Poll : Which Form of Manipulation Has Impacted on You The Most?

KTN Poll - H.G Wants To Know Post Graphic

There are many different forms of manipulation used throughout the narcissistic dynamic and these methods vary dependent on the relevant stage, whether it is the seduction, the embedded golden period, the devaluation and post dis-engagement or post-escape.

I am interested to know which form of manipulation during devaluation affected you the most and ten of the most common forms of manipulation are included in the poll below. If the one which affected you the most is not listed, then choose the one which affected you there second or third most, from the preferred list. Do also, in the comments explain why the particular form of manipulation affected you as it did.

Thank you for participating.

HG Tudor



Which of the following forms of manipulation affected you the greatest?

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124 thoughts on “Poll : Which Form of Manipulation Has Impacted on You The Most?

  1. Eva Bryczkowski says:

    None of the above.
    The manipulation used to reel me back is constant flattery, mainly about my sexy body, and saying he constantly fantasises about “your sexy tits”. Sadly, I’m embarrassed to admit that I love to hear, and am addicted to all the compliments.
    My life apart from him is so rich and wonderful, why do I feel like a moth to a flame?

    1. K says:

      Eva Bryczkowski
      Seduction hoover (benign control) works like a charm!


    2. Sweetest Perfection says:

      Eva, I felt exactly the same way and my life is otherwise very good. I used to punish myself mentally, accusing myself of having fallen for his exaggerated flattery of my body because I’m vain. But not anymore. It is very hard to resist that kind of “sweet” manipulation so don’t blame yourself. You were not the manipulative one, he was. Blame him.

  2. Empath Extraordinaire (EE) says:

    Silent Treatment by far the worst. Withdrawal of affection is second, but even a devastating interaction with him is better than no interaction at all, which is literally unbearable.

  3. Persephone says:

    Gas lighting. Once I could not believe my own perceptions, that set me up for all the other abuse to be effective for him. I would accept his blame shifting onto others, and even myself, the future faking, the smearing he was doing, yet telling me this is what others were saying. Once you have come to believe that someone else knows reality and your mind better than you do, they can pretty much do anything they want to and with you.

  4. SMH says:

    I could only vote for one so I voted for withdrawal. Was both surprised and not suprised to see it right at the top. It was the thing that I used during my escape to explain to him why I would no longer be with him. It wasn’t just the withdrawal, however. It was the whole avoid/approach complex (I Googled until I figured that one out). He could be just as insistent/present as he was absent, and that is what was really the mindfuck. To me there was no rhyme or reason to it. Had he just withdrawn and stayed withdrawn, I would never have remained entangled. Anyway, I feel somewhat lucky because so many worse things could have happened.

    1. Sweetest Perfection says:

      My narc was married before to a woman who left him and ended up in a much more prestigious work than him. He first said she left because she was too ambitious and didn’t think the place where they both worked was good enough; but one day we both were having some drinks and he confessed that she told him she was tired of his withdrawal of affection. Now I understand her. They have no contact whatsoever now, good for her.

      1. SMH says:

        SP, That’s what I told mine in the end – that I felt like I had whiplash all the time and I could not do it anymore. That he would never touch me again unless he showed that he could be consistently affectionate. Will never happen, of course.

    2. cb says:

      So true. They’re either too close … or too far away.
      Seems like ppl without empathy/compassion just don’t do grey zones.

      1. SMH says:

        CB, They don’t do ‘relationships’ in the strict sense of the term at all. They are either completely independent or completely dependent. They do not know what interdependent means or feels like. I had fun trying to figure out how to explain it to MRN (my narc). I tried to use dancing to illustrate it, but it really was impossible.

        1. cb says:

          Yeah, they sort always – through every second – move in a different speed, which makes the seem ‘robotic’, ‘from a different planet’.

          I sometimes think of the analogy photons or electrons,
          things which always move in lightspeed,
          a very different speed from the rest of us.

          1. SMH says:

            Yes, CB, so true. Space analogies very apt in my case. Mine lived on planes. I would picture him hurtling through space in an aluminum tube and dream that he was an astronaut. I told him that he was in the world but I was of the world and then in anger that he thought I was a satellite of his planet. I’ve never known anyone like him. He fascinated me when I wasn’t feeling dependent.

  5. Bibi says:

    A lot of good choices here. I agree that silent treatment and withdrawing go together. He just an an overwhelming apathy towards everything except for shallow things.

    My instinct knew this was manipulation but I felt I lacked the means to really know it was so because my ET caused me to doubt myself.

    It’s sort of akin to when you read some lousy piece of writing in a magazine and this person has won all these prizes and yet what they are saying is nothing but cliched piffle.

    You know it sucks but there is that part of you that questions, ‘Maybe I am just missing something.’ (When younger I did this, not now.)

    If I ever ‘acted out’ he accused me of trying to seek his attention and he said, ‘And I am not going to respond to that.’ So more silent treatment.

    Being a Mid Ranger he never once raised his voice, but would say mean things under the guise of trying to sound helpful.

    ‘You went a little nuts,’ he said.

    He wouldn’t engage intellectually anymore. We used to talk about Italian Cinema and blah blah yet when he got a NF subscription he was watching nothing but pop culture crap.

    ‘Why don’t you want to watch [name of good film this or that]?’

    No real answer was ever given other than, ‘How do you think it makes me feel not being able to do what I love?’

    Me: ‘Maybe if you watched something good you would get out of this mental rut phase and feel better.’

    Him: ‘I don’t appreciate you calling this a ‘phase’!’


    1. KellyD (formerly just "Kelly" but I see there's another, so like a good empath I'm giving in lol) says:

      Wow Bibi, this sounds exactly like my mid ranger:
      If I ever ‘acted out’ he accused me of trying to seek his attention and he said, ‘And I am not going to respond to that.’ So more silent treatment.
      Being a Mid Ranger he never once raised his voice, but would say mean things under the guise of trying to sound helpful.
      ‘You went a little nuts,’ he said.
      I don’t act out and I’m not even a little nuts. I do react, though, and he’s the only one who ever activated my ET in the way he does.

  6. Renarde says:

    Well, like many, all have affected me but right now, the one that has hurt me the most is the smear.

    I never appreciated the extent perpetrated by the ex that his smear was in either duration (years) and effectiveness (very). I certainly have not helped myself but HG’s ‘smeared’ educated me in a way that I didn’t make an overtly monumental tit of myself.

    Thanks HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  7. Whitney says:

    HG, when you pointed out that these things were MANIPULATIVE it helped me so much. Before I believed the manipulations.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  8. Michael Massell says:

    Albeit there are so many forms of pshycological minipulation.all are forms of abuse of one kind or another. I think it is important to realize the manipulaters end game, if it is a lethal tactic such as a murder plot or financial gain or a sadistic fetish or a mind game for kicks and laughs such as a prank. all are hurtful and if at all possible should be avoided and people should be made aware of these types of pshycological disorders.

  9. FYC says:

    If it had been a choice, I would have chosen repeated lies as this behavior is integral to all narcissistic manipulation/abuse and obliterates trust. Second would be silent treatment/withdrawal as this was a common form of punishment by the N parent. Honest, thoughtful communication is necessary in any healthy relationship.

  10. Saskia says:

    Upon reflection, I feel that silent treatments impacted on me the most over time. I never did anything to break the silence – when he went silent, I did the same. I never initiated contact either. Since it was rather easy for me to refrain from contacting him at all, I felt safe in my belief that I was able to handle our involvement. On the surface, I was seemingly unaffected, going on with my life whilst churning on the inside, trying to solve confusion over the disruptions. Silence halts and blocks communication – so in silence, I was alone with my thoughts, trying to answer my questions on my own which only heightened emotional thinking. It was silence that kept our dynamic alive. It was the most effective form of manipulation because it prevented to find the ‘closure’ I was seeking and also demonstrated I was invisible, a nobody, to him.

  11. Q says:

    For romance, triangulation, any woman feels the jealousy, it’s normal. For other situations, none at this time. But, since I do have strong narcissistic traits, I have also used all of the mentioned without intention wit the important people in my life. Not nice, I know. I only partially meant it.
    Narcs are sensible to triangulation also, it can be practiced on them easily.

  12. Twilight says:


    You don’t have the only one I would chose…..he told me the truth.

    By Jon telling me the truth of his perspective, when his malice came to the fore my mind didn’t want to accept things. In those moments I was thrown back into a different time in my past. I have known many of your kind and sadly enough witnessed atrocities at their hands.
    Regardless of what I knew I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact he “showed” me his perspective which was similar to those I witnessed.

    It was your book Fuel that provided the answer I was seeking, the consults provided the answer to what happen to me when I wanted “revenge”.

    Now……I know!!!!

    1. Mercy says:

      Twilight, I can relate. I was told the truth too. It became a sick game of his. A new form of manipulation as if the other manipulations wasn’t bad enough.

      1. Twilight says:


        Jon explained his perspective similar to how HG has here.
        Instead of using fuel matrix he called it levels. GF/wife on the top level, family next, close friends next so on and so forth. He told me he controls his environment, he explained how people were connected to him and so much more. It was Fuel I hadn’t grasp and HGs book explained it. I contacted HG the following day asking him if he would answer my questions.

        I have not read here where another has gone into this kind of detail within their relationship with their narcissist.

        I am not saying yours didn’t speak truth only that many misinterpreted what I mean by he told me the truth.

        I have had many consults with HG dealing with my situation.

        1. Mercy says:

          Twilight, I agree your case is special. My narc was not a greater but he has some awareness. The differences, aside from their awareness, is our awareness. You had not found HG yet when all of this happened. I was fortunate to have found HG before the confessions started. My MRN didn’t have full awareness but I did. What your greater did was intentional vs the instincts that my MRN used. They both had the same intent and had I not known what I was dealing with the manipulation would have been extremely hard for me to overcome. It is hard enough as it is. And like you I have not read about another situation where the narcissist exposes themselves (in great detail) to someone.

          1. Twilight says:


            I was raised by UGN and I believe some of why I over looked things was due to this. Not to add my husband was diagnosed as NPD (I found the proof after his death) and associated NPD with the behaviors of a ULN.

