Is the Narcissist Happy Now? (A Reality Check)

is-the-narcissist-happyWhen we leave a narcissist or the narcissist discards us, there’s always the worry that he/she will move on to become a different person. Although we know he’s still an asshole, we imagine that he’s truly in love now and as happy as can be and we just don’t get itBut how could he be happy? How can he love her and not me? Maybe he ISN’T a narcissist! Even though we shouldn’t give a shit, it’s normal to feel this way given the time that we’ve invested in the relationship. And while it’s natural to feel this after almost every type of break-up (including normal ones), a broken heart never weighs so heavy as it does when our ex-partner is a narcissist. Consequently, in order to move on, we’ve simply GOT to shake that nagging uncomfortable feeling that he’s suddenly happy and the easiest way to do this is by changing our perspective.

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The truth is that no, a true narcissist never changes his stripes – ever. And, moreover, it’s highly unlikely that he wasn’t a narcissist because of all the mind-boggling behaviors that led you to my website and others like it. If our exes weren’t narcissists, we would have never had reasons to goggle things like “my boyfriend gives me the silent treatment” or “my girlfriend disappears and reappears like it’s no big deal” or “my boyfriend keeps his cell phone hidden” or (from my own 13-year hell) “Why would my boyfriend change his cell number 10 times in two years?” The list goes on and on. Bottom line is that you don’t have to wonder about that. Your ex IS a narcissist and a narcissist never changes his stripes no matter who his victim is. Eventually, her story will be just like your story. It’s just a matter of time.

So, is your ex happy in his new relationship? The answer is a resounding NO, he is not. He’s the exact same jerk he’s always been except that, right now, he’s in the Idolize future-faking an unfortunate new target. Rest assured he is following the exact same relationship agenda and, inevitably, as it did with you, everything wonderful will take a tragic turn. In the meantime, though, he’s going to do everything he can to create an illusion of happiness. The narcissist will take to Facebook and/or other forms of social media with a vengeance, posting happy picture upon happy picture in hopes that you will SEE how fucking happy he is and LEARN YOUR LESSON! And if, by chance, you choose to avoid social media post-breakup, he’ll continue to post on the chance that your friends will see it! The new victim, of course, will post as well but with an entirely different intention. Chances are good that she doesn’t even know who you are or that you even existed at all. The poor dear actually believes he really loves her…just like you did. A narcissist never ever changes.

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You see, creating an illusion of happiness is a narcissist’s favorite form of post-breakup damage control. It’s just another narcissistic tactic for casting doubt, instilling anxiety, and retaining basic control over your emotions. The intention of the N now is to quickly reinvent himself – like a chameleon – according to his new surroundings and circle of friends. It will appear that he’s become a completely different person almost overnight but it’s actually a grand ruse. It’s a carefully contrived transformation that suddenly alludes to everything that you never knew him to be. In other words, if he appeared to have no friends while he was with you, it will appear on social media as if he is surrounded by friends in his new relationship. See? I have friends now – all those friends that never came around because of YOU! It’s an illusion…and it will never last. He can create a million disguises but the fact is he is what he is. A narcissist is a pretender who simply rinses and repeats a charade. How long do you think he can keep from telling even the teeniest of lies? How long before he starts playing the Cell Phone Game and giving her the silent treatment? You know this person inside and out and nothing has changed just because you’ve broken up. The narcissist was born a chameleon and he will be a chameleon long after you’re gone.

So, dry your cryin’ eyes, my friends, and let us all be grateful that our ex is someone else’s problem. It’s time to overcome the pain and become free of unhealthy relationships. If you feel a pang one morning, simply play the game of Postpone & Pretend and continue on with your day. As for social media, I can only say stay away from it. An avid Facebook checker (and hacker) during my relationship, I chose to completely avoid it after the break-up and it had everything to do with my recovery. What I didn’t see couldn’t hurt me and it will work the same for you. You’d be amazed.

The only thing that has changed about you OR the narcissist is that YOU are free.  And Amen to that!

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  • Andrea

    December 18, 2017 at 9:14 am Reply

    Why do men or narcissist would date a young woman?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      You wrote in your other post…I know she is just another victim who he is manipulating he cant with a woman his age therefore he has to look for young and naïve.
      Girl, you answered your own question:)


    • Christine

      December 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm Reply

      I second Zari that you already know the answer! I’d also add that the narcissist probably dates young women to try to look “good” to others and pump his own ego–to project a false image that look, he’s such a stud because he can get this much younger woman.

      Of course, that’s probably delusional LOL. If anything, I think most 19 year olds would make a 37 year old look old and haggard by comparison. I’ll bet he looks like a fool next to her. If anything, whenever I see a man my age (I’m 38) with a much younger woman, I don’t think that he looks like a stud…I assume she must be after his wallet! For instance, this is an extreme example–but did anyone think Hugh Hefner was some awesome person for marrying a 20-something who could be his granddaughter? No, they laughed at him and thought he was a fool and she was a gold digger.

