Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How To Leave a Narcissist



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 have a background in neuroscience and behavioral sciences and I am currently doing brain research related to these topics in university in my home country. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world. - Maria
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In order to free yourself from the emotional "hook" your narcissistic spouse has embedded into your brain you must realize that you are a complete, whole person on your own. You do not need Narcissist to make you happy and worthy, you can create your own happiness. You alone choose how your life will evolve, do not let Narcissist make decisions for you. Once you realize that separation from Narcissist is actually a good thing rather than bad, you have taken a huge step towards the recovery.

In case of a mental disorder such as narcissism, a narcissist can only start to improve his or her behavior towards others after a narcissist has first realized and accepted that he or she has a problem. Also in case of depression, the recovery can truly begin only after person admits that he or she is depressed, stressed or has a burn-out. It is hard to admit that one cannot handle things anymore without help from outside. Often people fail to recognize the early signs of a burn-out and depression and just keep pushing forward until they finally fall.

The recovery after depression or burn-out takes a long time and may even require medication. Same applies to the recovery after a bad relationship. If you feel your life with your narcissistic spouse is taking you to this direction, please continue reading and find out how to stop the process before things go too far.

If you can control your emotions, it will be much easier for you to decide what to do with your relationship with a narcissist. You can start the recovery process today.
We are locked behind the invisible bars our own mind has created

One often fails to see how bad the state of the relationship really is, until the damages are already extensive. This happens because in the beginning the relationship with a narcissist is like living a dream. During this dream-like period, the emotional "hooks" are buried deep into your brain. See article Cheating and the Brain for more details about this process of becoming addicted to a narcissist in the beginning of the relationship.

This addiction is the reason why it is so difficult to let go of the relationship with a narcissistic husband or wife. We do not want to let go, because we believe we have something that we actually do not have. We think we have certain kind of a relationship with a certain kind of person, when in fact our relationship is completely different. We are still living in an illusion that our relationship is special, we believe that under all the dirt we must put up with there is that wonderful person, wonderful life and wonderful relationship.

But reality is that we never had that kind of a relationship. It never existed. The "wonderful" person we fell in love with was just a mask, hiding the true narcissistic personality. The real person is what we now see, and it is not a pretty sight. A narcissist is a hollow, empty and sad figure. When we learn to see Narcissist this way, we are able to free ourselves. When we see Narcissist as he or she really is, we realize that we do not need Narcissist to make us feel "whole". The reality is that we were whole before Narcissist stepped into our life, and we will be whole again after we get Narcissist out of our world. It is Narcissist who is preventing us from being happy. This is the most important thing you must realize. Nothing stands between you and Happiness, Harmony and most of all Freedom, except your narcissistic spouse.

Are you still fooling yourself and believing that you might find happiness with your narcissistic spouse? Do not worry. These things take time to sink in. Eventually you will realize that the path with a narcissist is a dead end. Do not blame yourself if it takes a bit of time for you to break free. You are only human, and these things are not easy. This is the reason I created this website, to help you on your long and difficult path to freedom and away from the dark realms of a narcissist. In the end there will be light, I promise you that!

It is tragic that so many people believe they will be happy if they stay in a burning house (that is, in a relationship with a narcissist) and that they will be sad if they run to a beautiful beach (leave a narcissist). This seems to go completely against all logic. This is an example of the mental traps and prisons we have created in our mind. We are literally the prisoners of our own mind. We will stay behind the invisible bars as long as we fail to see things for what they really are.


Plato and the Cave

From Allegory of the Cave:

"Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of the cave entrance, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners."

The victims of narcissists are like people in Plato's cave: We do not believe it when somebody tells us there is light and sunshine and beautiful fields outside the cave, if we only take one step towards the right direction. We insist on staying in the darkness of the cave, because that world, regardless of its horrors, has become familiar to us. That is the world we know and even though we are not completely happy living in it, we are afraid to leave. We are afraid that we may not find anything better, that we might be left completely alone. But anything is better than to sit in a dark, cold, wet cave (grave) and just wait for the death. Outside the cave we at list have a chance of survival, we even have a chance to achieve Happiness. Whatever will happen outside the cave, it will be better than to live and die in darkness.

Having said that, let me say that I do understand how difficult it is to leave a narcissistic husband or wife. The mental hooks are buried so deep. I know this very well, because I have been in that situation with my narcissistic spouse. I know how it feels like when your brain is screaming at you "run, get out of here as fast as you can!", but your heart makes you stay. The point will come when you will be strong enough to break free and leave your narcissistic spouse.

