Friday, March 1, 2013

Triangulation Explained

Pandoris Viltis came across this most excellent post about triangulation that I thought was spot-on. I attempted to contact the original author of the piece a few days ago to ask for permission to re-post the majority of the article here but as of yet I've not heard back from her about it. I don't usually do re-posts without the permission of the author, but I've made an exception in this case because I feel it's too good not to share. I have taken the liberty of changing the pronouns in the original post from masculine to feminine for sake of clarity and because I felt I was reading NMIL in the description therein. Bolding for emphasis, mine. (**note - If the original author, whose blog I have linked to in this post, happens upon this re-post and wishes me to remove it, I will do so. I wanted to share the information directly with my readers because it's probably one of the best and most well-researched documents on triangulation that I have come across yet. I take no credit for the information written in the following article):

Triangulation - The Devil's Triangle
by Sea of Glass

Triangulation can occur in any relationship but it is very common in a relationship with a narcissist. It may happen at home, at work, with friends, or within [a] family of origin. [An abuser/narcissist] may pit you against...any other person she can get to engage in her "victim-playing," who is willing to serve the role she assigns. She may also [temporarily] adopt the role of Persecutor to assign blame or Rescuer to maintain control of her image. In the end, this travel around the triangle is how she dumps shame and finds someone to blame for her misery. If there is always a role to play there is always a way to escape responsibility by shifting the position on the triangle.

The answer to the exhaustive push and pull of a triangulated dynamic in a relationship with a narcissist is to simply step off the triangle and refuse to play. It's a game you cannot win.

Control by Triangulation:

If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbors, any third party to do her bidding. She uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate her target. She controls these unaware instruments exactly as she plans to control her ultimate victim. She employs the same mechanisms and devices, and she always dumps her props unceremoniously when the job is done.

Another form of control by triangulation is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, social exclusion and shame) against the victim. In this instance, society becomes the instrument of the abuser. By clever seduction, through words and posturing, she entices her pawns to do her dirty work for her. Unaware... [and] being persuaded by [the narcissist's] rendition of truth, they take up her cause and her right and align themselves against the one she controls.

The malignant narcissist creates perpetual triangles around the one she desires to control. She sees through these eyes- eyes with no empathy - that perpetuate constant, residual torment, for her [victim]. Claiming that she is being tormented by her victim, she creates rescuers who then torment her victim, thinking they are protecting her from the "bully." Doing this through her friendships, family members, associates and whoever she can entice, she remotely views her operation like a director of a movie. In other words, she will frame a picture and put her secondary supply in that frame - the borders always being the shape of a triangle and the picture within being a distorted truth she propagates. Usually, the claims she makes of her victim are the truth [about herself] and while hiding behind her victim, she will spin, doctor, and gaslight until she gets her desired result. Defamation of character and destroying the credibility of [her victim] is her goal. She convinces her pawns that her victim is the persecutor and she is the victim. The naked eye cannot see this game of illusions and that is why she [is able to engage] others in her web. They do for her what she orchestrates in secret.

You may notice that both the Persecutor and Rescuer are on the upper end of the triangle. These roles assume a “one-up” position over others, meaning they relate as though they are better, stronger, smarter, or more-together than the victim. Sooner or later the victim, who is in the one-down position at the bottom of the triangle, develops a metaphorical "crick in the neck" from always looking up. Feeling “looked down upon” or “worth-less than” the others, the Victim usually rebels.

Starting Gate Persecutors (SGP's), on the other hand, do see themselves as victims in need of protection. This is how they can so easily justify their vengeful behavior: “They asked for it and they got what they deserved for questioning me," [is] the way they see it. Their core belief might go something like this: “Hhe can't be trusted so I need to get him before he hurts me.” This attitude sets them up to think that they must strike out in order to defend against inevitable attack, even when there is no attack  Arguing with the malignant narcissist is, in her self absorbed eyes, a threat.  She sees the victim as a threat to [herself], [and believes that the victim will] possibly expose [her hidden true self to her rescuers]. The victim may or may not have threatened the SGP, but the chance of being 'found out,' by those looking from the outside...the picture projected is the SGP's denial ploy. She is afraid that the real picture will seen by all. [She] cannot face [exposure] or the reality of what she is doing and must project what she perpetrates. Ultimately there is no regard for anyone here, for all player's involved are her pawns. Therefore, the victim stands no chance of recovering in this triangulation. Convincing her rescuer(s) that her victim is persecuting him, [the narcissist is able to trap the] rescuer(s) [in her] web. [And the rescuers all] become persecutors for her...while believing they [are rescuing her]. [And the narcissist] actually believes what she creates to be the truth.

