Did You Marry a Narcissist?

We tend to call anyone we find exceptionally annoying a narcissist. Indeed, the word has become the ultimate insult for modern times. It’s used so much that, I’ve found, most people truly don’t know what it actually means.

This was even true of me. I didn’t completely understand what a narcissist was or was not until I worked with Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, a former FBI profiler, on the book Dangerous Instincts. Now when I think back over my life, I can think of just a few people who qualify as full-blown narcissists. As for the rest of the people I found exceptionally nerve racking? They were probably just a bit selfish with a touch of an anger problem.

I find the topic of narcissism intriguing. I’m guessing you do, too. Even more intriguing is this: how so many people end up in relationships with narcissists. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon first hand. One of my best friends has been in a relationship with a narcissist for many years. She’s no dummy. She’s also not weak or lonely or desperate. So why does she stay? And can she be happy with this guy?

To find the answers to those questions and more, I tapped the mind of Meredith Resnick, the author of the Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved – A Little Primer on Self-Care.

Q: Just about everyone thinks they know someone who is a narcissist. I’m guessing, however, some of the people that we think of as narcissists are just your common everyday jerks. How can you figure out if you’ve accidentally married a narcissist?

 Meredith: Though a common everyday “jerk” is not necessarily someone who is great to be in a relationship with, what might set him (or her) apart from the narcissist is that, despite the stupid things they do or say, a particular “jerk” might still be able to feel and express empathy for others. If one feels the protracted absence of empathy in a relationship, and feels a cold frost in its place, this could indicate that narcissism is present.

Q: Why can people seem so great in the beginning, but soon everything falls apart?

 Meredith: In the beginning, particularly when there is a strong physical attraction, we tend to see the terrific parts of the other person’s personality. I’ve read and heard that, in fact, this “seeing the best in the other” is actually us projecting our finer qualities (I call this reverse projection) onto the other person. You might have heard it called the honeymoon period.

At some point in the relationship, both parties will acknowledge their own assets and liabilities (we hope), and move forward as two individuals coming together in a union–but remaining the individuals that they are. The alternative is one feeding off the other, which is what happens when you are involved with a narcissist. This is where the term “narcissistic supply” comes from.

If you are involved with a narcissist, you’ll notice signs of trouble when you take back your own assets, which means you have stopped “seeing” and projecting them onto the other person (so, ceasing the reverse projection). Trouble is, narcissists like the reverse projection; it makes them look better. The narcissistic person has begun to wear the projected assets as his or her own mask, and will experience your assets as his or her own! Then, when you attempt to own them again, he or she might say that you are copying them, stealing from them, trying to be like them.

Once this happens, you can become the object of the narcissist’s rage (which can be very loud or icily quiet) and soon finds yourself apologizing, because this rage (again, loud or quiet) can be frightening and intolerable.

Q: What are some of these traits?

Meredith: According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR, 2000): “The essential feature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following (which can be viewed in DSM-IV-TR, page 717):

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
  • Believes that they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excess admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement
  • Is interpersonally exploitative
  • Lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Q: So let’s say someone is reading this, sees that checklist that you just gave, and says, “Oh em gee, my spouse has every single one of those traits!” Then what? Is it even possible to have a happy marriage if one’s spouse is a narcissist?

 Meredith: Understanding the disease of narcissism is a must. Read about it, do research, educate yourself. The other important step is to understand why and what led to developing the blind spot that led to falling for this person who is unable to truly, authentically show empathy and be in a relationship with another person. The support of a licensed, trained clinician can help you grow and heal. (Typically, when it comes to couples, one therapist will see the couple; two other individual therapists will see the individuals separately.)

Q: I have a friend who is dating a narcissist. He’s really good at convincing her that she’s the problem. It takes an army of friends like me to prove to her that it’s the other way around. Do you have advice for people who are probably married to narcissists but who blame themselves for their failed marriage?

 Meredith: One of the underlying themes of narcissism – though not said directly – is the sense that it is always the other person who is responsible for the narcissist’s happiness, contentment and, more globally, life. Since the partner cannot provide the cure to make the narcissist happy, devaluation comes next.

It’s important to understand that the interior life of the narcissist is equivalent to a black hole. Narcissist’s have a very fragile internal life. Deep within they feel a dense of profound emptiness, of being null, void, empty, a shell.

Think for a moment how frightening that would be, to live like that day in and day out. But instead of finding a way out of the hole, the narcissist projects his or her fear of nothingness on another person. Once we take it on – always unknowingly – we feel their pain and desperation. But we cannot fix it because the original problem does not belong to us.

Narcissism is a slippery, and convoluted slope. It can take years for one partner to realize the other is narcissistic. In fact, it can take decades. One of the greatest gifts we give ourselves is becoming aware of its effects, and how, in turn, it affects us. This we do have control over, which is very good news.

Meredith Resnick is the author of Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved – A Little Primer on Self-Care. She is currently working on Stronger Every Day: 366 Thoughts, Meditations and Ideas to Help You Overcome the Effects of Narcissism (2013).

Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Psychology Today, JAMA, Orange County Register, Culinate and many others. She is the author of Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved. Visit MeredithResnick.com and YouAndN.com for more information.

99 comments… add one

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman September 7, 2012, 10:31 am

    Holy cow, I’m REALLY glad that I”m not married to a narcissist. This sounds sucky! I mean sure, my wife and me each have our issues, but true narcissism is one we can check off the list as not being an issue we have. Whew!

  • Irene S. Levine September 7, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Great post! Terrific questions AND answers. Just curious: How did you happen to write about this topic, Meredith?

    • Meredith September 7, 2012, 7:30 pm

      Thank you, Irene! I worked for two decades in healthcare, but it was through my personal journey that I began to learn, really learn, about narcissism, and its damaging effects. I really wanted to heal from the effects – and the healing is something that became part of my everyday life – and spent a lot of time considering how it had affected me, and others I knew. The ‘smoke-and-mirrors’ aspect of the disease, the projection that goes along with it, can make it tough to pin down. But once I began to understand and see the nuances, I felt my own healing from its effects in another really take hold. And so, being a writer, I really wanted to share, and help people who might be suffering from the same feelings I’d had (and others have).

  • Brette Sember September 7, 2012, 6:10 pm

    This is really helpful info. I too never really understood the definition.

  • Irene S. Levine September 7, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Meredith~
    I hope you’ll also be able to share what you’ve learned on The Friendship Blog.
    Best, Irene

  • j.stock September 9, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Great description of a narcissist! Had one as a partner and a mom. Oh great! Didn’t actually know this until I recently read about the dis-ease. If you are connected to one, run away is my best suggestion.

  • ruth pennebaker September 10, 2012, 11:22 am

    I have to wonder, though: Is there a particular kind of person who ends up with a narcissist? Or is it fairly random?

    • Meredith September 10, 2012, 11:49 am

      To me, there could be many reasons why ~ perhaps this trait was present during early years of the person’s life (whether they knew it or not) and so, developed a kind of blind spot; perhaps not that trait but others that keep the individual from focusing on their own needs and/or really knowing and honoring them and his/herself. Sometimes, a person might simply be charmed by a person who leans toward narcissism, and steps back quickly, while another might stay longer and struggle with coping, understanding and figuring out what to do that is best for them.

  • HeatherL September 12, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Thank you for clarifying narcissist and jerk. I also didn’t realize narcissism was a disease.

    Great Q and A.

  • Jane Boursaw September 13, 2012, 11:55 am

    Great post. My husband is the exact opposite of a narcissist, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

  • Kristen September 13, 2012, 10:23 pm

    So can you explain–is someone born a narcissist or does he become one over time? So for example, in a long-term relationship would a narcissist have tendencies that maybe develop during the relationship versus always being there?

    • Meredith September 15, 2012, 9:45 am

      In the book, Dr. Ruth Wimsatt, a psychologist in private practice discusses how the traits might manifest over time, beginning even in infancy. Her short essay, “How We Develop Empathy,” talks about early attachments and the infant’s brain, and how empathy development, for example, a trait that is often lacking with this disorder, could be compromised.

    • Amanda June 30, 2015, 1:04 am

      I have been with someone for 5 years and it took the past two years for me to figure it out and it usually starts with something big like marriage, children or a change in a career. The first year of my marriage my husband took a career opportunity that made him start showing signs of narcissistic personality and I think a lot of it comes from his high profile career opportunity as well as the people he is with ( being around highest-profile millionaires who have the Stepford wife, money and the need for entitlement ). Then I started noticing the beginning signs of selfishness self centered, no empathy, no compassion no understanding of how his much-needed focus on what he wanted and needed was what his idea of love and marriage was really about. He had no remorse for the impact it had on my physical and mental health, regardless of how shitty he treated his wife . I think a lot of men show that they are perfect during the time of dating that once you get married thats when they stop trying, caring or stop the efforts to care for us. Too early on they get comfortable, lazy and distant, showing their true side which is usually the ugliest and it doesn’t matter how many times or how many different ways or how many suggestions you are willing to try, they WILL NEVER have personal insight BETWEEN what’s wrong and right. After being brainwashed you cant even bring up the word narcissistic personality because they refuse to believe they have anything wrong with him. Which means that the chances of them changing or even listening to try to understand their spouse needs or wants become more of a nervous breakdown for us and the stress of their own life now is your problem again.. The time, effort and commitment to work with them is always one sided. The harder you try the more critical and distant they become. They are not able to predict the consequences of any actions and they have no desire to admit their own shortcomings bc they focus on your inadequacy and negative reactions to them bc they have been doing this for as long as you let them. No man can admit they have any personality disorder so they are not getting the best help to replace their bad behavior. Speaking with experience, the worst thing about being in a marriage with someone with NPD, is no matter what you do, nothing is good enough for them and they fear being open to all intimacy that requires any deep coonection or closeness bc they never want to let you seem them for what they really are….especially in the emotional area of things bc they can’t be honest with you or themselves bc they are insecure and powerless and refuse to let you see it. They spend their life’s living a double lie so they have a fake fasade/false self that makes it easier for the outside world to see their greatness but save the horrible monsterous side for the rest of the times spent with you. Yet, you the one who has been there for him and loved him through the years of abusive and neglect he has for your needs and wants. You come last on the list. It’s all about them and their way. You can’t even imagine how hard it is to get out. I had to take care of me and my future so I am glad I was able to get away from the control and power struggle. If you are in a relationship with one and want to get out, be sure you have a great support system bc they will not make it easy for you. 16 months of separation, blame and shame, manipulative games and torture is the way they strive to be the biggest problem for you. Its hard to believe that the one who did everything for you in the beginning years can drastically have you so fooled, even at the age of 45. Being successful and having money changes people which is what I went through. As soon as you leave they have a panic attack and try to convince you that they will change but it’s nothing except a cycle of torture and disgust. How do people not see the world of difference between what they want and how a healthy couple goes about theirs. It’s dysfunctional and disheartening when you can’t help the one you love. The minute they are diagnosed, they will make excuses for themselves and the therapist who treated them. Accept the fact that it’s the truth and if you cant be the man who considers the damage of their own behavior and the long term affects everyone else is going through….. I’m sorry but 1st it’s best to disconnect asap bc you can’t get anyone to have the personal insight into what they do and I have spent my entire newlywed phase waiting for a real miracle to happen so I didnt have to believe this was my reality. The longest and hardest part is the “D”. Divorce is hard BUT magnify the intensity of a divorce who is not the best at seeing you for NOTHING but they won’t divorce you bc they know deep down that they are too prideful to admit they screwed up the relationship with the biggest hear that they had but walked right over it. It will be too late before they consider the help that is desperately needed bc they believe you are so damaged or they convince themselves you won’t have any other way to survive without them, I’m lucky bc I have plenty of peace and joy in my life bc I haven’t been there for the rest of the games. I ask him, ” so is that the results you desire for a marriage, bc you can convince me too easily, keep on talking and we will be done for last.

