One of my narcissistic lovers was a man I’ll call Daniel. I met him during my divorce proceedings. It was a short lived but intense relationship. As short lived as it was (it lasted all of 3 months), I decided to go into more detail about this particular relationship because of all my narcissistic lovers, Daniel was the most classic (and possibly the most malignant) textbook example of the course of a typical relationship with one.
Daniel was actually as bad a malignant narcissist as my ex, but of course I didn’t know it at the time. I met him while I was still married but the marriage was, for all intents and purposes, already over and we were separated. Daniel had that intense predatory stare, which I took to mean sexual and romantic interest, but it was really his way of sizing up me as prey.
I met Daniel at work. He was several years younger than me. I had been training him, and our eyes kept drifting to each other. He wasn’t the fastest learner but he seemed very friendly and always pulled his chair as close to mine during training as he could. Because I found him so attractive with his large liquid brown eyes, long eyelashes, and curly dark hair with its hints of gray, I didn’t mind the close physical proximity. I still remember the way he smelled–clean, like soap and shampoo, with a hint of muskiness.
Daniel became irresistably attractive to me. Narcs have a way of doing that to people like me. Although not all that intelligent, Daniel was actually a cerebral narcissist who had very little interest in sex after the initial physical passion of the first month or so. He thought of himself as very smart and after a while his know-it-allness became all too apparent.
Not long after meeting, Daniel approached me on break and told me he found me beautiful and kind and he’d like to take me out to dinner. Of course I said yes. That evening I went home walking on air and found my sexiest dress to wear. He picked me up on time, armed with a bouquet of red roses. We had a nice dinner and Daniel was attentive and romantic, gazing into my eyes, holding my hand across the candlelit table, and constantly telling me how beautiful I was and that he couldn’t believe my husband didn’t appreciate me more.
After dinner we went back to his apartment and he just held me and kept gazing into my eyes and telling me over and over how beautiful I was. He closed his eyes when kissing me. He didn’t push for sex and even said he wanted to wait until I was ready. He was perfect! I felt sexy and needed. At times when declaring his undying love for me, his eyes even got a little damp which I took to mean he was overcome with emotion and his feelings for me. This “vulnerability” I perceived made me fall harder for him. I couldn’t believe anyone could love me this much. He made me feel so special. I didn’t know it yet but I was falling into a yet another narcissistic predator’s trap. I should have suspected something fishy when he didn’t bat an eyelash when I told him I was still legally married, even though separated from my husband at the time.
We made love on our 3rd or 4th date and he told me he loved me and then held me all night as we drifted into sleep. For about two weeks I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. We couldn’t get enough of each other and would spend every free moment making love. It was all so magical I hadn’t even noticed he’d stopped taking me out or spending money on me. His abuse had already started but was so well-camouflaged by his physical ardor that I couldn’t see it.
Two weeks after we started dating he told me he wanted to marry me. He didn’t have a ring to give me, but promised he would get one later, when he had the money. (He had the money–the guy was living on a trust fund left him by his wealthy parents and had bought his expensive apartment and he was always buying himself expensive toys). The funny thing was that I never actually said yes to his proposal. I told him I’d have to think about it, although a part of me wanted to scream “YES” from the rooftops. Something–I wasn’t sure what–was holding me back from accepting his proposal. He kept talking about how he wanted to make me pregnant (I was 42 years old) and how beautiful our children would be. He even told me he wanted to see me give birth. But I noticed whenever we were in public together, he seemed annoyed by any children who happened to be around and complained about parents who “couldn’t discipline their children properly.” He also criticized my parenting skills, telling me I let my kids “control me,” even though he’d never met them or seen me interact with them.
Daniel complained about his ex lovers, and although in his late thirties, he had never been married. He told me terrible stories about the women he had dated and how they had all been cheating whores, heartless Jezebels, or how unattractive, stupid, or crazy they were. He told me the most intimate details about them–one woman had a “smelly vagina” and another had acne all over her backside. Another had been in a mental hospital and embarrassed him in public with her crazy outbursts. I didn’t want to hear these details but he assured me I was perfect and different from all those other women.
