Trapped in the Narcissistic Vortex–Spouses of Narcissists

Narcissists know what and whom they want. They marry those who will keep them filled with narcissistic supplies. Their qualifications for spouse include: include physical beauty, professional achievements, polished social skills, impressive family credentials, a compliant temperament and willingness to absorb inordinate amounts of narcissistic abuse: full throated volcanic rage, blatant lying and withering humiliations (public and private). Taking orders is another role of the non-narcissistic spouse. Delusional narcissistic demands flow endlessly.

A vortex is a gravitational pull that draws you into its center–It can be a way of life that is “irresistibly engulfing.” The narcissist is the central force in his life. He charms and magnetizes those he has chosen to become his human possessions. Narcissists don’t have marital relationships since they are incapable of emotional intimacy or empathy. They are consummate actors who play the role of bringing you into their vortex. They display tremendous skill in impressing and wooing you to become part of their lives. Successful narcissists use their power in the world, their connections and lifestyle with all of its seductive trappings to seal the deal. Those who are taken in by the narcissist believe that they have found someone who can make them feel financially secure and important as an elite member of the narcissist’s inner circle. These pseudo relationships work on a surface level if you have one narcissist marrying another. In this case they have made a deal that will feed both of them with narcissistic supplies.

In the case where a partner has fallen for a narcissist and is unaware of his severe psychopathology, there is entrapment in the narcissistic vortex. This individual’s life and talents are eclipsed by the long shadow of the narcissistic spouse. The narcissist takes the spouse deeper and deeper into his delusional center. Spouses who have been incapable of separating themselves out psychologically as separate individuals, are swept up and fuse with the narcissist. They equate financial status and material perks with emotional security. They are trapped in the narcissistic vortex.

Some spouses wake up, do the research about the narcissistic personality and rescue themselves. They separate out from the narcissist, break through the vortex and move forward to lead their lives in psychological, emotional, creative and spiritual freedom. Many of these individuals benefit from excellent psychotherapy. Others find their way through friends who form a strong support group. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

One thought on “Trapped in the Narcissistic Vortex–Spouses of Narcissists”

  1. This is me. I am so stuck in his trap although I have moved out after 14 years. Battling the decision to end it but am having major problems still reaching out to him to make it work. He now has girkfriend number 3. Why do I care? Because I know who he is and will end up alone but I am an enabler

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