Why is Divorce So Hard?


The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale states that divorce is the second most stressful event that a person can experience in their lifetime, ranked behind the death of a spouse or the death of a child.

Why is divorce so stressful? Why is it so painful? Why is it so hard?

Many of you reading this will be divorced, be going through a divorce, contemplating a divorce or know somebody in one of those three positions. Virtually nobody is untouched by divorce and its effects. Whether you were a child of divorced parents, whether you are supporting a friend through his or her divorce or whether you are a professional advising in relation to divorce, divorce impacts upon people and society in many ways and is always known for having a cost. A cost in terms of pain to the participants, a cost to the children shuttled between two parents, the cost of lawyers, the decrease in living standards, the pain of having the intimate details of your life put through the court process, the comments and queries from friends, neighbours and colleagues, the pain of having to choose one divorcing friend over another, the disruption, the agony – why is it so hard?

Governments around the world have sought to make divorce easier to reduce the pain involved. Some are it harder, believing more effort should be made to overcome the vagaries of life, after all, wasn’t it meant to be for richer for poorer, for better or for worse and in sickness or in health? Why have an early get out? Work through the hardships, comments are made such as “look at me and your father we have had our problems but we celebrated our golden wedding anniversary last month” or “nothing worth having comes easy” or “nobody said love would be easy”. These governments have looked at many ways of ameliorating the impact of divorce, reducing the cost, mandating a collaborative approach to achieving divorce and the resolution of the issues, compulsory mediation, courses and training to support the individuals through this difficult time. Hundreds of millions of pounds, dollars, euros have been spent on schemes, commissions, pilots, laws and new regimes to address the hardship off divorce.

They have failed.

Why? Why does divorce remain hard?

Divorce as a process is not hard. It is who is using the process that makes it hard.

Before we expand on that, it is pertinent to consider why does divorce occur in the first place.

According to statistics 45% of marriages in the US end in divorce, 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce and in France it is 55%. What lies behind these divorces? The grounds for divorce vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but include adultery, unreasonable behaviour and separation.

What the majority of people do not realise is that the majority of divorces occur because one or more of the parties involved in the marriage is a narcissist. This is not to say that all marriages end because one or more of the parties are narcissists, but the overriding reason for a marriage failing is the involvement of a narcissist.

Where two healthy individuals (i.e normal or empathic and thus not narcissists) are in a marriage they will have disagreements because neither party will live either a blameless life or one which is apart from the vagaries of life. They will have external disagreements about whether President Trump is good for the USA or not, what should be done about the plastic in the seas and did The Big Bang Theory last for one season too many? Those discussions may be energetic, passionate and robust arguments exchanged but those involved will not call one another names, they will not storm off, hit one another, sit sulking or start playing on their phone and start flirting with some random individual from cyberspace. This is because neither party is interested in control over the other individual through any means (because neither is a narcissist), they are not naturally manipulative and they have no need for conscious manipulation owing to their emotional empathy. They just either do not behave that way because of their inbuilt safeguard against such behaviour and/or they mentally check themselves from such behaviour because they have emotional empathy for the other person and therefore will not act in such a fashion.

These couples will also have internal disagreements which will be about such matters as one party is working long hours and the other person feels lonely, the fact they are not having sex as often as they once did, concern about the way one has disciplined a child and similar matters. These internal disagreements will be addressed in a constructive fashion because of the lack of a need for control, the lack of instinctive manipulation and the presence of emotional empathy. They may feel angry, sad or hurt, but they will not operate from an alternate perspective because neither are narcissists. They will listen, acknowledge the position of the other person and find a solution. Moreover, these internal disagreements will actually not happen very often – why is that? It is because of their inbuilt emotional empathy that they conduct themselves in a fashion which does not bring them into conflict with the other person because they do not HAVE to have control of that person, they do not need fuel, they do not react to perceived threats to control. In essence, the way that they are means that not only do such internal disagreements rarely happen in the first place but when they do they are addressed in a constructive fashion.

External stressors may cause temporary aberrations in behaviour. For example, the natural emotional empathy of a party becomes reduced owing to stress, fatigue, financial pressure, worry about a child, ill-health or bereavement. This may cause one party to respond in an unpleasant manner however they soon recognise what they have done, they correct the problem, provide genuine remorse and most importantly of all they do not repeat it five minutes or five weeks later.

Empathic people are not saints. They make mistakes owing to a temporary reduction of their emotional empathy which is caused by external stressors generated by the circumstances of life, a life which is not static. However, these mistakes are limited and moreover are not repeated again and again. Such repetition is the preserve of the narcissist.

Furthermore, normal and empathic people have object constancy. They look at a person’s behaviour in the round. They may find their spouse´s habit of never picking up her underwear, the fact she is a poor time keeper and has a strange whinnying laugh all irritating to him, but they recognise she is a kind person, witty, a great mother, hard-working, loving, attentive and interested in many things that he is. Therefore just because of this one (or two or three irritating foibles or behaviours) the spouse does not create a problem for it. He has emotional empathy (people are different and in the grand scheme of things these are not major issues, I would not like it if she ended the relationship because I left my boxer shorts lying on the bathroom floor every day so I would not do that to her) and he balances the 97 excellent things about her as outweighing by far the three irritating habits she has. He deals with or ignores the slight issues.

Accordingly, it is these marriages (and by extension relationships) which last and are largely excluded from resulting in divorce.

When might such a relationship where there is no narcissist involved result in divorce? An example would be where let us say the husband who is under pressure at work (external stressor) and is not at home a lot as he is travelling. Away at a hotel he drinks too much and ends up having a one night stand (quite probably with a narcissist but that is a separate matter). The husband has a temporary reduction in his emotional empathy caused by drink, feeling lonely, being away from home and under pressure. On return home, his reduction in emotional empathy has passed and his empathic traits of guilt and honesty come to the fore. He confesses to his wife. He is genuinely contrite, full or remorse and wants to preserve the relationship His wife is angry but having emotional empathy knows he is not a bad person, knows mistakes can be made (and this is a fundamental mistake) and understands (but does not condone) what has happened. She too wants the relationship to work and they try.

Unfortunately owing to trust having been broken, no matter how much the wife wants to put the error behind them both she just cannot do so. She wants to but her feelings remain the same, even after six months of trying. She is said, nervous and hurt still and unable to work through this issue and requests a divorce. He is heart-broken, guilt-ridden but understands why. He knows it was his fault (there is no blame shifting here), he knows there are reasons why he did what he did but they do not excuse it and he accepts her request with a heavy heart. Since neither are narcissists, have no need for control, have no need to punish, have no need for fuel, they are focussed on parting ways  in a prompt and efficient way as possible with the minimum of aggravation. One party will not (unconsciously) see the other´s behaviour as a threat to control and respond with an instinctive manipulation. The divorce proceeds and is dealt with amicably. The divorce process is not something which possesses emotions which make it cruel or hateful. That is pathetic fallacy. It is a process. It is the people within that process which cause the problem, not the process itself.

Think of it this way. If you want to walk through a doorway, you open the door and step through. Easy.

If there is a normal person coming the other way, they may zip through ahead of you,  but you still get through without a problem.

If there is an empathic person coming the other way, they will wait to allow you to pass through the doorway first and no doubt hold the door open for you and say hello as you pass by. You get through without a problem and also a smile.

If there is a narcissist coming the other way, control and fuel is required. The narcissist stands in the doorway, holds the door shut, seeks to impose a toll which mean you cannot pass through until it is paid, nails the door shut, coats it with poison or bricks the doorway up. The doorway has not stopped you passing through, the narcissist did.

The divorce process is not hard. It is the presence of a narcissist in the divorce process which makes it hard.

The majority of people who are in normal and healthy relationships will have issues but these very rarely result in the termination of the relationship. When healthy people marry they will nearly always remain together, there will be challenges but they are surmounted because they operate to the same agenda and do not have hidden agenda items of control and fuel (see Why The Arguments Are Never Resolved ) .

Divorces happen nearly always because there is a narcissist involved. The narcissist must control the other person and extract fuel and therefore this results in manipulative behaviour. This manipulative behaviour results in adultery, unreasonable behaviour, abandonment and separation.

Either the victim wants to embark on the divorce process or the narcissist does. It does not matter which party commences it, what matters is that it is a process which like anything else in this world , we hijack for the purposes of extracting our needs. We use the divorce process to exert control over you and gain fuel. If you fight for what is legally yours, this affects our notion of control and we are duty bound to respond through manipulation. Even if you make generous offers, this will feel like control to us, hence you receive a manipulative response. Our sense of entitlement (this is our money not yours/ your money is our money), our lack of accountability (I did not have an affair/I had an affair because she drove me to it/she is controlling and I have enough of her behaviour etc etc), the inherent need for control, our haughtiness, our lack of emotional empathy all combine to make the divorce process hard.

We want the divorce quick, we will delay the divorce, we will not agree with your proposals, we hide assets, we fabricate allegations, we create documents, we dismiss concerns, we dispute experts, we argue over arrangements with the finances, the children and/or ownership of the goldfish. We smear you to family, friends, lawyers, CAFCASS officers, psychologists, social services, the usher or the man in the waiting room. We threaten, we dole out pity plays, we attack in order to ensure we gain control. We will not give you what you want, we have to have what we want because at the heart of all of this are two things – fuel and control.

Most divorces arise because the relationship contains one (sometimes two) narcissists.

The divorce process is not hard. It is MADE hard.

Because it contains a narcissist.

Society has yet to wake up to this.

Divorcing A Narcissist – What To Expect

How To Co-Parent With A Narcissist



237 thoughts on “Why is Divorce So Hard?

  1. K says:

    One of my male Narcissists (LMRN) blocks doorways. Rude!

  2. Lorelei says:

    I can look up a photo. I hate needing so much room but we take lots of excursions.

    1. Cyn says:

      I would rather talk about cars and shoes for awhile. Legal stuff fun too. Talking with narcs about stuff other than our personal narcs is good too. Viking culture, hair color trends, housing market…

      1. Lorelei says:

        I know nothing of the Viking culture. Hair—My personal favorite. My favorite colors are rich browns and grey. Housing market is good. I love make up too.

  3. Cyn says:

    HG is there somewhere we can start a topic on here not related to something else? Just ran across a really disturbing Russell Brand thing about how love is the answer to narcissism because they are unhappy, detached from self. OMG I am sorry to Russell Brand fans but this kind of woo woo misinformed thinking is what keeps people stuck in spin cycles of abuse and here is where I start ranting and not using punctuation and providing tons of fuel and do angry and wish someone could post that ridiculous video with his hideous hippy beads around his throat and….

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There you have a narcissist who does not know he is a narcissist, preaching rubbish about narcissism. What a surprise.

