In A Relationship With A Narcissist? 7 Tips To Deal With Him

7 Important Tips When In A Relationship With A Narcissist & How To Deal With Him

Relationship with a narcissist

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why it can be wise to quickly get away from a charismatic man that turns out to have a very vulnerable side.
  • What the difference is between a person with narcissistic traits, and someone you can genuinely call a narcissist.
  • How to deal with being in a relationship with a narcissistic man (and how you prevent him from abusing you.)
  • The price you pay for staying in a relationship with a narcissist.
  • And so much more…

How to deal with having a relationship with a narcissist

How to best deal with having a relationship with a narcissistSadly, I get too many questions about this subject.

Too many women are being mistreated by mean men; men who manipulate and use them only to feel better about themselves.

Because that way, they prevent themselves from facing their deep insecurities.

Fortunately, these narcissists are not as common as you might think.

Over the years, I’ve coached thousands of people. A small percentage of them talked about dating a narcissist.

And the question always becomes if they should continue the relationship, or if it would be better to end it. There’s an argument for both sides. And sometimes, opinions will differ.

Some schools of psychology say you must stay in the relationship

They say that maintaining your relationship is the central idea and you’re expected to never walk away from it. So if you see something wrong in your partner, the prevailing thought is that you’re partially to blame for it.

But in the case of a narcissist, which I’m going to talk about in a bit, things are different.

Of course there is nothing wrong with looking after your own share. But a narcissist influences you in such a way that your say in the relationship decreases, while you feel more and more responsible for the bad things he’s causing.

So if a psychologist tells you it’s a bad idea to walk away from the relationship, I ultimately have to disagree with him. There are certain things you don’t want to expose yourself to. Like being in a relationship with a narcissist. There are just too many downsides for it to be justifiable.

How that works exactly, I’ll explain below.

What you should do now when you’re in a relationship with a narcissist

How to prevent yourself from becoming one of his next victims.

If you better understand why he behaves this way, you will be able to see it coming and already know what to do about it.

That’s how you save yourself from a lot of unnecessary suffering.

I’m a dating coach

7 Important Tips When In A Relationship With A Narcissist & How To Deal With Him 1

It’s not my job to bore you with theoretical nonsense. I’m here to help you find happiness in your love life.

At least I can give you advice on what I’ve seen working for thousands of my clients. Then it’s up to you whether you want to do something with the information. And in the case of this article, I have a big warning for you

I’ll get to that in a second.

In this article, you’ll discover 7 tips to handle being in a relationship with a narcissistic boyfriend or husband.

I’m confident that if you follow it to the letter, you will become much happier.

Tip 1: He’s sick. Treat him that way

A Narcissist is sick

There are multiple degrees of narcissism.

I think that every man is a little bit narcissistic. For example, you have the man who stands in front of the mirror and admires his own body, and you have the man who thinks he is totally awesome.

However, these are not the type of narcissists I will discuss here.

The real narcissist has a personality disorder

Narcissism has a scale, and the narcissist with a personality disorder is at the very end of that spectrum.

This is a lot different from the guy that’s proud of himself or thinks a little too much about himself.

Fortunately, only a small part of the population is so narcissistic that it counts as a personality disorder. That’s only 1%.
Variance of Narcissism
The variance of Narcissism
For this article, I’m going to assume that you are dealing with a narcissist who has a personality disorder

Someone who has little empathy for other people’s emotions, purely because he finds himself more important.

Some of his symptoms, behaviors, and traits are that he has a bloated sense of self-worth and confidence.

But behind that is a deep sense of loneliness. He acts like he’s the best, and at the time, he really believes it.

Especially when there are people around him that admire him.

But when it gets dark, and he is alone, that’s when he meets a side that he never shows to the outside world. That’s when he has to deal with his deep insecurity and vulnerability.

This happens on a regular basis..

The narcissist focuses so much on himself that there’s no room for others in his universe, and that often leads to conflict in his social circle.

