A Preventative Hoover


How many times have you declared that you have had enough? How many times have you vowed that you are no longer putting up with this behaviour and making a fresh start? How often have you put in place steps to depart and leave this confusing and twisted reality behind?

We hear these assertive comments from time to time. We have subjected you to a sustained devaluation, provoked so many heightened emotional responses from you which has given us fuel. At times you did not know whether you were coming or going, your head swam and that dull ache in the centre of your forehead never seemed to diminish.

You wondered who you could trust as you fought to establish what you believed was right against a backdrop of contradictions. From somewhere you mustered some strength, a bolt of fortitude sprang from the maelstrom and in that moment of clarity you knew it was time to go. This situation is not right surely? Nobody should be treated in this manner. Yes, it was the moment to depart.

Of course you could not do so without your parting speech. It was not borne out of spite or venom. Those are not watchwords that apply to you. Notwithstanding the horrendous treatment meted out against you, the repeated abuse and the incessant put downs, you still behaved with dignity and grace.

There was little doubt that you wanted to lash out. You wanted to flail us with stinging words and some home truths, just in the same way we had used our acidic tongues and savage words to berate you, yet despite how much you wanted to speak to us in this manner you did not do so.

Instead, demonstrating the empathy which attracted us to you all that time ago you explained how you still loved us. You fought back the tears as you explained that you loved us more than you did when we first became a couple and despite everything that has happened you still love us. You ought to have torn strips of us, levelling a lengthy charge sheet against us but you did not behave in this way.

That is not who you are. You talked about all the wonderful traits we have and how you miss them, you continued to praise us even after everything that we had done to you. You stood there bearing the emotional and physical bruises and rather than lambast us for putting you in such a state you preferred to talk about the magical times we had together. Y

ou clearly had committed each of those occasions to your memory as you brought up each event and occurrence as the tears trickled down your cheeks. You explained how wonderful we made you feel, how you had never experienced anything like that before and you consequently truly believed you had found the one.

You work through the golden period, talking about the trips we took, the days we spent together and the glittering and scintillating moments we created. We can see this is hurting you all the more yet still your selflessness continues. You are exhausted after the tortuous time you have been put through and yet still you only try to remember the good and thank us for those wonderful times.

You tell us that although they lasted a few months, the memories of that time are seared into your mind and you will always treasure them. You explain that you will reflect on those memories and not what came to pass afterwards as you still prefer to think the best of us, despite everything we have subjected you to.

Your nobility in behaving in this manner is most impressive and your admirable words continue to fuel us. You explain between sobs that you do not want to go but you have to. You do not want to leave everything that we have built up behind but if you do not do so then you will be destroyed.

You apologise, yes you actually apologise that you have not been able to help us, to steer us away from the destructive and malevolent behaviour that has marred the latter months together. You explain how hard you have tried but admit you have been defeated. You express your desire for us to change and to seek help because you truly believe that we are a good person who just needs to seize on that goodness and allow it to shine.

You tell us you have seen what we can do and achieve and you still want what is best for us. You stand there staring at us; some of your possessions already packed in the two suitcases which are waiting in the hallway. You tell us you will make arrangements with us to collect the remainder of your belongings once you have had a chance to think and breathe.

We rise from our seat and walk towards you. You are quietly sobbing and we take your hands in our hands and hold them in that tender manner you recall so well. The vicious squeezing that one day arrived out of nowhere is not in existence. Instead, we hold your hands and look you straight in the eye as we summon up a look we have practised before with others in the situation.

The look begins as sorrow and then morphs into hope as we search your eyes looking for that flicker of flame once again through the tears. You hold our gaze as we keep searching and then we speak, our words soft and gentle, just as they were when we whispered into your ear as we lay next to you holding you late at night.

“I am sorry, I know this time I have to change. Please help me be the good person I know I can be, that I want to be. Something is wrong with me and I do not know what it is, but you can save me, you are the only one. Please do not leave me. I cannot survive without you. I need you. I want to make you happy again because someone as wonderful and as loving as you deserves it. I will get help but I know I can only do it with you at my side. Please, please stay.”

The short speech is delivered with true brilliance as I gather the right inflection in tone coupled with suitable contrite looks and mannerisms. I continue to look into your eyes as you let my words sink in. The moments pass and then the light flickers, that flame of hope sparks into life and I know your next words before you have even spoken them and I begin to give you that enticing and winning smile again.

I know that you will stay. Again.

You end up stuck. Again.

This is a form of Preventative Hoover and when you roll out that supposed parting speech, you are leaving yourself exposed to such a hoover.

They often work as they target your empathic traits of guilt, sympathy, not wanting to give up, hoping for the best and wanting us to heal.

Tip us off as to your intentions and you will face such a hoover.

16 thoughts on “A Preventative Hoover

  1. cogra002 says:

    This article is relatable and accurate, as is all of HGs writing. It is the reason the time I went no contact a couple of months, that I did do with no parting words. Some version of this does happen.
    When he finally broke thru the barriers, one morning after Thanksgiving, once he got me back in place, he really let me have it. “How could you do that to me, how could you leave me like that, I about lost my mind. Etc…..”

  2. NotMe! says:

    Perhaps we are just as predictable as the Narcs. I’ve just looked back at my speech delivered in writing, identical, it’s even in the same sodding order! I’m cringeing and feel like a complete twonk. It had been a better day too. Better go and listen to NC again and narc detector again.

