6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Wife and 6 Ways to Deal With Her (2023)

The Perils of Having a Narcissistic Wife

Revised 3/2/21

6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Wife and 6 Ways to Deal With Her (1)Therapists are only supposed to engage in self-disclosure if it serves the treatment plan for the client. I see no reason to have a different standard for this blog.

With that in mind, I’d like to disclose that in my first marriage, I had a severely narcissistic wife…and I was no prize either, I was a profoundly passive-aggressive husband.

Not that I was the less toxic of the two of us. Not by a long shot.

We married young, and I was only 19 when our son was born. It was a turbulent 23 years that I’d rather not revisit… thank you very much.

However, this morning one of our readers wrote me to point out that up until now I had successfully avoided any mention of the Narcissistic Wife, and she specifically asked me to correct that injustice.

I’ve discussed narcissism at length in many previous posts. But I have too often written about the topic as if having a narcissistic personality was part and parcel of possessing a penis (just flexing my capacity for alliteration) …but I digress.

The Hopeless Bind of the Narcissistic Wife

6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Wife and 6 Ways to Deal With Her (2)

The Narcissistic Wife is perpetually seeking to prop up her self-esteem.

Some thought-leaders see narcissism as a perpetual crisis of relational insecurity. This may surprise you because the Narcissistic Wife appears to be supremely self-confident.

But as the swan glides serenely across the surface of the pond, no one sees the furious paddling which occurs underneath.

The problem is that for the Narcissistic Wife, this furious paddling is the essential purpose of their lives.

It’s even more important than her kids…and it’s certainly more important than you.

When the Narcissistic Wife experiences a crisis in her self-esteem, her toolbox only contains two mindsets:

  • She can get depressed and slide into shame.
  • Or she can devalue others by seeing herself as better, special, wiser. Or even more grandiloquently, she can tell herself and you that SHE is a magnificent creature, unique, gifted, and tragically misunderstood by all the fools she has to suffer…especially you.

As couples therapist Terry Real points out, grandiosity becomes the go-to strategy because it feels soooo much better than the alternative.

What the Narcissistic Wife Lacks

  • The Narcissistic Wife lacks what we therapists call Whole Object Relations.Most marital problems can be traced back to family-of-origin issues, and the Narcissistic Wife is no exception. In healthy or Whole Object Relations, we take the good and the not so good in our intimate relationships. if you grew up feeling loved and accepted by your parents just as you are, faults and all, you’re not likely to become a Narcissistic Wife in adulthood.
  • The Narcissistic Wife, because of her attendant grandiosity, also lacks empathy. One of the great pains of having a Narcissistic Wife is that she will constantly step on your feelings. Sometimes it will be intentional, and sometimes you will just be collateral damage as she seeks to prop up her fragile self-esteem.

6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Wife

  • The Narcissistic WifeCraves Drama.

You have trauma from all her drama. She will seek out pre-existing drama and insert herself into it. If she fails to find drama, she will manufacture it. She will seek, always, to be the center of gravity in an ongoing conflict. For the Narcissistic Wife, conflict is her emotional comfort food.

  • She is Uncompromising and Unyielding.6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Wife and 6 Ways to Deal With Her (3)

It’s her way or the highway. The Narcissistic Wife also has no capacity for reflection or self-evaluation. The words “I was wrong,” or I’m sorry” will never fall from her lips.

  • Her Rage is Epic.

You will learn to never challenge her, or thwart her in her machinations. She will train you to not set limits or dare to discuss an alternate point of view.

  • Her Capacity to Care for Others Stops at the First Crack in Her Fragile Self-Image.

Because of her empathy deficit, over time, her intimate relationships become increasingly shallow and sparse as the reflecting pond she glided so effortlessly on… dries up over time.

  • She May Resort to Compulsive Spending or Serial Infidelities in Her Scramble to Compensate.

When she is found out in her financial or sexual infidelities, the Narcissistic Wife is impossible to confront in couples therapy…especially while her marriage and other intimate relationships are collapsing around her.

  • She Lies and Gaslights You over Issues Both Large and Small

Gaslighting Narcissismis the ultimate control strategy. To“gaslight”someone is to cause them to lose confidence in their own perceptions. Gaslighting is intentionally making someone doubt their experience or perception of reality.