After a few more weeks I noticed Daniel seemed to be easily bored and prone to fits of unreasonable rage. His rage toward others around us began to turn toward me, and he started to become very critical and controlling. He had stopped buying me things, but one day told me he was taking me to Victoria’s Secret to buy some new lingerie because he thought mine looked frayed and ill-fitting. Of course I was thrilled to be taken shopping, and when in the store, began to pick items I liked. I found a black satin teddy with lace trim and he grabbed it from my hands and put it back, saying “I don’t like that color on you. It makes you look too pale.” He seemed to be getting impatient with me in the store and disapproved of anything I pulled from the rack. Finally he made his own choice, and insisted on buying that for me, even though I wasn’t impressed with his choice. We drove back to his apartment in silence. He seemed so angry but I couldn’t figure out why. I noticed his road rage too–he seemed to get impatient with other drivers easily but was constantly cutting off and tailgating people himself. If I told him to take it easy with his driving, he would get even madder and tell me I was trying to control him.
The night after the shopping spree, he said he didn’t want to have sex because he was too tired. I took this at face value and figured he was just in a bad mood and would be over it the next day. But he had changed. Or actually, he hadn’t changed–but was now beginning to show his true colors. Whenever I tried to initiate lovemaking or even touching, he began to pull away, making excuses that he didn’t feel well or was too tired. When we did have sex, it felt rushed, as if he wanted to get it over with. He stopped telling me he loved me.
One night he received a phone call from an old girlfriend and spent two hours on the phone with her while I pretended to read. I wasn’t really jealous, but was annoyed and found it strange that this was the same woman he had told me was crazy. I asked him about that and he got enraged, telling me to mind my own f–ing business.
Daniel liked to travel around the country and never once asked me if I wanted to go. He’d always announce these trips a day or two before he was set to leave. He’d always return with shopping bags full of goodies–for himself. His idea of “gifts” to me were the freebies they give out in hotels–tiny bars of soap, shampoo, or dollar keychains or even hotel “Do Not Disturb” signs. Once he brought back some homemade fudge and I asked him for a piece of it. He said no.
The silent treatments and verbal abuse became nearly constant. I felt like I was walking on eggshells and it seemed I could do nothing right. Once I asked him why he never wanted to kiss me anymore and he said it was because of my breath. (No one had ever accused me of having bad breath and I even tested it by blowing on my daughter’s face and she said it was fine). I remembered the woman he’d dated who had a “smelly vagina” and realized that he would be telling some future lover (because at this point I wanted to break up with him) about my horrible, stinky breath and “controlling” ways.
He seemed to hate me, but also became upset and angry when I told him I wanted to spend time with my kids (who were living with their father for a short time during the divorce proceedings). He told me they were spoiled brats who would grow up to be criminals because I always gave into their wishes. I know now he was jealous of them. He always wanted me around, but was always so mean. I was always short on cash because I didn’t earn that much but he didn’t seem to care. Once I needed some gas money and he said no, even though he had stacks of $100 bills all over his apartment and in drawers.
We broke up on my birthday. He had come to my house late, and his gift to me was a “Toonces the Driving Cat” coffee mug. Although he obviously didn’t pay much for it, I thought it was a thoughtful gift (for him) because he knew I loved that old skit from Saturday Night Live. He took me out to dinner, which had become a rarity. He was very rude to the wait staff, but he always had been (that’s another red flag to look for–narcissists are notoriously rude to service personnel).
Shortly after we got back to my house, we got into an argument and he shoved me so I fell onto the couch. That was the first time his abuse had become physical. I knew it was a matter of time before he would start hitting me. I told him I would not tolerate physical violence and he started making fun of me for being such a baby about a “little push.” We kept arguing. He told me to give him back the mug he gave me. I told him no, because it was a gift and I liked it. He insisted.
I went and fetched the mug from the kitchen, and brought it to him, sweetly saying “here,” before smashing it on the floor as he reached for it. He stood there staring at the shattered remnants on the floor and then looked up at me with his mouth hanging open, said “You’re too crazy and too violent for me,” and stormed out the door, slamming it behind him. Me? Violent? I didn’t realize he was projecting his own violent tendencies onto me.
A week later I found out I was pregnant. I called him to tell him I needed money for an abortion. He said he would not help because there was no way it was his! This from the man who a month earlier had told me he wanted to watch me give birth.
