy, fake, and lies. Horror Land.

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  17. I have been an IPSS for 2 years and it ended a week ago. He said he wants a break to think of what he wants. I might have been a part primary. I knew he had other IPSSs because he told me when I asked. Now I’m put on hold because he found a new primary supply whom he can access fast. I don’t know what he meant by a break. Is it a discard, devalue (he did that I think) or disengage? Can anyone tell me if he’ll come back again because he promised me that he’ll text me for sure?

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    1. Hello Meg, I suspect you have been placed on the shelf and it is not a dis-engagement so he will be coming back. I can however give you a much more accurate analysis of the situation and what is going to happen next by you providing me with more information and the most appropriate way to do that would be through a consultation.

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      1. Don’t let him come back! You will go out the winner by not allowing him to return. Is that all you feel you’re worth? A text after he plays with someone else and then tires of her and deens you worthy again? Oh my…., screw that!!

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      2. I met him when my marriage was on the rocks at the end of 2014. He love-bombed me and I fell…. he had to go back to his country in a few weeks (I’m on another side of the world) but we kept contact until he cut me off in end of March 2015. So I waited several months to find out he’s coming back to where I live to be with his primary source he hid from me… she visited him twice while we were in touch and after he cut me off. He came back in November 2015 to live with her but she dumped him after 2 weeks of living together. So he started to test bomb me. while he was going through his narcissistic injury… but I got so sick of him cuz I know he was using me… so I told him he was a jerk and he stopped. A few month later, we had lunch together and found out he had started to see another girl for his entertaiment. He reverse psychologied me and a month later, I became his dirty little secret. He introduced her to his colleagues but not me…When I got attached he pulled back and I became some kind of his booty call… He didn’t wanna go out when I wanted but only he wanted while he was dating another girl… I supported him while all this was going simultaneously and while he was still living with his ex primary source and having problems and dealing with her but he didn’t care what I did for him… He had no idea how I felt… I never lowered my self esteem this much for anyone… I tried to make him understand how I felt but no chance at all… He just kept doing the same thing / mistake over and over.
        Anyway, he went back to his country last October but he was keeping touch with me. His friend introduced him a woman who was about 10 years older and they slept together on the 2nd date. I coudn’t belive how he could do this…. In March, he dumped this woman. He registered himself on a dating site to find new resources in Feb 2017 and met 3 but decided to go for 1 that he liked. They met in person in March and slept together at the end of April on the 3rd date. She’s 28 and 17 years younger than him. She even told him that she didn’t want a guy over 40… so I don’t understand why they got hooked up. He told me she invited him but I can’t be sure if this is true, maybe other way around. I have sensed what was going on due to his excuses and lies and the frequency of him texting me dropped and he didn’t tell me much anymore. He used to text me in the morning, lunch break and at night. After a week he told me he stayed over at this girls place, I told him I had enough of his lies over and over by email, then he went, do what I think the best for myself and wishes the best for my life…I told him if I made him hate me enough to lie to me then, I don’t think he wants to see me in the future by text as well. I played along with him saying that I wish the same for him and he’s spacial to me. He replied me and said, since we don’t live close, it’s hard to maintain but he won’t forget me and happy to see me again because I’m special to him, so I mimicked him saying it’s hard to keep in touch when he doesn’t talk to me often anymore but I won’t forget him. After that, he wants to have a break to figure out what he wants and to focus on our lives. He said he will text me again for sure and said I’m special to him… Also, if I become single, he will have a chance to live in this country where he wants to live, he said he adores it. So this question comes in. What am I to him or what does he want???

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      3. Hello Mistress, thank you for your comment. In order to answer this properly the most appropriate forum is through a private consultation details of which can be found in the menu bar of the blog.

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      4. Mistress

        What you are to him is nothing more than a doormat, dumpster, pathetic, weak and useless to him. Take a advantage of the personal consult and i would suggest seeking talk therapy from someone thats familiar with this disorder.
        I dont think HG is a therapist but consulting wity him is much cheaper and i would suggest trying to schedule a few in advance due to your vulnerability. The fact that you know all of this is alarming and most of it may have been said for gaslight and triangulation. Run and far as you from that monster.

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      5. You are right Yolo, I am not a therapist but my knowledge will provide understanding which gives you a huge advantage in moving forward and getting yourself across the emotional sea. Thank you for the recommendation.

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      6. Hi, Mistress. I’m really sorry you’ve been mistreated like this. I would suggest the consultation with Mr. Tudor, as it may take a bit of work to extricate yourself from this dilemma.

        Later, when you get on track, i just wanted to mention that there are many twelve step programs that can help people in situations such as ours, for example Codependents Anonymous and others. There are meetings and chat rooms online 24 hours a day at stepchat (.org? .com?), for ongoing support.

        I had an email consultation with Mr. Tudor even though i have the help of Al Anon for one of the narcs in my life, and he is so, so helpful. So i would definitely start there. But i just wanted to encourage you. It can be a long road to recovery.

        And i wanted to offer something along the lines of what i saw someone else say regarding the risks of being with a man who cheats. I have had normal pap smear results before (i know this is tmi, but I’m throwing it out there because the devastation has been heartbreaking), but due to a a tumor, had to have more extensive testing in Dec.

        They discovered that while my cursory test came back “normal”, i also actually have a result of “exposed to hpv” that never came up. They cannot tell me how long its been, but i am pretty sure i know who. (The narc/alcoholic lol.) Of the more than 100 strains of HPV that exist, there are only two that are potentially fatal. I have both of them. That means that until i test negative for them, if ever, i have not only an ovarian tumor, but now also can develop ovarian cancer and am also considered higher risk for breast cancer. I can also transmit this to any potential partner, which i won’t ever take a chance on doing, so even though I’m chaste, I’m now a virtual widow as well.

        I have to go get additional cancer testing done next month, and all i can tell you is that the guy who’s cheating is *not worth it*.

        If you can stand the cheating on an emotional level, i suspect you may have the same submission issue i have, and have been in therapy for. But i just want you to see that its more than cheating. It’s abuse. And it can kill you… Literally.

        So when you’re considering whether to get a consultation with Mr. Tudor, or to break things off with this guy, or to take care of yourself long term (and i know it’s hard to establish healthy patterns), just keep telling yourself that your life is worth recovery. 🙂

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      7. Thank you for sharing your experience. I was a type of person who would submit to anyone but was confident and positive. He drained my energy a lot. I’m hoping to be functioning as before soon.

        Hugs

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    2. You were none of the above mentioned labels. Giving your self these titles only confirms your naiveté and hinders your healing. You were fooled, conned, scammed, manipulated, and a victim of fraud.

      What you desire to return is not gojng to happen. Picture yourself in 103 degree weather trying to keep a ice cream cone from melting. No matter how hard you lick its going to melt and make a mess. Do you really want to keep cleaning up behind a narc. Picking up your face, your feelings, and your life?

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      1. I tried to forget and let go… even my friends got upset about the fact that I’m holding on… I might have a traumatic bonding to him but I’m not contacting him now so I hope it gets better.

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      2. Hi Yolo,

        I think he is at the seduction or early golden period. I can see him texting with her and I can still feel the flare of jealousy… Even he’s just playing a chase game. He told me that only one of previous relationship lasted longer than several months. Also, I sense that this girl may be a narcissist like him… My intuition’s telling me so lately. When people post or send their selfies, it’s a warning sign, now I know.

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      3. Mistress,
        Please heed the advice given by Amber. That was very brave and commendable of her to share personal information regarding her health. I think we all should be alarmed. I too have had all normal results. I will use the information she shared with my doctor. Hun, at this point it, you should think of self preservation. It’s all about you know. I hope you were able to get scheduled with HG as well focus on people that love and celebrate you. Not those who only goal is to continue to cause you misery and harm. You can do this. There’s no golden period just a bunch a b.s. peace and healing. I am not promoting HG because I am major fan of the man but his work and brutal honesty is what help me complete the puzzle.

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      4. Thanks Yolo
        A little by little, I’m slowly becoming more like myself and which is good.
        Hugs

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      5. Mistress,

        One day at a time. You can have a healthier future if you stay out of the rear view window and stay in your own lane.😊
        Stay focused on self and continue improvement. When thoughts of him and his new victim come to your mind replace those thoughts with joy knowing you have escaped the monster. For now anyways, you have to commit to no contact.

        It breaks my heart to see that some people come here to seek ways/tactics to get the person to re-engage with them.
        Narcs/sociopaths are evil , they may not know what they are but they know right from wrong. I would say nothing could good can come from your involvement with them. HG has proven that there are some positive unexpected outcomes in his work.

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      6. Mistress,
        I am sure he is , continue to read. I assumed once you paid you were issued a appt. Hang in there, don’t get discouraged.

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      7. I wonder if every ex-target feels this way. One day moving forward, one day thinking about IT again. don’t know if I’m progressing or circling…

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      8. Mistress,
        Yes, most of us are confused during the relationship. It feels worse after the disengagement although we should feel better. Once we figure out what we were dealing with it does get better. The thoughts will come, the more you educate yourself those thoughts should subside.
        I wish there was a magic pill to make them go away.😊 Dont go through the process ..grow through it. We all have our different ways of coping afterwards. I felt anger at first I would initiate the no contact. And then alllow them back in my life. I wasnt in love with either. I felt angry towards myself for getting involved with them. I can’t ever recall being in a healthy normal relationship.

        Continue.to read, try to think like them. They don’t care and will act like relationship ever existed.

        Give it some time cast those thoughts down bring them captivity. I have a book battlefield in the mind by Joyce Meyers. Our thoughts guides our emotions and feelings. Trade those negative thoughts in for positive. Look for things thoughout the day that bring you joy.

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  18. Hello Mistress, you hold on like I held on thinking it’s going to get better. That one day he’s just going to pick you and finally see how good you were to him. He is EMPTY inside and needs to be filled by many. Think of your health if you can’t think of your worth. Sloppy seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths just isn’t worth the risk. For what? A man who in the end will never stay. Let him go. He’s not worth it. Replace him with thoughts of you and what you deserve in this life.

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    1. He made me sorry for him by telling me that he got dumped by his ex gf. Then he gave me a hope that made me think it’s better to leave the current loveless marriage when he lovebombed me… and he messed me up to think, logic says let go but attachment says wait for him…

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  19. Wait if you want. You won’t heal unless you actually want to, and you don’t sound like you want to. Things will never get better and it sounds like you’re willing to settle for that, so wait away. Let your life waste away. No biggie.

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    1. Very true at some point we have to be accountable for our part in this. When we fail to start the healing process and move forward we do more harm to self than the narc ever did or can do.

      Compare it to standing in front of a moving train and you are screaming the train is not stopping its going to run me over. Get the fuck out the way, HG is extending his hand to snatch you out of clear and present danger take a hold. Help him, help you.

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      1. Mistress,

        That is great. I am confident it will help. I have never had one but I’ve witness the changes in others that have. You are so vulnerable right now and no contact is the only way.

        HG can and will provide you with the tools to help you better understand what you are dealing however, in order for you to be successful in healing process. You will need to apply the information and resources to your situation. Your overall success is contingent upon you.

        I wish you the very best.
        Sincerly
        “Wannabe” 😊

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  20. I wish I met him in a normal form like me and I wish I could fall for his true self instead of the illusion he created… Quel dommage vraiment!

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