Who do they marry?

The floozy my ex took up with after me is now proudly showing a picture of the two of them as her FB profile picture. His picture hasn't changed at all, nor has his relationship status from what I can see (I'm not able to view hers), so intellectually, I know that for all I know, she takes the relationship much more seriously than he does. On the other hand, I can't see him allowing her to plaster a picture of the two of them up for everyone to see if he wasn't serious about her, since I'd think that would put a damper on his creeping.

He made a big deal to me about not being ready to commit to anyone since he was still recovering from his divorce, yet here they are, less than a year later. It makes it very difficult for me to believe that he's a narcissist who will end up treating her badly, and very EASY for me to believe that he just didn't want to commit to me and she's different - they have more in common than he and I did (this is the truth), and she'll get the best of him.

Why do some narcissists marry? From what I can tell, mine is a plain old narcissist, not a sociopath as well, so it's not a matter of him wanting to appear "normal." And WHO do they marry? Is it the woman who will give him anything he wants and let him do his own thing? Is it someone nurturing and caring?

I would like to think that he left me because I wouldn't let him get away with stuff, and that he's with her because she does. Yet I never played the jealous lover, no matter how hard he tried to push those buttons with me (and believe me, he TRIED!) and I can't see her NOT playing that. And she seems so proud to be with him. I guess I'm just having trouble seeing where the trouble in paradise might be. I was doing great until I saw the two of them together - I'd thought they split up a long time ago, but they're closer than ever. Could he really, truly be happy with her?

Nemesis's picture

They may get married to someone if they have something that they want long term, e.g. money, possessions, status etc. But marriage means nothing to them. It is not a committment as far as the narc is concerned - they only go through with it in order to tie the person to them. They may be married to someone but that doesn't mean that they are faithful, or that they will treat that person any better than they treated you. xxx
ifinallygotit's picture

he prefers to mess with poor lower class bar ladies in marginal jobs who look up to him as a big celeb - he is 55 and sill in the bars with the night ladies...he does not want a rich professional lady that would expect a real relationship - he is the big man - he needs to feel more important and accomplished than the lady, even though the truth is he sat on his butt for 13 or so years with no money except a big retirement fund which he hid... i was struggling when I met him but when I started doing better (he was struggling) he was not happy for me or proud of me - he is proud to be seen with sleazy strangers - it is not about money for him, only image. when we were together he would pretend in front of his male friends that he was interested in me to look like he had a GF but when they were gone, he had no interest in doing the things he said when they were present - freaky huh? trying to impress his guy friends but had no interest in reality
koala100's picture

They marry people they can use! Here are two examples: 1) My narcissist's ex wife was a Chinese woman whom he married when he was working in China. He brought her to the US with him when he went to grad school to get an MBA. She is a strong hard working person and found a job right away, which basically enabled him to get through the two years of the program (he had no savings of his own and the workload was such that getting a job was out of the question). At first she was his "amazing and wonderful wife" and he enjoyed the image of a caring and loving husband. However, by the end of the first year he was telling everyone that she'd been cheating on him with different guys, treating him with disrespect, etc. He drove her to file for a divorce with his passive aggressive behavior. He basically used her during grad school and discarded her after he graduated. At the time, I was his best friend and didn't see the situation this way. I took his side believing everything he said. 2)Later, when he was in a relationship with me, he started asking me to leave my husband and marry him. He is unemployed, lives with his mother in another state and has over $100,000 in student loans. When I learned about NPD, it became clear to me what he was after. I have a nice condo in an upscale neighborhood and some savings (to pay off his loans?). I'm considered attractive (ego boost) and already had a beautiful and smart daughter. I other words, what he saw was a ready family! All he had to do was replace my husband. So, we should both be happy for having escaped. It could have been much worse. Hugs
rosedewittbukater's picture

http://www.dailystrength.org/groups/narcissist-victims-syndrome-survivors/discussions/messages/11523062
Sunafterrain's picture

This was a great link! I have the book that the article is included in, but it does help to read others stories too. Thanks for posting it!
Redhead1's picture

I can tell you why the exnarc married me and stayed married to me for 20 years. I was a good mother and never complained of his abuse. I did in the beginning and he would rage. I hate raging so therefore, I learn to keep my mouth shut and let him be all about him. If someone is staying with a narc, you better believe the narc hasnt changed-they have. They will marry and stay with someone who lets them get away with their narkiness. Be glad you got away. I stayed way to long and have had to crawl out from the pitts of hell. The OW are not getting a better narc. I know you are still healing and learning, but be thankful you were not the narcs dreamgirl.
Susan32's picture

