Narcissists - Relationships As Transactions

Narcissists - Relationships As Transactions

Narcissus... aka Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Reading Narcissists - Relationships As Transactions 8 minutes Next Narcissus - Stop Putting Things in My Cart

One of the more bizarre behaviors of my narcissist was his transactional nature, coupled with his expectation that he receive ‘payback’ (x1000) for every small (often negligible) thing that he did for me.  ~ Ekho

Mostly, he would do very strange, unnecessary, and unrequested things ‘for me’ and, then, lord his ‘good deeds’ over me and expect a major return on his investment. There are so many examples that spring to mind, so it is hard for me to pick just a few to share, but two stand out as particularly nefarious and telling of his character.


About two weeks into our relationship, my narcissist sent me a message stating something like “I know you are a single mom, if you ever need any help, let me know.” I thanked him but declined his offer because I didn’t need any help. He didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and insisted on coming over to help. Not being a narcissist myself, I took this as a sign that he wanted to spend time with me and was looking for a way to do so without sounding too eager, never expecting he had a much darker motive. So, I took him up on his offer, even though I really did not need anything. I said, “Well, I would like to hop in the shower, and could use someone to read to the kids until I am done. Then, if you are free, we could all hang out.” 

He was over at my house in about 20 minutes. My shower took about 12 minutes, during which time he read to the kids. Strangely, he did not want to hang out after I was done and left almost immediately. I shrugged my shoulders thinking “Well, that’s odd, maybe he just wanted to help me – how kind.”

The next day, he called me and told me that he had to work all day and had no one to watch his children. He asked if I could watch them for the full day. He casually mentioned how much he enjoyed reading to my kids as if to say, “You know you owe me.” I told him that we had plans to go to the amusement park that day, and he said, “Great the boys will love that.” He dropped his two kids off at my house 10 minutes later with no money or even snacks for the day. I ended up taking them to the amusement park, spending over $100 on them, and never receiving so much as a “thank you.” In fact, he seemed irritated that I didn’t buy them souvenirs (I didn’t get any of the kids souvenirs because, to me, the amusement park is enough).

It was 3 years before he ever did another thing with or for my children, yet he lorded that 12 minutes of reading over my head regularly. About four years into our relationship, I had enough of his abuse and left him. He lovebombed me, promised me all the things that he knew I wanted, and suggested that we go to couples counseling to work out our issues. Hesitantly, I agreed.

At the second counseling session, I brought up how woefully unbalanced our relationship was as a major issue and cause of hurt. By this time, I had taken his kids on several expensive trips, spent countless days with them in museums, parks, and playgrounds, and babysat them multiple times per month, and he had only ever read to my kids for 12 minutes. He had the audacity, in front of the counselor, to remind me of the book-reading session that happened two weeks into our relationship. My jaw dropped…It was like his time was billed at a New York Lawyer’s hourly rate, and my time was billed at pennies – at best. 


The second extreme example of his transaction nature centered on me getting sick and needing medical care. Since I am a veteran, I go to the VA Hospital, and the closest one is about 1.5 hours from my house. I was experiencing a major hive breakout. My entire face and neck were covered in hives. I asked my narcissist to please take me. He got very upset and frustrated but agreed to if I booked us an Airbnb so that he did not have to drive back the same day. I agreed. We drove his car and, to my surprise, he went to the Airbnb rather than the VA hospital. He got out, and handed me the keys to the car saying “You can take the car, it's only 10 minutes away.” 

I remember driving myself to the hospital, feeling degraded and so unloved. I rationalized his uncaring behavior as him being tired from a long day’s work and, after all, it was only a 10-minute drive. I sat in the waiting room alone, for hours, and around 8 pm I was finally discharged and made my way back to the Airbnb. My narcissist never even asked me how it went. He just said, “Where have you been? I am hungry, where should we eat?” When the check came, he shoved it towards me, clearly indicating that it was my obligation to pay for it. 

The next morning, on the way home, he stopped for gas. He put his hand out to indicate “I will need your credit card.” I paid for the gas, and we went home. (Hiring an Uber to drive me there and back would have been cheaper!) He dropped me off at my house and said something like, “That was a lot of time I spent caring for you, I hope you realize that.” 

Like the 12 minutes of reading time, he lorded his ‘good deed’ over my head for the next several years. He would often bring up how he ‘saved my life’ by driving me to the VA Hospital, and wasted a full day sitting in an AirbnbHe brought this up at our counseling sessions, too, as if to say, “See, I do nice things for Ekho, and she is so unappreciative.” 

I asked my online community if they ever experienced this type of behavior out of their narcissists. Their responses were all basically the same. 

One person wrote, “His favorite words were “Where’s my credit” for any and all small things he did. Always tried to make it a big deal cause he swept the floor, took the trash out or gave $20 on a $100 bill.” 

Another person added “OMIGOSH everything was transactional. EVERYTHING. What's in it for me?.” 

In the case of my narcissist, I don’t think these antics changed an iota with his new supply. Once I filed for divorce, he would send me messages about his new love interest. Apparently, she had a UTI infection, and he bragged to me about how he drove her to the hospital and, then, told her “I hope this doesn’t mean I cannot have sex with you tonight.” Per my narcissist, she obliged and had sex with him after being seen at the ER for a UTI an hour prior. 

I plan on writing a few blogs on his new supply – a homeless recovering addict whom he moved into his house a week after knowing. But suffice it to say, my heart goes out to her. She thinks she scored the perfect man - a professor who offered her a home. I don’t believe narcissists ever really change, so I am sure that she will quickly realize that he expects paid 10,000 fold for everything he does for her and that there is no care or concern behind his actions.

I pray that she is stronger than me and has the wisdom, support, and courage to say Not today Narcissus, Not today.”, quicker than I did.

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