Anyone here been in a relationship(/ex) with a narcissist…?

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  • Anyone here been in a relationship(/ex) with a narcissist…?
  • DrP

    Are you able to PM me? I feel I need to chat to someone…
    Did you manage to break the ‘spell’…?? How did you do it? Do they always try to control you??

    Would appreciate a quick chat if anyone’s in a similar situation..



    Yup. Ended 3 years ago (then ended again 20 months ago) still messed up from it.

    Don’t how I can help but happy to listen, off out shortly so may not reply for a while


    From what I have read, it seems that malignant narcissism is an incurable condition and ‘the spell’ cannot be broken. Run for the hills before they destroy you.


    Leave them with the line it’s not me it’s you

    Premier Icon dknwhy

    DrP can’t say that I can help with the narcissistic aspect but have gone through some rubbish in the last few years and am out the other side. Have read a few of your posts over the last few months and they struck a chord.

    Keep talking and focus on you and your kids. Drop me a line if you want someone to chat to, ride with, share a couple of beers.


    In real life I’m trying to help a mate through being dumped (for the fourth time) by a “pervers narcissique”. It’s made him physically ill with real symptoms that have put him in hospital. He’s a doctor but like a chain-smoking doctor who tells his patients to stop he can’t stop himself. He recognises he is suffering from addiction. The relationship was a succession of high highs and cold turkey.

    In the relationship he was so intent on pandering to the lady’s whims he ended up having no life of his own. He’s recently taken on board my idea that you can’t give up an obsessional thing without replacing in with another so he’s taken up swimming and joined a walking club, it seems to have helped.

    Edit: I’ll go a step further. He’s a doctor and his vocation is to help people, he’s gone through life trying to heal people, change them for the better and I feel he’s conviced he can somehow cure her and the next time she’ll be better and it’ll go OK. It won’t, she’s incurable, and my worry is that so is his addiction.


    I was going to be flippant and say my wife but that’s not very funny (and untrue).

    DrP – best of luck with it. I’ve seen a friend messed up after this kind of relationship. This place is incredibly supportive so keep talking. It might help others too.


    Although a totally different situation to yours – A couple years ago I was going through something and couldn’t think of anyone to talk it through with for advice – turns out reddit was good for me, an entire sub dedicated to the same thing and reading all the posts helped me a lot. Wouldn’t spend too much time there though – can get a bit mad and depending on subject trolls galore.


    Edukator made an excellent point – make up the time doing other things that bring you joy – ride, go for a beer with mates, get outside and contemplate if you need to but on your terms.


    Every one of my relationships has been with a narcicist.

    We’re not all bad and there’s no such thing as a “spell”. We’re not witches/wizards. just **** up people who have a higher opinion of ourselves. (sometimes even justified)
    If you want to leave. Leave. If you want your partner to change. Leave. just the same as you would with any other partner you no longer like.
    A Narcissist doesn’t actually have any power over you.


    PM sent.

    IME narcissists will never change and will always blame you for their frustrations. Getting out of the relationship is the only thing that helps.


    I can help DrP so I’ve sent you a message.

    Premier Icon rone

    Can’t help but I’ve got a mate in a co-depedent relationship. He always seems to end up in the same type of relationships.

    Don’t know how it can be fixed as he sees it as normal whilst his life has been bent completely out of shape.


    Can’t speak for the narcissist thing but your mate might benefit from a good counsellor. It’s good to talk to someone that has no bias and no personal relation to the issue and a person with the right skills can help put things in to light that your friend is struggling with. The right questions and a point of view from someone with a degree of separation can put things into perspective.


    A relative of mine was married to someone with NPD. Looking in from the outside at the relationship we all thought there was something wrong pretty much from the start but we just thought she had a few quirks. It took a while for the family to realise there was something more afoot but what can you say in that situation unless it’s absolutely blatant or violent? And of course they’re skilled at not drawing outside attention and manipulating the partner against relatives.

    Eventually my relative realised how bad it was and that it was not a problem that could be fixed. She started to extract herself but this was a long, ugly and costly process and she needed support to do it. I expect there were and possibly remain feelings of shame around having been deceived.

    The best advice is often the hardest to take, in this case take legal advice if necessary and drop that person like a hot potato because it isn’t going to get better.

    My ex was/is a narcissist and probably has other serious mental health issues. She was on a destructive streak when we broke up (neighbours called the police and they caught me jumping out the first floor window, I took them to the flat and she was just destroying everything, no crockery/glassware/picture glass.) Anyway she’s sent various people to ask me to meet her and chat. I ignore the question and say if that’s the only reason they wanted to meet then please don’t contact me again.

