Sons of Narcissistic Mothers Despise Them

Narcissistic mothers often have an iron hold on their sons. These mothers appear to adore their sons over their daughters an shower them with all of the attention and adulation. There are sons of narcissistic mothers who become narcissists and the two of them are fused in a highly pathological and destructive psychological duo.

Those sons who are not narcissistic have a rough time of it. They feel their mother’s narcissistic claws  at the ready to get a hold of them and not let go until she possesses them. Narcissists believe that everything belongs to them, including their children,with whom they can fuse, neglect or discard. The narcissistic mother demands her son’s attention. She cannot be attuned to her child but rather is bent on molding him into what she believes is another replica of her perfect self. These sons are both intimidated  and feel deep hatred of a so-called mother who blocks their way toward psychological independence, the fulfillment and promise of their masculinity and the use of the potential and appreciation of their individuality. Some sons feel obligated to the narcissistic mother and spend much of their lives trying to please these impossible creatures. This interrupts the natural growth of the child and young adult. Often the father in these families is psychologically weak and emasculated. That is why the narcissistic mother has chosen him—someone whom she can fully control, manipulate and deceive.

Men psychologically possessed by their narcissistic mothers have difficulty with emotional intimacies.  Unconsciously, they belong to mother. How can they  give themselves to a partner when they cannot be separate from her. There are sons who make the break from their narcissistic mothers. It can be a tough battle. The NM infuses guilt. She is a drama queen, insisting on her way despite the psychological damage that is incurred by her son. Some sons remain pleasers and feel guilty if they don’t fulfill their mother’s wishes. Inside they are torn between deep feelings of obligation and enraged that they are still umbilically tied to their NM.

Those who achieve the separation are freed to feel and express their uniqueness, to use their individual potential in every way, to be creative, to activate their spontaneity.  Some sons of NMs benefit from excellent psychotherapy. When choosing a therapist, interview until you find the one that is best for you. This professional must be capable of attuning himself/herself to you, have well developed empathy besides a solid academic and clinical background. Make sure that the therapist does not have a money motive and is not a narcissist. This can and does happen. Some of the “most qualified ” psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. are narcissistic personality disorders. Stay away from them; they can be very charming and convincing.

There are many avenues to healing. Learn to calm your nervous systems through methods that work best for you–gentle hatha yoga with emphasis of breathing through the nose, a form of meditation or inner quiet that you can do regularly, spending time with people who appreciate you and are excellent listeners.

Some sons of NMs make a decision to go no contact with their mothers to stop the constant interference, blowups, accusations, recriminations, etc. This is your judgment call.

Above all, respect yourself. You are evolving and growing each moment. You are becoming free.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.



41 thoughts on “Sons of Narcissistic Mothers Despise Them”

  1. Comment:From Sooty
    Another piece from ‘my life’s book’!
    ‘An iron hold’? Oh yes – at least she tried – with a single-minded determination whose sucess was not ‘a goal’ or ‘a hope’, but essentially a forgone conclusion. Did it work with me? No… from an early age, I was (and I still am!) an awkward sort when I’d find myself to be the object of someones’s attempts to manipulate me. My big brother was easier meat – he ended up ‘fused in a highly pathological and destructive psychological duo’. I think she destroyed my father, turning him into ‘the caged animal’. My mother was a Covert N, and such was her guile that until only recently, I believed that -she- was the ‘good person’ and that my father was the ‘rotten egg’. There was no-one else, so I was left in a very cold place – an ’empty pit’ that haunts me still.

    Perhaps like other CNs, ‘it wasn’t about her’… (God forbid! She was a -saint-! – at least in her own eyes.) it was about ‘the higher power’ that she ‘worshipped’. ‘Higher power’? The ‘elite propriety’ (real, or imagined) of the ‘ascendency’ that existed in Ireland perhaps up to the middle of the 20th century – a ‘class’ that has essentially adapted, or dissapeared. But, she was determind not to let me adapt… she somehow expected me to be some kind of Little Lord Fauntleroy, in circumstances that were often plainly absurd.
    It was this absurdity in her persistant demands that allowed me to avoid being subsumed… but the more subtle, unconscious allusions and ‘infused guilt’ were far harder to avoid. They were ‘ideas’ – ideas about personal relationships that essentially left me in a void – the ’empty pit’… I had -enormous- ‘difficulty with emotional intimacies’ – unable to relate to -real- people, and at the same time, sometimes wracked with guilt about my inadequacies in this area. In this area, I did ‘belong to mother’, and in this way I was ‘torn between deep feelings of obligation and enraged that they are still umbilically tied to my NM.’

    Where am I now? Well, such was my ‘human inadequacy’, that only some decade or so ago, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. ‘Inability to read other people’s feelings’, etc., etc. The whole hog. But knowing more about this (and many other things too) helped me sooo much! Was I truly ‘unable to read other people’s feelings’? No. I had been -taught to ignore- real feelings, while hiding them under protocols about what people were -supposed- to be feeling. I realised that when I stopped lying to myself as I’d been taught by my mother, I am possibly excepionally good at ‘reading people’s feelings’. And I’m possibly excepionally good at relating to animals, horses in particular. (Think Temple Grandin?) Am I now ‘normal’? Thank God, no! Odd, maybe – but I’m -real-. And I don’t have that awful condition, ‘Normality Syndrome’… 😛

  2. Comment:From Rob
    I’m new here and need input. Mother is old, suffering from dementia, dominating and ill willed. It is hard to live this way.

  3. Comment: From Rob
    I want to be free of the burden of loving a mother who wants nothing but my happiness. Yesterday she called me a son of a bitch. I did not agree with her, much as I wanted to! Then she called me a bastard, and we both knew better than that. Then she told me to “Go to hell” and if I were not a self controlled person, I’d have sent her ahead of me.

    It hurts me to hate my mother. But she did some very nasty things for which I can find no forgiveness. Allowing me to be raped for 3+ years among the nastier things, but not the worst. The worst thing she did,and does, is call me a liar when I tell the truth.

    What happened, what she allowed, I will not forgive until it is acknowledged.

    But that will never happen. Mom was perfect and everything she dis was out of love.

  4. Comment: From Amber
    I have a narcissistic mother who drove my brother to suicide because he felt he could not get away. My brother told me that he was obligated to stay and help our mother that she could not survive without him. He was also an alcoholic. I tried to help him get a job and off the boos. I would go out to our mothers pick him up and take him job hunting. He also was not allowed to drink at my house. My mom would then call me yelling at me because my brother had not finished his chores, I tried to get my mom involved in helping me with my brother. I told her she needed to stop buying him alcohol. Her response was that he would just get into her alcohol. I was like then get rid of it. She refused to do that and kept buying him alcohol. It was her way to get my brother to do the chores for her. By the way my brother was 23 years old when he committed suicide. Now she keeps digging her claws into my dad. My dad pays for all the bills including property they bought. The big kicker is it is not even in his name. Not any of the cars, not any pieces of the property. They are not even married anymore. She refuses to remarry him because she would lose her precious social security if she did. So she says, which I know now is a lie. Because my mother-in-law was on social security when she was married to her husband who made a whole lot more than my dad. She has complete control over him. I rarely see my dad because I hate her and she hates me. The only way she knows how to get to me is thru my dad. The only time I get to see him is if I am talking to her too. I actually feel like I have to have her permission to see my dad and I am 29 years old with my own family. I have this gut feeling that once my dad has finished paying off the property that she is going to give him the boot and leave me to pick up the pieces of my damaged father. Ever since they got back together my father has done hardly anything for himself. He used to be independent and had friends and was apart of clubs and went t!
    o church. Now he does not even have his children. Because I cant stand by and watch her destroy him any longer. He made his choice and he chose her over me. After all this time of dealing with her I have become an anxious emotional wreck that never stops.

  5. Comment:

    “Arguing with her was much like trying to learn particle physics by beating my head against a wall.”

    I can relate to this. My mom, like most narcissists I reckon, are VERY good at what they do (the mental gymnastics, the guilt trips, etc.) and it’s exhausting to the point of depression to try and counter her arguments when you know intuitively that you’re being abused. I’m cutting off contact with her from now on.

  6. Comment: From John
    I transferred all my energies away from my narcissistic mother 35 years ago and placed them on to a narcissistic wife who I long ago divorced but still remain attached via the guilt trap . I have spent many years like a dog chasing its tail with therapists that did not have a clue . They wasted my time and money and I am still as stuck as I have been my whole life . I am not despondent but I am resigned at this point . Wondering if I will ever be happy and free as I run out of time here

  7. Comment:From Kris
    Im glad to see articles about sons of narcissistic mothers starting to appear. Everything is about daughters but us boys/men suffer at their wrath as well.

    I too felt hatred for my adopted narcissistic mother. The phonyness, oh the phonyness, it drove me nuts. The blatant attempts to destroy my romantic relationships. The belittlement of my career prospects. The stick it in your back and then laugh at you about it like you did it to yourself tactics.

    At one point I wanted to make enough money to hire a blackhawk helicopter and chain gun the whole darn house with her inside it. To add insult to injury after poking and prodding me for decades she has the nerve to tell people I was always such an angry person and I am prone to violence. Never been in more than 2 fights my whole life. The anger was merely at being so ruefully mistreated on a daily basis and told that I wouldnt amount to anything and whenever anything good happened in my life that I would share being accused of bragging.

    These women are horrid.

  8. Comment: From There Is Hope
    AGREED!! These women are horrid and EVIL!! I empathize with anyone who was raised by a narcissist parent! It’s a LIVING HELL for a child!

  9. Comment: From There Is Hope
    You CAN be free. I am a widow of a husband whose mother, two sisters, and ex-wife were, and still are, CRUEL NARCISSISTS! His ex-wife, as his mom, was emotionally abusive. I strongly believe this contributed to his diagnosis of brain cancer and his illness began while living in that mentally ill household. My husband was married to this narcissist for over 20 years but I commend him for breaking free from her. I have tremendous empathy for any man whose mom was a narcissist. Children learn what they live. It was revealed to me that with his first marriage, “he married his mom.” My husband was the sweetest man on the planet, kind, gentle, compassionate, loving, patient, nurturing, affectionate, thoughtful, meek, humble… I can go on and on. Our marriage was BEAUTIFUL!! He passed away in July of this year. Narcissists are DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH! I’m just glad he experienced true, unconditional love with me, being spoiled, as he deserved it. There is hope. Don’t allow your mom’s narcissism to dictate the course of your life! Find a good therapist and do whatever it takes to develop a healthy mindset and break free from the narcissistic stronghold. IT IS POSSIBLE!!

  10. Only the luv of ur own child can save u from these demons..children can do amazing things if u have luv in ur heart

  11. I’m the son of a narcissistic mother ..I’m 39..she drove me to drugs but I overcame it.we shud stop talkin about them cos ppl don’t understand wat we sayin only we know ..they r pure evil and will get wats cuming to them now mother is old and my sisters want me to luk after her …NEVER..she recognized the escape route my child gave me emotionally tried to break us up but cudnt..ohh they 3 slim blv me .. Pure evil…must fight fire wid fire ..but never forget 1 thng THEY NEVER CHANGE..

  12. It never occurred to me, but my mother was a narcissistic woman.
    She wasn’t too successful with her manipulations with me, ever, or at least as far as I remember, as I was the black sheep, the prodigal son of the family.

    The thing is that my older sister was the one who suffered the most, being the daughter and the scapegoat of a narcissistic mother. She managed to control my sister’s life until the day my sister decided to get married and gave our mother a ‘enough is enough’, then they became enemies.

