Category Archives: Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist

Why Do I Attract Narcissists?

I created this blog in 2010 to heal after ending a relationship with a narcissist. I am not the only person to do so; many excellent bloggers are writing about the same topic. Perhaps the most painful aspect of dating or marrying a narcissist is experiencing firsthand  the idealization, devaluation and discard phases of the relationship.  One minute, the narcissist has you on a pedestal and the next minute, he or she tells you that your hair is too frizzy.

Although I focused on my relationship with my first husband in this blog, whom I left when I was 22 and then reunited with at the age of 40, this was not my first relationship with a narcissist. . So I have spent the past few years asking why I attract narcissistic type partners. At first it seemed to be a cruel twist of fate or karma.

Many of my readers ask the same question, “Why do I attract narcissists? What’s wrong with me?”

I am not a psychiatrist and I have no professional training in the field. I can only speak from life experience. From my experience and from the experiences of others, it is clear that if we are raised in a dysfunctional family situation, where our emotional needs as children are not met, then we are more likely to attract similar conditions in adulthood.

One of my parents had a narcissistic personality and was physically and emotionally abusive. I have not written about this before in this blog, but clearly this primary childhood relationship predisposed me towards seeking out relationships with narcissists in adulthood. Furthermore, it is my understanding that narcissistic types will seek out, perhaps unconsciously, individuals who are accustomed to poor treatment by others. If we are raised in dysfunction, then we will accept dysfunction.

The only way out of this pattern is self-awareness. Once we identify that we have been living our lives in a cycle of unhealthy relationships, then we can learn to identify the red flags or warning signs which can keep us safe from negative entanglements with the wrong people. I am not an expert, but I recommend therapy for working through all negative relationship patterns. We must learn to value ourselves and to not allow others to treat us badly. When we value ourselves then we will avoid dysfunctional relationships with others because we will not tolerate their behavior.




Filed under Cluster B Personality Disorders, Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Karma & Betrayal, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Psychopathy & Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD)

The Controlling Wife

So many times we hear about sociopathic men controlling women. Typically, it is females who become trapped in emotionally abusive relationships and cannot leave due to financial circumstances. However, there are also many men trapped in similar situations. I know that the term ‘controlling woman’ is a stereotype and yet I recently experienced a situation which made me think about it in-depth.

A dear friend of thirty years recently tried to end his relationships with  a sociopathic family member. I had been friends with this man, whom I’ll call Tom, for thirty years. I knew about Tom’s situation with his family member for several years. Several months ago, he came to me because he had decided to cut off ties with this individual, who happened to be his wife.

My friend grew up in a home with a very controlling mother and without knowing it he signed up for the same treatment in his marriage. I met his wife when they first started dating. She struck me as quite immature. She was 21 at the time but seemed more like 11. All that this woman wanted out of life was to have as many babies as possible and to not have to work outside the home. Tom, who was in love with his wife and eager to start a family, agreed that she should stay home with the children but he did not know that he was also signing up to support her financially for the rest of her life.

The number of children seemed to be the first point of struggle. After three children, Tom wanted to stop but she insisted on more. Tom wanted a vasectomy stating that they could not afford more children because his wife was not working and he had a blue-collar profession. After the fourth child arrived, Tom again stated that he wanted no more children. At this time, they had three boys and one girl. His wife insisted that she “needed” another daughter and begged and pleaded. So their second daughter was born. After five children, Tom insisted on a vasectomy.

After the vasectomy there was very little and eventually no sex. Without the possibility of pregnancy, Tom’s wife only used sex as a reward/punishment system, sending him to sleep on the couch so often that he eventually moved to the couch.

In addition to wanting more children than they could afford, Tom’s wife also had expensive habits including wine, clothing, make up and going out to lunch with her friends. She still did not work outside the home. Tom went without to provide her  wants and he subsequently ignored his own needs. His wife had been brought up in a wealthy family and she did not seem to understand that her husband was a blue-collar worker with a limited earning potential. Credit card debts ensued, not for necessary items but for luxuries. At one point the finances were strained after Tom was laid off from a manufacturing firm which was moving overseas. Instead of offering to find work herself to help pay the bills (the youngest child at that time being 8), his wife pushed for them to take a second mortgage, which they did, mounting to the debt.

Early on in this marriage, Tom’s wife took the lead of being the boss, of being in charge. He referred to her as a bully. If she did not get her way, then she would punish him with sullen moods, outbursts of anger, and fits of crying. She inflicted her moods on the children, who also responded to her manipulations by acquiescing to their mother’s demands. The entire household revolved around the mother. Anything and everything was done to keep her calm. Tom pressed her to see a psychiatrist but she refused.

With the economic changes after 2008, Tom found that he was unable to make enough money in his career as an industrial tradesman without traveling to remote areas for weeks or months at a time and sending the money back home to his wife. He lived in squalid conditions including musty hotel rooms, shared housing and even campsites to keep his expenses as low as possible. He was incredibly unhappy and yet he felt that he must keep working to support his children, especially as his wife continued to not work outside the home.

As the years went by the type of work Tom had to perform, which involved climbing and lifting for ten to twelve hours a day, began to have a toll on his body. Having inherited a genetic form of arthritis, his limbs became twisted and as he took medications to control the swelling at such high levels that his liver levels were altered. It was at this point that I came into contact with him again, after an absence of several years. He was desperate to change careers and yet he could not afford to. When I suggested that his wife should get a job, he felt thankful to me for saying so. And yet she continued to not work and he continued to tax his body.

During the past couple of years, Tom remarked to me that lately, instead of working five ten to twelve-hour days per week, he needed to work six in order to make enough money to satisfy his wife’s spending habits. He referenced her credit card bills, expensive clothing, trips to the hairdressers, cases of wine, organic food, vitamins. At this point, I interjected, “Organic food! You’ve got five kids and a workingman’s salary! You can’t afford organic food!” He sadly agreed and yet he seemed powerless to stop her from buying it.

Finally, last fall, feeling his body becoming worn out and broken, and with every day of work more painful than the one before, Tom had enough. He decided to call it off. The youngest child was fifteen. He announced his intention for a divorce, and told her that although he would fully support the children and household until the youngest was eighteen, she would need to get a full-time job right away, as he intended to transition to a career which would not destroy his body further.

Tom’s resolve lasted a few months while his wife battered away at him daily. First, after having ignored him sexually for years, she began pursuing him against his will. He felt extremely uncomfortable about her advances and asked her to stop. She did not. Since he was working several hours away, and saw her only occasionally, at first this was not too difficult. But then she began calling him and texting him unceasingly. After having ignored him completely for years, she began a campaign of constant contact, which anyone outside of the situation would consider harassment. She agreed to go to counseling to address her poor behavior, then she missed the appointments. She yelled, screamed, cried, withdrew. She harangued him, argued with him and accused him repeatedly of neglecting his duty. She shamed him. She told him that his children were suffering because of his actions. She upset their teenage and young adult children, whom she drew into her confidence as she designated herself as the victim, suddenly thrown out and forced to get a job, as if doing so were an indignity she could not bear. Soon his young adult children began to call him at work asking, “Why are you making Mom get a job?”

None of Tom’s children seemed to be aware of the breakdown of their father’s body, or how hard he worked, or what that work did to him. All they heard was the deafening yells of this woman who was simply a large child not getting her way. Finally, after several months of harassment, Tom needed unexpected surgery and wound up unemployed and living under the same roof as his wife. Due to pressure from her and his oldest daughter, he finally gave up his intention to get a divorce and agreed to reconcile with his wife. Undoubtedly, he will work six or seven days a week until his body fails, which cannot be too many years from now. (He is currently 50 years old.)

