The common symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) make maintaining a healthy relationship difficult unless the person is very aware of their behaviour and ability to control it. Unfortunately, this is often not the case for people. And while you may have tried your hardest to make it work, you may find that it is draining on your mental and emotional well-being.
If you’re in a relationship with someone with NPD, you have likely been a recipient of their narcissistic abuse, and you might be wondering how to deal with a narcissistic partner. As you consider your options and determine that you are ready to leave your marriage, you may have the same concern as I had. Which was, that the judge or the mediator like so many others may be swayed by your spouse’s ability to fool people with their charm and powers of persuasion. After all, this individual not only duped me but my entire family!
So before you do this; prepare, self-educate and plan moves of your own, you can reveal your spouse’s controlling and combative tendencies without damaging your own credibility. In essence, you can help them reveal themselves as who they truly are. But also remember, this is opening pandora’s box. They will, like my ex-wife retaliate with full vengeance. Her anger went through the roof as I actually did hurt her pious image by this revelation to my family, her family and even to a few of her friends.
When we fall in love, it’s natural to become attached and form a romantic bond. But once in love with a narcissist, it’s not easy to leave, despite the abuse. Although you’re unhappy, you may be ambivalent about leaving because you still love your partner, have young children, lack resources, and/or enjoy lifestyle benefits. Friends may question why you stay or urge you to, “Just leave.” Those words can feel humiliating because you also think you should. You may want to leave, but feel stuck, and don’t understand why. This is because there are deeper reasons that keep you bonded unlike in other relationships.
It’s important to note that leaving a narcissist is not like leaving another person. They can be very good at twisting words, using guilt, and other strategies that end up convincing you to stay in the relationship. Sometimes you may even end up feeling like the problems in your relationship are your fault. These feelings are most likely happening because you’ve been a victim of narcissistic abuse. But if taking the blame from society, helps you leave this relationship; do it.
Narcissists will manufacture traumatic situations (like those long-weekend fights) to bring the two of you closer together (at least, in your mind). There’s a good chance you’ve told the narcissist deeply personal things you’ve never told anyone else – that’s exactly what they want. Not only does it pull you closer together in the worst way, but the narcissist can use these personal secrets against you later. My ex used every single secret to hurt me in the worst possible manner. I had never imagined anyone using such ways to so deeply hurt someone.
As this cycle continues, you probably find yourself longing for the fleeting moment the narcissist offers you a glimmer of hope: you are sitting watching tv and in she comes from the room and hugs you with her legs across your waist, a random kiss, sits to watch the movie you wanted to watch.
To the narcissist, emotions are simply trappings to manipulate you and exploit your vulnerabilities. It was my own fault as well. As I had forgotten my own goals, and reasons to live and made her my north star. But when I met my therapist told me that, I had just fallen for the wrong person. The narcissist took every opportunity to shoot down your dreams, discredit your opinions, and leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about yourself.
That’s all part of the narcissist’s game to weave themselves into your identity – they are like a celestial black hole and once you get sucked in, you disappear without a trace. Because of this one-sided expenditure of energy and love, the narcissist becomes your sense of self. Instead of worrying about your next career move, what’s best for your family, or how you should spend your day off, your only worry is the narcissist and nothing else. Every thought you have is about their thoughts and feelings – never your own.
# Do you worry that the narcissist will get mad and give silent treatment for a reason unknown?
# Do you find yourself thinking “what would X say” when you’re presented with a decision or question before creating your own opinion?
If this sounds familiar, it means you’ve lost your own sense of self to build up the narcissist’s false self.