Ending a relationship with a narcissist can be extremely difficult for many reasons. Your loyalty, compassion, and desire to keep your promises make it difficult for you to consider ending the relationship.
The narcissist can also make it difficult for you to leave because he wants to keep control of the decision to end the relationship. As long as maintaining the relationship is the most important factor for you, the narcissist has a free hand to control you and your decisions.
The partner of the narcissist is most likely to leave him when the narcissist crosses a limit that the partner can no longer or will no longer tolerate. Over the years, however, I have found that it is difficult to predict when a partner will leave.
An acquaintance whose narcissistic husband suffered a stroke and began to physically abuse her did not walk. But another acquaintance, whose husband quartered his pregnant lover in the guest room and claimed that she was an old friend from university in a life crisis, filed for divorce.
Men seem to walk less often than women, perhaps due to the added pressure that men have to culturally care for women.
When partners do leave, it is often difficult for them to stick to this decision due to feelings of guilt or pity for the narcissist. And if the narcissist doesn’t want you to go, he or she will put pressure on you to change your mind – often with the same old promises to change yourself. The narcissist can make your life very stressful in trying to keep control of you and the relationship.
Is the narcissist ever the one who ends the relationship?
Sometimes there are triggers that make the narcissist go. These are usually life changing events for either of you. If you get sick or unable to take care of yourself or are no longer able or willing to participate in the life designed by the narcissist, it can cause the narcissist to leave you.
Even a positive event, such as having a child, can upset the delicate balance of the relationship, especially when the narcissist is challenged to become more responsible and emotionally involved. Illness, aging, the loss of a job or a promotion can trigger the narcissist to suddenly leave the relationship.
No matter who initiates the breakup: Here are the things you can expect when breaking up with a narcissist:
If the matter fails, the narcissist blames it entirely on someone else. At the beginning of the relationship, you were placed on a pedestal. You were wonderful and perfect and the narcissist was thrilled to have you as a partner. Now the narcissist sees the relationship as broken, damaged, and failed – and that’s all your fault.
He / she says that you are too fat, too needy or too happy. You broke everything, destroyed trust, ruined the best thing that ever happened to you, crushed his / her love on the ground. You do not appreciate what he/she has done for you. Without him/her you would be nothing.
You destroyed everything you both built up in one fell swoop. You are selfish and demanding. Overnight you became the most despised person in the life of the narcissist.
Of course, this is shocking, hurtful, offensive and fundamentally wrong and unfair. When the narcissist reaches this point, he or she will no longer listen to or pay attention to you, and may even refuse to speak to you at all.
If you apologize enough and beg for reconciliation, you may come back together for a while, but the thing between you will probably never be good again.
2. Trying to convince yourself that you made a mistake
After hearing for months or even years that you are wrong and your narcissist has devalued your decisions, you may now have a tendency to question yourself.
And the narcissist will surely try to convince you that you made a mistake. He or she tries to regain control of the relationship with charisma, flattery, persuasion, and finally intimidation, prodding, and open provocation.
The narcissist will say, “You just misunderstood what I said. Of course, you should know that I love you deep down; why do I have to tell you this all the time? What about all the good times we had together?
You pay too much attention to the negative. You don’t understand what stress I’ve been under lately. You take everything too personally. Your reaction is over the top. You are too emotional. ”
Even if the narcissist tries to sound positive about the relationship and why you shouldn’t go, you will notice that all of these “reasons” are really negative comments about you and what is wrong with your behaviour. These are not real encouragements to stay in the relationship; in reality, it’s manipulation to damage your self-esteem so you don’t go.
If flattery and persuasion do not work, the narcissist can use the particularly negative reviews to hit your sore spots and make you think bad about yourself:
“You were nothing before you married me. Go back to your stupid family and rot. You will still be sorry if I am in Hamburg and make some real money. I can immediately find someone who really loves me and for whom I always stand first. ”
If the narcissist still needs you, he won’t want you to mess up his plans. When you leave, you gain more emotional power and strength in the relationship by moving farther away from the narcissist’s catchment area – and he doesn’t want that.
3. Trying to make you feel guilty so you can stay
Guilt is a powerful tool for the narcissist to pull you back into the relationship. Every time the narcissist shows you where he did something nice for you or he emphasizes how much you mean to him or he reminds you of all the good times you had together.
