Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
NPD or just afraid of responsibility?
This is probably going to be a long thread so I apologize. I am going through a lot at the moment and would like some insight from people who have experience with NPD or even better, who have the disorder.
I'll start at the beginning I guess. I met my current partner when I was 17 and he was 24. We began dating almost immediately. He was a college grad, trying to get into med school and seemed like he really had his life together at that point. Things were great for the first few months, but after about 6 months of dating he began cheating on me by posting ads on Craigslist. I did not know this at the time of course, but it came to light on our first anniversary of dating. He had left his cell phone in the room with me and a text from a girl I didn't know came up. It was dirty and something didn't seem right so I decided to dig some more. That's when I found out about the Craigslist posts. He admitted to meeting two women but only having sex with one of them. But he met up with her twice and had sex with her twice.
I should have left him then, but after exposing it I realized that I was lost without him. I really believe now that this is because I am codependant on him. I did not want to be alone and he was my first love. To me it was worth giving him a second chance. However, I told him that if I ever found him cheating on me again I would leave no questions asked. He seemed to be remorseful, he cried, and he actually cleaned up his act. I made sure of it by constantly checking Craigslist and his cellphone(I did feel guilty afterward, but I justified it after he did such a terrible thing to me). This also confuses me because even though he shows all the signs of NPD(which will become evident further on in the post) he showed emotion and cleaned up his act like he actually cared. All I read about NPD is that people with the disorder cannot empathize and therefore don't really care enough to change their actions. They simply move on to the next relationship or "source".
After a while, we moved in together. It wasn't long before I realized that he had a really inflated sense of self. He keeps boasting about how he went to two Ivy League colleges and how he is going to be such an important doctor some day. However, he has not been in College for four years now and has not gotten into med school yet. In fact, he hasn't even had a job in three years.
After being together for nearly 2 years, I became pregnant on the pill. He was furious at me even though it wasn't my fault. He told me I better get an abortion because his life was not supposed to turn out this way, he was going to go to med school and become an important doctor. I could not bring myself to do it. I am pro choice, but I just couldn't have an abortion myself. I knew I would always regret my decision and never forgive myself. I tried to explain to him that we could make this work. As the months went on, I fell in love with my baby and I wanted him to feel the same. When we went to the doctor and heard the heartbeat for the first time, he showed no emotion at all. He was tapping his foot and waiting to get out of there as soon as possible.
I had a very rough beginning to my pregnancy, I had hyperemesis gravidarum and was vomiting 10-20 times a day. I could not keep food or liquid down and was admitted to the hospital 3 times for fluids. I lost 17 pounds. I could barely get out of bed to use the bathroom and needed him to care for me. He'd bring me water when I asked and empty my trash can when I threw up. He was good in that way. But I was also very depressed. I would ask him just to sit with me for a few minutes every now and then because I was so lonely and miserable. I would ask him to spend some time with me, watch a movie or something, just to spend some time with eachother. He would respond by telling me that doing something like that would be a waste of time because he had "more important" things to do. Like study for the MCAT exam. If I wanted to spend time with him, he said I should help him study. But "helping" him study, to him, means sitting there and listening for hours while he reads his texts and tries to show off and look superior when I am confused and don't understand the terminology used in the books. Of course, I had no objections to doing this sometimes to make him happy, but he seemed to want this to be the ONLY type of time we ever spent together. When I did not feel like it, he would lock himself in another room for hours "studying". I would sometimes come in and find that he wasn't really studying but playing video games or looking at porn, etc. It hurt because I thought, how is watching porn or playing video games any more constructive or "important" than watching a movie with me?
One night, out of the blue, he came into my room while I was sick and told me he was moving back in with his parents. He said his sister was moving back in too, and if he didn't claim his old room again she would take it. I knew there was something wrong with this explanation at the start. He had a place to stay, with me! Why did he care if she took his room? I mean, we were having a child together for goodness sake! I cried and begged him to see what he was doing to me. Not only was I sick and unable to take care of myself, I was so hurt that he would choose to abandon me like this in such a state. He said he would come back during the day to take care of me and then packed all of his things and left.
He did come back over one day. Just one. On that day I looked him in the eye and asked why he really left. He said because he was angry that I "didn't care enough about his dreams" and showed this by not having an abortion. He said I was dragging him down, and that if I had the child he wanted nothing to do with it and would only do what he legally had to. I broke down. I thought he loved me, but how could he do something like this to someone he loved? He told me he still loved me and that we could "have a wonderful life together traveling the world when he is a doctor without borders, if only I give the baby up for adoption." I already loved this baby, and giving it up for a man who would do this to me was out of the question. However, I do love this man. He was so wonderful to me in the beginning. Even after the cheating when he cleaned up his act. He is my first love, and I can't stop thinking of all the memories I have with him.
After not talking for a while, he began texting me again and asking me how I was, if I was feeling better, etc. He would be mean one minute and say hurtful things like he wishes I have a miscarriage and that I ruined his life to the next minute apologizing and saying how wonderful I was to put up with a person like him. And that he doesn't even like himself, so why do I love him? We agreed to meet up again one night because he said he missed me and I must admit, I missed him too. I just wanted to be in his company. We ended up arguing again and I cried in front of him. He apologized again and said he still has feelings for me, but still stuck to his view that we could never make it work because I had the decision to get and abortion and he never got a decision.
After a few days, I found out he had posted on craigslist again. And that he had posted before he even moved out. I was so upset and had no one to talk to, I felt like he was already moving on. He had lied and told me just the other night that he was not looking for anything and that he didn't even have the desire for sex with someone else right now. I felt like a fool yet again.
I cut myself for the first time in years. I felt terrible afterward, and weak. I am weak. Even now, I forgive him after he apologizes. He said he was sorry for hurting me and he swears he didn't meet anyone this time and then took his posts off of the site. I know I am weak for it, but I let him come see me again because I missed him. I tried so hard to tell myself that I would not have sex with him when he came over, especially after seeing him on craigslist, but he swore up and down that he never met anyone. I kept telling him no, but he kept pushing. I was so emotionally broken that I kind of wanted to be intimate with him and I let him have sex with me. We laid in bed afterward holding eachother and clasping hands as we fell asleep. It made me feel so good that I almost forgot about the way he had been treating me.
He said he wants to see me again tomorrow. I want to believe so badly that he really does love me and that he realizes his mistakes. He told me that he was sorry and that he believes now that he screwed up and we could have worked it out if he had stayed. He says he really wants me in his life again. I want to have a sliver of hope that maybe he will come back and we can be a family. I can't be alone right now, I have already hurt myself and have been contemplating suicide. The only thing that keeps me moving along is my baby. I am in a terrible position. Either give up my child or be left to raise the baby on my own with no help or support, all the while being played as the "evil witch" who ruined his life by getting pregnant. And I am only 19 with no college education. This is not the life I saw for myself either.
I mean, I can understand being upset that I got pregnant when he didn't want that, but it was an accident. I find myself feeling guilty and like I am somehow responsible for all of this. "If I had only showed him more attention while I was sick, if I had only spent more time helping him study, if I had only gotten an abortion"...
Do you think he shows signs of NPD or just afraid of responsibility? I know I am stupid to keep letting him string me along like this and I know I need to move on, I am just in a really fragile state right now. I don't feel strong enough. It would kill me if he did have NPD and it turned out he never truly loved me at all. Do you think maybe he just had a crisis after finding out I was pregnant, and now he realizes his mistake? Do you think in any possible universe we could ever work through this and be together, and be in a healthy relationship?