When you leave the narcissist he can re-idealize you and he will tell you all the things you want to hear to get you back. You must know this is temporary. If you go back you will be devalued and abused again. This is all part of the narcissist cycle. The narcissist only sees your worth in what you provide for him, as a source of narcissistic supply. You are not the supply, you are the source, nothing more than an object which provides fuel, your love, care, admiration, and attention = Fuel. And any other benefits you provide such as money, status etc.
You will never be the narcissist only source of supply. Narcissists have many sources of supply a smile from a stranger will give them fuel. Narcissists need constant supply to prop up the false self.
If you are in a marriage or relationship with a narcissist you are there to serve the needs of the narcissist. You are there to help regulate their self esteem. You are never seen as a person with wants, needs, and feelings of your own. In fact the narcissist will call you selfish if you want anything for yourself in the relationship.
When you first leave the narcissist it can feel so good to finally hear all the things you have been waiting for and wanting to hear. You will think he finally gets it and he does love me. He’s willing to change and work on our relationship. He finally sees my value in the relationship. You think to yourself I have invested so much of myself and so many years I must give this one more try. He knows all the right things to say to have you come back. He knows you well and knows what you so badly want to hear. Narcissists cannot and do not develop empathy all of a sudden. The way he has treated you throughout the relationship is the way he will continue to treat and it can even get worse if you go back.
I am sharing with you this article from psych central about the narcissistic cycle of abuse. I hope this helps. And good luck to you on your journey. ~ Debra
The Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse
By Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC
The cycle of abuse Lenore Walker (1979) coined of tension building, acting-out, reconciliation/honeymoon, and calm is useful in most abusive relationships.
However, when a narcissist is the abuser, the cycle looks different.
Narcissism changes the back end of the cycle because the narcissist is constantly self-centered and unwilling to admit fault. Their need to be superior, right, or in charge limits the possibility of any real reconciliation. Instead, it is frequently the abused who desperately tries for appeasement while the narcissist plays the victim. This switchback tactic emboldens the narcissist behavior even more, further convincing them of their faultlessness. Any threat to their authority repeats the cycle again.
Here are the four narcissistic cycles of abuse:
▪ Feels Threatened. An upsetting event occurs and the narcissist feels threatened. It could be rejection of sex, disapproval at work, embarrassment in a social setting, jealousy of other’s success, or feelings of abandonment, neglect, or disrespect. The abused, aware of the potential threat, becomes nervous. They know something is about to happen and begin to walk on eggshells around the narcissist. Most narcissists repeatedly get upset over the same underlying issues whether the issue is real or imagined. They also have a tendency to obsess over the threat over and over.
▪ Abuses Others. The narcissist engages in some sort of abusive behavior. The abuse can be physical, mental, verbal, sexual, financial, spiritual or emotional. The abuse is customized to intimidate the abused in an area of weakness especially if that area is one of strength for the narcissist. The abuse can last for a few short minutes or as long as several hours. Sometimes a combination of two types of abuse is used. For instance, a narcissist may begin with verbal belittling to wear out the abused. Followed by projection of their lying about an event onto the abused. Finally tired of the assault, the abused defensively fights back.
▪ Becomes the Victim. This is when the switchback occurs. The narcissist uses the abused behavior as further evidence that they are the ones being abused. The narcissist believes their own twisted victimization by bringing up past defensive behaviors that the abused has done as if the abused initiated the abuse. Because the abused has feelings of remorse and guilt, they accept this warped perception and try to rescue the narcissist. This might include giving into what the narcissist wants, accepting unnecessary responsibility, placating the narcissist to keep the peace, and agreeing to the narcissistic lies.
▪ Feels Empowered. Once the abused have given in or up, the narcissist feels empowered. This is all the justification the narcissist needs to demonstrate their rightness or superiority. The abused has unknowingly fed the narcissistic ego and only to make it stronger and bolder than before. But every narcissist has an Achilles heel and the power they feel now will only last till the next threat to their ego appears.
Once the narcissistic cycle of abuse is understood, the abused can escape the cycle at any point. Begin by coming up with strategies for future confrontations, know the limitations of the abused, and have an escape plan in place. This cycle does not need to continue forward.