Damned if you do, damned if you don't

111 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sep 18 - 2PM
Nicole96's picture


You r damned if u do and damned if u don't.... it can play out in so many ways but there is one truth... it is so unlikely to ever work. If u stand up for yourself he'll see u as a threat, someone who is not loving them unconditionally or someone who has started to see the real flawed them... they hate both. If u cont. To feed them and lose yourself then u lose yourself and only make them worse!! Also, think mutating virus. You might find 'cures' ways to cope etc. But the problems will change / mutate and the pattern never ends... I saw this all in my 9 yrs with my n
Sep 18 - 1PM
lisalisa47's picture

funsize - couldn't have said it better myself

I am THAT person. AND, although there were periods of when i know i was acting "needy" in reaction to his "neglect and disregard" for me, that is NOT my actual personality. SO- I would concentrate on becoming MYSELF again, with or without him - and God Forbid I was in a good mood while HE was in the house. USUALLY - here is the reaction as i imagined him thinking it: HEEEYYYYY....she's .....SMILING...that's no good. OK, I got it - watch this....hehehe - "Im just gonna walk....no!...slooooowly amble through the room with a depressed SIIIIGH...THEN - because she's SO predictable (and she's stupid enough to LOVE me, when even I know I'm a piece of SHIT) she will ask me what is wrong...and, if the sigh and the geriatric walk aren't enough to get her attention, then im going to add some "bobble head" movements in for good measure...When she finally looks alarmed and tries to "fix" me - she'll ask me if i'm OK...then, i'll swoop in with the "barely discernable" mumble of "yeah" or "nah" - it doesn't matter really what comes out of my mouth - it's just a ruse to get her to ask me to repeat myself so i can yell at her for NOT LISTENING AGAIN. And, when i've played that out as long as i can, i will finally clue her in on why i'm so downhearted - of course it will have to be something SHE did - or didn't do like...(fill in the blank) the dishes, the laundry right, losing my deorderant or hairbrush (whatever i think up at the moment)...and, if that isn't enough to kill her good mood, i'll just throw a road maniac tantrum in the car - and i'll get her IN the car by pretending to want her company....GOD im good. LML


Sep 20 - 4PM (Reply to #79)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Wow. Mine's "reason" for

Wow. Mine's "reason" for breaking up with me was because he felt "not listened to, glossed over". Poor delicate flower.
Sep 18 - 8PM (Reply to #78)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Terrifyingly sick. And the

Terrifyingly sick. And the rampant passive-aggressive shit as well. Ugh....
Sep 17 - 7PM
gettinbetter's picture

its becuase their whole life

its becuase their whole life is about unresolved conflict. Everything they and everything they do is conflict driven. The are a shell filled with nothing but anxiety. If you read alot of them have trouble completing anything. Thats why we never get any closure. Nothing in their entire lives get completed. Their lack of resolution to conflicts internally and externally leaves them disatissfied with anything and everything. Nothing and no one ever measures up
Sep 17 - 8PM (Reply to #29)
hooklineandsinker's picture

That is EXACTLY the feeling

That is EXACTLY the feeling I got on the night he dumped me. I hadn't thought of him as a narc at that point, but what I did think (amid the heartbreak) was "mate, if you're THAT particular about the way a woman behaves towards you, you will NEVER be happy". I was told out of the blue that he "wasn't happy in this relationship". When I asked why, it was "I'm not listened to, I'm glossed over". What the hell sane person goes along for months supposedly feeling these feelings of being "not listened to" and doesn't say a god damn thing about it, but instead chooses to ambush their (a few months previous) "beautiful girl" "light of my life" "beautiful princess" etc etc, with this useless news? Useless because he had already made up his mind to leave, based on something I was supposed to have been doing for the past few months but which I had ABSOLUTELY NO NOTICE of. As a lawyer, fair procedures are pretty much drummed into you as part of your training, and to be faced with someone who would rather throw you and the whole relationship away rather than actually sit down and tell you to your face AT THE TIME that he was feeling unhappy and give you a chance to change whatever it was that was wrong, is total anathema to anyone who's been trained to think in terms of fair procedures - ie, BOTH SIDES have a right to speak and be heard and have their views taken into account. A total headwreck both on the emotional AND the intellecutal planes.
Sep 22 - 4AM (Reply to #34)
TraumaMamma's picture

