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Narcissists' Secret Lives

Posted Apr 16 2010 1:38pm
The narcissist leads a life of deception. He or she is a master of disguise, a seasoned actor expertly playing many roles. Above all, he/she is secretive. You can be married to a narcissist for decades and never know about their innumerable exploits and betrayals. The narcissist is gifted at wearing different personas. He is continually searching his environment for a steady stream of narcissistic supplies: praise, adulation, monetary largesse, worldly power, sexual conquests, social status. One  golden source for the narcissist is leading a secret life. This comes naturally to the narcissist since he is unhindered by conscience or scruples.  

"The narcissist puts his life in neat compartments that are sealed off from one another...It is not unusual for a narcissistic personality to juggle a series of mistresses and wives with other peripheral affairs as well."  The restless narcissist is so grandiose that he believes that he is entitled to ignore marriage vows. Together with their chronic lying which they have developed to a fine art and their feverish search for the next ego thrill, it is not surprising that the narcissist has a secret life. Doing what is forbidden excites him. It adds a touch of danger that heightens the power of the sexual cocktail. The narcissist knows that he will never get caught---he is too clever and brilliant. The "rules" that apply to ordinary human beings are void for him or her. He is superior--special and chosen and as a result he makes his own rules. 

Narcissists are always making secret deals in their private and professional lives. If you have a legal contract with a narcissist in a business situation, do not be surprised when he hires lawyers to find a loophole that destroys your case. The narcissist makes a lot of side bets and pits one person against the other. Narcissists appear to have endless energy to pursue their desires and to fulfill their manic grandiose ambitions.

I have heard many life stories from women and men who were married to narcissists who have been shocked by the extremity of their narcissistic spouses lives of secrecy and duplicity. When confronted with the details of their counterfeit lives and their devastating betrayals of others, the narcissist always has an answer, a rationale, a clever lie handy. The narcissist will turn the spouse's confrontation with the truth into an accusation of the injured party. This strikes fear into many spouses who are quieted and lulled back into the narcissist's delusion, telling themselves: "He couldn't have done that to me. It's my overactive imagination and fear." "He did someting horrible to me, almost unforgiveable, but he promised never to repeat this behavior again." "He got carried away; he's only human. Think about the wonderful lifestyle you share with him." The spouse's excuses for the narcissist's reprehensible deeds are endless. These individuals are unable to let go of the narcissistic abuse because they are psychologically fused with him. They are terrified of being alone and abandoned. The truth about the narcissist's destructive secret life to all of those close to him begins to fade and in its place the cover-up gains ground and replaces the real nature of the narcissist's deceptive, mendacious secretive personality. To protect yourself from the psychological toxicity of the narcissist, visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation

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