Attempt to save my marriage to my husband with NPD

I’m at a point in my marriage of three years that I feel I must make a decision about whether or not to file for a divorce. I have filed once, but did not go through with it. I believe my husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I have found some paperwork from his first divorce (marriage was annulled) stating that it was believed he has NPD and possibly Paranoid Personality Disorder. I can’t handle all the fighting and I really feel it is having a negative impact on my oldest child who is 2.5 years of age. My husband often brings my child into our fights. I do have another child who is a year old and another soon to be born. I found a website called which is the only site I’ve found suggesting I attempt to save my marriage. My biggest concern is my children and I want to do what is best for them.I am relatively happy when my husband leaves me alone, but become very sad and depressed when he becomes abusive–obviously! I am happy being a house wife and taking care of my children and this is what I’ve always wanted. He is a good supporter and takes care of our needs… for the most part we do not go without. I can even handle his selfishness. I just worry our children will become like him.If anyone has advice as to how to somewhat have a successful marriage, at least for the sake of the kids (I’m willing to sacrifice myself, but not my children), I would appreciate hearing from you.

Here is an old thread where many have posted about their experiences with NPD people :

I am only 19 so I clearly am not as experienced as many others on CA. But I read through that whole thread as my ex-boyfriend expressed several behaviors characteristic of NPD. We conceived a child out of wedlock in the beginning of March and if he so chooses to stick around, I too would be worried about how my son will turn out.

After reading about people’s personal experiences with NPDs and reading different websites about the disorder, it is very apparent that there is absolutely NO CURE for it. Unless the narcissist commits to psychotherapy he/she will remain as they are and will continue to drain the people around them of their emotions and energy. Unfortunately most narcissists will not go to therapy as they will refuse to recognize that they even have a problem.

At some point you’re going to have to realize that you have absolutely no control over your husband’s actions. And also, as long as he is able to influence your children, there will always be that chance that they too will develop NPD or will end up in relationships with others who have NPD. I honestly would not stay near anyone who has NPD.

I am sure others, especially Liberanosalamo ;), will reply shortly to give you very sound advice.

You and your family are in my prayers, God bless.

How does he bring your child into fights?

How abusive is he?

I would say you need to talk to a professional about these issues.

But my advice would be to leave him for the sake of your children’s mental health. Growing up with someone like that makes it very likely that your children’s brains will not develop well and they themselves will have mental illnesses (not necessarily narcissism, but maybe anxiety disorders or PTSD from either being abused or witnessing you being abused).

You are happy when your husband leaves you alone, well if you leave him he will leave you alone for good. It might be hard at first working to support yourself and your children, but it is certainly better than living with abuse.

Peace and safety for yourself and your children is better than the money he provides.

I do hope that you will be able to reconcile with your husband; but I am also concerned regarding your statements of my son,my child, and my children. Are these not his also? Why not our son, our child our children?

Do you include your husband in your marriage? Or does he feel that he is an outsider in your house?

I was married to a sociopath/ narcissist for 18 years.

My experience… if you leave, he will not care about the kids and be **very careful **when the narcisist loses control.

The abuse for my child and myself… only got worse when I stood up for myself…

You are in my prayers.

I have to be open with you about the disease that you speak of. I suffer from it myself and it has not only ruined my past relationships and marriage (I am happily divorced, no children), but renders one incapable of dealing with others on a regular or intimate basis, respectively. I am currently under psychiatric help, but the Church is the only means for me to actually keep it under any control. The simplest solution is to remain as far away from relationships and people in general. It is far better that one be alone than to place others in situations that could be dangerous. Some may consider this a curse, but I have actually found it a blessing considering the circumstances of my marriage in particular.

