How to Get a Narcissist to Love You

The title of this post arrived in my search terms about a year ago. This query also came up for Ursula over at An Upturned Soul; she posted a excellent response that you can read here.

Frankly, I considered responding but then dropped it because I felt very ambivalent. I wondered if it was a real question or if it was in fact a narcissist who was just trolling. If real, what would I say to someone who is looking for an answer to this? I felt a little depressed every time I thought about it – there’s some poor, desperate person out there who is  trying to save a marriage, an engagement, a friendship, a relationship of some sort. But Ursula encouraged me to try – to give my take on it.

This person – I’m going to call him or her “Terry,” has likely done at least a little research because he or she has learned that narcissists have been categorized as being unable to love.

But undaunted, Terry perseveres. There must be a way! There must be some hope out there! Some obscure research or study or enquiry that espouses an approach that claims to work! That does work! I’m going to find it! And proclaim it to the world! I will not give up! I will not be a cynic who gives up on someone!

I wanted to say: Dear Terry, have you ever heard of snake-oil salesmen? Of bridges for sale? Of swamps that can produce the elixir of youth? Of spaghetti that grows on trees? Are you one of those people that P.T. Barnum indelicately described as being born every minute? Wake up, grow up, throw up or do whatever other “up” you need to do to get your head out of your ass and understand that narcissists are completely incapable  of loving anyone, ever. Oy!

That’s what I wanted to say.

But then I thought about it. Why shouldn’t Terry have hope? Why not? If we human beings had allowed ourselves to be stopped by every obstacle that ever came our way, then we would be a very sorry lot. No antibiotics. No lunar landings. No dinosaurs. (Oops. That one was fiction.)

But that’s the point, though, isn’t it? It’s okay to have hope, as long as it’s realistic. Maybe some day, we will know enough about narcissistic brain function to effect a “cure,” whatever that means. Medication? Talk therapy? An operation? Better parenting? Maybe a combination of all of these? Who knows?

But then again … maybe we won’t find a solution. Hope is good thing to have, but it has to be balanced.

Fear and emotional desperation can tend to unhinge us, can make us behave in irrational, illogical ways. And that’s what the narcissist generates. It’s intentional. In this highly subjective situation, hope is, well, it’s hopeless.

There we are, emotionally sickened and dangling by one fingernail while we grasp at any vestige of possibility – what can I do to get him back, to get him to love me (again)? The interior disintegration is profound and swift. We are like addicts who will do anything … That’s why it’s important to separate ourselves, to go “no contact,” to endure the pain of withdrawal so that we can get our lives back. Because this drug is bad for us. Really, really bad. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It just is what it is, and it does what it does, and you are nothing more than the gravel under its feet or the sky over its head.

So hope? Yes. After you have disengaged from the narcissist and re-established your life and maybe even had some counselling, because let’s face it, if you have been involved with a narcissist, there’s a reason for it.

A reason that you have buried, that you have ignored, that you have spun. You have to face yourself and your part in this.

Cautiously. Carefully. Deliberately.

I tried to get my ex-narcissist to love me, again.

I desperately wanted to get him back into that idealization phase, even though I didn’t know at the time that that’s what I was doing. I sometimes encouraged him to talk about love, because I wanted him to put me  and love together in his head.

Not that he really needed encouragement, because he loved to talk about hate love.

He ranted endlessly about how poorly he had been treated by every female who had ever crossed his path for more than five minutes. We were all “scorners of men” who were lying in wait and planning to trick, trap, or otherwise punish every male in creation.

We were Eve incarnate, juicy apple in hand, enticing patter at the ready. We were evil landlocked mermaids with nothing but the siren call of total male destruction in mind, day in and day out. We were impulsive Pandora, straining to free all those spites and careless of her husband’s warnings.

And then the cycling would start:

Women, yes. I love how you smell. I love your clothes. I love how you look on my arm. I love … I love … I hate you!!! I hate what you represent!!! I hate you because you are women, and you have more than me, and I hate you!!! I love you! I hate you! I want you! I don’t want you! I want what you have!

Yes! That’s it. I want what you have! Give it to me! Give it to me, pleeeese. If you don’t give it to me, I’m going to take it, and make you wish you never tried to stop me. And I’ll swallow it. And then you will be weak and I’ll be strong and then I can feel better. Yes. It’s okay now.

I love you.

(Cue lines and music from a romantic movie. I say this because that’s literally what would be going off in his head. He might even quote the movie and pass the quote off as his own.)

But, two minutes later or two days later or two hours later:

I hate you!

Terry, do you see how this works? Your narcissist may tell you that you’re loved. But the very mouthing of these words is nothing but a tool. It’s a tool to get whatever it is you have that your narcissist wants. It’s a tool to relieve whatever pressure has built up in this individual’s festering mind. It’s tool to keep you off-kilter, off-balance and off-off, so that you can easily be controlled. It’s not love. For the narcissist, it’s one of many other words that is a means to an end.

The narcissist doesn’t understand love, doesn’t really believe that it exists and is really rather amused that the rest of us could expend so much energy engaging in such theatre. It’s about as real as the starship Enterprise.

And eventually, if you trail after this dickhead long enough, there will be nothing left of you. Not even your smell.

And then you will be discarded. Because what’s the use of keeping an empty shell around? It’s just cluttering the place up.

So, do I have hope for my ex-narcissist? I do. I send him good wishes every time I think of him. He, and those he’s in contact with, need good wishes more than most. But will I ever answer an e-mail or phone call from him? Never. Will I ever see him again? Not if I can help it. He is permanently “no contact,” now and forever. I will never again place myself in that situation.

So dear Terry, separate yourself from your narcissist. Get help. Find your own life again. The life that you deserve. Your narcissist will never love you nor anyone else. She or he is simply not built that way.

Good luck. 🙂

What would you say to Terry?

110 thoughts on “How to Get a Narcissist to Love You

  1. Pingback: How To Get a Narcissist to Love You | An Upturned Soul

  2. Thank you very much for the blog nod 🙂

    What a great post, I’m so glad you decided to do it!

    As I was reading I could feel the see-saw motion, the shift from love to hate and then hate to love, again, and again. Brilliantly expressed. Very vivid!

    You’ve really captured both sides, and then united them in a very thought provoking and insightful manner.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ps. I’m going reblog this later, so you’ll get my reblog blurb in your comments which may sound almost exactly like this comment, which is weird 😉

      • I met a gal who said her ex was a narcissist, right after a short description I gave to a friend of my guy led her to say Narcissist much? So then I looked it up and started reading. I guess I have always believed in star-crossed lovers, romantic notions, etc., and thought my situation was meant to be, wondering why doing what he liked, he still was not happy with me, then being rational and saying he does not love himself, he cannot love you. I had no idea though, even after taking school and getting a degree in psychology. Thank you everyone for posting. I was raised to believe that you work at a relationship and do not give up because of trivial things and in just a short time, I realize this is so much different, and insight into what the heck I have been dealing with for 7 years. It is very saddening that this is so pervasive in society and it makes me want to post his picture and warn women everywhere, but we cannot do that, and people do not believe it until they see it, the pattern continues. 😦

        • Thank you for your comment. 🙂

          I was raised to believe that people are supposed to work at relationships, too. The problem, though, is that a narcissist can’t meet halfway to solve the issues, largely because they lack so much self-awareness that they can’t see their half of the responsibility. It’s also impossible to “work” a problem with a narcissist when they constantly blame others. They are truly disordered and damaged people who thrive on drama and can turn a triviality into WWIII.

