One Narcissist Causes Pain to an Entire Family

If you know the narcissistic personality disorder well, especially if you have divorced one of these individuals or been on the receiving end of a narcissistic parent, you know that this one person can cause extreme stress and psychological pain among the members of an entire family. Everyone surrounded by the narcissist’s destructive traits–chronic lying, deception, betrayal, manipulation, exploitation, emotional sabotage–is highly aware of the severe damage that this highly pathological individual can wreak. Narcissists do not care who you are–a stranger, an acquaintance, a close family member, a child. If you get in their way, they will intimidate, threaten and retaliate if you buck their wills of steel.

Some family members make excuses for these horrific people. They will say: “Oh that’s just the way he/she is. Don’t be so tough on him.” “He is so bright and successful. Look at his good points.” This person is running roughshod over the minds, hearts and psyches of those closest to him. No one person has the right to invade your boundaries, demean you, humiliate you or taunt and terrorize you. I don’t care what this individual has accomplished in the world, how much power he/she wields.

We are at a time right now when narcissists are applauded because they are so driven to move ahead as they trample on everyone else. Those who have suffered under this treacherous treatment write about the terrors and tortures they have endured under the sadism of one narcissist. This happens all of the time but most people remain unaware of the severe psychological and emotional damage this highly disturbed person has caused. Become fully aware of the nature of the narcissistic personality psychopathology. Listen to those who have suffered under its iron boot and merciless treatment.

If you have a havoc wreaking narcissist in your family, you may have to make a 180 turn away and sever the relationship. I know this can be difficult but remember this severe personality disorder does not change. The quality of your life–psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual–is invaluable. Learn to put self care into your daily life. You are entitled to quality sleep, to exercise in the way that is best for you, to explore your many creative gifts, to listen to guided meditations that appeal to you and to follow your intuition in all things.



22 thoughts on “One Narcissist Causes Pain to an Entire Family”

  1. So true! It’s amazing how one individual can ruin a whole family. I’m currently trying to protect our daughter from him bashing of me and my family. She’s 4. They clearly have NO regard for their children’s feelings. 🙁

  2. I have a brother who has torn our family, and his own family, apart by his narcissistic rages. He is wealthy, so he does not hesitate to saddle up with an attorney to go to court and try to get what he wants from whomever he wants it from. After 14 years, he finally financially settled his divorce, after years and years of legally tormenting his ex-wife. As for his immediate family, only a select few of his living siblings still speak to him. He lost his corporate executive job over 2.5 years ago over an anger issue at work. This was not the first time that he was fired.

    I have learned that the best strategy to deal with his behavior is to employ NO CONTACT. It has brought peace to my household and to my family. I encourage anyone who is dealing with a toxic individual to do the following: ignore all attempts at contact via texts, emails, voicemail messages, and provocations through third parties.

    Unfortunately, I am expecting a legal battle with him whenever my elderly parent passes away. It’s a sad situation when one person’s mental illness upsets so many good people. But I am determined to not allow him to cause me any further unhappiness.

  3. It is so painful to experience a narcissistic family member. We should feel safe within the context of family. Having grown up with an older narcissistic sibling, it has taken years for me to assert myself and set boundaries. Ever since childhood, I have tried to please this sibling at great personal cost. Now that I have separated myself from a one on one relationship, it still pains me that she is in such suffering. Every time I think she has changed, something comes crashing down on me. I’m getting better with time but it is still very difficult.

  4. Thanks for your focus on this topic. I’ve made the difficult decision no longer to be involved with or even encounter one member of the immediate family circle (if encounter is unavoidable without, say, missing a wedding or funeral). My decision is painful for some family members who are still trying, despite being cruelly mistreated, to stay close to this person. There came a point when I realized that the nastiness and emotional abuse I was receiving showed no sign of ending, and I had to stand up for my own well-being.

