If an adult chooses to remain in a marriage to a narcissist, that is her prerogative. When you have a child with a narcissistic parent, you are the responsible party. I understand that in many instances the marital partner is unaware that she is married to a narcissist. The purpose of my blog is to inform readers about the true nature of narcissists so they can identify them and deal with them. I have spoken to clients who were unaware for years that they married a narcissistic personality and kept blaming themselves or trying to change this individual. Narcissistic personalities are most unlikely to change. They have no reason to since they believe that they are perfect and superior and that everyone else, including their immediate family, is flawed and inadequate. Some women decide that it is better and they tell themselves, easier, to stay with a narcissistic husband than to take the risk of leaving that can mean facing financial instability and the perils of re-starting their lives alone. When a woman has children with a narcissist, this is a game changer. One way or the other the narcissistic father will have a variation of negative psychological and emotional effects on his child. No amount of good mothering within a narcissistic family constellation will erase every bit of damage that the narcissistic father imposes on his child. For him, the child is an object, a narcissistic supply he can use to inflate his ego. If the child does not fit his qualifications because he or she is not bright enough, beautiful or handsome, talented, etc. , the narcissistic parent will neglect and ignore this child or worse, make him or her the target of his aggressive verbal attacks. If the father finds that his child can be become a vital source of ego gratification due to his winning personality, attractiveness, intellect, etc., he will cater to this child. In some instances the fusion of the child with the narcissistic father is strong enough to create a narcissistic son or daughter despite the mother’s influence.
If you know that your spouse is a narcissist and you continue to expose your children to his psychopathology, think carefully about your options. I have found that many clients decide that they can no longer risk the day to day exposure of their children to this level of pathological toxicity. Doing what is right for our children is never easy—but it is necessary. We gave birth to them and in that act and onward we are responsible for nurturing and protecting them on every level. The course ahead may be difficult. Keepng the welfare of your children in the front of your mind is a compelling motivator. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.