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Am I Narcissistic?

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Husband says im a narcissist. For the first 6 years together I never raised my voice at him or called him names. I gave him messages when he hurt and just because. I WAS depressed and i did not show emotional support to my son for years. I did get very irritable and snappy. I have for almost over come that and have done way better and have connected with my child and have learned to be in the moment rather than stuck in my head. Recently ive started to throw actual temper tantrums with my husband however when he says hes he wants a break, then is done, then he wants a divorce. I literally panicked and lost control of my emotions. When he told me it was my fault I started pointing out his faults. Then he said in guilt tripping him. I kind of was… But bc I felt its not fare i take all the blame. He admitted I never fought with him before but have done so terribly past few months. He points out how i wanted him to sleep in the bed instead of the recliner (his back hurt and felt better in the chair) i admit it was not right of me to do that and was not right of me to think it could hurt our marriage if it was a constant thing. I also didnt want him to go to bars. He said this made him feel awful and like he couldnt be trusted. I admit i should have let go of fears and just trusted him fully. He’s also mad bc one day he I found out from someone else he was fishing with a friend he told me was a bad influence (sleeping with many women and ar bars all the time) and that he was going to stop being his friend. I was angry bc I found out from someone else. I confronted him by asking him what he did that day (I knew hed tell the truth but he thinks I was trying to catch him in a lie but I wasn’t. I just wanted to point out what he said before and that I dont like finding out what hes doing from other people. I feel like its respectful to tell your spouse what you’re doing. All these things has him convinced im a narcissist and wants me to get counseling. And he says im the problem in our marriage and we wouldnt be here if it were not for me. He also said i will never meet anyone else like him. Which is true. He’s a great man. I know I catch myself trying to saying things that can be manipulative but i try to correct it. And its not often. I think things through before speaking except when I feel blondsided by comments like being told im a narcissist and abuser. I have had trouble with criticism bc I feel consistent. But when I react im just trying to explain my actions. I still responsibility for my mistakes and ponder them and try to do better. I feel like what if he is right though. What of I am what he says. I want to know so I can change it and grow in that area too. Thanks.

Am I Narcissistic?

Answered by on -

A.

Narcissist is a term used so often in our cultural lexicon that it almost has no meaning. It is usually used by laypeople to describe someone they regard as selfish and self-focused. It is highly unlikely that he would be able to determine if you have a narcissistic personality disorder because he’s not a mental health professional. Only mental health professionals are trained to diagnose mental health disorders.

In the clinical world, individuals with narcissistic personality disorders are not that common. Many clinicians will probably never see a true narcissist in their practices. This is because narcissists are not typically amenable or open to counseling. Even in cases where they are open to it, it’s a difficult disorder to treat. Personality disorders are notoriously difficult to treat in general.

In reading the research literature about narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), one learns that it’s one of the least studied disorders. That’s probably because so few individuals with the disorder, come in for evaluation and counseling. At one point, years ago, NPD was omitted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the guidebook mental health professionals use to diagnose psychological conditions. The lack of research about the NPD had made some question whether it is a disorder at all.

Currently, NPD is a disorder that is listed in the DSM-V. Individuals with NPD are grandiose and self-loathing. They tend to have exaggerated personalities, are prone to antisocial activities, taking advantage of others and crime. In addition, they also have strong feelings of inferiority, emptiness and boredom. Some also experience severe depression.

Though I can’t diagnose disorders over the internet, I would say that it is far more likely, based on what you have written in your letter, that you and your husband are having marital issues. The two of you don’t agree on what’s wrong and continue to pick at each other which inflames the situation. The solution is marriage counseling. He wants you to go to counseling and that’s fine if you’re willing to do it but you should also suggest that he join you. If he’s not open to marriage counseling, then you should go to individual counseling. You can work on the problems, you want help with, and learn better ways of interacting with your husband. Hopefully, he’s willing to go to counseling, too. That would be the ideal.

Some of the things you can work on in counseling include (whether he joins you or not): being more cognizant of how your behavior affects your partner, how to properly approach your partner when you’re upset, expressing yourself effectively, how to control your emotions, how not overreact, how to avoid becoming irritable and angry, and so forth. Learning those skills would not only improve your relationship with your husband but would also help you to be a happier and more emotionally stable person.

You described your husband as a great man. You care for him, you love him and you want things to be better. That’s a great place to start. Counseling could help to improve your relationship significantly. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Am I Narcissistic?

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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. (2020). Am I Narcissistic?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 9, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/04/19/am-i-narcissistic/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020 (Originally: 19 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.