types of hoovering

10 Types of Hoovers and How to Powerfully Respond

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Why should you be concerned about the different types of hoovering?

I mean, you’re an intelligent, reflective, and cautious person.  You can typically smell deceit from a mile away.  

But, perhaps there’s room for more vigilance.  Here’s why…

The breakup between you and the narcissist happened a while ago. It’s been a tough road, but you’ve progressively been able to move forward from the abuse they put you through.

You feel like you are finally able to let go of some of their negative energy and live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.

And then, you get a text. Or an email. Or you notice them liking your Facebook posts.

It’s the narcissist, and all those old feelings come rushing back.

Depending on the message they send you, your tattered self-confidence might be coupled with guilt, anger, or any number of overwhelming emotions.

You may even question whether the narcissist is really a narcissist or if you were just being “sensitive,” “dramatic,” or “emotional.”

What is happening? You’ve just experienced the narcissist’s hoovering, a tactic often used to suck you back into a relationship.

It’s easy to think there’s no way you’d ever consider getting back together with this person – that is, until they use one (or more) hoovering tricks.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the most common scenarios to expect from the narcissist and hoovering so you can combat them.  

Watch the video here.

The Narcissist and Hoovering – 10 Tricks Narcissists Play to Get You Back

To prevent being sucked in by these hoovering tactics, it’s important to understand narcissists themselves.

They don’t have any rules. What seems out-of-bounds to you isn’t too far-fetched to them at all. They will do anything they can to get you back, to suck you in just like a powerful vacuum sucks up the dirt in your carpet.

As soon as you fall for one of their tricks, they feel fulfilled. It’s not about you – it’s all about them. And this is why narcissists come back — to be in a relationship with someone – because of what they can get out of it…it’s also why the abuse kicks in again, often worse than before.  

They simply want to see if they still have an influence on you…and if they are successful, that’s all they want, and they’ll go back to abusing you very quickly or ignoring you for weeks.

You don’t need to fall for their tricks. Here are ten common hoovering traps narcissists use to ensnare you.

1. Pretending the Breakup Never Happened

This is one of the tricks narcissists play that will totally throw you for a loop. You’ve broken up – of that you’re sure. You haven’t been together for a while. In fact, perhaps you’ve been on a few dates with other people and you’ve heard through the grapevine that they have, too.

Suddenly, though, you get a bouquet of roses with a “Thinking of You” card attached.

What a sweet sentiment. It takes you by surprise, to be sure. But nonetheless, it’s sweet and you start to think about the good times you two used to have. Before you know it, you’ve called them to thank them for the flowers and you’re sucked back in.

2. Telling You How Much They Love and Adore You

There’s little more that people want to hear than the words “I love you.” It invokes feelings of happiness and of being valued. It makes you feel like someone understands you and wants to be with you.

Narcissists understand these basic human needs to be loved and will use the words “I love you” and “I adore you” as a weapon.  

They will tell you that you’re their soul mate and that the two of you are meant to be together. How could they feel something so deeply if it wasn’t meant to be?

These proclamations feed upon a person’s need to feel loved and the fact that most people have a romantic ideal in the back of their minds. True love is supposed to be dramatic. It’s supposed to be like Romeo and Juliet. True love is pain, joy, and everything in between.

But this kind of “love” is really more of an unhealthy obsession than it is honest-to-goodness true, healthy love.

3. The Reminiscent, Sentimental Hoover

A narcissist knows that you two had some good times in the past. They’ll count on your recollection of those times and try to feed off of it.

They may send you an email full of nostalgia and sentimentality, reminding you of that time you two went on a romantic vacation. Or, they’ll tell you that they watched a movie and thought of you or found an old photo of the two of you.

4. The “Accidental” Contact

This can happen in one of two ways.

First, there’s the “Oops, I meant to send that text to someone else” response. Or, the “Hey, did you try to contact me?” message.

Either way, this is one of the cowardly hoovering tricks a narcissist will use to engage you in a conversation.

If you respond to their text or social media message, you’ve started the ball rolling. They’ll respond back with something like, “Wow – it’s been a while. How have you been?” And then you’ll feel rude if you don’t answer back. Or, they’ll make you feel humiliated, insisting they weren’t trying to reach you and want nothing to do with you.

Pretty soon, you’re stuck in a full-on conversation or email tsunamis with this person, which is a prime opportunity for them to try and reel you back in.

5. There’s a Crisis

This one will pull at your heartstrings. After all, this is a person that you cared for deeply. As toxic as they were to your life, seeing another human being go through a crisis breaks your heart.

The narcissist will use various crises to suck you in. It might be an issue they’re having on their own. Or, it could be an issue with one of their family members.

Getting a phone call or text that they or someone they love has been in a serious accident or has developed an illness moves your heart. It can motivate you to take action to comfort them or try to help them in some way.

Oftentimes, though, the crisis has been exaggerated or doesn’t even exist.

6. They Get Someone Else to Test the Waters

This is a common strategy of the cowardly narcissist. They want to hoover you back in, but they don’t want to get their ego bruised by a face-to-face rejection. So, they send a mutual friend or one of their family members, whom you felt a connection with, to contact you.

The narcissist thinks that by getting someone else to test the waters out for them, you’ll be more likely to cave.

7. They Apologize Over and Over

Of course they’ll never act like a jerk again. It’s easy to fall for that line the first few times, but when the behavior doesn’t change you know it’s all a big lie. Just because they’re apologizing now doesn’t mean they’ve made any miraculous, life-altering changes. That’s not likely to happen with people who are narcissists or sociopaths.

8.  Baiting You With Facebook Likes

When we see someone looking at and liking our Facebook posts, perhaps even leaving comments, we might think they feel affection towards us.  If it’s someone we’ve ended a relationship with, it might appear that they are feeling remorseful about things they may have done to hurt you.

However, when it comes to narcissists, this is not the case in the least.

