20 Signs That You Are Dating/Married to a Narcissist
Many of us have made the mistake of dating and/or marrying a narcissist. We found ourselves giving more than what was being reciprocated in the relationship. We thought that if we could just do more, be better, look better, and/or accommodate the needs of the narcissistic partner more efficiently then we could win them over and that he/she would somehow change. Unfortunately, it was like trying to make your bed while the Titanic was sinking. Regardless of what you tried to do, the ship was going down.
If you are currently in a relationship with a narcissist, you may be asking yourself the following questions:
Why can’t he/she love me?
What am I doing wrong?
What do I need to change in order to receive love?
Am I good enough?
Being with a narcissistic partner will chip away at your sense of self-worth and will leave you depleted emotionally. The only way to know how to keep this from happening is through educating yourself to prevent future entrapments with these types of people. If you are dating someone who is a narcissist, you may want to reconsider your stake in this relationship so that you will not subject yourself to years of misery should a marriage take place. For those who have already taken the plunge into marrying a narcissist and you do not know how to deal with this person, there may be some things that you can do to establish boundaries but as we know, narcissists do not like boundaries. Therefore, this may present itself to be more of a challenge when actually married to these types of individuals.
Let’s look at 20 signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissist so that you can either flee to the hills or set boundaries to keep the Narc from running you over completely. Here we go!
SIGNS OF DATING/MARRIED TO A NARC
1.) Lack of commitment to the relationship. The narcissist wants you to be totally committed in the relationship without the commitment being reciprocated. This is why victims of narcs are often cheated on and lied to because the narc wants the benefits of the relationship without the investment that is required on his/her end. One person is normally the giver and the other is always the taker. In order for there to be a thriving relationship, it takes two people, but in these types of situations, each person is typically flying solo. Relationships take work on BOTH sides.
2.) Attempts to isolate you from friends and/or family. One major red flag that a relationship is headed for trouble is when the narc tries to isolate you from those who love, respect and appreciate you. This goes against who they are as an individual. Therefore, if they see that you have a good support system, narcs consider it as a major threat. They may not start out at the beginning as being this way, but as the relationship progresses, you will notice that the narc has a problem with everyone you love. You may hear settle complaints about this one and that one until there is no one left to isolate you from. Their insecurity is disguised under the umbrella of concern and love. The narc will tell you that they are looking out for your best interest when it is only his/her own interest in which they feel compelled to protect.
3.) Belittles your accomplishments. Narcissists love to be the center of attention. They crave it as an addict craves crack. Therefore, when you accomplish something in life such as a job promotion, obtaining a hard-earned degree, or some other long-awaited success, the narc will seek to have you suppress your feelings of pleasure with regards to your achievement. Narcissists will also take credit for what you have accomplished. They may say, “Well, I told him/her to go to school,” but you were the one who went to class, wrote the papers, did the research, etc. They will make sure that they are able to insert themselves as being part of your success at some level.
4.) Devalues your feelings. Empathy is one virtue that narcissists do not have. They may imitate being an empathetic person who gives selflessly of themselves, but in actuality, this is only a disguise. For narcissists to acknowledge your feelings, especially when you are addressing something that they have done wrong to you, is for them to face the fact that they are imperfect people. Narcissists do not like having to look at their short-comings. They will make you feel as if you are not entitled to have any type of feelings and/or emotions that are contrary to what they want you to believe. Narcs do not take constructive criticism well and will retaliate against you for expressing any type of dissatisfaction towards them. By the time you’re done expressing your feelings to a narc, they will have you scratching your head and feeling as if you are the one who is crazy.
5.) Never wishes to address problems. As mentioned previously, narcissists do not want to address issues that will contradict their twisted ideology of themselves. They have a grandiose view of themselves and desire for others to see them as being perfect people. It is easier for a narc to avoid problematic conversations rather than come up with a solution. Mirrors are a narc’s best friend only when they are distorted to hide their true character. A person wishing to address a problem within the relationship is showing the narcissist a mirror of their flawed character which does not sit well with the narcissist. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to the narcissist. Therefore, do not think that you will win a round when it comes to having the narcissist change their ways. Before they admit that there is a problem, they will make you become the villain while they play the role of damsel in distress.
6.) Deflects their bad behavior on to you. Deny, deny, deny is the motto of a narcissist. They will know that they are dead wrong and yet, they will never admit to it. For example, you could have found undeniable evidence that the narcissist is cheating, and they will blame your failure to lose 10 pounds as to the cause for their infidelity. You are always to blame when being in a relationship with a narcissist. They never own up to anything.
