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The Narcissist Checklist

narcissistegokibblesI noticed in the comments the other day, on Eat, Pray, Kibble (or as my husband has renamed it “Cheat, Prey, Wuv”), you guys were starting a narcissist checklist.

Before I get the inevitable criticism that we’re arm chair-diagnosing narcissists, (hey if the Google glasses fit…) we’re not looking to contribute to the DSM or Hare checklist here. Today’s exercise is just coming up with some characteristics that might give you pause.

Does she enjoy Esther Perel TED talks?

Does he have three motorcycles, three cars, and four kayaks, but can’t buy his mother lunch?

Does he ask you out to lunch, insist you only split an appetizer (because hey, you’re not hungry, right?) and then berate the waitress?

Did she spend the rent on a Bedazzler?

Tell me, chumps, what are you screening for these days? Help your fellow chumps out.

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Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I have two: more shoes than me – expensive ones – and eagerly belting out karaoke without a single drink and with no fear in a crowded bar.

    • X never planned one thing during our marriage. He could NOT plan a date night. I would ask where do you want to go? His responses were ALWAYS, I don’t care. Then I would do all the work around my interests and sure enough the complaints would roll in. If you do all the planning it will always be your fault when they aren’t happy.

      X spent thousands on drums and was never in a band. Ever. He also bought a car and had spent at least 6000 in repairs and the book value is 500. Not a dime was spent in restoration or antique plates.

      Selfishness

      The list is endless. I had to pay for my meals when we went out. He slugged down 5 drinks and the expensive meal and I ordered soup or a salad. X would never try new restaurants.

      I had to pay for half if every hotel to bring my son to college and the gas and tolls.

      X never did my christmas shopping. He would say pick something out. For my last narc year if being attached to the asshole I picked out a sweater for 125 dollars and never heard the end if it.

      In christmas we picked names and he bought one small gift yet never bought me a thing.

      I can’t drink beer due to ingredients. X would bring home a CASE if beer and offer me one continuously. Then say oh that’s right you can’t drink beer. Not once would he bring home a nice bottle if wine.

      X was angry if I spent any time with friends and made fun if my best bud. He called her names and got all my children to despise her even though she is awesome. Now they see it and she was my greatest support.

      X was a killer of any joy I had in my life. If I walked in the door excited he made sure to wipe that smile off my face pronto.

      The grooming was never ending. Hours were spent in the bathroom and he asked me what underwear made him Look good.

      I hate this mother fucker. He is a narcissist diagnosed by the expert victim after 41 years of abuse. Also a serial cheater sociopath. That is what I divorced a very sick soul sucking leech. He hasn’t changed an ounce. He’s on #17 and seeing 18 and 19. Yup. Dont need that anymore.

      • Donna: Details are different, but I relate to your posts sooooo much. The planning an event and then hearing the complaints roll in.

        This should have been a red flag: first year of our relationship I wanted to go to an Ethiopian restaurant that everyone raved about. Weeks went by before Hannibal Lecher would even consider it. He finally agrees to try the restaurant, and then complains the whole damn meal, “Ew, you have to eat with your fingers! The chicken dish wasn’t that good! Essentially, I was being groomed to never ask for what I wanted because then I would pay the consequences (didn’t fully work, but I did reduce my needs).

        Jackass also ruined EVERY SINGLE momentous event in my life–got so drunk at our wedding I had to go take care of him with the trash can next to the bridal bed. Was grumpy during first child’s birth, and asked to go out for a drink with a friend rather than witness the birth. Berated me to the point of sobbing the day after second daughter’s birth. We get a new puppy and he won’t let anyone hold it in the car, even though the kids had been waiting years for a puppy. The list goes on and on. Divorce was a relief.

        • Tempest

          That is an excellent way to describe it, “reducing my needs”. By the time it was over he really didn’t think I had any. I swear having a child was traumatizing to them. X cheated while I was pregnant with my first two.

          • Mine wouldn’t allow children at all. It would have meant that he could not have what he wanted when he wanted and how and where he wanted. It would have meant that his needs would have had to be secondary to another person. I could withstand that, but a child could not. Hence, no children allowed. The very prospect can send them into a very bad tantrum. Like a grabbing your hair and slamming your head against the wall tantrum. “I know I promised you a child but you won’t be a good mother because I won’t let you be so understand that now!” Yes, divorce was a relief. Having no children with such a beast is a relief too, sad as it is.

              • Donna, I’m safe for some years now. But still wrestling with exactly what happened to me back when. What sort of evil was that? I think I am healing here with the rest of you, even if I’m old enough to be some or most of your auntie.

        • “I was being groomed to never ask for what I wanted because then I would pay the consequences (didn’t fully work, but I did reduce my needs).”

          spittle…barf…hurl….

          The first hint of this type of behavior, the mother fucker should be kicked out the door. It makes me sick that I put up with this bull shit more than once.

          Thank you, Tempest. This should be in the top ten of the check list.

          • Hey, friends – there’s an equally evil type of douchebag who flies under the radar, and pretends he has zero needs against yours. It’s this “lack of need” that slowly drives you crazy over 23 years, because NO ONE can have zero needs, right?! Even when you ask, beg, plead with him to communicate his needs, you get next to nothing. In fact, he even says, “I don’t need anything. I just want you happy.” FUCKING LIAR! These quiet, scheming cheaters cater to what you want to do, and show little to no real emotion, all the while they are exploiting the trust you give them about what they say the moment they’re not under your watch.

            Don’t be confused, they most definitely are generating ego kibbles for themselves with whores at work, or pretty much anywhere else they go or can get them. Meanwhile, the distance in your “marriage” grows, along with the lack of affection, closeness and intimacy you thought there once was. These asswipes just get worse and worse at hiding their “quiet & caring” fake disposition to the point that they silently scream at you who they really are: completely disengaged from your marriage, children, and family. Oh, they’re getting their kibble. Just not from you. AND, they silently convince themselves moment-by-moment that YOU are the reason they have to kibble-and-affection-whore themselves out.

            “You’re always angry!” the douchebag yelled at me on DDay. Ummm…yeah, you fucking moron!! You REALLY don’t see the direct connection between your emotional and physical cheating on me for 17 years, and your “wife’s” anger, frustration, and continual begging you for love, closeness, attention, and intimacy?!?! You REALLY believe yourself to be that awesome at scheming and fucking around behind your wife and childrens’ backs, AND being some sort of husband and father of the decade?!?

            But these types of cheating douchebags convince themselves they had a right to their predatory kibble-whoring. Because the x-douchebag was SO uninvolved in our family life, I was the one busy working my tail off to keep it all together. Do asswipes like this think, “Hmmm. Maybe if I help out as an equal partner, she’ll be less busy and available to me. She might also be less tired, and more loving and appreciative of me…” Nahhhhh – that can’t possibly be the solution. I’ll just kibble whore. That’s easy, and it’s all I understand, plus, I like my dick feeling like junior high all the time.

            To emotionally connect? To be emotionally healthy? To understand and practice a mature love through action?
            Awwww, HELL no!

            If they’re the silent type, you better make sure you have full access to E V E R Y T H I N G. If he has nothing to hide, he’ll offer it up. If he refuses, run. Mine was silent, but was in NO WAY an introvert, and I should have seen that those two combos don’t add up. And no, he was not some sort of “quiet thinker.” Pretty much a mind-numb moron who watched life and real achievers like me pass him by. That dumbass NEVER inspired me intellectually, emotionally, or otherwise, and in return got unconditional love, support, trust and my wasted loyalty.

            I never played marriage police because I never imagined I’d waste 23 years on a quiet, caring, no-personal-needs, fucking DOUCHEBAG cheating, abandoning whore.

            Don’t buy the silent type bullshit. Not in this day. My entire family (parents, grown sibilings, kids) all know my passwords to my iPad and phone and they’re welcome to pick up, log in, and use at ANY time. I have NOTHING to hide, and only my integrity to share. There’s a double-life going on unless they give you full access. Period.

            • KFMM–you’re right. The past few years of the marriage, mine had gone from demanding emotional needy jackass to seeming more mature and tolerant of my not kowtowing to his every need. I now suspect that is when he started to up his game, including on adult hookup sites. He just took his “needs” elsewhere.

              • Hey, Tempest – exactly! Those “needs” are always base in design, and never contribute to the good of the relationship or children. They suck!!

                I forgot to mention that when I finally started sniffing around things, the douchebag’s “patience” quickly faded, and then the raging started. When I finally thought about it all, EVERY time I was getting too close to discovery, he would rage. He punched holes in walls, and would be the coward he really is (he abandoned, remember?) and would run off or drive off. Always said it was to “calm down,” but these sneaky bastards feel their masks start to slip, and it’s too close to us finding them out, and they rage to distract us. It’s SOOOO obvious now. Truly patient, calm, quiet, caring people with nothing to hide don’t rage.

                Love all your posts, girl. You’re awesome. (((hugs!!)))

              • Mine would call and accuse me of trying to get him fired by snooping around about his affairs with graduate students.

                Love you, back, KFMM!!

              • Mine is the quiet one too. It’s horrible. Until they aren’t. And they are so angry and hateful and terrifying.

            • Wow KibbleFree – such creepy similarities! My partner was always very passive aggressive, repressed a lot. His only ‘need’ was to make me happy, he claimed to have no other! He regularly sulked that I never appreciated him enough, yet every time I approached him, he never had an examples or suggestions for me! He also complained that he did something just to make me happy, insinuating that I was controlling. No matter how many times I told him “don’t do something for me that you are not happy with yourself”, he still went ahead & did it resentfully, but pretended he wanted to. He also regularly withdrew when he didn’t get sex for more than 2 or 3 days. When I suggested a possible sex worker to match his sex drive, his words were “I can’t fuck random people, I need some sort of emotional connection”.

              Nothing could be further from the truth!! His was addicted to porn, and had so many online profiles looking for random sex – I lost count! He just pretended so deeply about who he was on so many levels. His narrative is : “I’m just a really nice guy, I’m humble, I”m a social worker, people take advantage of my niceness, I’m a good guy who’s always under appreciated”. That whole, fake, quiet, caring thing. What he REALLY is, is a coward who can’t admit what his needs are , gives emotional guilt trips, won’t take personal responsibility, pretends he’s happy when he’s not, which then makes him resentful, which then makes him take it out on you by cheating around. What pisses me off is that no one can see it! Even his wife, back when he was married (some time ago) didn’t know what he was like. I’m the only one who has uncovered who he really is. Makes me sick! Yes, the covert, passive aggressive ones are REALLY sneaky – they are like Hitler’s gas chamber, slowly, slowly,…..

      • “…reducing my needs…” Yep- “Narck-y” to a T!!!! He told OWhore that I “never wanted to go out”…the last time he took me out for a “date” was to see Dracula movie last October (HE wanted to see it, because he’s a soul-sucking vampire, dontcha know) then bitched and complained about the movie admission tickets, the snacks, and the ice cream afterwards- we got home and the mother fucker asked to go out to see his loser friends…stupid little slut can have his ass!!!!

        • Unsinkable Molly – hell yes! Arsehole spent all his time complaining about how boring our life was, and how we never did anything, but if I ever suggested a movie or activity or restaurant he would turn it down, or agree, but spend the whole time complaining. He ruined so many events with his negative attitude. Why, oh why, did I blame myself for being boring instead of seeing him for the negative, whinging bitch that he is?!??!!!

          • YES, Blackbird!!! Every.Single.Holiday/Special OCcaision!!!! I had to deal with his “sadness” that nothing he expected panned out to his desires!!! Selfish, selfish asshole!!!

            He “doesn’t dance” and I may not qualify for Dancing With the Stars, but I’m not going to sit there at a DANCE and not dance…he would just sit over there and act like he was super-stud, but then get pissed if someone else asked me to dance!!!!

            • Oh, my favourite story about X ruining special occasions: last Christmas I hadn’t picked up on his hint that he wanted an XBox One. He went very dark, very fast. Christmas dinner was very tense and almost silent (lovely for the kids) – except for the soundtrack X put on. LEONARD COHEN. Yes, he hnest to God played Leonard Cohen’s dirge-like misery music through Christmas dinner because he didn’t get the toy he wanted.

              The last few months have been awful, , but at least thank God I never have to stress out over Christmas gifts for him again.

    • What is it about narcissists and shoes?!! He had the designer wardrobe and expensive watches and would go shopping in Bond Street every week while I shopped in TK Maxx! He certainly put the ‘arse’ into ‘nARSEsist’.

      • It’s their costume and their armor, Rachel. My narcissist’s inventory (and I assure you, these are low estimates. I counted one time, so these are fairly accurate):

        Shoes: 110 pair (many of which were alligator and crocodile)

        Ties: 320

        Slacks: 110

        Dress Shirts: 270

        Cashmere Sweaters: 300 (no lie!)

        Cashmere Vests: 110

        Belts: 170 ( many of which were alligator, crocodile, snake skin with sterling silver buckles)

        Rolex Watches: 13

        Suits: 40

        Sports jackets: 60

        Coats/Jackets: conservatively 300

        Boxers: 80

        This list doesn’t include jeans, tees, sweatshirts – anything casual.

        This man used to bitch at me unmercifully for spending too much on clothes at WalMart and Target for myself and our child. He spent half his life sneaking to and from the dry cleaners, hiding clothing in our basement – sickening!

        These narcs have no idea who they really are and are so vacant inside that they think they become the facade they erect on the outside. It is so creepy to fathom what goes on inside their heads it gives me the willies.

          • It was so laughable! The enormous walk-in closet wasn’t enough – the huge sitting area in the bedroom was incorporated into the closet as well. And even with all that room, other closets in the house were used by him and there were piles of of clothing, tags still attached, in every closet. He was such a hoarder, but he only hoarded the best! After reading every book on narcs ever published, I came to realize that because there was nothing inside of him, he only cared about first impressions. It didn’t matter that he had no character, personal dignity, that those closest to him knew he was a raging asshole – as long as he LOOKED like a successful business and family man, he thought he really was. If he wasn’t such a bastard, you’d almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

            • You could sell that inventory under his nose and make a fortune. Truly. Enough to be comfy for the rest of your days, for sure.

            • After whores started talking to him at work, it was always GAP Sexy Boot Cut jeans. We couldn’t even afford them. I only shop at Ross and the like, but no him. “Other jeans don’t fit me right!!” Not kidding – until he wore holes into the inseams. Then, when he was out of work for 18 mos, he actually bought JEANS PATCHES to fix the inseams!! What a fucking moron!! Being on unemployment with his wife working full-time, working on a master’s and coaching their kid’s soccer team taking didn’t bother him, it was that he didn’t have his Sexy Boot Cut jeans. SOOOOO glad that douchebag is out of my life.

        • Wow, your detailing my stbx’s wardrobe…..I hadn’t thought about this much. (I was a good programmed chump believing whatever bullshit he’d spun me on it I guess) Again, the narc / cheater script is always the same. I was wasteful and spent too much on clothes, he went right ahead. His sister visited once and told me she felt sick as it was obscene to look at all that ‘stuff’. Thank you CL and chump nation – keeping chumps sane and mighty, one day at a time 🙂

      • OMG! Mine had a watch box that displayed his watches! I actually bought him an expensive watch he wanted during false reconciliation! He foolishly left it on the dresser and I confiscated it before kicking his ass out for good! When he came to pick up his belongings he asked for the watch and I told him to …… Well, you know what! Then he comes out with, “That’s not fair!” Needless to say I went into an entire list of what was not fair and he shut the Hell up! I told him I would give the watch to my next husband or boyfriend who would be a REAL man! And his clothing and shoe collection was outrageous! HE had the walk-in closet and an extra closet in our bedroom cause he had so many outfits and ONLY designer crap! So glad he’s gone!

        • Oh yes! The vast collection of watches! In fact I am pretty sure the OW bought him a watch for Christmas and he pretended he bought it for himself. Also, latest technology was a must (cellphones, cameras, TV). Right now he only buys designer clothes for our kids. I hope they won’t grow up thinking that’s what’s important in life!

    • Oh my goodness, that!! He had millions of shoes! Everywhere! Closets were full, under beds, in boxes…me and the kids had literally 2 pairs each at any given time (one winter one summer, I kid you not), and they were by the door. Else he will pile up his shoes on top of ours in the closet. The hell if we put our shoe on top of his!

      When pregnant with first child, I walked all winter in fall shoes with the nail protruding through the heel to my foot. Another winter I walked in white worn out running shoes.

      When I got bigger an no longer fit in my regular clothes, even with rubber band around the button on pants….I asked to go to at least to Value Village to get $4 large pants to survive. He made a big argument yelling at me why can’t I wear just long johns! I’m not joking. I almost had a nervous breakdown in that fight..

      All throughout 11 year marriage, I had also about one sixth of our bathroom vanity to myself, he would purchase 3-4 perfumes at a time for him. I didn’t have even one for years on end. He said because mine were more expensive…and his cheaper.
      My vanity is half empty now, I’m learning it’s okay to purchase a cream or a fancy perfume for myself. My mirror and sink is clean.

      Even though I worked and paid the bills, and he was just home going to his ‘self employment’ when he pleased if he pleased, I could not take a shower in the morning because the bathroom was his, I had to take mine at night and apply makeup at work.

      Work was 7 min away by car, the car I financed, but he told me to take 2 buses to go to work, I was 7 m pregnant in winter.

      One interesting pearl just weeks into marriage..We were going to sleep on our queen-sized bed at night and he lied down on it diagonally across. I didn’t think much of it just asked if he could move over so I can lie down..He exploded on me essentially telling me that I can curl up in either corner or get the fuck out but I don’t tell him how to lie down in bed…I had no idea what was happening..

      I had two babies (was late twenties, and PCOS so rushed it) and I slept on that dented, damaged, queen-sized mattresse on the floor (no bed) for four years of marriage. Only after many bitter fights I was finally allowed to purchase an Ikea bed and dresser.

      There is so much more, but I get pain in my right side when thinking of these things, the stress and trigger is still fresh, so I better stop now.

      I wish I could go complete NC, but 4 little ones. I am slowly finding ways to avoid him more and more. Life is soo much better now, and I will get to MEH. Not because I ‘love’ the SOB, I hate the SOB, but precisely for this. I need to stop feeling the regret, anger and hatred for him at some point because it is not good for health. God will destroy the scum. Sasanka, breathe. God bless you all, mighty survivors.

      • Holy cow, Sasanka, you are awesome for moving on from this male version of Imelda Marcos and continuing on with four kids! Maybe change your contact name for him on the phone so when he calls you can laugh at Imelda calling for his shoes. The pain is fresh, but you are wise to keep breathing and surviving. Soon I hope you can find humor in his absurd behavior. His shame is not your shame.

        • The joy, Sasanka, is that you value everything more. Children, shoes, a peaceful night’s sleep. A bit of room on your bathroom counter. You are seeing what is there, not what is missing that was never really needed. No one can give you back your original hopes and dreams for the shit for brains you married, but every step forward can be a monument to your mightiness.

