The Narcissist´s Wheel of Misery


There can be no disputing that ensnarement with our kind results in misery for our victims. How might one assess that misery in terms of impact? There is both an objective standard and a subjective one.

Let us take two ensnarements :-

The first is the Intimate Partner Primary Source (Wife) of a Middle Lesser Narcissist. The ensnarement has lasted 15 years. He has physically assaulted her more times than can now be remembered, he is known around town for chasing “young skirt”, he occasionally works, leaving her to hold down a job and raise a family. He steals money from her, he is verbally abusive, forceful sexually and his version of being pleasant to her is a break in the abusive behaviour.

The second is the Dirty Little Secret of an Upper Mid Range Narcissist. He is married and has the archetypal desirable family unit, he lives in a pleasant part of town, he has a high-powered profession, is liked by many and supports local charities through fundraising efforts which he comperes. The DLS has been The Other Hidden Woman for 7 years, always hoping he will leave the wife. The DLS has never been called a bad name, she is expected to appear at short notice when the UMR Narcissist compels it and if she fails to do so she receives a triangulated comment with regard to the wife or even other women who may or may not be IPSSs since it is unclear to the DLS. She is often let down by him as he cancels at the last minute but he always lets her know, he never does a ´no show´. She finds herself envious of the apparent delightful lifestyle of the wife and wishes she could be her. She often feels used especially when he insists on the role playing games when they meet at the high-end hotel out of town, but it is just role-playing right?

If you asked me as an impartial observer which of those two ensnarements is worse for the victim, this would be my answer.

The former has the worse situation, but for each of them their situations are equally unpleasant and horrific. Objectively the answer is the first, but subjectively they are equal.

Both individuals are miserable.

They are caught on The Narcissist´s Wheel of Misery.

When we put you on this wheel it is difficult, but not impossible to stop it turning.

How does this wheel work. Once you have become ensnared in whatever form it takes with regard to your position in the narcissist´s fuel matrix, you are feeding your inherent addiction to narcissists. This addiction (by the very fact it is an addiction) is hugely powerful and it compels you to engage with the narcissist (and often several narcissists in different guises and you do not realise they are narcissists) often and repeatedly.

This wheel has you sitting down for coffee with the narcissist, pleading with the narcissist to stop hitting you, asking the narcissist why he is not talking to you.

It has you texting the narcissist to ask where he is, or what he wants for dinner, or whether he will come and see you. It has you reading the plethora of apparently contrite text messages that you are being bombarded with after being on the receiving end of a tirade at your 40th birthday party.

It has you exasperated as emails flood you demanding to know when he can see the children. This wheel has you stalking her Twitter and Instagram profiles to find out where she really was last night when she failed to turn up as expected. This wheel has you running around the neighbourhood running errands for the narcissist.

The wheel has you sat sobbing with your mother recounting the latest hateful text exchange. it has you at your friends´houses as you go over again and again his push and pull behaviour as you try to fathom out what on earth is going on. You spin around and around as you sit looking at the pictures of the golden period wondering what went wrong?

It has you lamenting the perfect love which has slipped through your fingers or wondering if the new man will make her happier than you ever could make her feel. This revolving wheel of misery takes hold of you and has you wondering where he has gone to, why he has not answered your text messages, why he made that remark about your cooking, why he never helps you with the household chores, ascertaining if you can make some improvements to solve this riddle, pondering why he never touches you like he used to and whether he is getting “it” elsewhere and who with.

The Wheel of Misery has you turning round and round so you engage with and about the narcissist in a multiplicity of ways and every time it causes you to interact, this is what happens.

You interact.

Your emotional thinking rises.

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

Your emotional thinking rises.

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

Your emotional thinking rises.

This is The Wheel part. Round and round and round.

Now let us add in the misery.

You interact.

You suffer an adverse consequence from the narcissist/because of the narcissist

(Example the narcissist verbally insults you/you feel upset thinking about the once good times with the narcissist)

Your emotional thinking rises.

