To Have And To Hold
We marry. Sometimes we keep dangling the carrot of matrimony for the purposes of future-faking and keeping a primary source interested and working hard to keep our favour. Other times it happens quickly in that whirlwind of the narcissistic seduction for the purposes of ensuring that you are bound to us as tightly and quickly as possible so we have the comfort and satisfaction that you, as our wonderful new primary source, are firmly embedded and attached to us. A swift engagement with the wedding following hard on the heels. It is customary move of our kind to enter into a marriage. We give the appearance of being utterly devoted to you, smitten and with our love bombing and repeated protestations of love and desire it is little wonder that the victim readily says “yes” and has the engagement ring slipped on her finger and the planning for the wedding itself happens minutes later. Marriage is important to the narcissist. Not the actual institution, although we will make a great show of emphasising just how important it is, what it means to us and how we could not wait to get married. All good material for ensnaring the victim and maintaining the façade.
When that day comes, what goes through the mind of the narcissist when he or she is stood before the altar, in a registry office or atop a cliff overlooking the sea in a civil ceremony? What is the narcissist thinking about as the priest or registrar conducts the ceremony? What thoughts percolate through the mind of our kind with the guests all stood behind us, staring in rapt attention and admiration, smiles plastered across faces and the occasional tear trickling from the eye of the emotional onlooker? What are we considering as the hymns are sung, the readings are read and the service proceeds? I shall endeavour to tell you, from the perspective of a male narcissist by reference to a traditional ceremony. Bride and groom are stood side by side, excited smiles exchanged and eventually the vows are reached.
“I HG Tudor, take you Victoria Tim, to be my lawfully wedded wife.”
I chose her. I chose her above all of the others. She looks amazing but then so she should, for me. I knew she would look so beautiful and all these people gathered here will be looking at her and thinking how beautiful she looks and how lucky I am to have married her. There was no luck involved of course. I planned this and it made perfect sense to marry so she is bound to me now. I don’t mind them all looking because although they might be looking at her, I chose her, so their admiration of her, is actually admiration of me. I am looking forward to walking down the aisle with her. So many faces and all looking at us. I can barely keep still as it is now, knowing that so many hundred pairs of eyes are fixed on my back, watching us. This is brilliant. I should get married every week. The whole day is about us, but I know it is all down to me. I chose her. I drew her to me. I am the one that created this wonderful union and I get to spend the entire day basking in the glorious attention and well-wishes of the congregation and wedding guests. Even more of them will turn up for the evening reception. So many guests, but that is what comes of being so popular. I wonder if the Predecessor Primary Source, what was her name again, Wendy, that’s it, I wonder if she turned up. She accepted the invitation. Not that Victoria knows she is a former girlfriend but the pained look and frozen smile that I am expecting from Wendy will give me an extra special boost.
“to have to hold”
Oh she is mine alright and I want to make her happy because then she will make me happy. I do think I have got it right this time. Everything seems so right about her. She lies everything that I like. She is so helpful and caring, I picked very carefully after the disappointment of the others, like Wendy and so on. I should have invited some of the others actually. That would have been very entertaining to see their faces when I walked down the aisle with my beautiful wife. My wife. Mine. She belongs to me alright and this time it is going to work. I am sure I have selected the right one. I have her and I will have her time and time again. I know how to delight her and she responds magnificently to my touch. Well, to be honest, they all usually do, but this one, more so than the others. Another reason I chose her. Yes, she is mine to have and I am always going to hold on to her. I treat her well. I really do. That’s because I adore her. There are so many reasons why I do. She is clever, she is witty, she is beautiful, she looks after me, she understands what I need. I know that to be the case. This is why I chose her and this is why I married her. You don’t let someone this good wriggle free, so I will indeed have her and hold her Mr Priest, I will hold on to her very tightly indeed.
