Narcissistic lovers and partners are really as simple as they are complicated. We spend a whole lot of time trying to figure it all out…why they do what they do and say what they say. We agonize over their willingness to cheat and how they so easily can lie about it. We demand to know why they leave or force us to leave and how they can just move on as if our history together meant nothing. We suffer through silent treatments and disappearances and will wait – often for months – for the inevitable hoover to come suck us back down the rabbit hole. In fact, for most of us, the rabbit hole becomes the one place where we feel secure…the one place where we get a reprieve from the suffocating separation anxiety. The rabbit hole becomes both the last place and the ONLY place we want to hang out because it’s the one place to which the narcissist will always return. But why DOES the narcissist do what he does – are there a million reasons or is this there just one big one? My theory is that there is really just one all-encompassing incentive in the narcissist’s relationship agenda…one all-important motivation for his nonsense that is securely connected to everything else. To understand and accept my simple theory can be the key to mentally breaking free from the madness.
Let me explain…
The narcissist has but one true cause that rules his life no matter what and that is to get away with something. Every day, that’s all it’s about! To the narcissist, no matter what’s happening, it’s all about what he can get away with day to day. This is the secret to a narcissist’s success. If he’s a polished kind-of narcissist, it’s likely that one or all of his partners will be suspecting of many things – including each other – but that they will never be able to prove their suspicions and this dynamic is intentional. It means that he’s getting away with things and he really pretty good at it!
The bottom line is that none of us are or ever were as important to the narcissist as we’d like to think. As I’ve explained in my article series about compartmentalization, we are no more important to the narcissist than the grocery store check-out girl or the clerk at the bank who cashed his paycheck. He will triangulate us with random people and even inanimate objects (cell phones!) just because he can…just because he can get away with it. All we ever do is serve as a convenient practice tool for the art of deception and our suffering is how a narcissist gauges his ability to do it…to deceive us. The more we suffer, the more confident he feels. This is why normalcy has no place in the relationship and confusion has a permanent home. When things are relatively “normal” and we are calm, the narcissist feels unimportant and annoyed and must get away with something in order to pump himself up.
What makes the game particularly interesting for the narcissist is that “getting away with something” doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with us finding out. Yup, that’s right – he’s really not worried about that (and never has been) because it’s just an option in the game. In fact, the narcissist fully expects us to find out or, at the very least, to be suspicious because then he gets to practice the deception at the next level up. Getting away with something – by narcissistic standards – means doing it once, raising our suspicions via passive-aggressive behaviors, and then convincing us that we’re delusional for even thinking he’d do it to begin with. It’s at this level that the narcissist practices his ability to deceive after the original deception. The lie after the lie. First he cheats and then lies about it, then we find out and confront him, and then he lies about it again. He now practices the art of never admitting to anything. If he’s really polished, he might even compel YOU to apologize for HIS bullshit behaviors and that’s a BONUS! And his reward for all this narcissistic achievement? A nice long silent treatment for as long as he likes or as long as he thinks you can take it – whichever comes first.
I’m not kidding you, sisters and brothers…this is what it’s all about day to day…nothing more, nothing less. This is how a narcissist hones his tactics for future targets. Everyone in his life – you included – is practice fodder for his need to deceive and get away with things. And, as we know, deceiving can be about anything at all, even that which we’d consider to be most trivial. This is why, as I’ve always said, a narcissist lies even when the truth is a better story. If he went to one supermarket, he’ll say he went to another…because he can…because he can get away with it because we allow him to. And if by chance he doesn’t get away with it…if we flat-out catch him in a lie and call him out on it..well, he’ll just try something else. He’ll think up another lie. Practice makes perfect. This is where we become crazy, trying to understand why he keeps doing the same thing over and over. Truth and fiction in the relationship starts to blur. We begin to investigate, spy, stalk, and finagle and we end up knowing not a whole lot more than when we started. Because the N admits to nothing unless his back is absolutely up against a wall (a rare occurrence), we become so confused and riddled with anxiety over day to day events that we end up saying nothing at all about anything. And this, my friends, is the end game. Keeping us in a heightened state of anxiety is the desired result of all a narcissist’s nonsense. This is how he creates our reality. Our suffering not only turns him on mentally, it becomes his motivation to get away with as much as he can in the least amount of time possible!
Stay tuned for Part II of this article to learn how the narcissist’s penchant for getting away with things explains everything – and I mean everything – that we’ve ever questioned, tried to analyze, or agonized over in the relationship. I’ll explain further my theory on how the N thinks and how we take everything he does personally when the truth is that it isn’t personal at all. I truly believe that the sooner we understand and accept the reality of our role in the relationship, the quicker our recovery time. I will explain it all to you next week…