The Path Forward Virtual Retreat Febuary 2021!



Jeff's Story

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#1 Aug 10 - 10PM
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Jeff's Story

So just to get things straight....I'm NOT.  And neither is my Narc. But Lisa says a narc is a narc. So thank you guys and girls for accepting me for what I am--the victim of a Narc. Right now I am not in a position to give much advice other than get the hell out but am definitely ready to take it. And the pain and humiliation you all have been through is exactly the same as what I am suffering. Only difference is that i am totally alone: I am a straight acting man who has never been into gay life, the N kept me and our story way back  in the closet as over the years i saw him go from uptight straight to bi to openly gay. Open with everybody but me..the person who brought him out, helped him overcome the illness and death of his father and bankrolled him for two years all the while struggling to justify his erratic emotional behaviour. Warm tender texts and lovey dovey emails but always aloof face to face. And trying to deal with his latest new best friend..no sex there how could I ever think that! Just neverending calls and texts to his latest friend on the phone I bought him and kept charged up with phone time. This is embarrassing for me to even write---what an easy victim I have been!  He picked me carefully. I was and am a workaholic (what person running his own business isn't?) with no friends just business partners, clients, employees and rarely a one night stand. Then Mr Zack Efron blows in and suddenly its secret intimate dinners and passion and the big L word. 
I cannot talk to anyone about this. I live with my life and business partner-two men-35 years of total trust and respect but absolutely  no romance sex or other similar things. And he still hasnt forgiven me for a messy relationship I had with a non N years ago. So I kept this one secret. So no overnighters or even dinner dates. Strictly secret. N said it was perfect. Nobody would understand anyway...him 24 and me 58. Please dont give me that look...i gave it to myself often enough. But it was not a toyboy story. There were times when we were telepathically close and in all cases our age difference was so unimportant in private. And he made sure it was never public. Wouldnt even be seen walking down the street with me. And I am not RuePaul.  He looks like the boy next door knockout smile very in shape ( i pay for the upscale gym where all the gay dentists and lawyers go I hear, plus supplements, tans, hair removal, designer gymbag etc etc) . We called it our Work in Progress: he was making himself more beautiful just for me. Other guys can look (he loves being centre stage and usually is) but only I could touch. I was his man,  no one else.  He is the kind of guy men and women fall instantly in love with. I look 40, wear tailored Italian suits and work out.  I look like a straight middleaged man who takes good care of himself and was once married and how come a tall goodlooking distinguished man like that is still single and blablabla...that type. In the beginning it made sense...he was struggling with  his own sexuality (to hear him tell it I was the first man he had ever had (very timid in the dark) sex with and only came out with me. But he was a very very quick learner. Very soon he started exploring, opening up and making his first gay friends, then he wanted  kinky sex (pupil teaching the teacher by this stage and who was I to argue) then it was gay clubs every weekend (strictly for dancing) and gay beaches (strictly for swimming) and he and I were still a secret. He would let himself be seen on the street with obvious queens and party till dawn with them but would not walk down the street with  totally straightlooking respectable me. I never went with him to any of these places, never wanted to, just paid his weekend for him. Usually he would start being sweet on tuesday,...we would have a couple of great lunches followed by wonderful sex on friday then out would come the wallet and 'have fun you Worked hard all week baby' and him 'I'll miss you so much this weekend..text me all the time' followed by the weekend where he invariably neglected to text me or answer any calls then me pissed off with him on monday,  saying things that he interpreted as paranoid unfounded jealousy (which at the start he said he loved seeing in me) then apologies mainly from me then tuesday lunch and the same old routine, usually with a kiss-and-make-up present thrown in by me. And not candy or flowers please. The guy is on a nasic salary ok but he is a junior buyer for D&G, Chanel and saint Laurent and he knows precisely what the next must have accessory for him is.  ( boy can I pick 'em). 
Anyway thank god I kept it secret so I dont now have to face people's looks and comments.   And thank  you everyone for letting me join.  
After a month of lunches with excuses by him to not have sex or even be intimate with me (work commitments,  family, blablabla) I finally forced myself to admit after 2 years of being built up and let down that my beautiful  secret lover is a grade A narc and has milked me for what he can get emotionally and financislly. It is no coincidence that his lack of interest coincided with my statement that i can no longer afford to spend the equivalent of one and a half times his own salary on him every month....
  Now he is in the final days of a two week holiday on his own with 'friends' partly paid for by me. After sweettalking me out of more money for sunlamps and designer swimsuits and fine wine gifts for the rich dentist and his toyboy partner whose villa he is staying at and telling me how he will miss me like mad he has not contacted me for over a week (he's two hours drive away). Worst (or best) thing is that by pure luck (?) I ran into him in town with other 'friends' in the middle of his holiday last week--he hadnt even bothered to tell me he would be in town. He was totally taken aback I know so he ran up to me, big hug (he always does that when people see him in an awkward moment) promised to call me for coffee later and never bothered till i called him that night. He had already left town..sorry but couldnt make it too many people around (remember our story is secret) so i gave him a huge earful, turned into a texting lunatic pouring out all my disappointment from the past six months and basically make a fool of myself trying to make him understand that his indifference over the padt months is killing me and our relationship, then end by saying not to contact me for now because it hurts too much. So silence till next day when he calls i dont answer and he texts saying he misses me and wants to hear my voice. So I call and he's on the beach with friends and talks to me as if i was his sister so his friends wont figure out anything and i say i understand you cant talk call me when you can. And he doesnt even bother to text to say sorry couldnt talk , there were people around. Just silence....     Anyway skip to last step--i know this relationship is toxic. Duh. what I cant understand is how i could have got so sucked in. But after this last humiliation and some deep soulsearching and after confessing to my partner who exploded and refused to speak to me for three days ('how can you jeopardize this delicate moment in the life of our business running after some silly airhead kid. I feel totally alone and like you are a stranger. Grow up! You are too old for this! Your mind is clouded how can you make any business decisions? Etc etc) and i cried and apologised to him the one person I have in the world who I respect and trust and who I have hidden this story from for two years because i knew it was humiliating and pointless. But  I loved that selfish airheaded Mr N like i have never loved anyone in my life. Says a lot about me I guess but at the time it was a huge breath of fresh air...like i had been staring at an acquarium for years and then he came along and smashed the glass and suddenly I was swimming with him in the warm Mediterranean sea. Get the idea?    
But now after only five days i have  really honestly totally lost interest in him. I feel nothing for him but irritation and even  that is fading fast.  So he is on holiday and hasnt contacted me for five days. Great. Meantime I have made peace with my partner and am finally able to think about something else besides mr N. For the first time in two years he is not there in my minds eye all day long. I am actually able to forget him. Sure he owes me bigtime but whats done is done and he will never change. I used to be gutted with jealous fantasies and desperate to nab his cellphone (always locked) but now I laugh when I think how much suffering he is going to cause this next victim. Better them than me! 
I want to take advantage of these call-less days to close the whole thing for good. Eventually i know he will call--idle curiosity, money for the next installment on his new tooth cap,  whatever---and i just dont want to answer. Ever. I have talked myself hoarse with him and he ignores how much he hurts me, says he loves me then ignores me again. The guy who showered me with attention and affection (and who i showered with much more..) is long gone. I am fed up with hanging around after the party has ended and the guests have gone home. I gave him an iphone3 for our first Christmas and because he was whimpering about a new Iphone4 white I am tempted to get back the old phone in exchange for the new one (can give to office staff, etc). For 1200$ a detective agency will give me a printout of two years of text messages photos and contacts and calls. It is my phone and I constantly paid to keep it loaded. I just know i will find stuff that will make me feel even more like a jerk for having invested two years of my life in this egotistical lying user. Should i do this? It would give solid evidence to backup my suspicions and justify the break but ....
So what next? Is it NC even if it is him calling me? And should I get the goods on him via the old phone or just walk away? I am afraid he will come back and play self righteous victim with me. I just want to move ahead. I have hurt myself and other people I love too much from desperately trying to make this thing work. Now by not contacting me he is finally giving me the justification to close off. What should I do? Thanks to all (if any!)  of you who have managed to read through all this. It is long but I guess writing it down is a good start....  

