As you look back, you are surprised you dismissed the signs. You also aren’t sure how long you can go on living with a narcissist. It’s not just he or she is ruining your marriage. It might seem as though your whole life is falling apart. Unfortunately, your visions of the future are more than bleak.
Just about everybody has heard about narcissistic behavior. Admittedly, some people are pocket psychologists who throw around the term haphazardly. It’s like calling someone bipolar just because they have an occasional mood swing.
That said, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (“NPD”) is a very real diagnosis. According to an overview provided by the Mayo Clinic, it is a “mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.”
Although it might not be any consolation to you in you’re on the receiving end, narcissists really don’t think they’re as great as they want others to believe. In fact, they have self-esteem issues that wreak havoc in almost every day of their lives. If you’re married to a narcissist, you can easily relate. There’s no doubt that you may also consider divorce before things get even worse.
Narcissists as Marriage Partners
Couples wed for a variety of reasons. However, for the most part, there is the concept of selecting a life partner. Like everyone else, you may be taken in by a narcissist’s charm. Unfortunately, that may be the initial part of the problem.
First, there’s the misconception that only men suffer from NPD. While some research indicates that narcissism is more prevalent in males, females may also demonstrate narcissistic traits. Whether you’re the husband or the wife of someone with this type of personality disorder, you may find your life to be a living hell.
Take Elizabeth for example. When she first met Rocco, she was immediately impressed by his sense of confidence. Others might think of it as cockiness and hinted that he was a bit of a bad boy. However, Elizabeth couldn’t help but notice that Rocco treated her differently – or so she thought.
Rocco chased after Elizabeth and seduced her with words and thoughtful gifts. It wasn’t long before Elizabeth was hooked and excited. After all, she was certain that Rocco was her soulmate. Although Elizabeth considers sex a very private matter, she admits that their encounters were incredible. At least that was true when the couple was dating.
The Truth Reveals Itself
Marriage seemed to change everything. Rocco had absolutely no interest in intimacy and even rebuked his wife. Elizabeth wondered if there was someone else. Although she never really did find out, there’s a good chance that Rocco was cheating on Elizabeth.
That was just one of the issues. Rocco was about Rocco. He had no interest in any plans Elizabeth wanted to make for the two of them. Rocco set his own schedule and didn’t necessarily include Elizabeth. He would start big fights if Elizabeth attempted to challenge him. Essentially, it was all about him.
Elizabeth really wanted the marriage to work. She attempted to engage Rocco in conversations about her daily life – their marriage – their future. However, Rocco let Elizabeth know he had no interest. Unless they talked about Rocco’s greatness, the couple’s communication was stilted at best.
More and more, Elizabeth realized that she dreaded waking up in the morning. The couple bickered continually. Sadly, Rocco made Elizabeth feel inferior. All of their problems were her fault. Day after day, Rocco made Elizabeth feel like she could do nothing right. For whatever reason, it seemed that putting Elizabeth down made Rocco feel superior.
It all came to a head when Elizabeth and Rocco had children. Elizabeth witnessed Rocco’s controlling nature with the children. She insisted that they go for marriage counseling. Elizabeth wanted to scream when she saw Rocco charm the therapist. She felt invalidated and demeaned.
Elizabeth’s story is somewhat typical of a spouse married to someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Ultimately, she could not take it anymore and decided to separate from Rocco. She was surprised when Rocco begged her to stay with him.
At first, Elizabeth fell for it – and realized her husband could not take the rejection. Once again, it was all about Rocco. He was not empathetic in the least. Rocco placed the blame for the failure of their marriage entirely on Elizabeth. Ultimately, Elizabeth decided to go on with her life and filed for divorce.
It’s been a few years since Elizabeth and Rocco split up. Elizabeth has regained her self-esteem and nurtures their children. When Elizabeth is ready to start dating, she plans to steer clear of anyone with similar traits.
Are you concerned that you may be married to a narcissist and thinking of divorce? The Law Offices of Sam Stoia can provide you with experienced legal advice. There is no charge for our initial one-hour consultation. Contact us to schedule an appointment.