011: How to be Happily Married to a Narcissist

LISTEN TO THE SHOW:

Being married to someone who’s preoccupied with his own attributes is lonely and tiring.

When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, hypersensitivity is the norm.

It’s frustrating when you make a comment and he gets defensive at the perceived attack when you didn’t intend one.

Narcissists are known for having challenges in sustaining satisfying relationships.

The big question is, can being married to a narcissist ever be gratifying?

In my experience, your narcissist or extremely self-absorbed man can and will bring tenderness and compassion if you have the right skills.

  • My guest Carol’s husband was diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder. He was so angry that a marriage counselor told her to get a restraining order. So she did, and they separated by court order.  But she not only saved her marriage she made it safe and loving again. She’s going to tell us how she did it.
  • You’ve heard The Worst Relationship Advice of the Week at least 1,000 times. But what if it’s just the opposite of what would bring you closer?

Carol’s family:

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:

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Laura Doyle: Carol’s husband was diagnosed with narcissism was so angry that a marriage counselor told her to get a restraining order from a judge to have them removed from house.

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Laura Doyle: To protect her and her children. So she did and they separated by court order.

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Laura Doyle: But instead of going through a divorce. She took a very different approach and not only saved her marriage and made it safe and loving again.

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Laura Doyle: Now she’s a powerful relationship coach and she shows other women with this what seemed like impossible challenges in their marriages.

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Laura Doyle: How to fix them and get the marriage. They always wanted, she’s here to tell us how not only how she fixed her own marriage, but also what she shares with her coaching clients.

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Laura Doyle: Carol. Welcome to the empowered by podcast. Thanks for coming on to tell your courageous story about how you created this miracle and your family and how you help women who are hurting. Do the same thing.

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Carol Beauchemin: Laura appreciate the opportunity to hopefully give hope to some other women.

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Laura Doyle: Well, thanks. You know, as I was reading this introduction, I have to admit I was also thinking this really does sound impossible to fix and to our listeners.

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Laura Doyle: I’m sure you’re thinking, How in the world is this going to have a happy ending.

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Laura Doyle: And before we get to the end. I mean, I’m looking forward to hearing the whole story. So Carol take us back to the old days, and tell us what was going on in your marriage. What first got you to go to marriage counseling huh

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Carol Beauchemin: Yeah, so we really had had a rough road financially, but I was working nights I can remember one particular night. And when I had come home from working late and

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Carol Beauchemin: My husband was on the couch right with his feet up, and I came into a pile of dishes in the sink and a big mess and

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Carol Beauchemin: I just felt so unloved. I felt like there was no partnership, I felt angry and resentful, and there I was in the kitchen bang in the dishes and slam on the dishwasher door and

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Carol Beauchemin: You know, my husband got up and there was a fight and argument you know I am. He was just relaxing. But for me, I felt like this is just not partnership and felt like I was raising the kids alone and

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Carol Beauchemin: I was so resentful. And you know, I ended up that night up in our room crying and just feeling really really hopeless and yeah it was all about him when he was all about him.

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Laura Doyle: It sounds. It sounds lonely and stressful and

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Laura Doyle: So were you already feeling pretty hopeless at this point.

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Carol Beauchemin: I was we had them. We were married, I was at 2627 years at that point. So this was nothing new, like there was a long history and you know we we had too many counselors over the years and

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Carol Beauchemin: They either quit on us, or you know it none of it worked in our marriage and I felt very, very hopeless. And I can remember another night when

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Carol Beauchemin: Our dog could taken off and it was some below zero. And my husband was so mad that I didn’t go off searching for that dog again and she ran away fairly often. So I

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Laura Doyle: In Sub Zero weather. He wanted you

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Carol Beauchemin: Well, in any way other that dog took off, but he was so mad that I hadn’t gone out and

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And a raging fight ensued. And I can remember just lying there thinking, I deserve so much better than this. And the kids are hearing this, they deserve better than this.

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And it needed to end and in the morning I had called we were seeing a PhD pastoral counselor at that time. And I called him and, you know, he told me that I needed to get a restraining order to hopefully get my husband.

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Carol Beauchemin: Helped and things to come down and get him some anger management.

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Carol Beauchemin: That counselor. I had actually diagnosed when he did this clinical testing on the computer and had diagnosed him as narcissistic. And so, you know, I had my proof already that

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Carol Beauchemin: The man did not have the capacity to really care about me and the kids and and I just was at my wit’s end, you know. And so I went to the court and got that restraining order and was probably the worst day of my life.

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Yeah, and we were definitely heading into wars.

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Laura Doyle: Oh, yeah. And so, so you’re now you’re separated. There’s a restraining order.

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What happened, um,

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Carol Beauchemin: Well, honestly, I found your programs and

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Carol Beauchemin: I tried them like I jumped in. I kind of put my baby toe in

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Carol Beauchemin: And tried like your base level program and I knew that it resonated with me and I knew

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That it could possibly work. You know, I was scared. And honestly, I

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Carol Beauchemin: I found your book. I had your book 10 years before on my bookshelf.

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Carol Beauchemin: But at the time, it was a surrendered wife book. And when I brought that to our women’s group with all the women in the group said, Oh, I’m not reading that book. I’m not doing that book, so I couldn’t get the support you know

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Carol Beauchemin: But interesting 10 years later. Now you had programs and you had coaches and you had

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Carol Beauchemin: Was able to have a community come around me to really empower me to focus on myself and become my best self and

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Carol Beauchemin: Really start making some changes that they gave me skills that no therapist ever gave me in years and years of personal therapy and couples therapy, what I learned in your programs really started to empower me to be a better me

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Laura Doyle: And yeah and and so that that in turn improved the marriage. It sounds like so. So looking back. What’s something that you started to do differently that turned out to be really important for fixing your relationship.

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Carol Beauchemin: Yeah. So one of the huge insights that I had was, was just how empty. I was, I had no idea that when I was raising my three children and homeschooling and working and

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Carol Beauchemin: You know I coordinated all kinds of activities and volunteering at church and scouts and all those things. I had no idea just how much it took for me and that I had never been taught to put myself on my own priority list and to do self care and so

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Carol Beauchemin: Exhausted as a mom as a wife as everything right. Like, I realized I was a bit prickly, I was not

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Carol Beauchemin: SOFT AND COZY, YOU KNOW, and that I had a lot of complaints and I had no idea that I was controlling. I had no idea how much that put off.

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Carol Beauchemin: My husband. And so when I started doing self care that started to fill my cup up again and it started having me show up as happy again. I had lost

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Carol Beauchemin: The Happy me. And when I, you know, when I first got married, who I was then and who I was as a as a girl as a teenager, like, Where was that happy person. I had completely lost her. So by doing self care I she started to come back.

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Laura Doyle: What kinds of things did you do

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Carol Beauchemin: Yeah, so, you know, at first I thought, you know, getting my nails done or getting massage, what difference is that going to make you know I’m fine. I remember sitting in the standing in the kitchen. One day thinking

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Carol Beauchemin: Oh Lord, talks about this stuff, but it isn’t going to really work, you know, but I was like, all right, she challenged me so I’ll do it as an experiment. Let’s see what happens and

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Carol Beauchemin: Sure enough at work. So whether it was nails or massages, but also I started just noticing when, when do I feel happy. And it’s like, oh,

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Carol Beauchemin: Gosh, when you know Christian praise music’s playing you feel happy when you’re singing

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Carol Beauchemin: Gosh, if you’re dancing in the kitchen. If you’re cooking and laughing with the kids. And if you’re, you know, even just going for a walk or

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Carol Beauchemin: Hot baths and body lotions and candles and, you know, having pretty smells, or whatever, just wearing clothes that make me feel good, it’s like, wow, like those things actually make a difference. And I’m taking care of me kind of colors right colors.

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Laura Doyle: So was there a moment where you saw something in your relationship when you thought, okay, this is just my work.

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Carol Beauchemin: Oh,

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Carol Beauchemin: Yeah, you know, so it was a time when my husband was when we were separated and he was talking with my daughter on the phone and they were laughing and I could hear that they were having fun. And I thought, women.

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Carol Beauchemin: I can’t be the same man because he didn’t talk to me like that. We don’t laugh like that. I mean, we used to, but

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Carol Beauchemin: Maybe he is still possible, it is still possible. Maybe he is still there, you know, and I was kind of jealous that my daughter.

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Carol Beauchemin: Was having this amazing relationship with her dad laughing together and I thought maybe he is still there. Hmm, maybe I don’t bring out the best in him. Maybe it has something to do with how she’s being with him, and it was sort of an aha. For me, that yeah I don’t talk to him like that.

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I’m not fun and light with him like that. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, I love that. So I mean, so what did you do with that. Did you

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Carol Beauchemin: Well, again, that was early on. During our separation, but it was sort of like, I guess, a glimmer of hope that maybe there was something over there. Maybe there was a kind man still over there.

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Carol Beauchemin: Maybe he wasn’t just a rage aholic, you know, and so I just kept doing the self care kept focusing on me and learning these skills. I had to dive into all your modules and getting on calls and starting to transform who I was being I

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Laura Doyle: Had to take ownership for for who I was. And yeah, and what’s your relationship like no I’m much, much better.

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Carol Beauchemin: So definitely

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Carol Beauchemin: You know, now I have a man who actually does dishes and he does cooking. He’ll come home and give me a kiss. Every night and

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Carol Beauchemin: Tell me that he loves me and he does laundry, too. And, you know, he takes care of me.

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Carol Beauchemin: checks the oil in the car. Like he definitely wants to be sure that I’m safe and happy and you know he texts me and calls me several times a day that it’s definitely you know

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Carol Beauchemin: Much different than it had been for years. And we’re actually going to be CELEBRATING OUR 30th wedding anniversary. So that’s not a miracle.

