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Signs Your Spouse is a Narcissist

People that are married to a narcissist can go through feelings of isolation, confusion and often guilt. It is normal for them to question themselves, wondering if their feelings are valid. This may be because the person who they love, the person who once made them feel like they were loved and cherished, no longer makes them feel this way.

 

If you are considering divorce because your partner is exhibiting narcissistic traits, you should consider speaking to a family law attorney that understands how difficult it can be. Divorces involving a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often high conflict, full of manipulation tactics and gaslighting. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to spot these tactics and will be able to guide you through the process.

 

Here at Youngblood Law, PLLC, our attorneys have helped numerous clients to divorce their manipulative spouses. There are certain behaviors and patterns that are common in narcissistic people, and there are ways to deal with this behavior.

 

When it comes to your divorce, the decisions and orders that are decided during the divorce process will have long-lasting effects on your life and the lives of your children, if you have any. This means it is extremely important that you do not let your spouse dictate them.

Contact us today for an initial consultation at 817-369-3970.

What is Narcissism?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a recognized personality disorder. Personality disorders are a mental health condition, and those suffering from this disorder will usually exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Egotistical behavior and an inflated sense of their own worth and importance
  • A lack of any apathy or empathy towards others
  • The need for other people’s constant approval
  • Insecurity and a lack of self-esteem
  • Inability to take any form of criticism
  • A long list of troubled relationships

Recognized Traits of Sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There are a number of traits that are used to diagnose NPD, and while the only person qualified to make this diagnosis is a mental health professional, these are the most common behavioral traits.

Egotistical Behavior

A narcissistic person will have an over-inflated view of their own ability, intellect, and prowess. They will often live under the belief they are better than everyone and that no one else is as smart or funny.

They Utilize Manipulation to Get What They Want

A narcissistic partner will manipulate their partner and will usually be very skilled at doing so. They may use tactics such as gaslighting, where they make you question your own memories by telling you your version of events was wrong, especially if they involve their bad behavior.

 

Often, they will find partners that are very empathetic, knowing they can use subtle hints and threats to get their own way. They may make you feel like you have done something wrong without saying that you have done anything.

 

After a long period of this manipulation, you may find yourself going along with what they want all of the time, out of fear of what they will do or think if you disagree. This can be extremely damaging, and if it goes on long enough, you may not even realize you are being wired to do what they want.

Lack of Connection

Narcissists struggle with empathy and emotional connection. You may have been fooled by their grand gestures and charm at the beginning of the relationship, which may have been a tactic to win you over. Now you have evolved into a more serious relationship, you may find there is a serious lack of connection.

 

They may push for the relationship to move forward quickly, but show no real signs of wanting to understand your needs and desires for the future.

 

They will spend a lot of their time talking about their dreams, their desires, and bragging about themselves. They will likely be motivated by money and power, but their ability to form a romantic, loving connection will be limited.

Blames You For Everything

When things go wrong in a narcissist’s life, they will always lay the blame on someone else, usually their partner. This means they will rarely apologize, simply because they don’t respect you enough to be worth it.

 

Even if you were not involved in the decision at all, they will still blame you. If they lose their job at work, they may blame you for distracting them, for example.

They Gaslight You

Gaslighting is one of the manipulation tactics that narcissistic partners often use. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and can cause serious mental damage.

 

Essentially, gaslighting is when a person makes you question your own memories. If you bring up something they have said or done to you, and they deny it, telling you you are remembering it incorrectly, or that it didn’t happen, this is gaslighting. Often, they will get extremely angry and act shocked that you think they did something.

 

They may even tell lies about your behavior to others so that they appear right.

When this happens, you may begin to believe them, questioning your own memories and feeling guilty for accusing them.

They are Highly Critical of You

If your partner regularly makes nasty comments about your behavior or your looks, this is a sign of an insecure, narcissistic partner. They may make you feel less attractive because deep down, they are insecure and jealous.

 

They will also be highly critical of others, even those they consider friends or their own family, and may make fun of those less fortunate.

