Do Narcissists Mourn?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  


(I appreciate the great questions that come up in the comments from time to time. This one had me thinking… and writing. The question is whether narcissists mourn the death of someone close to them.)

The more we study the concept of narcissism, the more we will lose the generalizations that led us to the subject in the first place. The individuals we meet may fit the broader categories of narcissistic behavior, but differ widely on the specifics.

This is normal in any area of study, of course. I heard an unusual owl sound the other night. It was a human-like scream followed by a series of hoots. Now, if you just enjoy owls, you probably know that they hoot at night. If you know a little more, you might understand that some owls screech. But the more you study, the more you find that few owls do both. Some neither scream nor hoot. And the screeches can sound very different between owls. In other words, the familiar owl sound, that “whoo-whoo” we have heard at night, only represents a fraction of the different kinds of owls.

The same is true with most personality issues like narcissism. Each person will react in his or her own way to a given stimulus. We already understand that narcissists exhibit anger differently. The experience of grief will be different for each individual as well.

Also, grief may be somewhat narcissistic for all of us. We each experience our own grief, as the Bible says in Proverbs 14:10. We may accept the grief of others, perhaps even be caught up in it, but we can’t really understand the loss felt by another. The only thing we can take from our own experience is the fact of grief and memory of its pain. That allows us to empathize with others.

However, there are some basic characteristics that might help us to understand the particular experiences and motivations of narcissists as a group. These are generalizations, of course.

First, the definition of narcissism is a lack of empathy. That means narcissists will be unable to connect with your loss, no matter who has passed away. In other words, you may feel the loss of his mom much differently than he does and he will have no interest in your feelings. Because the narcissist is unable to connect with the feelings of others you will probably find him/her to be indifferent or at odds with yours. At the same time the narcissist has worked very hard to deny or destroy any heart feelings toward anyone. The loss of a parent or a child will not be experienced as the loss of a person by someone who doesn’t see others as persons. It will be the narcissist who will almost flippantly say, “Well, we can have another baby.”

Second, all grief is intensely personal and directed inward. All of us, in one way or another, wonder who we are now that our loved one is gone. Because we connect part of our identity to others, we lose a little of ourselves when the others pass away. But narcissists avoid connecting in this way. They have resisted tying their hearts to others because the risk is just too high for them. So we would not expect them to feel the loss of anyone as a loss of self.  The narcissist would most likely not experience the intensity or the confusion that grief brings to the rest of us.

Third, many narcissists formed their sense of self in relation to certain others. Their feelings of betrayal or abandonment, the feelings that moved them to hide and form the false image, came out of relationship. As long as the offender is alive, the feelings of inferiority or anger may continue. So narcissists might experience a sense of relief when an opponent, who might even be a parent or sibling, passes away. Or the anger might be trapped forever without hope of resolution. Who knows what might change in the heart of the narcissist if a parent would apologize or give a blessing and a word of approval? But death closes that door and the emotions may be locked in forever.

(Now, before I go on, I have to say that I believe a certain sense of relief is a normal part of the grieving process, especially when there has been extended illness or friction in the relationship or some other challenge. When the burden of the relationship is lifted—and that should not be taken negatively—there is a natural sense of relief. Please don’t think of yourself as narcissistic just because you felt some confusing relief at the death of a loved one. That can be very normal and acceptable.)

Finally, death is motivation for some practical challenges. Perhaps more than others, narcissists will ask who will do the things the deceased used to do. “Well, now I have to get a new hairdresser!” I suspect that narcissists will move quickly to those practical things simply because that’s how they see people. We must remember that it is very difficult and very undesirable for the narcissist to have a heart connection such as that which is so easy and common in our lives. If the narcissist grieves for his loss, it will be a practical loss. The death of a boss might mean a job opening or it might endanger his current position. The death of a parent might mean an influx of money or it might mean more responsibilities. The death of a child might mean less service from the wife or more opportunities for travel and work. We resist most of these thoughts when they come to us, but narcissists will be much more inclined to see loss as practical change.

I guess I want to be a little more compassionate in this post for two reasons. It is difficult and, perhaps, inappropriate to try to judge or define the feelings of another person, especially in something as intricate and personal as grief. Also, grief does move most of us to do things, say things, and feel things that will be narcissistic (if we think of narcissistic as self-centered). At the same time, the narcissists I have known have handled grief in peculiarly narcissistic ways. There was no reason for me to look at them any differently.

When the narcissist mourns, he mourns as a narcissist.



Filed under Narcissism

51 responses to “Do Narcissists Mourn?

  1. (By the way, I heard a Barred Owl.)

  2. I love your posts. I am wondering your thoughts on our society becoming more narcissistic? The advent of social media and look at me, look at me would make one think so. However, my ex-friend who is a true narcissist does not participate in any social media whatsoever. My thoughts around this is she would be unable to handle the drama, insensitivities and exploitation that social media often brings to one’s life. Thank you, Julianne

  3. Ennis, Eva

    i’ll never forget how Bryan, when he saw me crying on the way home to Colorado from Aunt Helen’s funeral, asked me, “What’s the matter?” eva ________________________________

  4. With my ex his father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. I found his reaction very strange, (as I had not known him that long and had no idea he was a narcissist) he had no reaction. Then when they called him home to his dad’s death bed he told me that he ended up going down to the car and sleeping. He sat with his dad for an hour or something and then was tired. I never saw him cry and he didn’t want to talk about it. It was a couple of weeks after that he hit me for the first time. I excused the abuse to the emotion he must be holding inside. But the abuse never stopped.
    A few years later his grand mother was dying. His mother sent him and his sister money to fly to be with his grandmother, she was asking for him. He had not seen her in many years. He had plans to pick up his sister and drive to the airport together. I was out of town visiting my son.
    Apparently he never showed up to pick up his sister, never called to say he wasn’t coming and didn’t answer his phone the whole weekend and did not call anyone with an explanation for why he didn’t show up. The sister was pissed!!! the grandmother kept asking if he was coming and she died without ever seeing him again.
    He had met a woman the night before he was to leave, spent the night with her and drove her to work the next day and missed his flight.
    When his grandmother died he went to the funeral and was a pall bearer. He came back and was crediting himself for prolonging her life because she had hung on in hopes of seeing him. He got money and bought a guitar to remember her by.
    That was it. no tears, no apologies, no regrets.
    His mother says he is so sensitive he can’t handle things like funerals. I say he doesn’t care, plain and simple, unless there is something in it for him.
    I saw him crying once over the death of an ex girlfriend. Right in the middle of the crying he said “I don’t know why I am so upset we split years ago.” I ventured, “Because you ruined her life?”
    He got a sly grin on his face and said, “She sure hated you!”
    I asked why, she didn’t even know me.
    He said that it drove her crazy that we were together over 10 years. I guess he had kept in touch with her all those years rubbing her nose in the fact that he was so happy with me all the while physically and emotionally abusing me.

  5. wilmar64

    What you describe sounds like Asperger’s, which manifests in a similar way, socially and relationally. Could some of the narcissists be suffering from undiagnosed Asperger’s? Also is narcissism simply a flesh pattern for a Christian, that needs to be denied and “reckoned dead,” according to Rom. 6:11. If someone has Asperger’s they will not be able to recover completely but will want help and will be willing to get it and learn to function in a less hurtful manner with those they love. Thank you and God bless.

    • wilmar64

      If they are a sincere Christian, I meant to say.

    • Welcome! Many personality disorders, particularly those related to autism like Aspergers, will exhibit narcissistic behavior. However, narcissists usually have few or none of the related characteristics of these disorders. Most narcissists are very functional, even exceptional, in surface relationships. They lean toward jobs in politics, church leadership, and sales.

      I believe and teach that narcissism is a choice – a flesh pattern, as you say. It is learned very early in life and so strongly supported that very few will choose to live differently. Most would rather change jobs, friends, or spouses than actually deal with their choices.

      • UnForsaken

        Wilmar67, Asperger’s is a fascinating subject and I’m so glad Pastor Dave addressed this! One of my near relations has a learning disorder that may be undiagnosed A. I have seen him display a few N traits now and then, but not as his usual behavior. He is open hearted, generous, and social. But being hurt from not understanding or not being able to connect/communicate calls for coping and can become narcissistic . In my small experience, the more he feels accepted and loved, the more he has blossomed and moved on to healthier coping methods. If only real Ns were like this!

        Thanks for posing this question! I’d been reading about it recently and realizing the need for raised awareness to Asperger’s. God bless!

      • just stumbled on your blog & my goodness you are a helpful resource. As a fellow Christian I completely understand what you are saying. A lot of stuff on the internet stresses how a narc’s “true self” is gone & only the “false self” exists, but as a Christian who believes that saving grace is available for all living breathing humans, I can’t accept the idea that a narc’s humanity is basically gone. But I also can’t deny that they don’t change. Or almost never. Your explanation makes so much sense.

  6. Penny

    “If the narcissist grieves for his loss, it will be a practical loss…narcissists will be much more inclined to see loss as practical change….When the narcissist mourns, he mourns as a narcissist.” Wow….yes. Thanks so much, Dave. This explains so much on so many levels. The “practical” part speaks volumes about being objectified. It seems like an oxymoron for a narc to mourn, when they simply replace the object with another model. It also explains why for most narcs, money is so important to them: their hearts & souls are truly impoverished. There is nothing there..thus they have nothing to offer.

  7. Karen

    My ex Narcissist lost his Grandmother while we were together and he was closest to her than anyone. He wrote a speech to say at the funeral and emailed a copy to everyone bragging about how good it was. He stood up to speak and was in his glory at everyone listening to him. Afterwards, he kept asking everyone if they liked it and how good it was. Even her funeral was all about him. Strange at the time but now it makes perfect sense.

    • Penny

      Oh, yuck. That’s about as red a red flag as can be. Whether it’s a wedding or a funeral, the narc HAS to be the center of attention. Without empathy. On their throne. Expecting be worshipped & adored. That’s what Anna C & Kathy Krajko call “a perverted response”, not in a sexual sense, but in an abnormal, aberrant way. Yikes.

    • Jennifer

      Yes! When our little granddaughter died suddenly of SIDS, we were all at the hospital in shock. My husband (we were separated for 4 years at the time) kept following me around and finally cornered me and asked rather churlishly if I couldn’t give him a hug? Everyone noticed him following me ( I had spent the past 4 years totally avoiding him unless “business related” issues came up).

      He did the same thing when I went outside to see how one of our kids was doing that night. He cornered me and asked for another hug. When the other Grandpa was sitting outside the “quiet room” where my daughter and her husband were, he was talking to others about what had happened (she had died in their home), and my husband suddenly started “playing the hero” and asking them to have some respect and to hush because our daughter could hear them. This was nonsense as we were all asking questions of her, and she had been there for goodness sake. The other Grandpa had to tell him to back off.

      I can’t explain it except that the whole sad business had to be all about him. When my youngest and I went to see Mia’s body in the emerg area, he followed us in (without asking and knowing that I really did not like him around at all), and then when Mary fell into my arms in tears, he walked over to get in on the hug. Mary, got her elbow and hit him hard to get him away from her. It’s so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t know what it going on. His eyes were on us all night, licking us up, eating us alive. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Myself and the girls felt like we were being hunted down that night as well as having to deal with the sudden death of such a precious child.

      He used that incident to get what he wanted from us. His grief, like all of his emotions, was only skin deep; a means to a selfish end. :/

  8. Bebe

    When my narc’s father was not doing well, he didn’t want to bother to fly to see him. I encouraged him to go. He got there in time just before his dad died. He called me to give me the news. I was so sad and I told him how sorry I was and that I wished I could be there with him in his time of grief. He said “that’s ok, I already grieved.”and that was that.

  9. UnForsaken

    You covered this very well, Pastor Dave!

    When my N lost his mother I believe there was an ‘undesirable’ heart connection which made him cling harder to his coping . It is possible his narcissism was related to her training or at least the N behaviors copied in her family, so I see her passing effecting him more. Also, she died a year after his father and money was involved. He was ‘practical’, talking about nursing home and mental health bills draining us if she hadn’t passed , but at the time I thought that might be true.

    We all inherited, but he spent it paying off the house we live in and buying a new truck. Yes, there was money left for those things and it was in his control. Looking back, it’s actually healing to set this straight in my mind as the way it really happened.

    I really appreciate your compassionate view of this and the need not to over generalize this topic, Dave. Having experienced some painful misunderstandings related to grief, it eases my heart to hear truth!

  10. My ex-N was very “practical” when our baby died. He told me I could pick his name (our baby). I didn’t realize it then because I was so brain-washed and society didn’t have a clue as to what NPD was, until later that what he wanted to do was “save” his name for another baby boy we may have in the future. He and his father’s name are the same and he wanted a son to have the ‘III” after his name. All the same, I’m thankful I got to name my son so his memory isn’t tarnished by having the name of the man and family who made it their life’s mission to emotionally torture me to the point of near destruction. When we divorced, he never asked for anything of our son to remember him. Also, at the time, I couldn’t understand how God could let my baby die. Now I’m thankful that the generational curse was broken by his death. My ex would have hurt him like he hurt me and our adoptive daughters for his own Narc supply. God spared him.

  11. joy

    I’ve thought about this a lot because I don’t think I ever saw my ex truly grieve. We lost a son when he was just 6 months old. I never saw him cry, though he did hang his head…I know men do not always cry and that is what I tried to remember..that he was probably grieving in his own way. However, it didn’t seem so. He had an appropriate quite, sad look, but didn’t really seem to be sad. I felt as if I was grieving our son without my husband….for months. Very soon after our son died, he suggested several times that we not have any more children…that we could travel and work with the youth at church instead. It seemed like this was a positive to him. And I know looking back on our family life, that he would have loved not having to share any of my attention with children.

    When his mother died, many years later, he never cried and did not seem too upset. I would have expected him to have a relief because a)his mother was his emotional abuser, and b)she’d suffered with her cancer, and there is a relief to know a loved one is not suffering any more. But instead, he went to work writing a eulogoy, and talking about his mother as if she were the loving, June Cleaverish mother he wanted instead of the difficult, complicated, selfish woman that she was. He wrote the eulogy that way too. Most of us loved her for who she was despite whatever problems there were, but ex had been denying who she was since he moved far enough away to not be reminded every day. It was as if a wonderful guy like him HAD to have a wonderful mother, and he would make it so. He was in his glory reading the eulogy he wrote. Afterwards, he ate up all the compliments on it. But, some of the mourners, including her own sister said to me, “That was so nice what he said, but it didn’t really sound like Sis.” And auntie was right…it sounded nothing like her…he could have written a nice eulogy that celebrated her good points without reinventing her.

    I’ve always noticed that he loves a funeral. I know that sounds strange, but he comes, and flys right into being the most supportive mourner…running here and there taking care of things. Holding crying females, while looking handsome in his suit.
    I know this probably sounds like bitterness, on my part, but it’s not. It’s something I always puzzled over at the time and could not figure out until I learned what narcissism really is. At the time most people won’t notice it, because he is being so NICE. But it’s odd…because it is like a play…like he is playing the perfect mourner.

    • KayJay

      I think that’s exactly what it is…a play. The N is the actor, director and producer of his or her own play, and if you’re not playing YOUR part right, well….look out!!

    • Jennifer

      Yes, their little stage plays they do always make us seem like the ones that are nasty, bitter, crazy or whatever. It’s because living with them allows us to know the subtleties of what is going on; and most of it, when you get to know it well, just isn’t very real to us any more. We can see through the veneer to what is underneath. They always seem to use life events as a jumping off point for their next binge of polishing their own images. O.o

    • Colleen

      I can’t believe that I am reading this. My Ex-N sent me a short email telling me his mother passed earlier that morning. I wanted to respond to him so badly, but I can’t get myself wrapped up again. I just decided to read to give me strength. On his mother’s FB page, he posted a very long and beautiful statement about her. Of course, he mentioned himself and how he was a success. He lightly touches on his siblings. Next, he names the still married newly separated woman he is seeing and says how much his mother loved her. I go to the funeral home site and read the obituary. He will be leading the service. WOW! I decided that I am continuing no contact and just sending flowers to the funeral home and a card to the family. Everyone else can tell him how wonderful he is. I am still praying for the Lord to change his heart. He has damaged so many women with his lies and deceit.

  12. Lene

    My exN grieved his father, but treated me and others as though we couldn’t possibly be experiencing the same depth of emotion he was. He lectured me about cherishing my parents before they are gone. I always have cherished them; I tried to get him to spend more time with his dad, but he believed his dad would live forever because HE (the N) wanted him to.

  13. Ann

    In the midst of me traveling to my dearest uncle’s funeral, I get a text from narc-h who was back home saying, “I just bought the new bathroom shower curtain with matching rug.” (something I had been shopping for before I got the sad news, but hadn’t quite found what I wanted). Not a word about the loss of my uncle! But when I returned home narc-h asked if anyone at the funeral asked for him! At his own mother’s funeral he made himself the center of attention!, while his siblings respectfully stood to the side of her casket.

  14. Rose

    I see it’s hard for them to go to funerals. And if they do, you would see their face and it’s empty. It makes me think if they are truly mourning or simply acting.

  15. Laurie

    My mom is a narcissist and my dad died six years ago. She has mentioned his name maybe twice….. maybe.

  16. Penny

    reading all these stories is stunning…just stunning. And, this then begs the question: is the N even capable of mourning their own sin? If salvation is merely a “practical” matter, then they would have to repent….something they are loathe to do. They would have to recognize personal sin, their need for redemption and the Savior. How can they follow Jesus when they are so busy denying Him? How can they tear down their idol while at the same time polishing it [the false image of their self]? What need have they for a Savior when they are perfect, thus without sin? Who or what is on the throne? Who do they really worship? What fellowship has light with darkness? Lord have mercy on me….some things are too high for me.
    I feel sick.

    • I have these same questions about my future ex narc husband? I know I am a sinner saved,by grace, but, narcissism is evil on a deeper,level and without supernatural Divine intervention somehow lifting,the scales from the eyes of the narcissist, there is,no hope for them.

  17. M

    my bf is a narcisstic abuser, he mourn the death of his niece but he didn’t cry for losing her as much as he was worried about himself and when he dies, when someone from his family is ill he become extra sweet and caring for them, the only person who gets shit from him is me, I don’t get it breaks me a lot.. he is nice to stranger and everyone except me, I have thought of ending my life many times because I was not good enough for him and the rest of the world is good, but then I became careless..I started to tell myself I will be ok one day and I don’t have to be good for him, he said many times, I wish you die , I will never cry or even attend your funeral when you die, I cried from that..I felt so sad and ashamed of myself for picking such a man in my life.

  18. Canela

    From what I’ve experienced with N’s – they are always the bride at the wedding and the corpse at every funeral…. My take is that they mourn for the loss of ‘N supply’. As N’s age they wear out many of their closest “relationships” and have a hard time replacing the ones that leave them.

  19. My ex narc husband was always uncomfortable at funerals… Not that he couldn’t talk to people, he could never view the deceased . I think it made him think of himself in the casket…

    As far as empathetic or sympathetic, everything was a show… He is a trial attorney and was and is always “on” like he is trying to impress … I learned just how selfish and un empathetic he truly was after my own fathers funeral. He got angry that a male high school friend was there, someone that I never even dated, that he got drunk at the wake because that friend had sat with my best friend and her husband. Later that evening he yelled at me that he was disrespected and that he had to leave because “he was anxious and his feelings were hurt”! I was an emotional basket case , begging him that I needed him, that my heart was breaking over the death of my beloved father, to please stop and help me get through all of this. He just said no , that he was leaving. He was so drunk I tried to grab car keys because I didnt want him driving (I drove us home after going over to my aunts house with my immediate family… Nice huh…. I’m the sober one who can barely see through my tears and I have to drive him home). While trying to get the keys I was inadvertently pulled over a dining room chair and fell on the ceramic tile floor hard. That’s where I was left …. Crying my heart out for my Dad…. While my ex left Me because his feelings were hurt…

    No, they don’t care…and they never will.

