Can a Narcissist Really Change?
Yesterday, I went to court and I was granted a 5 year protective/restraining order against my abuser. 5 years… a lot can happen within 5 years. This led me to think about change. One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked on this topic as can narcissists actually change?
Yes, it is possible. But.. I am so sorry to tell you that it is not likely. Perhaps with intense, weekly therapy they can possibly reduce some of their narcissistic traits, but you need to understand this: Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental illness and sadly the term “narcissist” gets overused and thrown around too much. You also have to understand that the true narcissistic person does not see a need for change and do not admit their own faults as they do not self-reflect. They won’t admit to any problems, no matter how small, because they can’t tolerate the slightest hint of guilt or shame or fear. So rather than say, ‘I think I need help,’ they convince themselves they’re fine just the way they are. That way, they needn’t open up to anyone emotionally and risk being rejected or hurt, as they often were growing up.
NPD or narcissistic pesonality disorder starts with childhood trauma. As a child, the narcissist may have been neglected, abused, pushed away, or perhaps had a narcissistic parent themselves. My narcissist ex grew up with an absent dad who seemed very narcisstic himself. Accorsing to his words, he didn’t show him love or affection and treated him like an employee at a very early age of working in their restuarant. Therefore, he grew up hating his dad. Sadly, I believe he is probably more like his dad than he is ready to admit. On the flipside, his mom was the ultimate enabler. To make up for his dad’s neglect, she gave him most of what he wanted and he was (and still is today) the ultimate mama’s boy. Pair those two childhood experiences together and BAM! The perfect recipe for narcissism.
Look for a Pattern
If you want to know what your new dating partner will be like to you, checkout and study their last 3 relationships before you. This will always tell you what you are in for. I wish I would have done this sooner!
Also look at the way that they speak about their former partners. Degrading? They’re the “crazy” ones? Red flag, sister.
The High School Sweetheart
I had a good conversation with my narcissist’s high school sweetheart. Let’s call her Jan. He was never physically abusive with Jan, but he was very mentally/emotionally abusive and some of the things she told me struck a chord.
According to her, he cheated on her constantly within the 5-6 years they were together. I remember him even admitting to me that he cheated on her. She said he would find ways to twist it into being her fault. Whoa. I can relate. Remember when he cheated on me with escorts? He told me it was because I wanted my husband back so him cheating on mewas my fault too… apparently.
She said he always blamed her constantly. Told her she was not loving enough, complained that she wasn’t into cars, that she was fat, and even saying she was too sweet once. The hell? I related to this as well as he was always complaining about something. I could never catch a break. He told me I never showed him enough attention and that he did not feel like a priority.
What she said next to me pretty much sealed the deal and made me realize that he had not changed a single bit.
“There were nights I would cry, scream, and hate myself for not being what he wanted thinking it was my fault and what he was saying had to be true. Over the 5-6 years he cheated on me more times I could count. Anytime I caught him I was crazy- and he would accuse me of being the cheater. He never laid a hand on me, didn’t need to with the damage he did.”
Lets call her Fefe. So Fefe and I were never really close and I did not know too much about her, but they were married for 4 years and had a child together. From what he told me, she was a pushover-his puppet-which I can see since she is one of his flying monkeys. A “flying monkey” is a term used in popular psychology mainly in the context of narcissistic abuse. They are people who act on behalf of a narcissist towards a third party, usually for an abusive purpose. The reason why I say this is because back in October, she stuck up for him after he threw my phone out of the car window and smashed it.
According to a 2016 arrest report, he was arrested for domestic violence against her when he drug her through the front yard after showing up at her house and taking her phone from her when she tried callig law enforcement. He was upset that she was talking to another guy though they were both separated and living apart. She later dropped the charges probably because he talked her into it. His side of the story? “She lied.”
From what I also understand, he also cheated on her while she was pregnant with their son at a night club with a girl named “D.” Go figure.
See any patterns, yet?
The On/Off Again Girlfriend
Lets call her Lele. I actually became really good friends with Lele after our breakup when I had reached out to her for clarity and understanding. He dated Lele for a few years before his ex wife and then again for a few years after his divorce. She was the girlfriend before me so I felt if anyone could enlighten me through the madness, it would be her. After all, throughout my relationship with him, he told me she was crazy and did such “crazy things.”
Of course, she wasn’t crazy! None of his exes were. She filled me in on their past and a lot of things just shook me to my core. He emotionally and physically abused her. He was controlling and jealous- did not like her posting selfies even. He cheated. He grabbed her phone and broke it, too-just like mine. He drug her out of their house like his ex wife.. and more. Listening to her stories brought tears to my eyes because I felt what she was saying-and I believed every single word of it.
There is Always a Pattern
As you can see, there is always a pattern if you are lucky enough to know about your partner’s exes. Most hide their secrets/past faults in hopes that their exes will never speak to each other and exchange stories. Well, I like learning and knowing the full story so I am the type who will reach out and ask. I can see why some women won’t though.
Throughout my one year relationship with this guy, I prayed he would change. He said he would after each mistake I forgave him for, but that day never came. The unhealthy pattern continued and I realized this was not what I needed to put up with for the rest of my life.
It was easy to see the pattern in my situation:
- constant cheating
- moving on too fast to next person
- emotional abuse
- physical abuse
- labeling exes as crazy
- destruction of property
As you can see, these people are unlikely to change. They did not change for anyone in their past. They did not change for you. They will not change for the new supply/boyfriend/girlfriend. I have gotten so many messages asking if they will change for their new lover-no. She/he is in for the same treatment that you were given. She/he is their next victim. It is only a matter of time so sit back and watch.
The only thing the narcissist will change about themselves is the character they play and the mask that they wear for the next person. This is why they spend so much time lovebombing their new supply and learning their likes, dislikes, and weaknesses in the beginning-they use it against you later.
The best thing you can do is to pray for them. Heal yourself. Move on and be so thankful that you are out of the dangerous cycle. Narcissists often will self destruct and end up dying alone. It sounds cruel, but it makes sense. They literally burn every bridge until there’s not a single person left.
Do I hate my narcissist? Absolutely not. I hate what he did to me. I hate that I have nightmares and PTSD about it now and that I am on edge 24/7, constantly looking over my shoulder. But I do forgive him and I hope the best for him even though I don’t see things improving.
I am thankful for my platform because it gives me a voice. A voice for not only myself and the women I have spoken about within this blog, but for all women affected by domestic violence. Most victims stay silent-I will not. If my speaking up helps one woman to leave an abusive relationship, then I am very grateful for that.
As always, thank you for the support. You guys are my rock.
Other articles on my narcissistic experience:
- HOW TO SURVIVE A NARCISSISTIC RELATIONSHIP
- THE NARCISSIST’S PROJECTION OF YOU
- THE NARCISSIST AND THEIR NEW SUPPLY (GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND)
- NARCISSISTS AND HOW THEY CONTROL YOU
Your trainer and friend,