what kind is/was yours


These descriptions come from an article I posted a link to recently. The separate descriptions helped me. The middle one is my stb xH. Its a tricky one, and one that is easy to feel sorry for, and easy to be shocked by. Yes, the extremes in attitude and reaction are shocking.

The three subtypes of narcissism:

Grandiose/malignant narcissists: "Exploit others with little regard for their welfare." They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, feel privileged and entitled, have little empathy, put their own needs first and tend to be critical and controlling of others.

Fragile narcissists: Experience alternating feelings of grandiosity and inadequacy. They tend to be unhappy, critical of others, anxious, envious, competitive and have extreme reactions to perceived slights or criticism.

High-functioning/exhibitionistic narcissists: Are "grandiose, competitive, attention seeking and sexually seductive or provocative." They tend to be highly articulate, energetic and goal-oriented.

created Oct 02 '08

25 replies


Al of the above, particularly the first kind

with strong sociopathic tendencies thrown in, that seem stronger now than when he was with me.

I told him the last time I saw him, I was afraid he'd "lose his soul" if he did what he was talking about.

created Oct 03 '08

mine was all of the above also but depends if highly articulate means more than just being able to find enough of the foulest, meanest, negative words to go on for hours about how bad I was at everything I did.

I just looked it up, yes he was able to speak lots of very clear  words, eaisly, that meant that I worthless piece of crap. He was very articulate, all of the above, the message was loud and clear but now I know he was talking about himself, not me.

made up of distinct syllables or words that have meaning, as human speech able to speak expressing oneself easily and clearly

                                         Hugs mamolie

created Oct 07 '08

Again, all of the above - but more of the first. He was all about the "show" and being "superior". It's funny, but the other label for him was cerebral - I was never worried about him being promiscuous and cheating - small comfort.....

created Oct 07 '08

My bf is mostly a combo of the fragile and high functioning N;

there was a good academic article entitled his majesty the baby that talks about how npd and npd traits can come in two main forms, one was I think.... 'the one who needs to be superior at all costs" and the other is 'the baby'...who wants to have his way, but wants to have fun and provide entertainment while while having his way.

According to the article, The ones who have the strong baby traits are more willing to concede they've done something wrong accept some resposibility, but often there has to be a component of someone made me do it' (still off loading blame). The 'baby' is a little bit more "workable". My bf is definatley the baby. No less frustrating though.


Side Note:

He has agreed to go to couples therapy and I chose a woman who does Gottman-based couples therapy (Gottman was a physician that studied what traits led to a strong, resilient couple and what traits statistically led to distruption and divorce in couples. So, while it's therapy, it is also science based in what works, what does not. I think it will appeal to his linear, engineering brain.

Or, it will highlight what areas we just can't agree on and therefore should go our separate ways.

I'm going into this with my eyes wide open. WIDE OPEN.

Should be interesting; and, this is a form of couples therapy I am interested in learning about and practicing myself as an MFT, so the experience will be good for me no matter what happens with him.

This is a new tact for me. I will not put any energy into this relationship right now unless I feel I will benefit in some way from my efforts. And by benefit, I don't mean I will fix him and live happily ever after. I mean, any energy I put into it has to have some tangible pay off for ME. Like, he is paying for a form of couples therapy I want to be more familiar with and learn for my own professional reasons; that it may or may not help us is totally up for grabs, and I would not spend my time on it if the only possible benefit was the hope that it might help us. Those odds are too dicey.

But, it will be a good learning expereince for ME, no matter what comes of it for US, so I picked it out, set the date next week, and we're going. He has also scrambled to do the paper work necessary to make his divorce move forward. Those were my two main requirements for us to be together: Get the divorce final, get therapy. Period. He is lining up his own therapy too, in addition to the couples thx we start next week. I am not living with him. I won't consider moving back in until we have some time under our belt with the therapy etc.

So, Does that make sense? Meaning, the fact that I am looking for specific benefits before I'll put any energy into the relationship? Or am I becoming N-like in my own behavior? My gut feeling is it's a smart thing to do.

created Oct 18 '08
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It sounds smart, pragmatic and like youre protecting your self-interest.

Yes I DO think its a narcissistic way of looking at it, but is there any other way to be when we're dealing with partners like that? It seems learning how to think and make choices like they do ("whats in it for me?") would help keep things balanced. We cant get them to be less narcissistic, more empathetic, generous or have our best interest at heart...we can only make our OWN choices about our own behaviour, protecting our empathetic hearts, be equally generous with ourselves and keeping our OWN best interests at heart.

It seems well thought out and balanced.

A much nicer way than becoming more narcissistic and creating balance out of anger, resentment and pain (like I did for instance).

I'm impressed again as usual.

