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Dealing with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


Day to day with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

So, what, specifically are people with narcissistic personality disorder like? In general they are extremely self centered, enjoy, no demand positive attention and acknowledgement from others, are considered entitled, self focused, have trouble empathizing with others or understanding what another person may feel like. They are often grandiose, self important and judgemental, seeing themselves as better than those around them, while at the same time being extremely sensitive to rejection - implied, perceived or real from others and may react with displays of aggression, threats or temper tantrums when denied. They tend to fall within what I affectionately call the 'yeller/screamer" category. Their view on life tends to be that the sooner everyone gets with the program and does what they want, the sooner things will get done, the right way, their way - and the easier it will be for everyone.

As long as people do what they need to do, which is obey immediately and ensure that nothing ruptures their worldview, things generally remain calm and narcissists can be as nice as the next fellow. The description "walking on eggshells" is commonly used by the families of people with narcissistic personality disorder and they are often considered difficult to treat due to their difficulty with empathy, extreme sensitivity and rejection of change. It doesn't mean they can't change, it just takes a while, after all, these are pretty ingrained habits - which may beg the question - why don't we spend more energy focusing on the signs which emerge in childhood when they might be easier to treat, but that's a complicated, political and social question beyond the scope of this article.

But back to what it's like for someone with a narcissistic personality disorder to face a threat. It may help to understand a little of where this comes from. Remember that people with narcissistic personality disorder view the world a little differently - not through rose colored glasses exactly, more like one's with the wrong prescription - things are kind of fuzzy, out of focus, distorted, flat becomes round, your head spins and you feel a little queezy, so imagine spending your life with badly fitted, out of focus glasses - you reach for the cup, but your vision is distorted so you miss, you misjudge the distance to the door and walk right into it, you try to walk over to someone and you trip and fall because the ground feels wobbly and is moving and undulating in a most disturbing manner.So, psychologically, these people are starting off at a distinct disadvantage.

The other thing, and the underlying reason for much of the mocking, the rage, the sarcasm, put downs and copious tears, is that for these people, much of what most of us would consider inconsequential is tantamount to a life or death struggle, psychologically. For these people, anything that threatens their world immediately threatens their very self - and that's the core of narcissism, it's a reaction (and none of this is conscious, by the way) to a deep seated fear that underneath all that bravado, boasting and general obnoxiousness that accompanies severe personality disorders that they will be unmasked as someone so unspeakably horrible that they will instantly be shunned and denounced by all who know and love them. It is this deep seated insecurity, self doubt and longing for unconditional attention that provokes the intensity of the reactions many of these people display. Something as minor as a disagreement about an outfit or movie choice can provoke this fear, in fact any questioning at all is threatening in the extreme because to these people, if there's a crack in the dam wall, catastrophe is imminent and certain (and what's more, it's probably because of something they've done or not done).

Obviously not all people with narcissistic personality disorder are this severe and certainly not all the time, but when they are triggered, their attacks can be biting and vicious and frequently guilt ladened. People with narcissistic personality disorder are so uncertain that they will be loved and cared for for themselves, that they frequently use manipulation, especially guilt to get what they want - and it works! People often comply, partly because of their own guilt being activated, but also because they know from experience that they are never going to win, and if by chance they do, there will be hell to pay.

One of the central deficits in narcissistic personality disorder is in the ability for empathy or being able to imagine oneself in another's situation and imagine what they would feel like. How would it be to try to imagine someone else's experience if you don't know how to. It's like telling someone with no art experience to reproduce a Monet with a screwdriver, at best you'd get a crude approximation.

Dealing a Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Well, where to start....

What exactly are personality disorders? Basically a personality disorder is a set of personality traits or characteristics that are both rigid and chronic. Generally personality disorders are not diagnosed in people under 18 as children's character or personality traits are assumed to still be somewhat flexible. Children may show characteristics of these disorders earlier than 18, but their essence is chronicity and inflexibility - and we have to get a little older for that.

Personality disorders are most often diagnosed by a mental health professional. Comprehensive interviews, information from the person's family, questionnaires and projective instruments like the Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach are all commonly used in the diagnosis of personality disorders.

What differentiates personality disorders from the rest of us? Like many mental health symptoms, personality disorders are the extreme manifestations of common characteristics. In the same way that everyone feels sad, but clinical depression significantly impacts day to day functioning, people with personality disorders (and those around them) are significantly affected by the person's personality style and despite these difficulties, the person is unable to change these characteristics. They continue to respond in the same way to everyone and every situation. They're the prototypical "when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail" type.

Most of us consider our personalities pretty stable, we know if we tend to be introverted or outgoing, the people we like and the activities we enjoy. Although our internal base remains, we change ourselves subtly from day to day and in different situations. While a "hey bud, what's up?" may be fine for a friend, few of us would walk into a job interview saying that, and even fewer would be surprised by a negative result. But people with personality disorders are different, not only are they unable to make those essential changes, but they are often deeply confused, hurt and offended when their actions are not well received. Many of these disorders are also externally focused, in other words, it's everyone else's fault, which is part of what makes these people often very difficult to deal with, real "my way or the highway" people who don't generally play well with others.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders lists the following as general personality disorder criteria: An ongoing, chronic pattern of understanding the world and one's own experiences which deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture. This is often expressed in cognitive or thought patterns (i.e., ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events) and in emotions (i.e., the range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response). Interpersonal functioning is also affected and there are generally some problems with impulse control.

These patterns must occur over a significant period of time, in multiple situations and with multiple people. It's not just an occasional bad day, it can't be due to drugs or alcohol and other disorders need to be ruled out. While many people come to therapy because they feel bad, often people with personality disorders are dragged to therapy or are there because of an ultimatum, because other people can't deal with their behavior.


The big problem comes in that despite these invisible impediments, people with narcissistic personality disorder are expected to live, work and interact with the rest of us in the world - and this poses 2 problems - they have to live with us and we have to live with them - and unlike many disorders which are temporary or intermittent, by definition, these are ongoing difficulties. Furthermore, the areas in which these people have deficits - self soothing, empathy and perspective are all areas which society generally attributes to personality, which is fair enough, but more specifically, we treat them as volitional. People with narcissistic personality disorder struggle with things that most of us take for granted and certainly things that many of us do reflexively. They don't know how to calm down, feel less anxious, angry etc. they don't know how to restore their fragile, wounded ego's and they have no innate sense of themselves as kind, loving etc, which they certainly can be.

Knowing some of these things can be helpful in alleviating the guilt that people in families of those with narcissistic personality disorder often feel - and some that those with the disorder feel too. On the whole, people don't like being uncomfortable or unhappy and tend to avoid it if they can. People with this disorder show definite deficits in skills, some of which can be taught. Although it can be difficult for people with narcissistic personality disorder to enter therapy, there can be significant changes with perseverance and practice by both the person with the disorder and their families.

So, in dealing with these people, try to have a sense that actions which seem spiteful and malevolent are actually their attempts at coping because they feel so bad and don't know how to do things differently. This often helps feel less angry towards the person and can help with problem solving. Also, look at your priorities and which things are worth fighting over, remember for them it probably feels a lot more personal so they'll put a lot of effort into it - is it worth it?

Now on important things it's different and here you might want to try stating what you need to say as neutrally as possible, if you're giving feedback focus on your feelings only, use "I statements" say something like "I feel that I'm not able to communicate with you right now because you are yelling, so I'm going to take some space for a few minutes", and yes, mostly you will have to take the high road and don't get lured back in with "so you think it's my fault" or any digs - the idea is to get out quick.

Living with a person with narcissistic personality disorder can be a little like being a meteorologist - and if it looks like rain take an umbrella, so be prepared with prepared things to say, no matter how silly you think it sounds, remember this technique is not just for you, it's for them too, the idea is you take the lead and show them better ways of dealing with things by how you interact with them. Over time, if you do things like self time outs or taking space, which quite honestly is the best way to sneak some undisturbed time, sooner or later, you'll be in the beginning of a conflict and you'll hear "I'm taking space for 10 minutes" instead of the escalating cycle.


Johne296 on June 30, 2014:

You are my inspiration, I possess few web logs and rarely run out from to brand. bkefckadggdf

Heather Mcdougall on October 05, 2013:

Reading many of the comments here, rings so many bells, and I feel my own recent agony just revisted. It's just all so familiar to those of us who have been in long-term relationships with the most extreme, toxic and malignant of narcissits. I think there are small degrees of marcissism - some worse some slightly better,but all totally toxic to those who live with them.

honeytrap99 on April 02, 2013:

I's be careful of Gail Meyers, she is a narcissist and goes around reporting all blogs using pages as resources with the link clearly stated as source. So no copyright what so ever and clearly a RESOURCE and to help others!!!! Yet now she wants to use this as a source??? I think my lawyer can sort her out.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on February 25, 2013:

Wow, I am going to add this to my Narcissist Personality Disorder Mother Facebook resource page.

EmpatheticG on January 21, 2013:

OH MY - totally agree - the person who has a narcissistic personality disorder IS a DANGEROUS and difficult person. Much in this blog and many of the responses are simply enabling behaviors. Alnon had me passifying and enabling my EX husbands behaviors until after 13 years of marriage, afraid for my life every single day, he picked up my 10 year old son by the shoulders and smashed him against the wall for "looking like your mother." I thought he had killed my son, luckily he was OK, but I filed for divorce the next day for inhumane treatment. Now, as an adult my daughter seems to have the exact same thing and, though I raised my grandson for his first 5 1/2 years, she now has him and, at age 8 is twisting the confused boy into the beginnings of some of her behaviors. As her father did years ago when she was young, she has full-force, VERY diligently, been trying to teach my grandson "allianation of affection" towards me (I had to go to court soon after she took him from my house just to get grandparent rights, which, of course, infuriated her and allowed her to manipulate the system to the point that she continued to play with his head) It is a nightmare!!!

1. So, is it possible for an overpowering parent to "teach" a child to become this. I definitely KNOW they can teach a child to be rude, unfair, and callous to the other parent - I've seen this now for 2 generations. But, especially with my grandson, still young, and generally a very intelligent, empathetic boy (my daughter was a sweet young child once too but in hind-view, always seemed to have difficulty with empathy until teenagehood when she seemed to not ever be empathetic to a clinical point- and now - do you know how sad it is when a mother is completely devoid of the ability to empathetize with her young son - EVER) Could she actually warp his brain and soul into becoming like her and her father? What could I do to help stop the repeating of history and give this child a chance in life? At some points, people actually asked me if she has been diagnosed as a socio-path. At this point , sadly, but honestly, I can say that my concerns are for my young grandson now. My Ex, and now my daughter, has beaten me down so hard and so strong, they have drained my feelings for them. My daughter thinks that EVERYTHING is my fault, that if there were an earthquake in China, then that would be my fault. She can be extremely cruel and is very passive aggressive. She has been in rehab and detox several times and I was told that they just couldn't help her because she refuses to "follow any other program than her own private one." She has a terrible memory - do to some very bad health issues - that are "other people's fault", too! She takes ownership of NOTHING and ONLY her own immediate satisfactions have any priority what-so-ever. All of this seems to me SUCH a dangerous milieu to raise a young child in - particularly for his psychological balance. She has COMPLETELY NO empathy for her child and can actually torture him psychologically with threats, guilt, trying to get him to do whatever she wants, etc - or else, he'll pay for it! She is absolutely incapable of thinking about the child's welfare/education/nutrition/future/pleasure/well being/etc. much less any thoughts or desires he may have. And of course CPS ONLY cares about 1) if there is food in the refrigerator and 2)if there is any physical abuse. My daughter, when she was a teen ager, would do things like empty my bank account out or steal my things to let her various boyfriends hock them for drug money. At that time I was very aware that she could easily slip into my room and stab me to death or get one of her jailbird guy friends to do it (the combination of no empathy, and not ever being able to think ahead, and just having to have her immediate desire satisfied at all cost with no connective thought to other's feelings/thoughts/or even life or health) but GENERALLY she is more of a master cold-hearted manipulator and very passive aggressive than simply aggressive (thank God she didn't get that trait from her very aggressive father). So physical abuse of her son is not that much of a worry - only the emotional and psychological abuse of him gives me nightmares every night. SO HOW TO PROTECT THE CHILD??!! I used to think that with my example, he will be more able to pick his path in the future. But she works diligently on trying him to discount/not love/disrespect/dismiss me.

I can say - GET AWAY FROM THAT BOYFRIEND YOU SEE THIS IN!!! Don't enable him, walk on egg shells, put up with, be subservient, etc. But what do you do to help the victim child in this mess???

Winnow on November 14, 2012:

First thanks for your help in this matter. I just realized that I am married to a narcissistic women. At this time we are separated, we have been married for 3 years and have a beautiful little girl of 19 months old. I love my wife with all my heart and just found out that the love she had for me was fake. She has been very verbal and physical abusive to me. (I don't want to seem like I am whining) but the things I have read say that she is text book narcissist. She doesn't want anything to do with me other then when I get to see my little girl. I stopped talking to her, trying to get back together for my little family. I offered for us to go to marriage counseling or some other help but she doesn't want no part of it. I realize she has problems now , for a time I didn't know what I was dealing with. I guess my question is how do I get my wife back and get help that we need?

Christina on November 07, 2012:

You do realize that NPD is considered non-treatable and that there is not a single case of treated NPD in all the times of history of humanity, right? I believe that the advice of trying to help persons with NPD is potentially harmful to people who have feelings for them, especially when it is a family issue. I also believe that the part in a comment where you say "despite the common belief, they are not violent", is completely coming out of a pink cloud. When their concept of self-perfection is threatened they can get very violent, if they are sure they will get away with it. In order to not be violent, you need to have empathy, to realize how it feels to others what you do to them. Well, they don't have any empathy by default. And in the definition of violence, you completely scrap this way the part that answers to what psychological violence is. Guilt tripping, manipulating and lacking love and empathy ARE psychological violence.

I grew up with an NPD mother who used to beat me up until I spitted blood. She used to tell me that I am very ugly and therefore I had to study only because noone would ever want to marry me. She forced me to wear her old clothes and she would always say that I am really fat because I wear at age 10 what she was wearing at age 25. I once got in an abusive relationship and she called the guy and congratulated him for beating me up cause "I needed to learn discipline". I ended up in therapy for several years while she is being a drama queen for what a martyr she is to be standing by me through all this - although she didn't even visit me all these years and she was clear that if I want therapy, she will not waste her money "just because I am crazy".When I told her I got engaged she laughed and said "since you found someone who can tolerate you, marry him as soon as possible before he can see who you really are and leaves you".

On what grounds would you advice me to try to help a person like this? And if I listen to you and I do try to be all compassionate and understanding, do you realize into what potentials of furthermore trauma your advice pushes me?

If anyone here, struggling with an NPD person in their lives, has the slightest bit of self-survival insticts, please listen: NPD is NOT treatable and it is sear malice. Save your souls before it is too late. NPD people are predators feeding off your pain. Sticking around them means two choices: more trauma or even more trauma. You are responsible for one person only: yourselves. You cannot change the world. Just save yourselves. And as hardcore as it may be, leaving is your best choice. There are other options too, but don't go through them without the sturdy presence of a therapist in your lives. YOUR therapist, not for the people with NPD. You need real help and support, not internet advice from unknown sources. Noone deserves to go through the pain an NPD person can cause. And noone with such behavior to you deserves your compassion - they will only take advantage of it to hurt you further.

Seek help with a therapist. Don't think because you read something you can also do it. If you had a broken leg you would go to an orthopedic doctor. Now you have a broken soul, go to a psychologist. This moment. Not tomorrow. Be well and I hope you find your peace.

bj on November 01, 2012:

wow, so glad to find your site! how do i deal with a daughter who has totally devastated her father, who previously was her "hero"? i figured out quite awhile ago she was narcissistic when all her chats were about herself and her dramas and problems, but she never answered my comments or asked about us or any of the other family members. i do not even want to talk to her as i feel nothing i say will make her understand what she has done to him.

Tara on September 20, 2012:

I recently ( within the last 10 months) got with my boyfriend, he is an admitted narcasist. I would really like to know how best to deal with him and perhaps get him to go to counseling with me?

Samantha on September 15, 2012:

Stay away from someone with NPD....stay far far far away.

Ochya on August 03, 2012:

I have a friend who is narcissistic. She was my roommate last year in college and it was terrible. We were friends at first because we share many interests. We're even minoring in the same thing, which was great because we could study together. But it soon became obvious that she had major self-esteem and control issues. She would be offended by the slightest thing and would flare up. She twisted conversations so they seemed like a personal insult. She can be incredibly competitive and childish.

I wasn't sure what to make of this for a long time and I just tried to deal with it. Honestly, I just thought she had really low self-esteem and needed a friend. But finally she crossed the line and did something selfish that effected out entire Japanese class. Long story short, the class had to be rescheduled to a new time and she didn't want it at the new time that was decided so she said she had class then. When I discovered that she didn't (because I was her roommate. How did she think I wouldn't find out?) She got very angry and we had a fight. I admit I yelled, which was the wrong thing to do, but afterwards she threw a tantrum and screamed and kicked (not me, just furniture) and then refused to talk to me. This really shocked me as she is 20 years old!