  20. Sally

    I have been discovering the pain of facing up to having two narcissistic parents…One is now dead, and the other is my mum who is 85 with health issues.I am presently unravelling the ghastly relationship with my mum and seeking God to guide me in the ways to respond to her.After a lifetime of distress now I am beginning to understand the way she is…
    Thanks for writing your blogsearch. . been reading so much….I remember the day my father died. ..I had attended his funeral …There were only 4 people there….I had received flowers from friends and when my mum saw them she asked why I had got them
    No empathy whatsoever!
    I pray on that God would soften the heart of my mother and that she would acknowledge Him……….does this ever happen? God surely can do all things?
    However just attempting to get by on a daily basis and trying to make boundaries to cope.
    Thanks for writing from a Christian perspective. So much material i have read seems to focus on hating the narcissist….yet surely we must love them but hate their behaviour?

    • Penny

      Dear Sally: I am glad you discovered this blog, and I am so sorry for your pain. Truly, I am.
      May I humbly make a suggestion? Please pray for yourself, and not the narc!
      I, too, would pray that God would soften the heart of my narc.
      Yes, God can do all things.
      Sadly, no, it never happens…meaning the narc never changes. Ever.
      Like many here, I had to learn that the narc would not change…. but I could. I could change. I COULD CHANGE!!
      So I humbly suggest that you pray for you.
      We have all prayed fervently for the narc in our lives, but it took me years to give myself permission to pray for my own strength, my own faith, my own discernment, my own voice.
      After all, we cannot change anyone else, especially a narc.
      But God can and does want to work in our own lives and minds and hearts: to be discerning, to expose evil, to speak truth, to speak clearly, to stand tall, and yes, to even walk away.
      Welcome to grace!

      • Sally

        Thanks for your very prompt reply! Yes I am praying that God would enable me in making “boundaries”.My mother is 85 has serious health issues ,no friends and my sister lives at a distance. I do not think ” no contact ” is the way ahead….My heart breaks for the life she has had…divorce etc …but the realisation that her actions are due to narcisstim have been such a revelation.I see the gaslighing,triangulation and other patterns of behaviour as if scales have fallen from my eyes!!! I committed my life to Jesus in my first year of uni and this has caused much hatred and abuse from her! However despite my wedding plans cancelled by her i got married 9 month earlier….God provided in ways I cannot begin to list.It has only been since an outburst at New Year I realise the “faith nonsense” has NOTHING to do with her outrageous behaviour..she has always had narcissistick tendencies as long as I can remember and has made it an excuse for so much.
        I am now praying that the “golden girl ” sister and I could begin a relationship with her…thankfully she is beginning to understand I have not been lying for years about my mother’s behaviour.
        Sorry my reply seems to be a ramble….to conclude. ..praying I will allow God to mould me and equip me for change….and thanks so much for your blog. dew drops in a very dusty desert!

  21. LetItGo

    I was reading some boards about dealing with grief after a narcissist person dies. I had to sit down and really think about this as I am currently processing this myself. Each of us grieve differently from one another, from one loss to the next and maybe even one day to the next. Perhaps the only way it is the “same” is in the general, broad sense that we all go through the five universal stages of grief. The five stages of grief are: • Denial • Anger • Depression • Bargaining • Acceptance

    I am not a grief counselor, but I have lost my narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband, my father and my mother in the last decade. I state without revocation that grieving a non-narcissist versus a narcissist is completely different. This has been my grieving experience if it can in any way be of help to anyone else or provide some validation.

    While I grieved differently for my father and for my mother, it was at least remotely similar. Someone I loved was gone. I missed them. I remember the good times. However, grieving my narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband was not even in the same ballpark as grieving my mother and father.

    I really did not grieve much at first after my narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband died. As the new wife #3 and the family members seemed devastated, a part of me felt guilty that mostly what I felt was relief and numbness. Do not get me wrong, I loved my ex-husband dearly.

    Perhaps the numbness was my devastation or denial, especially from the realization that even before he hanged himself, he manipulated, gaslighted and lied. He was severely depressed, yet his final gesture was to give me one last swift kick. The more the realizations struck me, the more his passing began to seem like a gift to me. He was no longer suffering with bipolar disorder and there could be no more damage done by his lying, manipulating, scapegoating, ridiculous demands, etc.

    I went to a therapist for a couple of months after we separated. She pointed out to me that I had been grieving my ex-husband for most of our relationship. Perhaps it was not a lack of grief, but that I had already spent a decade processing that grief. That is a very accurate statement. Only the first year and a half in our relationship was fantastic. The remaining eight and a half of our marriage and the two years after we divorced were complete hell.

    As an ex-wife of a narcissist in my 40’s, I had spent many years grieving for everything my relationship with my ex-husband was not. I would imagine there are many other ex’s of narcissists who have been grieving their entire relationship because of all of the loss that so often accompanies being the spouse of a narcissist. It is truly serial grief.
    I realized what I was actually grieving was not a real, two-way relationship as I grieved for with my mother and father. I was grieving the shattering of what remained of the illusion of having an ex-husband.

    The loss of the hope that he would never change, that he wouldn’t get help, and that he would never be a spouse who loved me. I thought I had given up that hope many years ago, but it became obvious somewhere deep down inside me I was still hoping. Along with that was the realization that he never admitted the truth, let alone ever apologizing for any of it. When he killed himself, there could be no more hope of change or resolution.

    Shortly after, the anger and rage began to just gush out of me. When I say gush, I do mean gush. As I looked back over my life, it was clearer than it had ever previously been. He knew how much he hurt me with violence, emotional abuse, name calling, threats, etc. He not only felt no responsibility for failing to recognize his actions, but had the audacity to blame me for it. He would even taunt me when I attempted to protest the abuse by sarcastically saying, “Poor you. Always playing the victim.” He continued that throughout our relationship and after our separation and divorce.

    Then the jealousy, gaslighting, backstabbing, silent treatment, ostracism, verbal abuse, slander, manipulation, scapegoating, etc., as an ex-husband continued. When a narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband dies, there is a lot more to grieve than his death. You grieve his path of destruction. You grieve not only for everything they were not as an ex-husband, but for everything they destroyed in their wake. I grieved the loss of reputation, family, numerous relationships with friends who had enough or didn’t believe it, years of turmoil and deep emotional pain, the years of covering him at work, being codependent on hiding his drug addition and alcoholism, his behavior, his need to isolate us, etc.

