The Narcissist's Hoover Maneuver

Lisa E. Scott's picture

Narcissists cannot be alone. Narcissists need people more than anyone. They have very specific reasons for being in relationships, but they are not built on the universal need we all have, which is to love.

Narcissists do not enter or stay in relationships for love. Their motives are quite different. They become involved in relationships in order to ensure their needs are met and someone is always present to provide them with the attention and adoration they require in order to feel alive.

It is important to understand when ending a relationship with a Narcissist, he will inevitably come back to you looking for validation. Whether you end the relationship or he does, you will most likely hear from your Narcissist again. It may take a day, a month or years, but be prepared for his return.

The only time a Narcissist finally leaves you alone is when he knows you have seen right through him and have exposed him for who he really is. If this has not happened yet and he believes he still has some kind of hold on you, he will return to you.

Narcissists feed off of attention. Adoration from others is what fuels them. It is like a drug to them and they are addicted to it. If a Narcissist can't get supply from anyone else, he will come back to us looking for it. They have no shame. Therefore, we must be prepared that at any moment, our Ex Narcissist will re-enter our life to try to win us back. When he does, he will employ a tactic known as the Hoover Maneuver.

According to the on-line Urban Dictionary, the definition of Hoovering is:

“Being manipulated back into a relationship with threats of suicide, self-harm, or threats of false criminal accusations. Relationship manipulation often associated with individuals suffering from personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”

It is important to be mindful of this tactic so you can recognize it and not get sucked-in. The term Hoovering gets its name from the Hoover vacuum. The Narcissist uses all kinds of manipulative behavior to suck you back in to the relationship. He may threaten suicide saying that he can’t live without you. He purposefully plays on your good-naturedness to get you to feel sorry for him.

During this stage, the Narcissist reverts back to the courting behavior he exhibited in the beginning of your relationship in order to win you back. He acts loving, compassionate and supportive. He promises you everything you ever wanted and more. He acknowledges the error of his ways and promises to change.

Narcissists are very charming so the initial Hoovering stage is often quite successful. They are great actors. Not to mention, the Narcissist knows you well enough to know which buttons to push to get you to succumb to him.

Please know that the minute you take him back, he will revert to his old behavior. He is only coming back to you because he is incapable of being alone. He needs someone in his life to validate him at all times.

Anyone who has taken a Narcissist back can attest to the fact that he quickly reverts to his old behavior once he has you back under his control. I encourage anyone looking for proof of this to visit our on-line forum at www.allabouthim.com. There is not one story of someone taking a Narcissist back who changed for the better.

Every time you take a Narcissist back, you only end up hurting yourself and prolonging your pain. Narcissists are incapable of change. No Contact is the only way to go when breaking free.

Comments

Alexy's picture

Perfect timing for me to read

Perfect timing for me to read this!
They do not change!
Things do not get better.. Going back makes things worse and you have to start the process all over again for short term minimal relief of the temporary hurt you feel that they have gone and it's over, for more of the same that you will end up having to rescue yourself from and start again.
Confirmation on sticking out the temporary pain to get through to the other side rather than give in and go back.. So not worth it!

ATM No More's picture

Red Flag I missed.

My ex-N of a month actually used a screen name of "Firstname Hyde." I passed it off to being a similar sounding name to his last name. I'm seeing now that he actually KNOWS he has varying personalities.

I was wondering if Narcs know they are narcs?

ipodrunner's picture

Oh my they try everything to get you back

I ended my Narc relationship about 2 months ago, its been a rough ride because we are moving back to the U.S. I told him its over numerous times and he lures me back saying, "we haven't talked", sending my daughter an email telling her we will be travel partners, defending his emotional abusive traits etc. (you all know the story) Finally, he sent a picture of us in Peru eating street food. Man, is he good, he lured me right back into the web of dysfunction. I'm meeting new people, half way functioning and slowly eating/sleeping again. They are dangerous especially in the beginning stage when we need to be the stronger and we are the weakest. Thanks to everybody who blogs, its really helped me:)

Jannie In the Sun's picture

No Hamster Wheel in Hell for me Please!

