I am writing to all of those who struggle with their marriage, divorce or partnership with a narcissist. The psychological pain involved in dealing with a narcissistic personality who is at the center of your life for so long is daunting. I have great respect for those who take on the struggle of constantly being tempted to return to the narcissist, especially if this partnership has occurred over a number of years and there is a long history between the two of you. I hear from many spouses who are conflicted about staying in their marriage to their narcissistic spouse or exiting. This is a complex decision emotionally for many individuals who contact me. In some instances the formal divorce is over but the non narcissistic ex-spouse continues to have strong feelings for the narcissist despite all of the psychological damage perpetrated on them. This dilemma continues despite the seasons.
I think it is particularly difficult during the holidays. This is a time of remembrance–a powerful presence that pulls at our hearts. Many think of what could have been and the regret that their marriage to the narcissist did not survive. A lot of people blame themselves and ask incessant “What ifs” “What if I had made more of an effort? What if I had been more understanding and patient? What if I had understood the narcissistic personality and been more capable and objective in dealing with my spouse?”These questions are infinite and unhelpful to those who now clearly understand that the likelihood that you could have changed the narcissist in any way is as remote as the most distant star in an unknown galaxy.
This is the time for your continued healing. Seek the ways you in particular find deeper peace in the forms that work for you. View this moment as precious. Be grateful that you are here and that you have grown and are continuing to evolve. Be kind to yourself at all times.
Wishing you continued growth and inner peace during the holidays and every day of the year.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.