Is your spouse in love with him or herself? In Greek Mythology, Narcissus was a hunter renowned for his beauty. He scorned his family members and finally found himself so in love with his reflection, he couldn’t turn away from it. Relationship coaches and psychologists will tell you narcissism is a personality disorder that causes people to behave in ways that distress those who are in relationships with them. Sometimes counseling can help. Other times divorcing a narcissist is the only way to save your self-esteem. Here are some of the signs your spouse might be a narcissist.
They Monopolize the Conversation
When the two of you talk alone, the narcissist talks on for as long as you will listen. If he or she pauses for your input, what they really want is your brief agreement so they can go on with their monologue. You repeatedly find yourself opening your mouth to contribute, but the narcissist keeps on talking. You rarely feel heard and feel like your spouse views you as just a set of ears, not a whole person.
When you are in a group, the narcissist is charming and engaging. People love to listen and he or she loves to talk. In the beginning, it seems like a natural arrangement, since most narcissists are good storytellers and intelligent conversationalists. If you try to contribute, he or she minimalizes what you say or talks over you. If other people talk, the narcissist interrupts and brings the conversation back to him or herself. As long as the audience stays tuned in, the narcissist is happy but if attention shifts elsewhere, he or she quickly becomes impatient.
They Intentionally Break Rules
Narcissists get a thrill from speeding, not showing up at appointments, taking office supplies and acting against social norms. If you draw a line, he or she will rush to place their big toe just past it and look at you to see if you’re really going to challenge them. They seem to feel entitled to special treatment, like the rules don’t really apply.
They Ignore Boundaries
When they’re young, they go home with their friends’ clothes or valuables without asking. If asked, they say they were borrowing them and make it into a joke. They call in the middle of the night then express surprise at the time when they wake you. In marriage, they show little regard for the possessions you value and think nothing of intruding on private conversations. They break promises and don’t seem to see what is wrong with the heartbreak they caused.
Narcissists work situations to get what they want. They don’t have empathy when others are hurting, but they expect to be the center of attention when something goes wrong. They pretend to be concerned, interested or affectionate when it suits them.
So, if you find your self asking “Am I married to a narcissist?” a life coach can help you explore your options. When your partner is a narcissist, it’s normal to struggle with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and frustration. Seek out a professional who can help you sort through your feelings and evaluate ways to protect your own mental health.