The Christian Narcissist

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 

All the narcissists I have known have been Christians.

Now, there are a couple of things that have to go along with that statement.  First, I mean they consider themselves Christians and they want everyone else to consider them Christians.  Second, I don’t get out much.

Recently a couple of readers suggested that I write something on the Christian Narcissist.  I have to admit that I find that designation to be troubling.  It seems like an oxymoron, a term that has two contradictory parts.  I am tempted to say that there cannot be such a creature, yet I do know some.  In fact, many churches have them.  So, here’s what I know:

  1. Christians are people saved by Jesus.  They draw their life from Him, but they draw their behavior from the patterns that developed throughout their early life and from the Holy Spirit.  In other words, sometimes we act like Christians and sometimes we don’t.  That’s true of all of us.
  2. Narcissism is a flesh pattern that developed in early life and became the coping mechanism of choice in handling the stresses of life.  This happened while the person was very young and has been reinforced constantly throughout life.  That means that if such a person would become a believer he or she would almost certainly continue to struggle with narcissistic behavior in relationships.
  3. Narcissistic behavior can be seen in almost anyone and appears in society as a continuum.  Those who practice it intuitively (without thinking) and regularly—to the detriment of their relationships—are the ones we label as narcissists.
  4. Those whose behavior and values warrant being designated as narcissists are unwilling or unable to care about others in normal ways and tend to use others in their process of handling life.  They think of little other than how to manipulate people in ways that benefit themselves or serve the image of themselves they want to promote.
  5. Narcissism is contrary to the Christian faith.  Because the narcissist will not admit failure or need, in order to protect the image, he or she will also not admit sinfulness or unworthiness and will not see the need for repentance or brokenness.  Those who receive Christ as life, do so as they understand their own failure and need.  Narcissists would find it very difficult to do this.
  6. However, Christian behavior is easy to fake and many in the church are naïve and gullible and are particularly vulnerable to the manipulations and deceit of the narcissist.  The church is a prime hunting ground for narcissists, with little real accountability and significant opportunity for attention and promotion.
  7. Narcissists are able and willing to adapt their behavior and words for the purpose of promoting their image and will use organizations, such as the church, to accomplish their goals.

 

So, what do I take from all of this?  That none of us should be surprised to find narcissists in church!  Are they Christians?  That isn’t mine to say.  While narcissism is contrary to Christ, narcissistic behavior may be just old flesh patterns at work in the life of the believer.  People who exhibit these characteristics will almost always be successful in persuading the majority of the people to accept and honor them, usually because the majority of the people won’t spend enough time to see the truth.

But what do you do about it?  Protect yourself.  Learn to recognize the behavior that hurts you and others.  You almost certainly will not be able to change the minds of church leadership toward the narcissist.  They are often the last ones to see the damage these folks can do.  If you must call attention to their actions, be sure to point out the behavior, rather than the motivation.  Tell what they do.  Maybe you can help others by pointing out what you see or by coming alongside victims when they are hurt.

I wish there was a more helpful and effective way of dealing with narcissists, particularly in the church.  But the truth is that these people usually win.  They are ruthless, willing to use whatever information and opportunities they are given to defend themselves and attack those who threaten them.  Most of the time it just isn’t worth it.  Churches and volunteer organizations are poorly prepared to deal with predators of any kind.  It would probably be better just to find another church.

Comments?  Questions?

272 Comments

Filed under Legalism, Narcissism

272 responses to “The Christian Narcissist

  1. Angela

    That is so true.. Jesus didn’t need to come to save sweet little bunnies and birdies because they are already doing just what He designed them to do. It is only us that jump the track.
    There is a difference, like you said, in being/acting narcissistic and being a Narcissist (with a capital ‘N’). It is as if whatever pain caused the dysfunction in the first place made these people cross some invisible line- what? a seared conscience? or that thing we don’t want to talk about…the ‘enemy’? I don’t know. I do know this though- I used to beg, plead, reason, give in, compromise, try everything and anything to change these people in my life, or at least get along with them. I used to be so vexed with the story of Jesus and the ‘rich young ruler’..where Jesus LET HIM WALK AWAY!!! Why didn’t Jesus tell him what he was giving up??? I get it now. This freedom we have been given is a gift and a responsibility. There are some people you just have to let go of. Just as they have a God-given right to choose, so do we. That is a huge freedom for me. Even if you still must have them in your life, there are tiny baby steps we can do to start untangling our hearts and minds. And may God pick us up every time we fall, and may we never give up relying on Him and His mighty love.

    • Mary

      That’s really good! Thanks for sharing that 🙂

    • Sometimes what feels like giving up is just admitting that the problem isn’t yours to fix. We are not responsible for fixing other people. We can help them and love them. But when they pull away, sometimes we do have to let them go.

      Your words are wise. Thank you.

      • Georgette

        That is what I am learning: We are not responsible for fixing other people. Or save others from the N. I wanted to save the body of Christ where I attended church for 15 years from the N (that is my co-dependent behavior being a rescuer). I couldn’t stand watching him and his fourth wife lying, deceiving and manipulating the body of believers so I left the church after I warned the leaders about the N, which fell on deaf ears. As a friend advised me that it is for God to expose, I just need to get out of the way so God can do what he needs to do for the body of believers and the N.

    • Frances

      I am in the thick of deciding what to do with my Narcissist – Walking away seems smart .. but too painful.. I can not give up the dream of the love I thought was real. I have tried all the things they say to do, but I still up come up holding an empty bag. And my heart matches the bag. 😦

      • HDG

        Frances,it will be horribly painful. Your heart will try to rationalize everything that went wrong.You will question yourself,blame yourself,play the “what if” game.What did the N’s actions SHOW you about their love?The inner turmoil is tough. PRAY. Read suggested scriptures.Read this blog. A really good honest look at narcissism is the book : HELP! I’m in Love with a NARCISSIST. You said so yourself:” the dream of love I thought was real”- IT WASN’T.It hurts but it’s true. I left Mr. ‘N’ for very good reasons, it hurts to know NONE of his love for me was real. I still have a lot of healing to do. I couldn’t let the public “man of my dreams” continue in private to be the”man of my nightmares.” We are here to share and support. Hope this reply helps….you are in my prayers.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Frances, everything HDG says is true. The link to the post below posted on the “Army of Angels” blog is very inspirational and it does provide hope.

        http://armyofangels2013.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/you-cant-learn-anything-from-that-pine-box/

      • Beth

        Married a “Christian” narcissist. Took the abuse for 22 years until I had nothing left to give. Once I left my life of true happiness began. They can’t or won’t change, ever. You are wasting your love and your time. Walk away.

      • Moi

        I know it’s kind off late but really walk away from the relationship. Save yourself. I had to make the same decision and exactly what HDG says. After the break up the what ifs and all kind of questions will pop up. Ignore it. I even had people of the church trying to convince me to pray for him and to not give up. Even after I told them the horrible things he said and had done to me. It’s not a relationship, it’s not healthy. You will find someone who will telly love you and then you’re going to look back and realise that you made the best choice.

      • merryjoy1

        Oh Frances wish you strength & hope you do not wait too long. Just like others are saying, it Does hurt & it takes some time but the pain/hurt will get better & you will see/feel things differently. I wish I would have known what this disorder was years ago. Married over 19 years & went through so much pain confusion…During divorce came across Narcissist Disorder & all those years finally made sense. It hurt even more knowing/realizing they never loved & will never love another human, even their own children. The longer you stay, the more pain you will receive. They do get worse over the years & depending on their Status, they can get away with many “things”…I say this because I waited until I actually had to spend a few hours in JAIL & that woke me up big time. The more they get away with ‘things’ the more power they get & they will use it. He should have gone to Jail (for many things) not me. It was like one of those movies where you can’t believe or understand HOW can someone do & get away with? Of course He still loved me, blah blah…It has been almost a year since I did the No Contact & it only way to free yourself. I tried the ‘civil’ thing, get along with…it made matters worse & he used this as way to get or keep things from myself & our kids. Divorced a year & still have court proceedings for some important issues. Like I said earlier, the more they get away with, the more they will keep doing. I finally did get a GOOD lawyer & she knew of disorder….I was getting beat up so bad with first one I had. Good luck to you. Oh, those brain games seem to help especially in beginning when on your own?

      • Helen

        I am married to a Pastor 45 years, and it have battled this for over 25 years, he was on his death bed , and still never gave up his pattern of life, I can’t take this no more, he is destroying me, I am sick all the time, I want out one way or other, I am tired no, no forgiveness, very judgemental to everyone, thinks he is perfect, I hear I, 100 times a day, I have to get out, and I will

      • Sbelley

        I have been separated from my narcissistic husband for one year now. I am feeling stronger in so many ways. A close Christian friend said that I sound so much better then when I was living with him. I used to make reasons why he was behaving the way he was, I used to justify his behavior to others so that they would not see him for who he was. (However I wasn’t fooling anyone, people could see for themselves what he was about. ) in fact she said I spoke like a victim like somehow I deserved the way he treated me. My ex-husband used to berate me he used to turn things around and blame me for what was his wrongdoing. He would even hurt my feelings so badly … And turn it around and make me feel as if it were my fault ! Even though deep down in my heart I knew it was him that hurt me I still ended up apologizing to him!
        I guess what I’m saying is just be careful… He likely does not have your best interest at heart… narcissist uses people for their own ends. Only the Lord and some fantastic biblical counseling can possibly change these people. And even then they have to recognize but they are narcissistic and they need to change.

    • AA

      If you are still here, would you reopen to me? I feel as though you have some understanding I am trying to grapple with.

      • Angela

        Hi AA. I am not sure if your response was directed to me or not.
        If so, I am still here. If not, I apologize for “butting in”.

      • I’m here and married to a narcissist. I am disgusted at myself for staying. He is usually gone, but when he is home, I hate life. I want so badly to have a nice family day without hearing him put me down, griping at the kids, putting others down and pretending to be someone he isn’t when talking to others outside the hone. I’m willing to share and support as much as I can to anyone else who needs it.

      • I am so sorry ..I understand ! not many people really realize the damage that is done to us . Its like they beat us up in the head .. or physical abuse etc .. they are capable of such horrible acts ..i say they are evil.
        My ex was a Pastor ( so well loved ) he would flirt to the jezabels yes those kind in the church ..i left him and the church sided with him ..i dont know how he got away with it ..well yes its the charm the hidden deceit .. well he was typical nark who would go so far as to get me upset play his childlike games .. then if i questioned him ..i would get the silent treatment mean passive agressive behavior ..some acts so painful i cant repeat … and ..he calls himself a christian ??
        God is the healer of our souls ..im slowly healing seriously i have had to drop counseling because some professionals dont get it ! Let God take care of him too .Vengeance is mine says the Lord .. Not our fault !! Lets grow in the Lord and share with others to beware of these predators.be well.

    • Get a hold of yourself

      Amen. Thank you for sharing.

      • jim

        My name is Jim, after 22 yrs , I almost lost my whole family. I had strong Narcissistic tendencies. I graduated from Bible School where I met my wife . Slowly over this time I aliented my wife and my kids. I only allowed them to get so close.I was negative critical and mean at times. Almost always when anyone disagreed with me. Although I never cheated or even flirted with other women, I created great insecurity with my wife. and eventually my teen age children. The pain I felt at times was over whelming, often putting me in a place of rage. I never hit any of them but would say things that hurt them so bad they would come at me. I demanded respect but never seemed to give it. I never saw wanted to admit I had a problem. With me winning was everything. An argument, sports, if I couldn’t control some ones response, they were just not smart like me. I never saw it but people were there only to serve my purpose. I didn’t see that for 52 years of my life. After a conversation with my elderly parents about my child hood, one of the thorns that were placed in my sole was removed. For three hours I wept and God began to peel back the layers of this wpunded man. God began to show the destruction I cause and for the first time in my life I took responsibility for what I had become and have gone to the people I so badly wounded. My heart for my family and people in general is so different now.I can now truly love people and allow myself to be vulnerable and transparent no longer trying to hide behind a persona that was not real. There is hope for someone with Narcissistic problems, its found in Jesus. Unfortunately, most never see it. Even after its too late. For me I have been given a second chance. For those women dealing with this type of man, you ust give him an untimatum in love and hold to it. Make him get help or else,dont continue in the abuse. God Bless!

      • Cecilia K

        Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story, Jim. It is encouraging!

      • God's Girl

        Jim your story moved me to tears. I have been married to a narcissist for 8 years. We have been living apart for 2. I didn’t want to divorce him because I know God hates divorce but I’ve realised now that God wouldn’t want me to stay in this situation. My sanity is hanging by a thread and I have to walk away. I find it heartbreaking and know that Jesus is his only hope.

    • Susan

      it is a crazy world. the narcissist WANTS to HURT the “happy perfect little bunnies” that DO exist! it goes round in circles… they want to BE that “bunny” they HATE the “bunny” when Christ LOVES the bunny types/perfect happy holy.. and wants us all to be that way too but some stay in the brokenness…and refuse to be bunnies… its sick and sad abuse,
      they are being outed now.
      swine/pig metaphor in Judaism/Christianity/bible always meant filthy animal that “stays” and “rolls around” it its filth..this has been applied to gentiles! they stay in sin and filth because they “hate the happy bunnies”
      it makes them no more than CHILD abusers
      theyre actually happier if they break you/break the bunny,so that the bunny needs Christ…like them.. who didn’t really get Him.. etc.. like a sad a cycle of abuse….

      • Georgette

        Jim: First I want to say I admire your desire to talk to your parents regarding your pain as a child in order to get healing and become what God has intended you to be. My ex N became a Christian and all he did was gain knowledge of the bible. His third wife saw no change in his behavior! He gave up the alcohol but was not about to give up the porn! He refused to discuss issues regarding their marriage. He was a leader in a bible study in the church during the third marriage. Third wife stated that if she brought up any issues he would give her the silent treatment. Long story short married four times and never loved any of his wives.

        His mother died unexpectedly, he never showed any emotion and to this day does not talk about her death or cried over her death. I believe she abused him as a child. I see some of the flashbacks when we were intimate. He despises his dad who is still alive. I find that peculiar because he claims he talked to him and made amends.

        I believe God put me in his life to speak truth into his lies. He didn’t want to hear it! Told him he was going down a dangerous path. Told him: If you would let God speak into the lies and shine the light of truth in your dark places you would be amazed on how free you would be. It is hell to get to the other side but in the end it is freeing! His reply: I will wait for you to do it and see your results and determine if I want to do that. If the N is not willing to hear God’s voice through others then there is no hope for him to turn his life around. I don’t care how versed he is in the bible. The bible is a tool to use to further his agenda. Then again I saw a demonic entity go into him at church, outside his office and at a restaurant, which makes me think that his pride, anger, bitterness, resentment, and lust has opened the door for demonic activity. After all we are all in spiritual warfare everyday. He needs Christian counsel to renounce the lies and cast out the demons in him. Churches just enable the N’s bad behavior.

  2. Anne-Christina

    Narcissists or people with narcissistic wounds/injuries are broken people. They are split in their innermost being between what is seen on the outside ‘the narcissistic self’ and a deeply rejected and hidden vulnerable self, which they cannot integrate and which they consciously and unconsciously spend their lives fighting, denying and hiding from. This rejected part, they think, is unacceptable, unlovable and unbearable….it is to them like ‘shame itself’. And they think that the rest of us feel the same….so they go on rejecting, hiding and denying….and they offer themselves and us the ‘image’ instead.
    Who are we to say that God cannot in some way be dealing with these individuals even if we don’t see the result on the outside in a way that we understand?
    Isn’t God able to save even the most broken and split and mentally/emotionally disturbed among us? Even those that don’t appear broken in the way we understand the term ‘broken’ – Even the ones we think are ‘unsavable’ in our Christian view…the ones who hurt us so deeply and so profoundly and act in such a way that is so ‘unchristian’. Isn’t God Master of the impossible?
    Does it give comfort to anyone to say ‘a Narcissist cannot be a Christian’? Does it heal our wounds?

    • WTP

      Yes, God is the Master of the impossible! I completely agree. I think the irony is that if the Narcissist accepts Christ and as a result they are humbled (sincerely) by His sacrifice and recognize their sinfulness then they are no longer a Narcissist. I do not believe you can be a Narcissist and a Christian at the same time. Just like you can’t judge and love at the same time. When the heart is full of judgement there is no room for love. Can a Narcissist become a Christian? Can God save a Narcissist? Of course! I think the post refers to the “Narcissist in Christian’s clothing.” The Narcissist that uses Christianity as a cover and/or to project a certain image. That is why Narcissists in the church/school/life are so destructive. It certainly wouldn’t be very Christian to call someone out as being a Narcissist. The Narcissist bets on that perception and will use that to their advantage while attacking anyone that threatens their image. I find comfort in the fact that God ALWAYS knows better. 🙂 Also, I pray that God is dealing with these people (even if we don’t see it). My mom is a super N and I am constantly praying that God will break into her heart and save her. Sometimes I pray for God to bring her to her knees – not in a cruel way and not because I want her to suffer. I know only He will be able to change her.

      • Anne-Christina

        Can you be a Christian and a Narcissist at the same time? It is a difficult question, but I think it is possible. Becoming a Christian takes you on a journey doesn’t it? From the moment you say yes to Christ you have entered a lifelong process of ‘becoming’. Everything is not changed overnight – all your wounds are not healed in one go – and it doesn’t mean that you won’t be wounded again. Sometimes becoming a Christian is when the real battle begins and for some that battle is a very very long one. A battle against pride perhaps or a battle with that false image that the narcissist has of himself. Because the person with narcissistic injury is split it is possible for him to have a split experience also in relation to his faith. At times he can appear in tune with his faith and his salvation and he himself fully believes that he is genuine in that moment and then at other times he falls prey to the ‘pedestal’ which he may have put himself on or others may have put him on (or both), and the ‘monster’ part of him takes over. As becoming a Christian involves a journey and something you grow into every day, It may also mean that the person with narcissistic injury won’t be leaving the narcissism behind in one go and it may mean a lifelong battle with it. That doesn’t mean s/he is not saved or not a Christian. This is for God to know. My heart goes out to you and I pray that God will break into your mum’s heart and save her. It is a tough journey you are on. May God give you strength and hope.

      • This is an important point. Once you have learned to flinch because of someone’s actions, you will probably flinch for a long time. These things have to be unlearned. I have consistently maintained that narcissistic behavior is learned and can be unlearned. The narcissist is responsible and accountable. They choose to do the things they do.

        But when the narcissist comes to Christ, these actions should change. The fears and desires might take a while, but the actions can be handled. We would never be content with saying that the child molester will still molest occasionally and we should not be content with saying that the narcissist will still hurt people. This is why I believe it is important to teach the narcissist what behavior hurts people and is wrong and why I believe we can and should hold the narcissist accountable for those actions.

      • One of the hardest things for most of us to accept is that the identification of the individual believer is no longer associated with the sin or the brokenness. We are identified with Christ. Those who come to Christ are no longer narcissists, nor alcoholics, nor thieves, nor homosexuals – no matter what behavior they exhibit. This is exactly Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 6 and he culminates a list of sinful titles with “and such were some of you, but you were washed…”. No matter what they had done they were no longer those things.

        Yes, there are those who use Christianity as a cover for their sin. Narcissists, financial con artists, child molesters, adulterers. It has always been that way. But there are also those who continue to struggle against their flesh habits after coming sincerely to Christ.

        Brokenness is the key. The one who hangs onto hope outside of Christ, who tries to use Christ to aid his/her search for superiority or even health, will find only failure. Christ, as someone has said, is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. I agree that it seems wrong to want someone to suffer, but that desire is not for suffering, but for healing. Sometimes a wound has to be reopened in order to heal correctly. That hurts.

        Penny’s illustration of the two thieves is good. Thanks!

      • LA

        No disrespect but I disagree with the statement you can’t be a christian and a N. Just because we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, it is learning to live out our christian lives one step at a time trusting God. People judge and love all the time. People lie, cheat, and deceive all the time being a christian. The enemy (Satan) is out to destroy. He knows that God is already victorious in all things that why he is the father of lies and tries to take our thoughts off of God and back on our selves. I have two N in my life and it has rocked my world, but God has used them to change me and my behavior towards them and myself. I could easily harbor anger towards them for all the damage that have done, but that is just robbing me of my relationship with God. I have too trust God with them and not feel guilty I am not close with them or have some sort of responsibility towards them to fix them. We all have something that we struggle with. Sin is always with us and our sin nature. My mom is the biggest N but she is also so thankful to God for giving her soo much. I asked her why she is and she said because I know where my life came from. So she is like a little kid and is so thankful, but doesn’t want to go any deeper.

      • edward

        Thanks for your interesting post, really have a hard time with Christians saying there is no hope they won’t change, that’s not entirely true , We all have some Narc tendencies before we became believers, the scripture plainly tells us we were born sinners, through the process of Sanctification and becoming more like Christ. We take on a new nature and , And God removes that stoney heart and puts in us a heart (Soft) of flesh…I’m a recovering Narc, the things I used to do, repulses me now , they began to bring conviction through the H.S. and caused repentance .That and a little discipline from the Lord. So please don’t ever limit God especially as a believer, and believe he can reach the hardest heart. It doesn’t mean remove boundries, or even stay with a narcisistic person. Keep praying and interceeding…

      • scoogs

        Thankyou WTP. I totally agree with you. I was in love with a so called Christian narcissist. I was not a Christian when I met him but he claimed to be. He actually brought me to Christ because I had no choice . His ways and actions were not Christian and I at least had the God Knowing that this was not right. Once I gave my heart to Jesus I was directed in light even though I loved this man like no other I had to leave. If you accept Christ truely in your heart it does not matter what you have done, But Redemption follows with the acceptance of Christ. So in human terms your way of living and loving change . There is no way anyone can live a fulfilling Christian life and be a narcissist. It just doesn’t fit.

      • Discerning heart

        Exactly, what I just want to say is…A Narcissist has not received the Holy Spirit in their hearts if they are still a narcissist! A Murderer will no longer be a murderer if they have received the Holy Spirit and born again…etc. We are never free from sin, never perfect…but the after receiving the Holy Spirit, He does just that for us and intervenes for us and we are aware of our actions and do not have any desire to continue to fall into the trap of the enemy!!! Take up your cross and follow the Lord, let no man come against you…If God is for us Who could be against us?!!!!! And yes I am currently living with a narcissist husband and bless the Lord for bringing this to my attention in the last while, It all makes sense! Hard to fathom but so rewarding in the end, I am Praying most def every moment, and decreed and declared freedom for my life in the future! God is Marvellous, and always does what’s best…He is my way out!!! God has been opening doors for me in the last while, and has given me strength to start finding my way, He is providing breakthrough for me, and I am delighted to see the outcome, In the name of Jesus, AMEN

    • Anne-Christina

      You are absolutely right that narcissists are broken people. They need healing, the healing that Jesus can give. I believe, with you, that He can do anything, even heal a narcissistic heart. This is what I pray for.

      Those who read a blog like this come from a wide variety of places. However, almost all have to go through a process of separation from the narcissistic perspective or control. Most of the time that looks like this:

      1. The other person has a problem, not just me.
      2. The actions of the N are wrong.
      3. The perspective of the N is not truth.
      4. I am not defined by the N’s words, actions, or values.
      5. I am a person of worth, even if I don’t hear or feel that from N.
      6. I have to become healthy, whether I stay or leave.

      When this struggle is couched in Christian stuff, the separation is more difficult. When narcissism comes from the pulpit, or church leadership, or in the context of a “godly marriage,” it is important to draw a distinction between narcissism and the way of Jesus. That seems important to me and it does not mean that a narcissist cannot be a Christian. I think a child abuser could be a Christian (a very sick one) but I would be quick to state that child abuse has nothing to do with Christ.

      So we have to separate the sin from the sinner, as the saying goes. Narcissism is not an excuse for bad behavior, nor can it simply be covered with spiritual words and actions. The narcissist is accountable for the pain he/she causes.

      The other important point to make here is that the change Jesus offers is an offer, not something done apart from the will of the individual. Few narcissists will admit to their need and seek the healing that is available in Jesus. If they do not, then they are not Christians. It doesn’t matter how high they are in church government or what wonderful things they have done. Apart from yielding to the life and authority of Jesus, no one is a Christian.

      I would be interested in more of your thoughts on this.

      • Anne-Christina

        I agree with you that when the struggle is couched in Christan stuff it makes everything so much more diffucult. It is crazy-making to say the least.
        And you are right the Narcissist or the person with narcissistic traits is accountable for the hurt they cause.

        What concerns me is that we look beynd the behaviour and get an understanding of what is at the root of this. Better understanding will also aid our own personal healing and may even bring us to a point of compassion for the person trapped in the mirror one day. And there is no reason why we cannot be deeply hurt, angry, frustrated and disappointed and also feel some compassion all at the same time.
        One of the ‘criteria’ for the narcissistic ‘label’ is the lack of empathy. This is not something the narcissistic person has just ‘chosen’ to lack. It is caused by an emotional shut down. They cannot allow themselves to acknowledge or integrate their own vulnerable parts and cannot feel any empathy for themselves, which is essential for feeling empathy for others. Because of this they do not fully understand the deep hurt they cause by their words, actions and behaviour towards others. They just don’t get what it is to feel deep pain because their own pain is locked away deep inside themselves. So it is important to look beyond the awful behaviour and understand that the choice to be abusive is more than it may appear to be.

        Another thing that concerns me is that there seems to be a need or want or desire in us humans – whether in or outside the church – to idealise and put people on a pedestal. We seem to want ‘idols’ whether they are church leaders or celebrities and we want them to be everything to us. We want them to always have an answer… we want them to be pastors, teachers, evangelists, counsellors etc etc all rolled into one and we want ‘the man at the top’ to deal with our personal difficulties. Sometimes we put our church leaders in an almost impossible position with the expectations we have of them. How does this breed narcissism?
        I am not making excuses for the hurt, but I am trying to understand how we all may contribute to the creation of narcissism in our churches by making certain people ‘special’ and hanging on every word that comes out of their mouths.
        I am not looking to disagree with anything. I am just wanting to consider as many perspectives as possible to help us all heal.

      • The call to compassion and kindness is always right. That reflects the heart of our Lord. But it is possible to love and pray from a distance. The narcissist’s problems cannot be allowed to define the lives of his victims. So, if it is possible for someone to care and pray and be concerned, while at the same time protect themselves from the narcissist’s manipulations, then it should be done. And I think a healthy survivor can do this. We just have to remember that the narcissist will use his own pain to manipulate others also.

        I am in full agreement that we have allowed a system in the church that serves the narcissist well and, in fact, maybe causes their problem to grow. Today many pastors and church leaders have too much authority and are honored too much. They maintain a distance from their people that is unhealthy for them and for the church. I hear pastors talking about people as pew-sitters, givers, and statistics. Since I believe narcissism is a coping mechanism, it makes sense that there might be leaders who begin to exhibit those characteristics under the stresses of ministry. And believe me, there are stresses in ministry. One of those stresses is the willingness of the people to give honor then snatch it away almost without warning. For someone with narcissistic tendencies, this would be very difficult.

        Thank you for your thoughts. It is good for us to challenge each other’s thinking. I appreciate your perspective. One of the saddest things about this whole topic is the lack of counselors who can actually help narcissists. I keep looking.

    • Svjetlana

      Anne – Christina, thank u so much for these words…I am dealing with same question for long time, since I met a lot of n’s and I am “big fighter in His Spirit” for those souls 🙂 And, with all I know about npd, I am asking for protection from God from their manipulations, but on the other hand, I have a lots of love for them… I started to finally see some of the fruits of my prayers, I mean real, deep, radically fruits… This evening I was fed up of everything, and wanted to give up of that kind of people, fighting with God about His El- Shaddai name 🙂 and in respond to that struggle in prayer, your comment come on my way 🙂
      Thanks! And, God IS all-powerful!

    • Kathy

      As the child of a Narcissist, I think you are overlooking the consequences to children who are subject to their evil. And it IS evil. First there is the inconsistency between what a Narcissist preaches and what a Narcissist does. This violation of Truth distorts almost all experiences and emotions such a child undergoes. It’s very confusing. Second, Narcissists often are exposed to examples of selflessness, kindness, generosity so they know what those qualities are. They deeply resent people who manifest them The child of a narcissist who is an empathy pays a very high price.

      • Hi. You said, “[Empaths] deeply resent people who manifest [selflessness, kindness, generosity]… The child of a narcissist who is an empath pays a very high price.” I presume you’re also an empath.

        My dad was/is a narcissist. He was a teacher at an all-girls’ school long ago, and he hand-picked my mom to marry among all the girls, because he knew he could control her. Sure enough, even in her 50s, my mom acted like a fawning sixteen year old over my dad and berated me and my siblings if we ever hinted that he was abusive or wrong in some way. I’m an empath, and I was the black sheep; my dad hated and hates me with enough venom to kill several people. His hatred and persecution of me has had long-lasting effects in my life up till now.

        I guess what surprises me most about this topic and other topics about human mistreatment of other humans is why the Bible seems to say so little about these kinds of issues. For example, someone commented that since gossip is forbidden in churches, ‘comparing notes’ about an abusive narcissist is not something most would feel comfortable doing. I recently met a so-called apostle who is a narcissist and who I heard constantly repeat to my friend and his church members that they must never “gossip” against any leaders. Well, that put him in a safe place where no one could say anything about the wrong he does. Anyway, I’d like to know your opinion on why an empath child of a narcissist pays a high price if you are still receiving notifications from this blog. I hope you are doing well.

      • MS

        Kathy, your point is so very wise. I have come to the point where the Narc tendencies are creeping up in me, and it is impossible for me to work on myself and focus on LOVING my son instead of shaming my son, and focusing on nurturing him and being cleansed from the inside out, because I am financially dependent on a professing christian narc, who whether or not he realizes it, is completely opposed to this good work I want God to do in me. He will continue to threaten and intimidate and pressure for us to keep an image, while I want to drop the facade and learn to be Christlike, before it’s too late for my son. It is truly evil.

    • Lady A

      That was my million dollar question..is there ANYTHING to hard for GOD??? I am so torn

    • Leah Janzen

      Anne-Christina, I’m with you. God will bring about miraculous change when we repent of our unbelief and start believing He really can do all things. He loves us all and people with narcissistic traits and NPD or not outside of his love, grace or ability to save. God’s arm is not that short. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgives all our sins, and HEALS ALL OUR DISEASES. Amen.

      • Georgette

        But the N has to hear God’s voice and if the Jezebel spirit is deeply rooted in the N he/she will not hear God’s voice until something horrible happens and then he/she may still not turn to God. I’m not trying to be a pessimist but no one is talking about the demonic spirit that grows in the N over the years of denial. The addictions: alcohol, sex, porn, anger, bitterness, resentment, and drugs are an open door for demonic activity. The N has to want to change and renounce the lies and then ask in Jesus name for the demonic entity to leave.

        I was raised by a psychopathic N. I have been in out of counseling and had to renounce a lot of lies from the enemy regarding the abuse from the psychopathic N.

        Dating my ex-N I had to cast out a demonic entity that was outside of me (since I had seen a demonic entity go into him once and twice seen the result of demonic behavior). When with the ex-N I always felt I had a ‘monkey on my back’. After the break-up and seeing a Christian counselor I asked that any demonic entity be cast out of me since I was intimate with him. I don’t think he realizes he is being controlled by a demonic spirit.

    • God's Girl

      I have lived with this for 8 years and yes I definitely believe that God can heal a narcissist. What I can’t reconcile is that my husband has only got worse in the 8 years we have been married and now my sanity is at stake. I feel terrible guilt at divorcing him but I know God is a loving God and He wouldn’t want me to suffer in this way

      • Georgette

        Two therapists told me there is a slim chance to none that a narcissist will change. One therapist told me if you feel led to pray for them do, but don’t waste your time continually praying for them b/c they don’t change. I had told them I had spoken truth to him and he still kept up his narcissistic behavior. Actually he went back to the body of Christ and devalued me even more. Like people that are demonic, there are some that want to be free from the demonic influence that is in them but there are few that want the demons out of them. Same with a narcissist! My adopted mom was a psycopathic narcissists and she started to change just before she got dementia. Narcissist is a learned behavior if they don’t receive counseling to unlearn those behaviors they will never change, trust me you staying in this narcissistic behavior will cause you to lose your mind. They get worse as they get older. Your husband will rape your mind of all self-esteem and self-confidence and your belief in God, to gain full control of your mind and soul! You should seek counsel regarding your marriage and see what the therapists say most don’t call it narcissistic behavior. They call it dysfunctional behavior.

      • God's Girl

        Thank you Georgette. I can’t afford counselling but I will try and do some more research and pray for peace about ending it.

      • Georgette

        God’s Girl: I would journal everything he says and how he handles every situation and ask God to reveal his true self to you and ask God to provide an escape. It took me two years before my ex-N ended the relationship. It was very painful and still is b/c I lost my church family and was totally isolated. He had raped my mind of all self-esteem and self-confidence and I had no one to turn to. Today the church sees that the ex-N for who he is but still allows him to be a leader in the recovery ministry and he has married his fourth wife. I was blessed to have a place called Moriah Foundation to help me. You can google it. Let me know if this helps. I will be praying that God will protect you from the enemy’s lies and manipulation. That God will shed his truth on the deepest hurt in you and that he will comfort you with his love and truth. That he will provide an escape for you. That he will put someone in your life that you can trust and will validate what you are going through and walk with you through this difficult time. May God bless you and keep you safe and strong.

      • God's Girl

        Georgette that is just the scariest thing!! I am so sorry that you went through this.

      • Georgette

        God’s Girl: It was a very painful and lonely time. I ended up getting closer to God through it and blessed to be able to afford a therapist who really went above and beyond in helping me. She let me text her and some of the sessions went over an hour in the beginning of the healing process. I look back and I see that God provided an escape and he has a reason for me to leave the church, to protect me from the narcissists manipulation. Yes it was painful, lonely, fearful and my anxiety level was 100%. Through it all I have come closer to Jesus and my eyes are open to the lies, deceit and manipulation that I went through. How Jesus was with me and protected me from further harm is priceless!

      • MS

        God’s Girl It is a false morality that keeps us with a narcissist. In the end, you are his cover story. You are helping him to live a lie. In order to keep peace, you have to learn the ways of manipulation and lie. You do not have to divorce, unless he is a professing Christian. If he is not a professing Christian then you may separate. But remember Jesus picked wheat on the Sabbath day. If you are married to a professing Christian who is living like a heathen then it is your obligation to leave.

  3. Still Processing

    Thank you for this! This post is very helpful in my attempt to understand how a Christian could behave in what seems to be very unloving and selfish ways – what I before had no ability to reconcile in my mind, and what caused much turmoil, confusion, guilt, and depression in me.

    “If you must call attention to their actions, be sure to point out the behavior, rather than the motivation.” I understand what you are saying here, but sometimes all of you have go off of is motivation and not behavior. In my case, the N was so good at playing the part. At least I believe she was playing a part, and that the motives behind much(all?) of what she did to/for me and others were manipulative and self-serving. But unless she confessed what her motives were behind the “kind”, generous, serving, thoughtful, friendly behavior, there was very little to point to as being hurtful or sinful behavior. Additionally, what made “outing” a N something I never even attempted was how I knew my sin contributed to the internal conflict I felt and the relational conflict I had with her. I knew I was jealous over her success. I was competitive with her over friendships, etc. I had long given up loving her and praying for her. I wished harm would come to her – that everyone else would see the sham she was and she would lose what she had spent every moment working and manipulating for. I couldn’t honestly say the problem was hers and not mine, because the one thing I was clear on was the ugly state of MY heart, and I didn’t truly know the state of hers. There were bits and pieces of “bad” behavior that could have been pointed to, but I was pretty certain if those were the only things I could point to, I would be shown to be petty and paranoid. I knew unless someone in the leadership had the gift of discernment, I would at best just not be understood and worse, my heartache would multiply by taking the problem to church leadership.

    From all appearances, I was the only one struggling with her. I did wonder, though, if there were others struggling the way I was, but none of us wanted to be the first one to say “The emperor has no clothing!”. I think another reason narcissists can continue unchallenged in the church is the issue of gossip. If the believers take gossip-avoiding seriously, people never have the chance to “compare notes”. Perhaps there would have been more than motive to go off of if those of us in contact with her had compared notes. Perhaps I would have found I really was being undermined, that things which were said about me to others or about others to me were not true or helpful. and that she said or twisted things to make HER look good. That what she projected was not reality when light was shone on her from multiple directions.

    It is truly a soul-killing experience to have things that are supposed to be blessings – a person’s kindness, thoughtfulness, gifts, service, etc. – become curses (because you feel like you’re being manipulated, that your friendship and loyalty and unquestioning is being “bought”). It is so confusing to be in the positions of thinking “I should adore this person. I should think she is the most wonderful thing I have ever met because of all that she “is” and does, but I don’t. WHY DON’T I???”

    • readgracewebsite

      Wow, I think this comment is insightful and helpful enough to be an entire post itself! I think that one of the most powerful and destructive tools in the hands of a “Christian” N is the Bible itself. What I have recently discovered is that a “Christian” N believes he has the final insight on God’s Word, and he is good at convincing others his interpretations are exclusively true. Then he uses (MIS-uses) hand-picked scriptures to control, manipulate and and keep his victims within his control, just as Satan twisted God’s words when he tempted Eve and when he tried to tempt Jesus (can you imagine the sense of self-importance and pride in thinking he could tempt God’s own Son???). I wonder if the “Christian” N is not more dangerous than a secular N, only because his victims have soft hearts that want to please God. So sad.

      I have a friend who was married to an abusive “Christian” N, and she has a great blog that discusses the specific difficulties of such a marriage. For a long time my husband and I thought her husband was a great, Christian guy. Boy, did he snow us! He even snowed our pastor for a while. If anyone is interested, her blog is http://marriagehealing.blogspot.com/

      • Prairiemom

        Oops, I had meant to leave the above comment as Prairiemom, not readgracewebsite. I’m not much of a techie :-)!

      • rediscovering me

        Dear Prairiemom… I REALLY relate to what you wrote above and I really wanted to read the blog your friend wrote, but it’s no longer at that link. I would really appreciate if you could let me know how I could find it.
        Thanks!

      • God's Girl

        My N husband led me to God just before we married. It was a whirlwind courtship. I believe the fact that my heart was softened and I became a new creature in Christ definitely made me stay for so long and put up with it

    • When I wrote about pointing out the behavior, I meant it in the context of going to church leadership. My experience, which is echoed by many who have written to me, is that church leaders are easily manipulated by narcissists. They rarely respond to accusations based on motivation because they can’t see it or really deal with it. But they can be shown behavior, especially with more than one witness.

      On the other hand, and I have to be a little careful here, I think it would be wise to suspect behavior once you understand someone is a narcissist or has narcissistic motivations. Once you realize what has been happening, you have a responsibility to factor that into what you see, even the “good” actions.

      In some of my previous posts, I have cautioned against calling someone a narcissist, simply because the term is not understood and you will rarely be believed. You can think in those terms yourself and find it helpful, but taking such a term to church leadership, for example, will probably not be helpful unless you actually have a diagnosis from a “professional.”

      I appreciate your story here. You show so clearly the struggle a person has in first seeing what is happening. The narcissist is so good at projection that you feel like you are the one with the problem. It takes a certain degree of health just to reject what the narcissist wants you to think. And, yes, it is “soul-killing” and “confusing” to go through these situations. But you are right!

    • HopefulSorrow

      I really appreciate your articulation of thoughts. This is exactly how I have felt. Thank you.

    • HopefulSorrow

      Did you stay in the church?

    • HopefulSorrow

      This comment is for “Still Processing.” How did you resolve this issue within yourself and did you stay in that particular church? Thanks so much.

      • Still Processing

        HopefulSorrow, I thank God for giving me an out to that situation – I know it was in his perfect timing, but it was a lot longer than I had wanted.:) I know a relationship with a N is easier to cut off when you aren’t married or related to them, but when the relationship is in the Body of Christ, it can still be very complicated, as many facets of your lives may be intertwined. At least they were for me. But we stayed in that church for as long as we lived there. At the time I hadn’t connected narcissism with what was going on, and only made the connection after processing it all for two years after moving away. Things are much clearer now that there is a “label” or description of what this type of person is like. I don’t know what would have been different if I had had the N label back then. I would have known I wasn’t crazy, which would have probably helped with the depression I had fallen into, but I don’t know what else I could have changed. It’s hard when you can’t fully make decisions for yourself – like leaving a church, a small group, or moving out of your home that is right next to the N’s home – if your spouse doesn’t agree it is necessary (and also, if you’re struggling with whether or not causing this division and separation is right). So not only is the N causing separation between you and other church family and friends, but they are also causing division in your marriage:( So as I said, I thank God for the out he gave, as I don’t know how I would have gotten out of there otherwise.

        But as for how I resolved the situation within myself – it wasn’t pretty or healthy, and if I was living it over again, understanding what I do now, I would handle myself differently. The situation was good in that God used it to expose to me a lot of what was in my heart, things I wouldn’t have been confronted with otherwise. So there was a lot of just needing to be honest with myself, my sin, and working through that with God. For that reason, as well as a few others, I’m grateful to have gone through it. As for doing things differently – I don’t know how my husband would have responded, but I would have certainly insisted on moving to a different home to get some physical space from her. Leaving the small group much sooner (my husband decided we should move to a different small group eventually) would have happened, too. I would have left the ministry team both she and I were on. But then again, thinking back on this, I get angry! Thinking about how *I* was supposed to leave most of my life behind because she had come into most every facet and taken it over? So I’m supposed to let her have it all and walk away??? I still feel angry when I think about how I had been put in a position where *I* was the one who had to move over, even though I had been in nearly every one of those facets FIRST – yet I’m supposed to let her have it all – friendships, ministry – in order to regain some health!?! It’s true, as I know Pastor Dave has written on before, but these people usually win. It’s really hard – maddening, in fact – to accept that, though.

        How are you learning to resolve your situation within yourself? I hope in a healthier way than I did. I will pray for you, that God would guide you and heal you as you grow in understanding of him, yourself, and others, and as you make decisions on what to do.

    • Me Too

      @Still Processing I read your post below and am angry for you that you had to leave your small group, neighborhood, etc. to get away from this narcissist. There have been a few personalities like that in my church and the leadership was discerning enough and bold enough to ask them to leave. That sounded harsh when I first heard (it was not common knowledge and dealt with very discreetly) but as time goes on I believe it is what Christ would have done and I feel very cared for and protected by our leadership. My hope and prayer is that other churches would be as bold when dealing with people who are searching their own glory in church and not willing to be truly known. You shouldn’t have been the one who had to leave and I’m sorry you were.

    • Gee

      Your last paragraph said it all. When all one can point to is “niceness”, there is no telltale sign of being overlooked by the “N” and to not sense true empathy from them. Then at the end of it to question yourself or listen to their rationale of “I do all this, why don’t you love me”

  4. Penny

    Since we are in the season of Easter, I was pondering the “thief on the cross”. Jesus was crucified between 2 thieves: the Narcissist is one, I am the other. The question becomes, which one? Which one is willing to recognize the Savior, repent and desire to be reconciled? Which one wants to remain in charge? Which one has remorse, regret and gratitude?
    Which one is resistant and wants retaliation? Which one recognizes the sin and darkness in the heart? Which one curses the darkness and challenges the Light? True–Jesus is not limited in power, but even He could not save the one who was not willing.

    • Penny

      What I meant to say is that I would love to ask the “Christian” narcissist: which thief are you? The repentant one? Or the defiant one? (Not that I would even waste my breath, b/c we all know the N would give the “correct” answer as the repentant one.) But the metaphor is quite clear: you cannot be both. You cannot accept redemption unless you first admit you are a “thief”. The N is loathe to admit imperfection, let alone condemnation. And Jesus speaks clearly & compassionately to the repentant one, but does not respond the other one~the one who is accusing him even while He is sacrificing for him. What a picture.

  5. Mary

    One of the biggest problems re: Narcs in the church, is the level of resistance by leaders and lay-people alike ,to educate themselves about mental illness in general. Generally speaking, psychology was always taught as being a humanistic and ‘worldly’ stream, to be avoided at all costs. “Let go and let God” – “God is able”- “Just give it all to Jesus” – “Turn to God , not man”, and my personal favorite: “Out in Jesus name!!” were the buzz phrases used to ignore or explain away very real brokenness in people.

    Narcissists can be high performance people in the church, or they are able to pretend they are getting a lot done (remember, a lot of what is considered ‘valuable service’ in our churches involves ‘TALKING a lot and WELL” Preaching, teaching, vision casting etc… is the stuff we eat up. N’s are very good at this.
    Charismatic people are heard more than anyone else, so if the one with charisma has NPD- we tend to ignore (and can be ‘trained by the N. to ignore) inconsistencies, lies and exaggeration, because the ‘gifted’ N. is serving a need in the Church.
    Do I sound mad? Heck yeah, I am.
    I’ve spent years working on my own healing after being manipulated by a N. leader and I’m coming to the realization that much (not all) of the abuse I endured would not have happened if the church I attended had leaders who put the people ahead of agendas.
    sorry for the rant- I am in process 🙂

    • Penny

      We are all in process here!!

    • HopefulSorrow

      Well said!

    • Hi Mary,

      I can’t believe I haven’t commented on this yet. So sorry.

      I agree with this very strongly. Because the church has adopted the world’s measurements of success and value, we honor those who look and sound good. And, as I always say, the narcissists’ super-power is manipulating what people think of them. That means that narcissistic pastors go from church to church, from church to denominational leadership, and on. They steal the work of others, who are too timid or “spiritual” to complain; they chase good people away from the church; they use those who trust them and are trying to do right. Much the same is true of other church leaders.

      My book on narcissists in church will have a significant section on Ns in church leadership and how the church environment cultivates and supports narcissism.

      Keep on ranting! People will hear.

      • Mary

        Now that is a book I am looking forward to reading 🙂 As I read this: “…how the church environment cultivates and supports narcissism. ” I got excited! This is so very important to discuss. I’m willing to bet that the wrong environment can absolutely mold a leader into a similar creature as a person who has NPD.

        Some thoughts:
        I believe the cure for this kind of thing is solid teaching centered on Jesus’ Being the exact representation of the Father, Christ’s example is the remedy. In other words: as a leader, when we look at our belief systems, how we see and treat others has to be compared with Jesus model. He walked in humility, and made it clear that true spiritual authority looks very different from mans ideas about authority.

        There are Narcs everywhere, and our churches are attractive to them- but in a church where leaders are concerned with holding onto: “…the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3) and are willing to listen to lay-people -there is a better chance of cultivating an atmosphere that is healthy and discerning- and ultimately- poor soil for a Narcissists agenda.

      • Sarah

        How is your book coming along?

      • Hi Sarah! Thanks for asking! Actually the book was put on hold for quite a while during a lot of family health issues (among other excuses). I am getting back into it, however. I have a lot of material that has already been written about narcissists in the church and just need to bring it together. I also have a lot of information for other books for Christians who have to deal with narcissism in different relationships. So, as the saying goes, I am working on it!

      • Down South

        The thing that stuck out the most to me about your
        comment was when you said they “chase good people
        away from their church”….that really hit home with me.
        I was the victim of a narcissistic pastor on 4 different
        occasions. I wanted to find a good fellowship even though
        I had heard some disturbing things about this pastor over
        the years I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. So
        I attended his church every Sun. and every Wed. night
        service for 2 or 3 months. He attacked me from the pulpit
        4 times, pointing at me and making it obvious he was
        talking about me. My friend noticed it too but she didn’t
        have the courage to speak up to defend me. She stayed
        and I left but only after I tried to overlook what was happening.
        When I tried to meet with him in his office, with his wife
        present, he flat out denied me and said he didn’t have time.
        Of course, if I had been some famous evangelist or even the
        mayor or someone “important” he would have found the time.
        For reasons I don’t have time to explain here, I had left my
        long time church after over 20 years, and ended up in this
        other church. For some reason this pastor disliked me. I’ve
        been told I have a strong gift of discernment, by true men of
        God in my first church. I think he knew I could sense something
        was not right and took to trying to run me off as quickly as
        possible. The thing is, he purposely and deliberately tried to
        humiliate me before the entire congregation and obviously
        never felt any guilt about it. He has never contacted me
        (scriptures say “whoa to the shepherds that are scattering
        the sheep”)…..God also speaks against those that once they
        have scattered never go out looking for those sheep. Because
        I’ve been saved many years I have a level of maturity that
        keeps me close to God, but I give Him all the glory for that.
        God is faithful!! I don’t expect an apology from him but I
        wonder how he can think what he did was okay. I choose
        to forgive him but will not hesitate to warn others about
        attending his church. I pray that I do it in the right way. I
        think narcissistic people, especially in leadership, simply
        can’t empathize with the people they hurt. It seems they
        will use whatever means they need to to accomplish their
        goal. Many in the church seem to admire him….as long
        as you sit quietly and don’t question anything he says or
        does, I never once questioned him about anything before
        this happened, but he seemed to see something in me
        that threatened him. I was respectful of him and was in
        no way a troublemaker, but he instantly disliked me. I kept
        thinking I would sign up for membership, week after week,
        until it got so bad that I had to leave. But God kept me from
        signing the necessary paperwork it would have taken to
        secure a membership. He clearly was protecting me from
        doing that, which would have made it harder to just leave.

  6. LaTonya Vereen

    What if the christian has narcissistic personality disorder and doesn’t even realize they behave this way? And what if this person is your husband? Makes it kind of hard to just avoid the narcissist.

    • Thanks for this comment. Yes, it is too much to think that someone could avoid a husband or a parent who is a narcissist. However, you still must find the way to be yourself. You do not have to let the narcissist drain your life away in his cruelty and manipulation. Have friends and family members who love and support you. Have things you do just for yourself. Have a little money that is yours. Don’t think you have to agree with everything he says. (And you don’t have to argue about it either.) You should hold your own opinions and perspectives. You are a person and you want to remain separate from him even if you live in the same house and share the same bed. You are not his toy or tool. You are a person. You are valuable and lovable and deserve respect. Find ways to hold your head up. A Christian wife is not the property of her husband. She belongs to the Lord who loves her beyond anything she understands.

  7. HopefulSorrow

    Trying to expose a narcissist within the church setting is a lose-lose situation. Especially in small churches, or churches having financial difficulty, the leadership will turn their heads to the abuse, even though they are supposed to be shepherding the flock. I believe part of the reason this happens is they don’t want to lose the “tithe” the narcissist (masquerading as the perfect christian) gives to the church. It all comes down to a business proposition. The narcissist exposed will leave the church and go hunting in new territory.

    • PastorLinda_

      HopefulSorrow:
      I am a pastor and often hope the narcissists leave. Then God’s work can be done. If they do not leave, I pray they will grow in grace and come to an understanding and a true relationship with Jesus Chist. The church to which I was moved last year is losing members because they are not accustomed to Biblical preaching. I am not a ‘hellfire and brimstone’ preacher. I just teach what we are supposed to do according to the scriptures. So take heart. Not all leadership is as concerned about the tithe as you think. We are losing money, but I am trusting God to supply all of our needs.

  8. Joy

    My ex-husband has been on a public relations campaign at church since I left him. Leaving him after almost 30 years of marriage was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and when I go to church, I see him being Mr. Wonderful, and at first he was so pitiful that people were angry at me. Amazing because I am the one who was more involved, I’m the one they really know. But they are believing him.

    I don’t want to change churches because I grew up in this denomination and it suits me, and because my kids go to this church, and because I have been the more involved at our church all these years. To him, everything is a game that he must win…and I must lose. Much of the time it looks like that is happening. He’s good at this.

    • I am so sorry that you have to go through this. Church should be a time and place where you find peace and encouragement. Only you can decide whether you are strong enough to push through this. All he wants, probably, is to look good. He wants you to be seen as the problem and himself to be the victim/good guy. Once he wins, and you are gone, he will almost certainly leave the church. There is nothing there that will make him stay unless he can find another partner or the people really take him under their wing and love on him. Most likely he just wants to outlast you. And, yes, he is good at the game.

      You could leave the church and then return later, when he is gone. Just don’t let anyone know of your plan. And you could just stay and hold your ground. After all, why should he dictate this area of your life as well as so much of the rest? But the fight is hard and draining. You have to be healthy to get through it.

      If you stay, hold your head high. Anyone who asks can be told what it was like living with him, but don’t try to gather support from the church. You will probably be disappointed. Instead, your support is the Lord. Having the people of the Lord to encourage you and work with you is good, but not the most important part. And be involved in the things you care about. Very few narcissists are good workers and helpful servants. They do what they do for themselves. Churches are not very good at lifting people up and holding them high.

      I don’t know what kind of church this is, but I hope he won’t be put in leadership. Once this settles down, he will probably become bored. Be prepared for him to play the martyr and leave the church because of you. If you stay, just keep holding your head high and trusting the Lord.

      Please keep me posted. I would like to know how this works out for you. I do care.

  9. Rita Cizek

    Oh, Joy, my heart dropped to my stomach when I read your comment/story. We share so much. My marriage lasted 35 years – I first lost my identity, then any sense that I could be pleasing (he was UNpleasable). I stayed because I believed wrongly that divorce was one of the worst sins I could commit. I believed that if I truly believed God could do anything, then to leave would be denying my faith. I thought it was the best to “give” my children a father to raise them (he wounded and screwed their minds up). When the verbal abuse, shaming, belittling, rejection, mocking, dismissal, disrespectful behavior got too hard to handle, I would go to whatever church we were attending for help. Twice I was told that if I was truly submissive, he wouldn’t treat me that way. I was given teaching tapes on submission. I dutifully studied, took notes, apologized to my husband and became a doormat. We moved several times to new states because my husband told me he was the victim of a woman supervisor that wouldn’t ever let him advance, or that the new dean had it out for him, whatever…. I believed him (although now I look back at this pattern and realize it was all just more not EVER bending to ANY authority – even God, although he could spin his words to defend any behavior that looked like he was not living for or loving God. I was brainwashed into thinking that only he knew right from wrong – others were not as informed or understood the Bible or God’s will, etc. The Church let me down every step of the way, and when I finally left him (also with an agreement with a pastor who told me there would be reconciliation if I let him handle a “structured temporary” separation. That pastor threw me under the bus. My husband charmed him and lied to his face with consistency, while my husband painted me as a pathetic, emotionally and mentally unstable woman. The last 2 years have been a living hell I never dreamed could happen. The church needs to wake up. My husband also still attends church – in fact was having an affair openly after we separated and brought her to church. He was never confronted. I had snapshots of this woman’s clothing and personal items being moved into my dresser, my bedside stand, bathroom drawers with her cosmetics, etc. The pastor was not interested in the proof. I finally went to the head pastor who was supportive and “got it” I think almost immediately. Once the Elders were informed, they also got it. I have finally received care and validation, and my husband has been repeatedly asked to leave. He refuses, blames me, says he has done nothing to repent of, lies about me and has continued to come. It has been so very hard to continue, but I was the one that was involved in the church body life, not him. You’re right Joy, it’s all about winning with a N personality. My husband must “win” and drive me out and take away this support. My journey has been mind-boggling. God’s tender, merciful Love is the only thing that has kept me alive. I am so broken; our children are broken. Hope is so hard to sustain, and yet I know He is able to restore. Evil and cruelty are always a hard storm to weather, but mental manipulation is beyond the pale. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.