This place is a God send. My

This place is a God send. My Narc said the same things. "He wasn't happy, he couldn't tell me this, that, whatever" Why, I have no idea, but nothing can be resolved unless I know there is a problem and we work on it together. I too, was ambushed, not "knowing", that something was so amiss for us. Part of me thinks it was totally a conscious decision, so that he could do what he wanted to do, to sabatoge the relationship...(Even our counselor said he gets women to pull the plug on relationships and he kills them). And then part of me wonders if he really had any idea at all. I don't know. Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.' --Mary Anne Radmache

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.' --Mary Anne Radmache

Sep 22 - 4PM (Reply to #76)
hooklineandsinker's picture


Do you mind me asking how long you guys were together? We were together 8 months which I would have thought was more than enough time to build a solid foundation with someone whereby they (and you) feel comfortable bringing up issues in the relationship that need attention. Although in reality with these people whether you are together 8 months or 8 years, they would probably use the same bullcrap on you in order to achieve D&D.....
Sep 22 - 8AM (Reply to #35)
anonymous's picture

Mind Reading

I read in one of the books about PDs that one of the worst forms of mental abuse/manipulation is the expectation that your partner somehow read your mind and intuitively sense what you have going on in there. And then somehow figure out what's wrong and change your behavior to please the PD person. It's a completely passive-aggressive stance and is used as an excuse for avoiding a relationship. You can easily say, I just couldn't talk to her, or she just didn't understand me. It absolves the PD from any responsibility and puts the blame entirely on the victim. I'm proud of myself that I figured that out before I read my self-help books and I called him out on it. I told him that not only was his quest for the "perfect woman" completely immature and fantasy-driven, he will never find a woman who can read his mind. Gaslighting / mental gymnastics / mind fucking. No matter what you call it - it's ABUSE.
Sep 22 - 6PM (Reply to #71)
hooklineandsinker's picture

God I am SO GLAD that mental

God I am SO GLAD that mental health professionals regard this phenomenon of being expected to be a mind-reader as one of the worst forms of mental abuse. I am SO GLAD that this is recognised form of abuse and we are not just being over-sensitive or anything. I mean, it FEELS so fucked up but you're never sure whether that's the same thing as it being an actual form of abuse formally acknowledged by people who write and work in this field. Which it clearly is. That makes me feel so validated. Thank you Morty for posting this.
Sep 22 - 8PM (Reply to #72)
anonymous's picture

I'm glad it helped

I've been wracking my brain trying to recall which book I read that in. I think it was one about growing up in a narcissistic family. I don't think I have it anymore because my motive for reading it was to try to understand HIS family. Now I wish I had kept it because it would help me understand MY family better. My Dad always used to tell me about my mother's two week long silent treatments and he'd be walking around waiting for the other shoe to drop - then she'd let loose and scream at him for not knowing what she was feeling or thinking. The poor guy. I didn't realize until just very recently that my mother is a narcissist - I always had her pegged as a borderline. Anyway - if you search on Amazon or Google for growing up in a narcissistic family, you may find some books, if not that particular one, that will help. Living with the Passive Aggressive Man talks about this mind-reading thing a little bit too. Keep on plugging away Funsize. =)
Sep 22 - 8PM (Reply to #73)
anonymous's picture

Something Else

This mind-reading thing is also referred to as 'walking on eggshells'. You can google that - there are books on that too.
Sep 23 - 2AM (Reply to #74)
hooklineandsinker's picture


I hadn't even got to the "walking on eggshells" thing yet because I had NO IDEA he was that unhappy (well I mean I knew he was unhappy with his family situation and with work stress, but I didn't suspect for a minute that he was unhappy with me, because I BELIEVED him when he told me all those things about how great I was) so I was just being myself and not self-censoring or anything. The walking on eggshells only happened in the very last week of the 8 months and yes, it was a truly horrible feeling. My stomach was in knots all week, to the point where I ended up just turning off my phone altogether for about 4 days because I couldn't bear the cold tone his texts had taken. Of course once it became clear I wasn't answering his texts I got loads of "sweetie? You ok? Hope so" "sweetie please contact me and let me know you are ok" etc etc. Whereas now he couldn't care less whether I live or die. Back then he just wanted to line me up so that he could come over that week and dump me.
Sep 23 - 6PM (Reply to #75)
anonymous's picture

Funsize - Similar

You wrote, "I hadn't even got to the "walking on eggshells" thing yet because I had NO IDEA he was that unhappy (well I mean I knew he was unhappy with his family situation and with work stress, but I didn't suspect for a minute that he was unhappy with me, because I BELIEVED him when he told me all those things about how great I was)". Exactly. He did the same exact to me. Kept writing off his irritability and bitchiness to work stress and kept telling me that I made him so happy and his depression had nothing to do with me, blah, blah, blah. The only blessing is the walking on eggshells period lasted for me for *only* 5 days (and boy, THAT was long enough. I felt like I was dealing with my mother, with whom I've walked on eggshells for 42 years). That was the devaluation period. That's when he turned psycho snake on me and I got the infamous reptilian gaze. And then on Day 5 - he discarded me (sort of). You know my story. Thankfully I got the last word and told him that I was severing our connection and didn't want any sort of relationship with him. That's when I initiatied NC and have stuck to it faithfully since. Yay Me!!! =)
Sep 22 - 4PM (Reply to #36)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Traumamommy and Morty: OMG.

Traumamommy and Morty: OMG. I am SO glad that you guys went through the same thing or recognise the same thing. It's that whole feeling of never having been given a chance to even discuss this stuff or resolve it or anything - after being told for months that you're the light of his life, etc etc - and then all of a sudden he can't talk to you about stuff? What a mindfuck. And Morty - what you said is EXACTLY what went through my mind once he left my apartment the night of the D&D: if you're THAT fussy about how women treat you, in that they DON'T automatically read your mind and behave accordingly, you will NEVER be happy. This is while I still thought of him as a regular, non-pathological person - the whole narc thing was yet to occur to me. I wish I had had the chance to say it to him in so many words. Although a few months later when I heard about the new fugly bore and called to his apartment to talk, I said to him loud and clear that if he was unhappy about things I was or wasn't doing in the relationship, it was HIS RESPONSIBILITY to bring them up with me. You can't withhold information from people and then condemn them for not knowing it. This is as close as I came to saying to him what you said to yours.
Sep 22 - 5PM (Reply to #37)
anonymous's picture

Funsize - I wrote those EXACT words to him

"It's that whole feeling of never having been given a chance to even discuss this stuff or resolve it or anything - after being told for months that you're the light of his life, etc etc - and then all of a sudden he can't talk to you about stuff? " I wrote these exact words to him, verbatim after he D&Dd me - 2 days after telling me that the feelings he had for me surpassed anything he'd ever felt before. At the time, I thought he was so deep. Now I see that he's the most shallow person I've ever met. Except for the other narcs in my life, of course. And of them, he's the shallowest. =)
Sep 22 - 6PM (Reply to #41)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Yep, just in case he hadn't

