Dirty Little Secret


Sometimes it is not all Relationship Bulletins, declarations to the world about you and me or announcements across the fabric of social media about our perfect love. Sometimes you are the dirty little secret.

This is never the title afforded to the primary source that we have chosen. It is those who are  secondary sources who find themselves labelled in this way.

Do you have a friend who makes demands of your time, often calls you and ensures that you give up your time so he or she is able to tell you all about what they have been doing, obtain your advice and uses you as a sounding board? Does this person tell you all about the brilliant weekend or she has just had with a group of other friends at some weekend away or at a concert but somehow no invitation came your way? Do you perhaps politely and subtly ask whether you can attend some forthcoming event which this friend is enthusiastically telling you about, maybe even gloating about how brilliant it will be, but this friend shows all of the perception of a plank of wood and never picks up on your hints? Even if they do or perhaps if you are more forceful as you ask whether you can attend or you point out how you never get invited along, are you met with comments such as:-

“Yes, I know you would have loved to have come but I didn’t organise it, John did and it is his fault he didn’t ask you.”

“I didn’t think it was your kind of thing.”

“There was only a few places available but I will make sure you can come to the next one.”(Of course this never transpires)

“I thought you hated rock music. I am sure you told me that you did.”

“I have been so busy I must have forgotten to ask you.”

“I did ask you and you said no.Dont you remember?”

(Of course this is a lie.)

These people are our inner circle. The select few who are our guardians of our reputations, loyal lieutenants and brainwashed and indoctrinated to fawn over us, carry out our demands and provide us with fuel and you are not in the inner circle.

In fact, the inner circle does not ever know about you. When we spend time with you, we string you along with future-faking, we allow you to bask in our greatness and at first it feels good to have such an interesting, charismatic and seemingly attentive friend. You may attract the label of friend and you sit in the outer circle but you are a dirty secret secondary source. We do not want our inner circle to know about you because whilst you serve an excellent purpose in providing us with fuel, your enthusiasm when we tell you with a moment’s notice that we are coming to visit is just the tip of the fuel berg. We know you are loyal, dependable and faithful. We know you will provide us with the fuel that we need and you above everybody else will be the go to person when fuel stocks are running low. Whether it is 3am call or an appearance on a wet and windy Monday evening in winter, you always welcome us in, always take the call and you always oblige. We do make you feel special, trotting out the easy to mouth platitudes about how much we like being with you, how we enjoy your company, how it is good to know that we can depend on you but this is just to keep you sweet and functioning. The reality is we do not want other people knowing about you because you do not fit with our idea of how our life looks. You might not be as good looking as we would prefer, you might not shine in a group, or you are apt to saying unusual things which we feel would make us look less impressive in front of our all important facade. No, you are kept in the background, used but rarely abused because you are the long-serving indentured servant of the narcissist. The loyal hound that sits in the corner of the kitchen, always ready to wag your tail for us but too old and unappealing to be paraded at the show. This is the role of a dirty secret secondary source.

There is also the Dirty Secret Intimate Partner  Secondary Source (“DSIPSS”). You were seduced and made into a secondary source and within the blind of an eye you were bedded and the platitudes of love and dedication came pouring forth in order to secure your loyalty. There are those who are earmarked for promotion to primary source, they are destined for better things so long as they come up to proof with regard to the provision of fuel, character traits and residual benefits. Those who are on the fast-track to being installed as the primary source can expect to meet our children, meet our families and our friends, be paraded and attend certain events with us, all at the humiliating cost to the currently devalued primary source who is on their way out, all being well with the seduction of this Intimate Partner Secondary Source. The future is rosy for this person.

The DSIPSS , at the outset, is never considered for promotion. Words may be whispered to that effect but they are just false promises, more future faking and the crumbs of comfort which are scattered to stop you foraging elsewhere. When we allocate you the role of dirty secret next to nobody knows about you.

Whereas the IPSS who is in waiting for the top role may find themselves being picked up and put down, with intervals of silence in between the weekend hook-ups, as we test that person to gauge their suitability for promotion, it is a different story for the dirty secret.

