My Son’s Wife Is A Narcissist: How To Let Him Know?

Q: I believe my son’s wife of 12 years is a Narcissistic. She has always claimed to be Bipolar- that has not medically treated. But I have always suspected she had to suffer from some kind of personality disorder. I have done a lot of research in the last couple of weeks on Narcissism and she has almost all of the symptoms. There are so many reasons she has given my Son to leave her…but he keeps coming back. He is a very kindhearted, smart and loving Man. At this moment she has put him in a life changing situation for he and their 3 children. I won’t go into the details- but I fear for he and his children’s happiness. My son has opened up and shared some of his concerns with her and their marriage- but as soon as she sees he is getting close to his family she draws him away with lies and manipulation.

The word Narcissistic has come up- but not with any serious response from him. My heart is breaking. My question is- Should I just come out and share my fears and give him information about Narcissism? I feel it is my duty as his Mom to let him be aware that this might be what is wrong with her. I don’t want to drive him away- but if he goes along with her lasted plan I will possibly never see him again.

A: If you are (and it sounds like you are) a kind, supportive mother with her son’s best interest at heart–you will see him again. Where did she come up with “I’m bipolar”? Has she been diagnosed in the past? There are many similarities between different personality disorders such as Borderline (BPD) and Narcissist (NPD) and either of these could have “co-morbid” bi-polar symptoms, that is, they exist together. She could easily be a narcissist with bi-polar symptoms or have a bi-polar disorder with narcissistic features. Only a clinical mental health professional would be able to diagnose these disorders. As a caring and concerned mother, it would be within your jurisdiction to give a FEW articles on NPD and Bi-polar to have your son read. I wouldn’t phrase it as “this might be what is wrong with her” but approach him with something like, “I was reading these articles and it really seemed to describe (wife’s name).

Because I care about you and your children, I made copies for you and hope you will read them.” If he asks for more information after reading them, then direct him to websites, books or articles that you have found useful. If he does not read them or does not respond after you have given him the information, there is nothing more that you can do except support him the best you can. Even if it is from afar. And remind him he is a smart, kindhearted and loving man. Chances are he is not hearing too many of those compliments at home. He needs to know that you love him no matter what life choices he makes.

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31 thoughts on “My Son’s Wife Is A Narcissist: How To Let Him Know?

  1. My son is in a relationship with a narcissist. Our normal loving, kind and happy son has lost all his friends, is angry with the world and doesn’t know why but worst of all of these is that he is angry with his family because he doesn’t understand what is happening and why we don’t get in with his ‘perfect’ partner. She tells lies about us all the time or treats us all badly when he cant see. I have never come across such evil before and my loving family are also now victims. I am at a loss and just don’t know what to do to help him realise and get out.

    1. Ann,

      I know just what you are going through. We were once a very happy family of four. We aren’t any more. We tried to tell our son he was dating a full blown narcissist on numerous occasions, but he would not listen. She caused a huge rift between my son and daughter. They are now on speaking terms, but not like it was before this “child” entered our lives. She tried to separate my husband and me from our son, but failed. However, she does not give up trying. Always tries to engage us in drama. We have learned that we do not engage. I feel my son is in a swiftly flowing river and we have thrown him a life preserver and he just won’t grab it. He thinks she is absolutely amazing and we just don’t know and understand her. Little does he know, – we know her all too well. It is he who does not really know her. Now, they are trying for a family, and as much as we want grandchildren, we do know that it will be the next stage of her narcissism which from what I read is even worse than what we are dealing with now. We do no know what to do either and we don’t want to alienate him. To try and reason with him about her is out of the question. He isn’t even aware that there is a problem because she can spin anything in her favor no matter how bad it looks or sounds to any one else. I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. But, I have learned, in the eleven years we have been dealing with her, how to handle it and have a relationship with our son.

      1. Hi Kathy you have just described our family situation when you say you have learned how to handle it I would be interested how you do. As we feel so strained from our son because his wife has been so bad to us that we do not see her but trying to have a relationship with our son and granddaughter is very difficult. After 19yrs our son is now saying he got it wrong by always doing everything to appease his wife. and realises our family is now broken. and I don’t think things will change.

