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Navigating A Difficult Relationship – Coping Strategies For Dealing With A Narcissistic Spouse

Written by: Asif Choudhury, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Individuals with narcissistic traits may prioritize their own needs and desires above those of others, and may have a distorted sense of self-importance. While some degree of narcissism is common, particularly in high-achieving individuals, a narcissistic personality disorder can have a significant impact on an individual's relationships, career, and overall well-being.

Being in a relationship with a narcissistic spouse can be a challenging experience. Narcissistic individuals tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance and can be excessively self-centered, making it difficult for their partners to feel heard or valued. If you suspect that your spouse may be narcissistic, it's important to be aware of the traits that characterize this personality type, and to develop strategies for coping with their behavior.


Here are seven common traits of a narcissistic spouse, along with tips on how to deal with them:


1. Lack of Empathy


Narcissistic individuals tend to lack empathy, meaning they struggle to understand or identify with the emotions of others. They may be insensitive to your feelings and dismissive of your needs, causing you to feel ignored or belittled.


How to deal with it: Try to be assertive about your feelings and needs, and don't let your spouse invalidate or dismiss them. Seek support from friends or a therapist who can provide you with validation and empathy.


2. Self-centeredness


Narcissistic spouses tend to be focused on their own needs and desires, and may struggle to recognize the needs of others. This can lead to a lack of consideration for your needs and feelings.


How to deal with it: Set clear boundaries and expectations around your needs and priorities. Be firm about your own needs and don't let your spouse's demands take priority over your own.


3. Manipulation


Narcissistic individuals may use manipulation to get what they want. They may use guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or other tactics to make you doubt your own reality and needs.


How to deal with it: Educate yourself on the tactics of manipulation and gaslighting, and develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. Seek support from a therapist or a support group to help you recognize and resist these tactics.


4. Grandiosity


Narcissistic individuals tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance and may exaggerate their achievements and talents. This can lead to feelings of entitlement and a lack of consideration for others.


How to deal with it: Be realistic about your spouse's accomplishments and don't let them overstate their achievements. Hold them accountable for their actions and remind them of their responsibilities towards you and others.


5. Lack of Accountability


Narcissistic individuals may struggle to take responsibility for their mistakes and may blame others for their problems. They may also struggle to apologize or show remorse for their actions.


How to deal with it: Hold your spouse accountable for their actions and don't let them blame others for their mistakes. Encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and to seek help if necessary.


6. Need for Attention


Narcissistic individuals tend to crave attention and admiration from others. They may be preoccupied with their appearance, achievements, or social status, and may seek validation from others to feel good about themselves.


How to deal with it: Try to be supportive of your spouse's positive traits and accomplishments, but don't let their need for attention overshadow your own needs and priorities. Encourage them to seek validation from within, rather than from external sources.


7. Lack of Intimacy


Narcissistic individuals may struggle to connect emotionally with others and may avoid vulnerability or intimacy. This can lead to feelings of disconnection and loneliness in the relationship.


How to deal with it: Try to build emotional intimacy in your relationship by sharing your feelings and thoughts with your spouse. Encourage them to open up and be vulnerable, and seek support from a therapist or a support group if necessary.


In conclusion, being in a relationship with a narcissistic spouse can be challenging, but it's important to develop strategies for coping with their behavior. By recognizing the traits of narcissistic personality disorder and developing assertiveness and self-worth, you can better navigate the relationship and protect your own well-being. Remember, you are not responsible for fixing or changing your spouse's behavior, but you can control how you respond to it.


Additionally, seeking support from a therapist or a support group can be helpful in processing your experiences and developing coping strategies. A mental health professional can also help you identify patterns in your relationship and provide guidance on how to address them.


It's also important to prioritize self-care and focus on activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Engage in hobbies, spend time with supportive friends and family, and take care of your physical and emotional health.


In some cases, it may be necessary to consider leaving the relationship if your spouse's behavior becomes abusive or intolerable. This decision should not be taken lightly, and it's important to seek guidance and support from a mental health professional if you are considering this option.


Remember, you deserve to be in a healthy and fulfilling relationship. By recognizing the traits of a narcissistic spouse and developing coping strategies, you can protect your well-being and make choices that are in your best interest.


It's also important to communicate your boundaries and expectations clearly with your spouse. Narcissistic individuals may push against boundaries and attempt to control the relationship, but it's important to stand firm and prioritize your own needs.


If your spouse is willing to seek help and work on their behavior, couples therapy may be a helpful option. A therapist can facilitate open and honest communication, help identify areas of growth and improvement, and provide tools for building a healthier relationship.


However, it's important to recognize that change may not be possible for all narcissistic individuals. If your spouse is unwilling to acknowledge their behavior or seek help, it may be necessary to accept that the relationship is not healthy and to make the difficult decision to leave.


In summary, being in a relationship with a narcissistic spouse can be challenging, but it's important to prioritize your own well-being and develop strategies for coping with their behavior. This may involve setting clear boundaries, seeking support from a therapist or support group, prioritizing self-care, and potentially considering leaving the relationship if necessary. Remember, you deserve to be in a healthy and fulfilling relationship, and it's important to prioritize your own needs and well-being above all else.


If you're struggling with a narcissistic spouse, remember that you don't have to face it alone. There are resources available to help you navigate the challenges of a difficult relationship and prioritize your own well-being. To learn more, download our free e-book "My Marriage Rocks" In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover practical tools and strategies for dealing with a narcissistic spouse and improving your marriage, as well as tips for maintaining your own mental and emotional health. Don't wait –visit here to download your free copy today!


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Asif Choudhury, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

From Lawyer to Relationship Saviour. How This Man Is Saving Marriages Around The World! For the last 15 years, Asif Choudhury has been a successful lawyer and mediator in the UK. His experience in this area has led to a special ambition - to save as many marriages as possible. Drawing on his experiences, he felt that couples often give up on their marriage too quickly, giving up at the first hurdle. This is why he decided to create 'My Marriage Rocks', an international movement designed to help couples navigate away from their marital problems and not only save their marriage, but make it thrive.

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