This is not the narcissists’ first time around the block.  Due to the nature of their past relationships, they have fairly good reason to believe you will be on the lookout for their engagement with your posts.  It’s called “dipping”.  In the same way that you are watching their interaction with your posts, they are simply ‘dipping’ in to see if you’ll take the bait. 

It’s really a coward’s lazy way of hoovering.  It doesn’t require really engaging with you, yet they can try to soften you up via the internet to see if you’ll fall for their false interest.   And if you do give in to their Facebook hoovering, don’t be surprised when they promptly block you without warning.  

9. Having Flowers or Gifts Delivered to Your Home

Giving gifts is not something narcissists do out of an innate desire to be kind or thoughtful.  When narcissists give you gifts, they consider it an investment in themselves. At the very least, they use gifts as a sort of spackle to cover the gaping cracks that have occurred due to the emotional earthquakes you’ve endured.

Some narcissists offer generous gifts to throw you off balance, especially if they were greedy and stingy in the relationship.  In their minds, if they give you a gift, they’re hoping it will make you think they really care. 

Other narcissists hate spending their money on other people.  To give you a gift is actually somewhat painful for them, but they will do it as a last-ditch effort to try to tug on your heartstrings and let them back in.  However, don’t be fooled into thinking they’ve had an epiphany and finally see your value.  Once you cave in to their selfish agendas, they will go back to abusing you the same as before.  

Just ask every person who’s ever given into a narcissistic hoover.

10.  Offering You The One Thing That Means More to You Than Anything Else

A narcissist’s command of the English language varies from one manipulator to the next.

But the one thing they all have in common is masterfully using words to convey the one, heartfelt message you’ve been dying to hear from them all along.

If getting engaged and making a family is important to you, suddenly they’ll offer to take you shopping for rings.

If you have always wanted them to be nicer to your kids, they’ll offer to take your children out on an adventure and apologize to them for being such an a-hole.

If you’ve been dreaming of the day they’d stop being unfaithful, they’ll say they’ve entered therapy for sex addiction.

All of these are shining examples of future-faking, however.  In reality, the narcissist has absolutely no plans to do any of these things.  They’ll just find better ways to commit their relationship crimes on the down-low.

What You Can Do to Retain Control of Your Power

Narcissists are game players. They know how to talk to suck people in and how to keep their partner(s) stuck under their thumb.

It’s vital to your health to remember that narcissists are always out for what they can get from another person. The only person they care about is the person they see in the mirror every day.

Breaking up with a narcissist is a blow to their ego. They don’t like it. But their dislike of the situation goes beyond the hurt nearly everyone feels when they go through a breakup. How dare you break up with them? How dare you win! It’s a twisted ‘Game of Thrones’ that plays out in the narcissist’s mind.

And narcissists will play whatever tricks they have up their sleeves to try to suck you back in and get you back under their control.

Don’t fall for it. You already left once. The most important thing to do at this point is to keep moving on. Don’t look back.

If you haven’t already, take steps to completely cut ties with your ex. Change your phone number. Block them from emailing you or contacting you on social media and Skype. Find a new place to hang out during your downtime. Make new friends.

Do whatever you need to do to get as far away from the narcissist as possible. It’s the only way to continue on your path of emotional health and wellbeing.

Stand Your Ground, Be Strong – You’ve Got This

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can do a number on your emotional wellbeing. You doubt yourself, your value, and your decision-making skills. Narcissists love to make their victims feel like they need the narcissist to survive.

Now that you’ve been out of that relationship for a while, you may feel stronger – like your old self, the one before your run-in with a narcissist.

Those feelings can quickly be quashed, though, with a narcissist and hoovering. Those dark, heavy, overwhelming feelings come rushing back.

But you have the power to resist a downward spiral.

Feeling those old, negative feelings doesn’t mean you’re weak. They’re simply familiar – a reaction to a toxic, energy-sucking person who is trying to get back into your life. It’s completely normal to experience this reaction.

It’s vital to remember, though, just how powerful you are. You were powerful enough to get out of the relationship. You were powerful enough to get help to work through your feelings of self-doubt and tattered self-confidence.

And you have the power now to stand behind your boundary lines and keep your ex as far away from you as possible. Don’t ever feel obligated to give your power to them again.

How To Protect Yourself Against Hoovering and Stand Strong

Everyone has the innate capacity to heal themselves. But, it’s likely you will need external support to heal the traumas that get in the way of your ability to tune into this gift.⠀Our beautiful community includes people in varying stages of their healing and several who are celebrating their anniversaries of no contact!

I cover the applications and theories in all of these areas in my narcissistic abuse recovery program, which has been voted the #1 online program by folks in the psychological community.

Develop effective ways to break free from narcissistic abuse. Reduce conflict, stress & drama!  Learn more now!

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Leave a Comment:

Áine says June 22, 2022

Hi Kim,
What about a narcissist threatening to commit suicide if I leave. He has threatened this many times in the past so I am reluctant to leave. Is it likely to happen?

    Kim Saeed says June 30, 2022

    Hi Aine,

    I wrote an article about this that may be of help: https://kimsaeed.com/2014/03/08/will-the-narcissist-really-commit-suicide-if-i-leave/

    Ultimately, you should call the authorities and tell them what’s happening. If he has sent you any threatening texts or photos in this regard, show the authorities those as well. Most of the time, when you alert the authorities, these kinds of threats stop altogether. In the rare event he actually does it, that is ultimately his decision, not yours.


Michelle says June 21, 2022

I’ve been discarded by him twice. First time I thought I was going to lose my mind. 2nd time was very short, but still somewhat devastating. He’s never hoovered or ever tried contacting me. I broke the NC both times. Call it cocky.. I’m not worried about him coming back this way! This info is still valuable. Thanks ??

Debra Lowen says January 29, 2022

I left him 3 years ago and live 40 minutes away.he is still hovering n playing with my emotions.i have come a long way but still haven’t been able to go no contact.im trying my damndest. It’s been a long journey it seems to get this far.you mentioned power and not giving it to him.im going to work on this till it finally ends.i have the power in me to do this.i know it.and I will accomplish this mission

Riley says November 7, 2021

This was a timely article for me. The narc broke up me and our plans 7 months ago. No reasons, no talks or informal engagement breaking discussion! Last week he texted about did I remember we contemplated marriage? I texted back what he did and angry cartoons followed, very strange, trying to intimidate me. So his Hoover got rebuffed as my feelings ar

Deborah Casey says November 5, 2021

It took some time. indeed an age, but I did it. A couple of years of no contact, and a few months ago he was pulling out of the petrol station, stopped and looked at me out of his window, and I simply wasn’t bothered. I just didn’t care. Life was a 100% better, especially after a fight to recover from medical injury from medical devices. I treasure what I have. No contact was like the withdrawal from nicotine! It’s a long time since I looked at the supportive course, or even any videos on youtube about narcs. I don’t even watch the propaganda on TV, which exhibits the narcopathic in many formats! thank you Kim, a good dose of healthy medicine 🙂

Laurie Mathis says October 26, 2021

Hello, my name is Laurie & ive been reading your articles for a very long time. Your information is very very accurate. Ive experienced every article. Thank you so much for helping me. Not many people believed me and eventually after the divorce of which included joint custody of my beautiful two sons, I got PTSD and eventually without the right help i got Schizo-affective disorder. I am on Meds and recovered but the Ex-N is still in my life due to my homeless sons. (23 & 26). My exN lives with his Mother who is extremely abusive as well. My oldest is addicted & homeless & anger outbursts & my 23 yr old is working & traveling but is an alcoholic with rage issues. My ex is “dying” of Cancer for the past 10 years & my oldest wants to believe hes a good man although he calls him a piece of garbage. Help me to be able to be okay that this Man & his Mother have destroyed (still destroying) my boys lives and i am on Section 8 but only i can live there. i feel helpless & becoming hopeless for their future. I have throughout the years called CPS, Police, counselors, attorneys, ect nobody helped me. Maybe you can send me the roadmap please since its free. thank you so much for everything you do. You help so many people. PS.My sons are staying with him until they get kicked out every other week. because they have no choice. They are also suicidal.

Shelly says April 27, 2021

My narc (37 years married, now divorced) and I seem to talk every so often about issues surrounding kids and grandkids. We both take care of grands and sometimes have to coordinate schedules. Our son-in-law is a narc too (much more so than ex-husband) and my ex does not see similarities compared to his own behavior. Anyway, we have been able to communicate and he hasn’t tried anything untoward in the past several months. But, he did buy me a gift at Christmas which was a book of poetry (which he never reads) and it was so painful to read.

Sandy says October 13, 2020

I have a new one for you. One I walked away from, I ghosted 5 months ago bc he was secretly dating someone else and treating me like crap turns out had made a fake sm profile posting as my cousin to gain access to my sm and on the day I discovered it after months he uploaded a playlist on youtube full of weekend bs songs half of which he had on a playlist for the girl before me, a playlist I might add he started adding my favorite songs to to try to win her back while talking to me. So now he has a girlfriend and still has old girls playlist up and now has added a new one. This guy really is unbelievable. I’m tempted to send the link to his girlfriend, but not my circus better her than me. SMH.

Holly says August 13, 2020

I have been with my XN for 16 months and have already experienced all 7. I actually separated from him for 3 mo. Of that time and went back. Moved myself and kids back in only to have us thrown out after just 6 days. I was in a decent place prior to 6days ago. It’s like I took 1 step forward and 10 steps back. Spent today being evicted with my kiddos and all of my belongings on the curb. Trying to get into a different place today. This man has put me through hell. I pray for the strength and courage to stay NO contact this time. I am not only heartbroken but feeling like a damn fool for falling back into his evil games

Dezzy says June 27, 2020

I was married to a narc for 22 years. Infidelities, porn, mind games. He told me that I was already broken when he got me. Told me I needed to work on myself first for him to change. He got short end of the stick. Children involved. Girlfriend showing up at the house, police etc. I could write a book on all the tricks he used. I kicked him out 3 years ago and told him he was effectively dead to me. Best thing I ever did. I can finally breathe.

Ange says June 8, 2020

Please answer this Kim.
How do you go no contact if narc is in family. Try to use my mum dad and brother as flying monkeys. I love my loving family and dont want to let them go…

    SUE says April 28, 2021

    So tough. I have gone no contact and low contact with my family of origin. I have blocked the no contact sibs on email, phone, and social media. The low contact members all phone calls go through to voice mail and I respond when I feel like it. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. Also educated myself on narcissism and boundaries by reading and joining online forums such as this. I felt tremendous guilt for not being able to “fix” as this had been my role. It’s taken a long time but staying away from the drama has helped me enormously.

Leslie Settles says June 8, 2020

Need advice ‘ I have completely gotten over my 31yr relationship with my ex narc . But I want to help my daughter to leve hers and begin a healthy long life with her two boys ‘ you’ve my daughter has been battling breast cancer since she was 26 ‘ about 5 years now ‘ shes married to a narc that has built an empire with her ‘ but gives her no credit at all ‘ I beleive he keeps her sick. … I dont want her to give up and die ‘ due to the emotional and mental anguish he puts her through on a daily basis ‘ I’ve tried so hard to help her understand that she doesnt need him ‘ that she wassise by side in all the buisness endeavors ‘ and she can make it and provide for herself and the boys just fine. I need help to help her understand what an intelligent woman she is and that hes killing her from her soul and needs to get out as soon as possible to save her life and the lives of her little boys ‘ please help us. I cant lose another child ‘ it’s not supposed to be like this..

Jane says June 8, 2020

Thank you for your help I have finally left for good this time .He has already started the hoovering tactics your email helped me a lot thank you you probably saved my life for sure .

Peacebrother says June 8, 2020

I don’t know whether this is a Hoover, but what is it about her rubbing her breasts on me when we are ever in the same room such as Grandchildren’s birthday parties and other such gatherings? Now that I have been discarded I am distressed by this behaviour.

