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NPD / Abusive partner - Recovery thread

(861 Posts)
IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 01:13:35

These threads were started last year by therealme though I gather there were excellent predecessors.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a diagnosable condition on the continuum of Personality Disorders. Few Narcissists are diagnosed, however: a person must either present themselves for treatment or be sectioned to ensure diagnosis. Narcissists are very clever, they generally avoid compulsory referral. Narcissists believe They Are Right & Everybody Else Is Wrong; they will never seek treatment as they find themselves perfectly fine!

Common misconceptions:

[1] You can't call someone NPD if they haven't a diagnosis. Diagnosis is unlikely for the reasons above. Even Narcissists agree it's reasonable to determine a personality type as NPD (see links in first post). If you are in a relationship with a Narc, you don't need to be a clinician to know.

[2] He's got Aspergers or BPD, or is just a bit shit at dealing with people. Really? The obvious question is: why would you want to devote your life to someone like this? On a more technical note: emerging evidence, via biopsychology, suggests that Asperger and NPD brains exhibit similar differences from the average brain. And BPD is the baseline for all other Personality Disorders.

[3] S/He isn't "bad", they're just very hurt. Yes, they are very hurt. The more insight you gain into this spectrum, the more pain you feel for the sufferer. If you have a Narc parent, it's almost a given that you've gained tremendous insight - it was a necessity for your survival. The important thing is, YOU are not the same or you wouldn't be reading this. And understanding does NOT mean you can fix it.

[4] S/He just needs loving care. Yes, they do. They need it like a junkie needs heroin. You can keep on giving, they'll keep on taking and it will never be enough to satisfy them. Never. They'll suck you dry (emotional 'vampire') and then they'll rip you to shreds, just because you 'ran dry'.

[5] I get that s/he's abusive, but why say they've got a Personality Disorder? There's a spectrum of disorders: some are more 'needy'; some more 'domineering'; some are just fucking strange. At bottom, they're no more or less than deviations from the average. Nobody would choose a disordered realtionship unless they suffer from a need to be their partner's therapist. If this is you, try reading some of the links below.

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:49:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:53:16

I can't believe this has happened again. Trying fewer links per post, will ask Mumsnet to delete the above [sigh]

Threads on Mumsnet:

Original thread by therealme, July 2009
Follow-up thread, March 2010
Abusive Men [follow-up], April 2010
NPD parroting thing, August 2010
Narcissistic Parents, November 2009
Stately Homes, most recent in series, August 2010

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:54:26

Am I being abused?:

Verbal / Emotional Abuse A wonderfully non-hysterical summary. If you're unsure, read the whole page and see if you're on it.
Types of Abuse & Control Simplistic, but could be just what you need!
Cycle of Abuse S/He's being lovely now - why wouldn't they? They have to keep you locked in somehow. Read the Wikipedia page, too.
Wikipedia on Domestic Violence/Abuse Long, but informative.
Women's Aid: "What is Domestic Violence?" This is also, broadly, the Police definition.

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:55:10

Emotional Abuse:

The best description of Emotional Abuse I've read (and recognised!) From - if you're wondering, read this.
"Romeo is Bleeding" part 1 by Roger Melton -very good! Keep reading ...
Part 2 "The Malice Artists" (plain abuse)
Part 3 "The Mirror Men" (Narc)
Part 4 "Love Is A 4-letter Word" (sociopath)
Part 5 "Clinging Apocalypse" (Borderline - BPD)
Part 6 "Counter Control" on responsibility & blame.

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:56:12

Wikipedia on NPD:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Make sure you look at the 'See Also' section)
Narcissistic Rage linked from above
Personality Disorder - follow links.

