How To Recover From A Relationship With A Narcissist - mindbodygreen I was married to my ex-husband for three long years. It was just roughly three months into our marriage that I first caught him in a huge lie that threatened our livelihood.
Toxic Relationships: Recovering From a NarcissistBeing in a relationship with someone who has these disorders is a form how emotional abuse — one we often don't discuss. The manipulation, lies, deceit and control shatter your self-esteem.
The from is humiliating, and often crippling. While we were married, I spent many nights crying myself to sleep asking what I recover do to make myself feel whole again. My marriage ended the day I found out that my husband was having an marriage, on top of everything else. I remember weeping the day I knew he was actually gone, not narcissistic the loss of our marriage, or the fact he had a new lover, but for the loss of myself.
My relationship with a narcissist changed me for the better. My wish is to offer hope to others who are in a relationship, or trying to end a relationship with a narcissist. It is undoubtedly one of the hardest toxic bonds to break. There is nothing quite so humiliating and hurtful as an intimate relationship with a narcissist. I dug around online in the aftermath of my breakup. I wanted to see if other people had recovered from the psychological fallout of this type of toxic relationship. I was surprised to find very little about actual recovery. What I did discover online was a wealth of forums and articles about how to get away from the narcissist..
- How to recover from a narcissistic marriage Aug 11, - Thrown
- Jan 28, - You can. You
I started tuning in to how I really felt when I heard from her. The knot in my stomach was a sure sign that I was uncomfortable, but I was mixing up discomfort with love. Until you release your need to make it work with someone who is pathologically focused on themselves, you will stay stuck.
The breakup forced me to decide: Save myself, or stay in something that would eventually destroy me. Feeling my own feelings and taking responsibility for them was painful but necessary. I was truly serious about forming healthier attachments and attracting a relationship that was actually good for me. Everyone deserves a second chance. I had to open my eyes to what I was really dealing with, before I could make peace with the fact that there was no future with her.
Learn How To Eat Right For Your BrainShe would feign flashes of insight about her behavior. She would cry and apologize — then she would quickly turn it around and blame me for her bad behavior. This is what narcissists do; they are incapable of true empathy or insight. My relationship with a narcissist changed me for the better. My wish is to offer hope to others who are in a relationship, or trying to end a relationship with a narcissist. It is undoubtedly one of the hardest toxic bonds to break. There is nothing quite so humiliating and hurtful as an intimate relationship with a narcissist.
How to recover from a narcissistic marriage Once you leave the marriage, in an effort to win you back, a narcissistic may resort to manipulating you with charm. Realize that unless the narcissist understands that he has a problem and has sought professional help, he will not change. Once he has you again, he will revert to his narcissistic behavior. I was married to my ex-husband for three long years. It was just roughly three months into our marriage that I first caught him in a huge lie that threatened our livelihood. During those three years of being married to a narcissist and compulsive liar, I lost myself.I dug around online in the aftermath of my breakup. My Buddhist practice has saved me on many occasions.
The type of Buddhism I practice requires chanting — an excellent form of active mediation. While I was still suffering the after effects of my toxic relationship, and harboring fantasies that she would show up at my door and apologize, I turned to my spiritual practice. I reached out to other Buddhist friends, went to meetings and participated to the best of my ability. You just have to ask. It certainly helped me in during my darkest hours. The door has to be completely shut.
mindbodygreenHow to recover from a narcissistic marriage Once I had assumed responsibility for throwing myself under that particular bus, my angst began to lessen. I reminded myself regularly that what I participated in was always my choice, and that each new moment of each new day presented a fresh opportunity to make better choices.
People who are not codependent do not get involved with narcissists. Codependence is a reliance on relationships that hurt. It is an inability to trust our own feelings and get out of our own way. Reading some books on the subject helped me deal with my codependent nature and the pain it was causing me.
I was picking the very people who would hurt me the most, and I was unable to set healthy boundaries with the narcissists in my family.
Keeping this book handy and referring back to it when I felt myself slipping into wanting and needing my ex was a tremendous help during the healing process.
I also read several books on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Once we understand ourselves, and our codependence better, the less we are willing to tolerate toxic behavior.
When a relationship with a narcissist ends it creates a vacuum. So much of the relationship revolved around you and the narcissist obsessing over the narcissists needs, that you forget how to focus on other things, including your own needs. Focusing on other things helped me work through the healing process.
Renewing some of my personal commitments to myself, such as doing my writing and daily hiking, helped me feel that I was accomplishing something. This helped boost my self-esteem back to normal levels. It will also make room for people in your life who share your interests and passion. I naturally started to attract quality people.
I made a lot of new friends during the healing process. Reaching out to make new friends and reconnecting with old friends was a welcome diversion during my narcissist recovery program. Before I knew it, I no longer had any desire or secret fantasies about rekindling a relationship with the narcissist. I was too busy and having too much fun. Getting out and pursuing my own interests, rediscovering my spiritual practice and making new friends helped me get a better handle on what healthy connections looked like.
I was able to be more discriminating about the type of people that I wanted around me. I did run across another narcissist in my new circle of friends. It took about a month to realize I was dealing with another toxic person, and I ended the friendship immediately.
The universe or God, or whatever you believe in, will provide you with exactly what you think you deserve. It is well worth it to spend time alone getting in touch with what you want and need.