      1. Cyn says:

        He says there have been times that he has been narcissistic but he has always always been someone who cares for others lol. I wish we could post vid here as topic for discussion/dissection/ question-school/cadre. It infuriates me. Every time I hear him I want to slap him. Maybe it’s just I prefer suit narcs as opposed to hippy narcs lol 😂

        1. HG Tudor says:

          He is as false as they come. Ooh look at me marching with people for affordable housing when I am a multi-millionaire.

          1. Cyn says:


          2. Lorelei says:

            I’ve always thought he was the culprit in the Katy Perry thing!

          3. Cyn says:

            I bet he goes to bed with dirty feet.

          4. Lorelei says:

            Russell Brand is ugly and not smart. Dirty feet absolutely. Probably athletes foot too.

        2. Desirée says:

          Re: What kind of a narcissist is Russel Brand
          I’d go with Upper Mid-Ranger Elite

      2. Jess says:

        Jim Carey same thing. He’s “enlightened” and always lecturing.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Indeed and he is one of ours.

          1. Lorelei says:

            It’s crazy to me how enlightened these unaware people really feel they are and it’s simply a matter of buying their own bullshit.

          2. Cyn says:

            Enlightened people bug me. I mean I believe in some things we can’t understand and we can change things, but get to woo woo and my patience and skepticism make me want to shove the hippy beads up a nose and just tell people to get off themselves. That guy drove me nuts before enlightenment.

          3. NarcAngel says:

            I think you’ve just described how people feel about us when we try to enlighten them too quickly or overtly with our newfound knowledge about narcissism.

          4. Cyn says:

            Right! Lol

          5. Cyn says:

            Oh no! I just saw that I misspelled ‘to’ for that context and it totally bugs me. You can also tell that I’m from CA because I said “totally.”

          6. alexissmith2016 says:

            He is a bloody good actor though!

            When I first starting working out Ns and realised many celebs were, it kind of turned me off to TV/films, in fact the entire entertainment industry. I did not want to support any N.

            But now I’m in a place of acceptance, I realise they mostly are and I have learned that I can still appreciate their skills/qualities without having to reject everything and everyone.

            My only struggle with it now is when I watch a documentary etc and someone is crying crocodile tears for whatever situation they may have found themselves in and I just can’t watch it if they are incapable of experiencing and displaying genuine emotions (empath emotions). And when others around me are displaying sympathy for them…I just keep tight lipped and agree how awful it must be for them.

          7. empath007 says:

            I knew it!!!! What about Keanu Reeves?? Everyone keeps raving about him like he is the essence of goodness and I have my doubts. Lols

          8. HG Tudor says:

            Not one of ours.

          9. empath007 says:

            Mystery solved

          10. Lorelei says:

            I bet Keanu can be a little frisky between the sheets. How about I relinquish this burden from the others and give it a whirl?

          11. Alexissmith2015 says:

            Yay to KR

          12. Alexis says:

            Is Sheridan Smith one HG?

          13. HG Tudor says:


          14. Alexis says:

            A thank you so much HG! Ah she is incredibly natural.

          15. Is Rufus Sewell a narc?

          16. HG Tudor says:

            Not analysed him.

          17. Cyn says:

            Angelina Jolie- Borderline Personality Disorder maybe?

          18. HG Tudor says:


          19. Bibi says:

            Re: Jolie. Now after learning what I have with regards to sociopaths, her performance in Girl, Interrupted is not accurate. While it is an entertaining performance, she does not come off as a sociopath–all emotional and ostentatious all the time.

            By the end, the film makes it seem like she is a ‘good person underneath’ and that is more of a borderline, who can feel empathy where as a socio can’t. She also self-harms, which is borderline.

            After that film, I found Jolie interesting as she seemed to have more depth than most Hollywood types, but then she just kept on getting weirder and weirder.

      3. Cyn says:

        What about Wayne Dyer? I know he is dead. Had a lot of great stuff to say, in fact my narc (2) made me watch a bunch of stuff in the golden phase (lol) omg. I bet he got the videos from the ex he was devaluating, she was into yoga and all that…. during her seduction he attended a yoga retreat with her lol!!

    2. Anm says:

      I saw that video from Russell Brand. The video didn’t elaborate enough to make a point. I think he was referring to narcissism, not Narcissism as a disorder. He referred to his past insecurities, and how that lead to a false self. He stated that narcissism is a symptom of insecurity. He concluded that love was the answer but didn’t elaborate on what that means or how to love a narcissist.
      I think the correct approach would be that EMPATHY is the answer. Narcissist can’t and won’t give empathy, but they guzzle it all up. They want it, and they need it. Empathy isn’t fuel, Empathy isn’t giving in to the narcissist either. Even though I am litigating with my narc ex and and his narc attorney, I still use empathy with every interaction. I do this while trying to remain fuel free. HG covers this in “How To Make A Request To A Narcissist”. So my emails will more than likely contain language that goes like this:

      “I hear you are upset, so what are you proposing to me?”

      “After reviewing your concerns, I propose this…”

      “I understand what you are saying, and this is what I am going to do about the situation…”

      “It’s important that *the narc* stays on his work assignments, so I will take our daughter during his weekends ” (when it is in our daughters best interest to stay with me anyways)

      The narc will occasionally accuse me of being low energy, or passive aggressive. This is just his attempt to get me engage in high conflict communication. I do speak up if something is not in our daughters best interest, but everything is done in an empathic tone.

      Love and Empathy is the answer for anything.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        No, no contact is.

        1. Cyn says:

          I think if forced to communicate via email it’s important to remain neutral, I guess empath is sounding emails are good. Unless it’s taken as an opening for negotiation. I do think no contact is best. But if I flat out ignore discussion about arrangements with my son with joint custody order in place it can mean sole custody placed in the hands of narcissist. I have to cooperate but not beyond court order. I can request that order be modified as well if he crosses new boundaries. One more text attack. He already has police mad.

        2. Anm says:

          Of course no contact is the way to go. In my case, I am a pro se litigant against a very vicious and accusatory ex and his attorney.

          When engaging with narcissist, it is best to use empathy, and just use facts, than any other approach.

          It also gives you a better chance at exposing their relentless immaturity and mudd slinging if you engage in a different route that the narc can not use or maintain.

        3. empath007 says:

          Courts don’t order no contact when there is children involved just because a parent is a narcissits. Our children unfortunately Belong to a system… courts make decisions regarding parental rights.

          I think her still trying to communicate on behalf of her daughter in the most non confrontational way possible is comendable. She can’t completely ignore her daughters father especially if decisions are not being made In the best interest of her daughter.

          Not everyone has the luxury of complete no contact. I thankfully do.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            They should aim for total no contact even where children are involved.

          2. Cyn says:

            There is a woman here whose aim is to educate the courts about narcissism and how devastating it is to families when they don’t know what they are seeing in court room. Her name is Tina Swithin I think. She talks about how narcs look great in court but mask comes off later and kids are used as tools.

          3. empath007 says:

            Have you seen cases like that happen where there was no physical or sexual abuse involved? ( I’m just curious… not challenging your statement) I’m curious because I would imagine taking away parental rights would be difficult to do. Especially since a narcissist would fight for them vehemently (just to be difficult-use the children for manipulating etc) so I’m curious what the success rate would be… I can’t imagine it’s an easy process.

          4. HG Tudor says:

            It is not easy owing to the victims mindset being affected by emotional thinking driving them to avoid no contact and also the efforts of the narcissist. I explain all about this and more importantly what can be done to effect no contact (where children are involved) and what the response of the relevant narcissists will be in the assistance package How To Co-Parent With The Narcissist and the reactions of the narcissist will be of surprise to you in certain instances.

          5. Cyn says:

            I’m trying to figure out how to communicate new drop off pick up arrangements so he doesn’t get to barge in and hang out anymore and haven’t made it that far. It’s weird going backward since we have been split 6 years. This needs to be exchange at public place. Like police station, since he’s trying to sue them for tearing them out of his car lol for giving them attitude lol

          6. empath007 says:

            I see, so the co parenting still happens there is just ways to keep the contact as minimal as possible. I could see how that scenario could work out.

          7. HG Tudor says:

            The package details a range of options.

          8. empath007 says:

            And thank you for answering

          9. Cyn says:

            MI wanted to leave the state and have as little contact as possible and it’s like begging for an act of god. To leave with a child you basically have to agree to be best friends and let them have access whenever they want, pay for half of it, you name it. At this point I am almost better off staying here and continuing to prove my point in making him look like an ass and getting sole custody which then gives me more grounds to move out of state. I want him as far away as possible and have since we were married. I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him the last 2 years with him. My ET has me want to tear him apart. Silently.

          10. Cyn says:

            I only have to have contact in regards to arrangements with him and that can be written. He won’t get to play the friend card anymore as I have indicated several times via text in response to his barrages of insults and am happy to print for judge should she have questions. I don’t have to be anywhere near him really other than trade offs or if there is an emergency. My son will have to understand once and for all that mommies and daddy’s do not always get to be friends. It’s ok I will be bad guy (I already am, I sabotaged the marriage disregarding the effect on them both lol!) it’s sad though I have seen joint custody awarded to batterers before. United States is ridiculous trying to prove a point with joint custody when if they look at the big picture it really is not best arrangement in many cases. I just checked the box because of course I wanted less conflict, wanted the hell out of there, am empathic and codependent and gave narc boy the benefit of the doubt.

          11. empath007 says:

            No need to explain to me Cyn. It sounds like you’re doing the best you can with the situation. I can’t even imagine what hell it must be having a child with a narc.

          12. Anm says:

            There is domestic violence of all kinds in my case, but ultimately my focus will be gaining sole custody of my daughter by presenting his relentless high conflict coparenting, and ongoing contempt of court orders.

          13. empath007 says:

            Anm. I feel for you that sounds like a lot for you and your children to deal with. I wish you all the best.

      2. Cyn says:

        Omg this is good stuff thank you

      3. Cyn says:

        I think I am reactive and “fuelly” to everything right now based on recent upheavals so your input and examples super helpful.

        1. Lorelei says:

          It is super helpful here Cyn!

          1. Cyn says:

            It is. I’m glad we can all have a chuckle and not be whiny and be more in the solution, even in the midst of horrible revelations. “Weaponized” is an excellent term HG. Especially after crawling from a pit.

          2. Lorelei says:

            I know—they are funny creatures when framed as such. Like little troll
            dolls driven by fury and recycling people to torture in most the rudimentary fashion. I mean really—how creative is being a victim, passive aggressive with zero awareness.. My kids are forever going to think WTF over the nipple ring episode. They have seen the verbal abuse—just two months ago my 13 year old witnessed it. My 11 year olds friend was in proximity to hear the N word when he was shouting over some nonsense. (She’s black)
            He’s an embarrassment and a failure—it’s not us to own and never was. This man runs a company, has a professional facade and is absolutely useless and a total ass with a poor credit score and a tramp for a gal pal. Really? He can’t even do better than this?? Now, I know the goal is more nothingness than amusement but it’s progress. His girlfriend has a black child also.. He’s ridiculous and I’m sure he will devalue her son as well as her. That I don’t condone but it’s not my problem.

          3. Cyn says:

            Wow. Yuck. Mine pull off a good show. Except narc one who is a big mouth short guy. Handsome though but acts like a 12 year old.

        2. Anm says:

          Speaking of which, I am litigating against the narcissist in october in regards to him wanting sole custody because of transparency issues. I made sure that at our last hearing, I aligned it so that wouldn’t be an issue. They love to make claims of alienation, when that is more their game.

          1. Cyn says:

            Email me transcripts of declaration!

  4. Emextraordinaire says:

    What a good way to look at divorce.

    1. Cyn says:

      I hate to say this, but had I not been in the golden period with the one narc through the tail end of the divorce with the narc ex husband it would have been worse. Also I was just elated to be out. I gladly paid for the attorney while he tried to avoid. However, I also had an excellent female attorney who was not ruffled by him. But the worst of it has come after the divorce. During the years of narc cycling with both of them at once.

  5. alexissmith2016 says:

    HG, there’s been a lot of discussion re how some of us talk about Ns etc and others really don’t want to hear about it. I completely get that! in the beginning we do all desperately want others to see what they’re really like. But people just don’t want to listen and I’ve learned to be gentle with them and not mention too much.

    But would there be a good one liner you could drop into conversation to put someone off another whom you know is a narc, you know this narc will be getting in contact with this person but you don’t want to say too much in the event it could be fed back to the narc? Just wondered?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      “He/she supports Manchester United.”

      1. alexissmith2016 says:

        Hahahahaha I certainly can’t disagree with you on that one!

      2. blackunicorn123 says:

        Blasphemy, lol!

  6. mollyb5 says:

    HG , this is so true. It’s so hard to even explain to a normal. You did a great job writing and explaining the why .

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Molly, I am pleased it has helped you.

      1. mollyb5 says:

        HG , what do you call it when an empath changes their perspective , and realizes they can change it over and over again . Back and forth …like a chameleon . Survival mode ?

        1. HG Tudor says:


          What is the context Molly? Buying shoes or their view as to whether someone is a narcissist or something else?

  7. Quote of The Day: [`HG thank you for showing us here that NPD is much different than the flat descriptions out there that leave us scratching our heads wondering why our abusers don’t quite fit.`] ~~Cyn

  8. Im still sufferring from a divorce that never happened ! My mother dident want to divorce psycho dad. She did throw her wedding cross the room on her deathbed.

    Its gonna be a nice anecdote on my father’s funeral .

  9. FYC says:

    Some considerations regarding divorce statistics: In the US, about half of all marriages end in divorce. What is not represented in this estimate is age or repeated divorces. Researchers estimate higher first-time divorce rates for those under the age of 30. Further, “Approximately 41% of all first marriages end in divorce. 60% of second marriages end in divorce. 73% of all third marriages end in divorce.” Seems likely that those at the higher end of the percentage spectrum may have a personality disorder (as HG has alluded to in the past).

    Lastly, there is no data on people that remain in unhappy and/or abusive marriages (Psychology Today estimates only 17% of all marriages are “happy” per a self report study). Therefore, unrepresented numbers remain married to a narcissist unhappily. This may be due in part to financial, family, or religious reasons or due to codependency or other reasons. In any case, I am certain HG has helped many escape far more effectively and with a clear path to healing. I recently referred someone in an ugly divorce to contact HG. I cannot imagine anyone else being as uniquely qualified and helpful in such a situation.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for the referral FYC.

      1. FYC says:

        Always a pleasure to help others find their way to your assistance, HG. There is no one else like you.

    2. FYC: I have heard remarried people say that they now know so much more about themselves on their second and their third marriages, etc. and they predict a more successful outcome for themselves.. I am astonished of the statistics that you are showing here, though. The marriages in general do not evel last as long as they pile up. Very disturbing data.

      1. FYC says:

        PSE: The data tells a different story for sure.

      2. MommyPino says:

        Hi PSE, in some cases, for those people with no disorder but were unfortunate to have previous marriages with one, the more successful outcome really depends on being able to pick a better spouse or learning to look for red flags to avoid making the same mistake.

  10. strongerwendyme says:

    Excellent article! And yes, the Big Bang Theory last for one season too many 😉

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  11. Pati says:

    If I would ever try to divorce,my kids my adult children would hate me for the rest of their lives! Why? Because their father does every thing they would ever want! I am so scared to even think about it is my emotional state is taken over! Sometimes I would rather suffer.
    H.G. your right about empaths and their emotional thinking,and it is like a drug

  12. kel2day says:

    Lol HG, every time I see all of our gravatars lined up under Recent Comments, and you have a comment listed below a comment I have, it looks like I’m a little puppy standing up at the end of your lounger at your feet asking you for something. Seems accurate since that’s what I feel like I’m doing anyway!

    1. kel2day says:

      Just noticed, Joanne’s gravatar above yours is perfect! Looks like you’re lounging at the pool looking out at a beautiful view of the beach, palm trees and the ocean! Sorry, I can’t help it! 😊

      1. Cyn says:

        How do we get gravatars?

        1. kel2day says:

          Hi Cyn
          You get gravatars by signing up for the blog through WordPress. Then you can upload a picture as your gravatar.

          1. Cyn says:

            I thought I did do that at the very start and do I am here. Hmmmm. I always go backwards. Read the last book first, un-coparent, you name it…

      2. Joanne says:

        Wish I was on that beach right now! 🏝

        1. kel2day says:

          I’m waiting for right after Labor Day weekend – best time to go to the beach when the kids are back at school, and you have it all to yourself!

          1. Joanne says:

            Kel – so true!

  13. Shelf Fuel says:

    Thank you for this article HG. More recently I have been comparing the behaviors of my ex-husband to that of Piano Boy and applying what you write. While the boxes were all ticked for Piano Boy, they weren’t for my ex-H. I never really thought that he was a narc. He never hit me, he never cheated on me (well not to my knowledge although he did admit that he had feelings for one of my friends so who knows) but he pretty much followed a lot of what you describe in the “angel” article and controlled most facets of my life where I wasn’t allowed to think for myself. Everything was always cloaked in him “knowing what is best for me”.

    And then during our separation, I fell into the lair of Piano Boy. I have no desire for my ex-H anymore but I was hellbent on wanting Piano Boy to choose me and make me his. I still struggle to understand why I would have enough sense to get out of one situation (of course not knowing what it was at the time) but yet I can’t get out of my current situation.

    1. empath007 says:

      I had a friend once who had an alcoholic fiancé ( was the father of her children) and she told me the best advice she ever received was “ when you’ve had enough… you’ll know it” well… needless to say she ended up calling off the wedding.

      It’s not that you can’t. But that you don’t feel ready ?

      For this kind of thing you may never be ready completely… you just have to make the decision one day that being single isn’t any worse then being used.

    2. Lori says:

      Because you are likely codependent. That’s why. I hage finally see what a child mine is and I have really lost interest. He is a 4 year old throwing silent tantrums blocking unblocking fake friending, spying on me you name it yet will not speak to me yet doing all of this stuff covertly to get reactions out of me to confirm he matters to me. Guess what ? He doesn’t anymore. I don’t care if he’s with new ipss I really don’t.i just see it all for what it is now a 4 year looking for mommy’s attention. He can’t love me or anyone else. He doesn’t even know what that is. Just a pointless waste of valuable years of your live. They can’t offer you or anyone else anything because they have nothing to give

      I think deep inside you think you are missing out on something. You aren’t. He has NOTHING to offer you. ZERO

    3. Caroline-is-fine says:

      Everything I’ve ever read that you’ve posted has seemed to indicate you do not like to be controlled — but you do, very much, like & crave an exciting challenge/to “win.” I’ve said this to you before, and I’ll say it again: If you actually GOT this narc, secured as yours…I would give you 3-5 years to want out, as IPPS. Your recent reflections on the IPPS role not being the “dream” you think are good.

      Not to go all Freud on you, but you may want to look deeper into your childhood and how it made you feel, to see what drives you to seek approval/validation, at high cost.❤

      P.S. When I leave this site someday, you will likely be my last post. ❤

      1. HG Tudor says:

        1. SF is addicted too narcissists.
        2. Her emotional thinking is way thigh because she will not impose no contact.
        3. Thus she remains stuck.
        4. Effort must be applied to start no contact, this will reduce emotional thinking making it easier to continue no contact and resist the inevitable hoovers. If you are unwilling to make the effort, you will remain stuck. I give you the tools, the best tools, but if you will not pick them up to wield them, then there is only one person to blame.

        1. Caroline-is-fine says:


          1. empath007 says:

            I second that “yep”

            SF… don’t you just get pissed off at your narc at times. I know as an IPSS your treatment is probably a bit better then his wives… by better I mean the devaluation Is probably not as intense.

            But don’t you just get angry at him? It always sounds like you’re more angry at the wife! Which is crazy because that’s just buying into his smearing of her… which lets face it is untrue… and also what he does to you! He’d smear you to her if she finds out and pit you both against one another when he’s the problem!

            Like that time you were shocked he deleted your Facebook posts… of course he does! Along with all his other side chicks (you’re not the only one…. he just deletes thier comments and gives them lame excuses too)

            I know for me I took my anger about dumb things like that and somehow weasled my way out. Took me a couple tries. It’s not easy but at one point…. just give it a try and see how you feel.

          2. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Good thoughts. I really hate seeing envy/jealousy/anger directed at the IPPS (not just ’cause I was one), but it appears ET can easily get misdirected that way. I also hate to see Empaths who are engaged with married (or otherwise “attached”) narc men, who then want to exact revenge, when they aren’t getting the attention they want — or are dropped.

            I have a hard time not getting reactively angry when I see those things, because, for me, it’s self-serving hypocrisy…but then I always try to remember that those Empaths are driven by the addiction and sky-high ET…so empathy is suspended; there’s a buried, seething rage that lashes out from them at times (no doubt as a result of the narc abuse). It’s the narcissist who has manipulated Empaths to that breaking point — not other victims in the fuel matrix.

            It all goes back to what HG preaches. You have to totally get away from the narc, to restore your ability to reason & maintain your empathy.

          3. NarcAngel says:

            And to be honest with yourself about your intention in doing so.

