The Narcissist and Marriage


Marriage. Widely-regarded as one of the central events in a person’s life. Whether it is a traditional church affair with white wedding dress, a civil ceremony inside a football stadium, something unusual such as at the bottom of a swimming pool, a same sex union, a week long Indian wedding or getting spliced in front of Elvis in Las Vegas, marriage remain a celebration.

It is the idea that two people want to spend the rest of their days together. The concept that this other person is so important to you that you wish to pledge your fidelity, allegiance and your entire self to your significant other before whichever personal god you worship. Notwithstanding the differing ways weddings occur, it remains a joyous occasion and one which many people aspire to, with differing ideas of how the day will look and feel. People seek a happy, long and fulfilling marriage. Sometimes that does not work out, sometimes it does. Our kind are no strangers to marriage, indeed, of those people who marry more than once, our kind are probably well-represented. One might be forgiven for thinking that our kind are particular devotees of the concept of marriage and in some respects, that is correct, but not for reasons people would expect. How do we regard marriage?

  1. It is a brilliant device for future faking. Those who are love devotees, which includes empathic people, want to marry. They consider the act of union with the person that they love to be hugely significant and a true marker of intent and desire. Our kind utilise the significance that is attributed to marriage as the means by which we can continue to draw people to us and also keep them bound to us, even if we have not married them. The promise of marriage at some future point is a definite ace to play to prevent an appliance from drifting away. Whether this is an IPPS who we live with or a Candidate IPSS we have high hopes for or even a Shelf IPSS who has not (unsurprisingly) worked out what they are, the potential to become married is tempting indeed. The promise of marriage becomes a large comfort crumb to feed to the appliance and involves sentences such as:

“I think we should get married at some point.”

“When I get the next promotion, I think we should consider getting married.”

“We ought to get married next year.”

“When someone is as happy as you and I, we really ought to  be married.”

“I often think about what it would be like to be married.” (Not necessarily to you though)

“Can you imagine how great it would be if we got married?”

There is no proposal of marriage, no definite confirmation that this should take place but rather a vague and amorphous intention which can easily be put back when we choose so we can keep using this as a tempting morsel to keep you interested. It does not just have to be about stating an intention to get married but will include:-

a. Looking at engagement rings but never buying one;

b. Considering suitable wedding venues but never booking anything;

c. Discussing honeymoons but not booking anything;

d. Mentioning it to family and friends;

e. Drawing up potential guests lists but never doing anything with them;

f. Considering where to have the wedding list;

g. Considering what items to have on the wedding list;

h. Discussing colours for outfits, flowers, a theme and so forth but making no concrete decisions.

Such is the allure of the idea of getting married that it is probably the largest comfort crumb that can be fed to an appliance and the largest piece of future faking.

2. Marriage is extremely effective at binding an IPPS to us. We want to ensure that person is ours, owned by us and therefore by becoming engaged and getting married within a short time of meeting the IPPS we secure this individual and bind them to us through the institution of marriage. The appliance is made to feel ultra-special by us proposing to them and then marrying them.

3. It reinforces the concept of love which appeals to the empathic love devotee. As the song goes, ‘love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage’. Love and all of its binding abilities, supportive elements and fuelling connotations goes hand in hand with marriage and therefore getting married is seen as a supreme act of love. Accordingly, marriage is always going to prove an excellent move with regards to ensnaring a choice empathic victim.

4. The façade. Being married tells the world that we can attract somebody, that somebody loves us, that we are desirable. It suggests stability and reliability and as such is a useful device for bolstering the façade so we are regarded as respectable and honourable. As Alec Baldwin stated in the film, The Departed

“Marriage is an important part of getting ahead. It lets people know you’re not a homo. A married guy seems more stable. People see the ring, they think “at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch.” Ladies see the ring, they know immediately that you must have some cash, and your cock must work.”

Several elements there which would support the façade and also appeal to our notion of getting ahead, and being seen as desirable.

5. Stability. This is a two pronged matter. The outside world, as mentioned above in the quote, regards a married person as more stable which helps with the façade. It also however helps our kind maintain stability with regards to the provision of fuel. This is especially important for the Lesser and Mid-Range Narcissists who may not have the sophisticated fuel matrices of the Greater. By securing the IPPS in this manner through marriage, the narcissist is gaining the advantage of knowing that there is going to be a reliable source of fuel for some time (both positive and then negative).

6. Religion. Whilst not as important as it once was (witness the rise of civil ceremonies) religion still plays an important part for many people with regard to the concept of marriage and where religion is a fundamental part of the life of the targeted victim, then this is something that we will exploit. Adhering to the religious significance of marriage enables us to use to not only draw a victim to us but also to bind them to us too.

7. The Preparation. Most weddings require considerable preparation. The wedding venue, a reception venue, what food will be served, whether there is a theme, stag and hen parties, guest lists, what will be worn, where people will sit, the wedding list, the wedding vehicles, the entertainment and so on and so forth. This provides us with numerous opportunities for the provision of fuel by repeatedly talking about our forthcoming nuptials, being able to show off in terms of extravagance, settling old scores and creating new ones through those who are invited and those who are not. There are a myriad of possibilities to use this occasion to our advantage when engaging in the preparation. Indeed, the different opportunities for gaining fuel merit an article in itself with regard to the run-up to and the preparation for a wedding.

8. The wedding day. This is one huge fuel fest. So many adoring appliances, jealous appliances, love-lorn and emotional. Everywhere we go, all eyes are on us. Scores of fuel lines running from us to all of these appliances, from the staff waiting on us, the vicar, the bridesmaids, the bride/groom, the guests. The power surge from all of the positive fuel (and there will be some negative fuel in there too – always pays to invite an ex appliance along just to keep things spiced up. My ex-wife repeatedly reminded me how she was surprised to find one of my exes at our wedding. I wasn’t surprised by how much fuel it kept providing me with thereafter). The day is one of fuel form start to finish and whilst everyone else is enjoying themselves through seeing love requited, the flowing alcohol and interesting dancing, we are gorging on the fuel that is flowing.

It is also worth making mention of The Pinnacle Effect. This is one of the interesting consequences of a wedding. Once the marriage has been secured there are those of our kind who find the explosion of fuel to be the best it can be in terms of positive fuel. This is also allied with the fact that the marriage also means that our kind see that the IPPS is totally embedded and ensnared. This results in the Pinnacle Effect. It is not evident with every wedding that occurs between narcissist and victim, indeed it less likely than more likely, but it is still worth mentioning. Once the ceremony has been completed, the reception attended and either the happy couple head off on their honeymoon or retire to their suite that night, The Pinnacle Effect occurs. The positive fuel is as good as it gets, the IPPS is ensnared and thus the devaluation begins. I have heard of numerous occasions where the blushing bride has become the bludgeoned bride or the amorous groom finds himself the alienated groom instead. The devaluation commences through being frozen out, verbally attacked or even physically assaulted.

9. Marriage applies to you and not to us. You have said the vows and we expect and demand you to comply with them. You will be faithful to us, you will look after us in sickness and in health, you will remain with us for better or for worse, for richer or poorer and so forth. You belong to us. That is the central tenet of the Narcissistic Relationship and the sealed nuptials confirms this to be the case. You will abide by these vows and be a reliable, faithful and compliant spouse. Of course with our sense of entitlement, lack of boundary recognition and failure to account, those vows do not apply to us. We will say them but we will not abide by them.

10. Marriage is a useful device. If you transgress in some way, we will hurl your vows at you (regardless of what we have done to offend them) and we will tell all and sundry that you have sullied the sacred name of marriage. We will wail about ‘wanting to make the marriage work’ when we perceive that you may be trying to escape us. We use the concept of marriage as a manipulative device to further our aims. You must be tied to us, you must save the marriage and not walk away from it, it is a yoke about your neck and a means to an end for us.

11. Stickability. The fact that you are married to us and you believe in the concept of marriage means that you are less likely to give up on it. You do not like to fail and you do not want to walk away without having tried to make it work. Binding you to us in this fashion means that we force you to keep trying and to cling on to us, with all the attendant benefits which subscribe to the Prime Aims also.

12. Divorce. If we marry you and we decide or you have the audacity to try to escape then it follows that divorce must take place. It is not a straight forward case of packing a bag and walking away. The fact that marriage requires a divorce if you seek to escape it provides us with further opportunities to draw fuel, bolster the façade and either hoover you back in or make your life a misery by pillorying you through the divorce proceedings.

It is rare to find a narcissist who has not been married and with some of our kind the marriages will number two or more. And why not? The institution of marriage is ripe for exploitation to further our narcissistic agenda.

Little wonder we are so ready to say ‘I do’.

If only you knew this beforehand so you could have said, ‘I do not’.


43 thoughts on “The Narcissist and Marriage

  1. EmP says:

    Hi Jenna,

    I am not HG (obviously LOL) but I can briefly describe what my parents’ marriage was like.

    Please note that they are BOTH narcissists (Lesser Somatic father and Mid-Ranger Victim mother).

    They have been married for over 40 years and this is what their marriage was like:

    Lesser father spent most of his day at work, loading/unloading trucks, then chatting for hours with a bunch of fellow truck drivers who considered him a hero for having started his own business (which, by the way, went bankrupt twice). He would come home late, eat dinner, sit in front of the TV watching action movies, not saying a word to anyone, then go straight to bed. Fury was often unleashed however when he was disturbed, didn’t like the way you looked at him, the tone of your voice, a comment you made, whatever. Mother’s role was to cook, clean, iron his clothes and take care of him when he was sick, give him attention and be dragged into his financial failures and minor issues with the law.
    He would never kiss, hug her, hold her hand or show any appreciation (save when he really liked a meal she had cooked). They had the occasional argument, my father would disappear for a few hours, come back home, pretend nothing had happened and either go watch TV or go to bed if it was late. He has always been a big fan of pornography and has never even tried to hide it (that was his ‘cheating’ I guess).

    Mid-Ranger mother never worked and was stuck home 24/hrs a day. She has always been my father’s doormat. Honestly, a doormat would have had more strength of character. She had no interest in men whatsoever (even though she liked to speak about her first boyfriend who had abandoned her and broken her heart). Being incredibly hypocritical, she would talk behind my father’s back ALL the time. Complaining about EVERYTHING he had said or done (that was her way of cheating maybe?). But when he was around, she kept smiling, obeying and complying. She has always been religiously observant.
    She was obsessed with preserving the facade, being perceived as a good wife and a caring mother. Also, not wanting to get a job and have to provide for herself, she stayed with my father.

    If you are wondering where she got her fuel from, she got most of it from me. I was a Non Intimate Primary Source.

    Not a nice scenario, right??

    1. Jenna says:

      Hi Emp,

      Ty for sharing that with me. It doesn’t sound too nice at all. These words/phrases stood out to me: hero, bankrupt, not saying a word, financial failures, issues with the law…
      Yet you overcame the negative role models and became an empath! Good for you! Being your mother’s primary source could not have been easy. I guess she had to get her fuel from somewhere. I am glad you are out of that dynamic.
      If the situation were reversed, meaning if the husband is the midranger, i speculate on what kind of devaluations would take place. The narc i was entangled with used silence often. He was never verbally or physically abusive. But silence is not very practical on an ongoing basis in a marriage since you share living quarters. Regardless, your example helps me understand narc marriage dynamics further.Thanks emP and continued healing to you 💕

  2. Jenna says:

    Hi hg,

    Some narcs marry due to religion #6 and culture, and don’t cheat. It is a very minority of narcs i guess. Hg, would you be willing to write an article about this? I am particularly interested in how such a narc will obtain adequate amounts of fuel if he needs to maintain a long marriage, so obviously he can’t be too mean. You have stated previously that the answer is seduction devaluation respite repeat, but would you be able to be more specific about what kinds of devaluations would take place via article? Maybe a specific scenario like in ‘what goes on under’ or some mini scenarios. I hope i’m not asking for too much. I have asked caroline a similar question since her narc did not cheat. I will be patiently awaiting such an article if you consider it😬

  3. EmP says:

    Hi HG,

    Why would a narcissist choose to stay single and never marry?


    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because he sees nothing to be gained through marriage.

