How to Deal with Narcissistic Rage?

Narcissistic rage is one of the classic behaviors of the narcissist. Most narcissistic victims have experienced serious outbursts of narcissistic rage which can include violent physical attacks, hysteria, screaming and verbal or emotional abuse.

Narcissistic rage covers a wide range of behaviors from aloofness or mild irritability to serious, physically violent attacks. A narcissist often makes unrealistic demands on those closest to them. These demands are often challenged by their partner, family member, or colleague. The narcissist has a fragile ego that cannot stand to ever be wrong or viewed as imperfect, therefore the narcissist responds with feelings of rage and contempt toward the challenger. When challenged or slighted in the least, the narcissist perceives these as outright attacks on him and reacts with rage toward that person in order to regain feelings of superiority and assuage his self esteem.

What is ‘narcissistic rage’?

“Narcissistic rage” is a term coined in 1972 by Heinz Kohut.  It occurs when the narcissist perceives he is being personally “attacked” by someone else. When his exaggerated sense of self-worth or sense of entitlement is challenged it often leads to narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage is a reaction to” narcissistic injury”, i.e., a perceived threat to their self-worth or self-esteem. Narcissistic rage can be either explosive or passive-aggressive, although most people associate the explosive type with the term ‘narcissistic rage’. The explosive rages are just that- explosive, volatile outbursts which may be verbal, physical, or both. A passive-aggressive rage is manifested as withdrawal into a lengthy, sulky silent treatment. Both are means to punish the offender. It is also not uncommon to find an explosive rage followed by passive-aggressive rage (the silent treatment).

For Kohut, narcissistic rage can also be related to narcissists’ need for total control of their environment, including “the need for revenge, for righting a wrong, for undoing a hurt by whatever means”. It may also involve self-protection and preservation, with rage serving to restore a sense of safety and power by destroying that which had threatened the narcissist.

To the narcissist, the rage is justly directed towards the person that they felt slighted or challenged them; to observers, the rage is irrational and unjust. The fuming rage impairs their cognition, therefore impairing their judgment. During the rage they are prone to shouting, fact distortion and making groundless accusations.

There are several differences between anger and narcissistic rage. Anger is a natural reaction to a frustrating or annoying event. Anger occurs from a rational cause and dissipates after expressing it. The volcanic rage the narcissist feels is different from the anger that people usually feel; it is either irrational or severely blown out of proportion (for example, significant rage as a reaction to an insignificant remark or action).

Therefore, any challenge, disagreement or even mildly negative remark from another person is considered criticism, rejection or mockery. Narcissists perceive these as an all out assault or total betrayal, and go to war with the person who dares to do that to them. A mere slight is apt to result in shouting, screaming, and making absurd accusations against the victim for having such atrocious intentions and actions.

Narcissists utilize “projection” during their rages. They accuse the victim of being selfish, inconsiderate, jealous, dishonest, or conceited but what they are actually projecting is their own feelings of inadequacy in those areas.

Narcissists can, and often do, contradict themselves in the same breath. Sometimes they claim they said something which they did not actually say, blaming the victim for not listening. Or they do actually say something but claim they never did.

What NOT to do

Don’t respond to narcissistic rage.  If you react in any way to their rage, it will continue to escalate. You can never “win” an argument with a narcissist, because by their very nature they are irrational. If it looks like they will follow you to keep verbally assaulting you, just listen to them until they sputter out.  Don’t try to engage them verbally. If they escalate to where it looks like they may become physically- violent- get out.

Do not rage back. Almost any response you give -other than completely agreeing with what the narcissist says- is going to fan the flames. Raging back is a sure-fire way to escalate the situation quickly.

Do not believe that anything you say or don’t say, do or don’t do, will change the person or the situation.

Do not try to use logic or reason as this will simply prolong the altercation. There is no room for your opinion or point of view. Don’t try to use reason as they are irrational; trying to further explain something just stokes the fire and lengthens the confrontation.                          

                               REMEMBER:  The rage is not about you, it is about the narcissist.

 

Tips for dealing with the rage

If your narcissist is raging, then you have (or someone has) wounded their self-esteem. Nothing will bring them relief until you have been punished for that deed. The punishment may include screaming, ranting, verbal or emotional abuse, and may even escalate to physical violence. Depending on the situation and relationship, you may be stalked, harassed, abused or even attacked until they feel you’ve suffered enough for hurting them.

In most situations of rage, it’s better to either defuse the narcissist’s anger or walk away from the fight. It’s important to pick your battles with a narcissist (not usually during a rage) and to wait for a time where there is a better chance that the narcissist will listen to you, rather than you responding impulsively during one of their rages.

How do I AVOID the narcissist’s rage?  Leave, and physically distance yourself from them as far away as possible. Then ignore any and all attempts they make to contact or communicate with you, or to engage with you in any form or fashion. They may try intervening with a third party or using social media. Do not fall for it. They are masters at baiting and reeling people back in.

If you cannot leave, or choose not to leave, here are some tips for dealing with it:

Establish your boundaries. Firmly state your boundaries and then leave the room, get out of the car, or walk away if at all possible. (Example: “I do not allow myself to be treated this way or spoken to like this. I’ll be glad to talk to you about it when you’re calmer.”)  They may follow you, still screaming, but stick to the boundaries you’ve stated. If you do this consistently, they will learn that their rage attacks won’t work with you.

