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What Happens When You Abandon A Narcissist

What Happens When You Abandon A Narcissist

What actually happens when you abandon a narcissist? People who have been in relationships with narcissists, know how emotionally draining this can be.

When you are in a relationship with a narcissist, there will be times when you will be actually happy, and content in the relationship. But most of the time, you will be insulted, denigrated, emotionally tortured, and made to feel like nothing. This might sound horrible and harsh, but this is the absolute truth of being with a narcissist.

If you truly value your sanity you will have to understand that the narcissist is an emotional vampire. You will never have any real value except as “feeding ground” for his voracious appetite of self! Everything must revolve around this self-styled god. Separate yourself from his kingdom of self if you want any identity of your own.

How Does The Narcissist Think

Remember that the personality of the narcissist has a low level of organization mentally, even though they may be functionally organized and organize everything in your life to suit them. It is precariously balanced but as long as they can dominate, and they don’t have to worry about organizing the level of personal involvement. They are free to do their own thing.
When you abandon a narcissist, it causes a narcissistic injury so grave that the whole edifice can come crumbling down. Narcissists usually entertain suicidal ideation in such cases. But, if the narcissist initiated his abandonment, if HE directed the scenes, or if the abandonment is perceived by him to be a goal HE set to himself to achieve – he can and does avoid all these untoward consequences. 

The Dynamics of the Relationship

The Narcissist lives in a world of ideal beauty, incomparable (imaginary) achievements, wealth, brilliance, and unmitigated success. The narcissist denies his reality constantly. This is what I call the “Grandiosity Gap” – the abyss between his sense of entitlement and his inflated grandiose fantasies – and his incommensurate reality and achievements.
The narcissist’s partner is perceived by him to be a source of narcissistic supply, an instrument, an extension of himself. It is inconceivable that – blessed by the constant presence of the narcissist – such a tool would malfunction.

The needs of the partner are perceived by the narcissist as threats and insults. He considers his very existence as sufficiently nourishing and sustaining to his partner. He feels entitled to the best others can offer without investing in maintaining relationships or in catering to the well being of his “suppliers”.
To rid himself of deep-set feelings of (rather justified) guilt and shame – he pathologizes the partner. He projects sickness unto her.

Through the intricate mechanism of projective identification, he forces her to play an emergent role of “the sick” or “the weak” or “the naive” or “the dumb” or “the no good”. What he denies in himself, what he is terrified of facing in his own personality – he attributes to others and molds them to conform to his prejudices against himself.
The narcissist must have the best of everything he covets, the most glamorous, stunning, talented, head-turning, and mind-boggling spouse in the world. Nothing short of this fantasy will do. He will mold you and manipulate you into his perfect partner or you will be sorry for not conforming! To compensate for the shortcomings of his real-life spouse – he invents an idealized figure and relates to it instead.

Then, when reality conflicts too often and too roughly with the ideal figure – he reverts to devaluation. His behavior turns on a dime and becomes threatening, demeaning, contemptuous, berating, reprimanding, destructively critical, and sadistic – or cold, unloving, detached, “clinical”.

He punishes his real-life spouse for not living up to his standards as personified in his Galathea, in his Pygmalion, in his ideal creation. The Narcissist plays a wrathful and demanding God.

Related: 5 Ways You Can Ignore A Narcissist Who Is Trying To Hurt You

Moving On

To preserve one’s mental health – one must abandon the narcissist. One must move on. Moving on is a process, not a decision or an event. First, we have to acknowledge and accept reality.

When you finally abandon a narcissist, it is a volcanic, shattering, agonizing series of little, nibbling, thoughts, and strong, voluptuous resistances. The battle won, harsh and painful realities assimilated, we can move on to the learning phase.
We label. We assemble the material. We gather knowledge. We compare our experiences. We digest. We have insights. Then we decide and we act. This is “to move on”.

Having gathered sufficient emotional sustenance, support, and confidence – we leave to face the battlefields of our relationships, fortified, and nurtured. This stage characterizes those who do not mourn – but fight; do not grieve – but replenish their self-esteem; do not hide – but seek; do not freeze – but move on.


After we abandon a narcissist, after being betrayed and abused – we grieve. We grieve for the image we had of the traitor and abuser – the image that was so fleeting and so wrong. We mourn the damage he did to us.

