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Self-Centered Vs. Selfish

When I met my husband he was thoughtful and kind.  Then it was all about us, what we wanted to do, what our plans were, etc.  He was very considerate.  Within the first couple months of being married, I started seeing a trend that, well, it may have been there and I just didn't notice or the "honeymoon" period was over and he felt he could be more himself.

Whichever it was, I suddenly came in last at everything.  First, I didn't mind going with him to visit his friends even though I am an introvert.  However, he never reciprocates--he doesn't want to visit my friends and he is ALWAYS visiting his friends (6 out of 7 days a week).  When I suggest we do things together he has too much to do.  But if his friends call he drops everything and goes.  He gets upset if I bring this up telling me it isn't true.

Whenever I go to the store for anything I always ask if he wants me to pick something up for him.  When he goes he doesn't ask--well okay that could just be, being a guy, but then he gets mad at me if I go to the store and don't ask if he wants anything. 

My office was sending me to Florida for a month to a condo on the beach (what a perk huh?).  I thought, what a perfect opportunity for my husband and I to go on vacation; sure I'll have to work but there'll be time for us.  I suggested we drive, he would only drive if we could stop and sightsee on the way.  I don't have that kind of time off, I wanted to drive straight there.  He said that if we couldn't sightsee on the way then he didn't want to go.

When I suggest a restaurant he suggests another one.  If I don't want to go to the one he suggests then he doesn't want to go or he spends the entire time criticizing the restaurant and how "some people" never want to try anything different.

I can only guess that it is self-centeredness.  What else could it be?  I sometimes think he thought he married a passive woman, but then I think that couldn't be it because I'm not a passive person by nature.

Katija Katija 51-55, F 30 Responses Jul 2, 2007

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3#I am married too to a selfish man for 34 years. His priorities are himself, his parents, the kids, anyone he knows or is an acquaintance, animals, then maybe me. I cannot depend on him other than his pay (which is about 2/3rds of mine). He has outbursts at me in stores and other public places, calls me every vulgar name there is and is just an unhappy person. He is insecure and has several personality disorders as well as an alcoholic and addicted to pain pills. If we go some place together (which is rare) and he sees someone, he will run off without telling me or bringing me over to introduce me. He makes rude comments about me in front of friends and then says he was just kidding. Recently he went off on me calling me every foul name and then the next day tells me it is because he went off a medication for depression w/o consulting his doctor. If I have the tv on a show and go off to the bathroom he changes the channel. He takes so many pain pills he is up all night with the tv loud and banging dishes in the kitchen without regard to me or our son. I joined his families church and now every Sunday and Wednesday evening he gets sickens as not to attend. I cannot save his soul or get his faith back- only he has that control. I have gone to counseling and the therapist agrees he needs help. I have told him he needs Anger Management but he will not go. He is also paranoid and sleeps'with a loaded gun. I am walking on egg shells and have gone to both my preacher and in-laws for help with no results. Not sure what to do but pray and endure this long suffering.

Yep. Been with a bonafide Narcissist 20 years. All rosy at first, lots of affection and great sex, for the first four years. Then, after marriage, literally, ON the honeymoon, out comes this drunk, selfish a**. Then many years of everything being my fault. I am unhappy that he never even does a dish? Well, I am being selfish because he is training for something that is going to benefit me and the "whole" family some day. So, many years of rollercoaster behavior to follow. Now I am loved, now I am not. Now I am a sex goddess, now I am untouchable. Now I am the girl of his dreams, now he is staring at the A** of a 20 year old nonstop while on a very rare date with me. Now we on a fancy trip, all smiles for the facebook posts, look what fun we are having, the happy couple with so much success at last after twelve years of training and two kids (who are entirely my responsiblility, he just shows up for 'fun" times) Now I am a drag, always the bearer of bad news, why can't I just learn to be supportive? Like all the groupies who pretend to like him because he is their boss or takes them on party trips to Vegas? Now I am the person who saved the back office from financial distress, Now I am just baggage in the way of success. Now I am thanked for all my work with the kids, even one with Autism, Now I am a lazy taker who cannot wait to get my lazy hands on his alimony and earn money for doing absolutely NOTHING worthy of getting paid for all of his hard work. It was all good though, when I had a full time job as a teacher and did every domestic duty under the sun including caring for his son from another relationship while he studied to become the SUN GOD. I also continue to care for our sons, one with AUTISM. So, a few weeks ago, I filed for divorce. I am done, done DONE. God did not put me here to be a disrepected slave. No sitting by while my sons watch me pulverized into a pile of ash by Mr. ALL IMPORTANT.

wow, Im pretty sure we were married to the same person.

Sbiogirl- I am so sorry you are going through a tough time but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone and that you are in my prayer that everything will go the way you want. I would recommend a book that absolutely changed my life for the better in understanding what you are dealing and also what I was dealing with. it is called "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft. if you want to read a review about it go to amazon.com and decide from their. also borrow it from your local library that's what I did.

He seems to take you for granted. I hope he realizes his mistake.

