Living with a Narcissistic Spouse Eclipses Your Life

Like an eclipse of the sun at mid-day when the earth is darkened, your life married to a narcissist diminishes your creativity, your physical health, your peace of mind, your dreams, your sense of hope. Maybe you think that you are compromising with this spouse of yours but that is never the case with a narcissistic personality. When the marriage gets ugly and the word divorce  is floating through the atmosphere, you suggest marital counseling. This can be helpful to many couples but with narcissists the process is different. Narcissists are great actors. They can easily pretend that they are cooperating as clients. Sometimes, they win over the therapist who then finds that you are the one at fault.

Some of those married to narcissists don’t feel sufficiently entitled to lead the life that they deserve. As children they didn’t feel good enough or smart enough or equal to a brother or sister who was “golden.” Parents were highly critical and demanding and often one of them was narcissistic. One would think that if you were raised by a narcissistic mother you would not seek out a man or woman who was a narcissist. But there is a tendency to repeat painful behavioral and psychological patterns that hurt us the most in childhood with our relationships as adults.

As the years being married to a narcissist create a profound burden on you and eclipse the core of your individual life, a reckoning has come. Learn everything you can about the true nature of the narcissistic personality. This is empowering and will enlighten your perceptions of your spouse. No longer will you be able to make excuses for this person who is making your life a living hell and thwarting your opportunities to use all of your talents and energies, to feel free to express yourself authentically.

You will learn to feel entitled to a full life, a free one that is deep, meaningful, spontaneous, filled with some special people who love you and you, them. Explore your creative gifts and discover your unique talents. Spend time in peace and solitude for the first time in your life. Sleep more deeply and dream in every color of the rainbow. Access the healing power of the parasympathetic nervous system which is like moving along the gentle waves of an endless sea of peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Divorcing A Narcissist–Watch for Narcissistic Greed

When you met this man or woman you were captivated–carried away by his/her charm, ambition, success, confidence and promises of love. Today you are either contemplating a divorce, divorced or going through a very ugly divorce from your narcissistic spouse. You might even be working with someone similar to KM Family Law to ensure the process is proceeding legally. One of the issues that makes it very painful besides a fight for custody over the children is their GREED. Never think you can negotiate in good faith with a narcissist. They will run the table on you if you don’t hire one hell of an attorney to fight them tooth and claw.

Narcissists are greedy and demanding. During the divorce they are completely uncooperative. They love to put obstructions in your way, rattle your nerves and scare the hell out of you. They throw barrages of threats to ruin you financially. First, they have been stealing from you for a long time. They lie about their assets constantly during the marriage–even in the good times. Narcissists are exceedingly secretive. They must always have the edge over everyone else even if it is a spouse or child.

When the divorce is on, the narcissist goes into full battle mode. You are bombarded by his attorney’s countless questions and insinuations, designed to wear you down to nothing so you will give up. Narcissists get a thrill from watching others suffer. It makes them feel even more superior, knowing that they are controlling your emotions and they are exposing what they perceive as your weaknesses—meaning your humanity.

Prepare yourself for battle by having a deep working knowledge of the narcissistic personality. When you have the background, you have a better edge at predicting their moves and developing excellent strategies.

Don’t ever give in to the “I have changed. I want this divorce to be amicable” routine. This ploy is used to throw you off balance and re-consider. Don’t fall for it–ever!

Make sure that you learn to take good care of yourself during the divorce and for the rest of your life. You are a first priority. You will never capitulate to someone who is a taker, not a giver.

You will prevail–I know you can. Remember, you are an authentic, strong, talented and empathic individual.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists Treat Their Spouses Like Possessions

Male and female narcissists are incapable of genuine feelings of love, caring, giving comfort, having empathy or being merciful.

When you are married to a narcissist you become his/her possession. Narcissists are completely disingenuous. They are deluded human beings. It doesn’t matter how successful they are in the world; in their personal lives they are unable to give or receive on any level.

Narcissists believe they own their spouses. They are highly manipulative and secretive. Most spouses have no clue about the concealed lives that they lead right under your nose. Narcissists enjoy the thrill of their clandestine lives. It is an adrenaline rush for them–like the fastest down hill run.