    2. I am in exactly the same position. My son left his narcissitic partner and became, for a time, the happy, rested, honest man I knew. He started taking lessons in web design, stopped smoking marijuana, and…she stalked him. She kept calling, going over to his apartment, threatened him with the children. It was a nightmare. A six month nightmare. I knew he was going back to her when I went over to his place and found him in a terrible emotional state…ptsd…when my son was 6 we lost 5 family member within a few years. They were the only family he had, and none of us completely recovered from that. He could not stand the thought of never seeing his children again. I do not know what to do. I can always tell when she has spoken to someone because people I know will suddenly give me the cold shoulder, and she makes sure that my son does everything the hard way.
      My son and I are going for counselling, but she has him so twisted in his thinking that everything he knows about me goes out the window. I cannot believe the things he says about me. They are simply not true. Now I have been informed, not the first time, that he is not sure he can trust me with his kids…I know what comes next, and I know why this is happening. She does not allow anyone near my son if they are the least supportive of him. She has deemed it necessary to marry now, because her grandparents are wealthy, very Christian, and do not approve of their living arrangement. But marriage…she stands to inherit quite a bit. No marriage, no money. The job my son is working at is one he swore he would never do. Not an hour went by after he lost his position at work, than she had a job for him. Before telling her he was fired, he spoke of going back to school, completing courses that he left when getting back together with her, but no. He called told her what happened, he got home, sat down, and she called a friend. It is very heavy outside work and physically more demanding than his body can take. He is NOT supposed to be doing it. And I just found out that the counsellor we are seeing has a son at the same school my grandson goes to.

    3. OMG… our family is going through the same thing. I feel as if my son is in a cult. Despite the fact that he makes a very good living, she tells him what he can and can’t spend money on…. yet she seems to have carte blanche when it comes to spending. We’ve caught her in many lies, and she criticizes him constantly. She makes him wait on her hand and foot – it’s hard to believe. Currently they have no kids, but I fear for where he’s headed and would like to “open his eyes” before he has a family. What if he knew what she’s done to people he likes and respects? She’s done plenty to us.. but he’ll write that off as our being hypercritical She has NO friends bc she doesn’t know how to give… what to do???

      1. OMG, I would have thought this post was written by ME. This is the exact situation we are in. Our DIL treats herself like royalty but won’t let my son join a tennis club bc it’s too expensive! They have no children yet, thank God, so I feel like we’re racing against the clock to open his eyes. She, like your DIL, has no friends. She lies to us constantly and doesn’t even bother to cover her tracks, so her deception is obvious to us. My son is either not around when these things happen, or he doesn’t pay much attention to what she says bc she babbles incessantly. They are both professionals but his salary is about 3 times hers – yet she holds ALL the power. We have tried broaching the topic when we are alone with him but he immediately disengages. He also waits on her hand and foot. She is not from this country, so we are, in effect, her substitute parents. She uses us when she needs us but has shown little regard for our family. She is missing an empathy chip and has no conscience. I don’t feel she loves my son – I think she’s USING him and when he gets upset with her, she goes kissy face all over him…it’s disgusting. I am beyond stressed by this and afraid for his future–she could easily destroy him and is already putting a wedge in our small family.

    4. My son is in an exact same relationship. As a matter of fact, you could have been talking about him and his situation, it’s exactly the same. I wish we could talk or text and copare notes and be supportive of each other.

  2. SPOT ON…

    Same thing, same question, same experience right now. Time will tell the tale. Without you as a target the son will be next…it will be an eye-opening experience for him and he will get hurt, not the outcome you wish for but an inevitable one none the less. Stay back and do it with open arms and time will tell the tale. Peace!

  3. My son has married a narcissist and she has successfully separated him 100% from me and his siblings, where we have absolutely no contact whatsoever, it is breaking my heart. Is there anything I can do to help him and the situation. They have moved and changed their phone numbers and she even tried getting a non molestation order in court against me. We were such a close loving family before this.

    1. Dear Claire, I am going through exactly the same as you.My kind-hearted son fell for and has been brainwashed by a toxic narcissistic woman who had slowly made him cut all ties with his family.I am heartbroken beyond belief and go to councelling I beg you do the same.Im afraid you gave to let him work her out he will don’t worry it just takes time.
      If your like to email me feel free.
      Take care,
      Debra.

