Morning friends,

I really am enjoying the encouraging comments and sense of community we’re developing. Having a safe community where women can share their stories as well as resources is essential but even more so when you are in a destructive marriage.

I just finished taping, with Michele Borquez Thornton, a DVD series for divorced women who need to heal and want to grow and build healthy relationships. I’m excited about the panel of experts she’s drawn together and, as soon as it’s released, I will let you all know. Friday I head to California for a visit with my precious granddaughters

Today’s Question: My husband has been emotionally and verbally abusive from the start. We have been married almost 7 years and have a beautiful 2 year old son. I have been trying everything within my power (counseling, using tactics to stop abuse when it's happening, anti-depressants) to “fix” my destructive marriage. In March of last year, I finally told him exactly what I thought our problem was: that he was abusive. At that time, he received that surprisingly well. Obviously God had gone before me and prepared his heart for that.

However, 6 months later I wasn't really seeing changes and I was noticing he was giving himself a lot of slack with going to his therapy appointments, etc. So I took things up a notch. I wrote him a letter asking him to examine those behaviors and attitudes and left with our son for the weekend for him to process that in peace. What I had hoped for upon my return was a sincere apology and a renewed sense of wanting to do the right thing for our family. What I got was anger thrown at me

A week later, I asked him to move out for a separation. I was absolutely at my wit's end. I was still hoping that he could be rattled, that the Lord was trying to get through to him through these steps I was taking.

It's been a little over 3 months now and I am still not really seeing the key changes I would like to see, such as a sincerely apologetic heart, ownership over the harm he has done and even a willingness to let me be mad. There's a lot more to our story than I can inundate you with here, but I feel that our marriage cannot be saved. I feel like divorce is imminent.

One of the therapists we have seen believes he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I don't want to just “give up” on my marriage. It feels like I am a failure. I know I have done wrong as well. I know that this isn't ALL his fault, but at a certain point it does feel like the problems of abuse and self-centeredness need to be broken before any of the other issues can be addressed. I'm at a loss. I know you can't tell me whether or not you think I should divorce from reading these few paragraphs, but I am wondering if you can speak more to the NPD factor and how long you think it takes for safety to return (referring to your series on “Can This Marriage Be Saved”). I just don't feel safe, but I don't want to deny an opportunity for safety to grow.

Answer: Let me begin by saying I applaud your courage for trying to do things that will change the destructive dynamics of your marriage. Safety is essential for any relationship to be healthy. If you aren’t safe to be yourself, to share your thoughts and feelings in a constructive way, or to disagree without fear of punishment or retaliation, then you can’t fix what’s wrong because it’s not even safe to talk about it

You mention that you have done wrong too. There are no perfect spouses. All marriages have things that are wrong with them, but when the marriage is relatively healthy, the husband and wife will look at their part, apologize, make amends and work toward corrections.

Let me ask you this, are any of those “wrongs” that you say you are guilty of safety issues? For example, have you not respected a time-out when your husband is getting heated and wants to end the conversation for a period of time? Or perhaps you’ve shamed and criticized him when he’s expressed his opinion or tried to disagree? If so, you can take responsibility for those things and work to change. Since you have a two year old child, the two of you must communicate around finances, issues regarding your son and visitation, and if you haven’t practiced safety in those interactions, then you can start there. Safety involves respecting boundaries, stopping destructive interactions when the other person says stop and taking responsibility for your own actions when you’ve crossed the line and scared or hurt the other person. (For those who want to read more from my 3 part article “Can This Marriage Be Saved,” go to www.christiancounseling.com and click on Leslie’s blog).

But your question is directed to help about the diagnosis of NPD and whether or not that is a “curable” problem. There are many people with NPD who are highly talented, successful people who often have a fan base of admirers and people willing to give themselves to him or her because of the afterglow it affords by being associated with such a successful person. The narcissist’s entitlement mindset seems more excusable or justified because of his or her success.

However, when a person is NPD and is rather ordinary, he or she still feels entitled and becomes disgruntled when people aren’t treating them as special as they feel they deserve. From a purely secular point of view, NPD is one of the hardest disorders to treat primarily because the narcissist never sees himself as “the problem”. Therefore they rarely present themselves for treatment. They may go to marriage counseling, but it is always their spouse’s lack of love, lack of support or lack of care that becomes the issue. They often portray themselves as the victims of emotional abuse.

If or when the therapist tries to get the narcissistic person to reflect honestly on himself or his or her behavior, there is usually great resistance, excuse making, blame shifting, or termination of treatment. If you don’t think you have a problem, if you won’t listen to someone who gives you feedback and if you refuse to look within, there is not a high probability that you will change.

A narcissist doesn’t know how to love another person as a separate person. For a narcissist, another person’s sole purpose is to be an object who will love and admire them. In other words, you become nourishment to meet their NEEDS. When you cease nourishing them, they will discard you and move on to new food (another person).

When they say that they love you, what they mean is I love how you love me. When you love them well, then you are wonderful, the best thing that ever happened to them. When you fail to love them well (as you always will), then you have a price to pay. A person with NPD finds it impossible to put themselves in someone else’s shoes (empathy) and has little compassion for anyone other than themselves. A narcissist gets into a relationship to be adored, admired, and loved, not to love or to sacrifice themselves for someone else.

That said, there are times when someone is in so much pain they are willing to hear and look and reevaluate who they are and how they’ve seen themselves and others. In these cases, the road to transformation is long and slow but change can happen. God is in the business of changing hearts and transforming lives. Yet the paradox that is hard for us to live with when we’re married to someone with NPD is that God doesn’t change us without our permission.

For you, if you choose to stay with him, understand that you will always give more than you receive. He will be unhappy with you when you are unable to meet his demands and expectations and will often be rude, sarcastic, judgmental and abusive telling you so. Develop a good support system outside your marriage. Find other things to do that give your life meaning and fulfillment. Don’t pine for a husband who will cherish you for you. That doesn’t mean that people with NPD can’t be fun loving and kind when they want to be, but there is always something in it for them.

A while back, one of our readers of this blog recommended a website www.narcissismcured.com which was started by a woman who is married to a narcissist. She is not a therapist, but she claims she worked to figure out how to change herself and in doing so, her husband began to change as well. I can’t validate their story (they live in Australia), but I’ve read some of her material and think she offers some helpful perspectives and strategies for you to keep sane in the midst of staying married to a man who has a deeply entrenched problem.

If you Google narcissism, you will also find other helpful material on the web as well as support groups for people who live with or are related to a narcissistic person. One of the things I always tell people is that truthful information can be very helpful in making wise decisions. Before you end your marriage, make sure you have done all you can to stay safely as well as sanely.

Friends, share with this woman what strategies you’ve used to stay safe and sane with a selfish person.

 

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173 Comments

  1. Nancy on January 22, 2013 at 12:11 am

    My heart goes out to you. So much of what you have shared, has been my story. Respecting boundaries and allowing me my safe space, was a huge issue in my marriage. Nothing was mine, nothing was safe. I had never drawn those boundaries and delivered consequences when he crossed them. I did not respect myself enough until I snapped and acted out. You have done very well in drawing boundaries to keep your emotions and yourself safe. I would encourage you to keep it up. You may feel like the bad person, but you cannot change him, but you can learn healthy ways to relate to him and still stay sane. I wish I had left when I threatened to do so. It has been 6 months now since the divorce and I have worked hard over the past 4 years to try to be the person I want to be in God’s eyes and respect him, even thought I can’t stand to be around him. It is like getting caught in a huge cobweb. Narcissism is sooo hard to deal with. After all the pain he says I have caused him by leaving, and 4 years of me trying to explain again and again, how we got here, he still doesn’t get it and any time I try to communicate respectfully with him, he starts making passes on me like he thinks I am still “his” and we can be intimate. I still have to establish my safe places and draw boundaries again and again, creating consequences when he crosses them. All his grief from the divorce process did not change him, even though I spent time in counselor and pastors’ offices with him. Hang in there and take care of you. I would encourage you to keep your boundaries tight, because he will cross them. Also, in spending time with him or talking with him, always set your time limit, keeping it short, because that way you have a way out of the conversation. You have to create the safe space and he will never be the one to care for you first, giving you the space before you ask for it. They just do not care for others unless there is something in it for them. ((HUGS))

    • Leslie Vernick on January 22, 2013 at 2:46 am

      Thanks for your sharing. IT is so tough for other’s to understand what it’s like to live with this problem.

      • Dianne on August 16, 2016 at 7:50 pm

        I am just now addressing this issue after being married for 29 years. We are a Christian couple but the two times I brought up the subject of Narcicisstic Personality Disorder to my husband, he angrily scoffed at me accusing me of being in a state of unforgiveness toward him because I he reminds me of my father….which is partially true….but I can’t forgive him because the behaviors are still there and he doesn’t see it. We stole our children’s childhoods because of this and now my oldest son died at the age of 20 from drug abuse. I blame my husband for that and I think I may even hate him. My biggest fear is that even if he does finally admit that he has NPD, that I will never love him nor desire him physically again. I have prayed until I felt as if were going to start sweating blood. We “talk about” getting counseling but it never happens and I am appalled at some of the “marriage counseling package” prices out there. Though, he has slightly improved over the years, I am totally stripped down to nothing in my mind, body and spirit. I am severely heavy-laden and weary. I have never felt so frightened nor have I ever felt so lost. God, where are You?

        • Leslie Vernick on August 17, 2016 at 9:12 am

          Dianne, I would encourage you to take your eyes off fixing him right now and get some help for your own issues of depletion, grief over your sons’s death, anger at your husband, unforgiveness. These things will ruin your life. Dont’ wait for him to change or to “get it” in order for you to get healthier and strong.

    • Kay on January 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Wow. Reading these comments have been very helpful. I’ve been married to a narcissist for 20 yrs. I have left 2 times only to reconcile with no change, actually it’s worse. I feel like I’m crazy sometimes and obsess about leaving daily. i have two boys 16 and 18 i keep thinking when is a good time for all for me to leave…i also question if its my problem But i know it is not and it exhausting to fight the destructive feelings and keep myself strong. It’s like he doesn’t want me to leave but he treats me like he does.

      • Lisa on January 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Kay, You wrote this 2 years ago, and I wonder if you are still with him? My situation sounds similar to yours, and we’ve been married 34 years.

        • Terri on March 4, 2016 at 4:05 am

          Lisa, I thought I was one of a few, I’ve been married 34 years to one. I can’t believe it’s been that long, I’ve always thought about leaving.

      • Robin on March 22, 2016 at 11:29 am

        I too have been in a 30 year marriage.
        It upsets me to hear people say ” it always is both peoples fault”.
        I am struggling to see my fault in this.
        My husband has had numerous affairs the first 15 years of our marriage . I stayed and tried to work on our marriage. Very little change In him in the past 15 years.
        He says he is a Christian goes to church with me regularly and “knows” his bible.
        But it has always “been about him” his needs. Wants and desires.
        Recently found pornography he denys looking at. And 2 days ago I found out he was at a restaurant with another person.
        I’m trying to find out details to that but I think I know the answers.
        I have been praying that God shows me clear answers.
        I’m a sinner BUT this marriage has been 95% and 5%.
        How can I still believe that God will make something beautiful of this awful mess?

        • Leslie Vernick on March 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm

          Robin, yes God can make something beautiful in this mess if you allow him to. So what do you think he wants to do in your life through this? Sometimes we’re afraid to do what God wants us to do which keeps us stuck in the same mess. If your husband believes he’s entitled to be dishonest and unfaithful with no negative consequences, why would he change?

          • christine on November 27, 2016 at 11:11 am

            And that something beautiful may be you leaving and regaining a sense of who you are in Christ. Beautiful. You deserve to be loved in your marriage, to be faithful to and to be protected and love. It’s okay to confront him in sin and let him reap what he has sown.



        • Malia on February 1, 2020 at 9:39 am

          Dear one, how do you know a Christian? By their fruit. Narcissists have some of the most rotten, foul fruit there is. I have suffered horribly myself and so my heart goes out to you. Like you, I have never stopped believing in miracles. So let me say this, God can make something beautiful out of your mess…. absolutely! The most beautiful thing that could happen is that you begin to realize the truth about your situation and your worth. Read what the Bible says about who you are in Christ. Don’t just read it…BELIEVE it! For more of the truth about narcs I recommend narcology unscripted and Jill Wise The Enlightened Target on YouTube. The Bible does touch on narcs. They were called Pharisees. Please read how Jesus dealt with them. Please know that He loves you and that abuse is never ok. No one deserves to be treated badly. May God give you the strength, courage and grace you need. May He protect you and bless you with His peace. 🙏💕

  2. Shirley Cohen on January 22, 2013 at 2:06 am

    I was married for 25 years, believing it was my responsibility to make everything right. As a believer, I believed all things were possible, nothing to hard for God and set up lots of prayer. Prayer to change me, prayer to change him and then prayer for my son’s protection. I didn’t realize until I was out, that much of my prayer was with scripture as if I were praying for my enemy.
    The more I created borders and I started changing, the more dangerous he became, until I had to leave overnight. Fortunately our son was in college out of state.
    The damage done to children, because of the NPD’s jealousy of time, love and attention given to the child makes the situation much worse.
    I suggest you get the book by Lundy Bancroft called: Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds Of Angry and Controlling Men. He also has a new one about If you should leave or stay. The book is full of scenarios that will help you realize you are not crazy and get wise to the ways he manipulates and belittles you and the child.
    It’s been 7 years since I’ve been out. My son and I are just getting to the place where he respects me and understands a little better, however, he has lost his faith after watching ‘my submission’ to the verbal and physical abuse, from the double standard he lived with. His father would commit wrong after wrong, but he was not allowed and was supposed to ‘honor his father’. It gets very complicated.
    The good news! God is good and restores what the locusts have eaten. How and why I got with a man like that needed to be recognized and healed, along with other damage done.
    I’m happy to say I was fortunate to have Leslie as a counselor to work through it and find a balance with the Word and my past, enabling me to get on with my future. I am a very happy person these days, healthier and content.
    Leslie set me free from so much self inflicted bondage and twisted thinking. She is one of the best counselors for this situation.
    Make sure any counselor you might find, understands what this personality is capable of. A counselor who is ‘snowed’ by the charm will only encourage the spouse that it is the duty of the wife to submit, love her husband and forgive the misunderstandings. I’ll be praying for you. Blessings, Shirley

    • Kim on January 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you so much ladies. I have actually read and highlighted much of both of the Bancroft books you mentioned. In my latest attempt to set boundaries with him, I requested that he do the work from the two chapters Bancroft has online at http://www.shouldistayorshouldigo.net and that he attend at least 3 meetings of a domestic violence/batterers’ intervention program.

      I don’t believe I CAN stay in this marriage safely OR sanely unless God does a huge work in his heart. I am still praying and watching for that, but I honestly believe the Lord might be calling me out of the situation.

      Especially for what a few of you have shared about your children. This cycle has to end here. I will not have my son being confused over seeing what it means to honor, or what it means for a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church. I get stronger every day, and I know the Lord is near. Thanks so much for your responses and wisdom – it is so good to hear from others who understand!

      thank you to Leslie, too, for your ministry!

    • T on September 9, 2016 at 1:56 am

      Kim, I would love to hear more of your story. I am desperate to 1. Find someone thst validate my experience and 2. Find balance with God’s word. I’ve had people tell me to just pray, submit to my husband, show him respect, forgive him, but whst kind of marriage is this? What kind of life? Does God really intend this for me?

    • Jessica on December 2, 2016 at 12:56 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this. It sounds so so similar to my situation except I have only been married to the NPD for 14 years and my oldest child is only 7 (almost 8), and I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. As I have begun to recognize and correct my codependent (enabling/rescuing) behaviors over the last two years, his behavior (abuse) has intensified. We have been separated for 3 months now, in hopes of being able to reconcile, but even with weekly meetings with our pastor and the expenses of living separately (he’s very motivated by money) and with me sending him my journal from the 10 months prior to our separation, he still is clearly not taking responsibility for his behavior. Of course, he has sent an extensive apology email in response to the journal, but he refuses to identify himself as abusive, he still hasn’t seen a psychiatrist as I requested, he has anger toward me about my boundaries and the separation and my claims of abuse.

      My biggest concern is my sweet babies. I have prayed so many nights that God would protect them from us. 😰 I am beginning to believe that God does this by having me stand up for what is right and to ensure that the abuse doesn’t continue.

      My oldest child is in play therapy and I told the therapist that he don’t respect me, and she disagrees that the root was a lack of respect. She said that she believed it to be a lack of trust for me because of my aligning with my husband (even though I overtly disapproved of and corrected many of his behaviors). So what you said about your son really has helped me see the reality of how an NPD can affect the kids and their relationship with me.

      Thank you again. If you see this, please pray for us.

  3. Anonymous on January 22, 2013 at 2:34 am

    I am married to a narcissist also….took a while to figure it out…what in child rearing causes a child to grow up that way….I have been in counseling for the whole 19 years of marriage….trying to hang in there…it has brought me to my knees, which is good.However it has taken a toll on my health…I ask God to clearly tell me if I should leave…and i have not heard that. At one time I thought that I should write a book, I have the outline…When your spouse is just not that into you….God bless you Leslie for your help.

    • Vicki W on February 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      I have been married for 25 years. I struggled the same as each woman here. It is so hard to always feel that no matter what we do, it’s never good enough for our husband. I continually told myself that it was my responsibility to do my part whether he does his or not. As we neared our 24th anniversary, I had become so depressed with his selfishness and arrogance that I quit. I gave up on God. That was such a big mistake. I am so thankful that God never leaves us. I was given web sights to show me that I was married to a narcissist. I took the test for him and he scored extremely high which meant to me that he definitely was. Well, because I had quit on God, I found myself involved in an emotional affair that was headed to more. My husband found emails and a lot happened after that. I had been registered to attend a conference 18 hours away that happened to be near my mothers home. We already had a vacation planned prior to his finding emails. We had heart to heart talks all the way to Florida from New York. We didn’t know if we would return from Florida together or apart. I received a cd regarding Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I had heard it many times because I had one prior to that time. But my husband was not responding to any changes I made. (Part of the reason I had become so discouraged). As we left Florida to head back to New York, I talked about the cd. He told me to put it in. As we listened to it, he suddenly exclaimed “that’s it!! That’s what happened!.” I had been disrespectful to him early on in marriage and he had held that bitterness for 25 years. No matter how respectful I was, it had never mattered….he only saw negative. This was a turning point in my marriage. Our 25th anniversary was spent renewing our vows. I want to encourage all the ladies to not give up. If you are close to God and feel that He is telling you to leave, don’t take it lightly. God can use that to reach him. (I had felt lead to leave and never did). I my husbands bitterness was portraying itself as narcissism. God can still do miracles!! Don’t give up!!

      • Dee on May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm

        I can relate with your comments… We were married 18 years, we dissolved the marriage out of sheer exhaustion on my part, and he moved to Europe, I am now left alone with a half of the house we owned and a great deal of sorrow, not to mention having difficulty moving on, in addition to having to find ways of supplementing my income… RESPECT used to be one of his issues: he didn’t give it, but he wanted it. I would let disrespectful things he did towards me pass, but boy was he on his high horses when he felt “disrespected”. DISRESPECT, for him, took many forms – dinner wasn’t ready on time, I didn’t agree on how he spent our moneys, I reminded him that I earned too and paid the bills too, I was keeping a separate checking account for my business (a requirement of the IRS mind you), etc. Neither one of us has remarried, and at times, I miss him, someone to make a life with, to grow old with, to cook for…I miss all the fruits of the efforts I had put in that made him more aware of the places in him where to grow… He would like us to get back together contingent upon my moving to Europe where he is for now, contingent upon putting the small pension I get from him back in the “community” pot…I could, however, rent the house we still own (where do I put my belongings? I guess I would have to pay for storage)…How would it work over there? I don’t know, but my counselors warn me against that, saying the violence would escalate. I would have no support group, no church denomination I relate with, not even the legal right to work and earn money, and employment would be more difficult there.