Most people are not sitting around waiting to get to know someone who doesn’t care the slightest bit about them.

The narcissist knows that too.

That is why he presents himself as charming and get a lot of people to like him. And he usually becomes quite good at it since he’s been doing it for many years.

With all things considered, the narcissist doesn’t live a happy life

Plagued by insecurity, and at the same time constantly believing that he is more significant than he is. It takes its toll, and it makes him emotionally unstable.

And when he gets confronted with his emotional problems, he’s likely to respond with anger.

Where a normal person would feel sadness, he feels rage. Because the sad emotion is too threatening for him to face.

The price of dealing with a narcissist is very high

If you read the sentence above you might think: “oh well, it’s only his behavior. Everyone can change their behavior.

But with a narcissist, this is a lot more complicated.

A narcissist is sick.

Of course he can change his behavior in certain areas. But his main problem is that his outbursts are so extreme that they are beyond his control. Which means he can’t do anything about it.

At least he cannot prevent it to the extent that it becomes worthwhile to keep dealing with him.

You can compare him with someone who has a severe infectious disease

The sick person suffers enormously from it and will see everything crumble around him.

At the same time, someone who gets infected by his presence will also develop health problems.

The same is true for narcissism. The more time you spend around his toxicity, the more pressure you put on your immune system. And sooner or later the pressure will rise so much that you will get ill yourself.

But no, you won’t become as bad as the narcissist

At least, not in an egocentric way.

But you will develop some troublesome side-effects. Your self-confidence will take a hit. And your ability to express emotions will suffer as well.

He carries a lot of trauma

The narcissist doesn’t only suffer from egocentrism. His deep insecurities, in particular, will inevitably take its toll.

This means he’s deeply hurt and the result is that he is very negative. Not exactly someone you want to be around much, at least not voluntarily.

Narcissists are oddly enough more susceptible to negative experiences, purely because they are very cynical.

Research has shown that they’re experts in themselves, and that they make the people around them unhappy. You’d better stay away from that.

Narcissists committing a crime or being admitted to a mental institution is very common. He will continue to lie and deceive other people because he’s paranoid and miserable. All in all, you’d better be on your guard and look after yourself.

Tip 2: He will never change

A narcissist will never change

It’s a good idea to understand how the narcissist operates. That way, you know what to expect.

But let’s be honest:

Is this the life you want for yourself? Do you want to live together with someone that is both vulnerable and highly aggressive? Do you want to keep exposing yourself to this?

Understand that the most prominent trait of a narcissist is the fact that he doesn’t want to change.

Change is a threat to him

This makes it very hard to solve the problems that are bound to arise, and it stops him from accepting criticism from other people.

The thing is that a narcissistic personality disorder is incurable, so he will always be struggling with it.

And as long as you stay with him, that’s also true for you.

That’s not what you want for yourself

I understand you once fell in love with him, and that he inspired you to start a relationship with him. But look at it this way:

When you order a delicious salad from your favorite restaurant, but the waiter gives you a meal that looks like it’s straight from the bin..

What do you do? Of course you refuse to eat it and send it straight back to the kitchen.

It’s exactly the same for relationships.

The price you pay to be with a narcissist is so high that I would advise you to not even start it, or to give it a chance.  He simply will not change. He can’t, and he doesn’t want to.

Tip 3: Understand why you fell for him

7 Important Tips When In A Relationship With A Narcissist & How To Deal With Him 2

Sometimes I hear stories about how a woman met her narcissistic partner and fell in love with him.  I can completely understand how that happened.

At first, a narcissist might seem very charming. He’s friendly, asks questions, and listens very well. And at the same time, he is very confident.

He’s good at making a great first impression. That’s because he burns so many friendships and relationships, and is always forced to find new people to try and become friends with. So he can exploit them.

He’s always searching for new friends to make use of

As a result, he has become exceptionally well trained in how to get new people to like him. Because he is a master at presenting himself convincingly.

And at first glance, he can appear to be a very confident man.

