Jump to content

Narcissistic boyfriend? Or am I wrong?


Amanda7891

Recommended Posts

Hello, I am brand new to this board but have been struggling with my relationship on and off for a while now and would like some perspective. I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and a half; he is 27 and I am 24. We've been able to work through interpersonal issues and rough patches but a problem still exists that I just can't let go of it, and I don't know that I should.

 

I suppose I could sum up the problem by saying that my boyfriend acts in a way that I perceive as selfish and lacking in empathy more often than I would like. He is most often kind to me, and is often capable of responding to feedback from our conversations about our relationship. But I feel as if when I really need encouragement or comforting or kindness, I'm unable to get it.

 

On several occasions, I have ended up in tears after I try to being up something involving both of us where I felt hurt by his words or actions. I've worked hard to broach topics in a non-accusatory way, and to frame my words with "I feel..." rather than "You are" or "You did" but he says that he "Knows what I really mean by it". If something is really bothering me I want to nip it in the bud and AT LEAST bring it to his attention as I don't expect him to read my mind. But it seems that he takes any suggestion that he has done something hurtful/less than perfect as a personal insult and a sign that he is a failure. Even when I insist (honestly) that this is not the case. I feel like when I am upset about something, it ends up being about HIM feeling ridiculed - he seems more concerned with feeling criticized. This makes him angry, which in turn makes me more upset. Many times he has yelled at me, mocked me, ignored me, hung up on me when I am already crying. He once told me to "Shut the F up" and later said sarcastically "Thank you for driving me to that point". Another time he yelled and told me it was my fault. It's alarming to me that his instinct is so far from one that may involve comforting me. He's told me that I cry to manipulate him, which is not true. But I've overlooked that this does not come naturally to him, and tried explaining to him how I would like to be treated if I am upset. I asked for a hug, or some kind words, and told him that this would be beneficial for both of us and would shorten the conflict. I've tried to bring this up outside of an argument, and I've also tried to ask for it during one. And he still doesn't do it. It's almost as if me asking for it makes him not want to do it. Once when discussing this he actually asked me "What do you want me to do, suck your d***?" after I told him that I'd like to be held or comforted if I am visibly upset.

 

I'd like to distinguish something - I don't go into these conversations in tears. I try to be level headed and I told him that if I am upset I am not looking to tear him apart, I am looking for reassurance. I also said that me telling him how I feel about something may involve bringing up something he did that wasn't great, and that that is something he may have to cope with.

 

I'd like to mention a couple of the recent situations that have brought on these conflicts that lack empathy. My boyfriend recently had an issue with a roommate, they had been close friends for ten years, moved in together and had a large falling out ending with him being asked to move out. I know that this caused him emotional distress, and I feel that I supported him unconditionally. He also had a minor physical ailment, he bruised his rib playing hockey, causing pain and making work difficult. Again, I offered help, sympathy and was there to listen and talk. Within this same time period, I happened to have a terrible day at work. I felt exhausted, worn out and stressed. I tried talking to him about it on the phone and he sounded annoyed and told me that I should just get over it. This stung, but I thought maybe he didn't realize how he came accross. I told him that I was a little hurt by that, that I thought I could count on him for encouragement, no matter how small the problem, especially since I had done that for him even more lately. (I am not treating him with kindness simply because I expect something in return, but I feel that this is an area where support should be mutual and not so out of balance). I thought maybe he was unaware of how his "just get over it" came accross, but when I tried to talk about it he said he didn't do anything wrong, and that' he thought that was a good thing to say, and that he would say it again (and he did). Needless to say, this did not make me feel reassured, it just elevated the conflict. I know I am not the only one with thoughts and feelings here, but it seems that if I describe something specific that has offended me, and his reaction is to defend and intensify his response, and to deny that he offended me (intentionally or not), I take that as a blatant rejection of my feelings and wishes.

 

Another recent incident struck a similar chord. I went to the movies with a friend and started to feel sick, with some viral symptoms, sore neck, fever, chills. I dropped my friend off after the movie and called my brother, who told me not to go home because there was a gas leak in our house and we couldn't be inside. I felt sick and couldn't go home yet, so I called my boyfriend and told him what was going on. He didn't ask if he could do anything, so I asked if I could come over while I waited to go home. He said he was busy and that he didn't want me to come over in case I got him sick. I can sort of understand that part, but I wouldn't have asked had I not needed somewhere to go in the interim. He mocked me, saying "Did you have to go to the hospital?" in a condescending way. I pointed out that his recent ailment didn't warrant a hospital visit, either, but that didn't trivialize it, I offered help. He told me I could handle it myself. I know that I can handle it myself, but I thought it might be nice to have a little something to lean on. He was very condescending when he told me "It's not my fault you can't handle it if I'm busy". I don't even know how busy he could've been that that would be a valid excuse - when I called he was eating pizza and unpacking boxes.

 

I know this may all sound petty, but I was stunned by the selfishness and harshness of his responses. Not only did he not initiate a supportive attitude, but he implied that I was incapable of dealing with myself. I was baffled, as he had seemed so appreciative of me being there for him during recent times, how could he not see that I was simply looking for that also? I know that being sick and not being able to go into my house do NOT mean the end of the world. I just thought that if someone could understand and give me a little affirmation, it'd be nice.

 

I don't know what to make of this, but I feel that his love and support might be conditional, hinging on whether or not he is mad at me or agrees with me. I strive to be unconditional...I don't want arguments to last too long and I try to tell him that I love him, and I don't want him to be upset. I feel that I'm typically the one to make a peace offering. He can stay mad at me and ignore me for days, even when he has done something to wrong me. He says he's always apologizing for things, but I often can't recall these apologies being made, as they feel full of contempt and it can't tell if they are sincere.

 

I'm not sure what to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont see any compatibility here. He isn't narcassistic....but he is aloof.

And you seem to be better paired with a man who wants to be your emotional pillar.

Nowhere in your post do you speak of love, trust or respect. And it isn't evident in the vignettes that you tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You really need to get away from this man. He does sound like he has those tendencies. I've been watching videos and reading up on all I can on this very subject because of the same kinds of issues I just dealt with recently. This is toxic and you need to save yourself. He will NEVER change. Unless he goes through a lot of therapy. Please... For yourself get away from him before he damages your self esteem and self worth any further. You DESERVE BETTER!!! Hugs to you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it may be helpful to add the good side of things - he is affectionate, says he loves me often, calls frequently, takes me out, attends friend and family events with me. I trust him overall, but I do sometimes question his level of respect for me. We have wonderful times, but it seems during a rough patch his love becomes withheld. I do hope that my future includes a relationship with mutual emotional security and support, I think he may want the same but doesn't know how to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read something great once that said something to the effect of "if you're explaining kindergarten concepts like empathy, compassion and looking at things from someone else's perspective to a grown man/woman, you're in an unhealthy relationship and part of the unhealthy is that you think that by explaining it they'll suddenly become someone they have never chosen to be".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all of the responses, all have been helpful. The age old problem of good versus bad. I know I am flawed as well but I have a hard time accepting being yelled at and insulted by the one I love when I'm crying.

 

It would be good to figure out why you love someone who doesn't treat you with compassion, empathy, kindness or respect. Definitely worth the time and energy to learn about yourself!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a few questions, before we add a label to him.

 

Does he play the pity play? From some examples you have stated that he got kicked out of the apartment, what was the reason. Narcissists are constantly lying, even when the truth will get them out of it, they will lie.

 

What is his history like, before you met him, is it gray and vague? Did he blame his ex in the previous relationship?

 

Look at there actions as the words are the exact opposites. Is he a super hypocrite?

 

I ask, as I have dealt with these kinds of people before, and you don't hang around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly, if I were you, I would be planning my exit strategy. I was in a relationship like yours for two years. I compare it to the relationship I have now, which is filled with friendship, respect, trust and compassion, I can't imagine settling for less. Stop settling.

 

Read the second quote in my siggie. A man who treats you like crap thinks you are crap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The apartment situation was a little different, but I have noticed over time that he does seem to struggle with taking ownership of his role in a situation. I suppose it is a sort of pity play. I don't think he actively considers how he contributed to something or how it may have caused others to react.

 

I do know a decent amount about his past, he has had two major ex girlfriends. One of them he is on cordial terms with, and the one after that was an uglier split, I don't think I've ever heard him take responsibility for any of the bad things in that relationship.

 

I often do feel that his words and actions do not quite match up. In the last couple of months I've emphasized that I've started to pay more attention to his actions than his words.

 

A few weeks ago he straight up denied several conversations that we'd had about weekend plans. He denied saying things he had clearly told me. He had never done this before and I was baffled.

 

He told me today that I was using psychological warfare.

 

He says he cares and says he loves me, and there are plenty of times where he demonstrates that, but also times where I do not feel that those words are genuine as, for example, I don't think someone who truly loved and cared another person would ignore their requests and kick them when they're down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't call him a narcissist, just someone with zero empathy who is selfish and gets annoyed when the attention, any attention, is directed at anyone or anything else other than him. This won't get better, it's who he is. Either resign yourself to a relationship that's a one-way street or find someone who does have human empathy and isn't a selfish d-bag. And stop doing so much for this guy, he doesn't appreciate it and doesn't seem to have the capacity to give as well as take. Those relationships never get better, but they do get worse. A lot worse.

 

You want the kind of relationship that Ms. Darcy describes. I have that as well now, but I dated a few guys like yours in the past and nope, never got that love, trust, friendship and caring that goes with loving someone who is sane and emotionally healthy. My advice is move on and find someone who is sane and emotionally healthy, what you describe is someone who isn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can recognize a sort of pity play in him. He seems to have a hard time taking ownership for his role in a situation, and a hard time seeing that he needs to. I don't think he considers how he contributes to others' reactions.

 

I also have heard him blame an ex without assuming any responsibility for the issues in the relationship.

 

I have told him that I don't always feel that his actions match his words, but he denies this. He often says he loves and cares about me, and plenty of times I feel that he shows it, but in these instances I don't. I cannot see how this behavior is aligned with that of a caring partner, or how he is doing the right thing, as he says he thinks he is.

 

He told me today that I use psychological warfare against him.

 

He also said that he doesn't feel compelled to comfort me because he is "not a doormat". I asked if he could elaborate on this but no substantial answer. It seems as if he thinks being empathetic is equivalent to compromising himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just saw the post where you say he denied telling you things that he told you before. Then accused you of trying to use psychological warfare on him--i.e. accusing you of the very thing he's doing. Okay, that's a lot more serious a red flag than just someone who's selfish. When they start to gaslight you it's time to exit, fast. This link will give you information on what that term means and what you should do if you find yourself in a situation like this. link removed

 

Changing my earlier post from just selfish to possible sociopathic behaviors although I'm still not sure about the narcissistic qualities. My ex would say things to me then later deny them and make fun of me for my "poor memory." Turns out there was nothing wrong with my memory, just my head for staying with him as long as I did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What ParisPaulette said. I wouldn't call him a narcissist.

 

I would personally call him a bunch of stuff that is not allowed on these boards. He appears to have anger problems and seems to be incredibly insensitive as well as just a plain jerk.

 

I understand what you mean about him having good traits. He might actually love you, but he doesn't respect you and let me tell you, he is never going to change, and yes, you deserve much better!

 

I used to be with a guy that acted similar to that, which is why I feel so strongly about your post. I couldn't even be friends with someone who treated me this way. Once my situation/pain/etc was mocked, oh, that'd be all she wrote. I'm getting angry again just thinking about it. It was so bad that I had to write a fiction book about it with subtle allusions to my own experiences sprinkled throughout. But I digress.

 

It will be useless to argue with him. It matters little what you say. He won't hear your side because he doesn't want to. Your best bet is to let him live in his crazy dillusion...alone.

 

Drop him, cut off all ties, and put in a restraining order if needed. Know the number for your local non-emergency police station. Seriously. Every day I spent without this guy was a day I treasured. I still treasure it.

 

I wish the best for you. Send me a message if you need to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Amanda,

 

This comment has me concerned "He told me today that I was using psychological warfare" another trait to keep an eye is projection. They project what they do,say and are, as if you were the one that did it.

 

Has ever said "I'm Sorry" rather than "I'm sorry you feel that way"?

 

Sorry for the questions, I'm reaching the point were I can smell there presence. Just trying to decipher the story.

