Narcissistic Husband?

Narcissistic Husband?

Are you married to a narcissist husband?

If you’re married to a narcissistic husband, chances are that you’re well aware that he is different than other husbands in a lot of very clear ways.

To allow us to break through the barriers that arise when we are unable to understand our partner, here are a few truths about narcissistic husbands.

What is a narcissistic husband?

If your husband is a narcissist, you might not feel very good about yourself and your relationship. Because of this, you’re probably wondering if you’re identifying with this article or if you’re just as crazy as you’ve been told. If that resonates with you, stick with me and take a look at a few traits of a narcissistic husband.

  • A narcissistic husband might have narcissistic personality disorder if he’d actually allow himself to be diagnosed; or at least has narcissistic traits.
  • If your husband is a narcissist, chances are that he’s self-centered, lacks empathy, and has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
  • In general, narcissists tend to think they are superior or special and are extremely jealous of others.
  • A narcissistic husband desires admiration and is preoccupied with thoughts of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and beauty.
  • Narcissistic husbands are highly defensive with low self-esteem, though you might see them as strong and powerful. Underneath it all, he’s still just a scared little boy doing whatever he needs to do to get his narcissistic supply needs met. 

If you are still with me, the next thing you need to do is to educate yourself a little more on what kinds of behaviors and traits you can see in a narcissistic husband.

 

Identifying Narcissistic Behaviors

If you’re living with a narcissist and aren’t sure what to do about it, you’ll want to learn how to identify them. After all, identifying narcissistic behaviors can help you realize and fully accept that you are being abused by a narcissist.

Plus, it offers validation of your experience, which can help you to leave the “FOG” (fear, obligation, and guilt) in the past and clarify your future. And when you know better, you do better.

What Are Some Signs of a Narcissist Husband?

If you think your spouse is a narcissist, there are several behaviors you should watch for to help solidify your suspicion.

  • He may have an excessive interest in himself.
  • He is unconcerned with your feelings and you can tell because he says the most profoundly painful things you can imagine and often leaves you hanging when you really need him (at least emotionally).
  • He puts his own needs and even wants above you and everyone else, regardless of the level of severity in need.
  • He feels very entitled and expects special privileges. 
  • He might even think he’s above the law.
  • He cheats on you, or you suspect he would if given the opportunity.
  • He makes you feel more like an employee or servant than a wife. 
  • You walk on eggshells and base most of your decisions on whether or not he will be upset by your choice.
  • He wants to be seen as the best at everything, and even if he doesn’t really believe it, he expects you to believe and will demonstrate serious narcissistic injury and/or narcissistic rage if you do not support this delusion. 
  • Speaking of delusions, he probably has delusions of grandeur. 
  • If you have kids, he may act jealous of the attention you give them, or he may use them against you in other ways.

These are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, but they’re enough to feel concerned that you might be married to a narcissist.

Are narcissists capable of loving?

This is a hard pill to swallow because while narcissists can seem to love you in some ways, especially early in the relationship, they’re also very emotionally stunted; as in they have the emotional capacity of a toddler – or at best, a teenager.

The fact is that when a narcissist declares his love for you, he might really mean it in the moment. But he doesn’t fully “get” love. He sees you more as an object – sort of like how you see your smartphone

When you get a new smartphone, it’s powerful and amazing, packed with new features. It’s pretty and doesn’t have any scratches – and you love it for exactly what it is.

But after a while, you drop it a few times. It gets a little beat up, and before you know it, you hear about the latest and greatest NEW smartphone. 

Right around then, your current phone becomes a little less functional – it slows down and doesn’t quite run as smoothly as it once did.

And that’s right around the time you break down and get a new one. You don’t miss the old one, and you pretty much don’t think of it again. Because it’s a smartphone, not a person. 

But the narcissist sees you like a smartphone – disposable and dispensable. They love what you DO for them, but they’re not really capable of loving YOU as a person, at least not in the same way as you may have once loved THEM.

How long can a narcissist stay married?

Narcissists, both male, and female, sometimes stay married for decades. Many male narcissists won’t leave ever, at least not physically. Others will jump from relationship to relationship.

Those who cheat will often want to keep their wives around as their “mother figure,” if possible. Then they go out and do what they want with other women (and/or men), and they seem to really lean into the whole “Madonna/Whore” complex

Long story short, a narcissist can stay married for the rest of their lives, and many will unless their wives finally have enough and initiate the divorce themselves. Often, the narcissistic husband will repeat the whole cycle of abuse over and over in their marriages.

So you may never be permanently discarded, but you’ll be temporarily discarded repeatedly through painful manipulations like the silent treatment, for example.

Will a narcissist ever change?

