Opinion: Narcissistic Parents Might Not Support Their Spouses During Pregnancy

Walter Rhein

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My mother used to go swimming when she was pregnant with my brother. Her doctor recommended swimming because it allowed her to maintain fitness and relieve stress.

We grew up in a small town. The nearest pool was a thirty-minute drive.

One day, my mother finished swimming and went to her car. The car wouldn’t start. It was a frigid winter day.

There were no cell phones. My mother had to use the phone at the pool’s office. There was no privacy for the call.

She asked my narcissistic father to come and help her. He refused. He told her that she should be able to handle it herself.

My mother had to call a mechanic who came to fix the vehicle. The pool office only had hard chairs to sit on. It is not good for a pregnant woman to have to sit on an uncomfortable chair for hours.

Darkness had fallen by the time my mom got the car fixed and was able to come home. She asked my narcissistic father why he hadn’t come to help her.

“You were just trying to show off to your friends that you could make me do things,” he said.

He cared nothing about the fact that it was cold. He cared nothing about the fact that she had been forced to sit on a hard chair for hours.

He hadn’t considered his safety or the safety of his unborn child. The only thing that he was concerned with was how a request for help made him feel.

I knew about this story when I was growing up. However, it wasn’t until my wife got pregnant that I understood it.

Pregnancy is a magical time, but it is also very difficult. A pregnant woman needs to be treated with compassion and extra care.

As a father, I didn’t want my wife to feel stressed. I didn’t want her to feel sadness. Her body is under enough stress. I certainly wouldn’t have left my wife to fend for herself if her car broke down.

My narcissistic father did this kind of thing all the time. He treated people with cruelty and then expected them to forget.

What’s the point of maintaining a relationship with somebody who won’t come pick you up if your car breaks down?

My narcissistic father has missed out on many of the joys in life by being selfish. He has been divorced twice. Neither of his ex-wives wants to talk to him.

What my narcissistic father doesn’t understand is that someday his car might break down. If he needs help, there is nobody he can call.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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