Twenty Signs Your Abuser is a Narcissist

Do you suspect that you are suffering emotional abuse from someone who has narcissistic personality disorder? Here are twenty of the most common behaviors you may be experiencing:

  1. Does he rage when his opinion, point of view, or idea is challenged, even slightly?
  2. Is she emotionally abusive most of the time, but occasionally demonstrates acts of kindness?
  3. Does he criticize your opinions, choices, appearance, and just about everything that defines you as an individual?
  4. Does she treat you more like an object than a person?
  5. Have you caught him in obvious lies or half-truths and confronted him about them, only to have him explain them away every single time?
  6. Is she abusive to you behind closed doors and perfectly charming when with others?
  7. Does he make you feel insecure, unattractive, stupid, and/or worthless?
  8. Does she tell you she loves you, but her actions and behavior show otherwise?
  9. Do you feel manipulated, coerced, and/or controlled by him?
  10. Does your abuser suck you back in every time you threaten to or try to leave the relationship?
  11. Does she make promises to you that she never keeps?
  12. Does he exhibit strange behaviors that cannot be explained?
  13. Is she nicer to you when you pull back your emotions from her?
  14. Does he accuse you of living in the past and/or being unable to let things go?
  15. Do you feel as if you give 100% of yourself to the relationship and she gives none?
  16. Does he provoke you or goad you into arguments that cause you to react strongly, and then accuse you of being the crazy, dramatic, unreasonable one?
  17. Does she exploit your vulnerabilities, sensitivities, inadequacies, disabilities, and/or weaknesses?
  18. Does he try to convince you that what you heard you didn’t hear, what you saw you didn’t see, what you witnessed happening didn’t happen?
  19. Does she blame you for all the problems in the relationship?
  20. Does he never offer a true apology for anything he has done to hurt or upset you?

Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert, Counselor Worldwide, Author

Randi Fine is a dedicated pioneer in the narcissistic abuse movement and a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert. She is a radio show host, author, and Life Issues Counselor living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Through her wealth of experience, insight, and wisdom, she offers hope, compassion, and healing to others. Randi is the author of the groundbreaking new book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing and Recovery.As a Life Issues Counselor, Randi specializes in (but is not limited to) helping others work through issues relating to relationship codependency, narcissistic personality disorder abuse, emotional boundaries, letting go of the past, and letting go of unhealthy guilt. Love Your Life is an online journal she writes to spread light, love, and healing to the world. Her blog is read in 180 countries around the globe. She hosts the blog talk-radio show, A Fine Time for Healing: A Sanctuary for Your Emotional Wellbeing. On her popular show she interviews the top people in their fields, discussing self-help and spiritual life-skill topics that heal and enhance the life experiences of others.

Want to know more? 100+ Articles on this site about Narcissistic Personality Disorder Abuse. Find them in the search box on the right side of this page.

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Twenty Questions Identify Codependency Issues

Is Codependency a Problem in Your Life and Relationships

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Counselor

Take The Quiz

To find out if you are suffering from relationship codependency, please answer yes or no to the following twenty questions:

  1. Do you put others’ feelings, desires and needs before your own?
  2. Are you drawn to relationships with people who lack stability and/or are irresponsible in a particular area of their lives?
  3. Do you have a compulsive need to help, nurture, fix or control others?
  4. Are you always looking for the potential in others, rather than accepting others as they are?
  5. Do you cling to hope that your partner will change, beyond all evidence of rationale?
  6. Are you attracted to people with addictions?
  7. Do you believe your relationship will be perfect when your partner changes?
  8. Do you feel responsible when your partner doesn’t change?
  9. As a child were you subjected to family dynamics such as repeated anger, extreme rigidity, violence, manipulation or abuse?
  10. Were you raised in an environment of addiction?
  11. Do you feel as if you cannot survive without a love relationship?
  12. Do you strive to please everyone in your life because you believe others only like you when you do?
  13. Do you make excuses for the bad behavior of others?
  14. Are your relationships emotionally or physically abusive?
  15. Do you believe you need to earn love to get it?
  16. Do you believe that you can love someone enough to change or fix her or him?
  17. Have most of your love relationships been painful?
  18. Do you withdraw from people because you don’t want them to know the life you are leading?
  19. Is it hard for you to accept healthy love?
  20. Do you do things for others that they are capable of doing for themselves?

