Narcissists frequently have divorces and get remarried? Why would a narcissist do this. Can you expect them to get better? Here is how a narcissist handles a remarriage.
Narcissists usually get remarried as a way to improve their image and supplement their sense of self worth. You can never expect a narcissist to reform or get better as a consequence of getting remarried. Usually they will continue with the same behavior as before.
Marrying a narcissist can be a huge mistake, especially if you are unprepared for how they change after the honeymoon period. This is what you need to know when you marry a divorced narcissist —
Why Would a Narcissist Remarry?
Narcissist use marriage and relationships as a way of obtaining status and prestige in their community. So, narcissists will remarry if it makes them look good.
Some reasons that a narcissist might have to remarry include —
- To make their previous spouse look bad or at fault for the previous relationship’s failure
- To show they have moved on or “moved up” to a higher status partner
- To develop more “narcissistic supply”
What is narcissistic supply? Narcissists crave drama, positive feed back, and situations where they can dominate their partners.
Their need for this is related to their lack of independent self esteem or intrinsic sense of self worth. They cannot control the intense negative feelings that they generate in their own mind. So, they try to manipulate other people to avoid painful stimulus and construct a false facade around their personality.
For more information on how narcissists work, check out —
So, a narcissist will remarry to increase their access to the type of emotional “supply” that they need from other people. Being in a intimate relationships gives a narcissist many options that they might not have had otherwise.
In a marriage or serious relationship, a narcissist can demand they be loved, and shame you when you aren’t doing what they want. Being a husband or a wife gives a narcissist the excuse they need extract the praise and affecting that they feel the world owes them in a way that is likely to look and feel natural to the rest of the world.
Narcissists also feel a real sense that they aren’t good enough. So, why would a narcissist remarry rather than cohabitate or have long term girlfriend / boyfriend? Because being married makes it harder for you to leave them.
More info on how narcissist work in relationships here —
Do Narcissist Change After Marriage?
Typically, narcissist do not get better after marriage. Narcissists have a serious psychological condition which makes it difficult for them to tell the truth or have empathy for others.
This same condition makes it difficult for them to understand or acknowledge that they are the root of many of the problems in their relationships. While a narcissist does have hope for change, which competent support of a counselor or coach, it is unlikely that they will change. Never marry a narcissist expecting them to change, even in the promise they will.
A narcissist often gets worse after marriage. Some common tactics that narcissists use early in their relationships are —
- “Love bombing”
- Talking themselves up
- Creating false backstories
- Bringing in third parties to support their made up stories (triangulation)
- Showing you off to other people
All of these tactics can make them seem too good to be true. And, make you feel extremely cherished and loved.
Narcissists play to your ego early, to make you dependent on their love and affection. But that is only the first stage of their abuse.
Once they have you, they will eventually drastically change. Later stage narcissistic abuse takes the form of —
- Swinging between hot and cold
- Suddenly ignoring you
- Forgetting or not seeing things that hurt you
- Spreading rumors about you to make you look bad
- Claiming you abused them
- Projecting their faults on to you
While not every narcissist uses all of these tactics, expect a relationship with a narcissist to get worse over time.
Is It Possible for a Narcissist to have a Happy Marriage?
Living and loving a narcissist is never easy. They may seem great on day, and just awful the next.
There is no rhyme or reason to their drastic swings. This is a symptom of their condition. And, while they make it seem like it is your fault, it actually has nothing to do with you.
As a spouse to a narcissist, we can’t expect them to change, or force them to change.
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. But, being married to a narcissist means you will be taking part of a daily struggle. It is certainly possible to love a narcissist, support them through their troubles, and forgive them for their abuse.
Ultimately, whether you are happy with such an arrangement is up to you.
For more information on dealing specifically with a narcissistic husband, you will find this article useful —
Should You Divorce a Narcissist?
I often get the question of whether you should stay, or leave a narcissist. There is no easy answer to this.
We do not control who we love, and one of the most powerful things we can do as a human is love unconditionally. True love should never come with a price or expect a reward.
However, loving someone should require that we accept abuse willingly.
Narcissists are bound to attempt to manipulate and control you. That is in their nature. Our responsibility as the people that love them is to try to mitigate the damage they cause in the relationship, understand that they are wounded individuals, and love ourselves enough to set definitive boundaries.
Everyone should set a point for themselves where enough is enough. The best thing you can do for your relationship is take to the time to reflect on what has been going on between you, and decide based on your morals, ethics, and self-respect if the narcissist your love has crossed the line.
Nature sure what to do about a narcissist second marriage? We have many additional resources on this site including recommended books, courses, and one-on-one coaching sessions —
Do narcissists change when they marry?
Narcissists tend to get worse when they marry. Once the honeymoon period wears off, and the narcissist feels they have a hold on you, they will transition to more aggressive manipulation tactics such as gaslighting, hot & cold, triangulation, and playing the victim to name a few. Narcissists rarely get better as a consequence of marriage.
How does a narcissist end a marriage?
Narcissists tend to end marriages by framing their spouse as the bad guy. They may claim abuse, cheating, lying, and more. Usually they will try to spread rumors about you. Often they will be cheating, or have someone else on the line. Divorcees with narcissists tend to be overly dramatic and hostile.