Narcissists & The Silent Treatment

silent-teatment-narcissistNarcissists will invoke the silent treatment for days, weeks, and longer with no explanation as a way to control and demoralize their partners. Narcissists are fond of using the Silent Treatment as a cruel (but not unusual) punishment for you doing nothing wrong at all and, from experience, I can tell you that the affect of this method of passive-aggressive control is sheer torture. The first time it happened to me, I felt as lost, sad, and helpless as the puppy in the picture. I thought my ex surely must be dead on the side of the road to not have called me for three days. Well, those three days turned into six weeks. Little did I know that that particular silent treatment was the first of literally hundreds to come. I simply couldn’t believe that anyone could do something like that on purpose to a person that they supposedly cared about.

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My ex-N of 12-years executed a narcissistic silent treatment, on an average, about every 3-6 months (and, during one stretch, even every two weeks),  depending, I assume, upon how his other sources of supply were faring. Each silent treatment would last anywhere from two to three days to six weeks to six months before he hoovered back or before my begging at his door and endless onslaught of desperation letters forced him to give in. The Silent Treatment, for my ex and for many others, is a powerful narcissistic ploy and/or tactic and it gets the point across.

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No matter how he goes about it or why it happens or when it happens, the Silent Treatment always sucks. The fact that the victim of a narcissistic partner rarely knows why they are receiving the silent treatment only compounds the mental torture. I remember reading an article where the writer described the narcissist’s silent treatment as particularly demoralizing because the N is clearly making a statement – in unspoken terms, of course – that you, the recipient, aren’t even worth acknowledging…aren’t worth a moment of his time…that, in fact, you are a worthless piece of shit on his shoe.  How true that is? We all get the point and fast!

“How long will the Silent Treatment last?” is always the big question. Will it go on for a day, a week, a month or even longer? Keeping us in the dark about when it will end (or even why it’s happening) is an intentional strategy designed to create as much anxiety as possible in the recipient. And it does. The longer it lasts, the worse the separation anxiety becomes and the more likely you are to feel depressed, jealous, confused, isolated, unworthy etc. The more desperation we feel, the harder it is to follow the no contact rule and to give up the need for closure. We become the puppet and the Narcissist, the Puppeteer.

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The silence is meant to hurt you. It is meant to teach you a lesson. And, make no mistake, the silence is always a way for the narcissist to buy himself some free time for being with someone else or for hustling up new sources of supply.

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Most victims  – myself included – will describe the days and weeks of silence as an agonizing torture that leaves us broken and desperate, willing to try anything and everything to get a response. If this means apologizing for the sole purpose of apologizing even though we know have done nothing wrong, then so be it. When you’re in the thick of it, the pain of the silence is far worse than the pain of being a doormat. Meanwhile, the narcissist goes on about his/her business until, for whatever reason, he feels his victim have been punished enough or the girl he’s seeing does something he doesn’t like. When this happens, he will usually return offering no explanation – or at least no logical explanation – and he will expect to pick up right where he left off and as if he’d never been gone.  So dismantled and dejected, the victim often demands no answers anyway, keeping her mouths shut and choosing, instead, to revel in the fact that her anxiety has passed. This particular response, by the way, is an intended result of the silent treatment so that the N gets away with the entire debacle. This is just another narcissistic strategy for managing down our expectations so that we expect less and less and he gets away with more and more.

Understand that a partner using the Silent Treatment for any type of punishment – let alone one for a crime not committed – is not normal under any circumstances. When a narcissist uses the silent treatment, it is just one more requirement he has filled in the overall pathological relationship agenda. No one ever deserves to feel unworthy of attention or undeserving of love and loyalty. No one …not even one time.

In my book, Stop Spinning, Start Breathing, I devote an entire chapter to a step towards recovery that I call Silence Appreciation. By learning to actually appreciate the silence given and by using the time wisely as yet another step towards mentally freeing oneself from the narcissist, you’re life will begin to make miraculous changes. It did for me and I know it can for you as well….

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  • A Therese

    February 10, 2014 at 4:29 am Reply

    Hi Zari, wondering if you received my post sent 8 Feb 2014. Awaiting your reply to post. Thanks 🙂

    • Zari

      February 11, 2014 at 12:25 am Reply

      Yes, I certainly did and will be posting a reply today so be sure to look for it. Been away from the site for a few days working on podcasts and am now catching up:)

