What was I thinking?
“What do you do when you’re in a relationship with someone who’s always right?” This is the question I asked of a friend of mine when I was dating my NPD.
It was not a criticism of the woman I was dating, rather, it was praise. I actually believed that she was always right. She was so good that even though I observed the pattern of “outcomes” from our disagreements, and further, even though I observed the unlikely nature of her perfection, I still believed it. She had me from the beginning.
When an outsider sees the details of an abusive marriage they often wonder how the submissive partner would ever choose to be in a relationship like that. On some level, they ask themselves, “How could they be so stupid?” The usual answer is that the aggressive partner is not always that way, or at least did not used to be that way.
“They used to be so wonderful and charming.”
In my case, and I think probably in most cases—even those that rationalize with the above explanation—this is not true. It is true that my NPD is not always demonstrating manipulative, dishonest, self-absorbed, emotionally destructive or any of the many narcissistic disordered personality characteristics… but she always has.
A key characteristic of NPD is that they put others down in order to elevate themselves. Usually, it is only in the mind of the NPD that they are shown more favorably (even if they think that everyone sees it), but as it relates to why I married my wife it worked on me too.
I did not get married to my NPD because I though she was wonderful, I married her because I thought I was awful, or at least that having any doubt that I loved her meant that I was a bad person. But I didn’t want to be a bad person, so I thought, “I must love her.”
When I came to this realization, I shared it with a few people that I had been confiding in. They looked at me like I was crazy (well, like they were trying NOT to look at me like I was crazy). I don’t think they believed that what I was saying was real. I don’t think they understood it because I don’t think they thought it was possible. I have a feeling that the readers of this website will understand because they know it’s possible.