Find Out About Being Married To A Narcissist
By: Patricia Oelze
Updated February 24, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
How do you know if you are married to a narcissist? Well, it would not take long to notice if your significant other is a narcissist. Are you constantly feeling like you are being manipulated or controlled? Does your significant other blame you for everything and insists that they are perfect? Are your feelings dismissed as being "crazy" or that it is "all in your head?" These are some of the signs of a narcissist.
What Is Narcissism?
The actual definition of narcissism according to the American Heritage Dictionary of Medicine is the excessive preoccupation with or admiration of yourself. It goes on to say that narcissism is a personality disorder in which a person feels an extreme sense of self-importance and a strong need for admiration. People with narcissism also do not have any empathy to care for other people. Some of the symptoms to look for include:
- Exaggerating their talents and achievements;
- Preoccupied by dreams of having unlimited power, intelligence, and beauty;
- Exploits and takes advantage of anyone they have a relationship with;
- Inability to feel for other people or recognize that others have needs and feelings;
- Needing to be the center of attention;
- Snooty, arrogant, and conceited; and
- Becoming angry or depressed if things do not go their way.
So, how can you tell if you are married to a narcissist?
Are you always being ignored? Anything you say, want or need is not important to them? Those with narcissism refuse to believe that anything you say matters. They are not afraid to tell you because they believe they are always right. You will be constantly pressured to please your partner to make them happy and all of your attention will be on them all the time. It is hard to function when you are spending all of your time trying to please someone who is never happy unless you are agreeing with them and telling them how amazing they are. In fact, being married to a narcissist can create feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. Are you having these feelings?
Feelings You May Have
It can become physically and emotionally exhausting trying to build up a partner that does not take interest in you and it can leave you feeling depressed, inadequate, lonely, and with minimal to no self-esteem and self-worth. The narcissistic partner is constantly demanding you build them up so they feel secure, but they are not reciprocal with their words or behaviors to make sure you feel the same. If you were to stop building their ego, they may become physically or verbally abusive to regain the feeling of being superior.
So how do you know if your marriage is creating these negative feelings? The first step is to take an inventory of your life and what makes you happy. Being married to a narcissist means your focus is on making them happy, not yourself, so things that you did in the past that made you happy more than likely have fallen to the wayside.
By continually working to make your partner happy and ignoring your own needs, you may start to feel neglected leading to lower self-esteem and self-confidence. Because a narcissist will try to take over all your time and exclude friends or family they deem not valuable, you may become isolated and start to believe that you are no longer important. This can lead to depression, although you may not realize that at first.
In the beginning, you may start to feel agitated or anxious about not talking to friends or family on a regular basis, but you may still "be in love" with your partner and write off negative feelings as just part of growing into marriage. After all, good marriages are two best friends hanging out together with each other day and night, laughing and snuggling non-stop. There is no time for friends or family in this equation, so not talking to them will seem like the right thing to do for a healthy marriage. However, this is not a reality, and not a healthy marriage. If your partner is telling you that you cannot share time with your friends and family, take note because you should always be able to communicate with your family and friends if you choose to do so.
Listen to your body, it knows when something is wrong and will let you know in various ways. Not only can you experience mental and emotional pains from being married to a narcissist, but you can also experience physical pains. Stress and anxiety have dire effects on the body attacking many of the major operating systems like the brain, heart, and nervous system. Prolonged stress can create frequent headaches, stomach aches, body pain, lower immune system, and sexual dysfunction.
If you are starting to feel physically ill and the doctor has not been able to find anything wrong, you might want to consider reaching out to a counselor to discuss how you have been coping with stressors in your life. This does not mean that you are crazy or cannot handle your relationship, but it can mean that you are not coping in the best way possible. Learning about different coping mechanisms can provide you with different options to what you may be currently doing or not doing. Learning how to effectively cope with the stressors of being married to a narcissistic individual can help strengthen you mentally and physically by talking through your feelings, learning how to communicate effectively with your partner, and learning how to triage stressful situations that may not require a reaction.
Being Married to a Narcissist
This kind of relationship is not healthy and you should consider speaking to someone about how to put yourself first and taking care of your own needs. If you do not want to go and see someone in person, there are numerous websites that offer online counseling where you can talk to a licensed mental health professional. Many of them have face-to-face online meetings, telephone therapy, or you can chat with a counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can talk to someone whenever you want.
If you do not feel like you are ready to speak to a professional yet, many have chat rooms and forums that you can join. You can also chat with others who are dealing with the same thing. You do not even have to join in. You can just read what others have to say. BetterHelp has over 2,000 licensed professionals available to talk to as well as chat rooms that you can join. It is important to make sure your needs are taken care of. You have to stop trying to please your partner all the time. Put yourself first for a change so you can feel better about yourself.c