    • Leslie Vernick on March 4, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      You are most welcome

    • Lissie on July 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      God may never tell you to leave… The Narc will give you plenty of reasons why you should… When you can’t take it anymore… You will leave on your own… God is waiting for you to make that decision… Just know he’s waiting on you and will be right there for you when you get yourself out of the mess you put yourself in… In other words… Make the decision to leave… Then leave… What helped me leave was reading sooo many scriptures about how much God loved me… Then one day the word of God opened my eyes to see the true hatred my husband had for me… I saw my husband as satan… God showed me what destruction was happening to my daughter & I got out… We’ve bee separated now for about 7 months… I’m much happier & have peace… I still get depressed sometimes which is why I’ll be talking to a psychologist soon… I hope this helps you

      • Janet on July 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

        Hi lissie
        It was the same for me when God first told me that satan had entered my husband…. (through the scripture regarding satan entering Judas). This was in Oct 2012.
        MY HUSBAND agreed to work with the enemy to bring me down once and for all!!!! this time!!
        satan would then be able to bring God down, amongst my friends, relatives and children, at the same time!!!! By Humiliating and shaming me into believing God had failed me…
        My husbands attempts to break me, had been failing, this time, as I had the strength of A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS TO WARN, INSTRUCT, GUIDE AND SUSTAIN ME.

        But God…..
        Opened my eyes to see how my husband was destroying my daughter to bring me down.
        I immediately found the reason to say ENOUGH!!!!
        I HAD A BOTTOM LINE!!!!
        August 2013!!! I packed his case, placed it outside, with MY FINAL LETTER . I locked all my doors and waited (with God) for him to return from work to find them waiting for him. OUTSIDE He feigned tears, slept in the garage for 3 days and manipulated me and my children for two and a half more years…

        But GOD…. is FAITHFUL!!!! The enemy is beaten!!!
        ALTHOUGH Both satan and my husband STILL refuse to belive that We have the Victory through JESUS!!!
        My husband cannot fail to see that 3 YEARS ON GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL to me and my daughter!!!!
        MY DAUGHTER AND I ARE NOW VERY WELL!! STRONGER THAN EVER!! AND HAPPY!!! SHARING A RENEWED BOND AND RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER.
        Im almost fully HEALED. AND divorced.
        I do sometimes feel sad for the marriage “illusion” I thought I had in my husband, mainly for the kids sake and “our family” hopes, that are now destroyed.
        BUT GOD… IS SHOWING ME AND MY DAUGHTER A BRIGHTER FUTURE.
        (She still sees her dad).

        I have no regrets. My daughter is alive and well. We are happy and free from his constant criticisms, controls, demands, manipulations and mental cruelty. Im no longer a slave, fearful, confused or at risk.
        We are FREE!
        BECAUSE I DARED TO TRUST GOD, STEP OUT IN BLIND FAITH AND STAND FIRM FOR MY DAUGHTER’S SAKE.
        IN SPITE OF THE 3 YEARS THAT MY HEART WAS ACHING, I HAD CONSTANT RELIEF AND INNER PEACE. THAT REALLY HAS SURPASSED ALL UNDERSTANDING.
        Take that step in faith ladies (and men).
        God will not let you down!

        • Leslie Vernick on July 30, 2016 at 1:30 pm

          Thanks for that encouraging word. God is faithful and it encourages those who are still afraid to trust Him.

  4. Bev on January 22, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I, too, married a narcissist, and being a “good Christian woman” admonished my children to honor their abusive father while I dutifully submitted to his anger and belittling for 30 years. The best advice I can give you is to stay healthy emotionally, which is something I did not do. He had me convinced that I was a bad wife who was always pushing his insecurity buttons, and I lived within his narrow rules to prove my loyalty to him. It got to the point where I couldn’t go for a walk by myself without being accused of of adultery. I was so hurt and confused, I tried to take my life.

    Now I have a daughter who will have nothing to do with her dad–not even invite him to her wedding coming up in a few months–and a son who is in total denial about all the abuse he has taken for all of his 19 years. I have been such a poor example of what a “good Christian wife” really looks like, but God can redeem even this situation. The three of us are in counseling, trying to untwist the warped way of thinking we have lived with all these years. If you can stay with a narcissist, be sure to take extra care with your and your son’s sanity. Protect him and yourself! More power to you! I could not do it. I expect to see the final divorce papers any day now.

  5. "Jean" on January 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you Ladies for the courage to share. I too am married for over 35 yrs to an NPD and have the health issues and emotional scares to prove it as well. My story is very much like all of yours. The years of pain and journey of abuse, neglect, rejection and suicidal thoughts can all be shared with a deep appreciation. I too still taught my kids to respect him but they did not have to accept his abusive behavior. As adults, they can now understand that there is only so much they can expect from their father who is incapable of connecting to anyone’s heart. As for me, I’m growing (yes, at my age) and learning to love me by finding the godly support through other avenue’s where I am validated and accepted for who I am. Now I am able to give support to other women with all that God has given me to help others. Thanks, Leslie!!

  6. Jennifer on January 23, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I believe my husband is a narcissist. He has no empathy for others and little to no compassion. Sometimes I wonder if what little compassion he does show is just an act. Almost like he knows he is supposed to act a certain way and will do it just for show if others are around. Ive seen him do this many times especially at family gatherings. There have been times when he hadnt shown me any affection for an extended period but then turn around and be affectionate and attentive during get-togethers. And its especially true if we are with HIS family. Its very surreal to sit back and watch him at these times. Its like an alien has taken over your husbands body but you dont know which one is truely him. In those moments I see glimpses of the charming man I fell in love with. But it never lasts for long. He claims he is a Christian and I believed him with all my heart or we never would have married. Can someone who is a narcissist, someone with no empathy, cosideration or compassion truely be a Christian? I have searched the Bible and prayed and pondered over this for a long time. It seems to me that its just not possible. But if it is possible then how can it be? This disturbs me more than words can say. Where is God in this mans heart?

    • Diana on June 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      No, you cannot be a true Christian and a narcissist. One must love God first and a narcissist can’t do that.

  7. Leslie Vernick on January 24, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Thank you ladies for sharing with one another your experiences. It is mind boggling how someone can be so self-absorbed and self-deceived but it’s true. I too have questioned the authenticity of someone who calls himself a Christian but lives like a heathen. I think scripture calls us to question that too – not to judge but to question. By their fruits you will know them the Bible says. So just because someone says they are a Christian doesn’t make it so.

  8. Karolyn on January 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    My story is a compilation of all of the above!!! 2 thoughts about NPD: In SOME cases, people end up being NPD because of a trauma in their own lives. Their self-absorbed way of seeing the world is a sort of “safe” response that they have learned to develop (unconsciously). They do not see their way of viewing the world as “wrong,” and ironically, they can identify other people’s faults to a tee!!!! (even if it’s the same fault they have). It’s like they have blinders on (on another topic…are the blinders a type of spiritual, demonic oppression????? I won’t go down that bunny trail now, but it’s also something to consider, especially if there is any abuse in the abuser’s past). I think that’s how it’s “possible” for a person to have NPD traits and yet still be a true believer. They have repented of all that they perceive as sin, but have not gotten to the point of seeing certain things as sin…yet. Appropriate counseling is vital if they are ever going to get to that point.
    Secondly, after over 20 years of enduring the emotional and verbal abuse of my NPD spouse, IN SPITE OF THE FACT that he was a missionary, I realized that I was helping him cover up the lie of who we really were. Accepting people’s support and being involved in leadership in the ministry implied that we had a healthy relationship. We did not, and I was an accomplice to his lie as long as I did nothing (other than the year-after-year effort of trying to improve myself as a wife). Also, we too often elevate the “married” title simply because we can all too easily quote God in saying, “I hate divorce.” Of course He does. We all should. But He also hates lies, hypocrisy, selfishness (continue on with your own list)!!! God created marriage to be such a beautiful union between man and wife. I finally realized that it does NOT honor God to keep a relationship going that is nothing like what God had planned it to be. Plus, it does nothing to help my children see the beauty in marriage that God designed. I could go on, but I’m sure I’ve passed some kind of unspoken word limit!! Blessings on all of you, ladies. Hugs!

    • Sue on February 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      I said to someone once, in the context of my own abusive marriage, “But God hates divorce!”

      And she replied, “God hates the things that lead to divorce.”

      How wise and true! Sometimes in our churches we act like the main virtue is in just avoiding divorce, when really God wants us to be building loving, nurturing, God-honoring marriages. When one partner is preventing that through their destructive behavior, it needs to be addressed. Sadly, this is not understood in our churches and many are suffering in silence.

      I’m so grateful for Leslie’s website!

  9. Ellen on January 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I have been married for a very long time to a narcissistic spouse. It took me a while to figure it out and there has been no diagnosis but the checklist of symptoms I have read about seems to be the most accurate conclusion to the matter that I have come across to date. I am not claiming to be an expert in psychology but after so many years of chaos I do believe I have learned a lot about this particular disorder. Since discovering this and reading and talking to people it has made a big difference in how I react and how I communicate with my husband. If anyone is interested, Patricia King has a little book out called “Overcoming the Spirit of Narcissism” which gives a pretty accurate description of the behaviors and also some chilling examples of people who have these traits manifested. It is amazing to me that we are so fortunate in this day and age to have so much information at our fingertips. For so many years I have stumbled around in the dark trying to figure out how I can be a better wife, in order to win the favor and love, and not to upset someone who is not able to give it. Looking back now I can see how I grew up in a narcissistic home with a father who was clearly operating in that mode and a mother who could write the textbook on codependence. I was a sitting goose waiting to be plucked up by the first available narcissist! What would have been warning bells and whistles to most people went completely unnoticed by me because I was so used to the dysfunction and my role in it. I think if I had the right information when my kids were young I probably should have grabbed them and headed for the hills. The fallout in my family has been heartbreaking. Perhaps God spared me from that in my ignorance because my husband would not have given up without a big fight and I may have wound up losing the children. Tangling with this is not pretty. Leslie, thank you for recommending this website narcissismcured.com I have read ALL the material and it has helped a lot. However, I have not experienced narcissism cured, rather narcissism managed. We have moved along from physical violence, to a restraining order, two separations, infidelity, and lots of very awful verbal abuse. I could fill up a swimming pool with my tears. For those who feel they want more information here are some helpful books along with the one I mentioned earlier:
    All books by Kim and Steve Cooper
    Loving Your Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk (apply it to your spouse. It’s similar to Love and Logic)
    Idol Lies by Dee Brestin (helps you understand how to be free from idols of a happy marriage, loving spouse, etc.)
    Emotionally Destructive Relationships by Leslie Vernick (of course!)
    Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy Behary (give you some tools to look at your behavior and how it plays into the dynamics)
    You Might be a Narcissist if… by Paul Meir and Lisa Charlebois (Lisa claims to be a narcissist and this book helps you to not demonize but understand the behavior)
    Hold on to Your Kids by Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld. The best work on attachment disorder I have seen. I apply the principles to my husband.
    Power in Praise by Merlin R. Carothers (a great little book to help you focus on the power of praise even for the difficult things in your life. This book was life changing for me and I have committed to read it every year to keep on track)

    Sam Vadkin I DO NOT RECOMMEND He is a psychopath on the internet trying to distort the terms and conditions of narcissism by including psychopath in his definition. Narcissists are self- deceived and troubled but they are not psychopaths.
    I know it’s hard but please try to understand that your spouse is caught in some very deceptive thinking patterns. When they are triggered they don’t know how to lay down their pride and ask you for what they need. They act out like a child. I don’t know the answer as to salvation or not but like Leslie says, you must determine a course of action based on the fruit or non fruit that you see and make a plan. Right now I feel God would have me to mind my own business about the matter of salvation in my spouse and keep my nose in my own work and responsibilities. I have a friend fasting and praying for me once a week and that is a tremendous help. God is good and He is enough. I do not know if I will stay with my spouse forever. I am just trying to follow God’s leading for today and leave the future to Him. Either way, I determine to be content and thankful in Him.

    • janet on April 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Oh please read my other two responses and please tell me HOW to get to the point you are at now? without giving all my time and energy to the ENEMY IN HIM! that desires to keep me from God? and is so successfully doing this, because I need information to help me deal and cope with this situation properly. or I just continue as I have for 27 years getting drawn into his web of betraying my emotions! I don’t know HOW to HEALTHILY DETACH? I NEED HELP ON THIS? so that it does not cause damage for anyone OH I AM SO MIXED UP! this is so big! TOO BIG! I Know I should just let go let God but He’s manipulating this now and my head is becoming screwed up again!!!

      • Leslie Vernick on April 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        Friends, how have you detached in a healthy way from an unhealthy relationship? My counsel to you is that you must put your marriage in its proper place. Many people have very unhealthy attachments to people because they expect this person – or require this person, or desire that this person fill them up and make them feel loved, secure, and happy. But that is putting a human being in the god position and he or she will always fail, even if they are not abusive or unhealthy. So part of a healthy detachment is centering yoruself in God’s love and his words about who you are and not your spouses’s. It’s building healthy friendships outside of marriage that can also nourish you so that you are not overly dependent on one person for your sense of value or worth. It’s letting go of unrealistic expectations (which may be reasonable, but still not realistic) of your spouse so that you don’t keep hoping for something that will not happen. It’s finding a life apart from your role as a wife, husband, mother or father. You are more than that.

    • Pam on December 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Thank you for ALL that you have offered here. I believe our situations are very similar minus the physical abuse. It is as if I woke up one day and realized that I was being manipulated and emotionally abused by someone who would never own up to the fact that his focus is always on him. The kids feelings don’t matter…my feelings don’t matter…and his actions are extremely child-like. As I focused on my relationship with God and fasted for 3 weeks, life became so much clearer. He is now trying to move back home and although I thought that’s what I wanted, now I’m not so sure. I will begin a new fast Sunday, but still speak with he Lord daily for guidance.

  10. Florence on January 26, 2013 at 3:06 am

    All these replies from these brave women are a mirror of my life. I would like to forward this to my husband (separated), but he wouldn’t get it. Thank you Leslie for validating and instructing us on how to balance our lives and protect ourselves in a Christlike way.

  11. Dr. Antonio on January 27, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Dear Leslie,

    I can see that this site is for women , but I am a man married to a narcissitic spouse for 24 yrs and have only recently discovered the diagnosis to our troubled marriage. We have 5 children from 16 to 23 yrs. Since this was from a Christian pespective I decide to view as I have to decide my stand. She could never discuss after a conflict from the beginning of our marriage and would go into a bottle or bury her head as an ostrich, never apologise or admit her lack of loving, and always accuse me of my faults in counter accusations, and always blamed me. This worked well for her for over 20 years as I was the less perfect partner. And so I didn’t even realise I was being psychologically and emotionally abused by her attitude, as I tried to be honest with my owm attitude and behaviour as a Christian disciple. But this affected my personal life, career, finances, relationship with others and the churches we attended , as it was obvious I was the less perfect partner. But when I matured as A Christian 2-3 years ago, I realised that something was wrong with her when she did not seem to notice the change and actually started now to resort to lies and manipulation to
    state her case and counter accusations without listening to my rationale, and frustrate my attempts to improve the relationship. She is also not submitting to my spiritual authority and not submitting or even talking unless I do so first, and deeper discussions are never possible. But other people are also realising now , that she is not so perfect . Jesus set me free and healed me recently during during a Healing and Deliverance school of ministry, and all the years of hurt , pain, anger , bitterness , sense of loss of marriage fulfilment, all went away. I am now strong in my position in Christ unlike before, and I thank God for this , as I came to know this diagnosis of my disastrous marriage soon after this . But the many years of failed marriage has taken its toll to some extent and I do get flashbacks of past events and have now to decide my future stand with her.I am willing to continue the relationship and marriage for Jesus sake and for the children’s sake , and am wondering if a temporary separation will help for her to realise her problem through church counselling/prayer , and also time for me to be healed and not abused further. I work in Saudi and Come home for a vacation twice a year but she has ruined it since the last 3 year by attacking me in front of the children and accusing me and tries to discredit my authority at home. My ancestral home is nearby and I can temporary live there till God reveals the next step, for His Glory.

    Thanks for this site and info.

    • Leslie Vernick on February 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Although my audience is primarly women, a number of men do come and read the blogs and also suffer in destructive marriages. Thanks for joining us and sharing.

      • Mark on March 27, 2016 at 11:48 am

        Men certainly experience narcissistic abuse. I was married to a narcissist for 5 years. She critiqued everything I did. She was perfect and I was flaud. Any disagreement she would pack the children and leave. I stayed on my knees asking God to save my marriage. Last July I gave in. Separated from her for 6 months and filed for divorce at the end of Jan 2016.
        I believed if I stayed strong or tried different approaches things would change but it never did. With a Narcissist, you have to accept who they are. And accept that the situation may never change.Yes we had our great times, but I can’t accept staying on the rollercoaster, I am an adult, not a child. God did not tell me to leave, but I can’t imagine he would want me to severely downgrade my quality of life. We are suppose to be the salt of the earth not salty. I want my light to shine for him.

        • Leslie Vernick on March 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm

          Thanks Mark for sharing.

    • janet on August 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Antonio
      My heart goes out to you. I read your blog when you first sent it. I was in such a terrible and chaotic situation with my husband that I dare not even leave God’s side for a second in order to reply to you. I understand and empathise completely with your situation. My heart has been broken by my NPD husband, he has destroyed and stolen everything I thought I had with him. My eldest daughter is completely narcissized by him and truly believes I am to blame for all our problems and he is an ‘innocent victim’ of a mentally unstable mother. I can only pray God will heal her wounds and lead us into an honest, fruitful and loving relationship once again.
      God was the one who opened my eyes and ears to my situation! It has been a very traumatic, painful and intense situation, and God has truly shown me the way through it. I was totally oblivious and in denial as to the danger I was in. I have sought God’s counsel and guidance every step of the way and He has been with me the whole time, guiding, warning, protecting and loving me. When God confronted me with the damage my husband was causing my 14 year old daughter in an attempt to destroy me, I finally had to accept his behaviour was not going to stop, and that if he really was going to get help he had to do this without me continually feeding and sustaining him. Through a direct command from God I finally packed my husbands case and told him to leave 4 weeks ago.(I had to leave his things outside and speak to him through a locked door for my own safety). The relief was Immediate! my peace returned, my daughter completely relaxed and began talking and eating again, the chaos ceased and the whole atmosphere in the house changed and lifted too. My husband is still trying to manipulate and control every situation and he is desperate to ‘get back in’ I love my husband with all my heart, yet I know, as he is at the moment, he is a threat to my life, more than that, he is a threat to my daughter’s sanity and well-being, therefore I cannot even consider taking him back unless God delivers him from this evil spirit and heals me of the emotional and mental damage that his 28 year treatment/campaign has caused. God really has done an amazing work healing me over these past few months,I stood so close to him every step of the way and he literally held me by my spirit and directed my every move, I can truly say it is ‘There but for the Grace of God go I.’ As for my future, that too is in God’s hands, I absolutely do not know what He holds in His hands for me Proverbs3:5. I do know, He has a plan and a purpose for me that will prosper and not harm me. Jeremiah 29:11 My future, Is safe in God’s hands and so long as I keep my eyes fixed securely on Jesus my path will be made straight.
      I can feel your love and obedience in your writing for God, your sadness and despair at your situation with your wife, and your worry for your children’s well-being and state of mind, as well as your relationship with them, I empathise totally, Yet I feel I must ask you, Are you loving yourself as Jesus loves you, knowing that you are His special creation and as such do not deserve this kind of abuse and treatment? I am conscious that you are listening to God, and I know God will see you through this terrible time and make all things good for those who love him, I just wanted to offer my empathy, love and encouragement to you as you wait upon the Lord. My prayers go with you Antonio. Be blessed. Janet xx

      • janet on August 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

        Wow! Antonio, I have just re-read my earlier blogs from when I first discovered ‘my problem!’ Reading these alone shows how God has carried me through this Hell. From my first blog on 22 April, until now, as I sit here looking at myself and reviewing where I have been these last 28 years and particularly theses last 4 months is Incredible!! God you really are amazing! Thankyou Lord!!!!
        There is hope for a narcissistic spouse! This hope IS found in Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.
        Blessings on your journey Antonio, I hope you are in a better place now also. jxx

    • Immanuel on June 16, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Dr. Antonio,

      Finally I have someone on the forum I can relate my situation with.

      It appears most narcissists are men but some women are too and are causing great havoc.

      I have been married to on e for 9 years but I only discovered the last three years she I narcissist.

      I started realizing this when I was concerned about her sudden coldness and silent treatment.

      I came to discover every time she went silent on me she was having an affair….more than one at times.

      Last year in July she casually ended our marriage.

      I discovered another affair that had been going on for quite a while. A month later a friend brought to my attention an engagement with a man she met on Facebook. A US marine (We live in Uganda). The US marine ended up being a fake man who never existed. She claimed he account was hacked into and she was not party to that, a total lie.

      A few months later she started pleading I go back. I succumbed to her begging.

      After 4 peaceful months she created drama that just shocked me…Tried creating misunderstanding for us to quarrel so that she could get reason to leave.

      I kept my cool. We had just even returned from a vacation we enjoyed so muh and we discussed great plans for our future and out three kids.

      Within that very week she claimed she was not happy in the relationship and felt she could not go on with the marriage and asked me to leave. I declined.

      A week later she left with our three children to another rented apartment.

      I discovered shortly afterwards she had reestablished contacta with the US marine (the genuine one who climed to have been faked ) He professes love for her…would like to marry her (He has a wife and 4 kids)

      Plans to come to Uganda. Plans to take her to US. She left in preparation for the new loves coming to Uganda to change her life.

      She has been frantically filing for divorce which I will grant the pains notwithstanding.

      Well it been two months apart but God is strong on mu side. I would not have wanted to break my family but I feel relived living a drama free life.

      It’s important to realize such people never change unless faced with tragic instances which I never pray to befall her.

      My heart reached out to you. You are not alone. Trust in God. Your situation may not be as bad as mine but every day for me gets better.

  12. Tina on January 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I was also married to someone I would consider narcissist (I didn’t realize the term until I read one of Leslie’s previous posts about NPD), he filed for divorce and that was official over a year ago. Anyway, now my concern has shifted to thinking my son may have inherited these tendancies because he is so strong-willed and self-centered. At this point, I hope he grows out of it, but from those of you who might have adult children fathered by your narcissistic husband, do you think it carried thru generations and what do you think I can do to raise my son to not behave that way. I’m releaved my son didn’t spend much time growing up with the bad influence and watching the dynamic between his father and I, he was only 2 when we separated so he won’t remember what that was like (which is kind of bittersweet, I admit).

    • Katherine on November 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      I don’t know of any research that says it is genetic, but I will say my husband is probably a 3rd generation NPD either from genetics or parent modeling. My son also shows tendencies, but after treating his gut and doing some ABA and homeschooling where I focus on giving and sharing, he shows a lot of good signs he may be the least affected.

  13. Dee on February 2, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I see myself in so much of how NPD is described. I hate myself for it and yet I can’t seem to overcome the manipulative behaviors, especially when I’ve been hurt. I have had depression since i was little, though not diagnosed until my early 30’s (now 49). I truly believe on Christ’s redeeming sacrifice but i just changeddon’t see how He changed my heart. I’m so hateful, argumentative and bitter. I have very few friends and even those aren’t very close because I’m afraid they’ll see the real me if they get close. Please help me. I dowatt anymoren’t want to live this way anymore!!!

    • Leslie Vernick on February 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Dee you’ve already crossed the biggest hurdle. Admitting your problem and asking for help. Narcissistic people rarely see themselves nor do they reach out for help. I don’t know if you truly are NPD but you are obviouly in pain and want to see God’s work be transformative in your heart. You said you’re afraid if people get close they will see the real you. But by pushing people away with your bitterness and manipulative behavior, they aren’t close anyway so what do you have to lose? Perhaps if they saw the real you, they’d have more compassion and want to come close. I think you’re afraid to show people who you are because you fear without your armor on, they won’t like you. It’s easier to tell yourself they don’t like you because you’re hateful, argumentative and bitter than they don’t like the real you. All of us struggle with those insecurities to some degre. Some people use achievement, popularity, money, power as their armor – to make themselves better than their insecure real self. Other’s use more negative armor but all human beings are at least a little bit afraid that if you see them up close, you will reject them. So I’d encourage you to get some Christian counseling and also join a group such as Celebrate Recovery where you can start to share and open up some of your “real” self and see how people handle it. You can also learn how to not use manipulation when you’re hurt but you can’t learn how not to do that unless you have people in your life that will work with you on it. Don’t give up. Jesus does want to change your heart. Take that next step.

    • janet on August 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

      God Bless you Dee, Your courage to write this blog is a starting point to healing. Jesus died for YOU Dee not because you were so bad but because He loved you so much! Ask God to show you how much He loves you, He will! He did! DEE, YOU were worth His only be4gotten son’s life! so that you will be forgiven, redeemed and reconciled! I believe once you have received the counselling you need to uncover these hurt, hateful feelings towards yourself, you will discover a true and sincere, loving Dee is in their, reaching for love yet too fearful to accept it because of the past hurt and damage that encountered throughout your life. You may even find that you are not to blame for the pain you have suffered as a child! and what a revelation that is!!! God Bless Dee. I’ll pray for you.

  14. Lisa on February 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    These stories and awareness of NPD is a huge eye opener for me! In my case, however, it is my father. My sisters and I could never understand why my mother stayed married to him. We watched her slowly disappear over the years in the face of his dominance. He has never understood unconditional love and, as a result, we never measured up as daughters and further, he refused to share mom with us. She was his.

    Dad is now 78 years old. Mom died last summer and he is now grieving, alone and seems to be trying to find someone else that will cater to his narcissistic needs. The entire situation is keeping me on my knees, to say the least.

    He insists that NO ONE loved their wife as he did so no one could be grieving as he does. He is often passive aggressive in making his demands for attention. It is a balancing act to offer love and compassion to a grieving man while trying to maintain healthy boundaries and not get caught in his self centered web!

    It is an on going lesson in offering sacrificial love, grace, grace and more grace. I wish I could believe it is not too late for him to change!

    Lord, give us ALL strength!

    • JaN on April 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      She stayed with him because that is all she knew. She thought she was being the good wife. She probably never knew there was such a thing as NPD…I didn’t until last year.
      If he finds someone, you may want to warn them.

  15. Ellen on February 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Focus on the family is doing a radio show on destructive relationships. You can find it by clicking here.
    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.aspx
    Have a great day everybody!

  16. Kathleen on February 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    This is specific to Tina’s question about her strong-willed child. I do not believe a person has this destructive streak in them but rather it is learned behavior. So, thank goodness you have removed the child from the destructive environment you were in.

    Proper, loving, consistent discipline will temper defiance. Pick your battles but hold your ground. Say what you mean, mean what you say and be consistent. Act like a leader. If you are a single parent, do not become the child’s friend as they only get one mother/father.

    Above all else, pray with your child. Let them hear the word of God and be exposed to worship on a weekly basis. Let God guide you in parenting. There are no perfect parents, only ones who can do their best.

  17. Nora on February 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

    This is my first time to ever write something so please excuse my lack of proper etiquette if I get it wrong. My marriage has lasted 30 years and only through God’s will. I am now aware that I have been married to a narcissist. We were in counseling for a brief time but he quit going because he said it was obvious that the counselor was not doing anything to help me with my problems. The sessions were actually helping my husband unburden some of the anger he holds, I mostly listened and was amazed he held so much hatred and lack of self confidence. The counselor discussed my husbands passive aggressive ways but we never got past that since he gave up.
    Now through research on my own I have found out that he is narcissistic.
    I am so confused with how to live my life going forward. He has moved to another state for yet another job and I am supposed to follow once our house sells. He can only keep a job for 3-5 years before he is sent packing by his employer, I can only assume because of his ways.
    I have turned a blind eye to his verbal and emotional abuse all these years and always thought the problem was me and that I didn’t love him enough. I do recognize that in reality it was the opposite.
    I have suffered but he said I was weak. It affected my health since I have a chronic disease and he says I make myself sick. In the hospital the day after my surgery when he came to tell me he had been laid off, I was sympathic but yet he he was angry and told me I had to hurry and get out of the hospital because it was expensive, we do have insurance. He became angry and said i was selfish and it wasn’t about me. He left and I saw him on the day he picked me up and brought me home. I was in the hospital for 12 days. After he got the new job in another state I went to visit for our anniversary, he got mad after a few days because he said I wasn’t enjoying the outing he had planned. He told me to pack up and leave. I packed up and drove around for hours trying to understand what to do as I was over 1500 miles from home and scared.
    I have had a lifetime of this. He says my problem is I have to be the victim. I am unable to find the words when we do talk that don’t make him angry. I can’t figure out if he just doesn’t love me and doesn’t have the guts to say it or if I have caused the problems by pursuing this marriage and trying to keep us together. I mostly have learned to cover up things and look the other way. I dont think he will ever allow himself to admit he has a problem. I ask God everyday to put the answer in my path because I don’t know that I will ever have the strength of will to do it on my own.
    Any advise is welcomed.

    • Leslie Vernick on April 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Nora,

      Sorry I didn’t respond to this earlier, but the only hope you have of any change is if you put your foot down in a compassionate way but stop enabling his selfishness to go unchallenged. IT only feeds the narcissism and entitlement. When you do that one of two things will happen. He will either respect you and realize that unless he stops certain behaviors he will be alone, or he will move on to new prey (food). For a narcissitic person doesn’t see you as a person, but as someone to feed his or her ego and when you fail (as you have when you didn’t appreciate him enough) he will unleash his fury at you. The only problem is you will never be able to give enough, love enough, appreciate enough to feed him/her enough. Therefore you must stop and show care for your own needs insead of sacrificing yourself to cater to his. As he sees you are not as easily manipulated and controlled, again he will either start to feel a bit anxious and reign himself in with better behaviors or move on to someone he can control and feed off of.

      • JaN on April 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        Leslie, I appreciate what you are saying but how does one ‘put their foot down’? I don’t quite get that. This is such an abstract concept to me. How does one distinguish between being a good wife and ‘catering to his needs’. It is difficult to know when I am being manipulated and controlled I have been married to this for so long.
        My mom was also married to a Narc as I look back so I do not have any good examples of how or what to do.
        Thanks!

        • Leslie Vernick on April 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

          I don’t believe scripture defines a good wife as catering to their husband’s felt needs. A narcissitic person feels a need to be admired, praised, better than other’s, always right. To cater to that need is to enable him to stay delusional, deceived and destructive and that is not loving him well. By putting your foot down you refuse to cooperate with his delusion that he is the center of your universe. That you have no feelings, thoughts, or needs of your own or that you are a separate person with your own dreams, desires and goals. That’s a few things to start with. Hope that helps.

  18. Barbara on February 28, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I too left a narcissitic husband of only 6 years. i feel really stupid that i was “suckered” in to his charm & will probably never trust another man again. Unfortuanately i myself am an enabler & believed that it was my duty to serve him & meet his needs & be a submissive wife. i easly fit right into his frame of mind because i was ok taking care of him even though i had no life of my own. i was able to get away with family & friends once in a while but was made to feel guilty for doin so. it wasn’t until he denined my granddaughter to move in with us for a few weeks that opened my eyes to just how selfish he was. although i know he is NPD, i still feel like i can help him because God brought us together for a purpose. I do pray for God to change his heart & to direct me in His will for this marriage. we have been seperated 3 months & i have asked him to go to counseling or marriage classes which are offered at the church i am attending. His response is that God is his counselor but i should go since i am the one breaking our marriage vows & disobeying God. He has told everyone that i left because i wanted to raise my granddaughter (she’s 20). He blames me for our separation & continuely tells me what a terrible Christian woman i am. He says he’s embaressed to have been married to 2 ungodly women(his first wife cheated on him). i am so confussed because i only want to do God’s will & i trust in Him for all my needs. Leaving was a very hard decision & i want to stay married to him if he would only realize it would mean for us to work together & would require some things to change in both of our lives. What do i do??? i seek God’s will & want to do what is right as His child. Is it possible for people with NPD to change??? or is it just wishful thinking?? Does anyone feell my pain & know my confussion? I would appreciate hearing from those who have walked or are walking in the same path.

    • janet on April 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I Feel sick! There are no words to describe how I feel right now! I’ve just found out the name and reason for my mental illness,my 25yrs of depression, Counselling, Psychotherapy, self-help books, assertiveness and confidence building, CBT, 27 years of soul-searching, trying to find out what was wrong with me, trying to change me, trying to get it right, trying to be loved, valued and appreciated, and understand what was wrong with me to stop me doing ‘it or ‘being like it’ and finally the key that led to my discovery, trying to find a way to stop me being affected by other peoples behaviour!Oh The list goes on! It’s called my husband! Oh Lord Jesus, Help me! PLEASE! and I believe the reason is my husband has NBD!!! And I don’t know what to do? There is ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE else who sees it! Who knows how he treats me or even believes me when I have tried to tell someone! He is SO perfect and wonderful infront of EVERYONE! Everyone who knows us think I am the bad one! and worst of all since my breakdown 12 years ago! (now I know why) MY MENTAL ILLNESS CONFIRMS I AM THE PROBLEM, I HAVE THE PROBLEM!!!and I have confirmed it because I have always sought help and openly ADMITTED I need help because I’m so awful and bad! Oh sweet Jesus! My 25 year old daughter has always seen it as me being the problem and her poor, sweet, innocent dad is the victim, and can’t help not being able to express his emotions! because she has only ever HEARD MY VOICE! He provokes and provokes for months sometimes, before he gets the RESULT, but as soon as I burst and cry or get angry or show any emotion, he backs off,goes quiet, and denies he has said anything or even denies there is anything upsetting him. He turns nice and says (when someone is in earshot) hey, what’s matter? Hey, sweetheart, don,t get upset, what’s wrong? but if I dare to say it’s him, he just denies it in the nicest possible way to any listening ears! when we are alone, he varies his tactics all the time, ranging from nastiness, to blame, to accuse! Oh He has a never ending supply of ? well what? I don’t know what he uses? He must think, plan and calculate weeks, months, years ahead. He has systematically turned my 25 year old daughter against me and consistently maintains it now. He is now doing the same with my 14 year old daughter, who sadly has Asperger’s and now is ‘LEARNING HIS BEHAVIOUR’ oh please God don’t let her turn out like him. I have sympathetically thought for years his ‘problem’ was also Asperger’s Syndrome and therefore could not help it, and blamed my ‘ Bad responses’ and inability to ‘control my emotions’ as being why I was the ONLY ONE EVER AFFECTED BY HIM! Oh Dear Lord what do I do now? I now know the truth because Asperger’s is not maliscious, cruel, vindictive and even sadistic! I gave my life to Jesus 14 months ago and this has exascerbated the situation! The closer I got to God, The more Jesus was healing me, the more my eyes were being opened to the truth,the worse he became! It was as if the ‘nicer’ and more loving I became the worse he became. The more forgiving of his bad behaviour and attitude towards me, just made his treatment and denial even worse, the more repenting and apologetic to him I became the more he blamed and accused and accepted my admissions but never once apologising back. The more I asked the Lord to re4veal my bad behaviour, attitude, unforgiveness, The crueller he has become, and appears to be even more manipulative and devious now AND even sadistic! The more obedient and faithful to God’s word I have become the more he is using this to keep me ‘MEEK and HUMBLE’ Oh Lord, How can I be true to God, myself and my husband when I am in such an ‘impassible’ unpredictable and painful situation. He has never shown any emotion and I have always felt unloved but at least I had the hope that he MIGHT love me if I GOT IT RIGHT, or he might learn to love me when I become GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD EVEN! Oh Lord please forgive me for thinking I wasn’t good enough for you! I thought by really working hard with God to change my negative characteristics and that by receiving ALL the fruits of the spirit! I could get it right then. If I just kept LOVING HIM! JUST LOVE HIM I thought, he’s sure to see Jesus’ love reflected through me and he will want it and want to change then. My husband is now ‘trying to Become a Christian’ so he ‘can have some of those good feelings!’ He went straight to the point and asked for prayer to receive the Holy Spirit! He does not want God because God is not telling him what to do! and it’s a load of rubbish anyway, because God’s not THAT clever! Why should he have God in his life when he’s stronger and more powerful than God anyway! And he doesn’t want Jesus in his life because He doesn’t even exist!That’s just impossible to come back alive! And Lazarus is more powerful than Jesus BECAUSE HE CAME BACK TO LIFE AFTER 4 DAYS NOT 3! SO THAT’S EVEN BETTER BECAUSE IT’S LONGER! and why should he repent when he does nothing wrong and never has! God hasn’t done anything for me it’s JUST A PHASE! HE IS NOW USING God AS A CARROT FOR ME AND I AM SO CONFUSED! I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH IS MANIPULATION AND CONTROL AND HOW MUCH IS TRUE? IS IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM ever TO BE TELLING THE TRUTH? IS HE REALLY WILLING TO CHANGE? Or does he just want the Holy Spirit because he HAS SEEN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT WITH HIS OWN EYES AND IT HAS PROVOKED INTEREST, and he wants the POWER! of the Spirit? I know God can DO anything and I know if he truly gives his life to the LORD this whole awful situation can be turned around and I will still have the man I love and the successful marriage I so desire! When I asked my husband what his marriage vows meant to him he said @TILL DEATH US DO PART@ and i’m worried now that this is exactly the end he has chosen for me, through SUICIDE! then he has got the full sympathy vote and he will become the MARTYR for putting up with me all this time! Oh please someone give me some unbiased biblical sound advice. I feel like my whole world has been blown wide open and this bombshell dropped in it’s place! I am reeling through many different emotions! from anger to disbelief to devastation to hope and faith! But ultimately it’s keeping me from God and STILL FOCUSSED ON HIM! because I’m trying to find out what it all really means and what the TRUTH of my situation is? I wish I could just get on a quick hotline direct to God!!! If only our walk with Christ was that easy!

      • edee on April 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

        Janet
        Your life sounds like mine was. Im on the other side now.
        It took 2 years of therapy while we were seperated but in
        the same home. To work on my issues and figure myself out. Why i alowed the treatment, why he was unwilling to change his part,what the craziness was about. When i stopped alowing it and began to have my own mind he found
        some woman on a christian singles site and started dateing
        her. That is when i filed for divorce !If you start taking care of you and let him worry about him, generally they wont stay. Then the decision is easier. 30 years of devotion takes time to get over. But at some point you need to stop trying to fix him. That will take outside help. I was addicted to this man and he knew it. When god showed me the idol that i had been worshiping i was shocked. I thought i was just being a good christian wife.When i learned what a good christian man should be i was evev more shocked. God is the only way out,his love for us is everything we were trying to get these men to give us. its very sad but we must get help for ourselves.
        They will use you up until theres nothing left. They dont care and cant see it.

        dee

        • JaN on April 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

          Ditto to you gals….I have only recently realized my hubby was a Narc. I heard the word one day and looked it up. I thought that this sounded very familiar and ordered a book called ‘The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists’. The weight that was lifted from my shoulders while I read! I was not going crazy! It was not my fault! etc etc. I absolutely could not believe it. Hubby told I was the one needing therapy. I was making things up regarding what he did or said. I made him mad. I made him cus, swear and loose his temper. (yes, he is a Christian) but I made him do it!! I was the Devil herself!
          The odd thing was, I asked him many times, why he would stay married to me since I was such an awful person!