      1. I just came across this post and this all sounds just like our family. My son is the oldest of 6 kids. He was such a sweet, kind hearted person until he marrried his wife. There were signs that we saw this coming. She treated him so badly and he was going to leave her because of her controlling nature. He and I were very close, which she hated. We and his 5 siblings have all been cut off, as well as some extended family members. They now have 2 children which we are not allowed to see. We just saw him at a party and he grabbed my husband and got nose to nose cursing in his face. It’s like he is a completely different person. Isn’t there anything we can do?

        1. Reading everyone’s messages is a nightmare. I also have a son who has completely removed me and other family members from his life and my grand daughters life. The last time I saw her she was only 4 months old and she is now 11 months old. I have missed so much and those months have been complete hell for me. My son has been smitten with his now wife since he was in 8th grade and she has been able to control him since then. The is now 23 years old… and I am just figuring out that she is a narcissist. All the confusion and pieces of the puzzle that don’t make sense are now clear to me. I don’t know how to proceed further. Do I try and get him to see her as a narcissist? If so, how?

        2. Oh my goodness. I wish we could email and compare notes. I look at my son and say to myself …who are you and what have you done with my son!?

          1. Reading everyone’s posts, I agree, they could have been written by me. I am at a loss. My son has completely written everyone who loves him off. He came from a loving home where we were all extremely close. He met this woman who is very manipulative and controlling.

            Since they got married, it has gotten a lot worse. I have no idea what to do. My son is now an angry young man. He used to be normal, loving, kind hearted and had a conscious. I tried to tell my son not to marry this woman but he did in spite of what my husband and I have said. She definitely lacks empathy. Her only emotion is rage.

            Thank God they do not have children. However, I too like many others, go who are you and what have you done with my Son?

            Any help through this would be welcomed.

  4. I can’t believe I am hearing a story of me and my son. The problem here is they have 8 children and have been married for 20 years. I have spent that much time trying to figure out what the problem is. I do after the first 3 years of marriage there was a problem but just this last week after having read a book about this I figured it out. She has now separated my son’t entire family away from him. She had the eight kids to secure her future. She has never worked and never intended to. She got pregnant with my son’s child in high school.
    Little did I know she was planning her future. I am scared for my son and his children. I want to think the best of people especially those in my family so have tried for 20 years to figure out what was happening. My loving son started ti find fault with me and insult me which was definitely not like him. I am in total shock! It seems from what I have been reading there is not much hope, am I right? She is threatening to move also but she is so lazy she can’t get the house fixed up to sell it and my son is working to support the 8 kids. I have lost one son to cancer I don’t want to lose another. Thanks for listening.

  5. My sons wife is a narcissist. My son has been married to her for 18 years, all of which she has subjected him to her ways. She recently abandoned him and her minor daughter for his best friend of 27 yrs. After less than 2 weeks she was out if that relationship, convinced my son it was all his fault and they are together. I to!d my son I live him and I will always be there for him, but she us not welcomed in my life. I don’t want to see her, she isn’t welcomed I. NY home and I am to see hi. And my grand daughter without her. My son tells me I have to get over this. I to!d him I don’t have to, he can live his life as he chooses and I will live mine as I choose, without her. What do you think about this situation. I love my son very much and all through his marriage U have given him his way, but that is over. I can’t this k about being in her company, I wouldn’t be nice to her, I’d want to tell her exa fly how I feel about her and that wouldn’t be good.

    1. God bless all the moms who have lost their sons to these mentally unstable women. It feels like we’ve lost our son and now grandson in a tragic dream accident. So heartbroken. He was such a loving kind hearted boy. So much potential yet the narcasist (cult) stole his sole. He is still young and I will continue to pray daily that he opens his eyes and finds the love he once had for his family.

      1. My Son (youngest of 3) and I had such close years together. We were great pals as well as mother and son. You couldn’t ask for more and a boy then I had with him. He married a beautiful girl who turned out to be a raging narcissist. They have two children. It took me a while to realize that she had narcissism disease because I really do believe it is a disease. She has to control everything and everything is about her. My son won’t entertain any criticism of her whatsoever. This is an ongoing heartbreaking situation for me.

        1. I am in the same position! My daughter in law told me when she was pregnant with her first child that she would “be able to control me now” I had no idea what she meant and she replied that she would be able to remove “grandmotherly privileges” And for 20 years, she has done just that. I have kept my own counsel so I could have some association with the children, but now that they are away from home ,she has got much worse. My husband is very ill in a care home and I feel weak and vulnerable,but my son said he and his wife thought I was a very hard person, so obviously, I couldn’t feel vulnerable. I have put up with so much, being ignored at family events-not anymore as we have not shared Christmas or birthdays for years or been to their home for five years-they live 30 minutes away. Narcissism to a tee. Right now, I feel deperately lonely and heartbroken.

