11 Best Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Husband

Because you can always find ways to work through it with a little guidance and help

Reviewed by Dr Nancy B Irwin, PsyD Dr Nancy B Irwin Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA (English) Gazala Firdos Ansari Integrated MA (English) Experience: 2 years

Marriage is a lifelong commitment. But, being married to a narcissist can take a toll on your mental health. Wondering how to deal with a narcissistic husband? Narcissists are self-centered and lack empathy. They need constant attention and validation. Typically, they do not perceive their behavior as toxic. Narcissist personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition that may require treatment, yet few narcissists will enter treatment due to their underlying perceived inferiority, masked by a false superiority. This makes it more important for the people around them to learn how to deal with a narcissist effectively.

If you are married to a narcissistic man, you must be prepared to deal with him. Read on to learn the 11 best ways to deal with a narcissistic husband without ruining your relationship.

11 Best Tips To Deal With A Narcissistic Husband

1. Have An Open Talk With Your Husband

Open communicate your worries to the narcissistic partner
Image: Shutterstock

Narcissists focus mostly on themselves and can’t deal well with criticism. They always want to dominate conversations. So, make sure to maintain a level head when you converse. Most times, even your clear points can be disregarded by your partner. But try to explain to him, in a convincing tone, how his behavior could be hurting you. Avoid accusing and try not to shout at your husband. Having open communication is an effective mode to convey your emotions to your man. If your man is willing to change his behavior, tell him what is good for your relationship.

2. Find Out The Triggers For His Behavior

Try to recognize the roots of his narcissism. Finding out his insecurities that he is trying desperately to cover up can help you deal with your narcissist husband. Consult his relatives or friends who can help you deal with his problem. They might know how long he has been suffering from this mentality. Also, you will be able to know his past. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have insecurity problems, which often trigger their negative behavior. If you observe this tendency in recent times, try to find out what could have caused his behavior. The damage to their psyche typically occurs during the toddler years. Narcissists belittle you to feel better about themselves. Once you find out how to recognize these triggers, you can avoid or be prepared for the struggles that may cause.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You should start practicing deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to help yourself stay calm and avoid reacting strongly when interacting with someone with NPD.

3. Know His True Behavior

Do not fall prey to your partner's manipulations
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Narcissistic people are very charming and magnetic. They are good at creating self-flattering images and grand ideas. These people are addicted to feeling very special about themselves, and they lie, cheat, and do whatever they want to get their high. If you question your partner about his behavior, he may question your authority about the same. But knowing his true behavior can help you arrive at an ideal solution.

4. Make A Decision

People with NPD have low self-esteem and will not take any responsibility for their mistakes. Also, it is not easy for a narcissist to understand their behavior and how they are hurting others. At times, you may feel it is difficult to change him – and the only person’s behavior that you can control is your own. But remember – this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good marriage; it just may look different than what you might have expected. Your encouraging words, care, and counseling sessions can help him think positively.

5. Stop Your Focus On Him

Take some time alone to focus on yourself
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Narcissistic individuals have attention-seeking behavior. They like to keep themselves in the spotlight. No matter how many sacrifices you make for him, your husband may not recognize it and your actions may never be enough for him. You might soon find that your opinions don’t matter. So, stop your focus on him. Spend some time for yourself to pursue your goals and desires. This will make you happier.

6. Speak Up For Yourself

People with narcissistic behavior enjoy watching others suffer as they are incapable of compassion and empathy. But if you are facing this issue with your husband, try not to show annoyance. Handle the situation calmly and gently. Speak up for yourself and tell him how his words and behaviors are impacting your life. Also, be consistent and clear about what kind of behavior you are expecting from him. But be prepared for the fact that he may not listen to you or he may even ignore you. If he continues to ignore you and doesn’t show any care for you, you may choose to walk away from the relationship.

7. Work On Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem influences your decisions and choices. Low self-esteem reduces the quality of life in many ways. Narcissists see themselves as superiors and struggle with being empathetic with others. They insult other people and tend to knock them down. Verbal and emotional abuse from your husband could be signs of low self-esteem. If you are not careful, such behavior can hurt your self-esteem too. Hence, it is important to work on your mental health and self-esteem.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Engaging in positive self talk, practicing self-care, and maintaining a healthy support system help develop resilience, foster self esteem, and enable you to better deal with a narcissistic husband.

8. Establish Clear Boundaries

Create healthy boundaries with your narcissistic partner
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Setting clear boundaries makes any relationship healthier. Narcissistic individuals are often self-absorbed and want to take lead in the relationship. Your husband may not like it when you spend time with your friends. Narcissists also won’t apologize for their mistakes. Also, they have little sense of personal space. Hence, you must set clear boundaries and tell your husband to respect them. Tell your husband what is not acceptable to you and why the consequences should matter to him. Narcissistic individuals only start thinking about things when they are affected.

9. Check Yourself

Dealing with a narcissistic husband who has no concern about another’s state of mind can take a toll on your health. If you are trying to make your relationship healthy but are unhappy with the results, get in touch with your friends and family. Speak to them and get help from them. Talking to them will build your confidence. Also, consult a doctor if you have any anxiety issues.

10. Keep A Support System

Keep your loved ones close by
Image: Shutterstock

Spending an excessive amount of time with someone with NPD can drain you out. It is common for a narcissist to isolate their spouse from their family and friends. Your husband might want all of your attention and may become jealous if you are spending time with other people. When you are not connecting with a support system, it can become easier for your husband to take control of your life. Hence, it is important to have individuals around you who are offering you the right support.

11. Take Him For Counseling

Narcissists have low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, and often need professional intervention. But many narcissists are against counseling as they think they know more than any therapist, so be wary about this suggestion. Making it seem like a shared problem may make your husband agree to seek counseling. Take responsibility for your actions instead of pushing it all on him.

Colleen Sheehy Orme, a blogger, recounts in one of her blog posts her experience in a marriage counseling session where the term “narcissism” was introduced as a diagnosis for her husband. “We leave that appointment and head home. My husband makes it clear he is done with marriage counseling. Today’s diagnosis has sealed the deal (i),” she notes.

Narcissists have a high sense of self-importance which is often difficult for them to let go. But is there any chance that this can change? Read on to find out.

Can A Narcissist Change?

A man talking to his therapist
Image: Shutterstock

People diagnosed with narcissism can change and keep their narcissism in check; however, it requires a lot of effort and patience from both parties. The traits of the disorder make it difficult for the narcissist to see reason and realize the need for change.
Since this is not a clinical issue, he can try to change his personality and behavior with conscious effort and consistent professional and personal support. For this, he will need to look beyond himself in the mirror and understand the toxic nature and impact of his behavior, realize that he has a problem and commit to getting support and therapy for his issues. The path to changing might be mentally hard as it will require him to abandon years of established behaviors, adopt new behavioral and thought patterns, and develop new habits. Hence, it is important to stand by him and believe in a positive change.

Infographic: Terms Of Narcissism

It is important to spot the signs and obvious red flags pointing to a narcissist. However, sometimes, narcissists are too clever, and hence, we also need to be able to spot patterns in their behavior and surroundings. There are specific terms that categorize these patterns. Check out the infographic below to learn about these terms.

terms of narcissim (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team


Narcissistic personality disorder manifests in many ugly ways — a need for control, attention, dominance, and a complete disregard for other people’s needs and desires. When you are married to a narcissistic man, you have to either leave them or learn to live with them. The above pointers are some guidelines on how to deal with a narcissistic husband. For instance, establishing boundaries, taking care of your mental health, and communicating well with your partner without triggering their insecurities can help save the marriage without sacrificing your wellbeing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do narcissists treat their wives?

Narcissistic men try to control and manipulate their wives. In an effort to deceive their wives, they frequently engage in gaslighting them. In addition, they often have affairs and lie to them. If they are successful in doing that, it makes them feel even more powerful.

What kind of woman do narcissists like?

A narcissistic man seeks a woman who will reinforce his belief that he is a superior man. He wants an accomplished woman to be his “trophy” wife. Narcissists frequently find themselves drawn to powerful, self-assured, and hard-working women. They typically seek out career-focused women who are ambitious.

How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

Narcissists go to great lengths to regain their sense of power if they can no longer control you. As a result, they will probably feel offended, become enraged, and possibly even begin threatening you.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have a narcissistic husband, it is best to have an open conversation with him about it to figure out how to deal with it.
  • You can work on your self-esteem, establish clear boundaries, and take him to therapy to help him deal with his behavior.
  • It is important to build a support system of family and friends for yourself during this time.
11 Best Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Husband

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn 7 useful tips to handle your narcissistic husband when he’s in a rage. Check out this informative video to navigate your relationship safely with him.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr Nancy B Irwin

Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD

Originally from Atlanta, Dr. Nancy Irwin graduated from UWG in 1977 with a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance. She moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad and moved to Los Angeles in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes. Dr. Irwin...read full bio

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