Couples Therapy Probably Won’t Help

Narcissistic Wives often fare poorly in couples therapy, because by then… it’s often too late.

Forensic psychologist William B. Nash, Ph.D., is in private practice in Essex Junction, Vermont. Dr. Nash reports that he has yet to meet a client with “pure” Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In his observation, clients may display both narcissistic and borderline characteristics, what he calls “crossover” traits.

He has also found that treating this type of disorder is extremely difficult… a truly “Herculean task.”

Couples Therapy is not appropriate for extremely narcissistic wives.

Individual therapy is your first, best option. The paradox is since you’re the obvious problem...what’s the point of her entering therapy?

6 Ways to Engage Your Narcissistic Wife

You’ll need these 6 best practices…because dealing with your Narcissistic Wife in couples therapy is a risky, unpredictable, and typically unsuccessful option for you.

She comesby her behavior honestly, as we all do. Because of acute family-of-origin deficits, some spouses need to develop over time in a relationship with a partner. She will too…if you give her some helpful feedback.

Hopeful Spouse Counseling might be the exact therapeutic support that you will need to keep yourself on track. One of the pitfalls of having a Narcissistic Wife is the temptation to respond to her with passive aggression. This may be a hard habit to break, and you’ll need support to keep your side of the street tidy.

  • Face the Truth.You have a Narcissistic Wife. She has an empathy deficit, and soothing her brittle sense of self is, at least for now, more important than being in a loving, intimate relationship with you.
  • Establish Firm Boundaries. You’ll have to go eyeball to eyeball with her. She will rage. You will model emotional regulation. She will sputter and fume all over the place. You will be clear and direct. Her behavior must change. Period.
  • Interrupt Her Patterns and Challenge Her Perceptions. She won’t change unless you do. You’ll have to risk being firm in your boundaries and set clear expectations about what you want and need instead.
  • Confront Her with Clarity, Courage,and Consistency.Be clear about what you expect. Be direct about the behaviors you will no longer tolerate. Encourage her to go into individual counseling. There are effective counseling protocols such as DBT that may help her with her emotional regulation issues.
  • Expect Resistance.You’ll be driving in a driving windstorm of fierce resistance. Always Keep Your Hands on the Wheel. Expect to have your boundaries perpetually tested. Look for support in your family system. Find leverage points.
  • Grey Rock Method. What does the Grey Rock Method mean? Grey rocking is a powerful technique for dealing with a narcissistic ex-wife. As I mentioned earlier, your narcissistic ex thrives on drama. Be as emotionally dull and disconnected as a grey rock. The more boring and dull you appear, the less likely you’ll be subject to her efforts toward manipulation and control.

The Importance of the Gray Rock Method

  • Gray Rock Method is best used in situations where contact is unavoidable, such as co-parenting after divorce. Keep your conversation dull and non-confrontational….and never disclose that grey-rocking is your strategy. If she discovers that you’re trying to deliberately make yourself appear boring, she will probably ratchet-up her efforts to get a rise out of you.
  • Narcissists thrive on conflict, chaos, and confrontation. If she confronts you, maintain a detached stance. Mumble. Use grunts like I dunno, eh?, uh-huh, and hmmmmm.Avoid eye contact as much as possible.
  • Avoid direct answers. If an answer is unavoidable, keep it brief, unbiased, and feeling-free. Your emotions can be probed for vulnerability, so avoid displaying them to her. As much as possible, don’t volunteer any information about what you care about. Because gray rocks don’t talk, they’re not a source of narcissistic supply.
  • Notice what happens next. Direct your focus to something else other than your narcissistic wife. Expect hostile words designed to pierce your disconnection. Remain distracted, disengaged, and disconnected…but watchful and vigilant.
  • Be brief and boring. Regular conversations about co-parenting are obviously, unavoidable. Keep your conversations as brief and impersonal as possible. Email and texting provide more control for you. Stick strictly with the topic at hand. If you’re discussing a co-parenting schedule, for example, try to confine your limit your conversation to pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Dress down..look like the loser she believes you to be.Understand that she believes you’re doomed without her. Look disheveled and poorly groomed. Think strategically…and look unappealing.
  • Gray Rock Method comes from the power of understanding exactly who, and what you’re dealing with. Be uninterested…and uninteresting. Expect her to rage…bait you…and escalate. She wants you to display emotion. Be prepared. She will attempt to trigger you. Don’t take the bait.

