Break Up and Divorce My Life With A Narcissist – Part 2 – What I’ve Learned

My Life With A Narcissist – Part 2 – What I’ve Learned

Preface from Eddie Corbano: This is the second part of Marce's “My Life With A Narcissist” article, and if you haven't read the first part yet, do it now – it is important that you know what Narcissists are and what they do.

This part is about how they became what they are, and what you can do if you are a victim of them… firsthand from someone who has been there. Thank you, Marce!

Richard Baxter – Narcissus and Echo (2000)

By Marce.

The Birth Of A Narcissist

Often a Narcissist, (male or female), has experienced major trauma in their life which was devastating, to the point that it kills that person emotionally.

The pain never goes away and they “bleed” continually.

To survive, they build a barrier that insulates them from the external world of people, and to cope socially with others, they develop a FALSE PERSONA – a personality or identity which is NOT who they really are.

The wounded child inside may present as a “bad ass” or a “tough guy”… or he can play the part of the “nice fun guy” who everyone just adores.

Whatever the case may be, it is NOT the real him.

The Narc attracts devastation, pain, and unhappiness into their own lives. They never get to create durable love, happiness, peace, and joy.

“The Narc attracts devastation, pain and unhappiness into their own lives”

Still thinking about your Ex? Click here to take the test to learn how long it takes to heal... and how you can speed up the process.

They are plagued by a large inner hole, an intense pain and anxiety within themselves, resulting in self-loathing, extreme anger and sometimes shame – they battle with their own shortcomings.

Like a junkie, they need someone or something to “take the edge off” – to give them temporary relief from the pain and intense inner torment that they continuously feel.

Usually, they target people to extract “narcissistic supply” from to function and make them feel better about themselves.

They are professional manipulators and design their game plan to get their “junkie needs” met at any cost.

“Narcissistic supply” is their drug and they don't care who is pushing it, as long as it makes them feel good about themselves.

The Perfect Victim Of A Narcissist – Why me?

Their ideal victims, (or hosts), are people who are emotionally generous and who allow their boundaries to be bent.

Don't get me wrong here – there is nothing wrong with being emotionally generous, caring, loving, kind, unselfish, etc. But the Narc will take advantage of your goodness and will abuse it.

They suss people out and get a feel for who will play their game and who won't. They target their ideal candidate and will prey on your basic need for love.

They start out charming, intoxicating and figuring out exactly how to push our buttons – almost with the cold calculation of a serial criminal.

That's the scary part.

They know exactly what they are doing – it is not a coincidence or an accident … you are selected, targeted and then “sucked in”.

How To Spot A Narcissist – The Red Flags And Warning Signs

It is not at all easy to spot a Narcissist to be honest because all people may have one or more of these traits and that does not necessarily make them a Narc.

All I can suggest are some clues to watch out for, and more importantly to go with your gut feel – who knows better about “something not being quite right” than you?

Definitely, if they appear to have ALL the characteristics listed below, then I would be almost certain that they fit into the Narcissistic category.

Some Characteristics of a Narc – things to watch out for:

  1. They lie
  2. They look down on others
  3. They refuse to take responsibility
  4. They are two-faced
  5. They can be vindictive
  6. They prefer laughing AT people than WITH them
  7. They are bullies
  8. They are very childlike
  9. They believe that no matter what happens they will prevail – because they see themselves as being invincible
  10. They believe that whatever bad things they do, they will be forgiven and will ultimately triumph
  11. They are fearless to the point of being insanely unrealistic
  12. They have persistent fantasies about attaining success, power, and wealth – they are obsessed with it
  13. They are incapable of compromise and need to win
  14. They thrive on evoking reactions and emotions – whether negative or positive – both give them a “high”
  15. They cheat on their partners
  16. They are NOT capable of “real” love as normal people know it. They are more interested in being in control and feeling important and special than ever being loved by someone
  17. They manipulate people to go against their own values willingly
  18. They USE people as puppets, pawns, and commodities, burning them out and then moving on to their next victim.
  19. They do not value people, do not miss them or love them because that involves bonding emotionally at various levels and the ability to bond is MISSING

An additional resource from Eddie:

In 1979 Robert Raskin and Howard Terry developed the “Narcissistic Personality Inventory” (NPI), as a measurement of narcissism as a personality trait. It’s considered to be the ultimate test to identify narcissists:

The Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test

The Solution – How I Reclaimed My Power

Narcissus from Caravaggio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Here's what you do: when he goes missing in action, you simply do too. Fall off the face of the earth if you have to.

