Narcissists Project Self Loathing on to Spouses

From the classic descriptions of narcissists you would think that they are in love with themselves. They are supremely self entitled, self absorbed, grandiose, greedy and seek praise and adulation from those who act as their servants. Their self image is uppermost in their minds. Many of them appear to be externally impeccable. Those who are uninformed believe that the narcissist is an extraordinary human being. This is especially the case if the narcissist is a high achiever in business, entertainment, professional sports, politics, etc.

The truth deep down is that the narcissist unconsciously loathes himself or herself. The narcissist is unaware of these feelings of self hatred and psychological emptiness. Rather he projects these noxious overpowering feelings and beliefs as primitive projections on those closest to him, his spouse. Those wed to the narcissist or partnered with him get the brunt of his unrestricted volcanic rage, accusations, humiliations, verbal assaults. In this way the narcissist gets rid of the excess of psychological poison in him and ejects it on to someone else. (and never holds himself accountable for the severe pain this causes). Often those married to narcissists put up with the abuse, thinking that they deserve to be treated with such menace and disdain. Spouses make excuses for their mates “Oh, he’s under so much stress, he slipped and got out of control—It won’t happen again.” They tell themselves and even believe that the narcissist will change. This is not the case. Narcissistic personality disorder is a fixed character structure that is very unlikely to change. The projections of self hatred in the form of noxious abuse will continue. The narcissist is not in touch with the unconscious facets of himself/herself. As long as there is a human receptacle available, his self hatred will be spewed in that direction.

If you can’t take the abuse any longer, you can make the decision to detach yourself emotionally from your spouse or to permanently leave the relationship. Think carefully and study in depth about the narcissist’s personality structure and how it operates. Stop blaming yourself. You don’t deserve to live in misery and a constant state of siege. To learn about every aspect of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:

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