Bad Decisions

 

 

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

 

Some didn’t have any choice. They were born into a narcissistic home and relationship. Or maybe they were hired by a good company and found themselves working for or with a narcissist. Some were totally deceived by the narcissistic lures. But some just made a bad decision.

Bad decisions are part of life. Sometimes we don’t have all the facts, other times we simply look past the facts. And sometimes we see all the facts, hear all the warnings, and decide to do it anyway. Let’s face it, sometimes the consequences of the bad decision are our own dumb fault.

Okay, so either you were in the narcissistic relationship because of someone else, or you were responsible yourself. Either way, you paid a price. Now you know better. Maybe you got out. Maybe you have some good tools for handling it. There is little value in blaming either yourself or others. Real value is in what you do next. You know that.

But then you go and make another bad decision. Another hurtful relationship. Returning to the narcissist. Saying or doing something that compromises everything you have worked so hard to accomplish. Now you wonder if the narcissist was right with the criticisms. Now you wonder what in the world is wrong with you.

Well, most likely nothing is wrong with you. Bad decisions are normal. Yes, they can hurt and, yes, we want to avoid them, but we make them. Too often.

The needs of our hearts are not easy for us to fill. Why would we think that eating that bowl of ice cream would make us feel better about our weight? Why would we buy a new car we can’t afford so that we could feel rich? Why would that one night stand make us feel loved? But these are the bad decisions we make when we are hurting. There’s no real excuse. We know better. But reason doesn’t fix the pain in our hearts.

Many of the bad decisions we make come out of our need for something we can’t even identify. We don’t know what we need or why we need it, so we find something that won’t help or may even make things worse to try to appease the need. Yes, it really sounds dumb. But it is normal.

You see, you are not alone. I have heard so many stories of people making bad decisions after they leave or admit narcissistic relationships. Maybe you hurt yourself. Maybe you hurt others. Well, it’s a big club, one none of us want to be in. It’s okay to regret some of the things you have done. It’s admitting that you are human.

Note that I am not saying it is okay to do these things. It isn’t okay to hurt yourself or others. But if you already have done it, you might as well decide to keep moving forward. There is forgiveness. You are still loved. You are still valued in the heart of God. None of that has changed.

Next week I will write more about why we make some of these bad decisions. Today I just want you to know that your experience, your regret, is shared by many others. You are not the only one who did what you did.

The narcissist disrupts our thinking and our feeling. He/she knows how to push our buttons and how to keep us subdued. We should not be surprised if our judgment is a little off, whether we have left the relationship or are still in it. The narcissist has an interest in making us doubt ourselves. What seems right, in the struggle of the narcissistic relationship, may not be right. It may not even make sense, but that’s the nature of what these victims suffer.

So don’t beat yourself up. Find forgiveness in the love of God and move forward. Trust that you are just as loved as you ever were. Both the bad decision and the regret just prove you are human and you need support from outside yourself.

28 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

28 responses to “Bad Decisions

  1. Janet

    If you can, get OUT of your relationship with the Narcissist. I finally did. It was the only way to get myself back, and more importantly, to get my relationship with God back. This N keeps trying to reenter my life evey 2 months or so, but I keep saying we must part company for both our sakes. I do believe she has finally believed me this time. (I know, famous last words) But I also believe she may finally be sick of my rejections and will finally go in search of another supplier.

    • Donna Hunter

      Yes. Get out! I’ve gone back more than a few times but this time feels different. I see it for what it is now. I used to blame myself and codependency. Learn to ‘gray rock’ the Narc. And learn ‘No Contact’.

  2. Tabbie

    Thank you
    I needed to hear that
    I am at my wits end of confusion, guilt, sorrow
    disappointment and fear of what is next.
    I needed to know that my stupid choices
    are forgiven and that there is still hope out there somewhere.

    • Pam Faro

      There is forgiveNess and healing out there for you. Don’t settle for less.

      • Tabbie

        Again and also to you Pam Thank you for your encouragement.
        I have tried so many times over the years to reach out to others but to no avail. I know now it was because no one understands unless they also have a relationship with a narcississt. Thank you thank you

      • karebrad

        It’s so true. Unless you know one or experienced an N you just don’t get it.
        This blog has helped me so much.
        I’m just concerned bc staying with the N in my life is affecting my health, the stress involved. At what point do you know it’s time to move on. God didn’t call me to be a martyr.

      • Tabbie

        May God have mercy on you and your situation. Everyones is different.
        there is no answer that fits all. Keep praying for discernment and God to guide you in making right decisions. I now it is so hard but do remember the N is suffering and needs Jesus. I am praying my N to “Have seeing eyes to see and Hearing ears to hear” God’s truth for his life. It is my handicapped son living in my home with me. Sooooooooo hard!!!!!!!
        On the other hand we must do right toward and for ourselves. We must stop receiving their crap into our lives. We must or it is going to destroy us.
        I am praying a prayer for you. God’s mercy and guidance be yours.
        We must not give up.

