Married to a Narcissistic Husband? Proceed with Caution!

Share with your friends









Submit

Certainly all relationships have challenges. But being married to a narcissistic husband can be a very complicated and thorny journey. A narcissistic husband can be vain, insensitive to your needs, violent, and exceptionally critical of you. Living with a person like that can be destructive and demoralizing. It can leave you feeling confused and hurt by their seemingly incomprehensible actions. Theoretically, it is possible to negotiate a relationship with a narcissistic individual; but keep in mind that most narcissists are unlikely to recognize or take responsibility for needing to adjust the current unhealthy relationship.

If you cannot leave a narcissistic person, or choose not to for whatever reason, then your only other option is to learn to cope with him. You cannot change a narcissistic person; that is almost impossible as narcissism is a deeply ingrained personality disorder. However, you can learn more effective ways to deal with your husband. Of primary importance is your attitude toward him; you must truly believe that they are ‘difficult to handle’ people, but don’t develop hatred toward them. He is not evil or purposefully trying to hurt you emotionally, verbally or physically. There is a difference between narcissistic abuse and sadistic abuse; when a narcissist hurts you, he is oblivious to your pain but when a sadist hurts you, he does it to see and enjoy your pain.

How did I get myself into this?

The story is the similar for most women who marry a narcissist: Boy meets girl; boy sweeps girl off her feet; boy marries girl; boy changes soon after. A narcissist can be very intense in the beginning of a relationship and bombard you with love and attention, and placing you on a pedestal. It’s easy to fall in love with a narcissist. However, his true personality starts to reveal itself as the wife endures his criticism, insults, possible beatings or other forms of abuse.

Loving and living with a narcissist takes a heavy toll; the wife takes years of abuse and loses her sense of self-worth and remains submissive to his demands. Being married to a narcissist is like walking on eggshells. You don’t know what will cause an outburst or provoke his wrath.

After the honeymoon period, the narcissistic husband starts berating his wife, criticizing her behavior and pointing out each and every detail that bothers him. His wife stays with him at this point because she feels trapped and helpless, still in the throes of the emotional “hook”. Over time, the relationship disintegrates but by then her self esteem has disintegrated as well. This is where the wife usually decides to leave, or if you are reading this article, decides to stick it out but knows there has to be some changes to make their marriage last.

How do I know if he has narcissism? What are the signs?

There are primary traits that most narcissists display, although they probably won’t exhibit all of them and they will differ in intensity from individual to individual. Only a mental health professional can diagnose a personality disorder, but you can suspect it if your husband shows at least five of these signs:

  1.  Lack of empathy toward others. Your husband has difficulty putting himself “in someone else’s shoes”. His behavior seems callous, unemotional and selfish. He may be able to playact the part of a loving husband or father to outsiders, but you will not see that behavior at home.
  2. A sense of grandiose self worth. This is an over-inflated ego to the point of exaggerating or lying about his accomplishments and worth.
  3. A sense of entitlement. Your husband expects preferential treatment from you and all others. He expects things to happen according to his wishes and expects total compliance from his spouse at all times.
  4. Idealized fantasy. Your husband may be obsessed with ideas about “perfect” love, beauty, or power. Although you were most likely put on a pedestal during courtship, you will have had to disappoint him at some point and then you become worthless and possibly discarded; there is very little room in between these two states.
  5. A haughty and superior attitude toward others. The narcissistic husband feels he is “special”. He often must have the very best of everything and feels he can only associate with others at his level or at his preferred institution (club, university, etc.)
  6. An excessive desire or need for admiration from others. Admiration and praise act like a drug that he craves and he will go to extreme lengths to get it.
  7. Jealous of others and thinks others are jealous of him. He is envious of other people’s accomplishments and may even get enraged at hearing about the successes of others.
  8. A willingness to exploit others for his own benefit. Your husband may be comfortable with the idea of “stepping on others” to get ahead and sees no harm in it; he may even brag about it.
  9. Lying. Many narcissistic husbands are pathological liars. They will try and manipulate you with a complex web of lies and half-truths. Their highly selective memory will filter out the truth. They will blame you and not take responsibility-for anything. They will lie about everything in an attempt to justify their behavior or maintain their inflated ego. If you question their version of the truth, they may get enraged and lash out in anger or come up with an even more absurd lie to explain it away.
  10. Violent tendencies. Your husband may experience episodes of uncontrollable rage. His bouts of anger may include screaming, hurling obscenities or even physical violence. He may force himself on his wife sexually even if she is not consenting. He will try to modify his wife and children’s behavior according to his wishes by criticizing.

How can I deal with this behavior?

