The Mating Grounds

Surviving a Covert Narcissistic Spouse: 15 Signs and Tips for Coping

Dealing with a narcissistic husband can be challenging and exhausting, especially when the narcissism is covert. Covert narcissists may not display the typical grandiose and boastful behavior that is often associated with narcissistic personality disorder, making it hard to identify the signs.

However, their actions can still be destructive and harmful to those around them. In this article, we will discuss the signs of a covert narcissist husband and offer some tips on how to cope with it.

Covert Narcissist Traits Vs. Overt Narcissist Traits

Before we dive into the signs of a covert narcissist husband, let’s clarify the differences between overt and covert narcissism. Overt narcissists are often boastful, grandiose, and demand attention.

They tend to be more extroverted and visible, while covert narcissists may lurk in the shadows, manipulating people behind the scenes. Covert narcissists often appear humble, self-effacing, and even victimized at times, making it challenging to spot their narcissism.

Signs of Covert Narcissist Husband

1. Conveniently Forgetting Things

A covert narcissist would always act like they can’t recall something, even though they have been told about it previously.

They might use this as an opportunity to make themselves feel superior to others. 2.


Covert narcissists are mostly introverted, but they still crave attention. They tend to keep their behavior more secretive than overt narcissists do, but they still need attention and admiration.

3. Constant Criticism

Covert narcissists are always finding something to criticize, whether it’s the way their partner dresses, the food they cook, or the way they speak.

They tend to make their loved ones feel small and inferior through their criticism. 4.


Gaslighting is a tactic used by covert narcissists to manipulate and control their partners. They often deny their partner’s lived experiences or even manipulate them into doubting their own sanity.

5. Sense of Entitlement

Covert narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of entitlement.

They feel like they deserve everything they have and more, and their partners must worship them. 6.


Covert narcissists are prone to jealousy, even if it doesn’t make logical sense. They would get jealous of their partner’s accomplishments, relationships, or even their pet.

7. Anger Issues

Covert narcissists may get angry when they don’t get what they feel entitled to, and their anger is often disproportionate to the situation.

They might also give silent treatment as a way to punish their partner. 8.


Covert narcissists see themselves as perfect and flawless, never admitting to mistakes or taking responsibility for their faults. 9.

Lack of Effort

Covert narcissists tend to put in minimal effort into their relationships, assuming that their partners will take care of everything on their own. 10.

Lack of Empathy

Covert narcissists often lack empathy towards their loved ones. They may dismiss their partner’s feelings and experiences or ignore them altogether.

11. Isolation from Family

Covert narcissists tend to isolate their partners from other people, especially family and friends.

They may create a sense of dependency where their partner feels like they need them. 12.

Deserving the Best

Covert narcissists believe that they deserve the best in life and demand nothing but perfection from their partners. 13.


Covert narcissists can be mean and cruel, especially to their significant others. They may say hurtful things, use sarcasm and scold their partners for things that are not their fault.

14. Conditional Help

Covert narcissists may offer “help” to their partners but with strings attached.

They would often use it to manipulate and control their partner’s actions. 15.


Covert narcissists might shame their partners for not doing things their way. They would often try to make them feel guilty as a way of controlling their behaviors.

Coping with a Covert Narcissist Husband

1. Understanding the Disorder

The first step to cope with a covert narcissistic husband is to understand the disorder better.

Researching narcissism and seeking professional help can help you learn more about the signs and how to cope with them. 2.


Taking care of yourself is crucial when dealing with a narcissistic husband. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.

Build a self-care routine, and find a support system that can offer emotional support. 3.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is critical when dealing with a narcissistic husband. Establishing rules, showing respect for yourself, and compromising as a team can help maintain a healthy relationship.

4. Having Personal Space

Having personal space can help you maintain your sense of self and sanity.

Spend time away from the narcissistic husband- practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, or even find escapism in your hobbies. 5.

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, dealing with a covert narcissistic husband can be too much to handle alone. Seeking the help of a therapist or attending marital counseling can help you manage the symptoms and improve the relationship.


Dealing with a covert narcissistic husband can be stressful, and identifying the signs can be challenging. The critical takeaway here is that you are not alone, and there are ways you can cope with the situation.

Remember to prioritize self-care, seek professional help, set boundaries, have personal space, and understand the nature of narcissistic personality disorder. With these tools, you can navigate through this difficult relationship and find some peace of mind.

Dealing with a covert narcissist spouse can be extremely frustrating and damaging to one’s emotional health and wellbeing. It is essential to recognize when a change is needed and take control of the situation before things escalate.

In this article, we will discuss how to take control of the situation, consider your options, and seek support.

Recognizing the Need for Change

The first step in taking control of the situation is to recognize that a change is necessary. It is vital to acknowledge that the situation is detrimental to your emotional health and wellbeing, and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

It is crucial to identify the signs of a narcissistic spouse and acknowledge how they affect your life. You may find that you have lost your independence, self-esteem, and that your sense of reality is being distorted by your spouse’s gaslighting and manipulation.

Considering Options

Once you have recognized the need for change, the next step is to consider your options. It is essential to take some time to think about what you want for yourself and your future.

You have several options available to you, including continuation of the relationship, separation, or divorce. Continuation of the relationship may be achievable if both partners are willing to work together to overcome the narcissistic behavior and seek help from a professional.

It is crucial to understand that this option is only viable if your spouse is willing to recognize the problem and take responsibility for their actions. If you have reached a point where continuing the relationship is not an option, separation may be necessary.

Separation allows for a break from the toxic environment and provides the opportunity to focus on healing yourself and figuring out what you want. If the relationship has become abusive, ending it with a divorce may be the best option.

It is essential to go through the process with an attorney, understand your rights and the financial implications of the divorce.

Seeking Support

Regardless of the option, you choose, seeking support is essential. It may be in the form of family, friends, a therapist, or a support group.

Support helps you to get through the process better, allowing you to process your emotions and thoughts in a safe and secure space. Therapists are trained to help you work through the trauma of a narcissistic relationship, provide guidance on emotional regulation, and help you set healthy boundaries.

Therapists can also help you work through the decision-making process if you are unsure of what action to take. Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment that helps you connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.

Being part of a support group helps you recognize that you are not alone, and many others have shared your experiences.


In conclusion, taking control of the situation, and recognizing when a change needs to be made can be a challenging process. Finding the courage to make the necessary changes can be intimidating, but it is essential for your emotional health and wellbeing.

Options such as continuing the relationship, separation, or divorce should be evaluated and considered carefully. Seeking support from family, friends, a therapist, or a support group is critical in helping you cope with the emotional trauma and work through the decision-making process.

Remember, always prioritize your emotional health and wellbeing and act in your best interest to find happiness and inner peace. In conclusion, dealing with a covert narcissistic spouse can be an overwhelming and challenging experience.

It is essential to recognize the signs, take steps to protect your emotional health and wellbeing, and take control of the situation. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and seeking support from family, friends, and professionals can help you through this difficult time.

Ultimately, prioritizing your emotional health and wellbeing and taking action that is in your best interest is crucial for finding happiness and inner peace.

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