Poll – What part of understanding the narcissistic dynamic do you struggle with the most?


It is a fact that much of the narcissistic dynamic is engineered to keep you in confusion. If you remain confused you provide more fuel and you remain paralysed, making it easier for us to control. Nevertheless, even when information and knowledge is provided to victims, they still struggle to comprehend certain parts of the dynamic. Sometimes it is because it just does not make sense, sometimes it is because they understand why it happens but cannot understand why someone still has to behave like that.

The poll contains some of the more common elements of the dynamic that people struggle with. You can choose up to three (ensure you pick them at the same time before entering your votes) and please do expand in the comments as to why this remains so difficult for you to understand, or if your reason is not there, please explain further in the comments section.

Thank you for participating.

What part of understanding the narcissistic dynamic do you struggle with the most?

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222 thoughts on “Poll – What part of understanding the narcissistic dynamic do you struggle with the most?

  1. Sara Pitti says:

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t see how all this is distructive for themselves, at the end we will find better and live a happy life as we did before, they know they will repeat the cycle till the end. Ending up alone in the dark.
    What we have is the ability to do better to give and take in a way that, with the right person, it will all make sense and we will be loved. We have given to our children and they love us back for that. We have given to our friends and they love us back. We will be remembered, we will be a smile on the face of someone we don’t see anymore.
    How can it be pleasant to know that everyone at the end hates you? How can it be good to know that you will always act and never be yourself, it’s hard, time consuming, it’s a job! I guess it’s knowing that your realself is non pleasant. Then why not learn from what you envy. Why take the natural essence of a nice person and do everything to make her/him a bad person like you when it should be you becoming a better person learning from that person….

    You will have my hate for some time but it will not last, I will go on with my life, I already am, and soon you will be just the memory of a nightmare the lasted till I woke up, but you…you will know that I was one of your last chances in life to have what you crave for, and I would of given you what you needed (if you wouldn’t of asked for too much, but you did) you will have a couple of other little insignificant stories in your life, but they will not give you what I could of given you.
    We’re not talking about love here, I know you don’t have any idea what love is, we are talking about money, if you were smart you could of made jack pot with me, but it was a too bigger job for you to be a good person to me, so you blow it. And that you will regret for the rest of you life, oh I know you will try to hoover me, and it will be fun to see how you plan to do so, but for the most part I don’t care what you do with the rest of your life, I know your story past, present and future. And I do pity you, you will always be an unpleasant, unhappy, lonely person.

  2. Windstorm2 says:

    I picked why they can’t change and why deval has to happen.
    I understand about the limited number of emotions and that that can not change. But I disagree that narcs can not change their interactions with others to be less damaging and abusive. I have seen narcissists who have changed (usually in connection with a life-changing event) so I personally know that it is possible.

    As to devaluation, I guess I’ve just never understood the whole golden period concept. I understand why it can’t continue and it’s ending seems to be the devaluation, but why can’t you just be your real self from the beginning? That’s the part I don’t get. Some narcissists don’t do golden periods and they still seem successful with plenty of fuel. Why do you feel the need for deception in the first place?

  3. Jess says:

    I struggle with the fact that the lesser/mid-range can believe their own lies and don’t know that they’re being manipulative. I struggle with the fact they think that they’re a good person and that I’m the bad person. I struggle with the fact that they won’t take any responsibility and that they can blame someone else (even me) for something that they have done. I struggle with the fact they don’t care about any of my thoughts or feelings. I struggle with what I can say when we are having an argument because it doesn’t matter what I say, he doesn’t care, he’s blameless, it’s all my fault and no matter what I’m probably going to get the silent treatment for 2 or more days as punishment for voicing my concern or whatever has been sitting on my chest for ages, even though he can complain/accuse/put me down whenever he wants. All of it is frustrating! He has no empathy which is something I struggle with, he doesn’t feel anything for me and the kids, I try each day to remember that but I just can’t let it sink in enough. I used to watch Vampire Diaries and they had a humanity switch, when something hurt them too much to deal with they switched it off and then they just didn’t care about anything, I realised after reading these articles that it was a huge metaphor for real life except there is no way to switch it back by showing them the deepest love or compassion, there’s no way back. Something in their past was too emotional to deal with so they flipped their humanity switch and there’s no going back, they’re just fuel hungry vampires forever and there’s nothing I can do. I love him, I can’t turn that off and now I am in a lifetime contract with someone who is never going to let me go. This sucks…

  4. LisaB says:

    After all that I’ve read, and all I have finally learned, from HG’s books and this blog, (and your postings!) I believe I understand the answers to these questions. But only in my mind. My heart cannot grasp the fact that IT WAS NOT REAL. It seemed so real. He was so convincing, making promises and commitments he never intended to keep. Rationally, I can understand his behavior that seems so irrational to me. This is the one issue I struggle with most, because it is the very core of the relationship. Since his feelings for me were not real, everything else falls into place, and the puzzle is somewhat complete. It’s the one piece in the very middle that is and was always missing. It hurts like hell.

