Signs & Stages of a Narcissistic Relationship: Are You in One?

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic person, you will know by the signs. A relationship like this will drain you.

The narcissistic relationship can be explained by first understanding what it is and where it comes from. Narcissism comes from a surprising place, and we all have some amount of narcissistic characteristics. This is normal. What is not normal, however, is acting at either drastic end of this spectrum. The place you want to, in order to have healthy relationships, is in the middle of this scale.

Narcissism – it can come from a long history of the obsessive love of self or vaulted self-image. But there is more to the narcissistic personality. Even in narcissism-fueled relationships, it’s not always clear where the origins of this trait come from. It just has so many roots, but these roots must be dissected. Trauma, neglect, and other origins – it’s hard to guess the culprit.

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

It’s devastating to realize that you’ve been in a narcissistic type of relationship. All those times of trying to please your partner and feeling guilty about things may have only been a narcissistic experience. Don’t feel bad because many people have been in this position. Well, it’s time to figure out if you are in this type of relationship after all.

Here are some signs:

1. Negativity

Narcissists thrive off negativity. To gain attention, they will attempt to spread this negativity to others, informing them of events or situations that are horrific or complicated. If they cannot gain attention, for some reason, they will throw a tantrum or become too sensitive. They often bring up past wrongs to make you feel guilty as well.

The narcissist cannot take criticism well and will attempt to make you feel sorry for them. Yes, they can use negativity to play the victim. They judge people wrongly and blame others for their own problems. All these things are done in a negative light. I mean, you cannot expect them to be positive and do these things.

2. Quickly love/Quickly throw away

One trait that most people overlook is the basic way the narcissist loves. In a narcissistic marriage or relationship, the bond will start off strong. The narcissist will chase you and build you up, giving you wonderful compliments. They may shower you with gifts to show their love. Unfortunately, when they grow bored, they will start to change.

Although you may still receive gifts, they will slowly become less and less. This is because you no longer buy their lies. Ultimately, they decide to end the relationship. This is one of the worst acts of the narcissist because such highs and lows are extremely difficult for the narcissist’s victim.

3. Selfies, selfies, and more selfies

It’s perfectly okay to take a few pictures of yourself, but it’s not okay to overdo this. Narcissists will reveal in their relationships just how full of themselves they really are by trying to remain in the spotlight. It’s actually as if they have a fan club. They exude a confidence level that makes most people feel uncomfortable, and it starts with numerous, I mean multitudes of photos of themselves.

If you were to see their album on their phone, you would probably see hundreds of pictures of themselves, and yet, few of their friends or loved ones. Pay attention to this, and understand this is not a normal state of mind.

4. Controlling

A real narcissist is controlling. This means if things don’t go their way, they become angry. They push until things are back the way they were when they felt comfortable. When narcissists are controlling they believe that their way is the best way and others should see things the way that they do.

The narcissist will often be told they are controlling, but yet, they will find a way to discount this statement. I have learned a few things about controlling behavior and this is one of them: being controlling is born from fear and a reluctance to change.

5. Playing the victim

A narcissistic and manipulative relationship will include one person who plays the victim. Yes, there are victims in this world, but using past traumas to justify present behavior is definitely playing the victim. People who do this will act out on their fears but will blame their abuser on the torment they go through now.

It’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, but narcissists cannot continue to play the victim, or they can never be healed. Yes, they were once abused, but projecting this abusive behavior on others is not the right thing to do.

Stages of the Narcissistic Relationship

Along with signs, there are phases that the relationship goes through. During these phases, a form of trust is developed and walls are taken down by the victim. That’s why this relationship dynamic is so hurtful and difficult to get away from. The phases are as follows.

1. The love phase

This first phase is not a bad one per se. Love is never a bad emotion to show and act upon. When a relationship starts between a narcissist and another, the narcissist will pour out huge amounts of love.

It will seem like a dream come true when you first meet a narcissistic person. This is what pulls you into the relationship and makes you start dreaming of a long future with this person.

2. The Change

Subtly and slowly things start to change in your relationship. Your mate will start to devalue you and make you feel like most things are your fault. Of course, the narcissist will not take credit for any wrongs they do during this time. They will become controlling, but just a little at a time until you’re spending less and less time with family and friends.

Then they will start to insult your appearance and tell you to change your hair or clothing style. This will be shocking because you remember how the first stage was.

3. Thrown away

After this, if you have served every purpose of the narcissistic plans in the relationship, you will be discarded. After you serve no purpose like financially or emotionally, especially if you’ve stopped stroking his ego, he will probably break up with you. This will hurt really bad, but it will be doing you a favor.

4. Healing

Now you can start to heal from the hurts of this narcissistic person who ruled the relationship. No, it will not be easy, and it will take some time, but it will be worth it in the end. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re out now, and this may help you have the strength to move on.

Do narcissistic relationships ever last?

Unfortunately, narcissistic styles of relationships never really work out for good. There are rare occasions, however. But even when you think things are changing, they’re probably not or they are temporary.

Usually, when dating or being married to a narcissist, you will experience a week or so of good times, followed by many weeks of toxic and terrible behavior. This pattern will continue dragging you down into depression.

I urge you to seek help if you think you could be in a narcissistic relationship. The longer you endure this, the worse the outcome for your self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. Support can help you see the truth of your relationship, and make the right decisions toward a better life.



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