          Glad to hear that you were able to get out of this relationship.

          • This is so true that it compelled me to post even though I didn’t want to say a thing. I was part of a three men one narcissist relationship . THIS Extremely Beautiful AND INTELLIGENT WOMAN Caught My Eye one night at a local bar when my exe wife and I were still together. I knew right then that I would know this woman till the day I was no more . And later on I did meet her. And her very first words were who are you and why the he’ll do you get to go first. Reasons and what happened are besides the point . But after that night she intrigued me. And eventually we sought each other out which surprised me. Well first it was a mutual need for someone to identify with going thru troubled marriages . She always said that her husband treated her bad and cared none for her kids. While she was with me a totally seperated (at that point) man with my own place late at night till the morning hours. Nightly. And I had talked to men around town and no one really knew her .so they said. Then months later I’m not trying to meet other girls she virtually had to be with me constantly which made me wonder who is watching the kids (3total) . Then one night she brought her four year old son over in the middle of the night. I ask her what’s your husband going to think when your gone? She explained that she did this often and her excuse was that she needed cigarettes or had to get out the house and go to a store. I should have cut ties right then because I knew this type of woman from experience and knew the end result already but lack of female contact blinded my better judgement and I was hooked like a sickly sweet shot of heroin . Addicted to the end , death or what ever happened first. And so I paid no mind of 5he bad treatment of her family the secrecy and the lies. As long as my addiction and hers were both met I didn’t give a care what she did when she left my house. I was happy till the withdrawal hit again. So as time went by both our lives changed and mine went up and down and hers (seemed) to stay consistant. We had a short year break I think and when I got in contact again the bond was set in stone unbreakable and permanently cast . So I thought and dreamed. We became best of best friends reliable and loyal to each other and she acted as though she really did care about me . (Personally I know deep inside that she did and still does) but her addiction and disorder split her in two totally different personalities . I saw one that liked the color pink and was nice sweet and happy go lucky . And one that liked purple and was mean conniving deceitful manipulative and vengeful. With the fuse that was gone as soon as it was lit . And would not take no for an answer at all cost. I never liked this side but I rarely saw it because I always had what she wanted no matter what it might have been. And she went out of her way to please me so it seemed and then started changing the dynamic in the end to cause hard feelings and paranoia thinking always that her husband would be opening the door at any moment . Doing this to throw off the attention that she was trying to throw the attention off of her real en devour . Total control. She had basically been lying to everyone to cover up the fact that she was a career prostitute and a drug addict that slept with elderly men for what ever they had to offerup. She had been doing this apparently for years because I pieced it together over time but still paid it no mind because I knew that it wasn’t ment to be . She was poisonfruit from the forbidden tree. I knew this and still didn’t he’d the warning. So more time goes by and now she has isolated me from my friends who claimed they didn’t like her and my girlfriends who said they couldn’t stand her . Me and her by myself with the person I had started to care for. Because I had no one else but her because of her . And then the atom bomb dropped and one night I can still hear it . Heard her voice and my father’s coming from his bedroom at three thirty in the morning. I was so stunned and in disbelief that I couldn’t belive my ears and my mind. I told my mother about it and asked my dad to . I was told that I needed psycho therapy because I was delusional. Well me and the counselor figured out together that I really was not insane but that the liars around were hiding a real big secret. Or Hugh lie. And it was the fact that a tale so far beyond bizarre that no one in history could think it true not even the best novelist in the world but it was . And that is another tale. So any how the meat of the story is that she through her own narcissist ways has managed to lose her kids her husband her best friend and other friends without ever thinking that she had anything whatsoever to do with it. Placing most blame on me the best friend the other boyfriend her pimp. And her husband the so called abuser. She refused to try and get her kids back by taking two different drug test set up by cps. And now is a hooker on the street . The last time I saw her she forced a pill in my mouth and I don’t want to know what she did . Then stole my truck saying she had to get to her kids. Well she wasn’t supposed to be around them without supervision. I lost my job . I lost my friend and I feel as though my life is lost to. Yet she don’t give a fuck about how I have felt about any of it. S I warn all that read this. Trust your gut. I always do but her spell blinded me even though she actually did tell me the truth about it all just by changing the person she lived to talk about which is herself. Blonde hair big blue eyes , body of a goddess and the bite of a black widow. Charming you to death. Named ????. In God’s name I still pray daily for her soul to be saved. That’s all I can do.

  3. Reblogged this on An Upturned Soul and commented:
    A very insightful, thought-provoking, and brilliant post by a wonderful blogger.

    .

    If you’ve ever been in love with a narcissist, then you know the confusion that this kind of love can create. Narcissists turn love into a mythical, fairy tale quest – which usually involves you trying desperately to win their heart, but their heart is always just out of your reach like a carrot dangled in front of you.

    .

    At some point you want to grab that carrot and eat it… before it turns rotten.

    .

    But a narcissist’s love, as good as it looks on the outside sometimes, always tastes funny (and not funny-haha). This post explains why it tastes that way.

    .

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. I saw this through Ursula’s re-blog, so I hope you don’t mind me responding to your post. I have to say, I could come up with a very lengthy response, but so as to not hijack your blog, I’ll keep it short. Why would you want to get a narcissist to love you? Or anyone for that matter? If they can’t find a way to love you based on you being you and you being around them and showing yourself to them (I assume “Terry” was doing this), then why force it? Forcing or tricking someone into loving you is only going to last temporarily and it really makes you almost as narcissistic as the narcissist you’re trying to get to love you. Of course, it’s entirely possible that is exactly what “Terry” is looking for. Perhaps “Terry” is a sensation seeker and thrives on the thrill and chaos. I’ve been there a couple of times myself, and sometimes it was a great ride, but therein comes the psychology of it, as you mentioned, you probably need some type of counselling if you put yourself in that situation. Ok, so I guess it wasn’t that short, but there is my kinda response. I must add, I agree with Ursula, that this piece is very vivid and anyone who has experience with a person(s) like this will get exactly what you’re describing.

    • Thank you! 🙂

      I don’t mind your response at all – your thoughts are very welcome. 🙂

      I understand your questions. Yes – why in the world would you want to try to get a narcissist (or anyone) to “love” you? I think that some narcissists do such a good job of convincing their “love” interests that they are genuine that it is extremely difficult for people to make a mental shift over to the idea that they have been completely duped. They rationalize or minimize to escape the reality of the situation and, of course, the longer the “relationship” has been underway, the more invested they are and the more difficult it becomes to accept the truth.

      This is an extreme comparison but it does make a point about a basic facet of our humanity: many people who were sent to the death camps during WW II continued to not really believe what was happening to them despite the evidence before their eyes. They held on to every scrap of hope, no matter how improbable. How could you have a normal life one moment and be completely devalued and worthless the next? The mental confusion was overwhelming and produced illogical results such as people thinking that they deserved the treatment they were getting. Those who were able to think past this intellectual conundrum to the practicalities of survival had a much better chance of making it through.

      So it seems that as humans, we can be so distracted by the academics of a situation that the pragmatic realities escape us.

      I think that those who know they are involved with narcissists are holding out hope that some sort of fix can be found. There are those, too, who have an unswerving belief that their love can cure a narcissist – that they will be the exception the narcissist will fall in “love” with. It seems that some of these people have obviously read about narcissism and have an intellectual grasp of it, but haven’t internalized it in any real way.

