Can I help my narcissist ex?
My ex is a narcissist who treated me really badly and did pretty much everything to break my heart. We broke up 3 weeks ago. He has continually tried to get in touch with me, but I haven't responded apart from very polite, curt replies.
Now he wants me back. The problem is he doesn't KNOW how to be nice to anyone. He is completely out of touch with his emotions. If he wants to speak to me, he contacts me on some trivial pretext and starts an argument and talks aggressively.
Yesterday he asked me to meet him. When I reminded him that we weren't seeing each other anymore, he said hadn't asked me to marry him and he only wanted to seduce me! That was pretty hurtful. But I know that he is hurtful and unpleasant when he is feeling hurt himself.
Sometimes I feel so sorry for him and that's my big problem. There is a part of me that still loves him and wants to help him. It's like seeing a child wanting to apologise, but not knowing the words. I know you will think - just leave him and ignore him. EVERYONE has said that repeatedly. I just find it hard. Like leaving a dying kitten on a road and not looking back. It's not in me. He OBVIOUSLY needs help - and his fights are just a silent scream for attention.
Can this person be helped?
No, YOU can not "fix" him, only HE can do this.
Please look up on an internet search engine: Dr. Sam Vaknin, or try the site: www.narcissistic-abuse.comfaq6.html
Please write and ask any questions, my ex too was a narcissist, and I cried for months after he "devalued" me, and for the whole time we were together, I felt he was my "soulmate" but I started to "walk on eggshells" around him...and that is NO way to live. I too felt "sorry for him" but please remember you are POWERLESS over him. The ONLY control you have is your "control" over how you "choose" to respond to him or his actions, he will continue to believe you can live on "crumbs" even though in your heart you KNOW you DESERVE the whole "cake".
Here is some info for you, and please know that YOU are not the CAUSE of how your ex is acting, this is HIS pattern in life with or with out you:
At the commencement of the relationship, the Narcissist is a dream-come-true. He is often intelligent, witty, charming, good looking, an achiever, empathetic, in need of love, loving, caring, attentive and much more. He is the perfect bundled answer to the nagging questions of life: finding meaning, companionship, compatibility and happiness. He is, in other words, ideal.
It is difficult to let go of this idealized figure. Relationships with narcissists inevitably and invariably end with the dawn of a double realisation. The first is that one has been (ab)used by the narcissist and the second is that one was regarded by the narcissist as a disposable, dispensable and interchangeable instrument (object).
The assimilation of this new gained knowledge is an excruciating process, often unsuccessfully completed. People get fixated at different stages. They fail to come to terms with their rejection as human beings the most total form of rejection there is.
We all react to loss. Loss makes us feel helpless and objectified. When our loved ones die we feel that Nature or God or Life treated us as playthings. When we divorce (especially if we did not initiate the break-up), we often feel that we have been exploited and abused in the relationship, that we are being "dumped", that our needs and emotions are ignored. In short, we again feel objectified.
Losing the narcissist is no different to any other major loss in life. It provokes a cycle of bereavement and grief (as well as some kind of mild post traumatic stress syndrome in cases of severe abuse). This cycle has four phases: denial, rage, sadness and acceptance.
Denial can assume many forms. Some go on pretending that the narcissist is still a part of their life, even going to the extreme of "interacting" with the narcissist by pretending to "communicate" with him or to "meet" him (through others, for instance).
Others develop persecutory delusions, thus incorporating the imaginary narcissist into their lives as an ominous and dark presence. This ensures "his" continued "interest" in them however malevolent and threatening that "interest" is perceived to be. These are radical denial mechanisms, which border on the psychotic and often dissolve into brief psychotic micro-episodes.
More benign and transient forms of denial include the development of ideas of reference. The narcissist's every move or utterance is interpreted to be directed at the suffering person, his ex, and to carry a hidden message which can be "decoded" only by the recipient.
Others deny the very narcissistic nature of the narcissist. They attribute his abusive conduct to ignorance, mischief, lack of self-control (due to childhood abuse or trauma), or benign intentions. This denial mechanism leads them to believe that the narcissist is really not a narcissist but someone who is not aware of his "true" being, or someone who merely and innocently enjoys mind games and toying with people's lives, or an unwitting part of a dark conspiracy to defraud and abuse gullible victims.
Often the narcissist is depicted as obsessed or possessed imprisoned by his "invented" condition and, really, deep inside, a nice and gentle and lovable person. At the healthier end of the spectrum of denial reactions we find the classical denial of loss the disbelief, the hope that the narcissist may return, the suspension and repression of all information to the contrary.
Denial in mentally healthy people quickly evolves into rage. There are a few types of rage. Rage can be focussed and directed at the narcissist, at other facilitators of the loss, such as the narcissist's lover, or at specific circumstances. It can be directed at oneself which often leads to depression, suicidal ideation, self-mutilation and, in some cases, suicide. Or, it can be diffuse, all-pervasive, all-encompassing and engulfing. Such loss-related rage can be intense and in bursts or osmotic and permeate the whole emotional landscape.
Rage gives place to sadness. It is the sadness of the trapped animal, an existential angst mixed with acute depression. It involves dysphoria (inability to rejoice, to be optimistic, or expectant) and anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure or to find meaning in life). It is a paralysing sensation, which slows one down and enshrouds everything in the grey veil of randomness. It all looks meaningless and empty.