7.) Withhold affection as punishment. The narcissist loves to control their partners. Withholding affection is one way that they are able to do so. Wives, for example, have been known to withhold intimacy from their husbands as a form of showing their displeasure with something the spouse did such as not taking out the trash. Those in dating relationship may be given the silent treatment for a time by not receiving any phone calls, texts, etc. The narcissists know the things that you love and will use it as a way to control you by withholding that very thing until you submit to whatever it is that they want.
8.) Tries to make you jealous of others and/or former relationships. Nothing can ruin a relationship successfully like jealousy. Narcissists use jealousy as a way to get attention, cause strife between you and your support system, and to control your sense of independence and value. They may say something like, “All our friends think that you are crazy to let me go.” You may have good a reason to leave a relationship and/or set new boundaries, but they will use triangulation to make you feel alone, insecure, and to make you doubt your ability to make good decisions that affect your life.
9.) Use intimidation to control you. Narcs are emotional bullies. They like to control their partner if they know that he/she has low self-esteem and have been successfully isolated. They attempt to make you feel as if they are your last hope at happiness and should you leave him/her, no one will treat you as they do. Well, in the case of being in a relationship with a narcissist, you should surely hope that is the case. Their attempt to intimidate you is actually showing their own fear and insecurity that you may eventually dissolve the unhealthy relationship and in so doing, they will have to find a naïve source of new narcissistic supply.
10.) You feel as if you are in the relationship alone. It takes two to make a relationship work, but you seem to be putting in overtime while your partner is barely coming to work. Narcissists only think of themselves and what works best for them. They apply this selfishness in all areas of their lives. It is always them first and you second. You would be wise to learn and take to heart the famous saying of never allowing someone to be your all when you’re only their option. If you find that you are alone in a relationship, then you probably need to reevaluate things and make it materialize for those who are single and dating. If you are married, this can be a little trickier, because we are not advocating divorce, but you will have to definitely pray and ask God how to proceed.
11.) Takes no interest in your happiness. Narcissists are only about themselves. They could care less about what makes you tick. When it comes to relationships, there should be a compromise on both sides. For example, Bill may like to go fishing, but his wife, July prefers to work in the garden for relaxation. In a healthy relationship, even though both parties prefer opposite things, they may compromise where at least, twice out of the year, they will accompany the other in doing something that they take pleasure in. Being in a healthy relationship involves compromise. Narcissists, do not like the idea of compromise and will often demean their partners for desiring something that is contrary to what they want and/or desire. Again, this is due to the narc being about only themselves.
12.) They dominate the conversation. It is not wise to get into a debate with a narc. Your chances of winning the lottery are better than having the narc to view anything logically regardless of how compelling the argument is. To avoid hearing you out, the narcissistic partner will dominate the conversation so that you cannot get a word in. They are not really interested in what you have to say. You may even find that when addressing your concerns to them, it is like having a prerecorded conversation where they already have an answer and rebuttal for you. When on the dating scene, you can spot a possible narcissist if all they talk about are of themselves. They never leave room for you to enter the conversation because they want you to know how “awesome” of a person they are and how lucky you would be to be involved in a relationship with them. If you find that you are about to get involved with someone like this…RUN. If you don’t, the selfishness will increase to every aspect of your relationship and before you know it, it will be like an untreatable and incurable cancer that spreads to vital organs.
13.) Personal information is used to hurt you during a disagreement. Narcissists do not play fair. They will aim to hurt you at any given chance. You must be careful what you tell the narcissist. They are sure to use it against you at a future time of their choosing. It can be the most innocent of things and they will find a way to twist it for use as an emotional biological weapon. This is why some of the worse breakups are those with whom partners have told their most intimate and darkest secrets to. Someone in the former relationship uses those secrets as weapons to hurt the other party in an attempt at revenge.
14.) Their ability to charm and love bomb confuses you while you know there are major problems. Narcissists will use gifts, sweet words, and acts of kindness in order to keep their partners from leaving the relationship with no true intentions of changing the error of their ways. They do not wish to lose their narcissistic supply of which they have heavily invested in through acts of manipulation. Therefore, they will use anything they can to prevent the other person from leaving. Partners of narcissists will often be deceived by these acts of kindness into thinking that the narc has changed. Narcissists cannot change what they will not admit to. They also need to get help in the areas that they are deficient in. For example, if a woman has anger problems and has a history of becoming physically violent with her spouse but has not gone to therapy to resolve her anger issues, the husband can be sure that no change has been made and the anger will be reignited the first chance made available. Love is an action word but words with no action are useless.
