Excuses Equals Endangered




The fact for so long you had no idea what you were dealing with resulted in you engaging in an anticipated behaviour. This behaviour is one which we regularly rely on in order to keep you in the dark. I have made mention of the various traits which we look for in those who make the most useful victims to us. One of those traits concerns your ability to try to find the good in everyone and everything. This is a typical empathic trait and along with all of the others which you possess causes you to flare up on our radar when we are seeking an excellent primary source. Your desire to see good means that it obscures your ability to see the bad or perhaps more accurately, to accept the bad. This is something we desire because it prevents you from truly recognising what it is that is happening to you once your devaluation has begun. We of course love to operate from a position of plausible deniability, we court ambiguity since we enjoy and need to twist and turn in order to achieve what we want. If you saw everything as stark and clear as I now describe our machinations to you, you would be more inclined to escape us and bring about that unwelcome cessation of our primary source of fuel. It would also make it harder to apply those hoovers when we wish to return you to the fold and have you engage in our cyclical endeavours once again. We present you with the truth of what we are on a repeated basis but although we offer it up in front of you, we never let you see it clearly. We draw a veil across certain elements, apply a smoke screen, obscure some parts and distort others. The reality is there before you. It is evident and plain but because of the way in which we purposefully manipulate you, you are unable to see it. It is akin to us pointing out a ship on the horizon. It is obvious for us to see but when we hand you a telescope to gain a better look at this vessel, the lens has been smeared with something which distorts the view, or we place our finger over part of the lens blocking your view.

The consequence of this distortion is to prevent you from truly seeing what we are. This in turn means that you are unable to form a clear and coherent view of the person which has taken hold of you. This becomes infuriating for others who we have not been able to drag into our façade, but who recognise full well what we are. These observers tell you what you are dealing with. They may be circumspect to begin with, hoping not to offend your sensibilities but over time their increasing exasperation causes them to come out and say it straight. Yet, such candour rarely finds favour with you because you do not like to be told something about someone as wonderful as us (or at least someone who was wonderful). You do not like to think that the golden period has gone. You do not like to be deprived of the idea that what you once had will never come back or even that it did not exist to begin with. Most of the reasons why you think like this is as a consequence of our manipulative behaviour, which further foes to underline that it is not your fault. Even your desire to see the good in people is not your fault either. That is who you are. We know that and we exploit it. It is our fault again but of course in the midst of the battle that we engage in with you, we will never admit that anything is our fault. That will never do.

Thus, your view of us is obscured and because of this you will always issue excuses to explain away our behaviour, our words and our actions. You make these excuses time and time again, to others and to yourselves. You believe these excuses because this is how you think and you have been led towards this train of thought by the schooling you have received at our manipulative hands and mouths. You also utilise these excuses to continue to convince yourself that the unsavoury elements of our behaviour are just an aberration, on occasional blip in respect of an otherwise magnificent person. Your charity is amazing and naturally most welcome for through this blinkered approach you divest us of responsibility for the things we do, something which aligns with one of our many stated aims. You prevent yourself from examining further the reality of what has now ensnared you and the repeated application of these excuses keeps you in situ. We want you to utilise these excuses. We want to hear them. We want them said to us and to others. Your excuses frustrate and alienate those who are against us, your excuses support out manufactured façade and most of all they ensure you deny to yourself that which is directly before you. Here are twenty-five of those such excuses. You will have said them and probably more than once. Understand that each time you utter one you have used a further death knell for your prospects of escaping us.

  1. He is just tired; it makes him snap.
  2. He doesn’t mean it, not really.
  3. You don’t have to pretend with me, I just want you to be yourself.
  4. He has a lot on his mind at the moment.
  5. Work is particularly stressful for him.
  6. He sometimes has a bit too much to drink, but hey, who hasn’t been there?
  7. I think perhaps I am too harsh on him at times, it is my fault really.
  8. He is in a bad place but he will come through it.
  9. He is a complex person; you don’t understand him like I do
  10. It is just the way he is; I have got used to it.
  11. I know it seems bad but he does so much that is lovely; this is only a small part of what he is like.
  12. Nobody knows him properly, that’s why you think bad of him.
  13. He is a popular guy so he is always going to have women hitting on him.
  14. He has a temper, I know, but that’s part of what he is and it’s not for us to change him.
  15. I need to be more supportive and then he will be better.
  16. He’s not well at the moment but I will help him get through it, you will see.
  17. You’ve only heard one side of the story; he is not like that at all.
  18. Yes, well, his family would say that about him to cover up what they did to him.
  19. All he needs is to be loved and I am the one who is going to do that for him.
  20. You don’t know what you are saying anymore, it is okay, I do understand.
  21. It was a one-off, it won’t happen again.
  22. I know it was wrong but this time he has promised that he won’t do it anymore.
  23. You don’t understand the way that me and him are together.
  24. You are just jealous of what we have. Why can’t you be please for us, for my sake?
  25. I’m sorry, it was my fault.

Sound familiar?

100 thoughts on “Excuses Equals Endangered

  1. Cloudy says:


    Ive heard every excuse in the book.

  2. Cloudy says:


    To claim loving somebody with emotionally abandonment there partner

    How is this actually classified

    1. K says:

      You may find this article helpful.


      1. Cloudy says:

        This article is useful!

        1. K says:

          There are many, many useful articles here so dig in and enjoy the reading.

    2. K says:

      Claiming to love you, while abandoning you emotionally, is a manipulation to keep you in place (in situ). He cannot love you because he is incapable of love.

      1. Cloudy says:

        That was my understanding as you said.

        They dont love

      2. Cloudy says:

        Some of my most difficult challenges Life brought my way weren’t pleasant.

        I had nobody to lean on for emotional support.

  3. AnneB says:

    Thank you for your kind and understanding reply.
    I only hold myself responsible for being emotionally ‘un-present/unavailable” to my son. I saw that it was hurting him and yet that was not enough to pull me out of it. It hurt me to see how my ‘absence” was affecting him – sadness and anxiety and worry, feeling unsafe. But not enough to stop me at that time. It is not his job (as a child, as a son) to be understanding of my poor parenting at that time. Overall I am fortunate as the damage I believe is reparable, he is open to that in a natural way.

    I keep in the forefront that I am the parent. I am first and foremost his mum, my neglect was not his fault, I did not withdraw myself because of him. I should have been there,, I wasn’t, my bad. This is what I try to communicate to him in different ways when the need arises.

    I know, no parent is perfect, that’s fine, but my ‘absence’ whilst I obsessed over what happened, my mood changes from utter disbelief and loss, to anger and bafflement, my self absorption in the aftermath was more than ‘not perfect” it was sustained and it was emotionally neglectful. It damaged but not irreparably.

    I admire your intent to act. And your awareness of the needs of your children as well as your own. Wishing you all strength and happiness in 2020!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I’d bet good money that all your son cares about is that you recognize what happened and how, and are taking steps to change that so it doesn’t happen again. Depending on the age of the child, the recognition may come immediately or later on, but the fact that you address it is what remains with the child. They can (or will) see that there were circumstances that affected your behaviour, but that it was temporary and you returned to yourself and to them. They will, or have, made their own mistakes and will want understanding also. It’s often not what we do, but the action that we do or do not take to rectify it that matters. That is what stays. I’m sure your son is just happy you are removed from it and gives it little to no thought now. Perhaps you could give yourself that kindness as well.

      1. AnneB says:

        Thanks for the comment N/A. Your points are good and useful. In my case, my post comment was about recognising that I neglected my child in all ways but material provision,and that I was an emotionally’absent’ parent for a lengthy period of time mostly in the attermath of the ex. I recognise that I was a neglectful parent, have forgiven myself and have ‘come back’. It is quite important to me that I be able to state that here, out loud so to speak, as part of my healing.

        1. Lorelei says:

          Anne—I was emotionally obliterated and only able to provide financially as well. I have extreme regret over this and I’m not glad you are struggling but I do appreciate knowing it’s not an isolated regret. Just the lack of knowledge and absolute awfulness that we lived in sucks now knowing it wasn’t necessary.

      2. Lorelei says:

        NA—is there anything your mother could have done/said to make it easier or to help you in any way had she found HG’s work and gotten the help she needed to realize what an impact was happening in the home? After having horrible regrets as Anne shares maybe a place to start is asking.. I’m not sure what my mother could have said to make it easier. We are really feeling quite unsteady at times because of the impact.. Not just me—the kids, they just don’t have the knowledge to know why.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          I’m not sure how to approach your question. My mother did not seek help and I could not picture her doing that, so she is not representative of those here who express guilt or regret and want to offer something to their children. She still refuses to offer anything but excuses, revision of history, and claims memory lapses, despite my many questions over time, and expressing that I am trying to understand rather than judge. I suppose if I could offer anything, it would be that if she would come clean that she failed us and not the other way around, it might help a little to hear it, although I already know that to be true.

