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Gaslighting and Narcissistic tendencies

Community Member
I’ve been learning a lot about people who gaslight and have narcissistic tendencies. This is my husband 100% and today while listening to my audiobook Gaslighting, How to recognise manipulative and emotionally abusive people, I was almost in tears because he has been manipulating me for so many years (26 married years!) to the point I’ve been questioning my own sanity! I plan to leave him, I’ve decided that its going to happen, but in the meantime I’ve decided to educate myself on how to handle this behaviour so that he won’t be able to talk his way out of things anymore. I didn’t even realise that these behaviours even existed, and was always trying to make excuses for him or worse blame myself for his behaviour.....he has been so clever to turn any argument around so that I’m left feeling I’m to blame, or worse the kids are to blame, whether it’s true or not.....I have been living in this cloud of confusion, brainwashed in a way. I’m so thankful that I have found these resources so that I can empower myself to follow through with separation and divorce.
17 Replies 17

Hi everyone

We look upon psychs among others as experts yet we undervalue our own knowledge with experience.

My first marriage from 1985-1996(2 daughters) was abusive. Silence, her chosen weapon twisted my mind and tore me apart. It resulted in my only suicide attempt.

I left but for 20 years I craved to know why. Why would a person that has a devoted husband, non drinker, non smoker, worked 3 jobs so she could be a stay home mum (her dream), did the washing, cut wood etc...what was the reason for punishing me by silence. Well.....

I read two years ago that silence if used as a weapon, is a form of narcissism.

I have my eldest daughter that is wonderful and came to live with me at 12yo. My youngest now 26yo remained with her mother but stopped visiting me at 14yo for unknown reason but influence from her mother was well known (demonization?)

My daughter would come into my life for a few weeks then oddly disappear. A routine was recognised.

May this year the same routine occurred. In a 10 day period we were messaging each other on Facebook (her only form of communication) with promises each way for a permanent relationship. Then- gone! I kept messaging-nothing!

My eldest stopped seeing her sister and mother at 18yo, 12 years ago labelling them both toxic and controlling. She was right.

The hardest thing I've ever done in my life was saving myself in 1996, walking away from my youngest daughter forever is a close second.

If I didnt have bipolar and was emotionally stronger I might have allowed it to continue, but I feel she has no real care in her heart, like her mother, no empathy and plays a fiddle upon my heart plucking my emotional strings.

Ive made my decision, I blocked her from facebook, a medium she used to perfection by blocking me many times (control). Her chances are spent.

What we should remind ourselves is that eventually narcissists lose out. Then they cry foul, cry they are the victim and sometimes continue to hurt you by gaining people on side like relatives and friends. Thats when you have to allow people to leave your life also. Some may return after they are bitten also. Forgive them, they are a fiddle also being played.

I once told my youngest "I cannot be a grandfather to your children until you are a daughter to me". In fact its worse than that now- I could never trust her trying to be a daughter as she could weaken and use her lust for control with hurt, hurt by silence...at any time-grandkids gone!

I've taken her power away.


Hi Tony. My ex frequently gave me the 'silent treatment'.. Like you, at first I did everything I could to show him I was sorry for this or that. We were visiting his parents one day and his elderly father admonished him for some misdemeanour (not sure what). I noticed he did go quiet, but not for long. He never explained anything about the admonishment, so I have no idea. His parents usually ignored his silence and eventually I realised he was sulking. I had no idea how to cope with a grown man who was sulking, so I started researching narc behaviour. He is the waif (feel sorry for me). He also has the King traits (I own, therefore I rule). Either way, question his decisions and the silent treatment began. After a while I too chose to ignore the behavior. Didn't work I was soon admonished for ignoring. I decided after 30 years of banging my head against a brick wall, no more. I left, he told everyone he couldn't understand how such a loving, caring man could lose a wife (for no apparent reason). I still shake my head in bewilderment. He can't hurt me anymore but I now know narcs have to be on top. No children (thankfully). I don't have any feelings either way about him. I never felt 'married' to him, so it's made no difference to me.

Hi Paddyanne

Yep, you got it correctly. The waif also manipulates others to get their reaction and support. eg my mother would cry to my father then dad would belt us. Dad was her greatest tool.

Then when you are free you can get on with life as best you can. You wont rid your life from the effects though, they linger like scars.

Please note- those with NPD or similar, we are not demonizing you as you are seeking help. We respect that and hope you find peace and treatment.


Hi Tony and all at BB. One thing about narc tendencies. I have noticed most of them have low or no self esteem and belittling those nearest and dearest seems to build their esteem. No matter whether they play the waif, king/queen, hermit, witch, the lack of self confidence seems to be the main problem for this need to be in control and manipulate those around them. The waif/hermit has to still control the situation, he/she will cry 'help' but won't actually help themselves. They will take all credit for success because the need for praise is tantamount. The king or queen can't be seen to allow anyone else to preside so they need the 'underdog'. Quite a sad characteristic. Most narcs never see themselves as anything but the victim.


You summed it up best. The victim all the time. I onve read that this begins at a young age often around 6-8yo.

In my mothers case she had an older brother that was favourite he was the boy and on a farm, had more of a planned future. Women them days ended up in another family without inheritance.

I sympathize with that but not the denial and lack of treatment

That sowed the seed of forever craving attention, poor me syndrome. At 35yo she kept reminding us kids she wont live long, she's now 88yo in good health I hear.

Her latest strategy is to engage a old neighbour to bisit my sister and I. We know he is her deputy. We entertain him and shrug off the comments but her lies leaves us shaking our heads. They belong in hollywood.


Reading your post and I feel like I'm reading about my own husband. My husband gaslights me, more so when he is drunk. He manipulates ppl and our children. He makes it look like it is always my fault. I cannot talk to anyone as everyone believes him and thinks he is a nice person. When he becomes sober, like the next day, he always denies what he's been like, says I must of caused him to be like that.

When I read the term gaslighting, i felt sense of relieve that I now know what has been happening to me for 10 plus years.

I'm tired of it all.

Community Member

Hi Stasia71.

I am really sorry to hear your frustration and it's good to hear that you have identified that your Husband has some bad behaviour. Sorry if I may be blunt, you have now realised that you have let him get away with his behaviour, so you are finally learning that he needs to take responsibility for his childish and inappropriate behaviour and you do not need to tolerate his actions anymore. However, if you don't mind me asking, since now that you have identified that you will no longer enable his behaviour, what are your next steps, have you thought about what will happen next without your husband who you should be happy and in love with? Is his behaviour really the only reason for you to leave him?

Before you make any drastic decisions about splitting your family, no two people are perfect, you both have a place in your relationship, it may be worth talking about your emotions and feels with a health professional.


Community Member


I am new here and learning so much already 

I never knew of some of these terms, but after reading I realised I have a Gaslighting narcissist friend and they have been manipulating me and my partner and his wife and others for years. I’m so glad I am not going crazy and this type of person actually exists and hopefully we can all support each other to deal with them