          I too was told that I liked to wear shoes that messed up my feet while I walked lots to take buses while (drumroll, please) my ex took my car for months and had me ride the bus and make my car payments and car insurance payments in addition to paying for the bus, and walking home through the ‘hood late at night when he would escort our guests to their cars because it just wasn’t safe. Why? He’d parked in a bad place one night and his car was impounded, but because it was on the city line, He “needed a car” and thought I didn’t. I didn’t find who had his car for a long time. I filed the paperwork and got it back, and got him paid $1200 for the issue, but I didn’t see a dime. Just a dirty filthy car with no gas left in it when he got a new one. And I still married that pig. I tell myself I was so focused on getting through school and the promises for after, but that should have told me everything I needed to know.

          Good luck to you, sweetie.

  • They suck you into a vortex that makes you feel that you are the only person in the world and then they slowly twist the scenario till they have you feeling that the very existence of the relationship balances on a knifes edge and the balancing act is all on you.
    They over value themselves while pointing out everyone else’s short comings.
    They dismiss your concerns for their disrespectful behaviour while deflecting the awkwardness of the situation back on to you. Because it is not what they did it was just how you took it.

    • So true…my ex put me literally on a pedestal, and I fell hard…now I am the most horrible Person according to him…I tell him, I may as well act the bitch you Porträt me to be.

      • I, too, was on a pedestal for a quarter century before the pedestal was pulled down like the statue of Saddam Hussein when the US invaded. Then OWhore became the occupier of the brand spanking new pedestal he had erected(no pun intended) just for her. I don’t know if he pulled that one down too or she jumped off herself but he has since erected another pedestal for his wuv-to-be. As I’ve posted here he was my everything until I became his nothing & now, vice-versa. Good luck with your future pedestals you F’in asshat!

    • Thankful, you described it perfectly. I love the part about how it’s not whatntheyndid but how we took it. STBX thinks his actions should not have an effect on my behavior.

    • yes, every time he flirted blatantly with every waitress or cashier, and I acted uncomfortable (usually while the woman was glaring at me or else looking at me pityingly), he got extremely mad at me for being so ridiculously “jealous.” They didn’t have to be pretty or good looking, he flirted with every single one of them. I’m sure half of them felt sorry for me. The others were so flattered they handed him MY change after I paid.

      • TheMuse…..I can relate. Mine was flirtatious with all women too, including MY friends! Then he’d blame his ADD. You know, you can’t control your actions AND you don’t even realize it when you have ADD!!!! (his excuses)
        Here’s a good one too……we were at a restaurant and he stared non-stop at a picture on the wall because it reminded him of MY girlfriend. Yep, he had a thing for her too. He’s a sick fuck and I can’t wait for the karma bus to run his ass over!!!

      • For x it was always looking and trying to get eye contact from women. And he always walked behind not next to me. The only time he wanted to touch me was when he wanted sex

        • Donna – THAT!! I’m freakin’ 5’2″. The x douchebag is 6’2″!! How in THE HELL was I always able to walk ahead of is lame ass?! It does not make sense!! Now I know. He was likely trying to find eye contact from whores, or it was just illustrative of the distance he continued to emotionally and physically create between us. He’d never walk with me as a partner, or ahead of me to lead our family, but like a disengaged moron always in the back.

          (((hugs, Donna.)))

    • “They dismiss your concerns for their disrespectful behaviour while deflecting the awkwardness of the situation back on to you. Because it is not what they did it was just how you took it.”

      This is so my life right now! He wonders why I can’t stand the sight of him and why I am so “harsh” all the time. Well because you still with your HOmewrecker and it makes me sick. Working on our “co-parenting” isn’t possible when I hate the sight of you! Not exactly to Meh! but seriously just pick up the kid and get gone!

        • I find myself constantly trying to defend myself and I have to stop because his mind is warped and everything he does is right and moral in his eyes and everything I do is wrong. I have to learn to stop taking the bait but it’s hard to not want to defend yourself against ridiculous accusations. I just hope the guardian ad litem can see through his lies and don’t believe him

    • This is sooo my life right now. My soon to be ex said that ” I had every right to be upset about what he did but I had no right to react how I did”. Who the hell are you to tell me how I should react? What??? Did my reaction upset your 22yr old babysitter slut that you slept with in our house??? He has even told our 16yr old daughter that nothing is going on between them and mom is just being a hormonal bitch

  • 1. No pets. If they don’t have a pet I think it is a huge warning sign – shows they are incapable of loving/caring for others.

    2. Never lived by themselves

    3. If they have kids, never attended kids activities or kids won’t speak to them and blaming X for poisoning the kids against them.

    4. Won’t admit they ever made mistakes.

    5. No signs of introspection.

    • Mommy Chump

      My daughter fosters dogs yet asshole never wanted one because HE didn’t like dogs. X made many comments about not liking small dogs specifically. Guess what #17 has? It’s a small, ugly foo foo dog with bows. And after he left I was cleaning up the fur from my bedroom. On a side note my daughters dog no longer gets excited to see him.

      Wow he NEVER lived by himself in 57 years.

    • Mommy Chump….the XPOS had 2 dogs that NEVER were allowed in the house (on rare occasions if inside he would hold them so they couldn’t get on anything) and they lived in a cage in the garage that attached to a doggy door that only went outside.
      And yes, both kids ended up not speaking to him and he always blamed his X for ‘poisoning’ them.

    • Yup, it’s my fault DD14 won’t speak to him. I “turned the children against him.”

      And when I asked for a notarized signature from him allowing me to take DD14 out of the country for vacation, here was his response, “Is this really necessary? DD14 refuses to have any contact with me whatsoever. Given that, it is a matter of no importance or interest to me where and whether she travels. As far as I am concerned, you can take her anywhere.”

      Father of the year, eh?

    • I’m glad most narcs do not have pets as most likely the pets are disposed once they are not cute and fun…way too many dogs in the 5 years and older group on craigslist, etc. Usually with the “moving cannot keep” horseshit excuse. As much as I dislike lots of legislation, laws, etc. we have got to have some stronger laws in this country for pets. You have a pet and want to get rid of the pet, fine, guess what, no more puppies for you. I used to drive by a house that always had a pure bred puppy in the yard, I swear once the dog was a little over a year it was gone and then would be replaced by another puppy.

      • I agree; I volunteer at the Humane Society and am appalled by people who give up pets when moving as if they were an old couch. One dog was so distraught by its owners leaving it that it turned vicious and had to be put down.

        My X gave up his previous dog to his former ex-wife after the dog became inconvenient. I should have paid attention to that.

        • My ex isn’t a narc, but she definitely finds pets disposable. She left her son’s sick cat behind when she left her second husband, and then left me with the dog we adopted at 6.5 years old. One of the last things on her exit checklist was offering to euthanize a cat of mine that her son had taken as his own.

          I’ll never again trust anyone who has left a pet behind and isn’t tormented over it.

          • I had to leave pets behind. Two bunnies and seven fish. That was to keep the twin cats adopted before marriage that the fuckhead wanted to separate over a decade later. I kept the cats until they were 19 years old and failing in every way, but I kept them together. I’ve never felt good about leaving the rest of my babies behind, but apartments don’t like rabbits, even if they are house trained. And the fish were pretty new. The ones left behind were all gone a few years later, and yes, I felt like hell for not protecting them. But then, I couldn’t even protect myself adequately.

            • I’m so sorry that you had to leave some of your pets behind. I’m sure you realize that I wasn’t directing my comments at anyone who had to leave a situation not of their own creating. Willingly leaving pets because “I’m not happy” is so very different that being forced into a situation caused by some asshat blowing up your family.

              • I was fighting “pet visitation” also at the time. Like, dear court, tell me where she ran and let me into her house regularly to see my very dear but unloved cats. Including the one I threw against the wall over and over again during the night until he had no cartilage left from his hips to his toes. The worst arthritis ever seen in a cat by that vet. All from his abuse. I understood that threat.

                I should have taken all the livestock and never looked back, but I’d never have been done with him. Like children, they will use pets to keep their hold on you.

          • Mine always had a dog. The thing is that he cared more for and spent more time with the dog than his family. If she was ever left in our care while he was away, the kids would panic something would happen to her and there would be hell to pay. Rarely spoke to us but would light up like a christmas tree with other people and his dog. Notice it was not the family pet.

  • 1) he got the walk in closet as he had shoes to match every single outfit
    2) never on time….always late for everything
    3) grooming (especially towards the end of marriage)

    • Late for everything! So true! It’s just disrespectful and entitled.

      I forgot one: expects help from the neighbours but won’t return the favour or acknowledge it in a normal way, like a bottle of wine after the neighbour took in the mail while he was away on vacation.

      Another one just popped into my head: goes big on presents for virtual strangers (ie plans going away party for acquaintance coworker) but can’t scrape together the cash for a birthday or anniversary present.

      I have another! Doesn’t keep promises after you agree to something, for example, refuses to take vitamins or cut back on drinking after you’ve spent $10,000 for IVF.

      • Yes! This ……late always and over the top pressies that I would pay for for everyone else yet I was lucky if I got a card…… Hated wasting money on anniversary gifts ………

        • Ah yes, the almost total inability to comprehend time. We see this as being rude and perhaps a conscious act of self-importance. It is rude. However, observing my narc I almost sense that it is more like they are in a “me bubble” where time and “other” does not compute. They don’t feel empathy in the way that we do, so they not to feel the pull that we do towards being kind to others. It’s all about what they are doing at the moment and what they want to do next. Others only enter into the picture as a source of supply. Not outgoing concern.

          • One of the few things my ex and I used to argue about was his constant lateness. He was late for EVERYTHING, it was infuriating. I viewed it as a combination of not giving a fuck about anyone else and a total lack of time management skills.

            • Check. I got that one too. Chronically late. Never figured it was a core issue. There were too many others.

        • Same here for the narc operating on his own time, with blatant disregard to other’s needs. I was often frustrated that as a couple, “we” ended doing his activities all day (mostly shopping) on the weekends because he just wanted to do his thing. He seemed to think we had all the time in the world. Narc’s probably do that because it’s hard for them to consider other people’s feelings.

      • Yes! He was either late or showed up stoned and or drunk for any special event. I dreaded holidays and the repetitive cycle of his inability to contribute to any conversation.

        X was very intimated by anyone who was self made and confident. The only people he interacted with were customers.

        The word is out in our small town about his lying and cheating, alcoholism, porn and drug use. X brought # 17 out in public to places I frequent and created quite a buzz. Multiple people have stated politely that there’s something off about her, he needs glasses, and that she has no filter when she speaks. On the second occasion he was politely asked not to bring her into an establishment because she harassed employees. I have to agree with my therapist that he can’t find anyone intelligent and attractive who would want him. Isn’t that karma in a neat little package? Haha

        • From your previous posts #17 is only 18 or 19 correct? I would say she is somewhat deranged to go after a man in his late 50’s. Most female borderlines have “Daddy” issues. Very sick.

          • No, #17 is the 17th whore he had had that I know of and 18 and 19 are the two he is dating while he’s lining with her. No he isn’t with a 17 year old. He’s with an ugly pig his age.

          • Yes she has mental health issues also. If he was going out with a child I would most certainly report him without hesitation. Sorry for the misunderstanding. And she does call him daddy thanks for checking.

            • OMG, Donna, I LOVE you!!! HAHAHAHAHAAAA…”..she calls him ‘daddy’…” ROTFLMAO!!! I needed that one!!!

              STBXH is 37, his little skank-slut is mid-twenties, 2 kids under age of 5, and her XH left her for a stripper and “doesn’t pay her child support” to which I snapped, “Neither do you!” He quit talking after that!!!!

              • Why do they like the fucked up messes they create. And bragging about the details. Yes it sounds so romantic. Their so dumb.

      • Yes, chronically late!!!….for …..my and children’s appointments, for his parents, but never for his appointments! I thought he had a genuine problem due to his laid back ‘culture’ and poor parenting. Until I realized he had a list A and a list B. List A were people who mattered. But not as people to be respected, only as money/business contacts to be made. List B were unimportant chumps who were not going anywhere anyways. I didn’t realize the far bigger picture of utter disrespect and abuse.

    • Seeking Peace……..always late and extreme grooming he did too. He went from being a very hairy man, (back too) which I was totally fine with, to a hairless wonder, including plucked eyebrows, no hair under arms or on arms/legs, and nothing where his viagara induced appendage was!!!
      I’m sure it was because if you’re boinking a stripper she would be hairless too.

      We didn’t live together so the closet was all his and he did have many, many shoes too! He had purchased about 8 pairs of the identical shoe because he loved the look and feel of them so much! (he can thank me for picking out the fab shoe!).

  • For the male of the species:

    1. He preens in front of the mirror or any reflective piece of glass to the extent it would put Narcissus to shame.

    2. He uses and wears to bed more cosmeceuticals than you do.

    3. He’s first through any door despite wind, hale, driving rain. Too bad for the elderly, infirm, pregnant, harried mother with a stroller, or gentle wife.

    I could go on…but I’m trying to forget….

    • See the light, I totally relate… My kids made fun about how much time he spent puting in anti-wrinkle creams and…
      1. Botox ( I actually told my 19 year old son he might be the only boy whose mom doesn’t use Botox but his farther does)
      2. Testosterone injections (paid $1000 a month for an anti-aging team of doctors to keep him young, he was 41!!!)
      3. Tanning beds
      4. Ridiculous young looking wardrobe.
      5. Obsessive vitamin and supplement taking
      6. Obsessive food preparation so he would be “in the zone”.

      Silly me!!! After 20 years of marriage I just thought he was having a midlife crisis. I know now he had been cheating for years.

      The OW gets this jewel now.

      I’m am trusting that he sucks.

      • Yes, yes, yes, Gaby! My cheater got a dermabrasion and I had to get one too just to keep up. It was exhausting and unsettling being around him.

        • OMG… YES!! Mine got a Fitbit – well, WE got Fitbits for Christmas – that began the glorious competition… he went from full on alcoholism to full on won’t-eat-anything gotta walk 20,000 steps a day. He would ask me how many steps I had for the day, and he would spent the next day making sure he beat me… 10,000 was the goal – and he kept amping it up 15,000 – 20,000 – 25,000. I got so demotivated and fed up by this constant competition that I let dog eat my Fitbit chip. I later started a C25K program… I didn’t tell him until he caught me out one day – he literally laughed at me, then proceeded to ask me if he could join… I walked away pretending not to hear him… no fucking way asshole. No fucking way.

      • This is my first time posting and want everyone to know how much your insight and experiences have helped me through the last year. I am just a few days away from signing the dissolution paperwork and am hopeful that everything is finalized before the end of August. My 58-year-old is having a PA with a 28-year-old girl he supervises. DDay was October 14th and it has been ridiculous ever since. I heard all of the narcissistic language and am trying not to be angry that I was completely duped by him. He continually stated it was over but today, when we traded vehicles for a few hours, I was able to listen to this lovely CD that his new pedestal girl had made for him. How special… More kibbles for him and I am DONE doing the “pick me” dance. Your comments about vitamins, supplements, eating certain foods and using special creams on their face/body sound just like my life with my somatic narcissist. It was a gift to find this website!!! Thank you!!!

        • FMF – welcome to this (ultimately) happy fellowship! I am so sorry you have had to join us, but equally convinced that at some stage in the not too distant future you will have a sudden, strange moment where you realise your heart is light and free and happy, and you are so much better off without him!

          The only advice I can give you: feel your anger. It is righteous anger, you have been right royally tucked over, and that anger is a message from your own deepest core telling you to protect yourself. You have a right to be angry – own it like a boss. It will drive you towards improvement for your one sake, and protecting yourself against people who stab you in the back.

          Hugs. Hang in there.

        • Hi FMF, the support here saved me and helped me feel and move past that important anger Blackbird is talking about. At first I could not wrap my head around “trust that he sucks,” but it has become my healthy mantra that also is helping me move on. Sorry you have to go through this but I welcome you and hope you find relief here.

    • I can relate to the vanity and the over-grooming. I thought it was funny someone like me who isn’t into fashion or beauty routines paired up with a guy who loved to get dressed up and had more hair supplies than I did. I am female by the way.

      • This ^^^^

        I am a no frills type of girl when I would have my nails done or my hair XH would need to go and get his eyebrows waxed. My marriages was a constant competition.

  • I haven’t experienced this directly, but people who communicate with each other on Facebook rather than privately, like they are putting on a show. I have one friend (I.e., acquaintance) who does this with every new guy. I nicknamed her the Lovebird. “I hope you are wonderful this morning. I luuuurve you!!” “I luuuurve you MORE!!!! Last night was amazing!!!!”. Just so creepy. I haven’t figured out if she is a narc, or a narc magnet.

    • Oh god, this! Can’t handle people like that. At all.
      You’re basically thinking “Put your garbage in PM or shut up”

  • As a first note, I never got why people pussyfoot around when labelling people as mentally ill, by saying “You can’t diagnose a person as mentally ill, you’re not in the psych profession!”
    Call a spade a fuckin’ spade – if someone is clearly being a narc, they’re a narc. I would gather that life experience would be able to better diagnose mental illness for the most part, over some piece of paper that says someone is supposed to be good at something. Not to mention, the proportion of nutjobs who go into the psych profession just to understand how fucked up they are, and to self-diagnose. Or the people who have zero life skills seeing what these whackjobs are all about.

    But – onto the topic at hand. Hmmm, lets see…

    Someone who uses the word “I” way too much in conversation (more that what people who are say, genuinely happy about an achievement they have made, or if another party is asking about an aspect of their life) and, when the conversation is about something else, they are always seeking ways to drag the conversation back onto themselves.

    People who say “You’re a bitter person” when you raise a legitimate critique of something which isn’t fitting what the status quo is saying.

    People who say “Its your opinion” and then proceed to lamblast their own (usually incorrect) opinion on something, when you successfully back them into a corner. Of course its my fucking opinion – that’s why I said it?

    Someone who blasts tripe such as “I need to be happy at all costs” or prides themselves on being ‘cultured’ or ‘knowledgeable’ – when their knowledge is only about the latest celebrity gossip or reality TV nonsense. (Hallmark of respecting fake people – being fake yourself!)

    Someone who prides themselves on always having ‘designer’ labels – and looks down on you if you don’t have them. (Fuck that, the most comfy pair of shoes I have ever owned cost me $20. And I’m still wearing them now, nearly 10 years later)

    The narcissistic tripe which is ‘selfies’. ‘Nuff said. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that people who ‘friend’ a lot of people on social media, or who use social media as something more than keeping in touch with family and friends.

    Wow, that’s quite a lot, and that’s not even scratching the surface.

    • “The narcissistic tripe which is ‘selfies’”

      Does taking polaroids of your man-junk and sending it over the internet or keeping them in your wallet count as a “selfie”?

    • Constant selfies pasted all over social media. Wifey number 3 posts pics from 8 or so years ago…all with her boobs mostly out.

      I don’t have them blocked because I have finally reached meh and neither of them pester me. I do have to keep telling Facebook not to suggest them as friends…lol. That and somehow their posts to my niece’s page show up in my newsfeed are the only reasons I even see pics of them.

      But yes, social media is a thing of wonder to a narcissist.

      • Yes, for weeks after dday, Facebook kept suggesting that I add OW as a friend, until I finally figured out how to stop that. But I did go to her page (only right after dday)—and it was FULL of selfies. As soon as I saw that, I know my intuition was on target, as far as OW goes. It wasn’t funny then, but it cracks me up now to think of all those selfies…

    • The narcissistic tripe which is ‘selfies’. ‘Nuff said

      Oh YES, THIS ^^^^^

      I personally hate taking selfies, but “Narck-y” LOVES himself so much he posts a new pic of himself just about ONCE A DAY!!! And God FORBID as his wife I would dare to “like” one of them, or comment on one— holy shit-balls!!! I was accused of “stalking ” him!!!

      Funny thing is I finally blocked him the other day and he got so mad!!! “What are you trying to hide?!?!?”

      “Hello, Kettle? This is Pot- you’re black!!!”

  • Also, the folks who never have any “candid” photos on Facebook. I have friends who do this. I have a high school friend who I haven’t seen a candid photo of her in years. She takes photos of various parts, like her eyes or mouth, or posts HS pics, or glamour shots, or just her head. I have never seen a full body, unedited photo of her yet. Really strange.

  • Beware if you have been seeing them for less that 3 months, you are not officially a couple, technically they live at their mothers, but all of a sudden your home becomes a free storage unit for all shit including large musical items and rat eaten bits of furniture beyond restoration they have hoarded over the years that needed to be removed from their former marital home.
    So now 6 months on and they still don’t live with you because that would be improper but they have pretty much invaded your life, home, friendships, they refer to you as family and educate you on how to parent your kids. They even triangulate them against you to get what they want. Forcing you to put your foot down on issues, which leaves you being viewed as the villain.

    Oh I can play this game all night.

      • Yeah Donna; mine wanted me to call him “Daddy” during reconciliation attempt, and he wanted to call me “Mama.” (His affair partner was Spanish.)
        One of the creepiest things the Narcs do (or mine did) is it wasn’t bad enough how your faith, trust & heart were broken, but then they want you to “become” the things they liked/loved about the affair partner- because they now miss them and miss having both. I remember him saying he wished I would be more “natural.” (I wear make up and get dressed up every day for work) I make an effort & he wishes I wouldn’t? WTF??? There were other things too, but I guess I blocked them out. Did anyone else in CN who tried to reconcile have this experience?

  • Since the above is mentioning online pictures….

    The ones who has a million selfies of them at every angle possible. The ones who update their profile picture every day…that to me screams narc

    My exnarc was his own biggest fan. Bleats about himself all the fucking time. How he’s the only one who can do his job well…I shudder to think a company of a few hundred thousands grinding to halt if his royal narcasshole took a sick day.

    • My XH displayed the “this company couldn’t function without me” routine at the job he had at the time our marriage ended. It was a temp roll, low pay. But they saw his worth they were going to make him permanent, this was the excuse I was given for not looking for a permanent better paying job. 9 months after d’day he tells his brother he has been offered a promotion and church elders he was given gardening leave???? WTF????.
      Reality was he got walked off the site for being a pompous dick. He threatened to sabotage the company when given two weeks notice and I have since learned that his behaviour was so bizarre following d’day his manager and coworkers thought that the kids and I were fictional.

      In his affidavit to court recently he listed his employment while being married A-Q when his solicitor comment that he is currently working two jobs my solicitor responded “yes but there is no guarantee he will keep them “

      • I can relate to the job instability due to the ex being a pompous ass who think’s he’s better than everyone else at his job. He would complain about how stupid his so-workers were at his first job (where he had an affair). Then quit because he “just couldn’t take it anymore” without lining up another job after D-day, leaving me the sole supporter for a few months. He was then fired from his new job after a year because he was telling the higher-ups how to do their jobs. What really upset me about both incidents was he never considered how quitting his job or getting fired would affect me or my son. I left him after that.

        • 6 jobs in five years each with a progressive decrease in his rate of pay then leading up to d’day began boasting about how he was returning to study to become a teacher reducing his pay by half for a forecast 9 years. WTF?

          And when I raised my concerns of bills, the always talked about but never eventuated renovations and basic ability to live, XH suggested I talk to someone as my negative views where clearly coming from a place of brokenness. No mentally healthy person would disregard his life long dreams like that.

      • Yep, same here— over 25 different jobs in the 13 years we’ve been together…Imagine that no one ever really appreciated his genius mind or his “I can do that job better than the boss” attitude.

  • I wish mine Stbxh would have found more ways to save our marriage then ways to cheat on me or divorce me. That being said…here goes a few for the checklist.

    He spent $1400 gambling right after I found out about his EA with his Ho-Worker. He needed a break and was depressed. These were given as reasons why right after Christmas that he needed to spend $1400 on gambling. Not to mention I was home with our 3 kids and broken hearted. Poor guy.

    He insists that after I found about all his “bad” decisions such as a week later finding out that he also slept with my best friend that he was still a “good” person. Yep..he is amazing.

    He just asked if I could pay half of the filing fee for our divorce. See while I have just moved out and have expenses up to to my eyeballs, he is also short on cash. Again…Poor guy.

    After 17 years together, I don’t really have much to show for it except our 3 perfect kids. I now realize that I had come to accept and expect less then what I deserved. He never wanted to work our marriage or himself. That would be too hard.

    The first night at my new apartment a few weeks ago, I willed tears to come. To be sad about leaving our home and our life. Nothing came. I felt relieved to be out of the jungle. When I cry now it is for the idea of how life could have been.
    This new life scary but I would rather here then where I was 6 months ago!

    • “He insists that after I found about all his “bad” decisions such as a week later finding out that he also slept with my best friend that he was still a “good” person”

      These people believe that as long as they haven’t murdered anyone or robbed a bank that they are “good” people.! *face/palm*

      • They would blame the victim for making them angry and tell them that they deserved it. And blame the bank for hoarding too much cash.

    • LeoLion…..when I cry now or have such hatred coming out of my pores, it is finally crying for myself at the way I was treated by a complete entitled narcissist piece of shit (worth spelling out rather than putting ‘POS’) and the hate, for feeling I let that piece of shit get away with treating me like I was the piece of shit.
      The hate is way more prevalent in me right now.
      HURRY HURRY KARMA!!!!!!!! Seriously, HURRY!!!!

      • Ihavehate

        Their glory days are as limited as they are. Karma begins the day we have the strength to move on from abuse. There is no glory in life for the disrespectful, entitled, selfish, heartless, complaining, dishonest, character disordered. X has NO assets, never paid his own taxes, sucks in bed, and has nothing to offer someone in a relationship other than his inflated ego. That goes far in dive bars and with whores like #17.

        On the flip side WE don’t have to wait for karma to hit them It will come as naturally for them as picking up a desperado in a dive bar who is willing to pick up the tab for pub fries and wings. X has been trying to replace #17 for a year now with no luck and multiple sightings with other women. Once the expiration date on the kibble and supply ends it happens.

        • Donna……you’re so right, when kibble supply ends…….on to the next! This is why he replaced me, I’m sure. Once I started noticing he was a liar and a louse he had to move on. My supply was barren!
          He did have $ and wasn’t stingy about being generous but I truly believe it was because it was his way of keeping women. When I left, I returned every iota of everything he ever gave me in 10 years, from socks to a Lexus! I tried to make a statement to him to let him know that I wasn’t in it for the perks but it didn’t phase him. He put it all in storage.
          Would I give it all back if I had to do it over again? You betcha! I can sleep at night and look in the mirror!

  • My XH was an unusual narcissist – he love bombed everyone, not just me, extraordinary thoughtful gifts for everyone – if you commented that it appeared all too much there was then criticism for not allowing him to express one of his ‘love languages’. However, he was simply trying to buy everyone.

    Flattering everyone in person and slamming them behind their backs. He felt he knew better than everyone, an incredibly superior attitude.

    His needs and wants come first always. He goes to court to fight for the kids 50-50 and now that he has won he wants me to take care of them when he can’t, which is all the time. He wants me to buy all their school uniforms and sports kit and take care of their basic needs i.e he still wants me to do all the ‘mommy jobs’ while he still gets them for only fun! He only wanted to be able to say he has them half time, he didn’t actually want them half time and all the work that comes with it.

    He has bought a house 3x the size of mine and filled it with games (ping pong, fooseball, multiple computers private tennis courts, lake) for the boys.

    His behaviour is so transparent but he can’t seem to stop. He has got to be seen as the big man with lots of money.

    At the same time, he puts on a pity me face, his life is so tough.

    • Ah yes, the pity me narcissist. No matter what, no one has it as bad. These types just suck the air out of the room…

    • Free

      Just say, “Thats not good for me” with no explanation. Repeat that every time. It’s all about power and control. If he stops picking them up document this and bring him back to court.

    • Mine also love bombed me publicly. Would rave about me to people, and made my mug shot (a bad one at that) his profile picture. It used to confuse me, but now I can see that he was just trying to impress other people with what a great husband he was… loving, doting.

      • Yes, I got this as well. Ex would say such nice things about me on Facebook or in public, but never when we were alone. It was all an act to make himself seem like a great guy and devoted husband.

        • I got this too. Wife would never instigate any physical affection, leaving me in a near-postal state, but the second friends were over, she’d lean against me on the couch and put a hand on my thigh, as though that is how we lived and cuddled. Completely bizarre when I think about it now.

          Never once in the last 8 years did she ever put her hand on my thigh when we were alone. But she does it EVERY TIME we have company.

          My therapist found this very strange as well.

          • Oh wow I had never realized this. It was the same with my ex. He would never show affection while we were alone. But when we were with family or friends, he always groped at some point, which made me uncomfortable. I had the feeling it was reassurance: he did not like to be around people, he grabbed me like a lifebuoy. Just my intepretation, could be wrong.

          • OMG,my wife too! She only displays physical affection when others can see. When we are home together,she pays more attention to FarmVille than to me.

          • Show is important to narcs. It’s part of the mindfuck which causes confusion, which triggers hopium. My checklist is similar: overly generous for show, affectionate in public for show, must have highest quality athletic clothing, must be self-employed because too special to work for anyone else, liar liar pants on fire, Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, substance abusing, stuck in adolescence, lazy, hedonist-must do extreme risky athletics, appears sensitive and understanding in front of others for show but is not in private, verbally abusive, emotionally withdrawn, selfish, master manipulator, twists/turns/blames so one ends up blaming self (that’s probably one of the worst ones), appearances huge priority (look I am mowing the lawn this one time-but left all other house maintenance projects to me), must be fun friend with kids and not discipline, look me straight in the eye and lie “are you seeing someone?” he: “No.”

            See, all we need to do is experience narcissism to know that the diagnosis fits. No expertise needed.

            How sad I gave 24 years to a black hole; it never worked and I can’t imagine it working with AP (who was also married, who he now lives with).

            • Wow ChumpB…you so nailed it! Perhaps we are or were married to the same guy ?

              Looking back I have been so covertly been chumped that it rendered me STUCK for YEARS in hopium. I made the STUPID decision to try and reconcile after filing for divorce almost 4 fucking years ago. Over the years when we were there in front of his family he always spends LOTS of money on me and the kids and he is so charming. He is SUCH a great guy, right? Well, his family has no idea how much money he owes to my family but now he thinks he is safe because his inheritance is ‘separate’ property. Like a Super Chump I gave him one last chance that he would come back to me, commit to the marriage and finish raising our 16 year-old daughter together. He left me and our teenagers in 2011 supposedly to ‘manage’ his mother’s care (she was in a group home). Now that his mother passed in January he is still there winding up her estate. So…what did he just do? The sale on his mother’s house will close in 17 days. I was looking forward to his transfering his job back to Washington. When I queried him about coming back he announced that he is NOT moving back from California to Washington. Oh yes, he will be getting a nice BIG inheritance and conveniently filed for bankruptcy a couple of years ago to discharge his considerable 1/2 of the community debt owing to my late father and mother who suffers from dementia and now lives in a group home.

              Oh yes, here are a few more mean ass details… He conveniently announced that he was not moving back to Washington just 2 days before I was to join him with my daughter and 19 year-old son who is on leave from the Marine Corps. We were to meet him in California for the annual Southern California vacation and celebrate the 4th of July before my son deploys. I was SO looking forward to seeing my son!

              I told my kids, sorry I am NOT going to California this year because I am DONE! My kids were upset with me for not going and I was so longing to see my son but it’s time to pull the plug on this narc. I have been married to this man for 24 years and have been with him for 31 years. FUCK me, huh? Well the one thing I know being a lawyer that he doesn’t understand is that the Court will require him to disclose both his community AND separate property for the judge to make an equitable division of the assets. I can’t wait to see his face when the realizes this during the discovery process. Smile… Beep! Beep! Karma bus is coming asshole!

              • Best to you Hope49. I get it, I really do. Hopium, can’t wrap brain around the evil, and yes, 24 years on my end as well!

  • Always late!!! Yep because they think that nothing starts till they get there?
    I would often comment to XH “the world doesn’t revolve around you!!!!!!!”

    They don’t make decisions on big issues they leave that to you. When it then falls apart they blame you for it not working out. But reality is with these types is you go into a scenario thinking you are both on the same page. They agree, they encourage, they add to ideas but when it comes time for them to follow through they are busy(stop nagging) they will (WILL) get round to it at some point. It wasn’t their first choice let them look into it a bit further. So while they spend the next 6 months recovering ground only to represent the exact same thing back to you as their own idea. While you feel the frustration rise and rise. Because he hasn’t actually achieved anything but time wastage and you find you are just back where you started. All while he questions what is wrong?????

    • I can so relate to this. It took me a long time to figure out what I was dealing with as my X is a very passive aggressive narc. He acted nice on the surface, never raised his voice, but then punished me by not doing the things he says he would do, or by refusing to do things that he knew would make me happy or doing the opposite of what I asked. For example,

      – Always late. One time, he left me in the car for over 30 minutes (said it would be 5 min. max) so he could run into his office to get something. This was before cells phones. There was no way for me to reach him. It was February, dark, freezing cold and I was 8 months pregnant. His time was way more important than mine. Or anyone else’s. He was late to just about everything, except sporting events. Those were important to him.

      – Always had an excuse for not wanting to have sex. I would joke with him (but cry inside) that the sun and the moon and the stars would all have to align for him to be in the mood. Then he would finally have sex just to get me off his back. I am healthy, in shape, gave birth to 3 children and wear the same size I did when we got married so I could never figure out why I was the only woman in the world whose husband didn’t want to have sex. I truly believe he did the bare minimum to keep me from leaving him. There was no effort, no emotional connection, no attempt to have a shared pleasurable experience. After reading about narcs, I think I had a cerebral narc…Sex was beneath him, only commmon folks follow those nasty urges.

      – Refusing to try any new foods. He was an extremely picky eater. I love(d) to cook and love to try new foods. I believe this was a control thing with him – no one was going to tell him what to eat. If he threw up popcorn when he was 8, he was never going to try popcorn again. And he would make sure everyone in the room knew how awful it smelled and how terrible it was for him to be in a room where people were enjoying popcorn with a movie. The nerve! We could never share appetizers, unless you count bread or chips and salsa as an appetiser. He didn’t like anything else. I tried to get him to try guacamole for 17 years. He flat out refused to even take one bite. The kids now tell me he loves guacamole and has 4 different kinds in his fridge. Apparently he was willing to try it for his new soutmate but not for me.

      – Saying he would take care of a project and then never doing it. There are so many examples of this – here is just one: When we moved into our house in 2001, we agreed that he would be in charge of getting a new sound system for the house so we could listen to music throughout the house. He never got it done in the 14 years we lived in that house…I never nagged him. I wanted to see if he would get it done. He finally did…when we separated due to his affair. Once he moved out, he gave me a Sonos system for Christmas the first year we were separated. Apparently, he thought if he finally got me the sound system he promised to take care of 14 years earlier, I would surely look past his public, humiliating (for him) affair and let him move back in and continue with this passionate soulmate on the side. That didn’t work out so well for him. I am now enjoying my sound system without him.

      – He would buy excessive amounts of presents for Christmas and then completely ignore my birthday. I asked him repeatedly to not give me so much for Christmas (it was embarrassing to get so many gifts and I wanted Christmas to be for the kids, not me). If he wanted to shower me with gifts, which I was always grateful for, I told him I would prefer to have them on my birthday or Mother’s Day. Can’t remember how many years I asked him for this. I made it so easy – he didn’t have to guess at what I wanted. He never listened. He was going to do it the way he wanted to do it, regardless of my wishes.

      – I would ask him if he wanted to do X in 2 weeks with Y group of people (dinner, concert, BBQ, whatever). He would always say ‘yes or sure’. Then the day would come and he would grumble about it. I would remind him that he said he wanted to go so I RSVP’ed yes so now we needed to go. I think I got punished a lot for these types of things by the sex refusal technique after what I thought was a fun night out, or by some other subtle unrelated snub. It made it hard for me to know, because it was always indirect, but I think I was getting punished for not reading his mind and somehow not knowing that his ‘yes or sure’ was actually a no.

      • Good for you for enjoying your nice sound system!

        And your comment — “…but then punished me by not doing the things he says he would do, or by refusing to do things that he knew would make me happy” — made me realize that I guess my ex was probably somewhat passive aggressive too. I always figured he was lazy and didn’t want to do unfun things. But I guess it was also the “you’re not the boss of me” thing too and so he refused to do certain things. And he would also agree to do something then grumble when it was time to actually do it.

      • Wow unemcumbered, I dealt with the food issues too. My ex was the same way, right down to criticizing the smell of other people’s food. He was like a toddler. The further I get away from it the crazier it seems.

        • Not everyone with food issues is a narc though. I myself have food issues similar to what unencumbered said – but the food I dislike (and theres a fair amount of things on that list) literally makes my stomach heave or makes me nauseated. Yay for getting severe food poisoning at age 5 and it killing my food palate?

          • Thanks for saying something. I have the the palate of a five-year old. It has nothing to do with not wanting to be bossed around. I just like what I like. Most people would describe my tastes as bland; if something is too flavorful it kinda grosses me out. I don’t care what other people eat, have a field day.

          • Lania and WhichWay, I agree with you: food issues do not equal narc. It wasn’t that my ex only ate a few foods, it was the way he dealt with that issue. If dinner was something he didn’t like, he acted like a victim, moped, and complained loudly for the rest of the night about being hungry because dinner was bad. Other times, he would look at my plate of food, as I was eating, and tell me with crude descriptors about how disgusting it looked and smelled. He *always* found fault at restaurants, usually eating half his plate before pushing it away and saying it was gross, then waiting impatiently while I finished. Meanwhile, the waitstaff would come over to inquire and ask what was wrong, how it could be fixed, etc. These are the toddler-like behaviors I was referring to: everything was about him, his needs, his opinion,his victim-hood.

            • StrongerEveryday–your post just triggered a memory of X berating me for breaking spaghetti into thirds to put in the pan; he preferred to only have them broken into two. WTF? I did what I wanted, but seriously??!! It’s all about the control and ensuing criticism.

              • Oh geez, Tempest. I broke up my spaghetti in two, and ex hated that. He wanted it unbroken. Neither of these dudes would have noticed had they not seen us cooking it! Now I’m thinking of a lot of other…uhhhh…idiosyncrasies I had to endure regarding food. I understand we all have our preferences in terms of food and how it’s prepared, but these types of things with these types of people are indeed about control.

        • My ex was a vegetarian. I was not. I was not allowed to keep meat products in the house. He would come home from a business trip and dig through the trash bin to see if there was anything meat related in there. Or maybe a stray cigarette butt. I’m not kidding. At the end, I didn’t care. I roasted a turkey in my own oven, and the cats and I ate like royalty for a week. When he found the turkey carcass in the trash, all hell broke loose. Like eating turkey was worse than him fucking my best friend from college for the past week.

          I have a theory. Those narcs will holler to the heavens about a spot on the floor so you won’t see the stain on them.

  • I didn’t realize any of this early on in our relationship but it sure came to light later.

    1. constant negativity or criticism of others, regardless of whether they know the person.
    2. seems to want to do something (like a house project) but once you’ve invested money and time, they bitch at you about actually doing the work but brag to others about it.
    3. they don’t take responsibility for their personal choices and decisions.
    4. they make sure relatives and friends know how important they are where they work.
    5. they don’t ask you about you and really seem interested with you being the topic of conversation OR they ask you about you but then turn the conversation to them.
    6. they partially hear everything you say.

    I want to elaborate on each of these items with examples but this post would be super long!

    • ByeBye,

      Your list is my list…1, 4, and 5 could not be a better description of the x!!!

      • Spot on. I didn’t see it during our 19 years together and only put the puzzle together when my reading finally led me to books on narcissism. Very similar list with an underlying grain of negativity and put down colouring everything.

        • I keep remembering more: Bye Bye Cheater I must ditto the constant negative criticism and slander of EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. HE. EVER. KNEW. Even our children. I was always blown away by that. Also, add to my list inability to take responsibility, lack of hope (swore there was no way Obama would win-me vehemently disagreeing).

    • ByeBye

      #3 and #6 especially fit the X. Every personal choice or financial decision he made independently with no regard to my disapproval had a negative impact on my life.

      • Donna,

        “Every personal choice or financial decision he made independently with no regard to my disapproval had a negative impact on my life.”

        This is the story of my marriage writ large. Not only did it have a negative impact on my life (and my children’s lives) but I would be blamed for “not stopping him” even though I would repeatedly try. If he needed my cooperation in order to implement one of his ideas and I refused because I could anticipate a probable negative outcome, he would pout, give me the silent treatment and find a covert way to punish me.

        If you need a medical degree or PhD to diagnose a personality disorder, you don’t need either to diagnose fucking asshole.

    • ByeByeCheater, TRULY we were married to the same asshole…

      …I’m 5 months out of divorce and 2 months in my new home 45 minutes from my ‘marital’ home of 30 years and walked out to leave for an appointment last Monday morning to discover xmr disordered asshole parked across the end of my driveway…the emotional toll on me was huge…but I rallied quickly and ignored it…he eventually drove away…

      They think they are so wonderful that it doesn’t matter what they did to you…you simply can’t live without them.

      Disordered assholes!

    • Great list, ByeByeCheater. Saves me making one, though I’ll add a few items. I’d add the problem with lateness–already mentioned quite a bit by others, and a problem with finances (asset accumulation varies a lot depending on each person’s life, but if you are over 25 and aren’t working and living within your means, there is a problem)!

      Finally, I’d look at friends,primarily the absence of any. My narcissist nabbed me by being new to the community, so his lack of local friends was no surprise. I think I should have been suspicious when he had so few people from earlier in his life to invite to our wedding (i.e. he had one guest who wasn’t a relative or in the wedding party). But at that point I still accepted his explanations about why all his many, many friends from his many jobs and experiences in different parts of the county couldn’t come as truthful.

      In regard to friends, one of his bigger tantrums revolved around my failure to throw a fantastic birthday party when he reached a significant numeral. I had really struggled with how to celebrate, because I knew he wanted 76 trombones and a rocket launch, but I couldn’t fill a table for 8 at a restaurant with people who would want to celebrate him. Every single person there would have been my friend coming to help me feel better about my lout of a husband. So, I hosted an expensive dinner with a few gracious family members. He hated it, and complained bitterly (while comparing it to the wonderful parties he had thrown for me–which was amazing as he’d NEVER thrown so much as a handful of confetti for me–which hadn’t upset me as I’m a bit of a wallflower, but the absolute falsehood of his complaint did make me nuts). The ability of a narc to believe his/her own publicity is astounding. So, now I know–if the guy or gal doesn’t have any friends, then steer clear.

      • Eilonwy, mine didn’t have an issue with arriving somewhere on time but I did fail to mention the friend issue. Like yours, mine was not from the area so the initial lack of friends didn’t surprise me. I didn’t realized as the years went on that he never brought any friends into our circle. But when I kicked him out, one of the many things he blamed me for was that if we had spent more time with friends, it would have helped our relationship. Being the chump I was, I searched myself to see where I had let this piece fall through the cracks. That’s when I realized that he didn’t have any friends. None, zero, ziltch. Every friend ‘we’ had, I brought to our relationship. And guess what? They’re loyal to me – all be one set who want to be Switzerland so I’m already phasing them out of my life.

        I also need to add the no pets to my list since I’ve seen it on so many posts. I’ve always had a cat in my life – he tolerated it but that was about it.

      • Not 100% true. Sometimes people have friends who live far away and can’t be friends with the person in real life.
        Kinda know this from experience in a way – I can’t stand most of the women around my age who talk about vapid celebrity gossip and nothing except that crap – so a lot of my friends are people I’ve originally known from online who aren’t brainless bimbos.

  • Always doing what the narc wants to do “it will be fun!” and never what you want to do “that would be a waste of time.”

  • Not so sure this is a narc thing…my ex would complain about money being tight yet insist on taking trips to NYC that cost considerable $. Guess money was only a problem if SHE wasn’t spending it.

  • Not sure it’s narc, it’s a flag for me, a tough one to notice. One of the more subtle signs is that the person appears to like everything you do. They share your values in every way, whether political, theological or cultural. They are able to mirror all of that because in the beginning they draw you out on every topic, and your past, without revealing much about their own values and past first. And, if you pay attention you’ll find they share very little about their own past. When they do tell you some life experience of theirs; they are always the hero in some way, or the victim, depending upon why they shared the story with you.

    • I wonder if the guy I posted about below also did this. He seemed to volunteer a lot about himself, but maybe he was also mirroring my likes and interests? *Shudder.* The more I think about this, the more I’m grateful that I didn’t start dating him. Too many red flags.

    • Oh yeah. This is a thing. My cheating ex did that. And weirder still, after I left him, he took obscure things I liked and posted them on his dating profiles as things HE liked. Like he was creating a chump decoy.

    • Oh , the mimic!
      They suck you in, how is it possible that two people can be so in sync?????

      This is why when things start to unravel with these wingnuts they can’t handle our responses, we get angry, upset, frustrated. We have normal responses to their cheating, but for them to mimic these responses they need to present themselves as the victim. Poor them.

    • Sweet Jesus, I was just explaining this dynamic this weekend! STBX and I used to play the game ‘Catchphrase” with his family and couples were often I the same team. I swear that no sooner would I look at my word, open my mouth and he would know exactly what it was, sometimes without so much as a clue. I thought we were deeply connected but it was actually because he had been studying me and mirroring me for so many years that he knew what I was thinking, how I would describe something, what my body language was saying before even I would.

      Twilight zone music…….

      • Whoa. Are you sure he wasn’t just cheating with a hidden mirror or something. They are really good at cheating. 😉

        • I’d put nothing past him, Nicole. It truly was a strange phenomenon, though. His siblings would get so angry because there was no winning against us…he knew me THAT well. Yikes…

    • That’s a good one Dat. My stbxh was a master at this. I’m sure he will do this with his next “victim” too.

    • I’ve been with two mimics now, my ex-husband being one of them. I can recognize the behaviour now at least. But I thought it was great that my new partners were so open and into the activities I liked at first. Later on I realized that its a narcissist’s way of connecting to people. They don’t have genuine empathy, so the best they can do is copy you to make you think that they like you.

  • I think it’s really helpful to “review” these qualities for the future. I just recently thought that I was getting to know a great guy (just friends with possible potential for the future), but he suddenly disappeared and stopped contacting me for no reason whatsoever. However, after reading what people posted above and after reflecting upon some of his behavior, I have to wonder if he’s a narc:

    –sending me many selfies (none indecent, thankfully)
    –possibly a “woe is me” type of person… did tell me that he was diagnosed with depression but was on meds and seeing a therapist, but not sure if he was just being honest or setting me up for “woe is me”
    –when I got the vibe that there might be something off, he blew me off and said “relax”
    –possible lovebombing: a couple of gifts, a lot of correspondence that told me how “beautiful” I was
    –everyone thinks he’s a “nice guy” (I’ve seen enough fake nice guys on here to know what a facade that can be.)

    I don’t know about other qualities (grooming, saying “I” a great deal… we didn’t get to know each other long enough for me to see if he also did those things), but I’m thinking that I dodged a bullet. Someone told me that he probably couldn’t keep up his wonderful facade long enough, and that’s why he totally vanished. All I know is that if I care about someone, I don’t just disappear out of that person’s life. I think that’s pretty selfish and disrespectful.

    CL, maybe A Chump’s Guide to Dating should be in the works at some point? I clearly could use it!

    • If you met my EX, he would seem nice to you, friendly, outgoing, but nice I am finding out has nothing to do with character, integrity,loyalty…
      I don’t trust nice anymore:(

    • MovingOn, Guys like that are dicks and just want sex, it is their only priority; they are trolls. Their idea of a relationship is working hard at it for a month, professing interest in anything you may like, and then hoping you’ll jump into the sack. You expect a human and they bounce! Beginning, middle, and end.

    • If he’s disappeared, that’s all you need to know. He hasn’t even got enough self respect to give you a decent response as to why he’s bailed.
      Take this from someone who dealt with yoyo shit for roughly 10 months, some time ago. Its not fucking worth it.

  • Here’s my personal list:

    -not having anything positive to say about any previous person they dated or had a relationship with

    -non interest in animals, do you have a soul?

    -a person who doesn’t have any friends to speak of or has only friends that are no more

    -lack of own personal interests, like they’re waiting to morph into what you like the moment you meet them

    -inability to make plans and keep them

    -chaotic lifestyle

    -awkwardness around their family in the early stages, like there’s family issues that everyone is trying to hide….it’s kinda tough to explain but I had this with STBX for the first year

    -makes fun of or criticizes others, particularly strangers, like making fun of their weight or appearance

    -subtle discomforts in energy when around them, like a covert would have. For instance: you’re on a date, having s good time then all of a sudden they go cold and get distant and offer no explanation.

    • I’ve got more. Lol.

      -they rarely share info about their past unless it’s to make themselves a victim, make them seem triumphant

      -they give very stern examples of personality traits that they hate but give no real life stories to back them up, such as: I absolutely hate people who lie. It pisses me off and I won’t put up with that bullshit.”
      What I’ve gathered is that it’s human nature to find our own flaws in others but narcs take it to a whole other level, particularly covert narcs. They hate themselves and if they see their flaws in another person it enrages them.

      -shallow affect. Such as talking about a sad personal story but having zero emotions or facial expressions that parallel the topic.

      -too much too soon in the instance of obviously controversial stuff. I was dating a guy for a month and one day he criticized how much television my child watched and then how I gave in to her not wanting to eat he cereal and offered her an alternative. This dude isn’t a parent and it’s WAY too soon and WAY over the line to try to step in on my parenting.

      -obsessive social media posting about themselves or to draw attention to themselves. Listen, sharing an uplifting quote every day is normal but obsessive selfies, daily epic rants, always sounding like a victim in your posts is red flag material

      -a person being “short” of money very early on and testing the waters to see how much you’ll cover and how much money you have and if you’re willing to share it

      -a person claiming that their life isn’t typically “this ___ (insert negative descriptive word here: chaotic, drama filled, crazy). And to go along with this is the promise of a better future. They claim things will all be better once some certain thing happens: “my life won’t be so chaotic and I’ll have much more money to put towards us once this divorce is settled.”
      I know it seems like a legit excuse but it’s not, my ex was forever living in the future; once we get married, once we buy our own house, once we have a child, once he’s through school…and the promise of the good life never arrives. Thy just keep moving the goal posts to buy time.

      • THIS,THIS,THIS!!! Promises that never ever materialize! The “old” just wait and it will happen once I get done with whatever they want! Then they bail!

        • Yes, Roberta. I was guilted by my ex’s family into fully supporting my ex when he decided to begin college at 28 when I was pregnant with our child. Everything, all logic pointed towards this being a bad idea and bad timing. But the pressure and the spotlight was on me; “put yourself on the back burner (already there), do whatever you have to to support him (like make excuses for him meeting a college student and cheating on me?), he’s doing this for his family and it’ll all benefit you in the end so long as you support him now.”
          Well I knew we wouldn’t make it that long, he had already begun the devalue phase. Still I supported him and guess what; he squandered his time with our newborn “studying” for hours upon hours a day for freshman level classes, all that “studying” was in vain because he failed out and he was having an affair.

          You’re correct, those promises never materialized. We never got to that awesome place he kept promising me we would reach.

          Nope, I’ve reached that place on my own, the key was getting rid of him. 🙂

        • Most couples share information about their first sexual experiences with their partner, e.g., how old you were, with whom? pretty typical but ex absolutely refused to share who or when. Made me wonder.

          Also, Xnarc was abstract and melodramatic, very “poor me,” my mommy didn’t love me, which I at first had empathy for but after 24 years of complaints about how cold she was how distant, how his emotional needs were unmet, how it adversely affected his whole life, it just got a little old. Old because he would rather sit in the pain of it then figure out a way to move through his pain. I believe he was addicted to his pain, it made him feel special, unable to achieve his goals, always an excuse.

          Victimy and dramatic: add that to my list. Thanks for listening everyone.

  • 1) Subtly posing for your driving licence photo and gloating when it is accepted – screw you all !!!
    2) being late – just cause you can – particularly at important events like weddings/birthdays/airport departures
    3) collecting / reading the autobiographies of fellow high profile Narcs
    4) boasting about how kind and considerate you are …..and working hard to maintain that good guy/ gal image – ways wary of anyone so perfect!
    5) taking longer than you to get ready to go out ……….. and deliberating for ages to chose an outfit to wear …….
    6) shelf stacking and cutlery allignment fixations
    7) criticism of everyone and everything else
    8) Mommy/Daddy issues
    9) Too happy/comfortable for you to pay for things
    10) Must always have certain designer brands and a big f@ck me TV

    I could go on indefinitely…………..

        • I had a narc boyfriend who was OCD about neatness and alignment. He had been in the navy, so some tidy habits might be expected…however, I would see him open a cupboard where I’d have just stowed something, and he’d frown and start repositioning dishes, refolding clothes, and yes, aligning cutlery. He also had little containers in the kitchen cupboards where things like porridge had to be pre-measured in 2oz servings before food could be prepared…god help me if I just poured some into the pan straight out of the bag!

          He would then generalize how “undisciplined” I was because I didn’t have OCD-organized cupboards. I finally told him to stuff his anal-retentiveness where it belonged.

          Turned out he was also prone to posting shirtless profile photos of himself on dating sites (after our breakup). I amused myself by establishing a fake profile, messaging him as if I were an adoring bimbo, then making fun of his knarly old body. He got mad as hops but never caught on it was me. Mwaahaahaa.

    • I was thinking Mommy/Daddy issues too. I swear my stbxh cannot think for himself at all. He just let’s his mom think for him and he does everything she says. It’s bizarre.

  • My narc cheater never said I’m sorry for anything. Ever! One morning — after a night of acting particularly douchey — he came over to my side of the bed with coffe — stood there, looked down at me and said remember “Jesus calls us to forgive.” He was kinda joking. Kinda not.

  • Perhaps more a red flag of a sociopath than a narcissist, but based on my marriage to a serial cheating ex-wife I would certainly avoid anyone who is conspicuously unsentimental. My ex never teared up at any movie, book, song, story, relationship or family milestone–nothing. In 22 years. And often expressed disdain at people who did, how their show of emotion is embarrassing and juvenile. Ugh.

    Admittedly I lean toward the schmaltzy (a sucker for James Taylor songs, Prairie Home Companion monologues, and youtube cute dog videos), but anyone who can watch, say, “The Fault In Our Stars” and leave the theater with dry eyes is one best avoided in my book.

    • Nomar, my litmus test is this: play Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma. If they don’t get goosebumps, they’re cold and dead inside.

    • Anyone who can leave the theatre dry eyed after seeing that movie, IMO is clinically dead.

      Personally I loved the book. I must confess I read it sitting by my daughters hospital bed while she was being infused with bright yellow chemo.

      • (((Thankful)))) That must have been so very difficult to go through with your daughter’s illness. I hope that the chemo did its job.

        • Thanks Nomar,
          Yes so far so good with the chemo. The book I found very therapeutic, the book contains a level of humanity that is lost in the movie.

      • My ex got very upset that he felt like crying at his grandmother’s funeral. I told him I thought that it was perfectly normal, but he seemed ashamed of his “weakness.” He talked about it for years.

    • My ex is diagnosed NPD and boy, did he play up the “sentimental” crap. He was always bragging about how he cried at sad movies and commercials…. was proud that he used to cry at those tear-jerker long distance phone call commercials back in the day. If we were watching a movie or TV show and there was a scene with the slightest sadness to it, ex would turn his cheek towards me so I could see the single tear leaking down his face. Of course, this is the guy who bragged to our son that he could cry at will, and he accomplished that by imagining son killing himself.

    • My X showed no emotion outside of disdain upon finding out a relative had been murdered; X didn’t like the person, so I guess they deserved a brutal death. Why I stayed after seeing that, I’ll never know. It was clearly the beginning of the end.

    • This is a good point, nomar. I hadn’t thought about whether my EX was sentimental. But you are right, I don’t ever remember him being “touched” by anything in fifteen years. I mistook some of his early hoarding behaviors for sentimentality (mugs from all sorts of places, etc.) and the fact that he had some keepsakes from earlier girl friends as sentiment, but those were trophies. His primary emotion was anger, and all of his shows of affection were public displays meant to make him look generous or romantic.

      Even now, he hugs his kids for long, long stretches (as if they were being shuffled off to a concentration camp) whenever there is someone watching me pick them up. But nothing more than a “good bye,” if there isn’t an audience.

      • Eilonwy, my ex wasn’t sentimental at all, except for this weird Christmas ornament that he got from a “grad student.” Every year he’d look until he found that ornament and put it on our mantel. Later I found out OW had made it.

        • Yes, displaying a memento from the affair partner in the family home. There’s a thing cheating narcs do. I kind of trophy, I suppose. A way to simultaneously enjoy kibbles from the spouse and the AP at the same time. I can’t begin to imagine the lack of conscience that allows someone to enjoy such a hugely conflicted situation.

      • Trophy hoarding. I forgot that one too.

        I threw all of that shit out, including his $100Vegas chips from his annual meet up fuck fest with the MOW. What really crossed the line was the proud display of the MOW’s gifts to him. In my house. He loved it when the kids would pick those object up.

        The latest trophy was a necklace I bought on our last vacation together before DDay. I found it displayed on a shelf near his desk. Hell.the.fuck.NO! I took that back with the rest of me.

  • When my daughter failed to move on to the next level in her swimming lessons, Narc mumbled “great, another thing I didn’t get.” And when she wasn’t very good at soccer because she didn’t really like it, he just stopped coming to her games. I guess her not being a superstar athlete reflects badly on him? But she does well in school, is musically talented and quite artistic, qualities he never fails to mention to others. Yep’-all about him.

