Is he or isn’t he? This is the question that I keep coming around to. Is the man I married and depended on, and looked up to, and had children with, a full blown malignant narcissist? I use to think that if he was clinically diagnosed with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) it would make me certain that I did the right thing in leaving. But it is a fact that most people with NPD are never officially diagnosed because they see themselves as perfect and have no reason to see a psychiatrist. According to Sam Vaknin, world renowned NPD pioneer and self proclaimed narcissist and psychopath, narcissists are incapable of change and only get worse. Therefore, you have to leave, case closed. So, sometimes I wished that he was clinically diagnosed, thus taking responsibility out of my hands for walking away and breaking up a marriage with children.
I never wanted to be a single mother, I always said that I would never divorce unless cheated on or I was physically abused. But I in no way considered how damaging emotional abuse could be, which is much more difficult to comprehend when it is happening to you. Abuse is obvious when you are punched in the face. You feel it and it leaves a mark. However, emotional abuse can be so undetectable and leave no physical trace that it is difficult to see how much damage it causes to the self. That is the very crux in the narcissistic relationship.
At times, I felt that it would be easier if he were the one to leave me. Then I could feel like I had no control over the future of the relationship. I would not be responsible for the guilt of divorcing my husband and not trying to work it out. Because “hey, he doesn’t want me anymore, there is nothing I can do, so I guess I must move on.” However, I realized that if I stayed with him, I only had an illusion of control over the future because he was the one in complete control and I was merely along for the roller coaster ride. In my case, I had no choice but to leave. It was bold, I left when he had no idea, when he was gone for week of work away from home. During that week, I rented a truck and enlisted my parents to help me load up pieces of my life and move out. The reason that I say I had no choice is because he was slowly and methodically killing me inside. I did not recognize myself anymore. I lived in a state of constant emotional turmoil. Choosing to leave was really my only choice, if I wanted to truly live. Therefore, whether or not he is or isn’t a clinically diagnosed malignant narcissist doesn’t matter to me anymore. He is awful enough for me to be content with my decision.
What I am telling you is that labels don’t matter. Don’t wait around to figure out what your partner really is. If he or she has enough of the NPD traits that any layman can see, it makes sense for you to back away, and feel confident enough in your decision to end it. Just the fact that you are online looking for answers about your partner’s odd behaviors is a huge clue that something is not right with him or her. Trust your instincts, I wish that I did. I will touch on that topic in a later blog.