      Zari xxoo

  • A Therese

    February 8, 2014 at 11:56 am Reply

    PLEASE HELP…! After reading all these posts it seems like I am in fact dealing with a N but need your opinion and advice to confirm this. We met on an online dating site about 4 months ago. He sent me a contact request in which I accepted after a few days delay. We had a nice chat and I was drawn to the way he communicated with me but my only issue at the time was that he was separated from his wife and I didn’t want the hastle of dealing with a married man. He tried to continue chatting online over the course of the few next days but I ignored him and then deleted him! Well!! Let me say that I have never been pursued online the way he pursued me! He kept sending me contact requests every single day which I ignored for about 3 weeks. I finally succumbed one night and started to chat with him again online. He told me he would wait for me every single night to respond to him. He knew the times i would login and logout. He told me then and there that he thought there was an instant connection and would go off the dating site if i would go off the dating site. I agreed. We ended up having a telephone conversation the next day and I fell hook line and sinker for him. From that moment on he sms’d and called me every day and chatted for almost 3 hours every night. This went on for about 2 weeks. He then started bringing the issue of sex into our conversations and I had to keep telling him that i felt uncomfortable and that it was inappropriate. Anyway he told me that he needed physical contact and that he and I wouldn’t work. We were scheduled to meet for the first time a few days later but he commenced with the silence treatment. I gave in and contacted him and we did meet up. He came bearing gifts of chocolate and was smooth and very charming and the chemistry was electric! So……. 4 months on…. in the short time I have known him he has disappeared in and out of my life with silence…initially the silence game went for a few days and the longest to date was 9 days. Being new to this treatment I thought he had psychological issues as his mood would swing! On one occasion he made arrangements to catch up for a second date. The plan was that we would have dinner on the Sat night and would spend all of the Sunday together. On the Friday prior I made arrangements to drop into his office to see him but I cancelled out on him as i was too tired from lack of sleep. Well! I got the silent treatment! I also noticed he went back on the online dating site on the Friday afternoon which really pissed me off! I did the same and went back onto the dating site on the Friday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday passed without hearing from him. I was on the online dating site on Monday and he sends me a contact request which I ignore. He the sends me a sms saying “what the F… is going on??? You stand me up on Sat and Sun…i don’t hear from you??’ I ignored his sms. The next day on Tuesday I was inundated with his phone calls every 10-20 minutes starting at 9am. He rang and rang and rang until I finally sent him an sms telling him to ‘Stop!!!! Please do not contact me ever again’. I did not hear from him for 2 weeks but I gave in and phoned him because I missed him. Communicating with him was electric…he was magnetic! But he started playing the silence games here and there. He used the mobile trick on me twice saying his battery was dieing, At Christmas time he was so generous buying so many gifts for me and my family. On Christmas day I woke up to no message from him. I sms’d him a Merry Christmas and his reply was cold! I thought now what the hell is wromg with him! He twisted a conversation we had on Christmas eve saying I was more interested in my ex than I was with him. Hence the silent treatment for the rest of Christmas day. I wrote back telling him he has twisted the conversation and that i no longer could handle all his drama!! Soooo the on and off contact has been consistent. He has always wanted to have sex with me but I have never given in…. I did however send him….wait for it…nude pics which he initiated by sending to me. I haven’t heard boo from him simce sending him the pics! It’s been over 1 week now. I have however had some odd phone calls during this silence period though and am suspecting he may be behind these contact calls. The first call that came in a few days ago was silence in the other end after I said hello 3 times. My hellos were very chirpy and happy! The second call was a wrong number call to me from a man. It just seemed contrived and I instantly felt like my N was behind it. He has used another friend in the past to get to me. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS MAN… I will not make any contact with him!

    • Zari

      February 11, 2014 at 12:59 am Reply

      Hello friend,

      Welcome to the world of narcissism! Yes, this guy has all of the signs of a textbook narcissist/sociopath whose playground of choice is the world of online dating. PLEASE…save yourself a good portion of the pain AND DO NOT EVER HAVE SEX WITH HIM. It appears, to me, that this particular N is extremely comfortable working the online dating sites and I’m sure, if you really looked hard, you’d find him on many other sites besides the one where you found him. I also am fairly certain that he is STILL married and in no way SEPARATED from anyone – hence, the silence at Christmas for the simple reason that he’s expected elsewhere for the holidays. In fact, each time he’s silent, you can safely assume he’s with his wife or juggling another person online.

      My ex (the N from my books) would also ring incessantly every ten minutes or so for whatever reason he found handy. Many N’s will do this periodically and there’s a good reason for this: it makes the forthcoming silence all the more deafening. And, believe me, you can almost wage money on the fact that after every angry flurry of phone calls there WILL be a silence. It’s all part of the plan. Make no mistake, nothing a narcissist does – or says – is random. Every word and every action is calculated for maximum effect according to the narcissistic pathological relationship agenda. And I would bet that, yes, your N is behind every odd wrong number, hang up, and what have you that happens up until the next point of contact. Those instances are intended to do exactly what they are doing to you right now….to make you wonder hmmmm, is it or isn’t it?. By performing an anonymous “hoover maneuver” every once in awhile, he figures he can keep you in the loop.

      From the sound of your post, you know exactly what’s going on. Your intuition is spot-on as far as I can see. Continue to trust yourself and stay as far away from possible from this monster. He will suck the life out of you if you let him. In fact, I would, if at all possible, stay away from the online dating scene altogether. The online world is filled to the brim with narcissists because it serves as an easy way to lead double and triple lives. Unfortunately, chances are high that the next guy you meet online will be one as well.

      Be grateful that you never had sex with him. Continue to stay strong, stay educated on the subject, and STAY AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM THIS DUDE. Be sure to keep us updated!

      Zari xxoo

  • Cheryl

    January 31, 2014 at 8:39 pm Reply

    I’m beginning to think I have heard the last from my narc. He knows that I know he is a narcissist and I believe this is why he is giving me the silent treatment because I pointed out his flaws to him. I’m certain he has found a woman or a man who has replaced me, he no longer needs me in his life and I believe he has truly moved on this time. It hurts knowing I am no longer needed and wanted. And there is nothing I can do to get him to make contact with me

  • Dixie

    January 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm Reply

    I have just spent a year with another jerk N – but the first one took me 8 years to escape from … This one 8 months – YAY !! It’s no less devastating irrespective of the time you are together – it’s hideous whichever way you look at it. I have just read both your books and felt I had written every sodding page ! Brilliant and incredibly helpful in validating just how I feel and that it’s ok to feel everything …. And it’s also ok to understand that people that haven’t gone through have NO IDEA what these N are about ! Please keep me sane through the process of NO CONTACT !

    • Zari

      January 31, 2014 at 2:13 am Reply

      Hi Dixie,

      You’re right…it matters not whether it’s 10 years, 10 months, or 10 weeks…the pain is the same…but I’m glad you escaped after just 8 months. Thank you for reading the books and my validation for writing both is always a comment like yours.:) I know you can do it! In fact, by coincidence, I just now added a new post about No Contact and my reflections on the past year (13 months of NC). I must have written it just for you – the Universe definitely conspires! You deserve only happiness in this life…never forget that….

  • cheryl

    January 29, 2014 at 2:41 am Reply


    • Zari

      January 31, 2014 at 1:24 am Reply

      It worked…your last name is erased! And I will be commenting and giving you my thoughts shortly.

