The narcissistic personality is grandiose, self absorbed, manipulative and lacks empathy. The narcissist builds and protects his image–which represents for him/her his true identity. How he appears to others–attractive, brilliant, talented, socially skilled, powerful in the world–is essential to who he is.
Some narcissists cross over the line into sociopathic behaviors when they have lost control of their ever-present rage. This often happens in the middle of a divorce. The narcissist feels himself losing control over the outcome of the proceedings. He is at war with his soon to be ex-spouse. He pulls out all the stops and threatens and intimidates the other party. He uses strong armed tactics and serious verbal threats to terrorize the other party in order to get his way. At this point the narcissist is displaying sociopathic traits. He or she is caring less about image and the consequences of his threats and intimidations than what he knows he deserves—-complete victory for himself and defeat and destruction of the spouse. The ends for him justify the means, even if he is threatening his spouse and children with physical harm.
Some spouses of narcissists are unable to recognize that their narcissistic partner has crossed over the line because they are so accustomed to being treated with cruelty, threats and humiliations. It’s all the same to them. The abused spouse may not even be aware that her children must be protected and taken out of harm’s way.
After life with a narcissist, the person who has been the recipient of constant abuse for so many years needs to make certain steps toward recovery. One of the first and most difficult is the recognition that you are entitled to lead a life that is psychologically secure and safe, that you deserve your peace and that you as an individual have value. Each day you will grow and feel more entitled to lead the life that you deserve. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.