Q & A: Is my Husband Really a Narcissist?

Q: Hi, I think my husband is a narcissist. We have known each other since childhood and since we were kids he claimed that he loved me and that his was love in first sight. I, however, did not have the same feelings for him initially and so we were just friends. He used to seek constant attention from me (we studied in the same school and were in the same class)and also turned jealous when i talked to someone else.

As we grew up we dated for some time, but i constantly felt that he was very demanding for my attention and was also irresponsible at times. He hated it when i spent time with my friends. We broke up after sometime and he said he was shattered. He claims i am the only true love of his life. Later on i changed schools and moved to another city to do college. Then i contacted him out of the blue one day, as i started missing him and he claimed that he still loved me and he had no other girlfriends. I believed him and so we started dating again. But then i felt that he was the same as he was in school pushy, egoistic, jealous and wanted me all for himself. So we broke up again. He took it badly this time. I also started feeling that i have done a terrible thing cause he loved me so much and i contacted him again.

I think it was my biggest mistake. But he came back to me again and he was all nice and charming to me. Caring and loving. But all this changed after we got married. He doesn’t like it when i am with my family, he constantly criticizes me, does not like it even if i put on a little weight, criticizes my family, does not spend time with my family and never calls my parents ever… He also has problems with his sister as she put on a lot of weight after pregnancy and she wouldn’t listen to him asking her to lose weight. He hates her. He shouts at me for no reason sometimes and picks a fight and then gives me the silent treatment for weeks together.

Initially it used to last a few days but once i started asking him, crying to know what was the matter, it got worse. Now it goes on for weeks. He is obsessed with his looks. I thought of leaving him once and almost packed my stuff but he stopped me saying he cant live without me. But not once has he said he was sorry. When he gives me the silent treatment he stays in the guest room and sulks. He blames me for everything bad that has happened to him. If he isn’t doing great at his job its my fault, he couldn’t do what he wanted – its my fault. Even when he cant sleep at night its my fault. He never does anything that i like doing. For example, i like to go to movies and he will never take me – not even once! says he hates going to the cinema. He even blames me for him being this way. IS it true that my breaking up with him made him a narcissist?? Also, he claims that he had a lot of female friends who liked him in college but he was not interested in them. But i have read their emails to him. When i confronted him, he said they all liked him and he had nothing to do with them. But i think he has been lying to me all the time.

Is he really a narcissist? Please help me. Also, i am not sure how to leave him. Leaving is not easy. I used to think i still love him but now i think i just have anger and sadness. Can i ever be happy again? should i take some treatment? I feel anxious all the time. Please help me find a solution. I have stopped crying and asking him whats wrong with him and have also told him if he doesn’t want to stay with me he can leave this instant. But he doesn’t go. I don’t know whats he thinking. Is it possible that he actually loves me or is it a lie? I have written a very long letter to you. But there is so much happening inside my head. Please tell me what to do.

A: There is no way to diagnose a person as a narcissist without seeing them in person although you certainly have described a lot of narcissistic traits. If he is a narcissist, it was not caused by your breaking up with him nor anything else you do or have done. It is his personality– you did not create that. Leaving is not easy in a so-called “normal” relationship, but leaving a narcissist is twice as hard because they have had such power and control over their victim. Please read,”How to End a Narcissistic Relationship? 10 Steps to End It All on this website to help you leave. Because you feel anxious all the time and question your responsibility in this situation, I would highly recommend seeing a therapist/seeking treatment. I cannot tell you whether or not to leave this man- that is up to you. It reminds me of the old Ann Landers question: Would you be better off with him or without him? However, an experienced therapist can help you determine what is the next best step for you.

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