      Those who want a particular person to fall in love with them (not necessarily a narcissist) might have, in my opinion, wider issues that need to be addressed, or are, perhaps, sensation seekers.

      Yikes! Long-winded response. 🙂

    • Hi hippie7girl,

      Narcissistic love is well known for its addicting nature. I’m too tired to write it all out, haha sorry, but if you research ‘trauma bonding’ you’ll see just how powerful a hold these relationships can have on someone. Studies have even shown that it is more difficult to recover from a narcissistic love addiction than to recover from a heroin addiction! Also, co-dependents are often drawn to narcissists. They are the perfect target for the narcissist, but when the narcissist gets bored and moves on, the co-dependent is likely left feeling devestated and completely desperate to reunite with the narcissist.

      • Everything is called more addicting than heroin these days, including sugar. I did look up ‘trauma bonding’ as you suggested and it makes sense, it’s similar to Stockholm Syndrome. I think there is more of a conditioning factor involved there, more than an addiction per se, but it is something I think I’ll look into further, it’s an interesting concept. Thank you 🙂

    • Apparently, as picked up from other blogs mentioning this glitch in posts, WP has been (glitching like mad) unfollowing blogs we follow for us without us knowing this is happening or doing it ourselves. Hence stuff not showing up in the reader. It’s a social networking nightmare.

      Never apologise for reblogging your posts! Go for it! 🙂

  5. Great post! Everything you say is true, but it is so very hard to accept. I think you need to be trampled and totally drained by the narcissist before you can accept that: there is no hope, that’s it’s never going to get better. Ever.

    • That is very true! That is exactly how I felt, completely trampled, but what really galvanized me was the financial impact he was having. I was headed for a complete disaster and together with the crap way I was feeling, I realized that I had to get him out and cut him off. Yes, I got that it was never going to get better, ever.

    • Thanks, Jill. 🙂 Yes, the belief some people have that they can fix the other is pretty dangerous. One thing I’ve learned from all this is that it’s amazing how unrealistic many of us can be about our abilities.

  6. When this happens to someone early in life there is hope that they can break away, pick up the pieces and start over while there is still time. When this happens to someone much later in life it can be a much more bitter pill to swallow. if all of this has included extensive legal and financial damage to one’s life.

    When they find themselves in the position of trying to determine if they even have enough years of active life left to fix all the damage that has been done and just get oneself back to where they once were many years before. Then forget about the hopes and dreams and plans they once held so close to them and then just try to live on with any kind of a normal life that they can, before they end up in the grave.

    So. For whatever it is worth, that is my narcissism ‘news’ for the day.

    • I hear you, big time. I spent a lot of money on this dufus while I was married to him and then had to spend a lot more to buy him off and get him out of my life and the lives of my family and friends. And then there was the lawyer … I’m still paying and will be for another couple of years.

      Your comments are particularly salient. Thanks for coming by. 🙂

    • Chuck, though I agree with everything you said about dealing with this early in life. The one thing I disagree with, is when it happens early in life. At times I think this concept can happen to children from family members, and in those cases they are almost doomed from the beginning. I think, like anything, if this sort of thing happens TOO early in life it becomes normalcy and they will find themselves in those same kind of relationships one after another.

      • I’m sorry, I don’t proof BEFORE I send my comments, I meant to say I agree with what you said about the LATE in life stuff… money, foot in the grave, etc.

      • This post was just me ranting. I have to do that now and then. But what you have described is also how the Narcissist is conceived. They are doomed for life themselves. New Ns as well as new victims have been on the increase throughout history to the point that the morals of society are changed …… for the worse.

        So I was referring to midlife victims who do have a legitimate chance to reclaim their lives and recover if not too much damage has been done. Anyhow, nowadays I am more concerned about this spread of this Narcissism virus around the world. It does not bode well for our future.

        http://www.N-Searcher.blogspot.com

  7. “He ranted endlessly about how poorly he had been treated by every female who had ever crossed his path for more than five minutes.” This sounds so familiar…I’ve dealt with a guy like this for the past 5 months…He always blamed others for his “miserable life” and never took responsibility for anything…it was so exhausting and emotionally damaging for me

    • Narcissists are very emotionally draining and damaging; their defining characteristic is probably their ability to exhaust everyone around them. They externalize everything and as a result don’t really do any kind of self-examination. For them, what passes as self-examination is this sort of wallowing that they do, often accompanied by lots of drama and/or substance abuse. It’s very self-centered and doesn’t yield positive results or changes.

      You’ve shown a lot of strength by recognizing what was happening to you and then leaving the relationship – be sure to give yourself credit for that. 🙂

      • Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words ❤ You are absolutely right: they never really assess their actions or take responsibility for anything…all they do is whine and complain

  8. Yes, definitely no contact. I learned that fast but unfortunately not fast enough. And always that love is only love if you do exactly what they want all the time. The minute you disagree with their actions or rules, they hate you and hate you and hate you. Then: like you said, they try and use cliches to win you back so the cycle can start again. I love what you said about hope: it truly can be the trouble here. Because there really is no hope here. I know because I hoped for a bit. Glad, I gave that up! Thanks for sharing this story!

    • You’re welcome, Bejamin. 🙂

      You are so right. No matter how fast you are, they are always one or two steps ahead because they are often so practised … that is, until you figure them out. Then you have to get out and go no contact, despite the temptation to stay and give them another chance and another chance and another chance.

  9. I can so totally identify with Terry! Which victim/survivor of pathological narcissism wouldn’t? We’ve all been there at some point. Holding on for dear life. Refusing to let go of the very thing that causes us so much pain and grief. Believing that if we could only find the Philosopher’s Stone, then we can turn this relationship into gold.

    So we set about trying to find the “stone”. We read and research and consult and wrack our brains trying to find the formula that will bring back the person we “knew” and fell in love with during the idealisation stage. The stark truth is, there is no such formula. There is no Philosopher’s Stone~ not for narcissism, there isn’t. We could run around in circles, wear sackcloth and sprinkle ash over our heads, beat on our chests and tear out our hair… And it would all be the same to the narcissist ~ narcissist supply. Nothing more, nothing less.

    My Narc was a poet. He seduced me with words the likes of which no one had ever said to me. I was hooked. I was the smitten kitten. I had never met anyone like him (and I hope to God I never do again). I couldn’t get enough of him… Yet the same flare he used in seducing me with words, he used it to raze me to the ground. He could build me and tear me down in the same sentence!

    It didn’t take long for the spell his words had weaved on me to start wearing thin. The inconsistencies, the double standards, the disrespect, the lack of consideration, the emotional immaturity, the silent treatment, the triangulation, the blowing hot and cold, the “I love you – I love you not”… It was too much for my frayed senses.

    And nothing I did (I tried everything I knew how, within reasonable limits) was ever good enough. The goal post was always shifting. That’s the way it is with narcs. They make the rules. They determine the position of the goal posts, usually on a whim, and the rest of us be damned. There’s no winning with these people!

    After what seemed like endless cycles of hot and cold, cycles that left my inner self cowering somewhere in a shadowy corner of my mind, too exhausted and drained to carry on with the dysfunctional dynamic, I gathered the last of my strength and left.

    It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    A month later, I’m still struggling with it daily. The withdrawal symptoms sometimes threaten to overwhelm me and the brain can be so treacherous! But things get better each passing day and I’m hanging in there.

    I’m not a quitter. And I believe hope is a wonderful thing. But where’s the sense in trying to catch a train that already left the station? That’s what it feels like, trying to keep up with the N. There’s a thin line between determination and desperation. I was determined to work on my relationship, but when I started to sense desperation creeping in, I had to perform a quick, painful emergency surgery and remove the malignancy that was threatening to spread and corrupt my entire being.

    Walking away from an unhealthy situation that does not serve you is NOT giving up~ it’s self preservation. Remember, your sphere of control is limited to only you. You cannot change a person, but you can change yourself. You cannot make a person love you, but you can love yourself.

    • Yes, they are masters at shifting the goal posts! When what they do is described as mindfucking – well, that’s no exaggeration. They are truly mentally abusive people.

      I’m so glad to hear that you are out of that situation. 🙂 It’s so tough to do but absolutely necessary if you are to have any kind of life. Recognize that you have that strength and lean on it. 🙂

      If it’s only been a month, you will probably experience some real ups and downs still. I remember experiencing a nightmare about my ex-narcissist two years after I divorced him.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. 🙂 The more we survivors do that, the better.

  10. This is a fantastic post as it describes what goes on at the end of the relationship. Someone has commented with a question “why would you want to get this person to love you”. At the outset they build you up so much that when the devaluation occurs its like a midge out of nowhere. Its a scary, confusing, dangerous roller coaster, see saw ride which has you seasick and disoriented but also addicted. It took me just under a year to stop the endless quest in terms of trying to change who I was with the guilt and shame loaded into me still fucking up my self concept. I did not understand until he broke me entirely there was no real love there and it took me a long, long time to get it.

    There is no easy way to tell someone to stop chasing an illusive damaging love, which started out with such promise and will suck every shred of self respect out of you. But there is a profound healing process at the end of it, which involves understanding where our hunger came from, that we must learn to love ourselves and value ourselves if we are ever to truly find happiness and who knows, maybe this relationship came into our lives to teach us just that.

    Loved your post.

    • I understand what happens here, I have dealt with narcissists in many different ways, to the extent that I’m pretty sure I’ve become one myself. I also understand that relationships take quite a bit of work, but if you’re the only one who is making the effort to where you feel that after everything you need to get this person to love you, its time to walk away. Trying different things and looking at things from another perspective is great, its what makes us learn and grow, but trying to completely change yourself to please someone else is destructive and it most certainly is not love. At best you only figure out a way to get this person to love the character you decided to play while you lost yourself in the process.

      • Your comment that “at best you only figure out a way to get this person to love the character you decided to play while you lost yourself in the process” is very salient. I, too, worried that I had turned myself so inside out that I had become a narcissist as well. I also began to see the illogic in that, too. If I was worried about it, it was unlikely to be true. It’s probably not true of you, either.

      • Very true. And so sad when we lack the self esteem to stand true to who we are and betray our real self. I’m sad to say I did this with the narc in my life. It took a long time to realise the deeper pain was my responsibility and a result of loosing myself, not so much what they did, painful as it was.

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 I don’t think that I would have written about this had Ursula not encouraged me to try.

      I think that it’s very difficult for those who haven’t experienced narcissism to understand how insidious the narcissistic process is. We can be as analytical and logical in our explanations of it as possible, but unfortunately, being there is the only source of complete understanding.

      I appreciate very much how you say that there is a “profound healing process at the end of it.” As much as I wish sometimes that I had never met my ex-narcissist, I also realize that I am a much calmer, wiser person now. I know that this complete mess of a “relationship” did, indeed, teach me that.

      • In a way through undergoing this terrible pain we end up with a greater prize… hard to feel when you are in the midst of it though… Its a great paradox that very dark experiences have a tremendous light at the centre of them.

  11. You took on a really important topic here, and did a brilliant job with it. Getting a narcissist (or any abusive individual) to love you is impossible. Their need to control overwhelms everything else, and they will use your love as a weapon to destroy you.

  12. I suppose I am one of those ‘poor souls’ who clings to the belief or continues to enquire if there isn’t some way that this narcissist can be saved from him/herself?

    But as a matter of fact I googled “How to love a narcissist” and not how to get one to love me :). But these two articles about how to get them to love me have been as insightful as I could wish for, and thank you for typing it out. I fear for you – your realistic cynicism sounds like me a couple years ago, I wish you happier thoughts!

    My whole claim to what might read like a “holier than thou” comment ( sorry about that) is perhaps my ignorance, or the fact that there are as many different ‘types’ of humans as there are humans, and as many ‘types’ of narcissist as there are narcissist’s. In my (ongoing) process of recovering from my relationship with someone who is suffering that condition, I did stumble into the narcissist in me as well – and that got me thinking that there are so many different shades to this, that its impossible to club it all into one neat box and impossible to treat or respond to it with one clean package.
    The “narcissists” were not all born that way, it started somewhere, just as some of my own complexes did, and I’d like to believe for my own sake that ‘the answer’ is not just to pack “them all” up and ship them to a large uninhabited island somewhere, but to attempt to heal ourselves, and to find our own feet so that we can’t be “destroyed” by that other deluded insane person.

    Is not our fear of being destroyed by this condition betraying the same neurosis that is so exaggerated in those we are defending ourselves from?

    • I, personally, do not necessarily think you come across as ‘holier than thou’ or ignorant. People are not necessarily born as narcissists, but some of them are pretty sociopathic and I question whether or not some of that is biological.
      It is nice that you choose to have a positive outlook, I am sure some of them are not as bad as they come off and everyone does have their own story about how they became who they are.
      What that really comes down to, in my opinion anyway, is personal preference. Individuals decide what they are willing to tolerate and from whom and for how long, etc. if your tolerance for narcissistic bullshit is higher than the average person, then all the more power to you.

    • I am presently dealing with a narcissist at my workplace. What I learned from having been in a relationship with one and having completed a lot of research about them has helped me enormously to maintain a professional footing with him.

      They are among us, yes, and often it is a choice whether or not to interact with them on a personal level. But the choice needs to be informed, and no, narcissists cannot love.

      I am happy, as I indicated in my latest post. 🙂

      • Do you truly believe that they are fully incapable of love? I think even the most self-indulged people have the capacity to love, but they probably don’t love just anyone, I imagine only a select few, but I do think on some level everyone has the ability to care for another person. Even though with a narcissist they probably treat everyone else poorly.

        • I do think that full-blown NPD people are incapable of real love. And, I guess that depends on what “real love” means. For me, real love at its core means that even knowing the consequences might be negative, one can put another first, unconditionally. I don’t believe that true NPD people can do that, and if they can, I would question whether they actually have NPD. But then again, I’m not an expert on this. I only have my own experiences and reading to go on, and maybe my definition of love is too much.

          My ex-narcissist expressed undying love for his cats and frequently said that he loved animals much more than humans. They got the best of everything – medical care, food and affection. But I came to realize that he could be profoundly uncaring of them, especially when they were inconvenient for him and I also eventually came to realize that it was me who actually cared for them – took them to the vet, bought their food, worried about them, tried to keep them inside. Eventually, he abandoned them. His treatment of the cats, despite all his palaver, was no different from his treatment of people.

          I agree that he, and NPD people in general, are capable of some level of caring, but in my little opinion, it’s definitely not love.

      • I thought it was important to say how I feel because I believe that there are people out there who would be more supportive if they only believed that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course we have to be realistic about our expectations.

        Some people have a different view on what a recovering narcissist is or is not capable of;

        http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/topic71045.html

        http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hesaid-confessions-of-a-recovering-narcissist/

        Just like with depression/ addiction, the more people with this condition are alienated the more difficult it becomes for them to heal and rise above their difficulties.

