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Living With A Narcisstic Personality Disordered Spouse

 
 
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:29 am
I need help! My husband suffers from Narcisstic Personality Disorder. I am at my wit's end. Does anyone have any advice on this? What can I do to keep from losing my mind?

Any help would be so much appreciated!
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:36 am
Momma, I have never heard of that one, dear, but I am assuming that it has to do with exaggerated preoccupation with one's looks, etc. Have you seen a psychologist?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:39 am
Oh dear.

My dad's been diagnosed with this, it's a toughie.

Some things I've done:

1.) Accept that his worldview doesn't allow him to be wrong. Don't press the issue, even when he's patently 100% provably wrong -- not worth it.

2.) Um. I thought I'd be able to come up with a long list but that's all I can think of as of now. I'll come back to it.

Any specific questions, let me know.

Personally, I can't imagine staying married to someone with this disorder -- I've come *this close* to cutting my DAD out of my life entirely several times.

Which isn't very helpful, sorry.

I know it's tough, ask away and I'll see what I can do.

(All of that said, my most immediate answer is to see a therapist who can help you deal with it in a more expert manner.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:43 am
Letty, here's a definition:

Quote:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • 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)
  • requires excessive admiration
  • has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:43 am
Letty wrote:
Momma, I have never heard of that one, dear, but I am assuming that it has to do with exaggerated preoccupation with one's looks, etc. Have you seen a psychologist?

Hey Letty,

What it has to do with is everything in the world has to do about him. No matter what you talk about, he brings it back to him. Let me give you an example.

He complains every single day about his job. How he has never worked so hard and has nothing. Nothing? We own 74 acres, 4 houses, an RV, 3 antigue cars, a motorcycle, etc. We are in a bit of a cash crunch and he made a comment about how he can't believe he doesn't even have enough money to buy a coke. I told him (this was right after Katrina), "you are lucky to even have a place to live. Look at all the victims of Katrina." His response? "That's not the point. The point is, I have never worked so hard and can't even afford to buy a coke." Now, this is just one small example. I have researched this, talked to psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. I just don't know what to do. I'm doing what I can to keep postive and you know I try to help others as much as possible. But, it's getting to the point that my helping others is becoming a big bone of contention with him because the focus is not on him.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:49 am
Has your husband gotten a formal diagnosis, or is it just by your own reckoning?
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:50 am
Letty,

Check out this link. This IS my husband to a T.

www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/traits.html

The fact that I KNOW it is a personality disorder is the only thing that has kept me here as long as I have been. He hid all this very well from me when we were dating. We dated for over two years before we married. But, slowly it all came out. The hardest part of it all for me, is he does not show this side to anyone else. He is so good at hiding it from others. That's the part that makes me feel like I am going crazy.

Another example: I suffer from severe migraine headaches and have to go to the ER quite often for help. I had to stop having him take me or come in the room with me because the whole time he sits there and complains about how tired he is from working and he hasn't had dinner yet, etc.
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:54 am
Wow! Momma, after soz's explanation I agree that would be very difficult to live with. (Thanks, soz)

My husband is obsessive-compulsive, but that is because he is ill, I think. You really need to get him some help, or insist that he do so. Perhaps your pastor could intervene.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 01:07 pm
I've got one of those around the house. In his case, his self-centered behavior is a part of MID, a form of dementia.

A Good Woman can get very tired of Constantly Admiring Her Man.


How old is your husband? Can he comprehend that his behavior makes you unhappy? Does he care? Would he agree to to to counseling?
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 01:15 pm
A few questions so I may better understand....

Do you love him? If yes, why? (you don't have to respond to that 2nd part to us, just to yourself)

Do you think the marriage is worth saving?

Are you still a better person with him?

In your learning his true history, has he always been this way?
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 01:26 pm
Chai Tea wrote:
A few questions so I may better understand....

Do you love him? If yes, why? (you don't have to respond to that 2nd part to us, just to yourself)

Do you think the marriage is worth saving?

Are you still a better person with him?

In your learning his true history, has he always been this way?

Do I love him? I know that I love the man I married, but he wasn't like this when we got married. He was Mr. Wonderful. We had the most amazing courtship. We both miss that.

If he would be willing to change even the slightest bit, the marriage would be worth saving.

I, sometimes think I am an even better person because of the things I do to try to fill the void I get from him.

No, he was not always like this. Well, maybe just a little, but he keeps getting worse. I am sure my being so much in love with him at the time clouded some of my perception.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 01:30 pm
Noddy24 Wrote:

Quote:
I've got one of those around the house. In his case, his self-centered behavior is a part of MID, a form of dementia.

A Good Woman can get very tired of Constantly Admiring Her Man.

How old is your husband? Can he comprehend that his behavior makes you unhappy? Does he care? Would he agree to to to counseling?


He's 52. If he comprehends it, I have no clue about that. Does he care? Sure doesn't seem like it at all. Counseling? No way. He doesn't think he has a problem. He said he is the way he is and he's not going to change.
CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 01:31 pm
It would be extremely hard to live with someone like that, I don't think I could do it.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 02:05 pm
You're in a really tough spot.

My ex-husband was more of a sociopath I think, but close enough.

When I brought up counseling - he flat out said if we needed help like that then we should just get divorced.
I asked him "You don't even want to try?"
he gave a very adamant no.

in hindsight, I realize he knew what he was doing, with his manipulation and a thousand other things, and he knew the jig would be up if anyone else knew about it.

For instance, does anyone besides you really know what it's he's like? Probably not.
If he doesn't see a problem, and won't get help, the next thing is to help yourself...
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 02:58 pm
Chai Tea wrote:
You're in a really tough spot.

My ex-husband was more of a sociopath I think, but close enough.

When I brought up counseling - he flat out said if we needed help like that then we should just get divorced.
I asked him "You don't even want to try?"
he gave a very adamant no.

in hindsight, I realize he knew what he was doing, with his manipulation and a thousand other things, and he knew the jig would be up if anyone else knew about it.

For instance, does anyone besides you really know what it's he's like? Probably not.
If he doesn't see a problem, and won't get help, the next thing is to help yourself...

I do have a couple of friends that really know what he is like. So, that does help me somewhat.

The hardest part for me I guess is those moments when he 'seems' to have a heart and say he should change and then he does for a week or two.

I really hated bringing all this up because I am for the most part a very positive person. It's just this last round of 'his attitude' has really effected me because of the way I feel for all the Katrina victims that have absolutely nothing. Everything they worked for all their lives ~ gone. It's hard right now for me to understand anyone complaining about anything if their bills are paid and have a roof over their heads.

I was hoping I could find someone in this situation and maybe could give me some advice. I'm not at that giving up stage yet. If things still go the way they are going, I will get there I know. That breaks my heart but I know we BOTH have to do what we BOTH can do to make things right. I believe in any given situation there is always something I can do to help. This is pretty much the first time I have been feeling like there is NOTHING I can do. Perhaps that is the problem.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 03:01 pm
Again, if you have specific questions, I'm happy to take a stab at it. I've had a lifetime of experience with this one, and things are at a decent juncture.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 03:03 pm
sozobe wrote:
Again, if you have specific questions, I'm happy to take a stab at it. I've had a lifetime of experience with this one, and things are at a decent juncture.

OMG! I can't believe I totally missed that! Questions? Hundreds! But, let me start with just one. How do you know if the face they are showing you is the real one? I don't know if when he says he loves me he means it.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 03:16 pm
Oh, you started with an easy one, good... Shocked ;-)

I'm not sure if my answer to that specific question is different from what it would be to anyone else, though. How do you know if ANYONE means it? By how they act, by what they DO, not just what they say.

In terms of the face they are showing you being the real one -- at least with my dad, a major component has been that he has almost no ability to acknowledge, even to himself, that he is wrong/ at fault. So what do you mean by "real"? His version of my childhood, for example, is very different from mine -- I would say that his version is false and mine is real. But he also genuinely believes it in a lot of ways -- it's not that he's lying, per se.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 03:20 pm
Momma Angel wrote:
sozobe wrote:
Again, if you have specific questions, I'm happy to take a stab at it. I've had a lifetime of experience with this one, and things are at a decent juncture.

OMG! I can't believe I totally missed that! Questions? Hundreds! But, let me start with just one. How do you know if the face they are showing you is the real one? I don't know if when he says he loves me he means it.


Momma,

I am really not directly familiar with this disorder. If, indeed, that is what it is without having a clinical opinion.

Your question above is, however, relatively easy to answer. If he says he loves you, he will also show it. He will find some common ground and meet you at least half way. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. It is a 100/100 proposition where each party brings 100%.... not just half each.

Of course, when one or the other degenerates in some way the other must make the decision to pick up the slack or let things drift.

It is not an easy situation and I can only offer my heartfelt encouragement.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 03:34 pm
Sozobe,

Exactly. He hardly ever admits he's wrong. Oh, when he does admit it, he's being sarcastic. It's kind of like this. I know how much he dislikes his stepmother. But, whenever he gets off the phone with her he says, "I love you too." Now, I know he doesn't but it sounds just like the I love you too I hear.

The times that he does seem to have a heart and show affection gives me hope because it makes me think it is possible.

How do you deal with things like never hearing, "How was your day?" "Don't worry honey, things will be okay, I'm here." I am the one that says these things. He never does. He did when we were dating, but it seems like once he quit his singing career and got what his dad calls a "real job" it all disappeared. Just once when I have a migraine I'd like to hear, what can I do to help instead of is supper ready?

Intrepid, my friend and mentor! I am really kind of embarrassed about even bringing this all up. But, I am at the point that I have to discuss it with someone who can be objective. My friends, of course, tend to over sympathize with me and while it may make me feel better for awhile, it's not a solution.

And, with everything else going on in this world, all the pain and heartache, it really is relatively a small thing. But, I appreciate so much any comments I am getting.
 

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