I have chosen to look at Narcissistic Fathers from a couple of different perspectives.
The first view is what has happened to adult children of narcissistic fathers and the second view is what challenges mothers have with their children as a result of co-parenting (which is impossible) with a narcissistic father. Hopefully, this will help you, grant you peace, and provide some answers to the questions you may have been asking yourself for many years.
If you are an adult who has suffered from having a narcissistic father then it is very likely that your boundaries were ignored frequently, in fact, you were never allowed to develop them so they were non-existent. Your narcissistic father would have felt entitled to infiltrate your mental, emotional, physical, psychic, and even sexual space from a very young age. He would have viewed you as his own personal possession, were worthless, or that you were an extension of him.
It’s also very likely that you only received conditional love from him if he gave you any love at all, he gave you false promises, rarely following through on anything for you. You realized early on that his own personal needs were more important to him than keeping his word.
No doubt you would have been punished mentally, emotionally, and even physically for not performing up to his ridiculous standards that were significant enough for his ego to be satisfied and his narcissistic supply to be fed.
That’s what conditional love looks like. You, always trying to get a drop of love from him whether that was by never bothering him by becoming invisible or him, never being around as he was off living his other double life with another woman or over-involved with his career and never home (the distant parent type) or you doing exactly what he demanded out of fear (controlling parent type).
Whichever way he was, you unlikely felt much love and were always trying to win both his approval and his love. It would have been confusing as you may have heard other people say your father was so proud of you yet you rarely heard this or felt any of that from him. This was of course because he only said these things to get some recognition for how wonderful a father he was to have you as his child.
You experienced his probing and never-ending criticism always trying to meet an impossible goal that he wanted you to meet and falling short over and over again. When you needed your father to be there for you his interests were always on himself and his own needs. To say he is not capable of more is an understatement.
Behind closed doors and never in front of others except perhaps your mother or siblings. you would have been told to get over whatever concern you might have had. When you tried to talk to him or when you needed love and support you heard about his troubles, how your issues were nothing important, and of course what you haven’t done for him now or in the past.
You also found out that when he did something wrong he would turn it back on you blaming you and of course never taking any responsibility for his actions making you pay for the upset.
It is likely your mother had herself been programmed by a selfish abusive and self-absorbed parent in her childhood and that means that she tried to meet your father’s needs unsuccessfully. Your narcissistic father may have used you or other siblings as a tool to punish her and gang up against her. He may have used his clever brainwashing to try his best to demean her and turn you against her.
There are a few roles your mother may have taken, the enabler, the martyr, or she may have tried to stand up for herself for you but didn’t know how to set boundaries. Abused women can not easily stand up against their abusive partner for many reasons, fear is the major one and trauma bonding is another. I did not even see for many years that my partner was abusive because that is what narcissists are very good at deception. It was like I had blinders on but this is how they keep you in the toxic relationship.
Your mother raised her children most likely in the same way that she was raised not conscious of the deep wounds she had. For many of us coming from broken families, we can not see that we must heal these deeply hidden wounds and change these limiting beliefs inside of us. Healing is so vital for ourselves, our children, future generations, and our world.
How Narcissistic Fathers Affect Their Children
Here is how narcissistic fathers affect different genders. This is only a guide for you to see the possibilities of what may happen with both a male and a female child who has a father who is narcissistic.
Girls learn very quickly with their narcissistic fathers that it’s not safe to be female. Her father rules the household like a dictator and even if he wasn’t present he had a big effect on how her mother was or wasn’t feeling and acting. Little girls with narcissistic fathers learn that their needs, opinions, and wants are not important.
If she feels sad, hurt, or confused rather than receiving understanding, kindness, and comfort allowing her to be who she is, she received rejection and punishment. She is not allowed to live through her heart with emotional intelligence which is her greatest asset and this leaves her feeling empty, hurt, and powerless.
With a narcissistic father, she starts to build a wall around herself and her heart and goes into her head. She dismisses her inner feelings and her connection with herself. In her world, she starts to distrust her heart which is sad for her. We are not meant to live in our heads. We are meant to live in our hearts.
