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 Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5402
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I think my partner may have a narcissistic personality disorder.

Customer Question

I think my partner may have a narcissistic personality disorder. When I first met him he constantly said how "proud" he was of me and he seemed to want to show me off. He had had many girlfriends prior to me and when I asked him what was wrong with them his response was that they "weren't good enough." I suppose this made me feel special, he was constantly saying to me, "are you the perfect woman?" He told people I was "The One." Things were good. But several months into our relationship I started to feel his responses to situations weren't "normal". For example. I once said to him "Pete, I'm my own person with my own views, not an extension of you." He said that I was indeed an extension of him and should behave accordingly. If I try to reason with him and say "please don't speak to me that way, it's hurtful and unnecessary." His responses tend to vary from telling me not to be a "drama queen" to "how insecure are you?" He reacts with over the top anger to anything that he deems "embarassing" to him, which could be for example when I disagree with him in front of friends over the minor things. I see the way people look at me quizzically sometimes at the way he speaks to me and many people have asked me why I put up with it. The fact that I freely admit to him that I've spoken to my friends about us (out of pure frustration most of the time) has become an issue; He now says he doesn't trust me because of it and doesn't want me talking to anyone. Quite frankly if I didn't I'd go mad! He also is extremely derogatory about people he considers inferior or below him. He once referred to people I introduced him to as having "no social skills." He seems to have an expectation of entitlement in all things and wants the best of everything. He drives a porsche and will only buy clothes if they are expensive. If there were two identical items for sale but one cost more he would go for the latter. He expects to be obeyed. Quite often my jaw drops at some of the things he says to me...e.g. one day, after an argument, I said I still wanted to go to an occasion we'd both been invited to. His response was; "you don't go unless you go with me...you know the rules." I have read a little about NPD online and virtually all of what I've read applies to him. In between times though he can be lovely, telling me how beautiful and special I am. I despair because I do care about him and I sense a fragility and insecurity deep under the surface. I truly believe he will never be happy with anyone unless he is prepared to work on this. What do I do? I have tried talking to him and reasoning with him but he doesn't listen. Should I show him the information on NPD or will it infuriate him further? Nowhere seems to have any advice on whether it is wise to confront the issue.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

How long have you been together?

Kate

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


18 months. i was married 28 years. I'm seperated but not divorced. He has been on his own (divorced) for 15 years but has had a lot of girlfriends in between. He lived with someone for 3 years..


 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like your partner might be narcissistic, just as you said. The behavior you describe fits the disorder. But what is also concerning is how he treats you as well. It seems that he may also fit a Narcissistic abuser, which is someone who is narcissistic and abuses verbally and emotionally because of it.

People who have personality disorders often are abused in childhood. They cannot get their needs met by their caregivers so they alter how they behave so they can try to get the love and care they need. This becomes a problem as they grow into adulthood because they continue to behave in the same way even though they are no longer in the same situation as they were. This causes problems in their lives, especially in relationships.

You describe a classic relationship with a narcissistic person. At first, all seems wonderful. They are attentive and you feel special. Then the symptoms start which are usually hard to spot at first. Blame and self centeredness are very common. They can seem to lack empathy and are sometimes mistaken for someone with Aspberger's disorder. They can be cruel and hurtful. And they put themselves first because of an overinflated sense of self.

People with Narcissism rarely seek help. The very nature of the disorder is that they feel there is nothing wrong with them, only with others. So getting them to gain enough insight to see that they are the problem is very difficult. So therapy is highly unlikely.

Unfortunately, the best response is to get out of the relationship. You can try to show your partner what you have found, but most likely he will reject it and try to blame you for hurting him. It can help for you to learn more about narcissism and how to cope with his reactions. Here are some resources to help:

http://suite101.com/article/narcissism-in-a-relationship-a113185

http://narcissism-support.blogspot.com/2009/01/surviving-emotional-abuse.html

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Lundy Bancroft

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5402
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Kate. Thanks for your reply. He was adopted and has never met his birth parents. As far as I'm aware he had a good relationship with his adoptive parents and was never abused at all. He is adamant that his birth mother did him a favour. He has no interest in finding her. Both his adoptive parents are now deceased. Would I be able to contact you again tomorrow? If possible, I would like to forward you a letter I wrote to him a few months ago? I had a major argument with him tonight and I'm pretty upset, hence I'm still awake at 1.40a.m and I have work tomorrow!

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my answers for each new/different question you ask. Thanks!

Kate

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Kate. I have to go to work now but I will contact you again when I have more time if that's ok..

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Ok sounds good! Talk to you then.

Kate

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Kate. Hi, I would like to maintain contact with you if that's possible? I haven't had time to write to you again in any detail but things have deteriorated further since I last contacted you. I am going out now but will contact you again later today or tomorrow if that's ok? Thanks,


 


Karen

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Hi Karen,

That sounds good. I should be here later. If you would like, you can start a new thread or continue with this one. You just need to rate each answer as we go along.

Talk to you soon,

Kate

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions