The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I have been living with a man for about a year and a half. I feel he possesses some form of narcissism. I'm not sure. Is there are difference between the narcissist and the emotional vampire? I know he doesn't have all of the symptoms, but he does have many of them.

I'm in a bad predicament. I don't have a job because my car broke down. He says he's going to help me so I can get a job, but it's been six months and he hasn't. I love him very much, but I get tired of him being so secretive, lacking emotion towards me, having to beg for sex/intimacy, and his unwillingness to communicate or problem solve. I feel like he is trying to make me dependent on him. I know the logical answer is to just live and let live. Leave the situation. But I'm not in a position to leave at the moment from a financial stand point. What do you suggest I do?

Thanks in advance,

Lost and confused

Dear Lost and Confused:

Don't blame your boyfriend for making you dependent. You are creating your own dependency by not doing whatever it takes to get your car fixed. If you can't borrow the money from family or friends and aren't near public transportation, find a way to earn money in your neighborhood. If there are no stores or offices within walking distance, then babysit or clean houses -- the point is that you must do whatever it takes to earn money and get your car fixed so you can be more mobile.

You say you are staying for financial reasons. But you also say you love this man. It is completely self-destructive to love someone who is secretive, lacks emotion and is unwilling to have sex or conversation.

This column only deals with career issues, but as a psychologist, I have to tell you that if your boyfriend is truly a narcissist he isn't able to love, since true love involves the capacity to unselfishly care about another person. Narcissists lack this capacity, because they are too self-centered -- everything is always about their needs, not yours. It is a fool's game to try to change them. I hope you will join a support group or go into therapy to examine why you are attracted to a man who treats you so badly.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.