We experience the fear of never being able to love or to trust again – and we grieve this loss. In one stroke, we lost someone we trusted and even loved, we lost our trusting and loving selves and we lost the trust and love that we felt. Can anything be worse?
The emotional process of grieving is multiphased. At first, we are dumbfounded, shocked, inert, immobile. We play dead to avoid our inner monsters. We are ossified in our pain, cast in the mold of our reticence and fears.

Then we feel enraged, indignant, rebellious, and hateful. Then we accept. Then we cry. And then – some of us – learn to forgive and to pity but never return to a demeaning monster. And this is called healing.

All the feelings that you feel when you abandon a narcissist, each and every stage is absolutely necessary and good. It is bad NOT to rage back, not to shame those who shamed us, to deny, to pretend, to evade. But it is equally as bad to stay like this forever. Permanent grieving is the perpetuation of our abuse by other mean

By endlessly recreating our harrowing experiences, we unwillingly and defiantly collaborate with our abuser to perpetuate his or her evil deeds. It is by moving on that we defeat our abuser, minimizing him and his importance in our lives.

It is by loving and by trusting anew that we annul that which was done to us. To forgive is never to forget. But to remember is not necessarily to re-live.

Forgiving and Forgetting

Forgiving is an important capability. It does more for the forgiver than for the forgiven. But, to my mind, it should not be a universal, indiscriminate behavior.
I think it is legitimate not to forgive sometimes. It depends, of course, on the severity or duration of what was done to you. In general, it is unwise and counter-productive, in my view, to establish “universal” and “immutable” principles in life.
Life is too chaotic to succumb to rigid principles. Sentences, which start with “I never” are either not very credible or, worse, they lead to self-defeating, self- restricting and self-destructive behaviors.
We must assess our friendships, partnerships, even marriages periodically. The past is insufficient in itself to sustain a healthy, nourishing, supportive, caring, and compassionate relationship.

It is a good pre-condition, perhaps a necessary one – but not a sufficient one. We must gain and regain our friendships on a daily basis. Human relationships are a constant test of allegiance and empathy.

In short, after you abandon a narcissist, you should try to to forgive them. This will play an important part in your own healing.

Remaining Friends with the Narcissist (IMPORTANT)

But after we abandon a narcissist, can’t we act civilized and remain on friendly terms with our narcissist ex? Never forget that Narcissists (full-fledged ones) are nice to others if: 

(1) They want something from you as their narcissistic supply. It can be a help, support, votes, money, and the list goes on.

They prepare the ground, manipulate you, and then come out with the “small favor” they need or ask you blatantly or surreptitiously for narcissistic supply (“what did you think about my performance…” “do you think that I really deserve the Nobel Prize?”).
(2) They feel threatened and they want to neuter the threat by smothering it with oozing pleasantries.
(3) They have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply and they feel magnanimous and magnificent and ideal and perfect. To show magnanimity is a way of flaunting one’s impeccable divine credentials. It is an act of grandiosity.

You are an irrelevant prop in this spectacle, a mere receptacle of the narcissist’s overflowing, self-contented infatuation with his False Self.
This beneficence is transient. Perpetual victims often tend to “Thank God for little graces” (God being the narcissist). This is the Stockholm syndrome: hostages tend to emotionally identify with the terrorists rather than with the police. We are grateful to our abusers and tormentors for ceasing their hideous activities and letting us breathe for a while.

Related: Traumatic Bonding: How A Narcissistic Relationship Is Similar To Stockholm Syndrome

Some people say that they prefer to live with narcissists, to cater to their needs, and to succumb to their whims because this is the way they have been conditioned. It is only with narcissists that they feel alive, stimulated, and excited. The world glows in Technicolor in the presence of a narcissist and decays to sepia colors in his absence.

I see nothing inherently “wrong” with that if you can handle the heat and understand you will always be undervalued and unloved.

The test is this: If a person were to constantly humiliate and abuse you verbally using Archaic Chinese – would you have felt humiliated and abused?
Probably not. Some people have been conditioned by the narcissistic primary objects in their lives (parents or caregivers) to treat narcissistic abuse as Archaic Chinese, to turn a deaf ear.
This technique is effective in that it allows the “inverted narcissist” (the narcissist’s willing mate) to experience only the good aspects of living with a narcissist: his sparkling intelligence, the constant drama and excitement, his lack of intimacy and emotional attachment (some people prefer this).

Every now and then the narcissist breaks into abusive Archaic Chinese, so what, who understands Archaic Chinese anyway?
I have only one nagging doubt, though:

If so rewarding, why are inverted narcissists so unhappy, so ego-dystonic, so in need of help (professional or otherwise)? Aren’t they victims who simply experience the Stockholm Syndrome (=identifying with the kidnapper rather than with the Police)

Narcissists and Abandonment

Narcissists are terrified of being abandoned exactly as codependents and Borderlines are. BUT Their solution is different.
Codependents cling. Borderlines are emotionally labile and react disastrously to the faintest hint of being abandoned. Narcissists FACILITATE the abandonment.

They subconsciously MAKE SURE that they are abandoned and then they can blame their victim for the failure of the relationship-besides they are basically perfect and they believe they are in complete control of their own mind and will!

This way they secure the achievement of two goals: 

(1) Getting it over with –

The narcissist has a very low threshold of tolerance for uncertainty and inconvenience, emotional or material. Narcissists are very impatient and “spoiled”. They cannot delay gratification OR impending doom. They must have it all NOW, good or bad.

(2) By bringing the feared abandonment about, the narcissist can lie to himself persuasively.

It is always someone else’s fault!

Why Failing Relationships?

Narcissists hate happiness and joy and ebullience and vivaciousness in their victims – in short, they hate life itself. The roots of this bizarre propensity can be traced to a few psychological dynamics, which operate concurrently (it is very confusing to be a narcissist):

First, there is pathological envy.

The Narcissist is constantly envious of other people: their successes, their property, their character, their education, their children, their ideas, the fact that they can feel, their good mood, their past, their future, their present, their spouses, their mistresses or lovers, their location…
Almost ANYTHING can be the trigger of a bout of biting, acidulous envy. But there is nothing, which reminds the narcissist more of the totality of his envious experiences than happiness. Narcissists lash out at happy people out of their own deprivation.

Then there is narcissistic hurt.

The narcissist regards himself as the center of the world and the lives of those surrounding him. He is the source of all emotions, responsible for all developments, positive and negative alike, the axis, the prime cause, the only cause, the mover, the shaker, the broker, the pillar, forever indispensable.
It is, therefore, a bitter and sharp rebuke to this grandiose fantasy to see someone else happy. It confronts the narcissist with a reality outside the realm of his fantasies. It painfully serves to illustrate to him that he is but one of many causes, phenomena, triggers, and catalysts. That there are things happening outside the orbit of his control or initiative.
The narcissist uses projective identification. He feels bad through other people, his proxies. He induces unhappiness and gloom in others to enable him to experience his own misery. Inevitably, he attributes the source of such sadness either to himself, as its cause – or to the “pathology” of the sad person.
Though he is the chronically depressed partner, “You are constantly draining me. I do all the work in this relationship.” is a common sentence. The narcissist – in an effort to maintain the depressive state until it serves some cathartic purposes – strives to perpetuate it by showing constant reminders of its existence.

Related: 24 Terms Of Narcissistic Abuse That You Should Know About

If the Narcissistic decides to show any pity for his victim, it is usually an under-handed slap in the face type of comment.  “You look sad/bad/pale today. Is anything wrong?

Even though he perpetrated the wrong, he takes no blame.

He will make diabolical statements like, “Can I help you? Things haven’t been going so well, ah? That is because you are not in step with me, you are never satisfied, you lag behind complaining all the time about one little thing I do wrong.” or  “You would be happier if you just trust me more.”

Last but not least is the exaggerated fear of losing control.

The narcissist feels that he controls his human environment mostly by manipulation and mainly by emotional extortion and distortion. This is not far from reality. He suppresses any sign of emotional autonomy.

He feels threatened and belittled by an emotion fostered not by him or by his actions directly or indirectly. Counteracting someone else’s happiness is the narcissist’s way of reminding everyone: I am here, I am omnipotent, you are at my mercy and you will feel happy only when I tell you to.

If you want to know more about what happens when you abandon a narcissist, then check this video out below:

When you abandon a narcissist

What Happens When You Abandon A Narcissist
What Happens When You Abandon A Narcissist Pin

Cynthia Evans

Cynthia Evans is an intuitive spiritual blogger, enlightening and empowering people with her blogs on spirituality, energy work, self-love, spiritual wellness, healing, mindfulness, self-development and so on. She enjoys helping people to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions by sharing valuable tips based on personal experiences.View Author posts

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