I think this is one of those "case by case" sort of scenarios. Narcs marry normal people all the time;there are PLENTY of posters here who were married to Narcs for years, from a brief time to decades. The NORMAL partner thinks they're entering into marriage for all the right reasons, but the Narc has ulterior motives. For MANY Ns/Ps, marriage is for the sake of image, $$$ or sex. Or a combination of all three. Some Ns marry normal people in order to look normal. They seek out supply. Others seek other Narcs for marriage-because they see another Narc as an ideal partner. I think the ex-Psych prof was disappointed that I wasn't a Narc/ally/fellow bully... I wasn't his perfect partner. He's been married to his wife for the past decade... and he was all into marrying for $$$ and she was loaded. Marrying a former student would've made him look bad (during the final D&D, one of his colleagues was divorcing his wife, a former student, and it was UGLY) My maternal grandparents were BOTH Narcs. Then there are Narcs who marry admirers. Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, married Asa Gilbert Eddy, a decade her junior, because he was her most devoted student&ardent defender. She'd brag about how they had a pure, holy marriage because they didn't have sex. Leo Tolstoy married Sofia Behrs, 16 years his junior&a fan of his writing. She was an admirer. Whether or not she was a Narc, that's up to debate. He was famous when she married him. Female Narcs tend to seek out older men for $$$ and fame. Eva and Juan Peron were both Narcs. It depends on the case.
Sunafterrain's picture

You've mentioned multiple times that your ex narc married and has been for a decade. Do you believe she's happy? Or has a pathology of her own? You said he married her for money....so why doesn't she know this? Is his mask on THAT tight or is her denial that great? amazing.
Susan32's picture

She works in artifacts restoration at a museum;more of the scientific side of the museum than the artistic/cultural one. She left her job at LACMA to be with the ex-Psych prof. Ns/Ps tend to seek out partners with STATUS. She makes more $$ than him. She happened to work at one of my favorite museums (it is a great museum)... and sometimes I wonder if the ex-P was trying to ruin it for me. Early on, I told him it was one of my favorite places to go. It's also a short distance from the college... so talk about control (on his part, and this city has LOTS of museums) I can't judge her character. I only met her once. I didn't get to KNOW her. The ex-P had courted her with an LDR. The ex-P once told me he went to LA for Thanksgiving... he didn't mention her. Assuming he was all about appearances, I thought his girlfriend was going to be a supermodel bimbo... but no, she's a nerdy, glasses-wearing brunette. In some ways, his girlfriend/wife mirrored ME in a lot of ways. Seeing her was like seeing my own reflection. It's not the usual "he upgraded, he went for a lady who's amazingly beautiful" (ironically, he went to the same college as Padma Lakshmi, tho not at the same time) or "he went for a total floozy who's obese&ugly." MOST Ns/Ps mentioned here flaunt their affection with their new partners. They post FB pages. The ex-P DID flaunt his girlfriend to hurt my feelings (I had lost a friend to cancer)... but he was half-@$$ed about it. He wasn't physically affectionate with her. They didn't even act interested in each other. They acted like siblings instead of lovers. He didn't introduce her to his colleagues when he brought her to the concert. He physically abandoned her in front of them... she ended up running down the stairs after him. TO TOP IT ALL OFF... the ex-P was rumored to be gay. I'm pretty sure the prof who warned me against being involved with him was his ex-BOYFRIEND. Much was made of the girlfriend's tank top at the senior picnic. She used to have a crew cut. It was rumored that she was a lesbian. The ex-P accused me of being a lesbian early on... so there. What *SHOCKED* my friends after the final D&D was my LACK of anger at the ex-P's girlfriend. For one thing, I was too exhausted. Besides, ALL my anger was the ex-P. She didn't deserve it. I didn't- and don't- know her role in the whole thing. I can't judge her. I KNOW how the ex-P acted. What matters is that the ex-P treated ME badly... that *I* was UNHAPPY with him... whether or not his wife is happy, not my business.
Susan32's picture