  5. My husband announced in front of the children(teens) and I on Mothers Day, that he wanted a divorce. Right up to the day he left, he denied that he was seeing some one/having an affair, literally lying to my face sitting in front of him. After his announcement he became even more meaner and hostile toward me.( I took it in stride, this isn’t the first time he announced this during our 15 yr marriage, you get numb after a while of such talk) Our boys even noticed his behavior toward me it was so extremely hostile and angry. He would not let me hug him, would close his arms tightly around himself to keep my from getting close. He still slept with me but during the day wouldn’t let me hug or love on him. I still tried to snap him out of his funk. We had done this dance soo many times in the past 15 yrs, I thought it was another bout of him shutting down again temporarily. Then he abandoned us one day after things got really bad and I had to leave for the day with the kids. He had found his “soul-mate” and they had been seeing each other for 2 yrs. She knew he was married with kids. They had a public FB acct with it showing 4 months prior they were in a relationship with pictures!! He flaunts his “New” supply and her kids , that he is so extremely happy with her even brags to our children how “Wondeful” his new life is with her. He says she is aware he cheated on me during our marriage(yeah, but does she know that ‘she’ is the 4th one,{that I am aware of, that is} He says she makes him the happiest that he has ever been.(Hmm..I remember those days-the idealization phase). She bragged to our youngest teen that his dad bought her this big rock on her finger. He buys her kids sporting supplies for her children to play sports. Our teens would love to play sports but 1) dad wont let sports interfere with his visitation 2) he needs our eldest to babysit on the his visitation weekends for dad and her to have “Date Night”(something else we could not afford). He has the resources for her children to have vacations and sports but not for ours. The 4 months of him not sending his own family a dime after his abandonment, this is a man who makes well over a 6-figure income, he made zero $$when we married now has money for someone else’s children but not his own. His motto now is “when I am happy, the boys will be happy”…. Narcissism ??

  6. Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for all the insightful information. I am in the UK studying and got separated about three years ago. I was really lonely and met this charming (or so I thought) young man one evening. He charmed me so much, something I didn’t expect from a white bloke considering I am a very dark skinned African. By our second date, he was proposing and saying how he was sure I was the one for him and that he would come go back to Africa with me. He said his family was murdered when he was 14 and that he had always wanted a family of his own. He also said people kept rejecting him and that he was so happy to have me. I got a little drunk and out of pity for him and the desperation of not wanting to be alone again, I agreed but told him we would get married later on. All evening, he bragged about how high his IQ is, how he had many inventions up his sleeve (he was working on some computer thing and said he was a hacker). I thought he was a bit of a freak but just listened, I have nobody else to talk to or spend time with. I went to visit him after three dates but to my horror he lives in a very dirty dump, his place is crammed up with computer gadgets, old electronics, dirty clothes and a hideous ‘pirate skull’ flag not to mention that he keeps a hacksaw, a pick axe and lots of scary things in his house. I tried to act normal and not judge him but I was so shocked and scared I broke down and later cried. I have never seen such chaos in my life. What frightened me is that when I mentioned the state of his place he went into a rage about how I was judging him yet he was ‘superior’ to any other man that I could ever meet and was just a bit untidy because he felt had no reason to live. He then said he was capable of destroying the planet with some atomic bomb he had designed but had changed his mind after meeting me. I decided to walk away, I left him at the train station the next morning; he was crying and felt guilty for leaving him. He was pressuring me to be his girlfriend/wife and I wasn’t too sure I could deal with him after what id seen. He said I had lied the night before by breaking my promises to him. He also brags about having established a successful software company within a record time, yet for the days I have known him he is mostly at home and doesn’t go to any work. In fact, he seemed to want to always stay at my house. At one time we were together he left in another rage because I told him I needed to see proof he was who he said he was (PhD holder, computer analyst etc); he said I was judgemental and that his papers were in London and he would have to spend a lot of money to get them yet he was trying to sort his house mess up to impress me. I doubted his story about his family but thought it was cruel to ask him to verify it (I goggled it up but there was nothing about the bombing of his family in South Africa in 1997-when he would have been 14). At first he asked me who I thought he was asking him for documents, even accused me of wanting his personal account details of which he wasn’t going to divulge. The second time, he got furious because I asked him to take a bath before going to bed (he hadn’t washed since the previous day). He refused to go to bed, made and begun ranting at me. I went to bed and left him because I didn’t want to get into any argument; he staid up all night and made his own dinner said that he wasn’t my servant and that I didn’t own him. I was frightened so I remained quiet, he left in the morning and said he would call. I don’t want to see him again, I have been researching about narcissistic social-paths and I think he fits the bill. However am confused because he isn’t the conventional type of person, he’s rebellious and seems to want to appear even more ‘scary’ and tougher than he really is. All this happened in two weeks. Is it me being too judgemental and rejecting him because he is different? Please help me out here; I feel sorry for him but I am too scared of him now. I think I made the poorest character judgement of all time but I am not too sure. Thanks.

