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I need to safely get out of an online relationship with a narcissist.

FaeGirl9
Community Member
I've been silly, I know it, told myself the same thing a thousand times, but...I fell into an online relationship with a man overseas, on Facebook, and now I'm realising just how toxic it is. I don't trust him anymore, and fear the repercussions of breaking things off with him. He has a lot of anger, and has posted really vile things about people in the recent past, which is why I've woken up to the truth of him. I'm terrified he'll use our private chats and messages against me online, to malign me and punish me for wanting to leave. I'm walking on eggshells, always scared, and dreading every moment I speak to him. I'm only keeping up appearances because I'm afraid of his wrath and don't know what to do. I've got OCD and query bipolar, and this is making me downright ill. What can I do, except blame myself for being a vulnerable, gullible fool who believed shed found love?
7 Replies 7

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Guest, thank you for posting this comment, I'm sure it has taken you a while to decide to contact us, but I'm pleased you have.
Firstly by having OCD it's going to take a lot of courage to break this feeling, but it can be done and we certainly want it to for your safety.
I'm sorry that you must have been lonely to try for an online r/ship, because what these people say are mostly either good points or they are telling a lie to catch you, but don't blame yourself for this, what we have to do is get you out of this toxic r/ship.
You must block him on your phone as well as on facebook, your friends will know that he is telling them strange stories, but what I would do is privately contact your friends on facebook and explain part of why they should also block him, tell them as much as you want, but definitely ask them NOT to give out your new phone number if you decide to change it, but you can still block his phone call, I've done this a couple of times.
If any mail comes to your house by him, send it 'back to sender' and be aware of any registered mail that you're not expecting, let APost send it back when you don't pick it up.
Don't answer any calls before you can do any of these suggestions and don't let him manipulate you. Geoff.

romantic_thi3f
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Guest_4133,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for being here.

Before I start I just want to note that you shouldn't feel guilty. How were you to know the type of man he could be? I think if anything that what you're experiencing is a strength; because you've not only identified that the relationship is toxic (most people don't want to admit that) but that you also want to leave and prioritise your own self-care.

I agree with Geoff in that blocking him is the right thing to do, but I think first it's important to sort out how he might react. You mentioned using your private chats against you? How do you think he would do that? What information does he have about you; Facebook/Twitter/IG/Email/Skype? Does he know where you live?

Ending toxic relationships is difficult but I really think that it's easiest to do it at once and be thorough; so once you know all the outcomes/possible ways of contact, you can make sure that you are completely ready so as to be safe, and then only after that; you can put it all aside and focus on your future.

Hope this helps

FaeGirl9
Community Member
Thank you Geoff, you have helped me already by not calling me the idiot I feel I am. My Mother had a stroke last year, and I'm disabled, she's been my carer for twenty years. So I had to find a way to cope with our shopping etc, that's how I came to be online. Facebook has been really important, but this has been an incredibly unfortunate development. This man lives overseas, but yes he has my contact details. I'm thinking about changing our phone number, we'll be getting a mobile soon anyway. I did fall for a lot of tricks with him. It was only after he posted foul notices on his page about another friend who "wronged" him that I realised how vindictive he can be. I've been thinking about things a lot and I'm going to try the gradual detaching approach. I do feel like I'm being held hostage by this person who really thinks he loves me, when to be honest, I know it's all his fantasy and he needs the ideal of it to boost himself. He is a narcissist, which I only realised last night when I also confided in a mutual friend who has been through the very same thing. At least I know people are aware of this side to him. If do this carefully enough, he might just get bored and move on, but I'm not going backwards. I don't trust him and that kind of says it all, even though, yes, the emotions I have are still hard to deal with. I'll feel like I'm "betraying" him and being a callous woman for a while, but I have to put my safety first, I know that. He does have a lot of knowledge about me that concerns me as far as using it to besmirch me goes, but the fact that he's not here in Australia, and he doesn't have the funds to pursue coming here, helps. I will ask our post office, who know us well, to keep an eye out and hang on to anything I don't tell them I'm expecting. I'm not expecting this to be easy, I'm terribly emotional about it all, and I've been having severe panic attacks over it. But just doing this has made me feel like I can see it through. Thank you for your support. Thank you so much.

Hello, thank you so much for your support. I feel like such a fool but, at the same time, I do know I'm doing the right thing now. And that makes me feel brave. This man really did pull the wool over my eyes. I truly believed he was the one, ridiculous through it sounds, and I believed he wanted to truly pursue a life together. He has asked me to move to live with him many times...but he won't give me his address. He did give me AN address, which later I found out was a friend's house. This is the kind of inconsistency that goes on all the time. As I wrote in my reply to Geoff, he has posted several extremely nasty, foul tirades against other friends who he believes have wronged him. That is what made me really think long and hard about this. I don't want to be with a man who can so freely call women such names, and in such a public forum. He does know my address and phone number. He has access to computer skills I don't have, and my fear is that he will post excerpts from our private chats on his Facebook page, or in messages to our friends on Facebook. He has posted something before without asking my consent, to add weight to his opinion on something, and I've been too nervous to confront him about that. He did ask me for very explicit photos. Many times. I did not give them to him. He did get a couple of very tame and artful cleavage and one semi-covered breast photos. I'm not ashamed of that, I was very much in love, but I certainly don't want the world seeing them. My face was not included, and we are all artists of some sort in our group so, to be frank, the concept of nudity isn't that freaky too us, but it's the privacy and consent aspect that concerns me. He is the kind of person who I believe would easily post something and then say his account was hacked. My other concern is that I don't know how mentally stable he is. I know he takes medical marijuana, which is legal where he is and doctor approved, but I'm concerned about the way it affects his memory. I dislike it. Although in some ways maybe his forgetfulness will be a boon. It is a mess, but I'm still determined to get free of this situation. I'm realising that a gradual detachment will probably be the best way. Anything too abrupt and I'm terrified as to the kind of backlash I might find myself facing. He does have my email details, too. But no passwords or anything. Thank you so much. I'm in a kind of fearful limbo right now, but I'm seeing the light. This is helping unbelievably. Thanks!

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello FaeGirl, you're not "betraying" him' at all, he's a manipulator, someone who wants to totally have control over you, and you're doing the right thing because I'm sure you would be horrified if he came to see you, so please never feel this way and yes you are very brave, it's better to cut the cord before the cord becomes attached.
Can I advise you to ignore any dubious offers he may send to you or try and set up for you, that's just like dangling the carrot in front of you, because what he says now if he realises you are trying to cut him off is that he may promise the world to you, where in fact it's all b*****t.
Stand your ground and please take care. Geoff.

Hi FaeGirl9,

Thanks for your post and I appreciate you getting back to us.

Yes; having read through your other posts I can see how unhealthy the relationship has become and how demeaning he can be and has been towards you and other women on the Internet. I'm glad that you can see you're doing the right thing by working on ending this relationship.

I'm worried because it seems he has many personal details about you including internet, friends, phone numbers and home address. There is a real risk with safety especially in the stages of breaking up/ending the relationship. This is often why DV workers recommend leaving the relationship quickly and swiftly; because the person is more at risk in that stage and more likely to be manipulated. Many women actually take a long time to leave their relationships because it can be so hard to 'get out'. This can still happen in online relationships. As for the backlash, often there's backlash whether you leave slowly or quickly. Some men may pick up that you're drifting away early and try and 'control' it. Having said all this though; you know what's best for you.

I actually really recommend trying to take additional steps to work on your safety anyway; maybe that could be changing passwords regularly on your email/social networking accounts or deactivating them; looking at getting additional security on your house, blocking numbers etc. Even if you feel these steps aren't necessary or even seem silly, (like the likelihood of you needing this) it can be effective in helping you to feel safe and move on in the future.

It may even be helpful to look at seeing a counsellor. I can see it's really taking it's toll on you, as it would on anybody - but having a counsellor can really help in having that additional support. I know that you mentioned having OCD and query Bipolar so in a sense it can be helpful to be mindful of this and trying to have the best mindset in such a difficult situation.

Hope this helps

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Faegirl,

I'm so sorry this has happened to you, it must be hard to have your hopes dashed that this guy could be the one like that. And now you have to worry about how he'll react to this. Like you said, the good thing is that he is a million miles away and you can make him disappear by closing the laptop lid! I know it's a pain, but is shutting down your social media accounts an option? My sister unfriended her ex-husband and then changed her profile name to make her harder to find, is this something you could do? You can also block peoples numbers on your iPhone, or I had Vodafone send a threatening letter once. And don't forget, if things ever get out of hand, you can always go to the police and they'll put a stop to it. You're not alone, this actually happens to a lot of people, sad to say, and there's always an answer x