After experiencing betrayal by a narcissistic sociopath/psychopath and starting this blog, the first useful website I found on the subject was ‘Cheating and Narcissism Support’ by a European woman, Maria: http://www.cheating-infidelity.com/.
Maria’s website is extensive. A survivor of a narcissistic betrayer, Maria has arranged her site into the following sections; Recovery After Cheating and Narcissism, Narcissism, Cheating and Infidelity, Emotions and the Brain, Discussion Forum- Surviving Cheating and Narcissism, Stories- Narcissism, Stories- Cheating, and Blog- Cheating, Narcissism, Brain and Mind.
At ‘Cheating and Narcissism Support’, I read about the three phases of being loved by a narcissist. Theses phases so succinctly summed up what I had been through in two and a half years that reading about them felt like having the breath knocked out of me.
1. First, is the Idealization Phase. (I call this the ‘Pedestal’ phase.) The narcissist puts you on a pedestal. Not only does he put you on a pedestal, but also your friends, your family, your taste in music, your likes, your dislikes, your political views. Anything you like he finds wonderful. Anything you dislike he can’t stand. He buys you flowers, calls constantly, texts, emails, sends cards, writes poetry. He clears everything out of his life to worship you. The narcissist in my life even referred to me as his ‘goddess.’ He took photos of me constantly and created an altar of me in his room with photos, flowers and candles. As this man was my childhood sweetheart and my first husband, whom I had not had contact with in nearly twenty years, we assumed a very quick intimacy which I credited to ‘being reunited soulmates.’ I would not have become so intimately involved so quickly with a man whom I was meeting for the first time. Given this past intimacy, I did not recognize the red flags demonstrated by such immediate devotion on his part. I thought that our relationship was a result of spiritual happenings, and belonged on a higher than human plane. Yes, he put me on a pedestal and I began walking on air.
2. Next comes the devaluation phase. In this ‘reunion’ with my ex husband, which spanned thirty months, it is hard for me to pinpoint exactly where the idealization phase ended and the devaluation phase began. I first noticed changes about sixteen months into the relationship. It started with small things. Suddenly, he was unhappy with my wardrobe. “Why don’t you wear something nice when we go out?” Once, he was upset that I wanted to sit close to him and snapped at me. (Often, it is during the devaluation phase that the ‘narcissistic rage’ first rears its ugly head.) About two years into the relationship, all of a sudden he did not seem happy to see me when I came for a visit. (At this point, he was already 12 months into a relationship with another woman, so my arriving was probably a distraction to the newer relationship.) We had words about this. “I’ve driven 100 miles to see you and you don’t seem happy to see me, what’s going on?” I asked him, more than once. But then he’d take me inside and screw my brains out, and so I’d forget about it. Twenty four months into the relationship, he no longer wanted to go anywhere or do anything. Everything I’d ask him, do you want to do this or go here? He’d say no. I was beginning to feel like I was walking on eggshells around him, but it was all so subtle that I did not know what was happening. It made me very anxious and was quite confusing.
3. The Discarding Phase: I experienced The Discarding Phase about three months before the end. (The end was when I discovered that he had another girlfriend and ended my relationship with him.) During this phase, he ignored me during the last weekend I spent at his house, except during the five times he screwed me. I spent the weekend wondering what the &^* was going on. He was not interested in taking pictures of me, and he didn’t want to go out in public and do anything. During the weekend, he refused to go out to eat, made fun of me, ignored me to play computer games, and was not pleased when I decided to stay an extra night. When I tried to talk about upcoming Thanksgiving plans (we have an adult child together) he was suddenly noncommittal. I began to wonder what I was doing there, in his apartment, if he didn’t even want to talk to me. The last night we spent together, laying in bed, he said something quite mean and made me cry. I couldn’t believe that the love of my life, the father of my child, my long-lost love, who had spent so long worshiping me, could say such a mean thing to me in the intimacy of lying in bed together. It broke my heart. I wept and wept, not knowing it would be the last night we’d ever spend together.
When I read about the Idealization, Devaluation and Discarding phases of being loved by a narcissist, I was glad to finally have words and ideas to wrap around what I had experienced.
There is comfort knowing that others have gone through this and survived. I spent too many months feeling like I was all alone in what I had suffered. When one becomes involved intimately with a narcissist, one becomes isolated.
Through reading and communicating about what I have experienced, I have become reconnected with many strong, resilient women. I am grateful to all of them for sharing their journeys.
- Feeling Like Spilling Your Guts to the Narcissist? (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Surviving Valentine’s Day: Post Narcissist/Sociopath (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Get the Cluster B People Out of Your Life! (Psychopaths, Narcissists, Sociopaths…) (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Valentine’s Day- Official Narcissist Holiday (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Why Some Narcissists and Borderlines Lie (psychologytoday.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
- Never Argue with a Narcissist (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Two Great Blogs on Healing from Narcissism/ASPD Relationships (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- The narcissist – my nemesis (paulettecake.wordpress.com)
- “I LOVE ME!”: A Q&A About Narcissism (psychcentral.com)
- Working through stages can mend betrayal, UT psychologist says (knoxnews.com)
- Narcissism In The Work Place – Redux (datingapersonalitydisorder.wordpress.com)
- Problems With Emotional Intimacy – Typical for Borderliners and Narcissists (psychologytoday.com)
- Toxic Men and Toxic Relationships (justsaynototoxicrelationships.wordpress.com)
- The Magical Fantasies of Borderlines and Narcissists (psychologytoday.com)
- Feeling Like Spilling Your Guts to the Narcissist? (paulettecake.wordpress.com)
- Narcissists… The Real Zombies (zombiesdujour.wordpress.com)
- Toxic Shock (zombiesdujour.wordpress.com)