Let’s face it, we can all be a little narcissistic sometimes. But there’s a big difference between acting narcissistic on occasion and actually being a narcissist.
When you met your spouse or partner, did it seem like love at first sight? Was there a certain familiarity to them and a sense that you were somehow drawn to them?
Shortly after you got married, did they begin to change?
Did they start giving you less attention and begin making everything about them? Did they suddenly show fits of rage or suddenly start giving you the silent treatment for no apparent reason? Did it feel like they were trying to make you jealous at times?
Do you feel like you’re being gaslit all the time?
If any (or most) of this sounds familiar, there’s a very good chance you married a narcissist. Still not sure?
HERE’S 4 SIGNS YOU’RE MARRIED TO A NARCISSIST:
THEY HAVE UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
If you feel like it’s all take and no give, you might be married to a narcissist.
For narcissists, it’s all about THEM. This means your spouse may expect you to meet their needs 24/7 while you are placed on the back burner. If you find you give and they take ALL the time, you may be married to a narcissist.
THEY GET JEALOUS ABOUT EVERYTHING
It’s one thing to be jealous about the attractive new co-worker, but your pet or children is something else entirely.
They talk a good game, but narcissists actually have very low self-esteem. Low self-worth/confidence/esteem is at the core of a narcissism. This low sense of self naturally makes it EXTREMELY easy for them to become jealous — VERY jealous. And not just about anyone interested in you romantically, but ANYONE who can take the focus off of them. This includes children, pets and other friends and family members. This jealousy will trigger intense fits of rage and problematic behaviors.
THEY’RE ALWAYS PROJECTING
Wait, it sounds like you’re describing yourself right now?
Narcissists all have the same power-play and that is to project all their own behaviors on to you and everyone else. We see politicians do this all the time. Your spouse or partner may say that you are needy or have anger issues, and in your head, you’re thinking, “Wow, you are REALLY describing yourself right now!”
Yes, they are. Because they are projecting.
THEY NEVER APOLOGIZE (OR IT’S FAKE)
If you never get a heartfelt apology, this a bad sign.
A narcissist has no empathy. This is the cornerstone of what makes someone a narcissist. They simply don’t have the ability to look at something from another person‘s perspective. It’s not something that can be taught or learned — and yes, this goes all the way back to childhood. Thanks Mom!
Remember that time when you were struggling or having a bad day, and they seemed completely uninterested? It’s because they actually were uninterested.
A lack of empathy also makes it hard for a narcissist to take any responsibility for their own actions and behaviors. But they have enough awareness to know that they should at least make it LOOK as if they care, so they will throw you a hollow apology every so often.
Narcissistic abuse is very real and will make you feel exhausted all the time while lacking self-confidence and self worth. Living with, being married to, working for, or even being related to a narcissist can be a complete nightmare if you don’t have the ability to assert yourself appropriately with firm, no-nonsense boundaries.
Life is short — WAY too short to feel devalued, disrespected, disregarded and unimportant. If you’re struggling to figure out how to navigate your way through (or out of) a relationship with someone who is narcissistic, find an awesome therapist you like and trust to help you.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.