As I previously mentioned in Part 1 of this series, you know that all of the narcissist’s intimate relationships will follow three distinct phases or cycles.
Phase 1: The Idealization Phase or Love Bombing Phase
In the beginning of your relationship with the narcissist, you thought you met Mr. Perfect. A man you never thought existed in real life. You will come to realize that this is because this man never existed. The narcissist created this perfect mask to lure you and to manipulate you as a potential target. What you didn’t know is that you are only one of many, many other women who have been manipulated by the narcissist. He has perfected this phase over time. You will not be the last, and every single relationship will start with an idealization phase.
The first time I met the narcissist that I’m divorcing, I thought he was too good to be true (which was the case). This is the closest the narcissist will come to feeling in love. The narcissist is incapable of true love and empathy. He is a child with stunted emotional growth. Like a child with a new toy, he’ll think he loves this toy more than anything in the whole world…until he finds a new toy. Most women recovering from narcissistic abuse syndrome report the same thing upon meeting the narcissist for the first time. He was so charming, so attentive, so handsome, and the sex was out of this world! He cannot get enough of you. He says very quickly that he’s never felt this way before (lie), and that you are the only woman who has brought out his happiness. He wants to spend every moment with you, texting, calling, emailing you nonstop. He future fakes by talking about marriage, about wonderful vacations, about exotic adventures. You are his one and only (for the moment), and you are floating on a magical cloud.
He says those magical words within weeks of meeting you. He tells you that you are his soul mate within days of meeting you. He professes his love for you for weeks. He can’t stop talking about you, he says. He sends you flowers and cards all the time. The narcissist watched me put on my make up (yes, creepy), and I’ve learned that he washed his second wife’s hair (even creepier). He watches your every move. He wants to move in with you immediately. And thus begins his grooming process. You will be groomed to satisfy the narcissist’s every whim and desire, and you will be blamed for all of his constant unhappiness. You will take on his never-ending rage and anxiety. Constantly bored, the narcissist will always be on the lookout for a new toy and will manufacture fights with you just to watch you cry, scream, beg for his forgiveness. This is sexually stimulating for him.
You will learn that the narcissist has no true self. He has no method of self-regulating his constant rage and anger. He will blame you for everything. He will manipulate you, and you will understand that this is a dangerous man who is all about control and winning at all costs. He is incapable of love, and he only attaches to you for your emotions, your beauty, because he is devoid of any of your real emotions. Because of the differences in his brain and pathology, and because he was subjected to so much chaos and trauma as a child, he became the evil lurking underneath his mask, his true self. His mask is his false self, one he created to help shield him from the abuse and chaos.
You will understand that the narcissist felt like your soulmate because he mirrored your gestures, your emotions, your dreams and even, your speech patterns. He has learned to do this at a very young age to get what he wants. The music you both love, the hobbies you thought you had in common, your future goals – all just an act. He reflected back to you the image of yourself. You have fallen in love with
yourself. He is a master puppeteer, and he knows how to mimic people’s emotions. That gut feeling you had in the beginning that things were just not right with this guy? Yeah, your intuition was right. He WAS too good to be true. That man never existed, and you will only see watered down versions of him. If you try to leave him during the beginning of the devaluation stage (the next stage), and he hasn’t replaced you, you will get a watered down version of Mr. Perfect.
Mr. Watered-down Perfect will promise to get therapy, go to marriage counseling, and he will beg you to stay. He may even shed a few tears. Do not believe him! I fell for this trick so many times. No matter how hard you try to get Mr. Perfect back in your marriage, staying married because of the addiction he created during this stage, he will not come back. He did not exist. So, remember the things the narcissist said to you in the beginning, “You are too good for me. I don’t deserve you.” In the recovery community, those are “tells.” The narcissist is telling you the truth. You will have wished you would have listened.
The next woman to come along (there is going to be a next very quickly. These men cannot be alone for very long, regardless of what they say and even if they convince you otherwise. They lack self-worth, and their self-worth comes from what others mirror back. They need constant affirmation and praise. If a narcissist was in self-solitary for any length of time, I can guarantee that he would most likely end up committing suicide. This is his pathology. He will never be able to cure it, and I have never seen a cured narcissist. The narcissist, regardless of how many clients attempt to convince me otherwise, is a serial cheater. All narcissists cheat. Please read that previous sentence carefully. Not all cheaters are narcissists, though. If you can identify with any of these blogs, including the three phases of your relationship, you have married a narcissist. I married a malignant narcissist, and I have lived in this warzone and harrowing experience for a decade. The narcissist will give you crumbs of affection during your marriage as intermittent reinforcement, to keep your dopamine receptors firing and to keep you trauma bonded to him. He will use push-pull seduction methods to keep you hooked, and you will stay addicted to your abuser until you have had enough distance and clarity to see the cycles of abuse playing out repeatedly. You will know that the narcissist is a pathological liar and has been conning you the entire time. You will see the mask fall repeatedly, and you will see the harrowing truth of what he is and what you thought he was. You will take this truth and develop boundaries. You will never allow yourself to be abused by him again, but typically, you will have to go through several cycles of D&D (devalue and discard), discussed in the next blog.
You must divorce a narcissist, and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can find your true purpose in life, and one day, whenever you’re ready, you will meet your true love. You will know healthy love does not make you constantly wondering if the narcissist will replace you (psychopathic love), and it doesn’t involve constant silent treatments and stonewalling. You will no longer walk on eggshells. You will understand that true love is not rushed, like narcissistic love. A narcissist wants to hook you as quickly as possible in this stage to make you addicted to his hot and cold behavior so that you will never voluntarily leave, but you are a strong woman. You will reinforce your boundaries, look at your resources, gather your support circle, and you will decide that you can no longer tolerate his abuse. You will know that you can no longer deal with his fickle and constant drama, and you will no longer believe that you are the one who created it. You will see through his lies, his brainwashing techniques and his constant circular arguments that leave you in tears.
If you’re ready to get a divorce, Contact Keithley Law, PLLC, PLLC today by calling (703) 454-5147and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office with one of our Virginia divorce attorneys. We can walk you through the steps to get the most out of your divorce.