getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse

a poster on TAM suggested reading a book called 'getting the love you want' by Harville Hendrix.

I like his (H.H.) underlying reasonings and psychology behind difficult marriages, and his conscious approach to making things better.

However, and I throw this out for discussion, should one partner show marked B/NPD traits does his 'treatment' for couples still work?

It would seem many of the traits he finds in troubled couples resemble PD traits, yet he does not draw a parallel. But he still seems to find solutions.

Is he onto something?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse

well a bit of reading and stuff and I would like to carry on from where I left off. Just my ideas of course......

It would seem troubled couples have certain traits. From Bradshaw and others these traits in adulthood stem from a concept of "toxic shame", forming in the mind at a very young age.

So when we get our needs NOT met in childhood, we develop certain coping strategies, that we keep on using to hide the shame.

These coping strategies are all very well documented, pleasing, agression, emptiness, narcissism, denial, self confidence (lack of) etc etc , and when they are mild they are mild and as they become more defined and permanent and invasive the term PD is used to describe what is going on, I believe.

So does his treatment work for people with heavy doses of traits that fall into the realms of PDs......I would guess less often because when one is really stuck behind big coping strategies or defenses, the idea of coming out and baring all is probably too daunting. So denial and blame is probably as good as it's going to get.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 05:40 AM
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Re: getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:15 AM
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Re: getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse

I'm sure the book shows some examples where it works. But it does not mean it works in any specific individual case.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:25 AM
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Re: getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse

Originally Posted by tagearl View Post
So does his treatment work for people with heavy doses of traits that fall into the realms of PDs.... I would guess less often.....
Tag, I would guess not at all. When a person has strong traits of BPD, his emotional development is frozen at the level of a 3- or 4-year-old. This means he is unable to do self soothing, manage his own emotions, avoid black-white thinking, or intellectually challenge his intense feelings instead of accepting them as self-evident "facts."

You are essentially asking, then, whether that book can teach YOU how to have a successful marriage with a person having the emotional development of a young child and who is incapable of trusting and has a fragile, weak sense of identity. You already know the answer to that all too well.

Many of the traits he finds in troubled couples resemble PD traits.
I agree. We all have the same basic set of human ego defenses (i.e., coping strategies) to work with. This is why we all exhibit BPD and NPD behavioral traits to some degree. And this is why PDs are called "spectrum disorders" and their traits are said to lie on a continuum. It is common for even healthy individuals to exhibit temporary flareups of these traits when under great stress or abusing drugs.

The most common cause of a flareup, however, is a strong hormone change -- e.g., puberty, pregnancy, extreme PMS, postpartum, or perimenopause. Because most of those hormone changes affect women, they tend to exhibit more temporary BPD flareups than men. The lifetime incidence of persistent full-blown BPD, however, is the same for both genders (i.e., about 6%).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 07:18 AM
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Re: getting the love you want with B/NPD spouse

I think at a high level "anything" is possible but it takes the person who is exhibiting the PD traits to "own" them and realize these behaviors are destructive. I just haven't seen many cases where persons who are afflicted with a PD own their behavior and are successful in treatment.
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