Why the Narcissist will Never Change

Narcissism is a personality disorder and it is important to understand what this means. People with personality disorders are rigid and unaware that their thoughts and behavior patterns are inappropriate.

Research indicates they are rarely the ones who come in for treatment. Instead, the spouse, significant other, children, and parents of the personality disordered are the ones who suffer and seek therapy. PDIs rarely seek treatment.

Furthermore, personality disorders begin in adolescence/early adulthood and do not change over time. While PDIs often have a hard time dealing with stress and may have symptoms such as substance abuse or anxiety that can be treated with medication, it is important to understand that the personality disorder itself cannot be treated. These personality traits are so deeply ingrained that they defy change.

One analogy I’ve read before that really helped me understand the permanence of a personality disorder is to compare it to a mental illness. Mental illnesses (such as Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder) can be treated with medication and cognitive therapy. Most mental illnesses are caused by disruptions in brain cell receptors and synapses, which are believed to be genetically inherited. As long as someone with Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder is committed to taking their medication regularly, symptoms subside and they feel and act relatively normal.

The onset of mental illness is typically quite sudden and profound. It is often described as though a heavy wool blanket has descended upon a person’s personality and smothered it. A personality disorder, on the other hand, is all pervasive.

With mental illness, a person’s personality is smothered or blanketed by the onset of the mental illness. Medication used to restore proper chemical balance in the brain helps to remove the blanket and bring back the true personality of the individual.

In contrast, the personality of someone with a personality disorder is virtually interwoven into every fiber of that blanket. If you unravel the blanket, you unravel the person’s entire personality. The easiest way of thinking of it is this:

Someone doesn’t have a personality disorder; they ARE the personality disorder.

Therefore, the way I see it is simple: you have two choices. You either accept your partner for who he/she is or you move on. It is critical that you understand you have done nothing wrong nor is there anything you can do to change the situation. It is not your fault. You fell in love with someone who is incapable of having an adult mature relationship based on reciprocity and love. Personality disorders cannot be treated. It is time to move on. You owe it to yourself and deserve so much more in life. xoxo