The unpleasant emotions rise as a consequence

(Example you feel anger at how you have been treated.)

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

You suffer an adverse consequence from the narcissist/because of the narcissist

Your emotional thinking rises.

The unpleasant emotions rise as a consequence.

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

You suffer an adverse consequence from the narcissist/because of the narcissist

Your emotional thinking rises.

The unpleasant emotions rise as a consequence.

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

You suffer an adverse consequence from the narcissist/because of the narcissist

Your emotional thinking rises.

The unpleasant emotions rise as a consequence.

You do not use logic.

You continue to interact.

You suffer an adverse consequence from the narcissist/because of the narcissist

Your emotional thinking rises.

The unpleasant emotions rise as a consequence.

Thus the revolving wheel has now added the misery caused by what we do to you and how you are made to feel as a consequence of what we do and/or your own actions in relation to us.

One things leads to another. The more you interact, the greater the misery, the more your emotional thinking will rise, the greater the misery, logic becomes less used and more obscured and on it goes.

This is why when you are placed on The Wheel of Misery it becomes so hard to stop it.

How do you stop The Wheel of Misery from turning and keeping you on it as you go helplessly and hopeless round and round?

Firstly you have to recognise that you are on The Wheel of Misery.

How is this done? You assess your feelings.

Is this person making you cry, get angry, feel worthless, horrified because they are hurting your children, making you feel lonely by isolating you from friends, making you feel sad by taking you for granted, making you feel tired by failing to support you, alarming you by spitting in your face, annoying you through stealing your money, irritating you by belittling you when at dinner with friends, angering you by never acknowledging your contributions, hurting you by punching you in the face, causing you upset through sleeping with someone else, making you feel anguish commenting about how brilliant your brother is and how rubbish you are, making you sad because they are always forgetting your birthday, causing you to feel anxious by spoiling the wedding anniversary, making you frustrated through never wanting to go on holiday, having you at your wits end because they never help around the house, demanding sexual behaviour which upsets you, unnerving you by pushing you, saddening you through never showing affection, making you feel frightened by shouting at you, causing you to feel frustrated by blowing hot and cold and a thousand other adverse sensations and feelings, then you are on the wheel.

You have to recognise you are on the wheel.

When you do you must realise what this wheel is, that it is self-perpetuating, that it is misery and only misery (despite how that might sometimes be masked) and most of all you must stop it turning.

How do you then stop it turning?

You gather the tools to do so from me. This well then enable you to apply those tools and this will (and it will) lead to The Wheel of Misery stopping that seemingly endless turning.

It is a miserable, empty and hurtful wheel that will always turn.

Unless you stop it.



  1. HG I don’t think I’ve read about this before here, but is it a “thing” for a narc to “accidentally” physically hurt the IPPS?

    Like whoops I punched you in the face. In my sleep. That’s hilarious.
    Whoops I threw the branch for the dog, and slammed you in the back with it . That’s also hilarious.

      1. Ah gosh. This is awful and what type of Ns would do this sort of thing? Presumably lessers are more likely to hit and not care. Would this be something mids and greaters do it just mids?

      2. Of course. Plausible deniability. This excuse is often used in social, work & religious arenas often.
        Working in sleuth mode with a church pastor for a minute.

      3. And by happenstance, I just pulled up your thread after many days not online to find… all of these messages so appropriate

  2. This post is the bright, neon exit sign for anyone still entangled. Amazing write, HG. Cuts like a knife.

  3. Realizing I was on the Wheel of Misery literally took me examining my own feelings and how lousy he made me feel all the time. I made a list of all his negative qualities and things he did and for the positive I had maybe two things, which he refused to do anyway.

    We brush aside our negative feelings in the hopes that the situation will resolve itself and those respite periods make us think it is happening. Literally you have to start listening to yourself.

    Is this good for me?
    Is this good for my kids?
    How do I benefit from having him in my life?
    Is it good for me to spend all this time trying to dissect his motives and perceptions?
    What good am I gaining from this?