The dirty secret actually may well see quite a lot of us. in the backs of cars, in seedy motel rooms, in the back of the warehouse, the disabled toilet, the alley behind the house and such like. You are never to be seen by our family, our friends or even our colleagues. You remain hidden because your presence will offend our facade. We are the dedicated family man and thus we cannot be seen hanging out the back of you down some leafy lane at dusk. We are the champion of morals in our local community and it would not be the done thing for us to be know to be engaging in the debauchery that we insist on when we are with you. The primary source may well be devalued but we do not want them to be sullied by the knowledge of the filthy whore that have twice a week. You are a pit stop for a delicious injection of fuel. That snatched two drinks in an out of town bar where you had to sit and wait for two hours before we showed up? You are a dirty secret. Never allowed to call or message us before we have contacted you first? You are a dirty secret. Never allowed to meet our friends? You are a dirty secret. We wish to portray an image and you do not fit with that image but you are a potent bundle of fuel, dedicated and desperate, always hanging on for that stolen hour in bed together, the occasional afternoon when we pretend to work to have a meeting in the next state or county. You live for those moments because in that instant we make you feel wonderful, we focus on you, we give you the best sex, the excitement and the promises, oh the promises of what could be yours.

The future faking with an IPSS is born out of being torn between not wanting to lose a good source of fuel and the potential this IPSS has to perhaps become a primary source at some juncture. We do not want to lose that, thus we keep the IPSS hanging on as I described in the article ‘What Am I To Him?’ It is a different set-up for the DSIPSS. You were not initially selected for potential promotion. You were selected because you are a dependable, reliable turbo-boost of fuel and when we demand it, you always provide it. Why would we ever let that go? We would not.

Like the friend who is the dirty little secret above, you are the same but with you comes the intimacy. you are the recipient of our oft-spewed sugary charms and in receipt of our desire to use you for sex and the provision of fuel. We rarely take you anywhere, for fear of detection and our engagements are covert, hurried and secretive, yet this adds to our charm, our mystery and you find it as addictive as we do. It is only when we are going and you wonder what we are doing and who with, that you are left to rue the emptiness and the loneliness. You want to provide us with what you think we need, to allow your goodness to shine for us, but we will never let you do so, not outside of those hotel walls where we meet every Thursday evening.

Unfortunately for you, you do not fit in with the image we wish to convey to the world. You do not fit with what we wish to show. If we ever saw you, by chance, when we are out with our facade, be that family, friends or colleagues, we would ignore you and pretend we did not know you. Of course, later that day we would lay on the charm to excuse our behaviour because we do not want to let you go either. You are a brilliant stick on emergency fuel patch. You provide fuel and you remain hanging on, waiting for the day that you hopefully emerge blinking into the light of the golden period for the primary source.

That is never going to happen directly and at the outset of your allocation to this role.  Not that we will admit it to you.

Stay in that dark corner and wait for our call.

You are a dirty little secret.

44 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secret

  1. wounded says:

    Your stories are so much like my friends. She did everything for him. And in return he emotionally abused her. The worst part about this kind of abuse is it seems so unbeliavable yet is heart breakingly true.

    I was being seduced for DLS not having any clue what was going on. I began as an NISS college and was slowly drawn in. I do not have the horror stories so many of you have in part because in order to save my marriage I had to escape and I was still in seduction period as it was. I wonder if it is because of that that I am having a hard time moving on. I am still in disbelief that this all happened.

  2. Supernova DE says:

    In my case we are both married so being the DLS was pretty much exactly what I wanted. I believe my narc has/had only DLS, no IPSS that were visible to friends/family, His façade is too precarious given his job and position in his community. I also got the feeling that open infidelity is the one thing his IPPS would escape for.
    So the DLS position can be desirable to the empath at times. The problem is when they change your role, try to promote you when you don’t want to be, or shelve you when you don’t want to be. Then, when you are disobedient and balk at your lack of control, you get the devaluations just like everybody else. And round and round you go on the merry go round of narcworld.

  3. Missy says:

    I’m a DLS. I asked him a few years back if he ever told anyone about me. His reply: No…you don’t exist. I think this is the most painful thing anyone has ever said to me. And still, I stayed, thinking one day he would validate me to the world. But now I understand. Introducing me to everyone would shatter the false image he portrays – loyal, family man, church every Sunday. Pillar of the community. I want everyone to know about me and at the same time I just want to crawl into a hole and disappear forever. It’s horrible being the DLS. How do you heal when you aren’t allowed to speak of any of it? This site is so helpful.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am pleased you find my work helpful.

