• Lynn Catalano

Withholding Sex & Money

Updated: Aug 22



What’s Withholding?


Withholding is a powerful, nasty, tool of manipulation that narcissists use to punish you. Sometimes you don’t even know what you did wrong.


What are examples of things narcissists withhold from you?

· Conversation

· Information

· Money

· Intimacy

· Any kind of affection


Narcissists will withhold anything and everything from you if they know you want it just to be in control. They purposely withhold to hurt you. They like starving you of what you desire most. By withholding, they feel like more of an authority, more powerful, and more in control. They want to condition you to follow their directions and stop doing whatever triggered them.


Withholding is a manipulation tactic narcissists use on their victims. This tactic terrorizes their victims and inevitably destroys their sense of personal security. This is another way narcissists need to control everything including what they give you. They use this tactic to punish and control you. They withhold money, conversation, sex, intimacy, and all forms of affection.


Part of narcissistic personality disorder is an intense feeling of being out of control. As a coping mechanism, narcissists need to control everything about their relationship, their situation and others because they feel out of control. Narcissists are deeply rooted in insecurity and can’t accept or endure any criticism or rejection.


Some of the most common tactics narcissists use to punish you are also forms of withholding. Both the silent treatment and stonewalling are examples of withholding. Stonewalling is when they shut down the conversation before it even begins.


This type of emotional torture and rejection feels like physical abuse. In my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships,” I wrote “A recent study found a correlation between social rejection and the similar brain activity that results from physical abuse. The study Does rejection hurt? found the anterior cingulate cortex area of the brain, lies on the medial surfaces of the brain's frontal lobes, and encompasses subdivisions that play key roles in cognitive, motor, and emotional processing was active in cases of both emotional and physical abuse. This research suggests victims feel actual physical pain from this type of emotional rejection.”


Narcissists leave you suspended in time, hanging there, hoping they will show you the love, affection, or whatever they’re withholding from you. I know I’ve waited and waited and hoped my narcissist would realize what he was doing. But that never happened.


When they do it to you, you’re left feeling that you’ve done something to trigger this behavior, that somehow you deserve this awful treatment. You don’t deserve it and you didn’t do anything wrong. This isn’t about you or anything you did. The other person suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and this is their dysfunctional pattern of behavior.


Talk to your support network. Talk to someone. Practice self-care. Most of all, leave this person.


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