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Never Marry a Narcissist

Updated on November 17, 2017
Old Man From Miss profile image

I am a Freelance Writer, Organic Philosopher, and near-death survivor, currently working out of north-central Mississippi USA.

This is what the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissistic partner feels like.

If I could live forever, I might someday get it right.

This was my second marriage. Bearing in mind, my upbringing did not allow for divorce and re-marriage. However, after my first wife was unfaithful to me, I became aware of what I like to call: the ‘extenuating circumstances clause’... That is to say, Divorce is permitted in cases of infidelity.

Unless you have a Christian background, like I have, or have made Christianity a conscious choice, also as I have, You may not have experienced all of the feelings that are part and parcel of separation. Be that as it may, I am sure you have experienced SOMETHING that was excruciatingly painful, it’s just part of the human experience.

When I love, I give it my all. Which is why I love so seldom.

I put the object of my love up on a pedestal of devotion which inevitably comes crashing to the ground. Imagine the fall of the Twin Towers

Emotionally, this is what the death of love is like to me.

This time I learned something new…

Why You Should Never Marry a Narcissist.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, is a subtle thing, hard even for a trained Mental Health Professional to recognize, unless they know the patient fairly well. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) describes NPD thus:

“A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is inter-personally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes”

More valuable information on the subject comes from Dr. Perry, PhD in his excellent article: Identifying Narcissistic Triangulation.

Dr. Perry’s articles are what initially helped me identify the problems in my second failed marriage, the one that was to be ‘The Love of My Life.’ For ten years I laboured under the false assumption that I had finally, at 48 through 58 years of my life, found what my Mother and Father had for 46 years, ‘until death did them part.’

Neither of my parents had NPD. Both cared about others, more than they did themselves, and proved it on a daily basis.

Which brings me to the tried and true aphorism my Mother shared with me at about 8 years of age ; “Actions Speak Louder Than Words!”

When I say she shared it with me, I should probably re-phrase it to; she impressed it upon me… With a hairbrush… Corporal punishment may be looked down on today by ‘intellectual elites’ everywhere, but in 1966 it was still considered the norm in our little farming community. And I am exceedingly grateful it was. When administered judiciously, that is; “Marked by the exercise of good judgment or common sense in practical matters.” It is an unparalleled method of impressing upon a young man such as I was, that there is always a higher authority than our ‘wants’ and what we may think we can ‘get away with.’

I have two reasons for that assertation:

  1. I was there.
  2. and I have known too many people who did not receive said instruction and are suffering from NPD today.

Am I asserting that a lack of discipline is a precursor for NPD?

Not at all. I am not qualified to make a statement like that. Nor am I advising anyone that they should use corporal punishment in child rearing. (although I do wonder sometimes.)

To reiterate, this post is about why you should never marry a narcissist.

Here are ten reasons along with my observations, from my personal experience why you should never marry a narcissist:

  1. You can never satisfy a narcissist.
    1. No matter how much you do or sacrifice for a narcissist, it’s never enough. Someone with NPD requires a steady stream of praise and ‘ego boosting’ in order to maintain their fragile ego.
    2. It’s all about control.
      1. They cannot allow you to ‘be yourself’ unless it fits in with their narcissistic needs.
      2. Their need to control your life extends to your decision making, your clothes, your home, your personal hygiene, your past, etc..
    3. They don’t love you
      1. they love what you do for them.
      2. they love how the relationship ‘makes’ them feel.
      3. they love ‘being in love‘(but it’s not, not really)
      4. They love your financial status.
      5. they love your job. (that provides for them)
      6. they love having someone to ‘love’ (really just feeds their narcissism)
      7. they love a lot of things, just not YOU!
    4. They NEVER accept personal responsibility
      1. you hear a lot of statements like: “That wasn’t my fault”, “That (or they) made me so mad!” “I wouldn’t have done that if you hadn’t done what you did!” Ad infinitum, Ad nauseum….
      2. Declaring that it’s not THEIR fault the relationship is in trouble, a narcissist will go back years into the relationship and cite examples of something YOU did, as a defense. (my first relationship with a narcissist ended with a 57 page letter about all the things I had done wrong in the 17 years of our marriage) Things that had never been an issue before, and these ‘examples’ are always something YOU did that ‘made’ them feel the way they do.
    5. Adamant
      1. You. Can. Not. Reason. With. Them. Period. Another dead giveaway, trying to reason with them only produces increased resistance to, and rejection of, you and your ideas.
      2. Of course this means they are adamant that they are right and you are wrong. If you should be so foolish to offer proof of your assertions, thinking you are dealing with a logical person, they will either change the subject, or accuse you of ‘twisting everything around.’
    6. Your primary reason for existence is their happiness.
      1. Self-interest. Characterized by concern only for their own interests and welfare, a narcissist sees nothing wrong with taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences to others.
    7. You CAN, and WILL BE, replaced.
      1. Since your primary reason for existence (in their mind) is to provide them with the things they ‘need’, (because of their condition)a narcissist will stay in the relationship only as long as they are getting what they want/need. A narcissist has no personal loyalty to you, only to their own ‘needs’ via what you provide to supply that need.
      2. And remember; the list will continue to grow, and the demands will only increase in scope and size as time passes. The narcissistic appetite for validation only increases. you cannot fix them.
    8. Lies are perfectly acceptable (their lies, not yours)
      1. Since a narcissist has no loyalty to anything but their own appetites, and need for validation, their primary goal is to maintain the sources of said appetites and validations.
      2. Anything is acceptable as a means to the end, up to and including lying.
      3. If they have a strong inner ethic against lying, as they sometimes do, a narcissist may use evasions, avoidance, or irrational explanations,and save outright lies as a last resort.
    9. Usually exhibits strong personality traits
      1. Because of the fragility of their ego, and their diminutive self-worth, a narcissist will often over-emphasize, and discourse often and at length about their own exploits in any given conversation. Not really interested in what you may know or have to say, they can always ‘one-up’ you with a story about how they were stronger, smarter, better, etc..
      2. A narcissist is quite often forceful in expressing their opinions, and as mentioned above, adamant that they are right.
    10. Takes advantage of others
      1. In my experience, a narcissist usually sees absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of anyone, and everyone, around them. And why would they? Refer to point number 6. Your reason for existence, in their world, is to provide them with something they want. Once again, it’s about control!
      2. a narcissist is usually very skilled in the manipulation of others, evaluating their ‘victims’ and noting their strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots for exploitation.

So in closing, is their any doubt in your mind why you should want to avoid being in a relationship with a narcissist?

My opinion is, that those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder lack a concrete, or fixed moral structure. Those with NPD I have been exposed to seem to have very fluid morals that change with whatever it is they want.

Bear in mind, Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be incredibly hard to recognize, a challenge for even a qualified Mental Health Professional. One source online claims that NPD affects about 1 percent of the population, but I have my doubts about that. In my personal experience it would be more accurate to say that 1 percent of the population has been diagnosed as having NPD.

Either that, or I have a ‘fatal attraction’ to women who are narcissistic…

The only, and best way, I have found to identify a narcissistic personality is to identify what is behind their actions, (actions speak louder than words) and use the above points as a reference…


The Old Man From Mississippi

© 2017 The Old Man From Mississippi


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    • Old Man From Miss profile imageAUTHOR

      The Old Man From Mississippi 

      10 months ago from North Mississippi

      Thanks, dashingscorpio! You make a very good point, one I have been delving into for some time. I think the majority of articles will certainly always be written by the abused rather than the abuser for two reasons:

      1) since one of the biggest factors causing NPD is a fragile ego/low self-esteem, no one with a narcissistic personality is likely to write such an article unless it is for attention. They literally cannot admit they have a problem and become experts at hiding it. Mine fooled me for 10 years into thinking she actually loved me...

      2) As you point out, we need to discern and understand our own role in the relationship, because it takes two to make a relationship. In my case, I thought I was finished with relationships before I met her because I could not find someone who truly loved me. She understood this and I let myself be sucked in. I wanted the type of unconditional love my parents had and allowed myself to think that was possible in today's world. Even though I should have known better.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      10 months ago

      Very interesting and well written.

      I've seen a lot of articles that deal with narcissistic behavior and usually written from point of view of someone who was hurt by a narcissist.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      It might be a fascinating article if someone who explain why soo many people are attracted to narcissistic people!

      I suspect in a lot of cases it's because we admire what we initially believe to be self-confidence and the appearance of knowing what they want out of life and going after it.

      Someone with low self-esteem might think he/she is so great and if they have an interest in (me) that means I'm wonderful too!

      As time goes by they come to realize there is not enough room in the "spotlight" for them as the narcissist wants it all. Then we start to evaluate him/her and act as if (they) caused us pain rather than looking at why (we) find narcissistic behavior to be so attractive.

      Maybe some people are drawn towards "Alpha" personalities.


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