Is My Husband a Narcissist? (Take The Quiz)
There is a lot of confusion about what is and is not narcissism.
Narcissists can seem charming at first, but they are often manipulative and destructive to those around them.
They will wear you down with their demands for attention and approval until all you want is space from the relationship.
If this sounds like your husband, it might be time to ask yourself if he has narcissistic tendencies and traits.
This blog post is going to explore the signs that may indicate that your spouse is a narcissist or has narcissistic tendencies, as well as provide some tips on how to cope with these traits in your marriage.
You will also be able to take a quick quiz to assess your husband to determine whether he is a narcissist or not.
Who is A Narcissist?
Narcissists are people who narcissistically love themselves and believe they deserve to be loved and admired by others.
Common behaviors of narcissists may include:
- Exerting control over others
- Talking about how powerful or self-important they are and
- Making fun of other people.
And that’s among many.
Narcissistic people will often take advantage of others for their gain, and they are rarely concerned about the consequences.
They can be very charming at first but narcissists lack empathy which makes them unable to form healthy relationships with other people.
When you think your spouse might have narcissistic tendencies it is important not to blame yourself.
The term “narcissism” derives from the ancient Greek myth about a handsome young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. The term narcissism was first used by the psychologist Otto Rank in a lecture he gave at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1912.
The official diagnosis, when assessed by a qualified mental health professional, is Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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A qualified mental health professional is defined by the set of professional qualifications required to practice psychotherapy or psychological assessment.
Non-qualified mental health professional examples include family members or friends who aren’t qualified therapists or doctors able to diagnose with certainty whether your partner has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or not.
Being qualified to properly diagnosis someone requires training in clinical psychology, psychiatry, or social work followed by board certification as well as several years’ experience working with patients.
Being A Narcissist vs Narcissistic Behavior
You can’t call someone a narcissist without a proper clinical diagnosis from a professional.
But nearly every human being has at least one narcissistic behavior or more.
A qualified mental health professional can help with this assessment by providing an official diagnosis of NPD when diagnosed according to certain criteria.
But you can also use key characteristics that are often associated with the condition as well as direct statements from your spouse about themselves for guidance too.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is Characterized By:
- A pattern of grandiosity
- Need for admiration, and
- Fantasies about success and power.
- Low empathy to understand the feelings of others
- Arrogance & Entitlement to whatever they want
- A strong sense that they are special or unique.
- Rigid and controlling behavior.
On the narcissistic spectrum are some narcissistic traits that do not meet the full criteria for narcissistic personality disorder:
Narcissistic defense mechanisms like splitting and projection (defensive) or self-boasting (offensive).
Narcissists will often use these as a way to protect themselves from narcissistic injury.
Narcissistic personality Disorder (NPD) is a Mental Disorder.
With NPD, people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.
People with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.
To be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, the following criteria must be met:
- 5 or more narcissistic traits, at least one of these must be either grandiosity or entitlement.
- The narcissistic traits are necessary for diagnosis and don’t occur exclusively during episodes of mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, or substance-induced disorders.
- The narcissistic personality traits cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress.
- The narcissistic symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition.
Here Are Some More Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms:
You can feel the grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others with a fixation on fantasies of power, success, and attractiveness.
He selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends while having flaky self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
A clinically diagnosed narcissistic husband might envy you and believe you are envious of him and with a sense of entitlement – expecting favorable treatment from you and everyone.
The narcissist sees himself as unique or special, associating with other people who are also narcissistic.
Feels that he’s above the law and to be a clinically diagnosed NPD person, there must be evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The narcissistic personality traits must be stable over time and across different situations, the sufferer has to have had these symptoms for at least two years.
It cannot occur exclusively during periods of mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, or substance intoxication syndromes.
The symptoms cannot be attributable to another medical condition.
A term used to describe narcissistic needs for attention, affirmation or praise and admiration from others in order to support their fragile self-esteem.
In the narcissistic relationship cycle, this is called mirroring where you are expected to admire your partner’s success and accomplishments while they devalue you.
The narcissistic cycle of abuse is a three-phase process that narcissistic people go through on the way to extracting narcissistic supply from their partners.
First is idealization which means they are putting you up on a pedestal and showing interest in everything about you.
This phase ends when it’s obvious that your partner feels superior to you.
A Narcissistic Behavior Is Not Something Someone Chooses.
It’s a personality disorder that has formed over time due to an individual’s upbringing or past experiences (e.g., childhood trauma).
Although narcissists tend to come across as self-assured individuals who know what they want, underneath this veneer there may be doubt and a constant need for praise and attention.
Many narcissists tend to be paranoid and hypersensitive which can lead to violent outbursts or anger problems.
These behaviors stem from a fear of their true self being revealed; most narcissists hide behind an image that is not real.
Narcissism Is Quite Different From Self-Esteem Issues.
It’s important when trying to determine whether your spouse is narcissistic or has narcissist traits that you do not confuse this with low self-esteem issues such as depression.
People who have lower than normal levels of confidence may feel the need to boost themselves up by putting others down.
But they are very different in nature compared to narcissists who believe everyone should love them just because they are narcissists.
10 Signs Your Husband Might Be a Narcissist:
Many people who have narcissistic spouses are too afraid, confused, shocked, etc., that they don’t know how to react which can allow these behaviors from their spouse to go on for much longer than necessary.
The following will help you better understand what is going on with your partner so that you can address this problem head-on instead of waiting until things get worse first.
Sign #10 – Controlling Behavior
“I think my husband is controlling; so is my husband a narcissist?
A narcissist wants power over others because he/she feels insecure about themselves.
This can take the form of your narcissist becoming very possessive and jealous, or even manipulative to get what they want.
They may also try and control you by telling you how things should be done rather than allowing you freedom in this area (e.g., not letting you go out with friends until recently).
These behaviors are almost always present because narcissists have a hard time sharing power once it has been established.
Sign #9 – Frenzied Need for Attention
A narcissist’s sense of self-worth is dependent on others’ opinions about them so he will do anything necessary to receive attention from those around him.
This includes being outrageously charming one day just to become cold towards someone the next.
This is because narcissists can’t control whether or not people will like them so they look to others for validation.
Sign #8 – Feelings of Superiority
Narcissists often believe that they are above everyone else and this belief may be based on real-life achievements, false claims about their accomplishments, or even delusions of grandeur (e.g., claiming to have led a major event in history).
A narcissist’s sense of superiority also means he believes themselves to be smarter than the average person which makes it difficult for them to admit when wrong or apologize unless they feel that doing so would help maintain power over you (e.g., won’t say sorry if it’s an issue that they don’t want to lose control over).
Sign #7 – Lack of Empathy or Remorse
“My husband doesn’t see me; so is my husband a narcissist?
A narcissist is unable to see things from another person’s perspective which means you may find yourself feeling like your emotions and needs do not matter.
This can be very hurtful as it makes you feel invisible even though this was never the narcissist’s intention.
They also tend to avoid criticism at all costs because narcissists believe themselves to be perfect with no room for improvement (e.g., will be aggressive if their behavior comes into question, especially in public situations where they cannot escape scrutiny).
Sign #6 – Problems With Authority Figures
Due to his feelings of superiority, a narcissist might struggle when faced with authority figures (e.g., teachers, bosses) which can lead to problems at work and school as well as with the law.
The narcissist will want their way simply because they believe themselves to be right even if this does not make sense to others around them (e.g., trying to get out of a ticket by arguing that he has diplomatic immunity).
Sign #5 – Lack of Intimacy
Narcissists often find it difficult to connect with people on an emotional level since most feelings are perceived by them as weaknesses.
So intimacy is usually avoided unless the narcissist needs something from you or feels threatened in some way.
If your partner shows most or all of these narcissist behaviors then you might be dealing with a narcissist.
Sign #4 – Silent Treatment
This could be a sign that your husband is a narcissist.
Silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse in which an abuser will not speak to the victim as a way of punishing them.
It is difficult for many people because it can last for hours or days, and it may be accompanied by other forms of abuse such as yelling, screaming, name-calling, and criticizing.
The silent treatment can also cause us to question whether anything we say is ever good enough for our husband.
It may also make us feel isolated from the world as if nobody cares about us anymore.
It’s a powerful tool that you give to someone who has hurt you deeply.
A narcissist can use it to send a clear message to his wife: she has done something wrong and it needs to change.
Sign #3 – Emotionally Abusive
“My husband is emotionally abusive; So is my husband a narcissist?”
Emotionally abusive behavior includes any pattern of behaviors that are designed to hurt someone emotionally, such as name-calling or putdowns.
These types of people will often be insensitive and unaware of the effects their behavior has on others.
They may use threats and intimidation to get what they want and sometimes claim they only lash out because the other person provoked them or did something wrong.
It also occurs in relationships where one partner is not violent but abuses the other with words, leaving the partner feeling helpless and worn down.
Emotional abuse is a form of mind control, which makes it very difficult for the victim to break free.
They are often insecure, and they use emotional abuse as a way of maintaining control or manipulating their partner into doing what they want them to do because the abuser is afraid that if he does not maintain strict control over his partner, something bad will happen.
Narcissistic individuals use tactics like these to feed their own ego while disregarding how it affects others.
If you are dealing with an abusive narcissist, you may feel like everything that goes wrong in their life is your fault.
The narcissistic abuser will find ways to twist things around and make it seem like the victim’s behavior caused them harm when really this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Sign #2 – Self Importance
“My husband thinks he is more important than everyone else; So is my husband a narcissist?”
Self importance is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a large sense of one’s own importance”.
Self importance can be seen through different behaviors such as boasting, entitlement, or rage.
Self importance is a trait of narcissism that is used to describe when an individual has an inflated sense of their own value and overlooks the values of others.
It usually stems from childhood abuse, neglect, or high parental expectations.
Sign #1 – Selfish Person
“I think my husband is a selfish person; so is my husband a narcissist?”
A selfish person is a person who thinks of themselves first and foremost before considering what might be best for others.
He doesn’t care about anybody else and will not put in an effort to help others.
They get angry when they get nothing in return from your friendship while never doing anything for you in return.
Most people would say that a selfish person is a terrible friend or neighbor or even a son or daughter because they only think of themselves and their own needs ahead of anyone else.
Narcissists are selfish people, but there is a bigger issue with them than selfishness alone because they have narcissistic personality disorder.
A selfish person does not have to hurt others but narcissists cause big problems for those who live or work closely around them.
Mental Disorders Can Be Caused By Mental Trauma And Mental Fatigue.
Narcissists often show signs of mental fatigue because they feel overwhelmed and obligated to take care of everyone around them.
Stress and mental health issues can lead to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, among others.
Mental health issues also make it difficult to focus and concentrate.
And, in most cases, mental disorders can be prevented if caught at an early stage.
People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder typically have trouble adjusting to stressful situations and challenges in life.
They tend to lash out or withdraw when they are faced with something new or different, often leading to mental health issues.
These mental health issues then make them even less able to handle new situations, leading to a mental disorder such as anxiety or depression.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is an Umbrella Term
It’s a term for people who suffer from narcissistic tendencies and often find themselves unable to cope with mental stress and mental health issues like other mental disorders.
Additional symptoms identified with narcissism include low self-esteem, obsessive concern about their body shape or weight, constant feelings of being misunderstood by those around you, always feeling that someone else has been given more attention than they have received etc.
They also tend to continuously struggle in relationships due to lack of empathy towards others’ needs and emotions which can lead them to become very lonely over time.
Handling Marriage To A Narcissistic Husband
When you spend time with your friends, family, or yourself, it can be a great way to deal with being married to a narcissist.
It is important to spend quality time outside of the relationship.
Being In A Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner
Being in a relationship with a narcissist may be very hard because it’s hard to tell if the person is being real with you or not.
The narcissistic partner can’t empathize with anyone else and they don’t care about anyone but themselves.
They often treat other people like objects, which can be really hurtful.
A Narcissistic partner tends to also be very controlling.
This means that they try to take over everything, including decisions that are rightfully yours.
It can be really difficult to find out if your partner is a narcissist because they tend to manipulate the situation so well.
How The Grandiose Sense Causes Problems in Relationships
The grandiose sense is where the person sees themselves in a grand light and they have a grand understanding of who they are.
They have this sense because they have been told from a young age that they are special and perfect.
They also understand that others see them as being special and perfect.
When someone has this, it’s likely because they’ve been given power over other people their whole life.
This grand sense of self makes it very difficult for them to have a healthy relationship with another person.
Their grandiose sense causes problems in their relationships because they don’t understand what other people need from them.
They get upset when others want something different than what they are giving because this clashes with how grand and separate they see themselves as.
What Is The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual?
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a set of criteria that psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose mental disorders.
It is used to help identify mental disorders.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, less than one percent (0.01%) of the general population is actually diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.
This means that most people who are struggling with narcissism do not have it as a diagnosis because they don’t meet all four criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder in DSM-IV-TR or ICD-11, which differ slightly from each other but both include lack of empathy towards others, grandiosity/self-love/obsession about themselves, arrogance/”acting superior”, and haughtiness/”belittlement” toward those perceived weaker than them.
They also show signs such as feeling “entitled”, taking advantage of others/exploitation, being jealous of others/envious, and a lack of empathy.
These traits all cause problems within relationships because they are hard to deal with if the narcissistic person doesn’t want their behavior changed or at least improved upon.
What To Do When You Are In A Narcissistic Relationship
When you find out that your husband is a narcissist it can come as quite a shock since most people don’t think about this disorder very often until someone close to them has been diagnosed with it.
Firstly, get into therapy so you can acquire better coping skills for when your partner is having a difficult moment.
Here is some additional information you may find useful.
A Personality Disorder diagnosis is made when a person presents an enduring and inflexible pattern of inner experience, thought, and behavior that is associated with distress or with challenging social problems.
