Tag Archives: romance

Dysfunctional Thinking – Expecting A Romantic Partner To Make Your Life Perfect

Many of us raised by narcissistic parents didn’t realize something was terribly wrong with our upbringing.  We did, however, realize that we were lonely because we felt so different or even weird. 

To cope, whether or not we realized what we were doing, we created these fantasies of one day finding the perfect romantic partner.  We were certain we would find that one person that would love us unconditionally & take away all of the loneliness & pain we felt.  Certainly there was someone out there who could make everything better, with whom we could live happily ever after.  We would never argue or even disagree.  We would be perfectly compatible, like something out of a cheap romance novel.

Then one day, we meet someone who is interested in us & we put all of our unrealistic expectations on that person.  Often, that person is another narcissist, yet we fail to recognize those similarities between this person & our narcissistic parent.  Instead, we see their flaws but excuse them away, waiting on them to turn into that perfect romantic partner who will make our lives happy.  Or, we may not become involved with another person who is a narcissist, yet we still put our unrealistic expectations on that person, expecting them somehow to make our lives complete.  Yet sadly, these people don’t make us happy.  Instead, we suffer with the cognitive dissonance of our situation, wondering what is wrong, why can’t this person make me happy?!

It takes time to realize what is really happening.  It takes learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to understand that we have been through some very serious & life altering cruelty that has skewed our views of ourselves as well as of our fellow humans.  We must learn that many times, children of narcissistic parents fall in love with narcissists.  It’s normal, but dysfunctional. 

The good news though is that we can change.  We can become healthier & recognize the utter dysfunction of this situation.  We also can see our romantic partner for who they are.  If they are also narcissists, we can abandon the relationship.  If they aren’t, we can accept their normal human limitations & stop expecting them to make everything better for us.  To do this, we must be open to learning, changing & growing.

If you’re just starting to learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & recognize yourself in this post, please know that there is hope for your situation!  Things will get better!  Be patient with yourself.  Keep reading, keep watching YouTube videos & listening to podcasts.  Keep talking with safe people who won’t judge your situation.  Join online support forums.  The more you do these things, the healthier you will become & the better your life will be.  You also naturally will develop healthier boundaries & relationships, which includes having healthier expectations of any relationships in your life, romantic & otherwise.  Please just keep doing these things because although it’s hard work, the rewards are amazing & you deserve nothing less!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Protecting Your Spouse From Your Narcissistic Family

If you are in a long term relationship or are married to someone & at least one of you has narcissistic parents or family members, there is something you should know.  Standing up for your partner to your narcissistic parents is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.

When a couple makes a commitment to each other, a big part of that commitment is taking care of each other.  Part of that involves not tolerating anyone hurting your partner.  If you stand up to someone on behalf of your partner, you show your partner that this person’s well being & safety are extremely important to you.  You prove that you love that person & will do your best to keep them safe.  This is incredibly good for your relationship! 

Not tolerating someone hurting your partner also shows the abusive person that you are well aware of their actions, & there are consequences for their behavior.  Not doing so only proves to an abuser that they can do anything they want without consequences.  This means that they will continue what they have been doing & in time, their behavior will get even worse.  And, your partner will be left feeling abandoned & alone, which is potentially relationship ending.  No one in a committed relationship should feel that way!

If you struggle with defending your partner to your abusive family members, then please consider a couple of things.

If it is your family that mistreats your partner, this means they are your problem!  It is NOT your partner’s job to deal with your family.  If your partner confronts your family rather than you, your family will be highly upset.  That happens in many families, but especially in narcissistic ones.  Chances are they will tell you what a terrible person your partner is, how he or she isn’t good enough to be in your life or other nonsense as a way to deflect your attention from their terrible behavior.  If you are the one to confront them, they still may try to deflect & criticize your partner, but there is a better chance of them listening to you than your partner!