  5. Yolo says:

    I wish I could attached the pic of the horse and the plastic chair. I had it posted in my office.

    The moral of this story we have the power to move forward but are condition to believe otherwise.

    A man was passing through a small outback town, a sole horse, caught his eye. He stopped momentarily and was puzzled by the fact that this powerful creature was being held by only a small rope loosely tied to a small chair. No fences, no chains, no barn gates. It was obvious that the horse could, at anytime, break away from its bond but for some reason, it did not.

    He saw what looked to be the owner nearby and asked why this animal just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the owner said, “When they are very young and much smaller we use the same small size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. Sure, they will try to break free, but soon learn they are unable to. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free again.”

    The man was amazed. This animal could at any time break free from its bond, but because the horse believed it could not, it was stuck right there… conditioned to do the same thing each day believing there was no other alternative.

    The man continued on his way and reflected on how many of us are just like that helpless horse. Many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before or we are led to believe what once held us back, will always hold us back.

    “Failure,” the man thought, “Is part of learning; we should never give up if we are caught in a struggle. What once held us back is a stepping stone to setting us free.”

    Author Unkown

    1. windstorm2 says:

      That’s a good story. Thanks for sharing!

    2. NarcAngel says:

      Damn. I knew I should have kept those size 4 pants!

    3. MLA - Clarece says:

      Thank you for sharing that horse story Yolo. I love having those kinds of stories to share with my daughter when the occasion calls for it.

      1. Yolo says:


        You are welcome. I think it’s great you can share openly with your daughter and she’s receptive.

        My son is total opposite of me he used to see things in either black or white he soon realized as he got older there’s a lot of gray areas.
        Very trusting, gave everyone the benefit of the doubt he thought I was critical of most people. He didn’t understand my past and just recently a few years back saw witness my mom mask slip.

        As events arise, mask slips of family and his dad. He will call or come over and we’ll talk for hours. I am happy I was able to plant the seeds early on in his teens he would nod but I realize now he was listening😊

    4. Diva says:

      Hi Yolo……Just letting you know that I am enjoying reading your posts …..Diva

  6. mymasterstoy says:

    The need for fuel. I’ve heard differing opinions from wanting the emotions because they don’t have them or because they need to learn how to mimic them to just knowing they can manipulate you and get them.

    I understand why it hurts so badly post discard. I mean I understand the Everpresence, the pain caused by not wanting to admit you were taken and that it was never real…I just don’t understand why it feels like it’s better to have have him one more night than go through the pain I feel even knowing everything you’ve told me in the last 6 months.

    And the most difficult thing I’m dealing with…
    A lady actually asked me tonight on Quora “who is more Mentally Disturbed…the narcissist or the spouse who continues to take the abuse, won’t leave and deeply loves the narcissist despite the fact that there is nothing positive for her in the relationship”
    I wanted to bitch slap the little witch! How dare that even come out of her mouth?
    My answer?
    The person who has to ask that question..

    Your welcome

    1. Tappan Zee says:

      It’s a common thought. Valid question and something I wonder (a thousand times over) but have no issue admitting I am and was “disturbed.” There is truth in that question.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      Why did that question upset you?

    3. Peaceful says:

      Wow Mymasterstoy, well done!

  7. NarcAngel says:

    Dr HQ

    That you were like every other appliance is untrue though. Remember that is from their perspective and fuck their perspective. You are special and wonderful from a non Narc perspective. Just because we can now understand theirs better doesnt mean we have to adopt it as truth.

    I happen to know the knobs on my toaster are pretty jazzy-not to mention the slots. If he wants to go over there and make toast on a hanger over a burner that just makes him a loser and me no less fabulous.

    1. windstorm2 says:

      Very true. How they view us is from their very limited perspective. They are like the people that can only appreciate how much something cost and can not see or appreciate it’s beauty and uniqueness. Reminds me of all the people that when I show them something rare and beautiful say, “yeah, but what’s it for?”

      1. NarcAngel says:


        Those people are idiots. I have a Harry Lauders Walking Stick in my garden (tree/shrub with very twisted and contorted branches ). My MiL knowing that I adore it, was standing looking at it one day and the following conversation occurred:

        MiL: (with a sneer) Is that all that tree does?
        NA: (incredulous) Its a tree!
        MiL: yes, but what does it DO?!
        NA: It produces oxygen that allows people to ask stupid questions.

        Shut her up.
        I’d say try that but youre nicer than I am lol.

    2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


      You are absolutely right. It was so hard to wrap my mind around because I’m no basic bitch. It all just grossed me out.

      You are such an awesome person and a true bad ass.

      OMG your comments crack me up. I highly respect your perspective and opinion and I’m giving you hugs from afar!

      That mouth of yours haha …

      I freakin love it! 😁😘

  8. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    You know what?! That is what gets me….

    That I was like every single other appliance….

    That anything or anyone would do….


    I thought I like won his love years ago but clearly there was nothing to win….

    A particular Gin Blossoms lyric comes to mind:
    “The love I thought I’d won you’d give for free”

    1. Kimi says:

      Dr HQ,

      I think a Narc’s IP choice speaks less of the caliber of person or appliance and more to the desired type of fuel provided. Personally, I see codependents as being the weakest amongst Empaths, yet many Narcs consider them the greatest sources of fuel; I do acknowledge some codependent traces.

      Great lyrics!

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        I def provided him with a lot of positive fuel at first – I showered him in attention and since I’m reactive our fights were explosive.

        I can be explosive lmao; however a good portion of the time I was observing and calculating… because there was no way I was gonna make anything easy on him anymore … not after everything he was putting me through at the time.


        I’ll give you contrast alright lmao 😂

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        oh I showed that dipshit contrast… so much contrast he didn’t know what to do with it lmao! He wanted to play games… let’s play then – I mindfuxked the shit out of him and then shut down.

        Supernova bitches…

        Disappear and go out like a boss lmao

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Kim that’s an interesting point

  9. NarcAngel says:

    For those wondering why he is seemingly happy with someone who seems less attractive etc to you, it might help to acknowledge the next time you are putting gas in your car that one pump is no more attractive than the others as long as it is doing what is required of it and is filling your tank.

    Fuel has no face.

    Or not. Your call.

    1. Lisa says:

      Hi NarcAngel
      I do think with some narcs they want someone that makes them look good and you would think if they downgrade so to speak , that would be bad for the image ?
      I know HG did a post about this , would you agree HG ?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        To some extent, yes.

      2. NarcAngel says:


        Yes there are circumstances. Im sure a Greater such as HG would not take someone “unfortunate of face” to a premiere lol as it would damage the facade, but for the most part you will read that an appliance is an appliance is an appliance and comparing oneself to another is pointless and self damaging. Thats all I meant. Besides, a downgrade according to who? That one always makes me laugh because of course we all think he traded down-thats our ego at play.

        1. Lisa says:

          Yes I understand I suppose I’m just thinking about my asshole all of his girlfriends have actually been too good for him even if he wasn’t a narc. I think this says more about mine and the others lack of self esteem than his pulling power. He’d rather remain single than be seen with anything less. But he would have fuel sources that were never public .

          1. NarcAngel says:


            Maybe stop thinking about your asshole and fixate on another body part. Thank you for making me erupt into laughter several times over that. I needed it.

          2. Lisa says:


          3. ANK says:

            Just butting in here (no pun intended 😁), those potential victims that have low self esteem and think they are not that attractive or good looking make the perfect targets. The Narc pays them compliments, builds them up, makes them feel great, and receives fuel in response. It’s all about the fuel.
            Also I guess they might become less discerning or selective if and when the need for supply outweighs the need to parade a trophy.

    2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


      You really have a way with words lol.

      That was a lovely reminder and drives the point home that I was just like every other appliance (or hole) regarding my ex.

      Amazing, he will never be able to realize how good he had it and how I’m the best he will have in his natural born life.

  10. Sarah Special says:

    This really made me realize why they devaluate us after a wonderful Golden period… Why would they if we’re everything they always wished for, we’re beautiful, creative, optimistic, brillliant, funny, sensitive, loving, giving, pleasing and we go overboard making it work. It’s simply because they hate us. They hate us so much they watch us do all those things and laugh on the inside! They cannot wait to pull their fucking sadistic act on us and watch our fantasy world crumble to pieces. So clear now. So why go back to this monster? I will never!

  11. Yolo says:

    1. Why the narcissist cannot change. This is one I had a hard time believing. Although. I have witnessed fake change that doesn’t last. It’s very hard to believe that they cannot change. There have to be a pill or something to help a manage behaviour. There’s plenty of meds and therapy for other personality disorders it doesn’t cure but it helps with managing.

    2. That the seduction is just an illusion. You’ve mentioned in the beginning the narcs thinks it’s real. Until we fail them which is inevitable. If they don’t know what they are and they are incapable of love what is it that feel in the beginning? If it’s fuel what if you the victim isn’t doling out much fuel like praising, answering their calls, or giving them the same attention.

    3. Why and how do some stay in long term marriages or relationships?

  12. Elise says:

    I acquired a newfound respect for the power of language because of the lovebombing. Never in a million years did I ever dream that words could create such a strong addiction to a person.

