Anyone dealing with Narcissitic Personality Disorder?


Some of you know my situation with my sister and her ex under the thread “When it is to much.”

We believe, after someone suggested it to us in this forum, that my sister’s ex has NPD. We now think that the ex’s new wife is more of a narcissistic person than he is.

How do you deal with these kinds of people in a Christian way? They are very difficult people who are control freaks and tell you what to do and how to do it. They believe they are better than you and have a distorted view of himselves and others.

We are having a hard time dealing with the ex and his wife. My sister has to email them about the kids by order of the courts, but they are using it to talk bad about my sister and just make up lies about their way of seeing things. I have adviced my sister not to address any unfounded accusation or not to go to their level, but how and what do we say for almost anything is not accepted to them and they fight over everything. We can’t use the court system for the rest of the children’s lives or until their dad is out of the picture. This all could be a long time for the kids are 6 and 9.

How do we explain or do we explain to the kids their weird behavior? The 9 year old has noticed the mood swings of her father and mostly from the stepmom. Do we explain it or just keep saying that they are weird if they do something or say something over the extreme?

What to do? This has been going on for so long and to tell you the truth, we are all from lawyer to family members, sick of it all. We are all going to go crazy, but most of alll my poor sister who has to deal with her ex.:banghead:


What - selfishness and pride have a medical diagnosis, now? :confused:

This all sounds like a perfectly normal divorce scenario, to me.

You don’t really need to explain anything to the kids. They get the picture, and they realize that they are being manipulated. There’s not much they can do about it, but they do understand what’s going on.


Yes there is a medical psychiatric diagnosis for this selfishness that goes beyond just being selfish. These people have a grandiose view of themselves, kind of like the world revolves around them. They are more important and in control of everyone. I found this about narcissist:

“Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self. Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of “talents and skills” which the narcissist fantasizes that he possesses, any hint that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party. Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others. Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim.
The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.
The narcissist reacts with narcissistic rage, hatred, aggression, or violence to an infringement of what he perceives to be his entitlement. Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest will inflame the narcissist.
Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his needs are not everyone’s priority, that he is boring, that his needs can be catered to by an average practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. - and the narcissist will lose control.” (2003 Lidija Rangelovska Narcissus Publications)


What an awful situation. The only thing that I could recommend would be that your sister document the falsehoods, slanderous remarks, in addition to the pain and confusion that she sees in her children as a result of visitations with their father. It sounds like the new step-mom may well be emotionally unavailable to your sister’s children, and that could become a huge problem in the future. Keeping a weekly journal could be a tremendous asset to her in the future. Your sister should not cower nor hope that this mistreatment goes away, she should deal with it from a position of strength so they don’t treat her like a doormat for the next 12 years. And beyond.

Also, the sort of mood swings you are describing may well result in very unstable behavior that could jepardize the children’s well-being. Your sister could petition the court for her ex to have supervised visits with the children. What do you know about the background of the step-mother?

And she needs to present to the judge the psychological abuse she is suffering as well, since this will ultimately make it harder for her to stay in control of this situation. I would look for a very stable Catholic family counselor to back up your suspicions with explanations and possible diagnoses of this situation. Professional opinion may well tip the scale to favor your poor sister’s position.

Prayer is also essential. As is having a sister like you. God bless you with many graces as you fight the good fight for your sister.


There is a simple remedy. “Grow up, already.” :stuck_out_tongue:


My husband and I have been dealing with a similar situation for three years. My sister-in-law and father-in-law both have personality disorders and are extremely difficult to deal with. My husband and I have been raising our niece for the last three years because my sister-in-law is not mentally fit to be a parent. Unfortunately we do not have custody of our niece nor are we likely to get custody. It’s a long story.

As far as telling our niece her Mom has problems, we don’t. Our house is the one place where our niece can voice her feelings and opinions about anyone or anything without fear of criticism or being laughed at. We do not say anything negative about her Mom or her Dad (who is just as bad as Mom and never wanted a kid in the first place).

What I have told our niece is that different people are good at different things. For example, my husband and I are good at helping her with her homework, while her Mom is good at helping her with “girly” things like fingernail polish and picking out jewelry. Believe me it is a stretch to find positive things to say about her Mom, but we do try.

