Narcissistic Spouses—Using You Up 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 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 the females 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 narcissists 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. Keep your exit strategy to yourself. Gather your support group around you–It only takes one loving person to help you through this ordeal and passed it to freedom.
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. Listen to that internal voice. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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You are Stronger and More Genuine than Your Narcissistic Spouse

In the midst of listening to a narcissistic spouse screaming in your ear during one of his many tantrums, you wonder if you can take it anymore. You have been worn down by the daily verbal attacks, put downs and criticisms of your partner. At first many spouses believe that they can change their narcissistic partners. They make helpful suggestions, research how to create a happy, healthy marriage. Above all they give so much of themselves to solving the marital issues with the narcissist. Many non-narcissistic spouses go to couples therapy. The narcissist if he/she attends is inclined to sabotage the entire process. In some cases the narcissist convinces the therapist that his marital partner is unstable and flips this professional to his side. This is a nightmare. I do not recommend couples therapy with a narcissistic spouse. In many instances if there are financial assets involved the narcissist want to continue the relationship formally so that he can maintain his lifestyle and and not give the spouse her due. Narcissistic spouses use clever accountants to hide their monetary worth so that if a divorce eventually occurs there is nothing left for the non-narcissistic spouse. I hear these painful life stories frequently. They are exceedingly cruel.In the meantime the narcissist has found someone else to impress and draw into his web. This person will become another victim.

When you recognize that you are married to a narcissist through your research, by means of good psychotherapy and your fine intuition, it is time to take action. You cannot reveal to your partner that he is a narcissist. It is highly inflammatory (even if it if the truth). The narcissist will throw this in your face and call you histrionic and unstable.

As you research the narcissistic personality disorder, you will recognize the person to whom you are married.
Do not be judgmental with yourself. You could not have known that this person was a narcissist. They conceal their pathology so skillfully and the narcissistic society gives them every opportunity to activate their grandiosity, self entitlement, ruthlessness and chronic lying.

You win against the narcissist by identifying and standing by your solid, strong self. You hold the truth-the narcissist lives in delusion not attached to reality. Your genuineness is a powerful part of your personality that keeps you grounded. You care about understanding yourself and are empathic with others. These are great strengths that you hold to while severing yourself from the relationship with the narcissist and for the rest of your life. When you are free of this burden you will expand your creativity, deepen your sense of peace and expand your consciousness. You are deeply in touch with yourself—that wonderful human being you were always meant to be. Visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Toxic Narcissistic Couples—Sever these Relationships

When two high level narcissists become a couple and join forces they increase their power among those who are vulnerable to their many seductions. Narcissists don’t have relationships—they make deals that will create lucrative connections. They plot their rise to power. They have no mental limitations to their goals. They don’t have the burden of conscience or compassion to slow down their progress. Their “show” always goes on despite the psychological pain, angst, even emotional collapse they have caused family members, including their own children. They don’t carry within them the empathy, which would take up their valuable time. They have perfected a pseudo empathy which is believable. They use this act successfully with those in their inner circle from whom they extract more narcissistic supplies.

Many narcissistic power couples hate one another’s guts. Behind closed doors they battle and bruise one another. When it’s show time, they put on the elaborate makeup and costumes of their irresistible personas. They are masterful at interacting with people who will be highly impressed with them, to the point of becoming followers and members of their many social/business circles.

Learn to identify narcissistic couples quickly. Protect yourself from their allure and empty promises. Sever these pseudo relationships. They are psychologically toxic. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife..com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Don’t Wait for Your Narcissistic Spouse to Change

The narcissistic personality is fixed and impervious to change. Many of those who are on the receiving end of these “relationships” keep holding out the hope that if they fulfill the narcissist’s demands and wishes, he or she will change their controlling, abusive behavior.

Time after time the injured spouse goes to therapy to re-do herself, to learn to become more patient and understanding. In some cases if the spouse goes to the wrong therapist, she will be pressured to believe that the problem is within the client’s psyche. Some therapists assume that people who come to them are responsible for the problems in the marital relationship. They ask: “What are you doing that is irritating your husband?” “How can you be more understanding?” “Why don’t you learn how to give a little?” Fortunately there are many excellent clinical professionals who are keenly aware of the psychological sabotage that the narcissistic spouse projects on his partner. Excellent psychotherapy can be very helpful and enlightening to the spouse who is considering leaving the marriage. The client comes face to face with the fact that he/she is married to a narcissistic personality disorder who is not going to change. She/he gets the message that the failed marriage is not all her fault. It is not possible to have a genuine marital union with a narcissist.

