“If only I had known he was such a narcissist. I never would’ve married him.”
That may be true, but you would have probably married someone else, and, while that person may not have been a narcissist, they would certainly have had their own issues. Just like you do!
Dan Wile, in After the Honeymoon (1988) wrote, “Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems.”
When you marry someone, you are marrying that person and all of the baggage, issues, history, trauma, failures, habits, and idiosyncrasies that they bring into the marriage. Wile wrote, “…there is value, when choosing a long-term partner, in realizing that you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unsolvable problems that you’ll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty, or fifty years.”
Facebook offers several options under “Relationship Status,” including: single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it’s complicated, separated. If only there was some law of the universe that made us wear a sign proclaiming the problems that we bring to every relationship! Imagine if we were all so self-aware that we listed:
Fear of Commitment
Before you begin to label your partner’s behavior within the relationship, perhaps you should take an honest assessment of your own relationship habits. Do you tend to internalize your partner’s behavior and see it as a rejection of you? Do you like to say that you “hate drama,” but constantly stir it up on social media? Are you too thin-skinned? Do you have trouble accepting compliments–or giving them?
Some of us are very good at dissecting our partner’s motivations, subconscious actions, unhealthy tendencies developed in childhood, character flaws, etc. How do you act in relationships?
The ancient Greeks carved “Know Thyself” into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Today, I am suggesting that you carve that into your hearts and minds.
Know how you act in relationships–then you can work to make healthy changes in your own behavior. You’re not going to change your partner.