In relationships where the husband is self-absorbed, the scales are always imbalanced. The narcissistic husband assumes he is always the focal point of the family and the marriage. If you want to try to address some of the imbalances, you can try the following:

  • Convince your husband that giving you what you want reflects well on him. Narcissists are very concerned with outward appearances.
  • Always apply flattery before suggesting something your spouse can do for you. He is more likely to be generous if his ego tank is full.
  • Use positive reinforcement. At any time your spouse supports you or does something unselfish, reinforce that behavior with praise so they will want to do it again.
  • Don’t dismiss his grievance even if he is being irritable. Listen. Then use echoing (paraphrasing what they said) or mirroring (let them know you are familiar with the feeling they are having) to show them you understand.
  • Check in often. Your spouse will be more tolerant of you doing things on your own if you periodically touch base to remind him that you love him.
  • Flirt. This is good advice in any marriage to keep an element of fun and mystery alive. But narcissists actually crave this kind of sexual attention.

Above all, be sure not to lose sight of who you are. Remember that your goal is to create a better relationship.

What are some other things you can do for yourself?

  1. Create a support system outside of the household, whether it is friends or a mental health professional. They can provide you with accurate perceptions of you and your actions.
  2. Maintain connections to the outside world. This will help counteract the negative feedback you get at home.
  3. Maintain your self esteem. A narcissistic husband will often belittle you and put you down. Members of your support system can assist you if they know what is going on.
  4. Establish personal boundaries and communicate them to your narcissistic spouse. It is important to be consistent with these boundaries-if you do not, he will exploit that fact. If you give in just once, he is likely to disregard all your preferences.
  5. Keep an eye out for escalating abuse. Although it isn’t that common for a narcissistic husband to turn physically violent, it does happen. He is already in a verbally abusive relationship so it can happen. You need to take a serious look if he suddenly becomes more possessive and controlling, the verbal abuse increases, criticism intensifies, he requires all control of finances, or if he isolates you from family and friends.

References:

  1. http://whatispsychology.net/narcissistic-husband-traits/
  2. http://EzineArticles.com/1954529
  3. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-to-deal-with-a-narcissist.html
  4. http://idiotsguide.com/static/quickguides/selfhelp/coping-with-a-narcissistic-partner-or-spouse.html
  5. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/narcissistic-husband.html
  6. http://www.ehow.com/how_5641496_live_narcissistic_husband.html
photo by: Ed Yourdon

About Alexander Burgemeester

27 Responses to “Married to a Narcissistic Husband? Proceed with Caution!”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Lena says:

    Thank you for this article. It is really helpful to have some pointers on how to make it work. It is tough, but love is tough. I have come to see that I need to be clear about what I need to do, and then just do it. Stop trying to change him, and change myself instead. Thinking in terms of him having a disorder or disabiluty rather than being difficult on purpose is helpful as well.

    • Atul jain says:

      Hi, i have a friend whom i think is going through this. I want to help him and his family, his behaviour is like he does not communicate with ppl at home, lives a very scheduled life and has a drinking problem too. He does not understand how to behave when in the company with friends. Please help

      • Pernella says:

        Hi I married my husband at 40 all my single friends were so jellous of this devoted suitor. I thought I was marrying my soul mate we dated20 years before and I knew it ended when he saw me find cracks in his armor and he was interested in someone else after being crazy about me. The day before we married I experienced the first of many violent outbursts pointed at me and my bad behavior, reckless nature. Need for more of him than he could give. The first outburst was him getting upset that he couldn’t make the music at the wedding right for me. I was too needy. Didn’t know what I wanted. My siesta instinct after the first attack ws to to not marry at all. But I was so happy. I have spent two years pushing my friends and family away while he has shown displeasure with me his children my family. He really has no need for his own. I’m so lonly and broken. I think about suicide a lot and can’t imagine the shame of letting everyone know what a fake life I’ve been living. I’m scared a the time no he even gets mad when I beg him not to get mad at me. I think he is reaching out to get validation frim other women and it kills me. I don’t have any self esteem j don’t know how it could be better or how I could get out.

        • love thy self says:

          Dear Pernella
          You are afraid of the unknown-can I support myself-do you have children-think of there well being- Can I walk away without getting hurt-the list gone on-Yes you can-after 20 yrs. Did you know him-be honest with yourself-then you married him-Sometimes we are blind and then we see-is this the life I want to live -No one can answer that but you-don’t be the one that walk around soulless and never heard from-don’t give up who you are-just to be with some one that doesn’t give you what you need to grow and love-people like that are users-they would take your last breath to save themselves. tell you, will you are dieing you didn’t need it.
          Don’t wander or worry about what other will think-it not about them-it all about you and what you need to be stronger. Let it be about you for once.It wasn’t a fake live – it was a nightmare maybe-abuse life- one sided live- Fake is the wrong word to use-you have to rebuild your self esteem- rebuild you life and have a live the way you want-it no crime being alone -loneliness is just a state of mind-that you can change-do something you love-cooking class-yoga-the list is endless – all you have to do is put one feet in front of the other and go-if you fail get up and try again. The answer to your question is time-How much more time are you giving away.Don’t give no more then you are welling to loses and never miss it. There no shame to give up something that you don’t need-It’s your live-Believe me -He knows his live is more important then yours. Wake up and put your big girl pansy on and do the work-it there for the taking-bet he does- Sorry I seem mean and rude and heartless-for I can,t leave and here I sit – with my eyes wide open-I am free-

