There are tales of wicked stepmothers going back hundreds of years. There are stepmothers who are wonderful parents to their stepchildren. I am speaking specifically about narcissistic stepmothers.
Narcissistic stepmothers cause emotional chaos and psychological distress within the family. Narcissistic stepmothers are cunning and clever. They are masters at appearing to be considerate, cooperative within the new family constellation and even kind. But this is a major deceit, a ruse that is designed to tear the original family apart and to obtain the central power within the household. Throwing the original children of their father to the wolves doesn’t matter to the narcissistic stepmother since she has neither conscience nor compassion.
Narcissistic stepmothers have the upper hand over their spouses. They pick men who can be controlled, manipulated, fooled, deceived and emotionally coerced to obey them. They are masters of sexual and emotional seduction. In many cases they have been having an affair with their spouse to be long before the husband is divorced from the previous wife.
These women have no conscience—They have their eyes and the full force of their personalities on the prize–their next highly successful husband. Some narcissistic stepmothers repeat this pattern over several marriages–always moving upward on the social, economic, lifestyle and prestige scales.
The narcissistic stepmother begins by becoming indispensable to her spouse. She makes extradinary promises to him that she loves his children and will treat them as her own. Using her powers of seduction and charm and the full force of her magnetic, unyielding personality, the spouse turns a blind eye to the darkness of her nature and the cruelties of her deeds.
Eventually, these husbands capitulate their control and decision making. They go along with their wife’s wishes. They are both beguiled and intmidated by her.
This is a lifestyle and power arrangement for the narcisisstic stepmother, not a marriage. She controls the money, properties and assets. She quickly has a couple of biological children with her new spouse to anchor the “contract.”
The narcissistic stepmother is greedy. She favors and gives her biological children with her spouse every material advantage. The children of the first marriage have to fend for themselves. In some instances they become permanently estranged from their family of origin. The burden of their sorrows, resentments, regrets is incalculable.
The child of a narcissistic stepmother has a road that will take them to recovery and restoration. You begin by learning to put yourself first. Practice self care by getting the rest and sleep that you need. the food and exercise that is best for you, the individuals that you bring into your life that are supportive and caring. Accessing your creative gifts is a major part of your healing and transformation. Take time each day to have a quiet time with yourself. For some this means a form of meditation, prayer or contemplation. For others this is sitting in solitude and silence or it can mean listening to music that is calming and beautiful. You will find the kind of practice of calmness and restoration that works for you. Be patient and nonjudgemental with yourself. This is a journey to your invaluable true self
13 thoughts on “Narcissistic Stepmothers–Ultimate Nightmare for Stepchildren”
Once again Linda hits the nail square on the head.
Exactly the scenario of what happened to my father after my mother died. Then he had carte blanche to take up with the woman who lusted after him ever since she first moved to our town (about the time my older sister was in 6th grade). Though she was married she had no qualms about going after other husbands in town, so she is a woman with a reputation from here to Nova Scotia for breaking up families and yearning for married men (she’s still married but lied to my father when she first sunk her teeth into his neck that she went through a bitter divorce but her husband is now dead) so my mother knew exactly what she was. My mother filled me in over the years about her and warned me before she died of what would come next. And she was spot on, as she almost always was. Sure enough, it was inevitable after my mother died that my father took up with his church secretary, who he ushers to church in my mother’s Mercedes.
I had no choice but to divorce myself from the entire scenario. My parting shot to my father was that he made his bed, now he lies in it. I tried to warn him time and time again. Nothing could get his attention. He’d hang up on me. Nothing was more seductive for an old man who abused his own daughters and granddaughters than to at last have a piece of tail, even with a battery operated heart. This woman’s (if that’s what you can call her) daughter has tried committing suicide four times, but the bell never went off in my father’s head over that one. No, because his mother was exactly the same thing. Coincidentally, the concubine’s birthday is the same day as his mother’s!!!!
Nothing breaks a daughter’s heart faster than to see how pitifully deranged and stupid her father is. He sold his soul to the devil. So be it. They deserve each other. But don’t forget, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it is very easy for a man to be happy with a woman he doesn’t love.
These people actually help us to reach higher ground, so bless them with love. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of mercy.
I commend your closing, Sally, in the spirit of “forgiving them for they know not what they do”. Being a male, in my straightforward opinion, I believe the most difficult struggle a man maintains is the one between his legs and his brain.
Men have a tendency to remain in a perpetual mode of what Freud called the “genital stage”, which begins at puberty and seems to go “all ahead full” from there. I find it absolutely stunning as to how many decisions we humans make as a result of sexual drive or allowing sex to be a guiding force.