If you answered yes to five or more questions, it is likely that codependent issues are responsible for the relationship problems you are having. This test is for screening purposes only. It is not a formal diagnosis. Please see a qualified therapist or counselor to further evaluate and diagnose you.

Learn more about the coaching services Randi Fine provides.

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You Are Worthy You Are Loved

Rising From The Ashes of Your Life

Randi Fine, Author

From the book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery © 2017

To quote Dr. Phil McGraw: “Sometimes in life you have to give yourself what you wish you could get from somebody else.”

The abuse you suffered was severe. Emotional abuse can be far more damaging than physical abuse. Unlike the cuts, bruises and broken bones of physical abuse, which are hard to deny, emotional abuse is an intangible concept; the healthy mind cannot wrap itself around the circumstances of emotional abuse.

You were preyed upon. Your abuser perversely violated you to satisfy his needs without the slightest consideration for yours. Your feelings were ignored. Your voice was silenced. Your soul was violated. You were robbed of your individuality.

Even more, no one cared about what you were going through or came to your rescue. The narcissist, forever the innocent, was seen as the victim; you, the truly innocent, was seen as the perpetrator. No matter how hard you tried to redeem yourself you could not.

Perhaps the abuse happened when you were an innocent child, as it often does. Or maybe your childhood experiences made you vulnerable to narcissistic predators in adulthood. Whatever the case, the balance of power in those relationships was not in your favor. You never had a chance.

There may have been times you felt so defeated you wanted to give up, but your survival instinct was too strong to allow that to happen. So you clung to the slightest glimmer of hope that things could change and you endured. And now here you are, angry, hurt and exhausted from the war you’ve been through.

I know how much it frustrates you that while you are left saddled with tremendous emotional, psychological and physical baggage, the narcissist seems to have freely moved on with his life. But the narcissist is never free. He lives his life as a parasite that can never be satiated or satisfied. His is a miserable existence—not one to be envied.

You have no doubt wondered where the justice in the victimization you endured is. The truth is that there is no justice. Nothing about narcissistic abuse is fair. No type of victimization is fair. But life is not fair either. You can either accept those facts of life or spend your precious future wallowing in a victim mentality.

If you you have fully educated yourself on all things NPD living in denial is not an option as it may have been in the past. You have reached a crossroad in your life where a decision has to be made. Who will reign victorious; you or your abuser?

You have the ability to heal. That gives you a tremendous advantage over your abuser. You can work through the problems of your past and come out stronger. And you can lead a happy, productive life.

Narcissists can never heal and will never be happy. They are loathsome, empty shells of human beings whose very survival depends on having others to feed off of. As long as they walk this earth they will remain trapped in the living hell they created for themselves. Theirs is a life sentence; yours is not. You can overcome this.

That is not to say that narcissistic abuse is easily overcome. It is not. The healing process is highly challenging. It takes time, support and patience. But speaking from experience, I can assure you that the results are well worth it. If you want to change your life you absolutely can.

I offer you my book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery as a primary resource to guide you in that pursuit. The knowledge you gain by reading this book will greatly empower you. The more you learn about NPD the stronger you will be and the weaker your abuser will be. With this book, you are holding the narcissist’s kryptonite in your hands.  

Think of yourself as a seed that has been lying dormant under the ashes of a forest fire, waiting for the right time to sprout new growth.

Timing is everything. It is not a random occurrence that you are searching for answers at this particular time in your life. You are experiencing the emergence of your inner spirit—the guiding light of your being that has been suppressed far too long.

It is very powerful. If it wasn’t, the narcissist would not have tried so hard to steal it from you. He wants what you have. The fact that you’ve endured the amount of suffering you have yet never given up is testament to your inner strength and resiliency.

