Narcissistic Traits – The Contentious Wife, Part 1

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There are comments in the secular world that more men are narcissistic than women.  A couple of responses to that notion are:

  1. There is very little factual basis for that assumption
  2. Narcissism can take different forms (see here).  The way a man reveals his narcissism may be different than a way a woman reveals her narcissism.
  3. Narcissism is about the insolent pride of the heart, for which both men and women have a propensity

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Having said that, the following discussion is not intended to say that women are more narcissistic than men.  It is simply a discussion on how the Bible describes one way that a woman’s narcissism may reveal itself.

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The Bible has a few choice things to say about a contentious wife

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Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
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Proverbs 21:19 – It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman.
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Proverbs 25:24 – It is better to live in a corner of the roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
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Proverbs 27:15 – A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike;
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Proverbs 19:13 – A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.
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Proverbs 27:15 –  A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike…..
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What does this look like?  It is to be consistently argumentative, quarrelsome, and full of strife.  It is not just occasionally disagreeing, but being disagreeable.   It is picking a fight even when there is really no actual fundamental disagreement.

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A wife might be contentious because she is

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  1. Generally angry, and taking it out on those around her.  Anger is typically the result of not getting something you wanted or felt you deserved, either in the current situation or sometime in the past (eg – she expected her life to be better than it is)
  2. Consistently seeking to get her own way in almost every situation that arises
  3. Fighting to be #1 in the relationship – not in the sense of being cared for, but in the sense of dominating her partner
  4. A scoffer (see here and here), feeling like she is superior and that her husband never does things properly (as defined by how she would do it )

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We’re not talking about normal disagreements, but a spirit of being generally disagreeable to everything,  picking fights when there is none to pick, calling  black white and then switch and calling white black – generally full of strife.

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A contentious wife will typically have one of 4 results:

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  1. A marriage full of arguments, if the husband takes a stand
  2. The husband tiptoeing around so as not to trigger a reaction in his wife
  3. A husband being dominated by his wife
  4. The husband finding a way to spend all of his time outside the home

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 A contentious wife likely has narcissism / insolent pride as the root cause.  The logic for this is as follows:
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  1. Scoffers are (=) Contentious (Proverbs 22:10)
  2. Those with Insolent Pride are (=) Scoffers (Proverbs 21:24)
  3. Narcissists are those with insolent pride (see here)

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Therefore, it is likely that a wife who is contentious has a high degree of narcissism / insolent pride underlying her contentiousness.

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This is underscored by Proverbs 13;10

Through insolence comes nothing but strifeBut wisdom is with those who receive counsel.

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So how is a husband to deal with a narcissistic / scoffing / contentious wife?

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Part 2 to follow shortly

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* Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible describes as “insolent pride”.  See here for more

One response

  1. Pingback: With Us Through Deep Waters « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

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