The Mating Grounds

Surviving a Narcissistic Marriage: How Therapy Can Help Rebuild Your Relationship

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Do you know someone who seems to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and lacks empathy towards others? It’s possible they may be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extravagant ideas of self-importance and a lack of empathy towards others. Individuals with NPD tend to have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and a grandiose view of themselves, often believing they should have special treatment and attention from those around them.

Additionally, they may struggle to maintain healthy relationships due to their inability to understand the needs and emotions of others.

Negative Effects on Relationships

NPD can have significant negative effects on all types of relationships, including romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships. Individuals with NPD are often unwilling or unable to consider other people’s thoughts and feelings, leading to a lack of reciprocity in relationships.

This can leave their partners feeling unappreciated and unsupported, damaging the foundation of the relationship. Furthermore, people with NPD may engage in behaviors that are not conducive to healthy relationships, such as manipulating their partner’s emotions and being overly critical.

Their entitlement and self-centeredness can lead to conflict and resentment between partners, ultimately damaging the relationship beyond repair.

Common Narcissistic Marriage Problems

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can present significant problems in marriages, and it is essential to recognize these issues to address them before they become too challenging to handle. Here are some common problems:

Major Jealousy Issues

One significant issue that can arise in a narcissistic marriage is a lot of jealousy and insecurity. Partners with NPD can be jealous of their partner’s achievements and success, as they see them as a threat to their superiority.

This can lead to negative feelings and behaviors, such as belittling or minimizing their partner’s achievements and refusing to provide support or encouragement.


One-upmanship is another problem that can arise in a narcissistic marriage. Individuals with NPD have a constant need to prove their superiority, and they often do this by exaggerating their own achievements or using backhanded compliments to undermine their partner’s accomplishments.

This can lead to tension and conflict between partners, as the partner with NPD is always seeking to be “better” than the other.

Negative Impact on Children

Children of narcissistic parents may experience significant psychological issues, often being assigned either the role of the golden child or the scapegoat. Golden children are seen as the perfect child in the eyes of the narcissistic parent and receive preferential treatment, while scapegoats are blamed for everything that goes wrong.

This can lead to resentment and self-esteem issues in both types of children, ultimately impacting their emotional wellbeing.

Self-esteem Issues

Partners of narcissistic individuals may struggle with their self-worth and value, as they constantly receive dismissive and minimizing behavior from their partner. Narcissistic partners may also have irrational mood swings, making it difficult for their partners to express themselves without fear of being blamed for their partner’s emotional volatility.


Gaslighting is a common tactic used by narcissistic individuals to manipulate and control their partners. It involves denying reality and making their partner doubt their own experiences and emotions.

Gaslighting can be highly effective in controlling and manipulating others, making it very difficult for their partner to leave the relationship.

Controlling Behavior

Individuals with NPD may exhibit controlling behavior, such as being possessive and micromanaging their partner’s life. They may become upset if their partner spends time with friends or family without them or insists on controlling their finances.

This behavior can be suffocating and damaging to the relationship, eroding trust and pushing the partner away.

Toxic Relationship

All in all, a narcissistic marriage can become toxic, with the partner with NPD exhibiting erratic and harmful behavior towards their partner. It is essential to seek help and support if you find yourself in this type of relationship, as it can be damaging to your physical and mental health.

In conclusion, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a complex and challenging mental health condition that can have significant negative impacts on relationships. It is essential to recognize the signs of NPD, understand the impact it has on relationships, and seek help if needed.

With the proper care and support, individuals with NPD can learn to manage their condition, creating healthy and fulfilling relationships with those around them.

Dealing with Narcissistic Marriage Problems

Living with an individual who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be very challenging, particularly if you are in a committed relationship with them. Being in such a toxic relationship can significantly affect your emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

However, it is essential to know that it is possible to deal with narcissistic marriage problems. Here are some ways to manage and address these issues:

Couples and Individual Therapy

Couples and individual therapy can be highly effective in managing and resolving issues in a narcissistic marriage. A trained therapist can help individuals with NPD, and their partners work through underlying issues and develop coping mechanisms for dealing with conflict.

Therapy can also involve the use of medication and lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms of NPD. Therapy sessions will help partners recognize how NPD affects their bond and their individual mental status.

Once the negative outcomes are defined, the therapist can work with both partners to understand each other better.

Benefits of Therapy

Therapy seeks to address the root causes of NPD and provide individuals and their partners with the tools they need to address potential problems actively. Therapy can lead to a deeper understanding of the impact NPD has on both partners and provide potential treatment options.

This newfound awareness gained from therapy can help individuals with NPD better manage their symptoms and develop healthy ways to relate to their partner. In therapy, both individuals can learn effective communication skills and develop healthy responses to conflict.

This is helpful for gaining a deeper understanding of one another and to develop ways of better communicating with each other.

Hope for a Fruitful Union

If you are dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder in your marriage, there is hope for a fruitful union. Navigating these challenges, however, takes effort and unwavering commitment from both parties.

Professional guidance and therapy can aid both partners in finding and sharing the best version of themselves. Therapy offers partners a platform they can lean on to better handle their partner with NPD, and identify opportunities for moving forward.

While it may take effort and time to rebuild and establish healthy patterns, commitment and effort can lead to positive long-term outcomes. In closing, handling Narcissistic Personality Disorder in a married relationship can be stressful and painful, but it’s important to recognize that there are effective ways to address the issue.

Seeking therapy together or individually, developing healthy communication techniques, and committing to a healthier lifestyle holds great promise for long-term recovery. With time, effort and unwavering commitment, it is possible to establish a loving and supportive marriage.

In conclusion, dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be very challenging, particularly when it involves married partners. This mental health condition can lead to toxic relationships that negatively impact one’s emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

However, by seeking professional guidance through therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, individuals with NPD and their partners can learn to manage their symptoms and build healthier relationships. With commitment and effort, hope is not lost when dealing with a partner experiencing NPD or any other mental health condition.

Through active therapy and proper support, relationships can recover and blossom, creating a positive and fruitful outcome for all parties involved.

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