This article is about being with a woman who exhibits narcissistic behavior. Your relationship with a narcissist might be casual or you may be in a narcissistic marriage. We will talk about what it's like.

Do you know the signs of a narcissistic personality?

Do you remember the love bombing and idealization? Those heady early days? She mirrored you, so you thought you had so much in common. Your friends, family, and others close to you may have been skeptical about her while you were head over heels in love. Their concerns were well-grounded. She later picked fights with those you loved the most and tried to get between you. Even your own mother!

The DSM-5 reports that up to 75% of those diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are men. Mental health professionals can miss the way women present these traits. However, some recent thinking suggests this is because narcissistic females display their narcissism in distinctly different ways from their male counterparts.

Men typically resemble stereotypically masculine features, like physical expressions of aggression, an excessive need for power, and an authoritarian character. Consider these the features of a grandiose or malignant narcissist. Like grandiose narcissists, these women are exhibitionistic, entitled, and have inflated self-esteem but are more likely to hide it.

Narcissistic wife traits

We tend to think of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in The Devil Wears Prada: a vain, powerful, ruthless, and uncaring woman. However, a more common presentation is less grandiose and has a more covert variety. She might be:

  • the long-suffering mother,
  • the disappointed wife who "could have been a star,"
  • the passive-aggressive boss who spreads vicious rumors about those she's jealous of
  • the sexy mistress simply lacks empathy or "common decency."

Both male and female narcissists are the same in measures of:

  • interpersonally exploitative,
  • arrogance,
  • considering themselves "special and unique" and
  • being envious

...however, they show it in different ways.

She may present as shy and hypersensitive on the outside. Once you get closer, she may be full of shame and low self-esteem on the inside.Then she will hate you for having shown you her "weakness."

While the male narcissist exhibits narcissistic features such as being pushy, vain or a power grabber. The female narcissist presents in a more classically feminine way and uses her sexuality, beauty, or charm to exploit. It is her world and you get to live in it.

The vulnerable or covert narcissist

In contrast to the flashy power grabs, most women with narcissistic traits are vulnerable or covert narcissists. These traits have been associated with:

  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • non-suicidal self-injury,
  • suicide attempts, and
  • avoidant and dependent personality disorders.

They may look more like or have a borderline personality disorder. You are likely to see a lot of passive-aggressive exploitation.

The key features of a female narcissistic spouse

1. Interpersonally exploitative

In healthy relationships, there is a give-and-take of demands. However, if you have a narcissistic partner, you may be struck by how easily your wife makes unreasonable demands on you but is hypersensitive should you make any counter-demands. She is reactive to perceived coercive behavior while coercing and manipulating YOU.

2. She wants to control you.

It's not in your head. Living with a narcissistic wife is all about control. She will lie without hesitation. She will gaslight you to maintain control.

She will make you doubt your own reality, perceptions, or beliefs.

Like most covert varieties, she will use specific tactics like bullying, emotional disengagement (giving you the "silent treatment"), or pleading pitifully. This is all manipulative and is psychologically and emotionally abusive.

3. She distances herself from intimacy.

We aren't talking about sex here, although she may withhold sex until she gets what she wants from you. We are talking about her willingness to let you into her inner world. Her veiled grandiosity and sense of entitlement prevent her from showing you her weakness.

She will disengage and ice you out, and it doesn't seem to impact her.

4. She's sexually exploitative.

The more exploitative and entitled she is, the more serious and aggressive her sexual cohesion will be. She will aggressively sexually coerce you and ridicule your masculinity or other valued traits if you don't cooperate with her. Sex is power, and she uses it to manipulate and control.

Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens when you are pressured, tricked, threatened, or forced in a non-physical way. Coercion can make you think you owe her sex; no one ever "owes" anyone else sex.

She's your affair partner.

You may not be married to a narcissist. She may be your girlfriend or secret lover.

She's confident, perhaps beautiful, and very sexual...and she uses her sexuality in toxic ways. Initially, you might love her aggressive, sexual, and emotional nature. She tells you that she needs you in ways only you can fulfill. She's demanding and least for now.

She's a bit arrogant, too, but she has you believe she's entitled to it because she's so 'special and unique.' At least that's what she tells you.

Walk lightly here. Get involved, physically or emotionally, and she will destroy you. Of course your marriage, but perhaps also your reputation and career if you ever try to leave or disappoint her.

5. She has breathtaking arrogance.

The most shocking stories I hear as a couples therapist are about narcissistic affair partners. She seems unfettered by the fact that you're married. She'll contact your wife to tell her that "the marriage is over" and "he's in love with me now."

She will boldly "out" herself as your paramour and turn your female friends against you.

6. She is shocking enviousness.

In a delusional love triangle, your narcissistic affair partner may spread vicious rumors using social media. She may claim to be your wife, telling anyone who will listen. She'll call your actual wife a homewrecker who stole you from her loving arms.

She'll consider any signs of loyalty to your actual wife a sign of unfaithfulness. And she will retaliate in any way she can.

7. Her mental health is "just fine."

These personality disorders do not own up to having any stressful problems, no matter how obvious they may appear to you. In dealing with a narcissistic wife, you won't be successful in getting her to admit to having any problems.

But you may see her suffer from anxiety and depression. She will blame others for her circumstance, claiming that these psychiatric symptoms are situational or relational, not inside her.

She'll become depressed and slide into shame. She will act like it is because she is surrounded by fools who don't understand her. These fools can be:

  • the boss who didn't promote her,
  • the child that is failing at school, or
  • the husband who has not fed her neediness.

When depressed, she will become more verbally or even physically abusive. She may also abuse drugs or alcohol, engage in random sexual acts outside the relationship, and keep irregular hours.

8. She sees herself as being special and unique.

The more narcissistic these women are, the more verbally aggressive they are, but they believe it is justified. After all, she will argue, she has to keep the people in her life in line. She is deserving of respect, admiration, and even adoration because she is a special creature. Those who don't see it should be objects of ridicule.

9. She's emotionally unregulated.

Her emotions are quick to come and quick to change. She can fly into a rage at the slightest imagined slight. She can then turn on a dime if you give her what she wants.

She will consider others her inferiors, even her children who dare to challenge her. She will play favorites to those who feed her insatiable ego.

10. She's verbally aggressive.

The higher her level of narcissism, the lower her self-esteem. High levels of narcissism and damaged self-image can bring on more physical violence and verbal aggression.

A single lab study revealed an interesting finding. They learned that women with higher levels of narcissism demonstrated significantly higher levels of hostile and angry communication patterns. These findings replicate other research indicating that women’s, but not men’s, narcissism significantly predicted marital trajectories over time.

11. She playing the victim.

She might adopt a ‘victim stance,’ blaming you for her lot in life. She will expect you to make it right. She will be the 'dedicated mother' who has given up everything for her children. She will be the ruthless shopper who wears the dress and returns it because "it didn't look as good as I expected it to."

She will exploit every legal and social benefit to her advantage without a moment of guilt.

12. She can be violence.

The higher the level of narcissism, the more intimate partner violence she'll engage in over her lifetime, according to one prison study. This is more true for female than male prisoners.

In a sample of female prison inmates, researchers also found NPD to be a predictor of violent crimes, including murder. However, this study measured the more grandiose (vs covert) features of narcissism.

Couples Therapy Won’t Help

Narcissistic wives do poorly in long-term relationships. She doesn't accept that she has problems, so she's unlikely to want to change in any way. However, she might see couples therapy as a way to get someone to pressure YOU to change.  And, like all covert narcissists, she will adopt the language of couples therapy to manipulate you more skillfully.

This is why we don't recommend it.

However, here are four factors to consider if you are in this relationship for the long haul:

  • Face the Truth. Your spouse is excessively self-centered and lacks the capacity to feel compassion for others. However, the cost of staying with her means taking care of her fragile ego. That will be is more important to her than having a close, caring connection with you.
  • Establish Firm Boundaries. You will need to be unemotional when you go face-to-face with her. Expect that she may become very angry when she doesn't get what she thinks she deserves. You must show that you are in control of yourself.

