narcissist breaks promises

When the Narcissist Does What They Said They Wouldn’t Do…Again

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Do you feel devastated each time the narcissist breaks promises?

Maybe this sounds familiar…

You recently settled into a vague sense of security after the narcissist swore on their mother’s grave that they wouldn’t (insert relationship crime) again, yet you discovered they broke their “sacred” promise.  Perhaps they…

  • Swore they’d stop cheating, but you discovered they not only cheated again, they never stopped
  • Swore they’d try to be a better partner, spouse, friend, or parent, but after a short period of charades, they went back to the same ole, same ole
  • Swore they’d find gainful employment, and you found out they were not going on interviews, but visiting a lover
  • Swore they’d be fair and civil during the custody hearing, but you got sucker-punched when you went before the Judge
  • Swore they’d stop being insensitive, stop raging, stop lying, but you realized it was all just more lies

Consequently, you not only loathe the narcissist, but you also loathe yourself for falling for their lies once more.  You feel the punch of indignation in your gut and your fight-or-flight reaction kicks into overdrive.


Why the heck do they do it?  Do they get some sick enjoyment out of it?  Is it to prove to themselves (and you) that they can do anything they want and you’ll keep taking them back?  Is it their sadistic sense of entitlement?

Among the horrid relationship crimes that one endures from the narcissist in their life, habitually broken promises are the worst.  Why? Well, for one, it’s futile to blame a narcissist for being a narcissist.  After all, they have a track record of being habitual liars.  We can’t really expect them to change when they’ve given no indication that they can be trusted.

More importantly, though, these repeat offenses lead to learned helplessness, depression, trauma-bonding, and C-PTSD.

The danger of staying when the narcissist breaks promises repeatedly

Narcissists love to blame other people for their nasty behaviors.  In turn, their targets typically respond by being more supportive, understanding, kind, or compromising in an effort to persuade the narcissist to halt their betrayals and cruelties.

Instead, what happens is, patterns of deception and denial are established.  This may be to avoid the narcissist’s wrath or keep the peace, proving to the narcissist you’re not the crazy psycho they say you are but, underneath the surface, it’s a system of enabling.  A system the narcissist fabricates from the very start.

Eventually, the target of this type of manipulation begins to feel powerless to do anything to stop the cheating, lying, disappearing, etc., believing they are resigned to accept their situation – even though this usually is not the case.

Abuse victims may soldier on, keeping a silent list of the narcissist’s dreadful traits and wondering when their betrayals will stop. However, these attempts to cope accomplish nothing but staying stuck in an impossible situation.

Disappointment is a constant and fixed component of a relationship with a narcissist.  Below are the long-term repercussions of staying in the relationship when the narcissist breaks promises.

Learned Helplessness

According to, Learned Helplessness is “a mental state in which a subject forced to endure stimuli that are painful or otherwise unpleasant, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are escapable, presumably because the subject has learned that they cannot control the situation”.

If you are familiar with the “Seligman Dog” experiments, the dogs were shocked repeatedly both when they completed a task correctly and also when they did not.  The “dogs were so confused that they laid down depressed and GAVE UP and even whined–and this was Learned Helplessness that the dogs were experiencing”.

The Narcissist instills this in his or her targets through behaviors such as systematic brainwashing, inconsistent actions and words, blame-shifting, gaslighting, and more.

Or, you may simply be in a state of denial because you want the relationship to continue, still holding onto hope that things might eventually improve.  Either way, these are all-inclusive signs that you’re being psychologically manipulated and on a path of irreparable annihilation.


In many cases, depression can be traced back to emotional trauma. In the context of narcissistic abuse, emotional trauma happens with single or repeated incidents of shaming, verbal attacks, and chronic incidents of infidelity.  The eventual discard of the target of narcissistic abuse adds to any existing emotional traumas, leading to the overwhelming shock of the person’s equilibrium.

People who are emotionally traumatized often form limiting and self-defeating beliefs about themselves.  These negative beliefs may include: “I’m unlovable”, “love hurts”, “I’ll never feel emotionally safe”, “no one truly cares about me” …many of which are the product of early childhood wounds and further exacerbated by the betrayals and cruel statements by a narcissistic partner.

Further, it’s not only traumatic events that cause depression but how we think about the events that often determines the level of strain we experience in the context of depressive episodes.  A study by psychologists at the University of Liverpool found that traumatic life events are the biggest cause of anxiety and depression, but how a person thinks about these events ultimately determines the level of stress they experience.

Researchers from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society analyzed the responses of over 32,000 participants to explore the causes and consequences of stress.  The study — the biggest of its kind in the UK- found that traumatic life events were the single biggest determinant of anxiety and depression. However, the results revealed that a person’s thinking style was as much a factor in the level of anxiety and depression a person experienced.[1]

You can see, then, how staying in a relationship with an individual who emotionally abuses you and repeatedly breaks their promises can cause crippling levels of chronic depression due to repeated emotional traumas, the nature of which is made worse by the limiting beliefs we form in response to the narcissist’s degrading verbal assaults.


A trauma bond is loyalty to a person who hurts you and they occur in very toxic relationships.  Trauma bonds are strengthened by inconsistent positive reinforcement (cycling from mean to sweet and back again) and keep you hoping for something better to come. They occur in extreme situations such as abusive relationships and hostage situations and can be with a partner, ex, parent, co-worker, boss, or friend.  You know you’re not safe around them, and yet, you stay in the relationship. Maybe, you even justify, rationalize, or make excuses for them.

In short, trauma bonds cause you to form a deep attachment to someone who is highly destructive to you.  According to Patrick Carnes, Founder of the Gentle Path at The Meadows program, signs of trauma-bonding include the following:

  • You find that others are horrified by something that has happened to you and you are not
  • You obsess about showing someone that they are wrong about you, your relationship, or their treatment of you
  • You find yourself missing a relationship even to the point of nostalgia and longing, that was so awful it almost destroyed you
  • You find yourself putting your trust in someone who has repeatedly proven that they cannot be trusted

You may try to help them understand what they’re doing, trying to convert them to become a non-abuser. You may blame yourself for their behavior. The relationship appears to have positive qualities, which confuses the picture. But it’s important to keep in mind that the “nice times” are an integrated part of the abuse.  When you stop making positive choices for yourself and any minor children you may have, the negative is outweighing the positive and the relationship has become deeply destructive.

Trauma bonds are intensely damaging and worsen over time the longer you stay in the toxic relationship.  The recovery process can begin only when you, as the abused individual, is in complete acceptance of having been trauma-bonded and take steps to exit the relationship.


People who have been emotionally and psychologically abused typically display C-PTSD symptoms that can mimic bipolar disorder.

Judith Herman, the author of Trauma & Recovery, describes C-PTSD as a form of trauma associated with prolonged subjection to totalitarian control including emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture—all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape. [2]  This may cause difficulty in regulating one’s emotions, explosive anger, and changes in self-perception which include shame, guilt, and self-blame.

Even more alarming, repeated emotional injuries shrink the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning, while enlarging the amygdala, which houses primitive emotions such as fear, grief, guilt, envy, and shame.

In short, you habitually become hijacked by your freeze response, unable to form rational thoughts or reactions.  Over time, this becomes your baseline state of being.  It’s a cycle of emotional destruction of the most grievous kind.

What to do

When the narcissist breaks promises, giving them another chance only makes sense if they have dealt responsibly and completely with the consequences of previous failures. Otherwise, their requests for “second chances” are just attempts to live irresponsibly.  Waiting for the narcissist to change may stem from not wanting to make the difficult decisions that are clearly called for.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse (along with the constant broken promises) begins with No Contact (or, in the case of shared custody, a strict program of Modified Contact).  Narcissistic abuse creates a toxic addiction which is near impossible to overcome unless strong boundaries are implemented and communications are ceased altogether.

The narcissist’s presence damages your recovery, and you want to recover as quickly as possible.  Otherwise, things will only continue to spiral downwards for you.

How To Get Started On The Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

Join the Free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap and Email Mini-Course and learn:

  1. The real reason why you can’t seem to move forward 
  2. Is the narcissist you know different from the rest?
  3. The truth about real healing…

    + much more!

Just click the button below to join:


If you’re ready to break free and get started on the stages of healing after narcissistic abuse NOW, there’s only ONE way to do it: Let me show you how to forget the narcissist and move on.

[1] Traumatic life events biggest cause of anxiety, depression. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2016, from

[2] Franco, F. (2018, October 8). The Unique Features of Complex PTSD. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from

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Anonymous says July 22, 2021

I went no contact with a scary narcissist boyfriend a year ago and he got even uglier. I blocked him on my phone, email and social media. Then I had to change my number after he called from another phone. It was awful. He was so cruel! Then months later he pops up again with a new email address. Thank God I never told him where I worked or moved to. He has guns. He coerced me by holding ransom my relief check that went to his house. I went with a protective male friend and two police officers who bawled him out for luring me when he had actually sent the check back! I suspect if I had gone alone he would have held a gun to my head. Anyway it was great watching him squirm when the cop asked him why he sent it back and lied to me. He said he wanted to see me one LAST time. The cop told him I didn’t want anything to do with him, and if he cashed the check they will prosecute him. I never got the check but I got satisfaction in no contact and then holding him accountable with the police. Please leave now while you still can and be safe and block, block, block. Save yourself.

    A says April 8, 2023

    This is exactly what has happened to me
    I left 5 times
    He just kept harassing me texting and calling me until I came back to do the same thing all over again
    I’m REALLY FED UP this has been going on for 19 years
    I can’t call the police
    I have kids with them
    And I know he would make it worse for the kids
    I told them one time to leave me alone or I would contact the police
    They showed our son the email
    And convinced OUR son that I was saying I would call the police on my son
    They KNOW that was meant for them
    Not our kid
    My son came to see me very angry
    And yelling at me for wanting call the police on him
    Based on a complete lie
    Coming from the person who hates liars
    But yet lies
    I see right through them
    I am COMPLETELY done

Jewelz says May 28, 2020

You are me. Now married 13 years, until a couple of years ago I didn’t understand narcissists. 8 years ago he approached me to explore the “lifestyle ” swinging. He wanted to watch me with another man, but the Male be bi or bi-curious. It completely took priority over our marriage, add porn, internet sex sites, clubs, swinging clubs/resorts, placing ads online, hotels, etc. Knowing I got sick everytime a new meeting would work out, he didn’t care. There was no forcing, just strong persuasion. I thought it would keep him faithful. NO. It escalated to new email accounts, new profiles and ads without me. I have videos, pics, texts, profiles in the bi/gay/trans ads for money- to pay for hotels when lying about being at work. Every promise broken, its continued for 8 years, I’ve lost everything… all my personal home possessions, lost my future, our past 13yrs is all a lie, I was a cover mask, and I’ve lost myself. Don’t do it!!! You’ll be ashamed, deep resentment, and part of real love means you treasure your wife’s body, the intimacy, commitment of marriage, and would not be asked to devalue yourself, do things that are uncomfortable. The fact he asked you to let his best friend screw you, I’d bet he and his friend have already had a female in the same position he wants you in, but you’re unaware and will only escalate to experiment with deeper aspects of this world.

