How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Dear Doctor, my girlfriend(almost was my fiance!) tends to

Customer Question

Dear Doctor, my girlfriend(almost was my fiance!) tends to her narcissist son with a ridiculous amount of codependent behavior. She knows he has this condition and claims his dad, her ex was very bad too. So despite her knowledge on the matter she seems to be the kids tool of trade! The boy is 15 and probably the worst kid I've ever observed closely and I've raised one magnifcent boy who's 23, an officer in the Navy, and I have a 14 yr. old who's a good kid too. Thru all of my sons friends and school mates I've never seen such abuse to a family(his mother and little sister) and such a deadbeat. I should'nt expect this to improve right? And lastly are'nt the chances of him living off of her forever rather great as his father and he don't speak? I love her but this may be too much and he has had the odasity to tell her that we should'nt be going out! He's been driving a wedge for 2 years. Comments please. GH
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and distressing this situation must be for you. On the one hand she seems like a caring person that you felt you could make a life with. But on the other hand her son seems like an unbearable part of what she comes with.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I am very relieved that you have stepped back from this situation at least for a while. Why?

Because I am concerned for your 14 year old. He deserves to have a family life that is functional. Living with a narcissist takes away any possibility of a functional home life for your son. Why?

Well, because as you've seen, to a narcissist, he is the sun and everyone else is the moon. They are there to serve him because it's as natural to him as that the sun rises in the east that if he's happy, everyone else should be happy, if his needs are met, then everyone will be happy. The world is there to reflect his needs and wants. And your 14 year old doesn't deserve this in his life!

No, I'm afraid you shouldn't expect this to improve. Narcissists don't willingly go to therapy. You have to trick them into therapy by telling them they need to go to help in YOUR therapy! So you can guess how effective that will be on average...

You are sensing something within yourself that you are asking me to articulate and so I will. You are correct that you love her but that if you marry her you will be making her problem your problem. He will become your problem and you will not be able to tell her that it's her problem and you don't want to deal with him. Because a narcissist consumes everyone in his path who doesn't leave. And if his mother won't leave him, then you need to either move on in your life or wait until he's out of her house. Even then, though, you know that he will be in her life and thus in your life.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX could give you a more positive and hopeful answer, but I have worked with children of narcissists and have had to deal with the narcissistic parent. I've worked with spouses of narcissists and they have to learn to take responsibility for their lives because so much of their lives is given over to the narcissist. You can't do this for her. So my answer has been geared toward helping you help your 14 year old and yourself not get enmeshed with this 15 year old through his mother.

Let me end with these two books that you can read and give to her to read. It will give you some insight and maybe help her.

1. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship by Eleanor Payson. This is a great book that will help you with the lack of self-esteem that living with a narcissist or being close with a narcissist will do to you. Amazon:

2. The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner. This book is newer but is extremely clear and insightful and has helped people since it came out 2 years ago. Amazon:

I wish you the very best and am glad that you are wise enough to step back!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Hi! I haven't heard back from you in a while. I hope everything is okay with you. If you feel the question is still not fully answered, let me know what still remains to be discussed. If you feel you've gotten benefit from my answer, please click the green accept button. If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Related Mental Health Questions