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Topic: Living with a Narcissist

21 posts, 0 answered
  1. Tarnished Heart
    Tarnished Heart avatar
    1 posts
    2 June 2014

    I would love to hear from others who are enduring or surviving a relationship with a narcissist. I have recognised, with the help of my psychiatrist,  that I have engaged in co-dependency, try to rescue others and will often subjugate my needs in order to fill others needs first. Enough is Enough! I have gone through the realisation phase, disappointment, disillusionment, anger, feeling stupid and gullible and very suicidal. What is really ironic is that my partner is a psychologist. My needs are not going to be met in this relationship and I am not going to keep meeting his. Unconditional love is a great ideal, BUT only God can give it, because he is in a position of power, not need. He needs nothing in return. Human love is conditional. Enduring abuse, emotional neglect and loneliness is a form of self abuse especially while you are waiting for the 'other half' to pay a little interest in the investment you have made in him. I am trying to work out how I can save myself. Do I HAVE to leave him? Is there another way?

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4233 posts
    4 June 2014

    Dear TH

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for providing your post.  Very to the point and quite a number of issues you raise.  

    Having never had a partner who is a psychologist, I cannot comment too much here, but one thing really amazes me about this – that your partner (psych) is causing so much hurt and disappointment and so much more for you in the relationship.  Kind of defies the psych code I would have thought – obviously he practices a much different code when he’s at home with you, as opposed to the professional hat he wears when he’s with his patients in his day time job.  

    Now with regard to unconditional love, I don’t know so much about god and all that side of things – probably best left alone as for those that believe, that’s great and for those that don’t believe that’s great, but if you believe that god is in the only one who can give out unconditional love, then please call me god.  

    I have two children and I LOVE them unconditionally – as the dictionary suggests:   unconditional love is ‘affection with no limits or conditions; complete love’. 

    That sums up me with my two children.  It also goes on to say that you would do anything for them and even place yourself in grave/great danger to protect them.  And for me to do this, I am doing this purely on the basis that these are my flesh and blood – together with my partner, we bought them into the world and nurtured them to where they are now – and from this, we’ve not asked anything in return for doing this.  Sorry, bit of a soap box that I just climbed on there, but I’m very strong on this – feelings wise.  

    However, having said that – having unconditional love for others, well that might in fact be toned down a bit – as in, if you love someone, you would hope that they love you back.  You would hope that they would be there to support you and to comfort and care for you and to protect you. 

     If you are enduring abuse in any way, shape or form, I would be getting out of this right now.  No-one should have to put up with any crap like that.  You’ve said, “enough is enough” and that “your needs are not going to be met in this relationship and you are not going to keep meeting his”.  My suggestion is for you to end this.

      Not knowing how long this relationship has been going on for, where you’re living (ie:  together or apart) may determine how difficult this is going to be.   But hey, it’s just my read on things.  

    Look forward to hearing back from you.  


  3. Struggler
    Struggler avatar
    346 posts
    4 June 2014
    Hi Tarnished Heart

    I agree with Neil1.  I could have written that myself. My motto is: Only love someone who loves me back. Selfish and shallow? Maybe but I'd rather look at it as self preservation.  Life is too short to waste on one way street kind of relationship.  

  4. Pixie15
    Pixie15 avatar
    721 posts
    7 June 2014 in reply to Tarnished Heart

    Hi Tarnished Heart,

    Thanks for your post. I think I can understand your situation. 

    It was nice to read Neil's positive ideas of what a psychologist should be but I am more cynical. I think that if someone is inclined to manipulate others then it might be the perfect course of study to pursue. Most people I know who have studied psychology have their own issues.

    I think that ideas of unconditional love can be used for the purpose of exploitation. Love does not come at the cost of human dignity. Possibly your psychologist has already been working with you in establishing better boundaries. If not definitely something to find out about if you are codependent.

    If you leave the relationship or not will be up to you. From my experience it is a good idea to plan to be able to leave when and if it may become necessary. I know that when the jigsaw first fell into place my first response was to run away. However it may be better for you to face your problem from where you are. Apparently codependents have a habit of repeating the same self-defeating behaviors. No one else should want to make this decision for you. 

    Also you might want to check out co-dependents anonymous. Its a 12 step program and even if you are not interested in attending a meeting you might find the literature helpful.

    The most important thing I have learnt is I have to be prepared to meet my own needs. A matter of self-responsibility. You can not love your neighbor as yourself if you don' love yourself. If that makes sense. Being self-centered is not the same as being selfish.



