What is the Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don’t think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not a woman in that same role.

The Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse is very similar to the standard Cycle of Abuse in most domestic violence situations, with a tension-building phase, an abusive incident, a honeymoon phase, and intermittent periods of calm. There are, however, some distinctions:  

The Narcissistic cycle of abuse generally involves four stages:

  1. Your narcissist partner feels threatened
  2. He or she abuses you
  3. Your narcissist partner becomes a victim
  4. He or she feels empowered
Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse

Your Narcissistic Partner Feels Threatened

A narcissist feels threatened every time he or she thinks that something poses a threat to their ego.

For example, if you reject to fulfill some of your partner’s demands, the narcissist may feel disrespected or neglected and therefore threatened.  Soon enough, you begin to sense that something is about to happen.

It ‘s that familiar feeling of “walking on eggshells” that people who live with narcissistic abusers experience.

Your narcissistic partner obsesses over the threat (real or imagined) repeatedly, and the cycle of abuse begins. 

The Narcissist Engages in Abusive Behaviors

When they feel threatened, the narcissists typically engage in abusive behavior that can include anything from psychological to financial abuse. 

In some cases, the abuse may start with verbal or emotional abuse; your partner may be demeaning, intimidating, and humiliating, which sometimes escalates into physical violence.

This abusive behavior may last for a few minutes or several hours.

Left with no other choice than to defend yourself, you usually decide to fight back.

Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse

The Narcissist Becomes a Victim

And then the twist happens and your narcissistic partner your behavior defensive behavior to prove that they are the ones being abused.

Your partner may act as if you initiated the abuse, causing you to feel guilty, accept the responsibility, and reconcile under the narcissist’s conditions. 

The Narcissist Feels Empowered

Once you have given up and decided to go along with the narcissist’s distorted perception of reality, your partner receives the validation of their superiority and power.

By accepting to play along with this pattern of abusive behavior, you feed the narcissist’s ego, and the peace in your relationship restores. Nevertheless, when they sense the slightest threat to their ego, your narcissist partner will start the cycle of abuse again.

Recognizing and understanding the narcissistic cycle of abuse can help you establish boundaries, stop the abuse cycle, and seek help.

105+ Secrets – What A Narcissist Does Not Want You To Know

What A Narcissist Does Not Want You To Know The narcissist does not want you to know how talented you are. The narcissist does not want you to know that he is going to deem any criticism of him whatso…

How Gaslighting Works to Erode the Victim’s Reality

Gaslighting is a game of Smoke and Mirrors so dive in to discover a clear explanation of how gaslighting works. While the definition of gaslighting may appear clear-cut, the reality of how it is used …

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting, explained. How do you convince someone that something they know to be true isn’t? In psychology, what is known as the “illusory truth effect” is a phenomenon in which a listener comes to …

What I Learned Living With a Narcissist

I wanted to share this wonderful video from Nathaniel Drew about what he learned when living with a Narcissist! There are some very manipulative people out there and I wanted to share my experience li…

5 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists to Protect Yourself

Living with a pathological narcissist in your life is very painful. Far from just benignly in love with themselves as they are sometimes described, the true pathological narcissist is a brutal, sadist…

Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and How to Help Victims Heal

Table of ContentsCan you spot a Narcissistic Abuse Victim from a crowd?Victims are often exposed to abuse of every form including but not limited to :Why would anyone stay in such an abusive rela…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *