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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5190
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, I am just looking for some advice about an ex boyfriend.

Resolved Question:

Hello, I am just looking for some advice about an ex boyfriend. I learnt through friends he was in hospital and just wanted some insight into his behaviour and possible causes. He presued me ardulently at first. He was talking of me moving, having children, building a house. Although his behaviour was also very thoughtless and tactless. He couldn't seem to understand my reactions, feelings unless it was spelt out to him.

The relationship ended in an argument he had also decided to work away for 5 months out of the blue. Jealousy, mind games were involved and he seemed to keep changing from one thought to the next. One minute he wanted to get married, next thing he wasnt my boyfriend. One minute it was staying and building a house then working elsewhere.

He blocked me from facebook and never spoke to me again. I saw him 7 months later and he was very friendly now he won't speak to me again and it's been 6 months since. At the time his colleague mentioned he was in hospital previously for some mental health issue. I now feel terribly guilty for things said, especially if he can't help it. He won't talk to me at all and I would just like some insight into this. Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am sorry that you had these issues with your ex-boyfriend, I can imagine how distressing that must have been for you.

Dr. Z :

There are a number of possibilities for his behavior, so I would like to ask a few questions to get some information and then I can provide you with the best possible answer

Dr. Z :

Did he have an issue maintaining eye contact with you or possibly exhibited odd body postures or gestures?

Dr. Z :

Did he have an intense obsession with specific narrow subjects at all?

Customer: Not really, he often maintained good eye contact however if we had a difficult discussion about something he would look away and fidget but I presume that's quite common. He was very into his sport, rafting and skiing but that was also his job.
Dr. Z :

Did he have any self-esteem issues that you could tell?

Dr. Z :

Also was he considerably bright and intelligent?

Customer: From my perspective I just can't imagine completely cutting someone out like that unless they'd killed someone or something.
Customer: He was bright and intelligent and on the surface very extrovert and confident.
Dr. Z :

Well it is possible that he may have had extreme anxiety or has difficult gauging social situation and social rules to understand that you are not supposed to cut out like he did, that is what I want to make sure

Customer: yes
Customer: he didn't seem to have any appreciation
Dr. Z :

So by extrovert he had a lot of friends you would say?

Customer: He didnt seem to have any shame about certain behaviour
Customer: He had lots
Customer: of aquaintances
Customer: through work
Customer: very close male friends
Customer: over 1500 facebook friends
Customer: sociable outgoing
Customer: I think he drank too much but that seems to have improved.
Dr. Z :

Okay, did he seem to want constant praise from others or believe that he was better than others?

Customer: He told me he only started smoking at 23 and I thought perhaps something had triggered that
Customer: I feel he looked for that through facebook
Customer: He wanted his needs met
Customer: with little appreciation of mine.
Dr. Z :

Okay well I believe that he may have traits or even the full disorder of something called Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD). Here is a good link explaining it in further detail for you

Customer: I think
Dr. Z :

The reason he cut you out of his life so fast was because he does not take rejection well and this is his way of responding. Also individual with NPD have a hard time expressing empathy and understanding for others

Customer: he won't speak to me because I didn't wait for him to come back from working away and move to him.
Customer: yes
Dr. Z :

Yeah I think this behavior is typical of NPD

Customer: I thought along those lines but when I bumped into him 7 months later
Customer: it was clear he was very upset
Customer: and had a hard time holding it together.
Customer: he did everything to hide this - hence I am confused://
Customer: i realised he does have feelings-so why do the things he does?
Dr. Z :

Well it could have been genuine or a manipulation as well. In addition, he was probably hurt, but blamed you for everything and refused to take responsibilities for his own actions.

Dr. Z :

He does these things because he believed your actions were very personal and purposeful, but that was not the case.

Customer: I feel he has a problem expressing his feelings
Customer: I thought he was a narcisst and would have lots of relationships.
Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD do have an issue expressing their feelings

Customer: i was also surprised to learn he doesn't
Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD actually have difficulty maintaining relationships most of the time.

