Tag Archives: romantic

Protecting Your Spouse From Your Narcissistic Family

If you are in a long term relationship or are married to someone & at least one of you has narcissistic parents or family members, there is something you should know.  Standing up for your partner to your narcissistic parents is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.

When a couple makes a commitment to each other, a big part of that commitment is taking care of each other.  Part of that involves not tolerating anyone hurting your partner.  If you stand up to someone on behalf of your partner, you show your partner that this person’s well being & safety are extremely important to you.  You prove that you love that person & will do your best to keep them safe.  This is incredibly good for your relationship! 

Not tolerating someone hurting your partner also shows the abusive person that you are well aware of their actions, & there are consequences for their behavior.  Not doing so only proves to an abuser that they can do anything they want without consequences.  This means that they will continue what they have been doing & in time, their behavior will get even worse.  And, your partner will be left feeling abandoned & alone, which is potentially relationship ending.  No one in a committed relationship should feel that way!

If you struggle with defending your partner to your abusive family members, then please consider a couple of things.

If it is your family that mistreats your partner, this means they are your problem!  It is NOT your partner’s job to deal with your family.  If your partner confronts your family rather than you, your family will be highly upset.  That happens in many families, but especially in narcissistic ones.  Chances are they will tell you what a terrible person your partner is, how he or she isn’t good enough to be in your life or other nonsense as a way to deflect your attention from their terrible behavior.  If you are the one to confront them, they still may try to deflect & criticize your partner, but there is a better chance of them listening to you than your partner!

Also if anyone in your family mistreats your partner, they have absolutely no love or respect for you.  If they had any respect or love for you, they would manage to be civil to your partner no matter how much they disliked this person.  If your partner is abusive to you, any children you share or your family, that is a different scenario.  They should civilly address their concerns with you, be loyal to you & care more about your safety than civility.  However, if the reason they dislike your partner is because of simple differences in personality, your family should manage basic civility at the very least to this person out of love for you.  When you love someone, it’s not that hard to be polite to someone they care about even if you can’t stand that person.  I have done it & while it can be hard to be polite to someone you really dislike, reminding yourself of the person you care about can make this much easier.

Dear Reader, if you are in this position of having someone in your family mistreat or even abuse someone you love, then please consider what I have said.  Protect your loved one!  It will protect their mental & physical safety but also help your relationship!  In fact, protecting your loved one will increase the bond you both share.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Signs You’ve Moved On After Your Narcissistic Ex

Ending a romantic relationship with a narcissist is tough.  Months or years of the constant gaslighting & abuse destroy a person’s self esteem while somehow leaving victims to feel as if they should appreciate the narcissist settling for loving them.  By the time a person ends such a relationship, their thinking is damaged, but they do realize that the narcissist was abusive.  At the same time, there is often a lot of guilt & doubt involved for ending the relationship.  I experienced it myself for quite some time after divorcing my ex husband.

After the relationship has ended though, you will feel so much better.  Time & distance from a narcissist give a person clarity & make room for healing to take place.  You may be wondering what signs you can look for that you have moved on from your narcissistic ex, & this post will explain some of them.

If your narcissistic ex tries to contact you, you have no desire to respond.  Narcissists are known for attempting to “hoover” their victims, in other words, lure them back into the dysfunctional relationship.  If you cringe when you see your ex’s phone number or email address rather than get excited, this is a big sign you have moved on.  And, if your ex reaches out to you constantly to the point of harassment, be sure you document everything.  Harassment & stalking laws are changing, & you may need that documentation if you have to get the law involved.

Having no desire to know what is happening in your ex’s life is another sign you’ve moved on.  It can be common when a couple first breaks up for at least one person in the relationship to want to know what the other is up to.  They may discreetly check out their social media or ask mutual friends about them.  Losing the desire to do these things shows you’re over that ex.

Another sign of moving on is when you no longer compare yourself to anyone that person is dating or has dated.  Narcissists love to compare their victims to others they deem more attractive, smarter, etc.  Being romantically involved with someone who does this, it can make you feel as if you have to not only measure up to their other romantic partners, but be much better than them.  Losing that baggage is incredibly freeing!