Aug 19 - 3PM
lillymarch
lillymarch's picture

I can't believe you've been through this!

I agree, no contact. Isn't it weird how we can write pages about all the terrible things they have done and then finish with: I love them! I almost would do the phone records because if you are anywhere near as addicted as I was, I needed a written example of the lies and deceit to remind me. To this day (9 months out) I can still rationalize all of my exN's behavior. So I get out my notebook and start remembering the hurt and pain and craziness and then I'm strong again. Just a thought. Good luck and I wish you the best! You deserve it!
Aug 20 - 9AM (Reply to #57)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

thanks Lilly

for your message. I wrote another long story here called Glad to be Dumped which sort of chronicles what I hope to god is the next step out of this tunnel of "love". If you have nothing better to do maybe you can read it. I have decided that I don't want the phone records because it would mean establishing contact again, feigning interest, convincing him to give me back the old phone on the promise of the shiny new one, giving him the 800$ new phone, then paying the detective to get all the printouts of all his escapades and having it all dumped in my face again followed by another row with him. Not ready for that now. Financially I think I have given enough to this leech. I'll just stick to NC. It isn't easy, because apart from business stuff, he was the only person who texted or called me...up to twenty times a day for a while, plus beautifully crafted emails with youtube song attachments, then ten a day then once a day then just once a week. And still insisting that he was madly in love with me. That's when I told him off and walked out. I told him that one text message a week isnt love, it isnt even friendship. SO now my phone is silent and it is hard to get used to. I really dont want to speak to HIM, but just be able to get a call or text once in a while. I guess I was so buried in my work that I never managed to find a buddy. Actually I had never been into texting before so this was the famous hormone buzz that he was giving me. The messages were always out of synch with the way he acted when we were together. He would be so distant when we met and if we had sex it was just him using me to satisfy him (I remember now how in the middle of what I thought was a passionate love moment he would snap at me: not like that! Harder! No, not that way! I guess I just allowed myself to get used to being a free geisha. But then afterwards he would send me a tender warm text saying how he had "touched the sky with a finger" that day or that his heart was beating fast....all this hot cold stuff really screwed up my head. Plus he was constantly working the phone when we were together. I suppose that's normal for under thirties today but I still felt insulted. Anyway as you have probably figured out by now I am writing to let off steam. Sorry for all the hot air Lilly...! Anyway you have your notes, I have my old text messages. But most of all I have lists of every penny I spent on this guy for the past six months, all itemized. I forced myself to keep this record then because I had promised myself to cut down on the spending. It didnt work but he was getting the message. HWhen I really cut down he assured me that our love was here to stay, but he still kept hinting for more "cuddles " (presents) and in retrospect I can see that he was already planning his exit a month ago...working the phones, schmoozing with new "friends".all the while telling me how much he loved me and at the same avoiding seeing me for more than five minutes at a time. I had rented "our" apartment for us to spend those few minutes during the week together, and I ended up cleaning it and sitting there on my own for the last couple of months. Then I got fed up and exploded and he just disappeared. No calls, no explanations, forget apologies...Didnt fall over board...jumped ship and landed on a waiting speedboat I bet. No way he would kill the goose unless he had found another golden egg layer. Whatever. Only he and the cellphone records can tell me that and I just dont want to go there...That list of expenses that goes on and on and on every day of every month is enough to turn me off to him and stop me from making contact. I just have to remind myself that he still has two big payments on his teeth and three on his car and his gym pass has expired and god knows what else. Yikes! I am hanging onto NC! With the money I save I can spoil myself for a change. Lots of love and best wishes for your weekend. Sorry for rambling on. I hope you have a wonderful time enjoying the company of the person who means the most to you: yourself! Ciao Jeff
Aug 17 - 5PM
HollyAnderson
HollyAnderson's picture

DETOX AND RECOVERY

You have been through the ultimate bootcamp. You are going to be AMAZING after this. Listen to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdrDoLLQSBY&sns=em Download lisa's ebook. and then answer that question. You are basically recovering from a drug addiction.
Aug 18 - 6AM (Reply to #55)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

so right

I am detoxing as we speak Holly! Thanks for reminding me to tighten the straight jacket. I have tried meths (rebound sex) and it helped a bit. Sort of blurs the memory and makes you realise that one warm body is as good as another when it's snowing outside. Big hug and thanks for the link...so scary!!! But very helpful. No way I am going to contact this monster now!
Aug 17 - 2PM
blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

