Divorce Narcissistic Spouse-Rediscover Your Sense of Self and Empowerment

Making the decision to divorce a narcissistic spouse can be wrenching even after you can identify this person as a severe personality disorder who is not going to change. In many cases there are shared financial resources, residences and other possessions that will require division. The narcissist always lies about his true assets and often conceals them when serious talk of divorce fills the air. Make sure you choose an excellent attorney who understands the ruthless games of the narcissist, their no limits attitude and lack of conscience and of course their incredible acting skills. Be prepared for the plots and plans, their pity and martyr roles. Follow their assets with a microscope. In some instances forensic accountants are hired to get to the bottom of what the narcissistic spouse has hidden. After the final papers are signed and the divorce is a reality, the non-narcissistic spouse is left to put back together his/her lives.

After the narcissist the spouse who has been through an emotional and psychological roller coaster ride and has sustained great stress and trauma goes through a process of rebuilding the self. For years and even decades your life has been dictated by the controlling narcissist. In effect you were a prisoner of your marriage. The narcissist made all of the rules and you were expected to obey. Your life was overshadowed by this highly pathological human being.

Now that you are free, you may find yourself going through a period of adjusting to making your own decisions and rediscovering your creative gifts. For other spouses , they move into first gear very quickly—they are prisoners who have been waiting for the gates of freedom to open. These individuals began to bloom and thrive. They discover that they have great amounts of energy. They feel their freedom. They discover that they feel great making their own decisions. They experience joy in recovering their great creative gifts from the past and finding talents that they didn’t realize they had. This is a process of restoring your life. There is a freedom with other people. You can express yourself spontaneously, create new meaningful relationships that are supportive and healing. Some of those who divorce narcissists begin healing practices of yoga and meditation that result in deeper healing and a sense of peace. The sense of a solid self is built on a firm foundation of knowing who you are and accepting and loving yourself. There are so many reports of those who free themselves from narcissistic spouses that are inspirational and bring light into our lives.

Narcissistic Spouse Stresses You to the Max

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.

Misogynistic Narcissists Cause Psychological Harm to Women

Before I begin this post I want to state that most men are not misogynists. There are female narcissists who cause great psychological harm to men and women. There are many individuals who are not narcissistic personalities and lead their lives with integrity, empathy and compassion.

There is a kind of male narcissist who is highly misogynistic. He appears to be above reproach. On the outside his image is sterling. He is perceived as a person of integrity and compassion. He can be highly successful in the world or not.

Misogynistic narcissists do their damage to you in secret when you are alone with them or no one else is paying attention. Being married to a misogynistic narcissistic spouse is one of the most difficult and painful human experiences. In some cases it is a form of torture.

The other intolerable situations have to do with children of narcissistic parents who had to endure cruel ongoing punishments when they were small, helpless and dependent. Another is siblings of sadistic narcissistic brothers or sisters who terrorized them throughout childhood and who to this day strike fear inside of them.

Often there is a Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde aspect to this personality. On the surface, pure gold charm is pouring forth on to you. The narcissist appears to be polite and engaged with fine manners. No one would suspect that he is a misogynist who chronically hurts women.

The most powerful and significant events that weigh heavily on the psyche during our lives often occur in secret. As children we are threatened if we reveal the truth about our parents or other adult family members.

You never know when a misogynistic narcissist is going to appear in your life. If you get intuitions, red flags flying high, gut reactions—pay very close attention–It’s about to happen.

I recall a small important business dinner event. I was required to be there as a result of a commitment I had made. People were greeting one another. I was introduced to the individual who was hosting the event. This man acknowledged me and he placed his hand out to shake mine. His grasp of my hand tightened very quickly and became a deep painful unrelenting grip. I thought he was going to stop but he didn’t. I said: “That hurts.” He didn’t let go right away. I said: “No one has done that to me before.” He released my hand and made an excuse by saying that he was very strong. He seemed proud of that statement. I was shocked about his complete disregard over what he had done to me. My hand was throbbing and the pain did not go away for some time.  No one saw what he did or heard the verbal exchange between the two of us. He was scot-free. I could not make a scene during this business meeting. I was trapped with a man who was capable of causing physical pain and I believe great psychological pain as well. This is a very small example of the way that a misogynistic narcissist can operate with impunity.