    • My narc father did that. When my relay team came in 4th at State, he asked, “Why didn’t you come in 1st?” Then he’d brag about our sports accomplishments to his friends.

  • Not certain of my Idiot is narc or sociopath or the fine blending of both… But here are my red flags….
    1) nobody and I mean nobody can do what they do…. They are so highly specialized in their field.
    2) they find fault in every single one of your friends… And discourage outside relationships
    3) they love to spend money…. Yours.
    4) preoccupation with their appearance, your appearance, your kid, the house, the car ( detailed weekly) Appearances in general.
    5) ***** hate with a passion anything in public that makes them look bad ( think screaming toddler in a restaurant) and will have an over the top reaction to it, rage. ****
    6) they always, always, always have to win… Friendly game of checkers? Dont count on it. Its war and you are the enemy.
    7) seems YOU can never take a joke… They say inappropriate often cruel things… But they are joking… Dont cha have a sense of humor?
    ***** ‘ you are over reacting’ …. Or…… ‘ you are just overly sensitive’*****

    Run…. and run the other way.

    • Not allowing anyone to win at a game is so true! My narc X wouldn’t even let his 4 year old win at a kids game. He always had to win

    • YES YES and YES for me too. mine hated to spend money. kids had to eat off dollar menu or we’d eat b4 we’d go. vacation? no problem condo and I cook. (his vacation not mine apparently) only spent money in front of others…

    • Lord, have mercy– my STBXH for sure!!! What a mind-fuck!!!! Especially the part ^^^ about how children embarrass him, MANY times!!!…but he posts shit on FB about he loves his daughter unconditionally!!! Whatever, asshole!!!

  • Even if all of these things are not technically narcissistic, they point to intense selfishness and self-absorption, which alone makes these people extremely poor prospects as life partners. I remember when I was first dating the ex that he would never wait for me when we got out of the car. He would hurry off towards the store or the restaurant or wherever, and I would come tagging up behind like the dutiful little servant who walks 10 paces behind the master. A small thing at the time, but it leaps out now as a giant red flag I should have noticed. A subtle reminder of who the important one in the relationship was and don’t you forget it. Right there, his ME-first attitude was glaringly apparent – and true to form it continued throughout the whole relationship. So you have to watch out for those small things, because it’s in those little details that people reveal themselves.

    • My X also walked much faster than everyone he was with to be in front and the rest of his entourage following behind. If we were supposed to be on a pleasant walk together on the park, he still pulled that shit. He said it was my problem and I should just walk faster. That walking fast and making everyone else follow behind used to really piss me off.

      • Holy crap Mommy Chump my ex was the same way, I had to trot to keep up with him. It didn’t help that he’s 6’6″and I’m 5’3″. He constantly complained that I walked too slow.
        I think part of it was his ultra-competitive nature– he simply had to be first wherever he was going.

      • A narc friend refused to help his wife with a suitcase, even after she had been diagnosed with a health condition that made her muscles weak. They’re all the same.

      • Same here. I love to go for a walk, bike etc. When dating, my x-hole would mirror my every hobby to persuade me how ‘same’ we are…We would go (couple of times) for a three hour walk! He would also go on and on how he likes to bike. I should have taken a clue that his bike is missing the front wheel and never got repaired for months, lol. He would always be late, drag his feet both figuratively and in reality. He later let on that he is doing it on purpose. Yeah, I was a bit dense learner.
        When ‘angry’, read – vindictive, punitive, and if I ‘nagged him’, read – tried to hold him accountable,
        he would walk very fast, leave me behind on purpose, even as I was pushing a double stroller with our 5 year-old autistic son, 9 months pregnant. I am a small frame person.Then struggling through the door…just sick stuff. Also when walking through a tight space, like our apartment kitchen, he would knock me asside pregnant or not, pretending not to see me. If I protested, he just made excuses- Why, I didn’t see you! You can move too! But I did! Like a normal person would. But not him. Needless to say, I learned quickly ‘to get out the king’s way if I don’t want to be knocked around” He trained me well.

        I want to ask you, fellow chumps…did your narc have a particular weird way of walking??? Mine would walk very straight, chest out, chin in, looking down his nose, and moving shoulders back and forth, like a monarch, literally. And waving arms to get maximum space. Very arrogant posture and walk!!!! I noticed that early on….didn’t see the warning BANNERS. sigh.

      • H always bolted ahead of me walking and didnt look back. Once when I confronted him about it he claimed that he was scouting for terrorists to keep me safe. (eyeroll) When I first learned that he and OW had shared hotel rooms, I was more bothered by the image of him walking side by side with her than I was contemplating him boinking her…I will never know if he walked next to her but I fear that he did.

        Once when our 2 oldest kids were toddlers, we flew cross country with them and their car seats. He didnt like some little thing I did so he bolted away from me in the airport and went to the next gate alone. 23 yeras later and I can still see his jet black hair disappearing in to the crowd leaving me with bags, 2 toddlers and 2 car seats…had to ride a tram to the next gate…a janitor saw me cry and helped me. When he got to Purgatory, I hope God had that episode all cued up for review.

    • Wren, there is a scene in the movie A Bronx Tale where the older guy (just happens to be a gangster) gives the young kid dating advice. He tells him to unlock the car door for the girl and see if she reaches over to unlock his door from the inside. If she does, she’s a keeper. If she doesn’t, she’s selfish and you don’t want her. It really is the little things isn’t it?

      • A good reminder that men, if they have healthy self-love and looking for mature relationships with quality partners, are also watching US in that early dating phase so it’s imperative that we walk the talk ourselves.

    • Wren, in 31 years my ex would never walk with me either. Wouldn’t slow down while hiking up a hill. It was my problem that I couldn’t keep up. I asked repeatedly if he would slow down but eventually gave up. He got really angry once when I asked him to slow down on vacation and he said, “Then you’ll walk even slower!”

  • Red Flag #1: Mirroring. The “Get outta my head!” Scenarios when the NPD-like person is in their entrapment phase. ALL of the times when that special, sparkly person verbally indicates that they.are.just.like.YOU! Even when you may feel the statements are expressly fake.

    RedFlag#2: Weird, convoluted speaking style done to get you off track during a discussion or argument. Circumventing the point by interjecting non-relevant junk. After about 2minutes they HOPE you forgot the point of the discussion. I like to circle back, or even tape the discussion nowadays. Really, really pisses the NPD-like person off.

    These aren’t so much of a checklist of concrete stuff. Just weird behaviors that now make sense.

  • PS
    I don’t have any pets at the moment as my rental apartment doesn’t allow it and I am still grieving for my last pet/ cat that I had to leave in a very loving home halfway around the world- please don’t always judge ‘pet less people’

    • But the point is you had a pet – the narcs have never had a pet of their own because it would mean they had to take care of something else.

      • Actually, my narc-now-deceased husband had a dog. But he didn’t treat it very well. Would call the dog to come to him and if the dog didn’t, he would pull it over to him. If he gave the dog a bath, and the dog yelped (water too hot, water in its ears, etc.) he would tell the dog to “shut up”.

        And although he took the dog outside to pee, he never–and I mean N-E-V-E-R took the dog for a walk! He would use the excuse that the dog was “too sick to walk”. The TRUTH was, that narc weighed over 250lbs and was too LAZY to walk it. When I offered, he declined. Guess he didn’t want the dog to get used to being walked if I ever left….

        He also had some fish that he had forever. He cleaned out the fish tank ONCE in 9 years.

    • Mr. Gone “loved” pets (actually got on well with my cats) but didn’t actually own any, with the excuse that he “traveled too much.” Looking back, he liked the image of pets/kids/house but not the work actually involved in looking after them. The promise to clean the litterboxes while I was pregnant lasted for about two weeks of one pregnancy; then I was “nagging.”

  • 1) nicer to strangers
    2) concerned about the image he projects
    3) likes to belittle other people to feel superior
    4) exaggerates achievements – told people for years, even his parents, that he finished his degree when he didn’t (as soon as he finished he announced that he was done trying to make our relationship work)
    5) envies others
    6) “look what I can do!” – always about them and what they did. during the divorce he didn’t seem concerned about the kids feelings at all – then he buys a house for himself and wants the kids to get all excited about his new house. “look at my new house”

    My ex actually stepped into someone’s else’s life with his affair – a coach at our children’s school who is very well liked and respected. Just like my ex he was a swimmer and cyclist. Unlike my ex – very giving of himself. My ex took up with the coach’s girlfriend. He literally stepped into his life and now does everything that person used to do with his girlfriend.

      • YES! Forgot that one. Huge huge red flag. Asshat has zero deep or long term friends. All of his”friends” were mine or the spouses of my friends.

        It is impossible for narcs to develop deep, emotional bonds with anyone, including his own children. This is why most narcs believe and pursue lots and lots and lots of sex. To them sex=intimacy. Intimacy for a non-narc is based on deep emotional connections based on trust and honesty which is then expressed thru physical connection-great sex!

        • My narc had ONE “good” friend who lived nearby. His friend had a wife and 3 kids. She became pregnant again, and they decided to move upstate to be closer to HER mother (they had been living closer to HIS mother for the past 10 years, and since HER mother had taken ill, he thought the move would be fair to his wife)

          My narc was ANGRY that his friend moved. Not sad, but ANGRY. He refused to pick up the phone and call him.

          Yup. It’s all about THEM.

        • ANC, that’s a great observation. I agree wholeheartedly. Little emotional intimacy but constant pressure to have sex.

      • Not having any friends is HUGE, perhaps the biggest of all the red flags. From my own experience, I can’t emphasize that enough. And by that I mean a true friend, a wholesome friendship of some duration that has elements of shared intimacy and caring and proven acts of being there in times of need for the other person. Not the shallow social acquaintances of the narc or faux sympathy used mostly as window dressing. And if your guy has a best friend but he’s a real low life asshole, pay attention there too. Birds of a feather, and all that. It’s true. Quality (or lack-thereof) always seeks its own level.

        • That is so true. When I first met my ex I knew that he didn’t have very many friends and I saw right away that he would lie to them and not treat them well. I also saw that he would quickly lose friends. I convinced myself that because he didn’t treat me badly or lie to me that our relationship was somehow special and I always felt a little sorry for him, which he would use to his advantage to get what he wanted. And, I eventually found out he was lying to me too.

          • My mother gave me a piece of advice that I should have followed: Never get involved with a man you feel sorry for. Big mistake.

            • Ah yes this! Both ex’s parents died during our first years dating. First one, then the other. I felt sorry for him, as his parents were young and in their early fifties. I did get the feeling his family had secrets though, his Dad was an alcoholic and his parents had “disowned” their youngest. He never seemed to grieve for those we knew, when his Mom had a few months left to live he just chose not to visit her. He moved on…. He said it bothered him that I remembered the dates…. I met ex in High School, he had a few friends and we shared a group of friends too. He competed with everyone, always had to “win.” Our first eight years together were long distance ones. College, new jobs, volunteer work. I was naive, even when I felt he belittled me (and my family who are undoubtedly different ;/ ) I just chalked it up to a sheltered upbringing. Too young to see red flags, he grew worse over our years together, more entitled, he always had to be the center of attention (although he was always intent on getting me into bed). Even that never improved as it should have. I think his ability to ignore me was a major red flag, he saw my opinions on politics, religion, music, and hobbies as not very important. What I loved, how I spent my time, and my work, a SAHM, then a teacher, not nearly as important. On his way out he said, His life was the best. His job, his friends, racquetball. Me in it? Not so much. Every year it became more about what he wanted, last couple of years married it was the typical devalue, disengage, and discard. In the two years it took us to divorce he was Narc on a rampage but none of our community saw that. I finally figured out he was having an affair on the day he told me he wanted a divorce (Dday). I googled “signs he’s cheating” and read everything then. Which I highly recommend to new Chumps. Cleared my brain to disconnect. Yay, me!

            • I second that. Woof.

              They are the passive-aggressive types who resent you for having faith in them, and then they cry that you have no faith in them.

  • 1. After 17 plus years of living in the same house with the same neighbors, can’t remember their names.
    2, First time living on his own, age 44, after I kicked him out.
    3. Has a big problem with people he deems as not attractive. However, he is short, receding hair line, flat butt, muffin top and skinny legs (hairless troll is too kind to say of him).
    4. Never volunteering for anything. Said I represented the family as the giver.
    5. Boasted that he was too good to shop at Walmart.

    • My ex never volunteered for anything either. Was always talking about how he wanted to help illiterate adults learn to read. Fine, I was all for that, it sounded like a great idea. But he never picked up a phone or went on-line to actually look for opportunities. Refused to come to blood drives with me, even when there was a desperate need in the town we lived in. Never gave any money for public television or radio although he was a ravenous consumer of both. Come to think of it, he never did anything for anyone.

  • Gazed upon his own reflection whenever the opportunity presented itself.

    Exaggerated about his accomplishments (or mine)., i.e. when author Neil Gaiman followed my twitter account, he told everyone that I was friends with Neil Gaiman.

    Since he had no income he was never able to buy Christmas or birthday gifts. One year we were so broke we (I) hadn’t even sent his daughters a token gift. His mother sent him $500 and instead of helping with a bill or buying his wife and/or kids a Christmas gift, he spent it on an electric keyboard because he had to “feed his soul.”

    HATED when people didn’t like him.

    One year I bought him a beautiful book of poetry for his birthday. I had it in the closet in the bag it came in until I could write an inscription in it and wrap it. He couldn’t be bothered to wait for any of that, however, and he took it and said, “Thanks for the book of poetry.”

  • I have never gotten a birthday present. I never got flowers in our 5 year history. I got a toaster for Christmas and I don’t eat bread as I’m on the Atkins diet. Our first trip was to see his mother in Iowa. We live in Florida. It was a trip he had planned with his daughters and he asked me to tag along (to be a babysitter) and he made me pay for half the gas and food and rental car. To visit his mother! I asked him “when you were married and you and your exwife took your kids to visit your mother 18 hours away, did you make your then wife pay for half the gas?” 5 years his kids are now teens and are little narcissists in training. I paid for a family vacation to Disney World. My three kids (they were all under the age of 10) and his two teen daughters age 13 and 15, he and I, stayed in two rooms adjoining in the Caribbean Beach resort. I had made dinner reservations for the Rain Forest Cafe. His two teen daughters also brought a friend along. They helped my little girls pick out their dresses to wear to dinner. We were swimming in the pool at the resort around lunch time when he and the teens swim up to me and he announces “Now don’t be mad! But these two want some daddy daughter time. We still want to go to the Rain Forest Cafe for dinner but we want it to just to be us! Not you and your kids” We want you to pay for it and we want the friend to come along who is not family too. I am not rich by any means and I had to work a lot of overtime to pay for the trip. Did we break up in the parking lot of Walt Disney World Caribbean Beach resort? Yes we did. I have fifty stories such as these.

    • And when he asked for half the gas money, you paid! Just like I did….I have a million of these stories too, and now that the cheater is history, I look back and ask “how could I let him treat me like that?” His behavior, unlike some of the smoother cheaters on this site, was perfectly clear. He treated me like shit, and I put up with it. What about being treated like shit made me come back for second helpings?
      When we finally did hit a boundry, far, far later than we should have, my cheater became enraged. How could I be acting like this? Hadn’t we established that I was not supposed to have boundries? Then it was all my fault that he cheated.
      Why, why do we stay with these losers so long? When all the evidence shows us exactly who they are?

      • Tee Here heee. For establishing a boundary, I was told, very dramatically, “Well THAT shows me!!!” Yup. Asshole. That should show you that this sham is bullshit. Sorry, not sorry, it took me so long to rediscover my voice.

  • He is never wrong. Never, ever wrong about anything. Then, if he does something wrong and it is found out — he flies into a rage of absurd proportions. He deflects blame onto others like a petulant child. Then he rewards himself with shiny new toys to sooth his hurt feelings.

  • My dead H was a covert narc. To his friends he was the worlds greatest guy. He was a wonderful son to his parents to his last breath. His father, however had sett he pattern of blame in his FOO…it was the wife’s fault, everything was her fault. It always seemed that she was being punished for not being someone else, she was the consolation prize. At their 50 yr anniversary, FIL told deadH that prior to marrying his mom. he proposed to a woman whose family wouldnt let her marry him because he was Mexican, so he married his now W who he punished for not being the first gal.

    So deadHs narcisms were solely directed at me while he put a wonderful face on for the rest of the world.

    Perhaps his most narc trait was that he seriously seemed to think that the world owed him a great life, really fun life without drudgery or tedium. Normal annoyances (yard work, something broke, income tax form to fill out) were seen by him as SERIOUS OPPRESSION that he simply SHOULD NOT have to deal with and if I were a better wife, he would not have tedium in his life. Tedious details mean that I sucked.

    Someone above said the H refused to plan. Yes. Planning was for plebians…amazing folk like him should be able to pull out the gold card and go anywhere / do anything on a whim. He spent more than he made so I had to work to make up the difference and when I worked he was freaking PUT OUT that he had to tend his own children. As the kids got into activities, he was livid that we couldnt “just go”. (Same guy later told me I was a HORRIBLE wife for not having 7 children and stopping at 3)

    During an argument when he was livid that our family of 5 had never hopped a plane to Rome (none of us had passports for one thing) I told him that we could go to Rome all we had to do was plan for it – he looked at me with disgust and with venom dripping off every word he said “I WILL NOT PLAN !”

    Mr Special was also way too good to get a normal job like everyone else…he could only do a job that was super cool and enviable. It did him NO GOOD that his first job out of the military was super cool and enviable…it fed into his delusion so badly it nearly ruined him. I mentioned that the average guy he sees in Church on Sunday likely does a job that isnt super cool and enviable but he does it because it is what his family needs…but he was having NONE of that.

      • Oooooh, my cheating ex had the same loathing for plans and planning! She was above such drudgery. Too clever, too important, too special. So when it came time to pay bills, go on a vacation, buy a new car, or set up insurance or investments, guess who got another chore on his plate?

        • Nomar, x-hole hated planning, and also any basic responsibilities! That was for me only. Taxes, credit card payments, even utility bills can wait! Fun comes first, let’s be ‘spontaneous’!!!
          Never mind electricity would get cut off, children’s child care benefit cut off, or debts grow!
          His classic response was ‘you are always doom and gloom!!” Lighten up!….’Oh, doomsday again!
          To him ‘work’ ‘responsibility’, ‘obligation’ were dirty words and concepts far bellow him! Good for silly chumps like us, who are ‘slaves’ of the ‘system’. (You see, he was entitled to free everything, somehow! Because, he is just so fabulous, spontaneous, and sparkly!!!! Laws don’t apply to him. And someone else can live and clean up the messes…of course.
          Vacations? Since darkness entered my life, I had never been on even a 2 day vacation in 11 years. Everything else, once, twice a year ‘trip’ somewhere in town …’I don’t know’ , ‘Do whatever you want’, ‘You pick”.

          Sigh, life with the disordered. I call him x-hole because he sure was no ‘husband’ to me throughout the bondage, and he reminds me of a huge, bottomless black hole.

          • You’re so right that this dynamic is used to characterize the chump as unpleasant (Bills! Chores! Responsibilities!) and the cheater as fun (Games! Treats! Toys!). 6 years after my divorce and my kids from that marriage (now adults) still labor with those mischaracterizations.

  • And how could I forget?!?! Selfies!!!!! He takes tons of selfies! Tons. And his ex wife too! and their two teen daughters have of course followed in their footsteps and are the social media duckface selfie queens. Now if a guy I’m interested in sends me a bunch of selfies, I run!

    • Yep– just learned that lesson. The guy I thought I might have potential with didn’t get why I didn’t send selfies in return. I have no desire to take pictures of myself. Most pictures of mine don’t have me in them because I’m the photographer. However, he took many of them– red flag alert!

      • Yup. Dumped a loser last summer after he sent me dozens of selfies each week. I never said a word, just deleted them. Then he started sending me pictures of Mr. Dick. THEN he sent me a video!! GONG!!~~!! Eeeewwww Just eeeewwwweee.

    • Wow, selfies, staring at every mirror, window and shiny object, him 1 hour me 15 min in the bathroom grooming…..
      but it just reminded me how my x-hole would sit for HOURS!!! PRACTICING AND ADMIRING HIS SIGNATURE!! While I was cooking dinner and taking care of our two toddlers. You see, I was failing to recognize the importance of a great signature, spectacular plastic business card, most expensive phone and a phone plan, a need for (a beat up) BMW…to a future millionaire. He scoffed that I have a ‘blue collar mentality” and better to do something to look the par,when he is in the newspaper, standing next to the mayor. Not kidding, his words. I was shocked but then laughed out that in the meantime he might want to get a job to keep food on the table. He physically and verbally attacked me…
      Yep, took me 7 years to have him arrested! Just because I am a Christian, I thought this was my life sentence…what a twisted nonsense, I deserved a whack from the Lord himself, if anything, but He is graciously and ever so patiently helping me back to my feet..

  • This one is a clear sign I’m dealing with a narcissist: I walk away from a long conversation with someone and realize that the whole discussion was about them and their drama. It is amazing how narcissists will just slip in an obligatory (and often perfunctory) “oh, and how are things with you?” as you are wrapping up a chat. Narcissists are horrible at conversation etiquette. There is no balanced give and take or flow from one topic to the next. Conversation for a narcissist is really a monologue; just another opportunity for them to hear themselves talk.

  • Another, is the helpless victimised Narc.

    The one that through their own actions or attitude causes an issue with others but spins it in such a way that as there loving spouse you can’t help but defend them. Only to later find that they had used you to fight a battle for them they knew they had no hope in hell of winning. Because they were not the victim.

  • And aside from my own ex I see signs of narcissism or at least extreme self absorption in random people daily. You guys might think I’m being picky but hear me out:

    -when people are oblivious to others in general; they’re talking to friends at my gym at the bottom of the steps therefor blocking the only way in or out and I come up carrying my toddler or an elderly person struggles to get through and you can even say “excuse me” and yet they pay no notice. They don’t bother to move even an inch and are oblivious to the trouble they’re causing everyone around them.

    -when a person cuts in line. Period. It’s ridiculous behavior.

    -a person walks into a room as a conversation is being carried on and they interject without even considering saying “excuse me for a moment” or “sorry to interrupt” to hijack the group with whatever they want to talk about

    -people who view the world as a “every man for himself” place

    • Oh yeah, my ex couldn’t stand to wait in lines. Much too important to have to wait with regular people. Hated traffic too, got really upset if he had to slow down for it. Once got so upset at an elderly driver in a parking lot that he almost wrecked our car to get around her. So ridiculous.

      • Yes, I think the ‘lines’ and ‘crowd aversion is a big sign’. My stbxh has NO patience for traffic. He will pull illegal u-turns etc. that scare me to death. Also, he will always want to upgrade and spend more money than he has rather than take a coach seat. I always remember when we HAD to stay at the most expensive Hotel in Disneyland-the California Grand. We could have save A LOT of money if he would have been willing to walk out side of Disneyland but no- it has to be the shortest distance for him.

    • This happened last night. I SWEAR that this woman was taking up an enormous walking aisle of the grocery store – three carts wide – and stepping here and there to block me JUST because she could. Finally, I walked into her, on purpose, and said “Oh! Sorry?” and then walked a few steps ahead and muttered (LOUDLY, “under my breath”) “What a bitch, taking up all that room.” I heard her tick and stop and stopped myself, to look back at her. She look SHOCKED that I dared to look at her.

      I’m fucking DONE with these selfish assholes.They’re full of themselves because they go unchallenged but really? They’re cowards, thinking they can control physics AND people’s psyches. FUCK THEM.

      “Yeah – you don’t GET to monopolize 9 times the space of yourself, just to see if you can.” She was stunned a moment, donned a canned smile, and walked away.

      As I headed to the self checkout, she had monopolized 5 teenagers on the one manned register at 10pm, DEMANDING they honor the expired coupon for her one item.

      There’s no kibble from a machine. Selfish, needy, attention-whoring twat. <— yup, said that loudly enough for them ALL to hear too.

      I.am.DONE with letting people who feed on attention do so without calling them out on it. I want their nasty souls to stave to death, for the lack of it. "Yes – I.know.YOU."

      • FYI – her mother was waiting in the car, parked next to mine in the lot (omg- TWINS of 50-something and 70-something)… diagonally. Never mind that ours were the only two cars in a lot of hundreds of spots and I was 3 aisles from the nearest spot… they had to park like assholes enough that I had to back out a bit before being able to pull away.

        I was DONE, after being in the store with her wretch of a daughter, and called her an asshole (making sure to move my mouth in such a way that she could lip read, if she didn’t hear me) as I passed.

        • And let’s be fair, we all make dumb mistakes. But when I flub I apologize. When I need to get through, I say excuse me. If I cut someone off while driving I’m desperately hoping they can see me saying “I’m sorry” in the mirror. Because I don’t want to be a prick, I want to be kind. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, I’d prefer to brighten someone’s day rather than crap on it.

          I also decided after my pregnancy a few years ago that I was done moving out of courtesy for people. I don’t mean I would purposely be in anyone’s way but if someone needed through or wanted to look at a shirt that, say, my body was in front of as I looked on the racks I now require the person to communicate to me that they’d like through. Otherwise I act oblivious to them. Way too many times I’ve inconvenienced myself for the passive aggressive stares or “huffs” of strangers. Nope. No more. The reason I made this rule for myself was because a very large man was hurrying through the very crowded grocery store, nudging people out of his way and acting as if the seas of human bodies should just be parting for his greatness and I was 8 months pregnant and decided right there that he would say “pardon me” or he would run into a pregnant chick in public. One guess what he did. He fucking shoulder checked me, HARD and knocked me into another persons cart. And said NOTHING! A gentleman onlooker chased him down and berated him as the crowd threw in their disgust. From that moment on I move for people with common decency and manners (or the elderly, people in wheelchairs, etc.).

          I also say things under my breath but not so much under my breath. Lol. Sometimes I just struggle to keep it in! For instance, if I hold the door open for someone and they don’t say a word I say as i’m laughing “oh, you’re welcome your majesty”…that typically gets them some public embarrassment.

          • And YES – I am ALWAYS saying things like “I’m such a jerk – you’re obviously trying to see and I’m too tall and not thinking about it… here!”

            “Oh – you hardly have anything – go ahead, in front of me!”

            Waving people on, stopping for buses hundreds of feet before I need to just in case, etc.

            But now? I just say what I’m thinking. Out loud.

            “Seriously? Is it THAT hard to put your large cart into another large cart, in the lot corral?”

            Once upon a time, I had 3 very young children. A newborn tied to me in a wrap, an 11-mo old son who didn’t walk yet, and a barely 2-year-old toddler. Color me PISSED to see people just CHUCKING their grocery carts toward the general direction of the corral, barely making it in. So, you know… 9 carts shot AT the corral made it so it was FULL and 1) no one ever fixed it and 2) the thing was overflowing and starting to hit cars in the lot itself. 20 minutes from being last emptied so it wasn’t the store’s fault. That’s when I STARTED being ballsy… “WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLES JUST PUT THEIR CARTS WHEREVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE?”

            You’re welcome. haha

          • I shoulder-barged someone back, twice as hard, when they pulled that shit with me in the grocery shop some time ago. They didn’t bother to do it again. 🙂
            Also reminds me of a woman who said to me “Give me your seat so I can sit down” on a bus (despite there being multiple empty seats elsewhere). I responded with “Ask me nicely and I will. Until then, you can piss off”. Cue the passive aggressive huff and death stare. The fact she spoke to me in that tone of voice, irrespective of the fact she was in her 60s (and I’m half her age) doesn’t give her the right to treat me like a piece of shit in an attempt to get something.
            I have no patience for arseholes, and if you’re a prick in public, I will call you out on it.

  • 1) Many acquaintances but no real friends or longtime friends.

    2) Jealous of what others have but disguises it by calling anyone with more than her materialistic.

    3) Becoming obsessive with a new hobby and then dropping that hobby for a newer hobby. Buying every accessory, piece of equipment, joining every group in said hobby. Regaling their hobby to anyone who will listen. Posting selfies of themselves in their hobby.

    4) Superficial acts of kindness but never following through if kindness requires more than hour of their time per year.

    5) If not the center of attention gets sulky. Dislikes what she calls ” attention seekers”

    6) Gets angry is anyone disagrees with their opinion.

    7) If they’ve been anywhere in the world, even it’s for an hour to catch a connecting flight they are experts on that country and culture.

    8) Compliments are always welcome, even if coming from people they dislike.

    9) Vegan, Botox injections, Breast Implants, Yoga and snorting coke.

    10). Fighting for 50/50 custody because, if not, she’d look like a bad mother. Moves to another state when hooking a new chump and rarely sees her kids, although she posts regularly on facebook about how much she loves her kids.

    • Regarding #9: Are you saying that each of these is a sign of narcissism, or just the whole package? I’m mostly vegan and enjoy yoga. These things keep me healthy and grounded. It would be a little hypocritical to do these healthy activities while also snorting coke and getting strange things injected into my body, however.

          • You mean like… proudly declaring oneself “straight edge,” vegan, and in depression while simultaneously acting like a drunken asshole without the excuse of liquor, wearing leather shoes/having an hour-long commute in an oil-pouring vehicle to save $10/week in childcare despite living 2 miles from work, and shit-stirring everyone’s everything, on purpose?

            Yeah – that’s hypocritical, for sure. lol

    • You know my EX! Great list! I especially like number 6. My EX didn’t have opinions; he had “truth.” The rest of us might have opinions, usually erroneous ones, but not him.

  • Red flags for dating? Here’s a few:
    1. They watch what you eat for you (even though you’re not overweight … assholes!)
    2. They talk about finances before they talk about monogamy
    3. They make “subtle” comments that are racist, homophobic, misogynistic
    4. They flirt with others in front of you
    5. They have a “type” that they’ve always gone for and you can spot the pattern just by looking at them (shows that it’s all about appearances)

  • Their “dating” behaviour is different from their “relationship” (living together/married) behaviour. No more special treatment. Too bad the whore didn’t get to experience that. Karma Interrupted.

  • This is for narcissists in general, not as a potential partner… for when we chumps suddenly see a whole new world in EVERYONE, after the veil has been ripped away. People you’ve known a long time are being seen for who they are:

    1) When you don’t know that someone has a spouse or children from working with them and from FB. This happens WAY too often. They post incessant selfies.

    2) Being chronically late when everyone else has to be on time. And making up a story for each, daily occasion of tardiness… coming in ranting and pissy so no one will ask you, making you deplete your Bucket of Excuses faster.

    3) Making plans with someone and then not showing up, because something better came along. No call. No message. Just don’t show up.

    4) Gaslighting where guilt should be. “I’m SURE I told you that we switched schedules!” No – you said, three weeks ago, that you MIGHT need that night off and then nothing more was said from you. “No, no – remember how it was raining and I said maybe and then you messaged me that it would be fine?” Yes… and in the same sentence – – I said to LET ME KNOW. *That sounds fine – just let me know! 😀 * And you didn’t. I made other plans. (Totally didn’t.)

    5) When you like links on FB at 5am and can’t be bothered to change your baby’s diaper, feed or dress her before 9am. Every day. And blame her oozing diaper rash on feeding her so many fruits and vegetables. Uh huh.

    6) When you use the “abandonment” from many people, who always eventually become infuriated and ditch you, as a reason for your “depression,” taking off throughout the workday for hours, and being on the phone at work constantly. The abandonment YOU created by being… well, a really horrible, manipulative, selfish and unashamed-of-it person. Because it’s all about the attention you’re given, no matter its nature.

    7) When you only ask married, male co-workers to help you fix things/go to the mechanic with you/help you move a piece of furniture… when a female co-worker has already told you how to do these things yourself and offered to show you how. (I burned all those bridges for her, apparently. Poor her, having to do simple things like kill a spider in the basement, schedule auto-repair appts., and google how to adjust a lawn mower’s throttle. The entire staff now tells her to google the solution to her “problems.”)

    I so love catching her in her own web or drawing her out, to dangle out of it. She’s much more respectful to me now. Yes, it’s grudgingly… but she knows I’ll catch her and in the most aggravatingly kind of ways. Everyone is much happier since she became cautious around me. Now, she tends to only manipulate people in her personal life, not at work. Why? I told her how dumb it is to shit where you eat and pointed out the life of most single mothers… the life she’d lead without this exact job. The kind of life where you NEED the support of family and friends (ALL burned bridges) and can’t just PLAY with/manipulate/disrespect it.

    • “4) Gaslighting where guilt should be.”

      Always, even now. He’s gone from not just completely re-writing the history of the marriage (wherein he was the victim) but he has moved on to re-writing the history of our dating/courtship. He tells me his version of events as if I wasn’t there and I don’t know what really happened. He could be a picture on the cover of Lundy Bancroft’s book about abusive men, but he’s the poor sausage boo-fuckin’-hoo victim. It is unreal.

  • Where do I begin? What hasn’t been said already? Probably everything here but still, it helps if I vent:

    – Gone up to 120 days a year traveling for “work” with the OW, leaving me to figure out how to get to my job and care for the kids and get them where they needed to go without losing my job at the drop of a hat. Now wants 50/50 custody.

    – Won’t fix anything at the family home (just not a priority to him)

    – Would bump me off the sidewalk into the grass if someone was walking towards us to make room for them. Of course he stayed on the sidewalk. I guess that falls under “nicer to strangers.”

    – Says he doesn’t care what people think of him, then he must be thought of as the cool guy with the cool job, and tell them all the cool stuff he got to do on his last assignment but wouldn’t acknowledge my career or well, anything about me other than “oh, this is my wife”

    – Won’t buy presents because “you didn’t tell me what you wanted” even on Valentines Day when my whole world knows I adore chocolate. Side note for Christmas this past year he did buy me something, the same thing he bought me 2 years ago that I never used. I guess he thought he would look bad if he didn’t get me something.

    – The drama only he can solve, especially when he’s working and he has to show people who is boss and right the wrongs of his universe, summed up in “I was the only one who said anything/did anything about it”

    – High numbers of “friends” on social media but no long term friends, unless you count OW of 3 years

    – and yes, more shoes than me!

  • Early on my narc told me he believed in the policy of “no apologies, no excuses”. Chump that I am, I thought that he meant when you do something wrong words aren’t enough, you do whatever it takes to fix it. Nope. Eventually I finally figured out that he meant it literally.

  • where do I begin…..

    Liar, liar, liar!!!!

    My mom died suddenly at the age of 58. Not once did I get any type of emotional support. Instead I got “she lived a long life”.

    Always told me how much weight he lost and how his wedding ring was so loose because of his weight loss he could not wear it.

    Just the nicest most charming man to others. No one would believe that he cheated on his wife of 15 years with his best friends fiancé.

    Always had to find others to hang out with, even if he was at the airport for 1 hr. We could never go out alone always needed company.

    There was always so much competition.
    If I went out with friends 1 night, he had something to do that night as well.

    My time was never important. Everything revolved around his schedule and him.

    Very secretive about everything.

    I can go on and on and on…

  • On my birthday my son and his girlfriend took me and stbx out for dinner. We went to a Hibachi and ended up sitting with another couple we knew from town. My b-day is Feb 13, my son’s (another son) is Feb 14. When we go out for dinner on my b-day – most people assume we are out for Valentines day. Throughout the whole dinner stbx said at LEAST 3 times “It’s Nick’s birthday tomorrow.” Or “Nick is going to be 21 tomorrow.” Or “I’ve gotta get some beer for Nick’s birthday tomorrow….” NEVER ONCE did he mention that IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY TODAY! At the end of the meal, as we were getting up and putting our jackets on, the waitress came up to me with a small gift and wished me a happy birthday. I was very happy and said thank you. The couple we ended up sitting with looks over at me and said with confused looks on their faces and said “Wait – Is it YOUR birthday?” I looked at them and said yes it is. They then looked at stbx with a funny look. I just thought – you are such a dumbass. Never once did you mention MY birthday, yet you mentioned Nick numerous times. You made yourself look like an idiot by obviously diverting ANY kind of attention toward me. Dick

    • LadyStrange – what is it with birthdays!!! We scheduled a cruise with my some of family. Coincidentally, the day we boarded was my birthday so at dinner that evening, my family had presents and cards for me. My husband had nothing – not from him or my daughter – not even a card. He never even acknowledged that it was my birthday. About 2 weeks after we got home, I asked him about it. His response was that he thought the cruise was my birthday present. What a load of horse shit that was! It was our annual summer vacation that I planned with my sister for us. Nothing about it ever implied that it was for my birthday, not to mention that I would never, ever expect that much money to be spent on my birthday. He was just full of shit and like you said, a dick.

      • ByeByeCheater, I bet it is because someone is paying you attention. Your family loves and cares for you. Narcissists ‘ HATE’ that! How DARE they do something special for you…

    • This kind of gave me flashbacks of my stbxh. He was visibly angry during a couple of my birthday celebrations and told me that my dress made be look fat etc. He be grudgingly took me out for my birthday meals- VERY passive aggressive.

      • It isn’t passive-aggressive, it’s covert-aggressive. In covert-aggressive, the focus is on ‘aggressive’. This goes hand in hand with their image management. They can do super-shitty things, covered in the cloak of plausible deniability.

        • Einstein, you are correct! It IS covert-aggressive. It is all planned and they know exactly what they are doing. Thank you for pointing this out- passive aggressive suggests that the narc isn’t doing it on purpose. My STBXH has a Masters degree in psychology and he knows exactly what he is doing.

          • My ex had a Ph.D. in psychology. Not my major and I never took a class there. But I get what you are saying. Every meanness was calculated and vile, no matter how much I excused and spackled. “He’s not sentimental.” No, he just never cared for anyone but himself.

    • I just remembered the first birthday I celebrated with Cheater McAsspuppet while we were dating. Lord! Talk about a red flag Helen Keller would have noticed!