  • cheryl ziehl

    January 27, 2014 at 10:10 am Reply

    I am in love with a narcissist, he is currently giving me the silent treaatment

    He and I have a friendship from a distance…we were pen pals, then we’d talk on the computer, then we’d text each other. I have feelings for him and he says he doesn’t visit me because I don’t know the difference between love and friendship. Anyway things were going fine between us until one night he invited me over to his ex girlfriends place…they were still friends and she wanted to meet me. I hadn’t seen him since 1998. He had been drinking. He was excited to see me and he told me he loves me, kissed me, said I am beautiful…in front of his ex girlfriend…I believe he was fully aware of what he was saying and doing, I believe it was purposeful. Anyway I offered to drive him home but his ex insisted he stay there for the night. I put my feelings aside when he was dating her, I wanted him to be happy. After they broke up, his ex made a point of telling me all about their sex life…I believe it was done to hurt me. Anyway after that night, he and I began texting each other and then about two months later with no warning, he suddenly stopped answering my texts. I took a hint and stopped texting him and erased him from my cell. 3 months pass and I mailed him a thanksgiving card. He continued to ignore me. At Christmas time we both mailed each other Christmas cards on the same day, this made me happy as he mailed me a card on his own doing, NOT because I sent him one first. right before new years I run into him and he told me he has a new cell phone but said it charges him 50 cents a text…he told me he would text me as soon as he got a new cell phone with unlimited texting in January. In the meantime, I bought him a couple birthday gifts and mailed them on the 14th of January. He texted me on the 16th and said thank u for the card n gifts. what a surpise. Now I have his current cell phone number. I’m not sure if it’s the one that charges 50 cents a text or if it’s a new one. anyway, I texted back saying glad you got the card and gifts. That was the last time he texted me, haven’t heard a word from him since…I thought he’d text me and tell me if he won anything on the 20 scratch tickets I gave him…or what he bought with the 20 dollar walmart gift card…yet instead he simply hasn’t made any contact with me since the 16th. I wonder if he is mad at me….I didn’t do anything wrong but I feel like he’s pissed off and that is why he has been ignoring me and hasn’t sent another text. Deep down, I’d like to be his friend and spend time with him, other friends visit me and call me and text me except for him. I imagine he has someone new in his life that is feeding his fragile ego…and this is why he doesn’t need to talk to me, he has another source of narcissistic supply. How do I let go? I’ve known him 26 years. I’m in therapy but my therapist tells me ways I may get his attention…instead of discouraging me from talking to him. I am so hurt that he hasn’t contacted me, he even ignored a letter I mailed him a few weeks ago…I know I will hear from him eventually … and when I do I should ignore him … but he has a way of sucking me back in to his game. I want so much for he and I to be friends…but nothing ever changes…am I a lost cause? I hate myself for having feelings for him. I guess that is how he wants me to feel. what can I do to help myself feel better? each day that passes by and I don’t get a text from him, the worse I feel. I just wish I knew what I’ve done wrong to deserve this silent treatment.

    • Zari

      January 28, 2014 at 4:34 am Reply

      Hi Cheryl,

      First of all, you did nothing to deserve a silent treatment. When a narcissist gives you the silent treatment, it’s either because 1) he’s up to something else with someone else and doesn’t want the other person to find out about you, 2) he’s up to something else with someone else and doesn’t want you to find out about the other person, 3) he’s confident in the fact that you’re still in the queue so he has no need to communicate until he feels, for some reason, that you’re not in the queue, or 4) all of the above. This guy is playing a game that has gone on way too long. I, too, knew my ex for over 25 years (we were a “couple” for the last 13 of those years) and that does make it hard – the history part. But you have to understand that a narcissist could care less how long you’ve known each other or how long you’ve been his friend. History together means absolutely nothing. To him, 25 years with you is like 25 minutes with anyone else. It’s sad, but very true. It took me a very long time to wrap my head around that, believe me.

      As for the cell phone thing, I used to call it The Cell Phone Game relevant to my ex because it was all about the same thing. Communication of any kind was totally at his convenience and, well, completely up to him all together. He’d change his number, turn his phone on and off, sometimes have enough minutes of service to text, sometimes he wouldn’t, blah blah blah. It’s all a bunch of crap. It’s all a lie. I can almost bet that my ex had two phones going at certain times and, by the gist of your story, I’m willing to bet the same for yours.

      The bottom line is…don’t feel bad about anything you think you might have done because you did nothing. Absolutely nothing. And you need to fire that therapist because, to me, the only type of therapist who would listen to your story and then actually try to help you figure out ways to win his attention has got to be a narcissist himself/herself. That needs to be your priority because how can you possibly even begin to get better and wrap your head around the reality of this situation when your therapist is undermining what you obviously already know in your heart of hearts to be true (or you wouldn’t be visiting this website). Seriously, that worries me to no end for you. Please, make a switch or, better yet, just stop showing up for visits (you don’t even owe that therapist an explanation) and look around for someone who can really help you…or maybe you really don’t need the help as much as you think you do. It’s clear to me that you know what you need to do.

      This guy will continue playing his games with you till the end of time if you allow it. The situation is very bizarre and extremely unhealthy in every sense of the word. You have to decide if playing this game is how you want to live the next few years of your life. He will never ever change no matter how sweet you are to him or how good a friend. Why? Because he likes it just the way it is. He is a narcissist through and through and you deserve better, girlfriend!

      Stay strong and keep writing and reading! We’re all rooting for you!

      Zari xxoo

      • cheryl ziehl

        January 28, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

        I’m afraid I am in too deep with the narcissist I speak of…when I saw him last he asked me if I would watch his cat for him this May…he is going on a cruise with a friend he works with, plus another couple of friends that are married and his sister whom he lives with. His friend that works with him is paying for the cruise..he also bought my narcicist a car for 2 grand and my narc time paid him back. I know my narc…he will contact me again, probably not until May when he needs me. I’d like to be strong enough then to ignore him and give him the silent treatment…my therapist says narcs hate to be ignored. He always comes back and acts as if nothing ever happened between us. Ideally I’d like to tell him to go f himself but that is giving him attention. I wish I knew how I can beat him at his own game…I wish I didn’t have feelings for him…he frustrates me so much, I’ve tried suicide before.

