Poll : What Went Missing And Impacted Upon You?

POLLHG WANTSTO KNOW

We are takers, removers and withholders.

Certain things may never have existed in your entanglement with our kind, but many traits and behaviours were fabricated and conjured as part of the illusion and your seduction.

Which of those matters, when they vanished as the devaluing behaviour began and the adverse manipulations occurred, have significant impact on you? There may have been a whole host of items which disappeared but which had the greatest impact?

Was it the loss of the honesty you thought that existed? Perhaps the wonderful sex was withdrawn or replaced by something altogether more hurtful and demeaning? Was the removal of respect something which caused a problem for you or was it the fact that we never made time for you anymore? Did the vanishing of fidelity cause major pain or perhaps the lack of affection hurt?

Where applicable you may select up to four from the list before casting your vote and do expand on your reasons and how it impacted on you in your comments.

Thank you for participating.

 

Which of the following, that went missing during your entanglement, had a significant impact on you?

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87 thoughts on “Poll : What Went Missing And Impacted Upon You?”

  1. Affection. He turned into a dead fish towards the end – wouldn’t return physical intimacy and if he did put his hand on me, it lay like a dead fish. It killed me at the time – now I’m mainly disgusted by the thought of him having touched me at all.

  2. I missed him being available in any way to me. He went from being engaged in the the relationship to a vacant shell. Anything I wanted from him was purposely withheld… THAT ability to hurt me through keeping himself unavailable peaked his interest… He was totally fascinated by my pain and anguish over watching him disappear.

    In the beginning the world or anything taking his attention from US was a nuisance and bother. By the end anything taking his attention from me was exciting, riveting and welcomed. I on the other hand became the nuisance caller… The outsider demanding unnecessary attention.

    I missed it all. In 13 years he simply witheld anything he sensed I needed from him. He underscored any contrast between me and the rest of the world and used that contraSt as a deadly weapon. So the customer service person who screwed up his TV service was handled with charm and humor… As soon as he hung up the phone I was spoken to with disdain (only slightly for plausible deniability) sarcasm and manufactured patience.

    The message…. Everyone else was more interesting, charming, engaging and worthwhile. They earned his humor, sexuality, charm etc. I on the other hand was a charity … Undeserving and ungrateful. He was generous in the most difficult of times. He was able to rise above the obvious handicap I had become.
    He me loved in spite of who I was. And I was the unappreciative whore du juor. A broken woman who tricked him and was now taking advantage of his pity.

  3. HG, all those things were but an illusion. I have come to realize that I don’t miss what wasn’t there to begin with.
    Except maybe the sex…

  4. Dear HG,
    Out of curiousity, what do you do with the information obtained in the polls?

    What hurt me most was the attention and affection that were subtracted over time. Being the centre of his world to becoming his personal “punching” bag in every way except physical. He almost hauled off and hit me once for interjecting in a conversation where he actually asked me for my advice.
    Of course the other 2 women in our relationship sided with him because he would never be physically abusive.
    He still calls me. Ive learned how to balance my energy and keep it neutral. I dont speak. I wait for him to say the first word (which he never does). By not giving anything, I win. Its a long time coming…and its such a sweet victory.

    I love learning what has been freely given no matter the catalyst. Thanks HG

  5. My ex being a mid ranger narc would give just enough. As soon as we had someone else join us (ive mentioned in previous posts my natural draw towards polyamoury) his need to create drama, gaslight and procure fuel was overwhelming. I had no idea what he was doing or why i would be treated so poorly by a woman who just became part of our relationship.
    It was so important to him that i follow his rules (which of course did not apply to him).
    I realize now what caught me initially was the need to have someone to love. When i became comfortable with the possibility of being alone for the rest of my life, it was no longer important whether i had someone and i could see someone else for who they are instead of what i hoped they would be to me.
    He was initially sweet & considerate…this slowly became the behaviour of a pouty child.
    He would sulk and ignore me. He would tell me if it was not for our newest addition to our poly family, he would never be able to tolerate me. What he was saying is that my fuel is not close to enough anymore.
    I see all the mistakes i made and the tolerances i gave that i wont ever accept and roll over for again.
    The red flags are clearer now and seen from a distance before they close in. Each person after this one has taken me a shorter period of time to recognize and leave before it was too late.. In one particular case couldve been fatal.
    Like others who have posted, honesty is my highest priority. Equal to honesty is congruency. It doesnt take long for a liar to fuck up if we listen and watch to see if their words and actions match. Honest people are naturally congruent. And they have a sense of their own self.
    I dont want to be maternal in my relationships anymore. I dont want something i have to fix…unless of course new insight offers me an opportunity to change something inside myself.

    I wish you all new insights in your recovery to find new ways of being in relationship with yourself and others.

  6. Another excellent poll, HG.
    I chose honesty, respect, affection and making time.
    I think lack of respect was the most distressing, as it encompasses the others.
    With the lies, cheating, disappearances, all showed lack of respect.

  7. How typical that I am typical, choosing the two most popular choices – honesty and respect. These are just common decency to me. I couldn’t live with myself if I were dishonest, mean, manipulative and uncaring.

  8. HG. Intimacy is missing from your list. That undercurrent of emotional/physical deep connection was met with a vacant, wide hole of nothingness. All connection is at surface level only. In fairness, can’t call it a loss because I never had it in the first place.

  9. I went missing today I told him I’m leaving forever by text then blocked him on everything before he could reply this is m y first attempt to go no contact ever not counting the times he discarded me and I never contacted him but he eventually hoovered I cut off every method I could think of for him to contact me but im pretty sure he doesn’t care anyway cuz I think I’m in devaluation I did not allow him to respond to my text but I’m pretty sure he would of either said he doesn’t care or started his usual habit of saying bizarre things that make no sense or don’t pertain to what I said so here we are day one of no contact only three million days left or so until I die let’s do this

  10. This is the first poll where I tried to check off every one of the options listed. I laughed when informed that only 4 max could be chosen.
    My wound of self-doubt runs deep because before reading this poll, I was doubting whether it was my perception or if it was based on reality. HG has a way of opening eyes wide to the reality of narcissistic behavior.
    I really wonder if I will ever trust someone again to open my heart to, and have a healthy connection. I know that for now, I have to focus on a healthy connection with myself.
    Ironically enough the breakup actually lead me to a wonderful opportunity to move to a new place and start over. Yet, my heart still aches at times and I find myself apologizing to him for the mistakes I made, in my mind. Typical codependent/empath. I haven’t fully gotten angry at him and I think that is a crucial part of my healing. I don’t want to stay there of course, but I think it would be a step forward to be angry, and not be so apologetic for my reactions, which were largely provoked by his antics in the first place.
    Yes, I could have handled things differently. I own that. But this is the first relationship where someone actively took what I told him about me and used it against me later on. I still can’t believe it, really. No remorse. No apology. “I know I am missing something.” is the closest thing to self-awareness that he admitted. How sick am I to have believed that I loved him, and he loved me.
    I know I have to work on myself a lot… and am grateful for his actions and inactions motivating me to do so. There is a lot of good coming into my life now that I have escaped, and yet there are days where I still pine for what “could have been” – which is a totally ridiculous ball of illusion.
    Grieving this is surreal because from what I read in this blog – nothing was real… it was an act from day one. Looking back I can see that from the day I met him there were red flags. On the first day I met him… there was triangulation, talking over me, interrupting, gossip about another woman, and exaggerations, and treating me like I was an extension of him and I should naturally like what he likes. I see it so clearly now, and it’s 4 years later.
    I find myself saying “I need to be a better person.” a lot these days. Clearly I am damaged by the time I spent with him, and with conditioning from parents and siblings with the same personality disorder.
    I know awareness of all of this is good, but it is also painful. I am nearly 50 and no where near where I thought I would be in life. But things may shift if I take the opportunity before me and start anew.
    I likely veered off topic for the poll but hopefully my words make sense to others out there too.
    Thanks for the support.

    1. I am 55 and my Narc was the first man I have understood the meaning of ‘love’—before that I was pretty flat about ‘love’. I am certain I will never love another man- at least I had the experience before I did- my first love my first broken heart…… most likely my only. I was single for years before and most likely will now be for the rest of my life….. I have men interested however- I am not in place to reciprocate, so they must remains friends ( without benefits).

  11. Humour

    A lot of Narcs have zero sense of humour, but those who do usually have an excellent one and are fun to be around. It really never goes missing though-more like an intermission. At first we are in on the joke and laughing with them, but after the awareness, disengagement, and healing, (and often times during), they continue to make us laugh-but at them. The antics and absurdity of it all.

  12. I checked off some of the popular choices,  affection/support/sex, for the purposes of the excercise. However, now that my mind goes there, (after over a year of not having thought about these things) the things that I keenly feel a loss over were specific to him and my entanglement with him. For one, his physical presence; the texture of his hair, the line of his nose and cheekbones, the muscles in his back, his beautiful hands, the scent and warmth of his skin.
    Those things above can all be found again, even another beautiful man.
    But what kills me are the broken dreams and future plans we had worked towards. When we worked together toward common goals we could accomplish amazing things. He learned and honed skills as a result of our entanglement (and because I supported those endeavors), as did I. Plus, I learned that I’m stronger than I imagined, more resourceful than I thought and that I could develop skills I never thought possible.
    I guess I can thank my narc for that and thank HG for the realization that no matter what tangible goals where accomplished together – the ‘end’ goals never happened – because it was all future faking and dangling carrots. I lost count of how many endeavors and pursuits of his that I encouraged, supported and assisted…so much energy and time and resources …and then there would always be an obstacle or a barrier in the end as to why it wouldn’t work, why it was the wrong pursuit etc., etc…I did finally recognize a pattern (after explaining away a whole host of things) and started to withdraw resources  (attention, emotional support, my assistance, financial support…) and started investing in me. This of course excerbated things and what followed was what I now understand to be my devaluation – in earnest. 
    What I truly mourn is the way we could actually work together to achieve certain things…when we both put our minds to it…so I still struggle with why he could apply himself to seriously challenging tasks when he chose to. And he actually had significant talent at skills that the average person would find rather tedious – what a waste.
    After having read HG’s blog I can only surmise that those pursuits must have benefited him in other ways or were steps towards a greater end goal.

    Anyway, a snarky ‘thank-you’ to HG for causing my memory to go there…and a very sincere thank-you to him, as well, for providing the tools to help with moving past those memories.

    1. But then I guess we’re mostly all here for the tangible benefits of interacting with a narcissist…at least HG isn’t wasting his talents along the ride.

  13. I chose Honesty, Respect, Making Time For Me, and Fidelity..

    I thrive on the truth and lies eventually took their toll on me.. I embarked on many truth seeking missions since then and found out fidelity was foreign to him.. Because of that, obviously him making time for me decreased when he was seducing others.. And after a while, when I continuously took him back over and over again, no matter what he did, I’m sure he lost his DISPLAY of respect for me.. (I understand now he never did)..

    I’m very independent and did not need him for financial or domestic support.. I understood he was very empty inside, even before realizing exactly what he was, so I did not rely on him for emotional support.. (it would’ve been nice though).. He got “meaner” to me over the years, but never lost his overall charm and magnetism.. He’s a musician so he’s in the public eye a lot and I witnessed that charm still having the massive impact on everybody he came in contact with.. The two of us are total goofballs, so he ALWAYS made me laugh.. I actually don’t think there’s a day that ever went by when I communicated with him and didn’t laugh.. And since we are in our prime of life, the affection, excitement, and good sex never really declined..

  14. Honesty, fidelity, respect and affection. The loss of these four permeated and lead to the realization that the relationship was a sham. Compounded with the observation of the ease and speediness at which you are being replaced and discarded.

  15. LIES. It was all nothing but a lie. The lies beforehand, the ridiculous lies during and all the lies told about me afterwards. It was all nothing but a big fat lie. I can’t even check the box “honesty” because it was never even there. That’s what was stolen from me… my TRUST.

    1. Sex went missing … he manipulated sex and money … if I had money he had to have sex with me … his choice… guess that was the way to control me…. it was the most amazing sex …
      I am still missing it … it was like his way of making me addicted.

  16. This is difficult. Maybe excitement. Not mine, his. He became so apathetic that it almost hurt. I remember one time we talked on the phone and I said “my god, you’re so boring” because he added nothing to the conversation. He got angry and hung up on me. I really did feel like some sort of clown that was jumping up and down with balloons and if I was tired of doing the entertainment, there simply was no show. That’s when I realised that everything good and fun comes from me. In the beginning he participated in the show, but then he simply started throwing rotten eggs at me or occasionally, there was some weak applause.

    Anyway, it’s been been almost 9 months since I escaped. There was Christmas, there was my birthday, but there was no hoover. Someone is trying to guess the password for my Instagram accounts and has been doing so for months. I don’t know if it’s him. He has hoovered the woman he was seeing before I met him, and he added countless of new women to his social media. I’m pretty much over it/him now, the only stalking I do is due to morbid curiosity. Like when I look up serial killers and other sickos for hours. No emotional involvement, just curiosity really.

    1. “I’m pretty much over it/him now, the only stalking I do is due to morbid curiosity. Like when I look up serial killers and other sickos for hours. No emotional involvement, just curiosity really.”

      Oh my goodness, I do the same thing!! My favorite show is Forensic Files, and after I watch an episode that has me intrigued, I’ll look up the people from the episode involved on web to see if there was any further development in the case or court trial after the episode aired..

  17. The excruciating pain I experienced had more to do with his actively disrespecting me, making me cry instead of laugh and constantly reminding me I had no value to him. It became quite clear who I was and my unique qualities were never even seen. It was never personal… The good or the bad because I was never a person to him.

    The loss of the above qualities causes acute pain but leveling the exact opposite behavior against me was devastating. He delighted, often within the space of minutes, in creating a euphoria of love and well being between us knowing that evening he was flying to another country (which I knew nothing about) or he was sleeping with someone else that day…. He had to create the happiness to enhance his fun destroying the happiness. He put amazing effort into creating my hope for our future and my belief in our happiness to have something extra sspecial to kill.

    Destroying a mansion of beauty… Something solid that has weathered the test of time and something special was infinitely more satisfying than knocking down a dilapidated old shack.

    The lack would have been easier for me to handle than the calculated use of these qualities to bring me to my knees and inspire heartbreak after heartbreak.

    He used humor to degrade me.

    He ignored my sense of morality to disrespect me.

    He became completely unavailable to me when we were in the same room becaise I was too repulsive to make time for…. Even when it was easy.

    So honestly I never missed these qualities. They were used against me in a twisted degrading way. And they were reasily available to him when engaging with everyone else.

      1. Bekah… Many of us experience such sadness… I sometimes believed I had a sadness for all ages… That a single tear would begin a process I could never hope to stop. We have all suffered so deeply.

        There is a poem about a rose.. Before blooming a rose bud’s petals are so tightly closed the rain can not reeach its center. A narcissist reaches our center… “No one not even the rain has such small hands”. And they reach inside only to destroy.

        Thank you. I am always grateful when my story resonates for another. And I am always shocked when someone I never met would cry for me…. It shakes me out of my numbness and helps me believe that YES my experiences were painful and abusive and so very destructive. I so often don’t understand just how awful it was.

      2. You’re welcome.. I like that little part of the poem, “No one, not even the rain has such small hands…” You’re absolutely right.. They only reach inside to destroy.. And I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why someone would want to obliterate something so beautiful.. Something that has stood the test of time.. Like that beautiful mansion you mentioned.. It makes me really sad each time I think about it in depth.. I hope you are doing well, though.. Stay strong!

  18. This one stung a bit. Honesty, Fidelity, Support, Respect…even during the initial stages of our relationship I questioned their existence and felt their absence. Seriously makes me want to cry. What a fool I was.

  19. The complete loss of honesty and respect were the worst to me. It also hurt me a lot that he stopped making time for me and instead made a lot of time for other women, all fhe time denying that to be the fact, gas lighting me and lying. Also the witholding of emotional support and financial support (he made me pay for everything and pretended to have no money) were devastating.

    1. Word! I feel you sister! 😂 finally I do not have to pretend anymore. I just kept it up because I thought I loved him and felt so connected to him, I did it to please. Realising I was just being mapilulated finally revealed the truth about the Love-sex also; it was never really any good. I do not miss the sex at all.

  20. Wasn’t an option, but what went missing? The extreme intoxicating highs of being of being on his pedestal. Feeling like the world was a brighter place, that our love was all consuming. Also missing? The crash and burn, anxiety, tears,walking on eggshells and feeling like my world was nothing without him when he chose to knock me off of that pedestal.

  21. For me it’s….Respect….honesty…..fidelity….support…and in that order, my fifth would be affection without those i could care less about the rest! The most impacting would be respect and he knows it…I’ve never in my life met someone or even dated someone so blatantly disrespectful on all levels! Looking back now In the beginning i swear i was dating a mime he copied everything about me and reflected it back to me, and when he got bored with it he cleaned off the white paint and now he resembles Jason without the mask

  22. Time.. He always made time for me. He made me the center of his world. Then, slowly but surely, he pulled away. Bread crumbs. Bread crumbs with his time. Bread crumbs with affection. Bread crumbs with money. Bread crumbs with everything.
    My heart was starving.
    I learned to feed myself. Never again will I starve. I am never alone now. Why? Because I have me all the time now.

  23. With the last narc, he stopped making time. All of a sudden he became super busy with his career, stating he was doing more and had less time. His emotional support started to dwindle as his respect waned for me. He always had a high powered position, but he seemed to be using that as a reason why he was absent emotionally. In the beginning, he was the most supportive, uplifting and motivating person, almost too good to be true. As he started devaluation, he lost his sense of humour, became more possessive, and more withdrawn. I instinctively reacted by expressing less of myself and then he withdrew more. So painful.

    1. Same here. First it was 2 days off steady during the week….then the words came…
      “Ive got to work 7 days a week for a while”. Yeah right….lie… Getting dressed for work on off days to go turn a trick. Leaving me at home when I schedule the same days off as before. WTF. That skank wont live much longer… I have a feeling. God is gonna slam the brakes on that demon. Im divorce now…thank goodness. HG gave me insite in how, what, when, where …with divorce. No contact now.

  24. Another great poll!!
    I chose honesty, great sex, making time for me and charm.
    The disintegration of honesty was early on in the game and the ironic thing is he wanted me to know. I for so long couldnt figure out why hed want me to know he could be dishonest and that he flirted with other women and was involved until i learned about the different schools of narcissist. Im certain my narc is a lower or mid range greater and even more certain he knows hes a narcissist and enjoys the power it makes him feel he has. Psychological warfare being the game of choice. Why did he want me to know he was dishonest? I think for a few reasons. First it alleviated what shred of conscience he had knowing he “warned me” what he was. It was now my choice to stay. It was also an ego boost showing off what a stud he was able to ensnare other women and be disrespectful to me. Most narcs are misogynists. I equate it to how a serial killer leaves a trademark at a murder scene or writes a letter to the newspaper to take credit for their crime. Its a game of cat and mouse.
    It was such a huge blow to find out he wasnt the sweet, quiet honest guy i thought him to be. Over the next 3 yrs i struggled so much coming to terms with it bc i could not understand how he could be one way but the facade was the polar opposite. I second guessed myself so much in those days. I did however have quick glimpses behind the mask that validated the fact i wasnt imagining it.
    Great sex…we had mind blowing constant sex at the beginning. The first 4 years were perfect sex wise. Exciting and fun but it was like a switch turned that off and became intermittant. Gone was the constant affectionate sex talk and caresses. Even the sexual jokes dwindled. Sex was now shelved. It was on and off with him being the one deciding when he felt in the mood.
    This coincided with the fact he brought up an ex and in a roundabout way admitted they were still friends. Luckily at this point i was on this blog and learned about the narc cycle. My devaluing stage came on later than most but it inevitably arrived. Id confront him several times about how things had changed and disengaging only to have him profess his love and attraction and that nothing had changed…more gaslighting. Eventually i stopped caring as much and let him decide when he wanted sex and didnt but i also stopped certain perks as well. He sensed i stopped caring and started to show more interest which i realise was his ego needing to know i waa still attracted to him. He couldnt give two hoots about my needs.
    Making time for me….my narc still is there for me but the weekends there seems to be a disconnect. In the early years he would text or call me back right away and wed meet at least once a weekend but now his responses are delayed at times and we dont always get together. Were always together in the evening online but during the day had changed. I feel im more intetested in being with him then he is with me at times. I sense hes busy with someone else during the day on weekends. It really is a contrast from during the week and i feel taken for granted which ive pointed out to him on many occasions only to be…gaslighted.
    Charm… he used to want to impress me but now hes more and more letting his hair down so to speak. Ive become his primary secondary. Im the one he can be himself around while he more than likely is charming some new woman thats caught his fancy. Hes comfortable i wont leave him and am a reliable source. That only goes so far before i remind him he still needs to try. I guess in all relationships this happens but given the deterioration of the other areas mentioned above im not as understanding.
    These areas have impacted me but theyve also kicked some truth into me. Im still with my narc but im by no means naive. That in itself is a strength. Truth is strength.

    1. I wanted to point out a correlation with the sex changing. I noticed it was around the time i was learning about narcissism. Narcissists are intuitive as well and i think he knew i was onto him. I think he also found out thru facebook and other means i was learning about narcissism and that id put 2 and 2 together. He started to bring up terminology about narcissism to gauge my reaction. I always played like i didnt know but im sure he knew i was lying. When they know you know what they are they start to pull back and change. It threatens them and their construct.

      1. Narc Affair we could be dating the same guy. The only difference is the sex. He’s always willing and ready.

        Like your relationship my N is very open about his dishonesty. And you are right. It’s so we can’t use it against them. He would say “come on. You know what I’m about and you choose to stay”. Basically putting the blame of his lies and disrespect on me. I’ve been with him for years and it seems the more I learn about him the less accountability he has to take.

        When I found out about the other women and still stayed it became a tool for him to get a reaction. I use to think that he just needed his fuel from new sources but now I see that it has a double meaning. He actually sets it up to get caught by me because he loves the reaction. If there is a woman around that I don’t react to he discards her quickly. If I make a comment like “she has to go” about a woman, I can assure you she will get a nice little golden period. It’s like my reaction to these women determine weather they have any longevity.

        This last one he lied and said she wasn’t in the picture. Well I caught him in the lie. There really was no hiding on his part. He set the bait and I took it. Now of course he says this is my fault because deep down I knew he was lying. These little games only started when I, like you, stopped caring.

        He has never withheld sex from me and it has always been mind blowing. Unfortunately the games he has played has turned me off to even that aspect of this relationship.

        Today he has painted me black. I told the new girl about me. Yes I know, bad move on my part. She told me she broke it off but I’m no fool, this girl isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He needs her until he’s ready to pull me back in. I’ve stopped all contact because I don’t want this to be fun for him. I don’t want him to gain fuel off of my pain. I also blocked her because I could see her contacting me when he blows her off for a night out. She’ll want the answers I was willing to give her yesterday. She doesn’t get them though. I planted the seed and that was my goal. I wanted her golden period to end quickly.

        Dang I got off track…my point was that he now says “I will never be able to trust you again” Because I told her! And I should know better than to tell people about his twisted games because I know he’s a dishonest person and I chose to be here…it’s mind blowing the way they think.

        Anyway I voted honesty. I gave this man so much freedom that he had no reason to lie. Our boundaries are so thin you can hardly see them. Yet he lies lies lies.

    2. Hi Narc Affair,

      Long post excused.. I loved it!

      “Eventually i stopped caring as much and let him decide when he wanted sex and didnt but i also stopped certain perks as well. He sensed i stopped caring and started to show more interest which i realise was his ego needing to know i was still attracted to him. He couldnt give two hoots about my needs.”

      – I can relate to this.. I’m sure a large portion of it was my narc’s ego too, but he really needed me to love him and no other man because I have explained to him I am demisexual.. That means I do not feel ANY type of sexual attraction to ANYONE unless I have an emotional connection to them.. He has told me countless times, even recently before this disengagement, that the day I tell him I am no longer “demi” for him, it will hurt him.. He knows if I decide to be intimate with anybody else, it is a big step for me and I won’t step outside of that commitment.. And that’s why he dreads that day..

      “Im the one he can be himself around while he more than likely is charming some new woman thats caught his fancy. Hes comfortable i wont leave him and am a reliable source. That only goes so far before i remind him he still needs to try. I guess in all relationships this happens but given the deterioration of the other areas mentioned above im not as understanding.
      These areas have impacted me but theyve also kicked some truth into me. Im still with my narc but im by no means naive. That in itself is a strength. Truth is strength.”

      – I love this.. I suspected the same thing with mine.. He knew me for 11+ years and we have a child together, so he got reeaallyy comfortable with the idea of me being the reliable one that was not going anywhere.. He’s told me that multiple times: I am the only constant thing in his life.. Smh.. After I got the chance, I tried to explain that did not mean he could treat me the way that he did when I was horribly devalued, “discarded”, and replaced the first time.. So when we got back together, I too, became less understanding.. I needed to remind him he wasn’t EVER gonna put me through any kind of mess like that again.. He tested me and pushed my buttons.. But I think I finally proved my point I am not the one to get over on.. Trust me, he paid dearly.. Anyway, I understand when you say you are not naïve, even though you are still with him.. You are so much stronger when you know the truth.. And that strength exudes from you in your relationship.. They recognize your stealth and that is why they continue to push the limit and test the waters.. They want to break that strength down and prove they are the ones that are superior..

    3. “Narcissists are intuitive as well and i think he knew i was onto him. ….. When they know you know what they are they start to pull back and change. It threatens them and their construct.”

      – Precisely! I would say they are rather perceptive.. That’s the exact reason why they have a magnificent ability to mirror people.. Their people-reading skills are off the charts.. And once they get to know you very well (and especially in the intimate sense), they recognize shifts in emotional behavior.. If your cool, hard logic is displaying as a result of your knowledge level, this has a negative impact on your freely flowing positive emotions.. It’s like they are “held back” and there’s literally nothing you can do to bring them back to the days when you were blissfully in love.. I actually tried, but it just wouldn’t come to me.. I’ll never feel for my narc how I used to.. But I will never tell him that..

  25. This relates to my family and not a romantic relationship, so it covers a lifetime rather than a specific period of time.

    When I finally discovered that the covert dominating and controlling behaviours and manipulations were due to narcissism, the thing that “went missing” was the feeling that the “love” I was being shown was not the authentic, genuine bond I thought it was. I guess this falls under “honesty”. The feeling that I had lived a lie for most of my life was the most devastating at first. It’s still sometimes hard to accept, but now I can understand things that were hurtful, frustrating and confusing at the time they happened.

    The other thing that “went missing” was the feeling that support (emotional, financial, chores) was not really based on genuine care. Again it was like I was living a lie. Gifts, meals, visits and “friendliness”, etc were given with a hidden “agenda” and were part of a bigger facade.

    My subconscious mind must have always known, otherwise where did the depression, anxiety and feeling of emptiness come from, but my conscious mind was all too willing to believe that the “love” was real.

  26. Honesty, respect and affection. That encompasses most of what went missing in my relationship. The good sex remained although somewhat tarnished by those qualities mentioned above and I don’t know to this day if he cheated or not. He didn’t triangulate. But I suffered immensely both then when devaluation began, and now thinking back, from the loss of those three important qualities. He demanded them from me; and I couldn’t then get my head around how he suddenly turned around on them himself. To catch him lying for the sake of lying when all he ever talked about himself was the importance of honesty; to be disrespected and to be involved in a mind game where what I believed was love and affection was removed and then unpredictably granted was pure hell and the insecurity, the pain, the constant bewilderment kept me focused on this unbelievable drama instead of on what was actually happening to me. He was a pure illusion; a meagre one at that!

    1. They are purely duplicitous, Catherine.. And just like you said, you are caught up into all of the drama of what he is doing and how it makes absolutely no sense, rationally, that you lose sight of yourself in the entire thing.. Your identity slowly erodes because you find yourself desperately trying to reconcile in your mind the behavior of someone you love, who you are as an individual, and why you are being subjected to horrendous treatment.. This experience is sooo terrible and definitely has its long lasting impact.. Am I the only one who feels that even though I escaped, it isn’t enough?

  27. I picked support but the main thing was security he made me feel so secure and safe then took it all away making me question his love my value as a human being my attractiveness my value to him my sanity my right to be supported my rightvto be loved but at the beginning I felt so loved cherished and safe and this may sound weird but I’ve never been able to nap in the daytime my entire life but when we were together I could fall into a deep sleep every afternoon because i felt so safe and secure having him around he took away all my security never knowing from one day to the next if he would leave me or even speak to me

    1. Very powerful, Ugotit.. And no, it’s not weird that you couldn’t take a nap.. Lol.. I can understand that.. Your narc was able to create within you a sense that everything would be just as it was before so you could literally “rest, assured” that you had someone to call your own.. Isn’t it frightening and hurtful when they intentionally remove that sense of peace and security?

      1. Definitely its hard to believe the person who made me feel the safest turned out to be the person who made me feel the most insecure I ever felt in my life

  28. None on the list quite applied or had significant impact on me (except perhaps honesty, in terms of his overall game playing), so I didn’t choose one… it’s perhaps a little weird, but he was never overtly critical or disparaging/disrespectful of me — and he kept all the charm, warmth, and sensual aspects alive… he did provoke me for challenge fuel a LOT though, in a variety of ways. He’d show angry/jealous outbursts or try to startle me…but he was fairly quick to smooth over those aspects, which is what I feel kept me in the relationship for so long. He just knew what would work – and what not to even try.

    But what started to “go missing” in the relationship (and had great impact for me) was my sense of freedom. That’s what (ultimately) led to my leaving the 3-year relationship I had with my narcissistic ex-BF.

    I’m a little bit like a wild horse, when it comes to my freedoms… so the more the narcissist tightened the reins on me, the more I resisted — until I eventually bolted on him. (Twice now).

    1. Caroline

      Thats a good one because they take that slowly and you end up isolated from people and interests you used to enjoy to cater only to them.

      1. Thanks, NA… after I posted my thing and saw all the other comments, I felt like people may think, “Well, gee, you didn’t have it bad at all, Miss Caroline!” I felt like people would not be able to relate to my experience, which made me rather sad. But in a certain way, I agree — I didn’t have it as bad in several areas — but in another way, it made it even more heart-wrenching to leave him… because there was A LOT I felt I was leaving…I did love him deeply. I realize that love is about what I dug down to “find,” not necessarily his full self. I get that.

        BUT…TBH, he was very controlling of me. SO jealous. It was not a compliment to me — it was a very angst-stressful way to live…I kept thinking he just needed more of my love (women flung themselves at him continually, and he truly showed me daily that he was so solely focused on me, which was so heartwarming to me). However, he watched me like a hawk, and he was obsessed… and anyone who knows me in RL knows I am NOT okay with anyone pulling me away from family/friends I love… my Dad sensed his control issues and absolutely hated him — and my Mom was totally charmed by him. Go figure. I always did (and still) have a lot that I enjoy in life (my beloved occupation + talents, activities + relationships), and he was/is just BRUTAL on me emotionally, in this regard…it is unrelenting pressure to pull me from everything… anger + jealousy + guilt trips… I’m still a work in progress on all this.

        With my sense of humor and spunk, it’s probably hard to tell, but he still can deeply hurt me…and he *does* scare me (the only person I ever directly admitted this to before now was HG, in an email). Nobody in my RL even knows about this ongoing saga, and I do have a significant other. There’s something about me that is way overboard independent… but, frankly, I do not want to change this about me, so nobody waste your time trying! 🙂 This is probably a big, unrepentant narcissistic quality in me — the same one that makes me stand up to + allowed me to leave the narcissist. I don’t (yet!) consult with HG for a reason — which is not a reflection on him. It’s a reflection on me. I’m too proud to do so. I am adamant that I will never listen to a narcissist over myself. It’s almost like I have to win this last battle by myself. I can only win it alone.

        Remember Caroline?…. she thought she could handle her narcissist (who is likely a Greater) — and she even had a full, good life and seemed to have it “all together.” Yeah…those are the ones who disappear. lol. No, it’s not that funny. [Everyone else: reach out to others/consult with HG as needed.].

        But I’m good for now. I know when I’m not.. I have that wisdom in me. 😉

      2. Definitely.. I’m struggling with that now.. I swear, I feel lost and like I have absolutely no one, besides my children.. I am fully aware of what my hobbies are, yet I was consumed in my narc’s world that I feel like I’m going through a cessation of his hobbies and pursuits, too, and have no interest in my own..

  29. The thing that changed the most over time was that we just weren’t having fun together anymore. He was playful and funny, didn’t take himself so seriously in the beginning of our relationship. I missed that the most. When I could tell the respect was gone (him toward me), I had to get out of the relationship.

  30. Making me laugh. Definitely.
    I even remember that I sent him a message saying ‘You used to make me laugh …’ to which he replied saying the very same thing about me.
    He’s got a brilliant sense of humor…
    I feel sad now.

  31. Hi HG,

    Why does the narc make it almost impossible for you to see your child. From the first discard when I was blocked except for being able to e mail. I repeatedly sent e-mails asking to see my son. I would receive terrible e-mails claiming I was a terrible father and abusive who didn’t deserve to see him unless I proved I was no longer toxic. Then 4 months later out the blue get e mail saying I can see him. Spent the next 4 months in some of the most toxic crazy behavior and got discarded again. I am now back to square one with regard to my son although after a few attempts of asking her to see him, have taken legal steps. I have gone no contact and received one abbusive e mail followed by Facebook unblocking. My question is why is everything always made so difficult and why is my son used as a weapon within this? Sorry for it being so long.

    1. Primarily to gain fuel, to assert superiority, to act on their sense of entitlement, to triangulate you. It is a detailed topic and for specific comment on your situation, this is better dealt with through a consultation.

  32. The support; financially, emotionally, everything basically. He gave no help with chores, errands, etc. The daily details of life were not his concern. I was supporting him financially and he literally stayed in bed for 6 years. He didn’t cook, clean, shovel snow…NOTHING to help me out. The only time he got out of bed was for the benefit of himself. Then he would expect me to listen to how hard his life was. When I started packing up, he started doing things for me but it was too late. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

  33. He stopped respecting me as a person, or at least it felt that way because I understand now that he never did.

    Once he learned that my love language is touch, affection altogether disappeared and he would tell me that he masturbated instead of coming to me, “because he didn’t want to upset me”

    I figured out quickly that he had zero boundaries when it came to emotional infidelity. I chose to work on it with him thinking that it was just because he was so used to living his life in a certain and just didn’t understand that what he was doing was inappropriate. “You need to give me compassion!!!!!”

  34. Okay, I found some things to be thankful for. Making me laugh, excitement, charm, … never went missing. Good sex did not go missing because it had never been there. 😉

  35. At least I’m not alone. Seems affection and making time are consistent.

    My longest entanglement would meet me and say he was sorry but he had a cold and couldn’t kiss me. He loved me so much that he didn’t want me to catch it. Then he would lay in bed with me for two hours six inches from my face. He knew I loved kissing so he’d withhold it.

    Like clockwork, in his “go away” “come here” fashion, he would start the golden period again and systematically lesson each time he would see me. First he would come to me and spend the night. Then it would me be me having to come to him and spend the night because he was oh so busy. Then I would go to him and he couldn’t spend the night. Then he didn’t have a whole day, Then he only had a couple hours. I ended up driving longer than I got to see him.

    The common theme in all of that is me doing what he wanted. I taught him how to treat me and he was a perfect student. And so it goes.

  36. Wow, HG! Every time I am struggling with whether the man I was entangled with is really a narc, you write something that cuts to the core and removes doubt all over again. Your kind are indeed takers, removers, and withholders. You first give even when we don’t ask. Then when we rely on it not in a complacent way but in an appreciative, grateful, and reciprocal way, you remove it and the hurt is excruciating. I was just an intimate secondary source that, accord. to my consult with you, is currently on the shelf. But I still experienced removal and withdrawal of frequent communication, affection, emotional support, and honesty. When you are shelved, all of this is still removed. So, HG, I think it makes it incomplete to say that once devaluation begins, you experience this. When shelving occurs, these things are removed too. Do you agree? Thanks again for continuing to provide validation!

    1. It obviously follows that if you are on the shelf you are not communicated with as much and therefore this will reduce the scope for any form of support that is provided. However, this is not removed because you are painted black, but merely because you are not being engaged with, unlike in devaluation the listed matters are usually removed because the illusion has ended.

      1. Thank you, HG! I appreciate that. However, whether the reason/ cause is devaluation or shelving, the effect/ result is the same: removal/ withdrawal and that hurts. Additionally, it is not just the quantity/ frequency of the engagement that goes from frequent and regular to nothing for many months, it is also the quality when engagement finally happens. While it is still friendly, amicable, positive, even complimentary, it is not as affectionate and loving as it used to be. It’s going from talking like lovers do to talking like friends do at arm’s length, which, even though you are engaging, it is brief, after a long time, and does not feel the same quality wise, and that still causes pain. Do you see what I mean? Is this normal for shelved appliances to be kept at arm’s length like I described?

      2. How do u know whatbit is if your not discarded because u still are contacted twice a week but your not in devaluation or are you if there’s no criticism or name calling are u on the shelf even if your not a secondary source what are u in when your in a period if apathy from him

    2. “You first give even when we don’t ask. Then when we rely on it not in a complacent way but in an appreciative, grateful, and reciprocal way, you remove it and the hurt is excruciating.”
      This captures the pattern precisely for me … my ex would take away things I appreciated and wanted in the relationship, and when I mentioned it, the punishments and withdrawals became even worse.
      Things I didn’t want, he would do. I would ask his opinion on things – he wouldn’t give it. Would give opinion on things I wasn’t asking for input. It was backwards and mean and manipulative.
      I would say “when you help me with xyz… it makes me happy”. He would respond “I thought you were supposed to make yourself happy.” So many comments like that which confused me and created distance.
      I have been NC for 3 months and still “miss” the good parts… there is a broken part of me that loves him still and that’s sad.

  37. The most significant was the loss of security. I lost that innate belief that I could count on him, that he “had my back, ” that he would put me and our marriage first, that we were a partnership, etc. The loss of respect, fidelity, honesty, and him supporting me when it came to conflict with his kids, his late wife’s family, etc. all fall under the “security” umbrella.

      1. Mmmm…it depends. If i was attracted by one of your kind it would mean i’m pretty insane. I just can cure myself and it will bring to your devaluation and consequent forgetting. For us, once forgotten it’s over, forever and ever. No disengagement, no hoovering. Nothing left for you. Pride regained for us.

      2. But you do not forget – mastering the response to the remembrance and reducing the frequency of remembrance are the key steps.

      3. HG Tudor

        ‘Indeed, but we didn’t create that in the first place did we? You were already sane.’

        HG,

        we miss feeling our sanity, narcs do things that seem insane, yet act as if what they just did was normal. and that make us feel insane.

        On the poll, I was thinking i could check off just about every box. But the more I thought about it, what I missed most was honesty. That affects every other item listed.

        What is respect and affection if they are not honestly felt? Why spend time with someone who is not honest. You don’t expect support from someone who continuously breaks promises they never intended to keep. Sex isn’t good if you have to worry about diseases and how you got them. And liars are not charming, funny or exciting.

      4. Yes it seems insane to you. We do not act as if what we did was normal, it is normal and logical to us but I understand your point as to how this disparity causes a feeling of going insane and of course that is a required outcome as it results in fuel provision, an inability to feel secure, the desire to find an answer to satisfy that truth-seeking trait which only leads to being bound further and the selection of the wrong answer which invariably involves self-flagellation.

        I anticipated that many people would be able to choose all options in the poll so I limited it to the four which had the greatest impact.

        The lies are better than the truth – until you realise they are lies.

      5. Well, that was an emotional spout off on my part! Thank you for reminding my that it is a tool, all for the use of maintaining Fuel.

        The more I consider it, missing honesty is the key. For me, nothing else was no longer worth anything or missed without honesty.

        ‘The lies are better than the truth – until you realise they are lies.’

        When I suspected lies, I did not investigate. That’s when I lost my honesty, too.
        That is actually worse

      6. Yes, but you Narcs do have a way of making us drive ourselves insane…

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