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 need to know what I’m dealing with,I been married to my wife for 27 years,I had a very brief affair about 7 years ago,my wife found out and that was the end of the affair,let me start from the beginning,my wife is the centre of a party,always wanna be the center of attraction,she have a drinking issue as well,and that lead to my affair,she always wanted her way it’s always how she want it and no other way,after my affair we decide to make things work in our marriage,she was loving and did everything right,we when on our second honeymoon which she when to work every day and just come back to the hotel like it was nothing it was all her way,then she said she’s only giving me 5 years then she be on her way,well she gave me 5 years,last year 2014 she started an affair with a married guy she had a thing with before we got married she told all my family that she’s leaving me,she ran up and down to meet this guy where he was staying in a different place she will take a over night bag and will take clothing every day to work to deposit into the bag for when she need to leave from work to ho to the airport,she will meet him every chance she get,my daughter knew about him and was disgusted and couldn’t tell me abt it,she Will spend nights away and come home like it was nothing wrong,she will kiss me after spending time and slept with him,because I have needs I will make sexual advances and she will tell me that’s not right she can’t have sex with me her husband it will be like cheating on her lover,she told everybody that she was so inlove with this guy they be having chats via phone about how much they love each other and sexual chats with no regard to me and how I felt,aafter I found out abt the affair it continued for another few months,one day she made an excuse she’s going to sleep at the office where she works,I followed her and she stopped and told me to get closure and find somebody els and that I’m pathetic,my daughter and daughter in law gave me the address where she was the night and I when to spy on her,she knew I was there and I fell and hurt my thigh having a hole in my upper leg I couldn’t help myself and ask her to take me to hospital,she drove me and left me a road behind the hospital and said I can’t stay I need to go his waiting she left me just there and drove off2f,we had company one night and she was drinking and we were all chatting suddenly she looked at me and said I don’t like you and I’m seeing him her boyfriend tomorrow,everybody knew about the affair and how she embarrassed and humiliated me,then I met this women again after 7 years the one I had the affair with and we started to see each other again,she gave me back my selfworth she gave me a new lease on life infact she love me like my wife never could and I fell inlove with her now my wife know I’m seeing somebody and she is happy for me until I told her who it was,then she was not happy at all,at that time she was still chatting to her boyfriend and she was still inlove with him,I moved in with my girlfriend then my wife would start with all sort of messages and will send drunk message and I will reply not to be nasty and because I’m just a nice compassionate guy and my wife know my weakness and what kind of person I am,my wife would send me messages that I should come home we need to talk,eventually my girlfriend packed my stuff and told me to go home and sort this mess out which is my life,well to cut a long story sort my wife when into a depression lost her Job the relationship between her and the other guy broke up,I’m Catholic my wife is or was a disbeliever,well bottom line is she wants to work on our marriage and she’s willing to go for councillors and councilling for her drinking after the priest and family told me to do the right thing which is to work on my marriage,so have to give up the women I love,and I can’t afford to loose half of everything I worker for,for 27 years and. can’t afford a divorce right nw,my wife claim why she cheated I was always moody and never spend though time with her,I have her everything she wanted,and she never forgave me for cheating 7 years ago and she still loves me,at the moment she’s not working and she’s doing everything right a more am I being manipulated pls help what am I dealing with


  2. 3weeks NC!!!… I feel like I have my own brain back!!!
    Why do these people all have the same traits!!??
    I am trying hard to put him out of my head, not think of him… But it aproaches like a stealth bomber and hits me !!… Its the worst feeling in the world.. Knowing ive been hoodwinked!!.
    He has sucked all the caring compassionate loving life out of me. Moved on to sumbody else without a thought after 3 yrs of constant attention and i feel like im greiving for sombody i loved who didnt excist!!!…. What a major head fuck that is!!.. And im the one whos always been sensible astute and nobodys fool!!!


