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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I fell in love with a sweet man 14 years ago. We became great

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I fell in love with a sweet man 14 years ago. We became great friends, in fact I trusted him more than anyone in my life (I was 41 when we met). I inherited an RV 2 years into our friendship and hit the road (he encouraged me to do so...he told me to spread my wings). 7 years later he flew out to visit me in Utah (We are from the Bay Area, CA.). 6 months later I came home. He was not the friend I fell in love with anymore. 4 years he emotionally abused me...I'm talking movie of the week emotional cruelty on a daily basis. Well thought out, pre-meditated hurtful meaness. If he knew it hurt, he made it a game (BTW, he is highly intelligent and creative in the art of peoples heads). I got to the point where I worked 60-80 hours a week and by the time I got home from the gym I hoped he was asleep. Then suddenly, in one day, he became Mr. perfect prize....and I started having severe panic attacks. So he backed off on the sweetness a little. When his uncle needed care and moved in with us 2 months ago he started pouring the syrup again. This time no panic, but a steadily growing depression. When I asked him why he was so horrible he said "I don't know". I found most of his "new" personality traits described online under narcissism. Should I be afraid?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

There could be two possibilities here. One, he has something going on medically that is causing him to act this way. Sometimes when people develop early on set dementia, they can become cruel in how they treat others. While he might also show other signs as well, this possibility should be ruled out by his doctor, just in case.

Another possibility is that he hid this behavior from you until he was sure you were settled in the relationship. Once you stayed, he started with the abuse. And from what you describe, he does seem very abusive. If he is getting angry when you cry, changing moods from too kind to mean and basically making you feel so upset you are anxious and depressed, this is an unhealthy relationship.

You are right, he may have narcissism. People who abuse are often diagnosed with narcissism. And if he is narcissistic, the chances he will change are slim to none. Personality disorders are difficult to cure, even with therapy.

You may want to consider moving on from this relationship. It is not healthy and he could step up the abuse. Right now, you are already experiencing anxiety and depression. That is a good indication that this relationship is doing nothing for you but hurting you. If it seems hard to leave, consider therapy for the support.

I hope this has helped you,
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