A friend of mine made a smart move during his divorce from his narcissistic wife. Although the lawyers had worked out a settlement, he asked a friend of his to endorse a check to his soon-to-be ex-wife as a “loan” to him to cover the upfront cash she was expecting from the settlement agreement.

He knew that if he came up with the money promptly, she would drag out the settlement. He knew that she would be delighted that he had to ask his bestie for a loan…so he let her believe that.

Learn More about Gray Rock Method

I love therapists who probe deeply into important topics.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks, CA. She’s also a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, where she was named Outstanding Professor in 2012 and was a visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg.

Dr. Ramani was also the national recipient of the American Association of University Women Emerging Scholar Award.

(Video) 6 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Mother

Her work is direct, honest, and she doesn’t mince words. Dr. Ramani has put together an outstanding youtube channel on dealing with narcissists and other personality disorders.

Here is her impressive video on the grey rock technique:

Gray Rocking Invites Your Narcissistic Wife to Seek Drama Elsewhere

Once you’re divorced, your narcissistic wife is someone else’s problem. Outside of unavoidable conversations about your kids, she should be treated like a stranger.

However, there’s a downside to Gray Rock Method. if you’re not careful, it could sap vitality out of other relationships. Remember that gray-rocking is an act, a stance, a way of being grounded in self-protection.

Other relationships in your life deserve more from you. Don’t let your gray-rocking expand into other relationships that might be occasionally conflictual, but reliably safe.

How do I know if my Gray-Rocking is over the top?

  • People you care about tell you that they’re concerned about how disconnected and disengaged you seem.
  • You abbreviate conversation about issues that matter to you with people you trust.
  • You feel increasingly uncomfortable in your gray-rocking efforts.
  • You feel as if you’re losing your identity or self-awareness. If you struggle with implementing Gray Rock Method, see a therapist who can help you establish healthier boundaries.

A Narcissistic Wife may eventually see the wisdom in learning how to calm down when you set firm and non-negotiable limits, and enter therapy for her Narcissistic Personality Disorder…but it’s not likely.

However, while couples therapy is NOT the first place to seek help, Hopeful Spouse Counseling justmight be.

Do You Need Hopeful Spouse Counseling to Recover from Your Wife’s Narcissism?

Ready for a change in your relationship?

It starts with a no-obligation 15 minute phone call with our client services team.

Daniel Dashnaw

Daniel is a Marriage and Family Therapist and the blog editor. He currently works with couples online and in person. He uses EFT, Gottman Method, Solution-focused and Developmental Models in his approaches. Daniel specializes in working with neurodiverse couples, couples that are recovering from an affair, and couples struggling with conflict avoidant and passive aggressive behavior patterns.

Leave a Reply

(Video) 6 Ways To Spot A Female Narcissist!
  1. Doc, wow spot on to what I've been dealing with for 26 years. Although there are a few things that my wife is not , such as a liar, she checks off almost all the other boxes of being a Narcissistic Wife. Without knowing what I've been doing, I have been Grey Rocking for the past few weeks and her intentions of making me feel like I'm worthless and the only problem in our relationship has amped up. I fear it may be to late to salvage our relationship. I would love to schedule some time to talk to you and help me formulate a game plan to either salvage our marriage or how to opt out with minimal emotional suffering on both sides. I'm 61, time is ticking for me. I want to enjoy life and be happy from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. My wife is 52 and wakes up seeking confrontation from anyone in her path. Thank you for your time.

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  2. I wish that descriptions of narcissists would STOP saying that we will NEVER hear the words "I'm sorry" from them. They will SAY IT – they just wont MEAN it. But any kindness or contrition is PERFORMATIVE. For a while, this one thing kept me from realizing my situation. Narcissists will SAY ANYTHING in the "love bombing" and "hoovering" stage – to keep you on the hook.

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  3. I read story after story here and I could write my own. I can’t dismiss something however. When I read things like “a good Christian woman” or “a perfect wife” I get a sick feeling in my stomach. FFS because your wife moves on from your paradigm of what in your mind constitutes a “good wife” that doesn’t make her a narcissist!
    It actually might be pointing out that you (or me)
    Are an oppressive asshole. Be careful who you are calling a narcissist. Be curious about male oppression.

