Narcissistic personality disorder is when someone thinks they’re extraordinary and important, way more than they actually are. They also don’t care about other people’s feelings, which makes them act very selfish in their relationships.
Being married to a narcissistic partner can be really tough. They often don’t show empathy and can be stubborn about fixing things in the relationship. If you can’t leave the relationship for some reason, you might want to know how to deal with them. It won’t be perfect, but it could improve things.
1. Tell your spouse how you feel
In a marriage with a narcissistic partner, it’s important to communicate your feelings, even though they may not realize the harm they’re causing to your mental well-being. Start by talking to them in a calm and non-confrontational way, considering their ego. Express what’s bothering you and suggest positive changes. For instance, you can say things like, “I love you, but when you don’t listen, it makes me feel uncared for,” or “I appreciate your passion, but when you get upset, it worries me.” It’s essential to discuss issues when both of you are calm and ready to listen.
2. Recognize the manipulation
To spot manipulative behavior from a narcissistic spouse in your relationship, pay attention to how they control you and how you react to it. Watch out if they play the victim or make constant demands, causing you to put their needs above your own and doubt your reality. If you feel like you can’t make decisions without their approval, it’s a red flag. Recognizing these tactics will show you that your relationship isn’t healthy, and with that understanding, you can find the strength to break free from the cycle of narcissistic abuse.
3. Find your support system
When dealing with a narcissistic spouse, it’s crucial to realize that they often want you to neglect your own needs and isolate you from loved ones to be the center of attention. To handle this, set healthy boundaries and make time for friends and family. Let your spouse know you love them but miss your loved ones, and schedule regular visits. Reconnect with your support network, share your challenges, and lean on them for emotional support. This helps you regain your support system and maintain a healthier balance in the relationship.
4. Accept their limitations and work around them
If your spouse who craves attention gets upset when they’re not the center of it in a group, try bringing up something they’ve done recently to get people talking to them. When they hesitate to do something you’ve been wanting to do, explain how it could make them a better spouse and benefit them. While it may not seem fair, it’s essential to recognize their limitations and find ways to work around them to maintain peace at home. Constantly blaming them for their lack of empathy can lead to heated arguments because they struggle to see things from your perspective.
5. Let them know what’s okay and what isn’t
A narcissistic spouse often invades your personal space and doesn’t respect your privacy. To establish boundaries, you can say things like, “Please stop checking my phone; it makes me feel untrusted,” or “I want to spend time with my friends.” Also, express the need for equal access to joint finances and let them know that mocking you in front of others is hurtful, and you won’t engage in such conversations anymore. This helps set clear limits with your narcissistic partner.
How do you think it’s best to handle a narcissistic spouse? Share your thoughts and strategies in the comments!