If you have been involved with this type of toxic personality you will know very well the cyclic pattern that occurs within the relationship. First of all you will be placed on a pedestal and idealized. Very quickly that idealization will change to devaluation, often seemingly overnight, where one moment you were adored, the next you cannot seem to get a single thing right. Following that comes raging, withdrawal and the silent treatment. After a period of withdrawal comes the relationship reset, where the narcissist returns in full force, pulling you back into his power play. Depending on how long you stay, this pattern of idealization, devaluation, withdrawal and reconciliation will be a key cycle and dynamic within the relationship. If you allow this cycle to continue it will steal years from your life.
Once you can see the pattern clearly and therefore see the narcissist clearly, it will only be a matter of time before the discard occurs. The devaluation began once he had conquered you and made sure you were in love with him, the discard comes when you no longer worship him the same way and begin to set boundaries. At this point it all becomes too much – he does not want to believe he is anything less than perfect, to see the truth of himself reflected in your pain. He needs to hold on tight to the belief that he is the amazing false persona he is projecting to the world. Therefore it is imperative to find someone else who will worship him again, the same way you did in the beginning. He simply resets the play, Act One, Scene One.
Whether it is you calling the relationship over or him calling it over, the final breakup with a narcissist is extremely painful. It is likely that he will move on immediately to the new leading lady he has waiting in the wings – his New Supply. And he will do it in a way that inflicts maximum pain, without a single glance back. To find out that you meant absolutely nothing to a person you loved so deeply is one of the most painful things to have to accept. To even begin to deal with this, it is important to realize that he has a significant personality disturbance and cannot love the way other people do. He is able to completely switch off his feelings because he actually doesn’t have any true ones in the first place. Any time he feels anything he cuts off - which is why he will so often pull the raging and silent treatment when everything is going well – he needs to find fault, sabotage and unsettle the relationship in order to remain safe and keep any emotions locked firmly away. Love equals vulnerability in his eyes, whereas fear equals power and control and that is where he feels the safest.
If you have reached the discard in your relationship, break out the bubbles and celebrate. It is likely to be very painful, especially if you were married to him and have children involved but it is also very liberating. Once you have some time and space from the cycle of abuse and the opportunity to begin to heal, you will realize just how lucky you are to be done with it.