Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC
The "happily ever after" life that many people expect when they get married doesn't usually go as planned. You and your spouse are two different people with two different personalities. That means there will be conflict and issues that arise throughout your relationship. However, if you have a narcissistic spouse, the problems and challenges you face will be different from many other marriages. This doesn't mean that your marriage is destined to fail, but there are some things that you should be aware of.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Test For Spouse
If you've heard your spouse referred to as narcissistic, or you feel that they have an inflated ego, you may have wondered if they really are a narcissist. Determining the answer to that isn't always an easy cut and dry thing to do.
What Is A Narcissist?
Many people in society use the word to describe arrogance. There is some confusion as narcissism is in part a personality trait that people may experience on a spectrum and it is also a component of narcissistic personality disorder. Someone having more narcissistic tendencies doesn’t automatically indicate that they have the disorder.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of several diagnosable personality disorders. People that have NPD tend to think very highly of themselves and enjoy being in the spotlight. However, not everyone with an inflated ego has NPD. If you believe that your spouse may struggle with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can help you learn the symptoms and signs to watch for.
Narcissistic Personality Test For Spouse: Am I Married To A Narcissist? What Signs To Watch For
If you’re wondering if your spouse is has narcissistic tendencies or NPD here are some things to watch for in your relationship:
They Blame You For Everything
If your spouse is a narcissist, you may find that they blame you for everything that goes wrong. Even if the situation is very clearly their fault, they will not take responsibility for it, and they will try to find a way to pin it on you.
If this happens enough, you may find yourself automatically taking the blame and apologizing for things regardless of whose fault it is. You may find yourself believing that it's easier to accept responsibility for something you didn't do than try to convince them that it's not your fault.
You Feel Like You're Walking On Eggshells All The Time
Narcissists tend to be sensitive about protecting their egos. They feel like they are more important than other people and superior to them. They also tend to believe that their needs should always be met while overlooking the needs of others.
While narcissists appear very confident to those outside, they tend to have very fragile self-esteem. That means that if you criticize them or say something that offends them, it can make them very angry. You may feel that you are constantly walking on eggshells trying not to do or say anything that sets them off. You may feel like most of your day is spent trying to anticipate their reactions to things so you can minimalize the negative impact on yourself.
You Don’t Have Close Relationships With Family Or Friends Anymore
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder have a tendency to be very jealous. Your spouse may not like you spending time or giving attention to other people. This can include your friends and family members.
This may start in what seems like an innocent way. They may say that they don't want to spend the afternoon without you and guilt you into canceling plans with your friends. Or they may have negative things to say about your family members and reasons why they didn't want to be around them. You may find that he makes you feel like you need to choose between him and spending time with your family or friends. If you choose them, they can make you feel so miserable that you won't want to do it again.
Before you know it, you may not have any close friends or make an effort to see your family. Narcissists tend to isolate their victims, which stops them from having the support system that they need.
They Never Apologize
If your spouse is a narcissist, they most likely don't take responsibility for their wrong behavior. You aren’t likely to get an apology. Even if it’s obvious that they have done something wrong, they are not likely to apologize for it because it would be admitting that they did something they shouldn't have. Their fragile self-esteem can make it difficult for them to put themselves in that position.
Instead of apologizing, from time to time, you may notice that if your spouse has done something wrong that they change their behavior to try to make up for it. This is not likely to happen every time they owe you an apology. It's more likely to happen when they feel like they have started to push you too far.
If you try to demand an apology from them or convince them why they are wrong, they are likely to find a way to turn it back around on you. You may end up finding yourself apologizing again for something that you had no part in.
Everything Is About Them
If your spouse is a narcissist, then you may find that everything is about them and revolves around them. This could look like eating the food they like, taking the vacations they want to go on, and watching the TV shows they want to watch. Because they feel like they are the most important person, they are likely to demand their way in every situation.
You may find that you get tired of arguing with them or trying to get your way in different situations. This can lead to you just always giving in to them to keep them happy.
They Call You Names Or Belittle You
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder also tend to belittle and name-call other people. If you're in a marital relationship with a narcissist, you very well may be a victim of verbal abuse. It may not be name-calling; it may be criticizing everything that you do.
Because a narcissist is always trying to feel superior to other people, your spouse may be more likely to knock you down to feel better about themselves if you do something well. You may find that they talk to you worse than anyone else but only when you are in private. Since they want to always look good in front of other people, they are not likely to treat you like that when others are around.
Sometimes You Question Your Sanity
Many spouses of narcissists find themselves the victim of psychological abuse. Some narcissists use gaslighting techniques to make their victims question their own sanity. You may find that your spouse accuses you of the very behavior that they are doing. They may deny saying things that you know they said to you. Or they may claim to have talked to you about things that they never did. However, if you question them about it, they will try to turn the tables on you and make you feel like you are the one who doesn't know what's being talked about. You may also find that they lie about tiny, absurd things that don’t seem to make any sense to lie about.
Once they have done this enough, you may start to have a hard time telling the difference between reality and what they tell you. You may find yourself questioning if you're actually the one with the problem or if it really is them. Unfortunately, this is one of the narcissistic marriage problems that happens all too often.
Narcissistic Personality Test For Spouse
If you’re wondering if there is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder test for a spouse, the answer is a little tricky. Because narcissists have a difficult time admitting that they're wrong or an area they need help in, it's not likely that you'll be able to get your spouse to take a narcissist quiz. If you try to get them to talk to them about your suspicions in this area, they are likely to try to spin it around and accuse you of being a narcissist.
However, because you are familiar with your spouse's behavior, you can take the narcissist quiz to answer as best you can on their behavior. While this may not be completely accurate, it can give you an idea of something that they may struggle with.
What To Do If You Think Your Spouse Is A Narcissist
If your spouse is a narcissist, they may not be willing to admit it or get help for it. It can be difficult for a narcissist to recognize their own problem and take responsibility for it. That means it's not as likely that their behavior is going to change. With that in mind, you have a few options on how you can move forward.
If you believe that your spouse is a narcissist and they’re unwilling to change their behavior, you may want to reconsider your relationship. If you are a victim of verbal or psychological abuse, the behavior will not likely change if they’re not willing to admit that it's happening. If you are determined to stay in the relationship, you may benefit from talking with a therapist to learn strategies that you can implement to help make it as healthy as possible for you.
While it's normal for every marriage to have challenges from time to time, the challenges you face when married to a narcissist are not the typical marriage problems. You must learn how to get the help that you need in this situation.