I married my first love. I work full time, pay all the bills, clean, cook and take care of our kids while my self centered husband naggs about something I didn't do. I've been told I'm better than him but we have kids and I truly can't believe I am married to this person who used to love me or show it at least. He was in a relationship to a self centered person. It didn't last long. They had 2 yrs while we are going on 14 yrs. I am definitely not happy but we have young children. Sometimes I wonder, am I being a pushover or a good wife? Alittle of both, maybe. I am not like this at my job. I'm thinking of catering to my self so he can realize I have value even though he does not treat me this way. I feel so lost....I cannot believe I ended up with such a terrible husband and role model for our kids. Meeting at 18 yrs old could be a huge factor. We need to encourage each other and treat ourselves as they should treat us. At least to get by until....? Good luck and here's to happiness. Life is to short to be miserable.

I married my first love. I work full time, pay all the bills, clean, cook and take care of our kids while my self centered husband naggs about something I didn't do. I've been told I'm better than him but we have kids and I truly can't believe I am married to this person who used to love me or show it at least. He was in a relationship to a self centered person. It didn't last long. They had 2 yrs while we are going on 14 yrs. I am definitely not happy but we have young children. Sometimes I wonder, am I being a pushover or a good wife? Alittle of both, maybe. I am not like this at my job. I'm thinking of catering to my self so he can realize I have value even though he does not treat me this way. I feel so lost....I cannot believe I ended up with such a terrible husband and role model for our kids. Meeting at 18 yrs old could be a huge factor. We need to encourage each other and treat ourselves as they should treat us. At least to get by until....? Good luck and here's to happiness. Life is to short to be miserable.

I married my first love. I work full time, pay all the bills, clean, cook and take care of our kids while my self centered husband naggs about something I didn't do. I've been told I'm better than him but we have kids and I truly can't believe I am married to this person who used to love me or show it at least. He was in a relationship to a self centered person. It didn't last long. They had 2 yrs while we are going on 14 yrs. I am definitely not happy but we have young children. Sometimes I wonder, am I being a pushover or a good wife? Alittle of both, maybe. I am not like this at my job. I'm thinking of catering to my self so he can realize I have value even though he does not treat me this way. I feel so lost....I cannot believe I ended up with such a terrible husband and role model for our kids. Meeting at 18 yrs old could be a huge factor. We need to encourage each other and treat ourselves as they should treat us. At least to get by until....? Good luck and here's to happiness. Life is to short to be miserable.

I have almost the same experience that you have only it's my husband n he's a drunk. yes he goes to work but thinks he should get a medal for it and he's ex-wife of over 14 yrs all i hear from him is him paying child support. We have moved 6 times, 8 cars and he just filed bankruptcy for the second time trying to tell everyone who will listen its because of his support. He wants me to take care of him,work cook clean take care of the kids and wait around for him when he's in the mood...he's an overgrown child of 40+ years and i'm trying to figure out what the hell i ever saw in him.I know longer have any contact with my father n brother n he's alot to do with this, and he's always talking about getting in an accident so we will be better off...i wish i could pack up n move out of here but i don't have the resources or the finances or a damn car but i do have a job until they lay me off which is rumored this summer....an the so called honeymoon never existed..i have never meet a more of a spineless coward for a man in all my life....i'm so disgusted that i put myself in this situation again....i wish you the best and you're not alone!

Self centered people has Narcissistic personality disorder.... Due to many reason happened in childhood with them ...

I have to say that so much of these posts sound familiar to me. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years now. For the first few months it was so different...he was so positive, affectionate and even a little romantic at times. He talked about our future constantly. Things progressed very quickly and before I knew it, we were living together and a few months later got pregnant (we were both very happy about this). And then things began to change. All of a sudden, he didn't feel he should pay rent since it was my mortgage and I'd be paying it without him anyways. Same with bills. He never bought groceries. If I complained about the hardships of pregnancy (feeling sick, tired etc) I was a complainer. He never did anything chore-wise to help during my pregnancy. And the verbal insults began during this time also. Telling me to f* off if I said anything that annoyed him. I've lost count of how many times I've been called the "c" word. He had self diagnosed himself as having anxiety, OCD and seasonal depression so I just kept telling myself, it'll get better once the seasons change. But it didn't. Once the baby came he got so angry one day during an argument that he pushed me up against the wall by the neck with the baby in my arms. He quite quickly seemed sorry about what he had done but stated "you can't get in my face like that". So once again not taking any responsibility. Sex is very seldom. At first he said it was his depression meds and then it was that he was weirded out having sex during pregnancy but now it's just he's too tired. He couldn't care less about my needs or the fact that this is upsetting to me and my self esteem.



I could go on and on with other stories but you get the point. I truly feel my boyfriend is narcissistic and extremely self-centered. Everything in our relationship seems to come back to him. He isn't happy at work, he works too much and is stressed, he doesn't have enough me time, there is too much to do at home, he is too tired, the house is too cluttered, his parents ask too much of him. If I have taken time on my mat leave to go to the gym or meet a friend for lunch, he almost seems annoyed/jealous. Even though I constantly make sure the house is neat, dishes done etc so to make him happy. This past winter I did every single chore (from cooking to dishes to dusting to taking care of the kids). The only thing he had to do was garbage and even that he forgot quite often. My problem is that I have felt sorry for my boyfriend because of the not-so-pleasant upbringing he had as a child. Terrible things happened some of which I'm still not aware, but I truly feel he uses this as a crutch at times.



