One of the most challenging things that you will likely have to process and overcome if you are ending a marriage with a narcissist is how quickly they remarry!

Narcissists remarry quickly to get narcissistic supply. The narcissistic supply that comes from remarrying quickly allows them to avoid narcissistic injuries, preserve their grandiose sense of self-importance and belief that they are special and unique, to regulate their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and to chase their grandiose fantasies.

This article is going to give you the information that you need to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the reasoning behind a narcissist’s tendency to remarry quickly.

Narcissists Get Remarried Quickly to Get Narcissistic Supply

Being in a marriage with a narcissist is traumatizing because they get married for all the wrong reasons. Generally speaking, marriage is about commitment, companionship, emotional closeness, growth, trust, and many other meaningful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

A healthy marriage

For a narcissist, marriage is all about getting as much narcissistic supply as possible. This supply is at the core of nearly every single narcissistic behavior so it is incredibly important that you understand the massive role it plays in a narcissist’s life.

Suggested Reading!

Narcissistic supply is one of many reason that narcissists get married. Our article Why Do Narcissists Get Married is a thorough exploration of all the different reasons that narcissists get married!

Narcissists Need Narcissistic Supply to Feel Emotionally Stable

If you didn’t know already, narcissistic supply is the validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control, that narcissists get from their surrounding environment.

10 Examples of Narcissistic Supply

Accomplishments and professional success.

Financial success.

Materialistic things, such as a big home, expensive car, 5-Star hotels, etc.

Associated with high-status people and institutions.

Winning

Sex

Provoking arguments, emotional reactions, and chaos

Receiving awards

Attention in the news or social media

Having a mate that is desired by others (i.e. a trophy wife)

Generally speaking, emotionally competent people build their self-esteem and self-perception out of meaningful aspects of life (i.e. building positive relationships, being kind to themselves, challenging themselves, learning to be assertive, etc.)

Narcissists build their self-esteem and self-perception out of narcissistic supply. A simple example of this would be a narcissistic teenager building his/her self-esteem and self-perception out of the narcissistic supply he/she gets for being very popular in school.

This emotionally inadequate approach that narcissists have to building self-esteem and a self-perception makes their internal environment extremely fragile, vulnerable, and weak.

The reasoning behind this emotionally inadequate approach that narcissists have is extremely important to understand if you are to truly understand why narcissists remarry so quickly. So, in the upcoming sections we are going to explain this further so you can better protect your thoughts, feelings, and emotions from the narcissist in your life.

A woman learning about why narcissists remarry so quickly

Let’s start with the unhealthy/abusive childhood upbringing that narcissists are believed to have had.

The Childhood Upbringing That Narcissist’s Had Destroyed Their Self-Esteem and Self-Perception

It’s believed that narcissism originates from an unhealthy/abusive childhood upbringing with primary caregivers who were emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent.

The idea that narcissists had an unhealthy/abusive childhood has a very wide spectrum of possibilities that could go anywhere from primary caregivers who were physically abusive (e.g. slapping, punching, spanking, etc.) to those whose emotional availability, responsiveness, and consistency was unhealthy (e.g. too much pampering, being overprotective, lack of boundaries).

When the narcissist experienced the emotional neglect that comes with an unhealthy/abusive upbringing with emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent primary caregivers, it prevented them from getting the validation, admiration, and reassurance that they needed to develop a realistic sense of self and have a healthy cognitive development.

The reason why this happens is because emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent primary caregivers are incapable of mirroring the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs of their children. 

Without healthy parental mirroring (e.g. ​​a primary caregiver’s accurate reflection of a child's expressed thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs) narcissists were left to figure out both their internal and external environment on their own.

In addition to this, the emotional neglect that comes with an unhealthy/abusive upbringing also caused the narcissist to develop many painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions (i.e. feeling like they are unlovable, unwanted, inadequate, worthless, and weak). 

This is mainly due to their primary caregivers’ neglect, which taught them that their true identity wasn’t good enough to be validated, admired, or reassured by others.  

Consequently, the narcissist began to hate themselves but had no way of managing their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions because of the unhealthy cognitive development that their abusive/unhealthy primary caregivers caused them to have.

