Surely That’s The End Yes?


“I have not heard from him in a month, he has moved on hasn’t he?”

“I exposed what she is like to all of her family, she won’t be contacting me again that’s for sure.”

“I told him I know what he is and he disappeared so I doubt I will hear from him again.”

“He is with somebody else already so I guess he won’t want me again will he?”

“I told him what I thought of him and he just backed off. He won’t hoover me will he?”

“He came crying back to me and I gave him short shrift. I doubt he will bother again.”


There are many different scenarios and outcomes involving our kind where the victim considers that our kind will not bother with them again post discard or post escape. The victim thinks that a period of total silence, the involvement of the narcissist with a new victim, the manner in which the relationship ended will all mean that the narcissist will not come sniffing around the victim ever again.

We will.

Why is this the case?

Firstly, you must understand our perspective. You belong to us. You are our appliance. You are our property. The Formal Relationship between us may have ended but the Narcissistic Relationship is forever. It only ends when either you or I cease to draw breath. It does not matter that we enter into a new Formal Relationship with somebody else. It does not matter if you do. It does not matter that world war three erupted when we parted company. It does not matter if there has been complete silence for two years. None of these factors alter the fact that in our minds the connection between you and I because of the Narcissistic Relationship lasts until one of us dies.

Secondly, the attraction of gathering fuel from you is substantial and this is the prime driver for never letting go. Fuel is so important to us that it drives everything about behaviour and the link between you and I is no exception to the all-pervasive power of fuel.

Thirdly, factors such as new partners, the effluxion of time and the manner in which the Formal Relationship has ended are immaterial.

I am repeatedly asked by people whether a hoover will happen. I always answer the same; the risk always remains, but you can manage that risk. People set out the circumstances of the end of the Formal Relationship to me and what has happened since (if anything) and ask whether a hoover will happen, or express their view that they do not think it will happen because of a, b or c. My answer again is the same; the risk of us returning always remains, but you can manage that risk.

It is never the end. There is always a risk, a chance, a probability (or a possibility) that we will return to you and apply a hoover. You cannot assume that it is over. No matter how much it may seem that it is over, no matter how much it may appear to you that we will not come back, that we apparently have no reason to do so, such assumptions are dangerous. There are only two factors which are material to the issue of whether you will be hoovered again.

The first factor is the Hoover Trigger. For a hoover to happen potentially, it must first be triggered. This means that you must come into our sights, that we sniff the prospective fuel that leaks from you, that something happens to cause you to come up on our radar. Whether this happens depends on whether you enter one of the six spheres of influence. I have written separately about them in The Spheres of Influence (And What You Can Do About Them) in another article. I will not repeat its content other than to state that

  1. You have control over whether you enter any of the first five spheres of influence; and
  2. You have no control over whether you enter the sixth sphere of influence.

By staying away from us through no contact you will not enter the first five spheres. The sixth sphere is when we happen to think of you. Thus, if you have successfully implemented no contact the only risk of a trigger being activated is if we happen to think of you. You cannot influence that. Our preoccupation with your replacement means we are far less likely to think of you and hoovers are triggered by you doing something to enter the first five spheres, such as messaging us or passing where we live.

If you maintain no contact the first five spheres will not be entered. It then just depends on whether we happen to think of you. This may not happen for weeks or months. You can therefore see that by staying out of the first five spheres you will vastly reduce the risk of a Hoover Trigger being activated but you cannot state that it will never happen as it is reliant on if we happen to think of you. That may just be a random occurrence or it might be because we see something that reminds us of you.

