The narcissistic personality is fixed and impervious to change. Many of those who are on the receiving end of these "relationships" keep holding out the hope that if they fulfill the narcissist's demands and wishes, he or she will change their controlling, abusive behavior.
Time after time the injured spouse goes to therapy to re-do herself, to learn to become more patient and understanding. In some cases if the spouse goes to the wrong therapist, she will be pressured to believe that the problem is within the client's psyche. Some therapists assume that people who come to them are responsible for the problems in the marital relationship. They ask: "What are you doing that is irritating your husband?" "How can you be more understanding?" "Why don't you learn how to give a little?" Fortunately there are many excellent clinical professionals who are keenly aware of the psychological sabotage that the narcissistic spouse projects on his partner. Excellent psychotherapy can be very helpful and enlightening to the spouse who is considering leaving the marriage. The client comes face to face with the fact that he/she is married to a narcissistic personality disorder who is not going to change. She/he gets the message that the failed marriage is not all her fault. It is not possible to have a genuine marital union with a narcissist.
Narcissists are conditioned not born to this psychopathology. As small children they are taught directly or indirectly that it is perfectly fine to believe that your are superior to others, that you can manipulate and exploit anyone who is an obstacle to your goal, that a perfect image trumps substance, that being ruthless and careless with the feelings of others is essential to success. Empathy and developing a conscience is not part of the budding narcissist's vocabulary. They are given free reign to trample over others to win. Winning for the narcissist is everything. This parental influence becomes deeply embedded in the psychic structure of the growing narcissist. This disorder is highly fixed and rigid and disinclined to change.
If you are involved with a narcissistic partner or married to one, know that this individual will not change, ever. Stop making yourself sick over their constant spewing of toxic projections, their put downs, their verbal sabotage, their putrid secrets, their explotive deeds.
Take your life in your hands. Create a support group you can count on. It can be one person with whom you can communicate. Think carefully about your own welfare for a change. Learn to appreciate all of your creative gifts. Embrace the beauty of your individuality. You deserve to lead a full rich life on your terms. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my websitethenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life