5 Reasons Why Covert Narcissist Husband Likes To Do Gaslighting

Have you ever heard someone say the following phrases?

  •  Don’t be so sensitive.
  •  You’re getting upset over nothing
  • You are just overreacting?
  • I didn’t know you would be so shallow
  • Don’t make a fuss out of anything

These phrases are typical of a covert narcissist husband. Covert narcissists are people who desire admiration, importance, and affection from other people. They lack empathy, sympathy, and compassion. They tend to behave in a different manner than overt narcissists.

Gaslighting is one of the special traits that distinguish them from normal people. In this article, I’ll be telling you more about such people, specifically behaviors associated with covert narcissist husbands, and why they do gaslight.

So first things first. Let’s start with the basics of covert narcissism.

Covert Narcissism

Covert narcissists are people who seek attention. They have no room for emotions, love, care, and affection. They crave appreciation and survive by gaslighting others for their own benefit. How toxic!

Covert Narcissist Husband

He is highly sensitive to criticism. Any indication that he has failed in any way, is completely unacceptable to him. Moreover, he can be overbearing and emotionally abusive towards his wife.

Signs and behaviors of Covert Narcissist Husband


They have a sense of insecurity and low self-esteem. They show the following signs:

  • They tend to be insecure in their relationships.
  • They are sensitive to people’s views regarding them.
  • They are passive-aggressive.
  • They have grandiose fantasies and an inflated sense of power and ego.
  • They can be depressed, stressed, or even anxious.

These are the signs that covert narcissist husbands commonly depict.


It can be quite challenging to identify a covert narcissist husband. However, certain actions are deemed as behaviors of these kinds of people upon being observed. They include:

  • Shaming and blaming their partner for their behaviors with the purpose of creating guilt or remorse.
  • They are subtle in fishing for compliments and acquire a back-handed way of obtaining them.
  • They use the tactic of gaslighting and creating confusion about the realities of marriage.
  • They show signs of victim behavior.
  • They feel that they are always more important than their partner so they have a huge disregard for their partner’s feelings.

These behaviors are not easily observed as these people are perfect at hiding them from others outside of their marriage. Their mask gets off only in front of their wives.

Relationship with Covert Narcissist Husbands

These kinds of people are emotionally abusive and lack empathy and compassion for their wives. They behave in a manner to seek control over their partner and for this they use different manipulation tactics.

They are extremely critical however; do not take criticism well. They are smug and belligerent. The usual demands and requirements of a relationship are deemed as unreasonable by them. They have a superior sense of self-image and high standards of themselves.

Getting a divorce from these kinds of men is very difficult. They would never take the initiative themselves but would drive to such an extent that you are forced to do nothing but part ways with them and end the relationship.

Gaslighting and Covert Narcissist Husbands

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a husband sows seeds of self-doubt and confusion in their wife’s mind. This way he gains power and control over his wife. He uses this manipulation tactic in such a manner that he distorts reality and makes his wife question her own judgment and instinct.

Signs of Gaslighting

There are several warning signs of gas lighting done by these kinds of husbands.

These include:

  • Their blatant lies
  • Their denial that they did something regardless of the proof of their behavior
  • Their actions differ from their words
  • They cause confusion and distortion of reality

Common phrases of Gaslighting

These are the most commonly used phrases by these husbands.

  • You’re making things up.
  • Stop exaggerating.
  • I never said that.
  • Stop blaming me!
  • Are you out of your mind?

Reasons Covert Narcissist Husband Likes To Do Gaslighting

There are several reasons why covert narcissist husband uses this manipulation tactic known as gaslighting. Five of these reasons are mentioned below.

