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Is recovery even possible with a narcissist?

layla1234 posted 11/8/2019 08:41 AM

That's all I got for now. Trying to take this day to process.

josiep posted 11/8/2019 08:48 AM

If you're referring to the marriage and the narcissist, yes, recovery is possible for both.

But for you? Not so much. Cuz the only way to keep a narcissist happy is to do everything his way, how he wants it, when he wants it, etc. And heaven help you if you get sick or need anything from him.

And while it's just my opinion, I think it's the truth.

layla1234 posted 11/8/2019 08:55 AM

Then is it possible to only exhibit narcissistic tendencies? Thinking back over our whole relationship, he has been there when I needed him for the most part. Just looking over the detailed timeline I was given of affair screams narcissist. He is seeing a specialist on Monday. Which also begs another question, do true narcissist even bother to seek help?

SumofOne posted 11/8/2019 09:12 AM

My wife, my best friend and myself are all narcissists, or have strong tendencies in that direction.
My best friend has grown out of it to a degree. Mostly due to faith and religious beliefs. His self awareness is very lacking though. He is totally oblivious to certain behavior. Yet through work he has improved.
For me, I am the most self aware of the 3, but the most emotional one. My sense of right or wrong, my moral code is unyielding and can be very self serving. I will manipulate things for my use.

We are both much older than my wife, but in many many ways we were just like her at her age. We made the same mistakes and lived a selfish life. My friend still to this day justifies an occasional flirty conversation. Still exchanges pictures he shouldn't. Yet...he bad mouths my wife to no end for doing the same. He no longer has physical affairs so he has grown but only so much. I will not have any type of affair. Physical or emotional. I have no desire to. I am completely honest to my wife. What happens to me is when she cheats, I have gone the RA path. I feel zero regret about it. I blame her. Now, I see that I do exactly what she does though. I find some behavior that she does to justify mine.

I say all of this to show that narcissist can change but there will always be those self serving, self centered damaging behaviors. They lessen and if someone is really focused on improvement I think they can conquer it to a manageable level. I have sworn that if and when my wife cheats I will not do a RA or I am no better than her.

Sorry for the length but hopefully this gives some insight into narcissistic behavior at different stages.

Catwoman posted 11/8/2019 09:23 AM

A true narcissist is very unlikely to change because they firmly believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

Narcissism, like other things, is on a spectrum. We all have some degree of narcissism (which is healthy), but those who have higher degrees of it are often very problematic in relationships. They lack self-awareness, do not accept responsibility for things that they do, and lack empathy. None of those things are healthy in a relationship.

Knowing now what I know, I would not be in a relationship with a narcissist ever.


josiep posted 11/8/2019 12:30 PM

Yes, Layla, people can exhibit the behaviors of nearly any type of personality/style without actually being one.

And I'm just talking off the top of my head here so don't take it as gospel truth but is it possible that the excitement of the affair, the secrecy of it, the forbidden aspect of it, the brain chemicals he had from it, could have just put him in an excitable place that caused him to behave that way temporarily? And that maybe he's not really a narc but just an ordinary fellow who (as the nuns used to say to me) got a little too big for his britches? Maybe his situation was a mid-life crisis rather than narcissism.

And of course, he could be a narcissist who was "there for you" to make himself look good. But from what I understand, a real one wouldn't see any reason to seek any type of help so I think maybe he's not really one. But again, I'm just "chatting" with you about it, tossing ideas around. It'll be interesting to hear what the specialist has to say.

crazyblindsided posted 11/8/2019 13:55 PM

Is recovery even possible with a narcissist?

No not a true NPD.

Knowing now what I know, I would not be in a relationship with a narcissist ever.


Which also begs another question, do true narcissist even bother to seek help?

Nope my STBX says he doesn't need therapy. I actually 'made' him go to therapy after D-Day 2 (with the A continuing underground) and his therapist got his permission to speak to me. What she told me was that my STBX had strong narcissistic tendencies and that he could not be helped. I didn't want to believe her at the time, but I do now.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 2:00 PM, November 8th (Friday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/9/2019 06:36 AM


Emotionalhell posted 11/9/2019 07:36 AM

I agree with what josiep said.

Cephastion posted 11/9/2019 07:44 AM

How do you even get a stubborn assed full blown suspected "Narcissist" to go and get evaluated?

BeingheldbyJesus posted 11/10/2019 09:07 AM

My WS sought out MC when I found out. He booked the appointments himself and still does. The MC diagnosed him with narcissism. WS hates it and is trying to work on not being a narcissist. He really lacks empathy and it is hard communicating with him. He takes care of me when I am sick and now does the chores around the house. He has done this for the four years since Dday. I am in limbo though. He really hasnít done all of the work as far as the A though. He attempted a timeline but it was aweful and I told him he had to do better but he just drug his feet. He never sent a NC to her. Her OBS sent one to us when I told him. Neither of them did it. So I feel like, even though he fired her when I knew something was going on, he still didnít tell her in writing. He hasnít done the work on his whyís. To me, he is just a housekeeper or something. I donít feel I can ever trust him. We just exist in the same house.

AbandonedGuy posted 11/10/2019 15:45 PM

I wouldn't advise it. Distance from your narc shows you just how toxic they are.

cancuncrushed posted 11/11/2019 08:03 AM

Be careful. A true narcissist will play you. No. They donít change. Iíve researched for years. Most advise to leave. Even if they seek help. Itís lots of work with minimal change. They usually play the therapist. And fool them.

Itís all part of manipulation. They never stop the game They love the challenge. My therapist told me. When I questioned was my xwh Npd or alcoholic? She said both or it doesnít matter. They are both for life. The symptoms look very similiar. The name doesnít matter. I was treated and felt the same results.

I was shocked that Npd will play for years. Fake it for years. Plan for years. We were married 36 years. It wasnít clear for many years later. This is common It gets worse

I would def research this. You need to be prepared. When they unleash you need to be educated. Even after I educated myself during. It was too much to deal with. It got real. It got ugly. Itís still ugly. They punish.

I wasnít familiar with it. Now that I know. After all the research. I am mind boggled. The red flags. The early symptoms. The cruelty of Npd and how ugly it becomes.

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 8:11 AM, November 11th (Monday)]

Zamboni posted 11/11/2019 09:38 AM

Layla ó

A true narcissist never, ever gets it. They are deeply flawed individuals.

Everything will always be your fault. They simply do not have the capacity to accept responsibility for any wrongdoing. When you add massive amounts of entitlement, grandiosity, and a complete lack of empathy you have a pretty awful individual.

Your options are :
1. You lower your expectations for how you want to be treated and learn some coping mechanisms for dealing with them.


2. You disengage and divorce

There is no option of getting them to change. It ainít gonna happen.

layla1234 posted 11/11/2019 10:23 AM

My WH has a lot of the signs, but I'm not sure. None of our therapists have ever even brought up that possibility. It was something I looked into on my own. He has an appt tonight with a new therapist that specializes in mood disorders so we will see.

We had to call EMS for our oldest daughter over the weekend. She spiked a 104 fever out of nowhere and was acting very strangely. I was upstairs and made the decision without him. It was 3 am and he was downstairs sleeping with the baby. As soon as they got here, she had calmed down and they basically said she was fine. In the past, this would have been a moment where he would have made me feel stupid and that I overreacted too quickly. He didn't do that and he was very much a partner that night. I felt supported and equal. I thanked him for that.

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