Customer: yes
Customer: would someone potentially end up in hospital?
Dr. Z :

Sometimes they would, because depression and low self-esteem is associated with this and on occasion individuals with NPD will make threats about suicide to garner attention

Customer: Oh
Customer: well his colleague told me he was in hospital
Customer: His colleagues
Customer: tried to support him
Customer: but he didnt want it
Customer: now he's working for a different company
Customer: His colleague blamed it on losing balance in life.
Dr. Z :

He may have felt embarrassed about being in the hospital and that is why he did not want to have individuals help him. Like I said individuals with NPD will threats of suicide to garner attention, but rarely follow through and usually do not want to go into the hospital

Customer: that really scary to think it could be something as serious as that
Dr. Z :

He also may have had another mental health disorder that was not prevalent while with you, but because prevalent after being in a relationship with you

Customer: I bumped into him 7 months after our argument.
Customer: he was very friendly stopped chatted
Customer: then asked me where are you living now
Customer: how long have you been here
Customer: when are you leaving
Customer: dont think he liked the answers he completely blanked me after that.
Customer: i tried to speak with him again he just acted friendly denied ignoring me.
Customer: he completely blanked his boss as well who approached him to ask him to ski with me.
Customer: his boss was shocked by his behaviour. I couldn't believe he could be so rude.
Customer: when he saw me again I heard him take a huge breath before trying to make friendly conversation.
Customer: i felt he was scared of me://
Dr. Z :

It is possible that he is on medication that can cause irritability as a side effect, most likely an antidepressant. I do not know if he was scared of you necessarily though, most likely he was just irritated possibly because of his treatment

Dr. Z :

Also like I said individuals with NPD do hold grudges for a very long time, so he may be doing that to you as well.

Customer: I stayed with him and didnt notice any medication. It just reminded me of what I would do before doing something I was apprehensive about. Yes he certainly does hold grudges! I remember now he used to rub his hands along the top of his legs. I would also describe his general body language as quite hyper. He couldn't sit still for long and would be talking to lots of different people.
Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD are very active and social. How was his sleep pattern?

Dr. Z :

Also here are a few good books on NPD that may prove insightful for you too

Customer: thanks
Customer: He slept very well.
Customer: i would say the big thing was that he contradicted himself all the time.
Customer: to the extent I thought it was stupidity
Customer: And not knowing what he wanted.
Dr. Z :

The contradicting that he did could have been the result of lies or possibly his manipulation that he is prone to do with NPD

Customer: Even in the space of a conversation
Customer: first he wanted to save money to buy a house, then it was a car
Customer: then fitted wardrobes.
Customer: He wanted to have children but work on a ship first then work in Colorado
Customer: it was exhausting
Customer: Although now he seems to have stayed close to home since coming back.
Customer: i thought he might be bipolar but NPD scares me even more.
Dr. Z :

It does sound like Bipolar Disorder on its face, and could be Bipolar II Disorder, but that would not account for the lack of empathy or understanding your reactions and feelings.

Dr. Z :

Lack of long term goals and impulsivity can be associated with NPD

Customer: He did have on some level
Customer: I would say he was lacking rather than missing
Dr. Z :

Also with Bipolar Disorder he would have to go through cycles of Hypomania and Depression, but it seems like his behavior has been more constant with you

Customer: We haven't really been in regular contact but he has consistently blocked me on facebook for the past year
Customer: If he sees me we will talk but he can't handle me talking about what happened
Dr. Z :

But when you were in a relationship with him, did he appear to go through cycles of Hypomania and Depression?

Customer: When we met
Customer: he could have been
Customer: But he left to work away
Customer: for 5 months
Customer: he could have been in depression when I saw him again
Dr. Z :

Well here is a good link explaining Bipolar II to you as well

Customer: It's strange
Customer: because he was the one to bring up the last argument
Customer: he said we've got to talk about this
Dr. Z :

It is possible that one of those two disorders are present or both of them are present simultaneously

Customer: Last time I saw him he couldn't do so.
Customer: god I hope not:)
Customer: one is enough:)
Customer: When I visited him
Customer: he said sorry I couldn't help you with your bag.
Dr. Z :

Usually individuals with Bipolar II in a hypomanic state are very active, full of energy, do not sleep very well, talk really fast, and usually have high self-esteem

Customer: then he did things like jump out of the taxi and left me to pay. Just contradicting himself all the time.
Customer: bit in the depression phase they would be the opposite? Perhaps if I catch him between he might talk to me:)
Dr. Z :

Yeah some individuals do cycle rapidly and others do not cycle very rapidly. Still I think his symptoms better fit NPD at this point, but Bipolar II disorder is possible

Customer: he is from Romania
Customer: by the way
Customer: perhaps he is not getting good treatment
Dr. Z :

Well for Bipolar Disorder, mood stabilizer medications are required to help manage his behavior, but for NPD he would need intensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Customer: Oh
Customer: one thing
Customer: he mentioned once only seems significant now.
Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD though do not have a high success rate in treatment unfortunately because they do not feel that anything is wrong with them and feel that everyone else is wrong.

