How to handle a Narcissistic personality disorder?
Q: I am a 26 years old Indian girl and my life after marriage has been no less than hell. I have been facing too much hostility and criticism from my husband and in-laws and this is because of certain things to, which I objected in the initial days of marriage. I am always treated like a lower mortal and I always have to cater to saving their respect and have to be always ready for their needs, irrespective of my feelings or ability. All that I do is wrong or bad. All that my parents do is bad. We had lots of fights and all of it is somehow always my mistake. They don't even seem to realise their mistake. I have become completely submissive. Things are cool at home as long as I agree and comply with everything that is expected from me (not even conveyed verbally). The moment I have a different opinion, things flare up and it leads to a big fight. People outcaste me and stop talking to me for months together. I am fed up of complying and have lost all my self-esteem and confidence. I cant even talk openly to address the issues since that would only result in bigger fights during, which I will be bad mouthed and the only option I would have at these times is to keep accepting all the blame and keep saying I will correct. Otherwise, I will be given the command to just leave the house and end the marriage. This has affected my dad’s health and even mine to some extent. My dad has chest pain and I am always in stress and tension. I was going through some of the questions that other members have asked in the Q&A section and found that these are symptoms of a narcissistic person. I also googled for this and found that not just my husband, but also my in-laws, in fact the entire family of theirs have several (more than 10) symptoms listed for narcissistic disorder. I do not want to break the marriage as such but am desperate to know if there is any way at all to handle them without losing my self-respect and sanity. Its been two years to my marriage now.
A:It is difficult to diagnose personality disorders. If they do have Narcissistic personality disorder there is no good way to deal with but keep praising them. Personality disorders are difficult to treat. From your description it seems like it is difficult for you to freely express your opinions and concerns without being criticised and that it goes to extremes where your husband and in laws seem to threaten you - as you said. Otherwise, I will be given the command to just leave the house and end the marriage. This scenario is not conducive to long-term relationship. If you do not take any actions now it is possible that it could go on forever and may become even worse. If it has been happening for 2 years and not changed it is unlikely to change much in future. Keeping these aspects in mind, I suggest that you talk to your husband clearly as to what you are concerned about emphasizing how you feel. If he does not seem to understand the seriousness of the facts you might have to take other steps.