STEP 18

1 Are you in a Narcissistic Neglectful Relationship?

Not all relationships are naturally healthy. Throughout the e-books and videos we’ve been talking about how Love Addiction is in part caused by the behaviour of the pursuer, the person with the neediness, desires, fantasy. But sometimes we may find ourselves in a situation where, not only are we predisposed towards Love Addiction, fear of abandonment and panic, but we have a partner who makes things worse because of their own narcissistic nature. It is not about apportioning blame, as we are only able to change ourselves. But at least if we can recognise the signs of a narcissistic relationship then we can do something about it. If your partner has an abusive nature then there is little you can do and it may bring you solace to realise it was never really your fault. 

“We become attached to what’s familiar, and sometimes we hold onto things that are safe and predictable, even if they are bad for us.” John Bowlby

Workbook Recommendation

I recommend you read the section starting with the chapter called “Breaking the tie that binds: Co-dependent Attachment Strategy” which you will find on pages 222 to 237. These pages also include a Guided Visualisation to affirm inner strength and self belief.

2 Are You in a Narcissistic Relationship?

Take the following Narcissistic Relationship Test to find out if you are in a narcissistic relationship based on the classic indicators.

Narcissistic Relationship Test:

Select Yes for any of the following statements which you can relate to.

Do you lie to others about your partner’s real behaviour?
Do you feel helpless because you’re constantly trying to “understand” your partner’s behaviour?
Do you make allowances for your partner with others, i.e. he/she isn’t feeling well today?
Is your partner unpredictable so that you fear/dread going home in case he/she is in one of “those moods”?
Do you feel as though you can’t do anything right unless he/she approves of your decision?
Does your partner withhold sending you a text message or phoning in order to “make” you feel anxious or even jealous? (Please note that this is by far one of the most punishing games a narcissist can do to gain control and render you powerless)
Does rejection play a huge part in your relationship, especially after an argument? And as a consequence, do you fear abandonment?
Does your partner keep you from seeing friends and family?
Does your partner disapprove and speak lowly of your friends, acquaintances and family?
Do you leave with good intentions to begin a life alone, yet return to the relationship as soon as he/she promised it will be different?
Do they minimise, mock or insult what you think or say in public or together? (Note: this can be done to keep you small and lower your self-confidence)
Does your partner tell you that no one else would ever want you? (Please note, this is to keep you weak and dependent on them)
Are you checked or picked up on the slightest thing that he/she disapproves of?
If you are potentially running late from work or miss a train, do you panic and become anxious for fear that your partner “thinks” you are lying to them? (Please note, the narcissist is paranoid about being lied to)
Are you continually accused of having an affair or being promiscuous? If yes, does your partner call you “unacceptable” names that no one has ever called you before?
Is your partner’s behaviour worse if they have been drinking alcohol?
If your partner threatens to leave, do you beg and plead with them not to go for fear of abandonment and rejection?
If you are in a broken state like above, do they become emotionally cold and unavailable as if they “enjoy” seeing you needy?
Are you always walking on egg shells for fear his/her anger will erupt?
When you get in to a dispute, do you feel that your “mind is in a mincer” confused as to how the argument began and how to resolve it?
Do you feel interrogated, as if a bright light looms over your every word with “yes” and “no” answers only?
Have you changed the way you are, your natural personality and your spontaneity, for fear of provoking your partner’s anger?
Does your partner have low self-esteem?
Did you have low self-esteem before you met your partner?

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