Not sure if partner is NPD or just under effects of a 20 year addiction with drugs and alcohol.

I really needs some help and advice.

I've just split up with a guy, although we have split before. I'm not going to provide some background to the situation, but hopefully I will give you enough to be able to offer  your thoughts....

I was with him for nearly three years. When i met him he was living with someone, although he said they were separate but  they were not. I was a bit too far gone by that point. I know it was wrong to continue. He kept staying they were in separate rooms and he loved her like a best mate but he wasn't in love with her. At the time he had a xanax addiction (four years) and had drug and alcohol addictions, I think using started age of 13/14, but probably not really bad addiction until late teens. He is now 37. He continually asked for help and support with his addictions and when he was finally ready I suggested a rehab in Bali. He looked into it and then decided to go....which was a big step. He did 4 months in the end and came out clean, managed to get rid of the xanax. He stayed clean for four months then went back to alcohol. we had no contact when he went to rehab until he emailed me about a month after he got out. In that time I had moved jobs an moved state. He then went and tried another rehab. that didnt completely help so he returned to his parents in the same state I moved to. We had talked and we were going to make a go of things. When he came back we tried, i would drive for 3half hours to see him at the wknds at his parents. i got on really well with them, he had told them i helped him with the rehab and they knew i had previous addiction problems when i was younger (which is why i steered him towards rehab). Now I want to know if he has treated me a certain way through the relationship because of addiction or because he has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he seems to display some traits:

His treatment of me making me suspect NPD:

*If he does something wrong and I've cried he doesn't comfort me he kind of looks at me and just says "I've been taking you for granted, I need to do more of xx or xx" etc never says sorry or really engages, not even any physical contact.
*I've found out he cheated. when i did he didn't apologise. His first thing was to have a go at me for texting the girl he was cheating with (and trying to say the texts proved nothing when they did). After I found them he made me delete all the text messages I had (I sent them to my phone) and he was searching the unit for the video i had of him when he was really drunk. he was more concerned about what I could show people than being caught out.
*He knows what the issues are and the problems but he does the same thing over and over again. Like when I wanted one night just to ourselves he agrees then suggests inviting another couple, or then invites his mate to join us on the phone
*he puts his friends, particularly one friend ahead of me. everyone comes first above me.
*He intentionally tries to make me jealous, he will talk about how beautiful an ex was, or the girl in the rehab with him
*He disappeared to his ex Girlfriends once and lied about where he was. When I caught him out he made it out to mean nothing.
*He purposefully does things, like refused to say happy birthday to me on my birthday, even when I asked him to (he never got me anything). My birthday was in December. the other day I reminded him of this he said he thought my birthday was in may (meaning he missed it again). yet he knew when my birthday was before. 
*he has given me the silent treatment more than one occassion. he does it to his family as well. even when it is him who has done something wrong.
*he said "he seems to get over things quickly" this was towards the end and he seemed pretty emotionless I think he didnt really feel anything
*He left me to pay for things, including a unit I only got because he didnt want to live in the camp at work.
*He would let me do everything for him without ever returning the favour.
*He has severe anxiety walking into situations
*He has complained of feeling lonely even in a crowded room
*He says he doesnt enjoy anything
*He has talked about those in the rehab at home "not knowing anything" "only knowing out of text books" "they were never addicts" which i know is a trait of NPD
*Now after we have split he has swung between nice and then does things to wind mee up or threatens me because i wont answer the phone etc. he has told me to go home, if our paths better not cross or if i get vindictive he will deal with me etc. Basically trying to get a reaction or to make me call him because I had it on auto reject.
*he says he just wants to stop all the hateful voices in his head. he hates himself all the time. 

Now the list isnt exhaustive. He's on antidepressants and he was on serequel which turned him into a nutcase!! He was using them to numb himself again. he is also drinking a lot again. 

The reasons that contradict him being NPD:

*He is extremely close to his family, and protects them at all costs
*He has long term friendships, although our type of work means he moves around a lot. He knows a lot of people
*He has sought help for his problems, he never criticised staff in Bali but a lot of them had previously had addiction. He did get on well with the pyschiatrist there.
*He seemed to be doing things to help himself. he was starting to go back to AA, he bought a journal and a locked box to write in (he was scared someone would read it so he didnt want to do it unless he had a locked box)
*the few times he has stayed sober a bit he has been fairly reasonable and good to get on with. This behaviour seems to get worse with the drugs and alcohol. 

I cant decide if he really had NPD, maybe some traits that were made worse by the drugs and alcohol or maybe the using was a result of the NPD......

I think he has always had problematic relationships. There is certainly a pattern of infidelity.

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  • also we never really had the honey moon phase that keeps getting talked about.....maybe i was just a side interest!
  • @dipsey hello and welcome to the forum. i do not know if he is narcissistic, as i'm not qualified to make such a distinction, but i do think you are way better off without him. YOU deserve a man who will honor and cherish you...without you having to do anything. unconditional, mature love. sounds like he has plenty of issues to work on and a long period of single time with therapy might help him with that...if he chooses.

    i had a relationship with someone who was not narcissist, but emotional manipulator..and i was codependent...i went to codependent anonymous and educated myself on that...started my own journey to figure out who i was and what i wanted. a journey to self-love...and now i won't settle for less than what i deserve because i feel and am worthy... it's ok to love yourself, have boundaries set, and keep them.

    maybe he has npd or maybe not....he certainly sounds selfish, manipulative, and immature. either way, take a season and focus on who you are and what you want in are a beautiful soul...and there are men that will honor you for you..

    hope this helps.
  • I am an researcher/writer on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Malignant Narcissism. To be honest this, to me, does not seem like full-blown NPD. Bear in mind that it's possible to be narcissistic without having the personality disorder. Some people are naturally more narcissistic than others. Also, bear in mind that long-term heavy drug use can (and does) invoke narcissistic behaviour in people but this tends to gradually diminish after the drug use ends.
  • Sounds like your friend is still wrapped up in to many of his own compulsions to be able to have a meaningful relationship with anyone but himself. To be quite honest I am not even sure he is having a meaningful relationship within himself because it almost sounds like he is being self destructive.  It also sounds like you have a particular degree of your own emotions wrapped up in this relationship and perhaps the better question might be why?

    Sometimes feelings of love become blurred by feelings of needing to help or protect someone else. Sadly when you add addiction and personality issues it is easy to find yourself victimized because you can act in a co-dependent role and not realize it. Sometimes no matter how good the intention, or well meaning the attempt, the relationship may not be the best fit.

  • Honestly?  Why are you still thinking about this?  He might have a NPD, but that doesn't matter so much because you guys have split and he is a terrible person.  He has lied to you, cheated on you and treats you badly, so why worry?  I say good riddance!   You need to respect yourself more staying with a guy who openly cheats on you and doesn't even show a grain of regret is never a good idea, love yourself and you will attract the right kind of men.  You need to love yourself so you can reject this kind of jerks.  
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