    It was horribly toxic, I ended up £20k in debt and 4stone heavier than I am now and drinking 1-2 bottles of wine a night just to pander to her whims and that’s not the worst of it.

    Op I’m username with a .com gmail account.

    I have just divorced a narcissist after a 20 year relationship. Went through hell and back. I’ve found the only way to deal with it is zero contact, which is just about possible with two teenage kids. Please do pm if you like.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Every one of my relationships has been with a narcicist.

    goes some way to explain your posting history


    Thank you for all the messages and replies here..

    The key seems to be “know your worth”…
    I just feel programed into believing what’s being said to me,which then makes me feel low /guilty and I just give in…
    It’s all manipulation for her gain…

    I was reading loads online ;one thing stuck out which said “they’ll get you with love and flattery, which will turn into anger and aggression… All to get what they want from you…”

    Man… It’s hard when it’s all you’ve known for years isn’t it!

    But again, thank you for the messages and support 😊


    Premier Icon alibongo001

    Dr P – unfortunately there seems to be a rule in life that for everyone who gives there are several takers.

    Normal rules do not apply!

    You can only create the environment for people to behave appropriately – they have to actually do it!

    Look after yourself and your family


    I’m also part of this unenviable club, covert narcissists for me. Has/still is taking me years to get my confidence back and trust again. Two websites that helped me were and the You Tube channels of Coach Corey Wayne.

    can always PM if needed, good luck but it really is a cr@ppy situation to pull through from, but you will


    What were narcissists called before it became a word everybody uses all the time? DrP, I think you need some more professional advice than available on a motoring cycling forum.


    Never been in a relationship with a narcissist but I’ve known a few including a Syrian lad (son of our agent) who stayed with me for three months and couldn’t walk past a mirror without stopping to check himself out. Is that narcissism?


    That is narcissism – but not what is being talked about here. I think they are talking about narcissistic personality disorder which is a whole different game


    Globalti that’s narcissism, which everybody has to an extent – it is what gets us up in the morning, the self believe that we mean at least something to someone somewhere.

    It’s a sliding scale not binary, and only becomes a problem when it’s represented in it’s extreme form aka narcissistic personality disorder.


    looking in mirrors too much isn’t really narcicism.
    it can be anything from vanity to insecurity.

    I genuinely rarely ever look in mirrors. The unbelievably awesome guy looking back is a lot to live up to. 😉


    Yes, me.

    Totally fits the description of my Ex – took a long time for me to realise this, she is very good at manipulation – both positive and negative and launches into what are effectively massive tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, pushing every button you can imagine to get a response and make me feel bad.

    We split 2 years ago but have 6 year children, so zero contact is just a dream.

    It’s much better now I’ve come to terms with her being this way and just ignore it – in the same way that ignoring a toddler tantrumming defuses it’s effectiveness. She will (I hope) slowly get the message.

    DrP – I’ll PM you.


    Just an update really…

    I’ve been reading a good book “the narcissist you know” and watching a few “surviving narcisissm” you tube videos..

    I’m ‘getting better’ at managing what I can control , i.e not always replying to texts that aren’t about the kids and able to be met with a simple yes/no/factual answer.

    I still feel like she’s trying to control my life, and it’s REALLY hard not to revert back to my previous role…
    A lot of you have reached out to me: many thanks.
    A lot of you have mentioned about stockholm syndrome type effects; i can massively see this. The relationship we form just to survive and keep the peace is initially protective, but then just becomes damaging…

    I guess I just need to accept that I’m going to get shouted at, be called a terrible father, and all manner of put downs…all because I won’t do what she wants.

    What’s sad is that i’ve realised narcissists really just view people in the world in one of two camps:
    You’re either their adoring and obedient ally, or you’re disrespecting them and the enemy.

    This must be such a hard way to view the world, and it’s clearly why if you don’t fit in camp a, then as the enemy you ‘deserve’ to be hit, spat at, and shouted at….

    hey ho..


    it’s clearly why if you don’t fit in camp a, then as the enemy you ‘deserve’ to be hit, spat at, and shouted at….

    If it weren’t for the kids you could do exactly what you need – remove this person from your life entirely and move on as best you can.

    The only thing I can suggest is to minimise your interactions to the purely functional, make a record of any abuse/threats and make sure that your access to the children is set in stone and not in any way subject to her whims.

    What you have described above means you have clearly spent years in an abusive relationship, and need to take care of yourself, recognise that you are not the cause of any of this behaviour, and that she has no power over your future emotional wellbeing, and you have no responsibility for hers.

    Premier Icon bikebouy

    Hey, best of luck managing this situation.


