More inspiration about living with a narcissistic spouse:
Question from a wife about whether or not her husband has narcissistic personality disorder:
Have you ever seen any successful resolution of conflict with anyone who is highly narcissistic. My husband has not been professionally diagnosed, (he considers all psychology to be rubbish) and will not agree to go for help. He blames me for our marital problems. If I read articles about living with a narcissist, I identify with 90% of everything they describe. It is scary how similar my reality is to what I have read about people with this disorder. I definitely think my husband has narcissistic personality disorder.
I have read your The Marriage Restoration Project book, but I keep thinking, this all sounds great, but isn't it only relevant when you are dealing with "normal"? I can't see how any of this is relevant to someone who is pathologically narcissistic. I am interested in your feedback.
Thanks for your question. I have worked with couples where one spouse was diagnosed by other professionals as a narcissist.
I do find that this work can be effective even in situations where one spouse is not "normal".
It really depends on whether the spouse is willing to work on the relationship. It can take a lot time but eventually the situation can change.
While I don't generally like to diagnose, I have seen situations where one spouse was so "over the top" that I was certain he/she she had a personality disorder. That same spouse eventually made great progress.
It's hard in your situation if your husband will not agree to go for help and blames you.
The only thing you can do is work on your end.
It is possible he could change in response to your changes.
Have you ever read How to Improve Your Marriage without talking about it by Pat Love? You may find it helpful. You may also want to think about his childhood and have compassion for him.
Understand his hurts and what may have made him so self-absorbed. He is trying to protect himself.
I acknowledge this may be difficult, especially if he is being horrible. At the same time, there are deeper reasons to explain his behavior and if you can get in touch with those, even on your own, you may be able to be less affected by his behavior which will actually help improve it as you will be able to remain engaged in relationship.
It is certainly frustrating and painful to have a spouse who isn't interested in getting help and who blames you for all of the problems. In this case, the only thing you can do is to be the best you can be and hope to see him respond positively.
Our Marriage School is going to be helpful and important even in cases where one spouse does not wish to work on the marriage at all. We see is as essential not only for the sake of the marriage but essential for the interested spouse, for their investment in self care :) In the case above, with the husband who has narcissistic personality disorder, it is definitely important for the wife to engage in self care. Enroll in Marriage School now.
Thinking of you,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin