4 Phases of a relationship with a narcissist
A relationship with a Narcissist moves through four distinct phases beginning with the most dangerous, the ‘love bombing phase.’
My husband, a CFO of a global bank, good looking, popular, clever, and charming. He was never violent, nor filled with raging anger, yet he was a Narcissist. Reading and listening about women who have survived a violent marriage, I couldn’t relate to their stories, yet I too was in a marriage full of domestic violence, yet mine wasn’t violence. My husband didn’t need to raise his voice or hit me, as his method of violence was the words that would cut through me sharper than a knife ever could, destroying any sense of self-confidence I previously had. The collateral result I understand to be as psychologically damaging equatable to a form of PTSD.
When my marriage ended, leaving me with our much loved and planned for 8-week old baby daughter to raise, I was confused, angry, depressed and in such a state of shock, that it took me years to fully comprehend what had happened, which you can read about in my upcoming memoir.
Trying to I read many articles on narcissism, they all seemed to have criteria of personalities all filled with rage and violence, which confused me for a very long time, as my husband did not display any of these characteristics, yet was an extreme narcissist.
It was important for me to write this post and also create my premium program Free Yourself From Narcissists, because you need to understand your partner doesn’t always have to fit the narcissist stereotype we’re often familiar with. For some of us, they’re more cunning and more dangerous than that. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you don’t have to experience the pain and tragedy they can and continue to inflict upon us, the innocents who are simply their prey.
Narcissists are extremely clever, and they never reveal their true self to you, until they know they have you completely blinded by their immense spell. They only display who they think you want them to be. They are in a way chameleons, modifying their behaviour to whatever the situation may require.
Relationships with a Narcissist are broken down into four main stages:
The ‘Love Phase’
I’m sure your relationship, as did mine, began in a cloud of love. Think of this time as the ‘love fest.’ So much so, it appears at times they are too good to be true. You are not used to this much adoration, but after a while you feel ‘Why not, lets enjoy this?’ I’m sure you could not believe you had found somebody so in tune with you, your beliefs and your dreams. All in perfect synergy. You most probably existed in a cocoon so perfect for a while.
‘Are you hearing me so far?’
Within a very short time-span, you are convinced ‘He is the one!’ You have let down your normal boundaries that are quite strict, as you feel in every cell of your body, ‘This guy/woman adores me.’
The ‘Devalue Stage’
This is where he begins to cut down your confidence, your self-esteem, your sense of you. You may not understand this while experiencing it, but when you are out the other side, it is perfectly clear what his strategy was, which is to erode your confidence and have you succumb to his demands. This is the beginning of his control over you. If you are not married to him by this stage, you are extremely fortunate.
Then things start to change, very slowly and subtly. He makes it clear he doesn’t like your family or your closest friends, the ones he knows have your best interest at heart. He makes life uncomfortable when you are out with your friends, to the point he’s rude and the easiest way to keep the peace is not to socialise with your friends, the friends that have been in your life forever. Why do you succumb to this, to keep the peace? Anything for a peaceful life.
He then may go to the next step and begin criticising your personal appearance. It could be your hair style, your make-up or clothes, whatever he doesn’t like he will insist you modify it, particularly if you are wearing something revealing, or sexy. Again, you acquiesce and adapt your appearance to once again keep him happy, anything for a peaceful life.
This may be (if you are lucky) where you start to see cracks in what you assumed was the perfect partner and begin questioning him. You are beginning to feel hemmed in, controlled, and you suspect he is lying to you. Things just don’t seem to add up?
Women, believe your intuition, if you even suspect your partner is lying, or being dishonest, because he is. Warning……..If you dare confront a narcissist accusing him of lying or being dishonest, be prepared for the onslaught. He will turn the conversation around, and by the end of the discussion you will be accused of lying and being dishonest, and you will be totally confused as to what the discussion was originally about.
Note…Narcissists are pathological liars, who make you feel you are at times going crazy. You are not crazy, insecure or delusional, simply you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
The ‘DISCARD’ stage
If they have obtained what they required from you and the relationship, whether it’s prestige you are going out with him, as you inflate his ego, or money or whatever the need that you are filling in his life, if his use of you has been satiated, you will now be discarded like a used newspaper and replaced with a newer model that continues to feed his ego.
Get out before this stage if you can. Walk away with your head held high and cut off all contact.
Recovery from a relationship with a narcissist
If you’re now on the other side of a relationship with a narcissist, I invite you to start looking after YOU. Likely you’re feeling like you need some relief from the stress and strain of it all.
Much of what’s been fed to us over the years – certain words and beliefs – often remain with us. It’s important to begin nurturing yourself and understanding that you are complete just as you are.
As Rumi said: “The Universe is not outside you. Look inside yourself. Everything you want, you already are”.
To allow you to begin this stage of your journey, I invite you to take the 5-Day Stand Up To The Narcissist Challenge. This is a free step-by-step process, complete with downloadable guide, that will help put the focus back on YOU.
You can download the 5-Day Challenge HERE.
Narcissists are damaged human beings, and no matter how much you want to help, support, fix the man you love, you cannot and will not change this man. He is who he is and will continue to be this person. Leave and you will find somebody who will be able to love you fully.
Narcissists cannot feel, they can’t love, they are devoid of empathy and true feelings. He might tell you a million times a day that he loves you, but if you watch his actions, they are not actions of love. Love makes us feel safe, wanted and protected. You know deep within your heart the emotions you are currently receiving do not make you feel like this at any time.
My strongest advice if you resonate with my post above, is to lace up your Nike runners on and run, run, run as fast as you can away from this toxic relationship while you still can.
And if you are on the other side, then know I survive a marriage to a narcissist and you can too. Take the 5-Day Challenge to start living your life again as you should.
If you would like to FREE yourself from the Narcissist, and start a powerful pathway to Heal, Love & Thrive join me in Free Yourself from Narcissists .
Sending lots of love xxxx