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Submissive Wife or Narcissist Victim?

verbal-abuseIt is an admirable goal for a Christian woman to work on becoming  a  submissive wife as outlined in Ephesians 5:22-33, but this sincere desire to please God and her husband can tempt a narcissist to manipulate and abuse the woman.

Narcissist predators are on the lookout for women who strive to be  selfless and willing to sacrifice to care for others.  I know this, all too well,  from first- hand experience. 

The abuse can be very subtle with the control increasing gradually over time so that the wife gradually adapts to it.

The narcissist husband and submissive wife may function well together in the beginning  in their respective roles, making a home and raising a family, but as time goes on the narcissist expects more and more, and the submissive wife feels frustrated, like she can never do enough. Eventually frustration leads to depression. The narcissist is unable to love, the submissive wife feels unloved and the relationship spirals downhill.

In typical narcissist fashion, the husband blames the wife, and in her role as pleaser she takes the blame and buys yet another book on submission and tries harder, becoming more frustrated, with more downhill spiraling, rinse and repeat.

Patricia Evans, author and recognized expert on Verbal Abuse, describes wives who experience this abuse in the excerpt below.

Characteristics of the Woman Who Has Experienced Abuse

She’s a naive romantic. She believes that love, her love, will conquer all. It takes her the longest time to learn that love doesn’t excuse her partner from being accountable for their actions.

She doesn’t know when to give up and walk away.
She is a natural at guilt and apologies. She shoulders the blame for whatever goes wrong.

She takes responsibility for anything and everything.
She doesn’t believe that she is good enough. Her low self-worth, progressively lowered in an abusive relationship, means that however imperfect her partner, she still feels inferior to them. She sees that person as compensating for her own inadequacies.

Her ‘NO’ lacks authority. In other words, she is easily bullied and coerced. She may sound strong-minded, but her wants, needs, and reason never carry the same weight for her as those of her parnter.

She has little or no idea of boundaries. She has little instinct for self protection or self-preservation. Her best ‘strategy’ is often to hope that others will do right by her

She believes that she needs someone else to complete her. She does not fully believe that she can manage herself on her own and face the challenges of life.

She’s really into rescue. A generous soul, she may well yearn for a rescuer, but she can’t resist running to the rescue of anyone in distress. (This is often part of what attracts her to an abusive partner.) She’s slow to learn that the people she rescues are more likely to turn aggressive than to show gratitude and loyalty in the long term.

She believes that she is entitled to far less from her life than other people. Other people have rights, she only has wishes that she believes are probably unreasonable.

She is a generous, long-suffering person.

Patricia Evans’ website is www.verbalabuse.com

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51HOKnr+cWL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Helpful Resources

Knowledge is power and can be truly liberating.

There are books and web sites full of information about the narcissistic personality, which are informative reading for anyone closely associated with one. Allow yourself to learn about the subject, since knowledge is power.

Maintain your sanity by understanding the dynamics of a narcissistic relationship. Reading about others’ experiences will show you that you are not alone and possibly provide other tips for coping.

 

Comments (2)

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  1. 1
    chaya1957 says:

    I have worked with people in these situations. Relationship addictions are no different than addictions to alcohol or drugs, although it is more subtle. It would be better to use biblical words and phrases such, “sin,” or “being overcome by evil,” rather than psychological terms such as, “co-dependence,” and, “narcissistic.” That’s why I counsel young women (and some older ones) to avoid any romantic entanglements until they are at a place of peace and stability, where they can make good decisions. And if a person’s vision and discernment is unclear and damaged; this is where a trusted friend comes in. But I find most people in these situations will not listen. They are getting a payoff from this. They get to be the messiah, the savior, when the other person needs the real Messiah and Savior. One must have darkness within them to be attracted to darkness. But we are offered light to destroy this darkness, if we will accept it. but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin. I John 1:7.

  2. 2
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for shedding the light to my life.
    God gave me the hint to open your blog around 3am, every word is talking about me.
    I ended up 21 your mentioned relationship.
    Appreciate God live with me, give me the inner power to confront the evil.

    in HIS love and live HIM out,

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