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  4. I’ve been married 30 years. Wife is a mental health professional with 2 masters degrees. She has diagnosed me with NPD, PAPD, Avoidant PD,
    And I’m pretty sure I have ADHD. She is very intelligent. I am no saint but I’m still here and have had no affairs. In hindsight I did things in our early relationship that were mean and I think it was like a narcissistic wound to her. I’m pretty passive aggressive. My dad was very emotionally abusive since day 1. Wife has 3 siblings all with personality disorders. My wife has beaten me 3-4 times over the 30 years. Like a 20 minute wrestling match where I restrain her from punching and kicking me repeatedly. Never talked about. Punched me in the face twice. A few years ago she was very outspoken about wanting to leave me and hooked up with an old boyfriend and said she didn’t have sex with him but gave him a blowjob because she didn’t want to have intercourse. No sure I believe that except for the fact that the old BF is a big rich extroverted narcissist. Who knows. Don’t care. She threatens to leave me frequently. Actually says the only reason she doesn’t is that she is waiting for something better then she will be gone. Today another ultimatum that if I don’t start being more positive, appreciative, caring, reflect back what she is saying, etc then “we are done”. Last night after 2 martini's she insisted that I tell another person at the table what a covert narcissistic abusive oppressive male I am and stop this cycle of abuse. We’ll I didn’t say the right words and she stormed off in the rain because I humiliated her again. Which I have done countless times. I am so fucking confused, battered, and have absolutely zip self confidence-now I have to once again convince her that I understand how abusive I am and what I am going to do to change and be more relational. I don’t know how much longer I can lie to myself. I’m 65 I have zero retirement. She has contributed little in the way of finances but is counting of inheriting a large sum of money when her parents die both are in their 90s.
    Wish me well.

    Reply

    1. I do wish you well. And you’re not dead yet. Read your own post and realize you still have a life ahead of you. If you are being abused in your marriage, as it sounds to me like you are, get help to decide what to do. She’s not the one who’s going to change. The ball is in your court. Time to step up and protect yourself. –Dr. K

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  5. My wife and I have been in couples therapy for approximately 5 years with different therapists/psychiatrist w/out success. Only one understood the difficulty in our relationship. My wife wouldn’t attend sessions after awhile. I have studied many of Dr. Durvasula’s videos and now have a better understanding of my wife’s behavior (Covert NPD) as well as my own. My wife is a text book Covert Narcissist with progressive onset of dementia raised by a Covert Narcissist mother with dementia. She also has 2 sisters who exhibit the same behavior w/out All three have strained relationships with their spouses. I am seeking individual assistance toward recovery including dissolving the marriage.

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  6. Epic rage, check. Lack of empathy, fragile self image, gas lighting, won't go to counseling, etc. Check.
    I'm with you on the diagnosis, esp. family of origin, and the remedies (setting boundaries and pattern changing.)
    A Herculean task, yes I can see that, lol. Thank you so much for this article.
    But grey rock hit me as an unexpected turn toward being passive aggressive.
    I'm going to try prayer and more love instead.
    Love is patient, love is kind, love does not count old offenses. That kind of love.
    I'm off to help save my marriage. Wish me luck!

    Reply

  7. I think your advice is well founded. I lived with a narcissistic wife. Problem is, it sounds like you have never been an enabler. To compound my problem, my mother was a narcissist. My wife passed her affliction on to my daughter. My cousin Peter was the male version. He was the only one whom I put down. I wrote a book about it, somewhat therapeutic. Please feel bad for me about losing my daughter. We haven't spoken in ten years and I'm suicidal about it.

    Reply

    1. Hi John. First, let me assure you that I enabled penny. I wasn’t a therapist during that early marriage.
      I understand that it can feel overwhelming to deal with close relatives with personality disorders. I’ve been there and done that too.

      But I can’t ignore that you mentioned you feel suicidal. if these feelings are intrusive, please take these feelings seriously enough to seek help at a local emergency room.

      Otherwise, John, I encourage you to seek out a trusted friend, or a therapist if need be, to discuss your family concerns. Please take care of yourself, John, and Best of luck.