It is important to be able to manage your own feelings while stating your own needs and the behaviors you expect her to change.

  • Hold Your Ground. Make expectations clear and express disapproval of unacceptable behaviors. Suggest individual counseling, such as DBT, to help with emotional regulation when depression hits.
  •  Expect Resistance. Make sure to stay focused on your goals. You will face continuous challenges and have your limits pushed. Rely on your family and professionals for your own help.

Find the right help and learn more appropriate responses to a Narcissistic Wife. It can be difficult to break bad habits. Finding the right kind of therapeutic guidance is necessary to ensure you stay on the right path.

Ready for a change in your relationship?

It starts with a no-obligation 15 minute phone call with our client services team.

Dr. K

Dr. Kathy McMahon (Dr. K) is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist. She is also the founder and president of Couples Therapy Inc. Dr. K feels passionate about couples therapy and sex therapy and holds a deep respect towards those who invest in making their relationship better. She is currently conducting online and in person private couples retreats.

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  1. She is just as dangerous as a sister. Yikes. Had to go no contact. She is a backstabbing, raging drug addict. Be careful. Don't think because they are blood family they will ever change! Peace be with you.

  2. I truly think my wife is a narcissist. Every day, she constantly talks down on me and tells me that I am nothing without her. Also she would tell me that the reason I am living like this now is all because of her, I wouldn't be anywhere without her. Any jobs I work at, she would constantly say that its easy and nothing she can do it too, but her job is harder and I wont be able to handle it. When I worked full time she was stay at home, but she barely does anything around the house even taking care of the kids. She will do it here and there, but not always. She will literally wait for me to come home form work just to go to store to buy groceries/food. She rarely goes out by herself to do any of those she would rather starve or eat whatever she can find in the fridge/closet. Ever since she works now and I don't, she is even more worse than before. She constantly tells me I am lazy I dont do anything around the house, and that if I can't do anything I might as well go back to work and she stay home again. I believe I do more than when she was stay at home, but to her she did everything except me. She would rage at me over paying the bills and having little left to do anything which was normal to me when I worked. Just that now she cant accept the fact that She is now doing what I been doing a long time ago. She makes it look like she has been doing it more than me even if she earns a little more than me at times. Talking never works I had mention therapy and it threw her off and went berserk on me. I believe our marriage has come to an end. There is nothing that can keep this relationship alive anymore.

  3. Hi Daniel my name is Randall Rodriguez my wife and I have been married for 40 years I love her to death she's my best friend lately for the last 10 years it's been hell I still love her I know inside her she loves me too I can't figure it out she's got all the signs of the narcissist she thinks that it's me all the time I try not to argue about it because I know it doesn't never go nowhere she never wants to talk she always want to yell she says it's me just wanting you she said to me that's arguing I don't even want to argue sir I just wanted to stop right now we're separated she's living with another man that is into other sexual relations with other people at once in other words she's getting sexual other guys while he watches vice versa except for he's gay I don't have money I have nothing she's taking me down to what I have emotionally spiritually just drained me because of the love I have for her it's been hard to just give her up to him she comes back about every two weeks as if she loves me again as if she's missed me it doesn't take her but two days or more and just leave it again she only would come back if she found out I was in another relationship or seeing somebody that you would make sure that relationship was destroyed before she left then she would leave again back to the same guy back and forth for the last year I can't take it much more I don't want my marriage to be destroyed we've been married almost 40 years together over 40 how can I get help thanks

    1. Sounds like you need your own sounding board, Randall. You know what is happening but you do nothing to advocate for yourself. There are many places to get individual help. Explore the question with them: “Why am I still involved with this woman? How have I given up my own dignity in favor of this relationship I call “love”? Who do I need to be in order to regain my own self-respect? Keep in mind, this chaos could last the rest of your life. -Dr. K

  4. I think my wife is a narcissist. She fits many of the categories mentioned on this website, anyway. At the present time I am being given the silent treatment, which has been going on for a few days now. This is one of her traits which usually occurs when I fail to meet a required standard which she has set for me.

