During my divorce, my ex insisted on me fighting for custody of our sons. This, of course, meant that I was fighting for my rights as a mother who had spent most of the time caring for and raising her.
You see, my ex never cared about her except in a special way. He never attended any of the sports-related games, never attended a parent / teacher conference, or a doctor’s appointment. When his lawyer asked what grades they were in, he couldn’t remember.
However, he wanted the boys in front and in the middle to show off to his parents. It was my job to make sure they were properly dressed and behaved, and his job to recognize the great children that they were. This was also the case with all of the family’s career functions. He showed them as if they were a reflection of himself.
Our custody argument got so heated, and he was so sure he was the better parent, that he asked his lawyer to go through the court to request a psychological evaluation for both of us. Then things got interesting and he cost himself custody of our sons.
According to the psychological evaluation, he was a vicious narcissist with anger problems. This diagnosis not only meant full custody of me, but 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 it can do immeasurable harm to those around them. Their life revolves around their own wants and needs, how much other people love, admire and show them respect, and how best to manipulate other people to find their own way.
After doing some research, I realized that there were things I never got from my ex, even though I longed for them. To be married to a narcissist they would never have come.
6 things a narcissist will never be able to do:
1. Take care of your feelings.
A narcissist will do terrible things and not worry about how their actions make you or their children feel. They lack the ability to empathize with or possess their own bad behavior. They are literally unable to worry about the pain or discomfort they are causing to other people.
And they get quite arrogant and offended if you even suggest to them that they did something that you find uncomfortable. If you are in any way attached to a narcissist, your job is to keep them happy without paying off the investment you make in their emotions.
They are responsible for YOUR feelings, they are in no way responsible for YOUR feelings.
2. Be interested in your problems.
Not if your problems don’t affect him in some way. If you tell them about things that are bothering or hurting you in your personal life, you will be shrugged or ignored and they will be instantly shamed for all the shitty things they are dealing with.
Your problems are boring.
The narcissist is not someone to turn to for comfort or advice on life issues that you may be struggling with. Have problems at work? Expect him to roll his eyes over your base problems. The kids that drive you crazy Expect him to show you a better way to become a parent. They belittle you and your problems, but when they have a problem expect all of you to have ears and compassion.
After all, it’s always about her.
3. Say “I’m sorry.”
In my 9 year marriage, I never heard my ex say he was sorry for anything. Even when he was caught red-handed, his response was to make me doubt myself. The narcissist will try to convince you you did not see what you saw with your own two eyes. Or that you don’t remember it properly.
They don’t apologize for wrongdoing, they try to turn it around and make it a problem with you.
Remember, you never go wrong. They are perfect and wonderful and if you have a problem with something they did, that is entirely up to you.
4. Offer emotional support.
At least not if it doesn’t fit their agenda. Example: It was very important for my ex that my parents saw him in a positive light. When they visited, he was husband and father of the year. If she or someone he was trying to impress wasn’t there, he would treat me with contempt for being “too emotional”.
The more I was emotionally unbalanced, the more he liked it. The more he could fire me and treat me as if I were helpless and nothing without him. You see, the more emotional or fragile you are, the better you look.
Do you suffer from postpartum depression? Don’t expect empathy. Lost a parent or friend? They’ll belittle you if you can’t get over it on their timeline … a very short timeline.
5. Appreciate what others are doing for you.
The narcissist only cares about his wants and needs. Because of this, everything you do for him is expected, he deserves it by the mere fact that he exists.
My ex liked to say, “I don’t owe you anything.” Our good friends helped us move across the country and then caught the flu after we settled in our new home. I suggested that we buy her plane 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 terrific self-confidence. Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a persistent view of oneself as better than others that leads them to view others with contempt or inferiority, and a sense of uniqueness. My ex didn’t feel like he should be expressing appreciation because whatever someone did for him, it was owed.
6. I love you.
They will treat you kindly as long as your presence fits into their agenda. You bond with others, but only based on how you can improve 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 you deal with a narcissist you are entangled but not in love. You can get entangled and mistake that for love. But entanglement and love are not the same.
They exist for the narcissist’s purpose. They are an “extension” of the narcissist. He does not see you as separate from yourself with your own wants, needs and wants. You are a part of him to make his bid.
You as an independent individual cannot be valued, you cannot be loved, because if he sees you as autonomous, he would also regard you as a threat to him to meet his needs.
If you are 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 choose to run the relationship their own way or get out before they do you too much harm.