Can a narcissist commit?

Can You Make a Narcissist Finally Commit?

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Can a narcissist commit?

That’s the dream, right?

That despite everything you’ve read – and the narcissist in your life meeting all the criteria of having no empathy and a personality disorder – you will, somehow, be the exception to the rule.  That the narcissist will miraculously change and commit to you for the rest of your life, vowing to make up for all the pain and sorrow they’ve caused you.

You can almost taste the sweet victory of it all…out of the millions of people who suffer appallingly at the hands of a narcissist, you will be the one who unlocks the secret to a fulfilling and joyous ever after with the narcissist in your life.  You will be the Chosen One who finds a way to fundamentally change the narcissist into being a goodhearted individual who has The Divine Epiphany and commits to you until death do you part.

Heck yeah…

Too bad it’s all a fairytale, though.  We’ve all seen the scammy articles and advertisements claiming that you can find a way to make things work with the narcissist you love.  There are a gazillion different variations, all of them promising you easy methods, all of them stoking your hope of a better life, all of them a little too preposterous for you to believe in, even though you really, REALLY want to believe.

But you’re not a fool. You know they’re not telling you the truth. It can’t be as easy as they make it sound.

And you’re right.  I’ve been guiding people out of toxic relationships for years now, and while it’s certainly nice to believe you can fundamentally change a narcissist, there’s also a lot these people aren’t telling you.

Not because it’s a secret, but because most people don’t actually want the truth. They want to believe it’s easy, doable, straightforward.

If anything, though, it’s the opposite, and that brings us to the question:

What makes a Narcissist finally commit?

In regards to getting engaged, moving in together, getting married, meeting the parents, having a baby together, or any of the social status symbols we typically consider “commitment”, narcissists do these things quite frequently.
 It doesn’t, however, mean they are committed.
Narcissists may enter into these traditional institutions, but only because someone has passed the litmus test for being good supply. This means different things to different narcissists, but generally speaking, it means they’ve found someone who will tolerate their disorder.

Or, if their mask hasn’t entirely slipped yet, they might temporarily commit to someone who will provide them a “home base”, if you will. A place to go to when they need to implement a few good Silent Treatments to their other supply sources or perhaps want to take a year or two off from work.

Alternatively, they put on the appearance of having committed to someone to reduce damage control after an especially horrific discard of a former partner in order to maintain their image of being “normal”, while having others believe their former target is unstable.

This is why we see them leave a relationship and quickly get engaged to or move in with someone else. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean there is anything better about the new target. Again, it’s simply image maintenance (and a one-two punch at making you feel undeserving).

In the same vein, you can test the narcissist’s true commitment to you by suggesting you have a chronic or terminal disease, such as cancer.  This will bust all misconceptions that the narcissist has committed to you.

One of the most heartbreaking stories I hear from clients and followers is how their narcissistic partner discarded them at the worst possible time.  This might include the loss of a job, failing an important exam, following the victim’s diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or the death of someone close to them (which sometimes includes a child).

Other times, the narcissist plans a devastating discard during what should be a joyous occasion, such as their anniversary, right before a long-planned vacation, or even when the victim finds out they’re expecting a baby…with the narcissist!

This is the depth of the narcissist’s capacity to commit.

Breaking the Illusion That the Narcissist Can (or Will) Commit

Commitment from a narcissist can be likened to a cost/benefit situation.  As long as you are giving them something they consider to be valuable, they will pretend to be committed to you, or at least pretend that they want to be committed to you, if not for (fill-in-the-blank). 

In the latter situation, they prattle on about how they can finally commit to you once they completely break things off with the ex or take care of that job situation overseas.  All these things are part of the illusion, of course, but the narcissist will use these crumbs to keep you striving for the yellow-brick road.

You may find yourself taking care of all the responsibilities and doing the work of two people to pave the way for your future with the narcissist, all while they’re off recycling old supply or living the life of a single person.  All unbeknownst to you, unfortunately.

Once the value of your relationship dips in the red (remember, cost/benefit) or a more desirable situation presents itself, you will be treated like a laborious afterthought.

What You Need to Know

In a non-toxic relationship, the bonds of love and devotion generally evolve and deepen over time.  You begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin and free to be yourself.

