Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

A place to help from being limerent again and how to cope with limerence in future relationships.
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David
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Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by David »

I came across these 4 prerequisites taken from this article and liked them. They are relevant to this site as I suspect most of us with limerence are high on the scale of these traits and as a consequence our partners may be too.

https://shrink4men.com/2020/07/03/coupl ... rderlines/

Couples therapy rarely works with a person who’s personality disordered (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
Remember, couples therapy with narcissists and borderlines is a theater of blame. They blame you for most (if not all) the problems and take no responsibility for their choices and behaviors You can’t single-handedly fix relationship problems. Nor can you do the work for your partner.

In order for couples counseling to be effective, several things need to happen:

1. Integrity. The professional victim stops victim-playing and takes responsibility for themselves instead of blaming their partner, their family and the world. Additionally, the lying must stop. Including lying to therapists. That’s the thing about pathological liars. They’re pathological. And they won’t stop.

2. Reciprocity. Agree that the relationship will no longer be a one-way street paved with double standards. Neither partner’s needs, wants and feelings are more important than the others.

3. BOUNDARIES. Mutual respect for boundaries is non-negotiable. It’s also important to clearly define boundaries. For example, “My boundary is you must not talk to me about my behavior that’s hurtful and destructive because it triggers me! I can blast you with everything I feel you do wrong and if you don’t admit fault you’re not communicating!” is NOT a boundary.

4. Emotional maturity. The mutual realization and acceptance that the only person you can change is yourself. Furthermore, if your partner doesn’t see anything wrong with their behavior and attitudes, they’re not going to change. In other words, mature people accept reality rather than obstinately denying it.
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Acrobatica
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by Acrobatica »

David:

This article looks good and appears to be consistent with many others I have read.

I wonder, however, why you said that many of us are likely narcissists and borderlines, and thus our spouses are also likely narcissists and borderlines. This article, as well as the hundreds of other articles that are consistent with it, state that most narcissists and borderlines end up with co-dependents. And co-dependent is not a diagnosis under the DSM, but is, instead, a collection of learned traits, often from childhood trauma (or from being raised by someone with narcissistic borderline traits).

From what I have read, it is relatively rare for narcissists to form long-term relationships with other narcissists. It happens, but it is not the normal dynamic.

This article does not support your thesis that people with narcissistic/borderline traits tend to end up together. So I am wondering why you are saying that.

Also, this article basically says (as do most on this subject) that it is futile to do couple's counseling with a person with a personality disorder, because having a personality disorder means that the person lacks the self-insight to change. So while the things you list are essential to couple's counseling, they are simply out of reach for a person with a true personality disorder.
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by David »

Acrobatica, Good question

For me, we are all on a spectrum of these traits and I am more interested in working with what a client brings along, rather than trying to fit them to a specific diagnosis. For me, narcissism and codependency are 2 sides of the same coin.

I see co-depdendents as covert narcissist. they are just as narcissistic as the over narcissist, just more covert about it.

See https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog ... endent-too

So much of what is in the popular press around narcissistic abuse completely negates the role of the partner, often a co-dependent, who is painted as the hapless victim. This perpetuates the drama triangle of victim / oppressor dynamic and diminishes the need for the codependent to look at their own role in being attracted to the narcissist.

As the author of the article I quoted states " The professional victim stops victim-playing and takes responsibility for themselves instead of blaming their partner, their family and the world."

We as limerent's are playing professional victim's until we wake up and get more self aware. This was impossible for me to see at the peak of my own limerence. Now I see it as clear as day.
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by Cookie »

David wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:39 am I see co-depdendents as covert narcissist. they are just as narcissistic as the over narcissist, just more covert about it.
I've been reading and watching a lot about "inverted narcissism" and would characterize it as dependence on narcissists for our own narcissistic reasons. I would definitely put myself in this category, not that the labels are important. It's helped a lot with the understanding though.
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by L-F »

David wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:12 pm
Remember, couples therapy with narcissists and borderlines is a theater of blame. They blame you for most (if not all) the problems and take no responsibility for their choices and behaviors You can’t single-handedly fix relationship problems. Nor can you do the work for your partner.
Love this! So true.

The best bet is to turn that finger around to point at self and ask "what am I doing to improve my situation?"

That's it. That's all you can do. Save your energy for helping yourself to change, because you really can't change anyone else unless they want to.
Last edited by L-F on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"LF, why do you weep for the inner child of your abusers?"
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by L-F »

David wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:39 am We as limerent's are playing professional victim's until we wake up and get more self aware.
\:D/ \:D/ \:D/




Complaining about a narcissist only makes you sound like one.
Last edited by L-F on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Essentials for couples counselling with narcissists and borderlines

Post by David »

L-F wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:29 am
Complaining about a narcissist only makes you sound like one.
Great statement
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