Narcissists, Holidays, & the Seasonal Discard

narcissist-holidaysWith the holiday season upon us, those in relationships with narcissistic partners will be doing some extra special suffering. Narcissists are legendary holiday buzz killers and, if the narcissist is your partner, you could end up in any one of a number of situations depending upon your place in the narcissistic queue. Yes, as the holidays roll around, it’s time for the narcissist’s seasonal Devalue & Discard (D & D) and those who are the most convenient in the narcissist’s life will likely take the hit. Sound familiar?

Although it’s likely that you already know exactly what I’m talking about,  allow me to share a story or two about my own holiday experiences with a narcissistic partner and let’s see how close I get to hitting the nail on the head about your relationship:

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Almost every year for thirteen years, my ex, the Narcissist, would steadily ramp up the narcissistic chaos and turmoil until around mid-October and then, after creating some ridiculous blow-out,  he’d vanish until somewhere in January or February. Every year without fail for thirteen years. It was the most blatant narcissistic behavior  ever – the D & D before the holidays – and truly the most painful. I can vividly remember spending many of those Christmases cowered under the blankets in my dark bedroom, unable to get out of bed, while my son played with his new toys alone in the living room. He would leave every October for no reason at all, shutting off his phone and vanishing from whatever apartment he was living in, never to return to me until well after the first of the next year….long after the holidays were over. The pain of being abandoned at this time of year, every year, rendered me inconsolable. I never got used to it.

In December 23rd of 2009, after my N had been gone two months and I hadn’t a clue where he was living, I became determined to smoke him out. During “normal”, much shorter silences, I could usually do this with minimal effort but this time time I was stumped. I knew it called for drastic measures.  On a hunch, I used Facebook to send a quasi-anonymous message to the girl that he had cheated on me with the year before. If he was with her this year, the least I could do was make his holiday as miserable as he was making mine. As it turned out, my hunch was spot-on but the result was over-the-top. Within two days, the N, determined to keep me at bay, had me served with a Temporary Restraining Order on Christmas Eve at 8:00pm (an TRO, by the way, that he would break just a few weeks later when he suddenly returned).  When I heard the knock, I actually felt a wave of relief thinking it was him. I remember taking the paper from the Sheriff’s hands, shutting the door, and crumbling to the floor in my hallway, sobbing uncontrollably. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get this guy to have a heart even though we – my son and I (his “family”, as he would say) – had been by his side for well over a decade.

Now that I think about it, I’m fairly certain that the 2009 Order of Protection was the only Christmas present the N ever gave me!

You see, narcissists are incapable of handling any time of year or any event (birthdays anyone?) where they might be expected to show responsibility and loyalty to the people that care about them. This is not to say that he doesn’t spend the holidays with someone somewhere -because he does. It’s just that he chooses the environment and/or relationship situation that is most self-serving to his seasonal narcissistic needs – whatever those may be – and that is where he’ll spend his time during that part of the year.  A narcissist is seasonal. Without fail.

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To make it work, the N will likely have at least two households where he is able to set up shop during the year – one being for the spring/summer season and the other being for the fall/winter season. Depending on which season he’s in, much of his time will be spent trying to thwart the current girl from finding out about the off-season girl. To eliminate unnecessary hassle, my ex would prepare for his post-holiday discard (from her) and eventual comeback (to me) in advance by getting a new cell number, a new apartment (or no apartment), and a new job (or no job). He would either connect or disconnect various aspects of his life in various combinations to make it happen. He’d make sure he had  everything in order long before he even thought about hoovering

The bottom line is this: when a narcissist comes back to you, he is vanishing from someone else. Of that, you can be sure. Then, when it’s comes time to dump you again, he has to do everything in reverse. The vanishing acts, of course, are also called silent treatments and we’re all familiar with that narcissistic tactic. At some point, it has to stop. At some point, we have to decide how we really want to spend the upcoming new year. Normal people do not act that way – even in the most dysfunctional of relationships. We become so accustomed to the neglect and abuse that we completely forget what “normal” even means.

Yes, the narcissist will ruin every holiday without fail for as long as you allow it. He has no intention of ever doing it differently no matter how he professes that “this Christmas will be different” during your on-season together. A narcissist simply can not keep himself from upping the chaos and turmoil during the events of the year where you or others would most like – or expect – to have his company.  This would include birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, and, of course, the festive holiday season. The narcissist’s seasonal D & D is one of his/her most prized strategies for breaking your heart because it never fails to do so. Even if every other narcissistic weapon in his arsenal were to back fire, the narcissist knows there will always be a holiday just around the corner where a disappearance or silent treatment would deliver a foolproof knock-out blow.

