Because a narcissist is dependent upon you for external validation, it can be really hard to get out of a relationship with them. They desperately need your attention and adoration, but it’s not a good situation for you.
Narcissists are really charming and enlivening when they want to be. At the beginning of any kind of relationship with a narcissist, they are really kind and often love bomb you. They make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. Who wouldn’t want to stay with someone who makes you feel like that?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long, and once they lose the motivation to be nice to you, all that charm disappears. In its place, there is criticism, coldness and demanding behavior. That escalates into narcissistic abuse.
After being exposed to narcissistic abuse, you might begin to doubt your own perception of reality, experience low self-esteem, and feel confused. That can result in attempts to avoid conflict, and you might become more deferential as a result. Before long, you feel like you’ve lost that happy, confident person you used to be.
It’s very common for the victims of emotional abuse to feel attached to their abuser, since the narcissist in your life will intermittently give you positive reinforcement. That can even cause you to become trauma-bonded whereby you become childlike and addicted to the slightest sign of approval from your abusive loved one. To prevent that, read on to discover just what you should do when ending a relationship with a narcissist.
How Do You Get Out of the Relationship?
After suffering narcissistic abuse long enough, it’s no wonder you’ll want out of the relationship, but how do you get out? These tips can help.
Become Your Own Person
If the narcissist in your life is a particularly close one, like a spouse or parent, it’s helpful to start becoming more independent. Seek outside friends, hobbies, work, or other interests. Doing so will help you feel more fulfilled, and it will build your confidence that you can have a life outside that shared with your narcissistic abuser.
Find What Triggers Them and Detach Yourself When They’re Triggered
If you pay attention to what sets off the narcissist in your life, you’ll start to see certain patterns. Maybe there’s a particular topic of discussion that really gets them worked up or perhaps it’s every time you have to go someplace without them.
Whatever the pattern you identify, detach from what triggers them. If they start yelling at you, tell them that’s one of the boundaries you set, and as promised, you’re leaving the conversation (and perhaps the house) until they can speak to you in a respectful manner.
Of course, if this puts you in danger of physical abuse, you should immediately get yourself and any children under your care to a safe shelter. Physical abuse is a repetitive cycle, and you should never have to put up with this in your life. If this is your situation, pay attention to the cycle of violence with the narcissist in your life, and decide in advance what actions it is safe for you to take.
One important thing you should do if you’re feeling like you want to leave is learn everything you can about narcissistic abuse. See what is happening to you for what it really is: abusive and undeserved.
Educating yourself will help you get out of the denial you may be experiencing. It will also help you become empowered, and it will help you understand that you are not alone.
You’re not the only person suffering in this kind of relationship. There are many people out there just like you. You’re also probably codependent after being abused by the narcissist in your life, and yes, there’s a support group for codependency. It’s called Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), and it will provide you with sympathetic friends who will not judge any decision you make regarding what to do.
Remember Your Own Value
It can help you to build up your own self-esteem by starting to value yourself and take care of your own needs and feelings. There are many ways to do this including things like meditation, exercise, and taking on tasks that are somewhat challenging, but not overwhelming. Once you start seeing that you can do things for yourself successfully, it will help you feel more confident and build up your self-esteem.
The more boundaries you can set and maintain, the more confident you feel about getting out of this relationship. It will also help to build your sense of self-worth, and it will allow you to see just how frequently the narcissist in your life will violate your boundaries. That will ultimately build your confidence that leaving is the right decision.
Take Care of You
It’s vital that you learn how to take care of yourself, including your emotional self. There are many ways you can do this, and it’s vital that you be compassionate with yourself to recognize and grow your sense of self-love.
After years of emotional and/or physical abuse from a narcissist, it can be difficult to have compassion for yourself. You’ve been told you’re worthless, but nothing could be further from the truth. That’s why it’s important to nurture yourself as you grieve the loss of this relationship.
Yes, you will have to grieve even the loss of an abusive relationship. It’s a change in your life, and not only are you losing the relationship you had with the narcissist, you are experiencing profound internal changes. You will have to process those in a loving way as you move forward.
Cut Them Off Completely
There will likely be many times when you might feel compelled to contact the narcissist after getting out of the relationship. They were likely a big part of your life. Still, it’s easier for you as you recover from narcissistic abuse if you can go completely no contact.
If the narcissist in question is a spouse and there are children involved, you might not be able to go completely no contact, but you can control the time, place, and nature of that contact. Keep the contact impersonal and don’t engage if the narcissist becomes triggered.
It can take years of emotional abuse to finally decide to end a relationship with a narcissist. Maybe the narcissist is a parent, and you’ve simply never had the choice before now. No matter the timing or reasons for deciding to end the relationship, you can recover from any abuse and rebuild your life.
The most important things to do are educate yourself and begin to both value and care for yourself. You do not deserve any kind of abuse from anyone including a narcissist in your life. You deserve better and by ending the relationship you have with a narcissist, you can begin to rebuild your life to find happiness and satisfaction.
Part of getting out of any relationship means learning how to say no. I want to help by sending you a free copy of “5 Must-Know Techniques to Effectively Reject a Narcissist.” Just click on the link below this blog post and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.
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