  5. I don’t even know where to start. I have a relationship with a man who’s ex is a classic textbook narcissist. It took me only a month in our relationship to realize it. They have 2 beautiful boys that they have to co-parent and Thank God they live in different states, nevertheless her abuse towards him has never stopped. My boyfriend is a sweet and caring man but he is also submissive and passive when it comes to the abuse. It’s horrifying to listen to their phone exchanges, the way she talks to him and the way he responds. I don’t know which one it’s more infuriating. Since she is a classic Narc she doesn’t have boundaries and my boyfriend either when it comes to her or anything dealing with her and the kids. They were together for 13 years and she had done all what’s described here, lying, cheating, manipulating, humiliating, overpowering. My boyfriend is clearly a damaged and abused man and continues to be victimized although he doesn’t see it that way. It has costed us many arguments and countless hours of talk to trying to make him realize who she is and how to place boundaries in their relationship as co-parents and how to recuperate his autonomy as a man and as a father. We have made little progress. He is literally afraid of this woman and would not dare to confront her or simply stick up for himself and his own kids. She is also a narc mom who picks favorites with her kids and has a golden child that she uses to boost her self-image and ignores the other. It’s heartbreaking to see how evil can she be and how my boyfriend who adores his boys stays paralyzed and emotionally detached to this, even when he admits himself that everything I have described here is true.

    1. Sounds like this is the life you have chosen for yourself: to be a horrified bystander. It’s a tough place to be in, because you have no real power to do anything about it. Fighting with him is useless. And now it is your job to set your own boundaries with him to stay out of it! -Dr K

  6. I appreciate all your info. However, I feel grey rocking causes people to get upset when they sense such inauthenticity, it's scary. It just seems very manipulative and passive-aggressive. Like, just say how you feel. Be who you are. And if you can't talk to someone then be up front and don't talk to them. Gray rocking is a way to have it both ways…keep someone in your life but treat them like garbage. Nowhere do you say, HUG your wife. That's probably ALL she needs. To feel loved. Be KIND. HAve you ever tried that, because nowhere is kindness and respect mentioned?

  7. YOU have shared such invaluable information that has highlighted alot of answers that I have been screaming at the sky for.

    thankyou for this article. thankyou for your service to mental health. I just completed a year….and I'm still struggling to increase my self image in the wake of her "possible" NPD.

    the world is without color because I was all in for our marriage and didn't realize that I was being used in it.

    again, thanks for your wonderful article.

    1. It takes years, I think, Thackery. Years. Gaslighting is very psychologically damaging. You stop trusting the world and your ability to navigate it. My strongest advice is to work on tuning into your body and relying on your “gut instincts” to direct you either toward those you meet, or away from them. That includes people who are still in your life. Of course, be direct if someone is saying something that offends you, but then listen to how they respond. If they blame you for being “oversensitive” again, they are telling you to trust them and not your own gut.

  8. I believe my wife has a narcissistic personality disorder. She lied her way into my life, and she didn’t care about the consequences. Now, my life is destroyed. She caught me at a time that I was having trouble with my parents. She seemed nice. She manipulated everything; coming over after work, announcing that we should get married, wanting a baby, and when she knew that I was getting sick, she said that she didn’t think that she’d have to take care of me so soon. As I got sicker with multiple sclerosis she regressed more. She became more cruel and helped less. She recently told me that I would never touch her again. She forgot that she was the manipulator. She actually pulled me away from another woman and simply lied. Her lie became the truth and she had to keep it going. She had to pretend to like my family. Once they got old, she finally said that she hates my family. When my dad got to the phone, she changed her story to she hates my family but loves my dad. She has said that she hoped that I died. She said that she wouldn’t visit me at the hospital again. She has called me retarded, stupid, and just talked cruel because she knew I needed help. She sits at home while I use an Uber to get around; get my haircut, go get a blood check, get my eyes checked. That’s not a marriage. She married me to purposely hold me back. I’m trying to get away, but she knows I can’t on my own. I do feel better though. Since I decided not to pay bills, she finally took my asking for a divorce in January seriously. I live on a 5 foot couch. I pay bills. I’m alive to pay bills and live life on the couch. Her life matters so we can never sleep together and we’re married. I need help because in Alabama, no one wants to help a male with multiple sclerosis and needs a caregiver, which she is not. People can walk in this house and see how nasty it is. She won’t let anyone but her brother enter this house. Her car is red with a yellow sheen because it hasn’t been washed in years. Please help me in Gadsden Alabama.