    Hi DrP, been through similar. 4 years out from a not very nice break up. Not sure if they are a narcissist or not but I’ve lots of advice and some good reading for you.
    Trick is not to engage – keep it simple and about logistics.
    You will get called all names to control you.
    Just ignore it.
    pm me if you want

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Kind of avoided reading this thread until now. It’s been enlightening


    Hi OP, I was married for many years to a woman who (having now read up on it) exhibited many of the traits of NPD. I lived in a world where I could never do right for doing wrong, where I was expected to subjugate myself to her needs and desires, where I was constantly belittled. Interestingly my ex was a person who would go out of her way to help a stranger or acquaintance but expected all those close to her to go out of their way to prioritise her needs. And would get really aggrieved when they didn’t. She fell out with multiple friends, things went sour with different jobs and family became alienated. For years I was angry about how people treated her, until one day I realised she was the common factor.

    Our relationship was complicated by the fact that she has MS. As a result I spent years working 24/7 running a business and then being primary parent for our two kids and a carer for her. Towards the end it became harder and harder and because I resisted we fought (not literally) more and more. Eventually she tried to stop me attending a work event that required an overnight. “If you go, don’t bother coming back” was her message.

    I did and I didn’t.

    It was tough, my son was five, my daughter three. I stayed nearby and at times was tempted to go back. But I didn’t.

    I’m now remarried to a lovely woman, we have three kids (two from my first marriage and our three Yr old), my son and daughter are 13 & 11 respectively. They live with their mum but I see them 2-3 times a week and have a great relationship with them. I still have to deal with her, and sometimes it’s hard. But it’s worth it for my kids.

    For a time after getting out I was a bit of a hollow vessel. Tough to let feelings in when you’ve learnt to shut them out in order to survive.

    Can’t advise you much other than to say you have to do what is right in the longterm. Don’t be afraid to take the difficult desision if you need to.

    Email Address is in profile if you want to follow up with me.

    All the best!


    The vast majority of us will display traits of the full range of PDs – especially to a disgruntled ex partner.

    I have yet to meet a person with a diagnosed NPD, but anybody with a properly diagnosed PD will undoubtedly be very difficult to be in a relationship with.


    Mooman- the difficult it due to the very nature of the disorder, convincing the subject to undertake a test for NPD is pretty much impossible. In other words, there are probably a vast amount of people who have NPD but will refuse to seek a diagnosis.


    This. And it’s further complicated by the brutality and hateful behaviour of the narcissist often only being apparent to the victim. Others are slow/never to spot it, ‘surely not, great person’ etc.
    Someone else will come along and love you for who you are and you will feel astonished and blissed out.


    Should also be said that certain personality types are more at risk of getting tangled up and hurt by narcissists.
    I was one of those. I separated 3 years ago from my wife of 20 years, who I’d kind of known all along was difficult, but I thought I could ‘fix’ her, by doing everything I thought I was supposed to as a husband, and father. The problem is, these types will never ever be satisfied, and even worse they’ll simply resent you more.
    Everything I did, was met at best with indifference, at worse with humiliation and sometimes public belittlement. Every conversation was centred on her, and her needs. I worked myself into the ground, and had a massive breakdown, became suicidal, had a stay in hospital, and still this merciless woman found ways to stick the boot in and crush my soul, but that was finally the turning point. I took control of my life, and several years later was strong enough to leave, with the support of new friends.

    I felt devastated to leave, for my kids mainly, and I still miss our ‘family’, despite how dysfunctional and unbalanced it was. But I can see it clearly now, and I know it was the right thing to do. I have kids but they’re virtually grown up so some contact is still needed but diminishing. She still has her massive irrational tantrums and use the old techniques, but I use simple non-emotional language and detach/diffuse/walk away.

    I kind of consider myself now as living a new life, rediscovering who I am, I realised how completely damaged I was emotionally, hollowed out, zero confidence, self esteem, self worth. It’s been remarkable how profound that process of ‘healing’ has been, and it is amazing to me what we can put up with and convince ourselves as ‘normal’, especially in abusive relationships.
    I met someone new, who has helped in this process, she loves me completely for who I am, supports me in achieving my new goals, and as BillMC put it; I do feel astonished and blissed out by it, it’s amazing. But I have some way to go yet.
    I’m 46 now, and I know that in 20 years time I’ll look back and that moment when I left was the moment I saved my own life, and flourished.

    I sincerely wish you all the best, I think asking for experiences of others is one of the best ways to make sense of it all. Good luck.


    I’ve been in two (thankfully short) relationships with two very unbalanced narcissistic people. Luckily they showed their colours early on, and they already had troubled relationship histories, so I got out as soon as I could. One pulled a knife on me – major red flag!
    I’m not sure if I’ve really recovered, I’ve been single for about 11 years now.
    A real eye opener is the mumsnet relationships forum – it seems there are a lot of troubled relationships out there behind closed doors.

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