          Then I found I was feeding him in trying to please him. I was walking on egg-shells afraid to say something that might set him off.
          While we were raising kids, they would say ‘yes you did Dad’ or ‘Mom did too, Dad’ As I look back, they were my buffer. Now they are grown and gone.
          We went to marriage counseling once. Disaster. He screamed all the way home at me. I am now going to therapy to learn how to set boundaries, rethink, and find out who I am! wow! My husband has been on such good behavior although he did try to tell me how to think a few times recently. He blasted me with his venom lately either. It will come, I am sure. The amazing thing is after his spewing, he will say “oh, I feel so much better” while I am crying! He has no empathy. He NEVER says ‘sorry’ unless I say it first and then there is always a ‘but’.
          The bad thing! I have never known different. My step father, since age 6, along with my 1st husband were both Narcs as I analyze my life. It is so clear now.
          My mother is gone now but I feel bad for her and the way she was treated. I wish I had known what I know now.
          If you aren’t going to counseling…GO! Be specific that you need to talk to someone who understand a Narcs issues, so they can help. A pastor, bishop or minister I don’t believe have the qualifications you need. If your spouse goes with, they will sweet talk and it will be clear that you are the problem! You DO NOT need that thrown at you.
          My greatest challenge is ‘setting boundaries’. That is very abstract at the moment and so not sure. I will glady accept your help in that one.
          I look forward to more great input from this site! 😀
          JaN

      • Robin Harris on May 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

        Janet,
        I have been researching NPD because I just realized that I was married to one. I discovered that he had been looking for someone that could make him feel alive again. Our marriage became to mundane for him and he became bord with me. I was unaware of this but did start to notice changes in him. He became more sarcastic, unloving, and rude. I was going through menopause and blamed myself for having mood swings that caused him to act this way.
        This is what I didn’t know: (1) He had already replaced me with his X-wife and they had been secretly seeing each other for years. He dressed every morning for work, but on Tuesdays he spent the day with her and had any personal phone calls forwarded from work to his cell phone, therefore I would think he was at work if I called him. He started working on Saturdays, saying that they were short staffed and didn’t have the money to hire another employee right now. (2) He had been secretly talking to my family (my siblings) and telling them that I was having a mental breakdown and was putting him under unbearable stress. He told them I was accusing him of all kinds of things that were untrue. He was paving the path for our divorce and grooming my family for my explosive behavior that he knew would happen once I put all the pieces together. (3) He filed for divorce because he said I abandoned him when I started staying with my family during the week days and home on weekends. This was also part of his plan. I was not aware that he planned on divorcing me.
        After the divorce was finalized, he filed for sole custody of our daughter. She was living with me, but stayed with her dad on and off during the summers. He and his X-wife/new girlfriend were able to convince my daughter that I was mentally and emotionally unstable and that I was brainwashing her.
        One and one half years after the divorce was finalized, he and his X told my daughter that they had reunited and had been seeing each other for 3 months. I finally heard this news and blew a gasket, just like he knew I would.
        All the little things that didn’t make sense in our marriage came blasting into my head. I knew without a doubt that they’re relationship had been going on for years. I ordered old phone records and bank statements and was able to piece together enough to make me sick to my stomach. They had been seeing each other for as far back as my records could go. I spoke with him on the phone shortly after my realziation and he admitted to me that this was true. He would never admit it to anyone else and I could not prove he ever even talked to me about this.
        He told our daughter that I was mentally unstable and that he was the victum of my abuse. He also groomed my family for this moment and I did exactly what he knew I would. I played my part exactly as his script was written. I was the BAD one, and he was the poor abused husband. NO WONDER HE DIVORCED HER!
        I no longer talk to two of my sisters because of this and my daughter wants nothing further to do with me. I have been dismissed from my husband, my siblings, and my daughter, just like he planned. He walked away from me and never looked back.
        In order to survive I had to let go of the people I love. I overdosed on pills and tried to end all my pain and suffering only to wake up and find that I was still alive and now had a 6 thousand dollar hospital bill, and confirmed to everyone that I was indeed a mental case.
        Take care of yourself. Take vitamins and try to keep yourself on a regular sleeping schedule. SEE A SHRINK. This is of vital importance. Keep your faith in God, he can’t fix you, but he can give you inner peace if you allow yourself to see the good in yourself. Keep a journal of your thoughts and try to make some personal goals. The one sister who doesn’t think I am insane, gave me a journal and told me, “write in this journal, first write with your heart and then answer with your mind.”
        Good luck in your healing process

  19. meri on April 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Please understand that NPD is not a male gender disease. There are many many mean manipulative self centered women out there with NPD. Our family has struggled for years with a person who married into the family. She has destroyed many holidays , birthdays………..plain everyday days. Are there books for help dealing with a female NPD?

    • JaN on April 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      I know of a female in my church. Now that I know about NPD, she is a classic case. Her poor husband bends over backwards and she takes him through the wringer time and again. The children are treated like slaves and they have locks on the cupboard doors. wow!

  20. janet on April 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

    As my NLP (Neuro-linguistic Practitioner) revealed that I was married to a Narcissist NBD, she also revealed I had grown to have Stockholm Syndrome! Possibly because, I now realise, my mother also had NBD, as did my very sadistic step- dad and then my first boyfriend, my first love! but they were all so openly abusive, I knew it was their problem; even though I felt responsible, to blame, and not good enough to be loved as well as my love not being good enough to give,or receive, and it was continually being rejected. and I was so self-pitying! IF I COULD ONLY GET IT RIGHT!!!??? Now I’m wondering, did He spot this vulnerability in me? Did he SELECT me? or did he once like me? and I brought out the worst in him? Did I once make a mistake to make him think I DIDN’T love him so brought out these dormant feelings? DID I CHOOSE HIM? DID I RECOGNISE HIS PATTERN AS SOMETHING I WAS USED TO? OR DID HE SIMPLY LOVE MY BUBBLY, ENERGETIC, PERSONALITY AND WANT THIS FOR HIMSELF? because it seems to me every emotion he does not have, or cannot feel, he brings out in me and then saps me of it! He no longer has to feel the anxiety, of not being able to express this emotion because he manipulates or controls me to express it and this immediately releases him from the pain of not being able to, or from admitting this is how he feels! And then it cannot be his fault because it is me ‘DOING IT’Will I Just be DISCARDED when he has finished ‘playing’ with me? when he can no longer mould and manipulate me? When he thinks his cover will be blown? When I am no longer fun enough to abuse? When I am NOT EVEN WORTH ABUSING ANYMORE? Oh please Lord give me insight, understanding, wisdom and discernment! Please Lord God, give me YOUR TRUTH!!!

  21. Ryan on May 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Sam Vadkin actually does have some very interesting reads. It is psychological and allows you to truly gaze into the mind and psyche of the Narc. He does not label them as psychopaths. He actually has a video about the difference between the two.

    Reading information about NPD is crucial to truly rid yourself of this person and move on. We are easy targets, as we are empathetic, compassionate people. We want to help and definitely give MUCH more than we receive. We hang on to the “threads of hope” when they seemingly “love” us…yet, I force myself to think about what was done to me. All of the lies, the put downs, the blame shifting, gaslighting, projection, and stonewalling. I was in misery fighting for my marriage for 5 years. I was made out to a monster and even had friends turn against me. Counselors sided with her and it took me going to a psychiatrist (because I was made to believe I was crazy) and he told me she was a narcissist. I started reading and it was as if she were their case study. God has carried me through this mess, including the divorce and losing all rights to my only son. She has so many dark secrets and needs great control…even has an eating disorder that gives her control when she feels out of control. When people met her they were afraid of her and got very bad vibes. I was in love and dismissed it. After going through everything I was then contacted by her ex husband and his new wife which I believe was a true God-send. They exposed more details prior to me being with her and all it did was confirm everything (and then some) and enabled me to finally be free.

    They will always be right. They will manipulate and deceive you until you are in a state of confused madness. You start to question what is up and what is down. You are in a spinning hamster wheel and you need to JUMP off!

    As a Christian man this was my first marriage and wanted it to be my last. I finally let go when I learned to love myself and respect myself enough to call her out on how she treated me. The anger…verbal, metal and emotional abuse…reading through past emails is almost a slap in the face now because everything is so clear. Years of red flags.

    I don’t hate her, nor resent her….I give her to God. I pray to be in my son’s life, knowing no child should be without his father’s adoring, unconditional love.

    I am moving on, alone. Healing and picking up the pieces of my life and starting fresh. Breaking old patterns and knowing in the future never to rush into anything.

    You can’t change them. No matter how hard you try, you can’t. With God nothing is impossible but as was stated above, you have to be willing for God to change you.

    They have a FALSE self and do not live in reality. They will NEVER be happy no matter how much they act like they are when they move on. I’m sure when she is with someone knew she will act very much in love. I feel sorry for the next man she is with. I truly do. She needs to come with a warning label.

    Just take the pain and turn it into strength and move on.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I haven’t read Sam Vadkin’s work but there is a great deal of disagreement on some of his statements. So I agree that understanding what you’re dealing with is essential to make sure you don’t allow yourself to be intimidated, however not everything you read is always wise, biblical, or the best out there.

      • Ryan on May 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

        I have not read all of his writings, yet some of it has been truly enlightening. I have read A LOT on this subject and I take what helps me and discard the rest. There is not too much about this illness on Christian websites and I wish there was more. When I could understand the psyche of someone with this disorder, it enabled me to see it from a differen perspective, the same as a therapist who actually counsels these people. (Or tries to) Maybe it isn’t for everyone to read and I understand that. He did talk about things I hadn’t read before which truly focused in the inner hatred of themselves and the false self. That was completely accurate. I knew this about my ex wife. She had that type of childhood he explained. I have also read other wonderful articles. If you google “letting go of a narcissist” many great articles pop up.

        Spiritually, I just know we cannot hate, resent or not forgive these people who have wounded us so deeply. We must forgive and love our enemies as ourselves. That does not mean for us to remain in toxic relationships. We have been abused. It hurts on all levels. It takes time to heal and recover. My ex wife even used my faith against me and would tell me I needed to pray more.

        Where there is light, darkness can’t exist. When you enter a dark room, even lighting a candle removes darkness. Jesus is the light of the world and Him living within us is light…darkness cannot exist. No weapon formed against you will prosper.

        Think of these things. Instead of focusing on the pain and the hurt, look towards The Lord and He will always carry you through. There are also some really great Christian songs that help. Read the Bible and let the word speak to you. It will help bring you peace.

        • Allie on January 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm

          What a wonderful response of faith. Thank you for your insights.

    • janet on June 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      I am so confused! I feel like I am going to crack up! I just want to give in and end it all! But how can I? I believe this is HIS ENDING! He will have everyones total sympathy and understanding, i’ll have damaged my kids, and It’ll just ‘PROVE’ that I was the mad one afterall!!!!Not one other person knows what he’s like! (Unless his ex wife knew, and that’s why she ”ran off with someone else?”) He is so clever! sly! manipulative! calculating! devious! He’s planned it all YEARS! in advance. I can’t even believe it myself, and I think that’s why i’m going mad! I am still questioning myself, blaming myself, i’m confused but yet I know the truth. Yet even as he has planned it, if it is set out in black and white, it really does look like it is me??? How can someone do this? How can I fall into every trap he sets no matter which way I turn? I am so torn. He can be so lovely, caring, gentle, loving… Yet I’ve got a reality that hurts me so much. and there is only me that sees it.I just feel like I’ve lost everything whether I stay or leave! What hope have I got? I don’t believe I have an option? I feel so stuck.He is sdo patient and contained! He will just wait… endlessly wait, emotionless… and then I make the first move, somehow, some response, whatever it may be… and he’s snared me again! I feel like he’s stripped my soul bare and now he’s just leaving me to die.Oh Lord, please save me. deliver him or me. any way i’m not bothered just get rid of this pain

    • janet on June 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      I am living this HELL now and don’t know what to do??? to leave i’d be homeless, pennyless, friendless and childless, to stay i’ll be lifeless!

  22. Carol on May 15, 2013 at 10:44 am

    There is also a book called Gaslighting which I recommend people read too about narcissism. I have lived my whole life with someone who has been more than demanding on most occasions and it wasn’t until the last few years I could actually see and name the traits of a narcassist. I can tell you from my own experience they are demanding and draining and very spiteful in their dealings with other human beings. On the surface they are charming to all those they meet and win people onto their side easily because of it but where are all those people when the hidden from eye and view rages occur or when they deny deliberately any sexual involvement or when you are looking for help to deal with the problem? The narcassist constantly seeks approval and if you do not give it they will go elsewhere for it especially from women. Do not expect them to be loyal to you. They are usually bright and talented people but they have unrealistic expectations of people, expect to be taken care of so that they can become obsessed with whatever is in their lives. They don’t remember their families, don’t keep in touch with them, don’t have buddy friends to go out with as they only want to speak about themselves and their achievements. Don’t expect to be asked how you are doing unless you have trained yours to ask. Nothing in the world is more important than what they are doing or want to do. The spitefulness can take place with turning up late for appointments, breaking which you consider precious, picking fights before they go away on business and for no reason, never being there for family occasions. Basically being a loner but married with family. They are right fighters all the time even when totally wrong and will never say they are sorry. I stayed and took all this from a man who has put a roof over my head but only because of his ultimate goal which is to feed his ego. Now he is older and all those years count for nothing because instead of the problem getting better it is getting worse and all his so called admirers think he needs someone else to make him the glamorous person he thinks he is and constantly push other women at him. How cruel would that be to off load someone so narcassistic onto someone else to deal with but these so called admirers just don’t get it because they don’t see the whole picture.

    • RK on July 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Wow…. your description of your husband is so similar to my NPD spouse as well. Mine has done many of the same things. He is 28 and we’ve been married for almost 2 years. I found secret Facebook accounts where he had pictures of himself posing and had many women commenting on how hot he was. (Yes, he’s quite handsome, but that’s no excuse to go put random pics of yourself online after you are MARRIED just to get young ladies to comment on how good looking you are.) He created this secret FB account with his pictures 3 weeks after we were married. Whenever we argue, he won’t even consider my opinion. He always defends his position, even if it would be clear (to anyone else) how much his inability to see my side hurts me. I’ve tried since our marriage to make things better, but he refuses to make any efforts from his side. I wish I had listened to my gut feeling before marriage that told me that something wasn’t right about him. He used to romance me, bringing me flowers and gifts… which was all very sweet. He’s a charmer. But he never really listened to what I wanted. I have told him what I needed from him emotionally and he just dismisses it. I’ve emailed him articles with MALE counselors advising other men how to improve their marriages…. the perfect article putting into words everything I’ve been trying to tell him about how important it is to care for your wife…. and my husband just dismisses the article as being unfairly biased and discriminatory to men. This just happened a month ago, and I realized then that my husband would never make the effort to understand me. He lives apart with me with his mother (he’s a mamma’s boy) and does not support me financially. I’m about to graduate medical school, and now he seems more interested in moving together (when I’m about to start making money… as he never cared to live with me when I needed HIM to support me). It’s all just selfishness on his part. I genuinely tried with all my heart to save this marriage (as I took my vows very seriously, despite the fact that he didn’t). But I am now filing for annulment/divorce from this man who chooses to live with his mother over his wife. I can’t deal with this emotional nonsense anymore. I’m 31 years old now, and need to move on… as I still would like to have a family someday with someone who could genuinely love me.

    • janet on August 28, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Carol, thank you for recommending the book, Gaslighting. I did not buy it but looked at it on amazon, and that was all I needed to help me understand what it was my husband was doing to me and why he was so successful at it! Throughout all of this terrible experience of discovery, It has only been the names that I have been missing to enable me to see and understand exactly what was happening and let go of my irrational self-blame, self-harm, self-hatred and ‘mental illness’. My 28 years of questions answered, my 48 years of abuse ended! A life time of pain and trauma ENDED! by a few names that succinctly described My whole life living with NPD abusers! Crazy-maker, Emotional Vampire, Soul thief, Socialised Psychopath, Gaslighting! Covert Emotional,Mental,Spiritual,Financial,Sexual,and Transferred (my terminology for this one) Physical Abuse! Insidious, pervasive…and the culprit is…Narcissitic Personality Disorder! The answer is JESUS CHRIST, HEALING AND FREEDOM! Thank you Jesus for leading me to this site after your initial guidance to the missing piece of my life’s jigsaw! ‘the name’ NPD!

    • janet on August 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Carol, please see my reply to you, sent by mistake underneath RK’s comments.
      Be blessed. Jxx

    • Cayla on March 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

      I am so glad I discovered this forum. My husband is a narcissist. I knew he had issues, but could never pin point what they were. My husband plays in the church band. He is well thought of and most people think he is just the most wonderful man. Wow are they ever wrong. He has made a lot of money and he has an established business in the community. He has cheated , lied and even been involved with other men. I married him twice and am currently married to him. In my search for peace, I began looking at myself. What’s wrong with me? To get involved a second time. I began exzamimg my childhood and what in the world lead me to marry a this type of man. I’m 54, and my hearts desire is to be accepted & loved! Bam! I am accepted & loved! Always have been by God, why I couldn’t get this on my thick head is beyond me. The challenge is leaving. I will not spend the rest of my life this way. How I have prayed & ask my church for prayer request, to heal the marriage. I’m done! I’m to the point, so much damage has been done, that I don’t have any love for him left. I desire to move on. He has robbed me of good friends, my children, my work. I work for a non profit Meals On Wheels, he writes his big checks to charity, where he is publicly acknowledged. I do not believe there is hope for the marriage. His actions have caused hate in my heart towards him. I’m sick of going through his things to find recipes ect., of his other life. All I can say is God help us all who have been through this emotional incredibly dis functional relationships. I will never be good enough, pretty enough, for my husband, he is always on the prowl for his next victim. God help us all.

      • Leslie Vernick on March 23, 2016 at 9:32 pm

        Welcom Caya, glad you are here.

  23. Marie on May 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Dear Ladies, reading your stories, I felt I wasn’t alone, and had “met” someone who understood. My husband and I did divorce after 18 years of struggling with what I now know was the “N” issue. Yet, what shadow parts in me allowed him to be the way he was? I still search myself. I still search him. We say we still love each other, but when I try to make sense of what happened so that I can know it will not be repeated, he shifts the blame on me and tells me the past is not to be spoken about, or he reminds me of my getting angry at him when anger for the pain I felt at what he was doing to our marriage was all I could feel.
    I used to be quick at making friends, now, like him, I don’t trust as easily. I have become withdrawn, which was not my personality. So much of his personality is on my mind now, so much introspection overpowers my thoughts every day. Could our marriage still be saved? Is there an expert out there who can help us fix our marriage? Sometimes, I feel as if I am being disloyal if I don’t think of him and how “we” can continue to grow “together” even though we have been apart for 18 months and apart before when we were married because his violence erected a wall between us. I don’t deal well with being yelled at, called names, made to endure crazy-making projections and transfers. And then, came the fist to my face. He said he’d never hurt me, yet, he threatened to and told me I had made him be angry.
    I ask myself why I was attracted to and attracted this man, that wasn’t hard to answer, but why was I staying if life with him brought more pain than joy? And why couldn’t I get past the pain and think only of the joys? I read and I read. I prayed and I prayed. I listened and listened. I asked counsel. I studied to show myself a better wife. I needed help with our marriage. I sought other married couples, but he didn’t want to share private information. I sought someone who could be his friend, it turned out he too was in a difficult predicament with his wife and, unexpectedly, he died of liver cancer much too young. I sought the help of a priest, he told me to forgive my husband. Forgiving wasn’t the problem, the problem was that I wanted my husband to STOP yelling names at me, putting me down, laughing at my requests for gentleness and affection.
    Life COULD have been wonderful, had we made life-giving choices, but instead our marriage brought tears and fears through the years. Staying in the marriage was difficult–taking responsibility for my short-comings, my need for affection, my need not to be yelled at, my need to hear good things about myself rather than deprecating remarks, my need to be thanked for my contributions, my need for loving and being loved, my need for us to agree and discuss major decisions…the more counseling I had, the more aware I became that my needs were reasonable, that there was nothing wrong with wanting to be loved and to love back. He’d yell at me disparaging remarks about my going to see counselors, he’d bait me to tell him what they’d say, but was never satisfied, even though I shared honestly and openly. His temper escalated.
    We no longer slept together. We no longer took walks holding hands. He’d raised his hand, fist, arm at me in striking ways. The man I once looked up to, loved, been loyal to, faithful beyond reproach, became the man I feared, locked myself from in my office. We would have a gentle evening, and he’d say something like “I know you’ve wanted to talk to me, I’m willing to now. Let me ask you, ‘have you thought of seeing a counselor for your anger problem?’” “My anger problem!” I would think. Sure, I was angry, but the main sentiment was that of love mixed with sadness over our marriage that was dangerously dangling over a precipice. Free-falling isn’t something I find fun in marriage and love. I like my intimate relationships to be predictably dependable. And our evening would be ruined, for in that statement he would make on a patronizing and arrogant tone, I knew he was trying to make it look like it was me who had problems, when in fact he was refusing to simply have the courage to look in the mirror and self-correct.
    I came to a point of having no more tears. I wished to simply vanish away. No divorce. Please, God, I’d pray, send me on a dangerous assignment, help me to die for Your world, my country. Just take me Home, I’d pray, earth is so pain-filled. I can’t take the pain anymore. But my plea to God was not answered in the way I wished. Instead, I felt led to the “D” word. That word I hate. Please not that crucifixion, God, I would plead. I’ll do anything.
    I have heard some people say we ought to celebrate getting out of abusive situations, but I cry. Not of joy but of sadness our marriage could not be healed.
    I have started reading the book from the lady in Australia mentioned on this website (narcissismcured.com). I too got stronger during the marriage. I worked and paid bills. I grieved alone when I learned from his ex-wife that he could not have children—I prayed with him, cried for him, consoled his pain, but was left comfortless with my own pain: never to hold a baby, never to be a mother, that hurt. I cried myself to sleep when he’d call me names and then yell at me that I wasn’t doing my wifely duties—as if the act of loving was a duty!

