What Will My Narcissistic Spouse Do When They Find out I'm Gone?

By Kim Saeed | Narcissism

Apr 27

If you’ve finally left your Narcissistic spouse, I applaud you.  Though there is still a way to go in the battle for your freedom, this is the only first step that will help lead you there.

While there are different types of Narcissistic personalities and Cluster-B disorders, they typically fit the same blueprint in their reaction to being left by a partner (the general exception being the cerebral narcissist).  However, on an individual basis, they’ll take into account what’s always worked for them before.  Therefore, one can generally expect some combination of the following outcomes:

1)       Pretend this is just another quarrel – Though the Narcissist might think you’re serious this time, he or she will give you the impression that they believe it’s just another of your typical “disagreements”, especially if it’s not the first time you’ve moved in with Mom (or a sibling, friend, etc.).

The reason they do this is to play on your sentiments of sympathy, guilt, and obligation.  They might talk about future plans or “when you come back, the two of you will…”

Their aim in doing this is to make you feel sorry for them and put them in the victim’s light, hoping to have you believe you’ve overreacted to something they did or said.  This is a passive-aggressive approach.  They are acting nice now, but you will pay later if you go back.

2)      Rage and Blame Storm – You’ve been through this before.  Don’t let it deter you from your goal.

Narcissistic rage results from your threatening their sense of superiority and entitlement.  They’ve either always considered themselves better than you or wanted you to believe they are better than you.  Either way, when you leave them, they will insist that all the problems in the relationship fall on you, which will result in a verbal attack and blame storm.  The thing to remember is to not give credence to what they say.  Their rage is due to your having established a boundary, which to them translates into your noncompliance and their loss of control.

Remember:  The rage is not about you, it’s about their perceived loss of power.  Do not attempt to use logic or reason to calm the Narcissist down.  This only feeds their rage and lengthens the outburst.

The irony is that these episodes are often followed by excessive charm and flattery.

(** If your partner gets physical, call the police without clemency.  No matter what, no one has the right to harm you). 

3)      Smear Campaign – They will initiate conversations with your family, social circle, and possibly your co-workers which will consist of false worry for your mental health and/or behaviors.

What can you expect during the smear campaign?  See my article, Several Shades of Smeared, and then mentally prepare yourself.  This is a time where guided meditations on self-esteem will come in handy, as well as aromatherapy for emotional release.  Don’t focus on what they might be up to; focus on your ability to get through this.  If you have any threatening/harassing emails, texts, and voice mails from your time in the relationship, now would be a good time to start printing them out and organizing everything.  Make two copies of all documentation.  One for you and one for a lawyer in the event you go to court.

4)      False Police Reports – This doesn’t always happen, but it is a common occurrence and is why it’s extremely critical that you involve the police when necessary.

If your Ex is stalking you, harassing you via phone/email, threatening you, etc., you need to involve the police right away before they start making false allegations against you.  Additionally, you’ll want to consider visiting your local Domestic Violence center to inquire about obtaining a case manager and court advocate.  Don’t leave anything to chance.  Your future is at stake, especially if children are involved.  You’ll need to use logic, not listen to your heart.  Your Ex may be hoovering and laying on the charm, but he or she is plotting your downfall behind your back.

5)      Vindictiveness – There are no limits to what the injured Narcissist is capable of.  Following are examples of vindictive actions shared by my followers, including a few I experienced personally:

  • Filing lawsuits for things they don’t care about for the simple goal of taking those things away from their former partner (including child custody and sentimental property)
  • Destroying sentimental heirlooms and keepsakes that belong to a former partner
  • Harming family pets
  • Emotionally abusing children to make their ex-partner pay
  • Threatening suicide
  • Threatening bodily harm to their partner who tries to leave
  • Stalking…then harassing you through the court system if you file a Protective Order.
  • Slicing car tires and tampering with car engines
  • Installing remote spyware on their target’s cell phone
  • Installing spyware on a shared computer
  • Breaking into a previously shared residence to destroy things or plant false evidence
  • Revenge porn
  • Parental alienation
  • Getting a job at their ex’s place of employment to instill anxiety and fear in their ex
  • Planting tracking devices on their ex’s vehicle
  • Withholding their former partner’s personal belongings as a way to maintain control

As you can see, preventative maintenance and preparation are essential.  Even if your Narcissistic Ex disappears with new supply and it seems they are out of the picture, still prepare yourself.  With that being said, while preparation is important, it’s just as important to take care of yourself in the aftermath of breaking free from the abusive relationship.

Try not to obsess and ruminate on the Narc and his/her new partner.  Whatever the situation may seem like to you, it’s just an illusion…one the Narcissist can sustain for long periods of time.

Related Reading

See my article, Breaking No Contact Can Hurt You in Court, to learn how keeping the lines of communication open to an abusive partner can work against you.  See also, The Importance of Documentation when Co-Parenting with a Narcissist.

Copyright © 2014 Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach.  All Rights Reserved.

Join the Let Me Reach Healing Community on Facebook.

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(17) comments

Ms. Gee March 2, 2015

Kim, what happens if after going No contact the only thing my Narc has exhibited is Step 1, and after leaving has admitted he has a problem, knows that he is at fault, apologized over and over again, offered to go to counseling, offered to do whatever it takes to make things right, he did inject a part where he tried to make it my fault for something we disagreed about but went right back to accepting responsibility. He knows I am not moving back into that house. He again stated he knows he needs help and will do whatever it takes to get the help he needs to be better for himself, his children and me.

