Saturday, March 2, 2024

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    My relationship with the narcissist – What did the idyllic photos hide?

    After a little over a year, my relationship with a person with narcissistic disorder ended in vain. This was preceded by a scene he prepared for me that I still cannot comprehend and which brought me to a state of shock.

    Twelve hours before that, everything seemed idyllic.

    It started as a fairy tale …

    When we met, everything seemed idyllic. He came to the first date with flowers, chocolate and his dog, took me to a famous patisserie and then for a walk. I remember him telling me that it’s never too late to make a dream come true and that’s why I thought it was special, different from the ones I’ve met before.

    A few weeks later, the Petrinja earthquake struck me in the center of Zagreb, where I experienced those 20 terrifying seconds. I couldn’t even imagine those seconds, minutes and days marking the rest of the relationship. In a few minutes, he rushed to pick me up from the office. That earthquake, it seemed at the time, brought us closer at lightning speed.

    But then situations began to happen from which it was screamed that he was an unstable person. Every time such a situation happened, I knew it was not normal. My whole body was telling me that something was wrong, but I wanted my happy ending so much that I ignored them and tried to adjust to them. And in fact, it is a person with the narcissistic disorder, which was confirmed to me by experts.

    Who is the narcissist?

    Research has shown that someone is more likely to become a narcissist if they have experienced parental ignorance or over-worship during their upbringing. He experienced the latter.

    Narcissism signifies excessive self-admiration with arrogant behavior and lack of understanding for other people, which he sees only as a tool to achieve his own goals.

    It is a structural disorder of the personality, in which the narcissist demands from his surroundings to be jealous of him and his achievements. If he finds a partner who, in the opinion of his surroundings, is “out of his league”, it will be a perfect opportunity for him to show himself to others as the best, and in subtle ways he begins to convince you that he just wants the best for you.

    Narcissism signifies excessive self-admiration with arrogant behavior and lack of understanding for other people, which he sees only as a tool to achieve his own goals.

    I learned all this in the worst possible way – in a relationship that was to end in marriage and a child.

    Here’s what you should never ignore.

    1. “Dominant” attitude
    He once said that he feels superior in this relationship. How can someone tell their partner? I was neither financially nor financially dependent on him to be able to tell me this, nor was I less educated or less successful than him.

    He considered himself a superhero who had to “save” me and everyone around him. Life didn’t caress me and it took me months to start opening up and becoming vulnerable with it. He kept telling me that he had to help me and that he had to “fix” me.

    During quarrels, he always told me that I would never find a person who would take care of me as much as he did.

    2. Excessive need for approval
    Very early on, I noticed that he couldn’t last even five minutes without a cell phone, without social media, and without someone else’s approval. And during romantic moments, a cell phone was always at hand.

    It was also incredibly important to him what his friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances thought of me. When someone told him how beautiful I was, he hovered with happiness. As I am an introvert, and he is an extrovert, he could not understand that someone else’s approval means nothing to me, nor that I have no need for large groups of people.

    Countless times he has asked me why I don’t behave the way I do when we’re alone in front of others, why I’m not always loud, wiggly, smiling, and happy in front of others. A friend of mine, a psychiatrist, recommended that he read a book that explains the different mechanisms of functioning of introverts and extroverts. He never even touched her.

    3. The need to control life
    Daffodils cannot comprehend that life is not rosy and that it is not going the way they want it to and so they try to do as much as possible to control it. They feel they have a right to it and that it is the only logical thing to do. They always know what the other person interacting with them should do and say, and when you don’t behave the way they envisioned, they become very upset.

    For example, when I said that I no longer wanted to go to the gym with him for group exercises, which did me more harm than good for my body, he was offended.

    I told him that while driving in the car and he became visibly upset. So I told him I would go with him anyway and the same second his behavior changed completely. He stretched a smile from ear to ear.

    4. Lack of sense of boundaries
    Narcissists believe that everyone thinks and feels the same as they do and that everyone wants the same things as them. But when I tried to explain to him countless times that he didn’t respect my boundaries, it was as if I was talking to a wall.

    After a few weeks of relationship, he introduced me to his ex-fiancée and told him that the condition for the relationship was for his new partner to accept his ex. I didn’t take it seriously then.

    It was not normal for me to talk several times a week with my ex-fiancée with whom you do not have a child or any joint affairs. I have begged him countless times to respect my pain and my limits and not to expect to be friends with her, as he has begged me on several occasions. If the narcissist wants something from you, he will try to make you do it with perseverance.

    5. Aware only of his own thoughts and feelings,
    Narcissus sees everything through only one perspective – his own. He can’t put himself in “someone else’s shoes”. He thinks their feelings are provoked by someone or something outside of them. They do not realize that their feelings are caused by their own thoughts and interpretations. Others are to blame for everything.

    He told me about dozens of women he had been with between that famous ex-fiancée and me, and the relationship with them lasted at best for several months.

    When those women weren’t what he imagined they should be, he simply wiped them out of life. Because they all had “flaws”, they all “awakened something bad” in him. And he would immediately switch to another.

    If I told him I couldn’t take it anymore and that I had had enough of that connection, he wouldn’t even want to hear it, but he would also tell me that once he decides to quit, it will be forever.

    6. Inability to work in a team
    The relationship should be a team game, and for that you need to think about the feelings of the other person. When you suggest joint activities, you have to think about making the other person enjoyable, and we have always adapted to him and his wishes, even though I have said a thousand times that I want to do what suits me. Then he would agree and agree to it, but it was always very short-lived, so we would go back to the old way.

    7. Humiliating the “worse” and elevating the “better” than myself
    At the very beginning of the relationship, I noticed that every waiter is addressed with “you”, and many times he commented on the appearance of overweight people calling them fat.

    But interestingly, until three years ago, he was the one with the extra pounds. Now that he no longer looks like that, he thinks he is better than others.

    He also often lashed out at my work. He could not stand the media and journalists (and at the same time longs to be in them) even though I, among other things, work as a journalist. He would say to me, “No, you are neither a journalist nor a feminist. You are my wonderful writer.”

    On the other hand, he idealized the people he admired. Every morning, while we were still lying in bed, he would run to their profiles on social networks, and if he got likes from them on some comment, he was overjoyed.

    What did I learn after the crash?

    All this is just a drop in the ocean.

    And so … When someone shows you their true face, trust them. When something seems too good to be true in the first few weeks of a relationship, trust your instinct.

    When someone openly shows you warning signs, like he does to me, without even being aware of it, believe it.

    When someone tells you “white lies,” know that sooner or later they will lie about big things too. Because he lied from the beginning.

    You can lie to yourself, but your body and instinct do not lie to you.

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