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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5188
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I need some help. My boyfriend seems to be insecure and irrational

Resolved Question:

I need some help. My boyfriend seems to be insecure and irrational about his thinking and its weird. I love him, but at this point its getting VERY annoying and Im a senior trying to graduate I don't have the time to just sacrifice on him like that, not 2-3 hours for a conversation that shouldnt even be happening.
I do know that:
1. He's been the same way with his other girlfriends
2. His mother died when he was 4
3. His dad and step mom gave him tough love

He's critical of others, tries to "suggest" to everyone what they should and shouldn't do. He gets angry quickly and for no reasons that I ever see that are rational. He expects me to drag whats wrong with him out of him instead of him speaking to me and telling me whats wrong. He doesnt give me benefit of the doubt like he should

Irrational occasions:
1. went to a concert that my mom paid for for me , him and my best friend to go to and he was upset at the way I had fun. Said he felt like a regular dude while I was just another groupie girl. I did NOTHING out of the ordinary. It was my birthday, it was my favorite artist, I tried interacting with him and he wasn't really receptive. I was dancing and singing and enjoying myself and afterwards he told me how he felt uncomfortable with how I was acting.
2. He told me how he didn't like me saying the word "love" to this male who commented on my status, it was a statement about a class Im taking and I said " Im taking the class at Spelman love". Now love is a general word that I use towards everyone whether I know them or not, but I simply said ok, I wont do it anymore. Then he proceeds to say Well I don't understand why you thought it was appropriate in the first place and I explained and then it turned into a whole 2 hour unnecessary conversation. I cant deal with that Im a senior in college and he is not, he has no job no car so he's always to worried about me waiting for me and all kinds of stuff. He doesnt seem to understand that we are two different people who handle life two completely different ways.
3. I was driving and he was speaking to me, after a couple of minutes he started speaking real low, I knew he was but I didnt think nothing of it. When we got close to where we were headed he asked me where I was going first and I told him, he then said so you werent listening to me, I then asked him well what did you say and he proceeded to get angry and say f**k it it doesnt matter. Later He expressed to me that specifically he was upset because I "skipped" over saying I didnt hear you before saying what did you say, so he assumed I was ignoring him. I don't understand how he just assumed I ignored him and didnt think "oh maybe she didnt hear me"

4. I invited him to my schools homecoming, we were having a good time and all of the sudden he was acting weird for about 45 minutes.. so we ended up leaving early, after asking him 3 time whats wrong he then tells me that he doesn't like how I act weird with my ex and I was trying to get his attention and he wasn't paying me no attention. Im all the way confused at this point because what he's talking about never happened. I asked him what my ex had on he said a jean jacket. My best friends cousin had that on so I then realized he mistaked my interaction with my friends cousin to be an interaction with my ex in which i did interact with my ex but clearly he didn't even notice because we just waved at each other. He thought I was weird when I was like staring at my friends cousin waiting for him to come say hi lol I always do that to anyone who would normally acknowledge me, i stare at them until they say hi or see me

5. I was texting someone on my phone and my phone was on a stool, and I kept going between my phone and where my boyfriend was sitting just answering texts, not sneaking or anything just going back n forth. He then TWEETS that he doesn't like when girls do sneaky shit on their phones

He's always talking about what he would and wouldnt do and I try to explain to him that we are two different people that do things two different ways, like if i grew up eating mangos and he doesnt like them he cant expect me to never make mango smoothies because he wont, Ill make him a strawberry one and I'll eat a mango one like... He cant expect me to change how I act because everything he had an issue with I've done in a previous relationship and had NO ISSUES at ALL.

We get into arguments way too often, he always has an issue with me and it always in my opinion involve nonsense.He claims that I don't try to talk to him or interact with him and I do and hes pessimistic, always preluding to him being upset, like he'll say "this better not be this way or ima be blown" and Im like why can't you just enjoy yourself. As you see sometimes when I try to take him somewhere he basically makes a problem out of none. Like its soooo draining and I have a little less patience because Im a college student.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern tonight

Dr. Z :

Please give me a couple minutes to read over your question carefully

Customer:

ok

Customer:

thanks

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask you a few questions to get some more information, so that I can better assist you

Customer:

cool

Dr. Z :

Does your boyfriend have any issues with low self-esteem at all?

Customer:

He'll claim that he doesn't but I believe that he does, mostly because he's not where he wants to be in life

Dr. Z :

And where does he want to be in life or where does he think he should be in life?

