Steve Becker interviewed about narcissists

Lovefraud author Steve Becker, LCSW, was interviewed on Internet radio recently on the topic of narcissists. He explains the primary indicators that someone may have narcissistic personality disorder, and the destructive ways in which narcissists treat their partners.

The discussion is very informative. To listen to the interview, click the link below. Note: The horizontal purple bar under the headline is the audio feed indicator. There’s an arrow, barely visible, on the left end of the bar. Click the arrow to listen to the program.

Steve Becker, LCSW: It’s [not] all in your mind, dear

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Wow! Good job. This recording was very easy to listen to.

I usually don’t watch TV or listen to radio, because the speakers don’t communicate clearly, nor do they offer details. This recording was good because both speakers spoke well, and they discussed their topic thoroughly.

I gained so much that from show Steve, thank you very much. Just fantastic. It would be great to see vlogs on Lovefraud sometime too. And it was great putting a voice to a name too!

I can’t wait to listen. The site Steve’s interview is on also lists interviews with other psychologists like Kernberg! I will wile away my cubicle hours in psychological bliss!


I have cobbled together a survey based on replies I have received here and elsewhere on “what to ask.”

All who participate will be in a drawing to win “The Gift of Fear.”

I am doing this for myself and others who have suffered from narcissistic abuse.

The survey is completely anonymous.



Superb job as always – professional, great descriptors as to behaviors, your profile was so complete I felt I was reading my own journal.

Not only did the interview spotlight your expertise, but hearing the compassion, conviction and sensitivity in your voice brings a more personal connection to the listener, allowing them to feel SOMEONE really gets what they have experienced.

I hope you are able to continue educating us through this venue!!!!!


Especially like the section in the broadcast where you talked about ‘Recognising the abuser’s pathology. LF has enabled me to qualify all my own thinking (and indeed my confusion about my own thinking – that I was crazy, paranoid etc). The ‘attitudes’ of an abusive personality – ‘entitlement’ and the ensuing anger displayed when disappointed in this respect struck a particular cord with me.

The healing – restoring the ‘integrity of own perceptions and realising that the pathalogical confidence of the S un-nerves and erode the confidence of the ‘victim’ – it was really helpful to have this explained.

Thanks for enlightenment.

Thank you Elizabeth, Kate, NewLife, HolyWaterSalt and Escapee…thank you all very much for taking the time to share your generous comments. I appreciate your feedback immensely.

NewLife, what can I say?


Thank you, Steve, and Martha Trowbridge Radio for this wonderful show. The best part was that it’s “more Steve” than we could ever get in these brief columns.

I learned several new things, but the best part for me was hearing the idea that narcissists feel the “anger of victims” when their demands are frustrated. What a great concept, and the way you went on to link it to their “justifiable” rage and abuse was really helpful to me. It articulated the cause and effect of something I’ve seen and lived through, but never known how to describe.

It also clarified for me what I was dealing with, in certain key relationships. Being on the receiving end, as you say, can be very disorienting.

Thank you, Steve. It was really helpful. I hope you do more of these.


Kathy, thank you…I’ve told you this before and mean it, that coming from you, who has incredible wisdom and obviously powerful healing energies, means especially much. You are so generous.

Steve…I listened to it last night late…it was good. Thanks for being there…and here.

Steve, This was my life before I left. Thanks for explaining it so well. I think this will help a lot of men and women to finally understand what they are dealing with. My first exposure to what narcissism was was on a talk radio show and the light bulb clicked on, “this is what I’ve been dealing with for 30 years!!” I’m out of it now, and life for the most part is happy and best of all, peaceful and safe. Thanks again so much!!

Thankyou Steve, your radio show was amazing! So eloquent and articulate, so clarifying of the horrific abuse of the Narcissist. I too especially loved your description and explanation of the way the narcissist justifies his abuse of others by “seeing himself as the victim”. So he punishes the “attacker” for not fulfilling his narcissistic needs. I had never heard it described so well the way that you explained it.

Jim, thanks!!! I alway like seeing you on the thread…it’s always good and comforting to have you on-board. And I don’t know if it means anything to you, but I like the Pacers’ draft picks in the NBA draft. Hansbrough’s going to be good. I think Bird got it right. And i’m forgetting their second round pick, but he’s good. Thank you, Jim. And i’m not going anywhere, if you’re not.

Daisy and Tilly….it’s of course so unbelievably validating to hear you relate so personally to what I describe. Thank you for your feedback. It encourages me to continue to try find words that are helpful to describe and explain these experiences. Thanks so much!


Steve, Tilly wrote, “Tthe narcissist justifies his abuse of others by “seeing himself as the victim”. So he punishes the “attacker” for not fulfilling his narcissistic needs.”

Wow, the first time I’ve heard words to describe what I experienced and couldn’t put into words.

Now, for sure, I have to ask you if your radio interview is also available in printed form? I would miss the kindness of your voice that others mentioned, but the audio is broken on my computer so I can’t listen to it.

At present, I can’t afford to pay a tech to fix it — and sure can’t afford a new computer. A decided disadvantage in this computer age, for sure.

ANewLily, is it the speakers or the audio card? If it’s just the speakers, you may find a place on the back for a headphone jack.

Thanks, Kathleen, for your comments. I think it is the audio card — I can’t download pix from my camera’s card, either, so maybe the whole hard drive is getting worn out? It’s my 4th PC but already 7 years old.

However, I am housebound and can’t go out for a headphone jack. I have a couple on hand but for different equipment.
Thanks anyway!

dsch –THANK YOU isn’t adequate to express the gratitude that you sent me this synopsis. What a kind, kind, kind heart you have! I will be eternally grateful.

I am also sincerely grateful to Steve for composing these marvelously enlighting words that have brougt such a bright light to every aspect of my long “marrage.” Steve you are a wise, wise, wise man.

Every word, sentence, and paragraph describes what I lived for 46.5 years — and the 3 months of dating, too. I did recognize all of this, truly I did. But, I just couldn’t understand any of it, no matter how I tried. For example, I perceived I was being punished but I had no real idea why I “deserved” it. I didn’t! It was all in HIS head.

All of my counselors after I had escaped were right — he IS a narcissist, but most “advice” was piecemeal over the years “out” and until I read this synopsis, I had not put it all together.It all makes sense — even the strange “out of the blue” physical abuse and then his walking calmly away without a word.

My conclusion after reading this is two-fold. First, I AM truly a courageous and kind soul for enduring all this for so many years! I’m truly proud of me today for the first time.

Second, my emotions are so filled with even more compassion for others who have lived with such a disordered person than I had before that I can hardly contain them.

No, there is a third conclusion, or rather a dilemma. Our four adult children and their families still live near him and I am 1800 miles away — to protect my very life. WHAT can I do for them from so far away?????

Steve, a question. DId our children experience these aspects of their father? If so, they have never told me and I sure didn’t observe any of this behavior directed to them. I told myself years ago that if I observed any mistreatment of them I’d take them and leave in a heart beat. I DIDN’T see any. What if I just didn’t “see”? Horrors!

One counselor did tell me that often abusive spouses only abused their own spouses and no one else. Could that be true?


Your words describe my experience perfectly. It helps to drive this all home for people. Especially when they think that maybe their situation is different. You canpture the essense of Narcissism…and the non-disordered partners experience.

I think Bad Man ia a hybrid of NP, BP, and Sociopath. But then.. I suspect many/most of these ppl are a blend.. a toxic mix for the unsuspecting.

Thank you thank you thank you for your contributions to this community. I just wish CA was a bit closer. LF is a wonderful healer and therapy for all of us but I feel kinda stuck with one last piece and I hope to find someone that I can accept my experience and help mke to move forward.


Alohatraveler (and some others)

I feel so sorry that so many of us can resonate with Steve’s descriptions. I came back on to question whether since narcissism describes my EX so perfectly — and my attempts to understand — could my EX also be a sociopath? Above you even mention a hybrid that includes BP. Is that Borderline personality? My Ex does not fit that category very well.

I’m thinking maybe my EX was “only” a narcissist, not even a psycopath as one counselor suggested.

Yet, I feel so completely vindicated by Steve’s words that I don’t think I even want to know anymore. I think I can finally move on!!

Oxy they want me to go into the

bar for a drink


There is so much information and detail in this interview to digest, I have listened to it quite a few times.

The references to rejecting blame and turning it back onto the partner in rage, anger and blame really hit home.

It also saved me a weekend of upset and confusion.

I brought my kids down to the shore house this weekend to have some fun and check on the place. It may be sold so I want them to enjoy while they can.

When we got here, the gas and cable TV (which means no TV) were tuned off due to non-payment.

I called HIM to ask what was happening and he said he had no idea what was going on – maybe the bookkeeper didn’t pay the bills. I asked him why he even continues to employ her if she is so remiss in her job (he always blames her).

His next reply was “Well if you bothered to communicate with me and tell me where you were going -this wouldn’t have happened. If I knew you were taking the kids I would have made sure the place was set for you.”


I thought – OK – this is my fault , I didn’t tell him we were going, so now I have to deal with the consequences.

THEN – lightbulb moment!!!

Even if I did tell him we were going, he either didn’t know or would never admit the gas and cable were turned off – and he hasn’t been here to take care of the place in a year – only to put a FOR SALE sign on it.

Then he calls me back and tells me this is just like the winter time when I came down and didn’t tell him – and there was no heat – again he doesn’t come here to maintain anything.

So he blames ME again and he should have been GRATEFUL I came down when I did because the pipes were frozen and leaked into the flooring and damaged some of the ceiling. The whole first floor would have flooded if I had never gone down to the house. But it was my fault it all happened because I never told him where I was going ?

Everyone knows if you have a place you don’t live in full time you have to go there time to time and check on things – a house, a camper a cabin – wherever!!!


I now know it is NOT MY FAULT – all this behavior and WORD SALAD is explained in your interview .

It saved my sanity and my weekend – I didn’t accept the blame that doesn’t belong to me.

All he had to say was ” I am sorry and I will check into it and take care of it” Isn’t this what most people would say?

Now I have to work on accepting I will never get that from him. I will NEVER have a conversation that is a real exchange . He will never assess a situation outside of his own interests – he is disordered.

Dear ANewLily,

I have thought all along, from your descriptions of such horrible physical abuse that your X is a CLASSIC PSYCHOPATH!

Of course they ARE Natrcissistic as well, but they are also CRUEL and malicious and that is what makes the psychopath what s/he is.

ALL Ps are Narcisistic to one extent or another, some more than others, but not all Ns are Ps. I think your X is beyond any doubt a full fledged violent cruel, hateful, malicious, mean (etc) PSYCHOPATH.

ANewLily…concern about what exactly they were (N, P, S, BPD) and the effect on your children is normal…I look for it all the time. As Steve discussed, it is a continuum, a scale, with an element of degree of the traits being exhibited. With my ex-tox…I decided mainly BPD, Borderline Personality Disordered (because of abandonment issues), but it manifests itself like a roller coaster ride with events…physical illness events, terminal illness of parents, aging, and life in general.

Currently, since I get the fallout from my teen daughter…the chaos and drama generator is working overtime over on the Dark Side (mom’s place). Ex-tox’s mom (N?) is in hospital, 26 year old daughter is moving, 24 year old daughter is visiting from out of state, 13 year old is having middle-school “best-friend” (friend is a bully) issues…a perfect storm developing.

Me…I’m apparently blamed (I thought I was the victim?) for some evil manipulation to cause all these problems…I hear I am much discussed and third parties I’ve had no interactions with for years are brought in to explain to my daughter (13) how bad I am. 24 year-old didn’t want to stay at mom’s…asked to stay at my place…26 year old didn’t want ex-tox’s boyfriend helping move while I was asked…the discussion is endless and the smear campaign has re-emerged with a new life.

