Dear Annie: I’m worried that my daughter has married a narcissist. The man has no empathy for others. He does what he wants, when he wants. He constantly puts down one group or another, and in fact, his performance reviews at work indicate he needs to be more “culturally diversified.”
He is envious of others at the same level in his organization and comes off as though he knows everything, which is clearly not the case. He always wants to buy my daughter (or himself) the nicest jewelry, car or whatever so that he’ll look good. He’ll take advantage of others to achieve his goals.
They now have a 7-month-old boy. We recently visited, and my son-in-law made me so angry, I blew up at him and had to leave the room. I apologized, but only to say that I’m sorry for my outburst. I’m wondering where I go from here. I will visit my grandson in spite of his father, but I’d like things to be civil.
I’ve read narcissism is one of the most difficult disorders to treat because the person with the disorder feels he’s always right and there’s nothing wrong with him, so therapy is out of the question. Should I play to his ego and claim I was wrong? Do I confront him again with the real issue? Or do I forget it and hope for the best at the next visit? – Worried Grandpa
Dear Grandpa: You’ve already apologized for whatever argument you had before, and we see no reason to bring it up again. In fact, we’d steer clear of any discussion where you are likely to lose your temper. The fact that your son-in-law is a know-it-all and you don’t like him doesn’t mean he is a bad husband or father, and those should be your main concerns. If your daughter loves him and he is good to their son, please try to get along with him for their sake. You don’t have to enjoy his company, but you can be polite.