Breaking Up with a Narcissist

By Kim Saeed | Male Targets of Female Narcissists

Feb 04

“Breaking up with a Narcissist”.  These are common search terms that lead people to Let Me Reach.  While I am glad that readers are searching for ways to end their toxic relationships, I usually feel a little anxious for them because I know that “breaking up with a narcissist” is no easy feat.

Generally, when partners of a Narcissist start searching for ways to end the relationship, they often believe that doing so will offer them quick liberation from the agony they’re experiencing.  After all, when we feel depressed or anxious, we simply make an appointment with a therapist and he or she will likely prescribe pills to deal with difficult emotions.  We can schedule a massage and experience fast relief from pent-up stress.  Finding information that we want is as simple as entering search terms into our web browser.  Because we live in times where instant gratification is so easy to obtain, we hope and believe that we can get over narcissistic abuse in only a few sessions with a therapist, a coach, or by simply reading a self-help book.

What people may not realize is that going No Contact, while virtually paralyzing, is not the most difficult aspect of ending things with a Narcissist.  The really hard stuff comes afterwards…and only after successfully maintaining No Contact.  However, that may be difficult in itself because of the psychological manipulations carried out by the Narcissist.

How the Narcissist responds to one’s breaking up and going No Contact depends on what’s going on in the Narcissist’s life at the time.  The victim can expect a variety of responses that include indifference, rage, or the all-time classic ploy of pretending to be sorry.  Often, there is a combination of all three.  Then, after the silent treatment, verbal assaults, and guilting/blaming, the Narcissist often comes back with a ramped up hoovering move that is almost always the death of No Contact.  Such tactics involve a plethora of reality-bending schemes, such as the three examples listed below:

The “I’m sorry for hurting you and I vow to make it up to you” maneuver

This is a favorite ruse used globally by narcissists of all types (the only general exception being the cerebral narcissist).  That’s because the narcissist’s partners are of the cooperative, empathic, tolerant, altruistic, and forgiving type and the narcissist has no qualms about exploiting these traits to the nth degree.  When the narcissist shows up with flowers, jewelry, and tears (on bended knee for effect), his or her compassionate partner turns into instant putty, forgetting all wrongdoings and imagining a better future, which includes growing old together and holding hands while walking through the park.

Unfortunately, the narcissist’s thinking is entirely different.  Their thoughts are usually centered on how they are going to hook up with the side-supply now that their primary supply has thrown a monkey wrench into their routine.  Maintain your dignity by not reducing yourself to “monkey wrench” status.

The “I love only you” tactic

Breaking up with the Narcissist is not only influenced by their consistent verbal and emotional abuse, lies, and indifference, but also because they’re notoriously unfaithful.  Therefore, they will try to make it appear that they have no control over the fact that they are a “sex addict” or “bad at being monogamous”… they are only with those other people for “fun”.  The only person they really love is you.  You’re the only one that accepts them, warts and all, and offers them a place to come home to at the end of the day; a place to fall and help all their worries go away.  It’s you and them against the world.  They confess they are messed up, maybe a little crazy, but it’s because you are so connected to them that they love only you.  Don’t they always come back to you?  Don’t they sleep in your bed?

Don’t fall for this poppycock.  Remember, persuasiveness and charm are the primary traits of a psychopath. There’s no doubt you are unique and special, but the Narcissist doesn’t see those things in you.  What they are working towards is keeping the number of his or her admirers high.  The more people they have adoring them, the better…and they are telling their other partners the same thing.

The “I’ve had a divine epiphany” ploy

They were driving to work and it suddenly occurred to them, the two of you were meant to be together.  It all became crystal clear in a matter of seconds.  They don’t know how they didn’t see it before.  In fact, the two of you should get married…and the sooner the better.

You’d fare better at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

If you truly want to break up with the Narcissist in your life, the best approach is to do it in stealth mode.  There’s truly no need to explain to them why you’re doing it.  Doing so only opens up a useless dialogue where you will likely get tricked into believing you’re making a big mistake.  “Breaking up” is synonymous with going “No Contact” when a narcissist is in the picture.

You won’t get closure or validation.  And please, don’t fall for the “let’s be friends” ploy.  That will land you straight into la la land, where you will spend months, if not years, tolerating their multiple sex partners, disappearing acts, and your making monthly visits to your doctor’s office to make sure you haven’t contracted an STD.

Breaking up with a narcissist feels like death, but the really hard stuff comes afterwards because at some point you’ll start the journey of discovering why you were in a relationship with this type of person.  You’ll need to uncover the wounds that kept you enmeshed with a toxic partner.  You’ll need to forgive yourself.  You’ll need to forgive your parents or caretakers that created the wounds that led you to enter into this relationship.  And it will take a long time for all of that to happen.

Also know that breaking No Contact may give you temporary relief, but the long-term effects would be harmful if you go back to them.  You cannot get real relief from the very person who hurt you.  Breaking up with a Narcissist equals cutting them out of your life completely without giving them a chance to “explain themselves”, because whatever explanation they would give you would only be another manipulation.

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(20) comments

Debbie April 13, 2017

I have searched far and wide and have not found ANYTHING about how to get a narcissist out of your house, that you own, safely. Is there some trick to making them instantly decide they don’t want to be with you anymore? I have tried gray rock, not bathing daily (that kills me) not keeping much food in the house, etc. He is content to come home and sit on the computer. I have trued expressing my needs and about how lonely I am, and he does not care. I have considered having friends help me move all of his belongings out (and there is a ton as he is a hoarder of vintage toys, sells on eBay and has his huge inventory of vintage car parts here. I have paid for all the lawn equipment that he calls his and I know that would mostly likely be stolen when he leaves if I don’t get it moved offsite. All of this is daunting to me as I have a rare autoimmune disease that really limits my energy. I just don’t know where to turn, other than praying to the good Lord above. Which I have and I have asked him to guide me to the solution. Here I am. Thanks so much for all you do to help others.

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    Kim Saeed April 13, 2017

    Hi Debbie,

    Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. I offer this suggestion based on personal experience.

    The precise steps may vary depending on which state you live in (so you might want to consult an attorney) but generally you would want to send him a landlord letter informing him that you want him to vacate, also known as a ‘Notice to Vacate’. Legally, this would give him enough time to find another residence. This is a very common situation and because narcissists generally won’t leave on their own, you’d have to take the legal route, especially if he receives his mail at your house.

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
    Rosemarie Ifill June 9, 2017

    I have been with the narc 13 years live with me for 2….its my apartment.What I did I left…I am sorry but I had to lie.I told him that my job was coming to an end and I h as to give up my apartment…I left last week wed 3oth of may.Now I have change my number.so its a week of no contact….YOU have to either leave…you have to lie…otherwise they will never go.He’s on a smear campaign..but I really don’t care..he left to go by his daughter .She don’t want him by her either….I think karma is coming

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Krysta January 24, 2016

When I read this, there is always this nagging concern that what if she’s right, and Im the narcissist? I’ve apologised for things I never even meant OE did just to appease them long enough to talk through the walls of silence. I’ve tried disconnecting to avoid the pain of looking at my phone all hours of the day waiting for a text. What if I’m actually the one doing the silent treatment thinking I’m just protecting myself. What if in reality this whole time my dependence and isolating of her treatment is just me blaming and fingerwaggjng. I feel like her constant reflecting and projections are becoming true in ny head. How does one know if they are the issue or not? I almost wish I was the damn Narc, so I could finally find the help needed to not fall apart into the dark of this cycle of pain. We are a lesbian pairing. I wish you guys would stop using He for narcissists as if women couldn’t be them. They can and are, and are often horrible in ways men could only dream of.

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Vince July 12, 2015

Yeah so I’m pretty convinced I’ve been married to a cerebral N for almost six years now. Looking back is always 20/20 and I made every mistake in the book. The miscarriages, the blasphemous epiphany from God that it was all fixed. We’ve been fighting about our sex issues since a couple months before we got married and now I’m finally done. I want a better life for my son than this since I was raised by a cerebral N for 19 years and watched my father waste away as her last victim. I’m not gonna live like he did and just wait to die. The big question is how? There’s no jobs back where my family lives right now and no $$$ to just take our son and run but I’m sure that’d just land me in prison anyway.

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hugsy89 April 8, 2015

“Also know that breaking No Contact may give you temporary relief, but the long-term effects would be harmful if you go back to them. You cannot get real relief from the very person who hurt you. Breaking up with a Narcissist equals cutting them out of your life completely without giving them a chance to “explain themselves”, because whatever explanation they would give you would only be another manipulation.” I really needed to hear that again…I’m right now doing NC and it is painful…but contacting him again would be even more painful so I try to be strong…

Reply
    Kim Saeed April 8, 2015

    Hang in there, hugsy! You will thank yourself later, I promise <3

    Reply
      hugsy89 April 8, 2015

      Thank you for the encouraging words <3 It's almost two weeks of NC now for me…It was so hard in the beginning but I've already started to feel the benefits of it

      Reply
Persia Karema March 9, 2015

Reblogged this on Blog Of A Mad Black Woman and commented:
“If you truly want to break up with the Narcissist in your life, the best approach is to do it in stealth mode. ” ~ Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

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RaShar February 24, 2015

Im divotcing a narcissist. .step by step, how do i definitely get away,im pregnant with children by him….help!

