Divorcing a Narcissist–You Are the Enemy

Those in the midst of a divorce from a narcissist, know that all out warfare is taking place. You started with the idea of a fair settlement with all of your research and details. This was quickly rebuffed as a non-starter.

You didn’t know that your spouse has morphed you into The Enemy. He or she has never been a true partner. The narcissist is incapable of having an authentic relationship with anyone, their spouses and children in particular. You tried with all of your inner resources and ounce of strength and conviction to help this partner to change. You hoped, you cried, you prayed, you researched, you didn’t sleep—-and so much more you did to keep the marriage alive and moving forward. But you didn’t know that being with a narcissist always moves backwards for the partner. It is regressive and psychologically harmful to you.

Recognizing that you are in enemy territory is difficult if you have been married and have loved this person for a number of years–over half of your life–even longer. It is a shock and that is understandable.

You are blamed for everything. He/she is lying about you, making you appear to be crazy, immoral, a substance abuser, tramp. You name it and you are accused. Lies are spread to your friends, acquaintances, even reaching at times your work environment.

One of the first offensive moves is the lightening transformation of the spouse from being affluent, well healed, even very wealthy or uber wealthy to, in an instant, being impoverished. The “records” show that there is no money, no assets, no credit—-nothing! It is that quick. These moves have been planned and plotted for some time without your knowledge. Narcissists don’t have insight but they are exceedingly cunning and strategic, especially when it comes to material assets. They are greedy–I mean the Seven Deadly Sins–Greed.

I think of the Middle Ages and the Castles built during that time of great violence. This reminds me of the narcissistic spouse and what he/she does to protect his castle. The Moat is filled with high waters or sharp wooden barriers or both to keep enemies from approach. The drawbridge is drawn up and tightly secured; the iron gate is locked and bolted.

In the Keep at the top of the Castle the narcissist feels superior and invincible. No one can touch him. (Noblemen during the Middle Ages held large collections of precious stones-sapphires, emeralds, rubies, diamonds and gold). Today, the greedy narcissist has other instruments of tremendous value that can be whisked away with key strokes.

If your narcissistic spouse does not have monetary means, he or she has made you into The Enemy as well.

First, know that this is not true about you. It is a profound unconscious toxic projection on the part of the narcissist. You are not to blame, You are very sane. You are a fine human being. You have special talents, creativity and a unique core that belongs to you alone. Feel this deep inside and remind yourself of who you are.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Research and learn about the NPD in-depth so you know him better than he knows himself.

Get an excellent attorney (who will not gouge you and is not a narcissist) who is your true advocate and fearless about confronting the odious barrage.

 

Practice self care: Sleep, eating well, time to be quiet–guided meditation, gentle yoga, therapy if you think that will help you at this time (Research the therapist thoroughly).

 

I am in your corner all the way, now and for the rest of the journey.

I know about those who have won these battles and prevailed.

I celebrate your courage, strength, integrity, authenticity!

 

Narcissists Always Want Something From You–Everything

I am reminded again and again, constantly, from the victims of  narcissistic mothers, fathers, spouses, ex-spouses, siblings that narcissists don’t ever have genuine relationships. Their false relating is based on What They Want From You–money, use of your creative gifts, your adulation, your life service to them, your role as the ongoing, endless recipient of their abuse. They intend to take your life psychologically and They Do. 

You are the one who is not sleeping, who is anxious all of the time, exhausted, even physically ill. So often I see that the narcissist does not become sick but his spouse, child, sibling does. Yes, the person who loves this psychological vulture for decades is the one who has chronic illnesses or surgeries or stress reactions.

The narcissist goes about his/her life without any illness whatsoever. He is projecting his venom constantly and it is being absorbed by his victims. I know of a number of narcissists (who probably have great health genes) who have rarely been ill. Everyone around them is suffering emotionally, psychologically and physically but they continue to go about their business of aggressively, treacherously, even criminally making their way in the world splendidly while those around them are dropping like flies.