    2. Insatiable Learner says:

      Hi Missy, I felt compelled to respond to you and offer my support. I too was a DLS so I was never a part of the narc’s world even though I knew about it. Like you, I do not have anyone I could share with because of the secretive nature of it. Nobody in my life knows. The way you begin your healing is by coming here and telling your story, reading and educating yourself, as you are already doing, if you can, schedule a consult with HG as you will find it very validating. You can find a lot of support, understanding and encouragement here. You are safe here. As you read and grow in your understanding, focus on self-care, and get away and stay away from the narc, you will start making progress in your healing which will further empower you. You can do this. We are here to help and walk with you. You exist, you matter, you are valuable, you deserve being loved, acknowledged, heard, and cared for.

      1. Missy says:

        These are the kindest, most caring words I’ve heard in a very long time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I absolutely plan on staying away. HG has provided much needed clarity. My soul is blackened but there is no way he will win this game with me.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Insatiable Learner and her lovely words and excellent advice to you are a great example of the support you can expect and will receive here, along with the very best information. Welcome.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        Missy, I am very glad my words touched your heart.
        NA, thank you!

      3. Caroline says:

        Well said, Insatiable Learner. You’re a treasure.

      4. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thanks so much, Caroline! This is so precious of you to say! You made my heart smile.

    3. amanda SNapchat says:

      escape. Act as i f he never existed in your life. You learned from the experience. Act like he doesn’t exist. that will hurt him and you win 😀

  4. S says:


    What is the diffrence between “Dirty little secret” AND “Shelf IPPS” ?

    Many thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:

      One is hidden, the other is not.

      1. SMH says:

        I am confused, HG. I must be missing something but wouldn’t an IPSS (shelf or candidate) always be hidden if the narc has an IPPS and is a ‘family man’? Most married men do not trot their mistresses out and introduce them to their friends or their kids or their parents. Most married men, especially if they lead an otherwise quite conventional life, do not have the chance to take their mistress out for dinner and a movie, or wisk her away for a romantic weekend. How does that make the IPSS a DLS? Or is the IPSS always also a DLS if the narc has an IPPS? I was an IPSS and I didn’t feel like a DLS or degraded in that way at all. It didn’t feel like he was embarassed to be with me. Au contraire. But I never expected to be invited to his house for dinner or meet his parents or best friends. And of course if we ever saw each other in public (never happened) we would have ignored each other. It was an affair after all.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There may be no IPPS and one or more shelf IPSSs and this is not hidden to family and friends. Sometimes with an IPPS in place the narcissist will flaunt an IPSS Shelf to the IPPS (triangulation as part of devaluation) and/or in front of family and friends. Sometimes they will be kept hidden from the IPPS and family and friends but they are not tucked away like a DLS.

          1. SMH says:

            OK I get it. I must have been assuming that there was always an IPPS with an IPSS (or IPSSs) in place because my model is married man/mistress. I see now that the narc might have one or many IPSS, with one or more a DLS, with no IPPS at all. Mine was very careful in part because my kid was in school with one of his (he doesn’t know this and neither do they, but they have 25 FB friends in common – hahaha. I am the one who kept that secret). Thank you.

  5. analise13 says:

    Do married narcissists have more DLS ?
    And are most DLS, also Dirty Empaths?
    This is a sad designation.
    Mine moved on to his DLS.
    She was promoted.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. analise13 says:

        Thank you HG, for your answers.

  6. Mia Grey says:

    HG I didn’t know what I was until I listened to this video. You described him and our almost 3 years of being with one another. So many things have clicked into place. Him being late all the time, making me.wait at the door forever after ringing doorbell, being quiet when his Dad calls, and the the things he has said to me. He has told me “You will never know me really.”, “I am a private person and you nor anyone else needs to know my business.”, “I know you hope we will but we will never have a relationship.” And even thou those statements were hurtful to me I always went running to his house when he called because the sex was amazing, we had fun, and it felt like we were in our own world together. He did take me to dinner, to a store, and I did meet 2 of his friends about 6 months into it but haven’t seen them since. He once took me to his auntie’s house to pick up something but I had to stay in car. And he has only told me real things when he was deunk or high. Over our time he left me and has come back multiple times in the past and appologized. One time he told me he realized “he couldn’t be without me.” I know everything he has said to me now has been lies now, but HG why if I am the dirty little secret with no chance of moving up does he keep coming back instead of just getting another booty call? Have no idea if it is finally over this time because he has come back other times when he has discarded me but this time it was after a night of amazing sex which he was one person for then he flipped and became very cold telling me to make sure I got all my stuff before I left, talking down to me, and making me cry as I asked him “Why do you have to be such an asshole, I’ll see myself out.” And as I turned to go out he had an evil smile I had never seen before that way quite creepy, but I just said no more and stormed out. I haven’t heard from him.

    1. MB says:

      Mia, Sex really is a powerful weapon in their manipulative hands. If it hadn’t been for that, I bet you wouldn’t have put up with that behavior for as long as you did. My best friend told me, “Good sex will make a woman do crazy things.” She is sooooo correct!

      1. Mia Grey says:

        Yes, amazing sex will make you do crazy things. I’m doing ok, understanding more and more as I read and listen to HG. But I’m so addicted to him it’s crazy. Knowing what I know when i didn’t hear from within a few days I called his phone and he has changed his number. He has had that number since before I knew him. I’ve looked on al his social media and nothing, I even dropped by a letter 1st week and a note the 2nd week. No response. I can assume from HG videos he has found someone else or he is using his new found Christianity to get fuel and there will not be hoover unless it doesn’t work out so he thinks he can come back to me. I’m hoping by the time that may happen I will be fully armed with knowledge and strong enough to withstand it and ignore him.

        1. MB says:

          Mia, There WILL be hoovers in due course. Use this time to read, understand, and heal. You have found The. Best. Place. For the information you require and it sounds like you found it just in time for it to be the most help.

          You are correct. It’s time to get “fully armed”. . . Weaponized at Tudor U.
          *picks up pom poms* Go Tudorites!

    2. Kiki says:

      Hi Mia

      I’m reading your story and I can relate to you so much.I can feel your pain.
      It is that very thought will they be back that is the thing you need to look at.
      I am in the same position and I don’t want to sound patronising .
      Will they come back ,will he Hoover me , will he want me again ,I’ve figured it’s these very thoughts that have us stuck emotionally and mentally.Believe me I understand ,I’m still suffering a very powerful omnipresence that I detest.
      We are looking for validation that we are ok ,desirable again , to rid the feelings of rejection.
      If you truly think about him I bet your feelings about the rejection ,devaluation are far more powerful than your attraction to him.
      Flip your thinking and just sit with those feelings ,he won’t soothe them only you can.


      1. Mia Grey says:

        Thank you kiki

  7. Presque Vu says:

    Hell no!!

    Reminded me of the prostitute Christie – Patrick picks up in American Pyscho.
    ‘Eat it Sabrina’ .. degraded for kicks.
    But Christie is his dirty little secret that he eventually beheads and keeps in the fridge to feast on later yummy yum.

    1. Clarece says:

      I think the DLS gets to witness the most vile and sadistic side of the Narc hence why she stays in that position. It makes it easier for the Narc to maintain his wholesome, appropriate facade to function through the world and have that outlet at his fingertips whenever the need strikes. It’s maintained with intermittent reinforcement, love crumbs, and constantly feeding the addiction created to the Narc. The DLS thinks she is allowing him to be his true self and will someday get rewarded for that. A truly demoralizing experience.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Hello, Clarece. Perhaps, you are describing your experience but my experience as a DLS was not this way at all. The narc did not display vile behaviors, was polite, friendly, complimentary, and never did anything perverse. Perhaps, this is why my struggle has been so strong because had he done or attempted to do something vile or perverse, it would have been a big turn off and repulsive for me. I am not saying a DLS is a great position to be in, it is not, but I just wanted to point out generalizations are rarely, if ever, accurate. I do agree the experience is still demoralizing for other reasons.

        1. Clarece says:

          Sure, it’s all about perceptions. I’ve also associated when HG has written about the men who have the stepford wives and keep a respectable front with them for the sake of the facade and have their secondary sources on the side who are many times their dirty little secrets, it is those sources these men can expose a completely different side. Your Narc probably doesn’t have a sadistic streak. The caliber of the person and where they lie on the spectrum obviously affects this.
          Like you said, at the end of the day, being a DLS is not a good thing. Over time it is completely demoralizing and dehumanizing.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Dont you think that depends more on the desired outcome of the empath? If an empath is married, or single and doesnt want a permanent monogamous relationship and only wants the narc for fun/sex, that designation is not viewed as vile, as opposed to someone who is looking for it to evolve into something deeper, and being denied it and being hidden and excluded from the narcs life/friends makes the designation dirty or vile?