Yep, just in case he hadn't got the point the night of the D&D, when I kept repeating "But I haven't changed! I'm the same person! [as the one you fell in love with 8 months ago, mentioned marriage to, mentioned kids to, etc etc]" here is a text I sent him two months after the D&D: "Did you tell your mum that I never listened, never considered you, was always glossing over you, always pushing you aside, etc etc ?[even as I typed those words I felt so violated] It kills me to even type that because it was so far from the truth and from what I ever meant or wanted that it makes me unbearably sad that it was taken up that way. On the contrary, as I said you were the absolute centre of my world, and any plans I ever made were with your enjoyment and fun in mind, and to take your mind off things, and were only ever done with love and the best of intentions. I would HATE your mum to think badly of me in any way because of this tragic misunderstanding, especially when I was never given a chance to do things differently" He never replied. I think his ignoring of this heartfelt text of mine was when the first signs of my anger reared its head. On the night of the D&D when he was spouting this bullcrap about "not being listened to", I asked him for an example. [Backtrack to the last Sunday morning we spent together, the morning after my birthday. He was at the time training for a marathon. We lay in bed, hardly touching, not talking, and certainly not having sex. I finally got out of bed, thinking there was no point in staying there any longer. He said he had to go and get on a treadmill in the gym. Part of his training breakfast was to eat a lot of pancakes. I suggested that we go out for breakfast, having in mind a local place that did good pancakes. I didn't mention this out loud - just didn't occur to me - but that is exactly why I had this particular place in mind, because i knew he would want pancakes. He agreed to come for breakfast but on the way talked a lot about his father and how they were quite alike in a lot of ways, specifically that neither of them "liked being told what to do". I had a horrible feeling that this was directed at me, and actually stopped in my tracks and said to him "now I feel like I'm telling you what to do" He brushed this off. Fast forward to the night of the D&D. He spouted the whole "I feel not listened to" rubbish, and I, dumbfounded, asked him for a concrete example. He said "Last weekend. I said I had to get up and get on a treadmill and instead you wanted to go for breakfast" WTF??????? BREAKFAST LASTS ABOUT A HALF HOUR. NOT A WHOLE 24, YOU FUCKER. YOU WOULD STILL HAVE HAD ALL FUCKING DAY TO TRAIN, AND I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO BRING YOU TO A PANCAKE PLACE BECAUSE I KNEW THAT WAS PART OF YOUR TRAINING DIET. EXCUSE THE CRAP OUT OF ME FOR WANTING TO GO FOR BREAKFAST WITH MY BOYFRIEND ON MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND. YOU'RE RIGHT. I'M AN INSENSITIVE, SELFISH WITCH OF A WOMAN FOR EVEN DARING TO SUGGEST THAT WE EAT A FUCKING MEAL TOGETHER. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. This shit is THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS. TOTAL AND UTTER MINDFUCK.
Sep 22 - 8PM (Reply to #62)
anonymous's picture

Oh Funsize

I'm so sorry. I know exactly how you feel and you are not crazy. I could give you examples from my relationship too.... but it would be almost a moot point now. Suffice to say - you had every right to want to go to breakfast with your boyfriend on your birthday weekend. You were not asking the ass to eat maggots for you nor were you stealing time away from his precious workout. You were suggesting a compromise - a date on your b-day weekend (what you wanted) to a place where he could eat what he needed to on his workout diet (what he wanted). Sounds completely healthy to me. And there's the rub!!! It was healthy. And he is not. And therein lies the problem.
Sep 23 - 2PM (Reply to #63)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Precisely Morty.

A normal man wouldn't have had the slightest issue with coming for breakfast with me before hitting the gym, or else if he did, he'd gently insist that he really had to get going but that he'd call/see me later in the day, or whatever. But no, with narcs it's the constant moving of the goalposts and you are not allowed to put a foot/word wrong.
Sep 23 - 2PM (Reply to #64)
better off
better off's picture