  24. Maria on May 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Ladies, I read these stories and my heart aches. I just finalized my divorce from my husband of 9 years. We have a 5-year old son and a 1-year old daughter. Over a year ago, my husband admitted to being unfaithful to me for over 6 years (which at the time meant he had only been faithful for 18 months of the marriage!) Though we both said we wanted to save the marriage, even going to counseling a few times, I noticed something else started to emerge. It was as if the “mask” started to come off. When I would insist on boundaries with women, coming home to spend time with the children, I was met with name-calling, yelling, verbal abuse, shoving and pushing. I later was educated by a doctor in my family about Narcisstic Personalities and believe that is what he suffers from.

    I want to share some hope with all of you resding this article from Leslie and the other ladies. There is light at the end of this journey! My divorce is now final, and my ex has been out of our house for a mere 6 months. My son is a completely different child, no longer hitting and talking ugly to me, but instead is mild-mannered, loving and caring to me and his little sister. Our home is quiet, calm and happy. The changes I’ve seen in my children have made the divorce nightmare worth it. Though it is hard to see him moving on so quickly (already had two different girlfriends before we were even divorced)I do pity him and know that he is a disordered individual that, though claiming Christianity, is not interested in inviting the Lord in his heart to do major work.

    However, at some point we move on with our lives, and we give them over to God to deal with. We must live our lives in obedience to Christ, and as I’ve learned the hard way, living in obedience does NOT mean obeying a bullying, abusive spouse. I believe that leaving my husband was the only way to truly love my spiritual husband, Jesus.

    • janet on June 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      I don’t see divorce as the light at the end of my 27 year dark tunnel. I want my husband healed, cured, delivered, saved, treated! But not divorce! because that means it is all true! I have lost him! I never had him, my whole life with him was a lie and i’m as unloved and as unloveable as he thinks. Please LOrd I love him so much, I want my marriage to be saved. but yet somehow I know. When does hope turn into delusion? When

      • Leslie Vernick on June 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        Divorce isn’t the magic bullet for sure. It is for safety and sanity reasons. But Janet I’d encourage you to read today’s blog Putting Your Marriage in it’s Proper Place. It sounds to me like you’ve allowed your husband’s love or lack thereof to define your worth and lovability. Dangerous. The only one who will always tell us the truth about who we are is God. Listen to his words and his voice. That is your refuge and safety.

        • janet on June 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          Thank you. Yes I had just read and responded to todays blog before I read your response, but I am following God’s word as much as I possibly can (when my husband hasn’t scrambled my brain)and I truly believe God is promising me restoration and resurrection of my marriage and I believe, deliverance of my husband, there are no outward signs but it is this promise that continues to give me hope, but then I continue to get guidance and counsel from the Holy spirit to be calm and gentle watch my tongue, be righteous for safety, etc. but eventually I get drawn in to his trap, I get upset or angry, I eventually say something, or let it known that I am hurt and I’ve messed up again. The Holy Spirit rebukes me, My husband has what he wants, I have failed God again and I’ve stepped in-front of any work that He may have been doing. My faith tells me God loves me and sometimes His word does, but I feel so bereft of love and angry with everyone I can’t go to God’s word because I haven’t got a clear conscience and good heart, and I feel so bad about myself. I know this is perpetual sin and I keep repenting but I don’t know how not to feel yet still feel? I cant keep my conscience clear and heart clean. And I can’t discern God’s voice when I’ve got mine, my husbands, the enemy’s voice and my feelings to contend with.

          • Leslie Vernick on June 13, 2013 at 10:46 am

            Janet, you can’t possible keep your conscience clear and heart clean. That is what Jesus is for. And don’t let your sin or inadequacies or failures keep you from God’s Word or his presence. That is a tool of the enemy Satan to keep us away from God – to say we’re not worthy- we haven’t repented enough or done enough or changed enough. God knows our weaknesses and he says come. He says do not be afraid. He says he loves us in spite of how we are. Run to him.



          • janet on June 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

            Leslie thank you so much for what you said! I absolutely know you are right and this is how my husband has kept the enemy working within me. The Lord has forced me to see and hear so much this week it has been a complete rollercoaster but I am running to the Lord NOW and staying in the shadow of his wings until my troubles are over, I have just made a major discovery that was my husbands next step to crucify me and walk calmly away! I believe for the first time ever, he realises the game is truly up now, (previously I’ve broken first and suffered severe depressions or breakdowns, but this time I have been able to hear the Lord and with the help of your website The Lord got there first) he was trying to get 3 weeks grace to sort himself out, but the Lord led me straight to this discovery! My husband is aware, panicking, and thinking fast, but although he knows I have the evidence he isn’t sure if I realise it, so he is acting calm and Grateful for me talking to him again( I cut off his complete supply last week because I knew it was the only way I could totally listen to the Lord. I now have to continue to remain in quietness and trust for my salvation. The Lord is coming to rescue me! Please pray for my courage and clarity of mind and the Lord’s vision to see through my husbands plans over the next few days while I remain with the love and trust of the Lord as I battle the tsunami of emotions and thoughts that keep passing over me! But they are PASSING! because It is in Christ that we are victorious and I know that I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me because I know God did not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power of love and self- discipline! Nor a spirit of fear, but a sound mind because perfect love drives out all fear! Thank you once again Leslie, You Have helped the Lord shine a light to my path and I will keep logging in because you and your community are helping the Lord place a lamp to my feet.
            Thank you ALL May God bless you deeply.
            Janet xx



        • janet on June 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

          Sorry for my rash response. and Thank you. yes you are right. When I have the Lord’s peace everything makes sense. but I am just too susceptible to having it stolen from me because of the damage I have received. I have printed todays blog and will reflect more on what you have written and listen to the lord’s word too. Thank you.

        • Janet on July 28, 2016 at 10:53 pm

          Hi Leslie
          I have just read my comments during my first realisation of my husbands npd and the state of our marriage, in april 22nd 2013 through to my leaving him in aug 2013 and my response and horror at your comments and the thought of divorce on 10 June 2013.
          I cant believe how far i have come. How much iv been healed and how much iv learnt and grown. In Christ as well as emotionally.

          Id like to thank you personally for your input and comments, your wisdom, insight and patient, loving and gracious replies to my hysterical fears. At that time.
          Without doubt your replies, and this site in particular, has walked me through every step on my 3 year journey to divorce, life, health and freedom.
          Thankyou ladies for your support, understanding and prayers.
          My dark tunnel is nearly OVER. My hope in Christ for a miraculous DAMASCUS ROAD ENCOUNTER,TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING FOR MY HUSBAND IS STILL ALIVE, but now, for HIS OWN SAKE.
          God is my husbands omly hope of knowing love. I dont want him to live the rest of his life without being touched by the live of God so that he can find inner peace.
          MONEY AND ALCOHOL are still his preferred GOD AND CHOICE for SELF MEDICATON.
          But GOD…

          Thankyou LESLIE for all of your help as i fumbled my way through this maze of emotions and craziness. AND THANKYOU FELLOW ANGELS AND WARRIORS.
          I couldn’t have done it without your help on this site.

          • Leslie Vernick on July 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm

            YOu are so welcome Janet. It’s hard to believe how far you’ve come and this community is the best for the support to get there.



  25. Shawna on May 30, 2013 at 11:43 am

    When is it ok to divorce? My husband has fooled the church counseling pastor and our marriage counselor. I refuse to do counseling with him so he blames me. When we were in counseling he would use whatever was said against me. It only gave him fuel to control me. Now he tells everyone that I refuse counseling, that he loves me and wants to “restore our marriage”. Our church has given him permission to have a secret email and computer that he doesn’t allow me to see. He is on Facebook nonstop with his iPhone.

    We had physiological testing to try to determine why we have so much trouble. The results revealed NPD for him and PTSD from emotional abuse for me. I have gone through treatment and feel like a different person now. My personal Christian counselor has recommended separation but I don’t want my kids 16, 18, 20 to have to go through this.

    • janet on June 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Please tell me how/where you had your psychological testing and what treatment did you have? Please give me details of the Christian counsellor you contacted. I’m desperate and need help. He orchestrated 1 breakdown in me, that left me hopeless for 10 years, Self- harming with medication overdoses, but the Lord healed me, now he’s doing it again!! I need professional help and don’t know where to start. I am leaning into God as much as I can but I feel so tired, and fragile, and I’ve got to carry on with a smile on my face because nobody else in the world knows or would believe my situation!! I can’t tell anyone close to me, I’ve just plucked up courage to tell my pastors, But they’re not available for 2 weeks!!!and they are not knowledgeable or qualified in any kind of counselling! But I need to tell them now because my husband is manipulating them as well now, he is ‘pretending’ to give his life! and they are so excited and encouraging, every time they see me they are eager to hear ‘HOW WELL’ he is doing… But I know GOD knows what he is doing but I am just not strong enough to wait for God’s timing! I’m desperate now and 27 years of being blinded to him is just too much now. The closer I get to God the worse he gets. I really feel like he is the devil incarnate! and even saying all these things makes me feel mad, but there is only me that sees this truth and it is scary how someone can be so clever or even why they would want to? All I’ve ever done is love him and try to make it right for him. I’ve tried everything I possibly can to change me, and now to save our marriage, before I knew it was NPD! now I’ve still been trying with God’s help for 18 months, but I really feel satan has entered judas all over again and they won’t stop till they bring us both down!!! I am scared of giving up if God really is going to deliver him or help me to deal with him and not get so affected by him, because i’m praying that the nice side of him is real? i’m just so confused! Am I completely deluding myself or IS THERE STILL HOPE WHILE GOD IS IN IT???

      • Shawna on June 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        We had testing through a Christian counselor. The treatment they recommended for me was EMDR a treatment for trauma. It helps your brain reprocess and store the stressful memories were they belong. I also started in a Christian group called ARMS Abuse recovery ministers service. If you call a women’s crisis center, they might know of a similar group. I think I would have left the church and my faith without this group. Even if you can go to a domestic abuse group outside the church it can be helpful. Just remember that although church people want to help, they probably will do more harm than good. Don’t feel bad if you have to turn to the world for help.

        • janet on June 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

          Thank you so much for that Shawna! I have heard of EMDR and in actual fact I have just recently seen a notice for some seminar or workshop for this combined with PTSD! I will definitely look into it, and of course ARMS I’ve never heard of it but will def. look into it. And yes I do agree I need help wherever I can get it if it is dealing with the situation I am in, if I am ever to find a way out of the pain, I truly believe the Lord is showing me the way in many ways not just @church/Christian agreed ways. e.g. it was through NLP that I discovered it was NPD I have just stumbled across a hypnosis cd that breaks co-dependancy and builds up emotional strength, immediately after reading I was probably a co-dependant in this situation! Also, seeing this leaflet about ptsd and emdr the day I read your testimony! I do not believe these are mere coincidences, also other things I am discovering about my husband of 27 years that I will need to help me if we are to split. I absolutely believe the Lord is completely in this and is directing my path. I will stay close to him and listen to his guidance and counsel, because even though I am having to face the fact there is NO HOPE FOR OUR MARRIAGE TO SURVIVE AS IT IS, I haven’t given up hope that the Lord is at work, sorting out a solution, and I am still praying my husband will some how be included in this solution in some way or another. All that I know is, There is NOTHING in this world that I can do, but nothing is impossible with Christ! and until God says IT’s OVER, then I concentrate on my healing and recovery and damage limitation and will upon the Lord. In repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength! Please pray for me and my husband for the Lord’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
          God bless you Shawna, Thank you for your testimony and reply. I pray the blood of Jesus to cover you and protect you in every area of your life. AMEN
          God bless. Jxx

          • janet on June 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

            Shawna, I’m not sure who /how I was directed to the hypnosis CD now, because I keep feeling the Lord say ing not to listen to it! Although I have had hypnosis in the past to help me and the CD seems excellent and appropriate for what I need I have never had the Lord to help me before like this! And I know The Lord is in this 100% I just don’t know what is going to happen. But I must be obedient to this call and trust in the lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, and acknowledge him in all my ways and He will make my path straight! I really believe The Lord can deliver me from this so I am trusting that and not listening to the cd! Just praying , resting, listening and trusting the Lord completely.Whatever that will mean!
            Blessings once again, I just felt the need to explain about the CD.



          • janet on June 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

            Healthy secular help may be ok but opening my mind up to a possibility of something not of the lord getting in is not safe!!
            and I don’t want to advocate this for anyone else.
            Jxx



      • jacolien on July 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        Dear Janet and other friends
        I am in year 33 of this type of marriage now. Only a bit more than 2 years ago I could for the first time get hard proof of my husband’s misconduct. After having been the unloving and unfair, pursuing, suspicious wife for many many years. Had I been less trusting there were situations long ago already which I could – and should – have followed up. But I believe the Lord was in control there as well. He knows His time. At last, however, I just needed!! to find out whether I am sane or not, and I started out on the ‘unethical’ path of prying, being my own private detective.Like you all say, it is such a secret battle each of us is fighting for many years, because it is so hard to put a finger on anything which is wrong for sure in your house, to prove anything; not only to people, but especially to yourself. Part of love, we believe,is to believe the best of the other, isn’t it? Every disbehaviour on the side of the abuser is deniable, justifiable, or at least excusable. And ‘supposed to be handled’ by the rest of the household.
        At last, only with the evidence in my hands, I could say: now I know that I AM SANE. I knew that I knew that I knew it. But it was heartbreaking as well: to also know that what I had hoped all these years not to be true, was true. It would have been “softer” not to have the proof. But then, “the truth will set us free”, Jesus says in John 8. After my confronting my husband with my proofs, and him moreover realizing that our children then also knew the truth, he turned anger on me and my family in unbelievable, criminal ways, to unnerve and intimidate us. But I knew it is not me anymore, and I could discern that his behaviour is not normal.

        My being sane, indeed was the second determining truth on my road to liberation.

        The very first breakthrough truth I had to submit to, was that my husband is NOT a follower of Jesus. After a desperate conversion of his many years ago, I had this ongoing contradiction in our life together of supposedly being equally yoked and serving the Lord together, but the longer the less being able to share in faith, conduct of life, or prayer(except when in the presence of anyone outside our family), until for years now there was no sharing whatsoever but rather opposition in different degrees of subtlety. I cannot judge on his salvation, as one of you has said, but I do discern the fruit and the total confusion caused in our kids about what Christian life is. I had to free myself from being part of the lie, and I had to release him to the Lord. Like Edee writes in her letter: : at some point you need to stop trying to fix him.

        The 3rd major contribution to the process was the single advice: whether I stay or go, I MUST DETACH MYSELF EMOTIONALLY. I had to become absolute rational about it. Which is difficult for a women, and a brainwashed one. I do not have to pretend. I do not have to fake admiration. Or guilt. I do not have to believe lies. I do not have to take his responsibilities. I do not have to take unjust blame. I do not have to agree. I need not be intimidated. And I do not have to need him! I may be angry at him (as long as I do not sin in my anger) And: I do not have to be ashamed because of his conduct. I do not have to cover up for him. I am not going to stand before God for him one day…only for myself. I pray for truth and enlightenment, in me, in my situation. I only have one prayer left for my husband: that the Lord will be gracious to him and save him. But that is God’s work. And I pray that His will shall come to pass in my life.

        Although we still share the house, I moved into my own room with a lock and I claim my private life. My circumstances do not allow a divorce presently, and I do not know what the Lord has in stall for me further on. But I know I MUST SURVIVE. My children were all grownup when everything came to the light, and suffer their own trauma for a childhood which was a lie from beginning to end. Amazingly enough I only came across the condition of NPD 2 weeks ago, and I consider this as my next step to delivery: to be able to give the condition I am confronted with a name. There are however still additional traits to all the NPD ones I find listed. But I can recognize my situation in those of all these suffering women.

        There is great strenth in clinging to God’s Word. We do not always find direct answers, but strength. If you are confused, pick one verse at a time. All these years I have found my comfort in Isaiah 54:4,5-“ Fear not…for your Maker is your Husband.” I have battled: Lord, why can’t You be my Husband through my flesh and blood husband. I have no answer, but with time I got peace that that is not my share at this moment. And lately when the rage had become more intense, Ps57:1- “ in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident, until these calamities and destructive storms are passed”.”until” implies it WILL pass over. I do not know how and when, but in the meantime I am a chicken under the Lords wing, close to His heart. Each of ours is a personal battle for peace: not peace in the world, and heartbreakingly enough not a battle for peace in our marriages, but peace in our hearts which Jesus gives – peace with God. Read also Isaiah 30:15-18.
        Hang in and keep heart.
        LoveXX

        • jacolien on July 24, 2013 at 3:57 am

          I mean hang ON to the Lord. I am not in a position to say hang IN in your marriage. Only the Lord can lead you in that decision.
          XX

          • jacolien on July 24, 2013 at 4:21 am

            Please excuse me for writing so much now.
            Focus, focus, focus on Who God is, who Jesus is, and not who your husband is. In your emotional agony, run to Him. Find in the Bible who He is. Picture yourself close to His heart; or on Jesus the safe Rock in the middel of a stormy sea; or the Shepherd looking for you when you have blown it again in your confusion-He looks for you till He finds you there on the perilous clift or stuck in the thorns, picks you up and carries you home,on His shoulder, your heartbeat next to His ear and your little feet firmly in His strong tender hands. He has born your, AND your husband’s, sin on the cross. Only, you cannot orchestrate the breakthough in faith that your husband needs; therefore keep handing him over to the same God from whom you have received faith.
            XX



        • janet on August 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

          Thank you Jacolien for your helpful blog, I still do not understand how it is working for you but the Lord is with you therefore you must know, I tried this for two months, yet his manipulation, deceitful, covert and controlling behaviour became worse. My mental instability was continually being threatened as he deliberately made his presence in the house known in even more conniving and insidious ways. Finally after 8 weeks of him gaslighting I cracked and reacted! Allowing him an almighty feast on my emotions as I disclosed my knowledge of his plans as well as declaring God’s protection through Jesus’ blood for me! I was mortified that I had ‘done it again!’ I could see the calculating, sinister and perilous look in his eyes as he enjoyed every ounce of the blood I was spilling out as I fell hook line and sinker into his trap! I was feeding him with information on how he could plan his next move to avoid God and destroy me! I was terrified! I cried out to God and He saved me INSTANTLY!!! Giving me Chapter and verse for what I was to do next! Get him out of the house! I planned a safe day and time where I made plans for my daughters safety and 5 days later, with doubt in my mind and pain in my heart, I asked God once again for a definitive word that I could not dispute or get confused with, before setting about packing his belongings. I opened my bible at the page I was directed to and I received God’s will for my situation! There and then! I could not dispute or deny that this truly was a word from God, for various reasons and confirmations, I was Gob-smacked to say the least yet instantly began to feel peace transcend. I knew that I was working according to God’s will and have received so much healing and continual confirmation of God’s love for me that I can now wait in safety for God’s plan and purpose for my whole family’s life to be fulfilled. God is certainly good and although I appreciate your reasons for living as you are I can honestly say it was not a safe way for me to wait upon Lord. My husband was/(is) intent on destroying me completely7 and will stop at nothing to ‘WIN!’ what my husband will not grasp is that The Lord is mightier than he is! God Bless Jacolien, I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Nanci on May 14, 2015 at 7:31 am

      How are things going for you? How are you holding up?

  26. Maripaz Lara on July 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I prayed for a year for God to bless me with a good second husband. I was introduced to this man he was 40 I was 39. Him and I even prayed together the first time we met. He did the things and said the right words. I thought he was the answer to my prayers. It happened so quickly we moved in and got married. Towards those years he has been verbally and physically abusive. Most specially if I was in the way with his women. From pornography, prostitution, sexual addiction, being a womanizer his goal he said was to break/destroy me. I left 12/12 the last time he laid his hands on me
    He did try to see me but all those were fake while he was waiting for someone to come his way so he can dump me. He found his new narcissistic supply younger and looks like his younger daughter. I did pray and filed for divorce on 3/13. Narcissists always get away with no remorse. My ex has been abusive the DA dropped the charges since there were not enough evidence. He wiped me dry financially I’m currently unemployed living with a friend. I will get a hysterectomy next month due to a fibroid tumor they found. Please no matter how much you love a narcissists it will not help you in the long run.