The second factor is only applicable if the Hoover Trigger has been activated. The second factor is concerns the Hoover Criteria. These criteria include such matters as: –

–         Whether you are a potent source of fuel;

–         Whether you can easily be located;

–         Whether you can easily be contacted;

–         Whether you have your defences maintained concerning us;

–         Whether you remain mired in the emotional sea;

–         What support networks you have in place;

–         How well fuelled we are;

–         The nature of the narcissist who you entangled with (Lesser, Mid-Range or Greater); and

–         Potential obstacles

All of these matters combine to determine whether it is worthwhile us expending our energy to act on the Hoover Trigger. If we are presented with a sitting target, flowing with fuel, caught in the emotional sea, isolated and exposed then the criteria point heavily to the fact that a hoover will now take place. If on the other hand it is very hard to contact you, we know you have stopped flowing with fuel when dealing with us, you have people who will stop us trying to reach you and so forth, you become a Flawed Reason to Extract Emotion (F.R.E.E.).

For a worked example of how this can happen if someone enters the first sphere of influence I recommend that you read the article Hoover Time! Sphere One.

Accordingly, if you can do everything possible to become a F.R.E.E. then even if Hoover Trigger is activated then the chances of us executing that hoover will be considerably reduced. By contrast, if you fail to attain becoming a F.R.E.E. then you run the risk of a hoover being executed.

You will note that in the hoover criteria above there is no mention of the gap between when we last contacted you and the current time. There is no mention of the circumstances in which we parted company as the Formal Relationship. There is no mention of you knowing what we are, whether you told us, whether you exposed our abuses to others. Those are not factors which concern us. The existence of a new partner is not relevant either in isolation, but is only a partial consideration in terms of whether that person might stop us. Of course even if they might do so and all the other factors point to the execution of a hoover, this one criterion has diminished relevance.

Accordingly, when you are asking yourself whether a hoover may happen. Remember this.

  1. You can never say never.
  2. There needs to be a Hoover Trigger. You can significantly influence whether there is one and reduce the risk but you cannot remove it.
  3. The Hoover Criteria need to be met. Again, you can significantly influence whether the criteria are met by becoming a F.R.E.E. and reduce the risk, but you cannot remove it.

The issue of whether you will experience a hoover is not completely in your hands, but is far more within your control than you might at first have thought.

It is never the end but you are not helpless.

79 thoughts on “Surely That’s The End Yes?

  1. fauxfur5 says:

    HG. Is there such a thing as narcissistic inury and could that play a part in removing the likelihood of a hoover attempt?. I ask this because I discarded my Nex during a Grand Hoover attempt in January which resulted in him being arrested for assault and a had a no contact order placed on him for a month, which he obviously ignored by texting. He is currently serving a 12 month community order. I have been NC ever since and have blocked him and his enablers on social media etc. I have also ignored him and his ‘new’ source when i’ve bumped in to them when out. we live in a small town so it was inevitable that would happen at some point. He has not to my knowledge attempted to hoover in the 3 months since despite me being in his social sphere on occasion. Could his ego have been so damaged that I won’t be worth the hassle to him and therefore will he just leave me alone now?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Wounding (I prefer this term as opposed to narcissistic injury) is but one factor in the Hoover Execution Criteria. Of itself it means a hoover is less likely BUT it may be overridden by other factors which make a hoover MORE likely so the hoover takes place.

  2. Lori says:

    Even though I have read so much on narcissism, i learn something here everyday. I don’t come here so much to find out the Narcs next move so much but I truly find this subject so fascinating. I often wonder if my fascination stems from my Codepebdency. I see even more now how similar Narcs and Codependents are from the “perspective” of how each processes the same wound

  3. Helen says:

    I was an IPSS for a Mid-Ranger. After having been hoovered he came out with the “I think we should just stay friends”, trying to be nice about it. I want to go No Contact but I work beside him and can’t escape him. He has a new IPSS on the horizon (also at work) but he won’t leave me alone! He knows I’ve worked him out but I’m not sure if he keeps turning up because he knows I’ll speak to him when there’s others about (he directs the conversation my way) to get fuel – or if he’s trying to be all Good Guy so I keep my mouth shut. How do I get rid of him??!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Change job.
      2. If not, minimise contact (lots of different ways this can be achieved) and then in any interaction that does occur ensure minimal fuel provision (see How To Reduce The Fuel You Give The Narcissist)

      1. Lori says:


        This “friends” thing is it because they want to keep you on the back burner? Or is it aimed to hurt ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          The concept of “friends” when you have been in an intimate relationship is partially to hurt but more usually to engender hope on your part that there will be a chance of resurrecting the intimacy so you are prevented from moving forward, thus making you easier to hoover at the relevant time.