Their opinion of you means nothing to you anymore.  While it’s normal to some degree to want an ex to think you’re doing well without them, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting your narcissistic ex to think you’re doing a thousand times better without them.  When you stop thinking that way & couldn’t care less what he or she thinks of you, you have moved on.

Severing ties with toxic people is another sign you’ve moved on from a narcissistic ex.  After dealing with someone so toxic in such a close relationship, it’s easy to become tolerant of toxic people.  Deleting them from your life is a very healthy move in any case, but if it’s done after breaking up with a narcissist, it’s also a sign that you have moved on.

Gaining self confidence is another sign of moving on.  Narcissists do their best to obliterate their victim’s self esteem.  They even destroy their victims’ ability to trust their instincts, feelings & perceptions through gaslighting.  Learning to trust such things takes time, & is a big sign you have moved on.

When you end a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel like you’ll never get better, but you absolutely will!  Be patient with yourself & don’t try to rush your healing.  As time passes, you’ll notices these things happening, & they can reassure you that you are going to be just fine.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Rarely Discussed Abusive Behaviors Of Narcissistic Spouses

Some time back, I was watching an episode of a true crime show on tv.  The show is called “Evil Lives Here” & is about people who lived with someone who did terrible things, like being serial killers.  This particular episode was about the Truck Stop Killer, Robert Rhoades.  His ex wife was interviewed.  She told the story of how they first met & about what it was like to be married to him.

Normally stories like these are disturbing yet fascinating, but I found this one especially disturbing.  So many of Mr. Rhoades’ behaviors reminded me of my ex husband.  The way he manipulated & shamed her was exactly the same as what my ex did.  Even the words he said to her were the same as my ex said to me.  Their behaviors were so similar that it really shook me up for quite some time.  I didn’t even tell anyone for a while, because I was trying to process it all.

I didn’t plan on blogging about it, but recently I thought it might be a good idea.  If these two abusive men used the same behavior, no doubt others do as well.  These behaviors are also not really discussed openly.  Most people know of the obvious abusive behaviors like hitting.

One behavior my ex & Mr. Rhoades shared was having extremely definite opinions on how they wanted their wives to look.  I would guess most married folks like to see their spouses looking a certain way more than others, but both of these men took it to an extreme.  My ex would make me feel as if what he wanted was the only thing looked good on me.  What I liked didn’t matter.  Mr. Rhoades took the behavior further.  He did that plus laid out clothing for his wife to wear.  I remember his ex wife saying he would lay out clothing on the bed & tell her to wear that specific outfit because they were going out.  He wouldn’t tell her where they were going.  While that could be a nice surprise, his wasn’t.  One evening, his “surprise” was he took her to a swinger’s club.

That brings me to the main similarity these two men shared.  Sexual preferences.  Deviant sexual behavior like they shared is a red flag in a romantic relationship, but that red flag turns into more of a giant flashing neon billboard when they demand it from their spouse even knowing she objects strongly to it.  Both my ex & Mr. Rhoades used the same tactic in order to get what they wanted – shaming.  Both said comments like, “Any other woman would be glad to do this for me.”  “Every other woman in the world does this!”   “You’re so immature/prudish/boring in bed!”  “You should be glad I want to involve you in this instead of just going behind your back to do it!”

When someone wants something so badly that they will shame someone else for not being willing to participate, that is abuse.  Someone is putting their selfish desires ahead of their spouse’s, even though they know what they want will cause the person great physical or emotional pain.  This shows a total lack of empathy, because no one who truly loves their spouse would want to hurt them or not even care that they are hurting them.

If someone you are romantically involved with behaves in these manners, they are definite warning signs of narcissism.  If at all possible, get away from this person as soon as humanly possible!  You need to protect yourself!

If you are unable to get away, start quietly planning to do so.  If people like this change, it almost never is for the better.  I’m sure Robert Rhoades’ ex wife would agree.  So take care of yourself.  Protect yourself from further abuse.  You don’t deserve to be treated this way!  xoxo

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Signs Of Narcissism In Romantic Partners

I recently caught an episode of the true crime show “Evil Lives Here” on the ID channel.  The episode was an interview with Debra, the ex wife of The Truck Stop Killer, Robert Rhoades.  He is suspected of raping & murdering over 50 women from the mid 1970’s to 1990.