        • This blog is, obviously, just my opinion based on my experiences having been married to a narcissist and having also been raised by one, and by “narcissist”, I mean people with NPD (I realize now that I should have made that clear in my post). I’ve also done a great deal of thinking and reading as well as having received counselling. However, I’m not a therapist or professional of any kind where narcissism is concerned.

          I think that it is very important for you to say what you think. One of the things that narcissists do is to try to shut down that process, and so I’m sensitive to that.

          You mention finding your own feet and believing in a light at the end of the tunnel. My thought on this is that one can become completely caught up in this endeavour, and in the end, it has the potential for becoming just another form of narcissistic control. I tried to help my ex-narcissist with therapy – before I knew he had NPD, or even really what that was – and he repeatedly used it as a tool to get money and special treatment and also to exert control. He even tried to manipulate the therapist. I found myself drowning in the double-talk and spin that he started to use as a result of his therapy.

          I am aware of the sites that you have added – thank you for including those – and I know that there are people who believe that narcissists can be helped or even cured. I wonder, however, about the extent to which these people are, in fact, narcissists. Perhaps they just have strong narcissistic tendencies as opposed to full-blown NPD. This would give them the room to improve or help themselves and in that case, there is hope or light and they can, as you say, rise above their difficulties.

          Otherwise, I have to stick with what I believe, which is that NPD narcissists are toxic and that the best way to deal with them is to stay away from them.

          Thanks for your input. 🙂

          • I’m sorry this has turned into another essay 😐
            I’ve been struggling to get over my attachment to somebody who has displayed the NPD/ psychopath traits since he was a child and which eventually led him to substance abuse and some of the antisocial behaviour that people under the influence resort to so they can keep up the supply of their poison.
            Your’e probably right that this is not a case of full blown NPD or maybe he was lucky that it got so bad that he had to go to rehab and go through the 12 step program and this seems to have made a dent in the condition. Of course it couldn’t have happened if he hadn’t wielded his own will.
            Throughout the time we were together, and also because of it, I myself was doing a lot of self development work and being in this crazy situation actually helped test out for me the ideas and principles I was learning to embrace, be it buddhism or some other skill in watching my own thoughts and reactions and empowering myself. It was hard, wrestling with my own mind – now and again the hurt surfaces and seeks release.
            Having gone through that I cannot even imagine your pain and frustration with the process and think its very brave of you to open yourself up through this post. Thank you.

            It was a learning for me to recognise that his ability to pull me down, to suggest I was dull or boring and not worthy and then to manipulate me and take power over me, depended upon my own unconscious need to be validated by him- someone I “love”. This unconscious habit probably stemmed from my having grown up with a mother whose behaviour was similar to what I described above. Through the course of our relationship, and healing after, I have become a more grounded person and I do not allow anyone to undermine me anymore. In that way meeting him was an important part of my own development.

            We are not together anymore, we are friends though, and every now and then when I see a difference in his behaviour ( for the good) I do wonder if its just another act to get me where he wants.

            In any case I try to keep the faith.

            Cheers

          • My ex-narcissist did threaten my life, just as my counsellor had predicted he would, and I had to get the police involved. Christian Longo – yes, I know about him. What a piece of sub-human work.

          • Thank you 🙂

            That’s interesting. Many substance abusers
            have strong narcissistic tendencies because of the addiction, and those tendencies tend to disappear once the addiction is under control. However, you’ve said that he showed narcissistic tendencies since childhood, so it’s possible that his addiction was an attempt to self-medicate.

            The best you can do is to do what you’re doing. Explore, read and empower yourself. I’ll pass on a piece of wisdom that I learned from another blogger (Ursula at anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com) – consider how this person really makes you feel when you’re near him. That should give you some pretty strong signals about whether he’s genuine or not. 🙂

    • I’ve enjoyed reading these comments. Like a lot of people, I’ve also wondered about the narc’s inability to truly, genuinely love another. I’m in the process of healing after leaving a narc relationship and yes, I have had my weak moments when I’ve felt like maybe I should have tried harder. But at what cost? All I’ll say, from my perspective, is: it doesn’t matter to me anymore if he/she can or cannot love… What matters to me is how I feel about myself. (Does this sound selfish?)

      If this person is making me unhappy or affecting my emotional or psychological wellness in a negative way, and shows no remorse about it, then I simply don’t want to be around that person no matter how much I might love them.

      • Hi Songofsavannah,

        I’m sorry – I somehow missed your comment. My apologies!

        I think that your thoughts on this are very, very true. After a while you have to consider yourself, and no, it is NOT selfish, unless choosing not to be completely sucked dry is selfish. Our mental and physical wellbeing have to come first, as you say, no matter how much we love them.

  13. My experience with narcissists is that, at the root of it, they suffer from attachment disorder. Most of the narcissists I have known have come from families with very emotionally broken parents. And the narcs, themselves, internalized practically from birth but certainly from toddler-hood on, the message that they are not worthy of love, because for one reason or another, their parents were incapable of engaging in appropriate affection or love toward them. When a child internalizes such a message, they develop two selves. The internal self is deeply damaged and incapable of loving or accepting love, because the message from the parents remains. The external self is an image that they work desperately hard to maintain around others, and that is their idealized self-image–the person they wish they really felt that they were. And they will defend, viciously and ferociously, against hearing about the actual internal self. They cannot tolerate being open to that pain. Ever.

    I ended a relationship with a narc recently when I realized that he had lied to me repeatedly about his past and that he had been sleeping with another woman the ENTIRE time we were together. As I pieced together the little bits and pieces of his life that I knew were objective fact, and combined that with the information about his divorce which has been going on for 4 1/2 years (!), I realized that this man has spent his entire adult life–fifty years–lying to women repeatedly. There has never been a time when he hasn’t been having sex with more than one woman, including throughout his 45 year marriage, and sometimes having an affair during an affair. Yet until I threw him out of my apartment, I never really sat down and put all the pieces together.

    Whenever we had troubles, usually because I’d asked too many questions, he blamed me. If he didn’t answer a question, I’d persist and he’d get angry. If I couldn’t make a date with him, he’d get angry. Strangely, when I’d tell him I wanted to see him more frequently, he’d tell me that I clearly didn’t want him. I was always having to “prove” I cared; trying to help him open up; trying to help him through his transitions. Yet when a close relative of mine died, his concern wasn’t “Are you okay?”. It was “So I guess you’re telling me you can’t make it to my business luncheon.” It was shocking how completely solipsistic he was.

    His father abandoned his mother, he himself clearly has Asperger’s, which no doubt contributes greatly to his solipsism, but he also has deeply narcissistic tendencies. He is not on speaking terms with his daughter and has disowned her, he will never meet his granddaughter, and he has delayed his divorce for over 4 years by filing motion after motion, for no objective reason. Putting it all together makes me really glad I got out of this 2 1/2 year long relationship (and two years of friendship before that), but I’m still definitely going through withdrawal. It’s really, really hard to do this, to go “no contact.”

  14. Brilliantly written, I love your writing. I find the whole thing about narcissists interesting. I’m inclined to think narcissism isn’t a mental health issue, it’s on the spectrum of human characteristics towards the ‘self-involved’ end. But who wants to have a relationship with someone who’s terminally self-involved. My man has narcissistic traits, that is, sometimes he’s amazingly selfish – but sometimes not. So perhaps there is hope.

