breaking no contact

How Answering a Simple Text Message Can Ruin Your Life

You probably think I’ve lost it.

I mean, how could answering a simple text message ruin your life?

I know you’re thinking you can handle the heat.  In fact, you might even kind of enjoy it when your Ex texts you saying they miss you and you just ignore them. 

It feels like sweet revenge.  Here they are, trying to get in touch with you after you caught them lying and cheating and you’re able to keep them in the hot seat, wondering if you’ll ever give them a second chance.

Admit it.  It feels good, doesn’t it?  To think they’re beginning to regret their poor choices?

I remember those days.  Even back before I learned about the concept of going No Contact, I would block my Ex from being able to contact me.  Then, after a day or two, I would unblock him. 

Then I’d just ignore him when he’d try to call or text.

I’d go on like that for days at a time, thinking I possessed progressively epic degrees of power the longer I held out.  I just knew that if I ignored him long enough he’d come around to his senses.  Surely if I made him stew for a while, he’d come back to me a changed man.

So, I left him unblocked with full access to send me texts whenever he wanted.  Then, when he sounded desperate enough, I’d send him a short reply.  Nothing too emotional.  Just a little something to make him think I’d begun moving forward without him.  And it worked.

Or at least I thought it did.  I fell for the false epiphany.  I fell for his charming smile, the seemingly sincere look of happiness in his eyes, the wonderful sense of euphoria, and the promises of a brighter future.

I thought I’d played it smart, until…

Fast forward seven months –  I’d been thrown in jail for public intoxication and lost my teaching job one month before the end of the school year.  I’d only been in my apartment a few months and had bills to pay and three children to provide for.

All because I’d answered one simple text.

It happens every day.  People lose their careers, homes, entire bank accounts, children, and self-respect because they think they can avoid No Contact and stay “No Response”.  Some become dysfunctional, wracked with debilitating conditions such as cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia.  Still, others become psychotic and even suicidal.  You might be surprised at the number of comments I receive on my blog where someone is contemplating ending it all.  (If this describes you, call 1 (800) 273-8255 immediately!)  Others are given a short number of months to live.

All because they answered one simple text.

Luckily for me, the public intoxication charge was thrown out and I was back to teaching the next school year. 

However, the humiliation alone was enough that I had to temporarily go on medication.  Not to mention the major self-work I had to perform to get over the shame and disgrace of my experience.

But not everyone is as fortunate.  Lives are ruined because targets of narcissistic abuse eventually fall prey to the uncontrollable need to defend themselves, make their narcissistic partner see their point of view, tell the narcissist how hurtful they’ve been, engage in magical thinking and various other temptations that go along with being in a relationship with a person devoid of a conscience.

If you’re reading this article, it most likely means the narcissist has crossed lines, trampled boundaries, and destroyed parts of you that feel irrecoverable. 

I’m here to tell you that your chronicle won’t be the one that defeats all odds.  You won’t be going to your friends and family with the success story of the century.

As hard as it is to go No Contact, what’s even harder is what happens when you don’t.  The lies and cheating will get worse, the abuse will get worse, and if you have children, they will grow up with very unfortunate beliefs about what relationships are all about.

Going No Contact feels crappy.  Some even equate it to death.  But the good news is that as horrible and crippling as it feels in the beginning, there is an end to it.  The body and mind have enormous wisdom.  They know how to heal themselves.  Give them the opportunity.

(Images courtesy of

Trauma-Bonding makes it hard to leave abusive relationships.  Grab your spot in my life-changing workshop, 7 Proven Strategies to Defeat Narcissistic Abuse, and start your recovery today.


  1. I heard from somebody that the narcissist can hoover a former relationship even after twentytwo years after the relationship is over. Cold turkey is not easy to do without a guide who knows this kind of abuse and the rules how to get rid of the bonding. The bonding has a stong effect on the psychologic process. It can be a kind of an addiction what is hard to resist. You must be on your self and don’t give in to rebuild your identity. Some say traumabonding can even be stronger then a addiction to black heroin. They hoover to create havoc it”s said on Dr. Sam his site about Hoovering to create havoc. never knew that traumabonding could be so addictive. .

    1. Carroll laneulie

      I have lived with an alcoholic/narcissist for fifteen years… married for seven … separated four years… almost … no contact.
      My concern is my only form of income is Social Security through my husband…my fear is he will try to destroy me financially by throwing a divorce at me before the stipulated ten years of marriage is up… we have been together fifteen years but as much as I loved him felt he should go to therapy before committing to marriage… but I succumbed seven years ago… he is being pleasant and smooth the rare times we have spoken via phone.. what are your thoughts regarding this reality?
      He is a covert narcissist… very hard to read…

  2. Robyn

    The comment “no response” …that’s the one that’s so hard to do…

  3. Right on and AMEN!

    I have been there and couldn’t have said it better! No Contact! Not No Response! It was 4 1/2 years later that, after his daughter’s murder and my father’s death, we reconnected.

    Guess what? Did tragedy humble him to his core? After almost 5 years of no contact and him professing to everyone that I was the love of his life change the outcome of our relationship this time…? OF COURSE NOT!!!

