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143 thoughts on “Why Does the Narcissist Withdraw Sex?”
Wow! This was incredibly educational and terrifying and oddly reassuring. I feel like you broke down my entire last relationship. I just left and went full no contact with my abusive ex narc in February. He did this VERY frequently and then accused me of being a nympho, just like you said, and then would pity play and say I needed someone else to fulfill my needs or accuse me of having an affair. All while he was being unfaithful with at least 3 other fuel supplies (just at the time of break up, over the course of our relationship the count was significantly higher). I suppose its terrifying that this is so formulaic but a relief to know that this isn’t because I am anything he said I was, but rather I was being manipulated to respond and trauma bond in a very specific way. I am truly sorry for all others who have gone through or are going through this, it really is one of the worst feelings.
Mine withheld affection. Sometimes just kissing. Sometimes sex entirely. Usually it was because he had someone else he was trying to get with. It took me awhile but I finally figured out the pattern.
Yeesssss!! It took me years to figure this out. As an empath I always tried to give him the benefit of doubt, tried to see things through his broken heart & love him harder…. but when we pull our heads out, wake up and start paying attention to the f*cking ‘patterns’ is when we realize that we are actually dealing with monsters! The realization is heartbreaking.
I literally experienced these on a legit time frame… every 11/12 weeks guaranteed like clockwork: The sex & affection stops, a few days later he’s raging/saying the most hateful things to me bc of a perceived (made up) infraction, that never even happened. Then the silent treatment ensues bc “he isn’t putting up with the drama that I’m constantly creating”
…every 11-12 weeks.
So my question to you is did you experience these patterns in an actual time frame as well?
Seems like to me, in my experience with my partners, a withdraw of any attention or connection is an immediate punishment with a hanging participle. Why did/he or she stop initiating sex or refusing sex? Why did he come all the way over here and then not want sex. It’s the mystery, in which lies the strength. Will I gain favor again and be rewarded? It’s very much a punishment and a puzzle at the same time.
HG this is exactly what happened me , The first sniff of devaluation and I immediately went into no contact.It’s was almost instinct.
I was surprised even shocked at how fast this reflex action occurred for me .I didn’t even wait to listen to the excuses . I think it’s due to my understanding from listening and reading here.
Is this a positive sign for me .
A while ago, a tv advert….. a computer generated goat is seen skipping (rather too happily…..) wearing ‘designer’ clothes……. a couple are inside the house – watching the goat (LOL)…. the wife mentions summat about the husband buying the goat designer clothes (LOL)…… and the husband responds…… but why has he got tears in his eyes?? (LOLOL)……
Yup – triangulation with a GOAT. It’s a TK Maxx advert…….. funny though, not seen it for a while…… well, I suppose I haven’t really watched a lot of tv these days……
My upper mid range has done this to me and loves to put the BS of COVID scare as a reason. Total BULL!!! All it had done for me is to let the deep feelings I has for the man DIE!!! Oh once in a while he will text and say “love you a lot”, but I know those are only words and to a narc, words are cheap . Actions speak louder than words and his current actions speak volumes!!! It doesn’t hurt anymore because now I have lost total attraction to him . Once I lose this, I have no desire to go back. I have no attraction to him because there is NO excitement inside my heart , NO emotion anymore. I just laugh inside if he does even talk to me because I know what he truly is!!
Thank you HG for all your fabulous information and guidance!!!
You are welcome.
My two narcs (intimate relationships long time ago) did not withdraw sex. Both were somatic. One was terrible in bed anyway (the worst I ever had) and with the other on there was still sex during devaluation, a bit less though and not so phatastic as it was at the beginning, but there was no withholding.
The was just a “pseudo-withholding” in a non-intimate relationship in order to make me feel bad about myself, attracking my narcissistc traits (see my comments below). But wow that was already ego-shattering enough! As mentioned, I felt kind of unattractive and undesirable as a woman.
“I felt kind of unattractive and undesirable as a woman” – that is how I felt……. it does not do your confidence any good at all…… nearly 5 years, no wonder I doubted myself….. it can be very damaging in more ways than one.
I´m sorry what happened to you 🙁
Glad somebody understands! Thank you! 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Dear HG the God
Thank you for so perfectly explaining this confusing phenomenon.
The UMR Elite withdrew sex or did sex with choking etc when I was in devaluation.
Even in 2 years of devaluation the LMR always wanted sex and was always gentle. So I wonder if he was actually a Narcissist.
That choking element in addition to biting, smacking, sleep sex etc were all part of the dialog with the summer narc I talked with. It was all mental because we lived a continent apart but, while a lot of it I kind of laughed off, when the choking thing came up, it was a huge red flag, even to me. I am so sorry you had to go through anything like this and I’m glad you’re away from it now.
That is so sweet. Thank you so much A Victor. He only choked lightly, it was a gesture and didn’t hurt.
I’m glad that was only dialogue. I hope everything is going well for you now A Victor.
I wanted to ask The God, HG, is it normal for a woman to be extremely forward with a man? Always popping up, positioning herself with him, putting herself in between when he talks to me, asking him on dates, flirting. He doesn’t reciprocate. He persues me. Have they had sex?
She acts like she has a claim to him.
Must be confusing and excruciating for her if they’ve had sex 😰
That reads like normal behaviour for someone who is a narcissist or is narcissistic – sense of entitlement, poor boundary recognition, manipulative behaviours, lack of awareness, lack of emotional empathy.
