Does the Narcissist Miss Me?

does-narcissist-miss-meWhether it’s during a break-up or a silent treatment (a break-up in disguise), we always want to know what the narcissist is feeling? Does he miss me? Does he think about me? Does he know he made a mistake? Will he ever know that he made a mistake? We obsess about the question of how he (or she, of course) feels as if it would make a difference in the outcome…as if him knowing he made a mistake would offset all those times that he hurt us and we’d live happily ever after OR we’d feel vindicated and be able to move on. So, what is the answer? The answer is that a narcissist doesn’t really feel anything and that this alone must be enough to satisfy our curiosity. It has to help us “get” what this is all about. The truth is that if he missed you in the way that you missed him, he wouldn’t be gone.

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Look, one of things about narcissism is that every behavior connects seamlessly to the next. When we truly grasp this fact, the answers to our nagging questions fall into place. It’s a game of Connect-the-Dots narcissist-style. The fact that a narcissist doesn’t “miss” us like a normal person would miss someone they split up with is because he doesn’t miss anybody. The reason that he doesn’t miss anybody is because he sees every single person in his life on the same emotional level. The reason that he sees everyone on the same emotional level (meaning he doesn’t care about you anymore than he cares about her) is because his life is completely compartmentalized. The fact that he compartmentalizes everything is the reason that he’s so good at being a narcissist! What the narcissist says and what the narcissist does are two different things. Actions speak louder than words and don’t ever forget that.

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No one wants to believe that the person that they’ve spent a good amount of time with doesn’t miss them when they’re apart. Even in the most dysfunctional of “normal” relationships, there is always a time after a break-up where both sides – no matter who was at fault – have to adjust. Narcissist, however, don’t need to adjust because they’ve been adjusted all along! How can he miss you when he never really considered himself a “boyfriend” or you his “girlfriend” to begin with? We agonize over this as if it’s the worst thing in the world when it’s just a simple fact. This is what I’m talking about when I say our suffering changes nothing because nothing changes for the narcissist. Most of us suffer greatly during every silence, disappearance, or final discard – a discard, I might add, which (intentionally) never seems to be final. And while we suffer, wondering how he’s feeling and what he’s doing, life for the narcissist just continues along. It’s just another day!

It took me many, many years to wrap my head around the fact that during all those silent treatments, while I hid under the covers like a scared mouse, my ex just went about his day. I simply didn’t want to believe that! But over time, it was the only thing that could possibly explain how he could just stroll back in days, weeks, and sometimes months later saying, “Hey babe, how are you? I don’t even remember why we broke up but I’m back now!” I mean, how do you respond to that? It’s not like I didn’t try to set him straight on what happened – I did. But for that, I’d get the typical narcissistic stare and maybe a shrug. And so I let it go and time dragged on. Every minute that we ruminate on how the narcissist feels about anything is yet another minute that we’re stuck in the cycle.

How the narcissist feels when we’re gone is the top question I’m asked during consultations and, although no one likes my answer, I eventually get them to change their perspective. It’s all about breaking the confusion of cognitive dissonance. I explain how I turned the final break-up around in my own mind by accepting that my ex didn’t care and seeing that as a good thing. The fact is that I’d much rather think that my ex wasn’t capable of loving or missing me to begin with and that’s how he was able to do what he did rather than think that he did love and miss me as much as I loved and missed him and yet he did all that anyway. Do you understand this? Coming to accept this eliminated the rumination of “How could he do this?”, “Why doesn’t he love me?”, “How? Why? What?”.

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To get over the narcissist and move on with our lives, we absolutely have to change our perspective and I am adamant about this when I counsel people. It’s really as simple as this: If you and I were looking at the same picture and the way that you see it makes your heart break over and over and the way that I see it puts me at a place of peace, wouldn’t you want to see it my way? Wouldn’t you want me to explain to you why it is that I see it that way so you can get to that same peaceful place? Granted, my explanation had better be good and this is why I try to explain it logically. You can get to a place of peace with this, my friends. Connect the dots and watch the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Once this process begins, recovery isn’t far behind.

