DABDA

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

The stages of grief

I have often felt that the death of a marriage should be considered as sad as the death of a person. Something alive and wonderful has died, and those who suffer such loss usually go through a kind of grief. In a sense, this is true for any serious relationship. The loss of the support and love of a parent can be a traumatic part of the narcissistic experience. The lack of respect from a boss or a pastor is a serious loss that should be mourned. The betrayal of a friendship can cause great grief.

There are many books and studies written about the stages of grief. We suffer grief whenever we suffer loss. I have told people for years that grief is the process of discovering who you are after that loss. When a relationship dies something important dies. We lose a piece of ourselves that we invested in the relationship. Even when we finally understand there was no real relationship, we lose the value of what we thought we had. It hurts. It is confusing. It is grief.

Loss of a relationship triggers a process that may be a surprise. We know that we go through grief when we lose a loved one. We also go through the stages of grief when we lose a relationship. These stages are normal cultural ways of dealing with dramatic and unwelcome change.

The grief process is complicated somewhat when the relationship dies over time. Even as people drift apart, or begin to see the reality of narcissism, we can begin the grieving process. When the loss is drawn out over months or years, a person will likely still go through these stages. If the relationship struggles through near-death, then reconciliation, then near-death again, a person may experience this cycle of grief more than once. However, if the process takes years, the stages of grief may be hard to identify.

Here’s what I mean. Eunice had some minor red flags before she married Tim. He wanted everything his way, even at the wedding. He could be critical and hurtful in the things he said, but she pushed her concerns away. After all, they were lovers. These things weren’t really that bad. (denial) After they were married, she found him to be even more critical and unkind. She began to wonder if he really loved her. When she asked him, his response was so limited and disappointing that she began thinking of leaving him. She found excuses to avoid intimacy as a way of protesting, but nothing changed. (anger) Her mother told her that a real relationship was 100% the responsibility of both people, so she decided to do things to make him happy. She worked hard to serve him in creative and gracious ways, but still nothing changed. (bargaining) Finally, Eunice gave up. Life seemed to have little meaning. Alcohol was tempting, as were medications, but Eunice chose to sit at home and watch the television. (depression) When Tim came home that day and told her he was leaving, she felt only relief. The marriage had died long ago in her heart. Finally, Eunice was able to move on. (acceptance)

Now that story crudely illustrates how the stages of grief can be processed while the marriage is still going. It seems more obvious when the marriage or relationship suddenly ends. If Tim had simply come home one day to tell Eunice that he had found someone else and was leaving, she may have gone through all of these steps of grief within months. The suddenness of the change makes grief seem more real and reasonable to us. Some people go through grief after job loss or when they have to leave a church. Some experience these steps over a lifetime as they process their narcissistic relationship with a parent.

These steps are real and common enough to be seen as normal. Not everyone experiences them in the same way; some steps go by quickly while others take time. But if you find yourself struggling with these five feelings, don’t be surprised or afraid. It is grief, and grief is normal. You simply have to process what has happened and what it means to your life now.

One more quick note: Depression is a normal part of this process. After the denial, the anger, and the bargaining, the energy has been spent. You are weary, disillusioned, and sad. The hurt has become part of your system. Now, you feel mostly numb. You just want to crawl away. Please don’t take this stage lightly. This can be a dangerous time. Find someone to talk with. Medications can help and can be temporary. Don’t allow your feelings of worthlessness and rejection to take over. Everything that you were, everything that made you feel good about yourself, is still there. The people who support you will say things that are hard for you to feel, things they mean to encourage you. They are right, and you will eventually agree. Just hold on until the depression stage passes. Be careful not to make too many big decisions, especially about new relationships. Just take care of yourself.

Grief is how we get through sudden and negative changes. Narcissism often provides these changes. Your grief is normal, and you will get through it. Just don’t be afraid to accept the help and perspectives of those who care about you.

