When you find that the fog of affair has lifted
How does a narcissist react when his partner is unfaithful?
Flirtations, affairs, and affairs are actually the narcissist's domain. He cannot find anything objectionable in his predilection to seek happiness and satisfaction outside of the relationship. He feels it is his right to have fun in other ways and to use a favorable opportunity as a welcome distraction. But how does a narcissist react when his partner takes the same liberties and is betrayed by him?
Image: © Antonioguillem - Fotolia.com
After a period of time, partners of narcissists begin to miss the attention and tenderness in the relationship with which the narcissist captured their heart in the early days. You must find that after the initial fire of passion, the narcissist becomes more and more moody, stubborn, selfish and inconsiderate. When the butterflies in your stomach have vanished and the monotony of everyday life spreads, there is not much left of the great gentleman and lover of the first days. The narcissist cannot cope with the day-to-day life of a relationship, which significantly affects their mood.
The narcissist pursues his own interests in a relationship and expects his partner to support him in them. It's always about his needs, his problems and his tasks. As soon as the partner turns away from him, does not agree with his opinion or is not available to him, but follows his own interests, the narcissist becomes grumpy and irritable. If the partner does not fulfill his function as a mirror of the narcissist's grandiosity, even for a short time, there is immediate stress with him: The partner is then insulted, humiliated, harassed and punished with love deprivation or left in a rush.
At some point the partner no longer feels that he is being treated fairly: While he has to work harder and harder to satisfy the narcissist, his own needs and desires fall by the wayside. He wants to be perceived lovingly by the narcissist, he wants to be treated sensitively and kindly and he wants the narcissist to turn to him respectfully and genuinely care for him. Instead of just receiving instructions and know-it-all advice, instead of being disappointed again and again by his limitless egoism and unrestrained ruthlessness and instead of always having to be used as a scapegoat that is constantly devalued, the partner longs to be hugged again to be taken.
The partner longs for affection and warmth
This psychodynamic process can cause partners of narcissists to seek understanding, warmth, and tenderness outside of the relationship. In most cases, however, they are not doing this on purpose. Rather, their thoughts revolve around finding ways to improve the relationship with the narcissist and reawakening the great feelings that were undoubtedly present at the beginning of the relationship. Partners seek distance from the narcissist and contact with other people in order to clear their heads and to find a solution for a better togetherness through a certain distance from the narcissist and external impulses.
Partners of narcissists can be seen their sadness and great need. You cannot hide that you are desperate, that you long for affection, warmth and intimacy and that you have a desire for sensuality. You feel empty and used up and feel like you are dying next to the narcissist like a neglected plant. Therefore, they are highly receptive to kind signals from their social environment.
This mood can lead disappointed partners of narcissists to become unfaithful and end up in the arms of a suitor, where they find the acceptance, understanding, and love they miss in the narcissist without any intention of leaving to separate the narcissist. The affair is only meant to compensate for the frustrating hours with the narcissist. As a rule, partners do not feel good, but exhilarated by the unexpected security and intimacy that they find infinitely beneficial, the thought of unforgivable infidelity fades. The fraud and risk are hidden.
A world collapses for the narcissist
In addition to frustration and depression, the partner may also have an excessive desire for sexual contact or more variety in physical love - or they may also have a personality disorder or other weaknesses that make them have an increased desire for other love partners. The narcissist's seeming grandiosity, the overwhelming absorption and permanent control do not protect him from his partner becoming unfaithful. In most cases, the narcissist ensures, through his inadequate demeanor and excessive distrust, that his fear of being betrayed or abandoned by his partner is confirmed.
If the narcissist finds out that his partner is cheating on him, he is devastated. He feels deeply offended and his self-image is massively shaken. A narcissist does not believe that their partner could get excited about another and cheat on them. This possibility is completely beyond his imagination because the narcissist is convinced that he is so great and unique that his partner would never get the idea - and basically has no reason to - turn away from him and be unfaithful become.