  7. I cannot believe how accurately this information describes my mother and so many other relationships that have followed in my life. I was only valuable to my adopted mother and ex-husband as long as they had the ability to exploit me and my life. And these people were able to sever ties with me and our children as though we never existed. Our lives are meaningless to them. I am a living, breathing example of the pain and recovery from living with narcissists. Best of luck to all of those fighting their way to normalcy.

  8. Thank you so much. My family is currently going through this as my brother married a narcissist. Her favorite target is me and I have decided to put her and my enabling brother on the lowest contact possible. My parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all similarly disgusted with her behavior and have decided to begin distancing as well. My only question is — what can I do for their child? She’s very, very young and I’m so afraid that one day she’ll be a target.

  9. Thanks for this.

    I was already an adult when my father met his second wife, a year after my mother’s death. And in several ways I was quite naive. The woman felt in some ways wrong, even in the beginning, but at first she was friendly and seemed to try to make friends with me.

    All that changed about a year later, when she, presumably, felt safe enough in her relationship with my father to start a smear campaign against me. She started by making fun of me, to him, when I visited, something that I found hard to believe at first. Then she started to make fun of me to me. Jokes about my weight, my failing studies at university (depression, partially probably to blame for seasonal affective disorder, but when you pile a dying mother over that, and later this new wife, and the fact that my father seemed to need her badly enough to totally ignore her behavior towards me – yes, I failed and dropped out, and have made my living in menial jobs after that), my hobbies, my behavior.

    It kept getting worse and worse. She started to show anger. I tried to talk with her, and negotiate with her, but nothing worked. Everything was always my fault, no matter what. She’d yell at me, over the slightest excuse. And if I apologized for anything, it would never be forgotten, but would always afterwards be used as a weapon against me. And any bad behavior by me would grow with time. The only time I ever touched her in anger – the only time I really showed any anger at all towards her – I pushed her, twice, just hard enough that she had to take a couple of steps backward. Nothing else. In twenty years that has inflated into a case of battery. And it seems that the story by now is that I not only criminally assaulted her, I also hit my father. Well, after I had pushed her out of the way I did go to the table – we were in the kitchen then – and broke a couple of dishes against that table (when she was on the other side of the kitchen, behind my back) and my father pulled me away and held me for a moment until I calmed down. After that I went outside until I had calmed down fully, came back inside, apologized and cleaned the mess, and left for my home.

    And that was my one and only loss of self control over close to 30 years. But because of that… well, she kept bringing it up again and again, playing the whole wounded gazelle thing. Maybe because it always was the only real case she could try and use to guilt trip me.

    Later things got a bit better. My father got over the worst of his infatuation, and started to confront her over her worst behavior. Maybe because he got tired of being constantly told how wonderful her children from her previous marriage were when compared to his only child (they were both widowed when they met, with adult children, two daughters and a son in her case, while I am his only one). She amended her behavior somewhat after that, but visiting was always damn stressful, I kept waiting for her to lose her self control and start yelling at me or berating me again. She did the latter sometimes even afterwards, but at least she stopped the yelling.

