My life with an abuser, someone who exhibits narcissist behavior, has been traumatic to say the least. I don’t use those terms lightly or as hyperbolic bluster. I was beaten for years by my husband, who continued the abuse emotionally, legally and financially after divorce.
I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. I worked for years on recovery through difficult therapy and eye-opening research. I have survived by my own hope and responsibility for my children. My kids have suffered through a kind of chaos only children of domestic abuse understand.
This happened to me, a middle-class, professional woman, because I diminished the warning signs of a troubled man and dismissed my gut feeling that I was settling for less. It happened to me because I believed that love would conquer all negatives and would eventually bring out the best in everyone.
I was idealistic, foolish and wrong.
I didn’t know that a narcissistic, abusive man was never capable of being anything other than a threat to me and our eventual children. It didn’t matter how much he told me he loved me or how many moments of delight we might have been able to string together.
Believing that “for better or worse” applied to a union with a narcissistic abuser turned out to be a costly mistake.
I wish I had known then what I know now.
No one should ever marry a narcissist or anyone willing to exploit another. They are dangerous. They will cause their family unimaginable pain, likely for the rest of their lives. No one should ever allow these people to be a primary parent or co-parent with another. No one should ever allow one of these people to be in charge of another human being’s daily life. They create life-changing, toxic environments for the victims dependent on them.
These people are known to be:
- Willing to discredit their closest friends and family
- Exploiters of the weak
- Willing to capitalize on others’ pain
And they are willing to train all these negative powers directly on the closest people in their lives the minute they realize whatever consequences there might be aren’t enough of a deterrent to outweigh the gain it brings them.
They can’t be trusted. They have horrible judgment that is often masked by bravado and spin. They are often fired, repeatedly throughout their careers, or suffer other forms of failure. They don’t have long-term friendships that are rich and deep. They have dysfunctional relationships with their children and family.
If you are in a relationship with one of these people. You may be in denial or still clinging to hope that somehow, under the right circumstances or with your love, things will change. You might experience a temporary improvement of your relationship conditions, but it will never last and before you know it, you will be back in a mess that you can’t seem to figure out. “High maintenance” doesn’t even cover the way you will have to manager this relationship.
If you are in a relationship with one of these people, and you want happiness and peace in your life, then you must get out as carefully as you can. They don’t like to be dumped and they will retaliate.
If you are being courted by someone who looks a bit like this, you need to seriously take stock of your next steps. You may not have stumbled on a narcissistic abuser, but to be on the safe side, you need to find out. A lot is at stake.
Because if you have partnered up with a narcissistic abuser, you are in more emotional, financial, psychological and physical danger than you realize. You owe it to your future self to find out.