Is My Husband a Narcissist or Just Selfish
Is My Husband a Narcissist or Just Selfish?

It’s not uncommon for spouses to have their fair share of quirks and flaws, but when your husband’s behavior leaves you questioning whether he is a narcissist or just selfish, it can be both confusing and unsettling.

The impact of being in a relationship with someone who exhibits either trait can take a toll on your emotional well-being. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between narcissism and mere selfishness, identify key signs that can help determine if your husband indeed has traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and provide guidance on how to navigate the challenges associated with living with a potentially narcissistic spouse.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways:

  • Narcissism and selfishness are two different concepts that often get confused, but narcissism is typically more severe and involves an inflated sense of self-importance, entitlement, and lack of empathy for others.
  • Signs of narcissism include a lack of empathy towards you and others, manipulative behavior like gaslighting, blame-shifting and criticism, possessiveness or jealousy in an excessive way, grandiosity with self-centeredness traits in behavior.
  • Coping with a potentially narcissistic husband requires setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care to avoid being emotionally drained by their behavior, seeking professional help from a therapist who specializes in NPD or attending couples therapy. It’s important to remember that ultimately only you can decide what steps are necessary for your emotional well-being.

Understanding Narcissism Vs Selfishness

Narcissism and selfishness are two different concepts that often get confused, so it’s important to define both terms.

Defining Narcissism And Selfishness

Narcissism and selfishness are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they possess distinct differences. Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by excessive self-admiration, entitlement, and a pervasive need for admiration from others.

For instance, a narcissistic husband may become extremely upset if he does not receive praise or attention from his spouse on a regular basis – this stems from an inflated sense of self-worth and deep need for validation.

On the other hand, a selfish husband might simply prefer spending his free time pursuing hobbies instead of engaging in shared activities with his partner without necessarily seeking external validation.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep-seated need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Individuals with NPD often have grandiose fantasies about their abilities or achievements. They may exaggerate their accomplishments to garner praise from those around them.

For example, they might claim to be close friends with celebrities or brag about owning expensive possessions they don’t actually have.

It’s important to recognize that not all people who display narcissistic traits have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In some cases, these individuals may simply possess strong self-esteem paired with selfish behaviors that stem from other factors such as stress or upbringing.

Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Narcissism And Selfishness

Spotting the difference between narcissism and selfishness can be a challenge, but being aware of some common signs and symptoms may help you to determine which trait your husband might be exhibiting. Here are some key indicators of both narcissistic and selfish behaviors:

  1. Excessive self-focus: A narcissist often exhibits an extreme sense of self-importance, whereas a selfish person may simply prioritize their own needs above others.
  2. Lack of empathy: Narcissists struggle with understanding and considering the feelings of others, while selfish individuals may just lack compassion in certain situations.
  3. Manipulative behavior: Narcissists are known for their cunning manipulation tactics to get what they want, while selfish people might only manipulate occasionally when it benefits them personally.
  4. Need for admiration: A narcissist craves constant praise and validation; a selfish person appreciates acknowledgment but doesn’t necessarily require it consistently.
  5. Entitlement: Narcissists believe that they deserve special treatment and privileges, while selfish individuals might exhibit entitlement in specific scenarios.
  6. Envy of others: Narcissists often harbor envy towards those they perceive as successful or superior, whereas a selfish person may experience occasional jealousy but is not consumed by it.
  7. Difficulty maintaining relationships: Both narcissists and merely selfish people can struggle with forming deep connections due to their self-centered tendencies, though this issue tends to be more severe among those with narcissistic traits.

By understanding these signs and symptoms, you can better assess whether your husband’s behavior stems from genuine narcissism or simple selfishness.

Is Your Husband A Narcissist? (Here’s How You Find Out)

To find out whether your husband is a narcissist or just selfish, you need to do the following:

  1. Look for lack of empathy towards you and others.
  2. Pay attention to manipulative behaviors, such as gaslighting.
  3. Watch out for blame-shifting and constant criticism.
  4. Notice if your husband is possessive or jealous in an excessive way.
  5. Observe grandiosity and self-centeredness traits in his behavior.

Let’s look at each of these points more closely.

#1. Lack Of Empathy In Relationships

One of the key signs to look out for when trying to determine if your husband is a narcissist or just selfish is their lack of empathy in relationships. Narcissists tend to be emotionally unavailable, insensitive, and indifferent towards other people’s feelings.

For example, if you share something important with your husband like a promotion at work or an achievement, they may not seem genuinely happy for you and might even try to downplay your success.

Instead of acknowledging your accomplishments, they may turn the conversation back around to themselves and talk about their own successes or problems.

#2. Manipulative Behavior: Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a common trait exhibited by narcissists that can cause immense harm to their partners. This behavior involves manipulating the truth to make the victim doubt their own sanity, memories, and perceptions.

Another classic sign of gaslighting is when your husband tries to persuade you that you are the one with the problem. He may accuse you of being overly sensitive, irrational, or even emotionally unstable.

If your husband continuously engages in manipulative behavior like gaslighting , it is important to confront him about it and consider seeking professional help or therapy as these behaviors are often ingrained and hard for him to change himself without intervention.

#3. Blame-Shifting And Criticism

Another sign that your husband may be a narcissist is his tendency to blame-shift and criticize. Narcissistic individuals will rarely take responsibility for their mistakes or shortcomings and instead, they will deflect the blame onto others.

