Accepting the Necessity to Detach from the Narcissist

By Kim Saeed | Narcissism

Nov 19

Making the conscious choice to leave someone you still care about, or even love, is never easy.  We grieve the loss of memories, shared moments, and the dream of what could have been.  Breakups and divorces are painful enough, but when trying to leave a Narcissistic partner, it’s a whole different ballgame.

It may not seem like it at first, but if you were discarded by your Narcissist instead of the other way around, you are one step ahead of the game.  Granted, he will show off his new supply like an award trophy, making you feel inadequate, undesirable, and unworthy, but the thing to remember is that he doesn’t treat you that way because you deserve it.  He does it so that he doesn’t have to accept accountability.  It’s painful, for sure, but recognize it for the childish behavior it is.  Narcissists, while having normal or above-average intelligence, are emotionally immature.  Let him prance around like a Kindergartener on the playground, he’s actually doing you a big favor by handing back to you years that would have otherwise been destroyed.

For others who make the decision to leave the Narcissist, it becomes a living nightmare.  No matter how many times you try to leave, the Narcissist finds ways to keep you in the loop.  In spite of recognizing you’re being abused and betrayed, you let him back in, convincing yourself that you can negotiate, bargain, help him see the error of his ways, and that if you love him enough, things can go back to the way they were in the beginning.  But after years of struggling, you find that he is still the same. It’s virtually impossible for a Narcissist to change because they innately believe they are doing nothing wrong.  They are incapable of self-reflection, much less how their actions affect others.

What we don’t realize is that when allowing the Narcissist back into our life, we are being a participant in our own abuse.  In fact, prolonged contact with an abuser is dysfunctional in itself, and you should seek therapy to figure out why you are allowing yourself to be subjected to this treatment.  Possible reasons include fear of abandonment, unresolved issues from childhood, fear of loneliness, and low self-esteem.  It doesn’t mean you are weak, only that something hurt you along the way and you are stuck in a moment that you can’t escape.

In order to truly heal, recover, and begin to build your life back into a semblance of normalcy, you must truly detach from your toxic partner.  When you stay in the relationship, you spend all of your energy just trying to survive, so there’s no room for healing or recovery.  Acknowledge that you will never get any closure from the relationship ending and get into counseling.  If you don’t have insurance, visit your local Domestic Violence center.  They often offer reduced or free counseling, group therapy, and transitional housing.

Lastly, go full-blown No Contact.  Some people are confused as to what this really means.  I’ve read countless stories of aspiring survivors who think going No Contact means not responding to texts or emails or ignoring the phone when he calls.  That’s not No Contact, that’s No Response (I did it myself, at first).  No contact means literally blocking the Narc from all forms of communications:  Texts, emails, phone calls, chat boards, IM, Skype, etc.  It entails going in and blocking him so he can’t get in touch with you.  If you have a custody situation, leave only one avenue for him to contact you and shut down the rest.  This includes all social platforms.  This isn’t a form of punishment towards the Narc.  It’s making the conscious decision to take your life back and really has nothing to do with him.

This article isn’t about judgment.  It’s about familiarity from someone who was trapped for eight years and finally left after solemnly admitting to myself that I needed to start my own chapter because the story’s end would always be the same if I stayed with my Narcissistic Ex…and it’s never a happy one.

Going No Contact is hard.  Think of it as quitting an addiction.  People often try several times before they successfully give it up forever.  In the same way, No Contact isn’t something most people can do successfully on the first try.  However, that’s not an excuse to keep your toe in the cesspool water.  Just as a cigarette takes seven minutes off of your life, staying with a Narcissist will do the same.  See 5 Reasons Why It’s Critical That You Leave Your Narcissistic Partner.  You’ll live each day with tightness in your chest, a general feeling of sickness, and the knowledge that continuing that nasty habit will slowly contribute to your decline.

** As a former target of a Narcissist, I made every mistake possible when it comes to cutting the Narc out of your life.  Although you might not be in a place to accept the reality of the situation, just knowing the outcome is helpful in your road to recovery.  It is like a seed that’s been planted, and it is struggling to break through the concrete…but one day, it will find a small crack, grow tall and you will get your freedom back.

