In Bed with The Devil

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We are continuing to talk about building a strong foundation for our lives and more specifically our relationships.  In the previous blog posts we talked a lot about how our past failed relationships can damage our foundation for future relationships.  We have to move things like control, mistrust, and being permissive out of our foundations.  Today let’s look at something that I’ve heard a lot about from the walking wounded…those who were hurt badly and have a fractured foundation.

The one diagnosis I hear many folks give their ex is narcissist. I am thankful I have never been in a romantic relationship with a narcissist, but I have had working relationships with many.  And for a lack of a better phrase, it is a beating!  Before we go any further let’s list out the symptoms of someone with a narcissistic personality disorder (from Mayo Clinic):

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation

Now, many of you read through that and said, “Yep, that was my ex” but remember this blog isn’t here to help your ex.  We can’t control their behavior, but we can control our own.  Well on second thought, you can send them the link to the blog, but as you can see from the above symptomology they will lash out and possibly say you are the one with the problem!

So the questions you and I need to ask ourselves today is one, are we narcissistic?  Two, if not then why have we found ourselves attracted to those who are narcissistic? The first question is difficult because most narcissistic people don’t see it in their own behavior.  So you may need to ask a close friend and hold your breath.  If so, that is a major crack in your relational foundation and it must be repaired for you to have healthy relationships. And you’ll need professional help.

The second question has an easy answer.  You likely fall for the narcissist because in the beginning they are “large and in charge.”  They are charismatic, funny, often times successful, charming, and know how to win friends and influence people.  It isn’t until you get close to them that you realize they are quite frankly jerks!  And they use people up very quickly.  When you are no longer useful to them or making them look good then they will move on.  They crush everyone in their path.

If you find yourself continually falling for this personality type you need to repair your foundation.  My guess is that you are drawn to their power.  They are often times (as earlier stated) in positions of power and some folks find that intoxicating.  Look at that word intoxicating again.  Can you find a word in there that describes how the relationship with a narcissist eventually turns out?  TOXIC!  When we find people intoxicating we need to take a step back and ask why.  We need to make sure that our level of inferiority isn’t being lifted by their overwhelming sense of superiority.  Does that make sense?

If you are a person who feels you lack power or a prominent position in life then you may be drawn to attach yourself to those who do.  It will cause you to ignore their red flags because again, you are drawn to their power, which gives you a false sense of power for yourself.  We see it all the time in politics and the entertainment business. When we seek to gain power by being in a relationship with someone then there is a crack in our foundation.

So let’s end with a special message to those of you who have been hurt by the narcissist.  You have been lead to believe that the relationship failed because of you.  You have been lead to believe that you are the one who needs help, and they likely even said you were crazy.  Sweet man or lady, you have been manipulated. You have been mislead on nearly every relational level.

The narcissist can truly be evil in how they handle others.  You will walk away feeling as though you failed when in reality you were being abused. And if they were really good at being bad…you even believe you deserved to be abused! Yes, you may have even said, “I just pushed him/her too far!” Listen, you are one of God’s beautiful children, and you were created not to pursue those with power, but to realize the greatest power of all lives within you.  You don’t need someone to empower you.  You need someone to love and adore you.

Love you,


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Tony Russell

Hello, my name is Tony and I have a lot of great advice, because I have made a lot of mistakes! I am a former licensed counselor and pastor, but I have learned more about life through my experiences than my education. I make my living as the host of the morning show on 98.7 The Bull in Portland, Oregon. Being a counselor didn't stop me from hitting a midlife crisis. I began questioning everything from my self-worth to my spiritual beliefs. And if that wasn't enough, surprise! I found out I would be getting a divorce. This has all lead to a journey that can be full of extreme anxiety, depression, and soul searching. I have the same questions as you do and maybe together we can find some answers. My goal for this blog is to share my journey in hopes that it will help you better navigate this amazing time in life. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. I know life can be difficult, but I find that it is easier when we do it together!

2 thoughts on “In Bed with The Devil”

  1. I’ve read a lot of narcissist blogs and books. You really nailed it regarding the intoxicated feeling and attraction to their power. Power in a relationship should be balanced. Now that I’m healthier I can see this. You stated it very simply and perfectly thank you.


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