You may not get discarded right away if you tolerate the abuse and look the other way when your narcissist seeks fresh supply elsewhere, but there is no equal, mutual, healthy adult relationship to be had with this person. If you accept these conditions please understand that your narcissist won’t appreciate you or think, “Wow, husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend must really love me to give me such free reign and to accept me as I am.” Quite the opposite, in fact. Your narcissist will have even less respect for you as you further degrade and humiliate yourself in order to maintain the relationship at any cost (e.g., staying in the relationship while she or he openly has affairs or becomes physically violent).
Your narcissist won’t see you as loving and committed to him or her. This is when your narcissist will become more sadistic than you could ever imagine. Why? Because you have shown your narcissist there is no limit she or he can violate that will cause you to withdraw your love. Please don’t do this to yourself. Take whatever shred of self-esteem you have left and get out. If you have no shared children or assets, go ghost. Complete radio silence.
Don’t take the bait and respond to angry messages or feigned remorse. Narcissists and borderlines don’t feel genuine remorse. They feel sorry for themselves once they finally reap the consequences of their bad behaviour, but that’s not the same as feeling remorse for having hurt others. As Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”
But, but your narcissist seems really sincere when they say how much they miss you? Okay, there may a grain of truth to that. However, it would be more accurate to say that your narcissist misses the ease you brought to their life and the supply you provided. That’s not love and you deserve better. Continuing to engage with your former narcissist in any fashion allows her or him to continue to feed off of you. It’s time for you to take back your power and resources for yourself. Let the narcissist siphon resources elsewhere, or, heaven forbid, finally do for themselves.
In the end, once a new source of supply (e.g., ass-kissing, financial support, novelty sex, someone who believes the narcissist’s false self is the real self) has been secured, you will be discarded. New supply is tastier, juicier and more robust than old depleted supply who has seen behind the narcissist’s mask. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably never been à deux in your relationship. Narcissists and borderlines triangulate. It’s important to understand this because a narcissist typically won’t discard until she or he has a new source of supply, a third party with which to replace the old supply. As the devaluation stage progresses, the narcissist seeks out and grooms fresh supply. Once they’ve found their new hero-angel, that’s it.
Given that narcissists are insatiable, needy vortexes of suck, there’s never enough attention, love, comfort, emotional breast milk or any resource that he or she desires. Like an alcoholic who hides vodka bottles around the house, narcissists require back-up emotional supply.
In Karpman’s drama triangle there are three roles: the Victim, the Persecutor and the Rescuer. Two versions of the triangle exist; the narcissist’s version and the objective reality version. The narcissist sees her- or himself as the Victim, the person they’re abusing and exploiting (the old supply) as their Persecutor and their new supply (e.g., the mistress/manstress) as their Rescuer. In reality, the narcissist is the Persecutor, the new supply is their enabler/accomplice (unwittingly or wittingly) and the old supply is the Victim.
At the beginning of your relationship with your narcissist, when you were the new supply/Rescuer, you probably aided and abetted your narcissist in hurting your predecessor. You were once the hero or angel, and now you’re the big old meanie who doesn’t appreciate your Narcissist anymore. The new supply is the answer to the narcissist’s problems just as you once were. Rinse, wash, repeat.
You may be cast again in the role of the Rescuer if you’re foolish and self-destructive enough to hang around and wait for your narcissist to become disappointed or bored with the current new supply. But remember, even if that happens, the narcissist will only become disappointed or bored with you again and around and around you go. Just step out of it.
What about the new supply/Rescuer? She or he is most likely another hapless codependent who sees your narcissist as a poor, downtrodden, unappreciated victim. Don’t envy the new supply. The narcissist will do to them what the narcissist did to you. Alternately, the new supply/Rescuer may also be another narcissist, borderline, histrionic or sociopath who saw your narcissist coming from light-years away and then mutual love bombing commenced.
If the new supply is another disordered predator or conniver, the two of them will eventually cannibalize one another, in which case maintain a safe distance and pop some popcorn. Or, you can heal, move on with your life and not look back. Okay, okay, enjoy a little schadenfreude then move on and don’t look back.
Originally appeared on SHRINK4MEN
Written by Dr. Tara J. Palmatier
Republished with permission.