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Ive tried to work on a relationship with my partner for

Customer Question
nearly 2 years now....
Ive tried to work on a relationship with my partner for nearly 2 years now. Some things about his behavioural traits come across as agressive and irrational. He is I suppose very controlling and runs his own company. When I explain that we need to ensure both our needs are being met in order to have a good relationship he just sees it as me wanting everything my way and doesnt seem willing to want to meet me half way to try and resolve issues. I explained that I felt very hurt after our last argument when he swore and pushed me out of his front door, but all he says is that he wont be made to feel bad about himself and that I need to take responsibility for my own insecurity. I find it really upsetting that he doesnt want to accept that his actions have caused me so much upset and pain. He just pushes everything back saying Im just interested in myself. Why doesnt he want to put things right? I even wrote a letter to him to explain how I feel but he wont read it. He just gets very aggressive and says he wont be made to feel bad about himself or be blamed about anything and I need to look my own issues I bring to the relationship. Ive asked him to explain the issues but he wont and says things just arent black and white. I love him but I find its making me ill and bad about myself. Whats more frustrating is that we have had a great sex life and have fun together, its just communication and Im beginning to think perhaps we are just not compatible as I feel he doesnt care or love me. The last time we fell out he made no contact with me for 22 days despite my texting him he just ignored me and said he needs to ensure he looks after his own emotions. Pls can you help.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 15 hours by:
2/2/2011
Mental Health Professional: Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist replied 6 years ago
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Dear friend,

I am so sorry for your anguish. Your description of how he treats you is gut-wrenching. He is an aggressive, angry, self-righteous bully and you are the victim of a physically and psychologically abusive relationship.

He has a personality disorder, possibly antisocial with elements of several others, possibly narcissistic and/or borderline personality disorder. These are all difficult to treat or cure.

He seems to use you for his sexual enjoyment, which you seem to accept as some kind of caring on his part. When he doesn't need you, your are cast aside like rubbish.

Since it is highly unlikely that he will have an honest relationship with a counsellor, you have two options left:
  • continue your attachment to this man and expected continued and perhaps worse abuse in future, along with the pleasurable scraps he throws you, or
  • suffer the temporary pain of displacement and loss by ending this relationship and moving ahead with your life while you still have some self-esteem and will-power intact. If you do so, plan it carefully and understand that he can "wait you out" and manipulate the situation like he did with the 22 day departure. If you make this decision, don't accept defeat and carry it through or you will be that much more under his enslavement.
I wish you the courage, wisdom, strength, and endurance to move forward with your life.

Best wishes to you in the new year.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

Elliott

thanks for your reply. Im not really in agreement with your reply and wondered if it could be possible he is actually quite childlike and needy wanting to talk about himself first? I believe he may have a personality disorder but he is very sociable with his own friends, yet makes me feel uncomfortable (and often yawns) when I have been out wiht my own friends (which is not often for that reason). I dont believe he uses me for sexual enjoyment as we are both willing partners. Sex doesnt necessarily make me feel loved. I cant really agree that he casts me aside like rubbish when he doesnt want me. He openly said that he found it hard being in contact wtih me after being so close particulary after I wanted to just be friends when we last broke up. I think his main problem is that he sees everything as critisism when in fact I just want to talk about our problems and find a solution. If I start talking about this he becomes aggressive and says Im being selfish and everything I do needs to be on a list with rules.
Do you think that just having time apart from him without any contact on my part may help him realise that his aggresive behaviour is actually the cause of our problems. I can never speak long enough to him to explain anything as he just pushes things back to me and accuses me of pushing things back to him which he wont accept.

Mental Health Professional: Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist replied 6 years ago
Dear friend,

Thanky you for adding additional information about your relationship and about your partner. I will try to adjust my assessment with the additional information that you have provided, as my goal is to help you. If you are not satisfied, do NOT accept my answer and ask for a relist.

His need for talking about himself, his general attitude and demeanor indicates that he has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. the criteria for such a diagnoisis are:

Beginning by early adulthood, grandiosity,lack of empathy, and the need for admiration are shown in a variety of situations, of which at least five of the following exist:
  • a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggeration of abilities and accomplishments)
  • preoccupation with fantasies of beauty, brilliant, ideal love,power, or limitless success
  • belief that personal uniqueness renders the person fit only for association with or understanding by people or institutions of rarefied status
  • need for excessive admiration
  • need of entitlement (unreasonable expectations of favourable treatment or automatic granting of own wishes
  • exploitation of others to achieve personal goals
  • lack of empathy, or inability to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • frequent envy of others or belief that others envy them
  • arrogance or haughtiness in attitude or behaviour
Perhaps I misspoke when I said he treats you "like rubbish" at times. How left you and ignored you for three weeks, pushed you out his door and gets unreasonably angry at you when you try to make your own points, doesn't sound like someone who treats you with value and certainly not like someone who cherishes you.

People with NPD do not generally go for counselling,and do not think that others are smart enough or good enough to help them, and either reject them, or do their best to show a different and false aspect of themselves to the counsellor so as to avoid facing reality. Don't expect him to get outside help. He does not think he needs it.

People with NPD have friends - of their own imagined calibre or worth - and can get along well and be quite sociable with certain paper. Others, who are beneath them, they hold with contempt, and find them and their lives boring (yawn).

It is good that you have at least one area of agreement - mutually satisfying sex - although it doesn't make you feel loved. This is a big plus on your list.

He is not, however, apparently interested in your life, your friends, your thoughts, your feelings, your pain and anguish, and the hurt and rejection and frustration that are a big part of your life, and he probably never will. He can ignore you for weeks at a time to show his power over you.

If you are willing to accept the state of affairs, then carry on and take the bad with the good. I understand that it is difficult to accept that you may be up against a wall here, and perhaps my bluntness in responding to you is too difficult to take in all at once.

If we were having a one-on-one session I would lead you to reaching your own conclusions in a more orderly way, but this brief therapy approach sometimes necessitates bluntness, and occasionally a negative response.

I do feel very much empathy for your pain and suffering. I know what it is like, first hand, to be in a relationship with a narcissist, and how destructive it can be on a relationship.

You still have the same two options: stay and endure or go and move on. Ending a relationship is difficult; hope beyond hope often springs eternal (called denial), and the details and uncertainties of the future loom large.

Consider both sides. Do some research on your own about NPD. I also recommend a good book on the subject available at Amazon UK and elsewhere:

  • Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me: How to Recognize and Manage the Narcissists in Your Life by Les Carter
I hope that this additional commentary and information helps you. I highly recommend the book.

I do care about you and your well-being and hope that you can find some satisfying resolution to your predicament.

Sincerely yours,***** NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
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Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.

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