            Until my marriage I had never known “violence” my Grandfather saw it beneath him to raise his voice or become violent, you just didn’t want to piss him off…..I witnessed how he destroyed another’s mind. The first time I was hit was shocking to me, not to add he (my husband) broke my ribs and I had his Aunt telling me I wasn’t a good wife and deserve it.

            I remember one lesson…..never let them see you. It is how I “caught” Jon with his pants down, not to add I got into his head….after everything I believed Jon had “turned” me into a narcissist and I never desire to feel that way again.

            I never needed to be weponized I already am, HG has only increased my awareness.

  13. Lou says:

    I chose triangulation because that is definitely the one that has affected me the most most of my life. However, social and familial ostracization and smearing have been used against me in the most recent years, curtesy of my dear Darth Mother, and they were the forms of manipulation affecting me the most at a given moment. They don’t affect me anymore though.

  14. Maryum says:

    I choose Future Faking….. Because I believe this has affected me the most….. Each time I believed this false hope that something better is coming this time… This time it is final…. Now I just need to sacrifice and then we would be happier together forever…. I thought the grass would be greener on the other side… This led me to take so many choices which I regret tremendously…. I can’t help but just grieve for the losses…. I believe God will make take revenge on him…. Karma will show him….. Whatever he did to me is unforgettable…. My most precious years I wasted….. All bad choices due to his future faking…. Evrything… I am just now moving on with pieces of whatever is left within me….

    1. lisk says:

      I trust you have a lot within you, Maryam, as we all do here, as HG has helped us realize.

      Wishing you much success as you sculpt something stronger with those pieces,


  15. cb says:

    Withdrawal, silent treatment, playing hardtoget always worked on me. I get very nervous and try to adjust, ruminating and second guessing what I could change about myself.

    (probably due to my mother’s constant silent treats through the years. Worked very well with me not having siblings. The isolating effect was total)

    1. Supernova DE says:

      I can relate to this, I was an only child and my mother used silence/withdrawal also. My dad was never really around and so I was entirely alone. It gives far too much time for an empath to ruminate and go down the self doubt rabbit hole. It’s very difficult as an adult to change those patterns also.
      Hope you are healing!

  16. Omj says:

    It was hard to give only one ! I think that the overall cycle is the most difficult manipulation. But I have chosen gaslighting because I knew I was right , I knew he was lying, I knew all along but I let him convinced me I did not knew it.
    That screws the judgment and the intuition and that really makes me angry 😡 when I know I am right – and I am being gaslighted, I run wild!!!

  17. Joanne says:

    Future faking

    It was actually the WITHDRAWAL of affection and attention that hurt the most, but if it had not been for all his FUTURE FAKING in the first place, his overnight volte-face would not have been so painful. If he hadn’t called me his soul mate, talked about ‘someday when we are married,’ when we run away together, etc – if he hasn’t built us up so much, the withdrawal would not have affected me as it did.

  18. empath007 says:

    Interesting that so far the highest vote goes to the silent treatment. And from what I’ve read on your blog that is the one the narc hates the most of as well “love me, hate me but don’t ignore me”

    My whole life I always thought words had the largest impact on relationships… but I am learning there is nothing more powerful then silence.

    For me, probably was the gas lighting because I constantly felt the need to keep arguing and prove him wrong. What a massive waste of time.

    If I knew then what I know now…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Must be a few unaware narcissists voting as well empath007 thus swelling the votes for ST!!

  19. ERdocCali says:

    I voted for physical violence. Absolutely stopped me in my tracks and did whatever I could to remedy the situation. Funny enough it also pushed me to escape in the end.

  20. Victoire says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. This blog and the commenters really help me. I chose gaslighting although many of these manipulations were used on me. The gaslighting was the most insidious and the most hurtful. We would have an incredibly intimate emotional moment, usually coupled with a song or a poem and months later, he’d deny it had any significance. Or he’d laugh and say “What song? We don’t have a song.” He would tell me that I was his girlfriend but act like he barely cared if I existed. The dichotomy of existing and not-existing on a day by day basis in his world was brutal. Do I exist today? Am I his girlfriend today? Does he love me today? There were the nights where he would seem to be upset and he would completely deny that anything was wrong and tell me that I asked too many questions. If I insisted on a conversation he’d get into bed, turn out the lights and say “This conversation is over.” And that would be it until the next day. Whenever I asked him anything about his shady behaviour (being out all night, his exes writing things about him on social media, etc) he’d ask me if I had a problem with insecurity. I never had a man ever say that to me before in my life. I started to actually believe I was insecure. Again, it was the dichotomy of never knowing which colour I was painted that day. I would be black for a month then suddenly be white for two weeks and be in utter ecstasy. I also classify as gaslighting these episodes: Him complimenting me on certain styles or scents that I wear, then months into the relationship him telling me he disliked the exact things he claimed to be so seduced by. Everything he claimed to love about me, he came to hate. Then all of a sudden he’d love it again. There were also subtle, weird insults that were built into compliments that always had me thinking “I couldn’t have heard him correctly…” Oh no, honey, you heard it correctly. And of course, if you asked him, he would say “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Mr. “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Besides gaslighting I experienced a lot of withdrawal- but, like a poster above, I would put that with gaslighting. I would drive myself crazy trying to find out “why” he was withdrawing. When I would ask him after his weekend disappearances he’d just say “This is who I am babe. You don’t need to know everything about me. Of course I’m not mad at you. Hahah, you haven’t seen me mad yet….” I can remember a particularly hurtful instance where I was getting ready to travel far away from him and I tried to hug him or put my hands on his chest and he pushed me away like I was rotting meat. I suppose he thought of me as rotting meat at that point. We all start rotting in their minds. He also doled out silent treatments but I had plenty of those from my Matrinarc (Some of hers lasted months and years, I am not kidding- Thanks for the term, HG) so those didn’t affect me as much because sadly I am used to that abuse. I think he was confused when he doled them out, because although they hurt me and I hated them, I just stopped contacting him when he disappeared and left him alone. He’d always return after a day or 2 as if nothing had happened. And like a poster above, when I’d ask ANYTHING about our “future,” I would immediately be punished with a silent treatment. So yeah. This sh*t is brutal. When I get sad about his new girlfriend, I remember these things and say to myself “You are NOT special. Everyone gets this from him.” I want someone to do voodoo on me and murder my emotional thinking. It’s the only way out.

  21. Betsy Pike says:

    Stalking me in the house. I never knew when he would come up behind me. Terrifying

  22. Michelle Tarrant says:

    Gas lighting, I never knew what was real and what wasn’t. Until one day after 13 years I got a text message saying “I love you” at that very moment everything became clear. Everything was a lie. That was the end of our marriage. It was a moment of relization I will never forget. It was as though the blinds had been lifted and I could see clearly.

    What ensued was awful, and it would have been easier to stay. But I have come out the other side an am now free.

  23. IdaNoe says:

    I voted for gaslighting. If projection had been there, I might have voted for it. I’m not sure which is worse, being made to believe you’re corrupt and inherently flawed or being made to believe purification through pain is you’re only salvation. If you suffer enough, God will finally approve of you. Then you will be worthy.

  24. Hannah says:

    Triangulation among many of the others. One of my siblings would make up stuff and tell people then tell me these other people are the ones saying it. I later realized this sibling is a sociopath and loves to play mind games. People like these will not change and don’t care about anyone but themselves and what they can get from you. I no long have any contact with this individual. It’s the only way to stay sane.

  25. Veronique Jones says:

    I’m not impressed by titles money gifts or anything on a material level so during the golden period it’s humility kindness compassion that will cause me to gain interest
    During the devaluation I guess it’s the heartbreak of realising the person I’m with is not the person I thought they were it is myself that is the biggest downfall there ..The silent treatment malign hoovering abuse even violence Don’t have a greater effect on me silent treatment is actually good so is discard actually gives me time to get over it Violence and abuse will cause me to leave permanently I’ve been through too much to know it never changes
    Post this card Malignant hoovering doesn’t affect me at all I refused to give a reaction usually makes them worse but eventually they expose themselves and it becomes their downfall not mine
    Post discard benign hoovering that can be a problem for me I don’t hold grudges I’m not type of person to seek revenge I believe in second chances sometimes eighth and ninth chances but that is my biggest problem that is the one that is my weakness It is very easy for me to forgive and if I love someone it’s with my soul and I never truly stop there are people I have had to get out of my life completely because I know they will only hurt me again and I will let them It’s a pattern I’ve always done it there are people I have moved away from completely that I never thought I would because of stuff you’ve told me about the narcissistic mind it was difficult it was for the best

  26. lisk says:

    Silent Treatment, which was effectively withdrawal of affection, sex, emotional support, and interest.

    Any attempt on my part to break through the silence would be answered with deeper withdrawal or utter rage. Not wanting either of those “answers,” I basically shut down and turned inward until he would randomly decide to speak to me again (I understand now that that was not so random).

    I am still working on healing from all that abuse.

    1. 1jaded1 says:

      You will heal. Keep coming back to HGs site.

      1. HG Tudor says:


    2. cb says:

      I totally recognise your situation One can’t really complain either when being treated with withdrawal. I felt like a stalker just by being in the same room as he. “He withdraws and slams doors so there must be something wrong with me. I am too much.”

  27. Debs says:

    Silent treatments were bad too. So many of those and I agree as another poster said that they merge into withdrawal too. I remember times when he’d invite me to his and he’d call and text during the day with great plans that he was looking forwards to seeing me then when I’d get there he would go into his room lie on the bed shut the door and not even talk to me. He would just ignore me. I also recall phone calls when he would be distant then I’d ask if he was ok and he’d go into a rage hang up on me and refuse to talk I’d ring him back and I’m ashamed to say 90% of the time in tears and he’d pick up listen to me sobbing then hang up again or let it ring once answer and hang up. It could be hours or a few days before he’d talk to me again and he’d act like nothing had happened. It was sheer hell.

