Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother

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Tomatillo88

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Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« on: May 29, 2020, 11:00:50 AM »
Hello all,

For a while now I have been absolutely convinced that my boyfriend was raised by a narcissist. My own father was raised by a narcissist as well and I recognize a lot of his behaviour in that of my boyfriend. in the beginning everything was fine, but Iím starting to see more and more that he really has developed some survival mechanisms and ďfleasĒ from his upbringing, that are ruining his life. It just breaks my heart to see that he is showing behavior that just doesnĎt suit him at all, but he doesnít know any better. I really think there is help for him, if he wants it, but I do think that seeing the narcissism is necessary then. Iíve never discussed the topic with him before because I donít want it to look like an attack towards his family, but on the other hand there are things happening there that just are-not-right. And itís creeping into our relationship as well.
Iím worried that if my partner will never hear about narcissism, he is not going to be able to break free from it and get the life that he deserves. Can I start the conversation on this subject and if yes, does anyone have advice of how to do it. I have been around his mother a lot, and I can just see so clearly where he got his flees from. I just hope anyone can give some advice because I really want to support my boyfriend in breaking free from this toxic environment, but I donít know if he even sees that it is a toxic environment at all. It is so normal for him.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 11:29:50 AM »
IME it would be better to address the specific behavior in your BF that you feel is hurting you (or encroaching on your boundary).
So it would look like this.
You: "BF when you do xyz I feel uvw."
Then you can decide what you are going to do the next time if he still does it to keep yourself from being harmed.
https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Maxtrem

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 12:11:08 PM »
You can explain to him what is affecting you, and give him your opinion and observations about your family's dysfunction. Maybe go to a psychologist with him to explain the situation to the therapist. It is important that he is aware of what a Narc is doing to him.

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Amadahy

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 07:19:21 PM »
It's wonderful that you can approach based on some observations from your own family. Just be careful not to criticize his behavior. DH, who had nary a PD in his family, was very critical of my behaviors (fleas), so of course, I became defensive and this was not productive at all -- frustrating for us both and really did not address the root of it all.  He's just now beginning to understand, and we've been wed 31 years!  Of course, I was a slow learner, not really coming OOTF until I was 47 years old.  I have a lot of regrets and wish we could have worked through some things sooner -- as you hope to do!  Best wishes!  :)
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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Tomatillo88

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 11:20:59 AM »
Thank you all for your replies. I can imagine being critical is not helpful. Sometimes this is the difficult part for me personally. My partner tends to avoid all conflict and changes the truth sometimes in order not to hurt me. I can see that in his family he never has had the opportunity to show his true self, and there was no room for any form of negativity. But every time he changes the facts, it comes out. And I keep telling him that it would hurt me so much less to hear the truth, than hearing some sort of fairytale fantasy to keep the peace. Yesterday I think he definitely made a big step. I found out that he had lied about something and was very upset. His first reaction is to walk out and come back once Iím ďBack to normalĒ, which is just not the way for me, because I feel like he is closing his eyes. He stayed a bit longer and a few hours later when I had calmed down I told him, very calmly, that I understand that seeing my pain is difficult for him, but that I would really like to make him experience that ďthis too shall passĒ. I am angry at first, but I wonít stay like that forever. A few hours later he told me he was very happy that he had stayed and I was really proud of him. Because he grew up learning that any form of negativity within the house is bad. And I think itís simply part of life. Thank you for your advice, itís really helpful.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 11:51:31 AM »
That sounds like a step forward to me. :applause:
 
I think you can apply all of the tips given here simultaneously. No need of picking just one. Add those to your already good instincts. 

I have a similar H and IL family. But I am also from dysfunctional myself.

 One thing I have found that works so well. All behaviors are on a spectrum so I can always find behaviors in my H that upset me are actually in me to some extent. I point out the behavior in myself saying that I want to work to change it for the betterment of our marriage and so I wont hurt my H. Then my H will see it in himself eventually as well and say he is going to work on it too. Then he also is able to pick up on it in his FOO.
WIN! WIN!

Good Luck! Hope you stick around.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Tomatillo88

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Re: Confronting my partner with his narcissistic mother
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2020, 01:43:00 PM »
This is so so true. Iím experiencing this at the moment. I also have my own issues (who doesnít) and the problems I see in my partner, are at the same time mirrors for me to see the things I need to work on. He is taking some time for himself, and then that is the moment for me to learn that that is not the end. And I also feel that by seeing that the other person is working on him/herself, it can inspire to make you do the same for yourself. Itís not a one way street.