The Narcissist's Return Cycle

The Narcissist’s Return Cycle

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Why would a Narcissist leave, only to later express a desire to return to the relationship?

What would cause the Narcissist to hurt and betray you deeply, only for them to come back, seemingly having had a change of heart?

Why do they adamantly try to convince you to give them another chance, only to revert to their cruel ways after you’ve forgiven them, and worse…it’s not the first time it’s happened?

As a person who loves the narcissist, your tendency may be to accept their seemingly justifiable excuses and give them yet another chance. 

However, the painful truth is that the Narcissist’s Return Cycle is being employed on you.  Watch the video below to see if any of the narcissist’s tricks apply to you and your situation.

Tricks used in the Narcissist’s Return Cycle:

Most people don’t choose to be in a relationship with a narcissist. It’s a subconscious process.  We typically become attracted to someone who reminds us on some level of one of our parents or another childhood authority figure.

When we take the narcissist back (sometimes repeatedly), we are essentially trying to recreate and repair the traumatic childhood memories and emotional injuries we sustained when we, as young and innocent children, couldn’t understand or process why we were ignored, neglected, invalidated, and/or abused. Ultimately, we internalized the abuse and mistreatment as meaning we were innately bad and there was nothing we could do about it.

In the world of psychotherapy, this tendency is referred to as repetition compulsion, which was coined by Sigmund Freud as “the desire to return to an earlier state of things.”

Narcissists are masters at figuring out what our weaknesses, wounds, and fears are. Since most of these developed during our childhood, it only stands to reason that they choose to push buttons that trigger our childhood wounds. In fact, the narcissist brings the childhood wounds that we’ve suppressed from our subconscious minds to the conscious, turning our innermost sufferings into everyday reality. This is precisely how they keep us compliant and obedient – and enmeshed in a relationship with them.

If you’re tired of cycling back to the narcissist,only to be tortured in return…if you’re ready to take control of your life and stop being a receptacle for the narcissist’s negative energy and triangulation efforts, there is hope…

Learn how to break free from the narcissist!

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John says September 30, 2021

Thank you for this read, it was very clear and precise to my love life however I am glad you did not refer to the narsassist as being a man because I am a male with a female narsassist in my life. I am still trying to make things work after 26 years.

The Brutal Reason WHY the Narcissist Wants to Take a Break - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says December 15, 2019

[…] unlike their typical performance of withdrawing from your life only to return later, they don’t want to take the risk of your calling or texting them while they’re out with […]

Geraldine Skinner says June 28, 2019

This is an excellent article:

“In fact, the narcissist brings the childhood wounds that we’ve suppressed from our subconscious minds to the conscious, turning our innermost sufferings into everyday reality”

Thanks Kim – that is it perfectly

When the Narcissist Wants to Take a Break - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says June 28, 2017

[…] unlike their typical performance of withdrawing from your life only to return later, they don’t want to take the risk of your calling or texting them while they’re out with […]

Maggie says April 8, 2017

I have recently joined your page, and thankyou for sharing. I can relate to all of of your articles / video’s on narcissists as I discovered I have lived my whole life with a narcissist.. A narcissist is not always your partner.

Stan says March 3, 2017

Talk about “recycling”, I’m posting to support of Kim’s insistence of “no contact”. I have to gulp, and admit I was wrong. I have written other posts leaving the inference that victims can attain a level of knowledge superiority over their adversary to be able to manage their [narcissistic] attempt of reconciliation, using charm, lying, bullying, scheming, etc., but I admit to having been caught in my mode of overconfidence.

I thought I reached a point of infallibility, enough to allow communication with my former “love”, only to discover that I was, again, working for her, and exposing myself to her lies and controls. The key about not recycling with these types is that they will, eventually, turn on us and, proverbially, stab us in the back. We are, or will be, blamed for their acts of irresponsibility and/or ignorance.

To sum this “addendumb” up in short order, I was wrong, Kim. The best advice is yours, which is now mine, and that is to keep our focus for them to “Get out of Dodge and don’t come back!”. We all need to don the badge of Matt Dillon or have Miss Kitty’s steel spine. Narcissists are phonies who will, as boomerangs, come back and hit you where it counts.

As in the closing of the 1983 movie, “War Games”, the computer concludes “the only winning move is not to play”.

    Anonymous says May 29, 2017


Monique says November 13, 2016

This video was absolutely eye opening and information full. Mostly very helpful. Thank you!!

