Domestic violence is typically one-sided and yet some may still claim mutual abuse exists. Often, malignant narcissists will claim mutual abuse to shift the blame off themselves.

Malignant narcissists, explains Huffington Post, are predators that use manipulation and other tactics to get away with malicious behavior. How can narcissists use mutual abuse as an excuse?

How society sees narcissists

Narcissists may learn at a young age how to mimic others’ emotions. Many can present themselves as innocent and capable of empathy and remorse. They may have supporters who believe them and who are willing to enable the behavior.

As an abuser, they can appear calm and charming. The victims may come across as unhinged or emotional to others.

How mutual abuse becomes an excuse

In domestic abuse situations, one partner has more control than the other, explains the National Domestic Violence Hotline. While there may be unhealthy behaviors from both partners, one lacks the control to be an abuser.

A person who endures abuse regularly can suffer from PTSD and low self-esteem. To experience abuse over and over, it is no surprise that the abused partner may yell back or fight to protect him or herself. This is self-defense and not abuse.

Narcissists will shift the blame, however. They may say that the other person made them act a certain way or that their partner started it. This is their way of manipulating their partners into believing they deserve the treatment they receive. This manipulation can lead to a partner feeling as though he or she is the one who needs to make changes.