Abusive relationships typically have a certain cycle that they go through that keeps the victim stuck in the relationship. When the abuse has issues of narcissism however, the cycle can be different to escape and even more damaging at times. With a typical abuser there is a period of time when they go through a reconciliation with their victim but a narcissistic may never be able to admit to being at fault and will instead play the victim.
Someone with issues of narcissism is often continuously self-centered and has a deep need to feel superior which can prevent them from making an effort to reconcile after conflict. Their strategy then after abuse takes place is to play the victim so that the abused is seeking to appease them. This behavior resets the cycle without any reconciliation or honeymoon having to take place.
The cycle of abuse often begins when an abuser feels threatened by a certain situation or event. They could be rejected, experience disapproval, feel jealous or neglected by their partner which makes them feel upset and threatened. These feelings trigger them to engage in some kind of abusive behavior which could be physical, mental, verbal or emotional.
When the abuse escalates, the victim may eventually defend themselves or fight back which triggers the narcissistic to play up their role as the victim. They may make themselves look like they are the one that is being abused as they incapable of admitting fault for any of their own behavior. The real victim will them apologize and try to appease the narcissist which empowers them temporarily until the next time they feel threatened.
Abusive relationships can be difficult to escape but recognizing the cycle and asking for help from outside sources can prevent the pattern from continuing.