        • Zari

          January 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm Reply

          Hi Cheryl,

          Unfortunately, there is no way to beat a narc at his own game. I’ve tried, we’ve all tried…it just doesn’t happen. Narcs are too willing to go that extra evil step that we’re not and they will always sideswipe us. And I agree that narcs hate to be ignored but only if they’re not wanting to be ignored and it sounds like your narc is quite preoccupied and probably doesn’t mind the silence right now. You need to have a little Silence Appreciation during this break and work on getting your head together. There is no guy on this entire planet worth ending your life over – narc or no narc. You are no deeper in the addiction than the rest of us have been or are still in and you need to think clearly.

          I would like to clarify a couple of things, if you don’t mind…I re-read your first letter and it says “other friends visit me and call me and text me except for him”…that’s confusing for me. I’m wondering….was this guy ever your boyfriend? I mean, was there a time when you were a couple? You also say you had a distance friendship yet you drove to meet him…so are you in the same city? How much time have you spent together in those 26 years that you feel so crazy without him? And if you hadn’t seen him since 1998, what were you doing for all those years? Had you been corresponding? I guess I’m trying to understand why you feel such a bond with this person that to have it broken would make you want to commit suicide. Were you married, engaged, or perhaps living together at some point? I feel like you’ve left a huge piece of the puzzle out and if I got a better handle on that, I could provide some more meaningful insight. I really do want to help…

