4 ways a narcissistic partner may manipulate you

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Invisible Abuse

Narcissists have an insatiable desire to control, which is often draining and damaging for their partners. While this condition is not officially classified as a mental illness, narcissists end up abusing those close to them, leading to long-term emotional and psychological harm.

There are different ways a narcissistic partner may manipulate you, each tactic carefully crafted to maintain their power and superiority. They include, but are not limited to, the following.


Your narcissistic partner may use triangulation to create a sense of competition or insecurity within the relationship. They may bring in a third party, such as an ex-partner, friend or family member, either directly or indirectly, to manipulate your emotions and keep you off balance. By comparing you to others or seeking validation from outside sources, they can undermine your self-esteem and foster dependency on them for approval.


Another way your narcissistic partner will try to undermine your perception of reality is through gaslighting. They may invalidate your feelings, experiences or memories, making you feel confused, anxious, or even paranoid. Over time, gaslighting can erode your self-confidence and make you more reliant on the narcissist for validation and guidance.


Narcissists may refuse to take responsibility for their actions and instead project their flaws onto you. By making you the target of their frustrations and failures, they not only avoid accountability but also maintain their self-image as faultless and superior. This leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed and confused, further reinforcing the narcissist’s control over you.

Passive aggression

Instead of openly expressing their anger or displeasure, they may resort to subtle or indirect methods of aggression, such as giving silent treatment, withholding affection or communication or using sarcasm and backhanded compliments. This behavior can be confusing and hurtful, as it creates an atmosphere of tension and unease while allowing the narcissist to maintain a façade of innocence.

If you are facing abuse from your partner and are considering legal recourse, it is important to seek legal guidance. At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

Let Me Be Your Brave

Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner