Living with a narcissistic husband, much like living with a narcissistic wife, can be difficult. Broadly defined, narcissism is a personality disorder in which a person believes that he or she is better than other people or is obsessed with himself or herself. A husband with narcissism might be overly controlling, or he might be selfish and need constant praise and admiration.
Narcissists have a high opinion of themselves. A narcissistic husband will believe that he is special and will expect everyone to recognize this. He will set unrealistic goals for himself and then become hurt and feel rejected when he is unable to achieve those goals. A husband with narcissism might fantasize about success and will expect constant praise for his achievements.
It is also possible to recognize a narcissistic husband by the way he associates with the people around him. A narcissist is unable to show empathy and cannot recognize emotions and feelings in other people. He will dislike people that he believes are inferior to him and will often try to take advantage of those people. Furthermore, he will be jealous of people who are more successful than him.
Narcissists might seem pretentious and conceited. They might try to monopolize conversations by boasting about their accomplishments and might make fun of people whom they considers to be inferior to them. Narcissists believe they should always receive special treatment, and when they do not receive it, they become angry. These traits will cause are narcissist to act in a moody and erratic way.
A narcissistic husband cannot deal with criticism, and when he is criticized, he will feel embarrassed and ashamed. Narcissists have a high opinion of themselves, but they also typically have very fragile self-esteems. Criticizing a husband with narcissism might cause him to react with both anger and contempt, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship, because it does not take much to make him feel hurt or rejected. The spouse of a narcissist must be careful to always act like an adult even though the narcissist might be acting like a child.
Being narcissistic is not the same as having high self-esteem. A person who has high self-esteem has a healthy self-image and is proud of his or her talents and accomplishments. A narcissistic husband, on the other hand, thinks so highly of himself that he believes that he is actually better than other people. A person who merely has high self-esteem does not actually believe that he or she is better than others.