You were Never in a Relationship with the Narcissist

Many partners of narcissists become very attached to the narcissist. Because they live in the moment, a narcissist’s chaotic ways are often very exciting and different. Partners lose their own identity in the whirlwind life with a narcissist, and when they are gone, the partner misses the swirling chaos that was once around them. The narcissist actually distracted the partner from what was really happening with these distractions. Many of their partners wanted to please the narcissist, and were aware of how much the narcissistic partner valued the “good life.” Often, the characteristics of the narcissist became enmeshed with the partner, and the partner began to expend all of their energies primarily for the wishes of the narcissist. This happened with the passage of time, and as a consequence, the partner very often tried to provide everything good for the narcissist and worked very hard for the perceived relationship, since they believe in their shared goals together; however, many survivors recount that the narcissist began losing interest in their goals, or changing their plans, and even began to stop putting effort into them.  

The narcissist may have lost interest in working for future plans and stopped working at their jobs so that the partner could carry the full load and effort. Many of them never worked at all. This is the point at which the partner may have begun to question what is happening, and the narcissist would begin to more conflicts and arguments, often out of thin air. Still, many partners of narcissists reminisce about the good times, and again, could not comprehend how the narcissist was able to just leave them and not remember everything they had ever done for them. By this time, the narcissist had already found their other form of supply, whether it was another man or woman to sponge off of, a family member, or friend.

Certainly, the illusion of a relationship was there. On the outside, and to the outside world, it appeared to be a relationship. And even the good times with the narcissist only had a temporarily grandiose quality to it while the deception lasted, but the narcissist often switched on and off between a happy go lucky, incredibly pleasant and amusing person to be with and at the drop of a hat, devalued the partner at whim.  The laughing, smiling narcissist with twinkling eyes was not who they really were; and the narcissist, though they may not know they are narcissists per se, do know their own nature. They do know what they have done, and they know they are responsible, but they will never admit to it. Despite how sweet, amiable, or heroic they may sound after the discard, despite how many reasons they try to come up with for why they did what they did (and they will be numerous, and change all the time), only they exist ultimately, and only their needs come first. No matter how many people they surround themselves with, or try to impress, the narcissist lives on his own, in his own world, and in the prison of their own mind.

Most narcissists planned the partner’s discard behind their back, all the while lying to them and creating cognitive dissonance.  Even if the narcissist brought the partner breakfast in bed and did little favors for them, it was because, at the time, they still knew what they were going to do, and they always knew they could get their supply somewhere else. The narcissist is an opportunist.  The partner was just there “at the time.” All the while, the narcissist was weighing their options while they were with their partner and put up a false front until they decided what to do, and where to go next. This is also why also they constantly picked fights and arguments with the partner. The narcissist does get enjoyment out of others’ suffering, but there was also a purpose for the madness.  In the end, as stated, they will also blame the victim, citing the various times that the narcissist purposefully enacted or began an argument, and it was all mostly done on purpose. The partner will be blamed for reacting to the abuse and labeled negatively by the narcissist.

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Wendy Koenigsmann
Wendy studied psychology and is a graduate student who writes avidly about narcissistic abuse; she has a deep interest in spreading awareness of abuse while helping victims and consequent survivors overcome trauma.
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