If they give the issue a thought, they simply tell themselves one of the following, “If they cared about me staying, they wouldn’t do (fill in the blank),” or “They deserved it.” And if the partner made an emotional display after the recycler announced he or she was moving on, they might tell themselves, “What was all that fuss about?”
4. If their status rises, they may decide to “upgrade” partners.
Since people are interchangeable to narcissists, and they are low on empathy, some choose a new group of lovers when their status changes for the better. They want someone on their arm who reflects their new, higher status. Think of rock stars who seem to marry ever younger versions of the same blond woman.
Diane was beautiful, smart, and a rising star at her law firm. As she became more successful and started dressing in Chanel suits and Ferragamo shoes, she decided that she needed to upgrade her men as well.
Previously, Diane had managed to remain on good terms with most of her exes and had developed a group of men she cycled through who were almost always happy to have her back in their lives, however briefly. Now she was meeting new, higher-status men who could afford the Brioni suits to match her Chanel.
She liked being seen with them and gradually started to integrate these new men into her rotation. Within a year, Diane had developed an entirely new set of lovers and simply stopped responding when a man from her old, less affluent group called.
The last word: If a narcissistic ex-lover keeps returning to you only to leave yet again, perhaps it is time to ask yourself, “Do I want this person back in my life on these terms?” It is your choice if you want to get back into the rotation now that you know that your turn lasts only as long as your narcissistic ex is perfectly happy with you.
This article is based on three of my Quora.com posts:
1. Do Narcissists ever discard people permanently (12/13/16)
2. Do Narcissists return to their former victims (12/5/16)
3. Do Narcissists quickly forget their exes? (1/5/17)
Written by Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D.
This article originally appeared on Psychology Today and has been reprinted here with the authors permission
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