Domestic Violence Support Services • March 20, 2022
As a partner to a child of a malignant narcissist, you might be feeling frustrated. You are doing a great job recognizing that you don’t have all the answers (none of us do). Yay, you.
Here is what we have learned: One of the keys to healing is to guide your partner towards the sad truth that their parent is unhealthy. The gaslighting has most likely already happened that your partner is controlling; care must be taken to demonstrate that you are not being controlling.
You can guide your partner to seeing the truth of narcissistic sociopaths: Use stories, that lead to conclusions that are examples of the toxic relationships (and let your partner come to those truthful conclusions). Your partner is being misled because they are not thinking with their frontal lobes. Your partner is not thinking with their frontal lobes because they are in survival mode.
Take care to not blame your parent in law; they are unwell, and unable to truly see the damage they are doing. (Some will argue that the in-law is doing it purposefully and maliciously; however, digging deeper will probably reveal childhood trauma or shame or something genetic or physically wrong that exists; without being acknowledged, these emotional and physical traumas will continue to exist, and cintribute to the behaviors of your in-law).
Take care not to blame your partner. They have lived a lifetime of reacting to their parent’s behaviors. (A key here is to support your partner in seeing the truth, and staying confident in the truth).
Another key is setting reasonable protective boundaries (safety policies for protecting the kids), e.g. Identify your in-law’s patterns; and then play a game of “Super Punch-Out” with him… (In the game, the player meets tougher and tougher opponents, and has a natural protective boundary of three rounds to advance to the next level. Eventually, the player wins.) Some folks will tell you that this isn’t a “game”; we have observed that to narcissistic sociopaths, these situations are games, and they seem to all have the same playbook. Research has shown that many narcissistic sociopaths are highly intelligent and cunning — and manipulative.
We are praying for hope… for compassion, humanity, empathy and wisdom… for you and for all of us. We pray that we will be kind, extend grace and patience, and not be barriers to others.