Seeing The Signs Before It’s Too Late
Anyone in love with their spouse will tell you that the feelings they have for that special someone sometimes blinds them from seeing their faults. Failing to see the signs of a spouse’s narcissistic personality, however, can lead to an unhappy marriage, an unhealthy relationship, and mental and emotional health problems. Here are some signs to look for when determining whether or not your spouse is a narcissist.
An Overly Inflated View of Self
One of the key signs of narcissism is an overly inflated sense of self-importance and a persistent sense of entitlement. Narcissists believe they are the center of the world and will act as such. This sign could manifest itself in behaviors such as dominating the conversation (narcissists are great at talking, but poor at listening) and embellishment of story details to magnify their own self-worth. The life of a narcissist is often “grandiose but brittle.” Desperate to keep up appearances with their embellishments, a narcissist may lash out when something chips away at their desired image.
Narcissists rely on other people to affirm how “great” they are. They will often rely on validation from others by overtly fishing for compliments or using a backhanded compliment or self-deprecating comments in order to goad others into telling them how great they actually are. A narcissist will say or do whatever is necessary to feed their ego.
Manipulative of You and Others
A narcissist is concerned with their own interests and only their own interests - make no mistake, to a narcissist, other people are only tools to feed them validation. A narcissist will often resort to using other people in order to gratify their own self-interests. You might notice a narcissist starting to try to impress you or please you only to be followed up by a request or demand that they want you to give in to.
You could also pick up on phrases that signal you are being gaslighted, such as “I never said anything like that!” or “No one will love you as I do.” These phrases are intended to manipulate you into ignoring their behavior and to get you to stay with them. Additionally, if you were to press a narcissist on their manipulation, you will often see an escalation in their behavior from the gaslighting tactics of “that didn’t happen” to “you deserved it.”
A Lack of Empathy
A narcissist is incapable of understanding what you are feeling and, often, does not want to bother trying. They often cannot feel similar emotions to what you may have because their sole concern is how they are feeling. This lack of empathy can cause you to feel alone and unable to control anything in your life.
When You See the Signs, Run
One of the smartest things you can do to deal with your narcissistic spouse is to escape from them. While it may be difficult to do, it can only lead you to a better place of happiness. Your first step should be to contact a Massachusetts divorce attorney to guide you through the process and inform you on how to handle your spouse throughout the proceeding.
At O'Connor Family Law, we’ve been there before. We know how difficult your situation can be, which is why we want to help you turn the page in your life. Call our office at (774) 214-2137 or visit us online to schedule a consultation with our family law attorneys.