    I barely escaped by leaving without saying goodbye and leaving the State after God gave me evidence that everything I based giving him a second chance on were lies. And this time…the threats came so much faster at me than before!!!

    Run! Get away from them now! 5 years and after his favorite child’s murder…no change in who he was under the mask, just a more tragic masks. No change in his tactics, motives, actions, or heart.

    (“But he really needs me.” Block, block, block. And block those thoughts of putting his needs before my life, my destiny, my purpose, my needs, my heart, my future, my FREEDOM, my friends and family, my relationship with God in Jesus Christ’s name! If someone is pulling me away from my relationship with God…JETTISON in times of distress!!!!)

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing this…such a stark reminder that they don’t change, no matter what. Not even in the face of any tragedy, including the death of someone close to them.

      Glad you were able to get away.

      Kim XoXo

  4. clare Alcock

    I can completely identify with everything in your article. It has helped me alot,thank you

  5. Hi Kim,
    I would be so grateful if you could shed some light on an email I received from a text book narcissist who discarded me three months ago. He said goodbye and blocked me on fb after admitting to being in a relationship with someone else while still being in a relationship with me. There has been no contact since then apart from him doing something very weird and phoning me on messenger and disconnecting five times in one night! The 7 months we were in a relationship I went through many silent treatments, discards, false promises and being blocked on fb if I dared say anything. And I know he was flirting with many other women on fb.

    I heard that his relationship had ended so when I received a message from him saying he had been thinking of me all night and felt he must ask how I am, I thought it’s a typical hoover. To my amazement and amusement I discovered that he had blocked me from replying. So why did he ask? When I saw that, I wrote him an email saying I was fine and had moved on.
    Now here is the part that I cannot fathom and has thrown me into confusion:

    He replied by email saying he wants to apologise for treating me so despicably and that he is ashamed of himself, that he’s had to take a hard look at himself and the way he has treated women and now takes responsibility for the pain and upset he has caused. He said I’m a wonderful, loving and trusting person who deserves to be happy and that he hopes I will find a wonderful man who will look after me and treat me with the love and respect I deserve. He signed off ‘with warmest regards’
    As he showed no sign of wanting to get back in my life or renew the relationship, and I have since remained blocked, is this still a hoover and what possible reason or motive could he have had for writing these wonderful sounding words? At age 65 has he suddenly developed a conscience, had an epiphany? Can a narcissist apologise like this and say he’s ashamed and take responsibility?
    Cognitive dissonance has reared it’s head again
    when I was doing so much better. It really sounds like something a person who has some decency in him could write.
    Please help and give me your view on this.
    Thank you so much.

  6. DeeDee

    This is so true. Zero contact is the only way to deal with these people. ALL attention encourages them negative and positive. I ceased communication with a toxic person over 5 years ago and I still get the occasional phone call (even though I have changed my number since then). I finally installed an app on my phone that wouldn’t even let them leave a message on my voicemail.

  7. Pingback: How to Hand Over a Colossal Fortune to the Narcissist | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

  8. bikinfool007

    NC is extremely painful…but it was the only choice that I could make to keep my self-dignity after I slowly saw who this person actually was. She had no empathy, honesty or conscious contact with reality. She was the center of the world and apparently had created it as well. I was all-of-a-sudden the villain and she the hero or victim (interchange her parts on an as-needed basis as to which role will benefit her most or manipulate others in a given situation or rewritten history).
    Years later I am still trying to digest who this person actually was. Upon abandonment she just became this smug, abusive shrew…someone I had never met.
    After I committed to no contact I got drive-byes, psycho encounters at traffic lights, and most recently a planned ambush in the supermarket parking lot. (I put my head down, and circled my cart right around her…it’s NO CONTACT). Not easy stuff to do, but she is living with and married to, (I think), the person that she sneakily abandoned me for. She is just playing some self-involved smug game that has something to do with HER…not me. (It’s so hard to really own that…but own it I do, after years of therapy and a self-help group). She does not want me, or miss me or anything that could be misconstrued as remorse or an apology, perhaps, (there was no wrong-doing of any kind on her part. Just ask.). These near encounters are just some kind of selfish attempt to fulfill something in her at, you guessed it, my expense. Yes, that is the reality. I wish that it was anything but that….but slowly, I have let in that this person is mentally ill, and/or extremely emotionally damaged. All I can do is make an attempt to save me from their self-involved, ruthless behavior. She cannot help it. It’s just who she is. Maybe some day I will have the strength to forgive her for that. I pray on it regularly…….

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, as well as your realization that you just have to let her go. I can relate to what you’re going through as I was actually more in love with my Ex when I left him than at any other point in our relationship. NC IS hard, and it’s extremely painful, but I learned so much about myself and life after making that crucial choice. Wishing you all the best in moving forward <3

      1. bikinfool007

        Thanks for the validation of my feelings and situation. I think I also had similar feelings to you. When ever there is a large upheaval in life, as in this situation, it caused me to really look at my feelings for this person…and I truly did love her in a healthy, selfless way and would never have taken the kind of actions that the person I deeply cared about took behind my back. The truth was slow in coming and I was left to figure it out on my own in an immense amount of emotional pain, so my thinking was less than clear.
        I was able to act like an adult, and take care of me. The two of them did and continue to act like 6th graders. (WTF?).It is kind of twisted that she abandoned me, but when I had the guidance and strength to go NC, then I got drive-byes, notes on car, ambushes at supermarket, etc….and in fact by going NC “I” was the one that ended the relationship…not her. She would have “checked-in” regularly and kept the sad puppy in her back pocket in-case-needed-for-later. I have to understand that NPD’s (BPD?) are really, really damaged people who suffer in their own way “I guess”…but it sure appeared to be a heartless, cruel selfish departure if I ever did see one….My Moma did not warn us about this! LOL!

  9. KB

    My situation is a bit different… I have had two Narcs in my life – my stepfather and now my sister in law. These relationships obviously have no romantic side to them- but I’m in a unique position by being forced to observe the romantic side of the relationship that my mom dealt with (being a child raised by an unloving and hateful narc is a fate worse than death. Trust me.) and also being forced to interact with my narc sister in law – my hubbys family thinks I need to learn to forgive & forget like a good Christian would…) I am now in therapy due to Complex PTSD from my childhood and I’m actively being triggered by my sis in law … I feel like I cannot get away from it. After going NC with sis in law, she texts her brother (my husband) and draws him back in. She is playing a game of her vs me with my hubby in the middle. Its awful. He’s still under the impression that this is all going to work out. Nope… It won’t.

    My therapist calls it “facing the dragon” when you are forced to interact with your narc. Hubby knows the abuse I suffered as a child but he doesn’t see his abusive sister as a Narc. To try to explain how this feels – you can’t put it into words, so how can I convince hubby that I need to be able to enforce NC with his sister for my own sanity? There’s so much pressure from his enabling flying monkey family members. It feels like torture and I feel like a helpless 7 yr old all over again.

  10. KB

    My situation is a bit different… I have had two Narcs in my life – my stepfather and now my sister in law. These relationships obviously have no romantic side to them- but I’m in a unique position by being forced to observe the romantic side of the relationship that my mom dealt with (being a child raised by an unloving and hateful narc is a fate worse than death. Trust me.) and also being forced to interact with my narc sister in law – my hubbys family thinks I need to learn to forgive & forget like a good Christian would…) I am now in therapy due to Complex PTSD from my childhood and I’m actively being triggered by my sis in law … I feel like I cannot get away from it.

    My therapist calls it “facing the dragon” when you are forced to interact with your narc. Hubby knows the abuse I suffered as a child but he doesn’t see his abusive sister as a Narc. To try to explain how this feels – you can’t put it into words, so how can I convince hubby that I need to be able to enforce NC with his sister for my own sanity? There’s so much pressure from his enabling flying monkey family members. It feels like torture and I feel like a helpless 7 yr old all over again.

  11. Anonymous

    I have had some pretty incredible experiences throughout my life and what a ride it has been so far, my best friend of over 30 years has always said I am one of the strongest people she knows. The experience with my narcissist, a 4yr energy draining, soul crushing, exhausting experience (I now put close to top of my list of devastating experiences) and if I told that best friend of mine today the whole story she would kick my ass for staying, (discarded a over yr ago), as we all know when we tell, “why do u stay”, etc.
    “then she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. she was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. and for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring”.
    I have been forever changed and some days are still challenging, yesterday I could have scratched his and his NS eyes out (she appeared in “our” home a wk after I moved out), of course he wasn’t man enough to make me preeve of NS, devastating as that visual was it really confirmed what my gut knew and explained his actions the previous 4 months. As I said this wasn’t my first rodeo with life changing experiences and the best way I can explain most of them were that outta body thing, ur ears, eyes, mind and heart is short circuited, then we walk around with tunnel vision as the world goes on and we attempt or not to function. All of the different emotions we feel are very real and even though I have the same emotions they hit me differently then in the beginning and what we feel is justifiable, narcissism is a very real abuse and the more we share our stories here with Kim and our fellow survivors it helps our own healing and supports your not crazy. Get out of it any way you have to we believe you and understand. Go NC, got kids take them to a relative when they have to be pkdup, do whatever u have to, gather you thoughts, write down a plan hide it under a rock in the yard if u have to but keep it as quiet as possible if ur in a hostile environment. “Confidence is silent, insecurities are loud”,

  12. I am going through similar no contact, but with my narc parents. It is tempting to try to get the narc to see things from our point of view, we want them to change so badly, but eventually realise that just can’t happen. Great post

    1. Anonymous

      the only thing that saved my life was to find a therapist/coach who specializes in tx of narc abuse..It has saved my life

  13. Sally

    Yep answering his text dragged me back into hell
    Never again
    Blocked for life now!

  14. IJustWannaBeMeAgain...

    Hey everybody! NC was a success!!! Now I just think, ” What the hell was I thinking?! :/ I cant even manage to convince myself of the attraction. I don’t care what he is doing, who he is seeing, what he thinks about me, if he does, i couldn’t care less abput him or his life and it’s strange that he was once the center of my universe. Ladies (And Gents) You can do this, nobody said it will be easy but the freedom at the end of it all, is more than worth it!! Good luck with the NC!! Stay strong!!!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much for sharing your success story, IJustWannaBeMeAgain! I love getting these because it’s more proof that life CAN be different! <3

    2. Kacie

      This is inspiring, I want the freedom from it all. I’ve been hurt for so long!!!

  15. Anotherone

    I was doing so good on NC. I went a good year with only breaking once or twice. And only gave in then for a day or two. But I gave in a month ago and he is blowing up my phone every day. It’s annoying. But every once in a while it feels like old times – in a good way. But I have been educating myself. And I am getting stronger. I know he is lying to me. And I see how he manipulates what he says to me. I am praying he discards me soon or I get the power to go NC again.
    It’s so hard once you break NC. At least now I don’t delude myself that he misses me or loves me. I know better.

  16. I went No Contact more than a year ago. It is very hard. I didn’t left him after 31 years because I didn’t love him anymore, but because I had to save myself. I had to be in contact about the mortgage, but I let it do through a lawyer. And once I send him a very ugly email. It helped, but knowing that any kind of attention is attention to the Narc I stay really on No Contact. After one month on No Contact he found another woman. The love of his life.
    That’s hard too. My kids (not his), still were trying to stay in contact with him, but now he sent them a very nasty letter with all the faults he made but turning it around to their faults. That’s what he is. He doesn’t want to see them anymore. Too much to tell. But we all decided not to respond to it. I think, he hopes we will respond. My kids were very shocked about the letter. But I am happy. Now they know how he really is and I don’t have to say anymore: I don’t want to hear a thing about him unless he’s dead. Because we all have to behave like they are dead. That’s the best way.

    1. Kim Saeed

      “Because we all have to behave like they are dead. That’s the best way.” – Very wise words, Ellebelle.

  17. onmyway

    The two most comforting things happened to me today….I googled “how to get an ex to leave you alone” and found subsequent info narrowing it down to quitting a narcissist. I was like omg, that’s what I need, right there! That’s #1, finding your article. And #2, is seeing that you respond to people, as recently as 2 days ago. A friend of mine mentioned (a month or so ago) that my ex might be narcissistic and after a little research, I found that to be so for the most part. I believe there are other things in play but narcissism is the dominant quality. I’m glad to know I’m headed in the right direction. Even before reading your article, I already had no contact in full swing. I changed my phone number bc he’s the type that will keep calling 20-30 times in a row and after he sent an email saying he missed me, I blocked his email. But I got weak and unblocked it and later found I became addicted to checking to see if he sent anymore. Your article helped strengthen my resolve and take the next step.. deleting my email accounts. That is no easy feat as soooo much is connected to that damn email but its necessary for my success and survival. Thank you.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Way to go, onmyway! I also had to delete an email account I’d had for almost 15 years, as well as change my cell phone number a few times. A big pain in the rear at the time, but well worth the peace of mind. Wishing you all the best in your healing journey <3

  18. Erica

    I live in a very small town, and we have a 5 year old that we have co parented, 50/50 visitation, for the last three months since our breakup. 10 blocks separate us. I have become a psycho, a stalker, a manipulator. I have felt suicidal, homicidal, and unable to perform daily tasks because of the need spy to see if he is lying. Even if I catch him in a lie it gets turned back on me because i would not have proof unless I was “stalking” him and being a “crazy bitch.” No contact is impossible here. We see each other at the store, the bank, the school. I am going insane trying to prove to him that I am not all these things he keeps telling I am. We have one counseling center, I go to monthly sessions, but I have begged for some kind of counseling “boot camp” to no avail. every one of the three Ive attended I have insisted that I need more, been told they would save extra dates and been handed a card for return in 1 month. Ive been left with no money to put gas in my car to go and sometimes I have to walk.I have no Idea how to do no contact in this situation and even if I was told how, I need support to refocus every couple of days for a little while. I’m lost, I’m being a horrible mother, all my friends are exhausted… I feel like I’m losing my mind…

  19. You absolutely cannot let yourself go back into that energy unless you’re sure that you’re in a place where you will not get sucked back in. I say that because I did have one final phone call which was a gift to me from the Universe. Somehow, I had finally and totally detached and I was able to listen from a place of some kind of outside observer and in those moments I was able to see the dark, empty shell that this man is. All of my ideas that maybe he wasn’t “as bad as I thought” were put to rest. He casually said things that were appalling and because I didn’t respond (but to his ears, I seemed accepting) he must have felt comfortable enough to continue with what he was saying…….and I glimpsed his soul…..or lack of it, perhaps. From that day forward, I lost each and every single thought about “maybe he’s a good man and I misunderstood” kind of crap and I saw him for who he is and I lost every ounce, every last tiny drop, of desire to ever see or speak to him again. But…….I caution you this……it took several years to get to this place. When you are newly out of the relationship, it is all too easy for them to make you think they care and suck you right back into the cycle of despair that they are so famous for.

