Relationships with covert narcissists aren’t always easy to recognize. That is why today we are going to address signs that you are in a relationship with a covert narcissist.
Unlike their loud, boorish overt counterparts, covert narcissists come across as quiet & unassuming, often times even a bit naïve in the early days of a relationship. They tend to be the type of person that can blend into the background, & doesn’t need to be the center of everyone’s attention. They may not share much about their feelings early on, & they tend to mirror back to their victim by claiming they like similar things or share similar feelings. It can seem a bit insincere, but that easily can be attributed to timidity, inexperience with dating or maybe social awkwardness. In any case, it gets overlooked because they obviously want to know everything about their partner. Being the focus of this undivided attention makes a person feel very special, so many flaws will go unnoticed.
Covert narcissists also want the relationship to move quickly. They claim their new partner is their soul mate, they never met anyone so wonderful or they have looked for someone just like their partner for their entire life. They quietly make their victim feel swept off their feet. Even if this person is not the usual type the partner is interested in, they quickly ignore any doubts. After all, the narcissist seems so sincere.
Once the victim is in this place, they begin to notice small changes in the narcissist. Maybe he no longer calls his victim during his lunch break at work every day, or maybe she answers his texts hours later instead of only minutes. In any case, something feels a bit off which makes the victim try harder to please the narcissist. The relationship becomes consuming, & the victim’s other relationships may disappear. The covert narcissist often says this is proof that those people really didn’t care about the victim, not like the narcissist does.
The criticisms often start at this point. Suddenly the victim is no longer the most beautiful woman the male narcissist has ever seen but instead could stand to lose a few pounds. Or maybe the female narcissist stops complementing her victim’s handsomeness & makes comments about co workers or celebrities she finds handsome. The criticisms always will be subtle & indirect. He won’t say she’s fat, but imply she might feel better about herself if she lost some weight, for example.
The narcissist does other things that are off putting to their victim as well. They may suddenly not be affected by the victim’s complaints or flustered state. They may opt to watch television, scroll through their phone or continue to eat dinner as their victim pours out their heart. If the victim says the narcissist isn’t listening, he or she gets offended, claiming that isn’t true, sometimes without even looking away from the distraction. Even worse, they say this in such a way that the victim feels guilty for being critical.
This type of behavior only gets worse. They respond to victims by claiming they only have their victim’s best interests at heart, & don’t understand how their victim could think otherwise. Victims in these relationships explain things that should not need explaining about the narcissist’s cruel behavior, yet always seem to end up apologizing to the narcissist for what the narcissist did to them.
Sex is loveless. They have no desire to make love with their partner. They often either want boring sex that doesn’t please their victim, they prefer time alone with pornography or they want their partner to act out things they have seen in porn. Either way, their victim is left feeling rejected, undesirable or even repulsive to the narcissist.
Somehow in spite of all of this, the victim ends up feeling as if they owe the narcissist. If the victim broke up with the narcissist then later returned, the narcissist won’t have a problem bringing this up as a way to make the victim feel guilty & as if they owe that narcissist to make his or her life better from now on. If the narcissist pays the bills or at least the majority of them, he or she never hesitates to remind the victim of this.
If this sounds like someone you are romantically involved with, please do yourself a favor & get away from this person immediately! You deserve so much better! Stop making excuses or denying this behavior is abusive. It is inexcusable & very abusive! I can tell you this from experience because I was once married to someone like this. No one has any right or reason to treat you this way, no matter what you may have done or didn’t do. Get away from this person. Heal. Find someone who truly loves you & appreciates you for the wonderful person that you are!
2 responses to “Romantic Relationships With A Covert Narcissist”
Exactly my experience with an ex-husband!!
I believe that!! Much was mine with my ex too.