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Here’s the deal…our suffering changes nothing. You must remember this!

Don’t let it happen this holiday season. If you’re still in the relationship, the chances are that he will leave. While you can’t control his behavior, you can certainly control your reaction. Let him go and enjoy your holidays. If you’re out of the relationship and having a bit of relationship amnesia about his holiday behavior, let this article be a reminder of what you’re missing and be grateful for every moment that you’re missing it!

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Updated from original post of 10/2014.










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  • Amy

    December 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm Reply

    It has been on and off 4 years with the 42 year old, Narcisst master of disguise tattoo artist, love of my life that has no empathy whatso ever.
    I am finally done. After giving up everything i have after moving in with him 3 months ago, I packed a bag along with my daughter and left. Yet its all my fault. Years of blame, projection that I know now is projection, crazy making, non empathetic, verbal abuse. I gave that man my all. everything. and in return i lost basically everything i own, but i have my sanity and my daughters safety. Saftey from the manipulation he started to play to her. It has been days and i still cant even get a paid of my daughters roller skates from the house . I requested my things back that he picked and chose to leave outside on the porch. Im 35 years old, had everything raised my daughter alone, and was doing ok until i met this inhuman of a man. I will be ok, but wow. the things you dont realize until u are out of the fog. I found you today and I am so thankful. Its Christmas and Im sad but the same time angry, that I allowed to be sucked in so many times to someone who trully doesnot care. Your stories are trully helping me. Id rather have no home and no car and be back with my family then ever have to deal with him again. Is it n ormal to get repetative late emails.. He will text me at 3:33 a.m to say.. im so hurt you were my everything, and im nothing to you

    • Amy

      December 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm Reply

      His second place, his studio. I was just to blind to see it.
      Makes sense as to why people would say things like that in the past. Somone admitted it once of having him as a f buddy for a bit there. It makes me sick that I gave my all to someone like that. Pathetic.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm Reply

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you for sharing, sister, and your post made me very sad. As soon as I am done with this response, I am going to send the PDF versions of all three of my books to the email that you used to comment here. My gift to you and I want you to read them all starting with When Love Is a Lie. You will see that we lived the same life with the same monster and you will become empowered to start your new life in the upcoming new year narcissist-free.

      As you know, there is nothing you could have ever done to change the situation. No amount of love in the world would ever be enough and all they feel is entitled to hurt us. Forget the roller skates – there’s always a thrift store some where that will have everything that you left there. Block his number so that he can’t text you or call you. Make it impossible for him to communicate because you already know that it will all be bullshit and it will be all about him. End it for you and for your daughter. I, too, was a single mom and my relationship lasted 13 long years. Please promise me you will find a way to read the books as soon as you can. I know they will help you get through the holidays! Life is too short to ever allow these bastards to fuck with us the way that they do. Nothing about anything they do is normal and we must DEMAND normal from now on.

      Write me anytime and I will now send you the books. Block him – you MUST do that or else you will remain open to his neglect and abuse. A narcissist only returns again and again to ensure that you never move on from the pain he has caused you – and that is the ONLY reason no matter how he may try to convince you otherwise. It is his ONLY intention. End the insanity once and for all. You deserve to be happy:)

      Stay strong and write anytime! Enjoy the books, sister…believe me, you are not alone in the fight!

      Zari xo

      • Resa

        December 26, 2014 at 9:01 pm Reply


        Thank you for you generosity to Amy! Your book was one of the first i read when I began learning about these inhuman whatever there!’

        Blessings to You,

        • Zari Ballard

          December 27, 2014 at 9:33 pm Reply

          Thanks, Resa….all we can do is be here to support each other:)

          Zari xo

      • Resa

        December 27, 2014 at 12:15 am Reply

        opps meant to say whatever they are!

      • Amy

        January 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm Reply


        thank you again so much. Its so hard but thesse books and your kindness and faith help.


  • Krista

    December 21, 2014 at 6:05 pm Reply

    Well…I’ve been going around in circles in my head after reading “When Love is a Lie” yesterday. I could relate to so much in the book…the silent treatments, the behavior that makes me feel like I’m going crazy even though I know I’m not, etc. But I still have this nagging little doubt in my brain telling me that I’m overreacting and maybe I’m just misunderstanding him. I’m finding it hard to believe that he’s not a narcissist after reading about the holidays, though. How last Christmas he bought me a candle holder even though I bought him nice presents (he didn’t even get me a candle to burn! Haha). He said he would take me away for a weekend for my Christmas present and when the weekend came said he didn’t have the money. Or how in February for my birthday he got me a cake…and I was shocked! As we ate it at 7PM his sons asked “why are we having cake?” And he replied “oh it’s just krista’s birthday.” Or how the first time he broke up with me was the week before Easter when he was supposed to come meet my family. And how he begged me back by telling me every single thing I needed to hear this Labor Day Weekend. And then promptly disappeared 3 days before this Thanksgiving telling me that he just needed space until the weekend and then we could get together because he was stressed. Haven’t seen him since. He occasionally calls or sends a nice text and says that he’s stressed about his sons and doesn’t have time for me right now but wants me to wait for when he’s ready. I can’t do this anymore. I feel like I’m going crazy! No Contact starts today! Enough is enough. This has been the worst holiday season I have EVER had.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm Reply

      Hi Krista,

      Thank you for writing and for reading my book. It sounds like you’re ready to read my second book, Stop Spinning, Start Breathing, which is all about managing the memories that keep us addicted to the bullshit just trying to figure it all out. If you haven’t read it yet, I think it’s time:)

      Honestly, girl, the signs are all there. This guy is a narcissist and he’s never going to stop his crap until YOU end it. The reason he sends a text every so often is only to ensure that you never get a chance to move on….to keep you in the queue in case his current fling doesn’t pan out. And, believe me, a narcissist is NEVER alone although they try to make you think that so that you hang in there, waiting indefinitely for them to return. Narcissist’s are master jugglers…so much so that YEARS can go by without one girl ever finding out about the other or even being able to find concrete evidence. You are NOT overreacting and should NOT continue to think that. The fact is that narcissists condition us to FORGET WHAT “NORMAL” IS. It simply is NOT normal for anybody to behave that way, to neglect you and avoid you and break promises and plans. You shouldn’t be willing to accept that anymore under any circumstances. If you do, you will waste so much of your precious time. Life is too short for that, girlfriend.

      Block him. Make it so he can not communicate with you under any circumstance. It is the only way. Otherwise, the game is going to repeat itself like a broken record for as long as he can get away with it. And if he comes back, you can bet that someone ELSE is getting the silent treatment. And around and around it will go. What we allow will continue.

      Thank you again for writing and you know that I’m here if you need me. Please leave a review for the book if you haven’t already and for God Sakes get the second one. Make 2015 a year that is all about YOU for a change. It’s a fresh start and if you leave the narcissist behind, you will be well on your way to finding the happiness you deserve:)

      Zari xo

      • Krista

        December 29, 2014 at 8:14 pm Reply

        Thanks so much Zari. You’re so right about narcissists conditioning us to not know what’s normal. This seriously resonates with me! I know the way he treats me isn’t normal it’s just been so many years of this treatment that I think I was forgetting what normal was. It makes me sick to think it’s been almost three years of the same nonsense. I’m definitely going to read the book you recommended. Thanks so much for all of the help and hope you give to every one of us.

        • Zari Ballard

          January 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm Reply

          Hi Krista,

          Happy New Year to you and thank you for the kind words. Please do get the book and use it to begin the year with an “I can do..” attitude. Allow no one to interfere with your goals – no one! If we all stick together, keeping each other strong by offering our stories and support, no one will be able to touch us. Stay strong, sister!

