How the Married Narcissist Plays His Victims

marriednarcThe narcissist who is married is probably the most prolific of all the other narcissists because of the game he has ultimately chosen to play. Indeed, the married narcissist can live in suburbia with the wife and kids and, at the same time, carry on one or more relationships outside of the marriage without appearing the least bit stressed about it. His abilities to lie on-the-fly, to convince all partners (including the spouse) that his intentions are always on the up-and-up, and to be, seemingly, in two places at once are unsurpassed and put him at a pathological level above the typical narcissist.

narcissist-abuse-consultationsThrough my phone consultations and correspondence with both women and men, I have been able to make the following observations:

  1. A married narcissist will typically – but not always – be an online predator so that he can keep the extramarital affairs long-distance. He will have profiles on numerous dating sites that give his relationship status as either divorced or separated (when he, obviously, is neither).
  2. A married narcissist typically – but not always – will be a high-level narcissist, meaning that he is a narcissist with a good job and usually a good deal of money. At the very least, he is self-sufficient. I call this the 5-Star Deception. Having money makes it much easier for the narcissist to carry on multiple affairs or one that’s long-term without tipping off the wife. He may have a job that requires that he often travel out of town (and even out of the country) on a regular basis. Having money also means he can quickly book vacations or send flowers and/or extravagant gifts to appease the lover should she become disenchanted with the narcissist’s mind-boggling and hurtful behaviors. He may even play the most devious version of The Cell Phone Game and have two phones – one for each of his deceitful lives.
  3. A married narcissist always love-bombs his target more intensely than the typical narcissist simply because he’s under more of a time constraint. The sooner he hooks her, the less chance that finding out he’s still married will cause her to leave the relationship. Like any other narcissist, the end game is always to get away with the ruse – any ruse – for as long as he possibly can. Some women have been involved with married narcissists as the mistress for as long or nearly as long as the narcissist has been married.
  4. The target of a married narcissist may not initially suspect that this new guy is married because of his ability to spend so much time with her. After all, how can a guy be married and still be able to hop on the next plane out at the drop of a hat? OR how can he be married if he’s able to take off for a week to the Caribbean without appearing the least bit stressed about it? OR how can he be married if we’re always on the phone together? Because the narcissist compartmentalizes every aspect of his pathetic life, he can be completely stress-free with whomever he’s with!
  5. A narcissist marries for many reasons but the biggest reasons are that being married to a wonderful woman is good for appearances and it makes him feel (for a second) as if he’s actually a normal guy. The novelty wears off, however, and quick. That being said, the narcissist is rarely willing to give the marriage up because he feels justified in having both! After all, if all it takes to keep the ruse afloat on either side is to tell a few lies…well, shit! That’s easy! Don’t ever forget…a narcissist’s entire life is all about what he can get away with day to day.
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When the long-term, already-hooked mistress/target finds out about the marriage (and she always does), the N will likely explain that he was just in the process of filing for divorce when they met but the affair simply distracted him. Now that she knows, he’ll get right on that! He’ll spew his narcissistic word garbage, insisting that the marriage is one of convenience only (“We haven’t slept together in years!”) and that his wife is a psycho who cheats on him and he’s been working with a lawyer to make sure she doesn’t take him for a ride. The truth is that the wife is living the same life as the mistress…a life full of suspicions, silent treatments, and some incredible (but obviously believable) future-faking. If the narcissist is especially pathological, he may even, just for fun, deliberately triangulate one woman with the other.

What I find particularly distressing are the stories where the married N actually convinces a long-distance lover to move to the city where he’s lives under the premise that a divorce is imminent (which it never is) or that he’s already divorced or that he’s now separated. The truth is that the wife has probably caught on or, at the very least, suspects there’s a lover and the move, for him, is for convenience only because he can no longer just hop on a plane. I’ve heard from countless women who’ve moved clear across country – and even across continents – at the narcissist’s request only to be given the silent treatment immediately upon arrival. A married narcissist will even deliberately target a married woman, convincing her to leave her husband for the new relationship and then disappearing himself soon after.

