When did the behavior change?

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#1 Aug 5 - 2AM
broken23's picture

When did the behavior change?

Im feeling low and cant sleep...
I came across a old email from my N today. I was on a trip abroad he wrote me an email telling me about his life, asking about mine, filling me in on what i was missing in the presidential elections, what i should bring back for my siblings. it was so sweet and loving that my mind cannot comprehend that it is the same person. As i got to the second paragraph I just started hysterically crying and sobbing "why, how, i dont understand". I am just so heartbroken because I can see why i fell for him, why i loved him so much. It was perfect for a while there. But one day things changed. For me, if i had to pin point it was about 10 months into the relationship, and when I got pregnant...I saw a whole different side of him....and a whole different desperate side of me.

I was wondering was it this good for everyone at first or was there signs from day one? And after how long did the dark side emerge?

Aug 14 - 2AM
cluelessuntilnow's picture

The moment he changed.

He changed when I found out I was pregnant. He said "I cannot deal with this. Oh and just so you know I going to start seeing someone else and btw you know her."
Aug 11 - 7PM
Susan32's picture

Incredibly morbid

My ex-Psych professor scared a lot of students in my lab class with his fixation on "animals ripping each other apart." It's a theme he always, ALWAYS returned to. No matter what. He'd thoughtfully listen to male students, but he'd condescend to female ones. He had a morbid fetish of meat eaters' brains dissolving due to mad cow disease (when he flaunted his pretend vegetarianism) He and I barely knew each other, and at the get-go he said, "I'm going to cut you loose." HUH???
Aug 11 - 1AM
M's picture

the "change"

for me it was when a "member-only" club came to town. He loved the "exclusivity" of it. I grew up in that world & though it is nice, at the time he & I really couldn't afford it. But he insisted. It was his new source of supply. funny how he could present himself as this "big shot" but pay minimum child support...and have a failing business & looking at another bankruptcy
Aug 11 - 5PM (Reply to #48)
drivencrazyinflorida's picture

Shortly after I said "I do" it all changed

A cat that I had for 14 years was very ill. While crying I was telling my new husband how I had to Ringo to the vet to have him put to sleep. He said, "How much will that cost?" Stupid me said about $45 dollars. His reply: "Can't we just have Jerry drown him in the lake?" Never got over that one and it went downhill from there.
Aug 11 - 5PM (Reply to #49)
Bodhi's picture


Gross. My coworker was dying of cancer and he felt inconvenienced that I expected him to go to the wake.
Aug 11 - 5PM (Reply to #50)
Susan32's picture

What is it with death?

When my ex-Psychopath's aunt was ill with cancer and he had to go back to Massachusetts over the holidays, he was incredibly cruel to me when I showed him sympathy. This was HIS aunt--not mine! He acted as if it were an inconvenience. He was cruel and callous when my grandfather died, as well as when a pastor friend of mine died. He was cold and emotionless at the wake of one of his fellow professors. Now, he barely knew this professor (as did I),but he was incredibly cold about it. He acted as if it were an inconvenience. I'm sure he saw the memorial concert for the classmate of mine/colleague of his who died under enigmatic circumstances as an inconvenience as well. Is it because death is the final closure, and they're VERY AFRAID of that?
Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #51)
better off
better off's picture

No, it's because when

No, it's because when someone dies, the dead person gets all the attention. And the bereaved. They hate that.
Aug 11 - 10PM (Reply to #52)
Susan32's picture

Center of attention

That explains A LOT. It explains why he'd be so dismissive towards concerts/lectures, why the Q&A session after HIS lecture made him go practically berserk (psychology majors should've attended instead of philosophy ones)... how he'd just zone out when he wasn't the center of attention. It explains why he raged when I told him "Your parents care about you, your sister cares about you, I care about you." Yet he was the center of attention when I praised him to another professor and he still threw a tantrum... yet he was the center of attention when he ended up making 14 copies of his lecture and he threw a fit&complained. HE was the center of both of those incidents--and the constant raging. While he "mentored" me for 3 years with my seminar essays, the whole Center of Attention thing explains why he is IMPOTENT in acknowledging my current successes. Then again, now I know he can't. Well, he can go die from envy, like Helldweller's ex-N... He was always afraid of his students being more successful than him. Guess I'm his fear incarnate.
Aug 10 - 11AM
Goldie's picture

Something was wrong from the onset

Mine was pretty much bad from the get go. Problem was he was like two people. He was loving, kind, helpful, and said all the right things. He was also dishonest, rageful, immature, and just generally odd. His nice side lasted a few weeks and then there were these two different people. He was 28 and not the sharpest tool in the shed so maybe he just did not have his mask side perfected yet. Plus he was on drugs, which I did not realize and when they are drinking and or drugging I don't think they are on top of their game. I understand he was much better with the mask before he picked up drugs. He kept the previous two fooled for longer than me. The problem was more with me, I was falling in love with him and CHOSE not to see what was right in front of my face. I made excuses for him. I overlooked the anger and chalked it up to immaturity and bad childhood issue's. I confronted him regarding the inconsistancies in his story's from the beginning and he simply piled on more and more lies so I was kept confused and unsure. I asked him to leave towards the beginning and he initially freaked out and became rageful and then went into this little boy routine, crying, begging, declaring his love for me ect...and I caved. This was to become a pattern and I believe this insanity and chaos triggered my PTSD from my own childhood and I was in over my head. I had not experience anything like this since I was a child and apparently it lay dormant in me. Scary stuff, mine was a N/P so the behaviors were over the top. God bless, Goldie
Aug 13 - 10PM (Reply to #45)
anonymous's picture

Not Luke

A good friend of mine pointed something very important out to me. I was telling him that he and our friends don't know the good side of N ... the sweet, loving boyfriend who seemed so vulnerable and in need of comfort and love. I said, "that's the real him." And my friend said, "Is it?" He said, "Think about this. The Real Him needs Sweet Boy. If he were really Sweet Boy, he certainly wouldn't need Real Him at all." And I realized that I didn't have to be Luke Skywalker and believe that there was good in him. Because there isn't.
Aug 14 - 12PM (Reply to #46)
hitandrun's picture


That made so much sense to me. Your friend is right. My ex narc pretends to be Jedi(and convinces himself he is), but he is really Sith. And he knows I found out.
Aug 8 - 6PM
azucar's picture

I don't know when things changed.

broken23, Thier dark sides are always there, it's always just a matter of time before he can't uphold his dazling charade anymore. From what I have seen in other stories when the mask drops may vary, but it always does. I have countless diary entries asking "Why did things change? When did things change? How could you say you love me and treat me this way?" I read something today that really struck a chord with me: "If it was a real relationship, it would still exist." At first, the N's convince us they are totally devoted to us, that we are thier precious partner, we are swept off our feet. But if they were ever truly devoted to us as they claim to be, then they would probably still be with us and we all would be living out the life we beleived we were heading towards. For example, I thought that by now we would have been engaged. Did they ever love us? Accept us? No, because if they did, you would not be here. In reality nothing ever changed in how they feel for us, the only thing that happened is that they realized they didnt have to impress us anymore, we were finally thiers...Then on to the next conquest, new stimulation. I actually grilled my X-N on what he wanted out of a relationship with me before we dated. We had been close friends for three years beforehand, so when he spoke of love, marraige, and children, I believed him because, after all we were friends and he knew me faults and all. And if he said he loved me as I was there and then, I was so sure it was the real thing and that I could trust him. 18 months later, I had done nothing to change, but one night out of no where I was told cruelly that I was not performing to what would make him happy and that it was over. Because he never brought up any reservations and was telling me how he loved me everyday, even up to the night he unexpectedly dumped me, I cannot say when anything changed. So asked all the same questions in my journal, again and again. Why? When? How could you? But those are the questions you would ask of an emotionally healthy partner at the end of any relationship, if they have to be asked at all, because usually there is a process. And a relationship with an N is anything but normal. You will never be able to make sense of his madness. Even now, my X-N goes around telling others how wonderful his new girlfriend is, less than five months after he dumped me, but he still wonders outloud to them, why he didn't "just marry ***** (me)." In the same sentence, trivializing something I once wanted to badly with all my heart while proclaiming how happy he is with another woman... Please know that you are not alone in your confusion, and that as painful as it is to go through this, there is hope. Sometimes when I find myself slipping into the pain and confusion, asking the normal heartfealt questions of an abnormal abusive relationship, I just remind myself. It WAS abuse and it was wrong. There is no sense or reason, and just focus on the healing process,one step at a time. Therapy helps as well, azucar
Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #41)
Susan32's picture

"If this relationship were real, it would still exist"

I think there's truth to that. If it were real, there would still be closure of some sort. For example, I had some close friendships in high school. I lost touch with the both of my friends after graduation/college... but that's different from D&D. People can drift apart, but it's not traumatic. I'm not in contact with many of my college professors, but only one of them D&D'd me. Graduation was the closure;NOT public humiliation and outright cruelty. I've briefly dated guys and we've realized we're incompatible, and parted in a friendly way. But it wasn't D&D. It was simply the realization that a romantic relationship wasn't meant to be. Very, VERY different from an N/P engaging in emotional abuse, then ditching you like yesterday's garbage. It's not that the relationship still isn't around, but how traumatically and terribly it ended.
Aug 12 - 7AM (Reply to #42)
imabloke's picture

So right...

