Do you love a Narcissist? They are easy to fall in love with; difficult to stay with; difficult to live with; difficult to love. That’s because they don’t focus on people as people but rather as objects. the world revolves around them, but it isn’t because they are horrible people. It’s because they learned very early that people aren’t safe, life isn’t safe. You can’t trust anything or anyone. So they build walls around them to protect them from hurt. They are usually too young to realize it won’t work. Personality disorders come from trauma, but mostly before the age of four. I’m talking about clinical Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is similar but much more pronounced and resistant than learned narcissistic traits. We all tend to be more or less narcissistic in our brokenness, but if you are living with clinical NPD, you have a hard road, and you will need to be very strong and solid in your own identity. Narcissists need love too, so if you love him (her–they are predominantly male) and can do it, stay; but you will have to be very good at taking care of yourself, and not expecting much. Don’t count on them changing. It takes divine intervention–literally. They become very good at charm–focusing in on what you like and want so they can deliver it and get what they need and want. They survived by reading people and are usually very good at it. They can turn it on when needed, but be completely self-absorbed when they don’t. They aren’t good at considering your needs. Most of the time they are completely oblivious, (You have needs?) because everything is about them. They typically don’t apologize, don’t say I’m sorry, and are never wrong. They are experts at turning things around and putting them back on you, consequently are very frustrating to try to get to see their own stuff, or take any responsibility. Their fear keeps them from it. If they admit wrong or failure, you might leave them. And abandonment is the biggest fear of all. They live in a silo, very lonely and self-protected, but most of the time they don’t know it. Sometimes knowing this, as a partner, helps enough to rearrange your expectations, and not take hurts personally. And then you can keep on loving your narcissist. It’s a God-like love, and most of us are too selfish or insecure. But if you have a garden-variety narcissist, the son or daughter of a narcissistic mother or father, they can change; but you have to have very strong boundaries, and be, in effect, the hard but benevolent nurse, who smiles and says, “Oh yes, you will take this medicine,” and not care about their pout or their whining or lashing out. You step aside and let it pass, knowing it’s not about you. If you hold their feet to the fire long enough it will produce change. But it is hard work. If it’s the work God has given you, do it well, and you will be rewarded. He will also give you the strength and the love if you ask? So how do you know which one you have? The NPD will have what we call psychotic lapses where they flip out and become irrationally angry, even though sober. At those times you need to remove yourself and the children until they can calm down to normal. Not holding it against them is the hardest part. But don’t ever allow physical abuse. Remember: strong boundaries. Learn to know the change in their eyes and get out of Dodge.