Is it possible for a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) to have a good marriage, without lies and abuse?
By Dr. Elinor Greenberg
In my experience, all the lasting marriages where one person has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) include some form of verbal abuse, lots of negative interactions, fights over trivial matters, and attempts to control the mate.
Read on to know – Who Is A Narcissist And What Makes One?
If there are not outright lies, the Narcissistic mate will twist the truth to suit their needs. What they want is usually more important to them than the actual truth or their mate’s happiness.
1. Exhibitionist Narcissist:
If their mate does not cater to their whims and their ego “enough,” they will angrily devalue their spouse. As to lies, most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are not even honest with themselves. They are almost always twisting the truth until it agrees with their desires.
Exhibitionist Narcissists rarely honor any promises they made to their mate unless what they promised dovetails with what they currently want. If it does not, they may “forget” the promise, or claim they never said “that,” or did not mean it the way it was taken. Some, not all, are so estranged from caring about the truth that they lie freely. Others simply twist the truth until it suits their needs.
Example—Exhibitionist Sam and Fran
Fran came from a loving, close family. When Sam married Fran, he agreed that he was happy to have dinner with her parents and siblings once per month. After they were married, he found that he did not like these dinners because he was not the center of admiring attention. Other people at the table sometimes brought up topics he did not care about.
Sam started finding reasons to miss these dinners. When Fran caught on and reminded him of his promise, he got quite nasty and said:
You are too attached to your family. It is unhealthy! Besides, they always ignore me. If I had known what they were really like, I would never have made that promise. It is null and void right now. If you want to see them go visit without me but don’t expect me to sit home waiting for you.
Watch out the video to know things you don’t know about Narcissism
2. Closet Narcissist:
My Closet Narcissistic clients are less overtly confrontative because they are more obviously insecure than Exhibitionist Narcissists. They sometimes perceive themselves as helpless victims whose unacceptable behavior is justified because someone did them wrong. They will exaggerate, take things out of context to make their point, or outright lie to evade consequences.
Translation of Justified: Their mate is not doing what they expected.
Example—Intrusive Needy Sarah and Charles
My client Sarah has the Closet Narcissistic subtype of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). She appears warm, friendly and nice. However, she is an anxious person and can be over the top intrusive when she is not getting whatever she wants or thinks she needs.
If she gets anxious or bored, she calls her husband at work and demands to speak with him—despite knowing that he has important meetings all day and
she has been repeatedly asked not to call him at work unless it is an emergency.
If he does not immediately return her call, she becomes frantic and keeps calling him every ten minutes. If he does not pick up, she may actually show up at his workplace. She justifies this by telling herself that she was worried his not picking up was due to …..fill in the blank with some unlikely emergency.
She also gets furious with him when he enforces boundaries. She feels entitled to all of his attention. She may use his not responding to take her intrusiveness even further and call one of his work colleagues or his friends to check on him, to punish him, and as a workaround to get past his boundaries.
Sarah is thoughtless about other people’s feelings when she feels triggered. Rather than directly confront her husband, she will try to manipulate him or make him feel guilty to get what she wants. He dreads seeing Sarah’s name pop up on his phone because he knows she just wants his attention and will find a passive-aggressive way to punish him if he does not pick up.