    I grieved the total absence of any remorse or attempt at resolution by him during the two years we were divorced. In retrospect, I honestly believe his mind was on the preservation of his image after his death, as crazy as that may sound. I grieved the fact that there was a human being walking around on this planet who could inflict so much merciless devastation without batting an eye – ever. Yet, still have so many deceived and defending his due to his fabricated martyr tales.

    I experienced strongly conflicting emotions. He was my ex-husband. Husbands should love their wives and wives should love their husbands. I loved him unconditionally but he didn’t know how to love, I now realize. I was sad that the man I married is no longer. Yet, the wide, deep and decade long trail of destruction reveals the truth no matter how hard the surviving family members work to contain it.

    Did I experience any of this while grieving anyone else? No, I sure didn’t! Some of the family members worked hard to contain the truth even after his death. There is no question in my mind at this point that most of them do it knowingly, but some could possibly do it out of ignorance. (Unknowingly becoming a narcissist’s puppet and inadvertently inflicting their abuse by proxy is just one more reason to go no-contact.)

    I was verbally assaulted after my ex-husband’s death by his wife #3 and several different relatives. I would not go along with their fictitious version of the late narcissist, as the puppet spewed their slander and grief on me. I was told I was the reason he committed suicide, couldn’t find a job, had no money, couldn’t be happy, etc. Please note, I was not expressing my own grief or anger to them, but they were expressing their grief to me. Later, I was nauseous when one told me the third wife is trying to create a law to prevent abuse he fictitiously received from me but thankful I heard the news in an email.

    It might truly sound amazing to the average person, but certainly not to the ex-wife of a narcissist, that in each case the puppet was angered by my response, then immediately proceeded to attempt to tell me what I should think and feel. When I say they were angered by my response, I mean my unwillingness to agree or display emotions in direct opposition to my feelings, in response to their absurd assertions.
    Wife #3 treated my late ex-husband as if he was the best man in the entire world. At the time, my name was brought up on what a horrible, nasty, terrible wife I was which escalated into a confrontation leading to a civil lawsuit. This was in direct response to his years of slanderous martyr tales resulting his new wife to seek retribution for my behavior while he and I were married. The lawsuit demonstrated his ability to make me out to be a monster but did not account for the actions he took that caused extensive damage to me. Then, the gossip by wife #3’s family and friends was that he did not do anything at all and was a complete angel. I was the jealous ex-wife that apparently couldn’t get over him moving on and had to strike out vengefully! The lawsuit resulted in he and his new wife getting zero and I receiving a protection order not to be mentioned or bothered again.

    Narcissists love to rewrite history. Not only do they tell outlandishly ridiculous lies with a straight face, but convince others of their fables. It is astonishing to me to this day how well his routine of playing the victim while vilifying the true victim worked. He had people giving various negative responses to the scapegoats in an effort to defend him when he was consistently the ruthless aggressor.

    For example, the statement was how badly I must feel for the way I treated him. In reality, he had spent two years destroying me with slander because I confronted him about his behavior, his violence (he was arrested once), doing nothing but denying it ever happened, then actually blaming me for it, having jealous rages and attacking me for it many times. It was the typical narcassist maneuver of playing the victim while vilifying the true victim. He ultimately managed to make himself the victim, even in that.

    What I actually did was call my venomous narcissistic ex-husband on the carpet for his abuse, lies, treating me poorly, etc. I also saw the truth and had the character to stand up and confront my narcissist ex-husband. So he spent the rest of his life destroying our family relationships, friendships, my reputation and mental health in order to conceal the truth about his own character. He spread martyr tales about how he was the innocent victim of his vicious ex-wife when the reality was the exact opposite. He was the vicious aggressor and I was the victim.

    If I was dealing with a narcissistic personality disordered person today, I would use those accusations toward others as nearly precise indicators of the truth about the narcissist. What I think he was doing is projecting his negative traits and feelings onto me. He would also often accuse the victim of the very thing he was doing, but he would also put forth fabrications. In any case, the flipped martyr tale gives the appearance of stripping the narcissist of their wrong and the victim of their virtue, all wrapped up in one smooth, disgusting little maneuver.

    The grieving wife #3 was promoting the narcissist’s slanderous lies about me and I was expected to stand there and agree with the ridiculous fairy tale. Mind you, my ex-husband died suddenly, unexpectedly and young. Yet, the immediate family wanted me to sing his praises and express aversion for my ex-husband!!

    Yet, here she was as if completely oblivious to the reality of the situation. It was all about her grief and maintaining the narcissistic facade. The family members and friends attempted to cause my grieving to be just as much of a charade as the narcissist’s life was. To hell with the scapegoat’s feelings, my grief for my ex-husband, the truth of what actually happened or the actual character of the late narcissist.

    They are still in the rabbit hole and did not appreciate me refusing to play along. If the family members and friends defended the narcissist during his life, their efforts seemed to double after death. However, I flat refuse to play let’s pretend with anyone anymore. He was not the only puppet to attack, but I have had the whole bunch of them out of my life for a few years now. I do not regret it at all. It feels so much better.

    We all tend to speak more highly of someone who has departed. The scapegoat survivor also has the social taboo of speaking ill of the deceased, and not just any deceased but a deceased ex-husband who suicided, to deal with in order to be able to speak the truth or grieve honestly. There was no bigger relief than getting a therapist trained in narcissistic personality disorder.

    Did I have this rage toward my mother or father after their passing? No, nor do I believe that is the same as the “anger” stage in the five stages of grief. That stage might include being angry with the dearly departed for abandoning you or angry with God about the loss, but not the kind of rage associated with a narcissistic personality disordered ex-spouse. Most people have some differences in their relationships, but they love each other. You try to remember the good and let go of the bad. You remember the good times, the good qualities. Hopefully, the good outweighed the bad.

    Yet, the relationship with the narcissist is parasitic in nature. When my narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband died, the maneuvers came so much more clearly into focus. Everything about our relationship was one sided. I gave and he took. He also took when I did not give. He took regardless, either by hook or by crook. It was all about him regardless of the consequences in my life and often intentionally to cause me distress or loss.

    The fact that it was a one-way, parasitic relationship was even more exceedingly clear after his death. After dealing with a couple of years of anger and rage after our divorce, I began feeling as if someone I never really knew was gone. Someone who held himself out as the exact opposite of what he actually was. You truly cannot fault a wolf for being a wolf. That’s who he is. He looks like a wolf and he acts like a wolf, but you know he’s a wolf. The danger of a narcissist is you are dealing with a treacherous wolf hell bent on pretending to be an innocent, victimized sheep – at least in public.