Jeff

I would be tempted to get the 2 yr print-out too.Ive been a total snoop after losing my trust for my ex,but I think it would make you feel worse. (I know it would me). Our stories are all different,but i can see part of myself in almost all of them,inculding yours. Its a terrible kind of pain to give your whole heart to someone,only to be used and thrown away like a piece of garbage. I know this pain and I can FEEL your story. I ask myself too,how I could continue to stay with my ex who made me one of his last priorities,wasnt affectionate, never cared about my feelings,didnt desire me physically, and who seemed to be bored with me....i could list alot of other things but i know you get the jist of it. :) Its been over with him a few mo now,and im learning that the pain gets less but that there are many phases our minds and emotions will go through to heal from it. Im glad you have taken the big step to get support and put an end to being mistreated.
Aug 18 - 6AM (Reply to #53)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

happy to be dumped

Thanks for your words of support Blind. I am coming closer and closer to being free of this terrible, souldraining agony. I honestly have no interest at all in the phone records anymore. What's the point of rubbing my nose in it? I know for certain now, having reflected so much and read so much these last few days, that my Mr WOnderful is completely fits the profile of a Somatic Narc. Full stop. Nothing more to say. So now he has done me a HUGE favour by dumping me. No more guilt, uncertainties about how to approach the subject of our shitty relationship. Honestly I think that I was pushing for the break myself, getting really impatient with all of his lies and broken promises, all his unanswered calls, all his silly juvenile games, his posing and primping and prancing and parading about for the benefit of anyone and everyone and no one, his neverending needs for everything under the sun, his irritating habit of never listening to anything I had to say and fidgeting and playing with his (my!) phone every two seconds to see if all his supply lines were running smoothly. Enough already. I know that as I write he is oiling up his new victim(s)for the roast....More power to him. I am out.
Aug 17 - 2AM
strivingforhealing (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

There is an army of survivors here Jeff- backing you up!

When you get really low and crave contact with this sicko- imagine all of us- standing tall right behind you- supporting you , loving you, and whispering in your ear: " No Contact, Jeff", No more abuse, neglect, being taken advantage of, taken for granted, lied to, manipulated, questioned, assumed, disparged, demeaned, devalued. NO MORE!!! We are all right here- by your side, in spirit and heart- helping you, as you will help up- Stay strong. Stay Clear, Stay True to your Precious Wise Heart!! Blessings
Aug 17 - 1PM (Reply to #50)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU

Where did this guardian angel come from? Straight out of heaven to answer my little tiny plea for help...you are so kind to be here with me. It is just like when I quit smoking...some days I was ok then boom I needed a cigarette so bad I was rolling on the floor. Then years later, after I had long quit, I would dream about smoking and wake up in tears because I thought I had broken my pledge! This is gonna be a long haul with two downs for every up but thanks to you today is an UP! Love you sis.
Aug 17 - 1PM (Reply to #51)
spinning
spinning's picture

It's a process, Jeff, and

you're doing the work required to get through it. With more NC time under your belt, the downs get less and less intense and the ups get more frequent. I know this guy will hoover you and I hope you will be well prepared for it. Bottom line is it's too late. You know too much. It no longer works for you and it's HIS LOSS!!!! The smoking analogy is a great one. I quit (a few times...just like the disordered relationship I was in)...and I'm here to tell you nothing good comes from going back to it. It's toxic, unhealthy, and self-destructive. Jeff, I hope you enjoy this fantastic day. Good vibes for continued strength and clarity from, (not) spinning. IT'S A CHOICE AND I CHOOSE MYSELF.

spinning

Aug 17 - 4AM (Reply to #46)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Closure

Thanks so much for your support. I am getting used to relying on all of you more than the people living round me. I need closure. I need him to say where we stand. I dont need him to say he loves me or wants me or needs me. Then it will be total NC. I just need to close the right way. This is why i am so tempted to call. i am going to be bumping into him whether i like it or not. So isnt it better to close the right way?. But what to say?
Aug 17 - 8AM (Reply to #47)
58 and going strong
58 and going strong's picture

Jeff, narcs don't give you

Jeff, narcs don't give you closure. And that is one of the hardest things. They do not feel. They do not care. It is like the love of your life fell off the ship and drowned somewhere in the ocean - you know he is dead, but you still keep hoping he will swim ashore. If 'he' washes up on your shore some day, try to see what it really is: a drowned corpse that looks like your love and will never love you. Keep coming here, this is where you are understood and accepted and loved unconditionally for who you are and with open arms, hearts, and ears.
Aug 19 - 10AM (Reply to #48)
bakingfortherapy
bakingfortherapy's picture

58...

I just need to re peat and re read this GREAT analogy: "It is like the love of your life fell off the ship and drowned somewhere in the ocean - you know he is dead, but you still keep hoping he will swim ashore. If 'he' washes up on your shore some day, try to see what it really is: a drowned corpse that looks like your love and will never love you." Fantastic!!!!
Aug 20 - 2AM (Reply to #49)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Narc overboard

The analogy is interesting but romanticized, naive and self destructive. Narcs never fall off ships...they jump ship. Like rats. After they've chewed a big hole in the bottom and punctured the only lifeboat. And they only jump when they're sure it's sinking and they've got a yacht or a speedboat or both waiting for them. They're long gone and they ain't looking back. Don't waste a thought on them, Just grab a lifejacket. Quick. We're the ones going down with ship. Love and hugs Baking.
Aug 16 - 12PM
megamillion
megamillion's picture

Strong today!

Hi Jeff, Thanks for sharing your story and I'm so sorry you're going through this confusion and pain. Everyone here is so supportive; the anecdotes and advice on this forum have saved me so many times. I hope you're still feeling strong today! Wishing you happiness xxx Mega
Aug 17 - 1AM (Reply to #42)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Thanks

Thank you Mega. Today I feel less than strong...every day that passes in silence reconfirms what I feared most...that he is not going to contact me at all. That I have been dumped. Full stop. No explanation. No justification. No regrets. None. That's hard to cope with. Like I am not even worth anything to him. So then I feel resentful and angry and ashamed of myself for ever believing that he loved me...right now all these feelings are in me.what he is feeling is anybody's guess but I am pretty sure it isn't anger, resentmentt or shame. I cant believe it would just end like this. God or you or somebody please help me find the strength to accept that I have been played and move on. Big hug and thanks again for your support. I am getting none from anybody here...My partner has taken to teasing me and sarcastically singing corny love ballads, reminding me of how old I am and how young the guy was and how totally stupid I was to believe he coukd ever have loved me...
Aug 17 - 3PM (Reply to #43)
megamillion
megamillion's picture

Then... strength in pain (!)

