Narcissists usually lead some kind of double life.  From secret societies to world of war craft, there is usually more going on in a narcissist’s life than what meets the eye.

Even those closest to this person may not guess all of their secrets!

Please listen to the broadcast or read the transcript here


21 Responses to “A Double Life…”

  1. nan said

    Have seen the pattern of lieing from a very young age, and was aware of him trying to be someone other than who he was. Always trying to be the best or the smartest. Though everyone could see through this but him. Aparently he never thought he was validated enough. But I thought he needed more than the normal person. Living a double life definatly describes it. We were wondering if he was bipolar. Have been speeking of my Son 25yo.

  2. ANNETTE said

    I met someone 2 1/2 years ago. He is 55 and he sounds exactly like your son. I thought he was bi polar too but then that would have simplified the situation. He needs validation from men and women. In five days I can feel the relationship is lacking in zeal and excitement for him. He lies about other people in his life and at one point I accused him of
    being bi-sexual. He is extremely smart and successful. I sent him a e-mail with Kim’s book Emotional Stupidity on it based on his request not forced. He has not responded. Not like him.

  3. Kimberly said

    I am new to your literature, but have found it very very helpful. My husband certainly has NPD and is suffering. I am coming back from the trauma of being intimidated, but feeling strong that I am not going to let it happen to me anymore. Yesterday I found that my husband had created another false email to join local online singles chat groups. I wasn’t surprised and when I told him calmly Id seen this and he made up a story, that certainly was a lie, but I wasn’t sure how to handle this information and my feeling that he was lying. I know I am supposed to remain calm, not accuse, but somehow tell him he is accountable? How do I do that? – I didn’t get mad, but I wasn’t sure what to say. He certainly has a secret fantasy life. It’s hurtful and a bit creepy. He may be seeing prostitutes which makes me disgusted of course, but I am doing a good job not taking it personally, needless to say attachment is a bug problem and if he is actually cheating (physically) I don’t know if it’s healthy not to leave. The laws in the US don’t really make anything that a consenting adult does a crime, it just helps you with your divorce. It’s difficult for me to see how I can help him see consequenses of actions that are hurtful to me and our family when the only consequense is me leaving and I want to give your ideas a chance. Any advice?

  4. Evelyn said

    Double Life –
    My husband (soon to be ex) has & been keeping a secret from me for the pass 7 to 8 years(maybe longer) from our 14+ years of marriage. He has NPD but was never diagnosed because he doesn’t think anything is wrong with him. When he finally admits to his affairs & double life, he already has a child with his mistress, a woman that works for him who was supposingly married to her husband who later was divorced. My children and I had attended her wedding at that time with her then husband, little did I know she has already been cheating with my husband then.

    I was crushed when my husband came out in the open about his affairs a year ago. This is such a betrayal not only on me but my children! My heart ache each time I see my children thinking what kind of a father I got for them. I’ve tried so hard and in differ ways to hold our family as a whole but it’s not possible if I am the only one working at it. As of today, I am still having a hard time accepting what he did to us and continue so.

  5. Dorothy said

    I met a man 1 1/2 years ago. He did a lot of flirting with me, and I to him. I had an uncanny “draw” to him. (We are both 65). I set down boundaries. I kept a journal and suspected NPD early on. He found another, gorgous gal with a very effusive personality. She was the perfect fit. In the meantime, they moved into a relationship very quickly. It’s been a little over a year now. He has still flirted with me. (We have interests in dancing and music that overlap, and we have seen each other frequently.)

    She, nor anyone else besides me,doesn’t know that he is hiding on Match dot com. He has removed his profile, and therefore, seemingly is not online. I inadvertently found him, and it tells when he is online and when he has been off for 24 hours. He has had this secret.

    The girlfriend, who has also become a friend of mine, was told by other people of his cheating. Of course he confabulated it, and somehow my name was brought into the picture. The girlfriend wouldn’t talk to me or others whom he blamed for starting untrue rumors. She is getting outside help, and is trying to give him up. She says that if she just tries harder…… the meantime, he’s online every day. No one can tell her.

