For the narcissist everyone is ultimately disposable and expendable. Since the narcissist is incapable of emotional and psychological intimacy, he/she forms “relationships” based on the ultimate need for narcissistic supplies–adulation, praise, power over others, acquisition, veneration, validation of greatness. (This post refers to male and female narcissists).
Each narcissist has his own unique style. Some are boorish, others low key appearing to be humble. The grandiose classic narcissist is highly extroverted, seizes the spotlight at every turn, exceedingly confident, continually singing his own praises at maximum volume.
All narcissists are abusive. They are self absorbed, not tuned into the needs of others, lack empathy and project their volcanic rage– especially on to their family members: spouses, ex-spouses, children, siblings, etc.
There is a cycle of abuse that many narcissistic spouses engage in: Charm, Seduction, Manipulation/Exploitation, Disposal.
“Charm is an energy, a vibration, a contagious optimistic state of mind. Charm beguiles; it can seduce us to do almost anything…It is a magic elixir that sets us soaring.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life) It is very difficult to say “No” to the magnetism of the narcissist. They are captivating. You feel spellbound, enchanted, taken up with them. In this first phase you are inclined to believe the narcissist and to feel that you are an integral part of his life, that this person cares deeply about you, loves you.
Narcissists are masters of seduction. They know exactly how to get under the skin, the nerves, the heart of a individual whom they have chosen. They cleverly play on our deepest needs to be wanted, worthy, important, special. We become entranced with them.
Narcissists are highly manipulative and exploitive. They are exceedingly cunning and know how to play complex cruel, calculated games with your deepest feelings. They use both charm and intimidation to get you to do and be what they want. You must be perfect like they are. They make sure you never measure up to their “standards.” When you don’t make the grade you are severely criticized. This emerges into a pattern of continually putting you down. This is done to weaken and control you and force you to doubt your perceptions. Another ploy is the emotional/psychological push/pull game. After a major blowup the narcissist claims he is sorry and says he needs you desperately. He wants you back into his life, not because he loves you but due to his need for narcissist supplies to be adored, obeyed and praised constantly. When this sequence is over, he finds a reason to get angry and throw you out of his life. Many victims of narcissistic abuse repeat this pattern over and over again, thinking that the problems arising from the relationship are their fault.
“Dismissal (disposal) arrives as surely as thunder follows lightening…By this time you are not even an imprint on his mind. He has moved on to his next glorious quest…Like a speck of swirling dust, the memory of you as a unique individual and the positive magnitude of your good deeds dissolve into the atmosphere as if they never existed.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life). You no longer fit into the narcissist’s grandiose sense of himself. You have not sufficiently fulfilled the overwhelming needs that this person has for you to be perfect, obedient, ever-loving (regardless of his dark cruelties) and available 24/7.
Stop this cycle of narcissistic abuse by leaving the narcissist with your plan to regain your sense of a strong authentic self. Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Understand these fixed personality traits that are uninclined to change.
Along with this learning, acknowledge and feel deeply the wonderful unique lovely individual that you are. Walk forward. Rest. Restore. Recover. Renew.
Come home to yourself!
3 thoughts on “Narcissistic Spouse’s Cycle of Abuse”
I’m confused because I discovered my husband fit narcissism to a ‘T’ about four years ago. He is the step father of my children. We’ve been together 7 years. We’ve always been criticized and he is never to blame. I admit my faults to him and understand I’m not a perfect person. What lacks is his willingness to admit his failures. The tiniest thing I might ask “can we do more family activities” turns into my fault and hell breaks loose for the next however many days it takes for me to give in to him. The problem is that I started drinking. I think because of the depression and confusion of mind games. So now it’s a real twister.
You need to write on narcissists who don’t think they are narcissists. Wait, that’s all of them. I have one in my family who literally doesn’t see it and posts all about Ns on her FB page because she is a PSYCHOtherapist. It’s sad that that industry has been overtaken by people looking to help themselves and not serving their clients, by and large. It’s good that, I think, it is falling by the wayside as people look to themselves and their God for answers rather than the PSYCHOtherapists out there. Oh, some are good and I had a wonderful one, but I also know many who are sociopaths and psychopaths and are still allowed to practice while never noticing the narcissist who lurks inside them. They will stop at nothing to harm others yet they see themselves as perfect. What a dangerous dynamic this is and I pray people see it before it’s too late. Narcissists abound in this area of “expertise”, using the word lightly. I mean, who would believe they could tell people how to live their lives without a huge dose of narcissism in their personality? It’s like cops. Who becomes a cop? Well, who becomes a therapist? Sometimes the very few who really want to help others and make the world better. I fear the two vocations have much in common. Too often, statistics show, bullies become cops and the deeply wounded become therapists. The deeply wounded are often bullies and narcissists. Beware!
Wowser. I just got “disposed of” December 23, 2015. Classic Narcissist that fit every description there ever was. I only discovered the term/syndrome, because I googled the ” symptoms ” and the more I read, the more I knew what I’d been duped into.
I have learned SO MUCH from all the sources out there. If I’d known THEN what I know NOW—trust me, he’d have been “kicked to the proverbial curb” long before he did the “discard” thing.
My deepest quest in life is to educate women (and men) to become intelligent about the choices they make before giving their heart, money, home, love and self to such low-life. The percentage of true “change” these characters can achieve is miniscule at best, and nonexistent at worst.
He even TOLD me about his patterns with women. I fell hook, line and sinker for 3 reasons.
1. I TRUSTED him (gullibility)
2. I had a dysfunctional NEED for love and adoration myself
3. I WANTED to believe that a magical fairy tale prince had swept me off my feet. FOR 7 YEARS —til he got what he wanted and the real confusion began…
a) constant triangulation with other women
b) shameless, textbook gas lighting techniques
c) devaluation in the form of any kind of sexual perverse element he could be creative enough to introduce and get away with.
d) while blaming PERFECTLY INNOCENT me of all the nonsense he was doing
I thought he was going crazy-he had over riding mental illnesses, a self destructive nature and the man who I’d worshipped slowly took the form of a DEMON.
Thank you God he left.
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