Narcissists are rewarded in our world today for the very qualities that destroy those closest to them. This is a time of an epidemic of pathological narcissism, the rise of the ego to the highest crest of the wave, the idolization and endless pursuit of power and material possessions, the complete lack of empathy and a horrendous disdain for those who have not succeeded, who have become weak as a result of the burdens, tragedies and tenuous fate of their lives. Narcissists eye you and make judgments. You are a winner or a loser. There is no humanity in their distinctions, no mercy, no compassion. They take and take and never stop until they destroy you unless you identify them, sever your relationship with them and begin the work of self healing for the rest of your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Divorce Your Narcissistic Spouse Before You Get Sick

So many of those who are married to narcissists “stick it out” for decades and suffer horribly in every way: emotionally, psychologically and physically. Living with one of these self absorbed, highly manipulative, raging, cruel individuals every day takes a toll on your health. You are living in a war zone. Your sympathetic nervous system–the flight or fight mode—is in overdrive all of the time. This is not good for you. Many of you live in denial because you don’t feel entitled to lead your own life and have decent sleep, emotional respite, respect and inner peace. Some stay for the sake of the children, even after they are grown.

Learn everything you can about the true nature of the NPD who is not going to change. This is a fixed personality disorder. These individuals live for themselves alone. They may give you material things that are part of their image but you cannot have any emotional connection or intimacy with them. They are takers not givers.

Put yourself first. Practice self care. Get the sleep that you deserve and need. Exercise and gain strength and stamina. Talk to the few people whom you trust. Do not share your inner personal life with your narcissistic spouse. This is your business and your life not his/hers. Sense your deep entitlement to lead a good life as an individual. If you find it helpful, practice gentle yoga. This will be calming and you will gain strength from doing this work. Use guided meditation or a form of prayer where you feel comforted inside. Do some form of exercise that works for you.

You will begin to see the narcissist as he truly is and make the decision to take back your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissists Abandon Their Families and Re-Invent Themselves

Narcissistic men and women cannot sustain authentic relationships in marriages or as parents. They act out, having multiple affairs, mistresses, girlfriends, boyfriends, secretly on the side. They have no shame about their reprehensible, destructive behaviors. If they have power in the world and are venerated publicly as high level executives, part of the entertainment and social elite, they get away with it. These days, living in a narcissistic society, most people shrug about these matters. If someone is “very important” it doesn’t matter what they do in their personal lives and some believe that they are above reproach because of their extraordinary success.

The narcissistic man or woman has a severe personality disorder that is not going to change. There is no motivation to become different since the narcissist believes that he is perfect and every one else falls short. If the narcissist has a loyal professional and social following, a source of constant narcissistic supply, excuses will always be made for him/her despite the abominable behavior toward spouse and children.

After causing horrific trauma to a wife or husband and children who have been abandoned, he moves on to re-invent himself and re-burnish his image. For the narcissist, there are no genuine relationships. One person is replaceable with another—one wife with another, one child or two children with others. Some narcissists go on to produce children with two three or even four other partners. It doesn’t matter as long as he is getting the adulation, praise, adoration that he needs and maintaining the power and money that he holds on to and that defines him/her as a person.

Study the narcissistic personality in-depth so you don’t get caught up in a partnership or marriage to one of these individuals. I hear many stories of those who have had children with narcissists and have gone through painful ongoing experiences, worked through divorces that were very stressful and complex. I give those who have weathered these storms great credit for their forbearance.

Remember to take good care of yourself. You are authentic. Seek those who are like you—authentic and compassionate.

Divorcing A Narcissist–A Walk on the Wild Side

Narcissists wearing their masks of brilliance, talent, ultra confidence, attractiveness are irresistible. Most are fooled by them. That is how convincing they are. They have been doing this act with their eyes closed for most of their lives. They know the drill–It is an essential part of them that we mistake for the real person.