          Zari xo

  • Chachi

    December 18, 2014 at 1:53 am Reply

    It’s been a really shitty and emotional day for me. Against my better judgement, I sent a text message to the prick in my life who I believe is a narcissist because a therapist told me that is what he is. The last time I sent him a text, he totally ignored me. This morning the son of a bitch texts me saying ” I ignored u on purpose to see how you would react”. OMG…I totally lost it and spent the next 45 minutes sending the asshole two five page text messages. After the first text I sent him, he wrote ” Ok, enough….no more…EVER”. In my text I told him how he isn’t mentally capable of caring about another human life and how he isn’t capable of loving anyone because he doesn’t know how. I told him he is a narcissistic, shallow, judgemental, cold heart asshole. He couldn’t deal with hearing this and this is why he told me enough and no more. My second text message was brutal….even I can’t believe I said everything I said to him. I told him he is a loser, that he has no skills and has to live with his sister even though he is 52 years old because he makes shit money at his shit job and that any retard can drive for a living. I told him I HATE him for treating me live I am a piece of fucking shit and ignoring me and I told him he better have a good excuse to tell God when he asks him why he keeps hurting me so much. I told Ed I could tell him in a text that I have stage 3 breast cancer and he still wouldnt answer me back …when I told him they found cysts on my liver, he never said a goddamn thing about that so i know he would react the same way if I said I have cancer. I told ed he enjoys conflict and chaos and that he is always looking for a fight. Well, he got exactly what the fucker wanted…to upset me, to get my attention, and to start a fight with me. I was so upset, when I went to the gym this morning, I hurt myself lifting weights because I was using them aggressively as I was so pissed off at Ed. I started balling my eyes out during my workout and as I fought back the tears, I felt as if I was suffocating…I felt short of breath and felt like I was having an asthma attack. I almost stopped working out but then the suffocating feeling passed and I continued my workout until I burned 1,000 calories. I told Ed I believe he is gay. I told him his anorexic and ” slim” ex even told me he is gay. I told him she also told me that he sleeps with his sister. I told him he is a dog because only dogs like bones. I’m still pissed off at him for texting me after I sent him before and after pictures of me and my weight loss in a beautiful 4 dollar christmas card I purposely bought just for him—-saying that I am ” OK” but that everyone knows 180 is too much weight and that I am acceptable at best but that men want slim women. I’ve worked so hard to lose 105 pounds …and ed knows I weigh 210, not 180…not sure I understand why he chose 180 for a number but non the less, he really hurt me judging me the way he did and I felt so insulted…and I told him even when I am as thin as his anorexic ex, I know he STILL won’t like me. I told him if he liked me, he would initiate conversations and text me but that I am the one who always texts first. And i told him he thinks he can come waltzing back into my life after not speaking ( texting ) me and just expect me to welcome him back with open arms because i have always waited in the wings for him and i have NEVER asked him for any explanations as to why he suddenly stopped talking to me once again…in 27 years he has gotten used to me always being there and always letting him back into my life. The problem is so much time will pass between us and I get wishy washy and forgive him and let him back into my life only for him to fuck me once again. It’s a cycle between us and only I can break it once and for all. I wanted to wrap my car around a tree this morning..that is how much he upset me…and he doesn’t give a fuck that he hurt me…he doesnt give a fuck about me at all. In fact, he’d throw a party if I did die! He enjoys and gets his jollies from hurting others. And he has probably murdered someone before, too…it wouldn’t shock me in the least if he has…that is the kind of monster this fuck is. He has NO remorse for hurting me. He simply doesn’t care. I envy the bastard. It must be nice to not care…to not have that emotion and feeling. I hate ed with every fiber of my being and I want my life back. I want to be loved back for once . I don’t deserve this emotional mind fuck game playing. He’s 52 yrs old…this game playing bullshit is so high school. Oh let’s ignore her and see how she reacts….what a fucking fuck. I hope he gets his, he’s a drunk and needs a drink daily to cope with his shitty and miserable pathetic life. I really would love to see someone fuck him in the head the way he has fucked me. I truly believe I would not be bipolar today had no I not ever met the son of a bitch. I was normal before he entered my life. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ever since. I hate that no matter how long I go with the no contact, I can’t erase him from my mind. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and never think of him ever again…to wake up as if he had never been in my life, as if I had never met him…as if he had never been born.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm Reply

      Hi Chachi,

      Well, you and I have known each other a long time and I have to say that that is the most realistic, clearly stated, aggressive, grounded message you have ever posted here!! Bravo!! I wouldn’t even care if you didn’t really text him all that, just the fact that all those words came out of your head is good enough for me. I hope you can understand that….I believe you needed to get that out because it’s been bottled up inside for over two decades now that you’ve known this jerk. Block that bastard from ever being able to text or call you again. Let this new year coming up be all for you, okay? I know you are hurting but I truly believe that just coming to this realization to the point that you clearly stated to him all the things you have been thinking and know to be true is an enormous breakthrough. Don’t feel upset about sending the initial text because, if you hadn’t, all of that anger would have stayed bottled up. Do you understand what I mean, sister? I am very proud of you right now. Seriously, I had to re-read your message because it doesn’t even sound like you. Wow! It’s as if you just burst out of a cocoon by venting all that…to him and in your message here. Don’t be sad for too long…be the butterfly you were meant to be, girlfriend. He’s just the rat he’s always been and always will be and you sound like you’re done with that fucking bullshit once and for all. [btw…I love the part where you told him you heard that he slept with his sister! MUHAWHAHAHAHAH!!!!!]