I second that last paragraph! Thank God It only happened once and that was enough for me.

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. (Especially with Narcissists)

What I have learned: I NOW know that it is up to ME to decide how people will and will not treat me. Furthermore I have had to raised my standards - I don't need a man to validate me or run my life for me or make me look good, nor will I tolerate emotional and passive aggressive abuse.

Do I really want a life with a selfish, self centered and promiscuous person who constantly betrays and hurts others? Hell no!

Do I really think I can't do any better than a user who sleeps around, triangulates, gaslights, stonewalls, makes excuses and disappoints others? Hell no!

Lastly, what kind of example am I setting for my daughter and other women when I keep going back to a liar and abuser? I don't want anyone to go through what I did.

Ghandi said it best: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

I am trying my best!

Hugs and Happiness to All

StudentOfLife's picture

Jannie

I love your post, couldn't have said it better! :0)

christy_rn's picture

Sums up everything!

This is exactly what happened to me. We were in the most amazing relationship over for a little over a year! But then of course, you know how it goes. After about a year of waiting for him to change back I realized it wasnt going to happen and I also found out he cheated on me. So I broke up with him. So for 4 months straight he texted called emailed and showed up to tell me in tears how empty his life was without me... he would go on and on and I started seeing the person I fell in love with! Well we lived in different towns, about 1.5 hrs away because I had to move for a job, so he ended up moving in with me. It didnt take longer than a couple weeks for things to start going down the drain again. I stuck with it 8 months this time and they were the worst 8 months of my life. The second time around was actually a million times worse than the first.

When I kicked him out this time he tried to do the same thing saying he wants me to be the mother of his children and we should go to counseling. I said NO! He called and texted for about a week, but while he was telling me how much he missed me, I saw on facebook that he was going out meeting girls everynight!! So the next time he texted me that he missed me, I messaged him back to leave me alone. When I came home from work he was waiting in front of my apartment. He did his whole crying routine, but this time I didnt shed a tear! I said something like this, "You can leave here knowing you said every great wonderful thing you could have said, but your words have no meaning to me anymore. I listened to you go on and on about how great things will be with us, but all they are are words with NO actions backing them up. A good person is considered good because of the things that they do... not the things they say, and you havent done one good thing for me. So I know the real you now and the real you is a peice of s**t person." well now hes not trying to talk to me anymore, I did run into him one night and he was just plain mean and did end up sending me a bunch of angry messages. But my advice is NEVER go back, they will never get better, they will just worse if anything

Mag's picture

hoovering

Clover---I so agree with your comment--the mask comes off faster when victims/survivors make them realize you're on to their games!!!!...LOL!!!!

StudentOfLife's picture

Wondering, is there an

Wondering, is there an average or usual amount of time the hoovering usually lasts before the mask starts to come off again?

It's been about a month and a half for me and I've only seen glimpses of the evil twin during this time --- altho it seems he has started to feel more comfortable again, that i've been reeled back in -- because a lot of the old behavior is beginning to emerge a little bit more...

clover's picture

how much time before the mask comes off again

There were three iterations with my Narc and each time he hoovered me back in the mask came off quicker.

The first time we were together for five months before he left ABRUPTLY with no warning and would not take my calls at all. He basically killed me off. That was devastating, but very common N behavior. I didn't know that then, but do now.
We were apart for five months.

Then he came back and cried, said he was sorry, couldn't be without me....hoovered.

After that, the mask came off in a matter of a month. That was mostly because I questioned things more quickly and more aggressively. I was onto him a lot more than I Was the first time we were together.

He left me again (the same way)

Then he came back after three months and hoovered me...said he wanted to marry me..I was the only one for him...he didn't want to be alone without me...wanted to have a baby with me (LOL) I was hoovered again.

That time it took about three weeks for the mask to come off. Again though, I questioned him on things and asserted my needs. The mask is going to come off a lot quicker when the partner/victim doesn't take the abuse.

Just my experience.

StudentOfLife's picture

OK, so.... the time frame

OK, so.... the time frame seems to be (at least in this case) 2 months!!