Becky says June 7, 2020

I love reading all of these articles Kim writes to help educate those of us who had no knowledge of Narcissism.
I’ve been married 29 years and I recently just figured out my husband is a narcissist.
He has treated me so awful, I used to always make excuses. Not to mention he has cheated on me more times than I care to think about! He enjoys “hookups” and does them often!
He is off having fun while I am at work all the time and putting all my efforts into saving our marriage and trying to be the wife he wants me to be!
Boy am I stupid!!
So we went to counseling in 2016 where the whole time there he would say over and over again that he doesn’t love me. He just doesn’t love me. Again… he stayed in the marriage and he continued to have his fun outside of the marriage! I wish the counselor then helped me to see that this is never going to work! I at the time had no clue he was a narcissist. I knew he was difficult and it would sadden me that we could not communicate and work things out as a couple!
The counselor always made me feel like it was my fault. You need to love him more she would always say!!
Anyhow, my point being is we have been separated since November 2019. He doesn’t check in, he never contacts me. I truly have been thrown out like a piece of trash. I have been discarded by him and it eats me up more and more.
No one will ever see or know the half of the trauma and emotional abuse he has caused me. The judge will not care either!
I know to be free from him is gift enough but I’m sorry! I feel like I deserve something for putting up with all of him all of these years!
Now he sits and is retired and plays golf all week while all I do is work, take care of the kids, the yard, the house, the dog and constantly cooking and cleaning.
It truly hardly seems fair! What bothers me is how he is just moving on and truly does not care about me. I should just be happy and let him move on! Why can’t I be??

    Solette Lombard says April 28, 2021

    Hi, I also find it very strange. I’ve always thought that I was the problem, I was insecure, full of shit, selfish, I can’t cook, I’m a poor mother, I am just the poorest human on earth. I always had this feeling that my husband was not true to me and if I dare question his actions or friendliness with the ladies, I received a beating at the end of the fight. In 2012 after he broke my collar bone, my body went into shock and my thyroid go inflamed causing a goiter. I had to go see a specialist, well he went along to buy new running shoes and did not come in with me to see the specialist because he will pick up germs and then he will not run comrades. I did see the doctor, he did some scans and tests, talk a little bit to me, sent me out to wait for my results, his nurse came out and give me a booklet to read. Married to a narcissist. I found it strange but I still read the booklet. We never had any vacations, that did not turn out into a disaster, birthdays, Christmas, new years. It start sometimes good and end in a fight, me getting beat up, he always blame the children, I’m chose them over him, but fight we will fight. Later on we wouldn’t leave the house because we are scared what would happened. My kids never had any friends over. Then the kids grow up, we fight over the same things but there is no one to blame for it anymore, now I am not good enough any more, he is not into me anymore, he doesn’t love me any more. I don’t get beaten up anymore, due to the fact I went for self defense classes and received my hunting license. I am good at shooting. I love the sport. I did it all while he was busy entertaining other ladies. So know when we go out and I question his truthfulness, he will say things to me like, did you upgrade your meds, you see things, I didn’t mean it that way, or his favorite saying is: we had such wonderful times lately but no you can’t just be happy, you will always find away to f*ck it up. It goes great if I don’t have an opinion, if I yes dear no dear, when I don’t question his actions or motives. So I will be leaving on Friday after nearly 20 years, at first he treated me but I stand my ground and said their is nothing he can do that can hurt me anymore and he can’t scare me anymore. So he refuse to let me take my half of things in the house, I said you can’t stop me. Interesting he does say a single word, he just look at me, ignore me and goes on with his life like I am not even in the house anymore. Now and then he will comment like in when will you be done or oh you are still here, like this morning, do you need help with the packing, I can get you someone, do you need help loading your things and I’ve caught him scratching in the open boxes that I am still packing or going through the house to check what I did pack and didn’t. Know this is strange, do I need to be careful of what he will do, when I am done and what to leave, or must I be careful after I left.

Martin McNaught says February 3, 2020

Thank you for sharing this- 10 types of hoovers and how to respond. I’m just learning about the abuse I’ve been subjected to by my partner of 4 years after a particularly horrific discard which made me seek answers.
This advice both moved me to tears and uplifted my heart. I’ve read lots in a short time as you can imagine, this really resonated and spoke to “me”
Thank you so so much. X

Anonymous says December 25, 2019

You forgot the holiday hoover

Enrique Rodriguez says November 6, 2019

I was deceived for 15 years. At that point I started seriously questioning her behaviors. Her rationale was so absurd that I didn’t understand how she could actually believe that I would buy her stories. She cheated on me while we were in marriage counseling that she suggested we go to. We have 4 young children and she wants a divorce now because “ she doesn’t want to be accountable anymore “. I lived through hell to keep our family together. After I discovered her lengthy infidelity she hoovered me back . More counseling and more ways to mess with my head. And she succeeded. I melted down under the strain of her selfishness. Work 12 hours and not come home until 2:00 AM. But I’m the controlling abusive spouse!!??? Who expected his wife to come home after work? I suspect now that the cheating existed for many years. I bought her lies for so long . Took ownership of our relationships problems to make peace. This has been the single most heart wrenching experience of my entire life. My kids world turned upside down because of her otherworldly selfishness. I’m lost, broken self esteem destroyed. Hurt for my kids. But you know who is the victim? Her , she tells everybody. My reactions to insane behavior have turned me into a monster. And somehow I still miss her. And I can’t.even fathom why! I’m a good looking man, hard working, good provider, compassionate and thoughtful. And all of it somehow in her mind equates to weakness. I am a very big man ( not fat) who almost everyone I encounter shows me respect. And she treated me like a piece of trash. She exploited my love for her. And I expect, most likely , to her detriment. I’m not egotistical in any way shape or form. But I recognize my positive qualities. And she saw nothing other than a chump.