  • Kris @ Attainable Sustainable September 15, 2012, 1:55 am

    So here’s my question: Is it possible to maintain a loving – or at least friendly – relationship with a narcissist without succumbing to them? I’m not married to one, but I did marry into a family that sports a narcissist or two. After a lot of headaches and tears, avoiding the offending party seems to be the only sure tactic for sanity.

    • Meredith September 15, 2012, 10:01 am

      I’ve also noticed that sometimes, neutral small talk can go a long way in making for pleasant and even lively conversations – movies, music, tv shows, food, for example; nothing personal at all, but something to get through a family gathering or social event.

      • Connie February 14, 2013, 3:38 am

        What do you recommend if you found that you are married to one? We’ve had our ups and downs in our relationship. After many years of marriage, we decided to try for a child. I must say my pregnancy was one of the happiest times of my life and our marriage. Now we have an 18 month old, and things are VERY rocky again. Our marriage seems either happy or terrible. I feel very Dr Jeckle, Mr Hyde regarding my husband. When things aren’t good, he is Very angry, dropping f bombs left and right and simply a cloud of anger surrounds him. I am really trying to make a go of it and trying to find out if there is a way to have a happy marriage with a happy upbringing for my child or if I need to leave for her happiness…We’ve been together for 12 years. Thank you!

      • Jennifer April 11, 2013, 12:58 pm


        Get out now for your and your child’s happiness. I am in the process of a nasty divorce with my narc husband of 25 years. We had ups and downs but as these guys age they get worse. I started to unravel my husbands lies and spins. I no longer wanted to be talked down to that is when he found himself someone that would feed his ego. It is just a matter of time for you to have enough. Don’t waste any more time with him. Trust me they don’t get better because they don’t feel that they are the issue you are!

        RUN RUN RUN

      • Dh April 11, 2013, 1:05 pm

        To Jennifer who just posted a reply- how do you get out with your kids? I have three kids with a massive, monstrous narc who has flat told me if I try to get the kids he will destroy me. I can’t leave my three babies with him!!!!! And like all narcs, he looks amazingly charming and successful to everyone but the kids and I who live in his home. As a matter of fact, I am still breast feeding our 8 month old son and just this morning he said that he was calling authorities too tell them I was sexually abusing our baby! I’ve been hysterical all day. He’s a sick twisted asshole and now I’m worried about having my children taken away because he’s a liar!

  • Natalia September 27, 2012, 11:41 am

    Thank you for writing this and the book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book you are writing. I think it is important to build awareness of this and other personality disorders – particularly in the context of divorce, as this is when the narcissistic personality becomes extremely volatile and seeks to get even. Despite sharing so many common traits (once you know them) and basically exhibiting behavior which is textbook to narcissism, the divorce courts/family courts do not recognize this as they should. Their behavior in divorce is extremely horrifying to both the ex-spouse and the vulnerable children who are forced to carry on their relationship with a narcissistic (often abusive) parent.

    • Shelly February 28, 2014, 4:36 pm

      If he is talking to the police be very worried. We were in a fairly small town and when he learned he could lie to the police and they would arrest me? Well let me say my life was already living in hell but it got so much worse I tried to commit suicide and was almost successful. I’m not with him anymore but he still tries to trick me and he even uses our kids to get at me. Argh!! I wasted 26 yrs. of my life with him. You should get out while you can. No matter how bad you think it is he will keep doing something worse each time, he doesn’t care about you. Everything about him is an act!! Run away while you can

  • Sarah November 4, 2012, 8:10 am

    I married a narcissist almost 13 years ago. I stayed up til 3AM reading everything I could about it. Funny thing is, a long time ago he was reading up about personality disorders and came across this one. From time to time he would joke about being narcissistic, but then would say that everyone is a little. He swept me off my feet (more like blindsided me)I didn’t like him and he made me, somehow. We got married pretty quick and all the affection and attention I got suddenly halted. Then I was blamed because of an argument we had the day before our wedding. We made up and got married and I thought moved on. He literally would not kiss me and he’d stay up all night playing video games while I cried myself to sleep. This didn’t seem like the way it should be as newlyweds, but I was too ashamed to get help. I thought this must be my fault, so I started to try to “fix” myself. My family and even some friends have told me that I give him way too much control. I would feel that when I talked to them and then when I was around him it was like the world that made sense just melted. I was supposed to anticipate his needs and he was ignoring me and treating me poorly because he wasn’t getting what he needed. We just went to individual therapy and I wound up sitting in on a few of his sessions since I was the problem. It soon became all about me and how I’m not giving him what he needs. He somehow made the therapist believe him. That it was our relationship that was making him depressed and stuck in his life. We would leave the session and then he would go back to his same behavior of shutting me out and passively putting me down. At one session, the therapist seemed to getting completely frustrated and lose her composure with me. She asked me when I was going to get some self-esteem. I didn’t know the answer. I knew I was more, but couldn’t understand why I stayed so stuck. He is great taking everything apart that I felt I had accomplished and making me seem like a loser. I have/had really come to believe I am that person. He would say, “Just think about it. If what you’re saying is true, then I’m just a jerk.” He couldn’t possibly be a jerk. He’s a nice jolly guy and people like him. He doesn’t even yell and he’s not violent. In fact, I am the one that has hit him on 3 different occasions (one of which he hit me back). I am the one that has thrown things and yelled and cried and then apologized for being a loser. His family feeds his narcissism and always has. They emotionally starved him, but bought him things and let him get away with not being responsible for basically anything. He was the golden child. We now live with them (of his elaborate design, but that’s my fault too) and it has distorted my reality even more. I sometimes feel trapped, since I have chronic health issues and two small children. Reading about narcissism has made me feel that emotional pain that I’ve been holding back. It hurts bad to know that I fell into this trap. What I mentioned here is just the tip of the ice berg. Anyone who has lived with this will know that.

    • Kristy January 1, 2013, 9:57 pm

      I just realized my husband is a narcissist. I didn’t know there was such a disorder that described him in every single way. I am really heartbroken to find out he cannot truly love, which means he has never really loved me, but I am almost relieved in a sense to know I am not crazy. He had the same sort of upbringing you described your husband had, referring to the “golden boy”.

      I would love to talk more with you. I recently explained this disorder to my family, but I feel like only someone who has been through it can understand.

      I feel your pain, and I look forward to hearing from you.


      • Shona May 21, 2015, 4:42 am

        Hi I am in the same pisition, sucked in almost married 8 months. He made me feel so special, now runs me down and makes fun of me. He is 71 i am 55 was thinking i found a gem that would love me. I am comfortable money wise he is also.. But he is just so controlling now never smiles, no feelings only a fasade he puts on for others.. Its like he hates me now and cant be bithered talking to me.. I think i want out. My friends and family tried to warn me…so dum

    • Dez January 2, 2013, 3:17 am

      You must be living in hell. I was married to a narcissist for 14 years, and am in the process of a divorce. I was literally trapped by him and my circumstances…he was a man of power in the community….he signed all policemens’ paychecks, firemens’ paychecks, and all city workers as well. Nobody would believe me if I tried to get help. It wasn’t until I prayed and prayed until a miracle happened. My children witnessed something which started a train of events that lead to me safely leaving with my children. Sometimes there are situations beyond our power, PLEASE PRAY and have faith that things can change. BE WISE, and do not give him a clue you are unhappy and want to leave. YOU CAN DO THIS! And whatever you do, don’t give him reason to take the children….don’t throw things, hit, scream….just stay completely composed knowing that your time will come to be free of this tyrrant.

      • Dlh February 1, 2013, 1:04 pm

        Dez….please please please find a way to contact me. I am in the exact same situation as you and no one will believe me and he’s trying to take my kids. What did you do?! Please help!

    • undone February 13, 2013, 2:43 pm

      for a while now i have wondered about my husband….u have described my life to the tee…..so what has happened? can one live with this sort of behaviour?

      • Jennifer April 11, 2013, 1:00 pm

        No Undone- RUN

    • kelly June 21, 2013, 12:57 am

      It is so ironic that I came across this page. I am a 49 year old woman who has been married to a narcissistic man for 30 years. We have been separated for a year and a half. The longest year and a half of my life. My lawyer said it was one of her worse top 10 divorce cases she has ever seen. We were to be divorced in 7 days when we met with our attorney’s to go over issues before our court date so we could just come up with an agreement so this case wouldn’t go to trial. Of course my soon to be ex was making that difficult. I cried from the time I left my lawyers office until I went to sleep that night realizing that my marriage was def over. The next day ( which I may add is today) when I woke up at 6 a.m. I hoped out of bed like I was flying on air. I felt the world was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t know why but I suddenly felt joy, relaxation, and more at peace. it was the most amazing thing I have felt in a long time. then the soon to be ex sent me a text…can we talk. I said yes (of course), our daughter is to be married in less than 3 weeks. After he living with 2 different girls in the year we were separated wanted to come home. Cried and cried…I love you…I made a mistake..i want us back.. well im sure you all get the picture. I crumbled as he spoke. We spoke for hours, and at times it was really natural. We talked about a lot of things. He even talked about the woman he was living with and how messed up her kids and family were. I sat there and said to myself….omg Needless to say I had to leave and go with my daughter for her fitting for her gown. After that I spend 2 hours on the phone with my dearest friend. Im going to end this note with a question? I am actually considering reconciliation. Please tell me how silly it is? Please remind me of how much I have grown..how independent I have become…how much calmer I have become…..Believe this, my counselor is out of town on vacation when I need her the most so im praying some of you have words of hope.

      • Carrie June 21, 2013, 11:26 am

        First, I am so sorry you are experiencing this. It sucks.
        Second, I can relate on a couple of levels. I am 48, was married for 27 years and just filed for divorce two weeks ago.
        Our oldest child, our daughter, is also getting married this summer which definitely adds an emotional kink. She is NOT happy about this.
        When this all blew apart a few months ago, my Cluster B (that’s him) asked me why I had to hurt our children. What? Let’s talk about hurt.
        As far as your thoughts about reconciliation, I’m going to suggest you really examine the peace and hope you’ve felt without him. My therapist and friends kept reminding of this because, naturally, I felt guilty for feeling so free without him. How could that be right?
        What you are experiencing is a cognitive dissonance. You are responding to his Mr. Hyde, the good guy. Once I started equated his psycho abuse with physical abuse and wondered how I would react if he were physically harming me, I realized I needed to be MORE afraid of his sweet musings. That’s when abused women return to the lair, only to be consumed once more.
        View ALL things through the lens of his pathology. Do your research and his behaviors will become very clear.
        With the divorce looming, he recognizes he is facing the ultimate narcissistic injury, something he cannot tolerate. He will do everything to keep you as his admiration source but it has nothing to do with love, it has to do with attachment — his, to you.
        Only you can make up your mind, but let truth and intuition be your guide. If I have learned anything, it is to trust my gut over anybody’s word.
        Hugs and blessings. You are not alone. You are not crazy.

      • barb June 21, 2013, 11:28 am

        I can sooo relate: dated for six, married for 29 and still counting. I filed 09/2012. He wants me to agree to $0. I cannot even be certain if we have a pretrial set for there have been numerous continuances – by the attorneys and the spouse. Ug. I want this to end. The $15000 lawyer bill is gonna kill. Haven’t worked since 1985. Volunteered, cleaned, chauffered, childcare, yardwork, etc.,but no “real” work!! No experience, no training, no references to put into a resume or on an application.
        The kicker?
        Reconciliation because of his words? If he is a true narcissist, he is doing this to CONTROL you. There is NO love. They say it – BUT THERE IS NONE. Don’t believe the empty words. This is how they work. Mine cried. Bought flowers. Said he would die…next day? Yelling at me that I am a twobit Whore, bitch, etc since I signed the order to go for the divorce.
        What do you truly want for your life? Freedom? Or being his property. Those other woman were stronger than he is. They wouldn’t take it. Don’t you, either.
        You deserve REAL love. Happiness.

        Don’t you? Or do you feel he is all you deserve?

      • Kelly June 21, 2013, 9:15 pm

        thank you to barb and carrie for all your words of encouragement. it really meant a lot. more than you know. you may have saved my life. I have a great support team set in place for the next week…they are going to hogwire me to the cellar pole until the divorce day…lol its really not funny….thanks you all

      • barb June 22, 2013, 8:29 am

        You are worth Kelly and don’t forget it. You are worthy of birds singing, sun shiny days and just feeling good. Most days I feel as if I am locked into a dark cave. No one knows the emptiness and desperation I feel. There is just a glimmer of light. DIVORCE. It will happen. The universe will respond.
        And for you, too. There will be such holes of pain inside you. Be prepared. Your mind will play tricks. He will be very sly to get you back so he can finish you off with hopelessness and despair. Get ready. Surround yourself with what YOU love. *I began a garden and am trying to train two wiley dogs! I notice sun rises and sun sets. I can actually distinguish certain bird calls where before I cared only FOR HIM. Listening to the rain while walking to my car is something I never even heard before. The wind in the oak trees while walking the dogs! Truly calming. Worth more than the mean hateful words from the spouse. This am he told his brother on the cell he would like to kill me and my lawyer. I have a message in and will need to speak to the police.
        Don’t break down. Don’t give in. True freedom and happiness is worth all this work. To extricate ourselves from the killer crushing claws of evil. Unfeeling evil.

        Take care!! :) ♥♥

      • Helen June 22, 2013, 6:47 pm

        I feel for you. I’ve been married for 10 yrs now and only just researching about all this. I am frightened by what I am reading and I feel incredibly sad to realise that my husband probably has never loved me. I do feel some relief that this is not all my fault. I feel sad that he could be so empty and does he even realise he has these issues.

        I am so sorry to read about you all. I hope to God you will all be ok

      • paula james October 20, 2013, 11:03 pm

        Kelly, don’t do it. I took my husband back several times, only to be repeatedly cheated on used and abused verbally. The only reason that he is here, is because he has not found another supplier and because he is financially indebted.

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 11:24 am

      Hi Sarah,

      I just stumbled upon this post as i was trying to look up for NPD. Reading your post made me feel like my story. I am going through the post effect of divorce. Although i know my ex was a malignant narcissist, i sometimes still feel that i didn’t do much to save the relationship (which only lasted for 8 months). Then i have to give myself constant reminders by reading these kind of posts. It is very true that such people uses blame game to boast their ego. They will never be wrong and its always the other person trying to live up to their unreasonable expectations. You can never be the perfect spouse for them . As i was never a good wife for my husband – no matter how much effort i put to keep him happy. I literally worked for him like a maid and in the end i was being that i don’t know how to manage time and i can do even much more as a housewife. I had to leave the house one day and he was afraid of being exposed so now he is spreading the rumours that i was cheating on him..hahaha ..Yes you can expect that from such pathetic people too. I was once told by a close friend of mine that i should run away rather walk away from him. These people will never change as their live in their own perfect world. I was blindfolded too initially and the honey moon period got over after few months. I too, had an argument few days before marriage and till the last day of my departure i was accused of flaring the argument. The healing phase is really tough as my mind has been manipulated enough but atleast i know that it was manipulated. I thank God that i am out of that sickening relationship.

      • Sam September 7, 2013, 11:25 am

        Please pardon me as English is not my first language.

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 8:30 am

      GET OUT! He will not stop until you are annihilated, completely broken in body and spirit. GET OUT!!!!!!

  • CMP January 3, 2013, 1:34 am

    I would like to know WHY I married a narcissist and HOW to fix / change / deal with that part of me so that I can at least help my children to deal with their father and to help them avoid doing the same thing with their future marriage(s). My children are young (ages 13 years down to 17 mos) and my husband is a good provider, he does love his kids and he isn’t cheating, drinking, abusive etc. He just isn’t tuned into anyone else’s life. He lives here but doesn’t really know what is going on with anyone in the house.
    I really want to leave him but for several reasons have decided to stay. I pray all the time that God will fix our marriage, give me grace to be patient and loving, help him to be more present to us (and himself!). There are days, however, when I just really want someone to call me and say that he is gone. Terrible, I know.
    I didn’t marry him because I was so madly in love with him. He was fun and nice and stable (HA!). What kind of “rational” decision puts me in a marriage with a narcissist????

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 8:37 am

      If he is a good father, not emotionally or verbally abusive, then he’s not a narcissist (personality disorder). He may just have narcissitic traits and thus is avoidant, self-absorbed. If he is a narcissist, then you would have already been serially verbally, emotionally abused, cheated on, the kids emotionally abused, pitting against each other, etc. There would be a lot of crazy making going on. “God fix our marriage” That’s why you married him. Religious guilt. You were not whole when you married him, and he ‘heat seeked that like a missile’; they can tell so easily. God never changes anyway without their permission, never heals without asking. Does he think he has a problem? Doubt it. If he is a true NPD, then YOU and everyone else in the world are the problems. AFter the honeymoon period (in which he cons you with being exactly what you are looking for), then the real him (although they don’t have real selfs, no real conscience) shows up and his narcissitic supply is to be a smiting brimstone God bent on destroying you; having annihilation power over you will be his narcissitic supply. If he is moral, doesn’t cheat, no funky money problems, obeys morality and laws, apologizes, etc., he’s likely not NPD, although he may struggle with narcissitic traits (like always wanting to be right, wanting everyone to think highly of him, etc.). If he’s NPD, get the hell out. It’s not a marriage in God’s eyes; it’s Satanic warfare against you and your children, from your sick husband.

      • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 8:41 am

        If he is a good father, not emotionally or verbally abusive, then he’s not a narcissist (personality disorder). He may just have narcissitic traits and thus is avoidant, self-absorbed. If he is a narcissist, then you would have already been serially verbally, emotionally abused, cheated on, the kids emotionally abused, pitting against each other, etc. There would be a lot of crazy making going on. “God fix our marriage” That’s why you married him. Religious guilt. You were not whole when you married him, and he ‘heat seeked that like a missile’; they can tell so easily. God never changes anyway without their permission, never heals without asking. Does he think he has a problem? Doubt it. If he is a true NPD, then YOU and everyone else in the world are the problems. AFter the honeymoon period (in which he cons you with being exactly what you are looking for), then the real him (although they don’t have real selfs, no real conscience) shows up and his narcissitic supply is to be a smiting brimstone God bent on destroying you; having annihilation power over you will be his narcissitic supply. If he is moral, doesn’t cheat, no funky money problems, obeys morality and laws, apologizes, etc., he’s likely not NPD, although he may struggle with narcissitic traits (like always wanting to be right, wanting everyone to think highly of him, etc.). If he’s NPD, get the hell out. It’s not a marriage in God’s eyes; it’s Satanic warfare against you and your children, from your sick husband. And by religious guilt I mean that you have a conscience; that’s a good thing. But you were not whole, self-esteem issues or guilt over not being what you wanted to be at that point, or guilt from your childhood that you didn’t cause (by a judgmental parent, an aloof parent, abusive parent, etc.). FORGIVE yourself; you are perfectly and wonderfully made, in God’s image. God’s image, but you didn’t believe that or you wouldn’t have married him, settled for less than healthy.

  • Sarah January 3, 2013, 10:17 am

    Hi Kristy,
    I know what you mean about talking to someone who understands. I felt like I was going crazy until I found out about narcissism. The day I posted here, I was distraught and devastated. It’s been about two months now since my husband moved in with his dad in a different city. I am still here with my kids living with his mom. We are all dependent on his dad. My husband still continues to blame me even though he left. He says he’s waiting for me to change.
    He doesn’t realize what a gift he gave me by leaving. Being in this humiliating situation has forced me to look at myself and how I got here. I’m smart and talented, how did this happen to me? I did some digging and found out that narcissists and codependents are attracted to each other. They are both forms of emotional immaturity. This creates abusive relationships. If you feel like you always give and get nothing back, you are codependent. There seems to be no hope of reforming a narcissist because they keep people around them who confirm their belief that they are superior and entitled to things they did not work for. Codependents “protect” narcissist by always trying to please them and making excuses for their behavior. In the end, they will not appreciate it and you’re left feeling discarded. Narccist who suffer real consequences for their choices, and have people in their lives who will not pander to them, have hope of reform. I am doing the hardest thing I have ever done by taking an honest look on what I did to wind up here. When I look at my life, I have had many relationships like this one, with bosses, friends, etc. I have always felt weak, like I needed to be saved or rescued. Despite my gifts, I have accomplished very little because I lived for other people and had no direction. I don’t know if I can share external links here, but I hope the moderator will allow me to share this Site. It has changed my life. http://www.narcissismcured.com. The most important thing you can do right now is to put you and your children first. Don’t be angry, it takes too much energy. Make peace and move on.
    Kristy, I hope my story inspires you. We are all works in progress, never give up on yourself.

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 11:32 am

      Sarah…your words inspires me. I feel i was and probably i am a co-dependent too. Could you tell me how to overcome this? I am a well educated and accomplished person, yet i feel something is lacking in me. My relationship with my ex has literally diminished my self-esteem.
      “Make peace and move on”..I am finding it really hard to make peace. :(

  • Denise February 17, 2013, 7:21 am

    well I have been married to a narcissistic man for 30 years and in the past 8 years I have heard people say that word to me about my husband I never knew what it ment until now and i put him on a plane 3months ago and sent him to his family and i have filed for a divorce there is no changing them they are so self absord that they suck the life out of you it took me 30 years to say i have had enough so for anyone that thinks they can change them good luck i tried for 30years had no luck all he ever did was think about his self and talk about his self and was hooked on drugs off and on for the 30 years it was a long road and it wasnt easy saying good bye i still love him and always will but i will never ever live with him ever again the only good that came of these 30 years was 2 great kids and they always wanted to know why there dad was the way he was and they understand now. all I can say is if you are married to a narcissistic man or in a realationship run as fast as you can it gets worst with every paceing day. good luck

  • JF February 19, 2013, 7:03 am

    Hi, I would love to hear if this site owner might somehow allow members to have private email exchanges, and possibly to preview their comments. While I’M not sure of how to set that up on a wordpress site (which, this is), but if the site-owner would like me to help, I am happy to help investigate and add that here (I have worked on sites for 15+ years). The site is getting such lovely responses, by folks really looking to connect or to get help from her perhaps, which is I’m sure what the site owner wanted, and is so great! Thank you for creating the site. :)

    I’m married to… I’m just not sure what, nor am I sure what I am either having married him. He also is stable on the outside, provides for his family and me, and is into his kids (though I see ways he could provide better emotional-coaching vs harsh rule making, likewise his ex wife (who is harsher), and is even further on the … unhealthily narcissistic end of the spectrum by behaviors I see).

    CMP, I feel as you do, though I don’t have kids with the guy I married. However, I saw the same as you before we got married (stable, nice, and me not head over heels in love), and I was flattered this very successful man fairly aggressively pursuing me. He had been previously married to someone [he claimed] was pretty abusive to him (stealing, cheating, mean, dramatically manipulative, etc). While I see some neglectfully abusive behavior by one of my parents, I’m trying to figure out also what had me marry this guy as there were some warning signs of his lack of compassion for me before marriage, and many more after marriage.

    So looking to heal [myself], what did I allow the relationship to continue? Also, why am I not self-respectingly leaving yet? Any enthusiasm/hopefulness I had for it is gone, but I’m still here. I am hoping to remain respectful and simply make requests, though sometimes I’ve not already (it’s only a 2-year marriage at this point). I do know that I need to be only respectful for myself as well as for him. I started out laughing at his early name calling vs solely asking that to stop (which I also did), and it has lessened, as has the yelling, both of which I see as emotionally abusive, not simply [unhealthily] “narcissistic.” But the other narcissistic traits of forgetting what I’m worried about, or to give me the healthy behaviors I’m asking him for, continue. And yes, I do see that I am not respecting my own boundaries of needing to be respected in a marriage where the disrespectful/indifferent/mean behaviors persist. I’m really curious to figure out and heal what that is in me. Codependency, which sounds right, tho the traits don’t really fit me. There must be something I can use as a healing track. Sarah, thank you for the site link here, I will look into that. I’d love to connect with you if we were able.

    • Jen September 24, 2014, 7:58 am

      JF. – your post is over a year old and I hope you’ve realized more about your husband by now. I just wanted to tell you to get out of it now before any kids. You’ve only been together a short time – you can make a clean break. It’s hard but I’ve been married 17 years with 4 kids and now I feel I need to wait another 10 years until my last child is ready to leave the house because I refuse to leave my kids to their father without me to protect them from the verbal and mental abuse. He’s a good provider but as a husband and father it’s been pretty rough. All the things said about NPD are true. I thought I was crazy but I finally read about this disorder about a month ago and was finally validated. Now I am incredibly angry that I’ve put up with this for so long. 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my 2nd child I was so sad and depressed – I wondered why I was having another child with this man. My poor kid has learning problems along with some depression and is extremely emotional. I blame myself because how the mother feels – the baby will feel. I also had breast cancer 6 years ago and after all the research I’ve done on cancer it can be triggered by emtions and stress. I really feel that all the stress and tears I’ve shed and pain he’s made me feel – brought on this terrible tumor. I told him that last week. He didn’t like it but maybe it made him think. Now that I know what I’m actually dealing with, I’ve really begun to watch out for his abuse. How he constantly argues with me about nothing. Watch out what he says to you – it will come to fruition. We were living in a house – that I had before we were married- and he always had a problem with it. We finally moved to a bigger home- where he wanted to live. I was just trying to make him happy. He told me he was going to put me in a castle. Well, yes- I’m in a castle in the woods away from everything. It has taken 6 years to fix it up, but the outside is surrounded by woods and fleas and ticks. Can’t even go outside without getting bit. He argues with me that the bugs don’t bite him. Doesn’t care at all about me or the kids suffering. It’s not a bad place but it all for him. My kids want to move but I’m stuck. Don’t get stuck! Get out now- if you have a job and can support yourself- you’ll find someone better – I repeat – get out now!

  • Lauren February 21, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Hi. I’ve been in a relationship with a man for 4 1/2 years and I’ve never been happy with him. I’ve been battling depression for four years now and have always said that he was the cause of it. Last night my brother asked me if i knew the definition of narcissism. When i looked it up I lost my breath. Every single trait listed described my boyfriend to a “T”. Ever since then I’ve been researching everything I can about it and found your site. Why do I stay you wonder? Three different reasons… 1. We have a daughter together. 2. I have many more health issues besides depression that prevent me from working and he is a great provider. And 3. He won’t leave. I’ve asked him to many times. He has nowhere else to go, can’t afford to move and I honestly think he just doesn’t want to. He is the cause of so much pain for me and I know that I deserve so much better. What advice can you give me? I did tell him the definition of narcissism today and like a true narcissist he blew it off.

  • Wendy February 24, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Married for 23 years to one – 3 kids – and I am finally understanding that I am not crazy – it is very true that it can take years or even decades to truly recognize a narcissist.. For years I would get frustrated and we would fight and I would scream cry and beg for him to “get it” but in recent years I feel like he never will… I just try to be happy with myself and I have adopted a “don’t care” attitude for him… It is not ideal.. but I have accepted this lonely life rather than subject my children to divorce – which if I were to pursue he would put the kids in the middle and behave in such a hateful malicious way I would just never put my kids through that. CMP don’t feel bad – I have often wished he would just disappear too.. It is amazing how we all share the same story. I guess it helps to at least understand.. How to fix it? That is the real question!

    • sue February 24, 2014, 3:10 am

      I have been married for 24 years with three kids. I found out my husband was a borderline narcissist thru a psych. test hw was asked to take thru our marriage counselor. that was about two years ago and he has seen three therapists since and has dropped all three because he doesnt believe them. HOn the out side he is nice and a successful business man and loved by our small community but at home he has treated me more like an ownership item then a wife. I started setting boundries in the last two years and he has gotten so andry and childish and has a very hard time with the word NO. My kids are awat=re he has some crazy moments but he has been pretty careful not to let them see them and because I wanted them not to pay emotionally I always had a coverup for him and what and why he yelled at me etc. He hasnt been physical with me but he has lied so many times and made so many broken promises. After 17 years of marriage i discovered he had a heavy porn addiction. he covered it so very well being a so called christian. I also found out some past very weird sexual things about him. When he stopped his addiction because i threatened to leave him with the kids etc he started going to a counselor which lead him to a psych test. To date he has gotten more strange because he know he doesnt have his addiction to release the tension and well that just too bad. oh and now memory losses and says it because I freak him out because I am wanting to leave him. His last big lie to me was about two weeks ago and his last childish fit was yesterday cause I didnt hold his hand at the movie on valentines day. That is because I didnt want to and he doesnt get that part of me anymore. I really havent given him much attention and the last year we have been apart because of his business. I love that time when he is gone.. Right now I still have one daughter in high school so Im going to get her to college then Im out. I am planning my leave but trying to hold on for at least five more years because of $ but I plan on leaving him sooner just not the Divorce on paper until five years. I dont work and I will need the $$ and Im trying now to finish my degree and concentrate on my skills so I can be independent from him. He actually told me the other day that the Bible says I had to be submissive to him. haha. I told him because he had a mental illness, that was a game breaker and he was suppose to love me like he loved himself and we both know that will never happen. I do believe God can do miracles but my husband is in denial so not seeing how that will happen.

      • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 8:49 am

        God will never heal like a controller; people have to want healing. A cluster B (borderline, narcissist, sociopath) is not eliigible for healing because they don’t have a conscience to convict them of their sin, nor do they want to change. YOU are the problem, not them (from their viewpoint). I applaud you on trying to improve your life; keep moving forward. You are biologically addcited to the drama at this point, and will have ‘withdrawals’ when ti stops. Melanie Tonia Evans has some good teachings on this and I highly recommend her except that she is a ‘psychic’ and believes in re-incarnation and stuff, not consistent with someone who believes in the God of Abraham and Peter. So you bring in the Biblical stuff in regards to forgiveness of yourself, forgiveness of you family of origina for ‘setting you up’ to have the holes in yourself with made you a co-dependent, etc.

  • Fay March 1, 2013, 11:35 pm

    I’ve finally learned that there is no fixing it, unless the narcissist wants to change. I read a comment once that ‘trying to persuade a narcissist to change is like climbing into a pigpen to wrestle a hog: You get covered with manure, and the hog enjoys it’.
    You can’t appeal to someone’s ‘better nature’ when they don’t have one.
    I say that after 12 years of trying just that. I thought I was crazy, but that’s how they make you feel – an affect of their warped reality. I haven’t left my narc yet, but I’m healing & preparing to move on very soon. It’ll probably be a big battle when i do.

    It was such a relief to find out that I am not the cause of the problem. I honestly feel sorry for him (carefully – pity sucks me in!) – it is a sad reality they live in.

  • Britt March 8, 2013, 9:57 pm

    Still struggling to figure out if my ex was indeed a Narc. 19 years later, I have been diagnosed with PTSD with flashbacks about his treatment of me. I am codependent and still find myself thinking..he was nice a lot of the time. I pushed him to it. Even though he never stared at himself in the mirror, His angry outbursts were regarding me embarrassing him in public (I forgot my id to get into a club) and he screamed at me in front of our friends. Then when I left him alone at a party a week later, he stayed for a while but then stormed out and I followed him. He said I was doing it as payback. And that I was manipulative because I planned to lure him there and ignore him, where his outburst was because “he was angry and I embarrassed him”
    I am still making excuses that it was just a bad breakup. The verbal abuse towards me was just horrible the last few months. I know what you all are saying, somehow everyone around him thought he was great and thought I was needy and possessive and wouldn’t let him spend time with his friends (ex girlfriends and the guys associated with them)
    No one knew that when we got home he told me how much better they were than me and if I would just be more outgoing like in the beginning of our relationship he would like me more. When I tried harder, he accused me of faking it to get him to love me again.
    He is now married with 3 children. I keep thinking, this lucky woman, to be with the guy I couldn’t make love me. Maybe she got the guy I always knew he was deep down.
    Or maybe he’s not a Narc and I was just with a guy that handled a declining relationship badly. He said “Of course I’m being mean this is not working..I don’t hate you..but I’m starting to..”
    On meds, receiving therapy..hope everyone here finds some peace.

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 9:01 am

      Get out of denial, get out of FOG (fear, obligation, guilt). Some of the exact things he did to you have been done to me. They are not embarrassed because you fogot your ID, it’s just that they see an opportunity to abuse you emotionally/verbally. Get it? It IS crazy making, because you start to doubt yourself. Sounds like you still are. Count your blessings he has found a new victim, she is NOT LUCKY. She will get PTSD just like you. Despite what psychologists will tell you (a lie), cluster B personality disorders know exactly what they are doing. That’s why he can control his persona to others and chooses to save his dumping off to you his own self-hatred. Narcs may have no conscience, but they are not stupid; they pick their ‘victims’ and groom them to come in, be close, and serve as their narcissistic supply; it would never work if they behaved that way with everyone.
      Normal healthy men DO NOT SPEND TIME with their ex girlfriends. They are ex’s for a reason, and that shows he is not emotionally healthy because he is not exercising boundaries to protect YOUR relationship. Be glad it’s over. Search deep and conquer the co-dependency that made you be with him, because you will just put someone else there (or a substance) if you do not.

  • Lisa March 11, 2013, 4:33 am

    I am so happy to read the posts on this site! I have been married to my H for 12 years, but have been with him for 20. I would love to leave the marriage, but have 4 children ages 4 to 9. Just recently I discovered he is a true narcissist. Everything is about himself and I am blamed for everything! For many years, I thought I was crazy! He is quick with put downs and making me feel unimportant and of no value to him. His needs and wants come before all else, and he ha ripped apart all of my accomplishments… And there have been many! He was raised the “golden child” and still is.. Actually, in the eyes of his parents… He is never to blame, I am! Growing up, he never had to lift a finger or take responsibility for much. He does the bare minimum around the house, is not romantic and is often distant and emotionally unconnected. I have tried everything to make this marriage work, including marriage counselling, but nothing has changed. My H owns a successful company and is constantly coming and going at free will while I work full-time at my own successful career which I am very passionate about (I am a teacher). He lacks empathy to a high degree, is unable to communicate without insulting and throwing put downs (passively he is not aggressive physically…). I love him, I hate how he treats me! I feel worthless and unloved! If it wad not for our 4 children, I would leave! I do want a divorce, but worry about our children. I make a very good income, but would need to sell our home and financially things would change. Emotionally.. I would be happier, but my children may be scarred for life! Thank you for all who posted, it is nice to know I am not to blame, that I am not crazy!

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 9:06 am

      Your children will be scarred for life IS YOU DO NOT LEAVE!!!!!!!!! You do not have a Biblical marriage as you are married to someone who lied to you and God when he took those vows, so Biblically you are free to walk. If you feel worthless NOW, it only gets worse. What example does that set for your children? Your daughters will marry narcisisists and your sons may very well beome one. Get out and then your kids can see two very diametrically opposed humans, and will naturally choose you because you will love and support them and not verbally abuse them, something your husband cannot do. They are young yet, he will turn on them as well when they don’t ‘feed the God ego”. Get out!!!!! Buy the Book by Eddy “Protecting yourself when divorcing a narcissist or Borderline, read it, read it again, and FOLLOW IT. You have no idea the depths of hell he will pull you through in divorce and custody, but it STILL WILL BE BETTER FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS IN THE LONG RUN. Promise.

  • Britt March 11, 2013, 10:02 pm

    Just wondering..is your husband either a drinker or an only child? Do you live close to his family. We lived in the same town as my Narc’s parents…and she used to do his laundry for him and bring him lunches…I was so insulted!

    I am not trying to give advice where none is wanted. I know you are in pain…but I was also a child of a narcissist (father) and my therapist thinks I may have sought out what I knew..and wound up with a critical womanizer like my Dad.

    You mention you have been to marriage counseling..maybe get some on your own..I can’t believe your husband went to marriage counseling..when I suggested it mine called me pathetic..even though he was always telling me I needed professional help.

    my parents divorce did not ruin my life..but life with a narcissist did. Having a happy mom is probably pretty important to your kids.
    Please excuse if I have overstepped a boundary.

    • lisa March 14, 2013, 8:25 am

      You have not overstepped any boundaries, Britt.

      My husband is the middle child of 3. His mother also used to come over to our home (while I was at work) and do his laundry! He owns his own company and is a workaholic. From research, I have uncovered a term “corporate narcissism”… this would be him. Selfish, blames others (usually me) and is quick to insult rather than communicate.

      I appreciate your comment about your parents divorce not ruining your life. Although I dearly love my H, I am not willing to be treated in such a harsh manner anymore. I talked to him about the possibility of him being narcisstic, and he disagrees (again.. narcisstic trait!).. told me, ” I think you are narcisstic!”. I checked the traits again, questioning this statement and do not fit the bill of high narcissism. I have a great deal of empathy for others, am not selfish and definitely do not lay blame or insult. He repeated that I am the narcissist.

      Regarding marriage counselling… he did attend and seemed to enjoy going the first two times, but later said “I think things are fine now, perhaps we could stop going”. Later he uncovered that he did not want to go because it interfered with his work schedule.

  • Ann March 13, 2013, 9:51 pm

    My husband is textbook NARCISSISTIC…my email is mscarter1007@gmail.com i just left him ..i would welcome support ..get this we went to church religiously and read his bible 2 hours a day and was PURE EVIL.. I couldnt helo but feel Srry for him.

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 12:58 pm

      Would love to hear from you Ann. I am going through the same and perhaps we can exchange emails as i need support too.

  • Jackie March 14, 2013, 7:46 am

    Over the last several years, looking closer at my husbands actions, I self diagnosed him as Bi-polar, which runs in his family. However, within the last few days, I stumbled upon the traits of a narcissist. Now, to my complete surprise, I have learned who and what he really is. A Narcissist, with Bi-Polar. He is in fact, a study of one who is absent of both empathy and faith, Where love is concerned, it works on a ‘switch’. And when it is ‘off’, you certainly are made aware of it. Looking back on my marriage of almost 21 years and having been with him for 31, I have been aware at many times, that my attempts to get closer to him have always been met, with a barrier where I have been kept at arms length. There is a constant need to keep others from getting ‘close’ or within the ‘space’ that they appear to build for themselves over time. They build walls as time goes by which shuts out those who truly love them. Sadly, at 47 years old, I have realized that over these years while I was blamed, insulted, unloved and had just about everything taken away including my self-esteem ripped away on so many levels, that i have been in denial of how serious my situation has been. In fact, I feel sorry for him. He has a disorder, one which he would never admit too. For any harm he causes those he ‘loves’, he is incapable of apologizing or recognizing the hurt this disorder causes. Most of all, to our 19 year old daughter. ~Signed me, “On the edge of his world”

    • Carrie Schmeck May 11, 2013, 8:45 pm

      I’m right there with you. Left last month after 27 years (I’m 48 and smart!?). Absolutely horrified to read about my life on NPD sites. Textbook. I have no desire to go back though we are both getting individual counseling. The more I learn, the further I want to run. Even if he gets help, I’m afraid the rest of our lives would be 99% about managing him and his condition. Because you know, he’ll be the best darned Narcissist the world has ever known.

      • barb May 13, 2013, 10:00 am

        Need to just “put it out there” – my filing for divorce is full of problems with this type of guy. Lemme tell ya. He has redesigned the court order of being away from the residence during 6 am – 8pm. This was allowed so he could basically sleep, shower, eat meals then go to work. First he of course, gets laid off. He leaves maybe 7 or 730 am instead of the COURT ORDER: 6am. Hmmm…then he starts on me about every little detail and he yells “call the police.” So I do. Just complying with his demands, right?

        Then no spousal support. He cannot. He is laid off. Leaving his checkbook open so I can see the balance tells otherwise.

        I emailed my attorney and basically said give him whatever he wants, I don’t care – I want out. Showed it to my soon to be ex. These are my demands. I have informed my lawyer. The lawyer shoots an email back and said no. So I hope I have convinced my soon to be ex that it is not what I am demanding. In no way. It is what the court sees as marital to divide 50/50.

        He is holding on to a credit app he claims I signed. If I did it was with his full knowledge and again complied to a demand of his. I don’t recall signing it. He is accusing me of forgery. We have had the account for over three years. This isn’t easy. He has been lying thru the deposition, going against the provisional orders, everything he can.

        They are very good at this. But I can’t let go of the prize: getting away from him

        Luck to all. :)

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 9:12 am

      Do you feel sorry for a dog that attacks you and rips your flesh? Of one that attacks your daughter? Say the dog was ‘mad’ because he had been abused by his owner. Do you still feel sorry, or do you do the right thing and have the dog put down for the viscious attack? You feeling sorry for him comes from something in your childhood (feeling sorry for a parent trapped in co-dependency?). LOSE IT. He is an adult, and he has no freaking conscience. The Nazis had not conscience; you feel sorry for them? YOu didn’t cause his disorder, you cannot fix, God won’t because he doesn’t even have a conscience to admit his sin or need for healing, so stay away from evil. No one, no one gets ‘saved’ by your martydom, you are not Christ saving the world of its sins by letting you husband slowly crucify your self, soul, body from his disorder. Make sense? the best thing you can do for your daughter is to get her co-dependency and narcisssistic abuse recovery help, so she won’t marry good old dad.

