Is My Wife A Narcissist?

Is my wife a narcissist? is a difficult question to answer while you are still married and living with her. Why? Because if she is, you are so used to the abuse that it has been normalized and it's difficult to recognize what is actually going on. And if she is not, then chances are that you wouldn't be asking that question.

But you are asking the question, and finding the correct answer is vital, because it changes everything if she actually is a narcissist.

If you are going between, "I think she is, she has some of the traits..." and "Nah, she can't be..." then this is normal. It´s like there are two parts of you, one can see that things are definitely not right in the relationship and the other finds all sorts of excuses for why she couldn't possibly be abusive and controlling. One part of you wants to get out. The other cannot imagine being without her. One part of you hates her for the way she treats you, the other part loves her, or at least loved her, and cares about her and wants to try and improve the situation.

If you have these internal conflicts, then welcome to the world of mind control. This unresolvable back and forth is typical of someone who is in an abusive relationship. Let this be an indication that there is something seriously wrong in your situation.

Before we get to the specific indicators of narcissism in a wife, I would like to talk a bit about the dynamics in abusive relationships and the bigger picture of what happens when someone is in an abusive relationship with it's inherent power imbalance.

Without going into too much detail in this article, a manipulator changes a person's beliefs, thinking, decision making, emotions and behaviors. In effect, they change the personality of the victims. This is why family members and friends say of the victim that they don't recognize the person any longer. And victims will often report that they lost themselves in the relationship, or that they felt like nothing, or felt incomplete, without the manipulator.

The way to think about this idea is that the manipulator imposes a false personality on top of the real personality. This false personality never destroys the real personality, but it certainly dominates it. This false personality, or pseudopersonality, is programmed to love and trust the manipulator. It is programmed to believe the manipulator. It is programmed to be dependent on the manipulator. And it is trained to take care of the manipulator above all else.

This idea helps to explain the various parts that the victim experiences. The pseudopersonality is programmed to be with the manipulator, the real personality wants to run away. The pseudopersonality is programmed to do what the manipulator wants, the real personality resents not getting what it wants. And on and on... This pseudopersonality idea is really useful in helping to understand the psychological effects of the manipulator on the people they are controlling and abusing.

You can read more about the specific dynamics of how the pseudopersonality is installed in these articles about narcissistic boyfriends and narcissistic husbands. Obviously you can just swap roles because the same dynamics occur when the woman is the manipulator.

Ok, so what do you look for in a relationship to help you answer the question, "Is my wife a narcissist?"


Is my wife a narcissist? Some indicators

Was your wife caring, loving and attentive at the start but now she nags, criticizes and complains all the time?

Did you feel initially that you had met someone that understood you like nobody ever had before?

Were you happy to do things to please her at the start? Do you spend your time now not doing things or doing things in order not to upset her?

Does everything have to be her way?

Does she have a foul temper? And she is not afraid to let rip?

Does she make cutting remarks more often that you would like?

Does she control the finances? Or does she spend whatever she wants but criticizes you for what you spend?

Does she make critical remarks about you to friends and family in front of you?

Are there things that she repeats over and over? It could be calling you pathetic or useless, it could be saying that she never tells lies or when you call her out on something she says, "Are you accusing me of...?" or "I don't know what you are talking about!" The repetition of these ideas is very important. These are the ideas that she wants you to accept unquestioningly. And, just as importantly, they are not true (even if it seems that there is evidence that they are true!).

Have you been isolated from friends and family? In other words, do you spend much less time with them now than before? Has your wife made herself the main source of your information? Are you expected to accept everything she says?

Have you noticed that she lies to you? If not, do you suspect that she may be lying but you can't seem to find anything concrete?

Does she threaten you? Does she make references to leaving if you don't comply with her demands? This is particularly nasty because of the dependency I mentioned earlier. Narcissistic people know that their victims are dependent on them and the thought of losing the relationship is often terrifying for the victim. Threatening to leave, no matter how vague the threat is, usually guarantees that the victim will do whatever is required to keep the relationship intact.

Of course, there is the grandiosity, self centeredness and the attention seeking. It's always about her. If you are sick, she complains about how difficult it is for her to manage. If you are upset about something, she moans about how you are making her life impossible. You want to go out and she kicks off about how her timetable is thrown off.


Is my wife a narcissist? More covert signs

When she criticizes you, does she make you feel bad as a person for what you said or did? This is very important. Saying to a child, for example, that their behavior is unacceptable is not the same as saying that they are a bad child for having done the behavior. The former criticizes the behavior, the latter attacks the child. The narcissist will do the very same. "Why do you do that? Are you stupid or what?" "Well, you've done it again. That's just you all over!" This is a vital component in making you feel bad about who you are so that you try and change to please her. This is the first step in the process of imposing the pseudopersonality that I mentioned above.

A classical sign of a manipulator is that what they say and what they do are different things. However, for someone in a relationship this can be very hard to spot. Why? Because the manipulator will have all sorts of excuses for why they can't do what they said they were going to do. Initially these excuses seem to be plausible but over time they become more and more ridiculous. However, remember the pseudopersonality thing? The pseudopersonality cannot think very well, is programmed to accept what the manipulator says and is afraid to argue with the manipulator. All these things add up to immense difficulties for the victim in recognizing that the manipulator is lying and/or has no sense of obligation in keeping their word.

Are you on an emotional rollercoaster? Again, this is a tricky one. Many people don't realize that their lives with the manipulator are one crisis after another until after they have left the relationship. On leaving the relationship, the victim feels that there is something missing, or they feel bored. It takes a while to realize that what's missing is the drama around the manipulator. Abusers can make their victims feel amazing and they can make them feel miserable. They know exactly which buttons to press to do either one. And the reason they know the buttons is that often they have created them. On purpose! I know, this is often hard for victims to realize. The abusers are doing everything on purpose, they are deliberately tormenting you. This is twisted, yes, but it's the only thing that explains what is going on in the relationship in a way that will make sense. Most victims are living under an umbrella of fear and guilt and it's not until they can distance themselves from the manipulator that they realize just how much fear and guilt was used against them.


Is my wife a narcissist? Yes!

I hope after reading this that you can begin to see some things more clearly. If you recognize more evidence that your wife is a narcissist, then you need to take action.

First of all, she is not going to change. She has got worse during the marriage and she is not going to back track now (no matter what she promises).

Secondly, this person does not love you. If you love someone, you don't treat them the way she has treated you.

Thirdly, she is doing this on purpose. These people's relationships are based on control and coercion. It is never a relationship of equals. There is a power imbalance created deliberately by the narcissist.

Fourthly, if you have children, she is doing the same thing to them. It would be useful to learn what she is doing so you can teach them to protect themselves as well, so that they don't end up in abusive relationships as adults.

So what action can you take?

Education is important. You need to understand mind control, narcissists, their traits, their motivations and their techniques.

Get help. Ask your good friends and family for support in whatever way you need it, emotional, financial, even someone to talk to on a regular basis. Get professional help.


Is my wife a narcissist? More reading

You can read more here about what a controlling relationship is, the stages of an abusive relationship, more signs your partner is controlling, divorcing an abuser and narcissistic abuse recovery.

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Would you like to talk to someone about your situation?

If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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