As we know narcissists often act in ways that defy all definition of normal. They regularly break the rules, tell lies, break promises, degrade, demean and exhibit unjust, aggressive and abusive behaviour that is inappropriate, childish, without remorse and totally inhuman.

It’s likely, if you have suffered narcissistic abuse, that you have a high level of integrity, and it’s likely you’re known as a person who does the right thing. You have a conscience, and because you do, you’re mindful of considering your environment and other people.

Therefore you will be dismayed, and even regularly incensed by the narcissist’s inability to conduct themselves appropriately, or abide by basic human morality and decency.

It’s likely that you will fight for decency and morality. Before long you’ll find yourself lecturing and prescribing ‘correct behaviour’ as if you were talking to a 5 year old.

YOU act responsibly and uphold your integrity, therefore why shouldn’t THEY?

Life with a narcissist is like a bag of tricks, and a box of chocolates. You never know what will morph out of thin air, or be unwrapped next. You are constantly on edge, walking on broken glass and suffering from high levels of anxiety. Understandably you want the instability and madness to stop…

Forcing accountability logically seems to be the answer, so that the crazy feelings and fear can end.


Your Integrity Is Used Against You

It’s extremely important to know the strength you possess – integrity, is in fact one of the greatest weapons that the narcissist uses against you. Firstly understand the narcissist purposefully targets people who have high levels of integrity.

The reason is he or she knows:

  • You will take responsibility for cleaning up the messes that the narcissist creates.
  • You will stoically work overtime on cleaning up these messes.
  • You are the perfect person to blame, because you vehemently try to prove your integrity to the narcissist, rather than leave, despite the abuse.
  • By focusing on trying to get the narcissist to act like a responsible and considerate adult you will hand over lots of much needed narcissistic supply (attention).
  • The narcissist can accuse you of lack of integrity in any area you pride yourself in – (being a good parent, a caring role model, a pet lover, an honest business person etc. etc.) which grants omnipotent delight when the narcissist views how much this maims you.
  • You will be a partner ‘who loves and cares’, therefore willingly handing over your resources, time, support and money.

By preying on your need for integrity the narcissist has set you up to lose your mind. The more he or she attacks and pillages supply and resources from you as a result of your high levels of integrity – the more you will try to righteously force the narcissist to be accountable. In fact you may go out of your way to prove a point, and do the ‘right thing’ – to set the right example, hoping that the narcissist will learn and start acting like a decent person.

The narcissist by the very definition of what a narcissist is, does not want to be accountable, does not want to ‘play fair’, does not want to conform and does not want to ‘do the right thing.’ A narcissist believes playing by the rules makes him or her like everyone else.

In fact the narcissist watches you doing all of the ‘right things’ and inwardly laughs about how pathetic you are for doing it, and loves it because it gives him or her ample opportunity to keep mining supplies whilst you keep trying to force him or her to be as ‘good’ as you.

The narcissist believes ‘being good’ would mean being reduced to a mere human, swallowed whole and controlled by the system. The narcissist thinks this will create vulnerability and take away his or her ‘edge’ of remaining separate, having the upper hand and securing narcissistic supply. To co-operate means he or she will have no way to steal energy to fill up the empty painful void within – and this would spell emotional annihilation.

You must understand that there is now way to make the narcissist accountable – and trying to is one of the greatest hooks that are keeping you stuck in abuse.


The Deadly Dance

A horrible addiction process occurs when you try to exert control over the narcissist’s actions and demand his or her accountability. In fact the more you try to control the uncontrollable, the more you lose control of yourself.

As your focus on trying to make the narcissist ‘normal’ and ‘decent’ intensifies, the more you expose yourself to the mind-bending twists and turns, the insane behaviour and the intense gas-lighting, manoeuvres, projections, justifications and downright lies that will tear your self-esteem and self-belief apart.

Before long you will think you are losing your mind, and you find that you can barely function. As the process intensifies you will feel so empty, tormented and anguished that you may feel like life is not worth living.

I promise you it is the strongest, most intelligent people with high integrity that suffer the most in this deadly dance. Be very aware you can’t win this game with the narcissist – and trying to win will just grant A-Grade supply to the narcissist every step of the way.


The Narcissist Fights Dirty

The need for integrity creates the perfect forum for the narcissist to unleash his or her most powerful arsenal. Within arguments he or she has a wide open playing field with no boundaries. This is like a blood-thirsty game of mortal combat with no rules. The narcissist has no conscience, therefore an endless amount of nasty tools are readily available.


These include:

  • Outrageous lies in order to gain whatever goal the narcissist has in mind.
  • Gas-lighting techniques in order to get you to doubt yourself.
  • Imagined allies to back up his or her claims.
  • Malicious comments to maim you.
  • Attacks on your integrity to disarm you.
  • Expert projection to make what he or she did your fault.
  • Purposeful outrageous and childish non-sensical comments to incense you.
  • Refusal to remain on the topic at hand.
  • Insistence on boundaries within the conversation, granting him or her all the rights to continue speaking, and you none.
  • Discard and abandonment techniques regardless of the state you are in. (The more distressed you are the more delight in abandoning you).
  • Attacking you in regard to your distress, hysteria or anger that has occurred within the argument.
  • The ability to use any of the above (plus more) to purposefully punish you, and create the highest level of anguish possible.

No human being is a match for these tactics, and if you do try to match the narcissist’s game with any of the narcissit’s tactics – the narcissist immediately pounces on your lack of integrity, which throws you into the despair: The narcissist doesn’t believe I am a decent person (this destroys your soul and mission to ‘change’ the narcissist …) or you will feel the incensed mind-bending rage of: Who are you to accuse me of lack of integrity?

Whichever way it goes, you end up battered and distraught, and the narcissist obtained narcissistic supply and the omniponent knowing that he or she can have this effect on you…

You can’t shrug off allegations like the narcissist can. The narcissist, once securing you in their life, actually doesn’t care whether or not you think the narcissist is a good person. The narcissist is simply in the game for the two reasons that narcissists interact with anyone:

1) To secure narcissistic supply, and

2) Having a person to hurt in order to offload their tormented inner self.

You have to accept that the narcissist simply does not hold or even care about the model of love and relationships that you do. His or her values, needs and neuron brain pathways are miles apart from yours.


The More you Need the Less You Get

At the time of entering the argument you will feel that you were seeking accountability for a specific issue – now as a result of the argument you will feel totally unsafe and need accountability for all the brutal abuse that occurred within the argument as well.

The more you try to gain accountability, the less you receive it, then the more accountability you need – and the vicious cycle expands and broadens until it is literally ripping your life apart, with no way out if you continue…

You know when you are disintegrating and complete losing yourself, because this is when you start acting like a crazy person. You may call the narcissist twenty times in a row, start seeking people in his community to tell them the truth about the narcissist. You may be constantly checking the narcissist’s facebook, phone records and contacts about what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, and your whole life becomes obsessed and totally taken over by the need to get accountability.

This is the exact opposite of where you want to be. With your focus completely obsessed with what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, he or she has you right where they want you – detached from your True Self.

No longer are you able to healthily supply yourself with your basic emotional needs, sustenance and safety. It’s likely that you’re no longer able to look after your practical and even survival needs effectively. You may find it virtually impossible to eat, sleep, pay bills and function.


How to Drop the Need for Accountability and Reach Acceptance

Read the following very carefully. This is your truth.

Understandably you will be operating from the mind-bending pain: ‘You should or should not be doing this!’ and ‘How on earth can somebody do what you do?!’

This may seem correct at a human and logical level, but this does not help you create a healthy and accountable life with accountable people.

One of the largest fundamental lessons of life, and intense learning curves that we are forced to face as a result of narcissistic abuse is this: People can be and do whatever they want to be and do. This lesson of acceptance is one of the most essential when recovering from narcissistic abuse.

There are only two ways we can live our life. These are:

1) Resistance, or

2) Acceptance.

When we judge something as wrong we have set ourselves up energetically (energy being the true ‘note’ that creates our reality), as My experience is wrong, because of this thing being wrong and therefore I have to make it right in order to be Okay.

For example: If you do something bad to me, and I decide to be affected by it ( a normal human reaction) I’ll replay it in my mind, and every time I do I feel the pain of what you did to me. You are however no longer standing there and doing ‘it’ to me. I am actually free to get on with the TRUTH of my life, but I can’t now – because what you did was ‘wrong’.

I have assessed my life can’t be ‘right’ now, because you exchanged with me in a way that was ‘wrong’. Your ‘wrongness’ has now become my ‘wrongness’ (I took it on), and it can’t be fixed until I change you from being ‘wrong’ into ‘right’.

Understandably this is very POWERLESS. I have no power to change you. And If I try to I can’t have a ‘right’ life until I change you from being ‘wrong’. The truth is I’ll be having a ‘wrong’ life forever…

Why? Because even if I could force you to change into ‘right’ (highly unlikely and impossible when dealing with a narcissist), more and more ‘wrong’ people would still keep coming into my experience and keep doing ‘wrong’ things to me…

Why? That sounds crazy! Why would I keep attracting the ‘wrong’ behaviour that I detest so much?

The answer is simple. It’s because I have an intense focus and dislike (judgement) on ‘wrong’. I take it personally, I make other people’s behaviour about me, and I judge who they are, and try to fix them and change them in a futile attempt to make me happy…rather than take responsibility for being the Creator of myself…

…all because I have not as yet learn the vital SOUL LESSON of acceptance and unconditional love which is:

“I love you and all of life enough to allow you to be whoever you want to be on your journey, and I love myself enough to choose what is the TRUE journey for me. Therefore if we are not a MATCH thank you for showing me what I needed to heal within myself, and I can let go and allow us both to experience the journey that is our choice as it stands right now.”

Whenever we judge something as wrong, we are in resistance. By resisting this thing, we think we are saying ‘No’ to it – yet in reality we are saying ‘Yes’ and bringing it into our experience. Resistance hooks us into the fight of trying to change something that is ‘wrong’ into being ‘right’ and pollutes our being and experience with ‘wrong’ in the process.

True Acceptance does not mean tolerating – it means the exact opposite. Acceptance means we observe the narcissist’s behaviour and accept that the narcissist does what he or she does because they are a narcissist. With this acceptance you will no longer have the need to change or fix the narcissist for your own wellbeing.

The gift in learning how to stop trying to get accountability is the peace and the acceptance that we are Unlimited Beings with all of the resources of life at our disposal. We don’t have to try to force unmakeable deals to work – because there is plenty more of what we really want available in life.

You need to establish that you DO have the resources within you to create your own truth and fullness. You can allow others to be whoever they wish to be, and if who they are or what they do does not line up with your Truth, then that person does not need to be your reality. Leave and stop participating and put your focus fully onto creating what it is that you want.

If this article resonated with you I would love you to join me for my next free Live Teleclass called the 3 Keys To Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse. In this event I share my healing system, Quanta Freedom Healing™ which has allowed thousands of people from over 50 different countries to break free from narcissistic abuse and start new lives filled with abundance, freedom and joy.

Please click here to reserve your space for this free event.

I hope this article helped you realise just how much damage fighting to get accountability is causing you. Next time you judge someone or their actions as ‘wrong’ remember to apply acceptance instead. Everyone is doing their own journey in their own way, given their map of the world. Now set yourself free to choose your truth regardless of what this person is or isn’t doing, and if their truth is not a match for yours it certainly does not have to play any part as your truth anymore.



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Commments (173) + Leave a comments

173 thoughts on “Trying to Make the Narcissist Accountable is Keeping You Hooked

  1. all REALLY makes sense now,even though I left him 7 months ago, am starting prop settlement, and am forever hitting brick walls, with me getting so frustrated and angry, but that’s what his aim is, right?

  2. Hi Sharon,

    yes this is his aim, and of course it is totally normal for you to get angry and upset – however this does hand over narcissitic supply and also KEEPS holding up his behaviour in your expereince.

    The more we focus on what someone else is doing with big emotional charges connected to their actions, the more we receive ‘MORE OF THAT’.

    When we are in this space with the narcissist, it just keeps happening with no signs of letting up…and nothing we ‘do’ makes any difference to the relentless attacks and onslaughts.

    Without exception when you do the work on you and heal and empower yourself to the point that his behaviour becomes Not Your Reality, and the focus of your truth and alignment takes it’s place, he will have no hold and no affect on you.

    Every person that does the work on themself and gets to this vibration (I promise you) starts to experience everything falling into place for them, and the narcissist loses power and starts to ‘fall over, ‘slip up’ and ‘screw up’.

    To understand more about how this is done, and why it needs to be done, please listen to my latest radio show which will help you a lot

    1. Melanie I’m so thankful to hv found u and this life changing articles and I thank you! I have been married to a narcissist for 22 years…and I had found the strenght to walk out nearly 3 years ago! We have 1 son together 25 years old. I started to read about narcissism since our son was 6 after a psychologist friend of mine pointed out to me that my husband had traits of narcissism and of course after she witness me losing my sanity at times!! It has been a wild Rollercoaster that left me and our son wounded! While thinking getting out of the marriage was my biggest step…I found my self lost and even though I hv been experiencing a type of contentment and a part of me that never knew existed I still felt like I had lost my identity! I feel like I have a lot to resolve with my self before I feel free from my past! With no doubt my life and my son’s is more beautiful. And for all of you that your life is with a narcissist at the moment….they will never change. . It’s like trying to reason with the unreasonable!!! Melanie thank you so very much…so looking forward to keep reading and shedding light and hope for an even much better life without my narcissist!!!

      1. My spouse i’s this way. She has scarred me and our child through her passive agrees I’ve behavior, overt alcoholism, and two-facedness. It is a double standard where the husband feels the need to leave due to the instability of the wife.

        As if men are supposed to endure a woman’s abuse and/or endure until she decides she no longer wants to stay. I do not feel sage in our home as her personality is rude and nasty and is an alcoholic. And I feel our child is being negatively impacted as a result.

        I want to leave and take our child but still I feel our child needs both parents. My spouse has no accountability and says this herself. I am at my wits end. But I would never leave our child with her and her instability and alcoholism.

        As an example she frequently left our child in a running vehicle as she would re-enter the home for a forgotten item. I advised that she not leave our child in this manner. She brushed off my concerns. It was not until she did this at a store and a man verbally chastised her threatening to contact the authorities that she stopped.

        Yet she complained of the man’s chastisement. Narcissists treat some people badly primarily because if they feel there is no accountability or ramifications to themselves.

        1. Hey Derick. So sorry to hear of this.. it’s awful.. I’ve been going through this all on my own for years.. I don’t go out I don’t see anyone.. only because I don’t want them to see me down.. I’m a shadow of my former self.. it’s just great to be able to talk to others that are going through the same.. I hope you’re well Derrick.. how is it now??

      2. Hi Lenia,

        I’m in same situation, he’s still trying to hurt me.. my son is nine.. he has all the traits raised above and then some.. so like u I have a son with him, so u can imagine what goes through my head over and over during an anxious episode ( the aftermath of being around him) .. he doesn’t live with me.. I don’t really want to go in too much on here, I’m sure you’ll get it anyways… I would love to speak with you if i could pm you .. glad u got away, must be easier as your son is older.. I’m so desperately unhappy with the situation..

  3. dear melanie,

    I am having a horrible time right now. I have been with an extreme Narc for two years. He recently discarded me along with his 10 month old son. I have been seperated for a month now and he has still given me no money at all in support for our son. Your website has helped me immensely I was so confused it happened right out of the blue i want you to move out this relationship is no longer working. he doesn’t call i am just now doing the minimal contact he just looks at me like a brick no emotion the abuse was extensive he used to call me fat for the weight gain after my son was born isolated me in quite a way from my family as to not be blatant. He was just rude and cold to them so they would not come around. I struggle with wanting to hold him accountable but he can’t even admit that he kicked his son and me out. and to think we were looking at houses 2 weeks before it happened. It left me confused for no reason. and when i say extreme NPD i mean exactly that i am his longest relationship ever of 2 years, no close friends no close relationships with family he has never once apologized it is always my fault if i could just work out my issues.

  4. Hi Theresa,

    yes what you are going through is awful, an dthe relief only can come from committing to you accessing healing, empowerment and relief. Theresa if you haven’t already please access my free resources: 1) My free radio shows: and my free eBooks:

    These will help a lot. If you do have the resources and want powerful results to start getting better quickly and powerfully, then my highest suggestions are: Quanta Freedom Healing (sessions with me) or The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program:

    Commit to the information and solutions that you need, and you will recover…know that this commitment to yourself is essential.


