Is Your Partner Too Self-Involved?

By

Is Your Partner Too Self-Involved?
Tips To Recognize If Your Partner Is Emotionally Abusive

Relationships: Tips to Recognize if your Partner is Emotionally Abusive

The problem that I find with my struggling couples is the narcissistic concept they hold of romantic love. They believe it is something they are entitled to feel based on the devoted actions of their partner to their needs. I often hear the complaint "but I'm just not in love with him/her any more" and that one of the couples has "outgrown" the other or has become bored.

In working with them, I see the need to get each one out of their self-centered orientation and focused on what each of them is contributing (or not) to the health of the relationship. To expect that rush we first felt in early relationship years is unrealistic. Couples need to learn to accept the individual responsibility for their own internal growth and stability so that they bring something to the partnership, and that participation is what feeds intimacy, appreciation, acceptance and love. When these components are present in a relationship there is an ongoing bond that tolerates the ebbs and flows of long-term attachment without the expectation that the other person is responsible for the "romance" in their lives.

Ever look around at who stays married, and who doesn't? Overweight people far outnumber the thin and beautiful in successful marriages. The svelte and attractive get far more dates but don't seem as able to close the deal. Perhaps it's because the thicker daters aren't as narcissistic, or maybe they just settle for less.

On the other hand, maybe they're built for comfort. I suspect they're just focused more on things other than their own appearance, and that turns out to be an asset in relationships. I think the expectations and the ways they connect with others is a factor, too. Perhaps the unlovely have an easier time believing they're loved for themselves, rather than for their looks.

Many modern brides get focused on the "production" of the wedding, seeing it more as a theatrical event than an emotional and/or spiritual experience. This leads to a narcissistic outlook (it's all about me looking perfect, getting exactly what I want) rather than a healthier focus on the spiritual import (it's a blessing on the future of the couple) and the happiness of your spouse, friends and family—ideally, it's an opportunity for members of the new "family" of in-laws and friends to get acquainted, to bond, and to support the happy couple.

The drive to get everything "picture perfect" raises the stress level (the fainting bride was suffering from exhaustion and stress) and tends to create power struggles between bride and groom, mother and bride, mother-in-law and bride. And even the bride's parents can be talked into spending much more than they can afford, which leads to arguments between that couple.

More advice on abusive relationships from YourTango:

Keep reading...

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

Mirrors and Teachers

By

There are people I love who are easy to be around, and others I love who are more difficult for me. It’s not that they’re bad people, others get along with them fine, and, actually, so do I. It’s just that I have to work a little bit more to understand what they mean, to not take what they say the wrong way, or use a little more patience ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: I Would Like To Get Out Of This Anxiety

By

Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a 70-year-old man who has been married more than 40 years.  I read your article "Autonomy and Dependency" I feel like I've been in a codependency relationship the last fifteen years and have developed anxiety & depression. My wife is a strong person and I'm a 'pleaser.' I've been on ... Read more

Live Outside The Box

By

I was speaking with a client today about how he is burn-out in his career. This is a man who's been very successful, earned a lot of money, and worked hard for a big, national corporation. I told him he was burned-out, and on strike, because he had put himself in a box about work. The box consisted of four walls: Wall #1: I have to make $$$$ amount ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.