          4. Caroline-is-fine says:

            As a side note, I realized I always state examples with female Empaths in mind – just habit. But all applies vice-versa, for male victims.

          5. empath007 says:

            “It’s the narcissist who has manipulated Empaths to the breaking point”…. precisely. Even when I was triangulated with an ex… I always blamed the narc… that of course drove him crazy as he thought I would direct my rage at her… but it was always directed at him becaUse I recognized he was the bigger issue. I think he was somewhat surprised by that… but also was receiving way too much fuel from me irregardless (that part I didn’t know at the time) now that I do… never again will I be caught in a love triangle… the other woman can have them… I don’t want them.

          6. Caroline-is-fine says:


            It’s funny, because when I was still unaware my ex-BF was a narc & he Hoovered me when he was going through a divorce, he’d (of course) have all these things to tell me about his “crazy” wife…I swear to God, I didn’t believe one word of it…I just kept thinking, “Yeah, because you’re not a maniac of epic proportions.”🤨

          7. Shelf Fuel says:


            Yes I do get mad at times. The times he shelves and ignores me. You have a good memory, yes that was me who posted about Facebook. He would delete a comment that I made on a picture of him and his daughter. The comment was “You both look beautiful!” He deleted it. And then he texted me to tell me that within mere minutes that I posted that his wife called him (while he was at work) to ask him who I was and why I was commenting on the picture. No one else (who said similar stuff) was deleted from commenting. When I pointed that out he said that his mother in law and wife will ask him who people are if they do not know who they are. He has over 1000 Facebook friends and his posts get a few hundred likes. So really everyone is accounted for? (And yes I asked him that too, LOL). After I did that it then became a pity party of how he is constantly scrutinized by his family for his past infidelity and he has to “be careful”.

            The next time there was Facebook drama was a comment I made about a movie he posted about. This time he did not delete it. He replied and was pleasant and gave a brief reply. Then he texted me and said “I replied to your comment, okay? I did not delete it. I replied. Please do me a favor and just.. LEAVE IT THERE and do not reply back to me okay? As I told you before my family will question comments from anyone they do not know”. First it was his wife and mother in law, specifically. Then the term “family” was used as a generalization. His family will question the social media activity. I again told him he was acting ridiculous acting like the social media police.

            He then got irritated and said “well when I delete your comment you get mad, when I leave your comment and reply but ask you to not engage further you get mad, I just cannot win with you, there is no pleasing you”.

            When his 2nd baby was born he used filters so I could not see the birth announcement. The only reason I knew was because a mutual friend of ours reached out to me and said “OMG, did you see the FB announcement?”

            Me: “No. I guess I was blocked.”
            Friend: “I am sorry, I thought you knew. Well maybe you should cut him some slack. I mean he did stray from his wife and there is still tension from that. Maybe that is why he kept it private and filtered people out that his wife does not know.”

            From my past interactions with this “friend” I was under the impression the wife did not know her either. But her husband worked with Piano Boy’s mom so his mom knew her. So I guess that is why she was on the “in” crowd. An easily identifiable person. Why else would she message me after a pic I was not meant to see? Because he wanted me to KNOW I was excluded of course!

            Good fucking grief that rant kept on going. Goddamn memories.

          8. Shelf Fuel says:

            I know you mentioned the Facebook thing as an example but holy crap that stirred me up so bad!!!

            Also, I was not angry at his wife. I was jealous of his wife. I know there is not much difference between those 2 horrid feelings but I still wanted to clarify.

          9. empath007 says:

            Sorry if it was my comment that stirred you up and not the behaviour itself. My narc did that to me as well. He used his Facebook as a survallence Câmera for all his appliances and I noticed that and it bothered me.

            It’s not a horrid feeling… you’re entilted to feel how you want to feel I just wanted to help you see that directing any angry (which you now clarified is jealousy) is ultimately the wrong direction to be aiming your feelings at. Aim your anger at him… perhaps use it to propel yourself
            Out if that is helpful.

            You deserve better.

          10. Shelf Fuel says:

            Empath 007….

            Sorry to continue this as the “trifecta” of commentary but this shit just stirred up 2 more memories for me about Facebook.

            One night liked 2 of his pics. TWO!!! Within minutes he texted me. “Please stop stalking my Facebook page”.

            Me: “I am sorry? What?”

            Him: “It is okay, you do not need to apologize” – I was not apologizing it was more of a “I beg your pardon, what the fuck?”

            Him: “You do not need to apologize but you need to stop stalking my Facebook okay? You are OBSESSED with me.”

            This time it was not about his mom or mother in law or wife or other family. It was me being obsessed with him.

            So after that I just stopped engaging with him on social media.

            Fast forward a few months later… We were on the phone and he said “Hey I posted some of my new music on my page….you should go have a listen”. He used to email me his sound files of his music. And now he was inviting me to his Facebook page.

            I wanted to say “Oh won’t your family question who I am? Give you a hard time? You will call me obsessed” but then I did not because I realized he extended the invite. I was “welcome” once again after not being welcome all the other times.

            WHAT THE FUCK.

          11. Bibi says:


            My Mid Ranger told me that my ‘neediness was repellent.’ Then he went on to clarify that he didn’t find me repellent, just my ‘neediness’ which manifested as result of his actions.

            When I see your posts I do see a lot of myself when I was engaging with the Mid Ranger. Piano Boy does not treat you like you matter, you are an appendage, a side dish. My Mid Ranger at one point told me that his life was ‘none of my business’ because I had learned he was using a fake name, among other points.

            Anyway, here is my point. Trust me on this. I say this from experience. This guy is eroding you. You are letting him wear you away and weaken you. The thing you really need to ask is why do you think you are worthy of so little?

            Here is what I think. And this is just my opinion. You are a woman with kids around 40. Piano Boy is 5 yrs younger and aroused you sexually and made you feel young and desirable. Subconsciously, you have convinced yourself that the only way to feel sexy and attractive is by having his validation because you don’t feel it in yourself.

            You have convinced yourself that he is your last resort to finding happiness, filling the loneliness, and your last chance at having good sexual intimacy.

            This is not true. This is ALL ET. I see your addiction so clearly and you remind me of the way I thought at one time. You are addicted to the longing.

          12. Shelf Fuel says:

            I think your summary is very accurate. Piano Boy criticized my “neediness” in a similar (less blunt) manner by saying stuff like “you are getting too close to me again and I am feeling uncomfortable” and regarding our sexual intimacy “I cannot be close to you like that anymore”.

            And lastly…

            “You have convinced yourself that he is your last resort to finding happiness, filling the loneliness, and your last chance at having good sexual intimacy.”


            Yep. I feel empty without him. One of HG’s articles sticks out. Something about a howling wilderness. That is pretty much how I feel. I often feel like I am the narc. Craving his validation and blah blah blahhdy blah blah. I feel in a way when he interacts with me, pays me attention, sees me, engages with me, etc. it is almost as if it is FUEL for me. Fuel. Yet I am not a narc. HG talks about this creature too. I feel my own version/variant of that when Piano Boy is ghosting. I almost feel like there is a creature that torments me too. Does that make any fucking sense? No. My head hurts again.

          13. Bibi says:


            Just to follow up on your initial WTF. The reason he is allowing you on his FB is because he wants you to ooh and ah over his talent and brilliance re: his music. He is only allowing you there, or ‘inviting’ you because it suits his agenda. He wants something from you, so now it is convenient.

            My Mid Ranger was not romantic but he praised my talents amid a world that does not give a shit. Then he took it away and so I see a very similar pattern, as he never allowed me into his life on any personal level, but did very much the same things Piano Boy did. By calling you ‘obsessed’ what the real issue is is the addiction.

            I became addicted to his validation, believing that no one would ‘get me’ if I didn’t have him in my life, etc. This was all ET. It took many outside sources telling me to drop him and pointing out his flaws and toxicity.

            You are also jealous of his wife because a part of you believes that because he chose her, that she is somehow ‘better’. You really have to start from the bottom in order to heal and cutting him from your life would be incredibly painful but not as painful as years of this torment you are allowing from him.

            Just reading your post about FB this and posting that and deleting this, etc. It is such a waste of your mental energy. Everything you have ever written about him has indicated someone with zero love or respect for you.

            I just want you to know that I relate to that addiction and I had to rebuild myself. It was very hard, as I felt the Mid Ranger understood things about me that no one else did. I even convinced myself that I could have an ‘intellectual’ relationship with him only, (meaning I was willing to overlook the emotional disrespect, dishonesty and disregard).

            Here’s the answer: it does not work. All it did was erode me. He treats you this way because he knows you let him. He does not block you because you are still a useful fuel source. As silly as it sounds, you have to have a love relationship with yourself. You have to really ask why you don’t think more of yourself. Because you deserve better. But you need to believe this.

          14. Shelf Fuel says:


            “I became addicted to his validation, believing that no one would ‘get me’ if I didn’t have him in my life, etc.”


            “You are also jealous of his wife because a part of you believes that because he chose her, that she is somehow ‘better’. ”

            Same again. I compare myself to her all the time. I dreamt about her last night which is odd since he usually invades my dreams. I have never even met her, I have only seen her social media stuff.

            “I even convinced myself that I could have an ‘intellectual’ relationship with him only, (meaning I was willing to overlook the emotional disrespect, dishonesty and disregard).”

            A thousand times this the same too. After 3 weeks of silence we spoke on Friday. It was a nice phone call. Last night I fired off a bunch of texts to initiate another conversation and he ignored me. It really fucking hurt.

            He often tells me an amalgam of the following things:

            “I cannot be in love with you. I could be IF I wanted to but I cannot do that since I am not leaving my family. This is just where I am in life. But I am here for you. I feel a sense of responsibility for you and I am not going to abandon you. I love you and we do not abandon the ones we love. We just need some distance once in awhile to balance ourselves better so that this does not become reckless. My feelings for you have not changed, I am just grounding myself better so I can think clearly. We need to steer this ship towards a healthy friendship.”

            Is it pathetic that my mindset is: “Well anything is better than nothing. If he was not here there’d be nothing. And nothing hurts a whole hell of a lot more than something when the something is good half the time.” I am sure that sounds fucked but it’s the thought in my head. Kind of like “I will take what I can get. I will have in whatever way you let me have you”.

          15. Chihuahuamum says:

            Hi shelf fuel….first sending you a (((hug))) bc ive felt many times i needed one and…i get how you feel! Ive felt those very same feelings and i think as a codependant i do share some similiarities with those with npd and bpd bc they too have codependancy otherwise theyd not have to rely on using people to have their needs met. Its a codependant dynamic bc i feel i need him to feel whole and avoid lonliness and he needs me for his narc needs of validation and control.
            Its a lonely situation and especially in a situation where youre either in a relationship and theyre on the outside or in your case where youre the one looking in on the sidelines.
            Have you tried meeting other men? I know you feel attached to piano boy but have you tried meeting others? Id definitely start to bc it could help to finally detach. I know with the last narc as soon as i met this narc i lost total interest in the other. Im not saying that as the only solution but it may help in moving on from him. He shelves you so much i cant imagine hes giving much to you. I dont know how youre able to hang on. I do get how you feel tho and sympathise its like being in purgatory. Youre not alone!💓

          16. HG Tudor says:

            The second to last thing SF should do is try and meet a new man, she will walk straight into the arms of another narcissist. Her ET is way too high. She (and only she) can address that through the imposition of no contact. The new prospects must wait 6 months.

          17. Shelf Fuel says:

            Hey Chihuahuamum…
            No I have not. I do not do well in social settings. They tend to make me anxious. Every relationship I have ever had has either started online, whether it be a random person or a mutual friend of someone (which is how I met Piano Boy). He and I were actually casual online friends for about 7 months before he pursued me to the next level. And HG says to avoid online dating. I am sure I am not alone in this type of situation.

          18. Bibi says:


            i read those words he wrote you and while mine never said ‘I love you’ once to me in 7 yrs (this is about the only honest thing he did) he used to say a lot of that same mushy crap.

            I am here for you. You are important to me. You have had a tremendous impact on my life. I would not be where I am were it not for you. I care about you. I am not going to abandon you.

            These are all various shit he said to me, despite giving me a fake name, blocking me on social media, hiding that he was gay, never sharing any photos of himself, telling me ‘I don’t want to inherit your burden’ when I would share rejection letters, refusing to engage in conversation, refusing to read my work without explanation, claiming I demanded too much from him and how he can’t trust me. Carrot dangling, maybe someday I will open up to you, blame shifting, coldness, apathy, and on and on.

            I used to sob over Skype and he would remain stone faced. No emotion. Nothing.

            Your situation is very different in context but the manipulations are similar. He would send me a crumb on occasion and I would ride that wave for 3 weeks.

            I just want you to know that I understand how hard it is. I was there. If HG or any of you guys could have seen me when I was in devaluation 2009-2014 and a little after, I was a complete mess. I made excuses for him and blamed myself.

            The difference is that I think I have more narcissist traits than you might have, as when my ego is hurt I go into fuck you mode. ‘How dare you!’ Almost like a narc in that level of fury.

            I believe these narc tendencies are what helped me pull away and finally end it. What I did was I began listening to MYSELF. How does he make me feel? Good? Happy? No. Lousy, Weak. He picks on all my flaws. I can do nothing right. I was a mess. I was convinced I was a worthless pile of shit.

            Add on top of that my jealousy towards gay men because I didn’t have a dick, so I felt hideous. I had penis envy for about a week.

            I remember saying, ‘Only a pathetic loser of a woman becomes obsessed with a gay man.’

            But then I said, ‘Wait, he never told me. So I was not given a fair hand.’

            When I finally CUT him out for good–the lone rotten tooth, the malignant tumor, it was VERY painful. I cried and cried but I KNEW I had to. It was killing me.

            These past years I have worked on self-validation and I had to learn why did I think I was so unworthy?

            If HG doesn’t mind my sharing, there is a therapist I follow named Kris Godinez and she is about rebulding your self-esteem. I follow her FB and I used to listen to her YT channel more back in 2016, but she might be good for you to check out. She has a potty mouth and is about healing yourself.

            She would 2nd HG’s point about the need to be alone in order to heal. You don’t want to trade one problem narc for another.

            I am rooting for you. I know you can do it. You have the power. You are stronger than you think.

          19. Shelf Fuel says:

            I often think sometimes he gets off on and/or secretly gets his jollies from causing me anxiety. He will ask me for a phone call and then hint at taking it away by phrasing his words like “Maybe we should wait a bit on talking on the phone again…I am nervous you will lash out at me”.

            Me: “What? You said you wanted to call me. Why are you doing this? Telling me what you think I will do? I feel like you’re blaming me for something that has not even happened yet!”

            Him: “I am sorry” (cue excuse about how he projects his anxieties onto me)

            I am starting to think he projects nothing and just gets off on this push and pull with me. Yet it is all “I love you and I care about you. I do not want you to be hurt.” But then he twists and pulls and pushes and contradicts. Then comes back again with the honey and sugar.

            “He picks on all my flaws. I can do nothing right. I was a mess. I was convinced I was a worthless pile of shit.”

            That summarizes it for me as well.

          20. HG Tudor says:

            It’s called fuel and the need for control

          21. NarcAngel says:

            Yes, having more or stronger narcissistic traits than some helped you to pull away as you stated, but it didn’t diminish the pain and confusion you experienced both during and after so you can well relate. It was so honest and good of you to revisit it and to share, and to see where you are now.

          22. Cyn says:

            So good to hear you say that Bibi. My narc qualities helped me too. My strengths, the things I am good, things I was better at than he was, things I liked about myself all get beat to shit even when I didn’t let him know. It sucks that even when you know they are wrong the damage and doubt dink’s in. A good therapist referral is always helpful and SF I hope you get support, myself too.

          23. Bibi says:


            “I often think sometimes he gets off on and/or secretly gets his jollies from causing me anxiety.”

            He does, but it’s not something he is cognizant of. He just knows having control makes him feel better. Mine at one time said, ‘What do you think I am some sort of sadist who wants to cause you pain?’


            And yes, NA those narc traits are very useful. I am pretty sure I went into Supernova or something because I fucked him back. But of course he then said, ‘See, this is why I never could trust you.’ Also that my feelings ‘were not love,’ (because I was calling him a cocksucker following the last straw). Never examining himself, etc.

            He had been patronizing and telling me that I really needed to seek therapy so that I could ‘get over him.’

            ‘Bibi, your mood swings have me concerned.’ When I lost it he accused me of being obsessed once again. But I am also a ‘wonderful person with a gentle soul,’ he said.

            But here is what I want to tell SF:

            Once you do cut him out from your life, I won’t lie–it will hurt. It’s not like some grand feeling of relief. It will likely be some of the worst pain you have felt. But you have to remind yourself, ‘OK, this really hurts, but this is the worst it can get. It can only get better from here.’

            So when I broke ties from him, I was in immense pain. I lost weight, my GI tract was a mess, I cried all the time, was shaken and could not rid myself of this immense empty/hollow feeling within.

            I thought I needed to address my issues of ‘obsession.’ You have an advantage over me in that you know what he is. I did not. Before I learned of NPD I was wobbling around like on a broken leg. But instead of learning how to walk again via physical therapy, I just learned to hobble about with a limp. Had I sought therapy for my ‘obsession’, I would have been approaching it from the wrong motivation, seeking the wrong treatment.

            Your leg is broken? Ok, let’s do chemo on you. Pointless. It wasn’t until I learned of NPD that I started to feel better, but it was a long process and it involved learning about myself and nurturing me. I am fairly self-absorbed, so that wasn’t difficult. I no longer thought about his needs but my own. I no longer thought of his feelings but I listened to my own. I do think it was those narc traits that saved me in the end.

            But also my ego did not want to accept that the relationship failed. I just had to cut my losses.

    4. empath007 says:

      Hi SF RE:The Facebook fiasco.

      I understand as I have been there. that is a classic example of the cognitive dissonance he creates for you, when you are together I am sure you are the most beautiful, caring, breath of fresh air from his wife. And yet.. you mean so little to him you can’t even comment on his facebook as it interferes with his “real” life. I think you probably understand.. but don’t want to accept that he doesn’t love you. That you are someone he comes too when he wants something a little different (and you are not the only one on the side… there are others).

      I remember being where you are… and all the confusion and hurt that came with it. Since being no contact none of that stuff bothers me anymore. I don’t think about it, I don’t get angry about it because he can no longer play such stupid games with me. Being single I do crave intimacy with him… but I see that for what it is, and know he’s not the answer.

      Unless you go No Contact… you can’t start the healing process (I know, you’ve heard this 1000 times) but that’s because its true.

      I’m going to offer some realistic advice since you are obviously deciding to stay. Just accept things for what they are. Don’t post on his facebook, stop waiting for him to leave his wife and just decide that you are happy with having casual sex with him. Once you decide to focus more on the reality of your relationship the better you will feel. Stop chasing after him… he views you as pathetic. Don’t, you will see its not as big of a deal as you think it is…. you aren’t going to actually die without him… that’s not possible. You are giving him too much power. You can’t see that because you are keeping yourself stuck. Just start with accepting your relationship for what it is… and if you can’t.. then GOSO.

      1. SMH says:

        Empath007 (and SF), I accepted my relationship for what it was (SIPSS). I was fine letting IPPS have him and just being his ‘bit on the side.’ I told him so. It was perfect for me, actually, but it wasn’t for him, because it meant he could not triangulate me and he had to engage in all sorts of machinations for fuel. I do not recommend accepting any sort of relationship with a narc.

        1. Shelf Fuel says:

          Hey SMH….it is good to see you around here!
          SIPSS here too obviously. I feel like I am shelved and ghosted more than triangulated. He tends to mainly triangulate me with his wife and kids mostly. If there are others like me, I have no inkling. He mentioned a former coworker a few times but that was about it.

          1. SMH says:

            SF, It is all manipulative behavior – ghosted, shelved, triangulated. They have many tricks up their sleeve, as I discovered. It did not matter what I did and it doesn’t matter what you do – comment on his FB, don’t comment on his FB, etc. Whatever you do will be wrong. Of course some of it gets confusing because it is an affair after all, so one can find excuses where one normally would not. In that way, I would say it is worse to be IPSS rather than IPPS because it is more difficult to put one’s finger on what or who is causing the problems. When I escaped, I told MRN that I was NOT the cause of his problems and could NOT make him happy because I had NOT made him unhappy. I did NOTHING wrong. See all those negatives in there? PB tries to put it on you but it is him, not you.

          2. SMH says:

            And good to see you too, SF. A month or so ago, I was wondering about you but here you are!

        2. empath007 says:

          Yes but you see… that non acceptance might just push her into no contact when she sees she can never win. It was a large part of it for me the last time I went back I decided not to complain about anything… and found out quickly that did not help either

          1. SMH says:

            Empath007, Didn’t help me either. SF knows she cannot win. She is just stuck in the addiction.

          2. Shelf Fuel says:

            “It was a large part of it for me the last time I went back I decided not to complain about anything… and found out quickly that did not help either”

            I am slowly learning this. The last time we had plans he cancelled on me and I got pissed, complained and I let him have it. He was not happy and he hinted for a break, which I did not want but respectfully gave even though it hurt like hell.

