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Is this narcissism and is there any way of coping/helping?(5 Posts)
I have long wondered whether dh has npd. I swing between thinking 'oh yes so completely', probably following a specific situation where his behaviour has been quite extreme, and at other times thinking not. The wider picture, that makes me think not, is that he works hard, is generally kind and considerate within the house (does his share of childcare, we have a very gender specific divide of housework which suits us both but he does his share) is loving towards me and the kids, good to his family and to mine (only good to mine through a sense of duty though).
BUT he is very self centred and very critical of others. I would say he has grandiose ideas, but its difficult because a) he does hold a position which gives him power and entitle him to a certain amount of respect, and b) does have some exceptional skills which set him apart from others. The thing is he gets furious if the he feels he is not shown the right amount of respect and admiration. So for example being in a social situation and being treated as an equal to others there is not good enough.
Also very money oriented, and gets very jelous of others and what they have, like he thinks he deserves it more than them. Also he is very controlling with me, and also very concerned what people think.
I've avoided putting this in relationships to avoid in becoming an LTB thread. I'm really interested in people with experience of this.
The narcissistic behaviour is not consistent, he has moments of real kindness towards others, times when he can be very normal and humble as opposed to arrogant. So there are glimmers of something good, and I wonder if it's possible to get to this.
From what I have read, the narcissist is like this because of perceived rejection of their true self during childhood, and so it seems to follow that they need unconditional love. I find this hard as I find his behaviour disgusting at times and I find it impossible not to show this. He appears to completely lack insight.
Sorry if this is all jumbled.
Reading between the lines, the main question you want to know is whether there's anything you can do to change the way he is, or to help him to change and the answer is no. To want to change, you need to think there is a problem and from what you've written, he doesn't. He's not said he's unhappy with how he is or asked you to help him. You're here alone looking and hoping that there's a way that you can get him to be the nice person you think he can be. The only option you have is to decide whether you're happy to be with him and if the answer is yes - hence not wanting too get any LTBs - then you carry on living with it.
It may not be a personality disorder. You may just be married to someone who has an over developed sense of his own self importance. It may be that when he is kind to others, its because it benefits him to be seen to be kind on that occasion, or he may actually have a kind streak.
Anything like this is a balance. If the poor behaviour outweighs the good behaviour, then it's probably an issue. If he is mostly good with the occasional bad moment, welcome to how the rest of humanity is! You will know which it is.
Make a few statements in your head and see how happy you are with them.
1. I am happy to be with someone who behaves the way he does.
2. I am not embarrassed by the way he behaves towards other people.
3. I am happy for my children to behave in the same way and have the same traits as their father.
What do you think?
Thanks for your thoughful reply. I was hoping if I could label him in some way it might help me deal with him more effectively. I know in my heart someone has to want to change, but it's so tempting to think you might just be able to tweak something and everything will fall into place.
Well...I'm still with him so I'd say that at the moment the good outweighs the bad, looking at our lives as a whole. However, my answer to all if your questions is negative. But it's only an issue in relation to other people. The way he is with us is pretty good.
I know a couple of narcissists and the biggest problem is that they are incredibly un self aware. They won't acknowledge there is ever anything wrong with their behaviour. They think counselling is a nonsense. They believe they are right. They gaslight and abuse anyone who dares to suggest they are ever wrong. They believe their behaviour is fine and that it's everyone else that's the problem.
Ergo they will never ever change. Ever.
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