  13. Snow White says:

    The whole idea that everything was fabricated still blows my mind. I don’t know how I was so convinced that fate brought us together and that she was in my life for a reason. I loved her unconditionally and when it hit me that there was this whole fake thing, it destroyed me.
    How could I feel something so real and it was all fake. This is still the number one trigger for me. REAL vs. FAKE can set me off like nothing else. I even ask my family that question repeatedly. This has caused me to question God and Satan and heaven and hell, evolution and even foods that start out as one thing and turn into another. ( grapes and raisins, cucumbers and pickles). I don’t even like to see the words. I can’t trust my feelings or emotions.
    I do understand how the narcissist sets up for you to see and feel their presence after the relationship has ended but it still hard for me to grasp how intense the emotions are for me. The detox was the worst thing that I had ever felt and I didn’t think I would make it. I don’t know how my body made that amount of tears. 18 months later and I still think about her and want to know what she is doing. I still miss her and that hasn’t changed even after everything that I have learned here. I wish I could stop crying over her.
    Good poll HG! I will bring this up in therapy tomorrow.

    1. windstorm2 says:

      Snow White
      It. Will. End.
      I’ve been there. It was hell. Many times i would be so depressed that everything was like it was in a time delay. I noticed this but it was like I was seeing someone else, not myself. I have felt so lost I was afraid I’d never find myself again. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up on your counselor. Don’t give up on yourself. Just don’t give up.

      Each time I’ve gone thru this, I thought I wouldn’t be able to endure it and come out the other side, but I always did. It usually takes me about two years. I know that sounds like an eternity, but just know it will end. Find yourself. Your true self. Connect up with who you really are and be true to that person. You’ve got your children. Mine were invaluable to me. They still are. Focus on the positive. I will be praying and sending you positive energy for you to be ready for school. Hugs! ❤️

      1. Snow White says:

        Hi Windstorm!

        Awwww. Can I live with you so I can get your wisdom and comforting words firsthand? lol
        I feel exactly like you said. I still don’t see myself. You might be right about the two year mark. Everyone wants a quick fix and I can’t give it to them. We will see who’s around when next year approaches. It is frustrating trying to find the real you.
        I will gladly take all of your positive energy. I need it. It is very refreshing to hear all of your stories and and knowing that you made it will keep me going.
        Lots of hugs for you. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
        I heard that you made it back safely. How is the baby doing without you?

        1. windstorm2 says:

          Snow White
          I love talking to you and reading your comments too. I was just reading what you said about your students being so positive and keeping you from worrying about your problems. I know exactly what you mean. I taught 6th grade in a middle school and love the sheer energy 150 11 year olds give off in the hallway! It is so joyful and uplifting (as long as you have a high tolerance for chaos!).

          Yes, I’m home now. My school has already started. I volunteer there as a teachers aide about 3 days a week since I retired and as you know, the first month of school is very busy. Keeps me energized and makes me feel very useful!

          I’m sure my youngest granddaughter is doing fine in my absence. It’s her parents that are much more stressed out!! I’ve already had unsubtle hints at when my daughter wants me back out there for several more weeks. Lol!

          Always sending you positive thoughts and energy!⚡️⚡️⚡️

          1. MLA - Clarece says:

            That baby has the BEST Grandmomma!
            My daughter just started 6th grade. I was dying at move-in night (decorate locker, turn in doctor forms, etc) and over 1/2 the kids in her class are my height or taller. I still equate junior high with most awkward years ever. Lol
            Her favorite class so far is Mandarin.

          2. windstorm2 says:

            That’s funny Clarece! Everything you said about her school sounds totally familiar! Even the Mandarian. You wouldn’t think it, but even in my backwoods school we have a Chinese exchange teacher on a grant!

          3. Snow White says:

            Good morning Windstorm!
            HIgH Tolerance for Chaos is what I have!!!! Lol
            That’s why I was with my ex. And I told her about my tolerance, forgiveness, and patience.
            All taken adbvantage of. But it helps with the paint, glitter, glue, and mess that comes along with 5 yr. olds. 🤣
            I’m glad that you are working there. I bet the kids love you. You have a great spirit and I bet they relate to you really well. I think that’s important. Kids want to be heard and validated and I can see you would give that to them.

            That’s what your kids do. Give subtle hints when they want you. Lol…. enjoy every minute you get with her.
            Many many hugs to you.

    2. Yolo says:

      Snow White,

      Please don’t give up all people and things that still have the ability to evolve.

      When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to back into what she always had been.

      But she had wings. Dean Jackson…

      You have wings fly….don’t give her that space in your head or heart she doesn’t deserve it. Use your wings don’t allow her to win. Fly away…

      Your thoughts control your feelings, others do not cause our feelings, we cause them ourselves. Believe in Yourself.😊😋😊

      1. Snow White says:

        Hello Yolo!
        Tiur words were very powerful and uplifting. Thank you for those. The mind is very powerful.
        I wish I wasn’t such an emotional person. I don’t know how to tone it down. I have reactions that are just uncontrollable. I do understand what HG talks about when it’s emotional vs. logical. My mind has never been logical. Lol… I feel more than think. I don’t know how to be more logical.
        That’s another goal. Can you u learn that?
        Hope your week has been good so far.

        I haven’t given up on everyone but it’s hard to have that belief again. I was in meetings all week concerning my son and I have never been so
        Uncooperative and negative. His new aide said that she had hope that it would be a good year and that word sets me off and I said,
        “My hope is dead but good luck with yours”
        I felt bad but that’s I could say.

  14. Ellen says:

    I chose “Why other people don’t understand…” because it’s an issue I’ve been dealing with. Even in the face of evidence, people will still come back to “But she’s your mother”, or “She’s just a harmless little old lady”, or “You owe her X/Y/Z because she gave you life”.

    Does it take being burned by one to fully understand what narcissists are? Why are people so prone to give the benefit of the doubt or try to minimize our experiences?

    The other is why the Golden Period can’t last. No relationship is perfect because no human being is perfect, and even the longest lasting, most loving relationships have bumps along the way, a need for compromises and forgiveness for mistakes and hurts. What is it in the narcissist that they see only in black and white (or at least mine does)? There is no gray, you are friend or foe, put on a pedestal or tossed on the trash heap.

  15. My greatest query continues to be this: How is it that the narcissist, under the veil of victim, will continue to violate boundaries and break laws in full public view? It is counter productive to her tightly weaved web of deception and smear campaigns, which clearly was a LOT of effort. (This is why I classify her as a lower mid- range, because nobody is that ignorant.)
    Here is one example…
    After 19 months of ambient abuse via the Narcissist next door, the whole neighborhood knows there is “a THING” going down. (I promise you none of them side with me) A few months back she came out and began to record me in my yard watering with her cell phone.
    I stated (LOUDLY) “You have communication between the attorney general, the ACLU, and I stating you are forbidden to post anything of me or my family on-line that you did not find already posted on social media.”
    She continued to record, smiling and chuckling.
    I responded by busting out a BANG UP PERFORMANCE of a song I wrote about cyber stalkers, inspired by her of course, facing the houses across the street. She continued to LIVE STREAM (I found out later) the entire song. The lyrics included:
    Because NOTHING says I’m not stalking you like 7 cameras pointed at your house and me live streaming you in your yard after you clearly stated I could NOT.
    WTF? She seems to entirely lack the ability to think things through.
    (The song was well received by the children visiting next door, who were greeting me with waves and cheers as their parents loaded them in the car. he he)
    So what gives?

    1. Typo…HATE THAT: …” after I clearly stated you could not…”

  16. tootsmalone says:

    I could have selected most of the choices. I would say knowing now that I never stood a chance is the most hurtful thing for me. That it would always end how it did, and it was all fake.

  17. Christine says:

    That i ever met him

    1. M. says:

      Kimi,yes, I understand.We need to get older in order to realise…What can I say about my story?It contains parts of all the stories here. Two years of lies, enormous cheating, constant mind games, unstopable future faking and manipulation. And almost two years of hoovering-he is married now, but of course this makes no difference to him. He still chases other women, telling them he cannot live without them.

  18. M. says:

    I love these polls for various reasons-who doesn’t? They always make me question further. I was thinking: what else bothers me deeply? There is one thing that I really, trully cannot understand. I have been reading the reader’s posts carefully, for a long time now. I enjoy them, I even have my favorite ones and one or two that constantly get on my nerves. You know, it is like a neighborhood in here. Anyway.I learn about so many mature (now) women who are talking about their relationship with the narcissist that lasted 10, 20, 30 years. Jesus! Ok, they did not know a thing about narcissism (noone did), but they knew, from very early I guess, that their man was no good news. Why on earth does someone stay in a horrible relationship for decades? What makes a woman stay with a man who constantly lies and insults her and, most important, cheats with dozens of other women? This is what I keep struggling with, all this time. Because, no matter how much it hurts to leave, you just cannot underestimate yourself so hugely so as to remain next to a person who does not respect you at all.

    1. windstorm2 says:

      I feel I’m one of those women you’re talking about. I imagine we’re all different, all had different situations and reasons. I can only explain myself.

      I’ve been in a close relationship with mine since 1973 when we got engaged – me 16 him 17. For 30 of those years we were married. He is the only man I ever dated or have “been” with. We’ve been divorced 10 years, but we still talk nearly every day and see each other once or twice a week.

      Now that said – it’s more complicated than you might think. I was never fooled by my husband. I systematically searched for a high level, cerebral narcissist, although I didn’t know the term when I was 16. I grew up in a family full of narcs and just thought all men were narcs of one kind or another and I wanted a smart one with no romance (I equated romance with untrustworthy).

      There were no important lies, no golden period and to the best of my knowledge he never cheated on me. I told him flat out that as much smarter than me as he was and as gifted a liar as he was, if i ever found out he had an affair I would know he hadn’t cared enough about my feelings to try to hide it- knowing how it would humiliate and devastate me. Therefore if I ever found out about another woman, I’d never say a word. I’d just come in the bedroom when he was sound asleep and blow his head off with one of my handguns. I’m a great shot and he believed me – which was wise because I was deadly serious. Being a highly intelligent man who wasn’t that interested in sex, I think he realized the risk wasn’t worth it.

      Living with him was hard and eventually got too hard to stand, but we had a farm and home together, our families were involved and helped us and we had 4 children – and honestly I’ve never met a man I thought would suit me as well. He’s not a low life abusive jerk. He’s a very smart, very confident, well educated professional.

      No, he never really loved me, but he values me. He values me as the mother of his children, the one who organized and ran his home and the keeper of his finances. He values my intelligence and my company. And I’m sure he’s always valued me as a fuel source. My fuel is not the sweetest and it never fountains like a geyser, but it’s constant and it’s always reliable.

      When it got to the point I couldn’t stand living with him any more, I moved out – permanently. That was for my mental and financial health. But he’s still the same man I chose all those years ago. I’ve still never met a better one for me. And over time I’ve learned how to protect myself from abuse.

      He’s funny, has terrific insights, is intelligent and well educated, makes great conversation, is willing to put up with me and all my crazy beliefs and is always there to help or at least advise when I have a problem. He is willing to go out to eat or to a movie with me at the drop of a hat. He’s still the father of my children and we have 8 grandchildren together now.

      Yes he’s a narcissist. He knows no boundaries and acknowledges no rules. He can be as obnoxious as all get out, usually on purpose. He loves to tease, torment and manipulate. He’s always stirring up trouble and laughing about it. NO ONE who knows us understands our relationship- not even our children. All I can say is we belong together. We both recognize it and accept it and benefit from it.

      Sorry this was so long.

      1. Yolo says:

        My comment might sound crazy. But it seems like you guys had and still have a normal relationship. 😊 I think you found a healthy way or maybe unhealthy way to deal with it.

        The most important part, you were able to escape with what’s appears a healthy mental state.😋

        You are very wise and always give practical advise.

        1. windstorm2 says:

          Thank you. I’ve always admired and sought wisdom. That’s one of the few real advantages of getting old. 😊 And one of the pleasures of having experience is sharing it with others whom it might help.

          Your comment made me laugh that I seem to have a healthy mental state! I’ve always considered myself crazy and just embraced it and run with it! But I am at a point in my life where I am more at peace with myself and my world than ever before. Surely that is healthy.

          Hope you have a great weekend!

      2. M. says:

        Windstorm2, no , it wasn’t too long. I always read you, I think you are one of the wisest and strongest people in here . Thank you for making me understand better.

        1. windstorm2 says:

          You’re welcome. And thank you for your kind words! Learning and understanding everything I can are the main focus of my life! I certainly understand other people having questions and wanting to understand too.

          And all our lives are different. Even people you meet in real life, you rarely actually understand their reality. That’s one of the wonderful things about this blog – that we can share our experiences, feelings and thoughts to help others and ourselves.
          Have a great weekend!

      3. NarcAngel says:

        Yours seems a great arrangement. You had the support of his family even after you parted, do not live together, you have set boundaries for yourself in spending time with him and you BOTH appear to get something out of it. Rare I would think. I enjoy hearing about your world (even though I tease you about it).

        1. windstorm2 says:

          Thanks, NarcAngel!
          Yeah, what I’ve got’s a lot better than nothing. I still feel wanted and have someone to talk to and get to dress up and go out and do things with – and he even pays for most of it!

          Of course, the hairy little empath in me still wishes I’d had a man that really loved me and that I got to experience that terrific sex people here talk about!
          But then reality sinks in. I realize that I have my kids and grandkids who love me. I’d have driven a normal man off with all my crazy weirdness. And since you really can’t miss what you never had, I’ll never have to mourn the loss of that wonderful golden period with all that great sex! 😝

          I love your comments and your humor and consider you my friend. Hope you’re having a great weekend! I am so far. 🤞

    2. Kimi says:


      I am one of the women you refer to in your post. It was easy staying with my Narc husband the first “Golden” 10 years. He was everything and more that I dreamt of, the love of my life! When my devaluation began (along with the insults), it became difficult. My defiance led to a physical assault (14th year), at which point I sought professional and spiritual help. He was appropriately chastised by an inappropriate (Narc uneducated) therapist and thus began “our” journey to fix our relationship. I continued in the relationship for another 2 years until I realized that the abuse only changed forms and would never cease, as he had no real desire to change. I spontaneously kicked him out of our home and divorced him 3 months later, after 16 years together. He successfully hoovered me 3 more times in the following months, until I went no contact and moved from Texas to the East Coast (USA).

      I never suspected abuse of any sort until the Domestic Violence incident… and I’m an intelligent medical professional (Registered Nurse). I quickly researched and identified the types of mental, emotional, financial, etc.. abuse after the attack. I never suspected lying or infidelity until recently, 15 years after No Contact.

      It was my recent brief brush with another Somatic Mid-Range Narcissist (thanks HG!) that lead me to discover that both men in my life were/are Narcissists.

      So I stayed for the Golden Period, I remained because I am a love devotee and sought to regain the Golden Period. I left because I had a moment of clarity and seized it. I remain a student still!

      1. M. says:

        Kimi, what a story! It really amazes me that the Golden Period kept on going for 10 years, I thought that small revelations and hints start within the 1st year, we just don’t know how to “read” them or we prefer denial. Yout husband must have been a great actor, oscar-level. Thank you for your answer. I would say that if the golden periods had lasted for so long in my cases, I would probably have stayed longer as well.

      2. Kimi says:


        I was young, in love, naive and this was my first long-term relationship. There were problems, which I thought were normal for any relationship. Mainly his anger issues, which didn’t become directed at me until much later in the relationship. There is no doubt that I was blissfully unaware during the first 10 years. I left my marriage believing he was an abusive man. 16 years together and 15 years of No Contact, I recently realized he is a Narcissist thanks to the information provided by HG’s various media and site. Thank you HG!

        M, care to share your story?

  19. sunniva says:

    Voted ‘why the narcissit cannot change’:

    The core for me is the fact that from the perspective of a narcissist it is never the narcissits fault. He or she never reflects on the fact that people around them are leaving them because of themselves.
    If you don’t have the ability to analyze a situation from different perspectives, and understand that not everyone see the world as you do, then there is no hope for change and development, and the person will always be a narcissist.

    1. sunniva says:

      And I have to add, that I like that you, in the two last polls, are faced towards us:)

  20. Kim Michaud says:

    I’m having trouble understanding where the narc wears off and where the real person begins or is there any real person at all is there anything a narc does or says that is really him or is it all fake

  21. Josephine says:

    None of the above. I get it. What I struggle with, is wishing he could change, but knowing he can’t. It makes me sad.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Written like the empath you are Josephine.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        My ex would be a complete idiot – probably bigger than I originally thought if he ever decided to directly hoovered me. He would be met with silence or if it happened to be in person … me pretending I didn’t know him… lmao

        I’m pretty sure I have been indirectly hovered at least three times – one by the cognitively slow individual who works with him and the other two times … phone calls that I picked up and no one spoke …..

        Ah wait … one other time may have been his cousin …

        I may have been hoovered more than I realize now that I think about it lmao

        I can think of another two times weird shit happened …

        Either way I hope he gets caught banging a dude in the park

  22. gabbanzobean says:

    My apologies in steering this conversation off on a tangent, but I was wondering why the Narc makes a big deal about birthdays? Why a birthday Hoover? Why not a merry Christmas Hoover, or a happy groundhogs day Hoover or a Hoover for some other stupid holiday or occasion ?? Why does it always seem to be a birthday?? HG or anyone else reading could you please shed some light on this? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Festivals and anniversaries are used for the purposes of hoovers as well. It may well be that in your experience GB, it was only your birthday which was used as this caused a Hoover Trigger and the HEC were met.

    2. ANK says:

      Birthdays are personal. It’s meant to be your special day, all about you. Perfect fodder.

  23. Lani says:

    What does the narc really think when you leave them?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See How No Contact Feels Parts One to Three

    2. Patricia J says:

      Which TV channel he is going to watch next.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Very good

      2. windstorm2 says:

        Ha, ha! Good one! Think you nailed it. 😄

      3. C★ says:

        Yes!!! Lol!!

  24. Star says:

    The whole the positive feelings were never real was my top choice. I have to admit, I have huge trust issues now regarding men because of this.I suppose that can be a good thing in a way, but I can be pretty hard on them these days 😂

  25. narc affair says:

    The most important tho is understanding myself and how i factor into the equation. What is it about narcissists that has lured me. This is crucial bc without that the cycle of being a victim will continue.

    1. Bliss says:

      For me I would say it’s the awesome golden period and unfortunately for me it was the sex too. It’s like saying no to excitement, true love and happiness (fake for them but real for us). All that future faking they do too so we believe that we could have a great future together. We’re pretty normal wanting those things. It’s when the abuse starts and we don’t walk away, that’s what I still can’t figure out.

  26. Diva says:

    This is an easy one for me…….”compartmentalisation”………I once asked my narc a question……this was the answer…..that was the moment when my world was turned upside down (although I did not realise he was a narc at this point)……I didn’t know what it meant…….I still don’t really, as my own mind can not go there…….and even if I now have a vague idea of what it is……….I still don’t know how they apply it to every day living. Diva

    1. Karma says:

      Diva… did yours also said that to you? The N said to me when his ‘crazy’ ex tried to ruin our lives and I asked him how he copes he said ‘I compartmentalize and just carry on’…. RED FLAG and there were so many

      1. Diva says:

        Yes mine used that very word when I asked him about a double life he had led……the answer “compartmentalisation” was said as if it were the most normal thing in the world……as if every one was capable of doing it ……he didn’t seem to realise that it was not typical behaviour.

        1. gabbanzobean says:

          Mine used the term “hyper-compartmentalization” for the double life he led.

          1. Diva says:

            Bizarre!!!!! I wonder if these “compartmentalising” narcs know what they are? Are they all of the same narc type? I thought mine was a greater but HG said he could have been UMR – although to be fair I hadn’t given him much info to work on at that stage.

  27. Anonymous says:

    As someone who is fairly sane, I struggle to understand how anyone can stand being an asshole. I know I can’t expect my ex to walk around with the same (or any) moral compass that I have. But Christ in heaven, if I lied so much to people and had so many secrets, I’d surely die of a heart attack rather sooner than later. All that stress wouldn’t be good for my health. Keeping up with lies, constant worry that someone will find out what I do and did, etc. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. So I guess I struggle to understand how he doesn’t break under the stress. Oh I guess because he doesn’t experience any. I remember once – years ago – I had this dream where I killed someone. When I woke up I felt horrible. I felt guilt. Real guilt. And fear. Real fear. I thought that in those few minutes just after I woke up, I probably actually felt what a real fairly sane murderer must feel. It wasn’t nice.
    I also remember when I first learned about sick people such as pedophiles (I mean in detail, not just about their existence), I told my older sister that “I just don’t understand why they don’t kill themselves? If I was so fucked up, I’d just kill myself”. Not that I think narcs should kill themselves, but yes, I struggle to understand how one can be such a dick, even though I know it’s a disorder and I can’t assume they suffer the way I would if I did what they did.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Anonymous, your observations reinforce the reason you do not understand and believe you would respond in the ways you have described because of the difference in perspective. Your stance is entirely valid because when looked at from your perspective it makes sense, but I don’t die of a heart attack through so much lying because this activity is necessary to my existence and my lack of remorse and conscience does not impact on me in the same way.
      We don’t break under the stress etc because it is not stressful to us because we are different to you.

    2. ;peace out says:

      Anon, “if I lied so much to people and had so many secrets, I’d surely die of a heart attack”

      what if you were a spy or in a dangerous situation? you assume that your empathic responses and morality is *you* (a static state) and a universal condition of humanity, rather than situational and adaptive. the degree of empathy we feel and how we interpret it, is a cultural choice, that is also gendered and ideological. HG is in a survivalist mode with hyper-paranoid self defenses, many psychopaths and antisocials suffer from severe depression. what matters here is that they don’t feel ‘solidarity’ with others, they don’t like sharing and intimacy, they don’t want others to know them because that means having power over them, etc… and there’s dark gloopy stuff underneath they don’t want you or themselves to analyse.

  28. C★ says:

    ❉ “Why other ppl just do not understand what narcissism is” ❉ ….. i know family and certain friends wonder why I’ve been married three times and there must be something “wrong” with me & my choices…. perhaps, however, after blaming myself for everything and taking responsibility, I found HG….. he gave “Me” a different perspective…. Still, ppl “just do not understand what narcissism is”…. i still contemplate my part in the dynamic(s)

  29. Brian says:

    My marriage therapist told me my wife was hanging out with her ex because I wasn’t paying her enough attention.
    I blamed myself and redoubled my efforts, this was the most confusing part.

    1. K says:

      Exactly why I do not see a therapist and why I am here. There is no confusion here, only accuracy and complete clarity.

  30. Stevie says:

    My top pick would be why others don’t understand what narcissism is.
    I understand how a narcissist does the nice guy act that people fall for. That’s simple.
    My thing is, I know quite a few of them and they all do very strange things, even when they’re being fake nice. Things that should make people notice something is off about the person.
    Like my sister’s and my mil.
    When they are being fake nice, the emotions aren’t there. It’s just odd facial expressions that hang around way too long. Big eyes and practiced smiles. A calm tone in their voice that lacks emotion.
    Why don’t people get a vibe?
    Then the gossip. For the love of everything, just shut up! Can’t you deal with shit on your own? Why is everything so easily offensive and why do i have to hear about how someone didn’t respond pleasantly to you when you did a pop in visit?
    I’m a really crappy supply.
    Narcs hate me. They all do. In time, I get sick of them. That’s when they tell everyone how mean I am.
    I’m not mean! I’m just no good for an alter ego.

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