His ex wife mentioned how he was very particular about how she dressed & would tell her what to wear.  She told the story of how one night he told her to wear a particularly sexy outfit so they could go to dinner.  He failed to mention it was at a swinger’s club.  He continually pushed the swinging issue even though from that night at the club she told him that wasn’t an option.  He told her she was immature & “No other woman would feel this way” about it.

Her story horrified me because that is almost exactly how things were with my ex husband.  He wanted me to look & dress a certain way.  He also wanted me to participate in some sexual activities that I refused to do, then told me that “no other woman would feel that way about these things.”  I also remembered how at the time of our separation, he was becoming quite fascinated with weapons & there were signs he had a real potential for violence.  This made me thank God for getting me away from him safely!

This also made me think of the signs that a romantic partner is dangerous that he displayed.  No doubt other narcissists display those same signs, so I thought I would share some of them today.

In the beginning, things are good, then suddenly they aren’t.  In or out of the bedroom, the person you’re involved with wants to please you.  Then suddenly, they lose interest in working so hard to please you.  No explanation or evidence of why, they simply stop.

When the narcissist stops wanting to please you, & you ask what changed, they act like (or say) you’re imagining things or you’re crazy.  They claim they haven’t changed, so since you think they have, obviously something is wrong with you.  This obviously makes you very confused & willing to do what you can to please them so hopefully they’ll want to be that great person they were at first.

The narcissist wants you to look a certain way when you have sex.  Many people want their partners to wear sexy lingerie, which naturally isn’t terribly uncommon.  What is uncommon is how some narcissists pretty much demand it.

The more time progresses, the more unusual the sexual proclivities of the narcissist become.  At first, the sex is pretty normal.  Nothing really kinky.  Then little by little, they try introducing new & more deviant things.  The desire to have sex more often happens as they become more interested in these more deviant behaviors.

When you refuse to participate in the desired activities, the narcissist shames you.  As I mentioned earlier, my ex would tell me that no other woman in the world would feel about doing what he wanted to do as I did.  They also may call you immature, oversensitive, close minded & more.

If the activity causes you physical pain or risks your health, the narcissist won’t care.  Since all that matters to a narcissist is what they want, if their desire causes you physical pain or puts your health at risk, that won’t matter.

No is never an option.  If you’re sick, tired or simply not in the mood, that won’t be important to a narcissist.  They want what they want, when they want it, & nothing else matters.  I remember my ex punching walls when I was sick & told him I wasn’t in the mood.

Forcing sex isn’t too low for a narcissist.  After all, what narcissists want is all that matters to them, so they have no trouble using physical force, manipulation or guilt to get whatever they want.

If your partner exhibits such behaviors, these are big red flags!  Please protect yourself & get away from this person as soon as you possibly can!  You deserve to be treated better than this & to be safe!

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Signs Your Significant Other Is A Narcissist

Many of us who grew up with at least one narcissistic parent ended up as adults, romantically involved with another narcissist.  Unfortunately, it is very common.  I did it myself.  My mother was a very overt narcissist, my father a covert narcissist & my ex husband a very covert narcissist.  Since he acted so differently than her, I honestly believed he was ok, even good for me at first.  It took some time after our divorce when I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder before I learned about covert narcissism vs. overt.  When I did is when things finally clicked, & I realized how bad he was for me.

If you too have thought the faulty way that I have, you are not alone!  Below are some ways you can tell if your significant other is a narcissist.  I am writing this from the perspective of a woman with a narcissistic male partner simply because that is what my situation was, but the information fits no matter who is male or female in the relationship.

It’s his way or the highway.  Narcissists simply must have their way, always, period, end of story.  If your mate pouts, uses guilt or anger to make sure he gets his way, this is a red flag.

If he acts like he is the one who knows what is best for both of you, this is another big red flag.  My ex husband was convinced he knew what was best for us.  The truth is, he knew what was best for *him, not *us.

Every conversation comes back to him.  Looking back at my first marriage, it astounds me how every conversation came back to him.  When my mother abused me when we were in high school, rather than him caring how it affected me, he talked about how hard it was on him.  When he lost yet another job, it was all about his panic rather than what we could do to survive.

Manipulation is a constant.  Overt narcissists are obvious in their abuse.  They use threats of physical violence or yell & belittle to get their way.  Covert narcissists are much more subtle, using guilt, shaming & gaslighting to get their way.

Are you always to blame?  Another sign of a narcissistic mate is when you are to blame for everything.  He lost his job?  That is your fault, even though you were never there.  His car broke down?  Also your fault, in spite of the fact you have not driven the car since 2007.  Why?  His reasons will be creative & highly inaccurate.

Does he think way too highly of himself?  Regarding my ex husband, my granddad said to me, “It’s a shame he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was.”  He was right.  My ex was convinced he was much smarter than pretty much anyone else on the planet, but especially me.  He also seemed to think he was doing me a favor by being with me.

Does he lack empathy?  A hallmark of all narcissists, overt or covert is that they lack empathy.  If anything hurts another person, a narcissist cannot understand it.  They also lack the ability to see things from another person’s perspective.  Emotions & different perspectives are well beyond something they can understand.

Feeling like you can’t be good enough for him is another red flag.  No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I always knew it was never enough for my ex.  He made me feel ashamed for my shortcomings, too.  This is very typical of narcissistic partners.

Emotional abuse is the norm.  You are accustomed to him making you feel not good enough, stupid, ugly, etc.  You also make excuses for it, blame yourself & justify what he said.

He isolates you.  Ok, maybe he does not hold you hostage in the basement, but he does say negative things about your friends & family, which leads you to sever ties with people you were once close to.  My ex pressured me from very early on to sever ties with my mother, then later my grandparents, & even my best friend.  He used subtle means, too such as, “She isn’t a good friend to you since she doesn’t call more often…”

If your significant other is doing at least some of these things, then please, Dear Reader, be careful with this person.  Chances are excellent that you are dealing with a narcissist.  I urge you to pray about your situation, & ask God to help you.  Reconnect with those with whom you severed ties.  Talk to safe people.  Ask for help as needed.  You can survive this situation!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Borderline Personality Disorder In Relationships

Recently I learned that a man I dated in 1990 committed suicide after killing his male lover.  And, the previous week, he was arrested on drunkenly pulling a gun on a woman in his neighborhood.  This was a complete shock to me, & I’ve thought so much about it lately.  I wondered if I could’ve done something different, or if somehow I set him on this downward spiral, playing things over & over again in my mind…

Today something else came to mind- Borderline Personality Disorder.  Some symptoms are:

  • unstable personal relationships, going between idealizing & devaluing the other person.
  • intense fear of abandonment.
  • intense anger- a bad temper.
  • clingy in relationships.
  • seldom see themselves as the problem.

In my case, this man I dated was very possessive & jealous.  He went from treating me like a queen to screaming at me, often in a very short span of time.  The night I told him I wanted to end our relationship he screamed at me for several hours.  He also wanted to marry me within the first week of our relationship.  We ended up engaged, but not because he proposed or gave me a ring- he simply stated that we WOULD get married.  He also told me we WOULD have a lot of kids, even though he knew I never wanted to have children.  He even wanted me to get rid of my car & drive the car that he thought I should drive.  Thankfully, he didn’t hit me, but there were times I was sure he wanted to.  I spent our relationship feeling as if I was walking on eggshells.  Interestingly, the cat I had just adopted not long before I broke up with this man would NOT leave my side while we were together.  I think Magic knew something was very wrong from the beginning- he was a very intuitive cat & very protective of me.  

If you are involved with someone who acts like this, do yourself a favor- RUN!  It won’t take long & you will begin to wonder if you’re crazy.  You will feel guilty constantly, even when you have no reason to.  You will feel like you must watch every word you say & everything you do, so you don’t upset him.  People with BPD can be dangerous to themselves and/or others.  After all, look what happened to my ex boyfriend & his lover.  

If this describes you, you aren’t alone!  Many of us have been in this situation!  May God strengthen you & keep you safe!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Miscellaneous