February 2013

Alexandra Nouri lives in the USA.  She’s the snark and trouble behind four books —

So. You’re in Love With a Narcissist

Toads, and The Women Who Kiss Them. Aunt Alex’s Army Manual: How to Free Yourself From the Narcissist

Mending the Mirror: What Science and Medicine Have to Say About Fixing the Narcissistic Personality, In Plain English

Gales Ferry: a novel

She begs you to do everything you can to stay with the narcissist, as this helps keep him away from the rest of us.  She can be reached at alexandranouri@gmail.com.

77 Responses to About

  1. Alexa

    Thanks for keeping me strong. It’s tough but you’re blogs are a big help!

  2. You stay strong, Girlfriend; we’re here for you when you need someone to have your back!


  3. Stephanie P

    Hi Alex
    I just wanted to thank you. It sounds dramatic but I actually credit you with saving my life or at least my sanity.

    I was in a relationship for 5 years with a narcissist. I was warned before I got together with him by a mutual friend who was a mental health social worker that he had a PD but I didn’t listen. I didn’t really know what that meant.

    And for 5 years I was abused and made miserable and….you know the rest.

    Anyway, we were about to fly to Spain on holiday about 18 months ago when finally a switch flicked in my head and I kicked mine out. I’d found out he’d lied again and when I confronted him I just got a whole load of abuse. Over that weekend, which I spent a wreck on my sofa (he went to Spain anyway) I found your essay “So you’re in love with a narcissist?”

    It was that that made me see what I’d been living with. When he got back from Spain, he tried to get in touch but I went ‘no contact’. I carried your essay with me everywhere I went and if I was tempted to get in touch I got your article out instead. He tried a few times out of the blue 6 and 12 months later but I managed to not respond.

    So thank you thank you thank you for writing that essay. Occasionally I say a little thank you to the mysterious Alex Nouri for posting that essay online. I’m really glad to have found your blog (whilst I was searching for your essay for someone else) so I could thank you in person.

    And I love the bumper sticker!

  4. daneillefairchild

    Today is day 37 of my exodus from a 2 year affair with a narcissist. (I only recently figured out that was what I was dealing with a narcissist.) Reading your postings today (and laughing out loud from the right-on nature of your humor) has be so cathartic. I found myself thinking, “How does this person know my exact experience?” What a relief to know I’m not alone and I’m not crazy. Thank you so much for your blog. What a gift it is to me as I find myself again and live into my newfound freedom and liberation. Knowing that he isn’t just a mean asshole, but a sick and twisted and unfixable boy has been hugely healing. Much appreciation and gratitude!

  5. Michelle Parnell

    I love Love Love you! They way you attach humor to such a difficult situation.

  6. guy alex

    please? eight more like her? thank you for making me laugh!

  7. Paula

    Thanks, Alex, for telling it like it is. I’ve been studying up on anything I can get my hands on about narcissists and psychopaths since last fall, after the lightbulb came on about the exN/P (who introduced me to his cousin, who I ended up marrying – yeah, it’s complicated, but the bonehead did secure his narcissistic supply until I went NC, screw the family ties). Your blog is the first I’ve found that treats the “narcissism experience” with humor, yet chilling accuracy.

    I have a feeling I will be rereading your entire blog until I have a handle on dealing with his numerous enablers (which unfortunately include my husband, to some extent). Like, seriously, all of these people have known the N/P for 30 years and talk about his “quirks”, but no one is connecting the dots yet… It’s so sad it’s almost funny.

  8. Michelle

    Found your blog last night, and read every entry! Wow, I laughed and could relate to every word. You are spot on with your descriptions of these demons masquerading as human beings.

    I am in the process of divorcing the narcissist I was married to for 21 years. I am still stunned when I think of all he put me through. The pain is unbelievable, but I just keep holding on to the knowledge that I can move forward and heal.

  9. Tracy

    I needed that, much like a stiff drink after dealing with these demons straight from hell! They are growing in numbers. They have come to steal, kill and destroy us…devils!
    Keep writing, educating others and saving so many lives.

  10. Donna

    Alex, I’ve read and researched a plethora of info about these people. After 4.5 years of an internet ‘romance’ with one, I am finally accepting and at peace that he is completely nuts and oh so predictable. The lights have come back on in my brain and heart at last! PLEASE keep writing your articles–they offer comfort, support and the ability to laugh at how completely insane these bozos are and that nothing is wrong with us, the ones who have wasted time trying to love them into normalcy. God Bless You!!

  11. Tatiana

    Thank you – really. For finally making me laugh about this very sad and real confusing situation in my life. My N broke up w me 3 months ago after a 2.5 yrs and started to date a new girl after 2 weeks of breaking up. From what I understand he is deep in love and in a very serious relationship w her… Its been 3 months! Until I started doing research and educating myself – this has been a dark abyss of blaming myself for the break up and for not being strong enough to “move on”… Thank you as I have been crying, depressed and again blaming myself now for not seeing the signs. Always blaming myself. Thank you for creating strength in humor in a respectable and empowering way to victims of emotional abuse. Thank you!!

  12. Tera

    I have a question for Alex or anyone else who has knowledge of this. Is it common for a narcissist to have the image of a “good guy”? I would never have considered my husband the typical N because he seems like a do- gooder (volunteering in the community, super-nice to everyone, etc.), but there is a definite lack of any real empathy for others and has never been any real intimacy in our 15 year marriage. After him having an “emotional” affair last year, his therapist told me that he was splitting and projecting: he could only see himself as “all good” and therefore any bad things he did he had to project onto me. My therapist is now telling me that she is assuming (but will not make a clinical judgment because she’s only seen him a few times and is not his official therapist) he has a high level of narcissism.

    Anyway, just wondering if this Nice Guy image is common? He never takes the blame for anything, always finds a way to make it my fault and does a marvelous job allowing the world to only see his “good” side.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  13. “Anyway, just wondering if this Nice Guy image is common?”

    Very. Every narcissist pretends to be something he’s not, and every narcissist pretends to be a fabulous guy. Not just great, but uniquely awesome; just agreeable, but… NICE.

    Too good to be true. And with narcissists, that’s the truth.

  14. Viv

    Like your comment about staying with the narcissist so he/she will stay away from others. Unfortunately my experience of narcissists is they are never satisfied with one person and tend to secretly have a whole gaggle of suppliers tucked away in a kind of bicycle wheel structure where they have access to every spoke but there is no link to each other- so less chance of comparing notes and kicking him/her to the curb. x

  15. Viv

    Tera, ‘is this nice-guy image common’ – yer, like is the Pope Catholic ! The narcissists I have met have all donned the sheep’s clothing to hide the wolf underneath. Little Red Riding Hood bumped into one and was conned into believing the wolf (narcissist) was her cuddly, caring grandmother until he got her into a vulnerable position and pounced. If he was honest and said I’m a wolf 99.9% of people would run for the hills and he would go hungry, hence the I’m harmless, cute, misunderstood, victimised (pretend boy) – it works like a dream that’s why they use it. x

  16. I can see clearly now....

    Thanks for your replies, Alex & Viv. I can see things so much more clearly now. When my therapist first introduced the idea that husband might have high level of narcissism, the idea seemed absurd. Everybody knows that he’s “such a nice guy!” Over the last couple months, through a crisis situation that has magnified his lack of empathy and extreme self-centeredness, I have begun to see his actions through a different filter. Now the hardest part will probably be watching my kids learn this for themselves over the next 5 or 10 years.
    Thanks for this website, Alex. It’s informative AND puts a smile on my face.

  17. Lonnie

    I can’t thank you enough for this – really. Dumped and discarded and I didnt even see it coming. Now I know, and your writing was the first that made me laugh and actually helped. Please keep on, you made a difference for me, and you just gave me some strength.

