Understanding and Dealing with a Narcissistic Partner

Written by TIB Staff Writer

In futile attempts, they walk on eggshells, afraid that the partner might be offended. When you overtly try to please them, they accuse you of faking it and when you stop bothering them, the lack of attention might even destroy your relationship. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you to read because you’re dealing with your narcissistic partner.

 

What I learned being with a Narcissist

Being in love with a narcissist seems quite easy to begin with. They seem to be confident, phlegmatic and balanced. They might seem unusually dominant to begin with but assumingly formulate. All this and more that seems a façade erodes eventually with time to expose the darker insides. The seemingly strong character is built with fragile and shaky virtues beneath. What is good today, may not be good tomorrow and the importance to oneself today can also mean self-deprecation the next day.

 

Evidently, they do not believe deserving of good attention, deed or gift yet behind the curtain they yearn to have the same things that they reject.

 

‘A loving partner might gift the narcissistic partner a beautiful new necklace which will lead to name calling like faking the love or ‘I don’t care about it’ face. But the same gift given by a stranger or a ‘new friend’ may make believe the narcissist that everyone cares for the narcissist except their own. The act of giving them small presents literally blows back into the partners face.’

 

Narcissists quite do not know what they want. What is restrained, could be evaluated as something the narcissist deeply desires, not because they honestly want it but it is just the forbidden nature of something that makes the narcissist want it. And when they eventually eat the forbidden fruit it is common to hear “It was all your fault I did this” or when they do get stonewalled “I’m sorry, I’ll change” and claim insanity just until the crisis is resolved when they get back to their Machiavellian ways.

 

‘I have had a narcissistic partner who cheats on me. From confronting him and his apologetic ways upon confrontation, we have now come down to his unapologetic cheating and I only getting used to him sleeping around’

 

Narcissists are never aware of themselves. They lack a certain trait or a personality type. This lack of self awareness also means that they do not have any future personality goals. The lack of a self awareness inhibits the growth of personality as their innate character has never been identified, hence never been planned. The aggrandizement of their own self, the “I’m so great” over inflation and the constancy of reminders that they are powerful, attractive, special and important is a deep reflection of the hollow insides that the narcissist isn’t fulfilled with.

 

This causes the major problem of a Narcissist. Attention. Narcissists fight you because they need attention, they cheat on you for attention, they downplay your feelings for attention, they hurt you for attention,  they play the superiority game for attention and they will ruin your relationship for attention. Narcissists swing where the attention is. Deep inside their emptiness, they believe they are nothing without attention, unwanted in the absence of adulation and inexistent without aggrandizement.

 

‘My father displays extreme affection in public places, but is an uncharitable and an uncaring person at home’

 

The narcissist’s implicit need for validation is a profound proof enough to believe that they have a different reality of things, the ingenuity of a normal human being is something they are devoid of and authenticity of self is something the narcissist tries to diligently work upon, which only turns into them ‘realizing’. The realizations are often destructive, they are just vain attempts to conceal the threatened and vulnerable self to portray and layer the insecurity as strengths and beliefs, the strength they find in hurting others and in turn to themselves and beliefs that convulsing the partner into desolation and isolation is a satisfactory rite for the ‘wrongs’ the partner has committed unto them. A narcissist is afraid to promise, hence unfaithful, finds fault with everything and everyone but themselves and causes and unrequired distress. Due to their mistreatment of others, they live in a constant fear of retribution by them.

 

 

Character Analysis of a Narcissist

 

You love your partner selflessly. You have acknowledged their narcissism and have seen them long enough to know the cause for it. You know how their lack of dignity and self-esteem is hurting both of you. Narcissists are incapable of giving out their love neither can they be receptive to it. Narcissists are afraid of vulnerabilities. They do not like to show the world that they are vulnerable. They see the signs of vulnerabilities as weakness and that strong personalities have no vulnerabilities. Hence they end up chasing strong partners. Now let’s enter the world of the strong partner. Usually, strong people have certain characteristics. They are

  • Unafraid
  • Bold
  • Outspoken
  • Calm
  • Confident

 

Comparing with the narcissists’ characters of strength

  • Entitlement as Bold
  • Aggrandizement as Unafraid
  • Egocentric as Confidence
  • Prima Donna as Outspoken

