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The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist

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 woman 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 having a bad day, or maybe he is sick, maybe he has a brain tumor, or he’s having a nervous breakdown, it will take a while before you go searching for answers about why the love of your life has 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 was following the course described in various web sites I still didn’t believe he could be unfaithful or would discard me so callously.

It is almost impossible to get your head around the notion he 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 only know of one of JC’s ex’s that left him before phase 3 and she is the only one to have gone on to other relationships with other men.

The Phases of Loving a Narcissist


During this phase a narcissist is very loving and is in his or her best behavior. A narcissist can be extremely charming and loving, which often makes a person fall head over heels in love with them. 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 or 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, be telling you how he wished 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 disarm the other person and 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.


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 man. 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 such treatment. You may try to please a narcissist and try to “make him or her love you again”, however nothing you do seems to be good enough. He may treat you well out in public but behind closed doors he acts as if he loathes you. 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,┬ánow every thing turns into a fight. You find yourself walking on eggshells for fear of setting him into a rage. Every thing 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. Speaking of which he has an uncanny ability to sense when you have had enough and are ready to leave and will turn back into the man 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 “available”, if the new relationship does not work out the way a narcissist is expecting. A narcissist is getting “kicks” when he or she is thinking that two people (the current spouse and the secret lover) are “madly in love” with a narcissist. This feeling serves as the source of a narcissistic supply. Often times they will leave evidence of their cheating around for you to find because your pain serves up such delicious narcissistic supply.


During the phase of discarding a narcissist becomes totally indifferent to the needs and wishes of the (soon-to-be former) spouse of a narcissist. A narcissist is ready to move on after either finding another source of a narcissistic supply or simply having drained the current source (the current spouse) dry. The current spouse no longer serves as a source of a narcissistic supply and the current spouse is no longer useful for a narcissist. When a narcissist reaches this phase, there is no chance to reason with a narcissist. If you try to beg a narcissist to get back together with you, you are only feeding the ego of a narcissist and providing him or her with a transient source of a narcissistic supply as a narcissist feels you are now devastated after losing them and their “perfectness”. He/she will take great pleasure in rubbing your nose in his new relationship and .blaming 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 his new woman will be so smug about how special she is. You are left reeling, wondering what the hell happened, how could such a powerful love go so wrong. Not only does he dump you, kick you while you are down and spit on you, he will try to destroy your reputation, go on a smear campaign to win over your friends and even your family, he will accuse you of doing to him what he has done to you and make himself look like the victim. There is no staying friends with a narcissist even though he likes to keep his ex’s hooked as a back up supply and to keep the new woman on her toes. He will try to turn the children against you or get custody, they will leave you financially destitute, and emotionally devastated and taunt you to just kill yourself. They are evil and without mercy.

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 e 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.






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1,735 responses to “The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist

  • Andre Avondo

    Hi Carrie I am one of the lucky ones I’m not the victim But I have been accused of interfering. I believe because she knows I know what her game is.I have been her home 5 times in 9 years. and every time she found out my son and I were in contact she made him change his number. His phone is still now always on silent which he started doing so that she could not hear it ring This is now 7 months later I have got a lot of help from reading your blog and my advise. Don’t show any emotion around these people not anger not happiness no emotion at all rather go home and cry like a baby but DON’T let them see emotion that is how they get their kicks.Miles be strong only you have the power to stop the hurt and confusion that goes with these people. .


  • freedwithin

    Hi Aunt Carrie and Aunt Ellie….

    I am going to shock you now, or I think I may. No one would understand my reasons who don’t know him but I am hoping I make sense here.

    I have decided to fight him, for everything he did and said I want to show him he holds nothing on me anymore so I wont rise to any threat. I decided on calling Jacob after him for the reasons I stated, I didn’t want him having my ex husbands name or dads and wasn’t keen on his but that is his roots, but no dave wont be put on the birth certificate so he wont have any rights….which is great. Over here we can call the baby what we wish to so its easier than what you have to do over there.

    He decided he wanted to be a dad and wouldn’t walk away, he is saying he may leave it a year but that he will use every penny he as to take me to court if need be (or if I cant play nice….as he puts it). Today I sat and thought about it, if he needs money to take me to court and doesn’t want to walk away I will go to the CSA and make sure his money goes to helping me raise his son. This will go 3 ways now….one (the way I hope it goes) he will say he doesn’t want to pay and wont be pursuing courts and I will get it in writing….2…he will go insane and refuse payment but still try taking me to court (which will go against him when there as he will have to explain why he didn’t bother paying) or 3….he will shrug his shoulders and walk away (another good result for me for sure but without it in writing). So he wont be happy in a month but he will realise then I am not backing down. I believe he is capable of things but I also believe he is more bothered by what his family and friends think about him (all think he is so lovely and cant understand why am hurting him!) they wouldn’t believe nothing I said and he filmed me that time going nuts…which I will never deny. I was told from my midwife who specialises in domestic violence etc….that a lot of abusive men call the police on there partners to log it that they are nuts etc…and when the police come there is always a woman crying and mad while the calm abusive man is saying to the police…look what I have to put up with….but infact it is starting to become more and more clear that there is something behind it and the guy doesn’t look as innocent as he once did.

