I used to post here regularly a few years back when I was trying to free myself from a (male) narc I was dating at that time, so I feel like I now have a feeling for recognizing (male) narcs. However, now I am in a weird situation where I am seeing someone who is married (please, no judgement about me seeing a married guy here, this is not what I came here for) to a woman who seems very manipulative. Today, while talking to a friend suddenly the option of her being a female narc hit me - don't ask why I haven't considered it yet, possibly because I haven't dealt with a lot of female narcs yet.
Many characteristics belonging to a narc do fit her, however, others don't. For example, she doesn't really care much about her appearance (OK, she's not ugly and dresses OK but nothing compared to the male narc I knew). Her husband is definitely codependent as far as I can tell because even when she treats him like shit, he tries to do things that will please her. He doesn't seem the classic "empathetic" guy as described by Goldie in her post, actually he claims he lacks empathy (which I think is fairly accurate) but he's definitely afraid of her reactions and doesn't leave her even though she keeps cheating on him and treating him with little respect. It seems their marriage was really good in the beginning, lots of sex, etc. He still thinks really highly of her.
I don't know her that well personally, for example I have never seen her interact with their kids, but here are some things I do know about her:
- she's very self-centered
- she "punishes" her husband by using the silent treatment and withholding sex
- she had an affair for 2 years before she told her husband. When he told her "him or me" she basically said she wanted to stay married but also keep seeing her affair. Her husband stayed even though he - - was miserable. This affair has been going on and off for 4 years now
- The affair was a guy who was also seeing other women, now he's only seeing her and she seems to have lost interest (this could be due to other reasons as well though)
- she told her husband it would be OK for him to have an affair as well, however, now she's acting crazy jealous about me
- instead of telling her husband that she doesn't want him to see me, she'll be pissed off and not talk to him or say "do what you gotta do" while acting pissed. For example, she went on a vacation with her affair for a week and 3 days later her husband and I were supposed to go away for a few days and she told him she feels like shit about him going away with me. WTF?
I am aware that I am now looking for things that justify my assumption of her being a narc... maybe she isn't after all. My problem here is that I really like (and love) her husband and that he can't break away from her (mostly because he's afraid of losing the kids but I also sense co-dependence)
I have suggested therapy to him but he doesn't want to hear about it.
Anything I can do? Right now him and I aren't talking much because she's decided to act somewhat available so he ran straight back to her (there's still no sex ax far as I know)