Background

womanmotherNarcissist's Partner: Admire Me, Play with Me, Mother Me

Uploaded 5/4/2020, approx. 14 minute read

So, okay, my name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and this is my trusted pal, Minnie.

I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, not she. Don't believe anything she says. She's very good at coffee, nothing much else besides. She's a woman, of course, and this leads me to today's topic, the narcissist's interactions with women.

I want to dissect it or analyze it from an unusual angle.

Narcissists interact with women in three stages.

First, as fans, admirers, adulators. Then, as playmates, or play bunnies, and as time passes and intimacy begins to form, the narcissist pushes his women to become mothers.

So, admirer, playmate, mother. Why mother?

Because the only form of intimacy with a woman that the narcissist has ever had, the only experience he has ever had with a woman being intimate with a woman was with his mother.

The narcissist never had, never has, never will have any adult intimacy with a woman. He's incapable of it, and he's incapable of it for a variety of reasons.

We know that he lacks empathy, and another problem is that he internalizes, when there's a woman in his life, he internalizes her. He creates an inner representation of the woman, and he interacts with that representation, with a snapshot. He never interacts with the real woman.

And he reminded by the woman of her autonomy, independence and separateness. Any time the woman reminds a narcissist that she's distinct from him, he perceives it as a threat.

So, he's trying to suppress these manifestations, these expressions.

And in this particular sense, the narcissist is like a codependent. He seeks to merge and fuse with his woman, with his object of intimacy. And he does it by converting her into an inner representation or an extension of himself.

So, evidently, he is auto-eroding. He is masturbatory. He's interacting with himself, not with a real life woman out there.

We've gone through all this in previous videos.


Today, I would like to focus on these three roles that women have.

Admirer, playmate, mother. Women are flabbergasted and aghast when they confront this trajectory or this relationship pathway.

Some women agree to be admirers, adulators and fans, and also easily transition to the role of a playmate. When they do, the narcissist objectifies them. And then he abuses them. And he objectifies and abuses them when they refuse to graduate, to graduate from playmate to mother.

At some point during the playmate phase, the narcissist begins to send signals to his women that they should become mothers.

And most women ignore these signals or find them very creepy or eerie or pretend not to notice.

And this incenses the narcissist, infuriates him, and he begins to abuse and reject the women.

If he doesn't help, if the woman categorically refuses to become a mother to mother the narcissist, the narcissist cuts the relationship short. He even encourages his women to be with other men as a way to test their commitment. It's like, it's your last chance to be my mom. It's your last chance to be my mom. Let's see if you will betray me.

And if the women at this stage show real or active interest in other men, the narcissist gets rid of them. Other women do transition from playmate to mother, but the role of mother feels so alien, so forced, so abnormal, so frankly sick, that these women immediately rebel and refuse to continue.

So the narcissist displays infantile behaviors. He begins to act more and more childlike or childishly. He regresses. There's a regression.

The narcissist can even begin to talk in a childish voice. He becomes clumsy. His gestures become childlike, and he visibly regresses. He visibly becomes child. It's pretty off-putting, honestly, and many women just refuse to participate in this game. They refuse to play.

And so in this case, again, the narcissist pushes the woman away and towards other men as a way to test her, and if she fails the test, end the affair, end the relationship.

So narcissists resent women who refuse to adopt the role of a mother, ultimately. They resent non-maternal women, resent women who insist on remaining women, full-fledged, independent, autonomous, sexual family. They are threatened by such women. They want to convert them instantly into mothers, and when these women decline the offer, the job offer, or when they become mothers and then withdraw, go back to being women. The narcissist explodes, literally. He begins to abuse verbally and otherwise, and he is very likely to push a woman away, usually through the agency of another man. It's a kind of reverse triangulation. It is a narcissist who introduces other men into the couple in order to test his woman or to get rid of them.

Of course, there are one or two women who complete the course. They graduate. They are admirers. Then they become playmates. Then they become the mother or mothers.