  18. Kim

    Alexandra – I just found your wonderful site/blog and am reading, laughing and crying all at the same time and wonder how it is that everyone seems to be in the same relationship with the guy I had? Nope – they are all different men – just the same behaviors. Identical. I mistakenly gave my man a second chance. After he broke things off with me. During the break-up he was hoping I would call/text/email beg/plead/cry….which I never did. Ever. Instead I went No Contact for the wrong reason. Not to heal, but to get him to want me again. I had no idea who I was dealing with. Six weeks into the NC, he texts me out of the blue asking for advice, help with another relationship. Instead of becomming un-glued – I simply gave him the advice, and left. Then…all of the “I miss you, want you, need you, think of you…think of our life together” comments came. I got sucked in and gave him a second chance. At us. Well – we became intimate and as he kissed me goodbye at the airport – I had NO IDEA that it was goodbye forever. I never never heard from him again. As if I were wiped off the face of the earth. The hurt is deep and I cannot figure out for the life of me how he could do this? Then, I read up on narcissism and every description is him EVERY ONE! It has been 3 weeks and I stil think about him. And so hoping he is miserable without me.

  19. sad victim

    Dear Alexandra, I have linked your blog at my blog. Please may I know if I have your permission for this. Found your blog via http://elissestuart.wordpress.com
    My blog is here: http://galbtdt.blogspot.com/

  20. Go for it! And keep up the good work spreading the word.

    Now, let’s work on getting you to a place where you’re not a sad victim anymore. :-)

  21. Love your writing… you are a true inspiration

  22. AM

    I was wondering if there is any advice for those of us unfortunate enough to have to keep dealing with our Narc because we have very small children with them and they are trying to get custody of them….help any help would be appreciated! Particularly in dealing with the custody issues.

  23. DK

    For AM,

    I fought a 2 year custody battle with XN. I prevailed with legal custody of our children. Use the court system (albeit it’s admittedly a nightmare too) as your arsenal. Don’t wait to get a Guardian Ad Litem and/or a Psych Eval. Don’t expect the N will do anything concilliatory when it comes to the kids. He never did, I imagine. He never will. You have declared war on the N. Ns have no mercy, so you need to do the right thing by your kids, keep accurate records and a digest of EVERYTHING that he does that road-blocking or disrupts the kids schedules, school, etc. Ns are so arrogant they will bury themselves with their own misdeeds, and still turn around and accuse you them. Remember that you know the difference between reality and the world of illusion swirling around in an Ns head. This is critical. Stay matter-of-fact. Only make contact when it is an EMERGENCY. Otherwise, beg, borrow and steal your way through so you don’t have to contact. Contact = Opportunity for the N to control. This is a tough road, very tough. I’ve travelled it. I survived it. Many of us have. You can do it. Persevere and know that the N is mentally ill, can’t help himself, and will eventually lose in court if you stay cool, calm and collected (this is way easier said than done. I’ve lost it on more than one occassion – we non-N humans have a range of emotions, so give yourself a break sometimes). Be good to you. This will spillover to your kids. Good luck!!!!!

  24. AM

    Thank you for the great advice. I am unfortunately currently preparing for a battle for custody. He wants 50/50 arrangement which I won’t agree to so now the back and forth begins. My lawyer is confident since his father sexually abused him and we now have the notes from his counselor that prove he was watching my teenage daughter take showers through a hole in the wall so he can no longer deny his actions that we have enough so that we will not have a 50/50 joint arrangement but temporary arrangement of every other weekend and a few hours one night a week we have currently which I still find almost unbearable. It is impossible for me to fathom that I must continue to endure his tortures for at least another 14 years until our children are grown and then to try to undo the damage he inflicts upon them also…the task is endless….thank you for this wonderful forum of support.

  25. Leslie

    Thank you so much for this blog. It’s a life saver. I left two days ago. I’ve been going back and forth for 3 years. Promises, promises, promises he never keeps to be respectful and not verbally abusive, and than he starts a fight. I thought I was being overly sensitive to critisism…yeah right!

    I am starting from nothing. I had to leave my horse and couple of cats until I can get a job and make arrangements for them. I think No Contact would work best for me. Any suggestions on how to communicate about the animals since it will take a couple of weeks to a month maybe or so to make arrangements for them.

  26. Thelma

    Dear Aunt Alex, Bravo!!! You’re awesome, you’re the Lizabeth Salander of Narcissist abusers. If I were gay I’d be hot for you. Thank you for wading out in the bog with a lantern. Who knows how many countless women you have saved and are saving from toad excrement, and making them laugh into the bargain. Just ordered your books on Kindle.

    Thanks again, your new BFF.

  27. Carrie

    Alex you are a lifesaver! 13 years of marriage to my N. He had not only me but all of my family and friends convinced that he was a good guy. As enormous as this pain is right now I KNOW I need to be strong no matter what. Thank you so much for all of your wisdom support and practical advice! And to all of the other woman going through this- we will get through it!

  28. Hey ! There is an award out there that isn’t a typical award…It’s the ADDICTIVE one & is hard to resist. I nominated you here http://iconicallyrare.com/2012/09/22/the-thing-about-awards/

  29. Penelope

    I’m surrounded by toads… my ex boyfriend, my Dad, my brother… all major Narcissists! I actually thought that a narcissistic toad = a man but now I realise that not all men behave this way… phew!

    Toads are dangerous animals that shouldn’t be able to wander amongst loving, caring women and wreak their destruction.

    When my ex N was pretending to be upset and sad with a big grin on his face I would say nope… that’s the wrong expression for that emotion, keep practising in front of the mirror honey! Ugh!

    Aunt Alex you are the best! I’m sending you lots of love and thanks for making me laugh and exposing the toads and decoding toad behaviour!

  30. I’m in counselling after getting involved with a man who promised me everything, but would not break off an existing relationship, and I eventually found out he was cheating on us both with someone else too.

    Your books and blog posts have got through to me like nothing else has and there are not enough “thank you”s in the world to express how grateful I am for the strength you have helped me find to break away from this man. You also made me realise that thinking I had brought this on myself is pointless and just plain wrong.

    Although ignoring his messages is so hard and sometimes I feel like I can’t get out of bed, I know things will get better and I’m determined to be toad-free from now on. Onwards and upwards!!!



  32. Lisa

    Here’s a good one for everyone…Do you think you are dating a N when you are in the midst of a major career change, living alone, going through menopause, having a mother who just had a lung transplant who is the N queen, and experiencing a deep isolation and sadness that seems hopeless therefore you reach out to him asking for support and guess what…He says he will come and “take care of you” and then he promises to call you the next morning. The call never came and why? He was too busy engaged in an auction online to win a camera lens. Girlfriend tanking or auction, what is the priority here? When he does show up, I so ever gently ask him to call when he says he will. The crap hit the fan and then I come home after telling him the evening before, it was difficult to wrap my head around being deceived. He said that I was making up a “tall tale” in my head and he could not believe I was upset over him hiding spending time his time with a “family friend” that happens to have verbally tried to seduce him and yes it is a gay man that has wedged his way into being great friends with his mother, who my N guy lives with. Here’s the best part, he leaves a note on my kitchen table telling me “not to look too much into the timing of his departure” that is after I confronted him with being accountable, he just felt I was attacking him and he had to “save himself” and leave because he was being attacked. He promptly drove home to his mother’s. Funny thing he is 60 years old and lives with his mother because he does not have a steady income to sustain himself. To his network of friends, he is such a compassionate human being, doing all these nice things for people in need, very charming, entertaining, and of course handsome. Why who would ever think he was so emotionally cruel??? By the way, no gifts for me during special occasions. You know why, he just didn’t have the time. Of course not, he is too damn busy on the internet shopping for crap for himself. How in the freakin world did I end up being so manipulated and having my feelings minimized and everything projected back at me??? They are masters at deception. Charming the socks off anyone or thing that will adore and praise them. GO AWAY and STAY AWAY!!!