    My mother died a few years ago of cancer, being a very bitter person, blaming everybody for her life’s mishapenings.

    The funny thing is ( actually not so funny ), I came to this website after years of trying to figure out my mother-in-law’s psychological problem.

    For many many years my wife and I have tried to understand why her mother was such a manipulative, chronic liar, sexually obsessed, gaslighter and unbearable person. It was just a couple of days ago that we’ve found out about this disorder, every thing fits like a glove!

    And now, after looking at so many websites about daughters of narcissistic mothers, have I only not concluded that it’s definitely what my mother-in-law has, but also what my very mother used to be.

    Thanks for the website!

  13. I am so glad I found this and other blogs recognizing sons of narcissistic mothers. It took 50 years for me to find a definition of what my mother was. And now, I have a label with which I can place on her.

    Is this site still active? I need someone to talk to.

  14. Sons are not always the “golden child”. Society also forgets that men have feelings and emotions. When see website after website offering help and guidance to female victims of abuse of all kinds. My mother was a narcissistic feminist (the worst combination) that despised men and never let me forget it from my earliest memory. She dedicated every shred of energy to break me down. I am now 39 and have been a completely broken man my entire life.

  15. I have a question. I am getting divorced from my narcissistic wife. We have two children, a son who is six and a daughter who is 10. I realize that my ex is narcissistic. What can I do on my end to help repair the damage she will inflict on them as they age? Any help would be most appreciated.

  16. I am finding this resource so helpful. Thank you everyone for sharing your comments. I am a daughter of a narcissistic mother and let me tell you, this is a very tangled web she has woven into my life. I’ve had a very difficult relationship with her since birth. She was a teen mother who resented and neglected me. Somehow I’ve developed a good picker when it comes to relationships, but I did enter into a long distance internet relationship with a man who was charming for about a month, and then turned into satan. I’m not sure why, but I stayed entangled with him for over a year. I’ve never accepted that from anyone before, and am still baffled by my involvement. I think I needed that crazy relationship because… I researched his personality issues and found him to be a textbook Malignant Narcissist. At the end of one article, I read “If you are reading this because you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, you are probably the the child of a Narcissist.” I re-read it 3 times, and the bottom fell out for me in that instant. I realized everything I was reading about him, was also describing my mother as a textbook Narcissist. Everything made so much sense, suddenly! It really wasn’t me, despite all my effort. Why did I put up with this guy’s crap so much, and try SO hard to make it a success story?? My mom trained me for this over a lifetime. How horrible. A therapist suggested that all the major players in my life were Narcissists, and I laughed it off thinking she was paranoid. But over the years I’ve come to realize she was absolutely on the money. I’ve worked hard to move those people out of my life… Not easy! I’m much more aware of my propensity to welcome them into my world, and that I have to be SO careful. At the moment I have met a terrific guy, who has said “Oh, we have the same mother!” on a couple occasions. We haven’t shared a lot but this statement strikes cold fear in my heart. I am petrified that he is also going to turn out to be another narcissist in my life. He has made references to being the Golden Genius child of disappointment. He has said his mother makes everything about her, even his own birthdays. We have not had the Narcissistic Mother talk, because I want to know first if he has been moulded in the same way, (before I reveal my history, and ultimately my vulnerability). I feel like I might forever be single out of choice. Knowing I am SO careful now about who I invite in, yet still manage to befriend different kinds of Narcissists, is terrifying. They are like shape-shifters…no two are alike. I thought I was getting a handle on this stuff, and now I am feeling more lost than ever. Some of my friends surely think I am obsessed by Narcissism because I seem to have the monopoly of them, which does begin to sound rather odd. They have difficulty understanding how damaging these people are especially if you’ve been groomed by one your entire life.
    I would love to hear from healthy men who have overcome their NM issues enough to be in healthy relationships. This man I am involved with has said he’s had to separate from his mother to ‘individuate’ from her. Certainly talks the talk. What steps do we CONs have to take to find heathy relationships/friendships, and develop this superhuman radar? :/

  17. This forum and site is such a help for people like me.

    For many years I was looking for acceptance, affirmation, recognition and love from my Narcissistic Mother, but somehow there was no logic in her actions and responses. Something wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    She was putting me down, making comparisons with my brother, using harsh intonations, when any ‘normal’ person would have been pleased and happy for my successes. I knew that it wasn’t me, however, almost addictively, I pursued my goal of endlessly trying to gain my Mothers love and affection that recognized my achievements and mistakes for what they are. I disliked her as a person, but after all she was my Mother.

    Over the years I was sad, drank too much and sometimes felt ‘left out’. For my mother everything evolved around her. This was the way things were in our family, I was scapegoat child, although me and golden child are good friends and respect one another.

    In March this year my mother told me that my brother and his wife would have Power of Attorney, the implication being that my support, love and life skills would not be needed by her.This is part of a sons duty, I was devastated and was depressed for some two weeks.

    Then the light bulb went on, at age 57, and I could see clearly her agenda – she is a narcissist. I can clearly see into her warped mind. I am now so glad that I know and can protect myself and heal.

    Protecting myself involves distancing, saying only but the basic facts about myself and bringing all conversation back round to her. How are YOU? I hope YOU are feeling better etc. I have also realised that she is fairly unintelligent and has a massive ego that needs stroking. Keep time with her to a minimum and put on a ‘show’ for an hour, then go. Leave feeling good that the ‘show’ was good and fooled her! Oh joy!

    Well, she is going to have to get her narcissistic supply from elsewhere! Very liberating, I am a sometimes annoyed that I wasted so much time trying to fix something that could never ever be fixed. She will never change! But how was I to know who she really is – a Mother in name only.

    The way forward – focus on other things in life and don’t get involved in her pathetic little controlling games. I have been sad most of my life and now know why. I no longer drink, have a very happy marriage and often for short periods find myself reflecting on my ‘old’ self and how I was being manipulated and used by, of all people, my mother. For me, it is confidence building to process what has actually happened.

    Aren’t mothers supposed to be nurturing, caring and supportive? Not this one! Although, on occasions she has been, which ironically is infuriating. Guilt – not really, if I am not needed well fine, it is actually doing me a favour.

    Have I picked up some of her traits? Obviously, yes. I am working on fixing these little bad influences, not giving myself a hard time, but just recognising the bad stuff and where it originated from.

    My mother uses fear a tool – for protection whenever I visit her, which is rare, I either go with my brother or, if I am alone, I have two pre typed and dated letters. The first is almost a ‘hate’ letter, spelling out all my feelings and the fact that I despise her, the second a helpful unemotional letter, offering advice on care homes as she is aging fast. It is unlikely that I will give her either, although a bit of insurance is always useful to have in your back pocket if the accusations, spiteful comments and insinuations become too much.

    Funny, after all these years that I have discovered that my Mother was the baddie all along.

    Best wishes to all who contribute and seek support on this site – we can do it!

  18. My revelation or light bulb moment was in March this year and I wanted to share some thoughts as it is now nearly five months.

    I am nearly 58 and all my life i can see that I have been pandering to my mother for love, affirmation and recognition. I know now that I will never get any of these as she is a narcissistic Mother.

    So, where to now? Anger is abating but rears it’s ugly head now and again. I am gradually distancing myself from her and this feels amazing. It is empowering me to look at myself (not in a narcissistic way, you understand!). No feelings of guilt, as I have already done my best and failed to win the recognition etc. It is hardly surprising – it can’t be done, mission impossible! Sadness now and again, but I have been sad for most of my life – I know the reason why now.

    The aim now for me is to look at this pathetic weak person objectively, as someone who for biological reasons cannot love anyone, apart from herself. This is not easy and will take time. Fundamentally, I am fine about myself, we all have bits of our personality we are not too keen on, that is the human condition.

    For the above reason am unable to trust her and share virtually nothing about my life with her, just simple statements that cannot be criticised or judged easily.

    I feel that I am lucky to have unlocked the door to achieve a level of understanding of what is actually going on here. I know, also, that other people have worse mothers than me.

    I am tired of talking about this subject and want to move on, it has been holding me up for far to long. Whether I will go to her funeral is a matter under consideration. I have the power to decide.

  19. I can really relate to so many of the above experiences with my own mother aswell as a narcissist partner.

    I have come to accept that my mother will never change and always want her needs met, hence the less time i spend around her the less harmful it is to my wellbeing. Lately i have realised my partner who is now my ex is also a carbon copy of my mother who reeled me in to then knock me down and the pattern went on snd on for 6yrs, it was relieving to know he has a disorder as i was thinking i was the crazy one at one point!! The manipulations and games are shocking! Left me questioning my sanity, its been a year since i decided not to get back with him, he still plays games to reel me in and manipulate me however i keep away the best i can and its been so hard as im addicted to the pattern and abuse, but slowly im pulling myself together.

    Wish u all the best of luck

  20. My mother exhibits almost all of the classic traits. It was a lightbulb moment for me as I realised that I AM a good person. I never felt good enough, and always used to compete with my elder brother to get favour with my mum. Whenever I did do better she blatantly ignored it. For instance both myself and my brother played cricket but I actually went to district trials and topped the bowling averages for the school 2 years in a row. However she didnt acknowledge it at all and when it came to our community playing a cricket match for charity, she told everyone that my brother was the cricketer (despite him not even being selected for the school team). When I told people myself that I played when I was older, they were all surprised saying they didnt even know I played!
    I am a 40 year old man and still feel like i have some serious personality flaws but now I know what has caused them, I can seek help. Also I dont feel guilty for basically not liking her in the slightest. She was a nasty. cruel. vindictive, selfish bully and had I not moved away she would have ruined my entire life.
    All I can say is, for other sons who have a mother like this, end the relationship. Its exhausting trying to get her approval, trust me!

  21. I just read an interesting artjcle about the German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, rescuing his mother from being burned as a witch. She was accused of making someone sick. Was she a narc, or slandered by one? Galileo’s mother was described in the article as ‘quarrelsome’.

    I wonder how much human potential is suppressed by staying in contact with these things.

  22. Is Amaizing with all the Comments Above,, I am 33 Yrz Now I have The Answers to Ma Questions, I never saw & Knew My Father until now I was told he was Dead – but Luckly I know where he lives’ & I have a older brother who I shared same mother & Father, but Mom Never Spoke abt him I never saw him aswell Cuz he live wit Father since the day their separate with Mom 33 Yearz ago while I was 8 month..,I grow up with Step Father who is The Biggest Narc I ever Seen & I have Experiance Crayz Staff until – but When i was 17 Yearz old – I travel to Norway where I spent 15 Yearz ! While I was away I spent most of my time Sending Money to Mom Plizing Her for everything she required ! But now I’m Back to visit her I saw everything I was askin My self had been revels to me… I was livin in the dark but now I can see the light , but The Damage & Sadness inside of Ma Heart is Huge I don’t real know how to discribe it…. Bcuz I am a spiritual Being in Tha Human Form & Everything is Experiance & Challenge in life to make us strong & Bcome who we are 2day…… I learnt one thing as Spiritual we Must Forgive but not to forget it in order to Move’s On…… Is not easy Beeing Empathy in Tha World Full of Narcissistic Devil’s , emotion less ,Cold Heart Creature…. Iz Crayz – Once You Found Out Who You Dealing With !!!! B Strong People it’s All Abt Soul Contract wit This Creature’s , Robot’s in Human Form !!! Namaste

  23. Hello all Keep up the fight, you all sound remarkable to have survived with so much of your minds intact in a world that frankly doesn’t give two s***s.

