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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I been recently told by my wife that i have Narcissist Personality Disorder, which makes me feel like a monster. They say there is no cure and i am destined to ruin my relationship. I don't want to lose her, she is my everything. she has recently seperated from me, we have 2 kids and 12 years of being together. i have seeked counseling advice on this matter from two counselors and both said that even though sometimes i act selfish this does not mean i have a personality disorder. that there are very extensive test to determine any personality disorder especially NPD. The way it was explained to me was that everyone has narcissist behavior, for example a life or death situation our self preservation instinct kicks on. someone who has NPD acts like that all the time 24/7. I have been in the NAVY for 11 years and they also said that someone who has NPD or is paranoid would not make it in the military, especially in the job i do as a firefighter. i do not want to discredit my wife, hence i need advice or help. how can i prove to her that i do not have personality disorders? how do i prove that i want to be selfless when it comes to her and my kids? i miss her so much... it pains me to know that i am the one who drove her away... please someone help... how can i be less self centered? i have been going to church and volunteering at church, i would do anything to win my wife and kids back...
 

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Glorify her. Publicly. Thank her. Commend her. Compliment her. When you're at church, talk about her. How great she is. How great she has made your life. Talk about wonderful her. Beautiful her. You are lucky because you had her.

[Let me be clear: this is not "I hope she comes back, so I can be better." This is closer to "I just hope she's happy. She is the most amazing woman I have ever known. I really miss her."]

If she is worried that you have NPD, and you are certain that you don't, make an effort to prove you are right.

Take no credit. Do not glorify you. If you can say this toward others in your circle, at some point, it will circle back to her. Especially if you mean it. If you are just saying "what you need to say", then the wrong message will get back to her.
 

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Hi Louie,
Your wife isn’t qualified to call you a narcissist. She may just mean that she sees you as “selfish”. And even that may be a projection in that she sees herself as selfish and instead of accepting it as her bad behaviour is projecting that on to you.

You’ve seen two counsellors, people with NPD just don’t do that, or at least it’s exceedingly rare because they don’t see anything wrong with themselves.

She may well be avoiding telling you the real "selfish" reason why she left in that it’s to do more with her than with you.

Bob
 

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how can i prove to her that i do not have personality disorders?
This is the wrong attitude.

i do not want to discredit my wife, hence i need advice or help.

how do i prove that i want to be selfless when it comes to her and my kids?
This is the right attitude.

You are listening to the wrong people. The advice from the counselors, this member AFEH, and others has you thinking the wrong way. While it is true your wife is not qualified to diagnose you, it is not helpful for anyone to tell you she made the wrong diagnosis. And it definitely is not helpful to tell you she is the problem and blaming it on you. The fact is, she is telling you that you mistreat her. She is telling you that you have not listened to her all these years. She is telling you that she is sick and tired of the way you treat her. None of this is her imagination. In her desperate effort to understand why you treat her so very badly, she has attempted to find out what the problem is. She probably googled and found NPD and then read the symptoms to find that you satisfy many of those behavioral indicators. Even though it might not be the perfect diagnosis, it is not her imagination to make the correlations between your behavior and those undesirable clinical symptoms.

Because of the advice you have received, and because those people are who you are listening to, you are as usual ignoring your wife and not listening to her. This is just one example of narcissistic behavior. You have opted to preserve your identity and your own idea of the person you think yourself to be instead of listening to your wife. As a result, you are not being honest with yourself, you are not being honest with your wife, and you are not being honest with us here on this board. You are in denial. Even though you cannot possibly recall every single occurrence, you very well know the many occasions that you were unkind, selfish, superior, mean, insulting, disrespectful, full of yourself, demeaning, belittling, and condescending to your wife. You know full well. I have no idea why you spent all those years being so mean to your wife. I have no idea why she meant so little to you that you had to put her down all the time. I have no idea, if you say now that you love her, why you did not love her over the past 12 years. I have no idea, if she is your everything now as you say, why you spent the past 12 years showing her she meant nothing to you.