Your words echo exactly what I have spun on last night and this morning: HOW can I mean/be worth NOTHING to exN (CUCKOO)? Why was my love, financial and emotional support, outstanding sexual dedication, and just general presence/personality NOT ENOUGH? Four months out for me and nothing from her beyond a little 'poke'(reblogged photo) at me via social media. I am still having trouble getting angry with her - I just keep asking WHY/HOW? After 4 years? After being the 'love of her life?' from the beginning and I swim in tears, tears, tears. I can literally FEEL your pain in my own heart/chest/stomach - and I am so so sorry you are feeling this way. It pulls and gnaws at me and I lie in bed last night wondering why/how and why no one there (thousands of miles away) seems to care what she is or what she does... how they could see what she did and not say a word. How they don't seem to miss me or care that she thoroughly demolished me twice. This is awful to go through but from what I can tell, THESE ARE NORMAL QUESTIONS and NORMAL FEELINGS. There aren't really answers beyond that's who she is and they're all minions (pretty much) under the same spell I was under. My mother reminds me that our mutual friends/her family (who LOVED me) may miss me, but think I am moving on, or they may even be happy that I'm out of her clutches. I still worry they blame me like CUCKOO did - put it all on my inability to 'just be happy.' **BUT - my whole reason for writing is to say that I must recognize that even in this pain I am growing stronger - AND YOU WILL TOO the longer you can hold yourself to NC (with all its associated gutwrenching, heart-rending pain). Even when I doubt I'll EVER recover, when CD is at it's strongest; when I feel like the world's worst mathematician because things are still not adding up... 4 months NC has allowed me to see that what she did was wrong. My sister-in-law pointed out to me that even though I can't see it for myself, I'm GETTING THROUGH THIS and able to admit what CUCKOO did to me... and for two years, my sis-in-law has heard me make excuses and justifications for CUCKOO's behaviour. Now I'm saying 'this is wrong and it was not my fault.' So, it's slow and arduous... tortuous even... but NC is working for me. I have to recommit to it every day - and find strategies to avoid finding out information about her. I have to remind myself each day that I am worth committed love. That people respect, admire, and value me for the person I am, the love and care I give, and the interests and skills I cultivate. You KNOW you deserve more, too - as you said, you have intelligent, savvy and successful friends, employees and colleagues in your corner. Keep listening to that tiny voice inside saying 'Hey, I deserve more; I am WORTH more.' Because you are! We all are! Wishing you strength and happiness xxx Mega
Aug 18 - 6AM (Reply to #44)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

keep reading

I say that they can't get to us unless we let them. There must be something in our own personalities that caused this as well. Not knowing when to call it quits, not willing to break it off when it was time. Insecurity about ourselves and our abilities to establish another relationship. We are as much to blame as they are for being so scared to live our own lives. Be strong sister...
Aug 15 - 10PM
58 and going strong
58 and going strong's picture

Jeff, NO CONTACT AT ALL is

Jeff, NO CONTACT AT ALL is the only way to go if you don't want to be dragged back in again. Give up the thought on retrieving that phone. If you pay or paid for it to be charged, simply stop doing that. And write the phone off as a loss. If he can't use it any more, he may likely throw it away - just to anger and control you. Mine stole some family silver, and while there are emotions attached for me, I decided to not let him control me that way. Police can't do anything as I had trusted him and given him a key . . . After all, those things are "stuff", and sanity is not worth contact to get some"thing" back. I am your age, and I believe the issue we have to work on is overcoming our own shame and anger about having acted so irrational and letting some sick, sick person control our very being. So, don't let him any longer - stay NC,NC,NC, and life will be good again!
Aug 16 - 4AM (Reply to #40)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Thanks 58

I really appreciate your concern--you will be my guardian angel ready to kick my butt whenever I feel like backsliding. Have a great day!
Aug 13 - 7PM
Susan32
Susan32's picture

Time to walk away

I'm sorry you've gone thru so much suffering. Your Narc exploited your best qualities to his advantage. It's cold, it's cruel. Now it's a matter of walking away from his craziness... leave him in his own mess to clean up. You're a good person;you'll find help and healing here.
Aug 13 - 8PM (Reply to #38)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Cleaning up

Thanks Susan. I need all the help I can get. Sometimes I feel like its one step forward and two steps back...
Aug 13 - 11AM
Goldie
Goldie's picture

Hi Jeff and welcome to the forum

Sounds like you have been through heaven and hell all in one package with this little narc pretty boy fashion plate. I can see why he would hold an appeal for you. You describe youself as somewhat reclusive in terms of your own entertainment aside from work and I can totally see how this animated, social butterfly, manipulative con artist was able to worm his way into your heart. Sounds like he was fun and certainly entertaining, never a dull moment with this one. I am middle aged as well and my last narc was 24 years my junior and I can say at the very least he was not boring. The major problem with this type of arrangement is that they literally suck you dry. You give and give and give until there is nothing left inside to give and the next natural emotion is going to be anger and let me tell you, I became enraged with mine after months of this shit. We come from a different generation as well, where you DO NOT fuck with people like this. I don't even think we would be able to do it like they do if we tried. We are NOT cut from the same cloth. NOT only is he a raging NARC; he also comes from the ME, take what I can get from other's generation and for us that is a tough Nut to crack in our own psyche. "WTF did you just do to me for all these months; you little shit?" This is what I came to and I was good and pissed off, hurt, felt the fool, and the whole bit which you describe so perfectly and your writing is amazing. Of course I can feel your pain, however, the entire time I was reading your story; I found it compelling like a great novel. I couldn't wait to get to the next sentence. Your grasp of sharing your feelings and story is excellent. So you are helping other's just by writing here as you help yourself with new found knowledge and the awareness of healing and recovery from this circus. Because that is what it is with them a three ring circus with of course themselves featured in center stage. The tempatation to let him back is going to be strong as you settle back into your life and find yourself needing a fix or some craziness/fun. The thing that comes to mind for me most while reading your story and trust me I did the same thing, is that as we age, do we really want the sum of our lives to be representative of this humiliation, devalue, and degradation? Sounds like you are nearing the end, I just know how good they are at sucking us back in when we are in a weak vulnerable momment. Be strong Jeff and remember how bad it got when you may get tempted. NO CONTACT is the only way to get them out from within your skin, heart, and soul. They are pro's at what they do and they know exactly how to suck us back and control, manipulation, and humiliation are their bread and butter. They get off on the power in which they can exert over us. I hear what you say when you say you loved him like no other, I felt that as well. As for the phone log. As Scoop and other's said; don't do it. I have seen that type of thing set us back months in our recovery as well as fuel for going a few more rounds with them. Of course when he needs something, he will come clean with you, once he see's that you have the proof, possibly cry, beg, plead, pout, profess his undying love for you and how he is young and just experimenting and that you really are the love of his life and he is so sorry. So it would not matter if you had this "proof" he would just use it to his advantage. And then a few more years go by, and it is not pretty. I have heard this story many many times. Don't take the bait because it is all lies, con, and bullshit designed to keep the cashcow in place. He will go right back to his old ways the minute he knows he has you back. I went a few rounds with mine and not a thing ever changed, he just got sneakier and more clever at covering his tracks. He won't change, he cannot change, there is no real cure for a PD. He is what he is. At this point I can look back on it and I am past that raw hurt which you describe and look at him as my last fling with a young guy. I'm way too old for this shit now and it has lost it's appeal. His selfishness curbed me of the desire to be with a young buck. TOO MUCH WORK and not enough return on my investment. Thank you so much for sharing all of this Jeff, like I said, I am sure that this post is going to help many and you received so much great wisdom from the women here. Keep posting; keep reading up on the disorder, and in time you will be able to find the perspective you need in order to move on and feel good about yourself again. You don't need him, sounds like he "needs" you more than you do him and God willing you will grow from this and if you choose, when you are ready, meet someone who is not such a human sponge. God bless, Goldie
Aug 17 - 1AM (Reply to #31)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Square one