          2. Clarece says:

            I was also thinking along the lines of deviant sexual behavior that the Narc may not get to “try” out with the main IPPS and uses that as leverage over the DLS with her thinking if she keeps jumping thru those hoops she will finally get to stop auditioning and be cast in the role of IPPS.
            Without going into specifics, JN took my innermost desire used that as leverage to ask for other bedroom behavior while promising he would come through on where I wanted to see the relationship headed. And then never coming through. It would then be heatedly communicated that he was crossing boundaries. So I’m not just referring to good ol’ hot monkey sex between two people. Don’t forget, they are mirroring our desires to us so we think we are on a mutual playing field.

      2. Em says:

        Clarence so true. I was a DLS in terms of people not knowing about us But I didn’t know he had an IPPS. Shocking.
        But he did disclose his character with quotes like like ‘I’m not able to love’, ´nothing is ever enough’ and he ‘compartmentalises’ so although I got lied to big time and the devaluation was very sadistic he did actually disclose some of himself. But lies to thé IPPS by telling her he loves her. Now that’s sadistic.

        1. Clarece says:

          Yes, there is the side too of the ongoing, bold faced lies and manipulation to the primary significant other. So even if he’s polite and not displaying any nasty behavior to you, how about that it’s vile to the main partner…

          1. Em says:

            Definitely vile to us both just not overt. Triangulation manipulation devaluation.

          2. Em says:

            Oh absolutely Clarece the whole thing is vile. He’s a snake an chameleon a predator. He’s now lying at work to get himself out of the trouble he created.

      3. Missy says:

        I completely agree. Mine awakened a side of me I never knew existed and was so delighted to have me at will. But eventually he realized there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him and it wasn’t fun to him anymore. All I wanted was to be controlled, and I think it threw him off his game. Throughout the whole ordeal he would say things like, I have a dark side, or You have no idea what I’m capable of. And I would sit there and beg for more. As a DLS I allowed him to explore his sadistic side safely, and I always thought I would at some point be promoted for my efforts but he got bored with me and disappeared. I’m angry he awakened this side of me, and terrified I’ll never find anyone who will be able to make me feel the way he did ever again. I feel so dead inside now. I gave away every last ounce of respect and dignity I ever had. Meanwhile he is sitting in the front row at church. What a hypocrite .

        1. Clarece says:

          Very relatable. Very raw. Very painful. It’s very difficult wrapping your brain around that what you thought was mutual exploration and adventure with someone that made you unique to them wasn’t that at all. And now it’s sad to me though, knowing I am very capable and still have that adventurous side that with the right person can still be an amazing experience and here I sit in limbo just getting to remember this horrid experience.

      4. Insatiable Learner says:

        Clarece, I am sorry about all you went through with JN, all the false promises, and disappointments. I know it must have been agonizing and heartbreaking. It was for me. Still struggling day to day, feeling strong and then suddenly my heart starts to ache again. Just like it was a roller coaster of emotions with the narc, it is a roller coaster post-narc while trying to heal. Hope you are feeling better.

        1. Clarece says:

          Hi IL. Thank you for your kind words. Obviously no two Narcs are alike so we have some parallels and some differences in what our relationships were. I appreciate what you wrote.
          What’s funny, out of this over the last 4 years is my aversion now to the word “sorry”, no matter who says it or what context. I never knew anyone who said “sorry” to me so many times as JN and have it mean absolutely nothing. I’m actually replacing that word whenever possible and find myself teaching my daughter to use other phrases in place of sorry. I’ve come to find that word cringe-worthy. lol For instance if my daughter bumps into me walking around in a store or whatever, she’ll immediately say “sorry Mom”. I’ve started correcting her (nicely of course) and say “don’t be sorry, just say ‘are you okay, I did not mean to do that.” Just one of the by-products of this experience. Don’t be sorry. Just fix what you did. haha

      5. amanda SNapchat says:

        I really the term demoralizing. that is exactly what narcs do.

      6. Mia Grey says:

        I agree. I had in the past told myself that when I had got glimpses of what I know now as the Narc him in and out of the bedroom. I think some of his behaviors that were ruff were labeled as kinky sex but was a way for him to get out frustration or whatever in an accepted controlled way I guess. But sometimes it was painful.

  8. Kiki says:

    Such a painful but sobering article.
    Makes me feel queasy but the best medicine can do that.
    Thanks HG

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