How to cope with a narcissistic wife

Written by remy lo
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While dealing with occasional bouts of self-centeredness from your wife can be difficult, this doesn't compare to dealing with the everyday behaviour of a narcissistic wife. Narcissistic people actively blame others for their problems and seek ways to make themselves the number one priority. If you're in a committed relationship with a narcissistic wife, learning to deal with her self-absorbed behaviour can seem overwhelming. Find ways to build your self-esteem, while learning to cope with her negative behaviours.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Learn how the narcissistic personality disorder affects behaviour. Although many jokes exist about living with a narcissist, the reality of living with a sufferer isn't so funny. Knowing what to expect can better prepare you for life with a self-absorbed, manipulative partner. Joining a support group can help you learn from the true stories of loved ones, coping with narcissistic family members. Try accompanying her to counselling sessions to form a tight bond with her mental health professional (if she even admits to having a problem).

  2. 2

    Safeguard your potentially damaging personal information. Although it may seem harsh to keep these details hidden from your wife, letting her know them just gives her more ways to manipulate you. Understand that nothing is sacred to a narcissist, when it stands in her way of achieving total dominance over situations and people. She'll even use painful secrets that you revealed to her in confidence to get her way during arguments.

  3. 3

    Respond to her attacks with firmness and patience. Avoid urges to fight back, as doing so feeds into her tactics. This is because narcissists thrive on twisting situations to make themselves into the victims. Break down your emotions to the simplest terms before addressing them to your wife. This will stop accusations that you're bombarding her with problems, or that you're using overly complicated language to confuse her.

  4. 4

    Build your self-confidence in private. Recognise that depending on your narcissistic wife to help you improve is futile. This is because she may be threatened by your attempts at self-improvement. She may even belittle your efforts, or think of ways to sabotage them altogether. Acknowledge your positive attributes and your personal accomplishments. Seek out new experiences, while overcoming old hurts and fears. Work towards completing attainable goals that keep you focused on consistent progress and victory.

  5. 5

    Find ways to defuse your frustration. Suitable activities include expressing your feelings to trusted friends, attending religious services or exercising. Relieving negative stress is especially important, as your narcissistic wife will readily turn your problems into her own. She may even blame you for making up problems in an attempt to put her down. Taking time to develop a personally rewarding hobby can give you time to breathe. It can also help you remain open to new experiences.

Tips and warnings

  • Support your wife if she decides to attend therapy for her disorder. Therapy will consist of teaching behavioural modification techniques.
  • Avoid staying in an abusive relationship. Although all narcissists don't resort to violence, some will if they think it will help their cause.

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