His actions total contradicts what I’ve read to expect?
Could it be a smoke screen another façade to get me to soften?
And regardless of what I Will NOT move back in with him not the way things are right now. Because I told him that I know no one changes over night, in a few weeks or months even.

Reply
    Kim Saeed April 14, 2015

    Ms. Gee, thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    I wish I had better news, but if he’s truly a Narcissist, there is no hope for lasting change. They always use this ruse when it becomes apparent that their source of supply is serious about leaving. It’s just a scam to get you hooked long enough for them to get nice and comfy in your life again, and then go back to the same-ole, same-ole…

    Reply
    Anonymous November 27, 2015

    All words. No action. Lies,lies,lies…

    Reply
Kathy September 15, 2014

I just got a PFA on my husband the judge put 3 years on it. I am so mad at myself for taking him back in Jan.. he told me he was going to lose his leg from a blood clot he got in March 2013, I felt so sorry for him then I found out that it wasn’t true. I’m not sure what to expect next from him. He threaten to ring my F—- neck he also had beat me last year only once and he was drunk. Listen to me as you can tell I’m still in shock, my life has been so horrible the last 3 years and he tells me it’s all my fault. I have a lot of friends and family supporting me but they get mad when I keep forgiving him. I am pretty sure he is NPD what a story I can tell think I’m going to write a book.

Reply
firenice84 April 27, 2014

Wow! Spot on yet again! I witnessed quite a few of these behaviours in my N sister when her husband threatened to leave her. But then he used them on her too. Really scary.

Reply
bikerchick57 April 27, 2014

I never had to deal with 3, 4 and 5, thank goodness. Number 2 was the biggest issue for me and the reason I finally gave up. It was never his fault, always something or someone else’s fault. I remember the day I left – he called and wanted to know if it was another man. When I said “no”, he asked if it was another woman. Really? It’s been four years since the final divorce and I can’t imagine ever living that way again. I would much rather be single than suffer the emotional abuse from living with a narcissist.

Reply
    Kim Saeed April 28, 2014

    Bikerchick, sounds eerily similar to what my Ex asked of me. (another man…another woman). It’s beyond their scope of comprehension that leaving them does NOT have to include another lover. I don’t know about your Ex, but mine investigated me from day one, yet never found any incriminating evidence…because there was never any to be found. Yet after 8 years, it was still like the Spanish inquisition…

    A large percentage of the time, it’s because they are unfaithful, and assume everyone else is like them.

    Reply
armyofangels2013 April 27, 2014

I got numbers 1,2,3,5…although no false police reports were filed, I would get emails from my attorney needing to clarify the truth behind some lie he had told… From the deposition questions I was asked, it seems he really did portray me as the woman in your picture. It’s kind of funny now, because I know my truth. By the way-I just had your blueberry smoothie…I had never had Kefir…waiting for it to do its thing?

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Sunshine April 27, 2014

Very true indeed, all of it. I got all 5… He still makes false police reports about me from behind bars. Thankfully the cops I’m dealing with know these tactics and put no weight on them. Gosh, I’m still somehow expecting the worst…

Reply
    firenice84 April 27, 2014

    Hi Sunshine,

    I am really glad to hear that the cops you are dealing with are trained and are knowledgeable in the ex’s behaviour. I have witnessed some cops and even therapists in my life who have been totally taken in by the Narc. Made me wanna scream in total frustration sometimes that they are being taken for a ride and they don’t know it.

    Reply
      Sunshine April 27, 2014

      I am lucky indeed to have had “the right people” on my path.

      Reply
made58 April 27, 2014

Reblogged this on MadeleineMaya.

Reply
Teela Hart April 27, 2014

My ex started the smear campaign only five or so years into our marriage and I didn’t find out until after I left 14 years later. I was devastated. This entire post gives me shivers and the very thought that I was so naive and trusting even after the atrocities perpetrated against me blows my mind.
Great post.

Reply
StrongerSoulSurvivor April 27, 2014

Great post – especially the point you make about the relationship between rage and their loss of power.

I’ve been on the receiving end of #1, #2, #5 during his various hoovering campaigns. All terrifying, in their own ways, and it’s hard not to cave under the barrage – but SO worth it for a life of freedom and safety.

Reply
    Anonymous July 4, 2015

    Until it became known to me, I suffered from narcisim. The only way to help people with it is to reveal there behavior to them. Only then can they see it like you, once they see it for themselves. They can begin to get to the root of the trauma that shaped this perverse personality trait to begin with. I now know what I’ve put my ex through. I only wish she and our loved ones had had enough insight to bring my behavior to my full attention before shed gotten enough. Some inner searching and a lot of humble pie is the medicine for this kind of behavior. My hope for people dealing with it is that they love there spouse enough to commit them for evaluation before there feelings become to indifferent to save there marriage. Some times perfectly normal souls can’t see them self for who they r behaving like. Sometimes we need to be the mirror of help. In my case divorce is what really got me investigating my disorder once I realized I was to blame for it. I’m glad it happened because it was the only way the people that loved then could have helped out of my own place in hell. It takes a lot to think first before reacting to our emotions. All I know is what helped to identfie me to me. Just so happened that I disliked myself enough to exchange one spirit for another. I hope this post helps all suffering from and with it.

    Reply
thenarcissistwrites April 27, 2014

You forgot stalking. They will try to find you. But don’t worry, if they can’t get to you through any of these methods they’ll get bored after a while.

Reply
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