          I’m sorry if that was not helpful. I have no issue with you asking. Perhaps I am not understanding, or I am just not in the best position (given my situation) to answer so that it is helpful to others. If I told you what I really think of her it would likely cause a shitstorm due to the perception that I apply that to all others or that I an victim shaming. Which, when you think about it, is ridiculous because I too was/am a victim.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Your response was perfect NA. Basically you wish she would validate the experience and not revise or deny history. I am lost in the clean up/aftermath at times. I don’t know at times how to fix or redefine moving forward with my oldest child. My ex put us both through quite a bit and I really failed her. It is my greatest failure and maybe I’ll never be able to mend it. The piece that is undeniable is her voice to the other kids—he can gaslight them all he wants and triangulate between us but her version of history is more factual, more objective for them. This is a great reason why I can’t condone poor behavior that harms the liberty of other people. You can be narcissistic as hell and not rob people of their freedom to live peacefully. I can be tripped purposely even in a store and it isn’t torture. The torture that asshole inflicted was senseless.

          2. K says:

            You have the right to your feelings and thoughts and I don’t think you are victim shaming. I think you are just trying to make sense of it all.

    2. Kristin says:

      I hear your pain and regret and my heart hurts for you. I too have made mistakes with both of my children that make me cringe to this day. You are a very good mom and dare I say an even better one now because of what you have endured. Your son is empathetic and resilient and just wants his mom. I find that they are very forgiving no doubt he sees the change in you.

      You have taken responsibility and that is not only admirable but a powerful thing for your son to see. It shows him that we all make mistakes but are capable of insight and change. You have the right mindset and I pray that in time the disbelief, loss, anger and bafflement (all normal feelings) will dissipate.

      I think being an empath makes us good parents but it also makes us vulnerable to narcissists and the damage that ensues. They suck us in, it is ALL consuming and it is stronger than we are. HG has said, we look back and say, what the hell was I thinking??!!!! We have a heart to love and help others and that makes us blind to the truth until it is too late. The damage is not irreparable and you need to keep reminding yourself of that. Because of his age, you are able to discuss it with and explain it to him and he will have a much better understanding than a young child. When I had my first child, I remember thinking that my love for him was stronger that I was and that will never change no matter how old they get! Once a mother, always a mother.

      We are all in the right place and can only get stronger by immersing ourselves in everything HG and this site has to offer. Keep you head up, you are doing the right thing. Hugs to you and Happy New Year!

      1. AnneB says:

        Thank you for your support Kristin. I have learnt here that the process of moving forward is complex because of the nature of the N dynamic This has been a relief for me in ways I could not have imagined even 3 months ago. There is a lot of pain to work through (for me).. Yes, we are in the right place! H.G’s work has answered questions that I could not make sense of and been a catalyst for kick starting my self validation. I was lost in a bad place, and was alone with my thoughts and grief, confusion, anger denial, dissonance…you name it.

        Yes, my son’s age has made a difference and all will be well. I do know that the damage is reparable. My main concern at one point was that he not internalise my neglect as reflecting on himself. There were changes in his behaviour, which I won’t go into detail here, but he is now much more solid. He will steadily process as he carries on with his life, schooling, friends and interests. I am just focused, amongst other things, on being an available parent for him as he negotiates adolescence.

        Yes the strength of the love for our children is real. And they need both that love and our steadiness, care and respect.

        All the best with your plans, Kristin, “You’ve got this”!

  4. SMH says:

    Kristin, Rest assured that you are definitely in the right place. You have HG and all of us. A better support system does not exist. Plus it is a great New Year’s resolution to get you and your kids out, so Happy New Year to you!

    What kind of N is your husband? I ask because I have (too much) experience with both a Lesser (IPPS) and then a Mid-Ranger (SIPSS). I was way more attached to (addicted to) the Mid-Ranger and he is the one I normally post about here. But the Lesser was more dangerous and much harder to deal with partly because he was a Lesser and partly because I was married to him.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are right, a better support system DOES NOT exist! I am married to a greater lesser. As HG indicated, the fact that he doesn’t care about how his pettiness appears and is physically abusive to me are just some of the reasons why he is a gl. It is amazing to me how an intelligent, former army officer/ranger, current attorney and successful business owner could be such an abusive bastard, but thanks to HG it all and it makes perfect sense. Being educated and smart does not preclude one form being a narc or dangerous.

      I can’t imagine what it was like for you to have dealt with two different types of narcs. You have great insight and I hope you are recovering. Have a wonderful new year 🙂 xx

      1. Lorelei says:

        Kristin—just make sure he can’t locate you have been posting here. Or identify you on here if he can access you phone/internet usage.

        1. Kristin says:

          Absolutely and thank you!! I am extremely diligent when I access my email and this site. Thankfully none has access to my phone or the email I use for this purpose. Even so, I hide my tracks well because we all know that would go over like a whore in church. Sorry but I’m feeling spicy today.

          Something dawned on me last night as I was thinking about all of the post and comments. I rarely ask for help, I would rather do things myself or be the helper. However, I have confided in and poured my heart out to HG and you all because I feel safe here and know that we are all in the same boat. I have not even told my closest friends about my husband being a narc and do not feel the need to now that I am with the “best.” Basically, I do not have to explain or justify anything as I would with them because you understand and can relate. As I’ve said many times, what a blessing to be a part of such a phenomenal group and a life saver, no doubt.

          Hugs to you.

          1. Lorelei says:

            There is no need to use the word narcissist with anyone—I find it has been off-putting and diminishes credibility. You don’t need to explain to anyone—that is the truth seeker stuff that is better left silent at times. To a New Year!

          2. K says:

            Welcome to the blog. It’s safe here and everything will just get better from here on in. Happy New Year!

          3. Kristin says:

            Thank you very much and I hope you have a very happy new year!

          4. K says:

            My pleasure Kristin
            And thank you. New Year’s Eve was wonderful.

      2. SMH says:


        Correct that being educated and smart does not preclude one from being a narc. Just look at HG! And MRN (mid-ranger) was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. In the same vein, being educated and smart does not preclude one from getting entangled with a narc, as many of us here have learned.

        Lesser was petty and physically abusive too. But MRN was the calmest person I’ve ever met. Amazing how different they can be yet underneath be the same. And my reaction was the same – I left both numerous times. I spent years leaving and then returning, first to Lesser and then to MRN. This site has kept me from relapsing for over a year and a half now. You might need it post escape too. I think we want to believe that escaping is the end but it’s a very, very long withdrawal post addiction/ PTSD post abuse. Daunting but you will do it.

        1. Kristin says:

          I can totally see how you were more attached/addicted to the mid-ranger! I think the fact that he was calm would make it even more addictive and difficult to leave. It makes total sense and being married to the lesser and the fact that they are not quite as polished does make it more difficult.

          “I left both numerous times. I spent years leaving and then returning, first to Lesser and then to MRN. This site has kept me from relapsing for over a year and a half now. You might need it post escape too. I think we want to believe that escaping is the end but it’s a very, very long withdrawal post addiction/ PTSD post abuse. Daunting but you will do it.”

          I have noticed many on this site who are post narc but still recovering. You can find someone in any stage of the process and what a relief to know that we can still receive help after the worst has past. I believed that escaping is the end and that recovery won’t take me long but you have brought me back to reality. Knowing that is power and will help prevent relapse in the future. I am only just beginning to see how his abuse has affected me and that will continue to reveal itself as I read more posts and consult with the king.

          As always, thank you.

      3. Sweetest Perfection says:

        Kristin, happy new year first of all. I was reading your thread, do you mean Upper Lesser? Greater and Lesser are basically exclusive of each other. My narc is an Upper Lesser too. He is extremely educated and we both hold a highly intellectual job. I had trouble because of that finding his school (the cadre was easy as he also is an obvious somatic), but HG was super fast to find out and it all made sense as soon as he described him. However, he is what HG calls an UL Type A, an “affable asshole.” I presume by your narc’s violent outbursts he must be the Type B, a violent bully. As Lorelei said, be careful with your privacy. I know you are free to do what you want but I would not show my real picture in the avatar, just in case…(though you’re cute).

        1. Kristin says:

          Sweetest Perfection,

          Yes, you are right, he is an upper lesser and most likely a violent bully! I got my terms confused and I will take your advice and change my avatar picture but thank you for the compliment :). Thank you and happy new year!

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Kristin, Trump is a Type B UL, I believe. I’m sorry …

          2. Kristin says:

            That doesn’t surprise me and is probably why my narc is just like him!

        2. Lorelei says:

          Sweetest—I think we need an article on the differentiations in upper lessers. They are nothing like the Chris Watts or jail bird types. The term “lesser” isn’t necessarily meant to indicate the word “idiot.” I think UL’s can often be differently or more successful than mid to upper mids financially. My college ex was likely a UL and when he died the governor of the state attended the funeral. He was successful and loved by many. I smile inwardly when his daughter proclaims her version of who he was. I remember who picked her up all the time and forced her on him. (Me) His ex wife and I know what he was. We allow her to stay delusional because it’s safe for her. It helps me reinforce that keeping my mouth shut with my children is indeed best. For today anyway. Their relationship with him is none of my business to a great extent.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Yes, I agree. I had misplaced my narc as a MRN because he is intelligent, educated, and his façade is very solidly built as a super nice friendly guy who supports minorities and defends all social causes. He happens to be theType A, therefore, his affability stands out before you are able to detect his assholeness; he is without any doubt an affable asshole once you get entangled with him and he relaxes his mask. I also smile inwardly every time he posts a picture of him and his wife declaring how they have grown to have a deeper, more intimate relationship throughout the years, all while he also continues to leave inappropriate sexual comments on other women’s profiles, make jokes full of sexual innuendos with his gay friends (including the all-ubiquitous eggplant emoji 🍆) and posting millions of selfies of himself in speedos showing his abs in public places, such as restaurants and bars. Allllll riiiiiiiight!!!!!!! Ah, poor blind woman. HG has an extremely accurate article for my narc, as he is an obvious UL Somatic. But we need more info about UL because everyone in general believes all Lessers to be aggressive idiots.

