Saturday, September 26, 2015

15 distinctive phases of a relationship with an N/S/P.

Re-post from reader....



This is a listing of the 15 distinctive phases that I have identified in a typical NS abusive relationship. Please feel free to comment if you think there are others I might have missed. The changes we go through while being brainwashed and abused take us from one high stress period to another. We should be proud that we have survived the turmoil...and if we can retain our empathy and caring for others.....we MUST be wonderful, valuable people indeed!



1. Honeymoon period

The target is basking in the attention of, what they believe to be, the most wonderful relationship they have ever known. Head over heals in love and feeling VERY lucky. Often, the target feels as though they "must be dreaming" or "they do not deserve such a wonderful partner". The target lets down ALL BOUNDARIES and shares their innermost secrets and feelings with the abuser. They BELIEVE that the abuser is, likewise, being open and sharing truths about themselves as well. 

2. Idolization Period #1

The target is still on their best behavior and gives, without limit, of themselves and of their possessions. By the end of this period, the abuser has AL needed information to begin to control the target and the target has nearly NO FACTUAL information about the abuser. The target is likely to neglect everyone else in their life and focus ONLY on the abuser. The abuser seems to be doing this as well. The abuser pushes the relationship into very high gear and things progress quickly into a "serious" relationship.The target truly believes that they have found the perfect partner. They have seen few, if any, "chinks" in the armor.

3. The Questioning

Time spent together brings to light some "chinks" in the armor. The target may begin seeing some things that concern them. Usually, these are minor annoyances but even fairly significant things can be ignored based on the overall "perfection" of the abuser. The target may actually begin to question some of the habits or actions of the abuser. This questioning often results in the abuser reacting in anger and using veiled threats of ending the relationship "if the target is so unhappy". This usually results in the target being forced to weight good against bad attributes and trying to hold only the relationship.

4. Re-evaluation and Idolization Period #2

The target now realizes that the abuser is NOT PERFECT, and there are some things that keep cropping up in the relationship, but they are still firmly convinced that the abuser is FAR superior to any other partner they are likely to attract. Even after re-evaluating the abuser and the relationship, the target determines that the relationship is worth salvaging.

5. Self-Questioning
The target/victim usually begins to sense a change in the attitude of the abuser. The victim begins to question whether they are being unreasonable and too difficult to please. This frequent self-examination in the light of being downgraded by the abuser, usually results in the target feeling as though they may, indeed, be to blame for the small issues that arise. The target is often receiving feedback from their support system about how much the abuser loves them and how lucky they are. The discrepancy between what the target is feeling and what the support system is stating causes further self-examination by the target/victim. The behavior of the abuser when other people are present is still, usually, loving and sweet. The treatment of the target/victim in private begins to deteriorate.

6. The Cover-Up

Once the target/victim has advised the support system of how WONDERFUL the abuser is, it is very difficult to admit that they may have made an error. Everyone wants their support system to think that everything is going well in their lives...and the constant insinuation that any problems that DO EXIST are the fault of the target/victim, makes it even harder to be real with people and verbalize your concerns. For these reasons, and many others, the target/victim often continues to reign perfection in the relationship and the abuser, long after cracks begin to appear. This may be particularly true if the beginning of the relationship including the abuser walking out on, or leaving, a marriage or long term partner. It seems OK that another relationship was "destroyed" when the new relationship was "in the stars" or "meant to be", but admitting that this may not be the case leaves the victim/target open to criticism (from others and by self) regarding the way the relationship started out. Since so MANY of these relationships begin when a prior victim is "discarded", the feelings of guilt associated with this can keep a victim professing perfection in the abuser for an extended time.