You can be honest with yourself, and you can be honest with your wife. Otherwise, you will never get her back. She will very much appreciate your full confession that you know you trampled all over her and her feelings. Read "]this gentleman's letter and see what a full confession is like. Write a letter of your own to your wife. She might not come back right away. She might insist on marriage counseling first. But a letter like that will surely melt her heart and help you break down her barriers. You have a LOT of work to do if you truly want your family back. A full confession is a great start. If you honestly mean that you don't want to be selfish anymore, then stop being selfish. Be honest with yourself and be honest with your wife and write that confession. Then start marriage counseling.
 

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i'll try to be short/concise(no guarrantees.....:lol:)

u seem to be very guilty in yer writings, perspectives and thus
approaches in whether or not u'll "win" yer W back. this is not a
balanced mindset, nor position to approach reconcilation in most
cases i'd say.
oh yes, some may be lucky w/ this mindset/approach(say 20% max?)
but the majority will suffer 4 it.

it may be as u wrote, where u r TOTALLY at fault here. then again, u may not but are not balanced enough to see that u r not, and idolize yer W. (women love to manipulate this)

as for her calling u NPD.....well, i'd ask to see her license.
u wrote pro says yer not. and gee, w/ yer guilt, u lean
towards W's understanding. go fig.
it may be as bob wrote above, and opposite may be just as "true."

i think balance is in order here. its not good to be beta "kiss
butt" male here, nor alpha "i'll do whatever i want" male either.

a question of balance. yer call.
read around the forum as theres been many b4 u, and many to come after u,
w/ the same story, and looking at it the same & diff than u.

read the results, what few there are.
u'd be the wiser for it(maybe?)
 

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The point is not whether or not you have NPD. The point is that you have enough of those characteristics that your wife thinks you do. The very fact that you quibble about whether you "really" have it or not suggests you have a very difficult time seeing fault in your own behavior.

You express little remorse about whatever led your wife to think you have NPD. You want to win her back b/c YOU do not want to be without her. It is still all about you--losing her is bad for you, hence you panic.

Right now, you are the one here. Someone said that a person with NPD wouldn't go to a therapist b/c they would not think they had a problem. I suspect they might go and represent everything from their narcissistic p.o.v. which would make it very, very difficult for a therapist to make a good diagnosis absent input from other family members and co-workers. Narcissists have a very high "self-preservation" radar, so fooling nearly everyone is part of the "job." Anyone who has to live with you, however, probably sees the other side of the story.

Susan was rough but on target. The more you resist seeing yourself as very selfish, the less likely you will be able to change anything. The more you label your wife as the problem, the more narcissistic you are behaving. Yes, she *could* be the problem--and you cannot change her, you can only change YOU. The reality is, if even one of you is too selfish, the marriage will fail. If both of you are healthy enough to reach a mutually satisfying resolution, the marriage may survive.

Why don't you give some examples of things your wife points to as problematic about your behavior? Just what you did/didn't do--no commentary or explanation. Make a list. Be objective. Just list things you did/didn't do that upset her (we don't need to know why, just the behaviors). Maybe taking a cold hard look at your behaviors will help you figure out when you are crossing a line.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you all for the advice, i respect all who took the time to help someone in need. to be honest i didn't want to go to counseling... i was told by my wife that i needed it... so i went, she is already seeing a counselor and my counselor thought it would be a good idea to have a non bias counselor for our marriage... my wife sent me an online questionair about personality disorders i took it and she told me to share the results with my counselors... i know i am selfish, i am not denying that.. my counselors where the one's that told me that there are very extensive test that i would have to go through in order for them to truely deem me with NPD... i am in the NAVY and a firefighter they said looking at my record there is no way i could have NPD, BORDERLINE, or PARANOID disorder.. I just felt like a monster after reading what people with NPD have... they lie, cheat, and are all about self preservation... so i was feeling hopeless, seeing as there is no way to prove that i am just selfish and immature sometimes instead of having a personality disorder... thank you susan for your letter, i wish i could write that letter and send it to her... i am respecting her wishes of not contacting her in anyway... we are seperated right now, which is killing me i love this woman with all my heart, i know i have miss treated her and betrayed her trust... we have two wonderful kids, and a brand new house full of dogs that i love.. i am deploying soon for 8 months and i just don't want to lose her or my family, i am in panic mode just due to time, i have 1 month before i deploy... i want marriage counseling i went and found a good counselor, but my wife said she is not ready... i just feel helpless... i just would like to get things atleast on tract before i leave... i just can't do my job... but thank you all again.. sorry i was just rambling there, i am trying to get help going to counseling twice a week, started going to church, and volunteering... i have gone to the library to read some help books... anything else you guys can suggest?
 