The way I see it, it’s possible for a narcissist to change, but I’ve never seen or heard of it happening on a meaningful level.

In fact, if a narcissist husband were to successfully change, it would require him to engage in long-term therapy and to really do the work required – and it’d be no picnic.

  • He’d have to first discover and acknowledge his core wounds, those traumas that caused his personality to develop this way. ( He’d have to recognize that his core wounds probably began as early as birth, if you believe in attachment theory, which I do.)
  • Then, he’d need to accept and meaningful work through what happened to him and the fact that it caused his personality flaws (which, of course, must also be seen, acknowledged, and resolved).
  • Finally, he’d need to go to the next level and learn emotional and compassionate empathy. This would require the work of a skilled specialty psychologist/therapist and may even involve certain prescriptions and additional therapies, depending on his comorbid mental health issues. 

Bottom line, maybe it’s possible, but it doesn’t happen by the very nature of narcissistic personality disorder.

How do you deal with a narcissist in a relationship?

Once you identify the problem, it’s time to take action. You’ve got choices here – you can stay, or you can go.

If you stay, prepare yourself to continue to deal with emotional and psychological abuse for the rest of your life. It may never get better and if it does, it could be because you’ve resigned yourself to accepting the abuse. 

Of course, there are plenty of ways you can make the narcissist less difficult. You can even sort of train them to treat you with more respect.

But these tactics will only make your life more tolerable, and only if you’re willing to actively play the narcissist’s game. Trust me when I tell you that it’s only worth it if you’re also actively planning to get out of the relationship. 

That said, I know it isn’t always possible to leave right away, thanks to things like financial abuse and having kids.

In these cases, I’d recommend that you try my ethical method of making the narcissist be nice to you. It works, but it’s exhausting over a long period of time.

Otherwise, you’ll want to use the gray rock method when they try to gaslight and manipulate you, and you’ll want to get busy planning your exit. Even if it’s going to take a while, you’ll feel more empowered when you know you’re working toward your freedom.

You can get your free PLAN (Planning to Leave the Narcissist toolkit) right here.

Still not sure? Take our free Is my husband a narcissist? quiz to gain additional insight and to be given resources to help you recover from narcissistic abuse.

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Narcissists as Good Parents – Impossible? Maybe not, say psychologists.

Narcissists as Good Parents – Impossible? Maybe not, say psychologists.

Recently, someone asked me what I considered to be a sort of confusing question, but one that I think a lot of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. 

“Can a narcissist be a good parent who doesn’t cause any damage to their children?”

Is this even possible? I have to be honest with you. I have met a LOT of narcissists and even more victims of narcissists doing what I do.

However, I cannot say that I’ve ever met a malignant narcissist who didn’t directly or indirectly cause significant psychological harm to their children.

Often, the harm was also physical and emotional. Sometimes, it was direct and intentional. It was also just a lack of interest or presence or pure neglect.

Considering all of that, how could it be possible for a malignant narcissist or someone with narcissistic personality disorder to be a good parent to raise emotionally healthy, self-actualized, and well-rounded children who become adults without many trauma issues?

Can narcissists be good parents? 

While you might initially think it’s utterly impossible for a narcissist to be a good parent, there are a few particular circumstances under which it could theoretically happen.

Here, narcissistic abuse recovery experts Dr. Robin Bryman, Dr. Zamecia McCorvey, Dr. Judy Rosenberg, and yours honestly, Angie Atkinson, share our thoughts on what it would take for a narcissist to be a good parent.

My Theory: With a Little Friendly Competition, Maybe

Maybe we all have a little trauma in the cards. But I have not seen or heard about a narcissist who didn’t leave severe psychological scars on their children.

Minor traumas may be overblown, for sure. But just as often. the more significant, intense traumas – the kind that gives you that deep, dull ache in your heart when you recall them – are brushed under the rug like they’re nothing. 

From that perspective, it can be easy to miss the subtle, pervasive behaviors of a narcissistic abuser. But does the lack of blatant abuse mean that some malignant narcissists can raise healthy children who become healthy adults with firm boundaries and a strong sense of self

In general, my opinion has always been that it was, at best, highly unlikely that a narcissistic parent could do enough good in a child’s life to combat the bad.

And that, despite our best efforts, even some well-meaning parents cause some unintentional traumas along the way – or at least miss the opportunity to prevent them. 

Most narcissistic parents have a shining moment here and there – or at least a few not-terrible memories are made along the way. There may even be certain parts of parenting in which they shine naturally.

For example, a client recently shared with me that her narcissistic ex had one good point in this area: he was the “fun” parent, and while this also meant he dragged the kids into activities they would end up hating (due to his gung ho, never slow down attitude), it was something that can be healthy and positive in a child’s life. 

