top of page

4 Cycles of Narcissistic Abuse

Updated: May 16, 2023


  • AKA Love Bombing phase

  • Flattery, gifts, attention, romance

  • Here the narcissist will consume your time and act as though you are their soul mate and they can’t get enough of you. This, combined with the dopamine from all the love bombing sets up the addiction to them.


  • Now that they feel they have ‘won’ you and the addiction is established, they will begin to degrade, criticize, stonewall, and make comments that make you feel less than.

  • This causes confusion and a desire to win them back. This is where codependency can make you feel like it is you and you have to fix the situation.


  • This is where the abuser lets the victim know they don’t care.

  • They may leave, or they may stay and make you miserable enough so you will be the one to leave. This way, they can place the blame on you to be the one who ‘gave up’ or ‘walked away’ from the family. This sets them up as the victim and the victim as the abuser to those unaware. This also triangulates the children against the victim.

  • They may spend all their time elsewhere, on their phone, playing video games, looking at pornography.

  • For the codependent, this makes them feel like they failed at winning the narcissist back and usually makes them try even harder. This is especially the case if they are told by others that they just have to submit more, pray more, fast more, try harder, etc. while being told it is somehow their responsibility for how the abuser acts. This is victim shaming and a lie from the enemy! We are not responsible for an abuser's actions. That would be like saying Jesus was responsible for Judas’ betrayal! No one with any wisdom thinks submitting to a bully is going to fix the bully, so why do they think it is different in marriage??? “How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.” Ps. 82:2-3


  • This is where the abuser tries to win the victim back. They will do this even if they don’t care about the victim. They still want control.

  • For those with sociopathic tendencies, this is actually a game to them. They actually enjoy it. I remember finding a letter my ex wrote to an ex-girlfriend bragging about how much he enjoyed playing mind games on people and how easy it was for him!

  • Once the victim takes them back, the abuser now feels more empowered and knows they can repeat this cycle.

Many suffer through this cycle for years trying everything they know, repeatedly, until their physical or mental health can no longer take it. This is when most of my clients come to me, desperate for someone to hear them, to understand, and to help them break free, heal, and overcome. This is where I show them Jesus…

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;” Luke 4:18

Sign up for the Overcomers in Him Newsletter here:


bottom of page