  3. SMH says:

    Sad, sad, sad. The only time that I used the word ‘love’ was right before my final escape. Any of you who feel badly for exposing yourselves like that, it actually works to set the N up thinking that you will never leave him. It is therefore the prime time to escape. Speak of love and then leave him anyway. Stick to your guns and don’t feel humiliated. You are allowed to express a full range of emotions.

  4. Shkurta says:

    Hello HG, how do I explain to my friends that a ‘come back’(in this case hoover) of a narcissist in a relationship is not the same as the ‘come back’ of a non-narcissist? Because they keep saying to me: you used to be a determined(stubborn) person when it comes to not give second chances let alone third or more

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Explain to them that the narcissist returns (hoovers) to assert control and gain fuel.
      The non-narcissist does so for reasons which are nothing to do with control and fuel.
      Do realise. Shkurta, that some people struggle to grasp narcissism and ultimately you would be better served explaining to your friends that you do not want to discuss it further with them. That should be part of your No Contact Regime.

      1. Shkurta says:

        Totally agree HG, a good amount of people lack knowledge about Narcs. They cannot imagine a narcissists’ ability to make you look delusional.
        Thank you 🙏🏼

        1. Desirée says:

          nothing like telling people what happened to you and then have them suggest you’re making it up. Best way to deal with it is to not overshare but thats difficult so long as ET remains high

          1. Shkurta says:

            Yeah exactly, I’ve noticed that people started to think i am too sensitive or making a mountain out of a molehill. Currently I am feeling numb and I don’t like this feeling at all, but NO CONTACT makes me feel calm . Thanks Desiree

          2. Desirée says:

            My pleasure, I completely understand and to be honest, most people are normals and hence lacking a certain sensitivity. It’s as if something has never happened to them, therefore it could never happen. You’re doing great, keep reading. The numbness can sometimes be the aftermath of the exhaustion and confusion that was previously felt. The feeling will subside the more understanding you gain about what happened to you.

  5. zielum says:

    I gave him this speech so many times. It feels so stupid to see my exact behavior written out like a book, a script. I wonder what it must feel like inside, what emotion, when he gets told this over and over, probably by many, knowing exactly how it plays out each time. H.G., I’m sure you guys laugh at us inside. I feel like such an idiot.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Only a Greater would laugh on the inside.

      1. zielum says:

        I believe he could be. Not on your level, but he’s much more intelligent, self-aware, and self-controlled than an MRN. I knew an MRN personally before, very intelligent but overly talkative and completely unaware. My narc far outshines him in every aspect. I’ll have to look over the schools again and see what the levels are in the Greater category.

      2. zielum says:


        …I might have to recalculate. I don’t think he’s a Greater. I had a convo with him last night (he unblocked and then later reblocked me), and this time he let me ask some real questions, because I wasn’t giving him what he wanted and I think he was considering it a trade-off in case I might acquiesce (I didn’t promise anything). It is much harder to determine authenticity through text, so I’m still not quite sure that he was telling the full truth on everything. But at the end, when I finally said that I still wasn’t going to give him what he wanted but would think about it for another time if he continued talking honestly with me, he–eh–had a small outburst. I had thought he had more control than that…I suppose not. But I wasn’t too surprised, so I just rolled with it and didn’t give him a rise (a trick I eventually learned with my ex, who loves prodding me). This seemed to mollify him, and he gave me a small blurb that…well…I think it was the most honest thing he said all night, because it was a genuine praise on my character that neither asked nor expected anything in return from me, before he re-blocked me.

        It was a weird feeling that I might have succeeded where I had fully expected to forever fail. I guess the possibility never crossed my mind that my efforts to ensnare him might work. Who knows, it could have all been bologna, but it left me with a striking question in my head: “What would I do?” I honestly don’t know. Besides the practicality of it, of course–he wants me to be female, the strife between him and my ex, he’d want it to be exclusive, yada yada. I mean…yes, I really like him. He’s got the qualities I look for: intelligence, personal issues, military background, self-confidence, money/self-sufficiency, social aptitude, etc. Not to mention, he’s cute lol. But…ugh I don’t know. I’ve always been extremely mistrustful of anyone who claims to really like me, in a deeper-than-friendship way. Seems impossible. Not to mention, I don’t think I have any need or desire for an actual relationship. My last bf, we were together for four months, were effectively (but not bound as) monogamous, and even lived together, yet we still hadn’t called it a relationship. That suits me. My narc still believes in official dating/relationships, apparently. I don’t see the need for that. That kind of thing is restrictive and only spells trouble.

        Sigh. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m sure he’ll reach out again. I need to talk to him in person though to really see if he’s genuine or not. If I have one ability that I’m confident and take pride in, it’s my ability to read facial expressions/body language. Not always so great at interpreting the results, but I can sure as hell read them. That would help tremendously.

        But yeah. I guess Mid-Range maybe.

      3. zielum says:


        Or maybe I’m just incredibly stupid and haven’t heard a word you’ve been saying on here.

        Maybe it’s that I’m too blinded, or invested, to want to believe you.

        Idk what the hell I’m doing. Sometimes I feel so in-control. Then everything just sorta…crashes, and I’m uncertain again.


        I don’t want to keep playing the games. Eventually I’m going to move away–I can’t stay in one place too long. Then it’ll be over. I feel like time is running out. I wish he’d just disappear.

  6. Gab says:

    We give that speech because we hope you will hoover and promise to change. At this point we have no idea what you are (we suspect something is wrong but we hope it was your bad day or even our fault) we just know we want golden period back. Im sick that i was so stupid to give that speech. What a humiliation.

    If I knew what I know now I would go no contact it would save my pride and I would have satisfaction that I won.

  7. WhoCares says:

    This image reminds me of The Burrowers.

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