“from this day forward, for better, for worse”
There will be plenty of better because that is what she and I are about. We fit together so perfectly. My soulmate. I deserve her and she is delighted to have me as her new husband, I know because she has talked of little else since the engagement. It was quick but so what, you snooze, you lose as the saying goes. Yes, lots of better, we are so fortunate to have what we have, more than most people, but then we are not the ordinary people. I know I have elevated her, but she has accepted that with good grace and enthusiasm, just as I thought she would. She will do as she is told. I was pleased she didn’t go in for that modern rubbish of excluding her vow to honour and obey. If she had resisted that, well, there would have been a problem. I know some couples both say it to one another but I am traditionalist. I wear the trousers. Of course I will honour her, she knows that, but I do not need to say it, besides, I decide what I do, not some vows. Don’t get me wrong, I intend to stick to them, but if something happens, well, I have to do what is right for me. I am hoping she keeps giving me what I need and that day does not come, but if she does mess up, I don’t think she will, but let’s just say for the sake of discussion and argument that she does mess up, well I will ensure I have other options. I mean, she will be a grade A idiot if she does that, after all, she is getting a great deal with me, but you can’t be a fool and rule it out. Not after what I have seen with the other ones. I do think she is different so fingers-crossed we will not have to go down that route. So, yes I intend to honour her. Obey? You can fuck that sky high! I do what I want. I am the doer, not the done too. Obey? Seriously? That one is for her and believe me she had better fucking comply with it or there will serious repercussions, but hey, I am getting ahead of myself here, I know she will, that is why I chose her. It is important that she does obey me because that way we stand the best chance of happiness and success. If she obeys me, which I know she will, I will keep her happy and not have to do what I have done with the others. Still, let’s not think about that on a day such as this. I don’t have to obey. She will. That is all that matters.
No problems there El Vicaro, I have wedge and so has she. That box is well and truly ticked. How much longer will this go on for? I think I will have a cheeky peek over my shoulder. That bridesmaid is rather tasty; Natasha isn’t it? Victoria’s friend from university. She is totally wanting some of me. There we are again, that little grin and the bite of the bottom lip. Oh yes. Well too bad Natasha, this isn’t your gig but if it does go tits up, not that it will, I will look you up, of that you can be assured.
Not going to happen so no concerns about that. Easy to agree with that one man of the cloth. Come on, when are we getting finished, I want to show off the vintage champagne that I bought. That will impress her old man. He loves that kind of thing. There he is, proud as punch that his girl has been chosen by HG here. Let’s give him a wink. He liked that, winked back. You wouldn’t be winking at me like that if you know what I am going to be doing to your daughter tonight. Hell yeah. Must have laughed then, I am getting a sideways glance from the soon-to-be Mrs HG, give her the smile. There we go, melting straight away. Easy.
“in sickness and in health”
Bollocks to that matey boy, who do you think I am? Some kind of fucking nursemaid? She gets ill she deals with it and anyway she can go and see the quacks, that’s why I pay private health insurance. Don’t expect me to be arsing around looking after her though, I have other things to get on with. Of course, it is a different proposition for me. I am in rude health, strong as an ox, fine mind and so on. I don’t get ill. Being ill is for the saps and the weaklings, but if I am hurt, I daresay with me it will be something pretty serious if it going to slow me down, then I know she will run around after me. After all, who wouldn’t. I am worth it.
“until death do us part.”
Absolutely right daddio. That’s the only way she is getting away from me, when either her or me shuffles off this mortal coil. This is for life.
42 thoughts on “To Have And To Hold”
I think marriage being viewed as some kind of pinnacle in life contributes greatly to the toll of victims. Dreaming about getting married like it will magically change people into novel worthy mates and lovers, and usually from a young age, although most of the attention I notice is placed on the “special day” and how everything will be viewed by others. If you love someone and want to spend the rest of your lives together why does there need to be a huge fuss, witnesses, and money spent (often more than can be afforded). Seems narcissistic in itself. Especially abhorrent are the parents expecting/forcing it on their children as though they will be nothing without succeeding in becoming legally coupled. There is plenty of evidence to support that marriage is yet another illusion.
The corruption of the Love Devotee Trait
I can just here you saying “Love devotee” and it makes me chuckle lol. I had never heard that. I don’t feel like one anymore honestly and it’s kind of a relief. It doesn’t feel bitter really. Just more like something I put in the attic in favor of better hobbies. Like more archery, trail runs, singing.
NA, I never dreamed that much about my big special day, honestly . But I am a Christian, I was raised in a normal family and I dreamed to have children. When I met Mr Narc I was delighted or I’d better say deluded that finally someone was not looking at me just as an eye candy or a trophy to parade with. Even my wedding dress was not the traditional wedding dress ( no, I didn’t get married in a leather pants and Docs ). At last for the wedding day ceremony we were on the same page – a small one instead big fat Eastern European wedding when you meet unknown relatives ( “Aaa, Claire, look at you now:) and I remembered you from your cousin X ‘s wedding when you were 1 year old and in the pram” , true story btw when I attended another wedding in my 20s) .
