Is the Narcissist in My Life Making Real Changes? Are you wondering if your narcissistic spouse is truly making changes or just jumping through hoops to win you back? Dr. Hawkins from the Marriage Recovery Center outlines multiple indicators on how to know if your narcissistic spouse is making real and lasting changes.
How to Identify if Your Narcissistic Spouse is Truly Making Changes
Living with a narcissistic and emotionally abusive spouse can be incredibly challenging and draining. If your partner claims to be making changes, it’s essential to determine whether these changes are genuine and lasting. But how can you tell if your narcissistic spouse is truly on a path to change? In this article, we will explore six crucial factors that can help you gauge their progress towards positive transformation.
Surrounding Themselves with Positive Influences
One of the first signs of genuine change is whether your spouse has surrounded themselves with positive influences. Are they engaged in individual counseling or therapy sessions? Do they seek out mentorship or guidance from reliable sources? Take note of whether they have changed their lifestyle and if they are actively seeking healthy perspectives to retool their thinking.
Listening to and Valuing Your Opinions
Communication is a key aspect of any relationship, and a narcissistic spouse often struggles to listen and value their partner’s opinions. Observe whether your spouse has begun to genuinely listen to you and show concern for your feelings and thoughts. Do they ask you questions about your life and truly care about what is happening with you? Furthermore, when you offer feedback or set boundaries, do they respect and honor those boundaries?
Taking Charge of Their Life and the Change Process
Positive change requires intentionality and commitment. Look for signs that your spouse is taking charge of their life and actively participating in the change process. You should be able to sense their dedication to growth and improvement. Notice their choices and actions, which should reflect their determination to move in a healthier direction.
Giving Up the Victim Role
Narcissists often play the victim role, shifting blame onto others and avoiding personal responsibility. A significant indicator of genuine change is when your spouse stops blaming others or external circumstances for their problems. Instead, they recognize their role in the relationship and focus on cleaning their side of the street, taking responsibility for their actions and emotions.
Taking Meaningful Actions to Support Your Goals
As your narcissistic spouse undergoes positive change, they should transition from being solely focused on their own desires to actively supporting your goals and ambitions. Notice if they show excitement and encouragement for your growth and progress. A caring and supportive partner will be genuinely interested in your personal development and success.
Demonstrating Long-Term Commitment
Lasting change is not something that happens overnight. Your narcissistic spouse’s commitment to their growth and transformation should extend beyond a specific timeframe or deadline. A genuine desire for change will infiltrate every aspect of their life, indicating that they are in it for the long haul. They should not be watching the calendar but rather be excited about the journey of growth and self-improvement.
In conclusion, identifying whether your narcissistic spouse is genuinely making changes involves observing their actions, listening to their words, and sensing their intentions. Positive influences, active listening, taking charge of their life, giving up the victim role, supporting your goals, and demonstrating long-term commitment are critical factors to consider. Remember that progress is more important than perfection, and genuine change will be reflected in consistent and compassionate behavior towards you and themselves. Trust your instincts and be cautious in making decisions about your future based on observable change.
Also read: How to Heal a Marriage After an Affair
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.