What Can You Do If Your Partner Is a Narcissist?

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What Can You Do If Your Partner Is a Narcissist? 7

Every one of us has different traits–good and bad. When we start dating, we try as much as possible to remove the bad ones to make the relationship work. Sadly, it is not the same for everyone.

You met your partner and during the first moments of your relationship, everything feels so good and this is natural! As days pass by, arguments and problems in your relationship arise because of your partner’s narcissistic behavior. The daring part here is that you do not know if your partner has the disorder or your partner is just overconfident.

Defining a Narcissistic Partner

“Look at me” personality is often referred to as narcissism, but the real meaning of being narcissistic is having a disorder called narcissistic personality disorder or NPD. A narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health problem, and individuals with NPD are usually selfish or do not consider other people.

Your Narcissistic Partner’s Traits: Official Criteria

Of course, when dating, you would not think of your partner as a person with NPD until the relationship is no longer healthy. There are criteria for diagnosing a person with narcissistic personality disorder and although it is still hard to recognize if your partner has the disorder, especially when you truly love them, it is recommended to read some more information about this mental health disease.

Dealing with a Narcissist
The perfect book for you to deal with narcissist and heal yourself after hidden psychological and emotional abuse

Epic sense of self-importance

A person with NPD presents himself with an epic sense of self-importance. Self-importance is essential for everyone, as this one is one of the ways on how to love and care for ourselves. However, for an individual suffering from NPD, the self-importance that person has is exaggerated.

Obsession with fantasies

A person with NPD is preoccupied with ideas that he or she is so powerful and successful even when he or she is not. They deceive themselves with imaginations. Additionally, an individual with NPD feels like they are more beautiful and smarter than anyone, and they defend themselves to people who threaten their thoughts.

Belief of having a high-status profile

Persons with NPD refer to themselves as people who belong to a high institution or clan. These people feel like they are so important because they have this high-status profile and sometimes, this attitude makes them look down on other people as they believe that they should only be associated with other high-class people.

Hunger for admiration

Persons with NPD always want to be admired in everything they do, no matter big or small it is. They seek this pleasure constantly as if they want to be respected by all the surrounding people, and this is how they feed their ego.

Excessive sense of entitlement

Before we get rewards for the things we do, hard work is what we will be doing. However, persons with NPD do not think this way. Instead, they believe that they deserve benefits and acknowledgment for the things they did not work for.

Interpersonally exploitive behavior

Persons with NPD take advantage of other people to get the things they want. In simple words, they try to use other people. In relationships, persons with NPD are not actually in love with the person. Instead, they love their partners just because they can use them.

Absence of empathy

A normal person knows what understanding others mean. For individuals with NPD, they do not know this trait. They may say that they care, but they don’t. They are not serious when someone is trying to ask for understanding.

Envious feeling

Persons with NPD are always envious of other’s success, and they do not recognize the victory of others. Also, there are times when persons with NPD feel like other people are always envious of them because persons with NPD feel like they are victorious.

Manifest arrogant behaviors

Wherever they are, especially when there are many people around them, persons with NPD show their pompous behaviors, not minding if their partners are good with it. Over time, this arrogant behavior of people with NPD increases, especially when people feed their egos.[1]

The Category Your Narcissistic Partner Belongs To

Knowing that your partner has NPD, you also have to consider the type of narcissism they belong, as this is one way to understand them more. Generally, narcissism is acquired from childhood that is why it is also important to read about the effects of this disorder on children.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A good book to know more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Grandiose narcissistic

These types of narcissistic people are bold and brave. They feel like they are superior therefore they show their vanity if they want to. One reason why they are like this is that, during their childhood, they were treated very importantly, thus they brought this attitude as they grew old. NPD individuals under this category are the ones who cheat.

Vulnerable narcissistic

These types of narcissistic people are sensitive and fragile. If you do not treat them the way they wanted to be treated, they feel like they are victimized. When it comes to relationships, individuals with this type of NPD are the ones who are always jealous and feel like their partners are always cheating with them.