My worst episodes include fits of paranoia, extreme irritability, often intense vocalization that undermines the other person to the point of tears and destruction of objects. Each person that suffers from the disease has varied symptoms, and if they are too severe, hospitalization may be necessary. Often government budgets are wanting in regards to who they can hospitalized, and the wards are usually full at any given time. This, of course, means that certain individuals, who need hospitalization, cannot get it and are often free and running about unchecked. One encounters them more than they realize in society. The disease is not something that is easily read in the outward appearances of a person. Some may run large corporations, and some may be homeless, but this depends on the level of how well they are able to control it with certain medications.

Yet, when I was experiencing my worst episodes, I would always realize that the children are the ones who suffer the most. I am like I am due to the facts of both chemical processes that do not work correctly, and of my early environment. I was often subjected to having to deal with an individual who was convinced that he was still fighting the war in Vietnam ( I was born in 1964, and this period I speak was about 1967-1983). The individual was firmly convinced that someone (or something) was going to get him. This often caused a great deal of panic, and when one considers that a very young child cannot tell it the situation is really one in which something bad is about to take place, the feeling will always be on the edge of their minds.

Left unchecked, they will experience difficulties in accessing reality, panic attacks, paranoia attacks, depression, bi-polar disorders, and have a very difficult time in maintaining childhood relations, and behavioral problems that can manifest themselves into violence, in some more extreme cases. I can only give these details as a personal example, as all cases are different and contain varied circumstances in the processes of future manifestations of other mental disorders.

Please remember, I am not a medical professional.

In any case, one must always consider the children first in these matters. Your spouse and you should consider seeing a councilor (of some sort) or a priest, and they will give the best advice as to the steps to take in order to either restore and maintain order or create order through healthy and mutual separation. The aspects of governmental child protective services should be a serious concern to you (this depends on where you may live). No amount of comfortable living is worth the mental health of your children.

I speak here by experience. I shall pray for you. God Bless You.

I got really good at walking on eggshells and was married for 17 years to my now ex with NPD. In confession one time when I was confessing my sins it came out what was going on in my marriage and my priest made me set a deadline for giving him a chance to change. He had always refused therapy and things really spiraled out of control during that 6 month period that I was trying so hard to work it out.

My best advice for you:

  • Talk to your priest about all of this
  • Get counseling for yourself
  • Find a family member or someone that you can trust and let them know what is going on.
  • Start keeping a journal of the things he says and does to you and to your children.

*Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


I think the best thing you could do it to do what you believe is right for you. Having three young children to care for on your own will not be easy. Many people think that having a mom and dad in their childrens life is very important, however it will not be good for your children being around such anger.
I dont know if he hits you or not, but if your children are seeing this, this could lead to abuse between them or them towards you.
This is hard because it is a marriage, and you dont want to leave you children with no support… I think it is very smart to consider doing this while your children are still young, hopefully they will not remember the abuse if you leave him soon.
I would suggest going to a psyciatrist of some type, if he is willing to go then that would be great, but if not maybe getting the advice from a professional will help.
Do you have parents or family members that would support you, maybe let you live with them?
I will be praying for you and your family

One tends to think in terms of “my” children when one’s spouse is abusive. The reason for this wording is because the mother is in protective mode… she is the only one who cares about the children, so they are her children and she is the only one who can save them. This is what it is to be with a narcissist/mentally ill person. I know. I had to save my oldest son from one.

This particular metal illness is grounds for a an annulment.

If your spouse really has NPR. run, I mean RUN, away! You need to protect your children.

Do not interpret this as medical or marital advice.

You’ve been given great advice. Please read this instead of that other site.

Please listen to the advice to get your children out of this situation sooner rather than later. But please document any and all abuse so that you can limit his contact with the children. If he has ignored them since you got pregnant with the first one, he may all of a sudden become the world’s most devoted dad just because controlling the children will control you. It is maddening. Call SafePlace and get a plan to get out!

They do incalculable damage. I wonder if my children will ever recover. A man like that will pick favorites, pit his children against each other, give one gifts that the others watch and don’t get, allow one to do what they want and crack down on another, undermine your authority, denigrate you in front of the children so they don’t listen to you, accuse you of being abusive when you are trying to discipline your children, neglect them if you are not around, and even resort to violence with them.

