Get Out of Narcissistic Spouse’s Clutches

Some narcissists remind me of carnivorous creatures who are called ambush predators. They ingeniously use camouflage to blend into their environment. The stone fish lies on the ocean floor and takes on the look of a rock. Fish swim too close by him and are bitten and inflicted with deadly toxins.

The narcissist is filled with psychological toxins that are dangerous to everyone, especially those who are vulnerable to his charm, grandiose promises, fulfillment of old dreams of being adored and taken care of. It is difficult for many of us to acknowledge that we have been waiting to be rescued. As children many individuals are neglected, discarded, made scapegoats, and severely abused. It is not unusual when we look at these life histories to understand how someone can so easily become enraptured by a narcissistic personality and become trapped by leading his/her life not their own. The narcissist takes you as a possession. Everything belongs to him. He/she decides the trajectory of your life. I have seen very capable and accomplished women drop their creativity, talents and drive to seek and find a man who will take care of them in every way. They are willing to eclipse their lives because of these early deep psychological needs.

As time moves forward the spouse of the narcissist either deludes herself that she is very happy to be waited on and taken care of and have whatever she wants or she begins to recognize that she is trapped with a very demanding, overwhelming, enraged man who views her as his possession.

Those who wake up and realize that they are imprisoned and that their lives are eclipsed, have strong misgivings about their marriages to narcissists. The fairy tale has faded. It has become tawdry, painful –” full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare, Macbeth) Recognizing that this person is controlling your life has hit you in the face. You know that you must get out of his/her clutches.

You deserve to lead a life that is free, creative, loving and unencumbered by the cruel delusions of narcissists. Find the help that you need. Some individuals free themselves in various ways: highly skilled psychotherapy, gentle yoga, regular exercise that works for you, times of solitude, finding your own creative pathway, meeting people whom you can trust and who are genuine and have empathy.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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