You’ve been noticing that your partner is acting strangely for a while now.
It’s like he’s often not on his mind.
You’ve already tried to talk to him about this, but he’s dodging your questions.
If he does give you an answer, it usually makes no sense and he comes out aggressive.
Perhaps you live with a narcissist who leads a double life. Find out if that is the case here!
Can a narcissist lead a double life?
A narcissist can perfectly lead a double life without you noticing it right away.
If you’ve ever found out for yourself that your partner was in a relationship with someone else, you know how devastating this can be.
Let’s take a look at how a narcissist can do this perfectly.
Lack of empathy
Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling. It avoids hurting others because we can empathize with how this must feel for this other person.
A person without empathy pays no attention to the pain he causes to others.
A narcissist has no empathy. He doesn’t even consider the pain his words or actions can cause to someone else. He thinks first and foremost about himself and his own needs.
Feelings of guilt are alien to a narcissist
Guilt is a self-conscious emotion that involves thinking about yourself and the actions you take.
Perhaps your narcissistic partner has once apologized to you, “I will change” or, “I wasn’t myself when I said these things to you.” However, this is merely a form of hoovering.
Hoovering is a common manipulation technique used by narcissists when they notice that someone else is no longer feeding their narcissistic supply as well.
A narcissist does not know guilt or grief when he cheats on his partner. And while the narcissist is well aware that what he is doing is wrong, he doesn’t care at all.
Missing object relation and object constant
Object relationship is the ability to see oneself and other people in a realistic way, with good and bad qualities.
You can accept that someone is not perfect but still appreciate this person for their positive qualities.
Object consistency is the ability to maintain a positive emotional connection with someone you love, even when you are frustrated or disappointed in that person.
This allows you to regulate your impulses and not harm this person (be it with actions or words).
Narcissists lack this object constant and are therefore perfectly capable of hurting their partner without any guilt.
As long as you’re feeding a narcissist’s stockpile, everything is going to be fine, according to the narcissist. If you don’t do this anymore, a narcissist can take such a distance that he no longer cares about you or your feelings at all.
Looking for narcissistic stock
A narcissist is constantly looking for attention and confirmation. Quite a task for you as a partner because this is very tiring.
It is quite normal that you are not always able to do this. What’s more, if you start to notice that your partner is going to gaslight you or disappear for a few days after an argument ( ghosting ) you will find it difficult to meet his narcissistic needs.
If a narcissist notices that you are no longer feeding this stock, he will not be afraid to look for it from someone else. He will desperately look for the “perfect” person who empathizes and adores him.
Masters of lying and cheating
There is a difference between a white lie and pathological lying. Most people are sometimes not completely honest. We do this for many different reasons, for example:
To make someone feel good:
“Your new haircut looks great on you!” (while you really don’t like it).
To get out of trouble:
“I have no idea where that jersey is.” (while you threw it away because you washed it way too warm).
All these qualities of a narcissist ensure that he can perfectly manage to lead a double life without any guilt or shame.
Narcissists, however, are masters of lying and cheating and although they also tell ‘white lies’, research has shown that a whole range of ‘true’ lies are added to this. Lies are actually not acceptable from a social point of view.
Signs that a narcissist is leading a double life
Sometimes you notice the signs that your partner is living a double life way too late. And that is not so strange. It is difficult for you to imagine yourself living another life besides your ‘normal’ life.
Just imagine what a hassle this would be: a double agenda, constant arranging and cheating and what if you were exposed…
A narcissist has no problem with this at all. Deceit and calculating everything are second nature to him. And even if a narcissist falls through the cracks , he remains convinced that he can talk himself out of this.
#1 Your instincts tell you that something is not right
Your narcissistic partner is good at gaslighting. If you speak to him about something that is not right, he will claim that you are seeing ‘ghosts’‘.
All too often we ignore, minimize or rationalize our gut feeling. You might get a knot in your stomach when your husband tells a story about why he’s home late. You may be concerned about his “honesty” in general.
Don’t rationalize your partner’s behavior and don’t live in denial of what your feelings are telling you.
#2 Suddenly often on a trip or have to leave
A truck driver or a pilot naturally has plenty of opportunities to lead a double life.
With a boring office job it becomes a bit more difficult. Your partner can of course tell you that he has been promoted, which means that he has to go out more often…
If your partner always calls you first, he may be trying to avoid you calling him because he will be “busy” later.
#3 Setting unreasonable boundaries
Everyone deserves some privacy, even in a relationship. It is a sign of confidence.
If your partner sets unreasonable limits on his privacy, he may have something to hide.
You have used up your calling credit, but your partner refuses to give you his phone to make calls.
The door of the barn or his office is always locked.
He makes it impossible for you to use his laptop by setting a password.
From now on, he no longer wants to be ‘friends’ on Facebook.
He now archives bank and credit card statements himself.
In a normal, healthy relationship, these are unreasonable demands for privacy.
#4 Do not answer direct questions
If you ask why your partner is home so late, who his new colleague is, where the money has gone from the account, someone with a double life will never give a clear answer.
A narcissist with a double life has a wide variety of diversionary tactics.
He may give you comments like, “Let’s not ruin this beautiful day by talking about it.”
He can also play it stubbornly by saying, “I don’t have to answer to you.”
When you are about to expose his lies, he may even engage in extreme behavior such as pretending to be sick to distract your attention.
#5 Family and friends are trying to warn you
You are undoubtedly familiar with the expression ‘Love is blind’. This is not just an expression.
People who care about you often have a more rational view of your partner.
It may seem unfair and hurtful when people you love don’t like your partner, but it can be a good warning.
Remember, people who care about you rarely have a reason to dislike someone you love. These people just want to see you happy. They won’t warn you if nothing is wrong.
#6 Confusing Statements
Imagine for a moment that your partner says: “This reminds me of the time we stayed in Amsterdam.” , while you have never been to Amsterdam.
If you confront him about it, he’ll probably give you a strange response, like, “No, I meant when we go there; I’ve always wanted to go there.”
Chances are he’s confusing you with someone else.
While a narcissist can be quite knowledgeable in this area, if he leads a double life, he can always confuse certain situations.
Does a narcissist always have two faces?
A narcissist can even have more than two faces!
He has the number of faces needed to win over and deceive everyone around him.
They want to present themselves as good as possible to different people and put on different masks for this.
As a partner you see one variant of the narcissist. Friends, business associates and relatives may see a completely different person.
Narcissists can be very charming in public but very critical, rude, arrogant, sarcastic and even aggressive in private.
The mask a narcissist puts on depends on the role he plays in the play he is performing.
Some examples of typical narcissist masks will help you better understand narcissism.
Why do narcissists lead multiple lives?
The longing for multiple lives is narcissists in their nature. Narcissists cannot be satisfied with what they have – whether it be attention or material things. They often also look for this by means of a double life.
Bas has a relationship with Sandra. Sandra is a cashier at the local supermarket. Bas has a job as a sales representative and they can live well on their salaries. However, Bas is not satisfied with his ‘normal life’. Bas starts a relationship with the sexy Suzanne, head of sales at the company where he works. She has a company car, lives just like his best friend in a beautiful villa and often goes on holiday.
Like Bas, narcissists often look for the thrill of a more luxurious life. What they lack in their own lives – be it material or emotional – they are only too happy to look elsewhere.