They Can’t Handle Criticism

Due to their extremely high opinion of themselves, they will likely lash out whenever anyone criticizes them. They will also twist your words. If you make a comment about them being defensive or moody, they may make it out that you are attacking them. Because a narcissist needs people to believe he or she is perfect, they may not always react inappropriately to criticism in public, but in private they often project their anger onto you.  Behind closed doors the narcissist can be as cruel to you as he or she deems necessary without being perceived as petty or irrational by others.  

They Ignore Your Needs

A narcissist’s world revolves around them, and that means they will likely neglect your needs. They might not do any chores around the house, and if you have children, they may have a favorite and reward them more than your other children.

They Make You Feel Like You Are Not Good Enough

A selfish person often has serious insecurities, and a narcissistic spouse will often make you and other family members feel like you are not good enough. They will always consider their own needs above all else.

 

When you start to question their behavior, they may turn it around and tell you that you have no right because you are not perfect, either.

They Give You The Silent Treatment

Silent treatment is a manipulation tactic that works really well against caring, empathetic people. They know the longer they are silent, the more it will eat you up inside, and they relish in this control.

You Try To Avoid Saying Things That May Spark an Argument

You may have simply given up trying to communicate with your partner because they blow off everything. When they try to argue, you may not engage, but they know exactly how to push your buttons so that you get angry, and then they play the victim.

They Appear to be Effortlessly Charming

Narcissists are often extremely charming, which means people are drawn to them and like them. Behind closed doors, they are usually insecure and critical, however. They know how to say or act to get others to do what they want, but they never respect others, and everything is done for personal gain.

They Break Promises

In order to appease you when you finally get angry at them, they will often make promises they have no intention of keeping. If you tell them you are considering leaving them, they will change instantly, telling you they are sorry and they promise to change.

Your Family and Friends Have Warned You

Family and friends often have the uncanny ability to see straight through a narcissistic husband or wife. They may have warned you before, and you may have fallen out with them and defended your spouses’ behavior.

They Make You Feel Unloved

At the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel as though you have found true love. They will lavish you with attention, compliments, and gifts. They will make you feel like the most important person in their life, and make you feel special and cherished. They will make you feel like everything you do is right and that you are perfect, and you will be convinced that you have found the perfect partner.

 

However, as the relationship progresses, the narcissist’s true colors will begin to show. They will become increasingly critical and controlling and will be less likely to show appreciation and affection. They will be selfish and manipulative in order to get their own way and may even become verbally or physically abusive. You may find yourself feeling alone and unworthy and can ultimately feel desperate and drained.

They Take Advantage of You Financially

A narcissist in a relationship will take advantage of you financially in a variety of ways. They may start by using your finances to fund their own needs and wants. They may pressure you into buying them expensive items such as jewelry and clothing, or they may take out loans in your name and leave you to pay them off.

 

They may also manipulate you into taking out loans to finance their lifestyle and leave you with the debt. The narcissist may also use financial control as a way to manipulate you. They may refuse to allow you access to your bank accounts, or they may restrict your spending in order to make you dependent on them.

 

They may also use your finances to determine how much time you can spend with them, or they may use money as a way to control your behavior. The narcissist may also use your finances to make themselves look good. They may use your money to buy them luxury items, such as cars and houses, and then take credit for providing them. They may also use your money to purchase gifts for their friends and family so that they can show off their wealth and power.

 

Finally, the narcissist may use your finances to punish you. They may threaten to take away your financial resources if you don’t comply with their wishes, or they may use your money as a way to make you feel guilty for standing up for yourself.

Divorcing a Narcissistic Person

When it comes to divorcing narcissists, it can be difficult, and while mental disorders need to be considered, their abusive behavior, self-centered attitude and impossible demands are not acceptable. In a healthy relationship, each partner treats the other with respect and cares about their emotional well-being and you don’t have to accept anything less.

 

Due to their manipulation and unpredictable behavior, divorcing a narcissistic partner can be costly and difficult, as there will likely be a lot of court involvement.

 

We highly recommend that you seek legal representation if you are considering leaving your partner. We can help protect you from their manipulation and ensure they do not bully you into a divorce agreement they have full control over.

