How To Deal With A Covert Narcissist Husband? 15 Traits Of A Covert Narcissist Man

How To Deal With A Covert Narcissist Husband? 15 Traits Of A Covert Narcissist Man

How To Deal With A Covert Narcissist Husband? 15 Traits Of A Covert Narcissist Man

The process of dealing with a covert spouse who is a narcissist could be a difficult and emotionally draining process. Contrary to their more obvious counterparts, those who covertly narcissists conceal their self-centered nature by presenting a façade of sensitivity and humor.

The unique mix of characteristics can make identifying and confronting their behaviors difficult. This article will dive into the realm of covert narcissism. We will look at 15 essential traits that could aid you in identifying this type of behavior of your spouse.

We also offer concrete strategies for navigating the difficulties of living alongside a narcissist covert spouse, providing insights on keeping your health in check and making informed choices regarding your future.

Recognizing these behaviors and efficient coping strategies can help you attain peace and healing within the limitations of a relationship with an unintentionally narcissistic husband.

How To Deal With A Covert Narcissist Husband?

Here are some helpful tips to handle a husband who is a covert narcissist:

1. Know what you’re dealing with.

The first step in confronting a covert narcissist is to comprehend the definition of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and how it shows in covert narcissists. They are typically adept at concealing their true self, so it is difficult to recognize the symptoms.

2. Set boundaries.

When you know the issues you’re facing, it’s crucial to establish the boundaries you want to set with your spouse. This is about establishing precise limits on what you’ll and won’t tolerate. For instance, you may decide not to argue with him, or you will not permit him to have control over your finances.

3. Make sure you take good care of yourself.

When dealing with a covert narcissist, it’s equally essential to look after your physical and emotional health. This means sleeping enough, eating nutritious food, and working out regularly. It’s also crucial to have the support of family and friends who will offer help.

4. Find professional assistance.

If you’re having trouble dealing with the selfish behaviors of your husband, it’s essential to seek help from a professional. Therapists can assist you in understanding the nature of your relationship and help you develop strategies to deal with it.

5. Don’t think he’ll change.

It’s crucial to realize that narcissists will not alter their behavior. Therefore, don’t expect your spouse to change into someone else suddenly. Instead, concentrate on securing your mental health and well-being.

15 Traits Of A Covert Narcissist Man

Here are the characteristics of a man who is a narcissist in disguise.

1. Excessive Sensitivity:

Narcissists who covertly appear to have an exaggerated sensitivity towards criticism. They react in a manner that is out of proportion to even the most insignificant remarks. They may interpret innocent remarks as personal insults, prompting angry or defensive reactions.

If, for instance, you suggest a different method to finish a task, the person could interpret it as a sign of doubt, react angrily, and create unnecessary tension.

This sensitivity results from their low self-esteem, which makes them highly sensitive to any perceived danger to their self-image. Their emotional response often prevents others from speaking out openly and subtly, allowing the covert narcissist to remain in control.

2. Victim Mentality:

One of the main characteristics of a covert narcissist is their ability to play the victim. They skillfully tell stories about their lives, focusing on the hardships and depicting themselves as constant suffering. If you voice concerns regarding their conduct, they cleverly redirect the conversation back to their difficulties and make you feel guilty for talking about the issue.

If, for example, you discuss their alleged neglect of household duties, they respond by recounting their stress from work and their burdens and shift the conversation away from the discussion. This tactic is designed to make you feel sympathy and minimize legitimate worries.

3. Lack of Empathy:

Although they appear to be caring on the surface, secretive Narcissists have a hard time expressing real empathy. They cannot understand your feelings and tend to minimize or ignore the feelings of others. If you’re going through an issue that you’re struggling with, you react by offering rational explanations rather than providing emotional assistance.

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For example, if you’re upset over the outcome of a disagreement with a friend, They might offer suggestions on how to resolve conflicts. Still, they may not be aware of the emotional undercurrent of your grief. This lack of empathy may result in feelings of isolation and a lack of emotional needs within the relationship.

4. Entitlement:

They believe they are entitled to exclusive treatment without explicitly expressing this. Their entitlement is reflected in the assumption that their wants should be fulfilled without question. It can be defined as subtle consequences, for example, asking you to consider your preferences when making decisions without discussing them openly.

If, for instance, you’re planning a trip and they think they should pick a place they love without considering your wishes. The feeling of entitlement could result in imbalance and anger in the relationship.

5. Grandiosity:

Despite their modesty, the men who are covertly narcissists have an understated sense of grandeur. They consider themselves unique or superior, frequently discrediting other’s achievements as insignificant compared with their accomplishments. This is often evident in conversations where they subliminally refer to their unique skills or achievements.

If, for instance, you tell a story about your achievements, they may respond with an equivocal account that praises their accomplishments with a subtler tone. Confidence in their superiority could make acknowledging or affirming others honestly difficult.

6. Manipulative Charm:

The men who are covert narcissists have an attractive exterior that hides their manipulative traits. They employ charm to win favor, mainly when they detect the presence of resistance or disagreement. This manipulation tactic involves intentionally changing from assertiveness to sweetness based on the desired goal.

For instance, if you voice your concerns about an investment decision, the person you are talking to may initially be hesitant to accept your point of view.

But, once he realizes your determination and determination, he will quickly change the gears and show you compliments and promises to look at your viewpoint. This charm is designed to shake you emotionally and reroute the conversation towards his benefit.

This characteristic can cause anxiety and self-doubt as you attempt to reconcile your pleasant encounters with the subdued nudges beneath. The alternating between manipulation and warmth can make distinguishing the real motives from the calculated ones difficult.

7. Passive-Aggressive Behavior:

Instead of confronting conflicts directly and directly, covert narcissists tend to use passive-aggressive behavior to express their frustration. This tactic allows them to express their displeasure without resorting to confrontation. They may employ sarcasm si,lence, or even subtle sabotage to convey their frustration.

Imagine discussing a shift in household duties. Instead of having an open dialogue, the person might agree to speak while ignoring the assigned tasks, thus implying that he is not in agreement.

This passive-aggressive approach creates a sense of uncertainty and tension, making it difficult to discern the message behind it.

This behavior is challenging because it involves navigating through hidden emotions and ramifications. The parties may be walking on eggshells, trying to avoid triggering obscure expressions of anger.

8. Fragile Self-Esteem:

Under the surface of their smug appearance, Men who are narcissists in covert mode have an ephemeral self-esteem they guard with great vigor. Any criticism or challenge to their abilities can trigger a defensive response, typically as deflection or anger.

If, for instance, you suggest improvements to his method of completing an assignment, he may react defensively by accusing you of weakening his skills. This response is triggered by the anxiety about being perceived as flawed or ineffective, which causes them to guard their image of self vigorously.

This vulnerability poses a challenge for the partners, as giving constructive feedback is difficult. The reaction of the narcissist who is hidden perceived criticism could sabotage discussions and cause it to be hard to work through issues constructively.

9. Subtle Control:

Narcissists who covertly control their victims use subtle and ineffective methods. Their tactics of control often appear as useful suggestions or advice and make it difficult to spot the fraud underneath. They can frame their comments as “advice” or “opinions,” but they’re actually trying to gain control.

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When making your own decisions, he may gently guide you toward options that align with his preferences. This delicate influence can diminish your independence as time passes, leaving you feeling like your choices are determined by his wishes.

This characteristic can cause an imbalance of power within the relationship, with certain opinions and preferences of one party always taking precedence. Awareness of this hidden form of control is vital to ensure your freedom and autonomy as a decision-maker.

10. Emotional Withdrawal:

They employ the technique of emotional withdrawal to control or influence emotions. If they feel dissatisfied or aren’t receiving enough attention, they might be withdrawn in a state of emotional withdrawal, leaving their loved ones confused and anxious.

For instance, if you hang out with your acquaintances or participate in an activity with him, he may respond in a way that he becomes disengaged or close for an extended short period following the event.

This withdrawal of emotion is designed to create guilt and anxiety within you, causing you to seek approval and validation from him.

11. Projection of Insecurities:

One of the most notable characteristics of men who are narcissists in covert mode is the tendency they have to project their fears on others. Instead of addressing their problems, they shift these onto the people in their lives. If they feel inadequate or vulnerable, they might try to distract focus by pointing out you within the same context.

Imagine that they are self-conscious about their appearance. They may comment on your clothes or body, attempting to distract from their anxieties by focusing on your appearance. This projection technique enables people to avoid reflection while presenting an appearance of superiority.

This behavior can be confusing and destructive, leaving you wondering about your self-worth. Being aware of this behavior will help you to avoid absorbing their thoughts and instead focus on the root cause of their behavior.

12. Martyr Complex:

Narcissists who covertly are often prone to adopting an attitude of martyrdom, presenting them as selfless heroes. They are willing to assume responsibilities or tasks and then bemoan the burden, looking for praise and praise for their selfless acts.

For example, when they accept to assist in the household tasks, they may state how much they give up to support their family while subtly soliciting recognition for their efforts. This enables them to manage their stories and gain respect from the people around them.