But when this kind of woman starts to regret her choice, to regret the role of a mother, starts to challenge it, starts to challenge it, when she starts to lose patience, honestly, with the childish ways of the narcissist, with his lack of responsibility, with his overwhelming anxiety, with his lack of continuity, dissociation, with his immaturity. Many women lose patience after a few years or a few months or a few weeks or even a few days. When this happens, the narcissist feels that he had lost. He had lost the woman. He had lost the love of his life, as he would say. He had lost object constancy. He loses trust in the woman and he immediately starts to look for alternatives.

The process of idealization, devaluation, discard and replacement, this inexorable cycle is triggered very often by the woman, not by the narcissist. It is when the woman stops being a source of narcissistic supply on the one hand and stops providing a maternal environment, a holding, safe environment within which the narcissist can feel that he can be himself.

What the narcissist is, is a very young child. The mental age of a narcissist is unknown, 9, 10, 11. He can fake it during the playmate phase. He can fake it as a man, but it's fake. It's an act. At some point he wants to rest. He wants to calm down. He wants to be himself. He wants to relax.

To do that, he needs the woman in his life. He needs his intimate partner to agree to be a mother because he is a child.

And when this doesn't happen, he reverse triangulates.

What happens when the woman misbehaves with other men? The narcissist then is thoroughly hurt, sorely disappointed, pervasively depressed and existentially frightened, but very rarely romantically jealous. It's an amazing thing. Narcissists are devastated when they are cheated on. They are annihilated when they discover an affair, that the spouse had an affair.

But they don't react as a man. They react as a child would to a new man in his mother's life.

Many children are jealous or act jealous, actually act possessive, when mom has a new lover, has met someone.

And this is how the narcissists react. It's more about possession and control, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, than about real romantic jealousy.

Romantic jealousy is an adult reaction. It's an adult translation over fear of loss. Possessiveness is a childish reaction to fear of loss.

And the child then, the narcissist who is a child, pushes the woman away even further, patrilantly, to the other man. It's like, let's get it over with.

And it's a temper tantrum, in effect.

The narcissist is romantically jealous very few times. He accepts all incidents of cheating with equanimity. But he often conflates and confuses fear of loss with romantic jealousy.

If you ask the narcissist, are you romantically jealous? Yeah, of course I am. I mean, she cheated on me. It's horrible.

But actually, when you drill down, you push the narcissist to the corner, which is never a good idea. Don't try it at home.

So when you do this, you discover that actually it has nothing to do with romance or jealousy. There's nothing other there. There's simply a terrified child cowering in the corner, afraid, mortified by the idea that his mother might just dump him, abandon him in favor of another person, in this case, a man.

But it's difficult to understand because if the narcissist is merely a child and the woman in his life is merely a mother, why the hurt when his woman ends up with another man, his intimate partner ends up with another man? Why is he hurt?

Again, it's because of the risk of abandonment and loss. It's real. It's very probable.

You see, when a woman has a choice between a real, rounded, full-fledged man who caters to many of her needs, all of her needs, and a childlike, regressive, infantile, immature non-man looks like a man, but he's not a man.

The narcissist, most women, I think, would choose the former. They would give up on the narcissist. They would dump the narcissist and abandon him and go with the full-fledged man, with the real McCoy, with the real thing, with the full offer, with the full menu.

The narcissist are a little like junk food. You can have it once in a while, but it's hardly healthy nutrition and it's hardly a long-term proposition or a long-term solution.

After women take care of their needs, outsource their needs with other men, many of these women are loath to completely lose the narcissist. Women get attached to the child in the narcissist. They feel pity. They feel motherly. Few women have the stamina, the strength, the resilience, the courage, I would say, or even the cruelty to abandon the narcissist altogether. It's a child and they realize it's a child.

Most women are trying to somehow balance, somehow square the circle. They take care of their needs with other men, so they have sex with other men, they have intimacy with other men, they have a good time with other men, and so on, but they come back to the narcissist. They return to the narcissist.

