Partners spend a great deal of time walking on eggshells around their narcissist partners to avoid triggering the narcissist’s rage. This creates a constant flow of stress and anxiety due to the fact that narcissists are easily triggered. Some of the common triggers are:
(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.
Narcissists hate boundaries. Any time the partner attempts to establish and maintain boundaries, the narcissist sees this as an attempt to control him, and he will react with hostility, immediately attempting to demolish them. He may use guilt, shame, hostility, the silent treatment, threats of abandonment, raging anger, or other forms of manipulation to break his partner down.
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.
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.