Do they get worse with age?

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#1 March 20, 2011 - 10:18am

Do they get worse with age?

I am 28 and was with him for 11 years (marriage lasted 6 weeks!!! he started cheating 2 months before we wed)

My N had a few juvenile relationships before me so i can't relate to everything thats posted regarding narcisstic traits, which i sometimes find difficult and it makes me worry i may have 'diagnosed' him incorrectly seen as i think i've been the first to experience his wrath! I haven't really anyone i could contact from his past to see if the pattern is repeated as we got together when we were so young.

I find that he treats most people in such a N way tho, including his family who he picks up and drops when and if he needs them. For example, if he is not seen in a favourable light with someone or has an argument, they just don't exist in his life until he decides he may need them again!

I'm wondering if he will get worse with age as so many of my experiences with him seem to be echoed when i read through all the posts and blogs. The first thing i said when i heard he had run off with the OW was 'you watch he will propose ASAP - he's moved straight in with her, told her she's the one and had 2 tattoos to represent their relationship ( he left me 2 months ago)

I do notice that the last 3 years seem to have been chaotic with regards to his personality, behaviour and wants and needs. It's almost as if when he hit 25 it reeeally kicked in. If i look back to when we were younger i'd say he lost interest after the 1st year but he just didn't have such dramatic circles of behaviour then
- i wish i'd read all this a long long time ago!!

March 20, 2011 - 5:27pm


I can only really say, from my experience. My father definitely got worse, with age. More violent, increasingly demanding, and accusatory. My mother filed for divorce from him when I was 13. He refused to cooperate or sign anything. Until I was 15, and the divorce was finalized. I don't know really how to describe it. During those 2 years, he had a complete and utter meltdown. My parents had been together for about 20 years, and that's no small feat for any couple. Let alone a couple as toxic to each other as they were. I think it was a combination of things, along with his mental deterioration. I like to believe that part of it, he really couldn't help, due to his mental illness. However, he could be especially cruel. He had a meltdown, and completely took my self-esteem and my identity with him. If I'm being totally honest? He was normally pretty bad. With momentary lapses of awesome fun, happy, splurging, good times. But yes, he was noticeably worse those last 2 years especially. Or maybe they just stood out for me, because it was a very tumultuous time altogether. Not sure if that helps.

March 20, 2011 - 1:07pm

this thread

has been posted on and different times and i for one who spent 15 years with the exnarc until 2 years ago when he up and left and moved to another state, can say, without any doubts, YES,YES, he is in his 60's has cancer, seems to becoming more rageful and hateful, even when I sent him a thoughtful, caring,card asking how he was doing, just more lies at me and anger, calling me slut, whore, offering free sex on the internet, they lose their virility and now with his disease, I can not imagine what he is like, the mask of civility is off him, would not even offer they we get together before he dies, no thanking me for asking how he was doing, is that human??

March 20, 2011 - 1:00pm
It'sAllAboutMeNow (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

They do get worse.

I have read article after article that they do get worse. Especialy the Somatic Narcissist. They utitlize their looks, and physical attributes to gain supply. As they get older and loose these attributes they get grumpy from the lack of supply and become very grumpy. They were described as the grumpy old person who's family may come and visit and they have nothing but complaints to dispense.

I have also read that an N will get progressively worse when their parents die. The parents are the only people they really answer to and care about. Once their parents die, then there's no one to hold them accountable and thier behavior goes beyond what it already was.

Don't doubt for one second that this men will treat every women in his life poorly. If he's an N then he's bound to repeat his behavior. It's what life has cursed him with. What he did to you wasn't about you it was about who he is. They are emptional vampires soley for their selfish desires.

The best thing you could do for yourself is read, read as much as you can to educate yourslf about this sort of thing. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to understand this behavior without the right information.

Here is a website that helped me:

Just google information on personality disorders if you are still unsure that he is an N.

Best of luck to you and this journey and just know that you are not alone.

March 20, 2011 - 6:37pm (Reply to #12)

great website. I have never

great website. I have never seen that one. thanks.

March 20, 2011 - 3:12pm (Reply to #11)

I'm not so sure about the

I'm not so sure about the parents bit. My father is a narc and since his parents have died, he's been a lot "nicer" around me. He's still abusive to my mother behind my back, and it's still all about him...but the old tell-me-off-for-everything behaviour has faded. Now it's more of a whining nag because I think he's finally realised that I don't have to tolerate it.

March 20, 2011 - 2:13pm (Reply to #10)

Yes, they get worse

My Narc grandmother has gotten progressively worse, more histrionic, compounded with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's robs people of their identities, and since Ns/Ps lack identities-it's even worse for them.

My Narc grandmother has gone on impulsive cross-country airplane trips, going on the train back to her former home in Paso Robles (she's fantasizing about moving back there, she's currently living in Oregon near my parents) She fell down the stairs&was hospitalized on Christmas Eve- one of her doctors speculated was that it was done PURPOSEFULLY to get attention.

"An N will get progressively worse when their parents die. The parents are the only ones they answer to&care about. Once their parents die, there's no one to hold them accountable&their behavior goes beyond what it really was"-This one strikes home for me. A year after the final D&D, the ex-Psych professor's parents moved in with him to raise his twins (a son&a daughter) His parents made a major sacrifice-moving from New England to New Mexico to be with him. His father sacrificed his teaching&research. The ex-P adored his father. I think his father was the one person he admired,adored, envied-he wasn't the typical mommy-enmeshed guy. Someone here wrote that "older authority figures keep psychopaths in check"-I think that's what explains why the parents moved in WITH HIM to raise his kids. They are the older authority figures. Honestly, I think the ex-P's parents are the reason why I don't hear from the ex-P at all. The ex-P would brag about driving his father crazy , making him bald (his father is bald). His father suffers from a form of diabetes that results from stress&sleeplessness. The ex-P cares about his father the same way my baby nephew does. My baby nephew broke my brother in-law's glasses, will try to get into his computer-but he's a toddler. It's understandable. It's WORSE when we're talking about a middle-aged tenured professor.

