AM I MARRIED TO A NARCISSIST?

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AM I MARRIED TO A NARCISSIST?

Man motioning with hand toward woman and woman crying.If you are wondering whether you are in a relationship with a narcissist or you are trying to figure out how to deal with a narcissist spouse, you may be experiencing narcissistic marriage problems. Understanding narcissism and identifying whether your spouse is a narcissist is the first step to addressing the situation.

“Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder characterized by a life-long pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, a diminished ability to empathize with others’ feelings, and interpersonally exploitative behavior. Narcissistic personality disorder is one of the subtypes of the broader category known as personality disorders.Caligor, Eve; Levy, Kenneth N.; Yeomans, Frank E. (May 2015). “Narcissistic personality disorder: diagnostic and clinical challenges”. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 172 (5): 415–22. 

How do narcissists treat their wives ? 

“After marriage, narcissists often isolate their spouses from their friends through a slow and methodical process,” says Cristina Dorazio, PhD, a psychologist who provides both individual and couples therapy in New York City. Your significant other may go out of his way to make an argument as to why he doesn’t like a friend of yours or someone important to you. (Bad-mouthing others is a very common narcissistic behavior, notes research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.)

Certain characteristics that may have led you to marry a narcissist, may be the very same traits that perpetuate narcissistic behavior during the marriage. Unfortunately, over time and once you are involved in a committed marital relationship with a narcissist, things begin to deteriorate.  Narcissists often have very robust personalities.  That trait may seem attractive during your dating relationship.  However, those same tendencies may lead to gaslighting, attempts to control you, and treating you in a condescending way. Often, narcissists are hyper focused on themselves and then second to their first priority, narcissists are focused on obtaining the admiration and praise of others.

Why do narcissists cheat?

A 2020 study published in PLOS One looked at the links between narcissism, infidelity, and relationship satisfaction in young adults. The researchers found that narcissism was a predictor of infidelity. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are more likely to cheat on their partners than the general population.  Infidelity is all too frequent in marriages and in many cases leads to divorce. Understanding why narcissists cheat and whether narcissists can be faithful can help you to navigate dealing with your narcissistic spouse.

How do narcissists act when they cheat?

Narcissists do not generally appreciate their actions or care for how their infidelity impacts their spouse. Some people ask whether narcissists love their wives and question how to stay married to a narcissist. Being married to a narcissist often means that your narcissist spouse will cheat and lie. 

People frequently question what kind of woman stays with a narcissist and whether a narcissist is capable of being faithful. People want to believe that their spouse is committed to the marriage, want the marriage to be successful and for their spouse to be remorseful for being unfaithful.  Oftentimes, as with other marital issues, people stay together for their children.  It is best to avoid involving your children in marital issues, particular those relating to your spouse’s narcissistic behavior. It is important to set boundaries with your spouse. Make sure that your narcissistic spouse knows that you will not accept certain behavior. You may consider reaching out to a therapist to help you navigate your marriage. Setting your own boundaries will be critical in how you handle these issues.

It is important for you to understand the signs of narcissism and how your spouse’s behavior will impact you and your family during a divorce. Contact our legal team today at DeTorres & DeGeorge if you need help with a family law matter. Our attorneys have the experience you need during these difficult times.

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