You cannot be the spouse of a narcissist and be free to be yourself. I don't care how independent and talented you are. The narcissist takes space in certain crevices of the mind and heart that cannot be overlooked. Even those with concentration and focus are disturbed on some level by sharing their lives with a narcissistic personality disorder. They nibble away at our hope, creativity and optimism. They are not only completely self absorbed, they insist on taking chunks of us, picking here and there. For spouses who are more dependent and vulnerable, they can leave this person completely helpless, unable to make their own decisions, immobilized psychologically.
Narcissists emotionally and mentally drain those close to them. They suck life out of their children, creating little narcissists out of those whom they think have the best inherent material. They weaken, deride, humiliate and endeavor to psychologically annihilate the ones who don't come up to their standards. Those left behind, when they survive, can become very strong, individuated and creative. They have been through the worst, having a parent who was incapable of loving them authentically but now they are overcoming this and fulfilling their dreams and potential.
Those who stay with narcissists in endless empty marriages continue to narrow their life options. Always in the back of the their minds they are wondering what he or she is going to demand of them next. It's like constantly fighting a rip tide. There are no breaks, no respite. The narcissist will never change. Many spouses make rationalizations about the "good times"---the lifestyle, the excitement of having lovely possessions, the romantic thrall of the narcissistic partner, the over the top promises, the dreams spun of pure gold, the going to the heights fantasies that linger in the mind. This is the delusion that the narcissist sells to his/her spouse.
As the years go by---sharing them with a narcissist-- becomes more difficult to keep your life options free and creative. Many spouses wake up--sometimes on the brink of a psychological or physical breakdown and finally know that they must get out, even if they have to leave everything behind them. I have communicated with many spouses who have been through this process. It is difficult and and can be frightening. Recognize that as you move through this, there is a part of you that has been screaming at the top of your lungs to be free. After the formal proceedings are over, your time will come. You will return to your original self and find that you beginning to walk, then jog, then run toward all the opportunities that have been waiting for you. Now you have the wind at your back. Enjoy the beautiful view and breathe in glorious freedom. Visit my website:www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the Book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition