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Do Narcissists Make Their Partners Jealous On Purpose?

 Most anyone who has spent significant time dating a narcissistic person knows first hand that narcissists often provoke jealousy by talking about wanting to date other people, commenting on how attractive someone else is e.g. while out on a date, and discussing the short-comings of their current partner compared to others.

Considering that narcissistic people are typically thought to be insecure deep down, on firstblush it doesn’t make sense that they would do things which would threaten their romantic relationships. Researchers (Tortoriello et al. 2017) set out to find out why.

They note there are two sub-types of narcissism – grandiose and vulnerable. Grandiose narcissists appear confident and outgoing, seemingly devoid of social anxiety, and read immediately to others as “narcissistic”. Vulnerable narcissists, on the other hand, come across as shy, socially anxious and quiet. After a while, however, they tend to get haughty and stuck-up, making others feel worse possibly to shore up low self-esteem. All these maneuvers take a toll on relationships. Tortoriello and colleagues report that regardless, both grandiose and vulnerable narcissists regularly do things which undermine their relationships.


Finding a Balance in Your Relationship

 In every relationship, there’s a balance of power – how you manage this will affect how you feel as a couple. The more equal and balanced your relationship is, the happier you are both likely to be.

What are relationship power dynamics?

Power dynamics refers to the way decisions are made and who makes them. In a balanced relationship, both partners have an equal say in things.

Finding a balance may take some work. After the initial romance of a new relationship, it’s natural for both partners to start trying to regain a sense of independence. This is a common step in most committed relationships. However, when one partner starts trying to get an unbalanced share of power, the relationship can become manipulative and, in extreme cases, this can turn to aggressio.

Equality is good for both of you

Equality is one of the most important characteristics of a good relationship. Both men and women say their relationships are happier and more open when both partners have an equal balance of power. In an unbalanced

Supporting a Partner With an Eating Disorder

 If your partner has an eating disorder, you may be feeling lots of guilt, frustration and stress. You may also feel pressure to keep an eye on your other half’s eating habits and behaviours, and feel guilty and responsible if they have a relapse.

If you don’t have an eating disorder yourself, you may also feel isolated and confused about the situation and its effect on you and your relationship. However, there are some things you can do to help.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs from 27 February to 5 March. This is an international awareness event which challenges the myths surrounding eating disorders. You can find more information about the week and about eating disorders in general at the website of the UK eating disorder charity, Beat.

The term ‘eating disorder’ covers a range of conditions, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. They can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or background, and can have a physical, psychological and social impact. However, it may help to know that you can play an important role in supporting your partner

5 Tips for Feeling More Secure in Your Relationship

A common issue in couples’ therapy is one person assuming their partner needs too much while the other person feels insecure in the relationship. Let me introduce you to Breanna and Raymond, just such a couple.

Breanna and Raymond came in for therapybecause Breanna was depressed. She saw no hope for the future of the marriagebecause Raymond was always either working or playing golf. During the first session, she described what precipitated her calling for an appointment. She had accidentally locked herself out of the house and called Raymond at work, hoping he would come home and let her in.

Raymond told her that he had an important meeting to attend. In a rather irritable voice, he advised her to call a locksmith. Breanna felt betrayed by Raymond’s refusal to help her and stunned to learn how low she ranked on his list of priorities.

In discussing this incident in the therapy session, Breanna focused on how Raymond had expressed no understanding or empathy for how she felt that day.

She could understand it was impractical for him to rush to her rescue, but couldn’t he at least have offered some moralsupport? Raymond, on

4 Ways Bad Marriages Are Worse for Kids Than Divorce

When I was a kid, divorced parents were given the evil eye. Heads shook, tongues clicked; divorcees were home wreckers, selfish and unloving, they destroyed children’s lives. Churches banned them from services (even God wasn’t a fan). The message to married couples: Keep your family intact by any means necessary.

Today, with nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce, times have changed. Whether divorce hurts or helps children depends on how it is handled by their parents. One thing is certain: staying in a toxic marriage is certain to cause more damage to children than good.

Living in a Combat Zone

Kids forced to endure loveless marriages and tolerate emotional tension day after day, bear the full brunt of their parent’s dysfunctional relationship. They intuitively feel their parents’ unhappiness, sense their coldness and lack of intimacy. In many cases, children blame themselves, feeling their parents’ combative relationship is somehow their fault. In such cases, staying together “for the kids” is a cruel joke.

Here are four ways kids suffer through gloomy and despondent marriages:

1. Chronic Tension

Parents’ relationship leaves an emotional imprint that never fades. A natural part of children’s development is

Has Your Intimate Relationship Become a Pit Stop?

When a couple comes in to see me for therapy, I often start our first session by asking each of them the following question: “Where are you currently the most alive, the most self-respecting, the most interesting, and the most involved in your life?”

If they are newly in love, the answer is most likely to be when they are together. Sadly, when they have been together for a longer period of time, they are more likely to innocently confess that they feel that way more often outside of their intimate relationship.

Somewhere between the honeymoon stage and the commitment to a long-term partnership, many couples stop being spontaneously intrigued by one another and begin to search outside their relationship for more excitement and discovery.

Some choose infidelity and risk the security of their primary partnership. Just as many others stay sexually faithful but still look outside the relationship to other interests. When one person does this at the expense of the other, that left-behind partner may end up becoming a pit stop for the other.

There are two definitions of a pit stop. The first, better known to most, is the place where

Tips to Build a Rewarding Romantic Relationship

Reinforcement in Romantic Relationships

Experimental tests of both reward and punishment in romantic relationships have a fairly long history. For example, in 1975, research by Birchler, Weiss, and Vincent explored such interactions between married couples. The group compared the behaviors of couples who were having problems, to happily married individuals and strangers, in both lab experiments and at home. After observing how the couples related, the researchers found significantly less reward among distressed married couples. In other words, unhappy couples did not reward the appropriate and loving behaviors of their spouses. In contrast, happy couples responded and reinforced loving behaviors in a spouse by agreeing, approving, laughing, smiling, or providing some positive physical contact.

Furthermore, distressed couples also punished more. They were quick to criticize, complain, interrupt, disagree, and turn away from their spouse. Overall, by not rewarding loving behaviors and overly punishing their spouses, distressed couples actually created an unhappy marriage.

Similar results were found by Lochman and Allen (1979) in an experiment with datingcouples. The researchers asked 80 dating couples to take part in a role playing experiment. While being explained their various roles, one of the participants of each couple was randomly

What Toxic Jealousy Reveals

Love patterns from childhood repeat in adult romantic relationships. When early care meant dismissal, rejection or invalidation, people are more likely to seek the same traits in their adult romantic partners.

Toxic jealousy becomes a dysfunctional way to get the unmet, and very normal, childhood needs for affection and genuine care met in adulthood. Think of toxic jealousy as a giant tantrum, the equivalent of a 4 year old yelling and flailing about on the floor to get what they want and to get it immediately.

If early in life loving one or both of your caretakers left you feeling rejected or undervalued, then these are the feelings you will automatically call up when you reach for love in your adult relationships.  These early experiences mean you are likely attracted to people who are, similar to your parents, unpredictable or unreliable. Toxic love ensues when the patterns that you initially experienced are triggered in your adult relationships.

Toxic relationships at first may unfold like love at first sight. It is incredibly seductive to feel the instant chemistry of meeting a person who triggers old love patterns. Sadly the intrigue and allure that this shiny new

Is Age an Issue in Online Dating?

Are people less inclined to use online dating as they get older?  Do older people think there may be a stigma attached to this method of securing a date, or are they put off by having to use a computer or Smartphone?  Do older people find the idea of using a dating site or dating app to be an unconventional method for seeking a date?

The answers to these questions may not be as straightforward as you think, so let’s start by considering two possible viewpoints.  If younger individuals judge online dating to be an additional and extensive part of their dating repertoire and view it as more acceptable than older individuals, it may be the case that engagement with online dating will decrease as people age.  On the other hand, the process of ageing may change the way people think about their lives and Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (SST) developed by Laura Carstensen proposes that as people age, the realisation that they are mortal becomes more apparent and they become more focused on their current rather than their longer term goals(Carstensen, 1992).  Consequently, they will cease to be concerned about the possible stigma associated with online dating

7 Secrets to a Successful Relationship After 50

Whether you’ve been with the same person for 30 years or you’re finding new love half a century into your life, it’s always the right time to brush up on your relationship skills or learn new ones. Maybe things have gotten stagnant with your spouse, or maybe you’ve found that dating has changed since you last tried it.

It’s never too late to learn these seven secrets to a successful relationship after fifty.

1. Open your heart fearlessly

To be successful in a relationship, you can’t be afraid to be yourself and share yourself. Real love requires honesty. Honesty about who you are, what you believe, how you feel, and what you want. Total commitment to reality and honesty supports the integrity of a relationship. You must be open and willing to share, listen, and understand. A happy relationship and a full life require the intention to learn about your partner and yourself and to continue to grow.

2. Create emotional safety

Healthy relationships depend on both parties feeling safe with each other, trusting that you are there for each other. Your circle of trust gets more important as you get older and

Why You Should Never Try to Change Your Behavior

It was then that I realized that I’d been scratching my right thumb on the top of the steering wheel by rubbing it vigorously backwards and forwards. As I was doing that, my extended right index finger was moving quickly in what looked like a pointing motion.

Someone’s scratching is another person’s pointing.

This is a fairly innocuous example of what can sometimes be dramatic differences between the insider’s, first-person perspective of behavior, and an observer’s, third-person perspective of behavior. Have you ever been asked “Why did you do that?” only to reply “Do what? I wasn’t doing anything.”?

We can never fully appreciate how our behavior appears to others just as others can never know the experience our behavior has for us. When I go through a stretching routine after having been on a run, I move my arms and legs in particular ways. Stretching for me, though, is creating particular feelings in my muscles. I definitely need to move my limbs to create those feelings but it’s the feelings that are important to me, not the configurations I place my body in to create those feelings.

A couple of days ago I

When and What Do I Tell My New Boyfriend About My ADD?

“How do I explain my ADD to my new boyfriend?” the transfer student asks.  “At my other school,” she continues, “all my friends had something so we never really had to explain.  And when I told my best friend that I had already told Michael about my issues, Lacy said that I never should have told him so soon.”

This conversation captures the tension of self-disclosure.  My student, who I shall call Becca, preferred that her dates and her friends be aware of her disabilities from the get-go, which helped reduce her worries about when to reveal.  Her best friend Lacy, I believe, was worried that Becca’s challenges would become an early “deal-breaker” in her new romantic relationship.  However, neither Becca or Lacy were sure about what exactly to reveal, about what information was appropriate yet true to Becca’s experiences.  As a psychologist and researcher, I had to tell her, unfortunately, that there seems to be no research to support recommendations about the best time or manner to divulge one’s disability during dating.

Disclosure of cognitive and learning disabilities such as ADHD often unleashes a peculiar problem; after the disclosure, it is not unusual for people to

5 Essential Steps to Save Your Relationship

Recall those early days of your relationship when your partner could not get enough of you. He or she would call constantly, stay on the phone for hours, talk with you all night. Now time has passed, and you no longer get butterflies in your tummy when you think of your sweetheart. The spark is gone. You still have romantic feelings for him or her. But you sense that he or she no longer cares about the relationship—or at least doesn’t care as much as you do. You no longer have the upper hand.

It is natural to feel anxious and sad when this happens. Your anguish may lead you to attempt to use various mind-manipulating tactics to get the upper hand in your relationship.

Playing games to gain or regain the power in a relationship is bound to lead to the demise of the relationship, however. There are many relationships where one person holds more power than his or her other but these types of relationships tend to be extremely unhealthy. Physically or verbally abusive relationships, relationships where one partner is cheating, relationships where one partner has a lot more assets than the other (assets

Tips to Date With Someone From Another Culture

Keeping lines of communication open can help strengthen your relationship, particularly if you and your partner come from different cultural backgrounds.

Historically, falling for someone from another culture might have been big trouble, but a lot has changed over the last few decades and people are generally much more accepting of young people’s choices of partner these days.

Research shows that dating across different cultures – which includes different races, ethnicities, or different faiths – has become much more common among young people and carries less stigma than it used to. Some studies have shown that couples from different cultures might be more likely to experience conflict in their relationships.

Talking about these difficulties, however, not only alleviates the conflict but can actually help your relationship to develop and grow stronger. In other words, having differences can be a really positive thing, as long as you celebrate them. Making an effort to understand and appreciate each other’s backgrounds can be an enriching experience that also helps you maintain your relationship quality.

If you have a partner whose religious beliefs are different to your own, you may find your differences are particularly pronounced, which could

Tips to be More Independent in Your Relationship

It might seem like making a commitment has to mean letting go of some of your independence, but couples who retain a sense of personal independence may be quicker at resolving arguments and better able to invest in the relationship.

There’s something fun about merging your life with your significant other, particularly in the early stages, but it’s important to maintain the qualities that make you who you are as an individual – after all, that’s what your partner fell in love with in the first place.