Customer: he made tactless comments
Customer: he told me
Customer: he read a book
Customer: that said you should just say what you think or along those lines and since then he did so.
Customer: i thought this could have been as a result of some sort of therapy.
Customer: To express his feelings.
Dr. Z :

It could be, as most therapy would applaud saying what you thing, but in an appropriate way that fosters communication

Customer: and having respect for other people's feelings.
Customer: he seems to be very impulsive
Dr. Z :

Therapy does definitely try to teach empathy

Customer: and then you can see him back track in his face uh I mean......
Customer: I really don't think he can help it.
Dr. Z :

It takes a lot of therapy and time to try to manage this behavior, but not all individuals are successful in it

Customer: also things he does I don't think it's malicious just very impulsive
Customer: and doesn't realise the consequences
Dr. Z :

Well reckless behavior is associated with NPD and hypomania and it can be interpreted as malicious

Customer: Sometimes it's just stupid like a kid
Dr. Z :

Yeah that is reckless and impulsive. It is more associated with Bipolar Disorder then NPD though

Customer: Yes
Customer: he made comments before
Customer: he told me
Customer: his friend said are you sure she's not Russian
Customer: because English girls are fat
Customer: when I saw him he said I didn't recognise you I thought you were an Israeli girl.
Customer: i said oh what with the blond hair. The look of panic and regret in his face oh um ah I mean there are lots staying at the hotel.
Dr. Z :

Well his comments are definitely impulsive and he just says what is on his mind, this is an issue he has with NPD

Customer: Right
Customer: But the realisation he has afterwards
Customer: is that also possible with NPD?
Dr. Z :

Yeah it can be if he was going to therapy to help treat this

Customer: i was surprised to learn he doesn't have a reputation
Dr. Z :

The realization is something many individuals new to therapy realize after the fact

Customer: Even with NPD?
Dr. Z :

Yep even with NPD

Customer: I see perhaps he wasnt working away perhaps he was in therapy lol
Customer: i was surprised
Customer: he didnt have a reputation for being with lots of women
Customer: quite the opposite
Customer: He seems to avoid relationships.
Dr. Z :

Well it is possible individuals saw his behavior early when getting to know him and that is why he did not develop a reputation

Customer: yes
Customer: he is well liked
Customer: has colleagues meets lots of people.
Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD do have low self-esteem typically and that account for why he chooses not to get into a relationship because he does not want them to see the real him

Customer: i told him he was a great guy but a lousy boyfriend.
Customer: yes he's fine as a friend
Customer: On a personal level
Customer: His colleagues were very keen to get me to talk to him saying how he would be pleased to see me and so on.
Dr. Z :

That is nice of his colleagues

Customer: he can't seem to handle deeper emotions.
Customer: they obviously don't see him as having a problem
Customer: Trying to get him fixed up
Dr. Z :

Well NPD is not an obvious disorder to see for individuals

Customer: his mom was very happy
Customer: he had a girlfriend
Customer: so is NPD along the lines of being a psychopath
Dr. Z :

No not at all. While narcissism is a component of psychopathy, being NPD does not make you a psychopath at all

Customer: right
Customer: I think that's what confused me
Customer: what would be the difference between that and autism?
Customer: i just felt he was lacking in emotional skills
Customer: I guess that would be NPD
Dr. Z :

Well that was the other issue I was leaning to earlier in the conversation, that he may have Asperger's Disorder, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but he would not have many friends, and would make poor eye contact in most cases. Here is a link to explain in more detail for you

Customer: would it come from emotional trauma or some sort of damage to the brain
Customer: He has few close friends and lots of aquaintances
Dr. Z :

We are not sure why NPD occurs for some individuals, but we do know there is a strong genetic component to it and may have some environmental triggers as well

Customer: I see
Customer: i know his father died
Customer: It seems there is a mental health epidemic in Romania
Dr. Z :

Even then he should not have a lot of aquaintances with Asperger's Disorder and would also not be very good at sports either because of their poor coordination

Customer: i have met a few people who've been in hospital and have severe issues.
Customer: they have rather a troubled history
Customer: I see yes
Customer: one thing though
Customer: he
Customer: Seemed to have empathy and so on for his mom
Customer: even gave her his own television.
Dr. Z :

Well even individuals with Asperger's, NPD, and Bipolar II can show some empathy for certain individuals, usually family

Customer: i think his friends noticed his behaviour though that's when I realised it wasn't just me. When he was going away his friend wrote what about all the free rafting holidays you've had!
Customer: yes
Customer: i feel in some way
Customer: he has some anxiety
Customer: about forming close relationships
Customer: He makes new acquaintances but sticks with old friends goes where they go at all costs.
Customer: i think the real reason he wanted to work away was his friends were going but he knew he had to sell it to me as well. I've always wanted to work on a ship and so on.
Customer: would anxiety also be part of NPD?
Dr. Z :