At the end of a long night, five o'clock in the morning or six o'clock in the morning, the woman returns to the narcissist. They try to adapt. Women try to adapt. They try to be the narcissist's mother and the narcissist lets them.

So the woman tries to be a mother to the narcissist and a woman to somehow be a woman to some other men or some other men plural.

And so in most of this relationship, what happens is don't ask, don't tell. Most of the relationships, the couple settles into effectively an open marriage or open relationship.

The narcissist accepts that his woman has needs that only real men can satisfy and that he again failed to be a man and to act like one.

Deep inside, narcissists realize the deficiencies.

And of course, if a woman is such, I mean, if a woman is malicious, vindictive, aggressive, defiant, they will never get to the stage of a mama because at least initially the mother figure must be nurturing, must be holding, must be containing.

Narcissist must have an immersive experience in his, with his new mother. You can't be a mom if you abandon the narcissist maliciously, if you intend to enhance his abandonment anxiety.

Narcissist rejects such women, not because of what they do, not because they cheat on him, but maybe because of how they do it.

The narcissist rejects malice and reject malevolence because it doesn't sit well with their perception of the mother as a perfect entity, perfect and imperfectible, means cannot be improveable.

And if the woman, even if the woman qualifies as a playmate and admirer, but it's clear that you can never be a mother, narcissist will not go there.

It's not true that narcissists are promiscuous and so on.

They immediately home in and seek the mother element. I mean, they can cheat, they often cheat, they often infidelity is rampant, often unfaithful, but only because they're looking for a mother, because they're afraid to lose the current part or because their current partner is behaving the same way, cheating on them.

Of course, if a woman misses the first face, she's not an admirer, or the second face, she can never be a playmate. I don't know, she's ugly, she's sexually repulsive. If she doesn't even have the qualifications for the first two stages, even if she is mother material, the narcissist will not go there.

Narcissists cannot transition directly from admirer to mother without passing through the playmate face. All three are crucial. Each face has its function.

The admirer face endows the narcissist with the confidence needed to approach a woman. The narcissist believes that only his brain or only his body or only aspects of him are attractive and all the rest is repulsive. So the cerebral narcissist will try to impress the woman with his brain, with his intellect, with his intelligence, with his perception, perspicacity, analytic skills and so on.

And so he would want her to admire this aspect of him, his genius brain, and to ignore the rest, his ugly body, his ugly personality.

The somatic narcissist of the country would like the woman to appreciate, admire and be inexorably drawn to his amazing body and ignore the fact that he is a half-wit and has a repulsive personality.

So the admiration face is critical because without clear open adulation and admiration or attraction, the narcissist doesn't dare approach a woman. And he doesn't dare approach a woman because he knows how partial, how defective, how deficient and how deformed and how disabled he is. The narcissist is an invalid.

And then once the admiration face has been cleared, once it's clear that the woman admires the narcissist, adulates him and is willing to overlook all his deficiencies, there's a playmate face. And the playmate face includes rudimentary courting, sex and fun activities. And it's a simulation of the typical behaviors of a man in the initial stages of a relationship.

So during the playmate face, the narcissist is actually a man. And this face helps to deceive, deceive, cheat, both the narcissist and the woman into believing that the narcissist is a proper, fully evolved man, a bit childlike, but fully evolved man.

So the playmate face is the narcissist's forced advertising. The narcissist is very sexual, very courting, very manly, very, very virile. And the woman says, wow, what a man.

Yeah, he's a big child and she's a bit curious. He's a bit funny, funny, but still he's a man.

It's wrong information. It's propaganda.

It's fake news.

And women falter. And then once they are hooked, once they have become addicted to the technicolor display, to the amazing novelty and risk involved, the adventure of the narcissist, because narcissist is bigger than life.

Narcissist is spectacular, truly. It's a show. It's a theater show. It's a Broadway production. You know, it's hard not to fall for it. It's hard not to get addicted to it.

