Narcissistic Mothers-Where are the Grown-Ups

Some narcissistic mothers want to remain forever young even when they have daughters who are in their forties and fifties. I’m not talking about working to stay healthy, agile and strong. I speaking about physical appearance only. Narcissistic mothers are often jealous of how their teenage and young adult daughters are attracting a lot of men. With the aid of plastic surgery and many other youth enhancing procedures, it is possible for mature women to look as much as twenty years younger than their chronological age. Often I see mothers and daughters out together and it is very difficult to tell who is the grown-up. Narcissistic mothers often dress inappropriately young for their age and role. They wear provocative clothing that is inappropriate in order to draw attention to themselves and away from their daughters. There are occasions when narcissistic mothers seduce their daughter’s boyfriends–a horrible betrayal of trust. This is to prove that she is sought after sexually and that her daughter cannot win, not even a boyfriend whom she had trusted. The narcissistic mother often treats her daughter as an acquaintance of the same age. There are extremes in which the daughter plays the part of mother to her own mother. This is profoundly sad and highly pathological.

Daughters subjected to this kind of abusive treatment throughout their lives find it impossible to continue these sick relationships. They often leave the family, become independent of the narcissistic mother and find their own way . They have recognized that the narcissist cannot mother–love, protect, cherish, be proud of, her own child. This is a very sad realization that needs to be acknowledged and mourned. In the process of healing these daughters recognize their value as individuals and are grateful to be intact after growing up with such serious psychopathology.

These daughters are moving forward to embrace their lives as mature, empathic, productive and loving individuals who deserve all of the credit for doing the hard work of becoming the person they were meant to be. Visit my

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