Does Your Partner Have Wonderful Man Syndrome?

10 Jul 2018

Did your narcissistic and emotionally abusive partner tell you how wonderful they are?  Did they keep telling you how lucky you were to have them?

And did they do that in between telling you what a worthless wife, mother, lover and human being you were?

Most of the time these “wonderful” partners sound so persuasive – and they speak with such disregard for your worth as a human being – that you end up believing them.  Even if you end up feeling as if your brain has split into two halves.

Two Different Stories

You can feel like you listening to two different stories – inside your own head.  One half of your brain is saying,

“It’s true.  They are absolutely wonderful.  I’m so lucky to have them. I’d never find someone as wonderful as them, again.”

While the other part is saying, “They are just so heartless.  Is it really okay for someone who is meant to be my partner to attack and insult me like that?”

With your brain telling you two such different things, more or less at the same time, it’s no wonder you struggle to reply or react.

Theoretically, this should play out the way it does in the movies.  This should be the moment when you draw yourself up to your full height and say,

“You know what? I’m done with you, you shabby, pathetic, bullying, disgusting excuse for a partner.  It is O-V-E-R.”

Sadly, reality doesn’t play out quite like that.  Rather, all that internal debate – coupled with a strong sense of the injustice your partner is doing to you – paralyses you.   Which is just what your narcissistic and emotionally abusive partner wants.

Now, you may well be wondering,

“Does my narcissistic and emotionally abusive partner really believe what they are saying?”

“Do they really believe what they are saying?”

That question sums up in a nutshell  everything that sets the two of you apart.  You have a big issue with truth.  You try to be as honest as you possibly can be.  For you, that is all part of showing up as a good enough human being to be lovable.

You pride yourself on being an honest human being and being as good as you possibly can be.

A narcissistic and abusive partner, on the other hand, prides himself on something completely different.  He (or she) prides herself on being powerful.

What makes them wonderful?

Because they say so.

The word of the narcissistic and emotionally abusive partner is meant to be your law and your truth.

Do they have to do anything to earn the right to call themselves wonderful  – or whatever other form of words they use to describe their own  allegedly superior humanity?

Not as far as I can tell.

It does not matter in the slightest if they have let themselves run to seed, if their professional attainment cannot compare to their spouse’s, if they have not a friend in the world (or even a tooth in their heads) they are always infinitely superior in every way . In their own eyes.

Anything that they are – or do – is worth a thousand times more than anything that you are, or do.

Don’t disappear down the rabbit hole of “understanding” your partner.

This is the point at which so many partners of Narcissists and emotional abusers lose themselves down the rabbit-hole of trying to “understand” their partner.

They ask,

“But if my partner has such an inflated and unrealistic idea of their own worth and importance, does that mean that they have a mental health problem?”

Increasingly, my response to that question is,

“Do you want to be their mental health professional?”

The Mental Health Problem Question

Largely, the Mental Health Problem Question suggests to me that the partner of a narcissist and emotional abuser wants – not just an explanation – but indisputable proof of why they really should leave.   Or, more likely, stay. Because if someone has a serious problem, it would be wrong to leave, wouldn’t it? When the right thing is really to stay.  Allegedly.

If self-sacrifice with absolutely no return on the investment of your life, your health and your sanity is your thing, then staying represents an excellent option.

If, on the other hand,  you feel troubled by that voice in your head that says, “Look, I don’t want to reach the end of my life without knowing what it is like to feel genuinely happy and safe in my skin.  I don’t want to die without knowing what it is truly to love and be loved”, then staying ceases to be an option.

You really don’t want to be  the lifetime punchbag of a so-called “Wonderful partner” whose wonderfulness consists of knocking you down.  Over and over again.

That’s my initial response to the Mental Health Problem Question.

But, still, for a lot of people, where there is even the hint of a justification of an excuse for their partner’s toxic behaviour, they will cling to their hope of the outside chance materializing.  Why shouldn’t  their frog morph into love’s  young dream, love’s not so young dream, or even love’s much dented dream – with permanent mental health problems.

Three questions you need to ask yourself

These people need to run their hope past reality and ask themselves three questions.

1) Can their narcissistic and emotionally abusive partner function in the outside world?  We’re not talking about functioning perfectly, simply functioning, If they can function, after a fashion, in the outside world, then they are likely no crazier than an awful lot of the population.

They may well be nastier, but they are not significantly crazier.

Unless, you are willing to make the same excuses for  and justify the same levels of abuse and ill treatment from everyone else whose functioning is less than perfect – starting from yourself!!! – why would you make them a special cause.

2) Do they subject everyone, indiscriminately, to the level of psyche-bashing and celebration of their own wonderfulness? Or do they reserve most of their most outrageous self-aggrandizement for you?

Would they make those claims, at work, to managers, bosses, and  other authority figures? Or are they smart enough not to?

Because if they are smart enough to watch their mouths when it matters,  that tells you all that you need to know.

3) Can you, personally, reconcile being “wonderful” with being a lying, cruel, destructive jerk?

If the answer is “no” – and I am guessing that your answer is “No” – then I invite you to see all their “wonderfulness signalling” in the new light of a very, very big red flag.  Nobody has the right to be “wonderful” at your expense.   If all that wonderfulness is making you feel terrible and you need help to believe in your own worth, don’t wait any longer, get in touch now. Don’t let Wonderful Man Syndrome bring you down any longer.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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