    • lkanony says:

      Definately….this article has been a GREAT HELP and EYE OPENER for the wife that truly wants to “try” especially if divorce is NOT an option. My mother has always said it better too in reference to “stop trying to change him and change myself”….indirectly, I’ve begun to make MYSELF the priority considering he makes HIS needs and wants priority over the overall needs of the family. In other words instead of battling it out over a petty issue over what he should’ve, would’ve, and could’ve been done, I’ve thrown myself into things that builds MY credentials so that I WOULD NEVER NEED TO TOTALLY DEPEND ON HIM OR ANYONE which works for not only this motive but IT’S A GREAT DISTRACTION so you don’t even have time to worry about ANYTHING ELSE he may or may not bring your way. Second, getting out of the house to just catch a good movie ALONE has been a peaceful mechanism. TUNING HIM OUT when he feels the need to downplay or critique others THAT HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW or when he feels the need to question MY endeavors with a skeptical, condescending or critiquing manner even if he says he “supports” what I’m doing and “let’s me” go back to school. Well….I must admit that by learning how to “stroke that ego” and using some of the tactics I’ve just noted, there’s been more better days in the later years of our marriage (married now for 12 years) compared to how it was in the beginning because YES….you’re darn right I felt like I was bamboozled…on that pedastal BEFORE we were married and then all of a sudden, VERY SOON after the wedding, all bets were off the table (???)…..and certainly, although things can be going well, one set back (which does happen occasionally) can be exaggerated by these types of individuals so it’s like you have to regroup and start all over again to get back in a good zone….sometimes it’s over in just a few minutes and sometimes he may ignore you for days. But well…since arguing with these types of individuals are TRULY NOT going to benefit you (me) and yes…can indeed turn manipulative, FIND THINGS TO DISTRACT YOURSELF which perhaps can even be something that will boost your credentials to get you to a different financially DEPENDENT bracket so worse comes to worse, if finances are used to tickle HIS fancy, you won’t feel destitute, AND no matter what, YOU are the one that’s making HIM look good….hell…I’ve even told him that I was enhancing my credentials in order to be able to help him support our family life and make our plans and goals come to par but the bottom line is the primary reason is FOR ME…MY FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE, MY SELF-ESTEEM, MY OWN EGO-BOOST AND PRIDE and again to enhance MY CREDENTIALS….with all this going on and by the grace of GOD you simply won’t have time to deal with his episodes….not to mention, you’ve made an interesting point….by accepting him as what he is (considering you can’t change it…you have to change yourself) I just listen to what he is saying before I speak and basically I change/adjust my approach based on what he is saying….and then indirectly put the focus and energy back on ME.

  2. Wanda says:

    To the person who said “love is tough” with regard to her narcissistic husband… I’ve been there and done that. I spent 8 years with one. The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that he actually “loves” us. A man who has narcissistic personality disorder is NOT capable of love. He doesn’t love you because he can’t love you. It’s impossible for him to love you. I wasn’t aware of this until after I left him and got into counseling. It really felt terrible to know that I wasted so many years on someone who was just a “thing” who could never love me. Don’t believe me – then ask yourself if someone who “loved” you would ever treat you the way he does. Get yourself into counseling with an abuse specialist – regardless if you are with him or not.

    • Bonnie says:

      Wanda, you are so right. I am more than convinced that I am married to a narcissistic person after 18 years of marriage. All around me is destruction. A family is suppose to grow in relationship; but he destroyed our family, kids on a path of destruction because of verbal abuse, etc…the list goes on and on. I came to the realization, after making excuses, when I called to let him know just 3 weeks ago that the doctor told me to go straight to emergency hospital due to the symptoms I was having; she felt I was having a heart attack. I called my husband to let him know what the doctor said and he told me to let him know what the doctor said. I couldn’t believe my ears. This was the first time I ever have been to the emergency room at the hospital in my entire life and he leaves me hanging. Shows up 2 hours later with tears in his eyes. From that moment on and even to this day – I AM DONE!! He proved to me he doesn’t love me – it’s all about him. Now I know how my children felt – empty, void of love, numb, no feelings, I can’t go on – I don’t even want to be in the same room with him. I stopped communicating with him all together and he just acts like everything is fine. I told him first about why I wouldn’t be communicating with him because of what he did to me. Love is an action word and he proved to me that he doesn’t love me, having no empathy for anyone…I don’t have it in me to try anymore. I’m totally empty – I’M DONE! I just don’t know right now how to move on. I know exactly what I’m dealing with. I’ve read one book after another on this subject. Nothing is real and never was for 18 years. How do you move on?

