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When Your Child Marries a Narcissist: Advice for Parents

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Every parent desires to watch their child grow up, find their dream job and get married to a spectacular and kind partner. Of course, parents will be proud of their children no matter what they do, and children don’t always achieve the goals expected of them, or marry worthy suitors. If you feel like your child married a narcissist (or maybe just someone who is full of themself), follow along with this guide to learn how to live with them in your life and respect the wishes of your child. 

  • Guide them: Do not outright tell your child they married a self-absorbed narcissist– as this could lead to a huge argument– but guide them. Let them know you appreciate them and want to help them thrive in life. Tell them they deserve to be treated without respect and you hope to see that soon.
  • Be There for Them: Again, without calling out their husband or wife, let them know that if they are ever feeling down or having problems, they can talk to you. They should know that you will always be there. 
  • Try to Get Along with Their Spouse: If this person is a permanent part of your child’s life, find some common ground. If you both like soccer, talk about soccer. Try to set up some footing for a relationship of tolerance. You may not enjoy your son or daughter’s partner, but they do. Let them see that you are trying. 
  • Set Up Boundaries: If you know you have problems with your child’s partner, create boundaries between them. Make sure they understand that you need space, and let your child know that, too. 
  • Give Your Child Love: Remind your child just how much you love and support them. If they are truly married to a narcissist, they may not hear these words often enough. Tell them how special they are and how much you appreciate them. 
  • Suggest Marriage Counseling or Therapy: It may take your child a long while to see the person they married. If it becomes a hardship in their life, suggest some counseling or therapy. Send them to a professional to get an expert opinion. If they hear that their partner is toxic from a professional, they will be more willing to accept it. 
  • Take Care of the Grandchildren: Many marriages lead to children. If you’re a grandparent, congratulations! That’s great. In the situation of your child having children with a narcissist, maybe it’s not as great. Do what you can to take care of those children. Visit them as often as possible. Show and tell them you love them, and offer to babysit them when you can. They will need supportive grandparents on their side.
  • Prepare for a Possible Divorce. The fact is that marriages with clinical narcissists are highly unstable. You want to be prepared to help if your child’s marriage breaks down. Research who the best family lawyers in your area are, call their offices, and get a phone quote for what a typical case retainer looks like. You can set aside what you are able to so you are ready to help if your child decides to divorce your son or daughter in law. 

These tips will help you cope with your son or daughter’s narcissistic partner and learn to live with it in your own way. Remember to remind your child you love them and appreciate everything they do… even if you don’t love their significant other. 

Our Firm Specializes in Southern California Divorces Complicated by Narcissism and other Mental Illnesses. Do you have a divorce or family law question?

Call our office today at (949) 363-5551. We specialize in helping clients who have divorce and family law matters complicated by gaslighting, narcissism, bipolar disorder, and other psychological challenges. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation.

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