Relationship abuse can come in many forms and – while not always the case – often happens because of an underlying issue or psychological diagnosis. One diagnosis is narcissism, where the individual suffers from an idealized image of themselves, a lack of empathy and a pathological craving for admiration. While a lot of symptoms of abuse overlap among the different forms, the following signs may indicate narcissistic abuse.
He makes you feel delusional
Gaslighting is a common sign of abuse: when your partner tries to invalidate your feelings and makes you feel mentally incompetent until you doubt your own perception of reality.
You feel guilty about your emotions
If your partner intentionally elicits feelings of fear, obligation or guilt, he may be emotionally blackmailing you.
He calls you names or makes you feel worthless.
Narcissists often put their partners down in an attempt to make themselves feel better or more important.
He’s constantly comparing you to himself or others.
Similar to how he puts you down, it might be narcissistic abuse if your partner unnecessarily compares you to others to point out flaws or make you feel “lesser than.”
You catch him in lies
Due to their idealized image of themselves, narcissists often can’t accept responsibility for their mistakes and will lie to avoid admitting failure.
He isolates you from friends and family
Closing you off from loved ones is a classic sign of abuse, as it forces you to become dependent on your abuser, and limits your opportunity to get help.
He withholds to gain power
Purposefully depriving you of things like sex, money or affection is common in abuse and makes you dependent on them for fulfillment.
You’re being used
A narcissist will do anything to achieve their romanticized image of self – they may exploit you for personal gain without regard for your feelings or needs.
He manipulates you
Manipulation has a variety of forms, but every version involves passive-aggressive methods to get you to do something to benefit your partner.
He sabotages your happiness
This happens when he intentionally complicates, or even ruins, your relationships and goals in life, forcing you into failure to make him feel better about himself.
If you feel that you are in an abusive relationship, get help (The National Domestic Violence Hotline).