    Ann says August 4, 2020

    Wow I can totally relate to your story. I was in my relationship for 3 years left 3 times and went back 3 times things never got better and the negative mental and physical abuse got worse it seemed. The mental part seems to be the worst for me. I have left for the 4th time and really doing my research now and learning so much part of my brain and heart are in disbelief because I loved and still love him so much. Can’t understand what just happened to me and why. I can’t seem how to go forward yet but I really dont want to go backwards either. Our sex life was wonderful best I ever had but the strange thing with the wanting to see another man do me in front of him came up and happened about 7 times always thought there was other motives around giving him the feeling of no guilt if he cheated. I’m learning so much from so many people. I’m only 1 week in and scared to death to go forward. Thank you guys for support.

    Cherri says August 15, 2020

    Hello Jewels,

    My experience is very similar to yours, and yes, the humiliation is sometimes more than I can handle. I was with him for 8 years and married not quite 4 years. I filed for divorce last Friday. I had a house of my own, now gone. He is in possession of all my premarital assets and threatens to either destroy or sell them.

    He was constantly wanting FFM and anal sex. He is addicted to porn and would not work a ‘real job.’. So many despicable things he did to me and I am free, but lost. I had to flee almost 2,000 miles and have nothing. I can’t get a job because my mind won’t process correctly the easiest of things. Before him, I was an intelligent, confident, and successful person. Before I left he was entertaining human trafficking for his methamphetamine addiction. I am horrified by his plans for me.

    Bless your heart, I know your pain. I stay in a state of depression and have reached out to resources, but nothing has worked for me yet. But, I live 1 minute at a time and will continue to look for help in the hopes that I will recover from my experience.

    In addition, I was raised by a narcissist and had many in my rearing. Some say that I am predisposed to being with a narcissist or sociopath. I have a lot of healing to do.

    I began no contact several times, but wrote him that I will not return to reconcile (he says he will change for me, but said this before), I also told him that I filed for divorce and I would no longer communicate with him and for him to quit emailing me. I had changed my number months ago and he started communication via an old email account of mine. He responded a few times and then I haven’t heard from him for 3 days, which is bitter sweet.

    I’ll pray for you, as I pray for myself.

Debby says May 19, 2020

Thank you are truly my friend and what you send to me makes so much half way out of this relationship but havent been able to let go yet.i know I have got this with your strength behind.thank you from the bottom of my heart.❤

Anonymous says May 19, 2020

Don’t want to put my name. I have been dealing with a narcissist for over 10 years and just can’t seem to let go. Now he wants me to be with his best friend for one night while he is there which I know is absolutely crazy. He says it will help out our relationship and once he gets something in his mind he is a fanatic till he gets it and that is why he gets everything he wants. I should tell him no and walk away forever. I have to give up so much when I do but… I still second guess whether he is or isn’t a narc and just egotistical ?? Who am I?

    Cherri says August 15, 2020

    I left everything for a second time. You lose your values and lose yourself with a person who convinced you to step over your moral boundaries. I’m trying to figure out who I am too. I don’t even know my favorite color anymore.

    Bless you, I know your pain. It is all consuming.

ALEXA says May 18, 2020





Katie says May 18, 2020

Everything I have read resonates highly with my situation. The emotional abuse, highs and lows endured are crippling. I left my husband many years ago, however, I have been unable to get away due to having shared custody of our child who is also enduring the emotional abuse. Not enough people/courts/lawyers know about narcissistic behaviour and how it affects your life.
I want to thank you Kim for all your insight, knowledge and sharing.
I only have one question: can two narcissistic people stay together? I’m sure his new wife is narcissistic as well and both myself and her ex husband are friends and we both endure the behaviours more so than before.

leyla rustem says May 17, 2020

I keep reading these emails trying to figure out if I’m the narrisisst. How do I know this ? I don’t want to be one, as I don’t bond with people .

BRUCE A FARLEY says April 8, 2020

My ex wife just discarded me again for someone else, this has happened several times. she has had sexual relations behind my back since the day we met. I have always forgiven her but i’m just a shell of the person that I used to be. I stooped to such low’s to try and keep her happy. I’m so depressed and angry with myself for letting it go this far. I haven’t been able to go to work for two weeks now. I’ve been faking a back injury. the truth is I’m so depressed I can’t function. She lied and told me she was with a guy from another city and he was wealthy. but even that was a lie, I found out that she was with a guy she had been seeing from last year and he lives in an old farm house. He is not a good looking guy in the least and I can’t understand why she would leave me for him. I wish I could just remove all the memories of her from my brain. she even swore the last time on her mothers grave that she would never do this again, 5 months later she is living with this other man. after 18 years I’m just a wreck of emotions. I’m so sad. I feel totally helpless and I’m hoping that this will help me to heal from all that i’m going through. I just want to be happy again if it’s possible.

tarl says March 30, 2020

I’m here trying to learn something to help a friend. We have been friends but not much contact for many years. She recently disclosed her situation and it is appalling. Withholding of intimacy for a decade, moves from the dwelling to home of various girlfriends, then blames my friend for being upset. They are living apart now, but her Narc calls every other day to maintain control. It goes on and on . Unfortunately, she became angry when I told her to get out and is now defending him. I don’t know what to do other than just shut up.

Tristie Brotze says February 28, 2020

Hello Kim,
Thank you for all of your research, dedication, and knowledge a narcissistic abuse. To those of us who are struggling to get out of the abuse, your information is priceless. I am in the process of a divorce from my narcissistically abusive husband. It took me years to figure out what was happening.
Begging for him to please be kind, to stop hurting me with his words, to stop calling me names, to stop putting me down, and eventually to stop physically laying his hands on me.
I was so afraid to face the truth, afraid I would lose everything, but I was losing myself. I have been three months of no contact and researching everything possible on narcissistic abuse and how to heal. My big struggle is the trauma bond. I now know that these crazy duplicitous feelings have a name. I could not understand how the person who caused me the most pain in my life I could possibly miss and almost crave. It’s as if they are two different people; I want to run to the “good person“ to tell them about the “ Bad person“ that is hurting me. Albeit, they are the same person.
The battle in my head between the perceived wonderful times we had and the unbelievable coolness that followed is leaving me with such depression and anxiety. I am talking to a counselor, but I feel that if you have not gone through it it’s so difficult for them to understand.
Until I can break this trauma bond, I can’t see the light in my future. It makes each day a struggle. I am mentally exhausted by the end of the day with this battle. Unfortunately, this battle resurfaces in my dreams and I wake up in an anxious state.
I want so desperately to have clarity on what happened to me and to break this trauma bond so I can put him in one place in my head, behind me.

