Not Tonight, Caroline




Established readers may remember dear, sweet Caroline, an ex-girlfriend of mine who had a huge conscience and always sought to do the correct thing. She often wanted to fight back against my manipulations but could not do so because she took the view that it was wrong. Wrong because she did not believe in meeting fire with fire. Wrong because she always maintained that I needed help to overcome the issues that apparently I had. She was sweet but ever so misguided. Caroline was a particular enthusiast of horror movies. I at first found this slightly at odds with who she was although I naturally embraced her enthusiasm for them as part of my mirroring of her likes. I found that it was actually psychological thrillers and creepy horror (not out and out gore fests) which she preferred. The reason for this soon became apparent. She enjoyed being scared witless in the cinema because it made her amorous, randy, horny, call it whatever you will but it made her want to go straight to be to make love after any visit to the cinema. We would make near weekly visits to the cinema and sometimes twice in a weekend for her dose of fright and then the sex thereafter.

Once the period of devaluation began with Caroline I knew, as was often the case, that withdrawing sexual interest from her would provoke the appropriate hurt, upset and frustrated response which would provide me with the negative fuel that I craved. I also knew however that she was confiding in a handful of people outside of our relationship (note – always secure a lieutenant in the primary source’s camp) and it would not do to have my name besmirched in such a way. Firstly, I was not wanting those listeners (two of whom I had identified as potential targets) to think that I had a reduced sexual appetite when that was not the case, of course they could not be told that this apparent loss of libido arose as a consequence of a manipulation. Secondly, I did not want her to garner sympathy and support from her camp over my withdrawal of sexual attention.

Accordingly, the tactic needed to cause the withdrawal without it being directly linked to me. Naturally I identified that the attendance at the cinema to watch frightening movies was the catalyst that ignited her libido. To her, film night was sex night. Film night therefore had to be the target. I needed to maintain my appearance (at least) of being reasonable so I would be able to garner sympathy at her now failure to engage in a sexual union and also to avoid it seeming as if I was the one sabotaging film night. She had to be the one to sabotage film night and thus if we or rather she did not attend the film there would be no sex to follow. This would be her doing and I could justifiably complain that I was the one not getting any sex as a consequence of her selfishness.

Accordingly, my aims with Caroline we are as follows: –

  1. Cause the withdrawal of sex leaving me blameless and thus with grounds for complaint;
  2. Sabotage her attendance at film night without it appearing that I had done so;
  3. Cause her to cause the sabotage so I remained blameless.


I knew she was angling for new car and I had been engaging in future faking by suggesting that we would organise for her to get a new car. I kept putting it off and I knew that she was becoming irritated by this because she wanted a larger vehicle for the increased mileage she was doing associated with her job. On the Saturday when we were due to go to the cinema that evening, I returned to the house with a couple of brochures from a dealership.

“What have you got there?” she asked pleasantly enough.

“Oh a couple of brochures for the new Jaguar, I fancied a change.”

“What? Already?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well you’ve only had your car less than a year.”


“Well, you don’t need a new car, I do.”

“It’s like that is it?” I asked.

“Like what?”

“I am not allowed to look.”

“You said you fancied a change.”

“I do but that isn’t the same as ‘I am getting a new car’ but oh no, you had to assume you knew what I meant, just in the same way that you always assume you know what is best for me. If I want a new car, I will get one, it is my money.”

“Yes, yes, okay, but you have been promising that we would change my car.”

“No I haven’t.”

She paused trying to keep her rising exasperation under control.

“Yes you did.”

“Are you suggesting that I have lied,” I said firmly and quietly. She halted.

“You were weren’t you, you fucking snake,” I hissed at her.

You can imagine how the rest of the conversation went. I baited and pressed until she erupted in tears of frustration. I strung the argument out until it was close to the time to depart for the cinema.

“You are in one of your moods again, I’m not going to the cinema with you since you are being so horrible,” she declared.

“Suits me. I will go on my own.”