The rescuer(s), unbeknownst to the narcissist scheme, become persecutors of the [true] victim as well. Believing [the perpetrator's] deception, they do her bidding and become an extension of her. [Rarely?] meaning to do any harm, they have become her right hand, and very likely, the hand(s) that strangulate her victim. The smugness of the narcissist becomes more intoxicating to herself , in her superiority to manipulate all. How brilliant she feels in the evil she has masterminded. Feeling disdain, for even her rescuers, she is loyal to none. She feeds on her own view of being above all those she puppeteers.

Inevitably, the victim will do one of four things:

1. Strike back, in defense and self preservation.
2. Further submit to the abuse,thinking it must be their fault.
3. Try to negotiate and convince the rescuer(s) that the narcissist is the persecutor.
4. Flee the triangle(s) and leave the relationship.

Another Term for Triangulation is Proxy Recruitment:

Definition: Proxy Recruitment is a way of controlling or abusing another person or establishment by manipulating other people into unwittingly 'backing up,' the abuser or "doing their dirty work" for them.

Description: The goal in proxy recruitment is to gain the upper hand in a relationship or in a conflict by getting other people involved. This often takes the form of the perpetrator engaging others to" help" through innuendos, false accusations, smear campaigns or distortion campaigns in which the victim is portrayed as an abuser.

Proxy recruitment can be an extremely powerful way of establishing control over another person. It forces the victim into a defensive posture - justifying or denying their own behaviors to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances and authority figures. It often attempts to reverse roles in the eyes of others - casting the abuser as the victim and portraying the victim as the real abuser. It deflects attention away from the abuser and provides cover or justification for further abuse to occur.

Proxy Recruitment is much easier if the abuser assumes a position of authority. The infamous narcissist will project herself as the authority figure, speaking as though the victim is incompetent or inferior in judgement. In 1961 and 1962, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram performed a famous series of experiments which demonstrated that about 2 out of 3 people will perform a cruel action towards another person if instructed to do so by someone whom they regard as an authority figure. This demonstrated that most people are prone to doing something they do not want to do, even something they would normally regard as "wrong," just because they are told to do it by an assertive or authoritative person or persuaded by them in a form or mind control.

Proxy recruitment isn't just the domain of people with personality disorders. It is a universal reaction to recruit allies when engaged in a conflict situation. However, it becomes abusive when the truth is misrepresented or the recipient is being hurt. Those recruited will partake of the abuser's plan, thinking they are doing the right thing. The narcissist abuser undermines the recruited to demise the one she objectifies. Objectification is when the narcissist reduces the one she controls to an object, having no feeling or empathy for the one she degrades. She influences those around her to objectify [the victim as well]. Presenting herself as though she is the one whose perception is the only credible one, she masterminds the demising of her victim [by] using whoever she constitutes [will] execute her purpose. Proxy recruitment or triangulation is a form of gas-lighting, otherwise known as covert abuse...It is so covert that unless your eye is trained to recognize this mode of operation it [can] go unnoticed. This is extreme malignant narcissism - the kind of narcissism that has the ambiance of a murderer per say. I call it "the narcissist web of triangulation by strangulation." She strangles her victims through the hands of the rescuer(s).

Likening it unto murder, the narcissist's "cover up" is so discreet and subtle [that] even upon investigation and thorough discovery, sociopathic intelligence and lack of remorse seem to indicate innocence along with lack of association to the crime at hand...The [narcissist's denial] is what makes her the monster...The victim may be screaming out in pain, yet somehow these persecutors twist a whole series of events to flatter themselves in the eyes of their rescuers. The victim being left no defense and no one who understands what literally is transpiring is murdered, hypothetically speaking. There is a slow killing of the mind and soul in progress. Picking up the pieces of their lives is difficult after this conditioning and most times, in these cases, the persecutor will have taken away all their credibility.

