What to Do If Married to a Narcissist

Narcissism (Photo credit: overLinedesign)

A little while ago, I had these words show up in my search engine terms.  Whoever you are, this post is for you. I know what you’re going through and how bad it can be. But I also know that there’s relief to be had, that you can get your life back, and that you deserve to have your life back, no matter how guilty and responsible you’re feeling right now or how much you think you are at fault.

First of all, realize that your narcissist cannot be helped. Although some work has been done with them, it  is extremely slow – it takes years before any progress is noticeable, and even then, it will be minor. Really, narcissists are incurable. No amount of love, caring or understanding on your part will help them. Your narcissist will never love or respect you in return. They have absolutely no interest in that and they do not believe that anything is wrong with them.

Secondly, get support. Find a counsellor, a friend, a family member, someone you can trust and who will stand by you, listen to you and unconditionally help you through this. Tell this person what has been happening in your marriage. You are going to need this support because you are going to have to get this narcissist out of your life, especially if you have children. Narcissists can do a lot of damage to children. If you’re feeling unhinged because of your exposure, imagine what it can do to them.

If you can, take your time and plan how you will get this person out of your life and your home – the narcissist should leave, not you. Ask your support person to help you through this planning phase. Be sure to keep your planning secret. I’m sure you’re well aware of the rage that could erupt if your narcissist finds out what you’re doing. In the meantime, do whatever fawning or flattery you have to do to keep your narcissist calm and unaware. Lie if you have to. Get everything that you need in place – paperwork on cars, homes, bank accounts. If necessary, organize care for your children. Find a lawyer. Notify the police and have them on stand-by. And then, in the company of your support person, tell your narcissist that he or she has to immediately leave, and don’t look back.

Whatever you do, stick by the idea of getting your life back. Don’t let the narcissist’s bag of tricks dissuade you from your decision. Because that’s all it is – a bag of tricks. If you fall for it, a week later you will be right back where you started. This plan might sound harsh and almost narcissistic itself, but sometimes we have to do unpleasant things to save ourselves and our children. Remember that you’re entitled to and deserve a life that’s free of narcissistic craziness, and so do they. There’s no reasoning with a narcissist. There’s no living with a narcissist. Unless you want to accept that your life is a part of the narcissistic cesspool, and that that is what your life will be, you have no other choice but to leave.

If you’re not ready to leave yet, find a counsellor or other support person who will listen to you. Read as much as you can. There are good sources here on WordPress – try planetjan, I’m Going Slightly Mad, kimberlyharding-soulhealingart.com, In Bad Company, Scott Williams. There are many, many other sources available. You will find one that works for you.

Good luck! And remember, you are not alone.

5 thoughts on “What to Do If Married to a Narcissist”

  1. Great post. Narcissists are emotional abusers and this popular fairy tale of someone changing because we love them is a dangerous and unfounded. After working in domestic violence I second the authors advice that you seek counseling, get your stuff in order, and get out of this relationship.

      1. Oh yes, the “I can change them” attitude. It also increases domestic violence cases. I often remind my nieces that you can’t change people because change is an inside job!

  2. I came home at about 4:45 PM and my husband who is our family cook was in the kitchen COOKING. I asked “what’s for dinner?” He said he didn’t know. I went in the bedroom and came back out after about 30 minutes and asked again and he was still in the kitchen COOKING, he said he still didn’t know. We all sat down to watch the Rome photos–it was 6:50 PM. I said several times that I’m starving. At approximately 7:40PM . He asked me if I wanted him TO START COOKING NOW. I said yes, I’ve been starving. Then HE GOT MAD and said that I wanted him to cook instead of watching the photos. No more photos were being shown, we were done. And because I said yes, I’ve been starving, he told me to cook for myself. Then he made hamburgers and came into the bathroom and asked me where I want my hamburger. It is 8pm. What is this ?!?!? It is like this all the time about every little detail of life. I don’t get it. I am angry all the time. I am losing my mind.

    1. Thank you for sharing.

      I am not sure if you are dealing with a narcissist spouse or whether he’s just passive-aggressive. Maybe you should consider some couples counselling (you can also go on your own if he won’t participate). Feeling as if you are losing your mind is no way to live.

      Good luck to you. 🙂

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