Me? I’ve lived alone and in peace for 3 years. I do what I can. I enjoy what time my daughters give me and help when I’m asked. I don’t discuss my ex-tox with them. I have a few good friends, one true one, a woman, in particular…with no romantic involvement yet, or not at all…not something I control. My youngest daughter has met her, but not at my house.

It appears I have much power. I pretty much do nothing…but the effects on others of my evil genius is immense…and much discussed. ROTFLMAO…sorry.

Blame the victim. My daughters all appear to be pretty much normal. I watch for the signs…nothing stands out.

I’ll keep watching.

And Steve…Indiana…Pacers and Colts…much discussed and analyzed. During the seasons holes are punched in walls and children terrified by raging fathers…I watch them occasionally, but don’t share the passion to that extent.

I’m pretty much boring, bored, and satisfied with it…life is much better now with minimal contact. TOWANDO!

Newlife08, BINGO! “He will never assess a situation outside of his own interests – he is disordered.” Now, just BELIEVE it –during every step of your future! I felt so happy that you had a tremendous “aha” moment. Good for you.

Oxy, I am going to believe you when you affirm that my EX IS a psychopath! End of any wondering. Thank you. I do know you know more than most of my situation.

Jim in Indiana, I am so glad that your daughters all “appear pretty much normal.” I never saw anything abnormal about mine as they were growing up and establishing themselves out in the world. Now, I just don’t know — but only because I have no contact with them — except one — so I can’t “watch.”

One daughter and her hubby have taken Mexican vacations with EX and his LIVE-IN girlfriend (who got “groomed” and trapped, I KNOW!) and that close association bothers me some — for my daughter. However, I am proud of her, too. Afterall, I did teach my children not to be judgmental and to treat others with kindness. Yet, I also know, now with more information of what we lived through, that I probably “overdid” that lesson, that she is an adult of 51 years and is her own person with her own choices.

I just wish I KNEW that my children are OKAY!!!

Correction: ” that she is an adult” should be “BUT she is an adult…”

ANewLily: “I just wish I KNEW that my children are OKAY!!!”

Yes, don’t we all…

And I’d trust Oxy’s assessment about your X.

But, for me, first…as many say…my job is to make sure I”M OKAY…then and only then can I help anyone else.

As for “watching” mine…I only see or hear from the “twenty-somethings” every few months, and on birthdays, holidays, and Father’s Day. If I sometimes call and leave a voice mail I often don’t hear back…I don’t take it personally…they’re busy and have good lives. I much prefer that to them showing up on my doorstep homeless, devastated, and crying…so far…so good. I hear secondhand their mother pursues them and demands their attention and tries to maneuver them into embracing her current victim as “family”…without much success.

But I’m a man…a simple creature, without much of a gift for manipulation despite claims to the contrary on the Dark Side…LOL…I get blamed for it anyway…so why expend the effort?…I’d probably screw it up…

I’m a little over defensive right now.

Tilly, why are you feeling “over defensive”? Spill it out. We’ll catch you!

I’m sure grateful for all those who have “caught” me when I was falling.

ANewLily…hello, and i’m so glad you found the radio interview helpful and relevant. I have just a very little time at the moment to respond to your several important questions and concerns. I apologize for not responding in more detail. I think others have offered very excellent feedback, which I doubt I could top. Basically there’s no cut and dried answer to the kids’ question. In general an extremely abusive, manipulative spouse will probalby struggle, even if motivated, to completely disguise this aspect of his personality with his kids, even if he manages to make them less of a direct target of his abuse. But of course it’s extremely traumatic for kids to see a parent abused over time, even the abusive parent isn’t directly abusing them. However, he or she is indirectly abusing the children if they are witnesses to his/her abuse of the other parent. Having said this, I don’t want to alarm you. It is impossible to calculate the impact on particular kids in particular situations where abuse is occurring in a home. Many kids are remarkably resilient and so it’s possible that you haven’t seen the signs you’ve feared because of your kids’ wonderful resilience. And naturally, it helps if their father hasn’t directly abused them. I hope I haven’t misunderstood your concerns, apologies if i have. I read through the thread very fast. Diagnostically speaking, it is sometimes very hard to pinpoint where narcissism and sociopathy intersect–that is, at what point does the narcissist begin to meet the credentials of the sociopath? This and other questions are challenging, interesting, and I promise to keep examining them.
Steve Becker

And thank all of you, so much, for your continued positive feedback! NewLife, you are right on…good for you, celebrating that “light-bulb” moment. That is awesome.

Thank you, Steve, there was a solace in your answer, even though a true answer doesn’t exist until or if I can get my children to open up and talk about their feelings.

Of course, their father never, ever revealed his feelings so I think that was one influence on them. Don’t know.

For the record, though, as far as I know none of my children ever witnessed the abuse — except the oldest when she was less than 2 years old, now 54. ALL physical abuse was behind closed doors (literally) and whether they heard my protests, fits of crying, or observed my anxiety (all of which I valiantly tried to hide) I don’t know. All of my bruises were on my torso or upper arms, which I could hide with clothing. He never touched my face (I had been a beauty queen in my younger years and I’m sure that is one reason he “chose” me) Also, he never yelled, just said terribly nasty words in a quiet voice that only I could hear. He was very secretive about everything. Also, the physical abuse (out of the blue!) didn’t get really bad until we had an empty nest. Then, he had the whole huge house to do his dirty work. I never even thought of calling the police! I’d FREEZE, couldn’t even fight or flee! (That rreaction still bothers me about myself.)

Your mentioning that my children possibly had “wonderful resiliance” was comforting because I have thought so, too. I also worry that if I try to make contact with them (his possessions) they might be in danger. Well, unless his new “friend” 14 years younger is now the target but I have no way of knowing.