I have heard and read many life stories of women who have been victims of narcissistic men who are misogynists. Their lives are filled with perpetrated cruelties, degradations and humiliations. Many of them have broken free from their narcissistic husbands, begun the process of healing and recovering their  true selves to lead their own separate lives in freedom and inner peace.

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Gall and Hubris–Ugly Core of Narcissistic Personality

Gall and hubris have a lot in common. They are despicable human traits found within the narcissistic personality, especially the classic grandiose narcissist.

Gall is defined as a “brazen boldness.” Hubris, which sounds much like its meaning, is an “unacceptable arrogance” accompanied by behavior that is hurtful and insulting  to others. Narcissists think nothing of these traits since this is an intrinsic part of them. These attributes combined with a lack of conscience or empathy describe a human being who moves through his/her life doing whatever they want by manipulations, deceptions, chronic lying, endless humiliation, psychological sabotage, exploitation and the infliction of terror and fear.

There are many adult children who grow up with narcissistic mothers, fathers or siblings who live in the war zone created by the narcissist–the Queen/King of Gall and Hubris. This world is filled with hidden dangerous mines and booby-traps that can be set off any moment. When you grow up with a narcissist you live in fight or flight mode, always wondering and dreading when the next horrid shoe is going to drop. Tiptoeing through life on a tightrope with no net is a waking nightmare. Those who are married to narcissists are also members of this circle of pain.

The gall and hubris of the narcissist has a relentless quality. These individuals will not stop hurting those whom they perceive as standing in their way.

Today we are experiencing an epidemic growth of the narcissistic personality in every venue of life. Look far and wide–in the culture, corporate climate, social milieu–we are surrounded by narcissists. Learn how to recognize them quickly. If you can get them out of your life, do it. If not, study this personality in detail so that you understand their tactics, uncover their many masks and know their dirty tricks and games. You can become very savvy about them.

Those who grew up with narcissistic mothers, fathers, siblings or are married to narcissists deserve to begin the process of healing from them. This is a different pathway you are taking in your life. Once you have made the decision and know that you will no longer be a part of their psychopathology your healing has begun. They will try to draw you back in with many enticements.

Put your healing and self care first. You will bring individuals into your life who will help you with this process. It is complex and can involve high quality psychotherapy (Make sure the therapist you have chosen is not a narcissist.) Develop a regular healing practice through gentle hatha yoga, guided meditation, exercise that works for you, using your creativity and all activities that lead you into the parasympathetic nervous system—the zone of rest, solace, security and repose—where you belong.

I know you can go the distance on this new path of healing and a gathering peace.

 

Narcissistic Matriarchs Control Family Members with Iron Fist

A matriarch is “a mother who is head and ruler of her family and descendants.” When you have a narcissistic matriarch in charge, everyone is going to suffer psychologically and emotionally, except those who are chosen as “Golden” and often become narcissistic personalities. Generations of narcissistic matriarchs run through some families.

I hear personal stories of those who have had to survive under the absolute control, manipulation, deceit and chronic criticisms of their narcissistic mothers. After years of horrendous pain they have finally discovered that growing up they were molded by a very pathological mother/matriarch who expected perfection from them. Not once in their lives were they hugged, given positive attention, recognized as valued individuals, given compliments, etc. Their lives were pure hell all the time. Other family members bent under the iron fist of “Mother, the Most Feared.”

Those who have awakened recognize their narcissistic mother’s true nature-her dark cruelty, her capacity to inflict lingering terror in the nervous system. As children they went to other family members for help and were scorned and turned away since aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. didn’t believe them. In fact, children who exposed the truth were savagely punished.

Now as adults many children of narcissistic matriarchs are breaking the bonds of the iron hold of this reign of terror. I hear from those who are in the process of self healing. They have started putting themselves first, to insist that they be treated with respect, that they are entitled to feel calm, to use their many creative gifts and to spread the word that you can be free of your narcissistic matriarch and lead the life that you deserve.

Linda Martine-Lewi, Ph.D.

