Two Narcissists in a Couple

Uploaded 8/31/2010, approx. 4 minute read

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

Can two narcissists establish a long-term, stable relationship? The answer is a qualified yes.

There are many types of narcissists, somatic, cerebral, classic, compensatory, inverted, and so on. 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.

Let's go back a bit.

There are two main types of narcissists.

One is a somatic narcissist and the other one is a cerebral narcissist.

The somatic type of narcissist relies on his body and sexuality to generate attention, adulation and admiration. Known collectively as narcissistic supply.

The cerebral narcissist leverages his intellect, his intelligence and his professional achievements to obtain the same.

Narcissists are either predominantly cerebral or overwhelmingly somatic. In other words, they either generate the narcissistic supply by using their bodies or by flaunting their minds.

It is a mistake though to assume type constancy. In other words, all narcissists are at the same time cerebral and somatic.

In each narcissist, one of the types is dominant. So the narcissist is either largely cerebral or largely somatic.

But the other recessive type, the type that is manifested less frequently is still there. It is lurking. It is waiting to erupt.

The narcissist swings between his dominant type and his recessive type. And his recessive type manifests mainly after a major narcissistic injury or life crisis.

Thus, if both members of the couple are cerebral narcissists, for instance, both of them are scholars, the resulting competition prevents them from serving as ample sources of narcissistic supply to each other. They compete and in competing, they injure each other narcissistically and they provoke in each other rage, which retards intimacy, which prevents their relationship from cementing and surviving.

Finally, the mutual admiration society crumbles and the bond is severed. Consumed by the pursuit of their own narcissistic gratification, the members of such a couple have no time or energy or will left to cater to the narcissistic needs of their partner.

Moreover, the partner is perceived as a dangerous and vicious contender for scarce resources, sources of narcissistic supply. This may be less true if the two narcissists work in totally unrelated academic or intellectual fields.

But even then, generally speaking, the competitive streak in narcissists, the need to secure sources of narcissistic supply in the same milieu, the same environment, the same pathological narcissistic space virtually guarantees a series of clashes, which inevitably and invariably result in separation.

But if the narcissists involved are of different types, if one of them is, for instance, cerebral and the other one is somatic, a long-term relationship based on the mutual provision of narcissistic supply can definitely happen and hold.

Example, if one of the narcissists is somatic, uses his or her body as a source of narcissistic gratification and the other member of the couple is cerebral, uses his intellect or his professional achievements as such a source.

There is nothing to destabilize such a collaboration. It is even potentially emotionally rewarding.

The somatic narcissist, member of the couple, admires the cerebral for his intellectual achievements. The cerebral narcissist admires the bodily beauty of the somatic narcissist. They both compliment and gratify each other in a virtuous cycle.

The relationship between such two narcissists resembles a one that exists between an artist and his art or a collector and his collection. This can and does change, of course, as the narcissist involved grow older, flabbier and less agile intellectually.

In other words, when they lose their assets.

The somatic narcissist is also prone to multiple sexual relationships and encounters intended to support his somatic and sexual self-image. These may subject the relationship to fracturing strains.

But all in all, stable and enduring relationship can and often does develop between dissimilar narcissists. As they grow older, the somatic narcissist loses his beauty, his sexual prowess. This cerebral narcissist loses his intellectual agility, his rendition.

They still have their memories to fall back on. Each serves as the memory pool of the other. Each remains in the relationship, which one of them remains a relationship in order to remind the other of moments of glory and past narcissistic supply.

It's the perfect match made in narcissistic heaven.

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Inverted Narcissist Envies Narcissist Intimate Partner

Narcissists of the same type cannot maintain a stable, long-term relationship as they are consumed by their own narcissistic gratification and have no time or energy to cater to their partner's needs. However, a long-term partnership can survive if one narcissist is cerebral and the other is somatic. Inverted cerebral narcissists tend to pair with cerebral narcissists, while inverted somatic narcissists tend to bond with their somatic counterparts. In the long run, an inverted narcissist may seek to ruin their classic partner, despite them being their prime source of narcissistic supply.

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.

Narcissists: Somatic vs. Cerebral

Narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply, which is attention, adoration, admiration, and adulation. There are two types of narcissists: somatic and cerebral. Somatic narcissists leverage their body and sexual prowess to garner attention, while cerebral narcissists use their intellect and knowledge to secure admiration. Both types prefer self-satisfaction to adult, mature, interactive, multidimensional, and emotion-laden relationships. Narcissists often fluctuate between the two types, especially after a life crisis.

Narcissist: Destructive Envy and Romantic Jealousy

Envy is a compounded emotion brought on by the realization of some lack or deficiency in oneself. Narcissists cope with their pathological envy by either subsuming the object of envy via imitation or destroying it. The most dangerous species of narcissists are those who derive contentment from their own humiliation and end up driving the objects of their own devotion and accumulation to destruction and decrepititude. Romantic jealousy is a narcissistic defense that reflects the narcissistic traits and behaviors of possessiveness, objectification, and treating the spouse as an extension of oneself.

Cerebral Narcissist: Woman? What's That For?

The cerebral narcissist lacks the sexual energy and magnetism of the somatic narcissist. The author, a cerebral narcissist, describes himself as a deceptive package, an I being, a mental alien in an uncanny carnal outfit. He is exhausted by the rites of procreation and rarely copulates. Women are attracted to him but repelled by his essence, and he is turned into a gaping black hole, out to suck the vitality of everyone around him.

Misinformation: Covert vs. Classic Narcissist

Covert narcissists are not cunning or manipulative, but rather suppress their true nature due to a lack of confidence. They are their own worst critics and often feel guilty and ashamed of their aggressive urges. Covert narcissists team up with classic narcissists but secretly resent and envy them. Inverted narcissists are a type of covert narcissist who are self-centered, sensitive, vulnerable, and defensive, and crave relationships with narcissists despite any abuse inflicted on them.

Brain, Brawn, Body, Bluff: Narcissists, Somatic, Covert, Cerebral, and Classic

Narcissists can be either somatic or cerebral, depending on whether they use their physical appearance or intellect to obtain supply. While there is no constancy, there is type dominance, with cerebral narcissists emphasizing their intellect and somatic narcissists emphasizing their physical appearance. Narcissists are competitive and ambitious in sex, using their partner's body as an animated dildo or masturbatory object. Covert narcissists, who are mostly women, tend to be largely asexual due to deep-set inferiority complexes and body dysmorphic disorders. They may engage in body-altering behaviors such as surgeries and look-maxing, which is more prevalent among covert somatic narcissists. Altruism can also be a form of ostentatious narcissism.

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.

So, Is My Narcissist a Covert Narcissist? Nonsense vs. Scholarship

Covert narcissists are individuals who suffer from an in-depth sense of inferiority, have a marked propensity towards feeling ashamed, and are shy and fragile. They are unable to genuinely depend on others or trust them, suffer from chronic envy of others, and have a lack of regard for generational boundaries. Covert narcissists are not goal-orientated, have shallow vocational commitment, and are forgetful of details, especially names. Inverted narcissists are a subspecies of covert narcissism and are self-centered, sensitive, vulnerable, and defensive, sometimes hostile and paranoid.

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.

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