  27. Katrina on July 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I will be married 20 yrs this December and have known my husband and our marriage was not what God intended from early on..we now have 5 beautiful children who I have been home schooling the last 4 yrs and have been a stay at home mom for 17 yrs. My husband fits the description of a narcissist to a tee. My biggest struggle is coming to grips that he is a pastor. We are currently not at a church and he is a missionary that is supported by people congregations (it is actually a prayer that God answered for me)…anyway he is charming and that is probably what initially drew me to him and to those who interact with him at a distance…I am reading and learning if I can continue to manage. ,but I feel myself hating him and it is hard to be around him. He knows the Bible and preaches Gods word, but lacks fruit , empathy, and boundaries. I have never shared my feelings with anyone except his mother who seems to be safe. Should I seek counseling ? And how do you find safe people to confide in? Thank you for reading.

    • Leslie Vernick on July 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Katrina, yes you would benefit from your own counseling – how to now allow his attitudes and actions to fill you with hatred and resentment. You may also need to learn how to set your own boundaries and what you need to do to not enable his behaviors. Try to find someone experienced in working with personality disorders so they know how to best help you cope.

      • janet on August 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

        Leslie, I have just had chance to respond to the many blogs on your site after being unable to even leave God’s side for a minute for my own personal safety. I was concerned and frightened by the blog from Gloria on July27th at 7am., and would like to ask why this comment was allowed on a Chritian, (Christ-Centered)counselling website? surely you yourself or your moderators would view this as an occult and anti-Christian comment and testimony, surely Gloria’s recommendations to view and subscribe to this kind of occult website would cause you concern? while allowing it to be viewed on this website is condoning it? I do not know another way to contact you with regards to this question, and as the original message was aired publicly I believe my comments and concern should also be aired in the same way. This is a wonderful, God- Given site and I believe it has been instrumental as a channel for God to save my life, I cannot, therefore, understand how Gloria’s comments were accepted?
        Thank you so much to everyone on this site, and of course, you yourself Leslie, for all the support and helpful advise and testimony’s that have encouraged and enlightened me these last few months.
        P.S. My operation went well and I am healing well, despite having to become physically active far too soon because of my circumstances. I only had one days rest and recuperation, but God is Good, I’m alive and well and in His Loving arms.
        Jxx

        • Leslie Vernick on August 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm

          Janet, You’re absolutely right and those spam comments sometimes sneak in. I will immediately remove it. I didn’t see it. I get at least one of these weekly.

  28. Amy on July 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    After 10 years of marriage and two children I left my narc husband. The day before I knew it would be over, I was on my knees praying for God to take away my burden. My prayer was heard and answered in less than 12 hours. After years of selfishness, abandonment and criticism, I knew I was being given a second chance for me and my sons.
    A merciful God has taken care of my every need. My prayers have been heard time and time again. The divorce process has been long and at times scary. I know God has given me these challenges in order to learn and grow. It is so hard to see blessings in these challenges. I am still learning to rely on His mercy and love. The day will come when I no longer live in fear of what my ex-husband will do next, and until then I pray for strength, courage and wisdom to fight the good fight to make sure my boys will have a life they are proud of.
    To anyone who is not sure about what to do, pray. Believe in your faith. Hang on to your self worth and know God does not expect us to put up with abuse in our lives.

    • Angie on August 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Amy, you and I seem to be in similar situations. I think I could have just written what you wrote. I agree with you wholeheartedly! We serve such a great God! It truly gives me joy to read of your healing. I know how important it is. 🙂

    • janet on August 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

      I fully empathise and understand where you are on your journey Amy, I walk alongside you in the loving arms of our lord, Jesus. Be blessed, He has you safely in His hands! jxx

  29. Cindy on July 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hi, I’m new here and today’s blog was on NPD – amazing! I too live with and have been married 14 years to a narcissistic person. I am the Christian – he is agnostic. We’ve been to counseling 4 times – he quit. He went separately – he quit after 4 times. He promised to go again (a year ago and to date has not). Prior to those times I’ve been in and out of therapy for over 12-15 years dealing with a variety of things (death of 1st husband etc)and this marriage. This one quits because it is too much money/too much time. I’ve gone to my pastor, Christian counselors……”hang in there” one said. The other said unless he gets help don’t really know how much more you can do. Pastor recommended a Christian book which I had no problem reading – the husband…NO. He is classic narcissistic – denies everything and it clearly is all about him. I’m suffering emotionally and physically. I’ve been praying for a long time about this – bible study friends and Christian friends praying. I’m waiting…waiting to hear what to do. Last week I feel I was being told “it’s time to move on”. Sadly, I’m so compassionate and caring I don’t want to “hurt his feelings” yet this relationship is killing ME…my grown sons/families do not want to come around and seldom invite us over due to him. We no longer socialize with friends because of his behavior – he is also a very angry man. Never physically abusive…yet. He does not communicate at all – it is like the ice age in my home and unless I bring up the subject it is never discussed and even then he says little. I’ve caught him on pornographic websites, he stares at women and then justifies that – denying the websites (even though they history of viewing them is on the computer) and I’ve found the magazines and his justification for staring is “it is just aesthetics”. A while back our pastor preached on adultery and indicated pornography/lusting is a form of adultery. I’ve had friends tell me that as a Christian woman IF I were to divorce I can never remarry (IF I even wanted to – at this point honestly it is the FURTHEST thing from my mind). This man has lied straight to my face – twice within three months late last year. I don’t know what to do – I’m finding myself feeling depressed daily and I’ve never been that person. I want my life back. Any insight? Thanks! So happy I found this site!!! Bless you all.

    • Angie on August 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

      I am so sorry you’re going through this! I’ve been in your shoes and know how you feel. I left the relationship and am much better for it. I know that there is hope for relationships if both people are willing parties to work on it. Otherwise, it will never work. Please email me if you would like to talk more at livingtransparently@yahoo.com and/or visit my blog to read more of my story, livingtransparently.blog.com

  30. Cain on July 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I am a narcissistic male. And I have a bad relationship track record. I’ve done lots of reading and the things I read tend to describe me perfectly.
    Some things that I unwillingy will admit is being forced to do somthing is needed. I will hate it the entire time I’m being forced, that loss of control is just aggrivating. But in the end (even though I won’t admit it) it helps. Also I just gotta say, keep your man happy, you are his pride and joy and he will fiercly protect you (you make him feel good).
    I’ve never once been sad in my life, I just get mad. Anger = saddness for the narc.

    • Debbie on July 31, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Cain, although I appreciate your admitting to being narcissistic, telling women to, “ keep him happy” is at the root of the problem.
      You should know that nothing really makes a Narc “ happy” and that happiness is an inside job, not determined by another person.
      All it really is, is cowering. It can not be true serving another’s needs when there is fear involved- when there is shame and belittling.
      With a narc it’s about surviving, as healthily as possible -even if, as I do in my situation I still have feelings of love and affection for him- I am not so much in denial as to over look and allow his meanness to go under the rug.
      If you are a Narcissistic personality, please get help! The woman in your life deserves a safe place to rest with you- not a life of pain in her heart and fear of doing something that will upset you. That is not a life Christ wants for a woman- or for you – because I realize that this stems from deep wounds that a narcissistic person refuses to face.
      Shalom on your journey to freedom,
      A sister

  31. Angie on July 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Wow! I just tonight found this blog entry and I am overwhelmed with the stories that appear over and over about the same characteristics of NPD and being married or in a relationship to an individual with this personality disorder. I was married for 12 years to a narcissist and endured the abuse without even realizing what it was. I have grown up in a Christian home and faith was and is a big part of my life. But because of that, I always felt like I wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t submissive enough, wasn’t unselfish enough and wasn’t a good enough Christian within the realms of our marriage. The last year some things happened that allowed me to start seeing what was happening and questioning many things. In that year (of pure misery I might add), we saw 3 different counselor with appointments every week. He would not like one after 8-10 sessions and we would find another. Things just got worse. I felt like talking about my feelings only made things worse. I was finally being honest with him about how his actions made me feel and he punished me for it. I was trying so hard to tell the truth in session but I knew when we got home, I would pay for what I said. After much prayer and counseling (on my own against his will), I decided to leave. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and questioned it often afterwards. He did so many things that made me just want to go back so he would stop, including turning my children against me. But I stuck with it. I used to feel like a failure as a Christian because of my failed marriage, but today I realize that hope can be found, and new beginnings, and that sometimes you just have no choice but to leave the abuse. You cannot change someone else no matter how hard you try. I am confident I gave it all I had before I left and am now in the healing stages. I know it’s a long road but I am doing well, after 2 years now. For more on my story, please read my blog! I just started it so you can get in on the beginning right now. Hope it helps you as much as it’s helping me! livingtransparently.blog.com

  32. Tammy on August 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    If you are married to a narcissist (or someone with any kind of personality disorder), and you have children, is it safe to leave them — because in doing so you will be leaving your children with that person half of the time without you being present to protect them?

    • Maripaz on August 28, 2013 at 1:11 am

      Just what I needed to hear as well as other women out there who did everything they can to hold on to their marriage. God knows each day I tell him the mist beautiful thing in the bible was marriage. I held on to the marriage my second one a narcissists in every sense. There was a time I felt crushed my self esteem plundered lost and confused. Each morning at work before my boss and I will go to a Catholic chapel on our first break to do some readings and light a candle hoping our marriages be safe. In my case he was both physically and verbally abusive. His womanizing ways and cheating that he takes pride of. There was never no sense of remorse but instead tells me why can’t you just move forward. Today not tomorrow next year I have to force myself to. The divorce I filed is already in process without a job, living with a friend temporarily for free and struggling financially all I can do is read the bible and pray. Its painful and hard when you gave everything you cam possibly can before everything gets finalized. All the sites I read there was only one advice fir women with no children and married to a narcissists filing for divorce is no contact. I hope this journey of mine will help other women that you are not alone remember if GOD IS FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US…God bless you all as well as your children..

  33. Chris on October 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I, also, am feeling extremely confused and afraid. I have been married to a NPD for 12 years. We have three young children. I have come to a breaking point over the last year, finally recognizing my situation and the lack of “true” love in my marriage. I have become so bitter, angry and resentful toward my husband for his behaviors over the past 10 years. He agreed to marital counceling, and that went ok. We communicate better, and he treats the kids better, but I still notice those “key” characteristics that send chills down my spine. I feel like I have failed regardless of my decision to stay or leave. I feel a sense of self if I stay in the relationship, and am worried that my children will be subjected to an unhealthy relationship and never know what it is like to live healthily. However, if I leave, I feel that I am disobeying Gods word and I feel a sense of loss in regards to “my vision” of our future together. I am so confused and am begining to feel physically and emotionally ill! I feel like a shell of a human going through the motions with a sad an heavy heart. I try to be open with my husband regarding my feelings, however, he becomes hurt and angry. I can’t say I blame him, but his anger is different, it goes on for days with doses of vendictivness and “getting back at me” because I don’t love him. Then, when we have a meaninful conversation he assumes all is well and wants to become physical. I can’t accept a hug from him w/o feeling physically ill…I’ve got nothing left to give. Every fiber of my being is screaming to “get out”…but somehow I can’t accept that this is God’s plan. I pray for some guidence and peace. God give me an answer…YES, NO, NOT NOW…something. Or, if I leave, where do I begin? There are days I pray He take me…just end the pain. P.S. not suicidal, just praying for eternal peace.

    My husband says that I need to make a consious decision to love him, that I have a choice. Probably true, but how does that work when your mind and body are screaming out to you that you can not trust this man?

    So, I don’t expect that anyone will read this post in it’s entirety…but I am open for any and all Christian advice, as I gather that many of you have been or are in my shoes! Thank you and God bless!

    • Leslie Vernick on October 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      You don’t have to trust him to love him. But what would Godly, biblical love look like in this situation?

      • Chris on October 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        Hmmm? Maybe that is where I struggle the most. To say, “I don’t love my husband” is inaccurate. I care for him deaply, although I am often angered. I struggle, as any human being, in my attempts to be Godly…unconditional love is difficult for us sinners.

        Could love in this situation mean that I leave?? I am not sure how that would be biblical. I have set boundries many times to have them torn down…or I let them weaken as the situation appears to be on the mend. I am so weak, I feel full of excuses as to why should leave, as to why I should stay. I can’t find resolution!

        I also struggle with the differnece between the love I share with friends, family, human kind, etc. and the level of “love” I should have for my spouse(which I no longer…maybe never have felt…feel)Is it ok that I love him the same as everyone else when his expectations of me are more?

        Thank you for your time and understanding!

        • Lindy on May 26, 2021 at 5:40 pm

          I can so relate. I hope you finally found your answer and are doing well.

  34. CHARMAINE on October 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I SCROLLED AND SCROLLED TO LEAVE YOU THIS MESSAGE….GET AWAY FROM THIS STRONGHOLD…REMEMEBER JOHN 10:10 “THE THEIF COMETH NOT, BUT FOR TO STEAL, AND TO KILL, AND TO DESTROY. I AM COME THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY.”

    DITCH THIS STRONGHOLD…IT IS STOPPING YOU FOR EXPERIENCING THE ABUNDANT JOY THAT GOD ORDAINED FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. PRAY THAT YOUR EX-HUSBAND MAY SOME DAY FIND THIS JOY! TURN AWAY FROM THIS UNGODLY MAN AND TURN TO JESUS CHRIST YOUR SAVIOR.

  35. VM on October 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I have been married for 45 yrs. to a man who is a controller. His opinions are “higher” and “above” everyone else’s. He does not value my opinions. During the course of our marriage we have had three different times of counseling….the last one being at 29 yrs. of marriage. There is no physical or verbal abuse per se. My abuse has been very subtle but just as harmful. I am a Christian who deeply loves the Lord and do my best to live a life so as not to grieve Him. God had to show me that…. He put me here for a reason and my first allegiance is to Him, not my husband. Our marriage is the perfect example of “pleaser meets controller”. When you don’t stand up against a controller you basically create more of a monster… so until you realize your part in the problem it only gets worse. About 9 yrs. into our marriage I decided to go see a Christian counselor. I learned how to set boundaries and “detach” when needed. I did everything one could do. I tried to do it in love, but sometimes when he pushed my buttons, I did say things I shouldn’t have said. I have asked for forgiveness for those things. God showed me (and is still showing me) that he (husband) is very emotionally insecure and his coping skills are just not there. He is a professing Christian…but never grew beyond, “the milk of the word”. We have the love of our children and grandchildren in common and that is about it. We have been “only companions” for many years now. When I set my boundaries he has learned there will be consequences always to emotional abuse. It is much like living with an emotionally immature child who has to have his way. While it can still be “wearing” and “tiring” to deal with, I have felt that there are enough redeeming qualities for me to justify my staying. I lost my passionate love many years ago. I left him for 4 months the last time, insisting that he get counseling “for as long as it takes”. Alcohol had suddenly become a problem. He filed for divorce but I didn’t cave. One day he called me and said he would do the counseling….which we did. He dropped the divorce proceedings. We were in counseling for about 8 months. When it was over things went well for about a month and after that… back to the same old “grind”. Through books by Cloud and Townsend, Dan Allender (Bold Love…my absolute favorite outside of the Bible, and many many other great books (plus counseling for just myself whenever I felt the need)… I have been learning how to love boldly and be true to myself through all these years. It has been the road less traveled, I think, and it has not been easy but, in my case, I felt that my boundaries and improved self esteem have worked wonders for me and to some degree for him, too. After so many years you would think he would quit trying….but that controlling temperament still rears it’s ugly head in the most subtle ways you could imagine. Thing is, I see it right away now and address it right away. Now, I just look at him in a certain way or turn and walk away because one can’t reason with a person like this so set in his ways. I basically go my own way and do what I think is right and pleasing to my Lord. Much of the time that is not what my husband wants so he sees me, like Leslie says….as the “difficult one.” I had to get over the fact that he feels that way about me. Why he has stayed all these years, knowing what will happen, I am not sure but God has used him to help me learn to handle these types of people and, I have to tell you, what Leslie says is so “right on” and it works! I found out about her a couple of years ago and, like her, I am interested in telling women of the church (especially) that there is a better way to live and I believe God approves of. Please don’t feel sorry for me. While I wished I didn’t have to still “deal” with his constant attempts,they bother me less and less now because it has sent me to my knees to the One who gave me comfort and understanding and has deepened my relationship with my Lord and Savior. He has led me all the way. I believe He led me to the right people and the right books for me. I do believe that if my husband hadn’t been at least willing to get counseling and didn’t respect my boundaries after a period of time… it would not have worked out. No one, in my opinion, can serve two masters. I prefer to give that role to my loving Lord and Savior. He has proved himself to be faithful to me in all ways. I trust Him.
    As for my husband, while he has not been unfaithful to me as “with another woman”, he has not loved me a Christ loved the church. I like what Oswald Chambers says in his writings..in a little book called…Quiet Moments With Oswald Chambers. It is on marriage and how he feels the Bible has been misquoted on this subject….Oh dear….I can’t find it. I think it might have been on page 79 or 80 as that is the page I have torn out in the book. I often show it to other women who have the wrong view of “submission” The neat thing about it is it was written in the 1800’s. His insight for such a young man who died in his late 40’s (I think) and lived in the 1800’s is quite amazing to me for that period.

    Leslie, I have recommended your books to other women. In my opinion, they are, not only much needed but you do a wonderful job of showing that it is also biblical and sound doctrine. Thank you for all you do to help these dear women. I have found your books and your online videos to be a great refresher course for me when needed. Ladies, if someone is abusing you and they won’t get help…. it is up to you to get help. Your abuse may be at much greater levels and more of them than mine or your husband may not be willing to get counseling or change any of his behaviors. All these things will make a big difference in each situation. Please pray about it and seriously consider what Leslie has to say. As someone who has been into this for so many years, I find what Leslie has to say as some of the best things I have heard over the years…

  36. Perpetua on October 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I am in the middle of a divorce with a narcissistic huband of 16 years & have a 9 yr old. I just wanted to share these links that helped me realize I wasn’t crazy & also gave my attorney understanding: http://bit.ly/1acvhH9 & http://onemomsbattle.com/ (this includes helpful resources). Sam Vaknin wrote a book called, “Malignant Self-Love” that was very insightful: http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissismglance.html. Blessings to all!

  37. Amadi on November 2, 2013 at 3:27 am

    As I read most of the comments I’m completely overwhelmed…I’m 30 years old and realize my husband has NPD, we have been married for 10 years, and have 4 children our youngest is 5 months, becuase my older children are so intelligent( in gifted classes in school), well- behaved and respectful I felt like I could just train them not to be like him or let him get to them, but I’m scared. His presence often changes the entire mood in the room. My biggest problem is that I believed God wanted me to leave him, and give him some alone time with Him ( GOD) but I have no support system and I have been a stay at home mom, so I have no money, I really feel panicked …I LOVE my husband sooooo much, both of us come from abusive backgrounds so I have so much compassion for him..but I’m scared my children will lose their faith because of his constant hypocrisy, they HATE how he treats me yet I struggle to teach them to respect him, ALL I request is that you all PLEASE PRAY FOR MY FAMILY…I HAVE NO WHERE TO GO AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, your posts have at least made me understand that I’m not crazy or alone in this …Thanks in advance for your prayers!

    • Leslie Vernick on November 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      We will pray Amandi, you are not alone and now you will need to take steps to get stronger so that you can love your husband in the way that will help him wake up – and it isn’t to just enable his sinful behaviors to continue. So there is a tense balance between compassion and understanding for someone’s situation and when it continues to harm him or you and the children setting boundaries or implementing consequences.

    • Janet on July 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Amadi…. how are you now?? Iv just read back to your first comment and realisation of your situation in November 2013…. this was just 7 months after my first realisation tol.
      Im 3 years separated, almost divorced, almost healed, fully at peace, and moving forwards in Christ….
      I wondered how things went for you??
      I will pray for you, still.
      God bless Janet

  38. Ginger on November 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I was just thinking of the woman who has been married 2 years, spouse has spent most of that time living at his Moms and not supporting her.