      Reply

  8. I have been living this HELL for over 20 years of a 24 year marriage. She is like a Jekyll/Hyde personality today, and sadly, couple all of this with many years of drug addictions/abuses (opioids and others) I had never known prior and tried dealing to throughout the marriage as they became entrenched later in our marriage and would start back up over periods of time. I am at my wits end. Our ONLY son (21 yrs old) recently moved out, my small business is suffering greatly, and she has caused so much financial calamities over time I repeatedly try to fix or clean up but no longer can from her behaviors; especially ongoing Facebook and Other social Media groups she has been involved in for some time… Recently some of her Facebook group friends have attacked me in texts and online forums to others as if I am the "bad person" all in her defense…??? Once a supposed beautiful devout Christian woman, today I find she's engaged in tarot cards, astrology, crystals, Hemp/Marijuana research and vaping of D8 products, herb enhancement mixtures, witchery/sorcery products, etc… She's got online accounts everywhere and also various Bitcoin, cashApp, Paypal and other type accounts she has been making/moving monies through for quite some time all unbeknownst to me until recent massive blow up and findings occurred here in our home.

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  9. The more I understand my wife’s narcissism and apply grey rock, the less conflict arises, but there always seems to be something new I don’t anticipate, so it is a constantly effort of vigilant anticipation and avoidance to keep the peace. While it gains me peace most of the time, it certainly leaves me wanting more out of our relationship than having an occasionally annoying roommate. Short of divorcing, how do I find fulfillment outside of the relationship without jeapardizing it?

    Reply

    (Video) 6 Ways to Deal With a Narcissistic Boss
    1. This really isn’t a question for a blog comment. It’s one to be taken up with either a close friend or a trusted therapist. You’ve taken on a massive task and only someone who knows you can help you to navigate it. Best of luck in it.

      Dr. K

      Reply

  10. I’m at the point in my relationship where I don’t know if I am a narcissist/was a narcissist before the relationship or if I am becoming one. My girlfriend keeps calling me a narcaccisst and I don’t deny I have some of the traits.

    My relationship:

    I can’t make any decisions.
    I listen to how her day was but never get to say how mine was.
    She gets angry at me for having a bad day.
    She is always complaining even if I do what she has asked.
    If I do what she asked it’s done the wrong way.
    It’s her way or no way.

    This is just a small bit of one of our conversations:

    ME: You have worked Saturdays when she is there?
    HER No I haven’t
    HER: I might have helped one Saturday
    ME: (Her Name) you have said countless times to me that you work the weekend you dont have the boys now all of a sudden you don’t?
    HER: Don’t talk rubbish.
    HER: I work late on Friday when I don’t have the boys. I very seldom work a weekend
    HER:I think you’re going mad ?
    ME: The weekend you don’t have the boys
    ME: Rubbish

    Am I a narcaccisst? Is she a narcaccisst? I don’t know anymore.

    Reply

  11. My ex wife suffers from BPD/BPD bipolar disorder/borderline personality disorder, the latter brings out narcissistic behavior when she’s in a manic phase. My experience is very similar to all the prior post including the author of this website/forum.
    My ex would never take responsibility for her terrible behavior which including yelling, false blaming, gaslighting which included labeling innocent people with her same diagnosis. She tried for years to attack myself self esteem by belittling any and all goals to a point to where I stopped sharing goals and certain thoughts and ideas. Her gaslighting techniques were childish but very practiced and skilled like an olympic archer hitting a target from 100 yards. She would often say to me, “I’m jealous of you because you don’t suffer from bi polar, you don’t suffer from depression”. I always expressed humility when she was depressed and tried to make her life easy as possible when she slept most of the day, fired from job, wouldn’t seek another job, wouldn’t do simple chores, wouldn’t bathe. The gaslighting or protection tactics was pretty much the last straw. Whenever coming out of a long state of depression, she would go into a manic phase almost overnight. She would go from feeling introspective and somber to lashing out at those close to her and I was the closest human, “whipping post”. First, was the few months of trying to convince me that I was a mean person. She had displayed anger, spontaneous outburst of rage towards me and other family members. When she realized this wasn’t working, she moved on to trying to convince me that I was a narcissist, the very same behavior she displayed when manic.
    Often, the next day she would apologize for her behavior, then feel guilt, then turn that very same guilt on me through anger for her feeling guilty. Towards the end of our marriage, she began telling people that she was in an abusive relationship, as if I was doing the abuse. She would go to 3 support groups telling of this same abusive relationship message, yet refusing to admit that she was doing the abusing. She would gain their sympathy, valid the lie into a false sense of truth. In one of the support groups, several of the women began catching on to the lie when she began flirting with men within the group. These women also caught onto the aspects of her mental illness. She stopped going to the support group when confronted by these other women. Theres so much more I can say, but separation and divorce has many positives when it comes to separating yourself from a narcissistic gaslighter. If your a man (or woman) in a relationship w a gaslighter, or narcissist, or some bipolars especially those who don’t have the right meds or refuse to stay on the meds, etc the best I can tell you is….run! Run as fast as you can. Save yourself.