    As my therapist told me years before, I truly began to deeply pity my ex-husband. When she told me that, I strongly believed the only thing I would ever feel toward my ex-husband was anger because I was still in the heat of it. It took processing the anger and allowing it to subside, then I began to see how truly pitiful all of it really was. I think it took me several years to arrive at that point. Even now, I can still become angry about it. It’s just not the intense anger it once was and the overwhelming pain is no longer attached to it.

    While some act as if your grief should be processed three days after the funeral and others say one year, I would have to say it will take a lot longer. I am glad I continued to process it in order to come to better resolution of a decade of his abuse. My point in all of this is we all grieve differently and there is generally a whole lot more to grieve at the death of a narcissistic personality disordered ex-husband than just his passing, e.g., the wide and deep path of destruction and deception they leave behind.

    The way I grieve may be different than the way you grieve. The way we grieve for one person or relationship may be completely different than the way we grieve for another. The way we grieve a narcissistic personality disordered spouse may be off the charts different, in another ballpark. It could take a couple of months or a couple of years or several years. In my opinion, the important thing is to process the emotions in a healthy manner while taking good care of yourself and leading to healthy resolution.

    • dombeckblog

      I am curious about the connection you had or have with your ex husband and his family. Are their children by your marriage to him? What are the ties that bind you to having contact with his third wife, now widow?

  22. I don’t agree.

    I was in a relationship with someone this year who was definitely a narcissist, not a condition that develops overnight. He was sexually abusive, and raped me after we broke up (out of feelings of entitlement and rejection, and anger and insecurity). He wants to see me, or manipulate me, to somehow keep me in his life, without any feeling as to how this is bad for me (he is ashamed of what he did, but not ashamed to own up or to feel genuine remorse, or feel guilt for preying on my desire for an apology). For him, recognizing how he hurts others is more about self-pity than guilt.

    Eleven years ago today his infant son died. He was born with spina bifida, and after several surgeries died at 7 weeks old. He blamed himself, as he was a smoker when his wife of the time got pregnant. I believe that trauma in his life has made him significantly worse and brought him to this pass. (What he did to me was truly terrible…and I would have stayed with him, had he treated me well).

    He wrote a short story about his son’s death, and won an award for it at his school. It was extremely sad, and very well-written. What strikes me in retrospect was how it was all about him. It was all about him and his feelings. He ignored and mistreated his wife in his pain over his son’s death, and seemed to excuse that in his story because of his pain. In the story, she asks him to write a eulogy, and he doesn’t work on it throughout; he barely talks to his wife, has no sexual response, and closes in on himself. She gets angry with him (understandably) for his emotional distance; after all, she has gone through the same pain, is going through the same grief, and she carried the child for nine months in her womb. He doesn’t open up for a long time about thinking the baby’s death is his fault (he thought he had zipped him into his carrier too tightly and suffocated him; I don’t know if he ever told her what he told me about blaming himself for smoking). The child died, in fact, of pneumonia undetected at a doctor’s visit days earlier.

    At the end of the story, he gets up and gives his eulogy (while throughout Googling the term “dead baby jokes” and writing out various of these morbid artifacts). He gets up and delivers a good and proper eulogy at the candlelight vigil his wife has organized.

    It seems, then, he uses this grief in a way to self-aggrandize. He does the same with the story (and it seems remarkable that no one who read it remarked on the selfishness of the character). With me, he used his son’s death to get me to feel sorry for him…he was traumatized being back at the hospital where his son had died when his father was sick (this did the trick, and I went and visited him to comfort him, though we had broken up and he had already raped me once at that point). He will use his son’s death if it gets him pity.

    I don’t think that means he doesn’t mourn him, or grieve his loss. He does. But at the same time, he has become a kind of mythological symbol in his life, in his self-identity as a traumatized person, haunted by grief and loss…I am sure his ex-wife, who has moved on and has a new husband, with children, also mourns her son’s loss every year. I don’t think her mourning is any less for not having mythologized it. My ex-boyfriend now uses his sad circumstances as an excuse for the way in which he has hurt others…but how did the loss of his son drive him to sexually abuse me and assault me?

    I think his narcissism comes from his childhood, and is long-standing. I think he’s been better and more functional at times. I think he was terribly hurt by his son’s death, yes. But similarly to how he has made his dismay at his terrible behavior about his own pain and shame (for hurting others), he has made his son’s death more about him than anyone else, in his mind. I don’t think that means he doesn’t feel it. (And I don’t think what he did to me means he doesn’t want to feel love).

    • I am not sure what you disagree with in the post. My point throughout was that narcissists do mourn, but not like the rest of us. They mourn in ways that are consistent with who they are. If your N is truly an N, then he will mourn as an N. That’s the last line of the post.

      I am saddened by your story. These people sure get under the skin! As you try to explain his actions, please be sure you don’t minimize the pain of what he has done to you and others. He is still responsible for his cruelty and abuse. Don’t put yourself down in the process. Stop and think about a man who would google “dead baby jokes” after the death of his son. That is not normal mourning. I hope he is gone from your life for good.

  23. It strikes me that that was a cruel and heartless comment. I suppose I am trying to understand him and his pain, and how he mourns. I do feel terrible for him that he lost his son.

    I have become very wrapped up in my own pain recently. I wasn’t, at first; while in some of the worst emotional pain of my life I couldn’t stop worrying about him. I finally forgave him and called it a mistake he made because he was feeling really bad after our breakup. I went back to him, at his request, to “start over” and “treat each other well,” and he raped me again.

    I have been very self-absorbed in how bad I feel since then. In that sense I guess I have become more like him. That was a cruel post.

    • Please don’t think of yourself as cruel for disagreeing with me or for criticizing him. Your emotions are confused after such abuse. Being “self-absorbed” after that kind of treatment is normal. No, you are not like him. I am praying for you.