Also if anyone in your family mistreats your partner, they have absolutely no love or respect for you.  If they had any respect or love for you, they would manage to be civil to your partner no matter how much they disliked this person.  If your partner is abusive to you, any children you share or your family, that is a different scenario.  They should civilly address their concerns with you, be loyal to you & care more about your safety than civility.  However, if the reason they dislike your partner is because of simple differences in personality, your family should manage basic civility at the very least to this person out of love for you.  When you love someone, it’s not that hard to be polite to someone they care about even if you can’t stand that person.  I have done it & while it can be hard to be polite to someone you really dislike, reminding yourself of the person you care about can make this much easier.

Dear Reader, if you are in this position of having someone in your family mistreat or even abuse someone you love, then please consider what I have said.  Protect your loved one!  It will protect their mental & physical safety but also help your relationship!  In fact, protecting your loved one will increase the bond you both share.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissists Obsess Over Victims

One way narcissists lure victims into a relationship is by paying way too much attention to their victims.

Narcissistic friends & romantic partners alike commonly smother their new found interest (aka victim) with positive attention.  They cling very quickly to someone they just met.  They claim the new interest is their soul mate or they felt some sort of special connection the moment they met.  They shower this person with praise & often gifts as well.  They want to spend every possible moment together.

I have experienced this with friends as well as my ex husband.  I’ve met several people online who within a day or two of meeting me decided we needed to talk constantly.  Probably the first one was the worst.  I didn’t know about narcissism at the time & was flattered she thought so highly of me.  We used to speak on the phone often as well as via email.  When I didn’t respond to her call or email, she would get mad.  She’d claim she was just kidding when she said things like how dare I not call her back sooner than I did or “joke” about me being so busy when she clearly thought I never had anything to do.

I was young & naive, living with narcissistic parents when I met my ex husband.  He constantly told me how pretty, smart, etc. I was, how he waited all his life for someone like me & expected me to spend all of my free time with him.

Anyone can be extremely flattered when someone treats them this way, but the average functional person realizes quickly this behavior isn’t normal.  Those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents however are different.

Growing up with narcissistic parents means you have no concept of healthy boundaries.  Even if this person’s attention is overwhelming, you don’t feel you have the right to refuse it.  After all, the person is saying & doing what seems like the right things.  How can you refuse that?!

Also children of narcissistic parents are neglected.  Having someone pay positive attention feels good, & it’s about impossible to resist.

And, narcissistic parents don’t praise their children.  These children grow up starving for praise.  When someone comes along, showering them with praise, they can’t resist it.

If you grew up with narcissistic parents, you need to be aware of people like this who obsess over you.  They’re predators looking for a victim.

Sometimes people meet & they just “click” immediately.  My husband & I were that way.  The same with my best friend & I.  There was no obsessing though.  We talked often & were free with complements, but no one was offended if the other didn’t answer their phone call or call back immediately.  There was no talk of “soulmates” or anything similar in the very beginning or pressure to spend every waking moment together.

I’ve learned that children of narcissists need to be aware of people like this much more than the average person because of the natural weaknesses that come from being raised by narcissists.  I strongly recommend asking God for discernment with people to help you to figure out who is safe & who is not.

Listen to your gut feelings, too.  If something doesn’t feel right about someone, that feeling is there for a reason.

Pay attention to people’s actions, not only their words.  A person can say anything they want, whether it’s true or not.  A person’s actions tell you what is truly in their heart.

If you have doubts, talk to a safe, wise friend about your thoughts.  Sometimes an outsider can be very helpful in providing an objective opinion.

Remember, not everyone who pays attention to you truly cares about you.  They can be looking for your weaknesses & fears to exploit them & manipulate you.

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Soulmates & Narcissists

Many people hear the term “soulmate” & assume it means someone romantically connected perfectly to another person.  This couple is assumed to be perfectly compatible in every way – comparable intellectually & sexually, sharing the same perspectives, feelings, likes & dislikes, & always agreeing with each other.  The perfect fairy tale love, in other words.  It also is a common belief that people have only one soulmate in their lifetime.

I don’t believe that this definition of soulmates is accurate at all.  I believe it’s actually better & more varied.

For one thing, I believe there are different types of soulmates, & they aren’t always romantic.  My best friend is my soulmate.  My husband sometimes finds it hard to believe just how much she & I have in common.  My husband is also my soulmate.  Both relationships are very different & neither relationship is perfect.