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Laura Doyle: Wow. I love that. And was there a moment when you kind of looked around and said, Okay, I did this, I fix this marriage, um,

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Carol Beauchemin: Well, you know, it’s interesting. There was a time when we were all seeing and my son and his girlfriend and his best friend were in the lift in front of us and

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Carol Beauchemin: My daughter and my husband and I were in the lift the seat behind. And I remember just looking up in this know it started coming down and it was just a beautiful, beautiful evening with the moon and

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Carol Beauchemin: I got teary because I thought, Oh my gosh, I almost threw all this away and the family times

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Carol Beauchemin: You know that everything could have been broken and even this Thanksgiving. You know, I, I, we got to travel to my elderly parents house and

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Carol Beauchemin: Just being there all around the table, we were missing my oldest son because of his work, but

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Carol Beauchemin: To have our family together. That’s always was the most important thing to me was to have an intact family because I feel like that’s so important for my children and and I deserve that to my parents divorced when I was a senior in high school and I know the brokenness as a kid.

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Laura Doyle: The foundation fell it right out from underneath me. And so getting to be there around the table with our whole family there. And my husband there.

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Laura Doyle: It just filled my heart with gratitude that yeah that we were able to save this and we almost lost it all. And if it hadn’t been for this program.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, we probably would have been broken. So yeah, I am so grateful to you, Laura and all of you taught me. Thank you. Thank you, what and what about your kids like how do you think this whole thing impacted your kids.

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Carol Beauchemin: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting because

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Carol Beauchemin: At the time my middle son was a junior in high school. And when we were separated and i thought i mean he you know was top of his class. He was doing really well and he held it all together. I thought everything was just fine. And it was interesting, after we got back together that

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You know, he’s a boy doesn’t say a lot. But one day, he did say, you know, Mom.

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I’m sorry.

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You said you know, Mom. It was really hard and you guys are separated. And I thought, Oh, my goodness. I have no idea. I thought he was fine. It wasn’t

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So I’m just so grateful that

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You know, we found a different way and that it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my husband’s fault.

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You know, we were just missing the skills we were missing key skills and that’s why I’m a coach, and that’s why I’m so committed to this program because every woman, every family every kid deserves an intact family.

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Laura Doyle: You know, Carol. I know there’s a woman who’s listening right now who is thinking, but my marriage is really hopeless and she is now having to ask yourself what is it really hopeless. Like if Carol can do this. Maybe I can do this. What is your best tip for her.

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Carol Beauchemin: Sign up for your programs go all in total back don’t question it. Don’t let fear stop you.

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You know, invest in yourself and be your best self, and that you can do this miracles happen every day in our community here and she deserves that she deserves and her children. Her husband everybody in that family deserves the hope that they can get by doing this work.

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Laura Doyle: So you’re a coach in the ridiculously happy wife program. And you also have private coaching clients, what’s something inspiring you’ve witnessed from your clients recently. Oh gosh.

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Laura Doyle: There’s so many. I just love it fills me up you know this, the success stories. One in particular was a woman who had divorced her husband after he had an affair and

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Laura Doyle: She had gone on. She had dated. She had marriage proposals, you almost got married and in our heart of hearts, she knew that she really did love her ex husband and that she really wanted their son to have an intact family.

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Carol Beauchemin: And so she actually joined coaching. And then her fear came up, she quit without ever having a call. But again, she came back because eventually she said a big yes to herself.

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Carol Beauchemin: And she came back and we work together. And now I’m happy to say that

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Carol Beauchemin: She and her husband are we married and they are happier than ever and fractured cancel the call recently and said everything is wonderful. I don’t need your business right now. We’ll talk again in a couple weeks. And I’m like,

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Laura Doyle: So that’s as a coach, that’s where you. You always want your clients to get to that point. So she did so I love that story.

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Laura Doyle: You know, one of the things I love about your transformation personally to Carol is the part where

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Laura Doyle: You had this restraining order I perversely love that because it, it says volumes about how dark things were for you and I know

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Laura Doyle: It’s still uncomfortable to talk about on a public podcast like this, but yet you are here sharing it with us. And I wanted to ask why he would be willing to do that. Yeah, it is scary. Laura, um,

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But I want to give hope to another woman.

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Carol Beauchemin: It does not have to end in a bad way. It doesn’t

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Carol Beauchemin: I think it’s a lie of society, everybody around me told me I was going to be better off. I was still young enough i’d find another guy like it can all work you know you’ll be better off you’ll be happier.

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Carol Beauchemin: No, no. And my kids wouldn’t have been happier. And so I just take a stand for every woman that you can transform things, even without your husband, knowing there are skills and tools that

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Carol Beauchemin: I just want to shout from the rooftops that there’s things that we don’t know that that could make a huge difference and our families deserve it. She deserves it. And I just want everybody to know, you know,

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Laura Doyle: You’re doing a great job telling an inspiring story. I mean, you’ve saved your family and I saw your picture from your Thanksgiving dinner with your whole family around and you were saying how grateful you are

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Laura Doyle: To have your family all together and and that was very moving. And so if it’s alright with you. I’d love to include that picture in our show notes so people can see

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Laura Doyle: The family that you saved your story is so inspiring Carol and such an amazing example of what’s possible when you have the right information and support and community. Thank you for coming on and sharing so authentically

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Carol Beauchemin: Thank you for having me. And I really am so grateful for you, Laura. Thank you.


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