How to Deal With a Narcissistic Husband


Navigating the complexities of life can often be a challenging task, more so when one is in a relationship with a narcissistic husband.

Understanding the nuances of such a dynamic, establishing effective communication, setting strict boundaries, and practicing self-care are all paramount aspects that can help manage this situation. 

This article aims to provide insights into these areas, offering practical tips and strategies to handle these challenges while ensuring your personal health and happiness. 

Marriages & Couples Therapists in Colorado

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

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Randal Thomas, SWC

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Hailey Gloden, MA, LPCC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPCC, NCC

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Margot Bean, LCSW

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Cheyenne Ainsworth, SWC

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Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

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Andrea Burgess, LCSW

Andrea Burgess, LCSW

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Travis Call, MA, MFTC

Travis Call, MA, MFTC

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Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Recognizing the Traits of a Narcissistic Husband

Fixation on Appearance: Narcissists often obsess over their looks and spend a significant amount of time in front of the mirror daily.

Denial of Unhealthy Behavior: Narcissists may be in denial about their unhealthy behavior, making it difficult for them to recognize and change their actions.

Aggression and Paranoia: Malignant narcissists might show signs of aggression, paranoia, or even take joy in other people's suffering.

Covert Narcissism: Some people may hide their narcissistic beliefs or behaviors, also known as covert narcissism.

Lack of Empathy: A common sign of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others and their feelings.

By recognizing these traits, you can better understand your husband's behavior and learn how to respond effectively. 

Understanding Your Feelings

Living with a narcissistic husband can be emotionally draining and challenging. 

The impact of their traits on you can be significant, often leading to feelings of confusion, frustration, or even self-doubt.

You might frequently feel unheard or invalidated because of their inability to empathize with your feelings. 

You may also experience a sense of constant unease due to their unpredictable behavior and excessive focus on themselves. 

Some people even report feeling like they're walking on eggshells, always trying to avoid triggering a negative response.

However, it's critical to remember that your feelings are valid. It's natural to feel hurt, angry, or upset in such situations. 

Recognizing your emotions is the first step towards understanding and dealing with them effectively.

Remember, you have the right to express your feelings and needs in a relationship. 

Don't let the narcissistic behavior overshadow your emotional well-being. 

Your feelings matter, and acknowledging them is a crucial part of navigating life with a narcissistic husband. 

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is like drawing a line in the sand that distinguishes your individual rights, needs, and personal space from others. 

In the context of living with a narcissistic husband, boundaries are crucial to protect yourself from emotional harm and maintain your sense of self.

Here's why: Narcissists often display manipulative behavior, lack empathy, and are overly focused on their own needs. 

This can lead to a toxic environment where your needs and feelings are consistently overlooked. Setting firm boundaries can help ensure your emotional wellbeing isn't compromised.

Here are some practical tips on how to establish and enforce boundaries:

Identify Your Limits: Recognize what makes you uncomfortable or stressed, and define these as your limits.

Communicate Clearly: Express your boundaries explicitly. Remember, it's not about confrontation but clear communication.

Stay Consistent: It's crucial to be consistent when enforcing boundaries. If you give in occasionally, a narcissist might see it as an opportunity to push your boundaries further.

Seek Support: Establishing boundaries with a narcissistic partner can be tough. Don't hesitate to seek support from trusted friends, family, or a professional counselor.

Setting boundaries isn't about changing the other person's behavior, but about changing your responses to their behavior. It's about ensuring your emotional safety and well-being in a challenging situation. 

Communicating Effectively

Navigating conversations with a narcissistic husband can be challenging, but adopting certain communication strategies can make the process smoother and less stressful.

Address Their Ego: Narcissists often crave admiration. When communicating, try to address their ego tactfully without compromising your boundaries.

Stay Calm and Composed: It's essential to remain calm during conversations. Narcissists may try to provoke emotional responses, so keeping your composure can prevent escalation.

Be Clear and Assertive: Ensure your messages are clear and assertive. Ambiguity might lead to misunderstandings or give them an opportunity to twist your words.

Don't Take Things Personally: Narcissists often project their insecurities onto others. Try not to take their criticisms or negative comments personally.

Seek Professional Help: If communication becomes too difficult, consider seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist.

Effective communication is not about winning arguments but about expressing yourself honestly and feeling heard. 

Staying calm and composed is key in this process, as it helps maintain a level-headed perspective even when things get heated. 

Practicing Self-Care

In situations where you're dealing with a narcissistic husband, self-care becomes more than just a buzzword; it's a crucial part of maintaining your mental and emotional well-being.

Self-care is about nurturing yourself in ways that replenish your energy and help manage stress. Here are some tips on various self-care practices:

Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness can help you stay grounded in the present moment and reduce anxiety. 

Try incorporating daily meditation into your routine to promote relaxation and improve mental clarity.

Physical Activity: Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and improve mood. 

Find an activity you enjoy, whether it's yoga, walking, or dancing, and make it a regular part of your routine.

Healthy Eating: What we consume can significantly affect how we feel. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to keep your body nourished and your mind sharp.

Adequate Sleep: Restful sleep is an essential part of self-care. It helps reset your brain, heal your body, and improve your mood.

Social Connections: Foster relationships with supportive friends and family.

Social connections can offer emotional support, which is especially important when dealing with a challenging situation at home.

You can't pour from an empty cup. Prioritizing self-care isn't selfish—it's necessary for your well-being. 


In conclusion, navigating a relationship with a narcissistic husband can be tough, but it's not an impossible task. 

With understanding, effective communication, and stringent boundaries, you can manage the dynamics of such a relationship.

However, amidst this, it's crucial not to overlook self-care. Prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being is not just beneficial but necessary. 

Engaging in mindfulness, maintaining physical health, fostering social connections, and seeking professional help when needed are all critical aspects of self-care.

Remember, in the process of managing others, don't forget to take care of yourself. You are important, and your well-being matters. 


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December 1st, 2023

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