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Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

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Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby up_north » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:39 am

Hello,

I've been reading a bit on here and found it useful, would like some advice.

I think my ex was a narcissist, and wanted to ask thoughts on that, and if it's normal to find it so difficult to get over the break-up.

Reason I thought he may be is:

-- He talked about himself constantly, he'd cut over my conversation as well as others
-- Was excessively charming, when first together he told me "I was perfect", I used to tell him that I wasn't and one day he'd realise that
-- He didn't like me having male friends, even gay ones, would rage about people I was close to
-- Was very clingy if we went out to a bar, would hang off me and accused me of looking at people, unless it was a nightclub where he'd flirt with other women in front of me
-- He'd only talk about our relationship if it was something he wanted to talk about
-- He had little empathy, after my mother died I told him he didn't give me enough support, his reply was that "other people hurt too" and "didn't I think that he was stressed"
-- He had a row and left me for a while just after she died, he did this by text message, saying "now isn't a good time for this but when is it ever?"
-- He was very vain, fanatical about his body, trained constantly, would tell me what to eat/what not to eat
-- Liked to tell me about all the women he could possibly get, and that if we split up he'd soon move on
-- Intelligent guy, very traumatic upbringing but became a teacher eventually, however he got fired (blamed it on his boss) same thing happened with other jobs
-- Likes to talk about feeling sorry for those who weren't as attractive as him, he'd say things like "I feel sorry for those people over there having to see us kissing".
-- I did get back with him for a short while, he moved in with me, and he drove me mad, wanted attention all the time
-- He started talking about an ex he'd previously called "mad" and a "stalker", when I questioned him on this he told me she was a nice girl
-- I went through his emails and he'd been emailing her and other exes, telling them how great they were
-- His explanation was as he hadn't physically cheated it was fine, and at least she made his ego feel better

By this point, I got rid of him. But when he left he told me the reason as to why he'd split with his other partners, they'd all caught him doing the same thing, calling, emailing other women, and that with one of them he'd been trying to re-start a relationship with the other. I didn't get why he told me this, I think he knew it was over.

The reason I think he wasn't a narcissist is that he also shoved me around a few times, threatened to kill me once. Plus, I wasn't sure if narcissists could be clingy when around you (constant affection).

I know, I'm so better off out of there, I've blocked emails and won't ever go back, but finding it difficult at the moment. I don't get it.. I was only with him for a year, and we broke up 4 months ago.My personal circumstances aren't great, will be a couple of months before they are. Just started therapy, the therapist doesn't really want to talk about him, she wants to focus on me.

I just wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar situation, does it take a bit? I guess it doesn't matter what he was, I'm just obsessing a bit at the moment.

Any advice good.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby Smacster » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:30 am

up_north wrote:The reason I think he wasn't a narcissist is that he also shoved me around a few times, threatened to kill me once. Plus, I wasn't sure if narcissists could be clingy when around you (constant affection).


If he was violent, that only lends more credence to your claim of ex being an N

Clingy, yeah if you're the only person he knows in the room and he's content with you. Jealousy is one of the DSM criteria
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby SenseAtLast » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:26 am

The starting phase of a relationship with an N can be so idealistic that it becomes addictive. My 2c is that because the N has dialled in on being your perfect partner is, the love you feel is so intense and you have further to fall.

Based on my own experience, and a couple of years fo reading the forum, it is additionally hard to disentangle yourself from a relationship with an N. Basically, your head has been messed up. It is definitely harder.

Therapist can help but it needs to be the right therapist for you. I've spoken to ones who don't really get PD's and they weren't of much help.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby up_north » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:06 pm

Smacster wrote:
up_north wrote:The reason I think he wasn't a narcissist is that he also shoved me around a few times, threatened to kill me once. Plus, I wasn't sure if narcissists could be clingy when around you (constant affection).


If he was violent, that only lends more credence to your claim of ex being an N

Clingy, yeah if you're the only person he knows in the room and he's content with you. Jealousy is one of the DSM criteria


Yeah, I kept thinking he was a sociopath (anti-social?) as the relationship went on he told me about assaults he'd committed against other men (it was always their fault/self-defense). For one of these he used a knife to defend himself, but he told me it hadn't been his, he'd taken it off the other guy. He never really told me the full details of these until the end, when he said that one of the prosecuting team wanted to press charges against him for attempted murder, but it had ended up being another charge. He never went to prison for any of these, I think he managed to say it was all defending himself, he eventually showed me a record of all the charges he'd got.

But a lot of his other behaviour fitted being a narcissist, which is why I was confused.

The only person in the room thing was very true. I didn't meet lots of his friends, some of that was probably because he was hiding things, but I think it was also because he just wasn't interested in being with them all when I was around. He seemed very happy for us to be in our own little world. Until I had enough and started to ignore him as he was going on about himself too much, then it crumbled.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby up_north » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:09 pm

SenseAtLast wrote:The starting phase of a relationship with an N can be so idealistic that it becomes addictive. My 2c is that because the N has dialled in on being your perfect partner is, the love you feel is so intense and you have further to fall.

Based on my own experience, and a couple of years fo reading the forum, it is additionally hard to disentangle yourself from a relationship with an N. Basically, your head has been messed up. It is definitely harder.

Therapist can help but it needs to be the right therapist for you. I've spoken to ones who don't really get PD's and they weren't of much help.


Yes, the above is true. There were times with him when I did feel I've never felt that way before (then I came back down to earth).

I find it difficult to find the right therapist, am in the UK and PDs aren't taken as seriously, will keep trying.

And try to stop obsessing in the meantime as it's driving me mad :(

Thanks both for your replies.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby Normal? » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:32 pm

Hello Up North - how are ya doing?

It's difficult to know which 'camp' a person with a PD falls - especially when they have so many features of disorder. A good way to think about it is that Cluster B's are across a spectrum so it is possible that your ex has features of ALL of these and in a lot of ways it doesn't really matter which one he is 'the most'?

On the subject of sociopaths though you might want to read Martha Stout's book as it might help - I posted about it here if it is any good to you:

narcissistic-personality/topic43819.html?hilit=pity

Good luck to you! :D
Last edited by Normal? on Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby sfguy » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:19 pm

up_north wrote:Just started therapy, the therapist doesn't really want to talk about him, she wants to focus on me.

Find another therapist.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby 2forward1back » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:35 pm

Yes, its very hard to recover from long term exposure to a narcissist. Depending on the nature and length of the relationship it can cause a kind of PTSD. You almost need to be de-programmed in order to reclaim your true self or soul.

I was married to one for 13 years. It took me about 2 years of learning about the disorder to actually get my head around it, then another couple of years of abuse therapy to get the emotional strength to accept that there was no future in the relationship.

It was my ex-husband who actually 'said' he wanted us to separate, but I was the one who changed the locks and didn't let him back in the house......of course, that unleashed the total fury of the narcissistic beast in him. But I stayed strong, began no contact and its been just over 3 years now. It has nearly killed me and I'm still in the process of trying to escape from him completely because he's been dragging out our property settlement through the court ever since.

So yes, it is hard and unless you find a therapist who understands how people are effected by abuse in a relationship then you are at risk of being victimized all over again. A lot of methods used by narcissistic individuals in relationships to gain a feeling of control are actually classified as abuse or domestic violence. For example emotional abuse and psychological abuse are achieved just with verbal and non-verbal communication.

The only counseling which helped me escape and recover from my harmful relationship was therapy and support groups provided by my local domestic violence/woman's center.

Its been a long and challenging process and I have learned a lot about myself. Its really weird though, I have learned more about who my ex-husband really is after we broke up than all the years we were together.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby up_north » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:59 am

Hello,

I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone for replying. I read all the replies and it helped. I finally did talk to my therapist about it properly, and she did get it (I think I was scared to use the word "personality disorder", people and therapists in the UK don't always seem to get it, I've had conversations with therapists before and they don't think terms such as BPD/NPD are "real" or useful).

It was useful for me to be finally open about what went on, and the effect it had on me, as well as how sad in many ways it's been for my ex (he doesn't examine what he does, and thinks that inside his head "it's a living hell").

Despite my pain from it and my obsessing, it's now sinking in that I couldn't change that, he was going through his own stuff. I just now need to look at myself going forward.

Good luck to everyone over the Christmas period.

E.
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Re: Is it this hard to get over a narcissistic relationship?

Postby unidentified_user » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:32 pm

Hi, everyone! I am new here, but I am extremely glad to find this forum. I am trying to get over the 3,5 years relationship with a N and it's HARD.I never knew he was a N, until 2 weeks ago, when I came across this personality disorder on internet (not to mention that I have a degree in psychology :D -I just never thought that I could fall for someone with PD.. ) He has been breaking up with me probably 10 times over the course of the relationship, but it was always the case that we would get back together as my love and his need for NS was strong. This time, I think it's final as I told him to get lost and there has been no contact already for 10 days (the longest we have ever gone without talking). So, i know I need to get over him, and I am determined. I found that the more I read about NPD the easier it becomes to handle all this. You sort of come to senses to understand what has been going on and the perspective of having same story in the future becomes undesirable.

Good luck to everyone dealing with the same problem and I'll keep reading here and hope it will only get better!!!
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