Right, but you are still

Right, but you are still arguing, even in your mind, with straw men he put there for you to fight. If he hadn't said that, he'd have said something else. Whatever reasons he gave you are IRRELEVANT. Totally irrelevant. He is making them up as he goes along. You could have behaved in the exact opposite manner for the last 8 months and it wouldn't make any fucking difference. He would then say you did something else ridiculous. The only cogent point he's trying to make is that it's YOU. Somehow his utter inability to have a normal relationship is YOUR fault. Once the exN in my life said something that I think might have bordered on the truth... he was hemming and hawing about having to sort his life out, blah blah... and of course I was being understanding.. cuz that's what I do.. bleh.. and he said "sometimes I have feelings I don't understand." And in the context in which we were speaking... and some reading between the lines, etc.. I got the feeling that his "feelings" did just dry up, he did go from idealizing me to devaluing me, and even HE doesn't know why. So sometimes I think when we press them for answers and they have none to give.. they really have none to give. So they make up shit, and it's either that you are somehow lacking and at fault, because by God it can't be THEM, or they trot out a bunch of Hallmark sentiments that they literally read in a book or saw in a movie. Because what else can they say? They can't say, I "loved" you insanely, now I feel nothing for you, I always do this, I'm an alien to the human race and I know it... ??? Anyway... please try to stop going over what you did or didn't do... because you could change every bit of it and it would actually change nothing. One of the strangest things to come to terms with is that it was doomed from the start. It was doomed before your first date. Your wonderful experiences were just as much caused by his disorder as the bad ones... hard to take, but true. I wouldn't even KNOW this man if he wasn't a narcissist. Yours profiles women online. He got your number, literally, used it to the fullest extent and then moved on. This is the part that I will never make sense of... there is no psychological theory that will satisfy me as to why they pretend, and go all out to have a relationship they can't keep.
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #69)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Sure, it's an exercise in futility

to analyse the stuff they said and the stuff we said back. I know it's utterly pointless. I guess I was just mentioning it as a vehicle to get some of my anger out. I think sometimes it's only when you see these things in print that the utter lack of logic and coherency in what they say and do is truly apparent.
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #70)
better off
better off's picture

Oh, don't feel like you

Oh, don't feel like you shouldn't get it out. Really, you sort of have to talk about it nonstop for a while because it's so weird. Eventually you will get sick of it. haha. I just meant you don't have to justify yourself or YOUR actions, or defend yourself. He's an ASSHOLE. This is worse than them ditching you in the first place... they can't bring themselves to say, I was a jerk, I used you, I can't commit because I always have to have someone new and "perfect"... so they blame you. The blaming is worse than the dumping. So I hope I didn't make you feel like you shouldn't complain about his bullshit as long as you want to.. I just meant, don't believe that doing anything differently would have changed the outcome. His "reasons" aren't valid, because the reason was him, and it's always going to BE him.
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #66)
anonymous's picture

What Else Can They Say?

"Because what else can they say? They can't say, I "loved" you insanely, now I feel nothing for you, I always do this, I'm an alien to the human race and I know it... ???" Wow Now I get it.
Sep 23 - 11PM (Reply to #67)
loveofmylife's picture

I love you insanely

That's close to what mine used to say...his favorite line to me was: "I miss you madly!" And I would live for the moments when he would leave me vmails that said this or text me this. It would make my ENTIRE day! And his 2nd favorite line was: "You are violating my boundaries!" Note, this line was said about every week, when I did such offenses as - asking him out to lunch, when he had taken me to romantic dinners dozens of times. - telling him that I would accept a bribe to a baseball game, when he offered me the exact same bribe months earlier. I don't know if he has amnesia or if he actually believes that I am violating his boundaries. Does this make sense to anyone?
Sep 24 - 8AM (Reply to #68)
better off
better off's picture

One of our songs was Truly,

One of our songs was Truly, Madly, Deeply. More like just "madly" since they're all mad. They're just nuts, girl. That's why you can't make any sense of it. They say whatever, whenever, for effect.
Sep 23 - 2PM (Reply to #65)
faith999's picture

better off

In all my research on narcissism, and let me tell you I have been reading about it for years, I have never seen it presented in the way you just did. BRILLIANT! How did i never see this? " Your wonderful experiences were just as much caused by his disorder as the bad ones... hard to take, but true. I wouldn't even KNOW this man if he wasn't a narcissist" For me this wasn't hard to take at all! I'm so grateful for this moment of clarity. Thank you!
Sep 22 - 8PM (Reply to #58)
helldweller's picture


