The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist

 

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Welcome!

So, you are wondering what the hell happened aren’t you? You thought you had met your soul mate and you were the luckiest person in the world. Of course in phase 1 you weren’t questioning your relationship, but like a switch going off everything changed, even if you can’t put your finger on it, something is very wrong. You entered phase 2, for a while you just chalked it up to him/her having a bad day, or maybe they are sick, maybe they have a brain tumor, or they’re having a nervous breakdown, it took a while before you started searching for answers about why the love of your life had turned on you.

I was into the relationship for over 5 years before I went looking for answers and even then, once I found Narcissist and JC fit the description almost to a T and our relationship followed the same stages described on various websites, I still didn’t believe he could be unfaithful or would discard me so callously. I believed everyone has good in them and I had seen the good side and if I loved him well enough I could bring that good side out again.

It is almost impossible to get your head around the notion they could ever just toss you aside with nothing and not even look back. If anything; while you are reeling in pain from the relationship ending he’ll take the opportunity to give you a kick in the guts a few times for good measure and make sure you know it is all your fault.

If you are in phase 2 and think you are hurt and confused please believe me it is nothing compared to the excruciating pain of phase 3. You would be doing yourself a HUGE favor to get out now.

I tend to talk in terms of the narcissist being a male but female narcissists exist and are just as destructive and ……. well………evil. The phases of the relationship are the same whether the narcissist is male or female.

The Phases of Loving a Narcissist

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Idealization

During this phase a narcissist is very loving and is on his/ her best behavior. A narcissist can be extremely charming and loving, which often makes a person fall head over heels in love with them or feel they would be crazy to not love them. In the beginning I felt JC cared for me more than I cared for him but I had never been loved like that in my life and that is very hard to walk away from. I was perfect in his eyes, to quote him, “Don’t ever change, I love you just the way you are.”

If a narcissist is cheating on his or her present partner with a new lover, it is often more due to the actions of the narcissist than the lover that the relationship started in a first place. While pursuing a new lover, a narcissist is often claiming that he is very unhappy in his/her current relationship, the woman takes him for granted, abuses his good nature and he is carrying the load financially, in the home and emotionally. He will say he has tried and tried and done his grieving of the relationship long ago. He has had to stay because he’s afraid she’ll try to kill herself if he leaves, or she just won’t accept that its over. He is about to get a divorce/separate, has never felt as strongly towards anyone else as he or she is now feeling towards the new lover, etc. If you are the married one he will become your best friend and perhaps even befriend your husband, he will point out how your husband takes you for granted, tell you he wishes he had a woman like you, he will be your perfect match, totally into you, always so happy to see you, wanting to know all about you, your hopes and dreams, you will feel attractive, appreciated, it will be exciting, his romantic gestures will take your breath away, the love-making like nothing you have ever experienced before, you will feel like the sexiest most desirable woman on earth. You will feel you must have this man in your life, you can face anything as long as he has you in his arms. It is intoxicating, you can not believe your good fortune to meet this wonderful man and he loves YOU. A narcissist knows how to say all the right things to make the other person fall hard.

Unfortunately this “honeymoon” period never lasts for long. A narcissist soon grows bored and restless and starts to look for another provider of a narcissistic supply. This is when a narcissist enters the devaluation phase.

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Devaluation

During this phase the behavior of a narcissist changes, he becomes cold and uncaring almost overnight. this is when the “mask drops” and you see the real person. The narcissist no longer tells you how much he or she loves you, but instead becomes increasingly critical towards you. Suddenly he/she finds all sorts of flaws in your behavior and possibly also in the way you look. You start to feel increasingly unhappy and depressed, because you have no idea what you have done to deserve to be treated this way. You try to “make him or her love you again”, however nothing you do seems to be good enough and what they want seems to change with the wind. He accuses you of things you aren’t thinking or doing, is controlling, twists your words, where once you could talk about anything calmly and rationally, now every thing turns into a fight. He accuses you of being paranoid,  yet they are snooping through your phone and computer, (James even had a tracking device somewhere on my vehicle, I found a hidden camera and his sister found a wire running from the trailer to the barn that had a speaker on the end). They know they are out to destroy you, so assume you must be doing the same thing and want to make sure they get you before you get them.Whatever the narcissist accuses the victim of doing is more than likely what they are doing. A rule to remember; If their lips are moving, they are lying. They can look you right in the eye and tell you a lie, they can cry real tears and could get an academy award for their acting abilities.