Kay Ferguson says November 5, 2019

When my narc x left me for his mistress this information was not out there yet. Because I didn’t know anything about npd I did not understand what had happened to me. It took me 10 years to recover and completely get over him. I started reading about npd about 6 months ago. I wish I would have known about this after he left I would have healed much sooner. If you are in this type of relationship Please educate yourself and get out it has taken 10 years to get over him and 5 years to get myself back from all the mental and emotional abuse. Now I am educating my adult children about their Dad who has hurt and disappointed them over and over again. Thank you Kim Seed and all of you wonderful people who help good people regain their lives after npd abuse.

Everything You Need to Know About the Narcissist's Biggest Fear - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says October 20, 2019

[…] the most important thing to the narcissist. So, you can be indifferent and it might cause them to Hoover you or maybe start the love-bombing phase all over again, but it’s not necessarily something […]

5 Things to Never Do After Breaking Up with a Narcissist - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says September 22, 2019

[…] letters sent USPS to determine if they’re related to a legal matter or just their attempt at Hoovering).  If they’re hoovering attempts, let the same friend destroy the letters, unless there’s a […]

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[…] some glorious point, you become protective of your healing space.  Instead of feeling glad when the narcissist tries to hoover you, you feel nervous about protecting yourself…because you no longer want the narcissist to play […]

Melisa says June 20, 2019

Want to get my life and baby’s life without narcissistic ex partner

Easter – The Narcissist’s Spring Wrecking Ball - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says April 18, 2019

[…] 1 – If you haven’t implemented full No Contact, the Narcissist will use Easter as an opportunity to Hoover […]

BeAnne Lane says November 27, 2018

It is has been 2 years since I broke up with the N. At frist he hoovered by email. When that didn’t work, 2 months after the break up, he asked me to dinner to celerbrate his brithday, I went to get some answers – of which I got none, just more BS. From that point on I went NO Contract.
That is when he tried a different tactic. He send his freinds to torment me. Telling how great he was doing and found a new love. The friends also defended him and one said that I didn’t really love him if I didn’t put up with his shit. That is when I had to stay away from those people even through they were my friends before the N.
One year later I was told by a stranger that he had a heart attack. That pulled me back mentally and emotionally but not physically.
The last hoover came when he died, 2 months ago, and his best friend called me and told me that he really cared about me and talked about me a lot. That made me sad and I started remembering the good times. It took my grief to a different level. Even with his death I got pulled back in.
Happy to say that I have regrained my equalibrum now and Kim. your article helped me seen that hoovering can come from others too. So not just NO Contract with him. I had to go No Contract with a lot of people and even had to give up my job because he worked there too and had gotten to them.
This article really validated my experience in the last 2 years. Thank you.

    Amber says June 25, 2019

    I am so sad to hear all of what you said! I just want you to know that I feel your pain, and that I hope your life is beautiful and colorful now.

Marielle says November 26, 2018

My narc ex husband discarded me for someone else- we were together for almost 6 years and during this time I was discarded 5 times. I had no idea what was happening or why, so when he would return to hoover I played back into the hand perfectly. This time my therapist has advised me on no contact. I changed my number, blocked him on all social media, cut ties with close knit friends of his and have started moving on with my life. True to his nature, he is now seeking to “talk to me” through his family and wants to see me. Not a chance. It’s dramatic at first when you were discarded, but after you see the pattern long enough, you see how predictable these people are.

Renee says November 25, 2018

I am at 5 weeks of no contact. He has everything I own. I have no clothes. He lied to the police when I went to get my things. Said he had no idea where they are. Two days later called his daughter to return “some” of my things. I’ve filed a theft report and unlawful eviction charges against him. We have domestic violence restraining order court tomorrow. I will ask for the return of my belongings. I found two ex’s on Facebook. They will be testifying. There is such healing in doing this. I’m very careful to not fall into the trap of vindication. I want justice but struggle with the fact he could be arrested. Hoping for the best and expecting the worst in court.

Michelle says November 25, 2018

Kim, my situation is very complicated. 1st priority I have children involved. I only come to realize that I was dealing with a narcissist within the last yr. Since my kids were young the verbal n mental abuse began. Not until a friend pointed it out did I start researching this. This story may be one that you have not ever encountered however I couldn’t fathom that this man could possibly think his actions were normal. Perfect guy looks great on paper but not until recently did I realize how bad its affected me… more importantly MY CHILDREN…THIS HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE and the even more recent events are horrible. This is years in the making that this man has brainwashed, bribed and has downright disrespectfully disgustingly mentally n verbally abused us. There is alot more to this story. His mother is one in the same. He is a very successful man, good provider, he is present however its done alot of damage. Only child and not only him but his mother both bash and brainwash. The things I am dealin with you could not makeup. Hes in couseling but that is not working. I have brought this all to his attention and the cycle if jekel n hyde continues. This is the 2nd weekend in a row where police were involved and I can not let it continue. My poor kids r picking up the tab for this. We just went thru yet another horrible experience on THANKSGIVING. My daughter is very affected right now and wants nothing to do with him at this time. There is ALOT MORE TO THIS STORY!!!! Alot. Not the typical take ur kids and go situation. I dont know if u will see this but I am drained beyond belief and I need it to STOP. #PLSHELP

Ethel says November 24, 2018

Great article Kim, and thanks. <3 But what do you do when you're basically tricked into spending time with the Narcissist, say, at holiday and family gatherings? This happened to me the other day. I went Gray Rock as best I could, even though one of the Ns tried to talk to me. But it was a very unpleasant situation and I'm just furious at the relatives involved, not only for the lack of warning (this hasn't been the first time) but not honoring my choice to stay away from these people.

Sonja says November 24, 2018

It took me three years of experiencing my curmudgeon to realize there is pathology involved. He also had intermittent explosive disorder which exacerbated my utter confusion and disbelief at how far he would take the blame game brought on by extreme procrastination at just getting ordinary things done. We had a long distance relationship. I literally became afraid of him. Cancelled an invitation to take my dog and visit for the winter. My stated boundaries fell always on deaf ears as if my opinions did not matter. It was a bizarre experience. Sad thing this has happened in some variation or other three other times on dating sites. I am done with those. I am just going to enjoy my tranquil life with friends and family. There are too many shark infested waters out there to suit my needs.

