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Question: As a one who read the book, how do you rate this book?
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Author Topic: 11. The Narcissistic / Borderline Couple - Joan Lachkar, PhD  (Read 20473 times)

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Gender: Female
Posts: 42

« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2009, 05:10:47 PM »

I hope that we are allowed to comment on articles. If not, I do apologize.

Wow! Although this article dealt with personalities responding to court orders and that is not where I am, I relate to the circular arguments and the *gasp* Narcissistic tendencies.

Both my husband and I had difficult childhoods. My life was fairly normal until my parents started the terrible arguments that led to the divorce. My mother became a raging alcoholic. For at the very least 5 years, I became a wild child, in my teen aged years. I traveled from state to state with an addicted female lover, unhappy, but refusing to come back home until my mother changed. She did. She entered therapy and AA. I had her back. I came back home. Matter of fact, my family lives beside her now.

My husband's parents remained together. He was the baby of 3 children. His mother is co-dependant and an addict, his father is abusive and an addict. Shortly after my husband and I had our 3rd child (his first), his parents sold their home, took off for parts unknown and we, nor any of the family, has heard from them since. The oldest sibling in my husband's family, spent many years in jail. He is transgendered and feels that it was nurture instead of nature that led him in that direction. I personally feel that it may have been a combination of both, but my thoughts are neither here nor there. The middle sibling is well into his second long term prison sentence, then there is my husband, who I do believe is BPD. He has been diagnosed with PTSD, but he stopped therapy.

This is why I am here. I want to stop this dance. Currently I am withdrawn from him. I have been doing pretty well with validating and have established some boundaries, but I don't know how to proceed from here. I need to feel connected. I guess that means that I need to be 'mirrored' but I know that he can't do that. I end up shocked, surprised and hurt, then I withdraw, just to be pulled out of it by his promises... .then the cycle continues. His abuse has been hard to take (emotional abuse, lies, passive aggressive tendencies, failure to keep a job over a long period of time) and I am afraid that I have been enabling him. I'm feeling really confused on how to proceed right now. I am sorry if this comes across as rambling. I will now go study Narcissism. I need to have some resolve. Thanks so much for this forum. I am learning a lot here. I feel validated here. I feel safe.
Formerly "Mobocracy"
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Posts: 663

« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2010, 05:06:23 PM »

Probably the the most life-changing/eye-opening book I have read. I loved this book, however, it is geared more towards the psych professional than the average reader, so there may be some terminology and parts that may be difficult to understand.

po·ten·tial  adj.
1. Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent: a potential greatness.
2. Having possibility, capability, or power.
3. The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.
4. Something possessing the capacity for growth or development.
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Posts: 133

« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2010, 10:58:44 PM »

I have read this book and it clearly delineates in detail the intricacies of the dysfunctional dance between the N and BPD.  The main point I came away with is that the BPD's reaction is primarily shame-based and the N's reaction is primarily guilt-ridden.  How shame and guilt react to each other is the foundation of the dysfunction of the N/BPD couple.  A very interesting read.
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2010, 01:52:51 PM »

Interesting article, and unfortunately I can relate to this unique combination of personality disorders.

The author hit the nail squarely on the head when he described the "circular" pattern of conflict. My mom is uBPD and her husband is uNPD.

Their marriage has lasted since the sixties, and I'm still wondering how. Reading through this article has definitely shed some light on the dynamic between them. While I've witnessed them interacting with one another - with hostility just beneath the surface for many years - as they've aged it's become far more pervasive.

uBPDm would attack and criticize, while uNPDsf would withdraw and seek his jollies elsewhere. This would trigger the "abandonment" response from mom - and eventually they'd reconcile - ONLY to begin the circular process - all over again a while later.

Like two pieces is a very confusing puzzle, they are.

Thanks for posting this article.

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Posts: 133

« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2010, 11:23:19 PM »

this is a great article. i have a parent with NPD. for a second i became concerned about this because although i do not exhibit many NPD traits (i also had a therapist give me a complete series of tests on which i scored pretty low in the narcissistic category) the dynamic explained here where the person with NPD withdraws seems pretty on par with what i did. i would like to think that many people withdraw to cope with a partner that has BPD, but this doesnt really mean they themselves have NPD. i mean, after loving him through it didnt work and fighting back didnt work, my pattern became to withdraw to protect my sanity. of course this was towards the end of the relationship where i honestly didnt know what to do anymore and was rapidly losing faith.  i suppose i've often questioned my own sanity, but never ever before this relationship. i know i am not codependent either. i just wonder what drew me to him. what was the mirror. i really want to figure this out and work on it within myself so that i do not attract this type of partner again.
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« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2011, 12:42:35 PM »

  About a year ago I read 'The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple' by Joan Lachkar. It was very helpful to me to see and understand the "dance" between my uBPD momster and uNPD father.