Fortunately, I never had to have an abortion because a week after that I miscarried. Daniel kept calling me, acting as if nothing had happened, and would tell me all about his life, never asking how mine was going. He acted like we were best friends. He even told me about a woman he was dating who was “perfect for him,” with no thought given to my feelings about this. Of course I really didn’t care and just felt sorry for the poor woman who didn’t know what she was in for yet. I wondered what he was telling her about me. Probably that I was insane, violent and a bad mother who had terrible breath.
I’d listen patiently to Daniel ramble on and then tell him I had to go. After about six months of his weekly phone calls, I finally worked up the courage to tell him to leave me alone and never call me again. I also blocked his number. That was the best choice I made in that relationship.
Thank you for sharing this. I hope you don’t mind my telling you about a guy I dated a couple of times, but who I have decided is almost certainly a narcissist. (It is really nice to read about things that resonate, and to feel I’m not just being weird.) I met this guy at a party, and he seemed really into me, so I thought he was a creep. But he kept messaging me, saying he was just really attracted to me and thought we had something special (from one party!). So I went on these dates with him, and he spent the time there, and in messages, either telling me how great he was, e.g. he was certain he would get a role he was being interviewed for because he had never not got something he applied for before, or that other people had badly mistreated him, even that people who didn’t vote for him in a college election were “bullying [him]”. In the end, I realised I felt controlled by him, and scared to meet, so I said I didn’t want to meet him anymore. But he carried on treating me like I was his best friend, except that he would write to me about these things and not really worry if I replied. The last thing that happened was that I wrote to him to say that I didn’t think it was appropriate for him to message me about his problems like that because we weren’t close friends, and he unfriended me and said that he found me a difficult person to get on with. The funny thing is, that same day, a guy just like him tried to chat me up at another party. Now I am worried that there is something in the idea that codependents (or other types of people) attracting narcissists.
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Andrea, You are not crazy for having those uneasy feelings. The one red flag we tend to ignore is Instinct. Even if the narc has shown no actual red flags (yet) if we feel uneasy or scared around them there is something wrong and we should listen to our feelings. My instincts have never been wrong but I always doubted them. One red flag you can see almost right away is if they move in really fast, talking about how much they love you or talking about marriage very shortly into the relationship. It’s because they want to trap you as prey before you find out who they really are–and by then, you have already committed yourself to their abuse.
Fortunately I was able to get out of that relationship with Daniel fairly easily but it chills my bones to think of what might have happened if I didn’t leave when I did. He was showing signs of becoming physically abusive. To this day, I doubt my attractiveness to another man because of the insults Daniel threw at me once the “love bombing” was over. I’m also afraid of getting involved with another man like him, although now I know what to look for. I have not dated since him. I’m too afraid.
I agree with you that narcs can “smell out” a codependent type of person. Many borderlines like me are very codependent and easily attracted to narcs because we want so much to believe their lies and we want to be loved so much. Almost always though, when a borderline gets together with a narcissist, the borderline becomes the codependent and the narc the abuser. They don’t want love, they just want supply. They are great actors though in the beginning. Daniel could have won an Academy award for his performance of undying love. They are so full of it.
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Thanks for your reply. I can relate very much to having a deep need to be loved, often causing me to not evaluate relationships well enough at the start. I agree with you very much about instincts though. I stopped seeing this guy because I left his place one night and I was petrified. I cried for hours, and I couldn’t understand why I was reacting like this.
I’m so sorry that you were abused by Daniel, and so horrifically. No one deserves to be abused. I know it takes a long time to get past traumatic experiences, but you are not the things you told you: You are so much better. I hope things get much better for you, and, if you want to, that you find a good partner who treats you well. xx
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I hope so too. I would not like to be alone the rest of my life, but I’m my own worst enemy as far as meeting anyone. I’ve internalized too many negative messgaes about myself from all my narcissistic abusers.
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It’s really hard to get over abuse or traumatic experiences of any kind. It seems to me like you’re doing really well: You have your blog, and you recognise the problems in your past. I strongly believe you can, and will, recover from this and be the person you want to be. Take care. xx
Reading this, I felt all kinds of emotions. It was almost word for word what I have lived through. The intense, super romantic love bombing, followed by suddenly acting bored with you and never spending any money on you even when he had plenty to spend, followed by devaluing, loss of interest in sex, and rarely having any time for you, followed by physical abuse. Demanding cheap gifts back that he could not possibly want or use. Calling you crazy and violent when clearly he was the crazy and violent one, projecting his own crap onto you.
And all the gross personal critical comments about his exes! My worst malignant narcissist ex started off our relationship by telling me in excruciating detail everything that was wrong with his previous girlfriend. He picked her completely apart, complaining about the most nitpicky things, from how she cooked to how she wore her hair to liking “stupid yard sales.” I was shocked beyond belief when I learned that his relationship with this previous girlfriend had ended because she committed suicide! All that horrible hate talk coming out of his mouth, and he was dissing a former lover who was DEAD!
I had several dreams where his dead girlfriend was trying to warn me that he would try to drive me to kill myself. I don’t know if that really was her spirit trying to warn me, or my subconscious warning me, butit spooked me so bad that Iiended the relationship. Shortly after that, just like the warnings in my dreams, he really did try to get me to commit suicide. Only I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
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My Kindle tablet went crazy and posted my comment before I could correct the auto incorrect errors, but I guess you can figure it out lol.
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I figured it out. 🙂
That is terrible about his girlfriend and so sad she killed herself–I bet he drove her to suicide. They can destroy your soul to a point you literally don’t want to live anymore. I was almost driven to that point.
Yes, they do all seem to follow the same play book–
–acting bored or distracted
–acting annoyed at everyone else or badmouthing ex lovers.
–loss of interest in sex
–stops buying you gifts or telling you you cost them too much money
–verbal and emotional abuse
If you call their bluff and try to leave before they’re ready to let you go they do one of these things:
— try to hoover you back in through lovebombing and fake apologies and promises to change
— act like it was their idea all along because you were “too needy,” “too crazy,” etc.
— acting like nothing happened and having the gall to keep calling you and acting like you’re their best friend
— hating the ground you walk on and trying to enact revenge, usually through badmouthing you to others but could take on more dangerous forms too.
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My ex was too good to be true but I didn’t know it then. He seemed nearly perfect and he also had one relationship and she was abusive according to him and she left him so he had been single for three years. He was also crazy over me and couldn’t get enough of me and he didn’t like me leaving to go to work or home. But like you, he also criticized how my parents raised me but he never jumped to a proposal but he wanted a relationship quickly. He was also impatient on the road so he always took back roads because he used to work as a delivery driver. He also raged at me once on the phone and it was so surprising because he had never done it before. All I heard was his different voice and it was loud and cussing and then line being dead. I think that was the beginning. He also did silent treatments. He also used ABDL against me. He also would get upset with me and call me self-centered if I wanted to go to bed or be alone and he called me anti social when I put head phones on and listened to my own music because I didn’t like the music he had on and he and his son were talking and I had nothing to contribute to their conversation and their teasing. I keep thinking he was a narc. Funny you also tried to be friends with him but then decided to cut it. I wanted to still be friends with my narc? But it didn’t work out. I decided to move on because of his silent treatment and he also would say a few times he wanted to take me somewhere and then wouldn’t. I wonder if he ever would have gotten psychical with me and show more narcissism but I will never know. I also never understand what was the point of his silent treatment and what was he trying to get out of it. Or he did it because I was useless to him so he ignored me.
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Crazy interesting how they manage to sneak up on you…
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I forgot “scary”…
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Oh goodie! Something to link to. About Daniel looking at you as prey, how did he prey on you? He was crazy in love with you and then the honeymoon was over. He didn’t take your money or something like that. Most people are on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship and show their true colors after they are comfortable in the relationship. I liked you smashing the cup. It seems Daniel wasn’t the only game player. 🙂
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Nope. He met his match with me. I was as manipulative as him after I knew what sort of mind games he was playing. (I didn’t have the term “narcissist” in my head though–too long ago for that).
