Firstly, I am not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist, what I am is a woman who was married to a narcissist, and survived. Just.
My husband never raised his voice, never raised a fist to hit me, as he didn’t need to. His weapon was the most dangerous of all, his sharp, acerbic tongue, cutting through my heart leaving a scar deadlier than any knife could wield.
My marriage ended suddenly and totally unexpectedly. I was left literally, with our much loved and planned for eight-week-old baby daughter to raise alone. Overnight I was discarded, losing my husband, my marriage, my home, my career in the financial markets of Hong Kong, and everything I had known for 6 years. My life as an exciting expatriate in Hong Kong was suddenly over. Sitting on the Qantas flight home to my loving family in Australia, I kept thinking ‘How the fu…k did this happen?’
I was left confused, angry and over time, unsurprisingly, became depressed. It took me years to understand what had really happened. This is WHY I became a Divorce & Narcissist Recovery Coach. I am the missing part that would have kept me semi-sane, and guided me to make much more sound decisions for my future. It is hard for anyone to understand what it feels like, discovering your partner is a narcissist if you haven’t had the misfortune to experience it.
When I was trying to understand my relationship, reading many articles on Narcissism were confusing, as they focused on personalities traits of rage and violence, which my husband did not display any of these characteristics, yet he was an extreme narcissist.
If you think you are going crazy in a relationship please keep reading, as you might suspect the problem in your relationship is you are dating or married to a narcissist? They are so very clever at not revealing 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
A RELATIONSHIP WITH A NARCISSIST IS BROKEN DOWN INTO THREE MAIN STAGES:
STAGE NO. 1: THE LOVE BOMBING PHASE
Most relationships with narcissists begin in an intensive, almost obsessive 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 may not be familiar with this much attention and total adoration, but after a while, you begin to think – ‘Why not, let’s enjoy this?’
I’m sure your partner was charming, immaculately groomed, a high achiever, and basically, you could not have created this person to be more perfect? You cannot believe your luck! Finding somebody so in tune with you, your beliefs and your dreams of your future. They are truly perfect. You feel as if you are existing in a cocoon, which is sublimely perfect.
Within a very short time-span, you are convinced ‘He or She is the one!’
For the first time in your life, you have let down your boundaries, that up until this point, have been quite rigid in your past relationships. You know you are confident and self-sufficient, and until this relationship, you have been extremely cautious as to who you allowed into your life.
Your partner showers you with attention, and you both can’t stand to be apart for too long, as you are simply too in love. Normally you appreciate your own space and your own company, yet this time you decide to throw caution to the wind.
‘This is different; it feels magical?’
‘My partner adores me?’ and you know this feeling is overpowering, like a drug. You both can’t get enough of each other. You can talk until the sun rises, as you are so comfortable and relaxed in their company.
You can remain in the Love Phase for various time-frames. It could be simply days or weeks, or it could be months or many years or as it was with me. Life and your relationship begin to change, very slowly and subtly, as you enter stage no 2.
STAGE NO. 2: THE DEVALUE STAGE
Why would they do such a thing when they are meant to love you?
To have total control over you.
Their goal is to decimate your confidence, your self-esteem, your sense of self, the person you have always been, up until this point in time. This is where the corrosion of you begins. They begin slowly and subtly, with a continuous and sustained verbal onslaught, systematically and insidiously planned.
You may not understand why or how your partner, the one that initially was so supporting, nurturing and loving has turned into this cold and cruel individual, who you will do anything for, to keep the relationship intact.
Your partner makes it clear they do not like your family or your closest friends, the ones that have only your best interest at heart? They are so rude when in their presence and make every situation so uncomfortable when you are out with your friends or family, that the easiest way to keep the peace in your relationship, is to stop socializing. By this time, your friends and family are worried and concerned for you, and the brave ones voice their concerns to you. But you dismiss their concern. Even though you know something is not right, you play down the situation, as you love your partner so deeply. However, you acquiesce to your partner’s pressure and cease socialising, as you will do Anything for a peaceful life.
Are you seeing similarities with your life?
‘Are you recognizing some signs and feel you could be dating or married to a Narcissist?’
What you may be unaware of, is that your partner has won here if you cut off your family and friends, as this was the desired outcome your partner needs, to prevent you from having your family and closest friends remain in your life.
This is how they begin to isolate you and begin to erode your confidence, to ensure you succumb to their ever-increasing demands. This is the beginning of their total dominance and control over you. If you are not married at this stage, you are extremely fortunate and may I suggest to lace up your Nike’s and RUN, RUN, RUN, as fast as you can.
They then may step up to the next step and begin criticising your personal appearance. It could be your hairstyle, your make-up or clothes. One of my clients told me her husband said ‘I don’t like it when you wear make-up, as you are not very good at applying it?’ He didn’t want her to shine, as she is simply beautiful.
Whatever your partner doesn’t like, they will insist you modify it. If you are a woman and wearing something revealing – or sexy, they will be so threatened that they demand you change? This goes against everything you believe in, yet you acquiesce and adapt your appearance to once again keep your partner happy. This is so against all of your principals of who you are. Yet again, you do it. Anything for a peaceful life.
STAGE NO. 3: THE DISGARDED STAGE
There will come a time when your use-by-date expires. A partner of a narcissist’s role is to fulfil a need. When the need is satiated, you will be discarded. At the beginning of your relationship, you were put on a pedestal, adored by your partner. Gradually, over time, your pedestal fell to earth bit by bit, until you have had the pedestal knocked out from under your feet, swiftly.
Once the narcissist makes up their mind, you will be discarded quicker than throwing out yesterday’s newspaper. It will be swift and merciless, as you will be reeling by the calculating cold-blooded cruelty they will display. It’s as if they can’t feel anything, they appear to be inhuman, devoid of empathy.
If you try and oppose them, they will begin a relentless campaign to destroy you. Their capacity to cause damage to the ones they were meant to love is infinite. All that matters is the one and only person they care about – themselves. Their wrath has no end, and remember they have no empathy so they simply DON’T CARE.
From one who has experienced this, if you have been discarded without warning, ensure you seek help from a Divorce Coach or Therapist, to assist in your recovery from this hellish experience. You will need this to understand on a deeper level, that it’s not you who are inept, its simply you were in a relationship with a Narcissist.
It is unlikely your partner will ever change.
NARCISSISTS ARE DEVOID OF EMPATHY & TRUE FEELINGS
If by reading my Blog you feel you are in a relationship with a Narcissist and need some guidance, please reach out to me or begin by downloading my FREE Yourself from A Narcissist program today.