    Reply

    1. My wife of 24 years supposedly has been diagnoses with similar PTSD and Other issues from her past, and is on Adderall right now along with some other things. But literally hundreds of doctor visits, therapists, psychiatrists, detox center even over the years all seem to be in vane. She has had bad behaviors today tied by and through Facebook sadly, and to confront or question her, sees massive denial and anger come out blaming me or some other reason for what I fine.

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  12. I have been seeking out help to help me cope with strategies involving my narcissistic wife because we have 3 children together and I’m getting no help whatsoever on how to escape this or navigate these waters. We are meeting with a counsellor and she is in my face “pushing” me back into the storm no matter how hard I try to escape. My requests from my wife are being met with stony silence and then she tries to proceed as though I didn’t say anything at all. I fear I might lose my mind here.

    I’m writing because I can’t help but notice there appears to be a sexist double standard. I’m not looking for confirmation bias, but I can’t help but notice that if it is a narcissistic husband…a woman is told it is okay to run. To escape. To go find your happiness. BUT, if the male is the victim–they are told, well just deal with it. This is the wife you chose. Learn to live with being unhappy. Adjust your expectations. Don’t let her abuse affect you. This is challenging because I already am questioning my sanity with no support.

    Why is this so?
    Abuse is abuse is abuse.

    Reply

    1. So sorry you’re going though this, my physician is married to a narc and I do not know why he stays, I think it’ll kill him, she denigrates him to anyone who will listen. I had to cut her off, so much victimhood and looking for narcissistic supply. Poor him. If I were you I’d get a place of your own, do not tell her and get a good divorce lawyer. Then go into therapy yourself. There are many videos not on youtube about narcs, Dr Phil just did a series. They are born of the devil. My mother was a narc and so are two of my three siblings, I won’t be in the room with any of them. Take care.

      Reply

  13. It’s even more important than her kids,

    >75% statistics.
    Staring you in the face.
    Lack of empathy.
    Crossover traits
    Desire for power incorrectly observed as Feeling of powerless
    Power weaponized allowed by the pysch community because of cultural bias.
    Emotional dysregulation
    Bouts of anger/rage of any level in a relationship dismissed or diminished as ” frustrated little woman”

    Wreaking havoc and leaving tsunami waves in the souls and psyches of their children to replay the same songs of their parents, cut into the records of their childhood.

    Reply

  14. How is it possible that you didnt realize what’s going on – you are a psychotherapist after all and have been trained to find and understand such patterns of behavior? Or were you aware all the time that she’s a narcissist and you just tried to live with that?
    I’m facing the same problem, after many years of marriage i have realized my wife is probably a narcissist and her behavior comes from that. She probably had a post-partum depression after our last child was born, and instead of getting depressed she went into permanent mad rage about everything related to me – my life, my family, my past, my behavior. Started attacking me, accusing of things that happened or didnt happen, making up stories and exxagerating every single mistake. Criticizing me all the time. Just hell. Then she turned against members of my family and started attacking them too. I’ve seen her transform from a person into some form of evil monster who didnt care about anyone, our kids included. At that point i realized it’s something about her, not something about me, have seen a therapist to discuss whats going on and also read a lot bout narcissists. And i think she’s a narcissist, but have stayed below the radar for years and only got triggered by the birth of our kid – then she went off the rails. Now she’s calmed down a bit but still will not take a responsibility for anything she did, no apology, no explanation, just keeps repeating that she was so horribly harmed by me and my family (but in fact there’s just some minor things like someone declining an invitation, or changing their plans last minute, or saying a wrong kind of compliment… ). I hoped that it will be possible to resolve things but it appears it’s not. She’s trying hard to make me believe her stories so she doesnt have to admit anything, and gets aggressive when i touch any of this. Tried to get her to go to some marriage therapy – no way. She’s perfect, so why therapy?
    All in all, rational me thinks that it will be necessary to finish this somehow, but i feel really lost here – divorce would mean a big loss for me and destruction of everything that constitutes my life. So i’m terribly scared of what might come out of it. It doesnt help that i have some problems myself coming from childhood, somehow i was raised as a very self-conscious, self-criticizing kid who was and still is afraid to respect myself and stand for myself in conflict situations. This is probably why i haven’t yet jumped out from this ship. I’m trying to grow some balls now, very slowly, but i’m trying to set boundaries and believe myself, not letting my wife tell me what i just saw and what i should think. But it’s really slow – two steps forward, one step back. And my naivety, sometimes i forget about everything that i saw and still believe her when she shows me respect or trust. However, it doesnt last long..until next disagreement exactly. So i think the way forward is thru fixing myself – do you agree? If so, what would work and how to get there – can you share something that worked for you?
    And BTW, I’m sorry that you had to go thru this for so many years, good thing is that now you use that experience to help others.

    (Video) 10 Signs of a Wife with Narcissistic Traits

    Reply

    1. I divorced her in 1996…years before I went back to school to get a degree in marriage and family therapy. I can’t advise you on a way forward, but I wish you the best.

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    2. Hey buddy, If I didn’t know any better I’d swear that we are married to the same woman. I’m in the same boat as you. I’m at my wits end.

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      1. Me too… exacty the same for me. Therapy didnt work, im very self critical, she is very accustomed to lying and almost demanding that I believe her.

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  15. I think it is best to completely get away from a person who has NPD, whenever possible. The chances of having an actual future with a person with that disorder are not very high. Life is too short to spend hoping for a person with little to no self-awareness to suddenly start being introspective.

    Reply

    1. I truly believe this, I have been married for over thirteen years but I have been with my wife all together for 20 hard long years. In the beginning she started out like the perfect woman but slowly started changing, she could turn off her love, feelings in an instant. One minute she could be this loving caring person and next this cold hearted woman distancing herself like you wasn’t there, and lie. I found out on at least two of her jobs she never mentioned that she was married, how I found out, she started coming home late all a sudden she started coming home late nights, her hours kept changing she never would answer her phone, her excuse was that cellphone’s wasn’t allowed, but she didn’t give me the number to neither Jobs. So I called her job and asked can I speak to my wife, their reply was I never knew she was married, I heard another woman laughing in the background, when I questioned her on this she replied back what’s wrong with that, they don’t need to know if I’m married, she kept a lock on her cellphone, always on silent and turned face down on vibrate. When she get a call she either let ring or go in the bathroom, outside or call the person back when I wasn’t around, calls all times of the night, one night her kept vibrating lying in bed so I grabbed the and she almost broke my hand to get the phone away from me. Found out that she was seeing another man behind my back a few months after my baby brother was murdered, her excuse was that I wasn’t giving her any attention, after that found out my mother had aggressive cancer she showed little concern. And so long discovered she was seeing another guy, her story this time was I was the blame, again she had every excuse why she wasn’t or didn’t answer her cellphone, she either forgot to bring from home for almost two weeks, the other reason, she couldn’t get reception/service where she was at for example one of her brothers house but she would never give me the address her excuse she didn’t know but that’s where you’re at, during the time, the last excuse she was too busy or she never received my call or text, but she would call me back a day or two after she got back from where she was at. The last time she was pregnant she would go to the doctor but never wanted me to go with her, and the sad part the way I found out, I went to the hospital with her for a check up, the ask her if she knew she was pregnant, her reply no but the look in her face said differently, I don’t know this woman has lied to my face repeatedly without blinking an eye I’m just tired of going through this, deep down in my heart I believe she has slept with these men because she shows no or has no sex drive for me, I need to just get out of this marriage because she shows no change you reason or compromise with her, she’s always playing the victim, she never take the blame or even say sorry or it’s my fault, the only time she ever have is when I threaten to leave, she promised to change and work on the marriage for awhile she did but it went back to the same and got worse.

