Is My Wife a Narcissist? Here Are 9 Ways to Tell

Is My Wife a Narcissist? How do I know if my wife is narcissistic? How does a female narcissist act in a relationship? Can you fix a narcissistic wife? What are the signs that my wife may be a narcissist? If you are looking for answers to these and more questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I have been an online support group facilitator for over 10 years. In my years of work, I have overseen numerous support groups, including facilitating narcissist support groups for men with narcissistic wives. Part of the work we do in our support group is to offer information to help members better understand narcissism.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about living with a narcissistic wife.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.


The reason most men end up married to a narcissistic wife and only find out long after they are married is that narcissism is not as common among women as among men. A DSM-5 report shows that there are more men diagnosed with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) than women. To be specific, up to 75% of all reported NPD cases are men, meaning that the diagnosis rates amongst women are much lower, or most cases go undiagnosed and undetected.

A narcissist mirrors your behavior as an individual, which most men see as a green flag since it means they have a lot in common and that they care for your well-being. Eventually, the man proposes, and before they know it, they are in a narcissistic marriage and are stuck in a toxic relationship. It is only later that they start to wonder, is my wife a narcissist?

It is common for mental health professionals to miss the signs of narcissistic behavior in women. This is because the personality traits in a narcissistic woman present differently than in men.

While narcissism in men typically presents as stereotypical masculine behavior like excessive need for power, aggression, and an authoritarian character, narcissism in females can look more like an inflated self-worth, entitlement, and exhibitionistic behavior.

Despite how abusive being in a marriage or relationship with a narc can be, people with NPD are incredibly charming and winsome on the outside. This is why they present ad the perfect choices for marriage partners. Over time, their narcissistic traits are revealed at the expense of the other person’s mental health.

A narcissistic spouse is highly manipulative, challenging to connect with, self-centered, and sometimes verbally and physically abusive. Being married to a narcissistic wife will often strip the man of their self-esteem and ruin all their healthy connections.

Often, it is harder for men to acknowledge or seek help when they know that they are married to a narc because of the stigma associated with men in abusive relationships.


Is my wife a narcissist? All the telltale red flags

As the spouse, you are often on the receiving end of these narcissist Wife traits, tactics and abuse. If you are still on the fence with the question, is my wife a narcissist? Here are common signs of a narcissistic wife to look out for.

The ‘Me’ focus

It is common for a narcissistic wife to make themselves the primary focus of the relationship. Their first focus is themselves, and their second is attaining attention, validation and admiration from others.

They will use charisma, sense of entitlement and self-importance, manipulation, and exploitation to get their own needs met in the relationship while completely disregarding the other person’s needs.

You feel disconnected from them

Lack of empathy is a common emotional abuse trend among narcs. Couples usually attain a certain level of emotional connection where they feel that their spouse sees, hears, and understands them, which is the core of what empathy looks like. This is not the case with a narc. You will never attain an emotional connection with them because they are emotionally unavailable.

Gaslighting tactics

Gaslighting is one of the many manipulation tactics used by narcs on their partners. This invalidates your experiences and makes you question your sanity. When a narcissist is caught in a lie or mistake, they prefer to gaslight their partners to present a narrative that is more favorable to their lie. 

Love bombing cycles

When in a relationship with a narcissistic wife, you are often caught in a web of love bombing and abuse patterns that are never-ending. A narcissist will abuse you to your limits, and when you are sure you are fed up and want out, they love bomb you and make it hard for you to leave. Once they have you where they want you, the abuse cycle again starts, followed by love bombing. 

They are controlling

While narcs outwardly portray the symbol of grandiosity, high self-esteem and sense of self, this is often the opposite of how they truly feel. They live with an overwhelming fear of rejection and abandonment. These personal insecurities and low self-esteem force them to want to control everyone around them.

In relationships, the narc will work to ruin any healthy relationship the spouse had outside of their marriage, including with their family members. They also restrict access to resources like money and your ability to make decisions without their approval.

They use Isolation

To make it hard for you to leave them, a narcissistic wife will isolate you from your loved ones once they have ruined those relationships. They will make you codependent and convince you that everyone in your life has a problem with them and use well-formulated lies to drive their point home. They then tell you that it is best if you cut ties.


A narcissistic wife enjoys pointing out your shortcomings as a person and using them to highlight your weaknesses and cement the notion that you are highly incapable of functioning alone. They will even call you a narcissistic husband just to show how bad you are to them. Over time, they strip you of your self-esteem and make you believe that you are unworthy of basic respect or fair treatment.

The name-calling often starts as a joke before the frequency and intensity increase.

You cannot seem to please them

No matter how hard you try, you can never seem to please a covert narcissist or make them happy. This is because the narcissist is constantly moving the goalposts by changing the rules of any situation midway. They do this to put you in a state of always seeking their approval, which helps maintain their constant need of having authority over you.

Highly reactive to criticism

To a narcissist, any negative comment about them is seen as an attack on them. Instead of taking correction or criticism gracefully and trying to change, a narcissist will lash out, throw tantrums and shift the blame to you. Sometimes, they will resort to silent treatment.

They will use hard criticism and words to wear you down and overpower your argument, forcing you to stop fishing for an apology or change in their behavior. Sometimes, they will use denial, insults, and physical or verbal violence to drive their point home. You find yourself walking on eggshells around them.

Is my girlfriend a narcissist? Learn how to identify the signs early enough in dating here.

Is My Wife a Narcissist? How It Affects You

Being married to a narcissist affects your life in different ways. It negatively affects your other relationships, finances, self-esteem, and independence. It also causes adverse effects on your mental health and even physical health.

Other common effects include:  

  •         Loss of connection with others in your life
  •         Loss of sense of identity
  •         Abandoning of your individual needs
  •         Poor boundaries in your life
  •         Low motivation, disinterest in self-care, mental and physical fatigue
  •         Developing mental health issues like anxiety and depression


Is my wife a narcissist? – what to do

Once you are sure that your wife is a narcissist, it is normal to want to break up. Some steps you can take to mitigate the adverse effects on your life in the meantime include:

Understand narcissism – learning and understanding NPD will make it easier for you to recognize the abusive patterns.

Setting boundaries – identify your needs and set clear boundaries. Ensure you communicate with them clearly and let them know that breach will not be tolerated.

Maintain other healthy relationships – ensure you work to maintain other healthy relationships outside of your marriage. Do not let them drive you away from your loved ones.

Do not tolerate abusive behavior – let your wife know that any form of abuse will not be accepted. If an argument becomes toxic, always walk away from it and tell them you will only talk to them if they can maintain respect.

Join a support group: In a narcissist support group like MensGroup, you will be in the presence of other people who have gone through similar trauma. This is one of the best places to speak up, be heard, and be believed.

MensGroup support for men married to Narcissistic wives

Men’s Group is a men-only support forum that offers resources and meetings to anyone married to a narcissistic wife. With the proper support, anyone can heal, grow, and change. You will be placed in a group with other men who have been through narcissistic abuse and understand your situation. This gives you a free space to share and learn from others who have previously walked in your shoes. With a support system of fellow men, you can overcome your trauma and lead a healthy, successful, and happy life.

Is my wife a narcissist? – Conclusion

If your wife exhibits most or all of the signs highlighted in this post, they probably live with NPD. Knowing the signs to look out for is an excellent way to protect yourself from falling into the abusive pattern typical in relationships with a narcissistic partner.

A group like Men’s Group offers you a platform where you can share your story to inspire others and get support to overcome the trauma of being a survivor of narcissistic spouses. A support group offers a safe space where you meet compassionate people who are willing and ready to guide you through the recovery process.