4 Phases Of a Relationship With a Narcissist
Stage 1. ‘The Love-Bombing Phase.’ Life is simply magical. Your relationship has established quicker than any you’ve had before, but you are enjoying the experience, so far.
You are probably thinking “He too good to be true.’”The adoration from your partner, you have never encountered before, as you think ‘Why not, let’s enjoy this?’ You are both in perfect synergy, existing in a cocoon so perfect you are absolutely convinced he is the one, as you have let down your normal boundaries because this guy seems adores you!
‘Are you hearing me so far?’
Stage 2: ‘The Devalue Stage?’ The narcissist has begun to critique different parts of your life. His criticisms have begun to diminish your confidence, your self-esteem, your sense of you. You may not understand while experiencing this, but when you are out the other side, it is perfectly clear what their strategy was – to erode your confidence and have you succumb to their demands. This is the beginning of his control over you. If you are not married to him at 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. He makes life uncomfortable when you two are out with your friends, to the point he is so rude, the only way to keep the peace with him is to not socialize with your friends anymore. Your 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 begins criticizing your personal appearance. It could be your hairstyle, your makeup or clothes, whatever he doesn’t like he will insist you modify, 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?
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 them of lying or being dishonest, be prepared for the onslaught of anger he will deliver. IF you are not married at this stage, get your Nike runners on and run, run, run, away from this Narcissist as quickly as you possibly can.
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.
Get out before the 3rd stage if you can. Walk away with your head held high and cut off all contact.
Stage 3: The Discard Stage. Life will get better I promise you. This phase is the end of the relationship. This is where they have ended your relationship or marriage so swiftly you haven’t been able to catch your breath to work out what went wrong, and what actually happened? What has happened, is very clear. The Narcissist has acquired from you and the relationship what they needed and its time to move to their next victim. You probably have been discarded like a used newspaper and replaced with a newer model that continues to feed his ego.
Stage 4: Recovery from your Narcissistic Relationship. You can feel your life is improving now that the Narcissist is out of your life. Life feels calmer, even-keeled and, less stressful. If you’re on the other side of a relationship with a narcissist, I hope you start looking after you, as I’m sure all your energy before was to support your ex, but now it’s all about you!
Much of what’s been fed to us over the years – certain words and beliefs from our partners – often remain with us. It’s important to begin nurturing yourself and understanding that you are complete and worthy exactly as you are.
As Rumi said: ‘The Universe is not outside you. Look inside yourself. Everything you want, you already are.’