How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a partner who I love, & Im sure the love is returned,

This answer was rated:

I have a partner who I love, & I'm sure the love is returned, but every now & then, at least once a month & sometimes more, something very small & minor happens, like this morning forgetting to turn the kettle on after filling it at breakfast time, I got asked "are you going to apologise to me for not turning the kettle on" - at which I thought she was joking, but in fact she was totally serious & looking very much like she wanted a full on argument - just like the one we had on Friday night over another absolutely trivial matter. I realise that in asking questions on line to an unknown counselor is very difficult, given that the counselor knows of no history of the particular couple, but I do need to be able to better understand my partner of 3 years, cohabitating for the past 2!!
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help.

You only described the one incident with the tea kettle. You normal forgetfulness caused no harm, was not done maliciously, and should not have become an issue.

This is very destructive and aggressive behaviour and serves to blame you as somehow victimising her by the tardy boiled water. You are the bad person and she gets to scold you.

This is the trick of a narcissist. The issue is not about the event but about gaining what is called "narcissistic supply" by controlling you. She NEEDS to to this, and may do similar things to either be in control or to gain admiration for what she does.

She may not have full-blow personality issues, but she seems to be exhibitiing these traits.

A true narcissist is a natural born liar and manipulator, and worst of all, is not capable of showing empathy towards others, or feeling the pain of others.

If this is the case, then you have a difficult person on your hands, and she will not change.

You have not given me much information but this is an educated hunch.

For some detailed guidance I recommend this valued book:

The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Professional, Reassuring Advice for Coping with the Disorder - At Work, at Home, and in Your Family

by Cynthia Lechan Goodman M Ed & Barbara Leff Lcsw

I wish you great success in understanding your situation. This is where I would look first.

Warm regards,


Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you