But, inevitably, such a parent will fail in other areas: genuine connection, structure, discipline, and proper attention, for example. So as sweet as the fun parent is, this is tempered with extreme emotions that can alienate the children and make them feel afraid, resentful, and unseen.

And that’s on the very mild end of the spectrum – it gets far worse.

So in the end, the best I believe it could get with a narcissist is not terrible, or tolerable. Their intermittent style of loving and validating alternating with ignoring, abusing, neglecting, and controlling their children simply doesn’t give their children a “normal” launch into life.

This is especially when that parent is controlling the other parent. You know, the one who should be the child’s advocate when the narcissist goes overboard.

The one who is most easily and often alienated by the narcissist? Yep.  

After I thought about it for a while, I concluded that there might be one way a narcissist could be the perfect parent.

They would need to be competing in a Who’s the Best, Healthiest, Least Damaging, Most Selflessly Loving Parent contest. That contest would have to have some rock-solid guidelines and would need to offer regularly scheduled praise and adoration that came at the perfect time

Plus, it would need to have plenty of accountability and unscheduled home visits with secret kid interviews and assessments, to ensure a way to measure and track their progress. And, it would need to go for the whole life of the child or parent, whoever happens to live the longest.

Finally, it might help to give the narcissist something that helps keep their ego in check, depending on what their doctors (or budtenders) have to offer. But we also have to remember that narcissistic personality disorder is not a mental health disease; it is a personality disorder.

Technically, narcissistic personality disorder with malignant traits.

You cannot treat NPD with medicine, but some doctors choose to treat narcissists for co-morbid issues or even side effects of the drugs or treatments. In those cases, treating symptoms could in theory, be possible, but I still do not believe we could ever undo or even permanently stall their behaviors with medicine. 

What Psychologists Say It Would Take to Make a Narcissist a Good Parent

The more I thought about it, I decided it would be a good idea to get the opinions of our team’s medical and educational psychologists, just to be safe and offer a full-spectrum answer. Here’s what they had to say when I asked them if there’s any chance that narcissists can be good parents. 

Dr. Robin Bryman: Under Specific Circumstances, Maybe

“I believe a narcissist can absolutely be a good parent if the moon and stars are aligned,” Dr. Robin Bryman said, smiling. 

“What I mean is that if the narcissist is intelligent, doesn’t have an addiction that impacts their lives, and they set their lives up in a way that their kids succeed, it is possible,” she added, noting that as long as the parent feels successful in their life, it’s not completely impossible.

“They’d need to have a beautiful, handsome, and/or successful spouse or partner, and they would have to be at the top of what they consider a successful life.”

“In this type of situation, the addiction, especially if it’s about control and power, can inadvertently allow a narcissist to effectively parent,” she said.

And since a narcissist often views their children as extensions of themselves, they will want that extension to be as well-adjusted as possible. 

Dr. Zamecia McCorvey: Maybe, for Devoted Golden Child

When I asked Dr. Zamecia McCorvey if she believed a narcissist could be a decent parent, she was immediately taken aback. 

“I automatically thought Hell No!,”  Dr. McCorvey Said, “Considering my life experience being raised by parents who I believe were narcissistic.”

She said that being raised this way has seriously impacted aspects of her life, both growing up and even now, well into adulthood.

“However, as I think past my experience and rely on my understanding of narcissism, I’d say it really depends,” she said.

“They can be a great parent, depending on what role their child plays within the family dynamic,” she continued. “If the child is the golden child and does not deviate from the narcissistic parent’s control are reign, they will experience a better parent than a child who is not easily controlled by the narcissistic parent, or is the scapegoat.”

Dr. Judy Rosenberg: Maybe Good, Definitely Not Great

Maybe, says Dr. Judy Rosenberg, but there’s a catch. We know that there are plenty of malignant, toxic narcissistic parents who completely neglect their kids’ needs, ignore them, control them, physically or sexually abuse them, or otherwise make them miserable. 

But there are also many narcissists who appear to be great parents. They take care of their kids’ physical needs and ensure they’ve got the latest and greatest in fashion, gadgets, and everything else. They have beautiful, expensive homes that are perfectly decorated and always spotless.

But even those who do take care of the physical needs may barely even know their children, and the rest are sort of like live-in bullies until the kids move out – and even then, often continue to abuse and control their adult children.

“A narcissist can be a good parent if they are ethical and moral and fulfill their obligations to their children,” Dr. Judy said. “But they will never be a great parent because they just don’t have the wherewithal to show empathy.”

That trademark lack of empathy would effectively leave the child feeling unseen, at the very least. If we were talking about a malignant narcissist, the effects on the child would be more profound.

But, Dr. Judy said, “If they choose an empathic partner it can buffer the effects.”

