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:
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.
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.