I have pretty much reached my breaking point. He stopped his depression meds a few weeks ago and let me tell you it's been quite the ride. I'm so sick of the "poor me" attitude and him complaining about everything I do. I have to say that oddly enough lately he has gotten better when communicating though. Instead of telling me to f off and walk away now he will talk it out, even if we do end up going around in circles. But aside from that all I seem to hear is how he is so stressed, tired and not living life. If it weren't for the kids, I wonder if he would off himself as he has mentioned suicide before.



I started seeing a counselor alone at first. She told me he would never change and I should have kicked him out the very first time he called me the "c" word. She said that he doesn't respect me and from her experience people like this will not change. Because we have a child together I told her I need to try and work through this if at all possible. So we started counseling. I'm not certain it's going to do any good. My boyfriend is VERY good at portraying himself differently when he has an audience. Always the joker and funny guy and flirt at times. But when he gets home he's a moody jerk. I don't feel he's been "real" so far at our sessions but hopefully that will change. I keep holding onto hope but honestly don't have much of it left. When I read the posts above about men realizing they are this way and making an effort once they do, it does give me some hope.

Married nearly 20 years to a "taker" that is the most self-absorbed individual on earth. Looking back, the selffishness was always there...it has just become worse over the years. With success and money he has become more and more self-absorbed. The success and money haven't changed who I am, but as the years pass, the amount of childish behavior I can tolerate has changed.

The things that I value the most are not things. Everything that I wish that I could receive from my husband are free. A kind word, a little consideration, empathy.



I have sat and listened to him talk about himself and what he's doing and what he wants or wants to do until I'm blue in the face. He isn't interested in anyone but himself, or customers. (we own 2 small businesses)



Last week I had had enough. I told him that I'm tired after all of these years of never being a priority and that his "all about me" behavior is tiresome. These few short sentences took me about half an hour to say because, he is a screamer (which is beyond tiresome) he won't let me finish a sentence. He says he hates that I am able to stay calm when I have a problem and that is why he screams so much. (clearly, it is not my fault that he has no self-control) (although, this is only a problem with me and our children) He is perfectly capable of self-control around customers, his friends, or his parents.



After he finished his tantrum I continued to tell him that we have never been "partners" (except in business) and that our personal relationship needs work as it is not pleasant but rather draining. As well as telling him that he is simply spoiled. He sat and listened to these few sentences without screaming, and agreed that he is spoiled and has never made "US" a priority in the 20 years we've been together.



This is about the 1 zillionth time we've had this very same exchange. I'm so tired. I am a problem solver. If there is a problem, I try to figure out a solution whether it be personal or business. I am calm, cool and collected. Always. I also, believe in self-help and am always trying to improve who I am, as none of us are perfect. I can only improve on who I am, who God wants me to be.

A few hours after this exchange, he left the country to work on a project for one of our businesses. He'll be gone 22 days. I have to say, I couldn't wait for him to leave on this project. And I actually am not looking forward to his return. (he was in the military for 10 years....I don't think we spent 4 of those years near each other) And for the past 7 years, we've owned a business that keeps him gone 20-25 days a month.

It seems crazy not to be able to put forth a little effort to keep relationship together for such few days a month.



I have decided, when he does return that I will tell him that he now lives in the guest room and that we will not be communicating on anything other than things that involve our children ( they both have birthdays next month, turning 16 & 18) and we'll communicate regarding our businesses.



I guess what I'll be telling him, is what I think will make him very happy. Although, he will probably be irritated that I will not be the one sitting and listening to him drone on and on about how great he is. Someone else can have that job.



If he gives me any crap.....I will remove myself from the businesses as well. Then there will be no need for any communication.



Let me say this: He loves both of the businesses more than anything. The work is not hard and the monetary benefits are unbelievable and thrive in any economy. He travels the world and basically is being paid to take working vacations. He has no work stress or anything to complain about......other than me expecting him to do what he can to help out around the house, when he's here. Although, I am also giving up that notion when he returns as well. I can do everything around the house and will continue to do it. He is only interested in sitting on his butt with a computer on his lap.



We have 2 children at home (1 grown and moved away),

Horses, chickens, goats and dogs (and all of the chores that go along with livestock),

I take care of all of this and the 2 business offices, as well as household, yard work, plowing etc.

I love my jobs as well, but mine are very physical/ labor intensive and once in a while a little help would be appreciated. However, he thinks he is above physical labor.



The success and money didn't make him selfish, he was selfish when we were military and living paycheck to paycheck. But, he wasn't as selfish back then.



I think he is simply a narcissist.

Butter 3....

I'm interested to find out what the outcome of this situation was?

I have been married for a while and my wife has been saying me that I am selffish and self-center. I do not what I should do, I am looking for some help how to change my behaviour from selfish to be right husband. I did tried Yogo however it did not work for me. Now, I am trying to take appointment with Psychiatrist/Therapist to get some help so I will not be selffish. Please let me know if you have guideliness how can I improve my self so my wife will be happy with me.I appriciate your feedback and help.