      • karebrad

        I’m with Pam. I’m just so afraid of making another stupid choice, I’m afraid of leaving the N in my life as it opens up the door for more other very difficult things. How does one weed through this mess?

  3. Cookie

    Well, this is pretty much the story of my life as it relates to dealing with my parent. I pray for insight and strength and I actually make some progress and go forward in an area of my life, but then find myself right back where I started. She knows exactly how to hook me every time. She knows that I love her and my disabled brother and she knows that, because I love them both, I won’t just walk away. And she takes full advantage of both of those facts. I know that, in Christ, I have freedom, but I sure am having trouble walking in it! Lord, please help me to believe it to the point where I walk it out even in the midst of the craziness. Dave said it so well – the result of these relationships is that we doubt ourselves. And I think that is the crux of the matter. The hook plus my own self-doubt (and even doubt in God) usually equals a bad decision which leads to even more doubt.

    • Tabbie

      I hear your heart’s cry: I’ve been there and back again and again. What God keeps bringing to my attention is:
      Proverbs 3:5-6

      Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

      In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

      Do not give up
      God have mercy on you my fellow struggler

  4. karebrad

    Are there any support groups other than this website that can help someine who lives with a narcissist?

    • there are but be very very careful who you involve yourself with. I found groups & advice from first finding good psychatrists/psychologists/counsellors (eg Dr Judith Orloff) and educating myself on narcissism. Then that path led me to Pastor Dave. Educating yourself about narcissism in its’ variety of disguises is very important (but try not to become obsessive!). There are the positive groups that may suit short or long term, & some that want to hold onto their victim status. I have found both. I enjoyed one group a lot for the first year or so, then became aware the group leader didn’t seem to truly want to move forward. When I left the group it had changed to “let’s support each other from a position of anger” & that doesn’t work for me.
      Part of the narc’s strategy is to muddle our thinking. This makes is more difficult to discern good and not so good information and intent. I suggest when you find a group, step back & assess it’s value & truth to you as an observer. That may help find truth & not a narc in disguise (Pastor Dave did write an post on covert narcissists)

      • karebrad

        Thank you! I think where I live there’s probably no one that addresses narcissism. I once had a counselor tell me that N’s run in firefighter’s, police, & Pastors. My spouse fits in this category!

      • Cat

        There are a lot of groups on Facebook, if you’ve got a profile there, but if you do join any, be careful what you post and remember, the owners can sometimes have issues themselves. A good group I’m in is called Ending Verbal, Emotional & Mental Abuse One Narcissist At A Time. Also, One Moms Battle for anyone with children who is divorcing a narcissist.

      • karebrad

        Thanks for that information!
        I will check it out.

  5. Let us also not forget that Narcissists target their victims. They target people who have kind and gentle spirits, who are generous and forgiving, who invest in relationships and value family. In short, they target people who live their Christian values. But, the victims lacked two things as they try to be like Christ – we lacked discernment (the ability to identify good from evil) and healthy boundaries (the ability to identify when we must say “no more” and not feel badly about walking away from unhealthy boundary breakers). While Jesus shared God’s love for others, he also called out evil and told us to stay away from it. He didn’t let everyone into his inner circle. He was kind to those seeking Him, but he called the Pharisees and others a brood of vipers, white-washed tombs, and sons of Satan, the father of lies.

    I believe we make bad decisions because we don’t want to believe that the narcissist who is wooing us is really as evil as he is. While we are trying to be Christ-like in being kind, generous, non-judgmental, forgiving, etc., we lack the Christ-like qualities of discernment and boundaries. We project our good intentions and character onto others with bad intentions and character. We make excuses for his behavior, ignore the signs that he is not trying to walk with God, and relish the “love-bombing” stage in which he is trying to win over our hearts as his next victim. It’s not until we are thick into the relationship, after the Narcissist has his hooks in us (which generally occurs right after a wedding or a financial transaction in which the parties must rely on each other) that we begin to see the real Narcissist and the evil in him. And by then, it is too late to extract ourselves without a great deal of emotional pain, and the destruction of our family and our bank account.

    Good decisions require wisdom, discernment, and healthy boundaries. These are gifts from God. He promises that when we seek these things, we will find them. Spending time with God in prayer, listening to Him, and in His Word (which has a lot to say about evil people) will move us from being naïve about the evil around us to being wise, discerning, and able to establish healthy boundaries – in essence, to make better decisions.

    • Pat N.

      AMEN to that!!

    • JD

      Praying for the gift of discernment is very wise. A great point! Wonderful actually. Being Christ like is having the ability to discern and rebuke.

    • Pam Faro

      Wow. You’re words are so true. I got involved twice with the same N because I couldn’t believe how evil he really is. When I went back the second time, he was intent on punishing me for my earlier betrayal. I watched for quite a while before extracting myself the second time just to make absolutely sure of the truth of the situation. I am learning discerninment. It cost a lot in many ways, but I knew the truth by the time I got out for good

    • narcs also like people who are intelligent & capable as it makes the narc look better to have such people around them – a lesson I learned the hard way & now I work in a totally different industry… and much much happier

    • UnForsaken

      Wise words.