Who Is More Prone To Get Into a Relationship With a Narcissist?

According to a study, narcissists are more attracted to those who are similar to them.[2] Although you do not you the disorder, it is still possible for you to get into a relationship with a narcissistic partner.

Impressive individuals

Narcissists look at themselves as impressive individuals and because of this, they are more attracted to people who are impressive too. These people are strong-willed and talented individuals. Sometimes, your family background and connections matter to narcissists. If you have a narcissistic partner, you are an impressive person in their eyes.

Those they can brag to others

Narcissists love to show-off and because of this, they want to get a partner whom they can brag about in public. Unfortunately, this does not mean that when you are in private, your narcissistic partner will look at you the same. They may love you in public but abuse you in private.

Those who make them feel good

Narcissists love to be adored and when you make them feel good through your gestures or compliments, they are drawn to you. Eventually, to get you as their partner, they will be good at talking and expressing their intentions. In the end, these good intentions are only for them.

Those who validates them

If you make narcissistic persons feel that you will always be there for them and you will not leave them whatever happens, then you are prone to get one. Narcissistic people are attracted to those who validate their feelings. So, if you are with a narcissistic partner, this means that you respond irrationally with regards to their actions.

The Things You Can Do When You Have a Narcissistic Partner

True love is nurtured and no matter what are differences between you, both of you should find a way to protect the love you have for each other. Knowing that your partner has the NPD and your love is stronger than any circumstances, you have to know the things you should do when dealing with them. Additionally, reading good books about dating people with disorders can help you deal with the challenging part of being in a relationship with a narcissist.

Dating a Narcissist
A good book to know more about Narcissistic while dating one and know more about them

First, accept them

Indeed, some characteristics of a person with NPD such as being successful and confident may attract you. This usually happens to couples who met at their respective workplace. Of course, you would be interested at first, especially when that person is famous for being a responsible and focused staff.

What to do: First and foremost, accept them. After that, try to look at your partner’s behavior outside your workplace or when there are no people around you. Then, reflect: is your partner lying? Is your partner disrespecting you or other people you both do not know? If so, it is a good start for you to decide.

If they keep on telling their accomplishments

When you go on dates and you start having conversations, your partner loves it better when they talk about their success in life and they talk more and listen less to you. With this, they might intimidate you as they think of themselves as smarter, more talented, and more eligible than you. Additionally, narcissistic persons are attention-seekers and if you are asking attention from them, sorry, but that is not going to happen.

What to do: Try talking about your achievements every after your partner talks and notice the interest of your partner. An interested partner will usually ask for follow-up questions. You are important as well, so remind yourself of your goals, strength, and importance.

If they use you compliments as their strength

The truth about persons with a narcissistic personality disorder is that lack self-esteem, and this is why they always wanted to be praised and recognized. Your partner always seeks praise from you and uses this praise as a strength by making it a credible reason to control you. Also, a person with NPD does not look at you as a partner. Instead, they use you to fill their needs.

What to do: Lift one another up but if your partner does not give you compliments, remember to love yourself even more.

If they have no sense of understanding for you

According to a study, narcissistic people cannot understand the surrounding people.[3] Sadly, they fail to validate and accept your thoughts because they do not have emotions for other people.

What to do: Reach out to your friends, especially those who empathize with you. Tell them your problems and concern and listen to their advice. Your friends, especially the real ones, will not let you fall.

If they insult or offend you–intentionally and unintentionally

During the beginning of dating a person with NPD, teasing is a way to show love and affection. However, as days pass by, your partner may tease you intentionally and unintentionally. Everything will become an issue, even the things like what you wear, etc.

What to do: If your partner insults you constantly and these insults are no longer funny and make you feel less of a person, go away. On the other hand, if you want this person to stay around your orbit set boundaries when you are ready for consequences.

If they manipulate you

Persons with NPD are manipulative.[4] If your partner is starting to manipulate you in the middle of your relationship, this will lead to emotional abuse.

What to do: When you feel like you are starting to lose your confidence and everything you do is wrong, then maybe, you have to acknowledge that you are with the wrong person and do the right way to get back to the place where you used to be full. Manipulative partners are hard to deal with, so it is important to read more about them.

The Narcissist's Playbook
In this book you will know about a Narcissistic characteristics and how you will be able to avoid them

If they do not want to fully commit

In today’s generation, getting into a relationship is easier than before. With this, the commitment of the couple is not that strong. Persons with NPD are not sure about the commitment that is why sometimes they toggle on and off their status. According to a study, being in a relationship with a person with NPD can just give you a temporary relationship.[5]

What to do: If your partner is showing that he or she is not ready to fully commit, that is already a red flag! Read some books that will let you know red flag situations. This will help you understand possible unpleasing situations, and not just when your partner has NPD.

21 Traps You Need to Avoid in Dating & Relationships
Women tend to get worried when they find the man is not interested in commitment this book will help you to understand the reason behind them

If they are all-knowing

Trying to win over a person with NPD is like trying to fill the ocean with sand–it is impossible. Persons with NPD are always right, because that is what they believe. According to a study, even if they are proven to be wrong, they never will apologize. [6]

What to do: This is another indicator! Good partners are humble, and they apologize when they are wrong. If your partner is not like this, it is about time to find a good one. Also, learn to let your voice be heard. If you want that person to be in your life, let that person know your thought, even if this might lead to an argument. Who knows what will happen next?

If they are possessive

Finally, you realize that you are with the wrong person and you have already decided to get out of the toxic relationship. However, when you tell your partner that you want to break up, they tell you that they own you and they cannot let go. Sadly, when you tell them you are decided and you try to walk away, they start hitting you and this is because they only show possessive love.[7]

What to do: Just get out of the bond. Physical abuse can even lead to death. Do not ever let that happen to you.

If they keep on breaking promises

Persons with NPD are usually not sincere when they make promises. Sadly, they may say a promise today but may forget the next morning.

What to do: Ask for consistency and look for action.

If they do not see any problems about their behavior

Persons with NPD do not look at themselves as patients, and this is because they look at themselves as normal. It is interesting to know that persons with NPD may also have other mental health issues, and this makes it important for them to get professional help.

What to do: As a partner, calmly suggest professional help and let your partner know that you are journeying together. To start introducing help, you can choose good books with professional advice. However, if they insist on saying no, it is no longer your fault.

The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder
This book will give you professional advice on how to deal with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Therapy for You and Your Narcissistic Partner

As you already know, you also need therapy when being with a partner with NPD. Most of the time, your partner would deny the fact that they need this therapy as they feel normal. However, it is important to know that the therapy works best when both of you are willing to get to the finish line. If your partner thinks that they cannot change anymore, consider telling them that therapy may benefit and not change them. According to a study, narcissistic personality disorder patients seek treatment because of their partners.[8]

One-on-one therapy

A person with NPD can seek personal and private therapy without their partner around. However, according to a study, this type of treatment is not recommended as persons with NPD come as a defender of themselves. They keep on denying and they end up not appearing on the next session.[9]

Weekly treatments

According to a study, weekly treatments for patients with NPD are effective.[10] This is because treating NPD patients takes a lot of time. By doing this treatment, these patients may be able to learn to control their emotions and improvements can be seen weekly.


Psychoanalysis treatment for patients with NPD includes the following objectives:

  1. Identify and respect the patient’s understanding of empathy
  2. Make the patient be on other people’s shoes, especially their partners
  3. Explain the meaning of resistance while considering avoiding injury to the person

There are times when you express anger and your narcissistic partner will tend to be angry more than you. A successful treatment on this type of therapy is when a narcissistic partner recognizes the anger of their partner and understands that this anger is only expressed as a way to reduce the pain.

