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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  • A

    January 4, 2017 at 4:52 am Reply

    I am not sure whether the married man I had an affair with is a narcissist. He seemed so genuine and caring. Despite my knowing he was married, I though that I was giving him something that was missing in his marriage, that i was special to him.

    It all started about three years ago he sought me out at work to wish me happy birthday, but as I was off that day and he left a post it note. The office assistant told me the next day that she thought he had a crush on me and that she had told him to invite me to a coffee. I e-mailed him to thank him for the birthday note and he suggested coffee. I accepted met him for coffee, saw a wedding ring on his finger and thought to myself ‘phew, he’s married, he’s asking me for coffee to be friendly, and not interested me in that way’. I became relaxed more and more as we met for coffee again and again. The coffees turned into lunches. Looking back, he would stare at me at times with that soppy, infatuated look. Was it real?

    One day, he offered to give me a lift home. At my front door he asked if I was going to invite him in for a cup of tea. I was going to anyway and said yes. We chatted and then as he left he hugged me. The next day I received a text saying he had really wanted to kiss me and should he have. I replied probably not.
    We continued to meet for coffees and have lunches together. He would always pay me compliments and say things that started to hint at more than friendship.
    He pursued me for a whole year before I finally couldn’t resist him and fell for his charms. We began an affair which started about two years ago. During this time he used to tell me how beautiful I was, that I could trust him and that he would look after me. He texted every day saying how much he adored me and couldn’t wait to see me. Despite knowing that he was unlikely to leave his wife, I continued with the affair and developed feelings for him.

    Around May this year he told me had decided to leave his wife. His reason was that he was bored. Now I did not immediately think that this meant he wanted to be with me properly, even though he would drop things into the conversation like why hadn’t he met me 27 years ago and ‘what would your mother say if you turned up on her doorstep married, because you had eloped?’.

    Fast forward to September, he started to be less communicative. I thought it was because he was getting a hard time with his wife – the divorce was to her totally out of the blue. In October while he was visiting me I found he was seeing another woman. He was texting her while I sat right next to him and I could see a text from her from which it was obvious that they had slept together. I confronted him and he admitted he was seeing another woman. He then said ‘I’m a s*&t, you can shout at me, scream if you want to’. I didn’t but said that he clearly wanted to be with her and he should concentrate on her. His response was that he was not WITH anyone. He said what we had was good and he wanted to continue seeing me. He left shortly and anyway I went to see him at his work place a couple of days later. The office door was shut and he was on his mobile. He didn’t see me through the narrow window, so I hung back thinking he was dealing with a work call and would hang up shortly. Then I heard how he was talking and just knew he was speaking to the new woman. I heard him mention his wife and that how things were crap and how he wished they could just run away together. That sounded familiar – he had said the same to me in the past. Then I heard him say I love you, and asking whether she had time for a coffee at 8. After a while I had heard enough, so I went up to the door and knocked. He motioned me to come in although he was still on the phone. He calmly said ‘a work colleague has just come to see me so I’ll catch you later ’.

    I said after Saturday it didn’t feel right to leave things as they were and said I just wanted him to be honest and truthful. So he told me he started seeing this woman around April. I asked whether he had strong feelings for her and he said at this moment in time yes. So I said you’ll be shacked up with her soon then. He said it was complicated because she was married and there were kids involved. I said but you ARE sleeping with her and he replied that this had only been recently. He held my hand and said ‘I’m a s&*t’. I asked why and he replied ‘I should be sweeping you off your feet and taking you away from all this’. And I replied ‘That doesn’t make you a s&*t, you think you’re a s&*t because you’re dumping your wife, have been seeing me and are seeing another woman’.
    I asked what made him go after her and he said she’s nice, pretty. If I hadn’t found out about this other woman, would he have carried on seeing me? And if things didn’t work out with her I would have been none the wiser I guess – t

    The stupid thing is I slept with him again. When he was round my place he was texting the new woman, lying and pretending it was his mate. He is so infatuated with this new woman that he can’t even stop texting her when he is supposedly want to spend time with me!

    I slept with him thinking I would be able to make him see how much I cared and remind him of what he had but may be also for proof for myself that he doesn’t really love this other woman. How sad is that?! He used the same tactics on her as me, I know -invited her to coffee, which turned to lunches before arranging to sleep with her. Guess he was making sure of the new woman before reducing contact with me?

    He has been married three times. I asked him if he had ever really loved any of his wives. He just explained why he had married them, nothing about whether he had or had not loved any of them. He married his third wife because he felt sorry for her because she was being abused by her ex husband.

    I asked him why he had gone after this new woman. He said she was nice, pretty, intelligent, but it was complicated as she is married and there are kids involved. So he has deliberately targeted a woman despite knowing she is married.
    He said he has treated me like s**t, but has never said sorry. He has moved out of his marital home now and his divorce is going through. I feel sorry for his wife because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and he decided to leave her when she needed him. He even told me it would have been easier for him if her diagnosis had been terminal. I really was shocked.

