Don’t let his games get you down.
The good news is that by reading this article you are courageously taking the first big step to helping yourself reclaim your life back from the misery you’ve been living married to a narcissist sociopath.
You feel alone because you keep this part of your life hidden from those who love you the most. You’re frightened because you’ve lost a big part of who you used to be before you met and married “Mr. Right”… before you realized he was a sociopath.
Every day you wonder if it’s even possible to pick up the pieces of your life again. It seems like you’re emotionally and physically exhausted all the time from dealing with the narcissistic sociopath you’re in a relationship with.
You’re confused one minute and angry the next, but mostly, you feel guilty, like you’re worthless and no one else will love you.
So ask yourself, what is your role in this dance with your narcissistic sociopath of a husband?
Just as he keeps repeating his actions and words over and over, the same is true for you, too. You have internalized your own negative feelings in response to his tirades and blaming. All of a sudden, a switch has flipped, and now you’re repeating the very words he’s told you over the years to yourself — keeping yourself down, rather than learning how to deal with his narcissist and sociopathic tendencies.
As a result, instead of just one person attacking you, there are now two — him and you. Over time, you have conditioned your response to blame yourself (as he “trained” you to do), which results in you constantly feeling guilty.
You get a double whammy of guilt. When you’ve internalized the awful things he says to you, you’re constantly repeating those negative things… so that he doesn’t even have to.
For example, you’ve worked hard, the house is spotless, the dinner’s gourmet, you’ve set the table, and you’re wearing his favorite perfume. But when you serve him dinner, he complains loudly that you burned the mushrooms, and throws his plate across the room into the kitchen garbage. He screams that you never do anything right.
Instead of realizing that this narcissist, sociopathic behavior is abusive and controlling, you feel guilt, shame, or sadness.
You end up meekly accepting his belief that you’re a terrible cook or a terrible wife and clean up the mess, determined to make it right next time and not screw up. You feel like it’s all your fault, no matter the circumstances.
This habitual way of behaving has manifested in your unhappiness. You are experiencing both a biophysical response (chemical and body) and a psychological response (mental and emotional), to the triggers we spoke about earlier.
Try and remember that this is not your fault. This is his problem, not yours.
If you realize that you’re married to a narcissistic sociopath, you need to learn how to overcome his abuse.
Here are 8 rules to help you next time you feel like you’re being controlled, gaslit, or manipulated by your narcissistic sociopathic husband:
1. Recognize the trigger.
Pay attention to whatever he says or does that makes you feel this way. Notice how he does it, and how often.
2. Stop and think about it.
Notice how you’re feeling; don’t just accept that he’s right and you should feel a certain way.
3. Name what you’re feeling.
“He’s right, it was my fault I burnt the mushrooms. This makes me feel guilty now.”
Giving a name to what you’re feeling doesn’t mean he’s right. It means you’re beginning to understand how he’s making you feel, and in recognizing how you’re feeling, you can get control over that feeling.
4. Repeat the “golden rule of guilt.”
“I’m NOT buying into this.”
In order for him to make you feel guilty, you have to ‘buy into” feeling guilty! It won’t work unless you agree consciously or subconsciously to “buy into” his version of why you should feel guilty. People burn dinners all the time. Does it make you a bad person? No. The one who should be feeling the guilt is the person who threw a temper tantrum over some burnt mushrooms.
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5. Make a choice.
Now you can choose to not feel guilty because you don’t deserve to feel guilty and you did nothing wrong. Make this decision consciously, even if you still feel guilty.
6. Repeat an empowering mantra.
Silently tell yourself “I am guilt free! I am guilt free! I am guilt free!” As soon as you repeat this mantra, the guilt will begin to fade away.
7. Practice a one-minute visualization.
Think about the circumstances that led to this problem. It will help you believe that you deserve to be guilt-free. Take a moment to visualize the mushrooms as you were cooking them. Do you see the way those mushrooms look? There was no way you burnt them. You cooked them to perfection just the way he likes them. This will help you understand that you have nothing to feel sorry for.
8. Go back to rule #4: I’m NOT buying into this!
Look at your husband. He’s really upset. Say silently to yourself, “I’m just going to listen to him. I know that there’s no need for me to feel guilty. The mushrooms were delicious. He’s really playing it for an audience… But tonight is my night to start feeling better.”
Starting now, you are on your path to wellness. You might wonder how a simple exercise can change your life? Once you internally change your thoughts and beliefs, then your external reality automatically changes, too! How cool is that?
The more you reinforce your own guilt-free beliefs, the easier it will become to embrace them and stop giving in to his verbals attacks. And when you’re feeling stronger and believing in yourself, you’re not going to put up with the rest of it, either.
If you’re married to a narcissistic sociopath and struggling with guilt, despair, fear or simply feeling stuck, marriage therapist Margot Brown can provide the help you need now. As the founder of KickstartYourRelationship.com and author of Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out, she’s empowered couples and individuals to create happier lives for over 20 years.