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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Dr. David B. Hawkins, Director of The Marriage Recovery Center, talks about his experience in working with thousands of couples, many of whom were narcissistic. Many say that NPD’s are untreatable–not Dr. Hawkins. In fact, many with narcissistic personality traits can be worked with in his Marriage Intensive format.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a psychological condition characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-involvement, entitlement, lack of empathy, and an inability to validate the perspectives of others. While it is important to note that both men and women can exhibit narcissistic traits, the focus of this article will primarily be on men with narcissistic tendencies.

The Impact on Relationships

Having a partner with narcissistic traits can be challenging and can wreak havoc on a relationship. The sense of entitlement and grandiosity often leads to a diminished view of others, including their emotions and concerns. Their lack of empathy and difficulty in empathizing with their partner can leave the other person feeling unheard and invalidated.

Dispelling the Myth of Untreatability

One common misconception about individuals with narcissistic traits is that they are untreatable and resistant to change. However, this belief is false. Based on extensive experience working with couples at the Marriage Recovery Center, it has been observed that change is possible for those with narcissistic traits.

The Role of Couples Therapy

In the marriage intensive process at the Marriage Recovery Center, where couples engage in three days of eight-hour sessions, significant changes can occur. When one partner initiates change and alters their behavior, it sets off a chain reaction in the relationship. The other partner also starts to change, resulting in a shift in the dynamics between them.

Taking Charge of Your Experience

If you find yourself in a relationship with a partner exhibiting narcissistic traits, it is crucial to take ownership of your emotions and assert yourself. By being assertive, staying centered, and communicating clearly and concisely, while still being compassionate and maintaining clear boundaries, you can create corrective emotional experiences in the relationship.

Expressing Your Needs

When communicating with your partner, make it clear that you want to be heard, understood, and validated. Rather than becoming aggressive, adopt a posture of assertiveness and repeatedly express your desire for empathy and understanding. By staying centered, not getting hooked by provocative statements, and remaining calm, you can make a significant impact on the dynamics of the relationship.

The Importance of Therapeutic Support

While making changes within the relationship is possible, it is essential to note that addressing narcissistic traits most effectively occurs in a therapeutic setting. Engaging in ongoing therapy, such as marriage intensives, can provide the support and guidance needed to create lasting change. At the Marriage Recovery Center, they have proven to be effective in working with individuals with narcissistic traits and creating an environment conducive to transformation.

Seeking Help

If you suspect that your partner has narcissistic traits or if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who exhibits behaviors that create chaos and distress, it is essential to seek support. The Marriage Recovery Center offers assistance to those dealing with narcissistic traits and provides effective strategies to navigate such relationships.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and narcissistic traits can significantly impact relationships. However, it is important to understand that change is possible, and individuals with narcissistic traits can undergo transformation. By taking an active role in the relationship, seeking therapeutic support, and fostering open communication, couples can work towards healing and creating healthier dynamics.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: What is Codependency in a Relationship

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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