For the longest time I felt like I had done something horribly wrong and blamed myself. I thought maybe I overreacted. But then I talked to my friends and other people who know her and I realized she was being really selfish and narcissistic.

But the story doesn't end there, sadly. We are in the same study abroad program and there are only three people from my college (including us) that are going. Not only will I have to sit next to her on a plane for 15 hours, but we will be in Japan together for a year! I would love to avoid her but I don't think that's possible. What should I do?

mimi on July 29, 2012:


I have read this article twice already and I believe my boyfriend is a narcissist. My mom has mentioned it and even my family members. I have been dating his for a year and as the months passed the worse the arguments got. He always gets upset about foolish things and blames it on me. He always says relationships are 50/50 which I completely disagree because a relationship to me is to have someone that fills you in as a person and to be able to grow together. I tried walking away but he says its disrespectful of me, when really I want us to have space to cool off and think about the issue. I just do not know what to do anymore or how to talk to him without him being an asshole or impolite towards me. Any advice?

Cdub3060 on July 22, 2012:

I have a close friend who has just recently been diagnosed with NDP and is currently in a psych ward. Is there medication that can help it and do they go back to the person they were before the personality took over?

I really hope so as I still have feelings for him...

Broken23 on July 12, 2012:

Was just directed to an article through here about gas lighting. I guess that about hit the nail on the head. And by the way, my husband didn't start out calling her a narcissist, nor did he blame her. He was initially convinced he failed as a husband by not shutting her down. I discovered that through affair blogs then quizzed him on things she said and how she reacted. I know it's easy for the wife to blame the "other" woman but in this case I don't consider her a woman. More like the devil.

Broken23 on July 12, 2012:

Hi. Two Years ago I learned the hard way that a high school friend was actually a narcissist. We reconnected through our kids attending the same elementary school. Almost every weekend her husband and her, along with me and my husband would play cards, go to dinner or a movie or just get together to visit. She painted her husband as unsupportive, uncaring, uninvolved with the children, etc. my husband has always been very supportive of people and tried to encourage and help her whenever possible. About 7 months into our renewed friendship, she sent him a text, unknown to me, that said "I'm crushing on you". My husband says he thought since she was considering divorce he just thought she thought he was nice. Really? Next thing he knows they are texting and talking on the phone behind my back. He says it was just normal stuff. All the while the four of us are still getting together for fun. I learned later that she was planting seeds telling him he must not be happy with me, she can tell we aren't happy, I'm not as good to him as she would be, I don't take care of him like she would, they are soul mates, they shouldn't miss this opportunity because there's a reason they "found" each other again. She even planted seeds with me by asking me once how I would deal with my husband having an affair. Which when I discovered the affair she was quick to remind me of what I had said. Almost 9 months after reconnecting she convinced him to have phone sex with her. He says he doesn't know why he agreed because he was never looking for sex. I know people will think I'm stupid for believing this but i do. He was depressed and I believe she knew this, thru our visits with them. The more time we spent together as couples the more seeds she was able to plant and the more evidence she was able to gather to make him believe we were destined for divorce. My husband says she always had him feeling confused, put words in his mouth and referred back to stuff he never really said. He tried to disconnect with her after phone sex but she convinced him they were in way to deep to turn back now. It's very hurtful to think that someone I considered a friend could try to steal my husband. She was even trying to buy my children gifts to make herself look good prior to the exposure of the affair,

My husband is a good man. I consider us lucky that God led me to discover the affair, which ended the secrecy. He did end up moving out for 8 weeks. He says he always knew something was wrong, and that he knew he loved me but that she convinced him too much had happened. And, afterall, right in front of both of them I had said I would never forgive an affair. She let her true colors show the first week he moved out, and I fought for him. Hard. Like my life counted on it. She pushed him to cuts ties with me and be with her 24/7. Something clicked with him luckily. He cut all ties and never looked back. He said something told him no contact was the only way out.

We are still trying to recover after nearly two years. I never knew narcissists existed before this experience. I just can't believe someone would actually become friends with another person with the intent of manipulating their husband away. We are much stronger now.

Hurt and Confused on July 10, 2012:

I 'm gay and hurt. I met a guy on twitter. Didn't know he was gay was just being friendly with him and followed because he had a sense of humor similar in some ways to my own. He didn't follow me back but idc(I didn't care) because it was just for his wit. After several weeks of exchanges of jokes or replies to his jokes, he started responding back. Score! A friend I thought. Soon, we'd started trading barbs with each other. Again, it was fun not flirting from what I thought. Last year before father's day he had a freak out about his dad coming to visit and wanted to take him to do things in LA where he lived and asked with great fear for things to do. Me being his playful joker gave him several suggestions with a comedic twist but useable ideas. He laughed and told me thanks. A few days later I was feeling down and idk how he saw my tweets because he wasn't following me but told me to cheer up I was always there for him and he was glad to have me as a friend. This came to a shock to me becaus he had only been the person I just joked with. Shortly after he followed me and I thought that would be the end of it. About a week later he started tweeting me on a daily basis. Before, I had tweeted maybe every other day, but this must just be him being nice. I didn't respond everyday at first but later this became an issue so I did and felt I had to. He started telling me that he liked me and that I was the combination of sweet and sexy, he had met no one like me and he wanted to get to know me. This was a shock to me, Idk he was gay, had never noticed or seen anything to make me think he was. My followers didn't know I was gay, I had not felt comfortable to say it to them so the tweets between us became epic to my followers. some were supportive others unfollowed...even though I never officially said I'm gay.

I tried to slow things down with him, like where is this coming from? Why did you think I was gay? Answers of which I still don't have. At first 3 months after him telling me this, I was just his friend like I had been before. I wasn't one of those online romance types. But after telling me all these sweet nothings for that length of time, I came to like him somewhat. He quickly started Direct messaging me saying why he liked me and how he thinks of me all day, he swept me off my feet. When I told him I was shy and nervous ,scared he seemed ok with taking things slow but would tell me he need more affection from me and to tell him how I fell about him. I did.

Then he said he needed it in public. He knew I wasn't out so I tried to give him all the attention publically he wanted. This mind you is all online he lives in Cali me in the south. So I gave him the attention. Then he would say privately in Direct messages, that I was treating him coldly and he wasn't sure if I liked him and he wanted me to be more warm not short and sweet but long and with more warmth, he suggested I look at his tweets when he tweets me and to respond back to them sooner. Since he tweeted everyday, I tweeted back every day. whatever sadness I felt he'd cheer me up in Direct messages We had so many DM that At one point I knew we'd exchange email and telephone nmbers. He didn't then.

By Thanksgiving he was my entire world..sweet and caring and nice publically flirting. I was getting ready to come out for him.

It wasnt' until this new year he started acting even more strange getting distant. He'd say he needed me to tell him funny things what I was up to,tell him what I was thinking about him because he couldn't tell if i was being funny, snarky or sarcastic. I told him what I felt my heart was his. He then out of the blue became very distant. He wouldn't tweet me and stopped Dm. I asked if anything was wrong and he was like no. I am made of steel my emotions are real I'm a professional I don't put up with bullshit. His exact words. I told him. Now I know you're mad at me, but what did I do? say? I was in love for him. He was like nothing.

A few weeks go by and by the end of January he Dms me saying that I'm too private, and that unless I can share more affection for him publically that I'm not worth anything than the occasional flirt. he then unfollowed me and didn't tweet me. Now again..I was not out. and I had been careful to walk the line of being with him when you unfollow someone on twitter you can't send them direct messages. so I begged him to follow me to see what was going on..out of the blue. He told me he just needed more from me and when I tried to get what he needed so I could give it to him, he basically argued with me and broke up and unfollowed me again. The only way to tell him how I'd feel was public. Scared as I was to do it, I did.

By now it was leading up to Valentines, and since we talked every day since june/july until January I thought he liked me still..I know.. I thought I can win him back I'll give him the attention he wants. I sent him tweets and Valentine msgs and wished him a Happy Birthday which he was happy to get but after the thanks would just ignore me.

This left me crushed. I began to think maybe I had done something wrong?What'? Why had he dumped me after he persued me and dumped me without as much as a real closure? So I left twitter for a while to collect myself. When I came back I wasn't over him, but I felt, he's not into me get over it. I said well I'll be the bigger person, I can show him, how to be friends with an ex even if it's an online ex. i was nice respectful, no ribs or jokes like before just things I'd tweet normally.

I included him in music listings and sent him mass group news tweets normal stuff. One day out of the blue he tweeted me and said he missed me. This was weird because he had dumped me 2 months prior and didn't tweet or talk to me unless I initiated it so what was there to miss? I simply replied I missed him too, becuase I did.

After that no contact for about a month. Idk this was a pattern or that he was just checking my feelings I thought he was being sincere. So Again not over him but moving on I tweeted like usual and a month later, he tweeted me saying he missed me a lot. And that it would make him very happy if I'd tell him or tweet him anything, something nice, funny, silly, if I was sad, or just thoughts on my mind. I told him, it that would bring him some happiness then yhea I would. I just thought it was weird. So that weekend I told him my plans he was happy just like he was before when we were together, but we were not together and then he followed me again. He sent me a DM saying that this was his number and I should call him. Well in all the time we were online courting as he called it he never gave me his number. This made me feel insane. Why give me your number now? What did he want? I figured I would try to get the closure to us breaking up by calling him, I called 2 days later after I checked my feelings to what I needed to say and feel. When I called I got voicemail, so I left him a msg a nice short one saying Have a nice day, please call me back and giving him my number.

Midnight he dm saying thanks for calling he was out with his buddies and couldn't take the call. Thanks for making a move to show interest. Now I wasn't making a move for us I was making a move for closure to the break up and to be friends and move on as friends. weeks went by he never called. I told him I needed to speak to him please call. He made up excuses he was tired, sleepy, the time zone diff. But he would call. A month went by no call and I followed through on tweeting him like he asked. He would tweet back things like he's going out with his exboyfriend, or how he was playing the dutiful husband for his roomate, he would post pics of guys and tweet about guys trying to kiss him or flirt with him or he could have sex with. seemed like he was trying to make me jealous but I was seriously trying to close our "love" to be friends. That was 2 months ago. Now he gives me the silent treatment. If I Dm him now, I'm sure he'd answer & if I tweet him he'll reply, but at this point idk what to do? Why does he do this? Should I just unfollow No Contact?& Why do I hurt? He's the 1 being mean?

Lookingtunderstand on June 18, 2012:

Help. I have dated a woman for about 9 months and spent 5 more trying to be friends with/be in a relationship/escape completely. I recently read up on this disorder by putting in signs and after reading as much as I could told her that it sounded like her. I spent 3 days straight refusing to accept that she Nos sees that she is depressed..watched her cycle from realizing, accepting, being sorry, blaming then attacking me over and over. I kept my strength. Cried my eyes out but in hoping she sought help was my goal. I didn't want to mask the situation and go. Mack because I already attempted to take my own life once. I have started seeing another woman casually but intimately in an attempt to make the possibility of going back impossible. Less than 9 hours after this admission I was devastated to be told that my ex-girlfriend posted on a very social/public website that she was abused by me verbally, physically and emotionally. There were some partial truths in the comment section and for me made her accusations sound accurate. I am devastated by this. I don't know what to do. I have to admit that there were times when I lashed out calling names etc. trying to get her to leave me alone...but by no means was I abusive. I was trying to protect myself. I realize I shouldn't respond etc. but I almost feel like ignoring it..she will do it to someone else. I made an attempt on my own life because I had been made to believe I was less than the scum of the earth. I don't want anyone else to go thru what I did. Please help.

austin 0203 on May 01, 2012:

Thank you for the article. I am having a difficult time with my sister who now has cut me off from her life for the second time. This is her way of punishing me. She blamed our mother for years and now including the father. Yes, our parents have their faults like we all human do. But she wants their validation that she is right. She can go on hours on what other people do wrong but if say three phrases she makes feel like a worst person in the world and start badgering with a list of my faults. She feels that it is her obligation to tell me my faults because no one else does. The last time we started to talk to each other was when we found out she had breast cancer and the family supported both financially and emotionally. Then she says she will be famouse through this ordeal and will be writing a book and then then into a movie. So many people helped her. Now three years later... she is back to everyone's fault again. She seems to have bipolar because she has very highs and lows. But also everything is about her either good or bad. She has definate ideas of how parents should be to her and how her sibling should be to her. But she never think twice about how she should to be rest of us. Other people thinks she is a victim. Other people sees her as a happy go lucky. I don't know what to do. Yes, I feel guilty because I always feel like maybe I ddin't do enough. Now she only speaks to two members of the family because they have college degrees. minds you she doesn't have it either. Please help me understand and how can I have a healthy relationship with her. Of course we don't have any right now because she has cut me off..

Nuria on April 23, 2012:

To beachgirl4...It deeply saddens me to hear about your niece, as I am forced to let my ex-husband continue his path of destruction with our daughter.

First and foremost, I am committed to protecting my child. (Unfortunately, there is no reasoning with these individuals, so you will never get them to seek "treatment" for their own sake or those, involved - in my belief, they are not even "treatable" - they are like sociopaths...).

Maybe this helps making your decision easier: My daughter sees a therapist that deals

exclusively with Narcissism - and I know, in your case, it's difficult, since it is her mother, which will never agree to that.

I am in the same position: anything, related to our daughter, has to be agreed upon by both my ex-husband and I.

I did not ask his permission (violating court orders - I don't care).

I just have her see the therapist - protecting my child - building a "case".

I am currently petitioning the family court, presenting evidence and hoping that, eventually, the court will listen to me and my daughter (at age 13, they have a right to be heard before the judge).

The tricky part of the whole issue is the fact that the abuse is not "visible" - it is "just" abuse - not physical - therefore not enforceable / punishable.

Having endured extreme narcissistic behaviour for over 12 years myself and having a child that still does endure it: If I knew of a child that is exposed to a narcissist, I would (without hesitation) involve CPS.

beachgirl4 on April 18, 2012:

I am emotionally distraught today. Although my sister has not officially been diagnosed, it is clear she has a narcissistic personality and perhaps other mental issues. She is 9 years older than I. Growing up she has always had a strange control over me and my parents. I was taught to "not get her angry" or "let the argument pass" and "not to be so sensitive and deal with it" when it came to coping with the erratic motions of my sister's personality. We all walked on egg shells with her and my parents continue to do so to this day...although my mother finally seems to have had enough. I am now married and have an 10 year old son. I feel fortunate to have found a wonderful husband and live out of state from my family. Living at a distance has been a great help in coping with our very dysfunctional family. My sister is married and as a 9 year old daughter. I have always been stressed over her behavior to my parents and her husband...very bossy, controlling,rude to strangers, volital, nothing is ever her fault, etc. Now that we both have children, I have become very disturbed at her verbal abuse not only with her husband, but more importantly with my neice. Not to mention my son witnesses her alarming behavior. I feel a responsibility to report her to child protective services for my niece's sake. Her husband seems to have had enough and has confided to me that he is looking at moving out but is afraid to leave his daughter in her care. We all know she will go into a rage if any of us try to recommend the need for professional help. It is a loose/loose situation. She has threatened that he will never see his daughter again and end up with nothing if he leaves but she continues to pick at his every move and controls every aspect of his life. It is far worst for my niece who is home schooled...ugh! She will not even allow him to keep in contact with his family. I feel this has all come to a head at a recent visit. My son and I endured many verbal abusive arguments upon her daugher and husband. We all know if we stand up for each other the fight will explode into a big screaming match and I don't want to do that in front of my son, so we all just let her go into a frenzy and wait for the storm to pass. I ended up leaving our visit earlier than planned because of all the turmoil and she took it personally saying I was incensitive to her feelings and I did not appreciate all she did to have us over. She now sends hateful text messages and emails trying to manipulate me but does not see what drives everyone away. She has lost many friends and other family members distance themselves. I am so disgusted with her that I wish to never speak wit her again...especially since I see this verbal abuse has escalated to where I am frightened for my niece. I know confronting my sister will just bring on a storm of arguments for my brother-in-law and niece. Should I push her husband to seek assistance from a child and family service or just get the ball rolling with child protective services?

get real on April 18, 2012:

Hmm....NPD, just one of a group of PD`s essentially made up by society and the medical fraternity to explain what is essentially just bad behaviour from people who enjoy behaving badly, now that you are classed as having a "disorder" and therefore somehow ill means that you get "treatment" for your excesses of behaviour instead of suitable sanctions being brought to bear (by this I mean punishment). Why does medicine perpetuate this nonsense?, well an auto mechanic needs broken engines to work on or no income, even if they are simply made up faults....

Sharon H. on April 11, 2012:

I have been married to a man for 22 years. I have been going through hell with his personality and the light bulb went on yesterday. He is narcissist. I have taken the time out approach and things sometimes get better, but it has taken a toll on me. I'm in a difficult time in my life because I am taking care of my 96y/o mother. I want to run away but can't. To his family he is the best thing since sliced bread, to me he is horrible. I dont know how much more I can take.

