Excuse me while I bore you for a bit with this text-heavy clinical definition of narcissistic personality disorder (comes straight from everyone’s favorite nightstand book, the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, revised 2013). Do you see yourself or someone you love — or have loved — here?… Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
- Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.———————————————————————————————————
So, one hits the jackpot of narcissistic problem behavior by having five or more of the above, right? I know somebody who’d score a 7. Ding-ding-DING! Step right up, sir, you’ve won yourself a shitload of therapy!!! It’s that 6th bullet point that stings: “Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).” Over the 26 year span I was B.’s mistress he took and took and took from me. As he grappled with difficult family issues (children as well as spousal), he sucked all the nurturance he could get out of me: help, opinion, admonitions, succor, strength to cope, sexual satisfaction (oh boy, did he ever), material needs, and much, much more. But rarely did he reciprocate; in fact, he turned away most times in trying to help me out of the issues I brought to him. I could see that vacant look on his face when seeking his opinion on something. I quickly learned not to bring those issues to him and let him believe that I was a carefree, happy person without turmoil, unlike his own experience……..the Perfect Mistress giving him everything he needed, on multiple levels. Let’s cut to the chase: A narcissist is a USER. So B. used me up and tossed me aside for a new woman. The game clock has already begun on that relationship. It is only a matter of time before she’s sucked dry and thrown overboard, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDMENpEn20U
A former mistress (26 years, on-and-off) describes the good, the bad, and the ugly of her long-term affair. Conclusion: Affairs aren't necessarily destructive if kept in the correct perspective. Our experience enhanced BOTH our marriages.
That is, until his marriage ended and we began to love each other. When the affair morphed into a relationship, well, that's when it stopped being fun for me.
For 26 yrs we luxuriated in implicit Trust. When B. cheated on ME, it was the first time another person came into our relationship besides our respective spouses.
We have now irrevocably split.