|So, you still hanging on to that Narcissist? Good for you! I know, he‘s beaten your soul out of recognition and you don‘t know who you are anymore, but hang in there, things might turn around someday!
By now you‘re great friends with an adorable little quirk called devaluation. As you know, just about anything can bring this scene on, such as he‘d had salami for lunch, you asked him if anything was wrong, his friend got a new girlfriend, or you were so out of control as to criticize him (such as, "I feel like I‘m not as important to you as I used to be," or, "It was manipulative of you to threaten to leave if I didn‘t do as you say"). The mind of the narcissist is wildly chaotic, fraught with conflicts and about as predictable as the bullets in Russian Roulette.
But, usually, here‘s what happened: You Two Got Too Close. Yes, you probably invoked that bane of narcissistic existence, Mister Intimacy. Cuddling after nookie, kissing anytime outside of foreplay (when he initiates it), talk of meaningful growth in the relationship such as a commitment (even if he‘s living in your house and you‘ve been together five years) or spending time with other couples-- though this is all pleasurable and welcomed by good men, you were a very bad girl for subjecting your poor narcissist to such torture.
And here‘s how you‘re punished. At the drop of a hat, and usually after a particularly reassuring and close time together, he‘ll insult you. Or threaten the relationship. He‘ll tell you he doesn‘t see how the two of you will make it. You‘re so demanding. Projection is common: You don‘t give him what he needs. You play mindgames with him. You. You. You.
Now, this serves a gleefully vast array of purposes. One, it puts distance between the two of you and abates that terrifying and nauseatingly moist intimacy you two had going. Two, it makes you anxious and upset, and as all good narcissists know, how much they can hurt you is an EXCELLENT indicator of how important they are to you. Three, you immediately begin to try to reason with him or find out what brought this on, and that, of course, is rich, full-bodied attention directed at him, the nectar of narcissistic life. Four, you might threaten to leave him, which in his absolutely chaotic and absurd mind is what he wants, as a latent response to childhood anxieties. (Go ahead and convincingly say you‘re leaving. Watch him shift into capitulation overdrive. You‘ll see a turn-around that‘ll make your head spin.)
The most common form of narcissistic devaluation is the blame-and-bolt maneuver. You two are doing great. You‘re sitting on the porch together, playing footsies, talking about the dog. Then, he drops a dig.
"If we break up, I think you should take the dog."
This comes out of nowhere. You catch your breath and say, "What do you mean? Why would we break up?"
"Well," his powerful logic informs you, "Like I‘ve said before, I just don‘t know if this can work out."
"But, it already is working out. Why wouldn‘t it work out?"
"I don‘t know," he shrugs. "I just never really know with you. Sometimes I feel like you‘d rather die than let me know what you‘re thinking. I don‘t think a relationship can survive like that."
You sit in stunned silence, remembering his complaining the day before that you talked too much.
"So," he concludes with a flourish, "I don‘t know. That‘s all I can say. I just don‘t know." And, if he‘s bored with your response because it‘s not riveting or desperate enough: "I gotta go."
SCORE!! You‘ve been devalued! Sadistically put down, robbed of any orientation or security, told you‘re disposable, and it‘s ALL YOUR FAULT. Optional ornaments include rage, obscenity, name-calling, and maybe even a cliche‘d insult or two. (Narcissists aren‘t the most creative psychopaths in the DSM.)
If you‘re with a man who devalues you just once, get out. If you give him another chance, the probability of him doing it again and again is 100%. Your love and efforts will not save the relationship, it will bring on more devaluation. Get out and find somebody sane.