To somebody with narcissistic personality disorder, marriage is an excellent source of permanent supply; it provides a sense of security. Marriage also makes the narcissist look good to others.
The narcissist needs a source of narcissistic supply because of their low self-esteem, confidence, and insecurities. Once they find a source of narcissistic supply, they rush into things quickly. They want to lessen the chance that they lose it.
Every narcissist is a unique individual with different problems. It is essential to recognize that every relationship involving a narcissist varies; they are complicated with many other variables. By exploring the dynamics of narcissists in marriage, we can gain insights for those in such relationships who seek a better understanding of the situation.
In this article, we explore the question: Why do narcissists get married so quickly?
Why do narcissists get married so quickly?
They do it to lock down their new supply source through marriage. Marriage offers them many things they need to feel good about themselves. When married, the narcissist has a steady source of supply that they can control and access whenever needed. This constant influx of supply is too good to pass up for a narcissist.
They decide to get married because of a combination of factors that align with their self-centeredness. It’s all about what the marriage can do for them. Unlike most unions, genuine love is not often a factor in why narcissists seek marriage.
A narcissist may be motivated to seek marriage because of the following:
- Narcissistic supply
The spouse of a narcissist quickly becomes the narcissist’s primary source of approval and validation. They are always around whenever the narcissist needs them. The partner is seen as a tool to help build up their self-esteem.
- Societal and familial acceptance
People generally face societal and familial pressures to get married; narcissists are no different. Since they care so much about what other people think of them, getting married is an excellent way to get approval and validation from the people in their lives.
- Boost their image
Narcissists have spent much time and effort building up their grandiose image. They want constant validation that this grandiose image is the truth. The love of a romantic partner and marriage validates that grandiose image.
- Fear of abandonment
If somebody abandons them, it proves the narcissist’s idea that they are unworthy of love. There is a degree of certainty to marriage. Narcissists will often use marriage to lock down their source of supply. It is a lot harder to separate from somebody once you get married.
Since narcissists treat people like objects, it makes sense that they would want to own their spouse. Marriage is a sign of ownership to the person with NPD. They take over their spouse’s life, getting involved in every aspect. They also claim the possessions of their spouse as their own.
It is convenient for a narcissist to share the problematic aspects of life with somebody else. The narcissist will often transfer the responsibilities and workload onto the spouse to free up time to work on their self-image, which is their main priority. There is also a financial incentive here; having somebody to share living expenses with is convenient.
As you can see, many factors influence a narcissist to get married quickly. Recognizing the complexities of a relationship with a narcissist is essential to allow you to make informed decisions and get the support necessary for your well-being.
What to expect when married to a narcissist?
You can expect a relationship with zero compassion and sensitivity to your needs. It would be best if you realized you were marrying someone incapable of healthy, intimate relationships. The relationship with the narcissist will have many problems that wreak havoc on one’s mental health.
A narcissist changes their behaviors and personality as the relationship progresses. Once married, you may quickly discover that the charming and charismatic person you’ve married is too good to be true. The narcissist will slowly let their toxic behaviors out in the open once their spouse is locked down.
Unfortunately, marrying a narcissist can come with the following consequences:
A narcissist will rarely apologize or take responsibility for their actions. If there is conflict, they will not submit simply because they know they are wrong. Their need to be right will make them keep fighting. They have to stand their ground.
The spouse and narcissist will have seemingly different rules for how they are supposed to behave in the relationship. The spouse will have to live according to a higher standard, and the narcissist gets to live by a more relaxed set of rules.
Losing your sense of self
When married to a narcissist, you will have to make a lot of compromises. You may find yourself walking on eggshells to avoid upsetting them. As you slowly adjust more and more of your behaviors to satisfy the narcissist, you may lose yourself.
Your needs become unimportant
The narcissist’s needs in the relationship will always be more important than the spouse’s. The spouse isn’t supported in fulfilling their needs and will be pressured to sacrifice to please the narcissist.
You’ll need thick skin
Since the narcissist often victimizes the spouse, the spouse needs thick skin to handle this. They must learn to be resilient and be able to take everything the narcissist does with a grain of salt. If they don’t develop resilience, the narcissist will break them down.
As you can see, being married to a narcissist is no walk in the park. The spouse will have to make a lot of sacrifices and put up with discomfort to satisfy the narcissist’s needs. Even after doing all this, there is no guarantee that the narcissist will not discard their partner.
Why do narcissists discard wives and refuse divorce?
They do this for selfish reasons; all centered around getting what it is they want out of the relationship. An individual with a narcissistic personality will have no problem discarding somebody causing them problems, or stopping them from getting something else they want. They won’t even feel bad.
They will discard their spouse when the problems and inconveniences outweigh the perceived benefits of staying with their spouse. The narcissist does not want difficulty in their life. If they find it hard to control you, they may discard you to find somebody more easily controlled.
