Am I in a Relationship with a Covert Narcissist?  Analogy of the Windshield

Are you wondering if you might be in a relationship with a Covert Narcissist?  Wonder what it’s like for your friend or loved one who is in a relationship with one?  This is one way to look at it.

I think of it like a windshield breaking. Your marriage/relationship was the tempered glass of the windshield. It had been tested through years of dating and early years of marriage.  This was the Love Bombing stage where everything was great. Then the first rock hit the windshield. A little chip. No big deal. (This is the beginning of the Devaluing Phase.  It can go on over a long period of time and in many tiny subtle ways.)  Then another lie and the chip turned into a thin crack, but no big deal, tons of cars have little cracks in the windshield.  Everything is fine, you convince yourself.   Over time more cracks started to appear. One at a time, each one not *that* big of a deal.  You get used to the tiny cracks appearing and honestly start to not even notice them.  When you do notice them you convince yourself that none of them are huge cracks, so it must be fine. As the years go by in the marriage, each episode of gaslighting is a bigger and bigger rock hitting the windshield.

You try to explain it to your friends or family. They all think you’re a little crazy because what you are describing is a single chip in the windshield. What they don’t understand is that you already have thousands more there. You can hardly see out the windshield anymore. Your covert narcissist husband tells you something is in the middle of the road as you’re driving. You can’t see it. Although honestly your perception to see ANYTHING as it is in reality is almost impossible from your view. Finally the windshield can’t take it any longer. You have hit the discard phase. It feels like you’re driving behind a rock truck on a tiny road and you can’t pass him. Every few seconds more and more cracks appear until the whole windshield implodes and crumbles to pieces. Glass is everywhere. 

You are in shock! How could this happen? You didn’t know windshields did this. You don’t know what to do. How can you possibly keep driving without a windshield?! Piece by piece you start to brush the glass off your lap. You pick it out of your hair. And you finally get brave enough to step outside the car. You file for divorce because you can’t take it anymore and are starting to see the disaster for what it is. You can’t live covered with glass. He blames you of course for leaving. Blames you for the glass breaking and not trying to get the windshield fixed before it got there. Blames you for everything. 

Then you start walking down the road instead of driving, because you can’t drive without your windshield. The view is so clear!!! How could you have been driving with such bad vision for so long?! Was it really *that* bad? Yes, yes it was. It was very dangerous. At any moment that windshield could have imploded on you and your precious babies. At any moment you could have run into something because you couldn’t see clearly. And so, you learn to travel again alone, learn to trust yourself and your own vision. You realize you were not crazy, you had been in a broken marriage for years. Just like you can’t drive a car with a shattered windshield, you can’t be in a marriage with a narcissist and survive. Either your soul will break or you will die. They don’t have empathy and will stop at nothing. Don’t drive a car with a broken windshield you’re unwilling to fix and don’t be in a marriage with a narcissist who’s unwilling to get help for themselves.

If this sounds at all like the relationship you’re in, there is help.  There is hope!  Reach out to a trusted friend, or you reach out to me.  I can help you learn to trust yourself again and gain control of your life, or give you resources to others who can help too.  You don’t have to live in the hell of driving with your broken windshield.  You can live a life with a beautiful, clear view!!  This is your ONE Beautiful and Precious Life!  You can be anything you dare to dream to be!  And I can help you get the results you want!  Click HERE to schedule your FREE 30 minute mini session to see if life coaching is right for you.

As always, these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone.  My stories, nor the life coaching I do, ever replace a trained and licensed therapist and I recommend everyone find a therapist they love.  You can start your search at

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Kendra Last Avatar

My name is Kendra Last

I’m a life coach and author of the book Journaling to Recovery: A Reference Guide to Healing from Betrayal Trauma. I have been working in the betrayal recovery world for almost a decade. I’ve been there, and I will help you let go of the pain of the past, help you recognize your own inner beauty and strength, and help you learn to celebrate yourself again.

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