The Narcissist's Cycle of Idealization to Devaluation

Lisa E. Scott's picture

Being in love with a narcissist is a confusing state of affairs, to say the
least. In the beginning, a narcissist makes you feel incredibly loved and
valued. He appears to be head-over-heels in love with you and worships
the ground you walk on. He writes you poetry, takes you out for romantic
dinners, and finds all your little quirks endearing and adorable.

Once a narcissist feels he has obtained control of you (through mar-
riage or moving in together), you will see a completely different side of
him that you never knew existed. Narcissists have often been described as
having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. Once in control, a narcis-
sist becomes demeaning and cruel.

Narcissists are oblivious to others and how their behavior affects
people close to them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make their behavior any
less hurtful. Narcissists dismiss the feelings, ideas, and opinions of others.
They are condescending in their nature. They belittle, criticize, judge, and
put others down. They can be blatant about it but are often quite subtle in
their approach. They have a way of putting you down in such a way that
you don’t even realize you have been insulted until you reflect upon the
conversation later.

While narcissists are oblivious to the fact that their behavior hurts
others, it does not mean that at times, they are not deliberately abusive.
A narcissist is purposefully abusive when the relationship with his signifi-
cant other changes in a way that is not to his liking. An example of this
would be when a significant other becomes too close or clingy. Intimacy
terrifies a narcissist, and he will respond by being purposefully abusive in
order to push the person away.

Another example of when a narcissist would be intentionally abusive
is when a significant other voices her displeasure or threatens to leave the
relationship. By asserting abusive behavior, a narcissist believes he can
maintain his dominance and control over his significant other.

A narcissist has a way of turning everything around so you begin to
question yourself. He will do something terribly mean or cruel. You will
talk to him about it, but by the end of the conversation, you are the one
apologizing for some reason. A narcissist knows how to manipulate better
than anyone.

In my experience, a narcissist eventually becomes sarcastic and belit-
tles you constantly. You begin to feel you can do nothing right in his eyes
and your presence is hardly tolerable. You’re baffled. You wonder what
you did wrong to cause such a drastic change in his feelings toward you.
You struggle desperately to return things to the way they were in the
beginning. Unfortunately, as hard as you try, things will never be the
same again. This is because everything he did in the beginning was an
act to secure your love, nothing more. It is a maddening and precarious
way to live. It can drive anyone to the edge of their sanity.

When I did take any real steps at ending either relationship, if verbally
abusive behavior did not work to force me into submission, the false
self would be the next weapon of defense in their artillery. I think a
narcissist believes if his false self worked once to win you over, it will work
again to keep you around or win you back.

At this point he will lay on the charm. A narcissist knows when to
charm and is sure to remind you that he understands you like no one else
can or ever will. It is essential for a narcissist to make you believe only he
can understand you. By constantly telling you that you have problems
and quirks only he can understand, you start to believe him and begin to
feel unlovable in some strange paranoid way.

By telling you he loves you despite your flaws, he hopes you will grow
dependent on him. This is a narcissist’s way to ensure you will never leave
him. It is narcissistic manipulation at its finest.

When a narcissist feels he is in control of you and is not threatened by
any fear that you will ask for too much from him or leave the relationship,
he will engage in escapist activity and appear as if he hardly notices you
exist the majority of the time. You are merely present to dispense secondary
narcissistic supply (i.e. attention) should his primary supply source (i.e. the
outside world) fail to meet his needs for the day.

This is when we must remember we did nothing wrong. It is all about him,
ladies. A narcissist will simply discard people when he becomes convinced
that they can no longer provide him with sufficient Narcissistic Supply.
Keep in mind, this evaluation of his is totally subjective and not grounded in
reality at all. These men are delusional and you musn’t forget that. Suddenly
because of boredom, a disagreement, an act or a failure to act, the narcissist
swings from total idealization to complete devaluation.

He then disconnects from you immediately. He needs to preserve all of
his energy in order to obtain and secure new sources of Narcissistic Supply
and sees no need to spend any of his precious time on you, whom he
now considers useless. But please remember, he will repeat this same cycle
with his new source of narcissistic supply. It is inevitable. Be grateful this
toxic abusive man is out of your life and never let him back in.

Comments

Susan32's picture

Why my ex-P maintains NC

The postcard I sent him 7 years ago called him a lying, arrogant bully. I also said I was no longer his adoring,worshipful student. Of course, I committed one of the cardinal sins in his mind--calling him by his first name and his patronymic (as in "son of N--")

After the D&D, he still begged me, "Did you learn your lesson?" My response was that he was a liar, and couldn't be trusted, that he had hurt me on purpose, and enjoyed hurting my feelings. If he HADN'T been caught in a major lie, I wouldn't have wised up.

He did try to break NC by smearing me to the teacher education program. I didn't call him in anger or desperation--I didn't call him. At all. (This smear happened shortly after the D&D, so that was a decade ago)

Besides, I told him more than once I assume that everything he says is a lie, so I don't trust him.