Where do I turn to understand and break this? I have children who need a full functioning mother, someone capable of true happiness, and someone who is a peace.

Anonymous says February 21, 2020

I was engaged to one for 12 years. Left him many times only to have him makes promises he could never keep. He has been married 3 times before but I was told only once. I left two years ago while he was at work. He is a retired cop and found me…. still I continued no contact. Last week he met me at my front door reminiscing about how good it was! He wanted to have sex of course…. no go and I am again no contact. He just won’t stop…. he wants me and his extras no more for me…. but I will admit it’s hard to deal with!

❤️❤️❤️ says February 5, 2020

Powerful message. Thank you for the education. I read this exactly when I needed to. My case is an extreme process of recovery, years in the making. It has taken this long to peel back the layers of scars enough that I can absorb this teaching and make sense if it all. It’s pretty advanced stuff and I do not believe it has been so relatably communicated anywhere else. You have a gift with words, and you deliver them from the floor of the deepest pit, because you’ve been there and know that’s where the people are who need to hear what you are saying. My gratitude runs just a deep as the pit I’m crawling out of. Thank you.

Steve adams says February 4, 2020

First narc. Wife lasted 14 years. 3 children all girls I raised on my own. Other then my girls the marrage was a nightmare of ups and downs. Some how the 4 of us lived through it.
Remarried 10 years later to another narcissist. Fell into another trap of nightmare. Married for 6 months and she stopped taking birth controll. Never told me. Now I have a 6 year old girl i have again raised on my own as this person did whatever they wanted. Living a single life as i was their slave.
Now separated for one year. She still trys to controll my life and manipulated me ever chance she gets. This is devistating to me and especially my daughter. She has emotional issues that we are trying to get a grip on.
This and all narsasist people will destroy you from the inside out no matter what the cost. It’s all a game to them.
I have found this site to be the most honest and helpful I have found. Their facts and comments are dead exact. Wish I would of found it years ago. Now i am raising my fourth daughter on my own. Thank God for Dads..

Melissa says February 4, 2020

This is such a perfect description of the hell I just left! Thank you for putting this Information together so clearly. I recognize my C-PTSD and bipolar behavior so thank you for validating what I have experienced. I just moved out of the martial home and I am just a few days away from going full NO CONTACT and letting my lawyer do her job. I am determined to bring back the awesone in me.

The Spirituality of Narcissistic Abuse - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says January 5, 2020

[…] to counseling, and swore to stop lying.  But given how the disordered mind of a narcissist works, his promises were always bogus, and it was only a matter of time before he’d start engaging in unacceptable behaviors […]

Tammy says September 27, 2019

I am dealing with a narcissist adult daughter. When I wouldn’t pay enough for her wedding she started cutting me out of her life, talking badly about me and my husband behind our backs to other family members. Telling lies about us. Referred to me as a Piece of Sh—- only. Now she is trying to turn other family members against me like my son and daughter in law. After the wedding I confronted her about what had happened and all her bad behavior that started with the wedding shower and ultimately the wedding. I told her what I knew she said and did and the people who told me what she said, her own brides maids even were afraid to tell her what she was doing was wrong, they did tell her that she shouldn’t be expecting her mother to pay for her wedding at her age, she was 33 when she got married.
This has been a problem all her life with me and she has treated me terribly, called me names, wrote be horrible letters, telling me it’s all my fault and that I should pay for everything for her since she is my child.
She is now trying to get my son and daughter in law to stop talking to me and not to come to Thanksgiving dinner. She has managed to kick the whole family to the curb calling us all garbage (except my son and daughter in law) because they are friends.
My daughter in law wants to talk to me about my decision to refuse my daughters calls, emails etc.. After her last letter I blocked her off every thing so she can’t keep hurting me.
No one seems to understand or believe what I have been dealing with her for years and now that I finally decided not to take it anymore, she is making me out to everyone to be the bad guy. How do I stop my other family members from believing this. I don’t want to loose them too. I have 5 grandchildren with my son and daughter in law and I don’t want to loose them in all of this. I recently moved back to the area after being away for 17 years and have found out all the lies she was telling family members about me and my husband. I was devastated, I wasn’t here to defend myself and some people in the family started to believe the lies.
My daughter has recently had a baby and she told everyone not to tell me she was even pregnant and now she showed up at a family birthday and wouldn’t even let me hold the baby.
I am so tired of all this garbage and living in fear that my other family members will continue to believe her lies and I will loose them too. I feel that I am constantly defending myself to people over the stuff she says. I shouldn’t have to justify my finances to anyone that’s my business. I paid $6,000. for her wedding and shower, that’s all I could afford and now look what I have to go through because she says that wasn’t enough. I’m tired. Any advice would be helpful.

    Linda says November 25, 2019

    I gave my sisters each a good book about narcissisim. Everyone is being played by the narcissist. Let your other family members know that you are concerned for them as well as your daughter and yourself. Tell them that you believe this to be the problem and that you would appreciate their advice after reading the book. Let them know how much you value your family relationships. It worked for me. Now we can even laugh at the transparency of our narcissists tactics together. We are determined that no one will ever break us up. We are educated and unable to be manipulated by triangulation. Our narc has found others to manipulate. But it won’t work on us! This feels so good now for us. We include the narc but always know who we are dealing with. In our case it is our mother.