            We eventually spoke again on the phone. He offered up a phone call. I was passive about it. I did not complain or rehash the prior stuff that happened. Yet before the call happened he was “fishing” again. “Are you sure you want to talk? We can wait you know. I think you’re anxious and mad at me and I do not want to be lashed out at.”

            Me: “You are the one who offered a call…”

            Him: “Yeah but maybe we should wait. I don’t want to be yelled at, I feel like you are going to let me have it for being absent…”

            Me: “I thought you wanted space so I gave it. Do you want to talk or not? You say you do but now you’re starting with this. Why are you doing this? What do you want?”

            Him: “I am sorry, I think I am projecting my anxiety onto you. I am sorry, I do want to talk and will call you shortly.”

            Just like with Facebook. I comment, it gets deleted. I don’t comment, I am invited to comment.

            I am never right and he is never okay with me.

          3. SMH says:

            SF, He is triangulating you with yourself. Happened to me too. During the period where I was deciding whether or not to go back, I contacted MRN just once. He had been contacting me every day but as soon as I reached out, he withdrew. This is how he did it (more or less – I am not looking at the conversation): Me: ‘I am fine, happy, everything is good.’ Him: ‘Are you sure you are alright? (meaning not anxious etc).’ Me: ‘yes, I said i was fine – I am fine.’ Him: ‘Are you sure?” He was obviously trying to get me to question myself, to confuse me so he could, I dunno, calm me down or make it worse. Who knows. THAT is the moment I decided there was no way in hell that I was going back to him, and I didn’t.

          4. Cyn says:

            Wait, you couldn’t possibly be ok without him right?! 😂

          5. Shelf Fuel says:

            I meant in the way where he would not make me second guess (or “triangulate” me) with myself.

          6. Cyn says:

            My narc used to always hoover with “are you ok? I’ve been worried about you…” because of course my life must have fallen apart without him. Then if that didn’t work there would be a different attempt that would also fail….

          7. Shelf Fuel says:

            Yeah Piano Boy does that too.

            “Are you okay darling girl? I just wanted to check on you.”

            and… “I just saw all your messages now” (over a day later)

          8. SMH says:

            Exactly, Cyn. Just livin’ my life. SF, second guessing, yes, but he is making you do it by turning you into two people and pitting one of your ‘selves’ against your other ‘self’ to get fuel. Think about it. Triangulating can be with anything – doesn’t have to be a third person. MRN would do it to me with work, travel, his phone, kids – he only tried it with another woman once, and I left. He could not do it with IPPS after awhile because I did not care about her.

          9. Shelf Fuel says:

            Triangulating me with myself? How is that even possible? I thought triangulating is with a 3rd person. I am 1 person. Is “second guessing myself” a more accurate way to summarize that? That he is making me second guess myself? I mean I definitely didn’t. So that must be why he aborted that mission and apologized and then continued with our plans for a phone call.

      2. Shelf Fuel says:


        “I think you probably understand.. but don’t want to accept that he doesn’t love you. That you are someone he comes too when he wants something a little different”

        -You’re somewhat accurate on that. HG always talks about how they need to maintain their control as a defensive mechanism. They can’t face their real reality so to say. I guess I am no different in that regard. I feel like my own creature is coming for me at any given moment.

        1. empath007 says:

          Alright. Well… you do what works for you!

  14. Cyn says:

    I divorced a narcissist and it took a few years, the second year was during the golden phase with my narc boyfriend. Then ensuing years became a nightmare and I have realized now, eight months post escape from the boyfriend that was in a torturous narc sandwich. Dueling narcs really. At first I was empowered by narc 2 and didn’t quite understand what narc 1 was. The last few months though I have recognized, also since coming to this site and and reeling from the devastation of narc ones antics, that he is destroying my life. Trying to coparent in a situation where the courts retraumatize by forcing you to co-parent with your abuser is devastating. There is no “co-parenting” with someone with NPD, every single word and act is to engage and battle, trigger, undermine, manipulate. I set boundaries, he plasters a stupid grin which is really a grimace and finds a way around. I am an opponate in court, waiting outside the courtroom and he plops next to me like we are best friends. Therapists,psychiatrists, teachers, school admin, courts, barely anyone is trained in what they are actually seeing. They are looking through the wrong lens when it comes to NPD and what Narcissistic Victim syndrome looks like until it’s too late. They don’t listen.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The sandwich about which you write is more common than realised.

      1. Cyn says:

        Yes at one point the ex h had a girl from a website that knew the boyfriend and warned me about him, said he was dangerous. They apparently fish from the same pond, I also think the recent one went back and did some smearing to the ex husband due to some recent reignited fury from narc 1 out of nowhere. I know it’s paranoid CPTSD thinking but I have occasionally wondered if this is a group effort. Maybe there’s a club lol. Funny but not funny. Trying to find a safe go between at this point between ex h and I.

    2. Shelf Fuel says:

      I was stuck in this sandwich as well. Traded one for another. 😒

      1. Cyn says:

        The one thing that kept me in denial about the narc ex husband is that nobody wants admit that their child’s father’s apparent love is just a facade, a manipulation; he sees his son as an extension of himself, and a way to manipulate me, keep me engaged. He is nothing more than a glorified playmate. That’s how he shows up. Everything else is my job, unless forced by the court because it would look bad; even then he plays dumb and shows up late, disregards responses to my petitions, I run circles as usual. I left 6 years ago, it’s been almost as bad after leaving. But I was so focused on the narc I was madly in love with I was in denial about the machinations of the ex. I knew he was manipulative, explosive, childish, alienating, verbally, financially, emotionally abusive, no accountability, abrasive. He got my fury. What he wanted.

      2. nfl3 says:

        Seems like we go from one narcissist to the next. Looking back, I can now recognize patterns in all my previous relationships. However at the time, I never knew what they were.

        1. Cyn says:

          Yes, I think we get primed to a kind of template as kids. Or maybe as HG says one leaves is tenderized for the next lol! I picked the second one ( not really the second one in my history though) because his presentation was so much like mine and opposite of the husband I had recently left. In retrospect, the patterns were similar, the overt behaviors were different though. The second was much more charming, covert, had loads more self control in his delivery of fury and the golden period stretched out considerably longer with devaluations sprinkled in, then reprieve, then worsening. He was just much better at his game. He also had 15 years on me so I listened to him. Plus I was madly in love, heart and soul, willingly turned over my soul and I am not that person. HG thank you for showing us here that NPD is much different than the flat descriptions out there that leave us scratching our heads wondering why our abusers don’t quite fit.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            You’re welcome

      3. SMH says:

        I did the same, SF and Cyn. Narc sandwich – just a few months apart. Luckily I do not have kids with either and am free and clear of both now. But I do have to say that while I would not recommend going from one narc to another, MRN did get me through the worst of it with ExL.

    3. Lorelei says:

      Cyn—I’ve been freed of this for only one reason.. Thanks HG. I’m a world above my ex in any public platform. Well I really always was, it’s just that I would appear crazy had I not made it here because his manipulative behavior would have me reactive in a typical truth seeking crazy lady appearing way.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        You’re welcome

        1. Lorelei says:

          My personal fave is how to discuss his behavior with an innocent mention of carrying a forensic view with an almost compassion. Total bullshit and highly effective HG.

        2. Cyn says:

          Also I have the Co Parent Package and it was saving me then I lost track of wireless head set for 3 days. I have iPhone so that’s all I can use. Don’t need 11 year old going to dad’s parroting HG on how to no contact narc dad 😂
          I just found them. Lifeline thanks HG

          1. Lorelei says:

            Send him in a HG T-shirt!

          2. Cyn says:

            Right! Omg hahaha!!!!!! 😈

          3. Lorelei says:

            Seriously—if I were a tad more risk tolerant I would send them to their dads adorned in HG paraphernalia. Maybe a coffee cup for his girlfriend at Xmas?

          4. Cyn says:

            I actually am going to get him a sweatshirt. The problem is one of his father’s favorite things is to not return stuff I buy. But I will be ok with it because he’s too stupid to look it up and if he does he wont understand it’s about him anyway. It would be even better if he stole it and wore it! He’s not much bigger than my son! Omg I will size up lol 😂

          5. Lorelei says:

            My ex would reject any culpability re, his behavior. This would be a hairbrained crazy thing I’ve embarked upon and I’m just bananas. Someone could literally contact him, report me for accusations of narcissism or whatever and he’s so dumb he’d fail to act. He’s got to be the dumbest person ever and I’m appalled I slept with him. I should never be allowed to sleep with another human because my judgement is deplorable.

      2. Cyn says:

        You know I can hold my own in a court room or education setting, but with the text thing and the child support sabotage this last month I have now imploded. I can not be in his vicinity. I have told him he can email me regarding my son and I will check once weekly. He can text only in emergency. If it is not about my son I will block him. I am trying to get conferences in to school meetings hereafter because I can’t play in to his bullshit any longer and I don’t want to be seated near him and fuel him with the energy vibrating from my skin.

        1. Lorelei says:

          I have disgust of being in his proximity at this point, but I would not have been able to hold my own based on being frantic had “this” not been a part of my discovery.

          1. Cyn says:

            It’s unfortunate that there are advocates that help in domestic violence situations so that we don’t have to keep meeting up and being exposed to the ex, they do consider this domestic violence as far as the intimidation, verbal abuse, provocation with texts etc, but the courts do not, and if you don’t cooperate they can grant custody to they other parent. So really all you can do is document, build a new case, and go back to court to modify custody order with your eyes open. Start over.

          2. Lorelei says:

            I document everything Cyn. I purposely write politely when I address him re, the kids so it’s creating a mountain of “look at this” if it’s ever needed. (He’s quite rude to me) He doesn’t have a lot of thrust—lazy really. I do not foresee substantial issues but HG has said the behavior is impacted by fuel needs so if he gets dumped by his lady friend it would serve as a trigger potentially. (For instance) I’m thinking she is heavily ensnared though and I expect a long term torture ahead for her. It sounds awful, but the more he batters her the more I’m left alone.

          3. Cyn says:

            Yes I’m OCD with cold hard documentation as well. I prepared an entire case to move out of state then dropped at the last minute because I found a house locally and didn’t have time to continue spending 30 hours a week on legal work in addition to working full time and being a mom, while setting us up in another state at the same time, and establishing back up plan here as my rental was being sold. I had an attorney review beforehand and she was blown away. His only defense was that he paid child support on time and helped with homework and boys need their dad. He was arrogant enough to think I would just move and leave my son behind. He didn’t bother filing response to my second declarations (my response to his response). Looked like an idiot. He doesn’t have IPSS to my knowledge, he just gets short term ones I think which is why he wants to come back to torment me.

          4. Lorelei says:

            Cyn—they do look like idiots! Absolutely. I can think of a few people on here that deal with ongoing nonsense. I only know that I am fully aware of his range of behaviors and that provocation can trigger them easily. For instance—I am buying a car next week. I owe him money. If I buy the car without giving him his money first I can expect he will want full visitation with kids (for a week) and complain about the car. He’s a victim and why am I showing off with a fancy car? I’m always bad, he’s a victim. He asserts control. The truth? It’s been a long while since I’ve replaced a car and there is a huge price variation amongst this brand and what I’m buying is quite reasonable. Solution—pay the fuck wad first and it dampens the response. Actions equal reactions or the extend of reactions are based on carefully thought out actions.

          5. Cyn says:

            Yes I have car envy also. Because I have a car that is new and not breaking. Only problem is that narc 2 is on it. We knowingly screwed each other on that one. I knew he wouldn’t want to walk away from the sales table ruining his successful businessman, generous boyfriend image by not signing and would want the opportunity to manipulate me if I couldn’t make the payment. I wasn’t willing to shortchange myself anymore and figured if he was going to torture me and harass me forever anyway I may as well get a super low interest rate and good car out of it. Plus I have more legal rights as he has 0 equity in it and no access. He is waiting for me to fail. But if I fail I will just leave it in the driveway with a bow. He still has to pay for it. He doesn’t know where I am. Once a year ago I asked him to buy me out thinking he could use it as bait for whoever he was chasing but it didn’t work lol 😂 I was totally serious. I thought it was reasonable.

          6. Lorelei says:

            You could benefit (if you have not done so already) from discussing with HG. Truly. The reality is—guess who has never paid a late bill in their entire life and has a credit score of 800 and carries zero credit card debt. Who gambled himself into bankruptcy? Thank goodness I understand their perspectives are honestly what they believe. The truth seeking bullshit of mine would be forever spinning in frustration. Understanding their reality makes mine more peaceful. These traits of ours have the appearance of “good” but they are what make us weak. No one else
            figured this stuff out but here.

          7. Cyn says:

            Oops I mean I have a narc with car envy. Lol. It’s the first time I have ever had a nice car. My bills are never late. My credit not great but improving. At least narc 2 helped that. Yes will talk to HG in just a few days. I do wish I could get out from under this damn car. But slightly upside down as I am paying off the other one with it. Still no contact. I knew when we signed that loan I was selling my soul to the devil for 5 years. But at least I had full warranty and wouldn’t have to call him for a ride lol. I pay my bills early

          8. Lorelei says:

            They can really hurt you financially. I lived in a state of befuddlement. Glad you are talking with him. Cars are a pain in the ass and I bought a really expensive one when I was young and it sucked.

          9. Cyn says:

            It’s not super luxury but I love it and it can go anywhere in any weather and it’s not even 2. Maybe HG wants it! Is there a classifieds section here for recovering empaths in debt? 😂 How about confidential relocation services?

          10. Lorelei says:

            No classifieds… People have asked HG for dating service classifieds but I don’t think that would work. Relocation services are more tangible—I like it, although I prefer where I live.

          11. Cyn says:

            I shudder at the the thought of dating. Next year maybe.

          12. Lorelei says:

            Are you and I the same person? I’ve had this exact conversation Cyn. HG thinks I’m a prime candidate to date a man with a social anxiety problem that has a bad job.

          13. Cyn says:

            Ha! Maybe! Mine usually have good jobs though, the last one made sure to have his own company so he had free reign to treat people like shit and gather fuel while ripping them off.

          14. Lorelei says:

            He had a good job, engineer etc. He never had money because of a gambling issue. I should suggest he climb a mountain and fall.

          15. Cyn says:


          16. Lorelei says:

            Omg you have no idea. I slapped his face a dozen times when he confessed to losing 500k. Dumb ass.

          17. Lorelei says:

            AND come to find out he liked it! Nuts.

          18. NarcAngel says:

            I bet every slap felt like a party in his pants.

          19. Lorelei says:

            I know right! He didn’t know why it was so good though! It was like a pacifier for a baby. I should have slapped him hard enough to knock his head off. I was pissed.

          20. Cyn says:

            I just let school know I will no longer attend meetings in person where he attends(conference), they will no longer loop me in to group messages, they will be separate and he will be responsible for his own responses and follow up. They are aware of need for no contact.

          21. HG Tudor says:

            Well done – shining example.

          22. Cyn says:

            Thank you. Yes, he can fall flat on his face scrambling and looking stupid trying to remember everything or even show up whilst I protect my sanity and show up for my son. Dumb ass.

          23. Lorelei says:

            Good! I won’t go to any such event with him either. He uses any opportunity to be an asshole—it’s because it is easy for him. Getting me at a conference or kids appointment is too irresistible.

          24. strongerwendyme says:

            Speaking of cars (CIF is talking her car situation): I got an excellent deal on my current car due to a narc. I briefly was dating one (within the last year) and during conversation I mentioned I wanted to get a new car. I had been considering it for months and had carefully done the research on what I wanted, my price range, etc. so I was ready to pull the trigger when the right opportunity presented itself. He insisted we go to a dealer immediately.

            We arrived on his Ducati (he had three, of course. Apparently you need different Ducati’s for different situations).

            Side note: I knew nothing about motor cycles before meeting him. And had never been on a ride on one. Apparently, a Ducati is appealing to certain narc standards. I have to say riding on
            it (only as a passenger) going extra fast was a huge rush and amazingly fun. But you have to learn to lean with the motorcycle, which is hard to remember at first because when going so fast you are carefully holding on to the driver for dear life and the ‘right way to lean lessons’ are forgotton. I was admonished several times for that… I’d love do it again! But not with him.

            So, we arrived at the dealership on his Ducati. He seemed to be well known. I guess he did a lot of business there. He was greeted like a King. Many of the men at the dealership gathered around to admire his motorcycle. He reminded them sternly “don’t touch it.” Whenever we stopped while on a ride he only ever parked it where he could see it. He proceeded to broker an amazing deal for my trade in and price for the new car. He received lots of fuel from my compliments on how amazing he was at negotiating and my thankfulness.

            His texts in the days after that mostly consisted of “how’s your bloody luxury car?” (He was originally from Scotland, so lots of bloody this and bloody that). I’d respond “it’s great!” “… and I’m doing well too….”

            Shortly thereafter I received a text from him fairly early on a Saturday morning that said “I am riding near you. Meet me at the Starbucks. Come down to see me”.
            I said, “Ok, I’ll take a shower/get ready and can meet you there in an hour.”
            He said “No, you have to meet me in 10 minutes.”
            I said, ” I can’t be there in 10 minutes. I told you I can be there in an hour.”

            He then sent progressive texts to me that said:

            “you have 8 minutes”,
            “you have 6 minutes”,
            “you have 4 minutes”
            “you have 2 minutes”

            When the time was up I texted “Times up!!!”

            He didn’t like that. We were in contact for a little while after that, but he said I was ‘high maintenance’ and contact fizzled.

            So, I can’t control attracting narcissists but have learned how to behave so that they don’t get enough fuel to stay too long.

            And I did get a great deal on a “bloody luxury car” too.

          25. Lorelei says:

            Good! I am actively searching but I made the mistake of inquiries online and every stupid sales rep in a 50 mile radius calls/texts. Hopefully they go away soon. I have it narrowed down. I want white for sure. My biggest pet peeve is sales people that are like hungry vultures. The worst is at furniture stores. HG—“truck boy” was proud of being a furniture salesman and posted a picture of his business card on FB back when I discovered this clan of imbeciles. I almost peed my pants laughing. Can you imagine truck boy selling you a mattress! Can you imagine anyone issuing him a business card?!

          26. Cyn says:

            What kind of car are you looking for? SUV? 2door? Sport? Sedan? Luxury?

          27. Lorelei says:

            BMW sedan originally, but I’ve had two Toyota 4-Runners and they are quite fun. Probably the SUV. I have time to look Wednesday. It has to be white and there are several limited edition new ones locally. I love BMW though—but their new 7-seat SUV’s are pricier than my price point of preference.

          28. Cyn says:

            Mine is 2018 Jeep Cherokee arctic white with black rims and trim. Super cute and fun.

          29. Cyn says:

            Damn it can’t put in a picture!

      3. empath007 says:

        Same here! If I would have known the trick was to remain silent…. I would have utilized it a long time ago haha.

        1. Lorelei says:

          Don’t forget the innocent perplexed silence. The less vindictive you appear the more reliable you are.

          1. empath007 says:

            Very good way of looking at

          2. Cyn says:

            I saw the commissioner do this often lol

          3. Lorelei says:

            Empath—it’s Meryl Streep worthy acting and like I said—highly effective. HG has written about this type of false concerned behavior while engaging in a smear essentially. People buy it every time. Why would I do this? It’s not because I’m an inherently bad person—it’s because my interests are to protect my children from his attempts to engage and triangulate and all the other crap. By conditioning others to view him as a moron I’m the one who calls the shots and my interests for them are the right interests. If I were still frantic, tired, drinking—he looks like the one to adhere to and he has no altruistic capacity for these wonderful little beings. He is a moron—100%. He walks around flaunting a nipple ring making my girls embarrassed. He sleeps with trash—it’s nonsense so I’m not making up something that isn’t there. I’m simply able to be reliable and calculated for the greater good.

  15. Joanne says:

    Are there really that many narcissists in the world? I have been doing inventory in my life and have come up with several 😔 I want to believe that I’m conducting this analysis objectively and not because I am so immersed in narc study for the past near year. I don’t want to be “quick to diagnose” someone (in my mind) but if the signs are there, they are there 🤷🏼‍♀️

    I referred to my sibling as a narcissist yesterday and my friend barked back with, “everyone in your life is a narcissist 🙄.” This is the same friend who TO THIS DAY cannot accept my affair for what it is and refuses to learn about it.

    So very frustrating.

    I also closed another “open case file” yesterday on a male individual who has been in my life for several years. He comes and goes. I’ve always known him to be unstable – possibly BPD – or something. Recently I began wondering if he too is a narc. The line in the adoption article about launching into a conversation without any proper frame up is exactly what he did to me the other day after months of being completely MIA. Interesting and sad. Is this really narcville we are living in?

    1. kel2day says:


      I know what you’re saying, seems like there are too many narcissists but the signs are clear, and I’ve had the same reaction from a confidant who’s grown a little tired of hearing about narcissism from me. We do seem to be in a new age that I think you’re right could be referred to as Narcville.

      1. Joanne says:

        I really try not to rush to judgement, and those who have pegged as narcs really pass all the “tests.”

        It so strange to me, that friends can get tired of hearing about it. Maybe it is the truthseeker in me, but I’m always interested in learning new things – especially as it relates to human behavior. But as BCG states, most “normals” just want to get through their lives without thinking about it, I guess….