    Triangulation too. I experienced this I didn’t know that’s what it was until finding HG’s website. If I hadn’t found his site I would not have gone NC I’d still be a doormat hanging on despite him cheating and refusing to cut this girl who lives in another country out of his life. I remember in the early days he would tell me of ex’s ones he still bumped into – he played darts they did too. Naturally things like that make you a little insecure human nature but he would also tell me about how many players when they went away to competitions cheated on their wives visited massage parlours went to strip clubs etc he had too but of course he never did anything. Then he’d use this against me saying I didn’t trust him he can’t go away without me being insecure etc etc. Funny thing was I was never insecure before him. He put this in me by what he said I didn’t know that at the time I believed him when he said it was me. He was the good guy he was childlike gentle funny kind everyone liked him he had lots of Facebook followers twitter followers everyone thinks he’s great so it must be me as only I seem to have this effect on him. That’s how I spent the last 10 years of being with him feeling.

    Even when I caught him cheating – on holiday a special place now ruined which I feel I can never go back to because of the triggers – he denied it said she was friend helping him gain PR. Friends say they love each other all the time you know that??? You’re being too insecure again I’ve told you about this before! Look she’s married I’ll show you her wedding photos on Facebook do you think she’s pretty? Oh and by the way I’ve arranged to fly to her country for an exhibition. Me please don’t go tell her I’m upset by her I love you she’s a woman she’ll understand. Him I can’t not go I can’t let them down they’ve paid for it blah blah blah. He went said he didn’t know if I was still here or not so he decided to go as had nowhere else to go to. My fault again I made him go if I’d said the right things after his cheating then he wouldn’t have gone. I begged him not to go to tell me he wouldn’t go he would avoid answering change the subject etc.

    Then a holiday of constant I love you’s, more affection, trying to buy me gifts. Came home joined Facebook contacted her husband like a mad woman – he always said I was crazy he was right what am I doing he’s a good guy he’s not cheating friends say they love each other all the time Deb that’s what he’s told you and he said I’m not like the other guys. Here I am going on Facebook playing detective like crazy woman. Husband is ex husband. He tell her. Then she contacts me, 23 years old 15 years younger than him, sends me his pictures his texts, how after knowing each other two weeks he’s pledging his love to her calling her the same pet name he called me, sending us the same texts at work parties, how they’re moving in together after knowing each other a month. How he bought her to the U.K. and took her to our special places told her he’d never been to these places before. She wouldn’t let him go she told me she was fighting for him he’s her soul mate no one has ever made her feel like this before. I played the pick me game for a month. He never admitted to cheating he’s easily led he said. He’s of a higher than average intelligence. He’s been led astray all his life as he’s so easily led blah blah.

    Triangulation begins. She’s a nice girl you and her would really like each other. She understands me she understands I love you I can’t not have you in my life as well she’s ok if we see each other like we do now and I see her too. Don’t show me your hurt be happy don’t mention this it makes me feel shame every time I see your hurt we go back to square one again how can we be back together when you won’t let this go as I see your pain. I let go he went into the worst rage I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the first rage, the others had been buried over the years. I imagined him screaming in my face, hitting his head with his hands, throwing his phone, screaming at me down the phone. It was me my fault I made him angry that’s what he said. But he’s so childlike so timid so nice so soppy it didn’t happen did it? He said I’m going crazy maybe I imagined him screaming in my face. That night the final time I saw him I cried silent tears I said I couldn’t see him while he was seeing her it hurt me he said he loves me he needs to work out why he did what he did cheating with her – he told her we were friends we weren’t intimate he didn’t say why. He rejected me withdrew out of nowhere many years earlier, said it was poor circulation he was tired depressed it wasn’t me it’s not the most important thing in a relationship he loves me yet he was cheating and told me of how he had slept with her so many times. I let go I told him I was going the tears didn’t stop he went crazy screaming why don’t you just f**k off f**k you over and over again in his car on the motorway he said he was going to kill us both. He told me he was going to smash us into the car in front a way ahead he sped the car up drove very very fast slammed the brakes on at the last minute. We almost hit the car in front. The tears stopped. Shaking started. He dropped me Home was his old childlike timid self like nothing had happened asked me to come here I said no he drove off screaming more abuse. I went NC went back to HG presses block block block. Then the emails came I blocked them but made the fatal mistake of reading one which turned everything I thought of as a relationship on its head. Apparently having dinner together, going to movies, going away for weekends, watching tv, going to zoos together, holding hands saying I love you are friend things people in relationships don’t do those. I was just his friend in his head. We did friend things. He hinted at things he’d done the other things things I knew but he told me I was paranoid going crazy too insecure. He posted tickets through my door with kisses and a smiley face tickets to a special night out we had planned before I found out. Then the PTSD started. Kept seeing his car when I was out I thought I was seeing things I wasn’t he was stalking me.

    What hurts the most is the coldness of these people how they can detach and run. All that mattered afterwards was people seeing him as a good person his self image. No apology no admission no remorse no anything. Realising you were lied to for years that it was all lies and dealing with the aftermath of having a narcissist in your life. It affects every part of you. It’s over 6 months since the car rage. I still have nightmares, I still have anxiety, I trust no one, I jump at the slightest noise, I can’t focus at work, I have zero
    Self esteem the triggers are there each day they hit you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere and it all comes back, the things you buried over the years. Blaming yourself for not leaving in the first year when your gut told you to run. When you did leave a year later but went back when he started crying like a baby saying he loved you. Why why why did I stay? I still sometimes think it was me not him, he ticks the box for a narcissist but maybe he’s not maybe it was me as after all he was never this way with anyone else and his new lady in another country says he’s amazing I’ve seen their texts she sent everything to me he sounds like Prince Charming did all of this really happen?

    All of the manipulations have happened to me and they have happened to us all each one is like a little hammer chipping away breaking you bit by bit till you are reduced to an apologetic doormat walking on egg shells constantly trying to change so they love you again. Living your life for them waiting for that crumb of affection to come. Each of these manipulations does that to you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Well done Debs and thank you for sharing your observations.

      1. Debs says:

        Thanks HG. If it wasn’t for your website I wouldn’t not have coped as well as I have. Don’t get me wrong I still have days when the doubt kicks in when I think it was me but I come back here I read your posts and what you write is what he is and what I experienced. If I hadn’t seen your website when I first thought he was cheating after seeing this young girls I love you text on our holiday I would not have had the courage to listen to my gut which said he was lying yes I went into crazy woman joining Facebook to contact her husband.

        I do giggle when I think back to our holiday when I confronted him about her and he looked at me with dead eyes and in a heartbeat no hesitation came out with the she’s a friend and she’s married line and then went to great trouble to show me her wedding photos on Facebook. Trying to reassure me but that was essentially what got him caught out 🤣🙈

        I feel for her. I shouldn’t but I do. When she found out about me he did a great job covering it all up and she believed it all. He isn’t a cheater she said as I was just his friend. He hadn’t had sex with me for ages due to his withdrawing of physical intimacy and constant rejection when I tried so therefore it wasn’t cheating. She also took great delight in adding to my hurt by telling me everything, sending me all their messages, their selfies together the times they’d spent together. All the times he was too busy too tired. The short calls with me because he had to ring her of course he was tired poor thing time difference as she doesn’t live in the U.K.

        Sometimes I can laugh about the ridiculousness of it all but other times it cuts deep. It was over 10 years of emotional abuse and cruelty. Yes there were the odd good days there had to be or he wouldn’t have had me to leech off for as long as he did but when the flashbacks come when the triggers come and the humiliation starts and you are reminded of what they did and how they are now with current supply it hurts so much. It’s hard to understand how someone can be that way and feel nothing no guilt that they can lie and just jump to another like you don’t exist.

        I’m not proud of my actions regarding joining Facebook to contact her husband but at this point I’d had 10 years of hell and I had reached my limit I’d seen your website it looked highly likely I was dealing with a narcissist and something inside me said I was never going to find the truth from him and my gut told me to get the sucker punch and run.

        I got that alright when her husband told her about me and gave her my number and I realised just what I was dealing with. All those times he told me I was crazy after he was with her when he was texting her lying in bed with his arms round me when she sent him selfies when he was with me and he looks me in the eye lying saying it’s someone else’s wall update. Telling me he loved me. When I saw his texts to her from nights out at work and saw the time stamp and checked my phone he’d sent the exact same thing to me first with I love you and kisses then he had forwarded the same message to her minus the I love you and kisses replaced with a smiley face. I can’t even begin to imagine how someone can do that and not even think it’s wrong. It is total mindf**kery.

        That’s what we struggle with in the aftermath of being with a narcissist you just can’t understand it until you come to your website HG then it all makes sense and slowly you can start to stop blaming yourself and stop saying how could someone do this to me am I that worthless insignificant did I deserve this etc etc. It’s a tough road to recovery but since he’s out of my life I now see friends I make plans. Before I wouldn’t he would never commit to plans unless it was others and I’d sit at home available just incase as if you weren’t there you obviously have a better time without him and if you try and explain why you went out as he hadn’t said he was available you’d get the guilt trip and the there’s the door if you don’t like it f**k You then.

        I’ve also made myself do things that did cause triggers some I’ve managed some I haven’t I’m still working on going back to where we had our holiday somewhere I’ve been going since my childhood which I shared with him and it’s now tainted with a lot of bad memories. He took so much from me I am determined to not let him take that from me as well.

        I’m realistic he and I are bonded for life he’s left his mark on me it will never completely leave me the scars will always be there but at least I’m here fighting each day looking after myself as best I can and living my life again. One day at a time. Unless someone has encountered a relationship with a narcissist they can never understand the destruction and devastation afterwards. Breakups hurt but you’re left with happy fond memories. With a narcissist you have nothing to look back on as you don’t know what was real and what wasn’t and you have to essentially rebuild yourself and your life again.

        He took years of my life away from me. I should have left but I didn’t and thanks to your website HG I now no longer blame myself for not doing so and can understand now why I didn’t leave and how the dynamics of a relationship with a narcissist works. I can see what it did to me how it stripped me down bit by bit leaving me totally dependent on him and his approval for my own validation. My self esteem took a nose dive, my perception of reality was completely and utterly messed up and it left me clinging to him like a piece of wood in the middle of the sea just to stay afloat. That’s the only way I can describe it.

        NC is the only way to go despite how much it hurts, despite how much you need answers from the one who caused you this pain, you will never get them I know that as I have experienced it we all have the answers you need will come from HG and his website. In time it gets better slowly you separate from it and realise it is a disorder it isn’t you it is just instinct for them.

        It’s a rollercoaster ride recovery and even 8 months on (I think) I don’t even know now haha result! I have the bad days where it hits me but there’s a hell of a lot more good as well I’ve found myself again I’ve found my friends again and I have a life again and some days I will be on a long walk and get this calm feeling of being free and that’s what going NC and reading HG’s website gives you…….. your life back

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome. Keep reading.

    2. DebbieWolf says:

      Dear Deb’s

      I recognise a real lot of this stuff.. and it’s amazing how people that have have never had these experiences often don’t understand and just don’t get what you’re going through, particularly later with the PTSD.. sometimes with the complete lack of support from some quarters as though you should be over it or something after only a short time. As though you should not still be surprised by new tactics.

      Luckily there are some people who do understand and do support and particularly on this blog.. the one place where people get what you’ve gone and going through, HGs advice is solid true guidance.

      Thank you for sharing your story.
      I’m so sorry this happened.
      Best wishes to you. Wishing you healing because this is a tough thing to overcome and to endure.

      1. DebbieWolf says:

        Sorry in advance if I miss a post… Subscription to the thread has failed somehow.. I think sending this one I can reselect and hopefully it will work..

      2. Debs says:

        Hi debbiewolf

        I am lucky that I had friends who stood by me and pulled me out of the house in the early days. My friend Sam who I love to bits two days after this happened made me get up brush myself down put on a nice dress and go into London for a wander. If it hadn’t been for her I would’ve locked myself away feeling ashamed I was discarded what lies was he telling people to explain his new girlfriend who’s posting all over Facebook that she’s in a relationship with him when I was the day before. I felt like I’d been hit by a bus as when reality hits you that you were with a narcissist it’s that eureka moment you weren’t going crazy but at the same time you have to deal with the realisation that what you had was lies and you put up with abuse for years and years and those years you can’t get back.

        Then you deal with the cheating which under normal circumstances hurts like hell but factor in a narcissist and it’s times 10 as they fight to protect their self image and will run you down to the ground so they come out smelling like roses.
        The humiliation too as they post their love story everywhere for people to see and when you’re down you feel like they will see she must be better than me etc etc. I know that’s not true but in the early days when you’re in shock and fighting a cocktail of emotions it’s natural to think that way I guess.

        Then the grief of losing someone you loved then adding into the equation losing someone you didn’t actually ever know makes that grieving process even harder and the cognitive dissonance rears it’s head and you’re fighting an internal daily battle.

        The PTSD started after the car rage and the stalking. Still don’t get that one as he was with her. It was silent stalking never saying anything just driving round my walk routes. I did a walk marathon and am doing it this year too and I continued this but stopped training when the stalking was confirmed to me by friends. I knew in my heart it was happening but was in denial. When it was pointed out to me by a friend and they told me to meet somewhere else and I saw him drive past slowly I couldn’t deny it anymore. I know his car his number plate I can hear his car now a mile off thanks PTSD! Now I walk I don’t care he’s not taking that from me. Let him stalk me he’s a coward he won’t do anything because his self image means too much to him. That’s what I tell myself each day when I go out on a training walk or when I meet with friends. I’m out doing something good something productive and he’s the sad one driving round the streets looking to see what I’m up to. That usually puts it into perspective for me and I go out head up!

        I’ve been having counselling I had to, it reached a point where I was struggling to focus at work I wasn’t sleeping having horrific nightmares and went to my dr who said it was PTSD. I didn’t understand how the relationship could lead to PTSD but apparently it is very common in abusive relationships.

        I always even then said it wasn’t abuse….. it was everything about it was toxic despite the good days but it’s so messed up that you think but did it happen or not it’s almost like you’re brain washed by the narcissist and because somedays things are ok and you see them so friendly with others and so helpful etc and they’re always gushing about how many followers and likes they get on Twitter and Facebook you really think it’s you.

        One day at a time. I’ve wanted to post here for so long and today I took the step to finally do it and share what I’ve been through too and I hope it helps others and let’s others know that you aren’t alone that there’s others going though this with you right now. HG’s website has helped me so much and reading all of you guys comments helped me though the days when I wanted to give up when I kept thinking it was me it wasn’t him he wasn’t a narcissist. He was he doesn’t need to be diagnosed himself for me to see he’s a narcissist it’s text book. His behaviours how our relationship was how I became over the years of being with him is text book. When I first read HG’s website it was like reading about my relationship it was brutal but the weight lifted and it gave me the strength to go NC and basically cold turkey and detox him from my life.

        The triggers are the worst it could be anything an advert on tv someone’s aftershave seagulls a tv program or a film and it hits you like a big punch in the gut and you cannot stop the pain from coming in or the tears from falling.

        But I’m still here still fighting on still doing what I can and each day it’s getting easier the fog has cleared and it’s just a case of getting through it and focusing on me for the first time in years

        Thanks for your kind words it means a lot x

      3. Intrepid Traveller says:

        Mine was future faking, because it is from that from which all the other abuses followed. It was the future faking which kept me in the relationship for so long and from which the paralysis from confusion arose. If someone continuously states that they want that future they build in front of you then surely the other behaviour is something you just work on dont you, like any relationship? Thats the skewed bargain i made with myself. Yet that future just kept being moved on ahead of me and the other abuses, i see now, became magnified and almost continuous. I am glad to have seen what Debs and Debbie Wolf have said tonight as despite escaping a year ago there are triggers that set me back, and back into anxiety attacks. And CPTSD. I never knew about these until i came on here and its a relief to have that acknowledgement from people on here that i dont get anywhere else, that I am not alone. I would never have ever thought that i would be a person to suffer from anxiety and CPTSD. And I have had friends tend to trivialise my experience or brush over it as just a ‘normal’ bad relationship, this trivialisation sets me back as thats what my narc did – trivialised my concerns, my contribution, my feelings, my existence.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Welcome IT and I am pleased to see a number of new names feeling able to articulate their experiences on this thread. Do continue to learn here and add your own observations and experiences.

        2. Debs says:

          Hi IT

          You’re definitely not alone. I liked what you wrote about future faking. I too can relate to that. When I think back now to why I stayed so long what you said in your post really hit a chord with me. The future faking. Even right up to the end he talked about the house we were going to get together ironically the same place where we had been on holiday and I caught him out in the lies the same place I’d been going to since childhood. We were going to get 2 dogs etc etc. I’d started a new job he said I could transfer easily and he could commute each day. He even talked of the holiday this Jan we were having for a mutual friends birthday. For years and I mean years we had talked about going to South Africa for a Safari holiday. I’d never been abroad. Every year he talked about it and every year went by and we still never went.

          Those little crumbs of this life we were going to have are like a pot of glue keeping us bound because why would he say those things if he didn’t mean it? He’s just having a bad day! His coldness and distance today is just because he’s tired from work! He does still love me I’m imagining this it is me I’m looking too much into this! Everything is ok! And so on and so forth.

          Also seeing his new supply’s texts the things he sent her, her telling me about all their conversations he future faked with her too. She lives in another country about 2.5 hours away on a plane. Very early on he had talked about moving in with her in a years time after about a month of knowing her. When I say a month it was every other weekend. 2 weekends at a tournament for darts. Funny enough that date of them moving in together is coming up now and this young girl is quite hot headed and won’t back down from it 🤣🤣🤣 my poor ex narc what will he do when she starts putting the pressure on him to live up to his promise of them moving in together! It won’t be so easy to run and rewrite history with this one because she unlike I does not know what she is dealing with and does not realise that if she exposes him he will erupt.

          It was quite funny when it all blew up and she contacted me as he didn’t respond to her at all for the first three days yet spoke to me and then the damage control kicked in. This girl had threatened to expose his cheating and he did a very good job brainwashing her into believing he wasn’t cheating on me as he told her we were just friends. A friend he’d never told her about, a friend he went on holiday with and all of a sudden she wasn’t hearing from him 24/7 like before. She didn’t see this though as far as she was concerned he wasn’t lying. It’s amazing how well these narcissists can lie and so calmly and be so totally believable. What’s more bonkers is the fact that she believes all this and cannot see the red flags of his behaviour because he’s her soul mate and she’s been through a lot and only he understands that. It really is text book but that doesn’t stop it hurting for us. It’s almost like they read from the same script.

          At the point of discovery for the narcissist it was all about damage control protecting that self image and for him staying in contact with her and trying to still live the double life with two supplies was the way to go. I wanted him to cut contact he’d tell her this and tell her that I wasn’t happy with her being in his life so what does she say and do? Becomes the opposite tells him it’s ok she’s not jealous and insecure like me she accepts that he has to have me in his life she won’t demand from him like I did etc etc. Now I know about triangulation this was triangulation at its best. That’s when I let go and stopped doing the stupid pick me dance which was never going to get me anywhere and the worst rage came out.

          Even the other rages you brush aside and a lot of this is down to future faking and the fact in the beginning they were so wonderful and over time you’re conditioned and broken down so much you start to truly believe it’s you and if this wonderful kind timid man who does so much for others who’s liked by so many people can do this to me then anyone can so it must be me and it’s better the devil you know and the narcissist literally becomes the whole reason you get up each day. It takes over your whole life and it’s so sad but that’s literally what it does to us. Our only focus becomes them and keeping them happy and doing whatever it takes to make them happy with us again.

          It’s shocking isn’t it? And the pain it causes after discard or when you’re being devalued and made to feel like you’re a piece of rubbish and not worth even acknowledging is soul destroying.

          We will all get through this together

          1. Omj says:

            Future faking made me have an abortion and wait 4 years for him. One month before he disengaged – namely ghosted- he was writing our two names on a wall and telling me he had made the decision to finally leave his wife. I think he meant to leave me :)) he would send me pic of his house and tell me he wanted me to be there with him etc etc so many future faking. So many. Kept me in the illusion .

      4. NarcAngel says:

        Nice to see you DebbieWolf. I hope you have found your time away to focus on other things both peaceful and beneficial.

