10 Spoken Narc Grenades


1. You never….

The precursor to a criticism of how you do not do something for me. It is a twin explosive assault against you because not only do I tell you that you are failing me by not doing something for me I also choose something that you actually do carry out. By suggesting that you no longer do a particular act or say a certain thing, when you actually do so, I intend to leave you speechless with exasperation and confused as to just how I can say such a thing. You will be stunned by such a blatant contradiction and this will result in your emotional response coming to the fore, rather than a reasoned one. All the better fuel for us.

2. You always….

The flipside of the above and likely to be tossed in your direction not long after the above narc grenade. The allegation of “you always” will be followed by some put-down and criticism highlighting a behavioural trait of yours which we deem unsatisfactory. Once again we will actually highlight something that you do not do in order to perplex you. You will defend yourself against this scandalous accusation and once again erupt in an emotional manner.

3. I’m sick of you controlling me.

Thrown at you in order to project our own rampant control of you. This is also used to deflect any criticism of us when you chastise us for our behaviour. Any attempt from you to point out the error of our ways or even to try to help us in some way will be met with this response. We do believe that you are trying to control us, by trying to break our own control of you and we cannot allow this to happen. It is through our control that we gain what we want from you and therefore any threat to this must be met with something that will knock you off balance. Accusing you of the very thing that we are doing will cause such astonishment and consternation that our aim is fulfilled.

4. My ex wouldn’t do this

A narc grenade of triangulation and who better to do it with than your predecessor. By implying that your predecessor has some form of superiority to you, after all the smearing of her name we did when we first ensnared you, not only will you be taken aback by this sudden volte face, you will also be mightily offended at being compared to someone who we hate so viciously. Drawing you down to her apparent level always brings forth a reaction from you.

5. My ex would do it

Another flipside whereby we are seeking to coerce you to do something for us, something which you are evidently reluctant to do. You have reservations and no doubt with good reason, but that does not matter to us. You are our extension and therefore you ought to be complying with our wishes without hesitation or refusal. By triangulating you again with she who went before you we are threatening that you are inferior to her and raising the prospect that you will be soon dispensed with if you do not do what we want.

6. I love you but I don’t like you right now

This carefully crafted narc grenade will shatter you as it appears as a compliment before ripping your heart out as you struggle to comprehend what we have just said.Surely if we love you, then we must also like you? What do we mean by saying this? It creates confusion and will have you trying to persuade us to both love and like you. What we mean when we lob this grenade towards you is “You say you love me but you will not do what I want.”

7. If you loved me….

We know that you are a love devotee. A passionate supporter and believer in the concept of love and we use this as grenade to about compliance. We know that you take pride in your integrity and decency and therefore you have standards to always uphold. By suggesting that your failure to act in the manner we want or that your disagreeing with us is somehow representative of you loving us less, we are challenging what you stand for. This will always force you to react by stating your case, reacting in an emotional fashion and ultimately doing what we want, in order to prove that you do indeed love us.

8. You are over reacting

A favourite to make you react even more. You take matters seriously and there are many things that we shall do which will cause you to respond in a serious and concerned fashion. By using this grenade, we belittle you and cause the issue to be about your reaction rather than what we have actually done.It acts as a brilliant way to deflect discussion and dissection of our behaviour and instead causes you to try to prove that you are not over-reacting, which will invariably actually heighten your response.

9 I can’t deal with this right now

Our grenade that is thrown in order to provide us with an escape route from any crisis or situation that requires us to be either accountable or supportive. We do neither and we want to keep it this way. We will invent some other reason which means that we have to depart or that you have to deal with this situation as we hurl the grenade, leaving you to catch it and deal with the subsequent explosion as we walk away, free from involvement, responsibility and culpability.

10 I don’t remember

The blast from this grenade is used to eradicate the problem that you are facing us with. Whether it is an accusation that we have failed to something or evidence of misbehaviour, this grenade is a failsafe way of enabling us to escape the problem. Often it will be used even when it is blatantly clear that we can remember, making your flabbergasted reaction all the more satisfying. There may be irrefutable evidence that we know and can remember but this never stops us from hurling this grenade at you and making good our escape from your attempt to blame us.


67 thoughts on “10 Spoken Narc Grenades”

  1. SMH, Sorry for butting but I could not help wanting to comment on this: “One of my conditions for Act II (the affair) was that he not sleep around and I don’t think he did. He wasn’t great enough to have a wide matrix and he struggled to control me during this period.”
    Do you really believe you can set conditions with narcs they will honor? I can guarantee he was sleeping around. You can never control a narc by setting conditions or in any other way. They will tell you what you want to hear but do as they please. This may not be what you want to hear but the truth will set you free. Wishing you peace and healing!

    1. Hi IL,

      I can pretty much guarantee that he wasn’t. I won’t give too many details, but he was not a Don Juan and he would have risked me spilling the beans. He simply did not have time for more than me and IPPS. When he shelved me, he had IPPS, but of course I knew that. He was always either with his family or at work. I knew this to be true because of social media. IPPS also kept a pretty sharp eye on him (so we both were – how oppressive!) and he saw me at very specific times around work and family obligations. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t doing online stuff, or flirting with other women, but the main thing I cared about was not getting an STD.

      HG has a post about fuel supplies for mid-rangers that seems to fit mine pretty well. They are not as adept at establishing an extensive matrix as greaters.

  2. Hg have you ever done a voting poll asking how long after disengagement the narc first hoovered? It would be interesting to compare everyone’s experiences and see if there’s any trends.

  3. Hello, Mr Tudor, what would be the best way to answer these attacks? I try not to fall in the the trap and I usually respond something absurd (for example, when he says I’m tired of you controling me, I would say “me too” which leaves him perplex, and then I try to talk about something that he likes) but I am not certain it is the best way to react… I know he’s in need of attention, or love, or fuel, whatever you call it, and I do not mind giving it to him, but I would rather do so in a way we are both happy… Any advice on how to calm the situation down? Thank you!

    1. You can either not respond at all, thus not providing fuel and wounding or look at the article about empathic hand grenades.

  4. Dear Mr Tudor,
    I always received ….
    8, 9 and 10 …. but …” I really don’t remember”
    “This article is excellent” ….but… “I never said that,
    however …” I’m not overreacting when I say that”

  5. I got 8 and 10, though not always explicitly. Once I got 3 (cold fury) in the form of ‘YOU shouldn’t be an obligation too (along with work, family etc)’ after I asked him to be more transparent about his schedule and ‘our’ plans. I went icy back – like wow, really? I am willing to be your IPSS and you call me an obligation?? We had an argument about the meaning of ‘transparent,’ and he backed off, saying it was not my fault. But I never ever forgave him for that.

    He had this thing about being ‘spontaneous’ and I laughed. Ha. You want spontaneous? You keep me hanging for 10 hours straight without confirming anything. I am not allowed to call you at night and ask you to come over. I am not allowed to be spontaneous. Only you are!! He looked at me as if a lightbulb went off in his head. Oh, you mean I am in a relationship with another ‘person’? I do not know why he did not just pay for sex but I guess he would have found that demeaning (or maybe he did pay for sex too – no idea).

    He expected me to read his mind, right up until the end. The day we were meant to see each other for the last time, he kept me guessing and at arm’s length, never confirmed or denied, and then said ‘I couldn’t do what we planned.’ I said, ‘WE didn’t plan anything.’ The following week I forced him to give me a day and a time by threatening to go to his house. He gave me a day and time, and followed through.

    Again as in just about everything else, including shelving, I saw that he was perfectly capable of behaving another way and he knew what I needed to make it work. So it all seemed deliberate and manipulative.

    HG, do you expect us to be mind readers? Is it some sort of repressed intimacy thing? Is it your way of saying ‘you are special,’ ‘you are me,’ and when we inevitably fail, it gives you an excuse to paint us black? A kind of built in push/pull mechanism with expectations so high that no one could possibly meet them?

      1. Okey doke. Thanks. I wasn’t sure if it was a communication disorder, a personality disorder or a mental disorder.

      2. To be expected to read his mind used to completely infuriate me!
        “I shouldn’t have to tell you” or “I shouldn’t have to explain it to you.”

        As a young man I think he actually believed that I should automatically know what he was thinking and thought I was being obstinant and trying to control him by denying it. But as he grew older and matured I think he knew it was not possible, but still said it as a manipulative tactic to jerk me around.

      3. HG
        Since SMH was an IPSS, she would have only experienced CDs and if she responded favorably to those CDs then the GP would have been reinstated ending devaluation.

        To be very clear, are respite hoovers only used within the formal relationship with the IPPS during Devaluation?

        1. Do you mean respite periods? If so, yes they are granted within the dynamic of narcissist and IPPS. As you identify, with IPSS, NISS there is shelfing (on favourable terms so in effect the victim is regarded favourably) and if devaluation occurs it is short in nature since it is a CD.

      4. Thank you, HG. I am “projecting” my experience as IPPS and realized it after I reread How The Narc Devalues Different Victims.
        SMH is an IPSS and either gets shelved or a CD. Got it.

    1. SMH
      You were feisty; I like it. Your position in his fuel matrix as an IPSS provided him with some excellent proximate fuel which is far more potent than a one-off with a tertiary source (prostitute). Remember, he is a fuel addict and you were chosen to fulfill the Prime Aims, but, alas (for him), it appears you were quite the challenge and you escaped.

      Those changes in his behavior were respite hoovers that were used to placate you and keep you in situ; they appear deliberate from our POV, but these manipulations come naturally to the narcissist; it is all instinct. These two articles are really good and I think you will like them.

      14. We expect you to read our minds so you do what we want.


      This statement is about control: ‘I couldn’t do what we planned.’


      1. You looked these up in the card catalog didn’t you K? When I think of the school library, I remember all those drawers! Kids today have no idea what we had to go through for some research. Now, Google does it all for them. I’m glad to have had the experience though. Good times!

      2. Hi K, Once again, you are so right. I would always ask myself, what does he want? (I know there is a post about that.) And now I know. The ‘what we planned’ thing set me off because WE hadn’t made a plan. It was all in his head and he kept me in the dark. In our final communications I told him that he did it on purpose for the fuel – I think I used the word ‘heat’ – ‘you like the heat the chaos generates.’ I had only just found this blog that day, I think.

        Yes, I was a challenge. I am very different from IPPS temperamentally. I see why he gets bored, to be honest :). But still I couldn’t figure out why he kept coming back if we fought so much, not realizing that the challenge was what he liked. Made no sense to me, especially because when we were together there was no conflict, never fought, he seemed normal, happy and relaxed. It was only when we were apart that he would do this stuff.

        I guess my respites were when we were together – he was constantly giving me respite hoovers – I just didn’t realize it. The ‘real’ relationship was the one when we were apart, not when we were together. Wow. Mind blown. LOL. (I laugh because it seems so pointless to me and I was such an idiot!)

        When I said I wasn’t interested in being with him anymore, I also said that if he ever wanted me back, he had to be 100% present in person. I knew he never would be (nor do I think I would want him) but by putting that condition on it I gave myself a guide to go by. Just have to keep it in mind if he reappears…

        I once told him that he seemed like two different people – as soon as he was out of sight, he became someone else. He was not surprised and responded that other people said that about him too but he did not have an explanation for it. He seemed confused himself about why he is this way. Unaware narc. Not a greater.

      3. K, I should add that part of me knew all of this within the first month. I fell asleep one morning while he was emailing me and then I dumped him and gently suggested he look for someone who wanted virtual sex. It didn’t really bother me then because it takes all types and we had only met recently. But I obviously hit a sore spot because even though I never mentioned it again, he was very defensive about it later on. I think he had a real madonna/whore complex and hated the parts of himself that wanted the ‘whore.’ Intimacy was only for the ‘madonna.’ V (vaknin) claims that cerebral narcs, which he is (mid-range), really only want to masturbate (true, HG? I know that is not you!). Sex with another person is only for fuel/hoovers. It was really hard for me to get my head around because in all honesty, he was most normal and relaxed when we were in bed – the further we were from bed, the weirder he got!! If we could have just stayed in bed all the time, it would have been fine – LOL!

      4. MB
        Yes, Of course, I did. A few keystrokes and the magic unfolds. I hated looking up words in the dictionary when I was a kid, thank God for the internet and Google!

      5. SMH
        Classic Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two different people in one and it is interesting that he recognized it, when you pointed it out, and admitted that others felt the same and, yet, he had no explanation for it which suggests mid-range. Although short in duration, it looks like he got some nice challenge fuel and some contrast, too. You were onto him early because you recognized that he liked the heat and the manufactured chaos and you found your way here, thankfully, and now you know exactly what you were dealing with and how to protect yourself. There will be no more tangos with that Devil!

        1. K, Sort of Jekyll and Hyde but more present/distant. He didn’t have personality extremes. He was ‘normal,’ animated, talkative, responsive and relaxed when we were together, and controlling, rigid, curt and often cold when we were not.

          It wasn’t short, as it went on for two years. I suspected he was a narc but I only found this site post-escape when I was trying to be ‘friends’ because he kept hoovering me. I’ve been here just a few months. And yes, classic mid-ranger. All signs point to it.

          I don’t know if I’d resist him if he resurfaced, to be honest. I might be bored and need the challenge myself! Ha.

          1. SMH
            Yup, two years is long. I misread your previous comment. Definitely a mid-ranger; I had one those too. And mine hoovered post discard, as well, and eventually I found my way here, thank God!

            Ha ha ha…get that ET under control before you end up in big trouble. I remember that feeling, a part of you wants to go back post escape/disengagement. It is an addiction. Keep reading!

          2. Ha K, I just read a post that triggered disgust rather than longing. Just what I needed, though I don’t feel in the least bit tempted today anyway. Too satisfied with what I am doing. Who knows about tomorrow but a good reminder about why I need to continue to hang out here. Thank you!

          3. You are welcome, SMH!
            Excellent, keep up the good work. Reading and posting on the blog really helped with my ET and NC. One day at a time; hang in there!

      6. SMH

        You were an IPSS so you enjoyed long GPs as long as you remained compliant, however, you would have received corrective devaluations for non-compliance until you realized the error of your ways, thus, ending the devaluation and reinstating the GP.

        As an IPSS you do not get respite hoovers because those are only used in the context of the formal relationship with the IPPS which takes place under the umbrella of the Devaluation Period.

        Phew! Sorry for the confusion SMH, but thanks for letting me practice my cognitive narcissism with you.

        1. LOL, K. I just saw that you were talking about me behind my back :-). I have to look up what a corrective devaluation consists of. I get all of the terminologies confused. You are welcome to practice on me anytime but now I have to go back and read it all to make sure I understand it.

          1. Thank you, SMH!
            It is funny when we talk about each other “behind our backs” and work things out. I look forward to practicing with you again; it’s fun. The terminologies can get confusing, just type them into the search bar so you can pull up the articles that explain them.

            These two articles talk about CDs, scroll right down to IPSS to read about how they apply to you.



          2. Hi K, Thank you. I did read about CDs yesterday but I can’t keep it all in my head. The logic defies me. He had a hard time keeping me in line after awhile. I don’t like to be controlled or to feel like I am being put in a box, so I would explode either with anxiety or anger, and then he would have to deal with it. That is why I thought maybe I was getting respite hoovers all the time and that the ‘real’ relationship was when we were apart, because that is when my anxiety and anger would surface. He was never mean to my face – never cold, never an unkind word, really. One reason I stayed was that he never ever criticized me. I felt at times that I was more his alt-wife or alt-IPPS than an IPSS.

          3. You are welcome, SMH
            Don’t stress too much. It takes time for the info to sink in and repetition really helps.

            In the beginning you may have been very compliant but your fiery demeanor became quite a challenge at some point (no one puts SMH in a box!). When you were apart, that was shelving-not a respite hoover- and it looks like you got angry, or anxious, and provided challenge fuel, which triggered a corrective devaluation. Your MR needed to assert superiority and get fuel so he painted you black and he blew cold.

            When he picked you up again, he was nice to you and he blew hot with manufactured passion, hence the confusion.

            He never criticized you because you were a secondary source and all you experienced was seduction (except for the CDs), while this was going on, his IPPS was most likely painted black and in devaluation.

            Seduction is wonderful, no wonder you felt like his alt-wife.

          4. Ah yes, K, I read this one over and over. I was shelved a lot, which I had a very hard time with and did not understand, but I never got a CD. Or I got two – one with harsh words to which I reacted like a madwoman so he had to work very hard to calm me down. The other was post-(final) escape after I clearly (and inadvertently) wounded him (silent treatment). He was never mean apart from that one time, and he only ignored me one other time, more than a year previously. That time he responded two days later, I ignored him, and got a massive hoover a month later, which I resisted. Another hoover followed a few weeks later. I told him he was psycho and resisted that one too. But I caved two months later!

            Maybe I was back and forth between Candidate and Shelf IPSS. No idea. But after I caved I told him very clearly that I wasn’t interested in being IPPS. His tone completely changed (I forgot about that turning point), and things got really intense and twisted because he thought he could ‘decide’ between me, IPPS, and maybe a third woman, but I took control and removed that choice. I wasn’t going to allow him to choose me and I wasn’t going to fight for him.

            I now believe that my lack of interest in being IPPS hugely wounded him. I did not realize it at the time. To my way of thinking, he would be happy that he got what he allegedly wanted, and I was content. But he either wanted to test me as Candidate IPSS or he wanted to be able to triangulate me with IPPS/other IPSSs, and he could not do either because I did not care.

            I thought I’d be in this affair for the rest of my life – that we’d sneak off between visits with our future grandchildren. I think my main disappointment is that I did not get to have my affair the way I envisioned it!!

            I know all of this sounds awful to normal people but he also lied and I did not know his name for the first 4-5 months. I was not interested in a mm but didn’t know he was married for 8 months. To me lying is the worst thing you can do. I suppose had his behavior been decent after that, I might have forgiven him, but because it got worse, all bets were off.

          5. SMH
            Very good, after a while, it all sinks in and starts to make sense.

            It looks like there were back and forth STs between you and him, which I think is indicative of your narc traits coming to the fore and, when you reacted like a madwoman, I bet that was some nice fuel. I was a madwoman, too.

            We have no idea what was going on in their fuel matrix at the time but it is very clear that you were rejecting his control and trying to exert control over him. Your feistiness is admirable. Usurping control is a substantial wound, I imagine (the turning point).

            We do not get the affair/relationship the way we envision it because they are in control and they dictate how it all gets played out and that is a huge disappointment.

            Don’t worry about not knowing his name, that does not sound awful to me, also, keep in mind that lying comes so naturally to the narcissist because it gets him what he needs (fuel) and it is his truth. I am a DEMB so don’t feel too bad about being with a mm. Shit happens.

            It all starts off so nicely but then it all ends so badly. What a shame.

          6. Hi K, Yeah, what a shame! I do have narc traits – probably a Super Empath, though I don’t think of myself as very empathic. Yet I am a big fat 0 in the narc department compared to him!!

            I thought it was funny that I didn’t know his name but he gave me the clues. No other lies except for being divorced but I couldn’t figure out his partner status because I was away for months following our first phase (or Act I, as I call it) – not monitoring him or insisting we go to his place.

            We met online in a huge city but there are only 2 degrees of separation between us. He therefore took huge risks but never flinched. I said to a friend way back when, if he is married he is a psychopath :-). And what do you know…! Haha

            One of my conditions for Act II (the affair) was that he not sleep around and I don’t think he did. He wasn’t great enough to have a wide matrix and he struggled to control me during this period.

            I don’t feel guilty at all. He deliberately shaped my reality so we were in our own little bubble, and not much changed between Act I and Act II.

            What’s a DEMB? Dirty Empath Married something? What happened during your madwoman phase? You are pretty observant and thorough so I bet it was something to see!!

          7. SMH
            Dirty Empath Marriage/relationship Breaker.

            My MMRN had an IPSS and wasn’t interested in the family scene (we have a daughter) so I went through a “rage period” where we fought quite a bit (he withdrew) and that was followed by “The Hatred”, that’s the part where I wanted him dead.

            At the end I was, more or less, fuel free and I just stopped reacting to anything he said or did and I ignored him a lot. One time we were at the mall together and I left and went home without him, I donated a bunch of his stuff and when he went looking for it, I told him I had no idea where it was and I made fun of him and his appliances. It was festive!

            By the end, I was so apathetic that he couldn’t pack fast enough. Then the hoovers followed and some NC, in between more hoovers, until I found narcsite and realized exactly what I was dealing with.

            It was something to see but I am very happy he is gone!!!

          8. K, I might be repeating myself because I seem to have lost my comment, but I am confused because I thought you said you were an IPSS. Here you write that you were with a married mid-range narc (MMRN) who had an IPSS that was not you, and with whom you have a child and with whom you lived. That would make you the IPPS to him, if I am not mistaken. And then what is the DE part? Whose marriage did you break up? Your own? (The DE part.)

          9. SMH
            Sorry for the confusion. I started out as an NISS (we went to the same elementary school) and when were teenagers we became intimate so I became an IPSS, then we went our separate ways for approximately 10 years and reunited in our late 20s.

            MMRN = middle mid-range narcissist

          10. Ah, I thought the first M in MMRN stood for married. Mine is also an MMRN, but a MM(married man)MRN! 🙂 Actually, I think he is more of an upper middle range – so a MMUMRN!

            Funny but I met the guy I call Narc 2 before UMRN. We lived on the same block, went to the same HS and Uni, but didn’t know each other until 2009 and didn’t socialize until 2015. I was still married (still am, but separated now – he is probably a narc too but a pity narc, a LN) and did not get involved with him. But it went on (and off) for 3 years, until he suddenly died a few weeks ago. Shocking but I haven’t dealt with it because I am in a different country right now…and despite our similar backgrounds and histories, he still jerked me around. That sort of thing – feeling like you really, really know someone — can be really deceptive.

          11. SMH
            It is not uncommon to have had serial relationships with narcissists and I had a “Pity Narc” that I mistook for an empath; he was a pain in the neck, always “woe is I”. Quite a few of my narcs have dropped off as they started hitting middle age. Drugs and alcohol will do that to you.

          12. K, I just went back and read what you wrote to HG and I see that you were an IPPS, not an IPSS. So you and MMRN had a child and lived together? What made you a DE? I thought a DE was someone who was also married, or were you? You were both married to other people, left them, moved in together, had a child, and he then had an IPSS?

            If that’s the case, it’s one reason I would never have tried to have a ‘real’ relationship with my MMRN. He would have continued his ways but with me as IPPS. Also, he would have hoovered his current IPPS (I read that in one of HG’s posts and thought of course!) He’s very attached to the stability, structure and routine of the life he has, if not to IPPS herself. I could never have replicated it because I am not that sort. I told him over and over – I cannot give you what you need and I would not even presume to try.

            Had he been divorced, the scenario might have been different but doubtful. We are complete opposites. He sees me as ‘free spirit’ and I see him as ‘gilded cage.’ Even our zodiac signs were the worst combination one could possibly imagine :).

          13. SMH
            I was in a relationship with a ULN and my MMRN had a girlfriend (I think she was a MMRN). My MMRN’s father died and I went to the funeral and within 8 weeks I was his DSIPSS (Dirty secret) so that makes me a Dirty Empath Marriage/relationship Breaker.

            Your MMRN’s IPPS (wife) may have been an important part of his facade and she may have been fulfilling the Prime Aims so it looks like he wanted to keep her in place.

            We were both water signs. I was a scorpio and he was cancer. I started to call him a Crabby Patty (Sponge Bob) at the end of our relationship because he was so grouchy.

          14. K, But you lived with MMRN and had a kid with him? That wouldn’t make you his DLS. Or did you go from being DLS to IPPS, and then he found an IPSS? You are here trying to determine all of the various fuel matrices? It sounds much more complicated than my situation.

            In my case, IPPS is codependent and very important not just for the facade, but also for the structure and stability – the family life he needs. But she doesn’t have the edge, intelligence or worldliness he craves, so he also rebels and that’s what I was for (kind of what they call a ‘split self’ affair). To him I was ‘wild.’

            I want as much stability as anyone else, but I was feeling suffocated by my previous relationship. (I am still married and had only just separated from my very needy ex LNH when I met MMMR – am only just beginning to realize all of this because I don’t think about LNH much.) I only needed MMMR to be consistent, supportive, and fun. If he were normal, he would have had all of his needs met with me and IPPS, but alas…

            I am pretty certain that MMMR was my transitional object – my blankie – my pacifier – my port in the storm. I once told him that no matter what happened, I would always be grateful to him for being that for me, and that is true.

            What he is really looking for is someone younger (I am older than him) and tamer, who wants to be IPPS. He wants an out from his marriage but he wants to replicate it rather than complement it because that is all he knows and that is where his comfort zone is. With a new copdendent IPPS he can continue doing what he does. Had I transitioned to IPPS, it would have been everyone’s worst nightmare.

            When I left, I said it was because I did not want to be in an affair anymore but that wasn’t really true. I later said the truth — that I really could not deal with his behavior, that I felt I had whiplash all the time – that I am not a human ping pong ball.

            I am an uber earth sign and he is an uber air sign. Totally wrong for each other. I once told him, you are in the world but I am of the world.

          15. SMH
            We met at age 6 and this is how it transitioned:

            1. NISS (children)
            2. IPSS (teenagers)
            3. A 10 year hiatus; I met my ULN and became his IPPS.
            4. I entered my MMRN’s 1st sphere of influence at his father’s funeral.
            5. Within 8 weeks I am DSIPPS, then IPSS.
            6. I an installed as IPPS about a year later.

            The family facade is very important to some narcissists, sadly, his wife is stale and in devaluation. He wanted some fresher more potent fuel and he was getting that with you. There is no consistency with a narcissist, you play by their rules and the game is always in their favor. Consider yourself lucky that you were never promoted to IPPS because devaluation is brutal and with your temperament it would have been like that dark comedy, War of The Roses.

            I told my MMRN to scuttle into the ocean and hide before I sting you to death.

          16. K
            Yes. Maintaining the family façade is very important to the narcs in my family. On the rare occasion one gets divorced, the others look down on him. Like he wasn’t capable enough of holding on to his marriage. Probably a main reason why my exhusband continues to treat me as a wife, he just doesn’t live with. I wouldn’t doubt that other family thinks we’re still intimate – that we’re just weird. Ha, ha!!

          17. WS
            I have got some narcissists (narc on narc) who have been married for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. It is funny because narcs do look down on their own kind, as well as, us empaths. There is plenty of scorn and contempt to go around in this dynamic.

          18. K, Once again you make me laugh – scuttle into the ocean. And then the mall story. You have this lightness about you that is very refreshing, maybe because MMRN is gone and you have come to terms with it. I hope it stays that way for you and you keep thinking of the different ‘Acts’ (your Rage Period and The Hatred). You are very analytical and like the challenge, and can also have a sense of humor about it. I find that to be an important part of the healing process.

            Yes as IPPS I would have been a nightmare. That is why I was happy with things on the surface, if not with the turmoil that came with it. Funny but my LN was the real Jekyll and Hyde. He enticed me across an ocean and then changed radically once I moved. Pity narc all the way – everyone and everything was at fault for his problems, and suddenly I was too. So I left and got an apartment on the other side of the ocean, and now I go back and forth quite happily.

            As for MMRN and IPPS, I guess part of me feels for her. From what I could piece together, when we met they were separated because she had caught him before. Somewhere within the first 8 months she wanted to reconcile, so reconcile he did, sort of. That’s when I found out she existed. I thought he was serious about reconciling but I should have known when he contacted me a few weeks later on a dating site. Act II started after that, when I thought things had settled down. And then Act III almost started after I again thought that he was committed to IPPS because he told me he was! I think I finally see the pattern! LOL!

            What I don’t understand is that if I can figure all of this out, why can’t she? Maybe she is afraid of what she will find. It was hard enough for me to realize that I was with a psychopath.

          19. SMH
            laughter is great and I think it is a wonderful way to facilitate the healing process. I have been on narcsite for over 14 months now and I am doing very well and having a great sense of humor really helped. I can be quite analytical and I do like the challenge of figuring out what happened and why; the dynamic is quite fascinating when you think about it.

            The pity plays are pathetic. They will blame the weather, their abusive childhood, their mother, traffic, you or the dog; it is never, ever their fault. My ULN used blame shifting the most.

            There are so many reasons why people stay. CoD, children, money, a home or fear of letting go; who knows. Eventually, if he replaces her, she may figure it out. Many people can’t or don’t want to believe they are involved with a narc or psychopath. Denial: It’s Not Just a River in Egypt.

        2. K, would a corrective devaluation mean that whenever I initiated anything and he went all cold on me, he was trying to put me in my place? If so, it’s confusing because when I would initiate after a period of NC, he would be all over me, even if I was just being friendly. But when I would initiate while we were allegedly in a ‘relationship,’ even if it was just a joke or a picture, or something totally innocuous, he would get curt and cold. What was the difference? In the first example he had lost control and was trying to get it back? And in the second he was trying to maintain control?

          I have to say that this sort of thing was the turning point in my definitive escape, though I did not find this site for another 3 months, so I did it on my own. He was all over me after a period of NC but I wouldn’t commit to returning to the relationship. I watched him closely, keeping my distance and my calm. He was very consistently in touch but as soon as I initiated contact, he withdrew, even though we were not in a ‘relationship.’ That is when I made the decision not to go back.

          Then the hoovers started. I’m not sure of what kind of hoovers to call them – sort of pity hoovers I guess, because they were all about how he needed my input for some career decisions he was making. He’d throw in a bit of sexual innuendo/banter and I would leave the conversation. I would then give it back to him and when he responded I’d say ‘just kidding’! LOL.

          1. SMH

            A CD is issued for noncompliance/challenge to their control, perceived or real, to wit, you put your own needs first, disagreed with him, expected support or equal treatment.

            When I was a teenager, I went from NISS to IPSS with my MMRN and he behaved EXACTLY like your mid-ranger. He blew hot and cold and it was push/pull, it was so confusing that I gave him the silent treatment for almost a year.

            It appears as if your MR deployed a series of CDs and it backfired because you escaped and went NC. Then it looks like he deployed follow-up hoovers (drew you back in) where he still blew hot and cold, confusing you but keeping you in place, then you made the decision not to go back into the formal relationship (smart move).

            Maybe, he sensed this change in your attitude so he deployed a “I need your advice” hoover (benign) peppered with sexual innuendo, keeping you in situ. You responded in kind and then issued a “JK!, LOL. (that might have wounded him).

            In your final communication, it was very clear that you were onto him and his games and you let him know it when you stated that he enjoyed the chaos and the heat.

            It is all about control and keeping you in place so you keep pumping out fuel; you were quite the challenge and it appears that he overplayed his hand and lost. Thank God you found narcsite!

          2. K, Thank you so much! You have provided the best analysis of the dynamic that I have ever heard and it is spot on. I’m glad you had a similar experience, not that I would wish it on anyone, but it takes a particular type of victim to know a particular type of victim. I wish I had known about the silent treatments earlier because I sure would have given him one, but he didn’t really do that to me until the very end.

            He did bite off more than he could chew but he sure gave me a run for my money and that was part of the attraction. In some ways, we were well matched. We could battle wits for hours when things were good. But after I escaped, it was a battle of wills and he left me no choice but to play dirty.

            I wounded him repeatedly and deliberately at the end. Only once was it obvious (and inadvertent on my part). Otherwise, I disguised a lot of it to confuse him. I told him his marriage was shit and I felt sorry for him (in the guise of concern), that I had no respect for him because he’s a serial cheater (but he’s bored, poor baby), that he’s a special person with some awful (but oh so uber masculine) traits and I LOVE X, Y and Z about him. I did it very nicely…

            It was easy to trick him into thinking that I would change my mind, so I couldn’t resist the sex bombs. I even wrote him erotica and then told him how bad it was :). The last day we saw each other I made him come over and delete all of our emails in front of me, and then apologized for hurting HIM. LOL. I think his head was spinning by then.

            I laugh about it now but it was very, very stressful and he did have me in tears for the very first time one day (the day I said he liked the chaos) but I pushed through. So yeah, no one puts SMH in a box (or in a corner for that matter!) and gets away with it. There is such a thing as too much fuel…

          3. You are welcome, SMH!!!
            Excellent, I wanted to make sure that I understood you and it looks like I did. There are definite similarities between our narcissists and experiences, and it looks like you both gave each other a run for your money (definitely part of the attraction), however, at the end it got down and dirty alright. Nice job with the manipulations and wounding. Like you, I laugh about it now but it was very stressful at the time and there is sadness and tears because you are letting go, but you pushed through and found your way here. No one puts SMH in a corner, a box or on a shelf!!!

  6. ‘I don’t remember’ – my most recent greater narc – the most intelligent man -absolutely heard it every time I cornered him or got close to the truth. Liar!!
    I heard all the others regularly from my ex husband a lesser narc. Particularly ‘I can’t deal with this right now and ‘you never’ and ‘you always’.

  7. All of these points are highly familiar, but as my emotional connection was nearing the end, I started to genuinely support his stated interest in other women. I never contacted him and sometimes a few days would pass before I’d answer his calls to allow time for my frustrations to lessen. At this point the narcissist greatly increased his accusation that I am being controlling. I was genuinely providing him with total freedom. I never call you, this isn’t working, go see other women. How can that be controlling? I interpreted that accusation as a bold faced conscious lie. Your post makes me think. Is it possible that he actually believes my retreating away from him is an attempt to control him?

    1. Yes because you are not doing what he wants therefore you are seen to be rejecting his control and in return trying top exert control over him.

      1. HG, is it because ‘your kind’ do retreat to exert control (at least mine did)? Donna’s narcissist therefore read her behavior as a challenge because to him retreating was a form of control?

        1. Yes, withdrawal is done to back away from wounding and to exert control. It is explained further in the book, Fury.

  8. You always. ..you never…if I had a dollar for everytime I’ve had to hear both..

  9. Oh so familiar…. yet they remember everything…..even when you think they aren’t listening they did and remembered

    1. Flashback. :-/ would, “im done” and “I can’t do this anymore” be counted as grenades or?

    2. Absolutely, Pbw. I caught mine so many times remembering things he said he did not remember. He would save them somewhere in the back of his mind and pull them out on an as-needed basis, but only if HE needed them.

    3. Dear Pbw,
      Exactly….spot on
      When you confront and challenge them with their lies. these list of lines roll off their tongues like melted butter,
      however, when you show and give evidence …. the “big time circus act” silent treatment begins
      They forget ..we are women …. we are like elephants, we remember everything
      (Mr Bubbles is amazed at how much I remember….. and in minute detail) 😂

      These are paramount red flags …. run
      Luv Bubbles xx

      1. Dear Bubbles… I’m still trying. .. they are so hard to get over ….I remember everything…especially the pain he has caused me ….

    4. Dearest Pbw,
      I hear you precious ….. but it should be “because” of the “pain” that you should emotionally “goso”
      Normal relationships are not like that, pain in not on their agenda, nice blokes are happy to make you a better person, not bring you down
      Don’t sell yourself short beautiful one…. you are worth 100 times more than that lying A hole …
      You will get there sweet pea …
      I’ve tried to work it out …. but with narcs … you just need to just move on, otherwise you’ll do your head in ……. again !!!!!
      Their talk is all…. “round and round the mulberry bush” we go
      They are what they are …… total bull
      Luv Bubbles xx

      1. Bubbles… thank you for your kind words… and very true… I’ve made s lot of progress thanks to HG… but sometimes things seem easier than they are… but I am on a mission to goso…

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