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(18) comments

BONNIE June 18, 2017

I’ve been in a abuse relationship with a narrsitic schophathy seen I was 13 married 40 years I’m to the end of my rope with him I’m trying to let go I’m working with a woman Hope and Justice that help abuse women move forward I’ve left in the past but alays let him back in not this I want my life back and go no contact I’m getting ready to file for a divorce and move he wants to know where I’m going I told I don’t know I can’t afford to pay but I want to go to concounling so I never make the same mistake he has control everything far to long I’m total done with him

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    Kim Saeed June 19, 2017

    Hi Bonnie,

    You’re wise in not letting him know where you’re going.

    If you can’t afford counseling, you may find benefit in my online course, The Essential No Contact Bootcamp. It’s currently on special for $67, plus you can get an extra $10 off by using coupon code: 10OFF. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out:http://courses.letmereach.com/p/the-essential-no-contact-accelerator-course

    It has lessons with companion checklists and workbooks to help with going NC, plus there is an active (and private) FB community with very welcoming and supportive members.

    Either way, wishing you all the very best!

    Kim XoXo

    Reply
Jasmine February 5, 2017

I just wanted to take the time to bring some hope to all the ladies who are suffering in the nightmare and hell that is the narcissistic web. I fell in 4 years ago, I knew nothing about narcissists but the intense power this man had over me was so overwhelming and unlike anything I’d ever experienced I knew it wS something out of the ordinary. This man was then cause of so much pain, I tried to commit suicide twice, due to the frustration of not being able to leave I thought death was the only way out, thank the Lord that God didn’t let me die from someone so despicable. I’m finally out after 4 years and I can feel t he difference from the other half assed attempts to bail. Its been three months and he begN to whatsapp me again today after that long apart, saying he’s had an accident and he loves me, all his usual bullshit hat always worked before, getting my pity, making me feel as if I’m the rescuer in his life, and texting me at exact times of the day to condition me to wait for his texts, then he would change it suddenly so I would plummet into despair how he loved to control my emotions. He was unfaithful all the time giving me three STIS made me pregnant twice and would run around with other girls while I was left to miscarry twice on my own. I’m a model and even with the work I was doing I felt utterly ugly unloved, fat and despicable. He would sleep with whoever be could and leave photos and conversations for me to find of his indiscretions and smile while I fell crying on the floor broken to pieces.
not any more, my journey out of this hell which is for sure a spiritual and mental imprisonment is now done and I don’t feel any feelings for this man at all, only smugness that I’ve won, the good really does conquer over evil in the end just please never give up hope.
Sites like this are amazing and Kim thank to undo much for what you do .
the big things that helped me was ; going to a amazing energetic. Cord cutting specialists to cut the ties, it didn’t work till my third time but it severs any cord he has into your sprig and was massively helpful to me. Talking to my angels was a big one only when I began looking to other spiritual sources due I grow in strength including meditation was big for me, and mentally you have to imagine a life outside of him and don’t factor him in at all and really believe that that life will be better.
I left 20+ times and always came back, then would fall into deep depression and self loathing feeling weak to my addiction. I even had three different times of long contact though this is the longest and always came back but this time, when he started whatsapp me (I never block because I don’t like his number stored anywhere on my iphone) I simply rang up and changed my number, no emotions linked just surprise he still hasn’t got the message I was long gone. And I came to the site to reinforce what I had decided to do. Now i want to give hope – for someone who thought death was the only way out to say I’m free I promise you can do it – just don’t give up! Don’t resign yourself to this misery you can be free, want more for your life even if you have to stand up 100 times and keeping going its worth it. Lots of love and hope to you all xxx

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Trisha Prasad January 24, 2017

Left an abusive relationship after 25 years , hard to go no contact because we have kids

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David December 21, 2016

I just finally ended a relationship with a narcissistic woman and have been going no contact. I am 50 years old and divorced and am trying to make sense of everything. I obsess about her and the relationship over and over round and round in my mind. I was in the relationship for about 10 months on and off but it was the most intense relationship of my life. It started out with the love bombing her telling me how amazing I am and that no one compares to me. She called me “rock star”. She emphatically expressed how I was the best of everything to her. By the second week she was talking about us moving in together and spending our lives together. I later learned that is a tactic called future faking. She was constantly texting me and telling me how amazing I was and how handsome and how just about everything I did was great. I used to sometimes tell her no that’s not true and that she was exaggerating in an attempt to stay humble. But I’ll tell you what- you do get used to hearing those things and you start to rely on them. You fall right into their trap.
I was fortunate to understand early in the relationship what was going by feeling that something wasn’t right and doing a little research. But even with this knowledge I was still put under her spell. I thought that I could help her. I wanted to find the real person inside the injured person inside and she was oh so eager and willing to lead me on that wild goose chase as I fell right into another one of her traps. I began to doubt myself and make excuses for her. I felt she was good to me over 80% of the time but it seemed like everyday she would just have to say or do that one thing that would make my head spin, make me doubt my reality. She would say some things to me that were so utterly hurtful and just completely “out of the blue”. It was always after we were having a good time or just relaxing. It was like she knew that’s when it would hurt the most, and it did. That type of timing also ensures that it is etched in your mind and that you ruminate. I would wonder “what did she mean by that? Was it my imagination? Could somebody be so cruel as to say what she said? She treated me better than anyone and worse than anyone which is so confusing. One memory I have that really sticks out to me is when at some point she texted me the following message: “I love your soul I want to bite it!!!” I’d have to say though that it is probably because my mother had many of the same traits that I felt comfortable and familiar with this woman. I thought I learned years ago, when I wasn’t able to help my mother from meeting her tragic demise, that you just can’t help somebody that doesn’t want help. Well, here I am learning it again and feeling lucky to be okay. This experience has taught me that I definitely have some work to do on myself and ultimately I think this relationship had to happen for me to come to this realization.

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Reblogged this on vckhs7.

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Ocean June 24, 2014

Hi, Im in the mess of just learning about my narc 20+ year Marriage relationship after finally him moving out in November and after all these years forcing myself into therapy. I just realized that I was married to a Narc Socio and thought alot of our marital problems were all my fault and I thought I was mentally unstable and now I realized what caused my anxiety/panic attacks after all these years.

My question is I have no ideal how to detach; I keep getting suck in and losing my mental stableness, and as soon as I get my power back – its sucked back by an attack by him. You see I share and built multiple small businesses with him over 13 years and two kids in college and one in high school – and I have to go to the office to work where he is at also (have financial responsiblities that support our household
) Due to his mental and verbal attacks in what has unfolded between us over the past years, I have been in solidtude in my home and pretty much trapped over the months and its killing me. I have not been able to move on with my life and he has but left me with the pieces to pick up myself.

I have been trying to mediate with him due to if we go to court we will be bankrupt because our life is so intertwined with the businesses (plus looming lawsuits that could have an effect on the business finances also) its a freaking mess..but Im doing all the leg work in all of this and I find he’s not going in any direction in going to home plate to finish the divorce.

He has had a new girlfriend since January and has made it known to my kids, me and were not even divorced yet. He paraded her at an employee party that killed me I wasnt there -thank god – but we own the house the employee rents from us.

He walked out on me in November and never turned back- I have been on my own dealing with teenagers reacting in a bad way to all of this, broken stuff in the house etc – but there are so many victims who have it so much worse then me (I have to be grateful) my soon to be ex has moved in and our so many of times over the past 15 years – I thought this was something men did – I was wrong)

Its like im stalled in this mess with him and if he can find out any info that could be used negativlely against me that has to do with our kids or company or coworkers, etc he verbally and mentally attacks me and accuses me of wrong doing. Constantly blames me for the failed marriage and lets me kids know that from time to time from past events taht unfolded between us last year but yet he hasnt let go keeps blaming me.

I dont know how to get through this mess and I have no ideal how to end communciations. All that I have built at work and my responsiblities he wants me to disappear and thinks he can just pass my work responsbilties off like I dont exist! I do all my work throught emails most of the time and its crazy to live in fear that I can go to the office and he can throw me out – its great after 13 years of bulding companies – he soley put his name on everything – and I believed in him – I was naive

Im also having problems finding a therapist that has experience in this disorder I have been through a few and I feel like I have been performing in a three ring circus over the months not knowing – will he fire me, bankrupt me, get up leave us, etc, etc because of things he said and done – plus Im having trouble with just putting the “scared girl feeling” that could I lose everything in my life behind me and shut the door and say “F” it! Because of my kids and college and he knows this and uses it against me.

Thanks for reading my story – and any advice.

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Kim Saeed May 20, 2014

Yes, Heather…societal delusions are certainly partly to blame. Very astute insight!

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    clanetravels May 20, 2014

    Thanks Kim. Well, that’s how he got me. I wanted it so badly and within a certain timeframe and he knew this and used it to manipulate me. He was able to get me to accept a whole bunch of bunk while dangling the carrot of commitment in front of my face. It was, in the end, all a lie, no big surprises there I am sure. But if I hadn’t wanted it so badly, then he would have never had that power over me. So ultimately I gave my power away.

    Ironically, now that it’s ‘lost and gone forever’ I am now free to pursue the things I want, the relationship I want, to find the partner I want to be with without any consideration to arbitrary timelines or achievements. Now only if I could recover and start functioning again…

    He did in fact give away all of his power over me but not without taking a large chunk out of me first. As he once told me “I dodged a bullet by not marrying you” — in fact, I think it may have been *me* who dodged the bullet. I just wish it hadn’t taken half of me with it.

    Reply
      Kim Saeed May 26, 2014

      Clane, you can have all of the things you wish for. But, you have to do the work of healing yourself. I have lots of resources here on the site that can help, such as guided meditations, info on using essential oils, suggested readings, etc. These things are what helped me on my own road to recovery. It took about a year and a half of doing these things, but they worked!

      Forget about his juvenile comment about “dodging the bullet”. It’s quite cliche, really. Narcs are all from the same blueprint!

      Reply
    clanetravels May 20, 2014

    Kim! I accidentally posted that under my other avatar! Is there any way to delete/modify the comment? I don’t want him to find me!

    Reply
      Kim Saeed May 20, 2014

      I’ve deleted your original comment 🙂

      Reply
Maria March 31, 2014

I’m struggling with all of this because I actually was the one to leave on countless occasions but he actually always let me go and never came after me. I was so addicted to him though that I always went back begging him to try again and not surprisingly he always accepted me back. Just recently he finally discarded me “forever” (in his words) because he found out about something unkind and hurtful that I did in an effort to expose him and get some revenge. I’m so angry that he got the last word and “won” by turning things around to make me the crazy and unhealthy one when in fact, he has been the sick and evil lying, manipulating one for so long. I know that I should let go of my ego and be thankful that he discarded me and view it as a blessing in disguise but I am so angry that he gets to “win”, walk away unscathed and make me the bad one plus I am ashamed of myself for devaluing and dishonoring myself so much to have stayed so long, never been strong enough to walk away AND stay away, and permitted him to take advantage of me as he did. He also now seems to be a much better person and much more at peace than he was when we first met. It’s like I tended him back to health and then he kicked me to the curb. And everyone else in his life gets to benefit from the new and improved him – thanks to me – while I am suffering in the gutter. It feels so unfair. Plus I am mortified to know that he let me go so easily when you are saying that Narc’s always stalk when we discard them first. Does that maybe mean he is actually not a narc and just someone who didn’t love me or treat me well? And why do I even care what he thinks and stay focused on him when I KNOW that I need to focus on healing me!

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    Kim Saeed April 3, 2014

    Maria, thank you for reading my blog and for reaching out.

