Woman talk to narcissistic abuse therapist.

The Cycle of Narcissistic Abuse: How It Starts and How to End It

Narcissistic abuse is a deeply damaging pattern that often goes unrecognized until it’s too late. It’s a complex dynamic where one partner, typically the narcissist, manipulates and controls the other, leaving the victim feeling trapped, confused, and powerless. Understanding the cycle of narcissistic abuse is crucial for breaking free from its grip and reclaiming your life. In this blog, we’ll explore how the cycle begins, it’s phases, and most importantly, how to end it for good by getting help from a narcissistic abuse therapist.


Phase 1: Idealization

The cycle of narcissistic abuse often begins with the idealization phase. During this stage, the narcissist portrays themselves as the perfect partner, showering their victim with attention, affection, and admiration. They may love bomb their victim, making grand gestures and promises of everlasting love. This phase creates a sense of euphoria and excitement for the victim, who believes they’ve found their soulmate.


Phase 2: Devaluation

As the relationship progresses, the narcissist’s true colors begin to emerge during the devaluation phase. They start to criticize, belittle, and undermine their partner, gradually eroding their self-esteem and self-worth. The victim may feel confused and hurt by the sudden change in behavior, wondering what they did wrong to deserve such treatment. Gaslighting tactics are often employed, making the victim doubt their own reality and sanity.


Phase 3: Discard

In the final phase of the cycle, known as discard, the narcissist may discard their partner without warning or explanation. They may suddenly withdraw affection, become cold and distant, or even leave the relationship altogether. This abandonment leaves the victim devastated and heartbroken, struggling to make sense of what went wrong. In some cases, the narcissist may return, only to repeat the cycle all over again.


Breaking the Cycle:

Breaking free from the cycle of narcissistic abuse requires courage, strength, and support. Here are some steps you can take to end the cycle and reclaim your life:


  1. Recognize the signs: Educate yourself about narcissistic abuse and learn to recognize the red flags early on in the relationship.
  2. Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with the narcissist and stick to them, refusing to tolerate any form of manipulation or mistreatment.
  3. Seek support: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a narcissistic abuse therapist for support and guidance. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  4. Focus on self-care: Prioritize your own well-being and self-care, engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  5. Break the pattern: Break the cycle of narcissistic abuse by ending the relationship and cutting off all contact with the narcissist if possible.

The cycle of narcissistic abuse is a destructive pattern that can have devastating consequences for those caught in its grip. By understanding how the cycle begins and taking proactive steps to end it, you can break free from the narcissist’s control and reclaim your life. Remember, you deserve to be treated with love, respect, and kindness. Don’t settle for anything less.

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to narcissistic abuse, there is help. Start your healing journey today with narcissistic abuse therapist Dr Justine Weber in Newport Beach, CA by emailing drjustine@drjustineweber.com or by phone at 949-423-9426