1. Did your relationship reach a critical point because:
    1. You discovered he was cheating
    2. He attacked you physically
    3. After a particularly horrible fight he leaves or you ask him to leave
    4. He leaves without any explanation
    5. He leaves to “clear his head”
    6. He leaves you for another woman
  2. At the time of the discard did he blame you for the fight, affair, emotional or physical violence, or lie, deny and refuse to take any accountability for his actions or behavior? blame shifting gaslighting  pathological lying
  3. Do you feel as if your entire life has imploded? Do you then begin to discover and uncover things about him that he had lied about for weeks, months or even years? pathological lying
  4. Had he been having a long term affair, multiple affairs, or using sex workers? Did you discover that these things had been occurring for weeks, months or even years and that he had been lying to you, putting your health at risk, and creating a fantasy world that is not based in any reality? gaslighting entitlement
  5. Do you begin to piece together your life with him with this new information and start to see that your life with him was never what you thought it was and more importantly, that he was NEVER who he pretended to be? Do you begin to question everything about your relationship, about his past, about things he said and did, and start to see that the way he had been treating you for the majority of the relationship was actually ABUSE? Do you begin to understand that verbal, emotional and psychological abuse is abuse and that all the ways he used those tactics of power and control were to keep you as powerless as possible so that he could continue to abuse and control you?  power and control  emotional manipulation narcissistic supply
  6. Does he attempt to reconcile with you with more lies and fake promises? Does he
    1. Promise he will change
    2. Agree to go to counseling even though you had begged him to before
    3. Agree to (stop drinking, stop using drugs, go to AA, stop going out, will never lie again)
    4. Guilt you and make you believe it is your fault for giving up on him
    5. Use your children as weapons or pawns
    6. Triangulate you with the other woman (or women)
    7. Claim he will stop seeing the other woman but you catch him in more lies
    8. Tell you that he has realized you are the “one” and asks you to marry him
    9. Cries, begs, pleads and other assorted attempts at emotional manipulation
    10. Threatens to “destroy you” if you don’t do what he wants
    11. Refuses to accept any boundaries you try to instill and continues to call, text, show up at your house or job in an attempt to force you, manipulate you or scare you into reconciling. He may even stalk you to the point you are in fear or have to seek police intervention. Hoovering
    12. Enlists the help of “flying monkeys” to either tell you how much you hurt him and how sad and pathetic he is or to emotionally berate of batter you into coming back. If that doesn’t work he immediately begins a “smear campaign” telling everyone who will listen what a terrible person you are and what a victim he is.
    13. When all else fails, he immediately blocks you on social media and pretends like you never existed while riding off into the sunset with his new supply.
      Are you emotionally reeling every minute trying to understand how someone you thought you loved and who you believed loved you could treat you as cruelly and terribly as they have? narcissistic abuse
  7. Do you have fantasies that if you take him, back that somehow he will change? Do you vacillate back and forth in your mind believing that it wasn’t “that bad” and that deep down he really does love you? Do you feel a huge void inside yourself that nothing seems to fill? Are you anxious, stressed, crying all the time, unable to eat or sleep, unable to concentrate at work, emotionally absent for your children? Do you feel hopeless, helpless or maybe even suicidal? co-dependent addiction
  8. Do you crave talking to him or seeing him even though you know deep inside it is toxic for you? Do you slip and see him or sleep with him or attempt a reconciliation even though he refuses to respect you or your feelings, keep any of his “promises,” or change anything about his behavior? co-dependency narcissistic abuse cognitive dissonance
  9. Do you feel as if you are paralyzed and unable to make decisions as if you are in a fog? Do you start to realize that your fear, obligation and guilt are keeping you trapped in an abusive situation? Do you start to do research online, discover blogs and on-line support groups for survivors of narcissistic abuse, and recognize yourself among the people who are speaking up and speaking out about the abuse they suffered? Narcissistic FOG
  10. Do you start to realize that the only way to heal from narcissistic abuse is to go no contact, or modified no contact (grey rock) if you have children? Do you begin to take the steps forward necessary to separate from your narcissist? You contact a therapist, you contact an attorney if needed, you found yourself here, on this website, asking yourself all the right questions and taking all the necessary steps to leave your abuser and begin to heal from the trauma of narcissistic abuse.

***Recovery from narcissistic abuse is a long and difficult process. Learning about narcissistic personality disorder and other Cluster b disorders is only the first step. We hope that this illustration of the CYCLE OF ABUSE, and what it feels like and some real-world examples of what to look for during the IDEALIZATION, DEVALUATION, and DISCARD phases has been helpful for you in understanding what you have been through and the effects that this kind of trauma has on people.