Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

Imagine this: you’ve left your toxic narcissist after years of mental and emotional abuse, and you’re finally starting to breathe again. You are finally free of this horrible, selfish energy and you feel like you’re a brand new person! Life is just starting to get really, really good.Why narcississts seem to be better when they leave you

And then it happens.

As you’re humming to yourself in the grocery store, you spot your former would-be soulmate two aisles over – and there’s something different about him. He seems happier, brighter. Relaxed, even. He’s laughing, talking and even being charming.

That bastard!

You’re confused. You’re hurt. You’re angry, maybe. A far cry from the man you recently knew, he’s somehow transformed himself back into the amazing guy you once loved.

(Note: I’m writing from the female perspective because most of my readers are female, and because statistically speaking, narcissism is just slightly more prevalent in males. With that being said, this could apply to either a male or a female narcissist.)

But seconds later, almost as if time is moving in slow motion, you realize what is happening. Your narc has found his next victim – he’s in the process of love bombing her, and for a moment, you get a front row seat.

I know it stings. I know it hurts when you see that guy who you fell in love with re-emerging after you’re away. And I know that you wonder (at least a little bit) if somehow he was right all along – and if it really WAS just you.

Why the Narcissist Becomes the Person You Fell In Love With When You Leave

Time for a reality check, my darling: you were not the problem. First, let me acknowledge that while every step in the process is very painful, this one is probably one of the most confusing. See, while the bigger part of you knows that he is never going to REALLY change, this other little part of you still loves him – or the version of him that you once believed was real. And that’s the part of him he’s parading around now – so it’s like you’re mourning “that version” of him all over again.

But let me repeat: the problem was NOT you! The problem was that the narcissist started taking you for granted. He got used to having you around. Maybe he got shiny new object syndrome, or he said life was too boring and left you to pursue whatever it was he wanted. Maybe you just finally had enough and you  left him.

Here’s why he is suddenly Mr. Perfect again: whether it was his idea or yours to end things, he’s now without a source of regular narcissistic supply – and that means he’s on the prowl. 

This is normal. And sadly for her, you already know how this story is going to go. Now, as you know, narcissists are very hard to live with, and even a reasonably intelligent person would feel ashamed that she tolerates the bullshit – so she may keep it under wraps, like you probably did. So you might never know for sure.

Narcissistic abuse runs in cycles, though, and this is one of them.

But if I’m in your shoes at this point, I’m going to make use of the no-contact/low-contact thing and use it to my advantage. That means block them both on Facebook so you don’t have to see it when you’re torturing yourself by stalking their profiles. It means you will not listen when some well-meaning flying monkey tries to offer you updates on him.

It means you’re going to move forward and focus ONLY on what you can control (not what you can’t), and since you couldn’t control him while you were together, you sure as hell can’t now (nor should you want to – he’s no longer your problem!).

So, how do you deal with the painful reality of watching your narcissist be perfect for someone else?

  1. Start by remembering what you dealt with and by recognizing what she will deal with soon enough. (And even if you’re tempted to warn your narcissist’s new supply about what she’s getting herself into, don’t do it – even if your intentions are good.)
    Read more: Should I warn the new supply about the narcissist?
  2.  Don’t sit around thinking that the narc’s new supply will end up getting the benefit of all the work you did trying to fix him. It doesn’t work like that. He is what he is, and even most experts will tell you: a narcissist can’t change (not for long, anyway).
  3. Remember too that you’re not really mourning the person you lost; you’re mourning your illusion of who you believed he was. It’s an ever-turning cycle that the narcissist will repeat in varying iterations for the rest of his life. Be glad you’re off the wheel.
  4. Stay focused on you, and on making your own life better. You have already been tortured enough – if you let this situation keep making you miserable, you’re only allowing him to continue the abuse from afar. Take back your life, my friend, and choose to be happy, in your own way. Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t.
  5. Heal and release the anger. As one of my beautiful SPAN group members said: “Work on your healing and the layers of anger will soon disappear. One of the hardest things for me, was mourning the illusion of that perfect relationship I wanted to truly believe. Letting that go was a big step for me.”
  6. NEVER compare yourself to the new supply, unless it’s to feel sorry for her as you take note of the pattern that you’re thankfully no longer subjected to in your life. Don’t do yourself the disservice of trying to think she’s somehow “better” than you; the truth is that narcissists are very picky, so chances are, if she “seems” better somehow, it’s only because he hasn’t ruined her yet.
  7. Don’t “if only” and “what if” yourself to death. It’s common to have feelings of regret after any relationship ends, and you wouldn’t be human if you wonder what you could have done differently or whether something you did or said could have been the trigger that caused it all to go downhill. But that’s not helping you – it’s only causing you more pain – and chances are, you couldn’t have changed the situation without going completely insane trying to make him happy. Now it’s time to live in the moment and to think about how you want the future to go.

