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.

20 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secret

  1. mommypino says:

    I have read this article before and I remember being sad because I realized that I have been a DLS by someone whom I cared about.

    When I was in college I attended this leadership forum organized by this guy that now I am diagnosing as a cerebral narc. He was about 3 years younger than me but looks so much older, I think because he smokes and drinks too much alcohol. He had been friendly to me and corresponded to me through Friendster. He showed me his website full of poems that he wrote. He tried to ask me out a few times but I couldn’t go out with him because my matrinarc did not allow me to have male friends and go on dates.

    I was 26 when I was in the middle of processing my US citizenship and I was living with my matrinarc which is normal in the Phils. I was still not allowed to date but I have decided to take him up on his offer because if I migrate to the US, many people might find it weird that I have never been on a date at my age so I thought for experience I will go out with him, he’s a gentleman, funny, cultures, and handsome so I knew that I will enjoy his company and learn a lot from him.

    He is from a wealthy family so he took me to this top notch five star hotel for our first date. I was lookibg forward to dancing with him but he took me to this restaurant where we could watch people in the dance floor as we drink. He made it sound like it was exclusive and cool to be like a god watching everybody. He didn’t let me pay for anything and told me I can order as many drinks as I want. But I didn’t want to get drunk because I lied to my matrinarc so I can go out with him. I told her that I was doing overtime at work so it will be really obvious that I lied if I came home drunk.
    He drove me home but he was too scared to get near my place because I lived in a bad area and he was scared of getting mugged. So I walked about two blocks to go home each night that we went out. He sent me poems with romantic words that didn’t really make sense every night at around 2-3am. I started waiting for them every night like little treats. He also introduced me to his favorite music. We went out for a total of four fancy dates before I got my US citizenship. He disn’t seem happy when I told him that I am leaving to be with my dad. He was inviting me to go with him in his business trip out of the country when I broke the news to him. I didn’t get any texts or emails from him after that until I left the country.

    The reason that I think that i was a DLS was because he never introduced me to anyone and it seemed like whenever he saw someone that he knew he took me away to go to a different place. Also, his little brother was really nice to me during the leadership forum but it looks like he didn’t even know that I went out with his big brother.

  2. SB says:


    How about the narcissist who keeps all his relationships a secret? The only one that is public is his relationship with his wife. Other relationships are all hidden and those who are involved are treated the same in terms of adding them into social media or academic profiles.

    At the end, he denies any personal relationships with them and admit only the working relationship be it a colleague/ a student/ etc. . .

    There might be two reasons:

    – He is a coward and a jerk.
    – OR, he is doing this to protect his position at work.

    What do you think?

  3. Fuel on the Shelf says:

    “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.”

    Okay. Last night I commented on the other article about how you know everything right down to the last detail, specifically “conversing with the ghost of you” and rereading your biography on your work website.

    And now the “wet and windy Monday evening in Winter” reference? Last time I saw Piano Boy it was a wet and windy Monday evening. And it wasn’t quite winter but it was unseasonably chilly.

    I am convinced you are following me around, HG. The number of specific coincidences with what you write is starting to become too creepy for my comfort.


    1. Clarece says:

      Oh FOTS! You’re cracking me up. We have wet and windy Mondays in winter in IL too. This article first appeared in June 2017, I think. You can get un-creeped out. HG isn’t following you around. 😜

      1. Fuel on the Shelf says:

        Be that as it may I am still creeped out. I do recall reading the article before but I must have missed the “wet and windy Monday” reference.

        Many of HG’s other articles are also too close for comfort you know!

    2. Kathy Mor says:

      I must confess the same. The analogies. The article “let me take you on a trip”… some dreams that I have had..,, it is like…. HG reads my thoughts… sees me from inside out… sees what’s happening.

  4. Why??? says:

    Wow. This hurt so much, I feel like I’ve literally been stabbed with those words. He 100 percent used me and I confused it with love because he had me so wrapped up in it for years. I don’t think there is enough antidepressants in the world to get over that. I want to hurt him. I sit here with tears streaming down my face I just want to hurt him like he hurt me inside so badly. I feel so stupid. How could I not have known

    1. Mercy says:


      Oh how I hate this article because it brings out such strong emotions. Its an important one though. Facing the truth about how they view us is how we grow stronger. I’m so sorry you are hurting. I know it’s not alot of consultation right now but it WILL get better.

    2. Morning sun says:

      Why???, have you been taking ADs for long? It takes a while for them to kick in, and even if a particular kind and dosage has worked well up to a point, it might require a tweak if you’re under additional emotional stress. Besides, ADs are really there to take the edge off and prevent us from riding the negative thought spiral rollercoaster. They’re not intended to make all unpleasant emotions go away. In a case like this, therapy is a good addition to ADs. Writing about how you feel here also works wonders, try it.

      Maybe it could help you to think of him as mentally disordered? It’s not like narcs one day randomly decide “oh, I want to become a narc and hurt people”. It’s built into their psychological make-up from childhood onwards, sometimes even from birth.

      It could even help you to think of yourself as having a disorder that caused you to engage with the narc and stay with him. The point is – and I’m sure of this – we always (subconsciously) seek out that which we need to restore balance and harmony within ourselves, and every unsuccessful try is an opportunity to address our issues and find a more permanent solution.

      Count yourself lucky – you came to realise what love ISN’T, even though it may have seemed and felt like love. A lot of people remain ignorant and thus trapped in the love devotee cycle. Your pride may be hurt, but this is just a temporary inconvenience.

      That said, for now just allow your feelings to emerge and run their course – but don’t fuel him with them.

      1. Morning sun says:

        Also, there is nothing that hurts narcs more than to be reminded of their own insignificance, so going no contact is the absolutely best course of action.

        Of course, you could try hurting him on purpose, but I wouldn’t advise it until you’re completely calm and able to act in a cold and calculating manner – so unless you’re high in narcissistic qualities as well and have a Machiavellian streak, just don’t, you’ll only hurt yourself.

        Since narcs are masters of avoiding/deflecting hurt, though, you may never get to see him hurt. Can you live with that?

    3. Alexissmith2016 says:

      Why. Hard as it is, don’t take it personally. The use everyone they interact with. Whether that’s for sex or as HG terms it, other residual benefits. Everyone has a purpose to them, they use us all.

      Don’t dwell on the label HG has given it, it is just a label and HG does this not tonmake us hurt but to wake us up to the reality of what is going on.

      There is no need to hurt him, he will never exepreiwnce what you’re going through but he will have times when fuel is low and the best thing you can do to hurt him is to ignore him.

      Big cyber hugs, we’ve all been exactly where you are, it does get better I promise. Antidepressants will not take away what he had done but you can within yourself find the strength to get through this.

      You can find strength through not allowing Anyone to use you in the future.

      Hugest cyber hug to you xxx

    4. shesaw says:

      I am sorry you hurt, Why. Very sorry. I know from experience that is does hurt so much. He used you to fix himself – but he can’t be fixed. So for him it is endless, and it will not stop unless you stop it.

      You are not stupid. If you had known, you wouldn’t have been in it. The good thing is that you found the blog. Absorb the knowledge, understand that NPD’s are very damaged people themselves, learn to stay out of their way, learn to heal yourself, learn about how and why you took the train with them anyway. It is not stupidity. Definitely not.

    5. Clarece says:

      Hello Why???
      I had a very similar, visceral reaction to this article the first time HG posted it in June 2017 (or around then). It’s hard for me to go back to even read what I wrote then.
      You weren’t able to see it because it is just simply not how you operate or would treat another person you loved.
      One thing I learned through learning here and other resources is something I did called Complimentary Projecting where I naturally assume that the people I let in close to my life, I’m doing because I feel we have the same core values as common ground. A true narcissist can mimic those core values but change on a dime when you don’t suit their needs anymore. Before finding HG, I assumed the 2-1/2 years that JN played push / pull games with me and would keep resurfacing after going silent for weeks at a time was because he genuinely cared and felt a connection for me. That’s because if I KEPT repeatedly getting in touch with someone again and again it would be because I still loved them. Nope. These people will do it for completely different reasons. JN kept me a secret for about 3 years from family and friends as like his little Genie in a Bottle to take out and play with once a month. I was completely compartmentalized by him.
      I was still very raw when I first read this. I can say 18 months later (which probably sounds like a lifetime away), it doesn’t sting quite as bad. I can still be triggered easy but I am no longer beating myself up and feel much more peaceful. Time and distance from the relationship will help. You’ll get there. Your core values are good and you have to take stock of the good things that have happened to you because of who you are and not let this relationship define you. It’s a process.

  5. WiserNow says:

    Speaking of dirty little secrets, in a remotely related sense, it reminded me that I read in the news that Chris Watts was recently sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Shannan and two young daughters. He pleaded guilty to strangling the three of them in a bid to avoid the death penalty. His reason for killing them, he said, was to make a fresh start and a new life for himself.

    While reading about the sentencing, I thought about HG’s article explaining why Chris Watts was most likely a narcissist. It’s interesting to now see the “facts” unfolding about the case, and compare them with HG’s assertions as well as commenters’ speculations.

    It’s incredible that narcissists feel entitled to the point where they believe they can get away with literally “discarding” the “appliances” they no longer want to be associated intimately with. That is delusion to the highest degree.

    1. Anm says:

      … also, the Meghan Markle rumors that she is difficult with everyone. Everyone thought she was so amazing, and HG called her out as a Narcissist

    2. Clarece says:

      Hi WiserNow!

      There have been lots of article updates on Chris Watts following his sentencing. An excerpt from a new article in People magazine, reads,
      “While Watts was having an affair, Shanann was desperately trying to salvage their relationship by pleading with him to be less distant and giving him books on self-help and relationship counseling, according to prosecutors and more than 2,000 pages of documents released by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office after Watts’ sentencing.
      But Watts had mentally checked out of the marriage and ignored Shanann, prosecutors said, even throwing one of the books in the garbage.”
      The article says Chris checked out of the marriage when he started his affair with the co-worker in July 2018. It only took one month for him to get driven to commit murder. I know he also had the affair with another male from a dating app for about 10 months, so he clearly was hiding a lot for quite some time.
      I also read another article that talked about a text conversation Shanann had with her best friend the week before the murder with her sharing that she was very scared that Chris didn’t love her anymore. Over a period of a few weeks, he stopped all affection and would not hug or kiss or or barely talk to her. It just seems he was quietly unhappy, bored and restless for so long but really did a good job of continuing to act doting towards her and fool her. Apparently the affair really triggered him into action.

      1. WiserNow says:

        Hi Clarece,

        Thank you for your comment. It’s chilling to hear the underlying motives of Chris Watts and how they drove him to murder. It sounds like he planned what he did to some extent, which is horrific. He must have been bored and irritated with his family life to the point that he wanted them “gone” to make way for the affair he was having. It just shows that whatever Shanann tried to do, whether it was to give him self-help books, or improve the family finances, or try to make a “hero” out of him on social media, simply would not have had any effect. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying as well.

        When I think about what Chris Watts did to his wife and his own children, I find it an absolutely foreign concept that anyone could do that. It makes me think that having a conscience and having the ability to love makes an immensely profound difference to the way someone’s personality and thought processes unfold. Why couldn’t he admit to her that he felt unhappy or unfulfilled and say that he wanted a separation or divorce? How on earth did he think his actions would somehow magically not be discovered and not lead him straight to prison? How could he take care of and hear his little girls calling him a hero one day and then strangle them the next? It’s mind-blowing.

        It sounds far-fetched but sometimes I think human beings should be split up into different kinds of species. Those without a conscience and with no ability for compassion should be tested somehow and officially classed as a different species so that they are known and instantly recognisable as different from humans with a conscience. Maybe one day it will be possible.

        1. Clarece says:

          WiserNow! I’m right there with ya on your feelings and questions about Chris Watts. It wasn’t enough to walk away from his family if he wasn’t happy. He clearly wanted nothing to do with any of them once he decided he wanted a fresh start with someone new. Couldn’t be bothered or bogged down with a divorce, court hearings, dividing assets, custody arrangement, paying child support, co-parenting, etc. Nope. He was done with them and even more evil, the fact his wife was carrying their first son…meant absolutely nothing.
          I think that is why there is such a fascination and strong interest with this story. I’m sure Lifetime Channel and /or I.D. Discovery will be getting a documentary going at some point.

          1. WiserNow says:


            Yes, the fact that Chris Watts had a family and was responsible for two young children and another baby on the way, meant nothing. They were in his way and he wanted them gone.

            It would be interesting to watch a documentary about him. It would be good if the would-be documentary-makers had a good knowledge about narcissism and psychopathy and explained his actions through that lens. It reminds me of the OJ Simpson documentary and other shows I’ve seen about other real-life killers. These particular documentary makers were very good at explaining the external environmental, lifestyle and police/law factors and even the upbringing and family influences, but they didn’t really delve very deeply into the killer’s psyche and explain their actions from a personal psychological perspective.

            If someone makes a documentary about Chris Watts, it would be good if they could expand on the notion of having a conscience and compassion as opposed to not having them. Some of the documentaries I’ve seen are great at setting the scene but they make it look a bit like anyone in that position with that upbringing and those influences could have done something similar, which is not the case at all. It would help the general public become more educated about narcissism and its effects rather than make it look like a random event born out of child abuse or family dysfunction, or marriage incompatibility, or cheating, or social media, or something else ambiguous like that.

            Thanks again for your comments Clarece. It’s very interesting to chat to other like-minded people about this topic, and I find your comments about it in general to be very well-considered and engaging 🙂

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