    Your both right though, he wont change. I worry only that he will worm his way in and sucker punch me with my own emotions, as part of me still does miss something, but I don’t know what anymore. I have sketched your words in my head…I actually don’t want his money, I just want to disarm his plan and I think he thinks more of money then I have ever done or will. He knows if I am going this route he will have to explain his expenses and as he hasn’t been so clear in his finances he may stumble alittle….I also may find out the truth if it did come to court….and nothing will surprise me anymore.

    I will come out of all this way wiser and I am going to work on myself too loads.

    I am not happy by a long shot, cant remember the last time I smiled and felt totally happy and safe. My sons smile melts my heart. He bought him some clothes….one was a outfit of his football team….he wanted a pic….this is no lie…got to send u the pic as it made me laugh…I put on the outfit on Jacob and this placid little dumpling started to cry I took the picture of him upset having to wear it …I wont send it him but it made me laugh as it was like a get lost pal I am not into that rubbish….smart kid at one month old (sunday) lol.

    Will send the pic….he is giving me the biggest smiles now he is adorable and I never can fight for me but my kids…am on it.

    My sister moved today, I am so close to her, we have lived next door to each other for ages now but she as gone to live with her new partner 300 miles away, am gutted as she was my rock and me hers. I cant wait to start over and sell my home.

    A quick question to everyone who went no contact. Did you ever unblock them in time? part of me thinks he will love knowing I needed to block him as he calls it not strong enough to get over him. I would love to just let him see it was read and not answered…but am not there yet. If you decided never to talk again…how do u know things about them years on? …just wanna know :) x


    • Carrie Reimer

      Fee, I am so proud of you !! I am a bit surprised but not really because I think you are a little Lioness when it comes to protecting your children. You know people always say that you can’t win with a narcissist and I used to think that way myself. They are so vicious with their lies and their threats and I do feel they are capable of murder, (they like fast results, they are not good at patience and court takes time and work). They count on intimidating the victim enough that they will just give them what they want. the victim hopes by giving them what they want they will go away and stop making their life hell. One thing I have learned, a narcissist is never happy, no matter what they get they want more. They are “happy” when they are creating unhappiness in others. If they see you getting on with your life without them, that makes them unhappy so they will come back, suck you in, hurt you again, and then discard you………….good………..now you are unhappy again……they are happy.
      From my experience through the stories I have heard through this blog anyone who has stood up to the N and done their homework, ie, documented events, had proof of their claims and remained calm, rational and logical, has won. The N can be very convincing but he is too egotistical and it can be his downfall. Because he is so self absorbed and lacking of human emotion he often times gets carried away with his feelings of entitlement and makes himself look self centered and totally out of touch with reality. The thing is no one ever challenges them. Once challenged they are their own worst enemy. That is why they are like a dog with a bone about getting what they want from the victim and work so hard to discredit the victim, they don’t possess the emotional intelligence to win in court. Once his true colours are revealed his whole world crashes in on him because he is exposed for the sham he is and is no longer the man everyone believed him to be and stop supporting him.
      James used to say he was not going to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. But narcissist don’t want to have a battle of the heart when they know they are totally unarmed. They can not possibly relate to the love a mother has for her child. That love will often make the mother panic and act insane because it does make her insane to think of her child hurt. If the mother can turn that love into calm resolve and strength the N can not possibly win the battle.
      I believe you have reached that point of calm resolve, you know what you are dealing with, you are not happy about it no, but your eyes are wide open and you are a force to be reckoned with. You know we are here as support. I am so sorry you have lost having your sister close by, I am sure she will miss having you close also. But like you said you feel you are about to enter a new phase of your life and I believe you are. There is a reason your house didn’t sell yet, there is a reason for everything and I think now that you have freed yourself of Dave’s toxicity you will find that your life starts to fall into place and good things will start to come your way. So many things that I wanted to happen and didn’t and I would be so discouraged and wonder why life had to be so tough; later it made sense why it didn’t happen sooner.
      I am excited to see where your life leads you and Jacob, I think you have lots of good things waiting for you.
      Big hugs and love
      Aunt Carrie


  • ellie2013


    It gets easier as time goes on, much much much time :) I have children with him so……….. as the kids grew there was limited contact, not much , as he showed less and less interest the bigger they got. Anything serious he actually had the OW contact ME lol. I remember her pleading with me not to put him in jail when he was behind in child support. I told her if she was so worried to pay it for him :) I think she did.