    Usually the answer will be validation in some way–I just want him to appreciate me like he did. I want that reassurance I am worthy/love/affection, etc. Or it will be finances/kids but rarely at this point really about the Self. It’s about reassuring the Self through a narcissist which will never happen. That’s what they mean when they say self-love comes from within. It is a hackneyed phrase but it really is true.

    1. It was an outside influence for me Bibi, that made me listen to everything I already knew. I’m unhappy, I’m becoming less than I was, this isn’t the person I thought he was and I started to think ‘what do I get out of this?’ ‘How does he enrich my life?’ ‘What is the bloody point of him, besides being nice to look at?’. I was talking to my sons Dad, we split up before he was born but have managed to stay civil and supportive if not close friends. He asked me about something awful that had happened and although I gave him the briefest outline, his reply was ‘shit, I don’t know what to say, I can’t even imagine’. It suddenly dawned on me, that whilst hardly erudite, what he said was REAL and whilst not desperately practical in it’s impact, it showed empathy and concern. Something that had been missing from every conversation with N-ex.
      Ps i had a giggle about ‘he was only had 2 positives and he refused to do those’

  4. The wheel of misery is where I am for the last 23 years with my midranger. This article clearing explains the ET that gets me to continue engagement with him. He hasnt punched or hasnt taking money from me ,but be has taken 23 years of my life which I cant get back. Its the manipulations,isolation.lack of intimacy,and silent treatments with respite periods in between. If it wasnt for my kids and the business that we run together I would long gone . HG I feel like I am Wheel Of Fortune I just keep spinning that wheel.

    1. Pati, the only thing worse than spending 23 years on The Wheel is spending 23 days and one day sweetie. I’m hoping you’re making your plans to GOSO.

      1. MB , thank you I need all the confidence I can get. I am consulting with HG next week.and listen to what he has to say .
        My situation is so hard . I left my job to work with him from home ( I regret it now) my kids love their dad and he supports us all. I have no place to go and my kids will choose to live with my husband GOSO feel like its impossible right now.

        1. Pati, I’m pleased to hear you are consulting. HG has a way of showing you a point of view that you haven’t considered. Your situation is certainly a challenge, but HG always wins. Having him on your side will be a comfort to you. I’m praying for the most benevolent outcome for all involved.

        2. Pati, I am so happy to hear you have a consultation booked! It takes a lot of courage to get that far. You are stronger than you realise.
          There will be barriers to leaving the narc but with HG’s help and some careful planning things will fall into place.
          Depending on how young your children are you may be able to sneak them into a refuge without telling them too much initially.
          A local domestic abuse service can help you to find out what housing/financial/ free legal advice etc you are entitled to.

          1. Hi Witch
            The 3 older ones are adults so they can make decisions, my 6 year old we would probably have joint custody. He has never hurt the kids EVER,he spoils them all. That’s what’s tricky about this situation .You cant tell he is A Narc. That’s why it took me years to figure him out, It is the way he treats me
            Its difficult.
            Thank you so much

        3. Pati, I second what MB says about seeing a point of view that you haven’t considered. One thing I learned is that there are always options. Some options are harder than others. Now that you are aware of what you are with, and now that you know there’s no possible way for him to change, I have faith that you will chose the hard options. You can’t get back 23 years but you don’t have to give up anymore of your valuable life to him.

          1. Mercy , this is how I feel right now .I will learn to fly once again I have faith in HG and I have faith in myself . It will just take some time.
            Thank you so much.

        4. Pati—I am so sorry to hear how stuck it feels right now. I don’t have a solution but I do know that they are often incremental. The clean up in my life has been immense. It could not have transpired in one decision or day.

          1. Hi Lorelei , thank you ,it will.take time but I will get there .I am sorry to hear what you have gone through as well.

        5. Pati,
          Do you live in the US? If so, I would recommend that you consult with a few attorneys who specialize in Alimony and Divorce, not the Custody aspect. Don’t retain any of the attorneys, your concern should be on your financial independence IF YOU DO leave the narcissist. If you share financial accounts with a narc, even the nice ones, they will start moving and hiding money around if they are onto you that you will leave. They need to advise you about what documents you need to gather about your finances.

          I would also STRONGLY suggest that you research divorce ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in your area. This is a third party service, usually a retired judge, attorney, or even therapist who is trained in law who can mediate between you two, and help you two decide custody and financial matters, and submit it to the courts, without spending a fortune or making it adversarial. ADR is the best route to go with divorce courts, even with Narcissist, unless the narcissist decides to make the case protracted. Then it’s a whole different ball game.

          1. AMN,
            Thanks for your advice greatly appreciated .
            I will research I live in Canada so I dont know the laws of divorce to well.
            This is all new to me .
            It sounds like you have been through a lot since you know so much.

          2. No. Mediation is a waste of time with a narcissist. It has no teeth to compel the narcissist. Get the case into court, get it to a hearing, get the judgment. The judgment has teeth and will force the narcissist.

    2. Pati,
      The kids and the business are important yes but please do not lose sight of the end of the tunnel….escaping. It will eventually boil down to do you wan to stay on the wheel for the kids and business and you be emtionally abused for the rest of your life, OR do you want to get off the wheel of emotional abuse and be happeier and healthier for yourself and your kids. The business will be taken care of on the divorce.
      The choice is all yours………………………

      1. Hi Kim , my to be happy! I am just scared which is part of my emotional thinking. I will get there it just cant happen overnight .Thank you for caring you are a real sweetheart 💖

      2. Pati. You are my new hero. I missed where you book a consult. Very proud of you. Step 2 complete. Step 1 was finding us.
        Very proud indeed ❤️❤️
        Sorry Mercy. Didn’t mean to hijack your thread 😀

    3. Pati—it may help to look at the positives in the last 23 years. He didn’t take it all and once you take it back entirely you get to keep the good parts and pieces.

      1. Lorelei, the positive is I got 4 beautiful children, now dating and going to college. My little princess is adorable. She is a girly girl, takes after her older sister and me . We all love make-up,going to hairdresser etc . She can actually walk in heels shes too cute. She puts some perfume on before going to school too. She loves music,singing and playing the piano.
        Its just my marriage it’s not a healthy one due to him being a Narcissist of course. Sorry but I needed to throw that one in.
        Hugs xoxo

        1. See it’s not all wasted time! Focusing on the daily throat punch is exhausting—there are never all positives or negatives in any situation.

          1. See Pati—your life isn’t all a waste because of him. We can see grey and they see black and white.

  5. Towards the middle of this article, I thought, “Wow. This is a long, dragged-out, repetitive post and I’m not even done yet. I really can’t go on reading until the end.”

    And then I realized that this is quite an abbreviated version of what I had gone through in the past 8 years, up until HG helped me stick a wedge of logic in the wheel.

    So happy to now be in love with the linear and on the straight and narrow.

  6. Pingback: The Narcissist´s Wheel of Misery ⋆ NarcTopia
  7. Ah,The endless misery it is! Therefore, the only way to stop the wheel from turning Is not to engage. Argh I hate my ex.. just wish I could turn off all the negative emotions I have for him now. More tools besides no contact!? Hmm 🤔 I thought that’s all that was needed to stop the misery..

  8. I’ve had both.
    Being DLS and believing I was in love was the worst. Waiting forever waiting. False promises future faking waiting for the holiday invitation that never came as I listened to his holiday adventures with IPPS – even though I didn’t know that’s what she was.
    He recently finished with IPPS saying oh she never wanted to visit me or go on holiday – he must have made her life a misery.
    At one time I envied her.

  9. Feeling especially sick to my stomach after reading that. On that wheel for decades. Never realised the root of it was narcissism until I found this blog.
    My logic tells me exactly what a shit he is , my ET won’t let me detach myself.
    This shit is taking a toll on my health.