37 Comments

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37 responses to “DABDA

  1. Rachel Kingsley

    Brilliant! As usual, thankyou Dave.
    Just pondering about grief being a loss due to negative change.
    The relationship with a N is altered through the N separating, whether they go or you go. With divorce/separation it’s a change but not complete loss. It’s actually easier to grieve someone dying. Separation/divorce is a living death for all involved. When there are children in common new boundaries need to be set but of course a N is tremendously bad at setting and keeping boundaries. It’s all on their terms and their boundaries can change frequently depending on their mood/ the weather!
    I think this is the most difficult situation to be in. This is one way the devil destroys families.
    Any advice Dave on how to re- negotiate the changed relationship when there are young children? Safe boundaries? No exploitation?
    Thanks and God Bless

    • This is a great question and really depends on the situation. In general, I would say that the N has become a toxic person and must be viewed as such. Just like you would be more careful after getting burned by some chemical, you now have to be careful dealing with the N. He/she has always been toxic, but you didn’t know that until you got burned. So, in dealing with toxic chemicals, we have to prepare before the event and cleanse after the event. There is no need for anger or fear, just special care for yourself. You can’t change the nature of the toxic chemical (or the N) but you can adapt your interactions with it.

      This is easier said than done, as always. But seeing the N as toxic will put you on your guard and help to keep you from getting burned again. And remember, even experienced chemists, who work with toxic chemicals all the time, still let their guard down and get burned. So will you. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just remember for next time.

      If there are children involved, maybe extra care is needed. Some things you can’t control, but you can observe and record. Good records can come in handy if you need to establish that there are dangers to the kids, say at a custody hearing.

      And, as always, trust the Lord who loves your children more than you do.

  2. Rox

    Pastor Dave, this is just what I needed to hear. I’ve been “no contact” with my narcissist best friend for three years, and it still hurts. He was a priest that I admired greatly, and I still have trouble seeing how someone surrounded by the love of God and the congregation could be a narcissist. But, you are right. I am still grieving the loss of the friendship he told me we had and figuring out who I am without it. And, you are right. I am still the person of value I thought I was before the relationship. The only thing I’ve lost really is the fret, confusion, and chaos this man caused. I’ll grieve the friendship I thought we had and focus on the truly wonderful people that God has sent to heal the pain. Thank you for the much-needed reminder.

  3. Janet

    Excellent post!
    Finally gave up. Cut and left for good. I will miss what I THOUGHT was a good friendship but found out was not at all. I was USED. For 7 years. I will never get back the massive investment I put in to that persons life. She might never change. The petulant behavior. The pathological selfishness. No graciousness. None. No gratitude. Just take take take take take. Everyone who knew her gave up on her as well. No amount of love, ministry, time, listening, help, nothing worked to lead her to repentance. I would have thought that all the ministry she received would lead her to at least some gratitude toward God and the people who helped her. She still treats God like a vending machine. When He doesn’t do what she expects Him to do, she kicks Him, curses Him and blasphemes. Yet He has and continues to bless her life. Thats it. I’m done.
    Only sadness now that I wasted 7 years of ministry, 7 years investing in a life that is in fact nothing more than a counterfeit.

  4. You are speaking to me here. I am in the depression stage. I have bargained the past four months, doing absolutely every thing I could to satisfy a person who is perpetually bored and can’t be satisfied. She is filing the divorce papers today, even as I write this. I am angry, too. I gave up my home, free and clear, and my savings and retirement so I could divorce my first wife and be with the soulmate who could not live without me. And within 30 minutes of being married to her, she started devaluing me, yes, even on the honeymoon night, I was being devalued. When I confront her with the love letters and stuff she write before we were married, she tells me that I am making her out to be a monster and “leave me be.” My first wife has found love and is moving on, and tells me she loves her new man even more than me and is so happy. And I feel so abandoned by God, because I had this vision of her being with him, a missionary, and me being happy with the soulmate. And the soulmate turned out to be a lie, I fell in love with a lie who never loved me. I was just a plaything that she got bored with. I look at myself in the mirror and I hate myself so much because I am no longer the person I used to be. She stripped me of my values and my dignity and gave nothing back but a lie.