Narcissists Need Narcissistic Supply to Build Self-Esteem and a Positive Self-Perception

To prevent themselves from crumbling under the pressure of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions, narcissists turned to society to create a falsified identity ( i.e. a public persona) that was designed to get the validation, admiration, and reassurance that they needed to suppress all of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions and build self-esteem and a positive self-perception.

On paper, this approach looks like it could work! But because of their emotional incompetence, they weren't able to look past society's superficial exterior when building their falsified identity.

This means that they ended up constructing their identity out of unhealthy forms of validation, admiration, and reassurance, also known as narcissistic supply.

We mentioned this in the beginning of this article but a simple example of this would be a narcissistic teenager constructing his/her identity out of the validation, admiration, and reassurance he/she gets from being really popular in school.

This was the worst thing that could have happened for the narcissist. Because they used narcissistic supply to build a falsified identity, it is extremely fragile and incapable of managing their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

As a result, narcissists need an excessive amount of narcissistic supply just to remain emotionally stable on a daily basis.

Getting Remarried Quickly Gives Narcissists a Huge Amount of Narcissistic Supply

The people that narcissists abuse and manipulate are their biggest sources of supply. Meaning that when a narcissistic marriage ends, so does all of the narcissistic supply that it was creating! To protect their emotional stability from their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions, a narcissist will remarry as quickly as possible.

Why? Well, getting married does two huge things for a narcissist.

First, it allows them to fit into society. As we get older, we are expected to get married, have kids, and so on. For a narcissist, fitting into society is everything because it ensures that they will get some type of narcissistic supply. In more ways than one, marriage is almost like a business move for them.

Second, when a narcissist begins a new relationship, they put that person through the same narcissistic abuse cycle that they put you through. Generally speaking, this means that there will be a lot of mirroring (usually in the form of love bombing and future faking).

Mirroring refers to a manipulative process that narcissists use to absorb information about the identity of others and use that information to create a falsified identity that portrays them as “perfect”.

The love bombing phase can manifest in a variety of different ways depending on the type of narcissist you’re dealing with. If you are looking for more information about the different types of love bombing, you should go check out our articleHow Long Does the Love Bombing Phase Last?

During the love bombing phase a narcissist will use mirroring to fill a void in your life. Mirroring allows them to uncover every single aspect of your identity and use the information they gather to future fake you into a false sense of hope that they are the “perfect” person for you and someone who can help you become the best version of yourself.

Future faking is when a narcissist makes a false promise in the future to get what they want in the present. The “promises” that narcissists make are incredibly persuasive because the information they gather about you from mirroring puts them in a position from which they know exactly what to say and/or do to manipulate you into believing their false promises.

Once a narcissist has convinced you that they are the perfect person for you and that you have this happy, healthy, and secure future ahead of you, they will initiate the devaluation phase and use intermittent reinforcement to keep you engaged in the relationships.

The devaluation phase is when a narcissist begins to invalidate, devalue, degrade, and abuse you. Intermittent reinforcement, also commonly referred to as breadcrumbing, is the delivery of a reward at irregular intervals.

Suggested Reading!

The combination of mirroring, future faking, the devaluation phase, and intermittent reinforcement can cause trauma bonds to feel like an addiction! Our article Why Do Trauma Bonds Feel Like an Addiction has a lot more information about that!

These manipulation tactics and the addictive environment that they create gives a narcissist a ton of narcissistic supply because it allows them to chase their fantasies of the ideal love, reassure themselves that they are special and unique, reclaim control of their surrounding environment, and boost their grandiose sense of self-importance.

Remarrying quickly is a huge boost that narcissists use to support their falsified identity and suppress their painful thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs!

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

There’s no denying it, seeing your ex narcissistic husband or wife get remarried quickly can trigger a lot of painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions for you. It is important to remember that it says nothing about who you are as an individual and everything about how manipulative, shallow, arrogant, and selfish the narcissist in your life is.


All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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References:

Laub, Lynne. “The narcissistic defense: A protection for marriage.” Modern Psychoanalysis 26.1 (2001): 69-76.

Muller, René J. “Failing narcissistic defenses can turn love toxic.” The Humanistic Psychologist 39.4 (2011): 375-378.