The following is an article that was recommended by a reader that deals with the topic of narcissism and narcissistic abuse. Specifically, how the person who is in a relationship with a narcissist is continually devalued and abused.
Based on many comments we have received in the past and on incoming search terms, it is very apparent that many of you feel that your spouse is a narcissist and perhaps even suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This article therefore will be very enlightening for you.
The article is written by Lisa Scott who has a site that delves into narcissism in great detail. I surfed around on the site to check it out and it has some good articles written by people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist as well as offering some support forums. So if you are in a relationship with a narcissist (or suspect you may be) then you might want to check her site out.
Why a Narcissist Inevitably Devalues & Discards (D&D) You
Being in a relationship with a Narcissist is like being on a roller-coaster ride that never ends. One moment, you feel loved, adored and cherished. The next, you feel devalued, discarded and abused. Narcissists have often been described as having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. You never know what kind of mood a Narcissist is going to be in and you certainly never know how he is going to treat you. A Narcissist is unpredictable and unstable. You are always walking on eggshells around him.
Unfortunately, once a Narcissist is victorious and secures your love, the idealization phase of the relationship passes and his true colors emerge. You begin to see the pathology of his personality and realize he merely put on an act in the beginning of the relationship to win and secure your love. He becomes demanding and angry, unaware that you have needs or a separate self at all. He simply finds it impossible to see you as an independent entity.
Trying to understand how you went from being idealized and put on a pedestal to being completely discarded is baffling. Suddenly, you can’t do anything right and nothing you do is good enough for him. By understanding the inevitable Devalue & Discard (D&D) behavior of a Narcissist, you will finally realize what happened and know that you did NOTHING wrong to cause such a drastic change in his behavior.
It is important to understand when in a toxic relationship, you are viewed as nothing more than an extension of your Narcissist. Narcissists seek out relationships in order to ensure someone is present to cater to their needs, stroke their ego and make them look good. Men often select a trophy wife. Beautiful women are the ultimate status symbol for men….proof of their masculinity and virility. On the other hand, female narcissists are typically attracted to wealthy men who can support their obsession with image and status.
A Narcissist will eventually devalue and discard you with no remorse. It is inevitable in any relationship with a Narcissist. At some point, he/she will emotionally and physically withdraw from you and leave you wondering what you did wrong. Please remember, you did NOTHING wrong. It has NOTHING to do with you. A Narcissist is unable to attach in a healthy way to anyone. Ultimately, they will pull away no matter what you do.
A Narcissist has a lot of built-up resentment toward his significant other. He knows he is reliant on you for validation. However, he craves variety and is easily bored. As a result, he blames you for tying him down to a monotonous and mundane lifestyle. This creates in him a great deal of anger towards you because he does not want to rely on you, yet knows he must in order to get the validation he so desperately needs. He does not respect you because he knows you put up with a lot of abuse from him. You have done nothing wrong but be overly giving and nurturing. Yet he is angry with you and blames you for all of his unhappiness.
He is urgent, preoccupied with himself and always trying to right his chronic imbalance. While some Narcissists do not feel the emptiness in their lives, their behavior causes major suffering and angst among those around them. Once a Narcissist feels he has obtained control of you, you will see a completely different side of him you never knew existed. Once in control, a Narcissist becomes demeaning and cruel.
Narcissists are oblivious to others and how their behavior affects people close to them. They dismiss the feelings, ideas, and opinions of others. They are condescending in their nature. They belittle, criticize, judge and put others down.
A Narcissist can be blatant about it or quite subtle in his approach. He has a way of putting you down in such a way that you don’t even realize you have been insulted until you reflect upon the conversation later or someone points it out to you. Other times, he is brutally offensive.
While Narcissists do not always realize how hurtful their behavior is, it doesn’t mean at times, they are not deliberately abusive. A Narcissist is purposefully abusive when his relationship with you changes in a way that is not to his liking. This occurs whenever he starts to feel too close to you. Intimacy terrifies a Narcissist, and he will respond by being purposefully abusive in order to push you away.
Another example of when a Narcissist is intentionally abusive is if you voice your displeasure or threaten to leave the relationship. A Narcissist cannot be alone. He must always have someone present to validate him. By asserting abusive behavior, he is attempting to maintain his dominance and control over you.
A Narcissist has a way of turning everything around so you begin to question yourself. He will do something terribly mean or cruel. You will talk to him about it, and by the end of the conversation, you are the one apologizing for some reason. A Narcissist knows how to manipulate better than anyone.
A Narcissist eventually becomes sarcastic and belittles you constantly. You begin to feel you can do nothing right in his eyes and your presence is hardly tolerable. You’re baffled. You wonder what you did wrong to cause such a drastic change in his feelings toward you. You struggle desperately to return things to the way they were in the beginning. Unfortunately, as hard as you try, things will never be the same again. He is not the man you thought he was. It is a maddening and precarious way to live and can drive anyone to the edge of their sanity.
When a Narcissist feels he is in control of you and is not threatened by any fear that you will ask for too much from him or leave the relationship, he will engage in escapist activity and appear as if he hardly knows you exist the majority of the time. You are merely present to validate him should he not get enough attention from the outside world that day.
You are treated with indifference by the person who once showered you with affection. His “silent treatment” is his way of devaluing you. If you begin to pull away, he will lay on the charm again. Trust me, a Narcissist knows when to engage his false self to ensure you never leave him. He is always reminding you that he understands you like no one else can or ever will. It is essential that he makes you believe only he can understand you. By constantly telling you that you have problems and quirks only he can understand, he believes you will become dependent on him. By telling you he loves you despite your flaws, he hopes you will begin to feel unlovable in some strange paranoid way. This is his way of ensuring you will never leave him. It is narcissistic manipulation at its finest and you need to recognize it.
A Narcissist will always ensure he has someone present and available to him at all times to validate him. Unfortunately, he will give you no warning when he decides to leave in pursuit of validation from someone new. This is when we must remember we did NOTHING wrong and this outcome was inevitable. Narcissists crave variety and are easily bored.
A Narcissist will simply discard you when he becomes convinced that you can no longer provide him with sufficient validation. Keep in mind, this evaluation of his is totally subjective and not grounded in reality at all. Suddenly, because of boredom, a disagreement, an act or a failure to act, he swings from total idealization to complete devaluation.
He then disconnects from you immediately. He needs to preserve all of his energy in order to obtain and secure new sources of supply. He sees no need to spend any of his precious time and energy on you, whom he now considers useless.
You must accept the fact that you were not an object of love to this person, but a pawn, a mere source of supply to feed his fragile ego; nothing more, but certainly nothing less. Once you understand how he must constantly change his source of supply, you will realize his rejection of you has NOTHING to do with you. He will repeat this cycle in every relationship he enters. It is inevitable. Be grateful this toxic abusive man is out of your life and never let him back. (You can go to the original article by clicking this link.)
So what are your thoughts? Have you experienced any of what the author describes? Do you feel that narcissism played a vital role in your affair or your spouse’s affair?
One thing to also keep in mind is that most people tend to think that a narcissist is always a man. Though I believe that is usually the case, there are women who also suffer from NPD. Here is a PDF that we have in the Higher Healing area that delves very nicely into the narcissistic woman: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Female-narcissist.pdf