When you are married to a narcissist you life has been commandeered by a selfish, demanding, egotistical and unempathic man. In the beginning he will dazzle you and sweep you up in his grandiose dreams. You believe them and want to share every aspect of your life with him. This is especially true if the narcissist is high-level, meaning that this person is highly gifted with charm, a keen intellect, professional success and the capacity of persuasion. These men are masters of disguise. When you meet them, you feel an automatic pull to them. Your body responds erotically to them; you can't say no. You may hear a small voice inside telling you that this is dangerous but you override it and proceed with the romantic drama. Many women have a dream of the man who will complete or rescue them. Even women who are fiercely independent and successful in their own rights are taken off guard by these master method actors of irresistible charm. They weave you into their web. They tell you that you are the chosen one--that they have been looking for you all of their lives. They are very clever with words and nonverbal moves. They know when to rush in to cinch the deal. They are at the top of their game when they are seducing the chosen woman---You.
A few years after the wedding or even sooner, the relationship falters. The sharp barbs and sarcastic remarks directed at you becoming a daily occurrence. The times of any peace in the house lessen. You notice that you are being treated as an object----There is no respect for you as an individual. As the months and years accrue, the venomous projections mount. You feel their sting. You are emotionally wounded and doubt yourself. You try to change--to go along with your spouse's demands. This doesn't work. You realize that this man is in love with himself. The deception and lies escalate. There is verbal abuse and at times physical abuse. In many cases the husband takes over the finances and starts to spirit away your collective financial stability.
Finally the wife of the narcissist wakes up and recognizes that she has been exploited brutally. She is both wasting her life and despising herself. Often there is a major blowup that reveals in colored lights that you are married to a narcissistic personality disorder. Many wives have been reading about narcissistic personality for some time. They put the puzzle pieces together and with shock see on the page that they are reading that their husband has a very disorder--narcissistic personality. She also comes to terms with the fact that these personalities cannot change. They are fixed as a grandiose false self. Narcissists believe they are perfect and superior to everyone, that they never make mistakes, that they are terrific people, that they are invincible.
A time of reckoning comes when the psychologically besieged spouse must make a decision whether to stay in the marriage or seek a divorce. In most cases the latter decision is the better choice. It takes a lot of effort and can be very complex and difficult, but there are so many instances of success for the non-narcissistic spouse and the improvement of her entire life on every level after the divorce and severing a relationship that was never a true marriage. The partner is free now to lead her own life, to breathe deeply in solitude, to ramp up the use of her creative gifts, to explore genuine relationship, to say Yes to life on her terms. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life