Pam says November 12, 2016

I think this is the best one for getting your point across. I have to say it’s spot on. I’ve lived through all the above mentioned a few times and it’s so easy to stay in the cycle cuz it’s HARD WORK GETTING AND STAYING OUT, & BEING NO CONTACT.

It helps to force yourself to have no emotions regarding them. It helps to watch this and read this article everyday,

You must get it in your Mind that they are laughing at how totally stuck on them each time you sleep with them. There’s tons of guys out in the world for sex. Take your ex off list or it will never end.

joan johnson says November 11, 2016

Everything you say is exactly true. I have been lured back time and again only to wind up in the same place I started. I guess I am a slow learner. It has taken 13 years to finally realize what has been happening to me in this relationship. Everything is fine for about 2 months and then he would start the same old thing, complaining. I never seem to be enough no matter what I would do. It’s sad to think that someone who says he loves you can treat you like you don’t matter. He was somewhat generous with money, but not emotionally. Too bad.

    Pam says November 12, 2016

    I hear you there. Mine used work to not have to be intimate with me our relationships home. He thinks going to work is what I need in life and to be his scape goat. After awhile you get to liking the time they aren’t there to made snide comments. Mine worked it To where everyone did his job and he could be off messing around s he use to tell me . “When do I have time for an affair” that’s funny cuz it was him who told me to use Ashley Madison,

Candyce says November 11, 2016

This video came at a perfect time. I dreamed just last night that I let my ex back into my world only to discover that he cheated on me with another woman. In my dream when I approached him about it, he had a smirk on his face. I woke with a terrible jolt! It’s been over 2 years ago! Can’t believe I still dream about him! I keep reminding myself that people like him try to recycle themselves back into your world. So, don’t let it happen! Thanks for the video! It had great timing.

Anonymous says November 11, 2016

That video describes my ex-husband perfectly!

Bonnie says November 11, 2016

I enjoyed the video ,thank you , but man I think I even saw some of myself in there have never thought of myself as a possible Narcissist , that’s scary for in reality I was abused as a child , married my teenage sweetheart we divorced after 33 years of marriage , he found someone else and had several “flings” as ONLY Friends and he expected me to accept all of that , I am afraid I have found myself in the situation of hoping we could get back together , can’t happen I cannot live through that kind of pain again ….Have remarried but find myself with a guy that loves being the INCHARGE .. so as I blunder through this trying to see what I should do .

Cindy says November 11, 2016

Hello. My ex husband never tried to return. My psych md who treated me for depression and had interactions with him told me he had npd. Later I read Psychpath Free and saw my marriage almost to a T. When I asked the same dr she smiled and explained the Cluster B’s. I believe I read a psychopath does not try return after his discard of you

    Wendy.. says November 12, 2016

    Of course they do..unless they determine that it is more advantageous to move on..I know that it is confusing and could be just leave like that and disappear?
    Having been in repeating cycles of the most brutal sadistic discards..
    Without any commensurate sign of devaluation or conflict..I hope you will find peace and solace in the knowledge this isn’t anything one wishes to repeat..

      Marie says November 20, 2016

      Hi , mine Ex Narcissti also never returned or hoovered me? but i read they always do? How come mine never hoovered?

Dani says November 11, 2016

Great article Kim! I agree he always would say things that my mom would say that hurt me almost relentlessly and would never stop no matter what I said or did. He made me feel like i was never good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, he would he use little sinister tactics of color/race bating to make me feel less than and bring to the surface things that i actually had thought I had gotten over. Sad thing is, he and I have similar childhoods his way more traumatic than my though mine was still problematic to say the least. So he could only feel good about himself by making me feel bad about myself. He seemed to hate me having this optimistic you can push through attitude because no matter what I have gone through i still keep trying because seriously what else CAN I do? Death is not a viable option we have 2 living children together, that i am solely responsible for. It’s sad how you come into a person’s life to love them and their reaction is to abuse and use you, because they are too afraid to face their demons.

Mandy Carroll says November 11, 2016

Hi Kim,
I look forward to reading your posts and am most appreciative of everything I learn. It has been 3 months no contact. And I have been using g a lot of your materials and honestly…loving myself.
Thank you for sticking with us and letting g us know we have something magestic to do and it is not to be tortured by these narcs.
Knowing I was not the only one in the world it was happening to and being shown to trust my I intuition is what enabled me to get out. Funny it was the easiest thing ever. And there were 8 cops there mocking me and talking to him about smack. How blinded we are.
Mandy Carroll

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