    • A little wiser now

      Rita, I am so sorry to hear of all that you have been through. I agree with you that the church needs to wake up and get educated on the narcissistic personality. I was engaged to a narcissistic man who holds a leadership position in our church and was disappointed by the counsel that we received. It felt like he was given a pass because of his position. Thank God that you finally got the support of your pastors! Hopefully, your situation has taught them how to better deal with the narcissist and their victims.

    • God's Girl

      Rita, I know you wrote this in 2013 so if you are still getting emails on follow up comments I wanted to ask how you are doing now and if you have managed to recover. My journey has just begun

  10. Stephanie Descoteaux

    Will God be stumped by a N?!!!!
    I notice than being a N is intergenerational.
    Curse of iniquity.
    Lots of prayer and fasting for this kind.
    Jesus didn’t overlook Ns at the cross.
    Their place is in the Church.
    There is no where else for them to go.
    Who needs a physician? The well?
    I like Ns and they like me. I like their smartness.
    Even the most insane person have moments of lucidity.
    Most Ns can be touched.
    For the pure Ns there is mercy and some long suffering from us.
    Would you pray everyday for the N you know like you pray for a spouse or a job?
    Touche my brothers and sisters in Christ.
    What of faith and love and mercy?

    • Rita Cizek

      Wow! I am almost speechless. Your thoughts were well expressed, and you put in the love, longsuffering, etc. that is always something to remind ourselves of when dealing with difficult people. That’s the crux and difficulty…difficult, selfish people are DIFFERENT from N’s. You sound like you’ve not really had much interaction with a true N. I was married to one for over 35 years (I am only a year into recovery). I get angry when I read something like you posted. Not angry at you, but angry, because N’s really CAN’T be touched, outside of a miracle, in my knowledgeable opinion through experience. It was well-meaning people like you, who put such added guilt onto me when I would go to a pastor for help, that caused me to stay in the marriage – thinking I would be in sin if I left. All 3 of our grown children are so very soul-damaged from the way they were consistantly rejected by their father – could NEVER meet his standards growing up; were bullied, called names, physically abused, dismissed, made to feel of no worth. All of my over-compensation did nothing to prevent or treat the wounds he inflicted. I erred greatly by lying to them – covering up, and explaining away their father’s words and behavior – not realizing that they saw right through it. If someone in the church had not been fooled by my husband’s charm, intelligence, wit, stature, and drive – I could have received some help. I no longer let myself think what might have been – that is not trusting God, nor can I ever know it would have been better had I left when the kids were small. Please, don’t be fooled, a true N is not loving at all, and is a different person behind the closed door of his/her home. Yes, maybe you can be longsuffering in a friendship with a N – but that’s not helping them – by continuing to be their friend (besides, you’re fooling yourself because you’re only being used, no matter what it looks like on the surface). Don’t preach at the wounded, until you’ve walked in our shoes. I hope you never get caught in a relationship with a true N. I have compassion on my ex-husband – he was hurt in some way very deeply at some point in his childhood, but he is still responsible for all of the 1,000’s of miniscule decisions he has made since then that have led to his hard heart and seared conscience. Only God can reach through that to the wounded soul – and by “celebrating” the supposed “positive attributes” of a true N – we are supporting the sin of the hard, seared, heart.

      • HopefulSorrow

        With no disrespect to Stephanie, I believe also that you do not have true experience with a narcissist, or perhaps you are not close enough to one to have experienced the abuse and true devastating damage that can be done. If you really are in contact with a narcissist, you are most likely that person’s primary supply source, which means you stroke their ego and in turn they entertain you. The people closest to the N are the secondary supply source, the one behind closed doors who have to live with their abusive behavior which typically no one else is witness to. N’s are the greatest actors and are able to put on a facade for everyone else in public and sadly their family members learn to do the same (especially in church) in order to keep the secret and avoid further punishment at home. To Rita, I’m so sorry for your experience and everything you said is true. A true Christian is known by the fruit of their lives. I’m not talking about works…I’m talking about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. Yes no one is perfect but if a person as submitted themselves to Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives and they consistently demonstrate the behavior of a narcissist, something is terribly wrong. There are many people who masquerade themselves as loving Christians at church but it is a different story at home. As long as people continue to not believe their family members and make them feel guilty for exposing them or getting out, the abuse will continue. Hugs to you.

      • Georgette

        Rita: you could not have said it any better! The church I attended for 15 years and served for 10 years took the N’s side and said he did not need counseling. He is a leader in a recovery ministry. Some of the leaders said that the recovery ministry had changed him, one person stated that I refused to see that he has changed and the conversation we had did not happen. Little over a year some of the body of believers see his true character but he is still lying, deceiving, manipulating in order to stay as a leader. He even got on Facebook to further his agenda as a God fearing man to prey on the broken souls to get them to recovery ministry and to look good for the new pastor. This is the second church he has attacked. He has a demonic spirit in him and that demon is growing stronger and more evil. He married his fourth wife not out of love: they were living together and he didn’t want to get in trouble again, married three times, she was better than nothing and he would not have to work as hard to provide for her. We went through premarital counseling and money, conflict, communication, porn, and sex addiction was the demise of the three marriages and he is carrying them to the fourth marriage.

        I firmly believe once the jezebel spirit grows in the N, you can forget about him being touched by God. N has to want to hear God and they don’t want to hear God. Like a friend told me….pray for the N if you feel led but don’t sit around praying asking God to change him. You spoke truth into him and he didn’t listen means he doesn’t care.

        I like God’s Girl would like to know how are you doing?

    • Clearly, they do have a place to go…your parlour for tea? You like their “Smartness”? These creatures are not smart, yet they are very good at appearing to be. The closer one is to a Malignant Narcissists, the clearer it becomes that these creatures are no deeper then a bird bath. They are unyielding, embarrassing, willful, maliable, emotionally handicapped, very immature, mean, selfish and every last one of them is a total and complete idiot. Obviously, you have not been a part of their inner circle, as it seems you hav not been invalidated, defamed, spiritually tortured, and diminished to a rapidly disipating shadow. A skittish, fearful, bewildered, weak, and deeply hurt shadow with no place, or person in which to turn. Is it possible, that you are the inner circle? The dynamics of the N, and their closest friends and family…is while everyone is in therapy, the N is not. While everyone in the circle is trying to make sense of upside downs, role reversals, against the grain behavior, trashed beliefs, logic defying idaeology, and extract themselves from a lifetime of a not so fun house, freak show…the N is usually off praying for them, sacrificing him/herself, and wishing they could do more to help. The nucleus of “the circle” seems to escape fully intact, and unaffected. Maybe Iam not a good Christian. I have questioned myself on this very subject, and often. The N will not receive any mercy from me. I will not give any more suffering, having suffered…long enough. And NO. I will not be praying for them as I would pray for a spouse or a job. Where is your faith, love, and mercy? I stand firm in my opinion, that your wonderful sentiments, compassion, and prayer is grossly displaced. But if you think you are on to something, an insight to the N overlooked by the countless souls they enjoyed murdering, you may be just what they need. You enjoy their company, and like their “Smartness”…So open your home to them, All of them..they will not be missed.

      .

  11. prodigalkatherine

    @Stephanie-

    God does not neglect a narcissist. But He also does not neglect the victims of a narcissists. He may say to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” but He never asked his followers to offer themselves as human sacrifices. Love is more than a feeling of attachment. It is a commitment to gently tell the truth even when it is hard. To participate in a narcissists fantasy world starring themselves, you must be willing to stop telling the whole truth, but intuitively mirror back only the things that the narcissist wants to see.
    The problem with long term relationships with a narcissist is that they fall apart unless you continually up your willingness to have your boundaries violated (often in a cruel, destructive manner) while they may do as they please. Why? Because they truly believe that they are the center of the universe.
    Last time I checked, there was only one center of the universe- God. To surrender your life to the goal of staying in the good graces of the narcissist, a victim unintentionally violates the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    • Spot on, exactly, 100% the truth. I would also go so far as to theorize that Stephanie may be a N herself, since s/he’s been somewhat successful in hijacking this thread. Be careful and beware.

      • Edit: My gut sscreams N, because of the kack of substance; the staccato style (bold statements, yet no substance developed supporting those stayements), and – lastly – the provacatively manipulative words inbedded in Stephanie’s post (ex: I like Ns and they like me). I dare say, fellow posters, we may be being toyed with by a N. Clearly, his/her writing style lacks sensitivity and that hallmark of hallmarks of N: empathy, and is otherwise shallow in emotion (another hallmark). Be safe and beware.

      • She could possibly be Borderline..they can get on well with a N..remember..not all N are Borderline..but all Borderlines are N..Axis II

    • Narcissists(men/women) can also have many other personality disorders(co-occurring)..such as borderline, dependent, hystrionic, & sociopathic, all N are pathological liars and believe their lies. They are indeed GOD in their universe, and can’t love themselves or GOD. Therefore, they can’t love others (others are mere objects..all Others..family too). True Primary need is stroking the ego..very boastful. Secondary needs are others, and especially WOMEN/MEN..any woman/man will qualify..multiple relationships, and trouble in ALL relationships. Nothing is ever their fault, extremely manipulative. They are actually misogynists(hate women, if male), and cerebral(lead with their head) N, especially resent needing their supply. While somatic N(leads with body/sex) dislike them as well, but need them even more. Without SUPPLY. a N will dry up. Add other personality disorders and substance abuse, depression, and it gets crazy making . They were indeed traumatized at a young age and that wasn’t their fault , and can go for decades without being diagnosed. At some point, in one’s life, accountability must be learned. The best treatment is multiple intensive therapy..especially with a substance abuse..for 4-6 years. Wonder, why they don’t last in therapy..they are above it all ..they are N..nothing is wrong with them..remember. Two other things and these really hit me hard..a N has a void inside, doesn’t know who they are, invents a false personna, and honestly can’t feel anything unless they are holding, kissing, or otherwise physically engaged with you(heard it said that you can’t kill a N..they are already dead). They can tell you the night before how much they love you, and be off into another relationship the next day or several(Supply..Supply), and NEVER contact YOU again..like you NEVER EXISTED!! Heal, go to therapy, forgive, and Pray.. Pray . God can do the impossible..truly!! Just make sure you keep your boundaries in place..don’t enable, and detach with love. They are very intelligent and clever, will turn anyone against you. Keep your guard up always!!

  12. Angela

    I have been following these posts with a sick heart. The N I am stuck with- I can’t work, he won’t let me, his jealousy is a mountain of rage, I can’t go to a safe home as he has not actually left visible bruises which is the prerequisite. I can’t go to a friend as he has systematically isolated me from everyone (except 2 women who adore him and owe him a lot of money- I ran to their house 2 weeks ago, stayed for 5 days trying to get some kind of help from someone, somewhere, anything- and while I was there I cooked, cleaned, did gardening- but they liked him a lot more than me, even though they know what he is like and even been on the receiving end of his vengeance, so they sweetly told me to leave). I have no car anymore so I can’t drive off. The police can’t do anything- one of them actually said “Keep it simple, stupid, no one wants to hear your life’s story”.
    We don’t even have a “romantic” relationship, we do not share a bedroom or bed, we were supposed to be a working partnership.
    His deceased wife I can see now was driven to an early grave, and I do not say this lightly. Hundreds of pounds overweight, on many meds, in a wheelchair,very depressed she used to be a happy, fun loving people-person. She was crying one day saying how lonely she is, he told her well, no wonder. Nobody wants to visit with a depressed person. You are no fun anymore. This woman gave up everything for him. Did everything to keep him happy. It was all about him. The night she died, she told him something was wrong and needed to go to hospital, she begged him to stay, he didn’t like hospitals, so he left. He blamed the doctors for everything, and now she is a saint above all saints, and I am not even allowed to touch the hairbrush she used.
    A few days ago I broke my foot. No caste, no Dr. Just wrapped it and tried not to have to hop anywhere. The next day, hungry, I nuked some leftovers and put the dirty dish and fork in the sink, unwashed. He went into a screaming rage, bashing cupboards etc, yelling at me about what a disrespectful, rotten, useless, filthy pig I am- for about 20 minutes, then sat down, smiled and said, well, that feels better.
    When his kid comes to visit, rarely, this N often gives him my things to take home with him. He has gone through all my money, he has burned through all my cookware, sold or ruined anything I treasured (that was mine to begin with), killed plants that I nurtured for 30 years…
    I KNOW God can do miracles. I KNOW He can do anything. …but narcissists have to do something first that seems truly impossible. They have to accept the fact that they are NOT God. There doesn’t seem to be anything there inside them that is able to submit to anyone or anything but a greater evil than themselves. If they look like they do, it is a trap, a trick, a ploy.
    If you are willing to lay down your life for them, all your happiness,your needs, your hobbies, your sense of humor, your health, your friends and family- and derive all your satisfaction, all your joys, all your meaning for living from their happiness, yeah, I guess you can live with a narcissist and feel fulfilled.
    But where is God in that??? He looks at the “faithful supply” and sees the waste of all the gifts He has given her, all the things He can and wants to do in her life. Narcissists don’t even wait til you give, they just take and take and take and take. Then when you are dried up, they spit in your face and move on to a fresh supply with renewed charm and vigor.
    I dunno, but it seems to me that when I look at the attributes of a N and the attributes of the TRUE God- love so deep and true, grace, mercy, peace, joy, gentleness, generosity of heart, healing, protection- all FOR YOU..NOT AGAINST YOU..God GIVES this TO you, freely, not demands it FROM you..and at a price!!!
    I am so sorry, I know I have ranted a terrible rant here, but I am so angry about the devastated families I read about in these posts, the betrayals, loss of hope, confusion, fear- all because of narcissism!! I am thankful that their eyes have been opened though. There are way, way way too many that are still blind to it though, counselors, pastors, police, friends, family, and “faithful supplies”…
    I am hugely thankful for this site. I am thankful for the people whose responses have been much more gracious than mine has been. May God give me the same gentle spirit soon. I keep praying for all the wounded who write. I know God will rescue us from the fowlers snare. May God give us strength not to lose faith or heart, and help us to continue to look to HIM for all things…For He is the Good Shepherd, loving and kind and faithful always.

    • HopefulSorrow

      Do you have family or ANYONE you can turn to, in order to physically leave this abuser? Do you have children? Prayers and hugs for you.

  13. prodigalkatherine

    Angela, if you contact your doctor (or local emergency room) you can be given contact numbers for women’s resource centers. Most do not require that you show bruises- what tends to be more relevant is the danger of physical abuse. It definitely sounds like you are being abused. You feel so isolated, and that you have nowhere to turn and that you will not be believed but your story is pretty textbook.
    I hate to be there bearer of bad news, but it’s not going to get better. You need to muster up all the strength you have (before he takes even that away) to save your own life.
    You are a precious daughter of God. You were not created for this. You can and will survive, but first you must invest in yourself by doing the research to figure out the practical realities of surviving without him, even if you have only the shirt on your back. The resources you can get from your local hospital will point you in this direction. The advice you will be given will be kept confidential (as will your story) by law.
    I am praying for you now.
    Hugs, sweetie.

    • Penny

      Amen. Go, Angela. Right NOW. So many of us are praying….there IS a way. You CAN find it, and there ARE good people who want to help you. I am praying too. More hugs, dear one.

  14. Penny

    P.S: regarding the post by ‘Stephanie’, and her comment: “I like Ns & they like me”. Are you kidding me? Have we been duped by an N into even responding? Was this comment done as ‘bait’? I reference this blog: “When I was forced to admit…that…[my father’s] sympathy was all for my [N] mother I labeled him an abuser from that point onward. This is because of the bedrock reality that those who excuse abusers are themselves abusive. No matter the appearance of a mild-mannered nature — if a person excuses abusers it is because there is some space in their minds which accedes to the notion that in at least some cases abuse can be justified.”
    [ http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/search?q=excusing+the+abuser ]

    There is no excuse for excusing an abuser. Abusers do NOT belong in church. Abusers need to be exposed, and the abused need to be healed.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Right On Penny. No one deserves to be put down, dragged down, or held down. We are supposed to encourage and help each other not the other way around. And for others out there, Anna Valerious’ “Narcisists Suck” bolg is outstanding reading.

      Angela and Stephanie. Listen to these ladies. There is wisdom gained from experience in their words.

  15. Pingback: I sense another wave of narcissistic attack coming my way….. | Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

  16. Kay

    The narcissist in my life is my mother. She is strongly into prosperity theology (i.e. Kenneth Hagin, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, etc…) and has conversations with God daily. Yes, she actually says she hears His voice. She also manipulates with those supposed conversations because ‘God’ always backs up her point of view and often shares with her what I am doing wrong in my life or what I need to be doing. He has also given her so many false prophesies over the years. Some of these are very concrete prophesies that never came true (i.e. after our ultrasound technician told us we were having a boy, my mother verified that God told her the baby was a boy. Funny but ‘God’ and the tech were completely wrong). I grew up always feeling like a burden to her and never really loved. I acted out in a big way as a teen and into my early adulthood. I am now a Christian who loves the Lord and see that her ‘God’ is really her own heart. She hears what her heart desires which is materialistic and controlling. I’ve also discovered the concept of the scapegoat for the narcissist and sadly realize that has been me. Recently, I had to cut her out of my life. Such a tough thing to reconcile too. She’s my mother and I want to honor her but she is also a false prophet and a narcissist. So much pain there but God will work this for His good. I know it.

    • thebizzyblonde@gmail.com

      Kay: I have had a similar experience, and was really “stuck” on the commandment to honor a parent. (It is written to children, not adult children, so that they will learn how to honor God our Father). Honor has many dimensions, and parents are not above God; when parents enter into sins that dishonor Him, they have made a choice to place their own honor above God’s. You can honor her “position” as your mother without endorsing her disobedience, but nowhere are we required to be in a relationship with evildoers. What really helped me, tho, was Proverbs 26:1 “Honor is not fitting for a fool”.

  17. Julie

    The malignant narcissist will tell those (near and dear) to them that THEY are GOD. A person who sits in a pew and attends church for the attention provided by the good folks of the community, do not make a Christian. Just like sitting in your garage doesn’t make you an automobile. Have mercy and give prayers for these people but do not include them in your life, the pain they enjoy inflicting is palpable. You will never forget the hallo and the lights of joy in their faces when they have caused you great pain. This is called narcissistic supply, what they will live and die for. PTSD is your reward for caring about them!

  18. Christy Wood

    I was with a Narcissist for 4 years and didn’t even really realize it until after the relationship was over with and his mother had informed me. I just always thought that he had a very inflated ego. That was not the case. I didn’t even know what a Narcissist was until his mother told me what he was. I had looked it up, and he had all the qualities. He claimed to be a devoted Christian. I believe that he wasn’t. He knew I was, so he used that to get with me. It worked, and he “practiced” it for 4 years. He always blamed everyone for his wrong doings. Every single one of his relationships from family to friends, to co-workers, wives and girlfriends he has had have been affected. He doesn’t even realize it. Even the pastors of the church we attended together (I’ve since found a new church), saw what he was like from the first day they met him.
    I’ve tried to tell him what he was doing wrong (drugs), and that I knew about it. He wanted to blame other people and even try to blame me for his drug and alcohol abuse.

    This is just my opinion, but I don’t think that you can be a Narcissist & a Christian at the same time. In order to be rid of your Narcissistic ways, is to accept Jesus Christ into your heart, know & admit & ask for forgiveness. Then humble yourself. I know he never did that. He was so quick to judge others for what they did wrong & never / admitted what he did was wrong.
    Maybe I’m still angry. I do have a lot of hurt from other things in our relationship. But I am now no longer with him. It’s only been 5 months. I do pray for him. I do also pray for my healing, anger & unforgiveness. I have a long ways to go yet, but it’s the only way I can truly heal is to forgive him.

  19. Debbie

    Wow! My eyes are opened! I have been struggling for years with a N sister. Over the years its been her way or the highway. She feels she knows it all. Jobs she has lost has been her employers fault. She takes no ownership in things she has done. She justifies her actions and everyone else is to blame. This past year my mother died. My sister went in overdrive with her abuse. She unprotected my mothers estate and blamed me. She racked up attorney fees in probate and made me responsible. I was always raised by my mother to be the better person with her. It reached its ugly head a few weeks ago when she played a game of extortion to me with the attorney to close my mothers estate. I paid her demands to get away at attorney’s urgency. He was disgusted with her. Obviously more horror to this story than room to mention. I am a very spiritual person, a catholic and have had great heart ache. I live my life as doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. I feel I need her to understand the hurt she has caused and to take ownership for her actions. I know she never will. Sorry is not in her vocabulary. I have felt guilty of walking away from her and our relationship. I am leaving her in God’s hands. She is single with no children. I am her only sibling. Through this past year she has lost several of her closest friends. I pray she opens her heart to God. I pray God gives me peace. Advice please!!!!!
    A very heavy heart!!!!!

  20. Sophie

    A true Christian leads his/her life in Christ likeness, and narcissism is not Christ-like at all. However there are narcissists who are perceived as true Christians. They go and serve in the church, fast, memorized bible by heart, give their tithes and offerings faithfully and prays regularly everyday. By doing so they think that they are being a good and true Christians. People around them view them as real Christians and that gives the N a high buzz. Being perceived as good at something always gives a N the narcissistic supplies that he needs. You can’t help a Narcissist because they don’t think that they need help. The only help that they need from you is by making sure that you supply him with enough adorations. You can always pray for them though, I truly believe in the power of prayer. Only God can help him, but God will only help those who are asking and willing to be helped. Often times, the N has to reach rock bottom and in total brokenness to reach out to God.

    I was in a relationship with a “Christian N” for more than 2 years. Believe me, he treated God the same ways he treated me. He blamed God for every single misfortune or bad things that happened to him, even when it was clear that it was a result of his own wrong doing, just like he was always blaming me for everything. When he prayed for something it was like giving order to God, and when he didn’t get the answer to his prayer on his term, he’d accused God of not loving him and caring about him. Then he would stop praying and reading his bible to punish God for not giving him what he wants, just like he always gave me silent treatment for days or weeks if I didn’t give him what he wanted. A few times, he actually cursed God (using profanities) in front of me (he spat profanities at me all the time when he is upset with me too. His love and devotion to God was blowing hot and cold, depending on his mood or situations around him. And when he got something good in his life he thought that this is God’s why of trying to make it up to him and he would then be back to pray and read his bible again. He kept going back and forth saying that he loves God one day and he hates God the next day.

    I couldn’t take the emotional and verbal abuse from him anymore, so I finally left him. I felt totally guilt ridden by doing that, like I am abandoning him. But I know in my heart that is what God wants me to do, to leave him in the hands of God himself. I still feel like I’ve just been hit by a train till now, but I get my strength in knowing that I am doing what is right for him and myself.

    • God's Girl

      I am in a similar situation and so reluctant to cut ties. I am afraid of the backlash mostly as he is close to my son’s girlfriend. I have done some further research and think he may be BPD. The N scenario that doesn’t fit is he hates attention on himself. Rather he is quite awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. That is definitely not the N personality. Can anyone help?

      • Georgette

        God’s Girl: My ex N said he is so insecure that he has to watch people see how they act in a setting to figure out how he can fit in. He also stated he has to be in control at all times. Which looking back I think translates into observing their behaviors to see how he can be in control of the people. Everyone at church thought of him as shy. I don’t think majority of the body of the church think that now from what I have been hearing. What they say how he can use that to deceive and manipulate the people. Maybe that is what he is doing.

      • God's Girl

        You see this is the part I don’t get though. From what I’ve read about N’s they would never admit to something like that. Don’t they see that as weak?

      • Georgette

        God’s Girl:He didn’t consider that being weak, he said it in the context of I’m shy please feel sorry for me. We had been dating over two years and his mask was falling off. He had to make excuses for his behavior. I called him out on his behavior that is when he realized he had to get rid of me b/c he was a leader of a recovery ministry and I knew to much and I could expose his true identity. I realized later after learning more about narcissistic abuse what he really meant when he said he had to be in control of his environment. From what I have been hearing from the church he has gotten worse b/c he can’t keep the mask up and the body of Christ is seeing him for who he really is….a fake! He was asked to leave one church not sure if this church will ask him to leave or step down from leadership. No of the leaders in the church know how to handle the situation so he is right now allowed to poison the believers mind. That is my opinion anyway.

      • God's Girl

        I commented on the wrong place. I meant to comment here but this is for the comment that you are praying for God to reveal the truth to me and to give me a way out. Thank you for your prayers Georgette. I am asking God for the same so we pray in agreement.

  21. Human beings – sinners – are those who chose to value themselves higher than God. Who choose destructive behaviors to further their own cause. You cannot name a sin that does not meet with this definition. By that rationale, every sinner is what you call a “narcissist,” or, someone who cares most about furthering their own image, their own cause. Therefore, every last person that was, is, and will be (with the exception of Jesus Christ) is in fact a narcissist, according to this article. Perhaps the distinction the writer is trying to make are those that do it more than others? And even further, distinguishing those that do it more than others, and that there actions are more noticeable by observers? My name is Nick. I’m a sinner. I’m a “narcissist.” I believe Jesus will help me in life – and in death. I believe I can further His Kingdom by pointing others to Him, not me. I am a Christian.

    • I should clarify my first sentence. “…sinners are those who chose to value themselves higher than God, at many points throughout their life, i.e., when they sin.”

    • Megan

      Nick i have justified my N’s behavior for years by saying ‘we are all sinners’ therefore forgiving his abuse and allowing it to go in cycles until I finally realized that there is a difference between sin and a Narcissist’s sin and that is TRUE repentance and remorse. When i sin and hurt someone i grieve because i have hurt someone and also sinned against God. I pray and ask for forgiveness and TURN AWAY from my sin. The Narcissist does not go through this process. They feel shame when exposed and fear when they may lose what they need but this is NOT repentance. Please don’t confuse the two as this is what enables them to go under the radar and continue this destructive pattern. God cannot be manipulated and knows when a heart is truly repentant.

  22. SM

    First of all Ns arent just males and I feel female Ns are even worse. Women generally are motherly, loving, compasionate, caring, self less, the total opposite of a female N. Just that fact alone without the front of Christianity is by all counts wrong. I have suffered from a relationship with my N gf for over 3 years. We met at church. After finally doing research and figuring out what she is I have come to the conclusion that in no way shape or form can she or any N be a real Christian. How could they? They are the epitime of what it is to NOT be a Christian: grandiose self sense, entitled, they do not have one ounce of what Christ is all about:empathy- caring for others and their feelings, LOVE. They only care about one thing and thats themselves and using people for their high they get from robbing others mentally and spiritually. Just the fact that they use Christ as a front to hide their disease is in itself completely wrong and not Christian. For those who say they can be both they have never been in a relationship with one because if they had they would know how heart wrenching it is and how so totally against the ways of Christ. They remind me exactly of Satan, master manipulators using the word of God for personal gain. They are the dust on our shoes that needs to be shaken off. How in the name of the Lord can this be considered Christian? Is Satan Christian? Should we feel sorry for him or cast him out and rebuke him?
    Narcisissts are narcisissts and nothing else. They do not have the capacity to be anything other than self serving and to say they are Christ like, which is what it is to be Christian is an abomination.