  5. I think I am living with one right now and I am trying to figure out a way to leave! Thank you for all of this information, it is helping.

    1. Attack his EGO! I was compassionate, tried to reason with him, tried to get to his heart! There wasn’t one! Took me 25 years to figure that one out!

      1. It took me 40 and even after 14 months, the divorce is still a huge battlefield with so many lies and destroyed relationships
        How can you just forget your life’s memories in the blink of an eye. I still don’t get all of this.

  6. Checking Facebook, emails, etc. I thot I was the only one doing that. But your right the fixation, obession, the need to know ran my life becauze my narcissist husband was so secretative that’s the only chance I had to know anything. After 14yrs of marriage he turned ugly and I became his enemy. That pit of my stomach feeling is always there a mix of hate sadness and disbelief. After 14yrs of marriage, after I told him I told everyone how much I trusted him and I knew he would never betray me …. ha, ugh, sob. Never have I felt this betrayed in my life. Took all our retirement to start a biz. Quit his day job practically, opened a shop, and all of that he never asked told or consulted with me. I find out as he screams it at me. After 14yrs of marriage I thot he’d always be there be my love care for me. Last Nov I was taken by ambulance to hospital. Many hours later he showed up to take me home. I was hurt and mad I thought I was going to die earlier that day. Had all the symptoms of having a stroke. I could not think or speak. I called him for comfort during the middle of that I even prayed God to care for him. I was sure that day I was physically going to die. Obviously I didn’t. However I had developed a kidney problem. When he was driving me home I was upset and questioning him as to where he was. I was in hospital over 12 hours. He proceeded to call me names bitbull, etc. We got home I felt desperate and panic and unloved UNcared for and scared. I was sick throwing up and crying. He sat in the chair staring at me. I was crying … I asked him if he was going to help me. His eyes were like the devils eyes and he said no I’m not. You wont shut up you are a pitbull and a b—h. I’m leaving. He got up. I live in the woods. My car was not there I had no way to go for help if I needed to. He got up and threatened to leave me there. I decided in that moment to have courage be brave and I prayed for strength. I said to him if that’s what you need to do then go ahead. He paused I pounded myself in the leg … not hard, quick release. I said nothing more. He left. I would not allow myself to linger in thot or dwell on emotion. I think I ate something bad, but … the next morning he walked in the house and said hey hows it going. Want some coffee … ??!? Since then yep he’s threatened to leave and he left and I repeat the same letting go procedure. I haven’t ran for a divorce yet because I hear my higher power telling me to relax and let go. If you run now you still got ick on you. Learning just because he does what he does it doesn’t say anything about me. He’s the one stomping out like a child and having to figure out what next. One step at a time and congratulate yourself. Eliminate the need to know why or what, it has no bearing on who we are and it sets us up for crazy making tactics we don’t feel good about. Iam extremely sad and grieving for what I thot I had. I work to not hate the man I once loved with all my heart. I’m crying for him because the person I loved does exist but somewhere else. My husband has a sickness and not much I can do about it. God will get me thru make me strong ill be OK. Now going on 17yrs married. Every day every minute a new walk. In this moment however not real fond of the Guy but enjoying sharing this long winded narrative. May the good lord bless us, strenghten us, and give us plenty of reserves.

    1. I have just read your post…. and your pain then was my exact same pain a few weeks ago. I am about to do my inner healing work. I am in a no mans land, observing the abuse as if some kind of weird spectator. I am trying to come to terms with the grief and realisation that the man I was(is) in love with…. someone I thought was real… is just an illusion. I have carried this belief of my husband being real for 21 years. I am getting so many powerful insights day by day, its like living in some surreal dream, but it is my true life. I am trying to ditch him in my head space and replace with me and my reality and my truth and it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My sons have suffered because I haven’t been available for me, never mind them, and I feel deep shame for that. They deserve better. I just hope to some higher power, that I can put right what has gone so dreadfully wrong.

  7. I now know, after battling a non winning battle to get my ex partner to realise what he was doing to me, abusing me, everything imaginable that happens with a high end, extreme narcissist. He just kept at it, hurting me as much as possible and every time I tried to get him to see and to apologise, he justified his behaviour over and over again until I was so drained, that I had no fight left. I wrote emails and letters constantly explaining what was happening and how he was behaving, pouring my heart out to him to hopefully get him to see and stop the pain he was causing me and himself. I never got a reply to emails and not one response to letters. Tried talking to him as I was sick of writing and focusing on trying to ‘fix’ everything, and all I got was my needs being dismissed. One day I wanted to quietly talk about my needs regarding his lack of interest in me sexually, what I got was ‘go and get yourself a new boyfriend then, or a dildo’…cruel and heartless, then he saw my face which was sad and said, ‘oh get over yourself, it is all about Jac’! Ten minutes later after I was completely drained of life and exhausted, he would change and worship me again and go come home with a gift. Quick changes that left me even more confused. Awful abuse to worship in the time frame of 20 minutes. So acceptance is very important and learning how to just let go, let him live his life and don’t waste any more time trying to get accountability as Melanie said, it is an excrushiatingly pointless exercise that will leave you so exhausted, and no strength left to do what you must do and that is leave, move on and live a great life. It does feel amazing, feeling alive again and your light return to you. I have been free for 5 months now and will never go back to that life again, not for millions of dollars. Thanks Melanie, your experience and finding answers for us all has saved my life and others. Jac x

  8. Another word of caution in the ‘giving of gifts’ is that as nice as it may seem at the time, it is them trying to buy us and keep us interested in them. My ex man would always buy me lots of small gifts and it was usually after he had drained the life out of me the day before of 20 minutes before, whenever it was, I know it was manipulation. He would also buy gifts that he would like, being a collector, his gifts were all about him. With the exception of a few things he bought which were nice and thoughtful, they meant nothing after a while and we had nothing left outside of that. When I left he accused me of saying he had a ‘mental illness’ and how his best friend (me) could say such horrible things to him. I didn’t state that at all and said, he had some mental issues to sort out. His stuck to his belief and used it against me to tell everyone what I had supossidley said to gain their sympathy. He will do what he will do and the truth is he and many others will never admit they have this disorder. So give up and accept ‘he is what he is’ x

  9. It’s uncanny how similar some of these folks experiences are to mine. I’m male and my N is female.

    Been with her 2 years. It was amazing when it started, the intimacy, sex, closeness. Soul mates.

    At the time I noticed that she was completely selfish to a bizarre degree. I knew that nobody could really be that way, and assumed she was acting out and with enough nurturing and love she would naturally swing back to typical human values that I just knew were there, simply driven beneath the surface by a hard life.

    So now, 2 years later and $40,000 in debt from getting her on her feet and supporting her for a year while she didn’t work I’ve suddenly become a monster.

    I’ve been slowly and steadily asking for and then expecting some measure of accountability. I’m not sure what I expected but not what the last 18 months has become.

    We’re to the point that I moved out of my own home 3 months ago to escape her abuse, I’m living in a tiny house camper. She promptly moved my things into a spare bedroom and speaks of the house as hers.

    The blaming, projection, anger, rage, dismissiveness, sarcasm, taunting, invalidating, gaslighting, lying, and the thousand tiny insults, leaving the room while i’m speaking, playing music so loud i can’t be around it.

    There has always been a pattern of constant interruptions, invalidating what i say, etc. The last year it’s gotten bizarre. The last time we spoke, in an attempt to experience the warmth we’d had before, i made a remark about an experience i’d had. Her reply was sudden and vicious, that what i’d said was wrong, and challenged me to provide supporting facts. I started to answer and after a few words was interrupted and told what my answer would be, and why it was invalid. For the next hour i never successfully spoke more than 4 words in a row, as soon as i began to speak she interrupted speaking loudly and quickly, told me what i was about to say, and then explained in insulting terms why it was invalid. These would be followed by her taking parts of what she’d just said, attributing it to me, and then arguing against it as well, and demeaning me for that statement. It lasted over an hour before i lost my cool. The entire performance, which happens so often it’s the normal pattern occurred without any input from me.

    The last straw was when i once again began to speak she turned up the music very loud on the computer. Well it’s my computer, so i unplugged it and the monitor and put them in my car. She’s totally addicted to some facebook game and came unglued. Sending me text messages until 2 am and trying to call me.

    I found your site by searching for accountability in relationships through google.

    I’ve been working with the theme of acceptance in my own life for my own wellness, and many times had tried to find or allow a level of acceptance that would make me able to be with her. Now I understand that true acceptance is total, and it creates a logic that is impeccable. Accepts all that she does without expecting any accountability, then reach the only conclusion that is possible, that she is someone who is a destructive force, and the responsibility is completely mine to move away from it.

    In any other human relationship, from child to a restaurant server to a friend or lover I’d expect accountability to some degree, and normally get it. True acceptance means accepting that she does not want to be accountable despite lip service.

    Thanks for your essay above.

    My advice to all who struggle with a N, run, don’t walk.


    1. Accepts all that she does without expecting any accountability, then reach the only conclusion that is possible, that she is someone who is a destructive force, and the responsibility is completely mine to move away from it. – See more at:

      this is so perfectly well put David. I am keeping your words safe to help me. I hope you have found peace David

  10. wow…..stumbled on to this site because I was in a narcissistic relationship for 25 years and had tried to escape many times. Each time, I was sucked back in. I have to say, that had I realized that if I had just attacked his EGO, I would have been out long before the 25 years it took me to escape. So, we have been divorced for 1.5 years and he has yet to do as he is supposed to do, according to the divorce decree. I hired an attorney to help, but 7 months and several thousand dollars later, I am still in the same boat I was when I contacted the lawyer for help. Is amazing to me how the N can find an attorney to simply explain away all the wrongs. I discovered today, I was still being sucked in by him in trying right his wrongs, and get some accountability. HE HAD ME HOOKED and was still controlling me from afar. This past 7 months turned into this insane person, full of rage and anger because I was not getting an accountability for his contempt of court actions. I now realize that there is no way I can ever get this man to do what is right, no matter how hard I try. I told my attorney today, I no longer care about the money he owes me, I no longer care about the other 10 items of contempt. I am done. This past 7 months was a waste of time for me and the attorney (probably NOT the attorney) but me. What really hit home for me from this article, was “judgement” vs “acceptance”. I now realize, I cant right anybody else’s wrong. I can only make sure that what I do as a human, is the right and true action for me, and learn to “accept” others for what they are, but toleration, is KEY. The unfortunate part of this whole story, is that I found out that he has committed fraud, in my name, without my knowledge. I still have a long road ahead of me with this man in the “legal realm”. Recovery, has been tough!

    1. I was married 4 years to a Narc. He took full advantage of me financially. I found out through lots of Googling & Apps like Credit Karma he opened several accounts in my name without my knowledge. I now have to file Bankruptcy! The divorce decree I made him be responsible to pay the debt her incurred off but since it’s all in only my name, it’s the safest option so that years nothing “new” pops up. He doesn’t care that I’m raising our 2 year old and so far without any financial support. Protect yourself!

  11. wow. yes! a friend sent me this link telling me it was all about me. i have been reading yuor blogs for a few weeks now and they are really opening my eyes. i am newly divorced for a year now and separated since 09. my story is long and complicated as many i have read here are. but the same common thread runs though all and that is this narcissism.

    i had a narc father and i totally imprinted this in choosing a mate. thing is we had a baby and it was one of those rush in where angels fear to tread incidences. we werent married long bc his behaviour was intolerable complete with gaslighting, absences, non committal, never telling me where he was and the purchase of gifts totally unsuited for my personality.

    my question is this… how does one untangle when one is in a court custody situation? we have been back and forth for years now about our daughter. he is such a good boy in court and bows down to the judge, but then after everything falls apart. he complies, but not all the way leaving me to wonder what is going to happen? i have been enabling his non compliance bc i think my daughter should know her dad even if he is not fulfilling court orders.

    my daughter was sent to therapeutic counseling with him after some bad unsupervised visits with him and the counselor has been working with me since they ended. she recently told me to back off and stop enabling or he wont do what he is required to do. i am now, but i am also getting advice from family to have compassion for him.

    i have accepted that this is the way he is, but it is still so challenging when it involves my daughter ~ the innocent third party. what does a good mom do???

    the court order stipulates that he comply, but i have already enabled visits [fathers day and her birthday coming up] where he didnt have to do anything he was supposed to do.

    during the father day visit, he many times just ‘fell back’ and let me pick up the pieces, be it communication, entertaining her, playing with her or guiding the playtime. she is 5 going on 6.

    btw, i have really been a single mom since day 1 as his comments about helping were returned with ‘i’ll play with her when shes older’

    anyway, i am really in a hard place right now and need all the help and support i can get. i get all of the ‘principles’ of spirituality like acceptance and compassion, love and kindness as i am a 12 year veteran in DNA [drug & alcohol] recovery. so i really get it. the trick with this is really buttoning down on this narc behaviour so in practice i can be better equipped to respond centered and grounded. part of me wants no part of any of this anymore and part of me is this fierce warrior. i have been hoddwinked so many times by him energetically its utterly physically painful!

    i am an empath and also a clairvoyant [sensitive artist etc] so its very hard to not feel him. he definitely feeds off me – especially on the calls he makes to our daughter. one day i sprayed special flower essence protection spray and he had to go so quickly it was very strange.

    anyway, i can go on about a lot of things here, but the essence is that i admit i have intense integrity and i see this is the hook. i am a good person and he is powerless on regards to that, other than shuffling the deck and trying to spin dry me. i am a leo and he is an aquarius. i wonder how many narcs are aquarius’s…

    peace ~*~

    1. “btw, i have really been a single mom since day 1 as his comments about helping were returned with ‘i’ll play with her when shes older’”
      WOW WOW WOW. or “when it’s convenient” or “I can’t change diapers because she’s a girl”. Good grief, I’ve been with this guy 18 years, married for 4. What have I done? It is now so clear but so muddy at the same time. I was just starting to feel the “guilt” about being ‘non-reactive’ to him and things he does…haha silly me.

    1. I Melanie,

      I have gone no contact from my husband of 22 years with a restraining order. During the last few months he was still in the house he had set up recording devices and would also use his cell phone to record me. Of course the recordings are of me displaying complete dismay and him being calm and collected and making it seem as though it was me that was the narcissist. Since then he has gone around letting others hear the recordings and I don’t doubt to our children. I know that I was provoked and since he knew what he was doing, why would he say anything to incriminate himself.

      I have searched the internet for help, understand and knowing how to deal with it when he uses it against me in court, but I have not found anything. Is there help you can provide?


  12. Interesting regarding ‘accountability’ is about 3 weeks ago, I got a total confession on ‘how badly he treated me, being just like his father, and what a hipocrite he was, how I don’t deserve that, that he was too proud to admit the truth to me, sorry for the way he treated me, blah, blah, blah. I have a feeling it was a hook, as he has been trying to keep me in his life, through many ways and his words of ‘manipulation’ are now ‘disguising’ themselves as the real deal. I know it is ‘giant hook’ as he is not interested in doing everything it takes to prove he is taking responsibility, they are just words in an email. I have been doing ‘no contact’ now for 2 months nearly and I am not remotley interested in answering any more emails. Each time I do, they get supply (attention) so I am not giving him any more of my time or my soul. I am lucky in that he is not nasty, like some Narcs are, he is just letting go, but trying to hang on also due to his obsession with me. It is sad, that a decent person can be such a monster and is in a big dark hole, due to is upbringing, but I can’t save him. I forgive him, accept he is who he is, and have moved on, which is what we need to do, to truly heal ourselves. There is no way to get them to be accountable, they just don’t have the resources to do so.

    1. omg i have read and read to find someone in the same situation as me and finally i read your message… thankyou it is the same as my narc, he had me believing he was sorry and im thinking hmm maybe he is not a true narc and it is all me as usual as they dont say sorry. but i have to fight that thought. he had an abusive upbringing and will never change. he is obsessed with me soul mate etc and had anilated me to a hospital visit from breakdown thinking i was to blame blah blah…i am doing no contact but he turns up to house rings, messages all the time…i will fight this and win especially now i have found your message THANKYOU.

  13. This article perfectly describes the 13 year dance with my N and furthermore, how I have reacted to every injustice I have experienced during my entire life. This article provides important information for self-healing, vital for the N abused.

  14. Everybody speaks of partners on this blog. I had one of them also and it took me 10 years to move to another part of the country to try and deal with him. But no one is speaking of family members that are N’s. My sister, I think is a sociopath/narcissist , and my brother, I just figured out is a N ! I’m miserable ! You say to leave…HOW do you do that when you have a mother w beginning stage Alzheimer’s ? They lie and make crap up that I am doing against my mother and tell my mother, as they did when my father was alive 1 1/2 ago.. Well, my sister did. I need to know more about family N’s….pleassse ! What do I do !. It’s terrible ! HELP !

  15. I am so thankful for this website, i only wish that I had found it years ago, it would have saved me a lot of suffering and pain. It is uncanny how you describe things that have mirrored my life so much. The lies that my ex narc conjures up are unbelievable to the point where he can accuse his own children of his own wrong doing. I have been falesly accused of assaulting him and his girlfriend where he has lied to police for which I had to give interviews, he has lied to social services accussing me of being an un-fit mother to our 5 children. He has lied in a court of law about me…..the more I fought to make the truth be known the more I ended up a physical and mental wreck in a bearly functional state. I really wish I had read this article whilst going through this torment but unfortuneately i had to learn through experience and advice from people that were looking from the outside in to my predicament. It was only when somebody pointed out that he was narcissistic and to cut off his ‘oxygen’ that I fought with all my will to severe contact. This became a turning point for me and when I grew. As soon as the contact began again (instigated by him) it wouldnt be long before I could feel myself being dragged under again. If it wasnt for the support of my family and close friends keeping me afloat, I swear I wouldnt be here today. ” years on from the seperation he still tries to control me at a distance but now that the finances, children and everything is nearly sorted, his options for abuse are limited and the terror and his sadistic reign are slowly subsidng. He is now with a new wife who he wined and dined but his bullying ways are already rearing in her world from what I have heard. I want to tell her and warn her but am afraid he will use this against me at some point. I realise my childrens and own safety have to come first. narcissists are very dangerous people and are best giving a wide birth. Thankyou thankyou thankyou for all the sound advice you give to thousands of people, most of which do not have an awareness of NPD until most of the damage and pain has been done. I wish courts, police and the law would take more notice of this disorder

  16. A friend of a friend who knows my exhusband sent me this site. It is unbelieveable how much this discribes my exhusband. When I told him that I was pregnant we were engaged and he flipped out bc we were engaged but not married yet and said what would his parents think. Two weeks later I lost the baby possibly from all of the stress.The final straw was 3 years later and we were married when I called him after his football game to let him know that my grandmother, who was my world, had passed away. He said that he was going to dinner with his father and would see me tomorrow seeing as I was at the nursing home waiting for my parents to come in from DC. I found out he was cheating on me by recieving a phone call at my grandmothers funeral.
    I again still tried to make it work til I received another email stating that he had been cheating on me with another girl for several months. HE still denied it happened more then once until I gave him her email with every time place and date documented. Then It was my fault bc I traveled with my job so much but he didnt mind the new cars and spending my money on his girlfriends.I filed for divorce with him not wanting to get divorced so he said. Within 3 months he was dating the student teacher from his class he had cheated on me with. within 5 months she was pregnant and married when she was 6 months pregnant. After all the stress he caused me and we were engaged and had a house already about my baby. I am really struggling with this and having a hard time.All of the empty promises, the I will always be here, I will never get remarried you mean too much to me, I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you and then he just walks away. Any advice on something specific I should read?? He has caused so much pain I have a really hard time letting go and moving on. I want him to pay for what he has done and for everyone to know that he is not the perfect coach and rolemodel to children that everyone thinks he is……Not to mention what he caused with my baby and the way I was treated.

  17. I just left my husband after 36 years of emotional abuse. It took me 34 years to realize that his behavior is NPD. I have wanted to leave him for years but I always stayed because I feared him, I had his children, everyone else loved him and when he was charming, I really felt loved. The cycle went on for years. 3-4 months of honeymoon and then 2-3 months of disrespect, abandonment, criticism, rejection and feeling like an object and slave. When I left, my children of 20 and 22 told me they understood. A few weeks after I left, neither child will talk to me. One is entirely hateful and disrespectful to me. He has sabatoged their relationship with me and I feel it is because I have done “no contact” that he can only keep the tie to me through them. I am heart broken. I am finding it hard to reach acceptance. Very hard.

  18. 25 yrs with a N. Always thought there was something wrong with me. He was never there when I needed him the most.. he would sit back and watch and seem to enjoy when I was upset or hurt. He would ignore me in public, tell me to get away from him when I wanted a hug, tell me he wasn’t interested in hearing about my day at work. Blamed me for everything.. even though I was a great mother. Turned my kids on me… manipulated them both when I would not allow his lies to affect my children. Cheap, cheap, controlling. Would not help around the house or with kids… blamed me when I said I can’t work full time. Made me feel there was something wrong with me. Buy gifts to try and pull me back in. Never say sorry. God forbid if I made an error. I’m out now thank goodness, the kids can see he isn’t the greatest guy. Used daughter as narc supply because he wasn’t getting it from me or son. I’m focusing on not being angry at him.. thats what ruled my life for a long time.. anger that was a waste of time that never got me anywhere. What a relief to be out
    To the mom above, your children will come around. My kids were 16 and 19. They had a year or so where they were angry with me.. now they see what their father is. What he did to the kids and our relationship was the most heart breaking experience in my life. Things get much better.

    1. Mkji above …..i have three little men, shared custody..i fear everyday they are not with me. I worry sick thinkinh about them staying with ex wife and her mother both N . Its hard to see light at the end of this loney tunnel…i only hope they grow and accept why I left.

  19. I was with my ex husband who was not only an N but alcoholic to boot. A terrible combination. I know he will never accept any responsibility for his behaviors and I need to get past it. I know what it is like trying to get past the injustices leveled at me and have a hard time dealing with all of the pain.

    Even after owning up to what I perceived myself in mishandling some things I had asked him if there was anything he thought he could have handled better or differently.. His response…NO.

    I could have stayed and lived a very economically advantaged life. My ex was a high powered well known attorney with his own practice, we had a house on a lake with all of the toys, and loads of money in the bank. But it was not worth the price and my dignity. I knew I was selling my true self short and after many drunken narcissistic battles, adversarial interrogations, lies manipulations and betrayals I left.

    He has now bought a new house for his office manager with whom he has been having an ongoing affair with before during and after our marriage. He has also gotten convicted of two more drunk driving charges which were not even 2 months apart, he has lost his drivers license for a year, had a brand new car immobilized, huge fines and costs and he is being monitored for 2 years by our states lawyers and assistance program.

    He has left total devastation in his wake. 3 exwives, 3 children 2 which have alcohol drug abuse problems, legal problems for arrests, one is diagnosed as bipolar and is morbidly obese and another younger daughter who has anxiety issues. He blames the mothers for all of his children’s problems but always tries to get you to feel sorry for him. He refuses to see how his behavior affected other people, because he is superior in intellect and everyone is wrong so he believes. He is a pitbull viper who will crush anyone who disagrees with him, and humiliate them for having their own interests and opinions on anything, even his own children.

    Money is all important to him and he is more concerned with how total strangers and colleagues view him rather than his own family. His favorite
    Line was “you need to tray me as number one” which makes me sick to this day.

    Melanie is right you can’t “win” justice for yourself from these people. You just need to know that you will have a better life you create for yourself without the constant turmoil the people present. I have a hard time knowing about his affair, especially when he was always the controlling jealous rage aholic with me. But like Melanie said, they aren’t real in a sense that they can have a normal relationship with anyone, and whole she gets the house and money, she is stuck with him I. The office all day. She too will find its different to be married to him instead of having a fling. And she and her chasten will be next in line for the guillotine. I also believe that she will be another reader for this site eventually.

    I have to keep telling myself ” I couldn’t have what really wasn’t” and that’s a hard pill to swallow but I’ll manage anyway.

  20. I had typo errors in my above post. What he liked to say was ” you need to treat me as number one” because he treated me that way. What a joke. I also wanted to clarify my comment that she too will find it different to be married to him and not in a affair. I didn’t have an affair with my ex before marrying him. What I meant was their relationship will change once she is cemented in and the whole devaluation process will begin for her too. I just hope her kids don’t get swallowed up too.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I have a long way to go for recovery still I see.

  21. This article came at just the right time. After 32 years of marriage he is gone, I am in the final stages of divorce and he left yesterday – gone when I got home from work – I wouldn’t ask when he would go. He knew but didn’t say – his last bit of control. He has a problem with alcohol and along with narcissism its a vile mix particularly as they age. huge sadness for the good times – there were some but its many years ago. By accepting him as he is I think I can find peace. I could aford to divorce him, my children are older and have left home. my heart goes out to those of you trapped because of finances and/or young children but divorce if married I now firmly believe is the only way to a decent life.

  22. OMG… Melanie!!

    Reading this article is like re-living the past. Almost everything you described in this last article is something I have experienced myself, all the way to feeling suicidal and going crazy. The good news is, 6 Months after leaving the narcissit I am a happy and strong woman again. Your website and newsletter was one important butress in my recovery. So… thank you!

    Especially thank you for knowing so much about narcissist and helping so many people to see clearly what is going on in their life. Thank you. 🙂

    PS: And it makes me happy to know in hindsight, that it is my high level of integrity and desire to be a good person that made me so vulnerable to his crazy game. Anyway… thank you and keep doing what you’re doing… there are ,amy more people suffering right now.

    Ah… Something else. If you haven’t read the book yet “Influence” by Robert Cialdini, I read it and was thinking of you, thinking that it might give you new ideas on how narcissists trick their victims into doing what they want. The book describes the basic psychological traps we can fall into and that compliance specialists use to get us to do what we actually don’t really want to do. I don’t know if it is coincidence or typical for narcissist, but the narcissist I was dating used these traps on me and on other people. I would be curious to know what you think about this book. It’s worthn reading anyway.

    Here is a link:


  23. Hi Mel, This article was a light bulb moment for me. This is exactly what was happening and I can see my part in the crazy dance of trying to make her accountable and judging her. So many arguements and so much energy and things never changed over two years. I thought I was going crazy trying to get her to see or take accountability. I will remember forever to not judge but to accept people for what they do and don’t and have the true power to know that they are not in align with my true self and need not be in my reality. I took on her wrongs and thought I can fix her.. I think most of my anger and resentment towards her left me in minutes. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted of me and the power to let her go completley is near. Thanks Mel xxo

  24. Hi again…welll very early days for me yet. Its been 2 hell months since I seperated…failed mediations etc etc…stress is up, emotions shattered, nil self worth..but my kids are the most important thing right now, and forever. Thanks for all you offer Mel…i must stop looking for answers from my ex. All my answers are here!.thank you so much

  25. your website has been a lifesaver for me. Thanks so much for bringing narcissistic abuse to light. Whenever I find myself feeling totally crazy from trying to “make things right” I revisit your site and “set myself straight” ….there is no working things out with my N partner, because he doesn’t want things to work out. After 16 years, you’d think I’d wake up!
    One thing I can say about sticking around to try some more, the more I observe what’s going on the more I realize that this is NOT my truth …as you would say. Thanks so much Melanie!!!

  26. Melanie – This site is amazing. Was married for 41years before I finally cashed it in. I waited for my children to be in a place they could be self sufficient. From the first year we were married I knew something was wrong but having come from a physically as well as psychologically abuse upbringing – I at first thought it was me. Then when seeking help was told because he was a Pychologist and “quiet” he couldn’t or wouldn’t do the things I was concerned about. I must be misreading his “almost genious IQ and behavior.” My life has so many similarities to people who have posted it is not funny. It feels like a clone. This past year I looked for help from a Domestic Violence counseling agency located in another city and county. I was accepted and the work has begun to put my life back together. Your website fits so perfectly with what I am working on with them. The “hook” as you call it – is a perfect definition of what happened with me over and over and over. One of his most often used phrases was “I have been a mean rotten cruel husband, but the important part is that I will do better and you survived.” For years he had me teetering on thinking I was mentally ill to the point he said he would get me committed and take our children and I would have no contact with them. Of course I backed off and sought psychological help for myself – where – in the same town as we lived and it ended up with people who knew him and – he wouldn’t go for help. I felt like I was losing my mind and probably was in a way. My children have suffered greatly as I was constantly putting myself between him and the kids or in some cases he would name call and whatnot in front of them and I would just lose it. I wanted him and them to understand that it just was not right. Am now worried about how to help my children overcome the wrongs I managed to do in trying to keep them safe along with myself. It is just a mess. I have been divorced now for 2 years and am still trying to get the financial end of it settled so I am stable. Have run up two credit cards on legal and medical bills since I have no insurance. Now along with the financial mess – harassment has begun in the form of e-mails using my e-mail address – addressed to Mrs ….. and then Dear …… New Wife’s name. I have contacted all the people who sent me the e-mails – asked him to get it stopped – but as of yet no follow through – he tells me that he has no way of knowing how they got the address. I have had the address for over 16 years and especially the private companies didn’t get it from thin air. Control over me via his new wife’s name. He married his graduate assistant 5 years older than our daughter. The kids just “want me to be happy and think that now I am divorced that this “emotion” should just happen. Have been reading your blog some and working through the e-mails as they arrive. I see myself and see my x and am understanding why my self help and counseling didn’t work or even help in the long run. Thank you – feel for the first time in awhile that I can make all this come together. Going to take work and I wish I had a really good support system – but I was so isolated that isn’t here. Not going to give up – going to get a life and I want my children’s life to be better as well. Thank You –

  27. Can my last name be removed – auto fill put my last name in and I don’t want to make any of my family uncomfortable or anyone else for that matter. Thank You –

  28. That was beautifully written, and so very thoughtful to those of us who may be so far entrenched in this horrible cycle. It’s obvious that you have been given a very meaningful purpose in communicating this information, and a have very beautiful soul, taking on this purpose with diligence to carefully and lovingly help to mend so many broken hearts. Thank you so much. This world needs more people like you.

  29. I just found out in counseling that my husband is a narssicist. I couldn’t believe it. I have been googling and searching, reading, comparing.
    Not ALL of his traits are what I am reading. He isn’t a liar or a cheat or physically mean nor unreliable.
    He IS selfish, manipulative, controlling. So then I get confused as to if he really is a N. The counselor should know better than me.
    I move out almost a year ago but we have been trying to work – well I should say I HAVE. He doesn’t read or acknowledge articles I send to him, or he will say ‘this isn’t us (toxic relationship).
    When my son died, he treated me horrible. I made excuses for him for a long time. My son went to prison, he never supported me on that. He went to his sentencing and I think that was because my ex husband was going. When my mother died, he said “you aren’t paying me enough attention.” WHAT???? I should have walked out then. He told me that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore because “You have too many grandkids.”
    I don’t think I am going back. I am still seeing a counselor to make sure I understand WHY I need to stay away.

  30. I stumbled over your info Afew weeks ago after my now expartners mum suggested he was narcissist.
    It is him all over and reading all this is a relief to know its not me and he does have a personality disorder.
    I’m still at the stage of trying to do no contact but it is really hard not to get sucked back in at times especially since we have a three month old baby. He uses her and contact to try and get at me.
    I made the mistake of trying to make him see the problem as he appeared to know he had one, after seeking so called help etc he took only a week to do something hurtful again.
    He will try anything to get my attention but only when the dating sites are quiet!!!
    I know we can’t get back together, I can’t inflict the cycle on myself again. I was also financially drained and in debt for his luxury items!!! If it were to continue I’d have lost my house.
    In moments of weakness I just come back to the emails you have sent me and have a little read just to bring me back to reality again. I also found it useful to make myself a list of all the awful things he did to me as a reminder not to fall for it again.
    It’s really hard but thanks for the help……so glad it’s free, my finances are grim at the moment due to narcypants!!!!!

  31. I agree 100% that trying to make a narc accountable is like trying to hold water in your hands. I have just recently given up a lifelong battle to do so. I am certain thet every important relationship I have ever had-romantic/friends or otherwise has been with a narcissist. I believe this is because I was the scapegoat in growing up in a narcissistic family. I have been looking for ways to heal and have found nothing (up till now) that approached the topic from a vibrational/energetic perspective (which is where everything is created). Do you have any info available to help someone raised as the scapegoat in a narcissistic family?

  32. It is very unfortunate how destructive narcissistic behavior is. Their sly and quick manner of finding and capturing a new victim is extremely troubling.

