I got a comment on the “30 Red Flags” post the other day and thought it was a topic worth talking about again.
I mean really, there must be some other advice when you discover you are with a narcissist, other than “RUN”. I remember how frustrated I’d become when searching for answers years ago; every single site I came to (there weren’t that many 10-12 years ago) said to leave. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted advice on how to stay, I loved this man, there must be a way of coping with his issues, some secret to having a doable relationship. I didn’t need a knight in shining armor, I was willing to compromise, communicate differently, feed his ego more. If I needed to give him space, or love him more, or express myself differently, I was willing to do whatever it took, just tell me so I can go about saving him and our relationship, but I was not going to jump ship and desert him. I loved this man with all my heart!
I have always thought that nothing is impossible if you are willing to do the work, that there is a solution to every problem if you don’t give up, and that true love will prevail. All relationships go through rough times but if you weather the storms you will be rewarded with true love and devotion, at 80 you will be sitting side by side in your rocking chairs with the love of your life laughing about the stupid fights you used to have. You will look knowingly at each other, because the storms will have brought you closer together.
Ah, yes, true enduring love! I do believe it exists, and I do believe that these days of instant gratification and “out with the old and in with the new” mentality are making “happily ever after” a lot harder to find, but it can be found; just not with a narcissist.
Sticking with the person you love is an admirable thing, it shows good character and that you are a person of your word, responsible, and have a heart, all the things of a narcissist does not have. *Hint number #1 – Both people must have these qualities in order for it to work.
Anyway, here is the comment:
I am newly married.. Im 23. I feel like everything you posted reminds me of my new husband. I have recently felt so uncomfortable in our home. No he isn’t cheating. He is just really mad. And under ” a lot of stress” when there is nothing to stress about. He never says he loves me or kisses me for no reason anymore. He used to be so loving and so caring about my wants and needs. Now nothing.. We have been together over 4 years now. I thought we were best friends, we enjoyed everything together.. Now everything is opposite and fights. I don’t know what to do.. Any advice other than run away?
Keisha, I know it is not so easy to walk away from a marriage, a new marriage. I am sure you don’t want to give up on your marriage, are afraid of what friends and family would think and say, plus you thought you had met your soulmate, your partner for life! You don’t want to think it was all a scam. You want the fairytale, happily ever after relationship you signed up for. You vowed, “For better or worse” and you sure don’t want to run at the first sign of “worse”.
By asking for advice, “other than run” you are in essence asking for tips on how to be married to a narcissist; and there are none. If you want to know how to be reasonably happy with a narcissist, how to manipulate a narcissist to do what you want, how to argue with a narcissist, how to reason with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist happy, how to avoid conflict with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist love you, how to make a narcissist be faithful, – there are no tips or advice to be given because all of the above are impossible.
So then we come to how you can change yourself so you can be happy and yet stay in the relationship; there are lots of things you can try but you have to remember, the narcissist doesn’t like you to be happy so you will constantly have to lie and sneak to be happy, in other words hide your happiness from him which is an oxymoron right there.
Even if you give up all expectations of the narc, don’t expect gifts for any occasions, don’t expect to ever go out, never expect the narc to show up, keep his promises, be faithful, or care one iota about you or the kids you will have, even if you give up your family and friends and live only for the narcissist and be at his beck and call 24/7, smile happily when he saunters through the door after being MIA for 3 days; He will still find fault, push your buttons until you break, to the point of you finding him in bed with your best friend and then him being angry with you for being upset. “But he should have known, you always have been a selfish bitch and he can not deal with your warped view of reality.”
Take it from a woman who tried everything, sacrificed everything, far more than material possessions, I sacrificed my self esteem, values, morals, boundaries, friendships and family and he still cheated and later even taunted me to kill myself. That is the one thing I refused to give him; my life and he has been pissed about it ever since.
But if you are determined to not run, this is my advice to you.
First of all, know this; they do not ever change.
What not to do:
– Don’t tell him that you think he is a narcissist in hopes he will want to change. They can’t change, they are born this way, their brains are wired totally different than a normal brain, he can not feel empathy, guilt, remorse and he really just can not care nor does he want to. Telling him he is a narcissist could put you in danger.
– Don’t believe a word he says, if his lips are moving, he is lying, get used to it.
– Don’t have any expectations
– Don’t rely on him for your self worth, keep your friends and family
– Don’t try couples counseling, he will just manipulate the counselor into thinking it is all your fault and he is the victim or if you get a counselor who knows anything about narcissists he will decide the counselor is a quack and refuse to attend.
– Don’t bother trying to explain why the things he does hurt you in hopes that some day you will be able to explain it in such a way that he will finally understand and stop doing what he is doing.
Accept that this is the way your relationship is going to go. It will eventually get so bad that you feel you have no choice but to leave because he will act like he can’t stand the fact that you are breathing his air. BUT if you do leave he will do everything within his power to get you back, even apologize for everything he ever did wrong.
If you go back, the abuse will be worse than ever and the cycle will continue. The honeymoon period will be shorter and the abuse worse.
Keep reading up on narcissists, keep coming here for support, keep a journal so you can see the pattern and that you are repeating history over and over again and nothing ever gets better.
- Journaling is the number one best thing you can do for many reasons; it will help you keep your sanity for when he gaslights you and says things didn’t happen, twists your words, rewrites history, when you find out 6 months later he was lying, to be used in court to prove abuse, when he eventually kills you it will give the police and your family answers to what happened. (Please visit Myinnerchick.com it is written by the sister of a woman murdered by her soon to be ex husband)
- Don’t stay 10 years like I did, or God forbid 30 years like some women
- Please read the Safety Plan download at the top of the blog and other posts I have done on staying safe while in or leaving a narcissist.
- Please do not have children with this man, do not bring an innocent life into this mess.
You say he isn’t cheating; I never thought my ex cheated on me either, I didn’t think he was capable of that kind of dishonesty, I really truly thought he loved me deeply and even when he had personal ads I didn’t think he would actually do anything about it.
I read somewhere that if you think your narcissist isn’t cheating you just haven’t caught him yet or he doesn’t feel he has you mentally beaten down far enough yet to take that step, but eventually he will cheat, 90% of them do, multiple times and with multiple women.
You are 23, with your whole life ahead of you, 30 years can fly by amazingly fast when you are dodging bullets, putting out fires, playing detective, and dancing as fast as you can while jumping through impossible hoops; all the while playing an endless game of “If only” in your head.
Look around at the married people you know, how many of them are recently married and always angry with their partner; I bet none.
We are here to help, encourage and support, but there is only one way to deal with a narcissist and that is to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and never have contact again.