What’s really happening with these initial infrequent incidences?
The narcissist is testing your limits — in other words, how much of their shit are you willing to tolerate? What and where are your boundaries? Will you defend and enforce your boundaries? Or will you capitulate to keep the peace and the narcissist’s “love” no matter the price, including your dignity? Eventually, the narcissist will stop blaming outsiders for their bad behavior and start blaming you. Cue the devaluation stage.
What goes up (you being hoisted atop the narcissist’s pedestal) will eventually be torn down (by your narcissist, of course). Why? Because you disappointed your narcissist, silly!
You didn’t provide an endless supply of love, adoration and nurturing. You didn’t make them an overnight success — you held them back all those years by providing a stable home life! You took askance with being raged at and called names. You began to see your narcissist more clearly and realistically. You wanted the love and support to be bidirectional in the relationship.
Asking or expecting reciprocity from your narcissist is the kiss of death. She or he will occasionally give, but only if it makes them feel or look good to do so, and it always comes with a price. Narcissists don’t give without the expectation of getting, and they expect to get more than they give. It’s narcissist math.
The narcissist may also begin to devalue you simply because she or he is bored. Stability is boring. Coziness? Contentedness? Comfort? Boring, boring, boring. If the narcissist isn’t distracting themselves with some drama, conflict, lawsuit, affair, self-aggrandizement or swindle they might actually have to look at and deal with themselves. Then they might just realize that they and they alone are the architects of their misery and they can’t have that. Therefore, if they’re feeling bored or disappointed with life or themselves someone needs to be blamed.
Once the devaluation stage begins, the discard is inevitable. It may take a few months, years or, in some cases, decades, but it will happen. There’s no going back to the idealization stage once you’ve seen behind their mask and their all too human feet of clay — no matter what empty promises and lies your narcissist tells you. You might get some love bombing in the form of a Hoover if she or he isn’t quite ready to discard you. This is usually because the next source of narcissistic supply hasn’t been secured yet.
Your narcissist may promise things will be better if only you do more, sacrifice more, give more, don’t hold them accountable or expect anything from them. If you’re determined to make it work with your narcissist, despite all indications that it’s time to jump out of the plane and pull the ripcord, you have a couple of options at your disposal to delay the inevitable.
First, you must accept the narcissist for the severely emotionally handicapped and integrity challenged person that they are. She or he isn’t going to have an epiphany and suddenly become an insightful, soulful, decent human being that possesses empathy and a conscience. They’ve spent their entire adult lives avoiding just that. Not going to happen.
Second, you must also unflinchingly accept their abuse. And don’t ever tell them that their behaviour is abusive. Doing so makes the narcissist feel bad about her- or himself. Remember what happens when the narcissist or borderline feels bad about themselves? They blame someone else (i.e., you). Plus, labelling their behaviour abusive means you’re not accepting them for who they are. Got it?