Nor I cared about the size and the carats of my engagement ring – who cares really how much it costs , I am not a parvenue and I won’t be .
Was I in love – yes . So when he proposed I accepted and we got married. Does marriage change anything – no, if there is a genuine love.
For me it shows maturity and commitment. It is another scenario when the Narc doesn’t show their true colours before putting the ring on it.
Thus, the vast number of victims.
Claire—I was a complete pain in the ass when I married. I don’t know how someone didn’t drown me. It was actually so stressful it sucked more than not. I actually had an anxiety attack that I may have a facial break out, pink eye,.. I wouldn’t repeat that anomaly for anything.
Lorelei, you were not alone in that experience:)! I was so fixed how to do my hair ( tick curly blonde unmanageable) as I was not happy with all trials at hairdressers, stressed about the traffic , etc so I ended up with a migraine attack after the ceremony. But to credit him, Mr Narc did his best ahem, to cure me afterwards, after sunset☺️
I think I get what you are getting at! I was a total diva. I’ve settled down much more quietly in my frail aging body.
C’mon Lorelei:), we are ageing like the wine:) . My narcs traits shined yesterday at the gym when few Millennials become exhausted and stopped during the class whilst I proudly continued with the strength workout. I felt obliged to continue on behalf of our Gen X:).
Yeah, I guess there is something relevant, a ceremony/maybe a feast, to mark new beginnings in a human’s life.
Like birth (a naming, or a baptism), death (a funeral ceremony), starting school, adolescence (some examination at school), maybe a prom to mark the beginning of university studies. And maybe celebrating the start of a new home, together with someone you want to live with, manifesting this to friends or family (housewarming party, or wedding, etc). I can understand human needs like that. Ceremonies to mark a new phase. And a love ceremony might be one of them. But only if both parties want it. Voluntary.
Exactly Cat b:). I mean I was not obsessed to get married just to have My special day:) it was a natural outcome in our relationship.
His mask broke and he showed his true colours later, like a belated wedding “present”
“Dreaming about getting married like it will magically change people into novel worthy mates and lovers, and usually from a young age, although most of the attention I notice is placed on the “special day” and how everything will be viewed by others”
I agree with you NarcAngel; that insistence on marriage as some lofty pinnacle to achieve is narcissistic and not necessarily realistic in this day and age.
I think that I must be an odd duck, because, from a young age I never understood the fascination with “the day” and “the dress”, etc. And I also learned very early, watching the couples and parents of friends around me – and especially my own family – that a piece of paper meant NOTHING if you were not committed to the other person. And I watched Disney and read fairy tales (not for the same reason as some maybe and certainly not because I was expecting “Prince Charming” to ride up and rescue me.) I’ve always been, mostly, a realist – and wanted a “life partner” who I could achieve things with in life – or alongside each other. That aspect of my personality didn’t save me from entanglement; my narcissist still managed to show me what I wanted/needed to see – enough to want a life with him.
But I do agree that the “picture perfect” fantasy of one’s future wedding and the money, time, and energy given in aim of this goal makes me want to gag.
I agree, NA. Having had one wedding and observing other’s weddings.
Mine was a small destination wedding. When it came time to pay the bill he said ” oh, I don’t have my wallet on me. Put it on your card and I’ll pay you half when we get home.” I’m still waiting…
He also tried to ask for gifts he had given to me during the marriage back when we were divorcing (wedding and engagement rings, Pearls, diamond studs, omega watch, etc.). His request was denied.
If I’m honest though, I’m most likely still a love devotee. I just have awareness now to look at it more objectively.
NA—I know I’m not fancying to race down an aisle again! I’d have to be chained and gagged but then they’d like that!
I agree NarcAngel!
All I want in life is to love, and be loved, by one person. Spend our lives and die together. That is heaven on earth.
But marriage is just a cultural convention. I’ve never cared. It means nothing.
NA—it’s not the pinnacle in life at all. Are you or have you been married?
I am not married now but have been with someone for over 30 years. I was married young for 6 years. I don’t believe either are narcissists. We were young and poor when we married so it was small and nothing fancy. I got talked into letting his family have their party since we would be together anyway (subtle pressure but pressure all the same). I never dreamed of the day or of how I would look in the dress or any of that when I was young. Then of course as soon as we were married the pressure started from everyone about when I would have a child. Society’s expectations seem never ending. That’s what I was referring to in my comment. Societal pressure and how from a young age it is ingrained in little princesses how they must find their prince and have this dress and perfect day. I worked with a woman who had a cartoon at her desk of a skeleton sitting on a bench with flowers. She said her father gave it to her in hopes that she wouldn’t reach her 50’s without being married (she was in her 40’s and had never had a long term relationship). Yup, she married at 49 (it appears so that she could say she was under 50 and so her father could witness it as he was in the early stages of Alzheimers). Also the mothers of the brides I worked with were a nightmare. It seemed to me they wanted THEIR special day or a do-over. In any case they were thriving on the attention.
NA, so you haven’t had a narc romantic relationship ( narcissism impacted you because of a familial narc)?
Sorry for the delay but I was not notified and just came across your question. My Stepfather was the one who had the most direct impact, but I did engage with other narcs in relationships that would be considered intimate, although there was no love involved. I have other narcs in my family and in my husband’s (I say husband but we are not married). Also workplace and social interactions with them but they were/are not so problematic (to me).
No worries on the delay. Thanks
Thanks NA. I can’t predict the future but marriage is incredibly unappealing. I took all the photos and put them in a box for my girls—it was a sham and I knew it even at the time. My capacity to deny red flags and tolerate poor behavior contributed to even going through with it. I’m grateful for the kids—I always wanted them desperately. I just didn’t want the behavior from a partner that was baffling, unsupportive, abusive, etc.
NA I totally had you pegged as someone in their 20s or 30s… no reason really I just do not know much about you or your personal life I suppose. Good for you for making a relationship last over 30 years. That’s no easy task.
As for societal pressure, yes, I felt it in my 20s very much so. I agree with you on a lot of those points. It’s funny how everyone wants a say in your life but doesn’t actually want to be all that involved in it… just judge from a distance. So as I get older I realize the only person I need to please… is myself. Not in a selfish way… just in a way that I no longer take other people’s opinions to heart so much.
I am 57. That is a great realization to have as opinions are just that (and often unsolicited). You can consider them, act on them, or dismiss them – it’s really up to you.
NA……you look marvelous darling!!!!!! Us old broads gotta stick together!!!! Hope all is well with you. And so so happy to see that you appear to have not offended anyone on the site lately. I got your back…if you do!
Old broad? I’m offended. You’re supposed to have my back if this happens. What is your next move?
Jk. I’m not offended at all. As far as people being offended by me and my messages/delivery? That’s on them and their sensitivities, and they are free to express it . I’ve been offended by plenty of pleasant words trickling off sugary tongues. Haven’t we all?
NA…I got your back and if old broad offended then you had better turn in your I have lived thru a narc card!!!!!
Amen to that. I feel the same way. Dont know if you have noticed but F*ck is my favorite word. I use it anywhere in a sentence I can fit it in. Mainly when I am pissed.
One thing I can honestly say about my N is he never got the honor of seeing me pissed.! Maybe I should unblock and show him….LOL (JK)
Stay tru to you.
I agree with your comment. The attention seems to be on the wedding day rather than choosing an appropriate compatible partner, or on the marriage itself and the necessary compromises needed to make it work long term.
Some people just want to be married, regardless of who they marry. They act as if being married is some fantasy dream state and being married gives them and their lives meaning and that being unmarried is somehow a negative reflection on a person.
Not everybody is suitable for or should be married. Still though, I believe in the institution and it has some merit. I think the problem is unrealistic expectations of the partner and marriage.
Yep, it is so different in terms of love and marriage between a normal person and a narc. A normal person truly believes they got married because it is a natural outcome of a committed relationship. A normal person would never stray their eyes on the groomsmen/ bridesmaids or other guests and thinking “ Mmm, Danny boy, you look so hot. Yeah, and you have 6 pack , let’s wait until the honeymoon is over , you sexy beast “
And a normal person who was sincere when they pledged their wedding vows would never cheat during the marriage, even in an awful one.
I’d have to beg to differ on your last point Bistra … all personality types cheat. Even empaths. HG has written an article entilted the dirty empath. If the cheating is a chronic issue.. I think that’s where the difference would be. But long term relationship are never black and white. And we can’t plan everything out In life. Cheating happens, I think it’s how it’s dealt with and what the intentions behind it are that make a difference.