Additionally, your husband may frequently criticize you for minor things or blow small issues out of proportion. This behavior can be harmful as it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt on your end.

#4. Possessiveness And Jealousy

Possessiveness and jealousy are common traits of both narcissism and selfishness. A husband who is possessive may feel entitled to control what his partner wears, who she talks to, or even where she goes.

Jealousy also manifests itself in different ways. In narcissistic relationships, the husband may become jealous if his partner receives attention or praise that he perceives as a threat to his superiority.

Selfish behavior can also lead to jealousy if a husband feels like his needs are not being met at the expense of others’ happiness.

#5. Grandiosity And Self-Centeredness

One common trait of narcissism is grandiosity, where the individual has an exaggerated sense of their own importance and abilities. They may constantly seek attention and praise from others, believing they are superior to those around them.

This often leads to self-centeredness, where their needs and desires take priority over anyone else’s. In a relationship with a narcissistic husband, this can manifest as ignoring your feelings or opinions in favor of their own, not taking responsibility for mistakes or wrongdoing, and expecting you to cater to their every whim without reciprocating the effort.

How To Cope With A Narcissistic Husband

Seeking the help of a licensed therapist or counselor who specializes in Narcissistic Personality Disorder can give you tools to deal with your husband’s behavior.

Set boundaries, communicate your needs clearly, and prioritize self-care to avoid falling into the trap of being constantly drained by an emotionally manipulative partner.

Remember that ultimately, it is up to you to decide what steps are necessary for your emotional well-being; whether it means staying in the relationship and learning how best to handle your husband’s behavior or ending things altogether.

Make sure also to build a support network of trusted friends and family members who can provide encouragement as you navigate this difficult situation.

Seeking Professional Help And Therapy

If you suspect that your husband is a narcissist, seeking professional help and therapy can be beneficial not only for your relationship but also for your own mental health. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Find a therapist who specializes in narcissistic personality disorder: A trained therapist can help you understand the complexity of narcissism and provide guidance on how to cope with your husband’s behavior.
  2. Attend couples therapy: Attending therapy together can help improve communication and address issues within the relationship.
  3. Individual therapy for yourself: Narcissistic behavior can cause significant emotional harm, so it is essential to prioritize self-care and work through any trauma or feelings of worthlessness with a therapist.
  4. Consider support groups: Talking to others who have experienced similar situations can be reassuring and empowering.
  5. Set boundaries: A therapist can assist in developing healthy boundaries that prevent further emotional damage from occurring.

Remember, seeking professional help does not necessarily mean giving up on the relationship but rather taking active steps towards improving it. It’s okay to prioritize your mental health and well-being above all else.

Setting Boundaries And Prioritizing Self-Care

It’s essential to prioritize self-care when coping with a narcissistic husband. Here are some effective ways to set boundaries and take care of yourself:

  1. Identify your needs and wants: Understand what’s important to you, and communicate them to your husband.
  2. Create physical boundaries: Decide what kind of behavior is not acceptable, and set limits on how much interaction you want.
  3. Make time for yourself: Carve out some “me-time” in your routine to engage in activities that make you happy.
  4. Practice saying “no”: Don’t feel obliged to do things that don’t align with your values or interests.
  5. Seek support: Talk to friends or family members who understand what you’re going through, or join a support group for people dealing with similar situations.

By setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care, you can maintain your mental health while managing a difficult relationship. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary for your well-being.

Considering The Option Of Ending The Relationship

If you have come to the realization that your husband exhibits traits of narcissism, it’s crucial to assess whether the relationship is worth continuing. While ending a marriage may seem daunting, it’s essential to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.

Ending a marriage with a narcissist can be challenging as they often try to manipulate or guilt-trip their partners into staying. It’s important to seek support from family, friends, or professional counselors who understand how difficult it can be.

Building A Support Network

It can be incredibly challenging to deal with a narcissistic husband, and it’s easy to feel isolated and alone in your struggles. However, building a strong support network can make all the difference in helping you navigate this difficult situation. Here are some ways to build your support system:

  1. Join a support group: There are many support groups specifically for people dealing with narcissistic partners or family members. These groups offer a safe space where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
  2. Reach out to friends and family: Don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones for support. Talk to them about your situation and how it’s affecting you. They may not have all the answers, but their love and validation can go a long way.
  3. Consider therapy: A therapist can provide you with coping strategies and emotional support as you navigate life with a narcissistic partner. They can also help you identify unhealthy patterns in your relationship and work towards creating healthier boundaries.
  4. Practice self-care: It’s essential to take care of yourself when dealing with a narcissistic partner. Make time for activities that bring you joy, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with friends.
  5. Educate yourself: Understanding more about narcissistic personality disorder can help you cope better with your husband’s behavior. Read books, attend seminars or workshops, and research online resources that provide helpful information.

Remember that building a strong support network takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end when it comes to dealing with a narcissistic husband.


In conclusion, determining whether your husband is a narcissist or just selfish can be challenging. It’s crucial to understand the differences between these two, and learning how to recognize the signs is key.

If you find that your husband displays numerous behaviors characteristic of narcissism, it may be time to seek professional help and set boundaries for self-care. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone, building a support network can make all the difference in coping with a narcissistic partner.