How to live with a narcissistic husband

Written by amanda bennett
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If your husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) seek assistance from a mental health professional. NPD is when a person has such an inflated sense of self that it leads him to feel and behave ways that limit his ability to function in relationships and in other areas of life, like work or school. It is theoretically possible to negotiate a relationship with a narcissistic individual, but it requires each party to commit to the special needs of such a relationship. It is unlikely someone with NPD would recognise a need to adjust the relationship due to his perceived perfection. Additionally, it is important that the non-NPD party is aware of the risks, proceeds with caution, and seeks assistance.

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Things you need

  • Strong, realistic sense of self
  • Non-narcissistic friends and family
  • Professional assistance from a social worker, counsellor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or similar

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    How to Live With a Narcissistic Husband

  1. 1

    Create a support system outside of the household. This can be friends and/or a mental health professional. It is important to remain connected with people who will provide you with accurate perceptions of you and your actions.

  2. 2

    Maintain contact with the outside world. If you become isolated it is easier to begin accepting his perceptions of you. Additionally, spending time with people who encourage you to feel good about yourself or doing activities that lead you to feel capable will help counteract the negative input you receive at home.

  3. 3

    Maintain your self-esteem. A narcissistic husband often will put you down so he can feel better. Due to the nature of a marital relationship, and the close and regular proximity, you may not notice your self-esteem breaking down. Members of your support system can assist you, but only if they know what is going on.

  4. 4

    Establish personal boundaries and communicate them to your narcissistic husband. It is important to be consistent in defending these boundaries because if you do not always enforce your limits and personal preferences, he will exploit that fact. If you give in just once, it could lead him to disregard all of your preferences.

  5. 5

    Keep an eye out for danger. It is not standard for a narcissistic husband to be violent, but he is already in an abusive pattern via insults and disrespect, so it can happen. He could be building toward violence if his behaviour begins to escalate. If you maintain healthy relationships with the outside world and/or regularly see a mental health professional, you will notice if he suddenly becomes more possessive and controlling, his verbal abuse increases, his criticism intensifies, he requires control of all finances or if he isolates you from family and friends.

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