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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.


First, let me say that you must accept that your influence is going to be very limited here. And this can lead to great frustration: you know clearly and can see it as plain as the day that he needs to leave and not turn back. But narcissists dominate the other person's personality and after a while, it is difficult for that person to feel "full" and okay without that dominating person in his life.


You can try discussing the following dynamic with him, though. Most often, the other person has a subconscious emotional feeling that if he were only good enough, or behaved exactly the right way, she would be the person he really wants her to be, she'd be perfect. Because she feels like she's so good. After all, she's a strong personality, and she really believes she's so good. And he needs to realize that it's not him who's keeping her down in any way, but the other way around.


And he also needs to realize that she will not accept help such as going to therapy. Why not?


Because narcissists never believe the problem is in them. The problem is always in YOU. So if they ever seek help, it is only to get what they want. Then they stop coming to therapy once they've convinced the people who have forced them to that they have tried. And all the while, they keep doing what they believe they should be doing.


And he also must understand that she is not going to change because of his giving nature. His goodness is not going to one day make her see the beauty of also being a good person. Narcissists don't change like that. It takes years and years of therapy. And so all she sees is someone to use.


It is very difficult for people to imagine how pervasive narcissism is. They tend to keep doing things with the narcissist as if she's normal. Then they get burned and they are very hurt. They will alternate charm and invective. With narcissism, their personality has become "fractured". What do I mean?

Let's use a parable of a house. You understand personality as being an open plan. There is the main big room where everything in the personality is and there are some smaller rooms off the main room, but they all have open doorways so that there is a unity there. If a person reacts from one of those smaller areas in his personality, it is coherent with the rest of the house, it fits into the decorating scheme of the main room, etc. It's all unified.

She isn't like that. She has different closed rooms. When she says something to you, it responds to some need and "truth" of a certain room. When she wants something else, it responds to a different room that contains that "truth". They don't have to agree for her to feel she is being okay and truthful. Because they are responding to different needs in her. Like different closed rooms.


You can recommend that he seek a support group. Daily Strength is a nonprofit that has online support group. Here's the one for Narcissist Victims Survival Group. Take a look and consider joining it. But that is not to take the place of a local abuse victim group. Okay? Here's the address:

http://www.dailystrength.org/groups/narcissist-victims-syndrome-survivors/discussions


You can also recommend this wonderful book that has helped many get through this situation:

It is called: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life by XXXXX XXXXXez-Lewi.

http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Yourself-Narcissist-Your-Life/dp/1585426245/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283986442&sr=1-1


Let me close, though, with how I began: you have to accept that you can only try to make these suggestions. But he has to be willing to make this change and it will not be easy for him.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dr. Mark-Thank you and I appreciate all your great advice-


It's very helpful in understanding all this-



Should I offer advice to him or only when asked? Although I see whats going on- Or just let him talk do you think? I tend to bring it up cause i feel if he doesnt talk about it, he goes back into her control more am I handling that wrong?-



I don't want to push him away from talking to me and clinging to her more again but it's hard for me to not want to protect him lol-

I dealt with mental abuse and very familiar with her behavior and ways-


So her game playing and manipulation doesn't work on me but I have nothing to do with her-I just want to be the best support to him that I can be at this time and don't want anything messed up-

I've thought about pulling a way a bit but feared that would make him feel more insecure and may feed into her lies so I haven't done it-


He does seem to going to be follow through with this time, finally-


But I'll only believe it when it happens lol-

Thanks for all your help and advice-Your great and make everything so easy to understand-Thanks again


 

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome.


Your question about whether to bring it up or not is very, very difficult to answer. The main reason to say no is that you've brought it up before and he's responded more to your resolve for him to leave than his own resolve. That's not a healthy dynamic. It rarely lasts when the resolve is not from himself.


On the other hand, you've been in that situation and you know how harmful the relationship is for him. So it's a difficult decision to make.


He's an adult and therefore you might consider letting him make that decision. Meaning: ask him what he would prefer. Be straight with him and ask him what he would like you to do. He might prefer a middle path: where he brings it up like a signal if he wants to discuss and you take it from there. This by itself may make the difference in the motivation feeling for him like it's coming from within himself than from you.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, 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

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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