  9. Doc, wow spot on to what I've been dealing with for 26 years. Although there are a few things that my wife is not , such as a liar, she checks off almost all the other boxes of being a Narcissistic Wife. Without knowing what I've been doing, I have been Grey Rocking for the past few weeks and her intentions of making me feel like I'm worthless and the only problem in our relationship has amped up. I fear it may be to late to salvage our relationship. I would love to schedule some time to talk to you and help me formulate a game plan to either salvage our marriage or how to opt out with minimal emotional suffering on both sides. I'm 61, time is ticking for me. I want to enjoy life and be happy from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. My wife is 52 and wakes up seeking confrontation from anyone in her path. Thank you for your time.

  10. I wish that descriptions of narcissists would STOP saying that we will NEVER hear the words "I'm sorry" from them. They will SAY IT – they just wont MEAN it. But any kindness or contrition is PERFORMATIVE. For a while, this one thing kept me from realizing my situation. Narcissists will SAY ANYTHING in the "love bombing" and "hoovering" stage – to keep you on the hook.

  11. I’ve been married 30 years. Wife is a mental health professional with 2 masters degrees. She has diagnosed me with NPD, PAPD, Avoidant PD,
    And I’m pretty sure I have ADHD. She is very intelligent. I am no saint but I’m still here and have had no affairs. In hindsight I did things in our early relationship that were mean and I think it was like a narcissistic wound to her. I’m pretty passive aggressive. My dad was very emotionally abusive since day 1. Wife has 3 siblings all with personality disorders. My wife has beaten me 3-4 times over the 30 years. Like a 20 minute wrestling match where I restrain her from punching and kicking me repeatedly. Never talked about. Punched me in the face twice. A few years ago she was very outspoken about wanting to leave me and hooked up with an old boyfriend and said she didn’t have sex with him but gave him a blowjob because she didn’t want to have intercourse. No sure I believe that except for the fact that the old BF is a big rich extroverted narcissist. Who knows. Don’t care. She threatens to leave me frequently. Actually says the only reason she doesn’t is that she is waiting for something better then she will be gone. Today another ultimatum that if I don’t start being more positive, appreciative, caring, reflect back what she is saying, etc then “we are done”. Last night after 2 martini's she insisted that I tell another person at the table what a covert narcissistic abusive oppressive male I am and stop this cycle of abuse. We’ll I didn’t say the right words and she stormed off in the rain because I humiliated her again. Which I have done countless times. I am so fucking confused, battered, and have absolutely zip self confidence-now I have to once again convince her that I understand how abusive I am and what I am going to do to change and be more relational. I don’t know how much longer I can lie to myself. I’m 65 I have zero retirement. She has contributed little in the way of finances but is counting of inheriting a large sum of money when her parents die both are in their 90s.
    Wish me well.

    1. I do wish you well. And you’re not dead yet. Read your own post and realize you still have a life ahead of you. If you are being abused in your marriage, as it sounds to me like you are, get help to decide what to do. She’s not the one who’s going to change. The ball is in your court. Time to step up and protect yourself. –Dr. K

  12. My wife and I have been in couples therapy for approximately 5 years with different therapists/psychiatrist w/out success. Only one understood the difficulty in our relationship. My wife wouldn’t attend sessions after awhile. I have studied many of Dr. Durvasula’s videos and now have a better understanding of my wife’s behavior (Covert NPD) as well as my own. My wife is a text book Covert Narcissist with progressive onset of dementia raised by a Covert Narcissist mother with dementia. She also has 2 sisters who exhibit the same behavior w/out All three have strained relationships with their spouses. I am seeking individual assistance toward recovery including dissolving the marriage.

