Some narcissists try to be good but they are still dangerous for your heart.
Some narcissists try to be good or rather they have a false-self image that they are noble and good. Perhaps they see themselves as providers and protectors of women for example. They will profess to be empathetic and kind and will not waste time proclaiming all their good qualities. However, like other narcissists they have a strong need to feel superior, are contemptuous and lack emotive empathy. You see over time that their behaviour is in conflict with the image that they sell to you.
A relationship with this kind of narcissist is a con. It seems great at first but you are being sold a lie. You see over time that they are callous and are skilled liars despite honesty being one of their self-proclaimed virtues. They control through passive-aggression which is anything but passive. They make promises and then just “forget” despite being very organised.
You see over time that their self-proclaimed virtues of being honest, kind and caring are actually the areas where they are lacking.
You can unmask this type of narcissist when you bring up something they have said or done that contradicts their virtuous self image. In a conflict they will use manipulative tactics of blame shifting and gaslighting that other more obvious abusive characters use.
If you find yourself in a relationship with this kind of character, and your life situation is such that you can easily leave them then do so. This is not a healthy love relationship.
If you cannot or do not want to leave because of children or economic considerations then do the following:
- Accept your situation. Fully accept that the relationship is not what you thought it was. He may be a good financial provider and good with the kids for example but he has sold you a lie. He lacks empathy. He uses abusive tactics when challenged.
- Step out of the relationship emotionally. This is not a love relationship. You may be attached to each other but the relationship is not based on understanding and acceptance of one another. It is not a healthy love relationship. Once you see who he really is you find you cannot love him. Accept that fact.
- Work on yourself. Bring all your focus inwards and build yourself up.
- Work on self-trust. Learn to trust your intuition. If your body tells you something is up then it is. Accept it. Work on trusting yourself. When you fully trust yourself and stop focusing on whether how you feel about what he is doing is justified you will feel much better. Accepting how you feel rather than questioning it brings relief and clarity.
- Learn about manipulation tactics so that you recognise them and respond appropriately.
- Work on dissolving the cognitive dissonance. The objective is to see him for who he really is.
If you can build yourself up and work on dissolving the cognitive dissonance eventually his behaviour just will not make sense to you and will seem immature. At that point you can either co-exist in a less reactive state with him or make difficult decisions with more clarity.
A big hug to you if you are in this situation.