Our power comes from within but then she starts to try to find all sorts of superficial ways to try to earn her father’s love and approval. She tries to be smarter, more successful, prettier, fulfilling all his needs, doing whatever it takes to win his approval. Giving up herself to succeed, giving up her self-worth, and giving up her self-love.
She begins to feel she’s never good enough and when she tries to stand up and take charge she’s judged by her father receiving his cruel treatment when she was most vulnerable.
Women are hardwired in their DNA survival, in the core of their inner being to win the approval of the man in their life so that he will protect them, look after them and keep them safe and this all starts with their father.
Women of narcissistic fathers are very likely to have major attachment issues which severely undermines intimacy
She is afraid to get close and fully commit in case she gets emotionally destroyed by a man again. She may pick partners who are too damaged to have true relationships. She may take on his household tasks or act out in extreme sexual ways in order to try to find a connection with him but of course since he is not capable of any true connection he will always remain unavailable. This will cause pain, panic, confusion, and suffering within her.
This toxic relationship will leave her feeling confused and she may find she has no interest in being in any relationship with a new man including a healthy relationship. If she finds herself in a new relationship after leaving her toxic relationship with a narcissistic partner, she will often push away the loving healthy partner.
Until she heals from within, heals her inner wounds, heals her original wounds, she will continue her pattern of becoming involved with narcissistic partners or she will not become involved with anyone in any healthy relationships.
When she heals enough to be herself authentically without her inner wounds, letting go of her false beliefs, she can attract a relationship of shared power with a man who loves her as she is.
It’s so important if you have a daughter who you’re trying to co-parent (can only parallel parent at best) with a narcissistic father, to lead by example as a woman who is loving and true to yourself and to her. If you are strong and know your own self and how you importance in life, this will help her so much.
This is about healing yourself and the traumas within so you can be your authentic self
If you’ve had a father that you could never be yourself with, never have his approval or unconditional love, you have a lot of healing to do. When we release our limiting beliefs and replace the inner wounds we have because of having a narcissistic father, our fear of men will be gone.
When we start generating belief and power within ourselves and when we do this our daughters follow and they will never tolerate a man who doesn’t love them as much as they believe, value, and love themselves whether her father is a narcissist or not.
The thing is no one is responsible for your life, only you are and as the only responsible parent, you are now responsible for your children’s lives. You are the only one who’s genuinely going to do it.
You can’t make your narcissistic partner, the father of your children do the right thing, care for, and love your child.
And one of the worst things you can teach your daughter is to try to force their father, who won’t take care of her, to do it while she stays disempowered and has no resources to be a source to herself. This leads to her becoming a powerless victim to a future abusive partner
Narcissistic fathers will also often create a scapegoat out of their children and this is often the child in the family who has the most incredible abilities of sensitivity with a caring attitude for others and possesses a beautiful heart. They are wonderful deeply spiritual children.
Narcissistic fathers do not admire these qualities in their daughters but in fact, they detest them. The scapegoated child bears the brunt of their cruel narcissistic father’s abuse. The child can be a boy but more often it is the daughters who are abused and punished severely. They are treated as worthless and can be treated like a slave by the narcissist.
This child is also blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family and who is most likely to be the damaged one who ends up in relationships with abusive partners.
Usually, they are trying to always pacify their narcissistic father, fix them, and earn a drop of their love in order to try to stay safe. This is also the child most likely to suffer depression, anxiety, or a serious nervous system disorder.
If you were the scapegoated child you will need to heal from within, release your inner trauma and defective programming. Living with this trauma will only keep you stuck in your own hell and attract narcissistic partners to you. Until you identify, release, and install new beliefs inside, you will, unfortunately, be trapped in your own hell.
Encourage your daughter to say no, have her opinions and feelings, and that they are valid regardless of what he says to her
Empower her. Attacking what he does to her will not help her as he’s just going to make things worse because he knows it will get to you. Detach from it and love her the way she is and by example teach her about boundaries and self-worth.
