Narcissism and Relationships/Breakups: Part 1
Narcissistic … a word bandied about very loosely these days … aptly applies to someone who creates ‘crash landing’ breakups.
The painful relationship reality some of us must deal with is that we are involved with partners who live their lives within the framework of Narcissistic Personality Disorder … NPD. Studies reveal that this operative disorder affects approximately 1%  of the entire population and affects more males than females.
 Wikipedia; Narcissistic Personality Disorder
NPD is the base of many problematic relationships.
Its patterns are the answers to many of our questions about difficult relationships and their ensuing breakups. ‘Narcissistic’ is more than a descriptive adjective. The word also is the handle for a very real medically classified psychological disorder too deep and complex for the majority of us to successfully manage in a relationship. It is wise to be vigilante of what we may be dealing with when confronting disturbing behaviours.
When we find ourselves moving toward the conclusion of a repeatedly pain-filled relationship with such a partner we likely don’t know how it came about. What happened to the exceptional love we thought we had shared with another? In addition, we are shocked at how a connection we felt so deeply could be so abruptly severed. Such puzzlement’s are characteristic of a Narcissist-involved breakup.
In our particular version of a roller coaster ride with a Narcissist (our Narc)
We held on tightly for dear life, not knowing whether or not we would be hurled out of our seats at any moment … our emotional and physical structures dashed to the ground. Our vulnerable cores smashed into nearly unrecognizable pieces as our Narc kept us on the edge of our seats while s/he was at the controls of the scenes, the thrills and the chills.
Initially our emotions were ecstatically driven upward, driven up to the peaks of orgasmic rushes. In anticipation of reaching mutual joy and commitment, we reveled in being pursued. And very much looked forward to consummation in the relationship we had always dreamed of. However, those exhilarating occasions became less frequent as our Narc entered into the customary devaluation stage of the relationship… pretend to idealize, then devalue and then discard. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The Narcissist pattern.
Up to that point, thrilled and mesmerized by the seemingly endless and, oh, so thrilling steep inclines we never looked too far beyond our seats … maybe secretly fearing that what we might experience ahead would cause us to plummet to the ground. What we endured because we could not anticipate! Were we right to make excuses for the narcissistic bad behaviours which made us (and others) targets for lash out and deception; for manipulation during and after the frightening, sudden, and disturbing steep declines? We labored more to please and to earn approval which was, in tandem, increasingly withheld. Our Narc had us totally entangled in the classic exhilarating web of rising to the heights followed by cycles of release and fall, followed by still other rises. Each time our hopes soaringly renewed and painfully dashed.
Ultimately, we did plunge to the ground …
The inevitable outcome of the narcissistic game Narcs inflict upon their victims. Anyone who has lived a relationship with a Narc knows well this roller coaster ride. It is a pattern repeated with a series of victims. The joys, confusion and suffering of the latter are a Narcissist’s fuel-source.
The time comes when we must pull away for our very survival.
Escape from our roller coaster ride in some semblance of one piece, emotional and physical selves at a tipping point. Because Narcissists definitively emotionally abuse their victims and can be physically abusive as well, most often we are left with our self-esteem in shreds. We are totally confused as to what happened, what we must have done wrong, and why our hearts and guts felt so mutilated. Much, much time would be needed to recover, to put our pieces back together again, before we attempt another relationship.
The new danger here is that we might seek a relationship too soon in the aftermath of our devastation. With hope for personal re-affirmation, let us not seek or fall victim to the appeal of dramatic enchantment, of ascension to dizzying heights and the multiple successive thrills of another roller coaster ride with a yet another Narcissist. Better to look for a partner who will ride with us in stable and mutual commitment.