Are You Living With A Narcissist?
Many women are in marriages with narcissists but don’t realize it. Why is this? Is it possible to be in a relationship with someone who has a personality disorder and not know it. YES – this is because narcissistic abuse is subtle and covert, and in many cases, comes on gradually, almost imperceptively in the beginning. Are you living with a narcissist?
Narcissistic husbands depend on their wives to validate their sense of self. This is a tall order for a wife who is under the impression that she married an adult. Said wife is now unwittingly put in the role of parent (think mother) who’s job it is to praise and reward good behavior.
She’ll also get stuck with anything the narcissist doesn’t want to do. This is how these folks roll. Narcissists are notorious for being transactional. Good deeds are usually not free, but come with a price. Is this sounding familiar to anyone?
These women are most certainly chronically drained, exhausted and unhappy, yet are unable to put their finger on the problem. Welcome to the chaotic and tumultuous world of narcissism where the wife needs therapy, while the perpetrator goes unsuspected.
In fact, not only does he go unsuspected, in many cases, he’s a stalwart in the community. No one would suspect this pillar of a man to be capable of the silent crimes he’s slowly and methodically committing against his wife. It’s hard to be suspicious of something that’s not visible.
Many of these marriages are long-term due to the wife not being able to identify the problem. This is how subtle manipulation works. Problems within the marriage may not even be on her radar, especially if her husband helps around the house, has a stable income, and the kids love him.
Don’t be fooled, this type of abuse exists and thrives even with these constants in place because the abuse is targeted solely at the spouse. Emotional abuse may start out as neglect and withholding, escalating to manipulation of boundaries, gaslighting, and financial abuse – all very uncover and difficult to put a label on.
Crimes Of The Heart
Although, not nearly as apparent as physical abuse, these crimes of the heart are every bit as damaging, if not more so. The heart takes longer to heal than the body. Narcissists, of course, know exactly what they’re doing. It’s all part of their covert ploy to gradually wear down their target, while at the same time fueling their pathology.
The sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and deception inherent in the disorder only serves to justify the abuse. Emotional abuse slowly degrades the self-confidence and self-worth of the target over time. It’s manipulation at its finest and serves to keep the “patient” stuck.
By the time the relationship reaches critical mass, and the unfortunate target realizes what went down – IF she is fortunate to be educated about narcissism – she does not have the physical prowess or mental capacity to devise a plan of escape. Not even close.
This, my friends, is the phenomenon behind why many women are stuck in narcissistic relationships. They were that proverbial frog who was boiled slowly over time.
Soooo – my question to anyone reading this post is – could your unhappiness, lack of purpose, and general angst be because you are married to a toddler in an adult body? If you suspect this could be you, please educate yourself about Cluster B personality disorders so you can identify what’s happening in your marriage. You will then be in a better position to determine your next course of action. Remember, knowledge is power.
Do you suspect your husband could have a personality disorder? Keep in mind, even though many narcissists follow the same patterns, the disorder will manifest differently in everyone. Learn about these patterns so you can begin to identify them in your relationship. Kind of like detective work. This could be the most important work you ever do….
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