I have great faith in your ability to rise from the ashes of your life.

Believe in yourself as I do. Love yourself and others who prove worthy of your love. Treat yourself with dignity. Be a priority in your life.

Take advantage of the many avenues of support that are available to help you navigate your healing process. Several are listed at the end of Close Encounters.

If ever you feel lonely on this journey, remind yourself of the thousands of brother and sister survivors you have all over the world, from all walks of life who also suffer from narcissistic abuse issues. These are people who can relate to your experiences and empathize with your pain.

You are a beautiful person worthy of love, kindness and respect; you deserve happiness, peace and security.

Don’t let the narcissist steal another second from you. As the saying goes, “Living well is the best revenge.”

My dearest survivor, I wish you an abundance of joy and serenity from this day forward. Be well always.

This is copyrighted material. May only be shared with permission and proper attribution.

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The Narcissistic Abuse Addiction Connection

The Narcissistic Abuse/Addiction Connection

  • When: Friday June 21, 2019 from 6pm-7pm ET
  • Where:The Bob Paff Show on WCBM Radio
  • Who: Randi Fine, Show Guest
  • What: A discussion on live radio about the connection between addiction/alcoholism and childhood narcissistic abuse
  • How to Listen: Either download the WCBM app on your Android or IPhone, or tune in from WCBM.com

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What the @#$%? is Wrong With My Family

What the @#$%? is Wrong With My Family

Narcissistic abuse expert Randi Fine discusses the chaos, confusion, and madness of growing up in a narcissistic family, and the lifetime impact it has on adult children.

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Surround Yourself with Good Vibrations

Surround Yourself With Good Vibrations

Written by Randi Fine,

The attraction we have to other people is often felt immediately upon meeting them. 
Think about the people you know or have met in your life who seem to naturally draw other people to them with an unexplainable magnetism.  These people give off a vibe that makes those around them feel, comfortable, happy, and energized in their presence. They exude an inviting sense of compassion and support.  Open-hearted, authentic, kind, and  loving people seem to have a harmonious air around them. In the workplace, those that enjoy their jobs give off happier vibes then those who do not.

By contrast, we have all experienced meeting people for the first time who make our skin crawl, give us the creeps. What about the psychic vampires who, just by being in their presence, seem to suck our energy and drain us or make us feel ill? Some people instantly put us on guard and make us feel attacked or demeaned. We may find ourselves questioning their intentions and feel uptight, guarded, and anxious around them. Have you ever had the sense that you needed to get away from someone but you did not know why you felt that way?

Whenever we come into contact with another person we exchange energy. The energy that other people emanate can profoundly influence our health and our state of mind.

The energy that surrounds each and every one of us, as it does all conscious matter including plants and animals (and non-living matter such as stones, crystals, and water) is called our aura.

The human auraaura3 consists of seven layers, reflecting aspects of our being such as health, vitality, emotions, psychological patterns, and spiritual nature. Auras are specific to each person. They are our spiritual signatures; reflections of who we are at any given time, changing with our fluctuating moods, attitudes, and intentions.

The aura that surrounds each of our bodies, often referred to as “The Human Energy Field,” is a collection of electro-magnetic radiation consisting of microwave, infrared and/or ultraviolet light. It normally extends between three and eight feet out from our bodies, though it could be more or less. It is said that the radius of Ghandi’s aura was over a mile.

The colors and intensity of our aurasaura have very special meanings. The colors perceived by the eyes, or special instruments that can see them, appear as a spectrum of light ranging from shades of red to shades of violet. They can also be brown, black, or white.  It is the shade and intensity of the color that reflects a positive or negative condition. Brighter, lighter auras indicate  levels of optimism, spirituality, and health. White is the perfect color, the Divine Light, perfect balance and harmony. Duller colors may indicate blockages, unresolved issues, illness, guardedness, fatigue, and negativity. Black auras can reveal a  range of human conditions. A clear, jet black aura often appears in energy workers and can signify mystery, power, dignity, and potential. Dull black may denote an unkind or dishonest nature, but can also represent insecurity, depression, fear, grief, poor health, secrecy, or deception. This is what is manifested when there is a disconnection from, or disruption of, the flow of our life source.

The aura is a reflection of the nature of our body and soul. Auras can be vibrant, expansive, and beautiful, or they can be close to the body, murky, and threatening.

Our aura is our personal bodyguard.aura4 It is important that we keep strengthening our auras in order to protect ourselves against energy zappers and illness.  Our auras can be strengthened through meditation, healthy living, and sunlight. Chanting, and listening to comforting, relaxing music such as classical, religious/spiritual, or new age are healing tools. The use of positive affirmations that resonate with our spirit can be a very effective way to keep our auras strong and healthy. It is very important to eliminate negative thoughts and unnecessary stress from our lives.

There are many other ways to accentuate the positive energy in our lives; smudging with sage, essential oils, flower essences, crystals, and bathing or swimming in salt water are a few more examples. We should always be mindful of or limit our exposure to negative people, places, and things.

Be selective about the vibes you allow into your personal space. Keep your life in a positive light.

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Narcissistic Triangulation Sabotages Sibling Relationships

See column on the right side of this website labeled Narcissistic Personality Disorder  for a complete  list of all NPD related articles and videos.

Narcissistic Parents Divide Their Children Through Triangulation

Written by Randi G. Fine

Author of

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery

Conflict is a normal part of family dynamics. The fact that a family argues from time to time does not make it a dysfunctional family unit. What makes a family dysfunctional is the emotional pain and confusion that prevails among its members. Those who grow up in this type of household become saddled with a lifetime of emotional struggles. Some of these struggles are easy to identify, some are not.

Families influenced by narcissistic parents are always dysfunctional. Due to the plethora of crazy dynamics that exist within the family unit, there are many casualties suffered by the children. Not only do they suffer as individuals, the relationships between the siblings suffer as well.

It would seem as if siblings suffering together under the strains of crazy parenting would naturally bond together for support, but that does not usually happen in families headed by narcissistic parents. It is no accident that one of the casualties of the NPD family is the relationship between the siblings.

Narcissistic parents are not capable of loving their children. Children are simply a source of “Narcissistic Supply.” The relationship NPD parents have with their children is one of control and manipulation. There are many tactics used to accomplish that.  One common one is called, “Triangulation.”

Triangulation is a deceitful tactic used by the NPD parent to control and manipulate the balance of power in the family system. The goal is to keep the siblings from collaborating in ways that might interfere with his or her calculated objectives. Everything boils down to insuring the parent’s narcissistic supply. Like addicts, narcissistic parents cannot survive without it. They need constant replenishment and will stoop to any level to get their “fix.”

To gain control over the information flow in the family, narcissistic parents create indirect communication between the siblings, putting themselves in the role of “go-between.” In doing that, they control the content of the information, the way the information flows, and the way it gets interpreted. And there are more benefits; with everyone relating directly to them, these parents are always in the information loop and always remains the center of attention.

Since NPD parents cannot prevent all communication between the siblings, they try to create conflict and mistrust between them. They will fabricate information, tell lies, and confide separately in each child, and then tell them to keep secrets from each other. The parent may badmouth one sibling to another. The parent may share information with one sibling, hoping that it will get back to another one and create drama. NPD parents take great pleasure in the upheaval they can create among family members.

NPD parents maneuver in ways that they can never be called on, whether it be the way they carefully phrase their words or the fact that they are careful to make sure no one else witnesses their behavior. They forever remain the innocent. Should anyone try to call them on their behavior, they will erupt into narcissistic rage. Since this rage terrifies the children, over time they learn to do everything and anything within their means to avoid it.

Because of the dynamics of the NPD family, the children easily fall prey to the manipulations of their NPD parent. Attention from the NPD parent, whether positive or negative, is a rare commodity that each sibling must vie for. One sibling’s loss becomes another sibling’s gain. The relationship between the children is sacrificed as each one selfishly competes for scraps of affection and favor from the parent; attention that gets switched on and off at the parent’s will.