Are you spending much time with him these days, outside of the home you shared? How is that going?

created Oct 18 '08

You know, this reminds me of a chat I had last night with a work colleague. Imagine a relaxed, bluejeans and bare feet, Paul Nwman type, except in his midlife he bought himself a Harley. He flashes his pearly whites, and twinkles those eyes while being very contactful with everyone, particularly women. A real charmer.

He is a man who is not only drop dead gorgeous but sensitive and really involved with the kids we work with...he also lost his wife to cancer 7 years ago.

He was telling me despite my tough broad, I-dont-need-anyone-I-can-do-it-myself persona, he can tell I'm a giver, too much of a giver when the chips are down (he knows what my relatioNship was like and has watched how I fell down a few storeys and have been slowly clawing my way back up again) and said "Youre not selfish enough. Painful times of loss like these cal for long periods of selfishness."

(Hmm I was thinking, I thought I WAS being selfish???)

And he tells me he spent some very dark time grieving the loss of his wife, angry about the pain and suffering she had to endure for which he could offer no relief...and how he had fallen down a few storeys...until...

his elderly father pulled him aside one day and said "You're agreeing to die too, youre killing yourself with neglect and an agreement to suffer as much as she did, like youre in some weird game of balancing out the suffering....but you DIDNT get cancer! and she wouldnt want you to, OR to suffer, or die early. So pick yourself up and start being selfish until the pain goes away."

And that he did that but found it very difficult dealing with the guilt of being selfish and self-centred when his wife never had that opportunity.

So before he hugged me goodbye in the parking lot (where he was climbing onto his Hog) he said "If balance and justice is what you want after having been with a guy like that, then your salvation is no longer in your tears, its in feverishly pursuing pleasure...until you DONT HURT ANYMORE."

Now that might sound different than what youre saying SMG, but I dont think so.

In a perfect world, N/S's would be made to grieve and wail and take their time recovering from injury and become more self-aware. But they dont, and we cant make them. It would help make things balanced.

But what we can do is stop the slow leak (or the great gush) of our intestines onto the floor, and bring homeostasis back by indulging ourselves.


I have a feeling the answer is in there somewhere, especially at this stage of the game for me (I think it would have been impossible for me to hear it a year ago) so I'm going to try and let it settle in.

what do you think?

can I tell you thats not only difficult for me to swallow whole (I'm still chewing it over)

created Oct 18 '08

It's all about balance, isn't it? This is an issue that keeps coming up. Selfishness versus selflessness. In my own therapy. In the supervision I get while being a trainee in practice. In my own musings and my own relationships. The balance between seeking my own pleasure, treating myself with at least as much concern and care as I do a loved one and balancing that with still being an empathetic person who can give, hopefully in a healthy way (although not always, obviously). Being good to others while being good to myself. Being nurturing without being a doormat. I say doormat because that's how I see my mom a lot; very nurturing, very loving, but unable or unskilled or unwilling to stand up for herself most of the time. Quiet, long suffering, self sacraficing. The "good guy" by all accounts. But at what cost? There has to be a balance there. With some folks, that balance is probably very easy to attain. For me, with my back ground, it's like constantly chewing on a complicated calculous problem. It does not come easy to me, it shows up in my dreams and in my waking life in a million different ways. It's not rocket science why this man is in my life, he's just a more dramatic and obvious version of the same theme I've been chewing on since I first started dating; probably earlier than that. It's a reoccuring theme that I've not quite worked out to my satisfaction and perhaps never will.

created Oct 21 '08
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perhaps never will?

I hear that....

I'd like to offer you some hope, but I dont have any. I'd like to say I dont have any YET but like you, I dont know if its coming or not.

but we're all here, grieving the same things, doubting the same things, moving forward somehow...to someplace different than yesterday.

created Oct 21 '08

#1 and #2 for me. The sex part, exhibition part must have been hidden within his psyche. I remember him telling me on a few occasions that he had a dream (usually he said he never dreamed) about ME being an exhibitionist.

My ex-husband did not like sex/making love where intimacy, real true intimacy was involved. He was "the lover" when it was with woman he did not have a strong involvement with. When we were married and if I made any kind of advancement, he would scream at me. God forbid, I touch him or caress him---I stopped doing that after my esteem was destroyed. Lots of painful stuff, but people it does get much better. I wouldn't have been able to be where I am today without a good therapist and determination.

Mariel Lee

created Oct 26 '08

wow - that brings back the flood of memories - sex with mine was very detached - no niceties - very little sex, actually. But the weirdest part was that if we were taking a walk in the park (which we did often), he'd always hold my hand and have his arm around me. If we were home, I was never "allowed" to just initiate any physical contact - nothing! I asked once if I could sit on the couch next to him and he told me no!!! WTF!! Seriously messed up! Yes, I'm being Captain Obvious tonight - just funny how I'd forgotten this particular aspect of our relationship. I mean what man doesn't like a massage or back scratch or to be "molested" by his gal? Is this typical of Ns?

created Oct 27 '08
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Attitude (symptoms)
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Narcissism (symptoms)

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