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The Real Narcissistic Abuse Cycle: Why You Can’t Go No Contact

When we are in relationships with narcissists, we are constantly trying to figure out how to change course. Anything other than go no contact.

For example, if we could just explain to the narcissist how his or her behavior is hurting us, then perhaps they would stop. 

Things never align. We never reach the elusive place where they are fulfilling our psychological relationship needs in a way that each member of a normal couple does for one another. Instead, we find ourselves becoming weaker and more exhausted trying to do things that are beyond the bounds of what we should be expected to give.

It’s a merry-go-round we either ride until we’re sick or that we finally stumble off of when we realize it will never stop on its own.

Understanding why these are the only two options is the secret to saving ourselves.

 


 

Why Going No Contact is So Hard

The idealize-devalue-discard model for explaining narcissistic abuse is valuable for understanding the three different primary ways that the narcissist treats us throughout the relationship.

First, we are put on a pedestal and viewed as the love of the narcissist’s life. Then, we are denigrated as if worthless and subjected to some of the cruelest treatment we have ever endured. Finally, we are thrown away and ignored as if we never existed. The cycle repeats.

But why do these three stages occur? Why would anyone idealize then devalue that same person and then why would the person who is idealized and then devalued and discarded not exit the cycle immediately?

This is the trap we can get caught in.  A deeper understanding of the dynamics of the relationship based on the narcissist’s disordered view and subsequent actions which then result in the partner’s reactions helps to show:

  1. How the narcissist guides the relationship toward dysfunction, and
  2. That the partner cannot do anything that results in a different outcome because everything that the partner does is filtered back through the narcissist’s dysfunctional lens.

As a result, the partner slowly becomes dysfunctional as well in order to exist within the confines of the relationship. Healing and a restoration to healthy ways of interacting in the world can only be possible when the relationship ends.

Yet, while in the relationship, it can feel impossible to break away and go no contact.

What would an expanded cycle of narcissistic abuse look like?  Something like this:

expandedcycle2

 

The Expanded Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse

Stage 1. The Narcissist Love-Bombs the Partner

This is the first stage in the cycle in any relationship with a narcissist, previously noted as the idealization stage. As the narcissist idealizes the partner, both experience an emotional high that chemically simulates cocaine when certain neurotransmitters are released in the brain.

The narcissist puts the target on a pedestal and, when doing so, begins to mirror both the physical actions and personal likes and dislikes of the partner. The narcissist creates an emotional “safe space” of utter acceptance that induces positive feelings of love, trust, and vulnerability.

It is a reflection of all that the partner wants to hear and see, based upon what the narcissist has learned of the partner’s identity and background. There is fast “familiarity” and “future-orientation” in the relationship, accompanied by grandiose statements about destiny or a once-in-a-lifetime connection.

For narcissists, this time of idealization is what they crave most, as it is when they receive the purest form of their own idealized view of themselves reflected back to them from their new partners. The more perfectly they reflect back what the partner wants to see, the better the narcissistic supply they will receive.

This is the stage that draws us into the cycle in the first place, thus, in the graphic, it is the entry point. It also establishes itself as set apart from all of the other stages, as once the partner is hooked into the cycle through this stage, it will fade away and only glimpses of that side of the narcissist will ever be seen again.

Stage 2. The Partner Inevitably “Disappoints” the Narcissist

The idealization stage may last weeks, months or even a year or longer, but it cannot be maintained because it is built on illusions about who the narcissist truly is, and because it is not supported by the principles that must comprise a healthy relationship, such as mutual trust, honesty, and commitment. The narcissist has manufactured a false persona that doesn’t truly exist.

