If you’re married to a narcissistic husband, chances are that you’re well aware that he is different than other husbands in a lot of very clear ways.
To allow us to break through the barriers that arise when we are unable to understand our partner, here are a few truths about narcissistic husbands.
What is a narcissistic husband?
If your husband is a narcissist, you might not feel very good about yourself and your relationship. Because of this, you’re probably wondering if you’re identifying with this article or if you’re just as crazy as you’ve been told. If that resonates with you, stick with me and take a look at a few traits of a narcissistic husband.
A narcissistic husband might have narcissistic personality disorder if he’d actually allow himself to be diagnosed; or at least has narcissistic traits.
If your husband is a narcissist, chances are that he’s self-centered, lacks empathy, and has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
In general, narcissists tend to think they are superior or special and are extremely jealous of others.
A narcissistic husband desires admiration and is preoccupied with thoughts of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and beauty.
Narcissistic husbands are highly defensive with low self-esteem, though you might see them as strong and powerful. Underneath it all, he’s still just a scared little boy doing whatever he needs to do to get his narcissistic supply needs met.
If you are still with me, the next thing you need to do is to educate yourself a little more on what kinds of behaviors and traits you can see in a narcissistic husband.
Identifying Narcissistic Behaviors
If you’re living with a narcissist and aren’t sure what to do about it, you’ll want to learn how to identify them. After all, identifying narcissistic behaviors can help you realize and fully accept that you are being abused by a narcissist.
Plus, it offers validation of your experience, which can help you to leave the “FOG” (fear, obligation, and guilt) in the past and clarify your future. And when you know better, you do better.
What Are Some Signs of a Narcissist Husband?
If you think your spouse is a narcissist, there are several behaviors you should watch for to help solidify your suspicion.
He may have an excessive interest in himself.
He is unconcerned with your feelings and you can tell because he says the most profoundly painful things you can imagine and often leaves you hanging when you really need him (at least emotionally).
He puts his own needs and even wants above you and everyone else, regardless of the level of severity in need.
He feels very entitled and expects special privileges.
He might even think he’s above the law.
He cheats on you, or you suspect he would if given the opportunity.
He makes you feel more like an employee or servant than a wife.
You walk on eggshells and base most of your decisions on whether or not he will be upset by your choice.
He wants to be seen as the best at everything, and even if he doesn’t really believe it, he expects you to believe and will demonstrate serious narcissistic injury and/or narcissistic rage if you do not support this delusion.
Speaking of delusions, he probably has delusions of grandeur.
If you have kids, he may act jealous of the attention you give them, or he may use them against you in other ways.
These are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, but they’re enough to feel concerned that you might be married to a narcissist.
Are narcissists capable of loving?
This is a hard pill to swallow because while narcissists can seem to love you in some ways, especially early in the relationship, they’re also very emotionally stunted; as in they have the emotional capacity of a toddler – or at best, a teenager.
The fact is that when a narcissist declares his love for you, he might really mean it in the moment. But he doesn’t fully “get” love. He sees you more as an object – sort of like how you see your smartphone.
When you get a new smartphone, it’s powerful and amazing, packed with new features. It’s pretty and doesn’t have any scratches – and you love it for exactly what it is.
But after a while, you drop it a few times. It gets a little beat up, and before you know it, you hear about the latest and greatest NEW smartphone.
Right around then, your current phone becomes a little less functional – it slows down and doesn’t quite run as smoothly as it once did.
And that’s right around the time you break down and get a new one. You don’t miss the old one, and you pretty much don’t think of it again. Because it’s a smartphone, not a person.
But the narcissist sees you like a smartphone – disposable and dispensable. They love what you DO for them, but they’re not really capable of loving YOU as a person, at least not in the same way as you may have once loved THEM.
How long can a narcissist stay married?
Narcissists, both male, and female, sometimes stay married for decades. Many male narcissists won’t leave ever, at least not physically. Others will jump from relationship to relationship.
Those who cheat will often want to keep their wives around as their “mother figure,” if possible. Then they go out and do what they want with other women (and/or men), and they seem to really lean into the whole “Madonna/Whore” complex.
Long story short, a narcissist can stay married for the rest of their lives, and many will unless their wives finally have enough and initiate the divorce themselves. Often, the narcissistic husband will repeat the whole cycle of abuse over and over in their marriages.
So you may never be permanently discarded, but you’ll be temporarily discarded repeatedly through painful manipulations like the silent treatment, for example.
In fact, if a narcissist husband were to successfully change, it would require him to engage in long-term therapy and to really do the work required – and it’d be no picnic.
He’d have to first discover and acknowledge his core wounds, those traumas that caused his personality to develop this way. ( He’d have to recognize that his core wounds probably began as early as birth, if you believe in attachment theory, which I do.)
Then, he’d need to accept and meaningful work through what happened to him and the fact that it caused his personality flaws (which, of course, must also be seen, acknowledged, and resolved).
Finally, he’d need to go to the next level and learn emotional and compassionate empathy. This would require the work of a skilled specialty psychologist/therapist and may even involve certain prescriptions and additional therapies, depending on his comorbid mental health issues.
How do you deal with a narcissist in a relationship?
Once you identify the problem, it’s time to take action. You’ve got choices here – you can stay, or you can go.
If you stay, prepare yourself to continue to deal with emotional and psychological abuse for the rest of your life. It may never get better and if it does, it could be because you’ve resigned yourself to accepting the abuse.
Of course, there are plenty of ways you can make the narcissist less difficult. You can even sort of train them to treat you with more respect.
But these tactics will only make your life more tolerable, and only if you’re willing to actively play the narcissist’s game. Trust me when I tell you that it’s only worth it if you’re also actively planning to get out of the relationship.
That said, I know it isn’t always possible to leave right away, thanks to things like financial abuse and having kids.
Otherwise, you’ll want to use the gray rock method when they try to gaslight and manipulate you, and you’ll want to get busy planning your exit. Even if it’s going to take a while, you’ll feel more empowered when you know you’re working toward your freedom.
“The Law of Attraction exists and is working, whether you like it or not. If you end up using it for your benefit or to your detriment, it is still be working in the background of our lives.” ~Amy B. Scher
Oh boy. I love when the Universe smacks me in the face with a little reminder to stay focused on what I want and not what I don’t! Today, I figure I can offer a little real-life proof of the law of attraction for those who are skeptical about it. Or, if nothing else, maybe you could use a laugh, or a reminder.
Either way, I hope you’re sitting down–and trust me, you’re going to want to read this post.
Because this time?
The Universe actually BIT me for being a bitch. No kidding.
Now, don’t get me wrong. In general, I feel pretty awesome about my life. I am seriously blessed, for real.
This is thanks (in part) to a personal effort to avoid saying, feeling or thinking negative things as often as possible, as well as to focus only on what I want in my life (and not what I don’t).
I know for sure that every success I’ve reported has been directly related to the power of intentional thought and my ability to focus on what is desired instead of what is not.
So yeah, I am USUALLY pretty good about keeping myself in the right kind of vibrational field, so to speak – or at least, getting myself back on track pretty quickly and without incident when I do allow something to temporarily affect my peaceful, happy and productive state.
And, based on my experiences before and after these thought-monitoring and maintenance practices, they work. Which means, of course, that the law of attraction has proven legitimate – at least for me.
Want a funny (and kind of horribly painful) example of the law of attraction in action that just happened to me yesterday?
Bitten Back By Bitchiness: My Scary Story
It all started when I became fed up with a certain “Poor Me” type-person I know who was posting all kinds of victim-mentality-type status updates on Facebook. I had heard enough of it, and I had very compassionately attempted to help the person overcome this self-injuring attitude on more than one occasion already. I had already seen repeated proof of the fact that this person’s attitude was affecting life for him, and at that point, I was just…done. Exhausted.
Tired of trying to make him understand.
And then, the bitch came out – that part of me that I don’t even usually realize exists.
That’s when, in an admittedly passive-aggressive, inappropriately bitchy mood after the latest assault on my senses, I posted this status:
“Holy crap I am biting my tongue so hard I think it’s bleeding.”
Obviously I meant that I was figuratively biting my tongue as in not saying what I felt like saying.
Clearly, it was a tongue-in-cheek statement (pun totally intended, obvs). And yet, the Universe, the law of attraction? It’s all neutral. There is no sarcasm or figurative. Especially when you’re a very annoyed but sometimes overly polite person who can’t always bring herself to break a person’s heart by saying the things they really need to hear (because, honestly, it’s not your problem, and you’re not trying to bring all that drama into your life…but anyhoo).
Yeah. So I threw a little snippy out into the Universe. And then, it threw a little right back at me.
The Universe is probably laughing a little right now, thinking I deserved what I got. And yeah, it’s probably right. Which is why I’m here, writing this post for you, my friend. I am here to tell you to take this stuff seriously. If you don’t, you might find yourself getting bitten back.
Are you ready for this?
I’m pretty sure the Universe was all, “Listen, you’re doing so great. Stop being a bitch and get back on track toward what you really want.”
Aaaannnd, it’s pretty clear that I was all, “La, la, la…I can’t hear youuuuu!”
Because, there I was, sleeping soundly and having some awesome kind of dream (probably, I don’t actually know if I was dreaming, because of some kind of post-traumatic amnesia due to what I’m about to tell you next).
That’s when the universe showed me that this law of attraction thing sometimes works quite literally, because I quite literally bit my tongue so hard in my sleep that the searing pain ripped me from my sweet sleep with a screaming shock.
And guess what, friend? My freaking tongue was also quite literally bleeding.
So, hours after posting the bitchy and unnecessarily passive-aggressive Facebook status, I literally “bit my tongue so hard it was bleeding.” Yeah, that’s right. It can work that fast.
How’s that for proof?
Now, think about this. Take this whole deal and look at it from the other side. If I had changed my mind and focused on something awesome instead of throwing out a little bitchy into the Universe (or even just stopped propagating the bitch-factor by sending that energy out there!), maybe I’d have slept through the night bite-free, at the very least.
Or, I don’t know. Maybe something even better could’ve happened. But I’m not going to dwell on that, and do you know why? Because, as I’ve just been painfully reminded, the law of attraction works and my thoughts really do create my reality. And here’s what I’m thinking now: I just wrote a post that might change someone’s life. And maybe that’ll change my life too. Do you think?
Let’s all think happy thoughts, because happy thoughts work. For real.
In any case, this experience (along with all of the other experiences and understandings leading up to this point) prove to me one of the things that has become a true core value for me:
You get to define your life, your Self and the world you choose to accept. It starts with your own perception. Or, to put it simply – if you want to create positive change in your life, you’ve got to start by changing your mind. Change your mind to change your life.
Editor’s Note: Forgive me while I step outside of my usual blogging habits today, but I feel that this one’s important enough to share with every woman who ever doubts herself and her relationship. This post is an open letter to Lauren Pinkston, the beautiful and talented blogger over at Apples and Bandaids Blog, in response to her recently published post entitled My Husband Doesn’t Need to See Your Boobs.
My boobs are not your problem, I promise you–and they’re really of no concern to your husband either. But I’m writing this today for a really good reason: after reading your recent post, I checked out your bio and couldn’t believe what I found.
See, that post revealed the thoughts of an insanely, excessively insecure woman who is on the verge of blowing up her marriage and who thinks very little of herself.
But your bio reveals a well-traveled, educated and worldly teacher-turned-women-empowering-blogger who isn’t afraid of anything (and who, for the record, is pretty gorgeous!).
While these two “sides” of you seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, I’m here to tell you that you’re not so strange–and you’re not alone.
Boob-Fear: I’ve been there
I’ve been where you are, and there is a way out. But it starts inside your own head–and the very first thing you have to do is stop worrying about stuff you can’t control.
So, using your own example, you don’t need to worry about your husband looking at anyone else’s boobs (and BTW, by “forbidding” it or making it “taboo” in your house, you’re actually making those non-you racks a lot more interesting–why not just let it go–is there anything you could truly do to change the situation, outside of a hollow blog post plea?). Instead, just stop thinking/worrying/stressing about it.
Now why would I recommend THAT?
Because let me ask you one simple question: is thinking/worrying/stressing about my boobs or anyone else’s going to really change the fact that your husband may or may not look at them?
No, of course not. What matters is that he’s not going around looking to touch them or to be in the same room as them, even–he saves all his love for you, yeah? (Assuming he does if he’s kind enough to pretend to not look at other women’s boobs on the internet!)
Anyway. Let me get to the point here.
Let’s Talk About You
First of all, as I previously mentioned, you are absolutely gorgeous and I am nearly positive that your husband thanks his lucky stars for this on a regular basis.
And let’s not forget that whole well-rounded, well-traveled, educated and awesome, sexy, stylish mom part.
Second, these skinny, fake-boobs-having, barely-legal, clearly childless women you see baring it all on the internet? Your hubby is not comparing you to them, I promise you. These images are, believe it or not, sort of separated from you in his mind.
It’s not that they’re better than you–in fact, they’re not nearly as good, because YOU are “real” in his world and they are not. You, he can touch, love, make love to–all that good stuff–and plus, you’re the mother of his children and you love him just the way he is, too, right? (Plus, let’s face it, he’s probably no Adonis himself–do you walk around comparing him to every dude you see in his underwear? I don’t think so.)
So how do I know all this stuff, anyway? Have I been somehow secretly spying on you? Nope, I’m not that tech savvy!
And now, it’s time to talk about me a little: I know this stuff because I have BEEN where you are.
Like, almost literally where you are, right now. Thinking that other women somehow had control over my husband and whether or not he chose to remain my husband. Ahem.
I’d like to sit here and tell you that I have never had a single moment of insecurity in my marriage. There was a time when things got pretty hairy, partially due to some old insecurities I had laying around. It got ugly sometimes.
The fact is that I’m human and that like every other woman who has had children (3 c-sections, thank you very much), I have my “battle scars,” such as the saggy spot on the bottom of my belly that will never quite go away.
And yeah, there was a time in my life when I could be classified as insanely, outrageously and cripplingly insecure and, as a result, pretty jealous in my relationship.
Another Thing in Common…
Like you noted in your blog post, I too used to really worry that hubs was constantly comparing me to other women and get sick thinking about what he was thinking/feeling about me (and/or these other women).
It wasn’t that I believed he’d cheat on me, it was that I worried he’d THINK about other women naked and WISH he was with them instead of me. Yeah, no kidding.
It got so tough that it was even an issue with women on television or in movies sometimes. Yeah, I know how ridiculous that sounds, and I even knew it then. But I still couldn’t help it–I was insanely obsessed for a proverbial minute.
Not only was I making myself physically ill, but I was also causing major issues in my marriage. It’s a lucky thing I finally realized what I was doing and figured out how to mostly fix the issue.
By now, I’ve come to a point where I understand a few things about life, marriage and the way the healthy male brain works at various stages throughout a man’s life.
At the time I was dealing with this issue, though, the idea of my husband finding any other woman attractive made me want to vomit–seriously–and the thought that he might find one more attractive, intelligent, stylish, sexy–or whatever–than me? Made me want to crawl in a hole and give up on this whole deal.
And yeah, people gave me the old “he’s married, not dead” and “well at least he comes home to you every night,” and yeah, it made me think mean things about those people, because none of that mattered in my misguided head at that moment.
It was so intensely harsh during one of my pregnancies that I became almost obsessive about it and in a very unhealthy way–no kidding. I’d watch my husband’s eyes (to see where and what he was looking at, of course). I’d listen carefully to everything he said, literally trying to seek out opportunities to prove that he didn’t REALLY love me and want me.
What the hell is wrong with us, anyway?
I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing we’re dealing with similar psychology here.
As for me, something inside me told me that he was really just with me because he was waiting for something better to come along–and when that something better did finally show up, he’d be done with me before I could say BOO. (To date, this has never happened, by the way.)
But I lived in fear of this every single day for the longest time. It was all I could think about sometimes, and it consumed me. I really think it almost killed me in some ways.
Then one day, I finally realized something: I had no control over my husband and his choices. I could only control myself and make my choices wisely. This meant I could continue to make myself (and him) miserable, or I could just decide that I was going to be happy NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances in my life happened to be that day.
I could just let go of worrying about what secrets my husband may or may not have rolling around in his head, because none of that mattered. I had to learn to trust him and trust in our relationship (and trust myself) enough to know that he’s in it for the long haul.
I realized that I was actually a pretty legit person who deserves good things in life, and it occurred to me that by changing my own perception of this whole deal, I could literally change both of our lives (and the lives of our kids).
See, as it turns out, the “something” inside me was a big, fat liar–it was my own doubt and insecurity whispering to me, telling me that I wasn’t good enough and that I didn’t deserve the kind of love I imagined that “some” people had. You know the kind I mean–that whole “meant-to-be, soulmate, I knew I loved you before I met you” kind of shit.
But if you’re there right now, I’ve got great news for you. You can CHOOSE to step out of that mess right this moment and change your life–and all it takes is one single thing: a shift in perspective.
You are your own kind of beautiful. There is no one else exactly like you and there is no reason to compare yourself with women who are different than you. Beauty is not a particular look in a woman–it goes so much deeper than that.
And for the record, not every man is into those perfect, tanned, flat-bellied bitches that make you cry into your pillow at night. Some guys actually find the bodies of “real women” much more attractive. Just saying. Keep going, stop worrying and start shining your beautiful light into the world, unencumbered by stress about things you can’t control.
All you have to do is decide. You can do this. It’s all in your hands. So what are you going to do about it?
“[My husband] would go mental if I started dressing like a wife! He likes me when I’m a rock n roll kind of a girl.” ~Kate Moss
Look, I’m well aware of the controversy that was stirred up in the blogosphere when supermodel Kate Moss made the statement quoted above. But the woman had a point–and I don’t mean that all wives dress like crap.
I mean that many wives become a bit…complacent…after awhile. (I know because I’ve been there, too!)
Some women even justify walking around in sweats and tshirts day and night, week after week, and get offended when you suggest that they do otherwise.
Those women might as well just either stop reading now, or change their minds and prepare for a dose of tough love–because I’m about to drop some truth bombs.
So, I’ve been married a hundred years or so (ok, really, it’s closer to 15, but still). And I know that a lot of women in my position (and in fact, a lot of women in long-term relationships, in general) are likely to eventually slow down on the getting all dolled up.
“Kate Moss and I don’t have much in common, but I think she is quite right to avoid dressing ‘like a wife’,” writes Helen Kirwin Taylor. “By this, she means she’s refusing to adopt the slovenly uniform of tracksuit bottoms and shapeless tops so many women embrace when they no longer have to worry about snaring a man. I would never think about sitting down for dinner with my husband without slipping into something stylish and alluring, brushing my hair and applying lipstick.”
Helen, I am totally with you, girl.
Wives: Why You Should Still Care About Your Appearance
Obviously, if you want to be considered a hot wife, you need to consider how your appearance is perceived.
Sure, you might think it’s shallow–but my guess is that since you’re here reading this post, you know that this stuff goes a little deeper than one might realize at first glance.
I still get all dolled up on a pretty regular basis–in fact, I literally will not leave the house unless I look reasonably cute.
While my husband sometimes pretends this annoys him (because sometimes it takes me a minute to get ready), the truth is that he appreciates the fact that I care about how I look–because it makes me more attractive to him. I know this because he says so.
I also make an effort to look cute even when I’m working at home or just lounging around the house.
Why do I do it? Well, let me spell it out for you.
Because he works with tons of hot women (hello ladies!)
My husband works in a corporate office full of beautiful, stylish and intelligent women. While he would never say so, I know that if he came home to a frumped up mommy-stereotype each day, he might start noticing the ladies he works with for more than their fun personalities and ability to work well with him.
I don’t need to compete–I know he loves me and would never do anything to hurt me, regardless of what I look like–but still, I prefer to keep his attention on me, so I make sure to pay attention to my appearance.