    It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. This is the hardest part of the end of the relationship, when you are sitting with yourself wondering what went wrong and what you could have done differently. Most of the time, there’s really nothing you could have changed in order to make things work. Without knowing your background and going only on your comment, he does seem to have some narcissistic traits.

    I can’t really say why he didn’t stalk you…that doesn’t always happen, but it is very common when a victim leaves their abuser first. It’s only to regain power and control and has absolutely nothing to do with love, anyway. It could just be that he was waiting for you to return so he could paint you as the one who wouldn’t leave him alone. That’s also a very common scenario.

    Don’t beat yourself up about any mistakes you made…just try to spend some time doing things that comfort your soul…movies, books, chocolate, etc…whatever you like that makes you feel better. Spend some time finding out more about yourself and why you felt the need to go back to him although he didn’t seem to respect or care about you. That is really no way to live. You owe it to yourself to be happy.

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Susan Irene Fox November 20, 2013

Kim, I’ve mentioned my friend before who left her narc husband almost two years ago. She has two boys and is concerned that they maintain a relationship with their dad; she doesn’t want to be the “bad guy” who cuts off communication, although the kids (11 and 16) have pretty much figured out he is all about dad whenever they are with him. Any support sites I can refer her to regarding this issue and your No Contact/Single Contact recommendation? He calls them all the time, cancels plans, etc…

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    frogstale November 21, 2013

    Hi Susan – there are some good sites if your friend wants to find support to have to coparent with a narc – one in particular is on facebook – onemomsbattle (and wordpress for blogs, just not a forum) – full of women like myself and your friend who have to do this on a daily basis. It is tough but there are defnitely technigques to use. I have some posts and links on my site to usefull information sites when divorcing a narc and having to raise kids with them. Good luck to your friend. FT

    Reply
    Kim Saeed November 21, 2013

    Susan,

    Part of it would depend on what’s in the custody order.

    What really stinks is that visitation is a right, not a responsibility, meaning that the dad doesn’t have to exercise his visitation unless he feels like it.

    At the same time, I would recommend (if she isn’t doing this already) to document everything. When dad calls, the cancelled plans, everything. I have a special calendar where I document only things regarding my son, custody, things I do for my son, etc. Your friend’s Ex’s nonchalant attitude might look bad in front of a judge.

    Here is a great blog that I refer to a lot:
    http://aboutthechildrenblog.com/

    Personally, I recently put in a modification to change the custody arrangement. Simply because I don’t want a half-hearted dad, who doesn’t really have his son’s best interest at heart, having a say in my son’s life. If your friend is concerned about the canceled plans, she may want to put into any modification she might submit that the dad is responsible for any expenses involved with the said canceled plans. Here’s a good site, but it’s based in Illinois:
    http://www.gitlin.com/family-law/custody-of-children/

    I get a lot of good information on attorney websites that specialize in family law/child custody.

    As far as the No Contact part…my son’s dad can only reach our son through the land line. He knows to call between 7-9. If he calls outside of those times, I do not answer. He has no way of contacting me through my cell, by email, or any other venue. House phone is it. Liberal phone contact doesn’t mean everyone has to jump and answer the second the dad calls. There has to be some structure. If her kids have cell phones, I would change their numbers and only give the dad access through the house phone during a certain time frame.

    Also, do her sons still want contact with their dad? I would have a heart to heart with them. If they aren’t really all that set on talking to their dad, things can be changed while still staying in line with any custody order.

    Lastly, I would be glad to talk to her via email regarding anything I might be able to help her with. Knowing more of her situation would give me more of a starting point. I don’t believe that any parent should automatically have a presence in their child’s life if they are using them as toys and pawns. It has long-term negative effects…

    Hope that helps, Susan. Your friend is lucky to have a woman like you on her side 🙂

    Reply
      Susan Irene Fox November 21, 2013

      Thanks, Kim. She does have full custody; they actually don’t want much contact with him. I will pass along your info along with the websites. She’s quite grounded, but doesn’t want any backlash. Bless you.

      Reply
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