How to Deal with a Narcissistic Wife (8 Effective Ways)

Are you interested in how to deal with a narcissistic wife? Then this guide is for you.

If you’re in a new relationship with a narcissist, the best thing you can do is end it.

What happens when you don’t discover that you’re with a narcissist until you’re married or have kids together?

It can be a little more complicated, especially if you want to save the marriage or stay together for the kids. You can live with a narcissistic wife, but it won’t be easy.

When this is a sacrifice you must make for kids or family, you can cope and protect yourself in several ways.

It’ll be a struggle that takes continual commitment, mindfulness, and work.

These are some tips to help ease the stress a little.

1. Know what to expect

A critical part of your survival strategy with a narcissistic wife is understanding and accepting what she won’t do.

She won’t love you unconditionally. She won’t be empathetic, even if she may sometimes pretend to be for a self-serving reason.

She’ll put you down, take you for granted and try to control your life. She’ll be jealous and make sure you don’t have high self-esteem.

Once you’re willing to accept that she won’t change these behavior patterns, you won’t be as disappointed. Disappointment happens when people set expectations or hope that a narcissist will change.

Most narcissists never change. Now that you know what to expect, you can develop a plan to deal with it.

2. Understand your wife’s triggers and causes for behaviors

This isn’t always easy to do, and it never hurts to enlist the help of a therapist.

If you can determine what triggers your wife or maybe at the root of some of her outbursts or behaviors, you may be able to avoid some.

Ok, so let’s look at an example. Imagine that you notice she’s always being criticized by one or more family members at gatherings, which sets off unpleasant behaviors.

She opens up to you about some family issues, and you can tell that adds to her insecurities. That’s probably why she acts worse in those situations.

You can try to tell the family about the good things she’s done lately. Build her up when they tear her down.

Yes, you’re contributing to her supply with compliments. If she resorts to cutting you down, walk away from the situation. This leads to another point, which we’ll cover next.

3. Set and stick to clear boundaries

As you probably know, narcissists will abuse you as much as you let them. They’ll also make it seem like they’re the victim and it’s not abuse.

Or is it? You’re probably so confused right now from all the manipulation and gas lighting that it’s hard to think.

If you want to deal with your wife, you’ll need to pinpoint all the ways she abuses you. Be specific. Decide where you draw the line and what you’re willing to tolerate.

Unfortunately, since you’re dealing with a narcissist, you’ll need some consequences to back up your boundaries.

For example, let’s say she likes to yell and throw things at you when she’s upset, and she does it in front of the kids. Being concerned about their mental health, you know that’s not ok.

Tell her she can’t yell at you in front of the kids. If she does, you can let her know you won’t respond, will let her parents know or will do something else.

Be sure to follow through with your consequences whenever she violates boundaries.

Only you know what effective consequences are, but make sure they’re healthy. Ask a counselor for help if you’re unsure.

4. Set up a support system

Choosing to stay in a marriage with a narcissist means that you’ll be subject to daily degrading, manipulation, and abuse.

The tactics narcissists use can break down even the strongest person over time.

Put the brakes on her manipulation by finding ways not to let it affect you as much. Talk to a counselor.

Spend time with your friends and family, even if she hates it. Make time for yourself.

Join a support group if there’s one in town. If not, you can find them online.

Connect with other people who know what you’re going through. It’ll help keep you tethered in reality instead of the gas-lighted, miserable mirage she’s trying to create for you.

5. Know your worth and your potential

What would it be if you were a stranger who asked your wife what she’d say about you?

What would your friends and family who support you and know you say? How about you?

Well, it’s probably pretty clear that your wife is the only one spewing vitriol about you unless you have any narcissistic friends or family members.

It’s disheartening to hear the person who is supposed to support you more than anyone tears you down. Over time, you start to believe it and lose your self-esteem.

That can hold you back at work, keep you from pursuing a higher degree or hinder anything else you may want to do.

Talk to a counselor. Find ways to identify your strengths and learn to love yourself.

A counselor can help you find ways to reach your goals and maintain your self-esteem. Remember to keep your support system.

Why is this step so important? It helps prevent your wife from shaping your reality. Life is so much brighter when you know your worth.

6. Remember that you’re not the bad guy

Are you beating your wife or screaming at her? No. You’re deciding to put up with her abuse to save your marriage.

Pat yourself on the back, because you have the patience of a saint for making that choice.

Whenever she blames, ridicules, or tries to make you feel guilty, make a conscious effort to see the situation for what it is.

You’re doing your best, and that’s all anyone can do.

Keep a journal, and write down something good you do every day. It can be taking your kids for a bike ride, choosing to buy your wife flowers, or anything else.

This will help you remember that her accusations are fake news.

7. Hold her to her empty promises

Narcissists are excellent promise makers. As you know, follow-through isn’t their strong suit.

When she promises you to get her way, don’t cave in when it costs you somehow. Maybe she promised to spend the evening helping the kids with their homework tomorrow.

She has something so much more important to do tonight. You know it’s a pattern with her, and that’s normal since narcissists are always most concerned about themselves.

Be assertive and firm. Tell her it’s tonight or you’ll enact one of the consequences you came up with when you decided on boundaries.

She’ll have to learn that you’re not a doormat or a servant.

If there’s any hope of improvement, she’ll have to start taking some responsibility.

8. Have a backup plan

It’s easy to feel trapped when you’re married to a narcissist. There may be different levels of abuse for every situation.

The continual manipulation, abuse, and discouragement take a toll on your mental health. Your wife will also try to pull any focus you have on yourself away and direct it at her.

She’ll also do that with your kids, and she doesn’t realize or care that she looks heartless for it. She’ll use them to manipulate you.

She may straight up try to turn them against you at every step.

If it gets too much, and you did everything you could to save the marriage, know there’s no shame in separating if you must.

Spouses feel hopeless in a marriage with a narcissist.

She’ll do her best to make you think there’s no other option unless she decides to discard you.

Always ensure that you have another option in case the situation deteriorates to the point where you need a way out.

Find a friend or family member you can stay with if you must. Set up a secret savings account in case things get bad enough that you and your kids need to leave for your safety.

Whenever you make a decision that impacts family life in the future, be sure you’re leaving yourself the option to get out and protect your kids.

You matter and don’t ever let her make you think your future is under her control.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

You don’t need to go through this alone. There’s no shame in getting help!

Thousands of people get tailor-made support from a kind, empathetic, helpful therapist when faced with difficult life situations.

I recommend BetterHelp, which is a sponsor of Personality Unleashed.

It’s private, affordable, and takes place in the comfort of your own home.

Plus, you can talk to your therapist however you feel comfortable, whether through video, phone, or messaging.

Are you ready to break the negativity cycle?

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