Top 6 Most Common Signs Your Spouse Is a Narcissist
Living with a narcissist can have serious consequences for your own health, self-worth, and peace of mind. Without professional intervention, someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may place little or no value on the people around them. They may feel entitled to lash out emotionally or even physically. Common narcissistic behaviors can be dangerous for you or your children to be around.
Even after escaping a relationship with a narcissist, you may be subjected to continued attempts at manipulation or intimidation. Narcissists see partners as property or playthings and will not easily let go of that power dynamic. Someone with narcissistic personality disorder will be difficult to deal with throughout every step of a separation, such as during asset division in divorce, by withholding child support, protracted child custody battles, or even years later through seeking post-divorce modifications.
Someone trying to end a marriage to a narcissist needs smart, high-powered legal representation like Woodford Sathappan McGee, serving the Columbus, OH area as well as Westerville, Delaware County, and Franklin County, OH. We are divorce lawyers for women, dedicated to the representation of women and fighting for women’s rights.
How Do I Know if My Spouse Is a Narcissist?
Only a qualified mental health professional can accurately diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but if you’re worried someone close to you may be a narcissist, there are six common signs to look for:
- A constant need for attention. Narcissists barely let others talk and are not good listeners. They interrupt, get bored by other people, speak with confidence on topics they know little about, and assume everyone loves to hear them talk as much as they enjoy hearing themselves. When someone else gets attention, a narcissist may exhibit drastic changes in mood.
- Exploiting others and a lack of empathy. In their professional lives, narcissists often excel in roles that require them to exploit or harm others. Narcissists may brag about their ability to perform workplace skills empathetic people find distasteful, such as firing subordinates. Narcissists rarely donate to charities or offer to pay for something (unless they believe it will benefit them in the long term). They look for ways to bend or break society’s rules to their advantage.
- Refusal to acknowledge or change behavior. Treating a narcissist is unfortunately very difficult. A patient’s desire to improve is a key factor in treating personality disorders, and most narcissists, by the very nature of their problem, do not want to change. Narcissists do not admit to being or doing wrong, even when confronted with evidence. Many narcissists are highly charismatic and intelligent and use complex logic to justify their reprehensible behavior to themselves and others.
- Over-exaggerating their own importance. Narcissists will inflate their own role when telling stories about past events or professional dealings. This commonly includes lies about money, sexual conquests, or athletic accomplishments. Many narcissists become so adept at weaving together these ever-expanding webs of exaggeration that they essentially live in a fantasy of their own creation. Someone untethered from reality in this way can be a danger to themselves and others.
- History of troubled relationships. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is resistant to treatment due to the way a narcissist thinks about themselves and others, so most narcissists unfortunately amass a lifelong history of failed interpersonal relationships. Narcissists often become very skilled at manipulating partners.
- Obsessed with appearances. A narcissist may not only be obsessed with their own appearance, but also with that of their partners, children, homes, or vehicles. If your spouse is frequently criticizing your clothes, makeup, or weight, it could be a common sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A narcissist may fixate on the appearance of objects or details that others find superficial.
How Do Medical Professionals Diagnose a Narcissist?
Psychologists and mental health workers look for similar symptoms when performing a diagnosis. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists nine possible criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Anyone who displays five or more can be diagnosed as a clinical narcissist. These include:
- A sense of self-importance that is grandiose
- An obsession with fantasies of unlimited success
- A belief that they’re special and are only be understood by other people just like them
- A need for excessive admiration
- A strong sense of entitlement
- Behavior that borders on being exploitative
- A serious lack of empathy
- envy of other people or a belief that others are envious of them
- An overly arrogant attitude
Divorcing a Narcissist in Westerville & Columbus, OH
If you believe you are living with a narcissist, or are considering your legal options, don’t wait for a clinical diagnosis or worsening behavior to seek help. Women suffering in a marriage to a narcissist in the Columbus, OH and Westerville areas are invited to contact Woodford Sathappan McGee for a consultation today. WSM offers powerful, experienced divorce representation for women, and the option to work directly with female divorce lawyers if desired.