    • Thank you very much. 🙂

      Narcissism is often described by experts on the subject as being on a spectrum. But there’s a lot of disagreement about its origins – is it nature or nuture or both? For now, I think its classification as a personality disorder is probably apropos. There’s so much we don’t know, but we do know that the personality is very affected.

      Most of us have some degree of narcissism. Up to a point, it’s healthy and necessary to our survival. But when it tips over into the extreme, it becomes a serious problem for those around the narcissist.

      Thanks for coming by. You have a great blog and are so witty. 🙂

    • Thank you. 🙂 Very much sppreciated.

      WP has done some re-organizing and you now need to click on the ellipsis that appears on the lower right hand corner when you scroll down on a post. I had trouble finding it, too. 🙂

  15. Great article, I ran across this article when I was researching NPD. Your article along with some very helpful comments. I really don’t want to get into any minute details about my relationship with her. But after I started to realize that nothing I did was right in her eyes. I was a sorry piece of shit for caring deeply for her and treating her respectfully. I initially started researching emotional abuse, then I remembered what she said to me early on. And at the time I thought, what did she just say??? Or she has to be joking, because everything was wonderful. But she said and I quote. ( you’ll know if I’m a narcissist or not in 4 months when I dump you). That’s what put me on the trail, and everything I’ve read, about how the relationship would pattern out. It pointed to an aha moment, and I still find myself asking what did I do wrong. But reading this article or blog helps me, sometimes I re-read it. Thanks for sharing

        • The gift I got from her for Christmas was a handmade cowboy wild rag. Can a narcissist spend time doing something like this? It meant a lot to me at the time and I still have it, and it was the only gift. She didn’t spend any money on it, it was made from things laying around. It’s not that the gift was shitty in a way. But, I just wonder if a narcissist is capable of making something? I am a leather maker and I make wonderful works of art for my loved ones and customers, I assume it was a manipulative act that didn’t take her long and cost her nothing.

          • Narcissists do give presents, usually because they want to intimidate (you’re dependent on me) or to prove something (I have lots of money) or to re-establish control (see what I got you? Of course I love you). Sometimes they just do it because it’s what’s expected. They usually don’t like getting presents because they think it means that they owe you. Narcissists are all about control. With narcissists, nothing is ever straightforward.

    • Hi cowboy99percent,

      Thanks for coming by and your kind comments. 🙂

      I’m sorry to hear about your relationship. It’s frequently true that narcissists will announce themselves like this or in a similar way. In a primitive sense, many of them know what they are, altough they would never be capable of admitting it. My ex-narcissist also “warned” me, but I thought he was joking and I minimized what he said.

      There are couple of other blogs out there about narcissism that you might find helpful: letmereach.com with Kim Saeed looks at romantic relationships with narcissists while anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com looks at narcissism in general.

      Really, you didn’t do anything wrong. Narcissists are very damaged people. Go easy on yourself. 🙂

  16. The problem with narcissists is not that they cannot love. They can feel every emotion that every one of us can. But, contrary to us, they are more advanced, and realise that the construct others make about love OVER AND ABOVE the pure emotion is bullshit. They realise it, while the rest of us don’t. Of course they are prey to other personality traits like insecurity, self centredness, jealousy, pettiness and wanting to take the initiative in every interaction, but , through those traits, they have learnt not to make a construct about love. We were not born with knowledge about love. Love as an emotion has its roots in the childhood form of love. That is what true love is in its unadulterated form. The rest, to which we subscribe in our wish to be universally human, is a construct, it is simply a way to tackle that root emotion in the way we have been taught by everyone who has interacted with us. And it is fundamentally wrong. The narcissist knows that. He is not wrong, he is right. We are wrong, in our hopeless quest for “love”. The narcissist sees that, or if he doesnt see it, he intuits it. Our quest for love makes us weak, and he is stronger over us. All answers to the narcissistic problem are invariably to drop our quest for “love” when we deal with him. Why with him only? It is our quest for “love” in general that should be dropped. We have never been taught how to love. We, not just the narcissist, do not know how. The non narcissists weakness is that he persists in it, while the narcissist doesnt. This doesn’t answer the question, but I’m sure an answer as to whether a narcissist can love can be deduced. Yes he can, but only love as the root emotion, without all the bullshit attached to it in any way shape or form. But that does not suit everyone else in their exposition of the wonderfulness of love. We are the ones with grandiose fantasies on the matter, not him. By the way, I am not a narcissist.

  17. Thank you so much! I’m not “terry” but I have met a narcissist eight months ago. I figured he was a narcissist about 4 months ago. I kept trying to get him to love me but I’m done wasting my time. He will never love me! I realize he has no empathy and doesn’t understand when I tell him he hurt my feelings. He doesn’t have compassion. The only time he shows a resemblence of love is when I stop texting and calling him. He reaches out and is sweet, it worked a few times. All an act to get me back. Then as soon as he sees me in the palm of his hand, once he sucks everything from me. My joy, my self esteem, my purpose, my identity he discards me. He plays push pull game. I am now moving on and going to be happy I’m not going to let him back into my life because it’s always the same thing.! Insanity! Once I regain everything he sucked out he comes back to retake it! I’m done with that its a waste of my time and energy. One day I will wake up an old woman and wish I could go back in time and not have wasted all that time. I give up. I will pick up my dignity and know I am a beautiful human worthy of love. I’m worthy of being respected and views as a human being who has value. Anyone reading this you deserve it too,! No matter who you are. Leave your narcissist. They will never love you,! Move on I promise you will feel better! I promise with time you will feel better!nobody has ever died of a broken heart. Well just wanted to get that off my chest and maybe it will help someone. You are worthy of real love! Always remember this. Much love and positive energy to you. And I pray you get strength to leave .

    • Yes! Very true. I am glad to hear that you recognized what was going on and got yourself out of it. Sometimes, it takes a long while for people to pull themselves. They want to believe that there’s hope, that the narcissist can be helped or can change. It’s normal for us as humans to want to give others every chance. The problem is that narcissists are very effective at taking advantage of this.

      Thanks for coming by and for your comments. 🙂

  18. am in love with a narcisst and i know he will never commit to me but he pulls me like gravity whenever i hear from him after so long.looks like he has biwitched me because every time i promise to never see him again i always go running back to him.i wish i could make him see how much i love him but it seems all my efforts are unseen to him.

    • Hi nisha, thanks for coming by. There are a number of main reasons why narcissists can pull us. For one thing, they are very charming, and for another, it’s hard for us to believe that we can’t get back to the idealisation phase that initially really captured us. Then, there are the mixed responses we have to their manipulation of us. We wonder, did that really happen? Am I seeing this for what it is? Narcissists also try to hang on to us, as well, so that they can return to us at a future time when they are low on supply – when they need something from us.

      Then there’s us. There’s usually a reason(s) for our involvement with this type of person. For example, I was really lacking in boundaries and I also believed that I could “save” my narcissist with my love. Your efforts aren’t unseen. It’s just that he sees them as a commodity that he can use in order to get what he wants.

      Take care of yourself. 🙂

  19. Regarding Johnny Doors comment, I would have to say that what narcissists also do not attach to the feeling of love is any feeling of faithfulness, loyalty, or deep attachment. It’s not that they experience the “true” emotion “without the bullshit,” it’s actually that they are deeply damaged people to begin with and cannot grasp the emotion at all. As a result, they do not understand that vituperative words, freezing people out, ghosting them, manipulating them, calling them stupid or ugly is not only antithetical to maintaining a relationship, it violates another’s person and destroys relationships. They are unable to see beyond their own wants; fearing those will never be fully met, they develop a repertoire of behaviors to manipulate others into maintaining a relationship with them.