  20. I wrote a long comment, but I lost it because of I can rely to all the things above and the next post about emailing the Narc. After No Contact for almost three quarter of a year I was so triggered by the things he did and also the new woman who told things about me, I wrote a not so nice email to him. Well it was the only and last one after the No Contact thing. He threatened, he would send it to his ‘friends’ (which ones?), but I wrote something’s in the email, that would place him in a very bad position. I was not so stupid. But did it help? I think not, but it is all because of you being a normal human being and you cannot accept, you will never get a answer.

  21. kat Jo

    Your timing is beautiful. Your respected and admired for your education to those suffering from these vile creatures. NO CONTACT IS YOUR ONLY WAY TO END THE NIGHTMARE ? remember the mask always falls off.

  22. I fell asleep with him in my room and woke up to police arresting me for failure to appear on criminal charges he filed for violating PO he got ex parte against me but gave wrong address so I never got served. $500 to bond out of jail & all I did was let him come tell me how much he missed me. What a nightmare. Now I am in criminal court? I’ve never hurt a bug! Then he shows up at my work a week later!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, jadedhated. The more we know about their underhanded schemes, the more educated and powerful we are!

  23. Anna

    I can remember endlessly mentally trying to find just the right words to explain to him and make him understand how he had devastated my life. It was as if I thought that I could make him understand and a light would go on for him and somehow that might fix him. Why didn’t it occur to me to ask, “Why would I want a person that I even had to explain such things to?!?” I must have thought I needed him to validate my experience!! Not good, and also, not true. Eventually, I was ashamed for him, for being who and what he was. His opinions on nothing mattered. He no longer quite met my standard for what it was to truly be human. Life could be worse, what if I were to look into a mirror and see his face with those cold eyes looking back at me, and call that ‘self.’

    A bit later I was in a relationship with a pathological liar with no conscience, (for the last time ever) I had the police remove him. As he was about to enter his car, he shouted back, “I’ll call you!!” I told him, “NO, you are already in my past!” He called 35 times in the next couple of hours. It was dawn before I could put the phone in the cradle without it ringing. No contact is very, very good, it gives them what they hate most, and that is that they don’t matter to you anymore.

  24. I respond to this post and the next one about the Email Tsunami’s. I left the relationship with my ex after 31 years. After 3 months we had contact again. That last for about a half year. Then he totally got back his old behaviors and I went in ‘No Contact’. But that was not so simple as it sounds. We all know. Because when he realized I wouldn’t come back, he found another woman. He introduced her to my grownup kids and granddaughter, my aunt of 86 and some other family. He invited them to come over for a BBQ. It was within two months after me going on No Contact. Then he started telling my family about the woman. She had many encounters with the police, she yelled at him, she followed him on vacation etc. all things I didn’t do. Maybe stupid, that I have heard off those things. Then I had to get back my stuff and the mortgage on the house should be changed. He didn’t respond. It made me mad. Then all of a sudden, I could collect my things. I think, that was because they decided to go to live together. Or she couldn’t bare that my stuff was still there. I told him to get rid of it himself. I found out I didn’t need them anymore and one day I couldn’t get them and the other day I could. So I am not a puppet on a string. Then I tried to change the mortgage. He couldn’t get it in his name. The bank wouldn’t cooperate. Then I made the mistake to send him a very angry email. Told him to get out of my life and that of my children (who could decide that on there own). I stupidly, told him I knew about his new woman. I got back an email, that they laughed a lot about that and that she would go to the police to tell them what I’ve said and that they would send my email to all his friends. In the end they didn’t, because I mentioned something’s in it, that he doesn’t want his friends to know. So I was not that stupid. It was the only and last email I will ever send. The mortgage was taken care of by a lawyer, but he send him the email I wrote. I was really ashamed, but I am over it now. After all the good thing is, the new woman doesn’t want him to see my kids and granddaughter anymore. So he does what she says. He does a lot of things she said. That doesn’t mean that me and my children do understand how it is possible, after 33 years, he doesn’t want to have contact with them anymore. But that is how he is. He could jump into another relationship to another without any remorse. I knew it all the time I was with him, because I saw him do that to his family, ‘friends’, staff. How on earth could I think, he wouldn’t do this to us.

  25. Jen

    We were together 20years before he left. I wish I could go no contact but we have a 5year old…so difficult to have to see him every week. Kills me to even say hi and he’s so fine with it.

  26. Andy Edwards

    Andy – May 30, 2015

    Just to give you a sense of the type of behavior my narcicissistic partner ( we lived together for 7 years) exhibited. following cancer surgery I had a few years ago, while I was going through 3 months of radiation therapy ( which was preceded by 4 weeks of chemotherapy) she decided she was ” tired’ and decided that she needed a vacation in the Caribbean. No sane person would exhibit such behavior – but as with many things she was able to justify the unjustifiable. The relationship ended about a year ago – but she still sends me idiotic books form amazon, e-mails – by getting new addresses at g mail when I block her address and lovely birthday cards with loving quotes. The temptation to respond is almost overwhelming – even a year later – and the desire to send her a blistering e-mail is huge. But NCP is the only way to proceed. Otherwise I, and others like me, will be sucked back into the morass that it took so long to get out of. So follow Kim’s advice – draft a blistering e0mail – leave it in the draft folder and then have a glass of wine. Oscar Wilde was right – living well is the best revenge – and there are a lot of nice people out there – just be careful – because predators like the one I lived with can smell us kind and loving folks from miles away.

