Narcissists & the Cell Phone Game

narcissist-cell-phone-gameNarcissists are experts when it comes to playing The Cell Phone Game. A narcissist uses the cell phone as a tool, a prop…a weapon, in fact…to conduct his evil and bring sadness and especially anxiety upon his victims. My ex was a master at The Cell Phone Game and I repeatedly called him on it, prompting him to play the game even harder and with more sinister intent. It took me a while but as the years passed and I caught on to the Game, I was able to predict his next move simply by watching how he interacted with his cell phone.

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During one three year stretch, my ex changed his cell number no less than fifteen times. His MO was to simply vanish while simultaneously letting his cell run out of minutes. The fact that suddenly (and for no apparent reason) I was simply cut off from all contact – sometimes for months – literally crushed my soul to the very core. Later, although he vehemently denied the connection, I became convinced that the number of times he cheated was directly related to the number of times he changed cell numbers. And although I never could prove this theory, I’m still convinced of it. In a weird sort of way, it was triangulation by cell phone. Sometimes he’d resurface with a newly reactivated old number (from years before) and sometimes even the old phone to go with it. I assume this twisted pathological strategy was to ensure a vaguely recognizable number when he hoovered but all I could envision was a big bag of disposable Kyoceras that he simply reached into whenever he needed to cut me off or come back, depending on which bed he was headed to!

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Do not ever be fooled…..The Cell Phone Game is always a key component in a narcissist’s  pathological relationship agenda. A clever narcissist learns that he can use his cell phone as a tool for juggling multiple relationships and for keeping one relationship from ever really finding out about the other. Having a cell phone and knowing how to “use” it to his advantage allows a motivated narcissist to move seamlessly through life without the stress of multiple worlds colliding. He also understands that in a second it could backfire on him. My ex learned this lesson the hard way, giving me the one and only time that I was ever able to bust him red-handed.

After a two week silence, he had magically reappeared with a new number and ridiculous story in tow and I, of course, took him right to bed for some great make-up sex. Later, when his cell rang, instead of mysteriously ignoring it (like usual), he rolled over in bed and simply answered it, letting his guard down and completely forgetting the rules of the Game. Within seconds, he was getting an angry earful from the daughter of the girl he had obviously just cheated on me with. She was screaming at him on her mother’s behalf, demanding to know the reason he’d slipped out without a word just hours earlier…just up and left…apparently while her mom’s back was turned. Naked and lying right next to him, I could hear every word she said loud and clear and I flipped. It was a classic moment that marked the beginning of a very long summer where I did nothing but obsess the affair. For my ex, he became a cell phone Ninja, never again making such a careless mistake. From then on, it was war.

You see, a narcissistic partner succeeds at The Cell Phone Game by mastering all the various strategies by which he can play it and also by streamlining our codependency so that he gets away with it. But he can’t be careless or too cocky. Lucky for the N, victims, as a rule, are fairly easy to manipulate most of the time and, therefore, he can usually rely on the absurdity of his own words and actions to go unpunished. There were times when, for various stupid reasons, my ex would pretend to have no phone at all. In retrospect, I know that this was a narcissistic tactic and a lie and in fact he probably had multiple phones sitting at home (or in the trunk of his car) ringing off the hook. Truthfully, the multiple phone theory never even occurred to me until I accidentally overheard the narcissist quietly snicker while listening to a talk radio discussion about that very thing. I felt instantly sick but suddenly the absence of a phone or the fact that the phone he did have when with me never ever rang made perfect but horrible sense. When he pretended to have no phone, I could never decide which was worse – us having no means of contact at all or him using the only means of contact we did have as an evil weapon.

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A narcissist is also very good at acting as if he isn’t particularly attached to his phone to distract you from the fact that he’s obsessed with it. For example, my ex would sometimes punish me for calling him out on The Cell Phone Game by smashing his phone to bits (whereby implementing “no communication”) as if replacing it over and over was simply no big deal. And he loved to say, “I don’t even know why I have a cell phone. You’re the only one that calls me.” Thanks and yeah, right…

Narcissists also like to “lose” their cell phones just long enough to do whatever it is they need to do behind you back…Did you try to call me? Sorry, I couldn’t find my phone. Sometimes they’ll choose to keep the phone but “lose” the charger, conveniently rendering the phone “dead” just long enough to do whatever it is their doing…Did you try to call me? Sorry, I couldn’t find my charger. And it doesn’t stop there because The Cell Phone Game always has another card to play….Did you call me? I don’t know why but the battery’s going out…Did you try to call me? Sorry, my minutes ran out.

Sound familiar? It’s nothing but narcissistic word garbage – all of it – and it’s intended to confuse, abuse, and manipulate you.

I imagine that before the cell phone, the Narcissist and his cousins Sociopath and Psychopath had a much harder life. They may have actually had to face their victims and admit the truth. The Cell Phone Game allows a narcissist to hide behind a nasty text or no text at all. He can subject a victim to silent treatments in the blink of an eye and the flip of a switch. He will Idolize, Devalue, and Discard you using nothing but text messages. And he’ll do it all from the comfort of his own home.

Keep in mind that the N is as simple as he is complicated and nothing about him or his evil agenda is rocket science. Once you figure out his strategies and see them for exactly what they are…ridiculous, ludicrous bullshit that no one deserves to be subjected to, you will start to wonder why you ever let it get that far. You will begin to let go of the narcissist in your life. You will be able to go No Contact and regain your sanity.

And you will begin to take your power back.

Stay strong, my friends!!

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  • Michelle

    December 26, 2016 at 10:24 am Reply

    Hello Zari, I really need to speak to you. I am trying to end a 5 month relationship with a man who is definitely a textbook narcissist. It’s so hard for me because I didon’t fall in love with him. I finally caught him red handed cheating last night. Christmas night. He was giving me the silent treatment and then he called me whIle i was at a Christmas gathering. He had been giving me the silent treatment since the Friday before Christmas because we got into an argument. He was totally in the wrong. I finally busted him and now I’m super hurt. Like hurt beyond measure. Because I actually thought that he could possibly be the one that I would or could end up being with. He hid who he truly was for the entire 4 in a half months. I hav never met anyone like him so I was on baffled answer confused about his behavior. It wasn’t until here recently that I decided to research his behavior because it was so abnormal and hurtful to me.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 26, 2016 at 4:36 pm Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      I am so sorry about everything, girl. How sad! Unfortunately, it is so typical that this would happen at the holidays. This is when their true colors shine through. Book some time with me so that we can chat…I would be happy to help you through it:) If you think that you need to book some extended time with me, choose the longer package here. As soon as I receive notification, I will contact via email with some times that we can speak. No worries…we’ll figure it out.

      Zari xo

  • Michelle Bachmeier

    December 20, 2016 at 2:33 pm Reply

    I have just had my “aha” moment, unfortunately, my best friend has been taking care of his needs once I confided in her how I discovered his “dating websites”. I heard it all. When I was able to absorb the website activities, he denied. Until I told him I printed copies, and I had to tell him several times before he would admit. Then it was, ” it was only checking thing things out. Nothing physical….. “. And that would have went to the grave with him also, but just like the guy that commented about the phone games, “they’re as simple as they are complicates”. Or to that reference. I initially started to comment that you are NOT ALONE. I AM HAVING ONE HELL OF A TIME, knowing what I know after so much research attempting to be as strong as I once was also, it feels nearly impossible! I am reading your story and I can mimic the words EXACTLY, OMG…….and THEN the breakdown of having to go get laid himself now. Sniffle sniffle. Dear God, have MERCY. I HEAR AND I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I don’t know how I’m gonna get thru it but, DAMMT, I AM GOING TO DO IT! I , AND YOU, DESERVE A BETTER LIFE. I/we have so much kindness to offer and deserve our self respect back. I hurt, myself, knowing I am only hurting myself and I KNOW I DESERVE BETTER. I guess it’s the letting go of the vision of a dream of being married to my best friend forever. I know what he’s NOT(he’ll, he just screwed by best friend for months!)! They are monsters. He took my vehicle and every red scent(AGAIN!), and has the blessing of his lonely mother and comfort of his childhood bed to sleep in-when he sleeps. Ahhhhhh….. 12 years gone…. Nice work, “Mom”

    • Zari Ballard

      December 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      A narcissist will never admit to anything, even with the evidence laid out before him. In the end, WE HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT IN THE TRUTH THAT WE KNOW. When you get the evidence, run away, dump him. Don’t wait for or listen to excuses. There is just no purpose to it. We already KNOW the truth…we’ve ALWAYS known it. We keep hoping that something that we say or show them will break through the narcissist’s stone cold wall but it simply never will. This is a FACT and, as sad as it is, we have to leave or he will keep us in the game until the end of time.

