Help! Does he have NPD? Mikelle's story.
Help! Does he have NPD? Mikelle's story.
Is my ex a narcissist?? He seems to have some traits and my experience seems similar to those of N victims, but he isn’t as extreme as many of the stories I’ve read. Or, if he isn’t, then maybe he’s just a selfish jerk who wasn’t that into me and acted badly to get me to break up with him? I’d be so grateful if you can read my story and honestly tell me what you think. If he is a narcissist, then I can learn to avoid this type of man in the future, and if I drove him away, then I can work on myself to be better in future relationships. Either way, the truth would really help me, thanks!
He was gorgeous, charming, charismatic, intelligent, supportive, loving, romantic, and generous. Basically he was the perfect man and I was the luckiest girl in the world when we began dating. He gave me love and attention, was eager to please me, made time for me despite our demanding schedules (he had law school, I was studying for the bar), told me I was his “dream girl,” the “one,” and he loved me within 2 months, he flew me to FL to meet his family within 3 months, discussed future plans to settle down, and asked me to move in with him after 6 months. Completely blindsided by the fairytale romance we seemed to have, I moved in with him and was convinced that he was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with. But after I moved in, things started to change, red flags began to show, and things only got worse throughout our relationship until I broke up with him 2 months ago.
Here are red flags I saw and some of the things that happened which led to the break up…
- He wants to be “the best” and “perfect," but his idea of perfection is superficially based on what others think of him; he wants to be a lawyer for the money and status, name drops or quotes to appear intelligent or impress others, his exes were hot, but were superficial, had no inner redeeming qualities, and the relationships were based mainly on sex, etc. There’s nothing wrong with this, it just seems he’d rather perfect his outside image than his inner self, happiness, or his relationships.
- All his exes were selfish, bad women who never appreciated him even though he did everything for them and treated them well. They were all to blame and he was not at fault for the failure of his relationships. I have a bad feeling he’s saying the same about me now.
- He’s almost 30, yet his mom still sends him texts every night like, “Goodnight my handsome boy. I love you sooo much. Hope your day was as beautiful as you are.” Growing up, his mom catered to him, let him get away with everything, and always told him how ‘special’ he was. I think her overindulgence of him was to make up for his father, who left him when he was 3.
- He asked me, “Do you think that I think I’m special?” I truthfully answer, “Yes.” He’d say, “Damn right, I’m special! So, do you think that I would choose a girlfriend that I didn’t think was as special as me? Of course not. So that’s how you know that you’re special, baby.”
- For his birthday, I asked if he wanted to celebrate the Saturday night before but he said he just wanted to have Sunday brunch with his friends and spend the rest of the day with me, which I planned for him. So he said he was happy to go to my gf’s birthday party on Saturday instead. But he became sulky and acted bored the whole time we were there. At midnight, he said to everyone, at my gf’s birthday party, “Ok, now it’s technically MY birthday, so we should do what I want, which is go to my friend’s party.” The party was on the other side of town, it was last minute because his friend just invited him, we were still at my gf’s party, but I left early with him so we could do what he wanted. On our way over, he started a fight with me, blaming me for not caring about his birthday, accusing me of choosing my gf over him, and that I had ruined his night because his friend’s party would be over in an hour. I was in tears, bewildered as to what I had done wrong, which only angered him more (“oh come on, now you’re crying??”). He slept in the 2nd bedroom and gave me the silent treatment that night.
- I went to FL to meet his family, but in the 1.5 years we were together, he never came to CA to meet my family, always giving the excuse that he had no time or money. Yet he had the money to fly to FL 3 times, MO, and CA for friends or a job interview and could buy new clothes, a new laptop, and go to hookah bars weekly. When I got upset that he did seem to have some time and money, he would accuse me of being controlling and I had no right to question him about his finances, when I just wanted him to visit my family and felt he was making excuses.
- He told me, “I would never lie to you” but later he lied about going out with his friends, telling me he was studying at school. He lied about being engaged (he said he never was). He told me she proposed to him and he was the one to dump her, but I later found out he proposed to her and SHE dumped HIM.