And once she does, then the narcissist lends the blow and the blow is he stops being a man. The man thing damages. It's all been an act. It's thespian. It's not true. It's a phantasm. It's a mirage.

And then the real narcissist appears and he insists that the woman becomes a mother because a mother makes him feel safe. He wants to be ensconced and immersed in unconditional love as a child.

The woman is then free to outsource her needs like sex with other men as long as she doesn't act maliciously. She doesn't seek to hurt the narcissist or to be eventually.

If she's benign, if she's good hearted and kind, if she's committed to the narcissist, if she pledges not to abandon the narcissist, if she doesn't cross certain boundaries, of course, she's discreet. She doesn't provoke abandonment, anxiety. She doesn't vanish the entire night without a word or for two weeks without a word. If she behaves within limits, she's pretty free.

The narcissist is quite indifferent as to what his woman is doing with other men or otherwise, not with other men. It's the amount of freedom and personal space that the narcissist gives his partners is enormous. So enormous that the relationship becomes tenuous and very transactional.

You'll be my mother. I'll be your child. Live your life.

If the woman insists to be a woman, if it's clear that she's highly feminine, her sex drive is strong, she insists of being treated as a separate, autonomous, distinct individual with respect.

I mean, this causes panic in the narcissist. The mother phase is always invariably sexless. There's no sex there. You can't sleep with mother. It's incest.

So to avoid incestuous dissonances and conflicts, the narcissist stops all sex during the mother phase.

And if the woman then says, well, okay, I'm fulfilling my part of the contract. I'm your mother, but you are not having sex with me. I want to have sex.

The narcissist reacts to this with utter unmitigated hysteria.

Because you see, the narcissist's inability to be a man saddens the narcissist profoundly. He's sad. He's a sad person. His life is a wasteland. He knows that his woman, his women, will always abandon him and go to other real men.

The anticipation of inevitable, constant, and repeated losses of this kind, such critical losses, losing mother over and over and over again is crushing and oppressive. It's possibly the worst punishment any human being can go through. It's a Promethean, Sisyphean punishment, penalty.

And in this sense, it is a kind of karma.

Wrong usage of the word karma, but still in the colloquial sense. What goes around comes around.

The narcissist is punished by his essence is much and much more than any of its victims.

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

Your Role in Narcissist’s Shared Fantasy is Why He Hates You (hint: you make him feel himself – and human)

In summary, the narcissist's intimate partner plays a crucial role in the shared fantasy by fulfilling the roles of admirer, playmate, and mother. This allows the narcissist to experience maximal grandiosity and feel safe enough to separate and individuate. However, the intimate partner's presence also leads to the narcissist's self-hatred and inability to maintain meaningful communication with both the outside world and himself. The intimate partner ultimately becomes a threat to the narcissist, as they make the narcissist feel human, which is something the narcissist does not want to be.


Mourning the Narcissist

Victims of narcissistic abuse often struggle to let go of the idealized figure they fell in love with at the beginning of the relationship. When the relationship ends, they experience a cycle of bereavement and grief, including denial, rage, sadness, and acceptance. Denial can take many forms, including pretending the narcissist is still part of their lives or developing persecutory delusions. Rage can be directed at the narcissist, other facilitators of the loss, oneself, or be pervasive. Sadness is a paralyzing sensation that slows one down and enshrouds everything in the grave veil of randomness and chance. Gradual acceptance leads to renewed energy and the narcissist being transformed into a narrative, another life experience, or even a tedious cliché.


When Narcissists Become Codependents

Living with a narcissist can be harrowing, and the partner of the narcissist is often molded into the typical narcissist mate, partner, or spouse. The partner must have a deficient or distorted grasp of herself and of reality, and the cognitive distortion of the partner of the narcissist is likely to consist of belittling and demeaning herself while aggrandizing and adoring the narcissist. The narcissist is perceived by the partner to be a person in the position to demand these sacrifices from her. The breakup of the relationship with the narcissist is emotionally charged and is the culmination of a long chain of humiliations and subjugation.


