Loving relationships can promote character growth, that’s for sure. But when someone has significant character disturbance no amount of loving care alone can fix things.
You have possess character yourself to make a relationship work. But you also have to be able to rightly judge the character of another.
Grandiose narcissists so wantonly use and abuse because they have little heart. They lack empathy. And they have little shame. And the more lacking they are in these things, the more easily they exploit.
Vulnerable narcissists haven’t fashioned a balanced or well-grounded view of their own worth. Pay attention to them and revere them, and all is fine. Ask anything of them, and you’ll quickly learn how “shallow” they are. This makes true intimacy impossible. They may do all sorts of things to “prove” they’re love-worthy. But they don’t know their true worth. And they neither know how to love nor how to be loved.
Some habitual liars are called “pathological” liars because they lie for no apparent reason. They lie even at times when the truth would suffice or serve them better. Some have regarded such senseless lying as a kind of mental illness or even insanity. But these liars are not insane. Rather, they belong to a group of the most severely disordered characters among us (i.e. psychopaths, sociopaths, etc.), and they’re perfectly rational. There’s a “method” to their apparent “madness.”
Some see the narcissist as “a legend in their own mind.” And because the way a narcissist views their self-worth and capabilities is almost always inflated, it can indeed be a pretty ugly picture when their grandiose illusions are shattered.
Sometimes it’s the most decent things about us – things that it would behoove us never to change – that make us vulnerable to the most character-impaired.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. But it’s absolutely crucial to a marriage.
Trust is not just a prerequisite for a sound therapeutic relationship. It’s an essential ingredient – perhaps the single most important ingredient – in any relationship, especially our more intimate relationships.
There is an inextricable relationship between the symptoms of psychological ill health a person is likely to display and their basic character structure. Correctly assessing someone’s character is not only crucial for professionals trying to make sound judgments about prognosis and the most appropriate intervention, but also important for individuals evaluating the prospects for a relationship.