    • merieleslie

      I am so very sorry Carl. Pls don’t devalue urself! We make mistakes. I’ve made some really bad decisions and I have cursed myself and beat myself up for such a long time … I too wonder what my future holds for me. I pray and pray. I lean on Gods words to keep me moving forward to what Fod has planned for me. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • geor

      Carl, you have been raped of your self-esteem and self-confidence by the two jezebel spirits. Is there any way you can get some good Christian counsel? You need some serious Godly counsel and love before even thinking about going into another relationship. As my therapist said to me about me is that a jezebel (she called it a user) can sniff me out and use me. They are attracted to co-dependent people. We just have it written on our foreheads; by the way we carry ourselves and talk. I pray that God that will comfort you and put Godly people around you. That God will lift you out of the pit of despair and into his healing hands.

  5. Rita

    What a wise and encouraging post this was today David. I have been in the depression stage for almost 6 years on and off. The Lord has healed me in layers, and has helped me understand myself so much. My N former husband is still trying to control and agitate regularly, but none of our 3 adult children or grandchildren will have any contact with him, and God has protected me from even having to see or speak to him since the last court date in June 2012. No Contact has been the key to allowing me to make a place to heal and find peace. I feel so bad for someone who still has young children, thus making for ongoing communication (read as, having to throw yourself back in the mouth of the lion for the sake of your children). I have just now – almost 6 years free – met a man online. He serves the Lord and loves God. His background check showed that he is who he says he is. We have written enormously long emails in the last weeks. He feels safe, is willing to talk and listen, and we have agreed to meet tomorrow for the first time. Just wanted to shout out to all of you precious people on this site, and thank you for your written encouragement for the last 4 years and also for your prayers. Out of all the books, all the therapy, this site was a wonderful place to go for instant real-time encouragement and insight when sanity still seemed a long way off. God is way more tender, way more able to heal than we can ever imagine.

  6. I have long felt that the grief of a divorce from an abuser is worse than the grief of the death of a spouse. In both cases, the marriage is over. But with the death of a spouse, there is still the love, still the warm memories, the sympathy of others, and still the warm relationships with the in-laws, step-children, children, friends, and relatives.

    With a divorce, especially from an abuser, there is none of those. You are completely alone, except for those few people who have not believed the lies that your abuser has spread. You now have to deal with someone controlled by Satan who alienates you and robs you of your own children, much more step-children, in-laws, relatives, and friends. There is no cooperative parenting, only nasty competition. And, on top of all that, you finally realize that you fell in love with someone who did not exist, he never loved you but only targeted you to use your goodness, and your entire marriage and life you thought you built together was a sham.

    The only thing you have at the end of one of these horrible, devastating relationships is God. And, thankfully, He is there to carry you and help you rebuild your life. Where there were evil people, He graciously puts safe, good people in your path to be His hands and feet and love you back to health. And, in time, one realizes that anyone who has a relationship with the abuser is not truly a godly, discerning person, and those people you thought cared for you, never cared for you. An abuser is like cancer, he destroys everything and everyone around him.

    Finally, you realize with God’s grace that, like the Israelites coming out of Egypt and fighting for the land that God promised them even though it has giants, God actually rescued you from bondage and you must fight for your new land and never, ever look back. The old has past, and the new life after an abuser is better than the one with an abuser could ever be. Yes, there is enormous grief for what we had so hoped for. But we must not be like the Israelites, always looking back, always wishing for something good to come from someone evil (which is impossible). We must be like Moses, always looking ahead to God’s promises of a better life, cutting all ties with the evil ones in our life, thankful that he rescued us from evil, trusting Him that He has a plan for us, and fighting for that better life that He has promised.

    Our fighting is the fight to be healed from our battle wounds. It’s a spiritual battle, because the Enemy would love to keep us in the pit afraid and depressed – and ineffective in God’s army. And that needs the armor of God – truth, righteousness, salvation, peace, faith, Scripture, and lots and lots of time with God, the one who loves us so much, and His people. When we come through on the other side, having defeated Satan and his demons of denial, depression, doubt, fear, anxiety, panic, confusion, and anger, and are standing on the mountain top victorious, joyful, and roaring with God, the Lion of Judah, Satan and his demons quiver in fear. There is nothing more terrifying to Satan than a believer who has been through the valley, has keep her faith in her Heavenly Daddy, is unafraid of Satan’s schemes, and is fully equipped to be His warrior!

    • merieleslie

      Thank you Charlene. Your words brought tears of joy to my face!!