So, if a narcissist chose a good partner with decent empathy skills, any potential damage to the child’s psyche could be mitigated.

While Dr. Judy’s thoughts are clearly sound, I’d add that, since we know that narcissists are notorious for emotionally and psychologically abusing anyone who gets close enough to see behind their false self (the mask they show the world), we can safely assume that this abuse would also, directly or indirectly, affect the child. 

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The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Overcoming Shame

The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Overcoming Shame

Have you recovered from a toxic relationship with a narcissist, or are you in the process of narcissistic abuse recovery now? If the answer is yes, then you have a pretty good understanding of what it’s like to live in a world where you’re conditioned to feel shame, right? 

How Do You Overcome Shame in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery?

If you have just come out of a relationship with a narcissist, you may find yourself feeling ashamed of many things – up to and including feeling shame about who you are as a person. This can cause significant bumps in your narcissistic abuse recovery and in your life, to put it mildly.

 

So how do you overcome shame during or after a toxic relationship with an abusive narcissist? It can feel impossible, and it might even seem hopeless – but there are ways you can work through and overcome this.

What is Shame?

Shame is a defense mechanism that protects us from the painful realities of our past. When it comes to having been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, shame feels like a deep, dark feeling that can be hard to shake if you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist.

Some things you might experience as a result of dealing with shame in a toxic relationship with a narcissist include the following.

  • Narcissists will create situations that make you feel as though you did something wrong or inappropriate – even when you didn’t.
  • Shame can be an extremely difficult emotion to overcome because it makes you feel helpless.
  • Shame keeps you doubting yourself.
  • Shame fuels the lie that “you could have done more.”
  • Shame convinces you that you have no right to be proud of your accomplishments or to celebrate your successes.

What is the difference between shame and guilt?

  • Shame is an emotion that we feel when we feel unlovable. It is a feeling of worthlessness and it goes hand in hand with guilt.
  • Guilt is the feeling of having done something wrong. Shame is the feeling of being something wrong.
  • While guilt is feeling bad about our actions, shame is feeling bad about who we are, intrinsically.

Video: An In-Depth Discussion on Overcoming Shame

In this video, Lise Colucci and I take an in-depth look at what shame is, why you feel it after being involved with a narcissist, where it starts, and how you can overcome it.

Why do we feel so much shame in narcissistic abuse?

We experience shame whenever someone makes us feel like we don’t belong, or when they make us feel like we are not good enough. It’s a common emotion to feel after leaving a relationship with a narcissist because they are always trying to make us feel that way.

When we have been in a relationship with a narcissist who has been gaslighting us, projecting their own faults and flaws onto us, and making us believe that we were crazy, stupid, or otherwise inferior in some way all along, it can be difficult to avoid feelings of shame if this person was also someone who you loved very much.

It’s important to remember that the only reason you stayed in this relationship for as long as you did was that you truly believed that there was something wrong with you and that it was your fault; otherwise, you would have left sooner!

What is the connection between trauma and shame?

Nearly everyone who goes through a toxic relationship that involves narcissistic abuse will find themselves left with serious trauma issues. And when we experience something traumatic, it is common to feel a sense of shame. We may feel ashamed of ourselves and our circumstances. We may even feel ashamed that we allowed the abuse to occur and continue for so long. We may feel like a fool for not seeing the warning signs or for not having the courage to leave sooner.

This shame can be one of the hardest parts of recovery from narcissistic abuse. It is a shame that often manifests as anger, anxiety, depression, and guilt. These feelings are very isolating because they make us feel like we are alone in our experiences and that there is no way out of our pain.

What are the signs you’re being shamed by a narcissist?

 

You Have Intrusive Toxic Thoughts

Once you allow shame into your life, it becomes very easy to accept other toxic thoughts as truths as well such as:

  • “No one really cares about me.”
  • “People won’t listen to me.”
  • “I don’t deserve better than this.”
  • “I’m not good enough.”

You Accept Responsibility for Everything – Including the Shame

You might feel like the shame is yours, but it’s not. The narcissist is shaming you. He or she is projecting their own feelings of shame onto you. By making you feel ashamed of yourself and your actions, the narcissist can control you. 

You Feel ‘Dead Inside’

Narcissists have a way of making people wish for the worst. If you’ve dealt with a narcissist who has shamed you and you’ve ever thought or said you were ‘dead inside’ – that’s a big sign that you’re dealing with shame. Please remember that you deserve better. 

Dissociation (or feeling disconnected, like you’re not really here, like you’re in a fog, watching your life on a movie screen, or anything similar) is another common experience shared by survivors who deal with shame.

