How to Know if I Married a Narcissist?
If you are married to a narcissist, then you probably feel isolated and confused. Someone who once made you feel like you are the most important person in the world might now make you feel like you just aren’t good enough. If you are married to a narcissist, you may be considering divorce. But divorcing someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is notoriously difficult. It is often high conflict, and your spouse may try to manipulate the situation in any way they can. Although they are likely to act badly during a divorce, their actions are also predictable.
When you obtain representation from an experienced divorce attorney at Skillern Firm they will protect you from being gaslighted and manipulated. They will know the set patterns of behavior that are likely to emerge and will know how to deal with them in a way that benefits everyone (including the narcissist!) Remember, how a divorce is settled could affect you and your children for the rest of your lives, so it is essential that the outcomes are not dictated by your spouse. When you secure representation from Skillern Firm, you will have someone by your side every step of the way, someone with your best interests at heart.
Contact us today for an initial consultation at 936-213-8479.
What is Narcissism?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition, it is one type of many personality disorders. It is characterized by:
- A deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
- An inflated sense of their own importance.
- A lack of empathy for others.
- Troubled relationships.
- A deep-seated lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem, knocked by even the smallest criticism.
Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
Here are some behaviors that a narcissist may present. If your partner exhibits these warning signs, then they might have narcissistic personality disorder NPD, however, only a mental health professional can provide an accurate diagnosis.
They Believe They Are Extraordinary
One of the most obvious traits of a narcissist is that they have an inflated view of themselves and are very self-absorbed. They may believe that no one is as smart, funny, or engaging as them.
They Manipulate You
Manipulation is one of the key traits of someone with NPD. They may make subtle threats throughout the relationship, or you may simply get a sense that you need to do what they want you to do. It may feel easier to do what they want you to do, even if you don’t really agree with it. Narcissists have subtle ways of manipulating people to get what they want. People in this kind of relationship often forget what life was like before the manipulation started.
Lack of Connection
While your partner may have been incredibly charming at the beginning of your relationship, you may now feel isolated. While they may have been eager to move forward in your relationship quickly, they have never actually asked about your plans for the future or how you can build the life you want together. Someone with NPD will constantly brag about themselves, and may not show interest in things going on in their life. Their source of happiness may lie in external things such as money, and prestige at work and their true capability for romantic love may be limited.
Refusal to Take Responsibility
Narcissists believe everything is always someone else’s fault, even if they are in the wrong. It will be difficult to get an apology from them, partially because they don’t consider other people to be on the same level as them. Taking responsibility for their actions will be incredibly difficult, and they will blame you for anything that goes wrong. If something goes wrong in their life, then it will somehow be because of you. This may leave you feeling like you can’t do anything right.
They Gaslight You
Gaslighting is where someone denies things you know to be true. This is an emotionally abusive tactic that is a common trait of narcissistic partners. They may tell you that you just “don’t remember correctly” when you know something happened. They will make you believe things didn’t happen the way you thought, or that they happened because of you. They might tell lies about your behavior and twist reality so it fits their version. You might second guess yourself and feel like you’re going crazy. Your partner might even do this in front of friends and family members so that people begin to believe that the problem is with you.
They Criticize You
A narcissist partner will be critical of you. They might make comments about your appearance or clothes, or make fun of you and put you down. They may also make fun of others, especially people they consider lesser, i.e because they have less money or are less attractive. In general, they will be very critical of people.
They Can’t Handle Criticism
Their inflated ego will not allow them to handle criticism and they may become very defensive even with the slightest criticism. If you do make a comment, they might find a way to twist it. For example, if you make a comment about them not taking the trash out, they might make you feel like you are attacking them personally.
They Ignore Your Needs
A narcissist is usually a selfish person and they will only consider their own needs, and not you or your relationship together. Their only concern is how things affect them. For example, they might expect you to pick up after them, or they may want to have sex when they want to but not when you do. They could also favor certain children if that child makes them look better in social situations.
