Cycle of a Narcissistic Relationship

cycle of a Narcissistic relationship

In 1979 Lenore E. Walker developed what’s referred to as “the cycle of abuse.” In this cycle, there are 4 main stages: 1. Tension building; 2. Incident; 3. Reconciliation; and 4. Calm. This cycle is the standard go-to for understanding (and treating) abuse.  And while it can be really helpful for some people, I found it to be a little confusing for my situation, as my relationship didn’t run this course, and there were added elements in my relationships that weren’t found in this cycle.

Cycle of Abuse

 

 

Somewhere along the way I came across a lesser-known cycle of abuse (but I can’t find who came up with it), that puts a spin on the original cycle of abuse.  This “spin” really helped me to understand the patterns of both Narcissistic behavior and Narcissistic abuse, and wow–it’s totally spot on.

The cycle of a Narcissistic Relationship is: Idealize, Devalue, Discard.

cycle of narcissistic abuse

And while this cycle of idealize-devalue-discard is really helpful in understanding Narcissistic abuse, I felt that it would be really beneficial for it to be expanded upon so you can get a clearer picture of each phase.

Here’s my take on a more “fleshed out” picture of  the cycle of what a Narcissistic relationship looks like (complete with an explanation of each phase below):

cycle of narcissistic abuse

 

Idealize Stage 1: (when Narcissist and victim first begin a relationship)

  • Charming (Red Flag of a Narcissist #5)

 

 

Devalue Stage: (either to the victim’s face or behind their back–if this stage is done behind the victim’s back, they may not realize anything is wrong in their relationship until they are discarded.)

  • Walking on eggshells
  • Oftentimes bouts of Narcissistic Rage, which can include one or more types of abuse: verbal, physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial
  • Cheating
  • Parasitic existence (Narcissist begins to “mooch” off of and/or financially drain the victim)
  • Victim begins to question their behavior (Is it them? Is it me? Am I the problem? Am I making too big of a deal of things?)

 

 * Replace:

  • Identifies and lines up next source of Narcissistic supply (generally a new or former partner)
  • Behavior and stories make the current partner suspicious
  • Projection (accusing the current partner of cheating, lying, stealing, or behavior they aren’t doing)

 

(If Discarded by the Narcissist):

  • Generally very sudden, and without warning. “Light switch” like approach to both the relationship and the partner (I love you/you don’t exist)

 

(If Discarded by the Victim):

  • Ideally goes “Gray Rock” if No Contact isn’t possible
  • (If the victim doesn’t realize their partner is a Narcissist, they will most likely continue this cycle until they can’t stand it anymore–at which point they generally go “no contact” or “gray rock.”

Idealize Stage 2: (Happens after the discard stage. The “make up” stage, where the Narcissist tries to “suck” the victim back into the relationship.)

  • Dosing (everything that is found in the stage 1 of idealization, but to a lesser degree–it’s just the needed “dose” to make the hoovering effective (aka suck the victim back in).

 

* Regardless of how (and who) ends the relationship, the following are often experienced:

  • Victim is often replaced within a very short time frame (less than a few weeks), and often in a very humiliating, degrading, and public way.  Oftentimes the Narcissist take down all trace of the relationship with the old partner and quickly replace with the new parter–especially on social media. The pictures and portrayal of their life with the new partner is that of total happiness, which (intentionally) further serves to add hurt, heartache, and humiliation onto the victim
  • Victim is often fearful of the Narcissist after seeing their lack of empathy, regard, and remorse (even if the Narcissist has never had a history of violence or intimidating behavior)
  • Victim often experiences a wide variety of conflicting emotions towards their partner (fear, love, hate, rage, sadness, relief, etc.)
  • Victim often experiences intense emotional pain that can lead to night terrors, anxiety, panic attacks, bouts of unexplainable crying, depression, wanting to isolate, feelings of worthlessness, deeply damaged self-esteem, guilt, suicidal thoughts/feelings (can develop into PTSD)
  • Victim feels misunderstood by friends and family
  • Victims is confused by what happened, and their role in it–often feeling like they must be the problem, as their partner has moved on and seems so happy with someone else
  • Victim has a hard time explaining what was so wrong in the relationship, or why they feel so emotional (especially if they were the one to leave)
  • Friends, family, well-intentioned other people offer unhelpful advice such as “get over it”, or even urge the victim to give the Narcissist another chance, as they aren’t familiar with the dynamic of the relationship, or about the personality disorder, or otherwise view the victim’s relationship as simply a “bad” relationship (which it is so much more than that)
  • Victim suffers from really low self-esteem, shame, embarrassment, and feelings of being “ground down” (especially if there was a long devalue stage done to the victim directly)
  • Victim wants to isolate from others, and feels very alone
  • The Narcissist may attempt to get money from their victim either by draining their accounts, racking up credit card debt, etc.
  • *In more extreme situations the Narcissist may begin projecting/telling the victim that they wished they were dead, had dreams that they were dead, wants to kill them, etc. Oftentimes this talk is very specific (ex. “I had a dream last night that you died in a house fire.”), and should be taken as serious as a death threat–as it potentially is one.

The end of a Narcissistic (or any manipulative or abusive) relationship is often very traumatic. Please know that you are not alone, and that there is help out there. If you are feeling depressed, please seek help immediately as a discussion with your doctor about antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medications might be worth exploring.  Finding a good therapist that is familiar with the different types of abuse can also really help you heal. Many domestic violence centers offer free or low-cost therapy options.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, frustrations, would like to share part of your story, or would like some support, please consider joining my support group on Facebook.   (((hugs))) to you. <3

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 267 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

26 Comments

  1. I am married but separated to a Narcissistic. It has been a horrible 4.5 years. It took him screaming at me that he was going to divorce me and demanding in a rage that I see a therapist for MY “anxiety and depression issues” that shocked me unto acknowledging his verbal and emotional abuse. I did agree to see a therapist to shut him up. She told me GET OUT! So I asked him to leave, for a separation. He left, signing while he packed his stuff. Almost too peacefully. It’s been 3-4 weeks now and I hear NOTHING from him unless I initiate contact regarding bills that need paid etc. I’m sure he has his next supply source. Supposedly he went to a psychiatrist who told him that basically there’s nothing wrong with him yet he didn’t fill out a HIPAA form so I can’t give that doctor any info or anything. I’m not a doctor (I do work in the medical field) and I don’t need an official diagnosis to see and know that he is a covert narcissistic. Thank GOD daily that we have no children. I feel so messed up and alone. I am jumpy all the time. The ice machine noises even scare me sometimes now. Thankfully we had bought a house that we were sharing with my parents and he left the house so I have a place to live and family. NO ONE at our congregation fully grasps how insane and abusive he actually is so I feel very unsupported by people there overall. A few understand. Friends don’t get it and have disappeared. Thankfully coworkers and my boss see it and they are extremely supportive. If not for the handful of people who aren’t blinded by his charm I would be drowning right now. I tried to subscribe to your newsletter but the link doesn’t seem to be working.

  2. Hi Bambi,

    I’m sorry that you are going through so much right now. Unfortunately, with these people, unless you go through it–it’s really hard to explain it. Other people really have a hard time seeing how abusive these people can be. In large part this is because people have this idea of what abuse is, and what an abuser looks like. Most people think an abuser has to be a big man, and he has to look mean. (Like the husband in “Sleeping with the Enemy”.) This is rarely the case. And there are many different forms of abuse, which people don’t realize either. So there are a lot of reasons as to why they don’t understand.

    I would strongly encourage you to find as much support as you can during this time. I will be emailing you an invitation to the support group. I changed the group from “closed” to “secret” and that made all the lins no good–I didn’t realize that was the case ahead of time. Arg.

    Hang in there, and I hope to see you in the support group soon. (I will send the link as soon as I get home.)

  3. Thank you so much!!! I can’t say thank u enough about educating me. For 5 years I have been pining away for my ex.. he is a textbook narc..now I can get angry and go thru the stages of grief and get healed. !! Thank you God for what you do to help us!!

  4. Hi how can you make someone realise they are living in an abusive relationship and their partner is a narcissist thank you

  5. Hello and thank you! I have found so much clarity and relief in all of your work on narcissistic abuse! I too am an Rn and have a lot of experience with mental health patients and also domestic abuse but I find I’m still having trouble believing he is as terrifying sick and dangerous as he is.. Almost like if I believe he is an abuser all of our 13 year on and off again relationship is a lie and I get so upset with myself for letting it happen! I’m slowly trying to safely end things and have a few times for w few weeks but end up going back and miss him. I feel so helpless. Do you have any advice? How can I join your support group? Thank you and God bless!!