          1. Challenge Fuel says:

            Yeah pretty much what he said. 😔

      2. Lori says:

        BINGO! Thanks HG!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

      3. Bibi says:

        “Being friends” is an invite into his harem where he will be able to keep tabs on you, throw the occasional crumb and exactly as HG said, keep you pining for him.

        It’s also a way to show off that he is still the ‘good guy’ in front of you and his friends. Then when you decline harem membership or get emotional, he can then claim how he tried with you and turn it around, making it seem like you’re the difficult one.

      4. Challenge Fuel says:

        I also wanted to reply to you to add that it is also so that he can look like a “good” person too. My MRN told me “I should dismiss and block you forever and never talk you again but it is my empathy for you that prevents me from doing so”.

        Yes, he actually said “my empathy”. He actually thinks he is a nice guy and a good person.

      5. Challenge Fuel says:

        Hi again Lori…
        Here are a few more things I have heard from my MRN about wanting to remain “friends”.

        “I hope you will be my friend because I care for you” (said frequently after “I love you” was stricken from the record)

        “I may (or I will as he said both phrases) indulge our sexual attraction/be intimate with you but it is only because my resolve is low and my willpower is weakened. BUT it is wrong of me to do so”

        “I am trying to do the right thing here, I believe the pursuit of wholesome behavior is more important that attainment of it” (piggybacked on the comment beforehand about intimacy being “wrong”)

        “Your well being matters to me”

        “Don’t worry, I am not going to block you/write you off/, etc. Relax!”

        “You may not hear from me for awhile but that does not mean that you are not my friend and that I do not love/care for you. I will reach out/call/text/check in, etc. just like a normal friend would do. You are going to have to trust me here”

        “I am just trying to steer our relationship into a healthy direction and do the right thing”

        re the ex, my predecessor DLS/IPSS (who based on what he shared may have almost been promoted to IPPS)…. “Yes me and (name here) still keep in touch. It was not easy but we were able to keep in touch and have a healthy friendship and come out on the other side doing the right thing. I hurt her pretty badly. As much as I hurt my wife and family so I have a life debt to her. I will be there whenever she needs me just like a friend is supposed to.”

        That is all I can think if now but there were a ton more. I am just stating these examples to try and help others. Hopefully they help. I wonder if anyone else had to hear similar drivel.

      6. Challenge Fuel says:

        I realize I am posting tons of replies here but I had another thought….
        HG if you are taking suggestions for articles to write maybe do one on “the Narc and his desire to ‘be friends’….” or “translate Narc speak” of such….

        I know you have done some translation for me before but I am very curious what “your well being matters to me” is supposed to mean.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have made a note of the suggestion CF. The point about your well being is facade management and a back-handed compliment. The narcissist will be telling you (I anticipate) to accept the relationship is over and that you must do so for your own sake and the narcissist (in all his magnanimity of course) stresses this by sating your well-being matters to me. It does not, it makes the narcissist sound caring, makes the victim think the narcissist cares, allows disengagement but in a “merciful” manner whilst of course actually maintaining hope on the part of the victim.

      7. Lori says:


        They really are all the same lol

        “Im extremely attracted to you but I could never have sex with you because we can’t have a relationship and that would be wrong to sleep with you and leave”

        Translation: oh I sleep with 3 different women a week. I’m going to tell you this because you aren’t used to being told no and this will keep you wanting

        “It would be wrong to speak to you on the phone now”

        Translation : I will only speak via text where I can control the conversation. I mean really? I’ve been talking to this guy on the phone over two years often multiple times a day as well as text in between.

        “Goodbye Lori”

        Translation: this is the 10 th time I’ve told you goodbye. Oh I’m not going anywhere I’ll be keeping tabs on you but hey this sounded oh so dramatic right?

        “This isn’t healthy between us anymore”

        Translation: Ive got a new ipss lined up. IM getting sick of strawberry ice cream

      8. Challenge Fuel says:

        Yeah that damn facade and all. Makes sense I suppose. Would a LN or GN behave in this same kind of manner (with the whole “friendship” and “you matter to me” nonsense) or is it that only typical MRN behavior?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Lesser is unlikely. Greater may do so yes.

      9. Challenge Fuel says:


        They really are all the same lol”

        LOL!!!! Yes they are! See my variations of the stuff you heard below:

        Re: being extremely attracting.

        “Our sexual attraction is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It is wrong of me but I am always trying to do the right thing”

        “I treat you like a whore!”

        Re: wrong to speak on the phone

        When I asked him why he never talks to me anymore.
        “It is wrong for us to communicate.”

        “I need to be dead to you”

        “I should not be so important to you”

        He has not told me “goodbye” so the best I can do to compare that is the “fake” blocking.

        “I am going to block you someday” (never followed through)

        “You will force my hand in cutting this cord” (again nope, didn’t happen)

        “If you text me before January 15th I will block you and not lose a wink of sleep over it!” (was a lie)

        Re: things not being healthy

        “This is unhealthy. You are obsessed with me. I have so much guilt and shame. Our behavior always turns sexual and is inappropriate”

        Lori…’s all out of the same textbook.

      10. Challenge Fuel says:


        Further clarification on the “I treat you like a whore” comment.
        He said it in the most pity seeking saddened “woe is me” demeanor(yet in a horrific way as if he was taken aback by his own words).

        I replied, “Do you REALLY think that?”

        Him: “Well no, you are not a whore but but it SEEMS to me like I treat you like one!”


    2. Mary says:

      Have y’all heard the song “New Rules” by Dua Lipa? That song (as well as many others) has been a lifeline for me.

      1. Don’t pick up the phone, you know he’s only calling cause he’s drunk and alone,
      2. Don’t let him in, you’ll have to kick him out again,
      3. DON’T BE HIS FRIEND. You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning. And if you’re under him, you ain’t getting over him.

      All of the lyrics in the song are appropriately fitting for breaking out of a narc entanglement.

      1. Challenge Fuel says:

        I remember Doc/Harleen HQ dedicated that song to me once! She had the best Narc stories and she is definitely missed around here.

        “DON’T BE HIS FRIEND. You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning. And if you’re under him, you ain’t getting over him.”

        I repeat this lyric to myself daily.

  4. Tara says:

    hg have you written any books about the 6th sphere. That is something that fascinates me and is the only way I would have to endure a hoover again since I am absolutely NC.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Tara, watch out for the forthcoming ‘Will He Hoover Me’ it is covered in there.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        HG, when are you planning to publish this article? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It’s a book. No release date yet.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        Looking forward to the release! Would love to read that one. Yeah, I know, my emotional thinking is still at work, but I assure you it is waning and losing its hold on me.

  5. Ekaterina Smith says:

    I said I will call police if he contacts me again and he still sending me flowers on rare occasions and says he thinks of me all the time but he didn’t do any move to reconcile the relationship…just keeps remainding me about his existence and disbalancing me emotionally. And I couldn’t figure out what he wants from me but now its all makes sense to me by discovering his a narc. I always was worried when he lives me alone. 5 years I have ended our relationship he is still wont leave me alone. I guess you are right HG .

