You never suspected when you met your narcissistic husband that he was a pathological disorder who was going to turn your life upside down. You fell for him immediately and didn’t listen to the quiet murmurings of your intuition that said: ” this man is a phony, too good to be true. He’s making empty promises he will never keep. He is, beneath the smooth act, completely self absorbed, controlling and manipulative.” Oh those times when we do not listen to the Oracle of Intuition.
Along with this most charming of men comes his narcissistic mother-in-law. After you have been married for a short time you notice that your husband’s glorious mask has begun to slip, especially behind closed doors. You find him in a beet red rage over some very small oversight on your part. He criticizes you over nothing. You feel unsteady and confused and anxious. Where is the man whom you married? He stripped to the real him in private. In public he is a marvel of social grace–adorable, charming, impeccable manners. butter wouldn’t think of melting in his mouth. He is a deal closer par excellence, oozing with self confidence. Those who do not know the real man, adore him and would follow him through the endless dunes, barren plateaus and dry valleys of the god forsaken Sahara.
Enter the Source–His Narcissistic Mother. Those who have gone through hell week, years or decades with a narcissistic mother-in-law have horrid stories to tell of psychological battering, open disdain and rudeness, dismissive behaviors that say you don’t matter or even exist. Psychological pummeling and continuing ambushes are part of the daily sadistic fare. Narcissistic mother continually uses her clever drams of poison to assure that your husband will hate you even more. This mother/son narcissistic duo cannot be broken. As hard as you try to be the perfect wife and person to your narcissistic husband, this will never work. Remember, this man was molded by his mother. If he was the golden son, he could do no wrong, had no limits or conscience, could step on any ones’ toes. To the NM he was her perfect born–her magnificent creation. The psychological umbilical link between NM and NS cannot be broken.The narcissistic son has a love/hate relationship with mother that is lifelong. He hates being her possession; he despises being emasculated by her but he always returns to her no matter what. This unbroken pathological bond wrecks marriages.
If children are involved it gets more complex and ugly. The NMIL may turn your children against you secretly. Or she might ignore them completely. Her main obsession is her son, since she doesn’t have a life of her own. He is the perfect mirror of her–the one she lives through and for. There she is hidden in a corner, telling outrageous lies about your character and past that she spins and feeds to him like a delicacy. Her good boy possession believes narcissistic mama. This Gordian Knot cannot be cut, even by you. After all, she was the first woman in his life.
The pathological psychological fusion between NM and NS takes precedence over your marriage. As much as he unconsciously hates her possession of him, they remain locked together, keeping you out.
Study and learn to recognize this narcissistic dynamic and sever yourself from it to recover your own life. This can be a difficult process but it is well worth the effort to breathe your own freedom of body, mind and spirit once more–to lead a life in the full light of your self initiation, the use of your many gifts and talents and to feel a dynamic peace that you have always deserved.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.