I was noticing a slowly increasing number of times the mask was coming down over the past couple months, tho working really hard to be on the best behavior, definetly experiencing the Narc dichotomy/dual personality stuff that eventually leads to the crazy-making!! However ...two nights ago it really came down.

I had my weekly one evening without the kids (single mom). He works second shift and though he usually tries to downplay this, it bothers him very much that I have free time without him. He always tries to fill all of my free time. Well, Wednesday night i had a free night and decided to visit a dear (female) friend whom i have know for almost two decades, lives about 25 minutes from me. I did not report to him my whereabouts, and in the meantime he had tried to text me about 4x --- i did not receive these texts until later after returning home.

The routine is he is off work at 10PM then home and calls me for "pillow talk" -- He finally called me at 10:30 and sounded VERY wound up, not tired at all, all the while, not directly asking me about where I'd been, just this time kept saying , "so it was your night without the little one.... " *pause*. I did tell him about my day, and then started telling him how productive my afternoon was, mentioning while having my oil changed i also paid my call phone bill. His reply "Hahaha! Well, keep doing that and you just might have good credit someday". Then proceeds to get into this long drawn out description of how HE handles HIS money, and why HE is so great at it, unsolicited now mind you. He proceeded to cut me down and degrade me and mock me for the rest of the conversation, and of course i found myself on edge. He definitely went into the "I'm so great and now i shall cut-you-down-to-nothing mode/persona of making fun of me and laughing like a hyena. I wonder how much of this jump from the nice Hoovering twin to the evil one has to do with the fact that i did what i wanted to do, something that was good for me rather than wait around for him.

p.s. - can't believe i forgot the part where when he finished telling me how wonderful he is with his process for managing fiinances (for the zillionth time), that I said "Well it must be very nice to have everything in you life running like clockwork". He then jumped down my throat. Seriously. And when i asked him why he was offended he tried to put nice-guy face on and say he was "just kidding". (This is a 41-year-old).

StudentOfLife's picture

Anndddd...... now we're back

Anndddd...... now we're back in nice-guy mode! Super nice face on for my family this weekend.

You know what tho -- ?? This Jekyll/Hyde transformation becomes creepier and creepier to behold. Every time. Especially when he's putting *nice* face on.

It twists something in the pit of my stomach. *shutters*

Mag's picture

No Contact

Lisa,

It is really hard to have "No Contact" with kids involve....my daughter is almost 7 years old and she adores her father...what do I do in this case?

Ladydb123's picture

What type of exposure?

Lisa, when you write about a narc leaving you alone do you mean exposing him by letting him know that you have got his number, words from me. Or exposing him to friends, family, and his peers? I understand that they can become very vengeful and vindictive. So for my safety sake I would like to receive an answer.

Jennifer mcBride's picture

Ex Narc I had KIDS With!

All of these comments and descriptions of narcs are right on!! I have a question, though. Both my significant other and I are divorced from narcissists. Mine uses the "we need to meet and constantly talk on the phone so we can be great coparents together" tactic to bully me into agreeing with his every decision (or he becomes an anger-spewing asshole). My SO's ex-wife demands complete, 100% compliance with her every whim or denies him his parenting time with his son (please don't tell us to call the police -- they won't do anything and told us so).

No Contact can't work with us because of the kids...

What can we do instead?

This week, my ex -- "I AM willing to coparent with you for the sake of our children. Aren't you? Meet with me this weekend." I cancelled our meeting and got, "We definitely need to meet next weekend." He's since asked me four times to pick a time/place for next weekend's meeting and I haven't.

My SO's ex -- "If you make your son go to a family outing with the rest of the kids, an outing he doesn't want to go to because he'll be bored, he's not coming to see you."

Between the two of our exes, this stuff happens nearly every week. Help!

findingmeagain's picture

they love to use the kids

I'm sorta in the same situation except there is no SO yet in my life . But my ex N would use those kids everytime if I was you remain NC. Let the court handle this and get a third party involved if possible. Thats what I'm gonna do. Dragging my kids thru this crosses the line imo . And he uses those kids everytime to bait me in and tell me he is sorry for how he left us high and dry only to D&D me days later for the married woman.

rainbeau's picture

mine isn't smart enough to know how to act charming...

