Sometimes the signs of narcissism don't become truly apparent until after you say "I do." Don't blame yourself for not seeing the signs of narcissism while dating. Sometimes the traits do not become pronounced until marriage or parenthood. In either case, it's important to recognize if your partner is displaying narcissistic tendencies and the next steps.
Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V), to be diagnosed with NPD, a patient must display at least five of the following behaviors over a period of time:
The criteria for NPD include:
- An exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- The belief they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
- Need for excessive admiration
- Sense of entitlement
- Interpersonally exploitative behavior
- Lack of empathy
- Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
- Demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
An NPD diagnosis should not be given without a licensed professional. However, your spouse may still exhibit these symptoms.
Other common traits of narcissists include:
- Language and demeanor is geared toward maintaining power (bragging, refocusing topics of conversation, talking loudly, and showing disinterest by "glazing over" when others speak)
- They quickly lose their charm if threatened
- They gaslight you
- They rarely feel shame or remorse
Regardless of whether your spouse is a true narcissist or exhibits some of one's behaviors, you are not responsible for their actions and behaviors. You may want to seek individual therapy to help deal with anxiety, stress, or depression. If your spouse is aware of their behavior, they may be open to marriage counseling to work through marital problems.
However, in the end, a divorce may be the only option. If you want to take the next step by getting divorced, our attorneys at Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress are here to help. We will fiercely advocate for your best interests while providing you with compassionate legal services.
Contact our firm today at (817) 497-8148 if you need assistance with your divorce.