I went into no contact, but I pined for him and was desperate to know if he missed me if he would come back.

How bad was I that he felt the need to run away?

We never fought, no slinging off matches, the breakup/dumping was not ugly in any way, we never, ever said things to each other that was of a derogatory nature or hurtful in any way, (we are both mature in years).

So the dumping was done with very few CRYPTIC words/sentences from his side. From my side, I was dumbfounded and in disbelief, and pretty much kept silent through the whole ordeal.

We did get back together, but once again it was short lived for the very same reasons as above.

So I went back into no contact and researched some more – I kept going until I came across information on Narcissists. That's when everything fell into place for me. I finally understood what I was dealing with and what I was up against.

Some of the things I learned is that he could NOT have loved me, he could NOT have cared that much about me. IF and WHEN he ever comes back or makes contact out of the blue, it's only because his new supply has also caught onto his game, or she is not as good of a supply as I was.

Maybe he was bored with her like he was with me and just wants to test the waters to see if he still has control over me.

I was the “vehicle” for him to thrive on – like a flea or a maggot. If you pick a flea off a dog, does the flea miss the dog?

The flea only misses its blood supply and soon finds another host and victim.

And so this relationship pattern will continue throughout the life of a Narc.

It is such a sad state of affairs that we were drawn into this sick game, don't you think?!

I know I am harsh because we all want to believe that the Narc misses us and loves us and cares about us. After all, we did bend over backward for him. We became emotional contortionists.

But the truth is, we are yesterday's newspaper.

This was the hardest thing for me to swallow when I first heard it, but it's true.

“He values the attention of total strangers more than the attention you gave him.”

This is so very true looking back now.

One thing you can be 100% certain of – he is UNABLE to truly give you what you want or deserve – a whole, healthy, secure, loving and transparent relationship.

What If You Want Him Back Anyways?

I understand that you may be thinking that you can change him now that you have read all of this, and know who and what he is.

That is just magical thinking.

“But remember, he has ALREADY given it all up and thrown it all away by dumping you!”

I also understand that you feel invested in your Narc and cannot bear the idea of just “giving up” on him or “throwing it all away.”

But remember, he has ALREADY given it all up and thrown it all away by dumping you – maybe even more than once? So this is where you have to have some pride, as well as respect his decision.

Some of you may be selling yourself short, and then bargaining with yourself saying, “I'd rather have him on some level than not have him at all.”

Don't settle for less than you deserve.

When someone rejects you and the relationship by dumping you, don't attempt to change his mind. Any further contact with your Narc will just be a re-run of past events, except this time, you KNOW the ending.

Perhaps you want him back for different reasons, though?

Maybe you want him back so you can get revenge. You want to get the final word in because this will make you feel back in control.

I fully understand the satisfaction and closure this may give you, but at the end of the day, it is a total waste of your time. He will not listen to you anyway.

He certainly won't apologize and acknowledge that he was wrong in any way, or that he has a mental problem.

So what are your options?

To be miserable, abused and discarded at whim? Or to be happy and content, in a secure and loving relationship with someone who adores you and cares about you?

Keep reminding yourself that all he really offered you was insecurity, paranoia, anxiety, depression, and deception – and made you feel awful about yourself.

My suggestion is that you make a conscious choice not to have this person in your life because his behavior is NOT okay.

No contact, no engagement with him, is essential.

Going no contact is NOT to make him miss you or long for you, but rather to give YOU – “the victim” – relief, space, time to do some research, time to heal, time to move on and time to get your sanity back.

That is why NC is so crucial. It will allow you the time you need to separate the thoughts in your head with the feelings in your heart.

You need to get YOU back.

How long will this take?

I cannot answer that. No one can.

It may take 30 days; it may take a year or longer – who knows?

But I do know one thing, though – when you get yourself back, what your ex is doing will become irrelevant.

It just won't matter what he is doing, why he is doing it or who he is doing it with.

And I believe you WILL get your sanity back eventually.

Don't spend your precious time trying to create sanity out of insanity. You will one day look back on all of this and say, “I will never give him the chance to hurt and abuse me again!”.

No Contact Obstacles – The Problems You Will Face

While you are going through no contact, (which was and still is an extremely painful time for me), think about this for a minute or two:

If you break no contact, will you be able to handle:

  • no response?
  • rejection?
  • being ignored?
  • being told stay out of his life?
  • being called a stalker?
  • him blocking you from his social media permanently?
  • having him mess up your mental and emotional state again?

