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Unveiling the Cheating Patterns of Covert Narcissists: How to Spot a Narcissist's Deception


Table of Contents

  1. Love and Covert Narcissist
  2. Important cheating patterns of a Covert Narcissists
  3. What happens on Ignoring a Narcissist?
  4. 10 Signs of Narcissistic Devaluation
  5. How do Two Narcissists Live in a Relationship?
  6. How Narcissists React when they can’t Control You?
  7. Strange Things Covert Narcissist Do Right Before They Ghost Their Supply
  8. What Hurts a Covert Narcissist The Most?
  9. How can the married life with a covert narcissist 
  10. When narcissists rage are they psychotic and losing touch with reality?
  11. Covert narcissists need a (toxic) challenge
  12. Conclusion 

Love and Covert Narcissist

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Love can be a beautiful and fulfilling experience, but when it is tainted by a covert narcissist, it can become a toxic and destructive force.
A covert narcissist is someone who displays traits of narcissism, such as a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and manipulation, but does so in a more subtle and deceptive manner. They may appear charming and kind on the surface, but behind closed doors, they can be controlling and emotionally abusive.
In a relationship with a covert narcissist, love can feel like a constant battle of trying to meet their unrealistic expectations and demands. They may gaslight their partner, making them feel like they are the one at fault for any problems in the relationship. They may also use manipulation tactics to keep their partner under their control, such as guilt-tripping and playing mind games.
Despite the toxic dynamics of a relationship with a covert narcissist, the victim may find it hard to leave. The narcissist knows how to manipulate their partner into staying, making them believe that they are the only one who truly understands and loves them. This can create a sense of dependency and fear of being alone, keeping the victim trapped in an unhealthy and damaging relationship.
It is important for anyone in a relationship with a covert narcissist to recognize the signs of emotional abuse and seek help. Love should not be a source of pain and suffering, and it is possible to break free from the toxic cycle and find a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.

What is the reason for covert narcissist cheating? 

Covert narcissists often cheat for various reasons, but the primary motivation behind their infidelity is typically related to their insatiable need for admiration and validation. Unlike overt narcissists who are more overtly manipulative and demanding of attention, covert narcissists are more passive-aggressive and tend to seek out external validation through deceitful means.
One of the main reasons covert narcissists cheat is to feed their ego and boost their self-esteem. They may not feel satisfied with their current partner's level of attention or admiration, so they seek out other romantic interests to fill that void. By engaging in extramarital affairs or flings, covert narcissists can temporarily feel desired and important, which serves to temporarily alleviate their deep-seated insecurities.
Additionally, covert narcissists often struggle with feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth, despite projecting a facade of confidence. Cheating gives them a sense of power and control over others, reaffirming their belief in their own superiority and desirability. This can provide a temporary ego boost and alleviate their underlying feelings of worthlessness.
Furthermore, covert narcissists may cheat as a way to escape from the monotony or dissatisfaction of their current relationship. They may crave new and exciting experiences, and seeking out affairs can provide a temporary escape from the perceived limitations of their primary partnership.
Overall, the reason for covert narcissists cheating ultimately stems from their deep-rooted insecurities, insatiable need for validation, and fear of being inadequate. They seek out external sources of admiration and excitement to fill the void within themselves, often at the expense of their partner's trust and emotional well-being.

Important cheating patterns of a Covert Narcissists 


Covert narcissists are masters of deception and manipulation, using a variety of tactics to achieve their goals and maintain their false image of superiority. One of the most important cheating patterns of a covert narcissist is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the narcissist subtly distorts reality, making their victim doubt their own perceptions and sanity. This tactic is often used to cover up their cheating and deflect responsibility onto their partner. Understanding  patterns of their behavior can help in identifying the deceptive behaviors of a covert narcissist and taking appropriate steps to protect oneself from their manipulative tactics.

  1. Secretive Communication: Covert narcissists often use hidden or private communication channels to interact with their partners or potential partners. This includes secret social media accounts, burner phones, or encrypted messaging apps.

  2. Gaslighting: They manipulate their partners into doubting their own perceptions and sanity. When confronted about infidelity, a covert narcissist may deny everything, make the partner feel paranoid, or accuse them of being overly suspicious.

  3. Emotional Withdrawal: They may become emotionally distant or unavailable. This withdrawal is often a sign that their attention and affection are being directed towards someone else.