  13. Epic rage, check. Lack of empathy, fragile self image, gas lighting, won't go to counseling, etc. Check.
    I'm with you on the diagnosis, esp. family of origin, and the remedies (setting boundaries and pattern changing.)
    A Herculean task, yes I can see that, lol. Thank you so much for this article.
    But grey rock hit me as an unexpected turn toward being passive aggressive.
    I'm going to try prayer and more love instead.
    Love is patient, love is kind, love does not count old offenses. That kind of love.
    I'm off to help save my marriage. Wish me luck!

  14. I think your advice is well founded. I lived with a narcissistic wife. Problem is, it sounds like you have never been an enabler. To compound my problem, my mother was a narcissist. My wife passed her affliction on to my daughter. My cousin Peter was the male version. He was the only one whom I put down. I wrote a book about it, somewhat therapeutic. Please feel bad for me about losing my daughter. We haven't spoken in ten years and I'm suicidal about it.

  15. I have been living this HELL for over 20 years of a 24 year marriage. She is like a Jekyll/Hyde personality today, and sadly, couple all of this with many years of drug addictions/abuses (opioids and others) I had never known prior and tried dealing to throughout the marriage as they became entrenched later in our marriage and would start back up over periods of time. I am at my wits end. Our ONLY son (21 yrs old) recently moved out, my small business is suffering greatly, and she has caused so much financial calamities over time I repeatedly try to fix or clean up but no longer can from her behaviors; especially ongoing Facebook and Other social Media groups she has been involved in for some time… Recently some of her Facebook group friends have attacked me in texts and online forums to others as if I am the "bad person" all in her defense…??? Once a supposed beautiful devout Christian woman, today I find she's engaged in tarot cards, astrology, crystals, Hemp/Marijuana research and vaping of D8 products, herb enhancement mixtures, witchery/sorcery products, etc… She's got online accounts everywhere and also various Bitcoin, cashApp, Paypal and other type accounts she has been making/moving monies through for quite some time all unbeknownst to me until recent massive blow up and findings occurred here in our home.

  16. The more I understand my wife’s narcissism and apply grey rock, the less conflict arises, but there always seems to be something new I don’t anticipate, so it is a constantly effort of vigilant anticipation and avoidance to keep the peace. While it gains me peace most of the time, it certainly leaves me wanting more out of our relationship than having an occasionally annoying roommate. Short of divorcing, how do I find fulfillment outside of the relationship without jeapardizing it?

    1. This really isn’t a question for a blog comment. It’s one to be taken up with either a close friend or a trusted therapist. You’ve taken on a massive task and only someone who knows you can help you to navigate it. Best of luck in it.

      Dr. K

  17. I’m at the point in my relationship where I don’t know if I am a narcissist/was a narcissist before the relationship or if I am becoming one. My girlfriend keeps calling me a narcaccisst and I don’t deny I have some of the traits.

    My relationship:

    I can’t make any decisions.
    I listen to how her day was but never get to say how mine was.
    She gets angry at me for having a bad day.
    She is always complaining even if I do what she has asked.
    If I do what she asked it’s done the wrong way.
    It’s her way or no way.

    This is just a small bit of one of our conversations:

    ME: You have worked Saturdays when she is there?
    HER No I haven’t
    HER: I might have helped one Saturday
    ME: (Her Name) you have said countless times to me that you work the weekend you dont have the boys now all of a sudden you don’t?
    HER: Don’t talk rubbish.
    HER: I work late on Friday when I don’t have the boys. I very seldom work a weekend
    HER:I think you’re going mad ?
    ME: The weekend you don’t have the boys
    ME: Rubbish

    Am I a narcaccisst? Is she a narcaccisst? I don’t know anymore.