I don’t know of a more powerful force on the planet. Wars, murders, political leadership scandals, harems, polygamy, and various kinds of sexual behaviors (not contributing to procreation) can be attributed to the power of the sexual drive. Think of how many births have occurred due to the power of sexual attraction, without love. Hollywood and the media industry continue to make countless dollars from the images of sexual behavior or attractiveness. Look at the porn industry, magazine industry, nightclub affiliations, the Playboy imagery and lifestyle propaganda, along with all the sexual toys and gadgetry being marketed! Of course, we know this is all open territory for the narcissists, male and female, to implement their various forms of control and manipulation. To give into a pun, one might say it’s their “breeding ground”! (Sorry.) To the narcissist, however, this medium is not about deriving intimacy, but selfish pleasure and the exaltation of achieving dominance. In other words, the sex serves as “a power trip”. Rather than provide a means of mutual enjoyment and respect, the narc merely ends up creating a power struggle between oppressor and victim — a form of competition by game-playing and feeding their ego, especially, by bullying.
Another critical impairment of the human mind that I see, as in your writing, Sally, is your father’s “denial”. We think computers to be the only ones utilizing a “cloud”. We all have some degree of detachment from reality at various times, some of us more than others, but it’s absolutely astounding as to how the mind can block experiential consequence. Most of us, on the victim side, eventually learn that narcissists have a mental block when it comes to possessing empathy or envisioning consequence.
My heart goes out to you, Sally, for [you] having had to endure such negative images and painful memories. I think you are wise in seeking a much higher Source for strength and looking forward to a brighter future for yourself. I sincerely hope your can dwell on some good things that life can bring your way. Sometimes life appears as an endurance test. Glad you can talk about it and get the negatives out into the open. At least you know what you don’t want in life and there’s a lot of benefit witnessing the tragic mistakes of others to help motivate better decisions for ourselves. We have to be strong enough to rise above the muck, no matter what hand we are dealt.
What is most hideous is the blasphemy of the narcissists who use religion and “church” to further their agenda. This woman got my father to march with the LBQTXYZ crowd that attached themselves to the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. G-d has been replaced with the new political party, which is about nothing but homosexual sodomy. They are too lazy and too stupid to challenge themselves, to begin to fathom the incredible and infinite beauty of the mysteries of God. Yet I have no doubt that there is a reason for this too, and it can only be a good one. Since when does sexual preference become part of our government? And the death of culture? Why is it imperative for people who can’t figure out how to accept themselves to force their sexuality down the throats of the public? We can not voice our opinions without being bullied, and even harassed. When ‘racist’ fails, we use homophobic or xenophobic, or whatever handy sobriquet can be hurled at the psyche of anyone standing in the firing line of the narcissist. All they think about is themselves, and the sad truth is their “self” is ruled by the ants in their pants.
How truly blessed we really are, Stan. No matter how much the narcissists gnash their teeth when they’re blinded by the light, there is no technology they can possibly devise that can capture the soul and the Will of God. The perfect metaphor for the narcissist is Sisyphus trying to push that boulder over the top. May they continue to be given a steady supply of rope and I believe that is what, for them, mercy is.
Wow, Sally! I love it when you talk… hmmm….well, clean. Thanks to you, I now know what a “sobriquet” is. Sounds as though you are describing a piece of charcoal that had gone “on the wagon”.
Your post enhanced my vocabulary a few times. You can really pack a punch! Hope I’m not on the other end when you get angry! I have a feeling I’d sense your emotions even if I didn’t comprehend your vocabulary.
Nice to hear someone willing to tell it as they see it — to stand up and get counted. You sound like a Texan, as Texas women are said to have “steel spines”.
Based on our current national politics, there are signs that much of the U.S. is fed up being ruled by the Washington D.C. aristocracy (narcissists) — those with “ants in their pants” (Great analogy, by the way), as well as having to endure human behaviors that don’t go anywhere, except take us all down a phony primrose path toward a dead-end.
I’m not what you would call a “drinking man”, but with my Pellegrino, I toast your enthusiasm!
I can relate with your bitterness with the church concepts of today. (Mine started years ago.) How can we know where to go to be fed appropriately without receiving what we could term, “false teaching”? Of course, that issue gets tricky in that we all tend to listen to those with who we identify. This topic could be a blog unto itself. As you know, there are so many belief systems out there these days. We can be exalted in one church, and condemned in another!
I found that it became like a “hazing ground” whereby, attending eventually led to a “self-defense mode” where I spent a lot of time justifying my beliefs.
I am hopeful, however, that those who are suffering at the hands of narcissistic behaviors, realize the wisdom and power of the Bible as to how it can strengthen them and guide them to a path of escape. As you experienced, and I, too, — narcissism is “serious stuff” — about those who are trying to take our souls.
I’m enjoying your posts.
