Asked in Narcissism

Is it common for a narcissist to systematically withdraw elements of the relationship until there is practially nothing left?



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Yes they do it to break your spirit so they have complete control over you. Almost from the beginning they "test" you in subtle ways to see where you are vulnerable. Then when you are reeled in they break you down, chew you up and spit you out like a carcass sucked dry of all your life and spirit. They do this to wives, lovers, friends coworkers - anyone that falls in their web. If you catch on to his games early on, he will sense it and avoid you. Because he is not secure enough in his own self to relate to you in a healthy human way. He MUST have control over everything. Even when they are loosing control they pretend they arent. answer YES!YES!YES!At first it is subtle and grows more intense and wicked as time goes by. They will withold respect-perhaps by making you feel guilty for something and placing blame. They will withold sex to make you feel unworthy. They will withold affection to manipulate you into pining after them. They will flaunt their superiority in your face to make you feel small. They will say things that make no sense to confuse you. There is more, but the point is, they are determined to ruin your spirit while at the same time binding you to them until you are utterly dependent. When your strength and elf-esteem are depleted, they will then discard you. Sometimes they will discard you when they have figured out you cannot be manipulated and you are no longer easy prey. When the well has gone dry and they can no longer get the desired reaction from you, they will consider the relationship OVER. They would much prefer the former situation. It's all about control.


What you describe sounds like emotinal abuse - systematic or not, that is manipulative and cruel. Anyone is, of course, capable of it, but narcissists tend to be abusive so it would not surprise me to see this behaviour from one.


Yes! The N will put all his energy into the beginning of a relationship so that he appears like the Ideal Love for You.However, he gets tired. Being perfect takes a lot of work and energy. Once you are his, he starts to conserve his energy. The wonderful things he used to do for you are just so much work now. You are like a second job to him. My N used to keep me on the phone for hours with his loving monologues, then as time went by, more often he just wasn't in a talkative mood. Normal people would say okay, let's talk some other time...Not him. He didn't want to spend the energy to talk but I had to stay on the line with him and entertain him. We are not talking about normal conversation with give and take. I had to do all the talking. If I wanted to get off the phone and go about my business, he was hurt and mad. Yet he wouldn't talk. Maddening. Also, they get bored with the romance and move on to the drama of arguments so they can experience highs and lows of break up and make up as entertainment.