  6. Great question. All you can do is to give them a link to a site like mine, or to a support group, and then let go. …They know something is wrong in their relationship, but they aren’t wanting to leave for any number of reasons.

    Here is a video I did where a mother asked a very similar question. …I would encourage you to read the comments on YouTube, as many of them are from victims who have “been there, done that” and they offer a ton of insight as well.

    Here is a link to my support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    Many people who are in abusive relationships will find clarity that they are in a problematic situation once they start reading stories from others.
    Hope that helps.

  7. I just now saw your comment–so I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

    I think oftentimes, especially if we do have training in mental health, we tend to REALLY second guess ourselves and wonder if we are being hypervigilant about seeing problematic behavior in others. I can’t even being to tell you how many therapists I’ve spoken with who have dated men (and women) that have been abusive, and then wonder how it happened to them. Abusive people are often highly manipulative, and suck all kinds of people in regardless of their education, their gender, age, occupation, you name it. I think the following three links will be a good start to help you get untangled from him and from this relationship. (((hugs))) to you. You are not alone in this. <3

    Here is a link to the support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    Here is a link to how to do a safety plan: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/develop-a-safety-plan/

    Here is a link on “empty buckets” that I think will really help: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/

  8. When I was a child, I was subjected to some very serious narcissistic abuse by my mother and sister. I had not spoken to them for years, until my mother got very sick. My sister is attempting to contact me, not because she is concerned for Mom, but because she’s realized that she will be old some day and will need someone to care for her. I will not be that person, but cannot convince her of this. She is contacting other members of my family and talking to them about me, trying to convince them that I should be the one to do this. Are there any strategies I could use in this situation. I love my family and don’t want to lose them over this situation.

  9. You do not need to convince her or anyone else of anything. “No” is a complete sentence. …If you wanted to elaborate for some reason, you could always tell them that it just isn’t possible for you to care for her in the ways that she needs, (which is true) and then leave it at that.

    (((hugs))) to you.

  10. Hi Dana,
    Thank you so much for everything you are doing, I am on the support group and it is helping me so much.
    I wanted to know a bit more about Dosing. It is an interesting concept to me because as I was writing my story of what happened in his most recent discard of me, I was describing his newest hoovering attempts and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something just seemed more “off” than usual- in the past he would write pages and pages in his “love letters” when trying to hoover me, always pleading for forgiveness, pleading me to take him back, using all kinds of nostalgia and youtube videos of songs and things we both found funny to try and get me to “remember the good times and our great connection and never give up on us”; what was different this time was that he was sending the emails, but they were only one or a few sentences long, there was no asking for me back or asking to try again, but “hints” (because I can’t think of a better word) at things e.g. “I love you and the bottom line is I want to be with you, it’s as simple- and as complicated- as that”- I noticed he is trying to get me to think he wants me back but hasn’t actually even said it this time (perhaps decreasing his responsibility?). So as I’m writing this in the story I’m trying to articulate what exactly has happened- it’s like he’s doing the old hoovering thing, but just not putting in anywhere near as much effort- in fact quite little effort at all, the most minimal (no more showing up at my house out of the blue with his guitar to sing me love songs in the front yard, no more excessively expensive bunches of roses, no more poetry about how we’re meant to be together forever and “he’ll do absolutely anything he has to to be with me”). No, this was minimalistic at best and I couldn’t quite articulate it.
    Then I stumbled on this article about the cycle and the word “dosing” which I never knew before now but it makes SO much sense. So now I’m just wanting to know a bit more about it. He has never been this minimalistic before, and the devalue/discards have become the most severe I have ever experienced, enough for me to say “enough” after 4.5 years of waiting and hoping. Since he is becoming worse and has now started “dosing” rather than full on hoovering (or are they different things?) does this mean he will get sick of me now and finally leave me alone? Does dosing mean he is finally bored with me and has someone else? (of course he has) I don’t quite know how to process it because I still like hearing the things he says, I just know with the dosing now that he absolutely doesn’t mean it- it’s like he is just “going through the motions” of what he thinks will get him another ego fix from me with as little effort as possible. In fact one of his last comments to me in the discard was how little energy he has to “deal with me” and how exhausted and unhappy is around me all the time.
    Anything you have to reply would be greatly appreciated and THANK YOU again so much!
    – Newto2016

  11. It sounds like you have a ton of clarity as to your situation–and what to do about it, so yay you! 🙂

    Hoovering and dosing often go hand-in-hand. Hoovering is when a manipulative people circles around to former sources of “supply” with the intention of getting them to reopen communication. Dosing is a lot like “love bombing” but in a much smaller “dose.” (Just like what you described.)

    You mention that it’s hard to let him go, because what he says feels so good. I get that. …I think all of us who have been through this type of relationship get that. This is why people tend to go back. One of the best ways I’ve found to help break the cycle, is to turn inward, and identify which “empty bucket” this relationship is filling for you. (Here is a link to the video if you aren’t sure of what I’m talking about: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/) Once you can identify the need he is filling, you can then start to fill it for yourself. For example, if you are staying with him because he makes you feel loved and important, then find some ways for you to make yourself feel that way–like volunteering, doing something nice for others, spending time with kids or animals, joining http://www.meetup.com and spending time making new friends and doing things that you enjoy.

    Learning to fill your own empty buckets is why there is so much truth to the saying, “The fastest way over someone, is to find someone new.” Now don’t get me wrong–dating someone right now is not the solution, the filling of the empty buckets in a healthy way is the solution (friends, doing things you like, etc.)

    I hope that helps, and I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life. <3

  12. Thank you so much for your reply Dana, the empty buckets is something I will definitely work on, it was in fact one of the first videos of yours I watched several weeks ago and is really important.
    I wanted to know more like if he has progressed (or down graded me to) dosing, does it mean it is coming to an end? Is he using it to manage down expectations and “wean” off me? Or do narcs tend to come back in full force even after dosing? Basically, is this dosing a signal that I am being downgraded from his primary source of supply? (I have gone no contact for the 3rd week now and have seen his new sources on facebook)- is there a way to tell that he will go away for good?

  13. There’s no way to really tell what’s going on with him–and the only way to tell if he goes away for good is to give things time and see if he actually stays gone. (Oftentimes they don’t–which this is called “hoovering”, which is why it can be very healing and helpful to block them across the board and set up their emails to go directly to spam, as well as to set up a new Facebook account and not add anyone who knows them so you aren’t bothered by them if they do try to contact you.) All you can do is to set your boundary and be firm with it. You don’t need to tell a person ten times that you no longer want to talk to them–telling them once is enough.

  14. Thank you foryour article.
    I have a narcissist husband, I’m just beginning to learn the to understand that the problem really isn’t me .
    My husband’s behavior is exactly as your article described.
    I always feel every emotion that is described as well ….shame, self doubt, isolated, and it all.
    It does help knowing I’m not alone in this, but it hurt me deeply that any other person has to endure the narcissist. Not a pleasant existence at times. As I write this, I’ve been given the silent treatment for the last 3 days. His behavior is beyond childish , I get so impatient with his moods, he acts like a spoiled child throwing a fit who doesn’t get the way they want.
    Again, thank you.

  15. I’m glad that my videos and blog have been able to give you some of the clarity that you were needing. …If you haven’t already joined the support group, I highly recommend it: Support Group (((BIG HUGS))) to you. <3

  16. The content on your webpage is very informative and helps me a lot. I am trying since 6 years now to move on from this on and off relationship with this man (or should I say boy since he keeps acting like his a teen looking for love). It’s really hard to stay consistent with no contact. I am usually the one who keeps running back at him without him asking or sometimes he baits me with a general social media message/marketing thingy. And I would stupidly ask how he’s been doing and next thing I know, I’m sucked in another of his whirlwind fake romance and instant discard. I was confused a bit regarding the fact that a lot of people who have encountered this type of relationship mention that they try to come back at them. Mine, usually doesn’t do much at me directly but only gives the silent treatment and disappears from my life. and it is pppainful as hell when someone does that without explanation… At this point researching his behavior made me realise that I have to absolutly stay away from him. It’s harder though, when you don’t have much support arround you. Most of my friends or fam just tell me to move on and stop whinning about it…. But I must say that whenever I feel the urge to go back your article helps me stay focus and revisit the points so I stay away. Thanks!

  17. I’m so glad that my site is helping–I know how validating it is hearing the stories of other people, and realizing that you aren’t alone and that you aren’t crazy! …If you get a chance, you might want to check out the support group: Support Group I hope to “see” you there! 🙂

  18. Hi, I have really enjoyed reading through your site! I believe my ex boyfriend was a covert narcissist for sure. He started off charming and then the insults and subtle put downs would happen. But I stayed ans we broke up back and June and then he came back a couple months later…I gave him another chance because I thought he changed and seemed remorseful. I see now that he just wanted to entangle me back in to the web. The second time around (August-January 2016) was a lot worse. The verbal abuse became stronger, the put downs were more constant. He would throw my hands to the side when I would be in front of him, trying to get him to calmly talk to me.
    An incident occurred in December with my parents and him. He was so disrespectful to them and that in turn caused them to react. I was trying to keep the peace and he was about to call the police. So I took his phone and he shoved me to the ground. He didn’t ask if I was OK or anything. He then denied it and has until this day, saying I let go of his arm. He even told the officer that when the cops did show up. It became a he said/she said situation. When I attempted to put it on record, the officer told me that I took his phone and that was a higher felony than him pushing me. I was shocked and astounded. No man should ever hit a woman at all, ever.
    We met at a church group and I have seen him a few times already at the church and it has been devastating for me. I end up bawling my eyes out, while even some of my friends tell me to remain strong and stand up to it.
    I feel it hinders me. He has told people in the church that I am a liar and I have been lying. Smear campaigns. It is so heart-wrenching. There were times he had remorse…but I see it was only to keep me around and satisfy his own ego.
    I am struggling and reached out to the Pastor of the church and let him know what has happened. The church can over-look abuse sometimes though.
    What do you recommend targets do when they see their narcissistic ex? I ignore him and keep walking but the fact that he shows nothing, not even an ounce of anything hurts me more.
    I blocked his number, Facebook and other social media accounts. He has not tried to contact me, we broke up in January. I’m not sure if he will or what he’s capable of and that does worry me.
    Thank you for your site and tools to help others. God Bless you!

  19. I really hope you would help me gain some clarity about my very confusing relationship with this guy that i have been dating for about 6 months. Before i started dating this guy i was very content with myself and wasn’t even looking for a relationship (i’m 24 years old and this was my first romantic relationship)

    so into the story:
    I met this guy first on facebook and then we met at a party. Right away before he even met me he wasted to be my boyfriend (red flag?) anyway we started hanging out ever since with my mother’s approval (I come from a very strict cultural background) and he seemed like the opposite of the typical narcissist and he was really soft spoken and caring and cute. so after like a month into this i started developing major feelings for this guy.

    then things started going a bit downhill for us. He quit his job because the office shifted to a far place and it was too tiring for him ( he doesn’t seem to take his job seriously. He had to quit several jobs due to being late/ absent frequently!) he hated going to work. By this time he was feeling very low and seemed distant.

    Here comes the real problem: one day he called me up and said he want to be alone for some time because he just can’t focus with all his life problems (he’s not on good terms with his parents, especially his father. he said they don’t get along well)

    On top of that he told me about a girl that he was madly in love with since 8th grade! and when he finally asked her out in 10th grade her mother didn’t let them date since their (his and this girl’s) horoscopes didn’t match! And this girl is also a heart patient. but they secretly kept in touch via the phone. then after he left for college they didn’t keep in touch for some weird reason (they had a lot of arguments)

    So this girl somehow got to know about my relationship with him and she flipped out. so she called him and cries and asked why did he leave her! he panicked because shez a heart patient and said that i was just a friend. Then she asked for my number he refused saying “don’t bother her she’s just a friend” but she didn’t believe him (obviously) and blocks his number. I told him so what it’s not you’re fault she didn’t keep in touch with you all these years. she acted like she’s not interested in him right? but then he told me that he can’t help feeling guilty because even though she scold him she love him a lot deep inside! and because now he started a relationship with me she’s feeling angry. I asked him why the hell did you date me if ur so in love with her? he said that he thought he’ll be able to forget her by being with me but he failed at it. He apologized for messing with my heart and told me he better forget him, since he can’t be with be while having someone else in his heart.

    So we broke up. but he kept messaging me now and then wanting to know how im doing. I told him to stop acting like the good guy. then after three months he calls me up and said he broke up with me because he wanted a break and that girl messed with his mind. I think he wants to get back together with me. Im almost sure he’s a covert narcissist. what should i do?? can i trust him again?

