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Cope with Somatic Narcissist's Infidelity

Uploaded 12/22/2010, approx. 4 minute read

I am Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

What should you do if your husband is a narcissist and is having an extramarital affair, cheating on you and betraying your trust?

Well, the answer is that narcissists are people who feel to maintain a stable sense of self-worth. Very often somatic narcissists, they are narcissists who use their bodies and their sexuality to secure narcissistic supply, tend to get involved in extramarital affairs.

The new sexual conquests sustain their grandiose fantasies and their distorted and unrealistic self-image.

It is therefore nigh impossible to alter this particular behavior of a somatic narcissist.

Sexual interactions serve as a constant, reliable, easy to obtain narcissistic supply. It is the only source of such supply if the narcissist is not cerebral, in other words if he doesn't rely on his intellect, intelligence or professional achievements for narcissistic supply.

Pure somatic narcissists de-emphasize their intellectual capabilities in favor of their physical attributes, sexual prowess and ability to conquer the opposite sex or the same sex in case they are homosexuals.

One way of coping with this situation is that you should set up rigid, strict and very well-defined rules of engagement. Ideally, all contacts between your spouse and his lover should be immediately and irrevocably severed.

But this is usually too much to ask for.

So you should make crystal clear when is she allowed to call, whether she is allowed to write to him at all, and in which circumstances.

What are the subjects she is allowed to broach in her correspondence and phone calls? When is he allowed to see her, and what other modes of interaction between them are permissible?

Clear and painful sanctions must be defined in case the above rules are violated. Both rules and sanctions must be applied rigorously and mercilessly and must be set in writing in unequivocal terms.

Fairness is important, but so is rigorousness and strictness.

The problem is that the narcissist never really separates from his sources of narcissistic supply until and unless they cease to be sources.

Narcissists never really say goodbye. The narcissist's lover is likely to still have an emotional hold on him long after the affair is officially over.

The husband must first have his day of reckoning with her.

Help your narcissistic mate or husband or partner by telling him what will be the price that he tends to pay if he does not obey the rules and sanctions that you have agreed upon. Tell him that you cannot live like this any longer, that if he does not get rid of this presence, of the echoes of his past, really, he will be squandering his presence. He will be forfeiting you.

Don't be afraid to lose him. If he prefers this woman to you, it is important for you to know it. If he prefers you to her, your nightmare is over.

If you insist on staying with a somatic narcissist, you must also be prepared to serve as a source of narcissistic supply, an alternative to the supply provided by his lovers.

You must brace yourself. Serving as a source of narcissistic supply is an onerous task, a full-time job, and a very ungrateful one at that.

The narcissist, thirst for adulation, admiration, worship, approval, and attention, can never be quenched. It is a sesifian, mind-numbing effort which heralds only additional limits and is granted critical, humiliating tyrants by the narcissist.

That you are afraid to confront reality is normal. You are afraid to set clear alternatives. You are afraid that he will abandon you. You are afraid that he will prefer her to you.

And you may well be right.

But if this is the case and you go on living with him and tormenting yourself, it is unhealthy. You are living a deception.

If you found it difficult to confront the fact that it is all over between you, that your relationship is an empty shell, that your husband or intimate partner is with another woman in the fullest sense of the word, do not hesitate to seek help from professionals and non-professionals alike.

Friends are a great source of support and assistance.

But do not let the situation fester into psychological gangrene. Amputate now while you can.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Why Narcissist Devalues YOU (Hint: Wants YOU "Dead")

Narcissists devalue their partners as a form of self-defense and control. There are two types of devaluation: preemptive and reactive. Preemptive devaluation occurs when a narcissist is in a transitional state between overt and covert narcissism, and they devalue potential sources of supply to prevent the overt side from using them against the covert side. Reactive devaluation is a response to a perceived threat to the narcissist's grandiosity or control. Both types of devaluation are harmful to the victim and serve to maintain the narcissist's sense of power and control.


