Sound Like a Covert Narcissist?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  jeni4 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #47791


    He is a very energetic, skilled, charismatic communicator. His persona to the exterior world is of upmost importance and becomes very angry if anything that would put him in a negative light might be revealed. He has most traits associated to a narcissist but not all –he is responsible and doesn’t use alcohol or drugs and he has yet to discard me.

    I am totally outmatched and I don’t know how to communicate with him. If I try, it always ends up very ugly and I try to bring something up at the wrong time, wrong place, wrong way but I don’t know how to. I have given up trying because I always walk away feeling worse and usually ridden with guilt.

    He likes to remind me that he never tells me ‘no’ and takes offense to any suggestion that he is controlling. I feel like he is covertly conditioning me. He rewards me when I behave the way he wants and withdraws if I do something he doesn’t agree with. If I try to approach him with a want or need, he always seems like he is put out or being victimized. If I disagree, he insinuates I am stupid. He would disagree with this but it is the way he phrases his sentences. He discredits my experiences or feelings and validates his own with lies or other means of adding credibility to his opinion.

    I have discovered huge lies and it feels like he has been manipulating the world around me to guide me to “choose” his path for me. I look back and the lies he told me ripped me of my free will and undoubtedly I would have left 12 years ago had I been making an informed decision. Now, I am depressed, filled with anxiety and I have no faith in my ability to make decisions and can’t seem to do a damn thing to help myself.

    We’ve been on the cusp of a break-up and he’s begun to revision our history and portrays me out to be mental and he’s been a martyr. Even my son walked away with an ‘understanding’ of where he is coming from despite not liking him for a long time.

    He says he wants to make us work and is ‘willing to do anything’ but if I am dealing with a narcissist, I want to just face up, get out and start healing. If I can make the break, I need to take advantage of this moment and try. I still can’t talk to him and he believes that my depression and anxiety is the only issues that need discussion. Could he have a personality disorder?

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  jeni4.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  jeni4. Reason: grammar
  • #47801


    You are describing a classic narcissist and possible sociopath. The signs are all there — his anger at being portrayed negatively, his twisting your arguments/discussions to make YOU the guilty or stupid one, his offense at being called out for being a controller (these types will always mirror/shift their own motivations and actions onto others), his re visioning your past (that is classic gas-lighting), his claiming YOU are the crazy one and convincing your son he is right (that is also classic triangulation). Living with a narcissist means YOU are never, ever going to be first in his life – or win any argument, or have a real choice in decisions. Now is the time to get out – but be sure you have a plan, because it is going to get uglier. There are a lot of good articles on this site about divorcing someone like this. Educate yourself. If you can find a good therapist who understands these behaviors, make an appointment. You need to be strong and confident and in full awareness of how very wrong he is, and that is an uphill battle when you have been told for years how wrong you are. You are going to need an advocate. You have taken a critical first step by posting here — you are admitting something is not working and your weakness and fear. Trust me — the strength is in you. You WILL find it. Keep writing memories and current events down so you can go back and see that you are not the crazy one here. These journals can be evidence in court, too. Keep posting here – it helps. My heart is with you.

  • #47803


    @emilie18, thank you for taking the time to reply. I keep questioning myself and wondering why I just can’t be grateful for what I have… but you nailed it when you said that I will never be first, or win an argument or have a reach choice in any decisions. I am starting a journal today and started seeing a therapist last week. She asked if I have ever taken an emotional abuse questionnaire and that is when I started researching a little. He thinks that me seeing a therapist is a good thing because it will help me get over my depression and we’ll get back to normal. *sob*

  • #47839

    Donna Andersen

    Jeni4 – The guy is a classic sociopath. I agree with everything emille18 said. It will never get better. It is impossible for someone like him to change. And no matter what he told you in the past, he is not capable of loving you or anyone else. The root of a sociopath’s disorder is an inability to love.

    You weren’t clear on your status – are you married to him? If so, please do your research before making a move to end the involvement. Unfortunately, when you leave a sociopath their behavior often gets worse. You’ll want to make sure you can get away and stay away. We have lots of info on Lovefraud that will help you, plus some good webinars.