  4. Victim Playing: Covert narcissists often play the victim to garner sympathy and divert attention from their own wrongdoings. They may claim that their partner's behavior forced them to seek solace elsewhere.

  5. Blame Shifting: When caught, they are likely to shift the blame onto their partner, accusing them of being the reason for their cheating behavior.

  6. Frequent Lies: They are habitual liars and often lie about their whereabouts, activities, and relationships to maintain their facade and cover up their cheating.

  7. Sudden Changes in Appearance or Behavior: They might start paying more attention to their looks, dressing differently, or suddenly showing interest in new activities. These changes can be indicators of trying to impress a new partner.

  8. Boundary Testing: Covert narcissists will often push boundaries to see what they can get away with, gradually escalating their deceptive behaviors.

  9. Projection: They may accuse their partner of cheating, projecting their own infidelity onto the other person to deflect suspicion from themselves.

  10. Triangulation: They involve a third party to create jealousy and competition, keeping their partner on edge and distracted from their deceitful actions.

  11. Constant Need for Validation: They seek constant validation and admiration from others, often engaging in flirtatious or inappropriate relationships to satisfy their need for attention.

  12. Compartmentalization: They are adept at keeping different aspects of their lives separate, which helps them manage multiple relationships without raising suspicion. 


Emotional Manipulation: How Covert Narcissists Hide Their Cheating

Emotional manipulation is a tactic commonly used by covert narcissists to control and manipulate their partners. They often use subtle tactics to hide their infidelity, while still maintaining power and control over their significant other.
Covert narcissists excel at gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser makes their victim doubt their own reality and memory. They may downplay or deny their cheating, making their partner feel paranoid or irrational for suspecting them. They may also use deflection, shifting blame onto their partner or making excuses for their behavior.
Another common tactic used by covert narcissists is projection. They may accuse their partner of cheating or behaving inappropriately, in an attempt to deflect attention away from their own infidelity. This can lead their partner to feel guilty or ashamed, further solidifying the narcissist's control.
Covert narcissists are adept at manipulating emotions and exploiting vulnerabilities, using charm and charisma to maintain a facade of normalcy. They may shower their partner with attention and affection, while simultaneously engaging in secret affairs or emotional connections with others.
In order to hide their cheating, covert narcissists may go to great lengths to cover their tracks. They may use technology to communicate with their affair partners, such as creating secret social media accounts or using encrypted messaging apps. They may also engage in gaslighting by deleting incriminating messages or other evidence of their infidelity.
It is important for individuals in relationships with covert narcissists to be aware of these tactics and to trust their instincts. If you suspect that your partner may be engaging in emotional manipulation or cheating, it is crucial to seek support from a therapist or counselor. Ending a relationship with a covert narcissist can be difficult, but ultimately necessary for preserving your emotional well-being.

What happens on Ignoring a Narcissist?


Ignoring a narcissist can provoke a range of intense reactions due to their deep-seated need for attention and validation. Understanding these reactions is crucial for anyone dealing with a narcissistic individual, as it helps in anticipating their behavior and protecting one’s own well-being.

The Narcissistic Injury and Rage

When ignored, a narcissist often experiences what is known as a "narcissistic injury." This occurs because their inflated sense of self-worth and need for admiration are threatened. The immediate reaction to this injury is typically narcissistic rage. This rage can manifest as explosive anger, aggressive behavior, or attempts to belittle and undermine the person ignoring them. The goal is to regain control and force the other person to acknowledge their importance.

Manipulative Tactics

Narcissists are adept at manipulation, and when ignored, they may escalate their tactics to regain attention. This can include gaslighting, spreading rumors, or playing the victim to garner sympathy from others. They might also use more subtle strategies, such as love-bombing, where they shower the person with affection and attention in an attempt to draw them back into the narcissistic cycle.

Emotional Withdrawal and Silent Treatment

In some cases, a narcissist may respond to being ignored by employing the silent treatment themselves. This is a form of passive-aggressive behavior meant to punish and provoke the other person into seeking their attention. The silent treatment can create an uncomfortable and tense environment, making the individual feel isolated and unsure of how to proceed.

Attempts at Re-Engagement

A narcissist might also attempt to re-engage with the person ignoring them by offering apologies or making promises to change. These gestures are often insincere and are primarily aimed at regaining control. Once the narcissist feels secure in their position again, they typically revert to their previous behaviors.

Escalation of Hostility

If initial attempts to regain attention fail, a narcissist may escalate their hostility. This can involve more severe verbal or emotional abuse, and in extreme cases, it can lead to physical threats or actions. The narcissist’s goal is to force a reaction, any reaction, that acknowledges their existence and importance.

Impact on the Individual

For the person ignoring the narcissist, the process can be emotionally exhausting and stressful. It is important to maintain strong boundaries and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Understanding that the narcissist’s reactions are a reflection of their own insecurities and need for control can help mitigate the emotional impact.

Long-Term Consequences

In the long term, consistently ignoring a narcissist may lead them to seek out new sources of validation. While this can eventually remove the narcissist from one’s immediate environment, it is crucial to remain vigilant, as they may attempt to re-enter one’s life during vulnerable moments.

10 Signs of Narcissistic Devaluation

Narcissistic devaluation is a manipulative tactic used by narcissists to diminish their partner’s self-worth and control them. Recognizing these signs can help individuals protect themselves from emotional harm and regain their sense of self. Here are ten common signs of narcissistic devaluation:


1. Constant Criticism

One of the most apparent signs of devaluation is relentless criticism. A narcissist will nitpick every aspect of their partner’s life, from their appearance to their choices, making them feel inadequate and constantly on edge. This criticism is often framed as "constructive" to mask its destructive intent.

2. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the narcissist makes their partner doubt their own reality. They might deny events, twist the truth, or blame their partner for things that are not their fault, causing the partner to question their memory, perception, and sanity.

3. Withdrawal of Affection

Narcissists often withdraw affection and love as a way to punish and control. This sudden coldness can leave the partner feeling confused and desperate to regain the narcissist’s approval and affection, further entrenching the cycle of devaluation.

4. Comparing to Others

Narcissists frequently compare their partners unfavorably to others, whether it’s ex-partners, friends, or even strangers. These comparisons are designed to make the partner feel inferior and to instill a sense of insecurity and inadequacy.

5. Public Humiliation

Embarrassing or belittling their partner in public is another tactic narcissists use to devalue. This can be through subtle jabs, outright insults, or exposing personal flaws and mistakes in front of others, all to assert dominance and erode their partner’s self-esteem.

6. Emotional Withholding

In addition to withdrawing affection, a narcissist may withhold emotional support and empathy. They become distant and unresponsive, making their partner feel isolated and emotionally starved. This emotional neglect serves to keep the partner dependent and insecure.

7. Triangulation

Narcissists often involve a third party in their relationship to create jealousy and competition. By praising another person or forming inappropriate bonds, they make their partner feel unimportant and undervalued, fostering an environment of insecurity and rivalry.

8. Blame Shifting

No matter what goes wrong, a narcissist will find a way to make it their partner’s fault. This constant blame shifting makes the partner feel responsible for all problems and failures, further undermining their confidence and sense of self-worth.

9. Intermittent Reinforcement

A particularly insidious tactic is intermittent reinforcement, where the narcissist alternates between periods of affection and devaluation. This unpredictable behavior creates a cycle of hope and despair, making the partner cling to the fleeting moments of kindness and endure the abuse.

10. Disregard for Boundaries

Narcissists often ignore or violate their partner’s personal boundaries. Whether it’s invading their privacy, making unilateral decisions, or disrespecting their autonomy, this behavior is meant to assert control and diminish the partner’s sense of individuality and agency. 

How do Two Narcissists Live in a Relationship?

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When two narcissists enter a relationship, the dynamics can be particularly complex and volatile. Both individuals seek constant validation and dominance, leading to a unique interplay of behaviors. Here’s an exploration of what typically happens when two narcissists are in a relationship:

Power Struggles and Dominance

A relationship between two narcissists often revolves around power struggles. Each partner seeks to assert dominance and control, leading to frequent conflicts. These power battles can manifest in arguments over trivial matters, competitive behaviors, and attempts to outshine each other in various aspects of life.

Lack of Genuine Emotional Connection

Narcissists are generally incapable of forming deep emotional connections due to their self-centered nature. When two narcissists are together, the relationship is likely to lack genuine intimacy and empathy. Both partners may focus more on how the relationship benefits them individually rather than fostering a meaningful bond.

