It is important to understand that abuse doesn’t always involve physical violence or battering. Female narcissists may engage in emotional abuse or belittling such as accusing their male partner of being unattractive, not understanding enough, not communicating well, or failing to work hard enough to make the relationship work. Continued mistreatment at the hands of a female narcissist can produce tremendous humiliation and shame, leaving a man feeling depressed, fearful, worthless and even suicidal.
Because society continues to place different expectations on men, partners of narcissistic women tend to stay trapped in horrible relationships because they feel the need to be masculine – which often means being a hero, a provider or a rescuer. As a result, many abused men are reluctant to seek help because they are embarrassed to admit they are victims of severe mistreatment, or they are hesitant to discuss their severe emotional pain and confusion.
Often, men stay stuck in narcissistic relationships because they are fearful of divorcing a narcissistic woman who may be extremely vindictive. A man may be concerned that he will be alienated from his children, especially if the female partner undermines him or intentionally turns his children against him.
Victims of narcissistic partners commonly develop a war zone mentality. They may experience panic attacks, rage, guilt, shock, fatigue and a sense of hopelessness. They are often deliberately and strategically alienated and detached from the support of family and friends through the female narcissist.
It isn’t surprising that men in such adverse circumstances often feel emotionally depleted so that they turn to alcohol to numb the pain, fear, loneliness and the sheer bewilderment of an unpredictable life that is controlled by the female narcissist, often every hour or even every minute, there is no breathing space. Men who lack social support or those who have a family history of alcoholism are more likely to turn to alcohol.
The problem however is, that drinking to manage stress is a temporary fix at best, and is self-defeating in the long run. Addiction sneaks up quickly when a person requires more and more alcohol to attain the same feelings of relief in a situation which will get worse, not ever better.
Breaking ties with a narcissistic partner may be frightening as narcissists manage to put up the most charming and innocent face to the outside world but turn vindictive and full of rage and revenge once a partner is trying to get away, but remaining in a toxic relationship presents considerable risk to health and wellbeing, especially when alcoholism is involved. If you or a man you care about is involved in a relationship with a narcissistic female, encourage this loved one to seek help as soon as possible. The longer the situation continues, the more opportunity for severe mental, emotional, physical, social and financial damage as well as damage to children*.
Addiction treatment or rehab can help trauma victims through narcissistic abuse gain knowledge and understanding of the disorder, stop self-blame, rebuild self-esteem and regain a sense of personal strength and power. Rehab is also a good opportunity to learn resiliency and better ways of coping with high stress situations in life so that the original “need” for a numbing substance such as alcohol ceases to exist.