The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist




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



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.



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.

level headed


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.

2,218 thoughts on “The 3 Phases of a Relationship With a Narcissist

  1. Hello everyone…I am trying to figure out whether my ex was a narcissist or not. Some traits do match and some don’t.
    First, he was a psychologist. Really, had his private practice. He met me online and since I am from another country, we’ve been talking via skype for two month daily. We talked for 1,5-2 hours in the morning and 1-3 hours in the evening. Every single day. This is impotant to mention and you will see why. Than he invited me to come and meet with him. He arranged to take me and my daughter to a cruise on Carribean. I thought he was a kind of Christ saving me from my loneliness. We met and it was a non stop pleasure of seeing each other and getting intimate by the by. After 2 weeks he proposed at me…it was all like a dream. He displayed on FB our pictures. And he brought me home where he lived. We lived together for 2 months and were so happy…lots of fun, epic sex, mutual admiration… But than these mood swings started. He would come home and lay on the couch not talking to me. I would ask “are you OK love”. No, he was not. He was too tired and stressed bs of his work. And he spent so much money on our cruise and now he had to pay taxes soon and I couldn’t help him with this. I felt guilty. Than he started to leave our bed at night to watch movies in the living room. All night long. When asked why is it so he said he had a tinnitus in his ear so the sound of the movie relived it. I haven’t seen a single person who he communicate with during 2 months. I went to church to get some company but he was unhappy with this. I once suggested to meet with my friends who happened to live in a nearest town. He said may be. Every night he would come home and lay on the couch refusing talking to me. I respected his reasons but he used to talk to me by hours before he brought me home! I once asked him if he wanted me in his house at all and he said. “I don’t know. I am not sure we are a good match bs you wanted to meet your male friend from that town. And you don’t really have compassion for gay people”. I was trying to explain what I really meant…he would remain silent. He would always accept me kissing him and making love with him though. Sometimes he was in a good mood again and we had fun. These mood swings were regular and I was anicipating them with horror every day. Finally I said – why you have changed so much…you used to handle your stress and talked to me so willingly…Next morning we were in the car and he said: “I am really upset with you. You were critisizing my favourite actor. And you wanted me to drink your coffee. I will drink the coffee I like and deserve. I can’t handle both my work and taking care of you. I think we need a break up” And he left me on the road and drove away. I came back home by bus, packed my stuff, called friends from that town and they picked me up and brought to their home. He never texted to find out where I was or what I was going to do next. I finally texted “I am sorry I couldn’t make you happy”. He answered “I am sorry as well”. End of the story.


    • Adele, it definitely sounds like your ex is a narcissist. it is so typical of them to make a person dependent on them and then dump them and walk away without a backwards glance. I am sure he will pop back into your life once he thinks you have suffered enough and will be happy to take him back. Then the relationship will be all on his terms and the abuse will really kick into high gear.
      I am so sorry you are going through this and it is terribly hard but you have to take care of yourself now. I am glad to hear you have good friends who came and got you. Does he know where you are? If he doesn’t, good!! do not contact him in any way. He will not give you answers and believe me you do not want to talk to him or have him in your life.
      It is not your fault, you couldn’t have done anything differently to change things. Please read and read some more, there are many good articles here and read the comments also because you will see you are not alone. We all thought we had found the love of our life and were so blessed only to be tossed aside like yesterdays garbage. If you give him any little crack he will come back and finish you off. He will cry and say he is so sorry and convince you to go back because he knows your friends won’t rescue you next time and he will have total control over you. Believe me when I say he is evil and he will destroy you. Stay away from him!!
      Welcome to the blog we are here for you

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank youvery much Carrie. He doesn’t know where I am, I lived with friends for 1 week before I have arranged my permanent staying in another place. I am really impressed how people who I barely knew were there for me to help me to survive. My ex sent me an e-mail “I hope everything is OK and you are doing well” which I never replied. If he really cared whether I was OK or not he would have asked me about it the very day I left. I guess he just tests waters. I left many of my items in his house. I wonder if it is a good idea to ask my friend to come and collect them. My ex was kind of jealous of that friend…

        I will definitely read all the material here to remain strong…bs at nights I still cry and my heart refuses to get the reality…I still can’t believe he never loved me…


  2. Like others, I’m so glad to find this blog. I am recently dealing with a N. I was with him for 3 years and I thought we were going to have a happy ending. As you know that didn’t happened!
    Three weeks ago I found out he has been cheating on me for the past 6 months with his manager. She was in a 4 year relationship and living with her boyfriend at the time. She knew about me and stayed because he told her how evil I was and he was going to leave me. He never try to break things off with me until he had to come clean about them two. The only reason he told me the truth was because she was 2 months pregnant.
    He begged me to stay with him because he was in love with me. He told the other woman he wanted to be with me even though she was having a baby. He even offered her huge amount to have an abortion because she was ruining his life.
    He begged and begged me and I told him no. I couldn’t be with someone who disrespected me.
    After I made it clear I didn’t want to be with him, he never contacted me. The no contact hurt me because I thought he will have more remorse. Eventually I was the one making contact and his reasons for not contacting was because I didn’t want to be with him. Also, he couldn’t talk to me cause it reminds him of the pain. The pain that he ruined our relationship and lost me. Yesterday I decided to end all contact because I was stressing him out and the situation he is in. Yes, I know he has a baby on the way and I respect that. However, it made me feel that I have no rights to any feelings. The work I put in those three years were nothing and I became nothing.
    As I know the other woman ended things with her boyfriend and now is living with my ex. Soon they will have their baby.
    After all this I felt dumb because I knew what I was dealing with. I knew he was an N. I saw the signs of a narcissistic, but I stayed. I even confronted him about his narcissism ways which he convinced me he wasn’t. I have stories for days about the things he did, but that’s just more proof of how I should of left.
    However, I look at the bright side and see that I came out of the relationship with no ties. I know I’m going to be ok! It just hurts that after three years this is how it ended, but I need to realize it’s not my fault. I’m glad I found this blog because it make this pain much easier.


  3. Wow – this is my story – 7 years of marriage and 7 years of persistent emotional abuse following the break up – the man just does not give up and the new equally selfish and mean wife has yet to see how her story will end – I know and pity her . I moved two countries to escape from him, he wanted me dead or in prison and could not care less for our child financially or emotionally . It took me forever to realize why he is this way but now I know and am very happy to have thousands of miles between us. Pure evil


  4. I was with my narcissist for 5 years about two years ago he developed an addiction of meth..I’m thinking smoking that and being the way he is only made it worse. We have a 4 year old and one on the way I left him in his home state and came back to mine. The new person that he Started dating as soon as I left was a 7 month old pregnant girl with already one kid. To my understanding she recently gave birth to that baby and he’s playing dad..they are off and on and he hits me,up with the I miss you gibberish and tells me he wants to be there for our daughter and our unborn child..couple days later he’s back with her and just basically leaves me hanging..eventually he fights with her again and here he comes back..I don’t understand why he does that? Is it an ego thing? Does he do it on purpose to make me jealous? In all reality it doesn’t hurt me as much as it did when,I left him I’m thinking because I just know what to kinda expect out of him. Since I left him back in December he does this about every two weeks. Won’t the new girl Ever get a clue how he is it seems like she gets lured back to his clutches as well. Like he uses her since I refuse everytime he asks me to go back to his home state. Why can’t he just be single again is it an ego thing? He makes it look like he’s real happy in his new relationship is it all just a show for the public? I need some guidance he was basically my first everything Idk how he can just toss me to the side like that and act like nothin..


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