Over time, referring to someone as a “narcissist” has become such a common accusation. Far too many times it is more of an insult that simply doesn’t apply. Watering down what Oxford defines as “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves” is counterproductive. Those with textbook narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) exist in all walks of life.
For many, the narcissist they know is the one they married.
The battle to move on
Divorce is a common escape from the clutches of narcissism that usually involves a history rife with emotional abuse and bullying. In fact, ending the marriage is the most common form of advice that victims receive and the only way they can move on to a better future.
Separating is easier said than done, particularly when children are involved. The dynamic grows more complex and sinister. Narcissists are experts at adapting. While their spouse suffers gaslighting and other abusive and toxic acts, children see nothing more than a loving and caring parent.
Narcissists cannot comprehend why anyone would end a relationship with them. Divorce is unacceptable to them as it potentially places a mirror in front of them. Sabotaging and putting up roadblocks is a common tactic. Manipulation is weaponized as they promise to change something that is already embedded in their DNA.
Narcissism is all encompassing. Clinically, the chances of “recovery” are next to zero. There’s no off-switch. The disorder persists and continues to impact former, existing, and new relationships.
A new life and higher quality future is the objective upon finalization of a divorce. It is possible to break free from a narcissist spouse. Starved out of day-to-day contact with a now ex-spouse, they will seek out another target to reign in so they can continue boast about themselves while tearing down their new victim.