Search your feelings and you will realize that your sadness, depression and anxiety are due to the fact that you believe your life will be somehow "empty" and "gray" without your narcissistic wife or husband. You have built yourself an identity as a spouse of your narcissistic partner and now you should rearrange your view of yourself and your life. This process is very painful. But trust me, you will get through it.

There will be light on the other side

It was extremely difficult for me to end the relationship with my narcissistic spouse. If you have, I am sorry to say this, but I must: You should let go of your relationship. It is not going to get better, it will only get worse.

A narcissist can seldom change. You will always carry the negative memories with you and as time goes by, new bad things will most likely happen. All these things will keep piling up until your mind will eventually break. It can happen within months, years or tens of years, but eventually you are no longer able to accept the sick, twisted lifestyle of your narcissistic spouse. For your sake, I wish this process will not take tens of years.

- Maria

If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to searchforbalancemail@gmail.com


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shared by Barbara at 12:02 AM


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10 Comments:

how can a people pleaser wife cope with an extremely narcissist husband. I'm Barbara married to a.narcissist, passive aggressive man. Its been 14 years. I also believe he's cheating with someone from his job although he lies about that too. He moved into the spare room 3 mths ago when I confronted him about one of his many lies. Now there's no physical intimacy on top of everything else. Like you said its all my fault always. Im glad I read this article now I'm convinced there's nothing more to do but leave. I did hold out hope that it would change, but again you're right its just an illusion. I helped this man go to college enabling him to get the great job he has now..and now he's cold mean hateful and dishonest. Sex became for me as if I were just an object to be used..it hurts when you love a sick individual like this. I have heart issues ulcers and he constantly threatens to give the house back to the bank and leave if I don't get a job and stop bothering him about what he does. He's got a great paying job and its just the two of us here. He claims he's broke but just bought a new 2012 Nissan truck got contacts and is hiding money and assets. He makes over 6000.00 a month...he gives me 60.00 a month for my heart and stomach pain meds and gas for my car. And complains about that..I have to provide receipts for what I spend.it on although he knows. He's a pig..and recently I let him know he has no power over me any more and he can take whatever he wants to away from me now because I no longer care. I will get a job if and when I feel like it. And that he can pay for a divorce at anytime cause I'm not leaving till I have half of the money from the sale of this house. So to a you out there read this, learn and don't wait as long as I have to take back your life. I'm much smarter than his measly 2 year tech degree I have 3 college degrees I possess a Masters....What a Stupid man....

A

5:40 AM  

Barbie

There is NO WAY to cope.

Get to a Women's Crisis Center or DV Crisis Center ASAP. Do NOT tell your husband. Do NOT tell your story to whoever answers the phone. Simply ask to make an appointment with an advocate and KEEP it.

You need to DIVORCE him. It can be done. Don't look for excuses just because you're afraid. Get out, get out, get out. It will get worse.

8:48 AM  

And ask them to help you get counseling to STOP being a people pleaser. If you know you are one and you keep doing it anyway, then YOU are doing this to yourself.

8:49 AM  

To Barbie - Your situation sounds very similar to mine. Only I have lived this hell for over 25 years. And also have no friends, ostracized from family, no job and no tangible anything save my daughter who is my supporter, my two dogs and a very old car. I filed 08/2012.

Doesn't matter anymore what he does, what you did/do - YOU NEED TO GET OUT. He is a type of mental CANCER that there is NO hope for if you continue in the sick dance of personality disorder life. Trust me. I know too well.
Mine is NPD - passive aggressive and has been extremely dishonest since the day we met in 1978. I too felt I could change him. I could be helpful to him for his own sake. Little did I know about narcissists. They have to want to change and do it for themselves. I wasted over 25 years helping him while destroying my self.

GET OUT NOW.

Take your power and control BACK for his appetite/need for adoration, loyalty, as well as nonstop support, will leave you devastated and alone. Wondering why.

He has NO heart or soul. There is nothing you can do to change that - so why bother any more?

``Barb (yes, I am a Barbara, too)

11:30 AM  

Wow. Thank you. I am in a relationship with a Borderline narcissist and I am in the process of understanding and breaking free. I fell in love with the mask he wore in the beginning. Your article is very very helpful. Thank you again.

5:08 AM  

this is my first time reaching out for fear that no one would care, listen, empathize and much less believe me....SEE me for the beautiful woman i still, somehow, remain to be....what if i told you that i used to believe in a world that was so cruel only to wake up in a nightmare - a house of mirrors - that turned out to be more real and tangible than i could have ever dreamed?? what if, at 37 years old, i told u that i have NOTHING, but used to.....once upon a time, life was my life....and then the devil entered my door....i died, my mother died, my career, my uniqueness, my family, my "friends", my money, my childhood home, my safety, my inner "bad-ass", my skills, my passion, my INNOCENCE, my dignity, my purpose, my reason, my trust, my naivity, my strength, my weakness, my quirks, my flaws, my identity, my desire, my stability, my laugh, my tears, my ability to listen to my instinct, my faith in myself and all i have believed to "be", my struggle, my pain, my hurt, my demise, my reflection and my despair...my fear and my terror...my pain...my understanding and blame, my guilt and my shame..my imprionment and my lies...my realization and my denial...my grief and my anger...my sadness and my "giving in", my hard work despite the KNOW...my death....my belief that somehow i can be "fixed", "saved", "rescued", "seen", "heard", "preserved", "whole", and destined to someday truly GET IT.......that someday, somehow, without utter complacency and manage to retain my essence, my soul that i believe to be holy, pure and innately DESERVING of what i have become to believe to be "bliss", contentment, comfort, LOVE, like and all those words i know how to speak, write and say, but can not yet truly emulate from human experience for so many reasons i have been told - yet still fail to accept as "me"....i am so young yet soo old...so tired and destroyed...so open yet so closed...so disgusted with myself yet so grounded as to who i am destined to be...SO VERY AFRAID & SO ALONE and SO disappointed in me....so smart, yet so VERY confused and terrorized...so damaged and finally, so sure that i am at the end...the crossroads...The Decision....my fate as a fatalist is failing my soul....so afriad to ask for that which i cannot explain nor bare to continuously, repetitively nor repeatively, try to convey....is there anyone out there?? or am i forced to accept that this is it? does anyone have a hand reached out for me and only me? or are my hands the only ones i will ever see only to determine and conclude - be told, berated, beat and bamboozled - to truly ever see? is there anyone out there for Me, unselfishly? innocently and kindly? will this ever end or is this the beginning that i fail to ultimately sacrifice to be?? oh my god....i am so done with researching and acceptability...i need help...but dont know where to begin...i am an angel...not a deliverer of Sin....is there anyone out there for me? time....oh back to the ever eternal time...shall ultimately, finally and clearly reveal herself to me....unless, of course, u have special goggles to find me..which is what i really hope to someday, surprise me....unreuctantly, i will follow because that is what was meant to be...help me, find me, see me, care and nurture me, believe me, walk beside me, convince me, and please, somehow, heal me...- Jill

9:22 AM  

I am struggling to leave my narcissistic boyfriend. I keep coming back evenafter hbumiliations and lies. this article describes how I feel. I feel that without him there Iis no life. I lost all dignity and self esteem. I have tried to please him, do whatever he wants. he always liked to be praised, admired and complimented and I did it just to get an approval. he totally has no ampathy towards my feelings. it is always about him and I am there to please him. I do not really know if this is narcissism or whether he simply does not love me. but he is very different in some cold callous way from anyone I have known. I do not feel myself beautiful anymore. I need help tostop it. I cannot eat and have not slept a t all last night even with medications. Iit feels awful.

8:04 AM  

I have been reading about narcissists for awhile now and didnt want to face the fact that my boyfriend of 3 years is every bit of a narcissist. I want to leave him but don't know how. He moved me from my home town to his home town where I have no one and he makes it so I am completely dependent upon him.....so I need input I need help in how to leave! I've left him time and time again just to listen to his undying love for me with crocodile tears and all so I go back for him to do it to me again. I can't live like this anymore I am gonna be 47 who looks 37 and im tired of living like this, im not getting any younger and I am not getting any prettier so its time to leave. But where do I start how do i do this with no support no money and no resources? Plz help I need to get away but im not strong enough to do it on my own. Anything will that will help me go in the right direction would be great. Thank you

8:02 PM  

I am in year 4 and on another 6 week of silent treatment. I am trying to be strong but every moment is filled with thoughts of him. I stalk through social media finding pictures of him looking o so happy whilst I am a wreck. help x

4:26 AM  

Barbie,

I was in almost the same situation, except that he refused to allow me to get a job, or finish my education (which I stopped shortly after I met him). Be careful when you leave, I was so ran down that I didn't fully believe that his money was my money. I had to give him receipts too and was only allowed a certain amount, of which I had to account for. He accused me of cheating, and filed divorce against me. Looking back, my attorney was more than likely working with my ex, because he certainly wasn't working for me. Get the best attorney you can, look around, because there some really bad ones who will work for your ex's benefit, probably because they make more money from him than doing the ethical thing and fight for their own clients. The house may go into bankruptcy, and you may lose a lot, but definetly use your share of his money. I wish I had.

11:12 AM  

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