Do narcissistic spouses have to be put in their place before they stop caring so little about you?

If narcissistic spouses keep you around because you are weak, don't demand
anything from them, and expect you to cater to their every need; would
switching the paradigm and being strong, demanding, and not doing
anything they say put the narcissist in their place so they know that
you aren't going to put up with that crap? If so, then shouldn't
narcissistic personality disorder just be renamed "Alpha/beta syndrome"?
They seem to love the fight to make everything about them; so telling
them what to do short circuits their brain and they have to now realize
that their grandiosity that they are hot sh*t isn't going to work any
more and there's a new sheriff in town.
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  • Sadly, that's easier said than done. Living with a narcissist can really wear people down - right down to the point where they truly believe that it's you who is at fault, not them. 

    The best course of action you can take with a narcissistic spouse is to leave them. They aren't going to change simply because you have said that the worm has turned. 
  • To answer your question, I've worked with two narcissists at the same time for almost a decade. I've used charm, assertiveness, emotion (no crying though-that's just wrong), friendship, and negative reinforcement. None of it worked. I read recently that narcissism could be a learned behavior, but I disagree. I think something in the environment will make it more pronounced, but the seed/genes/personality disorder had to be there first.

    I am related to a lot of narcissists that was brought on by trauma. Like a self-defense mechanism. But I still think WW2 made it worse instead of making it appear. Of course, there's always the exception. There were plenty of kind people who stayed true to their personalities despite living thru extreme stress.

    All that said, the alpha/beta might work for you because this is about your spouse. I know I'm contradicting myself, but here's my two cents' anyway. :)

  • No, turning the tables on them only makes them more demanding.

    If you are married to a narcissistic spouse you either have to relax and accept that this is who they are .. or you have to get a divorce.

    You cannot change anyone except yourself.
    And Narcissists are that way because it WORKS for them. They aren't about to change.

    You know what happens when you teach a pigeon that poking a button will release a food pellet? They poke that button.
    So if the button STOPS releasing a food pellet, do they stop poking it? No. They poke harder and faster.

  • Be your own person.. if you have the balls to remain in a relationship with a narcissist, then you are braver than i am.

    You can probably find a lot of information online giving advice on how to cope with a narcissist. Maybe that would give you additional

  • hi @letitherobe thanks for sharing and good question.  from my understanding if you do turn the tables on a narcissist, they are more apt to leave you....and quickly...because they cannot fathom being told what to do or held accountable for their attitude or actions. they cannot see that they are controlling and manipulative...

    but i do suggest that anyone in a relationship with a narcissist learn how to set boundaries and keep succumb to staying the victim is no good. if the narcissist cannot handle the boundaries, it's time to leave.
  • no they will fight until they destroy you.

    these peoiple have no scruples and if the new sheriff does. that will not be a fair fight...

    engaging a narcissist is a bad idea, it's like space jam basketball game...

    good and evil are playing but evil cheats and good doesn' good has to win using fair play and playing against evil who cheats...

    whenever you can you should cut the narcissist out of you life...only engage them if you absolutely cannot avoid it...

    never date or marry them or have them as house mates...

    one therapist says it well he says, remember if you role in the mood with pigs you will get dirty, plus pigs love rolling in the mud...

    also. men should not compare themselves to a gorilla pack you have alpha and beta males...

    humans should not mimic gorillas, that is really not a good way to be a man...

    but it is a good way to be predatory animal. which is basically what a narcissist is...

  • I don't know what to tell you- I had relationships with a couple very narcissistic women, but that's the reason they ended. People like that don't listen. They'll hear you talking, but they won't process anything you say

  • My last ex was a narc. and I did turn the tables after we split. What I got was 1 year of having friends keep us separate and away from each other due to his slandering, gossip mongering, lies, and games. He would upset friends and tell them lies, like he had found a new "better" woman and send them agitated to me where they would vent frustrations and the false gossip to me. It was his way of still reinforcing "I was nothing and no man would want me". He told me I was "fat". I'm 5'2 and yes I'm 150 lbs I do have some thickness, but I'm not obese.

    I recently have been freed emotionally. He briefly moved on to a new girl (I confirmed). She's 300 lbs, literally. She's two of me. So my weight was never an issue obviously, it was him. And the sad part was, when they did attempt to be intimate, he hurt her feelings badly. She confided in mutual friends that "he couldn't". I think you can understand what he couldn't do. What a rejection that had to be. 

    It's not worth it looking back. I spent a lot of time trying to fight him off, and he never had to be in the same room. Flying monkeys do apply with these people, and your friends won't even know they are doing it on his behalf. 
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