Christine Louis de Canonville on April 06, 2012:

To nuria..... sadly I tend to agree with you. Unfortunately before the victim realizes that they are dealing with a narcissist, so often they have been stripped bare of self-esteem, and sucked dry. They often end up so confused by the gaslighting behaviour that they cannot even trust their own decision making. This makes it very hard to get out.

To Liz-Abeth, I would say that your man is "Gaslighting" you.... this is a very destructive behaviour on the victim. During the process of gaslighting, the victim will find themselves going through emotional and psychological states of mind.

I am a therapist that works with victims of narcissistic abuse. I have written some articles on the subject that you may like to read. I shall put a link to my site.

During the process of gaslighting, the victim will find themselves going through emotional and psychological states of mind that leave them drained.


Liz-Abeth on April 04, 2012:

I have been in a relationship with a man of 53 years of age for over three years. We cannot get through even one day with out him saying something extremely hurtful and accussatory to me. Each day is a fight, but each fight he says is my fault. I have read all the information about Narcassistic Personality Disorder above and he fits completely into all of the criteria for it. He has been through two divorces and has a history of all women he has had relationships with not being able to remain with him. If they did not get along with him under his demands then he cronically takes on a new girlfriend who does not yet know how cruel he will become. I met him while he was married to his last wife. He pretended to be a single man with a house and a car and a normal life. None of it was true. He also gambles to an extreme on top of his personality problems. I will give just one example of what I go through every day. I can pick up a paper he has written a to do list for the day on and just look at it. Soon he will say something like - Why are you looking at it there is NO WOMENS NAME OR NUMBER ON IT. When I ask him why he would say anything like that, he will reply with an insult like I always accuse him and every thing I look at is to find proof about other women. Now this is every day, every place we are, every thing we do. I am kind to him, considerate, patient. But always the same from him. With in minutes I am being called a whore, ugly, he hopes I would die. And it is always my fault. No matter what he has said or done, it is my fault at all times.

nuria on March 30, 2012:

My heart goes out to all of you - those, who currently suffer and those, who found their way out. I can not say, I am healed (and I still have to deal with the devil, as my son is forced to continue to visit), but I know for certain: I am not crazy. None of you are!

Seriously, there is no cure, there is no "trying", nor getting them to "understand you" - there only is: PACK YOUR BAGS AND RUN!

hurtfulsoul on March 13, 2012:

well people its like this when I first me this Man I was a virgin and he was my first in everything, I trusted this Man and gave him my all that it caused me to fall in love with him. in the begging everything was on point he was the perfect gentlemen and in a couple of months he used to ask me were am I going, and who i'm with and what time i'm gig to be back,,, I didn't think anything of it I thought it was cute that he was a little jealous but when the pushing, slapping, choking, bitting and all other things such as sexual abuse came thats when the tears and fears would come out towards him... the first time when I had a gun to my head and he pulling the trigger I thought of my god i'm gonna die and I thank God that the bullet that was in the chamber did not shoot me or him in the frrekin head, or getting stabbed in the leg and almost dies after an infection not knowing that I should have went to the doctor...

or the first time when he beat me down in my house of outside when the MBTA bus stopped looked and kept on going I felt so little that the abuse won't stop... I have so many more stories about my abusive life that it can't fit on this page... but here I am today wanting to end the abusive relationship and he won't let me break up with him...

he is threading me more, hitting me more, and sexually abusing me more... when I tell I don't want to have sex or stop he ignores me and tells me he can't stop and during that time of sex he makes me orgasm wither I want to or not... just the other day he took an extenuation cord and rapped it around my neck and choked me I freaked out and he said calm the fuck down i'm just playing or the other time when he put a plastic bag over my head while I was trying to fight him off of me...

so today i'm afraid to be seen with other guys, or start another relationship, I feel like all of this is my fault, I feel shamed, embarrassed, guilty, confused, and at most times worried about my life is he capable of seriously hurting me, or putting me in the hospital or even wind up dead one day,,, I have loved this man for more then 15 years and still NO FREEDOM after all these years he just told me if you leave me i'll kill you or someone in your family how can u tell someone something like that when you think they love you?

thank you for reading please send me your comments cause your comment do count take care and God Bless :)

notsurewhattodo on March 13, 2012:

Hi I am married to a man with strong Narcissistic personality traits and for the first time in reading all of this I feel like I am not crazy or insane in fact I am quite normal. I have been trying to place his behaviour in the wrong category as I have never understood why he would react the way he does. I have been with him for 11 years and probably sad for much of it, clinging to the hope that he would have to 'get how he talks to me' one day. He has been the one in the drivers seat for most of it as we have had some bad financial luck, through his choice to invest in the stock market, but you would never hear him admit it and I never at the time put it on him that his decision which over rides mine was the cause of our discomfort, I simply got on with the job of staying up night after night working with two small children to earn our losses back. He is a doctor himself so is in the best position for a narcissistic personality...everyone goes to him for advice to fix their problems so he is always in a position where he feels like he is indispensable because he receives so much praise from his patients. During the early years of our marriage, actually many years if I would disagree with him we would call him the master debater because you could never win a discussion ever. You could say the sky was blue and he would say 'where is your evidence for that' or 'no its not' even if you were just making conversation his way was to bring it into a debate to show how smart he is. His Father died when he was a teenager and his mother has always admired text book intelligence. He has always had a problem with other women, and what i used to say a 'desperate need for sexual attention and validation' particularly if I seemed like I was not pandering to flattering him at every turn at home listening to hours upon hours of different things that would go beyond emotional support of a partner. He has not physically cheated yet I feel emotionally he has and I can pretty much predict that what ever challenge he has in his life, and I mean it can be far removed from anything to do with me will always come back to a sentence starting with 'well I behaved that way because of you, or we are here because of you, or its because of you'. We would go out to a function and I could see him eyeing up other women and trying to catch their attention, I would be humiliated, and the thing is he was not interested in taking this beyond that because it was not about emotional attachment, I used to say he wanted to just get this zap of attention then he was done with them, and they sometimes would get the wrong idea because of this behaviour and think he was available, send him emails or call him and he then would be totally dismissive to them and claim he had no idea what gave them that idea. I would say then I must not be crazy if the woman in question and I both thought the same thing. He had one good lesson, he played this game with someone he worked with and she then started emailing him and calling him and sent an email to me. I have never seen anyone run so fast as when she returned his flirtation he had already gotten his fix of attention and had not intended for it to go further, and i know it did not. We had a conversation about this need, this desperate need and from that point he seemed not engage in it and that was years ago. I would dread going out with him because I would feel like I was just there as Plan B because he would have to command the spotlight, to the point I would just leave him at the door and go off and be social all night long to turn the tables, I never exhibited the same need or bahaviour but just wanted to see how he reacted and he did not like it one bit, so yes that seemed to stop, but in the back of my mind I am yet to be put in a situation where there are women around him like that to see how he behaves, and actually nor do I care as much about it because it just played into a feeling that I must not be good enough. Despite the fact he is a very good doctor and people love him and he seems to be able to totally empathise with his patients when he is in the position of control, he lacks total awareness of his own behaviour in private. I have always said he will fight to the death to always be the good guy but being the good guy means someone else always has to be the bad guy. Consequently he rarely argues with anyone outside of his family, and right now he is off on a 1,000 km charity bike ride that he has been training for for the last few months which he has blasted all over Facebook and aside from being a good thing to do, his motives are no different to everything else he does, he constantly needs attention and is very critical of me, I can never feel like I can do anything where he will even praise me because he is on the look out for a failure and lord help me when life throws me a curve ball because although he thinks by being here is support he will then go about making it emotionally torturous. I went through a very nasty court case where I went into business with someone that I was introduced too and to cut a long story short, them being a large corporation, saw it as a golden egg and tried to steal the idea and cut me out of my own business. I later found out the same guy did this to his own company and his own major share holders tried to dump him as the Director. I was completely broken down by this but instead of support I received abuse and verbal tirades about how I obviously did not do my research, and I will get a list as long as my arm of a history of what he considers past failings. Of course it leaves you emotionally devastated as I could never understand how he could be so caring and emotional with his patients and to me the complete opposite. He even told us at a dinner party he was giving counselling to some patients on their relationships in practice. I was floored, I asked him how he could think he could be doing this later on when his own relationship was not given the same respect and attention and he did none of what he was advocating for in his own relationship. I found it almost sickening that he was being such a hypocrite. Of course he sees not the hypocrisy. The thing that hurts the most is yes his total lack of empathy. I hit rock bottom over the court case and I felt I had his judgement on top of it. I was at a very emotionally fragile state and have been privately on the ground crying, numb and unable to feel like I could move forward when he has come home and seen me and all he did was walk over to me, take my pulse and then walk out without a word. What message I got from that was...well if I did not have a pulse that was his level of care! I was not even looking for him to be there as I had become used to being private about my pain because I knew there would be no emotional support from him, just some kind of lesson. I asked him about this later and he said...well all you have done is cry over the years. This is another thing, he will hear no criticism of himself, there is a zero tolerance there, but he has no problem with loosing it with me. I guess I struggle with how someone can be so far removed from his own behaviour in favour of annihilating someone else's and quite often after he has vented he feels great and I feel shocking. Why stay you say. The thing is outside of the home everyone thinks he is just the most amazing person on the planet, and he will do everything he can to cultivate it. He is highly intelligent and very physically good looking so has always had mountains of praise and of course women chasing him. He has actually acknowledged in the past that he has had a need for sexual attention as a way of validation and that the behaviour has been damaging to us, but that was then. If you asked him now, instead of saying this he would tell you I have been jealous of any other woman that even comes near him. The thing is I have always been very secure, happy and driven and confident but somehow he has stripped all this away and turned it around to excusing his behaviour by making it all about me again. He ups and goes away a lot with his work, we are not

Re: revelation on March 13, 2012:

I have NPD and I can tell you, you sound like you're deserving of a good draining. When you suffer from this, yeah sure you can be on your best behavior and bite the tongue around the people that matter (through aging wisdom).. but eventually you are going to need a stranglehold over someone for release.

It sounds to me like you were a willing participant, and that is your fault for being so weak, no one elses. Slap, sorry, slap, sorry.. If you eventually meet someone who doesn't treat you like this, it's not b/c they're more together or mature; it's b/c they are also weak. Inevitable weak offspring.. Jeremy Kyle-esque show 1-2 generations down the line. You have no one to blame but yourself (maybe your parents).

revelation on March 09, 2012:

People with what modern psychology defines as "narcissistic personality disorder" are simply BAD AND EVIL people. There is no way to make anything work with them and if you ever get involved with one, you are best to run away as fast and as quickly as possibly because they are DANGEROUS and will drain you while making your life a living hell and ESPECIALLY if they suspect that you want to leave them. I have recently come out of a very turbulent relationship with one and despite other previous relationships I have had, this one was purely a WASTE of three years of life, money and valuables lost, and, more importantly, sanity and self-esteem damage. Their personalities are ruthless and their actions are criminal so the sooner you get away the better, bearing in mind that you will always lose, but better to lose a lot rather than everything. Dictators throughout history have NPD and many have literally lost their lives being at their mercy when they were in power. A narcissit will abuse their positions of power to the maximum and there is NO resolution, mid-way or compromise for what they do.

Tara on March 03, 2012:

Hello, i am Tara

Last month, it was my birthday, and a time when I experienced another loss in my family. I was in total depression also because the gentleman I had been seeing for nearly a year decided to cut ties with me. All this happened at the same time, and my heart was broken. Then I found Dr Ijebu online, and all my luck turned around – especially because the master did a wonderful spell of Love for me and my dearest companion, who decided he had made a terrible mistake by leaving me. We even took a much-needed vacation. It meant the world to me, and I have you to thank ancientijebudespelltemple@gmail.com

Kat on February 24, 2012:

I have a real problem here with my mother's ex girlfriend! She is dead on to EVERYTHING said, as if everybody is posting about her, as if they know her! Very scary! I want to start out by saying that I'm truly sorry for everybody dealing with somebody with NPD it's been one of the hardest things in my life and I know it's been hard for everybody here!

There are two small adopted children thrown in the mess of this person (3yrs and 1yr) I can't tell you how much I worry about these two! I'm 30 and I play a HUGE role in the life of my two little siblings, for almost 2 years I have been a stay at home sister for the two of them (by choice I quit my career and switched my focus to them) my reason for such a drastic change in my life was because of there behavior of the person. Adoption was everything this person ever wanted and when she got the first child he was kicked aside on day 3 of his life. I watched by the sideline for 1 full year watching him get tossed from one care taker to the next, within the first year of his life her had 6 care takers. Not to mention that this woman didn't really work, her business was getting closer and closer to failing and never once stepped in to take care of her son (I hate to say "her son" because it's the saddest excuse for a mother that I have EVER seen) my mother works full time and gives ever second of her life otherwise to both children, no to mention that she already raised two children, myself 30 and mt elder brother 32

I could go on and on about the behavior of the woman but I won't because it would be no different than everybody else's story, it seems like a very black and white disorder.

What I would really like to know is if there is any way to notify someone outside of the family of the danger that this person posses. There has been one incident where she has almost broken down a locked door from pounding on it with her fists and kicking. she has made many threats to my mother of taking the children from her and has previously hurt both the children in sneaky ways: examples knowingly allowed the older one to be electrocuted by a light socket repeatedly...allowed the older one to fall out of her truck off the front seat hitting his head on the footstep so hard that he flipped over and landed flat on his back and head on the pavement (she told me that this happen in a public parking lot)... Pulling off oxygen tube from second baby's nose WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL, nurses told my mother this and told her to talk to her and tell her not to do that because the baby needs the oxygen (baby was in hospital due to labored breathing) when my mother told her not to take the oxygen off she told my mom "she doesn't want the baby to become dependent on the oxygen and the sooner the baby can breath by herself the soon they can go home" baby was in hospital for 1 week, it would have only been 4 days but the doctor spoke with my mother telling her that she was concerned who would be taking care of the baby and the two of them ( dr and my mother) cancelled the discharge until the weekend so that she would be home to to take care of the baby too. One week later this woman ripped off the baby's umbilical cord cause it to bleed and develop umbilical granuloma... One day my mother came home from work and the older child was limping (2yrs) she told my mom she didn't have a clue what happen and several hours later after my mother kept on it she said "I don't know maybe somebody stepped on him"

The latest is now she is trying to make my mother re-appoint her full decision maker on her life insurance policy in the event that something happen to my mother, shes even gone as far as doing the research and telling my mother that she needs to have her home go to her as well as a portion of my mothers family business...."because of the kids"

So basically I know this woman is ill, the whole family knows this woman is ill, when my mother first met her she had been going to therapy for 10 years and my mother found anti depressants in her bathroom but she denies that.. My mother has told her story to an attorney but there was no concern at all from her, so I'm asking at this point what can be done, because so far I have only been told that no action can be taken until something happens.

I'm very worried for the safety of my mother and my little brother and sister.

Please help me to figure out a way to make things right before something terrible happens.

Thank you!

DrSleep on February 22, 2012:

I have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic, borderline and anti-social.

I've always known I have had these problems. I'm going through a child access battle (uk) and am terrified that my Mental health will be used as a Tool against me.

The facts are, I've never been violent or hurt anyone. And I love my son, more than anyone. I'm no threat to anyone, I can hold down a job, I did have a stable life until a break down of my marriage which was faults on both sides. Now I'm having this access battle. I have my son on sundays but supervised. Will the courts see me as dangerous to my son? Should I give up? What can I expect? I mean, if people with personality disorders can't have kids, why not people with Aspergers, Bipolar etc. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my son. I'm actively seeking Psychotherapy.

Anything you can give me would be appreciated. thank you.

Hayley on February 17, 2012:

Do you think nlp or hypnosis can help people who have npd ?

Overseas on February 14, 2012:

Hello, what an interesting site.I really could do with some solemn advice. I' ve been in a relationship for 23 years with someone who is now a doctor. I admit to having put him through trouble in the beginning as I expected him to react to an overbearing, almost vicious mother and a low-profile father, due to the fact that I had idealistic views as to how relationships should be in order for the world to be a better place. But, to my defence, I was fully aware that all views need to be constantly reassesed and amended through thought processsing and communication so that we don' t become rigid. He was in constant "fear" of me as he admitted very often, because I was a thinker and insisted on self-knowledge. He avoided me with all sorts of excuses mainly his parents' health and then their death and work. The first years of our relationship were very intense in a good way as I inspired him to be a philanthropist which he enjoyed and thought of as a worthwhile objective. But to my dismay, though he became a very caring doctor, while I was in constant retreat, communication was gradually breaking down as he started yielding dangerously to family propaganda which had involved persistent lying even when there was no reason, double standards, false criticism of others, and narcissistic behaviour. He even cheated on me which was inconceivable once upon a time. After 10 years of marriage where I've been trying to figure things out, it dawned on me that afterall he must be a narcissist, but what made it difficult to nail down was the fact that he really is a caring person and doctor especially when emergencies arise and he isn't at all snobbish with everyday people as one might expect. So the "lack of empathy" characteristic of NPD just isn't there except when he needs to understand his own behaviour which involves temper tantrums, avoidance, insults towards me and paranoid ideas in repetition of what mother used to say.It just doesn't make sense. It almost looks as if this seemingly circumstantial personality disorder or whatever it is, is the price he has to pay in order to feel as an accepted member of his family. So, what's in it for me ? Apart from my wanting to "save" the good that I knew was in him, I've invested so much time, energy, brainpower, meaning and emotion in this relationship that I feel I need to see it through 'til at least we make head and tail of it and really understand what has happened.

