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Unexpected Emotional Coldness and Angry Outbursts - Understanding Boyfriend's Strange Behavior  E-mail

 

Dear Maria,

Just to say thank you so much for your site. It has really helped me in so many ways.


I was seeing my narcissist for a year and already within that time he had completely changed. When we first started seeing each other, he was the most amazing person I had ever met, almost too good to be true. He told me he loved me within the first week and was infatuated to the point of obsession. It was like there was nobody else but the two of us. The first few months were absolute heaven.


Then more and more he started to become possessive, sulky with me if I didn't give him my full attention, wouldn't let me wear certain things and would constantly try and control me. I noticed that I was starting to feel very attached and sad every time we weren't together.


I have always been a strong person but I had started to lose control, if things didn't go right and go his way, he'd be furious and he'd end up blaming me or he'd punish me by not speaking to me. I started to lose sight of the 'norm' and felt like maybe it was my fault for neglecting him, for not doing things right. I lost so much confidence.


One day I told him that I didn't feel that I could talk to him about things that got me down, that I was constantly trying to keep a perfect act up. His reaction shocked me. He was so angry with me and shouted at me to leave him alone and that we shouldn't be together anymore if that's how i felt. I was shocked. I thought he'd try and comfort me as I had been feeling down. No, he had seen this as his personal failing and was angry at me for pointing it out. Not for one second had he thought about my feelings. Eventually I ended up telling him things that had been getting to me, he told me to grow up and start taking responsibility for my life, which I had been doing, just wanted to air my thoughts.


I began to think of my problems as a burden to the relationship and decided not to tell him anymore. When I had an operation however I thought he would at least call, I was ill in a country that wasn't my home, (we met abroad) without any friends or family there and he didn't even phone... He said he had been feeling upset about it and didn't want to call because he was in a weird mood, well I wasn't in the best of moods either... I sent him an email just saying "even one text message could have changed my past few days, why didn't you call?" He said I was horrible for sending him that because I was trying to make him feel guilty.


The relationship wasn't all bad, I had some great times with him, but I realize a lot of it were things I'd planned, he'd always ask me to plan him surprises and do things for him and look after him. He made such big and romantic declarations all the time that I started to feel sad if he didn't make one for a period of time and would do anything to get him to say how much he loved me. It got to the point where I relied on it to be happy.


When he told me he cheated, he begged me, kneeling on the floor not to leave him, promising he'd change and everything continued. Even in a more positive way because I felt like he had had a real shock and that he really had changed. To my knowledge, he didn't cheat again...


A couple of months down the line and we'd just spent a great week together- he told me how he wanted to spend all his life with me and that he was so in love with me, he couldn't imagine being without me and wanted to live with me. The next few days, I had some bad family news, I told him and he was vaguely comforting on the phone. Then he started ignoring my calls. When I eventually spoke to him, he said I'd been annoying him, calling him all the time. I had just wanted some support.

I knew I was losing him. He started pushing me to make the break and after saying he would be happier without me in his life, I had to say goodbye, I didn't want to but he left me no choice. He blamed me for breaking up with him, and was so nasty and cold to me, refusing to respond to any calls, not once worried about problems I had been facing. I sent him an email saying I was devastated and I loved him but I was hurting so much. He sent me an email saying he loved me but that I must stop sending him nasty emails. I was shocked because I had only said how much I loved him. He had gone from being madly in love with me to not wanting to speak to me within a week. I've been through in my head a million times, what could have made him change his mind... Now I know it wasn't me at all.

I've had really weak moments and phone him, hes been so nasty every time I've called. I can't recognize him at all. Its so strange how people change at the drop of a hat. I found your site and its made me recognize his traits as narcissism. With the help of your page, I've stopped calling him and every time I feel weak, I look at your advice, I'm already starting to feel so much better without him.

Thanks so much.

___________

The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.

