Loving a narcissistic man can be an emotionally draining experience. While it’s natural for people to have some narcissistic traits, a true narcissist will show extreme selfishness and a lack of consideration for the feelings and needs of others.
This is where it gets especially complicated if love and relationships are involved, because a narcissist will rarely put their partner first or take into account the effects of their actions on those around them.
As a result, falling in love with a narcissist can cause serious heartache, as his behaviour often leads to disappointment and emotional exhaustion.
Is He a Narcissist?
Are you in love with a man who seems to be overly self-absorbed?
Here are 10 red flags you need to look out for.
- He has an inflated view of his own importance or accomplishments.
- He takes advantage of others or exploits them for his own gain.
- He is constantly seeking admiration and praise from others.
- He has an excessive need for attention and validation.
- He is unable to empathise with the feelings of others, and often belittles their concerns.
- He is arrogant and lacking in humility, believing himself to be superior to those around him.
- He does not take responsibility for his actions, instead blaming everyone else for any misfortunes that may arise due to them.
- He has difficulty controlling his anger, either exploding in a fit of rage or holding grudges against perceived slights that may not even exist at all in reality.
- He’s manipulative and always looking for ways to get what he wants – regardless of how it affects those around him or how wrong it may be ethically speaking
- His pride and ego are fragile, easily insulted if someone fails to give him the admiration or respect he believes he deserves
The Cycle of Narcissistic Abuse
Romantic relationships with a narcissist often involve a cycle of abuse, where the narcissist alternates between being loving and charming one minute and cruel and abusive the next.
During the “Idealization” phase, the narcissist will shower their partner with compliments and admiration to win them over. This is usually how they begin forming an emotional connection.
In the “Devaluation” phase, however, once they have gained the trust of their partner, they will begin to make subtle changes in order to increase their control over them. They may be dismissive or critical towards you or even completely ignore your emails or calls.
Finally, in the “Discard” stage, after you have become too attached to them, they abruptly end the relationship without warning. They may even try to make you feel guilty for it by blaming you for why it didn’t work out.
This cycle of abuse can leave you feeling exhausted mentally and emotionally, as well as physically drained due to the constant stress that comes with living in such an unpredictable environment.
How Does a Narcissistic Man Treat His Partner
Relationships with narcissistic men can be incredibly challenging, with constant emotional manipulation and crushing criticism.
Putting Their Partner Down
A narcissistic man will often seek to make himself feel superior by putting his partner down. This can take the form of belittling comments or accusations, designed to make them feel worthless and insecure.
He may also use more subtle techniques such as guilt-tripping them, playing the victim or even gaslighting them in order to control their behaviour. Narcissistic men are typically skilled at using manipulative tactics to gain power over their partner, and will employ these tactics if they feel their superiority is being threatened in any way.
Controlling And Jealous Behaviour
He may attempt to control your behaviour or choices through manipulation, criticism, insults or intimidation. He might also be overly possessive and become jealous if you show any kind of interest in someone else.
This jealousy can lead to extreme behaviour such as making accusations, checking up on your whereabouts or even spying on you. The narcissist’s need for control can have damaging consequences, such as limiting your freedom and autonomy in order to maintain his dominance over you.
A narcissistic man can be difficult to predict when it comes to his behaviour towards his partner. He may be full of praise one minute, then critical the next. He may appear charming and loving, then suddenly shift to become hostile or aggressive.
This kind of behaviour is designed to maintain a certain level of control over the relationship, as it can be hard for the partner to know what kind of attitude or reaction to expect from him in any given situation. The unpredictability associated with this type of person potentially causes a great deal of psychological distress for their partner.
A narcissistic man will often manipulate their partner to get what they want. They seek out relationships where their partner can provide them with admiration and attention, and then take advantage of that person without consequences or guilt.
Narcissistic men may try to control their partners through emotional manipulation such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or using charm and charisma to distract from the effects of their behaviour.
They may also be verbally abusive or controlling when it comes to decisions about money, time together, and other things in the relationship. These tactics make it difficult for the other person to stand up for themselves and establish healthy boundaries.
Protecting Yourself from the Dangers of Loving a Narcissistic Man
If these characteristics and behaviours sound familiar, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from the dangers of loving a narcissistic man.
Here are some strategies.
Set clear boundaries about what you will and won’t tolerate from him. Make sure he knows that his behaviour is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated any longer.
Establish honest communication in your relationship by openly discussing your thoughts, feelings, needs, and expectations with each other on a regular basis. Be honest about what you need from him in order for things to work out between the two of you.
Don’t get sucked into his drama. It’s often just a ploy used to manipulate you into doing what he wants. Instead, remain calm and reasonable even when confronted with extreme emotions on his side of things.
Seek out supportive friends and family members who can provide emotional support during difficult times in the relationship. It’s important to have people around who can offer unbiased advice without judgment or criticism when needed most.
