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Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog

“There is a story I love about a butterfly struggling to leave it’s cocoon, it is tempting for someone watching to want to try and help – because the whole process looks so painful and takes many hours. But if you step in and cut the cocoon off the butterfly it will never leave the ground and soon die – because forcing itself out of the cocoon is what pushes the newly hatched insects vital fluids into its wings.”

This link is from a couple in Australia who have a recovering narcissist/codependent marriage. They have powerful support and a great ministry around their own experience. I don’t know if Steve was a clinical NPD; he sounds more like a programmed one or the son of an NPD, but they have great articles and books, and do an excellent job of getting information and support and HOPE to those in these kinds of marriages.

via Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog.



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So you love a Narcissist?

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.

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A Perspective on Irreconcilable Differences

Yesterday I listened to yet another marriage dissolving over Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). That’s two this week. Having an NPD spouse (male or female) is a tough road, not impossible as I can personally attest, but very difficult.

I was musing today on why I have a good marriage. Usually I think it is because my husband has changed so much in the last 12 years of our 22 year marriage.  He really has, with a little divine intervention.  Maybe someday I should tell the story here; it’s quite a story.

But this morning, I was thinking about the things we enjoy doing together and how we have made them work for us. There aren’t many, maybe three. We think very differently about most everything, (part of that is just male and female I know) but we have learned to appreciate the good in the other and build our own lives while really enjoying what works between us: spirituality, gardening, movies, and sex. I guess there’s four! You can make a nice life out of your own fulfillment and those four.

We start the day by reading scripture together all snuggled up in bed. Sometimes we make love, sometimes we just snuggle, but we both agree it is one of the best parts of our day. Then he goes off to the gym and I exercise with my body ball.  (I hate the gym; he loves it.) Many days we go out and garden together. We don’t agree about that either, but we both love being outside together, and we have decided that we love each other more than being right. We enjoy the same movies on the nights I’m off, and reading together in the evening.

It’s a simple life but it’s good.

Choosing how you look at things really makes a difference. All of us bring baggage into a marriage, being willing to look at your own, your beliefs your lies, and get them healed is terribly helpful in cleaning your side of the relationship street. Each person has a side to clean.

Today, I read the following quote in an email and thought, I used to do that all the time, thank God that has gotten better!

 “Negative attributions-finding an unfavorable explanation for what a spouse does-constitute one of the more common thinking problems in marriage.” (p. 165 Love is Never Enough)

Aaron Beck says it’s common, and am I glad, because it was one of the hardest things for me to get over. I had beliefs inside that took awhile to get to, beliefs that said everyone was out to get me. (Because my older brother was jealous of me and made life hard.)

So if you are struggling with huge differences in your marriage, put the best possible interpretation on your spouses actions, usually they aren’t trying to make you angry or hurt you, but you might be set up to see it that way. 

Stop mind reading. You’re no good at it. Ask for an explanation before you assume. Get your beliefs healed by asking God to tell you the truth. And then find some things you can agree to enjoy together. Research shows the more you play and laugh together, the safer you will feel together. That is good.

If you are married to a narcissist there is more to it. But this is a good start.

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