Article How do you cope with a narcissist boyfriend or husband? Learn how to set boundaries and other strategies. 6 2023 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/1220_1680910666.jpg Relationship coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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Stand Your Ground: How to Set Boundaries with Narcissists (Professional Guidance Revealed)

 
TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development NPD, healthy relationships, dealing with your narcissist.
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Understand that the person that you fell in love with does not exist. This was a person wearing a mask that created your perfect partner because he was mimicking you. Jenita Elaine Bonisa Coaching Quote

So You Think Your Loved One is a Narcissist?

Have you ever had that sinking feeling in your gut that something is not right with your loved one? The way that you feel in his presence is unstable, unsure, and confused.  You are not sure what is going on and feel like you are spinning out of control. Chances are your loved one is a narcissist. 

But what does this really mean? You might call a narcissist conceited, self-centered, or self-absorbed.  But let’s really try to fully understand what  Narcissistic Personality Disorder is. 

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12 Signs of a Narcissist Boyfriend or husband

A narcissist can be characterized in the following way:

  1. He has no or very little empathy.
  2. He has low self-esteem.
  3. He is distant.
  4. He craves control.
  5. He needs constant validation.
  6. He tries to manipulate to get their own way
  7. He feels entitled to behave or act a certain way
  8. He hurts others without feeling remorse, all while making you feel like you are the love of his life.
  9. You can never tell if he loves you or hates you.
  10. You are always making mistakes in his eyes
  11. He is never happy for you.
  12. You feel like you are all alone, yet crowded all at the same time. 

The 12 Signs of a Narcissist Boyfriend or Husband

While you cannot diagnose a narcissist yourself without medical training, you should be aware of some of the traits. A person must exhibit at least five traits to be considered having NPD. 

Additionally, if you suspect that your loved one is a narcissist, do not tell him your suspicions or try to diagnose him yourself. Revealing your suspicions will only exacerbate the issue. If your loved one is willing to go to therapy, find an experienced therapist who works with NPD. Your therapist will guide the two of you through a process that could be helpful.


It is very difficult to be in a relationship with a narcissist, but there are ways that you can manage and still be happy. 


One important part of this disorder is how you are affected by being in a relationship with someone who is a narcissist. You might feel sad, crazy, angry, guilty, unsure, confused, or you may have brain fog. It is very difficult to be in a relationship with a narcissist, but there are ways that you can manage and still be happy. 

Many people choose to leave their narcissistic partner, but this is not always possible. Though you may want to leave your partner, it is not always so easy to leave a parent, sibling, spouse, or children. If you want to stay in a relationship with a narcissist it can be done, but there are some things you will need to do.

Do's and Don'ts if you are in a relationship with a narcissist

Do

  • Set firm boundaries and hold your narcissist to them.
  • Assign consequences to each boundary that is crossed or not respected.
  • Accept the narcissist for who he is, but do not accept abuse.
  • Leave the relationship if you can.
  • Begin learning more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder by reading books, watching videos, visit webinars, seek professional help.
  • Find a support group.
  • Learn and know who you are so that you do not listen to the lies the narcissist tells you.
  • Believe your truth and verify everything that he says.
  • Grieve the relationship that you thought you were in.
  • Take as many breaks as you need from your narcissist.

The Do's and Don'ts if you are In a relationship with a Narcissist

Don’t 

  • Don't call him a narcissist. This will cause a lot of added grief.
  • Don't argue with your narcissist.
  • Don't try to diagnose.
  • Don't accept abuse.

Now what do I do?

Now that you have a little more information about a narcissist, what do you do about it? The questions that you may have in your head are should I stay or should I go. This is a question that you must answer on your own. Here are a few tips that I would like to leave with you.


Learn ways to set boundaries, give consequences, and learn to love yourself. 


Remember, though you cannot diagnose your loved one with NPD, you can be aware of some of the traits of a narcissist and use the dos and don’ts as a guide. If you are reading this, you are probably at your wits end and have no idea what to do. Many people who have loved one’s with NPD feel the same way.