If the answer is “NO” to any of the above, then you are not ready to break no contact… and may NEVER be.

But that's okay, trust me.

The very first day of him discarding, (dumping), you, how did you feel that day?

I know I cried, had a panic attack, perspired profusely, could hardly breathe, had this heavy yet empty feeling inside my gut, no appetite, got into bed and just did not want to see or speak to anyone or do anything… for days and weeks.

I say breaking no contact with your Ex-Narc will take you straight back to that day!

Don't purposely go and break your heart again.

Besides, what good will come of it? Will you finally get your answers?

“Breaking no contact with your Ex-Narc will take you straight back to your worst day”

(MORE: The Cruelty Of The No Contact Rule)

I say nothing good will come of it, and I also say that IF your Ex wants to contact you to reconcile, they know exactly how to get hold of you.

So despite what I have said here and what you have read elsewhere, I know you are thinking, “I will give it some time, and then I will break no contact… because I want him back!”

So why do you want him back?

You deserve better than what he was offering you – he is just an emotional vampire anyway.

However, I know you want him back, and you are longing for him, and you feel you are going to do things differently this time around, etc. (all the things I thought and felt too).

But when you do break No Contact, (and there is a great chance you will – I did), and also if HE breaks No Contact, here is a tip:

Make sure you are ready, emotionally and mentally, for him – you must be strong and be in control of you. The moment he sees or senses a weakness, you are giving control back to him.

Don't let your guard down, stand your ground and make sure you are ready, (whichever contact form it may be in).

I say this because it is absolutely necessary for your sanity and dignity. I don't want you to become a crutch until your Ex-Narc moves on without you again… and he WILL.

Ask yourself if he is worth it. What are the chances he will do this again?

Now act accordingly – either give him that second chance and be prepared to get hurt again, or DON'T respond at all.

You “returning to the fold” is HIS triumph, not yours. Once again, you are just proving his superiority and irresistibility.

He will always test your boundaries to give him the upper hand.

Also, remember no one loves competing more than men because generally, they want what they can't have. So make it hard for him to get you back and KEEP you.

People place a high value on something they have to work for.

Take control, and move things forward in your way, at your own pace, not his.

(Is your Ex a narcissist too? Click here and tell me how I can help (1 min).)

In Conclusion

I will admit I miss my ex very much and often think about him, but I am now okay with that.

I am okay with that because I accept the fact that we are over and can never be a couple again.

I will never stop loving him completely – he will always hold a special place in my heart.

I don't know what he is doing now, or what he did a month ago, and it no longer concerns me because he is no longer in my life.

I often wonder what it would be like if we ever DID get back together again. I think it would be like walking on eggshells. I would mistrust everything he told me, I would be coming from a place of love and would need lots of reassurance. But to him, I would be nothing more than a void to be filled until he finds another supply.

And quite frankly, I DON'T want to live like that anymore.

I know it is very, very hard, especially if you loved him with your whole being, (heart and soul), but you have to push through it, and things will get better.

I now take things one day at a time. I don't look too far ahead and try never to look back.

You are special and without question can do better.

I hope you found this heartfelt report about life with (and without a narcissist) helpful and inspiring. My deepest thanks and best wishes to Marce.

If I could sum up this two-part article in just one sentence it would be this:

If it is destroying you, then it's not love

If it is destroying you, then it's not love, my dear.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

  • i have been brainwashed and madly in love with my narc for 3 years, We have a beautiful child and we are now separated after i saw her texting other men, she the biggest liar i know. she has an excuse for anything and got extremely angry if i questioned anything i know is a lie, she is abusive to her dog, by keeping her dog in a small kennel all day sometimes not feeding it and letting it be in its own piss and shit crying all day, and she beats it when shes angry or it ‘disobeys’ her in her mind, when i would try to help the dog then she would take it out on me for getting involved in her business, im worried one day she will harm our child as it seems she is incapable of loving anyone but herself, her delusions and desires for being rich (by getting with a rich person) is delusional, she even while 7 months pregnant downloaded a dating app and chatted it up with men for an ego boost, she would say she hated that she got pregnant with a fat broke losers baby, she would punish me by blocking me on all social media (never once posted a picture of us together), blocked my number for weeks at a time, then would come back to me and i would accept her story which was probably a lie, she would give me the silent treatment for days/weeks in person when we lived with each other, is extremely promiscuous and wanted to text several men who were just “friends”, in her diary she wrote how she hated doing it with me and fantasized doing it with other men all the time, kept me away from my family like she was my master because she said they were dirty and she didnt want my son crawling on their dirty floors (parents house is clean!), when she in reality was jealous i had parents still together and who loved me and were proud of me. She truly degraded me and felt she was above doing anything at home like cooking for me after a longs day at work to provide for her and our son, it was never good enough, i felt worthless being with her, she truly hurt me when i saw she wrote she wished every night that i would die at work in a fire and never come home (im a fireman)… she already moved on and i know the truth now that she is a real life demon, a emotional vampire incapable of loving anyone other than herself