  It was validating in that it helped me understand more deeply the crazed environment that was my childhood and how I was trained to think it was my duty to take care of everyone but me, blame myself for everyone's problems and unhappiness, and let other get away with not treating me well.

  It helped me to detach further from their chaos and take better care of myself and let go of any hope that I can fix them, make them happy, or earn their love. Their lives truly are about them, only them.  I am so detached that I am almost gone from their lives. I wonder if they have noticed.

   This book is written more for marriage counselors, etc.  and has only a  little about the effects the children of the BPD/NPD couple.  But still it gave me the info I needed to move on.
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Posts: 268

« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2011, 01:21:21 AM »

Just a comment on peoples findings on the tests here and somethng else I had read about. I read that NPD and BPD relationships although eventually come to an end but also can last because of how the Narcisist is looking for that attention and admiration then withdraws when gets the bad parts of the borderline so then the borderline fearing their leaving may start their idealizing again and their dance can go back and forth and feed each other for many years possibly.

So even though either isn't healthy it actually may work for this pairing , what happened with the high scoring NPD's and their BPD partners and were they a longer laster relationship than others.

I know for me t was more myself I am a dependent so I suffered years after he left and just starting my road learning his BPD (which I hadn't known) and my role in trying to figure out what I did wrong and make it better,help him,get him to come back to his wife etc.even after he found someone else a couple years later and tossed our relationship aside I continued hoping and wanting.
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Posts: 1588

« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2012, 08:04:04 PM »

Just wondering if any of the adult children of a BPD/NPD have read this book:

The Narcissistic / Borderline Couple:

A Psychoanalytic Perspective On Marital Treatment

By Joan Lachkar, PhD

I've seen it mentioned here a few times and further to a recent discussion on a thread here about the commonality of BPD/NPD pairings, (that's my family) I am curious to know if anyone has read it and found it helpful - or otherwise, as the case may be.

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Posts: 1569

« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2012, 06:11:08 PM »

I too have seen it mentioned but have never read it. My mom is uBPD married 8 times so I have no experience with her mating in life with an NPD. She was able to reduce once powerdul men to sniveling, bankrupt, whipped puppies though and then would divorce them and take half of whatever they had left.
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Posts: 875

« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2012, 07:05:14 PM »

Yes, I've read it.  It's very clinical but has lots of good insight into the dynamics of BPD/NPD relationships.  I recognized a lot of my own experiences there.  It also offers practical suggestions for therapists working with BPD/NPD couples. 
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Posts: 1408

« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2012, 11:49:41 AM »

I've read it--Lachkar's stuff is *very* technical, written for therapists and other professionals.  However, "How to Talk to A Narcissist" is written more for the common man/woman, and was actually very helpful for me.  My parents are/were a NPD/BPD couple, and in my opinion, their dynamics create a unique set of needs in their kids.
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« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2012, 08:59:13 AM »

I have read it. Yes, very technical. It was helpful to me in giving me insight into the "dance" between my uBPDm & uNPDf.  I can better understand their self-centered focus, and acting out which created such crazy-making chaotic problems between them.  And in turn for me. Their behavior made my childhood such a difficult time and left me with no boundries, no self-worth, and no idea of what a healthy relationship was (other than to choose the company of people who were not like them    ).  I see that they had these issues long before I was born. This parentize, white-knighted, FOG-ladened, adult child realized there was nothing I could ever have done to save them from themselves. And that they were "just not that into" me from the very start of my life because they were each consumed by their own inner tormoil.

It was OK for me to give up my life long dedicated work of taking care of them and finally take care of myself.
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1107

« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2012, 02:25:02 AM »

Read bits of this along with many other publications. It is hard to comment in my situation which is totally peaceful although not without the usual differences of opinion. These do not damage the core of the relationship. All I can say is that in order to have an open dialogue in relationship, there needs to be two people present.
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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 134

« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2015, 08:36:10 AM »

Very good article.

Brings home a few truths. My ex had BPD traits and I NPD traits.
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