Cruel Duality of the Narcissistic Spouse

There is a common theme that runs through marriages with narcissists. This is the strong outer image that the narcissist has created that convinces everyone around him that he/she is a delightful, charming, caring human being–someone who goes out of his way for others and is highly successful at the same time. Everyone on the outside looks up to these narcissistic wonders asking themselves–Why can’t I have this polish, charm and self confidence. What’s the matter with me? There is nothing the matter with you. You are only viewing one side of the narcissist—the fully burnished public image. The narcissist builds and protects this image with his life. It is everything to him. The narcissist conceals a duality beneath the ingratiating compelling smile—the Shadow. In his/her private life the narcissist is unveiled–fully revealed. Narcissists are deceptive, craven, venal, exploitive, explosive, manipulative and completely lack empathy. If their wives and children could speak they would tell you stories that are hair raising. The narcissist is a dictator in his home. Everyone must obey him or else. His constant criticisms are legion. His lies are endless; his manipulations are astounding. He/she absolutely cannot put himself into someone else’s place and know what they are experiencing on a feeling level. Narcissists are psychologically violent to their spouses in particular. At times they are physically violent as well. Most of them get away with this savage treatment because the non-narcissistic spouse is too afraid and doesn’t feel that she has a voice of her own. Some of those who marry narcissists were treated cruelly in their childhoods and have continued this expectation in their marriages.

It doesn’t matter what the narcissist has attained professionally. He/she can be highly educated, very successful or non-educated and unsuccessful, rich or poor or in between—he is still a narcissist and has a fixed personality disorder that does not change. More people need to speak up about the total series of hells that narcissists put their families through. It is an ugly moving picture.

When you meet and get to know someone who is a narcissist and are remarking to yourself how extraordinary they are, remembers that they are two-faced–under the sway of a dark duality that controls all of their thoughts and actions.

Those who free themselves from narcissistic spouses recognize that they can take a full breath of clear air. They think and feel and create in freedom, resurrect their joy and celebrate their lives. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life