 

Here is some advice for those considering divorcing a narcissistic spouse.

Create Distance Between You and Your Spouse

Your divorce attorney instantly places distance between you and your spouse. This barrier can protect you from being manipulated, and as your attorney will have dealt with narcissists before, they will be able to step in when they see signs of their tactics.

Create a Plan

The road ahead may be difficult, and you need to create a plan that protects you as much as possible. You should consider a place to stay, especially if you are uncertain of your partners’ reaction.

Focus on What’s Important

One of the crucial roles your attorney will play is to ensure that your negotiations and discussions are focused on important issues and do not fall apart and become unproductive.

Your attorney will ensure you keep on topic and help you work through agreements such as child custody, child support, property division, or any other important issues in your divorce.

Separating From a Narcissist is Hard

Divorcing a narcissist is hard but important if you are in an abusive relationship because it is the only way to escape the cycle of abuse. Narcissists are manipulative and controlling and have a need to be in control of their victims, making it difficult to break away from them.

 

They will use guilt trips and manipulation to keep their victims in the relationship, often making them feel like they are the ones that are wrong and need to change. In addition, divorcing a narcissist can be a long and painful process due to their refusal to accept responsibility for their actions and their need to blame others for their problems.

 

It can take time to untangle yourself from their web of lies, manipulation, and abuse, making it difficult to move forward. However, it is important to divorce a narcissist if you are in an abusive relationship because it is the only way to break the cycle of abuse.

 

It is the only way to protect yourself from further emotional and psychological damage, and it is necessary in order to regain your sense of self-worth and self-confidence. By understanding the difficulty of divorcing a narcissist, it is important to remember that it is possible to take back control of your life and move forward in a healthier, more fulfilling way. It takes strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship, but it is the only way to ensure that you are safe and that you can live a life free from further harm.

 

Pro Tip: File the Divorce first on your own terms

Narcissists believe they are justified in whatever they say or do to others.  So when a narcissist files for divorce, it is common for them to allege abuse, adultery, or family violence against you to get the upper hand in the divorce proceedings.  When it is time to file for divorce against a narcissist, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer to plan the safest way to start the case, considering your physical safety as well as the safest strategy for the divorce case.  

How to Know if I Married a Narcissist, FAQ

A narcissistic husband will have a lot of the traits we have discussed above, but there are certain traits that are more common in men than in females who suffer from NPD.

Males with NPD are often characterized by a strong sense of self-confidence and self-assurance. They often come across as charming and have a talent for attracting people to them. Male narcissists typically strive to accumulate wealth and are competitive with other males, perceiving them as rivals. Furthermore, male narcissists may be unfaithful in relationships and may fail to show adequate respect for any children, often prioritizing their own needs over theirs.

Female narcissists often focus heavily on their physical appearance and may use it as a tool to attract or manipulate people. They tend to compare themselves to other women and view themselves as superior. They may also be unapologetic when it comes to spending money. Additionally, they may view their children as an extension of themselves and take credit for their successes. Additionally, they may attempt to dominate other women.

Unfortunately, although the couple may seem and feel happy, usually this is due to the narcissist’s manipulation. When the other partner does not know they are being manipulated, or they have suffered for a long period with the manipulation, they can truly begin to feel like they are happy, when deep down they are not.

Eventually, in most cases, these relationships will involve a lot of conflict and will leave you feeling isolated and with extremely low self-esteem.

Contact Youngblood Law, PLLC

If your partner refuses to change, you may need to consider divorcing them for your own mental health. Narcissists tend to get worse over time, and their manipulation and abuse will likely get more serious.

 

Being exposed to this kind of abuse for a long period of time can have drastic and negative effects on your mental health. Coming out of a relationship like this may require counseling and a strong support network, one we can offer here at Youngblood Law.

 

We understand how narcissists work, and we can protect you from their reactions, and abuse and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. We will make sure the court knows about their behavior, and if they are abusive, we will make sure you are safe.

Contact us today for your consultation at 817-369-3970.

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