- He ditched me 4 days before my bar exam, knowing I was looking forward to our date. He said he was “too sick” to go out because he was drunk from a beer pong tournament earlier that day. Turned out the tournament had ended hours before for him to sober up, he had invited his friends to go out before texting me his lie of an excuse, stayed out all night, and sent me a text that he had “an inadvertent guy’s night” to make it seem like it “just happened” and he wasn’t to blame. He also gave me the excuse that because we hadn’t decided on the location of our date, we technically didn’t have plans for him to ditch me for, and that I was overreacting by taking all my stress about the bar exam out on him.
- We went to another gf’s birthday and I was happy because he really tried to engage with my friends that night. He nicely mentioned that he had to study the next day so we couldn’t stay out late, which I understood and agreed to. However, after only an hour and a half with my friends, he got bored again and began texting his friends. When my friends were ready to move to the next bar, he convinced me to go to a different bar where his friends were, promising me that we’d only stay for a little while and that it logically made more sense because it was on the way back to our place, my friends were heading to a bar that was farther away, etc. Even though my gut was telling me that he was once again making the night all about him, I agreed since he promised we’d leave by 12. Of course once we joined his friends, time didn’t matter anymore and we ended up going to another bar, where by the time we got inside, it was already 12, and I knew we weren’t leaving. We argued and he said it wasn’t his fault things took longer than expected, that I was being ridiculous and just trying to ruin the night, and that he never promised me we’d leave by 12. I felt like such a fool. He told me he had to be home early so he could study the next day. He promised me we’d leave by 12. He didn’t care or appreciate that I left my gf’s party, which were the original plans of that night, to be with him and his friends. Once he got his way, once we were with his friends, he denied everything he told me. I gave up and left while he stayed out with his friends, not caring that I was crying and walked home alone at 1 in the morning. When he came home, I demanded an apology to which he lashed back, “That’s funny, I think you owe ME an apology for your poor behavior.” At that point, I lost it and yelled, “I’M A PERSON IN THIS RELATIONSHIP!” which he shushed me by waving his finger in my face, told me I was crazy, and to calm down. He ignored me while I cried for an apology, watching a movie on his laptop while whistling and laughing, until I gave up, went to bed, and cried myself to sleep.
- He overvalues his efforts, taking something small and making it seem like a big deal. E.g., on our 1-year anniversary (which he did nothing for), all I asked him was to forgo going to the gym one time so we could spend the afternoon together before I took him out to dinner. He did, but later used this one incident against me as proof that he put my needs before his, saying, “Even though I felt fat and wanted to go to the gym that day, I gave that up for you and did what you wanted, which was to hang out with me.” He made me feel guilty for wanting to spend time with him on our anniversary and that spending time together was only “my need,” not his.
- He’d walk out on me while I tried talking to him. I would follow him, pleading or crying to get him to listen, but he would cover his ears like a child or shush me by waving his finger in my face to get me to stop talking. If I raised my voice in frustration, he’d accuse me of screaming, having anger issues, or being abusive. I spent more time defending myself than addressing the actual issues. He had rules for me about how I could talk with him (never in the morning before he left or at night after he had a long day at school, yet he was gone for 10-12 hours during the day, I couldn’t call him during that time, etc.). He didn’t listen to my side, only gave excuses or blamed me, and if I piped in during his rants, he’d say I was interrupting him and if I did it again, he would walk away, knowing he had me because he knew I wanted so desperately to talk. To keep him in the conversation, I had to sit in silence as he would lecture me without protesting or defending myself.
- He made up rules for me that NEVER applied to him. E.g., I could only bring up issues with him on his schedule or he would refuse to talk with me at all, but if he had issues with me, I would often have to wait for days during which he gave me the silent treatment until he was ready to talk. Or he refused to talk to me if I interrupted him, but he could interrupt me, claiming that because I interrupted him a majority of the time, the rule didn’t apply to him. Or because I was “17/18th at fault” in a fight and he was only “1/18th at fault,” I had to apologize or else he wouldn’t talk to me, which I gave in to. If I demanded an apology, he’d refuse and say, “Uh, not now, we’ll discuss this later after I’ve had time to think about whether you deserve it” and then walk away. I never get an apology later.