I promise you:)

36 Comments

  • Jillian

    January 23, 2017 at 9:42 am Reply

    Hi Zari,

    I’m so glad I found your site and bought your book. I spent the last four years of my life degrading myself to someone who really didn’t deserve me or care about me as much as I thought. I met my N in 2012 and we instantly fell madly in obsessive love (one that I was sure was mutual). Within six months he pulled away bit by bit but always sling shooting back afterwards. A few months later, after he had already started to convince me I was mentally unwell, I moved across the country to live with him. Long story short, the next four years were him doing things that I knew weren’t right (staying out all night, texting female “friends”, picking fights and leaving on vacations without me). It started with him picking fights leading up to all of these things then saying that if I had acted differently he wouldn’t have gone places without me, or his silent treatment was in response to my attitudes. It always led to me feeling bad and apologizing and internalizing that I was in the wrong. One time, he actually spent a week in Vegas with a female friend claiming he needed it because I was causing him too much stress. I felt awful that I could do this to someone I loved and genuinely believed I was too much of a nag.

    This past summer we moved and bought a house together, and to no surprise I did all of the work moving and spent all of my money furnishing a home that he was spending less and less time in. Over time he convinced me that my emotional outbursts (often in response to his actions IE STAYING OUT TILL 7 AM ON A WEEK NIGHT) were the reason he chose to spend so much time outside the house and that he would never leave me for another female but I was driving him away. He convinced me to see a psychiatrist who reluctantly but me on medication however verbalized concern for the environment that I was living in. He involved my parents and his to try to intervene saying that I was “unstable” and he was “scared” to be around me. Meanwhile, I was the most loving and supportive partner through his peter pan party ways and each time he lost a job (four in four years). He was a good provider while employed and made me feel like because of this, I had no right to question what he did. His favorite line is “I’m going to do what I want.” I am convinced in years to come it will be on his tomb stone.

    After truly convincing me that I had a mental illness causing paranoia, anger and anxiety issues, he told me the only way it was going to work for us was if I drove back across the country to visit my family “and find myself” again. I was devastated! How could he be asking me to leave my home?! But I loved him so much that I convinced myself he was correct and I packed up very few of my belongings and drove 22 hours home. He was a bit standoffish but none the less still present. On the day I was set to drive back to our house, I found out through social media that he had moved a 21 year old female into our house and had begun a relationship with her!!!!! He’s 33!!!!!!!! After four years of promising me we would be getting married soon, having me be a part of his family and me adjusting to life in a new state, he left me without a second look back. Once I confronted him about it he told me I should have known and it wasn’t up to him to justify this to me. All over text!!!

    I was devastated and am still trying to pick the pieces up. I have not gone home to get my belongings because I know I’m not mentally strong enough. He has refused to give them to my friends as well. Meanwhile, his 21 year old girlfriend and her friends have been harassing me on social media, sending me pictures of them wearing my clothing, holding my pets etc. I have also heard rumors of him turning to cocaine with his new found younger crew. I have not heard from him other than him ripping me apart via text and telling me my belongings are on their way….its been two months and I haven’t received even one box. I am at a point where I don’t make any contact, nor do I look at their things on social media. When I was, he was posting things like pictures of her at my favorite restaurants, sporting games we used to go to etc. Its awful.

    I am dealing with the fact that after four years, he never cared. He never loved me. He changed me like a pair of shoes and isn’t doing the whole hoover back this (yet). He has let this young woman terrorize me and she has now let me know they are having my pets sent to a shelter because they want their own. I know Narcissists exist, but this is truly truly shocking.

    I don’t know if I will ever be the same.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 28, 2017 at 6:35 pm Reply

      Hi Jillian,

      Is it possible for you to book a consult with me? Your story is horrible and there is so much I want to say. The girlfriend and her friends terrorizing you is so bizarre, I can not stand it. That is worse to me than than what HE did and is doing – although he certainly should be shot for that. What about your house??? Is your name on it? Don’t you have a family member or a friend who would be willing to make the trip back with you so that you can get your things? These people can not be allowed to get away with this. Forget about the fact that he never loved you – you can deal with that fact later! Right now you need to be MAD not SAD,…do you understand this?

