Why Do Narcissists get Married?

I now pronounce you…

Wait! You said, ‘I Do?

Marrying a narcissist is not the end of the world (there’s always a way out, even if it’s messy). However, understanding exactly what you’ve got into once you see the mask start to slip can be devastating.

You think you’re starting a brand new chapter with the one you love, only to realize they’re a narcissist and any kind of happiness you feel you deserve is going to be crushed over the years.

It’s then you ask yourself, “Why do they even want to get married if they’re so toxic?”

Well, believe it or not, there are several reasons why a narcissist wants to exchange vows and commit to a life with somebody – and as a spoiler, none of them go in your favor.

Let’s take a deeper look.

To You…

Marriage is a symbol of love. It shows you are committed to making your relationship work with somebody you care deeply for. It represents the conscious want and desire to be there for that person through thick and thin.

For better, for worse, and everything in between.

You’d be right to have those values about marriage. 

It takes work to make a marriage survive and stand the test of time. It takes strength, love, patience and compromise. It also takes empathy and the concept that you must also both remain yourselves within the union, so as not to get lost in each other’s identities. 

That’s why you might get married, anyway…

Fear of Abandonment

Often overlooked, the narcissist actually has a fear of abandonment.

I’m just talking about you going out for drinks with your friends at the weekend (although, equally, I actually could be if the fear is that bad), but I am talking about you leaving them. 

They can’t bear the idea of being rejected because if you walked away, it would be a symbol that you no longer want them.

What does that do?

Well, that reignites their secret yet deeply embedded belief that they aren’t good enough, that they are actually very unloveable, and that they do not deserve to be with anybody as good as you. 

Marriage is a reassuring way for the narcissist to believe and realize that they are in something ‘permanent’ – which can help die back those flames of insecurity that you’re going to leave them.

Expectations Within Their Culture

Marriage is still viewed by many as a pressure or expectation to get married. When we look around the world, and I think we are getting better with this as a society by the way, marriage, in essence, is proof that you are doing what is expected of you.

Narcissists like this idea, because they feel they are conforming to an idea or concept that proves they are one of those dually dedicated to keeping those concepts alive. 

If it isn’t the right thing for the narcissist, they will still dive in and go ahead with it, because they want to look good in the eyes of everybody else.

While that may be superficial – hey – that’s the narcissist.

They Love a Show!

I mean – like any of us needed reminding of the narcissist’s love and craving for a good show, and what better show to put on than that of a wedding!

Come one, come all!

If they could sell tickets, they would! 

For one day, they are the center of attention, and they get to declare their love for you in front of potentially hundreds of people. What better way to throw off their narcissistic scent than by proving their love and affection for you in the form of vows, promises, rings and gestures?

The narcissist wants to throw the wedding that nobody will forget. With over-the-top themes, ideas, and extravagances, they will ensure that their ‘love’ for you remains in the minds of your guests, which is especially handy on the occasions you may decide to tell people of your concerns later down the line.

Clarity? What Clarity?

Narcissists aren’t clear people. They never say what they mean, they never mean what they say. They don’t like to sit on the side of honesty, so sometimes they can enter into a marriage without any real clue as to why.

For you, you love them, you want this, you want to settle down and have children and live happily ever after. For them? All they see is somebody who wants them. They don’t understand why they’re entering into something so complex, and this can make it pretty evident that you won’t be on the same page as them throughout.

This lack of consistency will eventually become problematic, but it’s safe to say there will be no shared values between you when you enter marriage. 

Harder For You to Leave?

The narcissist looks upon marriage as a high impossibility that you will never leave them. For you, to say yes to such a wonderful display of affection, is going to make your day. You’ll feel all your dreams are coming true as this person actually loves you and wants to be with you!

For them? Well, they’ve got you. They’ve got you hook, line and sinker.

They know that when you say yes and bolster your way through the wedding plans and the fairytale wedding itself, this ‘contract’ is final. The narcissist will always have somebody to reach out to for supply, conflict, gaslight, shame, ridicule, criticize, love bomb, and discard—that’s you now.

Once the dotted line has been signed, the narcissist knows it will be hard for you to leave, and usually when it finally comes to divorce – the narcissist can make you pay for wanting out. 

There is Always a Way Out

I’m not here to tell you what to do. Whether you’re married, engaged, in a relationship or single – the aim is to inform you and keep your knowledge on narcissism always within reach should you need it. 

On that note, I want you to also file this piece of knowledge away in case you need to remember it someday.

There is always a way out. 

If you are in a marriage or relationship that’s heading that way with a narcissist, and you feel or sense you’re becoming trapped – never for one second believe that there’s no way to escape.

It does not matter if you are twenty-five or eighty-five—you’ve earned your right to freedom if that’s what you feel is calling you. 

And freedom is attainable, no matter what you’ve been led to believe. 

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