The moment a person feels attracted to a member of the opposite sex (sometimes the same sex, but that’s another issue), they dream about love, romance, and relationships.
Like fairy tales marketed to children, the Prince and Princess meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life is far from it. Sometimes love is unrequited, and there are times the prince and princess don’t meet at all.
There are also times when one of them ends up marrying the beast.
What is the narcissistic relationship pattern?
The narcissistic relationship pattern refers to a dynamic characterized by a narcissist and their partner. Narcissists are individuals with an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.
In these relationships, the narcissist seeks to control and manipulate their partner, using tactics such as gaslighting, emotional abuse, and manipulation to maintain power and superiority. The partner often becomes trapped in a cycle of emotional turmoil, constantly seeking validation and approval from the narcissist.
The narcissistic relationship pattern can be emotionally draining and detrimental to the well-being of the partner, leading to feelings of low self-worth and dependency.
Impact of being in a relationship with narcissistic people
1% of the population suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)according to some estimates. The figure may sound like a small number, but if you really think about it, that’s 1 out of 100 people. In a country of 300 million, that’s 3 million people.
Helpguide identifies the signs and symptoms of an NPD. To identify their presence in a relationship, it is an obvious first step torecognizing an individual with NPD.
Grandiose sense of self-importance
Delusions of grandeur
Need constant validation and entitlement
Exploit and bullies others
Narcissists have an overinflated version of their self-worth.
Since a lot of truly successful people, such as rockstars, billionaires, and star athletes, act the same way, it creates a trope of how a successful person should act in public. The difference is those successful people have real and verifiable notable achievements, while narcissists are only piggyback off others.
A lot of people are deceived by this act.
Narcissists are pathological liars and as such, continue to build circumstantial evidence to support their fantasies. As such, they attract partners who believe they are a good “catch.”
Being in a relationship with a narcissistic person can have a profound impact on one’s emotional well-being. It can lead to diminished self-esteem, constant manipulation, emotional abuse, and a loss of personal identity, making it crucial to recognize and address these harmful dynamics.
The impact of being in a relationship with a narcissistic individual extends beyond emotional harm. It can result in feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation.
The constant need for validation and attention from the narcissist can leave the person feeling drained and trapped in a cycle of dysfunction. It is important to seek support and break free from these destructive patterns to regain control over one’s life and well-being.
So, it’s also important to learn how to avoid a narcissist and lean on with life peacefully.
People with NPD go through relationships in the exact same way, they go from hot to scalding hot, to the deepest depths of hell hot. Know narcissist dating patterns and narcissistic relationship cycle here:
If you are on the receiving end of this attention, it may appear super romantic.
It is everyone’s dream to meet a partner who is larger than life (or behaves like it), and give them their full attention as if there’s nothing else more important in the world. That is because there’s a problem in the fantasy world in the narcissist’s world.
The problem is they believe they own you, but they know deep down inside that they don’t. They will then use all their tricks to get you as if you are a prize to be won.
2. Narcissists are controlling and manipulative
Once you give yourself to them, things change. At that point, they no longer see you as a mountain to be conquered but as a slave in their possession. They know that you are not perfect, and they will begin molding you into their perfect “slave.”
All narcissist repeat patterns. They follow this particular template as if they learned it from a textbook somewhere.
Narcissistic love patterns will begin with subtle requests for their partners to follow, like changes in hairstyle, clothing, manner of speaking, etc. They have short patience, so normally this phase is also short if you don’t follow them right away.
Most partners are willing to make small superficial changes to please them and prevent the relationship from falling apart.
After that phase, they will begin isolating you from your friends, family, and everything you care about, including your hobbies. They believe you are their possession and can use/mold you as they wish.
They are also aware that outside influence will disrupt their “partner polishing project” and will preemptively discredit everyone else slowly but aggressively.
As partners, this narcissistic relationship pattern begins to develop cracks in their union as reality contradicts their fantasy. Some partners with strong individuality also resist that kind of treatment. Fights would constantly break out as the narcissist attempt to wrestle control of back to them.
