advertisement

18 thoughts on “The Narcissistic Family: A Narcissist, An Exhausted Spouse and Anxious Children

  • April 16, 2016 at 12:38 am
    Permalink

    I am looking for insight into assessing at what point a narcissist could become dangerous. After thirty years of marriage, the exhausted spouse is seeking legal measures to separate from the narcissist, who controls finances (and has done so throughout the entire marriage).
    Although the narcissist has a history of anger management issues, emotional abuse, and pathalogical lying; they have never been physically violent. The exhausted spouse has told the narcissist that they want to divorce unless changes in finances are made and has also made threats to “expose” narcissist. (Meanwhile, exhausted spouse has been taking steps to secure independence, unbeknownst to narcissist).
    This is the first time the narcissist has been challenged to this extent by exhausted spouse. As an onlooker to all of this, I am concerned that this may be a tipping point for the narcissist as they may be close to losing their devoted audience (exhausted spouse) and half their income. Am I being paranoid or is this a real concern?

    Reply
    • April 16, 2016 at 7:48 am
      Permalink

      No it is a real concern. Narcissists don’t like to be backed into a corner, they often come out swinging at whoever is closest. Safety is always a good idea.

      Reply
  • April 25, 2016 at 12:59 am
    Permalink

    I love reading your articles about narcissism. This was really good. Narcissistic relationships are so complicated and difficult. From what I understand, they do not tend to be physically abusive, which is part of why outsiders (and even insiders) do not realize they are abusive.

    Reply
    • April 25, 2016 at 8:14 am
      Permalink

      Thank you! That is exactly right, they threaten physical abuse but generally don’t cross the line for fear of embarrassment or discovery.

      Reply
      • January 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm
        Permalink

        This is very true. I am so glad I saw this article. I am anxious to read this book. So far it sound exactly like my family. My husband is a narcisistin my opinion. He fits every description of a narcisist that I have came across and I’ve been researching this for months. To a T, he has done it all. My children are adults now and many of these feeling and emotional disturbances are coming out. I am worried about them and myself.!So glad I found this article! I hope there is some thing I can discover to help my children and myself, he won’t change.

        Reply
  • January 16, 2017 at 6:42 pm
    Permalink

    This information is really helpful. We have been to psychologists etc.. but it is hard to obtain the tools to deal with a paternal narc mother and enabling dad. On the outside they definately seem like the perfect family!

    My husband and I have been together for 8 years and I have known something wasn’t quite right but I had allowed my MIL to take control of my family. Mainly because a few months after we got married my husbands only sibling suicided and I did not want to be selfish – I allowed my MIL to stay 6 weeks at a time when we were first married and I had 2 children close together and of course she wanted to be part of that (excessively). I never wanted her there.

    But no matter how many calls or whatever it was we did it was never enough – she always wanted more. In fact, she was jealous of me from the beginning because the focus went from her to me. I thought she really liked me but I now realise she was competing with me and couldn’t stand me. In fact I believe she has stolen from me, sabotaged me and played mind games so I begin questioning myself. She started when i was at my most vulnerable and that was after my first child was born.

    I can never have a healthy relationship with her. I see an evil nasty vindictive person, the type to avoid as they always have a need to be the centre of attention. Her digs are subtle but I ignore them because i didnt want trouble – but they hurt me time and time again. The day before we got married she told me that ” I sucked my husband in” or 2 years ago on our anniversary she sent a card wishing us a happy anniversary with a storm on the front. No sunny beaches or rainbows!! I realise now I was caught up in an unhealthy family dynamic simply because I was in the way of getting what she wanted. I used to say to my husband jokingly I think your Mum would prefer me dead so she can take over our family. I realise now it is the truth. My husband can deny this – but i know she is delusional.

    Anyway, 2 years she exposed herself. Its like she couldn’t contain herself any longer. She lied and make false accusations and tried to turn my husband on me. So we eventually went no contact because of this trouble and the fact my husband could now see what she doing and wanted them to take responsibility for their actions in causing this trouble out of nothing – they turned it back on us saying it was all us. My husband has been almost alienated from his family because his Mum is perceived as the victim. The victims are in fact us, she is so really controlling, manipulative and plays mind games. A psychologist has described their standards as off the charts in a healthy relationship spectrum.

    My problem even though we have been no contact she is trying anything and everything to get her way. The Mum is contacting my husbands friends and family (she is a cunning lady) to try and put pressure and gain control over my husband. She plays the victim very well. She sends texts saying his Dad is mentally unwell and he needs to contact him. Yesterday another family friend left a message on my husbands phone followed by a text message same day saying his treatment of his parents are not right and that he needs to forgive them and that they are grieving over not only loosing their son (to suicide 8 years ago) but they are grieving the loss of him and our children. My husband gets stressed and thinks that perhaps they are suicidal, I believe he feels guilty which disturbs me greatly. He is considering going low contact as he thinks he can “contain” his Mum. In the interim the kids and I will have no contact whatsoever. I just dread the stress because they are highly toxic and the family will never be normal. I want peace and freedom to be myself.

    Should a grown man just ignore text messages and phone messages like he does? Its like he has no voice. I get really upset and angry but it doesnt affect him the same which I find unusual. His emotions are very controlled. If it was my parents I would feel betrayed and angry. They have treated quite badly as well. Always making demands etc.. not once have they called (or a family member or friend) and asked if he is going okay. Its all about them not doing well and them not being okay and us punishing them. If people think we are like that I don’t consider them friends or family because my husband is a very good human being.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciate:)

    Thanks, Mandy

    Reply
    • January 17, 2017 at 8:24 am
      Permalink

      Everyone has their own journey with narcissism. Some do better to completely avoid the narcissist, others can engage in limited doses and still others maintain ongoing relationships with very strict boundaries. Any of these is acceptable. The key is to limit the amount of ongoing hurt and damage while healing from the past abuses. Each journey is as individual as the person and situation it applies to.

      Reply
  • August 27, 2017 at 7:46 am
    Permalink

    My narcissistic husband left nearly a year ago now and I only discovered his NPD in January but what a revelation! His behaviour has been unfathomably despicable and we have gone no contact for our self preservation – EXCEPT one child. We do not know how to deal with this. I want her to know that she is loved so much but she is 14 and being a proper Kevin which is fine but then goes to stay with him and it’s all happy families and foreign holidays. How do I rationalise this with the other children? They are disgusted with her but she says he’s my dad and I want to see him. We are so divided.

    Reply
    • August 27, 2017 at 8:01 pm
      Permalink

      I would recommend some family counseling to work through this as a unit. The important part is that everyone feels heard, even if they disagree.

      Reply
  • June 3, 2018 at 12:04 am
    Permalink

    Is there a place where exhausted spouses who are men can go for help?

    Reply
  • March 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm
    Permalink

    Why does the title of this, and others like it, always portray the victim as female……. Sexism is alive and well

    Reply
  • May 14, 2019 at 6:44 am
    Permalink

    Really glad to see this out in the open, narcissism has been swept under the carpet for far too long.
    Education is needed at the moment the most likely place to learn is on the web, Richard Grannon who
    goes under the name Sparton life coach was very helpful to me and there are many others that share
    their experiences of going through living with an NPD and getting away and healing from the toxic soup you have been living in.
    Gloria.

    Reply
 

Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *