Relationships
Narcissism
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Human Behavior

Can a narcissist love his spouse or only be obsessed?

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02/15/2011

Narcissists "love" their spouses or other significant othersas long as they continue to reliably provide them with Narcissistic Supply (in one word, with attention). Inevitably, they regard others as mere "sources", objects, or functions. Lacking empathy and emotional maturity, the narcissist's love is pathological. But the precise locus of the pathology depends on the narcissist's stability or instability in different parts of his life.

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We are, therefore, faced with two pathological forms of narcissistic "love".

One type of narcissist "loves" others as one would attach to objects. He "loves" his spouse, for instance, simply because she exists and is available to provide him with Narcissistic Supply. He "loves" his children because they are part of his self-image as a successful husband and father. He "loves" his "friends" because and only as long as he can exploit them. Such a narcissist reacts with alarm and rage to any sign of independence and autonomy in his "charges". He tries to "freeze" everyone around him in their "allocated" positions and "assigned roles". His world is rigid and immovable, predictable and static, fully under his control. He punishes for "transgressions" against this ordained order. He thus stifles life as a dynamic process of compromising and growing ? rendering it instead a mere theatre, a tableau vivant.

The other type of narcissist abhors monotony and constancy, equating them, in his mind, with death. He seeks upheaval, drama, and change ? but only when they conform to his plans, designs, and views of the world and of himself. Thus, he does not encourage growth in his nearest and dearest. By monopolizing their lives, he, like the other kind of narcissist, also reduces them to mere objects, props in the exciting drama of his life.

This narcissist likewise rages at any sign of rebellion and disagreement. But, as opposed to the first sub-species, he seeks to animate others with his demented energy, grandiose plans, and megalomaniacal self-perception. An adrenaline junkie, his world is a whirlwind of comings and goings, reunions and separations, loves and hates, vocations adopted and discarded, schemes erected and dismantled, enemies turned friends and vice versa. His Universe is equally a theatre, but a more ferocious and chaotic one.

Where is love in all this? Where is the commitment to the loved one's welfare, the discipline, the extension of oneself to incorporate the beloved, the mutual growth? Nowhere to be seen. The narcissist's "love" is hate and fear disguised fear of losing control and hatred of the very people his precariously balanced personality so depends on. The narcissist is egotistically committed only to his own well-being. To him, the objects of his "love" are interchangeable and inferior.

He idealizes his nearest and dearest not because he is smitten by emotion ? but because he needs to captivate them and to convince himself that they are worthy Sources of Supply, despite their flaws and mediocrity. Once he deems them useless, he discards and devalues them similarly cold-bloodedly. A predator, always on the lookout, he debases the coin of "love" as he corrupts everything else in himself and around him.

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I think everyone have 2 components in them... the narcissism and the love... Me too... When we broke up and she went back to her bf... I cried then felt immense rage, but then...after a couple weeks, when it subsided, I realised that i loved her. Yes i did love her. There was always a part of me who wanted to call her and get back with her... telling her what she wanted to hear... that i love her... but every time it got blocked by the narcissism. I got very close... but it was always blocked. I did not realise only afterwards... Something was blocking me from expressing my emotions...

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A narcissist is human and, like most of us, will want love in a natural way. Sometimes that part will be heard and felt by a person who is a narcissist. However, it will often be repressed by fear or warped logic.