It’s Not Too Late to Leave Your Narcissistic Husband or Wife

I hear from many individuals who have been married to a narcissistic spouse for many years. They are suffering horribly. They feel like their lives are completely eclipsed by this very self involved, over entitled and highly demanding individual who is constantly projecting psychological venom on to them. They live in a state of emotional and psychological siege– never knowing from one moment to the next how ugly the narcissist will become–which big shoe will drop and when. This is a perilous way to lead one’s life. Victims of narcissistic spouses don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

Some spouses make excuses for being treated abusively. They have become accustomed to being victimized. They remember the “good times” to stay in the relationship which is never authentic when you are involved with a narcissistic personality.

There is good news from those who have made a decision to leave a marriage to a narcissistic spouse. The process is not easy but very worthwhile. How much is the psychological and emotional quality of your life worth? You are entitled to develop your creative gifts to their fullest, to experience inner peace, to express your feelings without being continually criticized and demeaned. You are a person of integrity and deserve to be treated this way.

Think carefully about the constricted life you are leading. Narcissists insist on followers and adorers not true marital partners. They are incapable of real love and emotional intimacy. They do not change.

Pay close attention to your intuition and let it guide you as you make this very important decision. Put yourself first. That is what I tell my clients. For some, it is the first time in their lives that they have done this. Consider the pathway of freedom and the beginning of a new life cycle that you deserve. Your personal healing is at hand and waiting for you to say “yes” to your new life.

 

Narcissistic Queen Bee Daughters Rule over Mother, Father, Siblings

It is difficult to imagine that a little girl can control an entire household. Those of you who have been tyrannized by a sibling of this kind understand all too well. From early childhood this daughter was allowed by her parents to kick, demand, scream, bribe, cajole and threaten her parents. If they didn’t cave in to her wishes all hell would break loose. The parents were terrified of “upsetting” their little darling and capitulated to her wishes. This relinquishing of their roles was pivotal in creating a narcissistic personality disorder. With a sense of no limits, “You can do nothing wrong attitude”, “we are afraid to impose respectful behavior on you”—she grew in size, outrageous demands and reprehensible behavior.

Queen Bee narcissists are physically abusive and emotionally cruel to their siblings. They perpetrate their treachery on the younger, weaker ones. When the parents are out of sight, they are free to shove, push, squeeze and hit their younger siblings. The secret threat to this terrified child is: “If you say one word to mom or dad—I will hit you even harder. Mom and dad believe me not you. Shut your mouth, don’t say a word–If you disobey me, you will be very sorry.” Some Queen Bees lock infant siblings in closets for hours when mom and dad are out. The wretched screams of sheer terror coming from the locked dark space doesn’t phase the QB. In fact she gets a certain pleasure and feeling of complete control from these heinous acts.

I have had communications with those who were trip-wired throughout their childhoods and adulthoods by these cruel, ruthless narcissistic queens of the household. These little girls who grow up to be psychological monsters have spent much of their time making the lives of their siblings a daily living hell.

I have known of Queen Bees who wouldn’t invite a sibling to her wedding because she was ashamed of his/her lack of education or how they looked. The Queen Bee always wins these battles. She still has the parents under her control and intimidation. In some cases one sibling will become her servant—a Queen Bee Wanna Be. She follows in her shadow, lapping up any compliments and commands she can collect.

Healing from the wrath and malevolent behaviors of the QB sibling can be done. It first requires the recognition that you were victimized by a very disturbed human being. You are not weak. Your sibling is a severe narcissistic personality disorder and in some cases, a sociopath. Your parents are weak and ineffective and allowed themselves to be taken over by one of their own children. They helped to create a monster who still walks the earth.

This is your time to detach and sever your relationship from the narcissistic Queen Bee. When you take this step, you are renewing your own life, valuing yourself as a unique individual and gaining a sense of respite and inner peace that you deserve. Do this for yourself. Do not be concerned what other family members think or say. This is your business not theirs. If mother and father are perplexed about your decision that is their issue. They never protected you from this dreadful person. Some adult children of Queen Bee sisters find that quality psychotherapy is helpful to them. Be sure you get an excellent therapist. It is worth taking the time and effort and research to do this. Learning how to calm you body and mind through yoga, tai chi and various forms of meditation get you in touch with that interior part of yourself that is at peace and feels secure.

Narcissistic Queen Bee Daughters Rule Over Mother, Father, Siblings

It is difficult to imagine that a little girl can control an entire household. Those of you who have been tyrannized by a sibling of this kind understand all too well. From early childhood this daughter was allowed by her parents to kick, demand, scream, bribe, cajole and threaten her parents. If they didn’t cave in to her wishes all hell would break loose. The parents were terrified of “upsetting” their little darling and capitulated to her wishes. This relinquishing of their roles was pivotal in creating a narcissistic personality disorder.With a sense of no limits, “You can do nothing wrong attitude”, “we are afraid to impose respectful behavior on you”—she grew in size, outrageous demands and reprehensible behavior.

Queen Bee narcissists are physically abusive and emotionally cruel to their siblings. They perpetrate their treachery on the younger, weaker ones. When the parents are out of sight, they are free to shove, push, squeeze and hit their younger siblings. The secret threat to this terrified child is: “If you say one word to mom or dad—I will hit you even harder. Mom and dad believe me not you. Shut your mouth, don’t say a word–If you disobey me, you will be very sorry.” Some Queen Bees lock infant siblings in closets for hours when mom and dad are out. The wretched screams of sheer terror coming from the locked dark space doesn’t phase the QB. In fact she gets a certain pleasure and feeling of complete control from these heinous acts.

I have had communications with those who were trip-wired throughout their childhoods and adulthoods by these cruel, ruthless narcissistic queens of the household. These little girls who grow up to be psychological monsters have spent much of their time making the lives of their siblings a daily living hell.

I have known of Queen Bees who wouldn’t invite a sibling to her wedding because she was ashamed of his/her lack of education or how they looked. The Queen Bee always wins these battles. She still has the parents under her control and intimidation. In some cases one sibling will become her servant—a Queen Bee Wanna Be. She follows in her shadow, lapping up any compliments and commands she can collect.

Healing from the wrath and malevolent behaviors of the QB sibling can be done. It first requires the recognition that you were victimized by a very disturbed human being. You are not weak. Your sibling is a severe narcissistic personality disorder and in some cases, a sociopath. Your parents are weak and ineffective and allowed themselves to be taken over by one of their own children. They helped to create a monster who still walks the earth.

This is your time to detach and sever your relationship from the narcissistic Queen Bee. When you take this step, you are renewing your own life, valuing yourself as a unique individual and gaining a sense of respite and inner peace that you deserve. Do this for yourself. Do not be concerned what other family members think or say. This is your business not theirs. If mother and father are perplexed about your decision that is their issue. They never protected you from this dreadful person. Some adult children of Queen Bee sisters find that quality psychotherapy is helpful to them. Be sure you get an excellent therapist. It is worth taking the time and effort and research to do this. Learning how to calm you body and mind through yoga, tai chi and various forms of meditation get you in touch with that interior part of yourself that is at peace and feels secure.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissistic Women–Bridezillas at the Wedding–Monsters in the Marriage

The numbers of narcissistic women are growing rapidly today in this current society of   extreme self entitlement, emotional and psychological shallowness and over the top materialism. (There are innumerable successful, bright, compassionate, talented women who are not narcissists.)

You know these women. Remember the drama that lead up to the wedding day from hell. Your acquaintance or friend or relative who was already a blooming narcissist showed her stripes as she morphed into the ultimate Bridezilla. She made constant demands, often screaming at the wedding support crew of people who were helping her.This narcissist got the bit in her mouth and wouldn’t let go. She changed intricate planning at the last minute, throwing everything off. She displayed temper tantrums that would make a two year old blush and run the other way. She shifted her mood every five minutes. She never apologized for her cruel words to her family and friends who were helping her. Everywhere she went Bridezilla caused emotional disturbance to anyone in her presence.

Those who attended this “wedding” were so relieved to exit, they felt like they had entered an enchanted world outside of the Bridezilla’s kingdom.

Narcissistic women don’t change after the wedding. In fact they can become even more demanding, hyper-critical and cruel.

After the psychological and emotional honeymoon period which can be very brief, they start picking away at their spouse for not being perfect like they are. If you are the husband of one of these women you know how frustrating and hurtful it can be on the receiving end of narcissistic rage and projections. You are blamed for everything that “goes wrong” from her perspective. You can do and say exactly what she wants and a narcissist will find a way to make you wrong. Some narcissists are highly dramatic and make ugly scenes even in public, screaming at you, calling you nasty names, humiliating you in front of friends, demeaning you continually. It is shocking to marry some whom you thought you knew. You keep telling yourself that this is a nightmare and you are going to wake up. But the hard knuckle tactics continue. Narcissists are highly controlling and manipulative. While she can do whatever she wants, you are put on a very short leash. Some narcissistic spouses are jealous, even paranoid about their mates. They don’t want anyone to talk with or spend any time with friends, even family members. You are the narcissistic spouse’s possession.

