Being in a narcissistic relationship is hardly ideal. While your partner is the center of attention at all times, you probably feel like your needs could use a little dusting off.
A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition of the mind where one person has an inflated sense of self, a constant need for attention, and lacks empathy for others. They may also be incredibly charming, manipulative, and toxic when it comes to being in a relationship.
Don’t let someone’s inflated ego ruin your chance at happiness. How to recognize if you are in a relationship with a narcissist?
These are 6 warning signs that you are in a narcissistic relationship and ways how you can fix things.
They need constant praise and attention
Narcissists have delusions of grandeur, so it isn’t surprising that one of the most common signs of narcissistic personality disorders is the need for praise from their partners.
A narcissist wants their spouse to acknowledge their talents, appearance, intelligence, and achievements on an almost constant basis.
All partners love when their spouse makes them feel special. However, such needy behavior of a narcissistic person can be detrimental to a relationship in many ways.
The charm turns on and off
One thing about narcissists is that they know how to charm their partners. Because of their excessive need to be liked and adored, they will know exactly how to come off as put-together, likable, and endearing. Such behavior will, of course, inflate their ego.
But once the honeymoon period is over, a narcissist will reveal their true colors. Some examples include sulking when you disagree with them, getting angry over the smallest things, and seemingly losing any interest in pretending to care about what you are thinking or feeling.
Demeaning toward others
Is there anything more distasteful than someone treating others as their lesser?
Because a narcissist views themselves as superior to others, they will often demean people around them. They will obsess over the negative parts of others’ personalities, lives, and backgrounds. They judge others relentlessly.
Not only is this damaging to your mental health, but this can also be embarrassing when introducing your spouse to your friends or family. It can also be challenging when dealing with people who work in the service industry, such as at restaurants or hotels.
Any family psychologist will tell you that developing empathy and compassion for your partner is essential for a healthy relationship.
Empathy means that you feel for your partner. It means you have a fellow-feeling for those around you or at the very least, for those closest to you.
Unfortunately, a lack of empathy is incredibly common in narcissistic personalities. It is what allows them to disconnect from you emotionally and be cruel without thinking twice.
There is no compromise
Whether they’re trying to make their spouse stay in the relationship or are convincing them that they are on the wrong side of an argument, narcissists know how to manipulate.
Instead of coming together to communicate about how you are feeling or resolve any issues you’re having, a narcissist will overreact at even the slightest sign of your disagreeing with them.
You feel bad about yourself
Relationships should make you feel good, not worthless. Gaslighting, or manipulating a partner to the point that they question their own judgment or sanity, is a common practice of toxic abusers. It can leave you feeling like you don’t even know who you are anymore.
While in a relationship with a narcissistic person, you may:
- Feel like everything you do is wrong
- Find yourself apologizing all the time
- Constantly question yourself
- Feel anxious and nervous around your spouse
- Frequently apologize/make excuses for your spouse’s behavior
- Become isolated from friends and family
- Feel like you’re walking on eggshells
What to do when you’re dating a narcissist
Being part of a healthy relationship means that both partners are 100 percent willing to share their lives, thoughts, and time together. This is what creates a long-lasting, strong marriage.
If you have been dating a narcissistic personality for some time now, you are likely growing tired of the lack of give-and-take in your relationship. If that is the case, there are steps you can take for moving forward:
Make a decision to end your relationship
After months or years of dealing with manipulation and ego-trips, odds are your close friends and family would not blame you for throwing in the towel.
Typical narcissistic behavior is that if you try and end the relationship, they will either try and manipulate you into staying or turn on the charm in the hopes of winning back your favor.
Don’t buy it.
You deserve better than to be with someone who isn’t actually interested in being a part of your life.
If you live together, start withdrawing emotionally, little by little.
It’s also wise to start putting away a nest-egg of cash for when you do leave. You may also consider seeking the support of a lawyer, a trusted friend or family member. You may also need law enforcement when you finally leave to help prevent any violent outbursts.
If your spouse’s narcissistic behavior has turned dangerous to your mental or physical health, it’s time to call it quits. Once your partner has been abusive, it is likely that they will repeat the same behavior if you decide to cross them.
Even if you don’t but they feel threatened by you, they will not flinch before engaging in abusive behavior. There is no turning back from abuse. If you have been subjected to narcissistic abuse, you must gather help and resources to get out of the relationship.
You are the best judge of your relationship.
Exercise discretion to know if there is a hope for things to change for better or is your partner a looming threat to your well being.
However, keep in mind that narcissistic personality disorder is something that can be acquired during the growing ages. It isn’t easy to get rid off and sometimes, it’s completely impossible.
Even if you see some hope of resurrecting your relationship, exercise caution. Narcissists excel in the art of pretention and they can easily fool you into believing they can change. But that’s hardly possible, ever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachael Pace is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today’s evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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