  24. I can relate to this with my husband. I have been married 42 years to this man. When his mother died, my husband talked about her life, but nothing personally related to himself. Before she passed away, we went to visit her at his sister’s house where his mother was being cared for. My husband held on to her hand for over an hour as he sat by her bedside, yet he could not carry on any kind of a conversation with her. They just sat there watching the T.V. It was very odd, as I had never seen my husband hold his mother’s hand after all of those years, yet they did hug at times. His dad had died in the hospital after having a septic condition happen after a knee surgery. His dad was 200 miles away, so it was not an easy decision to know when to go. Yet my husband’s sister had called him up and had told him the doctors could do nothing more for his dad and he was going to be discharged with hospice. Well, his dad became very restless in the hospital, and since my husband’s sister was a caregiver for the elderly she knew that when older people are about ready to die, they either perk up or become very restless. My husband knew this, and I told him he needed to go see his father as he was dying. If my husband had gone when I suggested it to him, he would have had a few hours with his dad. As it was, my husband hesitated, and left to go visit his dad in the hospital leaving four hours later than what he could have. Consequently, his dad died all alone in the hospital at 4 a.m. in the morning. Because my husband’s dad had donated his body for research, my husband wasn’t even able to see his dad’s body. When my husband got back home from his trip, the strange thing he said to me was ‘He didn’t wait for us!’ Meaning, my husband didn’t get there in time. This was a curious statement, as it was all about my husband. It wasn’t about ‘I missed seeing my dad die!’ And this, was supposed to be from the lips of a so-called Christian man (my husband) nor did he say anything like ‘I know where my dad is now, in heaven, nor did he say anything about his mother being in heaven, when he spoke at her memorial. It was as though my husband was blaming his father for not waiting to die until he got there. When my dad died, my husband did not say ‘I’m sorry your dad died’ no consolation, no grieving. And like someone else in this comment section was talking about loosing a baby, and the husband saying ‘Oh, we can have another one.’ No consolation, as I had a miscarriage early on in our marriage, and the words out of my husband’s lips were ‘It will all come out in the wash’. No, narcissists do no have empathy, neither can they relate to it. I hope this helps someone here. The best thing to do is to get your mind off these emotionally draining ingrates, as they will drain you dry. You have to begin living for yourself. I know that can be a difficult thing to do when they control your life in so many aspects. The less you say to them the better, as they can twist and distort the most simple sentence into a knock-down-drag-out arguing match where you never win.
    Thank you for this site.
    The less you try to figure out the narcissist the better off you will be, as their reasoning is circular, which comes back in their favor; and there is no end to their masks to deceive. So many sites say ‘no contact’ if you can leave the relationship. Yet, some people really are stuck and the best thing you can do is to believe in yourself and maintain your own sanity. I ended up sleeping in a separate bedroom just to cope, and it did give me a peace from the nightly scenario of him walking me up if I were snoring. The problem was, I didn’t dare wake him up if he was snoring. Of course not! They only see what is in their own best interest.

  25. Jan

    My sister just died of breast cancer. I am heartbroken–she was a dear person. It is so hard to lose a sibling. My mother (who I am sure has NPD) broke into tears at the wake–my sisters ran to comfort her. I asked one of them, “How is Mom doing?” thinking she was grieving my sister. I learned she was angry at my poor deceased sister for choosing such a horrible venue to hold her wake. Hadn’t she even checked the bathrooms?! They were horrible, my mother insisted. Then she was angry after the slide show of my sister’s life–my sister’s son had used many photos from family vacations and his sister’s annual Halloween party in which my sister and her husband attended, always in costume. Wendy looked happy and was enjoying life in all the photos. Afterwards, my mother lashed out at everyone, “I had no idea Wendy was such a party girl! I don’t even know my own children!” she moaned. No grief at all–just anger as if Wendy hadn’t passed from a dreadful disease that had passed from her liver to her brain, but was trying to make my mom look bad. Nobody in my family has any sense that my mom has a personality disorder–they think she just grieves differently.

    • Penny

      Jan~this is just awful. I hear your love for your sister, and I am truly sorry you had to endure a parent denigrating her own child beyond the grave. There are just no words for such malfeasance.
      Sadly, Many of us on this blog have been there.
      Narcs will use ANY setting–from a wedding to a funeral & every other holiday, birthday, or anniversary to be center stage.
      They cannot tolerate a bride on her wedding day for (rightfully) being the center of attention, & they cannot stand being upstaged by the deceased, either.
      So they rage. Skillfully. They are very skilled at making rage look like grief. They are masterful…but watch closely: their so-called grief has no tears, just dry-faced rage.
      If per-chance they actually produce tears, they are calculated for themselves, when all else fails. “Mourning” becomes a competition, & tears are just a weapon, a self-absorbed drama designed to turn attention away from the deceased & onto them, but never to where it rightfully belongs.
      My MIL narc yelled at me at my own mother’s funeral b/c we had an open casket in the chapel. She screamed at me after the service, “whats the matter with you? What’s wrong with your family? Don’t you know that NO one does that anymore!!” She was more upset about “what will my friends think?” than she was about my own mourning.
      Needless to say, years later she was not included in my father’s funeral. I refused to give her another chance to ruin it.
      I too have breast cancer, & I am truly sorry about your sister. I get it.
      And If I die before my narc, she’s not welcome at my funeral either!!
      I hope you can visit with your sister’s family while keeping some distance from the flying monkeys…..

  26. Jan

    Hi Penny. Thank you for your kind words. Sending karma to beat your cancer. If you are standing up to your narc mil, your health will strengthen.

    My sister could not stand up to my narc mother. I think her health finally gave in–after many years of being subservient to her, and even living with her as an adult as the sandwich generation. Many times Wendy would call me crying from a closet–my mother was on the attack when she was told by Wendy that she and her husband no longer wanted to live with my parents. It had been a nightmare from Day One.

    It was then I shared with my sister that I was sure my mom had NPD–and explained how my sister Emma was the golden child–that Wendy too was expected to be a flying monkey and was the victim of my mother’s wrath when she didn’t comply. It was soon after this that Wendy was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

    I am the scapegoat in family–and the only one who will stand up to my mom. She didn’t even want me at Wendy’s wake and sent orders from her flying monkeys that I not be there. (I am 3000 miles away.) Phone calls ensued in which I told the venue was already going to be full, and that only Wendy’s co-workers would be there. A lie! Everyone, including cousins, were going to be there.

    “I am her sister,” I said. “She would want me there.” Wendy and I were close and wrote a blog together–my mother did everything to stop me from being close to Wendy, as she was jealous–I was not welcome last summer when i wanted to visit and spend time with my sister. “We will take care of Wendy,” she barked, meaning my flying monkey sisters. My mother was also jealous of me being the apple of my father’s eye as a young girl. (She finally convinced him I was a rotten apple.)

    Anyhow, something funny I wanted to share. Wendy had the quirkiest sense of humour. That was something we shared. At the pub wake–in which my mom was wailing because the venue wasn’t elegant, I sidled over to the bar and ordered a red wine. I looked down at the bar. There was a coaster (cardboard beer mat) with a flying monkey on it! It even read Flying Monkey. I burst into a wide grin. A little joke from Wendy’s spirit? I slipped it into my purse–and have it here on my coffee table.

    • Penny

      Oh I love that!!! I’m so glad you caught the irony & a private joke between you and Wendy!! MARVELOUS!!!
      I too am the scapegoat….and was loved by my FIL much to her displeasure. It took but a nanosecond after his death for her toxicity to rear its ugly head. That’s when I decided to change me, not her. I went 6 months NC.
      She nearly drove me to suicide until I found Pastor Dave & this blog. Seriously.
      I have been NC 5 years now.
      She is an evil 90+ year old who still manipulates & undermines & often wails “how much longer do you think you will have me around?”
      My response?
      “How much longer do you think God will give you to repent?”

  27. Jan

    Hi Penny. I am so happy to be in contact with you. Good on you finding Pastor Dave. I was a mess my whole life–until about age 40 when I went to counselling. I found out I was the family scapegoat–but I didn’t know about narcissism. I found NPD on the Internet after trying for years to change my mother’s hatred towards me. When nothing worked, I knew finally, it was her, not me that was causing all the ruckus. My mother is 85–and as healthy as a horse. My father was her enabler–he passed away last May. Just before he died, I got a chance to say goodbye (I say chance because I have not been welcome on their side of Canada for decades.) Anyhow, on his deathbed my dad said to me, “I have had the best wife in the world.” I was rendered speechless as I have only known cruelty from her–surely he had seen her be cruel? So I just nodded when he extolled the virtues of all my flying monkey siblings. At least that was true. They were very kind to my parents and did their bidding. Then he turned to me and said, “I want you to promise to be a good person!” I just nodded dumbly. He repeated, “Promise?”
    I was dumbfounded. Did he really think I was a bad person? I had no words. I realized then that my mother had convinced him I was selfish and evil. I stayed calm but burst into tears later.
    Then soon after he died, I got a letter in the mail from my brother, asking me to sign off all the rights to my father’s will. I wondered what this meant. My father had left everything to my mom with the remnants to pass to his seven children, so why did this need to change. My brother explained, my mom wanted the assets all to pass to her so she could make a new will. I refused to sign, knowing that my father wanted me included in his inheritance. Then my sister (not Wendy) sent me an email saying that the family was taking legal action against me. (She is a lawyer.) So I caved. I know my mom has written me out of her will. That must have been her intent, getting control of my father’s will. But surprisingly, it is freeing! I have wanted to go NC for a long time, but with strong bonds to my Dad and Wendy, I couldn’t do it. Now I can, especially after how I was so unwelcome at Wendy’s wake. I still can’t believe she is gone. So hopefully, I can go NC–I know it is hard. My mother may send me a money on my bd–I will feel obligated to say thank you. She is nice to me now and then which makes me feel scared like a deer in the headlights. As I know there is a punch in the head coming. I would rather have her be mean all the time.

    Hey, Penny, that is funny– a narcissist repenting. What does God do to open up narcissists’ eyes? My mom has never said sorry to anyone in her life.
    Is Selah a Celtic word?
    Sorry to ramble! Hubby is tired of my rants.

  28. Thinking back to the very cold, callous way my narc wife dumped me, so matter of fact, all about her needs, like she’d done it many times before. Lots of gas lighting, of course, to make sure I knew it was my fault that the marriage failed. Not a single tear from her eyes. Not a word about love or commitment. Not a hint of the things she told me when I was love bombed. I wonder how people can be so incredibly insensitive, how they do this to another human, let alone their spouse. Some days, I just can’t get past that thought. It eats at my soul like a cancer.

  29. lorna c

    It feels like I am reading my life story here. My narcissist husband and I have just recently separated (trial). He is overseas and I am home with my sons. I did not know “narcissism” before. Just googled the problems I have and the loneliness in a marriage of 40 years. Came the “narcissism” diagnosis and boy, he fits all the signs. He is a Mama’s boy (enmeshed) and never stood by me when the narcissist mother abused me in public, so many times. When she died, he changed. He wouldn’t change clothes, depressed and wore underwear all day, even going out of the house. When I told him to stop going out and wearing underwear all day, we had a big fight. Of course, it was my fault. Then, one night we were arguing, he accused me of being too greedy. When I asked him, what did I do? He said I placed all the proceed of a house we sold in my name. The truth is he told me to do just that, because he just left work and he was thinking of the taxation. Told him your instructions he sent are still in my email. Truth seems to cause him to rage. He raised his closed fist to my face, I had to think fast. If I show weakness, I’d be hit. So I confronted him, told him go ahead hit me but be sure I am dead because either I put him in jail or I’d kill him. Coward as he is, he stopped. But I lost my trust in him and beginning to hate his unreasonable hatred towards me. He is lazy, unmotivated, he loves soap opera – adultery and physical hitting of families. The last straw is his control of money. I asked him to leave some of my part pension on the account -because he moves it to another account as soon as it arrives – for food shopping. He got so mad and that’s when I said “enough”. He has always been mean with money. I have always been earning my own money before I got breast cancer. I am 66, how long have I got to live. Why will I spend it with this angry, emotionless, lazy, belittling, narcissist who blames me for everything – even his own pains from his childhood? I hate divorce – being a Christian, but he never understood the “leave and cleave” marriage principle and he is so unchristian. But I need space. I deserve peace. He never appreciated everything I have been doing, I cut every body’s hair, make their clothes, I don’t cost him anything. I cut my own hair, even, cook for him even when I am sick. He is useless and unfeeling/uncaring sob. It is peaceful now that is away. He said he is trying to heal. We have signed financial arrangement in case I go ahead with the divorce. I have 10 more months to decide. Narcissists are not human beings. They have no conscience, no soul, no shame, no heart. I regret the years of toil and pain with him 40 years of hoping. I though when his narcissists parents die, he’d be free from their clutches. He became worse and became them in a very bad way. Lucky me.

    • Lorna, I removed your last name so that you are not as likely to be identified. I wish this blog were secure enough to guarantee everyone’s safety, but I know that Ns come here – especially if they see the link on their home or wife’s computer.

      There are ways to separate from him short of divorce. You should carefully consider a legal separation for your own safety. He may not remain a coward. If you are concerned about Biblical admonitions against divorce, please read this post: Barbara Robert’s book is very helpful.

  30. Marie

    Thank you Pastor Dave for creating this site and in particular for writing this post. My ex-N’s father just died and your sensitive and knowledgeable comments have quietened my thoughts and hardened my resolve to continue ‘no contact’. “when a narcissist mourns, he mourns as a narcissist”, there are no truer words. Blessings and gratitude to you.

  31. I have lived with narcissists all my life, some narcissists are very emotional.
    My mom is a narcissist and she cries a lot during funerals… maybe this is another form of getting narcissistic supply since a lot of people comfort her when she is crying.
    The only thing I can say is that, narcissist will only mourn if the person who have died was giving them some form of narcissistic supply…
    I stumbled upon this article, it kinds of agrees with what I’m saying. But I could be wrong though.
    But based on my personal experience, most narcs will only cry for someone that was their primary source of narcissistic supply… they definitely won’t cry for someone who was not giving them any supply.
    These people are extremely selfish.

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