There are many things that can begin to alter the way the narcissist interacts with the partner:

  • The narcissist becomes bored with the relationship or partner as the problems of the real world start to interfere. For example, the partner comes to him or her with real world problems and the narcissist doesn’t want to deal with those. When the real world pierces through the idealized one, the narcissist starts to feel life sliding into mediocrity. He or she can no longer keep the emptiness and sense of worthlessness at bay and, in addition, becomes irritated that he or she has to focus on someone else or someone else’s problems.
  • The narcissist is keeping secret lives and it’s starting to cause a strain on the relationship in one way or another. Narcissists have a sense of entitlement about having two sets of rules about their extracurricular activities, such as lying and cheating, but this can result in two things. First, the narcissist never truly trusts his or her partner because he or she projects all of the secret behavior onto the partner. As a result, the narcissist tries to control him or her, causing unnecessary strain on the relationship. Second, the partner’s intuition may tell him or her that something is off, and the narcissist may begin to gaslight him or her. Either of these things may lead the narcissist to become irritated with the partner, despite the narcissist being the one to engage in the betrayals.
  • The narcissist starts to see flaws in the partner. These flaws can range from choosing a night out with friends or engaging in hobbies to saying no, to not letting go of asking questions about suspicious behavior, to merely holding a different opinion. When the partner does not make the narcissist the center of attention, the narcissist feels offended.
  • The narcissist begins to feel threatened by the partner’s autonomy. Narcissists like to know what the partners are doing at all times. They don’t like to be “outshined,” even if they also look good by association. Furthermore, they can be threatened by a partner’s independence or by a partner knowing more about a subject or having more of something than the narcissist does.  This might mean that the partner will abandon or reject the narcissist, and narcissists need to feel in control at all times.

What’s interesting is that narcissists do not see any of these things as problematic because of their own perceptions or as a result of their own actions. To them, these things are all problematic because the partner will not do or stop doing something.

The issue, for the narcissist, is that the partner is “disappointing” the narcissist by not living up to his or her generally excessive and inappropriate expectations and so the narcissist feels resentful and unappreciated:

“Look at all this effort I put in to give her everything she wanted. This is the thanks I get. She doesn’t even know how lucky she is.”

Stage 3.  Narcissistic Injury Occurs.

The narcissist feels disrespected and slighted by the partner’s lack of acknowledgment of the surface-level actions he or she shows– the kind words, the trips, the sex, the gifts, the promises. What the partner has been providing all along is no longer good enough because the narcissist demands that the real world stay suspended forever and the partner forever keep him or her at the center (while he or she does whatever they want in secret).

This is where we usually hear phrases such as:

“Nothing I do is ever good enough for you.”

“If you loved me, you’d do [x].”

“All you want to do is argue.”

“I don’t have to tell you anything.”

“You always have to bring up [x] and ruin everything.”

“You’d better call me back in five minutes or it’s over.”

Meanwhile, the partner is completely baffled about what is happening. Where is the person they fell in love with?  Why is the narcissist so angry?  Statements like these from the narcissist come from a place of entitlement and trying to maintain control.

Stage 4. The Narcissist Devalues the Partner.

At this point is when the verbal abuse begins. The narcissist might start to denigrate the partner for the “disappointments,” for not meeting his or her high expectations. They usually verbally abuse and humiliate the partner, even on qualities they once praised.

The narcissist is reminded or his or her own fears and insecurities when partners do not conform to expectations or cannot be controlled. This incites narcissistic rage and so they lash out at the partner in revenge.

They feel wounded by what they perceive as the partner not “playing along” and seek to take back what the things they gave when morphing into the “perfect partner,” so try to tear down the very ways in which they built the partner up.

Narcissists suffer from something called “object constancy.” If you’re not with them, you’re against them. If you have caused them a narcissistic injury, they see your actions as intentional attempts to disrespect them. Once you are placed into the “bad” category, you are viewed as the enemy.

Their devaluations of you are viewed as justified and, because they also have low empathy, there are almost no limits to what they are willing to do to hurt you. They will employ the “nuclear option” to destroy you and discredit whatever it was you did that caused them the narcissistic injury.

Stage 5. The Partner Confronts the Narcissist Over Being Devalued.

The partner will be crushed but also completely baffled by what is now taking place for several reasons.

First, the extreme devaluation by the narcissist will be at complete odds with the soulmate persona that was portrayed at the beginning of the relationship.

Second, the partner will be blindsided by it. It will seem illogical, and the partner will not be able to figure out what caused such an extreme reaction.