  6. Monique S. says:

    H G Tudor……
    People that know / knew my ex and I frequently threw out the word narcissist to me, and only a couple weeks ago did I read, research, and try to become educated in this area. I’ve now moved on to studying up on Hoovering, and was to recognize and deter an attempt to infiltrate my life and emotional growth.
    Our divorce was final in March of 2017, and for the most part I have been given the silent treatment since.
    My question is this……. I’m trying my best not to enter the first five spheres, so I don’t trigger a hoover, but how do I deal with contact between us regarding our son? I spoke with my ex about 2 weeks ago regarding paperwork for school, then texted him 4 days ago in regards to fees for classes. He texted me yesterday asking me a question that he already got an answer to from our son, which makes me wonder if I inadvertently triggered a hoover.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Monique, to provide you with full advice tailored to your situation (such as the type of narcissist you are dealing with, the nature of the arrangements etc) would require a consultation, which you may wish to consider, but in broad brush terms :-

      1. Keep interactions to the bare minimum;
      2. Keep interactions to written exchanges (reduced fuel output and creates an evidential record if needed)
      3. If you have to engage in person, keep it very brief
      4. Use gate keepers wherever possible in respect of hand over arrangements and so forth
      5. If the communication is superfluous from the narcissist ignore it

      Yes, you did trigger a hoover.

      1. Monique S. says:

        That’s just great.
        Not going to beat myself up over triggering a Hoover, but instead, learn from it.
        In regards to a consultation, how does that work?
        Thank you for your response.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Please see the drop down menu Monique for more information about the consultations. If you have any further questions about them, please e-mail me at

  7. 𝑪★ says:

    as long as you exist in 6th sphere, living in another state will not prevent hoover…. its only a matter of time and it will be when your guard is down because they can sense this….. HG is not wrong

  8. Maddox says:

    He’s been out of the picture for almost a year, and he’s into his second “relationship” since we broke our association. Although he lives hours away now, he lists his residence as the town where he lived with me (I’m still here). He made such a big mess it would be insane for him to show up again, but I worry that he may still try. He was really proud of his situation here before he had to get out. How likely is it he would put himself in harm’s way?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Maddox, it all depends on whether there is a Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria is met. To answer your query accurately, I need more information about your circumstances and the appropriate forum for this is through a consultation.

  9. Jdhers says:

    How do we protect ourselves?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Keep reading my work, consult with me. Reading equals understanding, understanding is the first foundation stone towards freedom.

  10. Stacey R. says:

    This is so true. We have a child together so unfortunately I will always have him in my life one way or another. However, he never sees our son..never texts about him..he doesnt I guess im lucky in that aspect..but when he does text its because he wants to try and strike up a conversation with me. Its usually about every 3 months. I used to fall for it. He would ask what I was doing and could he stop by. My response to this the last 2 years (yes I said 2 years) is no. This doesnt stop him. He still will text out of the blue asking how I am as if he really cared. Hes so far into addiction that I know I am nothing but a last resort for whatever he thinks he can get from… I always gave in before. Id like to say I think he finally gets the hint..but I know hes always just around the corner waiting til he thinks ill give in. The only things left to do..cease all communication. .dont answer him when he texts..and possibly ask the courts to terminate his rights as my sons father. This is the only way I know how to rid of him forever.

  11. Scout says:

    A welcome re-read of this excellent blog.
    I do all in my power to evade him. If I see him in work or at an event, I blank him the way he blanked me during devaluation and discard. However, I do admit to wanting him text me. Why?
    1. So I can ignore him and it would feel like I’m taking back control.
    2. There would be satisfaction knowing that he needs me more than I need him and this would give me strength.

    1. Scout says:

      Or, is that my subconscious desire talking so I break NC…?

  12. Lisa says:

    If I ignore it will it annoy him HG ?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  13. K says:

    My ex has hoovered me for 30 years. I did not know what hoovering was till I read about it here. And he will hoover me again.

  14. Lisa says:

    HG I’ve had a Happy Birthday text today which is very weird because my birthday is tomorrow and he knows the date of it what would be the purpose of that please ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a hoover however :-

      1. If you do not respond/ respond unfavourably he can claim it wasn’t meant for you and was for someone else;
      2. If you respond favourably but ask why he sent it a day early, he will explain he wanted to be first to wish you happy birthday and this was the best way of ensuring that he did.