Meanwhile, she is free to do whatever she wants, whenever and is never accountable for her actions. You are part of her perfect image and she insists that you play this role perfectly. You have been chosen for this purpose alone. In some instances the female narcissist chooses a spouse who has large financial assets that she can use to enhance her status in the world, her lifestyle and social status. These spouses are living narcissistic supplies.

There comes a time of reckoning when the psychologically battered spouse can no longer tolerate living under constant siege and fight or flight mode. Their stress is at the max and they feel like their lives have been taken away from them.

You can free yourself of this non-marriage through divorce. This is a challenge and difficult since these individuals are very uncooperative and never want to share or be fair about splitting properties, assets or money.

I hear from those who have been through this process and they report that, indeed, it was hard but worth their efforts. Now they are free to be themselves, to use their creative gifts, to rediscover that their lives belong to them, not a narcissist.

 

 

Focus on Your Healing–Disengage from Narcissistic Spouse

I hear from many spouses and ex-spouses of narcissistic personalities. They found it difficult to identify that the person they married had a serious personality disorder.  Some of them took decades to realize that they were married to someone who was psychologically and emotionally abusing them. They kept normalizing cruel, controlling and exploitive behaviors. Most of these spouses blamed themselves for the marital problems. Many went to couples therapy and had no positive results.

My clinical experience and that of many others is that the narcissist is a fixed personality disorder that does not change. This psychic structure develops early and the defense mechanisms that the narcissist uses are like concrete. They include massive denial and primitive projections that provide the narcissist with a bulwark of protection against changing his/her psychopathology. The narcissist develops a false self as his/her response to the parent/parents during the early years. This structure grows over time and becomes firmly consolidated within the narcissist. If this individual is the chosen child, he allowed to do whatever he wishes, is given no sense of limits or guidelines for treating others with respect or empathy. Children who are not chosen can also become narcissistic as well.

If you have been through a series of ordeals with your narcissistic spouse you understand how stressful, painful, confusing and disturbing this experience is to your life each day. You are paying the price of not having a self that belongs to you. The narcissist without a sense of healthy psychological boundaries is constantly criticizing you, demeaning you, humiliating you and trying to break you down. Then when you are at the point of giving up, it is not unusual for him to use all of his gifts of persuasion to bring you back and make promises (empty ones) that he/she is definitely going to change and wants to remain your partner. This is a dizzying merry go round ride that does not stop.

Unless you are discarded by the narcissist, which happens in some instances, you are the one who must make the decision (or not)  to finally disengage by separating from  and divorcing them.

Your self healing is the essential issue. You have been living in the fight or flight mode of the sympathetic nervous system for too long. Your nerves are frazzled. You catch yourself constantly in a state of free floating anxiety. You feel self hatred arising. You feel like giving up. Don’t! Get well and put yourself first.

Create a detailed plan for getting out of the marriage. Interview several attorneys. Make sure that the professional you choose is well trained in divorce law, has strong credentials, an excellent reputation, good character and will be your true advocate as well as understanding the manipulations and tricks and ruses of the narcissistic personality. It is very important that this individual have you best interests in mind throughout the entire process.

Make a list of everything you need to do before the divorce papers are served. Make sure that you have the financial resources that you need in the interim.

As you go through this process, develop a practice of self care. Exercise in the way that is best for you, get the sleep that you need, eat healthy, take time in solitude and quiet, journal if that is helpful to you; listen to short guided meditations, practice gentle hatha yoga to calm the nervous system and strengthen the body/mind, listen to your favorite music that is a source of beauty and peace, spend time with a few friends whom you trust and can count on. Maintain a practice of self care now and throughout your life. You deserve to heal and you will. Healing and evolving are lifelong processes.

Disengaging from the narcissist and moving forward with your own life is waiting for you. I hear from so many individuals who have taken this route to freedom. They are so grateful and happy and lighter and inspired and creative now with their lives. You are on the right pathway–the one that leads to inner peace and your healing.