My Husband Was A Cerebral Narcissist And Never Wanted Intimacy?

Q: My husband of 40 years died last year. I just recently discovered by all that I read that he was a cerebral narcissist. He was also an alcoholic and passive-aggressive. We dated for 1 year with all the great stuff. Got married and 9 months later I got pregnant. Sex was fine until 1-2 months before she was born. After her birth he turned on a dime. No more sex–started fights every night and then he just got meaner and then verbally and physically abusive. I did all the right things by leaving at times and calling the police and even had a court order of protection 1 time.

My question is he never came back sexually except 1 time to get pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I know he was into p**n and nothing came up as far as him having any affairs. How is this possible. He never discarded me or threatened to leave. Just told me once if I left him he would prove that I was an incompetent mother. Scare tactic. He just devalued me. He was a surgeon and a highly functioning narc and alcoholic. Excelled in his profession. Why did he not want to leave ?? How can somebody live like this ?? No intimacy—lived to work–major supply. I stayed because of my faith—and I knew he could be very vindicative. After reading all the other posts about being discarded I wonder why he never threatened to leave. Seemed content just to be married maybe for appearance sake.

Have any answers. NO SEX/INTIMACY for 40 years blows my mind. Who does that. He never had any red flags before marriage. Perfect gentleman and sex was normal but he was not too experienced. Did he get triggered by her birth ?? Or what ?? Never met a man like this. I hope you have some insights.

A: A classic cerebral narcissist engages in sexual intercourse only on rare occasions and prefers personal stimulation as a means of sexual satisfaction. It is hypothesized that they prefer the anonymity and lack of intimacy associated with p*********y over the intimacy of a personal relationship. A cerebral narcissist gets his Supply from the accolades he receives for his intelligence or work (in your husband’s case, his surgical skills and successes). A cerebral narcissist does not need (or want) intimacy; it is as simple as that. They typically only leave when they are not seen as superior at home; it is clear you still admired him as a surgeon and that was good enough for him. It is hard to say exactly what triggered his narcissism- but if it wasn’t the birth of his child it would have been something else. It also may not have been the birth itself, but the fact that you diverted your attention/adoration to someone else.

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14 Responses to “My Husband Was A Cerebral Narcissist And Never Wanted Intimacy?”

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  1. Debbie L. says:

    I was wondering about all that I had read about discarding, too, as my narc husband showed no interest in leaving (20 yrs). From what I understand of him, having the appearance of a stable marriage and life is VERY important to him…so he can prove to people what a great person he is. He receives a tremendous amount of narc supply from work (he is a workaholic), but also from sex. Unlike the husband above, my narc wanted sex every day and when I couldn’t/wouldn’t comply with his insatiable need, he bullied and abused me to coerce me into it. It was always p**n-sex, not loving or intimate in any way. Interestingly, when I told him recently that I wanted a divorce, he IMMEDIATELY set about to find and quickly did find a replacement for me. He is spending thousands of dollars and all his time to sweep this poor, unsuspecting woman off her feet. Meanwhile, my kids and I have been discarded. For financial reasons we can’t move out till the divorce is final. From the time he found the replacement, he will not look at or speak to or acknowledge the existence of my children or me in any way…..BOOM…DISCARDED!!! I guess every narc has their own way and their own agenda.

    • nicole says:

      Souds like your husband is a somatic narc….not a cerebral one. Somatic narcs are hypersexual in contrast to cerebral narcs who are less sexual.

      • Joe says:

        Or, he could have a mix of both. I was diagnosed with both tendencies, regretfully.

        His “replacement” was more of a new supply than an actual split in a caring relationship. We need our fix, I call it crack and explain it to my wife that way. Once the crack is gone we need more. Sometimes a wife can provide a lifetime of it, other times not.

        Sometimes we find new improved crack (a new woman), someone who has no clue about the true people we really are.

        Regardless I wish you the best Deb and always remember, it is NOT your fault that he is how he is. And neither is it his fault. It is a disorder and coping system he developed at a very early age and until he accepts it he will live in perpetual misery.