Competitive Behavior

In a relationship between two narcissists, competition is a constant theme. Each partner wants to be seen as superior, whether in career achievements, social status, or physical appearance. This competitive dynamic can drive both partners to excel, but it can also lead to resentment and jealousy.

Manipulative Tactics

Both narcissists in the relationship may employ manipulative tactics to gain the upper hand. This can include gaslighting, emotional manipulation, and playing mind games. Each partner tries to control the other, leading to a toxic environment where trust and mutual respect are scarce.

Episodic Affection and Devaluation

The relationship may swing between periods of intense affection and brutal devaluation. Narcissists are known for their intermittent reinforcement patterns, where they alternate between love-bombing and demeaning their partner. When both partners exhibit this behavior, the relationship becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

Mutual Exploitation

In some cases, two narcissists might find a way to coexist by mutually exploiting each other. They may recognize that the relationship serves their need for admiration and status, agreeing implicitly or explicitly to maintain the facade for their benefit. However, this mutual exploitation is often fragile and can collapse when one partner feels their needs are no longer being met.

Inflated Sense of Self

Both narcissists maintain an inflated sense of self, which can lead to constant clashes. Each partner believes they deserve more admiration and attention than the other, resulting in ongoing disputes. Their grandiose self-perceptions make compromise difficult, and disagreements can escalate quickly.

Short-Lived Relationships

Due to the volatile nature of their interactions, relationships between two narcissists are often short-lived. The lack of genuine connection, combined with ongoing power struggles and manipulation, typically leads to an eventual breakdown. When neither partner is willing to prioritize the relationship over their own ego, sustaining the relationship becomes nearly impossible. 

How Narcissists React when they can’t Control You?

When a narcissist loses control over someone, their reaction can be intense and multifaceted. Their need for control stems from deep-seated insecurities and a desire to maintain their inflated sense of self-worth. Here are some common reactions of narcissists when they realize they can no longer control you:

 Narcissistic Rage

One of the most immediate reactions is narcissistic rage. This rage can manifest as explosive anger, verbal abuse, or even physical aggression. The narcissist feels threatened and humiliated when they can't control you, prompting an intense outburst aimed at reasserting dominance.

 Smear Campaigns

When control is lost, narcissists often resort to smear campaigns. They spread false information, rumors, and lies about you to damage your reputation. By turning others against you, they aim to isolate you and regain a sense of power indirectly.

 Playing the Victim

Narcissists are adept at playing the victim to garner sympathy and support. When they can't control you, they may portray themselves as the ones being wronged or mistreated. This tactic is designed to manipulate others into siding with them and to pressure you into submission.


Gaslighting is a common reaction where the narcissist tries to make you doubt your own reality and perceptions. They may deny past events, twist your words, or blame you for their behavior, all in an attempt to confuse you and regain control over the narrative.


In an effort to regain control, a narcissist might temporarily revert to love-bombing, showering you with affection, compliments, and attention. This behavior is intended to lure you back into their sphere of influence by making you question your decision to break free.

Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a passive-aggressive tactic used to punish you for asserting your independence. By withdrawing communication and affection, the narcissist aims to make you feel guilty and anxious, hoping you will seek their approval and attention once again.


Narcissists often use triangulation to regain control. This involves bringing a third party into the dynamic, whether it's a friend, family member, or new romantic interest, to create jealousy and competition. The goal is to manipulate your emotions and provoke a reaction.

Emotional Manipulation

When they can’t control you, narcissists may employ various forms of emotional manipulation. They might guilt-trip you, play on your sympathies, or make dramatic displays of emotion to elicit a response. These manipulative tactics are designed to wear down your resistance.

 Ultimatums and Threats

Feeling powerless, a narcissist might resort to issuing ultimatums or threats. These can range from threats of ending the relationship to more severe consequences. The intent is to intimidate and coerce you into compliance.

 Discard Phase

If all attempts to regain control fail, a narcissist might enter the discard phase, abruptly ending the relationship and cutting off contact. This is often done in a hurtful and dramatic manner, aiming to leave you feeling rejected and devastated. The discard phase is the narcissist's way of regaining a sense of superiority and control over the situation.