  20. Hi Dana,

    I wish I could write you a full essay on my 2.5 years with a Borderline/Covert Narcissist woman and the hell she put me through. But your website really helped me put some explanation on what I was going through at the time and I thank you for it deeply, and I share it with others now that I know the signs to watch our for (In Women and Men!).

    Another big help is this article which is helping me to understand why I am finding it so hard to let go and truly move on. khttp://www.nicolamethodforhighconflict.com/ex-girlfriend-bpd-good-times/

    I read another post about the last stage of the Narcissist abuse cycle, informally called STover (https://relationshipedia.me/2015/06/23/how-to-permanently-detach-from-a-narcissist/). I like this as it describes the stage where you truly and finally accept in your heart and soul the reality that your abuser will never ever change, not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to.

    I’m not quite there yet.. it’s not even a full year yet…but I long for the day when I am! Thanks for all you do Dana!

    Hadrian,

    Dublin

    Ireland

  21. I’m glad I can help–and I’m even more glad to hear that you are moving forward into healing. Yay you. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing the article–I think a lot of people will really benefit from it!
    (((HUGS)))

  22. I have recently told my malignant narcissistic boyfriend to get out because I caught him in so many lies. He left without a fight…no contact what so ever has been made between him and I. Can you please enlighten me on the next steps of what he’s going to do?

  23. This site has been such a comfort after the last 2 years of hell I’ve been through. I could not understand at all what had just happened to me and reading these article, specifically this cycle, is like watching my life as though it was a bad movie. My now ex remarried 20 DAYS after I had him removed from the house. To an ex girlfriend he had spent years consistently generating a smear campaign against while still talking to her and using her!! I let it slip a few months ago that he was talking to her and the reactions on their faces of “WHAT?!?” were disturbing to me. Once his “mask” slipped I allowed him to stay living with me, but I began collecting evidence because we had a child together. The smear campaign he leveled against me to the ex (oh Triangulation!!) was horrifying. He would tell me things about women I’d catch him spending time with and then say the SAME things about me to them! And they were lapping it up! He had THREE of us believing the others were sad disgusting leeches, taking everything from him and ruining his life. His family knew a lot about what he had been doing for years, but the depth was lost on them until I collected everything, filed it in court, and got an RO. He is also a drug addict and while he drained all my savings and racked up my credit cards, his addicted just took total control over his life (and mine to be honest). The abuse I endured for weeks afterward I kicked him out is something I can’t quite describe. I had to get an order that he couldn’t even contact me. Of course he discarded our daughter the minute he discarded me. It’s all just too much. I’m lucky I have a good therapist, good support, and that even his family is there for me to help me with our daughter. I never knew people like him existed and now his wife of 3 months is even covertly trying to contact me because she stupidly took him back knowing he was with me! She’s miserable and he’s taken everything from her already – pawned it or sold it. They are homeless and have been for over a month. She knew, she took him back, I blocked her because I’m not going to allow myself to be triangulated by her because that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Thank you so much for having this site and it’s been so helpful!

  24. Dana,
    I’ve discovered your site today…and thank you! I’m in the process of divorcing my husband, and through the course of therapy, was informed that he is a narcissist. Further reading and I’ve figured out that he’s a Covert Narcissist, which explains so much, especially since I’m having a tough time explaining it to my family, and everyone is so shocked that we’re splitting.
    We have a 5-yr old son together, and I’m concerned about him when he’s at his father’s apartment. My son tells me that his dad won’t let me see him or talk to him when he’s at his place, and my son is very ofter verbalizing this to me.
    Also, my family doesn’t seem to be able to understand, or maybe it’s my inability to communicate to them what I was/am dealing with. I’ve told them I don’t want them to have any contact with my ex, but they don’t understand why, and they continue to do so.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to explain narcissism so that I don’t feel like the crazy person here?

  25. I am an NPD survivor, barely, 3 years out and still have the side effects. Now my daughter is dating an NPD man. Which is very painful as I believe I was a part of the model for this acceptance behavior. I’ve given her a couple of readings and told her that I believe that he’s on the NPD scale. In one of the questions above you noted that you’d send a link to a site to address this situation but the link didn’t come thru or not there. Would love some help!

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