Married to a Narcissist ~
*(I am not a psychologist, I have experience with this situation and I am sharing from that and my own research. I have approached this from a females perspective, as that is what I am and what I have been dealing with in my husband).
It’s been said that narcissism is one of the most difficult mental disorders to diagnose, for a few reasons; first, Narcissists tend to believe there is nothing wrong with them, so they do not admit to having problems and don’t seek help in the first place. Second, they are masters at appearing normal to the therapist. Often, if a couple is in therapy, the narcissist can put on such a great show that their partner ends up looking like they are the problem, and the therapist, if not knowledgeable about narcissism, will not see the real issue.
Therapists can be manipulated to further abuse the victim, “proving” the narcissists accusations of their partner not doing enough and reinforcing the thought that the victim needs to do more. The victim may try and explain the behaviors of the narcissist and why it’s damaging the relationship, but the abuse is often so subtle it’s hard to verbalize and pinpoint how and why the marriage is deteriorating. It is far easier to think that you are causing the issues and if you change your behavior everything will return to “normal” (i.e. the happy honeymoon phase of your relationship).
Compounding the problem is the fact that the diagnostic definition of Narcissism is fairly subjective. And for victims of a narcissist, who have been brainwashed into thinking their relationship is fine and THEY are the problem, they may not be able to see their partners behaviors clearly identified in the following definition.
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievement).
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
- Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Show arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
further information HERE
Dating a Narcissist
1. He’s a charmer
Narcissists will do everything they can to woo you. You may think you have found the perfect prince charming. They want to “win” you, and so, in their minds, “own” you. They will complement you excessively, take you on wonderful dates, and buy you lots of gifts.
The flattery they lay on is thick, and if you’re aware, you will notice it right away. Unfortunately, if you’re caught up in the romance you may miss the manipulation that comes along with it. (As I did). Ask anyone who has ever been with a narcissist, they will tell you all the red flags were there. They will also tell you that they could see these red flags, but they dismissed them or rationalized the narcissist’s bad or questionable behavior away. The narcissist is relying on you to do this, which is part of why they’re trying so hard to romance you. Your instincts are there to protect you! If a guy seems “off,” he is!
2. He moves fast.
Narcissists have to move quickly in a relationship, plowing over your natural resistance with over the top romance. This makes you much more easily manipulated, as you’re naturally a bit off balance. Also, as you go deeper into the relationship, you reveal more of yourself to him, and trust him more (Never noticing the tidbits he tells you about himself are small and or incomplete, because he is such a great listener!). That then allows him to destroy you emotionally when he stops paying attention to you or starts abusing you. Once he’s got you hooked, he knows it will be hard, if not impossible for you to escape.
3. He will let you do all the talking.
A narcissist will let you pour your heart out to him (and if you’re reluctant he will pout, prod, and beg you to tell him ALL about yourself). He will gladly listen to your entire life story, so that he can learn how to exploit your points of weakness and so that you will see him as a comfort and — again — trust him.
Honestly, he sees it not so much as listening or communicating, but as gathering facts he can use against you later, and as building up your trust in him. That said, his listening skills are not the greatest (mainly nodding) as his natural self-centeredness is almost impossible for him to overcome. He may frequently may interrupt to bring the conversation back to some mundane aspect of himself, this is a red flag!
4. He will seduce you.
Any boundaries you have set up are merely challenges to a narcissist. Don’t want to sleep together yet? He will take it as a personal victory when he ends up “changing your mind” in just a few days. Have friends you’re not ready for him to meet? He will bug and cajole you until you set up a date. Anytime you say no, they will find a way to change your mind, and do it in such a way you think it was actually your idea. Narcissistic men, in particular love to use intense sex as a means of hooking their targets, and they tend to have lots of it.
Once he knows he has you hooked, either you have moved in together, married, or by some other means, his behavior will change. At least that is how it will appear to you. The charming man you fell in love with, the one who who worshiped you, will fade away, or worse, you will wake up one day and he will have become an entirely different person. In reality, he is just no longer wearing the mask and is showing his true self to you. The next stage of your relationship will look something like this:
(A narc wont suddenly stop his seductions once your married, cheating repeatedly is another sign of narcissism. He just wont be seducing you anymore~