    I am a 32 year old man, who recently came out of a very destructive drugs-based relationship with a boyfriend who reminded me so much of my mother. I have realised it is probably a great thing I am gay since it spares me the worry downstream of passing it on. My mother was abused by her father as was every member of her family, I hardly know my dad but he always seemed happy when I was young to join in with my mother, I hve never met any of his family, but now realise he was always the henchman completely subjugated to my mother. This really put a new face on my young idealisation of Luke Skywalker.

    In my life I have been the ‘forgotten child’ followed by the ‘Golden child’ when teachers put me forth for a grammar school and finally the ‘scapegoat’ when I took up drugs and dropped out of uni. I am starting to realise how much my life has always been ‘hers’, the friends I finished school with after being badly bullied were completely useless! I see now the relationship was so entrely co-dependent, with them usually playing good-cop bad-cop. This is after several suicide attempts by my mother from when I was age 16 to age 19, which I was the one who had to pick up all the pieces. Meanwhile it turns out behind my back she was on at the teachers and spreading lies so all I really got was more bullying for my attempts. She used to blame her ‘wheat allergy’ for beating my father and me, and then said she had been sexually abused under hypnosis by a clinical psychologist who she saw supposedly to confront her own abusive father and childhood. Only now do I realise when she said “Abuse runs in families” did she mean “I will abuse you like my father did me” and not anything higher.

    What I realise now is that many of the uncaring relationships I have formed were her meddling as well, she likes to play nothing but the all-caring mother outside the family, meanwhile belittling, undermining, and shaming me as often as possible behind closed doors. This is also a confession on my part, since I have recently shut down all semblence of relationships, am changing my name twice, and well, being the bigger narcissist myself setting up a screen of lies, flypaper, rat traps,… its very easy when you realise its been done to you. I plan to move city (choosing which at the role of a dice, since I dont trust myself not to run into some informant she is using), and am curerntly keeping up a picture of normaility.. such as.) I am excited! I do not value my prospects, but I would rather have prospects I do not value and them me mine, than constant lose-lose which is hers.

  24. I was married to a man whose mother is a textbook case of narcissism. It was so painfully obvious to me what was going on and how much control she had over my husband, and her family. She tried to appear altruistic, but everything she did was out of a selfish need to control. Her kids were her needs. They were her supply, and she trained them very well to depend on her. She was the alpha, the head honcho, and the one who was clearly in charge. Luckily, my eyes were opened to this early on. Unfortunately, my husband’s weren’t. He said the statement, “My mom is like a crack addict when it comes to her kids” and other incriminating statements. However, he never did anything about it. He just accepted his mom’s behavior and his family’s way of life. People always talk about adulterers being homewreckers. What about narcissistic mother in laws? She wanted what she wanted, even at the expense of my marriage. What love for her own son.

  25. Oh my God, this is 90 percent describing my mother. She has my auntie, cousins, my stepdad on her hold. She acts like the victim of my ‘bipolar’, ‘needy’ and ‘selfish’ self when I react like a human to her unnatural ways of handling everyday tasks.

    I’m only 17 but I KNOW that I won’t let this get a hold on me my whole life, I’ll move out and live my own life, my own way. I’m not her property, I won’t succumb to her fucking level.

    Thanks for article though, Mrs. Martinez-Lewi

  26. Dear M,
    I had the same experience! We were not married, we were together 5 years and I was hoping things are going to change, but never! He probably never gonna see I had to give up on him bc. of his mother. Very sad but I also hope karma and God is going to give the lesson and show to them what they did to me.

  27. I have just realized that my mum is a narcissist although luckily I have already successfully managed to cut her out of my life. I am currently dealing with the possible loss of the golden child to complete narcissism as he at 29 has moved back in with the beast and has withdrawn from positive influences like his friends and our dad who suffered massive amounts of abuse and who is still shell shocked 25 years after the marriage break up. Anyway I thought I would share a nasty email from my mum from new years eve night a couple of years ago, to put it in context I had forgotten to bring her gift on Xmas day, apologized and gave it to her on boxing day naively thinking my profuse apology would suffice. Also, my dad and us kids including his 2 sons from a previous marriage were the victims not her. Also I want to say that my parents break up was actually a good thing and that I was ok with it by the time I was about 10 (about 20 years ago).

    Hi Jacob,

    I thought your behavior at xmas time was cold, distant and very hurtful.
    It seems you consciously set out to make me feel like a piece of dirt.
    Things have been much better over the past year, between us, and I felt we had broken down some of the barriers that previously existed.
    For some reason, you have reverted to the old ways, and decided to payout on me again. No hug. No smile. No kindness. No present. No empathy.
    At the very least, you could have phoned me xmas night, to say you had forgotten my present. Said sorry mum. Obviously, I needed to suffer more.

    I cant change anything from the past. I have apologized to you for any injustices you felt as a child, and cannot go over all this again, or my reasons for wanting to step back from my marriage that had me sleep deprived, violated,terrified and very ill. I did wish to repair it, when I was able but was never given a chance. I dont think I actually had the skills at the time, and acted instinctively to protect myself and my sons, as he was frightening in his rages and accusations.
    I have been devastated ever since, and as a result, probably wasnt the most composed or stable mother I might have been, and I am so sorry for that.

    The presence of your father in your home, clearly contributed to your behavior towards me, and I just wonder if you are cognizant of that.

    Is it necessary to continue to pay out on me, and withhold kindness?
    Is that really working for him, do you think?
    Where has all his bitterness and hatred got him now? Look at him!!!
    Can’t you empathize with both of us. Forgive me for being who I am.
    Can you not empathize with me at all.
    Have you ever thought to put yourself in my shoes?
    You dont have to ever choose but you could try to care for us both.
    I love you, Billy and Evan unconditionally.
    My relationship with Bilbo and Ev is one of empathy.
    I cant even reach you at all. I truly wish I could. Im at a loss as to how.