  33. Cheri

    After 12 years of marriage and with a darling child and another on the way, I put my N out of the house. I ran out of energy for doing the right thing by him…our marriage… and decided to spend all my resources raising our children. Our lives have only gotten better and better. I did spend time trying to “co-parent” which only made my children anxious and miserable. Through countless hours reading and researching along with counseling, I discovered the root of our problem… my misunderstanding of love and boundaries along with his inability to be human. As I practiced firm and consistent boundaries, he gave me trouble since he HATES the idea of not having free access to use people… and he still tests and pushes boundaries occasionally. It’s been six and a half years. Since being a parent is, in itself, a selfless, thankless act, he has very little interest in our children except to show up in public places and make HUGE declarations of love. He feeds his personal cult slander about me and how I have victimized him by disallowing him to see his children. (Actually, I just insist on consistent, predictable contact and don’t allow him to just show up nor do I give him the chance to not show up by letting him make empty promises). Nonetheless, Christmas and birthdays are stressful because he and his dysfunctional family try to “push” in and disrupt holiday plans. At no other time of the year do they even bother to call to see how the children are doing, but they expect me to drop everything to schedule a visit with them. The N will ramp up his manipulation to get what he wants… just won’t show courtesy, just won’t respect boundaries, but tries to trick his way into our holiday. So, it was WONDERFUL to discover your books today and your website. I was especially strengthened to find your phrase “emotional generosity” which is guilt-releasing and empowering in seeing myself as someone able to offer others… just not toads. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  34. Mrs. G

    Found your site today at just the right stage of my exodus. A million zillion thanks to you and your commenters. Years ago there was a phone-company ad with the tagline “Reach out and touch somebody” – it came to mind when I felt that your sanity had reached out and braced up what’s left of mine. The expression “Narcy-pants” has now become part of my lexicon, and I apologize for releasing yet another one back into the general population. He’s in his late sixties, by the way, and still at it, which should tell us all something.

  35. Smiling Again

    I first started researching ‘toxic’ relationships on the internet about six months ago when I finally realized something was very wrong with my relationship….and it led me to understand I was with a narcissist. I don’t need to tell you of the pain I’ve been subjected to…. the very worst you can imagine. I’ve been to the lowest depths, begged, pleaded with my Narc to take me back on numerous occasions when he’s abused ME (cringe) because I ‘loved’ him and was going to fight for my man….. and then was suddenly ceremoniously dumped when he grew tired of me. Thought I would die from the pain…. However, here I am a month of no contact later and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today I stumbled across your site and for the first time in a long time, I smiled, I laughed out loud at A.N.D.Y. Thank you, thank you, thank you Aunty Alex – there’s a lady in the UK who you have quite literally saved today – I’m going to read your blogs over and over again. I wasn’t to blame…..and now I have the tools to move forward. I may falter, but I won’t give in. Thank you.

  36. Kristen Buford

    I left mine for the 1000th time Saturday but because of reading AAs book in one sitting on my kindle Sunday, I finally feel the strength to stick with it. We have a two year old together and this is what has kept me going back even though my head knew my son needed a happy healthy mom more than anything else in this world. I read aloud to my mom from this book just trying to get her to understand what I have been dealing with. I’m not jut a brainwashed weak woman whose co dependent. AAs book was the first time I didn’t feel culpable in any of this. My biggest weakness is that normal and emotionally generous. The most important thing she beat into my head is that he will never change. I have lost contact with all of my friends because of this relationship. I was so isolated and Embarressed of what I went through that I cut mysel off from everyone but my parents and even to them I lied about how things were. My N planned a wonderful valentines day suprise and it felt soo horrible it was the beginning of the end. It was the romantic gesture I always wanted but I was so sad and it felt so wrong. Now I realize it was because it wasn’t real, it was a phasod to make him feel like he wasn’t an insane ass and it wasn’t about me at all. He picked a fight when I was too tired to have sex and told me he would find someone who wanted him just so I wouldn’t enjoy myself too much right??? My N also has a drinking problem. Does anyone else deal with this as a way they hide from their reality of self hate and emptiness? It adds a whole nother level of crazy to the already insane situation. I am doing ok. Just feel very, very alone and I am so conflicted that I wasted three years of my life with him but I also wouldn’t have the most wonderful son without his damn DNA so it’s hard. Jut trying to figure out where I go from here…but without AAs book and reading that I am not alone and I can one day be in a loving reciprocal relationship gives me hope. Writing all of the horrible things he has done helps too. I suggest everyone do this and think about it when u try to rationalize any of his behavior or your mind almost succumbs to that lonely pit of physical pain that sits in your stomach and thumps through your chest. Loneliness feels better than vein shackled to the pain and insanity your N will cause. Period. I tell myself this every minute.

  37. Toadfree

    I’ve been toad free for over 15 years and the subject still facinates me.

    At first I wrote off wasting of 16 years of my life to youth, inexperience and stupidity, but now I believe those creatures can fool the best of us. They can charm the skin off a snake, and they shift like the sands of the Sahara to keep us from pinning them down and holding them accountable. And every once in a while, that slot machine pays off and we think things are improving, which is how they keep us trying. What is remarkable is how they all seem to have gotten the same playbook without having met each other.

    I agree that getting away and staying away is the only way to protect yourself. Don’t take phone calls, don’t read emails, Christmas cards or love letters. Toss those flowers in the trash. Narcisissts view their partners as possessions, and will want to keep former partners within reach in case he or she finds a use for them sometime down the road. There is no “remaining friends” with a narcissistic ex.

  38. Astrid

    I read every entry here tonight – great stuff! I was on an N-Rollercoaster for about 4 years. No contact for maybe 6 wks and got myself some therapy and am feeling strong – over the biggest hump I think. The therapist made me realize that it was never a ‘real’ relationship. And the neglect was undeniable – how was I so sucked in? I agree with the previous comment – how is it they all have the same playbook? I’m baffled how I have attracted N’s repeatedly in different forms. I consider myself to be perceptive and feel so silly to have missed yet another N. One part of this that I haven’t seen addressed is the addiction to the N – they are masterful at appearing unconcerned and at the same time, hypnotizing you into feeling you can’t live without them. Power and control. Thank you for providing us with a reality check AND for the humor. While we’re all recovering and PTSD’ing..we can also laugh. I don’t know about you, but I need to STAY mad. I never stayed mad enough.

  39. Mary

    Am I lucky? I don’t know… I have managed to get rid if the toad though I gave referred to him as a rat as I feel he belongs in the sewers!! After 5 years of toxic abuse I finally had enough courage to kick him out… That’s after he kicked my dog!! After he assaulted my kids and always always said it was my fault,,, nothing to do with the 3 bottles of wine he’d sank. Yet now I’m the crazy Rajpot just like his first ex-wife!! You know the sad thing is, I almost took him back, yeah fell for the lines of crap trite he fed me but he was also seeing someone else who he fed the same crap to… She’s only known him a couple of months. Well we resolved to cut him out of our lives.. I have filed my divorce and can’t wait to be free of the rat. She, bless her, has been taken in by his I love you rubbish and is right back in the loop!! I want to help her bug it’s just too late… Narcissists know exactly who and where to hit. I know she’d is going go suffer, she says he’s changed… HELLO… Didn’t we all say that once. Am I just being a crazy ex??? On one hand I sigh a great big sigh of relief cause whilst she’s back in there he’s leaving me alone and I am slowly recovering, it’s hard… Some days I think I imagined it despite seeing his actions or lack of!! On the other hand I really don’t want to see her suffer!! There just doesn’t seem to be anyway to protect her!! That makes me do sad. His first ex-wife checks in with me and gives me the reality check I need and her friendship had been invaluable to saving my sanity. Your book ‘so you’re in love’ really helped put perspective on it in a way that made me laugh. I only hope his new victim will see sense but he’s so plausible, I suspect it will be another sad story down the line. Thanks again for making me realise I am not bonkers, I cig my antidepressants down and I am getting my life back slowly. I keep your book with me at all times and check in when I need a reality hit. X

  40. cindy lu

    Auntie Alex thank you. Your books helped me understand my 9 years with the “train wreck ” N and helped me undersatand former N relationships and most recently helped me get out of a relationship very early before serious damage occurred… I read all three books often to learn how to have a better life… I have been an N magnet for most of my life but at 51 there
    is time for a happy rest of my life…
    A question…. Why do toads ask you to be “just friends ” after
    a. relationship ends? I have never taken that option as it feels dirty and creepy…I am a bridge burner…thankfully!
    My guess is that it keeps former supply handy like collection of dolls…my other guess is it gives them a sense of absolution … Your thoughts please my dear Auntie Alex?

  41. L Angela

    I actually stumbled upon your blog from psychopathfree . I have been sitting at work just thinking of my ex’s next move. I have to confess, this isn’t the first psychopath I’ve been with, but the first to display an overwhelming amount of narcissism . My first relationship began when I was 18 and that lasted for 4 years. The first year was great and the mask slipped off in the second year. By the time I was 21 I was fighting for my sanity and my life. My ex boyfriend was stalking me and threatening me for a solid year after I decided I had enough.

    Flash forward 8 years, I’m 30 and divorced. I married my bestfriend but that was all that we were and we could not make it work. We parted but remained friends till this day. Well during my separation period I met a man who was very charming. He sparked an interest in me and we began this intense roller coaster of a ride. This relationship lasted 6 months but had the same devastating effect as my first boyfriend . The difference here was the extent of this man’s personality.

    When we first started our “love” relationship he was this caring, family oriented, spiritual leading, sweet man. He learned about my weaknesses very quickly and he made sure to help “support” me where I needed (emotionally). He knew about my pending divorce with my ex husband and he showered me with a lot of attention.

    I finally had the courage a few weeks ago to put an end. The cycle of abuse got worse over time and I just could no longer handle it . He made some very misogynistic comments to me , very derogatory comments about me , and very bigoted opinions. At one point he warned me that if I ever sought out affection from him he’ll withhold until he felt that I deserved his affection.

    Our last correspondence occurred in the middle of the night. I received a text message from him at 1:41 am with him accusing me of grabbing his “buddy’s” butt , when I know for a fact I did not do that. I wholeheartedly believe he is making up this incident as he’s fabricated many incidents in favor of him over the course of our relationship. His last words to me were along the lines of “You ruined the best thing that ever happened to your life. ” Wow! He continued the onslaught of texts until I stopped responding because I fell back asleep.

    I have been very sad and depressed the last couple of weeks but began to see many red flags that I missed. I haven’t heard from him again and honestly I wouldn’t know how to react if he contacts me again. Last week I hit a very low , low. I almost made contact but instead reached out to my close circle of friends. It’s been a very difficult time for me because I know there will be contact . It has only been two weeks and I’m afraid he’s biding his time , trying to figure out how to lure me back and then slam me down as he did the last 6 months.

    Unlike the first psycho , I actually reached out to a therapist who deals specifically with traumatized women like myself. I have my first session with her tonight. But during the wait, I have uncovered a lot about myself that I honestly don’t know how to cope with so, I’ve been walking around with a numbed body.

    It was so refreshing to come across your site and see that there are others who have dealt or are dealing with similar situations. I did not dive to deeply into my story because there are so many more little details that pains me to reveal. I am very angry at myself and at this man. He used me, exploited me and used his family to bait me in.

    Anyways I just wanted to say thank you for having this website up, it has helped me tremendously.

  42. Ms. Resourceful

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am moving forward six weeks after the end of a three year ‘Toad-fest’ and I cannot tell you how much your smart, funny, strong words and the honest sharing in the comments have meant to me. I am so grateful to be done with the soul-sucking, stupidity and misery that the N brought into my life and I am working every day to BUILD the rich, happy life that I am now free to have and enjoy.
    One thing I hold onto is one of the last things the Toad said to me when he was suddenly, gleefully pushing me off the subway platform, that sick little smile playing across on his face. I had just, two months before, given up my home of ten years to move into his house at his invitation, so I guess he felt pretty secure as he informed me that he didn’t love and probably never really had and since he wasn’t ‘feeling it’ my being in his house was all of the sudden really stressful for him.
    When I responded that my close, longtime girlfriend (someone whose professional and financial success had always intimidated him, btw) had been telling me since I moved in with him that there was always room for me at her place (because she could see he was a Toad, no doubt and wanted me to know I had options) and that another friend had a rental I could move into immediately, if needed, he snarled, “Well. I didn’t know you had so many resources.”
    After I got over my initial weeks of shock and trauma I thought about that statement a lot. So Many Resources. So I started making a list. What are my resources? Well, what he thought he was talking about was having a place to go and I did because I am fortunate to have loyal friends. And this is because I AM a loyal friend and don’t use people.
    But I also have also have a wealth of resources that the Toad identified and used to further himself and feed his empty, ugly inner life and hold up his shiny, fake mask. And I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that the same thing is true of anyone who was ever targeted and bled by a Toad.
    Toads survive entirely off the energy, the talents, the hard work-the ‘resources’ -of others, so it follows that if one has attached themselves to you, you have something worthwhile that he sees and want to suck out of you for his own. A career criminal (and that is what a Toad is) doesn’t succeed by targeting and robbing empty houses or embezzling money from overdrawn bank accounts. No.
    I now realize that the only reason my Toad came knocking and then proceeded to flatter, use me for three years and then devalue me when he sensed that the gig was up, was because I HAD VALUABLE STUFF HE WANTED.
    My problem was that I didn’t truly realize how much I was and how much I had until I was targeted by a ‘professional.’ One whose very survival depends on finding the under-appreciated, unguarded wealth of warm, giving people. He expertly identified all the useful things in me then proceeded to latch on and feed.
    But he is now out of my life forever (no matter what he thinks) and I am figuring it out. Yes, he took from me, but in the end, I left with the goods because what he was feeding off of was actually me and mine. My energy, my talent, my hard work, my ability love, my compassion, my sanity and that is all still mine-knocked around and bruised in parts- but still there and still mine. And I know I have much that is of worth because a Vampire Toad found me and tried to bleed it all out of me. Thank you Vampire Toad. Your keen eye for value and parasitic ways have led me to a new appreciation of
    myself and my ‘resources’ which I know see, are considerable. I am now employing them to build a better life for myself. Glad you are aren’t around to screw it up.
    It is important to remember that narcissists are masters of illusion and projection. Mine made me feel that there was something wrong with me. That whatever I did for him was his due and whatever he did for me was a huge deal and a terrible burden to him. That I really had nothing and was inadequate in all ways. That I was lucky to have him for a boyfriend and I’d better measure up if I wanted him to stick around.
    But in the end, he refuted all of his own arguments. Why would a Vampire Toad bother target someone who is nothing? He wouldn’t. Why would a narcissist who lives off others bother with someone who isn’t a useful and valuable commodity? They can’t- they couldn’t survive that way.
    So now it is up to me to appraise and polish and appreciate all the valuables so helpfully identified by My Toad. It is up to me to use those things to build a rich, full, happy life for myself. If I done the work of identifying and valuing my ‘Resources’ in the first place the now-banished Toad would have had a much harder time fooling me. It is hard sometimes but I really think I am onto something. I am committed to building a great life, in part by using the “contribution’ of the Toad himself.
    Sometimes, when I feel angry, I imagine we are in a competition, the Toad and I (no, I have no contact and never will) and whatever I do for myself, whatever I appreciate in myself or my life, whatever success I have, whatever issue I overcome is a blow I strike again him and all Toad-kind. I imagine how pissed he would be knowing I am happy and making good things happen, how he would writhe in anger if he knew that I am, in a sense, using him every day to be happier, stronger, more.

    • Jen(Again)

      Ms. Resourceful, you are amazing! This is incredibly well-written and reading this was like a lightening bolt moment for me because I NEVER considered this before and yet it is undeniably true! I’m sitting here a year after I broke up with my toad and I realize that I’ve been so focused on “why did he hurt me? how could he do that?”, that I forgot to ever ask “What did I have that he wanted? What “resources” was he trying to steal?” Thanks so much for sharing. All the best to you, I hope you have maintained no contact and making room in you life for those who will treasure and love you.

  43. virginia

    The Universe has a way of handing us just what we need at the right time. I found your blog this morning. I survived an N mother and N ex-husband. I’m still dealing with some N relatives. Thank you so much for all your wisdom and humor. Yay for knowledge!! The mirror has cracked! Run from these vampires like your hair is on fire!!

  44. Twice bitten

    After an abrupt end to a 5 year relationship, I stayed in a fetal position for over a year…until I stumbled onto your site. Thank you for nailing my relationship. I read everything I can and work to understand/resolve my addiction to this person (who is the male version of my N mother), and any possible future toad encounters.
    My toad returned just as I began to come alive. After two months of regaining my trust, I opened my heart to him. 6-8 weeks into the renewed relationship, I flexed my new found boundaries when I sensed that ‘shift’. A few days later, my gut would not sit quiet. I discovered multiple lies and chuckled at the attempts to manipulate/confuse me when I confronted him. I walked away. That was 3 days ago. Now it is the drama of me ‘doing him wrong’ and all the character assassination attempts to hurt me. I am not and will not react. Not saying it doesn’t hurt, but taking note of the triggers in me. Will work diligently to heal those areas. Thankfully, the healing prior to his reappearance is keeping me with the realization I WILL survive this.
    Definitely following the no contact rules…lesson learned.

