Relationships are difficult even when the involved people are sensitive to each other's feelings and needs. If so, what would a relationship with a narcissist be like?
Narcissism is the trait of having an extreme sense of self-importance. As a result, they overestimate their talents and accomplishments and may seem boastful. They fantasize about experiencing unlimited power, brilliance, success, ideal love, and beauty. Generally, they also portray arrogance and a disdainful attitude.
Also, narcissists are likely to be less attached to their partners and claim the latter don’t meet their expectations. Not the least, narcissists are vulnerable to cheating.
A study published in 'PLOS One' reported that narcissists are less satisfied and attached in a relationship and, therefore, are prone to infidelity.
“Relative to non-narcissists, narcissistic individuals tend to be less committed to their romantic partners and to play games with their romantic partners; they also tend to be less satisfied with their relationships and engage in infidelity more often” said the author of the study.
But narcissism is considered a mental disorder by psychologists. And a devoted and caring partner would put up with their self-centered trait and help them improve. A recent online post sparked debate on whether a person should help their narcissistic partner treat the issue or focus on healing oneself.
Narcissistic love vs. self-love
In a Reddit post published in April 2022, a woman asks for some insight from readers on her married life.
She starts by saying that she has been married for ten years to a negative, manipulative husband with anger issues. Since he was very good at love bombing, the author used to blame herself for their fights.
Recently, at the end of an argument, her husband ended up googling his behavior and understood he was narcissistic. After the incident, he swore to her he would undergo counseling, read books, and do everything necessary to fix his issue. He says he needs the author to trust him and be there for him - so that he can work on his problems.
However, she is tired of all the love bombing, gaslighting, and manipulation and suffers from self-doubt and anxiety. As a result, she thinks they should separate for a while and focus on their individual issues.
Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship
Self-healing is important to not only help oneself but also to help others. One may be more prepared to guide others through pain by curing one's wounds. Also, psychological healing helps develop empathy, mirroring, emotional contagion, self-regulation, and mentalizing.
Nonetheless, a person needs their partner the most when they are weak. Even little support from their spouse could seem momentous at that point.
What do you think?
Should the woman trust her narcissistic husband and give him another shot? Or should she concentrate on healing herself for now and wait and see how he changes? Share your thoughts below in the comment box.