    Please continue to promote narcissistic awareness, so victims will get out of a situation before serious damage occurs. I wish I would have had access to your articles several years ago.

    Do you have any information on the thought processes (awareness levels) of the narcissist? I am interested to know if they are cognizant of their actions on any level?

  33. Thank you! I so needed to hear this today! Six days ago I found out my boyfriend of the last 11 months is married. When we met he told me he was a single father/widower with 3 boys and that his wife died in childbirth 5 years ago. The whole relationship was a lie. He used me, manipulated me, appealed to my pity, took advantage of my good and trusting nature, and made me feel guilty and wrong when I questioned him. He used all the classic narcissistic tricks. I have been obsessing about it since I discovered he is married. I feel sick when I think about all the times he told me the kids would cry in the middle of the night because they missed their mother and how I could never understand how hard that was for him. That as a single parent all of the burdens were on him. I’ve been thinking about how I want to get the truth out of him and make him accoutable for lives he is destroying. The thing is, he would only tell me more lies. I am wasting my time and energy thinking I’m going to get him to see the error of his ways. I know I need to let it go and move on. I am not responsible for nor can I control his behavior but I can chose to get him out of my head and out of my life.

  34. “By preying on your need for integrity the narcissist has set you up to lose your mind.”

    wow. woah. that really hit home. and reading the list of how the narc targets your integrity.. well it was a little re-triggering for a moment, but very enlightening. wowza. such deep, penetrative, ambient abuse

  35. Reading every word you put there and I’m realizing just how damaged I am. My N husband really started to show his full blown true colors two months ago even though its been happening in cycles over our 5 year marriage. It was because I finally stopped caving in and groveling for forgiveness (which in the first place I had no right to do) that I am now seeing just how deceptive, uncaring and dangerous he is. I still cannot seem to come to terms with the man I married and this seeming monster. I’m suddenly suffering from anxiety and waking at strange hours of the night, when I see its past 1am and he is out there having a good time while he is totally unconcerned of my state. I do do need help in dealing with this. I never expected in my entire life to be in this state. I just feel I need your help more than ever. I’ve been deteriorating over 5 years and its a painful realization. The more I’ve tried to make him accountable for his actions it’s like you said, it’s only backfiring. I can’t seem to get out of the rut I am in, many days I’m good but then I’m suddenly in a panic mode when I’m alone with my thoughts for too long. I just wish I could see the sun over this dark cloud. Can you help me please?

  36. N Husband of 15.5 years, divorce granted two weeks ago. N mother. Raising a mentally ill daughter who was abused as an infant and is also a Narc. Melanie, do not forget to touch on the subject of repeating patterns in life!!!!

  37. Hands down this is the most helpful article I have read in my recovery. It flipped a mental switch in my mind that has allowed me to exit the dance with my abuser. Whenever I start to feel triggered I re-read this and it helps me maintain no/low contact. Just as my abuser has the right to be who he is I have the right to determine the distance I put between us. Thank you.

  38. I just wanted to say that I found your website a few months back after making a break from my N and I cannot explain the relief it bought me to read the stories of other women/men that were living my life in very sad and exact detail- what started as the most amazing love of my life gradually turned into a life shattering nightmare…the highest highs followed by soul destroying abuse on every level from him despite my constant forgiveness and love. I bought your programme and got as far as the first session, felt amazing and bam he was back, telling me he had realised how sick he was and that I was ” the one” and he would do anything to have me back…I resisted and stood my ground but he gradually wore me down..all the time in my head I was saying ” go back and finish the programme” but my heart was saying ” it’s ok, you don’t need it- he has promised this time” blah blah blah….so 3 weeks of romance stained with the niggling abuse and when I stood up for myself he told me I was crazy and he wants nothing to do with me…this above article came in an email to me today and the timing could not be better…I have been calling and textin him for two days trying to explain why I stood up for myself and why I deserve better…he has been ignoring me, which was making me feel like I was losing my mind and the injustice of it all making me feel so worthless that I actually considered killing myself so that it could all just stop…and then I read this and the comments above and I realise that I’m not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One ladies comment relating the idea of getting a N to be accountable is ” like holding water in your hands” hit me like a steam train- thank you all so much for sharing and to Mel for her mind blowing insight into surviving this nightmare. So for me it’s back to the programme and to anyone who can afford it, if the first chapter is anything to go by it’s worth every cent and more. Xx

  39. “…so 3 weeks of romance stained with the niggling abuse and when I stood up for myself he told me I was crazy and he wants nothing to do with me…this above article came in an email to me today and the timing could not be better…I have been calling and textin him for two days trying to explain why I stood up for myself and why I deserve better…he has been ignoring me, which was making me feel like I was losing my mind…”
    Exactly. He only wanted to re’hook you so that HE could do the abandoning and humiliating – better for his image!

  40. Wow. This is a great article! Can you write one pertaining how this abuse affects one’s physical health as well? Mine is suffering. I just got tested for cancer which thankfully was negative. However you would think the narc would be concerned and anxious about the results. But no. I should know better. He proceeds to tell me all about the details of his day…for three hours. When he finally asks me about my results then makes a cruel joke about maybe I have HIV instead. I simply told him not to be the hind end of a donkey. That ended the topic but what hurts is there was no concern nor compassion. Again…I should know better by now.

  41. This article really resonated with me. They are truly timely. I separated from my narcissistic husband 9 months ago and in the process of divorce. However, I have been having a huge issue with the upcoming wedding of my neighbour who is presently cheating on his fiancee mere weeks away from their wedding. I actually saw him with the other woman and it has offended me so much that I feel that I can’t go to their wedding now. I feel that I am being judgemental because not only is it wrong, it was wrong when my husband was cheating and this particular guy was one of the people who knew and stood by and watched him humiliate me in front of friends,neighbours and family. I feel that not only is it wrong but to go the wedding is participating in the deception which I just don’t do. So should I just practise acceptance and go? I know that people are free to do as they wish but I think that I just don’t have to be a part of it as I will be violating my integrity and my wounds are still fresh from being through that mess myself. I feel that I will go to that wedding with so much negativity that it will be better for everyone if I am not there. Plus my ex will be there along with other neighbours who know of our separation. The all are eagerly waiting to see what will happen when we see each other again mixed with drinks and romance in the air. I want absolutely no part of it! I can accept that this guy will live his life as he chooses and his future wife will come to know about in her time. As for me I think its fair for me not to want to have any part of it.

    1. You need to tell the his fiancee, provide any info or proof that you have, then walk away! Our society facilitates this kind of rotten behaviour by saying ‘it’s not my business’, ‘maybe she already knows and doesn’t care’ or whatever, washing our hands of our responsibility to others. Wouldn’t you want to know if this were your fiance, just weeks before the wedding?

  42. Hi Stacy-Ann. Let me share a story. 30 years ago my BFF was engaged to Mr. Perfect. Three weeks before the wedding he was caught cheating. I begged her to back out but she just couldnt do it. I declined to be in the wedding which caused a split in the friendship for a few years. Yet we still managed to remain friends over time. She was married to him for 20 years..and finally divorced him. So as ugly as it might get…this woman needs to be told about her fiance. Better that than living decades of lies and smokescreens. If I was told truth to begin with I could have at least made an informed decision. A woman deserves truth.

    1. Raeanne wrote: “This woman needs to be told about her fiance.”

      But whose job is it to tell?

      That really is her fiance’s responsibility to say he can’t be faithful(he won’t reveal this, of course).

      Anyone else who tells her will be likely be hated or viewed judgmentally by the woman who is about to marry.

      Some people like direct proof for themselves, rather than to base a major life decision on what someone else told them. Afterall, other people can and do lie for a variety of reasons.

      And those on the outside don’t really know what agreements people in a relationship may have.

      A lot of factors are involved. Seeing a man with another woman is not the same as catching them in bed, so I personally would hesitate to tell someone about their partner unless I could offer proof.

  43. Sie stehen dabei auf die versautesten Sexspielchen und lassen sich
    auch gerne auf jedes Rollenspiel ein. Es ist wieder soweit: Die Sonne brennt vom Himmel und die schicken Damen flanieren durch die
    Fußgängerzonen. Wenn dir alles angebot keinesfalls zusagt kannst
    du bequem wieder kündigen.

  44. I needed this article so much. I have been dealing with a Narc for several years. We have just recently split and it has been tough. My whole life I have been trying to figure out what happened (since we started dating on and off at the age of 14), and get it right in mind. I’m one that needs a conclusion, and I admit I have been trying to get him to hold himself accountable for what he has done. I realize now that no amount of talking or volleying back and forth is ever going to bring him around to admitting that he has done anything wrong and that I have been helping to create the hell that I have been living in. I just had no idea. Thank you so much for sharing you have literally changed my life for the better since I found this website.

  45. This article is perfect Melanie…thank you! Im 45 days into “NO CONTACT” and this time its going to stick because with the helpful words of wisdom and info Ive read on your site and others Ive learned a lot about myself and the monster I was dealing with. The best thing Ive realized is “I” have a low self esteem problem, & that’s how he got his hooks in me to begin with. “I wanted abf soooo bad”, an h was the most gorgeous and sexy man I’d EVER seen (even to this day)…with a sexy deep voice as well! Im now working on that, and @ 53 years old & mostly a bunch of rotten choices of men Im maintaining better boundaries and self love. I am more “aware” @ the beginning when meeting new men to be conscious of their actions and words, so I can get a better feel for who they are before I get all goo goo eyed over them. Im all eyes and ears now! The info you wrote is dead on who my ex was. (I felt like emailing it to him so he would see hat I was talking about…lol…but that would be just what this article says NOT to do, because “THEY DONT CARE”!!!! Mine lasted almost 4 years, on again off again @ least 100 times. You know theres something BAD wrong, but you keep hoping for a logical explanation for it, that things will change or that he’ll see the light. Then you walk away and he comes begging for you to come back, he DOES change back into the accountable decent man you thought you fell in love with in the beginning…only then he returns back to the hateful demon again (his true self I now know), full of lies, hurt and manipulation after he knows he has you back. I figured out he jumps back & forth between me & 2 other women, one of them the gals he was with before me. So even when he & I were “ON”, it drove me crazy wondering if one of them had slithered in during the night, or if he went by to see them. Finally, when he wouldn’t change his # & move in with me or to different place I knew for sure I couldn’t take it anymore after a old gf called &left a msg I found. It will drive you crazy wen you cant trust someone…and that’s NOT love! I wish I would have walked away years ago, but I am glad for the lessons meeting the devil showed me. I have a lot to work on myself! I miss his “dog” we raised with mine very much, but I have to let him go too. Thanks for everything!

  46. Mel, I think this is one of your best articles yet! Full of wisdom, overflowing with compassion, bubbling with insight, spiritually loving, and right on point! This reminds me of the well-known quote that says, “Whatever you resists, persists.” I didn’t fully understand the meaning and depth of that quote until I read your article today. Now I finally “get it!”

    Sadly, I am presently experiencing the narcissist’s heartless “discard and destroy” tactics. My professional career, finances, personal and family relationships, health and well-being, material possessions, and overall welfare have taken a tremendous beating, been lost, and/or completely destroyed. Just the way the narcissist wants it…to strip their victim bare and void of all the essentials needed for survival. The full impact of the N-abuse has really knocked the wind out of my sails, ripped apart my heart, shattered my life, left me in absolute poverty, and brought me to my knees. But, as long as I can take a breath,I have another chance to begin again. Even if that means crawling to get there.

    So now, at almost 60 years old…I’m in the process of sorting through what little remains, patching up my wounds, learning my lessons, and preparing to leave my N-FOO forever. And I plan to “burn the bridges, sink the boats, and bolt the doors” behind me when I depart. I want to “Live” instead of just simply existing. I want and deserve a Life!

    Mel, I can’t begin to tell you how much you and the rest of our supportive community has continually inspired me to keep moving forward. To rise again and again when I thought I couldn’t get up. I am so grateful to you all. Thank you, dear lady, and much love too. 🙂

  47. You too are an inspiration! To be so brave and true to yourself is an example we should all follow.

  48. Dear melanie,

    can you answer one question: how do you detach when you still love them?
    I am going to be honest and tell you that underneath all the horribleness, I see his vulnerability and hurt. It makes me feel for him. I KNOW what that feels like! And that makes me feel attached to him even though he hurts me. Does this make sense?

    What do I do with this? I hope you are able to answer, thanks

  49. Hi Sarah,

    peptide addiction feels like love. It is chemical dependency – literally and also trauma bonding.

    When you read and go through many more of my articles – especially the one on Trauma Bonding you will start to understand.

    Real love does not feel like the horror, despair and abuse that narcissisti relationships comprise of. When you heal the unhealed parts of yourself which equate to ‘love equlas abuse’ ‘or I deserve love at this abusive level’ I promise you – you will have no attraction or ‘love’ feelings for the narcissist – and you will have a deep abiding love and appreciation for yourself. Then you will naturally gravitate towards real and healthy people.

    I hope this helps.

    Mel xo

  50. Thanks for this one. I finally clicked over to this article from one of the newsletters and the information is helpful. I find myself in a stuck place. I offered myself up to a pair of narcissists – one I thought of as an ‘adopted’ daughter and the other an ‘adopted’ brother. No point in going over the sordid details, but suffice it to say I disengaged from them a few months ago, and felt damn proud of it. Aside from the usual bumps in the road that you write about in your articles, I find myself stuck in a rut: it has become obvious that the two are maligning and injuring my integrity to other mutual friends, and the efforts seem to be successful, as all of the others in our small circle are no longer returning my calls/texts/email. I guess I should have realized that I was going to be walking away from more than just the two, but I find myself caught up in obsessing about the great injustice of it all. I’m trying to live by what one of my old friends once said – “What people say behind my back is none of my business” – but that’s a hard habit to adopt. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom with all who are trying to heal!

  51. I LOVE this article!! EVERYTHING You describe here fits my situation PERFECTLY!! You really understand and your website here have truly helped me ALOT!!! Thank You so much for the GREAT Words of Wisdom …and support!!

  52. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to share with “us” these truths and insights. It has been really helping me to understand what has been going on in my relationship.

    I had that intuition that it was crazy making, but for some reason I still thought that it was me.

    I can only consume an article once a week to chew on it for a bit before I can move on. I wish that I could afford your program, but at this time I cannot. I am sure that it would really be helpful!

    This article hit a ton right on the head and it gave me the courage to want to be free inside from years of this trauma. I can just imagine that freedom.

    8 months ago, I moved out, from another country back to the states and I have not understood anything until a month ago when I stumbled onto your site. Most of the time, I spent trying to get validation from the narc of the “wrong” that caused me to leave in the first place. An apology, or something. You hit the personality right on the head and all I can say is wow. I thought I was alone in this and felt really stupid and embarrassed that I allowed this to happen to me, not only once after 21 years of marriage but twice for another 9 years. Amazing.

    haha, Now I must go back (to Italy) to pack up my things…alone and I am scared to do so fearing that he will grip me right back into his world. I should print this article and take it with me as a reminder of what the reality is and my own self worth.

  53. I stumbled upon your website just days after my narc husband kicked me out of the house, kept our 4 children and left me alone in a country where I have no family, friends and just my handbag and my mobile. Reading the articles and the ebooks has opened my eyes fully to what kind of a person my husband really is. I’ve had my suspicions but I just couldn’t imagine that my husband is one. I am now slowly regaining my true self and slowly breaking away from his hold, understanding that the things he does is with the aim of getting a reaction from me. The more he does that, and the more I resist to react, the stronger I become. I have a very important goal now to achieve, which is to gain my independence and to get my children back. I am so very afraid that he will be so convincing in court, that he can get everyone to lie for him, that the judge will favour him, I have only the hope that my truth will prevail but I am prepared for the worst.

    I can’t just accept my fate and try and start a new life on my own without trying first to fight for my children.

  54. fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the other experts
    of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing.

    I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  55. your article above was something I was desperately looking to read at this moment, it gave me the ray of hope I needed now to be strong, be sure of myself and my integrity and move on NOW. your an angel and have a gift with your delivery and wording. thank you god bless you

  56. This is just the lesson I was looking for. It really points out the difference between a normal, caring human being and someone who appears evil and probably is. I especially like the quote and need to think of my own even though I have no contact at the moment. In an email it would be easier as there is time to think and edit. ‘Thank you for showing me that you are a different kind of person to me etc…..’ However, I will probably never need to do this in reality as no contact is the best way. But it is good to keep such words in mind when the bad behaviour of the narcissist comes to the fore. Thank you.

