Codependency Home Page
About Diane England, Ph.D.
About Codependency & Narcissism Articles
Article: Look to Self, not White Knight
Article:Codependency and Shame Linked
Article:Are Narcissistic Men Coodependent?
Article:Codependency/Control Issues
Article: Pain Relief via Conscious Choices
Article: Avenue to Religion/Spirituality
Article: Spirituality as a Codependency Cure
Dr. England's PTSD Relationship Book
Link to PTSD Relationship Website
Articles on Narcissists and Abuse
About Finding Codependency Books
Contact Dr. Diane England
User Agreeement Codependency Site
Site Map
e-mail me



Let's assume that you now find yourself either married or in a relationship with a man who once seemed so kind and giving, but now seems self-centered and likely verbally abusive instead. When you think back to the early days of your relationship, could you hardly believe how fortunate you were? Did you think your romantic dreams had finally come true? You might have even thought you'd met the perfect man--your white knight.

Oh sure, there might have been a few red flags waving, You ignored then, though, didn't you? After all, he probably came on strong. He said things that made you feel wonderful. Also, did he want to see you all the time? And often when you were together, was he taking you to fabulous places? Perhaps he even showered you with flowers and expensive gifts.

You might have thought it was all a bit much--that the gifts were inappropriate for the amount of time you'd been together, for example. However, did he have good reasons why it made perfect sense for him to give them to you--as well as for you to accept them?

He might have seemed like a white knight because he wanted to help you tackle the various problems you currently faced in your life. You noticed and were pleased with the way he empathized with your concerns and worries. In other words, he likely seemed unique--different from the other men you'd ever known or dated.

Perhaps, best of all, he made you feel so very special.

Falling in love can be wonderful and a heady experience anyway. But when your love interest is a charming and successful narcissistic man who presents that image of the white knight or prince you've fantasized about since childhood, well, it really can make it quite impossible for you to both see and think straight.

The thing is, that's probably exactly how your "white knight" wanted it to be, too. Because you were swept off your feet and so enthralled, you missed those red flags that others, such as friends and family who truly do love you and care about you and want you to forever be happy, tried to warn you about. But undoubtedly, you wouldn't hear a word of what they had to say. While they called him angry, you called him passionate. While they called him controlling, you called him concerned about your well-being.

Today, things are likely different--or you probably wouldn't be reading this article, isn't that so? Perhaps the happy times are now but distant memories. Then again, perhaps these days have only recently passed and, as a result, you can't quite believe they're truly over. Nevertheless, if anxiety and emotional pain now fill your days, you're likely living with a narcissistic man who's finally showing his true colors.

He won your heart and hence, your commitment to make him happy. Now, he only needs to keep you in line--to ensure that he keeps getting all he wants from you. And one way to do this? By keeping you off balance.

When you are emotionally off-balance in the way the narcissistic man desires, it keeps you striving harder to please him. But, as you've likely been learning in recent days and weeks, nothing you ever do is ever enough.

See, these men displaying pathological levels of narcissism--no, they don't have to have actual Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD--don't perceive things as we women typically do. They share a different world view, in other words. Actually, they are into power over others. They are into perceiving themselves as being better than others. And, they are also into living life by The Golden Rule--as they define it, that is. Don't think it has anything to do with The Golden Rule as found in The Bible.

Do you know how the narcissistic man defines The Golden Rule? I didn't initially, so I assume you might not, either. So here it is now: He who makes the gold makes the rules.

And I expected a partnership when I married my narcissistic spouse. Silly me.

You may be wondering why these men believe and behave as they do. Sure, it might help you to have that understanding. (You'll find helpful articles about the narcissistic man at But what is most important is that you start absorbing this truth and how it affects your current reality. Tell yourself that this also helps to explain why your life with a man suffering from pathological levels of narcissism is not going to change unless he decides to do so. And, quite frankly, most narcissistic men do not feel motivated to do so.

For the narcissist man to change, he must develop new beliefs that in turn promote new behaviors on his part. But remember, from his standpoint, everything is working just fine. He is getting what he wants from you through behavior that is likely controlling and verbally abusive--if not worse. Furthermore, because the narcissist essentially lacks the ability to empathize with others, he doesn't feel badly that you are anxiety-ridden or dragged down by emotional pain. All that matters is him and his needs. Of course, since you continue to strive harder and harder to meet these regularly, what is his motivation to change?

Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't change--or shouldn't try to do so. In fact, if you have been living in a state of codependency, looking to a narcissistic man for a sense of identity and to be your source of happiness, stop looking in his direction. It is time to forget about white knights and being rescued. It is time to become responsible for yourself, your life, and your happiness--to become codependent-no-more.

Codependency is about looking to others, a lifestyle, or things, for example, to make yourself feel good about yourself--that you are indeed worthy. And while any one of these may work for awhile, they seem to ultimately fail the person. Instead, you must turn within and embrace who you really are--including your personal power. When you are living with a narcissistic man, however, you're in a situation where your spirit or soul are continually wounded. No, they are not fed as they truly need to be for you to become your highest and best self.

Is it time for you to step onto the path of recovery from living with a narcissistic and abusive man? Is it time to move beyond codependency and become codependent-no-more? I hope you're nodding your head--even if you're doing it in slow motion. At least, that's a step in the right direction.