They may be loving in public and then treat the soon-to-be-ex with disdain when they get home, yet expect the victim to stay loving and giving until the narcissist is firmed enmeshed in their new relationship. It is a very confusing time for the victim, one minute they are treated with disgust and the next the narcissist is loving, they are blamed for the problems in the relationship but anything they do to  mend the fences is never good enough. (I went years not knowing if we were broken up or a couple, he could tear me to shreds in the morning before he left for work and come home from work like nothing ever happened). The victim is accused of causing conflict, yet if they give in to the narcissist they are treated even worse.

Once the narcissist drains his supply, the supply refuses to comply with his demands or the N finds better supply he is ready to move on and if they don’t have new supply lined up they set out to find a new source of NS. At this point he is obvious in his infidelity, short tempered and generally acts as if he hates sharing his air with you. The narcissist picks their love interest by what they have to offer, it might have been a roof over their head, the reputation of the victim, perhaps to advance their career, a parent for their child, status in the community, or something as simply as sex.

You find yourself walking on eggshells for fear of sending him into a rage. Everything is your fault, you are paranoid, too sensitive, causing drama and you should know he hates drama. More than likely some addiction like obsessively watching porn has surfaced or he forces you to perform sex acts you aren’t comfortable with, the great sex you once had is a distant memory unless he is trying to win you over after a really bad fight. Female narcissist often use sex as a weapon, withholding or seducing to manipulate the man. Speaking of which they have an uncanny ability to sense when you have had enough and are ready to leave and will turn back into the sweet, appreciative, loving partner you fell in love with just long enough to reel you back in.

During this phase a narcissist may start to look for another provider of a narcissistic supply and may end up cheating or having an affair, however still keeping the current spouse hooked, just in case the new relationship does not work out the way the narcissist is hoping. The narcissist gets a huge ego boost from thinking that two people (the current spouse and the secret lover) are “madly in love” with them.  Plus they get off on being able to pull something off right under the victim’s nose. The narcissist will fly into a rage that you could possibly think he would ever cheat on you and turn the tables so you end up apologizing for accusing them or for some other crime you committed months or years ago. Their crimes are brushed under the carpet while yours are always brought up and never forgiven, even crimes you didn’t commit or even think about committing. (James said he screwed around because I could have taken a different man home every night. I said, Key word is “could” have, I didn’t)

They often play one against the other creating triangulation, and then sit back and watch the show. Nothing feeds the ego like having two lovers vying for your affections; doing the “pick me” dance.  Often times they will leave evidence of their cheating around for you to find because your pain serves up such delicious narcissistic supply.

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Discarding

During the discarding phase the narcissist becomes totally indifferent to the needs or pain of the victim.  Once the victim is no longer useful to the N they discard them like yesterday’s garbage. When a narcissist reaches this phase, there is no chance to reason with a narcissist.

Many victims will say that the discard “came out of the blue” everything was fine and then the narcissist sent an email saying it was over, or the victim is thrown out of the house with nothing, and the narcissist is immediately involved with “the love of their life” and the victim is a psycho bitch or abusive asshole. But when you talk to the victim it comes out that there were signs but the narcissist denied their suspicions, accused them of not loving them enough, made them feel if they only did this……… or that………… things would go back to the way they were. There had been abuse but the victim had just gotten so used to the N being hot and cold, the discord had just become “the way they were” and they believed the narcissist would never truly leave them. Then the victim discovers the narcissist was planning their exit for a long time, has been slandering the victim behind their back, hiding money, and has the victim’s replacement lined up.

If you try to beg a narcissist to get back together with you, you are only feeding their ego and providing him or her with a transient source of a narcissistic supply. The narcissist wants you devastated at the thought of losing them and most victims ends up drained, confused, with their confidence and self-esteem in shreds. A feeling of doom pervades everything in their life and many suffer from PTSD. There is no way to have an amicable split from a narcissist. When a narcissist is done with you he is not happy to just walk away, he wants to destroy you and your reputation. He will turn your friends and your own family against you. If you have children he will turn them against you, he will even go so far as to try to get you fired, arrested on trumped-up charges, victims have even been committed to mental institutions because of the vicious actions of a narcissist.

Out of loyalty the victim didn’t talk behind the narcissist’s back so no one believes them when they try to explain what went on in the relationship. The narcissist has already told everyone who will listen that the victim is a paranoid psychopath who has made their life hell, so anything the victim says is taken as being vindictive and they are the psycho liar the N claims them to be. The narcissist must win, and that means they must take everything from the victim, leaving them with nothing to rebuild their lives. In their minds if you are of no use to them you are worthless. It is at this point the narcissist will have no qualms about killing you and the victim should be very careful (there is a free safety plan download at the top of the blog).

He/she will take great pleasure in rubbing your nose in his new relationship and blame you for the relationship failing. He will say how he has met the love of his life, she is calm and rational, they are soul mates and the new man or woman will be smug about how special they are. They will taunt you to kill yourself, accuse you to your face of doing exactly what they did to you, twist the facts to make themselves look the victim, they will never admit to any fault in the relationship and the victim ends up friendless with no support system because the narcissist carefully planned his/her exit and will just deny deny deny any of the victim’s claims of abuse. It is the victim’s worst nightmare, like they stepped into the twilight zone and are helpless against the vindictiveness of the narc. After all who can believe anyone can be that cruel and conniving. That is why only someone who has been there can understand and will believe the victim.

THEN, just when you are starting to heal and get your legs under you he will pop back into your life, professing his love, tears and all, apologizing for everything he ever did and you believe your prayers have been answered, the man you fell in love with is back and you fall lovingly into his arms. The arms of the devil. As he holds you telling you how much he loves you and how sorry he is, he is secretly laughing and giving himself a pat on the back for being so clever and irresistible, and planning how he will punish you for being so stupid as to believe him. In his mind you deserve to be punished for your gullibility and he feels so superior to have that kind of control over you. The cycle begins again only much worse this time.

If you found this article helpful you will probably find the following posts of interest also.

http://ladywithatruck.com/2014/01/30/search-terms-on-narcissists/

http://ladywithatruck.com/xmlrpc.php

http://ladywithatruck.com/abuse-can-be-subtle-and-deadly/

http://ladywithatruck.com/2013/08/15/whats-in-a-name/

http://ladywithatruck.com/2013/11/01/did-heshe-ever-love-me-2/

2,281 thoughts on “The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist

  1. michael

    was with a female covert closet narcissist for over 20 years, we broke up last june 2014, she just discarded me, i still love her, suspected her of cheating on me for years, i would ask or accuse her when she got home every night after 9 or 10, she would lie easily, she fed off my reactions, some were not good, then last summer found out she had multiple guys on the side, a well known guy she was sneaking around with for years, he stayed in hotels few minutes from her work, she commuted an hours drive away during the week, found out by an accident she was cheating, she hooked up with coworkers, who ever, was a shock, only found out about narcissism last november 2014, suddenly everything became clear, this sicko fed off me, now i feel like an fool, tolerating her abuse, stayed for my kids, i feel horrible, i didnt do my babies any favours by staying with her, could not understand why she was so heartless, ruthless, cold hearted emotionally abusive in every way possible, she always threatened to leave with my kids, was even worse back in the 90s, after we had our first, she cheated with who ever, she has no conscience, and then would come home and start a fight, yelling and screaming, throwing and breaking stuff, after we had our second, she suffered narcissistic rage add in post partum depression, she was a monster, this person is mentally ill, im the one she abuses still, even after we were out of the relationship she has turned my youngest kids against me, lies and says she isn’t doing that, this person is empty, like she has no soul, to everybody else she is a great person, to me she is just down right evil, im going no contact, its hard because we have 4 kids, wish I knew about narcissism sooner would of done more to protect them, now she has everybody on her side it seems, society enables these sickos, covert closet narcissists are the worst

