Marital Counseling with Narcissistic Spouses-Taking a Big Chance

Many men and women marry narcissists without knowing the truth about their personality structures. This is not surprising. Narcissists appear to have it all—the image of physical attractiveness, smooth social skills, charm, even charisma combined with great self confidence. What’s not to fall for. In the beginning the narcissist is very attentive to the partner he/she has chosen. Many of these masterful manipulators bend to your every wish, even anticipating what you want before you ask for it. They are lavish in their attention and giving. As time moves on, the emotional scene changes and you notice how demanding, perfectionistic, cunning and deceptive they are. For many spouses a time comes when the non-narcissistic spouse has reached a point where she can no longer tolerate marriage to this self absorbed unempathic partner. Some spouses want to save the marriage. They unwittingly believe that they are dealing with a normal person—someone who is willing to go into therapy with the best intentions and try to sort out the mutual and individual issues that will improve their marriage. This happens frequently and doesn’t have a favorable result.

It is your decision to enter couples therapy. My clinical experience has been that narcissists believe that they are superior, have no imperfections, that problems with the marriage belong to their partner. They will either refuse to go to therapy or if they do will sabotage the process. In some cases, they persuade the therapist to take their side. That’s the cunning of the narcissistic personality disorder.

Rather than trying to fix or change your narcissistic spouse, it would be more helpful to you, if you are seeking therapy, find an excellent counselor and see them one on one. It is important that this professional has studied narcissistic personality disorder in depth and has counseled many spouses who are married to these individuals. Think about your emotional and psychological welfare first and that of your children. There are solutions. They may not preserve the marriage but they will help you to reclaim your life, your emotional and psychological well being. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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