15 Signs Of A Narcissistic Wife And How To Deal With Them

If she loves drama and lacks empathy, it's time to reevaluate your relationship.

Reviewed by Vincenzo Sinisi, Clinical Psychologist
By Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Have you ever heard of a narcissistic wife? If your answer is no, let this article enlighten you. Many people have narcissistic wives (or husbands). The traits of a narcissistic partner include self-centeredness, an exaggerated sense of importance, a paradoxically fragile ego, believing they are better than their partners and looking down on them, and manipulating them into doing their bidding.

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Shane K. Perrault, “Lack of empathy, a self-centered personality style characterized as having an excessive interest in one’s physical appearance, and an excessive preoccupation with one’s own needs, often at the expense of your and other family members and friends are the telltale signs of a narcissistic wife.”

A narcissistic wife may isolate you from the outside world. They could try to restrict your movement and not allow you to meet your friends and family. They make you feel guilty for all manner of things that go wrong. These restrictions and controlling behaviors can seriously impact you, and it can drastically lower your confidence and self-esteem. This article lists the traits of a narcissistic wife. You may use them as a guide to see whether your wife might be a narcissist or not. If she is, you may use the steps mentioned in the article to tackle her. Scroll down!

Who Is A Narcissistic Wife?

Who is a narcissistic wife

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A narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of their own importance. While it isn’t uncommon for partners to work productively towards happiness as a team, a narcissistic wife is more prone to putting herself first. She feels intense envy of her husband’s (and others’) accomplishments and often tries to one-up him. She releases her rage like it is Zeus’s thunderbolt, and while you may dismiss this as being short-tempered, others fear she will at some point nuke them (metaphorically, of course).

Her extreme love for herself may result in her sidelining her husband and even her children to focus on herself. She might see them all as if they are existing purely to meet her needs and demands. There are chances that these signs may be symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, but at the same time, they may simply be traits of selfishness that someone exhibits.

Note: When we say ‘narcissistic,’ we mean the trait of narcissism that a person portrays. It does not refer to narcissistic personality disorder, a psychological issue that must be dealt with by mental health professionals.

If you relate to any of the personality traits discussed above, you may be dealing with a narcissistic wife. Head to the next section to get a clearer picture and know the signs exhibited by someone who is a narcissist.

15 Signs Of A Narcissistic Wife

Signs of a narcissistic wife

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1. She Is DRAMA, In All Caps!

Drama is her everything, the pivot of her being. And it does not refer to the cutesy K-dramas that everyone’s obsessed over of late. Instead, it is the never-ending hard and cold soap drama that goes on for hundreds of episodes. It will leave you emotionally, mentally, and physically drained.

2. She Loves Praising Others… Backhanded, Of Course!

Praise is good, it is encouraging, and it is nice… Well, not from her. Hiding behind every single praise is a backhanded comment. And if you are smart enough to figure it out (which most people are), it HURTS. It will leave everyone in self-doubt, which is definitely not the best place to be in.

3. Competitiveness Is Her Everything

This is not the healthy type of competition; it has to be the ugly competitiveness with a pinch of jealousy… okay, maybe a whole bottle of jealousy. First, she will compete with your kids for your attention, and then, she will compete with you for whatever new feather you have in your hat. The bottom line is she is jealous, and she is competitive, for little reason, and with everyone. Other people’s success causes her to feel inadequate.

4. She Has Perfected Abusive Behavior

An angry woman emotionally abuses her husband.

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Abuse can manifest in many forms — physical, mental, emotional, and psychological. While your narcissistic wife may not portray physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse are the ones she wields at the ready. It can be anything from snide comments that jab at a person’s feelings to mentally scarring someone. These reactions usually follow her feeling slighted or insulted, something that happens all too easily.

5. Empathy Is Not Her Cup Of Tea

Lack of empathy is their telltale feature. Since everything is about her, even your wounds belong to her story. Did you hurt your elbow? Oh, don’t worry. Even she once had a huge scratch on her hand. Anyway, everything is about her. You know, right?

6. She Could Use Sex Appeal Like A Weapon

She knows she has got it, and she doesn’t mind using it! Sexual appeal is but a gun in her arsenal of weapons. And it is one that works, and she doesn’t mind hanging it around your neck. However, not all may use it as a weapon.

7. She Can Criticize Anything On The Spot

She will act like she is completely concerned for your well-being but ends up criticizing you, making you question yourself. The things she criticizes you on may not even exist! Did you do the dishes today? Oh well, you left a spot! Did you get promoted to team lead? Hmm, maybe it is one step closer to the CEO! There is really no satisfying her!