Narcissists are conditioned not born to this psychopathology. As small children they are taught directly or indirectly that it is perfectly fine to believe that your are superior to others, that you can manipulate and exploit anyone who is an obstacle to your goal, that a perfect image trumps substance, that being ruthless and careless with the feelings of others is essential to success. Empathy and developing a conscience is not part of the budding narcissist’s vocabulary. They are given free reign to trample over others to win. Winning for the narcissist is everything. This parental influence becomes deeply embedded in the psychic structure of the growing narcissist. This disorder is highly fixed and rigid and disinclined to change.

If you are involved with a narcissistic partner or married to one, know that this individual will not change, ever. Stop making yourself sick over their constant spewing of toxic projections, their put downs, their verbal sabotage, their putrid secrets, their explotive deeds.

Take your life in your hands. Create a support group you can count on. It can be one person with whom you can communicate. Think carefully about your own welfare for a change. Learn to appreciate all of your creative gifts. Embrace the beauty of your individuality. You deserve to lead a full rich life on your terms. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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One Narcissist Causes Pain to an Entire Family

If you know the narcissistic personality disorder well, especially if you have divorced one of these individuals or been on the receiving end of a narcissistic parent, you know that this one person can cause extreme stress and psychological pain among the members of an entire family. Everyone surrounded by the narcissist’s destructive traits—chronic lying, deception, betrayal, manipulation, exploitation, emotional sabotage—is highly aware of the severe damage that this highly pathological individual can wreak. Narcissists do care who you are–a stranger, an acquaintance, a close family member, even a child. If you get in their way, they will intimidate, threaten and retaliate if you buck their wills of steel. Some family members make excuses for these horrific people. “Oh that’s just the way he is—a perfectionist.” But he is so bright and accomplished–cut him some slack.” Really—-I don’t think so when this person is running roughshod over the minds, hearts and psyches of those closest to him. No one person has the right to invade your boundaries, demean you, humiliate you or taunt and terrorize you. I don’t care what this individual has accomplished in the world, how much power he wields, or the size of his material largess.

We are at a time right now when narcissists are applauded because they are so driven—yes they move ahead trampling on everyone else. This is despicable behavior and will not be tolerated. Those who have suffered under this treacherous treatment write about the terrors and tortures they have endured under the sadism of one narcissist. This happens all of the time but most people remain unaware of the severe psychological and emotional damage this one highly disturbed person has caused. Become fully aware of the nature of the narcissistic personality psychopathology. Listen to those who have suffered under its iron boot and merciless treatment. If you have a havoc wreaking narcissist in your family, you may have to make a 180 turn away and sever the relationship. I know this can be difficult but remember this severe personality disorder does not change. The quality of your life–psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual–is invaluable. To learn about the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Covert Narcissists: Martyrs in Sackcloth–Endless Pity Parties

Covert narcissists are so clever that they fool most people. They are like skilled double agents, trained to the highest level. They present themselves as humble, self-effacing and lacking entitlement. They praise you excessively, telling your how attractive you are, how much you have accomplished. They admire you–“I could never have achieved what you have done. You are talented and brilliant and beautiful besides.” These comments roll out of their mouths like watching your streaming breath on a cold winter night. They put you on the highest pedestal. They have never met anyone like you. They feel so lucky and are in awe. Many women lap this up because the level of acting is high. Covert narcissists have their scripts down to every gesture and word nuance. They know when you are at your most vulnerable and take advantage with perfect timing.

If you become involved with a covert narcissist and something goes wrong–he/she is not getting everything he wants, he will play the martyr in sackcloth role. “I have given you myself unconditionally and look how you have hurt me. I can’t take this kind of abuse.” You might as well reverse these words because it is the covert narcissist who has eclipsed your life, made outrageous demands, who constantly lies, breaks promises and humiliates you. And then there is the pseudo self pity. “I thought my life had changed when I met you. You make things so hard for me. You are so demanding I can’t stand it. You married me to get ahold of my money and leave me for someone else” There are too many pity parties to count. Some spouses and partners of covert narcissists feel guilty and believe that this person is the victim and that they must do everything they can (even if it disrupts their life horribly) to soothe and give in to the covert narcissist’s bottomless “needs.” These “needs” mean constant worship and adulation, jumping the minute he makes irrational demands, believing his chronic lies, returning for more verbal abuse, allowing him to exhaust your psychological and sometimes financial resources.

