6 strange behaviours of covert narcissist husband 


Covert Narcissism

The word narcissist is used to label anybody who appears as a bit self-centred . 

Patients with narcissistic disorder disease are obsessed with their own achievements and have a great feeling of self-esteem tat impacts their decision taking process. 

A covert narcissist is a person who shows symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) but often hides the more obvious signs of the condition. However, it can be as destructive as overt narcissistic behaviour.

Narcissists find difficulty in building or maintaining connections and relationships due to their controlling inclinations and lack of compassion.

“The covert narcissist has the wide-ranging narcissistic traits of being egotistical and self-centred while also being apologetic, aggressive, and oversensitive to criticism. Contrasting overt narcissist, they might appear as extra -sensitive, reserved, nervous, depressed, envious, and /or lacking in buoyancy and self-worth.” Says Pereira. 

Reasons of covert narcissism 

It is likely that several factors contribute to a person being labeled as a behaviours of covert narcissist husband. This personality disorder could be linked to the following factors. 

  • Childhood abuse or trauma 
  • Upbringing or relationship with the guardian/caregiver
  • Genetics
  • Personality traits 

Studies have shown that people having this disorder have lived their lives  with mothers who are focused on achievements and status. 

Signs of covert narcissism 

 The following signs could indicate that a person is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. If we see a person around us showing the following signs we should encourage them to seek professional help. 

  • Self importance
  • Passive aggression
  • Sensitivity to criticism 
  • Withdrawn nature
  • Grand fantasies 
  • Depression and anxiety  
  • Holding grudges 
  • Inadequacy

Covert narcissists and relationships 

People with covert narcissism often use several tactics to seek control over others in a relationship. These tactics include


Covert narcissists use Gaslighting as a means to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity

For example “you have no idea what you are talking about. “

Passive-aggressive behaviour 

Covert narcissists use passive aggressive behaviour by disregarding others while exaggerating their own importance. 


Covert narcissist use this tactic to systematically break down the people around them and to maintain a show of superiority. 

Strange behaviours of covert narcissist husbands 

Covert narcissist husbands are emotionally disengaged and passionless to any perceived demand, including the ‘demand’ to love. 

They are often highly sensitive and dominate others. 6 strange behaviors of covert narcissist husbands are:  

  • Passive aggression 

Covert narcissist husbands are extremely passive-aggressive people. They may pretend  to take interest in what their wives want. However, they are rarely naturally interested it in an honest way. 

An example of this behavior would be that They’ll ‘forget’ their wives plans and ‘accidentally’ plan something else and say things like ‘they’ve been looking forward to it for so long’. And with suffering, they’ll agree that they’ll ‘sacrifice’ their plan so that their wife can enjoy. 

When they are confronted for their behaviour they tend to blame their wife for either being too ‘picky’ or not understanding. These kind of husbands show no joy or comfort in their wife’s company or be interested in enjoying their love. 

  • Helpfulness

This helpfulness exhibits that the husband is actually a ‘good spouse’. The covert narcissist husband’s wife might feel disrespect because of a ‘helpful’ demeanour. 

In adult life, doing one’s portion is the only acceptable way but his ‘helpfulness’ is intended to enhance his delicate self esteem. It is also used as a weapon by a covert narcissist husband to torture their wife. 

He can be ‘helping’ but in reality causing more work for her. If you indicate an incomplete task, he’s likely to dislike you and complain that you’re being critical of him. 

  • Impeccable hyper-sensitivity

Covert narcissist husbands have impeccable hyper-sensitivity. They will take offense to real or imagined criticism. These husbands can be emotionally abusive. Wives may feel emotionally abused but are told otherwise that they’re the ones being abusive. 

A wife’s reasonable demands for love, devotion, engagement and sex can be labelled as never-satisfied, demanding and overbearing. 

These covert narcissist husbands tend to remind you how much they’ve done for you and how little they are appreciated for that. 

  • Resentful and withholding 

  Wives are often puzzled due to behaviours of  covert husbands such as they are supportive and angry at the same time. Moreover ,they won’t request you to do anything for them but will become angry on you for not undertaking it. 

There is a lack of genuine honesty and emotional engagement. They resent that their wives can express what they want while they don’t. And will say statements like,”why bother?No one cares about me” 

  • Smugness/superiority 

Covert narcissist husbands are sly and harder to spot. They keenly observe, evaluate and often silently render abrupt and merciless judgment. When they’re asked if something is wrong they’ll dent it. 

  • Self-absorption 

A covert narcissist husband is a very poor listener. They pay far more attention to themselves than to their wives. 

What is often confusing to wives is that, in the surface, they seem to be a ‘nice guy’. They are well-liked and outgoing in public. 

They consider your actions a clear demonstration that they’ve made a mistake in marrying you. However, they don’t leave  

They’ll never be the one to initiate divorce. They might drive you to do it and still make it seem as if you’re the one who’s wrong. 

Not only with wives, covert narcissist husbands seldom make eye contact with their children. They engage in narcissistic parenting. 


Narcissistic partners usually have difficulty loving someone else, because they don’t truly love themselves. 

They are so focused on themselves that they do not see their partner as a separate person. They only see their partner in terms of how they fill their needs. They may initially love-bomb their partners, as a manipulation tactic. The only difference being that they conceal their narcissistic identities very well. 

Covert narcissist husbands are not obvious in their behaviours. They most certainly crave attention and strive for compliments but do so in a back-handed manner. They manipulate or minimise their talents purposefully so that people offer them reassurances of how talented they are. 

They use softer tactics to gain attention and admiration. They are prone to depression, anxiety, with experiences of failed ambition, and are often fragile. They embrace their victimhood and use their vulnerability to seem sensitive to gain attention. You can live with them for years without realising that they are covert narcissists


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