      Zari xo

      • Chachi

        December 20, 2014 at 5:32 am Reply

        Thanks Zari..I will keep on keeping on…but I must admit I am a little worried about retaliation…I’m certain Ed is beyond pissed off and I worry that somewhere down the road, he is going to do something to me…years ago someone poured motor oil all over my car…on my birthday…and Ed and I had been fighting at the time so naturally he was the first person I thought of but when I asked him if he did that, he said he is guilty of many things but would never do that…but I have learned the narc always knows all the right things to say even if he doesn’t mean it and although I never was able to prove he did it, in my heart, I know he did. So, I’m worried he will flatten my tires next time or something along those lines. It may not happen for a long time…maybe even a year or two but the narc always resurfaces eventually and I just hope things don’t go badly. I’ve thought of getting a restraining order but a friend of mine said that wouldn’t do anything but add fuel to the fire. Maybe I’m wrong and Ed won’t look to get even…a part of me almost feels bad for all the things I said but I had to get it all out once and for all. Ed needs to learn that he can’t play games with people and not get a negative reaction from them. I mean, he admitted to purposely ignoring me…so yeah, I’m gonna be pissed off, did he expect I’d be like, oh, that’s ok Eddie, I don’t mind you ignoring me, I enjoy talking to a brick wall waiting for them to text me back only to find myself still waiting and waiting. I wish I never wasted 4 dollars on a nice christmas card for him…he had no intentions of ever sending me one back and planned to continue to ignore me straight through the holidays had I not texted him asking him if he dropped dead. I want a guy who wants to pursue me, who will text me without me texting him first…and will call me and visit me…

        • Zari Ballard

          December 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm Reply

          Hi Chachi,

          I honestly do not believe that Ed will try to retaliate. I really wish you would just block his number and be done with it. He has his life and you have yours. He is never going to be a decent guy…you must realize that. I know that you will find someone to make you happy but it’s not going to happen until you let this go once and for all. He’s not worth a second of your time and he never was.

          Stay strong!

          Zari xo

    • Anonymous aka Diane

      December 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm Reply

      Dear Zari and others,

      Being ignored — erased — is especially difficult at this time of the year. It seems that the entire world is celebrating being with loved ones, friends, family, etc. And here I am, still trying to recover from the whiplash I suffered when he decided to stop communicating, stop calling, hang up the phone abruplty on October 9th, mount his horse and ride into the sunset.

      The other times this happened I kept calling, going as far as to drive to his apartment expecting to discover his lifeless body sprawled out on the floow. Once, I even sent a plant to his house — apologizing for whatever it was that unleashed this passive aggressive wrath I triggered.

      This time I did things differently. When he hung up the phone on October 9th after I told him I could not accompany him to Jamaica for three days at my expense, I knew that this was another silent treatment–something I told him that he could not keep doing. He did it anyway and I have not uttered a word. OK, i did send an announcement a couple of weeks later to a small birthday dinner I was having for myself. He never responded.

      Who does this?

      Most of the time I am strong, reflecting on how this is not someone I want, need in my life. But there are those moments, when I want to break down and wail at the meanness of this all. Deliberate meanness is what it is. No heart. No soul. People who care about others, who form bonds and attachments, react in such a way to such a mysterious loss.

      But is it really mysterious? Haven’t I been down this lousy path before? Don’t I read your stories, the blogs, the dozens of web pages describing these people and the spirit crusing games they play with us? Don’t I know that this is a sickness that cannot be fixed, is not rational, is best to walk away from and not look back? I know all that. Still, in my weak moments–like today–I glance backwards and wonder what the hell was this all about.

      Love and healing to all of us.


      • chachi

        December 21, 2014 at 2:17 am Reply

        I wish I could be like the narc I know and not feel…they have it so easy…the don’t feel emotion…they don’t love…they don’t care. imagine living a life where you never care…it must be nice to not feel, to not care, ever.