With a narcissist, they put on a grandiose show of being totally committed to you in the beginning, but as time goes on, you feel you have to work harder and harder to keep their affections.  Suddenly, the very things they once loved about you are now the bane of their existence. 

This pattern never ends …not for anyone.

So, if you’re looking for commitment via social status symbols, it’s important to burn into your mind that even if the narcissist commits to you by getting engaged or married to you, it will not cause them to stop behaving like a narcissist.  Empathy, devotion, reciprocation, and true commitment are things you’ll never get from them.

Grab your free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap below and begin healing from narcissistic abuse now.  You’ll get a 14-day series of emails with emotional support and encouragement and a 13-pg PDF of healing prompts. Plus, you get complimentary seating to the masterclass, 7 Proven Steps to Break the Narcissistic Spell.

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Leave a Comment:

83IOWA says July 29, 2019

I haven’t been involved with a narcissistic for very long. Just over a year. Everything that was said is spot on! He was available when I needed him the first 4-6months and cared if I was okay or if I need his help. Now I’m 7months pregnant, feeling of emptiness, alone, abandonment, cheating and no help/careless about how I’m doing. Gone without explanation, won’t call or text me back. If he does it’s very rarely. If we talk commitment he get very angry and annoyed and shuts down and ridicules me and belittles me and makes it my fault. Do I fall in love yes. Supposedly he loves me. But I am finding that harder and harder to believe along with all the lies and betrayals. How do I get strength and stronger ?

    B says October 9, 2022

    Hi I promise you that when you have your baby your entire world will revolve around your baby just be the best mum you can be. However never forget to look after yourself you also need time to you even a hot bath or a walk or a friend mind your baby just have time for you. You can do it as this baby becomes your world live your best life! Yes I’ve been where you are. ?

Anonymous says June 18, 2018

what happens if to narcs find each other does this happen

Navneet says May 5, 2018

Hey kim saeed

I need your help understand my boyfriend
He is narsacist, now am at a stage where I feel I don’t know him anymore
Every thing was fine, but now he don’t even calls me or respond to my call if I call he says am
Busy and will
Never call back and I keep on waiting no response to messages as well
Wht to do please help

    Kim Saeed says May 6, 2018

    Hi Navneet,

    I really wish I had better news, but it sounds like the best thing you can do for yourself is not call him anymore, block his number, and try to find a way to move on. There’s really not anything you can do to improve the situation, which will actually be better for you in the long run because this guy will do nothing but bring you heartache.

    Kim XoXo

    P.S. – You may want to consider joining us in The Essential Break Free Bootcamp. It will help you navigate your first weeks of breaking free and guide you in creating healthy habits for yourself as you grieve the loss of the relationship.

Stef says April 30, 2018

Dear Kim,
I appreciate all your articles and insights into this heart breaking subject of narcissistic abuse. Only on your website I find someone who understands what I’m going through. And I thank you endlessly for that. I am having a difficult time wanting to return to my narcissistic soon to be ex. I have left him 8 different times leaving his country to come back to my home country. But the last time I left was to protect my unborn baby from Zika virus, and now I have filed for divorce and full custody of my baby. Yet I can not help but wanting to go back to my almost ex husband and cancel the divorce so we can be a family and he will finally move to my country. I don’t know how to get rid of these unending feelings of being driven to go back to him, eventhough i know it will be worse, as it was each time i went back to him. Please help.

Candyce says April 30, 2018

Thank you Kim for always providing such useful information to people like me who need this affirmation in their lives.
My ex-narc developed a relationship right after I broke it off for good 3 years ago. We were never married (thank goodness) but we stayed together for almost 10 years. I was the one who had to leave because of his mistreatment towards me. Time after time he would make promises to me that it would get better and all the while blaming me for breaking us up saying that I didn’t have the right stuff to make a relationship work. (whatever) NOW, I’ve heard from people in my small town that know him and it seems as though that relationship is broken off, too. However, he has moved on to a much younger girl with two little girls. (which worries me because of his multiple addictions)
About 7 months ago I received a letter in my mailbox and I instantly recognized the hand writing. I didn’t throw the letter away but I haven’t opened it either. I began to wonder why I have kept it and as it turns out, I am a victim of trauma bonding. I found a book that has helped me begin my recovery and it has given me hope that I will not repeat the same patterns of my past. It’s called, The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships by Dr. Patrick Carnes. There are several quizzes to take that have helped me to see some patterns in my past so that I can truly heal and educate myself on choices that I have made and why I made them. I just wanted to let people here know about this self help book and the benefits of self awareness. Thank you for helping me for the past several years. I don’t know how I found this site all those years ago, but I thank God that I did. You have helped me to help myself. 🙂

