Is he really a narcissist? or am I just imagining things? Katie's story
Hi everyone, I am new here and I would like to thank Lisa E. Scott and all forum members for sharing their experiences - it helps so much! I just stumbled upon a term "narcissist" a few days ago and I am still trying to make sense of it all...I’d like to share my story and see whether my ex is really a narcissist or is it just me exaggerating.
So I am from Europe and he is from Canada. We met over a year ago when we were both working in China. It was love at first sight for me, I was swept off my feet with his charm and charisma. Everything was developing so fast – after two months we were already discussing our future kids’ names, after 4 months we moved in together and decided that we would both move to Europe in one year. I was supposed to leave China shortly after I met him but I decided to stay another year for him. He came to China to start a business and he told me he’d be ready to leave in one year time.
Everything was great in the beginning, he understood me so well and with him I could be myself. I didn’t have to play any part and pretend to be whom I wasn’t, like in previous relationships. He accepted me the way I was and never criticized me for anything. He even helped me to fight with being pessimistic and negative sometimes, always supporting me unconditionally and showing with his own example how much better it is to be an optimist (he is a very sunny and positive person) He almost worshipped me telling me all the time how beautiful, smart , great I am and how he only now realizes the meaning of true love. He became my closest person on earth, and we were building plans about our wonderful future.
Then after about 7 months into the relationship he started telling that he wasn’t sure we should get married in year right after moving to Europe because it’s too soon and he just got divorced etc etc. I was really hurt because it was his idea to get married ASAP and we were already discussing our honeymoon plans. I quickly got over it though realizing there is no need to rush. Then he started telling me that he isn’t ready to leave China so soon , that he has just started developing his business and that he needs more time, maybe another year or two. When I asked him for an exact date of our departure, he told me he couldn’t give it to me. So he had this convenient approach of not taking any responsibility.
We started fighting because I didn’t like living in China and was only there because of him. I needed to know when we would leave. He blamed me for not loving him enough, because if I did I would follow him anywhere because he is the man, he is the provider and he has his business. BTW, his business was developing very slowly; he had accumulated quite a lot of debt and borrowed some money even from me. Every time I tried to give him some advice concerning his business he got very defensive and blamed me for not believing in him and not being down for him , even though all I wanted was to sincerely help.
I wasn’t fine with the situation because I didn’t see my future in China and I felt deceived because he promised me it would be just a year. I grew so frustrated that when my birthday came and he gave a present I didn’t like I told him I didn’t like it that much. I know I shouldn’t have said that, it’s never nice, and I apologized so many times. He forgave me but after that our relationship became worse and worse. He told me he no longer saw me as that loving and caring person anymore, that I hurt his feelings immensely by not appreciating his gift. I kept apologizing and feeling really awful but he just couldn’t get over it. Then one day he told me he sees his immediate future in China and if he had to stay there for 5, 10 years or more then that’s how it will be. I told him I couldn’t just throw away all my dreams and stay in a country for him for an indefinite time.
So we broke up, I booked my flight and left in 2 days. I felt so terrible, thinking it was all my fault ,that I screwed everything and that I should have been more supportive of him and his business. 10 days after the breakup I couldn’t take it anymore and I wrote to him, I told him how much I missed him and how much I am sorry for everything that went wrong. We started talking again and discussed all the issues, we both agreed to work on our weaknesses to adapt to another person. He told me he couldn’t live without me and that his career meant nothing if he had no one to share his successes with. He also told me he just needed another 4 months to wrap up some things in China, to finally make enough money to pay off his debts ( he landed some new contracts) and that we would move to Europe together this fall. I was ecstatic, I was so happy we
were back and that he loved me so much he was ready to move now and not in some distant future.
I booked my flight to come back to China in 3 weeks, all this time we were Skyping every day and he told me he was counting days till my return. We did have a few minor arguments and once he even told me I haven’t changed at all and I was my same old that could hurt him so easily. Again, I blamed myself and apologized so many times. Then 2 days before my flight back he messaged me saying he did a horrible thing – he slept with another girl! I was devastated and couldn’t believe it. He told me the fact that he was able to cheat told him that something was off, that he still had doubts about us getting back together (even though he assured me just 2 days before that that he was never so sure about anything in his life before) and that it would be better if we ended our relationship. It also turned out he already hooked up with this girl the first week I was gone, but later avoided her because we were back together.
It was such a hard blow for me and I was very depressed. I canceled my flight and cried non-stop. 4 days later though he wrote to me saying he made a huge mistake, that he took me for granted, that I am the love of his life and if only I gave him a chance he would work all his life to make it up to me. He kept writing extremely nice messages to me saying he would ditch everything in China, come to me on the first flight. I started to believe but then asked him a few questions like how he was going to pay for his flight (he was totally broke at the moment), how can he just ditch everything in China (he had projects coming up in just a few weeks) and how would he support himself in Europe. He didn’t have a plan except that he could sell his expensive watch. He then blamed me again for not believing in him, for doubting he can make it in Europe with no money at all, for crushing his dreams for us (he told me we should get married and have kids right away)So after I “questioned him like a judge” he no longer wanted to jump on the first plane and told me we both needed time to heal and rediscover ourselves.
It’s been 3 weeks since and he hasn’t written anything, I feel terrible and miss him so much. I keep asking myself whether it was really me who never believed in him enough and ruined everything. I found this site just yesterday and it’s the first time I encountered the term “narcissist”. A lot of it makes sense but I am still not sure if he really is that kind of a person.
Here are some my observations about him possibly being a narcissist.
* I felt like walking on eggshells a lot of the times- I was trying not to hurt him but always managed to – he once even told me I was just like his mom – oblivious of other people’s feelings and exaggerating everything. He also liked to say “ people who you love the most can hurt you the most”
* He was married and he cheated on his wife. But then he told me about that himself right in the beginning of our relationship and of course assured me he’d never do that to me.
* He did lack empathy sometimes – the way he so cruelly told me about his cheating and made me cancel my flight. He also used to be a drug dealer (never did drugs himself though) – again , lack of empathy to other people. His ‘excuses” for drug dealing were “I never did it for myself, my wife had so many needs” and “I never sold to kids”
* He liked going out with his friends and drinking quite a lot and spending lots of cash. Every time I brought up this issue he told me it’s not a competition between me and his friends and that his friends are his family and I should stop nagging him about it.
* He did think of himself very highly and despised some other guys working in his field of business for not being entrepreneurial enough.
* He started to tell me that I bring him down with my negativity and that he is not that positive and sunny guy anymore (my friends never thought of me as a negative person)
* He made me apologize for things I didn’t do sometimes or would twist things around so that even if it was his fault I would feel bad in the end.
I know this list should probably be enough to consider him a narcissist but on the other hand he was always very nice to everyone, did business in an honest way, always told me the truth he could have hidden (about his criminal past, his ex wife, even cheating - he came clean to
me about that) Plus he never just blamed me for everything, he acknowledged his faults and weaknesses too.
So please help me to determine if my ex is a narcissist. An opinion from unbiased people would help so much! I feel very confused…