Marriage counseling can help many problems in a marriage, even including narcissism. Marriage is one of the most important relationships we will ever have, but it can also be one of the most complicated. Being in a relationship or marriage with a narcissist can present a myriad of problems, but with marriage counseling, it’s important to face this truth.
In psychological terms, narcissism doesn’t mean self-love — at least not of a genuine sort. It’s more accurate to say that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves. But propping up their delusions of grandeur takes a lot of work—and that’s where the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors come in, and marriage counseling can help.
There are signs to look for if you think you may be in a relationship with a narcissist – they include:
- They are a conversation hoarder. The narcissist loves to talk about themselves and doesn’t give you a chance to be in a two-way conversation. You struggle to have your views and feelings heard.
- They are a conversation interrupter. Many people have the poor habit of interrupting others, but the narcissist interrupts and switches the focus back to themselves, showing little genuine interest in you.
- They are a rule breaker. The narcissist enjoys getting away with violating rules like cutting in line, stealing office supplies, and not obeying traffic laws.
- Other signs include being a boundary violator, false image projection (“I’m better than you”), a sense of entitlement, being a charmer, a grandiose personality (thinking of themselves as a hero or heroine), negative emotions, and manipulation (making decisions for others to suit their own needs).
People with NPD have learned to ignore, suppress, deny, project and disavow their vulnerabilities (or at least try) in their attempts to shape and reshape “who they are” in their interactions. Change — allowing the vulnerability back in — means opening up to the very feelings they’ve learned to avoid at all costs. It’s not that people with NPD can’t change, it’s that it often threatens their sense of personhood to try. And their failed relationships often confirm, in their minds, that narcissism is the safest way to live.
If you’re going to stay in a relationship with a narcissist, be honest with yourself about what you can — and can’t — expect. A narcissist isn’t going to change into someone who truly values you, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for emotional support and personal fulfillment. I use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) to help couples reconnect with one another. I use therapy and marriage counseling to help couples recognize the patterns they have established in their relationship and offers tools and strategies to break those patterns to create a renewed sense of safety and security with your spouse.
Always remember if the person with narcissistic tendencies won’t come in then you can come for individual counseling. My passion is your relationship. I believe in the effectiveness of EFT in marriage counseling. To make an appointment, call (913) 239-8255.