You cannot build a home alone, but you can build a house single-handedly, so you also can not focus on yourself alone and expect a smooth relationship to flow.
A one-sided relationship cannot survive the test of time, especially when the relationship is one-sided emotionally, and on your own, it might be tough to know how to deal with a narcissistic spouse.
However, when you know how to deal with this kind of spouse, life becomes more cheery. When you can ask your narcissistic spouse what he/she needs, avoiding getting into an argument with them helps to solve the dilemma. Because your spouse might not even know they are narcissists.
It is incongruent to say a blessed union of two narcissists because there can’t be a union when there are no conjugate agreements. Before we dive into the article fully, let me first explain who a narcissist is and how to deal with a narcissistic spouse.
Who Is A Narcissist?
The French word is ‘Narcissique’ which has the same interpretation as the English word ‘Narcissist’. The word is coined from the action of excessive love for oneself and a sexual desire for one’s own body. A Narcissist is someone who shows extreme love and admiration for themselves and is filled with egoism and pride.
A Narcissist frequently hurts people emotionally, which can be very detrimental to the health of any relationship. They usually leave their partners feeling depleted and perplexed. They can be dangerous and demeaning, and sometimes they are hard to cope with.
10 Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Spouse
For proper understanding, here are 10 ways how to deal with a narcissist spouse if you’re currently facing challenges dealing with a narcissist spouse.
1. Know What You Want
Having a narcissist as a spouse can be so draining and frustrating all day long, it is also dehumanizing to your mental health and livelihood. These feelings can break your morale to love genuinely.
Although most narcissistic victims don’t feel comfortable in a relationship with the narcissist, you still see them stuck and unable to leave the relationship or even address their spouse at the very least.
You need to know what you want out of every relationship you get into, know when you are not treated fairly, and also know how to keep your stand firm, draw a line, and stand by that line so no one trespasses and makes you feel less human at the very least.
When you are so sure of what you want in life and in every relationship you find yourself in, it is easy to address any misstep or maltreatment. It should not take forever before you address your narcissistic spouse, especially when you lack the value and respect you deserve.
Also know that when you are not sure as to what you want in a relationship, it becomes inevitable to be listed as trash, and have nothing in return afterward.
2. Set Strict Boundaries
Understanding first that you are not under any obligation to please anyone by all means possible is the first conscious boundary you have built around yourself. Setting boundaries for yourself and don’t allow yourself to break them, don’t try to displease yourself just to satisfy your narcissistic desires, all in the name of trying to save the relationship from collapse.
It’s worth noting that most narcissists are well conscious of their excessive desire to be pleased first and foremost before anything else, and they know it is hurting others, so don’t do anything that will fuel their ego and help them continue in their mental illness at the detriment of others. So set a boundary to never excessively appreciate them unless it’s necessary.
Set boundaries and let them know that such and such is not accepted in the relationship or can be done this way. Don’t overlook setting boundaries and be strict about honoring them. They should be fully aware that if they do this, this will be your reaction. Though this is not to breed a revengeful habit in a relationship, your value will also be realistic to you.
3. Learn To Communicate
Narcissists have a way of making you think you are eating into their emotional health while they are the ones doing that in return. Most times, a narcissist will use harsh words to blackmail you emotionally and make you feel like you are the worst person, you also need to know how to speak up for yourself also, this is a vital part of how to deal with a narcissist spouse.
When someone is saying false words against you or trying to get to you just to satisfy their ego, you need to know how to pass information across, and how to express your feelings at any point in time.
When they want to use incisive words to hurt your sense of judgment, also learn how to communicate your feelings to your narcissistic spouse and let them know how you feel you should be addressed or treated.
Most times, narcissists will always want to use controlling statements to get you emotionally submissive, albeit unconsciously, so they can also have complete control over adoration and praise. However, having a kind smile while expressing your feelings builds a boundary and gives you control in the relationship.
Make sure not to get into an argument or fight with your narcissist because they always want a fight so don’t give in.