Troubled on February 04, 2012:

Thanks so much for this website. But I think I still need some help. I have got a father in law who is narsisstic. To add to this he visits prostitution a lot and gotten STDs which he spread to my mother in law. I am living with them with my husband and three kids. My mother in law is very considerate and does not share food with my kids or us. However my father in law sometimes bites the food and offers it to my kids. My two bigger ones are ok since I told them to reject the food nicely. However my youngest is a 1month baby who will take whatever food anyone offers her. This is causing me a lot of stress other than his normal narsisstic character. He also always uses our toilet, all of which he thinks we are at fault and if we makes any comments, the next few weeks of us life will be a torture. What can I do? I thought of leaving my husband but he is really a very doting loving husband, please, can someone help me please..

Bill on January 24, 2012:

I might add that my son has not hardly worked in his lifetime. in the past he has had runins with the law and has managed to convince them through manipulation that someone else is to blame for his crimes. He can take on the law, government, or anyone else with authority and come out on top. He has told me on several occasions that he is aware of his manipulation of others but he shows no remorse. He lies and steals, he has stole from my wife and I all of his life. He had a job awhile back and does not ever want to work his way up in a company, instead he uses his intellegnce to manipulate his way to the top and feed off other people to make himself look good. once at the top he refuses for his boss or anyone else to tell him what to do, after a short while at the job he gets enough and will punch out his boss, I mean physically beat him up.

bill on January 24, 2012:

my son is very intellegent, he is 31 years old and even as a child he would manipulate me and my wife to get what he wants. he uses his intellegents to get what he wants from everyone even his freinds. he does not work, instead he uses his intellegence to plan and get everything in life given to him. he has a very violent temper and nobody around him will speak up in fear of violence. his wife and child must act as he wants them to act and speak like he wants them to speak. if we get in a conversation with him then he must always win with the last word. He shows no sympathy except after he loses his temper but I feel that this is only to get things back to his normal. He thinks that the whole world owes him and he acts like he has worked hard all his life and that he is the elder. His ego is so big that he beleives that he is always right. he can be charming and seem nice but I feel that this is only for himself to feel somewhat normal. rather than work he makes his wife work while he sits at home and rules the nest afraid that someone might come and disrupt his self-built empire. please help, I am at my wits end.

titties on January 18, 2012:

I have a point person at my job with this problem. It is hard not only because he has the ear of my boss but also believes that everyone ELSE is the problem and that he can somehow "fix" THEM. The saddest part is that I think the part about him finding out that there is actually something terribily wrong with him is actually true. He's got real mental problems!

Oh Margaret on January 15, 2012:

I have a mil and sil that fall in the NPD. Problem is I have checked out of the family and I worry I will lose my marriage over these two manipulative women. SIL is s case book study of the disorder. SIL attacks my speech patterns, compares our looks, style, challenges me on every word and belief and will go up and change if I am wearing what she perceives a better outfit then what she is wearing. She becomes hateful if a smidgen of attention falls my way. I have never heard her allow for anyone to finish a story without her adding her twist to it. She and her husband are like two warriors fighting over every detail and she pouts and sulks like a young child if her plans are not kept. I hate traveling with them. SIL even went as far as trying to accuse me of stealing our MILs jewelry on a family trip. Sil "found it" after a third attempt of finding the "lost" item. It was then I decided to check out of my husbands family. He still has commit and contact with his family and I would never ask him to stop. I told him once how I felt and never talk about it again. He goes without me and I stay happily home. We both are aware we can only control our own actions. So far he respects my action. Even understands it. We both realized how damaging Sil NPD can be. It took over nine years of abuse for me to leave. I still feel guilty for cutting them off and I still worry I will put a wedge between my husband and I, yet, I just can't being myself to spend one day with them. Even a phone call is painful. I try to be empathic of what they both went through to get to this stage. Understanding why they act the way they do- does not allow them the right to be their verbal punching bag anymore- nor does it take away the sting. My question is why do I feel childish and wrong for allowing them that power and with drawing from the situation? I am still falling for the NPD power? Or am I a little NPD myself?

jag216 on January 13, 2012:

The NC 'no contact' dogma is useful but open to abuse because you don't want to engage the silent treatment carelessly. This process is tied to deep emotional surivival instincts and becomes addictive to the user and devastating for the recipient. Instead, firm and fair conditions for contact need to be established and adhered to. It helps to have a third party discuss the boundaries you are proposing to see if it seems fair. Generally speaking, you want to reserve your emotional energy and limit contact to prevent yourself from being run down all the time. You don't want to encourage irrational speculation, fear, paranoia and pain on the part of the other person. That doesn't mean that your reasonable boundaries won't be seen as hostile or unfair - but it does mean that the other person has had to choose their path, and cannot blame you for arbitrarily not contacting them.

Ready to walk! on January 10, 2012:

I sympathise with 'atalos'

I too find this way of life soul destroying.

My girlfriend bless her has indicated to me I have now become comfortable with similar behaviour as 'ataloss' and I now fear speaking FREELY to either defend, justify or express my feelings.

I can easily repeat all of the above in 'ataloss' comments.

My partner does not tell me he loves me unless I do first, this was different in the beginning (2 years ago)



He is evasive


lies, decieves,

Scoots around the subject and avoids the question

Rude on his phone texting while in the company of my friends or family situations

Lack empathy (big style)

Is offended with constructive critisism or suggestion, is not able to cope at all if you suggest a different approach or style

I may walk into the room after shopping or out for work and not a word spoken to me while I am in the same room for hours

Holds a vacant stear for hours as if he is somewhere else.

Does not initiate conversation or rarely does (says he will talk if there is something constructive to talk about)

Considers himself as a good listener and if asks a question and the conversation steers in different directions then he smirks and comments that while he asked me a question I end up talking about other stuff! So what I call that conversation' as I am the only one talking anyway

Does not respond to my conversations, comments in general NOTHING no comment or physical response at all

Communicates with his friend’s about family and general

Stuff, I then find out through them, he does not talk to me

If I challenge or try to discuss other options in life generally or for the business, I mostly get shot down or my idea or suggestion is dismissed or suggested not a good one

If away on holiday or camping he can quite easily be in the company of 6 people and not and hardly speak unless his children turn up to join us then the personality changes

Walks away from a group of people and will sit in the back ground unless it is with his family or friends

Does not feel my pain if I am in physical pain or hurt myself, just looks at me or ignores me. (This is not often)

His mother has openly told me after I noticed she was ignoring me or snapping at me or making sarcastic remarks to me that I am not good enough for her son and he could so much better! While this change the course of my partner’s relationship with his parents and in particular his mother he has no idea how this affected me

Never asks about how I feel or apologetic for his parent’s treatment towards me.

Never ask about my family, my son who lives away OS

No longer is interested in intimate dinners or time with me, suggest I arrange it! All of these were the reasons he left his wife because she would not do anything with him!


Responds poorly to questions, says there is stuff he knows about and I shouldn't question him 'WHAT'

I say white he says black

Becomes aggressive and shouts if I challenge or speak freely about how I feel or suggest I don't agree with what he says

Then continues to say what a thick dumb stupid bad person he must be

Is not able to get over things very well, holds anything that may suggest what he did or said is not appropriate or acceptable. Blows up and storms off in a rage

Then it’s like walking on egg shells for days

Texting in a dance concert, I mentioned he should go out and that was ok with me if he was bored.... suggested it 3 times and asked him to stay out during the second half and stormed off, exactly what he wanted. The next day he suggested I wanted to pick a fight and I loved drama... he didn't see anything inappropriate in his behaviour and I was being unreasonable. We were asked to turn our phones off.

After spending time and enthusiasm decorating and preparing meals for a large number of people for 2 dinner situations for him with his friends and his family he had nothing to say. I had to ask if everything was ok and did the room look nice. His response was impressive! That was it..

He did tell his friends what a good job I did but not to me.

I feel this condition is driven by his arrogance, lack of empathy


Stays fit (physically in good shape & will not compromise his fitness to look and feel good for anything)

Is involved in school committees (finance & council)

Is always involved with his kids sports

Is always available for his kids

Does anything for them

Helpful for anyone who asks for help

Nothing is too much trouble and will be available for anyone who NEEDS him

Is supportive towards certain situations with me, when a friend comes to stay or family member with disability

Helpful if I need him to do anything (generally)

Has maintained professional positions until the last year which is when he started a business working from home

HELP.. I am ready to walk out.. I have suggested counselling and he suggested I organise it and he will attend. I feel sends signals of the person he wants people to see but for some reason is different towards his partners.

Mental Health Worker on January 10, 2012:

I have an interesting story to tell.

I always knew something was very wrong with my mother. I did not have a father- he was an alcoholic and left us. My mother did not drink or date around. I fought with her a great deal due to the put downs, envy and guilt. I then read self help books and tried my very best to make healthy choices and be a decent person.

I liked psychology and was in my masters program when I feel in love with a very intelligent successful man. We had natural chemistry. I had been seeing a therapist- psychoanalytic- for 2 years by the time I meet this man. He was very good at hiding who he really was.

About eight months into the relationship, I had walked away from him and gone home twice when he was acting bizarre. Both times he shaved his body- self harm. He lied about it and I was suspicious but had never seen anyone act this way. He lacked a sense of reality and his emotions where far too intense for the minor infraction at hand. He started to make mountains out of mole hills.

Unfortunately, my therapist started to tell me he was abused as a child and I needed to be more “relational”. I became the identified patient and kept this to myself. My friends became very worried about me as I lost my personality and isolated. This man was a millionaire and my therapist then decided she needed to raise her hourly price by three times and I was being undermined by her as well as my boyfriend- in the middle of getting my masters degree. Two years later- I was able to leave both of them after having a serious plan to commit suicide. I had never done that in my whole life.

I then started to work as a social work intern. Unfortunately, the college I went to did not teach us about personality disorders. The college taught basics psych history and cognitive behavior therapy skills.

After working in mental health through the county I learned everything about personality disorders. My mother was a narcissist, as was my father; my x is narcissistic and borderline. I have tried to avoid dysfunction in my life and remain as stable as possible but I now see that I forgot to do that in the job I chose and am now surrounded by personality disorders- mostly borderline and narcissistic.

The last ten years have been quit an eye opener- to say the least. I have been happily married to an awesome man (with a wonderful family I love) for the last five years.

My point is, not knowing about personality disorders was incredibly destructive to me. I had some deficits and vulnerabilities due to my childhood and was not able to see as clearly as someone from a more functional family. I had a therapist take complete advantage of me and then admit later she knew my boyfriend was borderline. She brushed it off but that knowledge would have set both him and me free. I have sense told him and he has done a lot of work and reading about it. It was healing for us to know this information and he apologized for how he treated ma and was disgusted by the way my therapist took advantage of us both. I turned her into the BBS and nothing was done. She had told me another family had turned her in for something else she had done. She is a very dangerous narcissist.

I now have a private practice and avoid personality disorders as I had my fill working for the county. I look back and wonder why personality disorders are not explained in high schools.

And what did not kill me has not made me stronger.

Tina on January 06, 2012:

Hello - I need help in dealing with my 25 year old daughter who I have now realized has these narcissistic traits. They seem to have developed once she left for college and was away from the family. She is an accomplished young lady who has done well for herself but she has no true friends and is an extremely unhappy person. She seems to have finally realized that she is selfish, stubborn, envious of others and uses lies and manipulation to get her way but she doesn't behave like she wants to change this. She is in therapy but it is for grief as her fiance finally had enough and left.She completely fell apart when that happened. That was the trigger that made her finally realize what she had been doing so I hope there is a window for healing. I would like to know the best way to help her. If she truly does recognize that she has these negative traits and wants to change them will she be able to? I cannot discuss anything with her as she seems to hold me responsible for all that has gone wrong for her. So how do I help her "see" what she truly is and get her to share this with her therapist so she can get the help she needs? I am learning not to be pulled into her antics anymore. Before I would beg to be let back into her good graces and do whatever I could to keep peace in our family. I know my "baby" is in there - I just want her back. Please help me.

Dannielle on January 06, 2012:

whats with the masive debate its not that important im gessing your all geeks!!!

Paul on January 04, 2012:

I have narcisisstic personality disorder. Should I hospitaize myself?

Ataloss on December 30, 2011:

Hello, I hope you can help me determine if my lover is a narcissist or something else altogether, I will try to keep it short.

I've had an affair with my married colleague for over a year, it was very intense, he charmed me for a year before that by building up lots of commonalities, staring deeply, following me around and being by my side constantly, brushing his hands and arms along mine, my back, etc.

He has always seemed to gain an erection without me having to touch him, or even kiss him, so (hypersexual?)

However, on trying to make love, he can't keep an erection without the use of medication, and even then he has trouble having what I would call a proper orgasm.

He has always said he looked upon me as a goddess, too good for him, I'm beautiful, stunning, etc. A bit over the top for me, but the compliments were always like this from him.

He was obsessive right from the beginning, after the first time we kissed, he would text me up to forty times a day some days, and wanted to see as much of me as possible.

Then without any warning he stopped asking me to meet him, saying he had other things he had to do, but would still text, and want to talk on the phone.(this was after three months)

When I asked why, he seemed to blame me, saying I just don't see enough of you, but yet he wasn't asking!

I also started to notice he was giving another woman the same attention, and his texts started to change in the routine, times, etc, but never in their content.

After a few weeks of this, he then started to ask to see me again. We did for a while, and then it seemd to go back to the I'm really busy thing.

But all the time while at work, he would not let me out of his sight, and wanted to be right next to me every moment possible.

then I came across some proof of the other woman, I confronted him, and his reaction was so overboard that I almost laughed!!I felt as though I was watching a well rehearsed play!! But you can probably guess, I fell for it, he was so convincing that I ended up being the bad one and I had wronged him for even thinking he would break our commitment to each other!!

She meant nothing to him, never had and never would, how could I even think it, etc, etc!! I was the one he was in love with!! (his words)

He then said he was moving to another job soon and that it would make things easier for us.

Things started to not add up over and over, I could time his texts by the other womans routine, he started to get us both mixed up, every time I intereacted with the other woman, I would get a reaction or big drama, or massive lie from him before the end of the day, but only by text.

The lies and contradictions were becoming so apparent, but when I confonted him or pulled him up, he would make another one up even bigger, such a convincing story. I was beginning to feel I was being over paranoid, and yet, my gut instinct was in overdrive all the time, I wasn't eating or sleeping and the weight fell off me.

He still kept texting all the love talk to me, wanted to know my whereabouts every minute of the day, telling me what he was doing, where he was, he couldn't stop thinking of me, needed me, wanted me, etc.

After he left for his new job, it then started to feel a bit less intense as he wasn't in front of me all the time but, he still text, not so often, but still with all the love talk. He would 'fit me in' for ten or fifteen minutes, he needed to talk to me, missed me, but whenever I suggested a proper meeting, he had an excuse, his wife was questioning him, he had things to do, etc. and that has gone on for three months now!

I know he is in contact with the other one, he has told me so many times that he can't let me go, he loves me too deeply and since all the bother, his feelings have got even stronger for me, he feels a ddep connection.

He continues to deny that he is in contact with her to this day.

But his actions are not showing any of it!

we made arrangements to meet just before Christmas, and I just knew there would be an excuse or a drama, and I was right, he created a massive drama so that there was no way we could meet, he could not text me and I was to wait until he contacted me!

This lasted a few days, and then he came back with all the love talk and more as though nothing had happened, he had missed me so much, loved me more than life itself, still with no request to meet him.

this went on for two weeks and then,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the same drama, involving his wife, but even worse, he does not know when he can next contact me.

I have had snippets from him, I have hinted that I know what is going on, he will never be honest with me.

He is evasive,


lies, decieves,

creates dramas,

changes the subject,

invades privacy,

Takes things I say the wrong way and then sulks for a few days,

is obsessive

self opinionated

Answers for me

tells me my own traits often, pushing the nice ones

Holds a vacant stare, sometimes I feel he is miles away when he is with me

Asks me all the time do you really love me?

did you ever see me as your perfect man?

Am I good enough for you, you are stunning?

everything is ME, myself, and I, even in my texts, My love, My beautiful lady,my gorgeous lover etc.

Blames me or others for his mistakes.

It was someone else's fault that I found out about the other woman, and someone is just slandering him, to spoil what we have.

I have read sites on these traits, but I'm not sure if he is borderline (he doesn't self harm)

Sociopathic (He has rifled through my things for months, given my colleagues the impresion I was a crazy stalker)

Or Narcissistic with bullying tactics.