    None of us know how long we are here for.
    Flaming Lips sung it so well.
    I could fall off the perch at any time. I think you would be really sorry
    that you hadnt managed any kind of reconciliation with me.
    Im just an ordinary human being, one who loves her sons.

    I cant tolerate abuse anymore…not from you or from anyone.
    I dont want to be made to feel like a piece of dirt again either.
    There is no point catching up with you if you are filled with anger and just want to pay out on me all the time.
    I give in.
    I cant cope with the pain of it.

    Cat is a lovely girl.
    happy new year to you both


    I have shown this to a few friends etc who just seem bewildered, I feel icky rereading this. Hopefully posting this will give me a bit more freedom and cut the guilt cord I still feel attached.

  28. I am 40 now but in 5th and final year of a double-degree in science/engineering
    I just walked out, bought a kombi and drove round Australia for two years, then never got a job ever again.
    I did it to spite my NPD Mother.

    She had just destroyed my second relationship with a girl I was in love with.

    I never even got a girlfriend ever again.

    I had realised that at 25 after a life of bitter and resentful memories at the endless times she had embarrassed me in social settings by bragging about me in front of me, and also destroyin relationships with important friends, associates, and girlfriends, that I was basically an orphan and I could not handle life starting all over alone, knowing that I would have to go no-contact.

    Since she was an orphan, abandoning her would have left me so much guilt I couldn’t live with it.

    Suicide has been constant chapter with my ideations, and socialising had never been pleasant because of the 100s of times growing up where a social gathering became nerve-wrecking trying to avoid and anticipate at what moment she was going to embarrassment me bragging to everyone in front of me (or even behind my back just as bad because I find out inadvertently if target person uses it to start conversation with me later).

    I become reclusive and stopped achieving anything publicly – such as a degree, an award,a rumour…

    I became a hacker. Part of group of anonymous social and political activists. You may have heard of us,
    we are called Anonymous.

  29. Just add to above, I still talk to my mother but live on the other of the world – when I say ‘talk’ I mean just mostly in writing. I borrow money off her, because I will almost be successful if you give me more money”.

    The other part is the hacking I have pretty successful but can’t ever brag about. So she will never knows. All she knows is that I have achieved in 15 years.

    The decision to avoid relationships is same reason – to have children, I might get guilty and let her see her grandchildren.
    ..Then she would destroy my marriage and fight with me using guilt tripping to Ser her grandchildren, while I would be a nervous wreck as I am around her.

    So my strategy came at somewhat a price. 1. Never achieve anything publicly 1a. Avoid public social networks because there is peer-pressure from them to have achievements for them to recognise you as valuable to there network.
    3. Don’t get girlfriend as she will get you married, will probably be an NPD due to your conditioning, and will get you have children.

    So perfect career for me then was anonymous hacker.

    Should also mention has been a lot of alcoholism and relapses directly resulting from despairing phone calls with my mother anytime she had conned me in writing to start to think she has changed.

  30. Just add to above, I still talk to my mother but live on the other of the world – when I say ‘talk’ I mean just mostly in writing. I borrow money off her, because I will almost be successful if you give me more money”.

    The other part is the hacking I have pretty successful but can’t ever brag about. So she will never knows. All she knows is that I have achieved nothing in 15 years.

    The decision to avoid relationships is same reason – to have children, I might get guilty and let her see her grandchildren.
    ..Then she would destroy my marriage and fight with me using guilt tripping to Ser her grandchildren, while I would be a nervous wreck as I am around her.

    So my strategy came at somewhat a price. 1. Never achieve anything publicly 1a. Avoid public social networks because there is peer-pressure from them to have achievements for them to recognise you as valuable to there network.
    3. Don’t get girlfriend as she will get you married, will probably be an NPD due to your conditioning, and will get you have children.

    So perfect career for me then was anonymous hacker.

    Should also mention has been a lot of alcoholism and relapses directly resulting from despairing phone calls with my mother anytime she had conned me in writing to start to think she has changed.

  31. Rob, I’m sorry for the pain you have been made to feel and feel to this day. I write to you as a son of a NM who’s broken all ties and would like to offer some advice that I received that helped me begin to process the damage of a NM and start the road to recovery.

    Trying to force an apology will be a painful and more than likely fruitless journey that will leave you angry and your feelings unacknowledged. She does not see you as an individual or as a person, but rather an extension of herself or a piece property that* is not entitled to feelings and to do with as she as she will. She will vilify your feelings and throw anyone under the bus to avoid admitting fault.

    The main thing to remember is to not blame or more importantly judge yourself or her for this. Love yourself fully and unconditionally. If you allow yourself to see your mother foremost as a troubled, ill person you main come to realize that she truly is incapable of empathizing with the pain she’s caused and causes you/ She doesn’t know how. When you can look at what she did, and what she is and feel sorry for her and what she can’t experience–real connection, that’s when you know that you’ve processed your feelings.

    I wish you all the best and hope you find peace within yourself.

  32. I am very happy to have found this site. As a son of a NM it is very difficult to make people understand, much less sympathize with a male being manipulated, emotionally abused, and tormented by his mother. People are so quick to laugh and brush it off when a son expresses pain, or hurt, or confusion at the hands of his NM. For some reason, people both male and female can’t mentally process the fact that a NM can be a curse to son’s life. My NM is, was, and will always be an absolute B****. It took me years to finally be able to say that without guilt. As a child, I could never even think of bringing to my conscious mind the pain she caused me and how I really felt about her. My anger was suppressed to the point that I suffered from years of neurosis, hypertension, irregular heartbeat, depression, etc. All because I wouldn’t allow myself to face the truth.

    My NM is incredible. When I called her on any pain she’s caused me she always turned the issue around and make it appear that I’m accusing her, or hurting her, or misunderstanding her. Discussions with her make her defensive and turn into arguments. Never will she admit the hurt she caused and causes me and I have the physical scars that I have carried from childhood to prove it.