  • Britt March 20, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Thanks Lisa,

    Just can’t shake the feeling that it was me. I’m sure the fact that he waged a “smear”
    campaign against me…however covertly…
    He kept telling me that I had better not stop by because he might have a woman there, and he said
    I’ve told you what to do..I won’t feel guilty or embarrassed if you walk in on something…however I will feel badly for you. He also said he would feel badly for me if I started seeing other men (he wanted to see other women so he could find out if I was the “one” for him.! )
    He said, I suppose it’s only fair that while I’m with other women you could see other guys, but I think you would regret it…because it would be a rebound thing..where mine is something I need to do for myself. I guess you can see other people, but I’m not that worried about I, but that’s a chance Ill have to take.
    Meanwhile moping around to all our friends saying I was forcing him into marriage and he just needed more time..They all said, he’s not seeing anyone else, you know why you broke up.
    What was I supposed to think? When we broke up he said that the details were nobody’s business but ours…but proceeded to run all over and play the victim and tell lies
    I should have left him when I found out that a few months before me he slept with his best friends girlfriend..(but I was so lonely) he had cried. All his past relationships he classified as mistakes, but when snooping I found letters from a lot of them that mentioned marriage, his professions of love, pregnancies…I knew I should never trust this guy
    How can he be holding down a marriage with children now???
    I know it’s long. Thanks for listening. After all this, I still keep thinking, am I just a jilted lover trying to assign Narc tendencies to him just so it’s not me???

  • Peter March 28, 2013, 3:31 pm

    I took folks am married to a narcissist. Just recently figured it out within the last six months. Surprisingly, I am the man and my wife is the narcissist. Very text book too…I could tell you stories make your head spin. It does help NOW knowing I am not crazy…for a long time I thought I was and blamed myself. Anyone need some help or want to help me email is twin2rich@gmail.com. Talking about it is our sanity. Thanks.

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Hi Peter

      Sorry to hear that your wife is a narc. Could you tell us what traits she exhibits?
      And what are you doing about her disorder?


  • Marlene April 6, 2013, 8:23 pm

    My best friend is married to a narcissist. She has been married for 25 years and I only realized this in the last couple of years. He had an affair for several months while my friend was having health problems and somehow has her believing that it was pretty much her fault. It has occurred to me now that he really has her controlled and I feel like I have lost her. When she was having problems, she for the first time opened up to me on all the crap he has put her through and I don’t understand why she cannot leave him. She does love him but everything I see about this relationship seems unhealthy for her. Is there a way I can shake her out of this control – or do I sit back and painfully wait until she wakes up?

    • Rebecca April 27, 2014, 9:17 am

      It probably just has to get ‘bad enough’ for her to leave; some never do, unfortuantely. You can lead her to Melanie Tonia Evans website (in Australia). Have her go through all of that. Put the ‘light bulb’ on for her to help her get out of denial, fear, obligation and guilt (all the things her husgand has driven into her psyche over the years). If she thinks being sick is reason enough for him to cheat on her, and it’s her fault….she has no self-esteem left. Get her surrounded by strong women friends and help her out. Let her know NO WOMAN deserves that, marriage is about helping each other out in times of struggle (including bad health), not abandoning.

  • Dlh April 6, 2013, 8:32 pm

    Hey Marlene. Wish I had a friend like you! I’m married one too, but can’t just pick up and go. It’s not that easy. In my case, money was pulled out of my control over the course of a decade (although I didn’t realize I until about 6 months ago). I literally don’t have a cent to my name and I’m not on the bank account. He threatens to take our kids if I try to leave him, so I stay. Because I won’t leave my children. If I can offer you any true advise though…please don’t give up on your friend. As someone in this situation- he’s managed to alienate every single friend and family member. When I say I have no one- I really mean no one. I wish I had just one friend I could call up and cry to once in a while.

    • Marlene April 6, 2013, 8:51 pm

      Hey Dlh,

      I really feel for you. I really do understand where you are at. My friend too has lost all control of any money they have. Because she has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 15 years, he has made all the money and supported them – but he considers it HIS money and she really doesn’t have any control on how it gets spent. I wish my friend was as open as you. She is pretending things are fine – like she usually does – but I know better. It is really good to hear your perspective. I hope you could find someone to talk to. Have you looked into a counselor of some sort? I got my friend to see one a few months ago, but then she didn’t want to face her problems and he did not want to pay the bills, so it did not last. If nothing else, know that you are not alone.

  • Dlh April 6, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Pleas excuse my typos- I’m on an iPhone.

  • DOROTHY April 8, 2013, 11:44 pm

    Not too familiar with communicating this way. Don’t even know if this will appear to others. Virtually computer illiterate. Just wanted to thankyou all for your comments. if this shows up, I will write more to share my own experiences. Can someone acknowledge tht they have received it? thanks, dorothy

    • Marlene April 9, 2013, 6:33 pm

      Dorothy – received your message.

  • barb April 15, 2013, 9:12 am

    It’s unreal. They are STEALTH like! For years he convinced me it was ME. I tried in vain to fix me, too. Just for him. To no avail. There would be new complaints, accusations, etc. It mattered not that the person he claimed to “love” was hurting sooo much. He didn’t even ask why, or how can he help to make it better! As if, deep down, he knew it was due to his lack of being able to feel any amount of love for another.

    Thank you. The deposition is scheduled for today. I filed in August. I don’t know where I will end up – don’t care. All I seek is freedom. My adult daughter is helping me, too. I am ready to meet the beast head on.

    Good luck to all (we were married in April, 1984. Hell on earth ever since).


    • Carrie Schmeck May 11, 2013, 8:51 pm

      Congrats Barb. You’ve surpassed me in longest running dysfunctional marriage! Kinda sick isn’t it? My biggest fear was being “just like my family”–everyone in my family is divorced. Darned if I would ever follow in their footsteps. So I just subjected myself to NPD behaviors and wondered why I couldn’t like him better (as he always demanded to know). After so many years and three kids (nearly grown), it’s tough to break the family apart. But even in just one month, I feel so much freer. I’m learning to unravel my thoughts and every day I bump into some that I realize were never mine. It’s nice to know we aren’t crazy, isn’t it? p.s. I’ve nearly weaned myself of my anti-depressants in just this first month! Think that’s a clue?

      • barb May 13, 2013, 9:50 am

        Did we just get caught up in the ordinary life – the giving up? Can’t recall when the total loss of self came to be. I do remember when things began to click and I realized the relationship I thought we had was a figment of my imagination. I made sure we LOOKED the part, too! Yes. It is sick. So much time wasted.

        I began to free myself from toxic relationships (my son, two sisters, dil) and set boundaries. They chose no contact with me and I haven’t missed them. Then on with my spouse. Began the learning process in 2009. Read everything I could. Was shocked, angry, in disbelief. How, when was I tricked into believing this person could love? What was going on in MY head?!

        Took me a couple more years to get up the courage and begin to extricate myself from his death grip on my soul.

        Good for you, Carrie! Just sent some healing courage vibes your way. Things happen for a reason. We must take our lives – and our power – back! :)

  • Sandy May 13, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Just happened upon this website and had to write; I’m married to a TRUE 100% Narcissist – yes I’ve diagnosed him myself but he has ALL the traits . . he feels he is above having to pay the consequences for his abusive actions, that I’m just supposed to deal with it because he’s special – everytime he lets loose on me in someway it’s my fault . . he boasts all the time like he’s done something spectacular when in fact he just got through another day of work like the rest of us . . his feeling of entitilement and that everyone “owes” him is enough to drive me insane . . he is a control freak, I’m surprised he lets me go to work; I recently joined Al-Anon because he is an alcoholic and he told me if I went to a coed group and not women only he’d kill me . . did he mean it? Umm your guess is as good as mine . . he rages at me over the smallest things; like if I’m watching a TV show and not paying 100% attention to him; he’s clear my life is to revolve around him . . yes I’ve started the ball rolling to get info together to try and get out and get a divorce . . I am afraid of him . . but I need $$ so it’s going to take some time . . not only does he have NPD I’d swear he’s a psociopath too. .

  • jivedancer May 20, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Thank you all. I see I am not mad, I am not alone – a clever, independent woman sucked into a miserable confined life lived for someone who gave nothing ibut just took & took.
    I am trying to divorce my husband of 17 years. I never believed in personality disorders but realised last year he fits the description of NPD perfectly. He believes he is more important than anyone else, no rules apply to him, has no regard for the truth, no capacity for empathy, he wants complete control and I am to blame for everything…. I have hidden the way he has been and now his lying and adultery are known it is a shock to friends and family. When my friends realised what I was living through and asked why I didn’t divorce him I said it would be terrible. Now I am divorcing him it’s worse than I expected – for me and my children – and even so I am happier and healthier than I have been for years because now I have hope. I have spent years secretly wishing his plane would go into the sea> Now I know the kids as well as i will be better when i am divorced – they will have a happy mother, and I see now that could never happen while I was with him.

    • barb May 20, 2013, 5:49 pm

      ” I have spent years secretly wishing his plane would go into the sea>”

      Been there done that. Only mine is being pushed, while driving, over the guard rail by a HUGE truck whose driver is asleep, into the river *he can’t swim. The driver wakes up, slams on breaks to save himself but Mr. Narco-riffic is in the drink. :*( Too bad. So sad. lol

      The pain and misery he put this family thru is unconscionable. What is even WORSE, if there can be such a thing is that he doesn’t even REALIZE it. For he can’t! He hasn’t got the cognitive awareness, to feel anyone’s pain or agony. His frontal lobe just never formed.

      I read this somewhere and sent it to myself in an email for it just explains him so very well: They don’t understand the meaning of what people say and they don’t grasp the meaning of the written word either — because so much of the meaning of anything we say depends on context and affect, narcissists (lacking empathy and thus lacking both context and affect) hear only the words.

      Good luck with your extrication. I think I am close to an end. Prayers to all.

  • ann May 28, 2013, 6:01 pm

    In looking for resources to my situation I came across your postings. I’m relieved and afraid at the same time. Relieved that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy (although I think the years of neglect have lead to depression). Afraid since I don’t know what to do and now realize things will never improve. I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming…we dated forever (he couldn’t commit); I guess I thought he would change once he was married. He changed alright, became even more distant and more self-absorbed. Consumed with his work and his self-importance. I had a career but gave it up to raise my children. My children are growing up; won’t be long and they won’t need me. I’m afraid all of my outbursts (which I now realize won’t be productive) are actually making me look insane and crazy to my children (something my husband has already accused me). We sought counseling; somehow my husband managed to turn my initiative into a complaining session that his needs weren’t being met…and the counselor sided with him!! That’s when I really started questioning my own sanity…had I lost perspective on my expectations of a husband??

    Everyone LOVES my husband. My family would side with him in the case of a divorce. Husband is an only child, and if narcissism is genetic he got it from his mom and further reinforced by both parents. Just spent the weekend with them; sickening how he can do no wrong even when he is blatantly wrong (inappropriate)…and me, well I’m nailed to the cross for blowing my nose wrong! My children see all this…I feel they look down on me as if I’m weak.

    Recently traveled on business with my husband. His boss gave him a little time off one afternoon to spend with me. First, he was two hours late in meeting me and then he proceded to be disconnected the rest of our time together. This has happened so many times in our years together…going back to our honeymoon. Now that the kids are moving on, what will I do?? I’m not willing to curl up and die. I’ve been out of the workforce for too many years; I wouldn’t be able to support myself if I left. He would do everything he could to find me an unfit parent deserving of nothing. I’m stuck…

  • barb June 22, 2013, 10:12 am

    Ann – you are lucky you at least realize it! I went over 35 years. And the shame I feel that I was so…blind? It’s unreal. Ok. The plan. GET.A.LIFE. Not meant facetiously. But get your own circle of true loving people to surround you. A part time job, full-time job, or volunteer to get connections. LIVE WITH PURPOSE. Change the attitude with the kids and be as cheerful as you can. I have found drinking camomile *who knew? has helped me remain calm while my husband is screaming at me six inches from my face – like a drill sargeant. Calling me a parasite. Twobit whore. THE BITCH and on and on. Cannot, must not react and give him what he feeds on: attention. No.

    Take a kick boxing class. You have no idea how it prepares you and makes your legs a weapon! Always smile. Be cheery. Don;t let him drag you down. Have other couples along with you or do things with the kids so you have someone to speak to on outings. Don’t fall into the trap to be alone with him. If you can. This happened to me, too. Always be around people. Start convos – about anything. Be interested in what those people are talking about. Never even mention him. ever. He will soon become vapor. Not the best relationship but you can train yourself how not TO ENGAGE with him.

    Get another therapist. One you can trust who knows the sly maneuverings of a Narcissist. Protect yourself.

    Get the kids involved with a veggie growing thing together. A little 4×4 plot somewhere and grow lettuces (they grow like crazy) that can stand the sun. Carrots. ANYTHING. Flowers for hummingbirds.

    Hum, whistle, twirl around the house. (Show them all how happy you are). Tell the kids how proud you are of them all the time. Get info on how to help them make transitions thru this time and how to recognize subterfuge. That you will support them. Always show the love.

    And smile – even tho it hurts. (I punch and scream into my pillow when I am alone. Sometimes I wail out at the kitchen table – alone. Just for release.) I do understand how difficult this is.

    You are not alone. Sending hugs. Take care. :)

  • Liz June 22, 2013, 2:58 pm

    I have been married to a narcissist for 11 years with two boys, and recently started researching this topic. The information ive gathered from your personal stories has truly opened my eyes to the situation i am in. I am the daughter of an alcoholic father and am somewhat on the co-dependent side. Early in my relationship, i saw my husband as such a wonderful man. About two years into our marriage, i became pregnant with our second son. It was then that I discovered the cheating that had taken place. Being the people pleaser that i am, I let it go and told myself he wouldn’t do it to me again. I was wrong. It is still occurring today, and with members of both sexes. My husband was always the bread winner, reassuring me that it was in everyone’s best interest for me to be a stay at home mom. This concept was hard to adjust to, as i was always independent before he came into the picture. Over the course of my marriage, we’ve had many disagreements as to financial matters. He expects me to take care of everything in the household (such as our boy’s needs, food, bills, etc), but I’ve never had access to our finances without first asking him. After years of this struggle, i surrendered and left it all up to him. That was the beginning of my internal death. He blames me for everything that has ever occurred throughout our marriage. While in the beginning i believed him, I now see through it and I know better. The problem now is that I’ve been battling severe anxiety and depression (which is also my fault). It’s to the point where I’ve just surrendered my entire self. I no longer care for my home and my family the way i once did. I just feel like I’ve died inside. I’m consumed with guilt from the way I’ve let go of everything that is so important to me, and when he reminds me of what a mess ive become, its just a thousand more knives to my heart. I know I’m not the person ive become, yet some days i sort of believe him. He portrays me as this horrible monster to everyone on the outside, but most importantly to my children. I’m so tired from all of the constant, unsettling emotions and circumstances that I’ve just given up. Every day seems to be a struggle just to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. After doing some extensive research, i believe I may be suffering from PTSD. It’s just hard to point myself in the right direction and make the right choices when i don’t even know who I am anymore. I realized that things had to change, and I brought everything to his attention a few months ago. One day he agrees with me, then the next day it’s all my fault again. He’s agreed to get help but the back and forth is killing me. Is there any hope of him seeing a therapist and actually overcoming this, or am i just caught up in wishful thinking?

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 1:14 pm

      I feel sorry for you. I can totally relate to you. I was also not given any access to my ex’s account , infact i can’t even touch his credit card without his permission. I tried to put smile on my face and let go of things. But it killed me inside. I was NOT happy in that relationship. I was never a good cook and a house wife. He always used to find faults in me and my work.
      I don’t see any point in seeing a therapist but you can always give it a try. Trust me you deserve much more than everyday trauma…if not better atleast it will not be the same as it is now.
      What is your self worth ??

  • Rhonda July 1, 2013, 3:14 am

    I was married to a narcissist for over 32 years. I just recently, post divorce 31/2 years, found out what his problem was. He has successfully turned our 6 kids against me and none of them were speaking to me for years. This past year my 2 girls have come around and 2 of my sons. I still have 2 sons that won’t let me into there lives. I have 4 grandchildren. They belong to the two sons that don’t speak to me. So consequently I am not allowed to have a relationship with my grandchildren. It is hard to deal with that sometimes. I am thankful I am no longer married to a sick, twisted, conniving liar. There are only 3 people the ex has not been successful turning against me. My brother, my mother and my friend of 45 years. Everyone else has fallen into his lies. He takes me to court every chance he gets and lies to the judge. the judge is a men’s rights activist and sides every issue with the ex. I can not get a break in that court room. He brought our kids and heir spouses to court. One hearing he had 11 family members there. He has alienated me from our 16 year old. I was a stay at home mom for 32 years. No formal education and the judge recently took away my spousal support and order supervised visits with our son. All on hearsay and no factual evidence. He is twisted and the courts are too. I could go on with countless stories that make me sound crazy. You alll know what I am talking about. Good luck to you all.

  • Lee July 29, 2013, 10:57 am

    OMG! I recently found out after 12 yrs of marriage and 14 yrs of being together, that I am married to a Narcissist. Reading about it, it’s so amazing how many categories he fits in! I have been amazed by his behaviors, his words, his nice and then mean bullying personality. What was wrong with him? where did he come from? He acted like he was entitled to so much attention, praise, respect and devotion. This all makes it so clear. Now I am starting marriage counseling (again) with a different light. How to plan to cope, and eventually get out. He is going to make things very hard for me, he will be mean and self righteous. I will need a ton of support. I feel a cloud has lifted since I now know what it’s all about. thank you for all your blogs, it sure helps.

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Hi Lee

      This is a disorder so stop thinking about it. These people are not worth a second of our lives.
      You need to secure the finances first. Narcissist will always have a back up support system. They will always have plan B in their mind while in the relationship. There is no way you can beat them. RUN AWAY and FEEL FREE!!

      He will potray you as devil. Don’t worry just keep your close friends and family members in the loop. Keep your important documents safe somewhere else…yes i am telling you from my own experience as i have nothing now and i am so devastated. At some point uou might feel (well he will make you feel) that it was all your fault. Just remind yourself of their typical traits and move on. You don’t know what life has to offer you in the future. So be positive and smile :)

  • Jennifer July 29, 2013, 1:03 pm

    I’m in a marriage with a narcissist who I had no idea was one until, like you Lee, I started reading about this, in my case instigated by behaviors by his ex-spouse that seemed so unhealthily defensive and jealous, that I looked into all of this. To my dismay, I found that my husband had these traits also, eek. He has also asked me to do tons of things for him, being newly married, I said yes, happy to be able to [try to] please him, but found immediately that he would/will not say yes to my concerns in this marriage. And while bullying the entirety of the marriage, he turns it up when I try to insist he either answer a question or do something respectful toward me. Then upon reading about how to establish intimacy, turns that against me and the times I have tried [and failed] to insist he give me respect and/or intimacy. He’s threatened divorce to me since the 3rd day, and continuously while expecting that i serve him. When I bring up divorce while he is not rantingly demanding it, he gets mean and angry, which I see as trying to scare/bully me into not leaving him. I feel like he is just crazy, as is his ex, neither of whom promote positive interaction with me and with other family members. I’m from a family, from what I’ve heard, unusual, but whom never has put down other family members, and certainly never ever harshly and cruelly. Tiny concerns voiced here or there, nothing serious, and never harshly. So I feel like I’m in space and “they” absolutely won’t let me leave, civilly. I am living in a new city, with no family or friends nearby, and really could use some friends who could understand my views and what I’m facing, bc in standard narc fashion, he is fully pleasant and goes way out of his way for any strangers and other people we both know. Totally hard to know how to proceed with any confidence! Is there a real support group that folks know about, here? Thanks so much!

    • Sam September 7, 2013, 1:50 pm

      I am amazed how each and everyone of us has a common story. I live in a third world country but i guess its just same everywhere. My marriage only lasted for 8 months and i was a husband pleaser too. Trust me, this will never stop. The only lesson i learned from my short lived marriage is to be vocal. I stay quiet to avoid arguments but it didnt work.

      If you think he is disrespecting you, make sure you say it loud and clear that ” i find your behaviour rude and disrespecful”
      If tries to micromanage you..make sure you use the word micromange to him.
      Assure him that you are aware of your self worth and you won’t accept it.
      Remind him that since you are fullfilling your responsiblities , he should fullfill his obligations.

      I am not sure if you are working or a housewife? Please make sure that you find a job as soon as possible this way you will make some new friends.
      Do volunteer work and make your own social circle. Spend more time with your friends and colleagues.
      Sneak out and go and watcg movie alone.
      Read some interesting books. Make him feel that you have your own life and it does not always revolve around him.
      When you meet some of his friends, be extra nice and friendly. Invite them over for coffee or lunch. Try to learn his behaviour and pattern specially in front of other people.
      Try to be his mind reader, before he initiates a helping hand towards an stranger you be the first one. Beware you will be entering his territory but it will baffled him.
      Admire your yourself (specially infront of him). Dress up and look your best always. Start taking extra care of yourself. Pamper yourself with massages and beauty treatment.

      The whole point is you are worth much more than all the crap. Love your self. If he doesn’t change, please get out of this as soon as you can.

  • lee July 29, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Hi Jennifer.. wow.. I am constantly amazed by the common threads of my husband and other’s spouses with the same narc behaviors. I also think my husband is Crazy.. not clinically but, crazy the way he thinks. It’s so off everyone else. He also puts down all his family, stops talking to them, blames them for everything and talks to others about the other ones. I am not like that at all. I treat my family especially with respect and tolerate for the sake of being family if I don’t agree with them or not like what they do. My husband also can be very pleasant and very warm to strangers, but belittle me and not talk to me for days when he is not pleased with me. I think if we can keep talking to each other, we’ll get through this and move on in a healthier life. Take care of yourself!

  • Carol October 24, 2013, 3:13 pm

    I have a son who unfortunately has been married to a person who fits all the criteria for someone with NPD. They have recently divorced, but she is still trying to control his life and is turning their children against him….even having one of the girls steal things from his house. He has had a horrible time finding a good lawyer who will stick up for him. Although he has documented everything….she put them in bankruptcy while they were married…the lawyers tell him that he documentation isn’t admissible and that it wouldn’t do any good????? Part of the “maintenance” agreement was that she would pay the mortgage on their house with money that he pays her for that purpose. The mortgage is in his name as her credit was so bad. However, instead of paying the mortgage she spends it totally on herself…not the kids. Thus he has to pay the mortgage twice each month in order to keep from having the house foreclosed and his credit ruined even more. The lawyers that he has found in the Denver area have not been helpful and say that he could have a contempt of court document filed which would be a simple slap on the wrist and would not force her to change. He needs help, but we don’t know where to turn. Is there any agency that he could turn to for advise and/ or help him find a lawyer that understands NPD?

  • Sarah April 27, 2014, 8:00 pm

    I have been receiving emails from this posts and really have not been reading them until today. You will see from my posts above that I married a narcissist who left for a bit. It has been over a year that he has been back. Before he came back, I was just started to scrap the crazy glue off of my brain that only made me think about him. I had been reading the info on codependency that I posted above (I still think it is an invaluable resource). When I look back in it, it’s almost like he knew I had been doing some work on myself and he came in armed with his own life-altering advice he had been following from a popular marriage counseling couple. He was saying things that he never said before, apologizing for flirting and indulging in porn. I was like, “who is this?” He even told me I was beautiful. I went from not wanting to hear his crap to almost throwing myself at him as he put on his act of wanting to take things slow. He gets me right back in the place he wants me and quite literally the nest day I am getting blamed for stuff and we’re fighting again. He abandons his marriage guru advice because there is no hope of me changing. My self-esteem plummeted, but I was invested in the delusion I had painted, remembering all those wonderful things he said that he never said before. I even insisted that we do a day trip to the beach with the kids for our 13 anniversary. I basically feigned happiness to try to create a good mood. He didn’t hold my hand or kiss me. We took a photo together and I leaned over to him. Ugh! It was exhausting. That same night, instead of having some time alone, he went into the room he spends much of his time in. We argued that night. A year later and here I am still fighting for my sanity. We have not been intimate in months. No kissing, nothing. I am actually starting to enjoy the feeling of not being used or feeling empty afterwards. I spend time with my kids and started to build new friendships that I truly value. My self-esteem is rocky and my family sometimes has to talk me through rough spots where I want to just give up and let him have his way. And of course, since he sees me using my own mind, he has started to devise ways to get me to crack. But I have not relented. This has resulted in some behavior I have never seen. He even yelled at me in front of the kids the other day asking me why I use them to get to him. When I didn’t back down and cower or apologize later, like I usually do, he turned into nice guy the next day. He even cooked dinner two nights in a row. I still keep my distance and for now he is still nice guy until he sees me doing something to threaten his ego. I just started a new job, have my own bank account and will be saving soon. I also have a very strong support system. People who will remind me I am not crazy. If you are going to stay, just accept that it will never be stable. You have to do some inside work to get rid of codependent habits and spot wear your triggers are. And learn to give yourself the love and attention you crave. Once you become strong, they will probably run the other way when they realize none of the old buttons work. Or maybe, just maybe they will take a look I’m the mirror. Either way, you have to break the vicious cycle that will eventually drive you crazy.

  • blurred February 6, 2015, 1:48 am

    Sometimes I think my wife have narcissistic behavior but then I question myself.

    What if its the other way around? Perhaps its me who is narcissist. She feels that I don’t give her enough attention, etc. So maybe I am the problem, not her? Maybe its true that I think too much about myself and need to spend more of my time for her.

    • Carrie February 6, 2015, 9:52 am

      If you are asking the question, it’s not the other way around.

  • Anonymous April 18, 2015, 10:50 am

    I recently found out (after starting to see a pattern in a few months of marriage) that my husband likely suffers from Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    I have currently been married to him for five months and (based on what I’ve discovered) plan to end this madness soon. I don’t feed into his foolishness and began praying to God to reveal his lies. How many know that God answers prayer? They have been coming out of the woodwork. Most recently, I’ve discovered that he is registered with (and paying for) an online dating site. He lies constantly (even when the “writing is on the wall”). He has a completely warped view of himself as it relates to the world.

    I found out about this disorder by Googling the things that were frustrating me immensely… Lo and behold, when I began to read about this disorder I knew this was the problem.

    I think he’s said everything he has ever had to say before and early on in our marriage. I am beyond bored with his conversation, sex life is horrible, blames everything on everyone (nothing is his fault), doesn’t have a sincere apology in him, everything he says is contrary to what’s being done, he sits in church every Sunday and doesn’t absorb anything, very vindictive and envious of others, very simplistic (childish) explanations (… “that’s not fair”), mopes when he’s done something wrong (expects sympathy), is always in our pastor’s face about something, has been married three times before me and blames everything on his exes. I have always pressed him to examine what he did to destroy the marriages, but he can’t seem to come up with anything. I have to say I did ignore some things because I didn’t think it was possible for someone to live in the world and have no sense of themselves. Now I know…

    I’m certain he’s been thrown for a loop after marrying me… He probably saw my meekness as a weakness, not knowing that it is something that God has developed in me. It is not MY way. I do have a lot of compassion for the things that he’s endured as a child, however, not enough to sacrifice the remainder of my life. I waited until I was 42 to get married and this is not for me. Anything contrary to God and his purpose is not for me… I certainly can’t lay in bed next to it.

  • crystal April 18, 2015, 10:14 pm

    I have been married to a man for 14 years and over these years he has kept me separated from his family , his work life, and his earnings, he does not talk to me about anything personal its all abut the weather , etc…. he acts as if he is married to his mother and his sister. he hides to talk to them. I have committed myself and trying to kill myself to get out. he goes and comes as he pleases. everything I do is wrong and he thinks he’s perfect and uses the lord to make me feel bad. I know the lord and I am not a hypocrite or I sure don’t try to be. he is continuously criticizing me and my son. I want out and cant get him to leave. I am scared of how this will turn out because of my mental stat of mind. do I have any rights since he does not beat or curse me?

  • Hurtsogood June 4, 2015, 9:12 pm

    Over after 39 years. Left me after loosing my job. Didn’t want to care for me in the future. It was never right. I was blind but now I can see. I was a silly educated hippie idealist who thought we were cosmically connected. My head is still spinning, lost everything except my health and full head of hair. Can’t wait to see the good that will come of this.

  • L July 19, 2015, 5:46 pm

    I have been reading and researching the last year or so about this disorder. My husband who is a pastor has this bad. So two marriages to him, 4 children, and 24 years of my life – I feel like at fool. But I keep telling myself it is not me, it is him. I am not the one with the cold stare and no compassion. I can see him and his ways in mostly every comment. I wish there was an organization that help women get out.

  • CC July 24, 2015, 12:22 pm

    I have to admit, I’m envious of those who posted here that they were able to leave or divorce their narcissist. I know how hard it must have been to take that leap and yet you did it! So amazing! I’m still in my 13-year marriage to my narcissist. Have been working hard, though, over the past 8 or 10 months to learn everything I can about NPD and stop being codependent. I’m much better now at setting boundaries and not allowing him to verbally abuse me. Couples therapy, which I insisted on, was ineffective because the therapist told him not to be hard on himself and told him he hadn’t done anything wrong! I think she was completely charmed by him, and taken in by his long-suffering husband routine. He’s a master at it. She said after our 4th session that we were doing well and just give her a call if we needed to. I was glad to be done with it because the whole thing felt like a farce. I really just want to leave at this point, but have to start saving some money because the pre-nup I foolishly agreed to 13 years before I found my voice gives him everything and me almost nothing when we divorce. Pray for me! Continuing to live with someone who is incapable of love or empathy is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. God bless everyone who is going through this in their lives!

  • Another Anonymous July 29, 2015, 1:27 am

    This is a very good article with equally great comments. It’s both interesting and sad that so many stories are identical. Some how I came across this site by doing a Google search for “to show empathy feels like I’m being selfish. I can listen to others express their feelings and can internally acknowledge them, but I feel if I reply with “I” understand how you feel, I’d be shifting things to make it about me. I do have the ability to express empathy by writing. I’ve always had issues expressing my feelings too, which I am working on. After reading the criteria for NPD, I realize one of the main items is “lack of empathy”.

    I guess I’m trying to ask … Might I have NPD?

    Here are my responses to the remaining DSM-5 Criteria:

    - Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

    I do not feel I am better than anyone and I do not talk about other’s personalities negatively. I’m actually pretty humble.

    - Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

    I do not expect to receive praise without putting in hard work.

    - Exaggerating your achievements and talents

    I’m actually pretty humble and feel embarrassed if I try to over-inflate myself on a resume.

    - Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

    I do not have constant thoughts of being at the top of my field or organization at work. I comfortable where I am at the moment

    - Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people

    I do not feel I am anymore special than my peers or strive to look for relationships at levels above me.

    - Requiring constant admiration

    I think I have a pretty good self-esteem and can recognize when I go something good and not seek validation for others.

    - Having a sense of entitlement

    I don’t expect anything from anyone.

    - Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations

    See above.

    - Taking advantage of others to get what you want

    I am honest and courteous to others and don’t expect anything in return

    - Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

    As I mentioned above, I can recognize, but have difficulty validating other’s feelings.

    - Being envious of others and believing others envy you

    I don’t have thoughts of being someone other than myself.

    - Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    Like I said above I am pretty humble. I even try to use discounts/coupons when available.

    I know a diagnosis can only come from a licensed medical professional, which I have recently started to search for a psychologist. But I still have concerns. I am currently experiencing marital issues, which has prompted me to have a closer look at myself too. I’ll share my current situation in a follow up post.



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