NPD Insights:

Sam Vaknin is a diagnosed Narcissist who has made a career out of documenting his condition. He pulls few punches. His diaries are both heart-rending and terrifying. To read his entire online work, you have to follow a tortuous trail of links, backlinks and references (very NPD!) Here are a few:
Vaknin's FAQs
Vaknin: Abuse in Intimate Relationships
Vaknin: Spousal & Family Abuse
Vaknin on other disorders that may look like NPD
Vaknin on Children "Abusers are insatiable and vindictive. They always feel deprived and unfairly treated. Some of them are paranoid and sadistic. If they fail to manipulate their children into abandoning the other parent, they begin treat the kids as enemies. They are not above threatening the children, abducting them, abusing them (sexually, physically, or psychologically), or even outright harming them."
Vaknin's Site Index (not exhaustive: why would it be, when he can make you work to know him?)

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 02:56:51


These links are tagged with my Amazon referrer code: if you buy, but really don't want me to get roughly 3% of the purchase price, just re-search on Amazon for the same book
"Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft The eye-opener.
"Controlling People" by Patricia Evans
"The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans
"The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?" by Patricia Evans Answer: Perhaps - ONLY IF he recognises HIS issues, and if you can be arsed to work through it. She gives explicit guidelines.
"The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing" by Beverley Engels I didn't like this book, but the principle is sound - if your partner isn't basically an arse, or disordered.
"Codependent No More by Melody Beattie "How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself" - If you a rescuer, you're a co-dependent. It's a form of addiction! This book will help you.

Several of the wisest, most sensible & helpful members of these forums have come out of abusive relationships - and not only survived, but improved, as a result of their recovery. Please feel free to post, no matter how "silly" you think your concerns might be! We'll let you know

loves2walk Fri 03-Sep-10 09:31:30

Wow what a list of links, that is so helpful Grace. I'm sure lots of posters will find this really useful, thanks so much for the time that took. You were up late!

IseeGraceAhead Fri 03-Sep-10 11:49:14

Thanks, loves2 It did take along time in the end! It seemed a shame that all those great resources were floating around in the archives, and might not be found again.

Perhaps I should kick off with a story of my own but I'm all posted out! Hope someone else will ...

Miggsie Fri 03-Sep-10 11:59:13

Wow, that heartless bitches article was FAB, Grace, thansk for posting it, I've just passed it on to a friend who is desperate to help someone who is with a pratt like that and he does almost everything in that article.

loves2walk Fri 03-Sep-10 12:06:25

Do Grace, when you have the emotional energy! I find it takes a lot of energy to post the real,important stuff (rather than the easier parenting type threads) because of all the mental processing that goes on after posting. It can be very distracting - not good when you're trying to work!

toomanystuffedbears Fri 03-Sep-10 13:52:15

Thanks Grace.
I printed it out to save as a source for my dds (and ds) if they should ever need it...and my oldest sister needs some of it now.

Patienceobtainsallthings Fri 03-Sep-10 14:43:19

Thankyou .Very much appreciated think my STBXH is NPD ,definate tendancies,the more i educate myself the stronger i am in my new positive life away from him .Hope the sun is shining with you x

thenamehaschanged Fri 03-Sep-10 22:33:55

I was looking for a current NPD thread and so glad to have found this, thanks Grace smile

My H is a narc. Been married for 7 years, the last 5 of those I have been living on a roller coaster emotionally, financially, physically.

It was only after finally getting ill with stress and anxiety this year, with going to the dr and getting on antidepressants and with stopping drinking a bottle of wine every night to block it all out that it dawned on me that this isn't normal and might be all down to him having a personality disorder.

Reading up on NPD on the previous threads has been like a light switching on in my head. Maybe I'm not the mad one after all!

I've got a long way to go in changing my life around but I'll be reading all these links and hoping to share some experiences/advice.


fatblackcat Sat 04-Sep-10 00:09:30

I'm going to follow this thread with interest, thanks Grace.
A lightbulb has finally been switched on in my head too...after being told last night by a policeofficer that she could see that I didn't believe I was a victim of mental abuse even though it was clear to her that I was.

