Absolutely. Based on my experience, here are some specific triggers:
- (Perceived) lack of attention
- If the partner does not show the narcissist the level of intense focus, time and attention he wants, he gets angry, and punitive, suspicious, accuses the partner of being selfish, having an affair, or lying about her feelings for him
- If the partner exhibits a level of confidence and independence, expresses opinions that differ from the narcissist, and is not at his beck-and-call, particularly in the presence of others, the narcissist becomes angry and will devalue the partner, make her jealous by eyeing or flirting with other women, or disappearing
- If the partner shows any expectation of sympathy, of being a priority, of the narcissist honoring his commitments, fidelity, consistency, compassion, devotion, thoughtfulness – the narcissist views it as an attempt to control him, treats her with contempt and pushes her away
- Being emotional
- If the partner reacts emotionally to anything – positive or negative – the narcissist responds with: “you’re too sensitive”, “you react to things too emotionally”, “why are you so emotional about this?” “I don’t do drama – if you keep being so dramatic, I can’t handle this relationship” “you are too needy” and such
- Excelling at something, being praised by others for accomplishments
- The narcissist gets angry because it takes the focus off of him, and he feels threatened by the partner’s competence; he will devalue his partner, treat her with contempt, and make her jealous in order to restore the controlling dynamic
- Living and breathing
- Basically, everything is a trigger for the narcissist, unless he feels he is in absolute control, anything the partner does will trigger his rage, envy, contempt, and escalate his abuse in order to beat the partner into submission
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is dreadful and traumatic.
It is exhausting, explosive, abnormal, disorienting, crazy-making, incredibly abusive, physically, emotionally and spiritually damaging, wholly destructive and toxic.
For the partner, nothing good comes of a relationship with a narcissist, except for when she leaves, permanently, and forges her own path ahead.