        – Joe

        • Denise says:

          Joe,

          I never went back to read any comments on the question I submitted above. I just found them today. I know time has passed and I do not even know if you will read this but in case you do I was wondering if you have any insight for me about my situation.

          I was wondering why my husband never left me, never threatened to. Sex and all intimacy ended after the birth of daughter and I have no reason to believe he was unfaithful as far as a real woman is concerned. However, 40 years of p**n blows me away. I found it 1 year after birth of daughter at times during the marriage (videos, Tapes, computer etc. )and on the i-pad 2 weeks before he died. Is it possible to just enjoy p**n that long and be ok. WOW. The last time I asked him to stop this because of our young grandsons–he just said his life was pathetic and hours later he told me he just wanted to tell me that he was always faithful. Do I believe this ? I know he thought p**n was not cheating. They say NPD people lie but I think he was just more avoidant of conversation always. I have been told a dying person will not lie. Do I believe him ? I struggle thinking 40 year of marriage and he pushed me to marry me after 11 months only to discard me emotionally. Did he not remeber he asked me to marry him and that he got me pregnant. He was a brilliant surgeon and a high functioning alcoholic—abuse in every direction. Why stay ??
          Any comments. I read lots on the internet but not many people will talk about sex/intimacy. I was 25 when my life ended with him, So sad. Never let on except to let me think it was always his drinking. Very prideful. All I know is before he met me he had several very short sexual interactions–not much due to his schooling I am sure —no time too focused on school. Maybe he was already addicted to p**n because he was almost 28 when we met and no long term or steady girls. Thank you for any insight again.

      • Suzanne says:

        I have had sadly both types of Narcissist in a serious relationship.

        The weird thing is they both bombarded my life with their pity manipulation and wound up both living in my house after I moved away. I almost believe they had planned to break me and here’s how sick these guys are I found out my ex husband told everyone in the Christian community I lived in he was my husband after the other one had told everyone he was my live in boyfriend. Do you know that the community hated me and I was given such a hard time I’d never been treated like that before ever. I couldn’t understand where all the unpleasantness from people I didn’t even know was coming from. My ex then used that to get sympathy from women who were so gung-ho on trying to make me jealous with all their womanly kindness to my “husband” it was very interesting for me to watch all of it happen. I’m amazed at how women are so quick to want to hurt other women. It didn’t hurt me because I was over him totally but what did hurt me is no one got to ever get to know me as the person I really was. It was pretty lonely. The other guy did the same thing but had a different approach. All the people I knew groom where I’d moved from he had them thinking I was just using him for repairing my house I’d just bought. He wasn’t that good at doing repairs he had an attitude if he did things his way not my way for sure not even the right way. So he messed up things and used and wore out all my tools . In the end so much was damaged, missing and my new French doors look like a couple junior high kids put them in. I didn’t gain anything by having either of them come here to my point house then refuse to leave. Both went and got drivers licenses with my address so I couldn’t call cops to remove them. Both were the most charming men on the planet extremely patient, loving, overly attentive, they both were push-up about the relationship which should have been a red flag for me. I was young and so naive but NOT TODAY. The only problem with learning about these guys is THEY get DANGEROUS WHEN EXPOSED! So only let on after you are free of them for your safety sake. And don’t ever leave your kids with them thinking they be okay until you get a place. With you gone your kids will be something they torture emotionally because they see them as you. It’s not good. Take your kids and pets with you if you care about them.

