During my divorce, the one thing my ex insisted on was fighting me for full custody of our sons. This, of course, meant me fighting back for what I felt were my rights as the mother who had spent most of my time caring for and raising them.
You see, my ex was never interested in them other than in peculiar ways. He never went to any of the athletic related games, never went to a parent/teacher conference or a doctor’s appointment. When his lawyer asked him what grades they were in, he couldn’t remember.
He did, however, want the boys front and center to show off to his parents. It was my job to make sure they were properly dressed and behaved and his job to take credit for what great kids they were. It was the same with any career functions that included family. He showed them off as if they were a reflection of him.
Our fight over custody became so heated and he was so certain that he was the better parent that he asked his attorney to request a psych evaluation for both of us via the court. That is when things got interesting and he cost himself any small amount of custody of our sons.
According to the psych evaluation, he was a malignant narcissist with anger issues. Not only did that diagnosis mean full custody for me but, it also helped me understand what I had lived with during our marriage.
Narcissism is one of the most toxic personality traits a person can have and can do untold damage to the people around them. Their lives revolve around their own wants and needs, how much other people love them, admire them and show deference to them, and how best to manipulate other people to get their own way.
After some research, I realized there were things I’d never gotten from my ex and, although, I longed for them. Being married to a narcissist, they would never have come.
6 Things a Narcissist Will Never Be Able to Do:
1. Care about your feelings.
A narcissist will do horrible things and not give one hoot about how their actions cause you or their children to feel. They lack the ability to empathize or own their own bad behavior. They are literally incapable of giving a f*ck about the pain or discomfort they cause other people.
And they become quite arrogant and offended if you even hint at them that they’ve done something you find objectionable. If you’re attached to a narcissist in any way, your job is to keep him happy with no return on the investment you’re making into his emotions.
You are responsible for THEIR feelings, they are in no way responsible for YOUR feelings.
2. Be interested in your problems.
Not unless your problems impact him in some way. Telling them about things that are bothering you or hurting you in your personal life will be shrugged off or ignored, and they’ll immediately launch into a diatribe about all the crappy things they’re dealing with.
Your problems are boring.
The narcissist isn’t someone you can go to for comfort or understanding about life issues you may be struggling with. Having problems at work? Expect him to roll his eyes over your menial issues. The kids driving you crazy? Expect him to tell you a better way to parent. They belittle you and your problems but, when they have a problem, expect you to be all ears and compassion.
After all, it’s all about them, all the time.
3. Say “I’m sorry.”
During my 9-year marriage, I never heard my ex say he was sorry about anything. Even when caught red-handed his response was to try and make me doubt myself. The narcissist will try to convince you, you didn’t see what you saw with your own two eyes. Or that you aren’t recalling it correctly.
They don’t apologize for wrongdoing, they try to turn it around and make it about a problem with you.
Remember, they never do anything wrong. They’re perfect and wonderful and if you have an issue with something they’ve done, then that’s all on you.
4. Offer you emotional support.
Not unless it suits their agenda, anyway. Example: It was very important to my ex that my parents viewed him in a positive light. When they were visiting, he was husband and father of the year. When they or someone he was trying to impress weren’t around, he treated me with contempt for being “too emotional.”
In fact, the more off-kilter I was emotionally, the more he liked it. The more he could dismiss me and treat me as if I were helpless and nothing without him. You see, the more emotional or fragile you are, the better they look.
Suffering from post-partum depression? Don’t expect empathy. Lost a parent or friend? They’ll belittle you if you don’t “get over it” on their timeline…a very short timeline.
5. Appreciate what others do for them.
The narcissist only cares about his wants and needs. For that reason, anything you do for him is expected, he has earned it by the mere fact that he exists.
My ex was fond of say, “I don’t owe you anything.” Our good friends helped us move across the country and then flu home after we got settled into our new home. I suggested we buy their airline tickets home to return the favor. His response to my attempt to show them appreciation was, “We don’t’ owe them anything.”
The narcissist has a grandiose sense of self. Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of themselves as better than others that causes them to view others with disdain or as inferior, as well as to a sense of uniqueness. My ex didn’t feel he should express appreciation because whatever someone did for him, he was owed.
6. Love you.
They will treat you kindly as long as your presence fits into their agenda. They form an attachment to others but only based on how you can better their lives. There is no give and take, only take, take, take.
A narcissist can seem to love you. A narcissist can make it look like love. A narcissist can say the words of love. A narcissist can think it’s love. Unfortunately, when involved with a narcissist, you are enmeshed but not in love. You can be enmeshed and mistake that for love. But enmeshment and love are not the same things.
You exist for the purpose of the narcissist. You are an “extension” of the narcissist. He doesn’t view you as separate from himself with wants, needs, and desires of your own. You are part of him, there to do his bidding.
You, as a separate, distinct individual cannot be appreciated, you can’t be loved because if he viewed you as autonomous, he would also view you as a threat to him getting his needs met.
If you’re in a romantic relationship with or married to a narcissist don’t expect too much when it comes to getting what you want or need from the relationship. In fact, you need to either resolve to do the relationship their way or get out before they do too much damage to you.