If the positive things are not enough to get you back, narcissists fall back on their devaluing attacks. Any complaint you make to the narcissist will be turned around and directed at you.
Narcissists consistently accuse their partners of behaviours that they themselves display at exactly the same moment – shouting, swearing words, hostility, selfishness, hatred and passive-aggressive behaviour, to name just a few.
Being told that you are selfish, heartless, cruel, greedy, stingy, or hurting someone else’s feelings can be particularly painful for people caring for a narcissistic partner.
You work so hard never to do or be these things and you hardly know these feelings at all, so you feel absolutely unfairly treated. These comments are a very clear sign that the narcissist doesn’t even really know you or see who you are, and that can be heartbreaking.
This type of reproach can also increase your guilt feelings, so you are more likely to redouble your efforts to show the narcissist that you are not that person. This is exactly what the narcissist wants because it will re-engage you in the relationship.
Once the narcissist has made you react, he or she can keep you feeling impotent and guilty and in the relationship until he or she is ready to end them.
4. Requests for attention even after you split up
It’s easier to part with a narcissist if you break the contact as much as possible. However, narcissists can be extremely persistent in the battle for your attention.
People report many different attention-grabbing behaviours from narcissists who feel rejected, such as drunken calls in the middle of the night, an “accidental” break-in to get their things back, hundreds of texts or emails a day, constantly asking for that you “explain” why you want to go – all of which make the narcissist accuses you of being so negative.
If you have children together, these calls for attention can drag on and on. A woman was so stressed by all the pressure that she actually lost her voice when she saw her ex-husband. He was so determined to get her attention that he even pressured the court to “order” her to speak to him in public – “for the kids.” Of course, reality was about his own selfish need for confirmation.
5. Promise to change
If conviction, accusations, and attention-grabbing do not entice you back into the relationship, the narcissist pulls the promise of changing. Suddenly the narcissist says that he understands why you are upset and want to go.
He seems to take responsibility for his behaviour. He promises to do therapy, do whatever you want, do things your way. He is so sorry for hurting you.
These are tempting promises for someone who really wants the relationship to work. It now appears that the narcissist finally understands what you have tried to tell him and is ready to fix things. He or she seems really serious. You breathe a sigh of relief and hope grows again within you.
This hope inevitably evaporates. Narcissists can’t stop trying to control you, and they don’t seem to be able to control their own behaviour in the long run. For a while you think that everything will get better.
When the narcissist has made himself comfortable in the relationship, he or she returns to the old behaviour: selfish, reckless, arrogant, insensitive and accusing. And if it doesn’t go his or her nose, the narcissist immediately falls back on the old patterns of feeling attacked and hostility without exception.
How often you want to believe the narcissist’s false promises is entirely up to you.
6. Social attacks and rumours
It is hard to keep the end of your relationship out of the public eye with a narcissist, as the narcissist demands that all of your acquaintances decide which side they are on. As soon as possible, he or she will tell your friends, neighbours, community members and club colleagues personally and on social media about his or her version of your breakup. This can be very stressful for most people.
Throughout your relationship, the narcissist has insisted on keeping your interactions very private, and now he’s spreading all sorts of misinformation and slander everywhere, trying to ruin your reputation. Too often, partners keep their promises not to talk about the relationship, so the narcissist’s lies remain unchallenged.
Gossip and rumours are a manipulative tactic designed to portray yourself as the bad guy and get the narcissist as much attention as possible. It can also very well ensure that you get involved with him again and that he can bring you under his control.
Although stalking is usually not obvious or threatening to narcissists, it is not uncommon for the narcissist to happen to be in the supermarket by accident, even when you are there, suddenly appear at a community or social event that you are attending, or his Change the jogging route so that it runs down your street every morning.
Prepare in advance that such meetings are likely. They aim to keep you aware of the narcissist and to upset you emotionally.
Narcissists appear strong and independent, but in reality are extremely in need. You may find it difficult to give up caring for the narcissist. You may get a call to come over and fix her car, or he may expect you to continue doing the accounting for his company, or she may want you to turn off the Christmas lights on her house, or he may still expect his Make dentist appointments.
It can be exhausting and difficult for you to reject these constant requests. Too often you are drawn back into the interaction with the narcissist who really does you no good.