Don’t Expect Empathy from Your Narcissistic Spouse

“The narcissist suffers from a hardened heart, and is incapable of empathy. Lack of empathy is a signature personality trait.. .of the narcissistic personality disorder.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life). Many narcissists develop a convincing pseudo empathy. They are consummate actors who appear to care deeply about your feelings from your perspective. They put on a masterful performance and fool many people, especially those whom they have mesmerized to become marital partners.

The narcissist is incapable of putting himself emotionally and psychologically into another’s person’s place even if it is one of his own children. Long ago when he was a child, he/she never developed the capacity for empathy. I have witnessed very young children who are empathic—they are deeply moved by the pain that someone else is enduring. These little ones try to comfort the person who is suffering.

The narcissist is groomed to only think about himself, his superiority, brilliance and achieving all of his goals despite the grave psychological consequences for others whom he will hurt and betray.

Become aware of your capacity to know if someone is truly empathic. Being empathic is not based on what is convenient for us or the right time of day or night, or whether we’re going to impress someone or obtain material gain. Empathy comes from our deepest humanity and it is given freely. There are no time limits or measurements to its enduring force for healing. Living with someone who psychologically cold, will wear you down, pick away at your feelings of self confidence, make you feel isolated and feel that you cannot turn to your partner to deeply understand and care about you, especially when you are in a crisis and need help on the spot.

As these marriages go forward it becomes evident that the narcissistic spouse is incapable of empathy and to make it more severe, this person cannot show deep genuine concern for the children you share. He may pretend to be emotionally invested but much of this has to do with his need to control his spouse and children with an iron will. If you are married to a narcissist are becoming more acutely aware of this deficit in his personality, seriously consider your options. You can stay with the person who is very unlikely to change. You can have an arrangement with him that is a marriage in name only or you can divorce him/her.

Think carefully about remaining in a marriage with an individual is cannot genuinely give and receive love, a person who doesn’t give a damn about your feelings and your suffering. Do the research about the narcissistic personality. Knowledge is very helpful in clarifying what we want to believe from the truth. Leading a life with truth at your side frees you up and protects you from narcissistic influences–especially spouses who are laser focused only on their next acquisitions and triumphs.

Learn and practice putting yourself first in your life–That means that you protect your psychological boundaries, get the sleep you need, practice quieting the mind and body with gentle yoga with emphasis on breathing through the nose, acupuncture which brings you into the parasympathetic–the healing quiet of the nervous system, cardio that works for you, going deeply into the music that you love and feel it take you away and embrace you, jounaling your thought and feelings spontaneously, smiling at your loveliness, allowing yourself to let our laughter go wherever it wants, being receptive to your divine intuition which is with us at all times and guides us through all of our days.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life