The effects of living with a narcissist of any kind can be long-lasting and devastating to your self-esteem. This is particularly true for men living with a narcissistic wife, given that they often pride themselves on the fact that they can handle any problem to make their partner happy. The truth is that living with a narcissist is a no-win situation.
The husband of a narcissistic wife can often be described as the stereotypical henpecked husband. But it’s not funny. Her non-stop criticism can be long-lasting and cause these 7 devastating effects:
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic anxiety
- Sleep Disruption
- Panic attacks
- Irrational behavior
- Loss of joy
Nothing you can ever do will be enough because the problem with a narcissistic wife lies inside of her. It’s the quintessential inside job, but your narcissistic wife will not be shy about telling you exactly how you have failed her. It’s not you, though; it’s definitely her.
As narcissistic abuse survivor Ria Roy writes, “…the lack of consequences that a narcissist faces and the trail of wreckage s/he leaves behind, it is important to create an awareness about it all.”
Here are some common reasons why your narcissistic wife acts the way she does and how her narcissistic abuse can cause lasting effects on your mental and physical health.
Why Living with a Narcissistic Partner is So Difficult
Living with a narcissistic partner is difficult because they see you as an extension of themselves. They believe you reflect on them and feel a need to control your behavior.
As a result, they seek to isolate you so that no one else can influence your behavior, they lie frequently and often for no good reason just to manipulate and confuse you, and they try to make you think you’re the crazy one–a tactic called gaslighting.
Your narcissistic wife might also be extraordinarily jealous and that often happens because she’s actually cheating on you. She will also play you against your children and vice versa. This is a tactic called triangulation, and it is very damaging, particularly to your children.
Finally, the criticism never stops, and it never will. These behaviors are extremely hurtful and over time they can do damage that you don’t even realize is happening. You can try to set boundaries, but it’s likely that over time, you will feel the long-term effects of your wife’s narcissistic abuse.
These behaviors are the reasons why it’s so difficult to live with her, but how is it affecting you and your behavior?
7 Lasting Effects of Your Narcissistic Wife’s Abuse
No matter how much you try to do for your wife, because she’s a narcissist, you will never be able to do enough. You might love her, but you need to be aware of how her behavior will affect you in the long-run. Here are 7 damaging effects of the narcissistic abuse you’re enduring:
1. Low Self-Esteem
As you continuously live with her constant criticism, gaslighting, lies, and manipulations, you start to doubt your own abilities. Your self-confidence takes a hit because it seems like you can’t do anything right no matter how hard you try.
When your self-esteem drops, it can affect every other part of your life. It can make you question at work and home, and it can cause you to put up with treatment you otherwise wouldn’t endure.
2. Chronic Anxiety
When you’re living with a narcissist, it’s like walking around on eggshells all of the time. You never know what can trigger their rageful response. This causes you to live with a higher level of constant stress, and that can result in chronic anxiety.
Chronic anxiety can affect both your physical and mental health. You may find that you’re jumpy all the time and that you overreact when something does happen. It can cause you to lose sleep, and the higher level of stress can cause physical damage to your body that will shorten your life.
Living with chronic anxiety and walking around on eggshells all the time is exhausting and can lead to chronic fatigue. You may find you feel too tired to do any of the things you previously enjoyed doing.
The narcissist loves that because she wants you focused solely on her. Losing out on the things you love in life just causes more depression and fatigue.
4. Sleep Disruption
Living with chronic anxiety, constant fatigue, and low self-esteem can cause you to lose the sleep you need to stay healthy and feel good. This can take the form of being unable to sleep, or it might involve nightmares. In either case, it’s detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
5. Panic Attacks
It’s not at all uncommon for people living with narcissists to suffer panic attacks. The constant undermining of your self-esteem, feeling anxious all the time, and trying so hard to please someone who can’t be pleased can lead you to feel panicked about your every move.
Panic attacks can cause you to feel like you’re having a heart attack. You might feel chest pain and be unable to breathe properly. You might even have to go to the hospital. This is just another very damaging result of your wife’s narcissistic behavior.
6. Irrational Behavior
It’s not surprising that you might sometimes act irrationally after being treated in such an abusive way. The narcissistic abuse you’re enduring at the hands of your wife can make you doubt yourself and feel like you’re losing your mind. It can also make you react in a way that doesn’t make sense. It’s all part of the pattern of abuse.
7. Loss of Joy
This is the ultimate in the damage that narcissistic abuse can do. You can find that you just can’t ever seem to be happy anymore. That’s a big red flag that you need to make some changes.
A marriage is supposed to involve two people who love and cherish one another. They are supposed to support each other and help each other through life’s challenges. A narcissistic wife isn’t really capable of doing anything for anyone else other than herself.
As a victim of her abuse, you can suffer long-lasting damage to your physical and mental health. These are but 7 effects, and there are many more. Taken together, they constitute narcissistic victim syndrome, and you need to seek help so that you can get the joy back in your life.
Now that you know how damaging the abuse from a narcissistic wife can be, you might be interested in this blog post about how to protect your child from a narcissistic mother.
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