They Make You Feel Like You Are Not Good Enough
If you are married to a narcissist you may have feelings of inadequacy. Your spouse might make negative comments about you or put you down. You may feel that you have lost touch with things you used to do because you just don’t have time for them. Perhaps you are feeling fatigued or down. You may find yourself lying or hiding things from your friends or family because you feel ashamed about things your spouse does or doesn’t do.
They Give You The Silent Treatment
Your spouse gives you the silent treatment to control you. They may withhold affection or ignore you until they get what they want. Silent treatment should not be part of a healthy, respectful, and loving relationship.
You Try To Avoid Conversations
You may feel like every conversation is an argument, even when you try to stay calm and avoid getting upset by what they say. They will know how to push your buttons and get you to react. Controlling others emotionally gives them a sense of satisfaction. Often it is easy to simply avoid the conversation completely, rather than deal with the mind games.
They Make You Feel Like You’re Walking on Eggshells
If you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells because you can’t predict what mood your partner will be in, then this is one of the signs you’re married to a narcissist. One minute things seem ok, then suddenly they are in a rage. Even something small like someone else being recognized for an accomplishment might make them feel angry. You could feel like you’ve lost part of yourself because your decisions are now based on what will keep your spouse happy.
Your spouse might be incredibly charming, and people like them. However, it is only because they are good at hiding their true selves when they are around other people. They say the right things, the things that may have also fooled you at the beginning of your relationship.
They Break Promises
You may feel like you can’t rely on your partner, as they make promises and won’t keep them unless it’s convenient. You may feel like if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.
People Have Warned You
Despite the fact that your spouse is charming, there might be some people who see through it. You may have had people tell you they don’t like how your spouse treats you.
They’ve Cheated On You
Someone with NPD is usually a flirt and may have even cheated on you. They are very charming and know how to sweep people off their feet. They might also make you feel jealous by flirting with people.
They Make You Feel Unloved
When you were first together, they made you feel like the most important person in the world, but as time went on, things changed. They might ignore or devalue you now, where they didn’t before, which may mean that how they were at the beginning of the relationship was not the true them. They made grand gestures at the beginning to get you hooked, but once you were, those gestures went away.
They Take Advantage of You Financially
Narcissists know how to take advantage of their spouses financially. You might be paying for everything because they can’t keep a job, or you might make a good wage but not benefit from it. Your spouse might spend a lot of money on themselves without considering you or your future together.
You Feel Vulnerable
The pressure to do right in the eyes of someone with narcissism can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and low energy. A narcissist feels most secure when their relationship looks good, but their partner is actually very needy and dependent on them. The narcissistic partner keeps their spouse in control through impossible demands, constant criticism, insults, and withholding affection.
They Won’t Change
Someone with NPD isn’t willing to change, because they can’t admit that something is wrong with them. They usually believe that everyone else is the problem and even if you ask them to make changes, they won’t. Maybe you have tried couples’ therapy, but sadly, if you are married to a narcissist, it is unlikely to have been helpful.
Divorcing Someone With Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Divorcing a narcissist can be incredibly challenging, as every minor issue may result in a huge battle. This may result in the need for a lot of court involvement, which could cost you time and money. At Skillern Firm, we are highly skilled in mediation and negotiation. We will work with you to find solutions wherever possible. We know how to deal with narcissists and will ensure that your interests and rights are protected. Here are some ways that we will help you to move your divorce along in the best way possible.
Create a Barrier Between You and Your Spouse
One of the biggest benefits of having a skilled divorce attorney is creating a barrier between you and your spouse. This will make it harder for them to manipulate you, as you will have an impartial and trained observer present to step in when necessary.
Prepare You For What’s Ahead
You will need to mentally prepare for what’s ahead. Especially as a narcissist may look to deflect their own insecurities and lay the blame on you. Your attorney will be a great source of comfort, and you may feel more confident when you have their support and guidance.