lucky i think nowve666 is clearly satan s little helper baiting you subtly because she is a narcissist him/herself. narcissists will never admit that what they suck on, or prey on since it nourishes them, is your LIFELIGHT or life force. which i think stems from a love of self and life. narcs try to make you feel bad about yourself, hated, because, and it pains me to say this as i am not exactly a religious person, SATAN mind controls them to drain the light of life out of you. and when the honeymoon, ahem, is over, they will just complete the cycle, and get as much out of you before they grind you into the dirt so you stay ground down as long as possible, some ppl never recover and some victims are so drained and are in so much pain and confusion that they kill themselves the comment that nowve666 makes regarding luckyotter being a GAME PLAYER too is very underhanded, because dropping a gift cup, is a GAME ENDER, as i see it. the jig was up. the narcissist didnt win. the cup wasnt his to reclaim, and dropping it signifies the loss of the game for satan – the cup represents the material world, and the rejection and sundering of the attachment that the receiver of the gift was supposed to feel for the narcissist. smashing the cup says THE MANIPULATION HAS ENDED and I END THIS SATANIC CRAP INFLUENCE YOU HAVE OVER ME. which is a bit of a slap in the face to other narcissists as well, because even talking to each other about these things online means that selfish narcissists will have to work harder to suck in a victim from a well informed public pool of women. and yet, despite the feminine strength through sharing that is defiinitely going on, the bugger of it all is that society in general still seems to be becoming more narcissistic, More narc men program empathic women to go borderline, and frustrate and torment the shit out of them… the less time and energy we get to spend righting the wrongs of humanity. even though i dont consider myself a religious person, and usually support the notion that schools should be secular etc, its clear that at this point, EVIL is winning a spiritual battle on earth. if youve dated a narcissist or sociopath you know you have stared actual evil right in the face. these are the damaged souls who went without knowing love early in their lives and i believe that satan or jezebel or whoevers little voice gets inside their mind/heart and tells them that they dont need anyone and that they are RIGHT and that its okay, whatever selfish evil manipulative thing they want to do is okay… and even tricksy stuff like god isnt judging them, …. facilitating all the awful things they do and re-inflating the narcissists ego after they have committed some horrible deed that would make the rest of us gasp with horror, and disgust. whether there is a bearded GOD somewhere that judges ppl, i have no idea, but its clear that we do make a heaven and hell on earth for ourselves and in the end we do judge ourselves, and certainly other people judge us, based on how we treat others… which makes a difference to how we experience our lives and what sort of a knock on effect this has on our families, friends, and societies. narcissists find it easy to rationalize and justify their own actions to themselves and others, literally everything they do is justified if it is means to getting them what they want or perceive that they need. i believe this is because satan or the BIG EVIL – buffy fans would call it the FIRST haha – keeps them company in their own head and it makes them feel reassured and powerful and feeds their anger when they find others have judged them badly. they love spreading the view that there is no god and that their every decision and wonderfulness stems from their rational progressive point of view and that the rest of us should learn that lesson, ooh and btw this would mean that the narcissist could celebrate their own awesomeness even more as they feel they are in the vanguard of right, modern, etc. alternatively, they pretend to be good christians who are favoured by god… but either way, their little old mate satan keeps them company and convinces them that they are right. this is why they are so effective at bringing their *loved ones down. and by loved ones, i mean, loved by god, as they are not. deep down at a soul level i think that narcissists know that they have rejected god and accepted something else into their lives, but they dont really want to know this at a conscious level. but their partners once abused, do understand this at a conscious level. at least this issue, of narcissism/satan being discussed online, and ppl seem to notice that there is some SPLIT going on here, driving narcissists away from making a fair judgment/choice, over and over. another issue that is very impactful here of course, is mind control. specifically trauma based mind control. i believe a lot of the men who suffer narcissism, were likely to be victims of mind control from a very early age, and this style of mind control is inter-generational, which means that people can be programmed unconsciously to perform the same programming on their own children. mind control allows some factions to completely control people lower than themselves in a mind controlled hierarchy. within that framework, behaving narcissistically is normal, and men who have been programmed this way will naturally create mirrors of themselves in the women that they prey on with the love bite. i believe women try to right this process by offering love and trying to fix the dynamic between themselves and their narcissistic control freaks, but are emotionally raped and brow beaten into borderline disorder. and when you give it serious thought, isnt that what satan would have wanted?
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I’m going to refrain from commenting here (this woman is my friend and not evil like you think) but thank you for sharing your feelings just the same. I happen to agree with you that my dropping the cup was a game ender, not me trying to play games. Thanks for picking up on that. That man was a textbook MN.
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