No Good Advice

no good advice

Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.

I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-

“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”

“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”

“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”

“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”

“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”

“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”

“I didn’t know him anymore.”

“He started controlling me.”

“She told me who I could see.”

“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”

“He would flirt with other women.”

“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”

“He never listens to me.”

“He became abusive.”

“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”

“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”

“He started to make decisions for me.”

“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”

“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”

“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”

“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”

“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”

“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”

“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”

“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”

“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”

“I still miss her after everything she has done.”

“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”

“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”

“I want him back.”

I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.

Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?

Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.

Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.

Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.

Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.

Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-

“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”

No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.

“You have outgrown each other.”

No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.

“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”

Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.

You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”

Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?

You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”

Good luck with that one.

“He just might not be into you.”

Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.

“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”

Again, good luck with that one.

“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.

“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”

Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.

“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”

It is if you get ensnared by my kind.

I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.

The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.

I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.

This is why we are able to do what we do.

This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.

This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.

This is why ignorance is so harmful.

This is why we remain so effective.

This is why we remain so dangerous.

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12 Comments

  1. Very true hg very true I see it in movies, I see it in family members..it is very clear but like you said a lack of knowledge thereof…equals the narcs strike again point awarded to hg again.

  2. God bless you HG Tudor! I am serious, I feel you like a good friend! After my divorce from a narcs I was wondering what was wrong with me and why otherwise charming and nice men are not willing to commit; disappeared ( to re surface) again and the list goes on. And all these advices that I have read on various sites, blogs, etc didn’t work ( like give him some time to decide, to think and so on). I was started questing my English proficiency ( at the end, I might not understand well the arctic led, videos , etc) and blaming my cultural heritage for my desire to have a committed relationship based on love, trust and respect . Thank you for this brilliant article – so many things make sense now! Even I remember trying to downgrade my physical appearance ( no make up, very conservative clothing) and avoiding to tell my job title because the guy might feel intimidated ( another “ useful “ advice from relationship gurus). For the record – I have a good job but I never ever use the fact to point out to anybody. Nor I am clingy person or someone who will suffocate a guy not allowing him any free time or creating dramas and making him jealous for whatever reason.

  3. How I found this site was by searching different questions to explain my relationship or issues I was experiencing with my narc partner. I found a ton of Information just like HG describes in the posting. Unless you know to search on narcissist, you get so much crap advice from people who clearly don’t know anything about narcassism. I can’t even count how many times I would see advice like “you just need to love him more through the hard times, he’ll come around.”. “if it was good in the beginning, you can get that back if you just be patient. He’s probably dealing with a lot at work.”. “try to be patient with him, he had a rough childhood and needs your patience and support.”. I’ve even found countless sites on how to get your ex back! I admit there was a time when all I could think about was getting him back after the umpteenth discard. People waste decades (myself included) before they find the truth. It usually gets to the point that the victim is financially, emotionally, physically so beat down they finally see the patterns and they know they have to get out. Then they find the answers and begin the long process of getting out and healing from a lifetime of abuse. I have made a point to refer people to narcsite.com every chance I get. I want to scream from the mountain tops when I can see someone is involved with a narcissist. The ones who have the knowledge need to spread the word to the ones that don’t.

    1. Often I have tammy and you know the response I get…is “what is that oh oh oh I have heard of that before!”and then i say “ok well what is it?” And they will say ” umm …I think it means when someone is self centered and they all they talk about is themselves?” And I’m like “ok but you’re way off the mark” and I refer them to this website and instead of going here they go to websites like what you said and I see them posting what they think is a narc and I’m like no they are not explaining it right you have to go to hg website he is actually one lol. But I have found the more I tell people the more they dont go it’s almost like they rather not know.. so lazy they wont even read the shit.

  4. I agree people give shitty advice when it comes to relationships. But I also think that’s because…. not a lot of people want good advice. It is my experince that when it comes to someone else’s relationship Its best to stay out of it.
    Because unless you are telling them exactly what they want to hear… they don’t want to hear it.

  5. The reason for the ignorance of these so-called “Advice columns or Professionals” is simply they do not understand that there are different types of narcissism. I myself have been told when I clearly pointed out behavior and said he sounds like a narcissist “Not everyone is a narcissist”. That may be true, however, people don’t know and I didn’t know that a person who hits another could be a Lesser Narcissist. There also the possibility that the professionals do know but are happy to provide endless therapy for the love of money knowing damn well that the abuser will never ever change and the victim is just wasting time and money.

  6. Yes yes.. To think of the blame shifting/pity ploys that you’ve educated me on that his new fuel source is a captive audience to.. Wow, just wow. You just don’t know until you know.. Wow—I adore you. Never again will I be ensnared in this miserable mess.

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