      Good for you, karebrad! We have been victimized, but we Choose to be survivors! I would even say we are warriors, against the evil that still tries to poison our hearts. We Choose. And God is the One who works out all the good in us, the ultimate Helper and Friend.

  6. Pam Faro

    Once again, exactly what I need to hear! I got out if the N relationship for the SECOND time 2 years ago. Am still trying to learn what healthy relationship s are. Still working through the lies I lived under. But for me, peace is so worth it. Yes, as someone vehicle has always had ‘someone’, it is not always ok. But I am getting used to it. Finding that my God is and can be enough. Yes, I still have the desire for a human love relationship, but at this point it scares me to death .

    • Discerning a good person from a bad one can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. While bad people will try to pretend to be good, good people never try to pretend to be bad. Looking for the small (and large) things will reveal a lot about their character: How do they treat the waitress? How do they talk about their former spouse? What does the former spouse say about why they broke up? (If he won’t let you talk to a former spouse, then there’s a red flag right there.) Does he try to cut corners on his taxes? If he is given the wrong change, does he return it? What are his friends and family like? How does he treat his mother and his sisters? How is his relationship with his father? Is he generously supporting his children, or trying to avoid alimony and child support? Is he constantly going to court? (Ask the former spouse for a true answer.) Is he truly seeking God? Does this show in how he spends his time and what he spends his money on? By ignoring what they self proclaim, and looking at how he spends his time and money, a lot of a person’s character is revealed. What does he do when he thinks no one is looking? Does he pressure you to do things you don’t want to do? Does he try to rush the relationship and demand commitment too fast? Does he rage when things don’t go his way? Does he talk down to or about people? Are the Fruits of the Spirit evident in him? Does his “love” meet the definition of 1 Cor 13? What do your friends who have wisdom and the spirit of discernment say about him?

      Before I remarried a wonderful, godly, man after a 21 year marriage to a Narcissistic Sociopath, I used these Biblical guidelines. I also vetted him with every wise person whose opinion I valued. Thankfully, everyone saw the good in him that I saw.

  7. karebrad

    WHat does giving up look like?
    There is hope for all of us, but in the meantime do we continually live a life that maybe was never meant for us to live? I’ve lived mine 41 yrs. & is it so wrong for me to set a boundary for self care? I just don’t think so.

    • Karebrad, I would not call leaving a Narcissist “giving up.” I believe it is the time when the scales fall from our eyes, we recognize evil for what it is, we recognize that God’s purpose for marriage (i.e. of being an example to the world and to each other of the amazing love God has for each of us) is not being fulfilled in any way, we are at a point of emotional, spiritual and physical exhaustion or worse because of the constant abuse, and we know that the Narcissist (or sociopath or psychopath – all of which make up the population of domestic abusers) will not change for the better. On average, women leave an abusive relationship seven times before they leave for good. There are a number of reasons: financial concerns, they value their vows, they try to keep their family intact, they hope the N will get better, they want to believe the N’s promises to change, they feel that God will be mad if they divorce, etc… God has specific instructions on how husbands should love their wives (see Ephesians 5) – and continued abuse is intentionally, maliciously, and without repentance breaks the marriage vows. God also has specific instructions on how to deal with these people with flagrant, unrepentant, continuing sin: have nothing to do with them. (Matt 18, 2 Tim 3, 2 Cor 5). Domestic abuse is an abomination to God. When to leave is a matter for which one must seek God’s will and should be led by the Holy Spirit. In the meantime, I highly recommend joining a domestic abuse support group (your county should have a shelter and counseling) and consider reading up on Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, and domestic abuse so that you are fully aware of their tactics, what to expect when you leave, the effect that it is having on you, and how to heal. There are a number of books that have been written on the subject (unfortunately, one needs to read a lot of them to get the entire picture of these disordered people). Depending on the abuse, you may wish to seek an Order of Protection. Then, it is best to make a safety plan, legal plan, financial plan, spiritual plan, and emotional support plan. (Sadly, most pastors and “church people” are more harm than good when it comes to domestic abuse and narcissists – so ignore them if they are unsupportive). Finally, when the Holy Spirit leads, execute the plan, and don’t look back. It will likely be the hardest thing you ever do, but God has your back. He takes care of his beloved daughters, heals, and transforms them into lionesses, because he is the Lion of Judah.

  8. Donna Hunter

    Such an important message to read. That we are still loved by God. We were not thinking or acting clearly because of self doubt. I left one month ago. Moved to another state. I mostly feel ok but I think I’m just numb and deep down I’m really hurting. I need to get past that I can’t change the fact I didn’t listen to my gut to leave sooner and for good. I kept going back for the small morsels of feel good moments. Moments that kept decreasing. I need to forgive myself.

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