  6. Jennifer said

    I am wondering if you know of a good security software I can look into getting for our computer at home. My only concern with this however is that yes he will know his game is up at home but I have no control over what happens on his computer at work. Any advice on how I might handle that.

  7. Patty said

    I was involved with a narcisst, but did not know it. The one thing that blows me away was how secretive and private he was, and I never knew why. I wish I knew this information then, we are no longer together, but I had no idea he was a narcisst, but now I know he was, and it is helping me in my life deal with future relationships, so thank you!

  8. SB said

    What do you do when your spouse doesn’t care if he has this secret life and doesn’t seem to care that it hurts his children or me. At this point we are not living together and even when I have asked him to think about what message he is sending to his family he just doesn’t seem to care. He has been confronted about his behavior. He justifies his behavior and continues in his fantasy world.

  9. I have been married thirteen years. I have lived 8 of them years, by myself, and remained married. My husband has severe mental illness, bopolar, borderline personality disorder, and nar. personaliety symptoms.

    Well, it was over these past holidays, that he picked up drinking again after 7 years of sobriety. He’s on line, posting on my space, declaring me the demon, and he’s kissing his ex-wife. A pic of him on facebook with a women’s bra on.

    He’s moved on, i’m a wreck. I need help. My kids, family, friends, AA people, ect. want me to divorce him. They say there’s no hope, what do I do. I’m troubled. Please help me today. thanks

  10. Linda said

    Thanks for all the valuable info as I’m really starting to understand the kind of man I’ve been living with for the past 19.5 years and this reality helps me to put some distance between him and me as he has confessed in a half sleep stupor that he does not love me anymore and wants out of the marriage to which I replied “of course”. He denies any wrong doing blaming me & making up lies that I did this and I did that……I’m done with men and relationships…maybe just friendship, dancing…..very plutonic….I’m just grateful that for the past 2 years since my dad died & many other relatives in the past 4yrs, I have been studying meditation, buddhism and a lot of self help books by Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Phil etc on how to live your authentic life so that now I’m not too shocked with the chaos that is now in my life. Unfortunately he still lives here cause he can’t afford to leave & we run a graffiti business together plus he has started a handyman business to have someway of making income when the graffiti business is sold or dies down and we go our separate ways. I’ve had to reach out to my community for ex. I started taking belly dancing, horseback riding, and I now go to a yoga studio instead of doing it at home so I can connect with others. Of course we have boundries and I don’t have to worry about him approaching me for sex as he acts like I have leprosy…so that’s great…I just have to hang in there and take good care of myself for self matters!!

  11. Jennie said

    I am at a lost, I broke up with my ex-husband for the fourth time in four years. I am emotionally drained and I can’t go through this anymore. He is doing the whole online dating and talking to girls. Truth be know he is very handsome and when he tries very charming. Most break-ups that end in fatality end two months after the relationship ends. I hope this time it is over because my heart and mind can’t take it no more. I HAVE BECOME INHUMAN WIH HIM , A BEAST I BARELY RECOGNIZE. THE THINGS THAT COME OUT OF MY MOUTH ARE HURTFUL AND SCARY. I DON’T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS. HE SAID HE WANTS OUT AND HE HAS SOMEONE NEW. HOW LONG WILL THIS NEW RELATIONSHIP LAST BEFORE HE CHASES ME DOWN WITH HIS ACCUSATIONS AND DEMEANING COMMENTS? HOW DO I MAKE IT END, HOW DO I STOP IT, HOW DO I GAIN THE STRENGTH TO SAY NO?

  12. Hi Jennie,

    Please take a look at the top menu of blog pages on this page here and click on the post simply called, narcissism. On line there are many contributors who may respond to you.
    I know this is a hard time but you have to find your own centre again. You can make a positive out of this negative, and I hope we can help you.
    Please come and post on the other page.