    • Batya Ahul

      “There is nothing more terrifying to Satan than a believer who has been through the valley, has kept her faith in her Heavenly Daddy, is unafraid of satan’s schemes, and is fully equipped to be his warrior!” Amen, Amen, Amen! You have no idea how much I needed this today. Blessings to you Rita and thank you again Pastor Dave for the spiritual therapy this site provides us with 🙂

  7. Yes, I feel grief over the loss of my brother — to narcissism, I guess. The “good times” were when we were kids, but he seemed to change as a teen. We’re in our 40’s now, and I still just want my brother to “come back.” Some part of me believes that he can, but I do get burned by that hope more than not. Unlike something as concrete as a person’s death, this one keeps me hanging on for a resurrection of sorts. Not sure if it’s unrealistic or a form of unconditional love for my brother to hope like this. It’s hard to accept that this may be how it is for the rest of our lives — or that it could get worse. And love him anyway.

  8. I read recently read an article about grief (don’t remember where). It said that they can be experienced in a different order, or even overlap. When I look at my own experience, that information helped a lot.

    I also think that sometimes we have to go through certain parts of grief more than once. An abused person may have several relationships/issues to grieve that they have allowed to pile up. The victim might’ve been dealing with cognitive dissonance, or current abuse might have taken all their strength.

    I had the death of a grandparent, an old friend’s betrayal, death of my dad, loss of job and financial standing, all on top of the current covert abuse of my wife. Then she smeared me at church and I am now completely isolated without resources.

    I’ve been almost completely debilitated and crushed in my spirit for about 6-7 years. The last 2 years were much worse. The grief just pounded me, and so did a couple of very foolish churches that I turned to for help.

    I won’t give up on God, but I currently feel like I’m being dragged behind a horse with no escape, and no end in sight. I grieve the loss of just a normal life. Is it really too much to ask parents, in-laws, church members, and my wife to be sincere in love and to love the truth?

    How can they say they love God, whom they have not seen, when they refuse to love their brother whom they have seen?

    • Georgette

      Object of Contempt please hang in there! God hears your cries even when you believe you are all alone. Keep talking to him. Here is a link to ransomedhearts.com that has a list of prayers: https://www.ransomedheart.com/pray. Scroll down to the bottom and you will find daily prayers. I use the daily prayer, bedtime prayer and the good soil prayer and tweak it to fit what I am needing. Say it aloud. I find if I do the bedtime prayer I sleep better at night and the daily prayer helps me get through the day. The good soil prayer I use when the pain comes up and I feel alone and I have prayed that prayer several times over the course of one year and still do it. It hurts to have the rug pulled from under you and nothing to grab hold of. God is letting you know he is all you need. They don’t truly know God and their eyes are closed to the truth. I had to leave my church because the people believed the jezebel spirit over me. One year later some of the believers see the jezebel for who he truly is. But the leaders still think he is the best! He still is a leader over a recovery ministry! Still holds anger, bitterness, and resentment and the leaders think he is the best! Do not let this experience shake your faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! Stay focused on the dim light you see at the end of the tunnel and go to that dim light! It will get brighter while you get closer to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit and trust God/Jesus/Holy Spirit more.