    I’ve been married 2 1/2 years, he is 54, I’m 52, every 2 months, usually around time to pay a bill (if he will even do that) he finds something to pick at, criticize, call me horrible ugly names, look at me with the hatred and venom, then pack his little baggies and I do mean grocery baggies and goes back to his Moms. No relationship with anyone really, not even his daughter. Speaks ugly about every one and anyone and especially ANYONE that tells him he is wrong about anything.

    It really is sad. The very love they think they want, is the thing they destroy, stomp on and walk away from constantly.

    It is also disheartening to read everyone’s posts. I’ve been going to where we got married, sitting down (in a park) and praying for him daily for 2 weeks and plan to do this for 40 days. I don’t know if God will answer my cry or my plea. But, when you read about the young couples this is happening to, then you know that they are still doing it at 54, there just doesn’t seem much hope. I truly was starting to think that just maybe God would open his heart, mind, ears and eyes to what he does, but maybe what some say is true, they have to WANT God to do that. For all of you my heart goes out to you. I really do know what it feels like when they tell everyone it’s you as they destroy you at home alone. He’s been back at his Mom’s for a month now after this last attempt at reconciliation. He wont let a divorce go through, contests it, but doesn’t want a real marriage with responsibility either. Personally, I’ve at the crying my heart out stage again. I hope that I hit numb soon. I hope better things for us all in the future with God.

  39. Lori Dori on November 22, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Boundaries boundaries boundaries I cannot stress that enough! After being married to a man for five years and being married young (22 years old) I experienced a lot of emotional pain and abuse, throughout the entire marriage. Then finally one day it took me a lot of courage to just let him go…. after many sessions of counseling, daily reading of many self-help books of what I was going through, God began revealing to me what I was dealing with when i learned to submit to Him and lean no longer on my own understanding . I think where us women go wrong is because of our insecurities that are influenced by so many different things in society or the media we forget our worth and what God created us to be. We forget the favor He gave the man, through us. We let these men remain selfish, and never being true accountability partners like we are suppose to be. Forgetting about ourselves and that we were made to and are to die for(literally/spiritually speaking). One of the biggest ways to deal with this issue, is to know the truth about what you are going through (knowledge is power) and leaning on the word of God, also learning your worth…. study the women in the bible (Esther, Abigail, Mary, Martha, etc) that changed the world because they remained faithful and trusted God. Know your worth, and that will change everything, even if it means you must walk away….you are a gift from God….remember you are worth far more than earthly things and you are loved….my best advice is know who you are….live it and never forget it….

  40. daniela on December 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Does some one had experience with NPD Christian pastor?

    • Leslie Vernick on December 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Diane Langberg PhD is an expert on Narcissism and church leaders. You may want to go to her website. She has a talk from a conference in this problem and how people need to be more aware of how they charm people into believing them. I’m not positive of her website but you can google her name and find it.

    • Kimberly on August 3, 2014 at 7:59 am

      I have been married to a narcissistic “pastor” for 5 years ( I just left for the last time approx. 4 days ago), and they are very dangerous…think Jim Jones! They are the same as any other narcissist, but will be held to a higher level of accountability “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1. I have lived with severe mental/psychological abuse. There has been nothing but confusion in the church, with crazy, off-the-wall teachings and beliefs. Ignorant, naive people believe him, and think he is the greatest. They think I am the evil one, and that I need “help”, because I do not support or agree with his erroneous teaching. It has been nothing but a hellish experience. It has been ALL about him! I sincerely believe it is worse that Satan worship, because those practicing Satan worship at least admit to doing what they are doing(thus hope), but when someone “claims” to be a Christian in leadership, and are deceiving people, that is dangerous!!! It is literally being a sheep living with wolves who desire to be satan’s workers wanting to tear you apart!!!He has allowed homeless women to live in the church, claiming to “help” them, when saying very sexually based comments to them. Thankfully, the young lady had enough sense to come to me and tell me, thus the reason for my final exit! Oh, and they lie, lie, lie like crazy to cover up/justify themselves. I get so angry that people are so stupid and ignorant to believe his very evil ways. He is a predator looking for prey, period!!!

  41. Darla on December 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Do you have suggestions of how to help a spouse of someone with NPD recognize the abusiveness of the relationship? My son has been married to someone with NPD for 15 months and watching the nightmare begin to unfold has been a time of excruciating pain. (Son says he is 100% happy.) Now my daughter in law is talking about a baby and I am terrified of the idea of their having children – how can I as a future grandparent allow abusiveness to happen (but I know that interference in any way will destroy the relationship that is barely holding together.) Advice, advice, advice????

  42. Debi on December 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you to every ones comments. I have been married to a narcissist for 15 years. It has been an going battle 2 or 3 months may go by before another blow up. My husband was arrested years before we were married for trying to shoot his ex wife. I do not know what I was thinking. He gave me the story about how awful she was and how she drove him to it. He has a lot of people fooled that it was due to her keeping pushing him and pushing him for more child support and driving him to it. I have recently been doing research and discovered on my own that he has this disorder. I always thought he may be bipolar. I saw a movie about someone with the disorder and a light bulb went off. Every symptom listed when I googled the disorder was him to a tee. We own a business together and
    have for our entire marriage. I could go on forever but to make a long story short, I am tired of everything he does is right and if I try to talk to him about the way he treats me the excuses are always turned on me. I have prayed and prayed for Gods help for my husband to realize he has a problem bit he always runs to his family and they always make excuses for him and pump him up and he gets worse toward me. They are a lot of the reason he is the way he is. They have similar traits. 4 years ago he kicked in a cabinet at a restaurant we were at and he was arrested. I was so embarrassed. I kept it for a long time from my family but finally told them because at times he can be scary. His children and siblings still do not even know about this. All of our children our grown. He is so stubborn when I tell him that he needs to leave he refuses to leave and sleeps in our garage for weeks on end.I have been to attorney this time because I am so tired at 56 years old that I feel like I am wasting my life away. It is going to be a long hard road divorcing someone that is in business with you. About 10 years ago we had a fight and he left for 2 months and had a affair with his sisters best friend. He took all of the money out of our company account. It was horrible and he came to his senses put the money back in the account. We went to counseling and tried working it out but he would always turn everything around at me. I wish I would have known about this disorder at that time but did not have a clue. He quit going to counseling and the behavior got worse.I pray everyday for strength to get me through.The only choice I have is to sell our house and pay off company bills to get out from under all of this. Every thing is in my name. home and business and he is determined to live in our garage because he says he built it and we would have nothing if it was not for him. The house was mine when we married. He had awful credit so we stated the business in my name which is a construction business. Sorry to keep rambling but due to the economy we have struggled for 5 years. I hate giving up something I have worked so hard at but I feel like I have no choice. I am scared to death but I am tired of the unhappiness and I have got to have strength in God because I know my life will be better.

    • Leslie Vernick on December 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Since he has shown violent tendencies, please, please seek expert help on how and when you are going to separate. Sometimes when a woman does that she is actually in more danger of being abused or killed.

      • Debi on December 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Thanks Leslie Do you mean counseling or legal advice?

        • Leslie Vernick on December 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

          I would do both – but counseling from experts in domestic violence – from a women’s shelter not just any counselor.

  43. Irlande on January 10, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I appreciate your advice Shirley on the situation. I too just realized that I am in such a relationship. I suspected it but could not totally understand it until recently. My husband is a loving person but he was abused verbally, physically, financially and emotionally as a child by his mother and he continues to receive such abuses even today. I feel bad the way she treats him but she is a very much older lady and we feel that we cannot change the way she treats him anymore. As for him and I, everything is upside down, my income is used to pay all the bills while he chooses what to do with his. This bothers me a lot. Another thing that bothers me is that he’d be readily available to help anybody else but me, he’d give people money, buy stuffs for them, take them places or do their chores while my needs are not being met. He’d take long vacation away while I am left alone. My credit report is totally screwed from my negligence of listening to him but then I was younger and really naive, now I am trying to fix it. I could not complete my college degree because I was always unstable emotionally. I learn that to recognize the issue is a good step toward change, but how do I stay healthy in this relationship and is there a way to make things better for us? We’ve been married for 5 years going on 6.

  44. Stacy on January 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I was married to a narcissistic man for 16 years, although I didn’t know it until recently. He left me a year and a half ago bc I became a Christian and that wasn’t in his plans. I was devastated and so were our two young boys. His mom and sister tried to talk him out of it, but he was done. Our lmarriage was all about him and when he pulled away from me bc of my faith, I turned to God and church activities more. I made my mistakes I admit, but breaking our family up bc I go to church on Sundays is disturbing and selfish. He said he never got a chance to live?? So I’ve been in therapy and reading your Leslie’s blogs and videos for help. What a difference they’ve made in my life. I don’t want my ex anymore. It still hurts bc we really had a great marriage the first ten years! But I realize I married a man like my narsisisstic father and there is no help for him apart from the power of God. I can’t change him, and it tried. I pray for my exes salvation, but his issues of belittling me and undermining me are over. I finally feel free! He was never there for me when I asked for help with my depression or kidney surgery. He told me I was on my own! He stopped doing things with me altogether and said he tried, but he can’t do it. All he “wants to do is hunt, work and play with the boys”. I prayed and tried to fix it, but God has said otherwise. I try and be amicable with him now that we are separated, but he does some terribly hurtful things to let me know how I’ve lost a “good man.” God will show him otherwise one day. God showed me what I did wrong, I know he will make everything right one day. I just have to stay close to God now. I am concerned and don’t want to meet an another man like my ex. I see the signs though now, thanks to Leslie, and run the other way! Thanks and God bless!

  45. Joyce on April 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    It is good therapy to read all these comments and suggestions. I apparently have been very naïve through all my married years. I married the greatest guy on the planet 27 years ago. We raised 5 children together (3 from a previous marriage of mine). My marriage was not the best but I thought it was normal. That’s what he told me. Every marriage is like ours he said. Once the kids all married, I noticed them and their spouses treating each other with respect and kindness. I noticed other couples doing the same. We listened to a broadcast about good marriages. My DH always said it wasn’t possible to have that kind of marriage…It was excuse after excuse. Just yesterday, he told me if I thought other marriages were different than ours, I was delusional.
    I read books, listened to speakers, studied all I could to help our marriage. He did nothing but rage, discount, blame, accuse, call me names etc. I felt so terrible I asked why he even wanted to stay married to me! One day 3 years ago I heard a term ‘narcissistic’ and decided to look it up. MY GOSH..I came out of the fog on that day.
    I have been searching for answers ever since. He has charmed the congregation, pastor, the marriage counselor and others saying it is all me. ( I think he has a strong hate towards women!)

    • Mary on May 30, 2022 at 11:12 pm

      He hates himself

  46. jay on August 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I am a male married to a female narcissist. For the past 5 years of marriage she has pushed my family and friends away. She has tried to control everything including finances. Everyday it feels like I’m walking on eggshells. In the beginning she wanted a divorce but I prayed to god and begged that she stay. Now I regret it. No one should have to live in suffering this way. I am convinced no one should stay with a narcissist.

  47. krys on January 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

    My husband is definitely narcissist. 11 years of marriage and I am never right, no problem ever gets a resolution, children are belittled and never get empathy and he tries to manipulate and does a lot of twisting of words so that it seems true but he adds fluff to it to better his side. I left a month ago after he assaulted me for something he thought he could have. I came back to where my mom lives so we are now in different states. Now he is charging me with domestic abuse for hitting him off me and wants joint custody. He seriously has said he is the victim in this. He won’t admit to any abuse from him. He says putting me in a choke hold and pinning me down was to calm me down. I in no way can talk him out of pressing charges and I am at my wits end on trying to get these charges removed, not even the few people he trusts can talk him down.

  48. Elly on February 29, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I too am dealing with a husband who has “narcissistic “, “selfish”, whatever it can be called. But whatever label one can attach to behaviour I have come to view and accept it simply as sinful behavior that my husband has not repented from, therefore it continues at the destruction of our marriage and family. The only way to deal with this cycle of abuse is to leave it. Otherwise, if I stay, it will continue to occur to my daughter and I. The only hope is that one day he will repent and truly accept Jesus into his life, but until that possible time I cannot stay under the wrath and destruction of my husband hoping and praying that he will turn around.

  49. Deanne on March 4, 2016 at 11:08 am

    setting boundaries with my husband led to him filing divorce. at first i didn’t want the divorce, but being separated from him has allowed me to see the relationship as it was. i now have no contact with him because of his controlling manipulative behavior. i can only hope and pray that he gets the help he needs.

  50. Beloved on March 20, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Cayla.
    My heart goes out to you. I hear your pain.
    I am 3 years into my discovery of THE TRUTH BEHIND “MY MENTAL ILLNESS”. It turned out to be my husband and HIS NPD….

    God is good Cayla. Hold on to HIM, DON’T LET GO. Let him begin the work of forgiveness and healing IN YOU, For YOUR SAKE.

    I will pray for you sister. You will go through a sea of emotions, even from now!!!! My advice is “NO CONTACT OR COMMUNICATION” at all, with him…. NO MATTER WHAT. If you must communicate, and you want to keep your sanity, keep it to the bare minimum. EMAIL REPLIES ONLY!. BRIEF, DIRECT AND STRAIGHT TO THE POINT, KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS BETWEEN YOU AND GOD FROM NOW ON. Your emotions are your husbands “food supply”… THIS IS THE CHORD THAT NEEDS CUTTING if you want to find your peace and freedom.

    As JESUS lays sleeping in the boat while the storm rages,
    CHOOSE TO BE STILL…TRUST HIM ONLY. KNOW THAT HE WILL NOT TO LET YOU SINK! REST IN HIM, and He will bring your soul safely and peacefully to shore.

    God bless Cayla. I Thank God that He has opened your eyes.
    Isaiah 61.
    John 8:31-32 & John 10:14-15

  51. Jeanie on April 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    If a narcissist can heal, it’s because the non-narcissist cared enough to exit —- most of the time. I remained married to a covert narcissist for 21 years, and have to say: every instinct was smothered by the Christian advice to “offer it up”. My narcissist is crippled, and dared me to knock him down to get free from his yelling and cruelty. He was even able to hit the kids black and blue, despite his small stature. PLEASE – do not let the idea that a “good Christian” doesn’t get a divorce be the argument that trumps love and compassion for human beings – including the narcissist. He deserves to “know” that his behavior isn’t safe / loving. Leaving is the only way to charitably say that.

  52. Charlie on May 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I believe my husband is a narc but he has not been clinically diagnosed. We have been married 24 years. The first few years, he treated me like a princess! We have 4 wonderful boys together and I have thought of him as a wonderful father to them but then I began to notice his lack of empathy that progressed into unrealistic expectations and abuse, mostly emotional. He began to party a lot and flirt a lot, sometimes inviting other women over when I wasn’t home and also inviting them out for a drink. 3 years ago, he revealed he had a child from a previous relationship, more than 30 years ago that he had kept a secret from everyone, including me, his parents and friends. Once revealed, he admitted that he would have never told me about them If they had not contacted him. The crazy making behaviour escalated after this. He showed no remorse for any of it. Since this time, he has had 2 emotional affairs that I know of, he has had wages garnished for not paying taxes, we almost had our home foreclosed due to not paying the mortgage, nights that he has gone out with friends and not returned til next day, I could go on and on. I have been told he has been cheating on me for years! 5 months ago, I convinced him to go to counselling. Other than show up, he has done nothing the counsellor has suggested. I separated for 3 months and returned with his promise to work on the marriage. 3 days later he stayed out all night again and I have had more of the same crazy making behaviour! I have decided to separate again but am still hopeful that our marriage can be saved.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 19, 2016 at 6:56 am

      I’d encourage you to read Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. From what you have said, hope that your husband is going to change is not based on reality but wishful thinking.

      • Charlie on May 19, 2016 at 7:28 am

        Thanks Leslie, I will read it. I just read Boundaries in Marriage and The Emotionally Destructive Marrriage! Both had sound biblical advice and helped me to see what is going on. Unfortunately the counsellor we have been to doesn’t see it.

  53. Tristan on May 20, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I promise, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I lost my son in my divorce. My now ex narc wife accused me of abusing her, faked photos, the whole works. Since she was a police detective I had nothing I could do. She got me fired and took all the money so I had no attorney. She got remarried in months and two years later has another child and is due with the third. Me? I moved across the country and found true love with an amazing woman who we equally treat like gold. I lost A LOT, yes, but God has a bigger plan.I went through Divorce Care at church and then Grief Release and I am happier than ever. I learned a lot and most importantly I learned to KNOW MY WORTH. Never forget that. Narcs are men and women, all shapes and sizes. Around every corner. God has greater for you. Never doubt Him.

  54. Tristan on May 20, 2016 at 1:07 am

    “Who we equally treat like gold” meaning the woman in life now treats me like gold and I equally treat her like gold. Didn’t want it to come across like my ex treats anyone like gold. We haven’t spoken to each other in years and it is a blessing. I keep very private and don’t even tell people where I work so she doesn’t try to get me fired again. She actually did try again, but thankfully that job knew the situation. I moved just a couple of months after that happened. I have an even better job now and God has overflowed blessings.

    • Charlie on May 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Tristan, it helps to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  55. MaryJane on May 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I recently learned that my husband is a narcissist. It was from an article that listed many characteristics of a narcissist, which rang loud and clear! From there I googled and read other articles and took online tests. I was just unsure how to look at this as a Christian! Dh had been emotionally and mentally abusive since we dated, but we were not Christians at the time and did not know the difference between normal and wrong behavior. Now, I will say though, that dh started to change after a separation of a week and throughout the past twenty years. With God’s Grace we were both able to grow spiritually. But, the characteristics are still there and still surface. During these years I realized that I had to “die to self” as a Christian, but it took suppressing my individuality to elevate his. I did not realize that that was what I was doing. Submitting in godly virtue and encouraging my husband as his help-meet for God’s glory had been my focus. Like many of the comments here, it was all about his wants, needs, and desires when it came to making decisions about many things. If they weren’t his decisions, I had to convince him to agree with me. Much energy and focus was on keeping the peace. I slowly died inside. I’ve tried going to pastors and Titus 2 women through the years, but it always pointed back to me and what I am doing, could do, and should do. No validation for my reality! My children have resentments as much as they try not to, knowing the Lord themselves and trying to be respectful and honoring children. By God’s grace they have not lost faith to this day! The two eldest came to the conclusion that their dad is a narcissist in a conversation they had about two years ago. I told ds that I had just found this out and I wished they told me. This is healing for sure, to know that this is a symptom from a real problem. No, we are not insane! To this day dh does and says things “for the Lord” but we can’t help but question this at times. I don’t want to, but it’s there! My children are now grown and I have been working on me. This requires empowerment of knowing who I am as the person God created; strengths and weaknesses. In so doing I now identify with my personality traits. It’s been rewarding to learn my value, yet hard to ignore his wrong behavior. He has seen me grow and proud of me for my new endeavors, but at the same time, we are arguing a lot because he is not getting his way. Now that our children are adults he is finding it harder to control them. He cannot fool them anymore. It’s not all about him so he’s struggling. I am not allowing him to be a leading actor in a play for stardom, but I will continue to respect him as the head of this home. I couldn’t read all the comments, but I saw what Joyce shared and it reverberates to me. As wives we look like we’re crazy, rebellious, and disobedient children of God when we talk to other Christians about this. Unless dh were physically abusive, I am committed for life. With this realization I have to navigate through it with a new compass. He is willing to work on solutions, like giving him reminders and code words. We both agreed not use the D word after that separation many years ago. There are rocky waves between calm ones. We’ve come a long way, and with God’s help as it’s always been, I will continue to move forward with prayers for wisdom and discernment, with purpose as an individual; not only as ‘his’ wife. Thank you for allowing me to share!

    • Bea on February 28, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      How are things going for you almost 4 years after you left the above comment?

      • Rosella on April 20, 2020 at 5:37 pm

        I would like to know that as well. How are things going now? It would surely help to know where you and your husband are today?

