A narcissist often manages to seduce people with beautiful words and gestures, but behind this mask is a destructive person. Dorcas van der Smeesen, 48, has been married to a narcissist for fifteen years and tells her story. “Even our children wanted me to separate from their father.”
“Shortly after the wedding, my partner turned into a different person. He had very little sympathy and couldn’t put himself in my shoes,” says Dorcas van der Smeesen, who broke up with her narcissistic partner after fifteen years. And kind to our environment. Even his parents didn’t notice.”
Dorcas couldn’t do anything right in her partner’s eyes. “If I cook potatoes wrong, he can get angry and often become physically aggressive. His unpredictability was driving me crazy. I was so far from myself. At some point you find yourself in a negative spiral that you no longer know how to get out of. Even our kids wanted me separation from their father.
Narcissism is a personality disorder, says Alice Flutes, a psychologist and expert on narcissism. “At first glance, a narcissist appears very charming, eloquent, and sociable. They often seem well-groomed and cared for, have smooth conversation, have a lot of self-confidence and make you feel important. The narcissist will go to great lengths to pick you up, but once they get hold of you, their true nature shows” .
“narcissists are two-faced, they can’t stand criticism, they get angry about everything and can get very aggressive, both verbally and physically. They have little empathy, but it makes sense that they know exactly how to win you over,” Flutes explains.
Man or woman
Women can also suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. However, narcissism is three times more common in men. It is not known exactly how narcissistic personality disorder develops. Perhaps it is a combination of influencing factors, such as biology and pedagogy; For example, due to trauma, abuse, neglect or indulgence.
cut off relationship
A relationship with a narcissist often has a significant negative impact on a partner’s self-confidence. Depression, melancholy, anxiety and isolation lurk. The danger of narcissists is that their behavior manifests itself very gradually. “They are sophisticated and in the first year you may not realize that your partner is a narcissist,” Flutes says.
Flutes explains that a relationship with a narcissist does not work out and that narcissism is in fact untreatable. “Often narcissists simply feel better than going to therapy, because there is nothing wrong with them. So I mainly deal with the narcissist’s partners.”
Breaking up the relationship is often the best solution, but it’s not easy. As a partner, you want to maintain an enjoyable and livable relationship. “Equality is important to any relationship. Realize that you can never build an equal relationship with a narcissist,” says Flutes. “They are addicted to attention and power, have great ego but have no empathy and will always put themselves in the center. Narcissists simply do not see what they are doing wrong. By the way, they themselves move easily from one relationship to another.”
What else can you do?
“Don’t look for your own right, because you won’t understand it anyway and it will only lead to discussions. Don’t expect too much from your partner, because he doesn’t get better.” Flutes adds that it’s very important to live your own life. “A narcissist may want to isolate you from your friends and family which is why it is important to find emotional support around you. Do things that make you feel good and try to maintain your self-confidence and dignity.”
If you’re in a relationship, enjoy the fun things you do together, like dinner parties and vacations. “If you want criticism, treat it as a compliment. Let them know where your boundaries are in a neutral way and don’t expect to be understood. However, the narcissist is likely to do little with this message, which makes it very complicated.”
Dorcas has now been through many years and has a sweet, kind new partner. “I hope that others learn about their narcissistic partner’s behavior and that this helps them sound the alarm sooner. It is also important to pay more attention to the impact of narcissism on children.”