          2. Lorelei says:

            I am nearly certain my college boyfriend was quite similarly dispositioned in some ways. Ruggedly handsome life of the party. He commanded constant attention in nightclubs bouncing from admirer to admirer. He had the “hottest” nightclub in town for awhile. Of course it was attractive to me. I had the best seats, surrounded by important business people.. Lavish meals, Atlantic City.. I was smitten being on his arm frankly. Not for attention directed at me—but toward him. He seemed larger than life and it was attractive. I really didn’t mind the socializing and drinking but to be frank most of these people were older and I had nothing in common with them. Maybe their kids! They probably secretly felt bad for me mostly! He never would have hit me, stayed in a sub par hotel, send nudes if there were such a thing in the mid 90’s.. My big thing was his abandonment of his family. After the glitter faded here was a man spending money like water and he refused to support his children or ex wife. He refused to spend time with his kids. I was actively building a relationship with them and felt so confused and was so devastated by his abandonment. His son adored me and he wanted his dad so badly and was always let down. It was killing me. I was sneaking money to his ex when I could. He was furious over this. It started to really bother me that we had these fabulous dinners and his children were given nothing. His ex wife was afraid to make him legally accountable. My conscience coupled with him doing nothing to keep me interested (because of his behavior)’led me to leave. I moved immediately after college. He never spoke poorly of me—told people “I could never keep her” like it was some great love story. It was not a love story. He was a piece of shit. Good to me generally but a horrible human. I get upset thinking of that poor kid being let down constantly. His son is quite likely a narcissist himself. If I could have fixed it I would. When he suddenly died (gambling in Atlantic City) it was publicized and he was romanticized. My family even liked him—but I’ll never forget the look of sadness his son always had. It drove me away.

  5. Kristin says:

    You all are wonderful angels and HG warriors, HG has trained you well! Words cannot express how much your advice and comforting words have helped me. I literally feel the fog lifting and my confidence improving from what you have shared. I will be reading your posts many times over. Thank you, this site and HG are amazing and a true lifesaver. Blessings to all of you. XXXX

    1. Desirée says:

      Thank you Kristin, that is good to read. HG is indeed the best teacher, he also has the benefit of teaching ardent students! haha
      I haven’t commented under you posts because I dont know much about marriage and children with a narcissist, but I have been reading what you wrote and I admire your strength and am happy that you found your way here. I wish you and your children a wonderful start into the new year (is it too soon to say that yet? we say it sooner in my country but I know some dont do that) and blessings to you too

      1. Kristin says:


        Thank you for your very thoughtful and kind words. I wish you a very happy new year and appreciate your comment. I think everyone has something to offer including you. Every situation is different but we are all on the same team, I thank God for that! Blessings to you. 🙂

  6. Cyn says:

    Even after you know it there is still the narc heroin. I knew it and there were no more excuses and still went back. It was worse then ever. I left again. Knowledge is a huge weapon. It’s my biggest defense. But there needs to be a patch or gum for the emotional and physical addiction lol.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      The “patch” or “gum” is to stay immersed reading and interacting here. The knowledge you gain paired with time and distance will help you to achieve zero impact. Also, you should obtain Zero Impact. You can and will get there.

      1. Cyn says:

        I have it I just remembered! I had gotten it in relation to the ex husband because at the time I was numb about narc 2. Or so I thought. But I forgot about the addiction and withdrawal and the triggers. Thanks NA. I need to just stay connected here. The holidays suck.

      2. Notme! says:

        NA, I so agree as there is nowhere else, noone else who gets it.
        I know I sublimated my addiction to this site and you guys. Yes, I’d prefer not to think about narcissism at all, but until I get there, I’ll keep coming here. Without you I’d be back on the wheel without any doubt.

  7. cogra002 says:

    Courting ambiguity is perfectly put. 👍
    I think another reason for the excuses is that the victims are all shot up w Narc heroin. I consistently bring this up because it is a huuuuge part of the problem and equation.

  8. Kristin says:

    Another amazing post that answers so many questions. I realized two months ago that I have been married to a narc for a very long time. At first it was a complete relief as the light bulb went off because I have asked myself for the entirety of my marriage why he is the way he is. However, after the initial relief, I have been completely overwhelmed, depressed and in a complete fog. I have immersed myself in all that is HG and am consulting with him. I have made excuses for the narc for years when friends and family pointed out his abuse. I think HG knows empaths, to include myself, better than we know ourselves. It is my first instinct to see the good in people and not judge them. My distorted view of him has made me blind and I am beginning to think that perhaps I am overwhelmed because I now know the truth of who I am living with and that goes against my thinking?? Am I in denial that I could be married to someone like that for so long and not realize it? I question myself as to whether or not I am making a big deal out of nothing but there is no going back and I can’t unsee what I know to be true. Is this a normal reaction? I have such a long road ahead of me and I am desperate to see things more clearly and to stop crying but perhaps that just comes with time? I don’t want to be the bad guy and break up my family but I know that I will eventually crack if I don’t escape and my children need me. Right now it all seems insurmountable and selfish because I have always put other’s needs in front of my own. So many of you have been supportive, have hind sight and have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. No one else understands except you all since you have lived it.

    1. Getting There says:

      Hello, Kristin.

      I’m sorry you are going through the heart break! It is very normal! It’s a very difficult situation you are in when it comes to the decision to leave with your kids. Can I offer the advice that maybe look at that decision another way?
      When I divorced my ex-husband, I knew he was a narcissist but hadn’t yet discovered HG to understand what that meant. I struggled with the choice to leave. I left when I know it was best for my child. Without knowing what I know now, I knew that my son needed more in what he called a home, or two homes. The lessons I wanted my son to learn about love and kindness could not be taught if I was busy teaching him how to accept the type of treatment he witnessed and heard from both of us. It’s not selfish to want to provide a loving and safe environment for your children. It’s not selfish to teach your children what they should accept or not accept when they are older. It’s not selfish to teach your children that you too count and matter, as then they too will learn that they count and matter when they are older. It is not selfish to realize that children see and hear more than you realize, and they may feel like you were in a bad environment because you didn’t want to leave for them. That’s a burden I feel no child should carry. Months after my divorce, my son made a comment about how I always did everything his daddy said. I had no idea some of the lessons I was teaching until I left. Even if someone wanted to claim it is selfish, then what is wrong with being selfish sometimes? People say we are our own advocates with doctors, why are we not our own advocates in other ways? You weren’t put on this earth to feel trapped and broken.
      If you leave, you will one day realize how much you can breathe and how much you are who you want to be. It really is nice!! It didn’t happen overnight for me, but it does come.
      I still see the good in others and can find an excuse for someone’s behavior. With the knowledge I have now, though, means I don’t always have to accept the behavior in the same way just because I can excuse it. In your case, would the good excuses you give and the doubt you have change the fact that you are crying and that you feel that you will be broken soon? No person should cause another to feel that way no matter the reason why.

      It’s great that you are here and that you are consulting with HG! Taking these steps now will help you through the process. I hope you find the peace inside! You deserve it.

    2. Alexissmith2016 says:


      Everything you have written is textbook for an E who has been in a relationship with an N. What is good about that is we have been there and it is also textbook that you will reach the other side too. We’re all here and rooting for you!

      It is a confusing mess but little by little If you keep reading it will make more and more sense.

      Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

      Huge hugs xxx

      1. Kristin says:

        Alexis, it is so reassuring to know that this is textbook and that my feelings are “normal.” This would be an even more difficult journey without the support of those like you that have gone before. The narc is currently pouting/silent treatment, it is our new normal. When he acts like and ass, it is easy to feel confident and move ahead but when he behaves and is nice, I feel like a home wrecking bitch because I have always put my family first. His behavior has affected and continues to affect our children but he loves them so that is where the doubt comes in. I will put one foot in front of the other as you said and thank you so very much for your encouraging words. I save the comments that are sent to me so I can reread them in times of doubt. XX

        1. It is hard and confusing Kristen when they alternate between nice and horrible and that is what causes us to doubt our own judgement and believe it is all our fault that we have not tried hard enough. We desperately want them to be nice to us, to achieve the love form them which we believed we once had.

          You’re not a home wrecking bitch. Not at all. He is the home wrecker and not you. You’ve tried hard and put everything into it that you can, I have no doubt about that at all because you’re one of us!

          blaming ourselves is something we need to learn not to do as it does not come naturally. I would recommend reading any info HG has on co-parenting. I was fortunate enough not to have shared children with an N. My heart goes out to those who do, it must be the worst!