He even drives past me, lets me know he has seen me, but does not stop to talk, or even wave sometimes, and then texts later as though nothing has happened.

I love this man so much, I would love to be able to help him and be there for him, I would never do anything to harm him.

I have spent all this time trying to believe that he is the way he is becasue he is insecure, about my motives, but I think I'm fooling myself now.

I have always told him I only want honesty, he promises that he is honest with me, would never hurt me, but he doesn't even seem to realise that I am hurting.

I am so depressed, confused, hurt and down, I went into this thinking he was the light at the end of my tunnel, but I am just so confused.

I haven't heard from him in two days again, because I answerd his text with a joke, he will be trying to work out if I meant it in a nice or bad way, he is so paranoid about MY motives!!!!!!

Please can someone give me an answer.

Anything would help.

Leigha72 on December 30, 2011:

As someone who truggles as the scapeoat in a severe NP family- I read this article to learn more and understand this illness. I have to say, any advice to those dealing with an extreme N in a primary role must take care of themselves first and foremost. You may have been reared to beleive it is your duty to fix and solve. In my family, the web is so tightly woven (the enabler, the golden-child, the scapegoat) that the mere mention that a personality disorder is at root- is an intolerable suggestion. The difficuty is, most NP are not going to seek help. In their eyes, they are not the ones to blame. Freedom for me has only begun in the form of understanding (which includes in time- forgiveness) but a journey to put myself back together is fundamental. I am lucky to have a sibling and partner who recognizes and supports me. As well as travelling this path in their own roles. It has only begun. I do know that coming to terms with a NP mother means letting go. I would be there in a haertbeat if it were different. But, this is a very complex and far-from "cookie cutter" disorder in terms of the wide-spread damage that takes place. Learning to be healthy and move forward is key. For those of you struggling- find our faith.

tryingtogetit on December 30, 2011:

Dr C

When I first got here, my son in law's girlfriend would use as a 'threat' to her little 2 year old... "If you dont behave, I will leave you here with ____ (me) and she will GET YOU!" As if she were just trying to make him think I was a monster or something. And I have done nothing at all in the least to hurt this child or to be mean or unkind to him in any way whatsoever. One day after saying that to him, she turned to me and said, "Im just telling him this because that way he will at least be afraid of SOMEONE... and be scared to disobey you" (or something like that, I cant recall her exact words. But she tried to excuse it away like that.

I dont think she can stand it, because the 2 year old likes me, and he is always doing little things to play around with me. One day recently, I heard her telling him, "Oh (my name, my name, my name inserted here)... thats all I hear from you". As if she were actually envious just because the child likes me. He is often saying my name. I went to the Shop down the street not long ago and when I was about to go out, he said, "(My name inserted here)... be careful!" and she told her friends that he doesnt even say that to HER... (as if she were jealous). The other day he said "I love you" to me, and she acte jealous of that too. Im just saying that I think she is envious of her son in law liking me, and her child too, so she is doing all sorts of little things to try to undermine me with both of them. I have never seen anyone so childish in my whole life. I am almost afraid to do ANYTHING now... walking around on eggshells, so to speak.

This makes things really difficult, because I of course need to do things to help the relationship between me and my son in law, since this is the only place Ive got to live, or else I am homeless. Besides, thats just the way I am, anyway. I feel like to get her to stop this, I would have to be crappy towards him, so that she'd stop being envious of me or feeling threatened by me.

Im sorry that I created 3 posts but I just forgot to include the rest. But I am all done now.

tryingtogetit on December 30, 2011:

Dr C

I forgot to say that my son in law said he keeps getting involved with this type of woman. I think its because his own Dad has NPD. My Mother had NPD and I have kept ending up getting involved with this type of man.

I think its because when you are a child and have a parent like that, that you are forced to learn how to deal with that kind of a person, how to tolerate it.

Then I think these people with NPD actually go trolling for someone like me or my son in law, because they know you will put up with them. While nobody else would. And I think we both need to realize this and break out of this cycle.

Whats scary is I believe she is turning their own son into one of these kind of people. The poor child has to be confused. One minute she is screaming at him, like she's demon-possessed or something, and the next minute she is giving him everything he wants... its unbelievable. She never follows through with her threats, she allows him to get whatever it is he is throwing a fit about. Making him think he is entitled automatically to everything. I feel like Im watching a nightmare... the making of a person who will have NPD when he gets older.

tryingtogetit on December 30, 2011:

Dr. C

I just recently left my husband with NPD because of abuse. The Social Services apparently called the police and they came to my house and literally took me out of there. Now Im trying to get on Benefits and Housing in the UK. I came from the USA originally.

Anyway I was probably going to be homeless soon, and my son in law (my abusive husband's son)felt sorry for me because he knew how his Dad is, and asked if I'd come to live temporarily with he and his girlfriend and their 2 year old, so I said yes and moved in with them. I have been here 3 months now, and still waiting for the Housing and Benefits to come through.

Anyway, to my surprise it appears to me that my son in law's girlfriend has NPD and severely. She is constantly screaming at their 2 year old son, yet spoils him rotten. When I first came here, I had a cold because my abusive husband was depriving me of heat in the winter. So I of course was coughing alot. Well she blamed me for her 2 year old coughing, claiming I gave him my cold. It turns out he coughs ALL the time, at night. And that even in winter she dresses him as if it were summertime with a T-shirt some times and no socks, etc in the house, on a hardwood floor. She herself will wear just a sleeveless undershirt and pants when its freezing cold. So when I went to the doctor's soon after I got here, and got some anti-biotics, my cold went away. But her son keeps coughing, my son in law said he has done that since he was a baby... hes got a continuous cold. I started noticing that when I would put my toothbrush downstairs on top of the dishwasher where they'd put their toothbrushes, that I would make it a point to try and put mind way apart from theres, and the next morning I would come to find my toothbrush right up next to someone elses' bristles together and I started realizing someone must be purposely doing that to try and give me a cold again. Ive gotten 3 colds since being here and only been here 3 months.I of course think his girlfriend is doing this to me.

She does really weird things, it appears she is envious of me and always trying to make me look bad to my son in law. Things like when I first got here, they said I went to the toilet alot. Well then I noticed, there would be alot of toilet paper, much of it I myself bought from the nearby shop to try and 'pitch in' with expenses. Well I would look and the current roll of toilet paper would be almost gone, then I would look in the cupboard and there would be another entire roll left. But suddenly when she would leave to go somewhere, the last roll would be missing. This is like 10 minutes later! So I would be accused of using all the toilet paper. One time, after they had said something about me going to the toilet alot, he was at work and her 2 year old had a full roll of toilet paper playing with it, and unravelling it in the living room, and I tried to take it from him and tell him No its not a toy. She tells me its alright she told him he could use it. He unravels yards of it and was using it to put across his toy train set's tracks. And sometimes at night I go to bed, there will be an entire roll of toilet paper left out on the kitchen countertop, and she keeps the cat and kitten locked in the kitchen at night. She knows the kitten will get ahold of the toilet paper and tear it up but she leave it there anyway. I end up having to keep buying toilet paper, and it keeps on being missing and I have to go without. I personally believe shes purposely doing this so she can make her boyfriend think that I am using up all the toilet paper. I have spent over $500 in the last 3 months just giving him a little money, to help out with expenses, and walking to the nearby shop to buy milk, coffee, french fries, kitty litter, cheese etc... But it seems like Im not being credited with any of that but only being accused of using up things, which is not true at all, in fact I have only been eating one or two meals a day.

One of the latest things she had started doing is keeping on asking to use my kitty litter, I have a cat Im keeping in the room upstairs, my cat who I brought with me. I noticed, she had a brand new cat litter tray, unusued, then the next morning it was totally wiped out all wet. She said if she keeps the cat in at night she wees all in the litter. Well there had been plenty of times the cat stayed in, and the litter was just 'normal' the next day. Also when I got up, there was an empty water bottle upside-down in the kitty litter tray... I think she purposely poured a bunch of water into the litter to make it seem like the cat had wee-d in it. Then of course she goes wanting to borrow mine. She knows I dont have much money at all. My son in law told me he gives her about £50 a week but she spends it on wine.

Whats really troubling me now is last night I went downstairs to make a microwave meal and coffee and a bread roll. The entire pack of rolls was there with only one missing. I only used 1 with my meal. This morning... none left! Not only that but my microwave meal tasted like it has wine in it last night, I had taken my coffee upstairs while leaveing the microwave meal on the kitchen countertop, then I came back to get my meal and took that upstairs. Today I made the exact same microwave dinner and it didnt taste like wine at all. This of course makes me wonder if she poured some wine into it while I was upstairs and I worry what else she may have put in it.

The other night, during the Christmas holidays... his brother and girlfriend and another of his brothers came over for a visit. When they left and also my son in law left to go somewhere, I came down stairs and soon as I hit the bottom step she walks towards me and carrying her wine glass told me Can you help me look for my wine? I wondered... because she had her glass in her hand. I turned the corner to go to the kithcen, I was taking a plate into the kitchen sink that I had eaten from. There was a wine bottle right there in plain sight by the front door so I asked her Is this what you were looking for? She started accusing her boyfriend (my son in law) of putting it there. The she said he does little tricks to her, like putting a clip on the end of the tea kettle, and she showed it to me. Well my son in law walks in the house just then and she starts accusing him of these things and tells him that I was right here with her (to make it seem as if I was in on the accusation of him).... I think she did this to try and make a rift between me and my son in law and I think that she herself put the wine bottle there, etc.

To make things almost worse, one minute she will be giving me the silent treatment for no reason whatsoever, and the next day she will be sweet as can be to me. Which, any time she is nice to me now, I wonder what shes cooking up next to try and use against me.

Anyway this really puts me in a bind of course since if I dont have this place to live in, I will be homeless. I have talked a little bit to my son in law and he seems to be just anticipating her leaving because she keeps threatening she is going to leave. He said she has been doing this before I even got here. I think she feels threatened by me, even though Im twice her age. He told me shes like dealing with a child. I am not sure how much to tell him about all of this. One reason is I know he is afraid she will run off with his 2 year old son.I know when push comes to shove that she has the upper hand and not me. But this possibly missing something into my food has really got me concerned now. I just want this Benefits and Housing thing to go through. When the police who came and removed me from my abusive husband's house, I was angry because I had not much money at all, no family or friends, no transportation and on top of that I am disabled... not in a wheel chair but enough to where I cant get a job. Only online work that is very unreliable for money. Its like I went from one nightmare to another.

How do I handle this woman? I have been just trying my best to be "nice"... buying alot of stuff to contribute. Trying to make nice conversation with her, but staying upstairs in my room.

Natalia on December 28, 2011:

I am almost certain my father has npd and i have no idea how to deal with it . He has been this way for over 30 years and I know he wiuld not ente treatment since he has no insight to his disorder. What could me and my family possibly do? Life is unbearable

jontxu on December 27, 2011:

Thank you for this hub, I haven't yet read all the posts, but I have seen enough to more or less convince me that I have had someone with NPD in my life for the last 18 years. Only recently have I begun to think about naming what's wrong with my ex-partner, with whom I still work occasionally 10 years after separating as a couple.

What others me mostly right now are strategies for me to cope. I've read some of your answers to others' similar queries, but I have found that any show of'adult behaviour' on my part only acts as another trigger for her rage. It seems that it is impossible to 'teach' someone with NPD better behaviour, in my experience. I have tried evry strategy I know, and none have worked: engaging emotionally, seting limits, assurances that I will always be a friend, using reason, and so on.

is it possible for NPDs to learn? or should i just concentrate on learning more how I can stay sane?

astroboy on December 27, 2011:

I believe my mother has NPD. She lives her life through her kids and focuses on some as living the kind of life she wants to live.

She is always saying unkind and derogatory things to me and it takes me a long time to get over them.

I'm not sure of the best way to deal with this so I tend to avoid.

She also is very envious and delights in the downfall of those she is envious of, including me.

Jackie on December 23, 2011:

You just described my husband who left me yesterday for a new source of ego stroking, a sister whom he has not seen in 30 years and just found her on Facebook 2 months ago. He asked me how long I was going to be, and then timed his departure. He has told her that I am aggressive and I threaten him. He said that he thought I would change my ways but haven't. This is a lie! She has blocked me from calling and he wont return calls. I'm glad he's gone. I'm just going to have to make money quick to take care of me for a change.

Jeanxrhys on December 20, 2011:

I ama 5o year old woman. I have a brother who very obviously has Asperger's Syndrome (he's obsessed with buses, for one thing). I saw it in him and gradually saw it in myself. I got a formal diagnosis a few years ago.

A couple of years ago I met a man who I came to believe also had AS. He was obsessed with a couple of subjects, he went on and on about his hobbies and his worries, boring people, he had odd eye contact, he had rages - all very Aspie.

We became friends, and talked a lot on Facebook. Then one day, he failed to turn up for an arranged outing. His apology for this was late, and very brief. I questioned this. He got colder and colder. I fought to be rational, but the curt nastiness of his answers hurt me so much I lost my temper. I apologised. He said he accepted it: but he was unpleasant to me when I saw him again.

Then he started playing nasty games - blanking me, speaking to others if I spoke to him, going into rages about irrelevent subjects when I spoke to him. When I asked him about it, finally, he said he didn't want to speak to me at all. Then the glaring began. Knives in his eyes. And whenever he was nearby, he'd mention topics he knew would insult me (I can see now he was trying to provoke me to rage).

When he went too far, and was forced to apologise to me, he said he's been angry because he's just found out that 20 years ago (ten years before we met) I upset a friend of his. So he managed to say, really, that his obscene outburst was my fault.

He obviously has NPD, I can see that now. The more I read about it, the clearer it seems. I have had a few relationships with people like him, following the same pattern. So (a) I am depressed because it's such a useless waste of time. And (b), far worse, I've begun to wonder if I am Aspie, or is I too have NPD. I rage at people in shops on bad days, for instance. I have cut people out of my life for (in retrospect) little reason. And (c) as I have done this before, how can I be sure that anyone I trust isn't just my latest partner in this futile dance?

I want to say, "He's bad and I'm good," but I can't. Certainly, No Contact is essential with this one - someone who carried a masive grudge for over a year is greatly to be avoided. I have to avoid any tenderness which would make me feel as if I was being dragged back into his orbit. I do feel furious, too. No, I can't believe I ever behave that horribly to anyone else. But maybe I do!

This is all horrible.

Junev on December 16, 2011:

My best friend has had a friend that she has known 50+ yrs. They got along OK for the most part. She's 75 now and I realize she is a NPD. Her mother and grandmother babied her as she grew up and until they both died. This worman (say her name is Paula) is so beligerent and controlling. My friend is 71 and hasn't been able to retire from being a caregiver. Paula is rude, lies and most of the people she rents to talk about her because Paula is so needy. All they have to do is not let her tell them what to do or say Not Now. They always come to her and do what she wants, even if it's during the night. She calls them late a night and if they don't answer, she keeps calling until they do. It doesn't matter to Paula that they may be in the shower. My friend shops for her. My friend, Tilly has always shopped for miles around to get what Paula wants. She thinks she's saving money! We live in a large city and Paula requires her to shop in the North, South, East and West. Paula used to give Tilly a full tank of gas once a month. But, when Paula gets mad at her, she stops giving her gas. Paula asks for things to be done and everyone Jumps to be right away. They anticipate what she needs before she even asks. Paula doesn't like me because I won't do things for her like the others do. She's always falling (because she says she's dizzy.) The doctor said she needed to get a brain Cat Scan. Done! We're anxiously awaiting the results. Tilly is aware of Paula's behaviors and has stopped arguing with her, much to Paula's unhappiness. I like in the 14 story Sr. building and want Tilly to come here too. Tilly is supposed to enherit Paula's real estate and money when she passes away. But Tilly is getting to the point where she just doesn't care very much any more.

Thanks for listening as I get this off my mind.

majorcrisis on December 16, 2011:

Sorry you do-gooders above. You could not have been raised by a pathological narcissist and think of these people as human. I am firmly convinced certain deviations of behavior and personality make one constitutionally incompatible with communal human life. Alcoholism, Narcissistic PD, repeat murders, rapists, drug users and violent crimes offenders have stepped into a realm of deviation that is inconsistent with human life. Their privilege to continued communal life is forfit. Life imprisonment if merited or termination are the only appropriate treatments for the problem.

robyugo on December 12, 2011:

Yeah, looking at all these comments has reminding me of my ex-girlfriend. Her dad and stepmom have been trying to figure out whats wrong with her for years. It wasn't until after I kicked her out that I did research and saw that she has a severe case of text-book NPD to the nth degree. With her "me and I" constantly come out of her mouth, she brags about herself al the time, turns ANY converssation into how it relates to her, never says she's sorry unless its in her own best interests, and so forth. We've had a lot of recent contact and I'm afraid she is going to try and reenter my life. Her hubris has pretty much ruined her once promising life and she now has to rely on other men to somewhat support her. She pretty much out of options and I'm afraid she'll be coming back and telling me she has no place to go (her dad can't live with her or take her in) and if I don't take her in that terrible things will happen to her as they have in the past. I recently asked her if she thought This may sound crazy but I really do love this person. She's also drinking herself to death and probablly has less than 5-10 years left to live if she continues at this rate. Furthermore, I feel responsible for her wellbeing. Things have only gotten worse since I kicked her out. Is there help for these people especialy when substance abuse is involved???

L on December 11, 2011:

Extremely helpful, thank you so much for writing this!

Anonymous on December 07, 2011:

Some of the comments in this article strike me as being more wishful thinking than reality. For instance, the idea that NPD is an "ingrained habit" that can be changed. Really? I don't think so! Anybody who has ever lived with a narcissist knows this isn't true. If it's even remotely possible, it would be more a case of repression rather than reinvention, and would therefore be just as unacceptable.

Also, to say they can be "kind and loving" is pure nonsense. People with NPD are ethically and emotionally bankrupt. They are capable of going through the motions of being loving and caring because they are smart--indeed, sometimes brilliant--and they know it's expected of them. But their kind of "love" is like receiving a gift-wrapped box that has nothing in it. Instead of transparency, total commitment, and honest emotion, you will get lip service, secrecy, and lies. Beware of the narcissist in your life, and be wary of the so-called experts who don't completely understand what they're dealing with.

steve19675 on December 01, 2011:

this is exactly me. I try hard not to lose control. With me its all to do with an enormous fear of physical pain.

MBC on November 27, 2011:

Dear Dr..that was a wonderful article. I am married to someone with NPD. I realize this now on reading your article. We have 2 kids together and though I have been verbally n Physically abused, I cannot leave. I come from a very conservative society and my parents (who are fairly old) would not be able to survive it. So, I silently suffer for the sake of my kids. I even contemplated ending my life, but then I look at my kids and I know I cannot take this extreme measure. I only live my life of them...I live like the walking dead....He keeps belittling me all the time. Though I am very well qualified who had a higher paying job than him before the kids came by....I am currently at home taking care of the kids which was his decision. I don't ask him for anything material....in fact the only only time he interacts with me is when he wants to get physically intimate...else he is always abusive. I do not react or say anything...but often wonder how long will this go on....and how much more I need to give. He is too proud to accept the fact that he has a psychological disorder....and therapy for him is no option at all...please advice...thank you ever so much!!

Julia on October 31, 2011:

Very insightful article. It explained alot of my mother in law's behaviour and characteristics. I was quite shocked to actually realise this is why I have found it so difficult to be around her. Her constant put downs, words of devaluation, mocking and making jokes about me were a cause of narcissistic disorder! For years I have been tormented by this woman's spiteful putdowns - that I was not intelligent because my earlobes were not attached to the side of my face, laughed about me being teary when I took my marriage vows and mocked me in front of others and then proceeded to laugh and joke about it. She is threatened by my mother who holds a corporate position and and when she first asked what my mother did (and I said what it was) she replied with, "what's she trying to prove!". I was pretty shocked at this. She tells me constantly that I'm fat (I'm a size 10), compares her daughter to my sister (both have learning disorders) and says that her daughter is more literate and well spoken then my sister. Laughs about my sister's disability but constantly is defensive of her daughter, even though nobody else says or puts her daughter down for this. Competes with everybody around her and tries to outdo others. My mother buys investment properties and so now my mother-in-law has begun looking at multi million dollar properties to out-do my mother. This is done by her wnating me to drive to the latest building estate and pointing out the most biggest and expensive house. Is always talking about price tags,what she bought, how much it cost, her new jewelery and how much it cost, etc. Looking at the latest Audi A6 and how much it cost. Bottom line - always boasting!! My son recently spent an afternoon with her and he came home and complained that she was telling people at the cafe, and a couple of stores whe went into where she was from (an exclusive suburb). She is quite vain, and always makes comments on men making passes at her. She shows photos of herself (wedding and teenage photos)to people and talks about how attractive she was. Also wants your opinion of what you think of the photos. I was horrified once when she told me that she had gone to her local Myer Department Store and the young girl behind the counter wasn't very attractive and that her daughter was far more attractive and should be working there. I could not believe this comment and confirmed to me that she really was very shallow. Apart from being highly obnoxious she always wants people to empathsise with her and see everything from her point of view. She never listens to anything anyone says, and has a blank look on her face and then shortly after goes of into a theatrical story (always about someone's misfortune or inabilities) to which she then expects everyone to participate in mockery and laughter of this person or people. I avoid this woman like the plague as I find her spitefulness irreverant and downright. On two occassions I had come to find out that my mother-in-law's spiteful rampage about her 10 year old son's school friend was because he had confused her daughter's sexuality. And this was the reason why she was mocking him and putting him down. She was mocking the way he spoke and the way he acted. She portrayed him like he was "simple" and expected us all to laugh about it. She acts like a woman scorned and goes on the war path with anyone who doesn't agree with her. She is judgemental of eveyone around her and obnoxious if nobody sees her point of view. I've learnt not to share my views, along with my husband, father in law and her mother. We realise that if any of us say anything, there are severe consequences and we only will end up being put down. My husband says he learnt not to say anything back to his mother a long time ago and to just let her go along with her self-importance rather then cop her tirades of aggression. "Growing up with her,was like walking on eggshells!" I always thought she was just extremely insecure, but now I realise just exactly what it is.

Michelle on October 29, 2011:

Hi it's me again. Would an intervention work. How do we get my brother to have therapy.

Michelle on October 29, 2011:

I believe my brother has this condition. He believes he is descended from god and has healing abilities. In the last five years he has slowly become worse and has alienated most of his family and friends. When we confront him he accuses us of being non believers in his greatness and has delusions of grandeur. We need help desperately but he would never go to therapy as there is nothing wrong with him what shall we do where can we turn to. From the reading I have seen it appears that this is permanent. He had a business dealing that went wrong and hit the papers and I believe that this was the trigger so he has to make up these stories to make himself look better.

Cheryl on October 17, 2011:

My brother and 2 sisters have narcissistic personality disorder. I do not have contact with them because they are dangerous. They have harassed me (over the phone and online)and they threaten to hurt me (psychically). My brother used to be drug addict and alcoholic (probably still is), he see's me as a bitch lol. My older sister moved out at 17 to live with a man in his 30's who lived off of his grandparents. Now she is in her mid 30's she left the guy who she hooked up with at 17 he is 51 now. She is now with a 52 year old guy. I think she has body issues and could be an alcoholic. My younger sister is a sex freak and a neglectful mother. She has 2 sons, her older son has fetal alcohol syndrome and his dad is not in his life. Her other son is healthy and does have his father in his life. She treats the healthy son better. Anyway all my life it's been about them and for once I'm putting myself fist they don't like it that's OK cause I'm not living my life to please them :)

Bella12 on October 17, 2011:

People who say that you can deal with these people, never had to deal with them. I strongly believe that no person has to deal with this negative energy. Keep it away; by the time you realise it, you have been robbed of all of your energy and blood. Try to bring positivity in your own life and whatch how your life changes. Again; you DO NOT have to deal with these people. They know they have a condition and refuse to deal with it, because the gain from it. And people who chose to interact/deal with them are their biggest problem. As long as you keep feeding drugs to an addict; they will stay on it. And your energy whether positive or negative is their drug. It is not your battle and they would rather lose you than combat their issues. Doesn't that tell you something??

Noni on October 13, 2011:

Well, now I am finally living independently by the grace of God. I have read your suggestions, but they don't befit my situation as my situation was too complex. My mother-in-law was not just being mean, she was harrassing and abusive: She used to snatch my kids away from my lap and declare to me that she had raised her sons only for herself and had married them off just to have grandchildren; now my job was over and I had to leave the family because her family was completed and she would raise my kids too. She wasn't that simple! She defmaed me and poisoned people against me. She never let me sleep in both my pregnancies and ruined everything I did. She was intrusive and controlling. She had a highly volatile ego and not going according to her wishes even in the routine matters would spark a fit of anger in her. Her husband was reinforcing her narcissism by succumbing to her narcissistic authority. Her children had issues with her too. My husband is emotionally co-depenedent on her. He had a disempowered childhood and fell into "love/flirting addiction" in his teens. He started flirting ten years before my marriage and continued it through the 6 years of our marital life. He has deep psychological problems, which I am obviously not responsible for; and my mother-in-law will always blame me FOR NOT BEING A GOOD-ENOUGH WIFE TO HAVE KEPT HER SON HAPPY; that's why, according to her, her son (my husband) still flirts, when in fact, I am the one whom they owe a lot. She always pampered him like a thumb-sucking baby when he was found to have some affair just to corner me. She used to make him feel like the "victim" when I had a confrontation with him over those extra-marital affairs. She even used to encourage him to sleep with her rather than me and my husband did. Any woman in my place would have walked out of the relationship right in the beginnig, but since I am living in a oriental culture, I have to sacrifice. Also, I have to patch up and compromise for the sake of my two kids. Please, help me out! Now, I am not concerned about my mother-in-law as I am not living with her. I am just concerned about my husband's addiction because otherwise he's a good husband and his addiction is just limited to "internet and telephonic flirting". I read about "love addiction" on the internet and he had all the symptoms of it. He's like a loser who goes after women who are avoidant, abusive and repulsive, which is abnormal to me because I am lovinig and faithful.

Noni on October 13, 2011:

Thank You very much Dr. C. I just visited this site after two years and was syrprised to see my own comment. :) Sorry for being so late in coming back to this site. :) God bless you!

Lady Annie on October 11, 2011:

My boyfriend, well ex as I had to ask him to leave, is displaying all of the symptoms of NPD.

He was sweet and charming and kind to begin with, I then discovered all the lies... (about his job, employment status, where he'd travelled, what his parents had done for a living, his education)... I suddenly no longer knew him and this is when all of the unpleasant personality traits started to appear. Firstly he is argumentative and will always put across a conflicting statement for no other reason than to gain attention. He will elevate himself into a "demi-god-like" status. He didn't want me to put the heating on in my house, citing that it was "childish" to feel the cold. He said that because he had done the "mathematics" on the economy he forecasted the recession and that everyone in the world was an "idiot" for not seeing it coming. He will have a view or opinion on a subject that he has no experience of what so ever, and when challenged will start shouting and ranting like he's on the receiving end of a personal attack, he is incredibly patronising in his delivery of this also. And he will address experts, (his Dr. for example) like he knew nothing. He sulks and skulks around the house for days trying to get attention, he sucks all my energy and positivity. It's like walking on eggshells constantly. I have to watch what I say, do.... Another example is that he uses this stropping and sulking to try to control my emotions or make me guilty over things that I enjoy. For example: I go to work, he is not employed, I return to a look and act of utter rejection which is "how could you leave me in the house all day on my own". I go to the gym a couple of times a week, he brandished this as "selfish" and "excessive". He won't do anything for himself. He refuses to get a job. All conversations have to be at length and about only things that he is interested in. It's absolutely exhausting and he is totally unacknowledging and unrepentant for his wrong doing (the lies that I mentioned. He entered into our relationship under a total falsehood ie: told me he was a scientist; he has never had a job. Said he had a Masters in Geophysics: he has only basic education up to the age of 16... see where I'm going with this?).

I am worried because he is so grandiose and impossible to deal with he makes my anger go through the roof.

I have an additional situation, which is that I am 12 weeks pregnant. Based on the stress, upset and deliberate damage he causes to things that I value/treasure I have asked him not to be around. To leave. His reaction to this was to laugh and jeer in my face, like I would never throw him of all people out. He was wrong. I did. (This person deliberately lost my dog, as he felt that the dog was loved more than he was, in a rage, he broke my washing maching. He has been totally unreasonable and violent towards me, so there is no way on earth I have having him around while I am pregnant or if there is a small infant about - he is certainly not going to be left unsupervised with the baby/child as it grows and develops).

Even now, I want nothing to do with him and he won't accept it is over. The only way I can deal with him is to cut him out completeley.... and even now, from his communications it is all about how he looks, how he feels... not "Hey, I'm sorry, I've hurt you. How are you?"

I'm sorry, I feel like I'm banging on. I realise that ignoring him and cutting him out totally (especially in my current situation) is not the best treatment for him, but I just can't cope with him.

I tried to give him a chance to start over and get to know him again after all the lies came out but his personality is overbearing and so unpleasant, I cannot find anything at all to like about him.

terrified on October 10, 2011:

I have been dealing with two family members that I strongly believe have this disorder. There is no talking to them about anything, it is exhausting!!! They never say their sorry and always point the finger at others, as if they are the BAD GUY... It's a waste of your time, because if you want them to see where you are coming from in a situation... THEY WILL NEVER SEE IT... THEY ARE NEVER WRONG...If you are looking for any comfort from them.. FORGET IT... it's always about them and always will be. I am in a very, very hard situation with both my Mother (whom is divorced from my dad) and his new partner. My father was diagnosed with cancer and the person he is now with, pushes everyone away with all the games she plays, it makes it very hard for any family member to be around her, except the other person with the same disorder... they can and are very hard to deal with.

SJ on October 07, 2011:

I have known for a long time my husband wasn't normal. For years, he has been controlling, he makes a big deal over small things, flies off the handle in a rage, has gotten mad and broke things belonging to me, busted my ceramic tiles smashing things down on them in anger. He has listened in on my conversations with my daughter by my previous marriage whom I am close to, and conversations with my dad. When he would leave on a road trip, he would write the miles down off my odometer before I left. We have had a business we have been running for 23 years. He just woke up one day and decided he wasn't going to do that anymore. He has junked up the surrounding land around our house with all kinds of junk and scrap, and even parks trailers in our driveway even after I asked him not to. I had to have a root canal tooth pulled a year ago because the tooth split. My husband said he didn't have the money for a bridge. I wouldn't really care except the tooth is on the front side of my mouth, you can see the hole when I smile. I really don't want to go through the rest of my life like that. He spends all kinds of money buying junk and scrap but can't pay for me a bridge. I didn't understand all this til I started reading about narcissistic personality behavior. He flies into a rage if you disagree with anything he says. I would like to know what I need to do with my situation. How do you deal with a person like this? 9 years ago, he got in an argument with my son about doing his homework and it being late at night, they ended up in a physical fight in his bedroom, my husband reached for a bottle that had sand art in it, and smashed it over my son's leg, cutting it, had to go to emergency room, had to have knee surgery and therapy. Said he didn't even remember reaching for it. Then blames me and said it was my fault for telling him to go in there and get him to do his homework. I don't have any money, I have been working in our business for all these years free of charge doing "my part" to help out. I don't have hardly any family or friends, no one to help me. I feel like a mouse stuck in a glue trap. I'm trying to hang on to my sanity as best as I can. I don't know what to do. If I ever did try to leave, he'd probably kill me. Nobody knows how hard it is to live with someone like this.

SJ on October 07, 2011:

I have known for a long time my husband wasn't normal. For years, he has been controlling, he makes a big deal over small things, flies off the handle in a rage, has gotten mad and broke things belonging to me, busted my ceramic tiles smashing things down on them in anger. He has listened in on my conversations with my daughter by my previous marriage whom I am close to, and conversations with my dad. When he would leave on a road trip, he would write the miles down off my odometer before I left. We have had a business we have been running for 23 years. He just woke up one day and decided he wasn't going to do that anymore. He has junked up the surrounding land around our house with all kinds of junk and scrap, and even parks trailers in our driveway even after I asked him not to. I had to have a root canal tooth pulled a year ago because the tooth split. My husband said he didn't have the money for a bridge. I wouldn't really care except the tooth is on the front side of my mouth, you can see the hole when I smile. I really don't want to go through the rest of my life like that. He spends all kinds of money buying junk and scrap but can't pay for me a bridge. I didn't understand all this til I started reading about narcissistic personality behavior. He flies into a rage if you disagree with anything he says. I would like to know what I need to do with my situation. How do you deal with a person like this? 9 years ago, he got in an argument with my son about doing his homework and it being late at night, they ended up in a physical fight in his bedroom, my husband reached for a bottle that had sand art in it, and smashed it over my son's leg, cutting it, had to go to emergency room, had to have knee surgery and therapy. Said he didn't even remember reaching for it. Then blames me and said it was my fault for telling him to go in there and get him to do his homework. I don't have any money, I have been working in our business for all these years free of charge doing "my part" to help out. I don't have hardly any family or friends, no one to help me. I feel like a mouse stuck in a glue trap. I'm trying to hang on to my sanity as best as I can. I don't know what to do. If I ever did try to leave, he'd probably kill me. Nobody knows how hard it is to live with someone like this.

RDC on October 04, 2011:

She is now setting me deadlines to marry her which is disturbing to me. I told her about her NPD before I moved on, and she was being very violent at it. Now she is taking an excuse in being NPD and insenstitve and accepting she took me for granted is feigning i dont know wether genuine or shallow sorry for all that she haorderd done. and wants me back. I am not sure I want to go back. But knwoing she is suffering from this disorder, doesnt makes me angry at her, but it frustirates me at her lack of empathy and intimacy. I as a person feels thaat I am a lil passive when it comes to it and have not been very actively assertive in my needs which let her to go even further away from me. She says that she needs a dominating and controlling husband for her, which she sees in me , but only when I am moving away from her. I think i stems from overly indulhent father and somewhat indifferent mom who herself doesnt have much say in family either by the father or others sisters in her fanily. Idont kknow what to do and being unable to make up my mind any suggesrions

RDCgo on October 04, 2011:

HI Doc,

I needed to really share some first hand experience with my GF, which I am not sure I should call an EX yet, cos i am still in touch with her. I met this girl, which I am not very sure, if she is suffering from NPD because coming from an oriental Indian society it is something which is not very openly discussed.

I met her about 3 yrs ago, when I was pretty fresh and out of a very healthy relationship with this girl which had to leave the country for there was no future with her. I met this new girl when I started a new Job and so did she, and we were suppose to be with a group of aboout 200 ppl for about 1 year in a row. She was in a relationship earlier which she gave up after about 4 months and after we had gone for a group vacation in which we came closer. She was initially very reluctant to get into the relationship, which i accepted and gave her space. But suddenly she started demanding more from me, and when i gave her assurance she broke up with her BF and started going around with me. But when i was observing and trying to open myself up, I felt I was not very comfortable with her behaviours. I got the feeling that she is in a deep need of attenntion, always doing things to stay in the centre of attraction. She had intimacy issues. And invariably for a very loong time that we were there and after that it was a push pull relationship, which I was not very comfortable with cos it lacked a great sense of intimacy, devotion and collective thought. I had to leave that initial training and so had to she and we were posted at different places. She kept asking me to marry her for a year, which i resisted for a long time as I was not sure about myself and her too. but being away I started missing her and thought of marrying her and agreed for it. the Drama started here, when her interfering dad, which I myself feel has been suffering from some deep rooted issues refused for the marriages on some social, caste lines. When the girl insisted again and again, he asked for about a year time and told with some reasons that he will be OK after a year or so. I was OK, as I wa snot in a hurry. here is where he tested me really badly where he openly refused for marriage or any contact with me, infact he was OK with me, as long as he didnt know anout my interests in her daughter, But after knowing it, he turned totally against and nebver talked to me. the girl tried for some time befoore the deadline, but to no avail. Though I also doubt her convincing methods. She has been a very dependent person and the father knowng it used to emotionally black mail her against me. What happened after the dealine really shook me. the girl from being really pushy and always trying to be in control sudddenly started drifting away for reasons best known to her, but often telling me that she will neer be happy loosing her family because of me. She started flirting w ith some othe rguys distancing herself from me. Professionally she took steps which would further take us away. In all this time, she was moving close than away. As we were in a long dstance, when ever we would meet. it was interesting for a bit, but after a day or two, when i would insist at setting things right cos i could not tolerate the relationshio to be broken at her fathers behest, she would get weak and move away. Her father would never happily let her dependent daughters charge and responsibilty be given to me cos of certain societal situation prevailing in my country, where he would feel it would not be accepted n his kin or his circle. But the problem doesnt stop here, whicih is one issue I had to face and so did she. Remembering my parents have been very supportive of me and her in all thiis.She could not get out of this confusion and after many deadlines which I myself could not keep and kept going back, she also never let me completely go off, always calling me back or meeting up with swings of closeness and then going far. But never being able to give me committment. I tested and pushed her to her core by distancing my self, coming close. the unique thisng I observed was that whenever I would go away, she would try to pull me back. and whenever I would come close and try to be intimate, she would distance herself. this cycle often repeated many times. When once I decided to give her a last chance befor I move on to this new girl which I had known for a very short time, and she again distanced herself when i came close. Thats when I decided I cant cope with it and I will move on in life, which she often suggested me. I even told her about this that I am tired of all this and want a peaceful life. She at once put me close but then told me that I can go and be in relationship or marry anyone else I want. I committed to this new relationship, which also happened very fast as I wanted to get out of this emotional mess I had gone. After couple of meetings, we decided to marry. And when she was told about this, she got really berserk. Initally she shouted screamed at me. Called me names for being a philanderer. Then she suddenly, became a but calmer and often jealous of this new girl in my life. Said sorry but i am not sure if its just a controlling attitude to get me back. when i tried to talk to her, she offered me some solutions to some practical issues we had. But despite my constant attempts at discussing emotional issues and what I feel, she would show complete empathy and accuse me that I believe only in talking and no actiions for her. She only wants me back but i feel a need to resolve and convince her of my emotional needs and behaviour i expect from her. I generally feel that she lacks the understanding of wha I really want. often threatening me of me committing a mistake of my life by leaving her. Thats when she herself pushed me away. I am amused and perplexed by her sudden change of stance without much change in her emotional and feelings part towards the relationship. As a person, I feel my emotional and stability needs are not met. And at the root of it is also that there is a general lack of trust I have developed where I only see this also as a manipulative behaviour by her. For once I tried to move away from her with someone else, she came back vociferously and she does so only AT THE bhest when she sees a challenge in the form of a new giel in my life. If i am away alone, she doesnt bother or care much of me. But start using me as a resrve and takes me for granted. This time I have been very genuinly trying to move away from her and she has sensed it and that makes her all the more demanding.

shanti on October 04, 2011:

Sorry, I didn't finish my story. we have a friend in common who would like to be our mediator(neutral) to open a channel of communication. To do this, he would like for me to stop the complain for divorce and the restrain order I have against him. I don't know if I can trust him to be good. I will continue to leave in another city and establish a life of my own. I know he can be devious and revengeful. don't know what to do, please share your thoughts and observations. I am afradi to fall back into patterns of confusion and depression and abusive behavior. Will he turn on me if I stop the divorce and how to protect myself if I do?

Thank you.


Shanti on October 03, 2011:

Hello, thank you for your advice and the others for their posts and life stories. I am in a difficult situation. I got hurt by my narcissistic husband and, even though I stayed by him was not aware of his problem until I've left him. I have been away from him for a month and educated myself on this disorder. In the meantime, I filled for divorce and he was served few days ago. I feel horrible and caught in a dilemma. Now that i have better understanding of his condition, I feel that I can weather it and continue the marriage. There were many good times and good things from this marriage and I don't want to abandon the commitment to us now that I have a clear understanding. he doe not want to recognize he has any problems, but maybe we can work things out in different ways. i used to critize him and blame him for the hurts he caused, also, used to leave the house for few days and even for longer periods of time. I am severely depressed and anxious, especially after an episode in which he was physically abusive towards me. I understand he was drunk and was willing to work with him, us, and marriage therapy, but didn't work that well. This said, my second worry is that if I want to reconcile with him now, it might be too late. I became his enemy and I abandoned him. I did the worst thing in his eyes, left the house and filled for divorce. He is aloof and strong in his silence treatment. He doesn't show emotions and

Frances on September 28, 2011:

Ugh. My life has just been destroyed by a NPD monster. Run for the hills. The man punched me in the head, and then said two seconds later, "I didn't punch you in the head." He made me drive him to the police station, so I could tell the police that Mr. NPD "didn't make those bruises covering my arms". The police were incredulous, but that is the nature of NPD...he just assumed everyone would believe anything he told them.

He even filed a restraining order on me after I had already moved out in desperation, and told me he had gotten the restraining order, so "he could take my house, take my job, and put me and my children out on the street to starve."

Then, after he got the restraining order, he was shocked that I was actually happy to stay away from him! He then proceeded to stalk, harrass and hold me hostage until I finally filed my own restraining order....

The final straw came when he looked me in the eyes, and said, "I am a very evil person, and I enjoy making people suffer."

Goodness gracious. Get out while you can. I've been privy to the private thoughts of this type of person, and it is the ugliest mindset imaginable.

mel on September 28, 2011:

Hi, I've been dealing with this all my life, but didn't realize it wasn't my fault till recently. As the scapegoat child of a mom with NPD, it has been extremely hard for me to live a normal life. All my successes have always been something I have had to be content on not sharing with my mother. As a mother myself, I cannot even imagine doing this same stuff to my children. I feel blessed for not going down the wrong path in life. I was always an overachiever, now I understand why. My only question.... I feel like my sister is going down the same path i.e. she sees the world only through how it relates to her, and manipulates every situation to her advantage (with mom's blessing of course. She is the golden child). Does NPD run in the family? Do I go no contact with them?

Jay on September 26, 2011:

Wow! I read this and its EVERYTHING my ex boyfriend was. He broke up with me three months ago, I am still very, very heartbroken and have made the mistake of calling him a lot and trying to work out why, but knowing I deserve to be treated better.. everything I read is him and it’s helped me feel less guilty about the end of our relationship, as apparently everything was my fault. (Hes 38 and I am 35, we moved to his home country together, so it was serious)

I suggested we see a therapist quite early on in our relationship because of the way things were not being talked discussed and his totally lack of empathy, I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time and he would say I always said the same thing, "why can't you try to see it from my point of view" all the time.. it was the most upsetting relationship ever because I saw in him something I have never seen in anyone else.. I fell in love and though I know that’s not enough, I just wish, I wish so badly that I could help him see a few things... maybe we would not of ended.. His blame on me is too much to bare sometimes.

I miss the guy he was when we were first together. It makes me so incredibly sad! I am almost temped to send him this article, but every time I have tried to talk to him, confront him I am shut down. I appreciate that no one wants to be told of their negative traits, but what does one do in a situation like this? give up I guess?!

mychildcomesfirst on September 24, 2011:

I have been with my husband for 8 years now. When we met, I knew (so I thought) he was perfect and the one. We both lived in a state other than the one we grew up in and wanted to go back to where we were raised. He was romanitic, understanding and (at the time) was cool, calm and collective (under stress is what impressed me most). Two months after we met, he went on to find us a place to live (already had a job) in the state we both grew up in. One month later, we (oh, I had a two year old at the time) joined him. I know, crazy to move so fast when you have a child. But you should have seen him then. Yes, it was only two months. Only a couple of crumpiness times. But not what I was used to with past relationships. He was great with my son. Everyting you would want.

Two months or so after moving was the first episode. Although at the time I believed it to be from drinking. Time goes on... jealousy, drunkeness, verbaly abusive behavious were pretty frequent, wouldnt allow me to get too close, just close enough. I was catching him in lies.. the list goes on. When my son was 6, a certain episode finally (unfortunately ) was with my son. Nothing major, but I did intervene. Good move, bad move? I actually know the answer to that. Just retorical.(s/p)

Anyway, after time, I started loosing myself. Manipulation people with this disorder deal out is very intense. I would try to defend my self (quite frequently) and would forget things, loose my train of thought, think maybe I was crazy... the list goes on. I did leave him a couple of times. He would always beg me to come home and would be perfect! For a little while.

After years of hearing how he was only married to his first wife because he wanted to help her girls and never cared for her and how crazy she was and how if it were not for the girls he would be gone. Then being kept out of the loop on everything that had to do with us, ie. banking, money, bills, him... you name it, he wanted me to know nothing.

One night my son and I followed him to his sisters three hours away at night. All over the road and scared me to death. That night when I confronted him about it, I was called multiple bad names and told it was none of my business and that I would be in a good mood the next day with his family. He didn't even remember this conversation the next morning. Didn't seem to believe it happened. These are very few of the numerus circumstances I dealt with for six year. Not even the major ones. I alway thought it was the drinking. We now live in another state where we moved to after I left him the last time. His family finally is concerned because apparantly (now I know) this has been his behavior for many many years. I am only glad I was not his first wife from what I have learned over the last year. I have been manipulated, treated like I was crazy, defended myself over things that never happened, been loved one minute and hated the next, watched him flirt with other women in front of me, believe to this day he is unfaithful, the list goes on and on. And honestly, I could deal with it. I would make up excuses to everyone for his behaviour especially to our son. I forgot to mention, he did adopt him. He loves him like he is his own. One of the reasons I fell in love with him is because of how he felt about his step kids from the privious marriage. I think of them as his therefore mine.

However, the last year, it is not just directed towards me. My friend told me a couple of months ago that it may have a lot to do with his sleep deprivation then add drinking on top of stess this day and age. I have been doing lots of research over the last month which is how I came to this website and many others. I truly believe that he has this disorder. And as much as I want to be patient and stand by him, I think my rapidly fraying rope has come to its end.

I did confront him about his drinking, then the sleep deprivation thing, now I read this. They all seem to coinside with each other and that is not a good thing.

If he would admit that he had a problem and tried to at least help himself, I would possibly try.

However, the last six months or so, my son is feeling the ramifications too. He is seeing the mood swings and feeling the ramifications himself. I can't cover up for my husband to my son anymore, obviously, either. He knows what is going on and is frustrated and hurt himself. I have seen a lot of differnce in him (my son) the last year and I don't like it. Plus, trying to stay in the middle of my son and my husband to keep peace and make sure things are at least somewhat ok while trying to not set off my husband is gettin old. My son told me the other day his dads grumpiness is getting old.

Too late for long story short, but, my son will always come first to me. Am I wrong to say that either my husband quits blaming everyone else and realize he is a jerk with a problem and try to help himself, or I am ejecting my son from the environment.

On another note, I have his family behind me. I know that can't be good for his mind set.

I want to get back to me and get back to good before it is too late for my son.

Lots more before and now but my fingers hurt and it is late. Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.

p.s. I just started to go back and check for typos and realized how long this is. Sorry for the length and any typos. Thanks again!

XNPDwife on September 23, 2011:


I have read through some of these stories and I found myself nodding my head in agreement because I too have dealt with many of the episodes and behaviors that come with having a relationship with an NPD. My concern is my children at this point but my story in short, well short a possible :)

I just learned about six months ago that my X is an NPD and it came out of the blue. I have been seeing a therapist for a long time in regards to issues I'd been having at my work and of course we'd talk about things at home as well. The topic of my X would come up often. She had also met my X on three occassions within six months. We had been using her to help us with trying to work out our difficulty in communicating in our joint custody with our children. He came to these unwillingly and with a HUGE bunch of requirements such as we can't talk about "us" and we can't talk about the marriage and we can't talk about the past ie our childhood. It was such a long list it was really frustrating. But even during the first meeting I got so frustrated with his lack of concern and coldness and subtle blaming of me. The counselor called ME on it which made me more mad. But we talked later about it and she explained that per her ethics she had to do it that way.

So about 3 months after our last meeting with him together I was complaining about something he'd done yet again that I felt like I had NO control over. She had once before mentioned to me what a narcissist was very briefly and that was was that. But on this particular day she paused and said "Have I ever told you I think that X is a narcissist?" I remembered what she'd described one as being like and took in a few other things that she'd mentioned over time and right then and there, just like in the movies, time stopped and there was this HUGE silence in the room but in my head ALL the pieces came flying together. All the puzzle pieces I'd collected over nearly 20 years of knowing this man feel into place and damn it every one of them fit, perfectly. I finally, FINALLY had an answer. I had been married to a narcissist and also dealing with one in a divorce and trying to have child custody with one as well. Wow. It took three days for the shock to wear off.

So I've been learning everything I can on the subject. So far the best book I've read is: The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists. It gets into it very deeply and it not only looks at the NPD's role but it gives insight about the "codependent".

But as I said I am worried about my children. I was married to this man for 12 years. We dated for 10 months before we got married, which he initiated. Even before we got married I knew something was amiss but I couldn't even tell you what it was. I was going on instinct. Wish I'd listened to it. After 12 years of him abusing me emotionally and pyschologcially, and me gaining nearly 80lbs and my self esteem being reduced to virtually being non existent, and I starting to have similar behaviors to his HE asked me for a divorce. Which now knowing what I do find it incredible that he asked for one but I think it was his way of trying to stay in control of me because I wasa getting a bit out of hand by loosing weight and socializing with people that I would go workout with..instead of being at home catering to his every need. After he served me papers (he'd moved out 2 or 3 days before) he came by and says to me "you don't really want the divorce do you?" in a very charming way and when I said yes I did it devastated him because I essentially told him I didn't want him, that he wasn't good enough. This is where the real narcissism came into play. During the year and a half that it took to finalize the divorce he went from saying "Oh I want to pay child support and I want x, y and z because it's the right thing to do" to "why do I have to pay child support AND alimony?" That's too much, I can't afford that!" to making every thing we did in the settlement to have to be changed to make it so that HE liked it - and later I figured out so that he'd have the most control over me. Custody and visitation was the biggest problem. Looking back now I really wish I hadn't agreed to everything I did. We agreed to joint custody which has proven to be very hard because what HE thinks is best - and often times it's not- and what I think is best is never the same, ever.

And prior to his filing for divorce he spend MINIMAL time with our three children. I was doing everything! Feeding the kids, getting them to school plus taking care of my nephews at the time in the mornings and afternoons, laundry, grocery shopping, staying at home with our youngest, dinner, I fixed the kids lunches for school every day, keeping the house cleaned, bathing and putting the kids to bed, reading them bedtime stories. I taught all three of them how to ride their bikes. I was also starting a new career at the time as well. And his interaction with the kids involved saying hi to them when he got home, telling them good night and saying goodbye in the mornings. If he did more I don't remember. So immediately following the separation he asked for them 50% of the time! I was like what the hell??? My kids were 10,5 and 3 at the time. And what they told me was that when they were with dad at their aunt and uncles house, aunt and uncle took care of them, not dad.

IN our agreement we've changed the schedule several times for various reasons, most of which are so that I can work. I have a job that changes on me periodically so I have to adjust my schedule likewise or work less and get paid less. X thinks by now I should be totally self supporting but gets upset when I take on more hours. Crazy. So he only agrees to any schedule change if HE gets something out of it. I have always advocated for the kids to live with me full time and he have visitation but in the state of CA 50/50 is the law and he's "entitled" to it so he feels he gets it no matter the cost to the kids.

And one time we had a schedule that I liked, the kids liked it and he seemed ok with it. We were trying to make a few adjustments and we asked the kids how they felt about it and I found it very interesting that the older ones had little to say about it, I now know that they were afraid of how their dad would react if they said they wanted to change. Well literally out of the blue the next day he took the kids out of school and the told me flat out that we were going back to the original agreement...with a few minor modifications that HE made and when I tried to protest that didn't go well. And I'v been fighting it since then.

We have in our agreement right now that he has them on the weekends and they come back to me at different times alternating weekends. BUT if I want to have them for a full weekend or if he does, we have to make a request of the other and we have to do it 10 days in advance. Well if I don't follow the rules to a T he gets very pissed of and will refuse my request and makes threats that if I should deny HIS request I will find it problematic the next time I make a request to him. And most recently I've made several requests and he's denied all of them except one because it was for a special occasion. I tell him he's controlling and I protest and he says I'm not seeing things clearly and it's working and no changes need to be made and I'm the only one that's unhappy.

The kids, who are really doing a marvelous job on the outside ie to the public, are well behaved, have good grades -for the most part - have friends, are involved in activities. All of the lawyer and judges say because they are doing well that there's no concern. And even their dad says they're fine. I know better because when the are with me it's very stressful. My oldest mimics alot of X's behaviors and is very condesending to me. We've had a rocky relationship since she turned 10 or 11. She's the oldest and had pretty much understood the whole thing with the divorce and she's had to grow up a bit because of it. She's 18 now, a legal adult..She's in college locally because I am unable to afford college for her and her dad refuses to help pay saying he d

Sg on September 22, 2011:

Curious, my husband, when angry, usually over something such as I didn't answer his question correctly, or I left a drawer open a bit, will have imaginary boundary lines when he is mad. Such as put the shampoo bottles I use on my half of the shower, make up his side of the bed only, put my things in areas that are used more by me, things become "his" or "mine" and not "ours" - if I touch something of his, I'm to ask permission or hell is to be paid. Is this a NPD issue?

Nat Amaral from BC Canada on September 20, 2011:

Thank you so much for writing something like this. I have dealt with two different people in my past with this disorder, but I learned my lesson enough to keep my distance from the second one. You have described the both of them to a tee. This one girl is also a constant liar and a manipulator. I'm only sorry for the people who she has hurt.

Kate on September 19, 2011:

With all due respect, you come off as sympathetic to people with NPD, which simply isn't warranted. In fairness, I didn't finish reading the article. Between your apparent stance or perspective that their actions are not conscious and the lack of proofreading, I wasn't inclined to continue. However, I can't help but think that you've not been consistently exposed to someone with NPD, in the context of a close relationship. If I'm mistaken, my apologies. I just can't fathom how you cannot ascribe ill will to an N. They are cold, calculating and ruthless, elevating manipulation to an art form. They are often abusive as well, sometimes violently so. In essence, they're the worst kinds of bullies, unleashing hell on their victims because of their own insecurities. They drain, damage and discard without a second thought and they do this with well planned precision. When you use someone in every possible way, turn on them, gaslight them, disparage them and throw them away, there's only one word for that, evil and it's absolutely deliberate. The only sympathy should be for anyone who is taken in and summarily destroyed by a person with NPD.

Rachel B on September 18, 2011:

My sister-in-law seems to have NPD. Family events have been unbearable. There are 14 people in the family but the conversation must revolve around her. We only talk about her job, her friends, her sisters, etc. She must always one-up everyone. I brought it up with my mom that we should have more balanced discussions at family events. This seems to have gotten back to NPD and has enraged her and now she seems to want to ruin my relationships with members of my family. My other sister-in-law seems to have borderline personality disorder and they have joined forces. I am a quiet person and don't really know what to do except for disengage. Do you have any suggestions? I am tired of always having to feed their egos.

Harriet on September 17, 2011:

Yes, yes yes ... this article is spot on. Awful as it sounds though ... I would have to say "run for the hills", "stay far far away" and "escape while you can" because if you don't love yourself enough to get away from such abuse ... you will slowly but surely loose any sense of self worth and self efficacy, and you'll never even see it happening until it's too late and you're half the person you were when you first met your narcissist. Goodness knows they will not give you one bit of empathy, credit or consideration as they devour you.

Alexandra on September 17, 2011:

I have been in a relationship with Narcissist for 11 years. She was amazing for the first 6 months and I fell deeply in love with her. Then it all changed...she became a Chameleon. I am regularly yelled and screamed at for the most minor things. Her recently most favourite reason is that I am not following her instructions. While I am still reeling from these verbal assaults her mood swings back to my loving partner like nothing happend. If I try and point out what just happend it is all minimsed and I am making it into something it is not. She is very good at using humour to detract from her outbursts/tantrums. She uses personal things that I have told her against me when she is angry..hurts like hell. She has alienated my family who all have had a taste of her dark side. While they want contact with me they don't want to spend time with her. I am very close to her family. We spend a lot of time together and she is very dedicated to them. For the most she is an amazing daughter/auntly, sister, sister in law. She is always wanted at family events becauese she is so funny, family orientated, hardworking and loyale. Her family know what she is like and at times we all walk on egg shells together. But on the other hand she does the most amazing things to show that she loves me like planning elaborate trips or suprises. She is talented and amazingly funny - people who don't really know her think that she is wonderful. I don't trust her emotionally and have at times fantasised about physically hurting her..i would never! (I am very honest with her and have told her all of this but she appears to brush it off). Talk about disfunctional! She has been to counselling when I said I wanted to leave her but it did not work as she thought all the counsellor wanted to do was to hit on her. I don't want to go to couple counselling as she is very good at presenting a good front. I need to find a way to get out but know that she is going to make it incredibley hard. I am a very peaceful and easy going person which she has taken full advantage of and I have allowed her to do so...What does it say about me for staying so long? I do feel very alone and my self esteem is shot. I need to find my backbone of steel. I do not want to wast any more of my precious years.

shawn on September 16, 2011:

As far as I am concerned one should get as far away as fast as possible from these types of people. In all my experiences with that personality type there has been nothing but trouble. Even appologies become grandiose plots to manipulate and overthrow another. Not worth my time, but hopefully there are others out there a bit more compassionate in regard to people with this disorder.

Solaire on September 11, 2011:

This is long, but it's hard to find someone to vent to about this hehe. My father-in-law is a textbook case of a low functioning narcissist. Last year his 3rd wife left him, he lost his job, and went bankrupt. My husband, feeling a need to please his father, most likely stemming from his own dysfunctional upbringing, let his father live with us till he could get back on his feet. Within the first 2 days I knew what I was dealing with, but I had no idea how bad it would be. He got and quit 5 jobs in 6 months, all were "not good enough" for him or the employees/bosses were "idiots". He sat in our living room all day, complaining and criticizing everyone and everything, eating peanuts and watching "How it's Made" all day, every day. Other than dinner, which he gorged himself on, he only ate peanuts and caffeinated drinks, swearing a person could live solely on them.

And this is not the worst of it...I have a 10 year old son. He was constantly putting my son down, calling him a wimp who will grow up fat and friendless (my son is very sociable, gifted, heh and thin, maybe it was jealousy) He was always competing with my son too. He actually once said "I bet I can ride your bike better than you can"! Really! He said that!

Needless to say, he stayed for a year when my husband finally suggested he would pay for a cheap apartment for him. His fear of being alone caused him to find another family member to mooch off. So, within that year, I pretty much lived in my bedroom and became a complete emotional wreck. My son eventually joined me in the room, feeling so worthless and angry that he couldn't stand to continue trying to forge a relationship with his only living grandpa.

He left, 4 months ago, and we recently got an email from those currently living with him...a desperate email pleading for help to deal with him, to make him get a job, and even to take him back. My husband doesn't seem to want to accept the fact that his father is a narcissist, and keeps falling back into the trap of trying to please him by any means. He says he was never this bad and maybe he's going senile. But, they've hardly had a close relationship since I've known him. I try to explain that the best way to get him to take responsibility for his own life is to stop offering to help him.

If he comes back, I don't know what I'll do. I have threatened to leave. All I feel is anger towards him, for how he treated my son, and how he expected me to be his own personal idiot slave. But because of my own problems with needing to please everyone, I was unable to say anything to him. I feel angry at my husband for not standing up for us and trying to protect our emotional well-being. I think I'll end up in a rubber room if he returns. I don't know how to get through to my husband that it would detrimental to this family if he allows his father to return.

Terishere on September 06, 2011:

My ex was narcissistic and an extreme control freak!! I left before I was damaged emotionally and mentally by the control tactic that were used.

I'm all for those with NPD getting help, but not so much about loved ones staying and putting up with the abuse. A separation would be better, and if the one with NPD won't get help, the other partner should not be expected to stay in the relationship.

L76 on August 19, 2011:

I have been married for 12 years and have 3 children. My husband was diagnosed with Narcissistic Tendencies 8 years ago and I until now didn't know what that meant. It has been absolutely painful these past 12 years. His behavior has been worse since our first sone was born. When I was pregnant I had complications with Preeclampsia and he did not care that I had to be kept calm. He would fight and argue just the same if I was not pregnant. I begged for mercy for a little bit of compassion but it didn't matter. Thankfully my son and I were fine but it was not the life moment I'd been dreaming . about. The fights continued as I fought to stand up for myself but it didn't matter....I was always wrong. Two children later and now with my father terminally Ill and also with me suffering anticipatory grief I've finally had enough. The straw that broke the camels back was his latest comment to me about my dying father after a sudden decline, he said "Its not my fault your fathers dying, so stop putting your stress onto me" I realized that something was TERRIBLY wrong... So I started researching and It all started to make sense...he is terribly Narcissistic. I don't know what to do now. I'm getting in contact with a psychologist who deals with this type of disorder so if nothing else can help me and our children... I am just so sad right now...

Victor on August 04, 2011:

Dr. C,

I really want to extend my appreciation and applause for this article as it goes to great extent to illustrate “NPD” in a thoughtful and informing attitude. While I have known of Narcissists for some time I have always misunderstood them to be “bundled”, if you will, with other disorder types and/or psychosis. This is particularly true, it would seem, in regards to the growing trend of people with sociopathic personalities which can be found in almost all walks of life and careers. However, set aside as its own “PD”, is something I have not encountered before.

My only concern regarding the article, and maybe some of you can help me to understand this better, is the lack of attention to the varied other components of living with such an individual. While the article states that “NPD” can lead to angry outbursts and manipulative agendas it seems to stop there, reminding us that they are people too and to just take a “time out”. However, in my own personal experience with my mother, simply taking a time out is an unrealistic option. The more often, at least in my experience, outcome has been physical in the form of “claw” marks across my chest (something my wife was very livid about!), slaps, tackles, and biting on one occasion. Additionally, and in the absence of the “knock-down-drag-outs” we’ve had, she has followed me (when I lived with her), repeated and incessant phone calls, e-mails, and showing up on my front door. Once, after I moved out on her command and I refused to tell her where I had moved to, due to a fluke that revealed my location, I came home to her driving around in my complex looking for my vehicle! Thankfully, this behavior has ceased and the most I endure nowadays is repeated phone calls for “mine and her welfare” and hostile over-the-phone arguments whenever I ask her to not stop a certain behavior – such as peppering me with seven or more calls within an hour because I am not home when a thunderstorm happens to show up.

In my experience, and I suspect in many other’s, taking a time out and mentioning a few disengaging comments in an almost “la-ti-da” manner are as counter-productive as fighting off a tank with a tooth pick! My above example of my experiences do not include the many manipulations and “guilt trips” over my unavailability to her due to work or personal preference due to the above hyper-reactions. Those manipulations are as countless as the sands of a beach with the majority of which being designed to orchestrate our moving back in together – an issue I nearly lost my wife over, my sanity and my own apartment on a previous occasion.

Obviously I am not a Psychologist and am not intending to diagnose those like my mother but do realize that there is a lot of components within “NPD” that fit such people to a “tee”. Either my reading of this article displays character traits that are either lessened to instill an empathy for those who suffer this, or my experiences with those like my mother, to include her, is something other than “NPD”. Perhaps something which appears as “NPD” or has that as a component? To date, and this literally shocks me and makes me wonder if I am not the one falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, but my father has displayed similar traits as my mother, as has my grandmother, my grandfather, wife’s father and sister, and at least two friends of ours their mothers, and one friend’s grandmother. The one aspect that gives me some assurance that I am not the one sitting at the Mad Hatter’s table is that I am not the only one expressing these observances.

So all in all, great article and very informative; however, I am concerned about my mother and those like her that possess such hostile and aggressive behaviors in addition to the “manipulativeness” of it all. I am left, at least in regards to my mother, in a quandary. Because of this hostility, would it not be better for me to simply distance myself from her? I am left then with the fact that she has no one else in her life, is now handicapped, and living on extremely limited benefits (which now may be reduced beyond realistic live-ability thanks to our recent Political Debt Ceiling issues and the cuts they propose). Psychological steps are out of the question as she simply walks out on sessions whenever the Doctor states something she disagrees with, not to mention our inability to afford it. Is this issue regarding her simply an “NPD” issue or something different?

Nat Amaral from BC Canada on July 30, 2011:

A truly informative piece. I knew too many people that were like this (or used to). Sometimes one can only deal with so much. It's doubtful that these people mean to be like that, but little do that know that it's this kind of attitude that will push their loved ones away.

HBMM on June 28, 2011:

Dear Dr. C,

Thank you for your article. I believe my mother-in-law has NPD although she has not been formally diagnosed. She is extremely jealous of me and my family- I believe she feels this way because of my economic background.

Over the years she has both overtly and passive-aggressively insulted, offended, and been extremely mean and inappropriate towards me and my parents. For a long time I tried all the coping techniques you've mentioned- not escalating, staying calm, using "I feel..." statements, etc. My husband and I are at a point where we feel like nothing helps and there is just no way to deal with her that does not result in negativity and stress to our life. At this point, even though she only lives 10 minutes away, we only see her at family functions/ holidays and I do not communicate with her outside of these occasions. (My husband still talks on the phone with her).

So I guess we are using the "no contact" approach and I know she blames me for this even though it's just as much my husbands choice. He is not willing to put our marriage or children at risk because she is not able to "play nice" with me and my family. Even when I do see her now, she only speaks to me in a condescending, rude way.

I consider myself a patient and kind person. I understand that people with NPD are still people and the rest of us should take the "high road" etc. But I feel like I've come to a point where contact with this person is so damaging and negative to me and my family (my husband and I also have 2 children who she shows zero interest in) that I have to protect myself and my family and just stay away.

I guess my questions are: at what point does self-preservation prevail over the needs of the person with NPD? Is this a common situation that you've come across? I'd love to hear any other strategies you think I could use at this point, I just fear we are beyond any kind of reconciliation.

Thank you very much :)

victoria on June 25, 2011:

Hi. I'm 49 and have come to realize my mother is a full blown NPD. I have been No Contact since April of this year. I only talk to my sister, and she has begged me to contact my folks as my dad has parkinson disease and because of the stress I have done with the no contact - he has heart problems. Personnally I have such strong reactions to even seeing their phone number displayed on my phone and break out in a sweat, get all upset and cry. When I drive to her house before I get their my guts get tight and I cry and feel like I'm going to throw up. My life with my hubby and son is wonderful. I have peace and love here but my family is chaos always never stops. My mother says horrible things to me then with a smile on her lips says something to leave and I'm balling in my room. I deal with depression and believe that I need help with leaving them - they don't want me to leave. I am scared and have strong reactions to my mother at 49. She is 78.

gramarye from Adelaide - Australia on June 12, 2011:

Thanks, I finally have a name for his problem. Yes, I walk on eggshells full time - never know when he's going to blow! This has been a helpful insight! Thanks :-)

Andrea on May 21, 2011:

Just found out about NPD and I'm pretty sure my boyfriend is a pathological narcissist. However, I don't see myself trying to tell him, it would probably make things even worse. I don't know what to do, I've been trying to understand his problem for a long, long time and now it's so clear, but it's really scary at the same time. Don't want to lose him, but it's so hard to deal with this type of personality... "Walking on eggshells", yap, that's pretty much my life at this point. Even worse, when trying to explain what they're doing wrong, they don't even try to correct the behaviour and just keep hurting everyone around them. Drives me insane.

Veronica on May 16, 2011:

My dad has narcisstic personality disorder. But i'm 15 and can't escape. My mum died when I was 12. My brother has depression and signs of the same narcisstic personality disorder. Any help? Please?

I need it.

htodd from United States on April 29, 2011:

Awesome Hub,Thanks for the post

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