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What Are the Signs of a Narcissistic Husband?

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  • Written By: Craig Bonnot
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 April 2014
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Living with a narcissistic husband, much like living with a narcissistic wife, can be difficult. Broadly defined, narcissism is a personality disorder in which a person believes that he or she is better than other people or is obsessed with himself or herself. A husband with narcissism might be overly controlling, or he might be selfish and need constant praise and admiration.

Narcissists have a high opinion of themselves. A narcissistic husband will believe that he is special and will expect everyone to recognize this. He will set unrealistic goals for himself and then become hurt and feel rejected when he is unable to achieve those goals. A husband with narcissism might fantasize about success and will expect constant praise for his achievements.

It is also possible to recognize a narcissistic husband by the way he associates with the people around him. A narcissist is unable to show empathy and cannot recognize emotions and feelings in other people. He will dislike people that he believes are inferior to him and will often try to take advantage of those people. Furthermore, he will be jealous of people who are more successful than him.

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Narcissists might seem pretentious and conceited. They might try to monopolize conversations by boasting about their accomplishments and might make fun of people whom they considers to be inferior to them. Narcissists believe they should always receive special treatment, and when they do not receive it, they become angry. These traits will cause are narcissist to act in a moody and erratic way.

A narcissistic husband cannot deal with criticism, and when he is criticized, he will feel embarrassed and ashamed. Narcissists have a high opinion of themselves, but they also typically have very fragile self-esteems. Criticizing a husband with narcissism might cause him to react with both anger and contempt, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship, because it does not take much to make him feel hurt or rejected. The spouse of a narcissist must be careful to always act like an adult even though the narcissist might be acting like a child.

Being narcissistic is not the same as having high self-esteem. A person who has high self-esteem has a healthy self-image and is proud of his or her talents and accomplishments. A narcissistic husband, on the other hand, thinks so highly of himself that he believes that he is actually better than other people. A person who merely has high self-esteem does not actually believe that he or she is better than others.

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anon926959
Post 12

I can relate to all of you. I was married to a narcissistic alcoholic for 16 years; the alcoholic part was the last three years to present.

Believe me when I say he destroyed a big part of me and my son, but I made it out alive! Like you all, I now realize what he is. That's the first step: we have recognized it. We cannot change the past, and I still cry almost every day over something he's done or is doing. But again, we must, for our children's sake, close them out as much as possible. Because of our legal system, I have also lost it all and it fuels them more, but I still have my child and for me that's the most valuable thing: to keep him from turning out to be like his father.

I could go on for days about this but all I really want to say is, you still have your minds, your heart, soul and faith. They cannot take that away! I will always have broken bones from him and there will always be reminders, but don't allow them to eat at you, because you dwelling in pain is what they want. Do your best, keep your mind healthy, focus on your children and the future you still have.

anon347373
Post 10

@Anon: You sound just like me: After 20 years of marriage, I lost everything. He destroyed my life, and destroyed our children. We are all shells. I really don't think anyone could ever understand who has not themselves lived it.

My daughter and I are both disabled. Maybe we would have had our health problems without him tearing us apart for so long, but I seriously doubt they would be nearly as bad. My son has Antisocial Personality Disorder and he also now tortures my daughter and me. Nature or nurture or both? The cluster B gene is most likely present, but my son had no role model for how a good, honest, loving man should behave.

Hold on to your own mind and know that it is normal to be damaged by living with this kind of person. I have been divorced for seven years, and he has never stopped exploiting us, lying to and about us, promising support that we base our lives on, only for it to never materialize. He has destroyed us financially, emotionally and physically.

It is astounding what he got away with in the legal system. It has made me unable to trust anyone. I know that I will never have another relationship with a man again. But it is worse than that. I know what evil is and I know it wears a very good mask, so I don't really trust anyone except my daughter and one friend. Once you get torn down as far as they tear you without relenting for so many years, you need help that other people just can’t understand, because they cannot fathom what you have been through. Most people still think that others are like them. But those of us who know first hand that others are not all like us, and that their masks are really convincing, and what can happen if you don't see through them in time, are forever damaged.

Maybe I am being pessimistic, placing my own brokenness on others, but I think with what he has put my children and me through that there would truly be something terribly wrong with me if I were not broken and pessimistic. I have been sucked into the narcissist’s black hole and I do not know how to get out. I was a very strong woman once, much stronger than he was. But I am not that person any more. She is gone. I hope you fare better than I have. I feel your pain. You are not alone. I read these blogs quite a bit, but this is only the second time that I have ever written anything on one, myself. Your words touched me. You have to be on the inside of the relationship with these men to see them. They look perfect from the outside.

I am working on a book, and I am going to title it, "The Right Arm of the Starfish". He always told me I was like his right arm. He thought it was a compliment. But I was just an appendage that he could use at his will. A starfish has no right arm; it just depends on how it sits on the rock that day and broken arms can be regrown. I really know deep down that I cannot recover the person I once was or resurrect her strength and optimism, but I would still like to do some good in this world. Because of my disability and my emotional trauma, I think the best thing I can do is to write about my experiences as openly and honestly as possible and hope that it will help others to see behind the mask before it is too late and they are consumed.