  2. BE says:

    Did you ever hear of the Madonna/W***e complex? I’ve been reading about Narcissists for the last 3 days because I am fed up with the way my husband has been treating me for 21 years. He has all the classic signs of the Narcissists, except this one comes with no sex after my son was born. It’s 15 years without sex and all I did was cry because I didn’t get what I did wrong. I read somewhere that the MWC happens when a woman they had sex with (the w***e/wife becomes a mother (the Madonna or saint) they can’t have sex with the wife anymore because they don’t equate love and sex or sex and love. They can’t have the w***e and the saint. Once you become a mother you are like his mother and having sex with you is incest in their minds. Have you ever heard of the story of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley. He took care of her till she was 18 years old, married her had sex with her and as soon as she became a mother he stopped having sex with her. He adored his mother. Men who were ignored by their mothers for whatever reason grow up with this distortion. They replace their mothers with you. If they have sex its with p**n or outsiders. Its a lot easier to have sex with p**n, no fuss no muss..They don’t have to be intimate. I am learning so much about this disorder. I am also so angry. I have grown stronger but am still with him. I am 62 years old now and would not know where to go. He is a very successful man, revered by the community and by his colleagues. I have learned what a con artist he is. To think of all the fighting I did with him in the past only to find out I was feeding his sadistic ego. The acting this man has done could have won him an Academy Award. It’s now 3 days since I have even looked at him or talked to him and it’s killing him but he won’t give in because he has to prove that he did nothing wrong. His wrong..he said something very vile and dirty to my son’s girlfriend in front of his friends and me. He blames it on the fact that he was drinking. He doesn’t have a drinking problem, he used that as an excuse. He apologized to my son but not to his girlfriend or me and I feel he owes me an apology and he just can’t see why? I feel he disrespected his son, his gf, his friends, himself, me, our home and our marriage. He is trying to turn this around like he has so many times trying to make it look like its my fault and this time I am not giving in, not after all the articles on this subject that I have read. He is so perplexed because he can’t figure out why I am being so stubborn. He usually gets what he wants and it starts all over again. Constantly ignoring me and having nothing to do with me except when he needs me to do his cooking etc. I also found out that every friendship I have had were narcissists. I have let go of every single one within the last two years, I know now that my scapegoating and insecurities, being a doormat etc came from the woman who raised me, my aunt, the most evil narcissist on this planet. She beat me down verbally, mentally and physically and it’s no wonder I picked my first husband and second as narcissist. I have no friends right now and I prefer it that way because I am trying to figure it all out and I don’t want to make the mistake of picking more narcissist in my life.

  3. Marie says:

    I am married to the exact copy of your x-husband. He did this to his first wife and mother of his children. He is all about his success at work. When his wife had children he felt abandon by her, he could not stand the shift in her attention to the children. He told me she stopped sleeping with him and I am sure their sex life changed some due to the child care focus that is natural, but I realize now alot of the story he told me is projection on his part. It was really him that stopped sleeping with her and it was a form of punishment for not getting the same “supply” as before. He also claims to be a visual person, he likes p**n and strippers as well, which is divorced of intimacy of course. My story with him as a third wife is different all together. Anyway, sorry you got discarded it is not you it is him, he gets what he needs from work, not you. Work provides a more reliable consistant supply, your focus and supply is unpredictiable, because you are involved in childcare. He is pulling away from me sexually too, so the pattern continues.

  4. Marie says:

    Oh sorry, I forgot while I was writing your husband died last year. I am sorry for your loss. I know it is possible to love these crazy people because I love mine. Anyway, as I said mine pulls away from me too and I am certain it is a form of punishment and his need for consistant “supply”, however, I have not been dicarded over my focus changing from wife to mother. It is just I am not good an worshipping him I guess… however, I was in awe of all his acheivements at work when we met, so that is why he married me. Same as you being in awe of your brilliant surgeon. How crazy this life is!!!

    Hope I helped you with the reason you were discarded.

    • Denise says:

      Marie:
      Thank -You for you condolences. It has been over a year and the questions still roll. I just do not know why he never left or ever threatened. I think I was just a great mom to him and a trophy after the chase. I am a great Cook, baker, housekeeper, organizer and all those functional things. I am not vain but I am now 64 and still wear a size 2, still told I am beautiful and that I do not look my age. I hate to think he just married me for my looks. VERY PATHETIC !! I have alot more to offer than that. I hate to think the birth of my daughter did him in. He pushed to marry me and then 9 mos. later I get pregnant by him and he discards me emotionally. What was he thinking. Makes me ill thinking about it. Always though his problems were alcohol. I hope his drinking did not escalate just because he hated being home around his family. This is all so sad. He told me he was always faithful to me 2 weeks before he died—-after being caught watching p**n and stating that his life ws pathetic. Wondering if I should believe him. 40 years of p**n which was a recurrent problem and no remorse or shame ever is unbelievable. It would be easier to believe he had an affair or something. More normal anyway—-not right but at least it would be relational. Hard to understand how you get so much seemingly normalacy before marriage and then zero. Just rage, hate, abuse and constant putdowns daily. He was really good though—no red flags before marriage. Amazing—major shift. Still seems surreal. Maybe triggered by daughters birth or??? no longer a sex object after seeing me a mother–or pregnant a turn off. Sick !!
      All is just too sad.