I’m rambling. So many things to think about. However, I think I am getting much closer to real acceptance of “what was.” Thank you!

oh, after reading the radio synopsis it became very clear to me that my Ex tricked me into “marriage” so I could put him through medical school, which I did. I don’t think he anticipated that we would have two babies by the time he graduated — then I don’t think he could turn his back on them. HOWEVER, I basically raised them alone because until they each reached 18, he hardly paid any attention to them.

He was a dependable provider, though. But, during the divorce I found out that he truly believed that all the money he earned (including what I earned) was HIS. Other posters have mentioned this, too.

Anewlily- Im so sorry for the abuse that you went thru. You are a very strong and courageous woman.
You said I never even thought of calling the police! I’d FREEZE… I did the exact thing when I was being abused. Although, I feel that not fighting back is the ONLY thing that kept me alive. Any other occasion, I would THINK that fighting would mean survival. Instinctively,I knew that he would not stop if I fought him. Playing dead like those whom are attacked by bears in the wild have done was my survival instinct. “The victim taking on the shame of the abuser” I have recently found is why many of us kept silent.
Please keep healing, keep sharing.. xoxo

Dear Sabrina, I’m so very sorry that you endured this — and also FROZE. I wonder how many other battered wives have the same reaction — and the same knowledge that we both had instinctively that FREEZING would prolong our lives.

I have written many private journal entries as I’ve thought about this reaction. Until you mentioned the same, I had thought this was unique to me. BUT, it did explain a long-time question: Why after a crowd witnessed an accident, did only 1 or 2 people break out of the crowd to help and the others remained silent and clustered.

It wasn’t really until Oxy wrote about the nature of mules/donkeys to freeze — because they sensed danger and knew enough. They weren’t stubborn, obstinate, but preserving themselves. Self-survival.

I think in my case it was also SHOCK. The abuse, without a word, always came out of the blue unexpectedly. I never could fathom WHY he did that and then just walk calmly away. I couldn’t “attach” a meaning to it at all. No preceeding arguments, etc.

Did I really “take on the shame of my abuser?” Somehow that doesn’t resonate with me — but I’ll think and pray about it. I didn’t even perceive that my abuser was angry or think he was expressing rage. NONE of it made sense to me — except possibly was due to his epilepsy — which was controlled. That will remain a mystery to me, I think.

THANK YOU for sharing! You must be a very strong and courageous woman, too!! Of course, you are. We ALL are. We are survivors.

Hello everyone,
I’ve been reading your eye-opening and supportive posts for the last few weeks and decided to join. I wish I would have found this site months ago since it’s been so helpful to me! What is the protocol on posting? Is there a specific blog for newbies or do I just pick a thread and go with it?

I could use some words of wisdom right now since I’m in quite a quandary and am extremely nervous. 2 years ago I ended up in a messy affair with my boss—the Vice Principal of an elementary school. He maneuvered me into position perfectly and played me like a harp. “Feel sorry for me. My wife doesn’t love me or my kids. If I divorce her she will take the kids to Mexico and I will never see them again.” I still don’t know how that line hooked me but it did. He was so flattering, kind, helpful, passionate—classic S behavior.

Being naïve, I started to fall for him but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “There is something wrong here but I don’t know what”. My co-teachers at the school noticed that I had been spending more time in his office chatting with him. They decided to tell me of his suspected bad behavior with other employees. “Haven’t you noticed that he was spending time with this teacher, that teacher, this assistant, that assistant?” “The guy is a scum-bag”. I didn’t believe their warnings. What kind of man could be that stupid, bold, cruel, and unprofessional?

Our affair began and within 2 months (just like clockwork) his compulsive lies started. I caught him in lie after lie. Then the excuses started. “I can’t spend time with you because of my kids. People at work are starting to notice that we spend too much time together. Somebody called my wife at home last week and told her I was having an affair with you. I can’t risk my career”. Other conversations were at the opposite end “I am starting to fall in love with you. I’m very attached to you. I wish I would have met you before I got married.”

At that point, I remember telling him that he was a compulsive liar and a narcissist. His response was cool and calm—“I don’t know where you’re getting this idea from but you’ve really hurt me”. Things went on like this for a few more months before I decided to set him up in a lie. That didn’t go over very well and he stopped talking to me for a few weeks. Not too long after that, I noticed the secretary of our school having some personal problems (frequently crying at work). Being a sensitive individual, I starting talking to her about her sadness. At first she was telling me that her husband was abusing her but it quickly changed into a story of an affair she was having. It was the same sob story I heard from Mr. V.P.—word for word. I was in shock and disbelief.

I decided to think things through before I confronted him about the situation. One Monday morning I decided to clear the air and tell him I knew about his dirty, little secret. That was another big mistake. He came into my classroom (no students were present at the time) where he verbally assaulted me at the top of his lungs. I became very frightened at his rage. He stormed out of my room and I felt that maybe I had over-reacted. Still, he had frightened me enough for me to apologize profusely. I begged and pleaded for him to forgive me.

Finally, after a month of silent treatment from him, he decided to give me another chance. The next time we were intimate he whispered in my ear “I have a brother that looks a lot like me. If you think I’m sexy, you would love him. The two of us could rape you. Sure, you’d fight it at first but then you’d like it or we would take you out.” I froze in terror.

I pretended to be fine and enjoy the rest of the encounter. In my mind I decided it was time to get this scary man on tape. I set up several more ’meetings’ with him where one taping was successful. I had evidence if I needed it. Then I made a serious mistake. I told a fellow teacher (and a friend of 4 years) that I was afraid of him and continued to spill my guts about everything, including the tape. I wanted her to know that if anything ever happened to me, she knew what to tell the authorities.

