I have found that those who are married to and divorcing narcissists have always put other people in their lives first. They are highly empathic individuals who take care of others. Many of them have narcissistic mothers and/or fathers and learn early that they must obey, dance to the tune of highest expectations, demands, recriminations, threats. “Be perfect or else” was the message they received from the narcissistic mom or dad. As a result these individuals are always in a state of fight or flight. They can’t relax. They become people pleasers and serve others. They don’t learn to give to themselves even when they are feeling ill, exhausted and completely worn out psychologically and emotionally.
Some children of narcissists develop chronic illnesses due to all of the stress, parental deprivation and abuse. I have heard from many of these survivors of the narcissist family wars.
Instead of choosing a partner who will love, appreciate and cherish them, children coming from these pathological backgrounds readily take the bait of the ever so charming magnetic irresistible narcissist. We are inclined to repeat patterns of behavior learned in childhood. These are survival modes that are very powerful. Don’t blame yourself if you have married a narcissist. It is not your fault. You couldn’t have known that you were getting into this dreadful “relationship” that would cause you untold suffering.
Once you recognize and know that you are married to a narcissistic personality and understand that he or she cannot change and have made the decision to divorce, go forward with a detailed well thought out plan. The essential part of this process is to put yourself first. You are not going to please the narcissist ever–even if you are perfect!
Pay attention to every detail of your plan of action. Part of this process is your healing practice. This is the first time in your life that you have watched out for yourself. Take courage in this new freedom road you are constructing. The psychological terrain is unfamiliar–putting yourself first. Know that you are creating new neuronal pathways in your mind, that your body is strengthening, that you will is deepening, that your creativity is thriving—all of your engines are moving along with a new sound–a fine music that you are now hearing. You will become more familiar with this real self that has been inside of you all of the time. Embrace it–love it, find refuge and peace here. This is the thriving original authentic creative lively true self!