Do you feel completely enamored with your partner? Maybe even lucky to be chosen by this charismatic, witty, and externally confident person? Do you also have days where you have just nothing left, feeling completely picked apart by your partner? Do you feel like the person you’re in love with is behaving like a toddler? Do you sometimes feel like your entire life is revolving around your partner’s happiness 24/7? These are just a few of the many scenarios one experiences when in a relationship with a narcissist.
Narcissistic individuals are great at drawing people in. They are fun, charming, and they can make you feel almost high on attraction and excitement. They are witty, attractive, and can make you feel unique from everyone else. But they are also emotionally exhausting, manipulative, and insecure on an extreme level. What sets a narcissist’s “flaws” apart from any other person’s is they look to the one closest to them to fill their holes, and/or take the blame. For example, if something is wrong in their life, if they made a mistake, or feel shame in any way, get ready because somehow it will become your fault. It’s very difficult for a narcissist to accept any contribution to something negative. If they had a meltdown, or made a mistake, instead of taking responsibility for their part, they are unable to see this and often focus on how someone else (likely you, the loved one) made them do it.
The problem is because it’s easy to become sucked into their world and their false sense of reality, it’s difficult to be able to stop and assess if this is a role and relationship that you can handle. If you feel something isn’t right in your relationship, but you question how much and what is “normal,” read the following list to see if you connect with any of the following scenarios.
Note: The person closest to the narcissist, the person he/she loves the most is the one that gets the brunt of it.
- Do you get blamed for everything that’s wrong, even when you had nothing to do with it?
- Do you feel like your partner needs constant validation and attention?
- Do your needs often get ignored and not met?
- Do you feel your partner lacks empathy?
- Do you feel like it’s up to you to make your partner truly happy and whole?
- Do you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster with your spouse?
- Do you ever feel these following things more often than not: blamed, emotionally drained, isolated?
- Do you often have the opposite perspective of a situation than your partner?
So you identify with many, if not all on the above list. Now what?
Boundaries. Boundaries is the most essential step to take if you’re wanting to stop the current patterns between you and your narcissistic partner. There are hundreds of helpful books and articles to help you understand and implement boundaries. Having your own individual therapist can also help you learn about boundaries and learn where they are most needed. Meeting with a therapist who understands narcissism at it’s core can help identify where you contribute to the problem, as well as learn alternative behaviors to give you new and effective coping skills and more independence from your partner.
When focused on the needs, wants, emotions of a narcissist, the caretaker eventually realizes that there is no room for his/her needs, wants, or emotions. The job of caretaker is exhausting, and rather thankless. Nothing will be enough for a narcissist. There’s always a better way to do things, or there’s always more to want. It’s extremely difficult to explore your individuality when you’re drawn into the world of a narcissist.
Narcissists can be very difficult to break away from, and it can be just as difficult to try and change the power dynamic and expectations in the relationship. They are super convincing, manipulative, self-focused, and often they try to use power (whether it’s intelligence, money, resources) to get what they want from you. Whether you’re looking for help in how to end and exit your relationship, or you’re not sure of what you want just yet, it is important that you have your own supports and ways to cope with such a challenging situation.
Help is available, call today to schedule your first appointment: 610-608-0390