  57. thank you …. i am learning – your materials are SPOT on. the narcissist i deal with is a sibling not a spouse but still your lessons hold true. my sibling narcissist fights dirty and shreds me to pieces in each conversation. she makes up rules as she goes, she lies, denies, projects, and attacks and then INSISTS we communicate more! we care for our elderly parents and so i cannot completely sever ties but i am doing better. yours,

  58. sorry didnt see the first post actually post. can you take down my last name and second comment. never have written in to a blog.

  59. Wonderful readings and too feel that I am not alone or going insane really helps.
    Not to take on the NP behaviour is so helpful as there is no one able to make the right choice except yourself. So when there is caring response from the NP and only rage and abuse that’s totally a lie or out of context let it be ..don’t take it on.. thanks Melanie such a supportive website you have.

  60. I’m so glad I found your website. I have been trying to ‘fix’ this man for 26 years and have lost so much of myself, my joy, my peace. Thank you so much. When my therapist suggested he may be narcissistic and suggested I look online for information, I had my doubts but now I wish I had not wasted half of my life. This is the first time in 25 years that I feel like my life is going to get better and I do not spend my nights thinking about how great it will be when I die and escape from him. I am going to find a way to leave while I am alive and I want to thank you for that.

  61. This post arrived at the right time once again…I understand the whole part of him never being accountable and letting go, but how do you do that when you have two little children and that the only way to try to get any kind of protection for them in parenting is to ask for him to go through psychological counselling, drug tests, your child to go in counselling etc. He will not consent to any of that so we are heading to a trial which will be a huge narcissistic supply for him I guess. I just can’t let go of these measures I would like for the children without a fight, no matter what a judge will decide in the end and no matter the fact that I feel paralyzed by fear with this prospect. I also want to try to do everything to keep my address private, which I’ve been told a judge might order me to disclose it in the end. I’m at the risk of losing all I ever owned to attempt to protect the children and me: is it wrong, foolish, a lost cause? I still can’t believe that after you leave a person like that, life can feel more hellish some days; right now, 11 of the 12 years I spent with that man almost feel like it was a piece of cake…That said, I would never go back and I’ve had moments of pure joy since then but how long can you fight that type of person and hope that someone will understand your fears??
    Thank you for the posts, they are very helpful, today is just a bad day, tomorrow will be better.

  62. I find your website and these ‘news bites’ so very helpful – especially this one. However the one point I struggle with is how do I relate this to how I deal with my Mum? Walking away seems possible with a partner/husband etc, but not so easy with a Mum?
    I’m also worried about how to deal with the ‘fallout’ of this choice…..with my Dad, siblings & my own children (her grandchildren).
    Any guidance MUCH appreciated. Thank you

  63. I love this article. This is exactly what I do. It’s horrible! I have the NARP program but I haven’t done it like I should. 20 years and 3 children…spending time ‘explaining how he hurts me’ with a blank star on his face…believing every time, he HAS to get it now. He doesn’t want to see me cry anymore I’m sure. 4 years now divorced and he send texts constantly on my ‘lack of accountability’. Over and over telling me I’m not accountable. Trying to figure out what he means??? Then I have to remember…oh I forgot…HE’s a narcissist! He’s projecting. Being in a relationship with him was like living inside of a mirror.

  64. This is a rather interesting article it interesting we do not get the input of a narcissist. I guess I am the narcissist in our relationship by my wife’s standards. While I do agree I fall into some of these categories, a big difference is I do hold myself accountable and do take accountability, I do not like to argue the circular arguments that we often have. My wife seems to think that I do not partner with her, I do things just to piss her off. I disagree with that on so many different levels. We have been married for many years, we go through our ups and downs, but every time we have an argument there is no resolution, my wife starts looking up things about my behavior and posts them on social media about what a monster I am. I find it interesting because I take accountability, give her the answers she may or may not want to hear. Yet, the answers are never good enough! I do not slander her in any way, the way she does me. In many cases the name calling and remarks come from her. I do feel terrible about the things I have done during our marriage, but at the same time when does she need to take accountability for her actions? I do respect my wife and what she has to say, I do take the time to listen. We have both done quite a bit of growing in our relationship, but we still both seem to speak a different language when it comes to fair fighting. So I guess this makes me the narcissist? Interestingly enough, I am not the one gives the silent treatment, goes off in rages and treats the other like a child. I am not the one who airs our dirty laundry on social media, I want it resolved. I care for this woman deeply, and want resolve to our issues. I hate being treated like a child, getting the silent treatment etc. When I do go to apologize, I start off being sincere, but usually it she says something that makes me not want to apologize.I have a voice in the marriage as well and want to be heard!

  65. This article is great, however when you have a child with a narcissist, you can’t take most of these actions to remove yourself from the equation and be healthy. I have a toddler with my ex and it feels like you are trapped in a prison of abuse with them. You can choose to let them do what they want and not observe or look at anything they do because you can’t stop them, however as a parent it is your instinct to protect. It is the worst kind of hell and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    1. Cynthia, I feel your pain. I wanted mine to stop introducing our daughters to all his girlfriends, “sisters in Christ”, colleagues, a “friend” whom he has a room at her house when he stays in that city, etc…no kidding I think there has been close to 30 or more over the course of 4-5 years. But I have never really been allowed to state a ‘want’. I will be shut down immediately with a rage against me…he will make stuff up if he needs to or have enough truth in it to just make you cry. So what do you do? Pray that all the girlfriend introductions doesn’t affect their growth and ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. I don’t know what else to do because you certainly can’t FORCE accountability as seen in this article. It’s futile and exhausting…

  66. I was married to a narcissistic husband for 7 1/2 years. This explains everything so horribly well. It was a wretched cycle. Unknown to me for our marriage, he was molesting our daughter. Sometimes, there are things you can judge in a person and say, “this is WRONG.”
    Otherwise, I am willing and learning in my life that the rest of this is quite true.

  67. Finding this site has been a euphoric moment in my life.I left a loving wife and two beautiful kids for a N female.I yo – yo d back and forward 3 times in seven years always falling for this woman’s lure time after time. I left her two months ago after building up the courage but yet have been traumatised for the need for answers…well here they all are.Everything I experienced is stated on this site,right down to why I still feel the need to get her to be accountable.God it all fits together now so pain is still here but through these blogs is slowly going away..luckily my adoring wife has given me another chance at marriage and I’m intent on revisiting my wedding vows and values of integrity which previously in my life were so dear to me..

  68. Finding this site has been a euphoric moment in my life.I left a loving wife and two beautiful kids for a N female.I yo – yo d back and forward 3 times in seven years always falling for this woman’s lure time after time. I left her two months ago after building up the courage but yet have been traumatised for the need for answers…well here they all are.Everything I experienced is stated on this site,right down to why I still feel the need to get her to be accountable.God it all fits together now so pain is still here but through these blogs is slowly going away..luckily my adoring wife has given me another chance at marriage and I’m intent on revisiting my wedding vows and values of integrity which previously in my life were so dear to me.. – See more at:

  69. My lover dumped me for any another woman, and i was divorce by my husband with my two son after 8 years of marriage, and also i really love him, so i contacted Doctor Akim for a love spell to get my Husband back, to my greatest surprise he cast a love binding spell to get him back for me and my lover came back after 48 hours. i will advice you anyone looking for any kind of spell should contact Doctor Akin via email address: { amormedico@ hotmail . com }

    From: Ontario

    Name : Erianna Moric

  70. Dear Tonia,

    Thank you so very much for your article posted here. I had been looking for these answers for past 15 years. I have recently divorced a narcissist spouse and it was very tough though, it took me 10 years to come to this point and finally chose my map to the truth. I have exactly gone through the stages and path you have explained and it explains the 1000% personality of that person. God helped me everywhere and now today, after reading this article, he provided me with 200% answers to my questions I had all through these years about the person that why and how he could do that to me?? The more I was looking for him, the more I was losing myself. My family has been a great help given to me by God Almighty and I am so much happier than ever that I was able to get out safe and sound. I knew I was never a crazy person although I was told all these years that I was.

    Anyway, thanks again again and again for helping us through these words of wisdom so the clouds of guilt, hurt and pain have been lifted up from me today and I am feeling relaxed and am confident about myself even more.



    1. Dear Mehr, Please, please don’t think this ordeal was your fault. I know what it’s like about narcisssists. They do everything they can to make you feel like you’re the crazy/sick one. After awhile, you DO feel like you’re the one as described. Don’t let them make you believe it! That’s exactly what they want to do. If you are “blamed”, then they come out smelling like a rose. Unfortunately, people like this make the one with integrity (you) looking like the culpable person of everything. They can’t be changed. They can only be dealt with…not responding to their blaming, their “outbursts”, their turning problems onto you, etc. The hardest part of all of this is that they almost always can’t be changed. If your N blames or “attacks” you, don’t respond to him/her. It’s the best medicine in the world for you. It may sound crazy, but it’s the best thiing for you and for any of your loved ones. Leave this person to save yourself: mind, body, and soul.

  71. So far, this has been the best article about narcissism. I’ve been dealing with Ns in my family for years. I thought it was me. Initially I thought I was the crazy one, yet knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t me. I’ve tried reasoning with the Ns in my life. Didn’t work. Tried “making” them see what they were doing wrong. Didn’t work. Now I know why. I also realize that they feel/show no empathy towards others…only themselves. Don’t let them know about ANY of your troubles. They’ll only feed on that and accuse you of something! If you have contact with any of them, don’t let them know about your human feelings. Unfortunately, they’ll be like a snake. If you do have any contact with them, just act like you’re doing fine. I know it may sound crazy, but don’t give them that narcissistic supply. Believe me, this is an extremely hard thing thing to do. Your heart breaks, but you have TO NOT let them know it

  72. It’s unbelievable to me how dealing with our narcissists runs simultaneously though our painful reality.
    Thought out my 17 years of tiring to figure out what was wrong with me knowing something was not right in this thing I called marriage- (subtract 6 years for an five year out of country assignment) while in constant denial. Now back to home country and more reality. Accountability, noway!!! Denial, gaslighting, constant blame shifting, absolutely no connection, self absorbed, out of control denial., no real remorse, just delusion of his grandiosity. I found my narcissists lead a double life just before the assignment.
    Today, after years of of reflection, study, and the need to experience my own reality have i come to understand that I can not longer live in his life of demoralization and denial of what he did to my life. I am stronger today because of your blog and real in site to what life has been like living with the narcissistic in pared personally.
    More pain than I expected in just one life time.
    Thank you for posting this blog- you have been a huge part of me regaining my soul.
    They have said, “it’s not over until the fat lady sings,” she is on her way to roaring!!!

    1. Debby, I’m roaring with you!
      The last few years of a 15 yr. relationship have been so draining because my instincts were right, there was something wrong, there was someone else, but to avoid accountability it was denial all the way.
      Well denial is one thing from a “good man” having an affair, he will still bring you roses, so to speak, but to abuse me verbally, emotionally and socially to keep his lie alive was beyond bearable.
      It ended in physical violence, with one too many questions from me about a discrepancy in his statements. They will go to any lengths to destroy you. In the meantime he had launched a smear campaign against me so serious…no wonder I felt so uncomfortable on NYE around his circle of friends.

      I am apparently a psycho bitch, alcoholic and possibly on ice! I am 56! What’s ice?
      Looking back, it was always there…the one night I was hospitalised he made a booty call to my sister….deny, deny, then abuse for bringing it up again….that was 5 yrs ago….
      When I gained weight, he went cold and later told me he gets turned off by big women…”it’s just the way I am”…he says!
      On our first date he said “I can see you must have BEEN attractive in your younger years” It stuck with me, as you notice, and throughout the years he never offered compliments when we dressed up for functions. In the end I would pathetically fish for a compliment and he would say you look FINE. The frustration was always internalised, but it never went away.

      Interesting, now his new supply is very obese and insecure….I guess she won’t challenge him….she told my son the reason they are so happy is because they keep nothing from each other (yeh right) and are having a REAL relationship..(unlike me, the ice addict…pffft)

      The name calling, the isolation where he would be a head on a stick…staring at the TV whilst I was trying to speak with him…the threats, the covert nasty messages, it was more than I ever expected from a man who once gazed into my eyes saying..”I would never do that to anyone” (infidelity)
      For his grand discard, he bought me nothing for my birthday, not even a cake as we always do, just punched me later that night…..then threw me out of the house….all because his new supply wanted him to make a commitment before Xmas….I stood my ground and he fled secretly while I was on night shift, to his new love.

      The coward is being charged for assault and the Police have issued restraining orders upon THEIR request….guess what? He has priors with the last “psycho” wife.

      I am afraid of what he might do because his new supply will find out many facts that will render her relationship based on lies. I will stand and fight because the younger women who withdraw their charges out of fear need an example. It’s the only way to draw attention to the silent abuse that was more painful than the bruises.

  73. Reading your article, Trying to Make the Narcissist Accountable is Keeping You Hooked, sent chills up and down my spine. It was something like reading about the horrors of my daughter’s 17-year marriage and the subsequent torture she had to endure during a 6-year litigation process to achieve a divorce from a monster who continues to terrorize her and her children while evading financial responsibility as a father. My wife and I didn’t know about the abuse she suffered until she tossed the megalomaniac out of the house in 2009. I wanted to “pay him a visit,” if you know what I mean, but my remarkably loving daughter made me promise not to do anything to hurt that SOB. She said that hurting him would hurt the children who loved him and that was a good enough reason to allow him to continue flexing healthy knees. My daughter sent your article to me and I’m sure it has provided an important boost to her self-esteem… something her ex did his best to demolish. I’m in the process of writing a book about this one of many such tragedies in our society. I’ll be in touch with you at some point… hopefully. Thanks for using your great talents to bolster the spirit of those in need. You’re pretty okay, as Mr. Miyagi might say.

  74. I was very happy to discover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new things on your site.

  75. Thank you so much for this article. Makes perfect sense. What does one do when the narcissist’s bad behavior is harming a grandchild and there is nothing grandparents can do to stop it?

  76. I love this article, because I recognize every single sentence in it…
    It’s my ex-husband to 100%, and it’s horrible to think that so many other people suffered/suffer the same way.

    What do I do to “win” against an narcissist who refuses to pay for anything when it comes to his children? The only things that mean something to him is his money and his reputation.
    His money he has made while totally using the people who has worked for him.
    His reputation is nothing close to who he actually is, but he is a master in fooling people.
    After the divorce, he told horrific lies about me and told friends and family that I had received more than 5 million dollar. I received nothing. Not even a plate in the kitchen.
    We have four kids together who he refuses to see since 7 years. He tells the story that I am preventing him from seeing them, and it would cost him millions in legal fees to fight me. For the grace of his children, he would never put them in the middle of something like that.
    All not true of course. He is a deadbeat dad.
    I have all court documents and other proof that I am telling the truth.
    What do I do? Try to go up against him in court which would ruin me, or try to deal with the situation in another way?
    I have friends of his who have contacted me recently, and they want to organize an intervention with him where they tell him that he has to start to provide for his kids and me.
    Do you think that would work, or should I really continue to live under the poverty level with the kids at the same time as he is taking vacations to Bora Bora, has a private plane, and a house in the Bahamas.
    Can you “win” against a narcissist when it comes to get him to provide for his children?

  77. I ‘m glad I read this post when I did. Waiting for a narcissist to genuinely take responsibility for their behaviour or own their mistakes is akin to waiting for a ship at the airport. It’s never going to happen. I realised this a few weeks after I left the narc. I thought he’d try to come after me and explain himself like any normal person would. He never did. And when I finally did hear from him, it was nothing but accusations and projections. His final words were “enjoy your victories”. Lol.
    I’ve put up the maximum security equivalent of no contact from then on and started working on getting validation from myself. I didn’t need him to acknowledge his deplorable behaviour towards for it to be real for me, the emotional turmoil I felt was real enough for me and that’s all I needed to know.

    Thanks for this post Melanie, and for helping me along the way to self-acceptance and self-healing. I grow stronger every day.