We won’t even discuss the spiritual damage. A narcissist must be worshipped. Especially by the children. Once they are no longer of a worshipful age, narcissist changes tactics and either rejects, or spoils child to punish/retain worship.

The biggest regret of my life is that I did not get my children away from their father in time.

Well, that and marrying him in the first place.

Tartini, I’m very interested in what you have to say. I seldom get to talk to a self-aware NPD. I would love to hear your perspective on some things.

What goes through an NPD’s head as they browbeat someone into the ground and reduce them to tears and agony? Does an NPD feel at all bad about it before, during or after?

If an NPD is calling someone and festering on a subject that has been dealt with a thousand times, how do you stop that? What can people around them do to make the repetition of the argument stop? (My xh is right now driving one of the kids bats over an issue that really isn’t his business and his lack of respect for the judgement and ability to see through people is amazing. He is projecting his own faults and failings onto someone else.) Every time he calls he brings it up. It’s maddening to the child.

Does an NPD know when they are projecting all their motives onto someone else, or do they just pull stuff out of thin air and use anything to get a reaction?

I’m serious about wanting to learn from someone who knows they have this issue and has tried to get help for it what they think. You are very brave by the way. A very rare individual. You should be proud of yourself.

Hi, I would like to offer my perspective to this, after struggling with this problem myself. I believe that God’s purpose is greater than our own. I also know that he has the whole world in his hands. I know that he wants all of us to turn to him. Sometimes, he may pair one with an ability to fight with the world, with one who’s heart is already turned to the Lord. How can I say this, sometimes we have a home, and are blessed with children, but we don’t have love, and we say why not, but it is to God that we have to look for for the love, not to each other, and our job is to reflect God’s love to each other, not ask for what it is that we want. People with NPD are attracted to people who have a lot to give, because they are desperately hungry. Being in close daily contact with one will either destroy you, or purify your heart because you know that your human resources will collapse one day, but God will always be there to provide renewal. One must be very strong, but don’t think you can rely on your own strength. Only our father can deal with this problem and compensate, and even then his only message will be to get the N to acknowledge God, not his wife.

What is the compensation? For me, although it is true, my children don’t believe in fairy storys, they are very strong and able to face the world with power, but because they have me as a mother they have knowledge of God, and knowledge of love. In a way, I see my children as a necessary next generation, kind of like kids from Sparta who were able to fight and retain fidelity. Normally, fidelity is based on soft love, but growing up in a Narcissistic family is the toughest love you will ever find.

I am a odd person, an artist and a musician, a sensor and a connector. God knew I needed someone to deal with the battle, while I made the fire and cooked the soup. This is not a “Little House on the Prairie” life. It might be hard to understand, but keep the focus on God, and off of your dream ideas of what is marriage. You will start to see the purpose.

Daniel was at the river, and two angels came to tell him stuff, one was fighting the battle to the west, and the other came from the east to let him know something, I forget. But if even angels have two missions, to fight, and to make peace. Look, if you can, at your husband as doing battle with the enemy, and encourage him to see you as on his team.

It is not easy, and it is not very well understood. I pray for all who are on this post to recieve blessings and strength from our creator who loves us all and hates divisions between us. :bowdown2::bowdown2:

I am a 26 year old woman from a very Catholic family. Over the past few months, my husband and I have together discovered that my father most likely has NPD. Knowing that my dad suffers from this personality disorder does a lot to explain his subtly abusive behavior over the years. My husband and I have severely limited our time with him, and only see/communicate with him under strict boundaries/conditions so that he does not have an opportunity to further hurt me. Unfortunately I continue to suffer from my father’s emotional abuse: I have severe confidence issues, the occasional desire to hurt myself, always feel that I need to meet my dad’s needs and please him, have strong inclinations to always please other people, struggle with making simple daily decisions, and have co-dependency issues with my husband. By the grace of God and intersession of St. Anne, I am being healed, but I know that this will be a very long journey.

