14 thoughts on “The Goals of a Narcissist Partner (Protect Your Mind and Heart)

  • January 31, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Some really good points, however when you say: “Narcissism can only really be understood as a socialized ideal for men, in the same way that codependency is a socialized ideal for women,with a toxic impact not only on couple relationships, but families and communities, and the effects of narcissistic leaders, whether covert or overt operators, exploiting the public, our political system and government, to serve at their pleasure.”

    Well the thing is in my opinion, women are naturally on the co-dependent side and men naturally on the narcissistic side, but that is healthy and in the right balance the way it should be… it’s what not only maintains polarity creating attraction, but what keeps many a healthy relationship going.

    Narcissism in balance is healthy, just as co-dependency is. The danger is when one gets out of balance they always pair up with the other who is also, out of balance in that respect.

    • February 1, 2017 at 5:57 am

      Thanks for the comment, Steve. We may be saying the same thing in different words. Several authors agree and refer to “healthy” levels of narcissism, etc. I prefer to reserve the words narcissism and codependency to identify unhealthy and out of balance “tendencies” as well as the more extreme pattern of NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). These are unhealthy patterns, based on fear-based limiting beliefs on what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a women, and to have a relationship. They cause each gender to give and take out of survival-system fears, desperate attempts to feel worthwhile inside, both based on fantasies that are bogus treasure maps.

      There is enough confusion; also why use a negative label to refer to the best of our human nature, our emotion-drives to matter, to contribute, to meaningfully connect with life, to express ourselves creatively and seek the esteem of our self and others?

      Where we I’d agree we disagree is that there is anything “natural” about the social conditioning romanticized dominance for women, and eroticized dominance for men.

      In my opinion, dominance is anything but unhealthy. Human beings are born to become leaders, if only of their own minds, hearts and lives. Every person …. who is healthy … hates and is turned off by being dominated, even children. People play along to get their core needs to matter and belong met, but there are storms brewing inside. A lot of suffering results.

      Dominance is also not leadership. Inspiring leaders are not threatened by others who disagree, whether in business or as parents, they seek intentionally bring out the best in others, and treat and regard those around them as leaders in their own capacity, if only in the making.

      Couples today suffer trying to build relationships, more like a house of cards. Each gender lives in the fantasy of their ideal, viewing one another as weak in different ways, i.e., men use gaslighting (lie) to silence and “fix” women and what they perceive as (inferior) “emotional craziness” — and women learn ways to prop up a man’s ego (thus lie) and treat them as little children (inferior) that only care about their egos, and are “clueless” about what really matters (connection, relationships).

      This normalization of male dominance has been studied extensively since the 1960s by scholars studying gender in historical, cross cultural contexts. According to one researcher, Dr. Riane Eisler published in seminal work, “The Chalice and the Blade,” dominance is anything but natural (yet still promoted in our mainstream textbooks.

      Rule of the few spread west acress Europe starting in 5,000 bc and was imposed via “robbing, raping and pillaging” raids of war-God worshipping nomadic tribes. They imposed androcratic norms on societies, one after another, that were matrilineal structures, that Dr. Eisler refers to as “partnership relations” societies because men and women ruled together.

      Through colonization of Africa and North and South America, those societies were also restructured from “partnerships” to “male dominance.”

      If you look at the writings of Thomas Jefferson, he describes the way the “Iroquois Federation of Nation States” ruled themselves with great awe, with regard to how respectful they treated one another as sacred beings. These nation states all across the Eastern seaboard lived peacefully together, and had formed a three part checks and balances government of judicial, legislative and executive branches. Sound familiar?

      The main difference, and unfortunately one that our founding fathers did not adopt, is that men and women ruled together. Men were not threatened by women’s voices; they welcomed women’s wisdom. And, to head their executive branch, was a group of matrons, whose tasks among other things were to run the economy ensuring all were plentifully provided for — and to depose chiefs who got warlike.

      There’s so much rich history that is not in our history books! My own eyes were not opened until I was in my 40s… Thanks again for commenting!

