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Is your WS a narcissist?

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fairydust posted 7/4/2013 22:33 PM

I've been reading a lot about this personality disorder and really think my WS is a narcissist.

He has always been emotionally unavailable. Well I shouldn't say always. Our first date consisted of a 7 hour conversation in the park. He doesn't want to hear about my work and barely ever goes to anything for the kids. He use to fly off the handle rather quickly but have noticed improvement with that as he ages.

In the last few days I found out he is cheating again. I plan on leaving but would really like advice from someone who has experienced a break up with a narcissist.

We are to talk on Saturday to discuss what our plans on. This is the 3rd affair I have proof of during our 20 years but feel there were many more. I've lived the past 7 years across from his past affair with my neighbor/ex friend.

It really pisses me off how he can say he's sorry he didn't mean to hurt me. Really?? It didn't hurt you to see me stuck living across from the last bitch for the past 7 years...

How do narcissist live with themselves?

I'm feeling rather foolish and stupid.

Curious as to what symptoms you've seen in your narcissist WS

isadora posted 7/4/2013 23:00 PM

Have you visited the NPD thread in the I Can Relate forum?

Nature_Girl posted 7/5/2013 02:17 AM

http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html

My STBX is NPD. Divorcing a N is about the hardest thing you'll ever do.

Ostrich80 posted 7/5/2013 02:59 AM

He.hasn't been dx by a professional but I think he.is. not so much like the sterotypucal so maybe he's something else . Everything he does has an agenda to benefit himself. For being a fly off the handle guy, he's got patience like no other when he is scheming. I've seen him do it with others when he wants his way, its like he knows how to work people and make them.think it was their idea. If it takes him a year, he will patiently put his motives to action ans eventually it pays off. He's also emotionally unavailable. If I say how are you feeling right now, he's got only 2 answers ...ok and fucking pissed. That's his only 2 feelings.

wifeno2 posted 7/5/2013 06:58 AM

Narcissists come in all kinds of packages. Some may be covert, some the more classic overt and some people just have an oversupply of narcissistic traits but not necessarily the disorder.

The thing they all have in common is their sense of entitlement and that they are special. More special than everyone. They are not usually capable of taking other people's feelings into account but can pretend to if it serves them. Which is their underlying MO in life.

Threnody posted 7/5/2013 08:40 AM

The singular, most horrible part of splitting with a NPD (in my opinion) is how they'll try to engage you as you're headed out the door. Please look up "hoovering" and make sure you're well practiced in the 180. To an NPD, any and all comments from you are validation. Any and all comments from you are also weapons to be used later. Do not, under any circumstances, deviate from the tried-and-true -- "only respond about finances and kids".

The NPD topic in I Can Relate will be helpful to you, as will the Divorce/Separation forum. Many of the men and women there are in the middle of splitting from NPD or NPD-traited people, and there's a lot of good support and war stories so you don't feel alone.

Hang in there. NPDs are the most difficult to break free from, and it's not uncommon for it not to "stick" the first time. Find and secure a therapist who has background in treating PTSD or abuse victims. As you come more into your own, you're going to need that trusted counselor. Your eyes are about to be opened. It's very The Matrix. You won't believe what color pills you've been swallowing.

wontdefineme posted 7/5/2013 08:53 AM

You need to fully understand the emotional attachment to him and how to escape. This one needs an attorney that knows how to deal with someone who will lie, stall, and play the dirtiest of games during divorce, cause he will lose control of you. You will have to call with him letting you go, then coming back for a fix when no one else is around. You will wonder why he can let you go so easily, but it's because its who they are. But once you file, there will be no going back. For once he know what you will take from him, and he knows what say or do to keep you, life will get worse. And if you are not sure, you need to read about the healthy Rs and compare what he is doing as we have been programmed over time to expect less than not normal love. Cheating is hard enough to deal with, without having to deal with an NPD.

suckstobeme posted 7/5/2013 09:44 AM

Yes. I didn't see it for the longest time. My IC met him once and pegged him as the "do gooder" covert type. He doesn't rage or go crazy. He's way more passive aggressive and will simply stop talking to you and act as though you're dead if you start to see Jim for who he truly is.

He did it to me right after he announced he no longer wanted to be married. I was catching on to what was happening with him, i.e., the A, financial infidelity, constantly lying, etc. So, he was mad that i was starting to really see his capabilities. He never told me why or where this came from or who else may be behind that decision. He simply stopped talking and told me it was "just time" for him to move on. Honestly. After fifteen years of marriage and two small children, that was what I got. I divorced him without ever having one honest conversation about why. He still doesn't want me to ever know the depth of his lies because he still wants me to think he's a good person.

So, he's not your typical N, but he's just as brutal. The sense of entitlement, of always being right, pathological lying, complete lack of empathy or true intimacy, and the abuse through silence - that's his MO and is very typical of a narc.

It's very hard to disentangle yourself from these mother fuckers. First, because it's almost impossible to realize and understand how they operate. How can you fight the enemy if you don't even know he's standing in your camp? Second, even when you're brain knows, you have been conditioned to handle them a certain way. It's hard to let that go and come up with a new strategy.

Read up on narcs here in the ICR forum and all over the Internet. They are dangerous people and, while we never see it this way in the beginning, it turns out that them leaving is usually for the best. If not, they would have continued to suck us dry emotionally and financially.

Kelany posted 7/5/2013 09:57 AM

Mine was diagnosed with personality disorder with 90% narcissistic traits. Not sure what else he needed for that final 10%.