"During this stage, the Narcissist reverts back to the courting behavior he exhibited in the beginning of your relationship in order to win you back. He acts loving, compassionate and supportive. He promises you everything you ever wanted and more. He acknowledges the error of his ways and promises to change."

My narc isn't even able to do this. He won't admit there is a problem or if there is one, it's mine, not his....etc.

He raged at me for months, then told me to move out. At first, he accused me of planning to move out for months, because if I hadn't, then, why would I leave just because he told me he was done with me and I should? He accused me of having an affair with his slightly retarded quadriplegic friend who I care take. (omg! super disgusting idea)

He insisted on moving my stuff out (with me in charge) immediately "to get it over with". I suggested we wait a few days. I fully expected him to wake up to how toxic his anger is and apologize.

Instead, he raged at me for "cherry picking reality". Out of all our moments together, why do I have to focus on that?

The next week, he decided that I was insensitive and clueless for not seeing that he was only speaking out of anger and pain when he said I wasn't his girlfriend and should leave.

A few weeks later, he NEVER threw me out....because I decided not to come back. That makes it even or something....in his mind. Last I heard, I was the girl who couldn't accept the love of his family.

I have NEVER seen the patient, kind wonderful man I knew for 13 years before dating him. I think he might be in the early stages of dementia. His father had it at a young age. This guy can't remember anything. Could it be? He is 54.

rainbeau's picture

P.S.

It makes it so easy. If I miss the illusion that I thought he was, all I have to do is talk to him and the pain stops. He is such a pompous, egotistical jerk.

Sandy_64's picture

"No Contact With Neighbor"

I am attempting no contact. Long story, bad ending. He lives about 150 feet away from me, and we were very "close", well, I thought we were, lol. What to do? I haven't the means to move for another year or so, God help me.

Luci's picture

wish I knew this a year ago

we separated a year ago and he rang and said he wanted to come back he missed the animals and hadn't had anything to eat for 3 days. Of course I was stupid and sent him money to come back. Now a year later its over again and he knows it. He gave me flowers a few days ago and today wanted me to take $50 from him to buy easter eggs for my family. I declined and said I already bought them. I am trying to ignore him but it is very hard.

hooklineandsinker's picture

Hmm. Mine never tired of

Hmm. Mine never tired of saying "When I'm done with something/someone, I'm done with them". It's been over a year, and he hasn't shown any signs of coming back. Part of me really wants him to come back and grovel, so that I can tell him to go f**k himself. Sadly, I suspect I'll never have that chance.

eyeswideopen35's picture

Wow mine always said that....

Wow mine always said that.... When I'm done with someone, I'm done! Scary... I have seen him do it to so many others, friends, lovers, co workers... Silly me I thought it would be different and he'd never treat me like that!
Hard lesson to learn... Freaks me out alot of them say the same thing! Wtf

eyeswideopen35's picture

Wow mine always said that....

Wow mine always said that.... When I'm done with someone, I'm done! Scary... I have seen him do it to so many others, friends, lovers, co workers... Silly me I thought it would be different and he'd never treat me like that!
Hard lesson to learn... Freaks me out alot of them say the same thing! Wtf

Angel's picture

It's all my story

Wow!

I read each comment and they all could have come from me. The good news, I believe, is that once you know that they are N's, everything becomes completely predictable. You can find safetly in that. My ex's entire family is the same.

I recently went to a function that he and his brother were at. I told my friends, that his brother would find some way to be cruel to me and he did. The fact that I could predict it actually made me laugh. They really are caricatures, aren't they? Card board cutouts.

I had it all, from the inappropriate 'friendships' with other women (and gay men!), to the mocking and raging during arguments, the 'you don't respect me blah blah' and on and on.

I was lucky that my freak out, and thus, the end of the supply for him, had him break up with me.

For anyone still with an N and waiting to get out, I would suggest that you find a therapist with experience regarding the effects of narcissism and start right away. In my opinion, the only reason that you are staying is because he has manipulated your sefl respect right out of you. On the other hand, he hasn't broken you yet, so you're still there, providing the necessary supply.