At this point in my life, Stan, I have time to spend but not to waste. Eloquence has its place but more often than not is more like the frosting than the cake itself.
“Church” today is an abomination (great word to play with) and far removed from the original which was the body of Christ, and in earnest and humble beginnings, until the Romans capitalized upon it. Two books, the Bible and the Koran, influence our concept of God. There are many reasons why I remain loyal to Catholicism, though the spotlight that is in now is despicable. And this is why I have no time to mince words when it comes to my views on sexuality, if that is what you call it, being in our faces all the time. This is abuse beyond what most people can comprehend today; it is like having to walk through a public cesspool unless one becomes increasingly insular, especially for those of us who, as children, experienced sexual abuse.
Syncretism, or whatever our pathway to finding God is, is like a buffet of food. To use Plato’s matrix, the aristocracy chooses the food best for their health and bodies and avoids what may be tempting but will ultimately prove not only distasteful, but sickening and even deathly. The aristocracy was highly educated in order to cultivate the virtue of a golden soul. The auxiliary level—the silver soldiers, may emulate what the philosopher-kings (aristocracy) choose , but also heap on the pasta and potato salads and desserts for good measure. Those of the iron caste, however, are more like pigs in a trough, heaping their plates with everything on the buffet, because it is there for the taking and that is as far as their intellect allows them to go. Why is this?
So I return to Catholicism, over and over again, though today we know that this has become yet another way to freight political agendas. Even worse, religion is now used for political expediency, which serves its purpose in that it makes some of us, who instinctively fill our plates with what nourishes our souls, to constantly be reaching for and defining the God who gives us the inner wisdom to know what we truly hunger for.
People today are too lazy to think. Almost a century ago, Einstein said that our technology had exceeded our humanity. Germane to our discussion is entertainment and the shock and awe and sexual exploitation to which people are acculturated. In his speech titled “Spirit of Liberty” Judge Learned Hand says, “A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few.”
Wow… I am 47 years old and even though I have tried to stay as far away as possible from my disgusting human-being of a step-mother (a horrid malignant narcissist), it is only recently that I am truly willing, almost OK with the fact, that if I never interact with my father again to achieve “staying away” from this sick human (he will not leave her), I will be alright emotionally.
I plan on commenting more regarding my own experiences (since the age of 8, when my father married the evil being, and the destruction of family and childhoods commenced).
Looking forward to reading the information available on this website.
Hey Stan, where does the sibiling (MWK) stand in all of this. Just wondering your thoughts on that…
The cycle repeats, repeats and repeats sadly
I’m only asking bc when you join a family with what you suspect is extreme narcissism and you come from a family of empathetic and compassionate people, needless to say your world gets pretty rocked.
I have 3 young children and their lives have been rocked by this abuse as well.
You sound like you are one of the ones that “made it”. You’ve come to see what it really is and how you can improve your life and relationships.
Serious kudos to you, Stan.
My own step-mother is a narcissist. She does love my brother and I as her children, and does favour her one and only biological daughter more. Growing up, I was made to feel like I “owed” my parents because of all they had done to raise me because she often lamented that my real mother did little for us, and all the burden of raising us was placed at the feet of my step-mom and father.
We didn’t go without, and my step-mom could be generous and warm. She did become more motherly after my sister was born – having a child of her own changed her a bit for the better. Although the difference between how she was treated (to this day) and how we’re treated is obvious, though I know she believes that she tries to be fair.
She doesn’t realize how her behaviour impacts all of her children, and she is also the product of a self-centred, emotionally cruel mother.
Until my 30s, the conditional love received had a huge impact on my own sense of value and identity. It wasn’t until I undertook a road to self-improvement and discovery that I realized how much anger and resentment I had towards my step-mom pent-up over the years. I had always been the placatory sibling and made excuses for why she was the way she is. At some point I realized that she was a hurt individual, is currently incapable of giving the love that all of us seek from a parent, and nothing I could do would fix that. All I could do was love her, and myself as my own person.
My father passed about 3 years ago. I am now dealing with that horrid creature on Facebook. It seems that no matter how many ways I block her, she manages to invade my world through another person with whom we are mutually acquainted. I’ve blocked her, I’ve asked my adult children to block her. My husband got a friend request from her last week. I don’t understand why she is so interested in my life. Like most of you, I was estranged from my father because of her. She is truly insane. I refuse to even acknowledge her because that is exactly what she wants. Attention. She would love nothing more than to create a dramatic argument via Facebook. I’m 61 years old. When is she going to stop this evil behavior? As I wrote earlier, I ignore her and she still continues her attempts to “bait” me. If I happen to pass before, I’m certain she would attend my funeral.
What a plareuse to find someone who thinks through the issues
You put the lime in the cocnout and drink the article up.
This is an arctlie that makes you think “never thought of that!”
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