Jump to content

Co-habiting with an ex from Narcisstic Abusive Relationship – Need Advice!

Recommended Posts

I am in a very unusual situation and desperately need advice. My relationship of four years with an amazing women ended four weeks ago. We lived together from the time we first met as roommates, and in the beginning I swept her off her feet in an EXTREME way—preparing three-course meals with music, taking her on spontaneous dates or trips, massages, watching movies together, grocery shopping, doing laundry and decorating the apartment together—all before we were even officially together! Then things changed.


I cut off the relationship suddenly 3 weeks in because I felt we were getting too close too fast and felt insecure. Looking back knowing what we both do now, it’s easy to see that that was a symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder on my part and I was scared she was “seeing the cracks” and figuring out who I really was. Nevertheless, I “won her back” a month later and we’ve been together ever since, despite brief periods of us living apart when she graduated a year before me and when she was living with her dad during a job hunt temporarily.


In the 3 years and 11 months since we got together, I have fallen apart and proven for this woman beyond repair that I was NEVER really that amazing guy she met in the beginning. I became DEEPLY insecure physically and sexually almost out of the blue, I would be jealous and possessive, I was in DEEP depression for years and blamed HER for all of our problems, while never doing the real research and dedication and action it would take to get me out of the situation. I would lie to her about how I was actually doing or feeling, only to set her up for major disappointment when we spent time together. I lost all interest in life, no longer getting satisfaction out of my old hobbies or friends.


I never defended her to my friends or family: if anything, I only made it easier for them to think less of her, complaining about our problems from my side only, as if seeking a reason to end the relationship. I created a habit out of failing at the most important times—her college graduation, a drive accross the country, one Christmas where the relationship was on the line (we DID break up again for a brief time), and our first reuniting when I came out of school. Each time I failed to retain and value everything she told me was important to her, instead putting my own interests and the interests of others in front of hers.


I have been in a work environment that destroyed who I was as a person for a year of my life (it’s better now), and I let it. I worked such long hours with such little reward that my ex had to call my parents and stage an intervention. Even that didn’t really change things until 6 months later. Regardless, I spent the amjority of my time at the office away from my then girlfriend, and when I would return home, I wanted to be by myself and “recover,” and would get enraged by her feelings that she was being neglected, which of course she was. She had constant advice for me on how to get out of depression (which she’d recovered from herself), how to get more self-respect and get what I want out of life, including a new job. I never ever listened, and denied ALL of my problems for a long time.


Today, knowing what we do about NPD, she remarks that I act and have always acted like an abusive 5-year-old that she needs to parent. Even recently, when she had difficulty at work, with her health, even with an INJURY, not only was I not there to help, I was practically avoiding her—even more than usual. Research and reflection has made it clear that I was raised to fear, devalue, and dismiss pain in myself and others, and thus lack any trace of empathy and vulnerability, and thus love. I feel like I am in constant pain, but continue to be reminded that my pain likely cannot touch the severity of my ex’s.


Now we are broken up, but are resigning our lease together because horrible experiences with subletting and roommates in New York make it ironically the BEST option both emotionally and financially. But while both of us are catching up independently on a lot of life we’ve missed and doing new things separately, at home, I continue to say things that are purely narcissistic

(i.e., projecting, egotistical lying, backward talk, defensiveness, and a ton of blaming). If I don’t say anything, she feels like I don’t get it or are protecting myself, and I’ve read that this silent treatment is actually a form of manipulation. AND if I DO say something that’s not one of the negatives described above, it is devoid of emotion (literally no feeling AND no emotive descriptors) and I come off as an inhuman robot that can never love.


We are both doubting the capabilties of my FOURTH therapist now (narcissists are masters at manipulating and discarding therapists) and it’s to the point where I look at my antidepression medication like a sick joke—a bandaid for a missing brain. My ex feels incredibly disrespected by all that I am doing or not doing, and now has threatened that if I do not improve my respect for her, she will make me “suffer,” and ensure I “feel the consequences for years to come, and need therapy for decades.” I’m in a tough and unique spot and need advice so badly! Anything anyone can offer?

Link to comment

I'm not sure I have much advice for you but I just want to say that is fascinating reading.


Self-aware NPDers are very rare. The disorder militates against self awareness. So pat yourself on the back for being strong enough to try and confront yourself and what is really going on in your inner world.


Having said that, I've read and heard that self awareness can be a double edged sword for NPD people. It's like they know what is wrong now but can't fix it. The old strategies one uses to preserve the false self don't work anymore because you see through it and know what you are doing, and also know that you are harming your relationships long term in using such strategies. But there seems to be nothing to replace it with. The "healthy" behaviours feel fake and a put on because they don't spring from a genuine source of emapthy. Treatment for NPD is admittedly by many psychiatrists not real healing (this is not deemed possible), but "damage control" - for the person and others in their lives.


You might visit the NPD forum on psych forums (type it into google) - I think you would find it helpful.


The fact that you want to keep your girlfriend in your life is interesting and something you should examine. Why? By definition if you really have NPD you shouldn't care. She is an object and interchangeable, you can replace her with another woman and it is all much of a muchness. So maybe you don't have clinical NPD, you are just high on the traits.


I don't know for sure but strongly suspected the last man I was involved with was NPD. He engaged in many of the behaviours you describe above. The dismissal of pain in self and others - WOW does that ring bells!


Thank you for sharing.

Link to comment

Thank you so much for response--you're actually the first feedback I've gotten of my online posts. What you said about "The "healthy" behaviours feel fake and a put on because they don't spring from a genuine source of emapthy" definitely hits hard. As a narcissist, doing what's "normal" and "appropriate" just feels like the narcissistic act all over again, like I put on in the beginning, because I haven't been able to internalize and own the behavior like most people do. I've read a lot of the same points you mentioned about recovery for narcissists being purely behavioral and never being a core change, which I will have to continue to try to accept.


Sorry to hear about your NPD ex as well--I've learned that the dismissal of pain that I used to actually take pride in is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to dehumanize yourself and your partner, and I know both of our lives would be so much different if I were able to access those feelings and be attentive to hers. I hope your ex learns this as well. Thanks again for your words!

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...