    One example I know: a man married for over 40 years. During that time he had numerous affairs, including a 20-year long one. During that affair, he had other affairs. These were all sporadic–one or two days a month. But none of these really constituted a relationship–that was something he could not actually have. He had a prolific email and phone relationship with all these women, but no real emotional relationship or anything other than a sporadic physical relationship. Now, he’s being divorced, has no relationship with his grown daughter who moved overseas, and will likely never meet his granddaughter. He also has no real male friends. His primary emotions are anger and envy. He is able to suppress them for periods of time when he’s with a new woman, but ultimately they reassert themselves and he engages in behavior as abusive as ever.

    It’s very sad, in some ways, but he cannot change at this point in life (he’s 70) and no one can help him change. He sees relationships as commodities. When one stops meeting his needs–she wants something more than just occasional sex; she’d like to share parts of her life with him and have that reciprocated–he simply ghosts her and moves to the next or goes back to a previous woman whose pain over her treatment by him has diminished enough for her to think she and he can actually create what she is longing for. And he uses sex as a tool, substituting that for actual emotional closeness for both himself and whatever woman he is with.

    It’s sad and awful. It’s especially terrible that one woman wasted 20 years of her life like that, hoping probably that they would ultimately be together, and that his wife’s trust and belief was betrayed by him even before they married. And if it’s possible for something to be worse, he knows that he is alone, feels frequently awful about himself, but continues the behavior

    • Thank you for sharing this story. I agree completely with what you have said. Narcissists do not understand the emotion at all, although they would argue that they do, and that they understand it better than anyone else.

      The narcissist that I had a “relationship” with had absolutely no idea that his behaviour destroyed any feelings I had for him. He made no connections whatsoever. After threatening me, berating me and belittling me, he would sware that no one would “love” me as much as him. I called it “the Harry flip.” He saw no contradiction and couldn’t see it even if it was pointed out to him. The narcissist lives in the moment. Whatever they think right now is the one and only truth … right up until they think something else.

      Thanks for coming by; I enjoyed reading your comments. 🙂

  20. I’m so conflicted. It’s been 5 months after 7 yrs with N.

    It’s almost as if – having had an N for a mother – that you are programmed to do whatever it takes for their approval. You don’t matter other than providing the NS. You make excuses. You take the verbal abuse, silent treatment and inconsistencies, because it’s all for the good of the ’cause’. It’s not even so much that you are trying to get them to ‘love’ you, because deep down, you’re not all that lovable, right? But trying to get them to continue to use you for NS. That gives you a sense of worth. You have value. However deranged that sounds.

    My mistake was creating a situation where he created a scene, because of me (well, not because of me but I was there), in front of people he knew and he was humiliated by his own actions. He had to discard me and ghost me at that point. At first, after the numbness wore off, I thought Oh, if I could only turn back time and not be there, say that, whatever. But I believe rational thought may be returning, little by little…..and I can’t live like that.

    I still miss it because I did feel worthy.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I, too, had a narcissistic mother and I believe I was desensitized to their behaviour, so I understand what you mean.

      I’m glad to hear that you are recovering, that you are getting a sense of yourself back. You are right that in a weird way, they do make us feel “worthy.” Unfortunately, it’s not real worthiness. We were just temporarily calming our sense of anxiety by trying to please them.

      No, you can’t live like that. You have more value, more worth, than that. Self-respect is one of the best post-N cures.

      Take care of yourself. 🙂

  21. I am in the process of No Contact and have endured several hoover attempts, to no avail by the n. The ONLY reasons that I recognized what was going on and that this woman was a n, are blogs and forums such as this, which is one of the best I’ve found! I only had to put up with this nonsense from this full blown maniac for one cycle of Idealize, devalue, and discard, (then the hoovering attempts,) because I armed myself with knowledge from posts such as this. I am terribly damaged by what this woman was able to do. But at the same time I recognize what it was for what it was and fairly early on, started the research until I had that aha moment, and am well on the way to getting better. It is chilling how similar other’s experiences, (and I’ve read many, many of them,) were to mine. It is my fervent wish and prayer that more and more people find these forums as helpful as I have to truly rid yourselves of these unspeakable wolves in sheep’s clothing. Thank you for a great post!

    • You are very welcome! 🙂 I am glad that you found my blog helpful.

      Narcissists are very damaging and it can take a long time to heal. I am happy to hear that you are getting better.

      Be good to yourself. 🙂

  22. For me even if you can make the narcissist love you, it’s like a dog chasing a car. Even if he catches it, what is he going to do with it?

  23. Ok so I’m Terry irl.. but everyone calls me Heather.. 😯… I realized he couldn’t love ME long before I started trying to put a name to the issues that he was inflicting on our storybook, once in a lifetime, love.. that I so strongly knew would last till the day I die. I’m no Angel, never would even try to make myself out to be.. but there I go.. constantly defending who I know I am.. always believing him even though I know better.. I’m passed any trying to understand it, I have about killed myself, or the she’ll, trying to understand. But the kicker… I have two children with this hate filled man… I’m terrified of life with him, so I can’t even imagine what the rest of my life will be if I’m against him… I won’t be on the front lines for my children when they will be with him.. I need advice… wait 16 yrs till our children have all went off to start a life?? I will end up 100% deemed legally insane.. or divorce him and no matter how good and civil I would love to be to be for my children’s father, He will spend every second till the day he dies utterly destroying all of our lives.. because this that he give a now is “love” I’m completely terrified of his “hate”…

    • Hi Heather! First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you’re in such a situation. Secondly, killing yourself is no option, especially if you have two children who are going to need your non-narcissistic influence. I hope that when/if you feel this way again that you have someone to turn to – a friend, a counsellor, a family member.

      Divorcing a narcissist is not an easy thing and it’s something you have to be certain of and prepared for. They will drag you over the coals and you have to be ready for one hell of a fight. Planning is essential, and may require that you organise everything months or perhaps even a year or two ahead of time, depending on the amount of abuse he is inflicting on you and your children. You are the best gauge of how much time you will need. However, if you or your children are in immediate danger, you have to leave right away. In my opinion, someone who makes you feel like you might kill yourself is dangerous and you should leave (or lock him out/have him removed) as soon as possible.

      You will need money, support from family and friends, a great lawyer, and in all liklihood, a counsellor. And above all, you will need to conduct your planning and preparing in secret so that your narcissist can’t derail you. I don’t see waiting 16 years as an option – exposing your children to a narcissist to this extent while they are growing up can be very damaging.

      I hope this helps. Be good to yourself and let me know how you are doing. 🙂

  24. narcissist can love..but not like you think they will only ever love 1 person beside themselves that one person is forbidden love to then. They the narcissist will never be good enough for that person. The person the narcissist is perfect even their fault are perfect. The narcissist can not charm her or he in fact the narcissist will probably stay away think their not good enough for that person. The person deserved better. Forbidden love is the only love narcissist feel. So we can love beside our self…its just not you it might be a person they met in primary school or a person they met once.