    Debbie Spraker says February 5, 2020

    Your daughter? From what i understand, narcissists are created by traumatic upbringing, so who made who here?

Marinela Larsen says August 12, 2019

Hi Kim,
thank you so much for your videos and articles.

I got rid of my ex narcissistic husband many years ago. I did it all alone, without help from family, friends or therapist. The reason why I managed to do this is that I was FED UP with everything he did and really angry. I went back to my parents and they were not supportive at all.
I used my extreme anger ( which was result of the way he treated me) and transformed it to motivational energy to rebuild my life from ” ground zero”
Every time I remembered good times with him, I would be even more angry because that was just his acting. I moved to another country, learned new language and lived good life.
I was not aware that I’m dealing with narcissist because that happened 20 years ago and it was no awareness about them.on that time.
The reason I’m listening now to your videos and reading your articles is that I discovered ( thanks to you) that my new boyfriend is typical example of very cunning covert narcissist. We were together one year, I noticed early in relationship that something is wrong, but couldn’t point out to anything specific. Until I heard you talking in one of your videos and I felt like you turned on the light in my head.

This man is so intelligent and funny, but on the same time he started with small, very subtile ways to “put me down”, little insults, comments. Not so obvious and offending but still more and more often strange energy comes from him and it was confusing in the begining. Not any more, I see clearly now circles of abuse how they are repeated after peaceful periods. Abuse is very subtile, little sarcastic comment of my laughing, little critic of my dress, look in his eyes when I’m explaining something what he feels is irrelevant. He is looking at me on empty way, his eyes are telling me: ” I’m not here while you are talking, you are so boring, insignificant, maybe even stupid”
He is on his way out of my life and this time I have support- your videos and articles.
What really worries me is: how many of them is out there and how to protect our sons and daughters? So that they can avoid them where they can.

Lindsay says July 28, 2019

I am still trying to decide if my husband of 49 years is a narcissist. All the signs are there but I hate to think he is. We are Christians and I can’t understand he could be a narcissist and be a Christian. I am really struggling with this.

    Kim Saeed says July 28, 2019

    Hi Lindsay, I understand your concern. Sadly, one of the biggest segments of the narcissistic population consists of those who use the face of religion to hide their true character. Because someone “follows” a certain faith doesn’t always mean they aren’t harmful to others. You may want to check out Leslie Vernick’s site. She talks about this situation a lot.

    Kim XoXo

    Jackie says July 31, 2019

    Lindsay, If all the signs are there than he most likely is. I have known that my husband is a sociopath/narcissist for several years, but it took me a long, long time to figure it out. As Christians we tend to forgive easier and often put up with more. I have been married almost 37 years and am now in the process of getting a divorce. My ex-to-be has been a porn/sex addict for 51 years and he is a master manipulator and a compulsive liar. He has committed adultery, probably more times than I can even count, but he will only admit to once (With his history I know better). I just found that out 2 months ago, and that was the final straw. He is a very sick, twisted, disgusting individual. He has confessed to being a Christian from the day I met him. I did not have a way to support myself or my children, so I stayed. I wish I had left 13 years ago when I knew I no longer loved him, but he begged me not to go. He’d do everything possible to keep me. He read book after book on how to be a good husband, all the while never giving up anything. I just want to get our house sold so I can get away from him for ever. The longer you deny the facts, the longer he will abuse you.

    Stella Ng says November 16, 2019

    Every time we got into an argument . Or he was upset . He would say that it wasn’t him. He is a good person he is cool and a great guy. It was me he said that needs to do some reflecting and changing . He would be very kind in front of others so his friends and my friends like him a lot. But that’s why it’s called intimate partner violence. Alone w him I started feeling uncomfortable w all the put downs and name calling…. I even realized and said… You wouldn’t say those things if your friends are here. Or if I was your friend. You treat me worse … You have no tenderness or kindness with me …narcissist can play a role and put a nice face on. In intimate settings they can be manipulative and mean spirited and violent

rena says July 8, 2019

I have been with a narcissist for 4 years and after reading this have only just realised how much of this relates to me !! It mentioned therapy or counselling ? Could you point me in the type of therapist/counseller I would need to help me work through this ? I’m in the process of leaving but finding it very difficult at this stage . Wanting to stay away for good. !! Iv tried leaving so many times and always get pulled back into the cycle of abuse .

Michelle Long says July 1, 2019

I just dated a narcissist for 9 months and found out she has been cheating and she left me for this new person. Now they are deliberately posting pictures on facebook to hurt me. This is absolutely the most painful experience of my life. While we were together she constantly love bombed me, devalued, gas-lit and discarded me. The’n we’d get back together in a day or two. It was maddening. I was constantly on eggshells. She would sometimes have raging anger out of nowhere. One week it was all love and the next she was cold and gave me the silent treatment. When I’d ask what was wrong she’d accuse me of being needy and insecure and not trusting her. I have blocked them in every way and I am in therapy. I know I will eventually be okay but right now this is excruciating.

    Kim Saeed says July 5, 2019

    Hi Michelle,

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Kim XoXo

KarissaD says June 21, 2019

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Marianne says June 12, 2019

I was married for 42 years. I let my Narc husband have complete control of all finances during that time. I found out in autumn of 2017 that my trust in him was really misplaced. We fought off/on for 5 months. I deluded myself into thinking he loved me and would ‘change’. What a joke. It’s all about him. I went to a therapist because I could not deal with all the lies I discovered. I finally filed for divorce in Jan 2018 and it’s the best decision of my life. He’s been a royal pain, but I have a good lawyer and two forensic accountants helping to sort things out. It’s a shame it’s going to cost so much to divorce, but I felt I had no choice. BTW, I had no idea he was a Narc until it was pointed out to me by my therapist. I guess these people look for people like me, a people-pleaser who doesn’t confront and forgives easily. I will prevail, and look forward to moving to be near my daughter after this is all over. I only wish I were younger!

    Kim Saeed says June 25, 2019

    You did a brave thing, Marianne! And please know it’s never too late to be happy!

    Kim XoXo

cynthia says June 6, 2019

six months no contact, asked him not to contact me and he hasn’t, been in counseling ever since, sometimes i feel like i am making progress and then I feel miserable. I suffered emotional, sexual and physical abuse. I was a recoving window, and he went after me like a preditor and because i was in a very long ,happy marriage and he was my one and only ,i was so easy to fool, well never again i have read almost every book written on narcessist,psychopaths and cluster b personality disorder. I believe my abuser was a malgnant narcessist, and so much more. He was sadist , cruel and scarey. I don’t know if I am ever going to fully recover. but I working hard, At the present I am doing EMDR , but I can’t seem to get him out of my mind because of the lingering fear. some day I pray that will happen.

    KarissaD says June 21, 2019

    I am right there with you. This is insane.

Lara says May 31, 2019

I was threatened and kicked out of my house about 10 months ago by my narcissistic husband of 22 years. I only learnt what a narcissist was last year and until then i was always tring to make sense of why he did what he did. It was amazing how accurately the info on narcisists described him , all of him and it was scary to think that there are more people with these same characteristics. Now he is facing a jail term and we havent sorted our assets yet(due to him being difficult) . He hasn’t paid any child maintenance
I cant wait til all is sorted – I can try to remember who I am cause I dont really know anymore

Susan says May 29, 2019

I’m really struggling.10 years with him.Hes really messed up.So am I.One raging fight,me, ghosting him.Have dinner,pretend it’s back to normal.Your blog is so good.Im so afraid to let go.Ive always been the one.To forgive,to leave.To not being able to do the right thing.Help.

Juno says May 29, 2019

Hi Kim, Thank you so much for the many articles I have been receiving from you; each one of them has been helping me tremendously in my journey of recovery. So good to have some one like you to throw light on all that has been going on. A million thanks.

Anonymous says May 28, 2019

Caron what you have said Is so true and I’ve never looked at it that way. I honestly don’t know what hurts more, feeling like maybe I could’ve done something different to of earned the loyalty and love that I freely gave to him or accepting that My role in his life was so insignificant that nothing I did ever really mattered. ?

Becca says May 28, 2019

The lies, fake promises, the excuses daily, weekly were enough to create absolute toxicity. His procrastinating were so extreme, but as you would expect only happened when it involved something important to me. I’m thankful for this article it helps understand what has been happening to me, and to my mind. Thank you Kim.

Kelli says May 28, 2019

I had no idea the physical effects my relationship is having.
My memory has gotten so bad its embarrassing and almost frightening. My mental health has declined significantly. I am oblivious to most things now days.

Anonymous says May 28, 2019

My husband is worse than whatever you have mentioned here.. he is an abuser too. I m pregnant and still he is torturing me in every way possible.. i was so in love with him that married him without the consent of my family.. so now i have no one’s support in my life. I feel doomed, dont know what to do in this situation. My child is suffering inside me .. and that hurts me more than anything else. Please help me kim.

Gaby says April 1, 2019

I have gotten away from a narcissistic relation, and I have a child from this relation, who I love a lot. Now, we are living in different continents, which makes the ‘no contact’ easier, especially since in our last contact I asked him for money.
Thinking of everything that has been said, I wonder if my baby will have any traits of narcissistic behaviour or sociopathic/psychopathic behaviour like my ex has. This is the thought that torments me and I would like to know if my little one is free or might manifest this same beaviour…

Anonymous says March 29, 2019

all this caused me anger towards him at the end. I finally escaped!

Caron says March 25, 2019

I think we sometimes cling to the false notion that anything the narc did had anything to do with us–we keep ourselves at fault because at least there we can have some control; some hope. If it is my fault or about me, I can do something, whereas if it is a mental illness or a personality disorder and there is no hope, then I have to give up on this person I’ve loved more than anyone or anything. By our natures we want to have hope and believe that goodness will prevail. But over narcissism there is no control we can have. We may as well not even have ever been there. The loss is very profound. By hanging onto the illusion that there was something we might have done differently, we keep ourselves from having to face the fact that we were nothing special to this person but a means to an end. We keep ourselves from having to do the hard work of realizing and believing in our specialness ourselves.

nicky says March 24, 2019

Ive tried no contact for the past year but i have to see him in court so often. theres a domestic violence case and the childrens court matters among others which keep being postponed. For the contact with the child he takes full advantage of video calls and during contact time, he coaches the child to believe that theres no problem with him but rather my family . His attorney is under his spell and shes playing the courts so im being litigated out. Im just about broke ! How do i navigate contact?

Anonymous says March 24, 2019

How can I print this article? Are there psychologists that can help diagnose and treat a “survivor”?

    Kim Saeed says March 25, 2019

    Sure! Feel free to print it out and share it with your therapist. Not all therapists can help treat targets of narcissistic abuse successfully, so you’ll want to make sure you find one who specializes in narcissistic abuse recovery or trauma recovery.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Kim XoXo

Debra A Finley says March 10, 2019

Wow this fits the person that iam in a long distance relationship to a t.

How Narcissists Determine if You're Good Supply - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says March 10, 2019

[…] you are dealing with someone who does this a lot, it’s your sign that you just need to cut that anchor and sail […]

Catherine says February 20, 2019

Unfortunately it is my adult daughter and my ex husband. I have completely stopped all contact with my ex husband, but my adult daughter uses my 3 granddaughters as ransome. I know that I have to not have contact, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced because I wont be able to see my grandchildren.

