Sometimes, one knows they are married to a narcissistic partner after walking down the aisle and exchanging vows. It’s not that a narcissist isn’t seen while dating, his true colors are often pronounced when one gets hitched. Marriage and parenthood basically brings out some of the traits that were hidden while dating.
You may notice that your partner doesn’t handle stress all that well. Or, you may find that they get a bit short-temper when their daily routine is broken. This happens in a marriage, it mostly brings out the shades of all aspects of a person. Ever sat alone and asked yourself, “Am I married to a narcissist?”
A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition that affects men more often. It can cause people to have inflated self-importance, which can express itself as controlling, manipulative, angry, and critical thus leading to destroyed marriages if not well handled.
The cause is unknown but it’s likely brought by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. According to a therapist in New York City, narcissistic personality disorder and narcissism is rare and far from being ranked as a personality trait or construct. When someone truly suffers from the NPD, their actions can always have some profound effects.
While a big ego plays a major role in this, harmful narcissism includes far more traits. I know you’re wondering how you can tell if your partner is, indeed, narcissistic and what’s the best way to handle those behaviors. Here are five of the most common signs to watch out for, and suggestions on how to deal with them, this is according to notes and studies from therapists.
1.One big Inflated Ego
That “larger than life” ego is one of the most commonly known signs of narcissism. One major sign of a narcissist is that combination of a great sense of self and constant need for attention and praise. This is a sign of an attempt to mask a deep-rooted sense of insecurity. Many people try so hard to hide it behind the closet.
Research says narcissistic people are often obsessed with fantasies of power, unlimited success, or beauty. They tend to believe they’re “special” and unique hence always wanting to associate with other special or high-status people. This habit can lead to always dishing out a harsh environment. Always assuming that others should admire and respect them and automatically comply with their ideas and plans.
What Can You Do? Try as much as possible to be mindful of how you speak to your partner, keeping in mind their needs for respect and approval. Even if you’re pissed off with their mindset or behavior, try to be calmer. The more you can self-reflect and be aware of your own triggers to react, the more easily you’ll be able to handle a narcissist.
2.Always Having Outbursts out of Anger
This is another common sign of a narcissistic person, they have that black-and-white thinking and rigid behavior and tend to see things as “all good” or “all bad.” They always believe that it’s either “their way or the highway.”
In a relationship, a narcissistic partner hardly considers your opinion or ideas because they want to reinforce their own opinions and ideas that they think are right. If you try questioning their black-and-white thinking, anger and rage may be triggered easily.
What Can You Do? If your narcissistic partner gets angry and starts becoming aggressive or insulting just because you’re questioning their ideas, it’s advisable that you try not to add more coal to the fire. Try to remain visibly calm when being verbally attacked, even if it’s hurting you badly. This tends to state that you will not continue indulging in that conversation.
3.A Lack of Empathy
Narcissistic people tend to have little to no empathy because they’re always so focused on themselves and their own needs. They’re mostly able to have “intellectual” empathy and understand what it is, but they simply don’t understand it at an emotional level.
In a relationship, a narcissistic partner tends to be very charming and full of love. Always complimenting their loved ones especially in the beginning of a relationship, only to pull away and become colder than the Arctic hence showing disinterest later on. You’ll hear some people refer to it as “love bombing.”
What Can You Do? Try adjusting your expectations of your partner doesn’t have the ability to show you compassion on a regular basis. It could also help to have other outlets for empathy like a therapist or a trusted friend
4.Unable To Handle Criticism
According to studies, another mark of a narcissist is their inability to handle even the slightest criticism. When narcissists feel that their inflated sense of self is being threatened, they will definitely turn defensive and even if you’re not directly criticizing them, they’ll find a way to twist your statement. For example, if you make a passing comment about the smelly chunk of laundry, a narcissist would probably make you feel like you’re attacking them personally.
What Can you: Do? When you feel it’s important to express constructive criticism, try to be unofficial pointed and also try beating around the bush but ensuring your comment has been nailed straight to the point. Make it a habit of using I’ statements, which takes any opportunity to blame completely out of the picture.
.5.Refusal To See Their Narcissism As a Problem
According to a therapist from Oklahoma-city, narcissists usually view their confidence as a plus, as they’ve worked hard on projecting their egos to more than 150 percent. This tends to make addressing the problem in mind difficult. Partners find it hard to bring such issues to their loved ones who have gone through narcissism because it will cause a defensive response.
What Can you Do? The best way to handle this is by praising your partner when they attempt to make a change in their behavior. For example, if your partner decides to take a chance at working on your ideas instead of focusing on their own, show them how you appreciate that move and respect what they have done. This action makes the narcissistic partner feel respected, heard and how valuable their action is to you.
For a healthy emotional relationship to take place, you will need to set boundaries, expectations and seeking the help of a couple of therapists.
Finally, for people who are married or in a relationship with narcissists, professional help must be used because a narcissistic patient needs to know the impact of their partners. Those married to narcissistic partners are advised to visit a therapist as well so as to get guidance and support along their journey. Letting them know they are not alone pushing them to work harder in making their relationships and marriages happy.
I’m not telling you to leave your relationship because you’re married to a narcissistic partner. However, if anyone is struggling in a relationship, evaluate if it is a relationship that is worth you staying in, the better option might be to leave to avoid future problems.