  13. michelle said

    Dear Jennie,

    I also can relate to everything you have said. I have turned into monster when I’m around my husband and the garbage that can come from my mouth shame me. This is so totally out of character for me that I finally got some help.

    I found that my husband was purchasing gifts for one of his co-workers (I thought they were for me). When I confronted him, he calmly told me it was none of my business what he did and for whom. I told him “Your mother is a whore and so are you, two peas in a pod”. His mother is 82 years old!!!!!! Granted, she has been married 5 times, allowed her kids to be raised by her parents because she was living with whom ever at the time, etc.

    Anyway, I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth and called a counselor the next day, who helped me sort out and deal with my hurt, anger and feelings of betrayl.

    I have been looking alot into myself lately and wondering what it is that has been keeping me so hooked. Fact is that when my spouse is charming, he make you feel so special and important and loved. But that only last until his next interest comes along.

    I had believed that my forgiving him every time he cheated or found a new interest showed him that I loved him and loved forgave. I thought if he could see how much I loved him, he would love me back. Not true. I don’t think he knows how to love. I have come to the realization that I can love you while living on another planet, it doesn’t have to be in the same home. This way, I don’t have to watch while you are disrespecting me and my feelings won’t get hurt.

    We have been married for 15 years and he has been cheating and living a secret life on and off for at least 13 years that I know of. I’m tired and exhausted.

    Please try to see someone who you can share with and who will help you deal appropriately with your feelings of anger. Even if you stay, you will develop useful tools for yourself.

    Good luck,


  14. Joe Nyeste said

    Hi Kim & Steve,
    It is bitter/sweet to update you and let you know that I have made the choice to end my marraige to Sandy, the double life was one of the killers for me.
    I am better now but its only been 10 days and I have a long road ahead of me of healing and growth, its already happening but it hurts as usual.
    Finally I wanna say that it was your website that awakened me from a terrible dream and has provided enough answers to my problem of co dependency and to Sandys NA. She still is in denial. Typical.

    I ended the marraige for all the right reasons but the number one for me was that she was the last string of codependant relationships in my life I have ended this year. I am getting better and have you and Steves prayers and experience to be grateful for.
    I am promising myself to be codependant no more.
    Joe Nyeste
    Akron, Ohio

  15. kimcooper said

    Hi Joe,

    You have certainly done all you could and I am sure there’s a beautiful woman out there just waiting for you. Time heals all wounds as they say and you having the courage to walk away from your marriage “awake” is something that will no doubt help in your growth. Courage isn’t feeling 100% confident (or it wouldn’t be courage) it is when we stand up for ourselves with self respect even when we feel vulnerable and scared. Start each day giving time to your own personal goals for yourself and taking the time to care for yourself too and you will attract people into your life who will love and value you too.

    Hang in there Joe, you are doing great, blue skies tomorrow (-:

    Kim Cooper

  16. cheryl said

    Iam asking how to handle this situation that again has surfaced in my marrage. I found an friend invite on Facebook from a former girlfriend of my husbands. We had a hugh fight over this about 6 months ago. I’ve questioned him as to contact with her of any kind & he denies any. Then I find this. He has not answered her. This is not the first time this situation has occurred. Should I confront him? Should I send a message to her telling her to stop contacting my husband. She knows how angry I was before. This is truelly killing my love & relationship with him.

  17. Joe said

    I just want to comment about what Cheryl described, I am beginning to see how the narcissism disorder causes what happened to you and also I am beginning to see how my “codependency” disorder emotionally creates imbalance within myself.
    Good luck Cheryl

  18. Cindy Black said

    Hi all (especially Kim & Steve,

    I have been so thoroughly BLOWN AWAY, HURT, ALMOST DIED THIS YEAR 4X and I think this is what he wants now that my NPD husband is a big time high level politician and we have been together 14 years. I had two children when we met, age 10, 11 and they never liked him.

