Every interpersonal relationship of a narcissist passes through these phases as a repetition compulsion. You and I might have a repeating relationship pattern too, and find ourselves drawn time and again to similar types. Narcissists, by contrast, don’t necessarily go for the same physical or personality type, but for the person who most represents what the narcissist wants right NOW. Easily bored, and extremely impulsive, the narcissist suddenly and unexpectedly switches wives, friends, jobs, states, countries often.
He is unable to bond with his partners or experience emotional intimacy. He is, however, very good at mimicking what he observes in others as ‘good behaviour’ in a mate or that which he knows his current target is seeking. He is able to tell people exactly what they want to hear. And he can pick a trusting, honest, vulnerable target a mile off. A natural predator, he is a man in a mask. He is the true Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde character. Not simply a veneer of inauthenticity that any of us might adopt in order to succeed socially or professionally, his is a personality disorder, hidden even from himself.
Characterised by extreme flattery, validation and adoption of the new target’s home, friends, beliefs, hobbies, habits, likes and dislikes. The narcopath is so obsessed with obtaining the thing he wants NOW that he can appear deeply in love and the target believes they have met their ‘soul mate’. For a time, she can do no wrong and the narcissist boasts about his new love very publicly (once he has successfully shed his previous skin and adopted a whole new life).
The same things that he once found attractive or desirable, he denigrates, despises and degrades. Using coercion, manipulation or control, he convinces the target to set aside her independence in favour of a mutual shared future until death. Unaware of the psychological manipulation, the target becomes isolated from a support system, suffers confusion and emotional turmoil, and physical, financial and mental degeneration.
Despite words of undying love, lustful sex, marriage vows, and an extended period of promises oaths and agreements, the entire life created by narcissist and target is suddenly and unexpectedly discarded. Homes, children, jobs, countries, social and professional networks are suddenly worthless to the narcissist in favour of the next thing he wants most NOW.
Unfathomably vain and with a deep belief in his own specialness, the narcissist will destroy the target rather then be seen to have behaved badly. He will use a deceitful smear campaign to discredit and disempower the woman he has just discarded like a worthless ‘thing’, without remorse, but with gratification at the damage he is able to inflict on someone who loved and trusted him, whilst appearing an innocent victim himself.