We recently wrote about people who dated narcissists, and man were their stories full of dark truths about the experience.
Their stories were so eye-opening that it inspired other people in the BuzzFeed Community to share their experiences, too.
So, here are some folks who deserved so much better than their narcissistic partners:
Warning: Some stories include topics of domestic abuse, sexual assault, suicide, and emotional abuse. Please proceed with caution.
1."I met mine later in life after I'd lived a little and was able to recognize the signs pretty early on and get away. But he did the typical love-bombing in the beginning, and then it started to turn sour once he actually 'had me.' He tried to convince me to stop seeing my therapist because 'all female therapists are wh*res,' and 'I couldn't trust anything she would say' (probably because he knew she'd tell me to run for the damn hills). He also told me all my friends were wh*res even though he literally never met any of them (again, because he knew they were telling me he was a giant red flag). Thank god that lasted only a couple of months before I bounced. I feel so sorry for anybody else who ends up with him."
2."I was with my ex for almost two years before I got out. He would lie, cheat, gaslight, and manipulate. He’d give me the silent treatment every time I did or said something 'wrong.' I paid for most things and drove because he couldn’t hold down a job (he believed he was 'above working in certain areas' because he felt he should’ve been an accomplished musical artist by the time he was 25). He’d go out to dinner with his brother and his brother's girlfriend and talk shit about me — and they made sure I knew it. I heard a lot of, 'You’re too sensitive, what are you crying about this time?' He could talk to any and every girl he wanted to, but if I talked to a guy friend at work, I was 'flirting with him' and 'obviously wanted to be with him.'"
"One night I just got up in the middle of dinner, said I was not happy, grabbed all of my stuff, and walked out. He stalked me for years afterwards and texted me a few years ago pretending to be an old mutual friend the two of us had.
Somehow he’s got a wife now."
3."I have Borderline Personality Disorder, which makes me a Narcissist Personality Disorder magnet. My first serious relationship was with a narcissist for three years. He knew how to hurt me, and that I had very present self-harm tendencies. I ended up in the hospital, and the relationship ended with physical violence. I'm so glad a lot of people have been able to get away, too — narcissists are poisonous."
4."My ex started out charming and funny (they all do). Little jokes here and there, which gradually turned into insults all the time. He'd treat me like a maid, mother, and sex object, and he let his friends walk all over me. I was encouraged to stay at home like a 'good little woman,' wasn't allowed to be funny, and he was the center of attention so much that my comics revolved around him (I draw). He would gaslight me, sexually abuse me, and get me blackout drunk — he'd 'have sex' with me and then shame me the next morning for not remembering."
"When I had my double organ transplant, he said that if I died he would have 'milked it for sympathy' at his gaming sessions. He said if I lived a year after the surgery, we could get married, but then he'd end up seeing a woman from his games whilst I was in organ rejection.
He'd still want me as his maid, to cook, and for sex. I finally woke up one day whilst packing his overnight bag for his mistress and said to him, 'She has a house — can you go and stay there?'"
5."He knew I lost my high school boyfriend in a car accident, so he’d often call me (we were long distance) and claim to be drunk driving. Then he'd switch off his phone for hours on end."
"He also lied about a friend dying, about accidentally having killed a pregnant ex-girlfriend in a war zone, and about having a brain tumor and heart attack."
6."The worst part is that you start to feel 'crazy.' You know that you’re not a bad person, and that you try to be a good partner — but being with a narcissist, everything is your fault. Everything 'wrong with you,' the relationship, them, your home, YOUR job, THEIR job — is your fault. By the end of the relationship, my ex hadn’t worked in three months, had multiple health issues they REFUSED to get treatment for, and would snap and become belligerent at the slightest provocation. But everything was my fault due to my 'shortcomings.' Even worse, they would use therapy terms and mental health buzz-words in every manipulation. I 'wouldn’t take responsibility for my actions' — there were so many ways of twisting things around. You hear these things enough that you start to believe them, so you feel terrible about yourself."
"In my case, the reality was that I was being used, and was nothing but a way to keep him fed with a roof over his head while being told that he loved me despite all 'my faults.' Apparently, my faults were I needed him to work and be responsible for his own actions."