  5. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8248 posts
    7 June 2014 in reply to Pixie15

    Hi TH.  welcome also.

    Gee, you have some great responses so far.  As soon as the word narcissist is seen i go into a frenzy.  All sorts of feelings emerge about my mother.  Controlling, manipulative, attention seeking....all sorts of issues that in her wake of her whole life its like she has thrown a bomb behind her every move.

    Hence I detest controlling people and people that use others as weapons etc. But in the end, like yourself and your hubby, they end up snuffing out all the love we ever had for them and all that is left is obligation or guilt on our part. DONT BE FOOLED!  Any guilt you have from living with a narcissist is guilt often planted there by them themselves. It's another weapon.

    It might not assist you but there is a mighty good book "understanding the borderline mother". It can relate to men. It might be a bit off topic if your hubby is strictly narcissist but you might get a lot out of it.  Google "christine lawson hermit witch queen waif   . They are the 4 personalities she detected in her studies. The info on the www about this in forums etc changed my life. Finally I was able to finish the puzzle of my mothers behaviour and stop feeling guilty for what was her issues. Issues she never sought help for.    good luck

  6. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    6 July 2018 in reply to white knight
    Hi all - I've just come across this thread. I fear I'm living with one and if you read my story I've only added to the fire. I'm scared, don't know what to do. Its really strange as I know I will heal from a broken heart, but the road, the effort and the pain after two years of exhaustion I fear will only take its toll further.
  7. Mella80
    Mella80 avatar
    1 posts
    11 July 2018 in reply to buster11
    Oh my, I have just discovered this and I think my live-in partner might be a narcissist. All of the things make sense that I have read and it would explain my somewhat addiction to him. It is so complicated though as he has other mental health issues that also carry similar traits of a narcissist. So I guess I am in the process of trying to figure out what to do. Atm I am living with him but feel so lonely and he withholds emotion and physical affection all of the time.... I don’t understand how a person can watch u hurt so bad but do nothing to fix it then say they love u. I have just started seeing a psychologist to try and help me make whatever decision I need to make..... co-dependency is a big factor in this and I feel so lost right now. I have read so much and learnt a lot. It is a fine line between being assertive and being in danger. Mentally been exhausted for 2 years and I just need to build some strength.... I feel this with u x
    2 people found this helpful
  8. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    17 July 2018 in reply to Mella80

    Hi Mella80 - I feel you are in a situation where you're dammed if you do and don't. That's the hard part isn't it? I completely get your comment about the narcissist watching you hurt and seemingly giving the impression of who cares and not wanting to repair it while all the time claiming they love you. It's great you are seeing someone as I think speaking to someone in person is better than the 100's of internet information. I hate walking on eggshells and feel exhausted needing to AWLAYS be trying to be making everything okay and happy. Although even this at times is a waste of time as things can turn at the drop of a hat. Not wanting to sound silly, but I like to think I'm a tough man and have endured many sad and hurtful events in my life and got through them strongly and better for them. However this is completely turning me very weak, confused and at times scared of what's in front.

  9. Guest8901
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest8901 avatar
    1634 posts
    17 July 2018 in reply to Mella80

    Hello Mella, and welcome to the Beyondblue forums. I see that you posted here some 6 days ago and only just got a response from Buster this morning. Well done Buster! Mella, I note that the post 6 days ago was your first. Its very unusual that you did not receive a response from anyone until today. But its likely that its because this particular thread is some 4 years old with the originator and other contributors (other than Buster) do not seem to be current members at this stage. I think this has contributed you a lack of response to you. I really hope you have not become discouraged by a lack of response, and I hope you will post again.

    Would you consider opening up a thread of your own Mella? It would ensure that you receive responses relevant specifically to you, and it then becomes your own personal support thread where you can ask any questions you like and people will do their best to advice, support and encourage you. The people here are very friendly, helpful and supportive and I feel sure you would benefit from having the support of fellow members. You can post any time you feel like it.

    I can relate to both you and Buster, in that I am married to a narcissist. Have been for over 20 years. Its hard work at the best of times, and near impossible on others. Mella you say that you are currently trying to figure out what you want to do with regards to your live-in partner. Its a huge decision to make, and I am really pleased to read that you have started seeing a psychologist to help you make that decision. No doubt your psych will tell you much the same as mine did - ensure you have somewhere safe to go IF you decide to leave.

    One thing I will also point out is that life is no bed or roses for a narcissist, something which I had not considered until I 'met' a fellow member (Loner in Hiding) here some months back. She is a narcissist, suffering from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and she suffered enormously. I would strongly urge you to read her thread as it may help you to make your decision as to go or stay. It may also help you understand your partner a little better and what he's going through. This would be beneficial should you decide to stay. Its also a very interesting and informative thread, so I hope you read it. You can find it in the Welcome and Orientation section, the thread is called "Personality Disorder Pathological". Alternatively, search for the thread name.

    Hope this is helpful to you and Buster.


    2 people found this helpful
  10. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    20 July 2018 in reply to Guest8901

    Hi Mandy8

    Thankyou for your feedback - its good to also hear some other views and support. I absolutely commend you for recognising your partners condition and the willingness to obviously support and hang in there.......well done. I love my partner more than anything else on the planet, but my concern is for my health and long term want. Thank you again for your input and the time you take to care.


    1 person found this helpful
  11. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    8 August 2018 in reply to buster11
    Sorry to bother whoever may come across this thread. I'm really at a loss. As I've said in earlier threads I believe I'm living with a narcissist. As I've also said I have also added to the fire by my actions 2yrs ago. Has anyone also needed to cope with a narcissist who is also an alcoholic? At a minimum a bottle of wine per night. I'm living on eggshells and I don't want to exaggerate, but its completely depleting me of everything I thought I was.
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Pammyk
    Pammyk avatar
    6 posts
    2 September 2018 in reply to buster11
    Hi, I am a year free of the narcissist that i was with for eleven years. Unless you have been in this type of relationship it is impossible to understand what you go through. My partner sucked the life out of me but it is nearly impossible to break free of them. The love and near infatuation that you feel at the start of the relationship is so overwhelming that you easily forget how bad it has become. All you want is to get that feeling back. You have to tell yourself that the good times were not real. Narcissists are not capable of love guilt faithfulness or anything that goes with a healthy relationship. You have to find the right time to leave and have absolutely no conact with this person. Save yourself. They will be ok they always are. I still miss mine but wont see or talk to him because he is like an addictive drug to me.
    3 people found this helpful
  13. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    6 September 2018 in reply to Pammyk

    Hi Pammyk

    Thanks for your response and absolute congratulation's to you. You're correct the love and want to be with them is overwhelming so I keep blowing through the yuk to maybe reach the good again. I know I'm being stupid in thinking it'll change tho. Just the waiting for the next explosion and always constantly needing to be happy and laughing to keep the mood and times good is so very exhausting. I'm craving happy so much, but the thought of not seeing/feeling them hurts. That's what I'm saying it's sending me silly as I know I shouldn't be where I am.

  14. catscratch
    catscratch avatar
    1 posts
    22 October 2018 in reply to Pammyk

    Yes Pammyk this has been my reality too. I have done three rounds of trying to have a relationship over 15 years with an alcoholic narcissist who also has a marijuana and cocaine dependency. he has cheated on me, treated me so badly I didnt know who I was, and every time he is so apologetic and charming it lures me back in. he is like a drug to me. I took him back the fourth time just four weeks ago, and it took one frustrated comment from me to have him back to his old tricks, gaslighting me, abusing me, blaming me, all the while being completely unreachable and blowing everything out of proportion, and its all my fault. The only difference this time is I didnt tell anyone I was seeing him, as none of my friends like him, and my kids really dislike him. Now I see why. I think my reaction to his luring in is an anxiety attachment issue for me, I am empathic and one part of me wants to heal him, believe my love can heal him. But I dont love him like I used to, and it is easier this time to know what to do. Boundaries, no contact, blocked number, blocked social media and focus on me and people who love me. I know this isnt going to be easy but I wont be going back this time. I am back to the gym tomorrow, and have made a list of all the things I want to do that he never did. Travel, music, normal things like dinners out and picnics without walking on eggshells or being mindful of what I talk about. Here's hoping this works

    1 person found this helpful
  15. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    6 November 2018 in reply to catscratch
    Hi catscratch - Wow you are brave and I admire you massively. Your last line really hit home for "walking on eggshells". I get so exhausted when it turns yuk and even worse I'm even more exhausted waiting and walking on eggshells. Like you I like to think my love can change her, but its just impossible. Her son really likes me and I get along with him and her family really really well and would miss them all big time. I really feel at time that if I just walked out the door and interstate (completely away) and kinda like and intervention I could do it. But do to house ownership etc that's just impossible. Like I said you sound very brave and you making those plans has made me smile - GO FOR IT :-)
  16. Love and light
    Love and light avatar
    1 posts
    31 December 2018 in reply to buster11

    Hi Buster,

    I really feel for you. I am in the same situation as yourself. We’ve been married for 20 years with 2 teenager boys but the last 5 have been difficult. My husband has been diagnosed with social anxiety but I’m finding that it really suits him to be sociable when it’s to his advantage. He does drink red wine every night and I also drink with him but I feel it’s a control thing for him. I’m pretty sure it’s more narcissistic. This has been really helpful to know I’m not alone and it’s not all in my head I’m not going mad. I am in the process of reading up about more of this situation I am finding myself in. Thank you

  17. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    4 January 2019 in reply to Love and light

    Hi Love and Light - Thank you for contacting.

    I have done extensive amounts of reading up and OMG there is so much. Its cruel and a horrible situation to live in. Again last night I was belted emotionally, but of course all my fault.

    I wish you every luck in the world and stay brave. I'm always happy for a chat via this site if you wish

    1 person found this helpful
  18. NinaBanina
    NinaBanina avatar
    1 posts
    3 May 2019 in reply to buster11

    I'm not sure if my thoughts, comments, experiences can contribute much here because everyone already seems to have identified their issues but sharing often helps, if not me, then perhaps some of you too.

    I was married for 14 years to a man who was very loving during the times he could pull himself out of his depression. Much of my marriage was me feeling like a single parent to our kids and trying to keep the peace while he got over whatever he was suffering with at the time. I work in health and understand mental health and understood that his depression was 'out of his control'. He rarely however, other than requesting a change on his medication, sought other therapies. I know this sounds harsh, but in some ways he liked his depression. It's how he defined himself. It also gave him an 'out' from any responsibility - the house, kids, finances etc. We separated and then divorced after a much younger woman, who suffered the same condition, lured him in with her 'more advanced understanding' of his condition. And yes, I have proof that she 'lured' him in. He tried to resist it at first but of course, she was offering him what I could not at the time; no kids, no job no household responsibility of her own. Two years post separation I started dating again but knew I did not want a full on relationship nor another emotional baby to care for. I began dating a narcissist. I had the strength to recognise that I wasn't to blame for his aggressive, irrational outbursts at me whenever I innocently made a comment he did not agree with. I would ask him to leave or leave myself. The next day he would blame me for his aggression and berate me for leaving him in the middle of the date.

    It IS hard to extricate yourself from such situations. I know. Trying to reason with someone who believes they are always right is a waste of energy. This person also dated other women while seeing me (I never wanted him to myself exclusively because I was happy with my independence), some of whom I have had contact with and the story from them about his behaviour is the same. You can go no contact but they will find ways to get to you - messaging family and friends etc. I choose to keep him engaged because then he leaves others alone and I am mentally strong enough to stand up to him.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. buster11
    buster11 avatar
    95 posts
    14 May 2019 in reply to NinaBanina
    Hi NinaBanina Thank you for your post and I commend your braveness and admire your strength. Are you still with him? My situation I have tried so many times to leave - surely living in a car until being able to set myself up again is better than the eggshells. When we first got together I completely stuffed things up and have regretted everything since. Do I deserve it - probably, should I be allowed to amend and be happy again at some stage - I think so. I've given the fodder for her to feed on. I love her more than anything on the planet because her amazing is beyond belief, but the emotional roller-coaster cuts and wounds to a point of carnage. In the beginning I was sent photos and was very well told via text what she gets up to when I'm not around as part of the pay back. Its really wired its those images and information that I probably fear the most.
  20. Pammyk
    Pammyk avatar
    6 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to buster11

    Hi Buster,

    I havent posted for quite a while because as you would also know it is all so exhausting and the easiest thing for victims to do is to try to ignore our pain. If you spend enough time in a mentally abusive relationship it is amazing what you can shrug off. Its just so much easier than trying to fight for your rights.

    I have been free for three years but I dont feel any where near being whole again. If I still feel like this now, what hope would there be for me if I was still in with him.

    I still get emails from this person but I know he is just trying to keep me on his long list of backups.

    I hope you are coping well and you are free and ready to heal. If you are please give me some tips because I dont think time really heals. I will try to keep everyone posted on wether seeing a professional helps but I think it is the only way we can heal. We deserve to feel happy and safe and we should also be able to be comfortable in being ourselves.

  21. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8248 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to Pammyk


    I hope you are well

    google - queen witch hermit waif

    It might clarify the narcissist


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