Learn to be calm for your own well being. Meditation is a very effective way to slow down your breathing, racing thoughts and anxieties. It also creates a sense of detachment from the narcissistic drama. If you can’t physically distance yourself, you can mentally and emotionally distance yourself.

Learn to not overreact to the narcissist’s rage. That is what he/she wants you to do. The action of ‘no reaction’ to their rage is powerful and keeps you in control of the situation.

Accept the narcissists view for the moment.  Back down without being obvious (which would just make him or her more enraged) and you can defuse the rage by agreeing with the key points for the moment- until a calmer time when you can actually discuss the issue. Try to understand the mindset of the angry individual (he’s hurt and lashing out, he’s feeling insecure, etc.).

Create distance. Remove yourself physically from the drama by going to another room, office, outside or the car.

Speak softly, don’t threaten or challenge.

Ask for time to think about what he is saying or try to come up with a win-win solution.

Remember the rage is not about you, it is about the narcissist. No matter how much he blames you, remember WHY he rages—it is about him and his perceptions. Everything is always about the narcissist. When you can operate from that point of view, it is easier to deal with the rages and other issues a narcissist brings to a relationship.

Resources:   

  1. http://www.jenimawter.com/blog/2012/03/15/how-to-deal-with-narcissistic-rage/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_rage_and_narcissistic_injury
  3. http://thenarcissistatwork.com/2012/10/what-is-narcissistic-rage/
  4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/103707-causes-narcissistic-rage/
  5. http://thetoxiccoworker.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/communicating-with-an-explosive-narcissist/
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About Alexander Burgemeester

42 Responses to “How to Deal with Narcissistic Rage?”

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  1. Molly says:

    Thank you for this article. I found it spot-on and really helpful.

  2. rae says:

    This was a great article. It’s dangerous to be with a narcissist. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one in this situation.

  3. Tricia says:

    Great article!! I can relate so well with this!! My husband (soon to be ex) is a classic malignant narcissist. Stole thousands in forged checks from my sweet mother over a period of 3 years. She didn’t press charges as we only learned of this shortly after he and I married. Our relationship quickly Nehan to crumble once I started to become aware of all of his lies. Compulsive liar! P**n and sex addiction, cheated repeatedly … Raged on me and became absive. the craziest part was that when he was/is nice- he’s fantastic!! Smart, charming, romantic, funny- hard working. It took forever to finally see that the good would never out way the terrible… And that riding the crazy train with him was only making me sick. We have a beautiful 3 year old son who I love and adore, but unfortunately it makes moving on with a clean break impossible. Articles like this are golden. They give me tools to deal with him. God bless to all victims or narcissistic abuse. It is truly scary and utterly exhausting both physically and especially emotionally. I’m finally getting strong again.., and I never considered myself a weak person!!

    • Tiffany says:

      I fully understand your story. I can find strength and encouragement within your words. Thank you for your post. As I am directly in the middle of my husband’s rage, I am finding a moment of peace in this article. God bless us all!

  4. Donna Lopez says:

    I could really use talking to someone who may have some insight to share with me on if there has ever been a NARCISSIST person who agreed he have some traits of a NARCISSIST and wanted to change his behavior. Has anyone been successful in over coming the disorder. I would appreciate any feed back. I just found out what I believe now and that is my boy friend of 10 years who has been very verbally abuses of me mentally, blames me on why he does the mean things he does to me, everything from him cheating, lying and saying horrible things about me, he truly believes it’s all because of me. I will ask what did I do, which creates a bigger monster who is verbally attacking me telling me how, dumb and stupid I am and that I hurt him and he makes me aware that anytime I hurt him to expect him to come back 10 times worse to me and when I ask him what did I do to hurt you, he’ll say you
    didn’t listen to me and I’m telling you have to do what I say in order for us to be happy and what he wants from me this time is to get rid of my 2 dogs because they take time away from him and he will not take the back seat for any animal. He tells me before hell take me back the dogs have to be gone. I try telling him that the dogs are not the problem here, they did nothing wrong. Will he said he would not talk to me until the dogs were gone. This all started on Halloween, I went to his house and he was entertaining a female he had just meet in our bed. Needless to say in the last 2 days he has left me 17 voice messages on what I better do or I am dead to him. My problem now is I am worried that maybe I shouldn’t of email him telling him I finally figure out why he does the things that he does to me and that is was a disorder called NARCISSIST and sent him a few URL’s to read to see if he agreed and now and if he could be honest and wanted help to change how he treats other people that I would stand by him and that there was hope for him to find happiness. I just read another article that basely stated there was NO HOPE. Is there hope or is there not hope for people with this disorder??? If he does take the time to check out the web sites I am afraid he may also see where there is no hope and I’m not sure how he is going to take that. I told my sister that if he went to the websites at all, he will turn it on me that I’m the crazy one with the disorder and I need the help. All this is very new to me, I was just able to put a name on his behavior 2 days ago and I guess a big part of me was hoping there was a cure to help him become a better person with out all the angry and drama. He can be a very wonderful person when it is just the 2 of us, but sometimes his mood will change without any warning and I will ask him what’s wrong and he then begins going into a rage about my family members, or his or his work it could be any little thing but his whole personality changes. Is there anything that I could do to help him or is there only one solution and that is me having to walk away from him. I know he hurts me pretty bad, but I still worry about him and would love to see him happy with himself and other people. You see he is one of those people who see fault in everybody and doesn’t have a good thing to say about anybody.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m a psychotherapist, specializing in working with Narcissists. Honestly, he will not change. If you tell him that he is a narcissist he will become WORSE. Narcissists almost never get help because they believe that they are so wonderful that they are perfect and they don’t need help. If you tell him that he is a narcissist he will be more angry and violent towards you. Please reread your own post. He rages at you, he slept with another woman. He was you to get rid of your beloved dogs. This man is not good for you and I promise that he will never change. Do not get rid of your dogs, they are innocent in all this and they don’t deserve to lose their home because of this guy. Please, stay away from the Narcissist and find someone who will love you and your dogs the way you deserve to be loved. BTW when you try to leave a narcissist he will try to win you back by being super nice. This is an act. Don’t fall for it. As soon as you’re back hell turn into a jerks again. Please run far away from that Narcissist. You deserve a nice guy who actually cares about your feelings.

