There are many material perks to being married to a narcissist who is successful in his/her career. There is the image that you were chosen by this accomplished, bright, socially skilled person to be his partner. Many spouses are swept into this role. Eventually the dazzle and bling for many begins to fade and the person married to the narcissist recognizes the down side of this pseudo relationship. As you live with this person you recognize that he has a dark side that is selfish, cruel, cold, calculating, vindictive, exploitive, deceptive. Many non-narcissistic spouses decide by default that they must live in misery with this individual. Some of them have grown up in narcissistic families as scapegoats and targets of chronic verbal abuse. They spent their childhoods being criticized, demeaned, humiliated and projected upon. They were blamed for things they never did. A narcissistic brother or sister was always able to convince the narcissistic parent that the victim was the perpetrator. Children growing up in this family constellation feel helpless, frightened and that they are unworthy of leading a happy life. They are always anticipating misery since that is what they known from the beginning. It is not unusual for these individuals to repeat the childhood pattern by marrying a narcissist.And the nightmare begins anew. The abuse is horrendous but familiar to them. They expected to be treated cruelly and dismissively. That is what they know.
In many cases the non-narcissistic spouse wakes up and realizes that she/he has been play the part of the victim all of her life. She begins to feel that she deserves so much more: inner peace, affection, being understood and cherished, growth of her creative gifts. Eventually these victims discover that they are married to narcissistic personalities who are not going to change. But they are—They become more independent, begin to appreciate their individuality, participate in good psychotherapy and join support groups. They finally recognize that they are worth it—a valuable unique individual and step out of the Misery Role. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life