By Dr. Diane England
Let me back up a minute here, though. Perhaps you might argue that your spouse has never been diagnosed with any mental health problems, and especially not Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD.
Please realize, however, that narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic symptoms can occur in varying degrees. So, someone need not be diagnosable as having full-fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder to display what you’ll see referred to in various internet articles as unhealthy, pathological, or malignant narcissism. However, even lesser degrees of narcissism can be problematic in your relationship.
I might not have to tell you that. Then again, have you ever suspected your spouse’s emotional issues were associated with pathological levels of narcissism?
So, how many of the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder must your narcissistic spouse meet in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for you to be the victim of his narcissism—which could be fueling his anger and abuse plus perhaps alcoholism or drug addiction?
Sadly, too often, these all come together in one neatly wrapped package.
You probably will want to keep you eyes shut because in the beginning, things were so good between the two of you. You might have believed you had finally met your white knight. You might have been so enamored with him because of the whirlwind romance that included flowers, long conversations, candlelight dinners, outrageously expensive gifts, quick marriage proposals considering the time you’d been together, and romantic getaways that also included great sex.
No, don’t keep thinking if you can only get it right, or do all the things he asks, those days will probably return.
I rather hate to tell you this, but you’re probably wrong. Oh, he might act that way now and then to keep you hooked in and believing you’re about to rediscover Camelot, but he is only seducing you—again.