Learn how to recognise narcissistic behaviours
Alex and Jane met on the dance floor. When they saw each other, the invisible force pulled them together with the power of the magnet. Alex was a great dancer, and Jane could just let go; she did not have to think of anything. That night he invited her to his house. It was impossible to resist his decisive charm. Embraced, they felt like one body. Both of them believe that they “came home”.
The first signs.
Alex was the owner of a smaller company, and Jane was an accountant. They both were in the early thirties and had some ruined relationships behind them. They wanted to create a family. Jane moved to his home after a month and rented her apartment. There was no debate about it at all. Alex has determined that she will live with him. His uncompromising was the first red flag, but Jane being in love was deliberately ignored it. By nature, she was an adaptable person; she always thought of others but forgot about her. She was attracted by strong, charismatic people who she hanged on like ivy on a tree.
Although she was an independent and intelligent woman, she perceived brittle, helpless, almost like a child. Alex, who saw himself to be an all-powerful saviour, has been madly attracted to that. He spoke to her, “My poor, little girl. I’ll always take care of you.” Although the grown-up woman within her rebelled against these words, Jane suppressed this rebellion. She deeply believed that she could only be truly loved if she appeared fragile.
He spoke to her, “My poor, little girl. I’ll always take care of you.”
This feeling stayed with her from home, because she received attention from her father only if she was a “poor little girl”, and he was her hero who admired her. Thus, she learned very early that she must suppress a large part of herself to be loved and accepted. Instead of the father’s unconditional love, she got only conditional. There was nothing different from her Mom either. She was constantly complaining to Jane, how she sacrificed herself for family, and how she must look over everything by herself. Jane helped her and comforted her, but she nevertheless felt like she is responsible for this. As a child, Jane took care of the emotional needs of her parents, instead them taking care of hers.
Foundations for narcissistic development
She had this in common with Alex. Only that Alex’s wounds were even deeper. Unlike Jane, he could not meet the idea of his narcissistic father, a successful surgeon, about his son become his full extension, so he did not get even that piece of conditional love that Jane got. His mother, however, was too busy with her problems to acknowledge him. To survive, he built an image of himself as a saviour, and Jane, grandiose person. He convinced himself that he does not need anybody. While Jane had forgotten herself and turned completely to others, Alex had forgotten about others and turned completely inward. Precisely because of this diametric contrast, they have magnetically attracted.
In addition to her work, Jane was looking for their household. He never noticed her work as if it were self-evident. One time he cleaned the bathroom. Of course, Jane noticed this and praised him…but that was not enough for him. For a whole week, he mentioned his achievement. Other time when Jane wanted to surprised him with a romantic dinner. His reaction was: “Why the hell did you bust the ravioli ?!” He did not even mention the aesthetic guise and the excellent dishes with which she tried so hard. Then she broke into a cry: “You never see my work. I am trying so hard for you, but you’re just criticising me.” He told her that she was exaggerating, that she was too sensitive and that he didn’t mean anything bad. She calmed down a bit.
Their quarrels were becoming more frequent. Then they settled with passionate intercourse…
He would continue complaining about everything, with her way of thinking, dressing, the music she listened to, cellulite. Although she made a lot of effort to be in line with his criteria, she never succeeded. Despite all of her desires shrinking to a minimum, he complained that she was too demanding. He was very jealous of her friends. Every time she wanted to meet one, he made a scene. Most of the time, only he has spoken, she hardly ever came to the word. Even then, he did not listen.
How narcissist manipulates
Through time he gradually flourished, and she blew. He had all the attention, she felt invisible and unloved, although he constantly told her that he loved her, could not live without her and that he would do everything for a successful relationship. Their quarrels were becoming more frequent. Then they settled with passionate intercourse, and the feeling of affection and love ecstasy from the beginning of the relationship was shining again. That’s why it was so difficult for Jane to leave the relationship in which she was deeply unhappy. Even when she did it, it was not for a long time. When they were apart, they soon missed each other to physical pain. However, in addition to being missed, she did feel that she was finally free to be able to breathe again; he was slowly dying piece by piece because there was no one to admire him, no one in whom he would project his deep-rooted feelings of dismissal, disloyalty, incompetence, loneliness.
She continued sinking into dark depths of a dysfunctional, addictive relationship
He repeatedly convinced her that she had returned; with some manipulation or pressure: “you and not young anymore, let’s have a baby, the baby will save everything, I will do everything for us, we must succeed”. Deep within she felt that she needs to leave this jail and that she can’t continue torturing herself and her future child. But she couldn’t, she felt that this relationship and way of living was stronger than her free will as if she was tied by an invisible force which she could not break off, so she continued sinking into dark depths of a dysfunctional, addictive relationship …”
If you’ve recognised yourself in this fictional story, I highly recommend you read the book Ross Rosenberg: The Human Magnet Syndrome, which talks about narcissism and interlocutors.