How To Leave A Narcissist Or Abuser

 / 

,
how to leave a narcissist or abuser

Is it really easy to leave a narcissist when you have been in a relationship with them for quite some time? Unfortunately, more often than not when you want to leave a narcissist, it proves to be a massive challenge.

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.

Outsiders often 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.

Related: 5 Good Reasons To Leave a Narcissist

Why it’s Hard to Leave?

Narcissists, especially, can be exceedingly charming, interesting, and enlivening to be around. Initially, they and other abusers may treat you with kindness and warmth, or even love bomb you.

Of course, you want to be with them forever and easily become dependent on their attention and validation. Once you’re hooked and they feel secure, they aren’t motivated to be nice to you.

Their charming traits fade or disappear and are replaced or intermixed with varying degrees of coldness, criticism, demands, and narcissistic abuse.

(See “Narcissus and Echo:  The Heartbreak of Relationships with Narcissists.)

You’re hopeful and accommodating and keep trying to win back their loving attention.

Meanwhile, your self-esteem and independence are undermined daily. You may be gaslighted and begin doubting your own perceptions due to blame and lies. When you object, you’re attacked, intimidated, or confused by manipulation.

Over time, you attempt to avoid conflict and become more deferential. As denial and cognitive dissonance grow, you do and allow things you wouldn’t have imagined when you first met.

Your shame increases as your self-esteem declines. You wonder what happened to the happy, self-respecting, confident person you once were.

Research confirms that it’s common for victims to attach to their abuser, particularly when there’s intermittent positive reinforcement.

You may be trauma-bonded, meaning that after being subjected to prolonged belittling and control, you’ve become childlike and addicted to any sign of approval from your abuser.

This is referred to as Stockholm Syndrome, named for hostages who developed positive feelings for their captors.

You’re especially susceptible to this if the relationship dynamics are repeating a pattern you experienced with a distant, abusive, absent, or withholding parent. The trauma bond with your partner outweighs the negative aspects of the relationship.

Studies show that victims of physical abuse on average don’t leave until after the seventh incident of violence.

They not only fear retaliation, but also the loss of the emotional connection with their partner, which can feel worse than the abuse.

Additionally, codependents, who are usually preyed upon by narcissists and abusers, often feel trapped and find it hard to leave any relationship. They can be loyal to a fault due to their codependency.

Leave a narcissist

After You Leave

Narcissists and abusers are basically codependent. (See “Narcissists are Codependent, too.”) If you distance yourself from them, they do what it takes to pull you back in, because they don’t want to be abandoned.

Narcissists want to keep you interested to feed their ego and supply their needs (“narcissistic supply”). Being left is a major humiliation and blow to their fragile self.

They will attempt to stop you with kindness and charm, blame and guilt-trips, threats and punishment, or neediness, promises, or pleas―whatever it takes to control you so that they win.

If you succeed in leaving, they usually continue their games to exert power over you that compensates for their hidden insecurities.

They may gossip and slander you to family and friends, hoover you to suck you back into the relationship (like a vacuum cleaner).

They show up on your social media, try to make you jealous with photos of them having fun with someone else talk to your friends and relatives text or call you to promise to reform express guilt and love ask for help, or accidentally appear in your neighborhood or usual haunts.

They don’t want to be forgotten but keep you waiting and hoping. Just when you think you’ve moved on, you’re reeled back in. This may reflect their intentional spacing of contacts.

Even if they don’t want to be with you, they may not want you to let go or be with anyone else. The fact that you respond to them may give them enough satisfaction.

When they contact you, remember that they’re incapable of giving you want you need.

You might feel guilty or tell yourself that your ex really still loves you and that you’re special to him or her.

Who wouldn’t want to think that?

You’re vulnerable to forgetting all the pain you had and why you left. (See “Why and How Narcissists Play Games.”) If you resist their attention, it fuels their ambition.

But once you fall into their trap and they feel in control, they’ll return to their old cold and abusive ways. Only consistent, firm boundaries will protect you and disincentivise them.

Want to know more about how you can leave a narcissist? Check this video out below to know more about what happens when you leave a narcissist!

Leave a narcissist

How to Leave?

As long as you’re under their spell an abuser has control over you. In order to become empowered, you need to educate yourself.

Come out of denial to see reality for what it is. Information is power. Read up on narcissism and abuse on my website.

If you’re unsure whether you want to leave, take the steps in Dealing with a Narcissist to improve your relationship and evaluate whether it’s salvageable.

Related: 9 Things You Can Do To Help Someone Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Regardless of your decision, it’s important for your own mental health to redeem your autonomy and self-esteem. Take these steps:

1. Find a support group, including a therapist, a 12-Step group, like Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), and sympathetic friends―not ones who bash your spouse or judge you for staying.

2. Become more autonomous. Create a life aside from your relationship that includes friends, hobbies, work, and other interests. Whether you stay or leave, you need a fulfilling life to supplement or replace your relationship.

3. Build your self-esteem. Learn to value yourself and honor your needs and feelings. Develop trust in your perceptions and overcome self-doubt and guilt.

4. Learn how to be assertive and set boundaries.

5. Learn how to nurture yourself. This is a life skill and also insulates you from abuse. See “12 Tips to Self-Love and Compassion.” Get the Self-Love Meditation.

6. Identify the abuser’s defenses and your triggers. Detach from them. On my website, get “14 Tips for Letting Go.”

7. If you’re physically threatened or harmed, immediately seek shelter. Physical abuse repeats itself. Read about the cycle of violence and actions to take.

8. Don’t make empty threats. When you decide to leave, be certain you’re ready to end the relationship and not be lured back.

9. If you decide to leave, find an experienced lawyer who is a family law specialist. Mediation is not a good option when there is a history of abuse. See “Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce.”

10. Whether you leave or are left, allow yourself time to grieve, build resilience, and recover from the breakup.

11. Maintain strict no contact, or only minimally necessary, impersonal contact that’s required for co-parenting in accordance with a formal custody-visitation agreement.

After the struggling relationship with a narcissist it leaves you emotionally broken and often certain psychological and emotional disturbances trauma appear.

© Darlene Lancer 2019


Written by Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT.
Originally appeared on Whatiscodependency.com
How to Leave a Narcissist or Abuser
Leave a narcissist
how to leave a narcissist or abuser pin

— Share —

— About the Author —



Up Next

Top 6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History and Their Psychology Unleashed

Top Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Some of the most horrifying and notorious murder cases in criminal history are those in which the most notorious serial killers caused irreversible harm to society by their horrific deeds. Motivated by an intricate network of psychological, social, and frequently pathological elements, these infamous persons have perpetrated atrocities that persistently enthral and appal the public.

Every instance sheds light on the dark psychology of serial killers, from Ed Gein’s horrific acts to Ted Bundy’s deliberate and planned killings. Investigating these sinister tales reveals not only the specifics of their heinous deeds but also the patterns and reasons behind them, providing insights into one of the most ghastly aspects of human nature.

6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History



Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.



Up Next

Man vs Bear Debate: What is the Right Choice for Women?

Man vs Bear Debate: Is It Safe To Choose a Bear Over Man?

Even though Leonardo Di Caprio has proven that men can beat a bear in strength and intelligence, let’s not get carried away and remember that a bear can be more powerful than men. You can guess that we are here to discuss why women chose bear in the man vs bear debate.

The real question is, what threatens women more? Getting mauled by a bear and meeting a horrific death or getting violated by a man??

Women are inclined to the second option in the viral Man vs Bear debate.



Up Next

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? 8 Ways Narcissists Can Muddle Your Brain

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? Reasons Why It Happens

Have you ever heard of the term “brain fog”? Brain fog is like a maddening haze that seems to muddle your thoughts, makes you forget what you were saying, and has you searching for your clothes in the trash bin? Well, today we are going to talk about a specific sort of brain fog – brain fog after narcissistic abuse.

Imagine that you have just escaped from a toxic and abusive relationship with a narcissist. You are slowly picking up the pieces and trying to get your life back in order, but somehow you feel like your head is not in the right place. Everything still feels very odd and you still feel very lost.

Even though you are free from the clutches of your narcissistic ex, this bizarre mental fog just won’t lift. Let’s explore how narcissists cause brain fog, and the link between brain fog and narcissistic abuse.



Up Next

Toxic Bosses Unmasked: 20 Warning Signs to Watch For

Toxic Bosses Unmasked: Warning Signs to Watch For

Having a toxic boss can really take a toll on you mentally, and toxic bosses are seriously so horrible. This article is going to help you understand the traits of a toxic boss so that you know which behaviors are not normal and ethical. Read on to know more about the signs of a toxic boss or toxic bosses.

We hear about toxic bosses all the time, but how do you know when a boss is “toxic”? “Toxic” is, of course, a vague descriptor. Are bosses toxic when they throw fits and scream, or only when they break the law?

Or are they toxic when they are immoral or unethical? Are they toxic if they’re nice one day and nasty the next, or just when they make you uncomfortable, nervous, or sick? These are valid questions because these individuals are easy to identify when their behaviors are outrageous; but perhaps less so when their behavior



Up Next

How To Know If Your Mother Hates You: 8 Not-So-Subtle Signs

How To Know If Your Mother Hates You: Not-So-Subtle Signs

Have you ever found yourself wondering if your mother harbors some deep-seated resentment, or even hatred towards you? If you have, then I know that it’s a really tough pill to swallow. How can your mother hate you, and most importantly, how to know if your mother hates you?

Today, we’re diving straight into the realm of family dynamics, exploring the question “why does my mother hate me?”. We will try to understand the signs that give away her true feelings for you, and which may indicate if your mother’s love has taken a dark turn.

Let’s uncover 8 revealing clues that might just help you make sense of the complicated bond you share with your mom. Explore how to know if your mother hates you.



Up Next

How to Recognize and Counter Emotional Blackmail: 8 Techniques and 7 Signs

What Is Emotional Blackmail? Telltale Signs Revealed

Picture this: You’re sitting across from a friend, engrossed in conversation, when suddenly you feel the atmosphere change. Their tone becomes harsh, their eyes seem accusatory, and it feels like you’re trapped in an emotional minefield. Now, that’s what is emotional blackmail.

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives, whether it’s a toxic relationship, a manipulative friend, or even within our own families. But what is emotional blackmail exactly, and how to deal with emotional blackmail?

In this article, we are going to take a look into the world of emotional blackmail and try to understand each and every nuance. We will talk about the signs of emotional blackmail, the types of emotional blackmail and how to deal with emotional blackmail.

So, are you ready to do this?