Though I feel grateful that I am beginning to heal, one of the painful parts of this situation is that I have realized that when I was growing up (and still to this day), my mom does not stand up for me when my dad is being emotionally abusive. I very much wish that my mom had stood up to my dad and protected me from him when I was growing up. I think she did not protect me/stand up for me because she was spending so much energy trying to please my dad and keep him from being mad at her.

My experience tells me this: please do everything you can to protect your children. The impact of an NPD parent on a child is deep and lifelong.

I am willing to enter a dialogue with you about this, but first of all your mother must have done something beautifully, because you did not marry a man with NPD, and you are aware and able to see that you are different than your father. It sounds like your childhood was guiding you to believe that you didn’t exist, and to a narcissist, you actually don’t exist, only they do, depending on the extremetity of it. Yet you had a man who stood for father, and he gave your mother children. This is a starting point, for which we can all be grateful. Now what you are applying is phychology, the justification of the present through the past, and although it makes sence, it does not bear the fruit of forgiveness and understanding that we are asked to bear.

I don’t want to talk details, I want to explain this in the abstract. Because I don’t think anyone out there understands this except for this web page Kim and Steve in Australia. She is probably christian, but she approaches the story from a open logic reality, but I know that God can reach out and heal the confusion, and that you may actually one day see how not only did your father’s narcissism allow the family to survive, but you will be grateful for the burden of it because you sill see what it taught you, how strong it made you, and why God put it in your life plan. The first step in dealing with this is acceptance of it, and then learn about it, and yourself. Since you are writing here, you are obviously blessed with a full range and depth of humanity. We are lucky.

My dad had undiagnosed aspergers, a mental syndrome without blame, although many things go wrong, including rage, non-connection with family members, inability to make a living, self imposed isolation. Yet he was able to recognize the perfection of God’s word, because of his mental problem, and when he went to the lord, I saw clearly the heavy body seperate from his soul, and now as I face a marraige to another syndrome, which God prepared me for, I can clearly see the beauty of my man inside this, and I know that not I, but Christ’s love in me can connect with him.

Yes, that love is strict about what is acceptable, and it is also compassionate about the wonder of what he is able to do and deal with. So pray and pray and pray for god’s guidance, not your own desire for emotional retribution. See what grace is offered to you. Jen

Thanks Jennifer D. Most of the non-Christian advice I have seen on the web says to run away from a NPD spouse. However, I believe that your advice is very encouraging and consistent with the nature of the commitment we all make when we marry. Our commitment to God is for better or worse, until death do we part. He does not promise that marriage will make our lives happy from man’s perspective, but He does promise to be by our side through the darkness. I remember an author reminding us all that the purpose of the marriage commitment is not always known until “after” we keep it. As a man, I have noticed there is not as much information online regarding NPD wives. I do pray for the men as well though. As a man, it is also a very difficult experience. Right now, I can tell you that I have no idea at all what God is going to do in my situation, where He will guide me, what He will show me. I would love a miracle, because NPD also takes a toll on the person with NPD, not just their spouse and those close to them. I just pray that someday, she will see God’s love through me and will be able to start to focus towards Him, as I believe He can do anything and everything.

This was posted so long ago, and the reality is just confusing, but I will share my latest observations as well as I can.
I see very clearly that we think that we ourselves create our well being, like a lot of people think that they “make” a baby. But our great creator is the one who pours abundance down and guards us, and even teaches us, and guides us, and loves us. We naturally want to share that feeling, when we are in his presence through faith, and be in communion. But with NPD, they feel like it is all them, or at least thats what they say, but if you listen deep deep deep they usually have a very individual relationship with God. This is really strange to try to explain, but it is the connected worship that I miss, the feeling of gratitude in communion. And I am thinking about connecting about that, forget about expecting a normal real feedback or a normal emotional sensation, but the feeling of experiencing God together. And I think that if I focus on that and that alone, not anything of me, or anything of factual world reality, just we face our maker together, that could be a starting point. Because he overcomes everything.
I also started doing things that are solitary, myself, and looking for the strength and guidance in that, I write music, so in a way, the NPD allows me that solitude. It used to be totally painful but now, I am used to it, and sometimes I see people who are trapped by chatting or connecting over mundane realities, and I am relieved of that, even though I used to want it and miss it. When I do have it, I am grateful.
I also realize how completely vunerable my spouse is to outside manipulative influences, and that without me he would just be so taken advantage of. That sounds strange when usually the partner is the one getting used, but that is only if we continue to expect a connected reality. As soon as you stop expecting to connect over mundane things, the abuse stops, and when the connection is focused on worship, it works.
Now, I don’t mean worship like going to church, just appreciating God, his blessings in the life, and enjoying the power and the glory. This is an area that NPD people are really into. I know that sounds strange. But it’s true. So I guess what I am saying is keep God in the middle, and look to him. Which we are allowed to do because Jesus did all of that living, and all of that die ing ( Spell? ) Anyway, it’s not going to be me who saves my marraige, it is the holy father, so what I have to do is be a part of his plan.
I would like to continue, about how this is a generational struggle, about how many of the people in my life are Narcissistic, about my own self knowledge, and all I can say is he has the whole world in his hand, and we should be happy to be in the hand, not thinking there is a emotional hammock that would be more comfortable, because it is not, we were just told the story via media etc. We need to focus on the real story, which is that God provides and we connect to that providence through our obedience. I pray that these words help you forward on your path. Jennifer

Thanks for being a big person and sharing this on CAF.

Were you aware of this issue from his first divorce? If not, I don’t see how that is not grounds for an annulment. It would appear that he hid this very crucial info from you before you got married. You were not able to make a fully informed choice in marrying him if he did not disclose this information to you prior to exchanging vows.

You owe your children a safe and happy childhood. I hope you don’t believe that a good Christian marriage is about being abused. You also owe yourself sanity and peace of mind.

I don’t know if his illness makes it possible for him to love someone …truly love someone. Pray, get help, and do not sacrifice your children or yourself.

I don’t have experience with NPD but I did marry a man with bipolar disorder (he hid that from me so I didn’t know until after the marriage) and your stuggle sound similar to mine. I spent six years with him, praying to God to change him, going to counselers, therapy, psychiatrist, getting help for him everything to no avail. He refused to take medication, refused to go to the therapist and ended up with a prescirption drug addiction. He was very abusive too and the abuse started to escalte over time. We had a daughter too and I had the same concern for her. I tried to keep the marriage because of the commitment and my vows but the day that my daughter told me that she was afraid that daddy would hurt me, I knew I had to leave because of her. I don’t know how bad is your situation and the kind of abuse or if you have attempted counseling and therapy. If you haven’t I suggest you to do it but he needs to be willing to seek help too. If he refuses the help and there is physical and emotional abuse, I would suggest you to start thinking about the children and taking your decisions based on what it is better for your kids and an abusive environment is not the right place for a kid to grow.

I’m the daughter of a man who is a narcissist. It hurt my self esteem deeply. If you can get out and protect your children, do it. It was a terrible way for me to grow into an adult. Nothing I did was ever good enough. Only he could know the “right” way. He thought he was too good looking, too smart, too good for everyone else and the reason that people didn’t like him was because he was better than them and they were jealous.

It was a nightmare. Get out and protect your children if you can.

He’s now 64 and he still is the same narcissist he always was. He just knows now that the laws have changed and he can’t get away with the abuse he could get away with in the 1970’s. He was so abusive! He hit my mother and us kids all the time…the beatings were so unpredictable. He called me every name under the sun, including the ‘c’ word. He was so horrible.

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