      2. My son has been living with a narcissist for the last 8 years. It has taken me that long to realize what she is. I’m tired of hearing and being told that you can only support someone who is dealing with this. He is my only son and child and screw any professional who’s going to tell this mama that there is nothing I can do but sit back and just let this play out. I have a mouth and I’m going to use it. You better believe people will know she’s a narcissist. When I’m done with my verbal assault she will understand that I’m in control not her and will get help for her disorder. I’ve lost too much in my life and at 61 I refuse to lose my son and grandchild! Don’t sit down and die in helplessness. Use the mouth that God gave you!

        1. I’m in the same situation. I have no contact with my son who is now 47 years old. I have not had any relationship with him or my 2 grand children for 8 years. My grand daughter was 5 when I last saw her and my grandson was 3. They live 5 miles away. What can I do? I’m going to mail a book to him by Anne Kilinger. A SON’S A SON TILL HE TAKES A WIFE. HOW TOXIC DAUGHTERS IN LAW DESTROYS FAMILIES. I’m going to mail it to his work, so I know he will get it. I’ve thought about pulling up in their drive way and making her life a living hell like she’s done to me. I hate letting her get by with treating me like this. I have never been anything but be kind to her. You say use your mouth!. What do you mean!. I’m tried of not doing anything. My deceased husband, my son’s father was narcissist but i didn’t realize the problem he had untill I got the book. I lived 40 years with him and told him many times if you live to be a 100 I will never understand you! What can I do?

  6. I am amazed at how many people are going through the same thing. I have recently figured out that the girl my son has been married to is not the sweet loving woman I thought she was. Come to find out she has been working on destroying our family for years and almost succeeded until her lies started surfacing. My son however is still in the dark. everything she has done bad to us or lied about he has an excuse for her, which we all know she put in his head. I have 2 beautiful grand daughters that I have not seen in months and sadly have accepted that it may be a lot longer before I see them, if ever. How does a family deal with this? The only thing positive is I finally know I am not crazy, I have been trying to figure out for years what I did to upset my daughter in law but now know that she is the one with the problem. My son and I are no longer on speaking terms and that breaks my heart into pieces but for now I am standing off and praying to god that he sees it for himself and he is not a complete empty shell when she is done. I hate that this is happening to our family, I never thought it could.

  7. Wow. Me too. My son has only be married for a couple of years, but a friend of mine who is a therapist gently suggested that my daughter in law sounded like a narcissist. It certainly rang true. She is offended by things I have done or said that I don’t even remember. I could run through the litany of nice things I have done for her, from welcoming them into my home to live temporarily while they were getting on their feet, to helping to plan a surprise birthday party for her. I’m getting it through my head that she will likely not see the good, but she’ll focus on perceived slights that were certainly unintended, and in my reality, not slights at all. And everything is a competition that she has to win when I don’t even know what the game is. The heartbreaking part is that she and my son have just had my 1st grandchild whom I’ve hardly seen. I think that now that she has control via the baby, things have become even worse. I’m also losing touch with my son. And as so many have said, criticism of her in my son’s eyes is betrayal. I have given up on trying to have any sort of meaningful relationship with her, but my heart is breaking over my son and their baby boy. I’m trying not to take the bait with her, ie avoiding being defensive or taking her personally. I’m hoping I can gently salvage what’s left of my relationship with my son, and be allowed some time with the baby. Who knew becoming a grandmother would be this painful? It helps to know I’m not the only one dealing with this. Any successes out there?

  8. Hi All – I think I might be in this same predicament. Fortunately no grandchildren and I’m happy for that. I was raised by an NPD, had a grandparent who had it, a sibling with it and having no as to what I was dealing with, married one too. So, it’s reasonable to say, I have one child with NPD and another showing signs. I have only become aware of the disease in the last several years and wish I had known this years ago. Now I’m suspecting my son’s wife has NPD. That’s the sad part about bringing children into it. This is hereditary and being raised by an NPD can lead to having the disease or getting involved with people who have it. I have tried to maintain a good relationship with my son anyway as does my daughter who has always been close to him. It is really difficult for us and I have trouble with depression for a few days after visiting them. I have talked to my son about the topic of NPD and my personal experience with it, but I won’t mention it in relation to his wife. My son can’t see it either but he’s an intelligent person and I hope he will and it won’t take him as long as it did me.

