Some reality for those who do not know what to do, leave or stay. I hope I can shed some light on that question, from years of living with the madness, narcissistic personality disorder.
If you do not have any children and you are involved with one, regardless of the time you have in, you must remove yourself A.S.A.P., run and do not look back. You will not end up with the caring, loving partner you want. No matter how much magical thinking you have, and that is what it is, you can not wave your magic wand and turn them into a caring person. You cannot will it, or hope it will happen, pray it will happen, or use mental telepathy to invade their mind and make it happen. If you choose to believe that a miracle can happen, then stay and don’t complain. You will be so busy trying to fulfill all their needs, while waiting for that miracle, you won’t have the mind or energy to leave. You will endure endless rages, abuse, put downs, mind games, and crazy making. You will never be accepted for the caring, loving person you are, in fact, love and caring fuels the behavior and makes it worse.
You will have to shut down all feeling, so you can serve him and fulfill all his endless needs. You will be exhausted, he is a bottomless pit. You will have to give up all your needs for yourself and for human contact. Their needs are way more important that yours could ever be. They are the center of the universe, you are here to serve them. Don’t forget for a second, there is no loyalty or benefits. You can be terminated or replaced any time they feel you are not quite up to snuff. There are no parting gifts or gold watches for your years of service, not even thanks, you just get the shaft. Maybe you want to save the world, one person at a time, this, ONE, will tie up your whole life. It won’t do anything to make the world a better place. Volunteer, help the needy, the homeless, women shelters, food banks, soup kitchens, be a mentor, big brother or sister, anything that will help save a child. That will be so much more rewarding, then serving and saving a narcissists, that does not know, he needs saved.
You may have many years invested and you STILL LOVE HIM. Maybe he has had some kind of a breakthrough and wants help, by all means give that a try. However you must put a time limit on that and move on if it is not working. You deserve a life and you life is just a valuable and precious as theirs. This is not a dress rehearsal, this is the only life you get. There are no do-overs or second acts in life. You must remove yourself and find the life you deserve. Life goes by so quickly, live it to the fullest. He is not you burden or cross to bear, unless you aspire to be Mother Teresa, her cause was more noble, but to each his own.
If you have children, I can tell you personally, they will be impacted and damaged. They will never know what a normal relationship and home life should look like. Your love and caring efforts to make it more stable and normal, WILL GO UNNOTICED. He is always the center of attention, everyone walks on eggshells. He conditions you and your children as well. The moods, temper tantrums, negative unhappy feelings he emits, the inappropriate angry responses to ordinary life problems, rages, unreasonable expectations placed on everyone but them, creates an unhealthy environment to raise children. They have to adapt and develop unhealthy survival skills to live through it. They will carry those skills into their life and relationships.
I can tell you, once you have this dysfunctional family, you can’t turn it around. I worked tirelessly and tried everything humanly possible to achieve that. He ran a smear campaign pointing out how flawed and crazy I was. He went on like nothing was wrong with him, nothing wrong with the family. He liked it just the way it was. After all, we are all here, to serve him, nothing else matters. I could not put my family back together and I struggle with it, can’t give up on that. So if you have children, remove yourself and them if at all possible. Try not to stay, they will be damaged and you will pay the price in the end. The narcissist does not lose anything, nor does he pay the price for any of it, YOU DO. The narcissists life is a win, win, no consequences for him ever. You may even get to relive your life all over again, watching it play out in one of your children’s life. I know I am, more painful than my own life. The damage and consequences are not worth staying for their sakes, for their sakes try to leave. Children learn, observe and imitate what they see and nothing is normal living with a narcissists.
I like to say, I should have run with my children. I know from other women’s stories, that is not an easy thing to do either, but it is so worth a try to save your kids and you. It is best to find a way to leave a narcissist.