My sister-in-law frequently flies into rages and says a lot of things that aren’t true. I have told our niece that her Mom likes to try on ideas like some people try on clothes. That her Mom needs to hear the ideas said out loud to see if they “fit” and that just because her Mom says something doesn’t mean it’s true or is really going to happen.


Cupofkindness quoted: Also, the sort of mood swings you are describing may well result in very unstable behavior that could jepardize the children’s well-being. Your sister could petition the court for her ex to have supervised visits with the children. What do you know about the background of the step-mother?

That is what we worry the most about and in fact the unstable behavior is affecting the 9 year old. She is very depressed and thinks that she is unimportant at her dads for the way they talk to her and treat her. She has even been placed in the trunk of their SUV because her stepmom needed to lay down due to back pain. She said she wondered if her dad loved her for she was back there with no seat to seat on and no seatbelt. This comes from her and much more. She was seeing a counselor and she said this girl is far more mature than her age and to be honest with her, for she knows already. We don’t say anything negative about her dad, but she does and has a love-hate relationship with him. The last time she was at her dad’s for two weeks, she cried every day, called her mom crying, the dad admits she cried everyday and she lost 5 to 8 pounds. No one weigh her. She was a mess emotionally and the counselor doens’t recommend any long visits with her dad which is not in the child’s best interest. But when this counselor told this to the dad and was in court ready to testify in behalf of the child, the next day he has his lawyers forbid her from seeing the kids anymore. We can’t get any mental healthj person to see the kids without the dad’s permission. No one will, we have tried. NO one wants to get sued which is what the dad is threatening with. There is more and it is sad, but we don’t know how to deal with irrational people.

We do not know much on this stepmom, except that she has three girls all from different men. We also heard from other co-workers for hers that she is a home recker. That is all we know.

The therapist will testify on November 7th, for the first time she showed up but the court had to be continued for so much has happened.

We pray and pray and fast. We are just waiting for the court date, but in the mean time, the stepmom and dad, who accuse my sister of talking bad about them, talks to the 9 year old and tells her that her mom is a bitch and an evil person. How do you not tell this little child that these people are not totally normal? We just keep saying that she needs to pray for her dad and stepmom and say that it wasn’t nice for them to say such things.


i feel your pain, my ex is definalty NPD, and i am glad i finally put a finger on it. once i educated myself on it, that helped with the anger…dont get me wrong, it is very painful to not see my son or his siblings everyday = they are not mine,but i love them all just the same, they are my son’s sisters so i am bound to them ] everyday. i have to stand by and watch as they are instilled with lying , laziness, and other bad traits…and she is oblivious. and i CANNOT approach her…but i have found that i can leader her to a more agreeable practice without her knowing she is being led…the secret…I now see Christ in her and treat her as such…no matter how right i am , only love will soften her heart…

hope this helps. i know it is not what you want ot hear.
peace be to you


I think that you are very wise in the way that you are dealing with this issue.


Could you report this incident to the police? Putting a child in a trunk sounds like child abuse to me.


I had a mother with what I think was symptoms of NPD. It was an extremly painful childhood. This goes beyond selfishness and pride.

HEre is one incident from my childhood. My mother dated a lot and she got a lot of her self worth from attracting men, which she did easily. The problem was that she needed constant reassurance and she was very clingly and needy. Men normally ran for the hills once they began to really know her. WHile she was dating, we kids were ignored. She paid us no attention at all. WHen she wasn’t dating though, she demanded that we stop seeing friends, not go outside after school, even stop doing homework, so that we could sit with her. SHe would bombard us with questions as to whether she was more beautiful then some actress on tv, or did she still look young, or was she still youthful. We had to say whatever made her happy. IF we answered incorrectly, she would throw tantrums and start screaming and yelling or throwing things. You never knew what kind of mother you would have from day to day.

This is not normal behavior and it is abusive.


I am going through a divorce right now with someone who definitely has NPD. What you are describing about your mom is a lot like what he is doing to the kids on “his” weekends. He won’t let them go anywhere or do anything, they just have to sit around the house and feed his ego and he gets very angry when challenged. My oldest won’t go there anymore. I was worried about that, but my attorney said she is old enough to make that call. She says it is too upsetting to be with him, that he is totally selfish.


Yes, it is. A local woman was jailed for doing this a few months ago.