Why the Narcissist Seems to Hate You, But Won’t Let You Go - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says February 17, 2019

[…] are nothing like you and no amount of unconditional love will change this fact.  When we insist on believing the narcissist is like us, we are creating a story in our minds, […]

Pam says February 15, 2019

Still have phone contact. Says he is going for Counsuling to see if he can be fixed, says he loves me, never any I’m sorries, He wants to come back but avoid the ones who know what he has done. Got a woman 3 weeks after he left. Says she is just a friend. Others say they are dateing. We live 9 hours apart. I only hear what he says. I want things to be good, but don’t believe or trust him and he has hurt me for so many years, yet I still hope. Plus I don’t want to hurt him. Your lesson fits me well in trama bonding etc., want to be free to go on with my life and make it happier.

    Kim Saeed says February 19, 2019

    Hi Pamela,

    Thank you for sharing. I understand how difficult it is and that you don’t want to hurt him. But here’s what you need to reflect deeply upon…are you willing to sacrifice the rest of your life for a man who will never be loyal or honest with you?

    I invite you to watch my webinar if you haven’t already. It might help make things more clear for you:

    Wishing you all the best – Kim XoXo

    Kay says May 28, 2019

    Pam, please cut phone contact. You will heal faster. I am doing no-contact now. I finally broke free. With contact, he still texted me manipulating texts and verbal attacks then would say he loved me. Yes, they move on to another quickly because they are psychopaths lacking empathy.

Anonymous says December 27, 2018

Some experts say to cut your losses and move away rather than trying to prove abuse and its effects when going through a divorce with a minor child to any judge or jury. It’s simply a no win situation.
The problem with that is as a mother I cannot stand by or run knowing that evil man is abusing my teenage son just a he did to me. Covertly and under the radar.
Because of his tatics and pre meditated actions I am in a position he knew and planned it to be. Devastated, unemployed, broken, drained financially and almost homeless without a friend or family member who cares at all. It’s my fault and Ive been shunned by everyone.
It’s going to take a miracle to get out of this mess.
However, it’s been a year of no contact, total separation and a whole lot of research has been completed by me to get answers i needed. I get it. I’ve let that illusion go and i dont HOPE for anything from that reptilian. N gray area for me. It’s black and white and no turning back.
Having said that…. Can anyone with an educated professional opinion suggest or advise me of the best course of action I should take moving forward with total determination as I prepare myself and even represent myself pro se for the next major battle against a very evil demon to save my innocent sons spirit and soul.

Determined but surviving barely in Texas

Pam says December 26, 2018

I have been married 35 yrs and I left my husband a year ago when I reached a point where I no longer felt save with him & he was very open about how much he hated me. He stopped communications with our daughters and their families; he is very open on how much he hates them also. But I continued to pray & have hope for a reconciliation but I still loved him. He started an affair a month after I left and I started the divorce process. We have a business together but we live in different states. He has a pattern of calling me reference a business issue then it becomes about us. During these times, I got hope and highs from hearing from him when he was nice. I now realize how sick the pattern really was and what he is doing. I know that I must go “No Contact” but I’m struggling to take that step & I’m smart enough to understand why I need to. I’m literally having my own battle in my mind/heart on this issue.

It’s healing at least to write my feeling down so I can see them.

Thanks for listening!


Tracy says December 25, 2018

Tell me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t I be seated at the other end of the table while my husband is at the head? Not in my marriage his daughter gets that spot and he fixed her plate, mind you she’s 20 years old. Do they wait for me to get my plate fixed and seated before they eat? No they don’t. It’s been a long day and I’m tired of getting beat down emotionally! I want to tell him to take the tracking device I found in my vehicle and stick it up his ass!! He said he’ll sell it (my Yukon) i said go ahead if that makes you feel better about yourself!! Done done done

Nina says December 22, 2018

I have just left a relationship which clearly is trauma bonding and I seem to repeat the cycle of letting them cross my boundaries which then makes me feel used and all the emotions mentioned are totally relatable because sometimes u keep explaining why it’s wrong and they actually act like it’s invisible or worse they don’t understand what you mean… I want to stop allowing myself to stay with people who cross my boundaries as I clearly don’t know how to have healthy ones and try too hard to help which is what I have done since a child… this article made me realise I need to not accept it by walking away immediately instead of literally explaining until I feel crazy as to why it’s wrong whtabis happening that’s why I left my partner two days ago because I see the same pattern of the entitled right they push on u and then you hate yourself for being used and feeling like crap

    Kim Saeed says December 31, 2018

    That was brave, Nina. Keeping my fingers crossed for you for a healed life.

    Kim XoXo

Christie says December 10, 2018

Why is he accusing me of cheating? I haven’t given him any reason for him to think that. But he is convinced that i am and that i did. Oh, yes i did leave my abuser. I moved 168 miles away from him because i knew he would not drive that far, plus i went to be with my mom.
I left him without saying anything to him that morning. I waited until i got to my moms. Then I texted him and told him. Boy did he blow up my phone for a two days then it went to slamming on FB.
I know I should have handled it in a different way. He said when he got home he was hit with the emptiness, with me not being there. That I rip his heart out. How could I do that to him, he asked. I love you so much why did you leave like that?
Then back to me being a cheater and a liar. I told him. That is it, that is why i am no longer there. I have never given you a reason to always accuse me. Never have i been unfaithful.
Why am i always apologizing for everything that is going wrong? Why am i always the one that is crazy?

    Kim Saeed says December 12, 2018

    Hi Christie, I am sorry for what you went through but very happy to know you left. When someone accuses you of cheating for no good reason, they have serious issues and – many times – are unfaithful themselves. Kudos on taking your power back!

