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10 Clever Ways to Live with a Narcissistic Spouse

Updated on June 2, 2017

How to Live with a Narcissistic Spouse

One of the ways to live with a narcissistic spouse is to fed his ego with sweet words
One of the ways to live with a narcissistic spouse is to fed his ego with sweet words | Source

Introduction

A wife came home from work late one night very tired and her husband demanded that she cook him dinner. The wife muttered under her breath that, “it is really hard to live with a narcissistic spouse,” before responding, “Dear, I am tired. Why don’t you prepare something for yourself,” to which the husband, in his anger, responded, “Don’t you ever call me a deer again! Anyway, I wonder why I married such a frog!” The wife retorted angrily, “And what is the name given to the animal that marries a frog?”

There are many people like the wife in the story above who live with spouses who are prone to ignore their feelings and who think of only themselves. Just as the husband in the story above exhibited arrogance, such narcissistic spouses are often proud and feel they are more important than their spouses and so deserve attention no matter how their spouses feel.

If you are married to such a person, what are some of the things you can do to help you survive in the marriage? How do you deal with a narcissistic spouse?

Exercise Patience Most of the Time

Do your best to stomach some of the nasty things he will say to you, and also choose to ignore some of the acts of selfishness and arrogance he will display towards you. Try to remain calm without responding in equal measure. This is one of the best ways to live with a narcissistic wife or husband.

When he does something that annoys you, repeat these words to yourself, “I must be patient. I must be patient. Getting annoyed will only help to make matters worse.” This will help you to control yourself so that you can prevent a fight.

Remind Your Spouse That He or She is Just a Mortal

Remind your spouse frequently that he is just a human created from dirt, and that he will die just as you will also die and so he should not feel he is better than you in anyway. Anytime he behaves arrogantly towards you, drum home the fact that he is mortal, and that he will leave this Earth with nothing.

The thought of dying has a way of affecting people: it makes some people humble themselves and reconsider their actions. Reminding your spouse of his mortality may drive home the point that he is not more important than you, which may influence him think again about the way he treats you. This is one of the smart ways to live with a spouse who has narcissistic personality disorder.

Be a Good Example

One of the best ways to live with a narcissistic spouse is to show a behavior exactly opposite to how he behaves. In other words, do your best to be humble, control your ego so that you do not have fights with your spouse often, be selfless, make an effort to attend to his needs, don’t crave for constant attention, and do your best to show concern when he is suffering or falls into trouble. When you do it persistently, it will make you avoid bitter fights which will help to maintain the peace in the marriage and in the home.

Let Your Spouse Experience Selflessness Often

Together with your spouse, regularly visit some of your friends who are selfless, or invite them from time to time to your house. During the time you spend with these friends, they are bound to show acts of kindness or selflessness. Make mental notes of such acts.

During these times of socialization, steer the discussion towards the importance of trying to be humble or caring about the feelings of your spouse in a marriage. Let these friends discuss how caring about your spouse’s feelings and needs can benefit you as a spouse, and how it can impact positively on your marriage. Your spouse will pick valuable lessons consciously and unconsciously from the discussion.

When you are alone, remind him of the acts of kindness you saw. If, for example, your friend’s husband spoke of your friend in glowing terms when you were conversing, you could say something such as, “Isn’t it wonderful that Yaa’s husband speaks so well of her? Did you see how he felt so happy when he was praising Yaa? I think a person feels good when he acknowledges the feelings of others.” Look into your spouse’s face and smile.

Letting your spouse experience how it feels to act selflessly will help you to live with a spouse with narcissistic personality disorder because when your spouse constantly sees that selfless people are happy in their marriages, and in addition when he hears about the importance of caring about the feelings of your spouse often, it may make your spouse consider the benefits he will get from showing more concern for you and that may make him change some of his ways.

Draw His Attention to His Behavior Often

How do you deal with a narcissistic husband? Find stories or jokes in which narcissistic people have suffered for their attitude and commit some of them to memory. When you are having conversations, tactfully infuse these jokes into the conversation at points when you see he is relaxed and in a mood to take a joke.

Say the stories or jokes in such a way that will not suggest you are referring to him specifically, but in such a manner as to convey the impression that you are speaking generally of narcissistic people. Stress on the bad consequences of showing narcissistic behavior and the terrible effect that behavior had on the narcissistic character in the story. It will give your spouse food for thought and he may reconsider his attitude and behavior towards you.

Go On "Strikes" Sometimes

Make your spouse see he is not the most important person in the world, and that you are also important, by refusing to fulfill some of your marital duties sometimes—when you are fed up with his attitude—to drive home the point that he cannot take you for granted. This is how to live in a narcissistic relationship!

  • If you are a wife and your husband treats you like dirt, refuse to cook or do his laundry for him until he shows you some respect. Let him suffer for some time to teach him a lesson. When he comes around, say something such as, “You see how you felt when I did not cook for you? That should tell you that I am also important in this marriage. My input helps this marriage to go on. Therefore, give me some respect! I am as important as you in this relationship!”
  • If you are a husband and your wife feels she is far better than you because of her better education, stop showing her signs of affection or saying words of love to her and demand she give you respect before you will give her those privileges.

Give Him "a Taste of His Own Medicine" Sometimes

Another fantastic way to live with a narcissistic spouse is to give him a taste of his own medicine from time to time to make him experience how you feel when he treats you badly. To do this, mimic him or her for a period of time to drive home the point that you are also important:

  1. Choose a period when you know your action will have the greatest impact, for example, a time when your spouse will need your co-operation most.
  2. Be selfish and inconsiderate.
  3. Talk only about yourself when you have conversations with your spouse.
  4. Constantly try to get attention.
  5. Try to control every situation in the house.
  6. Demand that your spouse appreciates you. When he refuses, act angry.

When you are satisfied that your behavior is achieving its goal (when he asks you to discuss issues), ask your spouse how he felt about the way you acted. Then, tell him that is how you feel every time he acts in those same ways. It will give him some idea about what he is doing to you, and he may begin to consider your feelings and take them into account before he acts arrogantly towards you or speaks rudely to you.

Feed His Ego When You Want Him to Do Something for You

Make your spouse feel he is the greatest person in the world, and he will become even greater when he does kind acts for you. For example, if you want him to help you wash dishes, say to him, “Darling, you are the greatest husband on Earth. I think you will become even greater when you help me to clean the dishes.” Let him think that it will make him look greater in your eyes, and that will motivate him to do favors for you.

If you want him to paint the house, say to him, “Darling, this house needs repainting. You will agree with me that a person of your caliber deserves a house with better painting. What would your friends think of you when they see the paint in such a poor state? Surely you can paint it this weekend, can’t you?” Put your needs across to him in such a way that he will think he is the only one who will benefit when he acts on your concerns.

Maintain Your Self Confidence

A narcissistic spouse can make it easy for you to start doubting your abilities and talents. Therefore, you must make a conscious effort to work on your self-confidence everyday. Every morning when you wake up, say to yourself, “I am a great man (or woman). I am a great husband (or wife). I am created in the image of God. I am special and I will continue to be special everyday of my life.”

When your spouse says something that hurts you, say to yourself, “I am as good as you are.” Trust me it works. I suffer from a very embarrassing disease that makes people ridicule and insult me when I go into public. When I am ridiculed and I say those words to myself, it gives me self-assurance and I feel great. It helps me to ignore their taunts and remain calm and relaxed.

Pray

One thing you can do to help you live with a narcissistic spouse is to pray to God to help you live at peace with your spouse. God invites you to give Him your cares and worries in Philippians 4: 6 where it is writen, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Therefore pray about your situation and put it in God’s hands.

You may say a prayer such as, “Dear God, please help me to bear this cross. I know you made Yaw this way and I accept that. I recognize you do everything for a purpose and so there is a reason why Yaw and I married. Please help me to see that reason why you brought us together so that I can appreciate this relationship better. Please let Yaw use his attitude to show others how proud he is of our union, and not to show arrogance towards me. Please help him to always remember that he needs to humble himself for You resist the proud but show grace to the humble. Let him go through experiences that will teach him the importance of humility. Amen.”

One thing you can do to help you live with a narcissistic spouse is to pray to God to help you live at peace with your spouse. God invites you to give Him your cares and worries in Philippians 4: 6 where it is writen, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Therefore pray about your situation and put it in God’s hands.

You may say a prayer such as, “Dear God, please help me to bear this cross. I know you made Yaw this way and I accept that. I recognize you do everything for a purpose and so there is a reason why Yaw and I married. Please help me to see that reason why you brought us together so that I can appreciate this relationship better. Please let Yaw use his attitude to show others how proud he is of our union, and not to show arrogance towards me. Please help him to always remember that he needs to humble himself for You resist the proud but show grace to the humble. Let him go through experiences that will teach him the importance of humility. Amen.”

Conclusion

You must never forget that if you want to live with a narcissistic spouse and have peace of mind, you need to be patient most of the time, show him that there is a better way he can live to make both of you happy as well as reminding him that he is nothing but dust just like you. Doing these things will help to make both of you get along with each other so that you will prevent a divorce. It will also help to make your marriage work in spite of that challenge, and help you to have some amount of happiness in the marriage.

How to Live with a Narcissistic Spouse

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© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 8 weeks ago

      This is great advice if you WANT to live or coexist with a narcissistic spouse.

      However if your mate truly is narcissistic they will usually leave or cheat if they're NOT getting the ego massage or "attention" they require.

      Generally speaking people don't change unless (they) are unhappy. Each of us chooses our own lovers and spouse.

      Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself!

      Choose wisely!

      Many people apparently (love narcissistic or arrogant people). They never seem to be without a mate for long! :)

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