Q&A Should We Separate Due to the Lack of Safety?

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Question: 

I think that my husband is a covert or vulnerable narcissist. We are in the third week of Married for Life. He is still struggling to show me empathy. We've gone over the information in the program and searched different online sources. He keeps saying, "Okay I get it now." But when we try to apply the strategies with one simple wound, he is able to sympathize logically, go through the steps, say the right things but he cannot FEEL with me. He has not done any individual work. He's considering Hope for Healing. I've been working desperately to repair our marriage for 34 months. I waited patiently for him to give up his mistress. He continued to blame me for his affair. About midway through EMSO, he discovered that he had been punishing me for the 20 years of marriage for the crimes committed against him in childhood. He resented me for asking him to grow up. He finally took some responsibility and began to embrace the philosophy ‘whatever she needs’ about 30-50% of the time. Long before the relational infidelity was financial infidelity. We're facing lawsuits that threaten our home because of his reckless spending. I'm stuck, I don't feel like he ‘gets it’. I don't feel safe. AR repeatedly says that I shouldn't continue if I don't feel safe, correct? Could separating until he gets his stuff sorted out and has something to offer me be helpful? Do you believe a narcissist can ever change?

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Can a Narcissist change?

So much of your story was like mine. After figuring out he was having an affair, or “friendship” as he called it (with the woman he had an affair with during his first marriage) he promised he would cut it off.
2 mos later I walk in a room and unexpectedly caught him using a phone I never saw before, so he tried to hide it. I gave him a choice ... either show me the phone and we can talk about Or.., it’s over and he could leave. He said “it’s over then” and he pack some suitcases and left.
We stayed separated for 2 years - 90% of the 2 years was harder than then the last few months we were together. Dealing with all of that hurt on top of his affairs, has made me feel first hand what being a victim feels like.
He’s with me now, heading to a EMS weekend in a couple of weeks. For me, it’s the last chance.

My husband has strong, coveart narcissistic traits. I have spent 2 years reading about narcissism.
I believe the only way a narcissist cam change is through a relationship with Jesus and to be totally submitted to the Holy Spirit. But be careful, that he’s not trying to fake that in order to get you back. If your a believer then depending on the Holy Spirit will be the only way you will know for sure.
I wish you the very best.

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