    I’ve gotten past hating her because I found that only diminishes me and she is not worth that. I’ve gotten past wanting her to change because no matter what change she could make, it would only be to get what she wants. But the best part is that I have now gotten past wanting her to be a part of my life. I have found peace of mind without her constantly making me feel that I’m failing her. I know now I have to love myself and be gentle with myself through the healing process. I know now I deserve better than her as a mother for I was a better son to her than she was ever a mother to me.

    The only trouble is it is hard for me to meet and befriend people because I have spent so many years being manipulated, used, and betrayed to the point it is hard to trust others. It’s hard to be honest with others because I always have my guard up to the point that either by the invisible hand of a very cruel demon (who I pray dies a horrible death) or by my own thinking, I tend to attract people in my life that are like her; very selfish and self-centered — users. So I have decided it is better to walk alone with love, dignity than to stay in a relationship of hate, self-deprecating. I hope that one day there will be male support groups for sons of NM like there are for AA, Victims of Sexual Abuse, and so on. I would love to join a group like that. And I think that for Sons of NM to get together we can better understand each other. A son deals with a great deal of guilt and confusion when having to deal with a NM because a son really wants to love, care for, and protect his mother but in the case of an NM, there is no one there to protect him especially from her. Will someone start of help me start a Sons of NM Support Group?

  33. Hi, I am married to a NM’s son. We had to live with my mother in law for financial reasons. The reason I accepted to live together was that I was unable to find a job and I was naive about living altogether.
    I have been really overwhelmed of what i have experienced in two months and had to leave because of her and my husbands attitude.
    So this Narsissistic mother in law asked my husband to buy a house together when he just started working professionally after university with an excuse saying they both benefit. She put the half of the money and my husband in that time had to get a mortgage. So you can see, she is very smart to clinch to my husband both financially and emotianally.

    She is a single mother and my husbands father is absent She plays the role of “i devoted myself to bring up my son on my own” I realised all of these after i had to leave one day she yelled at me for no reason. She was competing with me and trying to wash my husbands underwear like he is a small boy. Anyway. Because my husband still has the house debt, we could not afford to rent another flat just with his salary. What kind of mother traps his son like this? She cries and manipulates if something not done as she wants. My husband on the other hand was unable to take my side. He feels sorry for her because she is old, and feels guilty and responsible to look after her although she is perfectly healthy. I asked him to sell this house and move on our life with the half but he doesn’t except. He got upset at me for leaving and not talking to me. I tried to tell him that he needs to seperate from his mother and children are not responsible for their parents happiness. But he gets angry if i say any critics about his mother. And protects his mother.

    You might wonder if i didn’t get the red flags. I did a bit but i buy the story my husband told me why they live together and i even felt sorry for his mother. I later found out, like someone wrote on this forum, why i was attracted to this guy from of a NM is that I was raised in a dysfunctional family myself as well.

    And the thing is this woman acted very nicely to me first. My husband kept telling how her mother was excited that i move in. But it was all in the surface. She is very manupulative and knows what she is doing. Another strange thing is she has zero friends. She also interacts with my husband. They contacted sometimes during the day which is strange. After i moved in things started to change quickly. She started to try to control me like she does his son. When i put boundries she became very agressive. It was hard to guess what she gets angry at, or upset. These woman kept on saying “i only want my sons happiness” in a poor loving voice but her actions far different than that. She attached his son financially to this stupid home. He has another 3 years to pay it. But i am sure after that she will find another way to manupulate and make him stay with him.

    I feel hopeless about our relationships. Seriosly wanting to get divorced and stay away from them forever. I still love my husband but i can realise the wounds that she left on him. He also tried to act like i am his mother. How these NM ruin their sons is horrible. They also effect the lives of others deeply who have relationship with their sons.

  34. Well so many people so little time. Sounds like we all share a common history lets try the double narcisisstic patents on for size though 30 years and living under my own roof and still cant get them to leave me to my own life however i have never given in to any of their bull im a bit to call it prideful stubborn whatever but i refuse to allow my patents to rule my life or rather to continue ruining it like thay are doing to their entire family ive had friendships completely destroyed by them. Ivebeen nearly driven to suicidal deression and even backed into very aggressive corners as a result, however the past 30 years i have refused to cave in to the point where my tear ducts have been broken. They wont get me in the end and i refuse to become like them though i probably sound like i am. When i finally get the chance to settle down with some cute woman ive been lucky enough to do as such with and have kids ill be damned if i allow them to go through this hell if their mother whoever that may be when it happens ever exhibits that behavior then ill be the first to step in and put it to a stop even if i have to put them to a foster home through the courts. Though thats a ways off as i am still single trying to get my own life in control under my own self before i go through with any commitments. May you all be able to lay your own demons to rest and break free p.s. to any who may question a certain comment i am currently emotionally stable and while i may still on occassion have said thoughts i also have a great dislike of any kind of pain to any degree and this keeps me able to rationalize from follow through

  35. It’s good to hear another story from another gay man. It’s doubly confusing for us growing up. As I thought the source of my inadequacy and lack of self love was because I was gay. I had to learn it was “normal”, accepting myself, before figuring out something else was wrong – the NPD mother.

  36. Thanks for sharing with us Kurt. I can relate 100% and this stuff is hard to explain to others who haven’t been through it. I would love to join a SoNM support group 🙂

  37. Kurt well said. After reading all of these I could comment on every one.

    I like the “she is not worth it”. At a certain point I learned I have to stay away from a certain point if the NM doesn’t get it then it is just standing in harms way. Plus she is a smoker I had asthma and she never quit. My late dad dead of cancer likely a her doing smoker wife. I had my light bulb moment. And now it is dealing with the realization that I have an nm mom. My dad died and my mom said get a job. So I called my boss and he hired me. She didn’t believeme her own son. My dad knows I never lie. And miss him. He smoking for me and I became a great athlete and person.

