Narcissists often move rapidly in a relationship. They have been known to meet someone and within six months or less, they’re marrying them. For someone who fears intimacy the way a narcissist does, this seems like it’s too fast. But it happens in many relationships involving a narcissist. So why is a narcissist in a hurry to get married?
The reasons narcissists want to get married relate to their need for both narcissistic supply and a relationship that raises their status among peers. They want someone who is a steady source of love and adoration. They also want to secure their relationship with someone who boosts their image.
If you think your romantic partner is a narcissist, it’s vital to understand why they might seem to be moving so fast. For your own well-being, you need to realize the reason behind the speed with which they’re moving. Read on to gain valuable insight into why a narcissist would want to marry you as fast as they can.
Why are Narcissists in a Hurry to Get Married?
To truly understand why narcissists want to marry so quickly, you have to understand what drives the narcissist’s behavior. When the narcissist was a child, they failed to develop a strong sense of self. They constructed a false self-image, but they need other people to prop up their self-esteem because their false self-image can’t do that.
A spouse is someone who can be a steady, constant source of this external validation the narcissist needs. It’s someone they can be around almost all the time who loves them and will feed them the ego-boosting adoration they need to feel good about themselves.
When the narcissist has found someone they want to marry, they want to seal the deal as soon as they can for that constant source of adoration. But that’s not the only reason they want to marry so quickly. They also want the world to see them as successful in every part of their life.
The narcissist wants to be seen as the loving husband or supportive wife, and that forms an important part of their self-image. The faster they can achieve that and project the image they believe shows their superiority, the better.
This is part of why narcissists look for people who are impressive to marry. You might think they would target vulnerable people who can easily be manipulated, but in fact, the research shows no real pattern in partner choice.
Narcissists often choose people who are successful, intelligent, and good-looking because it makes the narcissist look good to be with someone like that. Partners are basically trophies that prove the superiority of the narcissist. This is part of why they want to get married so fast.
How Does a Narcissist Affect Their Relationship?
Narcissists are famously manipulative and controlling, and that often shows up in their interpersonal relationships. However, the researchers who wrote the paper linked above found that narcissistic wives had a stronger effect on both their and their husbands’ marital satisfaction than narcissistic husbands.
The researchers hypothesize that may be because men with narcissistic traits are considered more normal in our culture than women with the same traits. In other words, it’s expected that men will be somewhat grandiose in their behavior, they will brag more about their accomplishments, and they tend to think of themselves as superior.
In our culture, these qualities are often associated with a high degree of self-confidence in a man, and it is expected for them to behave that way. Women, however, are supposed to be nurturing and modest. That’s why it doesn’t work the same way if the woman is a narcissist.
The researchers also found that it takes some time for the narcissistic traits to become evident to a partner. They can’t maintain the illusion forever, however, and so the sooner they can seal the deal, the better it will be for them. It’s another reason they marry so quickly.
Do Narcissists Divorce Often?
Narcissists do tend to marry and divorce several times. When they begin trying to manipulate their partners as they disappoint the narcissist, the relationship often enters the devaluation stage. That’s when the narcissist begins to criticize their partner, lie to them, gaslight them, and engage in other techniques that cause them psychological distress.
It’s often at this stage that the partner will leave the narcissist. They can’t understand the dramatic changes they’re seeing in their spouse, but they do begin to realize that this change may represent the narcissist’s true nature.
If their spouse doesn’t leave them, the narcissist will continue with devaluation, but they are usually also finding alternate sources of narcissistic supply. They want to have someone waiting in the wings in case their partner leaves them or they decide to discard their spouse.
It also makes them feel powerful and attractive to get someone to have an affair with them and to be able to successfully fool their spouse. They get a big boost in their self-esteem.
After a while, the narcissist may feel as though they have gotten everything they need from their spouse, and as a result, they become bored with them. This is when they will leave, and they typically do that with little or no explanation.
It often leaves their spouse confused and traumatized by the dramatic changes that have occurred throughout their relationship. The narcissist has typically moved on to the lover they had taken before leaving. It’s also not uncommon that they will marry that person very quickly after securing a divorce.
Why Will a Narcissist Return to You?
Narcissists learn early on in life that they often need to cycle through relationships. They will move from friend to friend and the same is true of their romantic relationships. They may leave you, but they will likely return at some point.
After you’ve been apart for a while, the narcissist may send a ‘flying monkey’ to find out what you’re doing now. The term flying monkey comes from the movie The Wizard of Oz. The wicked witch had the flying monkeys to help her do her dirty work.
Like the witch, the narcissist has flying monkeys who are friends that will help them get information when they need it. These friends will show up at places you frequent unexpectedly, and they are just making friendly conversation when they ask you what’s going on in your life.
Whatever you tell them goes straight back to the narcissist who will then use it to their advantage. For them, you were once a good source of narcissistic supply, and they know you can be once again.
They also know that it’s probably easier for them to get you back because you loved them at one point than it is to get someone new. That’s why they will turn back on the charm and try to get you back even years after a breakup.
Can You Be Happy Married to a Narcissist?
The truthful answer here is maybe, but it’s difficult. To be happy in a marriage, most people want to feel loved, and narcissists aren’t good at expressing such an intense emotion. Love makes you vulnerable and narcissists hate and fear feeling vulnerable.
If you can accept that you will need to get certain emotional needs met by other people in your life, you might get past that. But you will also have to live with constant attempts to manipulate and control you.
You’ll have to set and maintain strong boundaries and you’ll have to be constantly vigilant to prevent that from happening. On top of that, there is a high likelihood your narcissistic spouse will cheat on you, something that’s a deal-breaker for most people.
If you can understand all that and feel strongly that you still want to try to make it with a narcissist, then perhaps you can achieve some level of happiness. It is a difficult path, however, and you have to be prepared for the strong possibility that the marriage will ultimately fail.
Narcissists marry quickly because they want to seal the deal before you realize their true nature. They also want to start projecting that image of a loving, successful spouse to impress their friends, colleagues, and family as soon as they can. Perhaps most of all, they want to secure that steady source of narcissistic supply. That doesn’t always work well for their spouse, however.
If you’re struggling in a relationship with a narcissist, you’ll definitely need to read this post about whether or not a narcissist cares about your feelings. It’s an important part of any relationship to care about what your partner thinks and feels, so it’s vital to understand how a narcissist experiences this.
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