"He's got Aspergers or BPD, or is just a bit shit at dealing with people..."
Add: has had a breakdown/depression/dsyfunctional family etc - and funnily enough those reasons have always been my way of excusing and understanding ex-dp's behaviour. It gave me the "but he can't help it/needs help" belief needed to continue in a destructive relationship, and to continue personal contact after seperating. I simply never wanted to believe that the truth might be that he is a manipulative, controling man by virtue of personality alone (and I ofcourse am a strong intelligent woman who would never allow herself to be abused...)
So why, I ask myself, did I find myself locked in a car with dcs parked right infront of the policestation's doors crying for help while enraged ex-dp - having car-chased me through town - legs it into the station to try and get me arrested?
It's because I've always always appeased, always caved in to being told what to do, always forgiven in order to be reasonable and to help him and to avoid conflict.
And then I said NO.
He was detained for 12hrs and given an harassment warning. He'll now be a very angry man.

Patienceobtainsallthings Sat 04-Sep-10 01:06:01

Fbc hope you are ok!Think you know youve found the right thread when that story mirrors ur own life .I am glad i am out of it but only tonite i had a sorry for himself STBXH asking how i was ,was i eating properly ,only spoke with him to try and confirm access with kids ,I could feel myself falling for the charming caring bit and thought ffs Patience get a grip.I am pretty detatched now to his behaviour but tonite made me realise how easy it was for me to get back on the merry go round and try and fix save him from his self destruction,but all that would happen is he would get stronger and more confident again after his dip and be a total bastard to me .I think the whole stop making excuses for them and see them for what they are was the best thing i could have read from L Bancroft book.My X had loads of reasons for his behaviour but at the end of the day if he wanted to do something about it he could have ,he could have worked on his demons instead he went to the pub.I stayed because i didnt want my marriage to fail and i didnt want anyone else to be with MY man.All wrong on my part ,i should have walked away the first time he was abusive ,but i am walking away now .

"and I of course am a strong intelligent woman who would never allow herself to be abused" me too FBC 16 fecking yrs !Never recognised half of it but he was/is a seriously good liar,and he abused my love for him.

TimeForMe Sat 04-Sep-10 08:07:20

I can totally relate to everything you say and more! I am six months down the line after leaving my N. It's not been easy that's for sure. He has turned the tables and claimed victim status, has attempted to make me feel as though I am the one with the problem and also feel guilty for leaving. It almost worked but I have chosen to work on myself, to invest the energy in helping myself to recover. The stronger I get, the more my self esteem is raised the more I realise what a nasty, vicious, vindictive, manipulative man I was living with. I was too engrossed in helping him while I lived with him to see all of this, too busy looking for reasons for his behaviour, aspergers, BPD, passive aggressive, bipolar, manic depressive, I exhausted them all and had more books than Amazon!

I left by moving into a refuge and he hated that. He wasn't worried about me or DD he was worried about what people would think about him. He was constantly worried about what the support workers in the refuge thought of him! It was all about him. I'm now in my own little house and have no contact with him but I still carry the emotional scars of that relationship. I'm happy but I don't feel I'm as happy as I should be, it's work in progress. I think it's sadness I feel but also a little frustration that this man can't see the person that he is or the damage he has done. He blanks me now, totally blanks me which in a way has been good because it has helped me to move on but I hate that he feels justified in doing so, I hate that he seems to hate me when all I ever did was love him. I would love him just to recognise what he did and say sorry. I know he will never do that though, we don't get closure following a relationship such as this.

But I do have a library of self development and recipe books now smile

Unlikelyamazonian Sat 04-Sep-10 08:33:33

It's better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho for the rest of your life.


merrywidow Sat 04-Sep-10 09:19:50

By default I finally became free of my N. He passed away, after a brief illness. I felt a sense of immense relief after years of his difficult ME ME ME behaviour. I stayed with him out of fear - he was originally from abroard and still had huge resources in his country of origin and had threatened that 'I would never see the kids again'. He was unpredictable, Jeykll & Hyde, and my chest would tighten when I heard his car on the drive. He had also 'locked me out' of the financial runnings of the house and my name wasn't even on the house deeds - I didn't exist ( with hindsight if he'd decided to give everything up in the UK he could have sold the lot without my knowledge and been on a plane with the DC's )

Since he's gone I realise how conditioned I had become; sometimes I suddenly realise that I can actually do something if I want. I don't have to have everything THE WAY HE WANTS IT ( which changed regulary ). I don't have to watch what I say in order to please/appease him. I am just free. And I'm not making a bad job of it, the house is calm, the finances are taken care of.

moocowme Sat 04-Sep-10 09:49:25

i will only add that 10 years after leaving ex DH life could not be better. I have not seen him or heard from him in that time which suits me fine. very very happy without him and have a much better life.

thenamehaschanged Sat 04-Sep-10 09:57:45

Goodness - there are a lot of strong, intelligent women here being driven mad by these whacko's.