Finally, once the narcissist cools off, he or she may pretend as if the incident of devaluation never happened or was no big deal.  The narcissist may have diffused the narcissistic injury through the harmful abusive behavior or engaging in other behavior in secret, and now that the damage is under control, there is no motivation to act.  The balance has been restored for the narcissist and everything feels normal again– to the narcissist.

To the partner, however, nothing feels normal. Hurt and confused, he or she confronts the narcissist to get an explanation that will make this behavior make sense.

Stage 6. The Narcissist’s Defense Mechanisms Kick In.

This is where the narcissist will begin to engage in a variety of verbal tactics to deflect, project, gaslight, blameshift, and even stonewall.

You’re too sensitive.

That’s not what I said. You heard me wrong.

Well, what about that time you said [something unrelated]? 

I have been really stressed out. I’m sorry– it won’t happen again.

Can’t we leave this in the past? I told you I’d never do it again. If you can’t stop talking about it, I’m leaving.

This is all part of the word salad that narcissists use in circular conversations that minimize partner’s pain, avoid taking responsibility and keep their abuse and the real nature of the relationship hidden.

What narcissists cannot accept is that they are wrong or and even to hear that they have harmed their partners is to feel criticized by them. It sparks feelings of weakness and shame to hear from them that they have done something that is less than perfect and are the source of why partners now are not providing them with the narcissistic supply they crave.

Stage 7. The Partner Tries to Hold the Relationship Together While Maintaining His or Her Self-Respect and Autonomy.

The path that the relationship has taken to this point defies logic, and so as the narcissist offers excuses and explanations, at this point, the partner will likely accept them to resolve cognitive dissonance. Otherwise, we have to accept that there is something wrong with the person with whom we have been interacting.

There are two possible choices based on what we have experienced in the relationship:

  • The person we are with is disordered, as evidenced by the things about our actions that seem to upset him or her, and the fact that he or she can seem to switch love on and off like a light switch and willingly inflict devastating destruction on us.  OR
  • There is a misunderstanding and the excuses that come out of the narcissist’s mouth are genuine; if we can just do the right things, all of the “bad times” will stop and things can be as they were in the beginning.

This is the stage where partners begin to unknowingly be drawn into and buy into the narcissist’s distorted reality. Once reaching this stage, partners begin to lose touch with their own intuition and judgment.

Stages #2-7 form a mini-cycle within this larger cycle. Within this mini-cycle, the narcissist becomes completely disillusioned with the partner as the partner continues to “disappoint” the narcissist with normal human behavior. Meanwhile, the partner becomes baffled about what happened to the wonderful person they met at the beginning of the relationship. 

This mini-cycle may repeat for some time until the narcissist’s cruelty progresses.

Stage 8. The Narcissist Gives a Silent Treatment or Discards the Partner

At this point, the partner has generally become very traumatized by the emotional and psychological abuse perpetrated by the narcissist.  Without realizing it, he or she has been slowly pulled into the narcissist’s reality, which is extremely volatile and unhealthy for the partner and his or her “fight or flight” mode may now be triggered.

Some of the ways it may manifest itself are withdrawing emotionally out of fear of having to walk on eggshells (flight); anxiety over the consistent feeling that something is off so asking questions when something doesn’t add up to avoid being hurt again by another betrayal (fight); feeling so hurt and broken-hearted over what has happened, that depression sets in (flight); reacting or trying to stand up for oneself when provoked by further devaluation (fight).

The narcissist is disgusted with the partner’s behavior, whether it comes from the “fight” mode or the “flight” mode. To the narcissist, the partner is either combative, abusive and jealous, or crazy and never satisfied, or is self-absorbed and inattentive.

The narcissist views the partner as the cause of the issues because he or she lacks the insight to understand and accept how his or her perceptions of the partner’s normal human reactions have resulted in this pattern, and also how his or her reactions to it are unacceptable.

To avoid having to confront the totality of what he or she has done, the narcissist will give a silent treatment or even discard the partner and disappear at this stage for days or weeks at a time– or even longer.

