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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am in a relationship with a man whom I think may be narcissistic

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I am in a relationship with a man whom I think may be narcissistic ...we have been together for 18 months and are engaged...he is still treating me with respect and adoration however, certain things have given me concern mostly massive stories about himself which seem unbelievable. I have never met his family or any close friends...and since reading about psychopathic behaviour recognise lots of them in him...but not violence (yet) concern is that if I delve into this and my intuition is wrong I could be losing a wonderful relationship ? He was quick to charm me, and ask me to marry him and he has always put me on a pedestal and is supportive and helpful...he seems to be a know it all, and done sooo much and know soooo many but I never meet them...there is never any proof. He cries and sulks a lot when relaying his tragic past or if I challenge him...he seems to have his phone stuck to his side and doesnt pay for much...but he is (?) bankrupt ! Despite the charm phase is there anything else that can confirm my suspicions before the abusive stage ?? Thanks

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

It sounds like your fiancé is already showing signs of serious issues. One of the first signs of someone who can potentially be abusive is that much of their behavior is a focus in the relationship. You would not be as bothered by the relationship if he was normal in behavior.

One of the first red flags is your fiancé's focus on himself. Although he is charming to you, often times that can be a sign of self interest. Someone who is charming usually is looking for something they want or is manipulating for some reason, especially if the behavior lasts longer than the first few weeks of the relationship.

Another sign is lying. Someone who tells tall tales about their past that you can see through or seem too impossible to believe is trying to manipulate you in some way. And if they are making up stories about their past, then what else are they not being truthful about?

Also, information that would help you assess the situation is withheld, which is another sign of trouble. Not meeting his family or any close friends is highly unusual for someone you are engaged to. Most people want you to get to know their family and friends so you can get to know them better as a result. Hiding those closest to him tells you that there is something he doesn't want to you know or see about him.

Knowing it all is also a warning sign. Someone who is sure that their answers are the right ones no matter what often feels they can do no wrong. And someone who feels they are right all the time lacks insight and humility, vital characteristics for emotional stability.

Having no money/being bankrupt can be a sign as well, but it depends very much on why he isn't able to manage his income. Knowing more about why this is occurring would help. For example, if it was due to circumstances out of his control that is different than mismanaging his money because he refused advice and spent it all or lost it.

And lastly, crying and sulking when talking about his past or when you challenge him is serious. It shows that he is unable to handle his emotions in a healthy way and that he wants to dominate your relationship with his wants and needs. He is not listening to what you need or your concerns. And if he is not listening to you now it probably will only get worse in the future leading to emotional abuse, especially after you are married and it's harder to get away from him.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I have 3 young children and he is strict to the point of being scary at times but follows this up with hugs calmness and loving gestures ! (just like the N does to his victim ?) He is a transvestite and this is difficult enough..but manages to reassure me that it will all be ok...I need to trust and believe. He has given me his house keys...he lives 80 miles away (but he knows due to the children it is difficult for me to go there) when I have questioned him about past, Facebook, etc...he gets angry but not enough to scare me (this has only just started to happen on a few ocassions. He said he has worked in parliment and is a Rt. Hon and was a golf pro but I dont know how to find this family and friends have looked online but we can find nothing...I have found a few suspicious texts on his phone but there is never anything tangible to confront him with. He phones me every night and we talk for ages and when he is not at work he comes to he cannot be having an affair (but could be having casual sex ?) I don't know what to do now...although my intuition is ringing alarm bells and all seems VERY odd I need something more evident. He has taled about parliment bugging ex partners phones and being associated with gangsters in the past and him having no fear to do ANYTHING do you think he is scaring me into not ending or investigating. Can I and should I see a therapist to discuss this, or just listen to my heart and end it (but how safely ?) could I involve police ?I have little support and a weak family and he knows this...I have 2 children with aspergers too and he is very supportive...guess this is my vunerability ? I am a trusting, loyal, kind person (which I put in my profile when we met on a dating line !!!) I am scared and feel sick...please advise

You are right, he sees your vulnerability and knows that you need someone in your life who can be there for you.

It is always advisable that when you have this many questions about your relationship that you at least step back and reconsider. You are seeing way too many issues here that are of serious concern to just keep going on the relationship.

Talking to a therapist is a great idea. It can help you to not only have the support, but it will allow you to give voice to your concerns and have someone outside of the situation to help you. Talk to your doctor about a referral. Or search on line at

Just from what you are telling me there is a lot of reason for concern. Consider backing off the relationship for a while. See if you can find someone else (family or friends) to offer you support with your children and other responsibilities until you can figure this out. You have very good insight and it is always a good idea to listen to your instincts. It will save you a lot of heartache in the future.

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Here is an excellent resource that can help you decide if there are serious issues in your relationship, enough to leave completely:

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can--and Should--be Saved by Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi


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