I hear life stories every day about women and men who believed that the person they married genuinely loved them. What they didn’t know was that this individual was a narcissistic personality and that made all the difference. One of the common themes is for the non-narcissistic spouse to begin to see the psychological and emotional cracks in the partnership quite early. She/he overrides these observations and makes a greater effort to be more understanding and patient with her spouse. Inside she blames herself for letting her partner down. She takes the burden of her spouse’s severe pathology upon herself. (I am using the feminine gender since statistically most narcissists are still males–but female narcissists are growing in numbers).
There are some “good times” that are cherished by the spouse. She continues to believe that she can “fix the marriage.” She doesn’t understand the true dark nature of the narcissist. Why would she? Her assumption is that most people are genuine, honest and caring and that the marriage is a true partnership. Narcissists don’t marry—they create arrangements that work for them.
As the marriage deteriorates the narcissist makes more outrageous demands on his spouse. The bouts of bottomless rage increase. The recriminations and accusations are stepped up. If you have children, the narcissist is a father in name only. Often he portrays himself as a workaholic while he is having affairs on the side. He is a man of many identities—a consummate actor who always gets what he wants. Narcissists can exploit their partner to the breaking point. They don’t care if you are weak, exhausted, ill, depressed, anxious or desperate. They will use and abuse to the max. And when they are finished they will discard you. This can end in a very ugly divorce where the injured spouse is left with almost no financial resources. The narcissist has planned in advance and cunningly whisked them away.
Your marriage to a narcissist does not have to end this way. Identify these individuals as early as possible. Make your own plans to free yourself from them.
Make an effort to get the sleep that you need. Put yourself first. Exercise the way that works for you, do guided meditation, keep yourself strong and focused on your life for the first time. Pay close attention to your intuition. Do not override this invaluable gift. It will tell you exactly who this person is whom you married. There is an indomitable spirit inside of you that is strong, steady and sure.