The narcissist is deeply sure to do everything for his partner, to shower him with love, to treat him in an exemplary manner and to prepare heaven on earth for him. Therefore, it is in no way understandable for him why his partner throws himself at another. It never occurs to the narcissist that he has done something wrong and driven his partner with his destructive nature into the arms of another. Therefore, declarations by the partner that he no longer feels valued by the narcissist are pointless.
The narcissist slips into the role of victim
For the narcissist, the culprit is clear: He is the poor victim who has been betrayed and shamelessly exploited by his partner. The narcissist then believes that this fact legitimizes him to mercilessly berate and devalue the partner, to shower him with accusations, to punish him or to repay him. Usually the narcissist ends the relationship in a fit of rage, but in the hope that the partner will run after him and beg for forgiveness. As a rule, the narcissist also comes back when he is sufficiently adored by the vows of the unfaithful partner. At the same time, he will tighten control over the partner as the relationship continues. In this way, the narcissist uses the derailment of his partner to bind him even more tightly and to subdue him even more.
Since the partner actually had no intention of being unfaithful and only lost control in a weak moment or was in a frenzy of emotions, the vehement reproaches of the narcissist fill him with great shame. He is accused of ruthlessness, ingratitude, deviousness and meanness. In his uncontrolled anger, the narcissist gives his partner unheard-of names, expresses his long-held suspicion that his partner has cheated on him several times and asserts that he would never do anything so shameful to his partner.
The partner is not at all aware of the scope of his basically insignificant affair. Addicted to love, he forgot his obligations to the narcissist and now sees what he has done through his thoughtlessness. In this condition, he is then quickly ready to respond to the narcissist's demands in order to calm him down and restore the old conditions. The angry demeanor of the narcissist with the horrific insults intimidates the partner in such a way that he takes on his old role again, without having changed anything in the relationship in his favor.
The narcissist also has his weaknesses
No matter how angry and quick-tempered the narcissist may present himself in this situation: Here too, in most cases, his limitless cold-temperedness is shown, with which he can draw a profit for himself from a supposed defeat. Often enough it is even the case that the narcissist himself has an affair and in turn cheats on the partner. It is extremely perfidious and astonishing at the same time how the narcissist can accuse the partner of being unfaithful on the one hand, while on the other hand he does not feel the slightest bit of guilty conscience in view of his own infidelity.
He is the great moral preacher, emphasizing his virtuous sides and playing the poor victim whose trust and good faith have been maliciously abused. But no sooner has he punished his partner and put him on the defensive with a storm of indignation than he goes to his own affair in order to be comforted there. Here he again expresses his displeasure with the dirty behavior of his partner and complains tearfully about his mendacity. Actually, this situation would be more than funny if it weren't so tragic: The narcissist complains about his partner's infidelity and condemns his or her behavior in the strongest possible way while he howls at his or her lover.
Since a narcissist measures by two standards, he cannot find anything strange about this phenomenon. The narcissist believes they have special rights and can measure themselves against other moral standards. For him it is a necessity to have several relationships at the same time in order to meet his great need for admiration, variety and excitement and to be able to escape the sadness of everyday life, while at the same time declaring it a mortal sin if the partner takes the same right. In addition, the partner's unforgivable faux pas is a welcome occasion to put them in chains even more so that you can enjoy your own freedom even more extravagantly.
The question then arises as to whether the narcissist only staged his fit of rage in order to distract from his own guilt and to hide behind a feigned disappointment, or whether he is actually hurt without realizing his own presumptuousness. Both are the case: he only sees his greatness and his flawlessness because he needs this to maintain his self-image. He fades out his dark sides, plays them down to himself or even believes that they are strengths of his. He then alleviates his pain of infidelity by increasing his power over his partner and widening his debauchery.
The on-off relationship drama
Description of the psychodynamic processes in an on-off relationship with a narcissist and how those affected can break free from the cycle of constant separation and reconciliation.
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