The Narcissistic Marriage

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Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
2,971
964
113
#1
I am posing a question to the congregation here. Recently I have been studying narcissism and realize how present it is all around us. I had previously thought that it was stereotypically infatuation with oneself. The more I read the more I realize it is quite the opposite. Manifesting itself in a barrage of personality flaws from one end of the spectrum to the other, it might be the largest hurdle for married couples. This feeling of insignificance and emptiness inside causes a vortex that can’t be filled. I am wondering if anyone has experience with this personally or maybe a spouse, or parent or child. It seems so obvious once diagnosed.

I will go first. I believe my childhood caused me to be narcissistic. I recognize how I used to be before Christ. I know He filled the emptiness in me so I do not seek the approval of others anymore. All of the ways I tried to make myself seem impressive stopped. I feel...accepted. This fundamental basic need I believe is plaguing our children, who then grow up to perpetuate the cycle. It changed how I parent and see the way it changes their behaviour.

I hope I can reverse some of the damage done because I found out a little late how others treat them and how it affects them. I believe that if I can change, so can they.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,205
4,394
113
#2
Hmm i can see traits of narcissim in my mother deifnitely and its something Ive had to deal with growing up and still do. I think its about more than a need for approval though, they call it narcisstic supply..that vortex of nobody ever being good enough to supply the naricissist with what they need.


It will be even little things like..ok you washed the dishes but theres this crumb or spot left here. If that happens..its like end of the world for the narcisisist. It gets blown all out of proportion. Or, you got up too early and disturbed the narcissist sleep. Never mind that maybe you actually need to get up early for something.

In a marriage like that I noticed my dads way of coping is tuning out...literally. He will put on his headphones and listen to music.
 

Rosemaryx

Senior Member
May 3, 2017
3,236
3,669
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#3
My daughter who has just been saved ( 2 months ) has been with her partner for 18 yrs , he is narcissistic , to the extremes...
They have 4 children , just knowing she is in Christ now brings me so much comfort , she is in the Almighty's hand now , praise God and thank You Jesus...xox...
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#4
the narcissistic personality is actually defined clinically

unless someone wants to actually take up a medical discussion and examine that record, it could be harmful to go around diagnosing someone with that personality

a selfish person is not usually defined as narcissistic. we are all selfish to some extent

don't label people with terms you don't understand

this I noticed my dads way of coping is tuning out...literally. He will put on his headphones and listen to music. is not narcisstic behavior although it can be a part of the narcissistic pattern of behavior
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,205
4,394
113
#5
the narcissistic personality is actually defined clinically

unless someone wants to actually take up a medical discussion and examine that record, it could be harmful to go around diagnosing someone with that personality

a selfish person is not usually defined as narcissistic. we are all selfish to some extent

don't label people with terms you don't understand

this I noticed my dads way of coping is tuning out...literally. He will put on his headphones and listen to music. is not narcisstic behavior although it can be a part of the narcissistic pattern of behavior
I didnt say it was Im saying mum shows narcisstic traits and thats dads way of coping. I have studied what narcissim is its not just selfishness...before I knew what it entailed, I wondered if I was the problem or why mum behaved this way towards me. I could not put my finger on it till all these traits and patterns of behaviour were described. I am glad to know I am not alone in this many mothers are like this and pick on their daughters especially. Mothers being an operative word as some mothers do not actually know how to be a mother.

Having children is probably the easy part, but looking after them and being a mother to them, showing kindness and love, thats hard for lots of people to do. You can do all the other things like provide and feed them but with no emotional love or bond, its nothing. There will always be something missing, that missing ingredient is Gods love.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,354
2,498
113
#6
I agree narcissism is a big issue in marriage. Both my parents were narcissists in different ways. My dad was bold and brash, always demanding attention and acknowledgment, and my mom was silent and controlling everything for her benefit.

So, I think I have some issues in that area. But, Christ is the answer! He has changed and tempered me, and made me more like him. That is the amazing joy of serving him. No matter what we have been through, God is in the business of changing us into the image of Christ, so that we might glorify him!
 

Rosemaryx

Senior Member
May 3, 2017
3,236
3,669
113
60
#7
I agree narcissism is a big issue in marriage. Both my parents were narcissists in different ways. My dad was bold and brash, always demanding attention and acknowledgment, and my mom was silent and controlling everything for her benefit.