If they cannot paint them as a liar because the victim's character does not lie, [then the narcissist] will paint their victims as unstable, lacking in judgement, mentally delusional or "damaged goods." The unseen goal, even many times to the narcissist is death to the victim's individualization. Hence, no matter what the victim does to be heard or believed, the very people who could have intervened don't simply because they have become persecutor(s) themselves. The reality here is [that] the outsiders join in the narcissist's parade of [neutralization/traumatization] of her chosen sufferer.


  1.! the FIRST time I met my NMIL...she told me that her Son, MY new boyfriend...was dirty, disgusting and smelled funny...she launched an entire tirade at me about how I could do better and how I needed to "watch" him...while him and his door mat father went to the store...I was in shock and immediately made an enemy out of her by telling her straight up I didn't think she was being appropriate...yep...this is right on

    I was explaining to my DH today..about Covert Malignant Narcissists...

    He had the strangest look on his face...he looked up at me...and said..."you you trying to tell me my mother a body snatcher?"

    All I could do was fact, we laughed so hard we couldn't stop and ended up rolling around on the floor for quite some time giggling...

    NMIL? has been dubbed...THE BODY SNATCHER...apt..very apt! BAAAHAAAA!

    1. Bahahahahaha! Oh, that is too good. The body snatcher. A name aptly chosen!

    2. I would call my narcs soul snatchers!

      This is so spot on with my parents and brother that the first time I stumbled on it I was totally creeped out. It still has the same effect.

      The 1st time I found "triangulation" it was in the form of a Youtube video with a female professor(?) explaining it. I then went on to seek out her writings. In her version I don't remember "proxy recruitment" which explains my bother's actions perfectly and then, of course, dear old mumsy loves to gaslight!

      This is a really good read for those who haven't fully accepted that their narcs know exactly what they're doing, know they're hurting you and continue to do it anyway.

      It's also a wake up call for folks like me that stayed far too long hoping things might change. They don't and they won't, EVER! Don't walk away...RUN!

    3. I will tell my story when I soon get the courage. Glad to have found this blog of truth...

  2. I think they are soul snatchers too! that is an awesome term!
    After reading your comment, Mulderfan...I am so grateful to the higher ups that YOU were not turned into one of them...I think about that sometimes...what if...what if I turned out like scares the crap outta me!

    1. My daughter has my permission to put a bullet between my eyes if I show the slightest sign of turning out like my NFOO! Of course, she wouldn't have to because I'd most likely kill MYSELF first!

    2. I think that if that were going to happen, it would have started a long time ago. I always think of NSIL when it comes to seeing the early signs of a person becoming a malignant narcissist. Her narcissistic behaviors were certainly showing when I met her (I believe she was about 15). And I'd venture a guess that, because of her incredibly weak demeanor and her personality, she started "turning" much younger than that.

    3. People like to trot out the "it's because of their age" theory with my parents. I'm scared of reaching that special birthday where you blow out the candles on your cake and say, "Oh goody! Now I can treat my "loved" ones like shit."

      Kinda doesn't fly with my father because he's always been a nasty SOB! Mother dearest morphed over time.

    4. So, I recently came across this quote from Jon Stewart about religion being more of a choice than homosexuality. (Uh, just bear with me for a second, it's relevant, I swear). Anyway, he says that being religious is a choice but being gay is not. (For the record, I agree!) I see narcissism as the same way - it's mostly a choice, or a serious of choices that people make which lead them to that end. To use Jon Stewart's words, "At what age did you choose to not be a [narc]?"

    5. Correction: "SERIES...of choices."

      Gotta correct that ish.

  3. ^Yeah, EXACTLY. For these Cluster B's, it's a life choice, the same choices we made when we were small children. The difference is we grew a conscience complete with empathy: They have *none*.
    Psychobotch's "decision" to place an ad in the Announcement section of all the local newspapers is another example of Proxy Recruitment. She played the whole, "I don't KNOW where my "DD" is, so please help this helpless old woman!" Meanwhile, she had scorched my life in every possible way, I had been total NC for 10 yrs. and of course, she always knew exactly where I was as her snail mail letters practically beat me to the mail box at any new address.
    Imagine recruiting a whole *community* of abusers where her "DD" holds a high profile position (after she destroyed my first Career) and doing it in such a way-Collect Calls Only-so that she'd have THEIR phone #'s to call them back when ever she pleased. She must have had multiple MN-Gasms over this stunt.
    And people wanna preach "Forgiveness" at me? BWHAHAHAAAA!

