If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, then honestly, my heart goes out to you. The full title of this post is really, surviving as a narcissist’s wife isn’t easy… but that was too long (LOL). Being in a narcissistically abusive relationship is probably one of the most painful life experiences you could imagine. In fact, the common wisdom, for women (and men, too…but since I am a woman and the majority of narcissists are men, I write from the perspective of the female target) in this type of relationship, is to get out. To run and never look back. But, that’s not always the best option, logically speaking, and sometimes, leaving creates more danger than it alleviates.
Also, I’m of the mind that divorce isn’t always the magic pill that solves all your problems, as a lot of people seems to think. Often enough, it makes things harder for any children involved. But, that’s a topic for another post. What I’m getting at- or trying to get at anyway (lol)- is that if, for whatever reason, leaving and going ‘no contact’ isn’t an option for you, or it just isn’t one that you’re quite ready to take on, then you MUST learn to take care of yourself.
You must strictly enforce a healthy routine that will help you maintain your sense of well-being, and protect your mind, body, and spirit from the constant onslaught of abuse and neglect that goes with the territory of being a narcissist’s wife (or partner).
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”KnowYourNarcissist” related=”” layout=”” position=””]You can’t entrust your protection, to the person who’d take advantage of that trust.[/clickandtweet]
…even as they swear they are only looking out for your best interests.
The irony is not lost on me, that my husband has always considered himself to be “the protective type”. And, to be fair, that isn’t a totally false statement. He was protective, when we first met…it’s just that he was a little too protective (if you catch my drift). But then, as time went on, he gradually grew out of his wild jealousy and possessiveness.
Instead, he settled into an easy rhythm of ignorant neglect, and ambient abuse, that showed me all the ways in which I had been left exposed, and vulnerable to to his abuse. If I had some hidden weakness somewhere inside of me, he found it, and exploited it. It’s really a pity that my husband just couldn’t figure out how to protect me from the most damaging thing in my life…
It may have taken me years to figure out, but eventually, I came to see that I was in desperate need of someone who could watch over me. Someone who could keep me safe. Over these past several years, I’ve endured enough pain to make me vividly aware that I was seriously lacking in the “safety & security” department of my self-development. Definitely NOT a good thing.Especially, when you’re married to a narcissist.
After almost 8 years, narcissistic abuse was taking its toll on me. Surviving as a narcissist’s wife is NOT an easy accomplishment. My physical health was declining. I was depressed, and irritable, all the time. My weight was negligible. My hair was falling out. My teeth were breaking. I was accomplishing nothing- with a capital ‘N’. What’s worse- I wasn’t doing anything to remedy that situation. I didn’t know what to do. No one was taking care of me, and I had always had someone to take care of me. I had always had someone to tend to my needs; emotional or otherwise. That is just the way it had always been, and I needed that now…
I thought about my predicament…and for long while, that basically included just feeling sorry for myself, and doing my best to resist the urge to punch my husband in the face, while he slept. HE knew what it felt like to have someone watching over him- tending to his needs, emotional AND otherwise. He had ME to do that for him! Very well, too, if I do say so myself. (Though, obviously, I wasn’t perfect). So, I went on thinking about my situation… until……
Until, one day, I had an epiphany…Why didn’t I see this before? It was so simple, really. Maybe it was because of the way my own parents raised me. Always doing for me, as a child. Never forcing me to claim my independence. Maybe not. (Who cares, right?) Once the idea struck me, though, I can’t describe how stupid I felt for not thinking of it before then.
I could take care of myself!
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”KnowYourNarcissist” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Self-Care isn’t selfish…It’s survival.[/clickandtweet]
You’d think that was an obvious, right? But, for me, it just never really occurred to me. Clearly, I had to do something. I couldn’t let my health continue to decline. I had children, for God’s sake. I couldn’t just lay in bed, and cry all day. I couldn’t let my children grow up while I dreamed their lives away. I was a good mother- maybe not the best, or even second best- but, I had always been there for my kids, and I wasn’t going to stop now.
Surviving as a narcissist’s wife…
Being the…uh…”detail oriented” person, that I am (that’s just a nice way of saying that I’m anal-retentive), I decided to create a system. A program for myself to follow, that would consist of daily, and weekly exercises & routines, that would nourish my body, mind & spirit. I had to stop relying on my husband to fulfill ANY of my needs. He obviously was incapable….at least, in any consistent way. So, really, what other choice did I have? I could put on my big girl panties, and suck it up…or let myself be slowly destroyed. If it was up to my husband- I know which way I’d end up going…. but, I’m not down for destruction.
…at least, not today- thank you very much.
~The Narcissist’s Wife