      But, since narcissists don’t have that level of self-awareness, they don’t realize that.

      I know it hurts now but let him delude himself, while you move on to find someone who you really connect with. Hey, I was once with a narcissist and am now happily married to someone else (and couldn’t give a flying you-know-what who the narcissist is with now). If I can do it, so can you.

  • Andrea

    December 18, 2017 at 9:12 am Reply

    I am here thinking about my ex even thought as you say I shouldnt give a shit!! because he was shit, I recently found out he is dating a 19year old girl he is 37!! he can be her father I don’t know why I am mad I know I don’t want to be with him but I can’t help it. I know she is just another victim who he is manipulating he cant with a woman his age therefore he has to look for young and naïve.

    • Ashley

      January 1, 2018 at 4:09 pm Reply

      Same here! My narc is now dating a 22 year old ex-stripper (or so she says) he’s 31. He left me as his wife of 10 years and our 2 children. He went to a new town and started a new life overnight.

  • Katie

    December 12, 2017 at 3:09 am Reply

    Hello Zari, and thank you your most comprehensive insightful posts on this topic.
    I married my first husband after a long distance relationship in which I dismissed some “red flags” because I thought I would be criticised for being “oversensitive”/”making a mountain out of a molehill” His job meant he worked away so for the first 4 years we were married I saw very little of him. I asked him to change his job so we could be together more. He did, and that’s when I began to see him for what he really was. He was moody and uncommunicative, prone to “stonewalling”, subtley chipped away at my self-esteem, manipulated me, said hurtful things etc. I realised I din’t know this man at all.
    After 2 years I knew I couldn’t take it much longer and told him he would have to change and “step up to the plate”. His response was to start an affair and I divorced him.
    Finally, he married his affair partner and they have been together 20 years. Your post says that usually these people don’t change, and I believe that.
    However, I am curious to know what it is about her that enables her to stay in that marriage to him without being psychologically destroyed?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 18, 2017 at 1:35 am Reply

      Hi Katie,

      Well, I can’t presume to know what’s in her head but I suppose she might be staying BECAUSE she is psychologically destroyed OR she might stay for the same ridiculous reasons I stayed for 13-years and others here have stayed for much, much longer. Each person is different. Maybe they have kids together or maybe she just got complacent or maybe he’s gone enough with work that she can deal with it or maybe he future-fakes and bamboozles her into staying when she threatens to leave or maybe she just lets him do what he wants and looks the other way or, again, maybe she’s too messed up and confused to go anywhere. Who knows? Although we’ve all threatened to leave at various times, not everyone has the guts to leave when they say they will and the more we let the narc get away with, the less motivated we become. Sometimes its easier to look the other way than face the pain and the next thing you know, another year has whizzed by. For you, you obviously did the right thing and I hope you went on to have a happy, peaceful life without him:) Thanks for sharing, sister!

      Zari xo


    December 3, 2017 at 9:38 pm Reply

    This is a wonderful article but i wish i could believe it is true. I spent 22 years with my husband and he left me and came back to me over and over for 16 years. This time Im done because I cant take it anymore. He has been gone since June. He lied and played so many games w me after he left. We are no contact. I have him blocked and the only thing he can do is leave a voicemail. I left that open because we have children. He leaves me a voicemail about once a week. He is with a woman 13 years younger than him and it seems like he loves her so much. Ive read it a thousand times but I just cannot stop my mind from thinking how can he love her and he couldnt love me or his children? Why cant i believe what i read? I wish i could see it all play out and know for sure. How do we stop our minds from thinking about them all the time?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 29, 2017 at 6:45 pm Reply

      Hi Julie,

      You said it yourself…he came back to you over and over and over and over for 16 years. The only reason that back and forth has ended is because YOU ended it. At some point, they have to move along. I’m sure there was always someone in the sidelines with whom he was cheating on with YOU, do you know what I mean? As for him appearing happy, how is he supposed to appear? Of course they will appear to be in “love” but the truth is that they love no one…as you said, not even his own children. That’s all you need to know. They adapt for each new person but in the end, it always comes out. All you need to know is what he did to YOU and the children. For you to really think that he LOVES this new person, you would have to think he really is a nice, normal guy who happened to create a bad family who he simply couldn’t love and who now found the love of his life. That’s ridiculous and you know it. He’s the same person. Narcs just move along and they always will. You did the right thing by ending it or else he’d still be lurking around, interfering with your life. YOU put a stop to it and you did the right thing. Wishing you a peaceful and narc-free 2018, sister!

      Zari xo

  • Jill Brostowski

    November 29, 2017 at 1:35 am Reply

    I’ve read a ton on narcissism and this article is the closest to bang on as I’ve seen. The narc and I were married for 24 1/2 years(still waiting on divorce papers 2 1/2 years later) when he told me he was leaving me. I just had a gut feeling there was another woman. I later found out from my son that this was probably not his first affair. He is still with her. She is 15 years younger than him. He said she stroked his ego. He also tried to blame me for him leaving. No apology. I’ve gone 99% no contact. Only emails to do with our teenage daughters. Still recovering but so very thankful that he is no longer in my life. Getting stronger every day. Thank you for this article.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm Reply

      Your welcome, Jill, and it sounds as if you are doing everything right. Even as a co-parent, he only deserves 1%. There are several articles on this site about co-parenting which may encourage you further. Have a great holiday…a new year is coming….xo

  • JF

    October 11, 2017 at 8:27 am Reply

    Thank you for this post. My story is a bit different, I think. You see, the new supply isn’t new at all. My N and I dated for two years when we were in our early twenties, he cheated, it didn’t work out, and he moved out. Fast forward 10 years, and I was newly divorced. It’s like the N could sense it, and he emailed me. We started getting together every now and then, and I assumed that he had grown up and could stay faithful now. I mean, he had just gotten out of a long term relationship because, even though they had a son together, the ex was crazy. Good thing he dodged that bullet, right? We had a great time together, and I was so happy that he was back in my life. Things slowly got more serious, I introduced him to my daughter, we spent nearly every evening/weekend together. After about two years of this, he said he was going to start being more selfish with his time, had plans to stay in (“in” was his mother’s basement that he called home) almost every weekend. A little investigation on my part revealed he was dating his sister’s best friend. Someone who he had dated right after we broke up the first time years ago. I confronted him and got some story about how he wasn’t attracted to her, but it was expected that they date because of how much she meant to the family. It would never work out and he didn’t want to lose me. So I stayed. Basically told him I would take what I could get. After a year and a half of him choosing her over me regularly, he came to me and said it was over with them , he only ever wanted me, and that was that. He moved in. I was over the moon happy – I finally had a commitment! Once we lived together is when the raging started. Anytime he didn’t come home from work until midnight or after (he got out at 5:00), I would ask where he had been and he would flip out and accuse me of sabotaging the relationship. I continued to check his phone regularly, and discovered several other women he would sleep with, but he wasn’t dating them. And I justified it all by thinking that I wanted him so badly, and he came home to me every night, so it wasn’t that big a deal. But it was. And i resented him. And I bought us a house that he never paid a dollar to help with. No bills either. I paid for everything. I would confront him about cheating, and he would say that it was because I made him so unhappy. So I would try harder to remind him why I was his favorite. But I would only make him more upset, so he would go silent for days or sometimes weeks, while still living in my house. He would have me sleep on the couch. This went on for the past 8 years. He left me in June after accusing me of cheating and being a pathological liar. Then for the next three months he called and texted everyday begging me to convince him to come back, but no matter what I said or did, he would change the requirements. He finally showed up one night in August for “closure”. He kept telling me to say everything I wanted to say because this would be my last chance. I didn’t believe that because history had shown he would always be back. Of course, his closure came in the form of sex. So I definitely thought he’d be back. Turns out, he went back to his sister’s best friend. The one he walked out on four years ago for me. The one who found out from his sister that he’d been with me the entire time they had dated. She just took him right back. He used to tell me all the time that if something ever happened with us, he’d be able to get her back. She was in a relationship and ended it to go back to him. This is just boggling my mind! And they seem so happy. He accidentally sent me a picture of them, after which I blocked him and her and everyone who is even slightly associated with him on all forms of social media. But I am devastated. I knew there would be a new girl. But him going back to her seems like an even bigger slap in the face. I don’t want them to be happy. And I am having a really hard time accepting that it wasn’t me. I am so afraid he isn’t the horrible person I think he was, and I just expected too much of him. That she will keep him happy. I know I am not thinking rationally, but there are a million scenarios running through my head where this works out for him.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 13, 2017 at 12:33 am Reply

      Hi JF,

      This guy is a complete asshole narcissist and you are lucky to be away from him. You were absolutely right to block him and I hope you never have to deal with him again. As you surely know, he didn’t “accidentally” send you anything. He is a liar, a deceiver, a piece of shit person who will never change. You shouldn’t be mind-boggled as to why she would go back to him…he is obviously very good at what he does. She is just a victim like you but you know what? Better her than you! Don’t base your self-worth on the bad behaviors of some creep…I don’t care how long you were together. YOU are not and never were the problem. It sounds to me as if these two deserve each other.If he should resurface his ugly head, you will be doing yourself an absolute disservice if you even give him one second of your time. Take it from someone who has been there and learn from my mistakes. These people NEVER change. He has NEVER GIVEN YOU ONE REASON to think he can be a better man…not ONE…so don’t for a second think that he will. He’s a horrible, creepy person and if you allow it, he will STILL waste your life away. Don’t fall for the ruse…

      Zari xo

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