Living in the Narcissist’s Shadow You Cannot Thrive

You may believe that you are safe and secure living in the narcissist’s domain. You may enjoy the benefits of financial security and a comfortable lifestyle. But there is no emotional commitment to you as a valued individual. As a member of the narcissist’s inner circle you share the glow of his/her power but your special gifts and ambitions are obfuscated. You’ve given too large a part of yourself to someone else. The narcissist’s spouse may have a successful career and have accomplished a great deal. But the shadow of the narcissist continually lurks over the partner’s achievements. Always remember the personal price paid. Spouses who have lived with narcissists for many years feel as if they cannot take a deep breath, that they have no zone of privacy and peace and that all of their forward movements are questioned and criticized by the narcissistic spouse.

In marriage we deal with the give and take of the partner. We cannot do whatever we want all the time. Some people are not willing to make a compromise with a marital partner. They prefer to lead their lives on their own terms. That is a decision that deserves our respect. In a healthy relationship each partner bends to the other for the sake of the union. Each party is capable of both giving and receiving. At times one person will be in greater need and require more giving on the part of the other. All solid marital and partnership relationships are the result of a mutuality of respect, acknowledgement and encouragement of the other person’s psychological and creative progress.

Each spouse in a marriage to a narcissist has a vital decision to make. Will I continue to live under this oppressive regime or will I seize the alternative? Dissolve my non-relationship with a narcissist who has stolen my precious gifts— freedom to create, to be at peace, to enjoy true privacy, to shape a hopeful unobstructed expanding future. These questions are waiting for your answer. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

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