Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

Divorce a cheater and society will hate them.

Divorce an addict and society will beg you to leave them.

Divorce an abuser and society will tell you that you should have left long ago.

Divorce a narcissist and society will tell you that you are crazy.

One of the additional angsts of leaving a narcissist is that they present well to the world.

Friends and strangers alike will see the overt behavior of a cheater, a liar, an abuser or an addict. There will be a public outcry. A demand that one must be treated better. There will be an obvious enabler and a more obvious individual who is behaving badly.

However, the individual who dares divorce a narcissist will meet quite a different societal response. There will be no public outcry. No demand that one must be treated better. There will be no clear vision that one spouse is actually an enabler and that the other is behaving badly.

Why?

A narcissist is two people. They are attractive, charming and successful. They are also cold, cruel and ruthless.

The inherent lack of empathy, something which is a development trait learned in childhood – results in a Jekyll to a Hyde personality.

Society will try and understand what you are saying and what you are going through. However, they will question you because their logic will tell them that if there was truly both a Jekyll and Hyde then why haven’t they met them both?

Most people won’t meet the flip side of a narcissist. That seems to be reserved for those closest to them and perhaps periodically, a few people who work too closely with them.

It can be in part because narcissists do not tend to form deep attachments and therefore have an improved ability to remain ‘surface’ charming. It can also be because a narcissist lives in their own world. As long as you do not complicate or injure their world they will remain charming.

However, if in the narcissist’s eyes one dares to anger, offend, hurt them or interfere with their world – they will stop at almost nothing to punish this person.

This is just one more of the reasons that divorcing a narcissist is impossible. They aren’t interested in a divorce. They are interested in control, retribution, and punishment.

Society will continue to see this seemingly light-hearted and charming person. How could this affable personality actually be inflicting bullying, emotional and financial abuse on their spouse and possibly their children?

Society will convince themselves that they are missing something. Perhaps the other spouse is exaggerating? Perhaps there is more to the relationship story? Perhaps the spouse is just more uptight than this charming person and bringing it on themselves? Perhaps there are two sides to this story?

There are not two sides. There is only an enabler and an abusive personality.

It is sadly the acceptance and confusion of an acceptable mental health disorder due to the fact that narcissists are attractive, charming and successful.

So society accepts these bullies as mainstream. There is no outcry. There is no real ability for the courts to help.

In some ways, even the people divorcing them understand this.

Why? Because they were habitually confused as well. The narcissist kept telling them who they were only they refused to believe it. That’s why they stayed in the relationship for so long. They kept seeing the good in the narcissist and brushing away the bad. They kept making excuses for the bad behavior. They kept enabling.

Society needs to understand the ruthlessness of a narcissist and the lack of support systems in place to divorce them.
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