Monika says November 24, 2018

My former narc never apologized or did any of the hoovers described here. I never got any flowers ever! Of course, I went back anyway, without him putting in much effort at all, that is, until I had my FINAL silent treatment, and REALLY walked out and stayed out. Five months of No Contact now. He’s not trying these hoovers! He hoovered me with short emails in mid-July, and that was it. I was angry that he did not try harder to get me back, but it is just as well for my sake.One day at a time.

Marcie says November 24, 2018

Another little trick some of them like to use is money, particularly in a divorce situation in which the narcissist leaves the victim destitute, then magnanimously offers to “help” by offering little dribs and drabs of cash that aren’t quite enough, and you have to keep crawling back to grovel for a little more. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take a gift, a loan, even a card from your narc! Unfortunately I succumbed to his “sympathetic” offer of financial help after a series of financial crises threatened to render me homeless. While it was a “gift,” I did tell him I intended to pay it back if ever I am able to do so (which I will), but until I do, I’ve no choice but to try to avoid communicating with him if at all possible. I’m absolutely disgusted with myself and extremely uneasy about what he may do next. Beware!

Jady says November 23, 2018

We have a 17 year old son that choose to live w/his father narc.
I don’t change my phone # in case he needs to call me about my son, but my son has a phone. My ex & I communicate usually through email re:medical stuff. Why am I having a hard time blocking him from txting? He hovered me today by calling me & I was passed at why he called that after I yelled at him I hung up on him!!

Shirley Akpelu says November 23, 2018

The ex narc will never hoover me. I know who my enemy is what mask he is wearing. We had our second chance years ago when I did not know anything about narcissism. The abuse was worse after our second chance, so there will be no third chance to hoover me. The smear campaign and the silent treatment and discarding has been going on. He quit wearing his wedding ring before we separated so he is done for sure. He will never hoover me again. Thanks for this information.

KH says November 23, 2018

That hoovering they do is dangerous. They know when to move in to test the waters, even after very long periods of no-contact. Of course, during this silent treatment, they are dealing with the new supply. It’s pure wickedness in play, their whole scheme. They’ll deprive you of what you want and disrespect you, which cause you to leave them alone, but they’ll come right back like a demon trying to possess a body and torment its soul. It’s like their mission or purpose in life is to ensure that you are miserable.

My narc hoovered me almost a year ago. She gaslighted me during the hoover, but I still tried to see whether there that could be salvaged. I met and hooked up with her, and she began the devaluing and discard by day two of a very short trip. She couldn’t help herself, and that’s when I realized how bad this person is afflicted by narcissism. Truly, she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

By the end of the trip, I knew that I had to leave her alone because she’s bad news that can never be fixed. It’s been almost a year of no-contact, and I’ve blocked her on all social media, and I also have a new phone number that she doesn’t know. I don’t think she’s tried contact me anyway, but I know being in contact with her is very bad news, which I don’t need at this stage and point of my life.

After all of her lying, deceit, and manipulation, I know that I could never trust her. Also, I realize that I’m not truly comfortable being around her because of her easily seen fakeness. She only comes around when she gets discarded by her other interests, so I already know that she’s neither interested nor the right one for me. I really dodged a bullet with this one!

    Chrissy the Conqueror says November 23, 2018

    not sure if this will go thru cuz the narc & his new supply cloned my laptop. will start using a new computer soon, having it firewalled (his new supply luvs tech lol and engineered the attacks). anyway, wanted to reply that they truly are evil but in a banal, boring way. they need others to feel important, for example… also, wanted to say that i’m the lucky one: my narc will NEVER hoover me EVER because i think he is ashamed: i figured out their scheme of hacking all my accounts and devices, burgling my home and car, and attempting to turn acquaintances against me–so i cut off the weak ppl–and now they know i will NEVER let him back into my life. i am indeed THE LUCKIEST WOMAN ON PLANET EARTH and i thank my lucky stars every day

Anonymous says November 1, 2018

How do I get over the fight or flight feeling of anticipating a hoover? It’s taking energy away from my healing because in the past when I’d begin to move on and let my guard down, he would resurface. I didn’t expect him to come back around before; now it feels naive to not expect it…..he comes to my house / drops off presents / mails letters. I changed my number this time.

My question is how to stop the hormonal reaction to the idea that it’s just a matter of time before he comes back, like a ticking time bomb.

FREE says October 11, 2018

3 months of no contact, he sent a text calling me a cheater and that I lied to him and that Karma will get me. I have not contacted him. My first reaction was to defend myself but then I said who cares what he thinks. He cheated on me and walked away but I’m the cheater….right. Anyway, this does not seem like hoovering to me because he is blaming me for his actions…so what is this????

    Kim Saeed says October 14, 2018

    This is just what they do. It’s the reason I advocate full No Contact so that they are not able to send any kind of communications, including text messages. Sometimes, changing your number is necessary. I’ve had to do that a couple of times, even though I use my number for work and it’s associated with important numbers regarding my children.

    Christina says November 24, 2018

    That is exactly what they want you to do is defend yourself. Get sucked into the drama. They love the drama. Any attention is what they want.

    B says November 2, 2019

    It’s called projection. They are masters of it.

    no name says June 8, 2020

    I am in the exact same place now…the anger phase as I left him about 3 months ago abruptly as I had had enough of the name calling, belittling and his controlling of every interaction. I am trying sooooo hard for no contact. He leaves me angry voicemails telling me I am the one who ruined the relationship, that for the last 3 months he has done nothing wrong yet he still disrespects me by trying to contact me. It doesn’t matter that I told him don’t call me, don’t text me, don’t contact me at all 3 months now and I still won’t reply. Showed up unannounced at my home last week but thankfully I was not there. . I just want this to end…..

Anonymous says July 25, 2018

Thank you for that! I was hoping it was sincere, but should have known better.