          Silent treatments hurt like hell. I’m glad you’re reaching a point that you feel confident about things when he is being an ass. He is an ass, you’re not. xx

          Don’t let him confuse you. You’re right xx

          1. Kristin says:


            (I was trying to reply to Alexis’ comments but it says Desiree.) The confusion is real when they alternate between moods. I honestly think it would be easier if they were bastards all the time, easier to let go and move ahead towards escape. I know my narc and am learning the typical behaviors of narcs, but to know others have gone through the same thing makes it so much easier, I sound like a broken record but it’s true! I see his behavior as almost comical and so very stereotypical of a narc. Now instead of asking why I clearly see it for what it is. Yes, the silent treatment can be painful and was for me before I “knew.” However, his latest silent treatment was almost a relief because he left me alone and did not provoke me for fuel. It hurst my daughter though and that hurts me and ticks me off. Thank you for your support and words of wisdom, truly. Have a very happy new year!

        2. NarcAngel says:

          Regarding the children, please consider my response to WhoCares.

    3. blackunicorn123 says:

      Kristin, I understand you are overwhelmed. You probably can’t believe you didn’t “see” or realise it sooner. It IS a normal reaction. The most important thing to know is that you have taken the first step on your journey towards helping yourself, your children, and gaining freedom. Know your truth, which I think you do. You are right, once you know, there is no going back. Hold onto your truth. Him and others will try and make you doubt yourself, but trust yourself. It may be a long hard journey ahead, with many seemingly backward steps, but you will eventually reach stability and peace, and it’s all worth it, all of it, believe me. I wish you well. X

      1. Kristin says:

        Blackunicorn, you are so right, I am in disbelief that I didn’t know what he was after so many years. I also believe that our minds protect us from seeing and accepting things that are too difficult until we are ready to handle them, if that makes sense. I like how you said to hold on to my truth. He will try and make me doubt myself and will lay the guilt card on the table among other things. I need to continue to build up my mental strength because it will be a long battle with one step forward and two steps back. I figure if I survived 28 years of abuse, then I can move ahead towards escaping. I talk a big game, that’s for sure, I just pray that I will eventually take my words to heart and actually believe them. Thank you for telling me that stability and peace are achievable, I so desperately need to hear that and believe in it. Blessing to you X

        1. Lorelei says:

          Kristin—I was replying but it prematurely sent and then it said there was an error. Who knows? Anyway.. It is essential to formulate a well-crafted plan and you sound well positioned to do so. You seem level headed and strong. I’m so, almost jubilant that at the age of 28 (?) you can see this & devise a plan to get healthier. Your children are likely quite young which protects them from years of dysfunctional imprinting which happens in homes with passive and/or aggressive abusers. Kudos and don’t stop with just this challenge—weaponize to make sure it never happens again!

          1. Kristin says:

            Thank you Lorelei! I am a planner for sure and am always thinking ahead as to my plan and what needs to be put in place before I leave. My emotional thinking is getting in the way but I will work through that in time. I have actually been married for 28 years (I’m 50). My son is 22 yo, lives with us and has Asperger’s and my daughter is 16 yo so they have had many years with a narc father. I will “weaponize” to protect myself in the future!

          2. Lorelei says:

            Hello again Kristin. I’m 46–I think it’s more common most of us figure this out a bit later. 28 years is a very long time to be with someone that is abusive—I never would have lasted that long. My 10-year-old son is on the spectrum as well, though fortunately he is very high functioning. You may relate to how I was almost pleased (maybe a bad word) when he came home and told me he hit another boy for hating him recently. For most parents it may signal a need for intense discussion but for me it signaled that he in fact, set a limit for poor behavior because verbally he isn’t mature enough to be as effective. Of course I gave my “that’s not nice speech” but I didn’t really mean it entirely! (He’s a very kind boy typically) The PsyD that has assisted has become quite the ally if ever needed re, the children’s fathers behavior. Seems there are bright spots sprinkled in here and there that I find. I am post financial entanglement with my ex meaning the divorce is final. It was a huge component of moving forward quite a bit, it was shaky leading up to that point even more than I feel now on some days. The process will be very incremental pushing forward. You will look back and there will be moments in time you can’t even conjure an image of now. Some will be quite nice actually. It’s not all bad.
            On a lighter note we are slowly prepping our day and we need to go acquire New Years gear for tomorrow night! Staying at a rental home in the bourbon capitol of the world and the celebration is just starting. There will be many things to celebrate for you upcoming.

          3. Kristin says:


            I can absolutely relate to your relief at your son’s reaction and standing up or himself. My son did the same in elementary and high school and it was necessary. You understand the joys and struggles of raising a child on the spectrum. My son is very smart, high functioning and one of the most empathetic people I know! Thank you for sharing your journey to divorce and escape. Knowing the reality of what to expect is very helpful. Have a happy new year and bless you. 🙂

          4. Lorelei says:

            Same—very smart and high functioning. He could easily study absolutely anything and excel at this point as his test scores are accelerated. Interestingly, his self proclaimed excellent father has done us the favor of absence for any appointments or school conferences over the years. You seem like you doing quite well. It took me over a year to get out of the haze. This will be less turbulent than you may imagine by just being focused on each day.

          5. Kristin says:

            That is so good to know! I am going day to day and sometimes hour to hour and am amazed at how much today’s post and everyone’s support has done for my mental well being.

            Yes, he has done you a favor by not showing up, it is about your son and not him but they ignore that fact.

    4. WhoCares says:


      “I can’t unsee what I know to be true. Is this a normal reaction? I have such a long road ahead of me and I am desperate to see things more clearly and to stop crying but perhaps that just comes with time? I don’t want to be the bad guy and break up my family but I know that I will eventually crack if I don’t escape and my children need me. Right now it all seems insurmountable and selfish because I have always put other’s needs in front of my own.”

      It is true! You can’t unsee it once you see more clearly – it would be like pulling the wool back over your own eyes.

      Putting distance and space between you and your narc is the one sure way out of the fog.

      It feels insurmountable because you are worn down, but it is absolutely not selfish to seek the well-being of you and your children. We are conditioned to put others needs first and to do what is ‘best’ for our family.

      Personally, I use to think that having two parents (together) was always best for children but once it became clear that one of those parents was an abuser, I had to reevaluate that belief.

      Wishing you strength and clarity for the future.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Great point about not needing two parents (especially if one is a narc). Staying together “for the children” is a fallacy and often (although sometimes unconsciously) used as an excuse not to leave. As a child, if you have the safety and security of knowing that you have one parent that you can count on and go to, it far outweighs trying to navigate your way with two parents who are so embroiled in their relationship with each other that they think they are providing what you need. As a parent, even when you think you are focused on the child, the environment of two parents in any unhealthy relationship (never mind with a narcissist) can erode what you think you are providing, and can imprint on what the child thinks about themselves (it is my fault they fight) and future relationships (I see that I must give in to keep peace, or I see I must dominate to avoid becoming her/him). One good parent is better than watching two destroy each other even if it’s subtle and you don’t think they notice. Even watching a relationship filled with complete apathy over more overt forms of abuse can be soul destroying. You still have two parents, but you have a better chance at seeing them at their best away from the toxic relationship, to extract what you need from each, and to form your own opinions about why/what occurred. There should be zero guilt. It is a gift to your child that you remove them from exposure to toxicity. They want to see their parents thrive apart rather than witness them demean and degrade each other, despite the sadness you may witness or the things they may say to the contrary at the time. That is just temporary grief over the ending of what “might have been”.

        1. Kristin says:

          Beautifully written, so true and what every empath with children needs to hear. Another post to print for those times of doubt!

        2. Lorelei says:

          NA—you wrote this quite elegantly. It was a gift not only to me when we separated but to more importantly our children. I almost lost (well I did) my mind in the preserve of maintaining an intact home. I remember HG being kind enough to entertain my almost desperate questioning of how to protect my girls from these vampires. The reality is that the ebb of this flows much deeper than red/pink or black flags. This is going to require relationship building. My observations about people and situations need to be built upon credibility and formulating realistic scenarios for the kids so that I have impactful illustrations. It’s less about the abuser’s red flags and what they feel. The kids do not need to be irretrievably subjected to this nonsense so I appreciate your stance on this. I’m sure Kristin knows this as well but hearing it to support her forward movement is essential.

        3. WhoCares says:


          Everything you said about a child potentially learning – from staying in an abusive dynamic –
          many unhealthy coping strategies and relationship skills is so true.

          “It is a gift to your child that you remove them from exposure to toxicity. They want to see their parents thrive apart rather than witness them demean and degrade each other, despite the sadness you may witness or the things they may say to the contrary at the time. That is just temporary grief .”

          I also agree with this and even young children who idealize the family staying together will say things like “I don’t like it when you both fight” or “You just need to say sorry to each other.”
          They may not be of the age where they can express an opinion or have a choice in the future of the family but they certainly don’t want to be in a constantly conflictual situation and don’t necessarily recognize that they are in an abusive family relationship.

