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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.
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just moved to spain both in our 60s. My husband has become

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just moved to spain both in our 60s. My husband has become very lazy and doesnt want to do anything other than sit ,eat,drink and watch t.v. this is driving me mad. Yesterday it was my birthday and I got nothing just a card. He did say I could go to the market and get some flowers. I have told him in the past that its important to me to have a little something to open doesnt need to be expensive on my birthday he know how hurt I feel but he still does it. I wandered around town on my own most of the day feeling very low whilst he sat and watched cricket on t.v I went to bed around 8pm. What can I do as I am feeling really hurt and angry at him.
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Dear friend,

I believe that I can help.

I am so sorry that you are stuck in this situation with a man who shows no regards XXXXX XXXXX feelings.

I would not be surprised if he was similar when you lived in (I presume) the U.K. When you were there you had family and friends to distract you and now you feel isolated because you have moved to a foreign land.

I do not know the details of your husband's day to day behaviour, but the fact that he treats you so poorly, controls you, and feels absolutely no remorse or empathy for your emotional pain, leads me to think that he may suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

He certainly has important aspects of this disorder, and probably will not seek help or change his ways. A true narcissist is incapable of feeling empathy towards anyone, is very manipulative, is often well liked by others because they know how to control people in that manner, and can lie very credibly.

Here are the criteria from the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV for NPD:

DSM IV definition: Someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) has at least 5 of the following characteristics:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Associated Features: Depressed Mood Dramatic or Erratic or Antisocial Personality

What can you do?

You cannot change him. Basically you can either stay there in your dream retirement home or you can split up with him.

To learn more about this disorder let me recommend two books which you can order on line or possibly can download the eBook onto your computer. Here are the links:

Product Details

The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Professional, reassuring advice for coping with the... by M.eD Cynthia Lechan Goodman


Product Details

Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Randy Kreger


You could suggest to him that you both go for family counselling, but I would imagine that he would resist. A narcissist is the perpetrator but always blames his victims as if THEY are at fault. They also do not believe that anyone else is qualified to help them.


I certainly shall keep you in my prayers and wish you great fortune in finding a happier life with or without your husband.


Life is short and should not be squandered in an unhappy relationship.


Warm regards,



Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ELLIOTT your answer is scary as I do recognise some of the things you mention in my husband. I cannot imagine that he would physically hurt me but he does in so many other ways. We have been married for 13 years and to be honest when I agreed to marry him I was at a very low place in my life and quite vulnerable. He had been married to the same lady for 25 years so he is able to keep a relationship. he spent most of his time sleeping as he was a long distance driver and as a hobby (0f his late wife's) they were very invloved in the breeding of dogs and he became a judge. His wife died and 18months later I was introduced to him and as I was not thinking straight (not an excuse I know) but trust me I was in a dark place at the time. he told me that he shared some of my own interests as in, dancing, theatre love of a good joke, and yet he very quickly after our marriage all those things important to me didn't seem be of interest to him. he would go to the theatre but only if i organised the trip and paid for it. He has no sense of humor and seems only to be happy when he feels he is in charge of something and giving out instructions never really a conversation. I notice at church he will not make an effort to go and talk to people unless they go to him. I know in my heart I am married to the wrong person but he is not my first marriage and I am afraid of making any more mistakes plus financially I dont know how I would live. This must sound very weak to you I dont believe for one moment that I am perfect far from it, but I am very unhappy and yesterday has only made it so much worse.

Dear Pauline,

I knew that my answer would be frightening to you, and for that I apologize. However, he apparently is a narcissist, and whilst he may not physically hurt you he can do as much damage with his emotional abuse.

You say you are afraid of making any more mistakes. Staying in a marriage that is not functional, and brings you only emotional pain and little pleasure could be another mistake. It is a conscious choice to stay as well as to go.

I know that you are in a bad way as far as your financial security goes, but you may be better off struggling financially than emotionally.

You will have to see how you can manage your financial resources and get help from friends and family. Getting a good solicitor may be the first order of business for you.

I also recommend getting the book "Splitting" that I recommended above. It will be helpful and reassuring.

Your marriage is failing without you making any conscious decisions. That is why it is essential for you to be proactive and actually do something to remedy your situation. At this point, and I believe you will agree: staying in this relationship for financial security is not a good option.

May God give you wisdom, strength, and fortitude.

Warm regards,