As sad as this story is, I know of several men trapped in similar situations. Their female partners control them by withholding sex, and making them feel ashamed. They accuse them of neglecting their duties and being bad fathers if they consider leaving their wives. My friend Tom knew that it was possible to get divorced and still be a good father and he set out determined to do this and yet his intentions were undermined by his wife convincing him (and the children) that if he left her, he was also leaving the children. This case is particularly sad in that the wife used the children to such an extent that Tom began viewing them as if they were much younger and more helpless than they were. A secondary aspect of this family’s dysfunction is that the adult children were also growing dependent on Tom to be the person who not only made all the money but who solved all of the emotional squabbles in the household. Two of the adult children were still living at home and not contributing anything to the household in terms of either money or labor.

Control and manipulation are gender neutral. Anyone can play in these twisted games. My heart goes out to all persons trapped by controlling partners or family members; may you all find the courage to escape.




Filed under Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Psychopathy & Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD)

Four Years Later…

The fourth anniversary of the dark discovery of my ex’s betrayal is approaching. For some reason, four years feels like a significant milestone.  I did not even notice or write about the two or three-year anniversaries. The approaching date weighs heavily on my life, darkening the light which I have found in the interim.

When writing about a traumatic event, the cliché closure technique is for the writer to emphasize  that while the experience was painful and challenging , he or she is stronger and wiser in the aftermath. However, four years have passed, and for me, this is not so. I feel wiser, but it is a cold wise based on a lack of trust for others. Instead of stronger, I feel weaker and diminished, as if his use of me as a disposable item rendered me less of a person.

I have not wallowed in despair during the past four years, nor have I fallen prey to self-pity. I have executed positive actions toward healing including  seeing a therapist, beginning a meditation practice, writing down though processes on this blog, creating a dream journal and taking art classes.

Yet, the overall feeling from the experience is one of loss. Not loss of  this man or his supposed  love, but the loss of my faith in life an in myself to make the right decisions.

More to follow…




Filed under Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Healing from Betrayal, Uncategorized

Regaining Lost Ground

Phoenix 2.0

Phoenix 2.0 (Photo credit: Jon_Tucker)

It has been a long time since I have written about my experience of recovery after a relationship with a narcissist.

My last entry of May 19, 2013 is, ‘What I Lost‘. After I wrote this post, which details hitting the bottom of my loss, something interesting began to happen to me. I transcended the experience and all the chaff fell away from me. In retrospect, it felt as if the proverbial scales fell from my eyes. Once reaching the bottom, and taking inventory of the emotional toll, I was able to rebuild.

This man, who had dominated many years of my adult life, has ceased to matter. I saw that his love for me had been a fraud from the beginning, and so the loss of it no longer mattered.

Instead of feeling that I’d lost my true love, I recognize that I lost precious time and energy. The relationship also cost me a great deal of money.

The silver lining in the ending of this relationship was that I live one hundred miles away from this man. I have been able to keep my promise to myself in this regard. I urge all my readers struggling after the breakup of a relationship with a narcissist, sociopath, etc., to practice the fine art of “No-Contact”.  It is the best and fastest way to heal from a relationship a person who lacks empathy.




Filed under Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Healing from Betrayal, How to Stop Loving Someone, Uncategorized

What I Lost

English: This is the title screen from the ABC...

English: This is the title screen from the ABC series Lost. Español: Este es el título principal de la serie Lost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thirty months have passed since I ended a  relationship with a pathological liar with sociopath tendencies. For the most part, I am far removed from the relationship now. I can go a few days in a row without thinking about it. I remember when it was impossible to even get through a minute without thinking about it, back in the first few weeks, and of training myself to not think about him or his betrayal for five minutes, then an hour at a time. It took a long time and a lot of slow painful, draining emotional work. It has taken its toll on my spirit.

I think back upon that time as a traumatic event in my life from which I am still recovering. The term ‘soul damage’ repeatedly comes to mind. I am finding that similar to most traumatic events, I get triggered into thinking about it again when certain things happen in my current life. Last week, the sudden death of a friend triggered the feelings of trauma. I began to feel re- traumatized and began reliving parts of it again. The feeling of initial shock, of denial, that it was happening.