    • HopefulSorrow

      Well said.

    • John

      The goal of a true christian is for the acquisition of the All Holy and Life
      Exactly, and well put.

      Giving Spirit. This requires a life a true repentance, or the changing of ones mind, or “metanoia” in greek. To be true with oneself, true in our relationship with others and to be true with God, is our charge. To worship in Spirit and in Truth, God the Father is spirit, the Truth is Christ Jesus. Christ in essence came for many reasons, one being to reverse the state in which we fell into; Self Love. Aligning ourselves with truth in all aspects of our lives is not so difficult when and if we acquire the necessary humility from God.
      We are called to understand others, without understanding there is no real love. Or to have a pain and love connection to others.Can we be called Christian without having a true and personal relationship with Him, the One True God?

    • E

      Thanks for your comment on the female narcissist. They aren’t all male. In my experience, the lady N can be even more manipulative and covert in the Christian setting. I feel they sometimes get a special pass for behaviors that people usually don’t excuse in men. And when all else fails, here come the tears and wailing that “no one understands and no one cares.” This after lies, verbal abuse, and hateful shaming haven’t had the desired effect. My mother still appears to be the victim to anyone not well acquainted with her act. Even saying “my mother is mean” just evokes a gut response even from decent people, making them uncomfortable. They think “how could someone say this about their mother?!” And that, folks, is how she gets away with it.

    • SM

      On Nov 2nd, 3 days after I wrote this my father died. My “Christian’ N girlfriend took and used this as an opportunity to make it about herself. She purposely was not there for me during the most painful, broken hearted time in my life (and still is not, cutting ties with me completely). She spent time with friends instead of having compassion and comforting me from the pain I was going through as a result of my loss. What Christian would turn their back on a loved one when they need them the most? What Christian would put themselves over someone who is on his knees experiencing the emotionally darkest period of his life? What Christian ignores the broken hearted? A “Christian Narcissist” thats who. They can not exist. There is no such thing. You are either a child of God or a child of Satan there is no in between and the “christian” narcissist is a child of Satan, no ifs ands ors or about it. They are worse than non-beleivers, for even they show empathy and compassion. Go through what I just and am still going through and tell me that a narcissist can be a Christian.

  23. John

    The goal of a true christian is for the acquisition of the All Holy and Life Giving Spirit. This requires a life a true repentance, or the changing of ones mind, or “metanoia” in greek. To be true with oneself, true in our relationship with others and to be true with God, is our charge. To worship in Spirit and in Truth, God the Father is spirit, the Truth is Christ Jesus. Christ in essence came for many reasons, one being to reverse the state in which we fell into; Self Love. Aligning ourselves with truth in all aspects of our lives is not so difficult when and if we acquire the necessary humility from God.
    We are called to understand others, without understanding there is no real love. Or to have a pain and love connection to others.
    Can we be called Christian without having a true and personal relationship with Him, the One True God?

  24. Robert

    A Christian narcissist is similar to saying I’m a Christian Nazi or I’m a Christian emotional vampire or I’m a Christian cannibal. I’m a Christian groomer who sizes people up for their vulnerability, then I play them, then I capture them and suck them dry. I lean more toward Scott Pecks assertion that narcissists are evil and that evil people like to hide in church. It is my experience that church going people simply cannot bring their brains to grasp the twisted low level thinking and behavior that drives the narcissist. If you accept Jesus as your savior and then go on to be a narcissist for the next 60 years there is something wrong with this picture. If Christianity can not cure a narcissist then Christianity is too weak to cure the incurable. It is simply an unsurrendered will which is the opposite of yielding to God, which is pride, which is Satan nature. How can you be a “Christian” for 60 years and have your life dominated by Satan’s nature? To molest your children, beat your wife and kids and say I’m just a forgiven Christian who is not perfect and still have my struggles. Most of the answers to this article feel like your typical passive forgive and forget culture that allows “Christians” to develop into monsters unhindered.

    • John

      In addition to Pecks deep insight into human evil, CS Lewis’s book “Abolition of Man” describes this condition as one of being no longer human. Also, it is not possible to paint Christians or Christianity with such a broad brush, as there are so many types of so-called Christianity today. However, Eastern Christianity is quite different from that of the West, where in the west “being saved” is a one-time event without any real change of being or changed life. Especially since this “newer” form of christianity coming from America is geared towards entertainment and self help, so naturally it will attract the narcissist. The true spiritual hospital in which Christ established has been replaced by religion, a true sickness in itself.
      C.S Lewis said,“If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man’s outward actions – if he continues to be just a snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before – then I think we must suspect that his ‘conversion’ was largely imaginary.”
      I think he also said, “the only thing I don’t like about Christianity are other Christians.”

    • Penny

      Robert: I share your frustrations, & I agree that one cannot claim Christ while yielding to Satan. As you know, “Christianity” does not cure a Narcissist–Only God can do that, thru Jesus, and only if that person is willing to get off the throne and give it rightly to Him. Perhaps this post from a few months ago will help you as it did me:
      https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-narcissists-god/
      No one here is saying “forgive & forget”; in fact it is quite the opposite. Nearly everyone here has been the “victim” of a narcissist, and many of those N’s have claim to be Christians, and most of us victims reject those claims. We are grieving for a Church that gives safe harbor to monsters and predators, and we have a forum here to discuss other options and what in fact Scripture says to do about those people. I for one believe that Matthew 18 discipline has been sorely lacking in our churches and needs to be followed. Those who harm the cause of Christ, while claiming Christ, need to be dealt with severely. I have no more tolerance for it, and I believe it is why Jesus Himself took his whip to the Temple, not to City Hall, b/c the Temple is designed by God for worship, not for confusion and exploitation and consumerism. “Let your heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God”. I believe narcissists break the heart of God and destroy those for whom Christ died. I believe God hates it. Please continue to visit this blog and read more and have your heart be encouraged that we are here to call into account those who hurt those who love Him. Blessings~

      • SM

        Yes Penny I believe God hates it as well, grieving the Holy Spirit is something that should not be taken lightly. A far as others who have stated here regarding God being able to help the narcissist change, of course He can, but herein lies the problem. In order to be forgiven and open the doors to healing one must a) admit they have done wrong (either if it was by accident or not) b) come before Him and ask for forgiveness and c) repent from their ways. Narcissists are incapable of admitting they are wrong so they will never ask for forgiveness. That makes the theory impossible. Not because God cant do it but because He simply wont if accountability, forgiveness, and repentance are not confessed prior. God does not just forgive automatically because someone has accepted Christ. Scriptures tell us this.

    • Megan

      Yes Robert, when i say to my N that he cannot be a real Christian and do the things he does he plays the ‘everyone sins’ card. But it is the unrepentant heart and unwillingness to surrender to God that makes it impossible for him to be a real Christian. I think you are right that Christians try to see the best in people and don’t want to judge. They also can’t fathom that people can be PURE EVIL. I got tricked as he was a wolf in sheeps clothing. I had only been a born again Christian for 2yrs and couldn’t imagine someone could or would fake being a follower of Jesus as the change in my life and heart was like day and night. How could someone fake that? I also knew he had some bad things in his past but justified it as i had also had a bad past and made mistakes so as long as he had Jesus he and we would be fine. Trouble is he never did have Jesus. After 10yrs together (5 married) i feel quite apt to say he has never known Jesus. I also agree with the comments that you cannot serve both, you either belong to Jesus or you belong to Satan. There is no in between. You will know them by their fruits.

  25. SM

    On Nov 2nd, 3 days after I wrote my female Christian Narcissist response my father died. My “Christian’ N girlfriend took and used this as an opportunity to make it about herself. She purposely was not there for me during the most painful, broken hearted time in my life (and still is not, cutting ties with me completely). She spent time with friends instead of having compassion and comforting me from the pain I was going through as a result of my loss. What Christian would turn their back on a loved one when they need them the most? What Christian would put themselves over someone who is on his knees experiencing the emotionally darkest period of his life? What Christian ignores the broken hearted? A “Christian Narcissist” thats who. They can not exist. There is no such thing. You are either a child of God or a child of Satan there is no in between and the “christian” narcissist is a child of Satan, no ifs ands ors or about it. They are worse than non-beleivers, for even they show empathy and compassion. Go through what I just and am still going through and tell me that a narcissist can be a Christian.

    • SM, I am so sorry for what you are going through. You are right, of course. Nothing of that is Christian behavior. Nor can a Christian just ignore the pain of someone else. I know that believers can be insensitive and even cruel, but the gross inconsistency of those actions with the heart of Christ will show a believer that something is wrong. He leads us through His Spirit and He speaks to our hearts. If she belongs to Him, He is telling her.

      On the other hand, as I wrote in the post, there are lots of people who pretend to be Christians. In fact, I think the local church tends to attract narcissists. To twist an old saying, Going to church doesn’t make a narcissist a Christian any more than going to the garage will make one a car.

      The real question in all of this is: Why is she your girlfriend? I don’t mean to be unkind, but if she is a narcissist, there’s just more trouble ahead.

      • SM

        Thank you for the reply. As to your question, have you ever had a close personal relationship with a N? If so then you would know how she could be my girlfriend. The ‘lovebombs’ they throw out at the beginning of the relationship make you feel like no other person has. They make you really believe that they are and will be forever yours but in reality they are just sizing you up for the kill. Being a trustworthy, compassionate person is who they hunt, even when you start to figure it out you cant help but think it really was real. You hold on to that dream, you struggle but you dont let go. Being a Christian even furthers that, you forgive, you have faith, you think that if they are who they say they are, a Christian as well, that they would never really be who they really are. You doubt yourself, just like they want you to. You are the perfect victim for them and even when they have manipulated you into the point of extreme pain, you still hold on to the dream of what you thought you had. You ask yourself ‘how could anyone be like this?’ and you can not answer it because they are not people as you know it. All you have is your own normal rationales to compare it to.
        Its a great question, and easy for people who have never been in that kind of situation to ask. But to those of us who have, we understand how and why we love and thats where the answer lies because they are incapable of love as we know it. You brain just cant compute it, plain and simple. How on earth can another Christian human being be like that? You refuse to accept it, until it is too late and you are left alone grieving not only your loss of them but also doing their grieving as well.

      • Yes, I do understand. I meant no offense. The point of my question was for you to sort it out. She is not your wife. You are not stuck, no matter how much you may feel that way. I appreciate the strength of your response. The narcissist’s superpower is to control what others think of her/him. This is especially true in groups, but especially dangerous in close relationships. If they cannot make you feel love and desire, they will control you with fear. Almost all intimate N relationships evolve into denial, threats, and false hopes. But their power is false.

        Those who write to me and read here know that I try to stay away from telling people what to do, especially in marriages. There are many facets to a marriage, particularly in the church. So I try very hard not to tell someone to stay or to leave. They have to sort that out with the Lord. However, I come closest to telling when I hear of someone who is not locked into a marriage or family relationship. Once you know what you are facing, once the mask falls away and you see the truth, then you have to protect yourself. If you can get out, do it. It will hurt, probably a lot, but it will almost certainly be better than the road ahead with the N.

        I guess what you described here just made me want to say that you don’t deserve that and you can do better.

  26. SM

    Please forgive the bitterness and selfishness that I exhibited in my last post. There is a time when we need compassion as human beings. I have put it all in the hands of Jesus and still am in recovery from the recent events. Is it easy? By no means. No one likes to be kicked while down, especially in that circumstance. It hurts very much but pain should never be used against those who harm us returning evil for evil. It is just an acknowledgement of who these people really are and they are not Christians.

    • Penny

      SM: there is no apology needed for righteous anger. Everything you said was actually quite true. Your N behaved in a way that is egregious, even by the world’s standards. Truth is, Ns actually DO kick you when you are down, precisely because you ARE down. You make an easy prey. They are predators. That is the truth. You did not return evil for evil simply by telling the truth. Part of the challenge of recovering from the wounds of a N is giving yourself permission to tell the truth; the N loves to exploit truth-telling by twisting scripture and shifting blame. Don’t fall for that & don’t do it to your self. Keep telling the truth and don’t apologize for it.

    • “Narcissists are incapable of admitting they are wrong so they will never ask for forgiveness. That makes the theory impossible. Not because God cant do it but because He simply wont if accountability, forgiveness, and repentance are not confessed prior. God does not just forgive automatically because someone has accepted Christ. Scriptures tell us this.”

      Your point is important. the real question is whether the narcissist can ever admit his/her need for a Savior. Yes, they can say words, but will those words mean anything? People lie, and narcissists lie a lot. I do believe that God forgives anyone who accepts Christ, but I think that there are a lot of people who pray a prayer or say some words and still never accept Christ. To accept Christ, in my mind, is to admit your need and open your heart to the only One who is sufficient to meet that need. Nothing less.

      I have known several narcissist pastors and church leaders. Some of them are among the most cruel and self-centered people I have known. I have seen them fire church staff, lie about almost anything, cheat on their wives, and steal church money. And all the time they are preaching salvation and calling people to Jesus. By every outward test, they are Christians. But God knows their hearts.. God knows the truth. They might be able to fool a lot of people, but they can’t fool Him.

      • SM

        Yes He knows their hearts however just accepting Christ is not an automatic get out of jail free card that one can use anytime. It just doesnt work that way. Heres a great read on that subject.

        (Link deleted by blog author)

      • SM, I have had this discussion with others. I understand the desire to demand a change of behavior before accepting that someone is saved. I really do. I find it very hard to think that people who do some of the things I read here and in my emails could be Christians. But I do not agree that repentance is a change of behavior. It is, according to Scripture, a change of mind or thinking. That will result in a change of behavior, sometimes almost instantly and sometimes eventually. Repentance is the confession that my way is not working, not right, and the expression of a genuine desire for the Lord’s way in my life. If it were a change in behavior, then salvation could happen in the psychiatrist’s office after the right counsel or medication. If only those are saved who have given up sin forever, then none of us are saved. Repentance isn’t about behavior. It’s about the source and authority for life.

        I am familiar with Sister Renee. She has some real insights into narcissism, but her theology is very different from mine. I hate to edit a comment in any way and usually do not, but I did remove the link to her writings. Links that are helpful are welcome here, but links that will confuse or harm those who are seeking truth are not. I would not have her speak at my church because of this error and I can’t have her recommended here. You are welcome to remove your comment, but it isn’t necessary, and I truly hope that you will continue to be part of us.

    • Megan

      No need to apologize, the pain they cause is real. I also try not to repay evil for evil and don’t want to speak bad of my N husband but on here we can be real and open up to others who understand the pain and confusion we suffer. I also want to encourage you to leave and put this relationship well behind you as you are not bound in any way at this point. You are blessed and fortunate to uncover the truth at this stage of the relationship (although i know it is still very hard) and not be married or having children together. I do and it has made it incredibly hard to leave especially when he just holds on so tightly. I live with the regret that i actually saw the cracks and recognized the relationship as abusive and toxic very early on but low and behold i stayed as i could not believe or understand that he lacked empathy and real love for me. I didn’t know what narcissism was back then but i still knew it was all terribly unhealthy. I wish i had ran when i had windows of opportunity. I still do have the option to leave but it is much more difficult now. So when i see someone that is in the earlier stages i really really want them to save themselves from the hell to come. But i also get where you are at as even early on in a relationship with a Narcissist it is all consuming and you feel you are already pulled in and on the emotional roller-coaster. Stay strong and remind yourself that God has better for you.

  27. Penny

    SM~having lost my own father not too long ago, I am so, so very sorry for your loss and for your pain. My N also behaved badly when my mother died—so badly, in fact, that later when my father died I told my husband that the N was NOT welcome at his service. I was not going to give her another opportunity to humiliate me or berate me over choices that were not hers to make, or for simply not being the center of attention. You have experienced a painful truth about the N: if they cannot be in the spotlight, the center of attention–whether it is a wedding or a funeral–then they will either ruin the moment (by grabbing the spotlight) or abandon you altogether, rather than “compete” for attention over the deceased. My N actually has done both, so when my father died I already knew what to expect, what to avoid & what my boundaries were. My boundaries were set in stone; I was immovable and determined. I succeeded in protecting the integrity of his funeral (as well as myself and my family) from the wickedness of the N. My father was a WWII Veteran w/a Bronze Star & Silver Star (for valor) & a Purple Heart. He fought against [Nazi] General Rommel in the deserts of North Africa, and against Hitler’s Panzer’s in Italy. He deserved to be honored without being upstage by my snot-nosed, selfish, petty little N. I gave him a full military-honors funeral, complete with Scottish bag piper, Military color guard, rifle volley & taps by a bugler. There was no way in hell I was going to allow my N any opportunity to ruin my final farewell to my father. My face “was set like flint”. I kept reading Nehemiah 2:20, when Nehemiah is rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, and he says to his detractors, “You have no portion, no right, nor any memorial in Jerusalem.” My N had no right[s]. No say. None. I had been played for the last time at my mother’s funeral & this time I was ready. Be aware: the N will exploit ANY situation in order to be the “star”, and if they realize they cannot be the star then they will take their ball and go home. It’s a game to them, and N’s do not play well with others. This is what your friend has done to you; she will compete for attention only if she can “win”, but competing for attention at a funeral is a high-stakes game, so rather than risk losing, it was easier for her to abandon you. This is egregious, preposterous, unwarranted & unforgivable— but now you know in your very soul what it means when we say the N lacks empathy. This is what “lacking empathy” looks like. It is beyond the pale, and it literally takes your breath away. But here is the “take away” for you: remember this event for what it is. Do not forget it. Remember how it felt so that you never get seduced again by her act. Do not forget that even Jesus walked away from his detractors. Live in reality, YOUR reality, not their version of it. The N lives in Fantasyland, where they demand total attention & admiration and cannot be bothered by “real life”. That is not Christ-like. Christ never ignored the suffering. Christ wept for others. If you shed tears for your father, the N will tell you to buck up. If you have a chapel service, the N will criticize you for the expense. If you have a graveside service, the N will say you are cheap. If you have an open casket, the N will say it’s bad form. If you choose cremation, the N will say you are heartless. If you spread ashes at sea, the N will get seasick. If you offer a meal [after the service] the N will criticize the venue, the menu and the music. If you have a printed program, the N will complain about the paper stock &/or the font. If you include a foto, the N will say it’s unflattering. If you don’t have a foto, the N will ask why not. If you wear black, the N will say that’s passé. If you don’t wear black, they have a dress you could have borrowed but it probably wouldn’t fit b/c the N has a perfect figure and you of course do not. If you have a lovely outfit, the N will criticize your accessories. If you are wearing the “pearls” your father gave you as a child, the N will say they look fake. If you wear make-up, the N will say you must not be grieving. If you are grieving and forego the makeup, the N will say you are disrespectful of the deceased. You cannot win with an N. Don’t even try. Jesus didn’t–He walked away! He left His own hometown b/c of their unbelief, their pride, their shallow view of His miracles. You are better off without the N. You can’t know that now b/c the wounds are fresh and they sting and feel gaping and naked. You are grieving now, but unlike your father, this grief is over something you never had but thot you did. It’s unconscionable–I know. I’ve been there. It hurts so deeply you can hardly breathe. You think something must be wrong with you—but its NOT you. Do you hear me? It is NOT YOU. You are precious, and have compassion and empathy and that is why it hurts so much. Your grief is better spent on your father than on the N. Look to the cross and not at the N. Have hope. There is healing–but it takes time. But do NOT ever trust this “friend” again. Ever. Walk away. Be strong and of good courage. Blessings~

  28. SM

    Thank you so much Penny, your words are a blessing. I’m filled with tears and cry out to the Lord all day long, I know He hears me and sends people like you who bless us who are broken and in need in times of trouble. God bless you sister.

  29. SM

    Pastor, thank you for your timely responses and for the opportunity to come here and voice my feelings. The strength of my response about why she was my girlfriend was not meant to be an attack on your question, I hope it wasn’t taken that way. I understand what you are saying and you’re right, its just difficult even in the circumstance I find myself in. In no way am close to being perfect and perhaps that is why this is happening to me, to draw me closer to where I need to be, away from those who hurt and entice walking the wrong way even though they claim to be Christian.
    I apologize for posting a link that is not welcomed. As you stated, it starts with the thought and transforms into behavior. But if you don’t repent in behavior, then you will continue to do the very actions in which you are asking for forgiveness. One has to know they have done wrong and ask for it before they can even repent correct? This is what N’s can not do. They don’t understand the old saying that when you point a finger there are three pointing back at you. It doesn’t seem right that forgiveness is automatically granted without change. The tree that bears bad fruit is torn down and thrown into the fire.
    I guess in my grasping for straws of validation I am looking for a quick fix from others who may support what I am going through now instead of turning to the true source of validation, Christ.

    Thank you again.

  30. Judy

    I have been married to this exact person for over 43 yrs – always praying, waiting, hoping for change. Beginning at yet another new church, w a great pastor who wants to counsel us, the scenario is rapidly repeating itself. My husband, who has pretended to be a Christian all these years, allowed the pastor to lead him in the sinners prayer & now that pastor is excited to have a “new baby” Christian in the house. He wants me to be encouraged & hopeful too. However, I’m the one who lives where the rubber meets the road. I have witnessed an upswing in the performance of “helpful” behaviors, bordering on the robotic at times. “Can I get you anything”? when over-performed becomes nauseous, esp when what a Christian wife really wants is a Christian husband with whom she can have fellowship with: someome who wants to read the Bible, talk about the Lord with pray together. But for him, it’s just a to-do list, an inconvenient one at that. If any kind of affront to his pride occurs, he reverts into the same childish attitudes as always – towards me. But publicly, why, he’s cool, composed, peaceful, in charge. I become the captive again, awash in emotion, knowing exactly what’s happening, & he “pulling the wool” w his “quiet” reserved demeanor – while at home, he gives me the silent treatment. In pastor’s office, he’s this gentle, poor dove, who’s only “trying” to do the right things. For me, ithas become “over the top” crazy-making. I am asking God for His mercy & vindication. I can’t play this game anymore. It makes me just want to die. Surely God must have a way of escape for me. But, I’ve been waiting to experience its revealing for over 43 yrs. This situation has resulted in loss of other relationships too, so I feel alone in the world. Do you have any encouragement for me?
    Judy
    stuebe1@juno.com

    • prodigalkatherine

      can you bring up the public/ private split in counseling? Do you feel that your opinion matters to the pastor as much as your husband’s does? Could you frame your skepticism in terms of “needing support to get over my trust issues related to previous conversion experiences?”

      What’s difficult is that it sounds like the new pastor doesn’t seem to hear your story. I wonder if this new church is right for you as well as your husband or if he and this new pastor have formed a mutual admiration society of two? If that is the case, I would strongly recommend looking for a new church because the pastor may have narcissistic issues himself if he is unwilling to help you process the very understandable cynicism that comes from being on the receiving end of private nastiness that indicates a heart change has not taken place.

      • Thank you so very much for the advice. I truly believe that this is the case at my church. My spouse definitely has one face for church and one for home. I know he does not fool everyone because he steers clear of those that he cannot fool, even the Pastor that licensed him. He has no true friends and I do not trust him. I have prayed and prayed but I still see an actor with an empty shell. A taker who will use anyone to include his children to get what he wants. I am sick of him. I am still wondering why God has allowed him to do so many evil things for so long.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Judy, I can’t really say anything but that you are not alone. We on this site live or have lived with the “two faced” person who is quite different in public than in private.. It seems like it would be so much work to act all the time but I guess its just who and what they are.

      I remember one time when my ex was putting on one heck of a show for an audience of admirers and one guy came up to me and said ” you must be very proud of your wife” I politely said ” yes I am, thank you” but under my breath I was saying ” Yea, right, you marry her and see how you like it”

    • John

      Judy, I don’t think people such as your husband will ever change, unless God intervenes. I think Divine abandonment has taken place with people that become like this. The prince of darkness is now in charge. In order for you to have true peace, care for your soul, mind and heart by detaching emotionally from him. He is void of any conscience. Spiritually there is a true battle going on and Satan wants to drags as many as he can with him. Always be on guard mentally, and know God is choosing His elect. This is purely a spiritual battle. Focus as much as you can on your own failings, do not judge him and see your own personal sin, always thinking of the Divine judgment we all face. Obey the commandments of Christ, live a life as the beatitudes would have us live with meekness and humility. And pray that God will show you the way forward. For what He does to you is his sin, but what we may respond back with is ours. Take care…

    • Richard

      Judy
      Not judging you but check out peaceful wife on utube. Seems like your husband is shut down..Check her out and see where you sit.
      Also covenantkeepers.org Am I too needy…Also see where you are with these two helps. Again not judging you but I sense you may be able to turn this around possibly.

      Praying.

  31. “3.Narcissistic behavior can be seen in almost anyone and appears in society as a continuum. Those who practice it intuitively (without thinking) and regularly—to the detriment of their relationships—are the ones we label as narcissists.”

    I disagree with the above statement and believe it is a misleading generalisation which can give a distorted view of what is a pathological condition. This condition is characterised by a group of behaviours which taken together present as “Narcissism”. Narcissistic behaviour is abnormal. If as you suggest that it can be seen in almost anyone, then we are all abnormal. I grew up with a Malignant Narcissist mother and sister. There was almost nothing about their behaviour which was normal, and it took me 40 years and not a few visits to a therapist to verify this. I do not have narcissism despite the fact that I grew up in a family of narcissists. If anything, I am the opposite of narcissistic, something my therapist could also verify.

    You cannot say that narcissistic behaviour is everywhere because this isn’t true. If on the other hand you take a trait of narcissism, say, throwing tantrums when you don’t get what you want then it would be true to say that this behaviour is more common than it used to be. But even then, I do not see a person throwing a tantrum in the street every day. It happens more frequently than I would like, but it isn’t common behaviour. Nor is it ‘narcissistic’ behaviour simply because it is also present in people who are labelled narcissists by a therapist or other qualified practitioner. Throwing tantrums is common to toddlers, immature teenagers and adults, those with anger management issues or even people on drugs. It isn’t helpful to label everyone as being on a ‘narcissistic spectrum’, any more than it is helpful to label everyone as being on an ‘insanity spectrum’.

    I think we need to remember that even though it is thankfully discussed much more widely on the net than it used to be say 10 years ago, we should never forget that it is a condition which only a small percentage of the world has. The term itself is used far too much on the net, and is becoming a ‘cool’ term instead of the usual “self-absorbed”, or “selfish”. Fortunately, narcissism is not the same as either of these terms, even though it is similar.

    • I don’t think you are looking close enough. Your family as you say, my family, its seems to be in most families. This would suggest that it is more widespread than you may think. The question really is what is causing this terrible condition to humanity.