Strange Things Covert Narcissist Do Right Before They Ghost Their Supply

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Covert narcissists are adept at hiding their true nature behind a facade of modesty and empathy. However, their manipulative tendencies become evident in their actions, especially when they are about to discard someone they’ve been exploiting—referred to as their “supply.” Here are some strange behaviors that covert narcissists often exhibit right before they ghost their supply:

Sudden Withdrawal of Affection

One of the first signs is a sudden and inexplicable withdrawal of affection. The covert narcissist, who may have previously been attentive and loving, becomes cold and distant. This change can leave their supply confused and anxious, questioning what went wrong.

 Increased Criticism and Nitpicking

Right before ghosting, covert narcissists often ramp up their criticism and nitpicking. They might start pointing out flaws and mistakes in everything their supply does, creating an environment of constant scrutiny. This behavior serves to undermine the supply’s self-esteem and make them feel unworthy.

 Unpredictable Mood Swings

Covert narcissists may exhibit unpredictable mood swings, alternating between extreme friendliness and aloofness. This erratic behavior keeps their supply off balance, making it harder for them to anticipate the impending discard and increasing their dependency on the narcissist's approval.

 Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Passive-aggressive actions, such as giving the silent treatment, making backhanded compliments, or showing up late without explanation, are common. These behaviors are subtle but intentional efforts to create emotional turmoil and confusion in their supply.

 Creating Distance

Physically and emotionally, the covert narcissist begins to create distance. They might spend more time away from home, become less communicative, or show a sudden interest in activities that exclude their supply. This distancing is a prelude to the final ghosting act.

Feigned Innocence

To avoid confrontation and accountability, covert narcissists often feign innocence. They might act confused or hurt if confronted about their behavior, portraying themselves as victims of misunderstanding. This tactic diverts attention away from their manipulative actions and onto their supply's supposed irrationality.

 Securing New Supply

Before ghosting their current supply, covert narcissists often secure new sources of admiration and attention. This might involve reconnecting with old acquaintances, making new friends, or starting another romantic relationship. Ensuring they have a new supply lined up makes it easier for them to discard the current one.

Sabotaging the Relationship

Covert narcissists might engage in behaviors that intentionally sabotage the relationship. This can include provoking arguments, breaking promises, or exhibiting uncharacteristic behavior that pushes their supply away. The goal is to create a situation where the supply might end the relationship, allowing the narcissist to avoid responsibility.

Playing the Victim

In the lead-up to ghosting, covert narcissists often position themselves as the victim. They might fabricate stories of how they feel mistreated or misunderstood, garnering sympathy from others and justifying their decision to ghost their supply. This tactic helps them escape blame and appear blameless to outsiders.

What Hurts a Covert Narcissist The Most?

Lack of Attention and Admiration

Covert narcissists thrive on attention and admiration, even if they don't openly seek it. Being ignored or not receiving the recognition they believe they deserve can be deeply hurtful. They crave validation to prop up their self-esteem, and a lack of it can leave them feeling insignificant and unworthy.

 Exposure of Their True Self

Nothing terrifies a covert narcissist more than having their true nature exposed. They go to great lengths to maintain a facade of humility and empathy. When someone sees through their act and calls them out, it strikes at the core of their identity, causing immense emotional pain.

 Rejection and Abandonment

Rejection is particularly painful for covert narcissists. They view it as a direct assault on their worth. Whether it's a romantic partner, friend, or family member, any form of abandonment triggers their deep fear of being unlovable and insignificant. This rejection challenges their constructed self-image and can lead to intense feelings of inadequacy.

Criticism and Disapproval

Even constructive criticism can be devastating for a covert narcissist. They are hypersensitive to any form of disapproval, as it threatens their carefully crafted image of perfection. Criticism, especially in public, can lead to feelings of shame and humiliation, which they find extremely difficult to cope with.

 Comparison to Others

Being compared unfavorably to others can deeply wound a covert narcissist. They measure their self-worth against those around them and strive to be seen as exceptional. When someone else is praised or achieves more success, it undermines their sense of superiority and leaves them feeling envious and inadequate.

Failure to Manipulate

Covert narcissists are skilled manipulators, often using subtle tactics to control those around them. When their manipulations fail or when someone recognizes and resists their efforts, it frustrates and hurts them. They rely on their ability to influence others to feel powerful, and losing this power is a significant blow to their ego.

Loss of Control

Control is paramount to covert narcissists. Whether it's control over a relationship, a project, or their own image, losing control is deeply unsettling for them. It brings to the surface their underlying fears of chaos and vulnerability, making them feel powerless and exposed.