What about you? Have you ever experienced watching your ex-narcissist get involved with a new person, or even just appear to return to the person he once was?

This playlist on YouTube might also offer you some valuable insight.

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21 Responses to Why Your ex-Narcissist Seems So Happy With a New Supply (and How to Deal)

  1. Oh yes. My narc moved in with his next victim two days after we broke it off. And he is letting everyone know how ecstatically happy they are, and how wonderful she is. He treats her like a queen. Has found his BFF, his soulmate (once again), his “other” (once again). He’s never known that life could be this wonderful. How do I know all of this? He makes sure these words get back to me. I giggle about it because this was the same way he treated me at the beginning. We were together 20 years. They’ve been together seven months. I’m beginning to hear rumblings that she is suddenly changing the way she dresses, and they don’t go to the places she used to go. Hmmm. Methinks it has begun. It took a little longer than seven months for him to start to change me, but we’ll see if he’ll be able to fool her for 20 years.

    • This article is exactly my experience. I have the benefit of validation from an ex of his who went through the roller coaster for ten years. I only off and on for 8 months. Still it’s coming up on a year since we met and I was instantly charmed and felt I’d met the one. Turned out to be the one who would gaslight and mentally torture me…and yet all my mind wants to do is remember hose wonderful moments,dismissing the brutally tortured ones. And now he has a new supply and I am feeling all the things mentioned here. Thanks for the perspective. Much needed.

  2. Most definitely mines didn’t waste no time jumping into a relationship with ex he dated in high school less than a month after the breakup.The thing about it is he claimed that she was the town whore or how he wasn’t into bbw. But she’s exactly that. It’s 6 months later and I’m still trying to pickup the pieces and move on. Fortunately we only dated 2.5 years but that was long enough couldn’t imagine if I stayed any longer.

  3. My partner started his narcissistic cowardly behaviour by not making eye contact with me!
    When I asked him why? His answer was that I was paranoid! Looking back, that was the first time he began playing his sick games. It was hard to pinpoint as his games were always cowardly and his replies were that I was mad. I should have got out quicker but I persevered until he almost broke me. His mental treatment of me became increasingly subversive and toxic. Eventually even his own son and close friends were apologising to me for his nasty cutting behaviour.
    He shows his true nature to those closest to him.
    I had to tell him that I was DONE when I finally knew that any dreadful situation that I was going through was worsened and any joyful situation ruined deliberately by him.
    Things had got to a point that friends and family no longer wanted to visit me because HE would be there.
    I got to the point that I too no longer wanted to visit him either. He asked me to draw a line under everything and start again! To his delight I told him that I had done that BUT that line was drawn under him. GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE. I truly pity his next victim.

  4. I think I dated a woman who might have been one. She cussed me out and accused me of something that I didn’t do on two different the last being at a bar had to have a drink then she started. At the end she just got up and walked out. Never heard from her for a while. She has a boyfriend now. Strange thought because her ex fiancé broke up with her last August and we spent September together by November she was dating. What sad is she lost her kids in a court case. She drinks, likes sex and watches porn and said to me once, that she’s open to all. Has anyone been with someone likes ?

