I hear too many life stories that begin continue and end with great psychological pain and regret that involve having children with a narcissistic spouse. Very often the non-narcissistic spouse has no idea that he or she has fallen in love with a narcissistic personality. After all, these individuals are so full of charm, confidence and they appear to be so enamored of us. How can we resist them! Many people can’t and don’t know whom they are marrying. When the time comes to have children, there are no questions or doubts. The non-narcissistic spouse has had some inklings that she is married to a person who is very self absorbed, selfish, emotionally cool, is subject to forms of rage and ranting and is incapable of taking another person’s feelings and concerns to heart.
The time of reckoning often comes with the arrival of children. The narcissistic spouse is not invested in the daily and lifelong commitments to being emotionally available, loving, caring, affectionate with his/her child. Some narcissists are workaholics (that’s what they say when they are not at home) and have a hand’s off attitude toward their children. They go through the motions. There is a short morning greeting and maybe a goodnight hug. Very often the narcissistic parent sees very little of his children during the week. On weekends he is out with his buddies playing golf, riding his motorcycle, going to a favorite watering hole with friends. When the child wants to see daddy or mommy these narcissistic parents are buried in their work they brought home. They shut the home office door and are completely uncommunicative. Many children of narcissistic parents report that they rarely saw their mother and/or father. They were on their own most of the time. Lonely days after school if both people are working and one or even two narcissistic parents make for painful psychological feelings of rejection, worthlessness, sadness, deep anger, psychological numbing.
If you strongly suspect that the person you are planning to marry —DON’T. If you believe that your spouse is a narcissist and have done the research—don’t have children with this person. Narcissists make our lives much more difficult if not impossible. And what they do to children is emotionally dreadful. Some of their children become narcissists themselves and move on to hurt others and the cycle is unending.
If you are married to a narcissist and have children, do your best. Don’t blame yourself. You didn’t know whom you had married. You will love and protect them every way you can. If you decide to sever the relationship, know that you have the strength and knowledge to do this. Trust your intuition, your support group of friends and your personal psychological solidity to get through this process. Move forward with your life with a steady, solid step, knowing that you have done your best. 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