The Way Forward in the Relationship
To start off on the right foot, it’s important to remember that although your partner may be struggling with narcissistic tendencies, they are still responsible for their own behaviour.
No matter how much you love them, you cannot change them. They are the only ones who can change their own behaviour. As such, it’s essential that you practice healthy boundaries in order to protect yourself from further hurt or manipulation.
Additionally, therapy can help both parties confront these issues head-on and learn healthier ways to interact with each other moving forward. The following are different options for couples therapy that you could consider.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Couples counseling with a focus on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be extremely helpful for a couple dealing with the manipulative behaviour of a narcissistic partner. CBT helps couples identify any unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and then work together to make positive changes that can help improve their relationship.
It also helps them develop better communication skills, so they can discuss issues in a healthier way. In addition, it encourages couples to view their relationship problems from an analytical perspective and find solutions that both parties can agree on.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) works to help people learn how to manage their emotions more effectively. DBT focuses on learning healthy ways to cope with difficult emotions, such as anger and anxiety, and how to interact with partners in healthier ways. Through this approach, individuals can develop the skills needed to resolve conflicts without resorting to unhealthy behaviors.
Additionally, DBT can help individuals gain insight into the choices they make and the consequences of those choices. Ultimately, this type of therapy can be used as a tool for creating healthier relationships between couples.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is designed specifically for couples struggling with issues related to communication breakdowns due to unhealthy attachment styles and beliefs about relationships created from childhood experiences. Through this method, couples learn how to identify their own emotions and be more mindful of each other’s feelings.
Additionally, Gottman Method Couples Therapy helps partners develop the skills needed to communicate in an effective and respectful manner while resolving conflicts without resorting to criticism or contempt. Ultimately, this type of therapy can help couples build positive connection and strengthen their relationship through understanding and cooperation.
If you decide to break off the relationship
If couples therapy doesn’t work out, you might decide to terminate the relationship in order to protect yourself from further hurt or manipulation. Here are some tips to navigate the healing progress.
Following a breakup with a narcissist, it is important to set boundaries in order to heal and move on. Setting boundaries allows you to control access to your time, space, and emotional resources. This helps create a safe environment, allowing you to focus on yourself rather than worrying about the narcissist’s behavior. When setting boundaries, it is important to be clear and consistent in communicating them so that they can be respected.
Additionally, it is helpful to create healthy distractions such as engaging in hobbies or spending time with friends who are supportive of you. Setting boundaries can empower you during this difficult process by helping you move forward and heal from the pain of the relationship.
Take Time for Yourself
Take time for yourself to reflect and process your emotions in healthy ways. It is important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Taking some time out from everyday life can be healing as it gives you the chance to assess what went wrong in the relationship, while also allowing you to focus on your own growth and well-being.
Additionally, engaging in activities such as journaling or talking to friends can help you gain perspective into why the relationship did not work out. Through allowing yourself the necessary space and time needed for self-care and reflection, you can gain clarity and create a plan to move forward with your life.
Seek Professional Help
You might also want to consider asking for professional help when transitioning out of an unhealthy relationship with a narcissistic partner. A therapist can provide valuable insight into your past experiences and will help equip you with the tools needed to better process and understand what you are going through.
A professional can also provide guidance on how to set boundaries within relationships as well as how to cope with trauma or negative emotions. Additionally, seeking professional help may be beneficial if you need someone impartial to talk to or if you want assistance in navigating post-relationship challenges.
Reach Out To Your Support System
Connecting with trusted friends and family members during this period of healing and rediscovering yourself can be immensely helpful. They can provide ongoing emotional support as you learn to trust yourself again, heal from any past hurts, and work through any lingering doubts or fears.
These people should be non-judgemental and understanding, offering kindness and empathy while helping you navigate the journey ahead. Having a strong social network around you can be an invaluable source of comfort, assurance, and love as it allows you to feel safe enough to take risks in exploring new opportunities for growth.
Avoid Contact With The Narcissist
It is important to resist any temptation or pressure to re-enter the relationship or maintain contact with your narcissistic partner. Doing so could prolong feelings of pain, attachment, and difficulty in letting go of the past. In order to move forward and build a healthier future for yourself, it is necessary to properly process emotions associated with the relationship and learn from this experience.
Final Thoughts on Loving a Narcissistic Man
Loving a narcissistic man can be difficult, but it is not impossible, especially if you recognize the warning signs early on and take steps to protect yourself from potential harm down the road.
With clear boundaries in place, honest communication between both parties involved, and support from loved ones outside of the relationship, you’ll find yourself much better prepared to prevent yourself from emotional and psychological harm.
However, if you decide to break it off, remember that it is entirely possible to move on from the relationship and find yourself again. With self-care, patience, and determination, you can eventually build a life outside of the narcissistic relationship with newfound strength and peace.
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