A good therapist will enable you to begin building self worth again. And one familiar with Narcissism will help you to find your way out of the confusion caused by the ups and downs.

Good Luck

x

Mag's picture

it's all my story

I absolutely agree to finding a good therapist....my therapist was able to help me get out of my unhealthy marriage...it took 4 years, but I did it...now I'm in the stage where I'm trying to make sense of it all...and of course, he's still trying to get me back, etc...plus we have a daughter together...which makes it absolutely difficult to get him completely out of my life....

prettypeeved's picture

Am I spotting a shortcut

Am I spotting a shortcut here?

Can you inform them that you see right through them and bypass all the hoovering attempts?

Lisa E. Scott's picture

Simple Shortcut?

Prettypeeved - Yes! It is that simple.

The minute they know you see right through them and their mask has been lifted, they are done with you.

Loveofmylife explains it perfectly:

"It wasn't fun for him anymore if I wasn't worshipping the ground he walked on and had the slightest little doubt about him. He needed me to be in love with him unconditionally and believe that he was absolutely perfect. When I stopped drinking the koolaid, I no longer fulfilled his need and I was be-headed and tossed into the closet with all of the other old Barbies."

Jonr84's picture

Bullseye

I remember the very very last conversation I had with my ex-N, the day I spitted everything out.

I simply told her "I don't recognize you anymore. You were the most loving person I met. I loved you so much, and now you made a 180 and are completely self-centered, selfish, manipulative and perhaps the most contradictory being I have ever met".

She answered by saying that no one ever treated her like that and that I should be ashamed of saying this to a woman. And started crying.

It was the last time I saw her. It was tough at the beginning but I came to understand it was all an illusion.

findingmeagain's picture

I guess mines likes a

I guess mines likes a challenge now that I think of it yeah he does. Because I told him I know what he is and told him that he was a N. And he listened to every word I said and yeah he tried to down me told me I wasn't good in bed smh lol. I just kept right on with my reverse treatment. Everytime he said something I used the narcspeak terminology on him. He then got mad and got off the phone after he couldn't take it anymore. My son's b-day was that Sunday NC was still in effect. Then two days later the exact same day (tuesday) that I had previously told him off just the next week . He shows up at my door hoovering and crap talking about suicide. I fell for it and he stayed for ten days only to D&D me again for this married woman. smh I'll know the next time not to open the door at all.

loveofmylife's picture

Absolutely!

That happened with me. As soon as I made it clear that he was causing me massive confusion from his mixed messages, that he was abusive, and that I had massive cognitive dissonance because I had no idea what he meant by anything... he pulled away. It wasn't fun for him anymore if I wasn't worshipping the ground he walked on and had the slightest little doubt about him. He needed me to be in love with him unconditionally and believe that he was absolutely perfect. When I stopped drinking the koolaid, I no longer fulfilled his need and I was be-headed and tossed into the closet with all of the other old Barbies.

StudentOfLife's picture

Thank yo so much for posting this, Lisa!

It is really synchronous with what's been going on in my life lately, and i needed to hear it. My N and I had a (very odd) mutual breakup a few weeks ago, and eventually we finally started communicating again. There was no closure, and i was hoping for at least that, but it's lead to other things. One of them being, he is absolutely in his "nice twin" persona, that same wonderful person i met two years ago. It is odd to behold. It makes me doubt myself. Although sometimes after all i have been through with him, I watch him in this nice guy act, thinking "what a great actor!" (as he has proclaimed himself to be on occasion) -- and then i realize i am actually feeling a little bit angered by this act.

Lisa E. Scott's picture

Yep

So glad it's helpful, ladies. Knowledge is power and can be truly liberating.

You are never alone. We get it better than anyone.

BruisedButterfly is right: "I need to go completely N.C. that is the only way i can get control back over my life and get over him."

They have brainwashed us and the only way to break free is to establish No Contact and deprogram. Until we do this, we will always be under their spell.

It's hard to accept that the man we fell in love with is not who we thought he was, but it is a necessary part of our recovery.

