Chances are you’ve probably known a narcissist or two throughout your life. It’s easy to be dazzled by narcissists; they are often quite charming! If you overlooked some characteristics in your spouse that have become problematic in your marriage, you might have inadvertently married a narcissist.
What is narcissism?
If your spouse displays traits of narcissism, you’re dealing with someone who thinks very highly of themselves and has little regard for others. Many narcissists’ lives center on the need for approval. They continuously want others to acknowledge how great they are, and they will criticize you for not meeting their needs. If someone tries to bring them down to reality, they may lash out and belittle the other person.
Narcissists may come off very charming at first, which may be one of the reasons why you married your spouse in the first place. But, over time, they can become cold and manipulative. They may even become unfaithful if they believe they can find another partner who is more attractive or attentive to their needs.
Top Signs of Narcissism in Marriage
Narcissistic behavior is pretty easy to spot most of the time. Do any of these actions sound familiar?
Your spouse acts as though he’s better than you. They believe they deserve the best and are not shy to let you know. They may also make comments regarding just how much better they think they are.
Your spouse has no boundaries. Since everything is about them, they see no boundaries. You may found that your spouse breaks promises and has no respect for others’ belongings or feelings.
Your spouse wants you to cater to their needs. Narcissists have a feeling of entitlement. The world revolves around them, and they want everyone to do things for them and expect to give nothing in return.
Your spouse may be exploitive. Many narcissists tend to exploit others and don’t think twice about using other people to get what they want. Some narcissistic spouses have even gone so far as to open credit cards in their spouse’s name without their knowledge.
Your spouse is consistently negative. Many narcissistic spouses tend to spread negative emotions to make themselves feel better. They don’t like to be criticized, and when they are, they will either detach themselves or start an argument.
Steps to Take When Dealing with a Narcissist
Once you’ve determined that you are dealing with a narcissist, it’s vital to know how to deal with them.
Share Your Concerns. If your spouse seems open-minded, share your concerns about their behavior. Tell them that you don’t approve of their behavior and advise them to get help. You can also offer to go to therapy sessions if your spouse agrees.
Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally. As difficult as it may be, don’t take your spouse’s behavior personally. Understand that what they are doing is self-driven and has nothing to do with you.
Make Yourself a Priority. The most important thing you must do is take care of yourself. A narcissist will not make you priority number one, so you must make yourself the priority. Regain your identity and find what makes you happen. Your narcissistic partner is probably always putting themselves first so you should make a point of indulging in some self-care.
Surround Yourself with Positivity. Just because your spouse isn’t offering a source of positivity doesn’t mean you can’t find other people and things that can. Find people who are upbeat and who won’t knock you down. Find someone you can talk to or seek help from a therapist so that you have someone positive to speak with.
Consider a Divorce. If your spouse is continually mentally and emotionally abusive, you may want to consider a divorce. The same applies if the relationship becomes physically violent. Also, if you’ve tried therapy and have realized that they are not receptive to change, you may want to consider divorce as you may be wasting your time trying to improve their narcissistic ways.
Being married to a narcissist is something that can be difficult to overcome. By seeking help and assessing the situation, you can decide the best course of action to take.