      If your name is on that house, you have LEGAL rights here. You could, for all intents and purposes, drive back, walk right in, and call the police to kick these people out. Is there a lawyer you can talk to? I truly believe that this guy is beyond narcissism…he is a sociopath…and this girl and all of her friends have become his flying monkeys. I would fly back, rent a U-Haul, and go to that house and take your stuff out of it – ALL OF IT. You have to change your perspective of this, girl. Who cares if he didn’t care! We’ve all been through that and, believe me, you WILL get over that. Right now, in my mind, it’s all about the house, your pets, and your belongings! You don’t have to accept any of this. To a narcissist, every day is all about what they can get away with and – man oh man – he is sure getting away with it. What a complete asshole!

      Please consider booking a consultation so that I can give you a confidence boost to start getting things done. Enough is enough already. You must push past the sadness and get to the anger and fast. He’s counting on you NOT doing that and you need to catch him off guard. I am so sorry that you are going through this but there are things that you can do – there has to be!

      Let me know how you are doing . I would be happy to speak with you so please keep that in mind…

      Zari xo

  • Esther Mary Chatterpaul

    December 5, 2016 at 1:48 am Reply

    Hi Zari, going through the final discard right now, he cheated and got the woman pregnant and is marrying her cause he asked for our divorce decree…our 2 children are in the custody courts right now and he is enjoying all the drama because he looks like the loving dad fighting for his kids..I have been tempted to expose his disordered ass but I choose the higher road for my kids…I will be moving out of state soon and visitation back to him for the kids will be trying… I am getting to the only plausible perspective to have and that is this is a mental illness and should be treated as such, have no emotion and proceed with caution and safety measures in place for my kids well being…my hurt and pain are not about him anymore but of healing my childhood traumas and unmet needs. I feel guilty that my 2 innocent children are involved in this abusive manipulation-ship and we all are in counseling…some days I do ruminate about everything and I grieve the illusion….anger, pain, revenge, loss, all go through me too often for my sanity but I am trying and trying to keep moving forward and with self
    reflection, self awareness and self development wee 3 ladies will continue to thrive. “No one leaves your live before your lesson has been learnt” Pema…

    • Zari Ballard

      December 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm Reply

      Hi Esther,

      I am so sorry for all that you are going through, girl! However, I am THRILLED that you will be leaving the state. As a parent, he will likely drop off eventually anyway…and this includes with the new woman. It’s all the same to a narc!

      Listen, though, I have to say this: narcissism is NOT a mental illness. People with mental illnesses would give anything to be better and there are medications that can help to manage the symptoms. Neither apply to the atrocious evil narc who feels perfectly entitled to do what he does whenever he wants at anyone’s expense. So while narcissism is definitely a DISORDER, it is no where near a mental illness and to think that, even if it gives you peace, is to give him a free pass. A narcissist absolutely KNOWS right from wrong, he just doesn’t give a shit. And that’s a fact.

      Stay strong for your children but know they will be perfectly fine without him in their lives. Make sure you get the financial support that he now OWES you and move as far away as possible. If he wants to see his children, make him work for it. Read my articles here on co-parenting because I went through it too and my son turned out awesome. Just be the great mom that you are and keep doing what you are doing.

      I am going to go to my personal email right now and send you something so please look for it. I will send it to the email (tuscany….) that you used to submit your post. I think you can use a boost right now, my sister:)

      Zari xo

  • Shelby

    December 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm Reply

    Honestly. You are speaking VOLUMES! I am so thankful that someone, YOU, cared enough to write for all of us suffering with someone who is a narcissist. Everything you have written speaks so clearly and is helping me. Now I won’t forget that there will be a low coming in soon and I hope to survive it. I will just keep reading your articles over and over again. God bless you!!

    • Zari Ballard

      December 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm Reply

      Thanks, Shelby! I’m grateful to be able to help and I appreciate you!

      Zari xo

  • tina barnes

    November 7, 2016 at 11:31 am Reply

    Hi Zari,
    It has taken me 9 months to come to grips that all of this was a game and nothing was real, except my feelings. I just wanted to thank you for all the great work you do. I have visited your site several times and after reading your articles it seems to always help me pick myself up and think that this really is a blessing that this relationship is over. Why would I want to continue something that made me so miserable? I never thought I would ever get to this point it’s been a long and confusing process. But I made it through to the other side!! Thank you again for all your words of wisdom!!! 🙂

    • Zari Ballard

      November 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm Reply

      Hi Tina,

      Your welcome and congrats to you for making it out alive! Please feel free to respond to comments and share your wisdom here with those here who need it. To me, recovery is a team effort and we have to stick together. The more survivors, the better!