    The blatant lies he tells his DLS about me are beyond disturbing. And there she is, egging him on to destroy me in every way possible she can think of , a woman who doesn’t even know me. I don’t know which one is sicker, him or her .
    Wanting to be with a married man because you are “in love“ with him is one thing, but seeking to intentionally destroy his innocent wife is quite another.

    1. How do you know she is egging him on? Is she being gaslighted/triangulated with you by him and therefore is under his influence?
      Focus on him and escape. She will suffer at his hand in due course. X

      1. Em,

        Through a third party who knows her . (OW has a big mouth and happily shares what’s going on with multiple people. The person who is giving me this information is disgusted with the things that come out of her mouth) I have been getting information as it unfolds. I know the information is accurate and reliable, things told to me about private conversations I had with my husband. Conversations that no one on the face of this earth should have been privy to . It’s been most upsetting. He tells her every little detail that goes on in our lives . Of course they are wildly embellished, and filled with half truths, and blatant lies. All designed to make him appear as though HE is the victim!
        The OW has been especially vicious with the things she says about me, and the god awful things she suggests to him that he should do to me .
        The two of them are doing the whole “push pull “ thing. I think that the OW may be a narcissist herself.
        at this junction it is unclear to me whether the OW is seriously desperate ( Single and has not had a relationship in almost 2 decades ) and truly wants him, or if she is just trying to make sure he leaves me and then she will discard HIM. She would have killed two birds with one stone, destroying me, and him.
        This same OW has been hanging around for years , always happy to wag her tail the second he decides to take her off the shelf and re-engage with her. I knew about it, but there was no physical contact so I always just chalked it up to some child like fantasyland and never confronted my narc about it.
        Again, it is sick the venom that she has for me, a woman she has never met, and knows nothing about.
        I do not intend to confront about this until I feel stronger. At the moment I feel completely devastated, ridden with anxiety, my head spinning . I hide it well in front of my narc . When I do feel stronger, the two of them are going to be in for a very big surprise ! I will be the one dishing out the blindsiding . For the time being, trying my best to get my ducks in a row.
        My children are adults , I have discussed this with them, and they know what’s going on and are supportive. They have encouraged me to get rid of him. They know what I have been through all these years ( they lived it too) They have each told me that if he does this to me, truly plans on leaving, that they will tell him They want nothing more to do with him. He will not have only lost his wife, but his children and grandchildren.
        My Narc will die alone someday.
        he did it to himself.

    2. LambLion
      My view is that it is not productive for women to intentionally harm or try to destroy the other no matter what side they are on. Remember – she is controlled by him as well as her ET just as you are, and her ET won’t let her detach either. There really is no logic being used by anyone involved, and they are not who they would normally be outside of the arrangement (except for the narcissist). There are plenty of people here who could tell you that they did not recognize themselves while in those positions. There is no winning or upper hand because if he is a narcissist he is no prize. In a perfect world you would be helping each other escape – not be adversaries.

      1. Narc Angel,
        I agree 100% !!! Like that film , “ the other woman” . Unfortunately that’s not the type of woman I’m dealing with.

        1. Funny. The last night I spent as a DLS , I watched that movie after he passed out. Then I took a selfie of us (him sleeping lol) and sent a look to myself that I knew would remind me of how sad and empty this life is , whenever I revisited the photo.I wanted to remember- to see it in my own eyes.
          I think I knew it was my last night .

          Remember that unless the DLS is a narc, she’s being totally snowed by him. And manipulated.
          Not that it excuses it- it’s a shit choice to make and a betrayal of the sisterhood.
          But she will have her own version of Hell with him, ESPECIALLY if she winds up as IPPS! Take some grim satisfaction in that.

