A folie a deux is "the simultaneous occurrence of symptoms of a mental disorder ( for example, delusions) in two persons who are closely related---siblings, husbands and wives. One narcissist in a family is a horrendous disturbance to all the other members. Two, especially if they are a narcissistic husband and wife folie a deux, are a series of unending nightmares. And if they are parents, god help us. There are children of narcissistic parents who survive these impossible psychological conditions to not only tell the tale but to become solid, fine, intelligent, caring human beings in their own right. The road for them has been filled with ruts, incoming fire and bursts of rage, intimidations, manipulations and thickets of lies and betrayals. When they do prevail these children are incredible survivors who deserve our respect and congratulations.
The narcissistic couple live in their own delusional world. One of them is psychologically predominant over the other. There are fierce battles at times over power positions but the one member of the couple who is more dependent, acquiesces. If they are successful and make A Lists socially, they often have a group of loyal followers who believe they are perfect people. They are very attractive, charming, appear to be giving and caring, fun to entertain, witty, engaging. Narcissistic couples adore being in the spotlight and often give parties. These are events that are like an opening night on Broadway. These couples are highly grandiose and often exhibitionistic. Their relationship is often based on the reciprocation of narcissistic supplies. Those who have made it financially indulge themselves with constant trips, extravagant gifts, extraordinary personal spending, re-doing their already perfect homes. Their children are ignored, except for the one or two whom the mother or father decides is the chosen one---the perfect reflection of the parent. This child is pampered, spoiled rotten, allowed to be cruel and insensitive to his siblings and not held accountable for serious misdeeds. The children not handpicked are subjected to being extras on a movie set--They are the atmosphere. Every now and then they are posed for a family photo. Often they are sent away to school because the folie a deux parents are too busy leading their own profligate lives to be burdened by having to give any attention to child. Even babies are swept away and given to nannies for full time care. Mother or father see their children rarely. In some homes, the folie deux couple build a separate residence for the children so they can continue their lives uninterrupted.
The folix a deux narcissistic couple are petulant selfish cruel children who greedily seek pleasure and diversion. They remain infantile and utterly superficial . If they have money they can command a golden circle of admirers who reinforce their feelings of perfection and ultimate power. The folie a deux narcissistic couple is despicable in that they abandon their children or make them into breathing models of themselves who can never be real.
Adult children of this dreadful psychopathological constellation who prevail are extraordinary human beings---who through the testimony of their lives give hope and strength to all of us. To learn about the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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