I am one of those people who grew up with a narcissist parent and has dated/married more than one narcissist. I finally caught on a few years ago and started setting, (or at least trying to set,) very strict boundaries in my life. When I tell normal people that I had a narc mom and two narc ex-husbands, they think I’m crazy and that *I* must be the problem. I guess I am the problem in a way since I allowed this to happen, but I don’t blame myself. And I certainly didn’t deserve the abuse. Just because I was repeating a pattern doesn’t mean I wasn’t abused. Therapists and other children of narcissists get it. Most of society doesn’t it. (They are lucky.)
I found an article today that mirrors some of the things I’ve posted in the past about why daughters of abusers marry abusers, and validates my realities. I wanted to share that article and some of my favorite quotes!
It is by psychologist Deborah Ward for Psychology Today called Stop the Narcissist Relationship Cycle.
Here are some sections that really stood out to me because they are so true:
“We are all attracted to someone who reminds us on some level of one of our parents so that we can recreate the dynamic that existed when we were children and heal the wounds from that time. If your mother was very controlling, for example, and didn’t listen to you, will you tend to be attracted to controlling people as an adult because you still want to try to get that love and attention and care you longed for as a child.”
“While we may not be happy with their behaviour, it is hard to leave because we feel driven to try to get this person to give us the love we need. The problem is that the narcissist is incapable of giving you what you need, just as your parent was.”
“Highly sensitive people are natural carers and nurturers and sensitive to other people’s feelings and needs and narcissists can sense this a mile away. So just as we’re attracted to them because they seem familiar to us, they are attracted to us because they know they will get what they need from us”
Wow. I can relate too much. The article goes on to give some tips on how we can stop the cycle and start expecting and receiving better things for our lives. I highly recommend reading it if you have a pattern of dating narcissists!