Because it makes me feel better about myself
The truth is that the primary reason I care about how I look so much is that I simply FEEL better when I look better. And I’m not alone–just think about it. When was the last time you felt particularly beautiful? Let me guess–it probably involved a really good hair day, or one of those perfect outfit days. Yep.
So, take care of your appearance and you feel better–then you become more self-confident, friendlier, more fun and generally HOTTER. It’s true.
Because it makes my relationship stronger
I know, appearance SHOULDN’T matter, but the fact is that it does. You see, it’s really easy to get so comfortable with each other that you forget to care what your spouse thinks about how you look. And maybe he forgets too–but most likely, he’s well aware of it.
Even if he’s one of those awesome guys who totally loves you and would never even consider straying, he still notices–and he will appreciate it if you make an effort to be attractive for him.
So, in addition to your self-confidence and your actual more attractive appearance, your better attitude will shine through, and that, my friends? That makes you super hot–and I promise you, he WILL notice.
While there is no one look that can be called hot, making an effort with your appearance on a daily basis can literally improve the quality of your life–and of your marriage.
What do you think? Do you make an effort to look HOT for your husband? Why or why not? What tips would you offer other wives? Share your thoughts, experiences and ideas in the comments section, below.
When I was fifteen, I read an article in a teen magazine called “Fake It Till Ya Make It,” in which the author explained that if you wanted to change things about yourself or your life, you only needed to “act as if” it were already the case.
For example, she said that if you wanted to become more popular in school, you should behave as though that were already the case. So, one might be more open and friendly with other students, or one might be more likely to volunteer for clubs and other student activities.
I applied this concept to my life at that time, and had some positive results and it still sticks with me to this day. I have used it over the years to overcome various hurdles.
But the idea is that when one focuses on something, when one BELIEVES something, really wants it, it happens. When you become conscious of your thoughts, you can make a difference in the things that you bring into your life.
It can also happen unconsciously. For example, during maternity leave after having my second child, it occurred to me that I wanted to work from home. I focused on this fact, and hard.
Sure, I went back to work. But every day, I thought about being able to work from home. I felt jealous of friends who were able to do it (which was wrong–I should’ve been happy for them–that way things would’ve gone much faster). I read everything I could get my hands on about HOW to work from home, and I discussed it with my husband. I talked about it with my friends, family, anyone who would listen. I wanted it, badly.
And one day, even though I had just been informed of a forthcoming promotion the day before, my boss called me into his office and fired me.
Of course, I asked him why, and he didn’t have a logical answer. I felt horribly insulted and upset, but when I drove away that day, I realized that I was feeling lighter than I had in months. I called my husband and told him.
That night, my husband and I decided that it was time for me to try working from home for awhile. I’ve always been a writer and editor (even when I was working in different fields, even when it wasn’t technically my job–so the transition was natural and totally motivation-based).
And here I am, years later, working from home and following my passions at the same time. This is something I never thought I’d do, much less love, but I am and I do. I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Speaking of gratitude, that is the first step to all of this. Remembering to be grateful for the things you have (and expressing gratitude for those things you WANT) seems to be a great starting point.
A few years ago, a friend gave me a copy of “The Secret.” This is yet another example of this concept bringing itself to the forefront in my life. I have to believe that there’s a reason for it.
So here I go, learning to live again, learning to change my mind. And by changing my mind, I am making positive changes in my life. It’s amazing really, but it’s something that truly works.
I could list example after example of how this concept has affected my life, and have used it both consciously and unconsciously many times.
As I begin this new phase in my life, I am focusing now on the power of thought. I am making a concerted effort to be aware of my thoughts, and to avoid saying, doing, or thinking negative thoughts about myself or my world.
I’m no saint, of course, and occasionally I still let the mundane things get to me.
However, instead of dwelling on things and letting them ruin my day (like the cranky husband in the morning for example!!), I focus on the positive things and move forward. (I’m grateful that my husband goes to work every day to take care of our family financially so that I can take care of them in other ways…etc.)
It works, folks, and this is just the beginning. Join me, if you will, on this journey of self discovery and self empowerment. Remember this: YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK.
Live it, learn it, love it. It’s real.
What do you think? Tell me in the comments section, below!