    3. Heather says:

      Thank you and I’m sorry that you suffered and still at times are. Sometimes I tell myself to stop reading these. Because I know it all now. But it helps. It helps me to know that others have been there. I can tell by the way you’re writing,how you’re describing the events, that this is was just one of many. I was reading my own life. I describe things the same way I’m those short sentences. I get it I do.

    4. F Milton says:

      You said and described exactly what I went through. It was like you were right there with me. Now I am where before I knew she was wrong I knew she was the one doing the beating and me the compromising. Me the forgiving and her the continued affairs. But I lost everything I had and went No contact. Now I can look st these things and I winder was I being the same way when I just wanted her love and affection? Was me being so passionate to do for her being the same type monster in her eyes. Were my words of just asking her to keep one promise or do one thing she said she would ever do or to have a hug or when I needed to just vent over work or life and have a talk I was always silenced. Was that me being wrong. I’m not saying pity me or feel bad. I chose to stay and I chose to forgive and I can’t change that at all just like I can’t change her need to beat on me when she knew I wouldn’t hit back. That’s that but I worry that I am in fact one of these monsters and yes I love, I want nothing of myself but companionship in life and quite frankly I have no desire to endure that again. I try to pickup and clean the mess left by her. It is sad because like you when you lose all the friends and people look at you as a monster when you just wanted peace. I just realize that I’m not owed by her a thing and I want nothing to do with her, but I also don’t want to be the type person who could ever ever ever do that to another

      1. Debs says:

        Hi f Milton

        Things will get better for you in time for now focus on yourself, it is hard I’m going through it too. I also want companionship like you and right now don’t ever want anyone near me again but I know in time it will happen. Remember not everyone is a narcissist and I like to see my time with my ex narcissist as a learning curve. I know now all the times my gut had niggles, all the times I had doubts, all the times the inner voice said run that it was right. My instinct was right regardless of the fact the narcissist was telling me otherwise and blaming my doubts on me being too insecure, too paranoid, too needy, too sensitive etc etc. I reckon I could spot another narcissist pretty well next time and I know how just what I won’t accept in a relationship ever again.

        I too like you had the never making plans, how they’d never commit to anything with you but would with others. How everything was on their terms. I now know he had his life and did all the things he wanted and I just fit in when he had no one else there or nothing else to do and at the same time was made to feel soooooo guilty for wanting his time and I’d apologise for it if apologise to the man saying how much he loved me just for getting a few hours of his presence in the evening. It’s madness!

        I remember when he would go distant and cold and I’d try and do everything in my power to cheer him up it was constant give give give and nothing seemed to work.

        Then they be good days again when he’d seem like the guy I first met and I’d feel this immense sense of relief and would drop my guard and stop walking on eggshells temporarily only for the withdrawing to start again leaving me confused, baffled, hurt and unhappy.

        In the times when I’d start to fight back and dare to discuss anything about our relationship this would go 2 ways. Either he’d be attentive and nice start making plans with me or he’d go cold and tell me I’m going to extremes, imagining things and if I didn’t like it there’s the door f**k you then line. Everything was on his terms he had his life his hobbies they were important to him why was I being selfish expecting him to see me when he was just so busy and his life came first. Can’t you see you’re being so selfish Deb? In actual fact the only selfish one was him I just didn’t see it at the time.

        In normal relationships it’s give and take, you communicate with each other. In my experience with a narcissist communication which is healthy became something I was terrified of. Communicating got me a stone wall, a silent treatment, a rage. I learned to accept, to be compliant, to not have a voice of my own. This would then be used against me….. him you’re such a doom monger, now do you see why I don’t want to come round and see you? You’re always so moody, you’ve got nothing to say, it’s depressing being around you!!! Me I’m really sorry I’ll be better next time, I’ve just had a bad day at work, it’s my fault, I don’t deserve you, I’ll work on my behaviour, I love you so much I’m sorry don’t leave me for this I promise it won’t happen again (I am a doormat!!!!!!)

        Walking on egg shells does that to you…..

        Then I’d take the narcissists advice on board and be happy! Talk try and have a conversation, suggest things we can do together that would be fun, we’re both off at the weekend hey why don’t we do this? Silence, yep, nope, maybe, those were the answers I got which I likened to a slap in the face or having a bucket of cold water poured over me. It was like torture when someone just says nothing or yep or nope or ok and nothing more.

        Another thing I’d get is the sitting as far away as possible from you when you’re out in a group or even at home just chilling watching a movie with a takeaway. I’d be on the sofa he’d sit with me, then he’d get up sit on the armchair elsewhere get his laptop out and completely ignore me like I was a piece of shit he couldn’t bare to be around. If I said anything he’d say I have important work to do etc etc.

        I also got told not to ring as much not to call as much which i did just as I promised as I’d said I’d change my behaviour anything he wanted to make him happy with me. After all I was the problem it was all me.

        He went from texting me all the time calling just to say hi to nothing. Yet he was always on his phone. When I used to be on my phone due to my work in his company I’d get an earful about how this was our time and it upset him my being on the phone so I stopped taking urgent work calls to keep him happy with me. My behaviour was wrong god I was being so unthoughtful and so selfish not thinking of how it would affect him.

        Yet he was always on his phone, constantly he guarded it with his life. Always on Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and god know what else. If I mentioned this to him about how it would upset me as I hardly got any time with and when he was with me he was distracted I’d get told if you don’t like it (famous words) there’s the door f**k you then.

        If I didn’t get a reply I’d get told I’m busy I’m at work I can’t reply to you yet if I missed a call or text from him and didn’t reply it would start a rage or silent treatment 🙈 funny too how the new supply the one I knew about (I’m sure there were more in fact I’m certain there was) heard from him 24/7. Now I know why he didn’t want me calling texting as it must be so hard having to juggle more than one and god forbid he accidentally texts the wrong reply to the wrong person as that might equal zero supply or someone finding out he isn’t mr nice guy like he pretends to be.

        You’re not alone F Milton I could go on and on and on about things I experienced with my narcissist. It was cold, callous, cruel and total and utter mindf**kery. The pain was unbearable; recovery is an uphill battle but understand it’s not you it wasn’t us it is them and their disorder they can’t stop who and what they are it is instinct they don’t even know what they are. Think back of all the things that hurt you the times your inner voice fought back trying to get you the courage to see how unhappy you were and you deserved better remember those times and think did I want this for the rest of my life? This isn’t companionship this isn’t love it is abuse.

        Nothing can take away what we experienced with our narcissists we can’t erase our experiences but we can focus on ourselves and our ourselves first and slowly take the path to healing. A few months ago I never thought I’d get through this, somedays I still don’t, my mind is still reeling from it all and of course it will i had over 10 years of abuse that I didn’t deal with until now.

        We can and will get through this one day at a time

  28. misstasia says:

    For me, it used to be withdrawal, not the sex part but the little affection he was capable of was gone and no interest feeling dismissed. I felt so alone and rejected even though I didn’t feel whatever it was I had done surely didn’t deserve that. Little did I know back then that it nothing to do with me.
    The verbal abuse was tough to take too, however, I verbally abused him right back which was a vicious circle. I didn’t fall for it the last time even when he threatened to hit me I stood almost still grabbed my phone and said if he ever does I will call the police. He is afraid of going to jail so he backed off calling me every name in the book and wished I was dead. Few days after he apologized saying he could or would never hurt me blah blah blah I just humored him to bide my time to make my escape.

  29. Anm says:

    Smearing and character assassinations in court. Because it cost me time, money, and energy to resolve

  30. Peaceful says:

    Gaslighting for me. I feel it’s all encompassing of the cheating, triangulation and future faking, the subtle put downs, the fights, the physical and sexual assaults because when I would mention whatever it was, he’d gaslight the hell out of me leaving me spinning in circles of cognitive dissonance. Thanks to your blog I connected the dots. It’s nearly 2 years since I first read Hot and Cold and discarded him. You are a treasure HG.
    – Peaceful.

  31. Jess says:

    I experienced all of the above apart from social/familial alienation and physical violence and all forms of manipulation affected me deeply, though this largely depended on when they occurred on the timeline of the entanglement with exN. At the beginning, silent treatment and withdrawal was devastating. But over time I learned how to cope with/was conditioned to expect it and then the devastation faded a little. Then blame shifting, smearing, verbal insults and triangulation were like nuclear bomb fallout! Especially constant triangulation. Again, over time I felt like I became ‘used to it’ and the pain they caused was easier to handle. Or so I tried to convince myself. And then gaslighting – possibly one of the cruelest, as it totally undermines your clarity and judgment and makes you question absolutely everything about you and your sanity. Again, with time the impact faded a little. I believe that all of these manipulation tactics are cuttingly cruel and affect us deeply both at the time they are being inflicted, as well as long-term after the fact, but the severity depends in when in the entanglement they occur. After 9 months total NC I can see it all so clearly.

  32. Findinglife11 says:

    For me its the belittlement and the devaluing of who i am. It is a mind fuck. I have to coparent 4 kids w him and he has this sly way of constantly communicating my lack of worth and value. It messes with me.

    1. Chihuahuamum says:

      Hi findinglife….i think theyre all masters at chipping or slicing away our identity and self worth. Just the fact youre coparenting 4 kids with him says a lot about your strength. I dont live with my narc and am not a primary so i cant begin to imagine how f’ed up that would be. You need to find you again. Odd question but what in life is your passion? What really interests you and makes you feel whole? Youll find your self worth thru that. As parents its easy to lose sight of doing what we love bc were so busy taking care of others but self care is crucial. I hope you can start to rebuild who you are and thats an amazing unique woman! It may seem like hes taken that away but its only temporary and can be rebuilt! 🤗

  33. Caron says:

    My ex made love to me every night and every morning, told me he loved me every day, planned the future with me, took action on building the future, held me in his arms all night every night, held my hand, kissed me, and all the time he was sexting and meeting with other women and telling everyone who would listen what a POS I was and how unhappy he was with me and telling people things to make them respond to him with, “ if you don’t feel safe, get out.” He was the one who hit me, slapped me, pushed me, threw things, threatened to put his gun in my mouth, etc.! All the time he was doing this, one way with me and another way with everyone else, I thought we were working on our problems but we loved each other, and I continued to pour out my love and care on him. It is the ultimate mind fuck he put me through. It has been the hardest to accept, because to this day I don’t know what the truth really is. I know he lied to them all about me, but was he also lying to me? So who is this person? What was ever real?