          • Cheryl

            January 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm

            to answer your questions, Ed and me met when I was in high school. I went to a private high school where there was intensive counceling and a day program, I got out of the program at 7 at night. . I tried going to public school but was bullied so much, I became suicidal and said if I had to go back to that school I’d kill myself. I was hospitalized at 14 and they placed me in a foster home. I ran away and broke my arm from jumping out a window at the fioster home. My mom got custody of me again but trhe judge said I had to go to an intensive day program/school. So that is where I met Ed, he wanted more hours at the bus company so they gave him Friday nights to pick me up in his mini school van. I developed a crush on him. He asked me if I’d like to go bike riding with him over the summer …he stood me up twice. In September he stopped driving me home. I found out his last name and mailed him a letter…he had previously told me where he lived. Ed wrote back and said if I wanted to write, he’d like that. So, long story short, we wrote each other until my first boyfriend found out my feelings for ed and he wrote ed a letter without my knowledge. Ed was mad that I didn’t tell him about my boyfriend…I didn’t think it was any of his business. Anyway my boyfriend and ed were too much for me, I got sick and went three days without sleep…I wound up in the hospital and waS DIAGNOSED BI-POLAR. I stopped communicating with ed and my boyfriend. A year passed and I was living on my own…a song came on the radio that made me think of ed so I wrote him. He wrote back and we were “friends” again. I never really saw Ed, he’d write me and I’d write him. We lived 7 minutes apart. He knew I had a crush on him, when I told him, he said “I’m 25”. Once I turned 18, I pursued after him through letters. Ed would never call me and he only visited me when my mom asked him if he could fix our antenna,before we had cable. Ed wasn’t afraid of climbing a roof. My mom gave him 20 bucks each time he came down. One other time he visited me when my mentally retarded sister was in the hospital. I asked him for a hug and he gave me one. Fast forward 15 years and we are still writing each other. Then we got computers and would talk in a chat room. Ed would always argue with me in the chat rooms, I have conversations saved on my computer that he and I had. He would create chat names like Cheryl lies, kill C.z., stuff to get my attention, I always knew when he was on the chat room. Eventually he stopped using the internet, too expensive for his mom. Back to letter writing. In 1998 ed came to my apartment , I lived 2 minutes from his moms house where he llived. He took me out for coffee, it was the only date we ever had.There was one year ed and I didn’t write at all…during this time he had a girlfriend. when his mom died, I wrote to ed and ended the silence that we had between us for that year. He told me he had a girlfriend, it bothered me a lot but I never let ed know this, instead I said I was happy for him, that it’s about time he dates, etc. He began texting me while he was dating and his girlfriend eventually texted me and told me to stop texting her boyfriend, that he never texts her and that he was texting me too much. I said I’ll drop dead for ya. Ed wrote me and said to pay no attention to her, to just write him for now on as she wont know about my letters. After ed’s mom died his girlfriend moved in with him. I didn’t know this. He and his girlfriend were going away on vacation and he asked me if i’d watch his cat. I hadn’t seen him since 1998 but he trusted me to go in his house…he left me a key, we never saw each other. He paid me 10 bucks.Anyway, he sold his moms house…he didn’t tell his girlfriend, she came home to find his sisters at the house and they said she had to move out, immediately. She was left homeless. She called me and cried and cried, we were facebook friends but had never met. Anyway, she told me this was eds way of dumping her. Then she told me about their sex life, how he and she only had sex 5 times in a year, she said he never French kisses, he never told her he loves her, and he had a hard time getting a hard on. She said he has sex while wearing his bathrobe. And he lasts 2 minutes. I didn’t want to know this shit, she just blurted it all out. EVENTUALLY SHE GOT HER an apartment and was back to talking to ed. They were trying again but it didn’t work out. One night she called me …it was ed using her phone. he said she wanted to meet me, could I cone over…it was 11 at night. I went there and met her. Ed was drunk and she was getting there. Ed was nervous to see me, we hadn’t seen each other since 1998. He weas happy to see me, said he missed me, that it had been too long, he hugged me and told me he loves me and he kissed me…all the while his ex girlfriend was watching and I could tell she was getting mad. I told ed i loved him too and hugged him a few more times, he held my hand and kept saying I was his friend, he couldn’t believe I was really there. I love you just the way you are was playing on the radio…he sang it to me and said it was our song. Anyway she insisted ed stay there that night…he was in no condition to drive. I said I would drive him home, he refused to give her his keys so she refused to let him go with me. They got in an argument, she kept saying you don’t respect me, she hit him and before I got there I guess she threw a beer at him. Ed begged me to help him…she opened the door and made me leave. I didn’t sleep that night . I was confused and on cloud nine. Two days later I asked his ex girlfriend where was ed living…she said I cant tell you, he’d kill me if I did. Well, I drove to his town and drove up and down the street until I spotted the company van he drives in his driveway…I wanted to talk to ed about the other night. He wasn’t home. I wrote a letter saying I need to speak to him, it’s a matter of life and death….went back to his apartment and gave the letter to his sister, she said he was in bed sleeping. An hour later I gets a text from an unknown number, it was ed. he said whats wrong with your health…I said remember the other night…how you kissed me, said u loved me, etc..he said he was laid up in bed, he fell out of his ex’s bed and broke a rib. He said she got him drunk. He said he didn’t mean anything he said, I told him I wanted to kill myself, he said don’t let yourself get screwed up over the words of a drunk. I continued to cry and he never once called the cops to get me some help. I ended up in the hospital that night, the next day I said I felt better and they let me go home. I texted ed…I felt guilty for being suicidal. He said it’s ok, I was just venting…he said glad you are going home. About a week or two later ed simply stopped texting me…I had said in a text that I wanted to talk in person, that I had unresolved feelings…and he ignored me. I lied at said I wasn’t well, to get his attention and he answered back, I’m ok. He never asked why I wasn’t well, he only cared about him feeling ok. Anyway he ignored my text and I texted him a few more times, desperate to get a reply out of him. I became depressed and told him I guess u don’t wanna be friends, I can take a hint, I am erasing u from my cell phone. I had to delete his number, it was too tempting to text him. 3 months pass and I sent him a thanksgiving day card. no answer, more silent treatment. Then before Christmas we mailed each other a Christmas card on the same day…so he mailed me one on his own doing, not because I sent him one first. After that I wrote him one morning, just felt like it was OK to write since he sent me the card. An hour after I mail the leter, I run into ed…he is walking and I am driving. I stop and we talk and agreed that there were no hard feelings. He asked me if I would watch his cat in may as he is going on a cruise with some friends of his and his sister. I said I’d watch the cat, no problem. He said he was using a new cell phone but he hates it, it charges him 50 cents per text. He ended things by saying he will text me when he gets a new cell later this month. His birthday was January 15…I hadsnt heard from him and really wanted his cell phone number. I bought him 20 one dollar scratch tickets and a 20 dollar walmart gift card. I waited all day on the 15th for a text from him to thank me for the gifts and I got no text. I was angry and posted about it on facebook. He has friends he said that read my facebook page, one time I was talking about him and he texted me telling me to not talk about him on facebook. It’s possible he found out I posted out of anger…but I erased the post the next day. My therapist thinks it wasn’t posted long enough for anyone to see it. Anyway the next morning ed texted me and thanked me for the card and gifts, and said, what a surprise. I waited till the end of the day and then texted back, glad u got the card and gifts. Havent heard a word from him since….makes me wonder if he read my rant on facebook and is now mad at me. Ed and I have never been a copule, he’s asked me out before in a letter said he had feelings for me but couldn’t tell me till then, and then he wrote back and said he was just checking to see if I still had feelings for him. he begged me to forgive him so I did. ed never visits me, never calls me, now doesn’t text me..i keep telling myself if he liked me, he’d contact me, I’ve never stopped him from visiting. He said he don’t visit cuz I cant tell the difference between friendship and romance….what a lame excuse to get out of seeing me. I think he;s afraid of me cuz i’m bi-polar. I don’t know. My therapist says I am co-dependant…and that narcissists are attracted to co-dependants. Anyway my therapist tells me to mail ed a valentines day card and ask him if he still wants me to watch his cat this may…she said this is a way I can get his attention. I don’t think i’ll mail him a card…I want him to contact me on his own…I always think I have heard the last of ed….but eventually he contacts me. I bet he has a girl friend or some other woman or man giving him an ego boost. cuz he sure doesn’t need me. I try not to think about ed but he enters my mind every day. I have been putting my frustration out on exercising…trying to lose weight, I am a big woman, I believe this is why ed has never tried to date me. he doesn’t like me dating other people…one time an old flame called me on the phone while I was chatting with ed in a chat room. I told ed that I had a date with an old boyfriend and that I was meeting him at mcdonalds…anyway, later that night I found a mcdonald’s napkin on my windshield of my car. ed had gone to mcdonalds and left the napkin on my car as his calling card. I don’t know why he did that, he doesn’t have feelings for me, so he should care less that I had a date. I’ve dated other men over the years but my relationships never last…because of my feelings I have for ed. Call me obsessed, I think I have an addiction…a very unhealthy addiction. I want so much to get ed’s attention but I must not send that valentines day card no matter how much I wanna send it. Anyway, I’ve told you a lot. I hope ed never finds this on the internet, I’d hate for him to read this, it would feed him attention.I must not give him any attention…and IF he contacts me. I must somehow find the strength to tell him to fuck off. myn therapist says ignoring the narcissist is the only way to beat them at their own game…but I think I need to tell him to fuck off and make it more real. As for my therapoist, I don’t think she’s a narc, I think she just likes drama. I wish ed would contact me now…I hate waiting … someone is definitely giving him their attention. His ex girlfriend told me he told her that women are gross and that he only dates them because his friends date. He was drunk at the time. She thinks he may be gay. I doubt it. She also said there was a rumor that he was sleeping with his sister…they live together…he’s 51, kinda old to live with his sister…I think she was just gossiping at least I hope so. Anyway, I hope I answered all your questions and gave you some pieces to the puzzle…thanks for reading

          • cheryl ziehl

            January 29, 2014 at 12:44 am

            I sent u a reply but I don’t see it on here…..did u get it?

