Dear Chump Lady,
Do narcissists ever beg, plead, offer to let you track them via GPS, never go out, etc. to get you back? He actually said he’d be willing to live like a dog in a cage — as if I’d ever want this. He’s saying that he’s not sleeping or eating, that he’s losing his mind. That he will be dead if I don’t talk to him.
When he had a choice, he chose to neglect me, cheat, and lie. Now he says he can’t live without me.
I was planning on moving forward with the divorce, but what if it makes him worse? I was betrayed and rejected, and now I have to deal with the pain and consequences of rejecting him.
I finally blocked his texts and emails, but I’m afraid he might actually hurt himself or try to see me in person. As chumpy as it is, I do still love him, and knowing he’s in misery is eating me alive. I know I can never go back to him. Seeing him or talking to him would just bring me pain. The last time was in really bad shape.
But I feel so cruel.
He says he’ll die if you don’t talk to him? If he would rather die, he had better do it and decrease the surplus population of narcissists. (To borrow a line from Ebenezer Scrooge.)
Really, Goldie, call that bluff. Stay no contact. He is NOT your problem. You had it exactly right — when he had you, he neglected you, cheated and lied. That’s who he REALLY is — not a sad moppet. He is ramping up the manipulation to epic proportions because he is losing control. That’s ALL this is. A narcissist having a fit that his ego kibbles are draining away, and shit, it’s hard to find a new sucker. You were of USE to him!!! How DARE you leave?!
Which isn’t to say you should take this lightly — the most dangerous time is when you leave a wing nut. I can’t judge his crazy factor, but I wouldn’t take any chances. Have your lawyer write him a letter threatening harassment charges. If he violates it and contacts you, immediately file charges or get a protection from abuse order. Stalking is no joke. Suicide threats are no joke (but NOT your responsibility!) It means you’re dealing with a very unwell mind. A very angry, manipulative person — you need to put a LOT of distance there. Not swoop in and “save” him or fix this. Leave that to the cops, or the county social worker.
Oh, but you feel “cruel.”
Slap yourself. You are NOT cruel. HE is cruel. You ending things is the natural consequence of his actions — deceiving and cheating on you. This is abuse. You have bought into the narcissist mindfuck when you believe you are “cruel” to make him suffer consequences. Oh, the rules don’t apply to him! How DARE you not give him what he wants! He is a spoiled child. A toddler pitching a fit in the grocery aisle. You won’t give him more cookies?!
You’re a good person — a chump — and so to see anyone in pain hurts you. Makes you feel hugely uncomfortable. He knows this, and so he’s going to play you. But just like that mommy in the grocery aisle, you’re doing this for his own good (but mostly YOUR own good). If you want to “help” him — help him hit bottom. Help him face consequences. Now, I’m very skeptical that narcissists can change, but the shrinks tell me the only hope of them getting it, and reforming, is to feel some pain that registers with them.
Oh, now he’s felt pain, so it’s safe to swoop back in and make things right again? No — the pain is your forever absence. And you’ll know he’s healthy (after decades of therapy) when he humbly leaves you the fuck alone, because he GETS it. His begging and pitching fits are signs of how much he does NOT get it. Also know, that if you EVER take him back, Goldie? He is going to build those walls so high the next time that you cannot escape. If you think he abused and mindfucked you before, it gets a shitload worse after you take him back. (Ask me how I know….)
He’s gambling that you’ll believe his promise to live like a “dog in a cage.” Gee, how could you resist a lifetime offer to be the marriage police?! Imagine! Having a command central in your living room, with computer screens and ankle monitors! You could coordinate data points like they do on cop shows! “Suspect is lingering too long at the Piggly Wiggly…”
OMG no. Do you see how fucked up that is? He thinks this is all about “you’re not the boss of me!” and so, gosh, as a HUGE concession, he’ll LET you be boss! With handcuffs and EVERYTHING. Because that’s what marriages are to him. How long do you think he’ll last as your humble subject before he’s fomenting revolution? Fuck that shit, Goldie.
Stay strong on the no contact. Forget his pain and focus on your healing. The beauty of no contact is that it gives you some breathing room. Enjoy the peace. And don’t feel one. bit. sorry. for this asshole.