Years ago I met a much younger man (him 20s, me 40s) and we had a brief, stormy relationship that crashed and burned due to his infidelity. When we get along, everything is wonderful.

We kept in touch, and after several years got back together and now live together, for a little over 2 years. I insisted on complete transparency for Round II, believing that we can build trust over time (which we have). I do not suspect infidelity.

Nearly all of our fights relate to either his inability to accomplish what he intends/promises (he's lazy and I'm the opposite) or to what I've concluded is a narcissistic personality. (I'm not a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, nor do I play one on TV but I can read and have carefully matched his behaviour with that diagnosis.) He will ridicule and demean me, which for some time my only response was "be nice" or "cut that out." That behaviour continues, despite my now explosive reactions. "I'm just joking" he says. I've explained that after months and months of this conduct and my unpleasant responses he should stop already. "I try but it isn't easy."

He seems to believe that his good looks should carry the day. He is in love with taking pictures of himself and his junk (which is impressive, to be sure). He will change his mind about doing something that is new for him when he hears I've already done that/been there. "Why did you change your mind?" I ask, and he gives no reason. He will say things like "You never compliment me," or, "You're not romantic anymore," both of which are untrue. He says (and I don't believe it) that his mother always told him when he was growing up that he was special, that no one would ever be as smart or as good looking as he. He dreams about a lifestyle that, frankly, he will never afford on his own (or with me, for that matter). He blames me for most, if not all, of our problems. He now neglects me in bed, to the point where I'd rather just jerk off (REALLY disappointing, because the sex was always good).

I searched your archives for any reference to narcissistic behaviour and found none. Everything I've read online suggests there is no real hope. I've asked him to see a therapist, which he says is a good idea, but that's a long road and I'm at my wit's end dealing with him. I plan to talk to my therapist about this but wondered if you had any thoughts? I'm going crazy thinking things will change for the better but facing the reality they may not.

I'm Sad As Hell and Can't Take It Anymore

My response after the jump...



I'll elaborate: Okay, he's hot. But he won't be hot forever. And he knows it. And you know it. He's also—narcissism aside, mommy issues aside—emotionally abusive. He doesn't treat you well. That all by itself should be the end of it/this/him. Because what will you be left with in fifteen or twenty years? An old jerk with a big dick who thinks he could've done better, lifestyle-wise, if he hadn't have settled for you. So in fifteen or twenty years he'll be even shittier to you than he is now.

You wanna stick around for that?

And while I'm on your side (and your side is the only side of the story I've got), ISAHACTIA, I'm not offering you absolution here. Let's set aside your boyfriend's issues for a second—his narcissism and his mommy shit and his materialism and his cruelty—and think about your issues. It sounds to me like the only reason to be with this guy is his looks. Thinking with your dick is pretty shallow, no? And you've probably enjoyed him as status symbol too. You're the guy with the hot boyfriend. But at what price? Once again: we all end up with average-looking boyfriends/partners/husbands in the end. Time tears each and every one of us to shreds. So I would advise you to find a guy you enjoy spending time with, a guy who is good to you, because while physical beauty inevitably fades, assholery enabled by beauty inevitably turns to rage.

You don't wanna stick around for that.

Dump this guy and find someone better—dump this guy and be someone better. Or be alone, ISAHACTIA, which would be better than being with an asshole.—Dan