The Narcissist’s Behaviors 

The good news is that you don’t have to live in this hell forever. The first step to overcoming shame is recognizing the signs of being shamed by a narcissist:

  • The narcissist is very controlling and you live in fear of their reactions.
  • They blame you for their bad behavior
  • They don’t take responsibility for anything
  • They tell you that if only you did what they want, things would be better
  • They call you names and put down your appearance or abilities
  • They criticize everything you do, say, think, or feel.

How do you overcome shame?

Survivors of narcissistic abuse often struggle to move past feelings of shame because they believe they should be able to do so more quickly.

When we’re in a narcissistic relationship we are bombarded with shame at every turn—shame for things we haven’t done or shouldn’t feel guilty about, shame for things we wouldn’t normally be ashamed of (such as loving someone), and shame for things we would have felt prideful about prior to entering into the relationship (such as analyzing or understanding the narcissist).

Step One: Understand Why You Feel Shame

The shame you feel can be overcome by understanding why you feel it. Realize that the shame is not yours but rather the narcissist’s and that he or she projected the feelings onto you. Don’t take it on, and watch as the shame disappears.

Remember: You are not your shame.

Once you can see that this is what’s going on, even if they try to deny it, there are steps you can take to overcome the shame:

First, remember that in overcoming shame following a relationship with a narcissist, you are:

These are all accomplishments – they take time, effort, and energy. Pat yourself on the back and recognize how significant that is – and then go on to step two.

Step Two: Choose Your Boundaries

So, if you’re going to set boundaries, you have to know what behaviors are acceptable for you, and which ones aren’t. Be aware that the narcissist will not love the fact that you begin to change and tolerate less and less of their disrespect and manipulation. But keep going. It’s worth it – I promise.

Step Three: Learn to Set and Maintain Boundaries

Boundaries are extremely important in any relationship, whether it’s a friend, loved one, family, or lover. But in narcissistic abuse recovery, they can become even more important.

Narcissists don’t believe you have the right to have boundaries, but they are VERY concerned about their OWN boundaries,

Obviously, this causes problems in relationships with other people, most certainly those who are their primary sources of narcissistic supply. They overstep your boundaries to manipulate situations to get their own way. They will flit between abusive cycles of blame and manipulation to try and control you.

Your average person might not ever overstep your boundaries, or if they do, will correct their behavior if you note it. Not so with narcissists. That’s why it’s so important to maintain your boundaries in toxic relationships.

Learn how to set your boundaries. 

Shame Quote, Angie Atkinson

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

 

Loyalty Binds, Narcissists, and Parental Alienation (Plus: The One Way a Narcissist Could Be a Good Parent)

Loyalty Binds, Narcissists, and Parental Alienation (Plus: The One Way a Narcissist Could Be a Good Parent)

Have you ever had to choose between two equally unpleasant options, or be seen as disloyal? If you were raised by a narcissist, you might have experienced parental alienation, and you might have faced such a choice. 

What is parental alienation?

In its most basic form, parental alienation means one parent turning a child against the other parent. The goal may be to try to get full control over the child, using them for attention and away from other people who could give it to them; aka narcissistic supply. But in the case of a toxic, narcissistic parent, they don’t even see the child as a whole person but as an extension of themselves or an object to be owned. 

In other words, a narcissist is likely to use their child as a weapon or an object to hurt the other parent. It is a form of psychological manipulation and is used to trick the child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility toward you and or other people in your family. 

For the child involved, it’s a painful and invalidating experience that lasts long into adulthood. complicating every relationship they happen to be involved with, from romantic ones to their own children, friends, colleagues, and more. 

Can narcissists be good parents? 

Maybe, says Dr. Judy Rosenberg, but there’s a catch. We know that there are plenty of malignant, toxic narcissistic parents who completely neglect their kids’ needs, ignore them, control them, physically or sexually abuse them, or otherwise make them miserable. 

But there are also many narcissists who appear to be great parents. They take care of their kids’ physical needs and ensure they’ve got the latest and greatest in fashion, gadgets, and everything else. They have beautiful, expensive homes that are perfectly decorated and always spotless.

But even those who do take care of the physical needs may barely even know their children, and the rest are sort of like live-in bullies until the kids move out – and even then, often continue to abuse and control their adult children

This is the ONLY Way a Narcissist Can Be a GOOD Parent (But Not GREAT)

“A narcissist can be a good parent if they are ethical and moral and fulfill their obligations to their children,” Dr. Judy said. “But they will never be a great parent because they just don’t have the wherewithal to show empathy.”

That trademark lack of empathy would effectively leave the child feeling unseen, at the very least. If we were talking about a malignant narcissist, the effects on the child would be more profound.

But, Dr. Judy said, “If they choose an empathic partner it can buffer the effects.”

