Grace for my Heart by Pastor David Orrison–someone who “gets it.”
I think narcissistic friendships are weird. Because they don’t have the structure of marriage or family or work, these friendships seem to be in constant flux. I hear this regularly.
At one time the relationship is very close, very dependent, almost intimate, and the next time the N is distant and uncaring. I suspect this is because the N must really play the game in a friendship.
A dating relationship has certain expectations and can lead to commitment. A marriage is a firm commitment. Families are families and work is work.
In these relationships it is much easier for the N to abuse because the victim/supply is stuck. It takes courage and willpower to break off the relationship. Most of the time, the N finds ways to drain the willpower away.
But a friendship means that the N has to use his/her ability to manipulate a person’s thinking and emotions. The friend can simply walk away.
So the N has to try to bind the friend using whatever weaknesses or openings the person reveals.
This is why Ns often seem to easy to talk to. They learn your secrets. It is why some present themselves as victims in pain. They appeal to your compassion. Whatever it takes to break through your normal defenses and get you committed to them.
Those of us on the outside look at a story like yours and wonder why you would ever continue such a relationship. It seems easy and obvious to us.
But inside the relationship, the N has twisted your thinking and made you doubt yourself. The abuse you suffer is your own fault, you think. The difficulty of the connection is because of you, you think.
Yes, this is EXACTLY how it was with Richard.