Narcissistic spouses are known for hiding money from their husbands or wives. They want everything for themselves and are always planning what they will do when they decide to dispose of you. Of course, they will move on to a new life. For them everyone has a price and everyone is expendable.

The spouse is an object for the narcissist like a painting that can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. While you are married to the narcissist, he or she insists that you maintain a perfect image that is a reflection of his importance and outward power. After all, you are a living reflection of his/her worth.

When you discover who this individual truly is and decide to divorce him/her, be prepared in advance before you are dumped or put to the side. Do your homework and research. Do not share your plans with the narcissist. You cannot trust someone who has treated you like a non-person.

Begin to take very good care of yourself and maintain your psychological and financial independence as much as you can. Recognize that you are moving in the right direction to re-engage your own life and to rediscover your true self. This is a journey well worth taking.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Therapists Cause Psychological Harm to Their Clients

There are many highly qualified therapists who have fine clinical training and are excellent working with clients and helping them to heal.

This post is about a segment of psychotherapists who are narcissistic. This includes psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychologists and various other licensed counselors who work with clients. Narcissistic psychotherapists are out strictly for themselves. They often have a money motive as the primary purpose of their practice. Certainly, professionals are entitled to be paid fairly for the services that they offer. I am speaking about outrageous fees that climb higher and higher and are based on endless sessions of non-therapy. In some cases I know of narcissistic therapists who spend entire sessions talking about their private lives and their personal dilemmas, including their failed marriages, money issues, etc.

Narcissistic psychotherapists project their unconscious self loathing on to their clients. When you are alone with a narcissist you are vulnerable to their toxic projections. I hear many stories about clients who were told that they were incapable of getting better, who were too dysfunctional and had to be in therapy indefinitely, who were very difficult clients and were not worth treating, who put you down and criticized you or belittled you.

Clients in crisis are in a difficult situation. They need help–Now! Narcissistic psychotherapists mercilessly prey on these people. They get money out of those who are desperate. Narcissistic psychotherapists can lead clients to feel confused and worthless and cause psychological harm.

When you decide to go to a therapist, do a lot of excellent research. Check the therapist’s credentials carefully. If you can get a referral this can be helpful. However, choosing a therapist is personal. You are looking for the therapist who is best suited to your personality. Make sure that the therapist is very clear about the fee. Check the fair rates for payment depending on the education, clinical training, degrees, etc of the therapist. Interview several therapists before you make a decision. You don’t have to stay with a therapist with whom you cannot work. If you don’t feel heard and understood after the first session, it is your right to not return to this professional. After all, you are hiring them. You are in charge. Always remember this. Pay attention to how you feel when you are with the therapist. Do you feel secure, accepted, understood. Is the therapist highly empathic–capable of putting themselves psychologically and emotionally in your place. Is the therapist’s ego dropped or is he or she name dropping or polishing his or her image during the session. Does the therapist have a calming temperament and give you a genuine feeling of hope.

How well do you think the therapist knows himself/herself–This is essential. Therapists can be highly trained and recommended but if they are not self aware, they cannot successfully work with clients. Is the therapist a steadying influence in your life? As yourself these and many other questions and always remember to pay special attention to your intuition about the prospective therapist. What are you intuiting about this person?

The answers you receive are invaluable. I wish you the very best in finding the psychotherapist who will help you to heal, become calmer, more assertive, creative, more capable of loving yourself and others and having full use of your many creative gifts and capacities.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Don’t Let Narcissistic Spouse Damage Your Psychological and Physical Health

Narcissistic spouses are unrelenting in their focus of destruction upon you if you are married to one of these exceedingly cruel individuals. I hear and read innumerable stories of the narcissistic spouse’s attempts to destroy the life of their spouse. I am talking about men and women who are their targets. Living with the constant flow of putrid, toxic projections by the narcissist is injurious to the victimized spouse. Day after day and as the years accumulate, the insults to the nervous system, the mind, the creative process, the hope about life itself become greater. Some spouses continue to believe that the narcissist is going to change. This is not the case—ever. Narcissistic personality is a fixed disorder that is not inclined to change. Do not wait for this to happen. You are not to blame. Pay attention to what your intuition is shouting at you–Get Out and Save Yourself So that You Can and Will Lead the Life that You Deserve.

Focus on your self healing. Take time each day to be with yourself–even for a few minutes. Listen to guided meditation, go into Nature, listen to the birds, feel the wind and sun, or the sleet and snow. Learn to to take deep slow breaths through the nose. Listen and allow great music to take you into another world where you can feel quiet and peace. Some benefit from excellent psychotherapy especially when they are making the decision to break from the narcissistic spouse. The therapist is your ally and will help you to appreciate who you are as a unique, valuable individual. Talk to a friend whom you trust and lay your burden there. Share your feelings and let yourself cry. Above all, listen to the voice of your intuition. It speaks the truth, always.

Know that you are a valuable, loving, talented human being who deserves a different life, the one you are creating.

Narcissistic Mothers Get Away with Their Secret Cruelties

Narcissistic mothers have always existed. Their styles fit certain eras. These days many narcissistic mothers are in highly competitive careers. I think that the rise of women to become prominent in many professions is exceedingly vital to every individual in the society. I am not talking about working women who become mothers, love their children and are very responsible raising them. I am speaking about the narcissistic mother who has her children specifically for the sake of her all important image which includes bragging rights and calculated displays of her perfect kids. Some narcissistic mothers insist on molding each child. She is like a puppet master, working the strings of her daughters and sons. She checks each one to see which she will choose to reflect and mirror her the best. The chosen child is often attractive, bright, talented in some way and athletic. This child is a standout in the family from the mother’s perspective. She knows this child’s destiny from the beginning. She showers this chosen one with undeserved praise and this son or daughter is given no limitations with regard to cruel behaviors toward brothers and sisters.

I have heard so many appalling life stories of children who grew up with a narcissistic mother and weren’t chosen to be the star of the family. These mothers are such hypocrites. In public they know exactly how to present themselves in the mothering role. That’s exactly what it is–a performance. Relatives, friends, even close ones believe that these mothers are extraordinary and that they genuinely love and care for their children.

The opposite is true. Narcissistic mothers are exceedingly critical, at times physically violent and psychologically horrifying with their children. Adult children of narcissistic mothers tell stories of terrifying punishments that they received even as very small children. Often they were subjected to hours of threats, told that they should never have been born but should have been aborted. Kids were forced to clean their rooms until they were spotless. Even when the chores were perfectly done, mother didn’t approve and picked the child apart, calling them names like “stupid”, “ugly”, “worthless”, “dumb”.  These names coming from a narcissistic mother were deeply embedded into the children who received this abusive treatment. As adults, children of narcissistic mothers still can hear “mother’s” hateful raised voice shouting epithets at them.

Narcissistic mothers terrify their children by pitting one against the other, promising one daughter or son that he or she will be the favorite. All of this is a cruel game the narcissistic mother sadistically employs to control her children, to make them bend completely to her iron will.

These dark hidden punishments and chronic patterns of neglect are kept secret within the family. No one must ever say or even admit to himself or herself the truth about “mother.” That is the seal of secrecy that feels like a matter or life or death. These children feel so trapped. They know no one will believe them–not even other relatives or family friends. That is the essence of the narcissistic mother’s dark psychological and emotional treachery.

Some children of narcissistic mothers not only survive to tell  the true tale of their lives but they heal and evolve and create. I have found that these adult children are among some of the most empathic human beings I have ever encountered.

Let your healing begin. It is a long pathway. Begin by knowing and accepting the truth about what happened to you. Next–Take hold of the truth about yourself and what a wonderful, unique human being you are. Remember your special gifts and if you don’t, ask that they will be revealed to you. Be receptive to your intuition as you move toward healing and wholeness. I am in your corner always. I have great faith in you. Honor your true self and you will grow with unbounded abundance and deep inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Treasure Your Intuitive Gifts

Intuition is a knowing of the truth that strikes faster than the speed of light. It comes through us automatically like the exhalation of a breath or the blowing of the wind or the crack of a branch of a tree in the forest. Intuition is part of our human nature although most people are unaware or not in touch with their intuition. Some individuals receive intuitive messages but discard them as irrational or strange.

