The Pathological Narcissistic as a Spouse

When in a romantic relationship, or a marriage, there will always be a struggle for power between the narcissistic partner (perpetrator) and their co-narcissistic partner (victim). Regardless of whether they are male or female, this is always the case.
Always, the Lion’s share of the power will remain with the narcissist. This can be witnessed in many ways.
For example, because the narcissist can never be wrong, and will never take responsibility or be held accountable for anything that goes wrong, inevitably the co-narcissist (victim) will always get the blame.

Because the narcissist sees themselves as superior to everybody, they deem their co-narcissistic partner to be inferior and therefore not worthy of an opinion or getting their needs met.
With getting little or no empathy, and with the constant put-downs, the co-narcissist partner will eventually feel pathetic, and internalise that they are “not good enough” and surrender themselves to relinquishing most of the power.

From the moment, the narcissist (perpetrator) sets eyes on the co-narcissist (victim), they consider them to be objects that are all theirs alone. They immediately begin the convoluted dance, and the love-bombing manipulation gets underway.
It is as if the co-narcissist is possessed, and the boundaries of where one begins and ends just melts away with the intensity of the “idealisation stage”, and with it too, their personal identity.
This idealisation stage is an exciting time for both partners of the dance, both enraptured with each other. However, one of the couples knows exactly what is happening, while the other is totally oblivious to the dangerous predicament they are in.
Like the fly that enters the spider’s web, the narcissist slowly wraps their soft silk around the co-narcissist, entangling them, and binding them into a cocoon that holds them tight until they are ready to consume their precious commodity.

From the beginning, the narcissist takes the power. Whatever the co-narcissist owns is destined to become theirs; their time, their friends, their knowledge, their possessions, their finances, etc.

The narcissist’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds, and soon their prey will be stripped of everything they own, including their dignity, self-esteem, liberty, and finally, their identity.
The victim is reduced to be an object whose main task is to feed the narcissist’s insatiable ego, failure to achieve this end goal will cause a narcissist wound, and the narcissist will feel like the victim.
When this happens, they will then feel entitled to hurt the person who caused this wound.
When the cracks begin to show in the relationship, the narcissistic spouse shows no accountability or responsibility; therefore, it will be the co-narcissist (Victim) that will get the blame for everything. Nothing is ever the narcissist’s fault, and you must never challenge them, or you will pay a high price. What is yours is theirs, but what is theirs is their own; finance, property, personal possessions, etc.
The spotlight is always theirs, so tread lightly, because even if you accidentally upstage them, you will provoke their rage. The co-narcissist is expected to give and fawn over their narcissistic pilot (Narcissist), but they will not have that kindness reciprocated.

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Christine

Christine is a Psychotherapist, Educator, Author and Supervisor of mental health professionals for over 28 years. She was part of a team in the Trauma Unit of St. Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Dublin, and has worked specifically with victims of pathological narcissistic abuse in her private practice for many years.
Her books, “The Three Faces of Evil: Unmasking the Full Spectrum of Narcissistic Abuse” and “When Shame Begets Shame: How Narcissists hurt and shame their victims” set out to to help those who have been affected by a narcissist and also to address the shortfalls in a therapist’s education, so that they become better equipped to work with survivors of narcissistic abuse.Much of her knowledge has come from her post-grad studies in Criminology and Forensic Psychology, and it is through these disciplines that she has gained her understanding of “The Dark Triad”, (Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy).
These three faces of evil are vital information for understanding the full spectrum of narcissistic abuse and the dire effects on the victims.It is her vision that narcissistic abuse becomes part of the curriculum of all Mental Health clinicians.
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