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Published on December 4, 2020

13 Signs of a Narcissistic Husband (And What to Do)

13 Signs of a Narcissistic Husband (And What to Do)

When you met him, you couldn’t believe how lucky you were. He was charming, outgoing, and everything you ever hoped and dreamed of. You wondered what you did right in the world that made this fairy tale come true. And then he became a nightmare narcissistic husband.

Slowly, he became critical and controlling. Everything was all about him, and he didn’t care how you felt or what you thought. Slowly, the man you met just disappeared before your eyes.

How did that happen? What went wrong? How could he have changed so much?

The thing is, he didn’t change. Deep down, he was always like that in his inner core. The problem was, he put on an act for you in the beginning, and you believed him.

Don’t worry – you are not alone. It has happened to countless women. It’s easy to get fooled by a narcissist, and by the time you figure out who he really is, you are probably already married to him.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then your husband probably has narcissistic traits (or could even be a full-blow narcissist).

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Maybe you’re not even fully sure if your husband is a narcissist or not, so let’s take a look at some of the traits you should look out for.

13 Signs of a Narcissistic Husband

The following traits are good signs that your husband may be a narcissist:

1. He Acts Better Than Everyone Else

He probably goes around telling everyone about all of his “great” accomplishments. He wants people to think he is better than they are, and that includes you – especially you.

2. He Doesn’t Listen to Your Opinion

Whether it’s something simple like what you want to do on a Saturday night or something major like which house to buy, your narcissistic husband probably doesn’t really listen to your opinion. He might pretend to, but then he does whatever he wants to anyway, regardless of what you think.

3. He Needs to Be Right Every Time

He thinks he knows everything. You could tell him that 2 + 2 = 4, but he would argue with you and say, “No, 2 + 2 = 5.” Meanwhile, you’re scratching your head wondering how he thinks he could possibly be right. But he doesn’t really care what the truth is; he just needs to “win” and be right.

4. He Controls You

Maybe you put on some new jeans and he says, “You can’t go out of the house in those because they are too tight.” Or if you want to go out with your friends, he tells you that you can’t. He might limit you in main areas of your life or treat you like a child when you’re at home.

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5. He Gaslights You

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation[1]. When he uses it on you, he plants seeds of doubt in your head. This, in turn, makes you question your own memory or sanity. He turns reality around on you and makes you question yourself (when in actuality, he’s the one you should be questioning).

6. He Needs Admiration

A narcissistic husband always wants you to tell him how amazing he is. As I said in #1, he goes around trying to make himself look better than other people. And in doing so, he wants the admiration that goes along with being “superior.”

7. He Shows No Empathy

He completely lacks the ability to see your perspective on anything. He doesn’t care how you feel or if you are hurting. He just cares about himself and what he thinks. He likely doesn’t notice when you’re feeling down or angry, and when he does, he will glaze over it to make you feel that your emotions don’t matter.

8. He Blames You

He never takes personal responsibility for anything and always blames you (or other people). Everything is always your fault, and he does absolutely nothing wrong. Even if you try to reason with him to try to see how his actions were not right, he will deny it and try to blame you instead.

9. He Acts Like a Victim

Because nothing is ever his fault, your narcissistic husband is usually the “victim” of others’ actions. If his project at work failed, he will blame it on his boss, co-worker, or clients. He constantly has a victim mentality because he cannot look at his own actions and see that he is responsible[2].

10. He Doesn’t Feel Guilt

He might say or do things to you that are very hurtful. Maybe you caught him doing something like texting another woman. Even after you catch him, he won’t feel any guilt at all. He’ll shrug it off like it’s no big deal, and tell you to just get over it.

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11. He Lies

Everything that comes out of his mouth tends to be a lie. You may or may not be able to catch him in the lies, but you probably have a gut instinct that what he’s saying most of the time is simply not true.

12. He’s Mean and/or Abusive

He’s just plain mean to you. He might criticize you and call you names like fat, ugly, or stupid. He probably tells you that you’re lucky to have him because no one would ever want you. He might even physically abuse you.

13. He Enjoys Your Pain

Because he is incapable of feeling empathy, he almost enjoys seeing you in pain – either emotionally or physically. It gives him a sense of power over you. He also feels absolutely no guilt when he inflicts pain on you.

What You Can Do If You Have a Narcissistic Husband

Now that you know the signs of a narcissistic husband, there are some things you can do. Let’s take a look at some of them[3].

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Person

    Set Boundaries

    Narcissists will take and take and take some more – unless you don’t let them. They are bullies, and bullies like an “easy target.” They don’t want someone to fight back and draws boundaries that they can’t cross. However, when you do it, they will have no choice if you stand your ground (and you should).

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    Stay in the Right Mindset

    Don’t allow your narcissistic husband to manipulate your mind. Stay in the right mindset, and don’t allow him to brainwash you. You know the truth, and you know you do. Don’t allow him to make you second-guess yourself.

    Don’t Take It Personally

    I know that his words and actions are hurtful, but try not to take it personally. Honestly, what he says and does is actually not about YOU. It’s about HIM and his own insecurities. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are the bad person in the relationship. You aren’t!

    Leave

    I hate to say it, but you can’t really change a narcissistic husband. In fact, you really can’t change anyone. They have to want to change, and if they don’t, they won’t.

    If you have tried your best to make it work and are still miserable, then you have two choices. Stay and get more of the same, or leave and find someone who isn’t a narcissist. I know it’s not easy to leave, but you just need to make the decision that is best for YOU, not him.

    Final Thoughts

    Being married to a narcissistic husband is not easy. There are a lot of narcissists in the world, so you are not alone. Try to find some support and remember to love yourself first because you deserve it!

    More on Identifying a Narcissist

    Featured photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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    Carol Morgan

    Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

    Warming up

    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

    Stay hydrated

    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

    Meditate

    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

    2. Focus on your goal

    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

    3. Convert negativity to positivity

    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

    4. Understand your content

    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

    5. Practice makes perfect

    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

    6. Be authentic

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

    7. Post speech evaluation

    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

    Improve your next speech

    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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    • How did I do?
    • Are there any areas for improvement?
    • Did I sound or look stressed?
    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
    • Was I saying “um” too often?
    • How was the flow of the speech?

    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

    Reference

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