  18. Hey buddy, If I didn’t know any better I’d swear that we are married to the same woman. I’m in the same boat as you. I’m at my wits end.

    1. Me too… exacty the same for me. Therapy didnt work, im very self critical, she is very accustomed to lying and almost demanding that I believe her.

  19. My ex wife suffers from BPD/BPD bipolar disorder/borderline personality disorder, the latter brings out narcissistic behavior when she’s in a manic phase. My experience is very similar to all the prior post including the author of this website/forum.
    My ex would never take responsibility for her terrible behavior which including yelling, false blaming, gaslighting which included labeling innocent people with her same diagnosis. She tried for years to attack myself self esteem by belittling any and all goals to a point to where I stopped sharing goals and certain thoughts and ideas. Her gaslighting techniques were childish but very practiced and skilled like an olympic archer hitting a target from 100 yards. She would often say to me, “I’m jealous of you because you don’t suffer from bi polar, you don’t suffer from depression”. I always expressed humility when she was depressed and tried to make her life easy as possible when she slept most of the day, fired from job, wouldn’t seek another job, wouldn’t do simple chores, wouldn’t bathe. The gaslighting or protection tactics was pretty much the last straw. Whenever coming out of a long state of depression, she would go into a manic phase almost overnight. She would go from feeling introspective and somber to lashing out at those close to her and I was the closest human, “whipping post”. First, was the few months of trying to convince me that I was a mean person. She had displayed anger, spontaneous outburst of rage towards me and other family members. When she realized this wasn’t working, she moved on to trying to convince me that I was a narcissist, the very same behavior she displayed when manic.
    Often, the next day she would apologize for her behavior, then feel guilt, then turn that very same guilt on me through anger for her feeling guilty. Towards the end of our marriage, she began telling people that she was in an abusive relationship, as if I was doing the abuse. She would go to 3 support groups telling of this same abusive relationship message, yet refusing to admit that she was doing the abusing. She would gain their sympathy, valid the lie into a false sense of truth. In one of the support groups, several of the women began catching on to the lie when she began flirting with men within the group. These women also caught onto the aspects of her mental illness. She stopped going to the support group when confronted by these other women. Theres so much more I can say, but separation and divorce has many positives when it comes to separating yourself from a narcissistic gaslighter. If your a man (or woman) in a relationship w a gaslighter, or narcissist, or some bipolars especially those who don’t have the right meds or refuse to stay on the meds, etc the best I can tell you is….run! Run as fast as you can. Save yourself.

    1. My wife of 24 years supposedly has been diagnoses with similar PTSD and Other issues from her past, and is on Adderall right now along with some other things. But literally hundreds of doctor visits, therapists, psychiatrists, detox center even over the years all seem to be in vane. She has had bad behaviors today tied by and through Facebook sadly, and to confront or question her, sees massive denial and anger come out blaming me or some other reason for what I fine.

  20. I have been seeking out help to help me cope with strategies involving my narcissistic wife because we have 3 children together and I’m getting no help whatsoever on how to escape this or navigate these waters. We are meeting with a counsellor and she is in my face “pushing” me back into the storm no matter how hard I try to escape. My requests from my wife are being met with stony silence and then she tries to proceed as though I didn’t say anything at all. I fear I might lose my mind here.

    I’m writing because I can’t help but notice there appears to be a sexist double standard. I’m not looking for confirmation bias, but I can’t help but notice that if it is a narcissistic husband…a woman is told it is okay to run. To escape. To go find your happiness. BUT, if the male is the victim–they are told, well just deal with it. This is the wife you chose. Learn to live with being unhappy. Adjust your expectations. Don’t let her abuse affect you. This is challenging because I already am questioning my sanity with no support.

    Why is this so?
    Abuse is abuse is abuse.

    1. So sorry you’re going though this, my physician is married to a narc and I do not know why he stays, I think it’ll kill him, she denigrates him to anyone who will listen. I had to cut her off, so much victimhood and looking for narcissistic supply. Poor him. If I were you I’d get a place of your own, do not tell her and get a good divorce lawyer. Then go into therapy yourself. There are many videos not on youtube about narcs, Dr Phil just did a series. They are born of the devil. My mother was a narc and so are two of my three siblings, I won’t be in the room with any of them. Take care.

