We all know that narcissists are not going to be the easiest of people to be married to and that it’s also probably not the best decision to marry them but marry them we do.
Of course, if we knew then what we would come to find out in the future, we would soon realize that our charming, good looking, charismatic, and attentive fiance wears a coat of disguise that even the most discerning of people might fail to notice.
Before long, our knight in shining armour or our beautiful princess begins to show their true colors. Only you won’t know what is happening or how tragic their true colors are, until you are well and truly locked into their arms, and they have sucked all of the life out of you.
That’s marriage to a narcissist for you.
Some people, instead of asking the question ‘how do narcissists stay married?’, would probably ask how on earth a narcissist married in the first place?
So we have set out to answer both of these questions. Keep on reading to find out how.
1. The charm
The narcissist’s initial charm is the reason why a narcissist married in the first place, and it’s also likely to be the answer to how narcissists stay married.
It might seem strange that somebody who displays such ugly characteristics can have the level of charm that a narcissist can display.
The charm that a narcissist displays at the beginning of a relationship by far excels the charm from any other average person, and it’s this charm that captures the hearts of the person they marry.
But the problem here is that this ‘charm’ is not real, the narcissist just knows what they need to do to exceed your romantic fantasies and ‘become’ the perfect person for you.
This charm is likely to be the reason why narcissists manage to marry and also part of the answer to the question ‘how do narcissists stay married?’.
2. The abuse cycle
It’s the experience of the charm (discussed above) can cause the spouse of the narcissist to continue to have hope that one day they might rekindle what they once had. Perhaps chalking the abusive behavior of their narcissist spouse as being due to stress, or maybe some other reasonable issue.
What they probably don’t realize is that this behavior they see in their spouse will not change for this is who they are.
The chances are that the spouse of the narcissist will never see the kind and charming side of their spouse ever again. Unless the narcissist believes that he or she is about to lose their spouse, their behavior remains unaltered.
If the narcissist believes that they could lose their spouse they may try to use their charm to recapture the heart of their spouse once more.
But, the second time the charm is turned on it probably won’t be as strong, or as effective as it once was. However, it will be enough, due to the effects of the abuse cycle.
This whole situation is an example of the abuse cycle where an individual feels strong feelings for their abuser, makes excuses for their behavior and can’t break free from their destructive and abusive behavior.
Throughout the years of marriage to a narcissist, there has been ample opportunity for the narcissist to chip away at their spouse’s confidence, to isolate them and make them feel inadequate as though they wouldn’t find anyone better than their narcissistic spouse.
This constant chipping away will reduce the narcissist’s spouses’ confidence, sense of self and esteem. It might cause them to doubt their decision-making capabilities and question themselves unnecessarily as a result of gas-lighting.
It’s this disempowerment and gaslighting that also explains how a narcissist stays married.
Narcissists are good at manipulating and disempowering their spouse.
4. Control and power
Now that their spouse is disempowered, the narcissist can assert control over them at their whim.
This is yet another example of how a narcissist stays married.
It takes a lot of effort for the spouse of the narcissist to break free of the emotional, mental, and occasionally physical implications of being married to a narcissist.
In some cases, the effort is too much for the spouses weakened state and so they remain married. Until the spouse of the narcissist finds the strength to walk away, the narcissist remains married (for how long, depends on the will of his or her victim).
Being married to a narcissist may be hard but understanding how a narcissist stays married is much easier.
A narcissist will never stay married through the expression of love, compassion, or respect. Instead, it will be through manipulation, control, and force.
All of the above might seem to be a harsh perspective on narcissistic behavior. But, in studies, very few narcissists have managed to show empathy, and when they have, it’s extremely limited, which does explain why the story is so bleak.
It’s highly unlikely that the narcissist will change – no matter how much they promise that they will.