Patricia says July 24, 2018

My ex-narc, long-term affair partner of 16 years, recently came hoovering back after 5 years since I ended the affair. At that time he decided he would rather stay with his family rather than follow though with commitment to stay with me and the family we had been raising for the past 16 years. I had enough of his broken promises and lies and called it quits. He basically lead the true double life. His wife was aware of it but not to what degree. Since then I was able to find an amazing partner that is supportive and loving, really everything I have ever wanted and more. My ex-narc has pulled all the stops and has managed to get back into my head space. I am really struggling to get back to my emotionally healthy self that I have enjoyed over the past 5 years, being away from him and being in a healthy relationship with a great guy. Help!

James says May 22, 2018

Kim, it’s been over 2 months since I was dumped, & each day is still a struggle. I must admit there are moments when I just wanted to see her just one more time. What’s wrong with me?

    Kim Saeed says May 23, 2018

    Hi James. There’s nothing wrong with you. Two months is still very fresh. If you aren’t seeing a professional trauma therapist, that would be a good start. This kind of emotional damage doesn’t go away on its own.


    Brad says June 28, 2018

    James, Kim is so right that your wounds are still quite fresh. More than likely you really have no idea yet just how wounded you are. I do understand the desire to go back, but it would just dig you in deeper. While counseling with the right counselor could help, the wrong one can do further damage. I looked for counselors based on their ads and emails and then a phone call. I selected the one who most asserted she was well versed in narcissistic abuse and who was available. LOL. She showed up to our appointment dressed inappropriately. She kept asking me “Who broke up the relationship, you or her?” In that one 45 min session I had to tell her I broke up 5 times. She did that and other things just to mess with me. It was very unsettling. I paid her the $100, then a day later sent her an email and told her we were not a good match, but didn’t say why. Unfortunately, some counselors are Narcs too. I recommend that you educate/reassure yourself by joining Kindle and read as many of HG Tudor’s ebooks as you can. Start with “Sitting Target” and “Fuel.” That will help you understand why she selected you and the dynamics of a relationship with a Narc. Hopefully it will help you avoid another Narcissist. But they are everywhere and especially in the healthcare field, including counseling obviously. And despite what you are likely to read, some female counselors assert that most NPDs are female. Males are just less likely to report abuse because they don’t want to be perceived as weak. Also, female Narcs are especially skilled at playing the victim and bringing out the protective tendencies of men. As one female counselor has written, female Narcs masquerade as empaths. That is just another way they manipulate. I would recommend no dating for a long time. If you feel that you really need to date, then perhaps you should examine why. Seek to nourish your spirit and become a whole person who is happy and complete all by yourself. Read “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, MD. I would also recommend digital brain healing and Mindify hypnosis to calm your brain and help correct the wrong brain chemistry that Narcissistic abuse causes. Peace.

      karen says July 19, 2018

      Words of wisdom my friend.

      Lisa says August 2, 2018

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT. My Narc sister is a counselor. Every time I think about it, it freaks me out. I have 2 therapists. One is shite on abuse. The other one I got through Domestic violence resources. She is well-versed in abuse, and not a narc. You may feel like these people won’t help you because you’re a guy, but they tend not to discriminate except when it comes to the shelter. Incidentally, mine discarded me on the day James wrote that. So I am a little over 2 months now and can totally relate to every single thing he says. I really appreciate the post. It helps knowing I am not alone and other people have gone through the same pain!

Anonymous says May 15, 2018

I Iind Km Saeed words hitting me right in the places I’m experiencing. Thank u do very much

Brenda says May 3, 2018

My ex narc moved on with his new supply and moved away. But just the other day called me at work to see how I was and to say hi..!!?? I have healed after everything he put me through and glad he’s gone! Best thing he could have ever done for me!! I actually feel bad for her though..I warned her about him even screen shot some of his messages and sent them to her. She called me crazy… Hahaha…. Guess he still thinks about me and misses me.. Who’s crazy now? It really is so bizarre honestly cuz when I was his(body and soul) he didn’t want anything to do with me. He is/was and always will be a pathological liar a cheat.. Downright mean and will ALWAYS on the hunt for another.. “babe”! This is so he doesn’t confuse the team members!! He really needs help!

Linda says April 8, 2018

My narcissist sent me a “Happy Birthday to you. I hope you are doing well. I also hope you enjoy your special day.”

This has been after 8 months of no communication. I was discarded, and knew it was coming so I had an e-mail prepared to send within hours of the discard. I called her out on being a Narcissist, had told her in e-mail that I have been seeing a counselor, and that I do not wish to hear from her again. I never heard from her again until this. I knew her for 6 years, and in year 3 the verbal, and emotional abuse was terrible. I always forgave her, as I am so nice. There were very seldom apologies on her end. I was left feeling so confused, and walked around like a zombie for 3 years. Ups turning into downs constantly, and just as I would recuperate from a tantrum from her, she would be nice for a week and start again. I can’t believe I allowed it. I am a very level headed, and classy person.

I guess my question is…did she mean this nice Birthday Wish? I did respond, but it took me hours to even think of what to say. I responded with. “Thank you. It’s appreciated.” Was she baiting me for more conversation? Nothing else was said. Thank you, Kim, for all of your help!!!

    Raven says July 19, 2018

    No, she didn’t mean it. She’s trying to hoover you back in, unfortunately. Try to remain No Contact. It’s very hard, but getting sucked back in and abused again is worse. Don’t subject yourself to that!

      Linda says July 25, 2018

      Thank you, Raven! I will not let her back in, as much as I miss her at times.

        kg says November 23, 2018

        You don’t miss her. If you really, REALLY knew her, there would be nothing to miss. You miss the connection to love which she represented. You don’t need this person to connect to love.

        Also, it was a test, and you need to fail that test every time. Second, that you called her out will be water off a duck’s back. You wanted her to know that you’re smart, but her disorder deflects that and scapegoats you. They are really sad and disconnected people because their egos are so strong. To learn about the ego #acourseinmiracles is the most excellent source and it applies to all of us. I found it so healing to get over Narcissistic Abuse and recover from codependency. Good luck!

    Anonymous says July 19, 2018

    Obviously im not Kim but please don’t fall for the hovering tactics. Narcs do not think like we do. Watch I am Fish Head on YouTube. Its about an hour long. It clearly describes even their brain scans are different. The Birthday wish is not what you think.

      Linda says July 25, 2018

      I was so hoping she meant it, but my heart knew better. Thank you for your advice!

Carolyn says April 7, 2018

Court date on the 16!

    Kim Saeed says April 7, 2018

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Carolyn!

    Kim XoXo

Easter – The Narcissist’s Spring Wrecking Ball - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says March 31, 2018

[…] Narcissist’s Spring Wrecking Ball How Survivors Can Help Current Victims of Narcissist Abuse 7 Types of Hoovers and How to Powerfully Respond How to Prepare for Court Against the Narcissist The Spirituality of Narcissistic Abuse 6 […]

Anonymous says March 12, 2018

Hi to all the beautiful strong womyn out there! Between Kim’s program and Melanie Tonia Evan’s ground breaking Quantum Healing program, I was able to release my energetic ties to my Narc in a matter of a few months. Before that I had a few NLP sessions and the obsessive codependant attachments I had since my youth vanished dramatically almost overnight. I was an Atheist when I started so was very skeptical but I was desperate to try anything! I cannot stress getting into any and all of these programs enough. I invested about $200 in total and got back my sanity faster than any prior “talk” therapist was ever able to do!

I was married to a dark triad personality disorderd man child for 27 years. I had three children with him and had built a beautiful life in the country which was a dream that kept me half sane. I had to literally run with my youngest teen after finding rape and murder porn on his computer. My world fell apart completely after that. Prior to this I lived thru the soul destroying effects of covert narc abuse all those long years and it was like living on a poison drip. I left with no self worth intact and battled severe PTSD for the first two years. I am five years out of the relationship now and my life is unfolding beautifully. It wasn’t easy but I stood firm on my values and fought like hell for my inner child. I allowed myself to extracate myself slowly from the relationship, to honor the love I had for him. I felt that this created less shame for me personally. I decided I would remain who I was while standing firm on my need to be alone and heal. I put myself first and I’ve been able to resist all 7 hoover attempts beautifully. I realized rather quickly that I truthfully despised him all along and have never really loved him. It’s not possible to love a person who destroys you!

Since my move I have experienced what true love and committment looks like. After that all I see in my ex is a creep. Feeling such disgust upon seeing him was a bit upsetting at first, but I made myself face the reality of my true feelings. Now I honor them and I have my own back solidly!

Make yourself the number one priority and everything else will fall into place ????

Brenda says March 12, 2018

You’re so right Kim ! #5 suck me back in for only a few months after his father passed , nevertheless the abuse returned quickly ! I told him to never contact me again I don’t care who dies !! I will send flowers! …. I changed my # completely because he would call from 1000 other numbers when he was blocked . ….. yes I stay completely awsy from his side of town doing my shopping etc and it truly helps ! Yes he came over twice , once I wasn’t home , the other time I was already outside and he pulled up apologizing and acting as if we had no time apart lol …. I didn’t give him much reaction at all because he feeds off that , I told him I’m no longer wasting my love on him at all and to keep it moving .

    Kim Saeed says March 19, 2018

    Hi Brenda,

    Sounds like you’re onto his game and have put up some very powerful boundaries. Good for you! I’m so happy for you 🙂

    Kim XoXo

    Reland says June 10, 2020

    Great job & reply to his game playing bs!????????????

Debbie says March 11, 2018

After 9 months since my break up with my now ex, after 32 years of marriage, my son finally let his father know his feelings. My ex responded with a sorry and pity me e mail, however failed to respond to the numerous incidents of cheating and lying when confronted and ended up insulting his son. Interestingly today after a friend was reading the obituary I had written for my ex that I had saved as a draft e mail, it was sent instead of being closed down. As part of my therapy I had written this to avoid being sucked in ever again. Am now a little anxious because the no contact rule has been broken. Am awaiting repercussions. It was a pretty tough obituary and something I never wanted to send. As a warning to others save these as a word document and never as a draft e mail.

Lynn says March 11, 2018

The person I was with was a psychopath. Once he discarded me (2.5 years ago), it’s like he fell off the earth. He has never tried contacting me again. My friends ( and me) are really surprised. I thought he would hoover just to keep my brain attached to him.

    Lynn says May 22, 2018

    Just found out my psychopath died. He never reached out again.

      Chrissy the Conqueror says November 23, 2018

      I wish mine would

Charmaine says March 10, 2018

Ironic (?) that your artcle came in today.

I had a vivid dream about me XN last night. In my dream he had died and all sorts of supply showed up at our house for a funeral. I was kind of floating through the house watching all of them and feeling absolutely NOTHING. Very strange dream but now that I think about it, it’s really how I feel about him now. I feel NOTHING. Not good, not bad just nothing and it’s a great place to be after a year and a half.

For 13 years my XN used every single one of your 7 hoovering methods and they worked every single time, except the last time….ha. The difference? I went completely no contact. No contact saved my sanity and gave me back my life.

Nanette says March 10, 2018

About how many years out after bomb drop does this happen and what percentage of these fools will do this?

    Kim Saeed says March 11, 2018

    Hi Nanette,

    It’s really hard to predict. Not all narcissists hoover, but most of them do. It just kind of depends on where they fall on the narcissistic spectrum, if they have other underlying disorders alongside their narcissism, how many supply sources they have, etc. Best just to make sure they don’t pull you in again and don’t wait around for them to hoover because you will absolutely waste your life that way.

    Kim XoXo

      Meta Bilgi says March 22, 2019

      Narcissistic people should be recognized and treated in society.

      We should help people with psychological problems on the community side. We need to help them understand and get support.

        Kim Saeed says March 22, 2019

        I wish it were that simple, but in order to help them, they have to have the desire to be helped. Most narcissistic people don’t think they have a problem, so there’s little, if anything, that can be done to support them without causing injury to ourselves.

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