Alexandra from Josie and the Pussycats! Second time I’ve mentioned it this week, I believe.
Whitney, things improve all the time. I only have cried over my dad twice this week, I think, you know, just missing him. But otherwise, all is getting better, thanks.
Glad to hear you have been able to cry some of those tears, AV. I’m sure you do miss him xox Things do improve and it is always good to hear things are getting better.
This is one of the worst things you can do to a person, especially to a woman!
It makes you feel unattractive, unwanted, makes you feel bad about yourself! Interestingly, no matter if you want the sex or not, but if somebody is rejecting you like this, it makes you feel unattractive and unwanted as a person. It´s ego-destroying! Ego-shattering!
And I think especially towards a woman it´s extremely brutal, because no matter what, we want to feel attractive, we want to feel desirable as ladies. This is just a hammer blow into the ego of a woman.
I completely agree with you but it happens, it happened to me throughout my relationship.. It was awful and I learned to accept it . We don’t need these people in our life. There will be someone out there that will appreciate it and we want us for who we really are .Here is to new beginnings.
I would NEVER accept it! For me this would be horror! I experienced just a mild version of it in a non-intimate relationship with a narc (who made “lovely” negative comments about sex & stuff) and once when my husband (a “Normal”) and I were too stressed and too tired so that sex was neglected a bit for a while! But THIS was already enough! It didn´t take long until I had to have a serious talk with Mr.! 😉 But already this was ego-destroying, accidentally though . 😀 This just happens unintended.
Sometimes you need to accept it for different reasons and believe me it was hard. I was also faithful so I give myself credit for that. It is brutal knowing you have needs that are not met.
Glad I am out !
Especially SUCH needs. Sex is VERY important for me in an intimate relationship and outside of the relationship, I like to feel desirable, just without infidelity 🙂
Me too ! Sex is very important I totally agree with you. It would feel wonderful to feel desirable when the right person comes and can actually appreciate it and want it.
I don’t even remember what it’s like, it’s been so long. And, this is my ex’s last laugh. Ugh.
I think that rejection through the withdrawal of sex can affect one’s ego and self-esteem for some people , or women, as you specified. But not everyone’s self worth is based on whether or they are sexually desirable. While being made to feel sexually desirable might feel nice but it is not the end all/be all and rejection is not shattering for all women.
When my ex withdrew sex, I missed the physical stress release it allowed, the intimacy and opportunity to drop my boundaries. I realize now that I am always tightly controlled in my day to day life in terms of how I present to the outer world – I do not easily allow people to know the real me. The one area where I felt safe to drop my guard and be myself is in the intimate arena with my partner. When he took that away, while undermining my day to day function and actually being the source of much stress, I missed it significantly but it didn’t destroy my ego.
Oh, guess there came my somatic narcy traits, huh? 😉 I personally want to feel sexually desirable, no matter what, no matter what relationship it is. I mean: You don´t have to really DO IT. It´s just wonderful to see that you are desirable and desired. FUEL! 😉 😀
I´m high in narcissistic traits and daughter of a somatic narc – guess it shows! 😀 😉
Because it was important to you (feeling sexually attractive) is likely why it was weaponized against you – to gain maximal negative fuel from it since you find it so upsetting.
In my case, it wasn’t how my ex was going to get maximal negative fuel, but he still got his fuel. He never stopped making me feel less desirable, even when in devaluation but he did use guilt and frustration. They will just use whatever works for a particular victim when it come to sex – mine deprived me of that outlet in a different way.
That should have read “He never stopped making me feel desirable…in devaluation”… which, in itself, was quite perplexing.
“Because it was important to you (feeling sexually attractive) is likely why it was weaponized against you – to gain maximal negative fuel from it since you find it so upsetting.”
AMEN SISTER! 🙁
They use you weakest point against you to draw the maximum negative fuel. 🙁
WhoCares, my workplace narc was the exact same way. He never stopped making me fell desirable sexually. He would tell me I blew his mind, rocked his world and that I was sexy as hell. All this during devaluation and even after disengagement. So it wasn’t the sex that turned him off, it was me. At least that’s how it made me feel.
Thank-you Leigh for sharing your experience.
Yes, mine continued to compliment me well into devaluation as well. But I knew it was not authentic; it was quite unrealistic actually because he would compliment aspects of my body that I knew were never the same after childbirth so it actually left me feeling icky…it was overstated on his part.
So that is how you know it is a ruse; but it still feeds ones vanity – even if they are telling you how beautiful you are, they are choosing a manipulation to maximize the emotional reaction from the recipient of the words. If mine had made a realistic observation of my body post-child birth but said he still loved me, that would have garnered less emotional reaction from me. But what he chose to say was a bit over the top – which added a layer of puzzlement to the other emotions it evoked, therefore – increased emotional impact.
None of it is real, even if they are telling you are the hottest creature to walk the earth (and objectively some might agree); it is only said to get an emotional reaction.
We got the puzzle solved! I asked H.G. (consultation) and we found out that this narc was more cerebral. He´s an elite but elite means just mish-mash. Doesn´t have to be a 50:50 mix between cerebral and somatic. So, this narc was more on the cerebral side with some somatic traits!
H.G. ROCKS! 😉
Fucking A I do.
Good to know you got it solved Leela! My ex was elite as well.