So, if a narcissist chose a good partner with decent empathy skills, any potential damage to the child’s psyche could be mitigated. However, since we know that narcissists are notorious for emotionally and psychologically abusing anyone who gets close enough to see behind their false self (the mask they show the world), we can safely assume that this abuse would also, directly or indirectly, affect the child. 

What happens when you raise children with a narcissist?

When you have a narcissist who marries a codependent or someone who becomes codependent, you’ll see a strange thing happening in their family:  the codependent parent tends to throw themselves under the proverbial bus more often than you might think when it comes to protecting their kids, but sadly, the kids are still affected by the tension between the parents. 

Kids think toxic is normal. 

They start to think that this is how a relationship works, and depending on which parent is the narcissist and how they treat the other, among other factors, they may become either a narcissist or a codependent. The only way to prevent this is for the narcissist to be self-aware enough to allow the more empathetic parent to do most of the discipline and daily dealing with the kids. 

So, not only would the narcissist need to be self-aware enough to actually recognize this issue, but they’d also need to let the other parent be in control on some level.

While that seems nearly impossible given what we know about toxic parents and toxic family structure, Dr. Judy said that “if they can learn not to demean them but to value their children, and at least make an offer to put their needs first, that would be a good start.”

But could or would a narcissist ever do what would be necessary to be a “good” parent? 

It’s debatable, but in my opinion and according to my research, narcissists are infamously terrible parents, whether they ignore and neglect their children or fully control them – or some uncomfortable combination of both. There are many other common behaviors among toxic parents, of course – physical abuse, psychological abuse, and more – though not every toxic parent physically abuses their children, which can make abuse difficult to prove.

This makes it even more difficult to swallow. But it’s important to understand that narcissists have no level to which they will not stoop – and often, this includes actions (or lack thereof) toward their own children. They are not afraid to use a child as a narcissistic supply – and they’re happy to use them as a tool to hurt the other parent. 

Narcissists Use Loyalty Binds to Support Parental Alienation 

Let’s discuss another kind of manipulation and a whole new low for narcissists: loyalty binds and how they’re used by toxic people to actively alienate their fellow parents and other family members from their children.

What are Loyalty Binds?

Loyalty binds are used against you by someone who is forcing you to choose between them and someone else – often, a parent forcing a child to choose them or the other parent (or a step-parent, in many cases).

In the process, the victim feels forced to choose against their own best interests. This can happen in any type of relationship but it has been previously identified as an issue with step-parenting.

But when you really think about it, it also applies to narcissistic abuse in relationships and families –  specifically related to parental alienation. 

Loyalty binds are confusing for the recipient because the abuser will say that one thing is true, but behavior shows something else. They then blame their victim for not seeing reality in the same way that they do. This can and often does lead to cognitive dissonance.

For example, a narcissistic parent may tell a child that he loves them very much but then verbally abuse them at every opportunity. The child will believe his mother’s words about her love for him even though she keeps doing things that cause him pain and harm because he believes (rightly) that if his mother does not love him, he cannot survive due to his total dependency on her. The child’s survival depends upon keeping his mother happy so she doesn’t abandon him so he accepts her words and denies how hurtful her chronic abuse is to him.

When toxic parents use loyalty binds to alienate the other parent

The children of narcissistic parents are the most vulnerable to the effects of this vicious cycle. They often feel a tremendous amount of love and loyalty for their other parent, who is trying to protect them from their abuser. However, this abuser will use their bond and affection against them.

It can be incredibly difficult for a child that has grown up with parental alienation to stand up and question what they’ve been taught. In many cases, even as adults, they will continue to have difficulty forming relationships in which there is give-and-take, healthy boundaries, or mutual respect. The bonds they had with their targeted parent have been severed (or weakened), leaving them feeling abandoned, scared, and alone.

The relationship with the child may be distorted by the narcissist in order to maintain control.

The child may also be made to feel like they have to keep a secret or that they’re not allowed to tell the truth about how they feel for fear of disappointing the toxic parent.

They may be put in the position of having to keep the happy parent happy, or they risk punishment. The child might experience guilt and be actively triangulated by the toxic parent through guilt-tripping and other forms of manipulation. In some cases, children are made to believe that they are better off with the toxic parent, regardless of how much abuse they suffer at their hands (or how much better off they would be if they lived with the non-narcissistic one).

Attachment styles are affected deeply as a result of narcissistic abuse. The child may feel obligated to the toxic parent and guilty for loving or wanting to know the other parent (or even just being curious about them). They are often made to feel that it’s betraying one or both parents somehow just for them to want love from both sides (which is their natural right as children).

 

A child (or adult child) may have to choose one parent over the other.

When a child (or adult child) is forced to choose between the toxic parent and the narcissistic parent, they can experience very uncomfortable emotions. Examples of these situations include having to choose which parent’s birthday party to attend or being torn between visiting a sick parent in a hospital or going on a romantic vacation with a narcissistic partner.

When the narcissist is abusive toward the other parent, they may try to discourage a relationship with that other parent by demonizing them or by creating intense situations where choosing their parent would demand courage.

A child who is loyal to a narcissist parent will often have a difficult or impossible time visiting or seeing the other parent. The narcissist may create intense situations in which the child must choose between being loyal to their parent, which requires courage and strength or choosing the other parent.

The narcissist may actively try to alienate the child from their other parent by using verbal abuse, emotional manipulation, and guilt trips to discourage contact with them. An example of this might be if a child has plans to visit their father for his birthday but the mother strongly discourages it. They do this because they know that they can use fear, guilt, and shame as powerful tools against their offspring.

The abuse can escalate when it’s time for one of the parents to move out of the home.

From a child’s point of view, the custodial parent who remains in the home may get a disproportionate amount of attention. This is because the child will only spend part of their time with the non-custodial parent.

As for the non-custodial parent, he or she will feel as if they are walking on eggshells around their children. The children may be very angry at them for leaving in the first place.

They may also have been brainwashed into thinking that the non-custodial parent has done something wrong by leaving and that they somehow deserve to be punished. For those parents who live far away from their children, weekly phone calls can become awkward and difficult.

Children may experience grief, anger, and embarrassment over how the narcissistic parent talks about their other parent when they’re not around, or when they are on Skype or Zoom or over the phone.

The child may feel ashamed of what their parent is doing and feel like they are the only one dealing with this, or they may learn that this is one way to get their needs met. 

They may think that they are alone in having a parent who acts this way because no one else’s parents appear to act like this.

A narcissistic mother will often try to force her daughter into submission through guilt trips or through anger and aggression that has no reason.

  • When a narcissistic mother has decided it’s time to give you a guilt trip, she’ll disappear, suddenly and without warning. You might be in the middle of a conversation, but she won’t respond to your questions or calls, no matter how many times you try. She’ll ignore you until you’re so worried that you track her down and apologize for whatever offense she believes deserves your groveling.
  • A narcissistic mother will often threaten suicide when her daughter makes positive changes in her life that don’t involve the mother. The point is to get her daughter emotionally hooked again so the daughter will be forced to stay in the relationship and keep doing things for her mother. This can also work with threats of harming herself physically or going on “hunger strikes” when she doesn’t get what she wants from others.
  • Another common way of making people feel guilty is by threatening others with harm—especially if the threat includes children or pets. Mothers who are more concerned about their own needs than those of their children are always looking for ways to manipulate their daughters by using their emotions and fears as weapons against them—and there’s nothing they won’t do to ensure they have control over everyone around them.

Here’s the good news.

You can recover from being made to feel like you were stuck between two parents who were demanding your loyalty but not giving any back to you.

It wasn’t your fault. 

You are not alone.

You are not responsible for the dysfunction in your family.

Healing is possible and you can have a future.

Start here.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

 

Want to fast-track your narcissistic abuse healing with a celebrity psychologist?

Want to fast-track your narcissistic abuse healing with a celebrity psychologist?

Have you experienced the devastating effects of narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship? If you have, you’re not alone!

In fact, millions of people have been affected by narcissistic abuse from their spouses or partners, family members, friends, bosses, coworkers, and even acquaintances. So many survivors suffer in silence, and some don’t even recognize the abuse due to its pervasive nature.

But now you can change all of that – and the best part is that you don’t have to go it alone. You can get personal help from celebrity psychologist, Dr. Judy Rosenberg.

Introducing Dr. Judy Rosenberg’s Mind Map – BREAKTHROUGH THERAPY

A Life-Changing Journey To Be The Cause® Of Better Outcomes For Your Life!

DECODE YOUR PAST…RECODE YOUR FUTURE®

This is a proven system designed to identify childhood wounds, dismantle them at the CAUSAL level, and Paradigm Shift into mental well-being. You Will Finally Get To The Truth of WHY You Seem to Attract Toxic People and Learn How to End the Pain, ONCE AND FOR ALL! 

The Mind Map Will Help You to:

  • Identify Your Childhood Wounds
  • Learn how to identify childhood wounds from your past, how you reacted to them, and how you encoded them.
  • See How Your Wounds Still Affect You Today
  • See how your wounds created your current chaos and how to identify defense mechanisms that keep you stuck.
  • Break through your defenses and release yourself from psychological prison. 

You Will Learn To Shift: 

  • Paradigm Shift Into Mental Health
  • Learn how to paradigm shift your relationship with yourself and others, heal, recode, and reconnect. This will allow you to Be The Cause® of better outcomes for your life.

GET TO THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM AND STRAIGHT TO THE CAUSE

  • Don’t Get Treatment for the Symptoms, Treat the Underlying Cause
  • These Are Not Just Techniques. It’s an Entire System That Has Worked for Thousands, Including Many of Dr. Judy’s celebrity clients.
  • Get Instruction From a Licensed Clinical Psychologist Who Has Been in Practice for Over 25 Years
  •  Journal Your Mind Map™ Journey, your storyboard of your pathway from DISCONNECTION and MENTAL UNHEALTH to your mental HEALTH and CONNECTION

You Will Learn:

  • WHO is the cause of your mental dis-ease
  • WHAT Human Disconnect does to your psyche
  • WHERE you are going on the pathway to healing
  • FROM – Past mental health
  • THROUGH – Dismantling your old psychological DNA
  • TO – Paradigm shifting into a newly encoded and healthy blueprint of mental health
  • Do this NOW so you don’t have to carry your dis-ease within and spread it to the next generation.
  • WHY? Because you’re sick and tired of suffering from anxiety, depression, bad habits, relationships, and other unhealthy symptoms and patterns

What if you could personally jumpstart your healing process with a renowned celebrity psychologist?

In her mission to help heal Global Disconnect, Dr. Judy Rosenberg has been helping to heal some of our society’s most elite members for over 30 years. Now, she wants to take her mission to the next level with an exclusive offer! But this offer will only be extended to a select few – so you’re going to need to hurry if you want a spot. 

Learn more about Dr. Judy’s mind map system

Here’s a video interview I recently did with Dr. Judy about her amazing mind map system. If you have questions, give Dr. Judy’s office a call at (855) 431-0360.

Only a few spots left in Dr. Judy’s upcoming online workshop!

Here’s the exciting part: Dr. Judy has created a special, 3-part live interactive webinar workshop, during which she will personally guide 25 special people through her personally developed, proven, and shockingly effective Mind Map system.

Yes, the same one that countless celebrities have used to heal from their own childhood traumas and adult toxic relationships.

The catch? Because she wants to personally guide each survivor through the system, she has limited access to this exclusive event to only 25 people.

So how do you qualify to be part of this rare event?

  • First, you must be able to attend each session and ready to take back your power.
  • Second, you must be willing and able to do the work involved.
  • Finally, you must be genuinely committed to creating profound personal change in your life.

What do you get out of this?

I mean, besides the opportunity to have this celebrity psychologist personally walk you through the system that has been helping the elite heal for years?

Not only will Dr. Judy teach you how to “think like a shrink” so you can manage your own mental health, but you’ll come away with a new secret superpower: you can reuse the Mind Map, again and again, to dig into and resolve most issues that keep you from living your best life.

Plus, you’ll get the benefit of the shared community experience with others who are on their own healing journeys.

Learn practical strategies for making a successful transition from victim to survivor and master how to: avoid the pitfalls of narcissistic abuse, interpret narcissistic signals, manage distorted feelings and emotions, avoid the problems of codependency, gain clarity from past experiences including childhood wounds, and reclaim your true identity, once and for all.

YES, the Mind Map system is THAT powerful – it really works.

What Dr. Judy’s Clients Say

” I was so excited to see and work with Dr. Judy as I had been following the WTF shows from London. From the start, Dr. Judy ‘got it’, I mean she got my story! For the first time in my life, someone was able to understand and see the patterns. It wasn’t at all easy if I am honest and sometimes I was filled with so much fear that I would never be able to escape my core belief system but in the end, after a climactic panel 6, something inside me began to shift.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Judy who really does all this from her heart! I’m still working through a lot even though I’m almost on panel 9 but what I know is that deep within me a seismic shift has taken place. I’m discovering more about the effects of narcissism and uncovering deep offshoots of my core belief which is painful fascinating at the same time.

It is true what they say- ‘when the student is ready, the teacher comes.” ~C,D.

“She mindfully shifts our conversations to relevant behavioral patterns and provides useful, constructive tools through her mind map principles, which causes me to better understand the relationship with myself and others in a completely new (and healthier) perspective.” ~T.R.
“After only 10 sessions I became a better, stronger person with Judy. When I first came in I was full of issues and not having any idea about how to deal with them and start living life again.” ~K.K.

Learn more and sign up for this one-time online event

Visit Psychological Healing Center to learn more and sign up for this amazing opportunity – but hurry, as there are just a few spots left!

Questions you’d like to ask before you sign up? 

Just give Dr. Judy’s office a call at (855) 431-0360, or take a look at this video featuring more information about Dr. Judy’s Mind Map system

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