      • February 2, 2017 at 9:32 am

        It’s a mistake to think about ‘healthy’ narcissism, in my view. I think that stems from a conceptual confusion about what narcissism is; the proposal that there are normal levels of narcissism results when certain traits such as vanity, self absorption, selfishness are conflated with narcissism. I believe narcissism is qualitatively distinct and has an overriding effect on personality as a whole, which those specific traits don’t. I also believe narcissism is a sort of neural deficit which forces those who suffer from it to behave the way they do – akin to the desperation of a drug addict who needs a fix.

        If what you say about the way different genders are socialised contributed to narcissism, then why are narcissist women drawn to me, a non-effeminate male?

  • January 31, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Wow! This used to be my life. So fortunate to have escaped and retrained my brain…Sometimes still feel I’m retraining it five years later.

    • February 1, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Shana, so happy to hear you’re free and healing.

  • February 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    This is beyond what I could describe because of my emotional damage from such a monster disorder. I am only one of several women whom have been affected, by the same individual. He continues to harm vulnerable women and it just makes me sick. I stayed captive and alone for a year being brain washed. Literally in the state of shock and confusion. The lies have been outrageous and I would really like to find some one to do a story on it. Not even so much for me but for the women he has robbed, the fake children’s cancer event he pulled off and the current and future unsuspecting women he will hurt. It’s been a blessing to find other women to connect with. But also devastating. How can we stop this? He financially holds some hostage. And has scared us all. Thanks for putting into words something I couldn’t.

  • February 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Narcissism is not just a male characteristic, you should see my life… she makes life not worth living. I used to think it was me(I’m very easy going), after quite a number of years I would confront the bologna only to have the argument continue for days or even weeks. So for now the easiest solution is to say nothing(duck & cover), take the beating(emotionally) & the current issue will blow over faster. There is NO ‘healthy’ form of narcissism, it’s all a cancer on society.

    • February 25, 2017 at 5:49 am

      yes it is a complete and utter fallacy to think men are the only ones who suffer from narcissism!!!

  • March 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Love the article! Having a PHD you should be used to writing without showing gender bias. APA has a number of suggestions for avoiding these pitfalls. Nice article though!

    • March 16, 2017 at 5:38 am

      Thanks for commenting Zach. In my opinion, trying to be “neutral” on this topic doesn’t help us understand the roots of narcissism, only gender norms explain why men and women are overall invited to at minimum “tendencies” for narcissism and codependency as socially approved ideals. Categorizing family members into superior versus inferior roles, and who is and isn’t entitled to express feelings, etc., blocks healthy open communication. This is traumatizing, and literally produces family dynamics that are dysfunctional in varying degrees. All human beings hate to be dominated, at least ones healthy ones do, regardless of sex or age.

      I stand by my thesis that ideals for masculinity as detached from emotions of pain and tenderness are inhumane to men, as first and foremost they are human beings, and this in turn deprives women of the tender connection and emotional closeness they seek. Both are left deprived, more often faulting each other. Men and women are not at fault. The inhumane socialized norms are. Such norms are biased against human nature. It is my hope that as men and women we work together to stop promoting norms that normalize abuse. Much appreciate your comment and opportunity for dialogue.

  • November 25, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Interesting that the title of the article talks about narcissism then the author goes on to seem to think that only men are capable of this type of behavior. As I read the article I found it contentious and one-sided, not about narcissism itself per say but that this is some sort of battle of the sexes. Shame, really.

  • November 26, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    QUOTE: “To break free, you need to take back your ability to consciously think. Not out of fear, out of love. Once you have your thinking back, you can protect your heart, and never give it away, ever again. Not to anyone, not even your children.”

    I have walked threw a ring of narcissistic beasts and almost lost my sanity. The article had mentioned “protecting your heart from everyone” Be careful when doing this, when I discovered this narcissistic situation, I buried my heart so deep I lost touch with reality. In order to recover from YEARS of narcissistic abuse, I had to learn how to give some trust back to the world, BUT it is an ongoing struggle when it comes to trust and love. And yes, trust your new found judgment!


  • March 31, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    My husband is word to word you explained. We don’t have children. Because I somehow started seeing all long before.

    • March 31, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you for commenting Bhavna. If you’re not already meeting with a professional, consider doing so to get support. Best wishes to you.


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