  45. Molly

    Alex your my angel . I have struggled with this crap bag of a relationship for nearly three years . I have lost friends because I kept going back to him and they tired of my inability to free myself , I don’t blame them , I tired of it myself . The Pain is only matched by the shame at having given up all pride and sense of self to be apart of a charade . Smoke and mirrors . I had never heard of these ass bags before . It was after the twelfth time of him dumping me that I searched for answers online and found you … Darling , brilliant , funny you . You validate and give strength to those needing it the most . I am drained but not defeated . I finally have reached a point in my nightmare that I absolutely don’t want anything to do with him . I don’t care if he morphed into a totally different person , he still sucks sun dried dog turds .
    Thank you thank you thank you . Strength in numbers !
    Never stop what your doing as long as these zombies plague the earth ! Your the ultimate badass in my opinion … Chuck Norris is a pussy compared to you!
    Smootches galore !

  46. Mary K

    Hi, Ms. Nouri. I bought your novel to help me get through a break-up. I already have the toad books. I am about half way through. It’s helping me keep focused elsewhere and since I know you’ve been through it too it feels like you are speaking directly to me.

    Despite being on medication the sadness I feel is overwhelming. Yet each night I can say one more day of no contact is behind me, I’m closer to never dealing with his betrayals and hostility again. Thank you so much for all your help.

    I have a question, he sucked out my soul, took on all my views and opinions, etc. I think they call that mirroring. So what will he do now? Mirror his next victim or will he keep what he took from me? Just curious.

  47. Mary K

    Oh, and I meant to tell you I love the book, you’re bringing me right to your island, can smell the flowers and the ocean air. The characters are all engaging and ring true, the narrator particularly. If I don’t go back to him, you”ll have saved my life.

  48. Gina Fant-Saez

    Aunt Alex – I’ve read all 3 of your Toad books in the last 2 weeks – I highlighted them as I read and I go back daily to re-read my highlights. I’m a gay woman just 1 month out of a 1 and 1/2 year relationship with another woman who I had a major crush on for 3 years prior to our relationship. I thought I won the lottery when we got together. I won the woman of my dreams, so I thought.

    And – 1 and 1/2 years later, here I am broken beyond words, emotionally beaten down to a pulp, lied to, manipulated. As I’ve been reading your books and seeing nothing but sad truths and trying to accept it, I’ve put equal energy into looking for ANYTHING to fix this, to fix her. I’ve looked at treatment centers, articles for healing personality disorders, DBT specialists – and last week I did forward her a bunch of resources for healing and of course, I signed the email, “with all my love”.

    As of yesterday, I would have still done anything I could to fix this. It feels impossible to wrap my brain around a truth so devastating and tragic, that there really are people who can be this mean and passive-agressive and self-sabotoging and there’s nothing to help them.

    My girlfriend (i still can’t say ex) has a previous ex that she married and had a bitter, bitter divorce in 2008. They were together for 4 years. So, yesterday, I googled her ex, (a top, wealthy neurologist of course) and emailed her asking what happened with her and my (ok – I’ll say it) ex. – As I suspected it was the same thing, she said this:

    “your story sounds very very similar to mine with Deborah. The recurrent episodes of uncontrollable and unprovoked rage were the death and destruction of our relationship too. I kept thinking if I just tried harder, loved her more then ever before that she would one day stop the aggressive verbal attacks that would reduce me to zero”. –

    And for a brief second I felt some relief. I’m not crazy. – Until… I read the next line of her email…

    “She wrote to me a few weeks ago, apologizing for everything that she had done in the relationship and I thought , this was a sign that she was finally in recovery .”

    I am thinking “what? she emailed her ex-wife and apologized?” – You should have heard all the toxic things she said about her ex-wife over the 5 years I’ve known her. And now, one week after we break-up, she emails her?

    So – I am in shock. It turns out that she told her ex-wife that she had not found a great love with me but a “a crushing, emotionally fatiguing, suffocating relationship.”

    Oh my god.

    Meanwhile I am getting slammed by poetic email apologies,that she was “blinded with grief”, she had her shrink call my shrink – which is her trying any way to get to me to show me that she’s working to heal… while she’s now pursuing her ex-wife??

    I am SO STUPID!!! But I can’t even stay mad. I feel compassion. I feel like she’s so broken that now I really have to do something to help her before she destroys her life. She’s 49, running out of divorce money from the ex-wife neurologist from 2008. She’s a beautiful woman, but age is catching up to her, she has no job, her rented condo is about to sell, she’s alienated herself from all of her “friends” etc etc etc – Her life is a tragic mess.

    When am I going to throw up my hands and actually accepts that she’s a Toad and say, “enough is enough?” – What is wrong with me that even after all of this I want to help her?

    I keep reading your army book but my stubborn heart keeps running back to hope. Can you call an exorcist to get rid of my stupidity please? What can I do to force myself to face reality and move on??

    • Feel the Love


      I feel ya’, sister. It hurts to be on the receiving end of controlling and manipulative behavior by someone who can’t look at their own part in the dysfunction of a relationship. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve been the one who thought she had found that one big love… finally!, only to be subjected to waves of criticism, control, manipulation, withholding of affection, and constant “come here – now go away” behavior. It’s a pain like no other, when they shower you with love one day, only to turn on you the next, because of some perceived infraction on your part. At least, this was my Toad experience.

      It becomes a downward spiral of trying to make it better and of walking on eggshells to avoid future confrontation. You love this person so much that you lose yourself in trying to keep the boat from rocking, because when the boat is steady, things are amazing. When the boat rocks, your spirit sinks and you doubt yourself, because the control and abuse start up again. Half the time, you don’t even really understand what it is that rocked the boat in the first place, or you were set up by this person you love, so that no matter what, it looks like you were the offender.

      Trust me, I get it more than you know. What I also know is that getting away from that is the only way to find happiness, because until we can cut that cord and let them go, we can’t work on the one person that we have any power to “fix”. It hurts like hell to let it go, but it hurts more to stay attached. As long as you’re looking to save someone or fix them, you’ll be ignoring the pain of your own wounds. We’ve all got them. It’s part of life.

      Whether they are open wounds, or scars that we’ve healed, they’re there. Any time I look at someone in my life that I think needs rescuing or fixing, I look in the mirror and ask myself what it is that I am projecting onto them, because unless I’m a doctor, I can’t fix anyone but myself. Even so, the patient has to take personal responsibility for their own healing by acknowledging that there’s an issue in the first place. If they can’t see it, they don’t think it needs fixing, and it’s not mine to take on. It’s never mine to take on.

      It hurts to be on the receiving end of the type of behavior you describe, doesn’t it? It’s a certainty that she saw the situation very differently than you.

      You have a therapist, so hopefully, they have been able to help you explore the questions like:
      Why did I stay in this relationship and allow the abuse?
      What might I be projecting onto them?
      Have the tables ever been turned where I was the one who did the controlling and manipulating?
      Is the need to rescue or fix other people a pattern?

      Hard questions, but the answer to finding that big healthy love with someone, is to really understand and love yourself first. Rescuing or fixing a partner, or ex partner, based on your perception of what is wrong, is not going to get you very far.

      I realize your post was back in September and it all seemed very raw, so I hope you’ve found some peace and closure. I felt compelled to comment, because like I said, I’ve been right where you stood, and it wasn’t that long ago. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. And ultimately, once the dust settled from feeling like I was hit by a freight train (one that would stop and back up over me a few times as I stood up to apologize for being in its way), I spent time rescuing myself, and I know that’s why I was able to recognize the new, much healthier, love that has recently come into my life. That doesn’t mean it’s not scary. After the last relationship, I’ve been a little gun shy, but I already know that this is exponentially better, and safer, than the freight train.

      Wishing you the best, and hoping you find your epic love.

  49. Conny

    Hi ya, Auntie Alex!

    Are you on holiday or writing another book? I’m missing the blogs about the toads!
    I’m still in recovery and slowly getting there. Concentrating on recovery more than the toad these days. Still checking in on here for a good laugh. It helps to not fall into the sink hole.


  50. Healing

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart for writing this blog! I’ve just ordered your Toads and the women who kiss them book and i can’t wait to read it! I was lucky to be with my narcissist for only 11 months but we lived together so the abuse was agony. It’s been 4 months since i left him. Reading your blog was the first time i have laughed out loud in a really really long time :) Thank you for not describing us as narcissistic supply. Thank you for not blaming us for the abuse. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  51. Flavia

    Dear Aunt Alex,
    Your straight talk has helped me keep my chin up. Thank you. But I’m confused about one thing. I thought narcs aren’t capable of true love. But the narc I dated for 2 months (who dumped my butt when I pointed out he wansn’t perfect and I would like a little more) admitted during our brief rendezvous that he was so in love with his ex whom he was with for 2 years. He admitted that he went back to her on several occasions to asking her to take him back. He had also been back to her 2 weeks before he met me! When I heard this news I was concerned that he wasn’t over her and he blamed ME (!) for making him think aout her. I am pretty convinced he is a narc (yelled at me constantly, bad tempered, all about him etc etc) so it hurts me that he was so in love with this girl and though he told me he loved me he’s never come back… Yikes I sound so confused… Any thoughts? I am getting over him but my poor ego is sore and my heart is bruised coz I loved that jackass at some point….

  52. samantha

    WOW lol i have been set free, well i have set myself free… i left my narc 6 months ago and have felt i was still connected to him (still together) even tho he has a new girlfriend living with him, i have had heaps of chances to spend the night with someone but have not been able to because i felt like i was cheating on the Wanker….. i did it, just this week, and it was so freeing. Some of you might think it is a bit slutty, but if you have been with a narc you will know the lack of sex in the relationship…. i thought it would free me if i did it and i did and it did O_o lol still got a bit to heal, i won’t need to do it again til i get another partner now, next is to not listen to what he says bragging about what he is doing, just tonight he called our 3.5 yr old son to say hi and at the end of the call made a point to tell him that he is going now and getting in the spa, he doesn’t have a spa, he was at some new friends house, letting me know how much fun he was having without me….bahahahahaha if only he knew lol (i know that comment was meant for me) and i didn’t say a thing, i just hung up….. YES!!

  53. Valerie

    Aunt Alex, I can’t thank you enough. I was only (“ONLY!”) “with” “my” narc for a bit over a year; it was long distance, long story, but even so… when he abruptly discarded me at the end of October, I felt like I’d taken a sharp punch in the gut and like I would never be able to breathe again, never mind be happy. Thankfully I know how to do research… and I found you and the Army. I also found support from several of the other women that “my” Toadboy had been playing at the same time he’d been playing me. Long distance makes that exponentially easier… anyway. THANK YOU for being there, and for your perceptive and practical advice. (Also: HOW LONG WERE YOU SPYING ON ME???) I’ve just finished “Toads;” that and the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of months with my counselor and my friends have gotten me back to feeling strong, happy, and excited about my future. I feel so fortunate to have dodged the multitude of bullets that I (and my sisters-in-pain!) have dodged and so very grateful for our new-found friendships. That feels like a great outcome.

  54. Cathy

    I’ve read every post today. I read a hundred others today before I found yours and tears are pouring. I’m not trying to be cheesy, but its like you grabbed my feelings and crap experiences from the past two years that were all swimming in my head and organized them for me to see clearly. They were so jumbled in my head, like I’ve been hoarding them. It’s just a bunch of shit that was always in there, but I guess I hadn’t started going through all of this emotional junk and discarding it. I’ve been NC for four days. I hadn’t even cried until this Roberta Flack “Killing Him Softly” magic. I know we have to find validation in ourselves, but when you’ve been kicked so many times, you don’t know who/what/where/how you are anymore. Thank you for clearing up some of this crap I’ve been avoiding. I will take over from here.

  55. Christine

    Several months ago, there was a letter posted on here. It was titled something like “He took my soul”. It was a great description written in first person of the true emotions a person feels after being involved with a narcissist. Can anyone please help me find it?

    Thank you!!!!

  56. Jen(Again)

    Hi Aunt Alex!
    I’m one of many people who survived a painful extended encounter (I refuse to call it a “relationship”) with a toxic person, thanks in no small part to you. Your books and your website helped me to maintain no contact, educated me about these toads, and (most importantly) made me laugh on some very dark days. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me. Your wit, compassion, wisdom and knowledge were invaluable to me. Blessings to you in 2014, thank you for being a blessing to so many others.

  57. Recovering slowly

    Thank you for these amazing reads on your website. I think my healing process is being propelled as a result and I am getting ready to buy one of your books. I would love your recommendation though. I am a man that was I a relationship with a female narcissist and all of your writings are directed toward the male narcissist. I just substitute while reading but in the case of your books, I would greatly appreciate if you could recommend which one to buy and read first. Thanks for everything!

  58. Gina Fant-Saez

    I’ve read all of her books and I think the one I would recommend is “So you’re in love with a narcissist”

    Good for you healing. I am a gay woman recently broken up with a narcissist female as well and it’s been the most painful relationship of my life. So, I feel your pain and there is nothing worse.

    I wish you a very speedy recovery!


  59. Candice

    Urggh, so I recognize my boyfriend of 5 months here, and I will be reading with interest as I try to extricate myself from my relationship, wish me luck, its not quite time yet!