 

Gas lighting is another trait. Have you seen the movie Gaslight? There's your answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am trying to take a good look at myself and ask if I am doing the things he's saying I'm doing, but I think he is projecting as you said. I think the simple fact that I am willing to question myself and look deeper without immediately denying wrongdoing probably means I'm not being psychologically abusive.

 

Typically he does give an apology that does not require him to assume responsibility, the "I'm sorry you feel that way" is more common. I've explained to him how this makes me feel, that he's not apologizing for his part, and he knows what I think of it. Sometimes this type of apology includes "But I didn't do anything wrong" at the end of it.

 

The questions are no problem. Thank you for being so helpful. I'm reading ParisPaulette's link about gas lighting now. I think the gas lighting point is spot on, I do wonder often about my shortcomings and whether I am justified in my complaints, and I think a lot of the time it is because he is deflecting that onto me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Amanda,

 

I think you know what to do know, from what your saying he's ticking all the boxes. I suggest you cut ties and warn your families and friends. Be prepared as your battle is only the beginning.

 

If you decide to get rid of him be prepared for a smear campaign against you, stalking, these people will go to levels you would'n't. I suggest No contact ever again. If you need help, I am more than willing to help you, I have gotten away from 2 in my life and another was an ex boss. I know how they operate, and are quite predictable once you know what to look for.

 

 

There is nothing you can do to fix them, as this is a birth related issue in the brain (not genetic, nor environmental), and do not let anyone tell you they can be cured. There is no cure. The frontal cortex of the brain is simply switched off (This where people process their emotions, hence why they can't, there is no compassion there). If you study a few FMRI scans (Brain scans) of psychopathic individuals you will get the idea, the frontal cortex does not light up.

 

 

I suggest reading some of Thomas Sheridan's work, which is in lay man terms, and will arm you to the teeth when dealing with these individuals. Knowledge is power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading this brought back some horrible memories of my previous ex boyfriend. They sound almost the same in many ways when arguing.

Lots of deflection, denial, no empathy etc. Extremely difficult to live with. I tried to cope with it for 6 years, and it totally drained me. To be honest, i thought i copes pretty well, but looking back now i'm a couple of years out of it, i can see i was the shell of the person i used to be. I would never go back.

 

My advise will echo everyone elses. I believe you should certainly leave this relationship before it completely destroys your self esteem.

I recognise the feelings of self doubt you have. I used to be the same.

Don't waste anymore years with someone who disrespects you. It will be difficult, but it's for your own benefit and self esteem.

I think it might be best to think of yourself from now on and start distancing yourself from the relationship before ultimately breaking away completely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leave him. Today.

 

This guy reminds me my ex. By the time he was done with me, he had started up an affair with his ex, told his family and our friends that I was bipolar (untrue), and stolen about $1000 from me (I got it back, thank goodness). It's really, really easy to justify the behavior of someone you love, to see the best and ignore the worst. But pretty soon, his worst will be around more and more often and his best will all but disappear. I don't know if your boyfriend is a clinical narcissist (I have suspicions that my ex was, but I'll never know that either), but he's bad news regardless. You can find someone who is all of the good things he can be without the gaslighting, yelling, and lies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't know what to make of this, but I feel that his love and support might be conditional, hinging on whether or not he is mad at me or agrees with me.

 

In a good relationship, you don't feel this way.

 

Heck, in a good friendship, you don't feel this way.

 

It sounds like you are generally incompatible. He doesn't sound narcissistic so much as aloof and uninterested in being a true partner to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for all the responses. It's gone too far. I expect and can handle disagreements, faults, misunderstandings in a relationship. But when my attempts to smooth something over are met with refusal, no way. He is missing that part that makes you think "Oh sh**, I did something wrong, I should do something about it (potentially even seek forgiveness...something I don't feel entitled to but I don't think he has ever done) when someone close to you gets upset. Maybe not everyone has that but definitely not everyone is like him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only skimmed this post (sorry) but let's see the light here. You need to dump this a hole. He does seem to carry a few narcissistic attributes and you can't change him. He seems uncaring and cold…and you're the last person he should exhibit that behavior with.

 

I do not at all mean to sound harsh but come on…the writing's on the wall. I'm sure even while you were typing this post you knew the answer. Leave. Find a better, quality man. You deserve it. Get out now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...