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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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why is it so difficult for the spouse of a narcissistic PD

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why is it so difficult for the spouse of a narcissistic PD husband to permanently leave and argue for a divorce from him. instead he always uses any means he has to to get her back with him only to repeat the same situation over and over again. she always goes back to him and then will tell me the next time she won't go back and will proceed with divorce. she has told me for a year and a half now that she loves me an wants to be free of him and marry me but other than these words from her over and over she wont stick with proceeding with divorce and staying separated from him. he will start a campaign to entice her back and she goes back every time. i'm fed up now and am going to remove myself from all this and i am going to inform her. i am determined to see this through this time. it hurts so much and is so hard but has dominated my existence for 18 months now. i will let her know that if she wants me truly she can contact me when and only when divorce is final and legal with decree in hand. i have solved this with the excellent help of one of your counselors on staff. i just want to know a little about the dynamics of why it is so difficult for a spouse of a NPD husband to just cut the ties and be done with it. it has been so frustrating, maddening and difficult for me. i really really love this woman and i truly believe she loves and wants me but it has just worn me out and know now i need to draw a line in the sand and make myself stay on my side whatever the result of this action may be. just why can't she stay gone from him?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

When someone has a personality disorder like narcissism, part of the symptoms include manipulation. People with narcissism personality disorder become very good at getting others to do what they wish them to do. They are extremely focused on themselves but will manipulate others to get what they want, making them believe they are important to them.

The spouse of someone with narcissism is attracted to that person because they have issues of their own. They are often raised in a family where there is a lot of dysfunction so they are used to being treated poorly and therefore more comfortable dealing with people who have issues. They do not see the dysfunction as someone like you would. They only see that their spouse is making a big effort to get them back. So they feel wanted and needed. Then the effort stops and things return to the way they were before and the process starts all over again.

As long as she believes what he says, she will return no matter what anyone says to her. It can be very hard to resist someone who has a personality disorder because they know you and therefore know the right buttons to push to get you to respond. And they work very hard at it, making you believe they have changed. So this back and forth in their relationship could go on for a long while, unless she is willing to see what is happening and finds her way out.

It can be very frustrating to you because you see what is going on but can't do anything about it. You are very smart to stay away from this situation until the woman works out her issues with her husband. You have done what you can and now it is up to her. But having you to run to makes it easy for her. By staying away, it makes it harder on her to keep this up so it may help the situation.

I hope this has helped you,
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