  4. A says:

    Hi can I add, my father is a lesser and my wonderful mother was an empath. My elder sister and younger brother are both narcsissts. My older brother and myself are not. HG – how can this be? We all had the same upbringing with my mother being the primary care giver. Could it be position in the family – oldest and youngest. Or is it in the genes? x

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a combination of genetic predisposition and upbringing which can result in different outcomes for siblings who were raised in a similar way.

  5. Penny says:

    hg – Can a child still become a narcissist if they have a narcissist father and empath/codependent mother? The mother was the primary care giver. I keep reading about how a bad relationship with the mother turns people into narcissists but I have never seen were just the father is a narcissist.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He or she can, yes.

    2. Twilight says:


      I hope you don’t mind me commenting.

      I am an Empath my husband was a narcissist. I was the primary caregiver, one of my children was always different from the other two. He always felt different to me. Even when I was pregnant, he grew up and is one of HGs kind. So I do believe genetics can play a part. My oldest son grew up and is one of HGs kind, he didn’t start off that way. He didn’t feel the same yet over time he changed. My middle child is an Empath and that pregnancy was different, there has always been a connection. He feels different from his brothers.

      1. Jasmine says:

        (Jumping in too)
        I have two children, (very different) and worry about the effect from their fathers. How can you tell? Is there a way to help them if they are narcissistic?

        1. Twilight says:


          For myself it is the type of Empath I am, I know.

          This will require sometime for me to write out my perspective and I need to head to work.
          I can address this tomorrow. I have a Granddaughter that is in therapy for signs of psychopathic tendency. She is one of HGs kind, no doubt. Her and I have had some discussions, yet fighting with the Somatic that has control over her mother via a child, has caused some challenges.

          1. Jasmine says:

            Thank you Twilight. I will wait for your answer. No hurries.

            I can see obvious differences between their empathic (or lack thereof) traits. I just pray I’m wrong (No offense hg)
            Funny.. the one with the huge lack of empathy, is the child I worry about the least. I know they’ll be fine in life.

          2. Twilight says:

            Hello Jasmine

            I felt the differences in my children from like I said my pregnancies. Each were different. My oldest and youngest are HGs kind. The youngest was always the way he is. Lying came naturally to him, manipulate as he grew older he became better at it. And the aggression grew.
            My oldest started lying one day and continue, he started to manipulate people, no empathy.
            They both feel entitled to whatever they want.
            There were many challenges with them.

            I was very young, maybe if I was older things would have turned out differently, I suspect thou they wouldn’t have.

            With my Granddaughter, behavior management. She is young still. Her and I have had some discussions. So we will see how this works out.
            My Granddaughter is manipulative, lies, and mimics almost perfectly. When she was little she would push my grandson off of the trike because she wanted to ride it, knives under her pillow, etc she has never hurt an animal thou. She even punch me in the throat once, she found out real fast I wasn’t putting up with that, I asked her who taught her that she told me her mother’s boyfriend taught her and said she could do it when ever she wanted. He is the perfect role model ( I am being very sarcastic) I do not like him.

            What I have seen lying and manipulating have been signs. This is even through out my husbands family (many lessors and mids) definitely an entitlement attitude along side of this.

            I am not sure if this helps you, one thing I do know staying within the relationship makes things harder in the long run.

          3. Jasmine says:

            Twilight, thank you for the thoughtful reply. You given me a lot to think on.. I hope your granddaughter receives the help she needs. My children both are in or beginning therapy. If anything, at least it gives them a voice and a safe place to express it.

          4. Twilight says:


            Thank you, I am not sure how therapy is going to work for her. She doesn’t like her doctor. Her mother is listening to hear not listening to understand. Then add the boyfriends input, that and what he is now doing with her mother emotionally The situation has become increasingly unstable.

            I hope things progress in a more positive way for your children and yourself. We all need someone to talk with we can trust.