Conjoint treatment

For partners who want to get treatment together, this is the best choice as this treatment can help in letting the views of both persons be seen. Additionally, mutual empathy can be achieved when this type of treatment is being used. The con of this treatment is that sometimes, the other partner, especially the ones with NPD, may feel shameful and this might lead to ineffective treatment.[11] For this not to happen, it is important to introduce techniques to make good communication during treatment so as not to damage the relationship as well.

Tip: It is recommended to educate you and your partner about “good communication” before going for treatment. Try reading books about it as this can minimize possible emotional pain from words heard during the treatment.

I Hear You
This book will give you professional advice on how to build a strong bond and understand your partner

Therapy for you, the one with the relationship with a narcissistic person

As said before, it is normal to find your partner to decline your idea of treatment. When this happens, you can be the one who would enter the treatment, and when you get home, you can share the ideas with your partner. During this therapy, you are taught to give your partners boundaries, especially when your partner is already abusive. When you are in a relationship with a person with NPD, you lose your confidence. Fortunately, this treatment will help you grab it back.

Respect Yourself While Being With a Narcissistic Partner

If you are in a relationship with a person with a narcissistic personality and everything starts to fall off unlike the first dates, do not forget to respect yourself as this is one way of being a stronger and bolder person.


Constantly remind yourself that you deserve better. Loving yourself is not a selfish act. Sometimes, your knowledge about self-love is limited to taking care of yourself. However, it is not just about that. If you want to know the wide meaning of self-love, try to read books that will make you understand this point.

What The Heck Is Self-Love Anyway?
In this book you will get to know about self-love and why it is important

Get a support system

A relationship with a person with NPD is challenging. With this, it is important to have a support system, especially when you are already emotionally drained.

Rekindle and build

You cannot deny the fact that sometimes when you start dating, you forget your old friends. If your partner is narcissistic, it is important to revive your connection with your past friends and build new friendships, too.

Go back to what makes you feel serene

Before dating a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, you might be enjoying some activities such as traveling, playing badminton,. Make sure that you do not stop doing the things you love. This is another way to build respect for you. It does not mean that when you get into a relationship, your narcissistic partner will only be the one who enjoys this great life. Return to what makes you merry and do it regularly.

Seek for help

Indeed, being in a relationship with a person with a narcissistic personality disorder is challenging and draining, and sometimes, it makes you anxious. If you need help, you can reach out to health care professionals or another option is seeking help through books.

The Body Keeps the Score
A great to know how to deal with the trauma


Do not forget the things you dreamed about. Still focus on them even when you are in a relationship with a person with a narcissistic personality disorder. Do not let the relationship devalue your dreams. Your partner has a personal life and so do you. To understand more, supplying yourself with the things you need while in a toxic relationship between reading is recommended.

Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare
In this book you will know how to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself

Understand the meaning of a healthy relationship

Consider understanding the true meaning of a “healthy relationship” and look if your partner is exhibiting the traits of a healthy partner. Having a healthy relationship means two people understand and help each other, and when mistakes are being done, forgiveness and change in behavior are seen. To learn more about a healthy relationship, you can read books about them.

Bracing a Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner: Long-term Effects

You always feel unsecured

If you are dating or living with your partner who has NPD, you might feel unsafe. Individuals with NPD tend to shout at you and worst hit you. Being with them for a long time, say a decade, may hurt your sense of security.

You become more fearful

It is hard to open up to a person with NPD as you do not know their reactions or response. With this, you may be scared every time you start a conversation you are not sure they will like. Sadly, your physical health is affected too since when you are fearful, you palpitate.

You constantly panic

You may have anxiety attacks when your partner with NPD tries to terrify you based on the way they talk. According to a study, panic attacks are dangerous as they can stay for a long time.[12]Additionally, if your partner is under the category grandiose, you would always think that your partner is not being true–he lies especially when it comes to cheating.


No one wants to go to sleep knowing that they are not okay with their partners. If your partner is giving you so many things to think of such as their lies, promises, commitment,. you would usually fail to have a better sleep. This will also make you unable to rest, especially at night.