I have known many daughters of narcissistic mothers who, despite all of the painful psychological and emotional issues associated with being the child of a narcissist, have access and use their intuitive gifts. For many it is what allowed them to survive a childhood of maternal deprivation and verbal abuse. Deep inside this small child knew that something was very wrong with her mother’s lack of feeling, cold non connection and cruel behaviors. Some of these daughters blame themselves and believe they are lacking when the psychopathology lies with the narcissistic mother.

Using one’s intuition is a gift that deepens and strengthens throughout life. Intuition communicates in a special form to each individual. Some of us get a gut feeling and know we have hit upon the truth. Others hear a voice that gives them messages of truth, warning, inspiration, creativity. Intuition can be activated by someone with whom we are strongly connected. Intuitions come through when we are in a peaceful state of relaxation, meditation or involved in a creative project. Intuitions are always coming through. They never stop making attempts to get our attention.

Intuition warns us about the narcissist we have just met. We sense this person and know instantly that he or she is not right for us. We feel the powerful sway of the narcissist’s irresistability like an errant tide that is pulling us out to sea. Yet there is a voice (nor our own) that is saying: “Stay away from this person. He/she will cause you pain and trouble. Step away now.”

Use your intuition to heal from your narcissistic mother. Intuition provides us with many ways of separating and individuating from the narcissistic non mother. Ask for healing and listen to the messages that lead you along a different path where you will find your true self more and more each day and through it deep inner peace and the use of your creative and spiritual gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Be Compassionate with Yourself

I have had conversations spoken and written with a number of daughters of narcissistic mothers. It has been eye-opening to meet so many women “raised” by exc narcissistic “mothers’ who are highly empathic.

They suffered so much growing up with a mother who was cold, distant, often emotionally abusive and for some, physically cruel. Often the narcissistic mother was extremely jealous of her daughter and created psychological ambushes for her child. Constant criticisms and humiliations were part of the daily fare for  these daughters. Many of them grew up thinking that there was something fundamentally wrong with them, even that they were intrinsically bad human beings. Time after time they were blamed for simply being born and making an effort to be an individual. What the narcissistic mother demanded could never be achieved because it was always a set-up, a trap, a road to nowhere.

These daughters grew up, often raising themselves and helping with their younger siblings. Another source of psychological pain was the brother or sister who was “golden”, chosen by the narcissistic mother as the absolute favorite who would fulfill mother’s need to have a  living facsimile of her “perfection.”

Growing up with a narcissistic mother and golden narcissistic sibling is exceeding difficult and that is an understatement.

Some narcissistic daughters report that they learned to keep their heads down from oncoming fire meted out by the cruelties and deprivations projected on to them. Some of these women describe creating entire worlds of the imagination in which they lived. Some escaped into books. Many hid in plain sight and became very quiet to hide and deflect from the frequent bursts of psychological venom projected by mother on to

For many of these daughters there comes a time of reckoning, of knowing that they can and will no longer take the maternal narcissistic abuse. They decide that they must be free to lead their own lives. This can involve a complete no contact break with the narcissistic mother. Other family members who have no understanding of the cruelties sustained by these daughters will often interfere and criticize them for their decision to separate from mother and become free to lead life on their terms. Relatives of this kind will never comprehend what these daughters have decided to do to reclaim their lives and this is none of their business and they deserve no explanation. Besides many of these relatives are incapable of seeing through the delusion, the false mask of their narcissistic relative.

As you experience the breath of freedom and feel your nervous system quieting for the first time, think about what you have done. You have survived despite all of the pain and  deprivation, as a unique bright talented kind and compassionate individual. This is huge! Now move forward with self care and compassion directed to yourself. Love that little child within you that kept faith with herself. Talk to her and cherish her loveliness and beauty. Take time to be with yourself  each day to quiet the mind in any way that works for you. It can be prayer, guided meditation, going into Nature. Follow your intuition as you allow yourself downtime, sleep, food that nourishes you and that you can savor, being around people that appreciate you and where there is a genuine exchange and warmth. Your creative gifts will move within and you will be surprised by their abundance. Feel the ease and grace within you and the inward smile that warms your lovely heart.

Narcissistic Bridezillas–Honor Your Boundaries

Brideszillas are here to stay in our current narcissistic culture. Their tyrannical hold on entire families causes emotional chaos, disruption and psychological pain. From the smallest detail to the grand delusional vision of their royal role as “Bride” and Queen they are controlling and manipulative to the max.

Before the wedding you can know that you are dealing with one of these highly pathological individuals. Their level of civility and manners is thin and transparent. The smile is forced. The unblinking eyes tell you: “I am in command. You must do what exactly what I want or else.”

Narcissistic bridezillas or not–Learn to practice self care. You might not have had anyone in your life who helped you to internalize a sense of entitlement to deep inner peace, to respect your thoughts and feelings, to treat yourself with gentle kindness. It is essential that we admit when we are wrong but to not continue to castigate ourselves. Learning to appreciate your individuality and your unique gifts is one of the most important realizations of your life. Part of self care is getting rest and sleep,having downtime when you can use your imagination, go deeply into the music you love, write spontaneously, dance and sing to music and do anything that brings you joy. Sometimes the smallest acts are the most profound from hugging our pets to speaking to friendly strangers, to covering ourselves with a favorite sweater or blanket.

If the narcissistic bride to be is part of your family, this is a special challenge. First, you cannot control the decision the couple has made to become wed. You can take charge of your internal and external behavior. Knowing who this woman really is will help you all along the way. Do not spend time with her completely alone if you can avoid it. When we are solo with any narcissistic personality, they find this opportunity to assault us with their negative primitive projections. Make every effort to stay out of that orbit. You don’t deserve this kind of treatment; it is not about you. This is her psychopathology.

You are growing and becoming whole each day. Honor yourself and appreciate your authenticity.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Children of Narcissistic Mothers–Push the No Contact Button–Restart Your Lives

Those who have grown up with a narcissistic mother have endured  the emotional and psychological pain of narcissistic abuse and neglect. The narcissistic parent may have provided the essentials for you to survive, even given you material advantages. But there were empty pockets devoid of love, affection, respect, or genuine attention. These were absent from your life.

You may have been the golden child, the one chosen to be groomed to reflect the perfection and delusional expectations of the narcissistic parent. You may have been the child that was emotionally discarded and neglected. You always had that feeling that mom wanted you to disappear and never come back. You were a burden to her because you were a child. How dreadful is that! Or you may have been the invisible child who lived under the radar in your own home. Narcissistic mom went about her business of being the only person on the face of the earth who had any value; you didn’t exist. You learned how to survive on your own early. In some instances siblings take pity on you and throw you a crumb or two. In many homes it is everyone for themselves–constant survival mode. In others some siblings bond together in order to deal with narcissistic mother’s unexpected onslaughts and incoming fire.

 

Even in adulthood the narcissistic mother will not stop interrupting your life in her devious and obstructive ways. She riddles you with guilt when you don’t call her. She criticizes your choice of marital partners, she wonders why you don’t have children, she doesn’t approve of your friends, etc., etc., etc.

Narcissistic mothers are clever at manipulating their adult children. They use guilt, threats of being removed from the family business or family trust, being shunned by the other family members if you don’t stay in line. She has endless arrows in her quiver and knows just where to plant them.

For many adult children of narcissistic mothers a time comes when they can no longer take the abuse. It is gone one too long, taken too much from their lives, caused perpetual undeserved suffering. This is your call to make. The narcissistic mother is not going to change. She may have the rest of the family convinced that she is a wonderful, even loving human being. (These people have never seen her style of low down guerrilla tactics behind closed doors.) You are the witness; the one that knows the truth. Even other siblings who grew up in the same home with you continue to make excuses for her corrosive, damaging outrageous behaviors.

Recognize that you are entitled to lead a life that is free of this abuse. You deserve inner peace, a sense of freedom within yourself and in your relationships. You have many creative gifts and dreams you want to fulfill. Some adult children of narcissistic mothers decide that they will no longer be exploited by their narcissistic non-mother. They are reclaiming their lives. You can start by initiating a No Contact policy with the narcissistic mother. Your concern is not what other relatives or your mother think or feel about this or how they are reacting. Remember this life belongs to you. Take the reins in your hands, listen to the messages of your heart that are telling you this is your time to restart your life. Some individuals find that excellent psychotherapy helps them through this transition. If you go this route, make sure that you interview several therapists and that they are clinically trained and very empathic, have no money motive and, of course, are not narcissistic personalities. And always—take very good care of yourself.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life