Married to a narcissist? Don’t expect him to “have your back.” Don’t expect him to care. Don’t expect him to feel. Don’t expect him to understand. Don’t have any expectations!
I’m not a woman who needs or wants to be rescued, not now, not before I married. My life was not mundane, it was not filled with struggles and I definitely didn’t marry so some strong, financially viable man could rescue me.
I married for love and partnership not out of the need to have a man in my life. That being said, once I married I expected my partner/husband to have my back, figuratively and literally. It’s something all of us should expect, an assurance that the one you love is watching out for you and your interests and you doing the same in return.
My problem? I married a narcissist. He didn’t have my back, wasn’t by my side and if times became troublesome or I found myself in an unpleasant predicament he was nowhere to be found…unless it was beneficial to his agenda. On top of that, he felt my desire for him to come to my defense was weak and judged me as too “needy.”
This is typical narcissistic bullshit. Someone who is unable to ever empathize with others is in no position to judge others as deficient in any way. To the narcissist the idea that they have even the simplest responsibility to a wife is intolerable so judge is all they are capable of.
Do you have a family member who mistreats you? Don’t expect the narcissist to have your back. Ever been hit on relentlessly by some sleazy bar lunk? Bet the narcissist didn’t have your back. When the chips are down, when it is time for them to step up to the plate they just can’t do it.
By “they”, I mean that my narcissist is like your narcissist is like her narcissist is like his narcissist. They all do the same things, exhibit the same behaviors, say the same words, inflict the same passive aggressive pain, follow the same narcissistic patterns all the time, every time.
They end up being the person you need someone to cover your back from! They are worse than the abusive family member and the sleazy bar lunk and you are in it on your own. They aren’t by your side or on your side; instead, they are, more than likely, BEHIND your back waiting for the opportunity to twist the knife they just embedded there.
What else should you not expect from the narcissistic husband?
1. Respect for you and the marriage: The narcissist will side with others against you, talk behind your back about you and all while smile like a Cheshire cat at you.
2. Kept promises: A promise, is a promise, is a promise, unless you are married to a narcissist. They make promises, to you and your children, and when those promises are broken deny making them or, act as if you are in the wrong for holding them to such high standards.
3. Doing something for the sake of doing something: If he washes the dishes, mows the yard, attends a parent/teach conference he wants credit and stroking. Buy a pack of gold stars make a chart with his name and treat him like the child he is.
4. Humility in any aspect of life: No one is more important than the narcissist! Enough said.
5. Respect for boundaries: The narcissist crosses personal boundaries with specific intentions. He may wish to hurt you for some unknown harm he feels you’ve done. Whatever his reasons, there is no line between you and him getting his narcissistic needs met.
6. Unconditional love and caring: The narcissist’s feelings (what little there are) are based on conditions. The main condition being, your willingness to mirror back to him his grandiose view of who he is, or thinks he is.
I received an email the other day from a woman who is desperately in love with a narcissistic ex. He chose to divorce her and in doing so simply dismissed her and their child from his life. She wrote, “Is it hard to wrap my head around the fact that love was a lie for the best years of my life? That the narcissist never even so much as cared about us? That I and my son were a convenient game, easily disposed of, easily erased? That he could have cared less at any given point over those years if we lived or died?
Yes, it is hard to wrap your head around those facts. After 15 years of being divorced from a narcissist, it is hard for me to write about the subject, it takes me right back to that time in my life. But, unlike the narcissist, I’ve got your back. I will continue to write because of women like the one above and, children who are harmed daily by narcissistic fathers and, because knowing we aren’t alone is the only comfort to be found when tossed away by a narcissist.
AND, in the hope that fewer women will give these men the to opportunity to toss them away.