The Proliferation of Narc Abuse

7 Responses

  1. zombiedrew2 says:

    Love this, and agree fully. I’ll take this one step farther though…

    …people seem to be starting to use the term narcissist to deny any culpability on their own part for the breakdown of a relationship.

    “Oh, what happened with your relationship, why did it break down?”

    “It was because my husband/wife was a narcissist.”

    In relationships, we start off as individuals. As the relationship develops, hopefully there is a shift from being a me to also being part of a we. When stressful situations happen, or when relationships arise, it’s completely normal (and bad for the relationship) to withdraw from the “we” side of things and focus more on the me again. That’s just human nature.

    And it’s those same individualistic choices that seem to get the label narcissist these days.

    Yes, someone can be quite selfish – but that doesn’t make them a narcissist. If you really want to be liberal with the label, I’m sure you can find reasons and scenarios where you can apply the label to absolutely anyone.

    But whether someone was a narcissist or not, when a relationship breaks down both parties have played a role. When a relationship breaks down it’s important to step back, try to understand what went wrong and what you could have done different in order to learn from it and do better next time. To ensure history doesn’t repeat itself. And even if the other person is largely to blame (which is subjective), it’s important to face the mirror here.

    When someone doesn’t, and just throws a label on something all they are doing is preventing themselves from moving forward in a healthy manner.

    • Maria says:

      Dear Andrew,

      Just a word of caution as it is a common conception that it takes 2 to tango. I would agree, but only if one is talking about a ‘normal’ relationship. However, there is nothing ‘normal’ about a relationship with a Narcissist (you can substitute Psychopath, Sociopath, or any other Cluster B Personality Disorder you prefer). The only ‘normal thing is their MO when it comes to relationships, and the personal trauma and collateral damage they do to others.
      If the primarily culpable partner was indeed a narcissist, it is completely (I would have used bold text on the word ‘completely’ if I had the option) that the relationship ended due to no reason, or even a petty one at that.
      Those of us who have been through this, and subsequently studied (i.e. voraciously read), got ourselves into therapy, over-analyzed, etc. the series of events, and eventual discard/grand-finale, are not to blame. There was absolutely nothing we could have done better or differently, and even if we had, it wouldn’t have made a difference in the outcome. Their targets/victims are never enough!
      You wouldn’t want your ‘2 to tango’ statement to come across as any sort of ‘victim blaming’ which so frequently happens.


      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Hi Maria,

        consider your word of caution taken. I am by no means suggesting that the victim is at fault, or blaming the victim. If that is how you read my comment, then either I wasn’t clear or you misinterpreted what I was attempting to say.

        Lisa’s initial post talked about how the label of narcissist is fairly new, but has become more common recently. I agree with that, and think that because there is some understanding of what a narcissist is, it becomes very easy to look at any selfish behavior and incorrectly apply the label narcissist.

        When we do that, we are taking the “easy way out”.

        This is not to say that narcissism doesn’t exist, and that the realities aren’t very difficult and painful for people who are used and abused by narcissists.

        There are many, many stories out there of people who wake up one day to the “tsunami divorce”. They think life it going well, and suddenly it’s over. There partner is done with the relationship with no warning, and no chance to work on things or improve whatever the problems may be.

        This happens, a lot. And I actually have firsthand experience with being on the receiving end of that. It destroyed me, and turned my world upside down. As you said, I didn’t have a chance. And looking back there is probably nothing I could have done to change the outcome.

        With the breakdown of my relationship, I put the blame 90+ percent on my wife. It was her choices and decisions that put us in the spot we were in. To this day, I don’t see anything that I really did wrong.

        But was it narcissism? Maybe, maybe not. At the very least it was poor relationship and communication skills. My only “mistake” that I can think of was I accepted certain things about my relationship that I probably shouldn’t have. In hindsight there were some warning flags, but I thought I needed to accept my wife for “who she was”. In doing so, I thought I was being a good husband.

  2. Maria says:

    After reflecting on you your post, I must conclude that even with ALL of the information out there regarding Narcissism, I still wouldn’t have known to apply that term to my own seemingly sudden ‘discard’ or ‘grand finale’.
    As you stated, because of the cheapening of the term, I just though the term narcissist was a synonym for one who is conceited or arrogant.
    It is only because of the trauma inflicted on me, my need to understand, and the fact that my lawyer mentioned that my ex is a narcissist (and that after only having spoken to her for a few minutes about why I was inquiring about a divorce), that I began this journey to learn the truth.

    Just to show you how clueless I was…
    I recall my ex, asking me in front of my ‘friend’, (i.e mistress in disguise) if I knew that she was a narcissist. I looked at her, perplexed as to why he would say such a thing… I didn’t think she was arrogant or conceited? ( I guess you could say she was covert)

    In retrospect, I can only surmise that in order for them to even been having that conversation she must have been formally diagnosed at one time! Afterall, what Narcissist would actually confess to being one??

    Unfortunately, even today I would have been just clueless as to the severity of the label. It is not a term to be used flippantly or as a synonym. It is a dangerous disorder. And despite the statistics about the small percentage of those who would be diagnosed as Narcissist, I must disagree. (and where do those stats come from anyways, the sub-population of those who have been incarcerated?) In general, Narcissists do not seek counseling, so how on earth could there be even a close approximation as to what percentage of the population merit the diagnosis? I think there are far more of them out there than we realize!

    I’m just glad that I now know what a Narcissist is and can at least warn others in case they have the same misconception as I once did.

  3. Patrick says:

    I don’t think it would have made any difference in the outcome. I have observed that when the marriage relationship comes to the point of dissolution, one person once it over as quickly, and cheaply, as possible and the other wants to fight about every detail and run up an ungodly amount in attorney fees by not cooperating.

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