Further upsetting the balance of affection doled out to the children is the fact that NPD parents assign roles to their children. There is usually a golden child, one who seems to get the most praise from the parent, a scapegoat, one who is blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family, and an invisible child, one who gets neither praise nor blame. These roles are not always stationary. They can shift at the NPD parent’s will.

NPD parents train their children well; the hold they have over them when they are young continues well into their adulthood. That will not change until all the children realize and accept that their parent’s destructive behavior is responsible for all the problems that exist between them.

Adult children of narcissistic parents become a very powerful force if they can unify against their abuser, though this rarely happens. If they do the NPD parent lose all control over them; a fate narcissists fear worse than death.

Other Podcast Shows on Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

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Recognizing Codependent Behavior

Are You Codependent?

Recognizing and Healing From Codependency

Written by Randi Fine

I am a fully recovered codependent of over thirty years. While in the midst of my disorder, life was a series of one painful, traumatic event after another. I did not recognize my problem or begin to heal from it until I hit bottom; when there was no where to go but up.

Codependency is a disorder that develops over time. Dysfunctional childhood patterns that interfere with the person’s ability to form healthy relationships lie dormant for many years; the problem only surfaces once the person begins to experience adult relationships.

Codependents do not usually recognize that their behavior is unhealthy, and so they go from one unsatisfying toxic relationship to another.  These relationships always end in heartbreak without the codependent ever understanding the primary role he or she played in its demise.

Codependents fear vulnerability. They feel undeserving, not worthy of having others meet their needs, so they put themselves in the role of perpetual caregiver. They believe that they must earn love to get it; fear that if they do not measure up to others’ expectations they will be abandoned. Their fear of others’ being angry with them and/or rejecting them largely determines all their actions and reactions within the relationship.

Codependents often they feel as if they do not deserve a better relationship than they already have. They fear giving up the false security it provides them, therefore resign themselves to always settling for second best. At the same time that they are feeling these insecurities, codependents may become angry because they are also feeling used and unappreciated by those they are trying desperately to help. When they do attempt to stand up for themselves, they feel guilty because they are taking rather than giving. They become trapped in a maze of heartbreaking confusion and disappointment.

Codependent people do not know that love is not supposed to be painful. I grew up in a drama laden, angry home where my parents fought constantly. What was so confusing is that they often told me and my sisters how much they loved each other.  That made a deep impression on my developing mind; somewhere along the line that twisted message translated into “love hurts.” I grew up believing that true love was supposed to be painful; all my adult relationships reflected that way of thinking. Every one of them was drama laden and traumatic. Crazy as it seems, even as I think back from a healthy perspective, I thought that pain proved the depth of a couple’s love and commitment to each other.

Codependents believe that they have to have another person in their lives in order to survive. What they do not realize is that they have an addiction and the object of their affection is their drug. They believe to the core of their being that what they feel is deep love and that their behavior is loving, but they do not love in a healthy way. What they perceive as love is in fact parasitic neediness.

Codependent people must learn to get their emotional needs met without making
others dependent on them.  They must also learn to give up their job as a people pleasers.  The healing process reinforces that taking care of their own needs before the needs of others does not make them selfish people.

Codependent behaviors prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives–ourselves. Codependency is a mental health issue that can only be healed if it is recognized. Recovery is about learning to establish healthy
boundaries in all areas of life.

Though codependency is an addiction, it is one can be fully recovered from. Once recognized it takes lots of time, patience, and support to heal from. It also takes honest reflection and great determination, but all efforts are worth it.

Great freedom and serenity comes with the healing. No longer codependent, people can easily embrace positive feelings like love, happiness, and fulfillment. They can give when they want to; not out of insecurity or the expectation of others.

Many people enjoy helping and caring for others. The thing to remember in all our relationships is that there should always be balance and compromise.