7."[It's] exhausting. I dated a guy for two years who was a narcissist. He could do anything he wanted, but if I was to do the same, I would be committing a major infraction. He would constantly go out with his coworkers (sometimes with just one of his female coworkers), would not invite me, and come home drunk out of his mind. But if I went to brunch or shopping with a girlfriend, he would ask why he wasn't invited. He insisted I buy him things he needed because he didn't like to spend money, even though he worked in the city as a CPA, and I was struggling to make ends meet in grad school working three part-time jobs and juggling unpaid internships. There was constant gaslighting, withholding of affection, and unrealistic expectations of me. He also had a horrible temper, and whenever I would try to address a concern with him, it resulted in a screaming match or him punching a wall. It was awful."
8."I left my ex a little over two years ago, and it can still be hard to sort through what was true and what was false (and what was just gray because human relationships are complicated). I’m thankful there are resources in the world, like therapy, CODA (codependents anonymous), and that a lot of these things can be unlearned and healed through positive support and healthy relationships. For me, a lot of my healing has taken place as I’ve learned how to 'take responsibility' for my side of the street, and figure out what things about me led me to be in an abusive relationship."
9."My ex broke up with me after a year and a half of dating, then came back two weeks later to convince me to get back together. When I told him that I was hooking up with a guy I met on Tinder since the breakup, he was devastated that I had 'moved on so quickly.' He threw a fit, but still wanted to get back together. I mistakenly took him back, and he then proceeded to isolate me from my friends and family through the remainder of the relationship. He wouldn't leave my apartment, had flunked out of the local community college, and had no job. I went back to therapy in 2017 and gained the clarity I needed to dump him. One day I asked him, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' His response? 'Being with you.' I told him he needed bigger aspirations."
10."I was with a narcissist who was raised by a narcissist, and I lived with both of them and his narcissistic brother. I don't know how I survived. I don't know how I got out of there alive, tbh. It was an absolute nightmare and a shit show. I am so mad at myself for letting it get as bad as it did, and for allowing how they treated me to continue."
11."Four months of being with one ruined me. I'd look over my shoulder, I didn't believe anything he said to me, and I felt like everything was my fault. It didn't help that he constantly hit me or called me names, either."
12."It was like trying to hug a man who was on fire. He'd tell me I had a bad memory when he'd be cruel, then tell me I did things to HIM that he did to ME. I'd try talking about feeling undervalued or unloved. He'd tell me I 'wronged him' or 'betrayed his trust' by trying to talk about something heavy while he was 'stressed.' Then I couldn’t talk about my feelings because I needed to 'earn back his trust first.' He would ghost me when I told him I needed his support for something big and told me to lean on my friends because it’s 'uncomfortable for him to be around them' because they clearly disliked him. He demanded to go through my phone because he was mad I was building a close friendship with one of HIS female friends that HE encouraged me to pursue."
"When I would start to pull away and seem like I was ready to move on, he’d pull out all the stops to show me he 'still wanted me.' I felt like a yo-yo. He promised to change or improve our relationship together if only I’d do X. Then I’d do X, and suddenly, I did something wrong just before he was ready to do the work — now I needed to do Y.
It was a fear and anxiety rollercoaster of high highs and low lows. I was constantly on the edge, confused, unsure of myself, feeling like a failure, hated who I was, unable to 'control' my emotions, struggled with sleep, eating…it was like trying to love the empty abyss of space."
13."I knew my narcissist for nine years. I didn't know it then, but even before I physically met him (two years later) he had me fully under his control. The real abuse didn't start until we actually met (I now realize those first two years he was gaslighting me without the cruel side, and by the time we met, I was under his control without knowing it). Nearly seven painful years later and a lot of SH and suicidal attempts, I had my light bulb moment of what he'd been doing and finally left. I'm now three and a half years free, and I've never felt better. But the damage all of those years of abuse caused...that's hard to fix."
14.And: "I recently just left after six years of absolute hell. The highs were soooo high, and the lows were devastating. Something clicked — I blocked him (I wasn’t 'allowed' to have social media), and I drove 15 hours to stay with my sister for a while. I have never felt more free than I do right now. Everyone I thought I lost throughout the years are 100% supportive. The only tears I cried were that of exhaustion when I finally fell asleep in a hotel room after driving 12 hours straight and the god damn hotel fire alarm went off 😂. If anyone is in this type of relationship, you can get out — you can do it! I never thought I would. Like my friends told me, 'When the timing is right, you’ll know it.'"
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.