    He will never do what’s right for you, so you must do what’s right for yourself.

  • #47842


    Donna – No, we aren’t married and no shared children. He is my boss at work and has been for the better part of most of our relationship and it is the reason we aren’t married. Then again, if we married, he couldn’t be my boss…. I don’t know. Just so darn glad we aren’t married atm.

    We both work from home so he has total oversight and control. I don’t run to Target without him (or he sends someone with me). It’s rare for me to have an hour alone. I am so utterly exhausted.

    Thank you for this site. I will continue to garner support where I can here and read through the information compiled here. Knowledge is power and I am learning a lot. I still feel very overwhelmed and am battling myself with what I know to be true. I don’t know how to get where I need to be but I am going to step forward. It’s very unusual for me to post on any type of forums but I strongly compelled to and know I will need help to get through this.

  • #47847


    This sounds like my ex-husband….very smart, business owner, physician. Turned things around on me, projected on to me…these were all things I did not recognize at first. Smart enough not to directly call me names, but to treat me as if I am stupid. He did say many times “all people lie…get used to it”. RUN and get some therapy for yourself why you chose this person. And how to pick yourself up again. There are lots of resources on line and great books….just hide them!!! Mine always said “its not your fault that you are a depressed person….it runs in your family”. And if I cried because I was at my wits end he would say “you need medication”. We have 3 children and I finally got the courage to get out. He made all of the decisions to “help me” and because he had “more knowledge on the subject” than me.I am a physician too but he somehow slowly eroded away at my confidence because he worked at a “tougher place” worked more shifts than me. He would always let me answer medical questions to people first, then correct me. It is very hard to open your eyes and see this stuff…you have a lot of courage to be undertaking this…hang in there…

  • #47915



    Oh man, when they are smart and successful it can be harder to come to terms with the fact that they are ALSO personality disordered. This derangement does not discriminate. It is spread across all of humanity.

    We often think that if someone is super successful, or has had the determination to do something over a long period of time (focus), then they must be better than the rest, not mentally and emotionally deranged. But this is simply not true.

    It can also lead us to feel more isolated, as their peers, and the public in general, also sees them as having achieved so much and cannot imagine what they are like in a more intimate setting.

    We also, unwittingly, play a part in them appearing ‘normal’ to their public, by providing them with long term relationships. This gives the impression that they are capable of sustaining true intimacy and care. Also not true.

    This website literally saved me. I hope you will feel safe to stay here and get the support you deserve. There is ZERO shame is seeking comfort and direction from other people who have experienced the same kinds of abuses.


  • #47919


    Thank you, Slim. I still feel crazy some days like I have this all wrong but when I am actively engaged in educating myself, I feel more confident.

    It’s so hard to come to grips with the intention behind the manipulation and lies. I cannot relate. I keep looking for reason in the madness.

  • #47920



    There is zero (true) reason in the madness. Trying to understand these people using our normal thinking and emotions is completely futile. It’s why we find ourselves crying in frustration. Because no rational response to them, based on a normal inventory of options, EVER result in a positive outcome. We are thwarted by their complete lack of normalcy at every turn. This is truly what makes us feel crazy.

    Feeling thwarted and crazy is NOT a normal state of being in any relationship. Not even for one second. Any good relationship is based on a mutual desire to communicate clearly, reach consensus, or find a way to work out differences and compromise. It NEVER results in one person feeling sabotaged and crazy.

    Normal people to not weaponize conversations in order to manipulate other people. They do not (constantly) lie. They do not present one face in public and another in private. They just don’t do these things.

    I also felt most confident when I was educating myself about what I was dealing with. That is why this website was so important to my healing. ANY time I felt unsure I would come onto this site and read, share.

    Please look up Lovefraud archive articles by Kathleen Hawk. A series of articles on healing. I found them to be truly inspired and articulate. Look down below, in the big red section in Post Archives.

  • #47921


    jeni4: Post Archives by Category. Scroll down to Kathleen Hawk.

  • #47929


    A good article about narcissistic entitlement, and how we fall for it’s attraction:

  • #47932


    Thank you Slim!!

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