IS It A Narcissistic Relationship?
Three Signature Phases To Watch out For...

A pathologically narcissistic relationship follows a surprisingly rigid and predictable pattern. With all of their crazy-making and incomprehensible behavior there are things you can most definitely count on when in a relationship with a narcissist. Loving-kindness definitely isn't one of them, although at the beginning stages of the relationship you'd be hard pressed to think otherwise...

It Starts With Idealization

During the idealization phase of a narcissistic relationship there isn't much to go by. Everything at this stage seems to be humming along very well indeed. We readily forgive and forget, at this stage, any reactions or incidents that may seem a bit odd or out of place.

But things don't stay that way for long...


If you find yourself involved in a narcissistic relationship it is only a matter of time before things start going South. And no, it isn't anything you said or did. It also isn't anything you didn't say or do. In relationships with abusive narcissists a downturn into the devalue and discard stages is just a matter of time.

It's the nature of the beast and there is nothing you can do to stop it. In fact a significant measure of the mental abuse experienced in relationships with abusive narcissists comes from desperately trying to stop what has essentially become a run away train.

If only we realized the hellish destination, we wouldn't be so eager and would jump off mid-way instead.


It is later in the relationship with a narcissist that things start to get really 'interesting'. Disturbing changes emerge that we have a hard time accounting for in a way that makes any sense. We come up with all sorts of explanations of course - excuses and rationales - none of which hit on the real thing. We extend the benefit of the doubt time and again, waiting to be proven right.

That time never comes.

It is now, at this stage, that we do well to pay attention and heed what our instincts are telling us. Our heart and mind refuse to believe. Understandable. A narcissistic relationship involves some pretty outlandish stuff.

Nevertheless, this internal battle must be won. We need to see the signs for what they really are. Being caught in the twilight zone doesn't help...


As the narcissist's mask starts slipping (the mask they wear during the initial stages of the relationship) we are treated to more and more glimpses of their true face. We enter a twilight zone where things aren't as they initially appeared to be.

This is a very confusing and disorienting stage of a narcissistic relationship. It is when we finally get to see what we have really gotten ourselves into. An internal battle of mind, heart and soul begins - each part trying to tell us what we should do.

This is where we need to regain our bearings and think clearly. This is our chance to get out before any more damage is done. We do need to reach a certain level of emotional certitude - that we are in fact dealing with a pathologically disordered person - before we are likely to find the courage to take the leap.

Ask yourself if your relationship might be following the predictable pattern of a narcissistic relationship as outlined above. You probably already know the answer to this question, but the full implications of the reality of it may have yet to sink in.

When Seeing Isn't Believing

Many aspects of relationships with abusive narcissists are so shocking to us that we don't register them as they happen. With narcissists, seeing isn't necessarily believing. We are much more likely to continue rubbing our eyes, expecting what we are faced with to change.

Relationships with abusive narcissists never change. At least not in the ways that matter most to us.

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