Stage 4 – Control
Now that you have resisted your narcissistic mate’s attempts to remake you to fit his “Love Script” and he has gotten used to devaluing you without significant consequences, he is likely to shift to attempting to control you. Why you might ask, does he not break up with you at this point and go find a different woman, if he is so unhappy? The answer is usually the following:
- He would have to admit that he was wrong to choose you—and narcissists cannot take the blame for anything without feeling deeply ashamed.
- He takes it as a personal attack on him when you refuse to go along with his plans.
- Dominating you makes him feel powerful again. When you said “no” to him, he saw your lack of submission to his wishes as you trying to dominate him—something he believes he simply cannot allow.
“The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside.” — Sam Vaknin
Jim: “We are not going out of the house with you looking like that. You had better change or else.”
Carole: “But I like the way I look.”
Jim: “Too bad. Everyone knows you have no taste. Either change or we’re not going out.”
The attempts to control you are likely to escalate. He may start treating you like a small child and review your every decision.
Jim: “I noticed you made plans to see your sister on Saturday. Don’t you think you should have checked with me first? Call her now and tell her you to need to cancel.”
He may also start reading your emails and texts and comment on them. When you tell him not to do this because you want some privacy, he makes it about you and not him: “What? Do you have something to hide?”
Stage 5 – The Discard
If you stayed long enough to reach this stage, your self-esteem and sense of inner calm are likely to be in tatters. If you are not living together or married, your narcissistic man may pick one last angry fight, leave you in tears, and throw a final devaluing statement about you back over his shoulder as he stomps out the door. Others simply disappear and will not reply to your texts or calls, leaving you without closure and forever puzzled about what happened.
“Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism.” — Frank Salvato
You are actually quite lucky if any of the above occurs. If you are living together or married, It is likely to get even uglier. He feels as if he is the aggrieved party and you have been nothing but a disappointment. He once thought that you were his princess, but now he can clearly see that he has to take his glass slipper and look elsewhere.
Being in a relationship with narcissistic men can make you doubt yourself every step of the way. You might feel like you are not good enough for anybody, but you cannot be farther from the truth. Toxic people will always try to make you feel bad about yourself, but be strong enough to shut it down and leave the relationship. It might be tough initially, but you will see how happy you will be in the long run.
Find Elinor’s book on amazon: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety.
Elinor’s website is www.elinorgreenberg.com.
If you want to know more about narcissistic men, then check out this video below:
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