- Our amazing relationship? It changed drastically to barely any sex (when we did, he was so unenthusiastic about it that I felt unwanted), sleeping in different bedrooms, no making time for us to spend together, running hot and cold, barely talking about his day or future plans together, acting standoffish and guarded, etc. He said it was school and that the honeymoon phase had passed, but I had been through law school too, was just as busy and stressed as him, but could still put in the time and effort. He treated our relationship like a chore that he couldn’t be bothered with. I was distraught over how much our relationship had changed, so I tried harder to be a better girlfriend, expected less from him even though he already was not meeting me halfway, and became obsessed in trying to get us back to the way we were.
- I felt like I was going crazy and walking on eggshells because he made very subtle jabs or put-downs to get a reaction out of me. If I got angry, he would look say, “Geez, why are you so angry?” or “I really think you have a complex.” If I didn’t react, my frustration would still show on my face and I swear there was a hint of a smirk, like he was happy knowing he had the power to drive me crazy. I was scared that he would break up with me so I pretended it didn’t bother me so he couldn’t accuse me of having anger issues. I knew he was testing me and he was happy because he knew I loved him so much that I would put up with it.
- He would tell his friends, his mom, and his sister behind my back that I would take my anger out on him, wasn’t supportive of school, or didn’t want him to spend time with his friends. None of that was ever true, but he’d omit facts, that I'd be angry for ditching or lying to me, to make it seem that way to others.
- He would twist the truth, rewrite history, give half-truths, or omit facts so that he was never at fault, it was always my fault, to get out of following through on promises, or basically anytime it worked in his favor to get his way. He’d victimize himself, couldn’t take criticism, rarely apologize, use projections, gaslighting, and crazy-making tactics against me, use my insecurities and sensitive information he knew about me to hurt me, manipulate, use mind games, and any other tactic he could to win an argument. Of course, he always won.
- If I called him “selfish,” “inconsiderate,” or a “jerk,” he would tell me I was “abusive,” a “bully,” and none of his exes were as abusive as me. When I pointed out that he’s been called “fucker” and “asshole” by his exes, he said I was worse because my words insulted his character. Meanwhile, I’ve been called “angry,” “having a complex,” “crazy,” “ridiculous,” “irrational,” “used to be a wonderful person but not anymore,” “used to be supportive, caring, and loving, but not anymore.” These aren’t awful names, but it’s frustrating because these also insult my character and are as bad as what I’ve called him.
- I was depressed, exhausted, cried all the time, lost weight, and had become a shell of a person. I was obsessed with fixing us, and continued to beg and plead with him to care, to go to couples counseling, anything I could think of to make things better, only to have him repeatedly reject me, say that I was all about drama and selfish for stressing him out while he had school, and that he didn’t have the resources to deal with “my issues.” He was oblivious to my unhappiness or, if he was aware, he didn’t care. I felt so alone. This continued for months before my friends and family could convince me that I was in a bad relationship. I knew they were right, but I was never completely on board to end things because I was addicted; I didn’t want to live without him even though I knew he wasn’t treating me right and it hurt to be with him. I thought I just needed to try harder and love him unconditionally.
- I did our laundry but he mistakenly thought I didn’t (he overlooked it) and sent a bunch of angry texts about how I was really slacking in our relationship. I later came home, folded his clothes, and left it in plain view, expecting he’d apologize or at least acknowledge that I had done his laundry. Nope, he gave me the silent treatment all day. I felt horrible so I decided to hang out with my gf. When I told him I was going out, he *suddenly* was ready to talk to me right then, but for once I held my ground and said that I was there all day if he had wanted to talk, but I had to go now so we could talk later. He accused me of abandoning him and being a hypocrite for not talking when throughout our relationship all I wanted to do was talk. I responded that we could talk, just not at that time, and that it was unfair to be mad when throughout our relationship, we always talked on his time. He didn't respond and continued the silent treatment for 4 days.
- When I finally ended it, a part of me died that day because it felt like I had given up on my soul mate. He, on the other hand, seemed barely affected at all. There was no closure, no remorse, no emotion, and his condescending response was, “Well, good for you if you think you can do better,” “yeah, actually I was thinking of breaking up with you too because of your shitty mood,” and “I never thought you’d actually leave me.” Not once did he ask me why I broke up with him, apologize, or acknowledge that anything was his fault. There was no sadness or regret that he had lost me when before he had told me he couldn’t live without me.