Being in a relationship with a person with NPD makes you self-disconnect. You lose your interest and you find it hard to go back to the things you enjoy doing and this may be because you want to connect more to them without considering yourself.

Your frustrations do not stop

One day you feel like you are doing well and you are on good terms with your narcissistic partner. This may last for days, but after all these good feelings, you’ll feel empty at once and feel like you need to start from zero.

You suddenly feel unwell

Being well does not only mean your physical health is fine, but it also means that your mental and psychological health is at peace. When you are in a relationship with a person with NPD, you may feel unwell generally. It is like you are doing fine, but there is still something wrong.

You become irrational

Being in a relationship with a person with NPD makes you an irrational person. There is a misunderstanding between you or other people and your partner, and you know that this argument is because of the latter, you still respond to their actions irrationally.

You lose your direction

Having a partner with NPD makes you forget your direction. You lose your focus and you forget your aspirations. Sometimes, being in a relationship with a person with NPD may shatter your dreams.

You constantly feel betrayed

Aside from cheating, broken promises made by your partner with NPD will also make you feel betrayed. For example, your partner with NPD promises to do better next time, and when that day comes, there is an unchanged behavior.

You always think that everyone is a narcissist

Once you get into a toxic relationship, including the relationship with a person with NPD, it is normal to feel traumatized. You think of everyone as the same and this mindset may not change for years or until the day you experience being with a right and healthy person.

You become more emotional

There are days when you remember the bad words cast at you. Sometimes, when you are feeling full, you remember the mistreatments your partner gave you, and suddenly, you will feel sad and unaware that you are already crying.

Do You Plan On Leaving Your Narcissistic Partner?

If you can no longer tolerate your partner and you are considering leaving as a choice, the following points may be your guide:


Cultivate yourself about the disorder. This will give you an insight into how your partner may react. Usually, a person with a narcissistic personality disorder will tell you that they will change. By educating yourself, you will understand what changing means to them.


Assessment is another way when deciding. Try to assess the relationship by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the relationship worthy to save?
  2. Are the traits of my partner manageable?
  3. Will there be growth for both of us?

List down reasons

It is important to list down all the possible reasons why you want to leave. Knowing these reasons will remind you to stay back from that toxic love. When you are doubting again, reread these reasons and reflect.

Be prepared

When you are planning to leave your partner with NPD, you have to be prepared for the consequences, especially the emotional struggles. Being prepared will help you overcome the sadness in the future. Additionally, you also have to be prepared to see your partner’s reaction.

Seek support

If ever you come up to this point, you may have already been mistreated by a narcissist, and the relationship you have is already damaged. You can reach out to your family and friends and even to violence centers.

Read how to leave an abusive relationship

If you are still having second thoughts on leaving, you can consider reading books about staying or leaving a toxic relationship. Through this, your mind will be matured and open enough to make a decision.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The book will give you tips on how you can survive a relationship with a Narcissist

After Leaving a Narcissistic Partner

Leaving the relationship with a person with a narcissistic personality disorder is hard, but only during the first days. This is a natural process. However, the process of leaving does not end when you ended your commitment to your partner.


Delete, remove, or cut all of your communication with your ex-partner. Any possible communication way should be avoided. If you have a child with your ex-partner, it is recommended to always be with someone you trust when your ex-partner visits your child.

Redeem yourself

When you were with your ex narcissistic partner, there may be days when they point out your body, your style, and your creativity. They do this because their standards are not the same as yours. Your narcissistic partner may have tortured you verbally before. Remind yourself that you do not need these verbal trashes. Once you broke up with them, learn to reclaim yourself.


Make time to refresh using nature. Aside from using it for free, you can meditate completely when you are connected with it. Every day or every other, spare 30 minutes of your time by walking while near the beach or a place where there are many trees. Nature can heal you completely. According to a study, nature helps in removing your fatigue and restores your healthy mind. Additionally, nature can help you improve your performance and mindset in life.[13]

Stick with a proper diet

Consuming toxic substances will make you feel unwell, but if you make it a habit to eat healthy foods, your drained strength will rebuild.