  • Mariana

    December 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm Reply

    Mine is absent right now, as he was this time last year, and as he was, he says, from the woman before me, a couple of years ago. I don’t believe he’s seeing someone else, though that could just be naivety. He lives with his elderly parents, and he has a lot of mental health problems. He isn’t on social media and I have no way of checking up on him, even if that was a good idea.

    And it’s over, so why would I want to know if he’d been cheating on me?

    He used to accuse me of cheating on him, but he’s clinically paranoid – thinks people are trying to poison him, etc.

    A couple of times his mother said she didn’t recognise my voice on the phone – was that because other women were calling?

    I always saw her as the other woman really – he has never left home for long, and he’s 50.

    Ah, who knows.

    I suspect he just doesn’t want to “reward” me with his presence at Christmas.

    And being with him those last few weeks was horrific. He was threatening violence to people, he was angry and hostile and oh God I hated being with him. But now all the lonely craving has set in, of course.

    I do sometimes wonder if he was seeing a man. He did have a few friendships with men much, much younger than him, which I thought was odd, and he is fairly homophobic.

    I should probably have an STD test.

    How depressing all this is.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 9, 2014 at 6:47 am Reply

      Hi Mariana,

      I am responding to this post before your first one only because I read too many things in your message that simply apply to my own ex’s behavior so I simply had to share immediately.

      You wrote:

      Mine is absent right now, as he was this time last year, and as he was, he says, from the woman before me, a couple of years ago. I don’t believe he’s seeing someone else, though that could just be naivety. Mine disappeared every October – late January every year and I’d have to say that each time I relied on my belief that he probably wasn’t cheating on me to get me through it until he came back. I was wrong and, more than likely so are you. There’s a reason why he leaves every year. He’s expected someplace else.

      He lives with his elderly parents, and he has a lot of mental health problems. He isn’t on social media and I have no way of checking up on him, even if that was a good idea. Most single male narcissists have a safe haven (a room and an address) at one or both of their parents home where we think they’re living when their not with us. My ex, who is also 50, did the same thing for 13-years (minus a couple of times that he actually rented his own apartment which was always short-lived and even then he still used his parent’s address). Thinking that this is where they live also provides us comfort. The truth, however, is that they have no home of their own but that doesn’t mean they have no place to live or go. It’s just as easy for them to camp out at another person’s house as it is for them to camp at our house while still maintaining the parent’s home as “where they live”. Mine wasn’t on social media either and it was hard to find ANYTHING on him ANYWHERE but he was out there and he cheated.

      He used to accuse me of cheating on him, but he’s clinically paranoid – thinks people are trying to poison him, etc. Trust me, a narcissist only accuses his partner of EXACTLY what he’s up to at any given moment. Please read my most current article where I talk about this very thing. Mine ex, too, accused me of cheating and – yup! – he even accused me of trying to poison him a few times. And he thought people were following him too (on and off). This is all a distraction strategy to keep you from focusing on what he’s REALLY doing. Boyfriends who really believe their girlfriends are cheating do not leave them alone every year over the holidays. It’s not logical. As for you guy being “clinically” paranoid, I don’t buy that for a minute. Everything you describe is typical behavior of a narcissistic dude who is juggling a couple things, that’s all. You might as well have been dating MY ex – sounds like the exact same guy.

      And being with him those last few weeks was horrific. He was threatening violence to people, he was angry and hostile and oh God I hated being with him. But now all the lonely craving has set in, of course. Narcissists always ramp up the volume of chaos a couple/few weeks right before they disappear. Mine did it every single time – that’s how I started to know that a silent treatment was on it’s way!! And, yes, I had the same lonely craving and this is intentional as well. They make a lot of noise so that the inevitable silence will be deafening and we will become so sad for missing them that when they return, we’ll take them back with little if any repercussions. This is called managing down our expectations of the relationship so that we eventually accept just crumbs of attention – and it works every time. Or as long as we continue to allow it.

      I do sometimes wonder if he was seeing a man. He did have a few friendships with men much, much younger than him, which I thought was odd, and he is fairly homophobic. I had the same suspicions about my guy and I have no doubt that our intuitions are spot-on. The narcissists that engage in covert homosexual activity are the ones who can put up the biggest front – safe havens at mom’s, no social media (that you know of), full of mental distractions and accusatory nonsense, etc. And mine had a love/hate relationship with his mom which did, in fact, make her the other woman over all those years. And let me say this….I too could never really find hard evidence about girls. Although certainly there was one he admitted to years ago and a few mysterious phone numbers that I traced to females after that but no hard proof. SO WHY THEN DID I STILL GET THAT NAGGING FEELING? Could it have been the odd male friends (young) or just men friends that he might speak of in passing yet I never got to know any of them. Or the phone numbers that I found that I did call and guys answered. Or the fact that he was fairly homophobic and made sure to tell me the odd story here and there of how some guy made a pass at him and how mortified he was. Something about all that always left me with a feeling that he was telling a lie – again. Like he was telling me “on purpose”. There were other, more personal things over the years that left me thinking that and I’m sure you have plenty of other reasons yourself.

      I should probably have an STD test. Yes, you should. My ex came back after the holidays passed for about two days before he disappeared again. During those two days it felt to me like he just came back for sex. It was very strange. Then, two weeks later, I get a voice mail from a pay phone number (he always conveniently had no phone when we’d break up and a new number when he returned) and it’s him telling me he just found out he had an STD and that I must have given it to him and what a slut I was. I was mortified. THEN, the next day, I received a call from the local Health Department telling me that he indeed had been treated for an STD and they were given my name as his previous partner and that they suggested I get checked as well. In my state, they won’t treat you unless you give them a name of who you might have infected or who may have infected you. Freaking out and PISSED, I got myself checked not once but twice and I was NEGATIVE. At first I was relieved of course but then something slowly dawned on me: he had already KNEW he had the STD when he came back for those two days. He had wanted to infect me so that he could BLAME me….but his fucking plot backfired when, thankfully, it didn’t happen. Sure enough, a month later he shows up, BEGGING me to believe that he had no clue HOW he got that STD and he heard that you can be BORN with it and blah blah blah. I was so disgusted by not only the STD itself but by the way he probably got it and the kind of sleazebag (most likely a guy) he got it from…so sickened by the thought, in fact, that I just let it go, choosing to forget it instead of listening to the ridiculous lie. After that, I periodically (and secretly) checked myself so he learned his fucking lesson on his end although I’m sure he kept being a sleazebag because they just can’t help themselves. Here’s my point: check yourself. Your intuition is always right, sister. Even if you can’t prove it and have no way to even begin to do that, you’re STILL right.

      I know it’s depressing and if you read through the comments here, you will see a zillion stories that are just too close for comfort. It’s like we all lived the same life with just some slightly different than others. But your story and mine – pretty much identical. It just is what it is.

      Please, if you can, download my book When Love Is a Lie from Amazon because you will see yourself on every page. It details my relationship and it also explains how I mentally got myself out of it…how it ended and how I survived it. Please read it – it will empower you, I promise. We’re all in the fight together, sister, so don’t feel alone.

      Stay strong and write anytime!

      Zari xo

      • Nat

        December 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm Reply

        The guy I’ve spent the last 7 months living with started behaving odly a few weeks ago after I had taken him back for being aggressive. He would go missing turning off his phone, was secretive, telling me he was going to bed early only to find him online and then denying it!! I tried to end it and he cried, we decided to try and then he spoke to me like shit on the Thursday so again we argued and I said we needed to part only again came the tears, I truly believed he loved me. How stupid am I the day after it was over and he was leaving all this on the phone whilst he was at work. So I packed his stuff and put it outside his work, he called me a whore?? And then got really nasty shouting the police drove past and h ran over to them saying I was harrasing him. He tried to get me arrested! All the time I just wanted the truth and now he won’t take my calls. I’m a mess, we had Christmas planned, how do I get over this. I know he’s with someone, I’m not eating or sleeping I’m a complete mess

        • Zari Ballard

          December 24, 2014 at 12:30 am Reply

          Hi Nat,

          I am sorry you are going through this. The scenarios that you describe sound amazingly like ghosts of my own Christmases past! Let’s see, as I describe in the article, my ex had me served with a restraining order on Xmas Eve one year and “pretended” to be on the phone calling the cops during numerous fights where I was calling him out on his behavior. Yes, it’s pretty sickening. And it’s amazing how, even while they’re crying and carrying on, begging us to come back, we STILL can’t kick the nagging feeling that they’re with someone else. The reason for that, of course, is because we’re right – OF COURSE they’re seeing someone else. It’s what they do – juggle relationships – and they’re fairly good at it. And when we call them out on it, we’re whores. OF COURSE!!!