In reviewing the event this past week, I realized that the experience had made me aware, thirty months into the future, of things, mostly within myself, which I had lost through living through his betrayal. These are all things which I possessed prior to hearing from him back in 2007. Some of these things I have partially recovered and others I am still working on. Some just are gone from me, and I don’t know how to go about getting them back:

What I Lost

Self Esteem

Faith in Life

Sense of Direction

Hope for the Future

Belief in Love

Belief in my worthiness

Belief in my dreams

Faith in my Intuition

Faith in myself

Ability to Trust Intimately

Sense of Worth



Health Physique

Sense of Personal Power

Belief that I was special

Belief in my Sexuality

Faith in following my heart


Peace of Mind.

Belief in Soul Mates.

The magical feeling that my life had come full circle.

Belief in sexual partnership/sexual union between two people as being meaningful

Sense of self

Feelings of magic and wonder in the world

Sense of having my feet solidly on the ground.

Faith  in myself to make the right decisions.




Filed under Cluster B Personality Disorders, Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Healing from Betrayal, Karma & Betrayal, Psychopathy & Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD)

Raising a Child When Your Ex Has Cluster B

Many of my readers have asked for advice on what to do when the mother or father of their children is Cluster B. I wish I knew how to answer this question.

I’m very sorry to say that I don’t have an answer. I have one very close friend in this predicament with a school age child, and know other people who have struggled with this situation.

I consider myself lucky in that many years ago, when I was twenty two years old, I realized that my husband was severely screwed up. I took the baby and I left. I did not give him a forwarding address but wrote to him telling him to contact me through my father when and if he got his shit together.  I heard from him once, a couple months after I left. I had moved to another state. This was before the days of the internet and I felt safe and secure that he would not be able to find me. I did not have my name on a lease, nor did I have a telephone number listed. My father forwarded me the letter from my husband. In it, he threatened legal action against me for having taken our child out of state without his permission. As he was up to his ears in dealing drugs, I ignored the letter, as I knew that he would not contact the police.

I did not hear from him again for eighteen years. Many people insisted that I was foolish for not ‘going after’ child support from him. A couple of these were state workers at the welfare office. I figured out that I could get the state health insurance for my daughter and myself and also food stamps without involving my husband. But these well meaning social workers insisted that I needed to get the child support. I did not understand why people wanted me to get child support from a drug dealer as that would instantly give him knowledge of our whereabouts. It was the best decision I have ever made, to leave, take the baby and not seek child support.

So I guess that is the best advice which I can give. If there is any way to cut the person out of your child’s life, do so. If you can sign away child support in exchange for no visitation, and you can afford to live without it, then do it. My daughter and I lived on fumes for years. Lentil soup and oatmeal. No car. We took the bus everywhere. Of course it was very hard. I was able to do it because I was in my twenties and physically very fit. Not everyone could live the way we lived in order to go without child support. Now, in my forties, I do not have that kind of energy.

Eventually we moved to the other side of the country. I continued to get food stamps and medical assistance but to never apply for welfare. I told my daughter what I believed was the truth: that her father was a drug addict and that’s why I had left him and why we did not see him. I did not know at the time that underneath the drugs was the darker side of his personality disorder.

The only positive aspect of my story is that my daughter was able to meet her father when she was an adult and form her own opinion of him based on his actions during the three years he was recently involved in our lives. She has decided, after this trial run, to not include him in her life, based on his actions, deception, lies, lifestyle, choice of activities and associates.

I am proud that she was not subjected to his manipulative personality disorder so that he did not have a chance to warp her emotionally.

My heart goes out to all of you who have children with a Cluster B type, and I hope that you are able to make the best possible outcome in the situation.




