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Narcissism and Hoovering...vs. Sincerity


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Old 18th December 2017, 7:39 PM   #1
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Narcissism and Hoovering...vs. Sincerity

Hi folks,

I don't typically start threads, but I came to a realization today that I am genuinely confused and confounded about. My ex believes that I am a narcissist. I have long established NC in the effort to remove her from my life as her betrayal (another story), simply wrecked my respect for her and I made every effort to distance myself, my children from her and her children. Throughout this time of NC, my objective was to simply get away. I have never in my life been so singularly determined to get away and I succeeded. Now, guilt of the way I proceeded in this mission has me apologizing for my behavior. We remain in contact and I have not asked her back, but I do feel saddened by the way I behaved and feel that apologies for much of my coldness during the time is appropriate.

She is now accusing me of 'hoovering.' It is shocking to me what and how it fits my current behavior. I am doing exactly what the definition describes and it has me confounded. Here, I thought I was trying to apologize, make amends, but it seems that I may be 'hoovering?' I am a narcissist? I have never been accused of such in my years, of being narcissistic, and this has never been a pattern in any past relationships. Never.

Now I am dubious if she finds my sincere efforts to seek redemption to be genuine. I'm seeing a counselor and will speak on this. Does someone with no past narcissistic tendencies suddenly become one?

Ack. Needing some insight, observations. Thanks all!
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Old 18th December 2017, 7:53 PM   #2
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Hey i had to look up hoovering......and it says making threats of self harm etc to manipulate a person back into a relationship..how an apology fits that criteria beats me......or how an apology equals a narcissist is beyond me.....i though narcissist blame others.....and never apologise....i dont know simples.....

its strange how she gets that view from an apology you tried to give.....normally apologies if done with good intentions are always sincere and genuine...which is what i feel ...you were doing from what you wrote here....sounds like she blames you more.....


maybe she just really wanted to hurt you ...maybe she had a really bad day...who knows...dont let it get to you.....you know in your heart what you meant to do ..hold onto that thought....and forgive her...like you want to be forgiven....for whatever reason she did ....let it go.and forgive......and that will be the right thing to do by her and you...deb
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:03 PM   #3
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Hi tdb,

No, I don't feel that she wants to hurt me. I cannot see her doing this to be vindictive. I really hurt her by leaving. I disappointed her in ways that I am quite aware. I made it clear to her that I am not intending to get back together, but simply would like her to know that I am sorry for the pain I caused and wished I had conducted myself better. I completely shut her off and after months of NC on my part, I contact her to tell her that I am sorry. I am absolutely aware just how hollow that may sound to her and now I am trying to making some amends.

There's no doubt she fully blames me. She also has this notion that I never liked her. Never loved her. I think that saddens me most.

Now I am not certain what I should and shouldn't say/do w/o her thinking that I am simply confirming her feelings about me. All of this simply hit me like a ton of bricks today. I am at a loss as to how I am to apologize with these dynamics.

I have asked her to speak with my counselor and share her thoughts. I want and need to know.
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:25 PM   #4
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If you have already apologized, then you don't need to keep repeating yourself and causing more animosity.

There are two sides to every breakup, and usually when things go badly, people tend to either blame themselves or the other person. She has chosen to blame you. Whether it is justified or not, that is her choice and way of dealing with it.

Her reaction to your contact makes it clear that she finds it upsetting and needs to be left alone to move on in peace. She doesn't trust your motives, and now it is also making you question whether you are a decent human being anymore, which is sad.

With all that in mind, I think it might be best to stop communicating with her and work through any guilt you might be holding onto with your counselor.
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:29 PM   #5
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Hi tdb,

No, I don't feel that she wants to hurt me. I cannot see her doing this to be vindictive. I really hurt her by leaving. I disappointed her in ways that I am quite aware. I made it clear to her that I am not intending to get back together, but simply would like her to know that I am sorry for the pain I caused and wished I had conducted myself better. I completely shut her off and after months of NC on my part, I contact her to tell her that I am sorry. I am absolutely aware just how hollow that may sound to her and now I am trying to making some amends.

There's no doubt she fully blames me. She also has this notion that I never liked her. Never loved her. I think that saddens me most.

Now I am not certain what I should and shouldn't say/do w/o her thinking that I am simply confirming her feelings about me. All of this simply hit me like a ton of bricks today. I am at a loss as to how I am to apologize with these dynamics.

I have asked her to speak with my counselor and share her thoughts. I want and need to know.

I see.....her trust in you is broken.....the best you can do is turn your words into actions and respect her decision whatever that may be.....whether you feel it or not ...you have done the right thing by apologising...ALWAYS....sorry is what you say when you truly know you have done wrong by another...even if they wont accept an apology....apologising is what you should do regardless of the answer you get...thats doing whats right.........then it is up to them to feel in their heart your sincerity

..... now all she has to see is that you mean it with no ulterior motives...theres been a break with no contact and she is really wary of your motives.....she just has to feel you mean your apology....and that may take time with her and some self reflection of her own..which is what happens when good people accept apologies.....it may just take her time........deb.....

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Old 18th December 2017, 8:35 PM   #6
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How about leaving her alone?

You put her through a painful experience, and then you contact her to apologize for your behavior - but you're not happy with her response because she's not granting you absolution, so you ask her to talk to your COUNSELOR about it??

Maybe that's what she means by your narcissism. It's all about you. There's no consideration for how she feels. After everything you've put her through, you're coming back around stirring it all up again - and to top it off you're asking her to do things for you. What the hell do you want from this woman?

She owes you nothing. Leave her alone.
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:37 PM   #7
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If you have already apologized, then you don't need to keep repeating yourself and causing more animosity.

There are two sides to every breakup, and usually when things go badly, people tend to either blame themselves or the other person. She has chosen to blame you. Whether it is justified or not, that is her choice and way of dealing with it.

Her reaction to your contact makes it clear that she finds it upsetting and needs to be left alone to move on in peace. She doesn't trust your motives, and now it is also making you question whether you are a decent human being anymore, which is sad.

With all that in mind, I think it might be best to stop communicating with her and work through any guilt you might be holding onto with your counselor.
Thank you and I hear you. I am aware that she is placing the entire burden on me and I am not surprised. She continues to want to maintain in contact/connection with my children and I loathe the idea of severing that. She and I may not have worked out, but she has some affection for my children and doesn't want to end that connection. We have been civil, for the most part. You are right, I hate the idea of her thinking I am something I am not or do not believe to be. Jimminy Crickets! I wish I had not broken NC and burdened with this guilt.

I've made it clear to her that I am not trying to get back together. Aaargh!
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:42 PM   #8
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You put her through a painful experience, and then you contact her to apologize for your behavior - but you're not happy with her response because she's not granting you absolution, so you ask her to talk to your COUNSELOR about it??

Maybe that's what she means by your narcissism. It's all about you. There's no consideration for how she feels. After everything you've put her through, you're coming back around stirring it all up again - and to top it off you're asking her to do things for you. What the hell do you want from this woman?

She owes you nothing. Leave her alone.
Yeah. I agree. She doesn't trust me. I am making this about me, aren't I?
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Old 18th December 2017, 9:07 PM   #9
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Thank you and I hear you. I am aware that she is placing the entire burden on me and I am not surprised. She continues to want to maintain in contact/connection with my children and I loathe the idea of severing that. She and I may not have worked out, but she has some affection for my children and doesn't want to end that connection. We have been civil, for the most part. You are right, I hate the idea of her thinking I am something I am not or do not believe to be. Jimminy Crickets! I wish I had not broken NC and burdened with this guilt.

I've made it clear to her that I am not trying to get back together. Aaargh!
Well you might have to consider whether it is really worth maintaining a connection that is causing you both so much distress. It might not be the healthiest option, especially if your children can sense it.

I would talk it through with a counselor and see what they suggest.
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Old 18th December 2017, 9:18 PM   #10
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Well you might have to consider whether it is really worth maintaining a connection that is causing you both so much distress. It might not be the healthiest option, especially if your children can sense it.

I would talk it through with a counselor and see what they suggest.
Talking to my counselor is on the agenda. My children are not aware of any angst on my part. As far as they are concerned, she and I remain 'friendly' and nothing more. It's fricken' hard to see children go through this. I will have my kiddos attending counseling as well to get a better feel of how they are.

We are being civil and it is not likely the healthiest option right now or ever. I really effed-up in the manner in which it ended, but don't regret leaving her. I gave up much more than she did for the relationship at the start and I simply was too hurt to want to keep it going after the stunt she pulled.

Thank you.
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Old 18th December 2017, 9:28 PM   #11
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Any time you are the dumper, you are likely going to end up being the bad guy. It is hard to avoid.

I hope it works out for you and the kids, whatever you decide to do.
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Old 18th December 2017, 9:39 PM   #12
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What did she do that made you leave? If she betrayed you, Iím not sure why you feel the need to apologize for anything.

I recall dating a girl in my teens. She dumped me and broke my heart so I removed myself from the group of friends. She then smashed the windows on my car with a couple others from the group saying it was retaliation for ruining their summer because I no longer hung out with them.

I donít think I owed anyone an apology...I had them arrested.

When someone wrongs me they might as well be dead. Family, friends, doesnít matter. Iíve written off more people in my life than I can remember (including family members) and donít think twice about it.
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Old 18th December 2017, 11:23 PM   #13
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What did she do that made you leave? If she betrayed you, I’m not sure why you feel the need to apologize for anything.

I recall dating a girl in my teens. She dumped me and broke my heart so I removed myself from the group of friends. She then smashed the windows on my car with a couple others from the group saying it was retaliation for ruining their summer because I no longer hung out with them.

I don’t think I owed anyone an apology...I had them arrested.

When someone wrongs me they might as well be dead. Family, friends, doesn’t matter. I’ve written off more people in my life than I can remember (including family members) and don’t think twice about it.
I spent months extracting her from a verbally, physically abusive relationship. I made it crystal clear that she should have nothing to do with her ex. I was shocked at the way this guy treated her and her oldest. She agreed. A couple of months into our marriage, she asks if it's ok for ex to continue seeing her son again. I was mortified and hell-bent on ending it. This is the same guy who once strangled and dragged her across a room.

I don't apologize for leaving. I apologize for the way I responded after the separation. I was cold and non-responsive. Even during some really tough times during the separation, I made little effort to comfort her. She made a colossal effort to try to get me back. Moved clear across the country (w/o my encouragement) to try to get me back.

She was/is a fricken' physician. Very intelligent woman... I simply could not begin to wonder what she was thinking.
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Old 18th December 2017, 11:59 PM   #14
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Does someone with no past narcissistic tendencies suddenly become one?
Simple, anything is possible. But it is so rare for anyone to "suddenly become" a full-blown narcissist that I've never heard of it occurring anywhere. If it does occur, it likely would require a very rare occurrence like a severe brain injury or brain tumor.

Moreover, NPD (Narcissistic PD) is not something -- like chickenpox -- that a person either "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is something every adult on the planet has to some degree (albeit at a low level if the person is healthy). NPD is not believed to be a disease but, instead, is believed to be a set of behavioral traits that all humans have. Generally, these traits are primitive ego defenses that are essential to our survival, especially in early childhood -- and they continue to be important occasionally throughout adulthood.

It is when an adult relies on them too heavily that the NPD behaviors become a problem. At issue, then, is not whether you exhibit NPD traits. Of course you do. We all do. Rather, at issue is whether you exhibit those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., whether you are on the upper end of the BPD spectrum).

If your exGF were correct about you being a full-blown narcissist, you would be unable to love anyone, including your own children. That does not seem to be the case, given your willingness to tolerate your exGF's presence in order to prevent your children from being hurt by her absence.

Please keep in mind that your claim of having "no past narcissistic tendencies" is incorrect. Even normal, healthy people will find themselves -- at least temporarily -- at various points on that NPD spectrum (sometimes being on the high end). We all get temporary flareups of our NPD traits -- as will be evident when you're around a very healthy guy who rarely gets sick but is suddenly laid low by a bad flu, becoming a self-centered grouch.

Moreover, during early childhood, we all frequently exhibit strong NPD traits. And many of us start behaving that way again when our hormones surge for a few years during our teens. This is one reason why psychologists generally are very reluctant to diagnose NPD and other PDs until a person has reached at least age 18.

Puberty is not the only cause of temporary flareups. It is common for adults to get a temporary flareup of NPD traits (which can last a year or two) whenever there is another surge of hormones (e.g., PMS, pregnancy, postpartum, or perimenopause). And such a temporary flareup also can be caused by drug abuse.

I caution that, when a professional determines that someone "has NPD," they are not referring to a temporary strong flareup of NPD traits. Instead, they are saying that the NPD traits are so strong and so persistent that they satisfy 100% of the diagnostic criteria for "having full-blown NPD."

Moreover, by "persistent" they mean "many years," not "many months." Because full-blown NPD and other PDs are believed to be fully entrenched by age five, these full-blown PDs are generally regarded as a lifetime condition that does not disappear for a year or two and then reappear -- and generally does not suddenly appear in adulthood. This, at least, is my understanding, Simple.
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Old 19th December 2017, 12:11 AM   #15
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Thanks Downtown.

I have always resisted my ex's insistence that I am a narcissist in the clinical sense. My own observations and that of family and friends (I've asked them as well) confirm to me that I am no more a narcissist than the next person. I agree, we exhibit tendencies at times.

My ex's accusation that I was hoovering was a little unsettling. Now I feel that no matter what I do, it will be looked at as 'hoovering', a tactic/set of behaviors narcissists use to lure their 'victim' back. I have not asked her back. My intention was merely to take responsibility for my part by apologizing. Nothing more.
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