Interestingly enough, 99.9999% of the women that write to me who are involved with a married narcissist adamantly insist that they never – not in a million years – would have ever thought they’d be involved with a married man or cheat on their own husbands. It simply wasn’t part of their nature. Moreover, in as much as it causes them heartache to know she exists, not a single one has ever really bashed the wife. Why? Because deep down anyone involved with a narcissist knows that this guy is a fucking liar wherever he goes and to whomever he’s with at the moment. Typically, whether you experience the relationship as a wife or as a mistress, you eventually come to understand that the “other woman” is just like you.

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So, for those who wonder why a mistress or wife continues to stay with the narcissist knowing what she knows, the answer is that the narcissist is the same person to each! He lies with the same believability and makes the same promises and will insist to one that the other is a psycho that he just can’t seem to get rid of… goes on and on. Both the wife and the lover are victims and in both cases, the victim wants to believe that this person that they love is telling the truth. It’s a codependency to hope that will get us in trouble almost every time.

Now, to be clear, this article isn’t about the married partner who has been monogamous for ten years and then fucks up and is sorry for it. While I certainly don’t condone that behavior, I have to make clear that there’s a difference. As we all know, narcissism isn’t about just one single behavior…it’s about many, many behaviors. We come to recognize these behaviors as narcissistic tactics and this is why those who suspect that their lover or husband is a narcissist are always right. If he is with you, you can guarantee that there is some woman somewhere getting the silent treatment. The married narcissist is very good at what he does or he wouldn’t be a married narcissist!


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  • Free and it feels good

    April 19, 2017 at 7:04 am Reply

    Men should realise that one day that innocent naive women they loved to manipulate will get fed up and learn to fight back…and that’s when the student surpasses the master and uses his own tactics against him. Not an easy thing to do but it was worth it and I have no regrets. My children are mentally healthier and happier and so am I.

  • zar001

    March 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm Reply

    I have been married for 12 years and have 2 small children. I have been living a lie for 12 years and I am struggling to come to grips with what has happened. I recently found out my husband has been having an affair. A week later I found out about another affair. The affairs crushed me but what they did in the months that followed was open my eyes to things that I just didn’t see or want to see previously. For 10 years I have been following this man like his God. I have been loyal, supportive loving wife, friend and partner. I gave him my sole. I put my life and my kids lives in his hands and trusted him unconditionally. Over the years, I picked up the pieces in every bad decision he made in businesses… I went through financial turmoil, moved a million houses and also moved countries… I followed him like a blind bat never questioning but always defending and supporting him. He loved me.. loved his family… always had a plan.. I look back now and I think how could I have been so blind and stupid. How did I let some1 do this to me. After the affair was out in the open, and after the initial shock he begged for my forgiveness. After I agreed to work on our marriage and not destroy our family… a few weeks went by and I caught him with the other woman again. He then accused me of pushing him back to her as he couldnt handle me and my emotional state. He said I have issues and need help or he will leave me. Long story short he ended up leaving. My question is, have I been living a lie? I feel like I have woken up from a dream and that everything, all the love and happiness I have had in the past 10 years has been a lie. Why did he do this to me? Why and how do people destroy others. He is with the OW now.

    How did I get deceived so badly. I also have come to the realisation that he must have been gambling . Nothing else makes any sense. I am now in financial ruin, he has left me with nothing and a load of debt I signed for. He says he will take care of it but ive been hearing that for 10 years. I just dont know who he is anymore. I just dont understand. Maybe someone can shed some light. How can someone deceive me for so long.

    • Zari Ballard

      April 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm Reply

      Hi zar001,

      Girl, I know that you don’t understand how someone could do this to you but you need to know that it is NOT you. He is going to do what he wants to do when he wants and with whomever he wants until the end of time. As hard as it is now, at least you are somewhat free. I’m glad he is gone. Take this time to reflect on what a good wife that you were and how he abused you and the situation itself. You WILL recover. It’s going to take work and he does need to pay financially but you also have to be proactive in becomeing more independent.

