Did You Marry an Illusion or a Real Person?

Did You Marry an Illusion or a Real Person?

Have you ever been in a dating relationship where you were literally swept off your feet? If you have, or if you have a friend or relative who has, you know what a wonderful, whirlwind time was experienced during the time before the marriage.

He was Mr. Wonderful. He remembered your favorite color, flowers, and movies. He took you to your favorite restaurants, loved the same music as you did, found ways to buy you gifts and always made you feel special.

Sure, there were times when he didn’t like your friends, so you found yourself spending less time with them than him. There were also times when he did or said something cruel or hurtful, but he immediately apologized and did something special to make up for the slip.

All in all, you felt amazing, beautiful, desirable, and like you had found the person of your dreams. While your friends and family were cold towards him, deep down you knew it was because they were jealous and had never experienced a love as you had.

The Narcissist

While there are men who are Mr. Wonderful and Mr. Right, the over-the-top-level of treatment during an often whirlwind courtship is a sign of someone who is creating an illusion of the perfect partner.

It becomes more difficult for the narcissist to maintain the illusion over a long period of time.

There is often a shorter dating period and a quick proposal. The narcissist sees the partner as a trophy to be won, and for someone with lower levels of self-esteem or without a lot of experience with this type of partner.

it can be a very good feeling, at least for a while.

However, after the marriage, the illusion no longer needs to be maintained. The narcissist has won the prize, and now there is no longer the thrill of the hunt.

This is when the true behaviors about their own insecurity, their inability to focus on anyone or anything but themselves and their needs starts to become the dominant personality trait.

Signs of a Narcissist

The signs of a narcissist in the early stages of marriage are often easy to spot if you are able to look from the outside in.

As explained in the insightful book, The Marriage and Relationship Junkie, Sherry Gaba outlines how the partner has now committed all to the relationship, and may not be willing or able to see the changes occurring right before their eyes.

The most common changes as the illusion drops and the real personality surfaces can include –

1. Blame

Everything that goes wrong is your fault, even if it is nothing related to what you have done.


2. Cold and disconnected

There is no emotional connection other than what you are to provide for him.

3. Sudden anger

Discussions are a minefield and it is impossible to know what will set off an angry outburst.

4. You are second

Your thoughts, plans, ideas, and dreams are no longer important, relevant or have any meaning or value.

A narcissist cannot sustain a long, balanced relationship

A narcissistic is not someone who doesn’t know how to be a relationship.

This is someone who has no ability to be in a relationship and cannot sustain a loving, caring, balanced relationship, no matter what you are able to give him.

Working with a therapist is critical. This can help you to get out of the unhealthy and abusive relationship and make positive changes to rebuild your life and emotional well-being.

Sherry Gaba
Psychotherapist,  LCSW
Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Certified Transformation and Recovery Coach and the leading Psychotherapist on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Sex Addiction. She helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re a love addict or sign up for a 30-minute strategy session. She is also the author of “The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking your Obsession”. Sherry maintains a private practice in Westlake Village and is a sought-after online dating and relationship coach. For more information visit her website or sign up today for Sherry online group coaching program for $19/month here.

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