FBC - I hope you are ok too. That sounds absolutely terrible.

Patience and Timeforme - I relate to all that you are saying. Well done for getting out. I hope you can rebuild your esteem and confidence. The knowing that they will never repent and always see you as the mad, bad one is so sad.

Hi unlikely! Been reading a lot about your story from the old thread. Hope you're doing well these days.

I have a lot of learning to do about NPD and my situation.

We are TOTALLY dysfunctional as a family
He works 7 days a week and late into the night and has done for years though never really getting anywhere.
We talk of nothing else but him and his ambitions
He blames me for EVERYTHING -absolutely everything from why we have no money to why he has daughters and not sons.
He uses character assassination and reference from the past of my hopelessness to do this.
He hates everything about me - from the way I dress to the food I cook, to the way I organise my life to my opinions on things. I'm a bumbling mess around him most of the time
He is a good dad to the kids when he's on his own with them, but he is Obsessive about them. It's like he's put them on pedestals.
His family are awful - his mother in particular believes she is mother teresa but is jealous, competitive and can be catty with me.
Uurrgh the list just goes on.

The only thing that makes me doubt NPD is the having no friends thing. He has hundreds of contacts and people he would use for personal gain - but also does have childhood friends too - he's really popular and well thought of.

Thankfully we live separately at the moment due to his work.

moocowme Sat 04-Sep-10 10:39:49

i will only add that 10 years after leaving ex DH life could not be better. I have not seen him or heard from him in that time which suits me fine. very very happy without him and have a much better life.

Mouseface Sat 04-Sep-10 10:53:15


It would appear I have some reading to do today. Not for my present. For my past.

Thank you. smile

TimeForMe Sat 04-Sep-10 11:13:56

Thenamehaschanged your post reads so sad and actually took me right back to when I was living with the ex, so many similarities. He didn't have our daughter on a pedestal though, his mother had pride of place in that position. She too was very jealous of me and competitive, it seemed she just couldn't stand me being the woman in his life. He never supported me or stood up to her, he pandered to her, it was sickening to witness. She encouraged me to leave him on several occasions, saying she knew what he was like but since I have left she hasn't been in touch once, not one single word! The day I moved into refuge with my DD she was straight round to his with a cottage pie and cake for pudding! Not that I'm bothered about her not being in my life because I believe that she too is narcissistic. I also believe that she is delighted to have her son back to herself. Emotional incest springs to mind. He is 45 years old FGS!!

Also Thenamehaschanged, your H doesn't have to possess all of the traits to be a narcissist, he does sound to have most of them though. As for being popular, they can achieve this by presenting their false self. My N was an excellent actor and could switch to someone I didn't recognise when we were in company but as soon as the company disappeared so did his false self.

One thing I have just discovered is that narcissists can't bear the thought of getting old. My ex detested the fact his hair was greying, abnormally detested the fact in that he would become enraged about it. His bathroom was full of expensive shampoo's and tonics that promised to restore that natural hair colour. I didn't want to be the one to tell him they weren't working!

Patienceobtainsallthings Sat 04-Sep-10 11:51:38

OMG T4ME my MIL hated me with a passion has never seen grandkids since November and tells everyone its all very sad but X couldnt possibly live with me all i ever did was NAG!NAG!NAG! She also said i faked kicking my door in made up the story that her son had done it ,def some craziness goin on there.I will tell my dd when she is old enough that if the mother of your boyfriend is a psycho,run like fuck!
"It's better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho for the rest of your life." I am going to put this in my bag UA and read it everyday .PMSL at it because it is so true,Thanks 4 that !!!!

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