During the early days of a Narcissistic marriage, the victims often keep wondering, "why my life is like this?", "why I am unable to get what everyone is getting?", "Why am I such an in-efficient wife, householder, and a mother?" and so on.
The sharp split in the personality of the narcissists that they possess at home and in front of outsiders, the occasional love bombing, their gaslighting, guilt-tripping, abuse by proxy, and gaslighting at early days of marriage adds up to become too much for an innocent victim to figure out what's wrong with them, their life or their spouse. On top of all this the mental health issues of the victim also reduce their capability to find out what is happening to them.
But as soon as the victim spends considerable time with them and notices the patterns repeatedly they get some clue, and if they are lucky to get some awareness from resources and with some education on narcissism they are gradually able to figure out. But, by then it has already been a long time and kids are there. And when you realize that you are married to a narcissist you already have kids with them and you are co-parenting.10 Reasons Why You Cannot Heal While Still Being With A Narcissist.
An abused spouse has to face double the pain, as the abusive parent doesn't even spare their kids. They do not parent, they counter-parent. A narc is especially evil to own family, spouse, and kids. Nothing should come in the way of their sense of gratification.
The narcissist is incapable of parenting because:-
- They have an unlimited uncontrollable desire for sense enjoyment and
- They are highly insecure beings.
Note:-Senses are eyes(sight), nose(smell), skin(touch), tongue(taste), and ears(hearing). The sixth sense is Mind which controlls all five senses.
A narcissist believes that he/she is above all, has an inflated sense of self which is a way to gratify the sixth sense, the mind. At the same time, they are insecure from the inside, and this insecurity surfaces as anger and overcontrol of life of loved ones. This is how they remain self-absorbed and consciously or unconsciously busy serving their personal needs and insecurities all the time directly or through others by controlling their lives.
Co-parenting is a challenge because of the above-stated attitude of narcissists. Here is what it looks like:-
They do not remember most of the time that they have kids. They are always free and open to the outside world for any help, service, visit, long phone calls, unnecessary chit-chat even when they had a really important engagement with kids. They will leave hungry kids with sick spouse and go party with friends while ranting about not getting a home-cooked meal that day.
They don't mind kids going late or altogether missing school the next day if they are in the mood for a celebration or an argument on the eve. They however show a lot of concern when kids are not doing well in schools and blame it all on the kids and the other spouse.
They never participate in homework and assignments, they are either too low in intelligence all of sudden that they just don't know how to get it done, or they are too tired, or they have other engagement or they over expect the kid to understand everything with their unclear instructions and get violent very quickly afterward. So that the other spouse comes into the picture and takes over the responsibility.
They make unclear and inconsistent rules for family and breach them every day in front of kids but get very angry when kids don't follow them ideally.
They intimidate and induce guilt in other spouses when the kids deviate even slightly from the rules and regulations set by healthy parents causing self-doubt in the parenting abilities of a kind parent and pitting her against the kids. They also take the side of the other spouse and scold the kid as a team of parents. They do not want positive parenting results, they just want to prove how they are the better parents and how they love the other spouse more than her kids love her. It's all about their ego.
They use kids as pawns to satisfy their needs. They use their kids as trophies when the kids are shining and as doormats and black sheep when they are not. Even if they praise a kid it's always in comparison to other ones to show how much the hated one lags behind the loved one in accomplishments and lovability. They do this to convince themselves that they are capable of loving their kid and at the same time justify their hatred towards the other.
They highly interfere in sibling relationships among their kids. They always take sides. The golden child is always wrong and the scapegoat is always wrong. They are always lost in a sense of gratification, never pay attention to what is going on between two arguing kids, but when their voices become too loud to disturb their sense of enjoyment they all of a sudden lash out at the hated child without listening to the stories of both sides. This gradually created wedge between kids as they grow up and do not bond well.6 Tips for detoxing sibling bonds in dysfunctional families.
They divide kids and conquer. They take the side of one or more kids and play against the third as a team when they have a personal agenda to achieve. Kids are not able to see the whole picture, the ones ganging up think that they are loyal and good children and hate the third for hurting the parent's emotion by being on the other side. The targeted child for a very long time believes that she is unworthy of parental and sibling love in spite of clear signs of abuse. This is such a sad state of family dysfunction. The Narcissistic Family Tree
They do not take "mental load" like remembering events crucial for a kid's growth and physical and mental well-being like vaccination dates, competition and function dates, and timings, doctor's appointments. They cannot be trusted for keeping a child well fed and safe if the other parent is not around.
They have poor consciousness. They may eat a kid's share of food or snack and then blame them falsely for leaving the food unfinished. They may also scold the kid later on when she gets upset or cranky due to hunger. They can do this on a daily basis if not caught. When being caught they explode in anger at kids and the other spouse for being falsely accused of such "dirt deed" (Based on true incidents shared by abuse victims).
If they are perverts, they can be child molesters also. This is a very serious case and if identified, kids must be immediately separated from such parents.18 Things to do if you want to raise mentally and physically strong kids.
They do not like living systematically and in an organized way. Sometimes, they are so disorganized and lousy that they make the rest of the family struggle in having an organized and systematic life and surroundings at home. It becomes a challenge for the other parents to teach a healthy, organized, and systematic lifestyle to their kids as kids don't learn what they are taught, they learn what they observe. They see the unorganized, unhygienic, and unhealthy lifestyle in relation to the dominating and happier parent whereas efforts to have a systematic, hygienic, and healthy lifestyle in relation to the depressed and suffering parent. They get a very clear message of "who to follow?"10 Signs You Have a Lousy Spouse!
They have low morals and ethics because nothing is more important than the satisfaction and gratification of their mind and senses. Kids see a lack of morals and ethics in relation to the dominating and happier parent whereas high morals and ethics in relation to the depressed and suffering parent. This is how it becomes a challenge for the other parenting to teach moral values and ethics to the other child.
Sick narcissistic parents don't leave a chance to make attempts to turn the kind parent into a flying monkey against the kids by pitting and falsely sympathizing with the other parents when kids hurt or fail her at any instance. There is hardly a moment in such families when they are all one as a family, there are always teams due to side taking.
They hide behind kids and spouse in the time of adversities. For example, they may tell false stories about misbehavior or non-cooperation of kids as the reason behind the absence of family at a function or social meet whereas, in reality, they themselves had some hidden agenda for not visiting. At the cost of the social image of their kids, they a moment of relief from social embarrassment but the rest of the family pays off, especially kids when they are misunderstood and not provided social support of people in times of need and this also deteriorates the social life of kids and hence the world view of kids. This is a type of developmental arrest for which kids pay for their life . This will happen if you idealize your abusive parents. It becomes a challenge for the other spouse to make people around them love their already abused and confused children. It also becomes a challenge for the other spouse to teach their kids how to identify emotionally safe people when everyone around is manipulated and recruited as flying monkeys due to narcissists' mind games. This is why people love your abuser while they hate you!
They don't care about putting any efforts into their prescribed duties towards their kids like helping them with education and teaching healthy life skills but they focus on the results of those efforts like marks and good behavior.
They ever expect from kids. They do not care to study growth developmental challenges and get angry and upset over the failure to achieve the results of their unrealistic expectations. This damages the self-esteem of kids and may cause unnecessary anxiety in them.
They fail to teach priorities in life by setting the wrong example but when kids deviate even an inch from being perfect they explode causing unnecessary guilt and shame in kids.
The list goes on and on about what wrong can go when someone co-parents with a narcissist.
There is no safe way to raise healthy kids in such an environment. Hence it is advised to keep the child away from them as much as possible. The non-toxic parent is advised to have empathy for kids, do everything to keep them away from chaos, have fewer conversations with the narcissistic parent, and try not to co-parent, it will only backfire and therefore having your own plans for nurturing the kids is best for peace.
Read this for learning to manage the stress that you get from abusive relationship https://www.theexhaustedsouls.com/2021/08/how-to-manage-stress-from-abuse.html