Narcissistic Promiscuity

It’s Narcissist Friday!


Recently I shared in a response to a comment that I had been listening to “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly as I walk.  At one point he tells how John Wilkes Booth, shortly before going to Ford’s Theater to kill Lincoln, first visited the home of Lucy Hale.  Lucy was a young lady particularly close to Booth’s heart and he had, at one time, considered asking her to marry him.  When he learned that she was leaving the country and he would not see her again, he acted sad and asked her for a photograph he could keep to remember her beauty.  Wealthy people had such photos and she gave him a small one to take with him.  Since I am listening, you will have to accept an approximate quote here, “Booth put her photo in his shirt pocket, next to the photos of four other young ladies.  The life of a narcissist is necessarily complicated.”

So many have experienced something like this.  They finally find the strength to break away from their narcissist only to find that he has another lover in a matter of days, or that he already had another waiting.  Or the narcissist pledges his undying love one day and introduces his new girlfriend the next.  Some narcissists are more careful, of course, but some are blatantly promiscuous.

Most narcissists seem to move quickly from one relationship to another.  Let’s look at a few reasons.

  • Narcissists cannot acknowledge failure, even in a relationship.  If you find the strength to move away from him, he will not risk feeling like a loser.  He will find another relationship if only to prove that he is capable of attracting and holding another person.  You are the loser for leaving such a desirable person—that’s what he wants you to think.
  • Narcissists have real difficulty being alone.  How can they get their narcissistic supply, the admiration and respect and loyalty, on their own?  So they are driven to relationships.  The new victim may not be as socially presentable as the last, but she will do until something better comes along.
  • When a narcissist feels weak, he will turn on his super-power.  He must control how others think of him.  His super-power enables him to manipulate the hearts of people in such a way that he can draw an unhappy wife from her husband or a lonely single mom to trusting him with everything.  He will even use the fact that you left him to make himself into a victim others want to help.  Whatever it takes, he will succeed in getting a new relationship.
  • For some narcissists, the reputation offered by multiple conquests is a drug of choice.  Booth must have gloated over the five young women who consented to share their photos with him.  He probably fantasized life with each of them or all of them.  He believed himself to be better than others and wanted the recognition he felt he deserved.  We can imagine him showing the photos to other men to prove his virility and superiority.

Sometimes the narcissist will simply write off the one who left or the one he rejected.  He just moves on to another and you are forgotten.  Everything that was shared is shown to be phony.  It was never about you.

And, sometimes, the narcissist tries very hard to get the one who left to come back to him.  He cannot believe that you are happy without him.  He cannot forgive you for making him feel and look weak.  If he can get you to come back, to admit your error or sin, then he will be victorious.

I want to call this “commitment conquest.”  The idea is that the narcissist feeds off the commitment of others.  It might be that you are a lover, but you may be a friend or a family member.  When you find that you are committed to someone who has no apparent commitment back to you or who uses your relationship in strange and self-serving ways, you might be connected with a narcissist.

You see, narcissists don’t see others as people, even those who are closest to them.  They see everyone as a toy, tool, or obstacle.  No wonder their victims feel rage.


Filed under Narcissism

14 responses to “Narcissistic Promiscuity

  1. Kelly

    Thank you Dave, your last sentence of “no wonder their victims feel rage” is very affirming. It is unspeakable rage to discover your life was one big smoke screen and decades were seemingly wasted on someone who is nothing more than a distorted mirror that you see yourself in

    • My intro to narcissism was in a counseling situation and I was trying to understand the woman in the relationship. I picked up Vaknin’s book, “Malignant Self-Love” and randomly turned to a page that described the rage victims feel when they finally understand how they have been betrayed and used. That was what she was exhibiting. I sat at B & N and read the whole book! Then I bought three copies at $45 each.

      • Kelly

        Vaknin’s book is incredible. For a NPD he really made a significantly unselfish contribution to the world by letting us look into his heart. Though clearly he was probably rewarded with acclaimation and sales 🙂

  2. Kelly

    On the lighter side (i there is one) I put together a little song called the Narcissists Song “I…am…so…beautiful…to me, I light up my life, I give me hope…to carry on…, I make a livin outa lovin me, Baby I’m amazed by me…

    • Tammy C

      Haha! So true Kelly! Yes, there is a lighter side. God created us in his image and we have a sense of humor right?

      So in that spirit, go to You Tube & search for Patsy Cline singing “Crazy”… Ok, we’re not ‘Crazy’ for staying with a narcissist, but it is not a smart decision!

      On a serious note, lyrics to songs have long described writers’ life experiences and this song is no exception. Willie Nelson wrote ‘Crazy’ towards the end of a violent marriage. Hank Williams wrote ‘Your Cheating Heart’ at the end of his first marriage. It is no surprise that this was her second marriage and their marriage was “always turbulent, rapidly disintegrated, and he developed a serious problem with alcohol, morphine and other painkillers prescribed for him to ease the severe back pain caused by his spinal bifida” (taken from Wikipedia)

      It is not a stretch to say that these men were likely married to narcissistic women. Hank Williams’ first wife Audrey Williams biography is on Wikipedia and you’ll find this quote “Her duets with Hank were like an extension of their married life in that she fought him for dominance on every note.”