  5. Thebutterflygirl says:

    Denise– You are 62..obviously still attractive. Go HAVE FUN! Don’t look back and try to figure him out anymore. God rest his soul and now it’s time to move on. You were a good wife to someone who was obviously suffering. I’m sure he didn’t want it that way (no excuse though). But now this is about YOU, don’t try to figure him out any more. Now you know how to spot a narcissist- don’t make that same mistake. I wish you the best but please this world is wonderful and you are young. There are still some good guys left 🙂

    • Denise says:

      Butterfly girl,

      Thank you for your kind words. I know you are right. However easier said then done. 40 years is a lot of life & as I said I did not know about NPD until 6 months after his death. I am a Christian & I know The Lord had me read about mysogyny 30 years ago. Plus asked me to stay. Not easy but The Lord floated my boat. Name of the book He had me read was: Men who hate women & the women who love them. I could relate to the control. Back then they did not know too much about NPD & no computer. I was reminded of the mysogony –which led me to the NPD after his death. Yes, the facts were there plus his alcohol & p**n addiction. Lots of questions–I have to let go I know. He was
      totally dependent on me except for sex—- punishing or triggered or previous p**n addiction, alcoholism or intimacy issues. Wish I knew why he never wanted to leave— he said he hated me & wanted to kill me several times while drinking.
      Never threatened to leave ever. No red flags before marriage either. It is just so sad. Dead & no closure either.. I know I need to trust The Lord still but this was a shock. So much to process — do not know how to let this all go.

  6. Cathy says:

    Hi Denise,

    I just had to reach out to you because I’m in exactly the same boat as you and I’ve been asking myself all the same “why?”s. I am 45 and my husband passed away 6 months ago after a 25 year marriage. Sorry for your loss and I know you’re hurting. I have the same story basically, although we dated for 10 years before our daughter was born and our sex life before that was great. Not a lot of intercourse but otherwise very adventurous sexually and lots of fun. From the moment my attention was divided between him and a baby onwards it changed. Only hindsight has really allowed for me to see this. Slowly, slowly at first – but it had changed to a passive aggressive “if you really loved me”, always when I was busy, mind you – and then in the final years there was no sexual intimacy at all. I thought he had just lost his sex drive and didn’t want to make him feel inadequate. Little did I know!

    Three months after his passing I discover I’ve been married to a stranger. Or so it felt at the time. I now believe he’s given me the gift of being the only person who knew the real him. Now I feel HE is the one showing all this to me. Narcissism is all about a deep-seated fear and protecting the ego, and both of those are left at the door on the way out. I only think now he can see the effect his actions had on those he loved and is making amends and sending his love with the message “It wasn’t you, it was me”.

    One of the questions I started asking myself is ‘why didn’t he leave if he wasn’t happy?’. Mine also never gave the hint of leaving the marriage, not even slightly. Other than his insecurities I thought he was very happy and loved us very much, and certainly everyone who knew us thought so too. His friends flocked to us in support after he died. They didn’t know about the passive aggressive BS I had to put up with on an almost daily basis. Making me believe that I didn’t love him enough and I was to blame for any unhappiness, which I did start to believe. Throughout our marriage there was a continual naked-to-the-visible-eye power shift, which I can only now see in hindsight, where he jokingly pointed out my flaws whilst having me reassure him of his. That b*****d! lol To everyone else he was a competent, well-loved, kind, caring man who loved his family very much. And, honestly, I really do think deep down he did. Please believe that also. I believe these people have a very tender heart which they had to protect.