Narcissists lead us to believe we have something we actually do not have, and we hold on to it. We think we have a relationship with an amazing person, when in reality we are living with an illusion that our relationship is special. The acting talent these personalities possess is astounding. They are brilliant con-artists and we must accept that the wonderful person we fell in love with NEVER existed. He hid behind a mask of smoke and mirrors in order to obtain control of us and manipulate us to meet his never-ending child-like needs. Once we learn to see the Narcissist for the person he really is, we are finally able to free ourselves.

NOTHING stands between you and your true self, but the Narcissist in your life!

clover's picture

My relationship with the N was not "special"

I think my main processing issue right now is that there is a part of me that doesn't want to accept that I really was not special to my N like he told me over and over.

I know that this is the case. I now see all the manipulation, lies, superficiality, BS. It is true...I was not truly "special" to him. I need to accept that.

He is a true N...he will never stop on his quest to find "idealized love" He throws people away after a time, because he objectifies people and when they turn out to be imperfect...which we all are he can't handle it and he will discard. He can't handle REAL relationships with ordinary conflict,imperfections and true committed love.

His idealization of me in the beginning, although it felt good, was not rooted in reality. I was merely a player in his delusion that he had found a perfect love.

I need to accept the fact that even though I was not truly special to him...I was not bamboozled and I am not somehow a stupid person who got played. I am in fact worthy of being truly special to someone. The fact is, I was just dealing with a disordered individual who put me in his never ending re-run that he creates and enacts for himself with one woman after another.

Now that I know the signs to look for, this won't happen again. I doubt I'll get caught up with a N again. It could happen to anyone. It really could.

Mag's picture

Yep

I love this post, Lisa....now that I see my ex-husband for what he truly is, I feel so much better about myself...it's liberating...

brusiedbutterfly's picture

Great advice

That is exactly what i needed to hear to get me out of my stupor. I am going to do exactly what you said and ignore him. Then reply "you forced me to behave this way" LOL I love your advice and reading your comment made me feel better immediately, its comforting to know that i am not alone. I need to go completely N.C. that is the only way i can get control back over my life and get over him. Now i'm thinking when he does try to violate my wishes off leaving me alone - I can just go into asking him a million questions about us - that seems to drive him away everytime lol. Really, it's depressing but i need to pull myself out of this hole, no excuses. This site might be the support and push i needed all along to be able to finally tell him to "go f*$ yourself".

Journey's picture

Yes BB lol

Asking a million questions about your future with him will probably do it.... so will launching into a monologue about your feelings - they can't handle that either and unless they are really trying to get back into your favor by pretending they are their mask again, will find a way to quickly get off the phone.

Perhaps another call will come in that he just must take.

My N's favorite was "I can't really talk now cause my dinner is almost ready" or "I'm just heading to bed"

So predictable. Though I don't recommend playing any games with a narc, they change the rules constantly and do whatever they have to in order to think they're winning.

carol24's picture

Glad I could help.

Glad I could help. Remember that there are many of us who understand exactly how difficult this is for you because of our own similar experiences and we're here to support you anytime.

xxx

brusiedbutterfly's picture

Exactly what I went thru today

Hi everyone,
My first time posting but long story short, the wonderful man i thought i fell in love with 5 years ago, is actually a Narcissist. I desperately wish I could fall out of love with him. I tried the No contact (blocking him from calling, texts, emails) but when he wants to contact me he jumps all over those hurdles and soon as i hear his voice, i fall right back into the hole. But anyway, we have been talking everyday for the past 2 weeks (after he found a way to get thru my blocks by using another phone number). The past 2 weeks he has been Prince Charming and today I asked him where does he see this going? DO we have a future together? or are we just friend? because you are sending me mixed signals. Of course, I knew that these were the wrong questions to ask b/c he wants to be in control and why settle down with me when he can come and go as he pleases. His responses were as follows:
1)We are doing just fine - lets take it day by day.
2)I dont want to talk about this now - I am busy.
3)Didnt i tell you i was busy?!
4)You dont respect me! I told you i dont want to answer those questions - why are you forcing me!
5)You know what - i dont see a future with you b/c you are a nag, you ask me a million questions, how could I be with someone who doesnt respect me when i tell them I dont have time to answer.
6) I didnt want to say that but you forced me on giving you that answer, so there, I dont see how we could ever be back together, are you happy now?
Of course, my feelings were hurt and he went on attack mode. Not only am I hurt but now confused (does he mean it when he says we have no future or is he right about me forcing him to answer when he feels pressured?) I immediately started apologizing about bringing up our future. He then says
"See we were doing great, until you ruined it with all your questions and now I dont know how i feel about you anymore."
Another sting to my heart. Again I find myself apologizing. I ask "where do we go from here?"
His reply "I told you i was busy!!! u are still asking me questions!"
I now feel horrible and stupid - how can i get myself out of this mess???