  78. This is my fiancé 100%. I am (used to be) a strong, college educated, successful woman reduced to a sniveling, crying, empty, pathetic suicidal shell due to my 5 year relationship with a narcissist. Why do I keep coming back for more?? Am I insane?? I look at the situation logically and if my daughter or my friends were in a relationship with someone like my fiancé I would tell them to get the hell out and never look back. Yet I stay. I just broke no contact after 30 days. I had a car accident 30 days ago that totaled my car-what did my N do? Left me alone-by myself in the ER of course after he was making jokes etc and I was very upset due to the trauma of the incident and told him to stop making jokes. I found out today from him that he would not tolerate that type of abuse from me anymore which is why he left me alone in th ER. It’s always-“your bad behavior caused my reaction” I am insane to stay with him but I am insane without him. Now he has suggested that we talk and express our needs to each other because he wants me to be happy and wants us to be happy together. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone reading this get out while you still can if you have te strength. I grew up in a very abusive household which I think is where I get the feeling that love equals a load of pain. Put up with so many things I would never have believed I would put up with. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ok or if I’ll ever be strong enough to leave him and this toxic relationship.

  79. Thank you, I am currently engulfed in narcissistic abuse. I can’t express how much your article is helping me. I read it every day.

  80. Wow! So glad I came across this! I have been living this my whole life…although, sadly this explains my mother who I can’t get away from, it is quite liberating to read! I plan to share with my father (who is divorced from her)…he suffered from her abuse for over 25 years with my sisters and I as first hand witnesses. Sad, but I just think how others suffer much worse I guess. Just glad I didn’t turn out like her!

  81. I have been reading the Posts and am so amazed that they all relate to what I have/am going through right now. I was with my childrens father for 18 years, he committed Suicide beacuse I left him, that was 9 years ago but I was seeing my N around about that time so it didnt help. he wined and dined me, made me feel special, spoilt me, he also said him and his EX were in the process of parting. I believed everything he said, then I found out he was cheating with other girls as well as myself and still seeing his ex, I so Believed his LIES!! I was told by so many friends and acquaintances that he was no good and a player. I never believed them and to this day *I wish I had*. I moved overseas with my son 3 years ago, My N decided to stay behind and work for another 3 Months then come over which I had told him not to bother. He came over eventually and the night he arrived I found his Ipod which had a name and password to Facebook. I put them on and found countless messages from his Lover telling him how much she will miss him and he told her he loved her etc the messages became so filthy that I went in and confronted him and he DENIED it, even when I tried to show him and all he was trying to do was get it off me and smash it!!. He apologised as usual and said he thought I didnt care or want him and he was lonely over there, and of course *I fell for it* and carried on like nothing happened, all the time never trusting him and constantly checking up and following him, he Eventually got a Job 2 Months later working away and we both decided to go on Mobile Ph plans, wow – again I snapped him out because he got a $3000.00 bill which I found in his emails from snooping around for a password. I opened the attachment and there were constant messages and calls overseas to the same Lover he was Facebook messaging. He also denied these even tho I had the Copys. The lies,manipulation,Verbal abuse that **Its all in my head** are still ongoing but he has reassured me that hes to old for that crap and would never do it again? I have lost all of my Family and Friends back home, they dont want to know me anymore, including my kids who are 24 and 16. I have made so many bad choices and wondering when it will ever get better, to this day I still check up on him, never believe him and always questioning his whereabouts. I was a happy go life of the party person to a sad depressed person who is always wanting to know why I made a bad choice in marrying him even when he mucked around on me before the wedding and I still went through with it. I have trouble making my own decisions, am always in and out of jobs, very critical of other girls-especially if they are pretty, I try not to have pretty friends in case he wants them, I even hate going out with him because I think he is perving on girls and I feel insecure. I want all of this to end and to Breathe again and be happy and Love Life like I use to but I dont know how to let him go…I just want to know how please..Im Lost and in need of advice 🙁

  82. As often and as much as I have read your blog posts, Melanie, I came back to this one. This week has been rough, and I am finally getting closure on a long and difficult marriage/relationship with my Narc. This article was exactly what I needed to get me over the bumps in the road this week. I am now divorced, and many possibilities are opening up for me at this time in my life. It has not been easy, but I see light ahead. I needed this wisdom this week, to accept and not to judge, not to try to hold him accountable. Thank you.

  83. This article had such an effect on me, I broke down and cried. This was my epic struggle, I thought if I did enough, a light bulb would be switched on in my husband’s mind, and he would SEE how the twisted facts, the gaslighting, the insults to my character, the blame he made me take on were all just plain WRONG and were killing me and our children. I didn’t understand how someone so popular, so “good” at times, could NOT SEE…but of course I just fell deeper into an emotional abyss I couldn’t recover from. My friends shunned me, because I seemed to be the one losing it, no one could understand what I am going through, they just see a sad but healthy husband and a broken, crazy, needy wife. I understand that passage about separate journeys, I need to embark on it, it still feels as painful as a heart breaking…..but thank you for making it plain. I needed to hear it.

  84. American is changing for the best i can say this because the gay community just literally got liberated i mean we can officially get married and be part of the the American society. When i heard the news i was filled with joy i mean me and my fiance the man i have always can finally own our marriage certificate in Georgia.It was not always right for us if you know what i mean. Before we got married in California ,he was not in love with me or i would say he was in love with me and lost for another guy and it was frustrating.We were off and on and mostly times our break up was always bad it always ends with huge fight. I loved him and wanted to be all his for the rest of my life but he did not see that he wanted to have me to himself and still see other guy i mean who does that? He was the queen of heart breaker and also was perfect when he wants to mend the heart. This was why i also went back to him no matter what always led to our ugly break up. But this madness just kept going on over and over with us and like i said i was sick of it. You can’t hurt me over and over again and still come back to me i mean i am not a play thing you use and drop when you tired. Judge me if you will it not like i care because all my life people have always said trash about me but if i had paid their attentions i would not have been this happy. After searching for means to make him commit to me even taking him with me to couple counseling i decide i contact a spell caster called Obudun Magonata it was just an arbitrary choice i mean, i told myself if he can’t help me i will move on with my life maybe the one i clam to be the love of my life was not the one after all. Obudun Magonata is an angel sent from a place i don’t know. He save me and made me he happiest man on earth or more preferable the happiest gay man on earth . I don’t know how he did it just after he help me cast a love spell, every pain that i was going through was lifted of my shoulder like magic my lover became the queen of hearts i would say he became mine and loved me like his life depended on it. When i first contacted Obudun Magonata, he told me to come down to his temple so i may witness the greatness of his work we got the materials we used for the spell together and just after four day i say the greatness of his power. But i spent a lot Because i had to travel all the way to Africa. It will be cheaper for me to have had him get the materials form me but i was foolish. But its amazing i still got my heart desire. He also told me that the gay community will soon be free and in just two months his prophecy has come to pass. Who wants to tell me he is not great contact i you will here you will not regret your decision use thus address spiritsofobudunmagonata@(yahoo). com rewrite to a normal email format

  85. It’s so clear that she is talking directly to us. But I almost can’t help think that I’m just on the brink of that. If I am able to have full acceptance, will he still be a narcissist? Or is the whole problem mine to begin with? This is the issue I’m having. I’m leaving my husband because he’s a narcissist but then I read this and fear it’s all due to my own insecure behavior.

  86. Thank you for your article Melanie. This has probably helped me more than anything because it is focusing on me…(ha, ha–no, I am not the narcissist). You touched on an essentional part of moving on. I’m I need to let go of the anger and move on to acceptance.
    You are really doing a great service here with your website. It’s also very helpful to learn that others have similar experiences as well. It is very difficult to find people to talk about this subject..if they haven’t experienced it themselves, it’s hard to believe. I still find it a little embarrassing that I was so gullible.
    In comparison with what others have gone through, I’ve been very lucky. That’s because people like you have taken the time to write about this issue and I could inform myself online before more damage had been done.
    While I think we all have to be careful to pigeon hole and label any self- jerk as a narcissist because the relationship doesn’t work out, I also encountered someone whose behavior fits the NPD pattern. It is uncanny. I consider myself an open-minded person and level-headed person. I don’t carry alot of emotional baggage and I am not weak. Nevertheless, I was bowled over by the soulmate business (even though I knew it was silly, it touched me) and all his initial focussed attention. Just when I started to trust the person(he always responded to emails, seemed completely reliable, treated me respectfully), I got cut off slowly but surely.
    I don’t really think “my NPD” person intentionally wanted to hurt me–he was too busy thinking about himself–but he did similar hot-cold game playing which confused me and hurt my feelings as I thought we had some special unique bond. Yeah, unique it certainly was C; The difficult thing for me to reconcile is that this person actually does have nice qualities too and is really fun and pleasant to be around if you don’t dig that deep.
    Never having dealt with NPD before, I would not have thought it was so difficult to get such a person out of your head. Your comments about the “resistance” really hit home.
    I can’t change this guy or situation by setting an example or being more understanding. I can’t do anything but recognize that was it. It’s enough now. I intend to focus my energies on acceptance and healing. The sooner, the better. I am not a victim..I’m a discover. For those who have suffered so much, I hope sincerely you will also learn not to dwell or lament on the time you wasted with the narc, but be grateful that you discovered it and can now get on with your lives. Thanks again for your site and for helping us get stronger through acceptance and discovery Melanie.

  87. This is an amazing article. This is so true to where I am right now. I don’t know why I am so fixated on trying to make him accountable when he could care less. I wanted him to fix his lies about me that he has convinced others to believe and the more I tried, you are correct, the more I looked crazy. I just accepted those that are no longer friends/family are not meant to be in my life. This article helped me to see that it’s okay to let go and allow myself to travel my own journey without trying to correct or control his. Thank you

  88. I needed to see this today. I have finally came to the conclusion that one of my friends from childhood is a narcissist. We’ve stayed friends on and off through the years, and in the past two have become very close. I’ve found myself drowning in a sinking ship of her pity, and victimhood. I’m an empathetic listener, and have work to do on my own boundaries, and I’ve been her emotional airbag. Now, I’ve come to the realization that she has slowly shut off other facets of our friendship which used to bring me joy, and I’m there to hold all her emotional garbage in my personal trash can. I’ve put up boundaries on how much time we spend on her pity party, I’ve expressed to her that I can continue our conversations if I feel I’m able to be a good friend for learning and growth, and guess what I get? More of the same blah blah blah pity me with no regard for my stated needs.

    Sadly, I see now that all the love-bombing she’s done has increased on and off depending on how much supply she had in her life. Now that she sees me as no longer being available to her (on the spot when she calls, to listen endlessly to her ruminations about how everyone’s against her, to support her poor, poor pitiful life, blah blah) she’s starting to move to the degrade phase of narcissism. I can feel it. The back handed compliments which are really insults. Triangulation of bringing someone else into our friendship who has a problem with ‘me.’ Making her issues my problem if I raise an alternative and positive take on a situation she’s sees as extremely negative. Gaslighting me if I state the facts as she once told me and now she vehemently denies. Attempting to use anger and guilt to get what she wants. Outwardly telling me she manipulates her husband and children and she’ll do what she has to until she gets what she wants. Listening on end only to be told no one understands her. All the while projecting her inner turmoil on to me. I could go on and on.

    I feel the discard coming. The thing is, she has always complained about her long-time friends shitting on her and how she’s been wronged by them. And she has no idea that the invisible knives she flings out into the world, projected on those around her, are the very invisible knives that come back to stab her in the back, in a self-inflicted wound.

    I used to think it was my responsibility for her to see more positive ways in life, and to live through example. I’ve relieved myself of that thinking. Now, I see we have very little if any common ground, and I can only accept her for who she is without the need to change her. And in so doing, I’ve freed myself up from the crazy-making anxiousness I felt. I’ve put up boundaries. She’s ignored them. And now she’s retaliating.

    I had to live it to believe that narcissists really do exist. My boundaries are turning out to be like garlic and daylight to an emotional vampire. And nothing could have done more for my self-confidence than asserting my rights. I wasn’t used to doing that, but now I realize how empowering it is to take back my power. I realize now that the “friend” I thought I had is really a clown in a circus act, painting on the phony smile in order to morph into a character to get what she wants. I cannot imagine what it’s like to wake up every day and not feel human. To feel such a void. To feel utter anguish when the supply ship doesn’t come in. To drown in a sea of emptiness. So glad I got off the sinking ship when I realized it. I hope my story helps another truth-seeker in his/her journey.

    Here are my truths:
    1. We are all responsible for our own happiness. Someone’s pity party is on them to fix. Not mine.

    2. True acceptance of an individual is the greatest give of love you can give someone. And with a narcissist, it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself as a result.

    3. When someone is busting your boundaries, let them know. Watch for their actions, not their words. Run for the hills when you realize what you’re dealing with when someone doesn’t show respect for your needs.

    4. You don’t have to fix another person’s emotional state. You can state what you need “I’d love to listen more if I can be of help in your journey through growth, otherwise, I’d prefer we not discuss it. I’m sure you’ve got a handle on it and I’ll leave you to sort it out. It’s your responsibility to do so.” How empowering is that?! Or, “I can see you’re angry about something. Can I support your growth through it? Can I help solve something with you? NO? Then I’m going to (leave the room, go home, call you another time, etc). when you’re in a better state. Good bye.” Then leave, hang up the phone, etc.

    5. Take care of yourself first. If you find yourself needing to fix people, ask yourself why. Who does this person represent in your life? A father who raged? A mother who was passive and weak? A sibling who paid no attention to you? Were you the 10 year old going on 40, having grown up too soon? A people pleaser? Get therapy. It’ll help you see that you’re a grown up now. Not a 6 year old. Be the change you want to see in the world. You CAN do it. Took me awhile, but I did it. I finally did it.

  89. I’ll try my best to keep this short. I dated a Narcissistic for one year. I thought the world of her. Actually I still do. I put up with so much and would take her back in a minute as stupid as it sounds. We have separated many times and continued to try over and over again. I was tired of being humiliated on many occasions. I became very angry. Then I found myself stooping to her tricks of the trade so to speak. It’s so difficult to let her go but each day gets a little bit better. I was emotionally tortured by her to the point I found myself doing the same to her. If you plan on winning a battle of words with a N, do not plan at all. Whatever you do don’t let the emotional abuse get any worse than it already is. Please don’t drink in excess as this is a recipe for a toxic situation. Been there , done it almost daily. I’m sober now but continue to think of her throughout everyday. She no longer wants anything to do with me period. She said for me to let her go, she doesn’t want to be with me and no longer loves me. She’s lonely and said she needs a man in her life to hold her. My best wishes to him. Life is not the same but over a period of time I will regain my self-esteem back. She almost got the best of me. Good luck to all out there. Its psychologically draining. Don’t put yourself in their shoes because you’ll find them feeling comfortable after a while. Pretend their feet stink. Stay away from those shoes. If anyone would like to chat about their experience living with these type of people, email me first: conleypelham@gmail. com. May you find the love and respect you deserve. Believe in yourself. Take back what’s been taken from you emotionally, psychologically or both.

  90. Hi Melanie, this is a superb article thank you. I worked for a highly narcissistic CEO for several years. I have always prided myself on high integrity in business and (needless to say) his poor behaviour created extreme emotions in me. I soon became seen as a threat by ‘calling him out’ and this made life a lot worse for me. In the end I felt I had no choice but to leave, despite the fact I loved my work. I was actually ill for some time afterwards, suffering a breakdown and severe depression. I can see now that I was indeed trying to ‘resist’ his behaviour, which was futile, and I paid a high price for this in terms of my wellbeing. All I’d say is that if you do have high integrity it’s very hard indeed to be subjected to the behaviour of a narcissist and to resolve to ‘let it go’ because it bites at a very deep level. At the time I just couldn’t do this and stay in the job. The level of disgust and anxiety I felt was immense. Regards, Peter

  91. I substituted the words “dysfunctional family” for the word “narcissist”, and many of the points that you made applied. Of course, a dysfunctional family is more than one person so I’m dealing with many moving parts. Do you think that every person can exhibit narcissistic traits from time to time. I find that when I’m intensely feeling the scapegoating that occurs, I can go into some narcissistic traits. I do not act out what I would like to do because when I have, I have felt very bad. I’m going to read this again because I’m feeling the effects of being drained and caring so much about the people who do this and why they would do this and how could they do this. It’s exhausting.