    • Richard

      Read through most of these from the start..Dealing with an N wife now for 18 years has taught me some things. If your N is moderate to severe you can’t even chart how you will be affected. In so many sneaky ways your brain will become damaged. The connections we use to think and feel, the micro parts of our minds get twisted and mangled. I consider myself a very strong person with monumental patients. Big freakin deal. Hold on for dear life because it gets worse with age. On top of the N is the Christian part…They use Christ. Or they abuse Christ just like they abuse everything else in their path. The really hard part is holding on to who you are and who they aren’t. Then wondering why you are still involved with them. Never mind what damage she’s doing to the kids. All of the stuff you hear about the N trashing your relationships with family and church etc is true Bye bye..Get someone to believe you, good luck.
      Money she only spends what you have, till its gone. I like myself I’m lucky. Most are reduced to rubble begging for sex and love. Well I kinda do that.
      Cry Cry! I haven’t figured out what to do yet. I have too much respect for myself to let it go on for much longer. Being a strong Christian I would prefer to let her leave..I don’t love her I don’t think. There really isn’t anything to love. no one is inside the shell. I feel bad for her and pray for her. Truth is I surely can’t be all I can be holding on to something so toxic..
      I think it is the worse type of abuse there is esp once you learn all about it. Best way to deal is to self talk to yourself who you are and that you are a special person. Use the opportunity to make sure to clean up your house so you will be the best person you can be. Carry your cross as far as you can and when you have to give up Jesus will understand.

      Find a prayer friend.

      Richard

  32. God said not to judge one another. Love one another. Just recognize everything exists so to avoid mood disorders before cancerous disease establishes which blackening the mental cognition to erroneous memory (loss to speed aging) to attack thyroid chemical. No psych worker knows about it. I ain’t go to college because of wild students playing around or whatever. I stay home and nothing so new to do since injured my lower back without pain medication. But there is only one answer for me that I can do anything which is illegal by law I’m stuck with it. I’m deaf and the doctor offices won’t provide interpreter which is against ADA Law. The law itself is an authority for Earth, not for God exactly. So the everyday law is a NARC! Be nice to people! SMILE!

    • Rita

      My heart goes out to you Shawn. It’s hard to say which is harder to bear – physical limitations or mental struggles – Jesus is the only answer to both. I have found my mental struggles the hardest to live with. May He continue to enable us all to lay our weaknesses at His cross and receive the balm of His peace and strength to live hour by hour…somedays even minute by minute. God Bless you and keep you. Rita

  33. faithy

    having a narc mother and a family w/ narc tendencies is a learning experience to say the least…..i have basically been obsessed w/ finding out what was wrong w/ my family or me and finally i realize that my mom put all her guilt on me and my brothers; narcs project all their guilt and self-loathing on another person and then they feel relief whilst u are feeling like crap. this is the story of my whole life! but no more….i finally realize that the narc is at fault and responsible….i feel that the narcs main weapon is intense and immense charisma. these people are the ultimate con-artists and can convince anyone of anything. they truly feel they are innocent, they really do! in their mind they can do no wrong! and the reason of why they just prosper is because people really are spell-bound by their charisma. in fact, i feel that my mom has in some way taken my energy, my self-esteem and transferred it to herself. everywhere i go im told to shut up, that im just complaining, and to get over it…whereas my mom is always looked as a victim….and i truly feel as if i have no right to complain when in reality everything has been taken from me…she successfully put all her evil energy on me!
    did u guys know that the myth of the vampire is based on narcissists/psychopaths who take ur good energy and project their bad energy on you? thats what they do best! my mom is a “christian” narc.(no such thing in my opinion) and of course everyone believes shes so wonderful because they dont know how she really acts at home. i am now trying tentatively to get back and close to God after thinking He was just a beast like my mom was because of course she would use the Bible to abuse and feel justified like so many religious people do…i have always looked at her as a Pharisee….to me all narcs. are the pharisees that Jesus always rebuked. i dont look at them as true christians, ever!
    i once was fasting and praying, trying to get close to God and while my mom was sitting down and….i all of a sudden saw kind of a vision of a storm brewing around her, and bats around her….in the Spirit i think. i think God was showing me this….there is def. a spiritual element to this of course because no human being can be as evil as narcs can be, only demons are that heartless…..
    for anyone wanting to recover form narcissistic abuse please google: melanie tonia evans, its has helped me a whole lot and i wanted to share this info to anyone who may need it

  34. Nancy

    I’m so tired of thinking of the narcissist God allowed me to leave that I don’t want to relate my entire story, but it was a 25-year-marriage/nightmare. He was recognized as a prophet, so anything I said that didn’t feed his ego was “not of God,” If I suggested he get a real job other than ministry, since we were heading into foreclosure, he’d ask if I was praying and reading my Bible. I was working two jobs while he sat on the couch playing videogames because God spoke to him through the games. (Not attractive behavior for a 60-year-old man.) When we were losing the house, I decided that I could take care of myself and our sons, but I was not going to take care of a man who refused to do what it took to keep his family. The book, “Why Is It Always About You: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism” could have been written about us and was instrumental in my decision to leave, as I learned that NPD only gets worse with age. Divorcing him was the best move I could have made: I am getting my personality, strength, and life back. I can’t believe now that I let him diminish me, but it happened so subtly and I merely thought I was being a good and submissive and Godly wife. He’s on his fourth wife and on his Facebook profile under employer he has “God is my employer.” He’s more than $4,000 behind in child support and says that if I were tithing I wouldn’t need that money. And if he IS tithing, why doesn’t he have the money to pay me? I don’t judge his heart–I think he’s NPD is so ingrained in him that he doesn’t know what’s right from wrong–but I am grateful that God made it clear to me that He was releasing me from this man’s influence.

    • Hannah

      Nancy, thank you for sharing your story. I am at that difficult phase of leaving my Narc husband after 15 years of marriage and 12 years of ministry as missionaries in a closed country. I still struggle daily with doubts that I did the right thing, guilt that the explosion was/is my fault, the deep gut feeling that I must have done something terribly wrong to yield this… And yet, God has given me so much clarity through His word, Spirit, and godly mentors/friends/family/therapists. My N was even diagnosed by an experienced specialist in the field of NPD. My story is different from many that I read on here because my church sought professional counsel and then they understood how to respond appropriately when my husband first went to them complaining about me having separated from him. ( And that was all before his “diagnosis.”) Like you, I thought I was being the godly and submissive wife. Too many times I even defended him to others. You say you are so glad you decided for divorce and I am really wavering on that decision for myself. I started the legal process just to get custody of our 4 young children (and he is fighting mean)…but I am not ready to make the final step. Sometimes I think that if he just gets what he wants, of his kids and wife back under his roof, that he will calm down. Or I worry that I will pursue divorce and then I will see that he gets better and makes a successful marriage and then I would hate myself for not being able to make ours work. Those directly involved with us on the ground are very supportive of my legal proceedings and even of divorce, but I still get international calls (we are in the US now) of well meaning missionary colleagues who can’t believe it and want to put us back together. I am not strong enough yet and get all tongue tied trying to explain while not speaking anything negative about him. It’s this issue of his Christianity and narcissism that confuses me because he wasn’t just a pew warmer kind of Christian. And he uses Scripture against me. After our first separation 2 yrs ago he texted me “You are commanded by God to honor your one-flesh covenant and submit to your husband as the church submits to Christ. Do you not fear God? Are you persisting in sinful rebellion against God and the authority he has put over you? This is deadly serious, Hannah. You have been breaking the most sacred covenant on earth and destroying the person whom you are called to respect and submit to. And deeply harming your children whose most important foundation is stability and presence of their parents. You can choose right now to obey God. He will heal and restore. He will protect and bless you if you obey him instead of your feelings or the advice of men…” It goes on and on. And actually, though he has stopped the lecturing he is now trying to get my facebook friends and past colleagues to continue the lectures for him. It seems that your ex proved his hypocrisy to the world, that truth was revealed. I pray for either miraculous change in my husband, or truth revealed to his supporters. Actually, my husband was just excommunicated (very long process of elders trying to shepherd him first) but he has a nice story to tell his supporters so he is again a “victim”. I know it’s not about what they think, but there is just so much loss to grieve–ministry, that land and people, dear friends, his family, my dreams, my kids’ “stability”, failed marriage and all the abuse itself. And yet I am so blessed by the role of His church in my story.

      • UnForsaken

        Hannah, I’m so glad you’ve joined us. Thank you for sharing your story. It can feel so negative to just speak the truth sometimes, but in the end it helps us to heal. Praying for you…….Welcome!

  35. Nancy

    Hannah, I understand your conflicted emotions. I’ve had them, too. I questioned myself over and over, wondering if I was making the right decision, or if I was in rebellion.The peace that my children and I now live in, where each of us is equally important, not all of us focused on the N, is priceless. My children are seeing me in a whole new light, and they’ve each told me that I seem so much happier. When I’m out and about, I hear the same from people who knew us from church, and they also tell me that they knew I was dealing with so much garbage in my marriage. This always surprises me, as I thought I was putting on a good face. Yet, they saw him for what he is, despite his ability to prophesy. We had dear friends in another country that I thought would hate me for what I did; in the end, they have recently come to me in support, as my ex- disassociated from them when they would no longer financially support him. In other words, others will see your husband in the true light, in time. And really, if they don’t, what does it matter? When all is said and done, you stand before God alone. He knows you, your husband, and your marriage inside and out. Let those who would chastise you take up the matter with Him! I can’t tell you what you should do, but I know that I had to do what I did. God loved me enough to give me what I needed to be free, so that I could start loving myself again, and thus be the mother my children deserve. As for the what-if’s, what if he remarries and has a successful marriage, well, he will make sure that everyone THINKS his marriage is successful, but you’ll need to remember what he is like as a husband and KNOW that narcissists don’t change. I have found the peace I’m living in to be so precious that I don’t care if my ex- prospers in every area of life, as long as I no longer have to be his wife. It has been three years since our divorce was final and the healing process is still going on, but I have never had any regret. The stronger I get, the more saddened I am that I let anyone steal my sense of self the way he did. I thank God that He valued me more than I did myself, and that as a loving Father, He said, “Enough.” Praying clarity and peace for you, Hannah!

    • I’m going through divorce after a 9 year marriage to a NPD. He has everyone fooled at our church and convinced them that he’s the abused one. It makes me feel crazy sometimes knowing he succeeded in doing that. After reading your comment, it has given me such peace. I’m going to save it and re-read it every time I feel doubt, anger, or fear about my situation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  36. John

    This is the website I’ve been looking for!!!! Here’s my story (I’ve changed names for privacy)

    I earnestly desire to reconcile with my brother.

    My younger brother and I are both in our 30’s. He’s a high Mach, narcissistic, and possibly a tiny bit self-righteous (I say self-righteous with trepidation lest I be found guilty of the same offense). I led him to Christ about 3 or 4 years ago and mentored him. He would call me daily and we’d spend hours on the phone discussing the bible.  I used to be a missionary many years ago and I love to share from the Word.  

    As the years went by he began to mentor other young men and spoke with me less frequently (nothing wrong with that). However, in the past year or so, I’ve discovered that if I disagree with him, he becomes volatile.  I recommended a book to a mutual friend on childbirth.  He became so irate that my wife was very scared.  He believes you should not read any books other then the bible.  He can go from amiable or volatile in a split second.  He doesn’t hesitate to rebuke me publicly for trivial matters but will not listen to any of my advice.  He will not hesitate to tell white lies to get what he wants.  He’s very financially well off and lives in a palatial home but will take the gifts I give to my other family members at Christmas.  Well, he convinces them to give him their gifts, so I’m not sure how or handle it.  

    Last year his new wife, to my surprise, (who I’ve hardly ever spoken to) unloaded a lot of pent-up anger on me. At one point in the conversation, she said, “what has Frank accomplished???” I said who is frank? She said, you know – the guy you have been mentoring all these years. I was confused – I had a close friend named frank who had a lot of life issues, but I was not “mentoring” him. She had never met frank.  And why would she question his accomplishments?  

    Obviously there was some gossip going on. I confronted my brother (who knows frank) but he denies any wrongdoing and refuses to discuss the matter. I’d like to reconcile, but I don’t want to shove a bunch of stuff under the proverbial rug. My brother has a history of slandering me at every opportunity to other family members.  

    Any suggestions?  I’ve let a lot of personal offenses slide and I’d really like to get them out if we are going to have a relationship.  A friend of mine who happens to be a professional counselor suggested avoiding him until he’s ready to at least discuss issues.  I’m willing to assume responsibility and I’ve apologized many times for various offenses towards him but it’s never reciprocated.  I’ve met quite a few narcissistic Chrsitisns, but I’ve only know one other that was machiavellian as well.  

    • Richard

      The narcissist or person who acts like one is a person who requires a label.
      The Lord labeled people for various sin reasons. We must label them to make sense of their behavior, thought patterns and abusive tactics. The victim requires a label. Non victims just can’t and sometimes won’t understand.
      It has nothing to do with whether or not I sin also. The narcissist won’t treat you like a human or person. They can’t feel your pain or sense their abuse. They use you for their pleasure or happiness or lack of.

      In response to the brothers. Tell your brother how you feel if he’ll listen then see if he cares or blames you for everything. N’s don’t change too often.

  37. Just a Pastor

    Wow! I just got through reading this entire thread for the first time. From the perspective of a 27 year Pastor I can tell you that nothing has caused more heartache and division in the two churches I pastored than N’s. I am dealing with one in our small fellowship that was here 21 years ago when I came on as pastor. The persistence and stamina of a stealthy N is beyond comprehension. Their evil tentacles reach out into the fellowship and absolutely destroy everything they touch. Reprobate, “evil personified” with all the craftiness of Satan himself. After all the research on this subject, bible study, weeping and prayer over the years I am still at a loss as to how to break such a stronghold in the Church without tearing the Church apart.

    • Hi Just! Welcome! I have written quite a bit about narcissism in the church, especially the connection to legalism. I do think the church attracts narcissists because of the structure and the openness of the people. We are often too trusting in the church.

      You might read “Pastor Narcissist,” a series of two posts I did a year or so ago about a certain situation familiar to me.

      Please feel free to write to me directly through the contact page. I would be glad to try to help with your struggle. Love your strong words!

      Dave

  38. UnForsaken

    Just a Pastor, I’ve only known about three pastors who were Not Ns , so to see any pastor striving for the best for his flock, the reverse of what I’ve experienced…..it is Such a blessing! Welcome, and praying for you!

  39. Just a Pastor, forgive me, I know many N’s, most in my family. I don’t think it is ever a good idea to label anyone as anything, especially evil, even though the actions of such individuals seem to be. To label someone is to judge, judging is left only for God. For only God knows the heart.

    • Just a Pastor

      jsalmonhere —With all due respect your reply sounds noble as if you are taking the high road. The problem is your statement is not Biblical nor do you understand the responsibility of a pastor to protect sheep from wolves. On Judging please see my blog article below.

      http://chatmossthisandthat.blogspot.com/2010/08/should-we-judge-one-another.html

      • John

        Everyone quotes Matthew 7 – “judge not” but I never hear anyone quote John 7, “judge righteous judgement”. =D

        Of course the bible is a big buffet where you get to pick out your favorite items right?

    • UnForsaken

      Dear jsalmonhere, labels can be very mean. However, this site tries to help those who , like yourself , have to deal gently with Ns everyday.

      I Love my N, but needed the perspective of people here to realize that his actions were distructive, and not healthy. I needed to see his actions adding up together, to know what they do to others and myself. Wikipedia and other sources call these actions Narcisstic – but if you find it easier to forgive and live with your Ns by not calling them that – Fine.

      For me, I needed to say in my heart, ” I don’t know, but if I do the things recommended to help , and they do, then I know God has lead me the right way”. I needed to know the label to begin to see, but I know I am no better than Any N. We are all sinners who need a Savior. Not judging, just trying to make sense of a mixed-up world.

      You have a sweet spirit and must have experienced hard judgement. Please read more and realize we are here to help each other cope, not condemn. And we are All flawed.

  40. E

    Hi Just a Pastor,
    I’m pleasantly surprised that Pastor Dave isn’t the only pastor willing to address narcissism in the church. My father-in-law is a pastor and has been dealing with his share of passive aggression, undermining, invalidation, deacons fighting tooth and nail over every single decision put on the table, and the always lurking silent majority that disagrees with this and that…but won’t offer solutions to fix anything. Sound familiar? It depends on the severity of the situation, but this really upsets him as well. I think some ministers are afraid to delve into “psychology,” even the parts that highlight our flaws as a fallen world per the Bible, for fear of waxing too worldly and secular in a setting where prayer and devotion can get you out of most binds. But why not research narcissism to help understand the problems in a congregation or fellowship?! That doesn’t mean you stop trusting God to heal and change hearts. It just means you can arm yourself with truth and go protect your people. No one, especially a pastor, wants to see a person as a “lost cause” because God can redeem anything and anyone. However, is it not ok to declare a relationship a lost cause separate from the person? Not a statement, just something I think about a lot.

    E

    • Richard

      I have found over the years that many clergy don’t bother to understand narcissism maybe because it is very complicated and draining. Sure their behavior is sinful but there is a dynamic that is just mind boggling. I think the only people who want to bother with it are the victims. We must understand it to exist and survive. As E said “I think some ministers are afraid to delve into “psychology,” Is true but that being said not all pastors are able to counsel.Some are good teachers only. I would love to find a pastor to be able to help my family…As a victim its lonely out there.

  41. Ron B

    Hi all, I am at a total loss of what to do concerning my N brother and sister (brother is a pastor). They are so ill that they told mom that because she took care of dad in his final months the way he and she wanted her to instead of how my brother and sister wanted that this proves that there is nothing they could say or do that Mom would ever respect, that we 3 kids are not loved equally, that they are completely disrespected by mom and have been shown to be second rate nobodies at best. My brother even justified his attempts to keep mom from getting medical care for dad’s Alzheimer’s because dad did not have Alzheimer’s but had a spiritual problem instead. Their words and actions have been escalating in terms of the hurt and danger. They attempted to keep mom from giving Dad the medical care she wanted for him (as I noted above), have tried to interfere in mom’s relationship with her nurse and doctor have attempted to use intimidation techniques to force mom into assisted living (mom’s nurse will call social services, if I move home and care for mom and she falls and breaks a bone APS will investigate and I will go to prison). Their anger over Mom choosing how to care for dad and how to live her own life (and my choosing to support mom and dad) has grown more and more over the past years. They develop false grievances based upon delusions which often credit to them actions that I or others took on our parents behalf. A good example for my brother the pastor was 10 years ago our parents moved from a ranch in the country into town to be closer to people, doctors, etc. My brother wanted to make suggestions to our parents about moving their furniture into the new home. He did not do this because, as he told me, he was not willing to take the risk of being rejected and unloved. Meaning that if our parents did not do what he wanted them to do then that meant they were rejecting him as a person and unloving them. Showing a child’s mentality, in my opinion, of throwing a fit if he does not get his way. Shortly after this he attempted suicide saying that our parents forced upon him that love must be earned and thus he had spent his entire life trying to earn people’s love and he could not accept anyone’s love, not even his wife’s, since he could not meet the standards that he felt was required. My brother and sister say and do so many things that are very hurtful. They have accused my mother and myself of horrible things that have cut both of us to our core. No matter what evidence we present that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that we did not do any of the things they say it makes no difference to them. They will not change their minds and they will not admit that they are wrong or apologize. They claim to be experts in caring for elderly people but violate many of the basic principles of elder care. The things they say about Hospice and APS are false as Hospice and APS themselves say it is false but that matters not to my brother and sister. They harbor the grievance and refuse to change their attitudes. No matter what they always seem to be able to say or do something that deeply hurts myself or our elderly mother (she is 87 and has Parkinson’s and Alzheirmer’s and I care for her 24/7/365 for the past almost 4 years). They have not been willing to help in dad’s or mom’s care, have done some “funny” things with mom’s monies, refuse to acknowledge that what they have said and done deeply grieves our mother insisting instead that she needs to have counseling with them so the counselor can help mom understand where they are coming from. We have tried to set boundaries. That mom does not want to see or talk to them until they apologize. They refuse to as they have “done nothing wrong”. They have accused me of killing Dad, destroying mom and dad’s quality of life during his final months, or nearing killing mom, and now that she has chosen to have me care for her in her home instead of going into assisted living as they wanted, that this is mom digging her own grave, the worst possible choice, etc. (I have taken care of mom now for almost 4 years forcing them to at least acknowledge that I have provided good “physical” care for her). Their words hurt deeply. Every time we talk there is a new false grievance, yet they continue to insist upon coming and seeing mom. This only causes my mother and myself incredible grief. I feel I have been abused over and over again, no let me correct that, I have been abused over and over again by them and they have been and are doing the same to our mother. I see no reason why either myself or my mother should have to see or talk to them. Yet they continue to come, to call, to e-mail saying they want to come by. I put nothing beyond them and this scares me a lot. I would have never thought that they would try to deny Dad medical care that mom wanted for him, but they did, I would have never dreamed they would have lied to the nurse and doctor and tried using intimidation techniques to scare me into not caring for mom and to force her into going to assisted living instead of having me live/care for her in her home as she wished, I would have never dreamed that they would dream up delusional scenario’s where they put all of their guilt for not helping with dad’s care onto me, I would have never thought that my brother would play games with mom’s monies that she needs for her own care because he made a poor decision to buy and expensive air condition system for his house right after the 2008 financial crash and then to do so again in 2010 and then to want to use part of mom’s monies to fund his retirement and to do all of this behind everyone’s back and to break all the rules he set up concerning mom’s monies. I do know that their problem is getting worse and their “acting out” is getting worse and worse. I do not know how to stop this or how to escape this and frankly it is killing me and our mother. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Ron

    • Kitkat

      Ron,
      I went through some similar things, but what you need to do is contact an attorney that deals with Adult Protective Services in your community. I took care of my mother until her death. My mother and her husband moved close to me 16 years before she died and her home was only a few doors down from me. They didn’t need very much help when they first moved in but as they both began to decline we stepped up to help as much as we could. We have a big family, but because we were so close no one else bothered to offer any help. They all felt it was somehow our job. Her husband’s son pushed his way between them telling his father she was only taking his money, which prompted her husband to become aggressive to her. To make a long story short, this son had his father sign a Power of Attorney over his finances and he put his father in a nursing home. He then told his father that she wanted a divorce and he told my mother that his father wanted the divorce. This son also stopped my mother’s mail. Attorneys were brought in and shortly before it was to come before the court, her husband called her from the nursing home out of the blue and asked why she wanted a divorce, she told him, that his son said he wanted the divorce. They realized they had been duped. We called an attornery and he told her to go get him out of the home. When we went to get him, the son never paid the nursing home (over 6 months), he had taken his father’s pension, social security and one of their money markets. He was never prosecuted, because they didn’t want anymore trouble. My mother then got a power of attornery over her husband and it was done at an Adult Protective Services Attorney’s office. The attorney questioned both my parents to make sure there was no dementia or medical problems imparing their decision making. After my step father died, my mother lived independently for a couple of years. We helped when she asked for or needed help. When she finally wanted us to have power of attorney we went to the same attorney and went through the same process. The decisions that were made after concerning her care we handled with her, even though my brother and I both had a medical Power of Attornery. He was first POA and I was secondary but he couldn’t be bothered. My mother and I worked together as to what kind of care she wanted and she ended up living with us. We told everyone what we planned to do and no one objected because, I believe, no one else wanted to take care of her. My mother died and we were sued. We lost over $15,000 trying to defend ourselves and had to settle out of court because it would have cost us more had it gone to court. In your situation, I would have your mother evaluated, so you have proof that she is in her right mind. Document everything you do as far as the decisions concerning her care. Make sure that your mother is involved in all the decisions and that she makes clear to an attorney what her wishes are, get everything in writing. My mother had hospice care towards the very end and she specified to them who she wanted to see and have her information concerning her medical condition. There were some she didn’t want to see. We were accused of keeping them from her but we had evidence that she didn’t want to see them. Protect yourself. I wish we weren’t so naive to think that our family wouldn’t do this to us. I wish you the best of luck and God’s great grace in all you do. Your mother should be very proud of having a son like you. She needs you more than you know right now, be the son you were born to be, the one that truly loves and cares for her. If we backed away and let the others deal with her she would have died in misery and loneliness in a God forsaken nursing home. I might add she worked in nursing homes and begged me to never put her in one. She saw much abuse of the elderly and she feared them more than anything. She died in my home with loving family around her in peace and safety.

    • UnForsaken

      Ron, I don’t have any great advice to offer – (Thank you Everybody who has) – But, I do want to reiterate what Kitkat said about being the wonderful son your mom raised you to be! I’m sure she is a lovely person and you are doing right by her. It can be so easy to tire emotionally when you are exhausted physically. Is there any old friend you could unburden yourself to, relaxing execises, or other things you can do to nurture yourself though this? It is hard to think of that as a need in the face of your mom’s physical need and this ridiculous situation. The reason I can see this is because my sister was our g*** “s caregiver, a dedicated one like yourself, who just needed the reminder to also give herself enough space to recharge .

      Bless you!

  42. Kathy

    Document EVERYTHING. And speak with a lawyer who specializes in elder care. Again, Document EVERYTHING.

  43. Kitkat

    One other thing, if you have in writing that your mother doesn’t want to see them, once you have it in writing, when they try to see her call the police. I know it is stressful but your mother will also have to be strong in this and tell them she doesn’t want them there. She has the right to live out her days the way she sees fit, not them. It is her life and her money they can only hurt her and you if you allow it. Don’t allow it.

    • Ron B

      Thanks much to all who have replied. It has raised my spirits to read the suggestions and supportive comments.
      Ron

    • Ron B

      Kitkat, I talked to a lawyer today who is going to help revise mom’s trust documents and I talked to him about the family situation and the ongoing conflict with the other children and he is going to help us get a restraining order which I am told should help keep them away from mom and protect me as I do my best to protect mom.
      Thanks, Ron

      • Kathy

        Good for you!!!! Making steps towards what are the right things to do is wonderful!! Now get yourself a mantra and DO NOT DEVIATE. They WILL fight you. You should reply “Speak with my attorney.” or “This is the way it will be.” DO NOT DEVIATE from your mantra. They will try to argue, cajole, accuse, have temper tantrums. You WILL be tempted to argue and debate right back, in the hopes they will understand. They won’t. So think of your mantra and then use it in response to whatever they have to say. It will be hard – but can be done. Remember, if you REFUSE to play seesaw, the other person CANNOT play seesaw. (you say this and then I say that, ad nauseam). Get off the seesaw. Stick with whatever response you come up with. And know that there really are people out here who believe you, believe there are really evil people out there in sheeps’ clothing, and are on your side.

      • HDG

        Good to hear you’ve taken the right steps to “dis-arm” them. IF and only IF it is LEGAL record conversations. Keep record of dates and times of phone calls.Copies of any emails,texts. Having proof is key….N’s fear being exposed for what they REALLY are.Your lawyer should be able to advise you on this. Kathy has the right idea don’t waste your time discussing things with them-they don’t hear you anyway.Prayers for you and your mom.

  44. Kitkat

    Ron, There are so many people who have been where you are. Take heart my friend, you are doing the right thing. I lost quite a few family members because I chose to listen to my mother and not them. I haven’t spoken to them in over ten years now. I am sad that they felt the way they did, but I can sleep at night knowing that I did the absolute best I could for my mother. I have one brother who has come back to me and apologized and he is now in my life again. He was duped by the others siblings with the lawsuit. Forgive, don’t hold on to the hurt. I was so brokenhearted that they would do the things they did, but I after a while I just felt sorry for them because they missed so much joy with my mother in her last days. I agree 100 percent with Unforgiven, Kathy and HDG. Hold onto their wise advise. Make the most of the time you have with your mother. Laugh with her, share things with her, remember old times, go through old photographs, take her to dinner and just enjoy your days with her, because the day will come when you will wish you could speak to her just one more time and she won’t be there. God Bless!

  45. Christerine Ooi

    This article and thread stirred deep emotions within me. I have written a short journal in response to my research on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
    This journal discusses Narcissitic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD is defined as, “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration, and lack of empathy” (APA, 2013, pp. 669-670). Onset occurs during early adulthood. The following criterion describes symptoms of NPD, diagnosis would require meeting five or more symptoms (APA, 2013)
    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g. exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
    3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
    4. Requires excessive admirations.
    5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recongise or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
    8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes. (APA, 2013, pp. 669-670)
    With much sadness, I recognize that my mother exhibits symptoms 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Examples of her symptoms are given as follow. She volunteers at a famous temple in Singapore and talks incessantly about helping people and being consulted by the management and patrons (Criteria 1). In my most recent encounter with her, she devalued the importance of my brother’s graduation from military leadership training and took glory for my brother’s token of appreciation to me (Criteria 1). My mother talks over everyone and always have a comment to add to any discussion, she gets upset and devalues the person who holds the attention in order to reclaim the attention (Criteria 4 and 6). She behaves haughtily towards employees of telecommunication companies and demands excellent services and frequently threatened to bring her plight to the newspaper for print (Criteria 5 and 9). She recently responded to my disclosure of anxiety disorder and depression with the remark that she had it worse (Criteria 7). She frequently compares herself and her children to other members of her family or friends; she would often take glory of other’s achievements so that she can be the envy of others.
    In addition to NPD, I suspect my mother also suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder with her past history of rage and self harm behaviour when her children ignore her requests, instructions or attempt to set boundaries. With limited insight, limited information on successful treatment cases, the prognosis is limited. It greatly disturbs me that there is no treatment prescribed or suggested for NPD.
    In search for perspectives on NPD, I came upon Grace for My Heart blog by David Orrison. Orrison (2013) wrote about NPD and invited his reader to engage in discussion about NPD. While I continue to process my stand and understand Jesus’s heart towards sufferers of NPD (I have a lot of sympathy for NPD victims since I am a recovering victim), I am deeply touched by reader Anne-Christina’s view that NPD sufferers are people who are wounded and have hidden their true selves in defence. I believe that Jesus has compassion for NPD sufferers and have died for their redemption too. I also believe that Jesus’s heart is for their salvation and that He will continue to work on them. Another comment that struck me was of Jesus letting the young ruler walk away. I remember that before He let the young ruler walk away, He loved the young ruler and held out the truth (the young ruler’s sins). This perspective is beginning to grow peace in my heart. I hope that as a counsellor in training, I will be able to hold both grace and truth for NPD sufferers and victims alike, in Jesus’s loving name.

    Reference:

    Orrison, D. (2013, March). The Christian Narcissist | Grace for my Heart [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-christian-narcissist/

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2014). DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD – PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/PTSD-overview/dsm5_criteria_ptsd.as

    • Anne-Christina

      Thank you for your contribution. Your heart for people and your capacity for grace and truth shines through what you have written. It is such a tough experience to have a parent with NPD on the Narcissistic spectrum. My heart goes out to you as someone in the same boat. I am sure you will make a lovely Counsellor as you embrace your own vulnerability and process your own wounds. From one Counsellor to another may God bless you.

  46. jojo

    What a relief it is to see that there is actually a classification for this disorder, even in the church. Your description perfectly describes a very troubling experience I had with a Christian narcissist who twisted theology so convincingly to support his choices and damage others. It was absolutely horrible. Thank you for this article.

    • Lisa

      There is no such thing as a christian narcississt. Narcississm is EVIL, destroys familys. Im being attacked by 6 narcissist/ demon spirits. Narcs dont have the capability to feel love, so how in the world, anyone of them claiming to be christian? They fooling ppl who dont know better,such blasphemy! Narcs are sociopaths/psychopaths. Very mentally disturbed! Im in a situation, stepmother, and a friends ex. Both trying to exact narcississtic revenge! The ex, is psychopath obsessed, im in the way of her getting bk, with HER man! Im seeking gods help to fight this spiritual warfare! Swiss cheese brains/ have holes where the conscience/common sense should be lack empathy, and exhibit psychotic rage. Only way to heal, no contact, god a support group. Outside ppl dont believe you! Their smear campaign began against you as soon as you appeared on their radar. We need HEALING. These things, mind f%ck, torment, destroy. Dont tell me ppl who think they are god, believe in god. An act, another deception. Stepmom PLAYED for years, a setup, for when she. Gets exposed for what she is. A mind f#ck artist, a destroyer, the judge of other ppls lives, the puppetmaster.

  47. HDG

    Among many experiences of others on this site I share this one too. It seems to be common in Christian N’s to twist scripture for their own agenda.At first it really drug me down-maybe I didn’t love Jesus “enough” maybe HE didn’t love me. After all, my N quotes scripture better than I,has more of a “following ” in his church.After some counseling (not at his church) I began to refer to the missing book of the Bible, the book of —–. I wanted to speak with his pastor who in our (together of course)only meeting told me “you are to show him respect”all attempts were ignored. It does help me to share these stories of my experience-so few will listen.I wonder if they know he is a FAKE and feel duped or PROTECT him because he is such a “GOOD” Christian.I hope it helps all of those here to listen to their own heart,the similarity of our feelings,and how to cope. Prayers for all…..

  48. Alice

    I have been going back and forth trying to really seek gods will for me with the almost non existent relationship with my ” christian narcissistic” mother. Things didn’t really or never made sense to me why the way she is until a few months ago when I found a blog explaining what narcissism is and terms like flying monkeys, gaslighting, triangulation, scapegoat etc. I’ve been married almost a year and a half but I started seeing tremendous problems when I was living at home right around the time when wedding planning began. Not going into detail but at one point she almost threw him out of the house in a rage and threatened him with calling the cops all because he denied her request to not talk to her and let him show her something in the bible because she was fixing my dad lunch and “it wasn’t a good time”. It was embarrassing, humiliating and just wrong in so many ways. He was trying to take it upon himself to fix mine and my mother’s relationship before the wedding. My mom basically said it’s all on me, I have to do x y and z. I found out after the wedding that during the wedding when our pastor asked both families to stand up and give an oath not to meddle in our marriage. (Because at one point we had a counsel/talk session) my mother said this is b.s. quite loud enough for my bridesmaids and groomsmen to hear. When I was younger she used to yell all the time and rant and rave and then start to cry and always made me feel guilty . I developed a habit of clamming up like my father. And just to scared to talk to her for fear of unjust criticism or not wanting to confront her, ever. Well now that I’m married her along with my siblings think me and my husband and the problem. That we don’t honor family, they won’t call me and definitely not him. I heard from a 3rd party that my mom won’t reach out because she wants me to be the one to do so, since I seem to like and enjoy my new family and church family more.

  49. ANN

    What does a woman who was growing in the Lord do when she meets a “good” guy in the church, dates for 6 months and gets married only to discover that she was duped? what does a woman do when she has been waiting patiently and praying for a husband and finally gets one who: abuses her emotionally and makes her feel like garbage?, never tells her he loves her or affirms his love for her? does not hug her?, does not look at her or do eye contact because he says he would rather go blind (4 times said the same thing), satisfies himself on her and turns around and hugs a big teddy bear? ( which is always in the bed), uses her to get permanent residence status? uses her to move higher in his career?, tries to change her into the TV look alike women?, doesn’t want children with her?, makes her do whatever he wants but yet its never good enough for him?, tells her that she is the reason he is miserable and depressed, he would have had someone better looking if it wasn’t for her? doesn’t allow her to cook any food that is not to his liking? doesn’t allow her to pick anything in the grocery store unless its what he wants to eat? makes her wear only the clothes he wants? hair has to be combed to his liking, no toasted bread in the house unless when he is the one eating it because it smells?( who doesn’t like toasted bread?), does not want to meet her family because they are over weight and we are married already anyway?, tells her to go for surgery to cut of the butt so it is more flat as in nothing behind there(Lol), does not want to go for counselling because he says its her who needs counselling, calls her fat(5’2 and 130 lbs – he found her at 125 lbs, put on 5 lbs in 5 years), can not hold any conversation with her because the TV is on(always on) and he has better things to listen to, does not allow worship music/ biblical teachings in the house and will turn it off quick when he comes in, ironically I met this man at church with his hands lifted high up in the air.
    Once upon a time, that woman was me, I got sick and forgot who I was and why I was created, I hated myself so much, yet I had worked so hard to ensure that we have a home(2 homes, 1 is rented out), I wanted to have children and he didn’t want anything to do with kids, when I got pregnant accidentally he was depressed and wasn’t afraid of saying nasty things like it is not his child, and he does not want his DNA out there, said I should go and buy one from the sperm bank. The baby lost a heartbeat at 3 months and had a miscarriage. That was the beginning of me dying. I died, got sick, had headaches constantly, lost the sense of who I was in Christ. I tried to journal everyday, still remained submissive and quiet, because the word says,” In quietness and trust shall be your strength”. I had no strength to leave my home, yet I was dying. My friends were not allowed to visit and I have no family around me, so it was between me and God. I finally picked myself up and got an apartment, leaving the N in the home, and began my healing journey. It has not been easy because he texts and calls everyday. I could not afford to do the No contact because of no particular reason. I don’t think I even loved him and I can’t explain why I married him yet I saw all the red flags in the beginning. Maybe it was due to years going by( am 41 yrs now), maybe out of sympathy because he had no status, but somehow there was something good about him, we would read the bible and go for bible studies together, and most of all, we held the promise to keep pure until marriage. I liked that bit, but the nightmare I have lived after is not deserving of any woman. Used and abused, belittled and rejected, no kind words, no sympathy, no care even when I was sick, he did not care to help. I left but its hard on me, my mind and I keep telling myself, the man is sick and I can’t leave him like this( well, am sick too to think like that), but the grace of God can change him. He has still refused to go for counselling and calls me to come back home everyday. Its been 7 months now. whats my way forward? I am kindly asking Christians to help walk with me, i feel bad I left when I know he is not well, but I myself was dying. He does not believe in divorce and says so but won’t go for counselling. I have prayed and waited, he does not want anything to do with church and christian group meetings in the house and told me when I come back, that should not happen. Please help me, do I move on or give it a try? what does the word tell me to do in this situation? I am searching for answers and advise for all who have gone through the same, as I pray and wait.

    • gravitar123

      First, find a Christian counselor for yourself. Someone who is familiar with narcissism. As you go through counseling, the way will become clearer.

  50. Kathy

    Ann,
    As you said, it is between you and God. I can only reflect on what you yourself wrote:
    He has already told you that he wants nothing to do with the church or Christian groups.
    What fellowship does light have with darkness?
    You are not called to be unequally yoked.
    And “yoked” is what marriage is. It is a yoke meant for two.
    ((hugs))

  51. Great article! I also believe there is such a thing as a Religious Narc. They are obsessed with being right and correcting others and feel a great power when they can act like they are superior to others. They simply get their narcissistic feed fed by being right and one-upping other Christians. When you meet this kind, my advice is to run as far away as you can and as fast as you can.

  52. merryjoy1

    Perfect post at perfect time & I shall share it. I was discussing this subject yesterday with someone(s) about how the Church is a good target for those claiming to be what they are not. Harder to expose/warn others (family member in this situation) of the narcissists when they use the Christian/Saved card. Looking at their behavior does indeed help to open our unsuspecting eyes. So nice to see all the biblical references relating to narcissists. I stayed married to one for 19 years believing that he could/would change. Hopefully more & more Christians/Church’s will start to be more open about this kind of subject. So glad your page was recommended. Thank you for all the help you are giving to many of us.

  53. Lovecanexist

    If there is one thing that a Narcissist can love I would think it would be Christ. By definition, a Narcissist requires “unconditional” love. The only place we can find unconditional love is in Christ. Our earthly “romantic” love of one another must be conditional, but we in theory we are to have love of one another – Christ’s children. If a person continues to sin or wrongs us, we are justified in not having them in our lives, but we could also still “love” them as Christians. Narcissism is based on reflection. There is no greater reflection than Christ. In fact Narcissists can become “religious freaks” – think James Jones. I think many prominent Pastors are most likely Narcissists without anyone’s knowledge. While a person can be discarded and thought of as an object because of imperfection or lack of usefulness, Christ can not. He is perfect. His reflection is perfection and can not be an object with the understanding of the Holy Ghost. I think the author is correct, much like we tell white lies for protection, the Narcissist must manipulate for reflection. It is inherent in the personality and make-up. The one thing that would contradict all of this is if the Christian Narcissist would ever feel or think that Christ turned his back on them. At that point the Narcissist would no longer be a Christian or need Christ and Christ would be discarded from their lives. Narcissists make up their own dialogue, so unlike most people they can interpret the word of God and the teachings of Christ in various forms and meanings. I do not think the question has a “yes” or “no” answer unfortunately.
    “Bless us that have crossed paths with a Narcissist. Understand they are empty and have no self worth and are tormented souls. Forgive them, leave them, and move on with Christ guiding you and recognizing how blessed you are for them not to be in your lives”

  54. GraceAlone

    I’ve had some tough time dealing with certain Christians. I wouldn’t be quick to judge them with a name though. I had sacrificially helped (financially) a person during a time of desperate need in that person’s life and a few months later the person bid me good-bye. We had some issues that could have been solved easily with a little bit of humility. I was apologetic, willing to come down, discuss and acknowledge. The other person didn’t attempt to show any of these. The relationship couldn’t succeed unless we addressed them because it involved a matter of trust on either side. When I attempted to discuss specific things, the responses were always generic with a ‘big-brother’ attitude. So far I’ve never seen that person appreciate or acknowledge my sacrifice to anyone, however I’ve heard of all the complaints. Years later, I’ve still wondered how a Christian can be so ungrateful (I have not demanded that the person repay me and do not intend to do so). After many confrontations that went nowhere I gave up, I often would feel that it would have been better if I hadn’t known that person – not because of hate but because of the years of hurt I had to endure.Things wouldn’t have been so painful if it had come from a non-Christian.. Though I am not judging that my hurts were caused due to this personality disorder, I am of relief to know that Christians can suffer from such disorders which helps me to address these issues with grace.

  55. jerome Andrews

    My relationship with the scapegoat has been a nightmare.today I’m sure that she has been behind all the sadness and breakdown and. Evil to hold on to lies,

  56. Marco Schoener

    I agree with your comments above. Do not all Christians have a behavior of self, that would be called Sin. I see narcissists all through the church today.

    • crushedheart

      Hi everyone and fellow brethren. I came across this blog just other day I been bed ridden ill. I.wanna share my story but just hurting so bad. I just dealt with being discarded by an N. the other day. He was someone I thought was my brother and best friend for years. I took him in as he needed help and he had no place to live or go and basically I guess u could say he admitted he used me for money. And lied to me. About loving me in so many vague words. He flew. Into rages and started acting like a monster I didn’t even recognize. I can’t sleep I’m aching inside I’m confused and I feel so betrayed. He’s twisted everything making it seem like I’m the bad person. He’s even uses scripture to make himself look good and me bad. I’m sitting here crying and ill and lonely and so dumfounded as to how he could do this. I gave all I could…Igave till I literally wore out.all I did was love him and he threw me away like trash. Anyways….Itrusted him and now I see he’s nothing he pretended to be. I think to myself..what did I do? I begged I pleaded Itried to make peace as our Lord wants us to do and seems he got worse then left me. After everything…I’m just devastated …I never imagined he out of anyone would do this to me because its happened my whole life. I don’t understand how I’m gonna get over this or if I will ever…especially being ill. Tears…..ty for letting me share..I pray u all are well and ty for listening…GOD bless all of you here. Xo

      • HDG

        I seldom give advice,this time I feel it is desperately needed. PRAY. Read,read,read the posts here and write if it helps you.You are not alone.You are the victim( not him),victory will come-it may take time-but it will come.Hugs and prayers for you!

  57. Kitkat

    Crushed Heart, know that everyone on this site has been through what you have been through in one form or another. We all know what you are going through. But read through some of the stories of other people on here and you will see that you are not alone. We all have questioned ourselves, “What did I do wrong?” or “I only wanted to help them and they turned on me.” If they can make you feel that you are the problem, then they are never held accountable. It is a pattern with these people. I pray that you will heal both physically and emotionally. It is difficult, especially in the first few days or weeks after they turn on you. But you must remember this is not your fault. You are a kind soul that has been taken advantage of. And this man is a predator, he will come back if he gets in a bind for money again or a place to stay. You must not let him fool you into thinking he has changed, because he will only hurt you all over again.

  58. ByHisGrace

    Dear all, thought I should share my story. I analyzed so much before writing negatively about another person but finally felt the need to write this as this one episode in my life took the drain out of me. I am not judging anyone as a narcissist…

    I happened to be associated with a very good and courageous Christian who was elder to me. Her testimony was really great. People looked up to her as a witness. When she went through a really tough time (for standing up to her faith), I felt compelled out of Christian love to help her financially without any reservations over a period of 5-6 months very sacrificially. When she asked me initially for financial help with a promise to return, I added some money extra as an offering. I told her to return a part of the money only once she could sustain herself financially. After few months her financial problems were partly solved, but by then she had assumed that all my support for her was an offering. I resolved totally not to make an issue out of it and decided to let it go primarily because she was facing them all for the sake of the gospel.

    Just about 3 months after I helped her last, we happened to work together on a Christian event (the project was our mutual vision). That was when our contrasting personalities came to the fore. I was expected to follow directions and if I thought I had a better perspective on certain things it was taken as acting against God and acting against team’s interests. She quickly shifted her value to her former friends who aligned with her well and her core team consisted of those people who would think in her direction. Suddenly I became a non-entity and was practically kept out of decision making. I was used to do most of the real physical tasks (running around to get the sponsors, equipment, etc) which others would not volunteer easily. If she thought I made mistakes, those mistakes were easily shared with others in the team without my knowledge. To be honest some of her criticisms were right. But in the end, I could see that she was also guilty of the same things that she accused me of. While my mistakes were accounted for, hers was not.

    Now after the event I hoped that we could sit together, acknowledge our mistakes with true Christian love and move on. Thats when I was really hurt. It seemed as though I had no part in her life. When I tried to raise a genuine concern I would be shot me down with force. There was no platform for stakeholders to share their frustrations and no room for any sort of feedback. We recognized and knew her hard work and the event ended fully in the direction she wanted. Now all I (as the one who made the highest financial contribution) expected was just a simple heartfelt sorry that some of her confident decisions, judgments and criticisms about me weren’t right. I made lots of effort to patch up, she made none. She would say things like, she had known me only because God connected me to her and otherwise she would not have even stepped near me.

    This event challenged my emotional strength because I had helped her the best in my life and now had to face those people to whom she accused me. She was a person of standing and people would believe her. I had to shed my face from everyone and lost interest in many Christian activities.

    Its been 5 years now. No sincere apologies. no appreciation for anything I’ve done. No one in her friends circle knows or appreciate any sacrifice I did for her though they would know all the bad things. Some have even avoided me totally. She did attempt to patch up once after 2 years but that was partly because she needed some help for an event she organized. When I later attempted to communicate my hurts very humbly, the response was mostly to establish her sense of superiority and suppress me. She is indeed a good Christian but personally in my life I suffered the most from her.

    Over the last few months God has mercifully connected me with new Christian friends who recognize me and value me and I have mostly moved on. This site has given me a meaning to my hurts otherwise I would have continued to wonder how good Christians can act sometimes very thoughtless. Thank you so much for your site.

  59. Allen fun

    Being raised in a home with narcissist’s was a godless atmosphere. I knew nothing about spirituality but always had the feeling of a nonvisible intrusive presence around me. I always felt like i was being “watched”. We moved a few times and i had thought maybe it was the homes we lived in. Not so. It was the people who lived in the house that were haunted. My mn mother and two of my siblings. I of course didn’t know this until later but god was showing me from a very young age. I saw and heard things and made the mistake of telling my mother. She knew all along what was going on but because i was questioning things made me a trouble maker. Based on her angry reactions when i told her things i learned to keep it to myself. There is so much to tell but i will fast forward a bit. When i was 23 i asked jesus into my life. At that point i was literally being plagued by thoughts of suicide and had other disturbances happening to me when i tried to sleep. After i was baptised i had a vision. A girl i knew from work. Very nice everyone liked her. She was smiling walking towards me then a very ugly face projected through hers. she kept walking towards me and i backed up out the front door into the parking lot. I had all these coats on and started taking them off so i could defend myself. As she walked towards me she kept staring at my hands. I peeled off the last coat and she stopped. and would come no closer. She then said “i see your wearing your new streamers from god. How cute”. There is with out a doubt in my mind a spiritual dictation happening to these ones we call narcissist’s. ” in the last days men will become lover’s of self” God addresses this “too” in the bible. After my baptism i heard of blaspheming the holy spirit and this sounded pretty serious to me . the unforgivable sin in this life and the here after. So i asked god to show me what this meant. And through a strenuous teaching i get it. These people actively reject the voice of the holy spirit. They know full well between right and wrong but choose to raise their fists at god. To stare into the eyes of a narcissist is an abyss of darkness. The devil has truly hijacked their souls. I know of too many who profess to be catholics and christians who use god the same way they use any of us. I asked the lord “do they not know they are going to kneel before jesus and give an account? How can they be so evil?” What do they think they are getting away with? After i got over my anger (mostly) God reminded me of scripture he referred me to a long time ago. “They will not listen to you because they will not listen to me”. Makes sense that i’m a target for these people. Anyways I don’t believe this is a mental disorder. The brain itself is not sick. There is much more to this maybe i should write a book! Just wanted to give my angle on this. Thanks!

  60. I was a part of a religious cult with thousands of members who claimed to be christian, yet this cult was run by a psychopath and he and his fellow elders enslaved many people by their narcissistic behaviour, destroying families and marriages. Interestingly, after we left, I had to examine my own life and understand how I was not able to see the abuse for what it was. I discovered that I in fact came from a family run by a religious narcissist.

    I think too many of us judge a person by what they tell us about themselves rather than judging the tree by its fruit. You can only really tell what kind of tree it is by the outward appearance and by what it produces. If a person’s outward manifestation seems christian in one aspect, yet they continually produce the fruit of the flesh, or even of demonic influence, you can only really go by their fruit. Jesus told us this, and I believe as christians we tend to want to ignore His commands and instead look at how this person makes us feel.

    If we are used to abuse, and feeling that we are worthless and useless, we will assume this person is right and good, especially if we are in the idealisation (or honeymoon, or love-bombing) phase of the relationship. If they tell us we are wonderful, but treat us badly, we tend to believe the part about being wonderful and excuse the abuse.

    In the end, its not about the other person. We have to see ourselves as God sees us, allow our minds to be renewed so we can understand what is actually happening to us, and recognise evil, fleshly, carnal behaviour regardless of how much we think this person is good, we must be able to say that bad is bad, not that bad is good.

    In these days, deception is rampant in the church. Narcissists are players who are extremely good at acting or pretending to be something we want them to be. They use masks and acting which are in reality lies and manipulation in order to convince us that we are wrong and they are right. There are many christians, for various reasons, who will fall for this act. If God has opened your eyes to the wickedness of this and you see straight through the act, don’t be surprised if you suddenly get targeted, or they begin to show their true colours (totally depraved) around you.

    It is truly frightening to unmask a narcissist. I have seen that black-eyed stare and I know full well how terrifying it can be. Our only defense it to be walking in the Spirit. Remember, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers. Therefore, don’t be surprised when you encounter people like this, the bible has told us that men will become worse and worse in these last days, and the church is no refuge from narcissists and psychopaths.

  61. I am married to a covert narcissistic. I have only discovered this in the last year, my doctor mentioned her concerns to me about my husband’s control, abuse, rage and wondered if he had a personality disorder.
    He found out 5 yrs ago he has a slow growing cancer. No treatment yet. Since this diagnosis his abuse has been worse. His rage, verbally, emotional, mental abuse has crushed me to the core of my being. He rages at me in front of the kids, at the moment he is behaving after I gave him an ultimatum a few weeks back. I know it won’t last.
    He cannot tolerate criticism. .not even any input into completing house renovations after many years he loses it with anger. I cannot talk to him about anything. ..no personal stuff from me anymore, as he throws it back in my face.
    He is sarcastic, critical thinking it’s humor.
    He told me recently he lacks love, has no empathy, is angry and cold.
    He hates me giving attention to anyone. Pinterest , blogging, my business, the kids, a friend, a class I might take. He throws wild tantrums. He does not hit me but he throws things, smashes his phones, pinches things and screams in my face. You would think that someone with an illness that could take their life they would be more loving. .. not my husband.
    We have been Christians for 30 years. Last year when I was praying about him, I was thinking if narcissism. .. I had a vision, never had one before it was of a snake head with scales a sharp tongue and fiery eyes. I draw a picture afterwards. God gave me a scripture about the viper tongue. This is what narcissistic people are. I fear for their salvation.
    My husband comes across as Mr Nice Guy. Everyone loves him. I see right through it and I don’t like him. I try to be patient and not react but I believe I have shut down my heart because he has broken it one too many times
    Trouble us three of our children are just like him. One I believe had Border line personality disorder the other two are abusive arrogant and nasty at times. .. but ever so charming.
    I am waking up what my future holds

    • Oh and my husbands father was extremely abusive to his mother. .. all you could imagine she had breakdowns. He also did horrific stuff to his siblings. The mother left the home leaving kids with the dad. My husband has been so affected by this that he is a obsessive of any Christian marriage that breaks up, person the commits adultery etc… I pay any price for his up brining

  62. Bonefundle

    Just four short days ago I was shown this website by a kind and compassionate counselor. As the “imperfect” child, I have lived my life under the constant eye and “abuse” of narcissism . Finally, prayer turned me to a kind therapist who understands the “N” word and syndrome. I have poured over this blog for hours. The answers keep coming and I can feel His Grace in my heart. I am able to cry tears that have been so long kept inside for fear of judgment from my family. After 55 years, I was given the answer to what I have struggled with for so long. A loving God blessed me with a patient, kind, and loving husband and a wonderful adopted son who are both successful but in no way feel the need to flaunt, judge, hurt or feel superior to others. My greatest hurdle will be attending the retirement ceremony of one of my brothers from a stellar military career. My entire family will be there. I will be standing with my abusers and accusers knowing that God does not love them any more than he loves me. I will clasp the hands of my husband and son and hold in my heart the kind and loving spirit of a father long departed. Together we WILL stand in quiet triumph and humility. I am blessed and cannot thank my therapist enough for setting me on a journey through this blog that will most certainly change my life in so many beautiful ways. I love you all and I thank you for your deep courage and determination. I have found a new “family”.

    • Angela

      This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You are walking in victory, you and your husband and son. God is good.

    • Anne - Christina

      Your comment has touched me deeply. I wish you every blessing. God is a God of compensation. Your story echoes my own and that of many of my counselling clients. All the best

    • Kitkat

      So glad, you have found release and kindred spirits on this site. We all feel your pain and understand how you feel. Know this, that by sharing here, not only does it help you on your journey, but it also helps others who are struggling with the same issues, searching for answers, just like you. We also share the same gratitude for this wonderful website and Pastor Dave! Welcome!

  63. destroyedbylies

    To the “Beth” who posted last year: I hope you’re not the one my ex left me for cause if you are, honey, you are in for the ride of your life. The abuse of your ex will be NOTHING compared to what this man can do! Be prepared for divorce #2.