Hi Goldie... Today I feel less than strong...every day that passes in silence reconfirms what I feared most...that he is not going to contact me at all. That I have been dumped. Full stop. No explanation. No justification. No regrets. None. That's hard to cope with. Like I am not even worth anything to him. So then I feel resentful and angry and ashamed of myself for ever believing that he loved me...right now all these feelings are in me.what he is feeling is anybody's guess but I am pretty sure it isn't anger, resentmentt or shame. I cant believe it would just end like this. God or you or somebody please help me find the strength to accept that I have been played and move on. Big hug and thanks again for your support. I am getting none from anybody here...My partner has taken to teasing me and sarcastically singing corny love ballads, reminding me of how old I am and how young the guy was and how totally stupid I was to believe he coukd ever have loved me...
Aug 17 - 10AM (Reply to #32)
Goldie
Goldie's picture

Hi Jeff,

Sure feels like you are back to square one when there is no contact in the beginning. I cannot stress enough that this is all part of their game plan. You are in the full throes of withdrawal right now and perpective gets lost when you are in so much pain and confusion as to what is going on in you and in him. As for him, he is waiting it out. This is an old sales games. A power play. You put the offer (you give; he takes) on the table and say NOTHING. The first one to break the silence gets the raw deal. We think this is about love, feelings, caring and for you that is what it is and for him it is a game. A game which he does not want to lose. If he gives in too soon, you may not want to play his game anymore and he will lose everything, so he waits it out until you are the weaker one and you will do anything to secure his meager attention and affection. He knows that you are tired of the b.s. and he does not want to change anything and offer you more, so he waits it out, until you come crying back, looking for a crumb or some "closure." He needs to remain in the power postion so he can secure more supply from you when he needs it. Closure is never really closure when you are in withdrawal. He is a master manipulater and try not to forget this right now. Who else could come along and take so much and give so little and have you in such a state that you are considering giving more to get some relief from this pain; to get your drug back. He is better at this than you are, this is his stock and trade. Wanting closure when you are in withdrawal translates into your wanting a fix or some validation. Closure comes down the road; not when you are in this much pain. We fool ourselves into thinking that we want closure when in actuality we want them to say that it was not really manipulation and that they didn't mean it and want us back. Why else would you call it closure? Closure of what? Him abusing you, humiliating you, and leaving you to feel less than. He will only say he is sorry when he wants something from you, they don't say they are sorry unless they are trying to get you back OR keep you on the string for future use and supply. He will pounce when he thinks you have suffered enough or when his new supply dries up. Anyway you slice it, in a siutation like this (outstanding supply as you have been to him) they always come back. May take a day, week, month, or years. They always come back to their good supply. I have NEVER had one not come back. Closure is important in a traditional relationship; with a PD, user, self centered, player, there is no such thing as closure. You just get more pain, games, blame, and of course any contacts gives them the impression that there is more there for them to take from you. They translate attempts at closure as a sign of your weakness. As to his manipulative techniques, don't forget, that not only is he a full blown Narc, you are both men. Who can manipulate a man better than another man? This brings to mind my last x narc. He thought he knew me better than I knew myself and in the area of playing on my weakness's, yes he did, we have blind spots when it comes to our own weakness. The one thing which he NEVER took into consideration was that he did not know everything about me because I am an empath and he is a snake so he did not truly get that. Also, I am a woman and he is a man, so there are certain differences which he will NEVER "get." This is why I ultimately always had the upper hand because there were parts of me that he did not comprehend, like my incredible strength which I gained from years of life experience which he lacked AND my intelligence to see through HIS B.S. which he lacked. So this is the reason I survived and he was not able to "take me down" as hard as he tried. I always had more of an ability to see the big picture than he could. Having said all that. When both parties are of the same sex there is a "knowing" that crosses over and this is another reason why I am sure that as a man, he knows that to keep the power on his side is the best way to keep you hooked. This is what PD men do to women and I'm sure it is what they do to men. My guess and observation is that a man can play another man even more than they can play a women. I had a friend who lived in West Hollywood, a supermarket of "daddy's," and he played the young man taken care of by the older man role and OMG, he had it down to a science. I was amazed watching it and hearing about it. He tried his crap on me and it just did not play out the same way. He tried to tell me he thought he was straight now, so that he could attempt to suck me dry. Course he did not want to kiss me or have sex with me, just use me. Jeff what I am trying to say is that he is not contacting you in order to shift the power back over to his side which is where he wants it to be, so that if and when he does show up, you will continue to "allow" him to get whatever he wants and maybe even be willing to give more because IT HURT SO MUCH to have him gone for so long. Please, do not kid yourself for one second that this is not a game. The more you read about these PD's primarily in his case Narcissism, you will see that this is NO reflection on you and that as you pointed out, he was using older women before you came along. This is his game; not yours. No contact is the ONLY way to allow yourself enough time to heal and see this thing more clearly and to allow the emotions to balance out. These intense raw, yearning, looking for a fix, validation, and all of it WILL lessen in time. You just have to care about JEFF enough to allow the time to let this happen. My recommendation, if you run into him, ignore him, you owe him nothing. He has taken enough already and you have given enough already. He is a high, excitement, youth, intrique, suspense, thrilling, and all the rest that goes with this type of encounter. This will never leave you feeling good about yourself in the long run; it is just that quick fix which releases the chemicals in you and like you said before, your life was lacking some of that before he came along, and you were a sitting duck for this type of relationship. It surely broke up the mononteny of your workaholic day to day existance. This is what I see and this is what I feel. You are going to do what you are going to do, just bear in mind that while in withdrawal, your mind WILL play tricks on you and it is easy to start obsessing about who he is with now and why have you not heard from him and did he ever love you and all that sort of thing. WE ALL do it and it is part of the recovery to think those thoughts and like if you do "act" on them and give him another go or break NC and allow him to degrade and devalue somemore, you may put yourself in even more pain than you are in now. The way it typically plays out if you break NC which of course puts him in the power position because you contacted him first, is that they either tell you to piss off, I have someone new, or they say, sure let's talk and knowing that you are weak they fuck with you some more and even IF he has found new supply for awhile, you know damn well that it will not last. The average person will tire of him quickly especially if he is blantently playing them. The new person does not have your history so they have no particular reason to put up with his antics. He has you brainwashed right now into thinking that he is something more than what he is, as you step back and give yourself time, eventually you will see that you are not losing MUCH; and are gaining yourself back. Your partner and his jokes are simply because he does not get this. Most people have no clue how they suck us in and we fall deeply for them and the pain is unbearable at times. He is just looking at it from the outside. When the cops used to come to the house they made many many wise cracks about the age difference between M and me, even though they were there on a domestic abuse call, they still made jokes right to my face. Because they don't get it and course many of them are PD's as well, so they don't give a shit if a woman is being abused. There is no quick fix for this, you have been deeply wounded and it will take time to feel better. For most, it comes in waves, with the various emotions coming out. Keep posting and reading and try to let go of the fact that you did anything wrong or that he doesn't want you or that you are not worthy. That is NOT the case. He is still playing the game and from what you describe, he has you exactly where he wants you and you are so much better than this. Share your feelings with those who understand, he will not understand or care even if you do try to explain. Remember what he said in the past when you tried to explain yourself, he always put it back on you, like it was your lacking, when in fact, he is the one who lacks integrity. They make and keep us nuts if we allow them to sling their shit our way. Keep the faith, God is watching over you, he is the one who got you out and helped you to find this site, no doubt. Sorry to say it just takes time and you will feel better and you will get yourself back from the body snatcher vampire that he is. The following is a great link explaining the psychopath and the reconciliation: http://psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/reconciling-with-a-... "Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness" God bless, Goldie P.s. Did you say that you are oversea's? Just a thought, Lisa is in New York quite often and I am only 5 or 6 hours from the city, so if you ever want to take a trip here, we would love to meet up with you and go out and have some fun in the big apple.
Aug 17 - 2PM (Reply to #33)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Drinks are on me Goldie

Thanks for the invite to party in the big apple. I was in New York recently for Tribeca...I was representing an Italian film company and spent most of my time with hiphop producer Damon Dash and his dawgs in his huge gangsta Andy Warhol loft. Very refreshing and I think I shook up the homies a bit as well...and wouldnt you just know I was constantly thinking about Mr DH (new abbreviation...Dickhead). Way to go victim! Seriously Goldie I can't begin to thank you enough for the last message you sent me. You saved my life. I read it literally just as I was about to send Mr TEPT (new abbreviation..Tediously Egocentric Pricktease) a carefully crafted text message along the lines of "seeing how we are going to be running into each other next week, wouldn't it be a good idea to have a chat and sort things out?" Then I read your message and cancelled mine right then and there ....it is definitely all a GAME for this guy. Game. That was the word that struck a chord. I kept thinking back on how many times he played me in the past. When we first started "dating" for twenty minutes once a week in my apartment, he would never let me kiss him. Then when later I asked to kiss him he would reply "if you ask for it you'll never get it..." Say what? Then followed all the ups and downs and ins and not ins and lights off and lights on of our two years of what some people might euphemistically call love making. His participation in the first year ran the gamit from comatose to DOA (a novice, never done this stuff before you know) and forget about a kiss afterwards just a smile and head for the door, and then the second year he suddenly out of nowhere kicked into fifth with the whole dog and pony routine, swinging from the chandeliers and 9 and a half weeks all in one. And for a whole hour! THen back to comatose the next week. Crazymaking and I could not figure out what was going on. SO I assumed it must have been me. That he couldnt face the thought of having my body next to his too often. Goldie I had never had any complaints from any of my partners in the past, guys or girls, and suddenly I feel my body is totally unappealing, and I am servicing this person like a five dollar hooker. Sorry Goldie for being so graphic. I just want to let it out. Sorry. Feels good to be able to say this stuff to somebody. Hope you are not offended but it helps. ANyway, the clincher regarding his seeing this as a game is what happened ten days ago (yes I am still counting...) After the Friday episode where he showed up in town and then left again without acknowledging my presence and I sent him a blast of text messages heard round the world, I then sheepishly and drunkenly wrote at two am "Your messages speak for themselves. All you have to do is count them...one text message a week isnt love, it isnt even friendship. You have obviously decided to let this relationship die. You are right. I am not coping well. I am out of control. I'm shouting and jumping in an attempt to cover the horrible silent void that I see between you and me. You are not the Mr X I fell in love with. That guy is gone and I don't know this Mr X.anymore. I think its best if you have not already decided to do so, not to contact me for a while until I can get my head around this thmgggggggggggg.." the ggs are there because I had drunk too much and fallen asleep with my finger on the g key and sent the thing without reading it. So I'm not Norman Mailer... Bad mistake, sending messages when you are drunk. Anyway the point is not the pathetic message I sent but that the next day he sends me this text: "I want to hear your voice. I miss you..." So I ring him, ready to listen to his apologies or at least to have a heart to heart, and make peace and instead of being in any way affectionate he answers with this brassy, put on voice "Hellooo!" and proceeds to chatter on about the beach and the weather and how the grass goes right down to the water. SO I answer "I guess you are in company right?" and he says yes and so I say well call me back when you can talk ok. That was ten days ago. So the point is that he played me...he sent out the bait of the message to see if I would grab it, and then he literally rubbed my nose in it by answering in such a superficial and deliberately slighting way. So that was his power trip. Just reminding himself and me who was in charge. He read my last message accusing him of everything that was true, and rather than replying to any of my accusations, shot off the dummy message saying he wanted to hear my voice just so he would have the satisfaction of knowing I would call him right afterwards. Oh thank you for reminding me of it in time Goldie. You are so right, that men can read men. He always looked at me on MOndays like he had xray vision...so what's wrong, tell me...this after ignoring my calls for two days. Like he was training me to be happy or sad according to his whims. He was the dealer, I was the junkie, he could get me high or leave me flapping in the wind.... Goldie thanks to you today I feel about 80% good about myself. WHich is good for me. Thanks to you I didnt send that message. You are right. It's not about closure, which I know I will never get from this person. It's a junkie's pathetic excuse to get a quick fix. I am not going that way...! I won't disappoint you or myself. I will just IGNORE him next week. As if I don't have better things to do than stress out over the reaction of a twenty four year old! Let him worry about that for a change.Thanks for being in my corner when I needed you Goldie.
Aug 19 - 10AM (Reply to #36)
bakingfortherapy
bakingfortherapy's picture

