Do you feel confused in the relationship all the time? Do you keep wondering where are you going with this relationship? Do you feel guilty most of the time even though its not your fault? Do you sometimes wonder what is normal and what is not?
If your answer to all these questions is yes then there is high probability you may be involved with someone suffering from NPD.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is essentially a disorder of self esteem. People with NPD are often very insecure about themselves. They are also highly competitive and jealous and lack empathy.Life, when married to an NPD, can be a roller coaster ride. The victim of NPD abuse rapidly loses confidence and very frequently suffers from depression.
Narcissistic personality essentially have the following traits:
Sense of entitlement: A narcissistic person feels that it is their birthright to take favors, help and borrow things from others without giving anything in return. They take the other person for granted. They expect special treatment from others esp. their spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend without deserving it. They do not feel obliged to do the same thing for their partner to make them feel happy. In the end its all about their happiness.
“Its my way or the Highway”: People with NPD don’t compromise on anything. They want everything to go their way. If you like what they like then you are lucky otherwise its your bad luck. If you try and talk to them into doing otherwise they get really upset and throw some very scary tantrums. It can really be traumatizing living through that kind of anger episode and hostile behavior. In the end you will find yourself giving in and obeying them more frequently.
They train you for the silent treatment : People with NPD are experts in manipulating others with the silent treatment. A few months ago a couple who had come for relationship counseling was on the verge of a break up. They boyfriend wanted to work on the relationship but the girl had no interest in doing so. When asked the reason she took a long pause and told me, “Its impossible to get through to him. I repeatedly caught him sending kisses on whatsapp and other lovey-dovey messages to a colleague. When I confronted he said its “platonic and pure” friendship and there is nothing going on and that I am paranoid. When I kept sulking and was not talking he seemed very unaffected with my agitated, unhappy state and also kept ignoring when he saw me crying. He was carrying on just fine with his work and social life till the time i kept wondering if I was really wrong. When we started to talk again her acted as if nothing had happened. Everything went back to normal except I can talk about that colleague and the messages. Otherwise hell will break lose and I will be given the silent treatment without any fault of mine!”
They have no empathy : A person with NPD lack empathy. They are not moved by anybody’s hardships or tears. When their partner starts explaining to them about the difficult day they had they tend to hijack the conversation by talking how their day was much worse and they need more pampering and attention.
They are hypersensitive to criticism: People with NPD do not understand positive feedback or even constructive criticism. They do not take smallest of criticism lightly and perceive it as direct attack on their ego. But on the other hand they are very liberal and frequent when they criticize and judge other people.
They gaslight you: Gaslighting a person means making then doubt their own reality. The person who is gaslighted is made to wonder if what they understand is the reality or this is all this going on in their head. They sometimes feel that they are losing their grip on reality and what’s “normal”. They at times feel that they are going insane. NPD will deny their partner’s reality. NPD very often Gaslight in order to manipulate their partner into getting what they want.
If your spouse or partner is a narcissist please get help. Couple counseling or Marriage counseling in such cases does help to some extent. More than the NPD the person who has suffered the abusive behavior is the one who needs the help. Recovering from such mental and psychological abuse is crucial for the happiness and well-being of the victim.
It becomes even more complicated if the couple is married and they have kids. If the kids are exposed to such kind of environment, they become vulnerable to many psychological disorders. They also suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks in some cases. They need the help and child counseling very often. The responsibility of kids is by default shifted on the normal parent.
Carrying out these responsibility with a narcissistic person draining your emotional energy out can be very challenging.
Sometimes it is better to just rip that band-aid off and leave once for all rather than silently suffer abuse and cry helplessly for the rest of your life.