    Kim XoXo

Tabitha says December 1, 2018

I have definitely identified that I’m at the worst level with my abuser. But I have no family. He has successfully isolated me from the 2 friends I have. I have no job, transportation or any sense of self. I live in a poor state of Arkansas. I have no children, thankfully. And I can’t get assistance because I have no kids. They usually send me to support groups that I can never attend w/o my abuser finding out I’m trying to leave him. How do I leave to live on the street or under a bridge. I can control how bad he beats me . I can’t control how bad someone will beat me out there.

    Lis says March 24, 2019

    It’s been a few months since you posted this. Have you contacted a women’s shelter for abused women? They may have programs to help you get back on your feet. You might be able to re-establish your relationship with your friends. I hope you are out of that situation. I’ll be praying for you. ?

Monika says October 29, 2018

But my ex-narc now NEVER promised to change…..never cried, send flowers or gifts as he hoovered. What’s with this emphasis on “promising”? I missed out on any of that!! What do you think of this? Thanks.

Michelle says September 10, 2018

Thank you Kim for all the help and insights and the practical advice of no contact. I initiated a break up & implemented no contact immediately with an ex boyfriend and the relief, healing & blessings that came in one year were amazing. Your helpful emails gave support. I took a class on boundaries. Started praying and journaling and it made a huge difference. Now I’m back in control of my life. I took up ballroom & Argentine tango lessons to build community. I feel better & more independent than I have in years. Because I shifted my focus from him and his abusive tactics of control, punishment and covert abuse & gas lighting. The focus is now my life, my new job, my kids, my friends and my future goals. Life gets better each day you work the no contact program. Thanks !!

Diana says September 4, 2018

I have been divorced for 2 years yet still find myself missing my ex and hanging on the seeming changes. I see that she is not as into me as I am her, but I am more like a backup plan for her. After reading this blog I can see my story in it. I have been told by a friend that I need to live in the moment instead of hoping for promises to be kept in the future. This is hard work. I hope my head gets out of the clouds. It helps to research to try to understand where these emotions are coming from.

Elaine Lynch says September 4, 2018

Hi Kim,

I found this article really good so clear and easy to understand.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Elaine xxx

Patrick Carr says September 4, 2018

Mercy : no blaming no shaming no guilting no judging , me myself I Mercy on me now .

Shay says September 4, 2018

This has really been helpful I feel like I’m reading m life story and it’s shocking

Aly says September 4, 2018

Thank you so much for your inspiraring messages they are informational and encouraging.
I’m still in the relationship and feel some days that I’m ready to move on and weak other days. I feel stuck we’ve been together 3 years. I even left my marriage for him! Please help me move on…

Shady Shizzle from the Mouths of Narcissists - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says July 4, 2018

[…] you’ve heard these obscure messages from your toxic partner, take it as an unmistakable sign that you are with a person who will never give you the love, respect, or care that you desire from them – and the longer you stay with them, the longer […]

The Sad Truth About Why the Narcissist Seems to Hate You, But Won’t Let You Go Easily - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says May 9, 2018

[…] are nothing like you and no amount of unconditional love will change this fact.  When we insist on believing the narcissist is like us, we are creating a story in our minds, […]

Rita says April 24, 2018

That sounds just like my story, just add 14 more years. I just learned about this narcissistic personality. I do know the only way I will ever get out of this marriage is no contact he tells me he’ll never let us divorce, we have 4 kids and 7 grand baby’s and it hurts to see the family split, I feel like I can just keep going until one of us dies. Maybe just reading more information will get me stronger to see past what is to what can be. And no one can understand unless they lived it. I know I’m not crazy

    Debra says July 15, 2018

    Omg the only way I thought it would ever end was for one of us to die. He was killing me with his narcissistic/psychopath abuse.

Mia says April 20, 2018

Thank you for these emails! I wait for them in my inbox weekly…. they help me so much and seem to come just when I need extra reassurance and understanding. They just help support all my emotions and things I’m feeling from being with a narcissist for almost 13 years and experiencing what I did with him.

Shirley Akpelu says April 19, 2018

Shalom Kim.
I truly appreciate this blog and all your solid information on this subject.
They Most High is helping me and directing my steps.
I take it one day a time.
Healing and recovery.
Restoration is taking place.
Restitution is taking place.
Justice will not be denied.
I am a survivor.
I am not going to give up.
I have a purpose and plan for my life.
No devil in hell or on this earth can stop it.

Chely says August 17, 2017

Hello Kim,
Thank-you for your articles and insight relationships with narcissists. I have been married to a narcisisst, covertly abusive man for just over 20 years. Four years ago I discovered the affairs, and had been trying to save my marriage since then. When I first started my education on emotional abuse and narcissism I read a few of your articles but hoped I was different and could save my marriage. Being together since then, from the outside looking in you would think that we have (appearances ya know). Not that too many people even know of our situation (his affairs). There was a point that I actually thought I might have. But I must admit that I realize that there wasn’t really any chance all along.

But it’s been hard to admit the truth and let go of the comforts/standard of living afforded me as his wife. And despite the abuse there have been many good things in our life together, sadly though many unfullfilled needs too. Mine is the nice guy abuser- no one sees but me and kids,(young adults now.

I realize that I will never have peace of mind again if I remain with him. It’s back to just like before but the difference this time is me, No longer am I willing to accept the crumbs, the lies, being second choice, gas lighted and manipulated. I want a divorce, but I also want my fair share of our assets. I am fairly certain he will hide money as he has always controlled everything. I know I need the best lawyer possible who understands about covert emotional abuse or I don’t stand much of a chance of not getting steamrolled in this divorce. Not to mention the smear campaign that scares the hell out of me. I need someone on my side who gets it.

But my question is how do I find a lawyer who is skilled in this area that practices in my county? I have searched many ways, interviewed three different ones. Two didn’t understand and the third I think got it, but he got terrible reviews by many clients; late to court, unprepared, didn’t return calls etc.. So I couldn’t trust him. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you Kim

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