    1. KMC

      Thank you for,sharing your story. I hope your cancer recovery is going well. I love the Oscar Wilde quote! I wrote it on a sticky and will keep it with me at all times ….and read when the temptation to respond is overwhelming! Wishing you continued good health.

      1. Andy Edwards

        Hello KMC – The cancer surgery I had was for lung cancer – it was in August 2009 – so almost 6 years ago now and every CT Scan I have had – including one last week – has been clear – so while there is always a risk of the cancer returning, the risk declines over time. I really appreciate you asking about my recovery – the first part of the recovery when living in the same house with a monster was prtty difficult – but being away from her has certainly made things easier. Andy

    2. kathryn valentin

      “Justify the unjustifiable.” Perfect. Stay healthy Andy.

  27. Anonymous

    everything SO SO SO TRUE mentioned in the article. One wrong move , reply to his text, and it is a death sentence

  28. Anonymous

    everything in this article is SO SO TRUE.. that one text ruins it all. we start going downhill, first emotionally than mentally which disable us to focus which than makes our life miserable thus the effects mentioned in this article. ugh these men need to migrate to SPACE where we can live in PEACE!!!!!

  29. Princess

    thanks Kim.
    I have been no contact with my ex now for 18 months. The longest I have gone. I blocked him completely this time. I never did before. The last time we got back together it was because of one text. One text of him telling me he missed me and was in love with me. I fell for it only to be hurt beyond words. Cheating and lying. I confronted him and it was more lies. Ad-hoc lies. Finally I decided that I had had enough of the hurt and humiliation. Besides I was so concerned about my children (not his) seeing me crying and sad. So I picked up the rest of my dignity and told him bye. Yesterday one of my friends told me he bought a house. I was nosy so I looked on his FB page. He is still single in his big house, probably dating someone. But as usual no sign of a relationship on his FB page just as he did me. Kept that separate because FB was his hunting ground. Anyway. I felt sorry for him in a way but so relieved that I was not with him. I would have been miserable. Nothing would have changed. He would have still been cheating and lying. I will block him again tomorrow. FB won’t let me do it till 2 days after unblocked him. A few months ago I would have fallen to pieces seeing that he moved on and bought a house without me. He was more than likely lying when he said we would buy one together. Anyway not my problem anymore. I have peace and I know that its better for me to be single and happy than be in a faux relationship and sad.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience, Princess. The more we know about how these people operate, the more educated and powerful we are. Your story may just touch some lives. Wishing you all the best <3

  30. Angela

    Right on time Kim.. As usual. You are a blessing. Thank you!

  31. Getting There

    Oh wow I’ve been doing No Response but I still have crippling anxiety every time my phone beeps. I know I have to go full No Contact but I always feel like I’m overreacting. Your story could be mine, Kim. Thank you for putting this into perspective so clearly and eloquently. I’m sorry that happened to you. I need to choose me 100 percent and not the 50 I’ve been fooling myself that I can handle. I don’t want or need the anticipatory anxiety. I don’t why I’ve chosen that road for this long. It’s only slowed my recovery. Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. Kim Saeed

      You’re very welcome, Getting There! Just keep in mind that the pain won’t last forever and there IS a better life ahead once you make it through No Contact <3

  32. Anonymous

    Three years after blocking phone, texts, and emails it is only infrequent (2-4 times a year) postal mail that I get and only open it on my lawyer’s advice because the ex still owes me money. That gets passed on to my lawyer unanswered. He’s not supposed to mail me directly, but he is evidently unable to follow that. He is still trying to control and manipulate. The last letter I was tempted to answer, only to tell him his claims were absurd and to that he creates his own dilemmas. So I wrote down what I would respond if I could, and took it to my dv counselor and discussed it there, confidentially in a safe place. That’s how I handle it.

  33. It is really difficult and it sucks. I even wrote a post last week about the withdrawal symptoms. I’m an addict and he was my drug.

      1. KMC

        Not very well… I sent an email today and mad at myself. Yet I am home alone on another night while he is out with his new supply…so trying to get mad and find my pride.

  34. KMC

    If anyone has any advice on how they finally succeeded at NC I would appreciate it. I try and fall of the wagon. I miss the good times…he was an altruistic narcissist and I am so very lonely . He was my best friend. The depression and sadness is overwhelming, yet he has moved on … Found another narcissism supply… and I am stuck. All and any suggestions appreciated. I have no will power and get a few hours of relief if he simply responds to an email….I know, I sound pathetic. Thank you in advance!