  64. star

    My husband is a Christian N. He uses scriptures to rebuke me whenever I disagree with him over any minor thing. He constantly criticises me. In short he is only bearable if I let him have control of everything and don’t tell anyone about what is really going on. I lived with our secrets for 5 years until recently when he wanted to start a church under our Pastors covering. I blew the cover on his abuse, addictions etc for obvious reasons. The problem is that he is so good at twisting the truth that my Pastor seems unsure who to believe. I suddenly feel like I’m on trial for a crime I didn’t commit. I am ready to say who cares about MY reputation just free me from this situation- even if I look like I’m walking out on a great husband. Oh and I forgot to mention- he makes public confessions of repentance on FB for show and then tries to use that against me to force me to repent from whatever I have disagreed with him about

    • UnForsaken

      Star, that is a man who lives his own fantasy. It’s all about appearances, but I believe they are trying just as hard to convince themselves, or there whole imagined world will crumble.

      Take care! Destruction and discard can be a very dangerous place to be, as you probably know. Yes, God is your witness. No one else has to believe the truth for you to take the next step.

      Blessings! ❤

  65. D.J.

    I come from Ohio — the state whose motto is taken from the Word itself: “With God, all things are possible.”
    “All” is pretty much all-encompassing…. LOL! Praise the Lord!

  66. paintthesky

    I think it’s possible our ex-pastor was. We were in ministry together, with another couple. My husband was miserable. It was my husbands second post as a music minister. For years every couple of months we were getting thrown under the bus. The music was never good enough, even though the people in the congregation were worshiping. The pastor would say “I’m pulling you down off the platform, because you all need some tweaking”. The truth is the worship band was getting tighter with each passing week, meaning we were forming a bond, and could feel each others next move. That takes years to achieve in music. But we were constantly being put down in some way shape or form by the pastor. The pastor would say to my husband “it’s your ministry, you are in charge”, and then he’d undermine all the decisions my husband would make regarding the music. The pastor had no experience with music whatsoever, and would make decisions that would leave the rest of us scratching our heads. We yielded to his authority time after time, but as the years went on he lost our respect. 2 other couples left the ministry, because they couldn’t take the pastors attitude. 2 years before we left my husband said I can’t take it any longer. We stayed, and the next 2 years proved to be worse than the previous few. The pastor was constantly comparing our little ministry to some of the bigger churches, and my husband finally said, “we will never measure up, we need to get out”. The last few months before we left, we would leave the church Sunday after Sunday hurt and angry inside, we now knew it was time to move on. A few months after we left, the ministry folded. Everyone was dismayed we were leaving and didn’t understand. My husband and I never made our feelings known. In retrospect maybe we should have left a couple years earlier, but we had a deep love for the people there. It’s sad that such a wonderful ministry could turn out to be so hard on us spiritually, and mentally too. I look back on it now, and am thankful the Lord allowed my husband and I to have this precious time sharing in a ministry together. It wasn’t all bad, and it was a special time for my husband and I to grow together in music ministry. I don’t believe though that the Lord would have us to be mistreated at the hand of someone who is supposed to be the leader of the flock. I am glad we got out!

  67. grace

    Thanks for sharing the insight..totally agree with you..currently dealing with one in my church and its really such a thorn in the flesh!
    Deep down in my spirit, I just do not think he is born again..afterall, narcissists are very cunning and will always say the so called right things take you believe them.. its really energy draining and he is only sensitive to himself and not others..its so toxic

    Moreover he doesn’t even bother to read God’s Word and his motivation to attend church is to look out for gals….topics of discussion that interests him a great deal …talk about Jesus …none…

    I prayed for God to terminate this toxic friendship..he is just making use of my kindness towards him…sigh

  68. Pingback: All the narcissists I have known have been Christians. | In de hemel is wél bier !

  69. ANN

    TRIANGULATION – passive-aggressive skill used by N [narcissist] to cover their sins and make the V {victim} look guilty/bad/wrong/crazy to all others. N starts collecting information about V from every source from the very beginning. The bad-mouthing [gossip/slander/character assassination] will be happening before the “discard” phase of the relationship. Submission to a N is giving love, attention, power and attention to evil. Bowing a knee to evil, isn’t this idolatry?

  70. My Narc Mother has skillfully mastered the art of Validation and rightousness through Christianity. As a Christain she has the right to judge and condemn.She has already decided Only Christains that attend Her church are going to heaven. Sounds like a dull ride on a very short bus.God entrusts her to judge and condemn for him. With her unwavering dedication, God may be able to take a vacation this summer. I heard he always wanted to enjoy Puerto Rico, as he hasn’t been there since he created it. Too late folks…the front seat is taken. When the short bus to heaven departs, well…my Mom has already called shotgun.

    • Cecilia K

      I know this situation is actually not funny, but you express it so humorously, I had to chuckle. Glad you are able to have a sense of humor through all the drama and tribulation, Jennifer. Do you live with your mother?

  71. L

    Married to a “Christian” Pastor Narcissists. Sounds funny. How can a narc shepherd a flock without the ability to demonstrate compassion and a heart full of self love. He can not and he can not see it (grandiosity)…I went away with my children for three weeks for a break and did not feel a thing and I am dreading going back…There is nothing left inside my heart for him…at a fork in the road.

  72. Over the last 6 months I have researched narcissism and truly believe my husband is a narcissist. He is also the pastor of our church. We have been married for 25 years and his hurtful behavior has finally caught of with me. HELP!!!

  73. UnForsaken

    MissyJane, you’ve come to the right place . Keep reading ! And you can get great personal advise if you e-mail Pastor Dave. It is a brave thing to research this as much as you have. Keep believing what you have learned. You will survive! ❤

  74. Sad and Tired...

    I did not know really what narcissism was until maybe almost a year into my marriage. I knew something was not right…. After another fight, I went on the internet one day to and googled angry woman. I don’t know if she is one but many of the things listed can be listed under her. I married a women who claimed to a woman of God. She called herself a Evangelist. When we were dating I saw a few things that as I look back, I should have got out of the relationship but for whatever reason I thought God wanted us together. She kind of made me feel that way even after the arguments and the silent treatments that would go on for days. Somehow she would make it my fault and I would feel the guilt. And then she would come to me crying and saying how sorry she was….even if it would always turn out that it was something I did to her. It never is her. I found myself saying I was sorry for things that were not my fault. We have been married for three years now….I have been cursed and called all kind of things, I have had a iron thrown at me, I have been slapped, I have almost gotten hit by a car and I have been told not to come in the house because I might get killed. The funny thing is after she says she is “sorry.” She does not bring them up again nor does she want you to. However if I do something wrong it is brought up from years ago…even before marriage.
    Now I see where God tried to warn me but I chose not to see before we got married.. Before we got married, she liked my family or act like she did but now…she doesn’t ask about them but then she does not really care about hers. She and her Mom have a weird relationship…her father does not even know where we live and she has not told him. She does talk to him or go see him and maybe part of that is because he is always telling her how special she is so she “feeds”from that. She only really seems to care for the family members that “feed” her. When I say “feed” I mean those who tell her how good she looks or how good she does something. Its funny how she can be quiet and not have much to say but once she gets fed, she is all happy and talkative. She has a very bad temper…and most of the time she keeps it under control but when it blows…it blows. And it can happen in a split second. I can not tell you how many times I have been embrassed when we go out to eat. How nasty she has been to servers and many times we have just come from church. When she tells me that she loves me….it feels very empty. I feel she says that because she thinks it makes me feel good but it doesn’t because it does not feel real. When I hug her its almost like hugging a tree at times. I see how she treats people at the church. She sings and those who tell her good she is…she likes but those who don’t tell her that….she talks about but then she talks about all of them. The lady who is a head of the choir, she has become good friends with. Well not really…she talks about her as well but then she smiles in her face and tried to act like she cares about her. However all she cares about is getting that position. She does what ever she can to get the pastor’s appreciation however she talks about him and his wife behind their back. It is very important to her about image. She spends a lot of money of shoes and clothing. I owned a house when we got married. She has taken most of the closet which I don’t mind. I told her when she moved in to change what she wanted….she has only put up a few pictures. She tells me I didn’t mean it because I questioned her about one of the pictures she put up. One of the things that attracted me to her was how good she dressed and I told her to show me things she buys but she does not do that. I would say that maybe she feels guilt because she spend so much on herself but I don’t think its that as its her not wanting to feel that she is controlled. I pay most of the house bills….most of her money she spends on herself. I don’t feel there is a “us.” Its just her. When we go to service, it is very important to her that we look together. That we have that image of the happy family. I can’t tell you how many times we have gone to church and her being upset about something or giving me the silent treatment….and as soon as she steps foot on the church grounds, she turns into someone else. She will be in the service singing and raising her hands but then go back to how she was before at the end of the service on our way home and not say a word to me the rest of the day. This is my second marriage. I made a lot of mistakes in my first, I had wanted to be a good man and husband. I wanted to love her till I die but I don’t see that happening. She is all about herself….I joke with myself sometimes and say that “”I’m just apart of the puzzle…” I remember when we were talking about getting married and I told her that I was not sure if I was ready. She told me that she wanted to get married because she was a evangelist and to move up in the church, she had to be married. Sometimes I think she only married me because of that….image. Its hard to see people think so much of her but not really know. I feel that one day she is going to get out of the marriage. I sometimes feel she is building up to that. As I said, she has not done much to make our house a home. Upstairs is basically her storage room. She has to own hundreds of pairs of shoes. Every summer she will give away a bunch of her clothes so that she can make room to buy more….people think she is about charity but as I said, its only to buy more stuff.
    She has taken parts of me away, I’m not who I was several years ago….I pray that I can get them back. I feel so empty at times. I stay at work late because I am in no hurry to go home. I never know who I will be dealing with. During the work day sometimes she sends me these emails saying how she misses me or how much she loves me. However when I get home, that person is not there. I think she sends those because she thinks its what I want to hear. And I do but I need it to be real. I’m not sure what to do….I find myself at work looking and reading at stories about people dealing with this. There is not much on women when it comes to this subject but believe me they are out there. I see one of them each and every day….
    There is much more I could tell you but I will end here. Thanks for readling…please pray for me.

    • UnForsaken

      Sad and Tired, I have been so very sad and tired too. Most of us have. And angry later, seeing more things as we some out of the brain fog. This is actually happening and is not your imagination. The details you give sound like many of our stories. Although my own N is a man, I have also known a woman very much like what you describe and so have others here. I hope you find Dave’s articles as helpful
      as I have! ❤

      You will make it! Seeking a good counselor or contacting Dave here may help you puzzle out the next steps of healing. We most certainly will pray for you!

  75. Kitkat

    Sad and Tired, it is no wonder you are sad and tired. You have come to a friendly place. We all know and understand what you are dealing with. You can send Pastor Dave a private e-mail if you need additional help. I would say to read through the stories on here and you will see that you are not alone. One thing you should do is that if you feel your life is in any danger please don’t hang anywhere around her. There are others on this site who have been abused both physically and mentally please read their stories. This is not a healthy marriage. Seek out a good counselor who deals with narcissism, this is where Pastor Dave may be able to give you some guidance. We will pray for you, hang in there.

  76. mentalhealth4myfamily

    I think that narcissistic people who call themselves Christians do so in a way that makes them feel superior to everyone or even use religion scrupuously and in black and white terms. “I am right” (narcissistic/Christian) and “you are wrong” (anyone the narcissis person wants to control). I saw this everyday in my marriage to my soon to be ex spouse who suffers from bipolar and narcissistic qualities. He always told me how much people loved and adored him while I suffered in silence for years only to be shamed when I asked him to leave and I sought a divorce. He went as far as to tell me “God have mercy on your soul” when I stood up to his narcissistic ways and wanted off the roller coaster ride of bipolar disorder. Thank you for posting these articles. They are a huge encouragement.

  77. mentalhealth4myfamily

    From lots of soul searching I learned a lot about Narcisstics who call themselves Christians. They use religion to hide behind their anxiety scrupuously and control those around them. My STB ex spouse told me all the time how everyone adored him while I suffered from his Narcisstic behaviors and bipolar disease. He went as far as telling me “God have mercy on your soul” after I asked him to move out and I sought a divorce. He never saw any of his behavior as wrong or hurtful. Usually he told me I had the problem. I believed him for a very long time. There are so many people who use Christian ideals as lofty ambitions but don’t want anyone to tell them the error in their thoughts. That is an uphill battle I don’t want to fight any longer. Thanks for your posts. They are very helpful!

  78. mentalhealth4myfamily

    From lots of soul searching I learned a lot about Narcisstics who call themselves Christians. They use religion to hide behind their anxiety scrupuously and control those around them. My STB ex spouse told me all the time how everyone adored him while I suffered from his Narcisstic behaviors and bipolar disease. He went as far as telling me “God have mercy on your soul” after I asked him to move out and I sought a divorce. He never saw any of his behavior as wrong or hurtful. Usually he told me I had the problem. I believed him for a very long time. There are so many people who use Christian ideals as lofty ambitions but don’t want anyone to tell them the error in their thoughts. That is an uphill battle I don’t want to fight any longer. I am exhausted! Thanks for your posts. They are very helpful!

  79. After reading this stream I feel like I’m with people who get what I’ve been through…but then I’m minimizing my own experiences the next minute. My former husband (“FH”) might be a N. He never physically bruised me, nor did he rage (much) or overtly belittled. But there were abuses, disrespects. I was the selfish one, the undisciplined one, the one who indulged in chocolate, who had big feet, who went to “technical” school (when he was an attorney). I think there was/is something the matter with me to have allowed the abuses…and that’s what I need to focus on at this point since we are now 3 years divorced after a 27 year marriage and a “relationship” of 35 years which began when I was 14.

    The most productive thing for me now, I think, is to figure out what was going on with me (what my insecurities were) which made me vulnerable so I could be sucked in. Healing, recovery, and being able to help others are my goals.

    What I keep reading from you guys is that you mostly are finally standing up against the abuse! Kudos! I did not do that. I perfected victimhood (inflicting myself with pain) until I no longer fed any of his needs. It was then that he heard from God that he should divorce me!

    He was never diagnosed NPD, but did get diagnosed and treated for depression. He had some deep rejection/neglect experiences in his early childhood.

    I’m pretty sure he’s got N. He was a liar. I knew that but couldn’t prove it. He was more intimate with coworkers he didn’t even like than he was with me it seemed. He had to be intimate with someone I assumed because he wasn’t with me.

    There was always a drive in him to find fulfillment in the right career…or the right city…or in being his own boss…or maybe another college degree. He was remarried 9 months after our divorce (and one week before our eldest married at which he served as officiant-“Painful that was” as Yoda would say).

    What I will say is that even though I was completely devastated to the point of fetal position screaming or drooling on the floor at times, that God has never been more real to me and that alone has been very sufficient consolation.

    I think this stream has given me more compassion for my N. Though I knew he had experienced some nebulous childhood traumas, I didn’t consider it to be as deeply and pervasively impacting as perhaps it has been. This is helping me know how to pray more specifically for him…and Bonus! I get release!

    I’ve done some reading that makes me think I had co-dependency going on my side. I think that is based in the false belief that my needs could be purely met by my husband…which they can’t. Only God can meet our needs through Christ. I still struggle with being content in this season of single hood, but I believe it is the treasure God has for me right now.

    Our other daughter gets married soon and N will not be officiating this one 🙂

  80. Lee

    I feel I had step away from someone who is a Christian but who belongs to a church that is classified as a cult known as the Christian Assemblies International. The founding pastor ( who has passed away) was accused of all sorts of abuse, and abusive behavior was carried out by my members at his direction.

    My friend staunchly defends the pastor believing that the accusations are all bible prophesy, and all the accusers are liars. You cannot convince her otherwise. I’ve stepped away because I see narcissistic behavior in this person and i am not sure if she is possibly emulating the pastor as well.

    It’s hard to tell and I’ve removed myself from the situation because I think this could potentially destroy a person’s mental health.

    This (I think) is a good example of someone with severe personality issues becoming a central figure to the church.

  81. Lady

    My husband holds the title of Bishop…he recently abandoned us in the middle if the night while i was at work and my 11 yr upstairs in our home..hr has had mega online affairs throughout our less than 2 yr relationship..i would always catch him and he would say he would never leave he is just addicted to the attention but that he would never leave..well a fled to be with another woman…married.. in another state. I was able to find out where and publicly exposed the both if them. It was a HUGE controversy and I even went as far as to notify our rafimation to shut him down should he try to worm into their pulpits…well it worked ..but low and behold who claimed they wanted to come back home and had gave up to easy..I thought because I had prayed for God to send my husband home and he asked that I was obligated to take him back..the truth is she left him stranded to leave the hotel they were hide up in for almost 3 wks yo return to HER husband.. The whole time he was there and even before he left my husband refused to make contact with me..he never left a note or anything and had changed his number ..only hours after he had taken me to dinner and to enjoy Christmas decorations.. Knowing he had plans to vanish not even hours later..I was completely blindsided and devastated. I told myself that if I asked God to send him back truly whstEVER had to happen in order for him to return sobeit and I shouldn’t care that she left first but I do..at first I wouldn’t send for him to come home.. I almost did bc of his sob story half cocked..then I said no I felt that he needed to prove he wanted the marriage by finding his OWN way home ..I told him I didn’t send you AWAY so I will not send FOR you just as determined and deliberately deceitful as you were to flee you need to do whatever you have to do to get back home and I’ll be waiting. Well I received a call that the woman’s husband’s relatives were looking to kill him ..during his time away me and her husband had been able to make contact with each other and connect bc I had attempted to make contact with their pastor before I did my Facebook post..someone say it notified her and she notified the husband that his suspicion of his wife running off with another man was true and she sent him the fb link I had posted..we joined forces to find them..but the biggest thing is my husband has not really repented to me all he wants is money to try and start up another church.. We I suggest he sit down and silence himself until he gets delivered I am attacked as being unsupportive of ministry..I know he has deep rooted mental and emotional issues ..he was abandoned by his bipolar mother as an infant and raised in foster care…this is a pattern of his for decades I found out..I’m wife 9.. He told me 4…all the women describe the same things over and over its unreal. I believe or want to believe we have a deliverance ministry.. I have always called my husband a narcissist but never researched just HOW deep it goes… And he has it ALL… So then here comes the million dollars question…is there ANY thing too hard for GOD????

  82. Rachel

    “Churches and volunteer organizations are poorly prepared to deal with predators of any kind. It would probably be better just to find another church.”

    This is what I desperately want to do but my parents won’t let me.

    There’s a woman at my church who’s a covert narcissist. I noticed some of her behaviors and something deep within me kept saying, “something isn’t right about this lady”. I talked to my family about it and they said I was overreacting. Meanwhile, I kept doing research online regarding some of the actions I’d seen. The term “narcissistic personality disorder” kept popping up. I had chills run through me as I read the symptoms of the disorder. It was as if someone had been watching the lady at church and wrote an article about her.

    After that I went NO contact like many sites say online. Now I see her glaring at me from across the church. My pastor has a horrible habit of passive aggressively calling out church members. One Sunday he said over the pulpit, “turn to your neighbor and say GROW UP. Don’t avoid other church members. You got a problem go work it out”. I was livid but remained true to the right way to handle this woman. It frustrates me because he’s so blind to her manipulation and lies!

    I desperately want to leave but my parents won’t let me. Part of me doesn’t want to leave because I want to protect my family. In my mind I’m afraid that the Narc will go after my family just to spite me. I feel it’s my job to protect them. Even if the pastor is a bully.

    Do you have any advice on my situation? 😦

    • Mark

      Hi Rachel, just saw this. Your church sounds a lot like the churches I grew up in. There always seemed to be a strong personality that everyone deferred to, and conversely, anyone who didn’t stroke that person’s ego was looked down on for breaking the peace.

      As such, you’re pretty much in a no-win situation, but you can still protect yourself by having appropriate boundaries. Two books that changed my entire perspective on this were “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” and “Boundaries”. They are really, really good reads and helped me put things in perspective. I grew up in a boundaryless family and church, so the path I’ve chosen was to break away from that and try to find a church that can help me to develop good boundaries. You are probably in the same sort of environment, but if you don’t have co-dependent tendencies like me, I think you could potentially maintain healthy relationships. My wife understands why I’ve left and she even supports me, but she hasn’t felt the need to walk away like I have.

  83. Leah Janzen

    To Jim who posted on February 10, 2016, Praise be to God for what he has done for you! I am so inspired and my faith boosted for the man I love suffering from narcissistic traits and OCPD, whose name is also Jim! May you live the rest of your days following after God, true to your name (James is English for Jacob, which means to “follow after.”) All things are possible with Him! The reason we don’t see many miracles in this area (mental/emotional health) is because we don’t believe. God is small in most people’s mind and their faith even smaller. Jesus came to HEAL the sick and He healed all kinds of people possessed by demons and troubled by impure spirits, which in today’s world would include NPD, OCPD, BPD and all other forms of mental illness. Jesus said in Mark 8:50 “Don’t be afraid. Just BELIEVE, and she will be healed.” Christians need to wake up (we need revival) and get in agreement with God’s Word and BELIEVE! BELIEVE! – Amen

  84. Angusdarlin

    The general consensus here seems to be, ‘once a narcisstst, always a narcisstst’. That could not be further from the truth! God can heal anyone. Don’t be deceived.

    • If you have read very many of the posts here over the past years, you would see that we certainly do believe that God can do anything He wants. However, narcissism is not a disease. It is a choice, a long series of choices that have become a pattern of life. God could change the hearts of all sinners, but He allows each person the freedom to do wrong. Why should the narcissist be any different? If the narcissist wants to change, change is truly possible. If the narcissist doesn’t see anything wrong with his/her actions or perspectives, then the Lord will not intervene.

  85. My Ex is an extreme example of a Narcissist and he also believes himself to be deeply Christian. His particular abuse has been difficult on my faith over the years because he would constantly frame things in a way that God had chosen him, God had told him, God had special plans for him… but in the Narcissist’s world, God didn’t quite care about me. Even through the gaslighting and emotional abuse after I moved out, he would send me angry mean messages and then close them all with “I will pray for you.” Adding the layer of ‘Christian’ (or any other faith for that matter) onto Narcissistic abuse just gives them another level to pull to make you feel guilty, unworthy, unsocial, unlovable and also gives them a way to make themselves look special and important.

    • True. Sorry you had to deal with that. I currently know a ‘Christian narcissist’ who dated a girl for eight years before she finally left him. I used to feel bad for him; but then I realized that she got away from a very potentially bad situation. In fact, when I asked the narcissist why she just suddenly left, he told me that she said she was afraid that they would fight all the time if they got married. I’ve seen this narcissist make himself seem like a god while making people feel totally worthless, and he must have done the same to her.

  86. This is brilliant. I’m a Christian blogger myself and have been wanting to write on this. You beat me to it! Good read.

  87. This says more about the churches than about the narcissists. That church leaders are ‘last’ to notice the narcissist says that people should leave that church and any church where the ministers aren’t protecting the members. How have we become so accustomed to shepherds who never protect sheep that we just shrug when shepherds allow wolves to run amok in the sheep pens and say, “Sorry, but that happens.” “Churches and volunteer organizations are poorly prepared to deal with predators of any kind” is a sad testament to the fact that many ministers are simply hirelings and are not in fact shepherds or pastors whom God called.

    I had a ‘Christian narcissist’ as my landlord some months back; now I have another one in my new place. The former one, I reported to his church pastor since he is the leader of the men’s ministry in his church. I think the narcissist can fool them just fine. Many Christian leaders are 1.) too nice or/and 2.) too busy to address “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who destroy the peace and “the little foxes that ruin the vineyards” of God’s congregation. May God give ministers courage again; the churches have acquired all kinds of spiritual gifts and shiny toys, but this ship has gone down and will not rise again without courage.

  88. Arendale

    Thanks for this blog by the way.

  89. Megan

    As a believer in Christ, what can I do to heal from this? I lean on the Lord in everything I do and He always gives me peace and sets a path before me. When dealing with this issue however, as you know your mind is put into a fog and you question what is real and what is not. I’ve never questioned my strong faith before until now. Thoughts going through my head include “Is my mom right and I’m an evil person who needs to get on my knees and ask God to cleanse me of any sin in my life? Afterall she’s constantly reading her Bible and praying and truly sounds like a saved believer so she must be pretty tight with God. But I can’t think of any thing truly horrible that I’ve done, I know I’m a sinner. How can I repent for something that I don’t know what it is or I don’t feel responsible for? I guess I’ll get on my knees anyway. It kills me to know that this is why my life is in a rut and being kept from receiving the desire of my heart because of my behavior and sin but I don’t know what that behavior and sin is. How can I repent if I don’t see it Lord Jesus? Please show me. And then I’ve heard that you can’t hear our prayers if we’re living in sin, is that true? Can you hear me? Am I being punished? Are you real? I’m fine with my life being in a rut as long as I know it’s where you want me right now. What did/am I doing wrong? Please tell me what to do Lord, clear my head and light up some path ahead of me. Give me truth. Bring to my mind any sin that’s in my life so I can make it right.” Maybe whoever reading this will come to the conclusion that I, myself, am sick. Maybe I’m the narcissist. If that’s the case, tell me so I can get some hard core therapy. I’m a bit insecure about writing this post but I wanted someone out there to know exactly what’s going on in my head and I need a believer’s counsel. All my body is craving right now is to know that God exists, that He controls everything even this, that He has a plan for me, that He loves me, that this is not a surprise to Him, that He knows exactly how to deal with it, that He’ll lead me and guide me, I haven’t been abandoned and I’m hopefully right where He wants me to be.

    • Angela

      Hi Megan, your letter was painfully familiar, as I have been there, feeling disembodied, not knowing who I was, what I was or even IF I was. Relationships with narcissists can do that to you.
      For me, what finally got me crawling out of the pit I had been in my whole life was to take God seriously, I mean hang onto every word like it was a lifeline, which it is. If God says He is not the author of confusion, and I find myself in that place of foggy confusion, I KNOW it is NOT God. If He says He has given me a spirit of love, power and a sound mind, I hollered it from the rooftops, spoke it to myself daily a thousand times. It was a life or death fight..like a “meme” I saw- “If you have to fight, then fight like the third monkey on the ramp up to the ark.” If He says He loves me I forced myself to say it, and act like it til it was in my spirit for real. If a past sin came to mind, I “owned” it, and repented again (for my sake) as I didn’t want to slough it off as “oh well, I already repented”. Eventually I found myself becoming more sure of who I was, whose I was, and what I was. I have to say though I find I still have some lingering damage, little things like fear of filling someones coffee cup full, or using a stonewear plate instead of Corelle, things like that still bring terror, but I catch it, and holler “I AM FREE”- sometimes out loud if I am alone, sometimes my spirit yells it out!…and it is still hard to trust people, but I am beginning to recognise red flags, and let narcissists games fly past. I don’t know about your mom, but it sounds like she is stuck in a rut of bitterness and taking it out on you. Immerse yourself in Gods love, learn about Him, Taste and see that He is good. He IS the healer. Walk tall, He WILL NOT forsake you. Ever. Grab His hand and let Him walk you out of this fog. Read everything you can, be determined. Set boundaries. Be patient as God works on your behalf. I used to watch movies like Rocky..and thought “I can do this- I can be as fearless, as uncompromising, as focused, as determined…and NEVER give up. If they kick me down, I will get up..again and again” Anything that helped I grabbed onto. Eventually, things become real again, clear, you will find strength, hope, peace. This site has great people reading and writing all the time, I do believe there are quite a few praying for you,.