      Zari xo

  • Kelli Carper

    December 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm Reply

    I don’t know where to begin !! My mind is going a mile a minute I got 2 year old twin boys on every part of my body demanding attention and can’t ever be satisfied. Actually I’m a single mother of four who just can’t seem to catch a break from my thoughts and overwhelming feelings of depression I try n hide because I have to be a strong role model for my kids, but right now I feel like just dying and it’s all because I’m in love with the biggest narcissist known to man kind who is also the father of my twins and 10 years younger then me . The story is so long I don’t know if there’s enough space to write it out …so, I met him 4 years ago flirted talked really enjoyed him he took my goodies first red flag but I didn’t know if he felt led on so I over looked it didn’t talk to him for a week talked again n my life hadn’t been the same since … he lived with me a week or two after meeting said he had an ex he was still good friends with she lives away he would visit her n her visit him while telling me they are just friends as well as him and I are ..dummy me…to back it up more he had 2 small children at the time I encouraged him to get the was weary at first blaming the boys mom saying she wouldn’t let him see them..long story short 2 new children were added to my family I had 2 as well at the moving forward 8 months pass I’m not feeling being his friend nor his friendship with this girl …then I find out I’m pregnant with my twins …now all the side n I’m ruining his life the girl comes out of no where to live with him n that was his girlfriend the entire time 5 or 6 years at that time ..he left me alone n pregnant I prayed everyday for his return n I got it about 5 months into my pregnancy ..she still lived here n he would visit while she was at work . Not a very woman thing of me to do but I was already so in love n preg. He wasn’t at the birth of my twins ..she “caught” us n moved back to where she was n by this time she’s pregnant with their first child did I mention his older kids are by a different woman he cheated on this same girl those years ago ..he lived with me again things were ok but his ways were killing me so I kicked him out only to beg to b around him again he blames me for ruining his life the cell phone game omg yes …ignores me comes n goes as he pleases calls me crazy we even put our hands on each other reading blogs n people who are going thru the same are helping a little I pray but am tired of the same prayer God prob is too so unhappy with myself for allowing this to happen to me but my children too I was beat n almost killed in my last relationship before this ass how do I love myself ??? How can I really really break free I’m praying I’m begging I’m screaming I’m EVERYWHERE

    • Zari Ballard

      December 26, 2016 at 4:53 pm Reply

      Hi Kellie,

      Okay, girl, you need to take a breath and take a good hard look at this. You have to know, by reading everything here and at other sites, that HE IS NEVER EVER GOING TO CHANGE. Any man who DELIBERATELY is not at the birth of his children needs a big huge boot to the curb. That is number one! Anything after that is just spoiled icing on the cake. A narcissist simply doesn’t care about anyone but himself. This is a fact. He sees everyone in his life – you and all the other mothers of his children – on the same emotional level. This means that he doesn’t “care” about you any more than he cares about them. He tells them all the same lies so that he can juggle his worlds and basically keep them from colliding. If they do collide, he just hides in the world that is giving him the least amount of conflict at the moment. This is what they do…it is what he will ALWAYS do. It simply must end for the sake of your life and for the children. I hope to God you are getting money from this loser – I hope he is not flitting through life making babies and having no financial responsibility.

      As for “loving” yourself, that will return in time but not until you kick him out once and for all. This isn’t the time to have a whole bunch of self blame. Strangely enough, it is often self blame that keeps us in the game when, in reality, it should do the exact opposite. You KNOW what he is so you have to be CONFIDENT in the truth that he know. He will NEVER admit to anything so YOU have to believe what you know to be true and act upon in, taking the appropriate measures. He doesn’t deserve to have all these families waiting around for him – it is ridiculously wrong on so many levels. You can participate in his game until the end of time because for him, it just never gets old. Please get out now while the children are still small. Do you have support…friends, family…who know what he is doing and BELIEVE your side of the story? Do you work and can you sustain yourself? Does HE work…can you take him to court for child support?

      Life is too short for this foolishness. Stop blaming yourself and take a stand! Narcissists are very good at what they do…this is why we fall for it over and over. But at some point, it all must stop. Please make a plan for the new year and begin to take steps to re-create the life that you and your children deserve…and he certainly needn’t be a part of it.

      Stay strong, sister!

      Zari xo

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