    1. Kim Saeed

      KMC, in the beginning, it helps to plan out activities up to the minute. Meaning, don’t stay at home alone in front of your pc or with your phone nearby. If you don’t have children, go to the movies and leave your phone at home. Change your cell phone number and block his email. These may sound like drastic measures, but no one who’s ever taken them overreacted. It’s because of the narcissist that we’re forced to take these actions. Guided meditations are a great start, along with journaling. They sound like very simple things but have worked wonders for people who practice them consistently.

      1. KMC

        Thank you. This makes sense. I live in a very rural town and have no friends or family nearby so this requires much work but I will get busy. Intellectually I know Sleeping or soothing the extreme pain with food and alcohol is not the answer. Thank you again for the tip!

    2. Anonymous

      Thanks Kim. I’m going to block his texts. I have to listen to my head and not my heart.

      1. I have it set up where his test messages are blocked and phone calls are sent to voicemail and only cause we have a kid

    3. V0v333

      I hope this helps:

      Rejection. His rejection pushed me away. He began putting distance between us long before I realized I was being discarded. I was still doing all the little wife functions (accept sex; he punished me that way), while he’s helping himself with porn. What other explanation is there? The man finds pleasure in his fantasies. In the 15 yrs we’ve been married, he’s managed to hide it from me. But in the last 7 yrs., I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s got nothing for me, because he exhausts it all watching porn. We’ve never had real intimacy, but I still cared. But eventually the flame has died down because of his neglect. I keep telling myself that we could had had the most incredible marriage, but how could we, when his selfishness and self gratification slowly killed it. There is a very inpenetrable, invisible wall between us. I can’t arouse him, not because I’m not woman enough, but because his idea of enjoyable sex is far different than mine. I only see him once or twice a month, we don’t talk about divorce, but this marriage never was. When you know you’re undesirable to the one who vowed he’d love you for better or for worse, you should know it’s best to let go.

  35. Yes, yes, yes, yes and… YES! No Contact is the only tried and true way. It saved my sanity and my life.
    I equate it to quitting smoking (which I did). Cold Turkey is bloody awful and hard but that nicotine is out of your system in 72 hours, the rest is behaviour modification, The Patch, on the other hand, keeps you hooked with that tiny, little bit of the high.
    Great article as always Kim, hope you and yours are doing well. K~xx

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you, Karin! It’s so good to see you here, as always. And yes, it’s been scientifically shown that recovering from these toxic relationships is the same as recovering from drugs and/or alcohol. Great analogy about the nicotine patch! 🙂

    2. Anonymous

      Thank you! I had two texts from him four days ago. I was in a long distance relationship for almost three years. I made every visit there. He always had an excuse to not visit me. He abuses me in his texts and ends by saying, “I’ll always be here for you.” I am not responding, but I feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes.

      1. Kim Saeed

        Oh my gosh…yes, the only way to really get over this hump is to completely block him. I’ve not ever known of someone who didn’t eventually cave when not blocking.

  36. Anonymous

    OMG! I’m going through that scenario right now. I needed this. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever recover…….

    1. Kim Saeed

      You can, Someone! But only by going No Contact first <3

      1. Rachel

        I had already decided on how I was going to end the pain, I just had to wait till my parents (one with Alzheimer’s, the other with cancer) had gone but it was getting to the point that even they couldn’t hold me to this earth, nor all the rescue animals I care for. I found this site and now suddenly a light bulb is going off, it isn’t me at all… but and it is a big BUT, I am afraid to go NO CONTACT… it is hopeless the games he is playing with me. I just can’t imagine him gone – it is 18 years now. All full of lies, I hate that I can’t get out of this web, NO CONTACT scares me because I don’t want it to end, I didn’t realize I was in an abusive situation…. he says he is leaving me and still wants to be friends and better, but I know too I own the business we worked on and the cars are in my name… this is hell.

        1. Kim Saeed

          Rachel, I know how difficult it is to go No Contact. It took me several months to stick with it, though I didn’t know about the concept of NC at that time, nor of narcissism.

          I was once so sick with trauma-bonding, codependency, and zero self-esteem that I agreed to be my husband’s second wife. Can you imagine? I don’t even recognize the woman I was back then. I share this in hopes that you might find that one ray of hope like I did. I had the idea in the very back of my mind that life HAD to be different…that pain and misery wasn’t just “the card I’d been dealt”. And I fought for that possibility tooth-and-nail. I’m happy to say it paid off, though it did take a while.

          I’m not surprised he wants to be friends and all of that. Almost all of them say that (cerebrals being one of the rare exceptions). Yeah, so then we agree to be friends and they come over when they want some entertainment or an ego stroke, giving us false hope that things might improve, having sex with us, and then leaving us again for the new supply source.

          It won’t ever get better…and besides, with “friends” like them, who needs enemies?

          Right now, you’re hanging onto the “possibility of salvation”. That’s what keeps us hooked. It’s the grand lie of all lies because they never intend on giving us “redemption” because things are working out quite well for them just the way they are.