It explained so much.

I will also say he's done a LOT of self work in therapy and has changed his behaviors. His sense of entitlement has completely turned around.

He had to become very self aware and makes a conscious effort every day to change his behavior. He had to want to change. I was willing to let him go if he didn't and he knew that.

ElectricBlue posted 7/5/2013 14:08 PM

The thing they all have in common is their sense of entitlement and that they are special. More special than everyone. They are not usually capable of taking other people's feelings into account but can pretend to if it serves them. Which is their underlying MO in life.

Yep. On the surface my WH looks like a heaven sent hero and friend to all he comes in contact with. Brave and true and loyal and honest and wonderful and fun and just the best guy ever. Oh, and a war hero, too.

Not so much.

Housefulloflove posted 7/5/2013 19:54 PM

"So, he's not your typical N, but he's just as brutal. The sense of entitlement, of always being right, pathological lying, complete lack of empathy or true intimacy, and the abuse through silence - that's his MO and is very typical of a narc.

It's very hard to disentangle yourself from these mother fuckers. First, because it's almost impossible to realize and understand how they operate. How can you fight the enemy if you don't even know he's standing in your camp? Second, even when you're brain knows, you have been conditioned to handle them a certain way. It's hard to let that go and come up with a new strategy. "

^This. I'm also dealing with the more covert type. "Mr. Good Guy!" Yet no matter what terrible, low-down, immoral and disgusting things he has done he will do it with no real apology and be convinced that he is justified no matter how illogical the argument may be. A person with no empathy is a dangerous being.

The first step in recovering from being with these evil fu*kers is to learn everything you can about them.

m334455 posted 7/6/2013 00:58 AM

It helps to view them as moderately human.

Actually, the mental analogy I use to try to put myself in the narcissist mindset is this. Think of this scene visually, like a movie. Imagine the narcissist is on a busy sidewalk viewing the world, maybe with some people he knows. The narcissist would be a "real person" and everyone (EVERYONE) around him would be a black and white cut out stick figure with a label on it instead of a name "Wife" "Son #1" "Daughter". Whenever someone interacts with the narcissist and either listens intently to their every word or profusely flatters them they suddenly morph into a "real person" still with a label, but the label might possibly be their name instead of their function -- but as soon as the attention stream trickes off they go back to being paper cut-out "Wife".

Ok, so remember you're a function rather than a person, and remember he's pissed off that you're malfunctioning.

5454real posted 7/6/2013 01:05 AM

by definition isn't every WS exhibiting narcissistic traits?

just asking.

PhantomLimb posted 7/6/2013 06:17 AM

True NC are different from those who are displaying self-centered behaviors as a result of their A.

Mine had no empathy at all for me, our family or friends. He just shut down and walked away after 10 years. Once they have someone new to fill a role for them ("narcissistic supply") they are gone. You are dead and useless to them and they have no regrets about that. Challenge them on that or show them their faults and they will lash out at you or "rage"...

He seemed to get off on being cruel when he raged. He would say the meanest thing he could think of and just sit there and watch as I burst into tears with these dead eyes. When they are in that zone, you don't even recognize their face.

He also never admitted he was wrong, really. The closest things I got to an apology were "I'm sorry I couldn't be better for you" and "sometimes I want to hold you and tell you I'm sorry". The difference here is that they speak like they are observers of their own lives. They don't actually feel remorse or guilt.

Finally, like many of you here, mine was also a saint and the greatest guy to the outside world. His job is even something that has to do with explicitly with human rights (without getting into details). No one would have suspected what was lying underneath-- not even me! While I was in the inner circle for 10 years,'he was the sweetest, kindest man and to him I was an angel. Then he cheated and was exposed. Suddenly, I'm a bad person who did all of these horrible things to him (all trumped up) but the OW is a saint.
Our family doesn't matter and while we're all at home crushed and sobbing he breaks NC to take the OW and her 2 yr old to the petting zoo and out for pizza.

Once you see them for what they really are, it's crazy making. I was diagnosed with PTSD not from the A itself, but from the shock of his immediate transformation ...

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 6:18 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

fairydust posted 7/6/2013 06:35 AM

M334455 interesting analogy. I like it.

Thanks everyone for all your posts.

suckstobeme posted 7/6/2013 07:27 AM

Phantom - wow. I can totally relate to your post. Those dead eyes and the cruel things that came out of his mouth will haunt me forever. He watched me crumple into a pile and sob for hours on the bathroom floor. He did nothing about it.

I too have been touched by PTSD. Not from the A but from his cruel, horrible behavior.

It's funny how people who have not experienced this just can't understand. To me, it's as if my own mother or father stabbed me in the back. You just never expect this type of abandonment and cruelty from your own family. Yet, the one person who was closest to you at one point in time - could even have been yesterday - turns on a dime, vilifies you, and never looks back. it's brutal.

I don't think I will ever completely understand.

roughroadahead posted 7/6/2013 10:24 AM

Nope. He is very immature, self absorbed, and he has the emotional depth of a puddle. However, he is not narcissistic in any clinically relevant sense.

roughroadahead posted 7/6/2013 10:25 AM

Oops. Double.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 10:25 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

Skye posted 7/6/2013 10:54 AM

Nope, the exact opposite. Unless he kept it hidden for 50+ years.

Skye posted 7/6/2013 10:54 AM

Nope, the exact opposite. Unless he kept it hidden for 50+ years.

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