Narcissists can be angel on the outside and devil on the inside. To understand this read –The Covert Narcissist
3) You feel engulfed by the relationship.
One of the trademarks of individuals with narcissistic abuse syndrome is the way they hijack their victim’s world, effectively consuming every moment of the day. This engulfment can be observed in the way they call, text, and email numerous times a day (often well into the hundreds), encourage you to detach from friends and family, dictate how you should dress and/or wear your hair, display excessive jealousy, and, sometimes, even control what you eat.
This engulfment also consists of the “walking on eggshells” feeling and persistent anxiety that you experience. This comes from the fear of not knowing what will upset your volatile partner. Therefore, every action you take must be prefaced with a detailed analysis of whether or not it will upset them and even then, your best thought-out plans may crumble around your feet – leaving you with a gnawing feeling of despair and hopelessness.
Healthy relationships do not make you feel like a prisoner. You should feel free to be yourself and rest easy in your nuclear and extended relationships with friends and family.
4) You’ve begun to compromise your personal integrity and values.
In the past, you stood up for what you believed in, but inside of your relationship you’ve started tolerating (and possibly taking part in) things that make you uncomfortable because, ironically, doing these things is how you’ve come to believe you can show your love to your partner.
You focus all your energies on how to make your partner love you and treat you once again like the soul mate they said you were. Paradoxically, in the “name of love” you may have found yourself watching porn. That may be due to your partner’s insistence, considering a threesome, or other demeaning sexual activities that make you feel sick to the stomach when you think of them.
In other cases, you may resist leaving tips at restaurants, donating time or money, volunteering, and participating in other philanthropic activities. Because your domineering partner has told you those things are a waste of time and money and/or mocks you for doing them.
Even worse, your children may have taken a back seat to the constant drama.
A caring and trusting partner would never force you to participate in things that make you feel uncomfortable or insecure, nor would they coerce you to stop taking part in charitable activities. If your partner has led you to believe that you can only prove your love by violating your values, then you are in an abusive relationship. There is no loophole in this regard that disqualifies your partner from being abusive, no matter what they would have you believe.
5) You feel unworthy due to your partner’s name-calling.
It’s one thing for your partner to call you pet names or even tease you on occasion, but another entirely to call you “crybaby”, “a moody bi**h” (or “not a man”), “unstable”, “crazy”, or other hurtful names – which are intended to hurt you.
Name-calling is a form of abuse. It is used to belittle you and make you question your worth. It is employed during rage attacks and blame-storms and, alternately, under the guise of joking. Whether your partner is arguing with you or the two of you are having a “good” day, name-calling is never appropriate.
Note that Narcissists and other abusers call their partners names and then pretend that they are kidding (i.e., “You’re too sensitive” or “I was only joking”). This is a trademark of verbal abuse! And, it’s no different with your partner, regardless of whatever excuses they lob at you. Having a difficult childhood, bad past relationships, or stress at the workplace doesn’t give them the right to embarrass you, humiliate you, put you down, or make you feel guilty.
6) You are exhausted by the repeated cycles of Hurt and Rescue.
This tactic preys on your emotions. Here, your partner with narcissistic abuse syndrome causes you a great deal of stress and anxiety and then abruptly relieves that stress. The most common tactic used by the Narcissist in this category is the silent treatment, which evokes your fear of abandonment. When the Narcissist finally returns, you experience a rush of euphoric relief.