    That’s why I voted for gaslighting.

  34. Julchen says:

    When your mother is a narcissist belittlement forms your character. Everything else is an annoying bit on the side.

    1. Chihuahuamum says:

      Hi julchen…the story of my life belittlement. I have only ever doubted myself as a result but im shedding that skin off and emerging a new person with a harder newer self and discarding all the lies i grew up believing.

  35. blackunicorn123 says:

    It was a combination of withdrawal and silent treatment- I was basically left to work it out for myself that he’d moved on and found someone else. It was, without doubt, one of the worst periods of my life, and it was compounded by the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. As it was an affair, I had to carry on as normal, and looking back I don’t know how I did it, I really don’t. I was an absolute mess inside.

    1. Joanne says:

      Black Unicorn
      Although it didn’t end on silent treatment, my situation was kind of similar as it was an affair. He withdrew, changed overnight and I was left to just accept that I was no longer the center of his universe, no longer on the pedestal. I couldn’t chase after him, I didn’t have much ground to demand answers from him as a married woman. But I was torn apart on the inside and having to appear business as usual on the outside. I was so consumed, being eaten alive by the pain. Months later I am so thankful to have made it through. (Largely thanks to HG and this forum)

      1. blackunicorn123 says:

        Hi Joanne, I have related to your comments in the past, because your experiences seem to echo mine, almost exactly. In particular, the pain, and the torture of having to carry on as though nothing is wrong. All made much, much worse because you can’t do anything about it. In hindsight, I’m glad I was constrained because it prevented me from making a bigger fool of myself, but at the time it was agony. I made it through because of HG too; he gave me the answers and closure I would never get from him. X

        1. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Black unicorn, Joanne: I’m the third sister of the unfaithful trio so I hear ya!! The pain is similar to being suctioned internally by a black hole in small increments. And not being able to express it makes it even worse. Fortunately for me I was in London at the time for my job, my husband was not with me, and my best friend lives there so the poor woman had to put up with me crying around the city and feeling like I wanted to die and getting drunk almost every night. She has been very patient all this time but I feared losing her friendship due to narc saturation. Right after that trip, I found HG’s works thank goodness and just because of his words and not anyone else I had read, I had the courage to escape and go NC. But I agree with Joanne that the secrecy of the relationship at least contributed to avoid waiting for him to come back or begging him or sending him a million messages or who knows what kind of undignified behavior. In my experience I was a mess, but in his eyes I am the one that escaped never to come back and that fills me with pride and a sense of power. I don’t know about you two but mine is married too so I think I am a worse person than you are, if that helps.

          1. Joanne says:

            SP & BU
            I too feel relieved to have had a “graceful exit” in that I wasn’t able to make a fool of myself in begging or chasing. Regardless of the turmoil inside, on the outside I could still project a sense of pride in that respect. I’m glad that I didn’t supply him with any extra fuel – and I hope he was surprised that I did not chase him. Then again, I suppose that would just confirm to him that I’m just a defective appliance anyway. SP, mine was divorced.

          2. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Joanne, yay! Hooray for defective appliances! That makes us so perfect in our reversed perspective! Mine is not divorced… yet.

          3. blackunicorn123 says:

            P.s. there’s no way mine is marriage material…he can’t stay with someone for more than a couple of years at most. I can now see he’s an absolute flake. Urgh.

          4. blackunicorn123 says:

            Hi SP, I didn’t realise you’d been in a similar situation! The circumstances do make the aftermath unique for us in some ways so I’m glad you had someone to talk to.
            I will never forget the pain, I feel branded by it, and it has changed my life, I think because I had to get through it on my own. People who know me well comment that I’m subtly different, but I can’t ever explain why, so I just act surprised they think that.
            But I am different, so different..you don’t go through something like we did and not be profoundly affected by it.
            In many ways he did me a favour with his withdrawal and silent treatments because I sure know where my boundaries are now!!

          5. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Bku, I am very expressive and my face was like an open book. Nobody found out what happened but my family, mostly my mom, knew I had changed. I was bitter, sad, aggressive, had lost a lot of weight, hardly laughed anymore (which is strange in me)… I said I had problems at work, I couldn’t pretend nothing happened. He definitely did me a favor by withdrawing. He didn’t stop communicating, he just did it in a robotic manner and not as often or passionately, he told me he couldn’t talk much because his wife’s family was around, while I could see he spent a lot of time online with the woman he used to triangulate me. It will be a year in June since I told him “I don’t need this.” And left. The pain remained with me but now I almost don’t feel anything. There was the eventual hoover here and there but I have resisted all of them like a pro. Triangulation hurt; silent treatments were not really too bad; he tried gaslighting but I was like hell no I’m not crazy. But to this day, the thing that hurts the most was finding out that during the time we were together his mom was seriously sick and all our other friends knew and he never told me a word about it. I was just a piece of meat to him. Fuck. His. Dark. Soul.

          6. blackunicorn123 says:

            SP – love your last line, what a great mantra!!!! Says it all!

          7. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Exactly bku. Just a worthless body.

        2. Joanne says:

          How far out from the affair are you? I am 6 months and can’t believe it has taken me this long to get over it.

          1. blackunicorn123 says:

            It was three years ago. I think you are doing really well, it took me way longer than 6 months to get over it. For a start it took me 6 months to find HG, then probably another 6 months to read everything and get my head round it all. Bloody cognitive dissonance!!! I still have my moments, even now, but much less frequently. I can’t go no contact and it has hampered my recovery considerably. Every so often he’ll come back for a hoover, but I’m practically a pro at dealing with them now and they no longer faze me.

          2. Joanne says:

            Mine was short though. It literally ended before it even began really (2 months) and we didn’t even have sex! Thankfully I found HG on YouTube within DAYS of things falling apart. Deep down I think I knew what I was dealing with right from the start. It is unreal how these people invade our mind/body/soul the way they do, that even after such a brief encounter, it would take so long to exorcise them. And it still doesn’t feel 100% complete! The cognitive dissonance is a killer. I’ve known him my whole life, had a peek into his previous marriage and knew his mean spirited personality before we became romantically involved, I STILL wanted to believe that the mask was the real him 😒 It is very very hard to recover without NC. I didn’t do it for the longest time, believing it would anger him and he would smear me. I finally realized he doesn’t even CARE enough to notice or be bothered to do that. I’m glad you’re able to manage the Hoovers. Do you still have to see and interact with him?

          3. blackunicorn123 says:

            Hi Joanne, mine was sort of short too, the actual physical affair part I mean. He love-bombed me for six months beforehand, and really managed to get in my head. One day I unfortunately had a relationship changing argument with my husband, and that was his way in. We were only “together” about a month, and I only slept with him once, but my emotional reaction was as though we had been together years. It is so frustrating! It is indeed unreal how they manage to invade mind/body/soul!
            They are such good con men – you look back and wonder how you didn’t see it, over looked it, blanked it out, etc. I think the anger and disappointment towards myself was as loud as the grief I felt about him.
            I had concerns about smearing too, and I still do. I even spoke to HG about it. Over the last three years he has contrived to become good friends with my husband and I’ve had to watch this “friendship” develop. I’ve had to stand there and watch the smug bastard con my husband – and there has been nothing I can do about it without drawing suspicion. And he knows that. I have had to see him nearly every week for the last three years (and pretend nothing is wrong), and it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I could probably write a book about the torture of it all and the range of emotions I have gone through, lol. I feel like I am being stalked in a way. I can’t get rid of him. That is why I am now so good at resisting him and the hoovers. I am like tempered steel!!!

          4. Joanne says:

            WOW! I can’t even imagine how torturous this must be for you! Luckily for me, mine is geographically far enough where I’d have to go out of my way to ever see him and we really don’t have overlapping social connections outside of social media (and those are few). I can’t believe he was able to do this with your husband! Almost as if he is holding you emotionally hostage all this time. The amount of strength it must take to grey rock him and pretend nothing happened must be superhuman. The fact that you are also probably forced to be pleasant with him since he’s got you on the ropes is also infuriating.

            I agree on the anger and disappointment towards myself. It would be one thing to be so tricked by a stranger, but I knew just what I was signing up for with him. Not the NPD part, but he was a JERK and yet I CHOSE to believe this little act that he suddenly started putting on for me.

            How did your actual affair end, if you don’t mind me asking? Does he bring up your affair or act like nothing happened?

          5. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Holy shit, I just read BKU! What a bastard!!! I can’t even imagine the torture of seeing him and your husband together, that is serious psychological harm. At least my husband hates my narc, he always told me he thought he was a pompous douchebag and although they are connected online he hardly ever talks about him, especially now that I don’t use my account anymore and he knows I don’t look so he’s out of our conversations. We live in the same city but I manage to dodge him. Wow BKU, that is fucked up. I would probably lose it and tell my husband if I were in your situation (I’m not telling you that’s the way to go, just saying because I suffer from anxiety so it would be unbearable for me).

          6. Joanne says:

            There were times that I considered somehow dropping into a conversation with the narc that I came clean to my husband and told him everything. He never made threats to smear or gave me any indication that he would so, but I wanted to remove that potential leverage from him regardless. But the opportunity never presented itself and I realize that was also a risky move in itself. When I expressed my smearing concern to my friend, she just dismissed me and insisted he had “nothing to gain” by smearing me. LOL. Just goes to show how little people actually understand narcs. BU, I know this is not a solution for you either, considering the closeness the narc was able to establish with your husband. Ugh.

          7. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Joanne, I never considered that because I simply don’t have any communication with him. Blocked. Gone. Dead. Fini. Kaput. I was scared to block him at first for fear of retaliation but then I decided I was not gonna be my whole life subjected to his will for fear of anything. And it feels so much better to not see his ridiculous selfies or read his boastful posts -some of which are two pages long and are so hypocritical, trying to show his “empathic” side- I am sure he has talked shit about me to his friends but he has not contacted my husband. I am looking forward to listening to HG’s on smear this Saturday!!!