    • Graced for this on February 19, 2022 at 8:57 am

      I would like to know as well. Also did he step out of the marriage with another woman. Very encouraging

    • Angie on March 13, 2022 at 6:12 pm

      I know you may not see this reply as the post is very old but my story sounds very similar to yours. Both my husband and I were Christians before we met and when we met and the first 8-10 years of our marriage I didn’t know what narcissism was. My husband is very outgoing and does a lot of good things for other people. A lot of people really like him although there are a few who don’t. I think people can see that he has some problems but they don’t have to live with him. We had so many arguments in the early years. I carried a lot of guilt, thinking that if I had just done something better or differently, he wouldn’t have gotten mad. Even though I knew he was wrong, I didn’t see how the way I was reacting was also wrong. During my first pregnancy I decided I didn’t want my child growing up around that much fighting so I started praying, reading the Bible and other Christian books, and I began changing. God showed me so many places I needed to change. Of course, my husband needed to change, too, but I couldn’t do that. I could only change myself. I learned SO MUCH. I also continued trying to improve our relationship. My husband is embarrassed by sharing personal things and that is exactly how I have a relationship with others. So, we have never been close. That has been a source of great sadness for me. After 15 years I finally got to the point that I couldn’t handle trying anymore and I told him so. His idea of a marriage is to have sex and have someone to listen to him talk. So I quit trying to be personal with him. However, I had to deal with his anger. My parents helped me be able to confront him in a stronger way about his temper. That caused problems within his side of the family as his mother is also a narcissist. Probably worse than him. Over the last 10 years, he has greatly improved as far as his temper is concerned. He still has it and, I’m sure always will, but it is handleable. However, he has other issues that are harder for him to understand and deal with. Almost everything he does is with a view to how it will benefit him. He changes facts to fit situations or conversations depending on who he is talking to and how he wants to come across to them. He doesn’t think things through or consult me or try to find out all the facts in a situation before jumping and making assumptions/decisions/judgements. We live on a limited budget but he has to spend money. Even on things he doesn’t need like clothes, hats, more hunting gear. He has tons of this stuff and there are other things the rest of us need or basic things that need to be done to take care of the house. He does almost nothing around the house. I quit asking him years ago because he would either get mad, say he would do something and then not or act like I was being an imposition. He rarely voluntarily does anything that is actually helpful and is very messy. Our house is a mess because neither he nor our kids clean up after themselves and I don’t have the time and energy to deal with all of it. The messy house adds to my struggles with our relationship. I can’t come home and cook anything because there are days worth of dishes all over the counters. Living in a mess has been one of the harder things for me deal with. I have been able over the years, to let go of how I wanted our marriage to be, to accept him as he is even though I have to keep confronting him, but I am struggling right now. I am having to work more as we’ve had medical bills and prices are going up. We had to have more money. Our children also have their own struggles and I have to deal with those (he is only rarely any help-most of the time he contributes to the problem).As our children are older now they see how he is. They have all dealt with anger and hurt stemming from how he interacts with them and me. I just don’t know what to do. We are both committed to staying together. We love each other but we are really just roommates taking care of the kids. He has good qualities. I know I have focused on the bad but that is where the struggle is. I love him and want to have a good, close relationship but that is highly unlikely. I just don’t know how to deal with the day to day issues. I hate it when he gets mad. Though it is better than it used to be there’s always the knowing that it could happen at any time. I don’t tend to anger with most people or at least it takes a lot to get me angry but lately I am nothing but angry with him and I hate it. I am praying, asking God what I should do. I know I need to leave it in His hands but almost any interaction between us pushes my anger button and I am not handling it well. He is seeing a therapist for some other issues who has diagnosed him with PTSD, I suppose because of some things that have happened in his job (he is a sheriff’s jail officer). He diagnosed himself before he went to the therapist and I don’t know how many of the symptoms he actually has and how many he recited to her from his research. He definitely has some of them. I’m not saying it isn’t a correct diagnosis, it’s just that he tries to make facts fit the reality he wants, and he “wanted” to have a PTSD diagnosis. I don’t know if anyone will see this post or reply since this is an old article but I just had to get this all out.

  56. PAOLA on November 29, 2016 at 7:16 am

    What an absolute relief to find this forum. I started to reading about an hour ago and after a full day of praying, searching, questioning, and waiting for clarity I feel that this is the clarity and vision for whats to come.

    I too want to stand tall along you wonderful women who have fought or still fighting off the enemy and always with your hearts full of hope.

    I’ve been searching for answers in the bible and in worship but I always seemed to miss the main message.. that He loves me. and He won’t forsake me!

    1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

    I too have been pleading and praying for as long as my soul will allow and now at a point where im asking God to reveal truth, prophetic understanding to give me strength and courage to move forward with a decision to leave the marriage which has caused so much grief. Today, I was sitting at my PC and searching for answers I came across this forum and felt overwhelmed by the support and hope. Its horrible that we feel so much guilt at giving up. But really we are not giving up we are giving in to God and what he has ahead for us. Why keep ourselves in the darkness when there is so much more light to fill us.

    So many women who have walked such similar experiences.. its amazing just how many comments and replies. Well, I too have received so much counsel from my church support group yet none of them had ever lived with a spouse who had a NPD. Understanding the disorder should give us a sense of relief and peace however coming to terms with the fact that it may not EVER go away is another issue completely. Making that choice to stay and stick it out is a tuffy… surely a lot of information here from past experiences to assist make that decision.

    I’m now into my 3year of a downhill battle and really looking forward to finding myself again in a peaceful place. To enjoying my children without pain in my heart, anger on my tongue and sadness in my eyes. It’s not a way to LIVE.

    I’ve tried to order the book via amazon Leslie with no luck, if you know of any bookstores or online stores who ship to Australia please let me know.

    love to all and thanks for sharing with me.

  57. Susan on October 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I just came across it, and it seems so relevant to me. My husband of over 17 years left me a month ago, giving me no reason except that he’s unhappy. He literally said to me that I’ve been the best wife he could hope for and that I deserve better than him. But in the last week or so, I’ve begun to reflect on some things.

    I would have never labeled him as NPD before now because we know that his mother has NPD, and both he and his brother have always been so worried about becoming like her. And he has seemed to, if anything, feel guilty for things that aren’t even his fault. But, it seems like his version of NPD simply presents differently than hers. He’s been verbally and emotionally abusive to me for years, but in short-lived doses mainly. And he was addicted to porn, which I kept finding. Each time I found something and confronted him, the result was what seemed to be genuine remorse, so NPD seemed the furthest from being a possibility. And then he put on a show for everyone that he was a happy man. In retrospect, he really only cared about consequences, never about actually preventing himself from doing something wrong again. And then a few years ago, he got caught up in the world of online affairs that included sexual videos, calls, and texting with married women who claimed to have horrible husbands. When I found out and confronted him, he suddenly wanted to leave me. He changed his mind when the woman he was involved with at the time ended their relationship.

    He never confessed anything he did wrong. I always had to find out and confront him, which resulted in him finding better ways to hide what he was doing.

    Everyone who meets my husband loves him; he’s the most seemingly genuine charismatic Christian man I know. And nothing about him leaving me makes him look good to anyone who knows me. But when I examine the things that led up to his leaving, I realize that I started calling him out a lot more on how he was treating me and blaming me for even small unimportant things that happen like a spilled drink. Then I discovered a new emotional affair, which he seemed sorry for. But then the verbal abuse got a little worse, and some very close friends got involved when they saw what was happening. Once they confronted him, it wasn’t long before he was leaving me.

    Now, he’s pushed away everyone who is telling him he’s wrong for leaving me, including his closest family and friends. He’s finding new friends who make him feel good and who will trash me just because there’s no way they can believe that this wonderful charismatic man could have done anything wrong. Basically, he’s avoiding the consequences of his actions, and pretending he just wants what’s best for me which includes him leaving.

    What I’m scared of is that he will decide a little before the holidays, when he would have to deal with some of those consequences with his family, that he wants to come back — therefore having a huge redemption story that will make him look really good and get everyone’s respect back. It’s similar to some things his mom did, though her plans mostly backfired because she cheated and therefore wasn’t accepted back.

    While I want that redemption story too, more than anything, I don’t know if it can be real or if it would just be a show for a few more years and we’re just right back here again.

    If he doesn’t cheat on me while we’re separated, do I take him back if he wants to come back? What are some things I can do or say to begin to discern if he’s really changed? He’s seeing a counselor, but I have no idea if he’s being honest with her, and he easily could be seeing her just to make himself look good to everyone who thinks that’s the right thing to do and who would love to see this turn into a story of redemption and restoration.

    • Rita B. on March 18, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      If he comes back with a redemption story, you don’t have to take him immediately back. You can allow yourself time to pray about it and consider it and get advice. You could ask him if he is willing to do counseling separately for a while. I’m in a similar situation, trying to figure out how to make it work as well. So counseling use help and counsel me. There’s no hurries! May God bless you and bring you where He wants you! 🙏🏻🙌🏻❤️

  58. Daughter on November 2, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Good morning sisters and God bless all of you. I married a Christian man six and half years ago just to find out painfully that he’s a narcissist. I never knew what a narcissist was until my Counslor mentioned it to me. I was in counseling for over four years i’m now separated and he’s give me an ultimatum to move across the country with him or he will finish the divorice me and is taking no responsibility so I haven’t gone and he served me. I’m a different person since I’ve been with him ..he sucked life right out of me however the great thing is is I drew to God and I’m much closer to our Heavenly Father so it’s hard to
    Say that this but it’ has served it purpose .. afrer reading all of your stories this is what came to my heart that we are to love God first before any human being we need to stand strong for these younger women that get involved with narcissist loving our self is not a sin and we cannot be the person that God create us to be when Satan uses the narcissist to keep our mind and our emotions all tangled up. I felt free after reading all of your stories and thank you for sharing let’s be strong for the next generation and let’s serve God together and let go ..it’s not our place to be god in their life and for me when I really soul searched it’s my selfishness wanting him to do what I feel o need him to do so I can heal..we don’t need them
    But rather god and it does and is painful when they take no responsibility for anything they have done leaving us a mess but I allowed it.. I haven’t met any of you but I love all of you and will be praying for all of you asking god for strength and wisdom to stand strong so we can give back to others…I just ordered a book on focus on the family tired when to walk away by gary Thomas and it’s about toxic ppl…thank you and god bless

    • Rosella on April 20, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you for your post! You do need to know when to walk away regardless. We are not God and cannot fix a person. God is the only one who can.

  59. Rosella McFadden on April 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    As I read the above article, it brought tears to my eyes because I am there separated from my husband at this time. After research I found out my husband is a Narcissistic. He has all the traits/characteristics. He made my life a living nightmare. He was very controlling, abusive, a cheater, always putting the blame on me. He broke 2 Flat screen TV’s out of anger. He is very arrogant, just about none of my family care for him. Now that I have left, he has been “love-bombing” me to come back to him. He says that he has joined a church and is always using bible scripture on me. I told him that he needs help. I love my husband but how can I go back to someone who won’t own up to his actions of what he did to get us to this point? I don’t want this at all but I can’t be with him when he has this disorder of NPD and won’t seek treatment for it. All the begging, pleading, crying he has done to get me to come back home means nothing if he won’t get some treatment for his mental disorder. I do love my husband very much but I can’t go back to that hellish life I lived with him. So sad.

    • Lisa on November 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm

      yes, I completely understand. You’re strength encourages me!

  60. Trudy on June 17, 2020 at 10:07 am

    If they show almost all the traits but are not violent and never yell (they do give the silent treatment for days or weeks, abandon and seek comfort in porn), can they still be a narcissist?

    • CrisiEE on September 11, 2020 at 1:31 am

      Look up Covert Narcissism. It is totally possible

  61. Terry Benischek on January 31, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    It seems that a therapist/counselor coined an NPD dx. That said this wife should make every effort to secure a safe place for herself and her baby son. When NPDs are asked to leave or their supply leaves them, the reunion is terrible. NPDs cycle into the punishment stage and their behavior, after their return, may be dangerous if it escalates beyond emotional abuse. As Christians we are very forgiving and sometimes naive. Currently, there is little hope for a cure for NPD. Some have had success in behavior mod. But it generally is more successful in childless couples. We all know that raising physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy kids requires stable parents. Mom cannot care for her kids when she is the victim of a Narc spouse.
    The Lord can restore and heal anything. Unless you are strongly convicted that God is healing your spouse (evidenced by your spouse’s submission of their will by asking for help) you deserve a stable and peaceful life environment and should plan an escape with the help of a support system. God Bless you.

    • Andrew Stuart on May 14, 2021 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you!!

    • Teri on July 31, 2021 at 11:14 pm

      As a Christian, I could never call anything incurable. I’ve seen my God do the impossible! Countless times! God specializes in things thought impossible. To say that something is incurable, is an offense to God Almighty Who Made us, Who is our CREATOR. Does not the Maker know everything about His creation? How to build and put it together, how to take it apart, mold and make it again? Do well-meaning Christians realize that when they deem something or someone as incurable, that they give power over to Satan and rob God of His Glory, Who can do all things? Satan would have us to believe that we are defeated and conquered. Truth is, he, is defeated and conquered. Amen?! Hallelujah?!

      Remember dear ones, that at the core of each narcissist, is
      Sin. Christ conquered sin, He conquered death, and He conquered His foe and the enemy of our souls, Satan. Like any other human being, narcissists are redeemable, and the price has been paid in full for all who will receive. God has equipped us with the power and the weapons for the spiritual warfare that we find ourselves in and the victory is already won. (Ephesians 6: 11-13). Amen and thank you Jesus for what you did on the cross and already having given us the Victory.

      In Christ,

      A wife 41 years with a narcissist/unbelieving husband.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 1, 2021 at 11:56 pm

        For sure God is able and willing, but I think of the question Jesus asked the paralytic in John 5. Do you want to be well? The problem with narcissists isn’t that God isn’t able, but that they have no sense of needing healing. In their own mind, they are fine. It’s everyone else who has the problem.

        • Linda on November 19, 2021 at 4:52 am

          You are completely right on target! And this is the one thing that makes reconciliation with a narcissist impossible.

  62. Marissa on April 6, 2021 at 1:35 am

    I’ve spent the last few hours reading through the material available on the narcissismcured.com site you mention in this post and I felt the need to caution others, particularly those who are early in their journey of education on narcissism and abuse in intimate, long term relationships as I don’t think the perspective this site offers promotes safety for the person on the receiving end of this kind of abuse. Some of the suggestions and explanations offered by the authors of this material (a husband and wife duo) for those suffering from abuse by a narcissistic partner may expose them to more covert forms of abuse and deeper confusion, to the abusive partner’s advantage. Personally I think this material falls into the well-intended-bad-advice category and while there is some information that offers insight into the mindset of people with NPD, on the whole the information is misguided and potentially damaging. Even suggesting there is a cure to NPD is dangerous. Someone suffering from this disorder may take responsibility and put in the work to eliminate a lot of the unhealthy behaviours they used to demonstrate, which is rare and commendable, but it can’t be “cured”. It’s a disorder like any other disorder that needs to be managed throughout a person’s life. Again for those who are just starting to see the truth of the unhealthy dynamic in their relationship and suspect your abusive partner has NPD, I’d warn you to read the material on narcissismcured.com with caution, if at all, and combine all of your own research with the support of a therapist with experience in this area.

    • Bob on June 23, 2022 at 6:25 pm

      Could not agree more. I thought the same thing the moment I read their website’s name. And tragically enough, it’s rare for narcissists to change. It can happen, but ultimately, it depends on the individual and they have to WANT to change and truly express that desire to do so in addition to demonstrating tangible actions. The author of this article should not be endorsing a website that implies that they have information that can cure an abusive spouse in your life.

      and SHAME on the couple/owners of that website, they have a book shop and are profiting off of what is a very very very delicate and serious topic. This is not a subject that anyone should intentionally be profiting on unless it’s a psychologist who actually specializes in treating/addressing these disorders. These people are selling the emotional equivalent of snake oil. Disgusting.

  63. Steve on December 20, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    I’m a man married to a crazy narcissistic women. My eyes are wide open to it after 8 yrs of marriage. I have to divorce her. I’m so ashamed of myself I didn’t see this years ago. I feel like I wasted 10 years of my life.

    • Leslie Vernick on December 21, 2021 at 12:39 am

      Well you could look at it that way or you could look at it as you’ve gotten an education not only on narcissistic people but those who love them. This is your “bottom” to look at your own relationship patterns – For example,, are you the rescuer, looking for damsel’s in distress? Do you become so loving and caring you have no needs or goals of your own while dating “I just want to make her happy”. Why do you think you “didn’t see it?” Do you see it now? Why do you think you chose to ignore those red flags. Please do your own work before you begin a new relationship or you may find yourself in a repeat situation.

  64. Kay on April 1, 2022 at 7:03 am

    Reading the story above is almost exactly my story. We have been married almost 7 years and have a beautiful 2 year old. However, I am just now realizing I have been abused since the beginning. The month after we were married he COMPLETELY changed into a different man and I knew I made a mistake. I could feel in my core that I needed to run. I know now that was the Lord but I was so conflicted because marriage should be forever. For the past 7 years , I have prayed daily for our marriage and that God would open his heart, reveal himself to him so that he would in return surrender himself back, and that would marriage would be healed and restored.” These prayers have yet to come to pass. The abuse has endured all the while. It is everything but physical abuse. Any money I make he takes it and puts it in a savings account that he refuses to put my name on. We don’t have shared accounts. I have my own account that he puts my “allowance” in. He is verbally abusive , and emotionally absusive and likes to use our daughter to say things to me like “I love daddy more.” “Daddy is my favorite not you.” Just things like that to get under my skin. I do all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of our child, work and go to school full time. He will have the audacity to criticize me bc I didn’t fold his clothes within 2 days. This man hasn’t even changed a diaper since I don’t know when.. he might do a load of dishes once a month and let me tel you I praise him so mightily when he does in hopes he will do it again. Instead, he uses that against me that he had to do the dishes bc I am too incompetent to handle my inside duties so he had to step in. We have went to marriage counseling 2x and they broke up with us bc he wouldn’t do the work or home work. I have tried my best to remain steadfast and continue praying for our marriage. Recently, I ran into Christy Johnson’s Bible plan “when love turns toxic” and it has completely changed my perspective on things. So I started praying “If this cannot be fixed then please provide me a way out.” And GOD MOVED. I prayed to help me become financially independent and help me to work towards and better future so I can leave peacefully. When I say he moved I had been wanting to go back to school so I could become an educator so I could be on the same schedule as my daughter and bc I had been feeling lead to teach for the past 5 years but didn’t know how to make that happen bc my husband wouldn’t let me go back to school. So anyways after I had prayed this my husband literally encouraged me to go back to school and said I needed to look into teacher loan forgiveness plans bc then he would be ok with it. He barely had to utter those words and I was on it. So far have been very successful with school, I prayed for the Lord to provide me with emergency escape funds just in case, and he MOVED!! So I genuinely feel like the Lord is moving me out of this relationship and I am just waiting on the Lord before I take any step. If he moves and provides then I move forward. At this point I’m just solely trusting the Lord. I don’t know if I’ll get divorced, or just separated or if he will have a major heart change but I’m more at peace than I have ever been.

  65. Danielle on July 24, 2022 at 9:25 am

    I have been married to a man who I now realize has some strong narcissist tendencies for 24 years. I didn’t start realizing the problem until about 4 years ago, so kudos to anyone who is strong enough to figure it out sooner! I always erred on the side of believing my husband was simply too strict but I now realize it’s more than that, he is controlling. To make matters worse he is a pastor and my children and I have endured years of spiritual abuse. One red flag is that, while feeling “called” to preaching, he never could get along with anyone well enough to serve in an existing church community, so then he started his own small church (which after 10 years has not been blessed with growth) and he has no eldership in place to provide a check and balance. He has an excessive expectation for respect, one which the average person could never achieve. He also has some pretty heavy alcohol and marijuana usage, which he keeps well hidden. For any younger wife out there experiencing something similar, my best advice is to pray for and take action towards enabling yourself to be financially independent so you never feel “stuck.” I was fortunate enough to be the primary breadwinner, so this keeps my husband from completely being able to control me. In addition, make sure someone knows about the abuse. While it killed me to be honest with my parents and sister about my marriage, it also gave me a support network I desperately needed. I have no intention of leaving my husband, but I am finally in the position where he has very little within his power to use to hurt me. Our youngest child is headed to college and I had to finally (and years too late for her own mental well-being) stand up to my husband, refusing to submit to his harsh treatment of her. My husband has essentially said my choosing to not submit is sinful and will result in God’s rejection of me. I can’t tell you how my story will end, but I can assure you that I will be fine. I am encouraging my children to get counseling and I pray often for their mental wellness, that my daughter will not fall into a similarly abusive relationship and that my son will see the damage created and not repeat the cycle himself. I am trusting in God’s provision for them and am choosing to see God’s goodness throughout all of this.

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