Men in general aren’t too keen on talking about their feelings. But if your husband is so beyond that, to the point that he’s in full denial or out of touch with his feelings, you could be married to a narcissist. This is just one of many possible signs.
What is a narcissist? Basically they are very vain and only really focus on themselves, even at the detriment of their most close relationships; psychologists call it Narcissistic Personality Disorder and also say it is a spectrum disorder that can vary in severity.
Here are some signs that can tell if your husband is a narcissist and what to do about it:
Your husband doesn’t seem to care
He doesn’t care about your feelings or put effort into understanding you. Narcissists are typically so interested in themselves, they can’t even see others around them. Unfortunately, that includes you. But the reason they are so into themselves is really a mask. Classic narcissists may seem self confident, but it’s all an act. Inside they are completely self conscious. That’s why they puff themselves up and put so much attention on their accomplishments. So don’t take it personally. Have good family and friends around you who care about your feelings and give you the emotional support you need.
Your husband puts you down
He constantly belittles or criticizes you. We all tend to get a little nitpicky in marriage, but this is different. In an attempt to make themselves look better, a narcissist will put down others around them. Try this visualization every time they direct criticism towards you: their words are bubbles, and they simply bounce off you and float away. While they are trying to jab at you with words, remember that they are just that—words. It’s your choice whether or not you let them into your mind and heart. And words from a narcissist can be especially brutal and untrue. Don’t believe them.
Your husband stretches the truth or lies
Typically a narcissist does this in order to make themselves look better. So if your husband tells you a story about something that happened at work, for example, take it with a grain of salt. It is most likely embellished to leave out negative things about them and include more positives about them than actually occurred. We all stretch the truth a bit, but flat out lying is unacceptable. You need to set some boundaries and make it clear that you will not allow lying. Your husband will protest and argue that he wasn’t lying, even though you both know he did.
Your husband doesn’t take responsibility
That is, unless they are a big accomplishment! But if your husband won’t ever admit if he’s wrong, then he may be a narcissist. He’ll either say, “I didn’t do it,” or totally blame someone else. Anything to get the negative attention off him and puff him up as someone truly great. Try to stress that they aren’t a lesser person and that we all make mistakes. But if your husband is a true narcissist, even knowing this won’t change their behavior. You may need to accept that you can’t change them.
Your husband is jealous and competitive
This includes being jealous and competitive with you and just about everyone else—even your children. Try to explain that it’s not a competition; there is room for everyone’s accomplishments. If your husband is jealous of your accomplishments or of you spending time with other people, try to help them see the benefits for them. “You are the best for letting me go out. While I’m gone you will have time to do what you want.” Pointing out what is in it for them is always attractive to a narcissist. This will hopefully deflect their need to exert their control of the situation.
Your husband makes you question yourself
Over time living with a narcissist’s behavior, it may be hard to deflect all the lying, criticism, jealousy, and uncaring. Just remember that they are living their own reality and trying to pull you into it. Don’t fall for it. In the meantime, you must do all you can to take care of your own well-being. One good method to sort things out is to go to counseling. It’s unlikely your husband will go, but at least ask. Either way, you should definitely go. A trained counselor will help you get through all the muck you feel you are in and find ways to deal with day to day life.
Your husband is abusive (physically, verbally, etc).
Unfortunately, narcissism can escalate to this point. If this is the case, you simply cannot put up with it. Seek outside help and get out of the situation as soon as possible.