          8. blackunicorn123 says:

            Thanks SP – I did consider telling him once, just to take the threat away, but it would have ended my marriage and he would have had great satisfaction from that, so I didn’t in the end. It was very hard to live with for a while, but now it’s just background anxiety. Thank you xx

          9. SMH says:

            BU123, Joanne and SP, Should one of your narcs try to smear you, just deny, deny, deny. That’s what they would do, right? As IPSS for a few years to a married narc (I am not married at the moment and hope to never be again – I hate being married), I can say that it was no different getting over it. Although I escaped, it was still sheer torture because he’s a narc, not because it was an affair.

          10. blackunicorn123 says:

            Hi Joanne, thank you, it is hard to be honest, but I have no choice. He just did the bloke version of love bombing and they are good friends now. I had to stand there and watch it happen. I did try and say something, but my husband wouldn’t listen. Narc was like a pig in shit as he knew I’d try and stop it, but wouldn’t be able to. He’d done his number on me then moved on to my husband. He must have loved that. He probably still does, because yes, he does refer back quite often. I can’t forget even if I wanted to. He also keeps saying he won’t say anything in a veiled threat kind of way. HG reckons he would have done something by now so I take some comfort from that. I have to.
            It ended when he suddenly went cold and withdrew overnight. I had the usual “nothing is wrong” thing for a few weeks, and then about a month after that I found out he’d been in a relationship for three months – which overlapped us. To say I felt sick is an understatement.
            I often have fantasies that he’s killed in a road accident or something. It’s the only way out of this as far as I can see.

          11. Joanne says:

            So painful – all of that build up, love bombing, being put so high on a pedestal, only to have it yanked away overnight without warning and for no reason, coupled with the “nothing is wrong/nothing has changed” response to the questioning. Looking back at that makes me so angry and also makes me wish very bad things on him as well. It’s so hard to not take that personally. The affect it had on me and my self esteem makes me wonder how women, whose affairs/relationships lasted for a long time, are able to pick up the pieces.

            I agree that if he intended on smearing, he’d have done it by now. At this point, being in this bromance with your husband, revealing your affair would be a huge hit to his own facade. I think it’s too late although he will definitely try to hold that card over your head forever, so just keep letting him think he has that advantage. I have thought through so many ways my narc could smear me, but have resigned myself to leaving it in “God’s hands” now in order to just allow myself to go NC. I know that is not an option in your case 🙁 I hope you’re able to tolerate his presence without too much anxiety now. Try to remember the passing of time now is on your side.

          12. blackunicorn123 says:

            Thanks Joanne. I agree about the women in long term relationships. I wonder too. Xx

          13. blackunicorn123 says:

            Joanne – don’t beat yourself up about being conned by him….they are very good at it, they have to be. It’s fundamental to their survival. The bar was higher for him because you already knew him, but it shows just how good they are at it. We don’t stand a chance.

          14. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

            Joanne. No need for your husband to know. This was not a habit that you partake in. It happened. That is all. This guy has enough invasion and ever presence with you. That would give him even more, and he does not deserve that. Once said, you can never take it back. This guy does not deserve to come further into the sanctity of you and your husband. Enough is enough. Also, I do not know if your husband works outside of the home, or is away from you much, but I hope you are still able to give him some of the attention he needs. You do not want him to slowly become ensnared by a female narc, before he knows what hit him, because you seem distant or distracted, and his guard is down, or he feels like he is not appreciated and he feels like he is being taken for granted. People can wake up one day and say something to you that will surprise you, when they have been neglected for too long. They have feelings. I wish I had a husband. Someday, I hope to have one.

          15. Joanne says:

            Thank you. No, I don’t intend on telling my husband, I was only thinking to tell the narc I did, so that he wouldn’t have anything to hold over me (he never threatened and truthfully I don’t think he cares enough to bother). And I appreciate your reminder about redirecting my feelings where they belong. Thankfully, finally, I have been able to stop projecting my love and empathy onto the narc and back to my husband. I was treading on ice for a very long time with my moping and distraction – luckily he didn’t make the connection that I was mentally and emotionally elsewhere. Things are better now and I have learned a very difficult lesson.

            And you WILL find true love one day. With the knowledge you’ve received here and the experience you’ve had, you know what to avoid and you will find someone worthy of all of your goodness. You deserve it, and it will happen <3

  36. KAW says:

    I voted for triangulation as the number one. Because the trickle down on triangulation seems greater than my other top pick which would be silent treatment.
    Triangulation really has many impacts -It makes you feel bad, it causes you to doubt where you stand with the relationship, It induces jealousy and doubt, and it showed up in so many small covert ways.(striking up way too LONG of conversations with strangers when out together, fawning over a celebrity, etc) … as well as very obvious ways..( talking about the ex, talking about a person you’ve never heard of that all the sudden is interesting to them.)
    I never noticed triangulation for what it really was but now when I see it -or reflect back-it is so glaringly obvious.
    I used to think- Wow maybe I’m just a social ingrate and don’t interact enough with people around me who I don’t know. Now I see that the narcissist type just loves to shower the world with their ‘brilliance’to gain fuel!

  37. TheCobblersDaughter says:

    My exN and I were divorced in 2011. I had a brief affair during the marriage and later admitted it. He flew into narc behavior “How dare you do this to me.” Drinking. Violence. I asked him to leave our house months later, and filed for divorce. I sincerely believe he has had it out for me since.

    In 2017, we started hanging out together as friends. He kissed me one night and we spent the next six months having a physical relationship and attended couple’s counseling. I was so hopeful. And our kids were excited.

    In August ’17, he went to his high school reunion (yes, without me) where he “reconnected” with a girl he liked in middle school. She had been dumped by her husband because she had a 15 month long affair. (she’s a malignant narc). She told my ex “I love you. I’ve always loved you.” That was it. They started an affair, which he did not tell me about for about two months.

    The last 18 months have been hell for me and the kids. (and the woman’s family) She told everyone she left her 17 marriage for “true love.” And yet, her ex has told me horrific stories of her d rinking, physical abuse, neglect of their children, AND she constantly asks him back.

    My ex has quit talking to me all together because he refuses to hear the truth about his “princess.” Everyone sees the empress is wearing no clothes except for him. So, his hoovering me back seems to be the most painful part of this.

  38. Debs says:

    For me it was a toss up between the silent treatments/sulks and the withdrawal of every basic human contact it was like being invisible. No affection, rejection of all intimacy the pats on the head like I was some sort of pet. Wanting a cuddle and getting a one armed hug and a repeated pats on the back or occasionally the full cuddle crumb where I’d think eureka he does still care about me only for him to become a dead weight on me so I’d have to break away 🙁
    Withdrawal was the worst for me. 10 year relationship (according to him though we were just friends in his eyes when he got caught cheating) great at first, then just under a year in completely cold, distant, moody, one sided conversations, like it was a chore for him to even be in my company. It was like he was a stranger. Then I’d ask have I done something wrong is it me? Have I upset you? Him no I’m tired working too hard, depressed etc etc. Believed him yet he was never the cold distant person with anyone else just me. I was paranoid too sensitive, we don’t have to talk we can just enjoy silence you know? What’s wrong with you? Always wanting to jabber away. You talk too much etc etc or why do you always think the worst? Why do you always go to extremes I’m just tired etc etc. Even now thinking back after being NC for 6 months after he threatened to kill us both in his car – not the best rage I’ve ever encountered but the one that woke me up and wasn’t brushed under the carpet and allowed me to block block block, it’s that withdrawal that still hurts so much. I can’t even explain it the yep, the nope answers or silence. Wanting to cry because he couldn’t even afford me the decent of a conversation yet he’d answer his phone and be life and soul of the party with everyone else and the minute that call ended he would be cold again. Then say I love you. Mindf***ery at its finest I guess. Never knew what a narcissist was, only found out after his cheating well the cheating he got caught out with and started googling his behaviour to try and make some sense of it all and to give me some hope that I wasn’t actually losing it or going crazy like he said I was 🙁 then I found out about NPD and I felt sick as so much of him was text book but I denied it. Even now I still sometimes think it was me not him as his new piece sees this wonderful guy who’s her soul mate and no one knows what he did with the lies the cheating the coldness behind closed doors. I only saw that. So to this day on the bad days I still say it was me. The withdrawing of all affection slowly broke me down over the years but it was only after I blocked him and went NC and allowed the bottled up feelings to come through that I realised how bad it had all been and how the hell did I allow this to happen and not walk away years ago when the gut said run run run run run. Having no affection at all makes you feel less than human. It is like a virus that destroys to piece by piece until there isn’t nothing left and you keep giving and giving trying to change yourself just to get their approval just to get that love you had in the beginning but you don’t you get a crumb here and there and the words I love you said and you cling to those words when they are just words to a narcissist nothing more

  39. DEMBunny says:

    Most of the manipulations were of course utilized at one pint but the one that affected me the worst was triangulation. Mainly bc I wasn’t aware of what it is, or what my narcs were, at the time.
    It fucked with my “not worthy” and my “won’t choose me over __” deep inner traumas.

  40. Caity says:

    For me, I was torn between silent treatment and word salad, but I think long before he could effectively use the former, it was the latter he used to manipulate me the most. We met online, you see, and before ‘cams’ were commonplace so his love bombing, of necessity took the form of text based messages. Word salad was so confusing, I used to refer to it laughingly (at first) as ‘Nigel-speak’ because nearly everything he ‘said’ was so ambiguous, and of course I was so often ‘wrong’ regarding the little gems he’d send.

    I know now, thanks to HG, that I wasn’t so utterly inept at understanding sentances and comments written (of course he did eventually move onto the equally frustrating verbal word salad) and the amusement at my frustration was only his. Narc-speak was the first manipulation mine used on me, and even for a midrange, he was brilliant at it.

    1. Mercy says:

      Caity, this made me laugh. Basically your saying you were manipulated when he was talking and when he wasn’t. That sums it up for all of us haha.

      1. Mercy: `Caity, this made me laugh. Basically your saying you were manipulated when he was talking and when he wasn’t. That sums it up for all of us haha.` ~~Mercy. This sure does solve a lot of the problem. Hahahaha! We can all go home now. 🙂 Case closed. LOL!!!


    2. K says:

      They use words to control and, ironically, they withdraw them to control, as well, a.k.a. the silent treatment.


