LMR Q&A Tuesday: Why won’t the Narcissist make up his mind?

Dear Kim,

My Ex and I have been divorced for two years. I live in the house we used to share, with our children, and he moved out after the divorce and in with his new woman. However, he still comes over whenever he wants (he still has a key to the house), eats dinner with us occasionally, and we still do “housework” together from time to time.

He still treats me the same as he did when we were together. Saying he’s coming over and then doesn’t show. Giving me the Silent Treatment when I tell him his actions are rather despicable in the big scheme of things.

I’ve asked him why he still comes to see me when he has a new partner, but his typical response is that he is in love with both of us and can’t make up his mind. He’s been seeing this woman since before the divorce and as far as I know, she doesn’t realize what’s really going on when he comes over. My guess is she probably thinks he’s visiting with the kids.

I have been letting him come over because the kids enjoy his company and also because I still have feelings for him.

Why can’t my narcissistic Ex make up his mind?

Hanging On

Dear Hanging On,

There’s really no easy way to say this, but it’s not that your Ex can’t make up his mind. He just wants you to continue believing that so he can continue having the “best of both worlds”, at least as it pertains to him. He’s taking advantage of your inclination to give him the benefit of the doubt while having you believe he still loves and cares about you.

This Narcissistic, self-serving behavior is actually more common than people might think or at least want to admit to. If he can persist in persuading you that he is a noble man at his core who is simply torn between two lovers, he can continue taking full advantage of both you and the situation.

It goes something like this: You tell him you don’t like being second best and he dramatically pretends to be torn and remorseful (shifting the attention back to him). Because of his obvious turmoil, you forget about his cheating and lies as your compassion kicks into high gear due to the obvious heart-wrenching battle he is going through. You agree to give him more time to figure things out.

In truth, his sense of entitlement won’t lead him to “figure things out”. He’ll instantly toss your wish that he make up his mind already and the whole episode will be forgotten within seconds because he’s gotten you back on board.

It’s every cheater’s dream.

I’m going to give you the dirty low-down here. As long as he is able to maintain this swindler’s yumminess, he is never going to change or choose.

You have two options here: accept the situation as it is and that he won’t change or throw him to the curb while setting a better example of love and marriage for your children and open your future up to the possibility of real and genuine love that doesn’t involve cheating and infidelity.

I know you have a shared history and all and you may believe you’re maintaining some sense of stability for your children, but they know their daddy has moved in with another woman, and in spite of your very best efforts to go stealth when doing “housework” with your Ex, your kids either already know what’s up or they will figure it out. Then what? They’ll grow up thinking it’s okay to cheat. It’s okay to keep a family on the back burner and throw out crumbs from time-to-time.

In turn, they will grow up not having a clear idea of what’s right and wrong as it pertains to romantic relationships and either not take them seriously and/or grow up tolerating a future partner cheating on them because that’s what dad did to mom (or vice-versa).

Not only that, your Ex will string you along for years never giving you the chance to build a new life or create an opening for another man to love you because, let’s face it, he still wants to control you even though he chose to move out and start a new life with someone else.

I would highly suggest changing the locks on your doors and starting a visitation schedule for him to visit your children—outside your home. He will no doubt be angry with this new boundary and will probably give you the silent treatment for a while, but it has to be done or you will be stuck in this La La Land limbo indefinitely.

Copyright © 2016 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! Bestseller in three categories on Amazon–with a special section on Modified Contact!


  1. Iam just starting the divorce process with my Ex narc. He is already playing his games. Has hacked into All my E mail accounts, Facebook, Instagram. I know this is not going to be an easy ride, and he will go for everything he can get out of me( he was a parasite off me for 9 years) my house, mortgage and I paid ALL the bills. When I look back now I feel stupid, but I have to be strong and get through this.
    Everyone on here helps me move on. Thank you.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Katherine, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate because I lost everything, too. It was literally like starting over from scratch at the age of 40. But, hopefully your attorney can help you keep as much as possible. Wishing you all the very best <3

    2. Calling him an “ex” means you are serious and well on your way to freeing yourself. As long as you remember that for him, this is just a game and he wants to win the game. For you it is about getting your life back. Keep up the good work you are doing 🙂

  2. My X is basically doing the same to me. I am realizing there is no way to start a new life while letting the X still be a part of it.

    1. Kim Saeed

      That’s about as simple and accurate as it gets. It will be worth it, though <3

  3. Anon

    The really talented ones…have MORE than one supply than you. Meaning. more than one OTHER than you. and you will never ever know it. or, the really twisted ones…will actually tell you about it…in order to pump up your supply! so messed up.

  4. Bottom line to everybody myself iincluded—
    NC period….. Almost 70 days an I have no desire to contact him,fakebook, SM, could careless, they’re gone, onto supply,supply,supply,supply,supply
    Rinse&Repeat never ending……
    You got a go thru your s*** to get to the rainbow,your RAINBOW……
    Let them be….. They’re always gonna do
    what they want,their world is THEMSELVES….
    Thyre Not all that, its just a guy/girl Narc who is hollow,inflated ego,an insecure,fact…….
    Its abt your happiness,your life,your soul&spirit,period…..
    Live&let live….
    Hard at times yes, they don’t care,period…..
    You are worth it,you do radiate love,
    they ONLY dimmed your light,its not extinguished…..

    1. Anonymous

      They only dimmed your lights–how beautifully stated!

    2. Leonardo

      clap, clap, clap… very well said!!! Thank you chankla2

  5. I seriously believe the toxic museech on the radio contributes to the narc’s spell. The tunes project the (satanic) message that if you aren’t sleeping with someone, something is wrong with you, woman. Horse -hockey! Time to kick the music to the curb, right after peewee is escorted to the door – with hefty bag in hand.

  6. jarwithaheavylid

    Spot on. Angela de Gunst – this one’s for you. You’ve never been anything but an option and it’s sad you don’t expect better for yourself and your children. He doesn’t lie to you – you lie to yourself and then project jealousy and blame onto other women through your lack of emotional intelligence (and narcissistic brainwashing over 17 years). The truth is, you’re holding on to the booby prize because you can’t face yourself. Don’t shoot the messenger, because the messenger had her own life lessons. There is magnificent light at the other end, and I promise life will be better if you ever glimpse that light and follow it. Your soul never lies – your soul knows.

    1. Leonardo

      Your post sounds cruel but it is true. Recovery comes when we start doing things about our self. DENIAL give us a nice break, but after that reality hits even harder.
      I take your comment for my self. I can ditch out all kinds of complains but I know I am the creator of my own reality.
      Thank you for your insight.

      1. Jo Jo

        You know you’re right…I just read these previous two comments and I think I have found the answer to my issue of how to stop feeling so hurt by him because of “what he has done and what he continues to do now he is without me”… I have been the strong one in the past 5-10 years able to take on anything that comes my way etc…fixing him and his problems and dealing with life as a mother of 5 on my own…but I just realised the importance of the simple fact that I have been in denial and while I have known there were problems I have allowed this to continue for the sake of caring for him at the expense of myself and my children….just tolerating the situation knowing I was not fulfilled or happy…….knowing and recognising that I continued to put myself there unnecessarily gives me the power to now stop the pain…he didn’t just do it to me…I’ve done it to myself! And now I have acknowledged it, take my power and focus it back on me and my kids and move on……..just as I previously chose to stay……. I’m not going to be his victim anymore………I made the choice to stay for him but also for my own reasons ……. And now I make the choice to choose peace, freedom and a new life…..for myself and my family ? I’m no victim!

        1. Pauline

          when I disentangled from the Narc. it takes a period of time to adjust, but I know Narcs. love fixers when I stopped fixing him in anyway, and nourished my being and soul life started to move, abonnement issues where looked at and healed, and now I still take it back to self…no longer around anyone of that calibre and happy

  7. Spot on. Angela de Gunst, this one’s for you. You’re nothing but an option and it’s sad you don’t think you’re worth better – just like you told me once. 🙂

  8. sharon

    This is my story..exactly!!! He had recently left his wife, was in the process of a divorce, and would drop in at my house for a few days, the ex wife’s house for a day or so, and a third woman’s house…and he “loved” us all. After about of year of this, I let him move in (becasue, you know..no one loved and understood him like me)…After about 6 months, I caught him calling the third woman from the past. I immediately confronted him (he denied it being anything but friendship..and I know she didn’t answer the call because I was tracking his phone bill). I made him move out. Of course he called about 6 weeks later, and I told him in no uncertain terms I was done…and not to contact me again. Then I changed my number and moved. That was 8 months ago..and I’ve never looked back. I spent a total of 18 months enduring his BS…and I loved him beyond words…but I refuse to play that game any longer. It took him about two weeks to find someone else..and I hope she keeps him well occupied as I move on with my life.