Personality Disorders are usually accompanied by disturbances in cognition.
Personality Disorders can lead to considerable anguish due to strain on interpersonal relationships, or the inability to function in daily life.
Personality disorders are usually categorized by clusters of traits that reflect basic patterns of behavior.
Narcissism falls under Cluster B Personality Disorders along with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder which share many similarities such as impulsivity and emotional regulation
Excessive Admiration vs Excessive Self-Admiration
Excessive self-admiration that deserves sympathy is called narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD.
Excessive admiration of others is a different problem, and not a psychological disorder.
A narcissist typically has a grandiose sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.
They may even take on the role of “professional victim.”
Their extreme need for validation can lead them to become angry or aggressive when they don’t receive the attention they feel they deserve.
Many people feel a deep need for admiration and praise.
Narcissistic Partners Come in All Shapes & Sizes.
Narcissists may be at a high-functioning level, grabbing a PhD, teaching a university course, publishing articles in journals, being the best athlete on the field, or being an amazing mother.
Narcissists may also have significant difficulties with depression, isolation from friends and family, anger management problems, substance abuse problems, financial irresponsibility as well as infidelity.
Narcissistic partners can be attractive.
Narcissism looks different for everyone and can be hard to recognize without working through the needed steps to identify Narcissistic patterns of behavior; verbally abusive behavior, cruel comments and worse.
You spend time together for a long time before getting married but yet, you failed at identifying these things.
Can A Family Therapist Generate A Formal Diagnosis For Narcissistic Personal Disorder?
A family therapist can generate a formal diagnosis for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but it will be based on the family’s assessment of the family member, not just the family member.
Family members are often the first to suspect that family member is narcissistic.
A family therapist can guide family members through assessing whether their family member has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but they do not have information on every possible symptom of narcissism and cannot be certain if a family member who exhibits some symptoms does or does not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder without more formal testing.
After they have gone through this process, they can decide if formal diagnosis is necessary.
If it is decided that a family member has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the family therapist will work with the family to develop coping strategies for dealing with their loved one’s illness.
The symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are not always easy to pinpoint in family members because there may be times when some symptoms are present and others are not—it all depends on who the narcissist is interacting with at any given moment.
The family therapist also provides support to dysfunctional families by teaching them how to better communicate within family units while building more effective interpersonal relationships outside of the home environment.
The family therapist guides parents through techniques such as setting boundaries, reinforcing positive behavior, and modeling healthy family interactions.
In addition, the family therapist also helps them recognize when they need to reach out for help from a mental health professional as well as how to make those necessary connections with local providers who can assist them in their healing process.
Family therapists work closely with children so that they do not develop poor coping mechanisms due to exposure to toxic family relationships.
This often includes teaching parents techniques of parenting without aggression or hostility towards their child—the family therapist does this by utilizing best practices surrounding positive discipline strategies which promote responsibility, accountability, empathy, and self-worth within children while helping families understand what is age-appropriate behavior at various developmental stages throughout childhood development.
Family therapy may be beneficial for adults too because it allows individuals to learn how to have healthier relationships with themselves and other social connections.
The family therapist provides a safe space for the members, couples, or individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder to discuss their issues openly without fear of judgment while also learning healthy ways to communicate in times when conflict arises within the family unit.
Family therapists do not provide individual therapy sessions because they believe that family units should work through problems together rather than apart—they are there to guide families towards healing and wellness by teaching them better communication skills so they can resolve all types of conflicts whether it be between siblings, parents and children, partners or spouses.
Narcissism is a complex topic that requires an extensive study on both an institutional level as well as a family level to fully comprehend.
Support System When In Relationship with a Narcissist
A support system is vital in any relationship, but when in a relationship with a narcissist, it is even more important.
It can be extremely difficult to cope with narcissistic behavior on your own.
Getting support from people that you trust and love will help strengthen your support system.
Talking to other people that have dealt with or are currently dealing with narcissism can also be helpful, because they may have experiences that you can relate to.
As I mentioned before, it can be very hard to handle a relationship with a narcissist personally.
If they are constantly telling you that other people are trying to come between your relationship, it is important not to believe them.
Other support groups include family and friends of the narcissist, because they may be able to give insight into their behavior that you cannot see or understand.
Is your husband a narcissist?
Is he just in need of some TLC and attention, or is there something more sinister going on?
It’s hard to tell what’s really going on with your husband when you’re not living inside his head.
The best thing that you can do for yourself is taking the time to figure out what it is that YOU want from him, then communicate those expectations clearly and calmly to him without any emotional accusations.
If things don’t improve after this intervention, you may have a very serious problem at hand – one which will require professional help to address.
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