paisley18's picture

This is my first time posting

This is my first time posting on here, and I'll be honest - I am still in a state of denial that I have a narcissistic boyfriend. I have been dating him for almost three years and hate to think that the person I thought I knew so well is this monster inside. However, after reading your post I found it SCARY how much it sounds like my situation.

My life is full of mixed signals that result in me questioning my own sanity because I am blamed for literally everything that my bf says or does, and of course for any problems that arise in our relationship. I attempted to have a "talk about the future" with him a few nights ago and it resulted in an angry lashout, leaving me hurt and confused. For a little background on why I brought this conversation up, my boyfriend practically lives with me (I have my own house and he stays at my place when he's not out of town for work - he has to travel some for his job), and I will be graduating from law school in a year. Naturally, I'm at the point in my life where I need some idea as to where I'm going. Especially since I will be looking for jobs and would take location into account if I have a ring on my finger...

Anyhow, I casually asked him as we were sitting on the couch after dinner if he sees us having a future together and he just kinda said "yeah" really short, not looking away from the t.v. or showing any emotion in his voice or expression. I told him I had just been thinking about it a lot lately with career plans coming up (not to mention all of our friends getting married - kind of a hard topic to ignore). At this point I could sense him getting angry but I wasn't sure why.. suddenly he interrupted me mid-sentence and said "ENOUGH, DROP IT"... i look at him confused, attempting to explain why I had brought it up again (as if I really needed to justify anything), and he got even madder... cussing at me, "you have to go and ruin another night again by bringing up something stupid! just like you! NO i'm not thinking about buying a ring, and you know what? I'll think about it when I'M ready, and that won't be anytime soon!!! maybe you would have a ring on your finger if you weren't such a nag! this s*** right here is your problem - you're the problem in our relationship!"... that's the gist of it, along with other really hurtful things. This encounter resulted in me tearing up, and him responding with, "ooooh pooor baby, gonna go cry about it because she's not getting her way?? [with a smirk on his face] YEAAA I really want to marry you and come home to THIS every night!!"

This is really long and drawn out, I know. But the point is I really related to your post, it's stuff like this all the time with us, followed by him being really nice to me and almost convincing me that he tries so hard but I just push him to talk to me the way he does and he "prays every day that i'll change..."

HELP!! I'm going crazy...

truthwillsetmefree's picture

omg this is exactly what is happening to me

Everytime we have an argument, he starts saying mean things to me, I end up crying and then he starts making fun of me. He has no compassion. In the beginning he used to have but it slowly faded away without me even noticing it until now that I think about it. Then when I confront him about it he says its my fault he's turned like this, people like me make him act and become like that. Lately he is even saying I'm the worst girlfriend he has ever had, comparing me to his exes telling me that they were better, when I know its not true. When we started he used to tell me so muchhhh shit about his ex that I even beleived the girl was crazy. Now it sEems he has forgotten about all of that. When I suspect something he's lying about he says I'm crazy and I must find help. Anyhow,,its a long story I've been with him for 3 years and I reaLly want to leave him for good very soon. I've helped him with so much things, he is always angry, screaming at me when I just ask a stupid yes or no question. He says I bitch a lot, I look at men on the street ( I'm not even interested) he says he will leave me since I'm looking at men..he's so jealous and delusional he does not trust me at all. He's such a hypocriye He has profiles on the net with ONLY women..he spents hourssss looking at them, he even constantly talks about women. If it were me, he would tell me I'm a whore this and that..anyhow he NEVERR looks at his own behaviour, never ever.in the beginning he used to tell me he has a problem with anger, but now all of a sudden I'm the problem. The ONLY times he's said he's sorry is when he knows he needs me again for something. The worts part abput all of this is that it seems his family (borthers+mother) are like this. I don't know If narcissism is something that is genetic orso..but a few weeks ago I've heard his brother reject his girlfriend and it raised a red flag.

