The Evolution of a Narcissistic Man: It Isn't His Mother's Fault!
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By Liz Logan, Featured Columnist - August 07, 2016

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Don't blame a mother for a narcissist and don't blame yourself if you tried and failed to change him. Don't feel guilty if you decide that you have to put yourself and your children first and end the marriage.

Have you found the perfect man but he has an inflated ego? Do you feel his crazy mother is to blame? Are you convinced that you can change him once he is with you and away from her? Think again. He may be a narcissist and the only mother to blame for a narcissist is Mother Nature.  

Experts used to think that a narcissist was created by the environment that they were raised in. Current studies are finding that it is a disorder that the individual was born with. Narcissists make up 1% of the population.  

They appear to have inflated egos and feel that the community as a whole should give them special treatment and admiration. Yet, they have no empathy for others. They appear to be conceited and monopolize conversations with how great they are. But in reality, they are overly insecure and not able to handle criticism.

That may be why you have a "great guy" who is vulnerable with you but arrogant toward others. You may want to reconsider putting your time and energy into "saving" him. Do you spend a lot of time talking him through things and pumping him up?  Maybe it's not how badly his mother raised him. Maybe she did the only thing that worked. She talked him through the hard times and pumped up his ego because that is the only thing that works for a narcissist. She may have no idea that he has a disorder. She just did what any mother would do with a child. She didn't make him that way after she gave birth to him because he was born with the disorder. She's now passing the work on to you.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association uses the following 12 symptoms to diagnose this mental condition:

1. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

2. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

3. Exaggerating your achievements and talents

4. Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

5. Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people

6. Requiring constant admiration

7. Having a sense of entitlement

8. Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations

9. Taking advantage of others to get what you want

10. Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

11. Being envious of others and believing others envy you

12. Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Imagine a pregnant woman being in a room with 99 other pregnant women and the doctor walks up to her and says, "You are having a narcissist. Do you wish to terminate this pregnancy?" She replies, "No." In that case, she is responsible for creating a narcissist but IT DOES NOT HAPPEN THAT WAY.

If you think you are in a relationship with a narcissist you have some choices. You can get out, you can tolerate it and likely damage your other relationships with friends and family or you can convince him to get help.  

Help consists of group therapy or individual therapy. The narcissist may feel depressed often because of his lack of self-confidence and the therapist may try anti-depressants. That may bring on a whole different experience for him and for you. In the end, only the patient can decide if he wants to help himself.  

Don't blame a mother for a narcissist and don't blame yourself if you tried and failed to change him. Don't feel guilty if you decide that you have to put yourself and your children first and end the marriage.

I was not married to a narcissist but I know a few. One of my friends tolerates her narcissist husband.  They have their own careers, no children, and plenty of money.  Another friend chose divorce. She has children and the battle was severe throughout the proceedings and continues daily with custody issues. She argues with him because she doesn't understand the disorder. You must understand that it's a disorder if you are going to control the situation and protect your children.

Once you divorce you will become his enemy. He will treat you as such because you are no longer comforting him through the bad times and pumping him up for the good. Your only hope is to somehow convince him that you still care about him and that the children still care about him. Understand that he has a disorder and don't expect him to change. Be proactive and not reactive. If your children are old enough to understand, explain the disorder to them but be careful not to offend their father in doing so.  

You are going to need a support system and a plan. Get as much information on the disorder as you can so you can create a strategy. Understand that he is going to lash out, then cry, then beg and then lash out again. He can't help it without help. Even though you may not feel like it, know that you are the one in control.

If he fails to pick up the kids on his scheduled day, say no problem. If he does pick them up, be sure to compliment him.  Use the court system if you need to argue with him. Let someone else do that type of communication. He may find a new woman. Tread lightly. Do not allow her ignorance to become a bigger battle for you.  

You are the one in control. Stay in control. Make your own support group of friends and family and a reliable therapist. Do your own talk therapy with that support system.

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