      1. Lisa says:

        Thank you HG he used my name so first one is not applicable but certainly the second one is, making himself stand out from everyone else. It also crossed my mind he may think I would respond to that even just to say you have the wrong day it’s tomorrow. As he has failed to get any response from me for anything for 3 months. Thanks to your teachings

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  15. Lori says:

    What is the “Pingback” that is mentioned above? Is that a blog that was written by someone else based on this blog?

  16. abrokenwing says:

    It’s been a year now. I’m not waiting, not expecting and just living my life .

  17. Agnes says:

    HG, the Narc I was in love with for almost 4 years has “left the building” two months ago, it has never been this long so far (usually a disappearing act was about 3-4 weeks). The reasons was, that I started pressing him for a more normal relationship, and was asking for at least a shelf for my clothes when I was at his apartment. I mean, 3 and a half years, we could have had kids by now… so he started being very cruel and cold again just like before many times, and in a few weeks just vanished. Do I suffer? Hell yes. Do I contact him? Hell no; hopefully it will pass and I will get over him. But I just don’t get one thing… my birthday was a few days ago, and he actually called to wish me happy birthday (very unusual from him; for the years we were in a relationship, only 1 time did he say happy birthday and get me an actual present… normally he would just ignore my birthday). I thought it was a hoover, so I was unusually rigid and cold, saying only “thank you” and answering with “yes” and “no” to his questions. This was 4 days ago… NOTHING, not a word ever since from him. Was this actually a hoover, or was it a sign that he’s over me, or “us” and was just trying to be nice…?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Agnes, I would need to establish whether you were a Shelf IPSS or IPPS as it is not entirely clear from the information provided.
      If you are a Shelf IPSS, he has issued a Corrective Devaluation by way of an Absent Silent Treatment. He then contacted you on your birthday to hoover you and see how you would respond. Since you were cold with him but you responded to him, he regards this as you exhibiting some resistance to his control and he has decided to extend the Corrective Devaluation. The hoover was principally about ascertaining whether you were going to behave again.
      If you are an IPPS, you are already in a phase of devaluation and your pressing for a normal relationship wounded him. He responded with an Absent Silent Treatment. You however ignored this by not chasing after him, so his hoover was an attempt to gain fuel from you (rather than ascertain the extent of control). He is not “over” you.

      1. Agnes says:

        Thank you HG, for your insight. I started out as Shelf IPSS a few years ago, then I became IPPS. Actually, he was much more cruel to me since I became IPPS.
        PS: still no word from him.

  18. Lisa says:

    I believe you a hundred per cent HG but I also know that my narc is not in contact with his exes . They do enter sphere 6 because he talks about them. He cannot be in contact because they are married , moved away and other such reasons , so a random contact from him would be odd to say the least . That’s why I get a bit confused about this subject .

  19. Karma says:

    This sounds so true to me. If I’d reach out today he would respond. If I suggest to meet he would say yes… but then postpone to when he had his haircut, money in the bank to impress. If I rant he would do the ST. The lines of communication is still open but blocked on my side. He is waiting for me to reach out again…

    But I have a new interest now… a normal one! We meet where I live, kids played, he added me on fb. He reached out after four days to ask a silly question and to see if I am ok. Then he send a pic of himself … cute. The messaging was normal, no love bombing, no emotions only flirting from a safe distance.
    He dared me to ask him to join next wine event at my place .. (told him about our little festivities on my massive porch and our celebrations to the sunsets).
    So this is how a normal man acts and flirts. Now he will wait for my invitation and I will send it in due course…
    Normal, nice and respectful behavior.

    So …. I’m moving forward and the blocking is in place. Don’t know where this new interest is heading but for sure it’s making me feel normal again.

