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 anger, shame, 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.