  21. It’s even more important than her kids,

    >75% statistics.
    Staring you in the face.
    Lack of empathy.
    Crossover traits
    Desire for power incorrectly observed as Feeling of powerless
    Power weaponized allowed by the pysch community because of cultural bias.
    Emotional dysregulation
    Bouts of anger/rage of any level in a relationship dismissed or diminished as ” frustrated little woman”

    Wreaking havoc and leaving tsunami waves in the souls and psyches of their children to replay the same songs of their parents, cut into the records of their childhood.

  22. I think it is best to completely get away from a person who has NPD, whenever possible. The chances of having an actual future with a person with that disorder are not very high. Life is too short to spend hoping for a person with little to no self-awareness to suddenly start being introspective.

    1. I truly believe this, I have been married for over thirteen years but I have been with my wife all together for 20 hard long years. In the beginning she started out like the perfect woman but slowly started changing, she could turn off her love, feelings in an instant. One minute she could be this loving caring person and next this cold hearted woman distancing herself like you wasn’t there, and lie. I found out on at least two of her jobs she never mentioned that she was married, how I found out, she started coming home late all a sudden she started coming home late nights, her hours kept changing she never would answer her phone, her excuse was that cellphone’s wasn’t allowed, but she didn’t give me the number to neither Jobs. So I called her job and asked can I speak to my wife, their reply was I never knew she was married, I heard another woman laughing in the background, when I questioned her on this she replied back what’s wrong with that, they don’t need to know if I’m married, she kept a lock on her cellphone, always on silent and turned face down on vibrate. When she get a call she either let ring or go in the bathroom, outside or call the person back when I wasn’t around, calls all times of the night, one night her kept vibrating lying in bed so I grabbed the and she almost broke my hand to get the phone away from me. Found out that she was seeing another man behind my back a few months after my baby brother was murdered, her excuse was that I wasn’t giving her any attention, after that found out my mother had aggressive cancer she showed little concern. And so long discovered she was seeing another guy, her story this time was I was the blame, again she had every excuse why she wasn’t or didn’t answer her cellphone, she either forgot to bring from home for almost two weeks, the other reason, she couldn’t get reception/service where she was at for example one of her brothers house but she would never give me the address her excuse she didn’t know but that’s where you’re at, during the time, the last excuse she was too busy or she never received my call or text, but she would call me back a day or two after she got back from where she was at. The last time she was pregnant she would go to the doctor but never wanted me to go with her, and the sad part the way I found out, I went to the hospital with her for a check up, the ask her if she knew she was pregnant, her reply no but the look in her face said differently, I don’t know this woman has lied to my face repeatedly without blinking an eye I’m just tired of going through this, deep down in my heart I believe she has slept with these men because she shows no or has no sex drive for me, I need to just get out of this marriage because she shows no change you reason or compromise with her, she’s always playing the victim, she never take the blame or even say sorry or it’s my fault, the only time she ever have is when I threaten to leave, she promised to change and work on the marriage for awhile she did but it went back to the same and got worse.

      1. I can relate so well to you it’s real and the lack of everything you need I don’t think is going to be there when you need it if you figure anything out let me know I would love to understand more how to cope and feel involved or not. The things you say are identical to my situation and I really don’t want to push her out of my life ,but I’m not sure if there is another way to do it and be happy enough for myself. I say pray pray pray GOD does do miracles.

        1. So how I got my wife straighten out is kinda of crazy she was so crazy when I cough her cheating she said he rapped her but come on the day before we were fighting about you going to the gym together the day I found out was bad but she was late on her period so I got a clone of a son out of the deal I guess

          But how we fixed it Dom/Sub she my sub now and life has been amazing better then ever I’m more in love with her now 18years later then I ever was I didn’t think that was possible

          Hopefully this helps someone

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