So it's not exactly like the way I was discarded is as big a secret as the Priory of Sion (the secret society in the Da Vinci Code) It's not like his colleagues didn't see it and they'd say to me "You're making it all up." I'd be weeping. Publicly. I remember the sad look I got from a colleague of his (who had gone to grad school with him) when I said the ex-Psych prof didn't tell me he already had a girlfriend. When the ex-P discarded me, it was very public and ugly... even the ex-P's office mate witnessed it. He'd be raging at me, I was weeping. "Do you believe she's happy"-I guess I'm at the point that I don't care if she's happy or not with him. I remember how UNHAPPY I was with the ex-P. It's how he treated ME that matters. The ex-P's parents have been living with him (as well as his wife&twins) on and off for the past 11 years (tho they moved in for good not long ago)... who knows... maybe Mommy&Daddy are acting as referees. Along with raising their grandchildren. All I KNOW and something I know for CERTAIN is how poorly the ex-P treated me. He was an unfit husband&father... FOR ME. "Pathology of her own"-One of my friends speculated that she might be as much a Narc as him. The ex-P would constantly accuse me of being a Narc... now I realize she might be a Narc. I think he WANTED a Narc as a partner. "Why doesn't she know this"-The ex-P bought a house with her after D&Ding me (he had been renting an apartment near the college) He CONSTANTLY talked about $$$. He had wanted to marry me for MY money. He was furious when I volunteered instead of getting a paying job. His wife has had the same job for the past decade (restoring artifacts at a museum-she's a scientist) One of his favorite literary characters, Nicholas Rostov, "sacrifices his feelings" for childhood sweetheart, the poor orphan Sonya, to marry the rich heiress Princess Maria. He strings 'em both along until Maria hits it big with her father's death. The ex-P was talking about how my parents were paying him to be my friend (on account of tuition)....he even quoted Colin Firth's vile character Lord Wessex from "Shakespeare in Love" who tells Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) that my father was paying him to please me.* The ex-P did such a poor job of his keeping his mask on... he lost his COLLEAGUES over 4 years. Most Narcs know how to circle their wagons. He didn't even care that he came across as a jerk. Is the ex-P's wife a jerk like him, or a normal person who was manipulated like me? I'll never know. All I KNOW is how he treated me;I'm glad he didn't marry me or father my kids. *He didn't ruin Colin Firth for me. It's not like Colin publicly humiliated me. Let's place the guilt where it belongs.
Sunafterrain's picture

I'm going to validate what you're feeling. It's important that you express that feeling too. I think it's just apart of the process. Mine, I found out, is now newly married. It hurts so bad and I'm sure you know how badly. I think about THEM all the time. I think about why I wasn't "worthy" but she is. Abusers want you to think that way. Often what you see in pictures is not how it is in reality. I wish I could tell you that they're miserable, but truthfully, if it's still the honeymoon stage, which from your telling us how long they've been together, it could be years before she sees it. It was for many of us. But that doesn't mean the abuse isn't there NOW. You're not behind their closed doors to know what's going on. Part of the pain is the betrayal and the mindfucking they did to us. Was it us? That kind of thing. Did she come along and make him throw away his abuse? In reality, abusive men take years to change their abusive ways. If it's a pathology, it will never change. But each situation is unique and it may be that she's willing to put up with more shit than you did, but your feelings should still be validated. I'm going through this very thing right now and it is excrutiatingly painful. My suggestion to you is to disable your FB or slap yourself not to look and keep in mind that while this stuff will still go over and over in your head, it will dissipate with time and healing and NOT looking. I disabled my FB because I kept looking. Each time I did, it set me back for weeks. I couldn't do it anymore. It's bad enough that we have to share the same environment. So for your well being, and to take the fantasy of what their life is like, don't look anymore. I bet you by the time you don't care about it anymore, you'll hear about how rotten things are between them...but you'll be doing so good, it won't matter. :)
rosedewittbukater's picture

me too, and it was the best thing I could have done. I was not strong enough to not look and it was like stabbing myself in the heart when I did. Good advice SunAfter!
MandyM's picture

Maybe it's me - maybe I haven't written my post as concisely as I'd thought. As much as it hurts, no, I'm not trying to get back with my ex. I'm not looking for hints on molding myself into someone I think HE would think is perfect for him. I'm trying to further my own education on this issue and understand a little better. When narcissists, especially somatic narcissists, as mine was, depend on a never-ending supply of women, why do they choose to marry (or otherwise commit to) someone who makes their relationship well-known and flaunts him as hers? And if they do, what kind of woman do they deem "worthy," for lack of a better word, of marrying and being publicly attached to?
rosedewittbukater's picture

The spouse must have something the N will benefit from. Mine married for money which allowed her to maintain her parasitic lifestyle and indulge every self indulgent whim while not having to really work for it. They are easily bored and need constant stimulation by means of exotic travel and other activities, material possessions, clothing, fine dining and so on. The spouse also often times is highly successful and has prominent status which the N wants and needs to be associated with. Remember they are special and can only be associated with other "special" or high status people or institutions.
Susan32's picture

"The spouse often times is highly successful"-When Sofia Behrs married Leo Tolstoy, HE was highly successful&already a respected, famous author. Whether or not she married Leo for his famous writer status, or if he brainwashed her like Ns do us, we'll never know. I had a morbidly obese Narc coworker who was a nursing home cook... his wife is in a managerial position at a coffee shop. He'd brag about how he didn't need to work, she made so much $$$. However, he bragged that because he didn't get regular oil changes for one of their cars/trucks, he made his wife bike to work (because the vehicle hadn't had oil changes FOR YEARS) He had to bike to work because he had so many DUIs. He'd call her a b*tch. I had a Narc coworker who was also a cook... his girlfriend is in a high-tech position. She works in computers, makes much more $$$. he'd come to work drunk, and she'd have mysterious injuries. He'd talk about her being wheelchair bound from having a broken ankle, or having a broken wrist. As for the ex-Psych prof, he's married to a woman who works in artifacts restoration at a museum. She gave up her job at LACMA to be with him. He had been renting an apartment when I knew him... but with her, he got a house. As a student fresh out of college, I wasn't "special" (i.e. rich) enough to be with him. I've been a published writer over the past 8 years, writing for local papers as well as magazines... so I hit it big ONCE he was out of my life.
Sunafterrain's picture

Mine married for money. And the woman he married, is in fact, wealthy. I'm sure it also helps for image reasons (he's very much into image and money), and if she looks good and is good in bed, well, all the better. Any one of those reasons could be why. And even if one of them is, what in God's name does that have to do with the ability to love? And you don't know if this woman has her own pathology. It's entirely possible. Either way, if he's a narc, you would spend years miserable. I don't want mine either. It's the fantasy I'm mourning, not him.
Layla's picture

...opens up some possibilities to delve into "why"? Perhaps having a wife he feels will give him the appearance of being "able to commit" which everyone knows women look for in a man...this way, he could say, "my wife just doesn't understand me....oh lordy lordy lordy, how I TRY so hard with that woman! Whoa is ME! Whoa is ME!!" Also, for appearances sake, a wife allows him to look grounded, and like he has it together... The possibilities are endless, and only he really knows the reason why.........but one thing if for certain, she WON'T be the only woman he is sleeping with....think about THAT for a second....scary and sad situation, isn't it???
Layla's picture

...because they are all alike in their pathology, but they are still unique individual sick people.....I was with my abuser for 8 years.....we were married 4 years into the relationship...and yes, he WAS diagnosed not only as narcissistic, but antisocial disordered as well, so it it possible. The important thing here is this- we need to take the focus off of THEM, and onto someone really special and deserving of all our love- and that is ourselves. What he did or didn't do and what he is doing now is of no consequence to your healing. I know it hurts. I know it does. I too have been humilated, and emotionally tortured and every other damn thing my abuser choose to do. He proved he had ZERO regard for the sanctity of marriage....he tried to strangle and rape me not 6 months after we were married....be GLAD you didn't marry your abuser! Be GLAD!!! Please, please work on moving on from this abuser. Find yourself again and learn to love yourself completely. Protect that tender heart of yours. You don't need him. You never needed what he had to give- and I am guessing it was a lot of heartache. love~ Layla
ordinarycourage's picture

I would say WHO CARES if he's really, truly happy with her. Feel sorry for her "happiness" and glad that he's moved on. You deserve to NOT be married to a narcissist. Block him from viewing your FB and don't peek at his EVER. Keep Calm and Carry On
MandyM's picture

If it were that easy for me to say "who cares?" I wouldn't be posting here asking for help. :-) Believe me, I WISH it was that easy to just brush my hands together and let it go. But it's not. I'm still struggling.
Caligirl's picture

Is supposed to be very hard bc you have to completely check yourself at the door, unless you're a N too. She might be happy now, but she may be giving him NS now, just wait. My N married 3 times and not one of them worked, and they all got shorter, last one was only like a year. I know this would be hard to see. I'm also tempted to peek on FB, but haven't lately. I always feel bad after, except once when I saw he defriended someone. I think if you are nurturing and caring, you wouldn't be happy with a N, unless you were unhealthy, very low self-esteem, etc.
Sunafterrain's picture

You are right about that. I definitely think it is a possibility that the new OW has a pathology of her own and in Sandra Brown's words "And if she is, who wants to be apart of a Jerry Springer show?" It's true though. Pathology with pathology is UGLY and it's partners in crime, double the dose of stinking pathology to hurt others with. It happens and it's UGLY. You're right, I think. But I also think that thinking the way Mandy is right now, is also part of the process. It's part of the grieving. It's also part of trying to wrap your mind around a pathological individual, which is almost impossible to do.
FINALLYFREE2BME's picture

They marry someone who has something they want or who let's them get away with things. Someone who's giving, naive, and controllable. With a narc you're either cheated with or cheated on. She will be legally trapped and cheated on. You are free to find something better! He will not be better with her. Maybe sneakier, but not better. No matter what the apple looks like on the outside, it's still rotten at the core.
uk lady's picture

Can't add any wisdom about who they usually marry. But mine only really ever hooked up with older, strong, independent, professional women with ready made families AND who had no intention of having any more children. He was a confirmed commitment phobic. BUT always went on about wanting a family - can you imagine how dysfunctional those children would have been? Doesn't bear thinking about. And so the cycle, would have continued. He talked a good talk but was unable to walk the walk. Run, no problem, for the hills usually or the marathons that he was so addicted to. He always said that he thought he was better by himself - only then because he had only himself to think about. P heaven! Dee x