      Zari xo

  • Roli

    September 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm Reply

    Hi Zari
    Thank you for your great work and sharing with the world the hell you endured. I use to walk around like a basket case over my ex-husband, a true text book narcissist. Not only is he very good looking, he is also an attorney, European, successful and dynamic. What many wmen would think is the catch of the day but he wasn’t. He met me 16 years ago. I was 37 and he, 52. He wrangled me away from my boyfriend back then with promises of a great life. He surprised me Christmas of that same year with a huge engagement ring. We married and life was good until his mask started slipping. The love bombing turned into D&D. Although he went ahead with a future with me, it turned out to be hell. He once pushed me into a wall when I was pregnant with his baby. I lost that pregnancy two weeks later. Another time I had to call the police when he tried to choke me after an arguement. He was arrested and never let ME forget that HE did nothing wrong and I filed a false complaint according to him. He seems to conveniently forget about grabbing me by the throat and pressing down on it. He lies and TRULY believes it. He absolutely believes his lies. After many years of taking his shit and trying to make anything better HE DIVORCED ME and wanted to still stay together. I did stay with him and I don’t know why. But the straw broke the camels back and after an incident a couple of months ago I left. I moved out of state. As I subsequently learned, his smear campaigns have gotten so bad that he and his family have labeled me with several mental illnesses. Because I showed emotion. ( I’ve cried at his abuse.) He is absolutely obsessed with making me look like a vicious mental case and he the victim who’s been abused and battered. His old, nasty brother, who’s a narc himself, counseled my ex narc to see a therapist for his abuse at the hands of me!!!!! So it’s like being abused 10 times worse when you read something your not supposed to see, saying your a horrible monster who has made this person suffer. I Know you say Zari not retaliate and I won’t. I guess I just want to vent to the community. HE keeps coming back. Afterall all of this BS it is him that is keeping this going and I am wondering why. Do these narcs feels some sort of attachment? Why doesn’t he just move on if I’m making him miserable that he keeps reaching out to anyone that will listen with all this BS about me. Your advice is very much appreciated and needed.

    • Zari Ballard

      September 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm Reply

      Dear Roli,

      What a horrendous story but the good news is that YOU MOVED OUT OF STATE. Wow! That’s amazing. After everything you went through, I can’t even imagine what the straw was that finally broke the camel! But you did which shows how strong you really are!

      There’s no use in retaliating. There’s no use in trying to defend yourself even against the claims of him or his family. All it does is give them more fuel for their fire. Without you feeding into the smearing, it will all slowly die out…it has to because it will have no where else to go. What I don’t understand is why you are even keeping up with anything that is happening over there. You should not EVEN be speaking with him or to anyone that has anything to do with him. You moved out of state and there was a reason for that. There isn’t a single reason why you should care what he is saying to anyone over there. Let him talk all he wants. Let his family talk all he wants. You obviously know that he is not someone you can ever go back to. He tried to kill you. He caused you to lose a baby. He is dangerous and nasty and he needs to be in jail but we all know that will never happen. I’m sure he is far too clever for that.

      His “attachment” is nefarious and you know this. The only reason he is “coming back” is because YOU LEFT and he is going to punish you for that until the end of time if you allow it. You say you were divorced and if this is true then you don’t have a single reason to talk to him ever again. If you must, get a restraining order to keep him from harassing you. Change your phone number. Vanish off the face of the earth relevant to him. You did the best thing possible by moving away to another state and you have to know and believe that.

      Stop worrying about what he is saying and doing. Who cares!! If you cut off the communication with him and with anyone associated with him you won’t have to hear anything any more. In this case, what you don’t know really won’t hurt you!! You have the power here, not him. He is continuing to manipulate you but the truth is that YOU WON. He’s smearing you because HE LOST and he hates that!! Do not speak with him anymore. Begin your new life free of this nightmare. Life is too short and there is no time to waste, sister.

      Stay strong!

      Zari xo

  • Shoshannah

    September 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Hi Zari! I’ve been leaving some replies over the past months here… and then I stopped – just because I was better with moving on. It’s been 16 months since the break-up and I am doing fine. Yeah – to all the survivors – it’s possible! Time is a great healer. I’ve been f*cking crawling, unable to breath – for months. It took a lot of serious effort, but I am where I am now – FREE. He’s hoovering again now. I’ve been dealing with indirect hoovers for the first 6 months after the break up. Then he stopped. And a few weeks ago he re-started. I won’t say that it didn’t affect me at all (hence, I am here again), but it’s nothing to compare… He doesn’t have a chance in luring me back in. I am simply not attracted to him anymore. Seeing those creeps for what they are helps. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again. Websites like this one, your books saved my life! Cheers!

  • Mary

    August 11, 2016 at 3:40 am Reply

    I met him on a website. I later left the web site as it was to time consuming. He and I continued talking buy email and phone. Almost four years later after several times of on and off communication… I learned he was lieing about not being involved with anyone. I offered to fly to see him, he always had reasons why not. He broke up with the person, or as he said she treated him badly. He was asking to come to see me when things blew up for me. I received pictures of her with him sent to my phone, seems she asked him who I was seeing my name on his phone. The picture said a thousand words. Destroyed me. He made it seem like they were casually dating… not so. I let out close to four years of hurt.. he used me, lied, sucked up all the attention affection and time when ever he needed or wanted. I was grateful for crumbs of attention from him. He has a sad story line, four broken marriages, four kids, he sees only one. There is no communication with the others. He paid no child support. I am depressed, I bought this about by confronting him with the picture, He lied, they were in a relationship for over a year or more and I lost it exploding with anger and tears in voice texts…. humiliated. Now I spend each day wondering what to do, struggling for strength. I was so attracted to him. He knew what to say ..He knew me so long.
    Every day I think about him, what to do …

    • Mary

      August 11, 2016 at 4:15 am Reply

      When he had no work, needed money or other problems, he was his nicest… He moved a lot, four times in four years. Gave up a apartment four months ago at the time he broke up with who he was seeing, she ended it. The time between he and I flew. I now reconcile four years gone, I never paid attention to time… I wonder what he will do.

  • Maxie

    July 25, 2016 at 9:24 am Reply

    Hi Zari—This is a great subject and one that we all ponder after the carpet has been pulled from under our feet. Probably one of the most difficult things to digest is the reality that you were no different than anyone else in your Narc’s warped world. And, the fact that Narcissists don’t have to make the adjustment that we do is so very true. As you said, “they’ve been adjusting all along”—this is so very true as each day is simply another lie! This allows them to seamlessly move from one target to the next. I remember her saying (on several occasions), “what, do you think I am a “who’s the next in line kind of girl?”. Little did I know at the time that she was inadvertently confessing her Modus Operandi!
    After a year and a half of not hearing from this turd, and life being very peaceful—she has reared her ugly head by contacting a bandmate about two months ago and making him promise that he would not tell me (of course she knew he would). She wanted to return one of my prized acoustic guitars I gave her. When we split up I made it clear that I had no interest in getting it back and to donate to her favorite charity, or give it away….or whatever. She arranged to drop off the guitar at his place of business, but never showed up—par for the course.
    Take care and thank you,
    Aloha, Maxie

    • Zari Ballard

      July 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm Reply

      Hi Maxie,

      Yup, the “guitar return” is an absolute hoover, my friend. These turds never change and they never prove me wrong. Watch out…where there’s one hoover, there will definitely be more. Yikes!

      Zari xo

      • Maxie

        September 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm Reply

        Hi Zari—Thank you for the response and yes I suppose where there’s one hoover another one is probably not far behind. These scum bags are very crafty and after years of practice, it’s no wonder how seamlessly they can slither their way back into your life. It’s also interesting how things seem to tie together. For example, my ex-turd is a banker for a major banking institution that is currently under the microscope for a scandal involving questionable sales tactics. I remember her constantly bugging me to open up accounts that I really didn’t need to help her meet her quota. Now it all makes sense. After all, what can you expect from a Narc banker?

        Thanks again and rock on sister,
        Maxie

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