As we found out: My ex-non-intimate narc is a cerebral with somatic components. He´s a “body conscious cerebral who is also into sports and fitness, a little bit somatic but mainly focuses on intellect and art”
Interesting, thanks for sharing. HG’s findings are always precise and illuminating.
For a long time, I had thought my ex had significant victim-y traits but HG’s determination was ‘elite’ based on a selection of both somatic and cerebral qualities present in my ex narcissist.
Same here! I thought first he has a lot of victim-traits but that was only the good old Pity Play of a middle midranger type A. It makes perfectly sense. He´s a middle mid range “false angel”, focused mainly on intellect and art, but is also ambitious at sports, he´s body-conscious and takes some degree of self-care. He mainly gains fuel from intellect, art, patronizing and correcting others and false kindness.
It’s interesting. I thought mine was a victim type originally too. But yes it was just pity plays.
I met two victims fairly recently and Jesus they are in a league of their own with regards to pity plays. Vaguely able to dole out some compliments when you’re ignoring them but within a few moments it’s back to the dying duck. Fuck! I can’t bear them, not for one moment. And to think there would have been a time when I had sympathy for these people? How everyone and everything in their life is awful. I can’t think of one specifically pre knowledge or post knowledge except for the two recent ones and that was only due to circumstance. I do not ever wish to meet a victim narc ever again. I mean it would be nice not to meet any narcs but I think any type is preferable to the victim narc.
“It’s interesting. I thought mine was a victim type originally too. But yes it was just pity plays.”
I echo your sentiments Alexis on victim narcs, the normal mid-range pity plays make my skin crawl as it is.
So am I, Leela, both high in narc traits (vanity and jealousy mostly) and daughter of a very likely somatic narc. Hence my dirty component, and why I ended up cheating with another somatic narc. I, like you, need to feel desired, otherwise it’s not an intimate relationship, it’s just a roommate.
Exactly, exactly and 1.000times exactly! My main narcy-traits are defiance, pride and – hey, guess what? Vanity. 😉
I do have a little bit of everything. In fact, I had them all. But those two were the most prominent ones, followed by pride. I also have all the empath traits in a more moderate combination, though my highest ones were Love devotee and Justice. I don’t like looking at it though, it makes me a little sad to know I’m such a horrible human being when I see the narcissistic percentage.
I have no problems with that. I´m 0 % love devotee 😀 I have a little bit of everything from the narcissistic traits, most prominent defiance and pride, then vanity, envy, anger. Main empathic traits: truthseeker, justice, caring, compassion. 🙂
Hi Sweetest Perfection, your comment regarding being a horrible human being made me a little sad. I have a different take on it, my narcissistic traits are ones I want to reach into a bit more, growing them a bit, learning about them and when it is wise to use them. They are there, in my way of thinking, as a form of protection and a strength if I need to draw from them. I believe that the chaos of my upbringing taught me to hide them instead of teaching me how to use them effectively and that the hiding has stunted many things in my life. But, I am still here, even at my, haha, advanced, age :), and as such I can still learn to use them to whatever extent I need for the time I have left. Hopefully to help me avoid future bad choices in relationships. I also trust that my empathic traits will never allow me to misuse them toward innocent people, not intentionally anyway. I am prone to blunders unintentionally and I expect there to be a learning curve, but as an empath, I generally tend to fall on the side of not hurting someone and thinking I have than vice versa. I used to feel shameful for any feelings of pride or vanity or whatever but those traits are part of me, I may as well harness them and put them to use.
Thank you, AV. I just saw the percentage of narc traits and started feeling impostor syndrome: what if I’m a narcissist? What if I’m not really an empath and everybody but me realizes this, which is what happens most of the times? What if I have a nasty personality and do not really feel empathy but only react because I know it’s what it’s supposed to be done? I am aware of my vanity and my jealousy, in fact, triangulation was one of the worst manipulation tools my narc used against me. I’m also aware of my pride and my anger sometimes (I can be temperamental). But what shocked me is the percentage. I saw the red line next to the blue line and said to myself wtf! However it is true what you said about not demonstrating those traits against innocent people; I am never jealous of my beloved people, of my colleagues, or my neighbors, quite the opposite, I am ecstatic every time someone I know gets an achievement, a promotion, a new job, a piece of good news… I only get jealous or envious when I know it is not right or deserved, HG explained very well it goes with my empathic trait of justice. Still, I would rather see my chart all in blue. Like an angel, hahahaha.
Your chart all in blue? Bullcrap! 😉 Why? Because your narc-traits are there for SELF-DEFENSE! We NEED them! No reason to feel bad about them. Instead: Feel happy that you have a good and healthy self-defense. Our empathic traits keep our narc-traits in check anyway. No reason to worry about that. Narc-traits are OKAY and they are there for SELF-DEFENSE! 🙂
It’s like outrunning a bear. Standing next to me you look like a Saint, so I think you’re good.
NA, you can say whatever you want but we all know in reality you are just an adorable fluffy little Angel.
SP, I have been saying her growl is worse then her bite for years now. I like to think of her as a cuddly bear.
I’m happy to see you back here, FM1T!!! You were missed! Oh my, we used “fluffy” and “cuddly” to refer to NA… I won’t be back for a while, see ya!
Yep, we sure did! Right behind you Sista!