Having an independent streak doesn’t mean you’re afraid of commitment – people with a strong sense of personal identity can actually be better communicators. They are less defensive, more honest, and more flexible. They find it easier to be open and to put things into perspective.

A strong sense of individuality, then, can mean you have stronger relationships. When you and your partner support and nurture each other’s need for independence, you can start to find a balance that means you’re also happier and more confident in the relationship.

If you’d like to reclaim a bit of independence as a way of strengthening your relationship, you might

Support Your Partner With Mental Health Issues

For many of us, mental health is a difficult subject to talk about. When someone has a mental health issue, it can be hard to understand what’s going on, or to know how to talk to them.

But mental health issues can affect relationships with those closest to us, like friends, family, and partners. So, if your partner has a mental health issue, it can be helpful to know what to do.

This article is designed to give you some tips on how to support your partner. It is not a replacement for professional support and, if you are at all concerned, you should consult a doctor or mental health professional as soon as possible.

Depending on the issue, and the severity of the symptoms, mental health issues can lead to changes in behaviour and even personality changes. If your partner is going through something like this, it can be hard to know where to start.

But, with a few simple changes, and some good communication, you can be a real support and can help your partner through the most difficult period – alongside any professional support.

Why is it so tough for

Relationship Problems After a Baby Arrives

When you feel like things aren’t what they used to be in your relationship, it can be a sad time. Having a baby can bring this feeling on overnight, so it’s important to recognise and accept that all relationships change and adapt over time.

Having a baby is such an exciting time with so many positives that it’s easy to see why couples expect to feel happier together and it can come as a real shock to find that you are not getting on. But research shows that this is normal – parenthood is often the most difficult transition anyone will have to make.

Struggling with new roles

You may struggle to hold onto a clear sense of who you are when you first become a parent. You have to get used to a new identity and sometimes the other roles in your life become secondary, at least in the beginning. This includes your role as a partner.

New mums may also find it difficult to adjust to changes in their body like increased weight, stretch marks, sagging and scarring. The demands of breastfeeding can be difficult to adjust to and many new mums

Dealing With Relationship’s Debt

Whether it’s a credit card or a bank loan, help from a family member, a quick dip into the overdraft, or even a payday loan, almost everyone has some experience of borrowing money.

In between borrowing money and paying it back, we are in debt. As long as we have the means to pay it back, debt can be a useful way of managing money – but it can end up costing more than it is worth.

How debt affects your relationship

Money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress and arguments in UK households, sitting in the top three relationship strains for 55 percent of couples and for parents, it’s 61 percent. A quarter of people have found money worries getting in the way of their sex lives and one study suggests that couples who get into problem debt are twice as likely to break up.

If you are worried about debt, it’s better that your partner finds out sooner rather than later. When you are under pressure financially, your partner will pick up on it and bear some of the brunt of that strain. Many people feel ashamed of debt,

Tips to be Understood

Picture this: you’ve had a long day at work and you’re glad to be home. There’s some washing-up left in the sink from last night and you want to get it done so you can sit quietly in a tidy kitchen and have a cup of tea from your favourite mug. While you’re washing up, you remember an incident at work today that you didn’t handle very well. As you replay the moment in your head, you let out a big sigh.

Because your partner isn’t inside your head, they might think you’re sighing over the washing-up. If they’ve had a tough day too, they might leap to the defensive and explain why they haven’t had a chance to wash up yet. Before you know it, you’re arguing about something that hasn’t even happened, and your hard day at work has gone unacknowledged by the person you rely on most for support.

Why it’s important to feel understood

Relationships are all about communication – not just what you communicate to each other, but how you each understand what’s being communicated.

When you need something from your partner, the first step is to communicate that

Helping your relationship heal if you’ve had an affair

If you’ve had an affair, there may be a question mark hanging over your entire relationship. If you and your partner have decided to work things out, the following tips can help you both to overcome the effects of the affair and start moving on together.

When you first admit to your partner that you’ve had an affair, it’s natural for them to feel lost and confused. Their safe connection with you has been threatened, and it can lead to a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. They may feel angry and behave aggressively or they may shut down and be unable to communicate with you at all.

Affairs leave people feeling emotionally vulnerable, so your partner may become insecure and clingy to protect the relationship. They may repeatedly ask for reassurance that you love them and are still committed to the relationship. Try not to get frustrated – give your partner time to react to the news without criticising them.

After the initial shock and rollercoaster of emotions have died down, you and your partner can both begin thinking about how and why things went wrong in the relationship and how you might move beyond the