Narcissism is a topic that comes up a lot with our clients. They often come to us, telling us their spouse is a narcissist and they need to “get out.” Diagnosing one is tricky, but here are some signs to look for in your significant other. If you’re sure your husband or wife is one, the question remains, “can I stay married to a narcissist?”
Can I be Happy?
From the outside, it’s nearly impossible to tell if a family member or friend is married to a narcissist. On social media, they usually appear happy and content in life and in their marriage. According to a blog post on Psychology Today by Elinor Greenberg Ph.D.; however, you can almost never be actually happy in a relationship with one.
“Once past the courtship stage, all the relationships where one person has a narcissistic personality disorder include some form of abuse and a great deal of tension. As not all people with narcissistic personality disorder are alike, each couple will have their own form of misery. However, this misery follows a fairly predictable pattern,” says Greenberg.
Why Does the Couple Appear Happy, Then?
As we shared in a past blog post, narcissists are usually extremely charismatic, charming, attractive and likable individuals. They are good at pretending and often fake happiness along with their non-narcissistic spouse.
Overall, with the abuse in the relationship, the spouse without the disorder may be afraid to tell others what is really happening behind the scenes, leaving them feeling stuck.
Now What? Should I Stay Married?
This is a tricky question and the answer is ultimately up to you. If you’re unhappy in your relationship and you feel you should leave, it’s important to take the next steps to get the help you need from an attorney. If you’re unhappy, but you’re not positive your spouse is a narcissist, it’s important to seek help from a mental professional that can properly diagnose the disorder.
If you are married or dating a person with NPD, there is hope, and it can be treated. The treatment is a long progress, and very emotionally draining for all parties, but if you can get your partner on board, there are many people who are able to recover, or at a minimum, develop skills to manage some of the negative behaviors associated with the disorder.
If you have any questions about this topic, collaborative divorce or how to move forward with one in the Tampa Bay area, then hire one of the top divorce lawyers. Call us: (813) 907-9807
Anton Garcia Law