  • karen kay says:

    I could have written this myself it’s so true to my situation. I miss him so much I thought he was the love of my life when I met him aged 57. Now 5 years & many break-ups later I know I will be obsessed by him for a long time to come. It’s 6 months since our final break and I still cry every day. At least it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one feeling this desperate way. I wish the empty, hopeless feeling would end soon because I don’t know how I can carry on feeling like this, I feel like it’s damaging me inside and making me ill but no matter how I try to get over him I still want him with every fibre of my being.

  • Thank you I really needed this

  • At that stage of freeing myself. Lot to do. Thanks.

  • Wow I am 50 and had just moved back to my hometown when I ran into someone I had grown up with. I knew he was an asshole. But we talked for hours. He has lived here his whole life. He is making my life hell. Every 2 weeks he pops up. Had a bunch of guys at the local bar really give me a hard time. Threaten to kill me. I have gotten a pfa but it has not stopped him. He is dragging my name thru the mud. I get flagged, I did nothing. What am I suppose to do. I have a job here I have a nice apt. I worked my ass off to get where I am today. To walk away from it because of him. How can I stop him

  • Hi the article was spot on an described exactly what a relationship was like with my ex partner only to add to the mix he was an alcoholic and OCD. He deceived me about his drinking until he crashed and took to his bed and refused to wash, eat or help himself in any way. I was frantic to keep him alive, it went on for weeks and he was emaciated and covered in urine sores. He has been in hospital twice for a detox but still drinks. He put the responsibility for his life on my shoulders. I came to my senses last week and finished it . His son has now told me that he has taken to his bed again. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy his company most of the time and we did a lot of things together which I will miss and I got him back on his feet and he managed to get a good job. I’ve told his son I can’t help this time. I feel traumatized by the whole relationship and could see through him but the false love and attention he gave me kept me hooked. Good luck to everyone get your happiness back.

  • How do you make the public aware and how do you hold them accountable? I was so broken down during the divorce, he basically got everything. It sucks starting over at the age of 50, however I feel at peace more so than I ever have. If this mental illness is on the rise – why are they allowed to keep doing this? I heard of brain imaging and it detects this.

  • I was in a Narc-relationship. Oh I loved him so much, i was beyond love, i ADORED him. It happened more or less like in the article, out of the blue he changed and decided he didn’t feel the same. Anyway, he DID come back, and I accepted him back. Not 1 time, not 2, nor 3 times… 12 TIMES!!!! Each time he managed to convince me that he had changed, he accepted he had a mental problem and that would find help. He kinda did, but at the end it was all the same. It’s been a year since our last breakup and he contacted me again. I was able to say no, and even my whole body ached for that, I know it is best this way.

  • Described exactly how it was..kuddos to you!

  • This article was amazing! Unfortunately I broke the non-contact rule, and its left me worse than the original break up. Thank you so much for this article. I resonated so much, everything in the article happened to me.

  • This hit hard. This is actively the relationship I’m in. I felt the worse feeling in my gut today, I wanted to explode into tears but nothing comes out. I believe he’s finally broke me. I’m totally lost. I’m so lost that I hardly know myself anymore.
    He’s also actively doing a “pulling away” episode on me. They come and go. He mostly just puts me away but stays, but he has left me before and in the cruelest ways. Nobody has ever hurt me like him.

    The thought, “I’m ready to not do this anymore” comes more frequent now. I was once a really bad ass chick. She’s there somewhere… I will be free from him and his twisted type of love. Very soon. I’ll be taking his children with me when I do.
    And despite my minute moment of inspiration, deep down I feel guilty for these thoughts. He’s conveniently stopped caring again and I’m beginning to care less and less about the relationship as well.
    When I truly break off from this sick cycle we’ve created between us, and truly stop caring in every way imaginable.. will I be free? Will I become the person I once was before him?