      • Mel says:

        Bonnie,

        I know your pain. I spent 5 years just simply trying to work up the courage to leave him. 5 years! That’s how afraid and confused I was to confront this ugly man and finally walk out. He wanted desperately to make me feel that way, afraid, confused and hopeless, that was how he kept me with him for so many years and that was how he was able to control me. I had no idea where I was going to go or how I would take care of myself financially. This fear kept me with him for 30 years. I am here to tell you, you can get out. I know it’s hard but you must believe that you can do it. I had nothing but a garbage bag full of clothes and my laptop when I left. I waited out on the street at 1 o’clock in the morning for a friend to pick me up but I made my mind up earlier that evening that I MUST GET OUT! I honestly didn’t even think about how I was going to do it or the future or anything. I just knew that I could no longer live with him anymore and the rest GOD took care of for me. I stayed with my son for 2 1/2 months than got a job and got my own apartment. I got my GED and went to community college. I found a good therapist who is helping me build up my shattered confidence and slowly, I am able to put back the pieces of myself and my life. The divorce is in process and there are still times I have to deal with him but I am in a much happier place and you will be too. You really need to stop listening to the voice in your head telling you you cant do it. Find the courage and the strength to reach out to someone who you trust. Have faith in yourself that you will be okay. I believe you can do it. Just think about if you stayed with him, will anything change? Will he change? Will your feelings about yourself and your life change? Most definitely not. Men with Narcissistic Personality Disorder do not change and you will continue to remain in an abusive and selfish relationship that will not flourish or give you peace. Trust me on this. I stayed because I was afraid and had zero confidence in my self. I hoped I could change him and I thought if I could change myself to fit him better it would all be ok but it wasn’t. They have what’s called a mean/sweet cycle. They give you just enough kindness to make you hope things will get better than they slap you down again. It’s a tactic that is well known for Narcs. They will not ever change. Get out while you can. Reach out to family, friends whom ever you can trust and just go. I wish you the best.

        • lkanony says:

          Dear GOD it’s funny that I’ve truly come to the realization today 12/27/13 that I myself have to face facts that I am truly married to someone that yes….is truly narcissistic. I’ve speculated on the idea long before today but than….I started to have my moments of doubt and uncertainty because of that “mean/sweet cycle” INDEED….THAT was what had blindsided me all this time into not concluding that he IS a narcissist tried and true. You’ve described it EXACTLY how it can be which makes the person difficult and confusing because you NEVER know when the sweetness would end or when he just feels like being/acting like a “bitch” FOR NO REAL REASON AT ALL.

  3. Ken says:

    I was married to a narcissist for 15 years. He tore me and the children apart from the inside out! By the end of the marraige, I found myself being afraid to buy myself a stick of lipstick, winning a game while playing with friends, going home after work, etc. all of these things, plus many more, would send him into a rage. I couldn’t leave our children with him if I went on a weekend vacation, or shopping. Because he would abuse them while I was away. Not knowing that he was upset about my leaving because he would tell me it was fine for me to leave, then act out his true feelings while I was away.
    By the time I finally made up my mind to leave, I was a mental reck! Needless to say, he remarried a couple of days after our divorce was final. He made sure I knew by sending his wedding announcement to my house.
    Now, 7 years later, he’s still trying to manipulate our kids into hating me for leaving him. He blames me for all the problems he’s had in his life since. I’m remarried and very happy with my present husband. And this alone, drives my ex crazy. Even though he lives in another state, he still keeps track of me and my life.
    My only regret is that I didn’t leave him sooner. He almost destroyed me

  4. Terry says:

    I got out after 30 years. Its very difficult!!!! At Fifteen I was a fashion model, a perfect trophy at that time. He showered me with gifts and attention. It overwhelmed me!!!! I was too young to see the signs. Things happened so fast. The rules did not apply to him. Peeople loved him and I felt lucky to have found this wonderful man. We married when I was eighteen. He was able to buy us a great amount of worldly possessions; big houses, cars, status well above our upbringing! He would show off everything he accomplished, wore his success on his sleeve. I was very embarressed by this cockiness!!! Between us there was no intimacy. Everything I would confide in my husband was shared with others. Personal things a married couple would discuss. The stories changed and were full of lies, making me look really bad and unappreciative of our life. Eventually, I was a basket case, no friends, jealousy, I stopped trying to reason with him because you cant win with this disorder! I asked him to leave after 27 years. He was the victim and called everyone in the family, friends. They believed his lies. They thought I had lost my mind. His stories of my actions varied greatly with everything but the truth. They still do!!! This has ruined many relationships for me with loved ones. I never felt so alone. I found a fantastic therapist and she gave me insight, tools to survive this. My divorce is in process still after three years. I’ve learned so much. I can finally breathe a bit better. His disorder stems from his treatment as a child with a controlling mother. Inside he has stayed a little scared boy. I never stood a chance as awife with someone this damaged and defensive. Its a bit easier to understand now that I know the facts.

  5. evette says:

    thank you everyone for your comments. I am just discovering after 36 years of a desperate unhappy marriage what the problem is. it is so hard to spot and my husband draws people in with his lies and deceit. I am thinking of walking out but have to find a way of living. it is impossible to discuss anything with him I have tried over the years. I thank God for supplying me with friends who believe me but many people don’t. it has come as a bit of a shock but I don’t think I can live with it any longer. He has moved into the spare bedroom but that is to keep me in the house, I was disappearing to friends as often as I could. I have tried marriage counselling in my ignorance but it is all a waste of time and I got very upset when the counsellor told me I haven’t thought it through and it won’t take much to fix it.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Evette,

      The Narcissist is extremely subtle in his ways and because of that it is very difficult to understand what is exactly happening. Most people on the outside rarely see the real person they are at home. This is because a Narcissist is very intelligent and knows what he/she is doing. They thrive on admiration from others and to have people look upon them in a good way is crucial. So the abuse that a spouse suffers is insidious. No one believed me when I told them how he really deals with me. They all thought he was the kindest, most generous person. He would use that to back up his behavior against me and tell me, “See! Everyone thinks I’m a good person except you”. ” You just don’t appreciate anything good from me”. And then it becomes my fault.

      I asked him to leave the house but he refused. He told me he wasn’t the one with the problem, it was my problem and I would just have to learn to change the way I thought about him.That is, I had to learn how to agree with him on everything, tell him he was always right, hide my depression and frustrations so he wouldn’t have to see it, basically, just put on a smile and keep going. I actually did that for a while but I discovered that all it did was ate away at my soul until I become nothing but an empty mindless shell inside. I think his refusal to leave is exactly that, you are his source of supply and he wants to keep you near, also, he honestly feels that it’s you not him that has a problem so why should he leave?
      You are not the problem. If you feel like it’s difficult to express your feelings to your husband and when ever you do, he just puts it back on you then this is a problem. Does he ridicule your feelings? Do you feel hopeless that no matter how good you try to be, he still deals with you the same way? Is he nice to you sometimes, compliments you, buys you gifts and then turn around and insults you and blames you for things? Does he tell you how much he loves you but then does or says something that is the opposite?Narcs will be nice enough to give you a little bit of hope that all is well to keep you in the relationship but if they see you are too happy, then they turn on you in very mean ways. The goal is to control and manipulate your emotions. They use projection. They do or say something wrong but somehow twist it so that it looks like you are the one who did it or they simply deny, deny, deny, which is how my ex-husband did it. Do you feel he never takes responsibility for his bad behavior? Most Narcs have a way of weaseling their way out of things. Do you try to bring up something to his attention and you end up just feeling worse than before? Does he control most or all the finances? I couldn’t spend a dime without him knowing about it. He would say things like ” You can go out and buy what ever you want for yourself” and he’d hand over the card. When I got back, he’d yell at me and tell me I spent money on foolish things I didn’t need. I stopped shopping.
      If you argue with a Narcissist be very careful to not let yourself get upset. My ex used to provoke arguments with me and he would play with the words to the point where I would get upset and either cry or yell back at him, then he would shift the focus to my behavior and away from his by saying, ” Look at yourself, I can’t believe how you are acting? All the while he caused it. This was very, very, very, common.
      I’m telling you….they will make you feel like your crazy. They will give you hope and then knock you straight down. They are very keen on your weaknesses and they have no problem using it against you. They will sabotage your emotions and they will never take responsibility for what they do. Most professionals, therapists, psychiatrists, will tell you to get out of the relationship before it’s too late because Narcs will not change. They don’t have the ability to see their own wrong doings. They truly are very self=centered and focused only on themselves and their own needs not yours. It’s a one way relationship. So unless you plan to cope, which is what you will have to do if you stay, then I suggest you try to leave him to save yourself and kids. If you have children it makes it harder but there is help. Go to a shelter, a family member a friend, tell them you want to leave. Make a plan and get out.
      I hope I have helped you. I have been through this and have tried to learn everything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder that I could find. I knew just from living with him for 30 years that things would not get better so I finally stopped telling myself that. I was not willing to live a life that I had to cope with. That is not marriage.Marriage is two-sided not one, and I wasn’t about to sacrifice anymore pieces of my soul to a person who I know was never going to care about anyone but himself in the end.