Hi Empath007:) I stuffed up the other day when I posted the comment and put my real name instead my screen name. From my experience – I had my fair share of relationships before getting married and post divorce -short term, long term, other – you name it . I had plenty of opportunities to cheat during my marriage -yet I didn’t grab any. For eme cheating is a betrayal, simple . I know that the grass is always greener on the other side. And we change physically and mentally as we are ageing. Any long term relationship has ups and downs. When such a relationship is based on love and respect, both partners are one team and work together to overcome difficulties. It is easy to release the tension in someone else’s arms but it doesn’t solve the ongoing problems in your relationship; they are just swiped under the carpet. Of course one may find their long term partner boring, balding, wrinkled, fat, etc etc and start looking for someone new. And if you have enough dignity and self respect you won’t hurt your long term partner, you take the courage to talk to them and walk out rather then doing things behind their back. I have witnessed few couples going this way. I am well aware that many people cheat and even claim that it makes their long term relationship or marriage stronger but then what example you are giving to your children, what kind of role model are you?
I might close my eyes if I am married, we have children, he works hard, he had ONS just once and regrets – like the scenario that HG described in the article about divorcing a narcissist.
But I cannot buy the excuse “ oh , he /she is always busy , he/ she is always tired, we gave sex only once in a blue moon, etc” .
I have been there – during the devaluation periods with my ex . I was given discretely phone numbers at his work functions from his peers from his company. Despite my wedding ring.
I was approached by other men at work. I was tempted once, it was very strong attraction yet I didn’t pursue any extramarital affair . Nor because I am a saint . But I vowed to be faithful, I am a Christian ( although you won’t find me at the church every Sunday) and I had enough self respect and dignity to pursue an affair. There was also another thing – the other guy was married. Did I want to hurt indirectly his wife ? No, I did not want.
I love sport games only; not relationships one. Nor I need an ego boost how sexy , smart , ect I am in order to excuse my infidelity.
I am curious why a wealthy narcissist would choose someone with middle class earnings and no advantageous connections. Im certain they are a narcissist yet i cant find any real motivation as far as attainable benefits. I suspect them to be a greater which doesnt add up. Usually theyd be looking for money or something that would benefit them in some way.
I need more information to answer this and therefore recommend that you organise a consultation.
I’ve read this before but today I read it as if Alan B’Stard was narrating it.
Damn. This one was serious. Reminds me of the narc who promised marriage while jerking me around for nearly 10 years. SO grateful I didn’t marry his sorry ass. So happy for the freedom I have. It could have been bad. I wanted to have and hold him, but thank GOD it didn’t happen.
Tammy, if you don’t mind my asking, how did it finally end?
The last few years were on and off. During an off time, he was with someone new and she was living with him. They apparently broke up and in his desperation he came into my office (we worked at the same place) and told me how he was so sorry and he realized we should be together. He told me he was finally ready to get married, blah, blah, blah. I fell for it and within a week he was already changing. Within a couple more weeks he started a fight with me and then said it’s over. I found out later it’s because he was back with the other girl. That was the end for me. I was starting to figure out what he was all about. That was probably 5 years ago.
Thanks Tammy, sounds exactly like what mine has done to me, over and over and over again. Glad you escaped. I’m in the process now.
He dangled that matrimony carrot for almost 6 years! I can’t believe all the years I wasted on someone who was just pretending to be in a relationship with me but oh did it felt sooo real! Finding out you’ve really been dealing with a narcissist is like being told the last 6 years of your life was just a virtual reality relationship game you were playing and you have lost big time. Now gather up your things and head home empty handed.
For eight years ☹️
The hardest part has been grieving the life i thought i had and was going to have, not losing him. Good riddance to him.
So sorry, I know exactly how you feel. I am currently trying to wrap my head around the reality of what this whole lie was really about and grieving over that right now. It’s actually a blessing that I figured it all out finally because I think that has helped me disconnect from him much easier than in the past when I was just in a haze of confusion and false love. Four days no contact, so this is still very fresh for me but I swear I’m starting to feel better already.
Red flag, we were in counseling 6 months before the wedding, therapist citing power struggles, I wasn’t as cooperative as he’d expected, crying on the way to wedding knowing I was making a mistake but didn’t want to let people down. Omg what an idiot. More idiotic to think that divorce would get rid of him, and paying for it would make it faster and easier. WRONG.