Think your spouse is a narcissist? Thankfully there are a lot more resources out there to support a spouse married to an abusive partner. The most important thing is always to make sure that you are physically safe and not in danger.

If you are truly safe and you’re just wondering about something someone may have said to you about your spouse not being able to have empathy or the ability to change, keep reading because this advice may surprise you.

As often as the diagnosis of narcissism is given, not everyone who is labeled a narcissist is indeed one.

Is your spouse a narcissist?

If a person who is a “narcissist” is willing to come to therapy and take ownership for their actions, then they may not be a narcissist.

I’ve worked with plenty of people whose spouses have told me over the phone (before starting couples therapy) that their spouse is a narcissist or has a personality disorder based on a statement made by a therapist or someone that hadn’t even ever met the other spouse.

If someone is willing to do the work and make a change, I find that the labels are not as important.

Everyone is somewhat “self-absorbed” and the more wounded a person is, the more self-absorbed they are going to be.

Does that mean this is pathological and worthy of a diagnosis? Does it mean you should leave? Not necessarily.

People need to feel safe to do the work needed on themselves to heal a relationship. Working on a relationship can feel very threatening for so many reasons and people can be averse to getting help and participating fully.

What to do if you’re been told your spouse is a narcissist

With the right approach, people’s defenses can be assuaged and change can occur.

Related Reading…

There are some cases that a person is very damaged and may be unable to be healthy and unless they are willing to get help for their actions it may be too difficult a situation, though we have seen noticeable improvement in some cases for these marriages.

A label of narcissism shouldn’t be used to avoid getting help if a person is willing to change. Anything can be labeled, and ultimately the end goal is to see a change in a relationship. If your partner is willing to make a change, nothing should stop you from pursuing the result that you want, as long as you are not in danger.

If you need more help with a spouse who you (or others) view as narcissistic, we’d be happy to help give you some clarity on your situation. It’s uncomfortable hearing that your partner may have a diagnosis and there are many things you can do to make the situation a safer one. Schedule a time to speak with us here or using the form below.

Contact Us

email application for consultation

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
    You will receive our free 60 Second Plan to a Happy Marriage, along with transformational emails that will help you with your marriage.


Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or