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I'm glad you are happy. I've been as low as I could have been but now it's time to climb back up. I'm determined to heal, be wiser, learn and be at peace with myself.
I'm having counselling and re-connecting with family and friends. I'm also still no contact and beginning to remember who I am. The way she made me feel when I saw her true colours made me a reflection of her - absolutely miserable! What an awful experience. Yes, they use and discard people at an alarming rate. I'm sorry you got caught up in her web of deception. They don't genuinely feel anything for anyone - and when they say they do they are lying.
I'm single and quite happy. I'm pursuing my own interests, getting ready to retire from teaching in a couple of years and just enjoying the absence of toxic behavior in my social life. I hope you heal as quickly as possible. She doesn't deserve any space in your head. I'm sorry for the pain you must be experiencing. A month is recent. But I'm glad you're healing and moving forward with some good reading material. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
I just want to say thank you for your words of wisdom. I broke up with my narcissist a month ago. And have been continually accepting his bread crumbs for the past month Followed by pain and humiliation, belief I can help him see his errors!.. I found your words helpful and inspiring.. Which did help me uncover some of my own psychological patterns which predispose me to toxicity..
But I have never thought of myself as codependent until reading this. I will be reading the books you mentioned. And hopefully will enjoy my life to the fullest without falling victim in the future. We have fewer problems now ours is out of our lives. Our son has Deficits in: Attention; Motor co-ordination and Perception with Pragmatic Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which was undiagnosed at the time of divorce.
It means that the original ancillary relief order did not take this into account. His condition means that childcare would be much more expensive. The Income Support people asked me to investigate work, I live in a rural location about 1 hour away from Hereford, Worcester and Kidderminster, where I might feasibly find the sort of lab jobs that I am qualified for.
A full-time job would mean leaving at 8am and returning at 6: Care for children with these sort of conditions can only be done on a one to one basis, because of the insurances that childcarers have, they would also be required to find a suitably qualified carer. The working tax credit system does not deal with these extra costs, so at the moment the moment I am not being pressurised into work. The main problems are likely to come later on down the line, when I have not worked for years and try to re-enter the workplace or when I come to retire.
There are too many day to day challenges to worry about what might or might not be in the future. In fairness, a lot of our problems are down to the way the legal system works against us, but you can imagine, a narc uses that to their advantage. Sorry, that I assumed that you were a bloke, I am not homphobic, its just a probability thing.
Personally, I think that people can be gender fluid and that some people can be simply overly influenced by 'heteronormative' culture don't know if that is a PC term or not.
I would absolutely defend the right of anyone to experiment with their sexuality, but that needs to be done with the awareness of their partner, that is experimenting that is done with the CONSENT of BOTH parties. This very much sounds like she was happy to try out lesbianism and make out that this is what her orientation has been all along.
When in actual fact it is simply about what she is getting out of the situation and screw you. Sorry, that she has used you in such a vile way, that she used you as novelty says way more about her than it does about you. During my own divorce, my ex made out that I had somehow twisted his arm into marriage, which was complete bull, it was just his way to try to excuse his dreadful behaviour.
Sure, she will be making you out to be the evil seductress to all and sundry and sure it will be difficult for outsiders to see the truth of the matter. But you know the truth and with time this often comes out.
One of the other things mine said was that he never wanted our son. My mother believed for a while that I had got myself pregnant against his wishes, my father never believed this, it affected our relationship. With time, the fact that this was a lie came out, because he married a woman with 4 children who were not even his, let's face it if you do not want your own child, why would you take on 4 of someone else's. I asked my father why he did not believe this himself.
He said that during our divorce, he had gone into the loft of our marital home to check out the roof. He had seen a lump under the loft insulation and lifted the insulation to find 2 piles of sealed envelopes with addresses in my handwriting on them. He was curious as to what they contained. He opened 3, each one contained a letter of thanks for wedding gifts sent to us by my friends and relatives.
My dad noticed that all the envelopes had names and addresses of my friends and relatives on them. He remembered that his uncle had 'phoned him and asked why he had not received any acknowledgement of his gift and that we had believed that it must have got lost in the post, when in fact it had been diverted by my ex. My dad did not tell me at the time, because so much was going on.
He did say that he realized that I had been in a losing situation the day I met the guy and no one could have known this at the time. Sorry to say, it looks like we have both been in a similar situation, but maybe lucky in comparison with the poor sod that your's kept hanging on for 30 years. I tried to help my wife with her emptiness I could see and feel it but she's used my compassion against me.
I have no intention of seeing her again. Her own family have just told me that this is the pattern of her life. She puts a spell on someone, leaves them and then keeps them dangling. They have explained it perfectly. There have been several. I was her first same sex relationship and marriage Now I feel like I was just a novelty that she is now embarrassed about.
I feel pretty empty. On a positive note, the rollercoaster ride has stopped and life is calm at the moment. I won't be getting back on her tracks.
I've seen her too many times without the mask on now to know that underneath that beautiful smile is someone who can be as cold as stone. It was very stressful, unfortunately, these sorts of people only love themselves and when they finally destroy their relationship, they may show up again shortly if things do not work out with the new person.