This behavior can trigger an unending cycle of guilt and obligation as the partners need to respect and accept their sacrifices. Knowing this behavior can help to navigate the current situation and help you keep a clear head of their motivations.

13. Intellectual Superiority:

A narcissist’s smug perception of superiority in intelligence is a characteristic that frequently affects the way they talk and interact.

They believe that they have unique insight or expertise that sets them apart from other people. Discussions and debates may be challenging as people view your ideas as uninformed or insignificant.

Imagine discussing an event or an issue you are interested in. If your perspective differs from theirs, they could subtly criticize your position and dismiss your viewpoint as not having enough depth. This can signify their desire to believe that they are superior intellectually, leaving you feeling devalued.

Engaging in conversations with this characteristic in mind can help keep your confidence in yourself and ensure that you are heard.

Awareness of their tendency to build a sense of intellectual dominance helps them speak more clearly and confidently.

14. Selective Listening:

Covert narcissists are adept at the art of selective listening and focusing exclusively on the information that serves their own agenda.

If you express your opinions or worries, they may select the information they will later apply to gain an advantage while not paying attention to the other information.

In this case, for instance, you may discuss your preferred options regarding a family holiday. They may remember only the instances where you indicated acceptance of their suggestions but conveniently forget to look at other possibilities. This strategy lets them control discussions and choices without appearing manipulative.

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Understanding this characteristic can assist you in maintaining an open and clear voice and presenting your opinions more efficiently.

If you know their tendency to select and pick what works for your needs, you’ll be more careful about ensuring your concerns are heard.

15. Idealization and Devaluation:

One of the most distinctive characteristics of men who are narcissists in covert mode is their tendency to go between devaluation and idealization.

Sometimes, they lavish you with admiration and affection, which makes you feel valued and appreciated. However, this could quickly change to a state of devaluation, in which they criticize, discredit, or remove affection.

Imagine a scenario in which they praise your accomplishments or appearance, causing you to feel like you’re on top of your world.

However, their mood could abruptly change, and they start pointing out flaws or rebuking your actions for things they admire. This whirlwind of emotions may cause you to be confused and disturbed.

Understanding the cycle is essential for maintaining your emotional well-being. Understanding that their actions are not an indication of your worth but rather a pattern of manipulation could assist you in navigating these changes by gaining a more balanced view.

Coping Strategies

Here are a few strategies to deal with the situation.

1. Communication Techniques:

  • Use “I” statements: Express your emotions and concerns with “I” statements to avoid creating defensive reactions.
  • Create clear guidelines: Create and set your boundaries in order to guard yourself against manipulative behavior.
  • Maintain an open dialogue: Encourage conversations about emotions, concerns, and expectations in the relationship.

2. Self-Care and Boundaries:

  • Take time to take care of yourself: Do activities that provide joy and relaxation while enhancing your well-being emotionally.
  • Create a network of support.: Create relationships with your relatives and friends who can give you emotional support and unbiased perspectives.
  • Set personal boundaries: identify acceptable behavior and then communicate the boundaries.

3. Seeking Professional Help:

  • Couples therapy: You may want to consider couples therapy to address relationships and enhance communication.
  • Counseling with a counselor: Individual therapy can help you control emotional stress, develop perspective, and create strategies for dealing with your emotions.

4. Developing Emotional Resilience:

  • Concentrate on your personal development: Invest in self-development or hobbies that boost your self-esteem and self-esteem.
  • Develop emotional resilience: Develop the capacity to detect and control manipulative and emotional manipulation.

5. Evaluating Your Options:

  • Examine the possibility of change: Consider whether your spouse will be willing to acknowledge his actions and make positive changes.
  • Take a look at separation: If your relationship is toxic and insufferable, Consider the possibility of separation to ensure your health and well-being.


Ultimately, living with a husband who is a covert narcissist presents challenges that require knowledge of the complexities, resiliency, and proactive approaches. Recognizing the characteristics of covert narcissism and its influence on relationships is the initial step to taking charge of your personal health.

Suppose you can identify the manipulative behaviors and the emotional repercussions that are triggered by these characteristics and empower yourself to make educated decisions on how to deal with and manage the circumstances. It’s essential to prioritize open and transparent communication, define the right boundaries, and engage in self-care routines that build emotional resilience.

Consulting a professional through individual or couples therapy will provide you with valuable insight and help you deal with the challenges of an affair with a covert Narcissist. Be aware that your personal development and happiness is the primary goal.

In the end, you have the ability to make decisions that are in harmony with your health, whether that’s seeking positive change within your relationship or taking the hard decision to move toward a new path. Your personal journey is different, and by applying these strategies to cope by focusing on personal improvement, you can make an improved and more healthy future for you and your family.



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