          You deserve more…and more is possible. I tell you that from personal experience. <3

          1. BridgetJones

            You are speaking the truth. False hope, even HE keeps saying, I don’t want to give you false hope, not knowing why he wants to stay in contact, it’s like stabbing me in the heart a thousand times over again even after my heart already stopped beating. He’s confused-initially he “fell in love” after only a handful of weeks with a horrible 4 times married sociopath who has broken up 3 OTHER marriages not including ours, who targets weak men like mine in a “midlife”crisis cos she wanted money–he loved me, loved HER, wanted a polyamory situation so he could figure out who he REALLY loved. And this after 25 years of being married. And being HAPPY! Or so I thought. It was a complete and absolute shock when he told me. It was 6 months ago. He’s only seen her one time, mostly an EA, but he was willing to lose it all, me, our family, his job (she worked for him only briefly at the time) and now even if she’s out of the picture, he wants to search for his “identity” and expected me to wait around for him to enjoy his second childhood. When I filed for divorce to protect me and my assets (from HER), he became very angry. How do I stop letting him get to me? How do I go no contact when I still have hope? He was such an amazing man for so many years. My best friend. Is there a chance he’ll snap out of it? PS you’ve helped me a lot.

          2. kimraya

            Hi Bridget, I don’t know if this will help, but the situation you’re in is a matter of his having his cake and eating it, too. Many, MANY narcissistic men engage in these same behaviors you describe…he wants to be able to pursue both you and this other woman so he can “decide who he loves”, thereby putting you in the position of working overtime to prove you are the worthy one. By the way, don’t trust what he says in regards to this new girl…that he only saw her one time. Malarkey. He’s trying to downplay the reality of the situation, hoping you’ll see it through a filter of feigned innocence, where he “suddenly” fell in love and didn’t know what to do.

            Of course he is angry that you filed for divorce. You’re no longer sitting at home, playing second fiddle while he uses your joint assets to play single. I wouldn’t wait around on the chance that he’ll “snap out of it”. It’s entirely possible that he’s been doing these things all along and was just really good at hiding it. At any rate, I know from the experiences of my clients (as well as my own) that your hope can keep you entangled with this man until the end of time, until you’ve lost every ounce of self-respect and self-esteem. And in the end, you might just stay because you’re too tired to do anything else…all while he whoops it up with other women.

            Don’t try to be civil and overly fair during the divorce. That’s exactly what he’s hoping for because the bottom line is that he only cares about himself. Trying to be civil and expecting him to approach things from your own compassionate and fair manner will only leave you with very little to show for the time you’ve invested in the marriage. Let your attorney decide what’s fair.

            Wishing you all the best…

    2. Anonymous

      To: Rachel & anyone else wanting to end it all bc the pain/hopelessness is so overwhelming…THe only thing that saved me was hiring someone that specializes in treating the survivors of narc. My therapist who only treats narc abuse survivors has saved my life. I tried to do it myself & it was more than I could handle..

      1. Kim Saeed

        Hi Someone, thank you for sharing that. Just to clarify, does your therapist specialize in that, meaning, is that something you were able to search for under the therapist’s specializations? I only ask because sometimes it’s difficult to find someone who does specialize in treating narc abuse, even when contacting one’s insurance company…

      2. I just want to back the concept for Rachael of getting outside help. I was suicidally depressed when my (now) ex exposed her narc traits full bore to me. I got in a self-help group for a related problem, got a therapist who was well versed on co-dependency and addiction and also eventually got into group therapy. I was initially given hope that things could be different. I do not think I could have grasped that concept on my own, as I was so entangled in my own head and repeated actions and thoughts that perpetuated the downward spiral. Getting out of myself and seeking/asking for help changed everything, but like Kim says…It takes time. It is also painful growth…but it gets better, especially with support. I could not have done it alone. A lot of the work involved me learning about myself and slowly through loving guidance seeing that “I” was part of the problem. Once I started to see that and be ruthlessly honest (and self-loving, not abusive), then the real healthy, lasting change started to occur.
        Rachael…YOU can get through this to a better place and a better you. Just reach out, find good people and trust that their is something better for you. There is.

      3. Rachel

        It’s gotten worse, led me down a merry path. He has been gaslighting me, threatening me if I don’t conform Ill destroy everything because everything is in my name. He took out two business loans in my business name and when I do anything strong he pushes back even harder. He has my adult daughter completely believing him. I would love no contact at this point, but I’m taking care of my parents, a situation he got me in, said he would care for the business while I cared for them. He has taken over my business, I can’t go no contact because if I don’t get my foot back in the door I’ll loose all. No sex for over a year, but he still says he will be there for me… help with house chores he has never done, as long as I don’t cause trouble. My goal is no contact, yes I am very codependent and on an edge of nervous breakdown. Thank you for listening.

  37. rainawareness

    How can you make a post about a text ruining your life without saying what the text said?

    1. Kim Saeed

      Any text from the narcissist is meant to hook us back in, even one that simply says, “hi”.

    2. Princess

      the point is it does not matter what the text says. Its always an attempt to draw you back in or make him feel good about feeling that you still want him. Radio silence is the only way. Or like my sister said. Pretend like he walked to the “edge” of the earth and fell off!

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