The spouse of the extreme narcissist shouldn’t expect to stick around for long, even if they’re willing to put up with the narcissist’s selfish or hurtful behaviour.
The extreme narcissist might be superficially charming to people outside their family but at home, they let their true, nasty colours show.
They desire recognition and praise, so they’ll make the effort to butter up those people who’ll speak highly of them in public and bolster their reputation.
At home, they have no need to be pleasant with their spouse. The prey has been caught; the trophy acquired. The spouse of the extreme narcissist should expect neglect at best; abuse at worst.
There are two types of people who’ll marry an extreme narcissist: a people-pleaser or another narcissist. One narcissist will marry another, perhaps even more extreme narcissist, to establish a mutually-exploitative and mutually beneficial relationship.
Both narcissists understand that there’s no love to be found in this arrangement – which is more like a business transaction than a meaningful, intimate connection. Both people are using the other in order to facilitate their own goals.
One narcissist will choose to become the spouse of another, more extreme narcissist in order to have a wealthy lifestyle, or more popularity. They desire social status, influence, fame. They’ll use the money and connections of their spouse to build their own brand.
Examples of two narcissists together can be found in the coupling of a popular musician with a social media personality, or the marriage of a powerful head of state with a former model.
Problems can arise when one of the narcissists in the marriage is more extreme than the other and more exploitative. The other narcissist might become indignant and push back. Trouble will certainly ensue.
These marriages may last, if both spouses are achieving their goals and neither one is feeling put upon, but sometimes, the clash of egos can result in a cataclysmic break-up.
When two narcissists are angry at each-other, prepare to duck as the missiles are fired back and forth. To paraphrase an old quote, Hell hath no fury like a narcissist scorned.
On the flip side of the coin, the other type of person who’ll marry an extreme narcissist is a people-pleaser. This is someone who’s looking to their spouse for love and validation.
They believe that by being “nice,” they’ll finally be appreciated and can feel better about themselves.
Sadly, the people-pleaser is attracted to people-users, like extreme narcissists. The extreme narcissist, in turn, is attracted to the pleaser, believing that this person is more likely to give them what they want, whenever they want it.
In this dynamic, the extreme narcissist exploits the pleaser until they’ve used them up. The narcissist then moves on to their next conquest. Often, the pleaser gets burnt out, has a mental or physical breakdown or finally gets angry at being so horribly exploited and sues for divorce.
These marriages rarely end well for the pleaser, who may never fully recover from their time with the extreme narcissist. The narcissist, however, being far more crafty and unscrupulous, as well as emotionally impervious, will most often escape unscathed.
When two narcissists marry, they deserve each-other and all bets are off, but it’s sad to see the tender-hearted people-pleaser being so blatantly exploited. If you recognize in yourself any people-pleasing tendencies, be very careful about whom you’re attracted to.
The last thing you want is to find yourself on family day next year being unhappily married to an extreme narcissist who’s incapable of loving you or seeing you for the beautiful and valuable person that you are.