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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