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Can it ever work with a narcissist?

(19 Posts)
tigerbasil Sun 05-Nov-17 22:08:01

My husband is a narcissist, although not in the most severe way. Unfortunately he is very successful which doesn't help.

I have asked him to go to marriage therapy with me, but he won't. His answer is, if I am that unhappy then I should marry someone else (this was said as a half joke) and that if I think it's that bad we shouldn't be together.

He also always makes me feel like my problems are irrelevant because I have a nice life, lovely house and lifestyle et cetera. If I say I'm annoyed about anything, this is the go to answer. 'Really? There are bigger problems in the world, if that's your biggest problem you need to get over it' don't get me wrong he is good to me, and a lot of the time is very caring/considerate, but it's always on his terms.

I don't disagree there are bigger problems in the world and that the things I generally take issue with are the things that make me feel like I am not appreciated and are small because there are so many of them they make something big, if that makes sense

, an example from today is if he is working from home and he won't take something upstairs that's been left there (to take up). He comes down and says dont leave stuff on the stairs as I will fall over it and I say well it's there to take up can you just take it up with you it's been there all day. And then the default answer 'you could always do it yourself' this breaks my heart. I can't explain why but this really really gets to me that it's all back on me. It's not the thing on the stairs it's the underlying stuff.

I don't know why I'm writing this. I am 29, two young kids under 5, if that matters.

tigerbasil Sun 05-Nov-17 22:16:31

There are about ten if not more situations like the stairs on a daily basis, which can range from that sort of thing to a full on strop and 'fuck off' if I do something 'wrong' which is generally asking him to do something or not saying exactly what he wants me to say.

He is currently refusing to speak to me or be around me, as he 'can't be bothered and doesn't want to be near me because I said that a monitor was in another room, and he took it that I was suggesting he should get it (which I wasn't) and decided that was enough to piss him off tonight. I am sick of everything being on his terms

How do I fix this? I don't want to leave, but I cannot feel constantly like I'm walking on eggshells and being punished.

buckingfrolicks Sun 05-Nov-17 22:17:24

What on earth do you like about this man?

tigerbasil Sun 05-Nov-17 22:19:51

Well that is the worst thing about this. He actually has a lot of positives. He is funny, can be a brilliant doting father, and actually as I said can be extremely considerate and caring, but just is totally fucking unreasonable at times if it's not to the sound of his drum. The times that is are just getting more unbearable.

As he has got more successful it's got increasingly worse, he used to be humble.

tigerbasil Sun 05-Nov-17 22:20:43

And that sounds like what everyone says on these threads when they are ignoring the facts so there's my answer I guess

RamblinRosie Sun 05-Nov-17 23:02:56

getting more unbearable sorry, that says it all.

I'm an old bat, married 36 years, we've both becoming more considerate and understanding of each other over time. Our standard comment is "stop thinking what I'm thinking ".

After the initial honeymoon period, there's was a settling in period, then we started working out what bugged each other, what was important to each other , and who did what best.

He still forgets anniversaries, snores and leaves his running kit on the floor.

But he's the best sous chef, he brings me coffee in bed, and cleans up cat sick.

Mostly, he respects me and he wants me to feel good , if I'm unhappy, he sees it as his job to make me feel better.

If he sees something on the stairs, he knows it's the responsibility of the next person up to put it away, obvious,duh!

jeaux90 Sun 05-Nov-17 23:13:58

He doesn't sound like a narcissist from what you have written but he sounds bloody awful.

In answer to your post no it can't. The therapist that saw my narc ex told me to take my daughter, run and don't look back. There is no helping them, even when they acknowledge they have "issues". They are hollow shells of beings that have no sense of consequence or empathy.

So if he is I would heed that professional advice.

Either way look, abusive people rarely change. You have one life, why waste it one someone who treats you like crap.

tigerbasil Sun 05-Nov-17 23:18:13

You're so so right.

He has many narc tendencies, but maybe these don't show that, I'm very rambly sorry,

I need to really think about this as you really are right. I can't live like this for the next 5/10/20/50 years I can't do it.

I am going to get a therapist for me and will go from there I think, but will not tell him.

Thank you

Hermonie2016 Sun 05-Nov-17 23:48:14

Yes, definitely get a therapist.

I suspect once you try to assert yourself he will get worse.
I think success can trigger narc behaviours so it is likely to get worse and him aging is also a factor.stbxh reacted badly to the aging process and became even more sensitive.

Stbxh did therapy but it absolutely did not help.If anything he became more aggressive as the counsellor validated him.
"Ah she forces you to take stuff upstairs, definitely controlling behaviour on her part"

You are so young and have the opportunity of a lovely life ahead of you.I regretted the ife I had to give up as we had the potential of a great life, HAD he been reasonable and non abusive.
I am much happier now, don't under estimate how much his behaviour impacts you.A mum friend at school is staying with her horrible husband for lifestyle and the children..she looks so desperately unhappy and she is draining to be around as all the light has gone from her.