If you have the chance to speak to a therapist and receive counseling, great! However, if your narcissist refuses to go to therapy or therapy does not seem to be working for you, there are other options. Learn ways to set boundaries, give consequences, and learn to love yourself. 

So You Decided to Stay! 

That is okay. If you chose to stay, you had your reasons. Everyone has their own journey and the solution is different for everyone.

The next step to your decision is now what do you do. You know that your boyfriend or spouse has some narcissistic traits. You have been taking my advice and reading more about narcissism and how to identify those alarming traits. Now you just need a plan to help you to survive and live the life that you want.


You must remember that your partner was never, and will never be the person that you thought he was. You cannot change him, instead you will need to accept him for who he is.


Today I am going to give you more advice on what you can do if you are in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic traits and you chose to stay or had to stay.

Before we get started, you must remember that your partner was never, and will never be the person that you thought he was. You cannot change him, instead you will need to except him for who he is.

In this post we will discuss changing one person and that is you!  Why do you need to change, you may ask? Because it is easier to change your behavior than anyone else's.  Changing your behavior means taking control of your life. Read this testimony from a friend. I changed the name for privacy purposes.

I sat on the edge of my bed and I realized that he would never love me. I thought about our last conversation and he told me that the love that I wanted was unrealistic and that he could not love me that way. I thought to myself, no it is not unrealistic to ask that you spend time with me, or act like you care about me and to be a part of my world. This is when I could do nothing but cry day in and day out because we had been married for only five years and I was not ready to call it quits. But I didn't want to live in a loveless marriage for the rest of my life. He could care less about my tears, or that I was hurting. It was like he was living his best life while I was drowning in pain. I started to get closer to God by reading the bible and praying. I also, decided to learn more about why my husband was acting the way he was. I learned about the word narcissism and it was like the term fully described him.  I started researching more and more about narcissism and understood what I was dealing with. This made me cry even more. I felt sorry for him and for our family because the only way out was divorce. But what would that do to our children, my finances? I just didn't know what to do. As I was reading, The Story, Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee, I felt a connection between some of the characters in the story.  One day I decided that I was no longer going to be sad. I wanted to live my life. I decided to stay, but there had to be some changes. I needed to find the best course of action in order to stay and be happy. It took me a while but I figured it out. It has been four years since I made that decision and just like any marriage, it is a lot of work. However, I am happy. This can be done with some mindset shifts and hard work.

Megan

The mindset shift that Megan referred to was understanding that things would not change unless she viewed her life differently.

Listenyou must understand that the person that you fell in love with does not exist. This was a person wearing a mask that created your perfect partner because he was mimicking you. Remember, those days early in your relationship when he would just sit and listen to you? He was gathering information so he knew how to create the perfect partner for you. Once he got you to fall in love with him and hooked, he took off the mask and it was too late. 

It is time to grieve the relationship as if you were planning a funeral. The death of the relationship that you thought you had. So attend the funeral on your own or call over some friends to help you to grieve. Jenita Elaine Bonisa Coaching Quote

It is time to grieve the relationship as if you were planning a funeral. In a sense there is a death. The death of the relationship that you thought you had. So attend the funeral on your own or call over some friends to help you to grieve. Allow yourself to go through the five stages of grief. Mostly, understand that the relationship is dead.


Understand that things that work in a regular relationship will not work in your new relationship. In order to create this new relationship, you must decide what will make you happy.


You also need to understand that things that work in a regular relationship will not work in your new relationship. In order to create this new relationship, you must decide what will make you happy.

1. What can you live with? Make a list of non-negotiables that you need from your partner. For example, you may need to tell him not to put you down when you have a suggestion. You know this will make you feel respected.

2. State your boundary and assign a consequence for that boundary being crossed. You may choose to walk away and end the conversation, or ask him to leave. Whatever the consequence, your partner needs to know beforehand.