Yes Susan... i know exactly what you mean, it doesn't make any sense.. but then what would in their world...
Aug 12 - 5PM (Reply to #43)
Susan32's picture

All it is is fear&anger

Well, it does explain why my ex-P would be in denial about being angry when it was OBVIOUS he was angry. He was either (a)angry or (b)afraid. And not have good reasons for either. He was constantly personally attacking me, despite the fact I REALLY respected him and desired his happiness. Why it became his personal obsession to psychologically destroy me (I was merely a student), I don't understand, nor do I wish to.
Aug 11 - 2AM (Reply to #40)
broken23's picture

azucar thanks for your

azucar thanks for your response. i know we all are trying to make sense out of senseless situations but i still try when i get confused. you are so dead on...if it was real it would still exist. not even if we were just, but as friends, or acquaintances or anything. the fact that he *ppof* vanished from my life must be evidence it wasnt real. things were fine with us on a day to day basis. one day it was i love you, two days later he did not feel the love. when i found out about the other women, he vanished. its so hurtful that someone i knew for 12 years could just toss me away like that...but i guess i shouldnt be suprised. In the N world its normal to just move on and never look back
Aug 10 - 12PM (Reply to #39)
faithinthefuture's picture


Azucar your one single statement hit my heart and NO ONE who hasn't been where we have will ever understand. IT WAS ABUSE!!! And we will never be able to make sense of how they think. THANK God for that! I can't afford therapy so I come here. can't tell you how much everyone's words of experience, pain, healing have helped me! I KNOW I wouldn't be where I am without everyone here! so strange cuz when I asked xN how would you like our relationship to be? he told like in the beginning...laughing going out w/o a care.(I was 42 he was 25) I told him I neglected my children and family at that time & I can't do that ever again. I have responsibilties. i had to grow up. don't think he liked that answer.
Aug 8 - 11AM
hitandrun's picture

The moment it changed

Or maybe it was the moment I noticed. This was a man that still is perceived by all his friends and family as the nicest man in the world.And he is nice...but he has a dark side. Anyway, we had been looking for houses all weekend and found one he loved...he was so excited about it and so was I. When we were talking to the owner, he made up some B.S. that he still had shares in some famous restaurant. When we left I was like"WTF?" He proceeded to tell me that he thought he still had them but wasn't sure. Ummm, you'd be getting reports,dumbass? That was the first rumbling. And the very next morning, when I was leaving, he didn't stop what he was doing to walk me to my car and kiss me goodbye. I know that sounds trite...but I knew at that moment something was very off. It was all down hill from there. 1.25 months after I caught him in his little white lie he D&D'd me in a very cowardly and hurtful way. I found out he was telling more than little white lies, he was telling WHOPPERS! I was stunned for months. Sometimes they are very subtle in their manipulation and deception. And of course we want to believe someone who we believed loved us as much as we loved them. To find out it wasn't real is such a mind f*ck. Guess I am not having a good day. But the bad days, obsessing about it all , are becoming less frequent. Once court is over, I think I will be able to move even farther forward. But a scar from this experience will remain.
Aug 11 - 12AM (Reply to #33)
helldweller's picture


Just read your post. My narc and I live--in separate houses--in the neighborhood where my mother grew up. I'm talking an 83 year old woman whose father literally built the church and her uncle built my house and the narc's house in the 1920s (he's not from here). The week he got his foster child he told me, a practically desitute single mother living in a now-million dollar neighborhood in Chicago who could never afford a house here--"Honey, let's buy your mom's house, let her live there as long as she wants, and then move in with our children" Now the narc is living in his 1.2 million dollar house with his foster child with my babies and me in an apartment thirty feet away. Told me to abort our own baby ten months ago. These are robot freaks from hell.
Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #34)
hitandrun's picture


I agree...something is really wrong with these men. I could go on and on about the promises to take care of me, help out with my father who isn't in the best of shape. All lies I believed. As Tears for Fears sang: "The Dreams I think are dying are the best I ever had...Mad World." No sh*t. I am still looking for him to do right by me and pay me the money, even after he lied on court documents about why he didn't owe it. Why am I still giving him the benefit of the doubt? Because there is a part of me that still cannot believe people are like this...that he is like this. That he disrespected me so much. I just want it all to be over.
Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #37)
Janet's picture

Yes, they are mentally ill.

Yes, they are mentally ill. Sociopaths, Narcissists, Borderlines...they do exist and they are dangerous. The sooner we stop hoping for THEM to change, sever all contact and start working on the task of having been targeting and abused the sooner we will feel more whole and happy. Mental illness is hard to accept, but it must be. They are not pretending, they really are completely messed up, for the rest of their lives. Peace. J

Peace. J

Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #35)
better off
better off's picture

Yes, something IS really

Yes, something IS really wrong with them. They are narcissists, they are narcissists, they are narcissists! Something.IS.wrong. So WE have to cut our losses. Can you expect a retarded person to do algebra? That's the same as expecting a narcissist to "do right by me." Or even just to "do right" at all! LOL In a way, we ARE the crazy ones, as we sit and wait and expect them to do something even NEAR normal. Why do we act surprised when they continue to BE narcissists! Again, it's like wondering WHEN that retarded boy next door is going to straighten up and get a better score on the ACT and get into college. It's never going to happen. And it's nonsensical to think it will. But we give the benefit of the doubt to a person who has proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are BROKEN. I hope your court situation is over soon... so you can move on with your life.
Aug 11 - 7PM (Reply to #36)
hitandrun's picture

Thank you Janet and better off

I needed to hear that again...they are mentally ill. And me expecting him to act differently isn't too mentally swift either. "Can you expect a retarded person to do algebra?"---- Okay, that one really got my attention and I couldn't help but laugh. You sure can twist a mean phrase sister! : )
Aug 7 - 7PM
loveofmylife's picture

When it changed

We had a very close relationship for 22 years. The 1st 3.5 years were in person every day, it was a business relationship, where we shared alot of personal stuff/ emotional intimacy, but we didn't share our feelings for eachother. So he was still in the "luring phase". My first red flag? When we were an award ceremony for him and his fiancee didn't come. He said "we don't mix personal and business. I don't go to her business functions and she doesn't come to mine". I thought to myself that that relationship was doomed since his wife couldn't support him in business! Of course later I find out that it is him that can't mix his lives because every is compartmentalized to keep his options open! Also red flags in this time was him badmouthing his fiancee constantly to me, but then going on romantic vacations with her. Next 17 years were cross country - where the luring phase could continue and he was very evasive about what was going on in his personal life. But the red flags continued. Tons of mixed messages about our relationship. We shared our feelings for eachother, but it still was very confusing. After 6 months of working together every day is when the first DD happened...and I knew something was terribly wrong. Agnesmurphy just wrote a post today that describes the sequence of events exactly. - we had a disagreement. he forced me to do something at work that I didn't think was right and it caused the bank to get upset. he wanted to handle it alone and I insisted that the owner and myself should be involved. Major blow to his ego, and the dilusions that our relationship wasn't perfect. - then he perceived a slight in everything I did. - and then spiral, spiral downward. - he accused me of things I didn't do. It made me upset because he refused to listen to the facts. Caused me to be "dramatic" and spiral and spiral more downward - more DDs. - push/ pull, silent treatment, criticism, emotional abuse....yuck.
Aug 7 - 8AM
neveragain5's picture

It's hard to say. With the

It's hard to say. With the first one, he was the same throughout the relationship. From the beginning he was elusive and didn't really wear too much of a mask. I remember on one of our first dates, he pulled the old, "I forgot my ATM card". I was so under his spell and addicted to his masculinity, that I was highly tolerant. Also, I had just come out of a relationship and was more vulnerable, young and naive. With the last one, the signs were there from the beginning. His coworkers and my family had told me to give him a chance and that he was such a nice guy. When we were together, I was in a fog. As soon as we were apart, all of the little things would come into focus and I would try to break things off. Of course, he had many excuses for why those things occurred and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Finally, after two months of flip flopping, I broke it off for good. That's not to say that I haven't been hoovered back in by phone, but having the distance has helped tremendously and it was easier to rebuff his attempts.
Aug 7 - 7AM
helldweller's picture

When things changed

When I look back I always said that things changed when he got his foster child and no longer needed me or my daughters for the supply. However, I think a big part of my thinking that's when it started is because that's when I started finding out about the other women for real: I had seen the little texts of "Honey, I miss you" and that sort of thing, but I had no evidence that he was spending real time with other women until the child started innocently telling me about the places they would go together who they would visit. When the child came, that's when he started to physically stop seeing us, including us in family things and planning for the future, but if I'm honest about it, he was an ass the whole time. I remember in the beginning, we seemed to be very much in love but he was elusive. I remember one night neither of us were working and planned on getting together. When my sitter came, I walked over to a local pub and called him to let him know where I was. Then texted saying, "Come on over anytime." Well, as you might imagine, I just didn't hear from him at all the entire evening, until at around midnight when he texted, "Had to work. Love you. xoxo" when he never ever has to work more than an hour and never ever that late. And never last minute. I didn't know that at the time. It didn't line up with his claim of being in love with me, you know? A lot of things didn't line up, but I chalked it up to him being busy and important and was so blown away by him that I refused to question anything. The first Easter we were together, I asked him to have dinner at my mom's. He said he had to work so would be doing nothing. Of course, I later found out that for him work on Sunday means being there at nine in the morning and being home an hour later. I said, "Aw. I'm so sorry, but I will bring you some dinner when we get home," which he adamantly told me not to. "Thanks but I'll make a sandwich, thanks but I'll get something on the way home, etc etc" I brought him home a plate of food at six and he wasn't there. He told me later: "My brother made me go to dinner at our older brother's house." He came home at about midnight. It was obviously all planned, as I later found out. He just didn't want to come to my mom's, didn't want to take me to his brother's, and didn't want me to know what he was doing. In retrospect, he probably had his other girlfriend going with him because she was still with him that whole summer (rang my bell in August). I look at photos now of that Easter, me so smiling and Happy, knowing I had this wonderful guy in my life--but at my Mom's alone and him at his brother's, probably with another woman, because he didn't really love me at all.
Aug 7 - 8AM (Reply to #27)
anonymous's picture

Daniel Cleaver

For all you victims of the Somatic N out there - check out the movie (or better yet, the book) Bridget Jones Diary and pay special attention to Hugh Grant's performance as Daniel Cleaver. =) I myself prefer Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, or better yet, the real Ideal Guy, Colin First as Mr. Darcy in the BBC version Pride and Prejudice. =) =) =) And if you watch P&P, check out Mr. Wickham - an 18th century Somatic N if there ever was one.
Aug 8 - 12PM (Reply to #29)
Scoop's picture

For me the change was one

For me the change was one evening when we had been out with friends all day about 4 months in to the relationship , i think he was tired and he had been drinking but not rolling drunk and we went to his room and he turned , full mask off attack , i remember phsyicaly pulling away from him and sitting where he couldnt touch me and i was crying and he was saying "what are you crying for " in such a nasty way .. it was so shocking like who the hell is this person . In the morning he was sorry god he was sorry cudding me kissing me all over saying forgive ,me im sorry ,dont go . that was the start and it just got worse and worse from there untill in the end that person was the person he is .. Like the Shineing when Jack changed that was my narc .
Aug 7 - 9AM (Reply to #28)
wholeagain's picture


I just watched B. Jones again last week. The ex was definitely a Cleaver wannabe, only not so dashingly handsome (gee, wonder why I watched that movie sooo many times and got wistful over the happy end?)
Aug 7 - 7AM
baddream's picture

The first confrontation

Ours was this wonderful relationship-- it seemed perfect in every way. It was so great for a year or so. It was a long distance one, though, and one day I started to see signs that there was another woman. I confronted him, and then came the very first d&d.. I did not understand any of it. He was horrible to me. Like another person. A complete Jekyll & Hyde. I did not know he was an "N" at the time. It was utter confusion on my part. We "made up"-- actually, I am the one who said I was sorry. This was the beginning of a cycle that went on for many, many years. The first d&d set the stage for what was to come later. I could not make myself believe that he was not the man who I had fallen in love with. He never returned to "Mr. Wonderful", nor did he put me "on a pedestal" ever again, unless he wanted something or needed to sweet talk me. I kept thinking he would change. Even when I began to realize what he was, I thought I could change him. Part of me felt I had invested so much in this relationship-- how could I just let go? If only I had truly understood his pathology at the time. It would have been so much easier to let go of him after that first d&d when things felt so wrong. He did manage to suck me back in so he could do it over and over again. The "N" game, yes.. You can not win if you stay in it.