What do your family think of him? Is he Mr Charming to others?

tigerbasil Mon 06-Nov-17 08:33:26

My mum sees through it sometimes, other times she thinks I expect too much as other men don't do x y or z (stuff like looking after their own children / dinnertime...) everyone else licks his ass. Oh he's so wonderful and funny and oh you're so lucky. Yeah really lucky.

Well this morning I am just trying to smooth it over as I cannot face another day of the stropping. And somehow this happened... This mornings cracker has been when I said 'come here a sec' and he is now in a mood because he said when I say come here or 'can you ....' it makes him feel like a dog...... my fucking life. More rules to abide by ............

jeaux90 Mon 06-Nov-17 09:13:52

Yes of course how dare you mortal being talk to him like that hmm

You ever seen the 300? Narcs are like Xerces the leader of the Persian army.

Seriously your life is yours, you can find a happier one. Post narc I just feel happy every day....7 years on. And stuff what other people think, I can guarantee you they don't all think he's wonderful, it was amazing how many people thought mine was an asshole after I left.

What do you want to do?

jeaux90 Mon 06-Nov-17 09:16:41

Oh and I agree with hermione. I went to therapy for a while after (actually I saw the same therapist he did) it was really helpful. Whether you do that to help you leave or after the fact is up to you but do it. You go through some very distinct phases and it helps to have someone talk you through that.

It's a rare friend that understands the narc so professional help is good in this case.

Mirrormirrorotw Mon 06-Nov-17 10:03:47

Unless you're quite happy to lose your identity, self esteem and sanity: nope.

Chickenagain Mon 06-Nov-17 10:11:18


Post 6 months of counselling. The freedom to just smile without “what are you laughing at 😡?” and to have my personality back is just wonderful. Takes a while, but is joyous!

mrsaxlerose Mon 06-Nov-17 17:18:58

I feel your pain. been with my DH for 13 years and married 9. He has always been like this getting progressively worse over the years until 2016. He reached his height then. I wasn't to ask if he has had a good day ( this was invading his privacy) If he looked mad I wasn't to ask if he was ok (this was mothering him) I wasn't to talk to him while he played a computer game , If I asked him to do anything then he looked at me like I had asked him to dig a trench. I decided that enough was enough and the worm turned. I decided to stand up to the bully. I started treating him in the same way. Snapping at him for any little thing, rolling my eyes when spoken to etc. It was a wake up call. He realised how he was treating me . He admitted (this was painful to hear) that he did it cause he could. he almost enjoyed it and pushing it to see how far he could get away with. he said cause I allowed him to do it he lost respect for me . I said from that day things would change and if they didn't I was leaving and he could find another mug to put up with it. Since then it has improved 99%. he still has the odd days where he snaps at me or talks to me like a dog but instead of taking it I stop look at him and ask who the hell he thinks he is talking to. Ok he sulks for a few hours but then comes and says sorry and I remind him we are not slipping back to the old ways. Think of it as training a child or a puppy. I feel your pain and it must be horrible and I know, like my DH, when they are good they are very good but when bad they are horrid. You don't have to leave just stand up for yourself and not take it. I hope you find the courage x

Hermonie2016 Mon 06-Nov-17 20:30:29

Mrsaxelrose, interesting.The book "the verbally abusive relationship" does suggest you stand up for yourself in the way you did and it can work as you have found but in my case it caused an escalation of behaviours so he could regain control.I would also warn some women that it might cause physical abuse so be careful.

Tiger, my ex said that I could not say No to him..try being in a marriage where you have to do that!! It was one of the final straws as I realised the ludrious nature of my marriage.

I think older women may feel that if a husband cooks or does housework it's all positive but as others say unless youbaee in this time of relationship it's hard to understand it.
Start a journal with all these entries.The repetitive nature shows it's not a bad mood, it's a consisent strategy to have you under his control.

Secretsout Mon 06-Nov-17 20:51:52

I'm at the end of a very acrimonious year long divorce from my 'D'H of 20 odd years. He sounds exactly like your H. They never change. Get out and go and live your life. Hermione is correct, as soon as you start to exert yourself he will escalate (hence why my divorce has been horrendous) Run and don't look back

mrsaxlerose Tue 07-Nov-17 16:36:13

Hermonie2016 I would say it works for everyone and in my case it comes back to haunt me as he kicks back sometimes and tries to get control back. for example yesterday. we were invited out for a night by my Ariel hoop teacher to a cabaret he is performing in. I told my husband and he asked what it was . I said dancing, Ariel, singers and a little burlesque. they do a show and then get the audience involved and up dancing. he looked at me with such venom and said "well you can got to f**k if you thing im dancing" I replied you don't have to be so rude about it you just have to say you don't want to go. this has led to a 20 mins rant about how stupid I am , ridiculous , how everyone laughs at me in class (anything that hits my insecurities) . he then has given me the silent treatment for 24 hours and slept on the sofa. see it doesn't work but makes me have a little more respect that I can stand up to him and he cant beat me and snuff out my flame

Hermonie2016 Thu 09-Nov-17 18:53:30

Mrsaxle, he sounds awful and not sure how you tolerate his behaviour.

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