    1. The forced forgiveness line is all part and parcel to their whole fucking operation - particularly the rescuers. Narcs seem to suck in all the people who believe that forgiving our abusers is a crucial part of life - those are their FAVORITE 'rescuers'. Blech.

    2. AA is all in your face about forgiveness and amends being vital to your recovery. I'll just have to stay sober without forgiveness and amends to my abusers because if I opened that door they'd restart the same old song and dance that made me drink in the first place.

      It's not that I'm incapable of forgiveness toward those who've earned it or making amends to those I've hurt, I just draw the line at my fucked up NFOO.

    3. There are alternatives to AA....i may get shot down in flames for saying this but I think AA is outdated and full of crap...its not nearly as effective as people think it is and psychologically the belief structure is highly questionable...You are NOT a bad person...YOU stopped drinking and got yourself in order - no god helped you and forgiveness is illogical BS...Moving on is good but you dont have to forgive and you certainly mustn't forget...

    4. I disagree with you anon, on the subject of AA. I know several people, Mulderfan included, who found great success in AA. I think you're sweeping generalizations about it are kind of insulting, though I doubt that anyone who has found AA helpful and has succeeded in becoming sober would be offended by this - if they are strong enough to quit their addiction, they're probably strong enough not to be offended by someone saying that the program that helped them is "full of crap." It's "crap" that works for some.

      And, are you referring to someone else when you bring up God? I don't know that Mulderfan has ever quoted god as curing her.

    5. Anon, there ARE alternatives to AA and I was in such a program for the 1st 18 months of my sobriety, after which I "graduated". I started going to AA as my daughter's driver and she started going to make the courts happy. So we both went in for the wrong reasons.

      I still don't believe in the "God" described by organized religions but have developed my own idea of a "higher power". Being in a room full of people who share my addiction has been helpful to me. Since 1935 AA has helped millions of people but I'm sure millions have also found other ways to get and/or stay sober.

      My philosophy is do whatever works for you!

  4. Soul snatchers. Soul murderers. Indeed. I have lived/am living thru a triangulation with my NM and Nsis, who have elevated themselves up to victims from bad old me. They have managed to drag the rest of the family along for the ride. I think that is a choice also.
    It makes me physically sick, what they are capable of doing to someone. All at the same time professing how important family is. Yeah. Right.

  5. We are all dealing with the 'spawn of satan'(our FOO) Reminds me of a joke....
    Satan bursts into the doors of a church, smoke and fire billowing around him, and everyone runs out screaming. One old man is still sitting in a pew and Satan strides over to him. "I am Satan, Lord of evil, do you not fear me!?" And the old man says, "Why should I, I've been married to your sister for 50 years!

    Anna has a great article on those who preach 'forgiveness' and dealing with these creeps....she doesn't pull any punches, I love it!

  6. I have to admit I believe in God wholeheartedly...I have been following Mulderfan as she helping me with the concept of how to deal with alcoholism...I lover her last post about "Ruthless Compassion"...I, when I think about forgiveness.. I take it in a different way... my pastor claims that "pray and disassociate" is more in accordance when dealing with nut that is what I do...pray and dissociate...and I will try very hard to learn the concept of ruthless compassion in addition to that...which, maybe will evolve into forgiveness from afar...cuz right now? I HATE!

    1. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone's personal thoughts/decisions/beliefs about forgiveness. None. My beef is with those who attempt to force others to give forgiveness where they see fit. You know, "You should forgive so-and-so because I would if I were you." Or, "You MUST forgive so-and-so because I told you too." It's nobody else's business to tell someone who to forgive, when to forgive, how to forgive, or whether to forgive at all. And frankly, that shit doesn't work anyway. If someone is offering up forgiveness unwillingly, then it's not forgiveness. It's a lie. And that shit just stinks of resentment.

    2. For me acceptance has been the key. I accept that my parents will never change and they have every right to make their own choices about how they wish to treat me. When my 1st AA sponsor told me to accept them I equated acceptance with approval and couldn't get my head around it. Now I accept them but certainly do not approve of their behaviour.

      I don't think I've ever really hated them. These days when I think of them, I feel nothing, which is a huge relief because it means they have no power over me.

      I reserve forgiveness for those that show genuine remorse and a willingness to change, which lets me off the hook with my abusive parents.

  7. I really admire the way you two handle it...I hope someday I can come to the same conclusions...the rage I still feel over someone actually trying to kill me is just overwhelming sometimes...

    Being a Christian and hearing the same ole same ole on how and what I should be on a constant basis has really irritated me lately...I have left my church more than once over hypocrisy...and each time I go back I reinforce the fact that it is what I want and get from the experience that counts...

    You are right Mulderfan...acceptance and forgiveness are two very different animals...

    Forgiveness should be a state that you reach for yourself, no one NO ONE should ever try to force it on someone else...and I agree...forcing it breeds resentment, guilt and shame...definitely not healthy emotions...and I think people use it as a tool to coerce/manipulate people to relieve their own discomfort...

    Again...seeing this written and interacting with you all has been a huge relief for actually helps even out my thoughts, bring me to a state of calm and actually fortify my personal seems to alleviate the confusion by keeping it all in my own head...

    Thank you!

    1. Happy to help. I remember how validating it was to find others that shared my dilemma. Outsiders with healthy family relationships seldom "get it". Jonsi is a rare exception!

      Even so-called professionals talk stupidly about boundaries and "I" statements. These things simply don't work with malignant narcissists and their enablers. It's also hard to "let go" when the abuse continues.

      If you haven't found it already, for a Christian perspective, I would highly recommend Rev Renee Pitelli's website:
      Renee has suffered at the hands of abusive parents and uses her knowledge of the Bible to find solutions that don't involve "forgiving" what she calls "reprobates".

    2. As I recently discussed, I am not religious and certainly not Christian, but Rev. Renee is one of my favorites. She's amazing and her insights are many.

  8. Thanks for recommendations! I am going there now!

  9. I remember my narcs convincing me that another friend had gone off the deep end and was behaving disgracefully to them. I remember becoming a pawn for them.... Now I feel horrible for that as I reviewed what really happened (it was all going on in online forums, and I had it printed up). Turns out the poor guy was trying to help, narc friend went ballistic on him and convinced her husband that he was being horrible to her. They then convinced the rest of the forum that he was horrible and crazy.

    They did the same thing to me. I wrote something sweet and it brought down the wrath of the Ns. One of them went on Facebook and gloated about finally being allowed to tell me everything she wanted to. When they discovered my blog about the experience, which I wrote out of the depths of pain, anger and confusion, their wrath (and ridicule) came down on me again. They tried to intimidate me into silence with threats of lawsuits.

    This time, they recruited one of their friends to help in their intimidation campaign against me. She "friended" me on Facebook. In her profile was a long rant about how she'll stick up for friends who are being treated badly. The next day, she vanished from my friends list. I believe she was sent to spy on my Facebook.

    My comfort is knowing that in our old group of mutual friends are people who believe me.

  10. I just dealt with this extensively with a very manipulative sociopath that was for a time a friend. I would like to add that these people are beyond cunning in their machinations and schemes against people. This person absolutely dragged my name through the mud and charachter assassinated me by things he did and by the way he manipulated others. I was essentially pushed and maligned out of my own social circle and even until now i do not know why i was just targeted considering ive never done anything bad towards this person and the others that he eventually turned against me.

    "condemnation, opprobrium, social exclusion and shame"

    in my particular instance i feel like social exclusion was the biggest tool along with absolute charachter assassination and slander. It seems like this person built up a whole false narrative against me.

    eventually I had all i could take of the toxicity and just cut all ties to this person and everyone that he had turned against me. It seems like thats the only way because if you try to fight it.. it just seems like a losing proposition. I will say this though that once i cut these people out of my life it felt like a hundred pound burden was lifted off of me.

  11. Found your page looking up triangulation. Wow!!!! So well explained. I can't express enough how the value of this discussion. I'm living in a triangulation situation. Thank you so much for your insight.

    1. Just a quick reminder to my readers: this post was not written by me and I take no credit for it.

  12. I am so glad to have found this post. Thanks to this article in combination with others I finally am starting to understand what happened years ago when all of a sudden my SIL started treating me like enemy number 1 for no reason at all and got my brother to go along with it. Thank you so much. I hope I can finally stop wondering and agonizing and feeling guilty and start healing. Thank you!

