Narcissism Love & Sex

The Curse of Narcissism

Steve Cooper discusses Narcissism Love and Sex

Steve Cooper

There is a story in Greek mythology about a fellow called Narcissus who had a great number of lovers. When Narcissus did not return their love, his admirers became upset. They approached the Greek god Artemis who agreed that because of his infidelity and disregard for their feelings he would put a curse on Narcissus. This curse caused Narcissus to sit by the same pool, day in and day out, in love with his own reflection. Narcissus was no longer able to touch or be loved by anyone until eventually, out of loneliness and despair he withered away and died.

This story is very similar to the loneliness and unquenchable longing I once felt while surrounded by a family who loved me. I was very lucky my wife Kim helped me break free of this curse.

The special person whose attention you crave
is like a mirage in the desert;
Each new admirer looks like the perfect one;
but only for a short time before the illusion fades . . .

Does Pornography Feed Narcissism?

Engaging in a fantasy sex life when you are married encourages lying and deception. Because of the temptation to present an over glorified version of yourself, Web-cam and chat room sex will also encourage the development of false self. These are both signs of a narcissistic view on love & Marriage. Considering the numerous studies now proving pornography addiction is destructive to men on every level it seems obvious that engaging in pornography use is one of the signs of narcissism.

Like Narcissus, a pornography addict stares into a pool (his computer) longing for love he will never find there. If he cannot break the curse, he will eventually find himself abandoned by all the people he once loved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

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Signs of Narcissism in Your Marriage (scroll right to left)  . . .

This Post Has 35 Comments
  1. After 40 years of marriage with my husband, I’ve come to the crushing blow and reality of my co-dependence and his narcissism. It’s definitely time for a change!

          1. There are ideas and suggestions throughout my books and in articles on my blog – but I will think about doing a list for the blog before Newyear 🙂 Money of course is always a big one. Make sure you have that one sorted out!

    1. i have been married for 46 years and it has been a painful heartbreaking struggle. Didn’t til as of late know the term narcissism but i now know ive been married to one. we are struggling now with an affair he had 20 years ago when our daughters were still home. i didnt want to tear their world apart as they were in high school and i was also torn about dealing with it. its a painful thing to be married to a selfish, self centered, sex and alcohol addictive person who is not the person you fell in love with. if youd like to share and try to be a support for each other, maybe we can become stronger together.

      1. Shirley, he is the man you fell in love with. My husband is all those things too. He cheated on me after 19 years of marriage. That was 3 years ago. At some point you have to stop living in the past. Grieve the losses you have endured and even the loss of that man you fell in love with. Then let it go. For you. I think that was the best advice that has ever come out of my husbands mouth. He said I wa only making myself miserable. He knew he had done me wrong. You can make them accountable for their actions, but at some point you have to let yourself have peace. Realize there are no excuses for his behavior, and if you can’t move on with him then do it alone. I chose to stay. I won’t say it’s been easy, but for me, it has helped me discover who I am.

        1. Thank you for keeping in touch.
          I m still here. Same old story.
          My husband cheated on me.
          Complex family issues and finances for me.
          In our case the problem is that does not want to recognize the symptoms-check list and continues turnin things around
          Different therapies justifying his doing: porn and cheating because of eudipian relationship to mother and so on.
          I am ready to move alone. Any advice i am afraid of his anger and put downs.
          You are blessed
          Gigi

          1. Hey Gigi, It is vital that you understand that change will not come to a narcissistic/codependent relationship from the narcissistic partner seeing their faults. The change comes instead from the codependent setting firm boundaries whether the Narcissistic partner likes it or not (ie. the won’t!) over time this will change the power balance and dynamic. Whether you stay or whether you go, Back From the Looking Glass has the steps you need to take now.

  2. I am currently seperated from my partner. And all of this rings true. I found your work once we had split. I could take the explosive outburst no longer. I know he loves me? But he struggles with all you describe in you ebooks ( I’ve purchased a few and subscribed for a while. I dont have regular access to a computer at the moment.) Anyway i really gell with what you teach. We have a son. And after what ive learnt from you both. Amd the little things from it i have been able to use and see results. Im in awe of your work. We have the worst relationship and people think
    I am mad for wanting to reconcile and continue to try and FIX it. But I myself really connect with your teachings And feel with some help. We could heal and be aswell the best union possible. Although how do i get there to start when he is living seperate and resents me aswell for making live seperate.
    A

    1. I too am separated from my husband of 20 years. 3 kids. He has npd. I love what Kim does and had hoped for my husband, kids, family alas I don’t hold out much hope for him. The last thing he would do is seek out a site like this and the hardest thing for me to accept is that he cannot see he has a problem and therefore will not choose to make positive changes to his life. I can only focus on my boundaries and getting on with life and raising my kids (100% custody – thank God!). We remain separated but still are technically still married. (I have no desire to move on – clearly my arsehole radar is broken so why would I!). After nearly 5 years in this limbo still nothing – if anything he has deteriorated further. He is a serial adulterer and liar. It took me 20 years of stupid blind trust before I found out what an appalling human being I had married. I have no respect for him and no trust in him. He has no interest in rebuilding the trust. He truly believed I’d simply forgive him and that he could carry on as before after I discovered his secret life. He was sorry – mostly that he had been caught out!. I have forgiven him but I cannot forget what he has done (indirectly recklessly gambling with my life through his infidelity, and neglecting me and the kids). I will never allow him back unless I see a real commitment to change. His npd has worsened over past months and now plays manipulative games with the children (who he has barely had anything to do with up till now). He has threatened to disown and cut my son off financially if he doesn’t select a career his father approves of (ie. medicine). His hurtful angry destructive rants and irrational carry on is infuriating. It’s so hypocitical. (He himself is not a doctor – he’s a medical professional but took 5 years to complete his one 3 year degree – all funded by his own parents). My son is an A+ student and wants to pursue a career in audio engineering. My husband treats him like an accessory that he will discard if he doesn’t conform. My son has realised for himself that his father is a psychopath. My family are very supportive of my son’s dreams and I am grateful there are several good male role models amongst my brothers and my father for him. As for my younger daughters, they are ignored – totally irrelevant. Tragic. He says he loves me and the kids in his own skewed way, and does supports us financially. Love to him is a very strange thing though – I think I fit into the category of “good breeding stock”. I’m on some strange pedestal in his eyes, because I am and have always been faithful to him, and trustworthy. Qualities he deliberately sought out and pretended to have, but wasn’t prepared to reciprocate in his own words and actions. What can be done with someone who has no moral compass – no backbone?..whose life is a fascade?
      Good luck to you though Deb. I follow Kim’s & Steves work and live in hope. I pray that my husband will become a sincere, good and decent man of integrity one day…who knows. He’s in God’s hands.
      Perhaps Steve could tell us both what made him realise he had a problem/needed to change?
      or Kim – Can you offer any advice?

      1. Hi Kate, You can read more of our story in Back from the Looking Glass! Steve offers his perspective there too 🙂

        In the end Steve didn’t have a lot of choice. Things had become so difficult for him (when I made him face his own self created consequences) that his false pride eventually had to cave. I had become so much stronger and such a better leader in our family which I know made that choice so much easier for him.

        If you are financially reliant on your husband this may be difficult as it may be hard for him to drop his “act” of having it all together and let you lead for awhile if he has to keep up appearances in a stressful work environment. Giving him a little understanding about that pressure (while maintaining your boundaries) and finding ways to help carry that load if he drops the BS and just spends more time with you all may help build trust.

  3. And I also struggle with my codependance issues. Which while we have been seperate I I have worked on the areas you talk about. Do you have any further advice. Or do i need to let go and move on is it too late?

    Thank you Kim and Steve. ????????

  4. It would be cool if you added information about multiple sex partners and BDSM. This is a fast growing culture for NCS and autism. A place where they convince themselves that they are finding trust and love because the woman allows the abuse physically and emotionally. Polyamory is welcomed to keep the highs flowing. Then they wonder why they can’t succeed in their goals in life. Very sad stuff. False sense of power since they feel so out of power in real life. Of course it all starts with porn. The porn gets unsatisfying and they take what they see into real life trying to up that dopamine fix. I can’t imagine the fog that happens in the brain filling it with so much garbage. I think a lot of people can’t wake up. Ever.

    1. Sounds like a very sad place Kimberly. Unfortunately we have no direct experience with this world and so it may be hard to offer comprehensive help. Still I will certainly keep my eyes out for relevant research 🙂

  5. Thanks for this information, Kim. I am learning with baby steps here. I am beginning to see the results of nurturing attachment, setting some boundaries and standing up for myself.

    The toughest moments for me are when I am sick and need someone else to 1) take care of my child’s needs for me and 2) do a bit of care-taking of me (food, water). My N partner does not see the needs of the child. When I asked for help — with specific requests — he will berate me and then refuse to help. I have an autoimmune disease so getting well takes time and rest. I am brainstorming about ways to get my and my child’s needs met when I am ill in the future. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Patricia, Hang in there! Overcoming codependence is about finding yourself and that following your own heart and interests and giving yourself love is not second best to love from someone else. When you truly become your own best friend you can never be alone! Check out 10 Steps to Overcome Codependence and get started today 🙂

  6. How do we create boundaries that work without leaving ir making him leave- that’s where I am at with 5 kids… and is it possible that someone who never seemed like a narcissist in the beginning suddenly is or I have also read that make depression mixed with drunkeness can mimic that?

    1. Hi Andria 🙂 You will find the steps to create these boundaries in Back From the Looking Glass – 13 Steps to a Peaceful Home. Most people with narcissistic tendencies are charming in the beginning – it goes with the territory!

  7. Pls help. My narc partner has vanished. I am dealing w lyme disease, he has become incredibly selfish & distant. Had cat scan, he text me and wld not be supportive. I was upset, told him. He got off phone upset, never responded back, been 3 days. Heartless & cruel. I have encephalitis & it is serious. Everything is more important to him and now he is punishing me bcuz I tried to hold him accountable. I don’t know what to do now. Broken, sick & alone.

    1. Hi Julia, It is sometimes said that codependence can be fatal because people make themselves sick with somatic illness expecting that this will make people care about them more. Being sick does not make us more attractive. How much do you love and care about yourself? Your partner has shown they are not concerned about your health. You need to take care of yourself now and stop worrying about him. It is not his love you need to heal – it is your own love.

  8. My husband claims to be a strong Christian. He knows the Bible better than most scholars. He seems to have a strong moral compass. I found out about his secret life and lies, (which he denies) he makes me feel crazy. I can hardly believe that is is a narcissist! He is such a convincing liar. Married 20 years before I found out. Could I be wrong. Could he just have the traits and be able to love and have empathy?

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