It definitely can be

Customer: because underneath they are insecure
Dr. Z :

Exactly right

Dr. Z :

And when someone gets closer to them, the more anxious they get

Customer: So they push people away
Dr. Z :

Only the people that are close to them do them push away

Customer: What do you think would be a good way
Customer: to get him to speak with me?
Customer: So as I thought
Dr. Z :

Well you have made your case and initiated conversations with him, so right now you have to wait, be patient and let him come to you

Customer: Yes
Customer: that's the problem
Customer: ive just got on with my own thing
Customer: thought eventually he would contact me
Customer: but he hasnt
Customer: Now and again these unresolved issues bounce back on me.
Customer: last time I saw him was 6 months ago
Dr. Z :

Remember he will hold grudges, so you if he does not contact you then that is his decision. If you push him to contact you, that will just push him away farther from you

Customer: he still has me blocked
Customer: I think if he saw me
Dr. Z :

Also like I said his treatment prognosis is not positive so he may never get better either

Customer: Yes
Customer: I'm sure
Customer: he blames me for being angry
Customer: no concept of why
Dr. Z :

Also those books are beneficial as well and may be able to help you better interact with him

Customer: yes
Customer: I think these kinds of people are very damaging to be around
Customer: they make you question your own feelings and reality
Dr. Z :

They can be, that is definitely true. This is why I think you should not let him back in your life or it can bring you turmoil

Customer: on some level I also feel his cutting me out is manipulation
Dr. Z :

That is very possible

Customer: he wanted me to move there
Customer: Trying to get a reaction out of me
Customer: perhaps when he saw me he thought it had worked
Customer: then he realised I had been doing my own thing and wasnt living there he stopped speaking to me.
Customer: i don't think he will speak to me again unless he sees me.
Dr. Z :

That is possible, but I think its best for you until he gets the treatment that he needs, that is the only way he would be a good friend to you

Customer: yes
Customer: he got into trouble
Customer: because I mentioned how he made me cry
Customer: when he was teaching me to ski . I was laughing about it
Customer: but a guest told his boss and the next day they wanted to know who this instructor was
Customer: ive seen him teaching kids though he seems to be nice enough to them.
Dr. Z :

I am sorry that he made you cry, but he could have blamed you for this and over-reacted to this as well, which could account for his grudges

Customer: He took me on the mountain for the first time I got really scared and panicked I couldn't ski fell over crashed into him. He was asking me what's wrong with you why are you like this I have another lesson you skied well before. I shouted at him that he was being a jerk, it was his job to get me down and I started crying and threw my ski poles on the floor. I laugh about it now it wasnt a difficult slope just narrow and busy but quite flat.
Dr. Z :

Still his reaction was not appropriate and a strong sign of NPD actually

Customer: he stopped speaking for about 20 minutes but he did phone and apologise and said he was sorry he pushed me too much. He blamed it on us being together.
Customer: yes
Customer: i wonder how he maintains his job
Dr. Z :

See he did not blame it on himself though, even though it was his mistake

Customer: yes
Customer: he did at first
Customer: then he back tracked
Customer: and twisted it
Dr. Z :

That is what someone with NPD does frequently, it helps them not admit their mistakes by backtracking like that

Customer: another
Customer: reason
Customer: he doesn't talk to me anymore
Customer: he realises he can't win
Customer: that kind of conversation
Dr. Z :

That is a strong possibility, I think it is good for you that he is not in your life or he will drag you down as well

Customer: yes you are right
Dr. Z :

I would strongly reconsider trying to mend a relationship/friendship with this man

Customer: shame
Customer: miss his mom
Customer: she was great:)
Dr. Z :

It is not your fault, he is just not ready for a relationship with his disorder yet

Dr. Z :

I know, but you will find someone else who has a great mom too :)

Customer: yes
Customer: he still
Customer: lives with her
Customer: he always calls it his place
Customer: he took me there his mom walked in on us
Customer: i was mortified
Dr. Z :

That must have been embarrassing

Dr. Z :

I am sorry

Customer: he didnt seem to have any shame
Customer: yep
Dr. Z :

He wouldnt, that is the NPD

Dr. Z :

Shame is hard for them to express

Customer: anyway she was lovely about
Customer: it
Customer: seemed happy he had a girlfriend lol
Dr. Z :

Maybe because she walked in on that before

Customer: I thought so
Customer: but I think she would have learnt
Customer: not to just walk into his bedroom
Dr. Z :

Its possible

Customer: and his colleagues said they never saw him with a girl
Customer: i think his mom was happy he was with someone.
Dr. Z :

