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When she didn’t, “he freaked out and started throwing dishes into the sink and screaming at me about how I was an idiot,” Linda tells SELF.“He did not talk to me for two or three days, even though I would ask him what was wrong."He flew into a rage," she describes, "yelling at me for not saying good morning and for not staying in bed a few minutes to snuggle.My jaw was on the floor, having never experienced such bizarre drama.I was a horrible person and I wouldn't be able to find anyone else who would put up with me, he said."Linda, Jamie, and Hazel have all walked away from their narcissistic relationships. But shocking as these women’s tales may be, their experiences with mates diagnosed with NPD aren’t exactly unique.And one online narcissist support group has more than 36,000 members trying to deal with or get over their narcissistic partner or ex-partner.)Raymond says anyone in a relationship with a narcissist would feel as if “you were not being treated like a human being, but rather a thing to be used as and when necessary.” You would feel alone and devalued.It was only when I broke down and apologized that he started to talk to me again.”Three and a half years into their marriage—and 13 years into their relationship—Linda and her husband sought the help of a therapist, who diagnosed the man with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
D., a Los Angeles–based psychologist and author of , tells SELF."I did not believe it at first because, after being with someone for that long, I wanted to believe that he was a good person and I had invested in something that was real," she admits. I just felt relieved."Dating a narcissist can be a confusing, miserable experience that slowly erodes a person's sense of self-worth.But it's not always easy to tell whether the person you're dating simply has certain personality flaws or is an actual narcissist.Through a series of seven studies using different methodological approaches, researchers analyzed narcissists’ exhibition of "admiration" and "rivalry" dimensions.Admiration behaviors represent narcissism's charming, self-assured, and entertaining qualities, and are associated with greater short-term satisfaction in relationships.
While most people grow out of this neediness by adulthood, narcissists “are insatiable with regard to having care and attention on demand,” Raymond says, adding that this is often rooted in neglectful parents or those who prioritize their own needs instead of their children’s.