Dear Janice, How do I move on from a disturbing narcissistic relationship?

When I look back over the last six years, I struggle to understand what I have been through, and why I let it happen. Bit by bit, every aspect of my life was controlled without me realising it.

I ended up with virtually no friends, no social life, and now I am just a bitter, angry and lonely old fool. Where do I even begin to get my life back? Cathy.

Dear Cathy, Well done you! Six years is a long time, but finally you left. Some people never do.

You found the courage to end this malevolent relationship, and that’s something to be extremely proud of. Now, life is all about healing from the past, and looking towards a fulfilled future.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but you will help yourself greatly by reconnecting with old friends, who perhaps thought you shunned them, and by making new ones.

You must get out into the world again and start enjoying life surrounded by good, decent people. (Yes, they do exist).

Being controlled the way you were was all part of his cruel manipulation, and it’ll take time to regain your confidence and learn to be happy again. But you will be. Counselling can help, but search on Google ’10 Best Books on Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse’. You’ll discover how and why you were manipulated to such an extent, and why this was not your fault. Slowly this beast of a man will be a distant memory.

Never forget Cathy …… the old loving, happy you is still in there somewhere – it might just take a bit of excavating to find her!

Dear Janice, My partner is almost bald. I don’t see it as a problem as he’s a good-looking guy, but the thing is, he talks constantly about getting a wig. He is always online checking out the latest looks and comparing prices.

I feign a smile each time he mentions it, but the truth is, I simply can’t face seeing him with a wig, never mind going out with him. He is in his mid-thirties and looks great the way he is, but he is still determined to go ahead with this. I don’t want to upset him by refusing to go along with his plan, but how do I get him to drop the idea? Tracy.

Dear Tracy, You are happy with him as he is, however, he clearly is not.

By the age of 50, half of men have lost their hair, and for some, it can have a devastating effect on their self esteem. Male vanity used to be seen as a weakness, but in today’s world where we are bombarded by images of perfection, the pressure to look good can be incredibly unforgiving.

Let’s be honest, women wear wigs and hair extensions and there will be guys wearing them and no one notices, so book a consultation together where he can try them on and see how he looks and feels. You both might be pleasantly surprised.

If not, there are other options. Hair transplanting has increased in popularity. I’ve seen first-hand the results and the finished look is fabulous and can last a lifetime. Another option is scalp micro pigmentation which lasts between four to six years. Hair follicles are tattooed onto the scalp which gives the look of a shaved head with a defined hairline. Check out online before and after pictures. And, although he won’t have a full head of hair, the look might just be the perfect outcome for you both.

Dear Janice, Since my wife recently ‘found’ God, our relationship has changed dramatically.

She no longer wants to socialize with me. I now go to the pub on my own with the other couples as she refuses to go.

She spends hours in church and is now even cleaning the blinking place! I love my wife, but I might as well have lost her to another man. I miss the old her, but what can I do to get our lives back on track? Jim.

Dear Jim, There is only one course of action which will keep this relationship alive. Compromise!

Your wife has chosen this path and there is nothing you can say or do that will change her mind.

You haven’t lost her to another man, but a belief she is now consumed by, which must be difficult for you to get your head around because it is not a belief you share. Many couples love each other but don’t spend every waking moment together, so you need to accept that this change has happened and accept that your wife won’t be accompanying you everywhere like she did in the past. Perhaps you could join her at church occasionally. That way you will get to know the new people in her life.

Equally, as much as you need to embrace her new life, she needs to put effort into your relationship too.

Be honest with her. Tell her you miss her and your old life. Make plans socially that you can both enjoy. OK, it might not be the pub anymore, but there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy together.

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