          • Zari

            January 29, 2014 at 1:46 am

            Yes, and I just now replied that I’m working on a reply to you. So sorry…hang in there…be back to you shortly. I was also thinking that you may want to remove your last name from the posts since you were worried about that. Perhaps sign-up again with a pen name or just your first name. It’s up to you…I don’t want you to be worried about that at all and I want you to feel free to write..

          • cheryl ziehl

            January 29, 2014 at 1:15 am

            I am replying to you again because I don’t see my last reply. Ed and me met in 1987 while I was in high school. He was my bus driver on Friday evenings…I went to a private school that lasted all day, I was bullied at public school and ended up goin g to a private school. When ed stopped driving me home, I found out his last name and wrote him a letter. He had told me where he lived. Long story short, we wrote each other letters for years…he knew I had feelings for him the whole time. He asked me to go bike riding with him when he was still driving me home. He never showed both times we were going to go bike riding. I seldom saw ed over the years although we lived near each o0ther. He kept me at arms length though letter writing. He helped my mother a couple times, he came to our house and climbed on the roof to fix our antenna before we had cable. Another time he stopped by when my sister was sick in the hospital…I asked him for a hug at this time and he gave me one. I still remember what I was wearing. over the years ed asked me out for coffee…we went. Another time he asked me to go to the drive in and to dinner with him…I wrote back saying I would. he wrote back saying he was just checking to see I I still had feelings for him. I was crushed but I forgave him. I know, stupid. I’ve dated over the years but my relationships never last, I had feelings for ed, I never could give myself completely to anyone. Anyway eventually we got computers and the letters stopped. we’d chat online. There was a year we didn’t speak. during this time he had a girlfriend. his mom died and I found out 3 months later online, I wrote him and we began speaking again. Anyway I pretended to be happy for him and his girlfriend. They lived together…I didn’t know this. Ed asked me if I’d watch his cat while he and his gf were away on vacation…I never saw ed, he left the key for me and trusted me to go in his house. After that I found out she was living with him. He sold the house and his sisters said she had to go. He dumped her just like that. She and I were facebook friends but we never met. She called me crying and told me he up and moved on her. Anyway she got an apartment and began talking to ed again, they tried getting back together I guess. One night she convinced ed to invite me over to her place, he called me using her cell phone…..I didn’t know his number. It was 11 at night I went to her place. they were both drunk. Ed kissed me, told me he missed me, hugged me, said he loves me, all in front of his ex gf. She became annoyed and anyway I left there and two days later I asked her where ed was living, I had a letter for him. she wouldn’t tell me. I drove around and found his company van he drives. I ended up giving a letter to his sister, he was in bed nursing a broken rib, he had fell when he was drunk and hurt himself. Anyway, my letter said I need to speak to u it’s a matter of life and death. That got his attention and he texted me. Now I had his number. Anyway, he said he didn’t mean any of what he said, told me to not believe the words of a drunk, etc. I became suicidal. Ed never called the cops. I wound up going to the hospital and was released the next day. I felt guilty so I teted ed and said sorry he said it’s ok I was venting. I mentioned in a text I had unresolved feelings and then he stopped answering my texts. I ended up erasing his number so I wouldn’t be tempted to text him anymore. 3 months pass, I send him a thanksgiving card. got ignored. next month we both sent Christmas cards on the same day. I write him after Christmas and run into him that same day. He asked me if I would watch his cat for him this may, he’s going away with friends on vacation. . e also said no hard feelings, etc. said his current phone charges 50 cents a text and said he would text me when he got a new phone. I wanted to get his new cell phone number so I bought him some birthday gifts and mailed them. He texted me thanking me and I texted back saying I was glad he got the gifts. haven’t heard from him since. I was angry on his birthday and posted about it on facebook. he didn’t thank me for the gifts. I waited all day. the next day is when he got the gifts and thanked me. I wonder if he saw me talking about him on facebook…that would explain the silent treatment…he’s mad at me. Or that’s what I think anyway. anyway, we’ve never dated, I’ve seen him maybe 5 times in 26 years. he says he don’t visit cuz I don’t know the difference between friendship and romance. I disagree. My therapist says I am co-dependant. said narcs like that kind of people. Anyway there’s so much more to tell and I wrote you earlier but I don’t see it posted on here which ticks me off…I wrote a lot more in depth. anyway he lives 20 minutes from me. And he never calls never visits and ignores my letters now.

          • Zari

            January 29, 2014 at 1:43 am

            Hi Cheryl,

            I’ve been writing you a reply…and thank you for sharing all that. Please give me a bit and I’ll post my thoughts for you:) Stay tuned.:)

        • Zari

          January 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm Reply

          And, real quick….you said “Ideally I’d like to tell him to go f himself but that is giving him attention”. Honestly, telling him to go fuck himself is exactly the attention you need to give him if and when he surfaces. If you have a choice between ignoring him and feeling lousy forever, giving in and getting treated like shit, or maybe finally telling him to fuck off and giving yourself a chance to move on and get better….I’d choose Door #3. Nothing wrong with that at all.

          • cheryl

            February 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

            I’ve decided to take your advice and fire my therapist…she only encourages me to stay in contact with my narc…I ended up taking the valentines day card I bought for my narc and gave it to my sister instead. I’m glad I didn’t contact him with it. I am scheduled to see my therapist on Thursday…I’m going to cancel the appointment and tell them I will reschedule at a later date. In the future if I feel I need therapy again, I will ask my doctor to refer me to someone else.

