The narcissistic personality is psychologically a young child who never learned to be responsible or accountable for his actions, decisions or his treatment of others, including spouses and children. Narcissists are developmentally arrested at the age of two or earlier. They Want and they Get. They cajole, manipulate, deceive, rage and lie to get exactly what they want. They are bottomless pits of having their way. They are cunning, cruel, and exceedingly exploitative, often of their own children. When a marriage with a narcissist fails, the narcissistic spouse who hasn’t paid one moment of attention to his children, suddenly want them all to himself (herself). He plays hero suddenly and becomes the great parent. This is an image that the narcissist creates. He makes sure that the cameras and attention are on him when he is playing this part. He is photographed, tweeted, linkedIn and facebooked. Narcissists cannot love their own children or anyone else. You can be married to a narcissist for many years who has ignored your children since they were born but when you decide that you can’t tolerate the abuse any longer and seek a divorce, he will do everything and beyond to get custody of “his” children. He is super dad and saint combined. When he does get custody, he ignores his children, often leaving them alone to fend for themselves. In public he suddenly becomes highly attentive to them. When the doors close and the narcissist is unseen, he has no use for them. This is the Jekyll/Hyde father that causes serious psychological issues for his children. It is important for these children to get professional help if they develop symptoms. In some cases the narcissist becomes very bored with the whole arrangement and decides to go solo and run after the lovely ladies that he knows have been waiting at stage right.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life