The Three Horsemen of the Abusive Narcissist's Relationship Apocalypse are to Idealize, Devalue, and Discard. What does this mean? Your abusive partner first idealizes you, then begins to devalue you through abuse, and then he will discard you by behaviors such as cheating or leaving you altogether.
These abusers - sociopaths, manipulators, psychopaths and narcissists - all use the same relationship cycle: they idealize, devalue, and then discard (IDD). Instead of being a linear progression, the IDD pattern can recycle frequently through the abusive relationship, sending the victim into a vertigo of insecurity, self-doubt, and shame.
Idealization Stage - The narcissist dons his False Self and becomes everything you need him to be. You feel as if you've found your soulmate as you're put on a pedestal. He texts, calls, and sends you sweet Instagrams, meaningful songs, and wakes you in the morning with loving messages. Experts call this "love bombing," because the abusive manipulator knows that you are tired of bad dates, guys who don't call, and working so hard at the relationship game. The manipulator presents himself as the answer to your dilemma. Don't be fooled: the manipulator is NOT interested in you; he or she is interested in you as a Supplier, and wants you to become dependent on his praise, intense sex, vacations, promises of a future together, and designation as the most incredible partner ever.
Manipulators use the tools of operant conditioning to become the puppeteer of your emotions. Operant conditioning includes shaping, reinforcement, punishment, positive and negative reinforcement, and negative punishment. It is a highly complex set of procedures designed to control behavior, which is exactly the manipulator's goal. Shaping or "grooming" refers to getting you into a position to be manipulated and controlled. He uses positive behavior, reinforcing tools that increase the probability of a behavior (securing your adoration), positive reinforcement (lovebombing), negative reinforcement (removal of his love), and punishment (to prevent you from asking too many questions or leaving).
Devaluation Stage - Like whiplash, you won't know what happened to you. In reality, the narcissist's False Self mask slips and his personality disordered true self emerges. This is when the abuse begins, physical, emotional, or both. Suddenly, things are horrible. He becomes an ugly, angry beast. He screams, and calls you "stupid." You are shocked, devastated, and confused. You are told you are to blame and it is all your fault. You begin walking on eggshells and worse, you begin the "wearing down" process. This scary, unpredictable, abusive environment becomes your "new normal." A warning: Don't try to reconcile this version of the person you thought you knew because that loving, charming partner doesn't exist: that was just his "False Self" created to lure you in.
Discard Stage - After crafting your dependency, confusion, emotional vertigo, self doubt, and shattering your sense of self, the abusive narcissist will get rid of you when he feels like it, on his terms. Maybe he completely disappears and the texts abruptly stop, or he doesn't show up when he says he will. Sex becomes rote or nonexistent. Criticism, anger, irritation, disgust replace the lovebombs. You have lost your luster and he just wants to get out. Perhaps he'll commit some egregious crime against your relationship.
Because you are so emotionally raw, a wounded victim, this stage will be hellacious, horrific, and painful. You must let him go. You will be dumped in the most demeaning, embarrassing, soul wrenching way possible. You'll find he's had other lovers, has already moved in with one, has led a double life throughout your relationship, become physically aggressive and frightening, and may even become violent.
Let him go. Get away. Block the calls, texts, and delete his phone number.
Be grateful it is over, that you survived, and that you can now move on and heal.