What to expect after the break-up with the narcissist

by After Narcissistic Abuse – There is Light, Life & Love on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9:06pm ·

Exploring your new-found freedom from the dysfunctional relationship can be filled with anticipation and excitement. Likewise, it can be filled with  frustration, confusion, cynicism, ,and you’ll feel like you’re back on an emotional roller coaster!  What you are experiencing is a different sort of emotional struggle, i.e., remaining  low self-esteem, poor physical health,  hatred, unsuccessful dating and dating fear, level of cynicism towards the opposite sex is most likely at an unhealthy levels, etc.  So the basis of this article is to guide you though the realities of what to expect from yourself and your abuser post dissolution.


In the beginning.. “THE X”


By now you understand that your former spouse/ significant other’s personality disorder is a life long condition and will typically get worse as they age.


If you were fortunate enough to escape without children involved, then the necessity to utilize coping skills will be very temporary, because you truly have nothing that binds or commits one another.


Exceptions would be joint ownership of assets in an LTR Vs a Marriage.  Comparatively speaking, where post-dissolutions of marriage between two healthy personalities can work through issues, the unhealthy, high conflict personalities post dissolution always tend to remain in never-ending drama.


This is due in part to the healthy personality not establishing solid boundaries from their former abuser. As there is usually a healthy personality involved in such dysfunctional former relationships, then it’s a matter of emotional discipline, emotional maturity, and learning coping skills.


As the former victim/abused, you must learn to be disciplined for the sake of your future happiness. One of the main reasons why one becomes a victim of abuse is a lack of discipline where it concerns relationship boundaries. A person may recognize some of the relationship dysfunction early on, however, tends to ignore the traits and characteristics of their mate.


In essence, they are ignoring the boundaries that should have served them in the first place. Giving these emotional predators any “benefit of doubt” or “forgiveness”  is like giving them the rope to hang their victims. They prey on individuals that are forgiving, emotionally sound, and are romantics. It’s like “shooting fish in a Barrel” to them.


We’ve established that a former high conflict relationship without children, or investments is rather basic, you simply go “no contact.” This is not to say that it will be a “cake walk” in the beginning, because it will still require discipline. Everything still applies so pay close attention to detail.


Here is the scary part, it doesn’t matter if the relationship was for months or years, your abuser believes they will always “own” you, that they will always have control over you, till death do you part! Their arrogance precedes them and believe all that they considered close to them during their lifetime can still be manipulated despite time.


All the perceptions and attitudes when one is in the abusive relationship MUST CHANGE in order to detach from the abuser. In other words, what you thought and believed then most likely has been weakened therefore, you will have to develop new and stronger patterns of thinking in order to successfully detach.


So many times after such a relationship is over, we tend to open our “emotional door” once more and the madness begins once again. This enables your abuser rather than disarming them.  The intent may have been good, and they may have given you a convincing or plausible story unrelated to the relationship in order to communicate with you.


Giving the abuser a one inch crack in that emotional door is most certainly a mistake for they will take any opening that allows them to hurt you. Remember this too, successfully detaching will not  eliminate their behavior,because their dysfunctional traits and characteristics are virtually cast in stone.


They will not change. So the importance of being disciplined in forming new perceptions, and attitudes towards the former abuser will serve in protecting all that is meaningful in your life. Sticking to your guns will initially piss off your abuser, so expect some new craziness to happen.


Believe me, they will be digging deep into their “Bag of Tricks” to overcome their perceived perpetrator. Keep this in mind, they are capable of unimaginable and egregious behavior because your initiative of no contact has upset the very core of their being. Their nastiness can range from simple verbal attacks to being downright destructive. Do not underestimate them and be prepared for anything despite how well you think you may know them.


What the complete detachment and no contact process will create is and  ”out of sight, out of mind” condition whereby pattens of behavior will change if appropriate measures of action are solid on behalf of the healthy personality involved. Otherwise, it can continue to be a “hell on earth.” Yes, it is up to you, because you must remember, they will never change!


If you were in a relationship with an NPD, most likely they will move on much more quickly than a BPD. NPD’s are more hurtful and damaging during a relationship Vs the BPD, however, the BPD tends to continue their madness after the fact.  BPD’s, Histrionic’s, Bipolar’s, have a variation in presence of conscience and emotion, therefore they struggle between reality and their perceived world. Whereas, the NPD has no presence of conscience, hence their ability to move on and seek a new victim or supply.


In summary, expect some continued craziness in the beginning of a break up, given time though, it will subside to a more manageable  level.  Do not engage or provoke your former abuser in any way, you are now in control, not them. Truth and reality are your abuser’s enemies because it sends their egocentric core reeling out of control, so stick to less emotional situations and resolves.


This is one of the most important aspects of your abuser that you must remind yourself of each time they speak, “they are masters of manipulation for the sake of self, not you, and not the children.”


Be disciplined in mind and heart to understand, your former abuser cares about no one but themselves. Remember too, just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they throw a little deception, manipulation, a lie or two, and you are now pissed off!