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You are in a panic and so this is still all about you--you want things "on track" before you leave, in a month. But SHE needs time. Lots of it. Maybe forever--and the only thing you can do if you really, really want to prove you are not selfish is to let her have that time. Let her know, through a mutual friend or short note, that you understand how awfully selfish you have been and you realize that anything you do trying to get her back will be an assertion of your own need--so as an act to demonstrate your love and respect for her, you will leave her completely alone while you work on yourself and you will wait to hear from her. Then, live up to that. Arrange for a 3rd party to handle communication with your kids for you, so she isn't forced into it. Arrange as much as you can to keep you out of her life, as an act of love. And then, pray. Pray that after a period of enjoying her complete freedom from your selfishness, she starts to miss you.

I can't even guess how long that might take--I'd say months, at least, if not a year or two. it honestly depends a lot on how difficult you were to live with--the more difficult you were, the less your "good qualities" made the difficulty worth it. Just as a random example, suppose you made her laugh twice a week, but most of the rest of the time you were around you either made things more difficult or did nothing to contribute fun/joy/reduce burdens in her life. Is that a good trade off? Where do you fit in? Thinking about things this way may give you a realistic sense of how long you may have to wait for her to miss you, and whether or not that is even going to happen. I'm sure that isn't what you want to hear, but knowing only that you agree you were selfish and immature, and that she thinks you were extremely selfish to the point of narcissism, that's the best I can offer. You have a long row to hoe, so to speak.
 

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i want marriage counseling i went and found a good counselor, but my wife said she is not readyQUOTE]


I'm sorry. I can't be bothered to read all of this, but the above caught my attention. When I was reading this initially, here's what I thought.

Your wife is like most of the others I've read about here, including my own. They lose the love after a few years and want out. She's not going to blame it on herself, so she's blaming you. NPD seemed as good a reason as any, so why not. Give her room. Change, but give her room. My gut tells me it's over anyhow. So in a couple of months if she still wants out, there's nothing you can do about it.

Sorry. I hope I'm wrong.
 

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Yes, as Sisters says, ask a third party to convey communication if need be. You should be able to spend time with your children if you want. And, you can still write that confession.

And yes, the perfect book is called The Love Dare. It is a book written specifically for your marital circumstances. It teaches how to love selflessly and unconditionally and how to express your love. It helps couples to rekindle their romance, and it will help you get your wife back.....and keep her. Once you guys are back together, it will be a good idea for her to read the book also in order for you both to build and maintain a healthy and loving relationship. You can watch the Fireproof movie first if you want. It will show you what the book is all about and how to practice the principles. Except that the acting is kind of chintzy in the movie, it is quite good and entertaining. Will give you a lot to think about. You can rent the movie at Blockbuster, any other video rental store, or online from Netflix or Blockbuster. You can also borrow the movie and the book from the library.
 

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You need to let a psychologist decide if you have NPD, not a bunch of people on a forum. I served in the military. They don't test for NPD. You need to go to a civilian psychologist and talk to him (or her) about everything.
 