I saw her mouth drop open. She expected me to talk her around into going. She probably also expected me to arrange a new car for her in order to persuade her to come to the cinema. That was how manipulative this woman could be and I was not falling for it. Apologies, that was how I later described the conversation when recounting the poor treatment, I had been subjected to. I knew she expected me to sweet talk her into accompanying me to the cinema, but I was not doing so. I had to turn my head so she did not see my smile of satisfaction. I was fuelled from her upset and frustration. I also knew that she would be cursing the fact she was not going to the cinema and would in turn rue the loss of the catalyst for her sexual engagement that she otherwise wholly enjoyed. I made for the door as she made a noise of protest and headed to the car.

I adopted a blackened look on my face, appearing as if it was I who had been wronged by her refusal to accompany me to the cinema but the reality was I was delighted. I had drawn fuel, asserted my control, reinforced my superiority and I could watch the film without someone grabbing my arm every five minutes in terror. I could also complain about her behaviour to anybody I chose to tell and knew her options for complaint had been severely limited because she chose not to come to the cinema which in turn stymied her expected later pleasure.

This is how a greater narcissist thinks. Planning ahead in order to secure the fuel, the control and the winning outcome.

20 thoughts on “Not Tonight, Caroline

  1. Foreigner74 says:

    During the golden period, I asked my narcissist the permission (sigh!) to go out for dinner with some (female) friends. He agreed. At about 11 p.m. I called him and asked if I could reach him. He answered he was almost asleep and that I could go home (my home, we didn’t cohabit). The day after , he was angry because he said that I should have understood that I had to reach him and that I certainly didn’t do so because I was with another man. Do you think he really believed I was with another man? If so or if he wanted to assert control, why didn’t he tell me to reach him? Or maybe was he himself with another woman? It all sounds so illogical. What do you think about this? Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Foreigner, it is all to do with control in the moment. Use these and this will help you understand

  2. mollyb5 says:

    Hg. I think the narc feels less manly less vital less stimulation …he can’t keep an erection. So he devalues the primary and tries to make it her fault , blaming her by saying she can’t be trusted , she’s a nympho manic , etc. whatever he thinks will cause her to cry or fight back then says more name calling so to blame his problem onto her …he doesn’t want to know he can’t keep a hard -on anymore , he knows he gets off from porn and that easy nobody complains or makes him feel less powerful . He can switch to another picture or video . He just doesn’t feel sexy and he doesn’t want to take the time to let the primary get him off cause that makes him feel less in control …and he doesn’t want her to think she has any power , cause that feels awful to him more than anything. ? Sound right ?

  3. mollyb5 says:

    HG …so the narc ( mid ranger) realizes he isn’t feeling the same way., isn’t getting powerful surges anymore isn’t feeling powerful from that primary soooo. The narc starts to feel weaker with that primary ….? HG ..So he devalues to get the negative attention ( confusion and anxiety like trying harder to please) From the victim …so he devalues her ….then he starts to feel more powerful and seeks another to feel “even more” powerful so the narc “doesn’t have to feel” the blame or negative effects of feeling less powerful or less sexual for that primary ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Amongst other factors, that is correct Mollyb5.

  4. Bluewave says:

    Wow, HG.

    Is it possible for mid range narcissist to do the same thing but in “mid range way” so without planning, as an spontaneous instinvtive act of manipulation? What would mid range narcissist feel in the end, when he goes alone to the cinema because she refused to go with him out of anger that he caused? You are the Greater, you planned it so you felt satisfaction because she took the bait. But what would mid ranger feel while he didn’t plan it?

    I ask because this is scenario my mid range narcissist played on me BUT it ended with him discarding me.

    Imagine that Caroline the next day reaches out to you and says she is sorry that she didn’t go with you, but she felt like you planned it and didn’t want her to go with her. And in the response you tell her “sorry Caroline, but you are immature, manipulative, you disappointed me, I no longer want this relationship because I can’t rely on you. You made me feel like I don’t matter. Partners don’t act like that. This is the end, good bye”.