    I do not belong to the N… as a matter of fact I never did … and that was the hard part for him to deal with. I am a self sufficient and strong woman… he hates that fact. Yet it seems the new supply is also a strong woman… and I guess that is why he kept me on the back burner for so long .. he knows it’s not going to work out.

    Happy Monday 😊

  20. kq says:

    I’ve had 2 hoovers since I went no contact on mine. I totally ignored both as it was easy to do so. I smelled it coming – my birthday was coming up. I know he has someone else, but I also know they don’t really matter.

    Not sure what it says about me that sometimes I enjoy knowing he will always try and hoover, or hang on to trying to win me back. Not in a sense of “oh he still cares!” More in a sense of “what a fucking pathetic loser.”

  21. Pam B says:


    He doesn’t even live in this state anymore. He never would speak to me, even then. No way, HG. You are wrong.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No I’m not and it’s that kind of complacency which is your downfall

      1. T says:

        It literally sounds like OP is saying, “Catch me if you can.” If he doesn’t Hoover, he wasn’t a narc.

      2. Indy says:

        Hi Pam,
        I used to think that way too. I thought, oh, there is no freaken way. I still delude myself sometimes this with my more recent ex.

        HG has proven me wrong.

        My ex husband (divorced him 20 years ago and lives hundreds of miles away out of state). I never contact him and have no over lapping friends or family. He recently hoover-attempted me about 2 months ago by trying to me by contacting a relative of mine. My relative did not respond. Mind you, I had not spoken to the ex husband in years! He always keeps tabs on me. Always. So, it is always a risk if you cross his mind. HG talks about this in other articles and books on how you can reduce the risks of triggering a hoover.

        It sounds like you have some things going for you, which is great Pam. Distance is a fabulous deterrent as well as keeping your No Contact strong. Keeping your internet footprint very light and private. And, with all this said, we cannot control what crosses their mind and whether they think it is worth trying yet again to get a reaction or a drop of fuel.

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        That is interesting because that is how I feel from my perspective about the narcissist.

    2. SuperXena says:

      Hello Pam B,
      I think I have to disagree with you in this one. I don’t know how long you have been in this site or what your story is but HG is right.
      What he writes is in complete accordance and corroborated with what has happened to many of us. If you read the comments throughout the site you will find that that is the case.Being him as well a narcissist himself, he knows how they operate.
      And oh yes, they hoover! It could be months or years after and they could be triggered by many different things and they can hoover you in many different ways.
      If I had found this site before I would have saved a lot of years, time, money and energy with couple therapies .He always managed to hoover me back until this last time when I have resisted for 17 months his various hoovers( being the latest ones for some weeks ago via his lieutenants) knowing what was coming with help of this site. Otherwise I would have been hoovered back again!!!
      So believe me,as HG says, the potential hoover is always present and they try to hoover you back not to have you again in a formal relationship( if that was the case in the first place) but because they just can ‘t resist the power they get if they succeed to hoover you back again.
      If you are equipped and prepared in case of a potential hoover, you would be able to resist it otherwise you would succumb to be dragged again and under worse conditions for you than the times before.

      So HG is should listen to him on what he writes..It will help you a lot in protecting yourself…if I were you I wouldn’t take for granted that your ex will not try to hoover you back. Try to be one step ahead by being prepared!
      Best wishes!!

      Sent from my iPad

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Thank you SuperXena.

        1. SuperXena says:

          Your welcome HG!

    3. 12345 says:

      I said the same wishing all the while in my heart of hearts that HG was right about the eventual hoover. I desperately wanted to be hoovered thinking that would mean he cared just a tiny little bit.

      When it happened I said all the ugly truths I wanted to say and it felt good for about a day but then I realized I could’ve said all that to my vacuum cleaner. The ex didn’t care. He was bored for a second so he hoovered. Then he went right on not thinking of me again.

      It sets you back for a long minute. It will come. Maybe today, maybe in 20 years unless he’s dead. It was good for me in the end. Confirming again that I was just an appliance is a second dose of medicine that I need to heal. I’m sure I’ll need more medicine at some point.