So, I think I have some issues in that area. But, Christ is the answer! He has changed and tempered me, and made me more like him. That is the amazing joy of serving him. No matter what we have been through, God is in the business of changing us into the image of Christ, so that we might glorify him!
Amen...
God gave us a new heart , new ways of thinking , we are new creatures in Christ who has an answer to all our problems...xox...
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,205
4,394
113
#8
Can you actually read my post its the mum who is narcissitic, I wouldnt say it of my dad. And not would be my mum accusing my dad of being the selfish one while not even seeing it in herself. This is just the way naricssitic people operate they can blame others for their own problems its called projection.

They can also gas light it was so bad that some people end up in mental hospitals cos they think they are going crazy. But its actually someone, or rather an unclean spirit that is driving them. And it can be generational.

If she could be free of it, it would be wonderful. So I keep praying. Some people cant cope and would go no -contact. And thats up to them sometimes it can be real bad that you need to be out of their space. For your own safety and wellbeing.
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#9
I didnt say it was Im saying mum shows narcisstic traits and thats dads way of coping. I have studied what narcissim is its not just selfishness...before I knew what it entailed, I wondered if I was the problem or why mum behaved this way towards me. I could not put my finger on it till all these traits and patterns of behaviour were described. I am glad to know I am not alone in this many mothers are like this and pick on their daughters especially. Mothers being an operative word as some mothers do not actually know how to be a mother.

Having children is probably the easy part, but looking after them and being a mother to them, showing kindness and love, thats hard for lots of people to do. You can do all the other things like provide and feed them but with no emotional love or bond, its nothing. There will always be something missing, that missing ingredient is Gods love.

you did write the sentence and I simply used it to illustrate that is not necessarily narcissistic

a trait is not the same as a disorder...which narcissism is

some people are controllers or very selfish

my point is a person may exhibit a narcissistic trait and people may say so and so is narcissistic, but the actual clinical personality involves far more than selfishness

there may even be a physical underlying cause for the behavior...beyond selfishness..the brain does not fire like the brain of average people who are simply selfish

anyway...
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,354
2,498
113
#10
you did write the sentence and I simply used it to illustrate that is not necessarily narcissistic

a trait is not the same as a disorder...which narcissism is

some people are controllers or very selfish

my point is a person may exhibit a narcissistic trait and people may say so and so is narcissistic, but the actual clinical personality involves far more than selfishness

there may even be a physical underlying cause for the behavior...beyond selfishness..the brain does not fire like the brain of average people who are simply selfish

anyway...

I don't think anyone said, "Narcissistic Personality Disorder." Interestingly, the symptoms are overlapping, but lots of differences between NPD and just being narcissistic. I was assuming this post was talking about narcissistic people, not the actual, clinical disorder.

Then you would be right about complaining. Other people were talking about "traits," including me! Not sure how you made that into NPD.
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#11
I don't think anyone said, "Narcissistic Personality Disorder." Interestingly, the symptoms are overlapping, but lots of differences between NPD and just being narcissistic. I was assuming this post was talking about narcissistic people, not the actual, clinical disorder.

Then you would be right about complaining. Other people were talking about "traits," including me! Not sure how you made that into NPD.

that's my point

it IS a disorder

so to just label something without comprehension of what actually is involved is not very helpful

not sure why you think saying 'narcissistic people' does not mean narcissistic

maybe try selfish or self involved or similar

you are quick to call something wrong and I am only trying to clarify something I actually do know about

and don't take it personally since I responded before you got here

but hey..maybe those courses I took in university could be rewritten

LOL re the complaining.
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
2,971
964
113
#12
the narcissistic personality is actually defined clinically

unless someone wants to actually take up a medical discussion and examine that record, it could be harmful to go around diagnosing someone with that personality

a selfish person is not usually defined as narcissistic. we are all selfish to some extent

don't label people with terms you don't understand

this I noticed my dads way of coping is tuning out...literally. He will put on his headphones and listen to music. is not narcisstic behavior although it can be a part of the narcissistic pattern of behavior
There are variations and offshoots. There are several ways someone who is narcissistic tries to fill the emptiness inside them. Narcissistic personality disorder is the extreme but less obvious is the covert, vulnerable and codependent narcissist.
 
Jun 4, 2019
162
32
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52
Windsor Ontario
#13
I am posing a question to the congregation here. Recently I have been studying narcissism and realize how present it is all around us. I had previously thought that it was stereotypically infatuation with oneself. The more I read the more I realize it is quite the opposite. Manifesting itself in a barrage of personality flaws from one end of the spectrum to the other, it might be the largest hurdle for married couples. This feeling of insignificance and emptiness inside causes a vortex that can’t be filled. I am wondering if anyone has experience with this personally or maybe a spouse, or parent or child. It seems so obvious once diagnosed.