      We had planned to go out to see a movie and have a romantic dinner to celebrate my birthday. Nothing lavish, but something sweet and quiet and just being together. His cousin showed up, supposedly unexpectedly, and wanted to hang out with him. He told his cousin that we had plans and I have no idea what transpired after that. All I know is I got a call asking if I minded if his cousin came along with us. Instead of saying, “Uh, yeah I mind – I don’t really want to spend my birthday with your cousin and why is this even a question?” I graciously said okay. The evening then deteriorated into finding a date for his cousin so he wouldn’t feel like a third wheel, the girl who lived down the hall coming along, them complaining about the movie I had chosen (It was my birthday and I didn’t really invite you assholes along) and the cousin and the girl from down the hall sucking all of the air out of the room and making the evening all about them. It ended up being all horrible evening with them repeatedly criticizing the movie I had chosen and ganging up on me for choosing it and Cheater McAsspuppet never defending me; he actually joined in the criticism instead.

      A more self-aware woman and a woman more grounded in her own value at the time would have told all of them to fuck off and made some last minute, different arrangements for her birthday. I just got angry typing this because this was a long ago suppressed memory.

      The full realization of what a real pile of hot steaming donkey shit he is has sunk in and I really need to throw away the shoes that stepped in that pile of shit. I would call him a dick, but that would be an insult to defenseless, hard-working, worthwhile dicks everywhere.

    • Because he was too busy being a dick to you. The snub, no doubt because of some perceived slight. They love punishing people. They love it so much that if there isn’t something to punish you for, they’ll make shit up.

  • Selfies…..lots of them.

    Inappropriate clothing…about 20 years too young.

    5 CD players, 4 amps, 4 turntables, $2000 speaker cable, 3 cars, etc.

    Disliking my dogs because I liked them.

    Charming to my family, but not so great to me.

    Workaholic.

    Boozer.

    Lap dance fan.

    Cell phone hoarder.

    Overall paranoid and unfriendly.

    Bad choice in friendships. Always losers.

    Minimizer. Blamer.

    That’s a start….

    • Not sure if the last guy I was seeing was a full-blown narc (I didn’t stick around long enough to find out), but I saw enough for my narc “radar” to be sounding off!

      -Before I even met him, I used to hear him talking to others. I remember thinking on the FIRST DAY I saw/heard him, “Boy, he sure does COMPLAIN A LOT!”

      -I noticed that when he was complaining, he was ANGRY. I even told him this. At first he denied it, and later on he admitted it.

      -He told us that he was divorced twice because BOTH of his wives “cheated on him”. He used to complain that his ex-wife’s “affair partner” wanted to be the “daddy” to his children.
      -In the next breath, he told us that he had a girlfriend…who was MARRIED, and he SMUGGLY told us that HER children wanted narc to be their daddy! HYPOCRITICAL much, dude?

      -He told me, “I don’t lie. Just ask my friends!” A week later, he wanted me to lie for him. And yes, he DID tell me a few lies that he had told others. I wondered what lies he had told ME…

      -He told me that when he suspected his wife was cheating, he got “everyone on his side”. I had the strangest feeling that if anything developed between us, he would do that same thing to ME. There was no cheating between us, but after everything ended he DID go from person to person to person to person spinning a tale of LIES…

      -Never asked me questions about myself. Everything he learned about me was from me TELLING him; not him ASKING.

      -Told me that when he was in high school that he majored in “drama” (Note-For those who haven’t had their first cup of coffee yet, he was talking about all the drama–that HE brought on–in his life, and not THEATER!)

      -This was an on-again-off-again relationship for several months. He couldn’t seem to make up his mind if he wanted to be “just friends” or “something more”. During one of our “off” times, he thought I was mad at him I wasn’t). After about 10 days of no real contact, he sent me a text message saying that he was feeling very suicidal…his so-called friends and family weren’t talking to him. I responded and we met that evening. When I showed up, he was all SMILES.

      -Told me how much he cared about me, yet seemed to find excuses NOT to help me if I needed it.

      -Totally forgot about my birthday. Not even a ‘happy birthday, Gypsy’! Offered to take me out to dinner over the weekend. And didn’t.

      -Since I paid for most of our ‘dates’, I asked him if he could ‘contribute’ once in a while (pick up the tab for drinks, which would have amounted to about 10 bucks at the place were went to)

      -Sometimes he would initiate texting and quickly lapse into these one and two word answers. I told him that I didn’t expect him to text, but IF he’s going to text, I expected him to hold up his end of the conversation.

      -After we stopped seeing each other (that’s a story in itself!), he told me that I expected too much from him!

      So, let’s recap a moment: COMPLAINS a lot. ANGRY (at SMALL things that happened DECADES ago). HYPOCRITE. LIAR. ADULTERER. DRAMA KING. VICTIM. GOSSIP. OUT FOR HIMSELF. CHEAPSKATE.

      Do those qualities REALL sound like something I would want in my life?

      Yeah. I dodged a shot-gun shell!

      • The “complains a lot” and that nothing is ever good enough for them are sure signs of a narc. Run!

        • “…nothing is ever good enough for them…”

          YES!!! He had he audacity to tell ME that I “expected too much from him”! If y’all knew how LITTLE I ‘expected’ from him–and, if you know anything about narcissism–and, if you knew what HE EXPECTED FROM OTHERS–you would know that he was PROJECTING.

          Grrrrrrr!

    • Oh yes, I forgot that ex liked to dress in ways that called attention to himself. Once he got mad when someone told him “I like your costume.” I remember laughing to myself because he did look like he was wearing a costume sometimes…

      • Don’t know why your ex was mad. “I like your costume” is perhaps the only true compliment you can give a charming narc!

  • This is a wonderful list, and I find myself going through everyone’s red flags going, yes, tick, yes, tick but I find myself wanting to put all of this in a spread sheet. Tardiness, pitifulness, pets, mirroring, cheating, rage, silence, public vs private persona, cheapskates, secretive. When you look at these traits, even without the cheating, they would still be pretty shitty people. Maybe the spread sheet, should list these traits and we can fill it in with did it occur, if it did percent of time it happened and when in the relationship it reared its ugly head.

    There are themes and patterns here. I am not smart enough to really sort them out. But it would be great if we could boil these down into those themes and the math side of me put a percentage to them. I am wondering if selfishness (what does that mean exactly) is the primary goal and the primary vehicle to get to selfishness is control. These themes are all the ways they exert control to get to selfishness.

    (Dr. Demento was all about control, doing everything in his power so that he never had to feel inadequate and because he felt inadequate, just about everything made him feel inadequate and it was all my fault.)

    If we could come up with a list of these things , and then come up with a probablity of a person having these traits being a narc or a ClusterBfucker.

    Like we have 50 traits and if a person displays 2 in a 24 hour period, they get put on the narc alert list at yellow, 3 in a 24 hour period, they go to orange and 4 to Red, Danger Will Robertson… Run… Run now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200…RUN for your life.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. Everyone has covered just about all of my XH traits, so I don’t have much to add.

    • I am wondering if selfishness (what does that mean exactly) is the primary goal and the primary vehicle to get to selfishness is control.

      I think the primary vehicle to get to selfishness is an out of control immature EGO, and that ego is at the ‘root’ of everything else, including selfishness.

  • 1. Jealous of the attention that you give their own children.
    2. Control all the bank accounts and then you find out you are at least $80,000 in credit card debt when you thought you had about $2,000 in credit card debt.
    3. Some friends and family don’t like him at all, some like him a lot- very strongly one way or the other.
    4. He (and you) owe the IRS $43,000 and you have no idea why.
    5. Sex in never enough and never freaky enough.
    6. Can’t admit he’s wrong ever, even with stupid little things.
    7. Has a slew of expensive hobbies (kibble supply).
    8. His kids liked him when they are little but start avoiding him like the plague once they are older.
    9. He buys his kids Go Pro cameras and concert tickets when they desperately need new shoes.
    10. No conscience, no compassion, don’t care about your feelings at all. Were once your best friend, now your worst enemy……..

    • Ya – stbx felt ‘bad’ when our son got kicked out of school because he couldn’t afford to pay the tuition. Maybe rather than buying our son a sports car (that for some reason you tend to drive yourself quite often) (and by the way – I had nothing to do with the purchase of this car – stbx just went and bought stuff without ever talking to me about it first.) he should have helped him with his school expenses because after all – our son ALREADY HAD A CAR!

      • And yes Nicole – #10 certainly resonates with me….. I thought that was the alcoholism. However – I think alcoholism turns into narcissism. Or the traits are very similar.

        • My stbx doesn’t drink at all but I think most addictions are based in narcissism. Yes, the cruel behavior from him and his family (whom loved me so much for 20 years) is unreal. My friends want me to write a book and title it “I Could Have Been a Dateline Story.” I’m sure my stbxh thought at least once how I could have an “accident” so he could have used my life insurance money to pay off all of his hidden debts.

  • When you are with a narc or other disordered type, you find yourself second guessing them a lot, trying to figure out what they really meant by even innocent comments. IMHO, you don’t have to do that with normal people. If you’re thinking, “Hmmmmmm,” a lot, you are with a disordered person. Best to cut your losses and run.

  • I´ll add mine though some are repetitive

    1. Stingy
    2. Angry at me and kids most of the time, but a social charmer
    3. Isolated me from my pre-narc best friends (I didn´t realize this until now that they tell me why they stopped seeing me )
    4. Forgot my birthdays and our anniversaries many times
    5. His birthdays had to be one week-long celebrations
    6. Terrible relationship with narc-dad, I assume his mom died so young (46) of cancer because narc-husband stressed her so much that she got sick and let go.
    7. Only had one friend from highschool, was a loner and was reading Nietzsche while everyone went to see Star Wars. Got kicked out of several schools.
    8. Calls any woman the equivalent of “honey” or “love” (except me)
    9. Forgot everyone`s names and telephone numbers
    10. Was crazy strict about being punctual (I am the 5 or 10 minute late one…not that punctual) but was never punctual with me (“I`ll be home in an hour” meant “I`ll be home in three hours”)
    11. Always worried about how he looked and what other people thought of him, but was never able to compliment me when I dressed up for him
    12. Had a weird way of distorting time: something that I thought lasted two weeks, he would say three weeks, 50 minutes he would say an hour, 10 years he would correct me to 11 years. I always knew I was right, but he had this thing about correcting my time and could not stand to be wrong, so I would let him do it because it was not such a big deal for me.
    13. Wanted for me to agree on spanking as a disciplinary tool before our children were born. Thank god I never gave in on this one,(but he screams and gets furious instead). He was whipped with a belt by his father and of course resented him all his life, but wanted us to do the same???? I should of decided not to have children with him that very day though I don`t regret one second in having my beautiful kids
    14. Was really good at criticizing, blaming, controlling and giving orders but could not handle the same actions going in his direction.
    15. Has never been without a girlfriend, wife or lover since puberty. He can`t stand to be kibble-less for a minute.
    16. Claims he has a “dark side” as if that is something sexy and attractive, or as a minimum, an excuse.
    17. Can`t stand seeing other people sick or helping them when they are (like our kids) but needs to be completely pampered by everyone when he is sick. Still needs to tell me when he is sick to see if I dish him out some kibbles.
    18. Did things physically to me that I told him many times I didn`t like (like pinching my butt or pulling my ears) for 15 years, even though I reminded him that there were other ways he would get my attention immediately (like kissing my neck) . He said that I was just a prude and that anyone would love to get that type of attention from him and the day it stopped I should worry (when it stopped was when the OWs would come in, now that I think about it).

    • LOL. Your #18 made me laugh. My ex was always slapping me on the hip like a horse, even though I asked him many times not to do it. He seemed to get a kick out of how much irritated it made me. I craved being touched in a gentle way.

    • Mine would always touch me in ways I told him I didn’t like, and then say I “rejected him”. I didn’t see reaching over and flicking my nipple as a huge turn on….
      Now, I think it has a lot to do with the prostitutes. They like everything he does and are really turned on (for $300 an hour).
      Let’s add “Thinks prostitute really enjoy being with him. Really.”

      • That’s just how they operate. He knows you didn’t like it, that’s why he did it. He knew you would “reject” him, then he could accuse you of rejecting him and use that to justify punishing you, visiting prostitutes, feel sorry for himself, claim victim status, and on and on.

        They’re sick puppies.

    • The one about never being without another, relationship after relationship (maybe some overlap there, lol!) since puberty. And the sick bit. Could never fetch me a cup of water, nor wait on our sick kids. When he got sick, OMG, the whole world stopped. Suck it up, Buttercup!

  • The most important item for me:

    (1) She typically gets her way, and you typically *want* her to get her way.

    If that’s the case, chances are you’re blind to the fact that this is not you “being a good spouse,” but actually a serious power imbalance in the relationship.

  • Wow! Talk about using the same playbook! My XH was one of those sneaky Covert Narcs (just as he was sneaky with his secret life – the one even his oldest, closest friends still don’t know about). In hindsight, here’s the list I observed:

    1. The Humble-Brag. Mentioning the honorable, altruistic things he did with an “aw, shucks” delivery.

    2. Love Bombing me and everyone in his circle of friends and acquaintances, so that the general consensus was: “What a nice guy he is!”. I ran him through the gauntlet of all my family members and friends before I considered dating him (some, like my very intuitive Mom, spent considerable time visiting and working along side him). They were all fooled as much as I was.

    3. Generous gift giver, often with items I didn’t express desire for (this is called “Loan Sharking”, to make their target feel a sense of obligation toward them and the relationship).

    4. Selfies! Selfies! Selfies! . I thought he taking them and sending them just for and to me. Uh, no.

    5. Shallow affect. Didn’t show any emotion (no concern, fear, anything) as we were waiting for my next upcoming brain surgery. Oh, and get this, he was very close to his mom (or so he appeared). THE NIGHT SHE DIED, EARLY THE NEXT MORNING HE HAPPILY RUSHES OUT TO BUY HIMSELF A NEW, TOTALLY LOADED, CRUSING MOTORCYCLE. No visible expression of grief. I think the only reason he didn’t get to the motorcycle dealer earlier was that it was too late when she passed. Oh, and he also didn’t show any emotion during the watching of the film The Fault In Our Stars. Not. One. Tear.

    6. Fifty shades of Hypocrisy. He chided a mutual younger, single friend of ours for confiding that she was sleeping with her new boyfriend (devoted church-goer and all). Meanwhile (I found out later, after I married him), he had gone to bed with one of her girlfriends, and the girlfriend’s aunt. (All of us were going to the same church, just as he did with one of the Elder’s wives – while we were married.)

    My conclusion? I don’t take “Nice” at face value anymore. Actually, I think for people like him the word Nice stands for:

    Narcissists
    Ingratiating
    Chumps
    Everywhere

    • 5 & 6 really got me. Doesn’t it kill you? HOW DOES ONE NOT SHOW EMOTION? And let me guess, when something went bad for him he played the “woe is me” card, right?!!!!

  • OMG where do I begin, lol.

    I was his second marriage. He had two children from his first. He *never* could remember their birthdays. When they were older and gone, I always had to send the cards and gifts. Couldn’t remember their ages either. All of a sudden – post divorce – they’re his best friends. Hmmmm.

    He had a unique way of paying you back if you did work for him, or he borrowed money from you (and personally saying he would PAY it back). He would pay most of it back – late … and then just stop paying, insinuating that whatever little things HE did for you should make up the difference.

    Could NEVER stand it if I was even slightly ill. This was considered an attention play on my part. Even if I never said anything and just went to bed. I remember being so sick once, I had like a dry-heave seizure. He walked by me and threw a towel on my head.

    He had (and still has) a business that he ran on HIS terms. I’m sure it’s even illegal – not the type of business, just how he’s running it. And he would spend GOBS of money on shit he didn’t need. Unfortunately I am an officer – although hadn’t been involved with it for over 15 years. Per our divorce, he was supposed to let me out of the business as of January 1. He has yet to do so. I’m sure he thinks he’ll rope me into whatever trouble he’ll get in by not letting me out. I have a fair amount of evidence that, I hope, will stop him short of that.. My accountant and divorce attorney think so.

    • “Could NEVER stand it if I was even slightly ill. This was considered an attention play on my part.”

      They are vile human beings, aren’t they?

  • X has a grandiose sense of self-importance. He has spent the better part of his adult life collecting unemployment, yet believes that welfare recipients are the lowest form of life. He once worked ONE overnight at Walmart before quitting when someone said he was “Walmart management material.” A very special guy would never be seen during the day working at Walmart!

    He is an expert at projecting his character flaws onto me. I’ve been accused of stealing money from my sons, lying, cheating, being selfish, cheap, a bad parent, yada yada yada for years. It would be comical except that he is adept at selling my supposed shortcomings to my kids, too. To hear my son whom I have raised all along when dear old dad abandoned him tell me I’m cheap (because I couldn’t pay for $150 shoes) still blows me away.

    He refuses to respect my boundaries. I have a No Trespassing order on file (because he was treating my home like his personal visitation playground when I wasn’t home), but he still parks and lurks for hours in front of my driveway, making it impossible for me to leave or come home without him “giving me permission” to do so. It’s infuriating.

    “Photo-Op Dad” sends an 8X10 photo of himself and my sons home with them TO MY HOME every chance he can get. Even the kids think it’s ridiculous, and the photos usually end up in the bottom of a closet or the trash, depending on how dear old dad treats them that week. Who in their right mind would send photos of themselves to their ex-wife’s home?

    • If he doesn’t want to move his car? That’s fine. That’s what keying his car or popping his tyres are for.
      Jesus I’m a cynical bastard today. 🙁

  • Should I ever go out with someone again this is my partial list of unacceptable behaviours. Any of these happen, I am gone.

    – if the person is late and at a minimum doesn’t bother to phone or text to tell me. X wasted enough of my time this way. I don’t give second chances any more.

    – answering any and all texts and phone calls while at dinner. If I’m not important enough to turn the phone off for, you are not worth my time.

    – the person gives me the “deer in the headlights” stare when I ask for more information about something. I now know that X would do this when he was desperately trying to think up some lie to cover for something he knew I wouldn’t like. Liars, in my experience, always delay.

    – if I hear “it was just a joke!” or any variation on it, I get up and leave. Immediately.

    – any inappropriate touching of any sentient being. Grabbing a dog by the ears; tickling, pushing, holding someone down – if it looks like toddler behaviour, I’m gone.

    – lack of empathy. Laughing inappropriately at people suffering. Observing, not helping.

    – Sulking. About anything. This includes the “silent treatment”.

    – Inability to have an adult, two way conversation where each party has equal time.

    – Asking to borrow money or possessions.

    – inability to do simple household tasks such as laundry, dishes, wiping countertops, vacuuming. If a place is a pigsty, I’m gone. I know what I can tolerate, and I know I’m not anyone’s maid.

    – Unnecessary drama. One of my favourite sayings now is, “Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine”. X used to wait until 8 hours before an international flight before getting his stuff ready. I finally gave up running around late at night to do it for him, and watched more than once as he packed his wet jeans in a garbage bag and stuffed them in his suitcase while the taxi waited out front of the house. Nope. Not acceptable behaviour, especially when you get mad at me for not “fixing” it. Take your self-imposed drama somewhere else.

    What it boils down to for me is that the next time around, I want to partner up with a full-fledged adult who can handle his own shit without needing a caregiver.

    CL, this really should be a book.

  • I’m surprised no one has listed the obsession with their own bowel movements (and expectation that you will be just as fascinated), and the hundreds of hours they spend on the loo!

    Never admitting they are wrong.

    Never apologising.

    Snarky superficiality … (that girl is too fat/ugly/too ‘common’ to be on TV, for example).

    And oh God yes …. the constant lateness.

    • My X kept me roped in because he would apologize if I got hot & bothered enough. But the critical comments about people on TV or IRL rings true, and… (red flag alert)… justifying that General Petraeus was justified in cheating because his wife had not kept a slim figure. Ding Ding Ding!!!

  • I’ll never know if I had a full-out narc or not. We only lasted a couple of years. He was a trucker, thirteen years older, and I became his third wife. The love-bombing at the beginning became handjobs or blowjobs only during the second year. If I touched him at night he invariably turned his back on me. He convinced me to give him my retirement money as a ‘good-faith’ investment in our future. While we were trucking we worked like dogs, but I liked it, even if I was confused by his increasingly cold behavior.

    During that second year, we lost the truck and it became apparent that he had no use for me except as a cook and occasional provider of sexual gratification. His, anyway. I was so confused and hurt. His routine became: work at the garage across the street, than drink beer for hours with his boss. Meanwhile I would work a half-day at the local grocery store, come home and do the housekeeping and fix him a nice dinner. Eventually he would come home to eat it and then pass out. And occasionally get up at night to pee, Possibly on the back porch, possibly in the shower stall, depending on which direction he staggered off to.
    God, I hated him on those nights!

    Then when we filed our taxes, I found out he had been filing with the wrong SSN before me–first two numbers were switched around. He had lost his card, you see. He thought that was the right number. I accepted that it was a mistake, but we ended up owing thousands of dollars to the IRS.

    Oh, there’s more of course but it’s just all too depressing. Upshot is my best friend sent me a bus ticked back to where I’d lived, two spend a couple of weeks with her to recharge. There was a return ticket, but when the time came I found I simply could not face getting back on that bus.

    Anyway…in the end, I paid for the divorce, and gradually paid the IRS. He paid nothing. He did ask me to come back a few times, but I wasn’t about to, even if I always cried after talking to him. I felt horrible and guilty, but I couldn’t go back. Now it’s thirty-two years later. I found Chumplady after reading a reference to it at another site. I’ve read every word and now feel like I got away from a bad situation that would only have
    gotten worse. I have come to the conclusion that even if you only have a little (money, property, whatever), they will take it, along with all your love, health, and time.

    The only points I have for today’s topic comes from an ex of the best friend who saved me. These aren’t hearsay, I witnessed all of them.

    This guy kept trying new hobbies, but if he wasn’t a ‘natural’ at it, he would grow frustrated like a little kid and drop it. He tried the mandolin. He tried juggling. But the concept of actually learning to play or to juggle was beneath him. He wanted to find his Natural Talent, and apparently doesn’t have one, which infuriated him.

    When he was unemployed, she found him a great job. He quit after a few weeks because the supervisors were stupid.

    He liked to cook, but cooking as a job would take all the fun out of it. Of course, when he did cook he made a huge mess, but he shouldn’t have to clean it up because hey! He cooked!

    Often when a group of us went out to eat, something would offend him and at some point he would get up and leave. Not say anything, just leave.

    A group of us (which he was part of) all decided to go to a movie later that week. When the day came, he stayed home. Not because he didn’t want to see the movie–he was pouting because he hadn’t been expressly invited. I know this because I asked him. He pouted even more when I just shook my head and told him he was so weird sometimes.

    Finally, he wanted an open relationship. She was getting fed up by this point, but reluctantly agreed, with the stipulation that one particular woman would be that last straw, that last wafer-thin mint that would end their relationship. So that woman, of course, is the one he slept with. So my friend dumped him, and later he came crying to me about how she never ‘supported his dreams’. Schmuck.

  • After mine cheated, he made everything about me. Showered me w so much it was overwhelming. But each time I could tell if I didn’t response the way he would like the first time, he always keeps going on about what a great thing he did.

    He is always so quick to let me know of good comments he gets from others…

  • I don’t even know where to begin! I tried to come up with my own words for qualities that have no words (lol) but here is the list:

    – Weirdo-loner-but-cant-be-alone quality. Has no actual or real friends. No longterm friendships, no childhood friends, *only casual, online/facebook/obscure forum friends.

    – Mysandry. Claims to dislike all men (except for his online pals) and only likes women as potential friendships

    – Highly inappropriate over sharing. Sees no problem with over sharing with these “friends” – or sometimes even coworkers – or actually anybody who will listen – about personal matters: qualms with others (including badmouthing their spouse), discussing their partner’s PERSONAL BUSINESS (ie their choice to have an abortion), heeding advice about major life decisions, freely discussing money, very openly discussing/publicizing controversial political views, BUT will remain totally quiet at family functions and around their partner’s actual friends and family

    – Sure, “LOVES dogs”, but gets a dog to fill a void and claims to love it as their own child, but doesn’t train it properly/doesn’t make sure it has manners, thinks you’re a terrible person when you try to discuss the weird shift in your relationship dynamics when the dog enters the picture BUT has a nervous breakdown when you pay more attention the dog, is cheap and stingy with it, rough houses with it when it’s a pup so it learns to jump on people as it grows up to be a big dog and doesn’t bother fixing that, doesn’t pick up the dog poop in your family’s yard, hit’s the dog as a means of training and punishment, doesn’t get the damn dogs nails clipped when they need it/doesn’t brush or groom it properly. neglects dog for hours (or leaves it overnight with roommates) to be with OW (who is “terrified of animals and doesn’t like dogs, I might add) – but won’t let you keep the dog for yourself because it’s his!!!! (Filed under: Double standards/Very small capacity to love/Filling the void with the wrong things?)

    – Jealousy and Possessiveness

    – Subtle “suggestions” about your appearance (“lose 20 lbs and you’ll be perfect, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off of you” – said on first date) that turn into very forward disclosures of opinions about your appearance (“I can’t keep it up anymore because you’ve gained weight and I’m no longer attracted to you – but everything else is perfect” – 3 years later).

    – Badmouth’s all exes. The nicest thing I ever heard him say about his previous ex was that she was a decent cook, “had a nice butt and that’s about it”, and that “she really loved him”.

    – Will take excellent care of you until you expect to be taken care of excellently, and then will REFUSE to take excellent care of you because now he claims that you think he’s your “daddy” and now you expect to be treated well.

    – Has to have the constant, 3 year cycle of finding a new chump, putting her on a pedestal, devaluing her, then trading her off for somebody new and exciting to feel “happy” and “fulfilled”.

    – LIES. LIES. LIES. LIES!!!!!! Lies to the point of where you don’t even know if the trivial stuff from the past is even true. If not lies, white lies, half truths, and totally omitting important details… Like who in the hell even are you because now I don’t know!!?!!?!

    – Always only sharing half of a story – or bits and pieces of an important story. A generalization. A subject change. Major avoidance behavior.

    – Inappropriate preying-on-the-weak behaviors/Highly inappropriate relationships with “non friends”. Will prey on weak people (easy targets like coworkers – people who he has to see), leading them on and getting them to develop feelings for him, and then totally taking advantage of them and exploiting them for his own benefit. Meanwhile, will feed a bullshit story to you about how he has no idea how this girl likes him and he’s only a “nice guy” to her and she aggressively flings herself onto him for no particular reason. Will try to make you feel better by sharing bits and pieces of conversations with said girl, making them look like a crazy person, when in reality, they were only encouraging the behavior. THEN, out of the blue, telling the poor girl to “f*ck herself” and calling her a “c*nt” when things get out of hand. THEN, will defent and protect her till the bitter end when you try to get involved. Will also will get overly involved with other people’s business, playing out his hero complex, trying to “save” them, for his own kicks.

    – Has all these ideas for business ventures and will work hard on them for a while (and use them for the label or status) but will abandon them when it gets too hard, too complicated, or if another idea distracts him.

    – Will not hesitate to tell you that you’re selfish for taking care of or worrying about your self esteem, feelings, well being, important friendships, or family and WILL believe this wholeheartedly.

    I could go on and on and on, folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • OH! And how could I forget:

      – Openly admits that he absolutely can’t be “alone” and that he “needs to feel wanted and needed”.

      • “Weirdo-loner-but-cant-be-alone quality. Has no actual or real friends. No longterm friendships, no childhood friends, *only casual, online/facebook/obscure forum friends.”

        Check! X’s “best friends” are goofballs he met in college that he keeps in touch with via email and has over to the house maybe once a year. Never visits their homes, though… too far away.

  • 1. Not asking questions or being interested in the opinions, comments, and ideas expressed by my friends and/or people that are new/have just met (i.e., not just being shy, but purposely being quiet until someone asks him a question-no sense of polite curiosity about others)

    2. Easily angered by small, frustrating tasks-erupting into a rage over something as ridiculous as a knot in the garden hose and refusing to apologize for tantrum like behavior

    3. Rarely, if ever, apologizing

    4. Making proclamations or grandiose gestures about self at social events

    5. Never expressing gratitude or appreciation

    6. Bad relationship with mother (this is immediate red flag–as soon as any kind of intimation about bad relationship with mother is expressed, RUN)

  • Looking back. I’m pretty sure my aunt was a narc and we had to cater to her all the time. For example, she hated chocolate so guess what? I could never have a chocolate cake for my birthday. If anything chocolate was even on the table she started raising hell and ruin everyone’s day. Here’s a thought, grow up and don’t have cake. She lived with my grandmother and after grandmother died she had to go to assisted living because no on could stand to be around her.

    • My ex claimed to be an “empath”. Which mean, strangely, that other people not being agreeable to her upset her. Because empathy, you know, is all about how she was feeling from second to second.

      And that’s the tip of an iceberg of malfunction. Not going any deeper than that. Just know that she was “special”, and “sensitive”, and obvious an “empath” because you know, it’s about her.

      • Isn’t it just like narcs to redefine empathy to suit their needs? I bet cheater ex thinks he’s an empath, too, because he feels badly when the stock market goes down. 🙂

  • My STBX may not be a full blown narc but it was always about him.

    Main issues:
    1. No interest in anyone including his daughters. No investment in anyone.
    2. Pursued own interest in yoga to detriment of everything else. Certainly no time for me.
    3. Keen on having best new gadgets. Never stinted himself.
    4. No friends or genuine connections with anyone.
    5. No effort in his career, family. Just drifting through life taking path of least resistance but enough to maintain a lifestyle that suggested success. Squandered his talents.
    6. Mimicked what he saw in others that he felt would make you feel he was your soulmate.
    7. No real life plan. No apparent history. A rootlessness that was disconcerting and depressing. Whenever he suffers major life changes eg our divorce he wants to run away and reinvent himself. Prefers to rent. No investment in the future (wouldn’t discuss pensions or retirement).
    8. Reliance on me to maintain family connections.
    9. Vain about his appearance.
    10. Hyper sensitive to criticism
    11. Strong OCD tendencies obsessively clean and tidy.
    12. Frightened of intimacy or letting go. Almost schizoidal avoidance of real human connection.

    Etc etc.

  • If they are checking their cell phone during counseling sessions.
    If they only really enjoy conversations about themselves, or, preferably, monologues.
    If they have never met a microphone they didn’t love. He was giving a speech at a convention in front of a few hundred people and I asked what he was going to discuss and if he was nervous. He said he hadn’t really thought about it and never got nervous. We actually joked about him spending thousands to sponsor a meal just so he could have the microphone and be uninterrupted for a half hour. Sigh.

  • I forgot this. He never called me by my name. Like the country song. He called me ‘dear’. Even when I fell off some rocks we were climbing. He heard me scream and I could hear him calling. ‘Dear? Dear?’ Sheesh.

    • Interesting. Mine also called me with a name that translates more like “pal” than “dear”. But he delighted in calling his Russian potential mistresses by their first name. So, there were Olga, Natacha, Tania, Svetlana, and “Old Pal”.

    • Yes!
      Never called me by my name! Pearshaped, if that doesn’t scream ‘you’re not a person to me” then I don’t know what! His father, my triple the Devil FIL, made it a point to not ever address his wife or me by name. They are misogynists!!! We are but objects to be used in their deluded world. I didn’t notice STBX doing it right away since he called me Hon. The depth of that one was pretty clear since it changed to ‘piece of shit’ in no time flat.
      I stood up to FIL and MIL about this one, among other things, after 6 years of abuse. They openly refused to address me by name(!!!), so I dropped ‘Mom, Dad’, as they did not deserve those titles in my books anyways. I announced that I will therefore call them by their first names. STBX is younger, so parents relatively young too. They freaked!!!…down from pedestal of unfounded ‘authority and power” over you????? They come from extremely misogynist culture. And these clowns had the audacity to claim a right to a special respect and treatment!!!! Well, chump no more. They fought it for 2 years, hahaaaaa!!!!!! Then they got used to it… had to! One of my few little dignity victories. I know it sounds childish, but in the mindfuck storm I was in, this was a big deal to my battered soul and body. A tiny piece of something I could ‘control’, in the clustercrap dynamics. Until I took full controll back. They are history now, of course, along with the x-hole, narcs.

  • 1. EXTREME passive-aggressiveness. Hallmark trait of his personality.

    2. Compulsive/chronic/pathological lying. If not outright lying, half truths (whole lies) or information given with pertinent facts absent or missing (lie).

    3. Serial cheating (while denying it and accusing me of cheating).

    4. Off-loading all of his negative qualities onto me – he accused me of being manipulative, lacking empathy, not meeting his needs, etc., while manipulating me, having no empathy and not even aware that I had needs he should be interested in meeting.

    5. Believes his total self-absorption is self-awareness.

    6. Spent large sums of money without consultation or approval by me; became angry/sulked if I spent money on things of which he did not approve, no matter how minor.

    7. Unwilling to take responsibility for his choices. It was always my fault for not “stopping him” from doing something (even though I would give a dissenting opinion) that ended up having adverse consequences. Also, he would deny me any benefit from anything I helped him obtain, but I was considered jointly responsible for anything that involved a negative cost, even if he made a unilateral decision (which was normally the case) that caused it.

    8. Appeared to be an involved father, but only involved himself fully in those things which he himself enjoyed or in which he received positive public attention and/or accolades.

    9. Frequently violated sexual boundaries of non-biological daughter (visually), and attempted to hide all evidence.

    10. Attention paid to strangers frequently “misunderstood” as flirting or attempted seduction.

    11. Inappropriate conversational boundaries with female co-workers (some of whom with which he probably ended up cheating).

    12. Shallow intellect and jealous of others’ material possessions; highly materialistic and having externalized self-worth while claiming to be non-materialistic.

    13. Has never apologized (except for sorry, not sorry) for his anything he’s done. Blames me for his choices and behavior or says he can’t undo any of it, so everyone should forget it and move on. Has never been, or feel he needs to be, accountable for his choices.

    I will stop here, but this list could be a book of its own. If these aren’t traits of a naricissist or a sociopath, he could certainly portray a convincing one on television.

    • Wow! Do I ever know this guy – every item is familiar (except for #9 – totally creepy). Thanks for articulating #4 – I had never put that together before your post.

  • My ex wasn’t selfish, but he was self-centered. His needs and desires, especially when it came to pursuing his career or hobbies, came first. If the family wanted to spend time with him they had to participate in the things he liked to do. The last 10 years or so, he would ask my family to come help with a project, but he didn’t reciprocate. Finally my dad started wearing dress clothes when he came to visit so he wouldn’t get asked to help ex’s projects.

    He wasn’t a classic narcissist, he was very hard working. It was more like he had a form of autism. He was an extremely linear thinking. At least that’s what counselors told me. He was very successful in his career, a great storyteller and life of the party kind of person in public. At home he barely talked and spent most of his time working or on his hobbies. Never threw a party for me, although I threw many for him over the years. Looking back, he put on the front of a family man, but he really wasn’t. He was always looking for something better, never seemed satisfied with what he had. Also seemed to think at some point he was going to hit it big, or become famous. He was very successful in his career. He seemed to be driven by trying to prove that he was somebody. He told me he felt left out growing up as a middle child.

    • Lyn, Our exes had a lot in common. Successful men by all means just didn’t realize they almost had it all. This selfish thing of theirs just eventually blew it all up.

  • Lack of empathy, demonstrated is all types of ways.
    Belittling others.
    Expressing feelings of superiority over others.
    Does not like pets.
    Never apologizes.
    Commandeering all conversations.
    Always looking to impress others.
    Never compromising.
    Lots of clothes and shoes.
    Overall, just assholes.
    Dishonest in a variety of areas, most areas.
    Very good at presenting to others, initially, until they catch on.

  • After reading these all I can say is. There is so much more he does in this vein that I hadn’t even attributed to his narcy behavior. My list gets longer every time someone posts. There is so much “oh, yeah, that too” going on in my head right now that I may need 50 minutes of couch time just to process it all.

  • Oh, just wanted to say “Inappropriate conversational boundaries with female co-workers (some of whom with which he probably ended up cheating)” was very true for my ex as well. He worked for women and with women, he seemed to get attached to those who he could help him professionally. One called him her work husband for years. His behavior with coworkers raised many eyebrows in his office, from what I later heard.

    • Stbx was surrounded by women his entire work career. I was never really bothered by it, just chalked it up to him getting along Bette Roth woman since he grew up with sisters and no brothers. I, however, notice early on boundary issues. I thought it was more cluelessness about what was socially appropriate as opposed to red flags. Clearly I was the clueless one.

  • Being dismissive and rude to people in retail and/or the service industry. Waitresses, cashiers, mechanics, janitors, etc. weren’t real people to him, they just existed in a vague way to give him what he wanted them presumably vanished.

  • Best indicator is a persistent lack of empathy:

    * When you’re exhausted after work, your work has just begun because she needs attention

    * When she wants to stay and socialize for hours with people you don’t know well, and the hours pass and she doesn’t care that you’re overwhelmed and/or ready to go home (and wouldn’t know because she’s too busy being a social butterfly.)

    * Being shot down repeatedly for sex (over years) and then doesn’t understand why you might not feel passionate.

    * Trivializes your needs / emphasizes her wants. Trains you to suggest things that you know she wants, never something you might want.

    * Manipulates you to make it hard to give any kind of feedback or constructive criticism or even just make requests of her.

    When you’re upset in the wake of betrayal she says things like:
    * I really need you to be more resilient.
    * I can’t help how you feel
    * I’m sorry you feel that way
    * You see things in black and white
    * Everyone’s got their issues
    * If you cheated I’d just sit back because I’d want you to be happy
    * It was just coffee (and, it turns out, fucking, but that’s a minor detail right?)
    * You used to be funny
    * What will it take for you to be happy?

    That’s just off the top of my head. I shouldn’t linger on this because I’m well on my way to “meh.”

  • My ex had many of the traits listed here. These are a few that jump out at me……

    1. No real relationship with friends. Very superficial
    2. He had total control of the finances. He never really looked at his earnings as “ours”
    3. He does not have open real relationships with his brother, mother or father
    4. Poor communication with his children, parents, brother, employees…..ME!
    5. Extremely stubborn and proud of it
    6, Materialistic. He purchased only the very best brands. He would spend hours on research and then would seek out the very best deal!
    7. Spared no expense for his “man toys”. Motorcycle, boot, dirt bike, etc.
    8. Emotionless. He never seemed excited, hurt, happy, sad, etc. Just emotionless!