      I have moments of nostalgia but HG always sets me right sized in a hurry. HG is my favorite 🙂 That’s strange to say since I know that HG could crush me on a whim but he is definitely my favorite 🙂

      1. HG Tudor says:

        A completely accurate post.

    4. Herodias says:

      I understand how you feel. My ex is in a new state with a baby and about to get married. I still tend to agree with HG here… all I have read says they will try to hoover you. In fact, mine told me we just needed time apart, because too much had happend. They want you to to forget about all that you went through. The worst it was, I bet the longer they stay away. You just need to have your defenses up in case it ever happens.
      I know a woman whose ex was leaving a state assisted, senior living residence at night and walking miles and miles to get to her house, begging her to take him back. The police would show up and say “the poor guy with dementia”… she was like, poor guy, my ass! He knew where he was headed. It took all her strength not to take him back.
      It is always possible.

      1. Herodias says:

        By the way.. I forgot to mention this was years after she threw him out and he had gone off with yet another woman. He was in his 70’s.

      2. HG Tudor says:

        Thank you Herodias.

  22. Diva says:

    I really find it hard to believe that my snivelling, whingeing, sulking, moping, voiceless mid range will ever hoover me……….but if I am wrong…….I will admit it and post it on this blog. He does not seem the type that would make the first move after “I hurt him” …… seemed to me that he was waiting for me to contact him……but I didn’t and I won’t. It is definitely stalemate and has been for nearly 6 months.

    1. BellsandWhistles says:

      You really need to understand that they will sniff around in the shadows before any direct form of contact ever occurs. They will track you online and may try and speak with old contacts about you, to assess whether they can get to, or at you again. I too didn’t ever think I would hear from, or see, Narc #1 ever again. But sure enough five full years later, and this was eventually relayed to me later, she had ‘randomly’ turned up among old acquaintances of mine, digging for detailed information on my current situation and whereabouts. Luckily at that time I was well out of harms way.

  23. gabbanzobean says:

    In your opinion, what would cause the hoovers of continued liking of Instagram posts? This is the only Hoover I’ve been experiencing. It will go dormant for a week or two and then restart again.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Assuming you are staying no contact (although why haven’t you blocked the individual from Itnstagram?) then you will be entering the sixth sphere. The HEC are easily met because there is a low-risk and easy way of hoovering, namely being able to like on your Instagram page.

  24. Snow White says:

    Powerful last paragraph and words HG!
    For a long time I was to close for comfort to my ex. I contemplated replying to a text from one of her cotiere. But I know that any little response that gets back to her is playing with fire and puts me still in the game. I’m careful where I go and there are places that I will avoid just in case.
    She still tries to bait me on FB.

  25. Kim michaud says:

    One thing that confuses me about hoovering if a narc is 43 and started dating at 16 or 18 and had one primary source a year being conservative they can’t possibly still hoover woman they dated ten or twenty years ago or do they how does this work do u still hoover every single primary source you’ve ever had in your entire life or does there come a time when someone is completely discarded I mean how do u realistically hoover ten twenty or thirty woman who’s relationship ended decades ago could u explain this

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Not all narcissists would have one primary source every single year from 16;
      2. Sending a text message is a hoover – so even if there was thirty former IPPSs, it is not at all difficult to hoover them all – indeed, if all their telephone numbers are known, he could send a group text with “Hi, how are you I have been thinking of you x” and that is a hoover; and
      3. There would be no compulsion to have to hoover all thirty because of the way the fuel matrix would be established for the relevant narcissist.

    2. Backliner says:

      It is about available circumstances and available opportunity. I was naively polite and experienced a full Hoover campaign after 25 years.

  26. windstorm2 says:

    No, we are never helpless. And while they may always hoover, we control our response. We can never control them, but we can learn to control ourselves.

    1. Indy says:

      Amen Windstorm!!!!

      “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl

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