  5. I found a lot of comfort in this article and others that it linked to. My almost 4 year relationship ended before Christmas (by him), and a few weeks later he already was with someone else! I had a feeling something was up with them a couple weeks after we ended. I even asked about this woman multiple times to which he said, “nothing is going on, everything is fine”… Well, I was right! He’s with her anyway. What a liar. But not only was he a liar, but definitely narcissistic. I offered so many things to this man, gave everything I could, even he acknowledged that and he told me he was STILL unhappy. He told me how much he tried in the relationship but it just didn’t work. Oh boo whoo…. This man did not try! I TRIED! I was so understanding, loyal, loving, caring, everything, and it still wasn’t enough. This man was still “unhappy”. He couldn’t take responsibility for his actions. EVER. And when I’d call him out on something I didn’t think was right or that I didn’t appreciate, he would be especially harsh towards me. The silent treatment. Threaten that he was done. Flipped things onto me as if it was my fault or I deserved it. Or tell me that I was “acting crazy” or that I was “playing the victim card, being ridiculous”. Blame whatever else as the reason for doing xyz. Anything so HE didn’t have to face the problem(s) and anything to not look like “the bad guy”.

    Conveniently if I brought up several things at once that were selfish on his end or that I didn’t appreciate or understand, especially if I was angry, he’d pull how “unhappy” he was. He almost broke up with me multiple times ironically in those cases/situations. The last time before Christmas was the last. I guess he didn’t feel like continuing the cycle anymore with me. So he told me the BS of “I’ve been unhappy for 6 months!” (which later turned into saying the timeframe was 2 years)… Really? As you’re snuggling me, loving me, telling me how much I mean etc.? when I pointed that out he said “I WAS TRYING TO CONVINCE MYSELF TO BE HAPPY!” Ok, like that also makes sense too. Whatever justifies that in his twisted brain.

    He really did go through a lot as a child, but he’d even use those stories for his sick advantage to control things too! Even during things where it was totally uncalled for! I wanted to go away on a vacation with him, he had gone on about 5-6 trips since we dated but never one for just us. He used how he was such a victim as a child to deflect the situation when I pointed out how we just should really do something together how that’d be nice. He told me “well, I’ve had to be an adult since I was a child! SO LET ME HAVE THIS!”… I told him, “I’ve let you have a lot in this relationship. I’ve sacrificed a lot!”… I can’t recall his response after that. But that’s one of many stories I have for how he’d blame things on others and other situations, blame things on me for how he was acting (like I was “too anxious about everything!” and if something didn’t involve me that I apparently “would spazz, so that’s why” he didn’t tell me even that he went out to lunch somewhere. Or he didn’t tell me details of his day or where he might have quickly went because he “didn’t feel like it was worth mentioning or a big deal”… I could write an entire book on this man.

    Try dealing with that for years. Many people do! I look back and think MY GOD… How draining. Yet on the other hand, they’re very sweet and loving (manipulative) to get you to have SOME hope that they’re what you may want etc. Such a horrible cycle. I suppose I can be glad it’s over. I can build myself up instead of worrying that I’M somehow not doing something right, or how he’ll react, or just even be confused anymore. I tried pointing out all that he did that was wrong, but he’s so stubborn and narcissistic that I don’t think he’ll ever change. He just jumped into another relationship too, so I mean how much INNER reflection could you have in only a couple weeks after a relationship ends? Not much. I am sure at some point he’ll repeat his ways to this new girl.

    • its as if you are describing my relationship of 5 years with my girlfriend!! The exact same thing happened to me!

  6. Im glad I found with site. I have been dealing with a N for the past two years. AT first we were inseparable. He said he wanted to settle down from the bachelor lifestyle and have a family due to being almost 40, wanted to be a father to his children that he has not been a father to. I said if I was his he would treat me like a queen and a trophy. Then I would catch him in lies. Like I have epilepsy for I didn’t talk to you for a week because I was at my dads, but in fact 6 month slater I slipped up and said an ex was over and he through out her closes and sold her phone. I paid for dinners, movies etc. They he wanted to move him. I said he can stay as soon as I said that he started calling his friends and telling them he lived there and they can get a hold of him on my phone although he had two cell phones of his own. I would call him and text. Would not answer my call for days then say he was with his kids finding out later that this was not true. I told him to get out of the house. We were still dating and more lie, lies and lies. He called me psyco, crazy that I keep calling him. States he is changing his # and has to move cuz Im psyco I blocked his numbers and two weeks a ago I get two VM one at 11pm 2am 4am that he wants to do something. He still did not change his # so lied again. He always has woman on the go. Good luck to the next one cuz I am done. I almost lost my house and my job because of him.