Being Held Accountable

Being held accountable for their actions is something covert narcissists dread. They often avoid responsibility and blame others for their shortcomings. When forced to face the consequences of their behavior, it disrupts their self-narrative and causes significant emotional discomfort.

Authentic Connections

Genuine, authentic connections can be threatening to covert narcissists because they struggle with true intimacy and vulnerability. When others form deep, meaningful relationships that exclude them, it highlights their own inability to connect on that level and exacerbates their feelings of isolation and inadequacy.

 Lack of Sympathy

Covert narcissists often play the victim to elicit sympathy and manipulate those around them. When others refuse to indulge this behavior or see through their act, it can be incredibly hurtful. The lack of sympathy denies them the validation they seek and forces them to confront their own manipulative tendencies.

How can the married life with a covert narcissist 

Married life with a covert narcissist is often characterized by a complex interplay of manipulation, emotional abuse, and a constant struggle for control. While on the surface, the relationship may appear stable and harmonious, behind closed doors, it is fraught with tension and dysfunction. Here’s how married life with a covert narcissist can be best described

Facade of Harmony

To outsiders, the marriage may seem idyllic—a loving couple with a strong bond. Covert narcissists excel at maintaining a facade of harmony, often presenting themselves as devoted partners and pillars of the community. However, this image is carefully crafted to conceal the underlying power dynamics and emotional turmoil within the relationship.

 Emotional Manipulation

Covert narcissists are masters of emotional manipulation, using subtle tactics to control and manipulate their spouse. They may employ gaslighting, guilt-tripping, and passive-aggressive behavior to assert dominance and undermine their partner's self-esteem. Over time, the spouse may feel confused, isolated, and emotionally drained.

Lack of Emotional Intimacy

Genuine emotional intimacy is lacking in a marriage with a covert narcissist. While the narcissist may crave admiration and validation, they are incapable of reciprocating deep emotional connections. Their focus is on fulfilling their own needs and maintaining their inflated sense of self-worth, leaving their spouse feeling emotionally neglected and unfulfilled.

 One-Sided Relationship

The marriage revolves around the needs and desires of the covert narcissist, with little regard for their spouse's feelings or well-being. The narcissist expects constant attention, praise, and admiration, while offering little in return. Their spouse may feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells, trying to avoid conflict and keep the peace.

 Cycle of Devaluation and Idealization

Married life with a covert narcissist often follows a cycle of devaluation and idealization. At times, the narcissist may shower their spouse with love and affection, idealizing them as the perfect partner. However, this idealization is fleeting, and soon gives way to devaluation, where the spouse is criticized, belittled, and made to feel inadequate.

Isolation and Control

Covert narcissists often seek to isolate their spouse from friends, family, and support networks, exerting control over their social interactions and decision-making. They may use manipulation and guilt-tripping to discourage their spouse from spending time with others, leaving them feeling isolated and dependent on the narcissist for validation and companionship.

 Financial and Emotional Exploitation

In some cases, covert narcissists may exploit their spouse financially and emotionally. They may control access to money, withhold financial resources, or manipulate their spouse into supporting their own ambitions and desires. This exploitation can leave the spouse feeling trapped and powerless to leave the marriage.

 Constant Power Struggles

Married life with a covert narcissist is marked by constant power struggles and conflicts. The narcissist seeks to assert dominance and control in every aspect of the relationship, from household decisions to personal choices. Their spouse may feel like they are always fighting for autonomy and struggling to maintain their sense of self.

Emotional Exhaustion

Living with a covert narcissist can be emotionally exhausting. The constant manipulation, criticism, and uncertainty take a toll on the spouse's mental and emotional well-being. They may feel drained, anxious, and depressed, unable to escape the toxic dynamics of the marriage.

 Difficulty in Leaving

Despite the challenges, leaving a marriage with a covert narcissist can be incredibly difficult. The spouse may feel trapped by financial dependence, fear of retaliation, or a sense of loyalty to the narcissist. Breaking free from the cycle of abuse requires courage, support, and a willingness to prioritize one's own well-being.

When narcissists rage are they psychotic and losing touch with reality?


When narcissists rage, they can exhibit behaviors that may appear extreme and disconnected from reality, leading some to wonder if they are experiencing psychosis. However, it's important to distinguish between narcissistic rage and psychosis, as they are distinct phenomena with different underlying causes.

Narcissistic Rage:

  1. Driven by Threats to Ego: Narcissistic rage is triggered when a narcissist's sense of superiority or entitlement is threatened. It often arises in response to criticism, rejection, or challenges to their authority.

  2. Maintains Connection with Reality: Despite exhibiting intense anger, aggression, or manipulation, narcissists typically remain aware of their surroundings and can distinguish between reality and their distorted perceptions.

  3. Justification and Blame: During narcissistic rage episodes, narcissists may justify their behavior, blame others for provoking them, or minimize the severity of their actions. Their rage is often a means of protecting their fragile self-esteem.

  4. Manipulative Tactics: Narcissists may employ manipulative tactics such as gaslighting, guilt-tripping, or emotional blackmail to regain a sense of control and dominance in the situation.

  5. Focus on Self-Preservation: The primary goal of narcissistic rage is to preserve the narcissist's self-image and assert dominance over others. Their actions are driven by a desire to maintain their perceived superiority.


  1. Loss of Touch with Reality: Psychosis involves a profound loss of touch with reality, characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and impaired perception of reality. Individuals experiencing psychosis may struggle to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

  2. Severe Mental Health Disorders: Psychotic episodes are typically associated with severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or certain types of psychotic depression. These conditions significantly impact an individual's ability to function and interact with others.

  3. Profound Distortions: During psychotic episodes, individuals may experience profound distortions of reality, including auditory or visual hallucinations, paranoid delusions, or beliefs that are not grounded in reality.

  4. Lack of Insight: People experiencing psychosis may lack insight into their condition and may genuinely believe in the validity of their hallucinations or delusions. They may not recognize the need for treatment or intervention.

  5. Disruption of Daily Functioning: Psychosis can severely disrupt an individual's daily functioning, leading to challenges in work, relationships, and self-care. Without appropriate treatment, psychotic episodes can escalate and lead to significant distress and impairment.


Covert narcissists need a (toxic) challenge

Overt narcissists thrive on challenges, especially those that reinforce their sense of superiority and dominance. However, these challenges can often be toxic, perpetuating a cycle of manipulation and exploitation. Here's how overt narcissists seek out and respond to toxic challenges:

  1. Constant Need for Validation: Overt narcissists have an insatiable need for validation and admiration. They actively seek out situations or individuals that they perceive as challenging, as overcoming these challenges reinforces their belief in their superiority.
  2. Attraction to Power Dynamics: Overt narcissists are drawn to power dynamics where they can assert control and dominance. They may seek out relationships or environments where they can manipulate others and maintain a position of authority.

  3. Thriving on Conflict: Conflict fuels the ego of overt narcissists. They enjoy engaging in debates, arguments, or confrontations as a way to assert their dominance and superiority over others. They may intentionally provoke conflict to demonstrate their perceived superiority.

  4. Manipulative Tactics: Overt narcissists use manipulative tactics to maintain control in challenging situations. They may employ gaslighting, guilt-tripping, or emotional blackmail to undermine their opponents and ensure they come out on top.

  5. Seeking Attention and Admiration: Overt narcissists crave attention and admiration from others. They may intentionally create drama or controversy to garner attention and reinforce their sense of importance.

  6. Intolerance of Criticism: Overt narcissists have a low tolerance for criticism or perceived slights. They may react aggressively or defensively when their actions or beliefs are challenged, viewing any criticism as a threat to their self-image.

  7. Need for Superiority: Overt narcissists constantly strive to prove their superiority over others. They may engage in competitive behaviors or boast about their achievements as a way to bolster their self-esteem and maintain their inflated sense of self-worth.

  8. Lack of Empathy: Overt narcissists often lack empathy for others and may disregard the feelings or needs of those around them. They prioritize their own desires and interests above all else, viewing others as tools to be used for their own benefit.


In conclusion, uncovering the cheating patterns of covert narcissists is essential in protecting oneself from manipulation and deceit. By understanding the red flags and warning signs of narcissistic behavior, individuals can learn to spot a narcissist's deception and safeguard their well-being. It is crucial to trust one's instincts and seek help from professionals if necessary in dealing with covert narcissists. By educating oneself on the tactics of narcissists, individuals can empower themselves to break free from toxic relationships and cultivate healthier dynamics in their lives.


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