Why The Narcissist Makes It All So Difficult



You will have silently asked yourself this question many times. You will have asked it of friends and family as you recount the latest confusing bout of behaviour from us. You may even go so far as to ask us why we make everything so difficult. Your confusion stems from several places. First of all, life really ought to be a bowl of cherries and straight forward. You have a good house, two cars on the drive, you get to go on holiday, there are no real concerns about the bills, the jobs seem safe. You are not rich but you are in a fortunate position. Everybody in the family enjoys good health, you have two wonderful children and extended family are supportive and play a part in your life. You once got along famously, brilliantly, a complete match made in heaven which shows that it can be done and therefore that suggests, does it not, that this can be resurrected and returned to, if only he wanted to and tried to do it. Going beyond this you give everything to the relationship. You have not changed. You remain devoted, loving, working hard for the family unit both in the office and at home. You make our meals, you suggest days out, you attend to the laundry and the housework with little assistance in return. You know that you give more of yourself to us, emotionally and in terms of dedication to the concept of our relationship and the family and truth be told you do not begrudge doing so. You have always been a giver and you derive pleasure in seeing other people content and happy knowing that you have played a part in it. Whilst it would be lovely to receive some affection from time to time you could live without it, if you are completely honest, if only we did not make everything so difficult.

You cannot understand why we make life so hard. There is nothing to be upset or concerned about. Indeed, with your tolerance and giving nature, we have surely landed on our feet. Your friends tell you that given everything you do for us we ought to drop to our knees and worship you when you come through the door in the evening. You laugh at such suggestions, since you are far too modest, but inside you do wish that there could be some acknowledgement, some thanks for everything you do. It does not have to be reciprocated, you are content with that role, but if only we would accept this massive advantage that we have and not spoil things, cause arguments and bring discord when there really is no need. You could understand it if you actually did something wrong but you do not, you know you don’t. From time to time you do find yourself analysing what you do and wondering if perhaps it is you that causes these sudden mood-swings, the lashing out, the sulking silences and the irritation. Once in a while you think you might have done something wrong and you apologise and make amends, not that it seems to get you anywhere. At times you think you would be better off if you came in drunk, kicked the dog and demanded that we make you something to eat before falling asleep in front of the television. Perhaps if you came in full of thunder and gave us a slap we might respect you more, because it seems that your dedication and subservience get you none. This thought tumbles through your mind often but you know you could not behave like that, because it is not you, but it does make you wonder what you need to do to gain our respect, our interest and our love once again, like it once was.

You cannot understand why someone would choose to be so difficult and so often. We have every advantage. Why not be content with that and life a wonderful life with a delightful family and doting spouse? Surely that is far easier than causing chaos, pandemonium and upset? Not only do these storms come out of nowhere, you just cannot understand why someone would behave like that towards someone that we supposedly love and care about. It makes no sense, no sense whatsoever, but you are not going to give up. You are not a quitter. You will work out what it is and then make the appropriate changes so that life really is a bed of roses.

How often have you felt this way? Many times I should imagine. It is extraordinary and unbelievable that we almost choose a life of conflict over what could be a peaceful and enjoyable life. This makes no sense to you at all. The fact is that we do not choose to cause confusion and chaos, we have to. Admittedly, we choose the degree and extent, the Greater of our kind doling out particularly savage and heinous machinations which increase the pain and misery, but all of us, whether Lesser, Mid-Range of Greater do not choose a life of conflict with you, our intimate partner, it has to happen.

We need to create drama because we feed off the emotional output generated by you in response to that drama and this provides us with fuel. It has gone beyond the point where we could rely on your admiration, love and affection, that has become stale although we do not dismiss it out of hand. In order to make that admiration, love and affection seem shiny and new (if only for a short while) we must create the drama, the downside and the conflict in order so there is a contrast. This contrast will allow us to reinstate our “good side”, the golden period and things will seem wonderful for a period of time but then the stale sensation returns once again. Thus the conflict must be resumed. You have no control over this. No matter how hard you try to please us, to accommodate us and to do the things that we like, this unquenchable need for fuel means that the roller coaster will not stop. There is often no logic to it, from your perspective. You may notice certain behaviours which tell you that the storm is about to be unleashed but often you will not know. This is because what triggers the storm is the ignition of our fury which is caused by your criticism of us. Those criticisms are usually more likely to be perceived by us than actual on your behalf and this means you will always struggle to identify them. Believe me, a simple “Hello, how are you?” can trigger the storm. In our world we regard this simple and pleasant greeting as unnecessary questioning and the suggestion that there is something wrong. If there is something wrong, then that is a criticism. This is why we seem to erupt over “nothing”. It is nothing in your world but in ours there has been a criticism and this ignites our fury with the resulting shouting, nastiness, sulking and silent treatments. There is no pattern to this behaviour. Once cannot say it is three weeks good one week bad. You may have months of the reinstated golden period before another tornado tears through your life. It may be a succession of tornadoes each and every single day for a month. It will always leave you confused and bewildered as to why we behave this way when there is so much good in our lives, so much to enjoy and look forward. As ever this is because you are looking at the world from your perspective. From ours it is vastly different. We do not choose to make life difficult, we have to.

20 thoughts on “Why The Narcissist Makes It All So Difficult

  1. Dronning says:

    WhoCares. You care. Thank you. The experience? Some very good things came out of it, too. I no longer regret and/or resent my Narc. I can say I know what peace is and what I definitely do not want in a relationship. Gnite friend

  2. oilily2001 says:

    This is exaxtly how it felt. OMG. An emotional roller coaster over 13 years. Triggers out of the blue. A “wrong” glance of mine. Not enough enthusiasm in my words or voice after a long day’s work. Boom…

  3. MB says:

    HG, while you’ve been away, I’ve been reading some of your books and poking around in the archives. Ages ago, Malignarc teased an upcoming blog post ‘The Box of Dirty Secrets’ in a comment to a reader. I searched for it to no avail. Did it ever go up? K, can you help me find this one?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not yet published.

  4. SMH says:

    This helps and good that it precedes the Seduction Shuffle Hoover. Thanks, HG. Even though you are not here, I needed both of these today. Sometimes I forget about ‘the contrast’ so it always comes as a shock. Even my own behavior comes as a shock because it is easy to get so wrapped up in the narc’s need for contrast that one’s behavior begins to slot right in – for instance, I get all hysterical and anxious. He calms me down, I am fine, then he starts up again. Time passes and I forget all the turmoil, which is when I break NC. Need these reminders.

  5. Healing says:

    If everything in a narcissists life is going well and there is every reason to be happy i.e work is good, kids are doing well, relationship seems to be stable. Will he create drama with his primary source because he needs that negative fuel? Most people would value the good times and the peace. Will the narcissist deliberately start a fight just to get that contrasting fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The need for negative fuel may come from elsewhere and the ‘good times’ as you describe them do not impact on whether the primary source is subjected to devaluing behaviour but instead is governed by whether one or more of the devaluation triggers has occurred.

  6. Tam says:

    Sometimes I feel like I have to choke down the acceptance of it all. I have no other way out of the weeds in my head than to accept it . All of it. And acceptance and forgive myself permission to walk away sooner. Glad I finally did. But yup, it hurts like hell

  7. ifonlymommy says:

    I will admit a lot of it is true, especially when you’re in the dark about narcissism but once you get it, it makes sense. It isn’t a clear explanation but over time you decide that he (for me it was a he, my ex husband) has no control over the hollow person he is just as I have no control of the person I am. A person so full of emotion, empathy, happiness and LIFE. I get why he carefully chose me. He could live off of all of my goodness, something he had none of. I’ll confess I allowed him, without knowing, to steal it away from me, for a while, but never could he own it or me forever. My sunshine shines brighter that his darkness. It always will. That frustrated him. It still does but he knows, even if he tries and even if he observes moments of weakness in me, that he lost his control of me long ago. The only thing I give him is the choice not to hate him, since hate only eats away my joy. So for me, he lost the upper hand even if at times he pretends he hasn’t, to feel powerful. It isn’t there. We share two beautiful children who have shown more empathy than he could ever fake when they were too young to understand what they were feeling. He knows I protect them fiercely and after losing legal control of them he backed off. It isn’t forever, I know, but he doesn’t realize how I understand and know him better than anyone ever has. His lies aren’t believable and his excuses are ignored.
    I don’t care enough about his reasons. They aren’t important to me anymore.
    I learned to read him better than he knows and I see the rotations and patterns of his behaviors starting before he is even aware of where he’s heading. I see when he loses his supply and frantically tries to find another. He disappears during these times and resurfaces once he fills the emptiness with someone else’s goodness. He does own some of the peace I knew before him but I cant change this. You can’t revisit and repair the past. I’m not sure I’d even change any of it anyway. It was hell but life has never been consistently easy. I can’t expect for him to be like me and care about his actions just like he can’t expect me to allow him to take over and dominate control of me and our children without a care in the world. The time spent trying to do this was wasted. The reality is what it is. The manipulations aren’t as complicated once you get it, see the patterns and understand the behavior isn’t based on the same emotion that I know. The only thing he knows of those emotions is how to copy mine. Once the hurt has healed and the reality is what I value about myself is something he doesn’t have. It makes me feel sorry for him. The difficulties only continue to exist if you allow them to. I don’t and it’s not complicated at all.
    I happy your blog might educate someone, living in this confusion and blaming themselves, to look at it for what it is. They can find the strength to let go of what was done to them and not make it as personal as it currently feels. There is power in letting go. It would be much worse if they felt like we do inside but they don’t (or you don’t). It can’t be as personal when empathy doesn’t exist. Thank you for trying to educate the people who are still lost. It is a bit confusing why you are doing this as doing this doesn’t seem like something a narcissist would do. I guess there is always financial gain or maybe the power from feeling important. Idk. Doesn’t matter, it’s still helpful. Thanks.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome. See the ‘About’ section to understand more about my motivation in doing what I do.

    2. LYNN says:

      I enjoyed reading your words

  8. Kensey says:

    “”””a simple “Hello, how are you?” can trigger the storm. In our world we regard this simple and pleasant greeting as unnecessary questioning and the suggestion that there is something wrong. If there is something wrong, then that is a criticism.”””

    Walking on egg shells NO MORE…….DAY 132❤️!!!

  9. Melissa says:

    Thank You Hg, for these STRAIGHT FORWARD answers!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are most welcome, Melissa.

  10. Summer B says:

    I remembered the narcissist that I know, I was actually wondering why is he creating his own tiny world and living inside of it. For example, he seemed to have a restricted routine at his work. People around him were joining social events, using new services, enjoying their times together, trying to be creative. While the narcissist spent the whole time at his place staring at the computer’s screen, silent, detached from people (he seemed detached from them while secretly setting traps for them).

    I was thinking why is he making it that difficult?, why one beautiful women is not enough for him? Why isn’t he spending his time with people around him or do something new? Sometimes even if I passed next to his place he would not know it, as he is so drown on his own world and this support HG’s “spheres of influences”, if you didn’t trigger them, the narcissist will not even acknowledge the other person’s existence!

  11. tigerchelle78 says:

    Oh dear, I understand this…. that’s probably not good and no way am I like how narcs are, but I understand the wanting some kind of chaos, pain, something…. happening. I don’t want it all the time, but sometimes life is so dull, and you feel like you are not even living, …. but that’s the borderline in me, wanting the extremes….

  12. LYNN says:

    I guess once we know we could live with all of it apart from the infidelity that’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. when we know we wouldn’t get upset anymore and not feel reactive we could just give you the negative fuel by acting it. but the cheating no way.

  13. WhoCares says:

    ” It is extraordinary and unbelievable that we almost choose a life of conflict over what could be a peaceful and enjoyable life. This makes no sense to you at all.”

    Yes this.
    I could never understand this.
    Especially after all I have done to try to bring peace into our lives.

    I could never understand how the stress managed to follow us everywhere…until I figured out the source of stress.

    1. Dronning says:

      Peace. I had many sources of stress. Like living with a poltergeist. Today, sweet peace. Ahhh

      1. WhoCares says:

        I’m sorry for your experience Dronning. I’m happy to hear that have peace now.

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