Being in a relationship with a narcissist can hurt your self-esteem.

How to Stop Taking a Husband's Narcissism Personally

by Sarah Casimong

Your husband’s narcissism -- arrogance, selfishness, lack of empathy and big ego -- may be causing problems in your marriage. Although you once felt loved and appreciated in the relationship, you may now feel the opposite. Even if your partner makes you feel like you are not good enough, don’t take it personally. Know what drives a narcissist so that you can see that it is not your fault.

Is Your Husband a Narcissist?

The man you’re married to may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If you notice that your husband is obsessed with himself, constantly brags and exaggerates his accomplishments, gets angry when he is criticized, and has unrealistic ideals and fantasies, he may be a narcissist. Narcissists also use people to get ahead and neglect others’ needs and feelings, according to “Psychology Today.”

Understand Why

If your husband is a narcissist it is most likely a result of his childhood experiences, according to “Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On” by Cynthia Zayn and certified counselor Kevin Dibble. It is likely that a narcissist was made to feel inadequate during a significant stage of personality development. Narcissists try to find the perfect relationship in order to right the wrong that happened in their childhood relationships and left them insecure. Because of this, they tend to overcompensate and feel the need to be perfect. In addition to trying to perfect himself, he also expects those he’s in relationships with to be perfect. Know that the way your husband treats you is not a reflection of who you are, but a reflection of his past and who he is.

Regain Confidence

Use your knowledge of how narcissists -- how they work and why they are the way they are -- to empower yourself. Being married to a narcissist who makes you feel bad about yourself can cause you low self-esteem. Throughout your marriage, you probably put your husband’s needs before your own because his need for attention and positive affirmation required you to put your needs aside. Acknowledge positive qualities about yourself. By re-building your self-esteem, you can learn not believe your husband’s negative comments towards you.

Don't Feel Responsible

Usually partners of narcissists feel guilty about or responsible for the unhappiness of the relationship. Remind yourself that it’s not your fault. If your husband does not feel guilty, why should you? Narcissists don’t have much sympathy or take responsibility for their negative actions. Also, don’t take on the responsibility of trying to fix your husband. In order for him to get help, he must first admit that he has NPD and then want to get help. This may be beyond your control.

About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

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