  9. I know how it feels to know or suspect your child is married to a narcissist, but I have 5 adult children and I know trying to tell them something negative about their significant other doesn’t usually help matters, it will usually cause them to get very angry with you and they may even cut you out of their life completely. They will be more likely to cling onto the relationship even tighter as a result. When people are living in denial, no one can tell them anything. Sometimes people just have to learn the hard way, that’s the only way it will happen. They have to see it for themselves. That is the reality in most cases. As a parent, I wouldn’t interfere in my children’s relationships unless there is something going on like violence and they are in some physical danger. I prefer to support my children, not drive them away. Sometimes that means it is better to say nothing. Frankly, I don’t know what really goes on in their personal relationship, I’m not there with them 24/7. No one knows what really goes on between two people but those two people. You can’t change people, they have to change themselves.

  10. How are these narcissistic master manipulators alienating our sons? I’d like to know how they do it. We have seen the alienation gain momentum from day one to now nine years later. Subtle and damaging to be sure but what do they say to these sons of ours I have to wonder. Ultimately the choice to avoid us is our sons decision, I mean if they were not doormats then why would anyone believe that it’s okay to never visit or keep in contact with people that were supportive and loving parents all along?

    I understand narcissism is abusive and insidious but what do these women do that is so powerful to break off the bond of a parent or parents? Anyone?

  11. I can’t believe this many people are in the same boat. I am there with all of you. The difference is my son has 8 kids. He wouldn’t bring his children to see his father before he died. I have all the same issues as all of you. While reading a book one day about a narcissist I realized she was one, I had never heard of this before but always knew something was not right. He has now turned into her. He says all the same things as she says. He has nothing to do with his family. It is like he has been kidnapped. I almost feel like we should kidnap him back, if he was deathly sick we would do all t help him I think this is the same thing. To bad the law would frown on such a thing. The best to you all.

  12. OMG! It’s been 4 yr for me. I have no hope after reading those who state their son has been married 10, 12 & 15 yrs. Ugh.

  13. My wife and I are about to see our 30 year old son make the biggest mistake of his life, and we feel powerless to prevent it. He and his NPD fiance, after 5 years of tempestuous “courtship”, are getting married later this month in a “dream ceremony”, barefoot on the beach (gag me), on a Caribbean island, privately, with only her 16 year old son in attendance (weird). The wedding “celebration” (or fundraiser, as I call it), is a three day event next month, including cocktails at the beach, partayy! the next night, and family brunch (invitation only) to conclude the festivities. The wedding site details and the invitation are an homage to her narcissism and greed, complete with a “newlywed fund” if you want to help pay for the wedding you weren’t invited to. Our son, who has been living with this woman and her son for 3 years, has ceased to exist. Like all the others, he has lost all his friends and alienated his family, including his brother and sister. They both work constantly to pay for a lifestyle and image that is difficult to maintain. She thinks she’s gorgeous (she’s not- beauty comes from within), photoshops her Facebook pictures, and seems to believe other people actually give a crap about her many political and social views. She attends virtually no family functions, including baptisms, birthday parties, etc. because she’s conveniently always working, yet expects a big turnout to this farcical imitation of a celebrity wedding. Our son is angry, detached. and has gotten so caught up with his new “family” he has no regard for us or our feelings. After spending an obligatory 2 hours with me (he brought her son as a “shield” as usual) Father’s Day morning (She had to work, per usual), he posted a picture of my future DIL and HER SON later that day at an expensive restaurant with the caption: Father’s Day 2018. Nuff said but everyone reading this knows there are hundreds more stories like that one. Bottom line: I have in the past been completely honest with my son about my opinion of their relationship and how he has changed and detached since he’s been with her. He even broke up with her a few times, yet always went back after she used her bag of tricks, including her son, to lure him back. That she is a complete and total narcissist is obvious to everyone except him, as if he under her spell, which he is. My sympathy to everyone who has posted here, as my wife and I are about to join your illustrious group of parents who have lost our sons to these crafty, self-absorbed, unscrupulous women.

  14. I too, suffer as all of you do with very similar experiences and situations. My husband and I are broken. Our friends and family try to comfort us but they really have no idea. We are all alone.

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