      • Bertha says:

        the last rage, because I went to Disneyland with my daughter, while he was calling me names and telling me that I was the one to cause his anger and that I make him want to do something stupid I wasn’t saying anything just laying on the bed just hoping he will be done and calm down. Instead he continually threw is lighter at my face until I finally stood up to him, only he pushed me out of the hotel room and locked me out. I went down to the lobby…to sleep and have “protection”, he showed up an hour later and started screaming at me, calling me a btch when the clerk came out and said she was going to call the cops. When she said that I flipped me off, said F you and told her not to fall for my “innocent act”

        As I typed this….I realize even more how stupid I am for not leaving him

      • Jane Danson says:

        And what do you do when the person is your son (35 years old and a Dr of Science)? How do you deal with that?

      • Tammie says:

        Any advice on how to parent with a narc?

    • Jazz says:

      I am a narcissist raised by a narcissist. My dad will never change. I want to but it is very hard. Most won’t change as most don’t see it as a problem, they see everyone else as the problem.
      I only realised the destruction I was causing and that I don’t want to hurt my partner anymore based on him telling me it was unacceptable and that something needed to change as my rages were killing him emotionally. I still slip into these rages and other narcissistic traits and I don’t always recognise it.
      It takes constant work on the narcissists part and in all honesty it is unlikely that many would want to bother… they’d rather be alone then change because changing means admitting you are not perfect and that is the opposite of how they want to view themselves.

      • Matt says:

        I’m not diagnosed, but I believe that I am type NA. I just came to this realization today and you can imagine my mind is racing and I don’t even know how to feel or what to feel. I have come a long way, in my ignorance (even for a normal person) I guess I could say Ashamed, mostly? Embarrassed, and if im being really honest, cheated. I really need some literature to help, that isn’t just bashing the narcissist every other minute. Do you have any recommendations? I’m getting evaluated soon but with Tricare it takes a while to get an appointment for a Mental health eval lol. Good luck and good on you for being honest with yourself.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dr. Craig Malkin has some really good books out there. I recently read Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad and Surprising Good About Feeling Special. His mother was a narcissist. The book is very good, and I think it might help you. Plus, he is not negative towards people with Narcissism (at least I didn’t think so).

          And remember you have great strength for wanting to get help, and attempting to change your behaviors. Your narcissism is just a challenge that you have to go through, and you are a strong person for taking the initial steps to getting better.

          Also try looking up Cognitive Based Theory techniques. I find them helpful for my depression. You may find them helpful as well.

    • Lori says:

      Mine made me gid rid of my cat because he said black cats are demons. Luckily mg daughter took him in. Then he attacked my son and made me ask him to leave and live in a bedsit j will never get over the guilt i feel for letting that wicked man do that.He has pretty much destroyed mg life and my family and i was so afraid I let him do it.

  5. Lisa says:

    Donna Lopez-“I know he hurts me pretty bad, but I still worry about him and would love to see him happy with himself and other people.”

    I KNOW HE HURTS ME PRETTY BAD.

    That (and the rest of the post) says it all. How much abuse should you have to absorb in order to prove how loveable you are to this guy?

    Stop being a dog for a man that isn’t worth it. That is why he wants you to get rid of your dogs. Because they do love you! He needs you to get rid of them because he can’t abide anyone else caring or wanting what is best for you. His goal is to drive your esteem so low that you won’t try to seek help from anyone else…

    This guy is a cyst filled with pus. The more you try to ‘get along’, the grosser he gets. Lance this boil once and for ALL! Life is too long to have to put up with a rotten fk who wants to see you dead or miserable because they are too messed up to fix themselves. Too late for him, but hopefully, not for you.

    Please get counseling (and/or read more articles like this) so you can learn to avoid men that need a doormat. Surround yourself with people who are able to interact without excessive drama or tricks.
    Try to hang out with couples that treat each other well. You need good roll models so you don’t keep going back to losers who can’t be happy if you ARE.

    Peace and best of luck to you.

  6. Jeff says:

    Thank you for this article- it really helped ground me and help me see the big picture regarding a current episode that I’m trying to get through with my wife. Much appreciated!

  7. Lisa says:

    You obviously aren’t married to a narcissist. All of these suggestions make you weak in their eyes and more worthy of their disdain. You may walk away, but then there’s no way you’ll have the nerve to confront later after they have themselves under control. You’ll let sleeping bears lie.

