8 Rules To Follow When You're Married To A Narcissistic Sociopathic Husband

A step-by-step process for keeping your sanity when a narcissist wants to undermine you.

Last updated on Mar 14, 2024

Woman regulating her emotions with a narcissist stockbusters | Canva

Feeling alone because you keep part of your life hidden from those who love you the most is frightening because you’ve lost a big part of who you used to be before you met and married "Mr. Right". Every day, you wonder if it’s possible to pick up the pieces of your life. You’re emotionally and physically exhausted from dealing with the relationship. You’re confused one minute and angry the next, but mostly, you feel guilty, like you’re worthless and no one else will love you.


So ask yourself, what is your role in this dance with your narcissistic sociopath of a husband?

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An 8-step process for keeping your sanity with a narcissistic sociopathic husband

1. Recognize the trigger.

Pay attention to whatever he says or does that makes you feel this way. Notice how he does it, and how often.

2. Stop and think about it.

Notice how you feel. Don't just accept he's right, and you should feel a certain way.



3. Name what you're feeling.

“He’s right. It was my fault I burnt the mushrooms. This makes me feel guilty now." Giving a name to what you're feeling doesn't mean he's right. It means you're beginning to understand how he's making you feel, and in recognizing how you're feeling, you can get control over that feeling.


4. Repeat the "golden rule of guilt."

"I’m NOT buying into this." For him to make you feel guilty, you have to ‘buy into” feeling guilty! It won’t work unless you agree consciously or subconsciously to “buy into” his version of why you should feel guilty. People burn dinners all the time. Does it make you a bad person? No. The one who should be feeling the guilt is the person who threw a temper tantrum over some burnt mushrooms.

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5. Make a choice.

Now, you can choose not to feel guilty because you don’t deserve to feel guilty, and you did nothing wrong. Make this decision consciously, even if you still feel guilty.

6. Repeat an empowering mantra.

Silently tell yourself, “I am guilt-free! I am guilt-free! I am guilt-free!” As soon as you repeat this mantra, the guilt will fade away.


she has had enough

Photo: Violator22 via Shutterstock

7. Practice a one-minute visualization.

Think about the situation that led to this problem. It will help you believe that you deserve to be guilt-free. Take a moment to visualize the mushrooms as you are cooking them. Do you see the way those mushrooms look? There was no way you burnt them. You cooked them to perfection the way he likes them. This will help you understand that you have nothing to feel sorry for.

8. Go back to rule #4: I’m not buying into this!

Look at your husband. He’s really upset. Say silently, “I’m just going to listen to him. I know there’s no need for me to feel guilty. The mushrooms were delicious. He’s playing it for an audience. But tonight is my night to start feeling better.”


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As he keeps repeating his actions and words, the same is true for you. We internalize our negative feelings in response to tirades and blaming. All of a sudden, a switch flips, and you’re repeating the very words he's told you over the years — keeping yourself down rather than dealing with his narcissist and sociopathic tendencies.

As a result, instead of one person attacking you, there are now two — him and you. Over time, you conditioned your response to blame yourself (as he trained you to do), which results in you constantly feeling guilty. You get a double whammy of guilt. When you've internalized the awful things he says to you, you repeat those negative words, so he doesn't.



For example, you’ve worked hard, the house is spotless, the dinner’s gourmet, you’ve set the table, and you’re wearing your favorite perfume. But when you serve him dinner, he complains loudly you burned the mushrooms and throws his plate across the room into the kitchen garbage. He screams you never do anything right.


Instead of realizing this narcissist, sociopathic behavior is abusive and controlling, you feel guilt, shame, or sadness. You end up meekly accepting his belief that you're a terrible cook or a terrible wife and clean up the mess, determined to make it right next time and not screw up. You feel like it's all your fault, no matter the situation.

This habitual way of behaving has manifested in your unhappiness. You are experiencing both a biophysical response (chemical and body) and a psychological response (mental and emotional) to the triggers. Try and remember this is not your fault. This is his problem, not yours.

If you realize you're married to a narcissistic sociopath, you need to learn how to overcome his abuse. Starting now, you are on your path to wellness. You might wonder how a simple exercise can change your life. Once you change your thoughts and beliefs, your external reality automatically changes. How cool is that?


The more you reinforce your guilt-free beliefs, the easier it will become to embrace them and stop giving in to his verbal attacks. And when you're feeling stronger and believing in yourself, you won't put up with the rest of it either.

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Margot Brown, LMFT, PsyD, is the author of Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On Or Move Out, is a guide for communication between couples.