Narcissists–Perfect Weddings–Disastrous Marriages

Everything about the narcissist is image. For him or her image is reality, a reality based on grandiose delusions and visions of perfection. Observing the wedding plans and how they are impeccably created and executed can tell the tale to follow. It is understandable that couples want their wedding day to be very special and memorable. Here I am talking over the top perfectionism. Nothing is more important than the actual event where the narcissist plays the starring role, standing at the center of his universe, the emperor of his domain.

After the soft focus glow of the honeymoon the gorgeous masks of the narcissistic groom or bride slip and we begin to feel and see who this person we married truly is. There are pricks of criticisms that become more frequent and wounding. The other spouse waves them off, thinking: “Oh, he’s just having a tough time today–no point in making a case out of this” or “I am overreacting to him/her because I know how sensitive I am. He has told me so many times.” or “He is making a big adjustment to our being a married couple now. Give him a break.” These thoughts run through the head of the non-narcissistic spouse–always making excuses for the narcissistic spouse even when his vituperative comments are tearing you apart day after day. Next, the always sharp fangs appear when the narcissist lets go with full throated screaming fits that last long enough to cause your nervous system to go into fight or flight mode. Your adrenaline is pumping so fast that you are shivering, have a thundering headache, roiling intestines, feelings of doom.

Eventually the non-narcissistic spouse is worn down, beaten up emotionally, exhausted, spent and constantly on edge. The narcissist’s tricks and ruses become more frequent; the lies overflow and cannot be counted; the betrayals are ongoing; his hatred of you has congealed; his pathological projections are legion. Each  attack has your name on it.

Finally, you are fed up. You do the research, go to therapy, check your intuitions that have been pounding at you for months and years and Yes—You are married to a narcissistic personality, a person without empathy, emotional intimacy, truth, conscience, a scintilla of compassion for another human being. You make your move to sever the non-relationship from this highly pathological individual. You will rescue yourself from this disastrous marriage. As you make the effort and do the hard work, the original self in you is celebrating—Freedom!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Rage and Restlessness–The Narcissist’s Constant Companions

A narcissist is always boiling with rage at some level. One incident real or invented takes him over the top and the malevolent projections begin. They are directed mainly at his spouses and children. These unconscious projections cause their recipients great emotional pain. Volley after volley comes out of their mouths. They are unstoppable. Fulminating is one of the narcissist’s frequent activities. Being the child of a narcissist unsettles every nerve in your body. You are living in a war zone. Bombardments of volcanic rage are coming at you. Living under these circumstances as a small child is bewildering and traumatizing. If there is another parent who can shield you from these torrents of rage that is very fortunate. Many children are able to go to the other parent for comfort. However, if the other parent is terrified of the narcissist then the child has to find ways to deal with the onslaught. Some numb themselves emotionally and learn to freeze themselves and feel nothing. Others hide and make themselves invisible.

Along with the chronic rage is the narcissist’s restlessness. The minds of these individuals are never still. They jump from one activity to the next, conjuring their plots and plans to make sure that they remain superior to everyone else. When they are not scheming, they are running about traveling, buying, spending time making themselves look even more perfect going to spas for the latest youth enhancements.

When you are talking with a narcissist you can detect that while there eyes may be on you, they are thinking about a million other things. They are not present. They will focus if you are their newest source of narcissistic supply–money, adulation, praise,  social status. Then their attention works like a laser; they can’t take their eyes or attention off of you. You are the Great Rainmaker.  If you do not have these credentials, they wave you off and flee from your presence like a genie.

Pay attention to the level of rage and the swirl of restlessness on those you suspect are narcissists. They will have other traits like grandiosity, extreme self entitlement and lack of empathy. Then you will know that no matter what irresistible gifts they are laying at your feet, you’ve got their number and will say “No” to them.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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