15.) Promises of change are made but never fulfilled. Narcissists will promise their mates that they will change when they know that there is a real threat of losing their partner. They will promise you the moon but will never make reservations with NASA to get there. Therefore, people involved with a narcissist must evaluate their actions and not their words. Do not be so quick as to jump on he/she has changed bandwagon. Trust should be earned and not freely given. There is nothing wrong with giving a relationship time to build trust especially if it has been broken in the past. Never be afraid to be alone so that you can see if that relationship is for you. People can change but narcissists rarely do because they are incapable of admitting to themselves that they are in need of help. Their idolization of themselves makes it impossible for them to recognize the need for authentic change. Narcissists are able to roleplay well so do not be fooled by them nor their empty promises.
16.) You are made to feel as if the narcissist is the commanding officer and you are the lucky armor bearer. Throughout history, commanding officers were known to have a few of their subordinates called armor bearers to carry their weapons of war to the battlefield. They were the commanding officer’s righthand man who would finish off the enemy at the commanding officer’s request. Narcissistic partners tend to act as if their mates are holding honorary positions whose goals are only to serve them and to make them look good in the process. Narcs will make you think that they are doing you a favor by being with you and that your chances of finding anyone else are slim to none. Therefore, you must take anything that they tend to dish out at you because the fish pool in their eyes is nearly depleted when it comes you to finding a good mate. This is a bunch of hogwash! Nevertheless, it would be better to be alone on an island than to put up with narcissistic abuse where you are never loved and emotionally mishandled.
17.) Their main concern is their self-image. The narcissist will throw you under the bus if it means protecting their self-image. They have the charm, liability factor, and often appeal to the public as being good-hearted individuals while they go home and abuse their spouses verbally, emotionally, and/or even physically. They do not care what you think of them just as long as others think well of the false image that they have often portrayed. This is why many spouses fail to report abuse for fear that no one will believe them. The narcissist can convincingly fool others into thinking that his/her victim is the one being the aggressor by using their bait and catch switch at the right time for others to see. The cunning narcissist will bait their mate into an argument and have a witness on standby who did not see how the argument began but heard the after effects of what the narcissist actually did. Therefore, the narcissist goes away looking like an angel while their mate is made to look like the Incredible Hulk.
18.) You are degraded for showing any signs of emotions. We are revisiting this because you may find that you are made to feel as if your feelings do not matter. Well, they do! Narcissists try to diminish the essence of your very being. You are never allowed to show are say what you are actually feeling. They would rather you bottle it up than to open up and try to gain some perspective on your relationship. They will call you over emotional, super sensitive, and gaslight you into thinking that your reality is not real. You have the right to have feelings because they are very much real to you and that’s what counts. Anyone who can disregard your feelings is not worthy of being in any type of relationship with you. If you cannot be respected for having an opinion or feelings contrary to someone else’s then that relationship is not for YOU.
19.) Boundaries set are never respected. Narcissists do not like for you to set boundaries. They feel that rules apply to everyone else but them. A narcissistic husband, for example, may get upset with his wife if she says that she does not want him staying out late with his single friends, not calling within reason to let her know when he’ll be home, taking money to spend on unnecessary items instead of paying bills, name-calling during an argument, etc. Most people would agree that these are reasonable boundaries that need to be set and yet, for the narcissist, this is unacceptable. They feel that they have the right to do whatever they wish in a relationship and you are to just accept it because after all, they are royalty and to them, you must bow. If a narcissist cannot accept your reasonable boundaries as to how you should be treated, they do not need to be involved with you. Allow them to take their cubic zirconium crown and find another castle to take residence.
20.) Have a sense of entitlement. Narcissists act as if you owe them something because they are God’s gift to society. They may not have earned your trust and yet, they expect it. They may have defamed your name and yet, they feel that you should honor theirs. They may have abused you in many ways but expect you to remain silent and stay in the toxic relationship. They may have isolated you from others but expect you to always have a smile on your face. Yes, these crazy individuals are coo-coo for cocoa puffs because they do not have any sense of loyalty to you but feel entitled to your undying loyalty. Well, send them off to the loony bin and ensure that you are not their roommate by allowing them to make you crazy in the process. Guard your heart and your heart will take care of you. If someone cannot treat you well in a relationship, their entitlement card has expired.