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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I think my partner may have a narcissistic personality

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I think my partner may have a narcissistic personality disorder. When I first met him he constantly said how "proud" he was of me and he seemed to want to show me off. He had had many girlfriends prior to me and when I asked him what was wrong with them his response was that they "weren't good enough." I suppose this made me feel special, he was constantly saying to me, "are you the perfect woman?" He told people I was "The One." Things were good. But several months into our relationship I started to feel his responses to situations weren't "normal". For example. I once said to him "Pete, I'm my own person with my own views, not an extension of you." He said that I was indeed an extension of him and should behave accordingly. If I try to reason with him and say "please don't speak to me that way, it's hurtful and unnecessary." His responses tend to vary from telling me not to be a "drama queen" to "how insecure are you?" He reacts with over the top anger to anything that he deems "embarassing" to him, which could be for example when I disagree with him in front of friends over the minor things. I see the way people look at me quizzically sometimes at the way he speaks to me and many people have asked me why I put up with it. The fact that I freely admit to him that I've spoken to my friends about us (out of pure frustration most of the time) has become an issue; He now says he doesn't trust me because of it and doesn't want me talking to anyone. Quite frankly if I didn't I'd go mad! He also is extremely derogatory about people he considers inferior or below him. He once referred to people I introduced him to as having "no social skills." He seems to have an expectation of entitlement in all things and wants the best of everything. He drives a porsche and will only buy clothes if they are expensive. If there were two identical items for sale but one cost more he would go for the latter. He expects to be obeyed. Quite often my jaw drops at some of the things he says to me...e.g. one day, after an argument, I said I still wanted to go to an occasion we'd both been invited to. His response was; "you don't go unless you go with me...you know the rules." I have read a little about NPD online and virtually all of what I've read applies to him. In between times though he can be lovely, telling me how beautiful and special I am. I despair because I do care about him and I sense a fragility and insecurity deep under the surface. I truly believe he will never be happy with anyone unless he is prepared to work on this. What do I do? I have tried talking to him and reasoning with him but he doesn't listen. Should I show him the information on NPD or will it infuriate him further? Nowhere seems to have any advice on whether it is wise to confront the issue.

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

How long have you been together?

Kate

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

18 months. i was married 28 years. I'm seperated but not divorced. He has been on his own (divorced) for 15 years but has had a lot of girlfriends in between. He lived with someone for 3 years..

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like your partner might be narcissistic, just as you said. The behavior you describe fits the disorder. But what is also concerning is how he treats you as well. It seems that he may also fit a Narcissistic abuser, which is someone who is narcissistic and abuses verbally and emotionally because of it.

People who have personality disorders often are abused in childhood. They cannot get their needs met by their caregivers so they alter how they behave so they can try to get the love and care they need. This becomes a problem as they grow into adulthood because they continue to behave in the same way even though they are no longer in the same situation as they were. This causes problems in their lives, especially in relationships.

You describe a classic relationship with a narcissistic person. At first, all seems wonderful. They are attentive and you feel special. Then the symptoms start which are usually hard to spot at first. Blame and self centeredness are very common. They can seem to lack empathy and are sometimes mistaken for someone with Aspberger's disorder. They can be cruel and hurtful. And they put themselves first because of an overinflated sense of self.

People with Narcissism rarely seek help. The very nature of the disorder is that they feel there is nothing wrong with them, only with others. So getting them to gain enough insight to see that they are the problem is very difficult. So therapy is highly unlikely.

Unfortunately, the best response is to get out of the relationship. You can try to show your partner what you have found, but most likely he will reject it and try to blame you for hurting him. It can help for you to learn more about narcissism and how to cope with his reactions. Here are some resources to help:

http://suite101.com/article/narcissism-in-a-relationship-a113185

http://narcissism-support.blogspot.com/2009/01/surviving-emotional-abuse.html

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Lundy Bancroft

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Kate. Thanks for your reply. He was adopted and has never met his birth parents. As far as I'm aware he had a good relationship with his adoptive parents and was never abused at all. He is adamant that his birth mother did him a favour. He has no interest in finding her. Both his adoptive parents are now deceased. Would I be able to contact you again tomorrow? If possible, I would like to forward you a letter I wrote to him a few months ago? I had a major argument with him tonight and I'm pretty upset, hence I'm still awake at 1.40a.m and I have work tomorrow!

I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my answers for each new/different question you ask. Thanks!

Kate

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Kate. I have to go to work now but I will contact you again when I have more time if that's ok..

Ok sounds good! Talk to you then.

Kate

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Kate. Hi, I would like to maintain contact with you if that's possible? I haven't had time to write to you again in any detail but things have deteriorated further since I last contacted you. I am going out now but will contact you again later today or tomorrow if that's ok? Thanks,

Karen

Hi Karen,

That sounds good. I should be here later. If you would like, you can start a new thread or continue with this one. You just need to rate each answer as we go along.

Talk to you soon,

Kate