    He never cared about them but went through the motions for the years we lived together. Now he calls anyone in my family crazy. He has launched a very public attack on me but I didn’t know it until JUST LAST NIGHT and I am freaking out.

    I knew something was seriously wrong Jan 2009 but he had just started his first term in office and had subsidized my Sabbatical (I teach high school and due to husband’s job, my superintendent granted me a Sabbatical to “network and bring influence to them” and my husband (MB now on) gladly paid for it (or so i thought) monthly gave me “an allowance” and I had a major surgery Feb2009 and was rehabbing for 3 months.
    2009 was BAD
    2010 was HORRIFYING I am 48, raised my kids alone basically -MB not their Dad and when they moved out things were okay until he won this big office. He had been a local top politician for 8 years and we were madly crazy in love for a solid ten years great sex lavish attention on me, proud of me, treated me like a real lady. I had come a long way and it is a Cinderella story but then came his new State Office. The new show in America called “The Good Wife” depicts the kind of office I am talking about but that guy isn’t abusive like an NPD.
    2010 we went to marriage counseling for 9 months and it incredibly GOT WORSE as i watched him charm her and I got physically ill. He was/is the LOVE of my life. I had been married to my kids Dad but he beat me physically which is far more preferable than emotional abuse – neither is ok. The therapist was bought off and now I only have our family doctor who is telling me to LEAVE HIM NOW before I die of neglect.

    have to make this short cuz I am in pain on fire pain with a broken shoulder and a concussion that went untreated for two weeks and got stuck in a dislocated way. Breathing hurts.

    there is so much to say and I am in too much pain to go on but I just discovered some very scary things and I am tough, independent, a survivor but I have never heard of this and I spent the past 10 months studying all I could after finding you Kim and Steve and more. Since then he has thrown money at me and told me to get the hell out for a few weeks so he doesn’t have to look at me.
    he has left me 9-10 times this past year. We got married 6 years ago but living together and loving since 1998 met in 96. when we decided to get married (like puling teeth) he told me our life plan would be: he works til 62, me = 50 (2 years and then we’ll move into a home he bought before we met. He refused to do a Living Will or show me documents. He has hidden finances from me but he took such good care of me for so long that I trusted him. We rent that house out and made a nice profit on it and always have. I have been managing the property for years. Last summer 2010 is when it all hit the fan. during marital couselling. He gave some other woman my job managing our HOME and she blew it could not rent it out and in our college University town if you dont rent it by May- you won’t get a good group. It didn’t get rented. So I tried but that was in August and no one was looking. He blames me. I have been working at the rate of 65,000 a year until my Sabbatical but I still pay the bills with my “allowance” He had me pay half the mortgage on that rental he owns (thought my name was on it) and he made me turn in my new Honda CRV for him to drive a mercedes and he gave me an old clunker so I was worried about $$ since I put nothing away as a struggling single mom before we met. He promised he would take care of everything and was so nice for ten years, I missed a lot.
    Now he is actively harassing me, cares not that my shoulder is broken, laid up for 3 months and he keeps telling me to get a F&***ing job. My doctor won’t clear me to work and MB took my job from me in August 2010 when he went before my school district’s Board and requested they let him have me for another year to help with Education legislation. He never discussed it with me and I had every intention of going back to work but if you take a year off you must wait til the next fall. he didn’t know that and now wants me out of the house working and threatens to cut me off always- leaving me with 0. I have worked hard for 35 years.

    long story made short. I got him elected by registering hundreds of families to vote (my students parents) for MB.
    He won by an avg of 2 votes per precinct. I got him elected to the very office that is destroying my life even though I was professionally groomed to be a good political spouse.
    I was a great political partner since 1998 since we have been running together for offices but I let him have the limelight.
    He is living a double life and I have to MY EXTREME HORROR -he has been telling all the people up at our Capitol that he is married to a crazy lazy manipulative liar and I never knew it. When I went up there with him, I was treated poorly and just could not get over it. ASked MB about it aid I was crazy/selfish and that “No one ever even talks about me” why not ? we are married. I have done speeches in front of the Senate (VERY SENSITIVE CONFIDENTIAL) i got big, i did great my career was taking off as planned.

    little did I know he had come to resent me terribly that first year I had off and rehabbed from my accident. and he suddenly began treating me in a way I have never even heard of. withholds sex for a full year and more like 2 years. I am starving, weighed in at 82 lbs a few months ago when I realized my situation seemed hopeless and I got so depressed. I lost my temper a few timesd and became someone I didn’t recognize (well yeah I was like my mother who I did NOT want to emulate)

    he began to plot to get rid of me but i didn’t know. I noticed everyone treating me differently. he even called my friends and family and in 2 years got them all to feel sorry for him and now they have all disowned me (MY OWN family except 1 step sister) and he got to my friends and they do not speak to me, one being a surrogate mother type for 42 years! she thinks she is doing tough love on me and wrongly believes I am abusing alcohol or drugs and I am not! you can’t imagine the vicious letters she sends me taunting me. That’s nothing compared to what he does to me behind closed doors.

    I went with him to our condo near the capitol for Valentine’s day and it was a nightmare. I flew home the next day and I was supposed to leave for Costa Rica (alone for 2 weeks and he was thrilled!) but i was so frazzled, my blood pressure has skyrocketed – I had a grand mal seizure on the airplane and came too in a new nightmare. He was called but didn’t come home for 2 days then did take me to the ER and pretended to care for the doctors and nurses. But sometimes when i am really scared I feel little and i go to him and he will hold me but no sex and no compassion so it is empty.

    The doctor consulted our personal physician who has recently told me to get away from him – and he came in asked MB to wait outside and told me that my seizure was likely brought on from brain overload and high blood pressure. He also told me to leave my husband or risk waking up dead.

    I don’t know why I am so stunned, guess make believe is easier and at my age after long successful career and raising 2 great kids, I thought I was going to enjoy golden years peace, love joy.

    MB decided to remodel our 2nd home without discussing it with me. when I found out he gave me a lame excuse. Then picked a stupid fight and left me back in October but kept promising he was coming back. But he quit marriage counseling after 10,000$ worth and moved into this beautifully remodeled home that is OUR retirement.

    oh my god there is so much more but I can’t write anymore I am physically disabled, emotionally distraught, all alone, broke, lost most of my friends and my family is furious that I am with him so they cut me off long ago, my kids don’t speak to me much cuZ they hate him and I haven’t left him cuz I know he is sick.

    I can’t even say what happened yesterday lest someone report it but it is BAD> I can no longer ignore it but I am terrified and incapacitated. He is such a big name in this city NO ONE will take my calls. All of our hundreds of contacts have left me and sided with him cuz he has power and is amazingly normal and effective as a lawmaker and MUCH LOVED. I never knew all of our friends were being told that I am crazy and abusing him I am the most hated woman here yet I was a Teacher of the Year, nicknamed Cinderella and him Prince Charming (he is smooth) called Cinderella by all even the mayor and governor!

    i am so despaired. I am not suicidal so no worries but I can understand why some people are.

    help me. Cindy

  19. kimcooper said

    Cindy he may be sick but you need to take care of yourself now. I don’t know what it will take for you to find you center again but whatever it is you need to do it and not be looking to him for anything for awhile. If that means you going to a women’s shelter or whatever you have to do you must do it. You cannot protect him from the consequences of his own actions and if this hurts his career so be it. You need to get grounded and start feeding yourself properly and get legal advice on how to protect your assets from him.

    There is no magic wand and no one can save you now unless you will take steps to nourish and protect yourself. He will never feel sorry for you or let you get away with playing the victim so play tough and play smart and you must start looking out for yourself.

    Kim Cooper

  20. Linda said

    OMG!!Cindy please take Kim’s advice and take care of yourself for only you can do it and self does matter. God Bless you; I will be praying for you!!!;)

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