I hope to persuade someone to listen to that aching little voice inside of them that is sounding warnings and to listen to that feeling of being suffocated. If I had listened to that little voice when it first started speaking, I would not be where I am today and neither would my children.

I feel overwhelming, crushing guilt for what he has done to them and that I even made him a father in the first place. It was a role he was never equipped to play. I stayed far longer than I would have if my daughter and I had been healthy. I felt trapped. But it only gets worse the longer you stay, and eventually you lose yourself. I never believed that I was the crazy one, although he has tried very hard in that endeavor. I am broken, but I am not crazy. I know what is real. I know what happened to me, every step of the way, and I know what happened to my children. Isolation is their weapon. They make you too emotionally drained to reach out to other people. You become physically ill and depressed and they have you right where they want you.

I hope your DA comes through for you. No lawyer or judge did for me and the legal system became the most destructive, abusive tool in his arsenal. He used it to rob me of everything I ever had and my children of their college educations and futures. He used it to deprive us of our freedom, our dignity and all financial resources. This abuse has spanned almost a decade. He has found a way out of every commitment and every legal obligation. He has committed perjury so many times that I will not even be able to recount them all in my book. There is blatant evidence of his lies and duplicity and he has gotten away with all of it. It is quite shocking to others when I tell them even the bare bones story of what he has gotten away with. It still shocks me.

I am trapped in a cycle of thinking about the victimization that he has brought to me and my children and I do not know any way to silence that voice. It is a voice that has never been heard. After all that has happened. the only way to even begin to tell it is in a book and I will have to do some serious editing to condense it into a volume that does not rival “War and Peace” in its length.

I just wanted to write to tell you that I know what it feels like to have wasted you life on such a man. I know the pain you feel watching him victimize your children. I hope you find some satisfaction in the legal system. If I had found any protection there, I would not be so broken and would not feel so hopeless. Be as careful and thorough as you possibly can in that arena, and find a good advocate. Don't settle for one minute for a lawyer or any kind of advocate that you do not have total confidence in. You stand to lose much more than money. You can lose your faith in humanity. And that is something that you cannot afford to lose, trust me.

anon338713
Post 8

These comments are so incredibly helpful. They let me know these men do feel entitled. And this signing the check thing happened to me too!

anon338712
Post 7

He stole money from my dad, had an affair on me (maybe more) and blamed me for it and then felt he deserved much more in the divorce for the time he put into the relationship, while I had to go right back to work having just survived a tough cancer battle. He couldn't work because they weren't good enough at work, but even exhausted, I could. All I keep thinking is poor or not, when will I be free and I don't think I can ever trust a man again.

anon336943
Post 6

I finally see the problem. I doubt therapy is an option since the narcissist deludes him/herself into believing they are above help. Mine thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

I've also noticed it's always someone else's fault when they do something wrong, including cheat. *sigh*

anon335357
Post 5

My husband stole my child support for years, telling me I was never receiving it from my estranged ex, but he was hiding it in a PO Box. He forged my signature on everything, because after all, what's his was his and what was mine was his.

When he left and I filed for divorce, I became the bully simply because I wasn't about to lie there and take the further abuse. I am pursuing legal action and hope the DA will see that even though I was married, he had no right to take from my children and steal my identity.

This man works for a police department and worse yet, he has convinced them that I am the one who is in the wrong, even though he was blatantly forging my signature on checks sent only to me for years and I only discovered them after he left.

anon320315
Post 4

After twenty years of being insidiously eaten alive by a man who fits every description and behaviour, there is so little left of me. I fret about the effects on my children and my ability to ever be free of this man. I actually pray for his death and worry about his new wife and her child's safety, but the trouble is, he has convinced everyone I am the mad one. Even three years post divorce, which he suggested, the man just goes on and on torturing me.

anon310859
Post 3

They can say things then twist it so it means something that's not as bad as what they first said, like you misheard it and they believe it.

They can say something nasty and when you call them on it, they say you weren't supposed to hear it so it was OK to say it. They will call you names and make you believe you are what you say you are. They will keep nagging you if they don't get their own way until you give in.

If you are different, they don't want to understand or see or hear what you say or listen to you, and if you don't leave them, which is the only way to deal with them, they will break you. They will take all your choices away until they destroy your health by making you have medical treatment against your better judgement and you are then left housebound. Rather than help you, they force more drugs on you that destroyed your health.

anon277638
Post 1

He's trying to tell me I'm paranoid and I've gone crazy, that I am just forgetting I need meds. He tells me I'm unstable, that there is something wrong with me, calls me derogatory names and then says he never said that.

He has people use my identity to victimize my children and tell them mom's cuckoo. He makes himself look like an angel. He has stolen my identity and everything I have from me and says I must have forgotten it.

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