What would make a narcissist be more obsessed with one partner than the other?

By Sara Angell, B.S. Psychology, Northwestern State University (2002)

A narcissist would be obsessed with the partner who is more attractive, more intelligent, more successful. A partner is not an actual Human with feelings or emotions, but rather should be viewed as an accessory to a narcissist.

If you attend a fashion party and want people to notice you, then you will accessorize with the most expensive, best, and well known brands.

I love your shoes/purse/jewelry! Where did you get them?

This is how a narcissist perceives the value of a partner.

Additionally, the partner must provide narcissistic supply. So while out at a party/meeting/social event with Mr. Narcissist, Ms. Accessory notices that people really like her new man. Ms. Accessory, in return, compliments him on many of the positive things she learns about him. She is in awe and puts him up on a pedestal. Now Mr. Narcissist is rewarded with even more supply.

The older, less attractive wife Mr. Narcissist keeps at home is less attention grabbing. She has less kind words for Mr. Narcissist after being subjected to his tortuous games and cheating over the years. He barely thinks of her never mind obsesses over her until a threat of losing her might be made known.

In this situation, Mr. Narcissist is receiving all the supply from his upgraded partner. If the long term partner meets someone new who captures her attention or takes steps to divorce her partner, Mr. Narcissist could very well do a 180 and focus his time and obsessions on the older long term partner in order to win her back through love bombing and other tactics. The flashy new Ms. Accessory might be put aside while this happens. If the older, long term partner falls for his manipulations and gives him another chance, Mr. Narcissist will revert immediately back to his old ways and continue to ignore the partner he just won back while he pursues Ms. Accessory once again through similar tactics.

And this pattern could repeat until the narcissist is too old to play his games or until he passes away. His obsessions are dictated by which stage he is in (love bombing, devaluing, or discarding) and where he feels the best source of supply to sustain his inflated ego might be found (with old supply or with new supply).