The 3 stages of Narcissistic relationship abuse

The 3 stages of Narcissistic relationship abuse

Because there are only two types of people according to the narcissist – perfect and flawed – they find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships. More than this, their unrealistic expectations combined with their disorder leads to cycles of abuse.

These can be split into 3 stages:

Chasing the unicorn

When a narcissist sets their sights on someone, that person becomes just like the mythical creature – flawless, unattainable perfection. The narcissist works hard to win approval by showering the person with gifts and attention. However, once they get what they wanted, they
lose interest and move on to the next unicorn.


If the narcissist decides to stay and pursue a relationship with their unicorn, they quickly come to realize that their partner isn’t perfect. This is when they begin making suggestions about things the person should change to be better. They will always be trying to change you, and they will
always make it sound as if those changes will be for your benefit.


All compliments and positive comments stop, and are replaced with endless criticism. The narcissist doesn’t even bother to be polite about it either. They will be insulting without batting an eyelid, and won’t think twice about criticizing their partner in front of others.

Treatment for NPD is available, albeit challenging. Given the narcissist’s ego, it’s not easy to get them to acknowledge they have a problem. That said, if they are willing to recognize they might have a problem with NPD, psychotherapy has been known to help. Please contact us for more
information about treatment and support for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.