    • michelle says:

      Thats so true. My husband was the worst. Try not to answer and walk away. Try to agree with him. Try to be silent and just take it and let it go. Didnt help anything. He took my keys my car my bank cards my license the car seat the stroller. If it could move he would take it to punish me and when there was nothing left to take he would sulk in the house for days not taljing to any one just stalking around the house. Just leave and never go back. Still have yo deal with him because of my girls but at least its on my terms

  8. jackie says:

    This article hit it on the nail I am a victim of domestic abuse my abuser is a narcissist and I can not express the torture he put me through I am glad he is gone and I hope that he gets the help he needs and I am taking one day at a time to begin healing and becoming whole again if anyone encounters a person like this run away they wont change and wont stop until they crush you or kill you…

  9. Kiki says:

    It difficult to admit. I watched a movie recently. It was about a criminal with narcistic rage. First time I had heard of narcistic rage. I am not a criminal. But I realized I suffered the same narcistic rage. I googled and it led me to this site. I work from home and the only significant person in my life is my wife. I recognize everything I read above. I don’t need to reiterate any of the above. That is exactly what is taking place. What I don’t know is how to change. There may be other psychiatric issues at play. I was diagnosed as bipolar many years ago. I did stop medication two years ago. On medication the intensity of incidents is a shadow of what it is now mainly because my own feelings are somewhat slower surfacing and less intense. I let things go. The intensity with which I experience life and live life, such as participation in sport or determination to be successful is of its own a very strong attraction. I would have to forego that to protect my wife. I live a very isolated life because of narcistic rage toward others. I could loose my wife if she walks away one day and even end up in prison.

    • doglover says:

      Kiki, what movie did you watch? I am interested in watching that.

    • Kathy says:

      Narcissists can be helped but they very rarely want to. They believe that they are too perfect and special and they don’t need help. The fact that you believe yourself to be a narcissist means that you are probably not one. There are other types of rages that are similar to narcissistic rage. Bipolar rages can look similar. I’m willing to bet that you are not a narcissist. But to please go back to taking your meds or talk to your doctor about switching to another kind of med because bipolar is a medical illness and the medication really does help.

  10. Norma says:

    My husband has violent rages at least every 3 weeks. The one going on 3 days now is that I lent our grandson 200.00 for gas to go to school in mass. 1400 miles from here. I took it from my savings account without conferring with him but I knew what he would say. No. My grandson tried staying with us before he left but of course his grandfather told him to leave. I am very close to him. My husband walks around screaming at me with names, etc. He talks, screams, to himself when I am in bed he throws things into sink and breaks stuff. Took my mattress off my bed and it landed by dresser. Throws food all over the kitchen.I sit in car and read so I don’t have to
    hear him. Not sure what to do?

    • Kathy says:

      It sounds like you already know what you have to do. You have to leave. You need to look deep inside and wonder why you have remained with a man like that. You are probably a very nice person but please remember that this man will never change. You need to protect yourself. You deserve a happy life. He’s abusing you. Please leave him and find someone who respects you the way you deserve to be respected.

    • Marie says:

      Norma,

      Leave. Period. You can do it. It took me over forty years, but it’s now going on three since I left. The recovery period has been intense, but it is far better than walking on eggshells and being cruelly disrespected. I am regaining health, energy, creativity, and joy “in the moment,” without having to duck and cover, mentally, emotionally, and at least the fear of it physically.

      I won’t live like that anymore. They don’t change. I can still love him and pray for him from afar. This is an excellent article.

      We find it hard to believe they won’t change and stop the meanness because although we might have a few traits of narcissism (there is a spectrum), we still have empathy and compassion. They don’t, really. They are really mostly interested in “number one,” and all that serves them.

  11. Louise-ann says:

    Rage can be sustained, deliberate planned out & extremely cruel. Subtle can be as cruel as a fist.
    Mine never raged at the time is the alleged slight, he saved them until I was isolated at not near my home.
    His eyes were different as was his excitability during them. It was surreal to be on the receiving end.

    He would ignore me to begin with, always at a social event, no interaction with me, just sneering.
    He would flirt with as many women as he could. Some of them enjoyed proving a point to me which added to my upset. Very much complained about how I was dressed & commenting on my lipstick etc all negative designed to make me self conscious.
    No affection or physical contact , no eye contact at all. No conversation at all.

    I could never predict his behaviour, to describe it as callous is an understatement.

    After a few hours of loneliness, the name calling would begin, disguised as humour/ sarcasm.
    Reduced me to tears in front of his friends then stating I was over sensitive to them.

    These rages lasted for weeks. No communication afterwards, first time I got a lame text apology but that was a one off.
    I challenged this final one by mail weeks after. It was a fair rational comment about behaviour I was careful not to label him or name call. I kind of knew by this stage.

    In return I received a poison pen mail a long long list of slander which I did actually LOL part of thought “oh this is who you really are ” I showed my friends who also LOL it was so ridiculous to see this nonsense. He was blaming me, and stating he wasn’t sure what to do about me,making him behave like this he needed to think about his future in such a relationship.
    Deluded . I’m not credited with a voice about my future.
    How do NPD’s live among us & fail to see how irrational they are in their thinking. They are incapable of taking responsibility or apologising, learning or gaining insight. I’m amazed by this condition, I just didn’t believe it prior to my experience.

    How am I responsible for the conduct of another.
    Why does the NPD deny logic they aren’t stupid.

    • HealingStill says:

      Louise-Ann were you in a relationship with my ex? /sarcasm/
      They all go to the same ‘school’.

      I had 6.5 years with my ex N……….6 years too long.
      I’ll leave out all the details, there are too many.

      I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, 7 surgeries and he treated me horribly. From raging at me all the way to 4 of the surgeries before the mastectomies, to telling me, ‘it’s just a t*t’, to telling me that I willed myself to get cancer to make him stay, to threatening to leave and dangling over my head ‘then WHO would take you to the mastectomy operation?” time and time again. THE most scary time of my life and I was stressed and in an emotional heap on the floor so to speak and he kept on ‘kicking’ me with his words. The lowest time of my life. I HAD to kick him out.

      After the mastectomies I remember at home, at times, having to crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees. There’s so much more but………..I was totally co-dependent by this time and later I took him BACK………..5 more times after. Yes, I deserve the “idiot partner of a Narcissist award” of all time. He raged, he D and D’d me even thru all the cancer sickness it’s a wonder I even recovered physically but I did. I spent nearlyy 4 more years with the emotional terrorist.

      By the way………..he is a diagnosed NPD and I was told this 2 years into our relationship and I THOUGHT if I showed him I was trustworthy, how my love would help him, how this or that would do this or that…..IT WON’T……believe me please, those of you who are still with the Narcissist! He possesses 16 of 20 traits and is a level 7 Narcissist. Please don’t continue to play with fire……please, everyone don’t do this. <3

    • Lynne Trotechaud says:

      Oh my gosh. You told the story of my last 4 years. Thank you.

  12. HealingStill says:

    Oh, and……..they don’t deny logic as you put it Louise, there is nothing wrong with them even if a professional would get lucky enough to point it out. It is futile. Walk a away.

  13. Farah says:

    I’ve been married to a man with NPD for 15 years. I realize that my ending up with this man is due to being taught my feelings and needs were irrelevant by my parents who both had NPD in varying degrees. My husband is a very successful man who treats me well when I say nothing but gets out of control if I attempt to make him understand that our son needs a father at times( he completely ignores our child). My husband married me I now realize exclusively for what I look like( never mind the fact that I supported us for a period whilst he built his business), He is constantly complimented on having a beautiful wife(sorry no bragging intended), and it some how gives him a boost. He tells me stories of men with ugly wives(his words) and how they say things to him about how lucky he is his wife didn’t get fat etc. Since I Am only this part in the movie that is his life, this part must be played the way he writes it. He cheated on me when our son was 2 years old because I got fat(his words), and was not being what he needed in a wife (all about him support). I was still working at that time and he did nothing to help me in the child department, on the contrary went on a lot of holidays (he called them work retreats) and ended up sleeping with some very young woman all whilst I was alone trying to mother our son. He ended up seeing another woman would spend all day preening to prepare for his date(I didn’t know at the time he was with a woman) and I would be at the park sitting in sand boxes crying and exhausted trying to give my son a normal life. I don’t have any family support as they were all a bit horrible to me as a child and more in need of my help(poverty mental illness) that having them in my life again becomes about me helping them rather then me getting any help. I say all this because I am truly alone and that keeps me prisoner in his life jail. My son is now 8 and after years of so many incidents I am well and truly stuck. We moved countries and he now makes a lot of money (most of which he blows on himself and his super expensive hobbies and stuff) if I say anything about saving for a rainy day or leaving our son money it triggers violent rages. He works for himself and has successfully created businesses that make quite a lot of money yet his ego and need to be the best amongst his friends, Peers, even strangers makes him take risks that at times has him scrambling to pay school fees. When I express my concern that with all the money coming in how can a check for school fees bounce he flies into a rage that has many times been physical and he starts destroying my things(never his). He grabbed my face and screamed in my ear and now I have tinnitus. My beautiful son loves him and thankfully our child has the taken after me in his physical attributes (or his dad would probably never talk to him) and as it turns out is an exceptional athlete and student. My husband loves to take credit for all his talents even though it’s been me who has raised him. I know they say narcassists only pay attention to their children who represents themselves well but that in my case hasn’t been true. He ignores our son most of the time and when he does dip in like come to a Game my son is competing in, he enjoys having the top athlete as his son for as long as he is there then when we get home, he hides in his office and ignores us. He posts all these photos of my son on Facebook that have been selected purposefully to garner as many “your son is gorgeous” comments but again doesn’t spend any real time with him it’s all parts we play in the movie that is his life. He tells me he will hide every penny as to ensure I don’t get anything if I say I want out of this marriage, drags my son into arguments by saying mommy wants daddy to leave and you’re never going to see me again because mommy is destroying the family. My son cries and begs me to just say nothing now, I see he has learned in his young life what it’s all about how daddy wants it. I really did love him at one point and he was very lucky to meet someone like me because by virtue of my childhood I am really quite self sufficient. I have never demanded of him to fulfill my needs because of my childhood I never had anyone there for me,I learned to have no expectations of people. Pre child our relationship was amazing I worked, and he did his thing and we occasionally did things together. He really wanted me to get pregnant when I wasn’t ready and I now realize he wanted to trap me in this relationship because when I got pregnant again after my son and expressed to him I didn’t want our child to be an only one he physically attacked me when I said I wouldn’t have an abortion( I eventually gave him his way because the violence broke me down). I was severely beaten as a child and I think that again has conditioned me have no self worth where I tolerate him beating me when I express my opinion, need, wish. I know 100% if I get sick lose my looks he won’t be there in sickness in health, I’m stuck I need to get out of his life movie but my son and I end would end up homeless. He might kill me one day and my son will end up alone with hm being ignored and raised by babysitters. All the people he puffs himself around would be shocked to see his real side ironically the only person who he’s done the same to is his sister who was raised in the same house as him and she stands up to him and he rages at her so she refuses to speak to him. To all the women going through the same I give you a tight virtual hug

