Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 11 · 2 years ago

My Spouse is a Narcissist, Now What?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After reading several articles on narcissism, Kaitlyn realized that her husband was one. She knew that something was off for years but couldn’t put her finger on it. She fell in love immediately with him and within months, they were married. She thought she met the perfect person, he was charming, attentive, and sensitive. But shortly after the marriage, things changed.

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...to grow with Christine dotcom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dot com, forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot com forward slash narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. One of the frequent questions that I get asked when working with a narcissist is a client comes in and they've realized that their spouse is a narcissist, and then they asked me, now, what do I do about it?...

Well, we're going to talk about that today and we're going to use the example of Kaitlyn and her husband. For remember, narcissism works both ways. A female can be narcissistic every bit as much as a male can be. So if you're in that position, just replace the name with of Kaitlyn with Kevin and use the example as your female spouse being the narcissist. So let's talk about Caitlyn. After reading several articles on Narcissism and coming into counseling, Caitlyn realized that her husband was a narcissist. She knew that something was off for years, but she couldn't put her finger on it. She couldn't quite place what it was. She fell in love immediately with him and within months they were married. She thought she had met the perfect person. He was charming, attentive and even sensitive, but shortly after the marriage things changed.

It seemed like overnight he went from charming to demanding, from attentive to dismissive, from sensitive to heartless. Everything was Caitlyn's fault, and the harder she tried, the more he expected. Exhausted and overwhelmed, caitlyn slipped into a depression that lasted for years. She stopped carrying, gave up on her relationship and even on herself. During a random google search, caitlyn stumbled on narcissism. The more she read, the more her eyes were opened to the reality of her life. It was as if a light began to shine in the darkness of her heart. Newly determined to make her life better, she wondered where to start and what to do. Does she leave, does she stay separate, and how is this best done? The series of questions that...

...were going to cover are ones that Caitlyn and thousands of my clients have asked me over the years. Remember, you have options, despite what the narcissist has said to you. There are things that can be done differently. More importantly, you are in control of your own life. It is time to take it back, and here's how to do it. First question, I just learned that my spouse is a narcissist. Now what? Well, the critical first step is to learn everything you can on the subject. Don't make the mistake of confronting the narcissist about the narcissism. True narcissists wear that label...

...with pride, while others will project the narcissism back on to you, causing you to question your own perception. Keep this to yourself. Learn, study and obserb. So the answer to the question is, I just learned that my spouse is a narcissist. Now what? Keep studying. Next question, what can I do to make my life better? Narcissus need a daily feeding of attention, affirmation, adoration and affection. By supplying their needs in small, digestible doses, you contain the toughest of Narcissus. Don't come compromise yourself in the process. Rather, see this as an opportunity to verify if they really are a narcissist. Non narcissist will not respond well to a daily feeding,...

...whereas narcissists are going to crave it. So how do you make your life better? By trying to do a daily feeding of attention, affirmation, adoration or affection. Next question, how can I care for myself? Before making any decision about leaving, you must be in a place of strength. Separations or divorces from a narcissist can be a nasty battle, so you will need to be strong. Having an occupation that supplies enough income for you is a great way to build self esteem before you leave. Get whatever education you need to improve your situation. This is also a good time to learn how to meditate or pray to release some of the stress of living with a narcissist. So how do you care for yourself? You have to be in a...

...place of strength by getting building your strength back up. Next question, what can I do about the abuse? If you're not in counseling, please find a therapist who understands narcissist stick abuse. There are seven ways a person can be abused physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally, sexually, financially and spiritually. Discover their abuse tactics and map them out. Most narcissists don't deviate from them and they actually repeat the same pattern over and over again. Just knowing what to expect next opens you up to strategically planning a diversion. So what can you do about the abuse? Understand it, learn more about it and be strategic. Next question, who can I talk to about the narcissism?...

There should be a very tight circle of people that you're going to consult. Professionals like a counselor or attorney should know what is happening so that they can offer the best advice. Choose two to three friends, not family, that will support you no matter what. Make sure that they will respect your privacy and not leak any information out to their friends or family. This is also not the time to post an article on facebook about narcissism. Instead, keep quiet. So who do you talk to about the narcissism? Keep your sir go very, very tight. Make sure that your friends are one hundred percent team you. Next question, should I talk to an attorney? Yes, most family law attorneys will do a consultation with you. You will need one...

...that you like, understands narcissism, helps you to prepare for a separation or divorce and is flexible in your timing. There are several ways to get divorced. There is fullblown litigation, which can be very expensive, mediation, which is great if the narcissist is willing to get a divorce, but most are not, and collaboration, which can be extremely confidential. Decide ahead of time which avenue you want to go down, what attorney you like and your timetable for deciding. So should you talk to an attorney? Absolutely. Next question. Should I plan for the worst? Yes, narcissis tend to divorce frequently and, since past behaviors often indicative of future actions, you might be next. Always be prepared for the worst. With a narcissist. have copies of...

...all financial documents and important papers like titles, insurance certificates passports. Take pictures of your possessions and Save Them to a private file that the narcissist doesn't have access to. Also, make sure that the narcissist doesn't have access to your passwords on your accounts and change your passwords if needed. Create a private email for communication with an attorney, friend, bank or therapist that doesn't link with any of your other email accounts and really stays between you. So should you plan for the worst? Yes, please do that next question. I decided to stay. Now what you're going to need to develop your own superpower. Imagine you have an invisible bubble that surrounds you at an arm's length distance.

This is your invisible force field. You can see out of it, but nothing can get in unless you allow it. Use Your superpower to activate your force field any time you need it. This will help you when dealing with your narcissistic spouse. If their hurtful words or actions no longer cause you pain, they will stop because they are not getting the attention they want. So, if you decide to stay, what do you do now? Develop your superpower so that you can in selate yourself a little bit better from attack. But what if you decided to separate? Now? What? Well, separation usually involves an ultimatum of sorts. Unless this changes, whatever it is, I won't come back. Whatever you decide that ultimatum to be, you must...

...stick with it no matter what. It is also best to separate with an end date in mind of either thirtusand sixty ninety or a hundred and twenty days. A never ending separation, unless there is a separation agreement, is not to your advantage. Don't end the separation prematurely, as a narcissist will only see this as you are caving and they are getting away with even worse things later. So, if you decide to separate, what do you do now? Make sure you have an end date in mind and decide what that ultimatum is for you. But what if you decide to divorce now? What? It is always better if the narcissist decides to divorce first. When it is their idea, the divorce is quick and easy. When it is yours,...

...they view this as a form of abandonment and will pull out all the stops to destroy you. Remember, member, nothing can be the fault of the narcissist, so they must blame you for everything. You will need an army of people supporting you to navigate the divorce, so don't pull the trigger on this until everything is in place. So, if you decide to get a divorce, make sure you have everything lined up and you are ready to go. So, after Katelyn and I talked, she realized that she had many more options than which she originally thought. This allowed her to feel freer so she could focus on making the right decision for her life and remember only you know what the right decision is for your life. Don't let somebody talk you into something that you don't want to do. Pay attention to what you're feeling...

...and follow your heart. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with christinecom.

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