To regain his sense of control

These kinds of people resort to this manipulation tactic to make their wives doubt themselves. They discredit their wife’s memory and avoid responsibility. They twist and turn their statements in such a way that their partner feels they are at a fault. A narcissistic husband cannot let himself down in front of his wife because he feels insecure. He thinks he will lose control i.e dominance over his wife.  Therefore, always make his wife feel like whatever she is doing, or thinking is absolutely wrong and doesn’t make any sense. A covert narcissistic husband always wants to dominate his wife and feel superior over her so that she may never try to outsmart him in any way. Such husbands never admit their mistakes. Rather they shift the blame over their wives despite their wives proving them wrong.

To undermine their wife’s sense of reality

In order to avoid accountability, he uses gas lighting tactics to undermine his wife’s sense of reality so that she doubts herself. A covert narcissistic husband is an evil genius. He is a master at turning the tables over his wife when confronted about any of his foul behaviors. For example, if his wife catches him red-handed flirting with a colleague at his workplace, he will say something like, “I was just being nice to her since she recently got divorced”, and will make her feel like she is so insensitive and unfriendly. He will never allow her to hold him accountable for any of his ill-doings. He even denies accepting his fault when his wife shows him the proof. He is such a next-level gamer! It is a literal art to beat a covert narcissistic husband.

To trap them in a dysfunctional relationship

They damage their wife’s self-esteem and trap them in a dysfunctional relationship. They do this to make them feel helpless and unable to make their own decisions. Narcissistic husbands cannot ever imagine seeing their wives being confident in their decisions and making firm choices in life. They cannot stand seeing their wives achieving more than them as they begin to feel insecure and complex. Their fragile male ego doesn’t allow them to help their wives thrive. They rather want to keep them trapped in a confusing relationship where they are unable to figure out where they stand in their narcissistic husband’s life. These husbands always criticize their wives’ actions and always question their choices, leaving them feeling worst about themselves.

Could these men be more pathetic or stoop any lower than this? Well, supposedly yes. Please continue reading to figure out how.

The covert husband was raised by parents who did gas lighting themselves

The men gaslight their partner in the same way as they were brought up by their parents who did the same and so they learned this behavior and adapted it as a survival mechanism. Men brought up in an environment where they saw either of their parents gaslighting the other learned that this is how you treat your better half. Hence, they started doing the same. Sometimes, this can be unintentional but in most cases, it is well known and they are aware of what they are doing. They just can’t seem to stop because that is what they saw their entire life growing up, and a child seeks what he sees. These narcissistic husbands probably saw their parents accusing, manipulating, blame shaming, and gaslighting each other all the time. Therefore, this behavior got instilled in their minds and they started projecting it onto their partner as soon as they got married.

To make their wives completely dependent on them

A covert narcissistic husband gaslights his wife to isolate her from her family, friends, and colleagues. The main goal is to make his wife dependent only on him. A dependent wife is a silent wife. She is more like a slave who is only supposed to serve her master, and never demand anything from him in return. A woman who relies on her husband financially, emotionally, and physically can never raise her concerns or question his actions. She knows if she tries to do so, he will not take a single second to give her a shut-up call. However, once they achieve this goal of making their wives completely dependent on them, they might cast their wives aside and move on to someone else. Ouch!

Other tactics used by covert narcissist husbands

A covert narcissistic husband is passive-aggressive and uses emotional manipulation tactics. He doesn’t understand his wife’s points of view and might even deliberately misunderstand her.

He thinks that he is reasonable and rational however, it is not true at all. He denies it and tells blatant lies. He indulges in gossiping and slandering his wife without caring about the consequences.

Bottom Line

A covert narcissistic husband acts in a very subtle way and makes his wife doubt herself. He blames and shames her in such a way that the wife starts to believe it to be her fault instead of the husband’s.  He never divorces his wife and keeps her trapped in a toxic relationship. He pushes his wife to the point where she is forced to ask for a divorce and becomes a victim himself.

A woman suffering at the hands of this kind of narcissistic husband must not waste time and should contact a qualified mental health specialist to avoid any unwanted incident.

About Ambika Taylor

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