So many of those who are married to narcissists “stick it out” for decades and suffer horribly in every way: emotionally, psychologically and physically. Living with one of these self absorbed, highly manipulative, raging, cruel individuals every day takes a toll on your health. You are living in a war zone. Your sympathetic nervous system–the flight or fight mode—is in overdrive all of the time. This is not good for you. Many of you live in denial because you don’t feel entitled to lead your own life and have decent sleep, emotional respite, respect and inner peace. Some stay for the sake of the children, even after they are grown.
Learn everything you can about the true nature of the NPD who is not going to change. This is a fixed personality disorder. These individuals live for themselves alone. They may give you material things that are part of their image but you cannot have any emotional connection or intimacy with them. They are takers not givers.
Put yourself first. Practice self care. Get the sleep that you deserve and need. Exercise and gain strength and stamina. Talk to the few people whom you trust. Do not share your inner personal life with your narcissistic spouse. This is your business and your life not his/hers. Sense your deep entitlement to lead a good life as an individual. If you find it helpful, practice gentle yoga. This will be calming and you will gain strength from doing this work. Use guided meditation or a form of prayer where you feel comforted inside. Do some form of exercise that works for you.
You will begin to see the narcissist as he truly is and make the decision to take back your life.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.