My husband & my best friend share much in common with me.  We all think remarkably similarly & share similar views on all kinds of things.  All of us are Christians.  We all grew up in similarly abusive, dysfunctional environments.  Yet at the same time, we’re all very unique individuals.  Each of us works in a very different line of work.  My husband is pretty interested in politics while my best friend & I have no interest in politics.  I love to crochet & knit while my husband & best friend have zero interest in either.  My best friend has no interest in cars while my husband & I both are pretty car obsessed, in particular with old classics.

While I consider my husband & best friend to be my soul mates, you can see obviously we aren’t perfect fits for each other.  Sometimes we even disagree with each other.  The cool part is that it’s totally fine!  We all respect each other’s differences.  We’re also willing to learn about the things that interest each other.  And, although we don’t always agree about everything, we have enough respect for each other to be perfectly fine with that.  We don’t have to agree about every single thing.

They both bring a great deal to my life, & I hope I return the favor to them.  They challenge me to be a better person.  There is no doubt that both are committed to the relationship with me.  I know if we have an argument, neither will abandon me.

The reason I’m mentioning soulmates is because many narcissists will try to convince their romantic partner that they are the partner’s perfect soulmate.  No one could be as good for them as the narcissist, or love them as the narcissist does, at least according to the narcissist.  In fact, my narcissistic ex husband once told me that no one would ever love me like he did.  To his credit, he was right – no one else has “loved” me as he did & that is a fact for which I am VERY grateful!  They also want their partner to think no one could understand them as well as the narcissist does, which is partly why they are the perfect soulmate to the partner.

If a romantic partner ever claims to be your soulmate, I want to encourage you to consider this person very well.  Does he or she show narcissistic tendencies?  Did this person mention the topic of being your soulmate early in the relationship?  When this person mentions the soulmate topic, does he or she only talk about how good they are for you, not that you’re also good for them?  Does this person use the phrase my ex used, that no one would love you like he or she loves you?  If so, these are some serious narcissistic red flags!  I would strongly encourage you to end the relationship!  Functional people don’t feel the need to convince their partner of their greatness for the partner.  My husband & best friend have never done this.  In fact, both tell me I’m good for them & that they appreciate me.

Functional people also don’t try to make a relationship very serious too early.  They realize it takes time to get to know each other enough to decide if this relationship has the potential to be serious.  Talking about being soulmates or discussing marriage early in the relationship isn’t normal!  My ex husband proposed to me only a bit under 3 months after we met.

Just remember, Dear Reader, that although it’s flattering if someone claims to be your soulmate, that also can be a red flag.  It can be the warning sign of a narcissist.

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Signs Of Narcissism In Romantic Partners

I recently caught an episode of the true crime show “Evil Lives Here” on the ID channel.  The episode was an interview with Debra, the ex wife of The Truck Stop Killer, Robert Rhoades.  He is suspected of raping & murdering over 50 women from the mid 1970’s to 1990.

His ex wife mentioned how he was very particular about how she dressed & would tell her what to wear.  She told the story of how one night he told her to wear a particularly sexy outfit so they could go to dinner.  He failed to mention it was at a swinger’s club.  He continually pushed the swinging issue even though from that night at the club she told him that wasn’t an option.  He told her she was immature & “No other woman would feel this way” about it.

Her story horrified me because that is almost exactly how things were with my ex husband.  He wanted me to look & dress a certain way.  He also wanted me to participate in some sexual activities that I refused to do, then told me that “no other woman would feel that way about these things.”  I also remembered how at the time of our separation, he was becoming quite fascinated with weapons & there were signs he had a real potential for violence.  This made me thank God for getting me away from him safely!

This also made me think of the signs that a romantic partner is dangerous that he displayed.  No doubt other narcissists display those same signs, so I thought I would share some of them today.

In the beginning, things are good, then suddenly they aren’t.  In or out of the bedroom, the person you’re involved with wants to please you.  Then suddenly, they lose interest in working so hard to please you.  No explanation or evidence of why, they simply stop.

When the narcissist stops wanting to please you, & you ask what changed, they act like (or say) you’re imagining things or you’re crazy.  They claim they haven’t changed, so since you think they have, obviously something is wrong with you.  This obviously makes you very confused & willing to do what you can to please them so hopefully they’ll want to be that great person they were at first.

The narcissist wants you to look a certain way when you have sex.  Many people want their partners to wear sexy lingerie, which naturally isn’t terribly uncommon.  What is uncommon is how some narcissists pretty much demand it.

The more time progresses, the more unusual the sexual proclivities of the narcissist become.  At first, the sex is pretty normal.  Nothing really kinky.  Then little by little, they try introducing new & more deviant things.  The desire to have sex more often happens as they become more interested in these more deviant behaviors.

When you refuse to participate in the desired activities, the narcissist shames you.  As I mentioned earlier, my ex would tell me that no other woman in the world would feel about doing what he wanted to do as I did.  They also may call you immature, oversensitive, close minded & more.

If the activity causes you physical pain or risks your health, the narcissist won’t care.  Since all that matters to a narcissist is what they want, if their desire causes you physical pain or puts your health at risk, that won’t matter.

No is never an option.  If you’re sick, tired or simply not in the mood, that won’t be important to a narcissist.  They want what they want, when they want it, & nothing else matters.  I remember my ex punching walls when I was sick & told him I wasn’t in the mood.

Forcing sex isn’t too low for a narcissist.  After all, what narcissists want is all that matters to them, so they have no trouble using physical force, manipulation or guilt to get whatever they want.

If your partner exhibits such behaviors, these are big red flags!  Please protect yourself & get away from this person as soon as you possibly can!  You deserve to be treated better than this & to be safe!

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Borderline Personality Disorder In Relationships

Recently I learned that a man I dated in 1990 committed suicide after killing his male lover.  And, the previous week, he was arrested on drunkenly pulling a gun on a woman in his neighborhood.  This was a complete shock to me, & I’ve thought so much about it lately.  I wondered if I could’ve done something different, or if somehow I set him on this downward spiral, playing things over & over again in my mind…

Today something else came to mind- Borderline Personality Disorder.  Some symptoms are:

  • unstable personal relationships, going between idealizing & devaluing the other person.
  • intense fear of abandonment.
  • intense anger- a bad temper.
  • clingy in relationships.
  • seldom see themselves as the problem.

In my case, this man I dated was very possessive & jealous.  He went from treating me like a queen to screaming at me, often in a very short span of time.  The night I told him I wanted to end our relationship he screamed at me for several hours.  He also wanted to marry me within the first week of our relationship.  We ended up engaged, but not because he proposed or gave me a ring- he simply stated that we WOULD get married.  He also told me we WOULD have a lot of kids, even though he knew I never wanted to have children.  He even wanted me to get rid of my car & drive the car that he thought I should drive.  Thankfully, he didn’t hit me, but there were times I was sure he wanted to.  I spent our relationship feeling as if I was walking on eggshells.  Interestingly, the cat I had just adopted not long before I broke up with this man would NOT leave my side while we were together.  I think Magic knew something was very wrong from the beginning- he was a very intuitive cat & very protective of me.  

If you are involved with someone who acts like this, do yourself a favor- RUN!  It won’t take long & you will begin to wonder if you’re crazy.  You will feel guilty constantly, even when you have no reason to.  You will feel like you must watch every word you say & everything you do, so you don’t upset him.  People with BPD can be dangerous to themselves and/or others.  After all, look what happened to my ex boyfriend & his lover.  

If this describes you, you aren’t alone!  Many of us have been in this situation!  May God strengthen you & keep you safe!

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September 24, 2012

Good morning, Dear Readers!!!

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. I am blessed to be married to Eric. My favorite thing about him is that he is my friend, not just my husband. We have fun together. Last night, we turned out all the lights, I lit some candles, made some popcorn, & we watched a scary old Boris Karloff movie together. (“Black Sabbath”- if you like scary old movies, this one is great!!! Check it out) Today, we unfortunately have some things to do, then later, we’re going to have a picnic in our back yard with wine, cheese, & crackers. Nothing fancy, but romantic. I’m looking forward to it.

Is your husband/wife your friend too? Celebrate that friendship & have some fun together!!

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