Hello to all the Relationship Savvy Christmas Elves, Cookie Baking Mamas, and Snow Shovelers! The next two posts will be about the dynamics of narcissism in the Christian home.
People have been asking me lately, “Why are you writing on Narcissism and abuse? Because you’re married to a narcissist?” No, you don’t have to read between the lines in my case. Mr. Dashing is pretty much that, dashing, good-natured and all together foxy.
The reason I write on narcissism in relationships, is because, professionally, I recognize the need is great. The consequences of living with narcissistic toxicity, especially in the name of the Christian Faith is destructive and harmful to the entire family. The fact the bible is used to justify abuse of others grieves me deeply.Even more heartbreaking is that some victims see their Christian duty to endure the abuse in the name of marital submissiveness.
I have experienced and witnessed the chill of sociopathic cruelty, the shame of a putdown, the fear of grown-man-rage, and the smothering grip of an-out-of-his-mind control freak- from men who called themselves Christians. When dark things come into the light, they lose their power. That’s why I write on narcissism in relationships.
Not to say that that narcissistic Christian men don’t have immensely good qualities: evangelizing, sacrificial generosity, service, devotion to the faith and many more. Churches have been built on the narcissistic personality. Religions have been built on the narcissistic personality. Presidents have been voted into office on the narcissistic personality. My purpose isn’t to write about the epidemic of narcissism in our culture, or to lament its affects in the Christian Church, the economy or the government.
My purpose is to examine narcissistic toxicity in close relationships- primarily in the home- and to offer a different, more hopeful path. Christianity and the teachings of Christ have been more than just instructional to my family and my heart. My faith has been an anchor in the storm, a light to my path, and a call to humility. When practiced with love and grace, true emotional intimacy in families can flourish because of the safety and strength that is present. However, when the bible is used to force hierarchies, to enforce harsh rules, to excuse controlling and demeaning behavior and to legitimize inequality in the home, the Christian faith is no better than atheism, and possibly even more damaging.
Next week, we will explore what it looks like and feels like to be in a home or relationship where Christianity is used by the Narcissist to control and manipulate submission.