Stage 9. The Partner Suffers Crippling Pain, Doubt, and Confusion

The entire relationship to this point has been held in place by the dominance and control of the narcissist through hundreds or thousands of instances of emotional and psychological (and sometimes physical or sexual) abuse.

The emotional and psychological abuse tactics are important because it is these tactics that were invisible and that eroded the partner’s sense of self. The partner has at least partially adopted the narcissist’s points of view, which range from:

  • the partner is too sensitive
  • the partner has caused or magnified the issues in this relationship
  • the relationship is special and it provides benefits to the partner that he or she doesn’t want to lose, such as the connection that the narcissist established with him or her at the beginning of the relationship

In contrast, the harmful ideas that have been downplayed, ignored and hidden through the emotional and psychological abuse are:

  • the narcissist’s view of the partner is fluctuating between extremes (which is not normal) and the fluctuation itself does not represent love but control
  • the narcissist is trying to suppress and deny the partner’s lived experience of the relationship as painful and confusing
  • the partner has been enduring and then reacting to the narcissist from a position of extreme volatility and abuse

During the silent treatments, the partner will suffer tremendously as his or her reality has been warped through the manipulation of events– the narcissist putting on a show of being a loving person with surface-level actions and promises but without the commitment and support underlying such a relationship. Further, the narcissist does not take responsibility for the harmful behaviors that undermine the soulmate facade that he or she has conveyed.

The partner will likely feel panicked that the narcissist is gone, after having taken on the view of the narcissist, which has instilled doubt in his or her own intuition and judgment. He or she will likely miss the narcissist and wish for another chance to try to “get things right” so that everything will only go back to the way it once was, the way it was during Stage #1. 

The partner may be hurt by what the narcissist has done and may believe there is still some way to reconcile the narcissist’s hurtful actions with the dream that the narcissist has fed him or her if only he or she would stop talking about them– as if talking about them is the problem, and not the fact that the narcissist acted hurtfully.

Stage 10.  The Narcissist Hoovers.

The partner is extremely vulnerable to being drawn back into the relationship. Even if the partner doesn’t reach out to the narcissist, whether for answers or any other reason, the narcissist will likely reach out to the partner in hoovering attempts.

The narcissist hoovers once he or she feels that the partner is conciliatory enough in some way to accept that it is the narcissist who is the true victim or that the narcissist will not have to work very hard to gain back control over the partner.

The partner will “forgive” the narcissist and stop asking questions or look the other way. The partner will apologize for being too “needy” or “jealous” or for lashing out in response to being repeatedly devalued or baited (the narcissist’s context of abusive control is conveniently ignored).

The narcissist may apologize too and promise change in an attempt to hoover if necessary, but the acknowledgment of the wrongs done will lack insight and any explanations and excuses will be shallow and unsatisfying. The narcissist will not be able to offer explanations for what they have done that make sense. They will promise not to do it again (whatever it is), but nothing changes.

On the surface, things may be good again for the moment, but underneath, the foundation is still rotten. All the partner wants is for the confusion and pain to stop, and so it does– for a price.

Stage 11. The Relationship is Restored But the Partner is Conditioned to Expect Abusive Treatment.

The purpose of the silent treatment and discarding is to teach the partner a lesson:  if you behave this way (“if you don’t do as I want you to do”), I will shut you out of my life. Furthermore, the narcissist will often try to crush the partner in the most devastating way possible as they do it.

The things that happen that get partners shut out of the narcissist’s life, however, are normal human behaviors and expectations within relationships.  Those actions may include the freedom to engage in self-autonomic behaviors such as enjoying evenings with friends without being monitored or speaking up and reacting to abusive comments or behaviors in kind after months or years of being subjected to an abusive environment.

The expectations may include being heard and validated when one has been violated and betrayed– or to not be violated in the first place.

The narcissist views the partner’s actions as problematic simply because they inconvenience or illicit negative feelings in the narcissist and the narcissist does not put himself or herself in the shoes of the partner to see, first, how those actions and expectations are reasonable, and second, how someone having reasonable expectations is not an affront to another person– that two people co-existing is not a zero-sum game.

And so the cycle continues and Stage #2 starts again. The partner gives up more and more rent in his or her head while the narcissist behaves more and more erratically, getting away with more and more.

The longer a partner stays, the more emotional trauma is inflicted, and the harder it can be to get away as the identity erosion occurs, learned helplessness sets in, and the partner forms a trauma bond with the narcissist or develops Stockholm Syndrome.

Stage 12. The Partner Goes No-Contact with the Narcissist.

At some point, the partner must make a decision to go no-contact with the narcissist in order for the relationship to ever truly come to an end.

This happens when the partner recognizes the abusive pattern for what it is and understands the cycle in which he or she is caught up. No-contact is something that must be initiated psychologically by the partner, regardless of the status of physical contact between the two.

It means that the partner recognizes the true harmful nature of the relationship and that the narcissist will never change.

The partner makes the intentional choice to cut the narcissist from his or her life forever, and block all methods of contact.

The End of the Relationship and Going No Contact

If you decide to do everything the narcissist wants and subsume your identity and well-being for that of the relationship and the narcissist, would that create a happily-ever-after?

Here are some reasons why it would not.

  • Everything you do might be interpreted as a threat even unintentionally and there’s no way to predict or prepare for what might set off a narcissist.
  • Nothing you do will ever be quite good enough; the goalposts move dependent on the narcissist’s moods and whims. In addition, if they are feeling fragile because of something someone else did, they may take it out on you and suddenly, what you’re doing isn’t even satisfactory anymore.
  • They always suspect you of being unfaithful and doing whatever they are doing. You’ll be constantly caught up in it, anxiously either trying to confine your life so that they aren’t suspicious or convince them they are wrong. Yet you’ll never be able to prove to their satisfaction that you aren’t doing the things they accuse you of.
  • It’s hard to stay open and loving to someone who intermittently hurts you and blatantly cheats on you or is cruel to you in other ways. Your withdrawal, depression, anxiety, learned helplessness or other results of trauma are all offensive to narcissists because they remove your focus from them. They will view you as self-absorbed and selfish when your attention is not solely focused on them, and are unempathetic to your emotional needs for any extended period of time.

In other words, there is no pleasing a narcissist.

Stages #2-11 keep us confused about the outcome for as long as possible using Stage #1 as the elusive future that never arrives.

At some point, when it becomes more painful to be in the relationship than to leave it, we come to the devastating realization that the only way to break the cycle is to exit it by moving to Stage #12, go no contact, and beginning the road to recovery.

 

Assistance with Recovering from a Breakup with a Narcissist

I’m always on the lookout for new and high-quality resources for survivors. Are you struggling with how to leave your narcissist partner?  This course on the five steps you can take to exit can help. Are you having trouble recovering from the relationship even after it’s over? Try enrolling in this Webinar on getting started with your recovery so you can start to get off the emotional roller coaster or this one on using EFT Tapping to break the addiction to the narcissist. Lovefraud webinars on relationship abuse are presented by experts but also from the perspective of experience. Almost every instructor learned about the behavior of sociopaths in relationships the hard way. They’re affordable and offer practical information you can start using immediately. If you decide to try one, send me an email and let me know how it went!

 

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Kristen Milstead

Kristen Milstead is a narcissistic abuse survivor who has become a strong advocate for finding your unique voice and using it to help others find theirs.

23 Comments

  1. I have rarely seen anyone talk about this, but the cycle that I experienced went full circle within a matter of months, or sometimes even days or hours. I think that is one reason I stuck around for such a long time. If my partner had gotten to the discard stage and stayed there, I think I could have left. However, the constant cycling back around to the love-bombing, buy-back, “I’m so sorry–I’m a new person” stage, combined with societal expectations that marriage is “for life” no matter what, kept me tied to the cycle. I was only able to get free when I came to the realization that every resource I had, emotionally and physically, had been used up, and I felt like it was a “get out or die” situation. Even now, though I have recovered somewhat emotionally, I’m still fighting physical ramifications and am still dealing with problems closing up our finances and cutting the last ties. Hoovering is in full swing right now, so I appreciated your article on that. It’s good to keep reading so that I continue to recognize it for what it is. And hopefully, very soon, be free.

  2. Absolutely true Michelle!!! I understand 100%.
    I still struggle with the reality that the relationship wasn’t real. It was for me but not her. I am slowly recovering. I was an awesome husband to my narc but she really didn’t appreciate me, anyone or anything. “Empty SOULESS human being” is so true!!!

  3. I am married to a textbook narcissist, have been for 6 yrs. I left him, leaving him almost everything I worked hard to acquire as I was a widow and single parent for 23 years, what things I did take he guilted me that he needed. I went no contact, filed for divorce Aug 26, had to make contact to update him on the Divorce court date Nov 13th. The problem is after making contact he did start hoovering and I am constantly going back “home” and having sex at least 4 days out of the week, I bring him food, bought him new pots and pans, his favorite desserts, I’m 57 and moved back with my mom, I had lost my job and was being devalued, ignored. Silent treatment, and ” cut off” sexually. I now know that I am just his sexual supply, but he has always satisfied me, the only man in my life that has and we are still getting divorced, but I can”t give up sex with him. We don’t discuss anything, he or I text, I go over to ” his” house, he has coffee ready for me, we make small talk, we watch a little TV we turn out the lights. Sometimes we just go straight to sleep and I can sleep, whereas like now I’ve not been able to sleep for 3 nights. Just waiting for a text. I don”t want to be his wife, I know my days are numbered, as far our sexual encounters, he’s 60. I would be comfortable in this arrangement for as long as it lasts, he knows if he crosses me, I’ll just go no contact again and move on…..any thoughts?? I am an empath, co-dependant, and have borderline personality disorder. Thank you in advance for any input.

  4. I am utterly and completely grateful for coming across this article. This has very recently just happened to me. Each and every step was exact. I felt like I was losing my mind! I’ve started to recover in the last week or so but was still very perplexed as to what the hell happened when he ghosted me! After some time and reflection I realised that he was a control freak! As soon as I mad one very normal yet to absolutely devestating human error! I was totally ghosted! From going to living with each other one day to a complete flip the next! I admitted my mistakes but to him there was no compromise! Everything was my fault, he was rude, abrupt, un empathetic to my feelings and I was absolutely devestated! Three weeks on it’s clear now that this man was never going to change but I fact just got worse. His whereabouts though I never really questioned them were not fitting into place and instead of facing me he choose what I feel is the gutless way out! Though he never saw it that way of course! Thank you so much for this. Closure is a must now an after reading his article I know I wasn’t going completely insane. Sincerely Shaz

  5. i know i love the **** outta thenarrcist iwas with. the fact tha she needed me to go where she is going like she hinks it is fate with her qual narrisctice mannow, well, like //trumo and his whokle cab, it will fall apart amnd fall apart horibly. i am gladf thosu and io can make somethin outa nothin. going t=from the bottom to the top is my hobby. deep inside she a s spirity theya see . it wokred out amazimng. m,y sion almost didntplay football was hating it. i dontgo see him caus ehe does ds o dam qwell with out me ther that he rode rhe bench kast year ansd is going to posble move up i jv, that energy i let her have and i do me let, was robbing him of being a hard *** oonhim about sports., Not liokethe totzal ********* agag butdid get b. i have no idea what this says as i cnt se the word. goonna hit returnand let er rip
    Y

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  6. It’s better to have loved and lost than never try xxx

  7. Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Your articles are amazing! This was my life for the last 27, yes twenty fn seven years. You were one of my main sources of information as I finally started waking up to the nightmare I was living in. I started demanding a slight window of autonomy in my daily routine and all and I mean ALL of his hell broke loose. Tonight is my sixth night in a shelter. No more phony misery-laden suburbia for me. I have four roommates, three women and a toddler in a porta-crib. Beginnings are the hardest. But already I’m so grateful to just not be continually triggered. My youngest child (of four) is almost 16 and I’m staying local until everyone is a little older. This son sent me a sparkling throbbing congratulatory emoji the night I left. Please keep writing your articles, they, along with certain other social media posters gave me the information that is hopefully setting me free. You are changing peoples lives for the better. From my healing heart, Elizabeth