I was asked if I knew what sacrifice was by a man that wa interested in me. the I had a conversatin with my boyfriend about me being selfish and not putting his needs in to account. I have never had children and I know I want to be a wife one day. Tonight I sit here with rears in my eyes relizing I need to put myself second some time. I have to learn that the sacrifice is putting your loved ones need before you own and I don't think I REALLY knew what that meant. I heard a man say one day how to you care for you wife and he said "I died to my needs and live hers." This hurts to think I am so selfish and not the help mate I wanted to be to my partner. It is a hard pillow to swallow an d my eyes are full of tears realizing I have to change to get the love i want.

Wow! I really needed to know there are people out there who understand. Thank you so much for starting this post! My fits so many of the things mentioned here! And he has since we got married almost nine years ago. Our honeymoon lasted two days and is was wonderful! Everything I had dreamed of, but then we came home... I cried when I found out I was pregnant with our son a month before our first wedding anniversary. I cried because it seemed I was stuck and I didn't want to raise a child in such unhappiness. But I stayed and my son is everything to me! I left once when our boy was about two or three. After two weeks he talked me into coming home. He changed for about six months.



Then a couple of years back I had had it again. I didn't leave, because I had some things I needed to work out first. But I let him know I had shut him out and we were through. He made a change again. And took him a while to woo me back. But that time lasted a year. Now I think he's worse than ever!



Today, I came home sick with a virus he just got over. I'm laying in bed with stomach pains and I'm miserable. He comes in and gets in bed with me and holds me. Sweet right? After a while he turns ob the radio and listens to a talk program he likes. After it ends he informs me he's bored. I tell him he doesn't have to stay with me and that I'm probably gonna fall asleep. He keeps on. I tell him go do something, but he says there's nothing to do. He rolls over after this. Then a few seconds later he talks about how he's hungry and that he guesses "this will be another no food day". Now I'm getting upset, because I realise what he's doing after I tell him the things he can eat and he makes excuses for each one. He's trying to manipulate me (which he does to me everyday and his mother too to get whatever he wants done for him or attention) into getting up and cooking him something.



I'm sick. I feel like throwing up and I'm in pain, but please let me make you feel good today! I'm so sick of it!! I love him, but only the side of him that is good, sweet, and love his family.

The roller coaster analogy is what I've felt for so many years now. I don't wanna ride anymore. I'm ashamed of his behaviour and ashamed of me for staying and putting up with it all these years. What do people think of me? The're not blind. Of corse if they are friends or family of his they look down on me because of all the poison he spews about me. He has our own son calling me stupid all the time and he truly believes I am because his dad has said it and critisised me so often!



I really hate this rollercoater! I don't believe in divorce, but I deserve better and so does our son. I don't want my baby ( 7 yrs old now) to grow up to be like his dad. No one should be like that!



So... as I layed here sick and saddened by the way he acted I googled "my husband is self centered" and found you guys. Thanks! I needed to vent and not be judged.

Thank you so much for this page and these responses! It’s helped to ease a bit of my heartache. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 10 months because I couldn’t take his selfish behavior anymore. I miss him terribly and love him, but I cannot be with him if he continues to disregard my feelings and needs. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me. My father passed away in last month, the dream condo I bought 3 yrs ago is falling apart and to top it all of, I may be laid off from my job in the next few weeks. All these things have left me reeling, feeling so lost and sad. I have great friends and family who offer their support. My “ex” is also going through his share of problems and I really feel for him.



When he and I first got together, I didn’t realize how self-centered he was. I was ready and willing to give anything to make him happy in his life. I was handling my own problems so I let his needs come first. We always talked about what he wanted, needed. I went out of my way to do things for him, never ever expecting anything in return. I truly wanted to be a good support system for him. Then, my father passed and in the months leading up to his death I asked my boyfriend to be gentler, more considerate. He couldn’t. He only thought about his needs, his feelings, his emotions. He became very bitter when I stopped being the shoulder he could lean on and needed things to be more balanced between us.



He flaked on dates, never remembered things I said, accused me of things and became very jealous. We had several talks about it and each time he told me I had raised valid points and he needed to grow up but he never did anything about his behavior.



A few days ago, I got so angry that I sent him an angry text that he is very selfish and I wanted to take a break from the relationship. He thought I was bluffing so he said, make it official and clean; give back the keys and come take back all the things I had in his apartment. So I did. I packed my things in front of him, all the while telling him I was so angry and hurt. He said he would think about my calling him selfish and I left. I’ve only sent him an e-mail detailing how hurt I was and that he couldn’t do something as simple as show compassion and empathy to salvage our relationship.

I don’t know what to do. I miss him, but I cannot be with somebody who never considers my feelings or needs.

You did a superb job hun.. keep it up.. and you do deserve a heartiest congrats for taking such a bold step in your life for your happiness...

