I have communicated with many clients and readers and people whom I meet who tell me that they keep marrying, divorcing and then marrying another covert narcissist. How could they have known that they would repeat this hurtful psychological pattern. They should not blame themselves. It is extremely difficult to recognize a covert narcissist, especially if he is at the top of his game. (This post refers to male and female narcissists). By this I mean that the Covert has been practicing his superb part since he was very young. Whether he was the golden child, the forgotten one or even the scapegoat–this individual has identified as a false self most of his life. The covert narcissist learned early to camouflage his true feelings and thoughts. Even more so, as a golden child he was from birth, regal. Everything is handed to the child of pure gold. He or she can never do wrong. These kids are perfect even when they bully their siblings, treat playmates cruelly and make unseemly demands on everyone in their lives.
You as the current or former spouse of a covert narcissist feel confused and dismayed that you continue to be attracted to and then marry covert narcissists. This is a current familiar theme that runs through many of my conversations with those who have repeated this pattern in their relationships. First, give yourself credit for recognizing this pattern of behavior. Know that you will be able to spot the Covert next time and not become involved with him as a partner of any kind, even a friend. Narcissists are incapable of any kind of emotional and psychological empathy. I find that many of those who are attracted to and then marry covert narcissists are highly empathic individuals. What a mismatch! For the narcissist this makes great sense; he can have anything he wants from you and give nothing in return. The covert narcissist makes incessant demands, demeans you, tears you down when you are at your lowest ebb.
After going through painful ordeals throughout a number of years, many of those chronically victimized in their marriages recognize that they must separate and divorce the covert narcissist. After the divorce is final and you have moved forward with your life, you will be grateful that you made this decision. As you renew yourself you will never look back. Finally, you have learned to value your unique individuality and your many gifts.
Continue to grow as an individual and learn to appreciate your authenticity and uniqueness. Spend as much time as you can in the recovery, healing, transformative part of the nervous system. Here you will feel deep inner peace, security and optimism. Embrace the flowering of your unbounded creative gifts and energies.