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Relationships are complex and can be problematic in most cases — but relationships with a narcissist may feel almost impossible. Your spouse may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which manifests as an inflated feeling of self-importance and an obsessive demand for attention in your relationship. If your spouse suffers from NPD, these characteristics will probably present themselves in your relationship. For example, a narcissistic spouse may be too critical of you, fail to recognize your worth, or demand excessive attention from you in your relationship, among other things. Dating a narcissist can, unfortunately, change you in the process. To understand how dating a narcissist changes you, you need to understand what a narcissist is and how they act. 

Narcissists may be highly appealing and enticing. They understand how to make you feel unique with their words since it works for them.

However, you’ll learn that they’re not just emotionally unavailable, but they may also be abusive in the long term. Not everyone realizes how much harm it does over time.

couple by a cliff
Relationships can be complex & beautifully authentic

What is a narcissist? What are their characteristics?

In this celebrity-driven, selfie-obsessed world, the word narcissism is thrown about a lot, and it’s typically used to characterize someone who appears to be excessively self-absorbed or full of themselves. However, narcissism does not imply self-love—at least not the authentic kind in psychological terms. Instead of saying that persons with narcissistic personality disorder are in love with an exquisite, idealized picture, it is more appropriate to say they are in love with themselves. Moreover, they are head over heels in love with their inflated self-image because it helps them avoid experiencing significant uncertainty feelings. However, upholding their delusions of grandeur requires a great deal of energy, which is when the maladjusted actions and attitudes come into play.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are particularly reluctant to modify their conduct, even when their behavior gives them difficulties. They have a propensity to place the blame on other people. Furthermore, they are exceedingly sensitive and respond negatively to even the smallest of critiques, arguments, or perceived insights, which they see as personal attacks on their person or their character. Most of the time, it’s simpler for the individuals in the narcissist’s life to comply with their requests to escape the coldness and rages. If you learn more about narcissistic personality disorder, you will be able to recognize narcissistic personalities in your life, shield yourself from their power plays, and develop more healthy boundaries.

It is typically characterized by a strong need for attention and praise pattern of self-centeredness, a lack of empathy and regard for other people, arrogant thinking and conduct. Others frequently describe NPD as confident, manipulative, greedy, pompous, and demanding, among other characteristics. From job and friendships to family and love connections, the narcissist’s manner of thinking and acting is evident in every aspect of their life.

How dating a narcissist changes you -couple holding hands at sunset
Bonding becomes difficult

How does a narcissist make you feel in a relationship?

Narcissistic relationships are notoriously difficult to navigate. In most cases, narcissistic spouses have difficulties falling in love with someone else since they don’t care about themselves. They get so preoccupied with themselves that they cannot truly “see” their spouse as a unique individual. Their perception of their spouse is often limited to how well they meet their requirements (or fail to fill their needs). Their relationships with their friends and children are solely valued in their capacity to satisfy these requirements. Narcissistic partners cannot frequently empathize with the sentiments of their partners. There are a lot of hurt sentiments as a result of this lack of empathy.

When you are in a narcissistic relationship, you may experience overwhelming feelings of loneliness. You may feel that you’re merely an afterthought and that your needs and desires are insignificant. In their relationships, narcissistic partners pretend that they are always right, know what is best and that their spouse is incorrect or unqualified. It frequently results in the other person in the relationship being upset and attempting to defend themselves, or connecting with this negative self-image and feeling horrible about themselves, depending on the situation.

Sad couple - girl in bed
Feeling sad, alone & drained

Narcissistic partners may be quite alluring, especially in the first stages of a relationship. They have a “bossy” demeanor, which is common among them. These individuals are usually the life and soul of the gathering. Furthermore, they can make you believe that you must be exceptional for them to select you. When it comes to relationships, they might, over time, become excessively burdensome. They may be envious of others or easily hurt. When narcissistic injuries occur, the victim frequently lashes out and can be pretty dangerous. Their outbursts are spectacular and designed to attract attention.


Related Post: 12 Types Of Guys To Avoid Early On In A Relationship


How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

A common characteristic in people with narcissism is the desire to exert control over their loved ones. This conduct is frequently a reaction to a childhood in which he got entirely dominated by a narcissistic parent (or parents). They had complete control over all elements of his early life and had not been allowed to establish control over his destiny. When they can’t control their loved ones anymore, they will:

1. Lie

A narcissist will never accept that they are in the wrong. No matter how much evidence is heaped against them in their quest for power. If you have photographic or video evidence—or even caught your partner red-handed —they will lie so convincingly that you will be convinced that you are mistaken about what you are thinking.

2. They will want to punish you

Your lover will be driven by a strong desire to punish you. The slightest dispute or constructive criticism will ignite an all-out cold war, and you won’t even realize it’s happening until you’re smacked in the face with what they perceive to be the consequences of your actions.

3. They will degrade you

It doesn’t matter if the narcissist receives an open rejection or only perceives one. The narcissist will become softly menacing and degrading. Every act of evil will get completed with a smile on their face.

4. They will turn people against you

Flying monkeys are those who assist narcissists in their slander and shaming efforts. Don’t take it personally if you ever find yourself in this situation. Remember that narcissists are excellent manipulators who can persuade anyone into doing anything they want. They will almost certainly devise a plan to make you look like a total fool in public.

5. They will disappear from your life

Some narcissists will vanish into thin air in quest of new sources of sustenance. In this instance, likely, you will never see them again. The narcissist will take every measure possible to remove themselves from your life, including blocking you on all social media sites, changing their phone number, and even changing their physical location.


What will a narcissist do at the end of a relationship?

When a relationship ends, narcissists may become belligerent, passive-aggressive, angry, and even more dominating than before. People who suffer from NPD frequently struggle to comprehend the needs and values of others. They are hyper-aware of their egos, yet they fail to consider the consequences of their behavior on others. Most of the time, they will do whatever it takes to regain their sense of power. A narcissist will typically drag the other person through a long and winding maze of manipulative methods. They may blame you for the breakdown of the relationship whilst working hard to maintain you as a member of their family. Make grandiose promises to improve their conduct or badmouth you to everyone in their social circle.

At the end of a relationship, they will:

1. Want revenge

A person with NPD typically has difficulty accepting a defeat, they may resort to retribution if they feel they have been harmed or are in some way endangered. According to their research findings, researchers have shown that people are more inclined to seek vengeance when driven by power or a desire for social prestige. After failing to fight you or convince you to alter your viewpoint, the narcissist may attempt to harm you in other ways, such as by threatening you.

2. Fake Crisis

While specific crises or catastrophes may be accurate, someone suffering from NPD will frequently take advantage of stressful situations to get your attention. These crises are carefully engineered to elicit feelings of guilt, especially if the perpetrators are skilled at manipulating you.

3. Promise to change

Most of the time, persons suffering from NPD will make considerable commitments to change when they feel threatened. At times, they may even put up some effort to bring about change, albeit these attempts are rarely long-term. It is a common fallacy that narcissists are incapable of understanding their actions. As it turns out, a new study indicates that persons suffering from NPD are conscious of their symptoms. However, their enormous demand for self-control, entitlement, and acknowledgment frequently outweighs their situation knowledge.

4. Pull a disappearing act

To a narcissist, narcissistic supply is similar to taking a narcotic. If they cannot obtain it from you, they will receive it from another source. When they have exhausted all of their options and are still unable to control you. You may anticipate your narcissistic spouse to do a vanishing act on you and escape. They could disappear in the hopes of gaining your attention, and you might urge them to return to your side. If they keep coming in and out, you can know that this is their motivation. They may be inquiring about you to their mutual acquaintances, and you’ll hear about it.

Can a relationship with a narcissist work?

On the other hand, others are more egregious than others; some are merely unpleasant but tolerated, while others’ selfishness and self-importance present themselves as open cruelty against others around them. It is quite possible to have a successful relationship with a narcissist, depending on their conduct and characteristics. 

When someone is in a relationship with someone with a dark triad personality, the most common advice they will receive is to end the relationship. However, this may seem impossible for some people since their lives have become so entangled with narcissists. It is undoubtedly possible to be in a relationship with a narcissist. However, it will be emotionally and psychologically demanding for all involved in the relationship. Narcissists suffocate their partners’ lives and spirits. They accomplish this by using them as an emotional — and occasionally literal — punching bag for their own emotional and physical abuse.

To live a half-decent life with a narcissist, you must be willing to give up a great deal of who you are and what you believe in. Be ready to be duped since there will be two different stories of what transpired because narcissists are incredibly skilled at rewriting reality and convincing you that you committed an act that you did not commit. 

dating a narcissist changes you - happy couple cuddling
With great effort & help it can work out

To Sum It Up

Narcissists are difficult to be around because they are so self-absorbed. Although a person who finds themselves dating or married to a narcissist may wish to end the relationship for various reasons, there are some perfectly reasonable reasons to attempt to make the relationship work. Dating a narcissist may appear to be a wonderful experience, but these relationships frequently end up in poisonous catastrophes. Having a spouse with narcissistic characteristics will not be easy to let go of without a lot of drama and emotional bombs. 

Dating a narcissist would include:

  • Dealing with their inflated egos.
  • Listening to their complaints (they are always right).
  • Showering them with compliments consistently, among other things.

People dating narcissists are expected to be fascinated with them since narcissists have excessive adoration for themselves. Dealing with a narcissist might harm your self-worth since you will be lavishing excessive affection, attention, and admiration on your lover, leaving little for yourself. It is possible to find a narcissist willing to change for the better. If you have a narcissist that is willing to find help and change for the better, then a relationship with them is possible.

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I'm passionate about spreading positivity, and inspiration so that l can help others reach their greatest potential. I believe that we all owe it to ourselves to live a meaningful life and live it well. I am a naturally curious person, favour my creative side of thinking, and enjoy researching new topics and motherhood. I hope you find my digital storytelling intriguing and inspiring. I started WatuDaily to serve as a go-to source for families on various topics such as (home & living, travel, lifestyle, and wellness/success). – B Business – Financial Planning (RMIT)