I'm married 32 years; it took me longer to pick-up on my situation which is very similar to yours..so after 3 children and 3 grandchildren (#4 on the way) I'm going to call it quits. Very scary but it is a real loneliness to know that I am not a priority in my man's life. It won't be a formal divorce cause any division seems unfair; we'll put equal money in a pot and pay all the bills. He can't express "good" feelings toward me just bad ones. This actually works if no arguments or disagreements arise, but if we have an argument he'll say: how can I express loving feelings toward you if we argue. So in good times nothing and bad times are compounded. He is never wrong and never sorry. Problems at his job caused him to have to be transferred because his female boss and he were incompatible. Thank God he is a government employee. He is just very inward and introverted according to him and I make him go more into himself to avoid stress. I am a physician; he is an GS14 engineer. I'm a strong individual, the never give up type, etc. Anyway, I am looking for employment in another city (indianapolis) with low cost of living. I'd rather live alone than keep trying in a failed relationship. Self-centeredness seems caustic to marriage...I would say get out now not later but I don't have the right to say that to anyone. Good Luck.

wow--this post has been going for a while...but i am personally experiencing it now..and let me tell you something--JUST reading this, and knowing I am not alone is --in itself--the therapy I needed--I think.

I cannot change what I am perceiving as selfishness..and now that I see that others have the same view--I dont feel as "demanding" or "crazy" as he tries to make me feel when I make a comment about him not seeming to care about my day, or even, at times..respond to something I say..its like really weird. I almost feel like saying.."are you freaking nuts??- I just said something, and you completely ignored it, and started your own sentence??" but I don't, because it just leads to arguments--or he just rolls his eyes at me--makes me think its ME?!?! Why I have stayed is because of times when he is completely normal--but overall, those times are getting less and less. Its a weird head game I think--not sure.

Thanks for posting all of this guys..I really appreciate it. Hope everyone learned from their relationship, I know I am trying to:)

Tragically for him he is still a sleep. Making demands on you to change for him is very selfish indeed. God knows, you have done the right thing for yourself after all, I know I have mentioned before that one should try to help an ill person but, heck he has to want help first. Do good things for yourself, your happiness is nobody’s business. God bless you!

IJUSTWANTTOHELP, I still don't really know how you woke up from your own nightmare! I was married to a man just like you for 9 years, but he was never able to wake up... even until divorce. My ex-husband was exactly the same as how you described it... he was self-centered, couldn't control his emotions, selfish, and insecure. For awhile, he felt the need to "check out" all of my male friends. If he felt threatened (i.e., my friend makes more money, better looking, better education or family background, etc), my ex-husband would show a pissed looking face throughout the time, and afterwards we could never meet up with that particular friend again. I couldn't buy anything without getting his approvals because my ex-husband believed his opinion was the most important one. He criticized everything if it wasn’t his way. Even left me to deal with the moving company (moving the whole house by myself with 4 male movers) while he was out whitewater rafting with his friends. (Did I mention that we move because he took a job across the country without telling me? I was sad that I had to quite my dream job.) And there was a pattern when we had a disagreement: it always (and I mean that literally) ended up with addressing HIS emotions and needs (I still don’t know how he does it! How he turned the spotlight back on him!)



Even little things… one time (as an example) we went out with friends, and all of a sudden he disappeared. 20 minutes later (while everyone was searching for him) he came back an ice cream cone happily eating it. Of course, he didn’t ask if I wanted one too, nor shared his… It is not uncommon someone would come ask me WTF is with him, or ask how or why I put up with that.



I delayed several years going to grad school because he was opposed of it. He felt it was unnecessary for me, even though he got his (with my support) and was quite arrogant about it. He accused me of being selfish because I was not being considerate of the impact it would have on his lifestyle (so I wasn’t going to get his support). I finally decided to go back to school while working full time, finding time between my schedules to study – so I won’t hurt HIM financially nor lifestyle-wise. But I finally hit my breaking point when he started to accuse me of having affairs with my new colleagues. Constant accusations, nasty remarks, even telling people that I was having an affair… I just had enough. I was already depressed and tired from my marriage that left me ignored, voice unheard, needs unmet - but the new deformation of character just gone too far.



I was raised in a family value that never considers divorce as an option… So I endured feeling of being alone, took care of my own issues, reached out to everyone else other than my ex-husband, and sadden that my partner has proven that he would never be there for me. But at certain point, I felt staying married was too high of a price to pay.



During divorce… he admitted that he knew I was not cheating… but he still saw nothing wrong about himself and accused me of being high maintenance and I was unwilling to change to “accept the way he is”. He was never able to wake up to see how selfish, self-centered, and insecure he was…



Even divorce was not traumatizing enough to wake him up… and that was the reason I finally signed the papers. I only wish he was able to do what you did!

