Narcissistic Spouses are Masters of Manipulation

Narcissists are masters at controlling the lives of others, especially their spouses. (I am speaking about male and female narcissists.) If you are married to a narcissist it may take you some time to recognize that he or she is a NPD.  In the beginning there is a glow that hangs over the narcissist. This is the case if you have chosen a very charming, magnetic partner who has possession of your deepest feelings and whom you love.

Eventually you will feel and sense that something is very wrong with the relationship. Some spouses blame the dissention and ugliness on themselves. After all, the narcissist is constantly criticizing you. You feel the force behind his accusations and sarcastic withering comments. You are overwhelmed and give in to his demands. You tell yourself that you will stand up for yourself next time but when the moment arrives you are too intimidated.

Narcissistic spouses manipulate the lives of their husbands and wives. Some of them are hyper-vigilant and watch everything you do–”helicopter spouses.” They are like shadows who follow you everywhere. It is unnerving and anxiety provoking.

The narcissistic spouse has a plan for you. He treats you like an object, a series of chess pieces on his life board. Narcissists cannot form loving, meaningful sustained relationships with anyone, including spouses.

Narcissistic spouses will move you around their chess board  to their liking and to enhance their image (which for them is reality.) If you are attractive they will show you off as a piece of gorgeous humanity. They will want you to stay “young” forever with various surgical and aesthetic procedures. Some spouses go along with this image rebooting because they find that others in their circles are image fanatics. No one talks much about this. They just do it. I understand that sometimes these procedures are necessary and it is everyone’s right to have them. Here I am talking about the extreme pressure that a narcissistic spouse can put on his partner to constantly look perfect or else.

Narcissists are very restless and peripatetic. If they find someone else who is more attractive to them,  they have no problem stepping out of the marriage and having a fling with another whom they find more exciting and compelling at the moment.

All the time that the narcissist is betraying you, he or she is projecting his rage on to you and making you feel inadequate and horribly flawed.  Narcissists lead many secret lives–at times too many to count.

Narcissists work on our last nerves. They can make us feel sick. We cry over them, obsess over them. Some–throw their lives away for a narcissistic spouse.

Stop now. Identify your spouse as a narcissist and make a firm decision that you are going to end this “relationship” , this non-marriage marriage.  Once you have decided, move forward with a detailed plan of your own that you don’t share with this severe character disorder who has caused you horrendous pain.

Surround yourself with a few people of integrity whom you trust. Find an excellent attorney who is your advocate. Practice self care as you move through this process.

Be determined to take back your own life and to heal completely. You will become the master of your own life. You will feel the freedom of making your own decisions, using your many creative gifts, taking a spiritual path if that is important to you, finding individuals whom you trust and with whom you have a closeness that is authentic and lasting. Be proud of what you have done to release your life into cool breezes that speak of freedom, inner peace, expansiveness, joy and full abundance.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narcissists Take Your Life Away

“The narcissist is a master at extracting the pulp and juice of others-their time, talent, creative ideas, energies-to serve his purpose alone…All relationships with narcissistic individuals are exploitive…” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life).

The narcissist’s charm, the way he zeros in on you, appears to read your mind and knows exactly what you want and need is truly remarkable. Narcissists are gifted at the chase. Once they decide they want you in their lives it is very difficult to say “no”. You have no idea what will happen to you down the road because you have been hypnotized by his charm, his focus on you, the way he makes you feel.

There is the real narcissist beneath the irresistible facade–the highly developed false self. Eventually if you stay with a narcissist long enough—-marry one, have children with them–you will encounter the dark side just beneath the surface. Here there is seething rage, criticisms that cut to the bone, demands that can never be met, humiliations that no one should ever endure, threats to take away your children and to ruin you financially. Yes, that is what is waiting beneath the seductive smile that promises you everything.

(This post refers to male and female narcissists).

Ultimately, staying with a narcissistic spouse means that you are eclipsing your life. Some spouses make this agreement and decide that they have gone down this road so far that they cannot turn back. The lifestyle is what attracts and sustains them. However, they become psychological prisoners of the narcissistic spouse.

Your life is not your own even if you are able to emotionally detach from the narcissistic spouse. He is always on your mind. There is no real solitude or peace. You deserve to lead your own life despite your marriage or partnership. One road to your freedom is to study the narcissistic personality in-depth. This will reveal a very different story and wake you up. You are entitled to use all of your creative gifts, to expand you individuality not contract to fit someone else’s vision.

Shameless Narcissists Project Shame on Their Spouses

Shame is a complex intolerable feeling of being exposed, wanting to disappear, emotional vulnerability, feeling inferior and worthless. Each person feels shame in his or her own way. A child who feels shame has been shamed by parent(s) siblings or other family members. Shaming a child is a way of controlling them–making them feel small and helpless.Chronic shaming abuse leaves a painful imprint on the psyche..

Narcissists are shameless. They have no sense of limits or consideration for others. Narcissists lie shamelessly, attempt to destroy your reputation, even have you fired—For these serious transgressions of human decency they feel no shame. Not having a conscience facilitates narcissists in their outrageous and hurtful behaviors.

Narcissists are particularly brutal with their spouses. They create reasons to shame their partners. Riding along with the shaming is their volcanic rage. Here there is no let up. They constantly scream in your face, slam doors, hit walls, then revert to the silent treatment. At the end of these wretched scenes the narcissist blames you for disturbing him. Narcissistic spouses are constantly finding ways to whittle you down psychologically, to keep you desperate, to throttle your nerve endings.

Shaming is one of their most effective cruelties. It is especially pernicious if you were shamed as a child. Some spouses take this toxic kind of abuse because it is so familiar to them. They unconsciously turn to a narcissistic spouse to reinforce how they feel about themselves from childhood. Some spouses, after years of being belittled and laughed out and dragged through the mud of abuse, wake up and realize they don’t deserve to be treated in this abusive manner.

The work of separating permanently from the narcissistic spouse has begun. This passage may not be easy or smooth but it is worth the journey. I am in communication with many spouses who have made this final separation from the narcissistic spouse. With the help of the support of family members and/or other members of their social group together with those who benefit from excellent psychotherapy, they taste freedom for the first time in their lives. They don’t have to make excuses for who they are. They feel no shame or hesitation as they move toward healing and wholeness.

Don’t Get Back on Narcissist’s Dangerous Ride

When you live with or are married to a narcissist you are in psychological danger. Once you have recognized who this person really is–a pernicious, totally selfish, often vicious and vengeful human being–make your exit. Previous spouses and partners of narcissists are often drawn back into the narcissist’s lair with promises of having everything they want. A narcissist knows how to “apologize” and make up. He offers you the most tempting rewards. He says that he has changed and learned from his mistakes. This is his run of lies that sound so appealing—He took you for granted. He cheated on you and now says he was a bad person. He adeptly puts on his humble act. That’s what this is —-Acting- Method acting in its highest form. He wants you back as one of his narcissistic supplies. You are an integral part of his image (which is his reality). You may have other assets that he covets–social and business connections, high professional standing. He knows that he can fool you again. Don’t fall for the “changed man” “I saw the Light” routine.

Narcissists are fixed personality disorders that do not change. They are etched in early childhood. Many of these men are golden boys who learned by the age of five that they were perfect and superior and that they could use and abuse anyone to get to their goal.

You hear the familiar words, the music begins—Don’t grant the narcissist another dance!!! Create your own production. Get the professional help you may need. Surround yourself with a small cohesive support system. Pay attention to your intuition. Take good care of your body, mind and spirit.
You will recover and prevail.