      • Yvonne Zeef says:

        This is exactly my story. Thank you. I am recently divorced after 35 years marriage. Always thought everything was due to me. After reading about NPD and all the sites I came to understand things and it is so helpfull. Because only people who have lived in a life with NPD understand. A lot of friends, family etc think you are the one, but then if you have believed and lived that life, how can they believe what you are telling them. They simply think it is your depression etc.

  6. teresa says:

    I have been married for 2 yrs and I never knew What the problem was. Until a friend said he is self centered and upon me reading up on it its like I’m reading just about him. It makes me so sad I’m so frustrated

    • lkanony says:

      Yeah….I feel the same way you do although I’ve been married for 12 years and even put myself in a state of denial in some time ago that I may be married to a narcissist….now I KNOW I am married to a narcissist and seriously as I read and type out my own response and replies I keep talking to GOD because it’s really making me sad the more I come to the realization of what I’m married to.

  7. Eva says:

    Now everything is clear to me and I am feeling so lucky today after reading everyone’s responses that I didnt get married to him !!!!!!!!!! we were planning and had told our families , I knew since beginning there is something wrong with this guy . after reading the articles i know its stem — his abusive and controlling mother . Till today i was grieving that things didnt happen between us but now i am feeling glad. its better to grieve for months than grieve your whole life . I always wondered how can anyone be so cruel so insensitive and lie when its just not required , He lied about everything to the extent where he showed his sister’s pic as his girlfriend and i was shocked when i discovered that noone can do that. He stole his sisters stuff and gave to me which i discovered later . he lied to me about his mother’s religion and his dad’s designation , about his past about his age . He owns a big car and feels he is superior to everyone . He treated me so well in the beginning where i got emotionally attached to him and then he totally changed like somebody has turned off a switch …I FEEL GLAD AND SO FREE TODAY

  8. Mel says:

    I was married to a Narcissist for 30 yrs. It took me a very long time to discover that there was a name for his behavior. For many years I suffered through his crazy-making psychological abuse. He blamed me for everything that went wrong in our marriage and in raising our five children. Nothing I could do was ever good enough to please him. I was either all good or all evil, there were no in betweens. I would do anything to get bring his abusiveness to his attention, even beating myself with my fists in front of him in frustration just to have him belittle me further by telling me I was stupid and crazy. He showed no compassion or empathy towards me when I would cry or talk to him about how I was feeling. He would often refer to me as a diamond that fell in sh..! I was good but I had many flaws and needed improvement. Meanwhile, trying to point out any of his flaws only ended me up locking myself in the bedroom closet crying for hours. I would tell myself there was something wrong with me because no matter what I ever did, I couldn’t make the problems and the depression go away. He would force intercourse on me while I was crying, but it never seemed to bother him. He would insult me in front of other people or just simply ignore me. All the while, he would buy me gifts and tell me how much he loved me and blamed me for not seeing it or appreciating it enough. My moods became dependent on his moods on a daily basis. If he was happy then I could be happy, if he was miserable, I had to feel miserable with him. I endured this for many years. I finally walked out on him 2 years ago and am now getting a divorce.. But the games and manipulation has not ended by far. I pray for the day to come when I will be completely free from this ugly man and have him out of my life and as far away as possible. Strength and faith in my religious beliefs is what is getting me through. No matter what, no one deserves to be treated like they have no value as a human being. Narcissists will play with your head and your thinking and try to make you lose hope and faith in everything good you believe in, they start by dismantling your soul piece by piece. Anyone who believes thay are married to someone like this, just know, there is very little you can do for them. You honestly have to start taking care of yourself and the best thing is to get out! Narcs don’t change because they only have the ability to see their own self in the situation. Not you! Get out while you still have a shred of dignity and sanity in you. Thank you.

  9. G says:

    Hi Alexander,
    Thank you for writing this article. I am married to a narcissistic husband. Everything you mentioned in your article is all true.
    I’ve experienced them for 10 years until finally leaving the relationship 10 months ago. It took every ounce of me to finally act. During our time together, he would go from slandering my being and then next, say nice things as if nothing bad happened–he’d tell me I’m broken and sick in the head just because I would express some disagreement but he would say other times that I’m the most rational woman he’s ever met, and lately, called me inhuman for not apologizing for something he believes I caused him to do (choking me to shut me up). I never could question his wearabouts either, for he says it’s not my right. He never allowed me to be alone with his family otherwise he’d get mad and accuse me of being a mess maker. No one, I mean, even his own father, sister, children and other immediate family members contact him except his older brother. Most importantly though, image is everything to him. After the courtship was over, he’s tried to convince me to remove my mole, so that I can look prettier. And the list goes on and on. It’s really sad because as much as I want to be mad and angry, I feel sorry for him. I never could understand his behavior, and all a while I was blaming myself for not being able to meet his expectations.
    I lost so much of myself throughout the years. My health also took a toll. And that’s when i said, it’s enough. I am now slowly regaining my self-image, confidence, esteem, and holding on tightly to what I know is truth. And I thought that may be this separation would enable him to seek within himself and find a way to change. May be he’ll miss my presence or realize what he’s losing or may be realize his mistakes–WRONG. If anything, he’s worse.
    Now, I’m still struggling to let go of him emotionally because after all, I participated in feeding his ego. How he praised me for that. If you’re with someone who’s a narcissist, at one point you have to realize only one of you will be happy.
    Thanks so much for creating this site. I found it today just when I’m having a difficult time. It solidifies my plan to move on with my life.