carol24's picture

Don't apologise to him.

Hi there,

My answer is based on what I've learned from reading up about narcissism and from my own experience with a narcissist ex boyfriend.

Narcissists are not capable of thinking about relationships long-term. They may well make comments to you without being asked such as saying that they want to "get engaged" or "move in together" but these ideas that they have are generally impulsive and usually don't come to fruition. (My narcissist ex boyfriend told me "I want to be engaged to you by Xmas". Xmas came and went but I did not get either the engagement ring or marriage propsal that he had encouraged me to look forward to. Of course, then I began to ask him why he had changed his mind and, like you, I could not get any answers out of him). Therefore, it's alright for them to make these comments to you, but if you start to ask questions about the future, they don't like it.

One reason why they don't like it is that they like to be in control and do not like to be accountable to anybody. Answering your question means that he will then be expected to stick to a course of action and narcissists don't like that. They want to be free to do whatever they like. Remember that narcissists feel entitled to behave like this and don't feel the need to consider your feelings or needs (e.g. that you would quite like to know what's happening and where the relationship is going so that you know where you stand). He wants to be free to make impulsive decisions without being restricted by you and your needs, hence his irritated reaction.

Another reason why they don't like being asked questions about the future of the relationship is because (sub-conciously) it reminds them that they are actually not capable of keeping a relationship going past the "honeymoon period". Deep down, he knows this is the case, therefore, asking him to answer these questions will, on some level, make him feel his inadequacy in not being capable of sustaining a relationship like most healthy minded people can. Again this explains why persistently asking him these questions leads to his annoyed and defensive reaction which involved him attacking you verbally (as we all know that if there is one thing a narcissist cannot bear, it is to feel that they are being criticised or to have their inadequacies exposed).

So, in answer to your question, I would say that when he says you have "no future", he probably knows deep down that he has no future with any woman because he will never be able to sustain a relationship. The reason he has given you a very hurtful answer to your question and then said that you forced him into it is a) to stop you from asking him again (a way of controlling your behaviour) and b) a way of blaming you in order to take the spotlight away from his inadequacy by trying to make you feel bad about yourself (e.g. you are now blaming yourself for doing the wrong thing or, to use his words, being "a nag" - how dare he be so rude to you!). Wanting to know where you stand in a relationship is a perfectly reasonable expectation and does not mean that you are putting pressure on him. He is not thinking about the stress that he is putting you through by refusing to answer a perfectly reasonable question.

My advice is this. Don't waste another second apologising to him for anything. You do not owe him an apology! (My narcissist ex boyfriend had me apologising for things all the time, usually just after he had been incredibly mean to me - they are experts at making us feel in the wrong). I would definately stop asking him to answer questions about the future of the relationship. Even if he were to answer them, I don't think you can rely on his answers anyhow. Remember that he is incapable of answering these questions and that is not your fault, it is his.

I would reccomend giving him a taste of his own medicine: Ignore him until he contacts you - then tell him that you did think it was going well but he's ruined it by being nasty, so now you don't know how you feel about him anymore. Then ignore him. I think doing this might help you feel that you have regained some control back for yourself which will help you feel stronger. Ultimately, I would try and stay clear of him for good. Ignorong him might make him treat you better in the short-term, but Narcissists don't change, so my guess is that he will only keep hurting you in the long-run. You sound like a lovely person and you deserve so much better than what he has to offer you!

Hope this helps. Stay strong.
xxx

Journey's picture

Carol24

GREAT comment and spot on!