I call mine DRB..

Dirty Rat Bastard!!
Aug 18 - 9PM (Reply to #34)
Goldie
Goldie's picture

It's a date

Let us know the next time you come to NYC. Lisa and I would love to meet up with you. I am thankful that my response was able to help. Don't worry about graphic language with me Jeff, I am not bothered by that, it helps to understand what you went through to remember how you were slighted sexualy as well as all the rest. The sex is the glue which keeps us going back for more crumbs and it is an important part of recovery to realize and remember how awful the feelings we had while with them intimately. Which of course narcs do not do intimacy, so we feel like crap trying to make the sexual piece feel real. How is it going for you today? You are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless, Goldie
Aug 19 - 10AM (Reply to #35)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Hi Goldie

Thanks for answering my message. Sorry if I ramble on and on...I wrote another doctoral thesis in this section entitled Glad to Be Dumped. I think I am really moving forward in the steps, thanks entirely to all the support I have been getting and the reading I have been doing and the scary videos I have been watching. And specially to you Goldie. You really have this thing figured out, maybe better than I do myself... Today was a very important day for me. I sat down with my life partner and told him the whole story from beginning to end, without hiding anything, including the money and the sex and my own obsessive compulsive nature, without trying to justify it all by describing Mr N as an N. I had kept the whole thing a secret from him for nearly two years, until Mr N pulled the carpet out from under me for the first time in January. My partner and I were watching a movie, and at a certain point I couldn't take it any more...I just ran out of the cinema and stood bawling my eyes out in the parking lot. When I came back inside, he asked what was wrong and I snapped at him. Then later I confessed that I was in a relationship crisis...and he didn't even know I was in a relationship. He was so angry and hurt that I had kept it a secret and that I had taken out my frustration on him of all people. It was a terrible thing to do and I felt like I wanted to die. It took weeks to settle that down and I promised my partner that the guy was totally out of my life but I was lying, seeing Mr N's face in front of me right when I was convincing my partner that it was over, and I felt nothing for him. As soon as I could then I rushed off to call him. I told my partner I was seeing another guy, a guy around my age, who was not so handsome or sexy but with whom I could talk and socialize. I had even lied about Mr N's name, hiding who he really was and the fact that my partner had actually met him on one occasion when I had had Mr N help out with some company thing. I kept calling him by a different name. This bullshit went on for a few months and then a few weeks ago everything hit the fan again and my partner saw so I told him that I had briefly got back with Mr N but closed off immediately. More lies. ENough. So today was the day...I couldn't go on lying to my life partner anymore. I love him and respect him too much. We lived through the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the nineties and all the rest together and wrote our PhD theses together, and packed up and moved to italy together forty years ago with nothing but 500 dollars and over the years managed with enormous sacrifice and total trust to build up a respected and solid company and along the way we wrote a textbook and then a novel and then a screenplay and then produced a feature movie together that is going to be distributed by Lionsgate, and bought property and helped each other through sickness and betrayals by other business partners and lousy relationships and marriages and everything. Forty years we have been together. And I was jeopardizing the whole thing with my lies and ridiculous fixation. So after a long soulsearching conversation last night, today he just said, tell me everything start to finish. And I took a deep breath and showed him a photo of Mr N. And he didnt recognise the guy! So I said hey remember he did that job for us? And he said oh that guy...no, you're kidding me...you flipped for this guy? Why I said defensively don't you think he's beautiful? Well he is intelligent and sociable but he is definitely not my type and... then he goes on comparing Mr N to other people. So then it all comes out... I just tell the whole story no holds barred, no lies. And this time I tell it calmly and from a distance and with a sense of humour, not like last time when I was holding back the tears and ranting like a sixteen year old and still lying through my teeth. And we discussed it, and the implications and how different our world was from Mr N's world. And how Mr N helped me to get back in shape, take better care of myself and choose clothing more carefully...made me look fifteen years younger. But then because of his age and his character he screwed my head so bad from the moment that I realised the two of us were never going to go anywhere but that I didnt want to lose him. SO my partner just summed it up that Mr N saw a good thing. So how much did you end up spending on him? Big pause, and I spilled that too. We kept talking, laughed a bit, compared notes and then my partner asked why in hell I didnt tell him all this before? Why be so secretive? We could have got you through this faster and sooner. Guess because I was a little ashamed of the whole thing and in the back of my mind knew that it was all a fantasy that would not hold up to my partner's scrutiny. He has a way of dismembering all of my so called relationships, and thank god he can. Not because he is jealous, but because he just knows that I fall in love so easily and so fast and then I get hurt. I keep thinking..imagine if I didn't have my partner, if I were totally alone and exposed to people like Mr N. Where would I be now? I had a close friend who recently passed away, a wonderfully intelligent poet and playwright who refused three offers from Rome University to be a full professor because he preferred to teach high school kids from the slums how to appreciate literature. He fell in love with a guy when they were both in their forties and he bought a house and they were going to live together and then out of nowhere the guy just dumped this wonderful man. And he went to pieces. Like he died inside. He never recovered and was like a ghost for the rest of his life. He had no one to fall back on. I helped him as much as I could but in the middle of the night there was nobody. With my partner, after forty years in separate bedrooms, this morning I crawled into his bed and just lay close to him while he slept. And as soon as I put my hand on his shoulder all the images of Mr N just disappeared from my head. And then later in the day, after I had spoken to my partner and bared everything, it was like the weight of this thing just floated away. The biggest weight which was living with the guilt of knowing that I had hidden a part of my life and my soul from the one person who has been by my side since I was twenty years old. So I guess I hope I am getting there. At least I am not lying to myself or other people. But I NEVER ever would have been able to speak to my partner in the rational logical way I spoke today if it hadn't been for this website and you and the other people who listened to my plea. You have been taking me on a journey to self awareness and salvation. You have saved my life. I dont want to start crying victory too soon but I feel that I am one or two big steps closer, not just to ending this story but to beginning to understand who I am and what I want my life to be. Thank you. Thank you.
Aug 13 - 8PM (Reply to #24)
Jeff
Jeff's picture