  10. ally says:

    I recently got married to a man I thought was the love of my life…he’s a narc..nothing I do is good enough. He puts me down n makes me feel like I’m the stupid one…even if its his fault.we almost split up n he said we needed time apart so that I could appreciate him more!!! No thought for my feelings whatsoever. I can’t do this much longer

  11. Tap says:

    Thank you everyone for sharing. I am married to one for these 27 years. I can’t get away from him because I know he will harm those I love who live closest to us. I can only pray that God will change him ; I will remain spiritually, physically. mentally and emotionally strong. And I tell myself not to forget that he really had a disorder instead of me. I thank God for good family support from my siblings though they can’t do much, my job, my friends . Yet, I wonder why he gets away with all the nasty things he said and done .

    • "R" says:

      Hi Tap, and everyone. I’m married to a Narcissist for 30 years. I don’t say I ‘can’t’ leave him, because that would not be completely honest. I’m retired but work a part-time job and materialistically, I have everything I’ve ever wanted – in fact, thinking back on my life, I’ve actually had and done everything I ever dreamed of doing DESPITE him! Don’t get me wrong, I went through all the horrors we are all very familiar with, but being an only child myself, I guess I had in me a God-given selfish nature that has served me well and helped me not only survive, but learn, thrive and have a happy life. At this point, all my fear of him is gone – I’ve seen with my own eyes how all the rages and violence masked a complete coward, that all my fear of him was wasted. I ignore him now instead of him ignoring me, I’ve always come and gone as I pleased and moreso now that we don’t have the responsibility of children, and I always kept my own money from the first year of our marriage when I saw him for what he was. I no longer attend social functions with him, which takes away his opportunities to humiliate me publicly, yet I attend social functions of my choice, without him. I’m an INTJ personality anyway, so I’m capable and honestly, happier doing things alone, like go to a movie, shopping or dinner. He pays all the household bills – I’ve left him no choice, buys all the food and now that he’s fully retired where I do work a couple of days a week, he also does the food shopping and cooking, laundry and some of the housework. Perhaps the tables have turned in a sense … since about 2 years ago when I started reading about this and realized what kind of monster I’d married and started examining my options and choices at this point in my life, I guess I figure he owes me for the past 25+ years of sadistic abuse he put me through, and I’m happy to take it.

      • Lois Douglass says:

        Well said “R” – good on ya’ as the Aussies would say!! I, too, am married to a narcissistic husband (and was raised by a narcissistic mother whom I now take care of, as she’s 93 yo). In any case, I’m an INF/TJ (it depends – mostly INTJ in my professional or academic environments, and INFJ in most other arenas of my life). In any case, I was SO happy to read your post, and take great comfort in seeing someone really thriving DESPITE the difficulties inherent in this kind of relational dynamic!

        After accepting that my husband is incapable of actually loving me, but also loving my home, the town where we live, I began creating a life of my own which includes becoming a runner (7miles/day, 4 days/week); strength training, and martial arts training (I’m taking my test for High Blue Belt this evening). All that to say that I applaude you, me and others who’ve found ways of not only coping but regaining their lost and hurt Selves, and then going on to forge lives of depth and worth.

        Blessings and best to us all… Lois

  12. Rebecca says:

    I can relate to your feelings. I have been married for almost two years but in the relationship for four years. He treats me like a child and is very condescending much of the time. He has been physically abusive in the past as well as forceful sexually. He says its not rape because were married and laughs at me for thinking so. He is very critical of others but would not tolerate being treated that way himself. I feel bad thinking of divorce. I don’t want to break up our family but I am not happy or in love anymore.