But—she went to him with the story instead of keeping quiet. I suspect it was because he had also been with her, too and she was angry. I lost 15 pounds in a month from not eating. I started crying uncontrollably at school. He would not speak to me or look at me. I wondered if he was planning my demise. Finally the school year ended”but not before 2 other female employees were seen walking the halls and crying on a semi-regular basis. I suspect he had hurt them, too.

Who could I talk to that would believe my story? I decided to keep quiet since the last time I told somebody ended in disaster. I changed schools because the thought of being on that campus gave me serious anxiety. He was promoted to Principal of a different elementary school and left with great fanfare.

The story doesn’t end here although I wish it did. The nagging doubts persisted” maybe this was all in my head (as he claimed numerous times). Maybe I over-reacted. Maybe I caused the drama. Maybe my insecurities are making me crazy. Nobody ever came to me and said “I’m having an affair with the VP.”

The next school year, I started calling him. I missed his attention. I thought maybe he did love me. I should have observed the No Contact rule but instead I tried to stroke his ego. I gave him compliments. He actually started talking to me again. He was somewhat nice. As the year progressed I started hearing rumors about him and another teacher spending a lot of time together, alone, in his office, with the door closed. I shook my head—stupid, stupid man. But, this particular teacher has parents that are also high-up in the food chain (in the same district—and very well respected).

I decided to be kind to his face but also do research on what sort of messed up individual would behave in this manner. So, I did my research and concluded that this man is a major narcissist. Furthermore, I compiled a 10 page document with snippets from the internet describing how narcissists act. Then, I mailed it to another principal who was suspecting this VP as being a philandering womanizer. I laid low and continued trying to be friends.

Now, this is where I need you guys to tell me just how stupid I really am! Three months ago I got a call from him. “I miss working with you. This other teacher is awful. Please save me. Make it so I don’t have to work with her anymore.” He lured me in with his sweet-talking ways. After 2 months of talking, this other teacher and I have switched campuses. She will be working at the school I was just at and I will be working there, with the EVIL man. I know I’ve been played, manipulated, conned, and fooled. But it’s my fault. I didn’t trust my instincts again.

What do I do? Is it safe for me to go there? With this budget crisis, there are no jobs in education and many teachers have been laid off. I can’t quit since I have no other source of income. Still, even after all my research, tears, and anxiety, I’m hoping this is all in my head (as he claims). He says I’m going to have a fantastic year working for him at his school. He needs the best teachers after all- and he says I’m the best. (Insert puke here).

Pansy: Hi. Nice to hear from you! I don’t have experience dealing with something exactly like this (except having had an affair with a married man once, which I will NEVER do again!!) but IMO at this point I think if you DO NOT FEEL SAFE around him, then you should not be near him. Are you on summer break? Can you transfer to another school? Another district in the same state? How is this going to ba a fantastic year for you? He’s nuts. This isn’t all in your head. He’s a big liar piece of crap. Please keep writing so LFers can help you figure it out!!!!!


It sounds like you have already accepted the position to switch campuses and go back to work closely with this man, right?

I would be very careful, and keep the relationship STRICTLY BUSINESS from this point going forward.

From what you have posted, there is 1 of 2 reasons that he wants to pull you back into a close working relationship:

1) He wants to get more “supply” from you, OR

2) He is aware of what you have been doing behind his back, and he is going to discard you.

Proceed with CAUTION. You are in a tough spot. He is in a position of power over you. So, if he is, in fact, a narcissist, you should probably buckle up. You are in for a ride.

The 10-page document that you mailed to another principal. Did you sign your name to that, or did you send it anonymously?

What is your ultimate goal here? Do you want to expose this man? Do you want to get even with him for hurting you? Do you want him to lose his job? Are you in Love with him?

You keep going back to him, so there must be something attractive about him that you like. Believe me, I understand not being able to maintain the No Contact Rule. I have done it myself many times.

I am NOT blaming you OR judging you!!!

I already know why I kept going back to someone who was toxic and not good for me.

I am trying to get a handle on why YOU are doing it.

When I was in my toxic relationship, I was NOT trying to gather evidence on him. I was trying to MARRY him, because I was in love with him.

Speaking of marraige, this principal is married (with kids), right? I have never been involved with a married man, so I cannot advise you on this. But, has he told you that he is leaving his wife to be with you? Maybe he already divorced his wife, and I missed something in your post.

I would keep the relationship strictly business going forward, and if you can get another position away from this principal, TAKE IT!!!

P.S. And any man who whispers RAPE in my ear (in any context) is going to be history so fast his head will spin.

Thanks shabbychic and Rosa. I appreciate you responding so quickly. There are no jobs to be had in this area & I need to stay close by to help my ailing mother. The switch has happened & I will start back in August.

As for why I mailed off the anonymous document, I wanted the good principal to know who/what is lurking in the district. Maybe he would be able to expose the bad man because he’s in a higher position of power. Months went by and nothing happened. I started thinking this was all in my head. Maybe I over-reacted.

If he is as bad as I suspect, then he should not be in a school causing so much strife. I want him to be fired if he is truly an S. If I’m wrong, then I want him to take me in his arms and tell me it’s over between him and his wife. Gosh, it sounds so pathetic when I say it.

I think he used the rape comment to intimidate me. He claimed it was just sex talk. At this point I don’t believe he would physically harm me. But the more I read about the S type, the more anxious I become.

I don’t think he’s left his wife since they just bought a huge house together.