Take the time to learn how to quickly recognize the covert narcissist and to keep him out of your life. If he/she is part of your life now and you realize who this person really is, seriously think about severing this relationship. Take care of yourself first—the covert narcissist is only watching out for himself despite his sackcloth and ashes and endless pity parties. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Spouses Married to Narcissists—Step out of the Misery Role

There are many material perks to being married to a narcissist who is successful in his/her career. There is the image that you were chosen by this accomplished, bright, socially skilled person to be his partner. Many spouses are swept into this role. Eventually the dazzle and bling for many begins to fade and the person married to the narcissist recognizes the down side of this pseudo relationship. As you live with this person you recognize that he has a dark side that is selfish, cruel, cold, calculating, vindictive, exploitive, deceptive. Many non-narcissistic spouses decide by default that they must live in misery with this individual. Some of them have grown up in narcissistic families as scapegoats and targets of chronic verbal abuse. They spent their childhoods being criticized, demeaned, humiliated and projected upon. They were blamed for things they never did. A narcissistic brother or sister was always able to convince the narcissistic parent that the victim was the perpetrator. Children growing up in this family constellation feel helpless, frightened and that they are unworthy of leading a happy life. They are always anticipating misery since that is what they known from the beginning. It is not unusual for these individuals to repeat the childhood pattern by marrying a narcissist.And the nightmare begins anew. The abuse is horrendous but familiar to them. They expected to be treated cruelly and dismissively. That is what they know.

In many cases the non-narcissistic spouse wakes up and realizes that she/he has been play the part of the victim all of her life. She begins to feel that she deserves so much more: inner peace, affection, being understood and cherished, growth of her creative gifts. Eventually these victims discover that they are married to narcissistic personalities who are not going to change. But they are—They become more independent, begin to appreciate their individuality, participate in good psychotherapy and join support groups. They finally recognize that they are worth it—a valuable unique individual and step out of the Misery Role. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Don’t Let Your Narcissistic Mother Take You Down Again

Narcissistic mothers have more than nine lives. When they convince you they are weak and vulnerable and you are so worried about them that you can’t sleep at night, that’s when they strike. If you go to visit them to bring whatever they must have, they look at you dismissively as if to say: “Why are you here?” or “You never come to visit me. What do you want from me this time?” No matter what you do for a narcissistic mother it will never be enough. Even when you are the child in the family who has been most devoted toward her with your actions that take away you time and energy when other siblings will not share the burden, these narcissistic mothers will talk behind your back to her other children. They are so cruel. This is because they have a severe personality disorder that you can’t cure. They are not going to change. You can find ways to cope with them if you can remain psychologically detached. This is a tall order and takes a lot of training and discipline. When you were a child it was hellish growing up with your narcissistic mother screaming at your dad all of the time. It broke your heart to watch him cower with fear like a small child himself. But he kept coming back for more. Growing up with a narcissistic mother carries a pain all of its own. If you haven’t experienced it, it is hard to explain. There is neglect, abuse, control, rage, dismissiveness and the absolute knowledge the child has that she/he will never be good enough to meet mother’s standards.

After going through these battles for so many years and paying the price—psychological, physical health issues, marital problems of your own caused by these dynamics, it could be time to say:”Enough” I will not let her pull me back down again into this intolerable inner place. I don’t deserve this. My focus needs to be on healing and becoming individuated from my mother—psychologically separate from her. This can be done. It is not easy. Sometimes contact has to be severed. In other cases there is minimal contact with rules that involve being treated with respect.

In the aftermath of making this change in your life, whatever form it takes, begin to look up rather than down. Begin with small steps–allow yourself to enjoy something each day that you love to do. Got out into your yard or look at the birds that inhabit the spaces around you. Take a walk with a friend. Develop a few relationships with people who are capable of hearing you and helping you make this transition of movement toward separating from mother. Look at all of your creative gifts. Start to use them now. Begin without being judgmental. Learn to quiet the mind through meditation or gentle yoga. Some form of aerobic exercise helps in these transitions. Aerobics makes you strong and increases your endorphins and aids sleep. Write down your thoughts and feelings. This is a freeing experience and a very creative one. Be patient with the healing process. The self is always in the process of growth. Take the obstacles out of the way and it will happen. Have faith in yourself to do this. Don’t be judgmental. Give yourself the warmth and tolerance you are always giving to others. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenaricssistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Narcissistic Spouses–Your Money and Your Life

There is a common thread that runs through many marriages to narcissists, especially when rumblings of a divorce are in the air. Before the lightening strikes it is not unusual for the narcissistic spouse to have taken all of the joint assets and whisked them away. The other partner is shocked that the narcissistic husband/wife claims that he doesn’t have any money. The non-narcissistic spouse on the other end of this dreadful dilemma is left with confusion and anxiety. The spouse who has cunningly spirited away the financial assets is a master of control who knows where every penny is. This, despite the fact that he/she may be making a huge amount of money. Narcissists love to brag about their wealth but when it comes down to sharing it, forget it. They dole out small sums of money to the spouse, telling them how lucky they are to be leading such a fine lifestyle. They complain if you spend even a few dollars over what you are “allotted.” Some narcissistic spouses will tell their wives that they will just have to sacrifice because times are rough. Meanwhile, the narcissistic spouse is indulging himself in every way–the more the better. Narcissists are chronic liars and betrayers—This is immutable. You cannot change these characteristics and don’t try to discuss these matters with them. They will go into projection mode and blame everything on you. Every horrible thing that ever happened to them is your fault. You don’t want to stir this up. You might not even need to stir–narcissists are projecting their venom all of the time.

Besides the financial matters, the narcissist is psychologically and emotionally eclipsing your life. With constant irrational demands, volcanic rages, criticisms that cut you to the quick and phoney crying jags–why would you waste the rest of your life with this person. Your vitality is sapped; your creative gifts are lying fallow; your sleep is disrupted. You have no inner peace.

If you decide the marriage is no longer working with the narcissist (and they don’t) create your own plan well in advance of any statements about a separation or a divorce. Make sure that you have access to all of the information about your shared finances. I have heard too many times about women in particular that have been married to a narcissistic man for decades and who didn’t know how much money was coming in from her spouse’s wages, investment or properties. Many women are financially independent today and that is terrific. But in so many instances I hear very sad stories about women who are left with no means of support. They have a few rough choices. They can remain in the hellish marriage to the narcissist or they can leave with a paltry sum of money and start all over. Many of these women are well up in age and it would be very difficult for them to find a job that will sustain them. Be wise. Beat the narcissistic spouse at his/her own game. When you have hints or intuitions that the marriage is going south, start doing your research into the finances. Before that make sure that you have as much access to community property as your narcissistic spouse. Narcissists are cunning; they can “smell” divorce papers coming. So be clever, wake up, create your plan of action in detail. Talk with an expert attorney who knows how these conniving individuals operate and how divorce law works. Become highly informed. This way you have an edge on this man or woman who will leave you (and your children) with nothing as he moves on to his next big business deal and another woman (or man) whom he will engage in the same treacherous dance.

Recognize your value as an individual. Keep yourself healthy–physically, psychologically and emotionally. Don’t wait for the narcissist to change. That is not going to happen—ever. These folks are great actors and they are clever at drawing you back in. Don’t buy it. Once you know who the narcissist is, decide if you can tolerate sharing your life with this person or if it is time for you to make the move to sever the so-called partnership. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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Narcissistic Matriarchs—Escaping from the War Zone

It is remarkable that some extraordinary individuals survive their narcissistic families. With a narcissistic mother as matriarch and a favorite narcissistic daughter who is her top lieutenant, it becomes impossible for the other children to have the psychological space and peace to grow and become accepted for themselves. Non-narcissistic brothers and sisters are both dismissed and severely punished. Behind the closed gates and doors of the narcissistic family, horrible deeds occur. The narcissistic mother exploits her children–That is the “relationship”. Those who are favored by mother are adored, indulged and given no limits–including physical and emotional abuse they perpetrate upon the younger children. A budding narcissist in this kind of perverse family constellation is often highly sadistic–taking pleasure from the pain he/she inflicts on a brother or sister. In some egregious situations, mother narcissist joins in on the abuse, even laughing and making fun of a child who is being terrorized, who is hysterical and being hurt both physically and emotionally. In some cases there is an unspoken pact between the favorite narcissistic child and the mother that cannot be broken. This union is highly pathological and represents a crime against the children who are victims. Children who grow up in these environments learn to survive by going along with the horror occurring inside of their homes every day. Often the father is psychologically weak and will turn a blind eye to the abuse perpetrated on his children by the narcissistic matriarch. These ugly confrontations by the narcissistic mother and the golden children occur frequently. Children victimized are terrified of going home. They dread what will happen to them when they close their front door and are in the midst of a chamber of horrors when anything can happen. With some children–violence begets violence and some of the brothers and sisters become physically and psychologically abusive to the other children. Everything is kept secret from the public image of the narcissistic matriarch. She is well respected in her social or church group. Her neighbors look upon her favorably. The narcissist is a consummate actor who publicly waxes sublime about how much she loves her children. She brags about how brilliant and special they are. She plays the role of devoted mother to the hilt. And most people believe her—This is astounding but true.

For many children of narcissistic matriarchs the time of reckoning comes. These children feel themselves faltering. They can no longer take the extreme abuse, the constant lies and accusations, the beatings in some cases, the unending humiliations. They make the decision to leave this very sick family. Some of them marry to escape the war zone. Others simply leave the hell home and struggle to find their way to become independent and free of this mire of psychopathology. Some children never escape and spend their lives as victims of the sadistic narcissistic matriarch and her cruel narcissistic adult children.

Those who save themselves are to be deeply commended. You have made the break. You have changed your life path. You have prevailed as an individual. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

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