7. Brainwashing Complete

After a period of continued manipulation, the victim is now well aware of the faults of the abuser. The victim, however, is usually NOT AWARE of the true mental illness of the abuser, or of the fact that the abuser is UNABLE and UNWILLING to ever change. The victim is full of self-doubt and is convinced that the good things in the relationship still outweigh the bad. The victim has started to question their own sanity and reality and has fully begun to adopt the reality as given by the abuser.
8. Capitulation

The victim has now come to the conclusion that "it is the abusers way or the highway". They are aware that the relationship is more important to them than to the abuser and, often, the victim simply decides to take a back seat and allow the abuser to steer the relationship and daily life decisions. Often, the abuser determines how all money is spent, even if they are not bringing in much money. Daily decisions, big and small, are made by the abuser. While this frustrates and angers the victim, the only other option is the loss of the relationship and that is not tolerable.

9. Seeing the Light

After a long period, the victim begins to see the self-serving nature and selfish behavior of the abuser. Often, there is infidelity and any questioning about it results in the victim being blamed for being crazy and jealous. The unfair nature of the relationship is very apparent to the victim although, to the outside world, it appears to be practically perfect. They see the absolute control of the abuser as agreement of the two parties or as "compatibility". They are unaware that this "compatibility" requires that the victim SUBMIT their will to the abuser in EVERYTHING. This begins to wear on the victim. The victim may begin to see the TRUE PATHOLOGY of the abuser, but there is no one who will listen or believe. As the victim begins to see this pathology, there is also a great deal of fear around leaving the relationship as the victim now has an idea of what awaits them in terms of punishment or retribution.

10. Sensing the trap

Around this time, the victim may begin reaching out to members of the support system...only to find that they are squarely in the camp of the abuser. While the victim has been silent, the abuser has been busy assassinating their character to the support system who, often, no longer believe a word the victim is saying. They are often condescending and attempt to keep the victim in the relationship which they see as "superior" and with the abuser who is seen as being "so supportive and loving" The victim suddenly realizes that they are seen as unstable and/or, completely self-centered by their own support system. There is a sudden realization that there is no one to turn to because, no matter what the victim says NOW, the support system is convinced of the lie that has been told for so long, both by the victim and by the abuser. The victim will sometimes attempt to communicate the issues to the abuser who will not discuss anything about it and usually admits no error or wrongdoing. Ending the relationship not only leaves the victim without the relationship but may cost the victim friends and family as well. The victim is trapped and knows it.

11. The Walking Dead

After living under the stress of the abuse and lies for an extended period, the victim usually begins to display PTSD symptoms and symptoms of major depression. These symptoms only further cement the story being told by the abuser. With no where to turn, the victim soon becomes "the walking dead"...going through the motions of life with little meaning, no enjoyment and no hope for the future/

12. The Oath Keeper

The victim now knows EXACTLY what the abuser is and what they are capable of. They are aware that nothing is going to improve and that the future holds only more of the same, or worse, abuse. They no longer feel "romantic love" for the abuser in many cases and sexual desire for the person who torments you daily is, obviously, lacking. Often, the victim is aware of the vows they took and promises they have made and use this as an excuse (to themselves) for why they stay in an, obviously, ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.

13. Resignation
The victim basically gives up and decides that they are destined to continue to live the life they are living. Often, they cease to provide the praise and narcissistic supply and the abuser, sensing this, begins to seek out new supply. A period of relative calm ensues as the abusers attention is turned elsewhere and the couple live in the same house but have no real relationship any longer

14. Shock and Fear


No matter how mentally ill the victim feels the abuser is, the "dead eye" and cold-hearted discard of the sociopath is heartbreaking. While the victim has mixed feelings about the partner in this long term relationship...the abuser treats the victim like a torn sock that is being thrown away. There is no emotion, no caring, no anger, nothing. The abuser is completely devoid of any emotion as they walk away. This results in a very deep shock and the victim truly begins to question their own sanity. There is also a great fear over the retribution that will be coming. Having a clear picture of the abuser, the victim is aware of the lengths the abuser is willing to go to to PUNISH the ENEMY. The victim realizes that they are NOW "The enemy to be destroyed".