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you to everyone that has shared their experiences here. I feel so alone as he has successfully isolated me and destroyed any friendships i once had. He even now hates the innocent dog that HE wanted because she has become attached to me, and he can’t stand me taking time away from him to feed, love or play with her. Anyhow, i do feel very alone as i no longer speak with my family, i have no friends, he convinced me to quit working, etc. But just being able to read that other people have gone through this experience and come out still alive on the other side is immeasurably valuble and comforting. I know I deserve to be treated better, we all do. It’s very hard to accept that the only real option is to run away from a narcissist, because we do genuinely love them… but that love will never be returned. Sometimes, sadly, the best way to love someone is from a distance. As a parent, we don’t indulge a child who throws tantrums, and i finally see that narcissists are just grown ups who throw tantrums and their partners are the people that indulge and even encourage them by not walking away. The longer you stay, the harder it is to get out and feel safe again. I’ve been telling myself that for years, and I guess it’s time i take my own advice.

      Does anyone know of a support group for victims/partners of narcissists?

      Again, thank you to everyone who has shared their stories here and to Farah for the virtual hug, which i really needed. You have all given me hope that my life can get better if I just cut my losses and run….

    • Rachael says:

      Dear Farah, Please find strength and look for ways to get yourself and your son away if you possibly can. As an adult child of a narcissistic father, I’m doing all I can to get my mother away because I believe it’s the only way to literally *save her life*. She has had nervous breakdowns, attempted suicide and is a shadow of her former beautiful self – she sees no point in living any more. It has broken my heart, I love her so much, but my father’s controlling, abusive and self-centred ways will never, ever change. I wish I could get across to others just how important this is.

      She too was brought up in an environment where emotional & psychological (and sexual) abuse was overlooked and so was conditioned to accept such treatment in her adult life. My father rushed her into marriage and wanted children before she was ready to tie her down. It’s so, so sad and so very wrong.

      Please, please reclaim your life – you’re not an object or commodity, you’re a wonderful, beautiful woman and a mother who deserves love and not abuse. Try all you can x

      Rachael x

    • AmyS. says:

      Farah,
      Your story rings so similar to my own.
      May I ask if you have decided to stay or leave your husband?
      My husband is also very successful, and my children and I are playing the parts in his movie.
      We moved to another country two years ago, and I’m now even more isolated from my family (who isn’t totally supportive, but they’re all I got). I’ve not worked in 7 years…at his request. Now I feel totally stuck.
      He suffers from narcissistic rage, is verbally abusive at times and cannot handle any criticism from me (please don’t call me a b— or kick me). He will always blame ME for his behaviour.
      I can’t tolerate living like this. I also want to experience unconditional love from a partner.
      Best to you,
      R

  14. Lyn says:

    I have a daughter who has narcisstic rages, it affects her children very much, I try to help but have been abused for most of her life. Have asked her to get help to no avail. I don’t get into arguments with her, just walk away, reason is just not an option. Her children are confused and are now getting into trouble at school etc.

  15. Marnie says:

    True narcissism is a malignant process and destroys everyone involved. They are extremely sick and they will never get help. It is tragic as it seems from having to live through some sort of tragedy as a young child. Someone (probably a parent) hurt them beyond measure. To survive this, they spend most of their childhood convincing themselves that they weren’t at fault creating this false sense of self; exaggerated and delusional. They do not have the ability of introspection as it hurts too much and they suffer the pain that they did as a child. Tragic really, as they truly have some wonderful traits about them. Having said that, victims often believe that if they just love them a little bit more, that they will finally see that they are worth being loved. Not true. A narcissist hates themselves, blames themselves, which undoubtedly causes all of the projection that gets thrown maliciously back at the victim. It is the only survival method that they know. The narcissist does not know how to say ‘I’m sorry’ and mean it. They have heard it before from the person that hurt them and it means nothing. Love? Loving someone at a young age that destroyed them has caused them to not know what love is. They are unempathetic, sarcastic, demeaning, demanding, controlling, patronizing and cruel. There is a part of me that feels for that child who has been broken but also understanding that we cannot do anything to help them. For as many good times that you may have together, the awful, hurtful times will outweigh the good the more you see. Their behavior is NOT a result of anything you have done nor said. Their anger has NOTHING to do with you. They just do not have the capacity to treat you the way that you should be treated. Life with a Narcissist is nothing short of hell. Move on. Not only do you deserve a life that is full of mutual love, respect and admiration, your life DEPENDS upon you leaving. Walk away.