- After moving out, my depression worsened, I thought about him constantly, and had panic attacks because I questioned whether I made the right decision. I wasn’t ready to do NC so I texted or called him to wish him goodluck on his finals or made small talk in a friendly way. He texted “I love you” and “I miss you” and asked if “there was a silver lining?” But he still had not shown any remorse or interest in knowing why I broke up with him, so I told him honestly “I wasn’t sure,” thinking he’d ask me why. Instead he took it as another rejection and immediately sent me a slew of angry texts, blaming me for leaving him. I tried again by emailing him and asked if he’d be willing to talk about the breakup. I thought this would open the door to a discussion. How delusional I was. He never wanted to talk about our relationship while we were together, so why the hell would he want to talk about it now that we broke up?? He responded with a devaluing email, blaming me completely for our failed relationship, telling me I used to be a wonderful person who was supportive, caring, and loving, but that I no longer possessed any good qualities, that I was selfish for leaving him before finals, and the fundamental difference between him and I was that he was in the relationship through thick and thin and I was not because I left him.
- I must’ve been insane because even after all the emotional abuse, devaluing, excuses, lies, his angry texts and email, and my failed attempts to fix us where I had completely lost my self worth, dignity, and touch with reality, I decided I still wanted him back. I emailed him a month after his devaluing email, apologizing for not supporting him enough during finals and asked whether we could try again. He said he was glad I apologized and owned up to my faults and that he’d like to talk so last week, I went to see him. He told me he loved me and wanted us to work, but then continued blaming me for leaving him, and that if we got back together, things wouldn’t be any different because he had school, then work for a big firm, blah, blah, blah. There was still no apology or remorse for treating me poorly, no admitting any fault on his part, no reflection on how we could have a better relationship. I couldn’t be in denial any longer. HE WILL NOT CHANGE. HE DOES NOT LOVE ME. HE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT MY FEELINGS AND NEEDS. HE WILL NEVER ADMIT FAULT OR SAY SORRY. HE WILL CONTINUE TO ABUSE ME, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME, AND BLAME ME AS LONG AS I ALLOW HIM TO. HE WILL ALWAYS BE SELFISH AND PUT HIMSELF BEFORE ME. OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS A LIE, A ONE-SIDED, ALL-ABOUT-HIM AGENDA TO SERVE HIS NEEDS. I WILL NOT FIND HAPPINESS WITH HIM. RUN!!!!! We continued to argue, both of us trying to hold the other accountable. He shrugged and said, “If I’m such a bad guy, then why do you want to be with me?” I couldn’t answer. Then he criticized me for leaving him, saying that I knew his parents got a divorce, that he didn’t want that to happen to him, and yet I still did it, AND for not making enough of an effort to get him back. When he would never make the same effort to get back with me. Then he said, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore.” After he asked me to meet with him to talk things over. After he told me he loved me just hours before. How could he change his mind so easily? Or worse, he never meant to get back with me and just wanted to meet up for an ego boost. It must have felt good for him to say that to me as payback for me initially leaving him.
I’m aware that my own issues contributed to this toxic relationship. My N father used to put me down and convinced me that I wasn’t good enough. Because of my self-esteem issues and depression, I kept coming back to my ex because I needed him to validate my self worth. But can someone explain what’s going on with him?? Does my ex have NPD??? I’m hoping to find some answers about HIM so I can piece together the puzzle. He was never physically abusive, never raised his voice at me, didn’t cheat on me, never took my money, wasn’t jealous if I went out with friends, not addicted to porn or sex, had normal relationships with his family and friends, and can easily get a lot of women because he is so handsome, charming, and a real catch on paper. If he didn’t have NPD, then was I too needy and crazy that I drove him away? I was emotionally depressed and kept nagging him to make more of an effort. Did I cause him to act the way he did? Was I wrong for breaking up with him, not realizing what I had at the time, and did I give up too easily like he said? What do you think?? I have so many regrets about how this relationship turned out that I at least hope to learn from my mistakes. Thank you for reading and for any honest feedback anyone can give me!