OKAY….here I go……
IT”S NOT IN YOUR HEAD!!!!!! Pick up your self esteem from under the door mat and brush it off……you will need this to get through the year!!
Keep reading, keep posting. Do your job, document your work and steer clear of the asshole.
His classic manipulative, abusive, using, controlling and exploitive behaviors will only heed you trouble. DO NOT GET INVOLVED.
You have your tape, you have your story…..WHAT DO YOU PLAN ON DOING WITH THIS? Prove you had an affair? Not worth it, you have something to lose here too.
Be thankful your NOT married to the beast. You don’t need evidence of any sort. JUST STAY AWAY!
You should be nervous, you are not able to manipulate him….so stop trying? For what?
You should be looking for another position and take it when you can find one. ASAP! As long as your under him, he will exert his control. You need to keep it business.
He is in a position of authority over you and could set you up for great problems with your career down the line. You can’t continue to be used like this.
Take control, keep your strength.
You will have to be cordial and professional with him and your other colleagues. Pretend like nothing ever happened. DO NOT EVER GIVE HIM POWER OVER YOUR REACTIONS…..he will continue to try…..it’s a game to him.
Never allow yourself to be placed in a compromising position. Be assertive, expect backlash…..you willl not be able to control him…..BUT…..YOU can control YOU!
Okay….the married part………..it’s the same old story…..he ain’t going nowhere…..he’s married….if he wanted to leave his wife, he would……NOT BUY A NEW HOME! The wife is willing to take on an asshole husband (I would be surprised if she didn’t know, at least deep down). she has a stake in not leaving aswell. He knows he can treat her this way and get away with it……he also knows he can treat other women this way and get away with it…….so he does……because he can!
He’s an actor, your the play, the wifes the play…..I’m going to be harsh here…..but your not special to him, he doesnt’ love you. Your part of his divide and conquor game. He has seen you ‘weep at his feet’, beg his forgiveness, state your thoughts of narcisssim…..yet…..you keep going back….he wins! Next inning……
“SEX TALK”……eeesssshhhhh! Yeah….I bet that got your engine roaring huh? I wouldn’t be shocked if this is standard behavior for him. This is not normal ‘come hither’ chat. This is freaky, scary manipulation and control talk……more than a reason to stay away!!!!
This was not a joke to him!
Look at the risks he takes……
1. Affair with a subordonate
2. Married
3. Multiple affairs (suspected) Don’t fool yourself…..it’s happening!
4. Threats
5. Power with sex
The list seems endless in your few postings thus far.
You know whats going on here…..you have read our stories, you have identified to some extent…..You recognize behaviors in him.
It’s a duck!!!
Listen to your gut, have faith in what your feeling. You have made it this far in life on your own directions…..your not stupid. You fell for the wrong man! The best thing you can do is find out the ‘why’ in yourself.
We have all done it……your definately not alone. We have all stayed and hoped we were wrong, we changed, we begged, we forgave, we forgot (fooled ourselves), we overlooked, we questioned ourselves…….THEN….we woke up!!!
It took different situations for each of us……some enlightening moments, some just had enough and explored the ‘why’ behaviors and looked for answers, some landed up here? It doesn’t matter……we are all out and growing emotionally, personally and spiritually. We have our eyes open and are trying to see and learn about US. We slip, we have bad days and weeks……but we continue on the path of self growth.
You can do this, you will do what you have to do to make a living and get through.
BTW….when you want to post…..post…..when you want to read…..read….That’s it. Take the advice that pertains to you, discard the advice you feel doesnt’ pertain.
Everyone here means well and has valuable input…..you included!
I welcome you to LF and I hope the best for you.

Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t allow anyone to tell you what you are feeling or not feeling. DO NOT QUESTION YOUR GUT!!!
Now it’s time for you to make a decision on how much ‘risk’ you wish to take.
How much are YOU worth?
(I hope the answer is anything and everything girl…)
Brace yourself and be prepared emotionally……it’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster of a year for you. You can do it, you must be strong, decisive and IN CONTROL of YOU!!!!
You have learned many lessons thus far…..how others protect the S’s, how the S’s operate. Don’t expect too much/ or anything for that matter from anyone at the school.
People will turn on you in a Texas minute…..
Just keep your eyes wide open……

Hi Pansy,


I, along with I suspect a lot of bloggers here, find your story chillingly familiar it IS TEXT BOOK s/p behaviour. I feel like quoting huge sections of your story – the pattern for me was very similar. his pattern of behaviour( the initial ‘my soon to be ex is abusing me, its all I can do to protect my children'(projection) the rape fantasies, the ‘I miss you this new girl is sooo stupid’) and my unfortunate reactions to it including still ‘wanting him’, when I already knew AND told him that I thought he was a revolting creep a liar and a user.

Its NOT pathetic of you, its how they set it all up to play out over and over again!.

I also understand that now you KNOW what he is, you want him OUT of the way of vulnerable people… my attempts to alert the S/P’s superiors over the impropriety of him being in a position of power over vulnerable people got me no where fast… in fact it damaged me further and gave him even more amusement 1.) because they discounted my information and I was humiliated and 2.) I gave him a laugh at THEIR expense by helping them demonstrate to him how duped they currently are… and helped him gauge how secure he is in his current DUPE…its all just laugh fest after laugh fest for the snake.

There is lots of discussion on here re; warning people/next/future victims – it is so tempting and feels so much like the right good and moral thing to do. Its very hard.

He had already pre-emted that I might and had done the ‘ground work’… probably way back when he was still talking about getting married and happy families.

I often think he’ll never even ‘hang himself on his own rope’ because he just moves on to the next new bunch of victims…I dont think he’ll ever get his come-uppance. Its a toughy to swallow and walk away from.

Anyway, I am in no great place for offering advice at the moment (big hole of confusion) but the guys on here, are fabulous.xx

No Contact IS the only way,but there is still a lot to go through and it’s NOT easy.

Lots of love and luck, you will find strength and understanding here!

And all of the rape fantasies and abuse will almost certainly be projected onto YOU,( ‘oh my last girfriend tried to ruin my carreer because I dumped her becuase she abused me and suggested a threesome with my brother’ something like that…) in order to lure in the next unsuspecting kindheart. Yeuch!:(


Get yourself some Post-It notes. On the top sheet, write these words:

“I have a brother that looks a lot like me. If you think I’m sexy, you would love him. The two of us could rape you. Sure, you’d fight it at first but then you’d like it or we would take you out.”

