I think I caught the narcissism early...what to do?
May 22, 2014 3:56 PM Subscribe
Recently I started a relationship with someone who I now suspect has narcissistic tendencies. I feel like I should do something, but not sure if I should try to help him.
posted by Cybria to Human Relations (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I really do love this guy a lot. We were friends for several months before taking the leap into dating. When we first started out, we were both getting out of bad breakups (I wrote about that breakup earlier this year). He was there for me and we became very close. Four months later, we were together.
Looking back, I see that he was trying to be everything he thought I needed him to be. He still displays loving/doting behavior, but now we're going through extreme ups and downs. One day we will be talking and laughing so freely with each other and I feel I'm on cloud nine. The next we're arguing over something that is somehow usually my fault. He does a good job of making me feel like whatever we are arguing about is my fault. Even now I wonder if something is really wrong with me that we're always fighting. The only reason I question his view is that it simply doesn't feel right.
I knew about the condition before meeting him because I've learned a lot about codependency. I thought that I had recovered enough from my codependency to give another relationship a try, but little did I know that my shortcoming is what attracted him in the first place. :(
Here's the thing though: I don't believe he's a bad person. During good days, he is genuinely happy to be with me. His life has been seriously rough, and has included homelessness and his father and best friend dying within months of each other. I'm being very careful not to jump into "I have to save him" mode, but at the same time I want him to know that he may be up against something serious like a personality disorder. I know that narcissists don't take criticism or bad news well. I don't know if I should try to bring it up with him or not. Should I?
We are on "break" from the relationship now (initiated by him), and I think that's a good place to be. As I said, I also have my own issues with codependency. I've been seeing a therapist and reading Codependent No More. I don't want to end my relationship, but now that I see how things are going, I think it may be the best thing. it breaks my heart...but should I at least try to let him know that he has narcissistic tendencies? Maybe he could do something about it? I feel so emotional right now. I really do love him, and I really did think he was "the one."