He Never Says He’s Sorry

Or she doesn’t.  Awhile ago I wrote an article on “The child of the Narcissist.”  Now I would like to address the relationship with the Narcissist.  Here is a scene that happened to me about a decade ago (name of person changed):

A very hot day in the middle of summer, after a very long drive in the country, we had stopped at a local grocer’s and I went in for two soda’s.  I returned to my car, Colin had been driving and he stood there at the driver’s door eagerly awaiting the cold drink.  He took it, flipped up the tab and immediately the can spewed foam up his nose, all over the side of my car door and even over onto the seat.  He was angry.  I gasped having watched him lose his soda and then realizing it was going all over my immaculate car.  Then he says:

“Why did you shake the can?”  

“What, you really think I would do something like that?”  Anyone who knows me, knows I do not play practical jokes.   The thought had not even crossed my mind.

He continued to be disappointed and judgmental as we both tried in vain to clean off his clothes and my car and then he went in to retrieve another soda.  The drive was in silence for some time later. I tried to bring it up a few more times that I would never do such a thing, but the argument was over. This incident was all my fault.

Having been raised by a Narcissist, and I would presume most of us who are end up in relationships with one, it actually took some time in this relationship before it suddenly dawned on me “he never says he is sorry.”  This was my first step in waking up.  The second step was realizing that the relationship was all about him and his beliefs.  No sense of team, respecting and valuing each other’s feelings and thoughts.

I had entered this relationship because we actually had so much in common.  I ended the relationship because I saw a future with my mother.  I was tired of always thinking I was going crazy.  Tired of living his life.   Tired of having thirty minute conversations that started and ended with “I just don’t know what you want me to do.”  This last sentence was actually the bait that kept me entangled for five years.  I assumed that he actually wanted to do the right thing, he wanted to try to understand, to have a great relationship.  But after a few times of noticing that he was asking the same thing, I would explain and then he would repeat the initial question, the light bulb went on and I remembered similar talks with my mother.  He didn’t want to change.  He did not want to be a part of a team and the question he was asking was a way of shutting me up.  My answer to his question was not relevant.  It was a child’s way of saying “it is not my fault.”  Children do not have the ability to think deeply and so they did not stick their fingers in the cookie jar.  A narcissist has not grown emotionally.

I don’t know the statistics on Narcissistic Personality Disorders and how many are married, vs. those who remain single.  Those who I know are married.  After I left this man, he found a woman over the internet and they married within a year of my departure.  His comment to me was this, “She listens and doesn’t have a comment for everything, we are happy with a quiet relationship.” In other words, he did not have to do much to be involved with her.  She was content with not being alone.

This comment reminded me of a time in our relationship when I had given up a job I loved to move across the country to his home, even though he had a job where it did not matter where he lived.  On the airplane, he was on my right, a doctor on my left.  The doctor and I shared a common philosophy about holistic medicine and we spoke for about 6 hours straight.  When the plane landed Colin turned to the doctor and said “Thank you for talking to her so I didn’t have to.”

Not having to participate in the relationship, if it means having an emotional investment in building and growing as a couple, is just too much work for a Narcissist.  They put out what they are comfortable giving as a human being.  You must enjoy whatever that is, do not demand more, do not question, sit back and relax in the life they have built.  Wait for them to give you the signal to talk, move, sit, stand, and then there is intimacy.  As long as you are waiting on them hand and foot outside of the bedroom, do you think it will be any different within?

A relationship is based on two people who give and take.  This is why it is so important to take the time to get to know the person before you sleep with them.  Sex is great the first time.  It is more thrilling than any ride at an amusement park.  Well, that is, if it is a joyous ride.  If it is a slow-moving Ferris wheel that takes some time going to the top and then trickles back down, I’d rather eat chocolate! Sex can be fun and frivolous, exotic and rebellious, the first time; when it is initiated by chemistry, pheromones and lust.  However, there is more meaning to a first time, more passion, when you have waited.  When you are certain that you have mutual respect, when the words “I love you,” have been uttered and you realize there is something powerful between you.  Something different you have never shared with another….And then you take your clothes off to express your gratitude to the Gods for having brought the two of you together.

A relationship can’t be two people consumed with one.  There are two people in a relationship and the investment must be focused on both.  If he or she never says they are sorry, if you find yourself more invested in him/her, walking around on eggshells because you can never do anything right, isn’t it time to leave?  You are just as important, don’t ever forget this and don’t ever think someone else is more valuable than you.  A partnership should be equal, or it should discontinue.  Don’t be the one who is always making excuses for the other one.  Don’t assume you need to be fixed by therapy because you are the one with the problems.  Psychotherapy is necessary to help you see why you are in this relationship, how you attracted this person but not to fix.  There is no relationship with a narcissist.  There is only the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and you are the caretaker.

About jkvegh

I am a psychotherapist and writer.
This entry was posted in Marriage/Relationships, Narcissism, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to He Never Says He’s Sorry

  1. sarra65 says:

    This is great, very well written. Keep up the good work.

    http://www.britishgirlsguide.wordpress.com

  2. Karl says:

    A narcissist’s favorite poem:

    I love myself. I think I’m grand.
    When I go to the movies, I hold my hand.
    I take myself most every place.
    When I get fresh, I slap my face. ;^)

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