You have spent years building and working a marital relationship that you believe is solid. The bottom line is that you have been making excuses and blaming yourself for the outrageous behaviors of a spouse who is a narcissistic personality. When he shouted at you and flew into a explosive rage---you told yourself that he was under a lot of stress and couldn't help it. When felt ill and needed him, he was too busy at the office. You accepted this reason and took care of yourself. When the children came you took charge of them completely because he was deluged with work. He played father but didn't have an emotional investment in his children. This narcissistic man is uncommunicative (except when he is in your face screaming) and unempathic. He is highly critical of everything you do. He expects you to be at his disposal day and night. You tell him you are exhausted and he says; "Stop complaining. Buck up and do it. I don't want to hear your excuses!"
You have an ulcer, chronic back pain, migraine headaches, varieties of symptoms you've never experienced before. The sound of his thundering voice sends your nervous system into full alarm. Is continuing this "relationship" worth giving up your health, your peace of mind, your creativity, the meaning of your own life? This appears to be the case with many women married to narcissistic men; it is most unfortunate and in some cases, tragic.
It is your decision to remain in this toxic stew or to separate or obtain a divorce. Couples therapy with a narcissistic partner does not work. The narcissist plays a skillful game and pretends he is cooperating. In some cases he psychologically flips the therapist and sways this professional person on his side.
As you move through the process of making a decision, take excellent care of yourself. Some spouse find that high quality psychotherapy is helpful to them. Interview a couple of therapists before you make the decision to choose one. Good therapists can be difficult to find. Turn to one or two friends who care deeply about you and will keep you communications with them confidential. Healing practices like gentle yoga and meditation can help you to move to the parasympathetic nervous system of calm and welling being. Cardiovascular exercise--the kind that appeals to you-- is excellent for reducing stress, increasing endorphins and facilitates good healing sleep. Study the layers of the narcissistic personality disorder in depth. Knowledge of this disorder is powerful and will help you tremendously. 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
Buy the book:amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, widely distributed as books and e-Books