Not everyone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder will end up going through a divorce. However, personality disorders often negatively impact a person’s ability to maintain relationships and navigate the interpersonal problems that arise in relationships. Due to this, those suffering from NPD may have higher rates of divorce and failed relationships. If you believe your spouse is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, know that it’s possible to have a successful and happy marriage. However, it may be necessary for your spouse to attend individual counseling sessions along with couple’s counseling sessions in order to maintain the marriage.
What Is NPD?
Narcissistic personality disorder, also known as NPD, is a mental disorder that affects the way people view and interact with their environment and the people around them. Because these views often deviate greatly from what is generally considered to be the standard, people with personality disorders often experience impairments in their interpersonal relationships, work relationships and, in some cases, day-to-day functioning. People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder may suffer from a wide range of symptoms. There is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder but there are things that can be done to reduce the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
Can People with NPD Have a Happy Marriage?
Yes! People who are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder are able to have a happy marriage. Many people with narcissistic personality disorder are charming and charismatic. Some of these qualities can keep a marriage fun and exciting. However, people with narcissistic personality disorder may also have an emotional need to receive a greater amount of attention. Because of this, people suffering from NPD may lie, steal, or manipulate others—including their spouse—in order to get what they want. People suffering from NPD may also be impulsive, entitled, or selfish. They may have a difficult time reflecting on their mistakes, and they may struggle to take responsibility for their share in a strained marriage. For these reasons, many people who are married to individuals suffering from NPD have a hard time working with their spouse’s symptoms.
How Do You Know If Your Spouse Has NPD?
The only way you can tell for sure whether or not your spouse has narcissistic personality disorder is through an evaluation by a mental health professional. And it does need to be a mental health professional that has personally met and evaluated the person in question. If you believe your spouse may have NPD, and you’re not willing to end the marriage at this point, it’s likely a good idea to have your spouse evaluated by a mental health professional. If your spouse does indeed have narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll be able to begin the appropriate treatment. If they have something else, your spouse will be able to begin following a treatment plan that’s tailored specifically to whatever they’re struggling with. It may also be advisable for you to seek individual counseling so you can effectively cope with the stresses of marital strain and help your spouse manage their symptoms.
How Can You Help a Spouse with NPD?
It’s important to remember that a person with narcissistic personality disorder didn’t choose to be the way that they are. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t responsible for their actions. Instead, it just means that they believe they’re acting in a way that is completely reasonable. Remembering this may help you manage some of the more difficult parts of helping a spouse with narcissistic personality disorder. You can help your spouse by knowing what you can reasonably expect out of them, and setting firm boundaries. You can also help your spouse by encouraging them to attend therapy, support groups, or take medication if prescribed.
Should You Leave?
Only you can know whether or not your marriage is over. However, if you’ve brought up your concerns with your spouse, and they’ve refused to make changes, you may need to determine whether or not you can lower your expectations. If you find that you cannot be happy with the way things are going, and there are no signs that change will ever come, it may be time to consult a divorce attorney. A family law attorney can help you get a clear picture of what your divorce may look like. If you’re considering getting a divorce, and you need legal advice, you may decide to get started with a consultation. At CoilLaw, our attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you navigate the divorce process. If you’re considering filing for divorce, contact CoilLaw today.