    He died a year ago. The funeral was painful. I was the only person from his life before he met her, everybody else was a member of her family, not even my three cousins, father’s nephews, had been given the chance to come, I learned later that they had just been told he was dead. I guess she had not quite dared not to invite me, might have looked bad. She had decided about everything. Father was cremated, but I was not told when the ashes were buried, nor where the grave was exactly (I asked from the cemetery office… she buried his ashes in her family grave. While he was still alive he had always talked about getting buried in the same grave where my mother is buried. Now they are not even in the same cemetery.).

    I miss him, but in several ways this is also such a huge relief. I no longer need to deal with her, nor her daughters. Or at least one of them. They are identical twins, and fact is I always had so little dealings with them I never learned to tell them apart, but one always seemed to act much nicer towards me, while other was a spitting image of their mother in her behavior.

    I have spend a lot of time, during this year, reading about narcissists. I guess I am trying to get over the memories, so I can finally get away from the whole thing and just concentrate on my own life, finally. I feel bad about feeling like this too, but frankly, this does feel as if something which had been crippling me most of my adult life is finally gone.

  10. When I was 7 my mother went with her college class to europe for ten days. I overheard my aunts mention the long flight over the ocean and that there would be no where to go if the plane crashed into the ocean. I had a twang of fear that my mother could die. In her absence there was no screaming, no threats, no fear. I remember thinking how wonderful it was. We all got along well, and had dinner together, it was wonderful and I thought about my mother’s plane, not making it back. At seven, understanding that she was the problem. Ah, how different life would have been if that plane had not made it back.

  11. This describes my current husband to a tee. I finally decided on Friday, that I am done. We have two young kids, and they don’t deserve to see him treat me this way anymore. He blames me, and my family for his unhappiness. He emotionally and verbally abuses me, then acts like nothing happened. We’ve tried counselling and he said that the counsellor was an idiot because he said he need more individual attention. Ive been trying to fix this marriage for years. Now its time to fix me, and protect my kids. I have a hell of a battle ahead of me.

  12. I just divorced my narcissist, but my ex husband is now going after the 14 and 18 year old children to make himself look like a “good father”. He tells everyone that “no one could live with me or get along with me, including them”. Isolates me from our friends/his family so I can’t tell my story and betray who he really is.

    He cares nothing for the children. Never did spend time with them. He just waited long enough for the courts to let them choose. Bribed oldest with car and credit card, going after youngest now. They are hostile for reasons I cannot understand, and will not talk or discuss what they are being told by my ex-spouse and his family. If I hear the courts “let me choose” or “Dad lets US decide where to stay” one more time, I think I’ll choke. He has filed court petition to change custody on no legal basis other than they “choose” to change their minds. They do not know about the affair, pornography, nor do they understand narcissism of course.

    Attorney says let them go and figure it out for themselves.

    Why can’t there be better legal and professional intervention to stop these people?

  13. Oh the excuses those around the narcissist make when someone actually points out the truth! 2 years ago, I reached my limit of putting up with my MIL’s abuse with a smile. I sent her a letter with events listed in chronological order. There’s no talking with a narcissist, and while I did not expect anything to be resolved, I thought at least I’m standing up for myself. I figured she could read a line, scream, come back and read another line, scream, so on and so forth. I also told her I wanted to work things out between her and me, and not involve anyone else. She sent me a reply via an email, copied my husband on it, and said “In my mind those things never happened. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about; like your dad’s cancer for instance?”. After that I told my husband I’m done, and I have been. I’ve only seen this evil woman twice in 2 years, at my husband’s law school graduation and at a wedding. I’ve told my husband for his sake I’ll see her every once in awhile, but not on her turf where she feels most powerful. Of course with the holidays coming up, my husband asks me if I’m happy with the way things are between his family and me (by the way, his 3 brothers have also said and done despicable things to me acting on behalf of her majesty) and I replied ‘yes’. I told my husband that all I get from his family is hurt and pain, and I’m satisfied that I’ve distanced myself from them because it’s not going to change. And I fear my husband defending my MIL’s and his brothers’ behavior towards me is never going to change either.