There will be moments when you feel like you just want to go back as you feel like you cannot do it anymore and this is natural. At times when you feel like you are alone and you no longer have the strength to move forward, consider praying. Praying is a great way to release stress and sadness. In silence, you can express the pain you feel and tell even the stories you do not want to share with anyone. Someone up there is listening.

Stay away from gossips

Your neighbors or the people who know about you and your ex narcissistic partner may talk behind your back through gossiping. As long as you can, try to stay away from gossips. Additionally, it is also helpful to stay away from social media for a while.

It is okay to weep

It is normal to weep after terminating a relationship. Sometimes, you feel different emotions, especially when you remember the memories you have shared. Although your friends and family are always there, it is recommended to reflect on your own by reading helpful books about how to recover.

Divorcing and Healing from a Narcissist
The book will give you tips how you can heal from a divorce with a Narcissist

Final Thoughts

When you start dating, you tend to be attracted because of their bold personality, and since you do not know the other person yet; you do not recognize their narcissistic behaviors. Although it is going to take a while to realize that your partner has a narcissistic personality disorder, you always have to be prepared and you should know the things you must do. Lastly, when you see that the relationship is toxic for you, you have to make a move.

  1. Leckelt, Marius, et al. “Behavioral processes underlying the decline of narcissists’ popularity over time.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 109.5 (2015): 856.

  2. Grosz, Michael P., et al. “Who is open to a narcissistic romantic partner? The roles of sensation seeking, trait anxiety, and similarity.” Journal of Research in Personality 58 (2015): 84-95.

  3. Ritter, Kathrin, et al. “Lack of empathy in patients with narcissistic personality disorder.” Psychiatry research 187.1-2 (2011): 241-247.

  4. Delič, Lara, et al. “Self-reported emotional and social intelligence and empathy as distinctive predictors of narcissism.” Psihologijske teme 20.3 (2011): 477-488.

  5. Campbell, W. Keith, Craig A. Foster, and Eli J. Finkel. “Does self-love lead to love for others? A story of narcissistic game playing.” Journal of personality and social psychology 83.2 (2002): 340.

  6. Leunissen, Joost M., et al. “Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: The role of empathy and guilt.” European Journal of Personality 31.4 (2017): 385-403.

  7. Valashjardi, Ava, and Kathy Charles. “Voicing the victims of narcissistic partners: a qualitative analysis of responses to narcissistic injury and self-esteem regulation.” SAGE Open 9.2 (2019): 2158244019846693.

  8. Darlene Lancer, J. D. “Narcissistic Personality Disorder Although NPD is not curable, it is amenable to treatment. The challenge is narcissists don’t see themselves as the cause of their problems.”

  9. Russell, Gillian A. “Narcissism and the narcissistic personality disorder: a comparison of the theories of Kernberg and Kohut.” British Journal of Medical Psychology 58.2 (1985): 137-148.

  10. Masterson, James F. A therapist’s guide to the personality disorders: The Masterson approach: A handbook and workbook. Zeig Tucker & Theisen Publishers, 2004.

  11. Lancer, Darlene. “Mental Health & Relationships: Can a Narcissist Love?.”

  12. Rosenfeld, Herbert. “On the psychopathology of narcissism a clinical approach.” International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 45 (1964): 332-337.

  13. Wolf, Kathleen L., and Katrina Flora. “Mental Health & Function.” Green Cities: Good Health (2010).

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Diana Lucas

Diana Lucas

Hi, Diana here. Welcome to my blog and hope you like my sharing. I am a mother of 2 boys, 3 years old and a 1 year old. I dedicate my career in child development research and I focus on parenting tips, positive parenting, educational toys for my babies. Your time here means a lot to me! Diana A. Lucas