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Spouses-Taking the Brunt of Narcissistic Rage

Posted Apr 08 2010 9:48am

Narcissistic rage is volcanic and bottomless. It is a tsunami that destroys everything and everyone in its path. Spouses of narcissists are constant victims of these vituperative eruptions. They live in a  ring of narcissistic fire. The earth under their feet is always shaking. The spouse of the narcissist is in a constant state of apprehension and anticipatory anxiety waiting for the next outburst. Narcissistic rage is a form of psycholological projectile vomiting, spewing forth with limitless force and no promise of an ending.

The spouse is the perpetual target of this rage. Charming, attractive, bright, magnetic in public, the narcissist turns so ugly in the privacy of the home that there is no refuge for spouses or their children. Spouses report to me that they are suffering from anxiety attacks, headaches, intestinal upsets, insomnia and lead lives of perpetual apprehension waiting for the next blowup. They know that it will come sure as dawn; they don't know when. This is what creates a constant state of painful suspense that effects the nervous system. Spouses of the narcissist are in a fight or flight mode. The sympathetic nervous system is always on the red button, awaiting the next scream, shout, intimidation, humiliaton, accusation. Some narcissists scream continuously interrupted by brief  periods of seething silence.The narcissist is propelled by his rage; it enlivens him.

Narcissistic rage sucks the life out of the spouse. He or she is captive to unconscious forces in the narcissist that have been set in motion early in childhood and will not change. Narcissists do not mellow with age. Their character stiffens; their projections multiply; their fury increases; they blow more often.

Some spouses of narcissists suck it in, take the abuse and continue the wild destructive ride on the narcissist's merry-go-round. They have rationalized that they cannot give up the lifestyle (if the narcissist is highly successful), their own image is at stake and they would be considered failures to leave such a marriage that looks so perfect on the outside. Some spouses rationalize that it could get better. This one is very destructive since it perpetuates the cycle of narcissistic abuse and keeps the spouse in psychological and emotional pain.

Some spouses take a giant tep and make the decision to obtain a divorce. They are unwilling to give up any more of themselves. They now know that they deserve to get their lives back, to recreate the authentic self within them that has been beaten down so long and to seek the fruits of their creativity and inner peace to which they are entitled as individuals. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation


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