Well he may have been a private person, and very discreet with women

Customer: i think he flirts
Customer: vearmantly
Dr. Z :

Still I think it is a mute point because I feel that it is good that he is not in your life

Customer: but doesn't get closely involved
Customer: yes
Dr. Z :

Flirting is a sign of NPD based on his past behavior

Customer: Yes
Customer: he likes attention
Customer: but he avoids intimacy
Customer: anyway
Customer: unfortunately
Customer: this is not the first boyfriend
Customer: i have had
Customer: to display these characteristics
Customer: I am wondering why?
Customer: definitely want to avoid it in the future
Dr. Z :

That is unfortunate, but I am pretty positive that this man exhibited symptoms of NPD like I said earlier

Dr. Z :

Well now that you have these books and links, you can better recognize it

Customer: Yes
Dr. Z :

to avoid it in the future

Customer: although they are charming and manipulative
Dr. Z :

Very charming, but read the books and you will be able to see through them

Customer: I feel almost singled out by these people://
Customer: I will
Customer: thats very helpful
Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help

Customer: thsnks
Customer: i think the biggest
Customer: sign was his attention seeking
Dr. Z :

That is a very big sign of NPD, that is true

Customer: In real life sociable
Customer: But on facebook
Customer: im sure he feels more comfortable on there
Customer: flirting attention seeking
Dr. Z :

That is possible

Customer: thats where it all plays out.
Customer: facebook says a lot:)
Dr. Z :

So I think we have firmly established that his issues like with his diagnosis of NPD, there really is no doubt about that based on everything we have talked about

Customer: seems so
Dr. Z :

Did you have any other questions or concern, because we have talked for over 2 hours now

Customer: Oh really
Dr. Z :

Yes we have actually, and I am only saying because I have a client coming in for an evaluation in 20 minutes

Customer: just a bit confused about his lack of intimacy
Customer: seems to contradict Npd
Customer: but I guess it could be shallow emotions
Customer: keeping people on a level of intimacy
Dr. Z :

Not really because his emotions are shallow and superficial and intimacy is more of a deep emotion

Dr. Z :

Most individuals with NPD cannot express real intimacy

Customer: A bit confused why they move past this with me://
Customer: something I need to be careful of getting involved.
Customer: they really seem to move in on me.
Customer: anyway, thanks I will definitely read up on it!
Dr. Z :

I think the books will be very enlightening for you and will help you avoid these types of individuals for the future

Customer: yes like the plague!
Dr. Z :

Good idea :)

Customer: absolutely. Ok so I will end the conversation and do some reading . Thanks again.
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5190
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello,

Unfortunately I recently have more issues with this problem. After seeing my ex last year I felt guilty and I asked a friend to try to contact hi. Hoping that he would talk to me and I could get some answers and some closure.

He barely replied and so I didn't try again. I was hoping he would eventually contact me if I backed off. I wrote him a letter in August and if he received it he never replied.

A month ago I was in my ex's town and I saw him and blanked him. Stupidly I looked at his facebook profile from another account. The last thing I said to my ex was something along the lines of good luck finding someone to have children with. I know what he was like with me and at the time his friends weren't in relationships.

Well he has advertised public ally his relationship status and photo with his girlfriend. This seems to be a very new relationship. He updated his relationship status on the 1st of January. I noticed a week later he added a woman Julie glam who was clearly a prostitute. I know I had issues with him doing this and he denied it and called me crazy. I even started to wonder if his new gf was one.

I stupidly contacted him. A week later really stupidly looked again and perhaps he's rubbing my face in it he added a photo of her kissing his cheek with hearts around it!!

Well I can't help thinking deep down inside there is something wrong with me. Why was he so different with me so quickly? I know now all his friends are in relationships and that has changed.

It's so unbelievable I'm even thinking its somehow fake.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
Hello again,

I am not entirely sure that he is going to be different with this person as he was with you because you are not seeing this relationship from the inside and a picture and facebook profile is usually just "window dressing" to show others the good parts of the relationship, but deep down inside there probably are adverse aspects of this relationships that are unseen by you.

I do not think there is anything wrong with you at all and if he truly has these NPD traits like we discussed, then you are the lucky one and are not subject to his possible emotional abuse and manipulation. You deserve a lot better than that and you deserve to be happy with someone who will love you as much as you love him.

Do not look at this man and think about what you missed with him, but focus on your own life and own happiness. I wish you all the best and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for that I feel much better for hearing that. Could it be possible he is posting this to get attention and appear normal? Would that be part of the deal? I even suspect she could be an escort herself. It was 6 weeks ago he posted similar pictures in a bar but nothing since.