        1. NarcAngel says:

          More than that…people just don’t want to hear about it until it happens to THEM. Then they’ll tell YOU all about it and how it was so much different/worse for them than you lol.

          1. Lorelei says:

            NA—omg correct! They don’t want to hear it until it impacts them. Then it does..

          2. Cyn says:

            It’s actually quite horrifying when your eyes are opened. The couple monsters you knew about multiply and you had better have your meds straight.

          3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest NarcAngel,
            You are soooooo right, its happened to me
            My girlfriends all know the “narcissistic weasel” and what he did to us and we’re all sympathetic, however, so sad too bad, ho hum, gotta move on attitude, never “fully” realising the extent of damage he created because he was ever so charming to all of them
            My family know how toxic he really is !
            But then, one of my girlfriend’s world came crumbling down when HER hubby’s best mate betrayed his “man code of silence” involving her closest female friend
            She lost most of her girlfriends (couples) … one friend literally yelled at her in the street !
            Their names were smeared and she hasn’t recovered …. even though it was HER husband who blabbed whilst under the influence !
            Everyime we catch up for coffee, it’s like a Netflix series new episode
            She’s now repeating all the behaviour I originally pointed out about narcissism
            My experience pales into insignificance
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        2. Carrie Arends says:

          Kel : Right Narcs are So much more common than people think and because In some capacities Narcissism can operate effectively and even Advantageously _In the workplace we know it is commonplace,however unless it is In close quarters or Job competition it is typically ignored or avoided ,If it were presenting a disturbance.It is likely One or the other would be moving on if it created problems for someone ,It is likely that it would cause those too affected to seek other employment in preference to the run-ins that were likely to result from this

          1. HG Tudor says:


      2. Lorelei says:

        Kel—the signs are pretty clear. On my second date my former husband told me he was having an affair with a married woman. I recall thinking it was less than stellar but I wrote it off that he was a nice guy caught up in an awkward position. He must have been helping the poor lonely girl!

        1. kel2day says:

          Once upon a time we gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and we believed everyone was basically a good person. Then we caught on that fairytales aren’t just filled with princesses and happy endings, but also wolves in grandma’s clothing, and apples are sometimes poisonous. My gosh, where would we be without HG, and I don’t mean that as an Awww thing, I mean that really.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Absolutely Kel. HG—If I gave you 40k in one dollar bills would that be challenge fuel? See, I’m taking notes!

    2. Better Call HG says:

      Hi Joanne,

      I feel the same way about the people in my life, both suspecting them of being narcs and people not understanding what narcissism is. I now suspect a couple of family members and close friends of being narcissists. I finally took HG’s advice and stopped online dating a few months ago because it seemed like everyone who I engaged with was riddled with red flags.

      I also have similar experiences with people I trust just not getting it. My best friend still will not accept that the last person I seriously dated was a narcissist. He does not understand why I will not go to a bar with him that the narcissist used to frequent. One family member even expressed concern that I had become so reliant on HG’s assessments and teachings concerning narcissism and suggested I was being manipulated (HG, I know you do not do that here and responded accordingly).

      I think the reality is previously we were unaware of what narcissism actually is and how prevalent it is in the world. The difference now is that thanks to HG we are aware and understand the logic behind the behaviors/manipulations. As HG has said, normal people don’t really care, they just want to get through their lives as best they can, whereas empaths need to understand. All we can do is educate and protect ourselves to keep our ET in check and avoid future ensnarements.

      1. Joanne says:

        “One family member even expressed concern that I had become so reliant on HG’s assessments and teachings concerning narcissism and suggested I was being manipulated.” My friend has made a similar comment, implying that HG has something to personally gain from teaching us about narcissism! Makes no sense!

        1. Lorelei says:

          The whole cultist thing Joanne..

    3. strongerwendyme says:

      I think it is more likely to be narcville for us (empaths) than others since narcs are drawn to us and we are drawn to them.

    4. empath007 says:

      Just remember, Joanne… you don’t need your friends validation on the subject, you receive validation here. Consider not discussing the topic with her anymore… when it comes to an affair, people are highly judgmental. She will never come around to understanding what you are trying to tell her and from that paragraph seems unsupportive regarding this specific topic. IRL I find I’m better off talking about it as little as possible. People do NOT care and need to come to their own conclusions. But like NA says… just wait til it happens to them and the world gets flipped upside down lol.

      1. Joanne says:

        Yes, you are right. I don’t talk about it with her much at all. But there are times when the situation is suited and I’ll bring it up in some way, thinking just MAYBE she has budged on it. Nope. The response will still be “well, he IS an a**hole…..” OK NO IT’S MORE THAN THAT. She herself is involved in an affair now WITH a narc. The difference is that she is a very simple person, has the lowest self esteem of anyone I’ve ever met, so she advances through this relationship completely unaffected by his horrid behavior. We can’t save the world… 🙁

        1. empath007 says:

          She’ll be affected by it eventually. And when she is it will be the end of the world. Sorry to hear she’s still wrapped up in it 😞

    5. Carrie Khaddour says:

      Joanne: Yes I do Believe their are that many narcissis in all degrees and customizations of those types, I also understand the others in your life even counselors who do know some about the disorder ,are really not to trained in treating victims of it so it just creates more problems as the so called well meaning persons in ones life I read what You and Kel2day say and thelines of these friends sound as if they are read from a books on Narcs are a Kel2days classic Narcville or Narcs are figments of peoples imagination. Obviously your well meaning friends are not empaths and are less likely to encounter them, or perhaps they do encounter them frequently but do not gravitate in close encounters of the Narc kind.I always am saddened to hear these frequent responses by the friends, of the victims as it adds considerable more insult to the Trauma each victim suffers,
      through alone .The 2 counselors I met each were very aware of the Narc Phenomena But I do not Know if they knew how common the disorder is,It pays to remember that the victims sometimes will exhibit the traits of Narcissism, and I often hear the victims of Narcs Say that at some point they wondered if they were Narcs and I really believe it possible that in certain instances the victims can and do sometimes become Narcissistic trait bearers especially if they have had several operating in their family or friends network..The last point I want to touch on is Empaths and Narcs are opposite ends of the Spectrum,The other types of personalities do not seem to interest Narcs likely because Narcs get minimal fuel from them ,Narcs also do not seek out persons who are heavily invested in their own best interests as the fuel they could get is not enough to bother with these -the Narc is not identified by these persons and would likely Be a put off to these who tend to be Self involved!

      1. Joanne says:

        Hi Carrie
        You make a lot of good points. Especially the part about being made to feel as if all the narcs in our life are just figments of our imaginations – like leprechauns skipping about. It just helps to connect with people who understand.

      2. kel2day says:


        I think you’re right about some of the people we’re confiding in not being empaths. I’m pretty sure the person I talk to is a normal. She’s been very good about listening and believing, and even readily equated it to someone she deals with. I think they can be aware of an issue, but not worry about it. Empaths and Narcs have different viewpoints, and I never thought about Normals having their own viewpoint too.

      3. Shelf Fuel says:

        I wonder on and off if I am a Narc. I seek validation, acceptance, approval from Piano Boy all the time. When he ignores me it is an empty feeling similar to that of not being fueled. I am reminded that I am not a Narc but I do tend to have a selfish flare as my Narc is married and I could give less of a shit as I keep pursuing him.

        1. Bibi says:


          The reason his marriage does not come into play when it comes to your decision to pursue is because your addiction is stronger. Think of it this way–the drug addict who steals/pawns someone else’s belongings so they can purchase a fix. In that moment, the NEED for the drug overrides all thoughts of ethics and morality. This is what HG explains re: outside sources. If your children were starving you would likely have no problem stealing food from the grocery store.

          I also crave attention and validation and I thought the same about myself at one time re: narc. But were you a narc you would not be crying over him hurting the way that you do.

  16. kel2day says:

    I laughed out loud for real at the empath at the door- holds it open, says hello, smiles- so funny and omg, so true too!!

  17. Claire says:

    Absolutely spot on! In my case it was not that hard only because there were no children involved. But hiding assets , giving ultimatums” I want you do not take anything that is Mine “ . He had a lot ( money, other assists) and the only thing I wanted was my freedom. To the point that I told him I won’t make any claims( although I was well aware what I could claim under the current legislation) and I didn’t. Money cannot buy me a happiness.
    And the post divorce period when he played the good guy and made another proposal. I was so surprised , my heart sunk and I just humbled “ but why we divorced then, why you forced me out”. No clear answer, just promises to change and unclear future ( “ let’s go back to Europe and let’s start again” “ let’s by property in this and that suburb” “ I want to live together like a family, again”, “ we can always get married again”.
    Another round on the roller coaster because I was weak , felt guilty ( “ I should try more and more to save the marriage”) , my feelings were still alive..the post divorce misery of shattered dreams and broken promises lasted 2 years .

  18. MB says:

    Great article, HG! I love your walking through the door analogy.

    I want ownership of the goldfish by the way…I say with a whinnying laugh.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

      Ha ha, the goldfish met with a toaster. Fried fish.

      1. MB says:

        Pass the tartar sauce dear!

        1. Lorelei says:

          I love tartar sauce with breaded fried disgusting cod. I never let myself indulge though MB. You know about my endless plates of salad with goat cheese!

          1. MB says:

            Lorelei, you can fuck goat cheese sky high! 🤢🤢🤢

          2. Lorelei says:

            It’s phenomenal for real. I need to wash
            my arm pits now.

          3. NarcAngel says:

            Armpits? I prefer it in a salad but now I feel like I’m missing out.

          4. Lorelei says:

            It was a scramble to get dressed NA—I had to prioritize.

          5. Lorelei says:

            MB—I just ate a live sun dried tomato flavored turkey because I was hungry. It was delicious and covered in sun dried tomato cheese. It was like a feast and I was a wild animal.

          6. kel2day says:

            Do codependents mirror their narcissist?

          7. HG Tudor says:

            Yes they will, but not in order to manipulate.

    2. Claire says:

      MB, the only things that I wanted was my freedom and the cat . I am her legal owner anyway because when I took her from the local shelter , we were not living under the same roof ( under our state legislation a couple must not live under the same roof in order a divorce to be granted , cannot remember how many months though) so she wad registered at my address. He won’t look after a pet anyway.

  19. kel2day says:

    Cool picture!

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. nfl3 says:

        HG, it is quite uncanny in that at times your responses/comments to posts are very similar to comments that the narc in my life would make. How does that happen??

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Hmm, let me think….

          1. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Hahahah awwww that made me laugh a lot.

          2. Lorelei says:

            Hi Alexis! Keep laughing!

          3. nfl3 says:

            You crack me up!!

          4. Asp Emp says:


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