It’s Narcissist Friday!
A few days ago someone searched for an article on narcissists who hate their wives. I can imagine the pain and sadness behind that search. The search led the person to this blog and the article I wrote a few weeks ago on narcissists and hate. It may be time to address this again.
When we think of hatred, we usually think of someone who desires to destroy another. Hatred brings to our minds a malignant passion against the other person. In other words, if I hate someone, I want them to suffer. I may want to be the one who makes the person suffer. This is an active anger toward a specific person. The more I hate someone, the more focused I become on that person.
But the narcissist doesn’t see other people as people. For the most part, the narcissist doesn’t hate in the way I stated above. Now, I have to say again that there are varying degrees of narcissism in people and some who exhibit narcissistic tendencies may have the kind of feeling described above. Yet, the narcissist does not focus on a person; he focuses on an obstacle.
The wife who feels that her husband hates her should watch him as he expresses his feelings toward others. Does he really care who the person is? If it is the driver in the other car, can he even tell you if the person is male or female, young or old, alone or with others? He really doesn’t care. All he cares about is that the person in the other car cut him off and made him feel insecure for a moment. It’s the feeling he hates and it was caused just as much by the other car as by the other driver. The same is true in his feelings toward co-workers, people at church, family members, or almost anyone in authority. He cares nothing for the individual. He only hates the fact that they make him feel intimidated or inferior. That’s what he hates.
So this isn’t about you. In fact, it probably has nothing to do with you at all. He may find you a useful tool for releasing his frustrations about other things. He may feel that having a wife and family holds him back from pursuits or freedom he would like to have. Remember that most narcissists live in a fantasy world. He probably thinks of himself as a great lover, able to have many conquests—if only he wasn’t stuck with you. He may believe he could run the company—if only the bosses would get out of his way. He almost certainly believes that he could run the church, preach the sermon, or counsel the hurting, better than the leaders at church—if only the people would listen to him.
So why does he pick on you? Remember that a narcissist sees others as tools, toys or obstacles. You are close, easy and safe. I am not trying to be cruel. Your narcissist knows so little about love because he just doesn’t see others as people. For the same reason, he knows little about hate.
I think one of the reasons Jesus taught so much about loving each other is to show us the broken and evil nature of our flesh. The more we seek to protect ourselves, the less we value others. The narcissist has been stuck in a vicious pursuit of self-preservation and self-presentation since he was a little child. Very likely, by the time he found you, he was already incapable of love or hate. He was just able to use.