All his friends are in relationships and his colleague told me he never saw him with a girlfriend despite others having female colleagues as girlfriends.

When I first met my ex he told me he had an Italian girlfriend once and she was crazy - I imagine she objected as I did. I just cannot imagine any 'normal' girl tolerating him for long. He seemed so anxious to any real intimacy I just can't believe he is in a real relationship://

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
She could be an escort, I am not sure. But I do agree that he is posting this to get attention and to appear as well-adjusted. You know him pretty well and most likely he is not a real relationship and also it is still pretty new as well, so this other woman has most likely not gotten to know the real him either.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes I am sure! I am starting to realise actually how messed up he is. I think I have been hooked for too long on a fantasy of him that never existed.Since my Dad died 8 years ago, I look back and I seem to have had a string of these types of relationships:( the first a week after my Dad died and I started a new course. A guy homed in on me he was I credibly charming and attentive and all the rest. We were together for 6 weeks of the course and he just cut me off. I found out he was livi g with his girlfriend.I was living I Turkey met a guy who got married and hid it from me although it turned out to be an arranged marriage. I was absolutely devastated by this shock. It took me over a year to try again. I met a guy who pursued me for a few months. I had doubts about him. Again at first he was very attentive and charming. I found out he possibly had been cheating. He was also adding hookers on facebook and hiring escorts to go to clubs and be photographed in magazines- coincidently he still has me blocked on facebook 3 years now after I blew up at him for cheating.My recent ex is the latest and I think hence it's been so hard to get over. As its happened so many times and now seeing him in a relationship albeit a year and a half later it cuts me to the bone://Also my father did display some narcissistic traits too as does my mum at times:/Could you advise me what to do? Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
Well I definitely see cycle of dating unhealthy men, and truthfully there are so many possible causes for this, that I would recommend possibly talking to a therapist to determine the cause. Sometimes when a trauma occurs like losing a parent that you are close to, it alters your personality due to repressed feelings and thoughts, and having unstable and unhealthy relationships is a possible manifestation of this. You may need to look into therapy to help you heal the underlying cause of this behavior in order to fully have a good and healthy relationship with a man.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes it seems so. I am initially wary of these men. There is something I know isn't quite right about them. They seem to home in on me and persist and change my mind.

Could you advise where I could look for therapy?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
Well the NHS system in the U.K. is very good, I would recommend going to your primary care physician and asking for a referral for nearby psychologists. Also you may want to call the NHS directly and get a list of psychologists in your area directly that you can contact to make an appointment. I would look for a psychologist that specializes in relationship issues as this can be more beneficial for you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok thanks. I feel as if I've been attracting narcissts:// could this be because they see some kind of weakness in me perhaps?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
Most likely they do not see a weakness in you, but you see a weakness in your self and that is why you gravitate towards these men. The most common issue involved with these relationships is that you may have a low self-esteem and that is why you go for these men initially.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes thank you and I am sure you are right. My parents relationship was awful!!

Even my sister said she wouldn't be surprised if we didn't all have issues because of it.

My brother also has his own problems as well and he is a drug addict:// I guess it affects people in different ways.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
Yes it does affect people in multiple ways and most likely you have figured out the core causes of this relationship issue you described with the low self-esteem and the problematic relationship between your parents. With therapy I am very confident that you will overcome this and find the right man that will treat you well :)
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes thank you I hope so! I am not sure how easy it is to get non urgent treatment at the moment but I will try to find out more.

Thanks so much for your help. I really hope I can put this awful period of relationship behind me.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 7 months ago.
There are usually plenty of therapists and psychologists in the U.K., so getting an appointment should not be that hard. But I hope that you can overcome this too and if you do have a problem finding a therapist here are some good treatment books that may help you.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Feeling-Good-The-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393871324&sr=8-1&keywords=feeling+good

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beat-Low-Self-Esteem-With-CBT/dp/0340991518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393871561&sr=8-1&keywords=CBT+self-esteem

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy-Skills-Workbook-Worksheets/dp/1936128020/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1393871578&sr=8-13&keywords=CBT+workbook