      2. Kristin says:

        I suppose feeling guilty goes hand in hand with being an empath. I have always thought, as you did, that two parents were better than one, but my children have hated the way he treats me. my 16 yo daughter has begged him to stop and I HATE that she has that burden. When she stands up to him, it comes back on me and she feels bad, that is something she should never have to deal with. Another reason to out them and myself first.

        “It feels insurmountable because you are worn down, but it is absolutely not selfish to seek the well-being of you and your children. We are conditioned to put others needs first and to do what is ‘best’ for our family.”

        Thank you, I am worn down and have been for a long time. He works from home and we run a business together so there is rarely a break from him and his games. I have decided that 2020 is the year that I take care of me, finally. Thank you again. xx

        1. Kim e says:

          I just want to share a [[[[[[[HUG]]]]]] and maybe a thought to consult with HG regarding this. I am sure he has some great ways for you to escape as easy as possible.
          Much luck to you.

          1. Kristin says:

            Kim e,
            Thank you for your huge hug. I have done the narc detector, in the process of the empath detector and will have consult #2 soon. He will be a crucial part in me being able to leave. 🙂

        2. AnneB says:

          I’m thinking of you Kristin. It’s fantastic that you are planning to get out. You are strong and brave. I had only a 13-14 month relationship that was toxic and have only retrospectively realised It was very likely an N I was involved with. I can categorically state that it had a negative impact on my son (mid teens) both during and the aftermath. He was treated as an extension, when it suited, as I was (retrospective understanding), there were subtle put downs, guilt trips and gaslighting. But I am mostly aware of my own failings, my state of mind deteriorated and for a long time I was not ‘present’ in a meaningful way for my son both during the lengthy devaluation-respite cycle and then after the ex disengaged and spewed a stream of malignity all over me in the immediate aftermath and during a later hoover. I am much improved now, I have ‘come back’ to my son and he is ok. He is a beautiful and empathic boy and I am there for him.

          It’s clear that you love and care for your children deeply. You are doing the right thing for them (and for you). I wish for you to feel proud that you are planning to escape. hugs and hugs.

          1. Kristin says:


            You have such insight and are able, like most of us, to see how toxic things were but I certainly hope you do not blame yourself. Being involved with a narc, no matter how long, can make you lose yourself. The doubting, blaming and gas lighting to name a few wreaks havoc on the mind of a normally same person and even more so to an empath! You are courageous sharing your struggles especially as it relates to how your son was affected. That will help many others who are in the same situation. I am glad you are improved and your beautiful boy only wants his mother to be happy. Since he is empathetic, I bet he understands and I suspect the whole situation brought you closer together. xx hugs to you and happy new year!

        3. WhoCares says:


          “my 16 yo daughter has begged him to stop and I HATE that she has that burden. When she stands up to him, it comes back on me and she feels bad, that is something she should never have to deal with. Another reason to out them and myself first.”

          Sometimes when we are so worn down we don’t even know how to address things that offend our sense of right or wrong. At least you will not have to convince your daughter of the benefits of leaving her father. Sounds as though she has some insight into what he is.

          Having a business and family with him is double-binding – and you truely do not get a break from his manipulations. I am sure your consults with HG will shed much light on what to expect when extricating yourself from this situation. I wish I had found HG when I needed to leave my ex (I planned nothing other than packing a few things in advance.)

          Wishing you and your children all best!

          1. Kristin says:


            “Sometimes when we are so worn down we don’t even know how to address things that offend our sense of right or wrong. At least you will not have to convince your daughter of the benefits of leaving her father. Sounds as though she has some insight into what he is.”

            Thank you, and you are right. It was my sweet, intelligent daughter that began calling him out on his behavior years ago. Only then did my eyes begin to open but not enough. She calls him out because he is always the victim, it always being about him and his hypocrisy! She has even called him a millennial which totally suits him. I walk a fine line supporting her and not “undermining” him but she knows the truth.

            I will totally be relying on HG and this site when it comes to leaving. It will not be cut and dry, (is it ever?) but knowing what to expect will be vital. I am sorry you did not have his guidance but I hope you are in a much better place. HG told me that I will not leave without his support and I know that is so true.

            Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful new year. xx

          2. WhoCares says:


            “It will not be cut and dry, (is it ever?) but knowing what to expect will be vital. I am sorry you did not have his guidance but I hope you are in a much better place.”

            No, they never let it be cut and dry.
            But you come across as very bright, level-headed and resolute – I am sure you will succeed.

            It has been two and a half years since I left the formal relationship. I found HG’s work in the year after leaving and then finally everything made sense. And when HG introduced his co-parenting package, I wanted to hug him.
            My son and I are definitely in a much better place.

            Have a Happy New Year 💛

          3. Kristin says:

            That makes me so happy to hear that you are in a much better place. You are one of many success stories and it brings tears to my eyes.

            I am realizing that HG, this site and you all are even much more valuable than I realized. It obviously doesn’t end when you escape and to know I can access these resources for years after like many have done is such a relief.

            Have a very Happy New Year. 🙂

      3. Sweetest Perfection says:

        WhoCares, puppy alert!!! Who’s that sweet face showing up in your avatar? 😍

        1. WhoCares says:

          Oh, Sweetest – yes, puppy alert! That’s the newest addition to our household.

    5. Hope says:

      Kristin😭❤️❤️ My heart goes out to you in this most urgent time. The pain, anxiety, frustration, confusion, uncertainty, is all too real. I remember it well.

      There are many stages of grief due to the loss of more than in a normal relationship. There was an article about that here I’ll have to search for it. It will help explain why it’s so hard to accept and get over what happened. Don’t make sacrifices for him anymore, only your kids. You will regret every once of energy and emotion you give him later on when it all makes sense. Don’t provoke him or antagonize him. Play along if you have to, leaving someone who doesn’t have empathy and relies on you is dangerous. It takes careful planning and execution and don’t tell him about any of it. You have to manipulate him, to a degree, in order to escape safely. I do think you need extensive support and protection in the initial separation and years later. Just be sure you are safe when you break it off and that your family and kids are safe. He will need someway to heal his wounds, don’t let it be you. You saw the Ray Rice video? They will go until your dead with no remorse. For you. They will have remorse for themselves when they have to pay for the consequences of murder. Just a thing to keep in mind when you’re dealing with this. I only bring it up because I know our tendency to lend trust and be vulnerable as a bridge and out of desperation but they really cannot be trusted to care about you or your children’s well being. I didn’t know there was another side to this trial (tunnel vision/addiction/illusion of love) but when I got there I was grateful I did. You will feel again and you will love again and he will not be so important one day. It sucks the worst right now and the divorce process but keep pushing because years later you will feel so proud of the steps you now. You will appreciate you in the ways he never would nor could.

      God Bless and give you strength and solace! 💪🏼🦋🕊😘

      1. Kristin says:

        you hit the nail on the head, grief is a reason and contributing to these feeling. I always assumed that the grief would hit after divorce but it makes total sense. Although the realization of being married to a narc was a relief, it was quite a shock to the system and quite disheartening. The love I had for him was gone many years ago but it is sad because of what could have been. We met when I was 19 so it is all I know.

        I am glad that you said to “play along” if I have to because that is exactly what I have been doing for peace in the home and self preservation. Manipulating him to an extent too because I am dealing with a sick $^*(*@#$%^. I am learning that in order to leave, we have to adopt a completely different thought process in order to move ahead and escape. It goes against who we are but is a necessary evil.

        You mentioned divorce and his need to heal his wounds scares me because I see how he reacts to stupid, benign things now and divorce will be ugly. Like you and so many have said though, there will eventually be an end to all of this and the mental anguish that is so exhausting. He knows me well and will play on my feeling of guilt so I need to become nonchalant about it all, or at least fake it! Had it not been for my faith, since I was a young child, I would certainly be in a padded cell at this point. I believe God has seen my pain and allowed me to finally see that he was a narc when I could actually handle it and the battle ahead. Tears as usual because of your advice and support but so grateful. xx 🙂

        1. Lorelei says:

          Kristin—please get the divorce package. The divorce doesn’t need to be super ugly. Talking to HG after listening to it will save you tremendously. It’s a few hundred bucks (at least) an hour for an attorney and the package is less and worth many hours of their often mediocre advice.

