Narcissism and Emotional Abuse: Paying Attention to Your Path

Many of our blogs identify the narcissist as “him” and the victim as “her.” While most of our content leans that way, and most of the couples who seek our help lean that way, the reality is, not all narcissists are men, nor are women the only victims. We are all, male and female, quite capable of being absolutely arrogant, carelessly emotionally destructive, and acrimoniously self-protective. And the outcome is the same: relationships marred by trauma, brokenness, and deep pain. We end up in relationships that are shallow, void of connection, and wracked with fear and confusion.
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A Woman Scorned

By the time most couples seek help with their marriage, anger is a profound element of the relationship. I’ve also noticed, however, that it’s common for neither party to acknowledge their own anger, although they can often easily point out the anger within their spouse. Wives might bring up their husband’s outbursts, raging, or controlling behavior. Husbands tend to point out their wife’s lack of forgiveness, withdrawal, or depression. Each of them feels fairly justified in what they’re allowing to brew under the surface of their behavior, without recognizing how much damage their anger is doing.
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How do I Know if he’s Really Changing?

Lisa had recently realized that her marriage wasn’t functioning well. She had wrapped her life around Joe, managing the house, the kids, and the schedule to cater to his expectations. Now, several years in, she was becoming aware of some important issues, namely (1) Joe’s “expectations” randomly changed, (2) he did not take her seriously, and (3) he had no real empathy or understanding of her, nor did he seem to want to.
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Sex and the Broken Relationship

How does sex fit into the picture when the relationship is broken and hurting? What about during separation or divorce? On one hand, we’re taught that sex is a very private, personal matter where you can decide what works for you; what you do in the privacy of your own home is up to you. Our culture certainly promotes detaching sex from relationships, claiming it’s not hurting anybody, especially if it’s consensual.
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Why Is Self-Care So Important?

Leaving Yourself Empty Many of us spend much of our lives pouring ourselves out for others. As a daughter, a son, a mother, a husband, a wife, a friend—you’ve given significant amounts of your time and energy to love, serve, care for, and bless the people around you. You’ve lived as if your love could heal them and your vision for them would empower and sustain them.
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Letting Go of Snooping

I need the truth to get back to normal. The first thing we tend to do when our spouse does something to cause suspicion is go digging, scrounging up any and every possible detail and angle we can find to help us “know” what is really going on. Suddenly, we have a desperation to fit pieces together that we didn’t even realize were missing or to find evidence to disprove what we now “know” so we can “go back to normal.”
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The Power of Words

Miscommunication is not necessarily what destroys a marriage. What comes out of your mouth simply reflects what’s in your heart. But, not being able to communicate does stifle rebuilding the relationship.  When you have no confidence in being able to approach the other with something that pertains to them, you have no means to negotiate the relationship. A healthy relationship is dependent upon knowing that your spouse will listen, seek to understand and collaborate to resolve the issues that are damaging the relationship.
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Let Your Anger be a Catalyst for Change

She came into her marriage believing they would work through anything.  She thought the times they were immature, or selfish, or careless would simply be the things anyone would walk through as they got older and wiser.  She thought surely God would not allow him to feel okay about raging, deceiving, or dismissing and belittling her. She did not expect a pervasive, steady path toward death of her joy, her hopes, her motivation, or her sense of what she had to offer to the world.
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