I wish you all the best and if you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at anytime
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
HelloThanks. Well I feel much more positive. My situation in general has improved and I think this has had a lot to do with the problems I've had in the last 8 years. I've moved and travelled for work and lived in Turkey and vet my last boyfriend in Romania.Countries who men don't have the best reputation and have had quite troubled pasts. I've now living in Shanghai and have a much better job and there is a good and lively expat community here. I'm already meeting a better calibre of person and realise what dead beats the previous guys were!I would like to understand a little more about Narcissistic behaviour. There seemed to be a few things that these men strikingly seemed to have in common.They seemed to have an ability to just switch off and completely ignore me for ever. They also seemed to be afraid of real intimacy and would act cold, I presume if they became uncomfortable. I remember meeting my ex and we held hands I squeezed his hand tighter and he jumped://Also the mind games. I mentioned to an ex to never go to a certain club as it was my favourite place. I was sitting in the gym looking through a magazine. I saw a photo of him with an ex model outside that club. Someone told me rich men in Turkey pay 'social' prostitutes to go to clubs with and get into magazines-bizarrely this seems so much like my current ex when I believed his new girlfriend is an escort. I recently looked at my ex's profile as I contacted him again. He again never replied but a week later he posted a photo that appeared on his new gf page- It had a photo of him grinning into the camera and she kissed him on the cheek. He had put hearts around it and with alina at.... Maybe I'm wrong but it just seemed so staged and odd.As I mentioned considering my ex in real life I can't believe he is acting like this so easily on facebook!! To be honest it's as if he has a different fake persona on there it's SO weird.I contacted him through a friends account very oddly one of his new gf friends sent me a friend request. Then his new girlfriend added me as a friend very easily. I was then able to see her page and more of his.When I blew up at my ex I told him good luck finding someone to have children with. I almost feel my ex is now going out of his way to prove me wrong or maybe it's just to prove it to himself and his friends.I actually felt sorry for these people but now I see how much they hold grudges and the extreme they go to hurt people in such a cruel way.I'm starting to realise how damaged these people actually are! Do you think I'm paranoid or would these people actually go to these extremes to prove me wrong and rebuild their ego? Hiring an escort, posting photos.Although I can't understand why he would do it now after all this time. Although he has now been back in his country for some time while ALL of his friends are either away and or in relationships. He has always been the subject of comments about his relationship status.My Turkish ex was the same and he was previously married before to a male order bride:/
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
No I do not think you are paranoid, but i do not think you are focusing too much on them and not enough on you. If you start to just focus on you and ignore their actions outside of how they affect you, then you will feel better about yourself and breaking free from this cycle.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yes absolutely. I always thought these mind games were a personal attack. I think actually it is more about them. They have to do this to rebuild their false persona and appear normal again. I remind them of what they are when they realise I can see the real them.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
Exactly, they are just false and very superficial people. Just focus on you and stopping this cycle and find the right guy that will treat you well :)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks I will do! I will rate you shortly. I believe that's how it works? Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.

Yes that is how it works and I do appreciate the positive rating. I think you will do wonderful with the CBT therapy and I think it is just what you need to break this cycle and avoid these men in the future.

 

Also those books I recommended in the chat when we first talked will help you to better recognize a Narcissist and help you to avoid them

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello,Well over the last two days I have felt a huge sense of relief.Suddenly it feels like I light has been switched on in my head and I've woken up from a nightmare.Looking back I'm thinking what the hell was I doing being with these guys! They are clearly dysfunctional human beings. I suppose at the time I was wrapped up in their blame game and felt terribly guilty for the way I reacted to them but any one with feelings would have felt the same. These men created the monster in me and my only fault was tolerating them long enough and allowing them to manipulate me and drive me to that.These men can not handle and don't understand feelings because they don't experience them like everyone else.I think in the beginning they came across as vulnerable as well as charming,I felt sorry for them and wanted to fix them. It's so clear now - why think and care about someone who doesn't care about anyone else? I'm just wasting my time and they do not deserve me.The biggest eye opener for me - I saw my ex's friends facebook profile with their girlfriends. I remember that my ex going to work on the cruise ship was because that's what his friends had done. This flaunting his relationship is more of the same. It's creepy how his photos even bare a striking resemblance to his friends photos with their GF's He hasn't suddenly developed feelings or the ability to have a loving relationship. It's all a fake, shallow, gratuitous, narcissistic show and a poor attempt to appear functional. I am so lucky to have escaped from this person.I'm going to spend my time on people who deserve it. I determined not to go through this insanity again!Thank you so much for helping me in this process
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
You are most welcome, and I think taking these steps to break the cycle is great news!!! I hope you find happiness soon and meet someone who will treat you right and make you very happy for a long time :)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yes thank you. I don't know why it's taken me so long! Perhaps things haven't been going too well for me in other areas of my life and that been reflected in the bad choices I've made. Now things are picking up elsewhere I know how things should feel when they are right and how wrong things were before.

Unfortunately I think the main reason is the poor role models of my parents and dysfunction personal relationships has been made to seem 'normal' and expected. I know that I deserve and can also experience something better than that.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
Most like the poor role models from your parents and how you picked up on that dysfunctional relationship so early in your life caused this, but now you are more aware and going to break free from this cycle, so congratulations )
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you.
My Mum is also a very controlling and negative person. She has led me to doubt my own judgements at times. She spent her life revolving around my Father and trying to change him. She has become a very bitter person and I certainly don't want to be like that:/ time away from her here in China has also done me the world of good!

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
I am sorry to hear that your mother is like that, but that does not have to be you and now you are taking the first steps to prevent that :) Therapy will be very helpful for you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yes I certainly don't want to follow that route! Thanks again and I do appreciate the time you've spent on this.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
Anytime Clara, I wish you all the best in the future and healing from this :)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I'm afraid I had a bit of a regression tonight!! I met a Romanian woman in Istanbul when I was living and working there. In fact she was the one who encouraged me to visit Romania where I met my ex.

At first she was a very good friend she is extremely generous. Unfortunately I started to notice some very dysfunctional behaviour in her too.

She would randomly pick up guys and drop them soon afterwards. I was staying at her place and she brought a kitten in and a a week or so later I came home and she just put it back on the street. When she needed a place to stay I agreed as she did the same for me and was only staying a few days. I had to go back to the UK just before she was due to leave. I was taken ill and came back later than expected.

I came back home very late and tired to a bad smell. I switched on the light, my apartment was a mess. Cat food everywhere, cat shit and pee. I started to clean up,and saw a dead kitten curled up in the corner.

I previously visiting friend of hers dropped in conversation he'd taken her to the hospital a few times and this incident made me realise why.

I left Turkey and had to put my belongings in storage. I was desperate and she offered for me to leave my things with her. I took my things round and she started to relent but what if I leave and so on. I said I could arrange for my things to be picked up.

She emailed me shortly after that she was going away and had rented out her room and I needed to move my things. Unknown to me the storage company did not collect. She just emailed me she has put my things in her yard and the weather is rainy - they might get wet!

I absolutely don't know where to god I find these people!! I think I am a sucker and feel sorry for them.

I'm afraid once I sort this out she is definitely another on my list gone!! Is it possible i have also been choosing friends badly?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
I am very sorry that this happened and yes unstable relationships, include unstable/unhealthy friendships as well. Also at the time she may have fit into your lifestyle because of the cycling that you went through. But try not to focus too much on the past and instead focus on the present, because you can only change your here and now.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello,

I see and unfortunately this had to bite me now. I hope I can try to sort out my belongings and truly put these people behind me. I feel I am in a much better place now to move forward despite this set back.

Thanks again and I will certainly rate you.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
You will be fine and now that realize this cycle and missteps you can correct it. You still have a long life ahead of you to change, so focus on that positive for yourself and you will get to where you want to be. I know you can do this with the right support :)

Thank you that is much appreciated as I only get compensated when you rate me.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello

Thanks for your reply. I just thought actually that it has seemed to be the case that these Narcissts actually pursue me and single me out. Often I have felt something wasn't quite right about them but they have continued and stepped up the charm and convinced me to change my mind or in one case someone else persuaded me I should accept.

I also wondered if this strange copying thing my ex does - I find it SO weird. Is this a Narcissts trait as well? I have seen it before - for example one ex I felt would like the same things as me. Don't they have their own minds? Is it possible they see others getting attention for something and copy the behaviour?

Thanks

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
Hello again,

I think the copying that your ex does is more related to seeming like he is like others, so he tries to mimic them and this is a part of his charm and manipulation. Most likely he has such a low self-esteem, which is common with NPD, that he has to idolize a type of person and then mimic them to be like others. Either way you can now recognize these people better, so it would be wise to stay away from them. I hope this answers your question :)

Also the system administration has commented that this thread has been getting long, so either you will have to rate me or start a new question. Thank you and I hope you are doing well :)
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5190
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello XXXXX see that would make sense I certainly think it is very bizarre behaviour. He also had a strange page called expat girls that he liked and I'm an expat girl! That was also rather weird!

Yes that absolutely makes things clearer and I definitely want to avoid in the future. Certainly not good people to,get closely involved with.

I tried to rate you but I think the system has an old card. I contacted them but no response as yet. I will try again.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.
Yeah I would avoid him and others like him as much as possible and just protect yourself from this. Focus on your own healing right now and do not worry about him other guys.

Hmmmm, I cannot say why the system is having difficulty rating, but sometimes technical glitches happen. You can always start a new question if you want too. Until a rating though I will not be able to answer new questions per the Just Answer policy. If you want to start a new question you can do it here on this link. Thanks.

http://www.justanswer.com/mental-health/expert-doctorz/

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