    1. your an inspiration to us all🌹💕😁👍

    2. So sorry girl 27 years damn I just finally left that after 2 years

  8. I met my partner 5 years ago a year after my husband died we connected and we went on holiday a month after meeting which I paid for. He said he loved me was over attentive and to be honest to full on and dumped him. He bombarded me with phone calls text messages and I subsequently blocked him. I was incredibly vulnerable at the time and got in a bad crowd and I was fighting solicitors and legal battles alone due to the 1 million debt my husband left me in. I had two vehicles stolen which the police lost all evidence and was supposedly under policy protection as my late husbands from where sending me death threats and abusing me in the street. I let him back in my life and that’s when the silent treatment discard began I was distraught and grateful every two weeks ! He became my main focus and legally financial battles took a back seat. I am not very street wise and blamed myself for his disappearance. I was not only dealing with his abuse but that of my in-laws and there hate compagne! I was at my lowest and was being bullied and robbed and no one would help or support my legal battles then he just disappeared with the last £900 I had left. I couple of days later my house was robbed and I needed his support as he was all I had no friends or family! But he just disappeared! I started to take speed just to get out of the bed in the morning and function. I can’t right no more just yet as that the most I have ever told anyone . I will try to continue 😞

    1. So sorry I just left mine today after 2 years. Worst emotional pain

      1. Yes it is but for me and you both the healing and the cycle stops now ! I would feel this pain of abandonment worthless useless failure every two weeks only to welcome what I thought was a god back in and subsequently was trauma boding and after 5 years is now ptsd ! The light still shines dimly but still shines xxx

  9. On the mend from abuse

    No contact gets easier as time passes. I have a place of my own and my kids are with me. The day we left it felt like I was running for my life. The first few days were awful. But slowly a life returns. Sleep gets easier, emotions settle. Finding a plan and keeping to the plan worked so well. Kids are now healthy and doing well in school. I only wished I’d left sooner.
    My narracist ex wife has squandered our savings and wants more but I possess what’s most valuable, my kids. Life is good.