15. Terror and disbelief

The victim finally begins to realize that the entire relationship, the person they thought they knew, never existed. This has all been a process of manipulation. This is difficult to come to terms with and especially when your support system is of the belief that this is "just a divorce" and cannot begin to understand the depth of the victims damage. The victim mourns the relationship they THOUGHT they had and the person they THOUGHT they knew. This is difficult when that person is doing everything they can to destroy you. The support system is fragmented and, often, no support system remains. The sociopath abuses the victim mentally, financially and will often attempt to take any minor children away from the victim as a form of retaliation for the victims failure to "respect and appreciate how wonderful they are". This is extremely stressful for the victim and, without support, there is the very real possibility of a mental break or suicide attempt.


Reaching out

The good news is that this fear leads to reaching out for support by others who have had the same experiences...and this is the beginning of the healing process!

57 comments:

  1. Woooooowwww! The blessing is I saw it before it got too far gone. Thank you for putting the words to the feeling

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  2. This is spot on! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. This is spot on! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. completely true. it's soul destroying. devastating. I trusted him with all of my being. what a mistake. he ruined my world, stole my home, my belief in human beings, my self esteem, my trust... I could go on for days. he broke my heart and soul.

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    1. Hi Deb, Im curious about your house situation. im at #21 with a female N. #21 being the # of times shes left and came back in 9 months. Shes even a known friend from years ago. she talked me into walking away from my stagnant relationship and my home saying shes done the same before from her home. shes married to a huge N and has kicked him out and let him back of course. we were 500 miles apart. ive just moved back to my hometown where she also is but left again as i was moving. and week later, i get an email saying shes done, he bought a house i guess because before house was in her and her brothers name and he had no control. Now he does. this was yesterday. Shes claimed im crazy and recited comments ive made but twisted words and has copies of all emails. i know what I said and disproved every thought she had including the denial of telling me to walk away from my house. I am just wondering if you found any legal help with your house and him? I am searching now as I stumbled on this page Thank God! I hope someone out there can give me any advice on this. our mutual friends have warned me about her a little but, but i didnt have this page to fully explain every detail to a tee! this is insane what they do and its word for word here! Please anybody, is there any way of suing her for leading me down this destructive path of my life?

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  5. This is close to my life with N. & N.Family still reeling even after 15 months going through so much still it is not over yet )-:

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  6. My life story exactly with a female narc.

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  8. I just read my life story for the past 25 years. Unbelievable.

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  9. I just read my life story for the past 25 years. Unbelievable.

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  10. Excellently explained! Thank you! :) I experienced all of the above (in two relationships in a row, the first with an overt narc & the second with a covert narc). However, thankfully, I told my friends & family about the narcs abusive behaviour throughout the relationships & my support system were the voices of sanity telling me that the narcs bad behaviour was unforgivable etc. After five years of abusive treatment from the two narcs I'm feeling almost destroyed.

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  11. You have done a impeccable job writing the process of the NSP. At every stage I had memories of situations that would be an example to your point. Just reading this provides some reassurances to my own psyche and helps me to move forward with hope for better days. Thank you.

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  12. You just wrote my marriage step by step, right up past the 15th step. I was driven to thoughts of suicide and for the first time in 8 years, reached out to my longest friends and told them the truth. This article brings me great comfort to know I am not crazy after all. It was him all along....

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  13. This is an EXCELLENT article! It explains the abuse I experienced. GOD was with me & I Survived. I pray for everyone who left an Abuser to be healed & protection/deliverance for people still being abused.

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  14. Whoa! The last 3 years of my life written here. I was lucky...my support system recognized somewhat early on. I did not want to see it. I was always made to feel guilty if I tried to end things and he was suddenly this great and wonderful man for a few weeks. Glad to say, I'm out! Finally feel like a human being again. Just found out he's engaged to the woman he discarded me for...more power to her! She gets to pay his bills, take care of his kids, deal with his lies and cheating. I no longer have to!

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  15. Whoa! The last 3 years of my life written here. I was lucky...my support system recognized somewhat early on. I did not want to see it. I was always made to feel guilty if I tried to end things and he was suddenly this great and wonderful man for a few weeks. Glad to say, I'm out! Finally feel like a human being again. Just found out he's engaged to the woman he discarded me for...more power to her! She gets to pay his bills, take care of his kids, deal with his lies and cheating. I no longer have to!

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  16. This was my life for the last six month. Thank God I woke up and discarded him. Called the cops got a no trespassing on my property. Best thing I ever did for myself I saved my own life!!!

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  17. Incredibly well written. And all too real.

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  18. Incredibly well written. And all too real.

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  19. Been there, done that, I even bought the tee-shirt. I am ever so happy to say I thru that tee-shirt away.

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  20. This has been my life story over and over. I was raised by a narcissist mother and have had several relationships with narcissists. It took me til I'm almost 40 to figure out what has been going on my whole life. I cut him out of my and my daughters life almost three weeks ago. We are both doing so much better. Finally accepting that he wasn't the man I fell in love with, and he would never change, and his family and friends have been enabling him and convinced I'm the one with issues... It makes all the difference to just accept it, accept that he is so sick he will never see it, no matter what he says it's a lie.

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  21. This has been my life story over and over. I was raised by a narcissist mother and have had several relationships with narcissists. It took me til I'm almost 40 to figure out what has been going on my whole life. I cut him out of my and my daughters life almost three weeks ago. We are both doing so much better. Finally accepting that he wasn't the man I fell in love with, and he would never change, and his family and friends have been enabling him and convinced I'm the one with issues... It makes all the difference to just accept it, accept that he is so sick he will never see it, no matter what he says it's a lie.

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  22. Stockholm syndrome? maybe. After 25 years of being gaslighted, I'm a total basket case. He destroyed my heart/mind/soul, even my faith. The stress has affected my physical health as well. I'm "Cassandra". Read about Asperger's Syndrome. It's a convenient excuse for anti-social/narco/psycho behavior, including abuse of alcohol & meds, DUIs, etc.

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  23. I was talked into walking away from my relationship of years that was somewhat stagnant and walking away from my house 500 miles from her. Over the year shes walked away over 15 times. ive just got moved and shes emailed me yesterday stating shes done....again. She is married to the typical abusive N and has said im crazy of course, twisting the words of my emails shes saved, and claiming ive done it all on my own and a number of other wrong recitings. I remember everything ive said in every instance and what shes said and i disproved every single one of them and she tried to belittle me but i just laughed at her saying how sad to see such a sorry shell of a woman and recited country song "What did he do" by Lee Brice, which I know she hates. Now...that all said, is there any legal action that I am able to take against her for the deception and damage caused to me by her lying and manipulation in talking me into leaving my house? She was a Loan Officer for a major bank at one point before we started talking again. and she info she gave me was from her experience with a home, and her clients. I moved 500 miles and did all of that for nothing by her word, now my credit is taking a hit and Im just curious if anybody has any ideas for me. Thank you all!

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    1. None that I know of. The abuser stole from me, stole from our retirement, socked away money, left me with nothing, forced the sale of our home, managed to get by without paying any support for our children, left me with a credit rating in the toilet when it was >800 when I met him. I do not think there is legal remedy. The only thing we can do is start over. Even THAT is a joy without the abuse! Best wishes.

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    2. Wow, Another Soulmate, I could have written your response verbatim!

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    3. Another Soulmate, I am in your exact situation. I am totally ruined,8000 miles from my original home, and with no $, support system, a destroyed career and no legal remedy. He is in a glorified and stable professional position and in a new relationship.

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  24. The last 3.5 years of my life are displayed here. Wow! I am glad are started U-Tube therapy 3 mos. ago. I might have still been unaware of what I was experiencing. Thank you.

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  25. Textbook experiences exactly. Well describes the typical steps and confusion emotionally a victim goes through. The pain and suffering these evil "Cluster B" personality disordered things inflict is overwhelming. Understanding what happened, the con job, seeing the person under the mask....etc. helps but the healing is a continuous process. No one can understand except victim survivors and some don't even want to understand. Discard them and find true support and loyal friends that still believe in you. GOD help us all and may our journey and survival be a testimony to Your glory, mercy, and grace. Give us strength in recovery and hope for the future.

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  26. This is a true description of a horribly abusive relationship. I experienced this along with the physical violence for 26 years. My ex-beat me up the first time when I was 7 months pregnant, when I was 8 months as a newly wed. He did it again with my third child when I was 8 months pregnant. I tried to make the relationship better thinking it was my fault. He was so sick and I didn't know what a narcissist was. In the end, a divorce happened, the judge asked me to write down on a piece of paper the incidents of abuse I could remember, after 7 pages of incidents I stopped. The judge put a restraining order on him issued by the state. I experienced PTSD's for 3 years. I went to Domestic Violence Counseling and learned about what the "relationship" really was. I highly recommend Domestic Violence Counseling. Way more complicated then you can imagine as to why, the "victim" stays for so long in an abusive situation. I experienced physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse from him. He cheated on me and if I confronted him after finding other women's clothing and personal items in my couch, he beat me up and said I was crazy. I had way to much ego involved in my marriage to get out. I wanted it to work. I thought I could fix him and our marriage if only I could change and make myself better. I am on the mend.

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  28. are we too idealistic in the beginning/ im sorry to still be looking at "fault" but we DO get attracted to this sort of person for a reason. Being able to be independant in our society is incredibly tough and lonely. i'm sad that so many of us try to find a rescuer or someone to fulfill our "dreams". i belive our dreams are WRONG.

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  29. See May 3rd 5 pm post Melanie Tonya Evans pod cast coming up on YouTube. Recovery.
    Also Richard Grannon and Dana from Narcissistic Abuse video on YouTube. Great Stuff. We are not alone.

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  30. See May 3rd 5 pm post Melanie Tonya Evans pod cast coming up on YouTube. Recovery.
    Also Richard Grannon and Dana from Narcissistic Abuse video on YouTube. Great Stuff. We are not alone.

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  31. Thank you for this amazing article, so accurate as to what I have been going through, now discarded, but awaiting therapy.

    Thanks once again

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  32. If you find yourself as a new 'victim' and someone comes to you with knowledge and experience...LISTEN to them. You are not going to be that 'special' person who is going to cure, save, fix or change this individual...it is nearly impossible, if not totally impossible. You will lose yourself way before the light comes on....and then they will have destroyed you.

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  33. Its both frightening and cathartic for me as I read through this well-written evolution of life with a Narc.It tells my story perfectly. In my case, my Narc was also an alcoholic - like they're not dangerous and destructive enough -right? AS time passed, I began to drink as well to escape my misery. In the end, after I was discarded, I re-tooled my entire life and got sober for life. The Narc is on to her new supply - drinking as heavy as always. Thank you so very much for writing these stages of abuse. It helps a great deal as survivors struggle to pick up the pieces and move forward while finding peace.

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  35. 25 years too late... this is absolutely spot on!

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  36. My life exactly for the past 7 years.

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  37. My life exactly for the past 7 years.

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  38. what do they say....if you don't pass the test you get the lesson again. the teacher is a cruel one..but i passed. he is off to his new target and i am the bitter crazy...lol. i wasted enough time and space in my head for that bull. heres to a beautiful future for everyone.

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  39. This is incredibly accurate! The only thing I'd add is that getting into a therapy support group before leaving made the healing and separation process much easier. I can't recommend doing so highly enough. Being helped to emotionally detach, learn how to look after my needs and set boundaries has allowed me to leave feeling so much better about myself, despite 24 years of narcissistic abuse. If I hadn't done this, I don't know how I'd have picked myself up and moved forward. It meant that I avoided the horrific Step 15 and was prepared to leave on my own terms fully aware that the relationship and the narcissist never existed as I'd believed without it killing me. Instead of destroying me, it felt like I was taking back control of my life. It wasn't a walk in the park (a malicious narcissist is always just that) but I came through it knowing that I was believed and supported.

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