Amazing how easy they get you right where they want you!  Do not allow them to engage you this way, you are the better person, shame on them for doing this to you, and next time you will be a little smarter, right!  Life is too short to allow others drama and dysfunction to affect those they don’t deserve to be with in the first place. Always put your “thinking cap” on and make sound judgments when communication with your former abuser is necessary.

  1. I loved my best friend.. she had a long distance relationship ..I was always with her… after five months she told me she loved me..but only one day she betrayed me..because she couldn’t forget her long distance boyfriend.. now the friendship is never the same


  2. A very insightful piece. I hope many will read it and take heed.


  3. I loved my ex.. i brought him to therapy. He decided not to abandon the marriage. Cant help.him if he refuses treatment. I truly we t through the church to get blessing to divorce biblically. They need love and help but are not capable of marriage partnership.


  4. Proid of u.. still cryingbut over the damage financial loss he put me through
    That i am coping with all by myself.


  5. It’s been 4 months of zero contact with my ex fiancé. Hardest thing I have ever done. Some days I still want him back. Most days I don’t because I remember all the bad times. Thank you God for the strength to leave!


  6. You do know how to get out of it, you choose to not make the choice to create the change. In that, what you are saying and what you are doing do not match. If I were to ask you if you were in the exact same life in 6 months, a year, two years, would you be happy – what would you say? Then I ask you what are you afraid of? I was involved with a narcissistic sociopath for 4 years. He lied, he manipulated, and in the end the reality was it was all about him and only him. There was another woman he hid, then another, then back to the first. I was lead to believe we had a future — never the case. There was never any ownership of his actions and he never did what he promised. He was cruel in many ways. Stop the insanity and live a life you deserve.


  7. I’ve been in a relationship with a married man for 6 years. I know this is wrong but he makes me believe he is inlove with me. That he can’t live without me that I’m the only one but then I find out he is seeing someone else. He says she’s a friend and all that happens is me wanting him more. It’s sick and it’s wrong but I feel as if me and him are both narcissist. I know it has to end but I don’t know how. I’m not happy but I’m addicted to the drama, the craziness and excitement that goes with being with him. I don’t want to be with him but I don’t want to loose him. I don’t want him having another “friend”. It’s crazy. I feel a sense of pride, like whenever I get him back its an accomplishment. It’s a horrible cycle and I’m half the problem. I don’t want this but I don’t know how to get out of it. I need help, advice, anything at this point.


  8. I was with a narcissistic one year………..initially he called me an ANGEL………the when time passed he started to criticize my every single step. started to hack my yahoomail. and accuse me of doing something 10 years ago when he was not part of my life. He judged me in every step left me feel with shame and he told me he is my only hope. no one else would love me!!!!!!!! he broke me apart and then one day left me cheating on me with a girl that he knew only for 3/4 days. now he posts how happy he is with her after being with the terrible me…….Im glad he is gone.


  9. I asked him that. Considering how many times she threatened to commit suicide and how many times he left work to “rescue” her. Dustin told me that she didn’t want help. That’s like saying I watched a person slowly bleed to death and didn’t get them the help they needed to save their life. Dustin watched his wife slowly deteriorate, the effects it had on their kids and did nothing to get his wife help. I don’t care how many times they said they didn’t need help, most people think that way because of pride, embarrassment or whatever….but when you truly care about and love someone you get them the help they need. Mostly for the sake of the kids. I often wonder if those kids will grow up wondering why their dad didn’t seek professional help for her. Such a tragic and senseless loss for those kids.


  10. Consider the fact that she can be a life long friend…but not fit to be a life long wife.


  11. I thank the auther for this advice, I am most likely going to need to read this several times before I attempt any break up. I do however dislike the way the narcissist is treated as the enemy and bad guy in this article. They have a mental condition that is largely untreatable, I think a little more sympathy should be shown in the article towards them. Its a bit like how people who suffered with dyslexia were treated as idiots years ago, before more was know about the condition. I love my girlfriend very much, but I am very aware of her condition, and our relationship is often on a knifes edge. Learning about the condition she suffers from (she is not aware of it herself) has help me realise the problems she has and given my greater understanding of her actions. I still have a glimmer of hope for our future, but perhaps I am just a sentimental fool. She is trying to change her ways, but the empathy and showing emotion, seem to be almost impossible for her to understand.


    • What? You could not be serious. You must not be with a malignant narcissist/psychopath. They are your enemy and a predator. They do not love anyone and they do not care how they hurt you. Their one goal is to destroy you through gaslighting, shock tactics, triangulation, mind games, cheating, cons, fraud, manipulation, lies, put-downs, projections, hostility, no conscience or empathy. Their calculated actions drive you to insanity, suicide or homicide. They are very dangerous and cannot be fixed or cured. I have lived it and it almost killed me. If your gf is trying to change her ways then she might be just a garden narcissist and not a malignant narcissist. Wishing you the best.


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