I have come to the conclusion that there are three ways to have a relationship with a narcissist. I wonder if you concur?
1. Be his doormat. Drink his kool-aid and do everything for him. Totally subjugating yourself to his every whim. Oh, sure, you’ll lose your soul, maybe even your will to live, but you will be able to bask in his glory for as long as he finds you useful, and that’s better than being alone, right? He will tell you that you are nothing without him, he is your only source of happiness and you better take his abuse and Improve Your Ways if you want to continue to benefit from his superior…well…everything. You are nothing. You will never be right. You will never be “better” in any way. You will never be Good Enough. You will never even be Enough. Don’t fight, don’t try to maintain any identity of your own because it’s a hopeless battle that the Narc is determined to win no matter the cost. Breaking you is his only joy in life. But at least you can make someone happy, right?
2. Stand up to him. Mirror his aggressive behavior right back at him – yell when he yells, cry when he cries and learn to switch moods every second. Become just like him – it will make him crazy. Of course, in the process you will be falling into the Narc’s second most valuable trap – becoming a Mini-Narc. Then the blame can be smeared around equally during those inevitable disagreements that crop up every time the Narc is feeling lonely or sad. Since the Narc hates himself, he will be gratified to make you hate yourself equally and you can continue the cycle of abuse forever.
3. Leave. As fast as you can. Don’t look back. The Narc does not deserve your sympathy. You owe him NOTHING for the years of hell he has put you through. Are you leaving him in a financial bind? Bummer for him. Maybe he should have thought about the consequences of all those times he was telling you that you are a selfish bitch for wanting to do something like, oh, read a book for an hour rather than mow the lawn on a blustery Autumn day. Or that time you wanted to have toast and tea for supper because it was late and you weren’t really hungry but he forced you to cook a “proper” meal while telling you that you were behaving like a petulant child.
I’ve already tried #1 (for years) and #2 (for a couple of soul-wrenching weeks) and now it’s time to give #3 a go.