My ex's behaviour obliged me to move away from Cambridge where I had been a biomedical researcher. As I said previously, he continued his bad behaviour with wife number two and was arrested and spent Christmas on remand, Karma. I understand how you feel, it is a real emotional rollercoaster with these sorts of people.
They will tell you that they love you, just to get what they want, with very little concern for how the power of their deceits to hurt you. She has already kept you hanging on by leaving and telling you that she loves you. How about your friends and daughter who love you, she has isolated you from them, do they or you deserve this, I am guessing that the answer is likely to be no. She is already on husband number 3, so she is aware of her ability to attract a mate, but just in case it does not work out she'll keep you hanging on in the hope that she might throw you some scraps.
Yes, I can understand that you loved her once and want that back and that you feel sorry for her, but this will not fix her. I can also understand a wish to abide by your marriage vows, but this only cuts in one direction in your relationship. Love is simply not enough in a relationship, to be successful you need mutual trust and respect. I am not saying that narcissists can not change, but you know the old joke: One, but the lightbulb must really, really want to change.
Well, that one applies the most to narcissists. The next move is yours, but please don't waste your life in a relationship that eats your time away when you might be happier alone or even with someone else. It sounds like you have had some terrible experiences with your ex. Quite extreme behaviour and you needed to protect yourself and your child. It must have been really stressful and disturbing When I married her I meant every word of my vows and I will act with loving kindness always.
The only thing that has changed is that I will do so without being under any illusion that I should try to save my marriage anymore or that I can help her to resolve her underlying issues. I hurt for her that she will never find happiness that lasts or that has any real depth. It is a lonely way to live. She does not love herself and I tried to love her enough for the both of us. Now I must learn how to love myself again.
Most people call it hoovering. Essentially, it consists of the ex trying to drag you back in some way. Which they will use every which way to do. So mine walked out on me, when our son was 10 months old in pursuit of his online mistress.
It did not work out for him, so regardless of a considerable history of bad behaviour, he tried to sucker me back into a relationship. First off was the excuse to get a foot in the door. He was supposedly returning to get some of his things, this quickly turned into "I'll give you a hand with bathing our son". Now, who could disagree with that and not think that perhaps he wanted to be a good absent father? Well apart from the fact that when he was living at home he did jack.
Well, we all like to think that we would give some one a fair chance at turning over a new leaf. This is a big mistake with a narcissist. I asked him for his new address as I wanted to start divorce proceedings and needed to serve the petition upon him.
He refused and said that I would have to wait the 2 years separation to divorce. Now while I was in no hurry to start a new relationship, I also realized that all he was likely to do was to mess around for 18 months to see if he could do better for his self and if he failed he had a back up of being able to walk back into the marital home. I told him that as I no longer trusted him and he obviously from his behaviour wanted out, then a divorce would allow us to both move on. His reply was that if I did not know his address, that I could not divorce him, so he was not going to tell me.
See the controlling going on. I told him that, as we were not together and he was the one to have an affair and walk out what did it matter to him if I divorced him. I told him that his behaviour was wrong and that if he refused to co-operate that I would send my solicitor into his workplace to serve the petition on him there. With that, he stalked out of the house, demanding that I keep the door open and reminding me that it was still partly his house. See the controlling going on again.
It was January and freezing cold after 20 minutes I went out to find out what was going on. At first, I could not see him.
Then I realised that he was leaning front ways across his cars front two seats. He beckoned to me and as I went to open the car door to speak with him he drove off injuring me. I called the police, but the police did not log it as a domestic incident, they logged it as a RTA and no further action was taken. That was just the start of a catalogue of bad behaviour on his part. He even got the judge fooled that I was just an overprotective mother. He got unsupervised contact and was a nightmare.
The best bit, he used to sit outside my home night after night, then he might not turn up for contact, leaving everyone waiting around, just wondering if he was simply late. Or he would turn up and brag about his supposed latest conquest and how much better she was, shame he did not figure that I was laughing on the inside that he had spent so much time outside my house that either a it was unlikely that he had anyone or b if he had scored she obviously did not rate him or he would be constantly at her side, not outside my home.
He probably only said this stuff because he had lost control of the situation and I was resistant to being suckered in. The you have hurt me by starting a divorce, so I'll hurt you by seeing other people mentality. A bit deflated when the response from me was "good for you, fill yer boots". Hurt by this, he then started making unfavourable comparisons between me and fantasy woman. I initially ignored it and simply said that it was a good job that we were getting a divorce then, as it meant that he could move on.
A bit of an own goal that one. He kept going on every time he had the opportunity, then one day he made out that I was jealous, so I laid it on the line that the purpose of divorce, was that both parties were free to pursue or not, whoever they chose to and that really I did not consider his love life to be any of my business, just as mine was none of his. Should have seen the look of disappointment on his face.
He still did not get the point and was argumentative and aggressive at every opportunity. So I started to behave subtly differently. I made sure that when it was Saturday night on contact weekends, I was down the pub, so when I answered the mobile to him there would be lots of background noise of people having fun.
Sometimes, I would put a big vase of flowers in the front window, other times I would answer the door dressed to the nines, none of this seemed to be working, he was still showing up aggressive and abusive. So onto next trick. I bought a big pair of men's shoes and left them in the porch in full view for when he returned our son. Now our son had a receptive speech disorder and because I called my father 'dad', my son also called him 'dad', you can only imagine the anguish it caused my ex.
