man with angry expression

Recognizing the Signs of a Narcissist

In a marriage, it can be difficult to recognize when your spouse isn’t treating you right. You’re married, so it’s easier to look past their negative qualities. While small annoyances are not a big deal, there are some behaviors that are not okay. This is especially true if you are dealing with a narcissist.

Although your spouse might not clinically qualify as a narcissist, they still could exhibit similar behaviors as one. In either case, it is not okay for them to treat you the way they do. Here are ways you can determine whether your spouse is a narcissist.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DPD)

While we often think of a narcissist as someone who constantly thinks about themselves and loves to be the center of attention. In reality, it’s a mental health condition called narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Signs and Symptoms of a Narcissist

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are nine official criteria of NPD. In order to be officially diagnosed as a narcissist, someone only needs to meet five of the criteria.

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

Diagnosing NPD is extremely difficult without an expert opinion, thus making it nearly impossible to recognize a narcissist when you’re married to them. Your spouse may exhibit some of these symptoms, but that does not mean they are a narcissist.

Regardless of whether your spouse is a true narcissist or they just exhibit some of the behaviors of one, you are not responsible for their actions and behaviors. It’s okay to stand up for yourself and say enough is enough. However, in the end, the most important thing to remember is that your mental health and safety should come first.

If you are married to a narcissist and want to take the next step by getting divorced, our family law attorneys can help you. At Edens Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting our clients and their best interests.

Contact our firm today at (908) 259-6565 if you need assistance with your divorce.