As for NPD, you must realize that they are incapable of loving anyone other than themselves. They try to mimic signs of love, but they cannot actually love. It’s extremely sad, and most people never recover from it. You’d do well to have healing Masses and prayers said on their behalf. I’m also sure a good deal of it is spiritual in nature.


The problem with reporting it is that the ex and wife have called my niece a liar and that is their line everytime she reports on their abuses, for there is more. So when the Child protective services go over to their house and see that they are both cops, they believe the sweet and calm cops and believe their story that my sister is vendictive and jeolous that they are married and so makes unfounded allegations on child abuse. There has been 4 reports made. One by me, one by a mental health worker and two by my sister. We are not sure if anything would be done if we reported this trunk incident and apparently they do this a lot for they don’t all fit in the SUV. I will say that my niece wanted to talk to me that day and I decided to video tape our conversation. So it is on video. I don’t know if it can be used in court though.

My sister has also been told that this is a he said, she said situation and if she kept calling in CPS that the kids would also be taken away from her because the two argumentative parents are not good for the kids. So now we do nothing about any other stories of child abuse. Just last night her little boy, who is the 6 year old, said that his dad hits and hits him over and over again and it really hurts him. Again, this is my sister words against her ex for CPS does talk to the child and have, but nothing was done on what the children have said. Her daughter, the 9 year, just wants to die. Can you imagine at 9 wanting to die so that her problem would go away? Their dad is totally ignoring any of this, even when told by the little girls’ counselor. He says his children are happy at his house and he “has a ton of witnesses” to prove it. He is not willing to see that his daughter is getting “F’s” in school, she is an A and B, student. Instead he yelled at her and punished her for the F’s. When my sister even tries to talk to him nicely and be kind, he gets real angry and starts in on her and how she is the one who is bad mouthing to the kids about him and his new wife because she is so jealous. She can’t be nice to him or kind. They can’t even have a decent conversation and that is why the judge ordered that they write everything in emails, but now he writes angry emails and wants to dispute everything.

Currently, he wants to fight over the fall break. My sister divided it evenly and it was fine with him over the phone, but then he changed his mine in the email and demands to have the days she got and she take his days. She already made plans. She is really to give in yet again to keep peace and I say that is fine at times, but there is a pattern here and he is using her as a doormat. That is not right and if she lets him, it will be as someone said here for many years to come.

How do you deal with people who do not respond to kindness and twist your words to mean something that you did not say in the first place? We pray for them, but she has to be able to communicate with the father of her children.


This is hard to hear. I really hope and pray my sister gets sole custody of the kids in November, for their own sake and their future.

I agree that it is also spiritual in nature. They lived together for a long time and were receiving Holy Communion on the Sundays that they wanted to go to Mass. My niece would ask me if that was wrong since they were not married.


I am sorry to hear that you too have to go through this. You were the one who gave us the information on the “Splitting…” book. Thanks again, it is helping.

How old is your oldest? What age is it that they don’t need to go if they don’t want to?


What you describe here is some of what my niece has to deal with from her stepmom more than her dad. She told me that his woman has many moods and she doesn’t know what she will be yelled out by her. She said on the weekend her dad gets them that they spend the entire Saturday cleaning the house and her dad and stepmom sit on the couch and tell them to do something and as they are doing it, yell at them for not picking up a toy and not doing there job. As my niece would say, “I didn’t finish the first thing they told me to do and they yell at me before doing everything on their list. They just sit there and criticize us and yell at us.”

Does this sound like what you had in your childhood? You sound pretty normal. Maybe they will be fine too. We still want to fight for them for I consider all this verbal abuse. Of course, the dad and stepmom keep telling us that the kids are first in their life and that he loves them and his time with them is precious. But if he is telling them to clean, he is sleeping. They apparently “sleep” a lot according to my niece and nephew when they are there. They go into their bedroom and are not aloud to disturb them “or else” and they don’t out of fear. When my sister was married to her now ex, he wanted to have sex many times when the kids were up and running around. They were smaller than too and needed supervision. He didn’t care. He just wanted to be satisfied. He found a woman who thinks as he does. Yes, the kids are older now, but crave their dad’s attention so much. They just want quality time and not quantity. They dad wants quantity not quality. It makes the kids very angry and sad at the same time.:frowning:


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