      • Arendale

        Hi, Angela. It sounds like you’ve put up a good fight to regain your life after your own experience. Every narcissist I’ve been around, including the one I’m roommates with now, has looked at me like, “Ah, good, good. I’m going to win over this guy and show him I’m better than him.” Almost everything about a narcissist, especially a Christian one, is defiling.

        I wonder if you can offer some advice. The Christian narcissist I’m currently roommates with told me about his ex-girlfriend (of eight years, he said). He said they had awesome ‘fellowship’ and would often fellowship for eight straight hours e

      • Arendale

        Just had some weird glitch and only part of my comment posted to you, Angela. Here’s the entire thing:

        Hi, Angela. It sounds like you’ve put up a good fight to regain your life after your own experience. Every narcissist I’ve been around, including the one I’m roommates with now, has looked at me like, “Ah, good, good. I’m going to win over this guy and show him I’m better than him.” Almost everything about a narcissist, especially a Christian one, is defiling.

        I wonder if you can offer some advice. The Christian narcissist I’m currently roommates with told me about his ex-girlfriend (of eight years, he said). He said they had awesome ‘fellowship’ and would often fellowship for eight straight hours eight straight hours some days. He said she suddenly left and that he didn’t know why. I at first felt sorry for him and said God had ‘saved’ him by having her leave… Then as I got to know him, not that he showed much of anything at all, it began to dawn on me that things may have been… different. She is a fellow artist like myself, so I asked if he could connect me with her on facebook. He gave some weak excuse, and it never happened.

        I was also praying, asking the Lord about him. The blindfold began to fall off, and I began to understand. When it all came together and I saw tons of evidence that he is a Christian narcissist, I contacted his ex on facebook (he’d told me her name, and I looked in his friends list since we’re FB ‘friends’) and sent her a friend request and a few messages. By her reaction, it’s apparent that she might be scared of him and suspicious of me since I know her ex but she doesn’t know me (I’m trying to prove that I’m not some anyone but someone who knows her ex and wants to reach out to her; I even told her to block me if she got tired of me messaging her or didn’t trust me, but she hasn’t yet). She isn’t responding to me but 1.) accepted my friend request and 2.) is quietly reading my messenger messages without responding. I feel that she’s either a.) reporting this all back to her ex out of fear or some twisted devotion or b.) she’s hoping I’m not sent by him and is checking me out to see if she can trust me before opening up. I know that women burned by narcissists can be very fragile and distrusting of others. Is that what’s happening here?

      • Angela

        Arendale, I am no expert on anything, but I would ask myself..examine myself- what are my motives for wanting to meet up with this girl? She knows you want to meet, but if she is not responding, respecting her distance- whatever the reason for it -is the best. What if it puts her in a bad situation? What if it is better for her to have space to heal? What if she feels you are stalking her? What if you are stalking her? If God wants you to meet, trust me, He will make it happen without your help. Just pray for her healing, that God loves her and will direct her path to places like this site for help.

      • Arendale

        I agree to praying for her and her healing. I didn’t say or imply that I want to meet her. She’s on the east coast and I on the west coast, so I have no ‘motives’ for wanting to meet her. I do admit that my desire to talk to her has a lot to do with a desire to reach out and comfort victimized people who want to break free of abuse (stress on wanting to break free); this desire isn’t at all perfect. This girl’s ex is ‘friends’ with her on facebook and has told me that he is still [trying to draw her in,] asking her why she left him, etc., so when I realized he’s a Christian narcissist, that sent me into ‘panic mode’. Two other victims of this narcissist recently contacted me about him. Knowing that I’m currently around him, one of them texts a few times everyday, “Are you okay?”

        On the other hand, this girl did message me back on facebook last night. She’s apparently still hurting as she told me, so I will give her the space she needs. I just wanted to know if ‘she is okay’. I have a little sister who was abused and remains connected to her abuser, so that’s a part of being concerned with victims who remain connected to their abusers. But I see things working in God’s timing (which is exciting); and yes, I will pray that God directs her to meet safe and healthy people and believers and to sites like these for help, healing, and wholeness.

      • Angela

        Well you are sure right about staying connected to the abuser. I see women being played like a fish on the line all the time. When they finally have their eyes open, they will run and stay gone. For the “fisherman” it is a blow to the ego to let one get away..so they wear the catch down, whatever game works, but the ultimate goal is always the frying pan.
        Sometimes the confused abused still feel drawn back for a long time, as these evil people have a sparkling shiny side, loving, gracious, exciting, whatever. .like the devil. The worst is the “christian”, as they have a golden club to beat you with- guilt..Pardon the artsy pun. In the original post, the person is her mother, the author of confusion. Cults use the same method to devastate people.
        I hope this girl has no bitterness towards the true God. Getting educated is crucial. In the Bible, for me anyway, reading Proverbs and some of the things Paul wrote gave me courage to stand up, as churches don’t teach what to do about “fools” and “scoffers”. Jesus Himself was no doormat like the world wants Christians to be- easier to conquer them if they are already lying down.
        Stay in prayer, be wise. I hope it all works out for you, and for her. There are gazillion posts here on this site that are very helpful. Blessings to you

      • Arendale

        Yes, the bad news is that many women get caught in the snare; the good news is that it doesn’t have to be so.

        Cults definitely use the same methods. I think the narcissist’s, sociopath’s, psychopath’s, and cults’ abusive mindsets can be summed up this way: “I am God.”

        I believe the girl (ex of the Christian narcissist) will definitely struggle with God for at least a while. Afterall, the narcissist used to ‘fellowship’ with her for hours a day, brainwashing and grooming her to be his perfect wife-slave (like my dad did my mom when they met at an all-girls’ school where he was a a teacher). She must wonder how God could have let it happen. I’ll add two links at the bottom for the most famous Christian narcissist from a pretty recent case at Mike Bickle’s IHOP-U who made headlines and got publicity (which he really liked).

        I’m glad you found courage to stand up to narcissism. No one, however, should have to ‘stand up for themselves’ alone. Lacking as it is, this is where community plays a very important role: the believers share their spiritual and natural gifts with each other as well as watching each other’s backs for wolves of various types. But you’re right; getting educated, alone or with a community, is crucial. I still say community is an absolute necessity and that all the blessings of God (including education about and protection from wolves) are found within community. (Ps. 133.)

        I’m staying in prayer and fellowship as much as possible. I prayed for the girl with a friend last night and saw a vision about it. Also, I can see the tide finally turning and the narcissist about to blow his top at not being able to affect me like he’d planned to. Maybe I’ll take time to look through this site sometime for other helpful articles. Blessings to you too.

        Tyler Deaton: Study of an Authentic Christian Narcissist-

        1. 48 Hours: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-the-mysterious-death-of-bethany-deaton/

        2. Rolling Stones magazine: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/love-and-death-in-the-house-of-prayer-20140121

    • Arendale

      Hi, Megan. Ironically, it was good for me to see your post today (yesterday actually). I’m currently roommates with a ‘Christian nariissist’ but am about a week to moving out. You asked for the counsel of believers, so I’ll add mine to Angela’s (thanks, Angela):

      1. If this narcissist isn’t a husband, then steer clear of him (or her if it’s a woman); and steer clear of all other narcissistic Christians mostly (and then narcissistic non-Christians secondly). God is simple: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1Cor. 14:33). So, you have the green light to avoid anyone who causes you grief, sadness, emotional confusion, or fear/anxiety.

      2. Pursue/seek fellowship with sincere believers (in person mostly, but if you can’t find that, then online or otherwise). Sincere believers aren’t sinless or always harmless; but they are sincere and not deceivers. Sound simple, but when two or more of you talk or get together, the Lord will be present and can begin to heal or encourage and comfort, etc. Hope that helps. Feel free to continue to share here, and thanks for sharing. Your comment brought me out of discouragement (and please continue to share) because I remembered that I wasn’t alone in the Christian narcissist experience. God bless.

  90. Kitt

    I believe the blood of Jesus is Holy and strong enough to even save narcissist. ….all things are possible with God

    • Penny

      Yes, Kitt, we ALL believe that, or we wouldn’t be here. Pastor Dave has said that over and over. We all affirm that.
      But here’s the rub (and I mean NO disrespect to Almighty God & my Savior Jesus when I say this): not even Jesus could save the other thief on the cross. Not even Jesus could change the darkened hearts of the Pharisees.
      He called people to repent..but if they did not, Jesus did not chase after them…He walked away.
      Jesus felt compassion for the rich young ruler, but He let him go..He didn’t run after him and try to “convince” him to repent.
      Jesus felt anger toward the Pharisees b/c they intentionally abused the very people they were supposed to serve; instead, they tied up heavy burdens on their backs but did not lift of a finger to help them.
      Do i believe that Jesus blood can save all? Yes.
      Do I believe that Jesus will be rejected by the very people He came to save? Yes.
      Does that mean Jesus failed? No!
      It means people refuse to to repent.
      It means people refuse to change.
      It means like the other thief on the cross, there will be those who never repent.
      Jesus never even spoke to the unrepentant thief, only to the repentant one.
      God Himself finally stopped answering the prayers of King Saul (! Samuel 28:6) because Saul was devoted to his own agenda, his own self-worship.
      Much like the narcissist, Saul would have his “mea culpa meltdowns”, plead with crocodile tears with the prophet Samuel for mercy and then go right back to doing whatever he wanted.
      Essentially, God Himself went “No Contact” with King Saul!!
      So, while all things are possible with God, not everyone is heaven bound.
      Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, but those who refuse to admit they are lost cannot be saved…not because His arm is too short or His blood not enough, but because He allows them to choose, even to their own demise.
      If God Himself cannot save the reprobate, the unrepentant and the rascal, then who am I to think I can? Yes, god can save them, but He doesn’t need me to do it.
      I will not waste my time, nor His.
      Selah~

      • Arendale

        Penny and Kitt, well said. Penny, you said, “If God Himself cannot save the reprobate, the unrepentant and the rascal, then who am I to think I can?” That should sum things up.

        Because we’re all made with different motivating character traits (Rom. 12:6-8)– not to mention our different viewpoints and upbringing– we all naturally focus on different foundational character traits of God. Here are the basic two divisions of believers:

        1. “God is able to do anything.”

        2. “God is [rarely willing] to [intervene on earth and do good].”

        Once in a while, you find a third and more balanced camp:

        3.) “God is able and willing ; but He often yields to human free will.”

        God is definitely able to do anything (we all agree on that) and, somewhat with what Kitt said, has the ability to change even a bitter heart ; He just won’t do it. With King Saul, God used the little submission to God in his heart to change it 180 degrees on at least four different occasions; but Saul didn’t want to live wholly for God, so God never gave him a whole heart to do so. King Hezekiah lived righteously but didn’t want to live wholly for God, so God only gave him a partially righteous heart so that he could live the divided life he wanted. (2Chron. 32:24-33 and Isa. 38-39.) David, on the other hand, asked for a whole heart several times so he could live wholly for God: “Create in me a clean heart” and “Give me an undivided heart to fear Your name”. This heart issue is all very sobering.

        Summary: God can change any heart, even the heart that refuses to change (Kitt); but He choose to only change the heart that desires change (Penny) with as much change as each heart will receive.

  91. Veronica Christensen

    My husband is a ticking time bomb. He has fits of anger sometimes for no apparent reason. Not too long ago he said that if things don’t work the way he thinks they should, he would kill all of us and himself. Then he said he would say, I gave it my best shot. This isn’t funny to me.
    Living with him is like being in a cage and he is in the control tower monitoring and telling us what to do.

    I’m leaving. I can’t take it anymore. My blood pressure is up. My hand starting curling into a ball. I can’t sleep well. Once I had insomnia for three months, but still went to work everyday. It is not right for people to use Scripture in an ungodly way to tell women to stay in an ungodly marriage. Even when he had affairs, I was told to stay, get counseling, etc. We went to counseling, but when we got home he was totally upset. Still wanted to be married and have affairs. I left for awhile. The affairs ended, mostly because he became disabled. I have help take care of him being disabled for more than 16 years. He is becoming nastier and meaner. He is in a wheelchair but has total upper body strength.

    The kids want me to divorce him. They think its time for me to have some peace. They said Just let him have the house.

    I pray for him. He does pray. That is good. It would be better for us to be apart.
    I want to do the separation decently and in order. I will pray with him. I don’t need much now. I’ve been married since I was 18 years old. We are both retired. Most people want some peace in their lives especially when they get older. Please pray for a quick exit for me. Peace for both of us. I don’t hate him. I want the best for him and our kids and grandkids and myself.

    • Anne-Christina Hitchin

      Dear Veronica,
      May God give you the strength you need. Marriage is a contract between two people. When one part is no longer fulfilling the terms of the contract is is no longer valid, but automatically cancelled. So it is with marriage and it sounds like your husband has not fulfilled his part for years. Wishing you peace and freedom.

  92. Joe

    I really needed this article and all of the comments to follow. I have been in church ministry for almost 20 years. During that time I have come to realize just how self centered I can be. Even though I have always been on the shy side it was usually my wife and family that would pay for my self centeredness. Recently after reading the book “If Only He Knew” by Gar Smalley I was broken for my wife and asked for forgiveness from God and her. It is like our relationship exploded into a brand new fresh love affair! Being genuinely broken and contrite about my self centered attitude was a must. Now that I have identified it for what it is I never hide it when I am tempted or fall in to those tendencies. Being so focused on myself negatively affected my attitude and it stunk! Poor me, pity party ………… Thank God He gave me a soft heart able to admit when I am wrong. Quite often I think God gives us what we want and what we are to the hilt, shoving it down our throats until we can not stand ourselves any more. I know that sounds a little crazy but it is scriptural and I beleive that everyone is at some on the journey of this truth. “Therefore God gave them up in the desires of their hearts” Romans 1:24a, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, in corinthians “give them up to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”. For you see, during that 20 years of ministry we have been subject to the abuse of many christian Narcicists (if there is such a thing) and the last three assignments have been the worst by far. Recently I have been dealing with great dispair over an assignment where I served faithfully for six years that I had to leave a few months ago to escape a Narcisist. Let me be clear, I had come to the point of confrontation of an obvious Narcisits (not me) and realized that the most God honoring choice was to back away. He was not the frist ‘christian narcisits’ I have delt with. God has been shoving my self centeredness down my throat. Now I can say: “It takes one to know one”. Let me be clear, I am not nor have I ever been a pathological narcisist but one who was just to focused on himself. I am so hurt and confused that I now have an aversion for church attendance. If anything I must say that the articel and comments have helped me to understand that we are not alone in what we have suffered. I am still healing from all of this. During a recent foolish search for information on how to expose a Malignant Narcicist I got some good advice: don’t. Instead the advise was: protect yourself. The thing about a narcisist is their hostility is not apparent but covert, they tend to be good with people, they are clever actors, they are publically charismatic and privately abusive, they tend to use people until they have fullfilled thier purpose and discard them when they are done with them or have discoverered the narcisism, they never admit wrong doing unless it can furhter thier agenda or save face. However, If you do uncover their narcisism they will be furious. A furious impostor can do a lot of damage because they are trusted by many. I am stuck wondering if my calling really meant anything in the face of such a mess. But I find hope in an above response by Angela who said: “I used to be so vexed with the story of Jesus and the ‘rich young ruler’..where Jesus LET HIM WALK AWAY!!! Why didn’t Jesus tell him what he was giving up??? I get it now. This freedom we have been given is a gift and a responsibility. There are some people you just have to let go of. Just as they have a God-given right to choose, so do we.”

  93. Georgette

    I tried to warn my church about the narcissit. I dated him for four years, I talked to his third wife and his family before talking to the leaders at the church and pastor. The narcissisti is a leader in a recovery ministry. He gets up there and tells his testimony and convince s himself and others he is changing/changed. He married his fourth wife not out of love but cause he ‘saved’ her. Paid for her divorce, got her out of the old trailer and giving her a better life. He never loved his four wives or me. He dumped me because he wanted a woman he can heal. It was easier than dealing with the issues we found through premarital counseling. He just took those issues and porn and sex addiction to his fourth marriage. The church stated he has changed and I just refuse to accept the work he has done to change, that our conversation never happened in the name of the recovery ministry,.He devalued my integrity. I had to leave the church.

  94. God's Girl

    The powers of manipulation are quite mind boggling

  95. Alabama

    This article is quite relevant. We have been encountering the extreme destruction from a narcissist who is heavily involved in her local Church. Along with her unethical attorneys, she continues to directly lie to a court of law, provides false statements of fact, commits fraud upon the court with financials, creates false statements of character bashing without ever producing any evidence. She has severely alienated her children from their father based on complete falsehoods that are proven time and time again in the court record via documents and law by ethical attorneys. That said, she claims she only listens to worship music and that her life is dedicated to Jesus Christ. She is one of those who includes Psalms and Romans scripture on her social media pages to present a false image of who she truly is internally. She was verbally abusive to her spouse for 20 + years and hostile as confirmed by her own mother. Thankfully, her mother provided a wealth of information regarding her daughter’s abhorrent conduct and confirmed in writing her hostility and abuse of the legal system without any justification towards her ex husband. She also confirmed her daughter simply “threw her husband away early on in the marriage”. Every one of the children have adopted the damaging narcissistic traits learned from their mother and target their father in the same manner. The children have gone so far to place false statements in print to sway a judiciary and the public yet the children are aware that these statement have been proven false via evidence. Something they will regret later in life but will remain too proud to admit. The grandmother (mother’s side) also admitted in writing that her grandchildren are in need of mental counseling due to their conduct. This disturbing female is someone who has absolutely fooled her community entirely as many find it easier to believe lie after lie instead of accepting the evidence-based truth. Narcissists are very dangerous as they destroy so many in their wake. They accuse others of exactly what they are guilty of performing. That said, and in my personal experience, I find that most Narcissists claim their Christian faith as paramount, yet they operate in the antithesis. Our case has been considered one of the most extreme since the children have become more destructive than their mother and lie with conviction just as their mother. I struggle with how a higher power can gaze down and observe this destructive conduct without punishment for some, yet others receive their due Karma for such abhorrent atrocities.

  96. Doug

    I have a NPD mother and NPD ex-wife who was the sadistic variant. I was brought to God by a friend who has passed on about a year ago. Saved by God from what I see as the reprobate mind.

    I have communicated my faith in God and belief in Jesus Christ as my personal savior to them. When you speak God’s words to them, they will retreat. You have to know His word well, but the Sword of the Spirit is effective in dealing with them. So is prayer.

    My mother is the “Christian” narcissist. Does her good works so that all can see, she is constantly displaying all the good that she does. There is no humble attitude, no being held accountable for her abuse, only blameshifting and denial.

    She recently told me that only God can judge her, and as a Christian, she had to be corrected. We are to judge other Christians when we see them blind to their sin. We are to rebuke in gentleness and honesty. Matthew 18:15 and Galatians 6:1.

    I am not far on my Christian walk, but what I have found is that through prayer and reading His word, we can protect ourselves from their manipulations, guilt and shame.

    I will ask of any Christians reading my post, please pray for those afflicted by NPD and other abusive people. I do believe that they are blinded to their own sin.

    Lord God,

    Thank you for the blessings of life, community and the gift of your son Jesus Christ, the savior who bridged the gap between God and man.

    We ask that those who have hurt us, demeaned us, abused us can find you when they seek you. May someone in their life plant the seed of faith, and may You Lord help to make that seed of faith grow. We cannot save anyone, only You have that power.

    Lord, we ask You that our hearts not become hardened. That we may have empathy, care and concern for our abusers and those who are still blinded to their sin. Let us continue to reach for the standard that Jesus Christ set for us by forgiveness, love and gentleness. We know that we can never meet that standard, but we ask for your strength, wisdom and courage to live in Your word.

    We ask this through Jesus Christ,

    Amen.

    • Alabama

      Great post and thank you. I’m still in the challenge phase of comprehending how someone could behave so devilish yet purport to be the strongest Christian in the community. Moreover, having evidence proving this person of “faith” has caused severe damage to innocent people and has taught her children to behave in the same in which the adult children have become more abusive than the mother. Moreover, when those who are not “blinded to their sin” but knowingly and willfully operate unconscionably, I wonder how they sleep at night. They appear to sleep soundly knowing they’ve deflected blame onto those of whom they know by way of evidence to be innocent. They know they’ve directly lied and placed false statements of fact in print, committed fraud to a court of law, yet feel justified for doing so. Those who walk through life unpunished for their trail of sinful conduct, while others suffer the wrath of their evil is something only a higher power knows perhaps. To reiterate in my previous post, we will forever be thankful that the mother (a devout religious woman) of the narcissist provided ample information regarding her daughter’s abhorrent conduct as well as her grandchildren. She was one member of the family who was wise enough to see right through the Christian hypocrisy / narcissism of her daughter and grandchildren, with explanation as to why. Before her passing, she privately shared additional concerns and information but demanded it remain “silent”. A very difficult request to honor when truth is shared needed to protect others. Your last two paragraphs / prayer are most paramount and to be humbly recited. Thank you for your wisdom as it is most appreciated and not to be forgotten.

      • Tammy

        Hi Alabama,
        I am a believer and have great empathy for your situation. Both sides of my family were torn apart by narcissists and I married one. One is passed away but the other two are in church.

        I don’t know if you were looking for input from this community so please know that I share everything in love.

        Truly I would at first want to respect the wishes of the deceased out of respect for them. However, as a Christian my loyalty is first to Christ. But Christ commands us to call out sin in the church. We are not to judge those outside the church but the church is to be a place for believers to hold each other accountable for their behavior as we are all in the process of sanctification.

        Ephesians 5:11 tells us to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. Philippians 2 talks about counting others more significant than ourselves and looking out after their interests… 1 Corinthians 5 is clear. We are not to tolerate evil in the church.

        I should elaborate – I divorced the n almost 18 years ago. I was pregnant with our 2nd child, had an 8 year old and made very little money. I was a new believer. God has worked in my life all these years in amazing ways and I am in a different place altogether. He healed my heart so it is with this perspective that I share with you today. I have been remarried 12 years to a wonderful Christian man. I said all that to say this – we are to trust and obey God’s word and leave the rest up to him.

        There is danger in exposing the narcissist because you become their target. It is not a nice place to find yourself. (I have been there for almost 18 years) We are to protect others in the church, so in a humble honest way we are to expose them. Unfortunately most churches turn a blind eye to this and do not practice the biblical teachings of church discipline! I have exposed it when appropriate but since I know those churches do not practice any church discipline AND I attend a different church than the n’s.. I have not taken it to the church leadership. It is a difficult situation to be sure.

        We just started attending a reformed church. One where they do practice church discipline, teach salvation by Grace alone and do not add or take away from the Gospel.

        I am in a different place altogether in my faith and am grateful for that. Faith is a gift from God. My ex has succeeded in alienating my precious daughter from me and yet I will continue to stand firm and with every ounce of my human effort will follow scripture and in truth and love call out evil and wrong regardless of the consequences. I will pray for your strength and renewed faith!

        1 John 4:4 He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!

  97. Jenni Moon

    The non christian sites (the Little Sharman and others) say it is impossible for a narcissist to be changed. I understand the concept of their early childhood needs being ignored and neglected and that they prey on empaths which flies in the face of the gospel love God and love your neighbour, but God defeated Satan on the cross. God is omnipotent. Surely He can remove this mountain also. It would be most unwise for an Empath or anyone else to remain in the abusive situation for this would be enabling ungodly behaviour. BUT DO YOU AGREE A NARCISSIST CANNOT CHANGE. I find this impossible to accept as with God all things are possible.

    • Tammy

      Hi Jenni-
      You are correct – all things are possible. God could remove the narcissists stony heart and replace it with a new one. I think everyone would agree with you on this because it is true.

      I agree and I am sure you will too that is up to God. Those driven to reading this post are likely to have identified a “Christian Narcissist” and are looking for answers. Pastor Dave has such great words of wisdom for us. He is right – churches are not prepared to deal with this. We are to be discerning yet humble, yet we are to avoid evil. Of course since we know their salvation is up to God and not us, if they continue to demonstrate sinful behavior (after we call them out on it) we are to AVOID THEM. We are not to associate with someone that continues in sin in the church! (1 Corinthians 5) If the church will not practice church discipline (and most of them do not) and we cannot seem to find a solution in that church, then Pastor Dave is right – we should probably find another church.

      We should continue to pray for them of course and trust God. If he chooses to save them wonderful! At the same time we should observe how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees so we can get a sense of what he thinks of false leadership in the church…

  98. FG

    I am in a weird relationship/nonrelationship with a Christian narcissist. He is on the path of becoming a Pastor. His behavior stems from his abuse and neglect by his Mother. Throughout his rebellious ways, he has wanted to overcome his struggles and he apologizes for the hurt and pain he has inflicted upon others both past and present. However, the heart has nothing to do with common sense. Although I love him, I also will protect myself from the flesh behaviors or any narcissistic patterned behaviors. It’s a game for these creatures, and I feel sorry for them.

  99. Rob

    I discovered recently that I am married to a narcissistic Christian wife. Not only has it been a difficult 19 years but it has caused me to even question my faith. A narcissist can’t be cured because part of their problem is that they won’t admit they have a problem.. to make things worse she has gone into menopause and now the situation has become totally unbearable. If you have a narcissist in your church it may not do much good to go to another church because you will just find another narcissist. I would suggest that the church confront the narcissist and if they refuse to change their ways they should be asked to leave the church.

    • Georgette

      Rob: what if the church denies that the person is a narcissist? Instead alllows the narcissist leadership position? My ex-N was allowed to marry his fourth wife and continue being a leader of a recovery ministry. I was devalued by the narcissist to the church and was told that I was basically the issue not him! He is also a leader for the sexually abused men. He hasn’t and won’t deal with his issues! It is the women’s fault for the three failed marriages. It is the military’s fault he got kicked get out of the military. It was the previous church’s and his third wife’s fault he was asked to leave the church. Like his sister said he has manipulated the leaders at the church to believe his lies. The leaders are now his victims along with his fourth wife who married him for a better life! Now that she quit her job, the N thinks he has total control of her! His money in his mind is his and no woman is going to tell him how to spend it or save it! I’m going to stop before I go into a tangent!

      • Georgette

        I stopped going to church. I attend a healing ministry called Moriah Foundation! It feeds my hunger for the Lord! I have grown closer to the Lord and learned more about the Lord in almost two years than the 15 years I have been to church. I feel safer at Moriah! No judgement!

  100. Lea Anna Curtis

    Could it be possible that narcissists that claim to be Christians, and think they are right with God, have really never surrendered their spirit to God? Because if they have let the Holy Spirit take full control, wouldn’t He transform them into realizing their selfishness and lack of empathy?

  101. Lea Anna Curtis

    Jesus tells us to have compassion and to have true compassion, you would first have to feel empathy, wouldn’t you? So I believe if narcissistic people will seek God with all their heart…their minds can be healed and they can be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

  102. No name

    The most evil person I have ever know, a truly psychopath, was the wife of an Episcopalian minister. He was a poor thing, a puppet, but through him the devil performed his (or her?) works. A life time and the devil incarnated into a human died as an undetected psychopath! Impossible to number the cadavers upon whose shoulders she stood. Dozens if not hundreds of innocent lives destroyed. Everything she touched she injected hatred and left in caos. She taught nothing else but hatred. Having contact with the young she taught them all from recent born babies to adolescents to hate their peers, parents and families. None of it done directly but via her puppet husband a Christian (?) minister. She always manage to come out clean in the eyes of the community. She is dead now but I hope her God has judged and sentenced her by the high Christian morals she preached to those whose lives she destroyed. I am with the Pope here when he said that I prefer an atheist over an hypocritical christian.

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