Narcissism is a particularly toxic personality disorder, thought to affect as much as 6% of the population. In layman’s terms, it’s the “selfish” disorder – people who have it are very concerned with themselves, their need for admiration and their sense of superiority over other people. When a relationship breaks down, it’s very common to feel that your ex has been acting selfishly, and question whether there is something wrong with them. After all if they love you, how can they cause you so much pain? However, the truth is that if your ex is a narcissist, their behaviour will have gone way above and beyond common or garden selfishness…
The key is to look beyond how they are with you and looking at their behaviour with everyone. Here are six signs that you may actually be married to a Narcissist.
- They find ways to make themselves to be superior
Do they often talk about ways that they are superior to others? Do they constantly talk about their successes or even try to turn their failures into successes? Do they exaggerate their achievements or talk about powerful people that they know? Narcissists need to make others realise there are superior and if you listen to them, they will do this really frequently in normal conversations.
The narcissist’s love of power often mean that they will seek power. They will network frequently and want to be the head of a committee, a board or even want to get into politics. They will also seek famous people or successful people to try and associate themselves with admired people.
In your relationship, you will find that you are often put down or reminded about how you are lucky to be with them. They will also let you down when they choose to cancel plans to be with more important people.
- They exaggerate their successes
One way of making themselves superior is by exaggerating their successes. You may hear that the truth gets more and more exaggerated with each time a story is told so that the narcissist sounds increasingly important. Sometimes the stories that people can tell can be total lies.
Listen to the life stories your spouse tells. Are they always self-aggrandising? Do they diminish the part other people played? Or do you find that there are often new unusual stories that you never knew about.
- They’re arrogant
During courtship, this may be an attractive trait as you actually believed that they were that admirable. If they had been successful at achieving power, then the arrogance may not have seemed misplaced, it may have just seemed justified.
The arrogance of a narcissist comes from a deep insecurity. The only way to avoid feeling totally worthless is by devaluing everyone else so that they can feel superior.
Arrogance is not just about putting others down, it can also be believing that certain rules do not apply to them. You may have noticed that your spouse breaks rules if they do not suit them and if it does not affect their self-image.
These can include work rules, home rules and even the law.
- They’re manipulative
“Charming” is often (although not always) a word associated with narcissists. The most terrifying part of this disorder is the perception that they have the ability to mask their true feelings behind an irresistible charm.
While some narcissists are charming, this isn’t necessarily always the case. However, narcissists generally feel less empathy than others and so will not hesitate to use you and anyone else for their own advantage. This makes them dangerous as they will not care who they hurt along the way.
- They’re temperamental
Disagreements, and relationships, as a result, are extremely tricky with a narcissist as they’re easily angered. You may feel as if you are constantly walking on eggshells around them or shy away from certain topics to avoid conflict as far as possible. Any demand you make of them is a threat that they may not be able to fulfil, and any comment might be misperceived to be criticisms of them.
- They’re abusive
This abuse may be sexual, physical or more often than not, emotional as they continue to use you for their own needs, no matter the cost to you. Do not let your marriage become an environment in which you ever feel uneasy or degraded.
- They’re insecure
At the core of a narcissist is a damaged insecure individual. They are in constant need of validation that they are the most important to feel any kind of worth. Checking your phone; the silent treatment, excessive jealousy are all examples of how the intense insecurity of a narcissistic partner may rear its ugly head in your marriage as they attempt to control you.
Incapable of dealing with their own insecurities narcissists will be little you in an attempt to make themselves feel better and control you. Relationships are tricky under the best of circumstances, and a loved one with a personality disorder even more so as if you are not careful, your self-esteem can be destroyed. By identifying potential problems, you may be able to save your relationship, and yourself, from emotional destruction.
Statistics around Narcissism
Studies have shown that each psychopath/ anti-social person will affect approximately five partners negatively by their pathology, this adds up to a staggering figure of roughly 60.8 million people.
From the 304 million people in the United States alone, one out of 25 people will have narcissistic tendencies which are associated with “having no conscience,” this includes having an anti-social personality disorder, psychopath, sociopath. 3.4 million divided by the 25 people affected = 12.16 million people in the United States with no conscience.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders claims that approximately 1 out of every 10 people that walk around without a conscience lacks empathy and that the general population that walks around with antisocial personality disorder is calculated at an estimation of 3.3% and those with narcissistic disorders is as high as 6% of the population.
There are approximately 326 million people in the United States which calculates to 19 560 000 (6% of the population) people that have a narcissistic personality disorder. If you calculate that each of those people will abuse 5 people during their lifetime, it adds up to a staggering amount of 97.8 million abused individuals.
There are approximately 7.5 billion people in the world if you apply the same formula this population amount you will be shocked:
- 3.3% of 7.5 billion people in the world it adds up to 247 500 000 people with an antisocial personality disorder.
- 6% of 7.5 billion people in the world adds up to 450 000 000 people with narcissistic personality disorders.
450 000 000 + 247 500 000 = 697 500 000 around the world without conscience and that lacks empathy. If each of those narcissists affects five people in their lifetime, it adds up to a shocking amount of 3.4 billion people around the world who are abused by narcissists.
Frequently asked questions about narcissism
- How do we miss a narcissist entering our lives?
Narcissists avoid anything to do with feelings of sadness, vulnerability, fear, loneliness, and fear because they do not like depending on other people. To comfort themselves they tried to make themselves feel special and noticed by being loud, arrogant and vain.
- How does a narcissist charm you?
One of the early warning signs that a narcissist that is busy charming you is that they are incredibly charming upfront. They spend much time on their appearance and look stunning most of the time (this is also called “effective adornment”) and are extremely good looking most of the time which will drag you in almost instantly.
In the beginning stages of a relationship, they put their partner on a pedestal because it makes them feel special to be close to someone who is special. On the other hand, this makes them feel vulnerable in a way.
- How do they use strength control?
Narcissists do not like to ask others directly for anything because that makes them feel dependent and they might get rejected. They create events to get what they want and turns you down when you suggest something. They want to be in control at all times.
- What is the twin fantasy?
They make you feel special by insinuating that you are so much alike and that it creates a special bond between you. They rely on a special kind of relationship like a twin instead of connecting with someone and putting them in a vulnerable state.
- What is the meaning of fluctuating empathy?
Narcissists will be the perfect friend; they will be genuinely caring for others. However, they will be the total opposite of their relationships. They will leave you constantly longing for their approval.
- How will a narcissist hurt me?
A narcissist will be able to hurt you when you let your guard down and let them into your heart without seeing the warning signs. You will depend on them for love and affection which they will not give you. You will constantly look for their approval and look for ways to make them love you the same way you love them and will end up heartbroken.