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Louie,
You know what stood out in your post? The use of the word "I" nearly all the time. Couple that with being a firefighter, a job that envokes "hero" status, it all stood out to me.
I would STRONGLY suggest individual counseling for you. This isn't about "winning" her back but rather about helping you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
thank you all again... it helps to know that there are people out there that do take time out of busy schedules to help... i am seeing two counselors, so twice a week dealing with my depression and just to have someone to talk to... so Brennan i am going to counceling, and i use the word "i" not because it is all about me but "i" am excepting blame... my counselors have shown me that i am responsible whether i want to be happy or not, and to stop blaming others... I have done the research about NPD and even though i do show traits i do not have a personality disorder... yes the navy does not check for it but seeing the job i have, where i would risk my life for my family, my country, and my guys that work for me that contradicts everything someone with NPD has because they are all about sense preservation at all costs... and yes i have put that to the test multiple times during actual fires and floodings during my 11 years of service... i grew up poor without anything, sleeping in the living room of a one bedroom apartment with a family of 5... so now that i am older and i have a good job i do spend my money selfishly... yes i know it is wrong, i am changing that... i honestly don't think it is about "me" it is about a beautiful family that is possibly falling apart... i do contact my kids i call my sons cell phone and been going to the park to meet up with them just to see them... i am trying to be a good dad... thank you susan we did see the movie "fireproof" and it did hit some soft spots, even though the acting was horrible... and i will get the book...sister thank you for your comments... i really hope it is not forever... i miss her, where do i stand... maybe in the middle i don't know... i always helped out with house work, the kids, yes i could have been more romantic and preceptive to her feelings and i am working on that... i am just having a bad feeling that she is hanging out with the wrong type of people and has the wrong counselor right now... she is hanging out with a woman that controls her husband... degrates him in public and this guy just takes it... she does not sleep in the same bedroom as her husband and is now going to be spending a few nights at my house because she does not want to be along in her house with her husband... her counselor does not seem like she wants to help "us"... i went to one of there session filled with positive attitude, thinking that we are going to be heading on the right path and the goal for that session was to have me sign a piece of paper saying that i am going to move out my house, be seperated and i have to sleep on my ship... also there has never been any domestic violence, i have never even raised my voice to my wife let alone my hand... 12 years... and i get the boot, i was taken back... next they where just staring at me and i asked if they want me to leave... they said yes and i left... she told my wife that i looked like i was in a rage... i went home and packed a few things, sat down and started crying...if that is rage then i am really confused... the counselor also took me back by telling me that i will never be happy.. this is after only 20minutes of meeting me... i am sad and unhappy sometimes with my job... i am always away i just came back from a 2 year tour to japan without my family... i have missed so much the past 11 years, so yes sometimes i get unhappy thinking about things like our 8 month deployment next month... she said even if i was a cop making more money she can not see me happy... i was stunned... i would love to have a 9-5, no underway, being home and making more money... i don't know that is why i say she may not be the best counselor... anyways thank you all again...
 

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No doubt that counselor was wrong to say those things and for treating you that way. Her job is to build up her client, who is your wife, but she didn't have to tear you down in the process. I am wondering why you signed the paper. There's so much more to this story, and I'm not asking for any more details. I just think it would be best if you look at it for what it is, rather than for what it is not. All the terrible things you did not do, such as domestic violence, is much less important than all the things you did do. Not having battered your wife doesn't make anything okay. You have to focus on your behaviors and the reasons behind them, instead of constantly trying to defend yourself and your position. You don't think yourself a terrible person. Nobody ever does. And you're not a terrible person, but still you did things to your wife to make her want to leave you and consider you a person she does not want to spend her life with. You have to focus on those. The world is not out to get you, which you seem to think even though you deny being paranoid in any way (hmmm). People in your life, specifically your wife, need you to own up to your actions and attitudes. Why would she come back if you just keep harping on the all the things you didn't do. How grateful is that supposed to make her in light of all the things you did do? You need to write that confession letter whether you are able to give it to her or not. So stop trying to avoid it. And it should not include anything that you have written on this board. Not one word of it. No defending yourself. No claiming exempt from blame. None of all the things you didn't do that you feel make you a wonderful person. No explanations for the things you did, etc. It should only contain your confession - the things you did and said. That is the only way you can be honest. That is the only way you will see yourself as your wife sees you because that is the person you presented to her on a daily basis.
 

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I see that you are in a pickle.

On the one hand, you don't like being labeled with a personality disorder, especially you've had professionals tell you it is not likely. On the other hand, this is what your wife told you as her excuse for leaving you.

So why did she do it? Could be she watched Oprah or Dr. Phil and figured the label fit. Could be she wanted to wound you and feel superior and justify leaving you as something is wrong with you.

It even could be that she is spot on and you have NPD.

So where does that put you? You have a wife who doesn't want to be around you. The sickness and health clause of the vows don't mean much if there is 24/7 dysfunction.

If you try to show your wife that you do not have NPD by proof from health professionals, that won't work. She'll dismiss it out of hand.

If you try to prove that both you don't have NPD and have "changed" for the better, she'll dismiss that as not genuine.

Your wife has her own personal reasons for leaving you that she is not sharing with you. Proof of that is her refusal to participate in marriage counseling.

Not sure of your way forward, but I don't think the tactic of proving you are not someone with a personality disorder is the way to go. Find out what it is that is annoying your wife on a sustained basis and address those behaviors.

And even if it does not result in her return to affection for you, then at least you know what it is.
 

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Louie,
Glad to hear you are in counseling. The reason I mentioned the use of the word I, is your second post seemed to be very much about you and not so much about your loved ones. This last post was very different however and that is a good thing.
Now T/J.....
The Navy in San Diego is tough and that is why that base is the best in the Navy. North Island-Coronado. Happiness in San Diego can be found by just going outside and looking around. It is a stunning city and I miss it every day of the 13 years I have not lived there. Kuddos to all that you do to protect that beautiful city.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all again for your time... i will be seeing my counselor again today... just want to know how to deal with depression?? i have not been the same since my wife said that we are seperated... i just can't focus on my job, and i have 24 people working for me and i just can't lead them... as soon as i start thinking about my kids or my wife i get tears on my eyes and have to walk away before i start crying... it is a new ship and new people, but already know i am making a bad impression... sorry i am just venting, my mind cannot hold a solid thought... just want to thank you all again...
 

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Hi Louie,
Depression has its own way sometimes. It’s there for a reason, to tell you there’s something really out of balance with your life, but you already know that. It’s “normal”. It can take time to work through it and that’s ok but you’ve got some serious business to take care of with your career at the same time.

Having you spoken with your supervisors? What you’re going through is unfortunately a part of life and at times it sucks. Your response is very “human” and others will recognise that. So maybe you need a little help from your friends and if you make your colleagues aware of your situation then I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to help out. It is a “responsible” thing to do to let them of your situation.

Cheers for now

Bob
 

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Thanks Bob.. i talked to my supervisor and told him that i am sorry if i am going to start sliding my head is not in the game right now... i told him the situation and he understands... the navy and military have a huge divorce rate, supervisor is on his third marriage... i just don't want to be like that... i have a wonderful wife, two amazing boys that need me, and my dogs that i want to play with... i just can't fall under the divorce trap... when i said "i do" that was it, rich or poor, sickness or health, until death do us part... i really meant it... i know marriage is special... i really don't want to take medication for depression, church has been helping, and volunteering... just anything that keeps my mind from thinking... i been taking long rides on my motorcycle just to forget... don't know what else to do?? father's day was hard.. my son told me that he was going to ask his mom to give me another chance... that almost brought me to tears... i just feel like i am going through a downward spiral... when does the pain end? i feel like the only stable thing in my chaotic life has just crumbled...
 
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