Podcast Shows on this topic:

Other articles on this topic:

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The Process of Narcissistic Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

The Alienation Process

  • feeling betrayed or rejected by the targeted parent
  • revenge, jealousy, fear, insecurity, anger
  • using the children as pawns to get a better divorce settlement
  • badmouthing the rejected parent
  • speaking negatively about the rejected parent, to or in front of the children
  • inaccurately or untruthfully telling the children about the rejected parent, or suggesting they are unsafe or dangerous
  • exaggerating minor flaws in the rejected parent
  • inappropriate confiding adult information with the children
  • interfering in the children’s contact with the rejected parent, such as throwing out their gifts and letters
  • calling excessively during the time with the rejected parent
  • forbidding any reference to or photos of the rejected parent
  • scheduling activities that compete with the rejected parent’s time with the children
  • monitoring or forbidding communication or time with the rejected parent

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Twenty Questions Identify Unexpressed Emotion

Image Source

letting go of pastWhat is Your Emotional Awareness About Your Past?

Identifying Unexpressed Emotion

By Randi Fine

To find out if you are having trouble letting go of the past, please answer yes or no to the following twenty questions:

  1. Do you have painful childhood memories that you have yet to deal with?
  2. Do you often feel upset, unbalanced, uncomfortable, or even cut off from your emotions?
  3. Do you have a habit of ignoring or burying your most uncomfortable feelings?
  4. Do you always show a happy face to the world, even when you are suffering inside?
  5. Are there triggers that suddenly bring out your anger or cause you to be defensive?
  6. Do you suffer from unexplained insomnia, headaches, stomach problems, and fatigue?
  7. Are you afraid to feel your emotions?
  8. Are you afraid to excavate old emotions because of the “Pandora’s Box” that will open up?
  9. Do you feel that showing emotions is a sign of weakness?
  10. Do you suffer from addictions or co-dependency issues?
  11. Do you have deep bouts of depression that cannot be explained?
  12. Do you make excuses for the people or events that hurt you in the past?
  13. Do you have resentments toward others for things they have done to you in the past?
  14. Are you hypersensitive, rigid, irrational, and/or insecure?
  15. Do you suspect that something traumatic happened to you in the past but cannot remember what it is?
  16. Do you find it difficult to go with the flow of life?
  17. Do you constantly stay busy so you won’t have time to think about things that upset you?
  18. Do you want to be happy but doubt that you ever can?
  19. Were you abused as a child or young adult?
  20. Do you wish you could change the past?

If you answered yes to five or more questions, it is highly likely that issues from the past are preventing you from living fully in the present.This test is for screening purposes only. It is not a formal diagnosis. Please see a qualified therapist or counselor to further evaluate and diagnose you.

How Do You Feel About What Happened to You in the Past? Take Anonymous Survey

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The Narcissistic Mothers Accomplice

Narcissistic Mothers and Enabling Fathers

When Children Don’t Stand a Chance

Written by Randi Fine

From the book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery © 2017

See column on the right side of this website labeled Narcissistic Personality Disorder  for a complete list of all NPD related articles and videos.

Narcissistic mothers do not have children for the right reasons. They are not nurturers. They have no maternal instincts or genuine love to give. To the narcissistic mother, children represent a captive narcissistic supply. Because a young child’s very survival is in her hands she expects to be the number one object of his or her complete adoration. She dismisses the fact that children have needs, anticipating that the constant flow of narcissistic supply she will receive in return will be the perfect trade off.

The narcissistic mother does not imagine that her children will be separate entities with needs of their own. But children do have individual needs and those needs can be quite demanding for any mother. They are especially overwhelming for a narcissistic mother who now finds she is giving way more than she is receiving. That is not what she bargained for.

The narcissistic mother becomes resentful of her children and their neediness. This resentment intensifies her already natural tendency toward abusive behavior.  Someone is going to have to pay for her sorry situation. Her innocent children are her possessions, therefore she can do with them as she pleases. What pleases her is using them as  scapegoats for everything that makes her feel unhappy or frustrated.

Any attempt made by the children to question her, defend their selves, or express their needs is met with terrifying narcissistic rage. Over time, with the same results occurring every time they challenge her in any way, the children learn that they must play by her rules. They are bullied into silence by fear.

Where is the father while all this is going on? What is he doing about the abuse he watches his children suffer at the hands of their mother? Logic tells us, under the circumstances, that the children must rely on their father for their emotional well being. Someone surely has to love them, protect them and advocate for them. A father, the protector of the family, would certainly not stand by and allow his children to suffer abuse.

That is what logic tells us but it rarely works that way when NPD is involved. A strong man with boundaries and great self-esteem would have walked away from this crazy woman a long time ago and hopefully taken his children with him.

But a strong man with healthy boundaries and great self-esteem would not be with this kind of woman in the first place. If he did somehow get wooed by her cunning, manipulative ways and false persona (as others so easily do), and then made the mistake of marrying her, he certainly would not have remained in the marriage for very long.

Narcissists prey on the weak; those they believe they can bully and manipulate. Men who marry narcissistic women and stay have masochistic tendencies along with either low self-esteem, a pattern of being abused in their lives, are looking to fill the shoes of love lost or a mother they did not have, are codependent, or have a personality disorder just as she does. There is always a deficiency of some sort.

A man who has it together would not subject himself to the dehumanization, emasculation, objectification, or unpredictable rage of a narcissistic woman. He would never accept the role of perpetual victim; someone who believes he is undeserving, and guilty for whatever his NPD wife chooses to blame him for.

A man who wants his marriage to a narcissistic wife to survive must worship the ground she walks on; tell her everything she wants to hear. He must tell her how beautiful she is, how perfect she is, how superior she is, and how right she is about whatever point of view she takes. He must deny the importance of his own wishes and needs in order to please her.

Narcissistic wives control their husbands like puppeteers. They use anger, and withdrawal of love or sex to keep them in line. They can make the lives of these men a living hell if they want to, and then make the men believe they deserve every bit of it. They keep their husbands on their toes with confusion. These submissive husbands become reliant on their wives to tell them what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong, what they are allowed to do and what is forbidden.

By the time children come into the picture it has long been established that the husband’s survival in the relationship depends on him enabling his wife’s abuse.

Men who marry narcissistic women and remain with them do not make for strong father material. They become spineless jellyfish who will do anything to keep the peace with their wives, even if it means they have to sacrifice the well-being of their children. The wives always comes first; these fathers make that very clear to their children.

The father also becomes an accomplice to the mother’s abuse tactics. She bullies him into doing her dirty work so she can forever remain the innocent in the abuse. If he doles out the abuse for her she can deny having anything to do with it. She is Teflon – nothing ever sticks to her.

The behavior of their father does not make sense to his children. They wonder, “How can Dad be so loyal to someone who treats him so poorly? Why doesn’t Daddy ever stand up to her?” Helplessly witnessing their father’s deprecation and emasculation is very damaging to the children’s emotional well-being, just as the direct narcissistic abuse of their mother is.

Children brought up in a family such as this stand no chance of emotionally healthy development. They have no emotional safety. Their lives are completely unstable. They constantly live in a chaotic and unpredictable environment. These children can never rely on any emotional consistency; therefore live in a constant state of fear. They are forced to take on roles that are inappropriate for their age in an effort to establish some sense of calm.

No one steps in to help these children because no one on the outside recognizes what is going on in the home. Narcissistic mothers present a picture perfect family to the outside world. Everyone on the outside looking in sees their mother and father as wonderful people. Those outside the immediate family never see what goes on behind closed doors.

The narcissistic mother demands total loyalty. It is reinforced to the children over and over by their mother to never to discuss the private issues of their family. Any semblance of love doled out by her is immediately withdrawn whenever the children step one toe over the line. They would not dare shame their mother, so instead must internalize all their feelings.

Children with narcissistic mothers and enabling fathers are emotionally abandoned and abused from a very early age on. They have no one to advocate for them. They are set up for a lifetime of misery; insecurity, lack of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, fear, anger issues, boundary issues, codependency, and painful adult relationships. Sometimes the chemical balance of their brains is even altered, making the abuse nearly impossible to overcome in later years without counseling, therapy, or medication.

Children brought up in an environment such as this grow up without healthy coping or problem solving skills. They have to build protective walls inside for their emotional survival. The most basic of life’s challenges are met with confusion, fear, withdrawal, anger, or substance abuse. Their lives become disasters.

It is difficult for adult children who grew up in these types of homes to recognize the root of their problems. They have led very painful lives and often do not understand why. They have a very hard time seeing the abuse for what it was and still may be. They hear about children who are brutally beaten and feel guilty about comparing their pain to these victims. Emotional abuse seems to pale in comparison to physical abuse, in the minds of many. But that is definitely not the case.

Unlike physical abuse, narcissistic abuse is subtle. These abusers deliberately keep their victims confused about the reality of what is going on, so the victims can never seem to pinpoint the source of their pain. Narcissists play mind games. They deny everything they have ever done. Children (adult) can never confront their parents and get an admission, validation, or apology.

It is twice as frustrating when the other parent takes the exact same stance and defends the NPD parent, or when the therapist we go to or our friends blame us for creating the problem in the first place. That makes us feel crazy; it makes us second guess the validity and gravity of our pain.

That is why as adult children of narcissistic parents, we must stick together. We must support each other because no one else will understand. And most importantly we must get professional help. We cannot recover without it.

Note:
When seeking out a professional to help you be sure to screen the person thoroughly before seeing them. Make sure they are very experienced in dealing with narcissistic abuse. Otherwise you are wasting your time. They may even make the problem worse.

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Twenty Questions Determine If You Have an Enabling Parent

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Is One Parent a Narcissist and the Other an Enabler?

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Personality Disorder Abuse Expert

To find out if you have a narcissistic parent and a parent who enables him or her, please answer yes or no to the following twenty questions:

  1. Did you grow up in a two parent home with one parent significantly more domineering than the other?
  2. Was one of your parents verbally abusive to the other parent and the other parent put up with it?
  3. Did your more passive parent put your abusive parent “on a pedestal,” or idolize him or her?”
  4. Did your more passive parent defend the abusive actions of the other parent?
  5. Did your more passive parent’s emotional and physical survival depend on his or her relationship with your more domineering parent?
  6. Did your parents argue all the time, your more domineering parent ragefully?
  7. Did you feel as if your parents were unusually enmeshed in each other’s lives?
  8. If your family was in a boat that was sinking, do you believe that your more passive parent would save his or her abusive spouse before saving the children?
  9. Did your more passive parent always lose the argument when he or she fought with your abusive parent?
  10. Did you feel as if you had no parent to advocate for you or your siblings?
  11. Was your more abusive parent jealous of your more passive parent’s attempts at having a relationship with any of his or her children?
  12. Did your more domineering parent bad mouth your other parent to you and/or your siblings?
  13. Did you always wish your more passive parent would stand up for his/her self against the abuse from your other parent?
  14. Do you have problems or issues with the concept of healthy love in adult relationships?
  15. Do you believe that chaos and drama is a normal part of romantic adult relationships?
  16. Do you believe that love is supposed to be painful?
  17. Did your parents present a picture perfect relationship to the outside world but a dysfunctional one behind closed doors?
  18. Did your abusive parent bully your passive parent into doing his or her dirty work, such as doling out punishment for things he/she never witnessed?
  19. Did your passive parent always believe what your abusive parent said; even when the children said the abusive parent was lying?
  20. Do you despise weakness in a romantic partner?

If you answered yes to five or more questions, it is highly likely your parents have/had a Narcissist/Enabler relationship. Once identified it is best for you to work on this issue in your personal life. The patterns of parenting and dynamics of a love relationships were improperly modeled for you in childhood and may be negatively impacting your romantic adult relationships.

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