The more their partner resists, the more the narcissist, who are sore losers, fight back.
This narcissistic relationship pattern will enter a new and dangerous phase.
3. Narcissists are dangerous
When it comes to narcissistic tendencies in relationships, they will begin to use underhanded means to regain control over the situation. It will start with threats, blackmail, and coercion. If the issue is not resolved then, the narcissist will go through with some of those threats and may get physical during arguments and other altercations.
It is a good idea to inform trusted friends and family of the situation for your own safety.
It is regretful if you cut ties or antagonized your friends and family in the previous phase. However, a lot of them who truly care about you will take you back and protect you.
Don’t forget to apologize.
The Narcissist knows that at this point, the relationship is over and will take steps to minimize the damage on their end and maximize it on their partner. Do not be surprised if they are cheating with another person, including people close to you at this point. If they are, wish them all the best.
The moment the relationship falls apart, even if it’s not officially over, the Narcissist will treat you as discarded trash.
Do not be surprised if your deepest darkest secrets are spread across the internet for everyone to see. They will attempt to destroy your entire being. They will attack your personal possessions, your career, your other relationships with friends and family.
Narcissist behavior patterns vary from person to person, but all of them will attempt to devalue you, so they can pin the blame on you once you break up. Do not commit infidelity without officialbreakup up with your narcissistic partner.
They will leverage that with maximum effect.
In an ideal world, the relationship would end and the narcissist would have found a new target, and the same toxic narcissistic relationship pattern will start all over again.
How narcissists treat their exes can be compared to how one would treat a used condom. They would consider it fun while it lasted, but now it’s just a piece of trash.
There are some variations that narcissists do not devalue their ex but instead lift them up as an unreachable model for their current partner to emulate, regardless of how it ends up for that partner.
How to break the narcissistic relationship pattern
In the complexities of a narcissistic relationship, it is essential to understand how to break the pattern. Here are key steps to reclaiming your well-being and finding healthier connections.
Look out for excessive self-centeredness, lack of empathy, constant need for attention, and manipulation.
Clearly define and communicate your boundaries and expectations within the relationship.
Prioritize your own well-being and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Reach out to trusted friends, family, or a therapist who can provide guidance and help you navigate the challenges of breaking the pattern.
Focus on building your self-worth and confidence through self-reflection, self-compassion, and self-improvement.
If the narcissistic behavior persists and the relationship becomes toxic, consider ending it for your own emotional well-being.
More questions on the narcissistic relationship pattern
As we delve deeper into understanding the narcissistic relationship pattern, numerous questions arise regarding its dynamics and impact. But do narcissists follow the same relationship patterns with everyone?
Let’s uncover answers to these pressing questions and gain a clearer understanding of the complex nature of narcissistic relationships.
What are the 4 cycles of narcissistic abuse?
The 4 cycles of narcissistic abuse are idealization, devaluation, discard, and hoovering. The narcissist initially idealizes their target, showering them with love and attention. Then, they devalue and criticize them, leading to a discard phase.
Finally, they may attempt to hoover the victim back into the relationship.
Check out this video about behaviors and tactics used by narcissists in a relationship and how to detect them:
Do narcissists actually break up with their lovers?
Yes, narcissists can break up with their lovers, but it is often part of their manipulative tactics. They might do so to gain a sense of power, control or to punish their partner. However, they may also engage in on-off relationships or “hoover” the partner back after a breakup to maintain control and keep them hooked.
So, how to break up with a narcissistic?
Breaking up with a narcissistic individual requires careful planning and consideration. Prioritize your safety, establish boundaries, seek support from trusted sources, and be prepared for potential manipulation or retaliation during the process.
In conclusion, identifying a toxic and narcissistic relationship pattern is crucial for preserving one’s well-being.
By recognizing the signs, setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, seeking support from trusted sources, such as friends, family, or therapists, and considering couples therapy, individuals can break free from destructive cycles and work towards healthier, more fulfilling relationships.
Remember, taking steps towards healing and growth is an empowering journey towards reclaiming personal happiness and emotional balance.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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