Oh, boy, yes. I remember his birthday last year so vividly. I got up at five to go to the store to get stuff to make him breakfast. I made him french toast, his favorite, orange juice, coffee, sausage and bacon on Wednesday morning, with flowers, cards from my daughters and me, and a jar of hearts, one for each day of the year, each with a message saying something I love about him (yeah, I know, it took me like a year to think of them LOL). Anyway, I brought all this crap to his house at 8am on a tray and left it at the door for him and his child, because God forbid I should enter. That afternoon, I took him to the lake and we fed the ducks and I made a picnic with cocktails and, of course, came home and serviced him before going to pick up my kids at school That night, he claimed he had to work and couldn't let me take him to dinner, so stayed up and waited for him until two am so he could come over and have sex. He has never worked more than two hours at night and is always done by nine at the very latest. So I kept texting him, "I love you. Can't wait to see you" while I"m falling asleep, and he finally texts at 2, I'm on my way but just stopping in, so tired. So he stops in, doesn't even kiss me, downs a drink and goes home to bed with the flowers and presents I bought him. The next day, I asked if I could take him to dinner and he said, "I think so," but one of my tour guide's parents died so I had to work. I told him an hour after I asked him, and said I'd take him out the next night instead. "Forget it. Thanks a lot," he said. "If you can't even celebrate my birthday, what's the point of being together?" As it turned out, he couldn't go out the next day because he was planning on moving into "our" new house (without me) and going to dinner at the babysitter's house for his family birthday dinner. Needelss to say, I was not invited. So he had to make it my fault. Mind f*ck indeed.
Sep 23 - 2PM (Reply to #61)
better off
better off's picture

Helldweller, I wonder if

Helldweller, I wonder if you'd consider reading Adult Children of Alcoholics. I've never seen anyone try so hard to squeeze blood from a turnip! Even if he were semi-normal, this kind of give give give is over the top. A man won't let you inside his house... and your response is to get up at five to go to the store, make his favorite breakfast, add flowers and cards and a jar of hearts, one for each day of the year, each with a message saying something I love about him... that's 365 hearts!! And you couldn't even GIVE it to him because you can't go in. And then go on a picnic for lunch, and then give him sex, and then plan a dinner... For a person that basically tells you to fuck off every day. What is that message? I know you think that msg is I love you, ... but the msg is really, no matter how bad you treat me I will grovel at your feet and tell you how wonderful you are if you would just throw me a bone. JUST LOVE ME BACK!!! And if you did that for someone else you were dating they would probably run away in fear. That's smothering behavior... and, I am NOT saying this to be mean, it's not really all because of your love for him... it's because you are trying to GET love. Yet for some reason, you are trying to beg and plead and bribe and get this love from the person who's LEAST LIKELY to give it to you. Why?? Why have you chosen the biggest windmill in the valley to charge? Does it somehow not count unless you get it from the MOST unavailable person on earth? Do you have to win it from someone impossible for it to count to you? It's like you are trying to get water from a dry well, only you keep using a different bucket. The bucket isn't the problem.
Sep 23 - 2PM (Reply to #60)
Used's picture

this reminds me, me and kids

this reminds me, me and kids used to make a real fuss of exh birthday, so one year i knew he was longing for an expensive metal detector,, i saved up and got we wrapped a big bow on it, he took the bow off, he said thankyou, it was about 8am left the house and spent the entire day[until it got dark] "detecting on a freinds land" by the time he came in it was kids bedtime.... what a man?then end of this should have read.... after the kids went to bed i said that was a bit shitty beign out all day with mental detector, he said you shouldnt have bought me it then,, we had an enormus garden, but he went elsewhere... in the end his f..king mdetector was left in the garden to get rusty, like his cars, like anything... who cares any more. not me.
Sep 22 - 8PM (Reply to #59)
anonymous's picture

Helldweller - you've been through it

I can't even write the story of his birthday last year because I really don't want to go there. Suffice to say, just like you, I went to great lengths to let him know how much he was loved and I got shit on and D&Dd four weeks later. The anniversary of his b-day is coming up and I'm fearful that it will be the time on which he chooses to restablish contact. We've been NC since February - but he tried one 3rd party hoover attempt a couple of months ago. I've heard nothing since becasue I didn't bite .... but I've read that birthdays can be a trigger for them, especially if they have no fresh supply - which I don't think he does. So I'm a bit worried about it. I just want this all to end.