    This article is amazing and has truly made me see things I’ve been blind to (or denying) for a long time. Thank you so much.

  • Its like reading your own story here =(
    And I’m so sorry to see that you all were also in this pain .
    I was with a narcissist for 5 years
    5 golden years that I could be with someone who could at least care.
    He left me months ago , but he was never mine and this makes a person like me suffer since I did eveything almost everything to show him how much I was in love .
    He named me crazyb**ch ,needydoll, a fool who has no specific personality, a dark hole and …
    The one thing I never did and I’m so happy because of that was “sex”
    He didn’t wanted to have sexual loving relationship actually . He wanted to use me as a toy and I’m so happy not giving him what he wanted .
    For 5 years he lied , for 5 years he betrayed me , for 5 years I saw him with different girls
    I had to apologize him for having memory loss which I never had .
    I had to praise him when I was suffering deep inside from the stomache ache that he was its cause.
    I used to be happy when he asked me to break my connections with every single male friend I knew once . And if my answer was no he would call me a b**ch .
    I was pretty .. full of energy … happy enough but he never wanted me to be pretty . He kept laughing at my body and tell me that I was fat and the next day after losing 15 kilos … losing my appetite … and becoming a total anorexic woman … he called me ugly zombie doll.

    Now I’m ok
    I have returned to my normal life . Currently Working on my health to be completely cured .
    I need time to find myself again . To feel again like how I felt life like before .

    Respect your unique hearts and get ride of the jokers .
    You will be fine and live a better life I promise .
    Love you all

    • Helen Warren says:

      Spent past 5 yrs with a narc.Lived in total hell .Couldn’t. figure out what was wrong.had that sick feeling in my gut.I became angry abusive not able to understand what was going on with me.I tried getting him out my home.would not leave.I know now that I was his supplier.Over 5 year period had 3 accidents in my car,3 hospital stays in less 2 ys hit bottom.I felt hopeless Relapse after 11 years sober.suicide. attempt. Had to leave or die.No contact for over a month.I play the tape all the w. thru for any contact with him.

  • I think my ex was a narc but im still not sure… i even questioned if i was maybe the narc.. we met were together 16 months. I fell so hard for him. He knew i had been hurt before. At the start he love bombed me . Taking me out. Taking me to nice hotels. Buying me things. Bringing me flowers. I loved it but only because i love romance. He told me after four months i was his soul mate. He had never felt this way before with anyone else. I felt the same… things were great for 8 months then all of a sudden i felt he was a bit distant. He actually admitted to me he wasnt going to make all the effort anymore. That he needed to feel wanted etc… he lived with his parents i live alone. So i just thought it more natural for him to want to come to mine more. Anyway i did start going to his more. At one point i was making all the effort . I was the one trying to plan things otherwise nothing was planned. Where as at thestart he told me he wouldnt let things get stale. He would always make an effort.. i started to feel down and i didnt understand why. Arguments would start. The arguments were silly and i can admit that i can be guilty of being petty. He would tell me i was petty and all i did was assume things. If i truly loved him or if he was the right guy for me i wouldnt assume or question anything as this hurt him. After a few arguments he would end the relationship and i would chase him to get us back as i loved him so much. We tried a few more times and again things were great. I was his soul mate the one etc then again after a petty argument he told me it was over yet again…he would also give the silent treatment after argumemts no matter how much i tried to sort them or say how sorry i was. He would drag them out too which upset me more. Anyway we have split for two months now. He wanted to stay friends but i said that would be to hard. So now we have went no contact as he has blocked me… after the break up he would say i still love you but we wont work. He would say that he was emtionally drained. Telling me that i was his world and he adored me but that my constant assumptions ruined things. Or that he thought i was his soul mate but that i had proved him wrong. Then the next txt would say i deserve better because he doesnt deal with arguments well and he knows that hes srubborn and drags them out. That it isnt fair to me… im devestated as i could have without a doubt said he was the one… can anyone offer advice? Does he sound like a narc?or is it just a relationship that hasnt worked?

    • Of course your ex is a narc
      He wants to be just friend because he wants you as a supply and also doesn’t let you to move on and have your own life .
      You are guilty because of your good look just because same as my ex bf , he wants you to not have any chance of finding a man who really cares for both your inside and outside beauty.
      You deserve better don’t let him take your time and your love .
      Please don’t let him do what my ex bf did to me for 5 years .

    • Kristin Sesslar says:

      This sounds exactly like my husband!

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