Harmony: How Narcissist Experiences Partner's Infidelity

Uploaded 8/9/2023, approx. 12 minute read

There is a new playlist on my YouTube channel and it's a fun playlist.

It includes short stories about narcissists and psychopaths, movie reviews and my poetry.

If you haven't had enough of Sam Vaknin, head straight into the short fiction playlist on this channel.

The first story I posted is about the state of mind of a swindler, a con artist during the con.

And this second story is based on true events that have happened here, I mean in Israel a few decades ago.

It is about the way a narcissist, in this case, mwah, the way a narcissist reacts when he finds out about his wife's infidelity.

Stay tuned, you have privileged observer position into my private life now.

The story is called Harmony.

On the phone, harsh voices in our bedroom, late afternoon, no declines in offer to meet with her lover.

I stand in the corridor, book in hand, listening intently, refusing to believe.

Her side of the conversation consists of a half-hearted demoral, balanced by a lot of hopeful incredulity.

How do you know the key would be under the rug?

She questions the interlocutor, and how can you be sure that they won't be at home?

And this is how this phone conversation proceeds, and no one can see a penumbral sun, a penumbral me projected by the hallway lighting.

And then she can see me entering the room and looking at her, dumbfounded.

She casts a glance my way and then ignores me.

She continues the exchange as though nothing has entered her field of vision.

I tell her, "Disconnect now," but she goes on talking.

And my voice turns harsher and echoes through this vacuous cavernous room.

I approach her and I extend an infuriated hand towards the phone's cradle.

Now Noah apologizes hastily and hangs up.

Recoiling verbal shrapnel sentences unuttered tension.

We look away.

She, at the phone, I, at my tiptoed feet.

Noah suddenly grins, but it is sheer embarrassment.

We can't believe that this is happening to us, to our togetherness.

Her smirk ignites my rage as was to be expected.

And perhaps that's what she wants.

Maybe this is her way of making certain that she got punished, of guaranteeing attention, long denied her, even if only to be chastised as evil and corrupt.

Anything would do. Anything is better.

But this months-long absence, I and my book, strolled on the leather couch, turning a barbed nape and taciturn back to her.

So here it comes.

Attention, rage, jealousy.

And she's almost content.

It is evident in the way that she lowers her lashes, slumped on our miracle twin bed, with no intention to sit up as though inviting me to her, making love to him and me simultaneously, today with me here and tomorrow with him on the phone or somewhere else and vice versa.

I'm curiously unfazed now. I'm cold-blooded, matter of fact.

I weigh, I analyze, I survey all the options as they invitingly spread their dilemma, rewards.

I inspect the possibilities with the indifference of a veteran client in an overpriced brothel.

I'm acquainted with the merchandise, no novelty here.

It's all the same old nudity.

The perforated lampshade swings pendulently, set in motion by a now-forgotten hand gesture of mine.

It rations light.

Once upon myself and once on her.

Her faces, yellow-flickered strainers.

At last, Noah rises and I tell her to follow me to the living room.

She obeys me speechlessly.

When she passes me in the narrow corridor, I don't give way and I rub against her agitated softness.

I can smell her hair, the sinks that wafts into my nostrils like a deer.

Every seat in our living room is a chilly quadrangle strewn with blinking appliances bisected by a massive glass tabletop that rests on four perfected marble teeth.

The glass slab mirrors us, distorted. Our reflections melt into each other.

And now I cross-examine her.

I want the details, all of them, in full.

Full nakedness?

Did he penetrate her? Did she give him head?

His hands on both her breasts? Only one.

How did he taste?

She is patient, not mutinous or rebellious.

She says that she had hoped that I would find out. She thought she could have both the lover and myself.

Yes, permanently, as a way of life.

But evidently it didn't work out, and all this time I'm panicking. All this time, God, this is real. This is Noah, this is me in an evening and we are at our home and this has happened so unpredictable and there's no way out.

Like premotem trepidation.

Now what shall we do? What shall we do us, Noah?

And the question hangs mid-air.

We peruse every aspect of this query. It is crystalline and it glitters.

You cannot mistake his polish. It is untouchable, unreachable, immutable.

Like a heavy stone on a distant star from which there's no return, it's too far away.