          1. WaF,
            I wish somebody would send something like that to me. Hard to deny ( the narc) when the proof is staring you in the face.
            I really do think OW is a Narc. It appears as though she is manipulating him more than he is manipulating her.
            With all the dirt she has on him now she could call me up tomorrow and blow him right out of the water. I often wonder if she will if he tosses her to the side yet again . Or perhaps even if she gets put on the shelf again she will remain the Loyal dog in the corner ready to wag her tail when he comes calling again.
            It’s unclear to me if she is entangled with him now simply so she can destroyed both of us in one felt swoop, or if she truly is that desperate a woman and wants to be my replacement.

          2. I never tried to break them up.
            He reeled me in a IPSS at the exact same time he met his replacement IPPS
            (his wife had escaped after decades and he was in chaos mode- just tossing his net out in every direction- trying to bring in as many secondary sources as possible while working on getting his current IPPS embedded)
            He succeeded , made her IPPS and made me DLS. He didn’t want to ever be caught in chaos mode again.
            So I knew my place from the beginning and didn’t want to change it bc I’d never trust him bc he’s a cheater. I continued as DLS whenever I wasn’t IPPS to my narcoholic. I’d get sick of one and bounce back to the other. I was sad inside and they distracted me from it. I never wanted to hurt his IPPS. I was also aware being the other woman is a SHIT thing to do to do someone but I had told her from the start I’d be around as long as he wanted me (she knew he’d been involved w me behind her back at the beginning and decided to trust him to end it. I told her , it’s your funeral ! 🤷‍♀️ – and stayed a secret after that.)

            I was selfish bc life was a bummer and he was fun, sexy, and we had great laughs together. I needed the boost. I was depressed – he was relief from that.

            This year I went mostly platonic and just tested out HG’s work to get a clear grasp of what I’d been involved in —but then he started really deliberately In-your-face triangulating me with her (to upset her) and I dipped out. NC.

            He’s only hoovered once- one month and one day after i wounded and threatened exposure – He approached me in a parking lot and I ignored him

            That was a couple weeks ago-That’ll probably buy me another couple months LOL

            ultimately if the other woman is being malicious to you she’s either desperate to have him /or / a narc herself.
            I’d suggest she will almost defin expose it all to you at some point. Either as a last ditch to get him, or as revenge for him disengaging.


          3. WaF,

            I still don’t fully understand the way the whole triangulation thing works.
            I have a lot more to learn here.
            I’m sorry you went through everything you did . Please, break free from your narc forever, you deserve so much more and they will only bring you upset and misery.
            After some reflection these past days, I have come to realise that out of decades with this man there has been very little joy. My years with him mostly revolved around our children,and acting as an insulator between them and their father. I was always trying to maintain stability in the home for them. It was a juggling act.
            My narc could never stand to see me happy, it was clear it annoyed him to see me smiling. I realise it’s because he’s always miserable himself.
            Now that the children are grown and gone, I feel there’s nothing left. I feel less alone when I’m on my own than when he’s home.
            I have tolerated so much, and can’t believe I’m back at this juncture again, I’m tired.
            I hope you’re right about the OW finally exposing him to me .
            Your apology from one DLS to this IPSS means a lot. Thank you!

          4. Exposure can go so many ways.

            A long, long time ago, as a DLS for two years, I exposed my Somatic Narc (not the Narcx that drove me here) to his wife, thinking this would eff his life up royally.

            She ended up wanting/begging him to stay.

            He ended up leaving her and sticking with/on me for five years.

            That was a bad exposure on my part.

          5. Lisk,

            It would have served her better if she hadn’t been tugging on his pant leg and begging him to stay. If she put on a brave face and told him to go if that’s what he wanted, He might not have left. Narcs hate to see weakness, that’s one thing I’ve learned over the years with mine.

          6. Lamb,

            No way! It served her better to beg and see him go.

            Dummy me, thinking I had “won,” got the big booby prize!

          7. Lisk,
            You are so right!! I feel like I took a bullet for the OW when I married him, I just didn’t know it at the time. If she “wins“ in the end, I just might send her flowers with a thank you note !

          8. When I realized that he sought me out
            To cheat with
            8 months after they moved in together

            I realized I had dodged the bullet.
            That I hadn’t lost the “prize” at all
            THANK FUK

          9. lisk, at one point I was going to expose MRN to IPPS while I was still with him (I did it post escape in the end) and a friend said to me, what if she kicks him out and he comes to you? It gave me pause. I think I might have even said to him once, if you leave her, I will leave you. Not all IPSSs/DLSs are angling to be IPPS.

          10. I am total NC with my DLS guy, six weeks . I stopped the sex months before and remained “friends” so I could study him further- plus he’s funny and we do get along.
            But then he started aggressively putting his friendship w me in his IPPS face so I dipped. Not interested plus it was just time to GOSO I learned all I could and I’m over it

            I’m totally NC with my narcoholic one year on the 28th

            I’m very low contact with kids dad the lesser.- just practical kid stuff (And barely that as he’s not terribly interested) and to grab the child support .
            I don’t have bad feelings about him. He’s like a train wreck addict little brother who calls up for $$ now and then and I ignore. I wish the best for him- especially for our kid’s sake.

            I’m not sure I DESERVE “better” as I knowingly was a DLS for six years and wasn’t even in love. I was just a selfish dick.
            But I got myself together and am not depressed or needing what I got from him anymore. I feel content on my own. If I meet a healthy guy who I jive with one day that’ll be nice, be I can’t picture it anytime soon. I’m on a strange path in self awareness and I think I gotta do it on my own until I’m stabilized in it- then we’ll see.

            I’m happy if my apology on behalf of DLS’s means anything. 🙏

          11. Also- I likely will nvr get to apologize to my MMR’s IPPS bc it would do more harm than good so from one DLS to one IPPS – I’m sorry for our part in yous guy’s pain.

          12. Lamb, I was IPSS/DLS to a married narc (did not know in the beginning because he lied to me). Many of us on here were. I never wanted to be IPPS even before I knew there was one. I did out narc anonymously to IPPS but it was post escape and I never had any contact with him again. Basically tried to kick him in the balls while I was running away!! Sometimes what you think is happening is not happening and what you don’t think is happening is. If you want to know more about my experience, feel free to ask. I am all for revenge on narcs :)

          13. Smh,
            Thank you! I’m glad you exposed your narc. It’s my belief a wife has the right to know what’s going on in her own marriage. Exposing affairs usually makes the affair fizzle out quickly, takes all the secrecy and thrill of sneaking around away, and makes both affair partners have to face reality vs the fantasy of the affair.
            I can’t think of anything to ask you right now , but if you see a post of mine and you can give me insight from your own experience I’d appreciate it !

          14. Hi Lamb, I did just see a post of yours about waiting for your ET to lower before you expose him. I am not sure what you want to expose – that he is a narc or that he is cheating? I focused on the cheating, his m.o. for meeting women, and his online stalking.

            For me there was a huge build up of ET as we were in touch even though it was four months post escape (I did not know about hoovers back then as I had not found HG yet). But I was under a time constraint so just did it. I was not his first affair – they were reconciling from an earlier one and going to counseling during ours. IPPS thought things were good while MRN just wanted her to think so so that he could do whatever. Expert compartmentalizer!

    3. Lamblion, I know it’s hard to see because you’re on the wheel but you said “The blatant lies he tells his DLS about me are beyond disturbing” that sentence right there should tell you that her thoughts are being controlled. Her actions are being controlled. I know this because I’ve been caught up in it myself. Blaming the other women just gives the narc an excuse for his behavior and that’s what he wants.

      1. Mercy,
        I lay equal blame on both of them.
        I suspect OW is a narc herself. She manipulates him as much as he her. She is a huge attention whore , and ZERO class. I was shocked when I first saw a photo of her , and more shocked when I saw her social media pages .
        I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
        Suppose I would have felt much worse if she was attractive and decent.
        With my husbands position he would quickly be a laughing stock to be seen with her on his arm , unless he truly is brain damaged from the substance abuse he has to know that.
        Above ALL ELSE his reputation is most important to him. Without it he’d probably lose his job , and any credibility he has in his professional circles.
        I have zero sympathy for this OW , she is also a huge manipulator.

