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Narcissism: A problematic issue that often leads to divorce

When you and your spouse got married in a Texas church or courthouse, you likely promised to love and care for each other. It's logical to assume that you believed your union would last a lifetime. If you're one of many spouses who grew frustrated and concerned when you started to suspect that your spouse was a narcissist, you may also be among those who have decided to file for divorce.

Narcissism is a personality trait wherein a person solely focuses on himself or herself. He or she generally lacks compassion or empathy toward others. In fact, a narcissist typically views relationships with others in a self-serving light. If narcissism has caused problems in your marriage, you may be interested in learning about coping skills that have helped other spouses in similar situations. It's also good to know where to seek additional support as necessary.

Things to know about narcissists

While it's easy to understand that your spouse's narcissistic behavior may cause you to feel hurt or offended, it may be helpful to learn that a narcissist is not typically aware of his or her condition. The following list shows common traits that most narcissists share:

  • If your spouse places self-importance above all else, he or she may be narcissistic.
  • A narcissist is not concerned in any way about your emotional well-being.
  • A relationship with a narcissist is always about the narcissist and never about you.
  • A narcissist approaches every relationship by judging whether or not the other person is meeting his or her standards or needs.

Living or being married to a narcissist is usually highly stressful and emotionally difficult. Perhaps you've already confided in a trusted family member or friend about your situation, or even made an appointment to speak with a licensed counselor. This is often the only means by which spouses survive a narcissistic marriage.

Steps you can take while you're still married

If you are shifting your focus from how to please your narcissistic spouse to how to take care of your own emotional needs, the ideas on the following list may be helpful:

  • Acknowledge that you have needs and that it is perfectly acceptable to take care of yourself.
  • If you often cover for your spouse's rude behavior, consider allowing him or her to fend for himself or herself from now on.
  • Accept that you cannot change another person's actions but can definitely change your reaction to his or her actions.
  • Set boundaries and do not allow your spouse to degrade or mistreat you.

It's not surprising that many narcissistic marriages end in divorce. It's also not surprising that, in such cases, it's common for the narcissistic spouse to try to gain an upper hand in court proceedings. This is why many Texas spouses turn to experienced family law attorneys to help protect their rights and represent their best interests in court.

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