 

Notice that not one of the above traits of a strong personality is something that the narcissists possess which becomes one of the major reason why the narcissist is attracted to you. You possess, what they wish to. Strong personalities can easily take control of situations, people and make others march forward to their word. In all, they tend to be leaders. Narcissists love to do what leaders do, but they fail and have no idea what is going wrong and what is that, which stops them from being that leader. Narcissists, unlike leaders, tend to take control of situations and hate to be proved wrong. When proved wrong, they hate to acknowledge it and worse, remain unapologetic. They lose the confidence of others and vice versa, the narcissists lose confidence in others.  Hence becoming uninvolved, self-centered and spiteful. When questioned about these traits and in their vain attempts to prove otherwise they lie to escape from the reality of nature, form adulterous relationships to prove greater than normal involvement with the world and show love to you which they don’t mean.

 

The Root of Narcissism 

Abandonment. The narcissist has a hereditary or a life time experience with abandonment. The fear of being abandoned is what drives them to foolproof a multitude of fake personalities. The self importance of the narcissist is driven due to the fear of being left fending for themselves alone. This, in turn, causes the lack of empathy for others, including the partner. Narcissists are extremely defensive, which can be looked at as being spiteful. More so, narcissism is a 21-century trait. It is more prevalent in the young than the old.

 

The deeper sense of emptiness and inaccurate depiction of their true self to the world stems from living a dysfunctional family life as children, so pervasive that narcissism is passed down as genetics to the successive generations. Their failures to be ordinary creates in them a sense of envy to something believably better than what they have, jealousy towards others,  lacking a capacity for appreciation and sympathy and preoccupation with beauty, success and other subliminal fantasies of power and possession over others.

 

It is a given that there is a history of abuse and torment in the narcissist’s life. When spoken deeper, the narcissists do agree of their behavior and are regretful about their flagrant temperament and manipulative persona. They often bring about the history of abuse as their reason for oddly individualist eccentricity. Narcissists do have to understand that the attention they try to seek may also invite unwanted attention, decisions and lifestyle may get distorted, thoughts disoriented and relationship with the world destroyed. They sometimes even yearn to be treated badly, sometimes want to be ‘treated like shit’ because they feel very undeserving of kindness or love. And when they are treated so, they find themselves at a normal bar, again beginning the traits that led to narcissism in their childhood.

 

It is to the narcissist to believe that there is an issue within them. If identified and rectified, it can be changed in a miraculously short period of time. They can take support from the person they trust the most, in most cases their own partner. The partner might find it very difficult to deal with it all, but if sailed through the calm ocean of happiness is definitely worth it. I personally have been through this. The partner should remain unperturbed. The narcissist is like a devil that will hurt themselves to hurt you, then they hurt you to hurt themselves. The masochism is what drives the drama and life in their head. Remaining stable all through, in the face of difficulties and myriad lies will definitely bring them to trust you. If not today, someday. Wait for it. At the end of everything, you love your partner more than anything. Show them that strength. The narcissist also should believe that the love they see is very different from they have seen in their traumatic childhood. Be open to experience the new. You became a narcissist for your happiness after all. So, try to be genuinely happy. Be open with your partner and take support from them. Believe them and believe each other. All this, only if you want to fight the battle for love.

 

 

References:

 

The Heartbreak of Relationships With Narcissists. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201712/the-heartbreak-relationships-narcissists

 

Staff, N. (2010, December 11). It’s All About Me: But Is Narcissism A Disorder? Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2010/12/11/131991083/it-s-all-about-me-but-is-narcissism-a-disorder

 

Bressert, S. (2017, December 17). Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder

 

Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder a Mental Illness? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/narcissistic-personality-disorder/narcissistic-personality-disorder-mental-illness/

 

Seltzer, L. S. (n.d.). This Is What Really Makes Narcissists Tick. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201507/is-what-really-makes-narcissists-tick

 

Ni, P. (n.d.). 8 Common Narcissist Lies. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201608/8-common-narcissist-lies

 

10 Signs of a Narcissistic Parent. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201602/10-signs-narcissistic-parent

 

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