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    Lindsey October 25, 2016

    I would start planing you exit now try to get some income save up and leave when you can or if you have anyone you could stay with and maybe live there until you save up enough for your own place . You have more power than you think i know its hard to believe right now but keep repeating it and wanting to and one day you will believe it when you say i have power over my life . Praying for you to have mental/emotional freedom from this toxic person.

    Reply
meredithwyatt1990 February 5, 2015

Reblogged this on Speak Through Your Heart and Your Mind Will Follow and commented:
Hmm. Something to think about

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hahodges2014 February 5, 2015

I was in a relationship with a toxic man for 3 years. I moved myself and my son 2 hours away only to find out within a month that he started abusing me. At first it was just pushing then it gradually got worse that included emotional abuse as well. I stayed because I had never had what I thought was the love of my life and I thought I could help him be better. Well he didn’t get better and I became severely depressed with anxiety that I had never experienced before in my life. I did research on narcissium but i think it went in one ear and out the other. I ended up losing myself. But after becoming someone I didn’t recognize anymore I knew I had to leave him. I went to a Women Helping Women Organization that helped me get a restraining order which included the police escorting him out of the house. Needless to say the next three years I went back to him three times that involved me seeing him at his apartment but I didn’t tell anyone and he didn’t move back in. I would stop seeing him because I saw the same things in him. Only to go back to seeing him again after 3 or 4 months. The last time I didn’t see him for 15 months but would text each other. When I did go back the last time things were different. I found out 3 months later he had a girlfriend. It hit me really hard. It hurt so much because I thought we were the love of each others lives. It was like I knew in my head there was something wrong with him but my heart felt something different. I was very conflicted. I think I wanted him to choose only me and that became my goal. I tried to stop seeing him several times but couldn’t do it. At the same time though he wouldn’t let her go and it was killing me. I felt like I was going crazy again and I finally knew what we were doing was wrong. I got on the internet and started researching specific things about narcissists which led me to your site and wow it was scary. Everything I read was like reading my life in print. I was angry. I ended up telling his girlfriend about him seeing me too. She ended up staying with him. I knew I was done. But I wanted closure from him ( which was before I read your blog) and it didn’t go well. I finally saw him for who he really is. The next couple of weeks were really hard but i went back and reread your blogs and I was finally able to put it all in perspective. Now I don’t ever want to talk to him again. But what I am struggling with is I feel the whole relationship was a Iie and none of it was real. None of my memories of us are happy now. I don’t think he is the love of my life, the best connection ever, or the passion we had was real. It was all fake. It makes me want to vomitt. Are my feelings normal? I absolutely love your blogs because they make so much sense to me……..thank you!!!

Holly

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    Rosemarie Ifill June 9, 2017

    He’s not in love with no one

    Reply
mothererased February 4, 2015

I wish for every woman involved w/ this type of man to break free as soon as possible, and for good. I recently told my story of mother attempting to leave my father with me and my sister in tow (at the Moth Story Slam live) and posted it on my blog. My heart is with women going through this.

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Marcy Dial February 4, 2015

Your outreach has been so helpful in my healing. I dealt with a 8 year narcissistic. Finally after 100% with my own two eyes I caught him with another woman. We had been broke up but still talking nightly. When I went to his house to see him in person, he had her car in the garage, and from the front door I could see in his side windows that his bedroom door was shut and lights were on. I beat on the door and rang doorbell for three long minutes so she would have to question who I was and also to ruin his dirty sex moment. I then left and blocked his number and closed my email account. Three weeks later he is sending me an email at work saying his daughter would have celebrated her 35 yr bday. ( she died at 16). He was only using that as a ploy to tug at my heart. It didn’t work! I ended up setting an automated fake notification back saying the email was rejected by the domain server. So I am hoping that this works for any further contact.

Your emails have been spot on as if they were directed specific to me. I’m thankful for everything on your site and I continue to read your articles over and over to ensure how sick he really is.
I have a lot against me being he was a ex sheriff in our town and he will use his background to defeat me but I’m strong and I will defeat this devil one way or another thru silence and prayer above. We all have our souls and that is one thing they cannot take from us.

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    Lindsey October 25, 2016

    ❤ love hearing your story. Very true they cant take our souls away 💪

    Reply
Pauline Berry-Thomas February 4, 2015

I divorced a N along time ago and then supported others to move on, when I divorced him he would turn up at my house a year later unexpected, when he left a note, my therapists said do not respond and I just never answered him and he phoned and ask and I said I will not be answering you or seeing you and it stopped…no contact for me he is the best regime and you turn the tide yourself, he would say no one will want you I had many dates, and eventually re married…keep to your plan if you fall of the horse get back on…and move on..

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