  25. I myself recently fell for a narcissist, and was pretty sure there would be a way to get him to open up and love me. I’ve read many entries on this topic, but yours has been the most definitive so far. I loved the part when you say how they want what you have, and they want to take it all from you until you are no longer useful. I really want to get out of touch with him, but we share a group of Friends, so I don’t even know how to do it. Plus, he seems so attractive to me! I know he is appealing because that’s the way he lures people his way, and I can’t believe I fell for it and find myself unable to untangle from this whole thing. However, every time I start dreaming of a life with him, I’ll keep this post in mind, and I’m sure that’ll discourage me and remind me of the truth. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    • You are very welcome. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

      I’m glad to hear that you’re aware of this man’s drawbacks. The problem with true narcissists is that their drawbacks are all-consuming; their redemptive qualities are buried under years of pretense and guile. If he has NPD, the characteristics that you see as attractive don’t really exist. He’s just an actor who has closely observed you and discovered what it is you like in a man, and now he’s playing that part. He wants to draw you in by pretending to be what you would want in a partner.

      There’s also the fact that there’s something about you that he feels he can use or manipulate, otherwise he wouldn’t bother with you. In my case, I had to take quite a journey to figure out what I was doing or thinking that allowed my ex-narcissist to take advantage and almost lead me to financial ruin, among other things. I had to face some unflattering stuff.

      You seem like an intelligent, centered person. The more centered and self-aware you become, the more unattractive you will be to him.

  26. I never fell so hard. My heart is hurting so bad. I truly believe that I Will love him every day for the rest of my life. It’s very painful to know that all the special moments that we shared all the love that I felt all the time that he spent with me and the things that he did for me…. was there really no love behind any of it? Does he really not love me at all?

    • Hi Kelly, Seasons Greetings. 🙂

      Oh yes. I fell hard, too, and like you, never so hard before or since (I am now in a long-term relationship with a man I love deeply), but that’s what NPD narcissists do. If you were involved with a true narcissist (I mean someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, and not someone who just has narcissistic tendencies), then you were targeted. The narcissist saw you as someone he could control, use and manipulate. Because of that, he made a point of studying you to find out how to do that, and his attention and focus on you would have been intense. Who among us isn’t happy (at least at first) to have that? Especially if it comes from someone we find attractive? Once he learned about you and discovered what you like in a man (and probably your fantasies about men, too), he would have become that for you so that you would relax, trust and love him. Then he would have started to drop the pretense, and you would have been chasing him, trying to get your relationship back on track and pouring yourself into it.

      Unfortunately, true narcissists cannot love. What you experienced was a person who pretended to be what you want in a relationship specifically so that he could take advantage of you, or maybe just to prove to himself that he could conquer you.

      The thing to remember is that he’s really, really not the person you thought he was. He manufactured that for you, so the person you’re in love with doesn’t exist (not in the form of this individual, anyway).

      You might not believe it right now, but at some point, you will begin to feel better. Let yourself recover. Examine yourself – what can you learn from this experience?

      Don’t forget to be good to yourself. 🙂

  27. I don’t even know what to say… I’ve been sound so so so much research on narcissism… everything about him matches… except I really do feel he loves me… just not as much as I feel he needs to.. I feel like… what if he’s really not a narcissist and I just have this all in my head… like… idk.. I have a lot of my own issues.

    • Hello Unknown 🙂

      Maybe he isn’t an NPD person – it may be that he just has stronger narcissistic qualities than most. All of us have some degree of narcissism, and a little goes a long way.

      We all have our own issues, but if you feel that you’re not being loved enough, then perhaps you should keep looking. I think it’s really important for people to listen to themselves. If in fact your guy is an NPD narcissist, one of the things he will try to accomplish is to create in you a lack of self-confidence. They are also very good at creating (temporarily) the illusion of love. Allow yourself time to think about how you feel when you’re around him. Does he make you feel tense, disappointed, used, unappreciated, insecure?

      A good relationship should make you feel good, not bad.

      Take care and good luck. 🙂

  28. I’m so confused about all this I’m a single mother of 2 boys and there dad used to be me Constantly badly too but being with him was a hell of a lot easier than being with my now boyfreind I went no contact with any male for 4 years as I needed to sort my self then I met this guy he was amazing so sweet loving caring couldn’t get enough of me told me he was going to marry me evry thing etc etc got so obsessed with me I was entirely aloud to see my freiNds etc I was with him 247 litrely wouldn’t let me out of his sight and I don’t know what happend all of a suDeen he threw out all my girly underwear replaced with men’s briefs threw all my skirts dresses shorts and low cut tops out replaced with men’s farming clothes told me I’m not aloud to cut or dye my hair drink with out him I’m not aloud to see a male doctor or anything I’m not even aloud to be left alone with a male he then started being all weird come back go away type thing then bam just ignored me for a week and went off with another girl I was devastated he wanted me back and I got back with him and things were nice but then he got a job and we was taking me to and my kids to work with him at 3 am and we would have to wait in the car and then things went shit again everything I do is wrong and my kids are horrible in his eyes they are only under 5 he expects me to try keep them asleep until after ten am or locked in a room with a TV I can’t do that there my babies he says I’m not aloud there with one of my kids he saus he loves me bit not my Bullshit then he dumped me I was like omg bit he took me back again and it’s like I’m dangling it’s all his way I see u wen I wanr I text u when I want u do as I say or else he will dump me I’m in such a panic 247 about loosing him he’s consumming all my time attention everything bit givomg me nothing I return I have to begg and I hate it I hate that I love him I don’t want to but I feel like I can’t live with out him I’m such a diffent person iv only been with this guy not even a year I dunno how to leave and be OK about it I love him so much but I don’t wabr too iv recently been put on sedatives etc my life feels like it’s crumbling and I just cry all day he’s also told me he will kill me if I fuck him over and throw my body in Ullaf hole where they throw dead animals away I’m constantly on edge evreyone else sees it they all say I’m anorexic and nervous and look homless now but that’s not who I used to be I was the happiest most out going person and looked hot as hell now I’m just fucked like one time I asked to stay as we had a power cut and he was like i don’t want you here I said ok then I asked him a few days later about it he was like I said I didn’t want you here I didn’t say u couldn’t stay I didn’t even know what to say to that I dunno what I’m doing I don’t know how to get out I don’t know if I want to get out I don’t know I just feel a huge panic and can’t breath and I hate it I’m not happy I’m stressed and snap at everyone else don’t see any of my freiNds family nothing but I know I’m heading for a huge fall wether it be someone else stepping in or him just getting rid of me will things never really go back to what we had I feel like I need hI’m more than anything

    • Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      What you’re describing sounds abusive. I would strongly suggest that you try to remove yourself from this situation – especially for your kids – as soon as you can. Maybe you have a relative or friend who can help you; make use of community resources if necessary. You say you have gone no contact before and it really sounds like you need to do this again.

      Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.

      • I’m just so confused we got back together but his rules were do not text me during the day or you will see what happens and I only want you here from 6 pm til 9 am on a Tuesday or Friday last night I snapped I just had a gut feeling he was up to something so I said that to him then he was like stop texting me I was like I’m sorry I just miss you and he was like I will ring u at 6 pm then I won’t talk to u until tomorrow I’m going to bed I knew automatically he wasnt going to bed and I was like no iv had enough it’s can’t keep doing this I really can’t your just so mean and he replied u did this so deal with it I can’t be fucked with you or your bushit bye and I didn’t text him back and I haven’t herd from him so we’re both dping no contact but he gave up so easily no fight no nothing should I be worried about this is he going to come back and try do this crap all over again or do u think he’s had enough

  29. A million thank yous for this post. Your honesty has saved me any further, torturous wondeting and hoping. Please, if someone can direct me to a support group in Brooklyn, NY I’d be so very grateful… 6 yrs of hateful torment and finally ready for No Contact, but have a serious lack of support and respurces. Please help.

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