          1. Kristin says:


            I will definitely buy the divorce package and I believe it will be worth its weight in gold. Thank you for suggesting that and for all your support today. xx

        2. Hope says:

          God is what got me through it too! I hope you have people close to you, friends, parents, coworkers, women’s shelter, Priest, church family, someone, anyone you can truly trust, truly, truly trust they won’t speak to him and have no connection to him and hate his guts for what he did to do, to protect and shelter you while the storm rages after your departure or during the court struggles that might save you from any danger he poses. You can get restraining orders and HG has a post about that too but they are only paper you just have to be safe as you can and not underestimate his ability to disregard your well being to the highest degree in order to serve his own needs. I’ll pray for you and I hope everything turns out fine, it may not be that horrible, but I’m the type I’d rather prepare for the worst then hope for the best in this case. Too many times, before I knew what a narc was, I was shocked at how much they don’t care. One was going to let someone shoot me in anger and another was going to take all my money. There is no loyalty with them. No humanity in those times. It’s sick, truly sick, and allowed me to truly see them for the first time. The mask gone and my illusion burst all at once. It was traumatizing and scary and painful, just horrible. I feel lucky I’m alive, I feel lucky I’m employed, and I feel lucky I’m free. I’m so sorry for all your losses. You don’t deserve any of it and you gave so much. How he treated you is no representation of your worth. He’s so stupid not to appreciate you, but he is incapable of it. He never had the barometer to properly measure. It seems like such a waste of your life but truly it matures your soul to a degree others never experience. You can truly relate to a lot more people after this and help them too. You learn to appreciate so many things differently afterwards. It seems like the world is dark and your “you” has lost it’s “you”. I remember morning the fact I could never again approach love the same way as the way I was before him is no more. But truly, you do eventually create a new “you” and that new “you” becomes so much more evolved that you truly could not care less about him and you feel so happy to be without him. It sucks he did all that so long but we have so much resilience that we do bounce back. It takes forever and it’s not fair but I really feel I’m changed and it’s only made me grow. It probably sucks to hear that right now. It is still too painful. Overwhelming. I don’t know the right words to say. Something that made me laugh and feel good was when a woman I didn’t know too well found out and she says what his name? Where he live? Me and my homegirls will take care of him! LOL. I didn’t want to murder him or beat him up but the offer was unexpected and made me feel supported as validated for the first time after being isolated for so long. What’s his name? Where he stay? Me and my homies will take care of him! 😉☺️🤣

          1. Kristin says:

            My goodness, I only saw the grief article you sent and not your post until now, I’m so sorry! Your words are so encouraging and I know God will pull me through as He did you.

            “No humanity in those times. It’s sick, truly sick, and allowed me to truly see them for the first time. The mask gone and my illusion burst all at once. It was traumatizing and scary and painful, just horrible.” Sounds like you went through hell and although it is still painful, you have found yourself again and made it past the worst, I hope. You are focusing on the positive now and that is very inspiring. Your words were perfect and from your heart. You said it takes forever and it’s not fair but I needed to hear that. It makes me sad every time someone tells their story, you just can’t make this stuff up.

            “It seems like such a waste of your life but truly it matures your soul to a degree others never experience.” You are absolutely right and we will forever be changed by this but will be stronger in the end, wounded, hurt, exhausted but stronger. I have said to myself many times how truly sick he is, it has boggled my mind for years. I am still coming out of the initial fog of finding out but am getting stronger each day. I appreciate your honesty so I know what to expect.

            Thank you for your prayers, I will pray for you as well and all the others going through the trauma of being with a narc. I have seen God answering my prayers for my friends, family and for me. I do not deserve His grace as I have made some bad choices in my marriage but He continues to bless me; HG, you all and this site are proof of that. Continue to take care of yourself and look forward. You are very strong and I am happy that you are working through your pain. Thank you so much for what you wrote. xx

        3. Hope says:

          Here is the article on the many stages of grief:


          1. Kristin says:

            Wow, what a fitting article, thank you for sending. It answers so many of the questions that have plagued me since I found out. Another one I will be printing out. xx

    6. Caroline-is-fine says:

      I so feel for you…and all the conflicted feelings you are having — they’re all totally normal for what you’ve been through. I understand how serious this all is, with you having children especially. That would make it all that much harder/more heart wrenching. I would never presume to tell you what you should do, but I have a perspective I wanted to share…I’m not even sure how it will help, but maybe something in it will, and I feel led to share.

      I had a three-year serious relationship with a narcissist — and almost married him. Long story short (I’ll leave out the sundry ways it was hell), I left him…even though it was so hard to, as I truly gave my love fully to him. I just couldn’t handle his controlling ways anymore, so it really was like I chose to save myself (I didn’t know he was a narcissist at the time). Anyway, he ended up marrying someone else later down the road — but called me three days after they were married — to try to get me back! (I know, so absurd — besides making my whole body tingly numb from the shock of that call’s content, it made me feel ill, like this awful realization that something was so very wrong with him…he acted like axing their marriage after three days was no big deal…it was unbelievable).

      So about 6 months later, he started phone hoovering me off-and-on (I didn’t know it was hoovering at the time), and I just didn’t take his calls…until one day farther down the road, he left me this voicemail — sounding totally unlike himself, telling me how psycho his wife was, and that he was really sick. I called him back. I really didn’t buy all the BS about his wife being a Wicked Witch, but he threw in the serious health issue he’d developed from “stress” into the mix, which really threw me off, because he never once whined or acted weak or anything but totally in control when I was with him — he said how his family really wanted him to divorce her, for his own sake — and there I was, Miss Empath+++…feeling compassionate. I really didn’t feel right turning him away in that state…I actually tried to encourage him to go to marriage counseling, and I was always taking the “Well, maybe think of it from her side” approach, so I was like the opposite of a homewrecker…but without my knowing it, he started divorce proceedings, in the midst of those calls with me. His family later told me it’s because him talking to me again was the impetus he needed to divorce her, and they even encouraged this! I can’t tell you the amount of guilt I felt over that – gawd that was so awful. I lost so much sleep & could hardly eat…I ended up on this site, after googling stuff to try to figure out what was wrong with him. So…then I had to learn to live with the fact that there’s some poor woman somewhere out there who never wanted a divorce from him (his family confirmed that fact) — yet she got one, and I was at least some factor in that, however unintended. Yes, she was married to a narcissist, but she apparently still wanted to be with him…so I had such mixed, hard feelings to sort out after that. You have no idea how long it took me to shed that guilt off myself. And…(it gets better and better)…I was only *ever* offering up friendship to the narc to begin with so…

      I’m in a committed relationship with another guy, and now my ex-narc BF is (pretty much) stalking me, as in watching me (outside) my home…whenever he passes through town (every 2-3 months). Despite all this, I’ve done so much inner work (on boundaries/false guilt) and learned so much on here that I’m actually doing very well — I’m even peaceful.

      I tell you this to say that there is just no way to predict or control what narcissists will do. If I’ve forgiven myself for thinking I was trying to help him, and I realize now it was just so out of my hands at the time, without knowing what I do now…I hope you will be gentle & accepting with yourself about however it is you feel or whatever it is you decide to do. It’s not your fault, any of it. They have a disorder, and it just happens to be one that ropes in so many innocent people (in a variety of ways, which my example undoubtedly shows)…& they cause a lot of unnecessary chaos and pain. It’s sad, as it’s the disorder at work…but it’s not okay for other people to get hurt because of that.

      I’m glad you found this site. I’m sorry for all the tears you are shedding over this, but tears can be healing too. Please know you will heal further from this, with personal reflection, new insights and time…and it will make you stronger in ways you can’t fully appreciate just yet. Still, I wish that it had not happened to you. It’s a journey that requires pacing…take care of yourself & focus on your kids. Do a day at a time, giving your heart & mind time to process.

      Stay strong. You’ll end up finding out just how strong you are…and it will be much more than you thought.

      1. Kristin says:

        You have an amazing and inspiring story that not only helped me but I’m sure so many others as well.

        “I tell you this to say that there is just no way to predict or control what narcissists will do. If I’ve forgiven myself for thinking I was trying to help him, and I realize now it was just so out of my hands at the time, without knowing what I do now…I hope you will be gentle & accepting with yourself about however it is you feel or whatever it is you decide to do”.

        I totally agree with you and hope the narc will be understanding but that is naive and wishful thinking. For so long I had hope that he would behave until I could leave but not hope of reconciliation. That thought process needs to change. They DO have a disorder and it is important for us all to remind ourselves of that fact.

        “Do a day at a time, giving your heart & mind time to process.”

        Great advice, thank you so much.

        1. Caroline-is-fine says:

          You’re most welcome~and thank you for your kind words & graciousness.

          I understand your self-reflection, in stating: “I totally agree with you and hope the narc will be understanding but that is naïve and wishful thinking.”

          For me, the hardest part in this entire ordeal/entanglement has been to maintain understanding on what should be the most straightforward aspect: that narcissists don’t have empathy. It’s the most simple thing to remember, yet it’s such a tough concept to grasp & continue to hold onto, in all its applications – at least for me. Even now, with this off-and-on stalking aspect, I find myself needing to revisit the “no empathy” concept, digging into what that lack of empathy *means,* so that I can make the reasonably best, safest choices for myself. I think we just can’t count on the person with NPD for anything specific (good or bad), in terms of their reactions, since their intentions/motivations are hidden from us.

          Pretty much, it’s helped me most to work on myself: to stay calm, logical and also a bit more protective of myself. There’s nothing at all wrong with us having a healthy amount of care, love and protection for ourselves, just as we naturally give those aspects to others. As for your specific situation and how best to manage the specifics (depending on your decisions), I’m sure HG can assist you well. As hard as the situation is for you, maybe it will also help to remember that it’s an experience…in life, we get some really hard ones, but it’s helped me to focus on the positive change and deeper growth that can come from all sorts of experiences. Sometimes, if it’s a particularly traumatic experience (I had one of those in childhood), if I can’t point to any specific good to come from it…I try to simply focus on how I may be better able to understand or comfort someone else later, in their own pain or confusion — because I can relate to the experience.