    • Dear Object of Contempt,
      As much as I would like to direct victims of domestic abuse (and narcissistic abuse is a form of domestic abuse) to the church for support, the church is the last place I would recommend. With very few exceptions, pastors, church leaders, and Christian counselors are not equipped or educated in areas of domestic abuse, narcissism, sociopathy, or psychopathy. Therefore, they provide harmful advice and, by and large, take no steps to either discipline abusers or help victims. In fact, many side with the abuser instead of the victim. The reasons are too long and complicated to set forth here. My strong recommendation is to find your county’s domestic abuse shelter, which will have people trained in domestic abuse and will offer support groups and counseling. There can be healing, but complete healing will not happen when one continues to expect people who are incapable of empathy and have no conscience to be caring, loving and empathetic. Choosing to surround yourself with safe, good people and making healing and a healthy life your top priority will force you to decide who you want to be with. We cannot be all that God has called us to be with unhealthy people in our lives. Narcissists will never change. The people who support them either (1) have been deceived by them (2) are intimidated by them or (3) are just like them and share their values. So, you will need to decide whether you want them in your life as well.
      Disconnecting yourself from these evil people is not easy. In the last several years, I have lost both of my parents after battles with cancer and Alzheimer’s, fled my house and went into hiding for 2 years after my husband repeatedly raped me – including rape in front of my children. I have lost my income, and lost many of my so-called “friends” and church family due to my ex-husband’s slander. Even though I had been a deacon and leader in my church and on the board of regents at a seminary and university, I changed churches because the church leaders refused to impose any church discipline and allowed my ex-husband to continue to attend our church – thus it is unsafe for me to go. Recently, I terminated my membership at that church because the pastor (who knew of the abuse and oversaw “counseling” for 2 years) agreed to re-marry my ex-husband and his girlfriend, whom I walked in on as they were having a romantic episode in my home when we were still married. My adult stepchildren do not speak to me and refuse to let me see my step-grandchildren. My own children did not speak to me for two years. I moved to a new town, and changed careers from a successful attorney to an advocate for women escaping domestic abuse. So, no, flushing one’s entire life and starting over at 50 is not easy. But continuing on the same path with a Narcissist is worse. A marriage to a Narcissist is not a marriage at all.
      May God bless you in your journey.

      • Georgette

        Charlene your faith in God is very strong to endure the abuse and rejection and have to start a new life, new career and new friends, and to wanting to help victims. Explains your February 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm post! I read it several times today. I think since tomorrow is valentines day I miss the attention he gave me by sending me flowers the first two years on valentines day. Then I read your post on February 10th and kept reminding myself to look to God and never look back like Moses. You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing. Any relationship with a N married or dating is not a relationship. It is hell! I don’t care if you dated a N for a year or married one year to over 40 years! They can do so much damage in a short time to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and your psyche.

  9. Adele

    These are such helpful words of wisdom. I was in the bargaining stage for years with my narcissist. I recently went through the depressive stage after experiencing a devastating episode of narcissistic rage, and also recently went through acceptance while finally going no contact. Occasionally, I slip back into depression, though. Your post makes me more aware of how I have to be patient with myself and sensitive to where I am at. Thank you, Pastor Dave. And blessings to my fellow narcissist survivors.

  10. Janet

    The biggest dilemma with Narcissists is that you may indeef truly love this person, but you just can’t stay with them.

    • Janet

      I have left, returned, tried, bargained and only gotten burned. The Lord said, “Its time.”
      I knew it is time to go, no more trying, no more bargaining. The Lord knows that I truly loved this friend, we really were soul mates, and I will remember the good times we had together. But, she always just takes advantage of me, appreciates nothing at all, and throws tantrums when I say no.
      No more.

  11. Dave Lesniak

    thanks Dave, for yet another insightful article, brother. God bless you and Nancy, and your family.

  12. Repol

    How long, the depression stage?
    In large part thanks to Pastor Dave and this blog, I realized about six years ago (I think that’s right; the years get fuzzy) that I was in an abusive marriage with a narcissist. It helped so much to have definitions and to see firm patterns. I tried for three years to save the marriage, but I couldn’t stay married and stay sane, safe, or alive.
    It’s been three years since he left the home and several months past a year since we legally finalized divorce. I’ve been through all the stages of grief, and I’ve hoped that maybe I would get to know what it was like to be in a mutually respectful relationship, but now I think I am having to grieve that hope, because I don’t see any signs at all that God is going to bring another person at all into my life.
    I didn’t ever really come out of the depression stage except right at first, when it was just such a huge relief to not be abused any longer. But then I had to grieve the loss of my ideals, for having a whole family, a happy household, joyful sons and daughters. My children are shipped around. I worry about their safety when they’re away from me. I miss milestones. I experience milestones with no one to share the joy with. And I long for a companion just to talk to, to refresh with at the end of the day, to look ahead to the years of aging and retirement as those come.
    I don’t FEEL old, but I feel like I’ve been launched ahead in time, skipping over the middle years of my life, and planted in the time of “my life is over.”
    Is this idolatry of relationship? I’m an extrovert, a people person, a family-oriented team player, by design. I don’t know how to joyfully do this life solo. So the depression phase of grief never seems to end. The fuel to get up and get going isn’t there for me. I don’t know how to find it. Prayer isn’t enough, because it’s God who designed me this way. To pray for him to change my design seems to be to negate his good pleasure in creating me. To pray for him to provide for my design seems to be met with a no. To pray for him to meet me himself even outside of his “no” to do it through other people is also being met with a no.
    It’s been so long now… at least it feels that way.
    Maybe it’s worse because this is Valentine’s day and I’ve never known what it was like to be loved in a romantic sense. But it’s my third Valentine’s day alone, after far too many under abuse, and three sounds like confirmation.