          5. Jasmine says:

            Twilight, yes we do ..
            It is good that your granddaughter has you. Best of luck with that, it sounds like a difficult situation. Xo

          6. Twilight says:

            Thank you Jasmine

            All I can do is encourage behavior that isn’t so destructive. She will become what she is as she matures.
            I have “shown” her what I can, she looked at me like I had three heads when I did it, yet she understood. She trusts me in her way, I wish things were easier, my ex manipulate the boyfriend when it came to me.
            He is a Greater, seeing first hand how they can manipulate their own is fascinating, just wish it hadn’t been so close to home.

          7. Jasmine says:

            I understand twilight. My first husband is a greater and his cold and calculating behavior, even with his own child, is unfathomable. it’s infuriating, but I learned long ago not to bother with him. Concentrating on my kid is a better option

      2. Noname says:

        Ohh, I found you finally, girls. I looked for your discussion at wrong places all over this blog. Lol.

        The Narcy kids are very important and very interesting topic. I wrote my comment on “Decipher” book topic and I see it isn’t published yet. It is pretty long comment and I don’t have enough time to re-write it.

        Tudor, may I ask you to publish my comment here? Is it possible?

        Girls, I want to know your opinion about my comment, because you, like me, are mothers and understand the “whole matter”.

        Thank you all in advance.

  6. Samantha says:

    hg if a narcissist has two kids

    son – firstborn, golden child, mini me of narc, Mid range narc himself


    is the daughter likely to be a codependent or a narcissist? If there’s two kids do they usually both end up narcs or just one of them?

  7. Courtney says:

    HG – Do the victims that stay married for many years to a narcissist get discarded during their marriage or is the cycle just idealization, devaluation? It just seems like discards are inevitable yet I keep seeing all these narcs in life long marriages.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There may be no disengagement because there is no basis to do so.
      There may be disengagements and then the narcissist later returns but you as an outsider may not see this owing to facade management and the victim staying silent about what is happening.

      1. Twilight says:

        A disengagement would be an affair?

    2. Courtney,

      HG’s answer is correct.(of course!) In my case of being a longtime wife of an N, I was not discarded, at least from my viewpoint, because:
      1 He knew me well enough to push whichever of my buttons would get him the fuel he craved, either positive or negative.
      2. The maintenance of the facade.
      3. Benefits, such as home, money, labor, friends and family of yours to add to his fuel matrix.
      4. I now feel he “practiced” and “tested” on me, to enrich his skills of seduction, and devaluation, and manipulation. We met when we were both quite young.
      5. He considered me a possession. I should remain under his control, for his exclusive use.

      It’s not any kind of prize to stay married to a Narcissist, it’s a special kind of hell. As HG has told us many times, we don’t “have” them, but they do “have” us, whether spouse or not, til death do you part.

      Death is what it took to free me from him.

  8. 2,4 the Pinnacle effect, but applied slowly, 9,10,11,12.

    Have you ever heard of an N tricking someone into marriage?
    Mine agreed with we for 3 years that he never wanted to marry either.
    Then he says, “How would you like to go to Vegas? Your Dad is coming to visit and he wants to go.” I’d never been, and they made it sound like fun. In the meantime, he’s telling my Dad that we had secretly planned to elope.

    Next thing I knew, before we even get to a casino or a show, I’m extremely intoxicated, we are at the justice of the peace, I have no idea what is going on, I didn’t even say “I do”, but I walked out of there with a marriage certificate, and ball and chain.
    I can’t tell you how many clueless people thought that was romantic.

    Then the whining starts: “Why don’t you get your name changed to mine? Why don’t you want to share a bank account?”
    The stupidest thing that always got me, in spite of nagging doubts: “I trust you! Don’t you trust me?”

    And he has my Dad on his side, “Oh Blondie, It’s just what men want to feel they have their own family. Besides, it doesn’t hurt you any.”


    1. Perse, Queen of Hell says:

      I forgot that I just recently looked at that marriage certificate, I pulled it from the file folder, because I needed it for some claim. It was so worn from being handled, that some of the ink was gone in spots. WTH? I never looked at it again after I used it to get the name changed on my drivers license, and put it back in the file.

      Was looking at this some kind of fuel to him?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        No, he would not have known you were doing it.