Shirley Akpelu says April 30, 2018

Wish I had this information 30 years ago!
It is true. They don’t change.
Thank The Most High I woke up.

Ursy says April 30, 2018

Great post Kim! So true.
The narcissist I know is an excellent financial provider (and taxi driver) for his two children, also staying with their mother and that was something I didn’t understand. After reading your article it all makes sense. She is younger than him, “trophy wife”, but not much of her natural appearance left, no wonder since I know the things he says to her… She is drinking and she is prepared to tolerate his outbursts, dealing with all the damadge he is making in relationships. He is very status-oriented so his kids need all the new toys and expensive gadgets even if that keeps him in a miserable work position – he is overworked but is his own boss in his automechanic shop for which he cannot find any workers for hire – of course, he is not able to work with anyone – his accountant is crazy, his neighburs are crazy, he has tons of lawsuits with naighburs, family etc. I am so grateful I dodged that bullet!
Kim, thank you for sharing this information. You are literally saving lives with your work.

    Kim Saeed says April 30, 2018

    Thank you so much, Ursy. I’ve worked with so many people and seen it all, so I try to speak to as many possible scenarios as I can. I’m so glad to know my article helped you feel validated 🙂

    Kim XoXo

kathybwells says April 29, 2018

I married a narcissist, but that only meant that I was a good supply … money, status, etc. “Single, beautiful, career. What more did you think I wanted?” was his comment. Less than 6 months into the marriage it changed to, “I guess your shiny, new just wore off.” Two years to the day we met I got, “I’m done with you.” In that time I alienated family because of his personality, lost almost all of my financial stability and was isolated with no one to help me and my son. It was a classic narcissist move. Add to it, he looked like the victim and convinced everyone in the circle of friends and family that I was unstable and he was left penniless and homeless. I supported him for over a year and assumed all the risk for building a home and buying property … to make HIM happy. Narcissists can commit, but they cannot bond. Their commitment is superficial and temporary. We went to counseling and it only ended up with me, literally, sacrificing my sanity to do everything he wanted … it was never enough. The counselor finally figured things out and helped me get through the trauma bond and the C-PTSD. I’m still working through a lot of this, but this stuff is real! Thank goodness for Let Me Reach and others who are trying to educate on the abuse.

    Kim Saeed says April 30, 2018

    I’m sorry for your struggles, Kathy. The good news is, you can be happy and prosperous again. It might take a little time, but it’s totally possible. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    Kim XoXo

    jerry hawkins says May 23, 2018

    I also married a Narc. and for 14 years it was nothing but living hell. Just like Kathy says, they will commit, but can not bond. My heart was shattered at the most horrible time of my life. I have 4 years of FREEDOM, and finally feel like the person I was before I met this DEVIL. I wasted 14 years of my life, but developed very important survival skills. These so called “people” that ruin lives should be avoided at all cost. Bless every one who has to deal with these “Users”.

Rainy says April 29, 2018

You may as well try to change the direction of a river, or the way the earth spins on it’s axis, or make the sun come up in the west and set in the east as change the behavior or heart of a narcissist. There is no treatment, or therapy, or drug that will help, it is how their brain is wired….period. They don’t change, they just tell better lies. It’s a personality disorder, not “curable”. Move on.

    Kim Saeed says April 30, 2018

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Rainy 🙂

Donia says April 29, 2018

Verbatim. Thanks for the excellent article‼️

    Kim Saeed says April 30, 2018

    Glad you enjoyed it, Donia! 🙂

Antigone says April 29, 2018

You just nailed it! Thank you very much!

    Kim Saeed says April 30, 2018

    It’s my pleasure, Antigone 🙂

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