      Please read all of the articles on this website. There are over eighty of them and I tried to cover every topic. Also, please be sure to read all the comments in the section underneath each article…so many awesome people have written in and shared their story. You are not alone and we are here to support you…

      Zari xo

    • Tamia

      April 14, 2017 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Zar001 your story is exactly my story we were discarded on New Year’s Eve for a patient of his. He took my car , stopped paying all bills …. he’s a functional alcoholic. Please email me at so that we can talk and support one another.

  • Gina

    March 23, 2017 at 10:19 am Reply

    PTSD from a Narc is a real thing. I fell or it as well but this was a good friend that I “thought” I knew for over 20 years. He was always a charmer but we never had romantic relations throughout the years because we were always with other partners and it never worked out. A few months ago, I reconnected with the Narc-hole through FB and realized he was married to his HS girlfriend. I messaged him how cute it was that they ended up together….this is when the loud warning red flags started that I ignored. He immediately bashed her and even called her a “C U Next Tuesday” he said that they are separated and he’s not living with her anymore. I believed him well because I’m a trusting person. I’ve always had great empathy for people. Hell, I went to school for social work. He knows exactly how to pick his prey. He’s what I would call a Superior Narc-Hole. I tried to comfort him like any friend would do. I said “Have you guys tried counseling?” He said no, she’s crazy and she will never admit to being a psycho. Now ladies, if you get involved with a man and they immediately start accusing their ex or current partner a psycho, you better RUN RUN RUN. But, I didn’t. Too late, the obsessive love bombing was in full force. I was addicted. I never received so much love so quickly and so passionately. I was hook the very same week and was craving it. We ended up talking all day and all night through text. I thought that he must be separated if he’s constantly talking to me up until 2am. After love bombing for two full weeks, devaluing started and I started to question him but still was very much hooked. He started to drift a bit but would come back with brief periods of love bombing and drift again. Desperate to keep my SOULMATE (common in victims to believe), I agreed to meet him for drinks. We ended up having sex that night and the very next day, I was discarded like garbage. The dreadful last stage of a narcissistic. You can’t believe someone who loved you so much could just toss you away. I was hurt and started to grow even more obsessive. I knew him so I knew where he and his wife lived, I knew his job, I knew his life and I stalked and quickly found out he went back to his wife the very next day. He got his narcissistic supply fulfilled from me and now he can get it from his wife. They are emotional vampires sucking out women’s emotions.

    Fine, I moved on. I figured well, I’m glad they are working things out. At that time, I had no idea he was a narcissistic because he put all the blame on his wife as to why the marriage was falling apart. He called her bipolar, crazy, psycho, controlling…you name it and I believe him. It’s her problem now, not mine.