So even though he may be exaggerating a bit in describing his achievements, you decide to ignore it because his high self-confidence is very attractive. You find it to be a relief compared to all those other men, who are much more insecure.

But after a while, you start to see another side of him

His incredible insecurity. His poker face and his so-called self-confident smile can’t hide the fact that it’s all a facade.

That’s the facade he carefully learned to build up over time. During all those years when he tried to be different from who he really was. That’s how he became a master at it, and that’s why he might seem very confident at first.

If you have fallen in love with a narcissist, it’s anything but disgraceful

Who doesn’t fall for a self-confident man who has a touch of vulnerability?

But as soon as he sinks his hooks into you, you’re in trouble. And that’s exactly what happens when you’re with a narcissist.

When a narcissist has control over you, he will completely abuse the relationship. The whole nature of his illness is that he does whatever he wants, no matter how much it will hurt other people around him.

Sometimes, a narcissist will go further than that

Because he’s so skilled at getting his way with other people, he can just decide to do it just for the kick of it. And suddenly decide to use you for fun, and to completely abuse the situation, purely because he can.

Tip 4: Don’t think you can help him

Don't think you can help him

Sometimes I talk to women that genuinely think they can fix what medical science and psychology could not.

It’s impossible to cure a narcissist. No matter how much love, patience, and knowledge you throw at him. It can’t be done.

And even if it was possible…

Would you like to have a nice boyfriend? Or would you prefer to have a psychological job project?

And I know what you’re thinking:

I’m in love with him, so I’d like to try anyway.

This is a recipe for disaster

Due to the nature of his illness, a narcissist simply cannot change. It doesn’t matter how much time or energy you spend on him. It’s all for nothing. And the sooner you realize that, the better.

So don’t think you can help him. This simply isn’t the case.

The only thing you do is waste more time on him while you become more and more infected. And your own well-being will continually be put to the test.

Tip 5: Sooner or later he will leave you

Narcissist breaks up with girlfriendWhat many people who have a relationship with a narcissist forget, is the fact that he will break up with you sooner or later.

This has to do with the nature of the disease.

I remember a girl with a narcissistic personality disorder. She switched her circle of friends every two years. Including her boyfriend.

But in most cases, it takes a narcissist a lot less time to get rid of his friends.

He uses other people to gain admiration and empty them emotionally. As soon as he has exploited those people, he moves on to find others. And sooner or later he will get bored with you too.

When you’re in love, you don’t like facing the cold-hard truth

You want to pretend that your relationship is going to last forever, and that there’s nothing that could take you away from each other.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

You’re in a very vulnerable position. And whether he cheats on you in the coming days, or if he breaks up with you after some time… One thing is for certain, one day he will get enough of you and leave you.

Tip 6: Take time for yourself

Woman distracts herself

If you have ever read stories from people who were in a relationship with a narcissist, then one thing is always clear:

The people who stayed in it the longest were very vulnerable.

They had few friends and always put their partner first. In addition, they only had a few (if any) hobbies, other than making their partner happy, and lived as if it was just for their significant other.

These people are impacted the most by a narcissist.

They were naive and justified their partner’s bad sides. The last thing they do is take care of themselves, and ensure that they have a pleasant and satisfying life alongside the relationship.

If you want a narcissist to loosen his grip on you, make sure you create your own support group

Gather a group of family members or friends that genuinely care about you. If you have neglected those contacts over the years, rebuild them. Everyone who doesn’t behave narcissistically and cares about you is an excellent addition to your group.

Why I recommend this is because it will allow you to slowly see what the narcissist is doing to you:

  • That his behavior, which is aimed at manipulating you, is nothing more than just that.
  • That there are ways of giving and receiving love, other than draining all the energy out of someone.
  • That there are other options available for you. And you don’t have to settle for having an abusive relationship with someone who hides his enormous insecurities behind a blown-up sense of self-worth.

When you realize that your partner regularly take things too far, it’s time to start setting boundaries

Narcissists are known for only being able to talk about themselves. So if you find this to be the case, and you’ll have to listen to him for hours (even though he wouldn’t do the same for you), then put a limit on that time.

Tell your partner, (calmly but decisively), that you don’t feel like listening to his long monologues about himself.

Set clear boundaries on what you will and will not tolerate. But beware, it’s in the narcissist’s nature to try and remove those boundaries.

But by at least setting some clear limits, you can start protecting yourself.

Work on other parts of your life

If you live together with a narcissist, he will start draining your time and energy. And that energy could have been applied to other great things. Maybe you quit doing your favorite hobbies or stopped hanging out with certain friends, just because he asked you to.

If that’s the case, then the best thing you can do is to start doing these activities again, as soon as possible.


Because working towards a goal outside your toxic relationship, ensures that you also work on your self-confidence. You realize that there is more to life than just your narcissistic partner.

Let’s say for example that you make significant progress in the gym, or you decide to finish a degree that you’ve been putting off. That’s something you can feel good about outside of your partner’s control.

And more importantly:

Your sense of self-esteem will be spread across your achievements. And the more fields you put energy into, the more sources you’ll have to draw strength from. You’ll be able to use that source of power whenever you need to.

Tip 7: Leave him

Woman breaks up with narcissistWhen a woman asks me:

So I’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist for three years now. I love him a lot, but his behavior drives me crazy. What can I do about it?

This would be my response:

Leave him.

The benefits simply don’t outweigh the disadvantages. You’re rowing against the current. You’re with someone who has no capacity for empathy, and that’s the whole core of his problem.

A problem you cannot solve for him.

I realize it sounds harsh…

… and it is not my intention to make you feel bad.

But there is nothing that you can do that make it worthwhile to stay in a relationship with him.

He will always hurt you. And sooner or later he will leave you.

Narcissists leave behind a trail of emotional destruction

The only thing you can do is to protect yourself.

Are you having a relationship with a narcissist? Break up. Did you meet a charismatic man that on the 5th date tells you he has a narcissistic personality disorder? Leave and never see him again.

It’s better to accept the guaranteed heartbreak on your terms, than on his. This way, you protect your self-confidence.

Consider this:

When you know it’s going to turn bad sooner or later; it’s better if you chose to end it yourself.  That way, you keep control over your own life. And you’re saving yourself from as much pain as possible.

These were my 7 tips when you’re having a relationship with a narcissist and how to deal with a narcissistic boyfriend or husband

I know it’s not easy, and I realize that sometimes my words were quite harsh. I had to make sure that you know what you are dealing with, and that you do not underestimate the situation.

Because it’s not something you can downplay.

You’ll have to realize that there are millions of single men out there who are not suffering from this problem. Who would love you, open up to you, carry you over the threshold, and never hurt you.

You’d rather have a guy like that in your life instead of a narcissist, right?

So don’t be afraid of a new beginning.

In fact, if you’re married to a narcissist and you’ve been thinking about breaking up with him, then here is a step-by-step plan on how to safely divorce a narcissist and free yourself from his grip.

Leaving a narcissist can sometimes be the best that can happen to you

You may be afraid that you will never find another man and that you will somehow miss out on all great guys.

But I can guarantee you that’s not the case. Everyone who’s in love thinks the person he or she is dating, is their one true love. But that’s just not true.

In the movies, it all sounds great, but in reality, it works differently.

Once you break up with him, and you deal with the inevitable heartbreak, you will soon be able to make room for a better guy. And a nice man will come along, that you’ll fall hopelessly in love with.

Trust me on that.



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Tim Veninga is a dating coach, relationship coach and social psychology bestseller author from the Netherlands.  He has been featured in media like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire & Elle.

Hi, I’m Tim Veninga. Since 2008 I’ve been coaching men and women to archieve succes and happiness in their love lives.

For years I’ve only been writing in Dutch, but in 2019 I started writing in English as well after many women asked for it.

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