Two Narcissists in a Couple

Two narcissists of the same type cannot maintain a stable, long-term, full-fledged and functional relationship. Two narcissists of different types or opposing types can, often do, maintain long-term, stable and rather happy relationships. There are two main types of narcissists, somatic and cerebral. The somatic type of narcissist relies on his body and sexuality to generate attention, adulation and admiration, while the cerebral narcissist leverages his intellect, his intelligence and his professional achievements to obtain the same. Stable and enduring relationships can and often do develop between dissimilar narcissists.


Narcissists Hate Women, Misogynists

Narcissists view women as objects and use them for both primary and secondary narcissistic supply. They fear emotional intimacy and treat women as property, similar to the mindset of European males in the 18th century. Narcissists frustrate women by teasing them and then leaving them, and they hold women in contempt, choosing submissive partners whom they disdain for being below their intellectual level. The narcissist projects his own behavior and traits onto women.


When the Narcissist's Parents Die

The death of a narcissist's parents can be a complicated experience. The narcissist has a mixed reaction to their passing, feeling both elation and grief. The parents are often the source of the narcissist's trauma and continue to haunt them long after they die. The death of the parents also represents a loss of a reliable source of narcissistic supply, which can lead to severe depression. Additionally, the narcissist's unfinished business with their parents can lead to unresolved conflicts and pressure that deforms their personality.


Narcissist Frustrates Women with Ostentatious Fidelity

Narcissists, particularly cerebral narcissists, often frustrate women who are attracted to them by withholding sex or teasing them. This is because they are misogynists who hold women in contempt and fear them. They divide women into saints and whores, and view sex and intimacy as mutually exclusive. The narcissist's frustrating behavior serves to secure a narcissistic supply and reenact unresolved conflicts with their mother. They pathologize women to control them and project their own parasitic behavior onto them.


Sex and Narcissistic Supply: Cerebral, Somatic, and YOU!

Narcissists objectify and interchange intimate partners, and are often sexually deviant. The cerebral narcissist suppresses their sexual predilections to maintain a gratifying and exclusive relationship with their source of secondary supply, while the somatic narcissist indulges their sexual preferences with multiple partners. The cerebral narcissist would rather hurt their partner by withholding sex than lose them altogether, while the somatic narcissist seeks out unstable partners to regulate their sense of self-worth. Sex is a necessary evil to the cerebral narcissist, while it is a source of narcissistic supply to the somatic narcissist.


Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Narcissists are only friendly when they need something from you, such as narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or sex. They also become friendly when they feel threatened and want to smother the threat with pleasantries. Narcissists are also over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply. Some people prefer to live with narcissists because they have been conditioned to treat narcissistic abuse as background noise and are compensated for the abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. However, inverted narcissists are typically unhappy and in need of help, which suggests that they are victims who experience the Stockholm Syndrome.


Narcissist's Sexual Identities (ENGLISH responses)

Narcissists lack an ego and have no reality test, so they rely on other people to provide them with narcissistic supply. The cerebral narcissist uses their intellect to obtain supply, while the somatic narcissist uses their body and sex. However, all narcissists are both cerebral and somatic, with a dominant and recessive side. The dominant side is usually 70-80% of their life, but there is fluctuation between the two types. Narcissists are frozen at a young age and have no sexual or gender identity, leading to infantilization and reaction formation to their own sexuality.


Somatic Narcissist: Not Sex, But Pursuit and Conquest

Somatic narcissists derive their narcissistic supply from the process of securing sex, rather than the act itself. They are often health freaks, bodybuilders, or hypochondriacs, and regard their bodies as objects to be sculpted and honed. The cerebral narcissist, on the other hand, is haughty and uses their intellect or knowledge to secure admiration. Both types are auto-erotic and prefer masturbation to interactive sex. It is a mistake to assume type constancy, as the narcissist swings between their dominant and recessive types.


Narcissist: Irresistible Charmer

Narcissists use charm to manipulate and control others, seeking attention and admiration. They use their charisma to exert power over people and view those they charm as objects for their gratification. Pathological charm can involve sadism and is used to maintain object constancy and fend off abandonment. Narcissists react with rage and aggression when their charm fails to elicit narcissistic supply, revealing their true predatory nature.

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