Who is a Covert Narcissist Wife? Here’s Your Answer

Narcissist wife

The covert narcissist wife is an intriguing personality. She is an excellent mind game player and wreaks havoc every time. She utilizes every opportunity to exploit her husband and those closest to her for personal gain.

If you wonder whether you’re married to a covert narcissist wife, this article will give you all the juiciest details you need. Understanding how the covert narcissist wife operates will help you to navigate such a relationship, as her traits play a huge role in the dynamics of the marriage.

Who is a Covert Narcissist Wife?

A covert Narcissist wife is a self-centered partner who only cares about themselves. Their love, compassion, and general demeanor are geared toward making themselves look good, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We can’t talk about the covert narcissist wife without understanding what covert narcissism means.

Covert narcissism is a subtype of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) whereby the individual is introverted, hypersensitive, appears modest but lacks empathy, and has an overwhelming need for admiration and a deep-seated sense of entitlement.  They commonly hide these tendencies over a veil of victimhood and shallow humility.

Covert behaviors are those unnoticeable or quiet behaviors that others hardly see at first glance. However, these silent traits make these narcissists as destructive as their overt counterparts.

Nothing is worse than being married to a covert narcissist wife. She will consistently demand affection and attention at every point. Such wives are dangerous because they can put on a public facade of love and compassion, but their private behavior is nothing to write home about.

She ensures that she is the center of your world and diverts all your resources (money, time, and energy) towards validating her existence.

Top 8 Signs You Married a Covert Narcissist Wife

So, how would you know that you’re married to a covert narcissist wife?

While there are clinical criteria used to diagnose covert narcissism, they may not be helpful for the untrained. Here are some not-so-simple red flags to look out for:

1.   Showing Extreme Public Affection

This sign is a classic. It means that covert narcissists publicly show an inflated act of love, care, and admiration. Meanwhile, such acts cease once they get into a private setting.

The covert narcissist wife acts that way because an intense desire for external validation and control fuels them. She is deeply concerned with how others view her. Displaying such love and care in the open will give them an admirable image that people can validate.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all wives who show public affection are narcissists. This sign is usually accompanied by other signs on this list.

2.   Silent Treatment is her Weapon

Silent treatment is a typical narcissistic manipulation tactic used to punish people in relationships. She will withhold communication and emotional engagement to gain more control of the relationship dynamic. This action allows her to decide when and how interaction occurs, thereby making their partner feel anxious and powerless.

3.   Centering the Argument on Herself

Another classic sign is blame shifting. The covert narcissist wife will constantly shift the blame to others to gain sympathy. She always changes the focus and attention of the topic during disagreements or conflicts. Her feelings, experiences, or suffering become the center stage of the discussion.

This manipulative tactic makes such people stay in control, deflect criticism, and demand sympathy.

4.   Easily Gets Angry

The covert narcissist wife is defensive when criticized. She always shows anger when criticized but is very critical of others.

Such narcissists are ready to take the whip to lash out at other people for habits and traits that they possess themselves. And since females are more emotional than men, they will lash out, have severe mood swings, and shut down.

5.   Extremely Materialistic

The covert narcissist wife is preoccupied with buying and displaying her material possessions to maintain a superficial image of success. She does this to feel validated and admired and show superiority subtly more than her overt counterparts.

Such indirect means help narcissists to mask their insecurities and inadequacy. When they relentlessly pursue material possessions, they focus only on their desires without thinking of how they will affect others. 

6.   Always Suspicious or Jealous

When the covert narcissist wife displays certain irrational behaviors, it reveals her inadequacies, fragile self-esteem, and constant need for validation. She is usually afraid of being rejected, abandoned, or perceived as inferior, so she is always suspicious of anyone who comes along in every situation.

She is also jealous, especially when she meets someone who feels better than her.

7.   Always Gossiping or Prying

The covert narcissist wife is an ardent gossip. Since she can’t put you down directly so she doesn’t blow her “sanctimonious” cover, she will start prying and looking for more dangerous ways to destroy you.

She will gossip, align with people, and influence people’s opinions. That way, she can control the narrative and monitor how people perceive you. Her unnatural curiosity is often used for control.

8.   Manipulation

The covert narcissist wife can go to any length to manipulate you for selfish reasons. She will use victimization tactics to emphasize her suffering and attract empathy, especially from her partner.

If you’re married to a covert narcissist wife, expect her to guilt-trip, gaslight, or shame you into doing things that she wants.

Impact of a Covert Narcissist Wife on a Relationship

Here are some long-term effects of the covert narcissist wife on a relationship: 

1.   Extreme Manipulation

Covert narcissistic wives often use subtle forms of emotional manipulation to control their partners regularly. This act leads to an unbalanced and unbearable relationship with her because she has all the power, and you will feel trapped and emotionally distressed. 

They can even manipulate social circles and family members into isolating you. Your finances aren’t safe either. They can manipulate your finances to maintain control, either by controlling access to money, hiding it, or using money as leverage against you.

2.   Drop in Emotional Intimacy

A healthy relationship typically requires some emotional intimacy. However, the covert narcissist wife struggles with emotional intimacy because she is always presenting herself as vulnerable and needy. She can share some personal struggles to get your empathy, and once she’s gotten that, she will selectively disclose some information to control the situation.  

The next step is withholding her affection to make her partner crave her attention and intimacy. You will experience a dynamic where you’re struggling to meet your wife’s emotional needs, but she isn’t reciprocating.

3.   Control

Covert narcissist wives are extremely controlling, but this control is often subtle and unnoticeable. They could emotionally manipulate you by playing the victim, guilt-tripping, or being passive-aggressive.

This helps them control your emotional state, making you more likely to answer their needs first. Some may create confusion, tension, and competition by introducing a third party into your relationship, thereby giving them control of the relationship dynamic.

4.   Emotional Instability

Such wives are typically emotionally unavailable, so they can easily toy with your feelings. Also, they are emotionally unpredictable. They can be sad one minute and lash out in anger the next. Their partners become edgy and anxious, wondering if their actions will trigger a negative reaction. At that point, they can start demanding reassurance, praise, and sympathy just to corner all the attention to themselves.

How to Heal from a Covert Narcissist Wife

If you have a covert narcissist wife, how do you heal from her actions?

1.   Spot the Signs

The first step to healing from a covert narcissist wife is to spot the signs and spot them early. Once you do, you can start taking necessary actions for your well-being.

Staying around such a person for too long, hoping to change them is futile. Understand how covert narcissists operate, and know that you’re not responsible for her actions, but you are for your response.

2.   Set Firm Boundaries

Covert narcissistic wives love to push boundaries. So, you must set non-negotiables to protect your mental health and well-being. It also prevents any form of manipulation and keeps them accountable for their actions.

3.   Speak to a Trusted Person

Speaking to a trusted person, especially someone with experience in dealing with covert narcissists, can be beneficial. It encourages self-reflection and removes the feeling of guilt you may have.

It will also provide useful insights on moving on with your wife or away from her. Sometimes, we believe we’re going through the worst experiences until we talk to others.

4.   Cultivate Your Self-Esteem

The most vital aspect of your recovery is rebuilding your self-esteem. Staying with a covert narcissist wife can chip away your self-worth and confidence over time, so you have to be intentional with building it back.

It’s an active process and doesn’t take overnight. You must understand your strengths and forgive yourself for your mistakes and flaws. Focus on the future rather than the past.

Bottom Line

Dealing with a covertly narcissistic wife can be challenging but doable. 

While their covert nature may make it harder to identify and diagnose, understanding covert narcissism is crucial for addressing these dynamics. You need open communication, setting boundaries, and seeking professional support.

However, remember that healing is gradual, and cultivating self-esteem involves intentional and consistent efforts.

Frequently Answered Questions About a Covert Narcissist Wife

Can You Have a Successful Marriage with a Covert Narcissist Wife?

For the marriage to be successful, the victim has to understand how covert narcissists operate. Don’t be surprised if she leaves the marriage because she doesn’t feel in control.

How Can You Survive Marriage with a Covert Narcissist Wife?

Educate yourself and understand her behavior. Establish clear boundaries and state acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Stick to them. Seek support by communicating with friends and family. Practice self-care to maintain your emotional and mental well-being.

Can a Covert Narcissist Wife Love her Husband?

The concept of love for a covert narcissist is quite complex. Yes, they do have romantic emotions towards their partner. However, they don’t understand and express such feelings healthily. Their approach to love is self-centered and distorted.

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