  13. Broken says:

    I am almost 32 years old. I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years & together total for 14 years. I have been a stay at home wife & mother for our entire marriage. We have 2 kids ages almost 10 & 7. I left him once for a few months before we were married only for him to beg for forgiveness & promise to change. He did change when I agreed to get back together. I got pregnant a few months after we got back together & he immediately changed back to his old ways & much worse. We got married as soon as I found out I was pregnant & it’s been a struggle ever since. I’ve always thought he was bipolar bc his attitude will flip like a light switch. One day/minute everything is great & the next he’s giving me the silent treatment for whatever I did to make him unhappy. At first he wouldn’t tell me what I had done, but now it’s everything I do. Not keeping the house clean enough, spending too much time (or any time) with my friends, not giving him enough sex, not exercising & losing weight, not giving him what he needs emotionally & the list goes on. Now after reading up on narcissist behavior & reading all of these posts, I’m pretty sure this is his disorder. I am the only person he treats this way. He would never allow someone on the outside to hear the things he says to me. He loves our children more than life itself & does not treat them this way. However he does subject them to how he talks to & treats me. I do not want them to learn that this is how a husband should treat a wife. He has not physically abused me, but the emotional, mental & verbal abuse is very much present. He has no regard of my thoughts & feelings. Everything I say, think & feel is wrong, but everything he says, thinks & feels is right. Just yesterday he called me a spoiled selfish lazy bitch & said that my father told him before he died that he agreed with him. I couldn’t help myself & cried all day in front of him. He showed no remorse toward how he hurt my feelings. Instead his attitude flipped to acting like nothing happened & everything was fine. I don’t know how to deal with this. I can’t turn my feelings on & off. He has hurt me so badly I feel like I don’t even like him anymore. I do not want my kids to grow up in a broken household or be dragged from house to house, but I’m not sure I can live with the abuse anymore. I’m also unsure of whether I’ll be able to support myself & our kids since I only have partial college education & have no work experience in any field except waitressing. Our marriage needs help, but everything I’ve read says there is no such help for a person with this condition. He will not agree to counseling bc therapists are crazy & he’s not the one with the problem, I am. I’m scared to stay & I’m scared to leave. He says if I do everything he says & be the person he wants me to be all will be great, but in the back of my mind I know there will always be something wrong with me in his eyes.

  14. StartingOverwithoutaNarc says:

    I’ve been with my soon to be ex husband for 20 years. Looking back, I always knew deep down something was off about him but by the time that realization truly hit we already had a child. I thought he was immature and flaky but he was hiding far more sinister aspects of his character.

    He became more arrogant and entitled as the years past. Everything was about him. Everything was my fault. He began drinking daily. It was exhausting and slowly but surely I lost myself. I became depressed, anxious and lost my joy for living. Gradually I withdrew from him. I always thought my depression was my fault but after going through the details of my marriage with my therapist, I’ve seen how his put downs and blame shifting slowly but surely damaged my self esteem and destroyed my soul.

    My husband thinks he’s a good man that simply made bad choices. His bad choices include spending 20 years telling me our relationship issues were all my fault, we were not compatible and that I was not right for him. I tried to make it work for the kids but discovered recently that he’s been living a double life for almost our entire marriage. Numerous affairs, online hookups, one night stands with bar sluts, group sex, even sex with married couples. He was placing ads for married couples online. In his mind, this was all because he wasn’t getting enough attention, or I withdrew and he didn’t get enough sex or for the cheap thrill. There is always some excuse. He’s pathetic, immature and vile but it’s hard to unravel 20 years. I feel horrified to have wasted the best years of my life on such a deceitful loser. These men think they are wonderful, so special to be wanted by so many women but the frightening part is that the women were ugly and unappealing to the point where friends and family have been shocked at their photos. I don’t understand the kind of woman who would think that a known cheater would be a good choice for a partner. They’re quite simply as my therapist says bottomfeeders. The desperate and needy, the personailty disordered, the addicts and the homely women with limited options. This is what he traded a lifetime of family memories and a woman with integrity and morals for. His children have no respect for him. I will never for the life of me understand what motivates a serial cheater. He says I never will because he lived it and he doesn’t but still claims to be a good man who made “bad choices”. The only bad choice was mine — I married him.

    Now of course he wants me, loves me oh so much and claims he never wanted a life with any of the “losers” as he refers to these women. Narcs are a strange and scary bunch. Always looking for attention from anyone to fill that bottomless pit of need. Then again because he’s a narc, I trust nothing he says. His remorse is likely an act intended to keep me around as supply.

  15. ngege says:

    I am married to a Nacs for the past 11yrs, you guys have opened my eyes, I have tried to make thIS marrige work but to no avail, he is a pathological liar, , unfaithful and and an abuser both physically and emotionally. he refused having a joint account, he will not spend his money on any household thing, he rather spend them on women. He is very critical of me, blaming me for everything while he comes out as the good man.
    the kids are aware of what is happening but they asked me to stay and work things out, I want to leave him, but my kids are still very young to understand, please HELP ME.

Leave A Comment...

*