          Look, if you haven’t read my book When Love Is a Lie, please download it from Amazon and read it tonight. It’s a cheap read and you will see yourself on every page. It will confirm and validate every suspicion you’ve ever had. The bottom line, girl, is that you KNOW what’s up and you just need to get out. Block his phone so he can’t call or text you. Cut off all avenues of communication. If he comes to the door, don’t answer it. If he leaves a note, rip it up. As you’ll read in the book (which is all about my 13-year nightmare), I would make myself nuts, not eating or sleeping, trying to get him to answer the phone, leaving desperate voice mails, making midnight drive-bys…..and I’d do it all after catching HIM doing something behind my back. He would punish ME for catching HIM. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Stop the insanity. Take the reigns and turn his silent treatment into your No Contact. It’s the only way to save the rest of your life.

          Stay strong and get the book….you’ll be so glad you did!

          Zari xo

  • Christine

    December 6, 2014 at 12:26 am Reply

    Congratulations on the weight loss, but please only do it for yourself and not for this guy, who isn’t worth it. No one can ever truly please these narcs and these narcs will always find SOMETHING to criticize. I’m a size 2 and mine always told me I was too skinny and criticized me for not eating enough. I know a girl who’s a model and absolutely gorgeous, and her boyfriend will tell anyone within earshot what an idiot she is. Whether you’re tall, short, big, small, whatever…the narc will find something to nitpick and there’s no way to “win” with them. It isn’t really about the person being criticized, but about the narc tearing down that person’s self-esteem to gain control.

    I cringe when I think about the desperate measures I took to keep mine with the new wardrobe, makeup, etc. I even sent him a “hot” photo of me in a bandage dress while I was out on the town with friends (which he claims he never got. Whatever). I feel better after going no contact and not trying to meet his needs any more. I still treat myself to new clothes and beauty products once in a while, but now it’s only for ME (and I’ve even gotten some things that I like but that I know he would have hated, since I no longer live for him). Please do yourself a favor and take the focus OFF him and ON to yourself again.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 6, 2014 at 9:54 am Reply

      I forwarded this to Chachi….

    • Chachi

      December 7, 2014 at 3:20 am Reply

      back in January when I started my diet, I wasn’t talking to him. I had done the no contact bit. In march while out walking i bump into him and have been talking off and on ever since. If i was losing weight so he would come around and like me, I would have gone off my diet a long time ago. He has told me right out… fat or thin, I am still going to be Chachi to him. I have concluded he is gay. it is the only thing that makes sense to me.

      • Christine

        December 8, 2014 at 4:29 am Reply

        Chachi, he doesn’t even sound like he’s worth talking to off and on, or in any capacity…not sure if he’s a narc or garden variety jackass but no matter what, not worth your time. Well, no matter what his size he’ll always be an ass not worth your fab self!

        • Chachi

          December 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply

          you’re right, he isn’t worth the time talking to…he’s back to ignoring my text messages AGAIN. only this time I haven’t texted him telling him he’s a fucking piece of shit for ignoring me. This time I haven’t let him know I am upset that he’s ignoring my texts. I think he WANTS me to text him and show him I’m pissed off. I think he enjoys making me upset. I wrote in my cell phone instead of his name, I wrote, he doesnt care so the next time i want to text him, I will see that instead of his name and will be reminded not to bother texting him cuz he doesnt care. when he was texting me, He said he is mailing me a picture of himself for my christmas gift. so maybe he will send a card like i did but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for one in case he doesn’t. I’m curious if he will ever text me ever again. I always had to text him first and initiate the texting. I’m not gong to do that anymore and see what happens, if anything happens. i think I spend so much time on this loser cthere is no other man in my life. I think once i meet somebody I will forget about this asshole

      • Christine

        December 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm Reply

        You already know you’ve got to cut this guy off Chachi. Zari has addressed this stupid texting game in her articles on here. My own feeling is that he might be ignoring your texts because he’s just checking on your status in his queue–to see if you’ll be available later on as a back up plan should his other situation not work out (cringe saying that but really do think that’s what he may be up to). Or, he’s playing his mind games again and enjoys throwing you off balance, to feel like he’s in control. Whatever it is, it’s something underhanded and manipulative. I say block his number. When I blocked mine and took him contacting me off the table, it’s given me such peace of mind NOT to wonder if/when he’ll do so. And when you’ve dealt with this crap there will be other better men out there!

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