  9. Anonymous

    I finally saw that any time he was charming and flirty, it was a manipulative mask. Once I realized that, he turned my stomach! He came around 7 months ago and flashed my picture on his phone… Saying he wouldn’t erase it… So he couldn’t keep a girlfriend. Trying to manipulate me. I told him to delete it and never step foot on my property again. His face was shocked.

  10. Shannon

    Wow, I am speechless because I am not sure how to feel about relating to this story 100%. 2014 was a year of healing for myself from my ex who came back to me just as I was starting to get over him. This site and the stories are very helpful for me to see how much I can grow without an individual such as my ex. I am glad to say that I am no longer a part of his “hopeless romantic” scheme that would usually lure me back to him. I can’t say I feel sorry for his fiancé, she seems to be clueless to his narcissist ways. Or as he says, accepts him for who he truly is.

    Hello 2016, I welcome this year with nothing but love for myself and my children!

  11. Another great post Kim! And to the writer… for the love of whatever! Cut him lose! I don’t wish to sound obtuse but… If my Former spouse had been a Narc, I wouldn’t want him anywhere near our children based upon what I know (it was a bf that was the Narc). IMO and based on what the Narc did to me, that’d be a little like having Freddie Krueger babysit. DNA is no reason to allow a monster into your child’s life.

  12. ibikenyc

    It’s not that he “can’t,” it’s that he DOESN’T HAVE TO.

  13. Well put, Kim! Narc’s are like heroin. They place us in such a high that we become so addicted to them due to their manipulation of words, which causes the victim to believe and trust everything they say. Instead, they jerk with the victim’s hearts and feelings allowing them to feel that they are “soulmates.” The hardest task is setting boundaries on Narc’s, which they do not respect nor comply, and no contact is the best method a person is able to improve their situation. The more years invested with a Narc will be increasingly difficult to flush the Narc out of the victim’s heart.

  14. Brilliant, as always. Your answer to the e-mail reflects my insights about my narcissistic ex to a T. Even though he had moved on and dating/looking for dates with multiple women, of course he wanted to keep me in the Narcissistic harem, and keep me as a back up plan, when all else failed. Also, I have come to understood that he always thought he could come back to me “for real” later on, cause he said stuff like that when he wants to have children, later on, he always thought that me and him would be the ones who would end up doing that, cause we were “special”. Today I just feel sick sometimes, when thinking about his warped mind. Oh, and his parents cheated on each other during his childhood, but stayed together like nothing happened.. and he was the golden child, who could never do anything wrong. Yuck. So glad to be out of his crazy web. Only thing I fear is his hoovers cause he has mad skills in acting (Academy Award skills really). Thanks for sharing this! Hugs ?

    1. Yes, I agree an Academy Award! Funny that you said that! I sent my narc a YouTube music video by Rihanna, “Take a Bow!”

      1. Very cool, angelmpabros!! maybe i am a bit older than you, but I always think about that my narcissist fits in with the music video “Take a Bow” by Madonna, quite a few years before Rihanna.. 😉 Whatever, I think it is crucial that we see their acting as… acting. Hugs and healing thoughts to you! 🙂

  15. Pauline

    Oh dear I simple had to comment, my husband had an affair with a relative, and thought he could pop over and see his house, with me there, that he loved, I took his keys back and divorced him, when we were going through the divorce he came of over one evening with an idea, OH yea, that he may not stay with my cousin so could I keep the door open until he sees how it goes, I had an amazing mentor this was 30 years ago, she said “tell him what you think of the idea” I said go to hell very nicely…when I moved he would pop over, and leave parcels, so I met him in central London in a nice hotel, and told him not to contact me again, oh no you cant I involved with your family and take that person with you, if I had children I would of set up a meeting place away from the home…I never looked back I now are happy in my skin married to someone who loves me and I love him…no contact…

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Pauline. The nerve–wanting you to leave the door open in case it didn’t work out. Glad you gave him the boot and are now living a happy life! <3

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