  16. Michelle says:

    I just left my (soon to be) ex husband. Or rather he threw my daughter and I out of the house. My daughter is 2 and he loves her to the point of obsession. When my Narc and I met, like all relationships it was great. Lots in common. There were a couple “weird” moments that I thought were red flags but I thought.. is this something to end a great relationship? We all have “baggage”. So I stayed. Comments like “I notice you belch a lot. That’s disgusting. No one I know does that” Of course this was exaggerated and I never belched the alphabet like a 12yr old boy. Then he would show no remorse or apologize after the fact. Then another comment was when my grandmother’s health was failing, I said “It’s so hard to see someone you love fall apart mentally and physically” to which the response was “I don’t see why you’re surprised.” No sympathy. We met when I was 37 and he was 45 (he was never married and very few serious relationships). We both wanted the same thing in life. Family and a child (or so he told me). Even with more comments and a few rage episodes we married 2 years later. The criticism got worse, especially when it came to my job. He demeaned it and made fun of me. Mind you I didn’t like my job either but he would be throwing insults of how stupid I was. He yelled at me in the airport. I thought he would of been taken away because of this rage. I wont go into details but he blamed me for losing him after deplaning. I never knew how to react when this happened. First I just stood there shocked then I would cry and walk away. Then sometimes I would try to fight back but nothing came of it. No winning. He has physically grabbed me twice and justified it by saying I assaulted him by pushing him. I didn’t know what to do when he was in my face so I would push him out of the way so I could get out. That was his ammo. When I notified his mother she said she would talk to him. I never met someone as useless as her. She later texted me.. Well your story was not the one I heard. My in laws are a narcissistic family always sticking up for one another and can do no wrong. My family and friends supported me throughout and advised me to leave. Of course I didn’t listen because I still loved him. We went far and wide to have a daughter. His behavior became worse. I became a nobody in the marriage, except when he would tell me I was a bad mom and everything I did wrong. He thought he knew how to do the “mothering”. He told me to go back to work and stop being a stay at home mom. All I did apparently was take all his money, just let our daughter lay in her crib all day and I would be on the computer. He would make these assumptions how horrible I was as a wife and mother. Things got so bad he would always say I’m an f’ing idiot in front of our baby. Why did I stay so long? Because there were good times too. Family things but always on HIS schedule. He didnt want to do anything with me on Saturdays. He got enraged and it would start a fight if I was at home on a Saturday. That was HIS time to be alone. Like an idiot and to avoid a fight, I always left the house. He would later say I always stayed at home and never left his side. I wouldnt even leave the house to grocery shop. Right after our 3rd anniversary as I was changing my daughter’s diaper he would yell at me because she was throwing a tantrum and he cussed me out. It was later that week he yelled down the stairs “get out of my house f’ing idiot”. So I did. I took my daughter and left for my mom’s. He yelled at me because I didnt leave my daughter with him. I am now 2 months our own apartment going through divorce. Leaving (or being thrown out) has scarred me for life. I constantly think about him the good and bad. The holidays are quickly approaching and I get so depressed and saddened at what he did to our family. I have tried asking him through email if he ever loved me. If he had any remorse. He ignores anything emotional and says it was apparent we couldnt get along and its best for the 3 of us. I still see him for custody exchanges and it kills me. He wants me to start working now so he doesnt have to pay as much spousal support. I want to do what we originally agreed upon and wait until she starts preschool in a few months. Even after everything he has said and done, why do I still love him? He never loved me to begin with, Shows no remorse.

  17. Lee says:

    Great advice. However it’s hard to swallow. Would rather take a bat and crush it over her head instead.

  18. Lena says:

    I am 10 months on my own. Still love my ex NH. Have two daughters teen and preteen. Was married 14.5 years to him. I have a lot to recover from and still cry at times cuz it hurts so bad. But I couldn’t serve him anymore. Nothing ever was good enough. I’m making slow progress and if it wasn’t for God i wouldnt be alive today. No family close by and people don’t believe or understand what a narc is. I only found out a year ago what a narc is. I am really sad that most likely he wont change. Hurts to know that and feel sorry for his next girl. He’s convinced his family and friends I’m a wh*** and that’s why our marriage failed. I have his sisters ask me if it’s true or if I provoked him to mistrust me. I’m happy that there is a true God Who knows the truth. That’s my only console. I’m trying now to be the best version of myself but my sorrow is so deep I still find myself stuck in depression at times. Wondering my purpose and what my future holds. Help me God and all the people out there hurt and the ones hurting others. Only reason they do what they do is cuz they are hurting inside themselves and don’t know unconditional love. I pray that God sets those captives free soon!!!! Thankful to be alive and free. Untangling from co dependency.