          • Zari

            February 3, 2014 at 5:16 am

            Hi Cheryl,

            Girl, I truly believe you have made an excellent decision. I have been really mulling over your story, Cheryl, and I’m sorry I haven’t responded at length. I am truly worried about you and your mindset although I do know that you know what is going on here. You already stated that you know your obsession is unhealthy and that is a breakthrough in and of itself. You are worthy of a good life and, above all else, of happiness! Do you understand that? I am so proud of you for firing your therapist. That is amazing…for you to actually let a therapist go because that therapist is encouraging what you know to be wrong behavior is to your credit and tells me that you are more grounded than even you know.

            Look, I know you care for this guy but he’s not the one for you. I’m not sure why he would do it considering you never really were a couple, but I believe he intentionally (and maybe even unintentionally) played with your head over the years and misled you. I am sorry for that and I know it is still painful to you. However, you are on the right track….it is your time to be happy and to want to live!!!!!

            Please write as often as you can and keep me updated. I am rooting for you, Miss Cheryl!!!!!

            Zari xxoo

          • Cheryl

            February 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

            Yes, he has intentionally and unintentionally led me on over the years…I guess he enjoys leading me on, for whatever reason he has. I still struggle with the no contact rule…because I enjoy talking to him…when he answers me back, I mean. Do you think he’s moved on or do you think he will contact me eventually? I believe he’s found someone new and that she has taken my place. Since I’ve not heard from him, I have started a diet and have been working out five days a week, I belong to a’s easy to diet when I feel good emotionally, like I feel now. If he contacts me, he will bring me down no doubt and I may turn to food again for comfort…I must be strong if he reaches out to me. I wish I had never bought him those birthday gifts… they got his attention just long enough for him to see I’m still into him…and then he decided to ignore my text message. I wish I knew why I am being punished…and I wish I knew if I’ll hear from him again…as for my therapist, I’ll be better off no longer seeing her. she actually suggested to me to tell ed the night he got drunk and told me he loves me and kissed me, to tell him that he got me pregnant…he supposedly doesn’t remember kissing me or telling me he loves me so my therapist said I could lie about my getting pregnant…she said it would be a way to get his attention. I knew I needed a new therapist right after she suggested that. I remember her laughing and saying “I’m so bad”…I think she feels my relationship with ed is a big joke. Anyway, I hope I can handle not seeing a therapist for a month…I will have my psychiatrist set me up with someone new when I see him in March. Thanks for caring, Zari…it’s helpful to me to vent.

          • Zari

            February 5, 2014 at 4:52 am

            Hi Cheryl,

            Oh My God!!! That therapist needs to have her license taken away!!! Maybe, even just casually, you ought to mention that “suggestion” she gave you to someone in authority like your psychiatrist. I am disgusted by the whole thing and so, so proud of you for seeing it clearly instantly. When she said that to you and then giggled, “I’m so bad”, I can only imagine what went through your mind!!!! I bet you couldn’t believe what you were hearing!! Can you imagine the damage she has probably done to others who have sat there and not had the wherewithall to know any better? I hate to even think about that. Wow.

            Anyway, you are so smart to leave her and, honestly Cheryl, it sounds to me that you “get it” and here’s why. You stated that you not only feel emotionally strong right now but that you know your efforts would automatically be thwarted by him contacting you. If you feel good enough to be exercising and dieting without contact, then NO CONTACT is the only way for you. And, btw, I envy your dieting and exercising capabilities (wish I had some!):)

            You know, don’t stress on the birthday presents. I used to do the same thing when I wanted to get the N’s attention during a silence. I used to call it “smoking him out” and it almost always worked and I almost always regretted it. Why? Because the next Discard (and there’s ALWAYS a next one) was always more painful than the last…and on and on it goes. Save yourself from future heartbreak. You say you enjoyed talking with him but what’s really in a conversation, Cheryl, when the residual bullshit is always the same? NO conversation with any man is more important than YOUR LIFE.

            And I have to say this because I want you to stay in the reality here… and the Narcissist did not really ever have a relationship as in being “a couple”. He certainly did not see it that way and you have admitted to that fact as well in a comment to me. Subsequently, the fact that he is probably “with” someone else is just what it is and does not mean that he, in effect, replaced you. So it shouldn’t even be a matter of you wondering what you have done because – aside from the fact that you haven’t done anything that warrants punishment – I honestly don’t even think that is what he is doing. The fact is that if a man and a woman are “friends” – meaning that they have not slept together but rather have maintained some sort of platonic relationship – communication is not going to be regular. If he, indeed, is involved in a relationship with someone (which it sounds like he is), the other woman is not going to be accepting of him having even a platonic relationship with you especially when it’s so obvious you have feelings for him. It’s just not going to happen. And since he has made it clear that he wants only a platonic relationship with you (despite the drunk affections displayed to you while at another woman’s house which is despicable), do not give him the satisfaction of messing with your head even every once in awhile because you know the long-term effects are not good for your mental health!!! You can’t continue to jeopardize your life based upon a handful of good conversations and a boatload of empty words…it’s just not worth it. And you ARE worth it!

            So, to answer your question, I don’t know if he will contact you. I hope and pray that he never does again because I don’t want you waiting for – what – a good conversation only to have an immediate backslide? You deserve someone so much better than that troublemaker!

            And again – KUDOS TO YOU for the excellent decision regarding the THERAPIST-WITHOUT-A-CLUE!!!:) As always, write any time!

          • cheryl

            February 7, 2014 at 2:20 am

            It would just be easier if he’d tell me he is seeing someone…the silent treatment is worse than him telling me he’s dating someone…I don’t understand why I still love him and why I miss him…I physically feel like there is a piece of me missing the longer I go without hearing from him. I don’t want to believe that I will never hear from him again…he’s always come back to me before weather it be in a letter or a card or a text. I can’t picture my life without him in it…26 years has gone by …it’s very hard to let go completely . I’ve been keeping busy with exercising and job hunting but at night my mind wanders back to wondering about Ed and how he is doing and if he ever thinks of me. Last time I saw hi he asked me if I would watch his cat for him this may while he’s on vacation and I said I would. I often wonder if he will contact me around then ..I’ve even wondered if he would hoover on valentines day just to see if I am still in love with him. I can’t picture him dating any woman for very long…how many women don’t mind dating 51 year old men who live with their sister and has to keep their car in storage for the winter months as there is no on street parking in the winter…I don’t know many women who’d date a man with no car …after he broke up with his last girlfriend he told her that he thinks women are gross and that he only dates them because his friends do. She told me he was drunk when he said it and says she thinks he may be gay…I doubt he’s gay. I new him for 26 years and he never once mentioned to me that he has a daughter…his ex girlfriend told me about her…I was in shock. When I saw Ed the night he was drunk, I mentioned her and asked him why he never told me about her and he never did give me an answer, just changed the subject.SO I guess you can never really know everything there is to know about someone. I am co-dependant and unfortunately I will probably always fall for men who are narcissists. I don’t know how to suddenly no longer be co-dependant. And I’m no longer in therapy…my therapist never called me to see about rescheduling …it’s not the first time she and I just stopped our sessions…anyway I know I need to see someone, I’ll have to inquire about seeing if I can be screened for a new therapist. I really feel hopeless as I can’t get ed off my mind. I’d give anything for him to contact me once more but I fear this time he will stay gone…

  • Emme

    January 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm Reply

    I can relate. My ex narc knows I hate the silent treatment cause I’ve told him before. Looking back I can’t believe some of things I’ve said to my ex to try & get him to respond out of desperation. I haven’t heard from him since I told his then current gf he was cheating on her with me and told her what a liar he was and told her all the lines he used to me which he probably used on her to. They stayed together about a month after that before they split and he unblocked me on Facebook. 2 weeks later he’d got him self a new gf who he’s now engaged too. It’s been 8 months since I last seen him in June. He got with his now fiancé in July and August was the last time I caved & messaged him giving him a mouthful in a dignified manner about slagging me off. I told him to forget I ever existed and to block me. Naturally the message went ignored & he never blocked me. But why did he unblock me in the first place? Supposedly he hates me, I’m a bitch blah de blah so why doesn’t he just shut me out of his life completely by blocking me or does he still consider me a fall back in the future? I don’t think so because of what I done by telling his ex gf he’d cheated etc so what’s his purpose?

    • Zari

      January 21, 2014 at 9:40 am Reply

      The N unblocked you because he wanted to see how or if you’d respond. It’s the oldest narcissistic trick in the book. He was opening the door just slightly to see if you’d take the bait. It was his way of checking up on his back-up supply to see if you were still in the queue. My ex would do the same thing by putting his old phone number back on as soon as he was done with whoever he left me for. Up until that time, his phone would be off (or he’d have a new number). He knew I’d be checking it, so when he was done, he just put it back on. The N doesn’t think in terms of shutting anyone out of his life entirely because everyone – new and old – is potential supply for the future. Even though he was mad at you for ruining his new relationship, as soon as that relationship was over, it was time for the games to begin again with whoever was up to the challenge – so you were unblocked. Eventually, his newest ex – who I’m sure is blocked at the moment – will get unblocked as well. It’s a never-ending cycle. His purpose is to be a narcissist. Everything means nothing to him. Life is a game and the more people he hurts, the closer he is to winning. You must choose not to play.

      By the way, I do think it’s pretty cool how you blew his cover to the new gf. Good for you! We all daydream about that scenario!


  • Got wise

    January 4, 2014 at 11:03 pm Reply

    From the couple of Narcs I’ve been involved with. Sorry to say, but both these male Narcs left their partners and baby/child early on. I think it’s cos they don’t get the full attention from the woman anymore as she loves her baby too.

    • Zari

      January 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm Reply

      I agree…anything or anyone who – even inadvertently – steals the show is considered useless to a narc…and this typically includes his own children, unfortunately.

  • niki

    December 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm Reply

    I just ended a relationship with I believe a N….we lived together for about 6 months he was secrative n always seemed like he was hiding something….well just recently he said my daughter n I should move back with my parents so he could get financially stable…I didn’t agree but ended up doing it either way…since then he hardly talks to me n ignores my txt mags most of the time….if I ignore him I get an ear full n he stalks my fB page…he told my parents daughter n me n his parents that he’d promise he’d be back to get us in a few months….well I have developed really bad depression n anxiety and it doesnt help that I’m 5 months pregnant….need encouragement to stick with giving him the silent treatment….. Ty!!

    • Zari

      December 17, 2013 at 12:31 am Reply

      I am so sorry to hear you are going through that. First of all, let me say that your goal in all of this (and particularly right now) should not be to give him the “silent treatment” but rather to go “no contact”. It really is two different things but I’m sure you know that. To simply be giving him the silent treatment would mean that you are playing the same game he is playing and, really, we probably don’t even know what he means by anything he’s been doing lately (except that it’s not good). To go “no contact” means just what it states – no contact whatsoever. And it also means that your intention is serious and that you want to be away from him and take care of your own life. Being pregnant is certainly an issue and I don’t know what to tell you on that except that you need to take care of yourself. Narcissists, as a rule, do not make the best parents because it’s impossible for them to really feel the love that a parent feels for a child. You must think of yourself and the baby first right now. Let him go about his business. It appears that, for the most part, he is giving you the silent treatment and if that’s the case, use it to your advantage. If you haven’t read my books, you should because I discuss Silence Appreciation in detail. Take this time to really look at your life and see what you want. I know you deserve better, girlfriend! And you can do this…you really can.

      With Love,

  • freda

    December 4, 2013 at 10:35 am Reply

    i have just purchased your book and cant wait to read it……
    kindest regards

    • Zari

      December 11, 2013 at 5:25 am Reply

      Thank you, Freda. I am going to contact you so we can chat…please bear with me. It’s been a busy season with Narcissist Abuse, I’m sad to say. I wish we could all just get together at one time! LOL



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