This is a note to all of those who are married to narcissistic spouses. You may be in the process of deciding whether you are going to remain married to this demanding, manipulative individual who expects you to be perfect. Some of you haven't decided if your spouse is truly a narcissist. You know the marriage is not working and many of you are blaming this on yourself and asking: "What can I do to make him/her be less critical and accusitive of me?" "I am working over 100% at this relationship and it is never enough." "Is there something wrong with me? Am I deficient in some basic way. Am I misunderstanding what he needs from me?" " If I tried harder would he really love me?" This is the stage of great self doubt that the spouse of the narcissist passes through. It can take months and even years and decades of questioning oneself to finally recognize that the person you are married to is a severe personality disorder that is very unlikely to change despite what you do.
Regardless of your final decision, I tell my clients to be kind to themselves. By this I mean to stop the obsessive judgment that they must be perfect. No one measures up. For the narcissist, even if you were perfect, it is never enough. Take stock of yourself. Get in touch with your own healthy narcissism, that part of you that feels positive and strong inside, that has deep feelings of self respect and integrity that resonate within you. Find activities that you love----even for short times during the day or evening and do them. It can be the smallest gesture: watering your plants, petting your dog, writing in your journal, allowing your imagination to expand and move to places unknown, laughing with a dear friend, listening to one of your favorite most memorable books on a cd, or just be still in a quiet place with your back straight and your eyes closed and begin to notice your breath as you inhale and exhale. There is no where to go, nothing to do, no judgments to be made. Here you find peace by being. This is the beginning of learning how to meditate. I have an ezinearticle on beginning meditation that you may find helpful.