    – this is what my discard looked like. I always thought he planned it as you did but he is a mid range narcissist for sure so is it possible that mid range narcissist didn’t planned it but it was a defense mechanism when he felt wounded when I didn’t comply and was calling him out on his manipulation?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Bluewave,

      1. Yes, a MRN may well do something similar as an instinctive response IF it enables him to gain control. If it does not, he will be wounded and would have to shift to a different form of manipulation or assert control over a different appliance, perhaps bemoaning his fate to a friend or taking someone else to the cinema.
      2. I would need more information about your situation to give you a definitive answer and an accurate one, but if you failed to go to the cinema with the MRN, he may well, the next day, in order to assert control over you, respond in the manner described. I suspect is would not however be disengagement but Threat and a Silent Treatment.

  5. Chihuahuamum says:

    This girlfriend i cant say i feel sorry for she sounds like a spoiled brat. Who expects a boyfriend to buy them a car? To me that seems a red flag for narcissism in itself or highly narcissistic.

  6. Chihuahuamum says:

    My narc has done this tactic by turning it around so something i wanted i no longer want but he cant be blamed for it despite it being him who didnt want me to have it….gasp for air lol hope that made sense 😄 it usually centered around intimacy.
    Ive seen this also with a friend and her hubby. He hates to do anything other than sit and watch tv. She will push and push him to do something she’d like to do and he will agree but start a big fight about something and sabatoge it so it never occurs or its ruined. She’s gotten to the point she no longer asks him but will do it on her own or with others.

  7. Lorelei says:

    I need a car! I find it to be like a relationship though so I keep getting cold feet!

  8. Pati says:

    HG, I never expected my boyfriends to ever buy me a new car,not even my husband ! High Expectations plus manipulations. Are you Caroline was an Empath?
    Next time take her to see American Psycho

    1. Violetta says:

      I think this was from a shared account. If not, then she was being unreasonable.

      1. Pati says:

        Probably however I would be happy with a Ford Focus never mind a Jaguar
        A relationship is not only based on material things.

    2. Lorelei says:

      Pati—I think empowering women to buy their own cars is the way to go with this! Unless they’ve lucked upon a normal human that won’t exploit it!

      1. Pati says:

        Lorelei, i do believe we should be empowered.
        The right to make our own decisions. It is hard sometimes when the Narcissist makes them for you. He likes to control everything.
        I will be making some serious decisions soon.

        1. Lorelei says:

          And you won’t have to make all these decisions in one day Pati. It will happen gradually and it will be okay.

          1. Pati says:

            Thank you Lorelei, it wont happen overnight.
            Its so hard right now pretending everything is ok especially over the holidays with my family.
            I appreciate your kind words.

  9. Gab says:

    HG, I’d like to ask…

    Is it typical that when in intimate relationship with narcissist, maybe when the golden period comes to an end and he starts to withdraw a little bit, triangulate with other sexy women and giving you silent treatments, when the flame between you two fades, his partner not knowing what is going on tries to keep him interested by being more sexual oriented than normal?

    I remember that my reaction to his withdrawing was showing him I am not boring housewife… the more he was interested in other women and I was feeling more insecure the more I was looking at erotic sites and giving him signs so he could know I am doing this. Funny thing – I discovered that his other women at some point of relationship do the same, present themselves more sexual oriented while he seems to be busy elsewhere.

    I have never done this in my other relationship. Sexuality was very important and it was great but I didnt have the need to prove I am sexual vampire by indirect manipulations that will make him want me more.

    It looks like an act of cheapening, when you cry for his attention “you don’t have to look elsewhere, I also have kinky desires and I can give it to you”….

    Is it something common in narcissistic relationships?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Gab, the victim of a narcissist who is in the position of Intimate Partner Primary Source, who experiences the inevitable devaluation never realises this is the behaviour of a narcissist. Instead, the victim, owing to a lack of access to the right information and the obscuring effects of their emotional thinking, will believe they have done something wrong or there is some third party reason (fatigue, stress, money problems, the ennui of an established relationship) and look to effect remedial action which will invariably include an ill-conceived attempt to “spice up the sex life”.

    2. True friend says:

      well are are narcissistic at some point or the other, in some way or the other .the solution lies in understanding the natural behavior of human beings

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