    Late January, we start texting again. Slowly though, I’m cautious but he’s pleading for my help. He’s feeding on my empathetic personality and I fell right for it again. He claimed she abuses him mentally and physically. He’s trapped and doesn’t want to be with her. The love bombing starts up again and I eat it up like candy. Too late, my heart is invested in this sick man. I can’t let it go. You know ladies, it’s an addiction. You WANT to believe he is telling you the truth. You believe the fantasy that he, in fact does miss you and loves you. You are caught up in his web again and it gets much worse every time you go back to Narc. This time, he is displaying a lot of jealously because I’m a very sexy and beautiful woman. I’m petite with a lot of curves in the right places. For a Narc, I was the type he craves. They need a beautiful woman because they feel beautiful through us. His wife is very beautiful as well. Jealously meaning I was single and I get a lot of male attention in my life as well as social media. He hated every guy that asked me out. He said they were all no good. He hated that I had tons of male guy friends on social media ooogling over my pictures. He demanded I unfriend and block a lot of them….I did. In fact, I remained faithful to him even though I was the single one! I even gave him my FB email and password so he can see for himself that I wasn’t talking to all these guys. He accused me of talking to guys all day long. He accused me of not wanting him anymore. It only made me act more in love with him. The Narc Game. The more they question your feelings for him, the more they KNOW you will show them you love them. He always did this “You don’t love me.” “You don’t miss me.” “What do YOU want to do in bed to me.” I started to get sick of it and he knew it. I started to play my own game. I put him in the friend zone. I would send him messages “I think we are best as friends.” “I’m so happy we are friends.” I drilled the word friend in every message I sent him. He grew even more jealous. He is never up early but on Valentines Day at 7am, he sent me a Happy Valentines Day with hearts etc message. I responded “Same to you bud. I’m so glad I have a FRIEND like you! Have a great day.” He messaged back “That’s what I am? A friend? Whatever.” I slowly started to fade and try to walk away from the fog. Being involved with a Narc makes you screw up in life. You live in a fog. You are always thinking of them. Your work slips, you become forgetful, you are in constant daydreams and confusion. I changed my FB password in case he ever did actually check my personal FB info. I wanted OUT but was still so very hooked. I’m disgusted with myself that I’m so in love with a married man. When I cut off my narcissistic supply, he runs to his wife and she’s always willing to give it to him…until he’s bored and either comes back to me or finds a new victim. Ladies, Narcs are ALWAYS bored and looking for their next victim. ALWAYS!

    March (this year), the love bombing picks up stronger than ever. I’m actually thinking that maybe I’m the one. I yell and demand he tell me the truth about his feelings. He swears he loves me. He actually cried, Narcs can produce real tears if they fear their supply isn’t believing their lies. He convinced me that he loved me but there’s a problem. Back in Dec when I was hurt from him tossing me aside after sleeping with him, I sent his wife a FB message and because we aren’t friends on FB, it went into her spam folder. Well, she got the message on their wedding anniversary trip this week! I received a FB friend request and I accepted and we talked for a few days about everything. I was honest and up front. The Narc-hole had the nerve to text me and demanded that I block his crazy wife and if I cared for him, I would block period. I ignored his request. Narcs seek victims that have similar qualities. Kind hearted, nurturing women who are typically desired by men. They need that empathetic beautiful woman to be a trophy for them that hides how ugly they are inside. Narcs get off on the women that are latched on to. Narcs are ugly inside and have very poor self esteem and so they view themselves through us and form this delusional persona about themselves. My Narc actually convinced that he was a “rock star” because of it. I actually grew to really enjoy his wife because we are a lot alike in some ways. Will she finally divorce him? Probably not. She’s been hooked on him since high school over 25 years ago. But, she can’t let go. I get it. She’s got a family with him. She loves him. She’s addicted to him. Hell, I would be lying if I said I didn’t still love him. But, we remain friends on FB and we both blocked him. It’s drives him crazy that we both blocked him when he was demanded that we block each other. It’s a game and it can get ugly and dangerous if you don’t play it with a clear mind. You have to out smart a Narc. You always need to be 10 steps ahead of him. This game me and his wife are playing on him just began this week. It’s not the healthiest thing to do but it’s helping us both cope with what he’s done. Hopefully, she will divorce him and find a man that will treat her right. I can’t continue to stay friends with her if she stays married to the Narc-hole.

    • Zari Ballard

      April 3, 2017 at 2:42 am Reply

      Hi Gina,

      Well, we can try to be ten steps ahead of the narc but it rarely works. If you really want to be free, you need to stay away from both of them. This guy, as much of a dick as he is, is her husband and they have been together forever. She will leave him in her own time and nothing you tell her will ever change that. Keep him blocked and back out gracefully from the wife. It’s best to cut off the friendship and get on with your own life. When two women are hanging out and blocking the same narc, what it really means is that one is waiting for the other to leave the scene. I’ve seen it happen so many times. In doing this, the narc is winning anyway because don’t forget – he really doesn’t care if he’s with EITHER of you physically as long as he’s in both of your heads. And it looks to me like he sure is….

      Stay strong!


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