Now put that Post-It on your mirror. Do it again, and again. Carry a copy in your wallet. Put one on the refrigerator. When you feel yourself wavering, make a few more copies of that lovely quote. Make sure these words are seared onto your brain.

Whenever you are tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt, find the nearest Post-It and know that THIS is the real guy.

Pay attention to what the real guy is saying to you. The things that seem too ghastly to be true ARE TRUE. This is who he is.

Stay away from him at all costs. No contact.

Then, start looking for work away from him. Yes, times are tough, but you can’t let that stop you. You can do it. You can free yourself from the chaos and confusion. It is NOT all in your head. You are NOT crazy. Positive reinforcement is here on this site, darned near 24/7, if you need it.


Welcome to LoveFraud. I’m sorry you’re going through all this. I know it has to be hard for you.

Whether or not there is work as a teacher nearby, I think you need to get away from this man. You may not be able to figure out how do it tomorrow or the next day, but there is good reason to make it the absolutely most important thing on your list of things to do.

First, because he is dangerous for you. He has already pulled you back in more than once, and you have called him when you’re lonely, despite knowing that he’s hurt you and hurts other people. What this suggests is that you’re probably “addicted” on some level.

It something that happens to us with these people. They “love bomb” us and when we’re feeling lonely or stressed, something in us remembers the love-bombing as the last, best thing that happens to us. And then we contact them and start the vicious cycle again. When people here talk about “no contact,” they’re actually talking about a kind of detox, while we get these people out of our systems.

Second, because he already knows you’re capable of trying to sabotage him. He heard about the tape. He may have heard more from other people. People like him don’t forgot this. You are a potential problem for him, and you can figure that one of the reasons he’s bringing you back into his school is to keep an eye on you and find an excuse to fire you. By going back there, you are not just exposing yourself to his manipulative behavior, but putting your career in his hands. If you think you feel upset and ripped off by what he’s done to you already, this is peanuts to what he could do to you.

Third, because as everyone here is telling you, you personally need to get distance from this guy. Physical and emotional. Just to heal from what you’ve already been through. You have been abused. Your trust has been abused. Your love has been abused. You’ve been coerced by a supervisor into sex, and all of it done under false pretenses. Even if this were just a romantic relationship with someone lied to you about the fact that he was married, you would need to get away and take time to heal. This is abuse of authority by a serial abuser who is damaging one woman after another. As long as you’re around him — and especially if you’re working for him — you’re at risk and you’re going to feel unsafe and intimidated.

And finally, you need to figure out what you’re going to do about him from a cooler perspective. If you decide you’re going to take him down professionally, for what he did to you and for what he is continuing to do with other employees, you need to do it after you’ve done some healing work on yourself. It sounds like you have more than enough material to make a case against him, but it’s unlikely your going to be able to do this and survive, if you’re working directly under him. It’s going to be a delicate business, and you’re going to have to be very smart about it, including having some good advice and other support. This is not something you want to do as a lonely and powerless whistle-blower, and especially if you’re feeling at all shaky about yourself or what you want.

Your idea that you can handle the situation after you go back to being his employee suggests that you are somewhat in denial about how bad it was for you, and how selfish, untrustworthy and truly vicious this man is. That’s not a criticism of you. All of us have been there. But what happened to you is unconscionable. This is a bad, bad person.

You’re not grasping all this yet. You’re getting there. But you are not yet understanding what he stole from you. And not yet really angry, because he had no right and you deserve better. You’re still putting the pieces together in your head, trying to figure out what it all means. Still taking way too much personal responsibility for what happened. You didn’t do this to yourself. None of this would have happened if he weren’t the kind of person he is. But you’re the one who’s left carrying the burden of it. The emotional repercussions, the career repercussions, all the stress and confusion you’re living with.

You’ll get there, but in the meantime, you’re getting the best advice we have for someone in your circumstances. Get away from him and stop all contact.

And I’d also suggest an initial consultation with a labor attorney, hopefully one of those free hours they sometimes give at the beginning, for advice about what to say to the district’s human resources department. I don’t know if this qualifies for sexual harassment, but it might and you might have a lawsuit. Even if you don’t want to sue, you can use that threat to get transfered and have him investigated. I know that you might not be ready to take action this minute, but it would be worth it to talk with a labor attorney as soon as possible. I believe you might have some options you don’t see right now.

Please stay with us and keep posting. There are a lot of people here who have been through similar things. You can get a lot of good advice and support.


You have already recieved some VERY valuable and insightful words, advice, and support from the LF “club” members here. I am also a teacher and am recovering from my own nightmare with an S, (who thankfuly was not a part of my school district) and I can’t reiterate enough to you that you are in a very dangerous situation because of the nature of your profession as a teacher.

Bad evaluations from this man or in the worst case scenario false accusations of child abuse, molestation or impropriety with your students, and this man could RUIN your career, cause you to lose yor job, license etc. as well as cause you to endure legal problems, criminal charges, public embarrassment.
I know this seems like too much to imagine; it’s too much to imagine anyone would resort to such things, but that is what S’s DO: the unimaginable! In their quest to “win” and not lose the game & their power, they will, with striking AUDACITY, attempt to DESTROY you when you are no longer of use to them … and that can include attempts to blow the whistle on them.
As my therapist said to me when deciding to divorce my non-S alcoholic husband, ” Yes, you never thought he would do these things two years ago. Now stop and “imagine” all the the worst case scenarios. Imagine all the other “unimaginable” things you would never think he could do… and know that THOSE are the things that in two, three, five years, you will be sitting here telling me that he HAS DONE; all the things you could “never” imagine him doing. If you can live with that stay. If you can’t then you have your answer. Get out while you still can.”