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  2. solarpoolfilters

    I got in touch with with a gorgeous woman I had dated 2times 4years earlier we set a date and had a wonderfull time.I ask her out again three times in the next month we went out and had a great time on the third time third time we were sitting on the couch after the date she jumped on my lap facing me sorry unbuttoning my shirt kissing me grab my hand got stood up and let me into the bedroom I was Stunned and was proudest happiest Ihad ever beenI would take her out once or twice a week bring her flowers take her to the most expensive restaurants in town she would tell me I was hot I was romantic she adored me and I was everything that you wanted three days later he started to ignore my phone calls and texts funny two weeks went by she agreed to meet me for dinner I spent the night the phone rang at 3 a.m. and I could hear your crying and sobbing on the phone she came back and told me it was a friend in Australia that just lost his father I went home the following day and she did not respond to me. Of the week only with an email saying she had contacted this the same guy and ask him to meet her and I in Hawaii she said the guy told her he was tired and wanted to retire you had two hundred five million dollars he loved her wanted to marry her and she was supposed to be in Hawaii already discussing their marriage plans that same day or $500 shoes shipped in from Nordstroms that I paid for I was heartbroken and try to contact contact you several times she funny answer my calls again but this time she need to sell her car it’s an old 2001 Mercedes 33 29 3:29 for $2,350 I went home took the car had washed detailed in took photos of it put it on Craigslist head and going home to do this I need to ask her a few questions about changing the ad she blew me off for a week finally on Sunday I had 10 calls from people wanting to see the car and I text her telling her who they were their names and what time they’re going to come by she responded to every text I sent her she sold the car for 2350 the following day the transmission went on the car sold the purchaser try to contact her but she would not answer you didn’t start calling me day and night threats all kinds of b******* I finally went to the guys house spent out of pocket money to fix the car and time after all she had told him that I was responsible for the car even though I didn’t own it didn’t sell it or was paid a dime for my work she disappeared again for 10 days out of the blue she text me telling me she’s been in the hospital in the fire department had to kick in the window and she almost died from dehydration she claimed she was on life support in tubes and then I was the one that was the cause of her sicknesshow are you taking all the time she was so stressed out she is now recovering and could hardly walk I got a pussy I got an email from Facebook the following day saying that you posted pictures I looked at the at the pictures and there was my girl playing volleyball on the beach this was yesterday June 22nd this is the girl that claimed to be dying in the hospital a day earlier because of being my fault before I could contact her about this should send me an email stateing she was done she couldn’t do this anymore I had made her so sick she couldn’t drink water I forgot to mention the previous week she contacted me several times was slurring ask her she’s been drinking and she said yes one time is as early as 8 a.m. but I’m the one that made her sick she’s now claimed she owned communications company she was a realtor she sold she sold insurance she was helping a guy move she was opening up a registration company and there’s no way she would ever got involved with me she then went into a list of all the men she’s been seeingit’s the first time in four months I realize who when where she wasor is chcesz narcissistic behavioral problems constantly lying constantly using me for my money when she got up she gave me the information about the Hawaii guy the 25 million she had no longer use for me its funny though in that email she wrote the last email she wrote she stated she was going to Hawaii to meet a guy she only met a couple times with no expectations from either one of them she plan on paying for her own room I just laughed at her is it darling you have to have a damn good memory to be a damn good liar you have a poor memory you so much stupid in fact you’re an idiot I realize now I hated the woman’s finally it feels good to be liberated I will never lay eyes on her again if you have somebody like this in your life no matter how gorgeous they are run like hell they will break you down slowly but surely blame me for everything I’ll keep you hooked by f****** you and when the time comes when they’re done with you they just drop you like a box of rocks mind send me an email no conscious no guilt just we’re done f*** you Michael that’s my story

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    1. michael

      what the hell, now your a mess it seems, its horrible what they do, seems she was an obvious sociopath they are pathological liars, just be thankful you didn’t have children with her, going to be years before i ever get involved with another women, also dude, you have no idea, I lived with narcissistic parents, went from the oven into the frying pan, didn’t know about narcissism, i feel foolish, I went through the grooming stage with my ex, the first few years were okay or were they, even when i met her, she seemed off, shady, she is as dysfunctional as they get, i didn’t want to get into the detail, wanted to give an idea on what i had gone through, didn’t know what the hell was going on, they prep you to take there abuse, gaslight you, watch out when a women says your to needy or says your crazy, next thing you know everything’s your fault, your the cause of everything, nothing is ever there fault, they take good caring people and ruin them totally take advantage, society enables these freaks with no souls, even harder for men because society doesn’t give crap when this kind of abuse happens to us, narcissists have conned everybody, were all self absorbed seems some people take it to extremes, especially narcissistic people, these people are in all positions of power, celebrities. politicians, my ex has a masters degree in conflict and resolution, no wonder powers that be wont admit there is an epidemic happening, millions of narcissistic victims, why i said society enables these sickos

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  3. Starr

    I was in an almost 4 year relationship with a N! First 2 years were absolutely great. Even had a son together. Right after having my son, moving 2 states away, leaving my career to be a stay at home mother, he changed like day & night. I’m a good looking female, but then all of a sudden I wasn’t good enough, slim enough, not wearing my hair down enough…stupid sh*t! I did everything for him…cooked, cleaned, catered, and took care of our son plus 3 girls he had in his previous marriage. He started belittling me & also started cheating with too many girls to count, while still leading me on. I would find receipts, gps addresses, texts, messages. I saw messages of him talking sh*t about me with the girls he has been cheating with, along with those females (who don’t know me) talking sh*t about me to him. He would twists anything I said or did to make him seem like the ‘victim’ in any situation. I’ve caught him in straight up lies and he would blame me for everything. I went through hell with him for the last 2 years. Even stayed faithful & loyal to him. I’ve gotten myself together for my 2 year old son’s sake. I’ve gotten out of my depression, been at my new gig for almost a year now, & finally went on my 1st date with a wonderful man last week. I’m happy! But also now I have my ex all of a sudden trying to do good by me. All I can say is 2 years too late!!!

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  4. Bob

    ‘…female narcissists exist…’, yep – just wasted seven years with a bewildering experience. It was nuts, but I convinced myself in early years if just calmed her negative envy and anger, it would all get back on track. Nope – it just won’t happen, and you will end up so baffled you will go to psychology/psychiatry websites to figure it out. It will start with looking up – people who refuse to apologise – and it will be a short order from there. Get the fug out, these people are damaged and require permanent validation at your total cost – they are life suckers. Oh, and the pure kicker is, they will claim to you and everyone else, it was all your fault, you are not well and they will tell all your friends that. Sheesh.
    Say again, get out now, dudes, you are wasting your best valuable years.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Bob thank you for sharing you described the experience of every victim of a narcissist male or female. Hopefully if enough victims speak out eventually the narcissist will be so exposed no one will fall for their lies and manipulations.
      i hope your life is getting better and you have found peace.
      Hugs

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  5. April

    I met a guy via Facebook,,we were both married. He started POKING me, then he asked if he could call me. His wife asked him for a divorce he was upset, then he asked if i could meet him for a drink and talk. We eventually fell into an affair. We had ground rules. Neither would put any pressure on the other to leave their spouse .. It took his wife 4 years to finally get our and divorce him. He was the one who fell in love in the beginning. I told him i wasn’t looking for Love and just an affair . But he had all the right words at all the right times and i did fall for him. While his wife was still in the home we would meet to go out and i felt like he was taking things out on me because he could no longer fight with his wife. He would tell me he was smarter than her and that she was an uncaring person and how could she divorce him being he was the best husband and father. He promised once she was gone things would change and he would be less stressed. That didn’t happen. He always bragged about how much he cooked and and he loved cooking but yet when she left he never cooked me anything. I became friends with his mom who ended up very sick. I would sit with her in the hospital and talk with her on the phone. She passed away Feb 28th 2015. I was at the wake and funeral and offered him support. Things changed soon after her death. He said he couldn’t deal with her loss and he needed to change his life that he couldn’t be in a relationship with me anymore because he wanted to marry me and i would not leave my husband. he got nasty and mean and told me that i was the one forcing him to be mean to me because i wouldn’t move on and leave him alone. he threatened to change his number if i called or texted him. My dad got sick and passed away on April 2, 2015. I was devastated that he dumped me and now devastated that i lost my dad. I needed him at this point in my life and his response was Im sorry about your dad, but my mom was on 69, at least your dad was 85. He had NOTHING for me… I felt like i couldn’t mourn my loss of my dad because i was morning the loss of him as well….. I would cry and text him and beg him to not leave me but he just got colder and colder. The one day he told me i was forcing him to be mean and he told me I don’t love you anymore, please move on with your life and don’t call or text me again. That was on May 28th… I have not texted him or called him since that day. But we work in close proximity and we both work outside in our cars. He stopped by one 2 consecutive Mondays and just pulled up to me and talked about nothing, bullshit, his dog, he hurt his foot and then would say i have to go and pull away. He has not stopped again but on occasion he will drive past and act like he doesn’t see me. I am a mess over this asshole, he just bought himself a new car. He just seems like he has not a care in the world and i am loosing weight like crazy because all i do is think of him… I don’t know what to do and i need some help from others……It will be 3 weeks that he has not pulled up and talked to me and it has been a little over a month that i have not texted or called him. I am so damn confused it isn’t funny…

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      April, I am having a little bit of a hard time following you. Are you still with your husband? and you are upset because the man you were having an affair with is now single and wants to marry you but you refuse to leave your husband so he dumped you. Am I right? So even though his marriage ended you will not leave your husband and you want to have your cake and eat it too. you want to keep your marriage and have your lover and you expect them both to be ok with this.
      Gee I have no idea why your lover would be cruel when you wouldn’t leave him alone after he told you it was over. It sounds to me like he isn’t the narcissist in this story.

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  6. Aprilny

    I should have clarified this. I am divorced now as well. If I was the narcissist I wouldn’t be hurt and missing him so much.

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  7. justin

    wow! thank you so much for writing this. i really needed to understand how this happened and just process all the things that happened between me and this guy. everything matches up exactly! now i have the question will he ever get better,, and did he learn this behavior from his father or,, anyways thank you again!

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