  3. I have been in a relationship since Feb 11, 2015 with a true Narc. First three weeks were indescribable…..valentines day was every woman’s dream! Then the fourth week, everything changed! I started getting the silent treatment when he would invite me over to watch a movie or a basketball game. He would constantly text and stayed on fb. I confronted him about this and how it made me feel. He would twist my words and would always remain the calm one while I looked like an idiot! I even said to him on one occasion, “Why are you trying to make me feel like I am losing it, like I am a crazy person?? Little did I know that was part of the plan. I started backing off a little at a time and stopped spending so much time with him. but may I add right here, he didn’t seem to mind. I even went out on him because I knew he didn’t care! This past Friday, he sent me a text about how much he missed me and would love to take me out to dinner, my choice! Just name the place…..he said he didn’t care where it was just as long as he could be with me! As the day went on, I just couldn’t bring myself to go and cancelled the date at 4:30 pm. I told him I had to go to my daughter’s that evening..he said, Is anything wrong and I responded with No. He said text me when you can. I said “I will”. but I didn’t! The next morning he texted early wanting to know what happened. I told him I fell asleep when I got home. He acted like he accepted the answer. Later that day, he asked me to come over and I was reluctant but didn’t want to make him upset. He said we would grill out and watch the Derby. My gut told me it was a set up and boy I wished I had listened but I went anyway. I drove to his house (27 miles away) and when I pulled up in the driveway and blew the horn…He didn’t come out and when I looked up, he had shut the door. My gut said LEAVE NOW!!!. When I was driving away…he texted “Change your mind?” I didn’t answer and then he texted ” I guess so!” I could just feel him laughing at me! I wish I had not went and I know this was his way of getting even with me for the night before. Later that evening, he texted “What the heck happened to you today?” I texted back, Didn’t ya get what ya wanted :) very calmly. To which he responded, I don’t know what you mean, didn’t I get what I wanted smh…help me understand! He wanted me to get all upset but thank GOD I have been reading about NARCS and didn’t give him the reaction he was used to getting from me.
    I did not respond and have no intention of ever having anything to do with him again. However, I know that hoovering may start after his new supply runs out. I love ME more than I could ever love him. His work here is through.


    • I just ended my relationship with a NARC two days ago. I had to “build” myself up to it, and that actually helped. It wasn’t hard for me at all. After catching him in a series of lies, and constantly being manipulated, over- and- over, again; I.WAS.DONE. I called him into my hotel room (on a business trip together), told him I was done, told him to leave, but he didn’t…he threw his half eaten hamburger nearly across the hotel room, and began the “blame game”. He is known for this. Verbally demoralizing. Only once he laid a hand on me ( a few years ago). I left then, but I was drawn back in after a few weeks by his “charm”, and manipulative ways. He is so good at this. I was telling a friend today, that I feel so sorry for his next “victim”. In which- while he and I were not together (I broke up with him at least a dozen times over the past five years or so), his last victim took the brunt end of his most ultimate NARC or “Crazymaker” ways…He told me what they’d fight about, etc..I’d think to myself, “That poor thing.” Like me, she’d come cowering back, not knowing that the guy has a behavior issue. I almost want to call it a “mental disorder” or is it actually classified as that? Not sure. But, I’d hope it is. Like you, I thought I was going absolutely nuts. Literally. I got on medication (antidepressant) thinking there was something wrong with me. I hated to go on a medication, but I had to find a way to “heal” myself. Go to find out after extensive research, reading books, and talking with a therapist. He was the problem. Also, the guy has an excessive drinking problem, and just recently started gambling, A LOT. He’s the type that can’t just put in $20 into a slot, and walk away after it’s gone. He blows through hundreds of dollars, without even thinking twice about it, all in a short amount of time. I am talking a couple of hours, or less. It’s just sickening to watch.
      I have blocked him on my phone, and I refuse to log back into my FB account. I actually want to log back in quickly, just to deactivate it, but I am afraid that there will be messages waiting for me. I am convincing myself to just not look at them when I do log in, and delete the account right away… same with my email, if I ever receive a message from him, I will not even read it, I will immediately delete it. Sad that I have to do this…but, oh well.
      In addition, my feelings for this person are null. I actually despise him. The sight of him repulses me.

      How are you doing so far? I found your reply to this to be almost EXACTLY like mine.


  4. 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


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


  6. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 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!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have just read your post and it could be me thats written it!!.. I am married.
      3yr affair with a married man , then his wife found out and dumped him.( she ran for the hills and he blamed me!!)
      Suddenly hes single and no need for me so told me where to go!!
      He obv has new sources and i am not needed!!!
      I cant believe i let him control me !
      I was lonely and made the only mistake in a 39 yr marriage!!… So what the hell was i thinkn!!.. Theyr masters at giving you what you think you need!!
      I am now terrified he will ruin my life further by telling my husband!
      I cant put into words what he put me through!!
      The only way is NC and its a week since i contacted him and he told me he needs to build a life so F off!!… I am trying hard to rationalise what ive done and get over it!!
      Be brave!!… Go NC you are worth so much more than that !! Xx


  11. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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


  14. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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.

      Liked by 1 person

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