If you’ve married a narcissist, or find yourself married to one, you may not have been aware of what you were in for, or exactly how your partner might change after you married. So, how does a narcissist change after marriage?
Smart narcissists understand that they need to hide parts of themselves until you are fully committed to them; otherwise, there’s a chance that they could lose you.
They may not have shown you how it’s going to be after you have married them because it’s not advantageous for them to do so.
Narcissist and marriage
First, who does a narcissist marry? A narcissist marries someone who would be a good source of long term narcissistic supply for them. They find a potential partner in someone who is weaker, less intelligent or underconfident. So, why do narcissists marry?
Narcissists get married because they want someone to inflate their ego and be a permanent source of narcissistic supply. A narcissist getting married is likely only if it serves their purpose like image boosting, a readily available audience or money.
Though not all situations are alike, here are some examples of how a narcissist might change after marriage. (The extremity of the narcissism displayed will vary from person to person and these effects may be tolerable, depending on the severity and the impact on the spouse.
Zero compassion and sensitivity
You will soon come to realize that one of the most significant ways a narcissist changes after marriage is in that they will reveal to you exactly how incapable they are of having and contributing to a healthy relationship.
Narcissism is a personality disorder that involves a lack of empathy for the thoughts and feelings of others. If there is no empathy, there will be no sensitivity or compassion toward your needs.
Even if you have been fooled before marriage, this trait will be impossible to disguise after marriage and will form the basis of your relationship.
Your spouse will define the marriage
You might think you define the terms of your relationship before marriage and may have been allowed to believe that because it served the narcissistic partner’s end game.
This mirage, of sorts, is another significant example of how a narcissist changes after marriage because your thoughts, feelings, and needs are irrelevant to someone with this condition.
It is highly likely that in a marriage to a narcissist, your spouse will define the terms he or she will display double standards. our needs will not be acknowledged as important unless there’s a benefit to your spouse, too.
Can a narcissist change in a way that makes feel that you have lost any say in a marriage? Yes, your spouse may start to demonstrate a lack of willingness to cooperate or compromise with you, and this can have significant negative consequences for your self-worth.
You’ll never win or resolve an argument
And if you do, then it’s because there’s something in it for your spouse.
This is another example of how a narcissist changes after marriage. Prior to marriage they may have seemed to submit occasionally, perhaps even apologize but that’s because then, you were not theirs entirely and they were still concerned over how they look to you, and your family and friends as a matter of priority.
But the fact remains that someone with narcissism will rarely sincerely apologize, lose an argument or resolve a conflict.
So, how does a narcissist change after marriage? They have no desire to uphold their marriage vows. They are in the relationship for having their needs met, and not for love.
In extreme cases, you are not important anymore because he/she doesn’t need to impress you. After you have made the ultimate commitment to them, there’s nothing more to gain (in their eyes).
You might never enjoy a birthday or celebration again
On your birthday, the focus should be on you.
However, your narcissistic spouse may set out to sabotage your celebrations and turn the attention back to them. This may mean tantrums, dashed plans, and even cancellations with your friends and family thanks to your spouse. So, can a narcissist change after marriage? Often for the worse.
You will find yourself walking on eggshells
Now your narcissistic spouse is in the driver’s seat of your relationship and marriage, which can feel disheartening and leave you disempowered.
A severe narcissist may make you pay if:
- you express your expectations, needs, and desires to them,
- have too much fun away from them,
- try to prove a point or win an argument,
- don’t allow him to project his emotions on you.
You’ll experience the silent treatment at best if you ever try to say no to them, or call them out for their gaslighting or happiness sabotaging behavior.
Can a narcissist change after marriage in a way that scares you?
Some people who marry a narcissist end up walking on eggshells even when the spouse isn’t around. Often this is because the person with narcissism has conditioned their spouse to do so. While you may need to walk on eggshells to have any kind of peace, this behavior will empower and encourage him to continue with this pattern.
If you find yourself in this situation, and you can relate to these examples of how a narcissist changes after marriage then it’s time to get out.
How to help a narcissist change? The bitter pill of truth is that don’t even bother trying to fix your relationship with them by talking to them or by encouraging them to attend couples counseling. You don’t have marriage problems you have a bigger problem.
So, can a narcissist change after marriage? If you are married to a narcissist, you married somebody who cannot change no matter how much you want them to.
You are right in the frontline of a potentially dangerous situation that at the very least will disempower you, and cause you to question your sanity.
At worse, this situation could lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and physical health problems. Consider confiding in a counselor to talk about your thoughts and feelings in a safe place.
If you decide to end the relationship, create a plan and get support to help you along the way. You can heal from a marriage to a narcissist, and learning more about the condition and how to protect yourself is a great first step.