I listen to my voice, it's icy, and I'm stunned because it's decisive and my self-control impresses me.

I say to her, "Let's separate for a year and then we'll see. You rent a small apartment, do as you please, and in twelve months let's see if you still want me and if I still want you and if we are still emotionally available to each other."

Noah wails vociferously. She makes no attempt to hide her convulsive tears.

She sits up, a veritable Alice in horrorland, golden curls adorn her round shoulders.

Her face is disproportionately large. She has the hands and feet of children.

That's the way I see her. That's the way I always want to see her.

And her lamentation startles me.

I realize that she's crying for me too, perhaps mostly on my behalf, and I cannot join her.

So I soothe her. I comfort her.

I say, "Look, no single side here, no single party is guilty. I have neglected you and our relationship. I let it all fester, and this is the result. This situation is of both our making."

And she seems to be relieved. She glances at me with gratitude and I ask her if she would like some red wine.

And she affirms enthusiastically as though we've just found the solution.

And there it is, chilling in our refrigerator, and we didn't know or appreciate it.

And so I walk slowly.

I extract the bottle that I place there in another universe.

I uncork it, and I pour into pot-bellied glasses.

The lacy foam subsides into the inky liquid.

I bring this hue to Noah to consume.

I click my tongue, delighted at the taste.

My nostrils flare with the aroma as Noah discusses the details.

What kind of apartment? Where? How would she pay for it?

And she gets carried away, describing the interior decoration.

I seek the wine strictly and not a word, but I cannot look away from her exuberant eyes, intermittently flaring and decaying.

She grows silent. She swirls the fluid gently in her glass.

She gazes into it as though trying to decipher the gory sediments left by the frothy drink.

And then she suddenly sobs again. She melts.

She tells me that she loves me.

She doesn't know what to do.

I can't believe that she has found herself in these circumstances.

She no longer recognizes herself.

What to do?

What to do?

She repeats her mantra, but this time I'm not playing along.

I am not her father after all.

I feel as advanced, as awkward as she dies.

I stand up and I stretch my bones.

This is the kind of silence that breeds decisions, not tense.

It's a break for data processing, like the dead moments when a floppy disk wears and a hard disk answers.

Nora observes me and then changes her posture.

I contemplate her body and I wonder, what?

This body knew and not with me.

A foot flashes.

She bends and a swathe of milky breast.

A nipple, his hand between her thighs.

I feel nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Not even pain, not fury, but I sense the distant echoes of a remote battle behind the fortified hilltops of myself.

It will arrive this ruinous war.

It will exact a prize.

Like everything else in life, it is only a matter of time.

And so I repeat to Nora her choice.

She can remain here and we will try together or she can depart and we will separate one year alone.

Maybe it's better this way.

Maybe I am her undoing and I keep reiterating silently within myself.

Nora, please, Nora, please ignore these monstrous alternatives offered to you by an alien, a creature, not by me, because I love you.

I love you, Nora.

And throughout I want to hug her and to make my love in her.

But I just sit there.

Flinty-faced, stony, a scientist sifting through the formulas for a particularly complex experiment in an undefined lab.

Now Nora is quiet.

She is still rocked from time to time by mournful tremors.

Her fingers flutter and combine.

A leg swings across the wide-brained tattered arm of the sofa.

But she regards me tenderly.

I pour more wine, to me, to her.

The halogen lights are blinding.

We are so close, Nora and I, up there on the large screen of our television.

But really, we are divided by gloss and marble.

Nora takes her wine and toys with it.

Suddenly she lays it down and bursts into bitter, convulsive whimpers, her face buried in both hands, her shoulders unruly like two animals.

I can't leave you.

I can't leave you.

She sucks the words out of the thinning air.

I love you so.

You are a wizard.

I'm hypnotized.

I'm staying here with you.

Oh, please, let's try again.

I let her words sink in.

A rainbow ricochets from the glasses to the table.

The light is piercing and in it I witness Nora making love.

Like an unwanted child.

This deed that she had done is with us.

Like an accident.

Only this accident left me quadriplegic, breathless for all eternity long after Nora is gone and she will be gone.

I now know that too.

I know that this too is only a matter of time.

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