  38. I didn’t know until recently I realized that her only intention is to make me feel weak and subordinate and to insult me on every possible occation. I too thought it was me that is wrong. What I did was writing her a letter with a lot of questions that should make her think about what she is doing to me all the time then asking her to treat me as a normal person. Her only reaction was to increase the intensity.

    On that point the only possibility left was that not in the slightest she is interestet in my wellbeing, in helping or caring for me like mothers usually do. And then I realized that there would be no way to change her. So I tried my best to keep emotional distance. This already felt like being released from prison.

    Then I discovered this article and I’m releaved to see there is some expalanation and that I’m not the only one to suffer from this kind of ruthless, destructive cold-heartedness.

    Mostly it made me really upset when she was ‘playing’ with me. But now that she sees me being relatively composed I wonder what she will think of next. I really fear for my life now. The other thing is that I don’t know whether my father is of the same type or just doing as she pleases. So I have nobody to count on.

    Sad world.

  39. It is a sad world when total strangers are kinder to you than your own mother, but maybe that’s the silver lining, that we can receive love and acceptance from others. Sometimes just a kind smile or a simple helpful gesture from a stranger can bring me to tears. It reminds me that not everyone is a heartsucking, mind-contorting, drama-creating nightmare. Now I try to be that kind stranger knowing that some people I affect may be going through things just as bad or worse. One of my brothers, who was very affected by our mothers controlling ways, was the most compassionate unassuming person I’ve ever known besides my father. Unfortunately they have both passed on. My mother found it quite amusing that this brother had serious fears of her somehow abandoning him as a child. I never could understood her fascination with that. Maybe he instinctually knew that she couldn’t be trusted or that she didn’t REALLY love him. When we became adults, he warned me not to tell my mom anymore of my personal business because she was making sure the whole family knew it all. (And I’m quite positive she was making it all sound negative.) I think he was really changing and growing as a person before he had health problems that took his life. I wonder now if the stress he’d always felt from our mother added to that. He had been going to see a therapist for awhile, and had started using the word NO with mom. She certainly expressed her disapproval of that, but what else could she do, he was in his forties. I commend all you men who are seeking and sharing. Its a very courageous thing to open your heart up to scrutiny. I know, having grown up with four brothers that there certainly are double standards for men and women. Women are expected to be emotional while men are taught that they’d better suck it up, no matter what. My son is a smart and sensitive young teenager, and I always acknowledge his feelings as valid, while trying hard not to overly coddle him. I’m so proud of him when he stands up for himself, even if it’s against me. I’ve taught him that there is good and EVIL in the world, and they work through people. I want him to be respectful while also expecting to be respected. One of the big reasons why I cut away from my mother, besides the greed and lies of my family, was that I didn’t want my son to see me taking anymore DISRESPECT from his grandmother. I don’t want him to grow up to be anyone’s doormat, so he shouldn’t see his own mother being treated that way. I also didn’t want to have him see me APPEARING to be disrespectful to her anymore, as she is a natural at crazy making, pushing your buttons, obsfucating, and distorting facts. I think one of my mothers biggest issues with me was that I took after my father, and that was definitely not the plan she had for HER daughter. Men, try to be the best example you can be for your children. It really does makes a difference. My Dad was a quiet, sweet natured, moral man, who would when necessary stand up to my mother, in such a way that she knew there were definitely some limits on her behavior. I thank God for him and my brother. I see now, how knowing they loved me made a huge difference for me in surviving emotionally from my mother and others in this dysfunctional family. Look to the people who do love you, and love yourself. Follow Dr. Linda’s advise for eating healthily, and getting enough sleep. I haven’t tried the yoga yet or some of the other things, but I’m starting to feel better. If you’re not married, be careful before you give your heart to anyone. Be ready to walk away if you see the red flags, no matter how beautiful or amazing she may seem. Remember that whoever you marry may become the mother of your children. There are good women out there. Don’t settle. May God bless you all.

  40. Hi,

    I too have taken nearly 50 years to get a handle on this. I have tried and tried to support her mood swings and unreasonable behaviour. I now understand that I should have given up long, long ago. I am in the process of cutting all contact at 59, my mother is 87. Yes! I have the guilt trip going about her being 87 but I believe I will surely go mad if I don’t. This site and others like it have prompted a wake up call about the last 50 years. I now get it that it really isn’t me and am taking steps to address the issue before it’s too late. I know your post has been online for quite a while but if you pick this up perhaps we can catch up?

  41. Interesting article, Linda.

    My father is a narcissist and the victim of a manipulative, domineering mother who he alas sold down the river when he took up with a woman who is borderline and narcissistic who has become the mother he can have sex with. Ironically, the girlfriend’s birthday is the same day as his mother’s!

    Alas, God gave his mother 105 years to figure out the reasons why she bungled raising her family so badly and at the end, she still didn’t get it. Instead of freeing himself in a healthy way he went from the frying pan to the fire and has allowed himself to be disgraced by this girlfriend, whose husband ironically died the same day as the narcissistic grandmother — obituaries on the same page in the newspaper. She had no reservations about advertising herself as another man’s wife while she takes my father to the cleaners and mops the floor with him. Talk about heartbreaking.

    The girlfriend had such little respect for him that, as a married woman, she coerced him into adultery. Not even a friendship but usury, and she uses sex as the bait. By the time people are in their mid-eighties they should be old enough to know better. My father is not of sound mind and she is well aware of this. She’s taking him to the cleaners and mopping the floor with him but he’s too stupefied to see it. And this is a woman who is the “church secretary” — oh, a “rainbow flag” church that worships sex, not Jesus Christ.

    Long story short, my father sold his soul to the devil, literally, and it is impossible to reason with someone who has sold out. Very sad situation. Hideous, as a matter of fact. Just hideous.

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