          Wishing you extra strength & steadiness as you walk through this, Kristin. I do have an extra measure of peace & joy today, not less, so I hope that encourages you.❤

          1. Kristin says:


            You write so beautifully and spoke to my heart. Everything you said is true and we have to constantly remind ourselves of that. I agree on focusing on ourselves (for once!) and on the positive in every situation. Like many of you, I have had some very difficult things happen in my life but I don’t regret them because they have made me stronger and who I am today. I know not everyone believes in God, but He has prepared me for horrible trials throughout the years and brought me out on he other side stronger than ever. I know He allowed me to finally realize my husband was a narc and finding HG and all of the wonderful angels here was no mistake.

            One last thing, I really struggle to see my narc as not being empathetic because, although abusive, he has an empathetic side when it comes to our children. I do not see him as all or none in that regard and that is when the guilt comes in. Saying that does not mean that I love him or want to stay, it is just my emotional thinking getting in the way. One more question for HG when we talk.

            Thank you, thank you and blessings to you. xx

          2. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Hi, Kristin~I’ll be back online this next week & look forward to replying to this…I wanted to reflect more on a few things you said, as I so respect your openness & pure-of-heart message.🤍
            Wishing Peace&Love beyond your expectations, for 2020❤

          3. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Thank you, Kristin – that’s very giving of you.🤍

            I thought of you when I recently went to see Frozen 2, with a fun group of “children-at-heart” friends. I thought of how overwhelming it must feel for you to navigate through all of this within your family, feeling the weight of upcoming big decisions…so I wanted to share a clarifying nugget with you, from the movie: “When you don’t know what your future holds, do the next right thing.” Yes, it’s a simplistic thought – and yes, it’s just a whimsical movie…but I think there’s actually a fair amount of wisdom in that message. I did think of you, so I wanted to pass that along. I point you back to your inner self (your faith as a part of that), in focusing on what the “next right thing” would be, especially in regard to your children…

            We can all look at what people say and do (disordered individuals or not)…and come to what seem to be logical conclusions, but they will still be rather finite, imperfect conclusions (with knowledge, experience and insight, we can certainly do a pretty good job at it – but we can never be 100% certain of our analysis/accuracy). We’re all only human, after all… we’re in flux daily, and with so many internal and external factors at play – not to mention all the unknown factors…so it’s just darn hard to navigate through all that and expect ourselves to have “perfect knowledge.” We can and most assuredly *should* seek knowledge (like on NPD) – and apply it as conscientiously as we can…

            You’re doing the best you can, with what you increasingly know and what you increasingly feel convicted about, in the ways you mentioned, concerning your husband’s (apparent) NPD. In regard to your husband’s interactions with the children, I’m not someone who will say I know someone’s heart for absolute certain, including narcissists. I understand the disorder and what it means for the narcissist & the harm they inflict on others… I just don’t go there, on a heart judgment. Even though lack of empathy is at the core of the disorder, I’ll still not put myself in a position to be judge nor jury on anyone’s heart…and I don’t really think we should nor need to be. Instead, I focus on elements of the disorder/consequences of engagement. With NPD, I use the head (knowledge/awareness), as well as my heart (not ET – but deeper wisdom & intuition). I think if you continue to have a reasoned approach in understanding NPD (all that the disorder entails), you’ll be able to see truth in how it has played out, in your own situation. You will realize (more & more) that you can’t control that aspect – but you *can* control yourself and how you handle things, which is actually a lot of real hope. You’re on a walk now to gain clarity, to do the next right thing…”Wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove” also comes to mind.

            There’s no reason you need to separate your compassion toward your husband from the situation. He has a disorder he didn’t choose to have. It’s also not okay for others to be abused/put into fear or chaos because of his disorder. You can hold both views, as you walk your walk, as you make decisions. You have witnessed what you view as your husband’s acts of care with your children, without knowing for certain what that means. If you ask HG, he will explain it in factual terms, related to narcissism. If you choose to look at it as a form of grace to your children, you have every right to believe that. Do you know what motivates those behaviors with your children? Do you know that his manner with the children will not change? Are there other aspects that cause harm to them? These are some questions you’ll undoubtedly be considering. But can you look into your husband’s heart and know for certain he does not feel any degree of empathy, ever?…of course not. I think all the experts (HG among them) say there’s never empathy with NPD – never a drop of it, as those of us with real empathy know it. But, of course, it’s not one of those things that can be proven or not, so maybe you can decide to let that element go for now. So you learn more…give yourself time to process…and allow for more wisdom to come your way.

            As for your guilty feelings at times, I suggest you fully claim that you needing/wanting to see the truth of the situation and pursuing what truly is best for your children (and you) is an absolute guilt-free zone. The God I believe in would never condemn you. I think you should take that false guilt right off the table. You know what NPD is now, and you can ask HG more details regarding your husband with the children – but I would not even put yourself in the position as the final arbitrator on your husband’s heart. There is no need to do that. So keep your loving heart, as there is deep insight contained in it that is of much positive use (not of the “emotional thinking” kind) + continue to build your sound logic on how to handle things as you move along.

            So where are you headed today?

            The next step, that is all…the next right thing.🤍

          4. Kristin says:

            It means a lot that you put so much time and thought into writing back. You and so many others have been incredibly gracious and patient and it will not be forgotten. If I didn’t know better, I would say you all are HG apprentices! Wow, such amazing advice. I think “When you don’t know what your future holds, do the next right thing” should be in the forefront of our minds especially when we get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the situation. I am already finding that it is one step forward and two steps back but progress is being made.

            “…it’s just darn hard to navigate through all that and expect ourselves to have “perfect knowledge.” Yes, and as empaths, at least for me, we strive for perfect knowledge that doesn’t exist. My need to know drives this so I can have complete understanding and check that block off in order to move to the next issue. I analyze the crap out of everything and it is hard to turn off.

            I will be honest, when I submitted the narc detector questionnaire but before I received HG’s decision, there was a part of me that was afraid that he would say my husband was not a narc! I knew he was off in the head and abusive but needed confirmation because this is all too much sometimes. I guess when I question his empathy towards the kids (that I perceive as genuine) it is my guilt for wanting to leave, playing with my mind. I am not questioning HG, I need his opinion and advice and am relieved that he confirmed what I suspected in my heart. I am battling my own thoughts right now in conjunction with the constant provoking, baiting etc. that comes with being with a narc. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy and I’m sure you can relate.

            Like you, I will never judge what is in someone’s heart because we will never truly know, it is pointless. I am steadily gaining understanding of the disorder and what it entails. I know there are no two narcs that are alike and it is not all or none. The fact that it is a disorder actually makes me feel sorry for narcs, they didn’t ask to be that way and who am I to leave and give up on him? I want to help and fix things but I have tried that for this long and lost myself in the process; I know he can’t and won’t change and need to keep reminding myself of that. I need HG to guide me to think logically because I am failing miserably. I see so many of you that have gone through this and made it to the other side. I hear these horrible stories and think what do I have to complain about but I know that it is all relative.

            “But, of course, it’s not one of those things that can be proven or not, so maybe you can decide to let that element go for now. So, you learn more…give yourself time to process…and allow for more wisdom to come your way.”
            I needed to hear that! Because this is all so new, it is all I can think about and I easily get wrapped around the axel on the little things because I am the ET queen! I do not know what is in his heart or why he does what he does and like you said, nothing can be proven. He doesn’t even know why he does what he does! By “giving me permission” you have helped free the struggle in my mind because everyone has to work through this in their own way. I love that you said I could choose to look at how his perceived empathy is a form of grace because it could be so much worse. As for your guilty feelings at times, I suggest you fully claim that you needing/wanting to see the truth of the situation and pursuing what truly is best for your children (and you) is an absolute guilt-free zone.” Once again, you are correct. We are empaths, it is as engrained in us as being a narc is in others. I am about to get my empath detector back and know that it will help me understand myself so much better. Of course, it will also appeal to my need to know which will not be a bad thing at this point.

            I have read your comments over and over just so I could process what you said. I continue to be amazed at the strength of the angels on this site. Some would have given up when with situations not nearly as bad. You and others are example of how to take a hellish situation and come out stronger on the other end. I cry when I read the supportive posts from you and everyone else because it has touched me on such a deep level. I could write more but I’m afraid my brain is fried, in a good way!

            Thank you, sending hugs your way.

          5. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Big hug to you…I’m so glad HG (and the narc detector) & the site is/has helped you so much. That’s wonderful. It’s really hard for people who’ve never actually been in a close relationship/entanglement with a narcissist to fully understand…so when you come to a place where someone (HG) validates what you have been struggling with – when you’ve felt so lost, alone and in emotional pain…and then him telling you it IS a big deal — and it is actually this real disorder you’ve dealt with — and it’s *why* you’re been struggling…it just means an awful lot. It feels like an emotional anchor – just knowing! It allows your brain to have a starting point, to begin to process it…and slowly put the pieces together…and heal, bit by bit…and ultimately, grow stronger from it.

            I want to assure you that everything you described about your conflicted feelings/ups & downs through this are part of the journey to healing…unfortunately, the only way to get over very hard things is through them. But it’s not a marathon, so I hope you will be especially patient with yourself. Just being on the site – consulting with HG – taking the detector test – talking to others and reflecting – is a lot! You can be proud of yourself for all those steps…yes, it’s all part of the progress. It’s not a linear journey.

            I can relate to how you are feeling, except one thing: I am not my own worst enemy. I’m actually my biggest cheerleader. I talk kindly to myself. I comfort myself. I encourage myself. I protect myself. I stay true to myself. It makes a difference, and I only tell you this as a concept that you may think of, when you’re being hard on yourself, as you go through all you’ll need to…

            Guilt had been an area for me, at certain times, that would automatically kick in, in the past…like a sickening feeling in my stomach that I could, should always do more, more, more for others — or do better, better, better…but through this, I came to recognize that voice was not mine — it was someone else’s, from my childhood (a perfectionistic parent). The other part of my guilt came from replaying things in my mind that were outside of my control — mainly, if I could have done anything at all to save a childhood friend from death (it wasn’t logical thinking – it was me searching my mind on how I could have been where she was when it happened) — when I worked through that on my own — as weird as it sounds, it was like lovingly parenting myself through the trauma, over a long period of time, bit by bit — I found that the false guilt I had put on myself was completely released. My faith plays a part in my emotion health and peace as well. But I’m just a big believer that you need to go internal, for real peace, assurance and strength. I don’t look to the left or the right — to him or to her — for where I should be at, or how I should be, or feel. I look internally, and I just walk my own walk…maybe thinking of it like that will help. It’s lovely that you are weary but still have compassion for other people’s suffering, and I’ve seen some very hard things on this site too, and it’s very upsetting, I agree…but there’s every reason to have real hope that others can walk through their hardships and come out stronger and healed as well, no matter what they’ve been through.❤

            So if you ever need an empath to encourage you to speak kindly, gently and encouraging to yourself, come find me.😉 It’s not like I walk around telling myself: “You’re awesome! You’ve got nothing to work on! You’re rocking it! Done!” No, that just ain’t right. 😂 I challenge myself to improve, in ways I’m convicted to, but I’m not heavy-handed with myself…I love to laugh at myself (I can be ridiculous!), & I try to quickly admit my mistakes and try to conscientiously do better when it’s called for – but I also will stop myself if I ever start rehashing or get a critical internal voice. I’m always going to be a work in progress, and that’s a good thing. Same with you…and, well, everyone! But I do take care of myself and have a healthy dose of self-love and self-respect, which anyone can begin to built up, at any moment in time. You just have to be aware of what thoughts you are telling yourself…and keep an eye on how you’re allowing others to treat you (healthy boundaries).

            I know you’re in the midst of it now…but remember that the more you take care of yourself, the more you will also have inside yourself to “fight the good fight” you need to…and be able to give to others in your life (not referring to the narcissist here) in a way where you are not depleted. I wanted to share this (sorry so long) because I know you have kids, so you have a lot on your plate.

            I’m so glad you are here and feeling supported.

          6. Kristin says:

            You have validated and explained why I am so overwhelmed. Like I have said before, it was a relief at first but I had no idea of the magnitude that comes with knowing. I am already in a better place than I was a week ago and am making progress despite the daily challenge of living and working with my narc. I was broken when I started this journey so I am having to find strength where I thought there was none left.

            I need to change my mindset and talk positively to myself as you do. I like who I am but the constant berating and manipulating has caused me to put myself last and I am empty. If I cannot encourage myself who the heck will? Thank you for brining that to light.

            I am the queen of replaying things in my head and it becomes obsessive at times. I need to make a conscience effort to stop and finally begin to take care of myself. I have relied on my strength for 28 years so I try to remind myself of that and push ahead. Every time I reread what you wrote I see something new. My reply is not doing justice to your comments because I am a bit brain dead tonight. I had a consult with HG today, got my empath results and two more packages that I need to listen to. It is all good and he is giving me the tools, as are you, to get stronger.

            My mother knows about all of this but really all I have is God, HG and you all, but who could ask for anything better? My life has taken a 180 since finding this site and it never ceases to amaze me at the strength and support from everyone. Although this journey is extremely painful, it is necessary to finally be free and I keep telling myself this. I know that I will get to the point where I am not crying every day because of what others have shared. Crying is a good release because holding it all in makes things so much worse. It’s just not fun when it hits when I’ at the store! 😂

            Please know that I have saved your comments and will keep reading over them. I wanted to write back and elaborate on more of what you have said but my brain is mush. God bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

          7. Caroline-is-fine says:

            You’re so welcome, and I’m so glad your Mom understands and is supportive of you. That’s wonderful, and that’s such a help with regard to your children as well.❤

            Whether because of a narcissistic entanglement or not, we *all* can get stuck in our own heads, ruminating at times…in the past, I found keeping a journal helped. If I continued thinking something stressful (negative or anxiety-provoking), I’d write down the thought – and try to take a more objective view of it, by reflecting. Was the thought correct? Was it fair? Was it helpful? If not, I’d counter it with logic. I can give an example, but you probably get the idea. I do think it’s a pretty effective way to hit the “pause button” on negative (often incorrect) thinking, which oftentimes just keeps running in our mind– unless we challenge it with truth & logic. It’s like a disciplined way to think more clearly & be fair with ourselves.

            Once you make a conscious effort to do this over time (if you want to try it), I think you’ll be amazed at how you will stop feeding yourself so many negative distortions. Who *wouldn’t* get intermittently bummed out if they were (in essence) brainwashing themselves with such negativity/condemnation? It’s important what we’re telling ourselves, because we’re walking around with ourselves 24/7!😉

            I hope you’re getting extra rest & taking care of yourself during this stressful time. Thinking of you.🤍

          8. Kristin says:

            Such great advice as always! I started keeping a “journal” of sorts when I first discovered that my husband was a narc. It is therapeutic to get it all out and then to look back and see how things have changed for the better.

            “If I continued thinking something stressful (negative or anxiety-provoking), I’d write down the thought – and try to take a more objective view of it, by reflecting. Was the thought correct? Was it fair? Was it helpful? If not, I’d counter it with logic.” I will do my best to try this as my mind spins in a continuous circle and I need to “hit the pause button.”

            I hope you are doing well and thank you so much for your support. Blessings to you 🤗💜

          9. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Thanks, Kristin…I’m doing well. Blessings to you too~keep moving forward, at your own pace, and remember to feel proud of your every step.🤗

    7. Violetta says:

      The problem is interpreting what you see. There are so many things that make non-narcs think, “Why in the hell would anybody do that?”

      We understand the impulse behind many illegal or immoral things, even if we would never do them: being desperate or greedy enough to steal, being angry enough to kill, being attracted enough to cheat. When we see narcs going to elaborate lengths to cheat others out of things that are virtually worthless, hurting people without having a grudge that would explain if not excuse it, using sex with people they can hardly bear to touch
      to degrade and destroy both the Dirty Little Secret and the scorned partner, we can’t process it. It’s not just that we wouldn’t do it; we don’t even get the motive behind it.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people abusing power in a social circle, the family, or the workplace for short-term satisfaction, even if in the long-term, it would destroy a friendship, relationship, or a career. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen self-righteous do-gooders announce they want to “help,” make everything worse, then wax indignant with their victims not only for providing the Narc with failure but often for responding to someone else’s attempts more successfully.

      Without knowing about Fuel, none of it makes a damned bit of sense. Once you know, it all makes sense. Most of us still wouldn’t want to do it any more than we’d want to go around biting people in the neck and drinking their blood, but we get the basic concept that our emotions are narc food.

      I’ve pretty much stopped kicking myself for not seeing through the “sympathetic” teacher, the “encouraging” friend, the boss who happily sacrificed productivity and eventually, an entire business in the quest to destroy employee morale, etc. How would I have known? I don’t think anything in the usual human education about Right and Wrong, whether it’s in a religion or just being a “nice” person, prepares us for people like this.

      1. Kristin says:

        “The problem is interpreting what you see. There are so many things that make non-narcs think, “Why in the hell would anybody do that?”
        “Without knowing about Fuel, none of it makes a damned bit of sense. Most of us still wouldn’t want to do it any more than we’d want to go around biting people in the neck and drinking their blood, but we get the basic concept that our emotions are narc food.”

        Amen to both of those. The process of leaning what they are finally makes sense and I find myself looking back at how I questioned the things he did and not understanding why. So cliche, but the blinders have been removed and I see the light. I am glad to know that you eventually stopped kicking yourself and were able to move past it. 🙂

        1. Violetta says:

          Still in the process, Kristin, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was.

          1. Kristin says:


            I am so glad to hear that! Keep moving forward and taking care of you so you can finally be free. XX

    8. lisk says:


      You *are* the bad guy if you *don’t* break up your family by jettisoning the Narc.

      1. Kristin says:

        True, especially when I see the effect it is having on my daughter. Thank you.

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