It seems as though more and more people are learning about narcissism. Narcissism refers to self-centeredness and a selfish personality. Narcissists desire admiration and fame and care only about themselves, although they appear as though they have empathy for others.
Narcissists have big personalities. They are charming and love to be the center of attention. Because of this, many people are attracted to them. However, over time, people catch on and realize that their narcissistic friends and lovers are actually abnormal.
It is important to realize that this behavior is actually a mental illness. People with narcissistic personality disorder struggle with feeling as though they are never “good enough.” They constantly compare themselves to others and find out that they come up short, although they would never admit this. Because of this, narcissists seem mean on the outside, but they are actually vulnerable.
You may have been drawn to your narcissistic spouse because of their charm and fun personality. But over time, this personality gets annoying. You realize how conceited they are. They hardly ever seem to really care about you. They dominate the conversation, not allowing you to get a word in. It is exhausting.
How do you know you are dealing with a narcissist? How can you deal with them? Is it possible to be happily married to one, or will you have to get a divorce? Here is what you need to know about being married to a narcissist.
Signs of Narcissism
Is your spouse a narcissist? Here are the signs to look for:
- Need for constant praise. Being married to a narcissist can be exhausting because they want constant praise. In fact, excessive praise can lead to narcissism; it is a cycle. Narcissists get upset if they are not receiving compliments all the time.
- Sense of superiority. Narcissists feel as though they are better than everyone else. They want to be recognized for their accomplishments, even if they are not particularly noteworthy.
- Exaggeration of achievements. Narcissists will exaggerate everything they have done to make it seem as if they accomplished a lot. This is especially true if they are talented in certain areas.
- Focus on power and beauty. Narcissists tend to focus on beauty and power. They claim to possess these traits and look for others who do as well. While many people are attracted to powerful and beautiful people, narcissists take their focus to a whole new level.
- Manipulation. Narcissists are masters of manipulation. They know how to trick and deceive people to get what they want. They also know how to take advantage of people. It is almost like they are con artists in disguise.
- Jealousy. Narcissists are jealous people, but at the same time, they also think everyone is jealous of them because of their supposed brains and beauty. They use the jealousy card when people try to point out their faults. In fact, they cannot accept criticism at all and get arrogant when someone tries to give them feedback.
Dealing With a Narcissist
Dealing with a spouse who is a narcissist is not an easy thing to do. That is because no matter how hard you try, you cannot get them to change. They think there is nothing wrong with them. Unless you can convince them to seek mental help, they will continue to act selfishly. If you want to stay married, then you will need to know how to act when around a narcissist. Here are some tips that can help:
- Set boundaries calmly. Narcissists do not react well to being told what to do, especially in a loud voice. It will be challenging, but you need to act calmly around your spouse. Be kind but firm, especially if the narcissist is verbally abusing you. Set a boundary and then walk away before giving them a chance to respond.
- Be polite. Narcissists love to get a rise out of people, but do not fight back. Instead, as the saying goes, kill them with kindness. Do not be angry with them. Be nice and even try to help them. You will feel better about yourself, and you will likely make them feel confused.
- Do not expect an apology. Narcissists rarely apologize, so when they hurt you, you need to let it go or go a different route altogether, like ending the marriage. If they do apologize to you, it will not likely be sincere.
- Detach from them. Narcissists will try to hold long, drawn-out conversations with you. Do not let them do it. Be brief in your dealings with them so you are not drawn into their manipulative behavior.
- Ignore their behavior. Narcissists love seeing how people react to their behavior. They enjoy ignoring boundaries and hurting people. They do not care that they make you cry or cause you to feel frustrated. In fact, they love knowing that they influence others. Therefore, the best thing you can do is ignore their behavior. That will make them mad.
- Make yourself happy. Do not rely on your narcissist spouse to do things for you and make you happy. You will be sorely disappointed. They may make promises to keep you happy, but these promises are rarely kept. In the end, the best way to deal with a narcissist is to divorce them. Why stay with someone who is so uncaring and manipulative? You deserve better,
Seek Legal Help
Narcissists do not always care about others, so being married to someone like this can be frustrating. If your spouse will not get help for their disorder, then you need to understand your legal options if you do not want to stay in this relationship.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you end your marriage with ease. We will help determine if it’s beneficial for you to move on. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (954) 346-6464.