Oct 20 - 8PM
donam's picture

More than you know

I have been reading and re-reading excerpts and internet material on Narcissism. I have been away from my N now for a few weeks and last spoke to him about a week ago, Since we began dating 9 months ago, he would say things such as he was like god but because he would laugh I took it as a joke but he would do this alot, text me how goodlooking he was, how smart he was, no one is as good as he is, how he hates everyone, people are stupid and ignorant and he can con anyone because they are so stupid. (He's in sales and very good at it.) I told him that I was concerned with his anger issues and his dirty perverted mouth. (RED FLAGS) He assured me that he would work on those things and I asked that he not do it for me but because he knew it was something that he felt he needed to do. He agreed. He has continued and is constantly having road rage to the point of telling me he stops drivers and has confrontations and threatens them. He even told me that he has lifted cars with drivers in them. (He is a bodybuilder and consumed with his image).He has told me of fights in convenient stores which was usually on days that he stated to me that morning that he was in a "pissy" mood. It seems he would always instigate some confrontation but in his mind, he wasn't the instigator. I am not even really sure if any of these things even took place as I never witnessed any of these or if they were only played out in his head. But his anger on the phone was definitely real. He sounded so angry and full of hate. He would describe in great detail when he was angry at bill collectors how he was going to break their limbs off of their bodies and beat them with them and eat their body parts. It was very frightening to listen to these stories and shocking. When we would have arguments he would get loud and walk around really fast and angry but never showed a temper out of control towards me. It seemed from the beginning that he always had some reason to be upset with me. He would leave my home in the mornings and text me about something I had said the night before...One thing was we were walking and I said, "Are you sure you are 6'4". It doesn't seem you are that tall next to me but I don't know, maybe." He was furious over this. In his mind I was criticizing him.... He was constantly texting dirty filthy things to me all day long after numerous attempts on my part asking him not to. He would call me 7 or 8 times a day to talk "About his day, his anger, him.him.him. And the unlimited texting throughout the day. If I didn't answer the phone, he would text me "Ignoring me?". He even laughed when we first started dating when he told me that people asked him how he found someone that could get a word in edgewise. (RED FLAG) Even with all of these things visible he was very sweet to me a great part of the time, just the instability and unpredictability of it all was making me a wreck. Of course as per his recollection, his ex wife and ex girlfriend cheated on him and were mean to him. He would even accuse me of being mean to him if I said something that he didn't like. I couldn't figure out when I was mean because I was very patient and understanding when he was working part time and had little money, etc. etc. I was always supportive. When we would go out together if it was somewhere I wanted to go, he would make sure he would have a miserable time and pout. He criticized where I liked to shop in a way that criticized my choices. He wasn't very critical of me yet, but I sensed that it was coming. I feel as though he felt that I was always on the edge because of his behavior so he wasn't ready to start the all out criticizing. Oh and never compliment a sprinkler repair man's work or a roofers work, the argument would go on for hours and hours on why I shouldn't talk about other men. I received a phone call from a man from my past. I wanted to have a very open and honest relationship so I told him. He immediately became furious and broke up with me and said I needed attention from many men. After the argument, I felt all twisted and confused and felt that I was guilty of something by the end of it. All I wanted was honesty between us. He then told me he didn't want to know if I received calls in the future so I didn't tell him as he requested. He would then ask periodically if I had heard from anyone and I would tell him. It was all totally innocent and was nothing going on on my part, just people from my past checking on my status. I would tell him again being honest and he would be furious again. I was .....if I do and .....if I don't....I was so confused. I assured him I loved him and had no interest in anyone. This was an ongoing task I had to undertake. He would always say, "You don't think I'm good enough and you can do better" I never implied such a thing. I always felt I had to initiate sex and it was always so impersonal and lacked intimacy. It was so robotic. I stopped initiating and it seemed to not happen. He would text sexual things all day long, but then come over and go to bed. There was never sex when I wanted it, never spontaneous (except in the beginning), He even stopped my advances several times which was rejection to me. He didn't really like to kiss. Pecks more than anything and only if he chose to start it would we kiss. He was not willing to do the things that I wanted during sex even when I asked specifically. It was what he wanted to do and when. It was as though he was punishing me. I had never felt this way before with any man. It was so unfair. When the end came I truly believe, he planned out the breakup so that he could say I did it. I was furious when I saw, dirty, filthy sexual flirts on his FB friends "girls" pages. All he could say was "I sell to clients who are mostly women and this is what I have done for a very long time and mean no harm by these comments." I guess it was then that I realized he was talking to all women this way and it had been going on the entire time we were dating. I had also overheard some phone conversations he had had talking to women about his "wanker". I left his place that night and we emailed each other back and forth the next day as I felt humiliated and hurt that he was so disrespectful to our relationship. He immediately went to FB and hid his friends from me. This is the man who says he was going to marry me and was getting the ring this Christmas. When we did speak (he will never talk on the phone when there is a problem to discuss) via text 2 days later all he could quote was what I did wrong in the relationship which had nothing to do with his disrespect and the issue at hand. It was all my fault, I needed attention from men (He was the attention monger not me) He kept saying "You broke up with me" which by the way, I never uttered those words. He kept on saying it and wouldn't hear me out because I'm sure he had planned it all and wanted to make sure it was over. He even went so far as to say, "You see what I want you to see", as though he wanted me to see the FB posts and immediately hid his FB friends from me. He wouldn't even talk to me on the phone. Only via Text. Then the next day (3 days after the initial argument), I went to his apartment to give him his key but really wanted to discuss us and overheard a phone conversation, extremely filthy sexual talk with some girl who it was obvious he was having a sexual relationship with. I was so hurt and felt so betrayed. How could this man who said he was going to marry me Christmas be having a sexual relationship with someone only three days later? I venture to say, it was all in the works and he had his new "girl" waiting in the wind or was already with her. Who knows. I just know that even though he did this to me, I can't get him out of my mind. I trusted him and trusted that he was a good loyal man, but he was telling me from the very beginning what I wanted to hear. I realize the marriage "carrot" he dangled was usually after we had a disagreement about something. I now realize the statements he made to me about "Needing attention from men" was him really speaking about himself needing constant attention from women..Truthfully what caused the end is this: I finally was onto to him and how he operates. I wouldn't conform to his "godlike" worship program, wanted to keep my own identity and express my own feelings even if it contained constructive criticism. This was not going to work in his world. This is why he had to trigger and plan the exit all the while trying to come out as the innocent victim. I am so aware of what has just happened to me, but it doesn't make the healing any easier.
Mar 10 - 4PM (Reply to #4)
Hope's picture

Same here...

Your relationship sounds very similar to mine, mine also had someone all lined up, I was also the same as you, independent, and would call him on certain things, etc. We are better off!!! As my son said to me I dodged a big bullet, could have been financially ruined too.
Oct 10 - 12PM
Susan32's picture

In the end, it's between them and God

Christians say that everybody is marked by Original Sin, and that God can convert the worst sinner. The good thief crucified beside Jesus repented as he was dying. Buddhists believe that everybody has Buddha-nature, it's up to people to get in touch with it. When it comes to Ns/Ps, I think ONLY God can heal them. God doesn't want us to waste our lives waiting for a deathbed conversion, nor should we martyr ourselves so they see the light. In the end, it's a God thing.
Oct 10 - 2PM (Reply to #1)
lisarudi's picture

Yes! That is so exactly

Yes! That is so exactly right on. From the very beginning of my awareness of NPD I realized that only a miracle from God could transform my NPD exhusband. So far that has not happened, but He continuely shows me aspects of my exh that confirms NPD and the toxic baggage he carries with him.
Oct 10 - 11PM (Reply to #2)
Susan32's picture

Let go and let God

There's a story in the Book of Acts in which seven sons decide to try their hand at exorcism. They end up getting overpowered, driven naked into the streets by the demons. Some people are qualified to drive out demons. There are real exorcists. I am not one of them. There's a letter of Paul in which he says that God gives many gifts. We don't have the same gifts. I'm just thankful I escaped from the ex-P with my life. As Briseis has said, the fact that I'm living and breathing trashes everything the ex-P attempted. So, to quote the Shakers, 'tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free.