It can be challenging to live with a person with a narcissistic personality. Many people living with people with this disorder live with chronic depression because of the pressures of never feeling good enough.
Living with a spouse who has a narcissistic personality can be increasingly difficult. The assumption that narcissists can only think of themselves isn’t far from the mark. It’s not in their personality to empathize with another person’s feelings, or to even appreciate or accept another person’s opinion. It really is All ABOUT THEM. If you ever make the mistake to insist that you have valid feelings or a valid point of view, you will most likely be in for a fight, because you dared take the focus off your marriage partner. As a result, many people married or partnering with narcissists feel they never are good enough or smart enough because they never feel validated by them.
It can be quite a difficult feat to stay married to a narcissist. The narcissistic personality may steal your thunder, so to speak, whenever you try to tell him/her of your accomplishments. You may be reminded of that little ditty… “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.” It can get really annoying to constantly feel like you are in a competition with your significant other. It’s important for the person who lives with a narcissist to reach out to a few friends. Without your friends, you may become so frustrated and angry, that you will find it hard to be in the same room with a person with this disorder.
I know someone married to a narcissist; she is terribly resentful of her husband because she doesn’t feel validated by him. Because of his attitude, she has shut down speaking to him unless it is absolutely necessary. She reaches out to her friends to vent and to ask for encouragement. She cannot show any emotions of hurt to him, because he will tell her to suck it up, quit crying, or quit being a cry baby. He is always right and she is always wrong.
If you live with a narcissist, you probably know that you have very little say in your home. Your spouse will likely make all the decisions and tell you that it is for your own good, when it is really all about them. A friend of mine told me of when her husband shut her in a closet and shut the door on her and nailed it shut. He told her it was for her own good. In actuality, they had had a huge argument and she was going to leave him until she cooled off. He didn’t want her to leave, so he forced her into the closet and nailed her in there. His mom called, and asked where his wife was, and he said, “She’s in the closet.” She said, well tell her I want to talk to her, and he said “you can’t talk to her because I nailed her in there.” That was years ago, and she laughs about it now.
I was once with someone who wouldn’t let me sleep if he couldn’t sleep. He would bang pots and pans, holler “la-la-la-la” really loud and make any other kind of noise to irritate me so that I couldn’t sleep. He had all these grandiose tales that he told about himself that I slowly discovered were out and out lies. I didn’t stay in that relationship, because I certainly wouldn’t marry someone I didn’t even know. I learned every day that the person I knew wasn’t the person I lived with. He was jealous of any of my accomplishments. I couldn’t talk about them, or even mention anything that was happening at work, because he made it a fight and told me it was all about me, when it was clear all discussion was all about him.
If you are living with a spouse or partner with a narcissistic personality, you might notice that he or she:
- Seems to be egotistical
- Doesn’t listen to you
- Puts you down
- Devalues you
- Doesn’t acknowledge your point of view on things
- Tries to change the focus of a conversation to be about him or her
- Great shows of affection when out in public but not at home
- Great tippers when at a restaurant but stingy with you personally
In order to live with a narcissistic personality, it may be necessary to know when to draw a line in the sand, so to speak. You have to know how much you are willing to take. Don’t ever be willing to take abuse from your spouse or partner, even if it is only verbal.
It is vitally important that you maintain your own self-image. You may feel put down and put upon to the point where you feel you are totally alone. Know that you aren’t alone. It’s important to reach out to your friends to vent.
You can’t do anything to change your partner or spouse; you can only change how you react to him or her. It may also help to get some counseling. Your spouse or partner may need help, but if he or she doesn’t think anything is wrong, he/she will probably not seek any help. The biggest thing here is to take care of you.