How Do You Manage an Ageing Narcissist? Should I Be Concerned About the Children?

Q: After years of abuse, I just finally researched and realized my Grandmother in Law (84) suffers from MNPD. She has alienated everyone in her life, including her only child – who left due to the severe mental abuse and last years physical attack. I find the older she gets the harder it is for her to hide her motives. Over the years I’ve found myself to be the one to care for her as I’m a stay at home Mom. I realize that I’ve been her pawn and wish to no longer care for her. The unfortunate problem is that my husband, her Grandson, continues to follow her games and it disrupts our family life. How do you manage an ageing NPD? Since she physically attacked my MIL, I’m concerned about my children, her great grand children to be around her. Should I be concerned?

A: Yes, by all means, be concerned about your children and any other great-grandchildren. Whether or not she might physically harm them, you can certainly vouch for her verbal and emotional abuse. You don’t want your children to think that behavior is acceptable; nor is she a role model you want them to imitate. Furthermore, she can do significant emotional damage to your children’s self esteem. Children don’t have the understanding or coping skills to deal with someone so poisonous.

YOU must decide (not just because you are a stay-at-home mom) whether or not you WANT to manage an aging NPD or whether you choose to stop caring for her. If it is disruptive to your family life, think long and hard whether caring for this woman is worth destroying your own family (or your own self esteem). There are good articles easily accessible on the internet on managing aging/difficult parents (that would also include NPD) as there is too much information to cover in a short Q&A. It may also help to read the article on this website (and follow the guidelines in there) titled Living with a Narcissist when Leaving is Not an Option.

You need to help educate your husband about her personality disorder and its negative effects on all family members. Have him read a few articles (even if it is “just to make you happy”), don’t just tell him about it. Tell him how it specifically disrupts or is harmful to your family life. It is HIS responsibility to put his own family first. You cannot force him to make that choice nor force him to understand about his grandmother. You can educate him and then hope he makes the emotionally healthy choices. He doesn’t have to ignore his grandmother but he needs to learn how to identify the games, the manipulation, and her need to control others so that he doesn’t continue to be a pawn or become toxic himself.

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1 thought on “How Do You Manage an Ageing Narcissist? Should I Be Concerned About the Children?”

  1. The older my narcissistic mother gets…the more destructive covert she has become. Never leave a child with these monsters….esp if there is a history of abuse already. Its terrible but I’ve come to the point where I see some-most narcissists to be as bad as pedophiles, when it comes to any child abuse. Shh keep quiet&look pretty……doesn’t work for me anymore. Also the narcissist always tries to use money as an end game- and what’s the price? Your soul!


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