It probably never dawned on you that there are well-defined, yet unspoken rules for a narcissistic relationship. Yes, there really is a method to their madness, as much as they might try to keep you in a constant state of chaos and confusion. The constant chaos and confusion ensures that your full attention is on them always. It assures them that you live in a constant state of anxiety, that only they have the power to “rescue” you from.
Relationships with narcissists invariably mean you bending over backwards not to upset him and then panicking every time you sense he is displeased with you. If you voice anything, or worse, have a breakdown from how stressed you are, it isn’t a matter of WHO will storm out (always him), it isn’t a matter of WHO will send the apology (always you), it is a matter (subconsciously at least) of when it will be permanent, when the damage will be irreversible.
You start to feel like you are an inconvenience to him, a burden that he wants to get rid of. Narcissists are completely void of any positive feelings at all, rather they are numb, restless, bored, annoyed, and often in panic mode to escape at whatever cost. They are setting you up to fail in so many ways – the slightest need and you are called demanding and out of line. One lash out in anger and you are called crazy. They so want to convince themselves that you are worthy of such sub-par treatment, so they continually devalue you to themselves.
Should you get sick, or need them in any way, they will not be there for you. In fact they will abandon you when you are hospitalized, because you guessed it, they can’t be inconvenienced by your needs. And besides, what can you do for them when you are sick? Having you ever be the center of attention is cramping their style.
“Being with a Narcissist is a combination of fake love and real abuse.” Narcissists are completely incapable of aligning themselves with the needs of another human, as much as it seems unthinkable. Sure, they can fake concern, but their actions tell another story. It’s a terrible thing to acknowledge, but who you thought he was, who he so effectively pretended to be at the beginning of the relationship isn’t really who he is. It was a mask. It was trickery, and you were fooled.
Getting an apology from him or any type of remorse post any fight or situation is impossible. Of course you long for it, and perhaps he gives you some glimmers of hope that he feels bad for what he did, but ultimately you always end up with the short end of the stick – and if you want things to be better you had better “buck up” and apologize regardless of who’s fault it actually was and never bring it up again.
How did it get that way? Well, the relationship was set up to fail, because the narcissist has a set of unspoken relationship rules that absolutely guarantee failure. Keep in mind that Narcissistic relationships are known to be double-standard, emotionally abusive relationships. Here are six unspoken rules of the cruel narcissistic relationship as put together by NeuroInstincts:
1. No Caring: I do not care if my actions impact you negatively
2. Pain: My lack of morals will translate in pain for you. I will not care (and might even enjoy your desperate response)
3. Pleasure: I will pursue what pleasures me. My life is about me not you.
4. Sensitivity: I am very sensitive so treat me gently and with care. I find you too sensitive, it annoys me and I don’t care
5. Reciprocation: You may never treat me the way I treat you. Ever
6. Retaliation: Slights, perceived or real, will be met with punishment
While the narcissist knows he operates from a set of impossible double standard relationship rules, he doesn’t care……..he rather likes it that way. You have to make all the investments into the relationship and he barely makes any investment at all.
As Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, says:
Exerting control over their own conduct requires the investment of resources, both mental and physical. Narcissists regard this as a waste of their precious time, or a humiliating chore (except for the purpose of luring you into the relationship).
Lacking empathy, they don’t care about other people’s feelings, needs, priorities, wishes, preferences, and boundaries. As a result, narcissists are awkward, tactless, painful, taciturn, abrasive and insensitive. They are also prone to rage attacks and temper tantrums which they turn on and off at will.
So you either submit to their impossible relationship rules or you quit the relationship altogether. There is no communication, or compromise possible with the narcissist. You simply cannot make a person care, where caring is absent.
Truthfully the narcissist abhors predictability, they want to remain an enigma (free to do as they please) so they engage in an unstable “approach-avoidance repetition complex”: The narcissist, fearing and loathing intimacy, stability and security – yet craving them – approaches and then avoids significant others or important tasks in a rapid succession of apparently inconsistent and disconnected cycles.
This is why the pompous narcissist seems so unreliable, impossible to be in a relationship with, and are described as having crazy-making inconsistent behaviors.