Focus on What’s Important
Your divorce attorney will ensure that you and your ex-spouse focus on the issues, whether that is child custody, child support, property division, or any other important issues in your divorce. A narcissist may be eager to control the conversation and create arguments, but an attorney will help ensure you keep making progress. Someone with NPD may be reluctant to accept any fault for the breakdown of the marriage, but you should not feel the need to respond to every allegation or defend yourself. Instead of being reactive, an attorney will help guide you to keep working on what needs to be resolved. This will keep legal costs down and will remove some of the stress.
You will need to have good boundaries with your ex-spouse and avoid becoming intimidated by their behavior. A narcissistic person will be driven by the desire to win and they might make verbally abusive comments such as ‘you will not get anything’. When you have an attorney from Skillern Firm by your side you can call them and seek advice when you need it. Sometimes you may just need someone to listen to you so that you can keep in control when you speak to your spouse.
Protect Children’s Well-Being
When there are children involved, divorcing someone with narcissism can be even more challenging. At Skillern Firm, children are always a priority to us and we will always strive to protect them from the legal battle as much as possible. Narcissists may use children as a means of control, and it is important that children can speak freely without the fear of judgment. They should not be drawn into arguments.
Narcissists are good at making others doubt themselves. Therefore, it is a good idea to document situations or feelings so you know that things are not a one-off but a pattern of behavior. An attorney will also document your meetings together so that your ex-spouse cannot manipulate the truth.
Narcissists may be reluctant to follow court directions and may try to exert their control by ignoring orders. An attorney will help you hold them accountable and will help you stay on track despite their efforts.
Separating From a Narcissist is Hard
Separating from a narcissist is difficult, and often traumatic. They are self-absorbed and their actions may seriously affect your self-worth. This may make you feel unsure about your ability to cope with life on your own. They may use your children as weapons against you and may manipulate the legal system and even their own lawyers. That is why you need attorneys with experience in dealing with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, like those at Skillern Firm. At Skillern Firm, our goal is to help you to feel confident in your life after divorce. We will ensure that any financial or emotional abuse is minimized and that your future is secured.
How to Know if I Married a Narcissist, FAQ
Q: What is a narcissistic husband like?
A: A narcissistic husband may have some or all of the traits listed above. However, there are some traits that are more commonly seen in males:
- Males with NPD tend to be very self-confident and gain assurance from within.
- They are usually very charming and are naturally gifted at seducing people.
- Males with NPD tend to be eager to obtain money, whatever the cost.
- They are competitive and see other males as rivals.
- Male narcissists tend to cheat in relationships.
- They generally view any children as a nuisance and complain that they should have the attention over the children.
Q: What is a narcissistic wife like?
A: A female will also have many, or all of the traits listed above, but women tend to display the following traits:
- Female narcissists tend to be obsessed with their appearance.
- They are good at seducing people and may use their appearance and bodies as a way to do so.
- They may constantly compare themselves to other women, and believe they are superior.
- Women tend to spend a lot of money unashamedly.
- They see children as an extension of themselves and believe they are to thank for the child’s accomplishments.
- Women may compete with other women for dominance.
Q: Can you be happily married to a narcissist?
A: Although a couple may appear happy, the answer to this question is usually no. Once the initial loving stage of the relationship, there may be a great deal of abuse and tension. Not every couple involving someone with NPD is the same. However, in most cases, these relationships will involve a lot of arguing, and the person without NDP often being left feeling isolated and with low self-esteem.
Contact Skillern Firm Today
If your partner is emotionally abusive and unwilling to change their behavior, then it is time for you to consider divorce. Everyone has the potential to be selfish occasionally, but if your partner cannot act in any other manner, then the relationship is not a healthy one. There are long-term negative implications on the mental health of someone in a relationship with a narcissist, and it is essential that you have support and guidance from an attorney who understands the complexities of divorce and narcissism.
When leaving someone with NPD, you need a support system in place and at Skillern Firm we are committed to providing this support. We offer legal advice and guidance while also lending a sympathetic ear when you need it most. We will ensure your future is protected and will help you feel confident in your life post-divorce. With our skills in mediation, we can help limit court involvement, even in the most high-conflict cases.
Contact us today for your consultation at 936-213-8479.