I will go first. I believe my childhood caused me to be narcissistic. I recognize how I used to be before Christ. I know He filled the emptiness in me so I do not seek the approval of others anymore. All of the ways I tried to make myself seem impressive stopped. I feel...accepted. This fundamental basic need I believe is plaguing our children, who then grow up to perpetuate the cycle. It changed how I parent and see the way it changes their behaviour.

I hope I can reverse some of the damage done because I found out a little late how others treat them and how it affects them. I believe that if I can change, so can they.[/QUOTE the Meek shall inherit the kingdom of god
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#14
There are variations and offshoots. There are several ways someone who is narcissistic tries to fill the emptiness inside them. Narcissistic personality disorder is the extreme but less obvious is the covert, vulnerable and codependent narcissist.
as with anything there are variations

well there are variations occurring in just about anything so I agree

it's pretty difficult to rewire a brain though especially since people with the problem think it's everyone else ;)

it might be helpful for those dealing with an 'impossible' person to understand there are ways to deal but confronting them is about the worst way

I'll leave you to it then...but you might consider discussing ways to deal
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
2,971
964
113
#15
as with anything there are variations

well there are variations occurring in just about anything so I agree

it's pretty difficult to rewire a brain though especially since people with the problem think it's everyone else ;)

it might be helpful for those dealing with an 'impossible' person to understand there are ways to deal but confronting them is about the worst way

I'll leave you to it then...but you might consider discussing ways to deal
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I think this is a clue that it is possible. Research shows that often the narcissist is a product of conditional love. The individual never receives acceptance and intrinsic value. Then they spend their lives overcompensating seeking external value to validate themselves. Where the truly confident individual has joy until conflicted, the narcissist has only hunger until the ego is fed by someone or something. BELIEF that you are loved by an Almighty God and valued, I believe is enough to rewrite the neurological construct.
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#16
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I think this is a clue that it is possible. Research shows that often the narcissist is a product of conditional love. The individual never receives acceptance and intrinsic value. Then they spend their lives overcompensating seeking external value to validate themselves. Where the truly confident individual has joy until conflicted, the narcissist has only hunger until the ego is fed by someone or something. BELIEF that you are loved by an Almighty God and valued, I believe is enough to rewrite the neurological construct.
actually, if acceptance is all that is missing...unconditional vs conditional...then they would not really fit the profile

sounds like you wish to make a point here that applies to yourself so I will just let you do that then
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
2,971
964
113
#17
actually, if acceptance is all that is missing...unconditional vs conditional...then they would not really fit the profile

sounds like you wish to make a point here that applies to yourself so I will just let you do that then
Not exactly, acceptance is one of the human basic needs. We are pack animals. Acceptance triggers serotonin release. There is a reason social media is addictive. If you live your formative years only getting attention for feats of greatness and obedience rather than your parents just wanting to spend time with you laughing and or playing it sends a message. Couple that with verbal and physical abuse for not measuring up you get self worthlessness. Then the stage is set for a life time of attempting to earn the affections of others and an extremely fragile ego protected by a harsh disposition attacking anyone who challenges the authenticity of the mask you create.

Of course there are more expressions of this character flaw. This is what my studies have taught me. Not all of applies to me in particular but some did. My point in particular is that there are many who are being manipulated and controlled by these people. If you don’t know or understand what’s happening to you, you may blame yourself and live in misery, trying to constantly go along to get along. Identifying these people will never stay happy is therapeutic. You can quit blaming yourself and stop walking on eggshells.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,205
4,394
113
#18
A child of a narcisssist does get the message that they are unacceptable in some way. Nothing they ever do is good enough. And anytime they try to do better they will always fall short. And you could be the most talented of anyone in the room and the naricssist will point out the little thing they think you did wrong.

That is beyond just selfishness. A selfish person might not say anything and might just be thinking of how hungry they are or what they going to watch on tv next. But the naricissist will be actively looking for ways to put the other person down, make them feel wrong or bad, so that they, the naricssist can feel superior.
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
2,971
964
113
#19
A child of a narcisssist does get the message that they are unacceptable in some way. Nothing they ever do is good enough. And anytime they try to do better they will always fall short. And you could be the most talented of anyone in the room and the naricssist will point out the little thing they think you did wrong.

That is beyond just selfishness. A selfish person might not say anything and might just be thinking of how hungry they are or what they going to watch on tv next. But the naricissist will be actively looking for ways to put the other person down, make them feel wrong or bad, so that they, the naricssist can feel superior.
Yeah, from what I’ve read and witnessed they generally pick a “golden child” and heap praise and privilege on them. This is accompanied with manipulation, control and criticism, perpetuating narcissism into the next generation.