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Thread: He could be a narcissist.. I am confused but also really angry..

  1. #1
    thali
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    Unhappy He could be a narcissist.. I am confused but also really angry..

    Hello all. Sorry for posting yet again, but someone on this forum suggested that my boyfriend (or ex boyfriend) sounded narcisstic. Although I'd heard the word thrown around in every day conversation, I did not know much about the condition and its consequences. I spent the week-end reading up about this condition, and suddenly all of his behaviour which I never understood suddenly made sense seen through that lense.. I read accounts of different people who had been in a narcisstic relationship and character traits in two whole books on the subject, and it seems that is what the problem has been all along. While I read, I felt so sad and was often crying, but also at times felt anger at all that he put me through. But it helps to understand what on earth happened and that it was not all my fault, even though I am only human and imperfect.

    What really gets to me though, is that, if it is a personnality disorder, it is not his fault. And I have this really strong feeling to want to nurture and love him. Even though every single book or article says that only long years of therapy can do anything to help someone with this and that staying in such a relationship would just destroy the partner, I feel so terrible and selfish to be abandonning someone who has an actual problem he is not himself responsible for.. I know I need to protect myself, but I am having a really hard time dealing with all this.

    Apparently this condition is created in childhood, and I know he was abused as a child and did not get much love from his parents (even though now for some reason he idealises them to a point which is almost frightening). I had a bit of an absent father who was also a bit selfish, but I feel so fortunate that the rest of my family was very loving and nurturing a family taht validated who I was as a person, who put me forward, who encouraged me in the things I did, however crazy my ideas used to be. It makes me feel even worse knowing he never had this and that this is why he is like this today. I really want to be able to do something, and yet it seems there is nothing I can do but stay away. Please help me, this is driving me insane.. and I'm so mad at his parents for not loving him, at his father and relatives for abusing him physically.. I am so mad that that sweet little boy that only wanted to be loved is now destined to this life, in which I know he is hurting and in which there is nothing I can do to love him..

  2. #2
    top bloke
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    Did they mention that selfishness is also the trait of the narcicist? Thats also what it comes down to. Do you want to be punished then go back..Count your lucky stars you got away.
    Do a search on intermittent reinforcement as well to help ypu understand more

  3. #3
    thali
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    Quote Originally Posted by top bloke [Register to see the link]
    Do a search on intermittent reinforcement as well to help ypu understand more
    I did a quick search for definitions, will definitely dig into this more, do you have any examples how this would apply to narcissism? Thanks for your opinion and input..
    Last edited by thali; 08-15-2011 at 05:55 AM. Reason: typos

  4. #4
    thali
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    Quote Originally Posted by top bloke [Register to see the link]
    Did they mention that selfishness is also the trait of the narcicist?
    They did.. what is strange though is that he always said I was selfish, self-absorbed, empty and callous and did not even have the self-awareness to see it. Nobody in my life has ever thought of me as selfish, as for being empty, I guess I was so when I was with him, because I was just so drained of all my energy, but most of my life I've always had a lot of hobbies, interests and friends. I find pleasure in small things. I've rarely felt lonely or as though I was looking for myself. He also used to say I was very negative and that what I defined as a happy mood was actually objectively quite a negative mood. Again, I've always been a rather happy person, but yes, during that relationship, I was pretty negative.. I am somehow often scared that I've got it all wrong and that I am the one who made him act the way he did.. I question myself a lot. I try to figure out what I could have done differently to make this relationship work.. I feel very insecure in the knowledge that maybe I did something to cause all this, and that's also giving me a hard time.. irronically he does not even question himself and keeps telling me I need to figure out what my problem is..

  5. #5
    kath
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    He could very well have a personalty disorder, yes. Many abusers do fit the description of a narcissist. I'm not a doctor and I certainly can't diagnose anyone I haven't met, but it could be true.

    And I understand that you feel sorry for his childhood and what he has been put through. But this has no bearing on the present day and your relationship with him. He might have been "a sweet little boy" but thinking of him in those terms will just confuse you. He's not a sweet little boy any more. He's an adult and even if he does have a psychiatric problem, he's dangerous and detrimental to your health and well-being. No amount of nurturing will fix him and make him be nice to you. Nurturing him will just make him want to control you more, because he sees he has you under his spell again. Narcissists, as you read, have no remorse, they do not care about other people's feelings at all, and they do not want to change.

    You only have one life to live, and only a handful of decades. Think of it this way: do you want to spend those decades doing something meaningful and having real love in your life and living your life to the fullest, or do you want to spend them trying to nurture a person who *by definition* is dangerous and bad for you, and doesn't give a crap about you, and will never change? I think you know the answer!

    Oh, and there's also the chance that he wasn't really abused as a child. You probably know this because he told you so, but narcissists are also known for outrageously lying to people in order to appear better or to justify their actions. That's also one possibility you should consider. Do you have any other source or is he the only source of this information?

    And to answer your last post: you can just disregard anything he told you about you. He said a lot of things... you're selfish, empty, in a bad mood. You need to understand that what he said has nothing to do with reality. You said nobody else ever told you those things, only him. So which is more likely: that he was wrong or that everyone else you ever met was wrong? You don't need to spend any time trying to figure out if what he said is true. Once you realize that he told you stuff not because it's true, but because he had an agenda (to keep you confused, weak, and under his control), you'll be truly free. You did *NOT* cause this and make him what he is.
    Last edited by kath; 08-15-2011 at 07:07 AM.

  6. #6
    thali
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    Quote Originally Posted by kath [Register to see the link]
    Oh, and there's also the chance that he wasn't really abused as a child. You probably know this because he told you so, but narcissists are also known for outrageously lying to people in order to appear better or to justify their actions. That's also one possibility you should consider. Do you have any other source or is he the only source of this information?
    The only source is him.. I sort of remembered him telling me this once when I read that often abuse in childhood can cause these problems.. it sort of made sense.. also he always used to say to me that he had never once been happy in his entire life and he deserved to be happy at last.

    I am no doctor either, but to be honnest, all I have read about narcissist traits, it was like I was reading my own story. I started highlighting parts of the books which I recognized as things I had been through, felt,.. and most of the themes in the book are highlighted. It's almost as though finally all these things I could not understand were being explained to me, even if it is very difficult for me to accept, I can't help but face the fact..

  7. #7
    kath
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    Well there you go - it might even not be true. Or it might not be true in the sense that you or me would understand it. I mean, his notion of "My parents abused me and I was never happy when I was growing up" could mean that his parents simply refused to give him everything he ever wanted, and tried to set some boundaries. Someone trying to set up boundaries will definitely make a narcissist feel like they're unhappy. Or he might have made it all up completely, just so you'd feel sorry for him, as he knows you're a compassionate and deeply caring person. I don't know any of this for a fact, of course, I'm just writing my theories out.

    At any rate, he actually did have the chance to "be happy." All he had to do was to treat you right and he could have spent the rest of his life with you. He chose not to. He chose to put his selfish interests (his wish to control you) above anything, even the fate of this relationship. He chose to abuse you instead and blame it all on you. He had his chance, and he blew it. He has nobody else to blame for it.

    I know it is extremely difficult to face this fact - you think "Seriously, could I not see it for what it was? How could I go so wrong? How could I fall for him? How come only now when I am reading a book have I began to understand what it was all about?"

    The truth is, they're highly charismatic when they put on their mask of caring for you and wanting the best for you. Anyone could be fooled! And when the mask drops and you see what's really there, this heartless monster, it's a shock. You don't want to believe it, you want the nice guy back. The truth is, there never was any nice guy.

  8. #8
    penelope13
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    Do not make the mistake of excusing his abuse because you think 'it was not him, but a disorder in response to his upbringing'. Someone's upbringing may be an explanation, but NEVER an excuse for bad behavior when you are an adult. It may not be easy, but everyone has the option to change their behavior.

    He is choosing not to. He is choosing to abuse you rather than to deal with his own issues.

    You are NOT his savior. If he wants help, he will and should ask for it. But don't appoint yourself to become a martyr on his behalf.

    I know it seems to be easier to accept that his abuse was due to a personality disorder instead of a direct reflection of you.

    And truly, it has nothing to do with what you did or didn't do, but everything with who he chooses to be.

    If you want to help him - step away. Force him to realize that if he wants to experience love he has to change his ways.

    Don't reward him for bad behavior no matter what the route is.

    IF you want someone to love you, love yourself first. Show them what self respect is.

  9. #9
    Angelafire3
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    Wow girl, im going throught he EXACT thing...my husband says the exact same things to me..and then i feel guilty that wel maybe it IS me.....but i looked up narcesstic people..and mine fits the bill too

  10. #10
    nicoleh24
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    I just posted a thread trying to leave my narcissistic/abusive boyfriend. ITs tough. One day you feel guilty and you think they really love you and the next it seems they dont care, never cared-it hurts and its really confusing. Im done wasting my energy on someone who doesnt really genuinely care about me! So Im breaking up with him. I think you should do the same.

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