What It’s Like to Break Up with a Narcissist

Hey Optimist Minds!

It’s not easy at all to be in a romantic relationship with a narcissist. Their lack of empathy, manipulation, and abusive behaviour prevent the possibility of a healthy and meaningful bond.

Despite that, many people stay in these relationships for years for varying reasons. 

Sometimes, the partner doesn’t leave because they don’t want the narcissist to date a new person. They’re afraid that the narcissist will change and treat their new love better. 

But, that’s not true. Narcissists don’t improve their behaviour for anyone. If they make it seem like they love this new person more, it’s just an act they’re putting up to encourage envy.

Another reason for not breaking up is trauma bonding. This is an emotional attachment developed out of recurring cycles of abuse. 

In abusive relationships, affection is rewarded for good behaviour and taken away as a punishment. When this cycle is repeated over and over again, the abuse survivor feels severely dependent on the abuser and confuses it for intense love.

But when a person does decide to leave their narcissistic partner, it’s never a clean break. 

This video will describe what it’s like to break up with a narcissist. Since it’s supposed to be a turbulent process, this information can help you brace yourself. However, we also suggest consulting a mental health professional as narcissism tends to damage people’s sense of self-worth.

Now, let’s begin.

Narcissists look at their break-up as abandonment and rejection even though it was an unhappy relationship for the most part.

Initially, when it happens, they might try to reel you back in by hoovering. This manipulation tactic involves telling a person exactly what they want to hear just to get them back in the relationship. The promises made here are empty, and any visible change in the narcissist’s behaviour is only temporary.

Most people get convinced by this act and re-enter the commitment, only to be treated worse than ever before. That’s because the narcissist is resentful for them leaving in the first place.

In case you don’t fall for the hoovering and stick to your decision, be prepared to see them move on immediately. 

Narcissists are incapable of genuine intimacy. Their connections are only superficial, so it’s easy for them to initiate new relations quickly. Besides, they do this to satisfy their ego and meet their need for dependency.

You may be shocked to see them carry on with life as if you meant nothing to them. You might find out that they’re already engaged or married within weeks of your break-up. 

Don’t take it as a reflection on your worth, as this is typical narcissistic behaviour.

If you were married to them, it’s probably going to be a very messy divorce. Narcissists are highly vindictive people, so they’ll make it hard for you to leave with dignity.

They might indulge in foul play and try to monopolise your shared assets. When children are involved, it’s common for the narcissistic parent to try and alienate them from the other parent. The custody battle tends to be pretty ugly, so it’s best to get a good attorney aware of narcissistic behaviour.

When you break up with a narcissist, they make you pay for it with continued harassment.

Be prepared to hear rumours being spread about you. Most narcissists run a smear campaign whenever they want revenge. They might fill people’s ears with nasty lies about you to get others to take sides.

Experts use the term “flying monkeys” for people who believe in the narcissist’s version of things and assist them in targeting someone. It is a metaphor taken from the Wizard of Oz wherein the Wicked Witch of the West used winged monkeys to carry out evil deeds on her behalf. 

At this point, you might be thinking that it’s better to stick around with them than to face all this drama. But there’s nothing easy about being involved with a narcissist. 

Even if you stay, they might discard you anyway when they’re done with you. It’s always better to be on the other side of the break-up as that’s closer to your journey to recovery.

Some people wonder if couple’s therapy can be of any help in such relationships. But it only makes sense if you can find a therapist well-informed about narcissism. Otherwise, the narcissist will charm any mediator getting involved and either make you look crazy, selfish, or heartless.

No matter what you do, breaking up with the narcissist can never be a smooth process. That’s why we recommend getting professional help and resources to support you on your way out. 

Have you ever been through a break-up of this kind? Back then, were you aware of how narcissism works? Let us know your stories and experiences in the comments, as the Optimist Minds community would love to hear from you.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


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