Why do Narcissists Always want forgiveness?

· Divorce Coaching

I had this question come up recently. Someone asks why oh why won't they forgive me?

Why won't my husband forgive my infidelity after four years?

Here is my response that I recently published on a Quora. 

The idea that forgiveness can play a significant role in the dynamics of a relationship, especially one marked by infidelity, can indeed be complex and multifaceted. While the characterization of one partner as a narcissist may not apply universally to all situations, it's worth exploring how the concept of forgiveness can impact such relationships.

  1. **Narcissism and the Need for Forgiveness:** Narcissistic individuals often crave validation, admiration, and a sense of superiority. Forgiveness can indeed be a potent tool in their arsenal because it aligns with some of their core desires. When they are forgiven, it reinforces the image they have of themselves as being exceptional and beyond reproach. It allows them to maintain their facade of perfection and deflect blame onto others.
  2. **Manipulation and Control:** In some cases, a narcissistic partner may use the idea of forgiveness strategically. They might manipulate the situation, making it seem as though forgiveness is the only path to healing and reconciliation. This manipulation can be a way to maintain control over the dynamics of the relationship and keep the other partner emotionally invested.
  3. **Distortion of Reality:** Narcissists often construct a false self-image, projecting an idealized version of themselves to the world. Forgiveness can be a tool for reinforcing this false reality. By being forgiven, they can convince themselves and others that their actions were not as harmful as they might have been, further distorting the truth.
  4. **Avoiding Accountability:** Narcissistic individuals may resist taking responsibility for their actions. Forgiveness can provide a convenient escape from accountability. It allows them to evade the consequences of their behavior and avoid facing the pain they've caused.
  5. **Cycle of Dysfunction:** In relationships where one partner is a narcissist and the other has been hurt by their actions, the cycle of seeking forgiveness and granting it can become repetitive and toxic. The victimized partner may find themselves repeatedly pulled back into a destructive pattern, hoping that forgiveness will lead to change.
  6. **Empowerment Through Boundaries:** It's crucial for individuals in such relationships to recognize the importance of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. Sometimes, forgiveness might not be the best course of action, and prioritizing one's well-being and self-respect may be a more appropriate choice.

In conclusion, while not all situations involving infidelity and forgiveness can be characterized by narcissism, it's essential to be aware of the potential dynamics at play. The quest for forgiveness can indeed serve as a powerful tool for those with narcissistic tendencies, and understanding these dynamics can be crucial for individuals trying to navigate such challenging relationships. Ultimately, seeking professional help and support can be instrumental in addressing these complex issues and making decisions that prioritize one's emotional and psychological well-being.

Narcissism - Reality Check

Narcissists often push for forgiveness as hard as they pushed for commitment. Forgiveness for them is a supply, a food, a tool and a way to manipulate and control while avoiding all accountability for their negative behaviors and immoral choices.