March 20, 2011 - 1:42pm (Reply to #9)

He's a Narc that link was

He's a Narc that link was like reading his biography!

March 20, 2011 - 12:20pm

I read somewhere that the

I read somewhere that the narc actually gets to be his worst around age 50 and then tapers off. I wish I knew where I read that so I can send you the link. Reading it has stuck with me though because my narc will be 41 next month so the thought of him continuing to get worse is scary to me.

March 20, 2011 - 12:26pm (Reply to #7)

I want him to be at his worst

I want him to be at his worst now with her - she was one of my best friends, she came on the hen party (bachelorette) but she dropped out the wedding day 2 weeks before!

I just would take some comfort from the fact that she will meet the same fate as me

I suppose it harks back to Beams post last night about what if she makes him happy

March 20, 2011 - 12:18pm


I was 15 years NC with the A-hole and since we reconnected I can absolutely see how much worse it has gotten.

March 20, 2011 - 10:44am

do they get worse with age??

yes and no. i think they have difficulty aging, graying and sagging like the rest of us but it seems a little more pronounced with an n.
my story is such that i hope you really find the strength and determination to stay away from this toxic guy.
i spent 30 years off and on with my nh, then exnh, then bn, all the same guy! yuck and yes i did! i have a lot of guilt and shame BUT i now have a clear mind and am determined to sever this f'd up scenario once and for all.
my guilt really is in regard to my grown children and how they are going to process this latest breakup. thank god we did not remarry or live together. he had a new gf waiting in the wings, an overlap.
so...stay strong, don't spend the next 30 years of your life going back and forth thinking that this time he has changed.
i am good, i can laugh now at many of the things that he says, fortunately i am still fairly young and have a good life to live.
of course it hurts, but puhleaassee move on!

March 20, 2011 - 9:16pm (Reply to #4)

Difficulty aging

I had misdiagnosed the ex-Psych professor as a somatic Narc. In the beginning, it was all about his looks... but even then, he neglected them. He had a sweater that was fraying at the edges, obviously falling apart... other times, he wanted to look good. His teeth were horrific-the type you only see on smokers or homeless people. His persistent crow's feet grew over 4 years, as did his belly. By the time of the final D&D, he was drinking heavily around students. He let himself go.

I realized the ex-P was more of a cerebral Narc and a Psychopath than a somatic Narc... because somatic Narcs are HUMAN in their realization that yes! they have bodies. The ex-P was totally disconnected from his OWN body. When he cut himself deeply in the lab, he stood there, contemplating his bleeding, gaping wound.

He went from being a Homeric hunk to Homer Simpson in 4 short years.

I doubt he is aging gracefully.

March 20, 2011 - 9:08pm (Reply to #3)

the age thing - my experience

Mine got grumpier with age - he had been a very popular hot rich athlete with endless female attention etc.
He shaved his mustache off to hide the gray and hangs out with people in their 30's when he is in his mid 50's, has "likes" on his FB that are totally inappropriate for men in 50's...teen bop. I stopped looking in Jan after he posted a woman there on New Years.

He was not rich when I met him but still very boyish and charming in his 40's. He sat on his butt, smoked pot, did not try to better himself and became out of shape and unemployed in his 50's, too proud to be an ex-celeb looking for a job. He seemed to hibernate alot in his man den...
Age hurt his narc image but seems like when he joined FB it saved him - he could project like he was living large and get lots of young female "fans" again...I realize now that having me, a real woman, his own age was also bad for his image...
He was sexy, is sexy and shall probably always be sexy even when he gets older so he can hang on to the part of narcdom confidently. This is a big deal I think for them, because they need to know they can still catch - and he definitely can...
He was over bonded with his mother and two sisters - the mother and older sister died and he took care of both of them until their deaths - his mom was already dead when I met him but his sis died while we were together. He was the care taker so it was pretty heavy...He got high and shut down - he looked like a dazed kid, no tears though and after a brief period of mourning (he pushed me away for a few days), he never spoke of her again.
Since, he moved away from his home city, there is no authority figure in his life anymore (he cares what his sister thinks and I provided stability and history). He appears to have gone hog wild in new city and is showing off like crazy on FB and hanging our with a woman who looks desperate for attention. Maybe this is just mid life crisis but it seems even more fake than I ever saw before and not so "cool" for a guy in his 50's, really pathetic and makes me realize how low both of our self esteem is. Maybe this is what he always wanted, to be back "in the scene". It really hurts to see his true colors and values emerge after the break...but he was OVERLY loyal to the elder females in his family. Others have talked about how this attachment stunts their developmental growth. I think of Tiger Woods with the passing of his father when we ponder this "do they get worse" topic...

March 20, 2011 - 10:30am

I understand...

When I started dating mine I was 19, he was 22. He definitely got worse with age. Not sure if it was because he got comfortable with the relationship or settled into who he really was. Lots of actions I ignored because we were young and in college. I figured that these were normal things at that age and just expected he would grow out of them. I think people's personalities are definitely formulated at this age and you really settle into who you are in your mid to late 20s. I know I still had lots of growing to do when we started dating.

I would say around 26 is when he started getting way worse. And I myself had no other serious relationships to compare to (and he didn't have any major relationships either).

Anyway, he hasn't gotten any better, just continues to get worse.... He's 32 now (maybe 33--I really don't care anymore!!))

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