Customer:

Making more than enough money to live comfortably, have his own house and his own car with me

Dr. Z :

Does he ever exaggerate his own achievements and does he ever expect praise for his achievements?

Customer:

no and yes.

Dr. Z :

Does he believe that he is better than others?

Customer:

Thats my personal belief by the way he "gives advice" he personally told me that he feels like he has to think for other people and I told him that that is demeaning and then he told me I was being judgmental, but he says that he doesnt think he is and that he respects everyones thoughts and opinions he just gives them better options

Customer:

which is bull.

Dr. Z :

And I think I know the answer to this question, but I want to make sure. Do you feel that his jealousy is a way to control you sometimes?

Customer:

In a strange way yes.

Customer:

my mom and friends see it too

Dr. Z :

I am afraid to say it, but I feel that he has a personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), where individuals have fragile ego (self-esteem), feel they are better than others, control others, extremely jealous, can be very passive aggressive in many ways (but direct aggression is also possible), take advantage of others, and fail to recognize others' emotions. Here is a more detailed link about it

Dr. Z :

This is a persistent disorder that many individuals develop and it is very resistant to most treatments currently. The best treatment for it is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and even that does work most of the time. Unfortunately your boyfriend may get worse as time goes on and as he tries exhibit more control over you

Dr. Z :

Also him blaming you all the time is a very classic symptom of NPD as they fail to take responsibility for their actions.

Dr. Z :

I would also like to recommend these books about NPD as well to give you some insight on this disorder

Dr. Z :

Do you have any questions or concerns so far?

Customer:

I have plenty.

Customer:

Okay sigh. geese man.

Dr. Z :

I know I just presented a lot of information for you, so take your time and please feel free to ask any questions that you have when you are ready

Customer:

Like I said I am a senior in college, and I dont have time to sacrifice like this :( on him, and I almost feel like going to counseling tomorrow is going to be a lost cause because even when we talk he never fully understands what Im saying or think its correct. He'll say its unfair, you can do this and I cant do that. Thats not fair. He also thinks no one understands him. and i feel like its not that we don't understand him I think that he's in denial and doesnt understand whats going on with himself.

Dr. Z :

Individuals with NPD have a difficult time responding well to therapy because it is exactly as you put it, they feel that everyone else is wrong, and they are right. So your boyfriend will put a lot of the blame on you as they fail to take responsibility for their actions.

Dr. Z :

While I applaud you going to therapy, I do not think it will change him. But the therapist can reinforce what I have been saying

Customer:

and even then like he does like help me out sometimes and he drove me around while I was injured and clothed me and stuff, but one thing that is annoying is that he has like a "fatherly" tone with his help like i'm a child, like when he offers the help its nice but when I get it is also nice to a certain extent it has underlying auras that it gives me

Customer:

and this just kinda made my heart drop :(

Dr. Z :

Well individuals with NPD can manipulate very well an act empathetic to gain your trust. Also the fatherly tone and treating you like a child sounds like an element of control as well

Dr. Z :

The symptoms are really characteristic of this disorder, which I know is not exactly what you want to hear, but I wanted to tell you the truth about this

Customer:

I wish I could show you the conversation we had earlier so I can give you a real example so that I make sure im not switching the story up

Dr. Z :

And you cannot copy and paste it?

Dr. Z :

Well if you like you can also type out parts of the conversation for me, there is no time limit here as I am happy to take as much time with you to help you with this issue.

Customer:

hold on he just sent me a 6 page text message

Dr. Z :

Wow that is a long text message

Dr. Z :

Take your time

Customer:

its more like 20 pages sighhhhh and it has a weird mix of positive and egative stuff and its just confusing

Customer:

but i wil try to piece it together and send it to you.

Dr. Z :

No problem, like I said there is no time limit here so take as much time as you like

Customer:

Okay, its acting weird. and I really wish I could just send this stuff to you because its confusing me.

Dr. Z :

I am sorry if the chat is not working well for you

Customer:

yea I cant upload the documents

Dr. Z :

You can copy and paste what you wrote in the document directly in the chat box if you like

Customer:

Full Size Image
this is the first one

Dr. Z :

Okay I am reading it now

Dr. Z :

Who is the gray and who is the green just so I am clear?

Customer:

He's grey and Im green

Dr. Z :

Thats what I thought, I just wanted to make sure give me a couple minutes to read this carefully

Customer:

The disconnect displayed in the first set of messages was disconcerting. Like i dont see how he cant see that he took my joke as a general statement and responded to it like it was a general statement

Customer:

this is the initial discussion form earlier

Dr. Z :

I agree it is disconcerting, but this does point to NPD a lot

Customer:

heres the next ones

Dr. Z :

Sure go for it

Customer:

The way I recieved them are out of order but you can get the weird gist of what he's saying

Dr. Z :

I understand, I can sort it out well on my end

Customer:

this is his angry reply

Full Size Image
Full Size Image

Customer:

and this is some of the stuff he sent like 5 minutes ago

Full Size Image

Dr. Z :

So he is definitely showing mood swings with the anger and then positive texts, but the positive texts could be a form of trying to charm you

Dr. Z :

The only other possibility for some of this behavior would be a mix of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits as well, but I do not think that is the case her

Dr. Z :

*here

Customer:

im so confused and quite frankly its scaring me. he clearly just told me to not text him. then he texts me literally like 15 text messages of that stuff, like if the truth is told in counseling session then it should go great, and that WE need to find different ways to express our selves and WE this and WE that he kept saying US like we both have the issue, and that he jus wants us to be good and to stop being so negative towards each other and how he sits home depressed about how we are negative towards each other, in none of these cases have i been negative. UNTIL he responds with ignorance. but I have never actually DONE anything BAD to him.

Customer:

I think he's somewhere between them both. Personality disorde and NPD

Dr. Z :

I know, he is putting a lot of the blame on you for these issues which leads me to believe NPD. But the way these texts showed moods swings of anger and then depressed/apologetic leads me to see either manipulation or possible BPD.

Customer:

Bipolar disorder?

Dr. Z :

I agree I think he shares traits of both disorders which is very possible and will make your time with him very difficult.

Dr. Z :

Borderline Personality Disorder

Dr. Z :

Not Bipolar Disorder

Customer:

OH ok

Dr. Z :

Many personality disorders (around 30-35 percent of the time) co-exist with each other

Dr. Z :

Counseling is a good start, but I feel that your boyfriend may need specialist therapy sessions to help with his issues.

Customer:

He doesnst have healthcare and Im using my college counseling for this.

Dr. Z :

Some college counseling can specialize in Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) which is good for treating Borderline Personality Disorder traits.

Dr. Z :

I can also recommend some good treatment books too

Dr. Z :

I think the second book you will like a lot as the title is "Stop Walking on Eggshells" which I feel you have been doing

Customer:

I actually dont I let him know I feel he's being irrational which is why he thinks I'm being judgemental

Dr. Z :

Well hopefully counseling can help him better understand that his actions are irrational, but I am not optimistic that he will respond well to therapy based on the statistics of treating NPD and from my own personal experience treating this disorder

Customer:

The only thing that im actually hesitant on is the fact that me leaving him is a high possibility because I have to focus on school i cant deal with that not right now oh yea he's also a perfectionist

Dr. Z :

The perfectionist is definitely more towards NPD and just reinforces my earlier diagnosis and this is why I think when he sends these positive messages it is to manipulate. I am not going to tell you what to do, but I will say that he most likely will not respond well to the treatment or change, so breaking up with him may be the only way to escape this level of stress

Customer:

Sigh. I dont want this man to like go off and try to kill himself or something. Like... he thinks Im the only woman to ever really love him n idk. i feel kinda bad now

Dr. Z :

I do not think he will kill himself, rarely do individuals with NPD commit suicide, but he may self-harm.

Dr. Z :

I understand that you do not want this man to hurt himself, but also you have to think about your well being too and staying with him to prevent him from possibly hurting himself is not a good reason to stay in the relationship

Customer:

you are right.

Customer:

Well, whats your final conclusion?

Dr. Z :

You will be able to do this and break it off with this man and you will be able to live your life happy like you deserve. If you do choose to break it off with him, this book details exactly what to prepare for when you do breakup with him

Dr. Z :

My final conclusion is that this man has NPD and most likely will not respond well to therapy. It may bring short term results, but not for the long-term. I think because this behavior of his will continue, breaking it off may be your best option

Dr. Z :

Do you have any other questions or concerns?

Customer:

not really, thanks a lot for the help tho

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish you all the best with this issue regarding your boyfriend. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5188
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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