Those who are married to or partners of narcissists are compelled to share a grandiose delusion. This world created by the narcissist revolves exclusively around him. When you partner with a narcissist every aspect of your life is attached to him or her. The narcissist invades the thinking, feelings, plans, dreams,desires and hopes of his partner. I have spoken to ex-spouses of narcissists who were still having a difficult time getting their former partner out of their thoughts. Living with a narcissist creates a special form of indoctrination and brain washing. The narcissist sells himself to a prospective mate with great aplomb; he is very convincing. He paints an alluring picture of your future lives together. If he/she is particularly successful, the temptation to jump into the waters of his A list life style are irresistible. There is a secret part inside each one of us that wants to be adored and catered to, that is sick of working so hard and getting a pittance in return, that feels entitled to luxuriate and feel some pleasure, to attract the attention of others that look up to our spouse as having "made it." The partner of the narcissist may be very successful in his or her own profession but it doesn't hurt to be a member of a standout top tier social team.
With all of the material privileges, social status and special attention, there is a profound downside to partnership with a narcissist. Your life ---time, energy, talents, imagination--has been commandeered by the narcissist. These personalities don't think of their spouses as separate from them while ironically they are incapable of intimacy or empathy. With a narcissist you have a non-relationship. The partner of the narcissist is there to serve, praise, work for and embellish this individual's perfect image. The narcissist holds on to the delusion of a flawless, over entitled superior self. He or she insists that you be a part of his grandiose delusion. If you go along with this upside down reality, he will be likely to retain you as a member of his court (until you become less desirable to him). If you stray and seek out your authentic self together with the use of your unique gifts, the narcissists will bear down on you and cast your out of his kingdom. The narcissist will remain deluded the rest of his life. At some point his spouse or partner must make the decision to continue to play the psychologically suffocating role he has created for you or to take a stand for yourself and break free. This is not done in a moment, a day or even a year but through a process of consciously recognizing that you were given life to explore, learn,create and expand all of your potential-----beyond the horizon of your dreams. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.