Sweetest Perfection, I know how you feel. I’m high in narcissistic traits too and sometimes that makes feel like a horrible person too. That’s what makes us different than the narcissist. We actually feel bad when we use one of those narcissistic traits. The narcissist doesn’t think they’re a horrible human being. EVER! They go around hurting people and act as if they do nothing wrong or that its ok because its justified. Also, to expand on what A Victor said, its what protects us from these MOFOs. If gives us balance. That’s what makes us better than the narcissist. Most times, I love my narcissistic traits. In fact, I embrace them.
Thanks so much everyone. I had an anxiety attack last night that has caused very unpleasant vertigo and dizzy spells for most of the day. Only now I can move my head and type without wanting to vomit or fainting. But I always try to see the silver lining, and in this case, the anxiety has opened my eyes about something important. I have noticed I had tried to hide many feelings lately and they never go away; they just build up and come out, one way or another. In my case it’s usually through anxiety crises. A good friend told me today all I have is grief. I agree. No matter how many trees I sacrifice and how much I try to fool myself, I am mourning. As soon as I realized what was going on I couldn’t stop crying. I am sad that I won’t be able to see my family. I am sad that my grandmother, who happened to live 100 years and who was one of my favorite people in the world passed away in August and I couldn’t say goodbye to her or even attend her funeral. I am sad that my niece is growing and I haven’t seen her since she was a baby. I am hurting that so many people are dying and so many other are not giving a shit about it. So you are right, Leigh, no matter how many narc traits I have, I still feel sorry for others and care for them. At least I have my vanity to wash my hair even when feeling dizzy AF.
On a funny note, you guys need to read the memes people have been sharing about patient # 2 to receive the vaccine in the UK: William Shakespeare!
I’m so very sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. Let your self grieve and also allow yourself to remember all of the special times you had with her. I know I don’t have to tell you that she is all around you sweetie. Take care of yourself. 😘💞
Thank you, FM1T. I know you know how much she means to me ❤️
Oh my goodness, SP! I hear you. I suffered from those “lovely” panic attacks too! I´m really sorry to hear that 🙁 Have you tried meditation? I used to help me a lot. Do enough sports and eat well, eat healthy! Sauna also helps (but due to Corona not possible at the moment). Eat a lot of Omega-3-fatty acids and go into nature as often as you can. Nature is wonderful and very calming.
You suffer them too? Mine are hereditary, it runs in the family! Yes I run and exercise at least 5 times a week and eat very healthy; I do meditate, I’m just an awoken anxious motherfucker hahaha! I can’t do sauna though, my blood pressure is always low so I faint easily.
Yes, I do suffer from them too, because I have a mood disorder. So every time when I become depressive I have them. They come with depressive episodes.
I am sorry about that, Leela. Do you notice when it’s about to happen? Are there any triggers? In my case, I don’t usually have anx attacks for exciting events: job interviews, nice travels, vacations… they all happen when I’m very introspective because a) I’m bored and think of my health too much or b) I’ve been putting off sad feelings that I didn’t want to confront. Running helps a lot, plus I get to know new music because I like changing my selection every time.
I do notice when it happens! I use to get dizzy, then I start to worry about my health, then I become light-headed, then I get a tingling sensation in my nose, hands and feet, hands and feet turn cold. Then I know: I must retreat and meditate! Or I apply a technique, which I was taught by my “good doctor”. 🙂 I use to have those attacks only during depressive episodes. Normally, when my mood is stable, I´m fine. Those attacks show only in depressive episodes in my case.
I just saw this, so sorry for the loss of your grandmother – 100 years, wow.
Thank you, WC. I hope I got her genes!
SP I am high in narcissistic traits too, but I choose to think of them as my suit of armor. They have served me well and help me to help others. I’m so sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing and all the other sad emotions you are feeling. I’m an advocate for crying, so let the tears flow. ❤️
Thank you, BC30. It’s actually very comforting to read that most of you also have a lot of narc traits and prefer to see them as tools to harden up and fight narcs instead of seeing them as flaws. If I think about it, it was my vanity and my jealousy which gave me the courage to tell the narc hasta la vista, baby. So yes, I’ll adopt a more proactive attitude! Thanks for the support ❤️
Look, SP, you ‘parading’ around as James Spader is WTF freak-out. A major WTF freak-out. I have a really excellent photo of a pepper that I took from a bag of ‘wonky’ (LOLOL) vegetables….. it’s on my phone….. yeah, fk it, I may upload it…… it doesn’t belong to anybody, but me….. cos I ate it….. LOL….. tasty too…..
Asp Emp, you would be very excited to know that they have this same picture in poster size at Amazon, Walmart, and other convenient online venues… “all I want for Christmas, is…..”
Got a lot of narc-traits too and they have a lot of positive sides! They protect you, they defend you! I´m positive about them! 🙂
Hell yeah! Now I feel empowered, I can use my super vanity punch and my jealousy supersonic x-rays to fight back! Hahaha
And I use my super ultra defiance punch, my pride shield and my super vanity kick! 😉
We sound like the Powerpuff Girls.
Speaking of crying, BC30: I got extremely emotional just a moment ago because I received a group email from my students saying I am one of the very few professors who really cared for them during the pandemic. Damn, I’ve been crying all week for one thing or the other!!! I don’t know if this happens to you too but once I start crying, let’s say, because this note by my students moved me, I can’t stop; I cry for my family, for my grandma, for the pandemic, for BLM, for the children of immigrants in cages, for refugees in the coasts of Europe, for climate change, for world peace… it’s a domino effect of crying. I’m a mess.
SP, “Speaking of crying, BC30: I got extremely emotional just a moment ago…”
That is super sweet and thoughtful of your students!! 💕
I think it’s my contagion that I suffer a lot of secondary trauma from my work. When that dam bursts, I cry for all things since the dawn of time. 😭
BC30, I’m sorry about you having to feel like that at your work! Why is that? I don’t usually feel sad at my work as I love my classes, but I feel murdering instincts about the narc I work with from time to time. My anger comes forth in those situations but not crying. Does your work involve any form of social injustice or sickness? I used to volunteer as an interpreter sometimes for free clinics and that is really hard from an emotional perspective. I also did what they say you shouldn’t do: go beyond the doctors’ words and say more. But sometimes those patients needed to talk, I made jokes so that they relaxed a little, I told them things on the side, they felt comfortable to talk to someone that fully understood them. However, I went back home and couldn’t stop thinking about some of them and it’s so heartbreaking. Many never came back and you kept wondering what happened.
Sweetest Perfection, I’ve been crying all week too. I wonder if there is something in the air. I don’t cry from physical pain or in front of anyone. My father used to beat me and when I cried, he would only beat me more. I learned to not cry. My brother never learned the concept to stop crying. Often times I would stand in front of him so he wouldn’t get hit because he couldn’t handle it. One time I pushed him in front of me and he got the beating. I still feel guilty about that to this day. Lately, I can’t seem to stop crying.
What a terrible thing to endure, Leigh, I am so sorry! You shouldn’t feel guilty, your father is the one to blame, not you of your brother. I am glad you are free to cry all you want now. You probably are crying now all you were not allowed to as a child. Crying is therapeutic and necessary to bring things out that otherwise would get ingrained in yourself and destroy you from the inside. I’ve never cried from physical pain either, but never felt ashamed to cry when I have to. And yes. I think it’s in the air these days …
I didn’t know that was your childhood experience when I was talking yesterday about different experiences of abuse – you really, truly deserve the taste of freedom from the narcissist.
Sweet P, thank you. Hope you’re feeling better soon.
Thank you, Leigh. I feel great today and I want to say thanks to you guys for always being supportive. Leigh, I know it’s very hard to do, but as HG always says -and I totally agree with him on that though it’s not easy to put it into practice-: the past is gone. There’s nothing we can do. But we can do our present. And you are in a much better place now 😘
SB, Yes, something like that. Also why, a few days ago, I thought to ask HG if he wrote about incest in SATN. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and can’t imagine what else I would do. It’s just emotionally taxing.
LFS, Is Love Devotee the only E trait you are missing?
No, I´m also missing “excellent listener”. Love devotee and excellent listener are completely missing!!!
LFS are you still an empath if you are missing Love-devote and excelent listener? I thought that an empath had all the general traits?
Hi Jasmin, everyone is different – some empaths will not necessarily have the same ‘traits’ with the same strengths or weaknesses as other empaths. In my view, it depends on each individual’s DNA, environmental & social factors. Humans have very differentiating ‘psyches’, hence the complexity of understanding the human psyche as a whole. So many traits / characteristics – we, humans are not an easy species to comprehend 🙂
Yes. I am even a Super Empath. 😀 When EDC results came I was shocked. I never thought that I could be an empath. I took the EDC and TDC because I already knew that I´m high in somatic narcissistic traits and wanted to find out what that is. Well, there it is. 😀 When I found out the results I went WTF? 😀
to be frank, empaths also many times lack the will to admit to themselves that they acted empathical. The inner self can be very humble. I have a little son like that. “No no, mum, I did Not share with my brother and sister”
“But I just saw it and it was very cool of you”
“No no, you misunderstood, mom”.
Sharing our empathic traits,being proud of them, examining them like we do here on Narcsite, is not so often done by most empaths, in my experience. We just do them without reflecting, in real life. Much of the emotional work we do, we forget about.
This comment is not specifically about Leela, maybe her selfreflexion is accurate, it’s just a general reminder.
My reaction to my ex withdrawing sex, for up to three months at a time, was a very deep sadness at the obvious state of our relationship. I didn’t personally feel affected by it as in feeling undesirable, I think my narcissistic traits of pride and vanity wouldn’t allow me to take that on, I could’ve had someone else had I chosen so but I had cheated on my first husband and was unwilling to go that route again. The fact that my husband made this choice was more a reflection of him, I knew nothing of narcissism at that time, but it did make me sad, missing out on the sex as time went by and what it said about our marriage.
Interesting that vanity and pride belong also to my main narcy-traits and I reacted differently or would react differently if this had happened in a serious relationship. My main narc-trait is defiance though.
My defiance is lower, I bet that makes a big difference. Interesting.
Yes this could be. You became sad. I would LASH OUT!!!!!!
I only lashed out when something affected our kids. Then the lashing was intense and horrific. But not for myself, I didn’t have the energy or care for that, if he didn’t care enough about me to do right by me, I didn’t need him. I am too independent, a free spirit so to speak, and he hated that because though he had me captured in many ways, he knew it was never complete. I had not known this, he shared it once, in a counselling session, in reference to one of our daughters who is the same. It gave me a good sense of power and I knew then that no matter what happened, I would be ok. He left a year or two later and has never looked back. I had the most difficult time getting my head around how anyone can walk away from their children and never look back, now that I’m here, I have come to understand it better, he was likely never attached to begin with.
He never was! They can walk away after 20, 30 or 50 years of marriage within a blink of an eye and never look back. They can´t bind.
I lash out more quickly! Withdrawing sex would have meant that I LASH OUT, destroy property, call him all the names under the sun, obviously flirt and make out with another man in front of him and eventually cheat! NO LIMITS, NO RULES! Somebody like this deserves it!
I cheated on my ex-narc long time ago, not because he withdrew but because of triangulation. He used to triangulate me all the time with other girls (yes, I was a girl back then too). So, I took one of his best friends. He knew it and he deserved it!
I don’t think your fuel stinks. Look at all those exclamation marks haha.
Just wait until I go Supernova and blow back 😉 😀
Leelasfuelstinks, my ex is something, I’m just not sure what exactly. He is an alcoholic/addict, a gambling addict and was told by a counselor he had at age 15 that they thought he had ASPD. I thought he was a sociopath, basically ASPD I guess, only not born that way. So, I don’t know. I do know for sure that he sucked the life out of me in odd ways and it has never really come back, the things I cared about prior to knowing him, the way I was. I may do a NDC on him at some point, but, he’s been gone for over 10 years and reached out twice for very specific things, never to reconcile. I wouldn’t reconcile anyway, that door was closed long before he left. I am not sure if it makes sense to do the NDC considering these factors.
Neither of us destroyed property, name called, I wouldn’t have cheated on him. We just got louder and he was an expert at word salad, rewriting history, avoiding responsibility and blame. It was so frustrating and crazy making. Makes me mad sitting here thinking about it even now.
Once, before we were married, he wanted “to take a break” so he slept with a woman several times and I went on 3 dates which included one little kiss. Haha, he never let me forget that indiscretion! Not his, mine! Ass. Then he hoovered me back using my daughter. And I still married him. 🙁
“And I still married him” – you didn’t know what you were “marrying” into at the time.
I never married. Instincts – from age 18, said to myself since then, that I’d never get married. I suppose it’s from my own childhood & life. From age 18, I said to myself, never have children (can’t now – 10 years ago – had hysterectomy due to medical reasons – as I was suffering too much & never regretted decision to demand it from age 35 – bliss, no pain, no ‘bloody messes’). Pure ‘freedom’ but I do not take “advantage” of that facility of freedom. I give myself more credit than that.
It is really harsh – the reality of what narcissism is about and yet, people don’t really “talk” about it…. and still wear ‘blinkers’ – I said a few years ago that I would be better off buying a patch of land with a small house and have animals living on the land – because, animals are not like the human race…… (by that point, I had had enough of “humanity”)…. Go figure.
When I was around 19-21 I went back to my narc again and again and again. He hoovered me back several times. What did I know back then? Nothing! I was young, I was naive, I admired him, I had a huge crush on him. Those people can be incredibly manipulative! They mirror you and your dreams, your wishes, your needs, your desires. We should not underestimate the love bombing and the mirroring!!
Ugh, you are so right. They know just how to draw us in and hold us captive.
Asp Emp, it is actually unbelievable that narcissism isn’t discussed more, known about more, acknowledged more, in everyday society. If it was I think it would do a lot toward thwarting them or at least protecting people from becoming victims. After seeing the enormity and consistency of it, it is truly unbelievable how under the radar it remains. I’ve been sharing it with people as much as they allow, many are open, some not so much. I find it fascinating and find that sharing it from that place is the most effective. If we all do as we can, word will spread and it will help, I believe.
It is not about ‘thwarting’. Science and medical people have yet to remove their anal probes that the ‘aliens’ left last night….. no doubt, the ‘aliens’ are producing hell of a lot of anal probes…… thankfully I am NOT wearing one….. Boris is, Joe is, Donald is,…… apparently, Donald likes turkeys……. LOLOL. No wonder them turnkeys are in “isolation” – “Bird Flu”, my arse (it’s cleaner than a turkey’s 😉 )
Hahaha! You are hilarious!! Yes, I suppose thwarting isn’t the best way to think here. Thanks!
well, when you next see Boris on tv, consider why his face looks pained…. (laughing)
As long as mental illness stays a “taboo”, goes with a stigma, there won´t be big discussion about that. When my ET is low, I look at all this from the medical perspective. And I have to say that these people are mentally ill. According to DSM-V and ICD-10 these people have a severe and serious mental disorder. I see them as very sick people and it´s not even their fault. I saw the creation of a little narcy. I saw how an innocent little child was treated. The “right” genetics and boom, there it is: the narc! Their fate is sealed at the age of 7-9. That´s it. To me personally they are people with a serious and severe mental disorder (from the medical perspective). Period.
Yes, I believe this also. You’re information regarding Cluster B was very helpful to me in putting it where it belongs, in my mind at least. I had not understood what “personality disorder” was correctly, not realizing it is considered a mental disorder. It sounded less severe to me. I had been confused by this because, to me, this does seem like a mental disorder, a deep, profound and disturbing one, dangerous even. Since your explanation it makes more sense. But I wonder how many people confuse it like I did thus inadvertently downplaying it to those of us with less knowledge of what the terms mean. I wonder if people realized what the meaning is, and the consistency of the “symptoms”, if it wouldn’t become more common to consider it. But probably not, people are averse to discussing mental health issues even today. I think it is frightening for many though I have now concluded it is more frightening not to know.
Haha Asp Emp, I will keep that in mind!
Leelasfuelstinks says, They can walk away after 20, 30 or 50 years of marriage within a blink of an eye and never look back. They can´t bind.
I’ve been with my narc for 35 years. Oh how I wish he would walk away. Then I wouldn’t have to make the decision. I know that’s a cop out but it would be so easy if he just left.
Once you know, you go! You get out and you stay out!
Pack your stuff and and JUST GO! 😉
That’s what my friend’s husband did. Didn’t even give a reason.
A Victor, they really are awful. My husband doesn’t out and out withdraw sex. He’s more covert about it. He won’t initiate. I’m expected to. if he does initiate, he will do it at an inappropriate time so I have to say no. Then he tells people I won’t have sex him. He’ll tell them right in front of me. The other thing he used to do is tell me I smell and that my breath stinks. I don’t know what the heck is wrong with me. I’m a fool. I started looking at apartments and I’m going to call a lawyer. I have to tell my children before I set this all in the motion. They are adults but still live with me. They won’t want to stay with him. They love him but don’t like him at all. They tell me all the time to leave him that he is an abuser. I’m ready. I just have to make the first move now. I only wish bad things for him now. I want him to suffer. I hate that he has turned me into this nasty human being.
You don’t sound like a nasty human being, you only want to save yourself, and your children.
You can think what you want, it is emotional thinking.
When you are free, the bad things you wish for him fades away.
I wish you the strength to leave and be free.
Thank you Autiempath ❤
“I started looking at apartments and I’m going to call a lawyer.”
These are the most positive words I have read of yours. It’s never easy. And it sounds like your children will understand completely. That’s an advantage that you have; they don’t have the wool pulled over their eyes.
Dependent upon what your decision is; you have the opportunity to show them that is it unacceptable to stay with an abuser.
I didn’t recognize that my mother was an abuser – I wish I had. I likely would have been able to have a more forthright, positive relationship with my father during the years that he had left.
Leelasfuelstinks, WhoCares & Autiempath, its not so easy to just get out and stay out. Yes my children will understand because they see it first hand. He’s very adept at maintaining his facade with everyone else though. When I leave, I have to be prepared to lose everyone else in my life. I will be blamed for this. I will be looked at as the one breaking up the family and he will be the victim. I have to find the strength to take that on. I won’t stoop so low as to smear him back. That wouldn’t do any good anyway. You’re right though, I have an opportunity to show my children its not ok to stay with an abuser, even one who doesn’t recognize how abusive he is. That’s what’s making me realize that I have to take the next step.
“its not so easy to just get out and stay out.”
Most of us here can commiserate with this statement, or did at some point. We do understand the overwhelming feelings and barriers that seem insurmountable to implementing GOSO.
Sometimes I hesitate to share my story because I am occasionally concerned that it comes across something like this: “Really? You think you have it hard, well, I had to trudge 17 miles in snow to school when I was kid…” Something like that tone, anyway. Haha.
But truth is, it was challenging. I didn’t have the guidance of HG’s work when I got out. I left behind a property, belongings, memories and more. I had no finances, no family to turned because of isolation in terms of both geographical barriers and psychological barriers.
I put what I could carry under a stroller, and with my child, I left on foot. And I did have to trudge miles in the snow.
This is not everyone’s situation or an advisable solution. But there are always solutions and GOSO in one form or another is always possible.
Some here – for example, Kristen who has shared her story – are extricating themselves after a long-term entanglement with the guidance of HG, and a plan. That is the way for some people.
Leigh, keep reading and consult with HG if you can. You’re in my thoughts 💜
Telling your story has never come off as you describe. It is inspiring, and not only a testament to the courage and respect you have for yourself and the love you have for your child, but demonstrates that it can be done regardless the barriers we place in our minds. We place them there and we can remove them.
Allow me to toot your horn where you will not.
You put aside excuses, stared down adversity (staying in a shelter, facing court alone and with no finances or child care…) took back your life and are providing a healthier one for your child. Then you continued to research until you found your way here to obtain methods and strategies to help you understand what happened to you, how to avoid it again, and to move forward while giving back to others by sharing your story and through your support of others.
Anyone would be proud to call you friend or mother.
Thank-you NarcAngel. I really appreciate that. I am proud to know you and your story, and the stories of several others here.
I did have a lot of practical challenges to escaping but the most daunting obstacles were in my head.
As you said, the barriers in our minds can be surmounted.
“We place them there and we can remove them.”
Who Cares, I’m not one to compare my life with someone else’s life. We all have things that are hard for us. My life is cake compared to a lot of the survivors on this blog. I choose to think of you all as survivors not victims. Your life and how you survived are inspiring. Thank you.
Thanks for your reply Leigh. I hope you recognize that I was trying to avoid comparisons. For example, I do not compare my own situation to others where there has been physical or sexual abuse – I did not suffer those horrendous kinds of abuse.
But I shared to say that there can be many practical obstacles to leaving in addition to the emotional ones. I hear you loud and clear when you talk about the blame you feel or feel you will be faced with should you leave.
I will share that I felt so much self-blame for myself and my child’s situation that it was immobilizing. That is in part why I struck out on my own instead of reaching out for help. I simply couldn’t fathom how anyone could understand what had happened if I tried to explain. And that it had all happened despite my best intentions. (I would have to go into more detail for context but I am choosing not to.)
But guess what, you have a whole community of people here who know you are not to blame.
As for your personal life, those who will blame you do not have your best interests at heart. You will discover soon who the real supporters in your life are because they will understand, or try to understand, and they will want the best for you.
As for the ones who might still want lay blame at your feet; I say screw’em. As they will never understand and aren’t worth explaining or defending yourself to.
“When I leave, I have to be prepared to lose everyone else in my life.”
It was a bit like that for me, I had to build up a new social network (mother, an overwhelming angel, would immediately get reports when I contact ed relatives, frozen out by Ex’s friends) Beginning while I didn’t even have an income.
But Leigh, you have adult children. That’s friends right there. Through them you will meet new people. ❤️
WhoCares, I appreciate your sharing. It inspires me. If you can leave with child in tow, what the heck is my excuse?
I know what you mean that people wouldn’t understand even if you tried to explain. I will have that same obstacle, so I won’t even attempt it.. I will have to say, I’m leaving for me.
Its not that I worry about not having support. I’m used to that. I’ve been in this relationship for 35 years and I have always been the one who supports him in every way possible. Plus, I’ve been part of his coterie, his top lieutenant. I add to his facade. Its the idea that I will lose my whole family. My whole life is wrapped up in his life and his family. I would even go as far as saying, I’m the matriarch. This will not only affect him. It will affect the whole family, including me.
Another Cat, yes the silver lining is my children are adults and see what’s going on. I will at least have their support and their friendship.
Thank you everyone for your support. You guys are all really wonderful.
Hi WhoCares, I saw your comment about and so I thought I would share my whole story. 20 momth I was cheating on husband with workplace narc. During yet another silent treatment, I googled silent treatments and it led me to Narcsite. While here, I realized my mother, father and husband are all abusers and probably narcissists. It took me 18 months to see it though. I was in complete denial. I made excuses for every one of their actions. I haven’t done narc detectors on them but I know it in my gut. I see that their behaviors are all toxic and that’s a good enough reason to leave or at the very least put my wall up with them. My whole life I’ve been abused. Its the only thing I know. The gaslighting had become normal to me.
Then I started with workplace narc and my eyes were opened. One I’ll get my freedom and it will be glorius.
Thank-you for sharing that. I recall an earlier comment where you said you are surrounded by narcissists and I felt for you – it’s really quite overwhelming when we realize the extent to which they populate our lives. And to discover them all around the same time is brutal.
(I discovered mine in stages and that was disconcerting enough.)
I recognize and understand the denial. But once you begin to see them, you can’t un-see them.
So happy you found your way to Narcsite, Leigh. It really is the place where you will find your way to freedom.
Leigh, I had very similar experiences with my ex. It was so horrible and yet so subtle at the same time. I honestly wondered if he was gay sometimes. But I don’t think so, I just know that after he left us, he would do anything with anyone to score some drugs. He ended up in the hospital on a few occasions over this and word would get back to me. I honestly sometimes wished he didn’t leave the hospital except via the morgue, talk about a bad empath. But, he is still out there, doing whatever shenanigans he wishes. I am not attached by marriage anymore and have fully extricated from his family, except for our children who have virtually no contact with him, so I no longer hear, thankfully. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience, it really makes me wonder more and more about him being a narcissist. And, if he ever hoovers me, it will be in the over a decade range!
A Victor, sometimes the hoover is just about getting Fuel and not necessarily to get you back. It certainly sounds like your ex was a narcissist too. As empaths, we tend to attract them.
Leigh, he has never hoovered me for fuel or anything else. In fact, he didn’t even come to the courthouse when I divorced him, which I am grateful for. I am becoming more convinced that he is likely a narcissist but a very mild one in many ways. He wasn’t horrible to live with much of the time, just boring, if that makes sense. Thank you for your reply.
A Victor, It makes a lot of sense. My husband isn’t horrible to live with it either and he’s extremely boring, amongst other things. Your ex has never had another conversation with you since you’ve split up? Ever conversation is a hoover. He may have even attempted to hoover you and you were unaware.
Leigh, oh yes, he did involve my former pastor when he first left, we had one or two meetings. But what happened right after he left was the police picked him up, drunk or high, and I had an APB out on him, when they called that they had him, they asked me what to do? I said, I don’t care, he can’t come back here though. So, I think since he didn’t want any more police involvement, he didn’t try again until the pastor which was largely the pastor’s doing, he didn’t know anything about addiction. So, I guess those might qualify, the meetings went terribly and just reinforced the smearing he’d done of me prior to leaving, I suppose he got some fuel there. But, no, no other conversations.
Because G.O.A.T got there first….
My ex narc hubby withdrew sex from me for almost two years. After trying all could to initiate intimacy yet he won’t bulge. Yet, he was constantly having affair with his mistress. Until I found about the NPD article online and studied more about the disorder. I stopped trying to initiate sex and transferred my energy to other aspect of my life. Then, He started accusing me of cheating on him. When I used the grey rock method, he started stalking me on socia media as anonymous, inviting me out to hotels for meet. I guess he just wanted to set me up as a cheat so that he can have evidence to tell the world that i am a cheat too. It was all part of his plan. Withdraw sex and bait her, she will yield and boom you have your evidence. I finally got the courage to leave with our son and now I have gone no contact. Thanks HG, your articles helped me understand more about NPD.
Well done on implementing no contact Esther and I am pleased to see my work has been integral in you making that decision.
Esther, “After trying all could to initiate intimacy yet he won’t bulge.” Best. Typo. Ever.