Living with DRAMA and TRAUMA.
Having counseled men and women for over 30 years, I have seen the PAIN add CONFUSION that a narcissistic spouse can create in a marriage. You begin to doubt yourself and wonder if she/ he has been right all along ! Being in a relationship with a Narcissist is full of DRAMA as well as TRAUMA.
~~ If you are married to a narcissist you’re going to need professional help.
Through that process you learn how to not be so impacted by them. You will need to emotionally withdraw and develop significant boundaries so they are not able to penetrate your emotions so quickly.
1. A narcissist lacks empathy.
Simply put, Narcissism is the inability to see how you affect others. It is the inability to see how ‘others experience you’. Narcissists desire to be idealized. They crave attention, but have no interest in getting to know you or listening to you. They do not feel another’s pain.
For example: A narcissistic mother or father who screams and rages at a child, terrifying them, would be completely unconcerned and unaware that this child is being abused and traumatized.
2. Narcissists are prolific liars.
Everything is exaggerated and many things are completely made up, in order to create the aura that they’re extremely unique and intelligent. Even the smallest things are distorted. It’s shocking how many times in an hour a narcissist will lie about something when it doesn’t even deserve the attention he/she is giving to that event.
3. Reality is distorted.
It’s hard at times to tell whether you’re crazy or they’re crazy. Is because a narcissist believes what they’re saying. If they think that something is your fault, it is almost impossible to change their thinking. It’s hard to determine what reality is -when you’re trapped in an argument with a narcissist. It’s very confusing. You begin to doubt yourself and your thinking, wondering if it has been your fault ‘all along’!
A narcissist’s reality is extremely distorted. However, they present their reality about events as if it’s all black-and-white.
4. They do not accept responsibility for their actions.
Because their reality is so twisted, they never accept responsibility for their actions. They are convinced that they did nothing wrong when all of the evidence is against them. They project onto you their mistakes and failures. If something goes wrong, someone else is at fault. Also, a narcissist hates consequences for their behavior. They despise anyone who hands out consequences. In their mind they do not deserve to have any consequences since they are special and live by a different standard then the rest of the world.
5. They are deeply insecure.
They imagine their behavior to be legitimate and reasonable because it benefits them. Everything they say and do is for their benefit. They appear to exude confidence when in reality they’re extremely insecure and afraid of being found out.
What Can You Do…?
~~ The success rate for counseling a narcissist is not high. As a professional treating narcissistic behavior in the Los Angeles area I have come across dozens of narcissistic individuals over the years, as well as narcissistic abuse and narcissism in relationships. They have to possess the concept that something about them needs to change and the motivation to investigate that solution for change.
For a narcissist to actually change his or her narcissistic behavior, abuse, or narcissism in relationships they have to finally admit that something is not working.
Narcissistic Behavior and Narcissism in Relationships
As you become stronger and less impacted by their outrageous behavior, they will may become infuriated with your indifference. They would rather be loved or hated. The intensity and drama keeps them involved with you. For you to become indifferent towards them is a ‘narcissistic wound’, but your indifference is a safe guard, an ‘emotional boundary’.
Through the professional counseling and support that you’ve received for narcissistic behavior or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, once you learned how to develop an ‘’emotional stance’’ of indifference, you have to establish consequences. You have to spell out the consequences for their behavior and follow through with those actions. For example: Your spouse continues to promise to be home at a certain time but continues to disregard your time and your personhood by not informing you of his/ her lateness. You must establish a consequence, such as the food being eating or thrown away. He then is on his own for dinner. The dinner is gone, not just put away. Although the requirement to make a phone call to you if he is running late, is infuriating to him, he will learn nevertheless to call.
Therapy for Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Los Angeles and Ventura County
I provide therapy for narcissistic behavior, narcissistic personality disorder, and issues related to narcissism from two main offices in Pasadena and Thousand Oaks, CA. I also serve Calabasas, Camarillo, and La Cañada, as well as all of Los Angeles and Ventura County.