3. Choose up to four boundaries to start with and consequences. Let him know about the boundary as well as the consequence.

4. The last part is, you have to follow through with the consequence. Hold your partner accountable for crossing your boundary. You are teaching him how you want to be treated.

You may be asking yourself, what are my boundaries? Here are some common boundaries to help you to get started.

Also, think about what makes you feel safe and respected and start there. If you need more help with setting healthy boundaries, read Boundaries, by Henry Cloud, The Christian Guide to No Contact, by Renee Pittelli, When Loving Him is Hurting you, Dr. David Hawkins.

Boundaries you can set with a narcissist

  • When we have a conversation, please do not talk over me.
  • When I tell you my ideas, please do not try to change my mind.
  • Do not yell at me or call me names.
  • I need time to spend with friends and family.
  • Do not try to manipulate me into believing a lie.
  •  Do not blame or shame me.
  • Do not punish me for saying no.
  • Do not give me the silent treatment when I share an opinion that you do not agree with or when I take up for myself.

Set these Boundaries with a Narcissist

Consequences

  • Walk away.
  • Ask him to leave the home.
  • You leave the home.
  • Call him out for his behavior.

Besides setting boundaries, here is a list of ways that you can use as you settle in to stay with your partner whom you have identified as having some narcissistic traits.  Be sure to continue your research on narcissism with the list of resources below as well. Overall, define your own happiness, set some boundaries, and take care of yourself.

Ways to deal with your partner in a toxic relationship

  • Know when you are being manipulated.
  • Learn more about narcissism.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Verify everything that he says.
  • Have a strong sense of self and a strong mind.
  • Call him out and let him know you know what is going on.
  • Do not feed him. Negative attention gives him the power to be the victim. Too much positive attention makes him crave more. You will not be able to keep up.
  • Show him some attention before he goes looking for it in a negative way. You could compliment his cooking or something that he does well. Be sure it is a real compliment. Do not overdo it!

One day I decided that I was no longer going to be sad. I wanted to live my life. I decided to stay, but there had to be some changes.	 Megan Coaching Quote

For more support and research, sign up for my webinar series: a step-by-step four-part practical guide to dealing with a narcissist.

Resources for dealing with narcissists:

Coleman, Keith.  Narcissist

Hall, Julie.  The Narcissist in Your life.

Hawkins, Dr. David. When Loving Him is  Hurting You.

Malkin, Dr. Craig.  Rethinking Narcissism.

Mirza, Debra. The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist.

Johnson, Amy.  Narcissism and Narcissistic Behavior.

Love, Dr. Candace.  No More Narcissists! How to Stop Choosing Self-Absorbed Men and Find the Love You Deserve

Lucado, Max.  God Will Use This for Good

Tharp, Shannon.  Healing from Hidden Abuse.

Thomas, Shannon. Healing from Hidden Abuse

Jenita Bonisa
Relationship and Dating Coach

  • Masters in Education
  • Masters in Business
  • IAP Career College

 


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COMMENTS

  • Coach Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    March 14, 2023

    What boundaries do you need to set?

  • twillis
    March 16, 2023

    Does the narcissist follow those boundaries? Don't they have a tantrum? What if he only have 3 traits of narcissism that I can tell?

  • Coach Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    March 24, 2023

    If he or she does not follow your boundaries, you must assign a consequence. You must let him/her know the boundary and consequences for not following the boundary before you can follow through with the consequence. You cannot control their behavior or be afraid of how he/she will react. If he only has three traits he may just be really self-centered.

  • Twillis
    April 20, 2023

    Have you heard of "The Nice Guy" syndrome?

  • Coach Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    Jenita Elaine Bonisa
    May 02, 2023

    I have not heard of the nice guy syndrome. Tell me more.

  • John
    November 01, 2023

    Good information, but this is also very one-sided as it exclusively presents the male as the narcissist. I am a straight male. My wife exhibits many of the signs you noted above, and I have found it very difficult to find, as a male, support in dealing with a narcissistic woman.

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The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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