Don’t blame yourself for not recognizing the narcissist for who she/he truly is. The narcissist’s real self is hidden deep in the unconscious. This is the part of them that has been severely damaged and is projected out on to others, especially those close to them.These projections are primitive, meant to cause great pain. Those on the receiving end–spouses, ex-spouses, children, etc experience deep hurt and lingering pain. It is a dreadful experience to be the recipient of a narcissist’s incoming pathological fire in the form of primitive vituperative projections.

When you finally decide to divorce a narcissist and have created your plan of action, give yourself a lot of credit for taking this course.It is a complicated one. You have pulled back so many times in the past, telling yourself that if you had tried harder and been more patient, this person could have changed, have understood your thoughts and feelings and that issues would have worked out. No! That is not the clinical case in dealing with narcissistic personality disorders.

During the process of the divorce you find yourself at times flat footed. The narcissist and his attorneys have changed their game plan. This wasn’t in the play book. You are ambushed and feel like you can’t crawl out of the weeds. The other side is lying and getting away with it. The mediator went in the enemy’s camp and was convinced by their lies. Then the battle moves more favorably toward you and you take a deep breath. It’s like watching a boxing match and you are getting bloodied and stitched. You are able to get some respite between rounds but know that the battle is long and you summon up your strength and reserves.

In many divorces with narcissists it gets very ugly. They are always lying. obfuscating the truth, deluding those who should be believing you, bribing some of the players with money, etc.

When you divorce a narcissist you discover the darkness of human nature–how desperateness on the part of narcissist leads to accusations, flagrant lies, vituperative rage, pitched battles over financial assets. It is a walk on the wild, dark side of consciousness. Those who go through divorce are often shocked by the tenacious fury of the narcissist to get exactly what he or she wants—–Everything! Your work is to take care of yourself while you are going through this tough process. As I have stated before and it is worth repeating, choose your attorney with great care after doing research, interviewing and checking with your intuition. This is Your advocate that will weather this process with you throughout. You are wise and will make the right decision.

Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand them very well and will not be surprised by their antics and ruses during the divorce and afterwards.

Take time with yourself for ongoing healing–whatever it takes to keep you healthy, sleeping at night, eating well, exercising the way you choose, calming the body/mind with guided meditation, prayer, etc., spending time with those whom you can count on at any time and are truly authentic. Take moments to escape into audio books, movies, music that you love and that carries you to another place in your mind and heart. The universe is abundant–open yourself to it and all of its blessings and gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissistic Spouses–Go into Training for the Divorce Wars

I know several people who have trained for and run marathons. This is a tough, disciplined process that takes many hours and hard grinding work. The goal is incredible–over 26 miles of running–one footfall after another. I have seen great runners reach the wall and writhe in agony.

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Let Go of the Hurt the Narcissist Has Caused You

Narcissists are very cruel beings. I am discovering endless varieties of their horrid treacheries all the time. It is incredible that they continue to wreck havoc in the lives that they touch and in some cases, destroy. Their projections are meant to be mortal, kicking the air out of your spirit, making you doubt yourself or psychologically throwing you into deep humiliation.

Narcissists are masters of total control over others at all times. Whether they are in the preliminary stages and intoxicating you with their magnetism or intimidating you with their veiled threats or disposing of you when you are at your lowest ebb, the narcissistic personality is a highly predictable human. You are his/her possession. He will manipulate and mold you into the perfect replica of a living narcissistic supply who will be a perpetual source of adulation, praise, even worship.

Narcissists hurt us deeply when we are unable to identify them and psychologically fuse with them. Some of those who become involved with narcissists continue to return for more punishment, thinking that they can change these individuals or believing that they are the ones to blame for the relationship not working. Over and over again their victims blame themselves and return–each time becoming more distressed and feeling lost, confused and depleted.

Once you know that you are dealing with a narcissist—spouse, mother, father, sibling, etc., do your research and learn everything you can about this personality disorder that is growing exponentially within our population.

Be kind to yourself about your self blame, your returning for more pain, your thinking that there is something the matter with you. Let go of any guilt that you are carrying. You will find your burden lifting.

Begin to take good care of yourself: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. Sleep, rest, enjoy your own company and that of friends who are empathic and understanding and who know how to listen and to give and receive.

Think about your many gifts–those that you know about and others that have remained in the background while the narcissist took center stage and stood in your light.

Feel your individual power—your healthy narcissism—a deep respect for yourself. Be grateful for the life that you have and the one that is ahead of you. Cry when you need to–without shame or holding back. Sing when you feel the tunes coming through you–write freely without editing—go inside the music that you love and sing tunes that you create on the spot. Do this and so much more–Use your imagination–let it fly!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissists Psychologically Feed Off of Your Life–Protect Yourself!

Narcissists are parasitic. Using this word makes be feel nauseated but it aptly describes their process of feeding off of your life. When we live with a narcissist–mother, father, spouse, sibling or are involved with them, our psychological energy is continually sapped. Some victims of narcissists describe this process as trying to destroy and annihilate them, taking what is most precious inside away with their cruelties, chronic deceptions, hidden agendas, humiliations, threats and ambushes.

The narcissist steals your creative ideas and spins them into his own. He or she gains power over you psychologically by hitting you below the belt on the issues where you are  most vulnerable. This is especially destructive if you are a highly sensitive individual by nature. Although the narcissist has no true insight, he/she is exceedingly cunning and knows just how to make you feel hopeless and helpless. Narcissists are bottom feeders.
They play dirty and catch you by surprise, using the shock factor. They initiate contact that appears to be friendly and innocuous. This is the opposite of their intent. Their “communications” are designed to show their superiority over you, to make you feel like a failure who is seriously flawed. All the while they are innocent and pretend like they didn’t lay a hand on your psyche. That’s how dirty and nasty they play it. They spread lies about you to your family and friends, pointing out that you are unstable, that you have a defective character, selecting lies that will harm you the most. This is despicable behavior but narcissists can be very convincing to others who remain ignorant of their true natures.

Study and learn to identify the narcissistic personality. It is worth doing the research on this character disorder. The woods are crawling with them. Once you have made the identification, spend as little time or no time with them if that is possible. If you have to interact, make it brief and do not engage them in a personal manner. I recommend that you try not to be alone with a narcissist since these are the occasions when they project forcefully on to you or other victims of their wrath.

Practice self care with guided meditation, getting the sleep that you need, doing practices like gentle hatha yoga, tai chi and activities that activate the calming part of the nervous system. Learn how to set boundaries with these individuals and stick to them. You can never please them so don’t make a fruitless effort. Remember, the narcissist is constantly projecting his unconscious rage on to others.Deep down he/she feels psychologically empty and worthless.

Get in touch with your creative gifts and learn to appreciate yourself as a unique individual who is capable of empathy, compassion, emotional intimacy and authenticity.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Sadistic Narcissistic Husbands and Wives Take Revenge during Divorce

I know of a number of cases, especially during custody disputes when the narcissistic husband (or wife) turns sadistic and gains pleasure and narcissistic supplies by threatening to take your children away from you. In some instances he/she succeeds because he/she has the financial resources and the charm and raw confidence to persuade mediators and judges that he is the better parent. This man or woman doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of your children. He is out for revenge because he gets pleasure from watching you suffer. The narcissist builds a strong case in the role of the “good mother” or “good father.”” He/she spreads lies about you and may even turn your family members against you.

Arm yourself with as much in-depth information as you can about the narcissistic personality. Make sure that you have a very savvy attorney who specializes in family law and is unintimidated going up against the narcissist. He or she will have hired a barracuda of a lawyer who is out to win despite any human cost.

Go into battle fully armed with knowledge about the narcissistic personality. You need to know this person a whole lot better than they know themselves. Take good care of yourself during this process and beyond it. Keep your eye on the prize—getting your life back after the narcissist. Lead the life that you have always deserved—filled with warmth, authenticity, the full use of your creative gifts and the freeing of your spontaneous spirit.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.