The effects of being married to a narcissistic man can be extreme. To begin with, it is a challenge in itself to figure out if you are married to a narcissist or not.
So to help you through your narcissistic marriage problems and understand narcissistic abuse– here are twenty apparent signs that you are married to a narcissist.
Also watch: Communicating effectively with a narcissist
1. Grand self-esteem
One of the most visible and glaring signs of a narcissist husband or wife is that your partner has grandiose self-esteem.
They see themselves as perfect and exceptional.
They also believe that this is how their family, friends, peers, and associates also see them because this is what they intend to project.
2. Lack of empathy
Another obvious sign that you have a narcissist spouse is their utter lack of empathy.
Empathy is a person’s capability to recognize another person’s feelings and thoughts. You can be an empath and not be in love with a person.
However, it’s not the same the other way around. You cannot be in love or express love when you do not have empathy.
Remember: Love is impossible without empathy, for it is empathy that differentiates feelings of infatuations from actual love.
Lack of empathy may be hard to see, but, it is exhibited in behaviors such as saying mean things to you without them batting an eye.
If you are married to a narcissist, they won’t demonstrate any empathy towards you or anybody around them (although they can be good at pretending).
3. Loves himself
There is nothing a narcissist loves more than himself. They love to talk about themselves and the things they like. They always try to steer the conversation around themselves.
4. Exhibit manipulative and self-serving behaviors
While this may be blunt to say, but sadly, a narcissist only gets married because they can get something from that marriage or that person.
If you have a narcissistic spouse and you asked them, “do you love me because you need me, or do you need me because you love me?”
If they were honest, they would tell you that they love you because they need you.
But of course, they won’t say that because they know that is not what you need to hear and to keep you they will tell you what you want to hear. They implement different manipulation tactics to control you.
If you’re wondering if you are married to a narcissist, it’s well worth watching out for manipulative and self-serving behaviors. An example of this is guilt-tripping or negative comparison.
Using the power of words, they could probably tell you, “Aren’t you grateful that I married you?” (guilt-trip) Or “You’re so bad at cooking! My ex was better than you” (negative comparison).
If you’ve heard any of these phrases, or similar in your relationship, you might be married to a narcissist.
Another one of the ‘narcissistic husband traits’ or sign of a narcissistic partner is their need to inflate their ego by associating themselves with important or powerful people and bragging about their association with them.
6. Charming and polished
At the beginning of your relationship, you can’t help but ogle at your now husband or wife. When they came to the room, they would light it up, and you weren’t the only one to notice, but everyone did!
Your then partner would have been charming and polished. Even perfect! A little too perfect, perhaps?
Another obvious sign that you’re married to a narcissist is that they’re just too charming (or they were at the beginning – when they were wooing you).
By assessing the charm factor, you can find out if you are married to a narcissist husband. Have they stopped charming you now they’ve snagged you?
But do you see them charming other people and wonder what changed, or even recoil at the fakeness you witness having become used to your partner’s traits. These are classic signs that you are married to a narcissist.
7. Adores nice things
Nothing but the best. A narcissistic spouse would indulge in buying expensive clothes and accessories to present a lavish persona. Especially someone who does not have any exceptional set of skills.
8. Bad conversationalists
A conversation is good when there is a nice flow, exchange of thoughts and views shared between two or more people.
It becomes a bad conversation when someone interrupts another person and interjects their own stories as if the other people in the group do not exist.
We’ve all experienced this type of conversation, but did you know that this is a sign of a narcissistic personality disorder?
Of course, it’s not always the case if you are with somebody who is bursting with excitement over something or worried and concerned about a situation they may be too consumed with that situation to listen to you, but the pattern will be temporary.
The interruption pattern with a narcissist will be constant.
When you’re married to a narcissist, expect conversations to lose flow because your narcissistic partner will put the attention back towards them, especially if you’re deviating from giving them attention.
9. Active social media life
Having an active social media life does not necessarily mean that a person might be a narcissist, but this trait of a narcissistic husband is another piece in the puzzle.
10. Embellish stories and achievements
Another characteristic of a narcissistic husband or wife is how they share their stories and achievement with (or to in a narcissists case) others.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with having a sense of accomplishment, but, to a narcissist, these stories and achievements are so embellished that they can seem unbelievable.
The embellishment of stories and achievements is a manipulative tactic used by narcissists to get people to like them.
On a more dangerous level, they could use you to trick you into believing you have false memories, which is called ‘gaslighting.’
11. His needs are above others
Marriage is many times a compromise wherein you put your spouses needs above yours as a way to show your love and commitment to them.
However, everything in the life of a narcissist revolves around his needs. They are happy as long as their needs are being met. Even if that means you have to suffer or not be contempt with your life.
12. No respect for personal boundaries
A marriage has rules, and these rules make it possible for two people to be free (sounds a bit ironic), but when you think about it, it’s true.
If you are married to a narcissistic man, there are no rules, and because you love them, they will use this love you have for them to exempt themselves from any rules or personal boundaries you have because, after all, they are “above” it.
Having no respect for your boundaries is another sign that you are married to a narcissist.
13. No give and take
Given that a narcissist ignores the most general principle of ‘compromise’ in a marriage, they would even lack the compassion to address your sacrifices.
For them, there is no give and take in your relationship, and they should always be the center of all the attention.
14. Fluctuating temperament
Do you feel pulled in and pushed away by your spouse frequently? If you answered ‘yes,’ you might be married to a narcissist.
The hot and cold behavior is a way to manipulate you into their self-serving ways.
Your partner may love-bomb you today, and tomorrow, they won’t even pick up their phone when you call them.
If you notice this or similar patterns, your partner is subjecting you to intermittent reinforcement, which makes you just like, want, and love them even more.
15. Behaves like a toddler
As we grow older and become more aware of our surroundings, we learn to compose ourselves. This attribute is witnessed, especially when we do not get what we crave.
For a narcissist, however, everything is personal. They would go to any lengths, throw tantrums, act out, or make a scene if they do not get what they want or if in case you disagree with them.
16. Can’t hide for long
Marriage is such an extensive commitment that even the most shrewd narcissist won’t be able to hide their true nature.
If your marriage exhibits any narcissistic relationship traits, in time, they will become very transparent. So, it is okay to take your time and not be critical of your spouse too soon.
Give them time, and eventually, you will know if they are who you thought them to be.
17. Superiority complex
Not sure how to know if you are married to a narcissist? Well, do they believe that they are better than everyone else?
If yes, then you might be married to a narcissist.
They strongly associate themselves with someone who has a higher intellect than others around them.
Even though they might actually be blessed with a lot of wisdom, but they would resent it when people do not treat them as someone superior.
18. Can’t stand criticism
Given that a narcissist has a bloated ego, their ability to accept criticism would be little to none. Any form of criticism would not be welcomed by him, and if someone criticizes him, it might even make him extremely angry.
19. Never takes responsibility
For a narcissist ‘it is never his fault’. Don’t expect your narcissistic spouse to take responsibility for their actions.
Be it an issue at work, with a friend, or even at home, they would go to extreme lengths to not apologize and own up to their mistakes.
20. Control freak
Calling your spouse ‘controlling’ during an argument is something that many of has done; even if it isn’t true, we do not always realize that during our conflicts.
However, for a narcissistic husband or a narcissistic wife, this term becomes very real very fast. The controlling nature of a narcissistic spouse can even lead to a domestically abusive relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.