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Female Spouse Dominated by Older Narcissistic Husband

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Thank you. My kid sister is 61 years of age, and has begun reverting to an infant-type of verbal communication and strange body language submissive ‘wriggling’ (like a very young puppy or kitten when it’s scolded) after 20 years of total domination by her aggressive isolating husband. She reverts now at all times of stress to speaking and gesturing as if she were a submissive 4 or 5 year old.

I cannot recall but I once read of the psychiatric term for this behaviour/response – and need to communicate in a once-only accurate warning to Family (so they can research or describe to their advisors)

Your advice will be HUGELY appreciated. Kind regards.

Female Spouse Dominated by Older Narcissistic Husband

Answered by on -


You may be asking about regression. Regression is a defense mechanism that involves an individual exhibiting earlier childhood behaviors when under a great deal of stress. For example, an overwhelmed, homesick college student refuses to leave their bed and reverts back to sucking their thumb.

Defense mechanisms are unconscious. She may not realize that it is happening or may not be able to control her behavior when it does happen. If she is willing, it would be best for her to consult a mental health professional. Counseling could help and so might hypnosis. Don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Female Spouse Dominated by Older Narcissistic Husband

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Female Spouse Dominated by Older Narcissistic Husband. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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