    In the months after his death I’ve had quite a time. I’ve discovered he was a narcissist (a condition I knew nothing about!), a drug addict (how did I not know that??), and I’m even more shocked to discover, a sex-addict. I had no idea. I’d never even found a p**n mag stashed away. Mine was into internet p**n and had two internet affairs going on. The p**n was a shock. It was all about female humiliation and domination, and I truly believe it all leads back to a controlling, abusive, dismissive and selfish mother. The online “affairs”, which started after the drugs, well I read through them, and they weren’t even him. Two different ‘nice guy’ personas depending on the women with the pure intent of garnering sympathy and adoration. My daughter and I adoring him wasn’t enough. I’ve spent the last couple of months searching high and low for more (email accounts dating back years, text messages, phone calls, bank records, etc) and there’s nothing more. So to answer your question is it even possible to be just p**n and fantasy? Yes, I do believe that’s very possible. It’s safe and there’s no chance of physical intimacy or destroying the marriage. In my husband’s case the online women were both married mothers living on the other side of the globe – in other words in fantasyland. Free supply on demand. A narcissist’s dream!

    I’m working my way through it. I feel this bomb being dropped on me hasn’t even allowed me to grieve him properly. I absolutely believe that I’m finding out all this now for a reason. I believe I’m being given this parting gift to fix what I need to within me. Also to not waste our days grieving him but to enjoy what life has to offer. I feel I’m becoming stronger every day. If you believe that a soul comes to earth to grow and evolve, then they didn’t. They were stunted in childhood and never truly happy within. It’s very sad when you look at it that way. My husband was a very loving and shy boy who in photos is always peeking out from behind his mothers skirt. He grew up to be a caring, popular, successful (in business and marriage/family), outgoing man. Only my daughter and I knew he suffered from depression/mood swings sometimes at home. It’s not a very happy life and takes a lot of energy to uphold. Mine relied on me for everything also. I believe home was his one safe place. Although hard for us the lack of sexual intimacy, none of this is our fault.

    In closing I will say one last thing, and to any other wives of narcissistic men who may also read this…. I believe we were chosen very carefully. We were strong and someone who they knew their heart was always safe in our hands and would never hurt them. Too bad ours wasn’t safe in theirs.

    Cathy

    • Denise says:

      Cathy:

      I just found your note. I am so sorry for your loss. Did you get any closure before his death??? I know you did not know about the NPD but did he say anything to you. What did he die of ? I did not get any closure but as I said I too had no idea about the NPD until 6 months after his death. I always knew something was majorly wrong but as I said I thought it was the alcohol. As a Christian the LOrd had me read a book on Mysogyny (Men who hate women and the women who love them ) back in the 80″s. Back then they did not know what they know know about the connection between mysogyny and narcissism or NPD in general—no computers. All I took from that book was about the control. He was a control freak. Then I guess through the decades I forgot about it until I was reminded by the Lord 6 months after died. I then started to rearch all this and ended up with the NPD. He too was very passive aggressive, abuse in all counts, devalued after the birth of my daughter—never discarded just emotionally checking out of the marriage for decades–almost 40 total. Was faithful to come home every night. Showed contempt for me. Only time he acted normal was out in public—people probably thought we were the perfect couple. I know it is not our fault but it still hurts majorly. Lots of questions I see in hindsight. I could have handled a lot better than I did. We fought daily since he came home every night and drank—his drinking killed him. It is so sad that the man you just wanted to love just could not open up a little just saying something was not right but do not know what. I was about to leave 7 years into the marriage but when I cried out to the Lord one night—He answered back and asked me to stay. NOT EASY !!!! Got worse but the Lord gave me the strength and the joy to keep walking a day at a time. If it is any comfort to you—–I believe God gave you and he the grace to stay married as He did for us. I truly believe if I would have divorced my husband he would not have made it without his family. His drinking would have done him in sooner. Also, he was very dependent on me for EVERYTHING except sex.
      I believe he married me for all my strengths and then tried to destroy me because of them—-reduce me to nothing. I also have been told that he could not leave because of his DEPENDENCY on me and resented that too.
      You were probably chosen too because anyone else would have left him—divorced him. I am a nurse very nurturing—-and I guess you are too. They needed that but hated us for it—very threatening. Intimacy. Mine wanted me just to play mom and take care of all those needs—maybe can not see us as a sex figure once giving birth or maybe since sex-addiction and NPD go together they could have had a problem before we met or else the bent toward addiction. Or possibly thought we could be the answer to their problem once they married us which it did not. Too many dynamics involved. Sex addiction is highly secretive so I have read. Many wives were oblivious to their husbands involvement whatever their inclination was. Shocked after years of secrecy. I have nothing on my husband except continual p**n—no remorse ever. Just more deceitful in hiding it. I know after decades of hurt I developed walls against the hurt/woundedness and it took me many months before the walls came down. Cycled through lots of emotions and the bottom line is the DARKNESS WAS DARKER THAN I THOUGHT. The Lord is faithful —ask him to heal your brokenness He knows all about the relationship. We all have strengths and weaknesses so their are lessons to be learned. If I knew it was NPD I probably would have dealt differently. Dealing with his alcoholism I think I was hard on him most of the time. More hard than having control of my emotions and being more vulnerable with what all this made me feel like. I am sure you too have have had the would haves, could haves and should haves but we need to process this. We did the best we knew at the time. I also think after all my research the if we did decide to leave our lives could have been more painful—so I have read. By grace we walked through it all.
      One last note. The night after my husband died my eldest daughter had a prophetic dream—she always had been a dreamer since her childhood. One way the Lord speaks with her. Anyway she dreamt that she, my youngest daughter, myself and my mother-in-law were at my mother-in-laws house sitting around the table when the phone rang. My eldest answered it and it was my husband. He told her that he was sorry that he had to leave so soon and that he missed everyone. In her dream she was angry–???? where did you go ??? Then he said tell you mother that I love her, I have always loved her and that she is the only one that I ever loved. Even though there is not marriage in heaven I will always love her.
      She then woke up !!!! I know the Lord gave her this dream because if he gave it to me I would have questioned if it was me who wanted this to happen. However, with my daughter I knew it was from the LOrd because she hears from the Lord through dreams and I knew she did not fabricate it. Also, because my husband died so quickly—-terminal diagnosis to death 10 days. He never said he loved me—or had any closure—he too had lots of walls up. I know the Lord wanted me to know this was on my husbands heart. He knew I would need it—–I believe once he died all the bondages he had in the natural were gone. No more dealing with the temptations of the flesh—-he was free to finally express himself—be vulnerable. A lot too late and I wish I could have had it here but—–Lots of questions without answers we may never get. Lots to just let go. My prayers are with you—be strengthened in the Lord. As you walk through the valley of death fear no evil for He is with you. This is a death to lost dreams and hopes. Thank-You for your reply. Must say I forget to check this site—glad I did. If there is anything I can answer let me know. Remember mine was a brilliant surgeon and 163 IQ. He was clueless could have had it all but too much pride to ever be open just to admit something was not right. All this just makes me very sad. If you are like me I just wanted to love him. I too believe he had a sensitive heart that got destroyed somewhere. Forget the sex—I would have been happy to just have him put his arm around me or lie next to him if I knew he had intimacy issues. However, could not even talk about this. Just made him very angry if I tried or cried. I guess he saw this as either weakness on my part as for him control/power over me. WOW that one is hard–fear of intimacy or being engulfed ??
      Take care—-Blessing of wholeness and peace, joy and a destiny yet to be fulfilled.
      Denise

    • Huia says:

      You are amazing women,,,I’m not going to go on about my story ,,, except it’s very similar ,,,he’s here with me now 40yrs,,,how ever I feel really grateful to you and all the others who have told their heart felt stories,,, thank you,you have helped me so Mutch ,,,, I can now I think ,,,, think with a deferent frame of mind,,or aspect,, to heal the hurting in myself,,,thank you all..

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