Marriage is supposed to be about commitment, companionship, emotional closeness, growth, trust, and many other meaningful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Narcissists get married to gain a sense of stability, get narcissistic supply, fit into society, chase their fantasies of ideal love, have children they can live vicariously through, overcome their fear of abandonment, gain control over their partner, and for economic and practical reasons.

In this article, I will guide you through these reasons to help you better understand why narcissists get married.

1.) To Gain Stability

The desire for stability can be a strong motivator for many people to get married, including narcissists. 

Despite the chaos they bring into relationships, narcissists often crave a predictable environment. 

A narcissist in a rage.

This is because many narcissists harbor deep-seated insecurities and fears beneath the exterior of confidence and self-assuredness. 

Knowing that someone has made a long-term commitment to them can act as a reassuring counter to these deep-seated insecurities and fears.

2.) To Overcome Their Fear of Abandonment

Deep down, many narcissists have a profound fear of being abandoned. 

Even though they might appear confident and self-assured, this fear often stems from inner feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy. 

For them, marriage represents a promise that someone will stay by their side and counters their underlying feelings of being unworthy and inadequate.

Suggested Reading: How Do Narcissists See Themselves?

By securing a partner through marriage commitment, narcissists often feel they have a guaranteed presence in their life from someone who won’t leave them.

This provides them with a sense of security against their fear of abandonment. 

3.) To Get Narcissistic Supply

The most important thing in a narcissist’s life is narcissistic supply. 

If you didn’t know already, this is the validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control they continuously seek from those around them. 

For a narcissist, this supply is not just desired; it’s vital for their overall well-being because they use it to construct a positive self-perception.

The biggest and most consistent sources of supply that narcissists have access to come from the people they have relationships with.

Because of this, narcissists often view getting married as one of the best moves they can make to ensure they get enough supply.

4.) To Fit Into Society

Narcissists often get married as a way to fit into society. 

In many cultures and communities, marriage isn’t just a personal choice; it’s a celebrated and expected life progression. 

By marrying, a narcissist can meet these societal norms, ensuring they fit in and potentially stand out positively.

In addition, using marriage to fit into society helps narcissists create a public persona that hides their abusive and manipulative tendencies from plain view.

Two people talking about a narcissist.

This is an essential achievement for narcissists because it helps them secure a consistent flow of narcissistic supply from their surrounding environment.

5.) To Gain Control

It is common for narcissists to use marriage to gain control over others. 

Suggested Reading: 8 Powerful Tactics That Narcissists Use to Control You

By taking advantage of the binding nature of marriage, both legally and emotionally, they create an environment where their spouse finds it challenging to break free. 

This is typically done through the narcissistic abuse cycle, which manipulates the narcissist’s spouse into developing a false sense of security and hope. 

Sadly, this false sense of security and hope often keeps the spouse trapped within the marriage for months, years, and sometimes even decades.

This is what the narcissist wants to happen because it gives them stability, soothes their fear of abandonment, gives them supply, and helps them to fit into society.

6.) To Chase Their Fantasy of Ideal Love

A core characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

This refers to a narcissist’s obsession with fantasies about achieving exceptional success, power, intelligence, beauty, or experiencing the perfect romantic relationship.

A narcissist out on a date.

Marriage, for many, represents the pinnacle of romantic commitment, and for the narcissist, it can be seen as the ultimate realization of this fantasy. 

By marrying, narcissists often believe they’re securing that unwavering admiration and devotion they deeply crave. 

They typically enter their marriages with high hopes and expectations, thinking they’ve found someone who will forever fulfill their idealized notion of love.

However, the reality of marriage, with its challenges, compromises, and the occasional mundane routine, can be jarring for them. 

When their spouse doesn’t consistently meet these unrealistic expectations, it can lead to feelings of disappointment or even resentment. 

7.) For Economic or Practical Reasons

For some narcissists, marriage isn’t purely about fulfilling personal fantasies; it can also be driven by economic or practical motives. 

Suggested Reading: What Do Narcissists Want In a Relationship?

Joining lives with someone often brings various financial benefits, such as shared expenses, tax breaks, or access to a partner’s resources and assets. 

Because of this, a narcissist might see marriage as a strategic move to improve their economic standing or secure a more comfortable lifestyle.

In addition to this, practical reasons also come into play. 

You see, the idea of having a partner to share responsibilities, like household chores or child-rearing, can be appealing to a narcissist.

This division of labor can free the narcissist to pursue their grandiose personal ambitions or interests without being bogged down by daily tasks.

So, while emotions and personal desires can drive many to marry, the economic and practical advantages can be just as powerful motivators for narcissists.

8.) To Have Children

For some narcissists, having children goes beyond the conventional motivations of love, legacy, or familial joy. 

Instead, it can be about creating humans they can mold into perfect extensions of themselves. 

A narcissistic mom molding her child.

It is sad, but narcissists often see their children as blank slates upon which they can imprint their values, ambitions, and desires. 

By shaping their children’s beliefs, behaviors, and aspirations, they attempt to create reflections of their own perceived grandiosity.

To make this even more sad, this drive is often intertwined with the desire to live vicariously through their children. 

Suggested Reading: How Do Narcissists Treat Their Children?

For example, a narcissist might push their child to achieve milestones or successes that they themselves couldn’t reach, whether it be in academics, sports, or other fields. 

Every achievement of the child can then be seen, in the narcissist’s eyes, as a direct testament to their excellence.

From the outside looking in, the narcissist often comes off as an amazing parent.

However, this approach to parenting can place immense pressure on the child. 

While they might benefit from certain opportunities or skills pushed onto them, they may also struggle with their identity, feeling the need to constantly meet their narcissistic parent’s high and often unrealistic expectations. 

What Should You Take Away from This Article?

Narcissists get married for all the wrong reasons.

I know realizing this can be traumatizing, but it is important to remember that it has nothing to do with who you are.

Please find ways to remind yourself that you are capable of finding true love and maintaining a healthy relationship, it is just going to take some work to achieve that.

About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

If you’re ready to heal, visit The Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse to get started.
Share this post to help others trust their experiences.

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About This Article

We used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create parts of this article to enhance its accuracy and readability. It underwent a strict human editorial process before being published. See additional information.

2 Comments

  1. Elijah, thanks very much. I grew up with a narcissistic father, and this captures many facets of why someone who had no love would get married and raise children. I truly wish that people like him would not use these societal institutions to hurt others so deeply. The cost is so immense.

    It’s sad to read, but important for people to know and understand.

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