  13. Jonsi,
    Thank you for your blog and for posting this Triangulation writing by Sea Glass. My younger sister is a malignant narcissist. She goes through the family and culls us one-by-one and then systematically 'walls-off' the rest of the family to do her bidding while she plays her evil games.
    Another poster is correct in writing that therapists 'don't get it' -- these Covert Narcs are so good at what they do.. so crafty, so practiced, so wicked. And, YES! it does feel like she's trying to murder my soul. She pretends like my husband and I aren't alive any longer and ignores us for years now. For Thanksgiving, the entire family was invited to her second house (two miles from us)... of course, we weren't invited --- why? --- because we're both DEAD. That's why, she pronounced us DEAD.
    I am now in the process of trying to decide how to handle my elderly mother who just moved close to us.
    The narc has a second home close by... but with my relationship with Mom she is the Big fvking elephant in the room. And my mother has become her puppet. I wish I could move away from all of them AGAIN. They all followed us here from another state (this so-called 'family') and now they torment my husband and I.
    I don't wish a damn Narc on anyone's family but I'm relieved to find those here that understand. It is a form of murder, of that I'm certain.

    1. Nancy - Your comment about therapist not seeing how cunning these Narc are is on point. I tried several times and even called him out to the therapist about being a narcassit but the therapist was already fooled. It became a joke to me after awhile. I was able to sit there and watch the puppeteer in action while this highly educated man got a run for his money. It was pathetic to say the least. I got to the point that before we went into the session I would tell my Narc to leave his little mind games at home so we can really repair the relationship. By the last 2 sessions I just sat quietly and enjoyed the show. Nothing was going to change and I came to terms with that. JG

  14. This helped me so much. I went through something terrible with someone who fits this description point by point, as did my friends, and many others I am meeting who are just now coming out about the shit that happened to them. Thank you so much for posting this.

    1. I found value in this as well. I'm glad it helped you.

  15. I have to say I ran across this blog after being with a Narc for 5 years. I always knew there was something off but I couldn't figure it out. I am bi-polar so he used his techniques rather smoothly to make me feel as if I was going nuts. Finally after years of cheating, lying, and being tormenting, I decided to get out of this triangle. I have tried many many times but always found myself caught in his malicious web of deceipt. SO many mind games, so much evil in one person. I just could never understand the lack of empathy. I really tried to convince myself he was good, the feelings were real & that he loved me. What a sad thing when you finally realize every single thing was a lie. I'm starting my way to recovery and it is a painful one. Like so many times before the feeling is pure helplessness, there are no words to explain the betrayal and emptiness left behind. I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to post about this. Although It is a terrible situation it brings me comfort to know there are others that have been here and have survived. Thank You! JG

  16. Going through this with my narc ex-husband and my 18-yr old daughter. He used the fact that I caught both of them at different times secretly watching porn multiple times. I became enemy #1 in their shame and guilt. Listening to him discipline our daughter is what put me on to his own addiction and and I quickly found proof. I do not think she knows about his own problem.

    But this is not something to be discussed openly, and he portrays me as borderline rageaholic, and uses her to make me look like "no one could live with that bitch" as he likes to say. I am completely isolated from "our" old friends and family, banished so to speak.

    But I hired a detective and divorced him with proof of adultery with his secretary. The daughter even befriends and defends her against me.

    When asked what I ever did to her, she is evasive and has no answer except for one incident where she was creating drama and I grounded her after talking to my attorney first. I was deliberate only to touch her phone and keys, but had to wrestle them away from her. They violated my visitation rights (she was only 16 then) by having his parents pick her up. But attorney said let it go. Daughter and Dad created more drama by calling the police to come pick up her car later.. She calls it a fight, and always brings a friend/someone else with her when she visits (rarely) now. Claims she is "scared" to spend time with me. There was no violence in the other 16 years she lived with me. Apparently has forgotten all the fun and love notes we used to share together.

    Hoping after she is away from that family for the first time at college, she will wise up. Not much hope though.

    Then my 15 yr old son, who stayed with me initially the first 2 years, decided he wants to live with him too. He is tenderhearted, and has no clue what he is in for. My counselor, pastor, and attorney advised letting them both go or they would resent it and rebel.

    So this narc got away with everything that mattered. And is unexposed. He has surrounded himself with people who think he hung the moon.