        1. Sorry HG,
          I meant was HIS looking at it some kind of fuel.

          No other papers in that file were worn so much. We were using the birth certificates way more often than the marriage certificate, and they were in the same file along with vehicle titles, and such.
          Maybe he had some other more nefarious rather than legit use, IE pairing it with faked divorce papers just crossed mine mind as possible.
          Probably more likely than “gloating” or whatever he thinks, like “I always get my way” LOL

          1. HG Tudor says:

            If he looked at the marriage certificate it would not provide him with fuel but it would be a Hoover Trigger.

          2. Thank you, i had forgotten about that. He did have possession of the papers when I was gone.

    2. Jasmine says:

      That would suck. I didn’t think of that. It was brought up incessantly. Even in a Hoover! As if

  9. Not So Sad says:

    A friend of mine met a man in a night club & married him less than three months later.
    The wedding was a grand affair & cost her parents a small fortune, as soon as they’d tied the knot he moved her way from all of her friends & family, not long after she was pregnant .

    During their ” whirlwind romance” and before they’d even married he’d made several passes at me, indeed I’d stayed at her flat one night when he was there and woke up the next morning to find him in my room trying to get into bed with me .

    I did try to tell her she was making a massive mistake .

    They divorced a couple of years later. The thing was he’d asked me to dance first & I said No ………….

  10. RJ says:

    My ex narc dated, married, had kid with, then divorced the guy. He has an off shore job which left room for her fishing for fuel while he was away. Their total relationship may have been five years beginning to end. He is ensnared forever now because of the kid plus supplying her with money to boot. She had a kid with another guy before that so the dough and fuel is rolling in. I noticed post me that she picks marijuana and cigarette smokers as sources. I am gonna be conceited and say its a message to me saying ” I pick someone opposite you”. I have nothing against smokers at all, just an observation. Bought a house with another guy, then that relationship went south after five or so years. Sold the house and now living with her parents. Her parents will probably buy her another house or build one. Not glad it happened to the guys, as I know them but glad it wasn’t me. She is living all the events in the article. She is in her early 40’s now. This took place over the last 25 years. I am sure there is an article on the projection of how the next scenes are to play out as she ages. I’ll just keep my guard up avoiding the hoovers.

  11. Jasmine says:

    I’ve already been married to one psycho narc and a sadistic sociopath. No way I’m ever getting married again. Didn’t stop a narc from STILL trying to play this card. What’s up with that??

    1. geyserempath says:

      Yes, Jasmine, my is a Middle Lesser Victim…I don’t think he should ever be married unless his NIPS mom dies, then he will need a new primary source.

    2. geyserempath says:

      Yes, NarcAffair, you and I have similar situations. Mine told me he was set in his ways. He likes to friend up hot chicks on FB to see them stream through his feed and he won’t commit. I didn’t want my narc to find someone else because of the fear of losing him…but in reality, I never had him. Now shelved, it does hurt to be “just friends” while he romances the new IPSS. The Lesser Victim narcissists seem to have a hard time juggling secondary sources and therefore all his energy (which is low) is being spent securing her into the fuel matrix at the moment and therefore I am shelved. HG: did I get that last part right?

  12. geyserempath says:

    I wanted to marry my narc and my friends asked if I was crazy…my narc is one of the rare breeds that not only has never married, but has never lived with a woman!!!! Can you believe it?

    1. narc affair says:

      Geyserempath…neither has my narc.

      1. geyserempath says:

        NarcAffair-it’s scary how alike our narcs are! Mine is in his fifties and lives with his parents..his mom is his NIPS so he has no need to marry.

        1. Jasmine says:

          GE, is yours a victim narc too? Mine is (close in age), and has moved back in with his parents. I was foolish enough to let him move in with me. They are better left where they are, imho

      2. narc affair says:

        Hi geyserempath…they do seem very alike except my narc would never move in with family. Hes extremely independant. He visits family but doesnt stay long. He likes being on his own. He just turned 61 so hes pretty set in his ways. In a dysfunctional way im happy hes like this. It stems from the codependancy and not wanting to lose him.
        Im pretty sure he has many secondary sources like your narc. I can feel your pain at being shelved.

  13. Mb says:

    I can attest to this. It is a surreal nightmare to divorce post escape. Never ever been more miserable.

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