Filed under Cluster B Personality Disorders, Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Psychopathy & Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), Uncategorized

The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manipulation and Abuse

This AMAZING post has been republished with permission from the author of the Facebook page, “The Path to Peace- Recovery From Psychotic Manipulation and Abuse” (



“I have something weighing heavily on my heart…two things really…Recovery is lost when we continue to see the pathological as having had any “humane” or “human” hearted qualities that involve anything more than what a predator is or does, throughout the relationship. Please pay attention to this:

He/she was, is and forever WILL BE incapable of loving you. Whatever you shared between you WAS NOT REAL. What you felt was real, whatever he/she told you, did, said, was, WAS ALL A LIE, A FACADE, A MANIPULATION, A MIND FUCK. In order to heal, you MUST understand this with your ENTIRE BEING. You MUST find a way to accept this and write it ALL OVER THE CORNERS OF YOUR MIND AND YOUR SOUL. If it was anything you perceived as sincere or kind, that was MANIPULATION. If you perceived their blame, projection, abuse as having ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH ANYTHING YOU SAID OR DID, IT IS A LIE. This IS what they want you to do. THEY WANT YOU TO ACCEPT SHAME AND BLAME. ANd it’s so much easier to do that, than it is to accept that this “person” FAKED an entire relationship with you to get what they wanted out of you. THAT IS ALL. NOTHING MORE.

In taking inventory of my part in my relationship with my ex, the SECOND I projected, attributed ANY scene between us, any “emotion” i perceived he was feeling, as some sort of “soul” connection, even in a sick and twisted way, I FORFEITED MY TRUE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT ME AND JUST INVITED THE BASTARD BACK INTO MY WORLD AND ACCEPTED HIS SHAME…AGAIN!

True inventory looks something like this: “I reacted to my abuser this way because______.” and/or, “I was prey for my predatory abuser because it was familiar”…
“What were the red flags about my ABUSER that I missed?”
“I stayed in the relationship because I had NO self esteem, NO boundaries, etc”.

WHAT about any of that, has ANYTHING to do with HIM, other than that I was PREY? When you continue to humanize your ex and the relationship, you are still hanging onto a non existent fantasy in your head. These people are not capable of ONE OUNCE OF AUTHENTIC, GENUINE EXCHANGE OR LOVE. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT YOU AND IT ISN’T NOW, but YOUR HEALING AND WHY, WHY, WHY you were there and WHY you stayed ARE.

The longer you hang onto a sentence, an emotion, an act of what you perceive as sincerity or love for you, or some “connection” shared, you will NOT heal from this. It’s a guarantee. Absolutely.

I realize how incredibly difficult, and probably the most challenging of all, it is to understand, accept and FULLY INTEGRATE that whatever exchanges you had, WERE NOT SHARED BY THIS PERSON. EVER. It was a GAME to them. Whatever PERCEIVED SUFFERING out of them was MANIPULATION. These people are EXCELLENT at the pity party. This is DRAMA they created and DRAMA you keep moving through your head like a Hollywood screen play. STOP. THE. DRAMA.

You shared nothing but a pathological bond. That’s it. A TRAUMA BOND. I think I need to put the trauma bond signs up again. The SICKNESS in us, is our PARTICIPATION (but WHY) and that when we are out, we LONG for it. We reminisce in a way that makes them somehow HUMAN. If our connection to them was not going to be a soul mate status in love, it will be a soul mate status in sickness? do you SEE how unhealthy that is??



I understand how badly you want to hang onto one glimmer of ANYTHING that remotely resembles a ‘soul” connection to the predator, but that isn’t possible. It never was. People who are capable of love, care and kindness, do not do what these people do. This is part of the SLIME you are left with and what they HOPE you take with you…this belief that even one second in the relationship meant a damned thing. IT DIDN’T. IT DID NOT.

I know how excrutiating this is. I understand what a deep and traumatizing wound it is, but unless you LET GO OF THIS FANTASY OF SOUL CONNECTION, GOOD OR BAD< YOU WILL NOT HEAL. And you won’t get to the truth of your part in it.

We were exploited. There wasn’t anything about any of us, and our abusers that didn’t SPELL EXPLOITATION for them. NOTHING.

Sincerity, love, hope, caring, passion, predictability, kindness, compassion, all of those BEAUTIFUL things in a relationship, WERE NEVER THERE WITH THEM.

Haven’t you all experienced what Natalie Lu from Baggage Reclaim calls the “reset button” out of these people? You have an argument and they come back five minutes, hours or days later and pretend nothing ever happened? that EXACT thing also occurred with any “GOOD” stuff your perceiving. Most of you are out of the relationship now and while some of you are still longing, some of you moving toward the part where you are purging your own piece of this crazy assed puzzle, THEY HAVE MOVED ON AS IF YOU DON”T EXIST. They remember NOTHING of what you “shared” GOOD OR BAD. It is as if you NEVER HAPPENED. NORMAL PEOPLE DON”T DO THAT and this is why you struggle so much. You are projecting your OWN FEELINGS and PERCEPTIONS onto this person of words, scenes that happened during the relationship that meant NOTHING to them. Please work hard on this. Replace words of connection, good or bad with REALITY. When you can really do this, you will see that every single thing they ever said, did or acted upon was for the sole purpose of EXPLOITING you. NOTHING MORE.

When you can do this, you will be in a place to look at your part in it realistically, without the shame, the massive amounts of unnecessary guilt, blame, self sabotage and incrimination. do not take on what was NOT yours. Do not ACCEPT what was not YOURS to accept in the first place. Do not ROMANTICIZE them in the slightest. GOOD OR BAD.

My ex is an abusive psychopath. A predator. A reptilian BRAIN. A snake. My ex abusive psychopath, USED, MANIPULATED, EXPLOITED, LIED TO ME, MIND FUCKED ME, CHEATED ON ME AND GAVE ME AN STD.

THAT was the reality as far as he is concerned.

Here’s mine now: What on earth made me prey for a predator? Why was I attracted to an abuser? What in my life, in my past, needs healing, BADLY? Why didn’t I have boundaries? Why didn’t i have self esteem? Why did I IGNORE the red flags? Was this familiar to me? If so, WHY? How can I make sure that this NEVER, EVER happens to me again? And so on….

I’m being repetitive here. This is so important to recovery and is a pivotal point in it, because the closer you REALLY GET to pulling up YOUR CRAP is when your brain is going to want to mosey on back to your ABUSER and romanticize it all….
You see part of recognizing your darkness is to understand why it was there in the first place. Whatever went on in the relationship, was manifesting that darkness inside of you. Ironically, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM AT ALL. This will happen with each and every human being that has the GREATEST MISFORTUNE OF CROSSING THEIR PATH. They will play out the pathological crazy assed mind fuck with EVERY single victim.

You will not. Whatever you did in the relationship, from lying, to reacting, to sexual deviancy, to physically abusing back,…whatever you did in the relationship in response to the bond, you MUST FORGIVE YOURSELF. YOU MUST understand that while you were “there” in the physical sense, that when you are in a pathological, very sick relationship with a very sick human being, there is NO WAY you are not going to become sick IN IT. THe gift lies in being OUT OF IT. The gift is that you have empathy. The gift is that you no longer have to do any of those things that you did in the relationship. You must look at this REALISTICALLY so you can heal. Even if there are pieces of the “darkness” left in you after this, give yourself A BREAK and some TIME to deal with it. Whatever you did in the relationship is not because you are a bad person. It’s because you were WITH a very bad person. This distinction MUST be made so you can look at your stuff without the temptation of moving into drama mode about them and that somehow this was YOUR doing. We ALL make mistakes, and as long as we are here we will continue too. We are human beings, IMPERFECT. But the difference is that we LEARN from it, GROW from it, GAIN INSIGHT FROM IT AND NEVER LET IT OR WANT IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

Please think about this. Turn the drama and fantasy on its head…so let’s start with a little honesty and reality shall we? …

My ex was an abusive psychopath, narc, sociopath…..

Onward and upward….”


Filed under Cluster B Personality Disorders, Guest Writers, Healing After Relationship with a Narcissist, Healing After Relationship with a Psychopath, Healing from Betrayal, How to Stop Loving Someone, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Psychopathy & Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), Uncategorized