This, in turn, gives place to gradual acceptance, renewed energy, and bouts of activity. The narcissist is gone both physically and mentally. The void left in his wake still hurts and pangs of regret and hope still exist. But, on the whole, the narcissist is transformed into a narrative, a symbol, another life experience, or a (tedious) clich้. He is no longer omni-present and his former victim entertains no delusions as to the one-sided and abusive nature of the relationship or as to the possibility and desirability of its renewal.
You can't do it. Why? Because he has to do that for himself. It's his problem so he has to sort it out. Unfortunatelly, some people never do that. And they hurt a lot of people in the meantime...
You might start thinking you can solve his problems - and that then you will get decent behaviour you realy deserve, no mater wheter you want relationship or just being friends with him. The more you try to do that the harder it is to quit. And it can stop you living your own life and dealing with your problems (instead you are solving somebody elses)
It doesn't go that way. Let him do the work he has to do.
You can invest your time better - just let him on the rain-maybe he wakes up! and maybe he will not.
I've had a boyfriend who was emotionally like a huge puzzle and it costed him several very important persons in his life. And no matter what I did there was always a part missing. For example he said to me once ,when I asked, that he doesn't know how I should act when he's depressed about something in order not to make things worse (whether to live him a little bit alone, talk to him, just be around ..) When we talked after we broke up I said to him that he's like a huge puzzle with one part missing, and he agreed and said that he really hopes one day he'll meet a girl who will know how to put the puzzle together. Maybe sounds cute, but that's not the way things work... he should find out why and what is missing and solve his problem.
I dont think you personally can get him out of this.
It will all have to come from him.
Are u both quite 'deep' when your together? i mean do you really talk, know much about his past are you quite close and open with eachother?
I know it hard to walk away u obviously care very much 4 him so i wont say much aboutthat coz its not want u want to hear ive said it so much already..lol,so maybe i dunno if u get together again maybe talk about this narcissit side he has to him, maybe get into a deep convo with him about 'how he is' with tact though dont say ' hey your a narcissit'..lol
Maybe you could atleast come away from him giving him a lil something to think about..im sure he doesnt even know hes a narcissit..
After all we are all human and we all want to learn about ourselves.
Just an idea
Today, 01:35 AM
Thanks, justmoi, you have been very supportive throughout! And I know you (and everyone) are saying the right thing in telling me that this is his issue and not my problem.
It's just that the solution to his problem is so obvious. It's like someone saying 2 + 2 = ?. What's the missing number? You want to scream out FOUR! It's so obvious! Lying, cheating and deceiving get you nowhere with anyone, particularly someone you 'care' about. Can't he understand something that obvious?
He's mentally tortured and I just hate to see him (or anyone) like that. If I try to say this to him, he will shut me out. He's already paranoid. If I speak to his friends about unrelated issues, he accuses me of 'perverting' them and also says that I'd better not talk about him. As if I was going to! He's so paranoid and disturbed that I just feel sad.
Oh well. I'll have to live with that. Hopefully one day I won't care anymore. It's just that earlier I was hurting so much that I didn't care about him. Now that my own hurt has subsided and I'm feeling stronger, I genuinely wish he fixes himself.
Thanks for your support, everyone.
I used to date an alcoholic who tended toward abusiveness. I so wanted him to get his act together so he could be the person I could see in him and he could have a better, happier life.
I wasted longer than I care to remember hanging around trying to "help" him get there. All I did was prolong my own misery and delay any chance of him hitting bottom and getting to a point where he wanted to get himself together. I don't hate him, I hope he is well and happy and finally got it together. However, for the sake of my own sanity and peace of mind, it was necessary to cut him completely out of my life.
Here's a thought for you...As we're living life, we can't really see the larger picture. What if -- possibly -- you cutting off all contact with your ex is the right thing in this situation? What if that's the thing that would wake him up? It might not be....and it might be....and it might be one of a series of events that need to take place before he chooses to get himself together. Consider that possibility, and you may find it easier to move on without further contact from him.
As others have said, he's got to want it for himself before he'll do anything.
On a final note, there's no good reason to allow people to treat you badly. I don't care who they are -- friends, family, co-workers, exes. If someone is treating you badly (and continues to do so after you've discussed it with them), they do not deserve the continued pleasure of your company. Don't reward bad behavior by giving them what they want...it only encourages more bad behavior toward you...and others...in the future.
"And all I can think is that it must be a kind of rebellion
to arm your fears like soldiers and to slay them...." -The Airborne Toxic Event
"All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong." - Weird Al Yankovic
Ahh thats ok!
Thing is oneday it will hit him like a ton of bricks ..maybe when hes old and grey and alone coz hes pushed so many people away.
Which is sad.
Maybe he doesnt like himself very much i guess ud never know unless he opened up to you more.
Lying,cheating and decieving gets him somewhere in his 'little world'...its better for you not to feed his habit if you know what i mean!
Takecare of you , your definately more important girl!
Glad your feelin a bit stronger
I think my exbf is perhaps also ( in his case: little) narcistic. It's difficult. I have no advice yet.
All the best,
No... the only Narcissist that can be helped is he or she who wants to help themselves, and considering Narcissists are completely oblivious to the consequences of their actions on others they don't see a problem. I've given mine heaps of chances over his womanizing behaviour and undermining me, but i'm at my last straw. There has been no change in his behaviour, only change is that there are now more lies.
The problem with Narccisstic is that they themselves are unaware that they have a problem. They think that everything is perfect with them so they don't need help.
We all know as adults that we cannot make someone do something if (s)he doesn't want to do it. So in the end, perhaps being lonely for most of their lives would finally wake a narccisstic up? Other than that, i don't think there is another way to get these people to therapy.
Everyone is born clever. Some are clever now and some will become clever later. :-)
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