  7. For years I’ve let life pass me by as I wait for things to change. They never do. Maybe briefly now and then, but never for long. Not once in 15 years has she ever taken responsibility for anything. It’s either my fault or someone else’s . Most of the time I’m blamed for things that never even happened. I believe this is how they justify their abuse in their own mind. To them we deserve it. Otherwise , that would make them monsters. No one deserves the pain and hurt that they get such joy in giving. They know what they are and the destruction that they cause, and they don’t care. If they could take a pill and change into a loving , caring and feeling human being , they wouldn’t do it. They like being what they are. They like being monsters.

  8. This is all making so much sense. I was married to someone for 20 years who became more and more like this. I took the decision to leave, and I’m so glad I did. As hard as it has been (and still is), I realise that I have done what I can. I’ve not reacted to some horrendous verbal abuse, and the facts that he has been exposed as a liar have been hard to accept. My solicitor has been great. It will all get better. I will eventually get through this, and my daughters will understand everything one day! But it has helped to have a label for this type of behaviour and understand that it is sadly not uncommon.

  9. This all makes so much sense now. I didn’t even know what the term Narcissist was until a month prior to me being discarded and Ghosted by my BF of 4 years. The past 3 weeks have been awful. The day after the relationship ended he was onto his next supply source, actually living with her and he hasn’t returned home since. There is so much to sort out and at times I feel like I am going crazy.

  10. I was in a ‘relationship’ with N for 5 years. We did not live together. He would not have a relationship with my children or allow me to have one with his. He had to be in control. Initially he was very loving and attentive six weeks in and he started silent treatments which increased in length over the 5 years. He drank to excess on occasion binge drinking and could get very nasty. If I questioned his behaviour when he was drunk or sober he would end the relationship and say never contact me again and he would ghost me but we would get back together and I would be made to feel it was my fault and I was greatful he came back. He had Peter Pan mentality despite being in his 50s I trod on egg shells constantly. I would say I love you he would say ‘ditto’. He had severe OCD I was allowed to leave no trace of myself when I stayed over at his house or even cook at his house in case I made a mess. He was very jealous but liked to make me feel jealous and say it was funny. Have doubts but no evidence that he was unfaithful. We parted because he exploded with rage when I told him a guy at work fancied me despite telling him I was not interested in him. He punished me with silent treatment and blocked my phone number. Found out after 2 months of no contact that he was on internet dating website and he has recently flaunted new woman in a pub he knows I go to with my friends. Only now realise he was narcissist and trying to come to terms with last 5 years have been a lie and I have been duped. He made me feel greatful he was with me and for the scraps of time he spent with me

  11. Its unbelievable how the behaviours are so defined,Ive noticed:
    Childhood – miseries
    Adulthood failed relationships – all other persons fault
    Controlling behaviour (often they dig out areas of vulnerability to use later)
    Lying (fake personalities/future promises/claiming to have morals)
    Labelling you negatively
    Changing their personalities dependant on audience
    Casting you off and realing you in

    One thing is for sure, they all come back to try to do it again, be warned, be strong and love yourself first.

    x

  12. I lived with my narc for 6 years I thought life was wonderful until he started cheating on me and telling lies, he left me 3 times and came back …each time he said he would never do it again …..and I believed him.He called the other woman names and blamed her for us splitting up he eventually left me again. But I wouldn’t have him back this time, he is living with her now but I bet she is going through the same shit as I did ….so glad to see the back if him.

  13. All of these posts sound so familiar. My ex narc treated me like royalty in the beginning. He was in a hurry to get married. After about 2 years of dating, I married him even though deep down I didn’t want to. After a week of being married he took off the mask! It was very scary. After about 7 months, I filed for divorce. This man was abusive, controlling, a liar, etc. This totally caught me off guard. While we were going through the divorce, he attempted to take everything I owned. He wanted my house, spousal support, etc. Everything about him is pure evil He also said he moved on to a new woman. It really doesn’t bother me because she will be in my shoes very soon. Narcs are sick and twisted people and I am so glad I got rid of mine! I have something I hadn’t had in a long time and that’s PEACE1