A narcissistic wife can criticize anything on the spot

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8. Her Anger Is Right On Her Nose

It is not an exaggeration; she has an extremely short fuse that blows up at the drop of a hat. It is not like the volcano that erupts once in a few hundred years and then stays calm for the next few hundred. Nope! She is the volcano that keeps erupting and never ceases.

9. She Expects Too Much, With Too Little To Offer

You have to get her gifts, praise, trust, unconditional love, and everything else you can give her. But she isn’t obliged to return anything, or at least that is what she thinks. While you thought it was endearing initially, now, it has just become burdensome.

10. She Doesn’t Mind Gaslighting You

She will make you question your reality, your sanity, and your sense of self. Her actions and her words often leave you confused, hurt, and in serious need of therapy. Of course, you won’t figure it out at the start, but as time passes by, it becomes a huge chunk of emotional manipulation.

11. You Have Started Feeling Alone In Your Relationship

Even though you are married to her, you have started feeling lonely. It is like you are the one pulling the whole weight of the family, and it has started weighing on you and wearing you down.

12. Everything She Does Is Out Of ‘Concern’ For You

Another master tactic in her hand is to make her jealousy and ‘me’ attitude come off as concern for you. It could even mean her crying off to your parents about how she is concerned about you and all the issues you are currently posing.

13. Yet, You Are The Issue!

If you tell her she is wrong, she will not hesitate to wage war. If you still argue… well, we don’t want to be in your place! Your every habit has been criticized at least once, making you change your behavior, become conscious around them, or both.

14. She Will Nit-Pick Your Style Of Parenting

Another way she criticizes you is through your style of parenting. Nothing you ever do will be good enough for the kids. And if she is the one doing more of the parenting, she still won’t sit back. She will criticize something else regarding your style of parenting.

15. She Will Go To Any Length For Revenge

Her form of revenge isn’t always about throwing tantrums or spewing some emotional insults that hurt more than martial arts moves. Instead, it could involve putting a dent in your wallet — a huge dent at that. It doesn’t even matter if she has her own source of income.

Narcissistic wives may be difficult to deal with, but you shouldn’t lose hope just yet. There are ways to tackle narcissistic tendencies through couples therapy, counseling, or certain modifications in your behavior to invite changes from her end.

How To Deal With A Narcissistic Wife

How to deal with a narcissistic wife

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It may come as a shocker, but the person who lives with them can impact their behavior. So, the first step for you would be to understand if the narcissism your wife displays was in any way caused or projected by you. Dr. Perrault suggests, “Ask yourself what about her appealed to you, and did you do anything to traumatize her and bring this side out? Many spouses’ personalities shift after a traumatic event.”

If you aren’t codependent and didn’t play a role in her narcissism, couples therapy or counseling is the way forward. It will help you figure out just how you can better work in your relationship.

Another important piece of advice would be to choose your battles. Don’t argue with your wife on small issues based on insults and petty comments. By definition, individuals with narcissistic personality disorders lack insight and have impaired judgment, so talking it out will likely yield limited results. These small fights will act as bait for you, giving her a reason to pick a fight in the future.

A smart way of dealing with a narcissistic wife is to stroke their ego and ‘make them think it’s their idea.’ If you wish to convince them about something, do so in a way that lets them take the credit.

While it may seem immensely difficult to understand and deal with a narcissistic wife, a good way to counter this negative aspect would be to maintain other healthy relationships around you, be it with your children, family, or friends.

Talk about yourself as a couple and about your future in a manner where both of you are involved. For example, instead of using ‘I,’ ‘me,’ and ‘mine,’ use ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘ours.’ This simple change could bring about a world of difference. It will help your wife realize and understand that this relationship isn’t a battle she is fighting against you, but it is something where you both learn and grow together.

We hope this article helps you identify the behavioral patterns of a narcissistic wife. If you have observed these patterns in your wife, it is understandable how it may seem extremely hard to deal with the negativity and abuse. Therefore, depending on how extreme the condition is, you must assess how it affects you – if it is healthy for you to stay in the relationship. However, if your wife is willing to talk about it and be better, you may hope for a better future. Every relationship has ups and downs, after all. If you both matter to each other, it is important that you face challenges in your relationship with love and trust in each other rather than turning against each other. Maybe all your relationship needs are honesty and faith.

Key Takeaways

  • Being manipulative, lack of empathy, and excessive preoccupation with one’s own needs are a few traits of a narcissistic wife.
  • Narcissistic wives will restrict you from meeting your family and friends and isolate you from the outside world.
  • Going for couples therapy and choosing your fights wisely can make it easier to deal with a narcissistic wife.

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As Head Of Content Operations, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic... more

Vincenzo Sinisi

(Clinical Psychologist)
Vincenzo Sinisi is a psychoanalyst, group analyst, clinical psychologist, and the founding director of TherapyRoute.com, an international mental health service... more

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