On the other hand, if the narcissist finds their spouse too easy to manipulate, they may lose respect for their spouse and look down upon them.
If you can no longer stroke the narcissist’s ego, they may look for somebody who can do a better job. Perhaps you do not make them look good enough to the rest of the world; they may find somebody who can fulfill that need.
So why would a narcissist refuse divorce?
Narcissists depend on their significant other to give them everything they desire to fulfill their needs. They will try to squeeze every bit of narcissistic supply out of their source. A few reasons they won’t accept a divorce are:
- They need someone to blame for their problems
Since narcissists don’t apologize or take accountability for their behaviors, they need somebody to bear the brunt of the blame.
- They want to maintain some control over you.
They have some leverage over you if you need them to complete the divorce. They can use this to exercise some control over you.
- They don’t want to lose the financial and social benefits of marriage.
A divorce may mean a big financial hit to somebody used to shared expenses. Also, divorces can be embarrassing; they don’t want their family and friends to know this is happening.
- They don’t want to deal with the trouble of getting divorced
Getting divorced takes a lot of effort and hassle. They don’t want to go through all that work for your benefit.
- They want to punish you for any wrongs they think you have committed
If the narcissist feels you have wronged them, they will not want to relinquish control over you until they get what they deserve.
- They still need you to do things for them.
The narcissist may not be done with you yet. They have become accustomed to having you around to help them with everything. They like all you do for them and aren’t willing to give that up easily.
So with all these negative aspects involved in a marriage to a narcissist, you may be asking if there is any chance of happiness when married to an individual with Narcissistic personality disorder.
Can you ever be happily married to a narcissist?
No, there is little chance that somebody can ever happily marry a narcissist. Although the relationship may look happy on the outside, relationships involving an individual with narcissistic personality disorder generally include some form of emotional abuse.
The narcissist will pick seemingly pointless arguments, constantly insult their partner, and be very controlling. The mood and behavioral changes of the narcissist can be complicated for somebody to deal with on an ongoing basis. This changing of behaviors is very confusing for the spouse; they may find it difficult to leave and have a false hope that the charming person they married will return.
The truth is, without therapy and a willingness to recognize their negative behaviors, the narcissist is highly unlikely to change. The narcissistic partner is very unlikely to accept any responsibility for anything they are doing to contribute to this unhappy marriage.
If the non-narcissistic partner tries to bring this up and have a rational conversation with the narcissist, they will often become furious and upset. They will lie, twist words, and shift the blame onto the non-narcissistic partner, anything, so they do not have to take accountability themselves.
When in a relationship with a narcissist, you must never forget that the narcissist’s personal needs will always be more important than the happiness of their spouse. Narcissistic people view relationships with others as a means to get what they want.
Why do narcissists get married so many times?
They marry multiple times because they cannot stand to lose their source of narcissistic supply. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder also worry that others will see them as a failure because of the failed marriage. They may have a new spouse lined up before their previous marriage ends.
Narcissists tend to bounce from relationship to relationship rather quickly. The same goes for marriages. Maintaining a relationship is complex, and it may be tempting for the narcissist to leave their current marriage in hopes of having more success with their newest target. Remember, the narcissist cannot feel a genuine connection, so it can be easier for them to leave a relationship as soon as it gets inconvenient or they find someone they think will be a better source of supply.
Even though circumstances vary, narcissists generally use relationships to get what they need from another person. They expect the validation and admiration of another person to fix the emptiness inside. When this inevitably fails, the narcissist can’t accept that the problem is them, so they immediately search for somebody else to fill that void.
This constant need for validation and the idea that somebody else can fix their internal problems is a significant motivator for why the narcissist gets married multiple times. If one marriage fails, they can move on to the next one.
To summarize, being married to a narcissist has unique challenges and can significantly diminish the spouse’s happiness and mental well-being. Narcissists primarily focus on their needs, lack empathy, and engage in manipulative and abusive behaviors.
Marriage with a narcissist comes with a high cost. It involves constant emotional manipulation, a lack of genuine connection and support, and a disregard for the spouse’s needs and feelings. The spouse may experience emotional abuse, a loss of self-esteem, and a sense of walking on eggshells to avoid conflict.
Individuals in relationships with narcissists need to prioritize their well-being and seek support through therapy, counselling, or support groups. While it may be challenging, it is crucial to assess the long-term impact of the relationship on one’s happiness and consider the possibility of ending the marriage for personal growth and emotional well-being.
Ultimately, it is unlikely that one can be pleased in a marriage with a narcissist due to the inherent nature of the disorder and the negative dynamics it brings to the relationship.
A resilient writer who has emerged from addiction, depression, and anxiety with a renewed sense of purpose and a powerful voice. His journey has shaped his writing, allowing him to explore the complexities of the human condition intimately. Also blogging about mental health at www.medium.com/@Patrickmeowler