  41. Audra says:

    It was the morning of sept 15 th 2018 just said goodbye to my sister and husband at the airport previous day.
    The previous night he went to bed in a sulk shouting n balling because I had a glass of wine and he didn’t approve. Next morning silent treatment , here we go again I thought, tears all day n waiting for forgiveness for my misdemeanour lol. Something in me that morning said fuck it I’m done with this, so I approached him and told him that’s it your not controlling me any longer I’m done with this. He said that’s it you’ve done it now I’m leaving, I said go fucking go. He must’ve grabbed two car keys at which point I’m not sure. He proceeded upstairs to pack clothes flying everywhere . I noticed he’d taken both car keys I demanded a key after all I’d paid for that car, he blatantly refused laughing at me . I was going nuts as expected he’d provoked me and was enjoying my response. I thought to my self what is important to him ah!! His briefcase . I ran downstairs grabbed it and house key and ran up lane in my dressing gown. He must’ve known I had gone as he quickly ran downstairs shouting at me to come back . I went to my friend up lane and explained what had happened. She was my confidant she’d known previously of my abuse as did her neighbour my friend also.
    I waited til he passed with his packed up car knew exactly where he was going. To his bum chum narc also. I went home eventually . The man whom was so correct in his righteousness about his decision to leave comes back two hours laterl lol and had taken also key to a holiday home attached to our property and proceeded to move in there, since found out he’d hoped he’d win me round in 12/24hrs. Not the case I’d informed my family and it was over. There’d known previously of the abuse on their visit. Well this is when war of the roses started. Of went electricity telephone internet money no car no support banging on windows making demands threats. Total manipulation intimidation worst time of my life. After two months I managed to get the gendarmes to listen and he left as he found out they were going to arrest him somehow . What a day that was broke into my house for his stuff a Denby dinner service the pillock. Tears of pity not for me but for himself. Nothing but itimidating emails from him since to myself my family. He was in bed with his new supply within days of being in uk. Claiming to be marrying her lol. Moved to Ascension Island to escape accountability doing a meanial job. He was a dectective now he’s a caretaker. Since found out he claims to have split with her and tried to hoover me I did not reply. Honestly I could write a book…

  42. brynnstar says:

    It’s different for me depending on the nature of the relationship. Like I checked silent treatment here because that was my ex’s Ultimate Weapon, and it hurt so bad because of the intimate nature of our relationship; he had trained me to depend upon him for everything, so he could periodically cut me off from my only source of emotional support.

    But with a former best friend, it was the blame shifting and gaslighting. I honestly didn’t depend upon him for much, but being unable to address any kind of concern with him without having it thrown back in my face in the form of an accusation, being constantly told that my memories and experiences were false, really broke my heart. I treasured that friendship and it was devastating to not be able to repair it once I became the focus of his rage.

  43. Lila says:

    He started with the triangulation, with several of his exes, but especially his baby mama, who he used for 20 years during every relationship he had. Along with that was much gas lighting and blame shifting. When I started fighting back, then came the withdrawal and silent treatment. Sleeping on the sofa, not talking to me for days or weeks (as time progressed), and finally staying out all night. When I was fed up and kicked him out, the smearing and social ostracization began. All the while, unbeknown to me, he was using verbal violence, insults, belittlement and threats against my children, who were so afraid of him that they didn’t tell me about it until after I kicked him out (I was traveling all of the time with work, and he didn’t do it in front of me, so I had no idea). After I kicked him out, he tried using pity plays on my kids. They weren’t interested!

    Now that I think of it, with the exception of physical violence, he did them all at one time or another.

  44. Sweetest Perfection says:

    I’ve noticed “withdrawal” is at the top, it is what I voted too after having considered “triangulation.” This makes me think how insanely good-hearted we all here are, having received all kinds of shitty treatment, we are still most hurt by the narc’s indifference. Ah, l’amour fou.

  45. Marjorie Murphy says:

    I cant pick just one. The smearing, blame shifting, triangulation and ostracization all made me feel horrible.

  46. Better Call HG says:

    Future faking. We had so many plans for the summer, all of which she initiated, including meeting all of her close friends, going to her niece’s dance recital, going with her on a work trip, being invited to her mother’s 60th birthday party, and and being invited to her family’s vacation house. I was very excited and thought things were getting serious. Then I was shelved and found out within 9 months of me being shelved, she was engaged/married to someone else.

    I know HG and logic tell me I dodged a bullet, but it still stings to think you found something real (I know it wasn’t real, but at the time I did) and have it pulled right out from under you. Think of the scene from 500 Days of Summer where it shows expectations versus reality.

    1. Mercy says:

      Better call HG, ouch that had to be a mind f**k! I was thinking today about how knowing doesn’t take the sting away. It hurt me to know there was no affection toward me but really acknowledging that there is no affection toward anyone has helped. Knowing is one thing but accepting it as the truth is the struggle. It’s hard to understand that type of thing because we are not wired like that.

      I’m sorry you went through that. I hope things are getting better for you.

      1. Better Call HG says:

        Thank you Mercy for your kind words. You are absolutely correct about the difference between knowing and accepting! A few months before going through this, I had been ensnared and shelved by a different narcissist. I found HG’s site and thought I knew enough to be prepared, but HG is 100% correct about our emotional thinking blinding us until it’s too late.

        Thank you again for your kind words, and I hope things are getting better for you, too.

  47. Chihuahuamum says:

    I chose withdrawal of affection and intimacy. It was like an on and off switch and incredibly confusing but i now know narcs dont connect love with anything so sex and faked affection are only tools to give or take. Realising and accepting this has really helped to unattach my own feeling with these acts. I no longer wonder what is it about me that he no longer wants or on the flipside why is he wanting me like crazy now bc i know there are dynamics at play in the background(matrix). Its not about me its him and always has been. Its not about how attractive or desirable i am its about who the flavor of the day is or if ive done something wrong or not done something i shouldve. I could never possibly predict or control any of it so ive let go and just accepted that its not me its him and his npd. As a result ive lost attraction for him. I still love and care about him but that head in the clouds love is gone bc i see reality.
    In the past withdrawal of intimacy and affection greatly impacted me. I cried a lot. I soul searched and dwelled on why and what i could do differently. I was insecure and wondered who he may be involved with. The list goes on and on. When the on light was switched id be so elated and happy. So many flicks of that switch has left me numb in many regards where there is no true meaningful feelings as far as true closeness. Now its more a friendship of sorts and companionship. Im no longer in that elated head over heels state and to be honest its freeing!

  48. Teresa Huber says:

    When he withdrew any time or communication with me this really also was a silent treatment. The only way I could handle it as time went on was to not respond back to him. He really does not share time in his life with me and this just made it less. After my first text and no response back, I knew I was getting the silent treatment. This was usually when I would want to have a conversation about Us together and our future. I have learned in the past 5 months that if I want a silent treatment, just text him about that. Another example is he’s get mad at something I said and I could not figure out what I said to him in public that got him so mad. Friends that are couples that were there, the males would say “I was there, what the F did I miss!”! He will just so anything to punish me this way because he knows it hurts me and I always walk on eggshells to be careful not to “Insult “ him.
    At least I know now. I have had very little contact now and I am getting the Hoover through he sending me you tube videos of love songs. I just tell him they are nice, but I see for myself that the love I had for him has truly died. I know some response is some fuel to him, but the flat indifference response is not at all how loving and caring I used to be towards him. It is like a flatline on a heart monitor. If I did not respond at all he is the type of man that would pull out all the stops to see me. He is the Hunter with a H.
    He has shown me so hurtful indifference. He knows how it hurts me. I am just letting him have his own piece of indifference now because he think I could NEVER stop loving or wanting him.

  49. Christopher Jackson says:

    Alot of these affected me silent treatment,word salad,withdrawal, gaslighting ,future faking,insults,belittlement,pity plays all of them damn near enough to make you think it’s all you bunch of bullshit basically. I’m glad im.oit tho that’s for damn sure I will always have my guard up now that I know more about it. I cant believe I was in that shit…it sucks because it was familial and I know that i step back it makes sense from your perspective hg I dont like it but nevertheless that’s the way it is no need to try to fix it…I have also seen how other family members have been promoted to “turncoat left lieutenant 1st class” now gland I unsubscribed.

  50. Tia says:

    Gaslighting was the worst for me because he would use that to make me feel crazy for any reaction I had to any of the other manipulations.

    For example, one time my ex insults me randomly while we are at the park with my kid. He stares dead in my face and calls me ugly. When I called him out on it, he tells me that I need to see a psychiatrist because I keep hearing things that he never said.

    Another example, one day we are having a disagreement about money. I told him I would pay him back for what he feels he is owed. However, I didnt feel he was right but tried to rectify it. Eventually, it gets to him saying “he could do anything with me that he wanted and it was dark and no one would be around to help.” A knee jerk reaction for me was to jump out of the car in fear. He pulls the car over and walks over to me, tells me he never said it, calls me high strung and acts like he is going to take me to a hospital to be institutionalized.

    This in conjunction with him minimizing physical abuse and denying cheating using gaslighting made me feel crazy.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thanks for sharing your observations Tia and welcome to the blog.

    2. Sweetest Perfection says:

      Tia, welcome and I’m terribly sorry he did that to you. Although I am glad to read you refer to him as “ex.” Good riddance.

    3. Sniglet says:

      Something similar happened to me where an ex said that if we have children together and I act crazy he would call enforcement and institutionalise me. We were in my car and I was driving. Not the brightest man. I dumped him immediately after that conversation. Not on the side of the road but politely told him we were finished. He has done other unsavoury things which accumulated. He hoovered me at least 10 times. Sucker for punishment. I am a busy woman and don’t have the time for games. No boyfriend or otherwise says that to me and certainly not even as a joke. 🚩 Aren’t narcs a constant sensory feast?!

    4. Twisted Heart says:

      Tia that is horrible. You are not ugly. He is only projecting his ugliness onto you. I’m sorry he made you question your sanity. It may be the most insidious because your truth and logic are so critical when you need to assess if you are safe or not. Losing trust in yourself takes away so much of your power but once you get out of that dynamic you stop questioning what you know to be true in your heart. I hope you find all the answers you need here.

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