  17. My NMIL is the most sugary sweet person you'll ever meet. Her speaking voice is high pitched and very childlike. She says things like; "I am such a positive happy person" and "This family loves like none other!" While she throws her arms in the air and twirls.
    Then in her sweet voice she slams her Son in law. We lived out of state and had to hear about it for years. We were her "rescuers" she turned us against him. We thought she was being manipulated and verbally abused and mistreated by him. We were wrong.
    We found out recently that she has been doing the same thing to us. She has slammed us to the same BIL and her daughter for just as long.
    When we heard what she had been saying we realized that she was the problem.
    The way we got to the bottom? We caught her and FIL watching child porn. We have a 7 year old daughter and we said you will have no contact unless supervised until counseling is completed. Sugary sweet MIL said to my husband, her son; "You are disgusting, you should know my heart because I carried you under it for 9 months, how dare you question me!" Then SIL and BIL and cousin all contacted us and told us how horrible we were "and have always been!" So now sugar sweet MIL and horn dog oblivious FIL are the "Victims" and we are done trying to get them to understand. They can all eat shit. And yes, we are Christians but the forgiveness thing is not for them, it is for us. More or less its a way to move on from the enternal bitterness that will eat at your soul. It doesn't mean you have to have a relationship with them again. I will never allow them back in my life because they are dangerous to our health and safety. I will never forget what they watched and sugary sweets response that "It was only wrong in our opinion."

  18. I came here hoping to get some info but was totally put off that the entire article was written using "she" for the narcissist... it made the whole page seem pretty biased. Was that a conscious choice or what?

    1. So you either didn't read the entire first paragraph of this post, or you did but you didn't like what I wrote so you're ignoring it, thus leading you to ask a question which I already answered.

    2. Beyond that, it is entirely possible to read a post and make the change in pronouns yourself as you're reading. Your comment seems personal Anon, as though you personally took offense to the fact that I chose to change the original author's subject from male to female.

    3. FFS if I had kept the original post under a male pronoun would that have been more acceptable for you, anon? It's either one pronoun or the fucking other. Are you that lacking in imagination that you can't understand the basic premise of the article of it's not written in the most appealing pronoun for you?

      I mean, why is it a surprise that this article or the entirety of this blog is gender- biased." The majority of this blog is written about my narc mother in law.

  19. Is it possible for this character type to only be this way with his romantic partner? I ask because it's maddening when I hear how wonderful, friendly,funny,helpful, caring and generous this guy can be in the opinions of others. I 'm so afraid I'm wrong about everything I feel in my gut and would never be able to get most people to believe me......except my family and close friends . Again,is it possible that he can direct this behavior toward me alone or if truly narcissist, covertly aggressive , engaging in triangulation wouldn't it be across the board with everyone?

  20. This just one of the techniques a narcissist uses to gaslight his/her victim. One face for you, one face for the rest of the world. Makes YOU question your own sanity/judgement.
    If you're not familiar with the term gaslighting, Google it, then run like hell and don't look back.

  21. I have been reading obsessively about gaslighting for about 4 days now,and came upon this triangulation link.i actually cry as I read about the depth of damage and see myself,but yet feel thankful that there is a reason for how I feel.I have always known something was so wrong and actually have left 3 times but he never gives up and comes back better than ever only to have the cycle repeat.i have moved in and out from his home 3 times ,sold I house I owned because he said having a house made it easy for me to run because I had a place to go to so it made me not work at the relationship! The 3 rd time I left, 2 years ago,I bought another house.Shortly after moving he was back pulling out all the stops, and we are back together again though live separately.Its just more of the same behavior and now I know why. He tells me I'm a negative thinker and should focus on all the good things he does for me.He has some good qualities and there are some good times but we have never been able to maintain a functional relationship. I'm desperate to find all info I can to drill home that this is something counseling won't help( we have been 3 times to 3 diff counselors) and finally give me the courage to break free after 11 years. Thank you for reading this lengthy rant.I cannot talk to family and friends about this again just yet. They have been down the break up road before with me and I always go back to him. I have to be completely done before sharing .I have to trust myself and my better judgement to save my sanity ,regain confidence in my abilities and move on. I need to.

  22. We all reach our "done" in our own way and in our own time. Be patient with yourself. You'll get there when you're ready.