  92. I began Googling some key terms related to my dysfunctional relationship with my parents. Mind you, I am married almost 20 years and have 2 children of my own. It has always been a battle of “right and wrong”. I have tried to classify this for years – even during childhood I felt something was not right.
    Basically, in 20 years I have walked away thinking they would change. Then after some time passed, I tipped toed back again, believing I was doing the right thing. Not just because they are family, but most of all because they are my parents and won’t be around forever. In the past, I have received notes of needed appreciation, Quotes about death. YES, from my parents ~~ sending me into a panic and mind game. Asked myself many times, why do I want to severe this relationship.
    I am so glad this and many other articles started surfacing. After reading this article, it has opened my eyes and now realize the repetitive problem all these years~~I’ve been fueling and refueling the fire, with my innocence and naïve heart. I am going to continue on this quest of “healing”…even though my parents are the narcissist.

  93. I have read a lot of good things about NPD and similar behaviour — but this is the best piece I’ve seen on acceptance as a way of moving on. I wanted accountability for the way I was treated — the narc was a separated man who used me to make his wife jealous and get her back into their incredibly toxic marriage. I had no idea the reality of the situation — I thought he’d been on his own for almost a year. Not so. Theirs was a textbook trauma bond, from both sides it seems.
    As soon as I knew exactly what was going on, I got out of the relationship. It was a matter of months, not years. But not before I’d given over an incredible amount of time and energy to his problems. I was satisfied by the way I handled it up front, given the the nastiness — I kept my dignity and spoke my piece. But the fallout was PTSD and I spent much of 2015 in treatment for that. I was already a wreck because of the end of my own marriage previously. I’d been trying to keep myself on an even keel, knowing I was vulnerable but not getting the help I needed.
    It took being deceitfully pulled into this man’s messy, dysfunctional life, and – presto! – breakdown.
    Anyway, I’m a lot better but not 100 percent.
    But this blog post is like the missing link for me. Thank you.

  94. I know this to be 100% accurate somehow I think sometime I must be able to convince him that what he has done is so remarkably evil one can hardly comprehend. I know in my heart this will never occur, he sees nothing wrong with any of the behaviors and actions he’s enacted on me. It feels like eternity with these people. Even if it’s just 4 years. I cannot imagine surviving the 10-15 or even 20 years some people have lasted. I’d have surely died or killed the sociopath by that time. I’m sorry to say but in all reality it does drain the spirit of every kind of happiness and joy once had. They are creatures. And at all costs it is imperative to stay away from them. They come back only to drain more and more. As empaths such as myself I find some joy at the possibly opportunity to help someone until it sinks in the person is that person that has caused so much loss and pain. I’ve lost nearly everything. Including my health. I’m battling several significant health issues at this point and find it difficult to even stand for any long periods of time. I’m only mid 40’s. The stress has truly crippled me. However, I know there is a way out of this. There has got to be. I feel alone, I isolate myself. I don’t know why I do but I feel almost afraid to go anywhere. To do anything. I feel a failure, a reject and incompetent. I feel the need to stop there.

  95. (sorry for my English, it is not my native language) Thanks a lot, Melanie. Your articles are incredibly helpful. I have read many things before, I am trying to “unhook” myself since 10 months (during which I have lost 17 kg, my menstrual cycle, and nearly all of my self-esteem, experienced 2 times his “comeback” to a family (we were parenting together 2 daughters of mine and 1 his son) and abbandoning us again….) and I am so glad I have finally found advises, approaches that seem might really work. I do not want to share all the details of my story cause they are so similar and terrific as all the others but I would like to know if a narcissist can “hook” or “believe to have hooked” another narcissist? And if a narcissist can be hurt by another narcissist? I have a strong impression that something like that might be going on “in front of me”. My ex (a serial romancer) is at the same time my boss and I am still working in that company (not having much choices in this actual moment) and his new “love of his life” (forth in the row in just 6 years – I made a record of full 3 amazing happy years – such a good supply I was 🙂 ) is my colleague. She is also his subordinate. So I am watching on daily basis the very same “movie” in which I was acting once myslef. And of course he expects me “to deal with it professionally”…as I am “the sweetest character of all people he has ever met (including her)” I shall manage it easily according to him. But knowing this woman (she is a complete opposite of me) I am confused. She is a very antipatic, arrogant, moody, inside unhappy and self-hating person that puts herself forward and continuolsly complains about the incompetence of the rest of the world. According to my impression, she has nothing to offer on emotional basis. Just the feeling he is the big one “saving” such a poor creature that nobody likes. But how long can he run on this?

  96. Great article. However, I would not use the box of chocolates analogy to describe a narcissist. That is, unless you make it clear that only 1 out of 5 chocolates is filled with candy and the rest are filled with shit. That is life with a narc

  97. It’s easier said than done. You cannot help but replay times spend with them that you weren’t aware of being deceived. Particular memories of certain things you were doing where you thought you were having a great time and you were so happy with this person and they were deceiving you at those very moments. And the times they made up an excuse and now you realize exactly what they were up to, it automatically pops up in your brain, as your mind recalls the good times now seen as bad times, it eats away at you to think how you were fooled, how uncaring and unfair it was. How someone could do this to you with no remorse.

  98. So spot on. And yet how does this fit within the ACTUAL requirements of co-parenting, exchange of necessary financial info, etc ? I would love to be able to just rely on attorneys to accomplish this compliance, so I can avoid the effort myself, but sadly this does not occur. Even attorneys fall right into the sidestepping, pacifying, and obfuscation.

  99. Very good article, it was enlightening to read this after studying and trying to fix my marriage for over 3 years now. I understand and agree with all content and know it’s all true from my own perspective. Sadly, deep inside myself, I can’t help but think and dream what my wife and I could accomplish and achieve personally, spiritually, financially and internally if we seen things from the same perspective. I want to help her see those liberating moments of truth, integrity, openness and trust. But I have to realize, I’ve damaged myself and our family by trying to correct this behavior of hers. It’s burdened me at work, at home, physically, mentally etc. I have to get past trying to help her be free of this because it’s just enabling the process. It’s easier said than done, 3 years later and I’m still reading and studying……internal nature is a hard shell to crack from either side!

  100. So basically all of that horrendous Behavior they just get away with……. I have been in a relationship with a narcissist for over 3 years I am not in it any longer
    Although I knew something was not right actually I knew something was very wrong but for some reason I could not make myself leave
    After the final discard in January of this year I have gone back and forth with him about the cruelty of what he did… I was in total shock and since I was left to deal with it alone and I was totally traumatized I had to figure it out I had to make it makes sense and I started doing research I have read over 500 articles on narcissism and narcissistic characteristics every single one fits him to a tee and a lot of the example scenarios… for almost identical to his behavior in our scenarios
    This has brought me to a place of pain unlike any I have ever known it has been the most horrific experience… I am a shell of the person I once was and I am extremely angry… sick and tired of reading articles about letting it go moving on no contact
    I understand narcissist are very vindictive but I cannot do any of those things I want him to pay I don’t understand why they continue to get away with it I guess because everyone’s telling the victim to forget it… what he did to me is no different than if he had slit my throat and raped me in the street
    . Now that would not be something that he would get away with or that I could walk away from there really is no difference emotional abuse is huge and it continues to be swept under the rug
    My narcissist is extremely dangerous and I truly believe if I was not as strong as I am this could have easily caused me to take my own life I know this because I thought about it many times

    1. This is the problem I have too. (as the scapegoated Daughter of an NPD father with enabling mother) all the new age “spiritual” material, as well as Psychology/Therapy etc makes you and your reaction to abuse as well as your pain The Problem.

      The abuse isn’t the problem, you the victim are the problem.
      It is bad enough that you went through it, but now you will get a SECONDARY INFLICTED TRAUMA by being told that your reaction is your fault.

      I got fed up with this BS too.
      One of the things I will tell you is you have every right to feel what you are feeling, you have been betrayed and invalidated, demeaned and if you partner was a sadist like my Dad, you have been humiliated, gaslit, ridiculed, belittled and basically told repeatedly that YOU are the evil one. They projectile vomit all their darkness onto you.

      Anger is not the “evil” emotion the new age tells us it is.
      It serves a protective is there for a reason.
      Get mad at their crap, and cut them off.

      And yes, you probably are incredibley strong. I have been told that people who go through what I did as a child often end up taking their own lives.

      So be proud of yourself, stand tall and strong. You have a right to your anger or any other feeling, you have the right to protect yourself.
      Most narcissists DENY you your thoughts and/or feelings (as in no you don’t feel that way, or no you don’t think that..)
      It just adds insult to injury to do it to yourself.
      If you can though, cut the narcissist out of your life.

  101. This one is a child molester.He told the detectives his hands accidently slipped into a teens bikini bottom and he fondled her.What do cops not see or hear.I was very angry when I heard this statement.Sounds like a narcopath 5 yr old but is molesting children.The victim is about to pull the plug on this parasite.Can’t be soon enough.I’ve read a lot on narcissism- but rarely associated with molesting children.Does anyone have any insight on this ?
    Deborah Rhoden

  102. Hi,

    This is so right on. I actually had cognitive dissonance
    Before I knew what she was, which clearly is the behavior as a narc. covert at that, and event he altruistic covert.

    I always sensed something wasn’t quite right, but always made excuses for them because I felt anyone who told me to drop her “didn’t get her like I did because I am around her a lot”
    but just a few short months ago, it was getting worse and worse. started asking me for more favors that were more and more ridiculous. and when I didn’t want to do them, or she felt I didn’t she craftily said things to make me feel like it is ok if I don’t but they just can’t understand why I would not do them.
    so I started saying no. actucaly this was more because I never had a girlfriend , and I was trying to not be smothering, and saying no as it was a new concept, and there was a mask that slipped off a tiny bit here and there in the past, but I always made an excuse like she was just under undue stress, and she was on the cycle, each time it happened, she seemed to indicate it so I just figured it was a woman thing. I always heard that they are far more emotional and toughter to read than us men. so I really didn’t realize it. however I am pretty sure a woman , even if she is more meotional backand forth, is not quite nearly as extreme, and doesn’t love bomb you than punish you, then love you than confuse you to the point that you never truly know where you stand with her and they most certainly do not , when you finally call them out, which I did do btw, and wish I knew everything before hand, on the other hand, maybe it was best for me as it forced me to figure out what went wrong and I have really begun to understand narcissism like never before, . but I was totally harassed, threatened and told by her I need to commit suicide, even after, she was telling me I was a stalker when she was the one who always invited me over, and made me dines, and was the one who was constantly texting and calling b back. it was the string of the threats the hoping I did and the suicide and bringin in recently deceased relaltives, even though everything else was gut wrenging, I would have probably talked to her again at some point. however, anyone that can even conceive of those thoughts even if just to say them to me is dangerous and disturbing.
    I have 0 contact and blocked them on everything. they 1 week later called from another number and just asked them to PLEASE call them , making the voice sound as though they are sick right now. this after she told me she lost my number lol
    however, it was a thing where I finally after enough episodes of this and this time having had to say no and feel semi guilty to more and more outrageous things I should do that unless I was her actual boyfriend, didn’t give me that while makime think I was going to be but then not while going out with another person who did this to her , it is so confusing.
    but she called and demanded I just drop everything one day, after al this other stuff, no explinaion, I said I can’t , I went about my buinsess and several hours later told her sorry I missed the calls eaelirr, she told me to F off and told me I am a jerk.
    so I told her this time, instead of my usual “oh ok, no problem” this time “sorry, I don’t want to see you, you don’t resepct me and you use me” boy oh boy did that make her angry. she said I use her, and she never did. of course 2 months nito after meeting her she once said to me out f the blue “hey, I hope you don’t ever think I am using you because I do’t do that” and I never accused her of it. I am willing to bet that was her telling me “hey, I use people, and you are clearly a sucker who has integrity, I am using you but don’t want you to think I do so I can make you my slave later once I have you hooked”
    so I blocked her immidately on social media.
    the next day she calls to tell me she got arestarining order. funny thing she could not have the day before was a holiday and this day was a weekend, no court is open for her to do it. and in a few months still have never been served. lol
    so I wrote her back since she didn’t believe she used me, told her no reason to do this. and basically explainiend how she did, and how she takes no responsibility for her part in anything and how crappy other things were and how she cost me friendship of someone I knew my entire life (albeit they themselves have more or less anger issues, and are punishing me for disrepepcting them but will talk to me and be in my life again, but this female is still totally responsible, because she manipulated the cirumstacnes that caused all this)
    anyhow, she wanted me to give her something back but she didn’t give me back the thing I needed which was very personal to me.
    funny how that works.
    she asked me to bring this thing to her house, after telling me she ordeed a restraining order, and insisted, and even said to put it bythe door as she may not be home.
    so I instead, mailed it. I said, no I am mailing this because you asked me not to come over and there is zero reason for me to stop by, you will get it in the mail in 2 days. I thanked her for the good things she did for me, told her I learned a lot from this (which was true, I learned not to be around people like her, but knew she could take it as ana pology to calm her down) I seriously thought she was going to come hit me with a baseball bat or hire some guy to. she acted so vicious and crazy I didn’t know. I had to watch my back for a few weeks, and locked myself in the house with the alarm off for about 3 or 4 weeks.
    she only was there once ever but still.
    and her argument was this other guy was the one who told her to do this. yeah, a guy who totally dumped her for the 10th time and this time she knew he used her and she was stuipid enough to fall for his tricks yet again, and working on getting back, so when she tried to entice me by saying she would sleep with me, I knew he may read it, so I said “well, no, only if you and him wind up no being together at all otherwise it would not be fair to him” I also mentioned in the letter too how she used other guys I as aware of using the bf as a tool. and I even said how the reason I didn’t go any further was I was the only one who respected her and him enough not to because it isn’t right.
    I asked her to not speak to me ever again after thanking her and learning things. I had already blocked her phone and social media. left email open in case she was going to tell me an apology.
    she waited 2 days, and then accused me of stalking her. when in fact she was harassing me lol.
    so I blocked that too. then 2 days later was when she pulled the 2nd number (which she forgot she gave me a year prior to this and I saved it so I knew it was something she used) but instead of calling her back, I blocked it.
    have not heard since.
    however, basically I kind of beat her by
    1. said no, hard to do
    2. when she reacted volitie, I said no again, Im not putting up witht this, good bye
    3. when she didn’t belive me and tried to turn it around I calmly worte in a way so that if bf reads it he knew full well it was not me, but her, even though he himself treats her like sh*t IE does the same stuff to her she does to me and probably countless others. maybe why she is so into him.
    4. remained calm thorugh the storm, out of 130 texts I only responded lightly to 2 or 3 just mainly for logistics
    5. I figure the thing about coming over was to set me up so she could call the cops, I outsmarted her
    6. told her politiely ok, good bye, (told her exactly what she did, even indicating I was ready to walk away soon) and in so many words, but legently made her know I don’t need disrespect and manipulation.
    7. followed through, giving no contact whatsoever even though I am srue that last call was to probably apologize for her behavior, and that everything is ok sorry so sorry. 🙁 but didn’t give her the chance. make her realize there is conseequences for her behavior.

  103. This is one of the best articles I have read on the topic. This alone has brought an enormous amount of clarity to me.
    Trying to make the narcissist accountable is a spiral of self destruction. Accepting that accountability will not happen is the only way forward.
    Thank you so much!

  104. A fantastic article!! The things you point out I LL keep. For my true journey. Thanks for writing this article.


    Luanne. Rene

  105. So many things in this article make so much sense; it’s a relief of sorts for someone to put their finger right on the matter and spell out so clearly. But I wonder whether my ex-wife is really a narcissist? We were together for twelve years and I feel that I know her intimately, and I cannot bring myself to believe that love is foreign to her. She used so many of the tactics outlined here, but I can’t accept that she didn’t really love me, albeit imperfectly. There is also the fact that she divorced me, not the other way around–doesn’t a narcissist strive to stay in the relationship? That said, it was after I lost everything from illness and could no longer accede to her demands, so maybe she decided she wasn’t getting what she wanted from me anymore? Back to the love bit though… Is it possible for s person to maybe be a partial narcissist, or have strong N tendencies, but maybe not all the way?
    Anyway this article was helpful and it was good to know that I’m not alone and there is a reason for her behavior. Thank you.

  106. Dear Melanie,

    Thank you so much for this extremely well-written article! I’m in school right now, and had to take a course on ‘behavioural science.’ Going through the different personality types and the different coping mechanisms (mature and immature), I started to put all the pieces of my obviously internally broken ‘ex’ boyfriend together. I had this distinctive moments when everything clicked, and I said to myself, “OMG he’s a narcissist!”

    Since that hunch, I have been scouring the internet to better understand how a narcissist works, confirming my hunch as being true. Every time I read anything about someone else’s experience with ‘their’ narcissist, I felt like I was reading about my own relationship. I was still in touch with him throughout this realization, and I started recognizing the signs in real-time during our conversations. I could even predict his triggers and out-bursts, but this time I knew better than to feed his ego by getting angry. Also, the part in the article where you start to lose yourself and feel like ‘you’ are going crazy when you start calling the narcissist 20 times in a row is SPOT ON. And, they LOVE that! Because, now they get to call you crazy, and PROJECT their mental instability onto you. Finally, I knew about the ‘game’ and could play the ‘game’ with him. Like you said in this article, playing their game is another dangerous ride – it’s like you get off one roller coaster, just to get on another.

    A couple days ago I finally put my foot down, in a way that I had not done before. It was hard; you have to let go of all the things you thought that relationship was going to lead to. You HAVE to realize that the person you ‘love’ or ‘want to be with’ is made up, that person is NOT REAL. And when you can finally break away from than trance, can you liberate yourself from the pain, hurt, and mind-bending confusion that you are being subjected to.

    You are ABSOLUTELY right – acceptance for the situation is exactly what will help free all of us. Although it has just been a few days since I ‘put my foot down,’ I still hadn’t set myself up for ‘no contact.’ I will be taking the steps to establish ‘no contact’ today, right after I post this. I’m excited to see what I can accomplish by putting the energy I had put into this relationship elsewhere.

    Thank you Melanie! Thank you so much! You have cemented my decision, you have armed me with yet another defence, and you will have given me peace. Sending you positively and blessings. I hope you know how many peoples lives you have and will change for the better. And I hope that my escape is a final one.

    1. Hi Anna,

      I am so pleased this article resonated with you and you found some answers!

      It’s my pleasure and I wish you every courage and blessing necessary to create your New Life.

      Mel xo

  107. Dear Melanie,

    Whenever I search the web on the subject of narcissist and narcissism, I keep coming across your writings. I grew up with a parent (father) having narcissistic traights and I’ve been seeking to heal from the experience ever since. I’ve been able to create good friendships, but despite being in my early 50s I’ve never had a proper relationship. So much gets triggered for me in trying to get intimate with anyone. It has led to some dark moods, a tendancy for me to be overly critical and insenstive at times. I know this, I accept this and am doing my best to gain healing with the time and resources available to me. What I’m not able to be is perfect. I can only take responsibility for my side of things. A friendship is coming to an end because my (female) friend wanted me to take 100% responsibility for the problems in our friendship, which just put me right back there as a scared, confused little kid all over again. I think she may be a narcissist, but I don’t know. Certainly it doesn’t feel good to be made 100% responsible for the health of the friendship.

    Thanks for the excellent healing work you’re doing.


  108. The only thing that I do not understand about this write up is how are you supposed to accept someone being on their own journey and following their own map means there are victims at every rest stop? You’re basically accepting someone being on a journey of evil and terrible abuse, tearing apart people’s lives and possibly even children. It’s like accepting someone on their own journey if they are a child molester. Could you sleep at night knowing you accepted their journey to molest children. Could you sleep at night thinking about the future victims in someone’s path? How do you accept that?? Please clarify.

  109. I just want to say thank you for this article. It is the most helpful thing I’ve read since I started the journey of understanding narcissism and how/why I got involved with a narcissist. I finally began to see that I was stuck in a rut feeling a need for justice in the situation, and this article confirms that and shows me that I need to move to acceptance. Most articles/posts focus on the narcissist, which perpetuates the cycle. This article has inspired me to move the focus to me and how I can grow and move forward DESPITE the narcissist continuing to be a narcissist. Thank you for sharing your insights! It will make a difference in my life!

  110. Just one additional thought/question. This becomes a little more difficult when sharing children with an N because it is no longer about the journeys of only two people:

    “I love you and all of life enough to allow you to be whoever you want to be on your journey, and I love myself enough to choose what is the TRUE journey for me. Therefore if we are not a MATCH thank you for showing me what I needed to heal within myself, and I can let go and allow us both to experience the journey that is our choice as it stands right now.”

    I feel an obligation to protect our children from his narcissism, but I recognize that he is still a part of their journey and that they want him to be (children more easily accept parents despite their short comings). Any special suggestions for people who have to co-parent with a narcissist?

  111. I just read this, and want to thank you for your article. I have struggled with a narcicistic not-relation in three years, and tried to understand what happens. Its all just like you wrote – you bring it to the point – and sett me free. Thank you so much for figuring it out!

  112. Hi Mel,

    Wow…I feel like crying! Thank you so much for your insight. I have read numerous sites and hundreds of pages of trying to get my head around this beast and I can honestly say that your words are second to none. To be honest, I almost came to tears because what you wrote is exactly where I am an have been stuck. I escaped a self-diagnosed (by me of course) narcissist a few years ago, after a ten year marriage. I saw the red flags early on, but chose foolishly to ignore them because of her physical attractiveness. To this day she still writes me demoralizing emails and texts, as I unfortunately cannot go “no contact” with her due to having two kids with her. I feel like a mental pinata at times, but I need to stay close as I want my kids to know what a healthy household feels like. Thank you so much again for your website. It has been a lifesaver!

  113. Very insightful. I never really understood what psychologists meant when they said “acceptance” I always took it to mean allowing the behaviour. This explains it in a way I can easily understand. I have had kind of a epiphany reading this. Accountability really is never coming. Narcs are just truly toxic awful people. Thanks for the article 🙂

  114. Hi Melanie,
    This has been the missing key for me.
    I have read more articles on the subject than one can imagine .
    This is gold. I’ve been out 2 years & have a common 6 1/2 yr old in the mix, so no contact isn’t an option for me.
    I have been so stuck , this has really made me think & it seems may prove to finally allow me some freedom.
    Thank you so much.

  115. Hi. Is it better to leave where I live, or, is it worth waiting for an end result with a narc, now the police and local housing are involved? Because I don’t want the next person to live here to become a viable target.

    How should I best deal with the situation, as verbal, emotional and proxy abuse are rife?

    P.S. I really don’t have any place else to go, and there are no suitable homes to move to.

  116. I have been reading a lot about narcissistism and this is one of the most informative articles I have read. Thank you for your insights.

  117. Hey Melanie,
    Thank you so much for the informative article. I found myself in this trap for years. The more I tried to confront my ex for his mean-spirited behaviors that were oceans apart from the squeaky clean image he portrayed while I was “getting to know” him, the more abusive he became, not only emotionally but also sexually. It kept me inside a vicious cycle of expecting this person to be a morally responsible and mature person to repeatedly reacting to and defending his God-awful baseless insults and deliberate, antagonistic behaviors. I have a question about this. I have read that it’s common Narcissistic behavior to accuse the person on the receiving end of this behavior for being in love with or “chasing” him/her. Is it common for the Narcissist to label reactions to his/her behavior as “jilted?” While trying to talk to my ex about this long-term abusive behavior, and asking him to offer some sort of valid explanation for all of it (I have been thinking about reporting ALL of it, due to my own conscience of just knowing how dangerous this person is), he recently referred to me as a “jilted lover,” accused me of harassment. It seems like lop-sided logic to think that this is acceptable under the circumstances. I was the one who ended the romantic involvement with him, and stopped sleeping with him years ago. He he has repeatedly complained about it, despite his claim that I am the jilted lover. Is this a common behavior for Narcissists? It appears to be another form of diversion/Gaslighting. If he can cleverly paint a false picture to portray me as the jilted lover, then I suppose he can alleviate himself of any previous/existing wrongdoings and redefine my genuine reasons for having continued to communicate with him. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Please know narcissists will come up with any twist or turn that keeps you hooked, by getting under your skin and keeping you handing over narcissistic supply.

      You can’t turn crazy into sane!

      There is no logic to what they do … other than to hook you in to them.

      Mary there is only one solution – stop trying to make sense of what he is saying, let go and turn inwards to heal.

      That is the only place where your salvation is, and it starts here:

      I hope this helps.

      Mel 🙏💕❤️

  118. Hi, Melanie –

    I’m enjoying my journey with NARP and the recovery information I have received from your site. A good deal seems to resonate with me, and I feel much greater peace and clarity regarding myself and my preferences as a result of the up-leveling I’ve done.

    My question for you is this – while this does resonate and I am clearly benefitting from these recovery tenets, does it matter if I am wrong about the other person being a narcissist? Through detaching and healing myself, I am changing the way I interact with him (which is necessary, as he is my child’s father) and am establishing significantly stronger boundaries. Is this healthy, whether or not he is actually a “narcissist?” Or if he is not, does doing this work damage my ability to interact with him in a way that gives him the benefit of the doubt?

    1. Hi Sandra,

      It can be a slippery one.

      If he did display the narcissistic qualities in the past then yes he has the propensity to be narcissistic or he does have NPD and could be trying to hook you into a position for his benefit.

      Stronger boundaries are great. Not getting sentimental or emotionally involved with him in imperative for you and the children. Especially if you remember back to how you have been taken down before, you never want to be back there again.

      Coparenting with an emphasis on Patallel parenting is much healthier and possible with toxic relationships or those that could turn that way again.

      As women recovering it is vital that we become our own powerful healthy source and lead the way for our children.

      If any part of you still feels needy or dependent on him, or even sentimental then you could, without knowing it, get drawn in and hooked again. So I really suggest going within with NARP and letting any of those parts you need to – go.

      Your life moving forward needs to be, for you, as much as possible without him.

      I hope this helps.

      Mel 🙏💕♥️

  119. I won’t go into great detail about my 5+ year relationship with my narcissistic girl-friend. She meets all the behavioral symptoms, I engage in the accountability snafus mentioned in your article. My question is, can I still maintain the good portions of the relationship with her yet not let her behaviours destroy my sense of well-being? And yes, there are many aspects of the relationship that fulfill me – common interests, laughter, companionship and sex. Unfortunately, good times are always followed by sabotage, withdrawal, silence, for at least a few days if not weeks. As an aside, I am 65 and she is 62, so my reality is I have a limited life-time and limited resource for other intimate companions. My response to her behaviors have improved over the years, from total devastation, low self esteem and confusion, to now basically knowing this is her problem and all I need is patience to ride out her tantrums. It is a huge challenge. Yet even though it may be against my best interest, I feel good when I do the right things for her and others. I don’t want to change or lose that good characteristic about me, because I also realize I have less than admirable characteristics as do all humans. Enjoying the good things in the relationship without being destroyed by her crazy, self-centeredness is my challenge and question. Thanks.

  120. I’ve been out of my direct N-ightmare for a while now but I’ve been struggling to let go of the character assassination/smear campaign and anxiety that my new relationship will end up the same. I read and understood your articles. Big time resonance. All done now… thanks for my life back!

  121. Astounding article, I have fallen entirely into this trap and it held me captive for longer than I care to admit to, now going on 10 years. I had a neighbour whom literally came close to destroying my life. I’m slowly coming out of the darkness. I have dealt with everything mentioned in every article about narcissists but I must confess this article hit on why. I had a father who was a bully and also narcissistic, well I had this neighbour who was the epitome of the bully, treated my wife so badly on a number of occasions and that’s how I got involved, making a criticism and getting punched in the face. Then it disintegrated into years of bullying, I had no idea what I was dealing with and thought I could right my own wrongs (I didn’t always react with aplomb) and seek validation, approval yet also justice and accountability. Boy did I just feed into this nightmare. I internalised everything. I eventually insulted him (after a year of living with his broken promises relating to his dogs barking) and he assembled his own little army to slander me taking me to court seeking a restraining order! It wasn’t granted but I got to see his statement and it dawned on me as to what I was really dealing with: the length, breadth and scope of deceit and lies and relishing in involving everyone in my area portraying himself as the hero / victim which I was the attacker, punitive individual… he even ‘had concerns for his wife and children’ when my wife and I were on the receiving end of his abuse (I am a loving father of a child and decent husband to my wife). Eventually I went seeking accountability for one of his gas-lighting (‘splitting’) comments relating to him stating a ‘neighbour thought I was high on drugs’ (he did this on about 5 separate occasions relating to others including his wife – I had no idea then what ‘splitting’ was or any of this stuff at the time so admittedly it did my head in) and was viciously attacked. He had me pinned down and said ‘if he wanted to he could kill me’ and then I got back on my feet I was continually verbally abused. I even said ‘he’d ruined the last few years of my life’ to which he said ‘he didn’t give a f##k’… I gave him a whole lot of power in that statement of mine I know but I was honest for better or worse. I opened a case of assault and he opened one against me (which I later got to read when it went to mediation which I had to accept after numerous court appearances going nowhere) where I was the attacker with a tazer, attempting to stab him with keys, throwing a punch. I witnessed him talking to a neighbour immediately afterwards and knew what he was up to (as I knew his modus operandi by then). It was never the violence that bothered me too much, but the lies that you are powerless to address. In the first mediation session he dominated by stating he’d left the area (since he’d just moved house) and he wanted to drop his charges since ‘all was over’. Well I was seeing red as for 8 long years there had been no accountability just dishonesty of the highest order so I was hell-bent on going to court. The second I made my opinion heard he looks at me and says ‘I feel sorry for your daughter to have a father like you’ with this callous, cold-hearted stare. The judge asked me shortly afterwards what I wanted upon my appearance which I didn’t quite understand so I sad ‘lock him up and throw away the key’. Well that didn’t happen. Anyway I’m in therapy as there’s a good chance I’m also narcissistic to a degree and as to why this had such an effect on me. I hear people saying to stand up for yourself and don’t take shit in life, well my advice is be very careful whom you stand up to and be prepared for the blowback if you get involved with the wrong sort. I’m going to do your free course now. Also meditate. (This writing has got me a little angsty!) Thanks for your words, you’re a wise soul, it all relates to working on the internal, you have no control with your mind trying to control what you cannot, it will make you anxious, bitter and angry. I’m trying to externalise less and internalise my journey to a happier life. Blessings to all.

  122. “Mary there is only one solution – stop trying to make sense of what he is saying, let go and turn inwards to heal.” – thank you. The only solution, as making sense of the madness with endless rumination will ruin your life.

  123. Thank you. I’ve been in a 7 yr relationship with a female narc and asked her two different times to go and she did. Not once did she ever take accountability for her actions. And each time after months it was my acceptance of her behavior is what made her worse each time. I had never thought of it like that. This last time she had another supply for I don’t know exactly how long over 6 months I know. It’s not love with these people it’s taking me a long time to realize that and I’ve made every mistake possible as recent as yesterday when I found out about the new supply. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and don’t wish it on anyone. For myself it’s not been about love for a long time. It’s been about accountability and acceptance. I probably shouldn’t have but I sent the new supply a message and attached messages between her and I. I told him just a heads up with what you’re dealing with if you didn’t know about me. And if you did then more power to you. Said no hard feelings and thanked him.

  124. Trying to hold a narcissist accountable can indeed be an exercise in futility. But don’t give up hope! Remember, the power to break free from abuse lies within yourself. Instead of focusing on the narcissist’s actions, focus on your healing and growth. You are strong, resilient, and capable of creating a beautiful life for yourself. Don’t let the narcissist’s hooks keep you trapped in a cycle of abuse. Take control of your narrative and write your happy ending. 

  125. I was nodding along with this entire article and I found it so insightful in a way others have never been. I have often looked for answers as to why I can’t seem to disconnect from this person that I truly want out of my life, but the answers I found were never satisfying. I never felt trauma bonded, it wasn’t love that kept me invested, but I couldn’t understand what did. This, however, resonated with me so profoundly….up to a point, that is…

    I don’t think my motivation is the same. I don’t rely on fixing other’s “wrongness” for my happiness and I don’t keep inviting “wrongness” into my life; this is the ONLY source of wrong I’ve ever mistakingly allowed in, and I feel certain that I could and would find absolute peace and happiness, even in the face of his ongoing flaws. However, this man is the father I’ve given my kids. I made the grave mistake of choosing THIS man to be the other influence in their lives and that’s a mistake I can never undo or fix. They have to bear the burden of my bad decision for the rest of their entire lives. I think my belief was: if I can’t change who their father is, I have to change their father.

    So I don’t believe it’s the wrong he’s done to me that I can’t live with, it’s the mistake I made that has condemned 3 young kids that I can’t live with. I think I feel it’s my responsibility to mitigate the harm this will do to my kids. I feel like I owe them a debt and it’s my personal duty to make this up to them. And, ultimately, I don’t know how to let that go…

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