Middle of the night stuff

Hi Goldie. I felt so strong and happy today, like I was in a groove that I could choose to run on and after so long I was interacting with people and tbe world around me without this glass wall of HIM in the way. Lovely meal, Lots of laughs with old friends. Then an Italian lovesong came on the car radio that he would dedicate to me via Youtube--I want to give you a present it is called, about a man who gives his heart to his lover as the most precious gift he possesses. Usual stuff but man I was tearing up there in the back seat. Lucky it was dark...i just feel so alone and unloved and on standby. I always felt like this on weekends until we saw each on monday and kissed and I woke up like sleeping beauty ( or maybe Rip Van Winkle...!) so now i feel like my world is stuck on standby. if he never comes back I'll be stuck in this half life forever. I'm trying but the thought of him with someone else, giving himself to another man, caught up in some new love story and not even thinking about me, makes me lose what little control I have. Men cry too..and over things that are just as pointless. I feel back to square one and even though i know he's a sponge and a weasel and an airhead I just want to hold him one more time. I am not moving with the programme I know...I quit smoking on the fifth attempt. How long will it take to quit this poisoned love story? Tonight I am aching all over. I can hear the discomusic from the clubs along the front and hear the crowds of twenty somethings sauntering in world by the ass and him...glowing, with some besotted scmuck on his arm and the rest of the men in the club following him with lust and longing right through to dawn. And him loving it all.
Aug 15 - 1PM (Reply to #25)
Goldie
Goldie's picture

Hi Jeff

You are describing exactly what new recovery is like for most of us. One part of the day we are empowered and feeling like we are getting ourselves back and the other part is pure torture. The knowing in one part of your brain that it is a no win situation and then of course the emotional part kicks in and the bittersweet sadness, longing, and physical withdrawal. Cognative dissonance. These relationships are like an addict with their drug and most describe the withdrawal as a physical aching and pain. This is when it gets most difficult to remain NC. Some of them hoover nonstop and other's are more sophisticated with their attempts to lure you back. Mine often said that he would purposefully wait awhile until I was good and screwed up missing him and then pounce like a vulture to lure me back in. They are mirroring us for weeks; even months in the beginning and as they often like to boast, they sometimes know us better than we know ourselves in this particular area. My X for a solid year hoovered me day and night if I broke up with him. Then we were apart for several months; as he was in jail for stealing, physical, and property damage abuse. When he got out of course he saw the light and all was going to be different. This lastest for a week or so. He stopped the overt abuse for fear of returning to jail, however, all the rest of it remained the same. He did pay me back some of the money he stole and then was off and running with the drugs, wasting money ect... The second time he kicked it up a notch and created new behaviors to keep me on the hook. He could see that I was weary of the relationship and not falling for the hoovering, so he began to dissappear for entire weekends and this was the "new hook." Now I am thinking that he is cheating on me and I begin to act like I give a shit again. Which is exactly where he wanted me and as I said, he came right out and said he was doing it on purpose because that whole hoovering thing no longer worked. My point: He will do whatever it takes to push your buttons during this withdrawal phase which you are going through. If hoovering works then there you go. If completely ignoring you works and allowing you to get worked up into a complete frenzy that he will play that card. If implying that he has new supply and will drop them if you take him back, then that will be his card. They up the ante and are amazingly clever at this game. This is when it gets tricky and will determine whether or not we remain NC or get sucked back in. Keep in mind that during this phase (you trying to end it and him trying to play you to lure you back) he will remember EVERYTHING that you have ever said which pertains to your weaknesses. EVERYTHING. Things you most likely have even forgotten you ever said, and WHAM when you least expect, he will hit you off guard, hit you from behind, and you will not even see it coming. I have seen them fake injuries, actually hurt themselves on purpose to garner sympathy, have alledged deaths in the family, false illness, facing jail alledgedly, sick family members, parading a NM in your face, having others contact you mysteriously, oh Jeff, it goes on and on and of course many of these pretend emergencies require MONEY. They know if they can get in your presense; the chemicals will get released in you and you will fall for these crazy games and stories and the games begin all over again. This comes to mind particularly in your case because you mentioned that in a short while his bills will be due. Hmmm, how is he going to play this so he can have his cake and eat it too? He will acheive this by catching you off guard while you are still in the withdrawal stage. He may even wait longer than usual so that you will be a mess when you finally do hear from him and you may want to cry, YES YES YES, of course I want to see you, you little shit. I have missed you so much and he will profess the same, blah blah blah and let the "fun times" begin all over again. I say this as you go through withdrawal and how long that lasts varies, you need to keep your guard up for the "unexpected" hoover as it comes in all shapes, forms, and packages. Whatever they think will best push YOUR particular buttons. I know you are an intelligent man and I am an intelligent woman, however, they are good at this. I have been narced a few times and failed to see it coming. I am happy to say, after months learning about these disorders, that I am getting good now at spotting the "narc attack" before it happens and even laughing out loud at his feeble attempts to suck me back in and he still often tries. Glad to hear you had some good times over the weekend just beware of the "Narc Attack." You are in my thoughts and prayers as you make it through withdrawal and if you cave and I hope you don't. Do not worry; we will still love you and be here for you. God bless, Goldie