  60. Julesann

    I have been involved with a narcissist for the past 4 years. I’m 57 years old and he’s 55. He lives directly across from me in a modular home park. We moved into the park within 2 weeks of each other. He was dating a woman at the time and we talked now and again when I’d see him outside or he’d call once in awhile on the phone. At that time I thought he was a nice guy but strange. He had shown me his place and, not that being tidy is a bad thing whatsoever but he was unbelievably neat and tidy. Everything so organized and in place. Actually, I envied him and wished I was just a bit more like him. I thought it strange that he had old antique bedpans, urinals placed around in both the bedrooms and in one bedroom has the nightstand decorated with old porcelain surgical equipment like the kidney shaped dishes and different surgical tools. But, I just thought he was just a bit different than the average guy and he was nice and funny and I thought, and still do, that he is extremely intelligent. I noticed sometime in the fall of that year that I hadn’t seen his girlfriend around for awhile but I was busy at work, I work for a tax service and it was the beginning of our busy season and I work crazy long hours. Anyhow, that spring I again noticed his girlfriend around. He did, one time during a phone conversation we were having, suggest that I stand in front of my window (the whole front of my home is a huge bay window and faces his driveway and place) naked. I was shocked that he would say that and told him so. I reminded him that he had a girlfriend and that I was real sure she wouldn’t like that. He responded that she would never know and besides he’s a guy and that’s what guys do. He said there isn’t a guy out there that wouldn’t want a woman to do that. Anyhow, I told him I absolutely would not do it. That was the end of that although he did ask a couple times more. Later that fall, I again noticed his girlfriend wasn’t coming around and then he ask me to go out to dinner one night. I ask about girlfriend and he said they had known he other for about 7 yrs. and that they are together and apart periodically. (This was an ‘apart’ time again) He said he just thought since we were neighbors it would be nice to go out to dinner together. I didn’t really want to go out with him but he kept asking and asking so I finally gave in and went out. He asked me what restaurant I wanted to go to and I suggested a couple of my favorites. He found reasons not to go to either of them. One he said he didn’t like the parking lot cause he was afraid of someone dinging his car and the other he didn’t like because he thought too many people of other races went there. He said “we’ll see”. The night we went out he didn’t ask again where I wanted to go he just took me to an Italian place he likes. On the way there he made a comment how my ex-husband was 1 year younger than I and then said “And now your dating a guy “2” yrs younger than you!” I thought, but didn’t say,’ uhhhh we’re not dating, we were just going out to dinner as neighbors…’ He told me that I could ask him anything I wanted and he would tell me. He asked me about my ex-husband (I was recently divorced at the time) and about what had happened, etc. I then ask him what happened that he wasn’t seeing his girlfriend anymore. He looked up at me and said “Well! ‘that’ sure didn’t take long!” I said “You told me I could ask you anything and so I just wondered”. He told me he’d have to get back with me on ‘that’ one. It wasn’t until we were on our way back home that he told me that they didn’t get along cause her daughter and grandson that lives with her were complete losers and that they are no good and he couldn’t tolerate her letting them live with her. The next day he asked me to go out again and I said that I didn’t want to date anyone right then. I had just got divorced and wanted to be by myself for awhile. He got all offended and said it must have been him, was there something about him that I found disgusting, and on and on he went. I again, told him no that I just didn’t want to date anyone. He said “I’m not asking you to marry me I just really like your company and why can’t we do things together sometimes seeing as we’re both single now?” And to keep this from turning into a novel I’ll just summarize what’s happened since then.
    I started spending time with him going to the movies, going over to his place to watch movies. I didn’t want to get into a sexual relationship and tried to avoid that but he kept pushing for it. He is attractive and I was becoming attracted to him and finally I gave in. The sex, I will say, is amazing! I really have never known a man like him, in that area, before.
    I would from time to time tell him I couldn’t go out or come over if I had other plans. He wouldn’t like it but would tell me that I was worth waiting for. But eventually, and I don’t really know when this started, I found myself cancelling my plans and making room for him no matter what.
    I found myself feeling like I needed to be home just in case he came home and wanted to see me. I would get really anxious if I was somewhere and something was taking longer than expected and I wasn’t home.
    Anyhow, after a couple months or so he started calling me less and then he had a couple “ex-girlfriends” (from out of town) show up, he would say unexpected, at his place and he would spend the day with them. I was never made aware that they were coming. I would just come home or happen to look out my window and see them there. He would eventually leave “to take them home” but I wouldn’t get a call or text or anything until maybe the next day or so. He would tell me that they are just friends that he hadn’t seen in 30 years (he would always use the “30 year” thing I was to learn) I started to realize that ‘he’ always decided what and when we would do things so I asked him a couple times to do something. He always had some excuse why we couldn’t. He had a headache and just wanted to “sit in a chair at his friend Karen’s house (childhood friend which I actually do believe he isn’t involved with romantically. He told me one time that Karen has said that they get along so well that they should be together but that he would never do that “because that would ruin everything”. She’s a nice lady and has a pet sitting business and is well liked and respected in the community where we live. He goes over there and she cooks him food and he takes complete control of the tv, etc. He said it makes him feel like he’s living like a normal person. Doesn’t like to be home by himself.
    So, eventually he ends up telling me he’s not “boyfriend material” but that we should still remain romantically involved because we have it better than most others and he didn’t want that to end. Told me that he has never had this great of a sex life ever, that I was irreplaceable in that area.
    I was so confused and shaken by all this but I couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing him so I continued on with that. At that point the going out to the movies, out to eat, running around to thrift stores together (something we enjoyed doing) came to a screeching halt. Once in awhile he would have me over to watch a movie with him with sex before and usually after. But, other than that our interactions were just of a sexual nature.
    That spring he starts telling me, all of a sudden about all the things he wanted us to do together that summer. He would bring me surprise cappuccinos at work, tell me how much he liked the flower garden I had put in out front of my place (which was kinda weird as before he always made comments as to how wasn’t doing it right, it didn’t look right….) , etc. I was completely confused now but thought he must have realized he felt more for me than he thought and I thought we going back to a couple again. He would say things to me just like what I was thinking and I even told him one time that we are so much alike we have the same thoughts and even say things to each other alike at the same time.
    Then, all of a sudden one day I come home from work and there’s this strange car in his driveway and out comes this woman I’d never seen before and they kiss, and hug, and talk a bit more and kiss again and she leaves and he leaves. I can’t even begin to explain how and what I felt. I was in total shock and disbelief. He ends up telling me he met her at a store he works at a couple months previous and they had exchanged numbers and agreed that after Easter they would start dating. I was so upset. I told him that he had said all those things to me about us doing things that summer, etc. and at the same time he was making plans to date her?! His response was “you never know who you might meet along the way in life and maybe it will be better”. I have never felt such hurt and betrayal in my life. He would come over from time to time and tell me how nice she was and that he loved to touch her hair, and she was fun to be with and silly but intelligent to have a conversation with. After about 3 weeks into dating her he was at my door wanting to “fool around” cause he missed that with me “cause it’s sooo good” as he would say. I turned him down for the first several times but, I’m ashamed to say I did eventually give in and for the remainder of their relationship I was “sex on the side”. He wouldn’t have me over to his place for it for the first 3 months, only at my place. Eventually he started complaining about her and I finally told him if he didn’t like her why didn’t he tell her it wasn’t working out?. He told me he was working on that but that “there is a process to that”. Shortly after that she left his place one morning in tears and that was the end of their dating. He and I resumed our “dating”. However, 4-5 months later she stopped by one time cause he said he ask her to as she wanted to show her a project he was working on. She would stop by and they would go out to dinner and she would come back to watch a movie a couple times after that. I haven’t seen her over to his place in over a year now, though. He would tell me they were just friends and nothing was going on. I didn’t like it and told him so. I live right across the road and see him spend the day and half the evening with an ex-girlfriend and yes I didn’t like it. He told me I was the most jealous woman he’d ever known and that he doesn’t have many friends and I should be glad that he still was friends with her.
    Then, all of a sudden I see his ex-girlfriend (the one he was with when I first moved in) hanging around again. He tells me they are just friends now that they have known each other for so long that by now they are just like a brother and sister. She eventually spends the night and of course I’m upset. He tells me that she just didn’t want to go home that night so he let her stay the night. I asked (I know this was stupid) if they slept in the same bed and he said yes but that nothing happened. He said it would be weird if it did cause their relationship isn’t like that anymore. Then, a week later she stays again and again I throw that question at him and he puts this pained look on his face and says “well, yes we did sleep together last night”. When I asked why, after what he had told me about their relationship, he tells me he “I don’t know…I guess it just was a comfort thing”. I told him I couldn’t do this again (like with his previous girlfriend arrangement with me on the side). He told me “Well, then I guess I’ll just have to find someone else that lives close by ‘to visit’. Ones never enough”. Again, I eventually gave in and became the sex on the side girl. Eventually they, once again, are no longer seeing each other and it’s back to me. However, now he’s constantly throwing out comments to me about his ex’s. And, the worst of all was the neighbor lady, Rita, also our age, that he had told me a long time before that they had gone to the movies a few times but he had never had anything to do with her cause he said she “was damaged…mentally from past relationships”, he starts throwing her in my face. The most bizarre and shocking thing he did was one time after being romantic with each other and he’s leaving and turns around in my doorway and says, completely out of the blue, “I’ve seen Rita naked.” I was SHOCKED! I didn’t even know what to say. My head was spinning with all he had said before about her and how they had never had anything to do with each other. He went on to tell me that they had “fooled around” 1 time and that “she was real nice to look at from the neck down but she didn’t have the right ‘scent’. He went on to elaborate on how nice her “body parts” were and his only regret was that he hadn’t got a picture of her “bea__er” for his album. (Yes, he keeps photo albums of pictures of ‘that’ part of every woman he’s been with) Now, I’m constantly worried and anxious every time I leave the house to go to work or anywhere that they are together. I work days she works nights. He also, about a week after that announced that she had been over to sit in his bathtub with him. Again, complete shock. He said, of course, nothing went on she was just upset about some guy she was dating and wanted to talk. I asked why the tub?…I mean, most normal people would sit in chairs and talk. He said he didn’t know it just seemed like the thing to do. Told me how he loved to touch her hair. She does have beautiful long hair (but…”nothing is going on”) Twice again in the coming weeks he would make comments about her “nice body”. She eventually moved a couple years ago. I asked him if he knew where she had moved to and he said that she bought a house but he didn’t know where. He would tell me from time to time that ‘she’ would text ‘him’ but that he usually didn’t answer her….if so, he said just to f__k with her head. I asked him a couple times more if he knew where she moved to and he said no. He said he didn’t care to cause she’s a “devious bitch” and he didn’t want anything to do with her.
    In the ensuing months he would create chaos, at least I think that’s what he was doing as over time would start making comments about woman at work that he found attractive and go into great descriptions of whatever part of their body he found so attractive. I should mention that I have pretty strong feelings of unattractiveness about ‘my’ body. I was heavy almost my whole life and in 2001 I had bariatric surgery. I lost over 150 lbs and I’m so grateful for that but I do have scars and, of course my age and having been so heavy all my life I don’t have the best looking body. He knows all this as I (and I regret immensely) that I shared that with him at the beginning of our relationship when he was telling me I could talk to him about ‘anything’ and honestly he did seem like he cared and was listening) He’ll even, when we’re watching a movie, and there is scene with an attractive woman where some part of her anatomy is shown, will rewind it over and over and make comments on how great she looks and that “she is real…that’s not altered”.
    A little over a year ago, ONCE AGAIN, I had decided I couldn’t stand his mind games anymore and I composed a text to him and I told him I knew he had a personality disorder and I wished he would seek help but he won’t (he had told me before he would never go to a therapist because for one thing, he said, it would just turn into a big game for him and besides that he said he’s too inside his own head). I had said, in that text that I wished I could help him but I can’t so I had to end the relationship so I could get myself back. I told him I needed to be free from him. I ended up not sending the text but kept it as a draft. I don’t know how to this day that this happened, about a week later I was responding to a text he sent me and I set my phone down for a minute and when I picked it back up to finish the text that text from a week before had sent. I immediately got one back from him stating “What the F__K! Everything is going great with us and you say this!” I told him that I had composed it but decided not to send it after all. Of course, I apologized…I don’t know why…everything I had said was true. For the next week he would make snide comments about the text “you accidently sent”. Then, as we were out one day and he was driving I was telling him about something a lady had said to me that was funny. Part of what she had said was ” you were going for a ride…..”. I heard him say, under his breath as he was driving…”Oh, you’re GOING FOR A RIDE”. I kinda filed it away in my head thinking I didn’t know what he meant by that. I didn’t tell him then nor have I since that I heard him say that. For the past year he all of a sudden has wanted to be around me sooooooo much more than ever before. He would have me over to his place several nights a week for “movie night” (and sex always…even when I told him I was tired or had to get up early the next morning…didn’t matter) He tells me all the time that I am (and this is how he puts it) the ONLY woman he ‘puts his d__k in’. He says this without any kind of questioning from me just out of the blue he’ll blurt it out. Tells me constantly how great the sex is between us and that it’ll never be better. Even if I went out and found some nice guy I’d never get any one that would attend to “my needs” like he does. Told me I’m his girl. That it’s best we stay living in our own places but we are just like a married couple besides that.
    Now, to present. A couple weeks I overheard him talking to someone on his phone about some woman and he was saying “we’ve had our little lunches but now she’s mad and won’t talk to me. She’s 10 years younger than me ….she lives in Saginaw (a town about 30 minutes from where he and I live)”. He went on to say something about how he’s doing 80% of the trying…and so on. I confronted him about it later and he said he didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. He then said how he was planning on going taking me for a fall drive but that I had ruined that …”Thanks a lot for ruining a nice day” he said. Then later on he text me and said he finally figured out what I was talking about and said he was talking to his friend Karen about someone from years ago. He wasn’t talking in the past tense when I heard him it was in the present tense. He said I could look on his phone if I wanted to but later when I ask him to see it he said he had “accidently” erased the call log for that day. I knew he was lying so I left and we didn’t speak again for a few days at which time he asked me to dinner and a movie and we’d talk later. I agreed to go. We get to restaurant and he gets this little like grin thing that he acts like he’s trying to hide and proceeds to say that he got a weird text the night before. Said it was from his ex-girlfriend, April, that he had dated back in high school. Said he has only seen her once in over 30 years and she text him wanting him to pick her up from the airport the following night. (which was the night we were going out). I ask him if he told her we had plans and he said that he didn’t want to tell her that cause that would make him look like a dick that didn’t want to help since they had dated before (yeah! like 30 years AGO!) so he just told her he had to work. I ask him if she even knew we were seeing each other and of course, like always he didn’t as he never tells anyone we’re seeing each other (sore spot for me and he knows it…as we’ve had several arguments over it). I’m pissed but in the restaurant so don’t want to argue. He looks at me with that smug little look on his face and says “you look a little tight ….you seem like your tense….?” We get out in parking lot and argue, don’t go to movie, argue all the way home. Don’t talk again for a couple days and I decide to try to contact that woman that lived next to him, Rita (the one “he saw naked”) to see if I could talk to her about him. I did a friend request on FB and she, amazingly accepted my friend request. (We had never spoke the entire time she lived here. She would never wave back or smile when I did so I finally quit trying). I sent her a message and ask if we could chat for a bit. I didn’t get a response for a couple hours then she sent one saying “yes”. She went on to say that he has stopped over to her place a couple times, that they text back and forth from time to time and that he sends her “pictures of himself” Then said that he had ask her out to the movies but that she had to work and couldn’t go. This happened last weekend and I immediately confronted him with it. He said she initiated this “picture sending thing” by sending him a picture of herself naked in front of her mirror so of course he sent her one back. (ALL real men do that unless they are ‘homos’ (as he put it) Then from time to time he would send her a pic of himself. The asking her out to the movie thing was, he said , because I got mad at him so that’s why he ask her out. When I get mad at him I somehow make him feel ‘repulsive’ so it was my fault. I have NEVER made any cruel or mean remarks about him in that way. I have got mad and called him an asshole, etc. He said he has no interest in her romantically and has no desire to see her. When I asked him why send pictures of each other back and forth he launched into this thing again how he’s a guy and that’s what any normal guy does and once again into this thing of how when he was 7 years old he came across his Uncle’s porno collection and that probably messed him up. He says I should just forget everything that has happened in the past few weeks. He says it’s all just miniscule stuff that I’m making a big deal out of and that none of it means anything. He then goes into his spiel about how the sex between us is better than ever, especially between 2 people in their mid fifties and it’ll never be better and I’ll never find anyone that will take care of me like he does.
    I do apologize for this sooooo lengthy post. It’s just hard to explain it in any less. I’m sooo confused. When I’m by myself I feel I’m not emotionally unstable, as he tells me and that I have a right to feel the way I do. But, even though I get incredibly mad at him when we talk I walk away feeling maybe he’s right and it is me. I don’t know… I think I’m looking for validation maybe??

  61. JulieO

    Just stumbled upon this site, and wow….it really spoke to me.

  62. Molly

    I’ve got a ‘toad on board’ which is how I like to describe it and it is the reason I just tripped across your website. I read a few of your posts and I was literally laughing out loud, something I don’t usually do when reading articles about these carbuncles on the face of humanity.
    My toad’s nickname is ‘The Carbuncle’ because when a linguist friend once referred to him as that, I had to look it up:

    ‘a carbuncle is an abscess larger than a boil, draining pus onto the skin, and is usually caused by a bacterial infection which can turn lethal.’

    Pardon the grossness but she nailed it. He has been known as The Carbuncle ever since, even in my phone contacts. Naturally he would call himself ‘The World’s Most Eligible Man’, or ‘The Greek God’ or something along those lines.
    I was going to give you a potted history but then I thought why bother. The narratives by partners on the web all tell the same story, just change the names.

    I haven’t seen a mention anywhere of how BORING they are. The Carbuncle is the most boring man I have ever been with.

    Thank you for making me laugh. You are a damn fine writer!

  63. Leanne

    Hi Alex

    I would love to share my recent story with you I have read some of these post and it makes me feel like im not crazy after all . I always had a gut feeling about my boyfriend that something wasn’t right I never really trusted him from day one but he charmed his way in and I fell deeply in love with him. Things were obviously ok for a year just the odd hiccup where he would work away and not get in touch at all but i just thought he was busy. Then i cam across empty packets of viagra and women’s underwear. All to which he had excuses. there thee was the filthy websites that I found his email registered and too this day he will only admit to one. I found his email registered on escort website and with alot of digging I found he had visiting escorts on numerous occasions to which he also denies. This toad has now moved onto his next victim I think he had enough of me and started to realise i was catching on to his other life. Apparently he is now a changed man, can they really change??

    Any comments much appreciated


  64. debby

    Where is Alexander Nouri?
    Please come help us save ourselves!

  65. missy

    Trying to get out…!

  66. emilyd

    I thought Alexandra Nouri died in 2009

  67. Brian

    I just found you article “The Narcissist As A Sex God”

    I don’t know where you got your insight but this was one of the most comforting articles and “N” that I have ever read.

    Thanks you so much for sharing this.

    It has relieved so much of the pain that I have been dealing (over the last 3 years) and now I really understanding why I had to let my relationship go.

    Your the best.



  68. sheva

    Oh,my,you are writing incredibly good. Thanks a lot from all my heart!:)

  69. Melissa Harrell

    Good stuff

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