4. Place Your Emotions As a Priority
It’s impossible to say these words without adding that you mean a lot more to yourself than to another person. So you need to start showing your self-value.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is a whole lot of responsibility because they always have a way of tying your emotions to a tree. Don’t put pleasing your narcissist spouse first, don’t prioritize their emotional happiness ahead of yours. You deserve all the good attention, too; just make sure you are happy with yourself.
Don’t fast forward your happiness to another day. When living with a narcissistic spouse, you can’t shift your happiness forward because, at any slight chance they have, they tend to overstep and degrade your value and place theirs at the forefront of every activity.
5. Don’t Let Everything Be About Him/Her
A narcissistic spouse will want everything to circle around them and even think they should be the focus of every single affection. Allowing this to stand firm means you are surrendering your happiness to satisfy their narcissist longing, and by extension, feeding your nightmare.
A self-absorbed person resorts to bullying their victims to make sure they achieve the supposed happiness they stand to derive. So, when you see them wanting to push things to revolve around them, be quick to put things back to normal, and let them be reminded that things are not supposed to revolve around them solely.
The repair it does to be this outspoken is that it makes you express your acknowledgment, that you know your value likewise. Furthermore, it also breaches their egoism. Don’t let everything revolve around them, if possible, bring some insignificant factor or person into the focus most times, and also allow yourself to be the center of focus sometimes.
6. Ask Them Of Their Values And Goals
At times, narcissists and egomaniacs are the way they are by default, unconsciously and don’t know what they are doing. Some of them got to where they are due to some kind of past experience that has built a different kind of life system in their subconscious.
Some narcissistic spouses think that the real definition of love is the same prototype their parents had, and to keep their supposed circle going, they define their value in another form. Ask them to know their definition of love, attention, and especially how it can be achieved. This can be the calmest way to deal with a narcissist spouse.
You might be hating on a spouse who has the wrong orientation about how to express love in a relationship or does not know how to share attention. Ask to be sure and to help them shift their mind to the real deal and values in a real-time relationship.
7. Avoid Arguments With A Narcissist
A debate or argument can be healthy for friends because it helps broaden the mind to think big and fast to win. But with a narcissist? If they don’t accept that venture, they might snap and cry like a little child whose candy was taken from them because they always want to win and have their way.
8. Focus And Work On Yourself
It’s rare that you can’t see value in yourself and expect others to see that same value in you. You have to love yourself and your values, have great respect for who you are now and who you are growing to be, and also be open to learning how to deal with a narcissist spouse.
Work on your ability to do work, your urge to learn something new, and improve your life daily. Most times, excessive dependence on a narcissistic spouse broadens their horizons of victimization and brings you into their coven of emotional blackmail and control. So, focus on how to settle your personal needs, make new friends, and become more dependent on yourself and less dependent on your narcissistic spouse. Work on your productivity and be more resourceful than ever before.
9. Get A Distraction
Aside from working on yourself, take time to be involved in a lot of distractions to keep your mind and hands busy. Get involved in a lot of things to get your mind off of an ill-treating narcissistic spouse, a distraction that helps renew your mind and help you breathe freely.
You can go to the gym and work yourself up to a fitness level that can always keep your spirit lightweight. Also, schedule your time and take a walk at least once every day, to clear your head and mind. Go on excursions regularly or even join a music group even if you can’t sing, you can also hang out with friends more often.
Go to a church fellowship or a gathering where your spirit can hear uplifting words. Listen to motivational podcasts and build your confidence.
10. See An Expert
Seeing an expert has always been the final stand on any emotional issue. Book a psychologist, keep your appointments and if possible, keep that a secret from your spouse. They have a way of making you feel that it’s a totally bad idea and a waste of your time. And ask questions about how to deal with a narcissist spouse from your psychologist and learn from experts.
Being a spouse to a narcissist can be a serious job that might need more calories. You are sure to be exhausted and drained by the time you know what, but you can face this challenge with the mindset of wanting to set yourself free from their holds and control or bluntly walking away from the relationship altogether to save your heart.