I only really hoped that the thought of having a man around might cause my ex to curb his behaviour, needless to say it didn't. Quite amusing that someone who had, had a mistress and walked out and was now supposedly having new relationships, might be disgusted that the ex he had discarded, might have picked her life up and carried on without him.
In the end I had to move away and thankfully when he bought the matter to court again, it could be seen how abusive he was and contact was halted. I know that you are heartbroken, but please break away from this person, you deserve better. Make sure you are seen out and about with new girls. It only has to be platonic, if that is all that you feel you can manage.
If you really want to make sure she gets the message. Go to a lingerie store, buy a pair of really sexy knickers that you know she would not buy for herself. What you do is, you put them in an envelope, addressed to her with a note saying, I found these in the house, so I am returning them to you. Her mind will go into overdrive and she will assume that you have a new girlfriend, who is willing to splash out on fancy lingerie for your benefit.
Even narcissists don't like to make a fool of themselves, so she is less likely to come chasing after you and you can rebuild your life in the peace that you deserve. If you are unfortunate and she reports this as harassment to the police, all you have to say is that you were just returning her belongings.
Thank you for sharing, I can relate to your story and was very emotional reading it, I can literally feel your heartbreak while waiting for the cab, I have recently felt that physical pain when I read texts from my ex narc to a secondary source and realised he was getting ready to discard me I feel my world and everything I have known for the past 4 years has literally fallen apart Thank you for giving me hope.
When you have children, unless she abandons them with you, you are suckered in by the contact situation. My ex-husband used the contact handovers as a means to continue his bad behaviour towards me. Inevitably, children identify with one or other of their parents. The dangers are that if they see a parent who gets what they want by lying, controlling and manipulating, they may think that is the way to be in life.
Or if their sympathies lie with the other parent, they may think that this is just the way that relationships work and might fall into relationships that have a similar dynamic themselves. As for me, I was advised to keep a contact book. My ex's behaviour was so bad that I moved miles away, when he dragged me back through the courts for this, the courts put a stop to contact with a section 7 order UK.
This meant that he had no excuse to continue harassing me and he found someone new. That lasted just over 3 years before the police contacted my parents worried for my safety. He wound up spending Christmas in prison on remand, unfortunately, new wife rescinded her statements and the prosecution did not go ahead.
From social media, I can see that he has moved to another area and has got a new job and he is back out there trying to score with the ladies at salsa. Your ex, if you cut off the supply she gets from you, will go find someone new to do this to. Sad to say, that like a bad smell these sorts can hang around for a long time, just waiting to wind you around their little finger again.
Don't fall for it, dissociate yourself from her as much as you can, because trust me you don't need the heartache, life's too short. I am going to a Relate counselling session tonight as I realised I couldn't sort my head and heart out alone. I'm staggered that people that my wife can act like this, especially when they are cherished, nurtured and loved.
My heart goes out to you. Yes, you were in love with a mirage. The woman you love didn't really exist. That's the sticky part with Narcs, they present us with our ideal partner, who wouldn't fall for that? The problem is they have no soul, and your story verifies that fact. They are nothing more than vampires preying on those of us who fall for their act.
Don't beat yourself up. But do get some support through therapy, or a 12 step group like CoDendent's Anonymous. You just had your heart ripped out of your chest, don't try to go it alone. You will get through this. You are stronger than you think. You navigated an impossible relationship - you can heal from it as well. Hello, thanks for the article.
I'm not sure if my wife is a narcissist or a sociopath, but I think I am co-dependent. Together for 4 years it really was a relationship of two halves. Up until our marriage 2 years ago, Her 3rd marriage, my first my wife was amazing. I was everything she ever wanted, we were twin flames and I was the love of her life.
Our sex life was off the scale. She wanted to be with me all the time. I adored her and was head over heels. Part of me still is. Once married though, she literally changed overnight. Everything she loved about me she started to dislike. She withdrew her attention and affection, making me work harder and harder for crumbs of love.
She told me I needed to change. Her attitude towards me fluctuated with her mood or whether she needed me to do something or not. She would make me feel really loved for short periods of time and then withdraw and criticise to make the discard more effective. Whenever I tried to discuss things she would flip and walk out for hours or days to talk about me with her daughters or deny everything saying I was 'over sensitive'.
I had stopped spending time with my own daughter, my friends and family by now. Earlier this year she inherited a large amount of money and the day the cheque cleared she told me she wasn't in love with me and that she had been 'going through the motions' and she was leaving, but could she stay until her new house was ready!?
I'm ashamed to say I let her. She told me she was leaving but didn't want to lose me, so I agreed to keep trying once she had left. We dated every week and had two weekends away together in the UK before she eventually started to cut off again following another luxury holiday abroad with her daughters and 3 months after she had moved out.
I confronted her last weekend and she told me she loves me as friend but has no other feelings for me. She had not been dating me, she had just been hanging out and leaving me hanging on. This despite texting me every day to say she loves me. She came to collect the rest of her things yesterday. I said, 'I didn't think this would happen to us' and all she said was 'can I take the microwave if you don't use it'.
Then she was gone. Four years of my life spent trying to please someone who could not be pleased, fix someone who could not be fixed, even though we both knew where her inability to love herself or others comes from. I am grieving for a woman I possibly never knew.
I am in love with someone who doesn't exist and who in the end took everything I had to give, emotionally, practically and financially and she left wanting just one more thing The shock of how her let her treat me is mixed with the massive loss I feel as I loved this woman with all my heart. This happened a long, long time ago, and I think you missed part of the story.
We weren't exactly broken up. A real ex-doesn't invite you to spend the weekend following the party at her place after a break-up. She did this sort of thing a lot it was very tumultuous because it was all about her. After me, she started dating two women at the same time and lying about it. She actually invited me out to coffee a year later to make "amends. So, no, she's a Narcissist. I didn't have time to write a full book. And include every detail - because the purpose of the article when I wrote it several years ago was to help others going through the same kind of toxic roller coaster with people who deliberately mislead them and play games for their amusement.
I"m actually quite happy and my life is drama free because I no longer date people like her. She actually friended me on FB about a year ago, and I let her because I have no feelings towards her whatsoever. I find your response to be condescending and a trifle obnoxious. If you're not a narcissist and you have not been victimized by one Have a nice day. You decided to "surprise" her at her party. When people are going through a break up, those kind of surprises can feel intrusive. If she didn't expect you there, she may have invited someone else she was trying to impress - like a new lover.
You showing up unannounced while you're in the process of breaking up seems disrespectful. You were on a break - she doesn't owe you anything. The fact that she extended an invitation showcases she wanted you there. Maybe when you didn't RSVP she felt like you snubbed her so she moved on like any rational person would do.
I understand you felt humiliated at the party - you have a right to your feelings. But it was also a position you put yourself in by not following party etiquette and submitting an RSVP. You felt unwelcome because your surprise was unwelcome. She didn't plan on you being there. I'm not a narcissist, but if my ex showed up unannounced to an event or party I'm hosting I would act the same way. No offense, but I stopped reading your article after your party story. Victimizing yourself as a way to validate your poor actions seems disingenuous.
Maybe you should look at the ways you contributed to this situation. It seems like the problem in this relationship was not a narcissist - but poor communication.
A true narcissist would never apologize or try to make amends, they just cut you off like you don't exist. May I suggest you read: Hope you find the happiness you are looking for! It seems like this wasn't the relationship for you. Smashing fences like a branded wild horse, senses startled by horrific shock after shock, it was this blog that first gave meaning to my journey of researching narcissism.
I feel we are initially in those early fight or flight stages; hyperarousal swings us toward survival; we might then, at any point, drop from this state into an almost exhaustive space It is the incredible articulation of Wendy's shared story which gives you a solid light forward. I believe you are going in, Bobby. A stage - never linear. I see a therapist. The warmth of my log burner has been witness to guttural grief.
I just read your comment She may be a narcissist, she might not be - but the real issue is how you feel when dealing with her. If you feel exhausted and depleted and unhappy with this person then there is your answer for you what you need to do.
No contact is tough, but it really helps break those toxic connections. Remove her and block her on all social media, block her phone number and move on towards a life and relationship you deserve. You owe her zero explanation so don't offer any. You can let mutual friends and connections know that you need no contact with her for your own peace of mind and that you would appreciate no comments or conversation about her.
You don't need to know how she's doing through her friends. You can always reconnect on social media when you feel stronger in a year or two and no longer have feelings for her. You do what works for you and don't worry about how anyone feels about it. You're not responsible for other people's feelings or issues. It's only by dealing with the darkness that helps us appreciate the light.
Yes, they never change They are mentally ill. Once a person realizes they are dealing with a mental illness - it's time to go! Thank you for your kind word. I beg anyone who has stumbled upon this to RUN away if in a relationship with such a person. They intend to only hurt, harm, and actually loathe anything positive about you.
I am speaking with plenty of years of having experienced this. And yes, they can be psychopathic and many have committed or attempted murder on their victims. I have enough to write my own book.
But please do not wrap your life around this person any longer. They will never truly love or are they capable of such. I am only sorry I spent far too much of myself invested in a dead end relationship. I am healing slowly but surely. I pray for all caught in their web to get free and find out life can and will be better.
Thank you for this very well written article and all advice appreciated. Thank you so much for your article Wendy. I'm finding it extremely difficult to cut all ties with my ex. We broke up just over two weeks ago and it's like every time I'm reeled back in, just enough to not know whether I'm coming or going. When we got together everything, like all new relationships, was exciting and fun. After a while things started to change. She had lost both her parents a number of years ago and hadn't yet grieved.
She was previously married to a man who abused her and then began a relationship with a woman, whom to this day still has a hold over her. I found this out when we went out for drinks with my partner, her ex and her partner.
I could sense something was up. It stung and took me a few weeks to bring this up. I knew every time she got a text from her she would be all over the place emotionally.
The same would happen with her ex husband. During our relationship the focus was often on me, saying that things were being hindered because my parents didn't know about our relationship few of her family and friends knew either or because we were living apart etc. She would always put things back on me as to the reason we might not be going so well at the time.
I apparently was often to blame for the small things that seemed irrelevant but yet she would always make a point to throw the blame about. There's also been some name calling once a couple of drinks were taken. I provided so much support, was always there.
Stayed with her on Sunday nights when she was upset driving a 2. Only two days ago she told me that she knows I'm the person she wants to walk life's path with and she's feeling very positive. Since then she has taken the big step and come out to her ex husband. She now queries that the next obstacle in our way is her not being comfortable with her sexuality and that this is causing her to stress out and maybe she just needs to be single.
I feel equally she wants to have a hold on me and is waiting to see if the grass is greener on the other side.
I can't determine if this is narcissistic behaviour maybe I have the blinkers on or if things have just been against us from the start. I feel so drained in all aspects of my life, as though there's not an ounce more to give. When I think back to how I was before our relationship, I was a very happy go lucky person, comfortable in my own company, happy to travel and seek new adventures with my job.
Now I feel I've lost myself but yet here I am, wondering what the next text that comes my way is going to contain: You are very brave to make the move to leave. These kinds of relationships are the hardest to leave because of the brainwashing and mind games. You are going to be very emotional for a while.
But know that it will eventually pass. You are going to second guess yourself and go over all the details in your head till you can't stand it anymore, but it is a process so just go with it. It will help to be around others who are struggling with toxic relationships.
I also recommend pursuing something you've been wanting to do to keep your mind busy and off the Narc. It could be anything, learning how to play a musical instrument, learning a second language, starting a garden and learning about plants - whatever you've dreamed about being able to do but haven't had the clarity to do because you were in a constant state of emotional and mental crisis.
You will get through this you are strong and you know your life will be much better without him. I had him removed and im still emotional and go in and out with tears, but I ni in my heart it wasn't gonna change. Thank you, so much, for sharing this.
The Narcissist I was involved with was an internet relationship. It lasted 6 months. We were making plans for the future. I thank God he is so far away from me. I broke it off. Before I could finish blocking him from all my social media and phone, after I messaged him to tell him we were done, he had already texted me. I blocked his number as quickly as I could.
It was my friends, who have known me forever, who truly love me, that finally, gently intervened, because they saw me losing my glow, my sunshine, my positive attitude. I was withdrawing from them, from life, and really starting to believe it was all my fault. I was believing that I really wasn't the happy person everyone else knew I am, including me!
I now know why he would hang up on me, when he was displeased, and I had no clue? Because he was raging. He couldn't afford to have me hear the true him. He slipped up a few times, and used that word, and told me just that. He couldn't speak to me when he was raging, even if it wasn't because of me. The most chilling thing he said, right before I broke it off, and this helped me see the truth too, was how much fun it was to watch a person go down in flames, when he set out to destroy them, because they deserved it.
They didn't live up to his standards, or to his perception of God's standards. I still have love in my heart for this man, because I also see just how broken he truly is. Not my job to fix him, but it still breaks my heart, because I really loved him.
The beginning was beautiful, charming, and loving, but the closer we grew, the more controlling and manipulative he became. I was blinded by love. Again, thank you for this. I am sorry for what you went through with this woman. There is definitely a hook for those of us susceptible to self-absorbed partners.
It's a pattern that's formed in childhood. It's a deep-seated need to fix our pattern with our parents. Toxic parents end up raising codependent children. I hope you find happiness in your new relationship. If you still find you are struggling then perhaps therapy or a support group like CoDA will help.
After 2 year relationship with a girl suffering of bulimia and NPd I decided to move on. In the beginning she seemed a stable healthy person.
Very smart and active, slowly she reveled all her problems and an abusive mother and absent father in her childhood. We dated living far away, me in Rome and she in Tokyo. Early on she wanted to move I with me relocating to Rome. I already knew she suffered from a lot of stress and anxiety but had no idea about the scale of the problems until she moved in.
So I discovered that she was way more depressed than she shown. The plan was that she would have started looking for a mini job and start seeing a therapist, eventually she just stayed in bed for months. With me suffering and pushing her to start a treatment. This only made us fight over and over. I suffered so much I became verbally abusive and exausted.
She even had bulimic binges she told me no thsst later while telling me that it was over. After few months she finally started seeing someone but after just few meetings the summer arrived and after going to Bruxelles to see her mom she never wanted to come back home. She blamed me in an unreal way, it seems I was the cause for her stress. I was the entire problem for all. I felt abandoned and I entered a huge phase of deep anxiety for the whole summer.
I had to force her to come back to see me jus to understand that living toghter was not possible. So she moved to her mother in Bruxelles and few months later she wanted to go back to Tokyo to finish her study. She moved there and asked me to go visit but just few days before my departure she said she dumped me telling me she wanted to eventually date someone else.
I was destroyed and I felt depressed like nev before. I avtually started to move on with my life just to get back with her 6 months later. We spent a month toghter and everything seemed perfect.
But again, when I visited her in Japan it was like always. It was all about her and her problems, I was just assisting her. And in her mind I should have enjoyed this. I started realizing that this was toxic and it was all about giving her something that would have never been enough. When I moved back to Europe and few months later she came for her vacation we had a fight while texting and this led to her not wanting to see me.
She wanted to be with her friends telling me that she didn t know why but she felt bad everytime she was with me. She just wanted to ignore me and get back to me when she pleased.
But by this time I saw the pattern. Like food she wanted to have me completely and puke me when she had enough. This experience made me realize how much I enjoyed taking care of someone instead of myself.
Now that has been a bit more than a month I see how much energies I have for me. I started dating a girl now, sweet and kind , and I see how hard it is for me to trust someone that really likes me.
We can blame the narcisistic ex for what he did. Or we can ask ourself why we loved being beaten up all the time. I'm not a therapist. Everything you wrote here should be shown to a good therapist who can help you sort out all of these issues. I can tell you that one of the things my ex used to bug me about constantly was my weight.
It was her contention that if I loved her I would lose weight. It got so bad I was afraid to eat in front of her. I was a nervous wreck, when I hadn't been before. It was never an issue in my other relationships. I know now to walk away from anyone who tries to control how I look or feel about myself. I also know that I come from a family full of angry, controlling women. Because of this energy in my background I would get caught up and consumed with relationships with angry, controlling women.
That is my theme and I know what to look for, and what to avoid. This man played on your insecurities and pushed all your buttons. It wasn't about other women, it was about making you feel bad. Narcissists get high from the attention they get when they hurt someone. It's creepy but true. If the answer is no, then don't look back. Look forward to a future with men who treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. Hi Wendy, I read your article and found it so insightful and helpful.
I'm still working on healing from my separation and divorce from my ex, who I was with for 9 years. I had been with him for my entire adult life from 18 to 27 , and even though it was my decision to separate and divorce, the loss and guilt I felt was excruciating. I don't even know how to classify his behavior over the years, but finally I had enough and couldn't stand it anymore. From the beginning, he was always looking at other women, talking about other women looking hot or fit, and when I would get upset, he would tell me that he thought I was mature enough to have these kind of normal adult conversations.
He once, early on in our relationship, told me that all men look at other women and imagine having sex with them. That was so upsetting for me, but he just told me I was being immature. He was always "testing" me, because he believed I had jealousy issues, and so he would make comments about women specifically to "test" my "maturity".
I know this, because he admitted to it. He said he wanted to "push" me to get over my jealousy issues - my jealousy "issues" only started because of him looking at other women, and making me feel like I couldn't trust him!
I lost trust in him early on, but didn't want to admit it to myself, and I kept hoping he would change, that he would finally understand and care about my feelings, that he would treat me as I treat him - with love, respect, and complete faithfulness. But maybe when trust is gone, at a certain point it can never be repaired or regained.
Those issues started early on in our 9 year relationship, within the first years, and he remained the same throughout - we would have arguments about him being overly familiar, in my opinion, with other women, and he would call me jealous, paranoid, crazy, controlling, irrational, and untrusting.
And I would vacillate back and forth - is he right? Am I being controlling and jealous and causing issues in our relationship? Or am I right and he needs to change. I would almost always end up agreeing with him that I need to work on being more understanding, less distrustful. But these issues kept coming up because I guess I knew that it wasn't right. In the last year of our relationship, he was driving a girl home from work late at night, and he didn't even tell me about it at first.
We went out for dinner with this female colleague of his one night, along with two other friends, and then my ex volunteered me and him to drive his female colleague home. Well, to my shock, my ex knew the way to her house. Once she was out of the car, I asked him how he knew the way, and he told me that he'd driven her home from work a couple of times because she didn't have transport. I was so upset - I would be waiting at home for him, because he was working very late hours, and he'd be driving home another woman and not even telling me about it.
Of course he told me I was being crazy, ridiculous, jealous, possessive, etc, and said there was nothing wrong with it, and he continued to drive her home on occasion even though I was upset about it.
I had such tension about his friendship with this female colleague of his that I ended up having a panic attack at the gym and had to be given oxygen on the floor of the gym. And one of the people working out at the gym happened to be a doctor and so he came over to assist, and he went downstairs to the gym cafe to get some honey to give to me to raise my blood sugar.
I was crying and still gasping a bit, and so he kindly and sincerely fed me the honey spoon by spoon, and that made me cry more because this random man was more caring for me in that moment than I felt my ex was being. I just heaved a big sigh, because I thought I was over all this - the panic attack happened in roughly May , we separated in September , and the divorce paperwork went through in May But maybe I am still struggling - I don't think about him as much anymore, I don't ruminate as much about the pain he caused me, but I struggled for a long time with anger and resentment about what he put me through and him continuing to believe that I was the one in the wrong, that I had the controlling and jealousy issues that caused us so many fights over the years.
Another incident with that female colleague: I was so shocked and I confronted him when we left the party He laughed because he thought I was being, once again in his words crazy, jealous, irrational, and he claimed to have not even noticed her put her hand on his leg.
He didn't believe me at first. I didn't believe him that he didn't feel it, and even if he didn't notice it, what does that mean other than that they clearly were comfortable with each other in a way that most work colleagues of the opposite gender are not. I felt angry at him for a long time, but then got back in touch with him recently to say hi, and I feel like I am not fully allowing myself to move forward - as he has so clearly done.
Do you have any thoughts on what I have said with regards to my situation? How would you categorize what I went through with my ex? And how I do heal fully - because I don't feel truly healed, and not at all certain of my ability to "ward off" similarly "abusive" relationships. And was he abusive to me? In an emotional sense? He was always criticizing what I wore, how I looked, telling me to get this waxed, to wear this, to fix my hair or makeup this way, and whenever I put up resistance, he would tell me that I didn't care about looking good for him.
He would tell me that all women care about these things and about looking good for their man. This was so upsetting to me because I did and do make an effort to look nice, and it hurt to feel like he rarely saw that, that he only ever had criticism for me, that I was never "good enough" so to speak. He would comment on other women passing by, and say "look at what she's wearing, you should wear something like that" - and I always felt compared to other women, and always coming up lacking.
I don't know why I stayed in the relationship for so long, except to say that I loved him in an all-consuming way, and we did everything together. Sleep with the windows open. Baby steps until one day, you realize you are fine and you like your life. If you lasted for a long time with a malignant narcissist, you are likely a codependent that wanted to serve them and save them and were always hoping that tomorrow was the day of salvation and the narcissist would turn a new leaf and be kind, loving and giving.
You are conditioned to feel good about yourself through serving others - that is a sickness believe it or not. Do you see this paradox? Codependents kind of need a new relationship to be able to quit an old one. It's unhealthy, and can have you stuck in just the next bad relationship if your next partner is not a good choice.
So moving on is risky and scary. So you need to treat your codependency. This is a whole industry like Alcoholics Anonymous. Often the partners if those in AA are in Al-Anon or http: So, the quickest way to move in is go get a new partner that is broken and needs fixing.
This is a terrible idea. You will naturally be attracted to the worst of the worst. But there is no moving on alone, so you need to put yourself out there and learn to date.
I am a codependent too and I understand how hard it is to do this. I am motivated to respond to your post with my own rescuing compulsions. I want to save people like you. You just need to shop around. You need to realize that if youre not attracted to a nice guy, it's probably because he's not broken. You need to change that. But I am committed to helping you with this. I will save you. You will heal and get better and you will love me in return and never hurt me nor leave me.
You will give as much as I give you and we will live happily ever after. I'm being cheeky here, but you see how codependent are if they spoke their true feelings and intentions out loud. But you will meet and date a nice guy and cure your codependency if I have to date you myself ;. I am only just now ready to move on actually. It was hard to not just fall in loce with the first nice person that you meet…. But as you try to incorporate a new healthy partner, you will feel useless since they don't need as much from you.
There is also a partial desire to go back and fix the narcissist, and they can try to lure you back when they are without a partner. But at least I've cut the narcissist totally out and am ready to date finally and I have a little dating experience just recently.
But if you need saving, message me and I will marry you ;. To "recover" from an abusive relationship is a process that you will likely find yourself in for the remainder of your life. Breaking away from a narcissist is extremely HARD and escaping this hell will likely break you more than you are already broken.
There will be periods of darkness. There will be periods of light. Surviving recovery is at times "day by day" and at other times it is "minute by minute". If you have the means talk with a therapist that specializes in this area. Eventually, your recovery will become more about YOU and less about the narcissist. You will need to "find out about yourself" and your role in this. Not to assign blame but to learn how to protect and love yourself so that you do not get involved in future abusive relationships.
People tend to return to what is familiar to them when it comes to relationships. So to answer your question, yes it is possible and you can live a better life in recovery after a narcissistic marriage. I think I can only speak to the dark side really. It is just going to take WAY longer than you are comfortable with, and it is extremely easy to fall back into old habits either with the Ex, or with someone new just like them.
It is very easy to revert to your introverted nature… as it is likely that you were an introvert when your ex married you. It is just very painful. You have to trust AND you have to get burned again to learn.
Yes you can and not only survive but you will thrive. Accept that your spouse is a narc that sucked the life out of you but now you have a chance to start over. You were emotionally held hostage and now you're free to be who God made you to be. Those qualities about you are just waiting for the right person to appreciate them. The hardest part about moving on is knowing that you were totally played by your spouse who you trusted and loved.
It happens, I truly know but other than that it's easier than getting over a person who treated you well. Remember the rage and never being good enough. That should help you move on. Not only can you recover, but you may feel better than you ever thought you could. Granted I was in that relationship for 30 years. So I had a lot more things to get over. But I've never been happier than I am now. And I truly believe that it's because I was with a narcissist that long.
I appreciate the little things in life so much more than I ever did before. No amount of waiting affects me after having been with him who is so impatient and let everyone around us know.
Now that I know I don't have to worry about how he acts in any situation I can just enjoy the moment. I sleep so much better at night. I don't actually await his arrival worried about what mood he is in.
Without a doubt you can not only survive but thrive after being married to a narcissist. But you have to take responsibility for your own healing and put the effort in.
The Core Reason Why You Hurt So Much After Narcissistic Abuse
How to recover from a narcissistic marriage But this is where the seeds of dysfunction are laid. The non-narcissist is unaware that their desire for peace is actually a slow corrosion of their identity. The non-narcissist frequently abandons their personal beliefs, standards, morals, and values in exchange for peace within the relationship. As a person becomes relationally entangled, the distorted perception of the narcissist now dominates nearly every aspect of their life. Those attracted to the narcissist are dazzled by the superficial self-confidence, convincing opinions, charming personality, and shocking persistence. One of the defining characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a lack of accurate perception of reality. The narcissist sees the world through a self-absorbed lens in which they are the stars and others are there to support and serve them. Can you recover after a narcissistic marriage? - Quora