Have you been married to a Narcissist

I belong to a very good on-line support group for divorced women. To have on-line support is great, either in addition to, or in the absence of a regular divorce recovery support group in your home town. It’s really essential to have good support whilst going through the process of divorce and to help you to discover your new life ahead of you. Sometimes life really does begin after divorce, but we have to take responsibility to make that happen.

Many of the women speak of  being married to a Narcissist, sometimes a counselor has diagnosed the disorder from their description. However many women find it harder than most to move on with their lives after their divorce. not surprising, living with a real narcissist can sap the very soul out of anyone. For anyone who has been living under the same roof with a narcissist for any length of time will tell you how devastating it can be for the whole family. I know of one woman whose husband definitely showed many signs of this disorder and would say how “I have two children and an infantile” It really does seem that the narcissist gets stuck in childhood.

Here is an explanation of what I mean;

In children, inflated self-views and grandiose feelings, which are characteristics of narcissism, are part of the normal self-development. Children are typically unable to understand the difference between their actual and their ideal self, which causes an unrealistic perception of the self. After about age 8, views of the self, both positive and negative, begin to develop based on comparisons of peers, and become more realistic. Two factors that cause self-view to remain unrealistic are dysfunctional interactions with parents that can be either excessive attention or a lack thereof. The child will either compensate for lack of attention or act in terms of unrealistic self-perception.

NPD can take on many forms, characterizing specific disorder traits, but the following is a general short description.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population. First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and it is closely linked to egocentrism.

Narcissism, the condition, was named after a mythological Greek youth named Narcissus who became infatuated with his own reflection in a lake. He eventually died there because he couldn’t tear himself away from the admiration of his image.

Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Reacts to criticism with angershame, or humiliation
  • May take advantage of others to reach their own goals
  • Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
  • Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Easily becomes jealous
  • Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
  • Obsessed with oneself
  • Mainly pursues selfish goals
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Is easily hurt and rejected
  • Sets goals that are unrealistic
  • Wants “the best” of everything

I believe women who marry these men (women can have NPD also) may show personality signs of co-dependency.  What better partner for a narcissist than a people pleaser. He’ll feel like he’s arrived in hog heaven.

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About Tovah

Certified Substance Abuse and Addictions Professional, (CASAP) Although retired I still do voluntary work in my profession. For many years I've been a natural health enthusiast, using natural remedies and eating healthy natural organic food. I'd like to share some of my experiences about growing Organic Vegetables in small spaces, indoors and out.
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26 Responses to Have you been married to a Narcissist

  1. Hi Tovah:
    I’ve missed your posts.
    You hit the nail on the head with this post.
    Way to go!

  2. Pingback: The Child of the Narcissist | Jeannine K. Vegh, M.A., I.M.F.T.

  3. Thank you for sending me your blog. Although my kids are grown up now, I can see that my oldest son still has issues with himself concerning his Father.
    Your blog was very well written and informative and dealing with your own experiences from your past, has no doubt made you into a profoundly good therapist. Blessings Tovah

  4. kelihasablog says:

    I didn’t marry the one I dated… thank God for saving me from myself.. LOL. I was blinded by what he wanted me to see, not the “real” him.

  5. abbiefisher says:

    Good blog. Man it never ceases to amaze me how self absorbed people can be. And they just don’t care about other people’s feelings.

    • Tovah says:

      Thank you glad you enjoyed the read. It never ceases to amaze me either Abbie, but we can always learn from everyone and the lesson here is how NOT to be-Tovah

  6. kelihasablog says:

    I really have enjoyed reading your blogs! Sorry to hear about the whole surgery thing, but I can relate… not my hip, but surgery itself. yuck! Great post today! 😀

  7. kartikasays says:

    This is a very difficult personality to live with or to deal with – I talk from personal experience!

  8. jackcurtis says:

    Hmnn…Nobody as delightful as I am could possibly be a narcissist!

    Perhaps ongoing work on brain functions will bring, if not help, at least some way to identify narcissism. Researchers are now able to identify sociopaths via brain scans…

  9. Tovah says:

    It’s so difficult with personality disorders, there is such a fine line between them. With sociopaths well….I can see why there has to be some malfunction of the brain.
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. Blessings-Tovah

  10. How did you know? Married one and divorced him eleven years later…never again. (Yes, I’m a people pleaser and all that maternal stuff he needed…)

  11. I was married to a NPD male for 19 years – I divorced him last year. Getting away from a NPD person if frightening – he broke into my house but due to his personality coerced 5 other men to assist, he tried to have me committed, he emptied our bank accounts, he had affairs and told my daughter when she was 8 years old that I was a slut and that he wasn’t her father – I had to have her DNA tested for the courts to prove it (these are only some of the things he did). He contravened court orders and took possessions that were mine and refused to return them, he manipulated my daughters (now 22 & 21) who now don’t speak to me. He is a dangerous, dangerous man and he tried to kill me because he thought it was far more interesting to be a widow than divorced. I hate him – I thought I was going crazy now find I wasn’t – I was simply a victim. I was in therapy for 3 months until it all finally clicked and even though there was an intervention order in place he persisted in calling me until te police interevened – then it ended – he couldn’t contact me anymore, my life turned arounf and I am so relieved to not have to hear his stupid voice or look at his stupid face. You HAVE to leave these people or they will kill you or drive you insane – I have escaped but miss my 2 daughters so badly that I cry often but only over them – I don’t miss him at all and quite frankly, as bad as this sounds, my daughters will never be free until he dies & I sincerely hope he hurries it up!!

    • Tovah says:

      My heart goes out to you. I brought up 3 stepchildren from my husband’s first marriage. They have nothing to do with me now either. I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to continue my relationship with them. Thank G-d my own kids and I have a great relationship now, but it took a lot of work on my part. The trouble is that personality disorders, as with addiction, it all becomes a family disease. It seems that your daughters need therapy too, to get from under his control, maybe you can eventually encourage them in someway. All the very best for the future and stay strong. Your daughters are going to need you one day!

  12. Pingback: Are you respected as a woman? Self Esteem | Divorce Recovery Solutions

  13. Pingback: Have you been married to a Narcissist | MadeleineMaya

    • Tovah says:

      Hi. Thanks for the pingback. Good to be back again after a very long hiatus, Life just seems to keep throwing things my way. Many Many good things. If you all received another blog about the cheater, sorry it got published too soon, but I’m doing part ii today. I love computers but sometimes they are the most troublesome things for me as a non-techy. Oh well!

  14. Jnana Hodson says:

    Not married, but came close … and it took me a long time to recover.

  15. Marty says:

    My father was 17 when I Was born, a violent, critical narcissist. Empathy was never witnessed by me or a kind word my whole life.

    My first wife, ex, has narcissistic tendencies and behavior which subconsciously I must have been drawn towards.

    My journey through healing used mindfulness, acceptance and physical exercise to exhaustion to deplete my cortisol.

    Now the slightest behavior that seems similar to Narcissim is obvious. Awareness has its benefits.

    Great post

    Thank you

  16. Tovah says:

    Hi Marty. Getting the help you need for healing is so important. Trying to carry on without self esteem and awareness is destructive. It’s so sad to see people who don’t find healing and self awareness, and they just keep falling into the same trap, time and time again. Keep up the good work. Blessings Tovah

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