    1. Thank you for the uplift at least I know I will be able to find ME again. Thank you

      1. Hi, I was in an abuse for 10+ years. Only thing they never talk about is when it is a family member NOT a partner. He was my baby brother. I am 22 years older than him. (Half brother) I reunited after 20 years not knowing where or how he was. I have a marriage of 28 years and we never were able to have children. I reunited with a very poor person that lived in a 3rd world country. Helping him in every single way possible to a point where he ended up in the USA living with me and my husband. I could write a book like many of you. I realized he was a narcisist when I began to google questions because his reactions were NOT normal. And he is TEXT BOOK! Only thing of course he was a brother NOT a partner. (A brother who allowed me to play the role of mommy and sister and partner) we were “very close / tight” brothers that did EVERYTHING together. From fun. To daily, to financial! Of course financial was ME and my husband picking up the tab on all his WANTS AND ALL HIS TOYS. I believed I was offering him an opportunity of a life time. I was love bombed, I was told I was #1 in his life, I was the most amazing sister in the world. I was always treated EXTRA SPECIAL in front of people. (Later learned there were other stories behind my back) I lost myself to him! Getting up at 4 am to make his breakfast, lunch to take to work. Paying his Bill’s. Buying his clothes. He was my kid, partner, best friend and confidant. BTW I have an amazing husband who accepted this. He hurt me verbally more than anyone could imagine. THE CRUELTY was unbearable and some how since I was so absorbed I would let go yet not forget. Well a new supply came along he wanted to add her into the picture believing I would let her stay with us also. I said no and the fights and problems began. Eventually she won him over. (Btw he is 32) and she convinced him our relationship was wrongful. He moved out with and her family. I suffered a long time because i had lost what I believed was my best friend. We went through bo contact, fights, ge said I was too sensitive he told everyone I was crazy. Stated I was possessive. He NEVER wanted to talk things out. He went silent. HE IS TEXTBOOK! NO it didn’t last he never ever let go 100%. He would contact my husband to know how we were. Bunch of bologna! But because he is my brother I love him. I believe we are family. He married his new supply. Excluded me from everything. What did I learn…. i love the way i am. I am a good helping person. I dont just give what is extra i take from myself to give. That is way too much to give to anyone. NARC OR NOT. I learned to pace my heart and that I do love myself and what I believe. Nobody should take that away. He can say I am crazy, over emotional, dominant bla bla bla… it is just a matter of time until his wife falls in that category. Months, years, decade…but she will ! We are so love bombed and he makes you feel so special you believe it. You later realize that it is all about them. Never was what you believed the relationship was from your point of view what they believed. It is all lies! Too good to be true.
        I have decided that in a silent treatment eternal fight pertrubs me. So I no longer argue, I have no opinion, I am not part of his life decisions or acts. We have a civil hi and conversations of work and very general if not stories of others not in our immediate world. He calls me daily. He doesn’t care he just keeps up the image of she is crazy but I am a good brother to the world. Until you accept that it was all a show on their behalf. Until you accept that you are a good person and he is just trying to discredit you. Until you realize that YES HE MIRRORED you. (Everything he said he would not do with his new supply he did) and all he said he would do he tossed out! Except SHOWING OFF… tattoos, cool cars, motorcycle and financially he really can not afford. NOT MY PROBLEM! but keeping things on a distance with peace with my eyes wide open worked! I hug and kiss him and tell him I love him (and I really do) but nothing he says is truthful. I dont fall into any trick, pay for anything. I help him in very minimal tasks as I would help anyone. But I watch closely my acts with him.
        He taught me that I love myself! I will never lose who I am for NOBODY. You must not get over involved in people’s lives. You must not give what you do not have. They are evil , selfish people with an amazing way of manipulation. You will believe those puppy eyes. And they are Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hide. Time does heal a broken heart. I kept thinking it’s better for me to suffer getting over it than soothing my heart trying to pretend I can make him understand. It WILL NOT HAPPEN.
        Please remember narcisit abuse is not only with a spice, boyfriend, partner nor a mom. Siblings go though this.
        Sadly I have empathy and i cant imagine what he suffers. But I can not help him nor will I continue to be entwined in his web.
        I could go on…. I have incredible stories. Just grateful I am a survivor and I let go peacefully at the end of the day.

  10. Good for u! I finally got the same mindset. I think my detaching from him mentally while we were still together really helped. I know it’s going to be a tough road. A whole new life…..that I really didn’t want….but enough is enough. Seven years too long.

    1. Yes my 2 years feels like 20. Left today after 2 years now on to finding ME again. Thank you

    2. Yes it is but for me and you both the healing and the cycle stops now ! I would feel this pain of abandonment worthless useless failure every two weeks only to welcome what I thought was a god back in and subsequently was trauma boding and after 5 years is now ptsd ! The light still shines dimly but still shines xxx

  11. I continue to go NO CONTACT with the ex female narcissist. As I’m healing from the lies deceit cheating and verbal abuse from this very mental sick person. I will remain in a more healthy environment of life style for myself and prove to others and myself that one day God will put me into a relationship with real love real respect for me and my feelings. If I can go NO CONTSCT then anyone can make it thier minds to do the same. Anne

    1. Ditto kiddo!!! Blessings I’m with you ….Absolutely NO contact whatsoever!!!
      Deleted from life
      Like you never existed ..just like them…
      Like a narcissist thought pattern works…
      Believe me I understand how difficult and life changing it is and will be ….
      BUT …..
      In the long run …..
      Life is about love happiness and self expression…
      Something a narcissist COULD NEVER COMPREHEND….
      So yes…after reading this …..
      I’m still sticking with my instincts and gut
      NO CONTACT is the only type of resolution
      That I can see …
      So far …..
      Remember…..Like they never existed….
      Remember who you were before this Empty SOULESS human being came into your life…
      Blessings to all who understand
      Remember how beautiful you are

      1. That was a wonderful uplift thank you. On my way to healing after 2 years.

      2. Exactly 👌😇

    2. AMEN. thank you

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