Domestic violence & narcissism – What every person should know! Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be devastating and extremely abusive!

Domestic violence & narcissism – What every person should know!

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be devastating and extremely abusive!

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

Examples of abuse include:

name-calling or putdowns

keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends

withholding money

stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job

actual or threatened physical harm

sexual assault



Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological abuse (such as gas-lighting) and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, however, they are forms of abuse under the domestic violence act in South Africa,  and a protection order may be granted for emotional, financial and psychological abuse - this can lead criminal prosecution should the abuse escalate.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be devastating and extremely abusive!

“One of the most visible effects of narcissism on relationships can be domestic violence, when narcissists hurt their partners physically or emotionally. Instead of physical harm, some of them use passive-aggressive and gas-lighting tactics to undermine their partners’ self-esteem, threatening abandonment and propping up the narcissists’ own grandiose vision of self. Because of the narcissist’s abandonment issues, leaving a violent relationship is extremely risky for the abused partner. They may let you leave, but narcissistic relationships are tragic and can lead to significant demise. Many women die in this version of love, or at the very least spend years, if not the rest of their lives, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically and spiritually crippled.

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. -- Domestic

Narcissism Understood
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - The personality disorder that destroys relationships, families and lives by Melanie Tonia Evans she writes her story below...

“It can happen to anyone - If you begin to feel confused in love, and have strange vague feelings that something isn’t right, don’t simply rationalize and shake these feelings off. I did. I bought into the diversions, the excuses and the cover ups. It won’t start off for you as high-level inappropriate behaviour. Of course it doesn’t – because you would never commit to the relationship if it did! Be aware, very aware – that if you feel uneasy, or at times sense darkness or something ‘not right’ about your partner – investigate and look deeper.

This is why it’s very important to be level-headed during the dating period, in order to create safeguards against narcissists. If a narcissist decides you’re a target, he’ll seek to enmesh you in a relationship quickly and powerfully. Level-headed women that take their time, and aren’t feeling the ‘need’ to have all of their love desires fulfilled instantly by a ‘knight in shining armour’, absolutely have the right idea. Unfortunately I, like many others wasn’t one of them. I’d had failed relationships before. I wanted to feel loved, safe and adored. I wanted the loneliness to end. Even though I was powerful and together in so many areas of my life, this was a ‘gap’, insecurity, for the narcissist to enter.

If you’re in a relationship with a true narcissist, by the time the personality disorder is obvious, you’re hooked, empty and exhausted (it happens bit by bit without you realizing) and left powerless to create boundaries and protect yourself. In my case by the time the horrific and monstrous personality fully appeared I was watching my own demise with the exits closed. He’d displayed warning signs of abusive behaviour to me previously. I discovered some of his lies previously. Because I didn’t want to shatter my dream of the most glorious and magnificent man loving me, I lied to myself. I made excuses for him. I kept defaulting back to the image he portrayed when I first met him. He created the persona of the perfect man for me. He appeared as everything I thought was my life partner. I didn’t want to admit his ingenious façade wasn’t true. I didn’t want to face the fact the man he pretended to be showed no resemblance to the man he really was. My self-deception took me to a level where I very nearly didn’t escape.

By the time I did, I was so broken, severely damaged and suicidal that I doubted I would ever recover. I lost out disastrously and had to rebuild my life almost from scratch. I did, and it took every resource and every ounce of strength to do it. I had to find the solutions that I now know of, bit by bit. My purpose now is to prevent other individuals having to experience the soul-shattering devastation I did, and to assist their recovery when they have.

I am not the only one…not by a long shot. As a healer and a woman who knows many other women I know how common abusive and controlling relationships are. It’s my theory that every woman has been in an abusive or significantly dis-empowering relationship or knows a woman who has. The problem is we turn our back on women who are being abused. We rationalize they should know better, and how could they do it to themselves? We get sick of the whining and complaining when we know they willingly put up with more of the same.

I used to be one of these judgmental women. I had empathy but was secretly appalled by women who were being verbally and physically abused or living with pathological liars, criminals and chauvinistic unsupportive men who treated them poorly. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why on earth they couldn’t leave, and when they did why they would turn around and go back.

