Spotting a narcissist can be challenging because they often possess certain traits and behaviors that can be subtle. Narcissists are often superficially charming, which means they intentionally put their “best face forward” when first engaging with others. Their real personality only shows over time. For this reason, many people unknowingly marry narcissists.
Narcissism is a toxic personality trait that can hurt marriages and leave spouses feeling emotionally battered, but how do you know if your spouse is a narcissist? Here are some signs:
1. They never really hear you.
Marriage is about communication. You and your spouse should be able to talk about your days, issues within the relationship and make plans for the future together.
You may feel like your spouse never hears you when you talk. Maybe your spouse never does anything you enjoy, but you’re always doing what they want — and they seem “checked out” when you try discussing the problem. This could be a sign that your spouse is self-centered and emotionally distant.
2. They gaslight you.
Does your spouse always deny the truth? Do you ever question your thoughts or reality? You could be a victim of gaslighting. Gaslighting is a manipulative tool that narcissists use to control others. It is a situation in which one person tries to make another person doubt their own perceptions, memories, or sanity.
3. They never think you do enough.
Does your spouse constantly expect you to do more for them? Does your spouse make you feel inadequate? Your spouse may purposefully undermine you with negative comments. This can lead to isolation and depression, especially if you internalize what they’re saying.
4. They cheated on you.
Your spouse may have had intimate relations with someone else during your marriage. Many narcissists will dismiss their actions or come up with an excuse for them. After your spouse cheated on you, they may attempt to make you feel as if you were the cause of the cheating. This is simply not true.
5. They financially abuse you.
A big sign that you’re married to a narcissist is that you’re struggling with your finances. Narcissists often place their wants ahead of the family’s needs. You may feel guilty spending money on the things you need, while they feel free to spend on hobbies, their appearance and more.
If your marriage is struggling and you suspect that your spouse is a narcissist, divorce may be the only viable option for your future. Learning more about your legal options can help you decide what to do next. At Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation by calling 646-665-3903 or contact us online today.
Let Me Be Your Brave
Mia Poppe, Esq.