Snapshotting’s Role in Narcissist's Shared Fantasy

Narcissists have two types of relationships: pseudo intimate relationships and shared fantasies. The narcissist snapshots their intimate partner, introjects them, idealizes the resultant internal object, and then coerces their partner into conforming to this inner representation of them. The narcissist does this in order to push their partner away and complete separation and individuation with the new maternal figure, the intimate partner. The partner's reactions to this dehumanization and objectification can result in abandonment, triangulation with a third party, or succumbing and becoming a figment in the narcissist's shared fantasy.


Self-hoovering, Narcissism: Trauma or Role Play?

Narcissists devalue and discard their intimate partners, but in long-term relationships, the partner may engage in self-hovering, refusing to leave despite being discarded. This self-hovering is a trauma-bonding response, allowing the partner to remain in the relationship. The narcissist's voice in the victim's mind re-idealizes her, leading to a continued relationship with the internal representation of the narcissist. Narcissism is both a post-traumatic condition and a choice-based role play, with the narcissist unable to modify most of his traits but able to control his behaviors and the roles he plays in different social settings.


How Narcissist Betrays YOU to Become Himself (Compilation)

Professor Sam Vaknin explains the narcissist's shared fantasy, which is a space where they can re-experience their childhood trauma safely. The shared fantasy has multiple stages, including co-idealization, dual mothership, mental discard, and devaluation. The narcissist's pursuit of betrayal in their relationships is not the same as a cuckold's motivation, as the narcissist seeks to recreate the betrayal they experienced in childhood. The narcissist's only meaningful relationships are within a shared fantastic space, which is highly addictive and generates stalking behaviors and virulent hatred. The narcissist uses a variant of this strategy in all intimate settings, for example, in friendships or interpersonal relations.


Borderline, Narcissist: Why They Can't Let Go of Each Other

The professor discusses the comments on his video and then delves into the differences between the shared fantasies of borderlines and narcissists. He explains that both types of individuals have similarities and traits, but their shared fantasies have different functions and dynamics. The narcissist's shared fantasy is about engulfing, while the borderline's shared fantasy is about being engulfed. He also explains the reasons behind the hoovering behavior of both types.


Narcissist Pays Heavy Price For Betrayal Fantasy

The Narcissist Betrayal Fantasy is a strategy used by narcissists to get rid of their intimate partners by pushing them to cheat or betray them. This allows the narcissist to maintain the high moral ground and dissolve the shared fantasy, which is highly addictive and difficult to break. The narcissist experiences pain in the form of narcissistic injury or mortification due to the misinterpretation of their actions by others, but this short-term cost is outweighed by the long-term benefits of a victimhood narrative. This strategy is also applied in other relationships, such as friendships and work collaborations, by engineering situations that set people up for failure and then pointing to their misbehavior as justification for ending the relationship.


Narcissist's Insignificant Other: Typical Spouse or Intimate Partner

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, but it is always onerous and often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist, maintaining a relationship, preserving it, insisting on remaining with a narcissist, indicates therefore the parameters of the personality of the victim, of the partner, of the spouse. The partner, the spouse, and the mate of a narcissist who insists on remaining in the relationship and preserving it is molded by it into the typical narcissistic mate, spouse, or partner. The two, the narcissist and his spouse, collaborate in this dance macabre.


YOU: Trapped in Fantasy Worlds of Narcissist, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the fantasy worlds of narcissists and borderlines, which are post-traumatic conditions resulting from childhood trauma and abuse. Both types of children develop a fantasy with an imaginary friend who soothes and comforts them. As they grow up and interact with real people, reality intrudes and challenges their fantasy. The child is faced with two choices: give up the fantasy or give up reality. Narcissists and borderlines value fantasy more than reality, and anyone who brings reality into their lives is seen as an enemy. Victims of narcissism are not chosen, they are commodified and interchangeable.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2023
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy