(Edited for confidentiality and clarity)
I am living with a partner who has NPD and I believe I have learned to live quite well with “it” and as such with him, my partner.
I still find some things like the disability to follow through with things, to successfully make plans and actually DO it often frustrating – but I’m not surprised and not aggravated about it anymore. I know that this is what it will be and I don’t expect otherwise.
Yes, I would sometimes like to find him genuinely interested in how I feel, but I am resigned to the fact that it will be only me who is interested in that 😉
Most of the times I enjoy living with him and the moments I do not have become less and less – again, thanks to you, your books and help!
Specifically, I have learned to decrease his outbursts of anger when he tries to “pick a fight” by just not reacting to it. That was only possible through understanding what is going on and why – and this was a veritable break through! I do manage to stay friendly and completely dispassionate until it goes over – and it usually quickly does!
I found it totally amazing when I first learned in your book that he would most likely really quickly “forget” what he said and was angry about – so I tried it after a big “fight” (one sided but still too much engagement on my side), I had left for work and when I came home later I just behaved normally – and to my complete amazement he did too! I wanted to laugh, it seemed so unreal and almost ridiculous. But yes, you were completely right! and that was great to know! Now I don’t feel that has anything to do with me personally – I don’t feel hurt, confused, sad or have any such feelings in these situations.
I wanted to go to a marathon race in California and felt that he would be averse to it but I needed his support. I usually expect him to be upset, but the key point was that you repeatedly asked me: “So what, if he gets a fit when you tell him what you want to do? Let him have a fit then.” At the time I wasn’t altogether happy with our conversation, I suppose I was still hoping for the remedy about how to NOT make him have fits – but it sunk in later.
And I was thinking, ok, well let’s have it then – and it turned out fine. Even without him getting all upset. He even helped and supported me to get to the race. I believe it was because I didn’t ASK him anymore what he thought about it, or if I could or should do it. I simply told him that this is what I will do. And I also told him that I would very much like and hope for his help and approval – and I got it! 🙂
But thinking back and looking through your book it must also be mentioned that it is a long process – at times when the situation was really bad and he was violent (not against me but things) and verbally abusive and all the rest of it, I couldn’t have come to terms with “well, let’s just have him have a fit then”. But one step leads to the next and if I don’t react emotionally any more then it very quickly seems to become pointless for him to rage so he just stops and never goes as far as he did in the first place.
Some steps which you suggested I would not have dared to take if it hadn’t become so very obvious in everything you write, that you know exactly what you are talking about and can pretty much predict the outcome of certain behaviors. So, I took a leap of faith and tried it – and it worked!!!! Sometimes I really didn’t know if I should laugh or cry about how easy it seemed to be in retrospect.