The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world. If you wish to read more about me, please visit page Site Overview.
Today I have been thinking about the recovery process after ending a relationship with a narcissistic person. The hardest part is to get over the first weeks and months after the separation. Many people are not strong enough to maintain No Contact and get lured back to the dark realms of their narcissistic partners before they have been able to recover and heal sufficiently. If you are one of these people, please do not be too hard on yourself. It is extremely difficult to break free from a narcissistic person and mental recovery takes a long time. It usually takes several failed attempts, until one day you simply have enough of all the lies and abuse and you leave without looking back. Even then you might find yourself missing "your" narcissist every now and then, especially if he or she is trying actively to get back together with you. To read more about how to recover after ending a relationship with an abusive spouse, please see section Narcissism.
What helps during those moments of weakness is to remember the bad moments with your spouse. One of the tactics I used to get over my ex partner was to remind myself of something bad he had done whenever I felt I was missing him. When I remembered how he had mistreated me my mind was filled with such anger and disgust that all the "nostalgic" thoughts of getting back together with him disappeared instantly. This kind of approach significantly aided my recovery and healing after ending the relationship.
In the beginning I was not strong enough to maintain No Contact and I found myself asking my spouse to get back together with me. That is always a big mistake. A narcissistic person is feeding on the misery of people around him. When he sees you are "desperately" in love with him, that is the ultimate source of a narcissistic supply. This kind of person is often feeling happy to see you suffer due to your love for him or her and is enjoying when he or she can discard you and reject you. That makes them feel they are in total control of the situation (and they are actually right about this, they ARE in total control and can play around with you as they like, either discard you or mercifully allow you to be with them again).
Your pain does not evoke any sympathy in a true narcissist. If you show your weakness you are only making your situation worse and a narcissistic person gets more Supply when he or she can reject you in a cold, cruel way. Even if they do not reject you, the end result is that you are only getting back to the point where you started and your misery will continue a bit longer, until finally you find the strength in you to cut them loose. The longer you wait, the harder it is to heal and recover.
Regarding my partner, as time went by I noticed that he was behaving in a quite predictable way and was reacting to certain things always in similar fashion. I have emphasized on several pages on this website that it is not possible for me to make an actual "diagnosis" of whether someone is truly narcissistic or not, however it is still possible to observe certain signs that suggest a given person might have narcissistic tendencies, and I observed several such signs in my partner. When I finished the relationship with him after finding out about his betrayal he totally discarded me, disappeared and was silent for about a month or two. There was only a casual email time to time regarding some practical matters (I responded with one sentence, if even that). Of course he never admitted that he had betrayed me, even thought I had the proof. Regardless of his rejection (or perhaps because of that), I slowly started to recover.
Then after couple months his behavior started to change. He started to send emotional emails and told me he still loved me and wanted to get back together with me (even though he still could not admit his betrayal). My silence and ignorance made me appear like a challenge to him; he HAD to get me back in order to prove himself he was still irresistible. When he was together with me, he had access to a constant narcissistic supply in form of me telling him all the time how much I loved him, and when I was gone from his life he had no one to tell him those things and so he started to get withdrawal symptoms. He was not really missing me, rather than the feeling he had when he was with me. Understanding this helped me to detach from him mentally.
I will get back to you soon. Now I will send a big virtual hug to you all!
If you wish to read more about narcissism in a relationship and how to recover after ending an abusive relationship, please see section Narcissism.
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