    • DLC says:

      What a sweet loving heart you have. I left my marriage of 29 yrs. and have been on my own a year. It’s been so hard. I still love this man very much, as he has many good qualities….and, I just love him because he is one of a kind, like we all are. The problem I had was the rages- they terrified me…and waiting for the next one always kept me nervous/ sick. Little things could cause a rage….and in the midst of those, there are lies and twisting facts…so, without trust I couldn’t be a good wife to him. I want to go back with him most everyday, but I know things will be the same, and I’m not sure if I can handle the rages and silent treatment anymore. But, for me, the guilting and blaming me for the bad behavior was the most damaging, as I am easily guilted. I don’t know of a good answer. After being with this man more than 34 years total, it’s hard to stop loving a person, even though I don’t really trust him with my feelings or emotions. Too painful. Wish you the best…and you have reminded me to stop giving God the silent treatment….I need Him to get through this grief. I wish God would just fix things and I could be his wife the way it’s supposed to be :/

  19. Lady Blue says:

    My mother has NPD and I believe it is rooted from her childhood. My best guess is that it was my grandfather who had NPD as well (I never met him, he passed before I was born). My mother never has spoken about my grandfather except for his profession, which makes her look good but my aunt has mentioned that he drank a lot (FYI my aunt also has NPD).

    It’s definitely not easy to realize your mother has NPD at age 24. But it’s actually helped me to have a better relationship with her or whatever form of relationship you can have with an emotionally immature and abusive person. I definitely have thoughts like what a b***h frequently about her and my sister has cut her out of her life completely. But I try to have compassion for her and understand that someone deeply wounded her and the only way she’s learned to live life is by creating an hugely inflated sense of self. It humors me when she saids things like I’m the best mom or I’m so generous etc because she’s not. But I try not to laugh out loud because she will get into narcissistic rage and that’s not good for anyone around!

    Unlike other commenters here whose spouses have NPD, I can’t really divorce my mother, although sometimes I would like to. She has a deep fear of being alone and is extremely controlling. I’m still trying to learn how to maneuver her when she falls into rage when someone or me lets her know she isn’t really the person she “thinks” she is (btw I try to avoid doing this but she is set off by the smallest things so it’s hard to completely avoid) It’s kind of weird dealing with her because she completely lacks empathy and I think she’s totally fake and I have no respect for her.

    All in all, it’s tough but at least I have my father who is normal and also knows she has npd. He is extremely understanding because his mother was mentally ill. I couldn’t do any of this without him. But we made a pact to take care of my mom, set strong boundaries and not engage in her rage. I am forever grateful for my dear papa (side note it’s funny bc my mom gets jealous of me and my dads loving relationship. We are normal so we can love, she trys to love but narcissistic cannot love). I accept it and I go to therapy with a great therapist!

  20. Kay says:

    Hi. I think my brother has NPD. He is a recovering cancer patient, so there’s that, too. His rage and anger is just huge, and I dont know how to handle it anymore. He basically terrorises our mother now. They are living in the same household, he refuses to work (we all are artists), on the grounds that he is sick. He is convinced that he is unfortunate, and everyhting turned out bad for him. He is really lonely, and I know that deep down he really yearns for affection and love. Our parents are pretty old, and they are still shook up by the whole cancer thing, and after years and years of sulking, my brother now has episodes giving long speeches and lectures about how our parents aren’t good parents, and everything and everybody is letting him down, and that he needs to cut his relationships, and he doesnt want to live on this world anymore and he’s now waiting to die. He’s not yet 40. He’s a great guy, very good humor, very talented, very smart, almost like a genius.
    How do I find out if he really is a narcissist as I dont think I can convince him to go to a specialist? I really love and respect him, but he is being a jerk, and my mom is really suffering because of his verbal abuse. Please help, if you can, any advice will do

  21. EvaMarie Coe says:

    I believe I have been married to a narcissist for 30 years, I have dealt with affairs, him loaning my car to his ex wife and lying about it after I found a thank you note from her in my car, he tells me I am fat (he is no prize package) Makes nasty remarks about others constantly but acts like an angel to their face, the only reason he is not physically abusive any longer is because he is too sickly to dominate me in this fashion, throws tantrums if I don`t do things “his” way and deliberately does things to make me miserable when I take short vacations away like not answering his phone or return calls when I call to do daily checks on him for his well being since he has a ton of health issues.I no longer call to check and tell him there will likely not be cell service where I am at. He will be nice for awhile and buy me things then goes back to his crap when I let my guard down. I can`t leave because I have to survive at 60 I might lose my Veterans spousal benefits so I shut up and take my dogs with me when I leave for trips since he even tried to give a dog of mine to one of his “female friends” who would visit him at our home while I was at work. The last great one was when he was disgusted by my coughing when I got sick after taking care of him when he got the flu.He nags me constantly for sex in crude ways that turn me off and make me uncomfortable and when I ask him not to it only gets worse. He is obsessed with the size of his p***s ,his impotence and the fact he can no longer sire a child at 65 an talks about it constantly when he is not m**********g or talking about how I never have sex with him anymore. It is hard but I have decided I have to live with him but will not take his crap and go away or tune out as much as possible but eventually he does something to cause an argument like stirring up mu dogs till a fight breaks ot or taking “his” tools away when I am doing home repairs and throwing a tantrum. He is disabled and quite needy and uses his health issues to tie me down .He also loves driving my family and friends away after a few visit because he finds reasons not to like them It sounds awful but I live for the day he passes away so I can have some semblance of a happy life

    • Steve says:

      Wow, I’m sorry. Don’t worry, things will get better someday. Maybe you should spend a little more time to yourself when you get a chance, talk to some others about it. I’m sure someone else would treat you better if you find a way to balance your time between them & him? Someone old enough maybe in a similar situation possibly would understand you could be a part-time friend or whatever sometimes, hey your husband seems to not mind having other “female friends” right?

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