He’s a Narcissist…

February of 2016 began the final phase our complete marriage breakdown.  By this point, I had begun reading about narcissists and gas lighting. I convinced myself that my husband was a narcissist and that I should consider divorcing him before he totally brainwashed me into thinking I was a complete and utter failure. Worthless. Unloveable.

The internet is saturated with an abundance of articles regarding narcissists.

  • 10 Signs You Are in a Relationship With a Narcissist
  • 18 Ways To Spot a Narcissist
  • 7 Narcissism Signs You Should Watch Out For
  • 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting
  • How To Know If You’re a Victim of Gaslighting

I could go on and on, and as a matter of fact, I read these articles plus many more.  I was convinced my husband was not only a narcissist, but a malignant narcissist. The more I discussed my husband with my closest friends, the more we were all convinced I was married to a narcissist.  My daughter was adamant I had to leave him, he was a narcissist, he was gas lighting me, he alienated me from my family.

From the articles I read, I determined he had a grandiose personality. He was smarter than everyone. He had an exaggerated sense of self importance. Appearance is everything to him. He didn’t have to play by the rules. If they said it, I believed it applied to him.

I also determined I was being gaslighted. We’d argue, he’d say one thing, then say he never said that. He would hurl insults and derogatory comments about my family. He would say I could never hang on to any relationship because I was crazy. He said no would ever want to put up with me. Without him, I would be incapable of taking care of myself.

I could look up narcissist and gas lighting and convince myself that my husband was the poster child for these articles.

After the cloud of anger and emotions began to dissipate, I went back to these articles again. I found elements that also could pertain to me.  I found ‘evidence’ in my husband’s good deeds and self-less behavior which disproved him being a narcissist. Some of his words spit out at me in frustration and anger were just that, frustration and anger; not gas lighting. I would sometimes hear what I wanted to hear, not what actually was said. I was a nasty bitch to him, so of course he’d say no one would put up with me.  Truth be told, I didn’t like myself, not just because of what he said, but what I said in return.

My husband is a good person. He has always helped people. He once stopped to assist a blind man who found himself in the middle of the street walking to a convenience store.  He took that man to the store and drove him home. He will stop and speak with homeless people, making them feel like a person after giving them a few dollars. He teaches tolerance to my sons. He encouraged me to have my friends over.  He has let his business suffer in order to help his parents and our children through medical emergencies. He would take time out of his day to help me.  The truth is, it’s not all about him. It’s all about others.

My husband is very intelligent and knows it. He is arrogant. While those qualities are used in portraying narcissists, possessing them doesn’t automatically categorize a person as a narcissist.  In all honesty, if we analyze ourselves, I’m relatively certain we all own some ‘narcissistic’ qualities.

I know many of you with whom I interact, are in fact dealing with narcissists.  I believed I was one of you for over a year.  Viewing my husband as a narcissist and myself as a victim was vital in justifying my decision to end things and file for divorce. My pain and frustration drove my pursuit to portray him as such, just as his pain and frustration drove him to say some horrible things.  I saw myself as the victim. I was gas lighted by a malignant narcissist. He was deliberately trying to put me down, control me, isolate me, then discard me for another woman.

Two years ago I would have sworn the two quotes above about narcissists most certainly described my husband. A year ago, as the affair was outed and the dust began to settle, I would change this perspective to say the victim quote described me and the second quote described my husband.  (We both are ‘narcissists’?)

Sometimes we set the narrative to suit our purposes.  We spin our story in a way we can try and make sense of an incomplete story and one we certainly can’t understand.  Our communication post D-Day has allowed my husband and I to express ourselves in a way we were incapable of for several years.  We have learned to listen to each other and understand the other point of view, rather than make assumptions and interpret what we think was said or meant.

In retrospect, with a clearer frame of mind and honest reflection, I now can emphatically state that I am not a victim and my husband is not a narcissist.

 

11 thoughts on “He’s a Narcissist…

  1. Everyone needs to have some self interests or we are taken advantage of(poor grammar). A psycholgist said narcissism is determined by a continuum. You might have narc tendencies but you don’t meet the criteria. Usually you can tell a disordered person by the human debris they leave behind. It is almost impossible to get a true narc to see a diagnostician because they think they are perfect the way they are.

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    1. whether or not a person is clinically diagnosed as a narcissist isn’t a requirement for observing or examining their behaviors in terms of whether they’re socially acceptable, or divergent from conventional norms of behavior. Using labels like narcissist can be useful as easily understood shortcuts to describing someone’s actions—-abbreviations that conserve energy when it’s not necessary to exhaustively enumerate and elaborately explain suspicious behaviors.
      While “Moi” describes a “continuum” of narcissism—–as a set of behaviors that occur over various levels of intensity—the clinical term for describing such symptoms of behavioral and personality disorders is “spectrum”. This is a term that allows for variations of intensity of any given malady, and people frequently associate it with descriptions of various levels of autism, for example, since there are high-functioning people who exhibit elements of that behavior, without conforming entirely or completely with the most extreme or deleterious aspects of the disorder.
      People often seek to deny their own personality dysfunctions, and there are certainly negatively charged aspects of narcissism (in terms of social acceptability), so plenty of awful folks will (and do) try and deflect attention from their behaviors that may be indications of deviant characteristics, in order to maintain, achieve, or assert their credibility or self-worth.
      It’s not necessary to definitively prove any individual to be a clinically-diagnosed narcissist, in order to clearly see and recognize certain of their behaviors as irresponsible, inconsiderate, or downright awful. One of the components of a narcissistic personality disorder is the ability to conceal some of the most damning characteristics of their own personalities, by even very elaborate means.
      People don’t need to tolerate awful behaviors from others, whether or not those others incontrovertibly meet every specific criteria of a personality disorder such as narcissism.
      Sometimes it’s enough to just refuse to tolerate any continued association with a person who’s behaving badly—-whether or not that person objects to the use of a term like narcissist to describe their behavior.
      People will argue about lots of things that don’t deserve the attention or energy they want us to devote to their claims, assertions, or allegations. We don’t need to accept every invitation to engage in their silly nonsense, when it’s far more expedient and appropriate to simply send them away, and wish them well, as long as they don’t return to oppress us with their personal mayhem and emotional chaos.
      These comments are inspired by a remarkable level of personal familiarity with a fellow named Sean, who haunts and trolls the internet under various identities, including WordPress blogs like Oldblackwaters, and Cadconfessionals.
      Whether or not we use the word narcissistic to describe this individual, he’s clearly been behaving badly (by his own admission, e.g. his self-description as a Cad), and he seems unable to objectively evaluate his own behaviors’ very predictable/understandable/reasonable effects on others, while he works diligently to instead direct attention away from them, to issues without relevance or meaningful significance to any of the authentic issues at hand that affect others he’s burned the bridges to associating with as a trustworthy individual.
      This man attempts to dress up his nonsensical writings as thoughtful, considerate, and insightful reflections on the human condition, while they’re instead more accurately described as the ravings of a tormented soul who somehow feels entitled to the sympathies and heartfelt condolences of others who are uninformed about the particulars and full extent of his behaviors, since he describes them in ways that sound somewhat innocuous/harmless, instead of acknowledging the full measure of their predatory. exploitative, and shamelessly manipulative attributes and effects.

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      1. Warren, thank you for stopping by and commenting. As I’ve written, before my husband’s affair was disclosed and even after, I was convinced he was a ‘narcissist’.  I threw that term around not only in anger, but genuinely believing he was.  I convinced my friends of that as well.  I was angry, hurt and betrayed. I wanted to inflict pain back on him. But the fact is my husband is not a narcissist.  He shows narcissistic tendencies but I believe we all do.  You discuss a ‘spectrum’ something I am unfortunately very familiar with, as a parent of two autistic sons. Check out the rest of my response here…
        https://thequeenisincom.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/thanks-for-stopping-bye/

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      2. Wow. This whole rambling comment reeks of what “Warren” describes as “narcissism”. He must definitely know of what he speaks. Perhaps he should blog about his thoughts. It might help him with his apparent anger issues…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow. This whole rambling comment reeks of what “Warren” describes as “narcissism”.

        To be factual, people with narcissistic personalities often become obsessed with a subject they see as an “opponent,” and grab on to them as tenaciously as a sad old dog with a bone. In the case of “Warren” this behavior appears to include online stalking.

        Perhaps he should blog about his thoughts. It might help him with his apparent anger issues, and may help him see his post as a mirror into his own personality…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “We have learned to listen to each other and understand the other point of view, rather than make assumptions and interpret what we think was said or meant.” That is a HUGE accomplishment, and one that requires both people in the relationship to go “all in” to get to that point. Take a moment and hug and congratulate each other for that. It really is something to be proud of because so many couples, not just those dealing with infidelity, never develop that kind of communication.

    Xo

    Liked by 1 person

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