      Reply

      1. I can relate so well to you it’s real and the lack of everything you need I don’t think is going to be there when you need it if you figure anything out let me know I would love to understand more how to cope and feel involved or not. The things you say are identical to my situation and I really don’t want to push her out of my life ,but I’m not sure if there is another way to do it and be happy enough for myself. I say pray pray pray GOD does do miracles.

        Reply

        1. So how I got my wife straighten out is kinda of crazy she was so crazy when I cough her cheating she said he rapped her but come on the day before we were fighting about you going to the gym together the day I found out was bad but she was late on her period so I got a clone of a son out of the deal I guess

          But how we fixed it Dom/Sub she my sub now and life has been amazing better then ever I’m more in love with her now 18years later then I ever was I didn’t think that was possible

          Hopefully this helps someone

          Reply

FAQs

How does a narcissist wife behave? ›

The narcissist punishes the spouse with abuse or neglect. The abuse can be physical (hitting), emotional (guilt-tripping), financial (withholding funds), sexual (coercion), spiritual (used God to justify), verbal (intimidating), or mental (Gaslighting). Or they will withhold love, attention, support, and communication.

How do female narcissists behave in a relationship? ›

A female narcissist disregards boundaries.

She often creates love triangles and loves the drama of the conflict and the excessive male attention. You may ask her to respect your feelings, time, money, or material things, but she will find a way to thwart your boundaries and make you feel bad about setting them.

What is it like living with a narcissist wife? ›

The Narcissistic Wife, because of her attendant grandiosity, also lacks empathy. One of the great pains of having a Narcissistic Wife is that she will constantly step on your feelings. Sometimes it will be intentional, and sometimes you will just be collateral damage as she seeks to prop up her fragile self-esteem.

What is a toxic wife? ›

Some of the signs of a toxic person include: Toxic individuals constantly belittle their partner, for example, by making fun of them in front of others or dismissing their ideas, thoughts, and desires as stupid or silly. Another common trait frequently seen in toxic marriages is anger.

How do I talk to my narcissistic wife? ›

How to Communicate With a Narcissist
  1. Don't respond out of emotions. ...
  2. Paraphrasing what's being expressed. ...
  3. Use the PCC method: praise, confront, and compliment. ...
  4. Keep conversations short. ...
  5. Keep a neutral stand; Do not disagree or agree. ...
  6. Communicating with a narcissistic relationship partner.
12 Nov 2021

How do you turn a narcissist table? ›

Let's say you know you have a tough conversation coming with your narcissist. Before the conversation even starts, simply say, “Now I know you are going to react hard to this, but I need to tell you…..” Then tell them. Their own burning desire to prove you wrong will keep their reaction in check.

What is a toxic wife? ›

Some of the signs of a toxic person include: Toxic individuals constantly belittle their partner, for example, by making fun of them in front of others or dismissing their ideas, thoughts, and desires as stupid or silly. Another common trait frequently seen in toxic marriages is anger.

What are the traits of a narcissist woman? ›

12 Traits Of A Narcissistic Woman
  • She refuses to accept interpersonal boundaries. Save. ...
  • She takes pleasure in your pain. ...
  • She tries to ruin your other relationships. ...
  • She talks only about herself. ...
  • She plays the victim card. ...
  • She blames you for her mistakes. ...
  • She cannot tolerate slights. ...
  • She has no regard for your feelings.
14 Sept 2022

What are the 12 signs of narcissism? ›

12 signs of narcissism
  • Superiority and entitlement. The world of the narcissist is all about good-bad, superior-inferior, and right-wrong. ...
  • Exaggerated need for attention and validation. ...
  • Lack of responsibility—blaming and deflecting. ...
  • Lack of boundaries. ...
  • Lack of empathy. ...
  • Emotional reasoning. ...
  • Splitting. ...
  • Fear.
24 Nov 2018

How do you know a narcissist is cheating? ›

You can also tell a narcissist is cheating if their phone is constantly ringing, they frequently cancel plans on you, and you catch them lying often and for no reason — these are all narcissist cheating signs and patterns.

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3. 6 Ways to Recognize Emotional Manipulation in Toxic Relationships: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Hacks
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