Narcissist's Romantic Jealousy and Possessiveness

Uploaded 2/2/2011, approx. 7 minute read

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

The narcissist becomes anxious when he grows aware of how romantically jealous and possessive he is.

Narcissist is a limitless and underdeveloped spectrum of emotional reactions. Anxiety characterizes all his interactions with the opposite sex.

In any situation in which there is a remote possibility that he may be rejected or abandoned, provokes anxiety. Anxiety is an adoptive mechanism. It is the internal reaction to conflict.

When the narcissist envies his female mate, he is experiencing precisely such an unconscious conflict.

Anxiety is justly perceived to be a form of transformed aggression. To direct jealousy at the female partner is to direct it at a forbidden object. Why forbidden?

Because the female partner stands in for the narcissist's mother. And this triggers a strong feeling of imminent punishment, likely abandonment for instance, physical or emotional.

But this is merely the surface conflict. There is another layer much harder to reach and to decipher. To feed his envy is jealousy.

The narcissist exercises his imagination. He imagines situations which justify this negative emotion. If his mate is sexually promiscuous, this justifies romantic jealousy.

He unconsciously thinks. The narcissist is a con artist. He easily substitutes fiction for truth.

What commences as an elaborate daydream or abstract exercise ends up in the narcissist's mind as a plausible scenario.

But then, if his suspicions regarding his partner's fidelity are true, and they are bound to be, otherwise why is he jealous?

There is no way the narcissist can accept his partner back. That's at least what he says to himself. If she is unfaithful to him, how could the relationship continue?

Grumbles the narcissist. Infidelity and lack of exclusivity violate the first and last commandment of narcissism.

Uniqueness. Narcissist tends to regard his partner's cheating in absolute terms. The other guy must be better and more special than the narcissist is.

Since the narcissist is nothing but a reflection, a glint in the eyes of others, when cast aside by his spouse or mate, the narcissist feels announced, annihilated, wrecked and disintegrated.

His partner, in this single, real or imagined act of adultery, is perceived by the narcissist to have passed judgment upon him as a whole, not merely upon this or that aspect of his personality and or the relationship.

Adultery equals total and utter abandonment, total and utter negation of the narcissist's uniqueness or self-infused uniqueness.

Many narcissists strike an unhealthy balance. Being emotionally and physically or sexually absent, they drive the partner to find emotional and physical gratification outside the wall.

This having been achieved, they feel vindicated. They are proven right for being jealous in the first place.

The narcissist is then able to accept the partner back and to forgive him. After all, the narcissist argues, her two-timing was precipitated by his own absence and was always under his control. He made her do it.

The narcissist experiences a kind of sadistic satisfaction that he possesses such power over his partner.

In provoking the partner to adopt a socially aberrant behavior, he sees proof of his own mastery. He reads into the subsequent scene of forgiveness and reconciliation the same meaning.

It proves both his magnanimity and how addicted to him his partner has become.

She tried but couldn't leave him. And he, with his big heart and magnanimity, accepts her back.

A Hollywood film. The more severe the extra-marital of her, the more it provides the narcissist with a means to control his partner through her guilt.

He induces guilt trips. His ability to manipulate his partner increases the more forgiving and magnanimous he is.

He never forgets to mention to her or to himself how wonderful he is for having thus sacrificed himself and accepted her back.

Here he is with his unique superior traits, willing to accept back a disloyal, inconsiderate, disinterested, sub-centered, sadistic and between us ordinary partner.


Henceforth, he is likely to invest less in the relationship, to become non-committal, probably to be full of rage and hatred.

He is also likely to cheat on her.

Still, she is the narcissist one and only.

The more voluptuous, tumultuous inane the relationship, the better it suits the narcissist's self-image and his tendency and propensity to be a drama queen.

After all, aren't such torturous relationships the stuff Oscar-winning movies are made of?

Narcissist suddenly becomes a protagonist, a hero in a drama-filled film of his own making.

Shouldn't the narcissist's life be special in this sense too? Aren't the biographies of great men adorned with such pieces of emotions?

The narcissist scripts the drama into his life in order to transform life into a drama.

If an emotional or sexual infidelity does occur, and very often it does, it is usually a cry for help by the narcissist's mate, for long-term cause.

This rigidly deformed personality structure, the narcissistic personality, is incapable of change and will not heed the cry for help.

Usually the partner is the dependent or avoidant type and is equally inherently incapable of changing anything in their life.

Such couples have no common narrative or agenda and their only psychopathologies are compatible.

They hold each other hostage and vie for the ransom with each other.

There is a resonance of pathologies between the members of such a diet.

The dependent partner can determine for the narcissist what is right and virtuous, what is wrong and evil, as well as enhance and maintain his feeling of uniqueness by wanting him.

She therefore possesses the power to manipulate him.

Sometimes she does manipulate him because of years of emotional deprivation and humiliation by the narcissist have made her hate him.

The narcissist is forever irrational, forever afraid to get in touch with his emotions, often divides his relationships with people to contractual and non-contractual, multiplying the former at the expense of the latter.

By doing so, he drowns the immediate, identifiable emotional problems with his partner in a torrent of irrelevant frivolities.

His obligations under these contracts, his relationships under these contracts and so on.

He uses contracts to rigidify the relationship and empty it, hollow it emotionally.

Narcissist likes to believe that he is the maker of the decision which type of relationship he establishes with whom.

He doesn't even bother to be explicit about it.

Sometimes people believe that they have a contractual relationship with the narcissist while he entertains an entirely different notion without informing them.

These are grounds for innumerable disappointments and misunderstandings and this usually is what drives adultery, infidelity and cheating in such relationships.

The narcissist often says that he has a contract with his girlfriend or spouse.

This contract has emotional, administrative, economic articles but he rarely truly does because he didn't bother to ask the other party to sign the contract.

Thank you.

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