Where Does the Power of the Narcissist Lie?

I have talked to many Christian women who have had to deal with Narcissistic boyfriends and husbands. One thing stands out:  Even though they realize they are dealing with someone who truly never loved them, and used them to get whatever he/she wanted at their expense, it still seems to yield them powerless to change the situation. Many who should have divorced never did and have lived miserable lives, filled with regret, but seemingly powerless to do anything about it. Many who have the same type of boyfriend find out after they are married just how miserable life can be with a Narcissist. Some can be very charming in the beginning and able to cover the chink in their armor. So where does the Narcissist get all his/her power from?

It is always all about them and how they feel, what their needs are, and how you disappoint or hurt them. They cannot accept their imperfections as they are only concerned with yours! They cannot deal with their sins...it is always somebody else's fault! No matter what your concerns or hurts are, theirs are much worse. If you have cold they are dealing with pneumonia. They always feel sorry for themselves. Your wants, needs, and wishes don't matter, you are simply a means to an end until they no longer need you and find new supply to feed on. However if you let them they will suck your soul dry until you wish you were dead!!!

Pastor David Orrison puts it beautifully in perspective:

Perhaps more than others, narcissists understand the value of power. If you have no power, others can hurt you. The power of others over them is, in many cases, the factor that moved them to protect themselves by narcissistic behavior. And narcissistic behavior is all about power.

Think of the things that make a person feel powerful. Knowing a secret, holding a higher position, greater physical strength, greater influence, a higher intelligence, etc. These are all things toward which narcissists strive. For the narcissist, it isn’t about being strong, but about being stronger. It isn’t about looking good, it is about looking better. The power position is the one the narcissist wants. The Narcissist caters to his needs and wants above others always!

This is why the narcissist chafes under authority—and exactly why authority is so important in the life of a narcissist. It is why the narcissist hates your boundaries—and why your boundaries are so important. It is why the narcissist fears truly coming into relationship with God so they pretend and give general lip-service rather than succumb to the power of God to change their lives. 

First, children of narcissists often find themselves going from one narcissistic relationship to another in their adult lives. They have never learned that life can have power. They simply adapt to whatever new oppressor comes along. This is why learning and implementing boundaries is so vital. They often pick jobs and stay in jobs where they can rarely be their own person. They kowtow to oppressive schedules and demands and say there is nothing they can do about it. The relationship, whether job or personal, owns them.

Second, narcissists can be controlled. They fear power. They may hate it, but they will yield to it. The husband who speaks disparagingly about the police when he speeds down the road will be amazingly docile when the patrolman is standing at his car door. The serial killer, when finally caught, gives up peacefully and becomes a model prisoner. Many victims of narcissists have noted how their narcissist completely reverses his attitude and behavior at certain times. Often this is because he recognizes a greater power. They cower at what seems to be the greater authority than what they possess. 

Third, as long as the narcissist has power over someone, he is getting his supply. He needs to be superior. When he feels powerless, he becomes afraid and vulnerable. He may recede into depression as a way of hiding. He or she feels that their life is doomed to dread because no one cares about their needs or wishes.

The Christian in a narcissistic relationship should pray for brokenness in their Narcissistic spouse. We have talked about that before. The Narcissist may need to come to the end of his/her resources in order to begin to understand that there is Someone who loves him, but they must bow in obeisance to Him. Be prepared to go for a WILD ride, because the ability of the narcissist to deny and manipulate is amazing.  

One more thing: the narcissist is already a small, fearful, broken person hiding behind a MONSTER he uses to keep people away from the real him or her and control them. He has created this “alter-ego,” and it may be the only thing you know about him. It is this “Mr. Hyde” that needs to be broken though rarely accomplished. And if the screen falls, the great “Wizard of Oz” is shown to be an ordinary little man.

You may not be able to knock the screen down to reveal the truth. You might be too weak or too compromised. But God can do it. Pray for that. However, God can also give you release when your Narcissist becomes too oppressive. Nowhere in scripture does God tell you that you must obey a Narcissist. When finally you may realize that your needs are never going to matter to the Narcissist and leave, remember that there is a Higher Power than the Narcissist that haunts you. God can give you strength to live your life freely in Him.

Pastor David's blog:

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