    I am finding it hard to deal with this, the lies and deceit, having anxiety attacks.
    I know I need to be rid of him but find it difficult to let go and stop thinking and obsessing about him and the new woman.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 10, 2017 at 5:15 pm Reply

      Hi A,

      So sorry this has happened to you but you have to know that this guy is nothing more than a narcissistic player through and through. He loves nothing and no one but himself and the only thing he really cares about is “collecting” women for his queue. This other woman is going to end up like you and everyone else. Everyone in his life he views on the same emotional level, meaning he doesn’t care about you any more than he cares about her any more than he cares about all his ex-wives. You have to grasp this concept because it is true. He will tell each one – you included – what they need to hear to get what he wants and to keep everyone on the hook. Run as fast as you can and ignore all of his attempts to contact you. He is worthless and useless and his admitting to be “a shit” is a cop-out and means nothing. If you continue on, another year will go by and the another. Do not waste a single minute.

      Stay strong, have no jealousy, and move on, sister!

      Zari xo

    • Sick of BS

      January 20, 2017 at 11:17 pm Reply

      They are purely self-centred monsters, love…there is NO love on their part (EVER) BUT there is an insatiable need for attention…it’s what feeds their crazy EGO…& ppl giving them time & attention…has them DELUDE themselves…they must be impt…even tho, they know…they have LIED to ppl to get it.
      It’s madness…but that is what psychopathy IS [a serious mental health disorder – hard-wired of the brain…so, untreatable…1 in 25]….pure MORAL insanity…there is NO rules, no guidelines…it’s ALL about them.
      Well, it’s ALL about U now….if anything I learnt from a sociopath…is get SELFISH & esp STOP the ppl pleasing (even Oprah said that)…a sociopath won’t put up with anyone, that fails to give him attention…so, why should U? I doubt…U’r not trying to juggle 6 relationships at once, like he is…so it really shouldn’t be that hard.
      CUT the arse…move on & realise there are better ppl than that out there…he’s out there looking for them all the time…maybe, not as exciting as the sociopath circus…BUT, it’s just a circus (& always will be)…let it leave town.

      • Sick of BS

        January 21, 2017 at 12:31 am Reply

        3/4 of diagnosed sociopaths are MALE…don’t forget that women

  • Holly

    December 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm Reply

    33 years married to a narcissist,,,,,,and I just recently figured it out. I thought I was going insane. And here’s the bitch of it,,,,,,,I love him.

  • J

    December 7, 2016 at 5:34 am Reply

    Is it possible that even after the narcissist is married, they “love bomb” their significant other on social media A LOT, by tagging them in every other post, saying how in love they are with their target, even though their at home life is totally different than what they portray?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm Reply

      Hi J,

      Of course it’s possible and it’s also probable…this is a narcissist and lying and cheating – even after marrying – is what they do. It’s who they are. A ring certainly isn’t going to stop their hurtful nonsense. Do not feed into the ruse!:)


  • BeowulfSabrina

    October 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm Reply

    What happens when a sociopath female married 4 times, broke up three other marriages targets a midlife narc male narc having depression problems, etc? That is my story. SO they’re both sociopaths, had a torrid 2 week affair, he claimed they were in love and soulmates and wanted me TOO, because he loved us both, his homewrecker he knew a short time and ME, his loving wife of 25 years. Oh, she lives 3000 miles away. He wanted me to become polyamory so he could have us both. it almost drove me really crzy, but I filed for divorce, cos i had to protect myself. She is a violent chaotic drama I don’t need anywhere near me.

    • Zari Ballard

      October 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm Reply

      Hi BeowulfSabrina (love the moniker!),

      Your situation is odd. I’ve NEVER heard of a sociopath being attracted to a sociopath. I’m assuming the fact that she is 3000 miles away has something to do with that. I think it’s more about him just wanting to his cakes – both of them – and eating them too. Either way, you did the right thing. Your WILL survive, girl. I promise that!!! Again, divorce his ass – sad as it is, it is the RIGHT thing to do.

      Zari xo

  • sarah

    October 13, 2016 at 4:26 am Reply

    I went through This too.. Funny thing Is i ignored all the red flags. He lied from day 1 as well and i knew something was off.. He broke m’y heart but it was my lesson as I almost wanted to believe him. I told him to Never speak to me again.

  • Dawn

    October 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm Reply

    wow!!! I am one of the 99.99999% of women who felt the same way. I too never felt any ill will towards his wife.I was married and NEVER expected this to happen. I was led to believe that we both had such a strong attraction to each other, we just couldn’t hold back, until I found out that I was just one of countless others( all at the same time). I was devastated and felt so stupid for being so naive and gullible. Now, I feel lucky to be out, but so sorry for his wife. I just wish I knew something about narcissism before the fact. Why does it seem that only victims of narcissists ever know anything about these predators?

    • Annabelle

      November 22, 2016 at 10:06 am Reply

      I’m currently in the same position you were in now 🙁

  • Amy

    September 18, 2016 at 12:48 am Reply

    Thank you so much. I was married to high level with money. He would not let me have anything without his apptoval. Even when I caught him cheating (he pocket called me ) i recorded it with my cell phone. He still denied it. I have been away from him 3 years and still trying to financially recover. I am in debt to my eyeballs, thank God for payment plans. I am finally seeing where I got sucked in to his web. He adverised he was seeking a book keeper and since my company i was employeed at filed bankruptcy. He knew i desperately needed employment. When I interviewed for job i didnt realize i was interviewing for wife. His new wife #5 (from internet ) does not know any of his background all she sees is the lavish gifts. He even got her to pull her teeth and get dentures, so if they get in a argument that will be the first thing that he destories. It is very hard to recover from a high level narcissic. I moved completely out of state. Not only is he a high level narc he watches teen porn. But with money he hides it well. I pray 1 day he will slip and the local law enforcement will figure him out. Money or no money, will save him from that!

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