  13. Irene

    Hmm…this time I disagree with Pastor Dave. We can grieve the loss of dreams, but I don’t think that a relationship with a narcissist starts out good and then turns bad. I have been married 30 years and I knew on the first night. I just had no where to go as I returned to my parents and asked for an annulment–but they too were abusive and uncaring. I have spent most of my life appeasing my parents, but i have no real relationship with them. I don’t think it is usually something good that turns bad.

    • Cecilia K

      Maybe it isn’t a truth that applies to Every situation, but I think, in general, narcissistic relationships (at least romantic ones and friendships) do start out good; otherwise, few people would stay, I imagine. The narcissist has to play the good guy/girl in the beginning to win us over. If they were a jerk from the start, most people would probably bail much earlier. I know in my case, we were probably at least 3 or 4 months in before I started seeing the red flags, but by that time, I had seen what a good guy he could be, so I dismissed the red flags, or told myself I needed to love him in spite of his faults, just as I would want him to do for me I should take the bad with the good, because no one is perfect, I would tell myself. I can relate to Dave’s Eunice illustration, even though I never married this man. I still went through those stages of grief along the way and after the relationship ended.

      Irene, when you said you “knew on the first night,” it sounds like you are referring to the first night of your marriage; but I’m guessing you had a relationship with this man before you married him. Did the pre-marital relationship not start out good? If not, what convinced you to marry him? If that’s too personal of a question, I apologize; please don’t feel any pressure to answer.

    • MS

      Irene-

      I must differ with Lea Anna Curtis. Her words make it sound as if is somehow your fault- maybe because you are not “right with God”, or have not prayed enough to God to “fix your spouse”. Do not accept this kind of blame- it sounds very judgemental to me. It is simply not your responsibility to “fix your spouse”.

      Narcissists are “un-fixable’, as least by other humans.

      As for what Dave said, I would put a different interpretation on his words, if I may- having read here for a long time. A relationship with a Narcissist may start out as “good” but that is only a matter of “appearance”, because of the pains they take to represent themselves in a positive light, especially early on. Skilled manipulation by the Narcissist can prevent one from seeing their true nature, not only initially, but often for years (I experienced this with a supposed “best friend” of 40 years.

      As to your question “How many years is enough?” My naively simple answer would be “none.” In an ideal world. And, yes I have had plenty of narcissists in my life (not an abusive husband, however). For me the realization “enough is enough” came in different ways, over a different number of years, with different of these narcissists. Even though I’d known for varying amounts of time that they were narcissists, i still had to go through my own process before I had the courage to cut them out of my life. NC unless absolutely absolutely necessary.

      Please don’t be hard on yourself, and don’t let anyone guilt-trip you.

  14. Irene

    I didn’t have much of a relationship with the man i have a marriage certificate with. I had dated him about 6 weeks when he asked me to marry him. I told him it was too soon for him even to ask. To make a long story short, my parents made the decision for me and pushed me into signing paperwork after we were dating about 3 months. That sounds so bad! I was a virgin, we never kissed until we were married. The reason i say i have a piece of paper with him is just that– we didn’t repeat vows and his idea of marriage is “staying with me.” He never worked as a team with me, and i have concluded that God doesn’t make people one without their commitment. But even as a child i knew the family relationships were not right. It is nothing that started out good. It kind of feels like being brainwashed to accept that meanness is ok.

  15. Lea Anna Curtis

    I am so sorry, Irene, that you are in such a hard situation. I am also so sorry that your parents were abusive and uncaring. I am so glad that you realize that there us a better way of life. Jesus says that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. I urge you to cry out to God to first – if you aren’t a Christian (which you probably are), to ask God to forgive you of your sins and be your Lord and Saviour. Then ask Him to fix your husband whether that means to cause him to want to be saved or to humble him to become the man of God that he should be. God knows just how to work with him. God will hear you when you cry out to him and will come to your rescue. You might have to wait awhile, but He can give you peace in the midst of your storm.