      Hank had a strong influence on country music with his incredible talent, but his heart was broken and his life ended in the midst of drug and alcohol abuse at the young age of 29.

      Narcissistic behavior destroys lives. That is why I believe it is a tool designed by Satan himself.

      God wants so much for you than the defeated life that you had with that narcissist. His Grace can give you victory over the heartbreaks in your life and He can cover you with his mercy and love if you simply trust him.

  3. Nina

    Well this is extremely helpful and confirms my worst fears. I have in fact fell in love and been with a narcissist for two years. I almost killed myself last year and I mean I came close I was on a ventilator for more than a week. I never could figure out why I wasn’t quite good enough, how he could kick me out at a moments notice, and I knew he was using major transference if he went out drinking I was a drunk. And if we weren’t living together he constantly accused me of “Facebook F******” with men or talking to other men. He always called me a whore and last week when I caught him on a dating site “searching for his soul mate” but taking his time he blew up at me in public called me a psycho whore it was crazy. Not as crazy as how super depressed I am, I can’t eat, can’t sleep, stomach upset, and I physically hurt all over. I miss him so much I’d sell my soul to be in his arms right now, this is sick I’m addicted he never even loved me never cared at all.

  4. Katherine

    Nina- my heart goes out to you. I was where you are about 9 months ago. I still love him, but the pain is much more bearable now. I am praying comfort and strength for you. Just try to breathe through the pain.
    If it helps- something I read in response to “did he ever love me?” was – you gave him the closest thing to love he could feel he could feel. You made him feel alive.
    I’m guessing that the threat of having his infidelity exposed was what made him turn on you- like an wild animal in a cage. If you didn’t matter to him he wouldn’t have bothered to be so deceptive, and losing you would not have triggered such an extreme response.
    I know this sounds nuts, but the best way forward is to ask God to sit next to you in your pain. Don’t try to feel anything other than what comes. God will walk with you to the other side of this, no matter the outcome.
    Peace, my friend. This pain will pass.

  5. Cindy

    I have spent 6 months with a manipulative narcissistic man…a crash course since I lived with him. I’ve been out for 6 months and it’s good. Ladies, you have a wonderful opportunity now to evolve/grow. Narcissists don’t take that opportunity. If you are away from that person now, re-group with yourself and do some internal emotional work with yourself and realize why that person was in your life. There is a reason. It may show itself years later but just trust, there was some reason why you were with him. If you look at yourself and do the work, you most likely will not be attracted to that personality type again. It’s always about our childhood. All the misunderstandings we had with others, perceptions that were inaccurate, etc. Most issues come from infancy to age 6 or 7 yrs old. That’s because we are only working with an emotional filter during that time in our new lives. So, let’s cut ourselves a break, work on healing those emotions and attracting a healthy man to be in a relationship with because we will be more healthy. We deserve real love…to give it and receive it. Hang in there everyone, I’m trying to!

  6. Megan

    I was living with my ex Narc it was my first relationship. We lasted 4 years. He cheated on me in the beginning I told him it was over but he manipulated me into feeling sorry for him. On our fourth year he said he loved me and was ready for marriage and kids and wanted to start a side business together. Turns on he had a backup girl and then dumped me kicked me out and was with her as if he and i were never together. I read their Facebook exchanges and he devalued me blaming me for his unhappiness and saying everything he said about his previous GF’s so his new supply was believing everything and telling him she wants to make him happy and she is better than me. I have been NC for about 5 months now.

    He’s a cheater, liar, manipulator, and has mommy issues. He’s a true Narc with sociopath traits. Being away from him I see all the red flags I ignored when I was under his spell

  7. Ricky

    I’m pretty sure my gf was a narcissist. Within 3 weeks of our two year relationship had ended she had found another man who does more for her than I did and she’s engaged to him within 2 months saying he’s the lovd of her life. Do u think she was a narcisists

    Ok il list a few things she would do that appeared strange its worth pointing out she wasn’t always mean she took care of her mum and at times seemed so loving and caring to me.
    Whenever we argued she would say how beautiful she was and could have any man she wanted
    She was a model and was a massive attention seeker using sex and acting like a lesbian on twitter before I was with her to get attention
    She got jealous of female members of my family calling them wh**es just because I bought them flowers for their birthdays. Saying u should only buy flowers for her no one else and I’m weird for doing it
    If I got mad at her because of this behaviour she would say I’m an abuser telling all her friends and even her friends bf’s I admit I did say mean things but so did she she saud she wanted to kill me and my family and she hoped she all died because I deserve misery for not treating her like the princess she is
    She constantly spoke about how she was a princess and how men hit on her and could never get over her
    She was a cam girl and used this money to buy things she could never afford she saud she deserved to live like a princess and above her means not caring about the hurt this job would do to her mum if she found out not to mention the pain it caused me
    She never felt any remorse for her actions and lies she’s wouldn’t even discuss them its as though it didn’t happen
    Would accuse me of not making her feel loved enough I took her to Paris for the day for her birthday which cost me 600 pounds and she said I was tight.
    She constantly accused me of looking at other women which I didn’t dare saying I can only look at her when I’m out not around the room
    She said she didnt need to keep promises she would break them not apologise or even speak about them
    She would be violent towards me I complained she said I should be embarrassed because I’m a man and she’s a girl but if someone hits u with boots or kicks u in the chest it hurts she shouldn’t want to her me anyways

    Please please help I’m so confused do u think she will treat this new man the same? I can’t being myself to hate this girl I feel sorry for her despite the tremendous pain she had caused me.

  8. Marie

    Today I saw for the first time the name and picture of the new supply on facebook. The picture was taken in february 2013, at a moment my narcissistic partner and I were still together. In fact I was on the rollercoster. He tried to con me for a certain amount of money (!), when I got angry on the phone he used my anger to tell people how bad and insulting I was, and then he started to play around with me… with the tricks we all know…. crying that he still loved me, that he wanted to stop the relationship, that he wanted to continue, not calling on the phone, having me waiting, and at the same time having me working and helping him with lots of things for his business, while saying horrible and painful things when I had him on the phone…. I didn’t understand anything of what was happening… I was totally confused, and desperate… not sleeping, texting and talking on the phone… and then hearing him strangely laugh, and then these absurd accusations, and then the fact that other people beleived him…. which doubles the sense of horror. Then he dumped me, re-opened the back door two days later (just a little bit, as he said), and then he got his sister to send a letter to the notary directly in order to have me thrown out of his notary will (There was nothing for me in his will, only the fact that I could continue the business, a business which I set up for him and where I had worked in day and night since 4 years). I was not supposed to discover the letter to the notary. And that was the limit off course. The relationship had lasted 7 years.

    But today, I saw the picture of him and his new official girl friend on facebook. It truly shocked me to have the prove of the cheating. To have the prove of the cruelty. When I remember all the efforts his family and I put in to fix the relationship. All the cheating, all the faking, and the nights that he was gone. All the sadistic playing around.

    And what I wanted to say to you all and maybe it will comfort you: the two of them looked so unhappy, he looked pitifull and she looked seriously worried, and she is un unattractive little sasd looking mouse. As for him, he used to be beautiful and very sexy and charismatic. And he looks like a depressed old man now. (yes yes, I know there is the fox inside!)
    I feel sorry for her. And neither you, neither I, would like to be in her place! off course I remember the good times, but I beleive narcissists get worse when they get older.
    And we all can be sure of one thing: The narcissist is not going to be happy after leaving you or after leaving me! He has found a wife “solution”, he is aging, he looks ridiculous, he has lots of debts.

    For him, I feel contempt now. It is my turn. I was sucked dry emotionally, financially, I gave him a family, my children, a house to live in…. it is the typical narcissistic story.

    And I am still grieving my soul mate, but today I feel contempt. What a sad image for the master cheater! (Am I very mean?)

    Oh, and I almost forgot to tell that I got a text on my mobile phone from another girl, apparently “by accident”, last week. Apparently he cancelled her, but she told him she would come and see him some other time. And that’s for the cheating of the “New One”. And then the fact that the text by the other girl landed on my phone… whic may not be an accident. What a sick sick story. Let’s all get normal again! We are not alone in this story.

    Apologies for mistakes in my English. I am from Holland.


    n.b. Nina, how are you doing? In the beginning of april I was as desperate as you were.

  9. Nadya Wall-Rossi

    What does all this have to do with Hank Williams?

    • Tammy

      Hi Nadya – I’m reading between the lines. Based on what I’ve read, his first wife Audrey Williams appeared to be a narcissist and was his inspiration for his song ‘Your Cheating Heart’ that he wrote after their marriage. He also wrote “Half as Much” and “You win Again” and other songs that reveal a broken heart. His Wikipedia page in the “personal” section has some more details. He was an enormously talented man who died way too soon (29) with drug addictions and in physical and emotional pain.

      Of course I don’t know for certain that she was a narcissist but there are clues from Wikipedia and other sources and see my above post. He and Audrey were married before her divorce was final, then he married Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar before her divorce was final. Even though Audrey had done the same thing, she sued Billie Jean Jones and the marriage was ruled invalid. Audrey named alcoholism as one of the reasons she left Hank yet she was an alcoholic. She was known for her “out-of-control emotions and substance abuse”

      This quote is on Wikipedia “Her duets with Hank were like an extension of their married life in that she fought him for dominance on every note.” His songs are full of pain from a man with a broken heart. He clearly had his faults but when I look at his sad life and listen to his music through a narcissism lens, I see that perhaps his alcoholism, drug addiction and womanizing was his response to his marriage to Audrey. So sad!

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