    I know very little about my xnh now and his family. The little I do know comes from my children. The ‘little’ things that just come out in normal conversation. I ask no questions, I really do not want to know details. He is not a part of my life. Has no effect on my really. I just deals with the leftovers of being in a relationship for so long with someone so evil. As Claire said, indifference is the key. Not hate , not love. I just feel nothing for him. You will get there is you want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  • freedwithin

    I cant imagine yet having to deal with him….but I know in time I possibly will have to. I just don’t want to part with my son. I know he knows the only way to get to me bigtime is my kids….I don’t want him to have that power on me anymore.
    I hope I get to where clare is….but still its the kids. :(
    Carrie I cant find your email address without posting on here…don’t know where it went.. I daren’t post a pic on here as I wouldn’t put it past him to search his pic and all I need is him knowing my plan. It would have to be a picture he hasn’t seen…I was atleast kind enough to send him some..after his speech of he would be just happy with pictures…once he got them he wasn’t happy and wanted more…the goal posts will always change I think. x


    • Carrie Reimer

      Fee, it is reimerc@outlook.com I forgot I took it off the side bar. I can’t wait to see it. T doubt he would ever find it here if he did go looking especially without a name, but I don’t want you doing anything you are not comfortable with. Ellie and I are the only aunties :)
      Dave could very well eventually give up once you don’t crack. Right now he is still expecting you to do what you always did in the past: crumble. He thought he had you right where he wanted you, he could do whatever he wanted and you would always give in to him. I am sure he is a little blown away that he has tried everything and you have stood strong (as far as he is concerned). That is the thing with them, they don’t have a clue about what true strength is. All they know is intimidation and manipulation and being bullies and they think they are all mighty and strong but in truth it is what a coward does so when they see real strength it confuses them.
      As for blocking him on FB, who knows what he will think, that you are weak? or you really don’t give a damn and don’t want him knowing what you are doing. He won’t like not knowing what you are doing that is for sure and even more he won’t be happy that you don’t want to know what he is doing. After all it is all about him.
      As for later checking to see what he is doing, the filters on FB are such now that a person can hand pick who sees what any way so really it doesn’t do anyone much good to check facebook. I know what James is doing because I googled my name and found his blog. Then I googled his name and more came up. I never look at his FB.


      • freedwithin

        Morning Carrie,
        I feel a coward as I have had to block everything for 9 months I blocked his fb and phone number…but still had it open on outlook as I didn’t know how to block it…now I have managed to do so….though my mom tells me to unblock it as she is worried he would just let me know via email he is coming or that he is saying whatever to cover his back in case we go to court. I have a part of me that is tempted as I like to know until I sell what his plans are…and that when my son is older I could say…look he didn’t bother..but if he knows he is blocked he could be pretending to look good to show his family and maybe my son in yrs to come…wish my mom hadn’t made me think of that lol….but I haven’t unblocked him yet. If am being honest I blocked him as I am worried he can get me back, so that shows am not too strong…and I don’t want to go back, I know am just really attracted to him outside but inside he blew it. Gonna send you the pics…..think he as made me that paranoid that I think he can find anything if he tried. Oh and a new show hit us this week….or I stubbled on it this week….cat fish….boy that is a show….pretending to be someone else….just what he did but with his real pics….and the show find out things through googling a pic lol….more paranora lol..my spelling Is soooo bad..
        Oh and he closed his fb when he apparently wanted to get me back….my sister looked to see if he was telling the truth…so far his business, fb and dating sites are gone ….but its just to show me he is changing….but I know by reading this that is cant. x

        Liked by 1 person

        • ellie2013

          Fee, good morning!

          You are a very smart lady to recognize that you are still attracted to him and admitting it. And to know that you are in danger of him somehow getting under your skin and you having a weak moment and going back. I think that is a real possibility as we all have weak moments. That is why the ” love bomb” us, why the go over the top saying such nice lovely words. Just remember, whichever way you handle it, that each and every one of those “words” are false. LIES. They can say the most profound things because of their not having any real feeling. The “words” are just that words. Things to be used to manipulate. Twist. To get what they want. What better boost to their ego to think that they lied through their teeth and you believed their lies!

          What his family and friends think of him is of no importance to you. Or what they think of you really. If you are hearing from him what they say you can believe that is all lies too, or at least very exaggerated. This is my opinion only, but, to take any help from them, even court ordered child support keeps them involved in your life and you childs life. You see what happened when he sent clothes, he wanted pictures, etc. Then wanted more. That is the way they work. My xnh believed that by paying CS he also then had the right to “control” how that money was used and it forever kept us “involved”. I finally went to court to STOP the child support. I didn’t want a red cent of his. I wanted peace. They believe if they have a financial tie, paying out even a little bit, they have a “right” to control whatever it is they have put money forth for. Also, it gives them the power to “withhold” if they see fit and to then send us into a spin if they know we are counting on those funds to live, raise their child. The money is NEVER about the child. They really have no feelings in connection w/ children other than a means to get something. For themselves.

          Please stay in touch Fee.



  • freedwithin

    Oh sorry I didn’t know it would come on here. x


  • Carrie Reimer

    Fee, I unapproved your other message so your email doesn’t show up. If you want to send me a pic via email I will post it on the blog. I am sure everyone would like to see a pic or if you don’t want a pic on the blog I want to see it!!! and the wee Jacob!


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