It can take a long time to work this one out but one day the penny will drop. Here are 10 signs to look out for that might indicate your partner’s behaviour is determined by far more than plain selfish actions:
1 Do you feel isolated and unloved in your relationship despite your partner saying the words “of course I love you”. Narcissist people are emotionally detached and find it hard to relate on a deep level about thoughts and feelings.
2 Is there space for your voice and opinions in the relationship or do you find that only happens when you agree with your partner, praise them or focus on their inflated actions and sense of self-worth? A narcissist is only really interested in the sound of their own voice.
3 When you raise a problem with your partner the story gets twisted and turned and the focus then becomes you and your wrongful behaviour. Narcissists are unable to look at themselves and take responsibility.
4. When in company you find it hard to get a word in because your partner holds the floor, is centre stage and always right. He will tell you in company that you got your story wrong or that you are mistaken about this or that. It gets to the point where it is easier to keep quiet than compete with the narcissist.
5. When you try to talk about your day, conversations, ups and downs of life you can never complete your story because your partner will talk over you with their own tales which generally involve them being better than others, more competent than others or putting others in their place because of some wrongdoing. The narcissist will manipulate situations so they come out on top.
6. After challenging your partner about something you are unhappy with and the first stages of their attack on you are over, you find yourself feeling confused, upset and drained. This feels like an emotional abuse, a stabbing of the soul. You then might be met with the silent treatment. Narcissists use silence as a way to control the situation, to invalidate you and to silence you.
7. Your partner twists stories and events selectively to favour themselves in order to make you doubt yourself, your memory, your perception and sanity. Known as gas-lighting this is a form of mental control and abuse favoured by narcissists.
8. You feel upset on a regular basis and cannot understand why your partner doesn’t see things the way you do or even be able to engage in an adult conversation about it. A narcissist sees themselves as special, to be respected and given special rights to. If you dare to challenge their fantasy of themselves they can become very angry and abusive. There are no grey areas. They are right. You are wrong. When you challenge that you might recognise the expression “here we go” “starting again are you”.
9. Your partner will never say SORRY. That is a word you will very rarely hear. If you do it will probably be accompanied by a list of things that YOU have done to have made them behave that way. So again, it is your fault. Narcissists cannot admit they are flawed in any way.
10. Your partner at some stage will become a martyr and victim, may display signs of depression and deep angst. This behaviour plays on your heartstrings to draw you back in. Even though you feel damaged by the abuse it may be hard to not want to love and care for your narcissistic partner. After all, they aren’t 100% bad. Some may have very redeeming features and characteristics that can be hard to give up.
This type of relationship will always be a difficult one and a draining one. A narcissist will seldom seek therapy. They would see others as needing it, but NEVER them. Knowledge is power so read as much as you can on this subject and become stronger and stronger in yourself and with your boundaries.
For more understandings of your own moods and emotions check out The Mood Cards
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