  14. I’m so glad to have found this site! It’s been 7 months since my narc ex dumped me after a year of living together and I’m still getting my head around how when we were discussing marriage and moving into our own place …that same n

  15. Im still feeling the effects of being involved with a Narcissist. On and off for 6 months. push and pulled back in. Charming at the beginning. Always hoping he would turn into who he was at first. Name calling, put downs, lies. Eventually I got away after I saw him with someone else while still seeing me. Said I’d had enough. With her afew weeks now onto the next who appears to be lasting abit longer which makes me think he has changed for her although they only see each other at weekends. On his best behaviour no doubt to secure her in. Also meant to be have terminal lung cancer but no signs of getting poorly. I really don’t know whether this is true now but he is fooling a lot of people if it isn’t.

  16. My ex and I were together over six years, but our marriage only lasted 6 months before he wanted out so he could openly be with another woman. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time of our separation, I found out a week after I left our home, he changed the locks and moved her in. I had to return to the home and retrieve my belongings under his supervision and I was not even allowed to go in certain rooms, because it was “their” home now and I was seen as an intruder. It was humiliating and painful beyond belief, but it had to be done, otherwise my property and important paperwork would have all been thrown into the garbage. That is exactly what I felt like, a piece of garbage he just threw away. Throughout our relationship he triangulated me with his ex wife and some of his female co-workers. He abused emotionally and physically. Yet I stayed. I barely kept in contact with what little family and friends I had left. I decided to go back to school and that was the beginning of the discard and when he began seriously began pursuing the new supply. It’s been over 7 months since he and I separated and he and his girlfriend, who is married to someone else as well, seem to be living the good life. She bought a new home for them, they go on lots of trips and seem happy. Which I know is a facade. She does not know it now, but she will eventually find out, because this is what he does, to me, the woman before me and the woman before her. He burns every bridge in his life, including the ones with all three of his adult sons, who all won’t have anything to do with him. The healing process is slow, but so worth it. I still don’t have much in my life, but at least I have the peace of mind of knowing that I’m free and I don’t have to walk on eggshells any longer.

  17. I broke it off with my narcissistic boyfriend of 3 years in September. I moved out, left him all of the furniture, paid my half of the following months rent,and absorbed all of the debt we acquired during our time together. When I first told him I was leaving his comments were all centered around him. “How will I do my laundry now?” He doesn’t own a car, and I always did the laundry. “Hiw will I get to work?”, “I’m going to be lonely without the dogs.” He never once said anything about how he’d miss me, until our next ‘conversation’. Then he tried the ‘poor me’ and said how magical it was when we first begun dating. Two months passed and had found a new girlfriend. After 3 months he moved in with her. He tried texting me in the middle of the night at the start of November, things like, “You left your soulmate in the ghetto.” Funny. Until I left he used to tell me our neighborhood was fine. It wasn’t. He only ever worked 27 hours a week, while I worked over 50. I’m a massage therapy instructor and own my own baked goods business. His new supply owns her own house. I’m sure hes using her car. Treating her like a queen like he did with me…for the first 9 months. He destroyed my credit. I feel bad for the new girlfriend, however, who gets involved with someone so soon after they’ve exited a long-term relationship? Clearly she has issues as well. I hope her lesson isn’t as devastating as mine was.

  18. My narcisisstic ex husband jumped straight into a relationship with one of my so-called friends. He was great friends with her husband and we have children at school together, so the betrayal is eye-watering. He didn’t even show us the respect of telling us about it – we were last to know and living in a small community it is so humiliating. In fact he set up a situation whereby the girlfriend approached my daughter at an airport (when he was supposed to be picking her up) and casually told her that they too had just flown in to Heathrow together from their holiday. My daughter was confused and shocked and when she got home was distraught at what had happened. My ex – her father for goodness sake – says he has NOTHING TO APOLOGISE FOR and all my children are devastated. And now the girlfriend drives around in his Mercedes convertible looking smug and presumably people think how much happier he is than when he was with boring old me. Honestly you couldn’t make it up!

    • Katy,
      I would like to know how that turns out for the ex-friend/new supply. He’s going to lay that ass out when he get bored with her. Demon possessed, these people are. All of our stories are alike. I pray that day when my narcs new supply come to me for advise. It has got to happened. In the mean time, I focus on healing

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