____________

Maria's Reply:

Unexpected Emotional Coldness And Angry Outbursts - Understanding Boyfriend's Strange Behavior

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email. I am so glad to hear you have found my website to be helpful for you. Many things you mentioned in your story sound very familiar. You wrote "he was the most amazing person I had ever met, almost too good to be true". Many people who have been in a relationship with a narcissistic person use exactly same words to describe the beginning of the relationship. Sad truth with a narcissistic person is that what seems to be too good to be true, often turns our to be just that. A narcissist can be extremely charming in the beginning of the relationship, but unfortunately he or she can change very fast and become cold and uncaring almost overnight. This kind of a change often occurs when a narcissist enters a so-called devaluation phase. To read more about the different phases that often take place during a relationship with a narcissist, please visit this page on my other website: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

You mentioned your ex boyfriend told you he loved you within the first week. That is quite fast. This kind of a fast declaration of extremely strong emotions is very typical for a narcissistic person. They tend to move very fast in the beginning of the relationship. The beginning of the relationship with a narcissistic person is often referred to as idealization phase (see the above link). During this phase a narcissist typically behaves very well. Sadly this phase often does not last for long. You wrote that the first few months with this man were like a dream, but then he changed. Most people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist have experienced the same.

You told your ex boyfriend got angry when you tried to talk about your feelings with him. That is always an alarming sign. His reaction was very rude and hostile. Your boyfriend was not able to put himself into your position, instead he became defensive and started acting in an aggressive way, telling you the best thing is to break up if you feel unhappy with him. He was unable to understand that your intention was not to be offensive towards him or to break up with him, but that you only tried to improve your relationship by talking about the things that you felt were causing you distress. It is very difficult to have a functional relationship with this kind of a person who is incapable of facing problems, discussing them and dealing with them in a proper way. I strongly believe you have done the right decision when you ended this relationship.

I know it is hard not to contact your ex boyfriend, especially during first couple weeks after the separation. You are still emotionally attached to him. It takes some time, but eventually you will start to feel better.

You said your boyfriend was unable to see any fault in himself but ended up accusing others when things did not go his way. As this continued you eventually started to think that perhaps there was something wrong with you and that you were somehow causing your boyfriend's strange behavior. This is what victims of emotional abuse often tend to think. I am glad you no longer think you were to blame of the problems but instead you have realized that there was something wrong with the behavior of your boyfriend.

Many things you described in your letter regarding the behavior of your boyfriend sound very abnormal.The way he abandoned you when you went through the operation was cold and careless. Even if he was upset with you, he should have been able to act like a grown up person and put his own anger aside while you went through the medical operation. His behavior shows that he is incapable of empathy. Sadly this is very typical for a narcissistic person. He was totally unable to put himself into your position.

You also told he said to you he wishes to be with you forever, and then only after one week he completely changed his mind. This behavior is a good indicator of his general personality. This man is not a reliable person. I am so glad you are no longer in a relationship with him. Being in a relationship with this kind of a person is an emotional roller coaster, for one must be constantly prepared to deal with unexpected changes in the mood of another person. This kind of a life can be devastating emotionally. In a long run a constant insecurity and uncertainty of the level of commitment of the other person can render one severely depressed. I am so happy you are no longer involved with this person who clearly was not capable of having a mutually respecting and balanced relationship.

Dear Friend, I know it is hard to get emotionally over the fact that the relationship has now ended, especially when the beginning of the relationship was so wonderful. However it is clear your ex boyfriend had some serious behavioral issues. You tried to talk to him and make the relationship work but unfortunately he was not receptive. You made the right decision when you left him. I know it is hard to let go of someone one loves, but it would be much harder to stay in an abusive relationship. Emotional abuse is very dangerous, it can severely impair one's self esteem and render one seriously depressed. I am so glad you are no longer together with this person who had such a damaging affect on your life and happiness.

Warm hug,

Maria

 

It helps to know we are not alone. To read more stories of people who are experiencing problems in a relationship, visit section Personal Stories.

____

 

If you wish to submit your own story to get feedback and support or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, please send me email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Comments (5)
  • Jen  - Dear Maria
    I truly believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that my on again off again boyfriend has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but I can't seem to stay away from him. I can't seem to understand all that has happened in the past 4 years I have known him. I can say that my story started like most of the other women's stories. We moved in together after only dating for 3 months. I really thought he was my perfect match. I didn't see the signs until I noticed he started growing a little more distant. The first outburst occurred when I wanted to attend a bbq at a friend's house and he didn't want me to go. I got upset and went anyway. He kicked me out of the apartment the very next day. Well, I cried and begged him for his forgiveness and he eventually caved, but it never was the same again. The next thing that began happening was that he was with holding sex from me. Not just sex, but most forms of intimacy. And then he would constantly comment to me how attractive and sexy other women were. My self esteem began to plummet. And the weird little tantrums he would throw...I never knew what to expect! Anything I could say might send him into a rage. That is when I started to notice that I could never relax around him. I never knew when he was going to verbally attack me. And our fights would never end with us working things out. They would always end with a break up. So then, why do I continue loving this man who obviously can not love me back? Why do I continue to pine for him? I really do want to be free from him, but I can't seem to shake this awful feeling that there will always be a hole in my heart that only he can fill. It is just a vicious cycle. We break up and I am pissed for the first several days and going through a justification period where I convince myself that he is a total evil person, but then I begin to miss him. And then I end up contacting him. And so on and so on. Always after we get back together I feel happy and fulfilled again, but then the distance grows and the cycle begins again. I really just want someone to understand and maybe offer some validity to what I am saying and going through. Afterall, he never could validate my feelings and would often treat me terribly for having them.
  • helen
    Pls I just went through ur page now and I'll like to share my story with u and for advice. Pls don't ignore this cuz is my life and is all I have.
    I have been in a relationship for seven month now but our early relationship I had a quarrel with my man and I end up cheating on him which I never intend doing but I was drunk. I was unable to keep to myself and I just want to tell him the truth which I did and I beg him with my sincere heart and he said he forgive me.
    Five more month of the relationship he travelled and he ask me to send him some mails stating how the guy fucked me but it was very hard cuz I don't want to hurt his feeling so I lied in some on my mails and he realise it was a lie so I decide to tell him the truth yet he want a break up.
    This is someone I love so much and I can never do without him he is all I have in my life pls advice me what can I do to have him back cuz I've begged him yet he said no pls just tell me I want my relationship back.
    Do reply me on my mail pls.
    Thank u so much
  • Anonymous
    Does anyone not think to help these people in taking them to therapy and seeing it as an illness that can be treated. Maybe it is a cry for help and not just a case of a bad person and to leave them.
  • S
    My ex behaved exactly like that. Anything could set him off, he would go crazy over small matters and then be angry for days. Nothing I said helped. I am so glad he is now an ex ...
  • Glennetta Harris  - Confused
    Dear Maria,
    Your site is already making me feel better.

    John and I have been together for almost 5 years now. Before I met him, he had been in and out of jail for years. We started off as friends. He was so funny to me and he did everything in his power to make sure I always had a smile on my face. About 4 months into the relationship, he hit me. I made him leave. But I allowed him back the very next day. Life went on like nothing had happened. I was very shocked. A few months later, it happened again. This time I left and went to a friends house (who I am not allowed to be friends with now). She called police and they came and took pictures. He was arrested a few days later on a felony DV. He spent about 6 months in jail because he was already on probation. I, of course, thought it was my fault. So, I sent him money. Kept money on the phone so he could call every day. Secretly, I was going out with my friends and just started having fun and enjoying life again. Well, he got out and started making a lot of changes. Then he started getting calls from 2 of his ex girlfriends. He started hiding his phone and would blow up if I questioned him. I kicked him out of my house. He moved back to his family in another city. He would call me 50 times a day begging me to take him back. I refused. Then, I found out he had moved in with another girl, I was devestated! This time, I stopped answering calls. I went a few weeks without talking to him and he finally showed up at my door and begged me to take him back. I took him back....but I told him this is his last chance...if he touched me or cheated on me, I would be done. That was a year and a half ago. Things have been almost perfect...until a few months ago...He has started not wanting me to be with my friends at all..and he has started turning off his phone. I have been down this road with him so I know the signs. I found out he had a Facebook account that he created a few months ago. He swears he hasn't been on it and that he doesn't remember the password. I was going to let that go. It wasn't that serious to me. Yesterday, I went to the pool. When I was leaving, I got a very nasty text saying that I was never there when he needed someone to talk to. I was shocked! He left for work in a very good mood...I was in a good mood. I go to the pool a lot and he knows that I am not going to take my phone in the water. He argued with me all day. I brought up the Facebook account and I told him I wanted to look at it and that I knew how to reset the password be sending new password to his phone. He refuses to let me look at it. I have his things in bags by the door. He already has me second guessing myself because he is crying to me saying that he has no money and nowhere to go. I need to know what I should do? I love him but I also see that this relationship is poison. My heart feels crushed. I am angry at myself because I have let it come to this. I used to be a strong woman. I don't know what this man has done to my dignity and self esteem. :( I want to cry all the time. I want to start my life over and be happy...but I don't know if I can be happy knowing that I kicked him out with nowhere to go. Can you give me some outside advice on my situation? Thank you.
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