That advice was with regard to a non-S alcoholic, who was no where near as “dangerous” and destructive as the S! I survived my encounter with the S, ( which I am STILL writing to post) with my life and career intact… BUT it was only because I was in a strong place emotionally, used my “inner sociopath” as ErinB would say, and my resources to FIGHT back. I am likely the only person who has ever done that to him and it was a FIGHT… AND every day I am thankful because it could have been SO MUCH worse, if he had been able to exploit any perceived weakness on my part or if I wouldn’t have been PREPARED for the fight. Please listen to the LF community and let them support/guide you here – finding a good therapist might also help you, as well – if nothing else it will document your concerns/situation. Most of all please hear me when I repeat/say that you are in an especially vulnerable position because of your job as a teacher. S’s are dangerous to everyone, but they get extra power when their victims are teachers, nurses like Joy, or in other PUBLIC professions, working with children etc.

Sending you “empowering” thoughts through cyber space,

This was outstanding. Thank you so much, Steve. Based on my reading, I had decided that my x was a narcissist. He fit all the descriptions to a T. The marriage counselor, who saw him from a different perspective, told me that he was passive-aggressive. Your comments tied the two together very well.

One MAJOR concern that I have: I know how this interview sounds to me. It describes perfectly what I was going through. I would like to know how it sounds to an average person who has not experienced this phenomenon or studied it. But more importantly, I would like to know how it sounds to a lawyer or a judge.

I would like this message to be refined and crafted in such a way that it can “get through” to those who have not experienced it. I’m fairly sure that before I lived through this, If I had heard this interview, I may have thought that it was just some sort of whiny excuse for a dissatisfied spouse to end a marriage and try to blame the other.

In my case, it is IMPOSSIBLE to explain to any of the lawyers I have consulted why I left my home. I have been repeatedly told that in the eyes of the law, I abandoned my family. The fact that I felt threatened by my x had no weight at all. (Why didn’t you call the police? Because I have no experience with things like this. No one I have ever known has ever called the cops on their spouse. I was afraid of getting him in trouble and that if he got in trouble it would have bad repercussions for the kids. I was afraid of having no “grounds.” He hadn’t hit me yet.) I am considered strong and intelligent and that makes it all the more dubious in their eyes.

Dear Patsy,

I am so sorry that you have been through all of this mess. I am pretty “blunt” with my advice though, and I think you should do WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET AWAY FROM THIS MAN—-I think he is DANGEROUS.

He is a “covert” psychopath, one who tries DESPERATELY to keep up his image….and he already knows you will/would betray him an dhis IMAGE—your tape and your telling the other woman, who unfortunately ran and tattled to him about it.

I think this man is getting you CLOSER to him so he can DESTROY you and/or your crediability. I think he is DANGEROUS because he has a LOT TO LOSE if you OUT HIM and he is I think quite afraid you will out him.

My advice is to RUN LIKE HELLLLLLLLL and don’t look back….your life is more important than your job or anything else. I may be a bit “paranoid” but I almost didn’t run from one and if I had not run, I would have lost my life, so better a bit paranoid than dead…..and “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you!” THIS MAN IS DANGEROUS is my humble opinion. god bless you!


I would have to agree with OXY and everyone else who has told you…GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM!!

There is no good that will come from you “being closer” to him….its a game….the closer you are ..the easier he can destroy you…and your reputation…you are playing with fire!!

I know its hard…but they are so desperate to keep their “image” intact….he knows you know all about him…this is dangerous…he doesnt care about you..only himself and keeping his image in place…your best bet is to consider yourself and only yourself…you dont need a tape to know what this man is capable of or what he has been doing…stay away….far far away!!

Patsy, Echoing all others – they are an addictive bunch. They are generally great communicators, capable manipulators, excellent conversation partners, and well – they can be a lot of fun. If I heard this before, I’d respond with “you don’t understand, mine is different..” that’s the addiction talking.
My colleague remembered today how lovely my P responded to the Virginia shootings. He said:”hey, don’t take it close to the heart”. These bastards live long and often prosper because they take nothing to heart. Stay away from him while you can.
(The fighter in me would complain to authorities, such a person should not be allowed to influence our children, and with all you have going in support of your claims, I’d definitely look for allies to bust the guy. Kathy’s idea of a labor attorney is great. Yes, sure, it’s easier to walk away… OR, is it?

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and great advice. I can’t believe the outpouring of support you gave me; a complete stranger. There are still caring people in this world!

I am still getting my head around what this man did and he continues to make me feel. Why can’t I be more angry? Why am I so forgiving? I feel ashamed and dysfunctional. When I listed to the radio program with Steve Becker, I did gain some more insight into my situation”some victims feel ashamed.

My head has been stuck in the sand because it seemed like a better place to be. Denial is much more peaceful. I’m not up for a fight with him because at this point I wouldn’t be strong enough. Kathy is dead-on. I wish I were stronger but I’m not there yet.

I have time this summer to consult a labor attorney- maybe they will provide some guidance. The location I’m living in is in the middle of a major budget crisis and pink-slips are going out in record numbers. I’ve waited a very long time for this great job; being able to help students with disabilities is my passion. It would kill me to give it up. I have to find another way although I don’t know yet what it will be.

Dear Patsy,

QUOTE: “It would kill me to givve it up”

Patsy, believe me, I understand what it means to be “attached” to a job or a house or a place etc. but my estimation is that It will KILL YOU if you DON’T GIVE IT UP!

He is dangling this job as a carrot before a jackass to get you close to him. Remember the old saying “Keep your friends close and your ENEMIES CLOSER?” He is trying to lure you close enough that he can keep an eye on you and keep you from ratting him out OR he is setting lyou up to destroy your career with some horrible accusation of something on you.

Patsy, there is NOTHING YOU CAN TRUST ABOUT THIS MAN, there is NO LEVEL of lowness he will not sink to to get what he wants or to smear someone who is on to him. It is hurtful to give up something that you want because of them, but to stay close to this man is either physical or career suicide, because it gives him opportunity to “stab” you one way or another. God Bless you.

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