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I am sorry to hear about this relationship problem you are having. I have worked with couples for 35 years
Do you have a moment to chat?
In reading what you have written, it sounds as though you may be involved with someone who has a Narcissistic Personality.
How long have you been together>>
for a year now
How would you describe your boyfriend as a Person (outside of the context of your relationship)?
I'm not sure what you mean?
IF I were to ask you to tell me about him------what would you say?--- outside of the problems in your relationship
He is a very passionate person. He owns a business that he created 14 years ago from a passion he had as a kid. He keeps himself (outward appearance) very well. He listens and observes people very intently and seems to think he is very keen on reading people's body language and what they are really about. He is very technical in what he does. For example, he loves golf and studies it intently, everday to get better. He needs to take things apart to understand them. He lives at home with his mom and feels obligated to take care of her because his father died 4 years ago from stomach cancer. He has 2 brothers. He is the youngest. His father was a very mean man and his mother is a simple woman who, as he describes it, "can be spit on one day and then make you dinner the next without hesitation"
He vehemently dislikes people who are not considerate.
I understand------- and does he have a high sense of self importance?
-self absorbed- feels better than others-sense of entitlement?
Yes and no. He sometimes acts as though he does but, will acknowledge that he needs to work on himself.
He was in a relationship for 10 years with a woman who he had a child with. His son is now 19 and he has had a difficult relationship with him over the years.
And your ages now please?
I am 37 and he will be 40 this year
He has a son who is 19 from a previous relationship. He was with her from when he was 19-29 and they stayed together in the same house until he was 34 even though they weren't together
And when he gets angry with you- how do you respond? Does he make you feel that you are the source of the problem (blames you and you wonder if it is really your fault)?
Yes...at the beginning of our relationship this happened a few times. I am a teacher and I am aware of people's mood and behaviours. I know that he was blaming me and there were things i could have done better but, he did see it as my fault. Although, we have talked about some of those times since then and he does admit he was overreating and he has acknowledged that his work stress was affecting our relationship and he wants to change that.
This is what we refer to as a Toxic relationship and it appears that your boyfriend has many unresolved issues that have nothing to do with you but are projected onto you as a result of his inability to understand how to manage his emotions.
You have to realize that he has 40 years of experience being who he is and these longstanding family issues are not easily resolved and take a long time - IF he is willing to commit to doing so.
That said- if he remains the same- what are YOU going to do?
Well, back in September, we had a huge fight and at that point, I was going to walk away. But, he appealed to me saying he cares very deeply for me and that he wanted to do better. At that point I said I would try and it has been fantastic since then. No episodes... but, we just had our one year anniversary and he didn't feel it was important to celebrate. I talked to him about how I felt. That i needed to talk about our relationship and that I needed him to articulate how he feels about me. He couldn't do that for me.
Now we had a minor exchange and he once again, overreated and ignores me. This happened on Tuesday and he hasn't contacted me yet.
I've hit my wall and that's why i'm asking for help. I love him. He is so loving in so many ways and I know he is trying to be better but, I'm not sure what to do
This is not surprising because men like this don't really know how they feel and they are incapable of managing a deeper romantic relationship as they have know understanding of what this means.....that is why he is unable to talk about the deeper aspects of what you mean to him.
I know you love him however, he does not seem to have the capacity to speak the same language or have an understanding of what mutual regard and love is.
Do you understand?
So, is he a narcissist:
Yes. I do understand.
Maybe---but you have to realize that you cannot change him and you only have control over yourself.
I am going to give you some detailed information on Toxic Men in relationships so that you can deepen your understanding of the issues you are dealing with:
So, do you think it's even worthwhile to suggest he seek help or should I just leave.
You have to look at him as someone that is who he is. This is an emotionally abusive relationship and you are in a holding pattern thinking you may have some power to change him.
You have to define your limits with him and then make a decision based on preserving your emotional well being.
The following link is a guide for you to use in dealing with him.
I will be very direct with you - if he was going to change- he would do so on his own. He needs a relationship to have bolster his weak ego and if you are willing to fulfill that role he will say almost anything to continue the relationship.
In reality- he is not likely to change and for this, I am sorry- however, you deserve to get your needs met (Completely) and not be wondering what is going happen next
So, is there no way that this can work? If he says he will go to therapy, do you still advise I leave?
You are the only person that can decide whether your needs are being met in this relationship. If he is willing to go to therapy - that is great- my experience tells me that he will not do this.
I would suggest that you consider getting some counseling to help you figure out your path if you feel confused and unsure. Otherwise, you are likely to continue to be on this merry go- round - of an unpredictable relationship.
Just what you have shared about his family dynamics tells me that he needs a lot of help and typically men with this foundation only express a desire for change when the fear losing a relationship.
You are most welcome- I wish you the very best.
I appreciate your positive rating as it is the only way I receive credit for my time.
you will have a complete copy of this chat in email (with links) for further review