TCHN, your experience really resonated with me- as has many aspects of other's experiences....but what you said really spoke to me. I am on the path to divorce, been separated almost a year, and trying to swallow the idea of divorce even though I know it is the only option I have. I have exhausted myself doing everything I can to open my husband's eyes about his behaviour but I feel he never has any understanding about the situation and simply puts me down. I was also raised in a family that doesn't consider divorce, but the idea of being emotionally abused for the rest of my life seems the opposite of sensible, in comparison to a life where I am heard and appreciated. One month after being married, he was always finding ways to shut me out and totally changed from being kind and considerate and listening to me. He was suddenly flirting with every woman imaginable, having angry outbursts, saying everythign was my problem, comparing me to other women, criticising everything that i did- even things that were clearly for him, judging everything I thought, telling me I'm too emotional and get hurt too easily when he neglected me completly and yet showererd oher people especially women with compliments or compared me, he never wanted to listen to my music, never wanted to visit with my friends, yet he never saw that i was making adjustments for his preferences all the time. I initiated counselling when he began to verbally abuse me and go on rants where he constantly made comments that insulted my intelligence. Anything I would say he would mock me and make fun of me when I was clearly trying to control my own anger at him and work things out. He would then apologize for being angry and then do it all again a week later. I just wanted to get off the rollercoaster, and stop being cornered at the wall of the room and stop being shouted at all the time. The first counsellor we had took his side by thinking he was so evolved when he would admit , "yes, I'm a little bit arrogant and a little bit dramatic"....but when i tried to talk about his behaviour- she only judged me saying that i had anger problems and denied my own anger at him. I was really at my last limit when I went to this counselling for the first time ever, and i let all of my emotions out, but this only made her criticise me more rather than hearing me...i was already being ignored by my husband, i didn't need the therapist to do that too. While I do have issues with being too accomodating for others and expressing when I feel upset- which i have been working on- we never actually got to address what had been happening in the marriage. The counsellor called me immature and would spend the sessions being charmed by his jokes. the next counsellors I initiated helped more, but he never committed to practicing the new attitudes they pointed out that would help the marriage. Verbal abuse had turned into physical abuse and I was still being ignored all the time and told "that's just how i am" and never being shown any change in behaviour. He still expected to everything his way, his view was the standard, anything i said was not worth consideration- especially not my feelings. Even other friends and family's opinions came before mine. I tried to leave many times, and finally have separated and got my own counselling to rebuild my own self- esteem and get out of that dynamic and not repeat it in my relationships. It's been 9 months now and he told me he still hasn't got any counselling, because the therapist was too busy. I cant even cry over that anymore. Months have passed and he still has not made an effort to see a weekly counsellor to work out himself. I feel from the start i've been the only one making any effort. Did you move on from being divorced? how did you survive that? I feel my husband suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and the last 5 years of my life have been a poor investment of my heart and time, although i have learned a lot. I hope you're better now. Not all people like this realise their own issues and I think most stay selfish, even when their own lives go into crisis. What do you think makes them want to start making a change in their behaviour? Anyway, thanks for your post and thanks to all here.

I've a question-Do narcissists like this change after remarriage? If they cheat upon you and remarry, will they be gentler to the other female?

I just thought I can be some help in your situation. I am 33 year old recovering selfish man who is married to an absolutely wonderful independent (such as yourself) woman for the past 7 years and I have came very close to destroying my relationship and my family because of my self-centered behavior, uncontrolled emotions, controlling impulsiveness, and many more traits explicit to the selfishness personality disorder. I must say selfishness can be very tricky to diagnose. Whenever will have an argument my wife will make a comment about my selfishness but I would not acknowledge or own up to it because I thought I was a very considered man in my opinion, and I thought that my wife’s problem was is that she was high maintenance, which in reality is not true she is very gifted, life loving, giving, person. I was so wrapped up in my own emotions and my own emotional needs that it was impossible for me to even notice my selfishness towards her needs. I was told I was a good listener by other people but never by my wife, she had told me that I never pay attention, I may look like I am listening but I could be gone deep into my sub consciousness at the moment. Anyways: The bottom line is my insecurity, my selfishness, and emotional self-centered behavior was harboring itself inside me without me knowing and coming and knocking in my door occasionally for many years. I later realized that I was that way my whole life but I couldn’t know because this is the only life I knew. My personality disorders / defects were camouflaging them self really well from me until about 3 months ago. What happened 3 months ago you will ask? Well, I have started going though unexplainable jealousy episodes, I have started suspecting my wife in hiding something, I did not know what it was but I drove her absolutely insane with my paranoia for about 8 weeks before we have really gotten to the bottom of my issue. Long story short: Your man doesn’t even realize what is going on with him, he is selfish in his emotions, he is wrapped up in his own needs but he just doesn’t realize it yet. It almost took a crisis in my life to get me to dig deep and start separating my selfish behavior from my real self. I have a very good, kind, loving, heart ask my wife :-) , this is why she is still married to me. But your husband / boyfriend need help! My problems are insecurity (I withhold myself because I have a fear of getting hurt, emotionally, fear of rejection, etc). I have gotten burned by previous relationships, my pain still visits me sometimes, I had to forgive and forget (forgetting part is hard but at least if he learns to recognize it that is half the battle). I had to learn to give my LOVE away and not to expect anything back for it. In other words become totally open and selfless. If he listens to YOU, then YOU and only YOU (person he loves) can help him to overcome his personality issues and insecurities and become a real man that YOU deserve to have in YOUR life. I hope this helps at least a little bit! Please keep me posted, my prayers go out to both of you and your partners. Please don’t give up on them; they just need YOUR help, after all GOD would not put you together in life if there was no purpose. God bless you all!!!

I just thought I can be some help in your situation. I am 33 year old recovering selfish man who is married to an absolutely wonderful independent (such as yourself) woman for the past 7 years and I have came very close to destroying my relationship and my family because of my self-centered behavior, uncontrolled emotions, controlling impulsiveness, and many more traits explicit to the selfishness personality disorder. I must say selfishness can be very tricky to diagnose. Whenever will have an argument my wife will make a comment about my selfishness but I would not acknowledge or own up to it because I thought I was a very considered man in my opinion, and I thought that my wife’s problem was is that she was high maintenance, which in reality is not true she is very gifted, life loving, giving, person. I was so wrapped up in my own emotions and my own emotional needs that it was impossible for me to even notice my selfishness towards her needs. I was told I was a good listener by other people but never by my wife, she had told me that I never pay attention, I may look like I am listening but I could be gone deep into my sub consciousness at the moment. Anyways: The bottom line is my insecurity, my selfishness, and emotional self-centered behavior was harboring itself inside me without me knowing and coming and knocking in my door occasionally for many years. I later realized that I was that way my whole life but I couldn’t know because this is the only life I knew. My personality disorders / defects were camouflaging them self really well from me until about 3 months ago. What happened 3 months ago you will ask? Well, I have started going though unexplainable jealousy episodes, I have started suspecting my wife in hiding something, I did not know what it was but I drove her absolutely insane with my paranoia for about 8 weeks before we have really gotten to the bottom of my issue. Long story short: Your man doesn’t even realize what is going on with him, he is selfish in his emotions, he is wrapped up in his own needs but he just doesn’t realize it yet. It almost took a crisis in my life to get me to dig deep and start separating my selfish behavior from my real self. I have a very good, kind, loving, heart ask my wife :-) , this is why she is still married to me. But your husband / boyfriend need help! My problems are insecurity (I withhold myself because I have a fear of getting hurt, emotionally, fear of rejection, etc). I have gotten burned by previous relationships, my pain still visits me sometimes, I had to forgive and forget (forgetting part is hard but at least if he learns to recognize it that is half the battle). I had to learn to give my LOVE away and not to expect anything back for it. In other words become totally open and selfless. If he listens to YOU, then YOU and only YOU (person he loves) can help him to overcome his personality issues and insecurities and become a real man that YOU deserve to have in YOUR life. I hope this helps at least a little bit! Please keep me posted, my prayers go out to both of you and your partners. Please don’t give up on them; they just need YOUR help, after all GOD would not put you together in life if there was no purpose. God bless you all!!!

I need some help, your story match exactly what my boyfriend is, we are both 27, been together for 1.5 years with a 7 month old daughter. I don't know what to do anymore or where to start, I just can't leave him, I know there is a good person in there!

This all sounds so familiar. I've been with my boyfriend for eight months, and I absolutely love him to pieces.



Backstory is, I'd never been in a serious relationship before, and got quite sucked into being around him all the time. I'd previously lived by myself and been happily single and figured that if I met someone amazing enough, I'd go out of my way to accommodate him into my life. I met him when I was going through a tough time (redundancy and financial problems) but it was nothing I couldn't handle and nothing compared to some things I'd handled on my own before.



At the start, it was wonderful. I understood that the start was meant to be wonderful, but in a long-term relationship it's hard to sustain that feeling all the time. I got a bit too wraped up like I said in being around him all the time, probably because it was the first time I'd really met someone I loved, and I was getting used to being around him. I eventually stopped doing all the things I used to do, and stopped seeing my friends. My boyfriend has manic depression and as much as I thought I could handle that all on my own, I know I can't. In the past month, I've realised that (no offence to him, he can't help the way his brain functions at times) his depression has rubbed off on me. He's not in work due to the depression, declared bankruptcy a while back, and berates himself constantly for any reason that his mind chooses to make up and make a big drama out of.



He'd noticed I was becoming more depressed and got defensive about it, not mentioning his own depression (I think he's too ashamed to face that it's had an effect on me, I'm sure I'd be the same) and telling me I always look bored when I'm with him. Thing is, that was actually true. I don't know who the man is who I met, but he does reappear sometimes. I know he's a good soul. He has just tried to start a silly argument over nothing, because for the past few days I've been working on creative things I always used to do (I'm retraining from working in a call centre to doing design) and am getting on at an alarming rate. This happened when I started back at work as well after being made redundant. I think he feels left behind by me sometimes. He keeps calling himself stupid, when he's nowhere near it. He keeps criticising the way he looks when he knows I think he's beautiful.



Point is, it just does not matter what I do to try and make him feel more secure. So I may as well do nothing. He has sexual problems as well and won't acknowledge them, and says that he just doesn't like sex (although the few times we've had it he didn't seem to mind too much). This hurts even more that he rejects me because he's the first person I've ever slept with who I've truly loved (and I've slept with over 20 other people in my younger days, and was raped 8 years ago, so understandably it means so much more that I know I'm over all that crap). I know the problem yet again is that he's ashamed of himself, when he doesn't need to be. He has plenty of qualities to be proud of, but just sits around like a lazy slob all day wasting his life. I'm starting to become resigned to the fact that I'll never really feel loved or appreciated in this relationship. Everything revolves around him, and his own personal dramas that he invents in his head. I wish I knew how to help with that because being him being a narcissist doesn't seem to be good for either of us. I relate to other users' comments of always having to go where he wants to go, eat what he wants to eat, do everything on his schedule. He never puts himself out just to do something for the girlfriend he keeps calling awesome and wonderful, he thinks just saying it to keep me happy is enough.



Maybe one day I'll realise it isn't. It's making me really upset to think of the possibility of leaving him, because when he's not being a self-centred d**k he's the most lovely person you could ever dream of meeting. He's considerate, he's caring, he listens, he asks what I want to do... but the instances of this happening are getting further apart. I don't know if I'm losing him and it terrifies me. I know I don't technically need him, but on the other hand, I can't imagine my life without him in it, it would be more empty and dull and flat.



Sorry about the rant. I'll commit the ultimate sin here and confess to the fact that I wish I could change him. Maybe not him per se, but definitely the childish way he behaves. Btw he's 14 years older than me (and keeps going on about this as well).



Best of luck everyone and thanks for posting, your comments are very supportive to the rest of us.

Interestingly enough, sweet, after I posted this article, my husband sudden… well changed. I wondered for a while if he had an account on EP and had read my post. I still don’t know if what happened but, he is back to the man I married. He isn’t trying to control me anymore, he is taking my suggestions (okay, listening to them at least), and asking me what I want. Because of my trust issues, my first thought was that he had a girlfriend or just broke up with one; but nothing he’s ever done has given that indication. I guess the real answer is that in some way, I started treating him differently, or I said something magical and the universe was aligned perfectly at the time. Sometimes though, I find myself asking him if everything is alright. When he asks why, I remind him of what he was like. He swears up an down he was never that way… Maybe he is my husband’s twin…

I can only tell you that my husband & I have seperated after 19 yrs. I really believe it evolved around the 'I don't need you, but I want you' issue. Everytime I got aggrivated at him I told him that I could live perfectly fine without him, that I chose to be with him, that I don't need him but that I want him. Then I would tell him if he's tired of me let me know & I'll go...I didn't say this all the time, maybe once a year. On the 19th year I went into my spiel, he turned and told me he was tired of me. I had said those things and believed those things every time I said them, but now I'm finding I not only want him, but I truly need him as well. Moral of the story don't say anything you're going to regret later. Sit down and talk it over with him, let him know how you feel and ask him how he feels about it. It's to late for me, but it doesn't have to be to late for you. Good luck.

You're correct Grams. When things first started going south, I thought I just needed to back off a bit. I do have a strong personality and I didn't want to seem as though I wanted everything for myself and wasn't willing to compromise. But, instead of helping, it made things worse. After a while I realized I was making all the concessions--I was compromising myself out of existence. This was when we went to counseling. Interestingly enough, the counselor told him the same things I'd been telling him and I felt vindicated. On top of which I realized that I really hadn’t changed. I was the same woman I was when we married. He was the one who’d changed; from caring, thoughtful and considerate to self-centered and grasping. It is to the point now where we have been living separate lives. He says that isn’t what he wants and I tell him that it takes two to change it. After reading Tardy’s response I decided to approach this from a different angle and realize that he is indeed insecure and I don’t really think he can help it. I’m afraid too, that I’ve lost respect for him because of this. Because I have a hard-won self-confident streak a mile wide I need to be around someone with similar tendencies not someone who is belligerent and unwilling to compromise or to admit when he is wrong. We’re still talking it through though which means there is hope. But I’m definitely through compromising. I still don’t know exactly what changed between the time we married and the time he developed his insecurities. It can’t possibly be over something as stupid as money.

I believe that respect, consideration,making some compromises are a two way street,once he gets the upper hand you lose and it seems you have given in to much. give no respect, earn none, give no consideration, earn none, not willing to compromise, go it alone, dig your heels in before there is no you left... Good luck

TardyDodo, thanks for you insight. It has helped. I started thinking about it and went back over some of the things he's said about how much I make and the house we live in (it was mine before we met). It could indeed be insecurity. Then I wondered what he had to be insecure about, I mean, I married him right? that must count for something. Then it dawned on me. Good grief, am I slow or what? I don't NEED him! That is probably why he is feeling insecure. Next question, how does one convince another that they may not be needed but they are definitely wanted? Saying it is apparently not enough.

His behaviour is unacceptable. If things changed after you got married, it is worth digging deeper to see what has caused this change. Marriage does strange things to men sometimes, and I don't just mean reveal nasty traits that were hidden before. Check for things that might be creating insecurities (eg do you earn more than he does? is he having sexual performance issues) and things like parental issues. It might well turn out that he's just a self-centred ******, but I think it would be a good idea to go looking for the cause of his behaviour first. It's still *HIS* problem, but understanding it may allow you to come to a solution with less grief for yourself.

My ex is like that in the end i couldn't take it anymore and left!

my heart go's out to you,

just remember we all deserve love and respect, and to not be taken forgranted.



from Feflower

He sounds worse than just self centered, to me! He does not behave in a loving manner at all! Don't let his behavior erode your self esteem- you deserve to be treated with thoughtfulness, respect, and consideration, and to be listened to.

That must be frustrating for you.