A Narcissist will often set up a ‘Love Triangle’ using very specific masks they apply to the process:
1) The Current Partner: The Narcissist will actually go out of their way to ensure you know about their infidelities to make you feel insecure but will never actually admit to cheating. This may involve openly flirting with others (they will often use Facebook or other social networking sites) or boasting about the other people who want to sleep with him/her. When you react by confronting them they will accuse you of being jealous or crazy. The mask used by the narcissist is covert, deliberately ambiguous, condescending, may pretend to be concerned at times; the goal is to keep you unbalanced and always doubting the relationship.
2) The New Target: The Narcissist is not interested in torturing the new target yet. What they want is to use your reaction to their toxic behavior to portray you as crazy. As they watch you struggle to understand what is really going on and trying to reconnect with the person you fell in love with, it’s easy for the narcissist to use your efforts to lure the new target in. For example, he/she may use your texts to show how desperate you are while explaining to their new target how they feels so much happier now he has finally found ‘true love.’ The new target feels great to be the one who has saved the narcissist from their supposedly abusive partner (you). This mask is very flattering, charming, seemingly innocent, sympathy seeking and pity-filled while seeking Narcissistic Supply (NS). Understand this: a Narcissist will usually ensure they have secured a new ‘partner’ before discarding you.
3) The Fan Club: The Narcissist always needs to keep a close watch on their
supply of friendships. Instead of openly cheating on their partners and then replacing
them the narcissist is usually adopt a different and careful approach. Often
they will engage in deep discussions with their ‘friends’ about how much their
current relationship is hurting them while dishing out flattery as a way to
ensure loyalty. This approach is preemptive damage control to make sure they
are considered favorably even after the obvious cheating. The narcissist wants to;
make sure their fan club is there to provide approval when they put the new
target on display, showing everyone just how perfect their new life is.
support the Narcissist receives from their friends can be very confusing; why can’t
they see what you know, especially if you share mutual friends? This
triangulation can make someone doubt their own mind as well as destroying
friendships you thought were reliable. The mask used in this part of the
operation is charming, a martyr who has suffered or is suffering but ultimately
very happy when they can parade the new target so they can receive all of the
support & congratulations (NS) they crave.