  16. Lea Anna Curtis

    To those who are hurting right now from an emotionally abusive spouse, I urge you to examine your lives and make sure you are right with God and obeying His word, then ask God over and over to fix your spouse. Never give up and expect this miracle every day. Also, if they are physically abusive, please leave and go to a safe place and share your situation with someone you trust. Please don’t stay and also, protect your children from unsafe situations. God will help you when you ask Him to.

  17. Irene

    Lea Anna Curtis– do you actually think i haven’t prayed about this? Or maybe you think i haven’t prayed long enough. How many years is long enough?? Do you have narcissists in your family? Ask the others here– they don’t seem to change. I was hoping to learn to live with it, but i don’t know if that is possible either.

  18. Lea Anna Curtis

    Oh Irene, I didn’t mean to offend you at all. I am sorry that I sounded that way. I was hoping to be of comfort and give you hope that God will take care of your situation. I don’t know how or when…but just wanted you to believe that God is working on it. I just didn’t want you to give up hope that God will work all things for your good since you love God. If it gets too bad, you might have to leave, but God will direct you and help you. I meant well. I felt your pain and yes, I do have narcissists in my family. It is a very bad thing.

  19. Irene

    Lea Anna Curtis– thank you so much.

  20. Dear Lea Anna,
    I do not intend to be disrespectful, however, I can assure you that every person reading this blog and every godly person ever married to a Narcissist/ Sociopath/Psychopath (NSP) has prayed that God would “fix” their spouse – to no avail. NSPs are evil, they are controlled by Satan not the Holy Spirit, and they delight in hurting others. Their hearts are so hard that God’s word and the kind acts of his people do not get through. They are the hearts of stone that the seed lands on and never takes root. (Matthew 13). They know exactly what they are doing. We know this because we know that they act respectfully towards their boss, their pastor, people with money and power, and anyone they want to be on their good side, while the next minute behind closed doors are abusive, manipulative and lying to their spouse.
    Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God’s people have called them evil. In Psalm 58 (one of many Psalms dealing with evil people), it states that wicked people are evil from birth. Even Jesus called them “a brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:33) and sons of Satan. (John 8:44) Jesus did not try to persuade evil people to become godly, he knew there was no purpose in that. He just stayed away from them as much as he could, knowing that God would deal with them in His time.
    2 Timothy 3 and Galatians 5:19-22 describe narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths to a “T”.
    There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women. 2 Tim 3 1-6.
    1 John 3:7-10 is very clear about how to identify evil people that continue to do evil.
    Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 john 3:7-10
    Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5, and 2 Timothy 3 instruct us to have nothing to do with these kinds of evil people who continue to sin.
    Once a godly person has identified a spouse as someone who fits the description in the passages above, have examined themselves to determine they are not at fault, and have humbly followed the instructions in Matthew 18 to reconcile with a person who has committed an egregious sin against them, it is time to identify them as a child of Satan and leave as safely as possible. It will be a horrible escape – much like the Israelites many attempts to escape Pharaoh. As one psychologist said “Every relationships with a Narcissist ends badly.”
    Mental health professionals have affirmed what we already know from the Bible – narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy (both are under the umbrella of anti-social personality disorder) are untreatable, incurable, permanent personality disorders. They are incapable of empathy, conscience, remorse, and repentance. Get away and stay away.
    Yes, God is working in every situation for our good. Romans 8:28. But we are not to be passive doormats that live in fear and depression because we are living with an evil person, whose abuse always escalates over time as they cross boundary after boundary with glee. In dealing with Satan and his minions, we are to put on our armor (Ephesians 6), fight, and remove it from our lives so that we can be effective warriors in God’s army here on earth.

  21. Been going through this the last couple of months, it’s no accident I stumbled upon this post. I’ve been voicing back and forth between different stages, sometimes multiple within a day or two, then back to square one. The positive is I am getting back in touch with parts of myself I had forgotten about. Writing being one of them. Thank you for this post.

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