  14. I left my mother 10 years ago from her N abuse but she definitely has destroyed any relationship that I may ever have my 26 year old daughter because of the lies she told my daughter about me.

  15. I believe my husband is a Narcissist and possibly Sociopathic. Unfortunately no one that knows him can possibly believe that. He reserves his true self only for me.

    It seems that most Narcissists/Sociopaths cannot feel then react, so they use intelligence to calculate what is needed for them to demonstrate in a given situation.

    My husband doesn’t appear to even have Intelligence to fall back on, and his doings are quite bizarre. Its taken me 20 plus years to come to this conclusion, because of his lack of intelligence/common sense, ect. It is very confusing..

    Im also thrown off this track because I have seen in him time after time a rather sick need for punishment that I cant fit into the mold of Narcissists/Sociopath. Do some of these people have some abnormal need to be punished?

    No matter how hard I try to distance myself, he makes it impossible with his bizarre ways. Sometimes I truly do wonder if Im not crazy as well, and have seriously taken a good look at that.

    The hardest part is getting others to see this. EVERYONE acquainted with him think that “something” is wrong with him, but they don’t see the full picture as I do, having spent 33 years observing. Its very hard knowing this, and others think Im crazy to even suggest he’s these things. Surely this mild, meek Christian good doer cant possibly do the things I say he’s done. I am all alone here with this misery…

    I can only say that he is a 4 year old Narcissistic brat, and has strange ways beyond the descriptions of these illnesses. Im not interested in petting him, and praising him all day, or being his Mother. Im trying to break away, but finances intervene.

    To him I say, if you are going to be a Narcissist, ect…at least be a good one.

  16. I just want to add this, a small example of his thinking processes, and what it means?

    It was a Thursday, I recall it distinctly. I had been sick and in and out of the hospital. On this day, my blood pressure was very low, 80/30. I called my Doctor on speaker phone standing by my husband who was sitting in a chair.

    She said to come to her office or go the ER asap. What did my husband say?

    That he could fit me in on Monday at 1 o’clock. This is his thinking. He has his and only his time line of “I-needs” and anything else gets fit into HIS plans. It doesn’t matter if its insignificant, or life threatening.

    I stopped bothering trying to point this out to him, he only gets violently enraged, as if he is being attacked. He says I am the one making a big deal out of it, and views me as a nuisance.

    He has said he is special, goes to his own beat different from the world. He thinks it is absolute. To me he is utterly insane. I have endless stories just like this one. Some small, some serious, but all usually the some outcome. he only acts accordingly, if he thinks he will look bad in some way. Not because he cares for others. He’s alllllll about his image. He hates me because I see him for what he is, and has gossiped and smeared me in an effort to get the light off of him, and it works. He’s a pitiful specimen at that to. I call him the Generic Narcissist.

    He’s all but destroyed my life, and the lives of my children. Im the last person around that he can use to feed on. Our relationship is highly volatile. He doesn’t care. Negative feeding is better than none it looks like he thinks. I’ve decided to halt his feeding activities though. Its killing me, but he still finds the stupidest ways to continue on, when it doesn’t work, he runs to his room like the brat he is, and shouts “NO! and slams the door, then licks his wounds. its so bizarre to me the things he does. He’s a brat, not a man. I don’t think he has ever grown past his so-called trauma at the age of 4. ( which I cant imagine it as such a trauma, that he’s scarred for life. strangely, the life trauma he could truly speak of, never comes from his mouth,)He’s 66 years old, and looks to be petted and praised like a kid who has done something good for Mommy.

    A whole lot of what I say is not just my own deductions from observation. A whole lot of it is based on words from his own mouth. Sometimes it appears that he wants me to lay into him like I have gotten to where I will do that, then he sits back on the couch, closes his eyes and breathes deeply, something that reminds of someone maybe smoking crack or something. He seems to get a big rush from it. I find it sick and bizarre.
    Im currently trying to plan to get away, but im so tired. I feel to destroyed. but im going to try.

  17. I do want to add this if I may.

    My husband is a 66 year old man who has nothing. he’s lost his wife and children, he has 1 every blue moon friend. his only dreams for the future are bizarre and unattainable. he has no hobbies, passions, hopes, likes, or realistic dreams. he has no humanity, logic, common sense, or intelligence. he’s frugal, and counts out his food and rations it to himself. he’s a serious procrastinator, that’s one thing I can count on. he fancies himself a Christian that has a reserved seat in Gods kingdom, yet he has nor shows ANY love, empathy, compassion, sympathy, nor seems to understand what any of it means.

    He clings to a 4 year old issue, that he claims he made a pact at that age to never allow anyone inside. He has greatly succeeded. I don’t think he has matured past the level of a 4 year old emotionally speaking. Talking to him about ANYTHING is a hard and tedious task. he confuses it in bizarre ways until no one knows what is going on. he blames the communication problems on me. he does deeds that are specifically designed to solicit praise, admiration, adoration, and not for just once, but for all time, but his goal is the praise, not the good deed for the person. he doesn’t care about the good deed, that’s just a random advantage to someone. if he gets a simple thank you he stomps, slams bangs, and throws tantrums like a brat. He will even go so far as to point out his good deed, and demand at least respect.

    I cant deal with this brat. I can’t deal with my reactions to him which are not good.

    He has declared a silent WAR between us. He has said his greatest accomplishment is his fortified fort he’s concocted for himself. he’s sure he will win, because he CAN hold out, and I cant, because I can feel and he cant. Im subject to emotion. he knows its down hill for me. he’s sure he will win. I CANT let him win.

    as far as im concerned, he’s a Narcissistic Sociopath, wit no intelligence to depend on. he’s a childish minded brat, that needs to be petted as such. he has a sick need for punishment. Can anyone understand what these things mean? can someone adequately identify what all of this means?

  18. Our narcissitic son just divorced one narcissist and has married one worse. He has custody of his two children who never see their mother. She makes no effort. Our son had given the narcissistic step-mother complete control over his children. She mentally abuses them and has cut them off from even talking to the entire family. Childrens services has been called in a few times. She won’t let the children eat enough. She is anorexic thin. They are used a pawns in their sick game to manipulate. She has no on-going relationship with her family of origin. That family has divorced a remarried until it is mind boggling. Our son thinks she is changing to be like Jesus. It is hard to watch the children suffer such mental abuse with no empathy from their father.

  19. I unfortunately have been married to a supreme narcissist for 21 yrs. I did not know about his horrific behavior until I married him and had my one and only child, a girl. I have never considered myself a victim of anyone or anything, until I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and given 3-6 mths. to live. By the way, I’ve been in remission for 14 yrs..
    I began seeing odd behavior in my husband since day 1 of our marriage. I’ve stayed married to him for many reasons, one of which was my illness and of course my daughter. All I can say, is that unless you have been the target of a narcissist (as I have been), you cannot possibly understand how evil they can be. There is no other word to describe these individuals, other than just plain EVIL.

  20. You are not crazy… get out while you can. All my crazy making happened after 9 years… if he did all that in 2 weeks… he is super mentally screwed. Trust yourself, you are on point. Don’t believe his lies they will only get bigger and you will regret you spent another day on him. I wish I could take back my time and I have a kid. He needs you more than you need him but he can’t love you. I have been psychologically damaged and had to rebuild my whole life again. You are a smart one… you were able to detect it…and don’t doubt yourself. No one should cling so closely to another so soon without some level of desperation or issue. The situations will only get bigger, more hurtful. trust me. I know. i am seeking therapy now and everyday if he contacts me its a devaluing, painful moment. I have his kid but last night i decided I am going 100% NC even with his kid so she will not be anything like him. True love is out there somewhere but pain is not love. Take Care.

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