Why He Keeps Coming Back

"The narcissist I was involved with had me change my entire life for him then called me and in a 5 minute telephone conversation told me he changed his mind and he was not going to be with me. He said it as casually as if he decided to have chicken for dinner instead of steak. Then he proceeded to f with my mind for another 3 years." ~Foolmeonce

Why? Why does the narcissist keep coming back? Why can't he leave us alone? It's important to understand that a narcissist has no inner-sense of self. He disconnected from himself a long time ago. Because he has no sense of self, he must be validated by others in order to feel alive. Without outside validation, he feels dead inside.

If a narcissist is deficient in Narcissistic Supply (NS), he will seek it out from anyone he can get it from. If he comes to you after your relationship has ended, you must understand he is coming to you because he is not getting enough attention or validation from his current source of supply. I know this is harsh and may be hard to accept, but you must get it. He is not returning to you because he misses you or genuinely loves you. Remember, the only two feelings a narcissist experiences are fear and rage. Love is not a feeling a narcissist can experience. If he returns to you, it's because he needs to be validated and nothing more.

I am often asked why some narcissists return only to change their mind immediately after you commit or why they return simply to say something insulting or hurtful to you. The reason for this is because he is only returning to get a "quick fix" on his addiction. Once you validate him by responding to him in any way, shape or form, he's got his fix and will move on to the next best high.

Getting a reaction out of you is like a drug to him. He gets off on it and he needs it in order to feel alive. It gives him a thrill. Without it, he feels dead inside. This is why he will come back simply to insult you or demean you. If he knows he can't get a positive reaction from you, he's going to try to elicit a negative reaction. All he needs is a reaction from you to get his fix - good or bad, he doesn't care - as long as he gets a reaction from you. He likes to know he still has some kind of hold or effect on you.

Do NOT give him this satisfaction. Please Do NOT feed his addiction. Starve the Vampire, ladies. Let him get his fix somewhere else. The only way to deal with a narcissist is to go "No Contact" and refuse to react to him.

My hope is if you better understand why he is coming back around, it will help you stay away him. Don't give in to him. He feels dead inside and is coming back to you to validate him now. How dare he?

Visualize him as a vampire and starve him. If that doesn't work, visualize him as an annoying rodent tugging at the end of your pant leg for attention. Just kick the disgusting creature off of you and maintain "No Contact." He will bring you nothing but hell.

Nov 1 - 2PM
alocin72's picture

Can he...

Nov 1 - 3PM (Reply to #11)
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture


Jan 18 - 10AM
smalltowngirl's picture

Thank you SO much for this

Thank you SO much for this site and posting this information. I am now happily married for 8 years but the pain from my exN always haunted me because I never understood why he kept coming back to me and then pushed me away after complete disruption of my life. I always blamed myself for things not working out. Mine was never physically abusive but emotionally draining. It was like he wanted to care for me but couldn't help but 'screw things up' and then he'd be back again for more attention when his current NS ran out. The final time I spoke to him, he became angry when I wouldn't give him the attention he sought, almost pouting as a small child would do. I was done and I've never looked back.
Jun 17 - 4PM
twisted's picture

even after years...

It's been over 2 years since I broke up with my exN, and contact is very sporadic. Pretty much non-existant. But they do come back! Usually right as soon as you stop thinking about them, just to mess with your head. Even just a few weeks ago, totally out of the blue after months of no contact, at 3 o'clock in the morning, he texted me to say he was thinking about me! And you know what, I knew it was him before I even checked. It screwed me up for the whole day thinking about it. Analyzing it. When really I should know better by now. They keep you hanging on! And it's so sad to say but I was glad to hear from him, like glad to know I wasn't just cast aside without another thought. But really there was nothing behind it. And how I know? Because this was the chain a day later when I responded: me-glad to know you're thinking about me. N-is it really? me-yes really why? N- :P (and we were together for 7 years) ARRRGH!
Jun 8 - 3PM
enoughalready's picture


I wish I would have found this site last year. Understanding as to why they always come back despite their evilness makes more sense to me now. Right before I read this blog, I recieved 4 txts (blocked) from him. I don't know what he said, nor do I care to know. But he's so predictable. If he hasn't seen me in 3-4 weeks, he txts or tries to find a way to see me. I wish he'd leave me alone for good.
Jun 8 - 10AM
justwantpeace's picture

his supply

oh I like that part he is coming to me because he isnt getting enough attention from his current supply. He recently married the ow. At times I still struggle with feeling "thrown away" for another woman. That makes me feel better to know he isnt getting the attention from his new supply that he hoped for. It helps one point of my feelings but doesnt help the other area with him coming back around. Ive been nice and just said keep it to email and we have no need to talk. He has been saying things since our divorce that I feel are inappropriate for an exwife. I guess that confirms the new wife isnt all the supply he needs and why he still comes back to me. now to make sure and sever all those ties.
Jun 8 - 8PM (Reply to #4)
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

That's exactly why he keeps coming back

Just remember this. I know it's hard, but it will help to maintain No Contact. When he comes back laying on the charm, it's because his current supply isn't giving him enough attention. The more you resist him, the more it will drive him crazy. He will call or text over and over again because you're not responding. After awhile, he'll get desperate and do something to insult you so that he can get a response from you - he doesn't care if it's positive or negative - he just needs to know that he can still affect you. Do NOT let him. INDIFFERENCE is the only way to treat them to get them to go away.
Jun 9 - 5AM (Reply to #5)
justwantpeace's picture


Thanks Lisa. I do struggle with mixed emotions. Partly feeling thrown away for the ow and partly not wanting him around. Now you have said it, I have noticed the more I pull away the angier he gets. I am trying to move all contact to email only. He isnt violating anything to get in trouble yet. He will do little things to remind me he is still there. He tells me now he doesnt mean to make me uncomfortable. I can go several days with nc and it is wonderful. Then I hear from him. So I will watch for the insult and remember do not respond. Thanks.
Jun 10 - 6AM (Reply to #6)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


He tells me now he doesnt mean to make me uncomfortable You need to stop 'listening' to a professional liar who even lies to himself. Control, that's all he wants - Control. Everything HIS way like a toddler. ~~~~~~~~~ Effective Coaching Specifically for Victims of Pathologicals Feelings buried alive never die. - Alice Miller
Jun 6 - 5PM
foolmeonce's picture

Had I known then what I know now

Your post addresses a topic that everyone who has been involved with an N needs. I only wish that I had the resources years ago that I have now. When my mind was being played with, I prayed for clarity. I asked God over and over again to just let me know the truth. I know it is futile to wish I had never met him. I did, I was targeted and toyed with. I do however wish that when I was first D&D'd, I would have had access to this board and the stories from all the women who had the same experience as me. It would have saved me the three wasted years of not knowing what he was doing. I hope that women who are just coming out of the experience pay attention to your advice. I hope that they really understand that the N does not love them and does not miss them, but merely needs a "hit" for his addiction. The newbies are lucky that this board is here and that they have you and Barbara to hammer home the truth. Thank you for everything and good luck with your new venture.
Jun 6 - 10PM (Reply to #1)
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

Thank YOU

I would like to thank YOU, foolmeonce, and ALL the members here for being so helpful and supportive. It's because of all of you that this board is thriving. You are all such strong, compassionate, intelligent women. The way you support one another is beautiful. Women should be more supportive of other women in general. I'm not able to post here as often as I'd like because I have a daytime office job as an HR professional. Being in HR, I obviously have to enforce policies that prohibit employees from using work computers to monitor a personal website. Therefore, it would be wrong and hypocritical of me to violate the very rules I'm enforcing. Also, I often travel for work and when I do, I can't check the messageboard at night because all I have is my work laptop with me. In any case, my point is that during the day, if you need to reach out to me, it's best to contact me via my e-mail or FB page. Big Hugs, Lisa
Nov 17 - 7PM (Reply to #2)
lexilove's picture

please help me

I have a son with my ex-N. He already has done the whole texting me thing and has even called to harass my parents to get a rise out of them when he failed to get one out of me when i applied the no contact rule. He has tried to isolate me from mutual friends and i believe he even has my neighbor (who is a so called friend of his)come by to check on me and our son periodically. We have a child and even though this man has done unspeakable evil to me,I still find myself wondering weather or not to extend the invite to come and see his son for his 1st Bday!!!! Everyone i knows him says hell no especially his family who knows how he is,and knows that he does no take care "or" care about his other "three" kids from previous relationships. He totally lied to me and told me he sends them money and helps support his other kids. while i was with him and i didn't know the other women (he wouldn't let me get that close) so i could know for sure, all i know is that while with me he did seem to care about our child (even though i did most of the work) our baby B-day is a week away and we have not had "any contact" at all for 3weeks (he has even blocked me on facebook and stopped taking to certain friend and family who still talk to me) am i crazy for even wanting him to see his son on his b-day even though since not talking to me, has made no attempt to even see how our son is doing or even made the attempt to help me in anyway? Or should i be thankful just to have him gone? I will always love him for giving me our son even though he always pressured me to abort him, but he acted so happy and loving once he got here. Should i extend the invite am i crazy???? i just cant see as a parent not wanting to be apart of his sons b-day, celebrating the day he was born after all he was there just like i was.He's seen him come into this world.... what do i do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!