Narcissistic fathers are generally very hard on their sons
They often compete with them, berate them, and punish them cruelly. Their son ends up feeling like he will never measure up. Just like his daughters the son will feel dismissed in regard to mental and emotional support and feels never validated or good enough. Every conversation needs to be about the narcissistic father instead of supporting their son’s needs, self-worth ability, and development.
As a boy growing into a man with a narcissistic father, this can set up a very driven type character within the boy, always trying to get things done or do more in order to feel worthy. They may also take a complete reversal such as giving up even engaging in the world having serious substance abuse.
The boy growing into a man has self-hatred believing they are a failure and can be self-destructive, easily slipping into depression.
This is the child who is the favorite child and often this is the boy. The favorite child can be a female but most often are male. The child is seen by the narcissist as having the qualities that he would like to be himself so it would generally be the most successful, and the most admired of all the children by other people.
The narcissist gives the child attention and preferential treatment using them as the measuring stick against the other children who don’t measure up. He flaunts this child’s accomplishments to anyone who will listen as this child is being groomed to be the extension of the narcissist himself.
Often the favorite child becomes a narcissist sadly in relationships as an adult. Boys who had a narcissistic father who is not a narcissist himself may victimize damaged women subconsciously. This is done to try to save them this time from the trauma and the pain that she was put through with abuse.
Just like his sisters, he doesn’t realize that his fears of intimacy and getting close to people and having real love relationships have been severely damaged as a result of having a narcissistic father and therefore he may be choosing people who are not capable of real relationships as a way of staying safe. He may never feel he is enough always trying to prove his worth by doing more and more and end up with narcissistic partners who are like his father setting impossible standards and never being satisfied.
The boy parented by a narcissistic father will have attachment issues and he will suffer big triggers of not being understood, validated, and valued. He may act out aggressively if a partner doesn’t agree with him about something or doesn’t show him the attention he demands at a certain time.
He may also be insecure and jealous if he feels like someone is detaching from him feeling they are abandoning him. He may feel terrified and pull away if people get too close to him finding himself unable to love these people in a healthy way or give them what they need in the relationship. Then he feels confused. frustrated and lost as to why he can not sustain a healthy relationship.
The narcissistic boy even though having been given higher status is constantly compared to his siblings and is likely to be the most damaged in that that his possibilities of healing are very slim as he’s likely to believe that in relationships that he is just as entitled as what his father has given him.
He’ll act out like his father did if you are a man who has suffered from having a narcissistic father. There is the damage he suffered during the formative years preventing him from establishing a healthy and whole healthy inner identity. His identity was compromised because of the cruelty and the lack of validation of his worth and genuine love by his narcissistic father.
If your boy is being parented by a narcissistic father the most important thing to instill in him is his worthiness as a male just as it important that he knows you believe in him. and that he knows you believe he’s wonderful. He’ll find his way and he can achieve whatever he chooses to do with his life. It is important for you to have his back and support him in healthy solid ways.
Be the healthiest parent you can be for him if your boy is being groomed as a favorite child. Treat him the same as your other children when parenting and don’t allow him to get away with abuse using entitlement and grandiose behavior.
Set firm boundaries and teach him that there are consequences for his behavior and ride out the storms that he and his father will erupt into when you do this with him. You may lose him to the father but the truth was you were going to lose him anyway if you did nothing and enabled him to be like the way he’s been groomed to be.
This is so important to help him not grow into a narcissist. Letting him get away with wrong behavior or try to win his approval is only going to make things worse.
Healing is necessary whether this happened to you as a child or is happening now to your child
If this information resonates with you on a deep level you can recognize this as an adult who wants to be conscious and create healing.
Know the power is in you and you’ve got to lead the way for you and your children and one of the ways that I can help you the most is to help transform and reconnect you with your heart and your inner being.
You can heal and release all of this and be free to be your authentic self. No matter where you are on your journey it’s always about healing our own wounds. You can heal your childhood wounds which will change your life forever then heal your adult wounds. This will help you in incredible ways and your children.
As always I wish you only the best on your healing journey. If you would like to leave a comment or you can reach me here :
Please take care and love to you