Traits to watch out for:

“Have you ever been in a relationship with an individual who demands your attention incessantly and becomes depressed, sulky and even full of rage if your attention goes elsewhere? This is one of the earliest warning signs of a narcissist. Please understand healthy adults do not behave in such a way. This is where women who know the difference turn their back and walk away; they know that any guy ringing them 10 times a day and demanding attention is not well. Unfortunately many women, as I did, can mistake (or delude ourselves) that this high need for attention means we’re loved, missed and adored, or maybe we felt wrong in leaving or speaking up, as a result of our own deficient boundary function. (Please see my eBook How to Understand and Implement Healthy Boundary Function.) Please be assured, this is not love; it’s the deadly calling card of the narcissist.”

The classic bully is an archetype of the narcissist. The bully is a person who takes their own needs primarily by charm or intimidation. To the outer world this person may appear incredibly assertive, confident, charismatic, powerful and self-assured. Nothing could be further from the truth.” -- by Melanie Tonia Evans

Alcohol and other drugs:

“Women experiencing domestic violence sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs as a response and an escape from the abuse, emotional confusion, pain and violence.
Some women are introduced to substances by their abusive partners as a way of increasing control over them. If this is how it is for you, or if your abuser is also your supplier, then you will find it even harder to get away.
Sometimes abusers will use their partner's misuse of substances and alcohol  as an excuse for violent behaviour, saying they have been 'provoked' into using violence. Your will be called crazy thousands of times.  Excuses such as these are used by the perpetrator to deflect responsibility from themselves and put the focus or blame  and shame for the violence onto the victim. Your abuser must be held accountable for his or her actions and should not be excused because of things you might have done in defence or due to trauma expereinced. 

Seeking help

If you use or misuse alcohol or drugs, you will be in a particularly vulnerable position, and are likely to find it even harder to report domestic violence than other women. You are likely to suffer from a sense of shame because of the stigma of being an 'alcoholic' or a 'drug user' and you may feel even more powerless. If you have children, you might also be afraid of your children being taken away - and your partner might hold this as a threat over you to prevent you from approaching anyone for help.”— The survivors Handbook."

Characteristics of a narcissist:

·         Self-centered. His or her  needs are paramount.

·         No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.

·         Unreliable, undependable.

·         Does not care about the consequences of his actions.

·         Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.

·         Little if any conscience.

·         Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.

·         Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.

·         Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.

·         People are to be manipulated for his needs.

·         Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense. If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.

·         Pathological lying.

·         No real values. Mostly situational.

·         Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.

·         Angry, mercurial, moods.

·         Uses sex to control

·         Does not share ideas, feelings, and emotions.

·         Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.

·         Secret life. Hides money, friends, and activities.

·         Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.

·         Moody – switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.

·         Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.

·         Seldom expresses appreciation.

·         Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does. Or amplifies his occupational position and stature.

·         Lacks ability to see how he comes across to others. Defensive when confronted with his behavior. Never his fault.

·         Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show or frustration rather than sorrow.

·         He breaks woman’s spirits to keep them dependent.

·         Needs threats, intimidations to keep others close to him.

·         Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.

·         Highly contradictory.

·         Convincing. Must convince people to side with him. Will manipulate your weaknesses to achieve this.

·         Hides his real self. Always “on”

·         Kind only if he’s getting from you what he wants.

·         He has to be right. He has to win. He has to look good.

·         He announces, not discusses. He tells, not asks.

·         Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.

·         Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.

·         Unilateral condition of, “I’m OK and justified so I don’t need to hear your position or ideas”

·         You feel miserable with this person. He drains you.

·         Does not listen because he does not care.

·         His feelings are discussed, not the partners.

·         Is not interested in problem-solving.

·         Very good at reading people, so he can manipulate them. Sometimes called gaslighting.


If you are being abused psychologically and physically, REMEMBER

1. You are not alone

2. It is not your fault

3. Help is available

Live well!

Marie Joshua  – Well-being Practitioner and Counselor.


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