Some sons of narcissists become narcissists themselves. Sons of narcissistic mothers have higher rates of narcissism. This may be because she’s more likely to idealize and aggrandize him rather than compete, as she would with a daughter.
Other sons may repeat their maternal relationship with women who are demanding, controlling, or abusive. They may partner with an older woman, a narcissist, addict, or someone with a borderline personality disorder or other mental problems. They may become caretakers to their partner, just as they were to their mother and find it hard to leave.
To heal, a son must come to terms with his mother’s mental illness, his anger toward her, and his grief. Eventually, he needs to accept his parents with compassion, whether or not he likes or loves them. At the same time, he must recognize that he’s worthy of love, learn to set boundaries with his mother and others and to value and express his needs and feelings. This is part of recovering from shame and codependency, as explained in Conquering Shame and Codependency.
© Darlene Lancer 2019
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