        1. Lamb, Have you read HG’s Revenge?

          Not that you can or should seek revenge on your husband ever, but you’re in a good position to collect evidence should you want or need to expose him in the future (when ET is low/gone, as I believe HG prescribes).

          I was stupid with my Narcx. I called him out every time I suspected him of flirting or planning or cheating. This only made him better at hiding things.

          I wish I would have shut my mouth and collected the evidence when I had plenty of access to it. I could have exposed him real good, without him knowing it was me who’d done the job.

          1. Lisk, don’t worry about what has/hasn’t happened in the past. Think about the future and be narc ready should you need to do this again. It’s an invaluable lesson which has helped me in ways I could never have predicted. You never know when a narc may pop into your life again not just in a romantic way either.

          2. Lisk,

            I wasn’t aware I’m not supposed to expose until my ET is low or gone. I’m definitely not there yet ! Why is it supposed to be that way?

          3. Lamb,

            Whew! I’m glad I said something about the ET factor.

            Honestly, HG explains it best. I’m not trying to sell his book or anything, I just don’t want to mistate or misquote him.

            Ultimately, it comes down to revenge being best served cold.

            Whatever you decide to do, even if it’s doing nothing, do it weaponized!

          4. Lisk,
            Early on I made the same mistake you did, I opened my mouth and showed my hand, and he only went to further underground and hid things better. I stopped doing that many years ago. I have a avalanche of evidence that would destroy his reputation, And in all likelihood also make him lose his job.
            It’s not in my nature AT ALL to be deceptive, sneaky, or manipulating, but my Narc has taught me well, out of sheer necessity.
            I absolutely want revenge. I want him to hurt as much as he’s hurt me.
            I told him many years ago, do not mistake my kind heart for weakness.
            I intend to buy many of HG’s books, revenge is the first one on my list.

          5. Lamb,

            Good for you for collecting. I think that’s a smart move. Let him think your clueless until you’re ready to make your move. I’m glad you have your kids on your side. For some women that’s the hardest part of it.

            Read read read! Knowledge is power and the information you get here will help keep those emotions in check so you can do what’s best for you. I’m sorry you’re going through this but you have a lot of support here when you need it.

  10. Ive been in both situations – tweaked -IPPS- 10 yrs together, 15 years separated (and “co parenting”) With what I’m 90% sure is a ML Victim, he wasn’t physically abusive but his rage was unreal.)

    Then DLS to a MMR .

    The first was worse.

    Then IPPS (Not cohabiting) to a (probably LMR) narcoholic on and off for 4 and that was 2nd

    The DLS was an initial heartbreak then just a load of nonsense to go through

    It’s all shit.

    1. I’ve been both too, though I did not know at the time. I agree that IPPS is much worse. Why? Partly because an empath IPPS will feel more intense guilt, which makes it much harder to get off the wheel.

      1. For me it was the kids- having yo break up the family unit.
        – and subsequently struggling to be a single parent – that kept me going back until I left for good

        It was totally worth it tho – not having to walk on eggshells – I’ll take being poor and struggling but at least having peace in my household

        1. WaF,

          If it weren’t for my children I would have left a long time ago. The prospect of him having visitation and not knowing what they might be exposed to in the process is what made me stay.
          I think he knew if it weren’t for the children, I would’ve been long gone.

        2. WokeAF and Lamb, Yup. Kids bring guilt and struggles no matter who you are with. Might be extra intense with a narc, with whom there is additional guilt about wanting to fix him, not ever knowing what you are doing wrong, second guessing yourself, being unable to talk reasonably about the relationship, etc.

          1. Smh,

            I never felt guilt about my narc. I’ve known for a very long time ( about 3 years into the marriage) it is him who is damaged, not me. I used to think it was just his substance abuse problems that made him that way , didn’t realise narcissism was a big part of it.
            Protecting my children was always paramount, above him.

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