Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of
- arrogant thinking and behavior,
- a lack of empathy and consideration for other people,
- an excessive need for admiration.
Others often describe people with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding.
Narcissist husbands objectify their wives and use them to meet their own needs and may expect them to show adoring behavior throughout the relationship.
Signs of narcissism are often hard to spot in the beginning stages of a relationship, but over time, these signs can be seen more clearly here are 10 signs to identify if your husband is a narcissist, while many of the following behaviors can be indicative of narcissistic personality disorder, only a mental health professional can provide an accurate diagnosis.
1. You feel isolated
- Your husband talks with you when it is convenient. However, he has never actually asked what your plans are for the future or how you both can work together to build the life you want.
- He constantly brags about himself and his accomplishments and rarely shows interest or asks questions about anything going on in your life.
- You probably feel like you've lost yourself because now all of your decisions are based on what will keep your narcissistic husband happy.
- He does things that would benefit only him and not your relationship as a whole.
2. You feel manipulated
Your husband will make subtle threats throughout the relationship. He may not be direct with his words, but you'll get a sense that if you don't do something for him or give in to what he wants, bad things will happen.
Their manipulative behavior and mind games, “come at the expense of their partner who tends to repeatedly sacrifice their perception of reality and fulfillment of needs to secure the relationship and preserve attachment,” says Romanoff.
3. He had a lot of unsuccessful relationships
He may have extremely high standards which function by enabling him to maintain an extraordinary sense of self. On the other hand, he might maintain exceptionally low standards which reflect entitlement and privilege.
Narcissist husbands cannot maintain genuine relationships long-term. Authentic relationships require that a person can “let down their guard” and be open and honest. They are terrified of being seen as “human,” as that would crack open the image that they try to project as “superhuman” and flawless.
A very obvious weakness of narcissist husbands is their inability to self-reflect and self-analyze. In fact, they're incapable of looking within to understand themselves. They usually use a number of defense mechanisms when it comes to accepting their insecurities.
4. You feel constantly criticized
Your husband is excessively critical of your appearance. He might make comments about your weight, clothes, or choice of hairstyle. They make fun of you or put you down, often behind your back but often to your face. Narcissist husbands insult others to feel better about themselves.
On the other hand, husbands with NPD are hypersensitive to criticism, often react with shame or humiliation when criticized, and will respond by denying their substantive faults.
He might be particularly likely to make disparaging comments when he’s feeling threatened in some way, afraid their flaws will be exposed.
Narcissist husbands think that everything is always either their wife’s or someone else's fault, including the things that they do wrong. Narcissist husbands blame others for their own failings as any threat to their self-esteem is simply not tolerated.
Your husband may tell lies about your behaviour and try to twist reality so that it fits their version of events rather than what really happened.
6. Controlling behavior
He wants to exercise control over their wives in a variety of ways; these might include what his wife wears, how she speaks, who she sees, and so on.
The narcissist husband constantly tries to push your buttons to get you to react; controlling others' emotions gives him a sense of satisfaction.
When he can't control you, he'll likely feel threatened, react with anger, and might even start threatening you.
7. Inability to accept boundaries
Narcissist husbands cannot handle their wife’s boundaries because they cannot conceive that they could exist beyond the relationship.
Wives of husbands with NPD will describe feeling like an object in the relationship. Narcissist husbands tend to struggle to identify with the feelings and needs of their wives, they don't see them as separate people but only as an adornment for themselves. That is why they refuse to accept their boundaries and are unwilling to give them personal space.
8. You feel constantly being gaslighted
When someone constantly denies things that you know to be true, they are gaslighting you. This is often seen in abusive or controlling relationships and is a common tactic among narcissist husbands. He will gaslight you into believing that certain things never happened or that he did things because of something you did or said first.
9. He tries to make you jealous
When narcissistic husbands feel like they are losing hold of their wives they may create situations that generate jealousy in their wives like flirting with other women in front of her. He may attain unacceptable behaviors to acquire power and self-satisfaction in the relationship and is insensitive to the feelings of his wife.
10. He is an attention seeker
If you ignore a narcissist husband and deny him his source, he may become enraged and try even harder for your attention – especially in ways that can be toxic or abusive. Ignoring him will enrage him because of his fragile ego. Husbands with NPD have an inflated sense of self-importance and are prone to exaggerating achievements and expecting to be recognized as superior. “Narcissists love to constantly talk about their own accomplishments and achievements with grandiose,” says psychotherapist Jacklyn Krol, LCSW, of Mind Rejuvenation Therapy.
How to deal with him
- Avoid Direct Confrontation. Instead of launching right into the discussion with your grievances against him, offer compliments first to make him receptive
- If your husband becomes overly manipulative, you must make it clear that you won't accept that behavior
- Discussing what you’re going through with a counselor can help you decide on the best approach to interacting with your narcissistic husband.
If you are experiencing these signs, we understand this can be a difficult phase for you where everything could seem to halt. However, with the right approach and professional help, you are sure to move on hopefully with a renewed approach.