The Narcissist Buzzword in Divorce


Recently I’ve met a few women who are separated and divorcing.  I guess it’s only natural since that’s the spot I’m in as well.  We are all in different stages of the marriage falling apart.  Some are just beginning the journey, some have already divorced and moved on, and some are in the middle of the divorce or close to the end of it like me.

When we start to share our stories which invariably happens when we find out that we’re in similar situations, the word narcissist often emerges as they share about their STBX (soon-to-be-ex).  I find it fascinating these days how many women state that they were married to a narcissist.  I’ve done a ton of research myself because I wanted to know if mine had narcissistic tendencies and it amazes me how many of these men fall into that category.  Could we all have been that dumb when we were younger to marry a narcissist?  Or did the men develop into narcissists?  Or has narcissist just become another word for his mid-life crisis and the eventual breakdown of a marriage?

Is it a fad to say you were married to a narcissist?  It seems like it’s a buzzword these days.  There are so many articles written about divorcing narcissists and the empath women they leave in their wake.  I love that there is so much research to be found on it.  Truly, I applaud all the authors of these articles because I’ve learned so much from them and have begun healing because of them.  Thank you!  But, I wonder if we were really married to men who were narcissists?  I’m not discounting the stories I’ve heard, but truly, in every one of them (and there were quite a few), they each described their ex’s as a narcissist.  How could there be a posse of them now divorcing their wives all of a sudden?

So my question is – Do you describe your ex as a narcissist?  With what specific evidence do you claim he’s a narcissist?  Or is it just that he developed some narcissistic tendencies like mine so he can fall into that category?  Because honestly, I am sad for the whole female population if we are so under the spell of these male narcissists for such a long duration of time!

I know I sound skeptical and please don’t be angry with me.  It’s just that I was thinking today about it and wondering if we were all just too young to see the narcissistic tendencies as they were presented when love was brand new?  I wonder how we all could have been so hoodwinked as to not see things the way they were?  Or were we all just too blinded by love and manipulated by a narcissist so that we didn’t even know what the heck was going on before it was too late?

For me, I know that in the beginning, there was a sense of equality of power in the relationship.  He was a good man and frankly, still is.  He’s just not the man for me, nor I the wife for him anymore.  But, we were in love back then.  However, as time went on, I began to allow him to make more of the decisions as that’s how both of our sets of parents role-modeled marriage.  I thought I was being the good wife.  Then, it began to be easier to keep peace and to not upset him, so I stayed quiet and just kept trying to be the good wife.  I now see how I didn’t hold onto the equality in the marriage and I allowed myself to be subservient and to give him the control.  But I don’t blame it all on him necessarily.  I could have spoken up.  But by the time I tried, the pattern was too well-worn into the marriage and there was no wiggle room.  I hold myself accountable for that part.  It’s not just poor me.  It’s foolish me.  I relaxed my equality stance that we had begun the marriage with and detrimental patterns emerged from there.

I’m not saying you aren’t married to a narcissist.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not saying it’s a catch-all phrase for controlling men and the women who loved them.  I’m just putting out the question –

Do you think being married to a narcissist is the new buzzword in divorce?

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4 Responses to The Narcissist Buzzword in Divorce

  1. BeowulfSabrina says:

    I think there is an epidemic of narcissism these days. Not just a buzzword, although my husband was actually diagnosed with it, all the boxes on the DSM checked off, not just a midlife crisis, but his entire toxic and disordered life born from toxic and messed up parents created an atom bomb when he cheated and discarded me after 25 years of marriage with no warning. In the beginning there were red flags but I had never been exposed to mentally disordered people so I ignored the signals that should have made me run far. I thought my love could heal him, show him the kind of unconditional love he never got from the mom who abandoned him. It took 25 years for his mask to slip and a monster emerged. He abandoned me exactly like his mom abandoned him and he even knows that he recreated that scenario to see MY PAIN. He thought if I loved him as much as I said, I’d let him “explore” his new relationship and even become polyamory so he could have us both and then even more??? I begged him not to go, but at the end of the day, I told him it was his choice, and choices had consequences. He’s never once shown remorse, truly apologized, nor tried to make amends. He has zero empathy and no conscience. He discarded my son and grandson too, without a look back, getting angry at US because they don’t want to have anything to do with him. Now he’s in a perpetual narcississtic rage state and trying to harm me financially because he can no longer control me as I too had allowed myself to be controlled and manipulated because he liked to always be in charge. I lost myself trying to please him, and then I lost him, too. And I love him but I’m divorcing him because he refuses to get help, another red flag of a narc.


    • janieleeds says:

      Sabrina, your story is so similar to a friend of mine’s! Incredible. Truly. I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself and even though you love him, you are divorcing him. Take care of you. Do what is best for you and your son/grandson. May the finances be figured out in your favor! I am sending you healing hugs. You are not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeowulfSabrina says:

        You have no idea how much your words mean, thank you. Finally being able after all these years to say NO to him after I realized (with therapy) that he had been managing me down covertly and diminishing me all these years so that he THOUGHT I was so timid and unable to function that I would simply accept his “polyamory solution”-well, it was quite painful to me to say NO because I hate to hurt him or have him mad at me, but it was because of my son/grandson that I had to muster up enough self respect/esteem to do so. But I felt guilty for letting HIM down. SIGH. I am paying the price with his ongoing narc rage. And worst of all? He gave me a potentially life threatening STD.


      • janieleeds says:

        So happy to hear you are finding healing. I understand. I’m here to help in any way I can. Stay strong! You can do this!


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