I’ve been in a relationship for two years with a man whom I believe is a Narcissist, based on the information from your blog and others I’ve read. During this time, I have been verbally abused and humiliated. I am confused because in spite of his aggressive behaviors he says he loves me. Do you think it’s possible that he really does love me and that I just need to give him more patience and kindness. Can he change?
First of all, thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with me. While I’m delighted to be in contact with you, I feel sad for you at the same time. I know what it’s like to be in love with an abuser.
The hardest thing for people like you and I to understand is that the Narcissist will never change. Sure, they make promises, they might claim to feel badly for how they’ve treated you (which is usually when they feel you are going to leave them), and they might even go a few days pretending to be happy and in love. However, it’s all a mirage. All of those things are smoke and mirrors to keep us tricked into believing there is a happy future with them.
To answer your question, extending more patience and kindness will only backfire on you. When we continually forgive the Narcissist for their abusive and soul-killing deeds, it’s nothing more than a green light for them to continue those behaviors. I’m sure you’ve already given him more than his fair share of forgiveness.
If your partner is truly a Narcissist, he will not change. Whether he is a Narcissist, Borderline, or a Sociopath, it doesn’t matter. They are all disordered and will not change. Period. In order to help you understand why he won’t change, allow me to elaborate:
Disordered People Feel No Remorse
Narcissists, and other disordered people, lack the basic character elements that most people possess. In other words:
- They don’t experience pain in the same way as non-disordered people. Therefore, there is no motivation for them to change.
- They don’t believe that what they are doing is wrong.
- They don’t have morals, and in turn, cannot experience shame or guilt.
- They think they are smarter than everyone else.
Any sign of repentance they might exhibit is purely false. Ask yourself, do his actions show you that he loves you aside from his just saying the words? Probably not. And the fact that you’ve forgiven him for his cruelty thus far shows him that you won’t set any boundaries for his unacceptable behavior. Two years is a long time to keep yourself in an abusive relationship based on false promises and false claims that he loves you.
Lastly, I need to add that just because Narcissists can’t experience real love doesn’t mean that you are unlovable. It certainly doesn’t mean that you deserved any of his abusive treatment. We all have the belief that if we love someone, we should make sacrifices and forgive them for their mistakes. That is true in normal relationships. However, it’s not the case when you are in a relationship with a Narcissist because they will see those things a sign of weakness and will continue to violate you. The truth is you would have better luck with an alcoholic or drug addict, because at least some of them can change.
Hope that helps!
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© Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach, 2016