[This message edited by TheAgonyOfIt at 9:33 AM, June 1st (Saturday)]
My WH has been diagnosed as extreme narcissism, but the psych hesitated to label it as true NPD as he believed WH was capable of empathy.
A true NPD is incapable of empathy. They can learn to ACT as if they do, but they feel nothing.
Narcissism traits appear on a spectrum TheAgony. We all have it to varying degrees. It sounds like your WS is heavy towards one end of it.
I hope realizing what your WS's underlying issues are will help you step back, detach and see him in a manner that allows you to feel better about yourself.
For me the real difficult part is continuing to do this without losing myself. It requires acting and pretending and is less than honest. Which is tiring for me and makes me angry at times-especially because I really want him to understand what he does to me and I want him to have empathy and "get it." Which he can't. He's NPD.
But I try to look at the big picture of what is best for me and DS. I also spend more time with friends now and that reminds me of who I am and helps refuel me.
I have yet to read/hear anything about it being possible to have a romantic relationship with a narcissist without lowering your expectations to a ridiculously unsatisfying level and cheating yourself out of the chance for reciprocated love.
I just finished a book titled "Disarming the Narcissist". It seems like a great place to start if you are looking for a more effective communication style with a Narcissist. However, spending the rest of my life appeasing a narcissist (until he/she devalues and probably discards me anyway) isn't something I'm willing to do but it had a lot of good information about the ways narcissist manipulate their victims.
[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 10:57 AM, June 1st (Saturday)]
As I learned about NPD after separating, for some reason I thought I was smarter than him. I started calling him out on his tactics, and I think I tried manipulating him using his own tactics against him. But none of that crap works. Really, my best advice is to take ALL emotion out and ignore the rest.
I think we spend too much time trying to get them to see the light so they can change. But I really think they do see the light, they just choose to ignore it. It's such a waste of time trying to help, defend, explain, reason, save, or fix them.. They just don't care..