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Ending a relationship with a narcissist is never easy as you are taking away their control. As well as someone they possibly got their power and security from or can manipulate, for these reasons they will do whatever they can to keep you. But with the right support you can break free.
Firstly, I want you to think of this statistic – on average, it takes a person 7 attempts to leave an abusive relationship. 7 attempts! This is because when someone fears their partner is leaving, they may use guilt, put downs or emotional blackmail to keep them. If you have decided to leave a narcist or emotionally abusive partner then I have written some steps below for how to end a relationship with a narcissist. So that you can hopefully have a smooth, peaceful and least destructive exit which is what I focus on when I help men and women to leave, build themselves up and create a new life.
I would never advocate being sneaky or hiding things, but as with any abusive relationship, being with a narcissist means you shouldn’t disclose your intentions to leave until the day you leave. This is purely because you do not want to be manipulated into staying or fear that they will do something to prevent you from leaving or harm you. This is especially the case if children are involved, it is important that you send the children to their friends or a family member so that they do not witness the outburst from your partner when you tell him or her you are leaving.
Something that has come up for clients I have worked with before is that their narcissistic partner has hidden their passport when they informed them that they are leaving. This scared my client into staying and their relationship became more and more volatile. Then in a heated argument later he ripped up her passport completely making it more difficult to leave the country they were expats in.
By removing your personal documents from the house before you tell your partner about your intentions to leave, you prevent yourself from being dragged back into the situation. In worst case scenarios where you can’t access documents like your passport beforehand, do not risk your life by staying. There are always alternative ways to retrieve them.
One of the biggest factors that keeps people in narcissistic relationships is lack of funds. It is always a good idea in any abusive relationship to either open up a private bank account and put money in there each week so that you have money when you leave, or keep money with a trusted friend who can hand over the cash once you have left.
Do not let yourself feel obliged to stay because you feel like you can’t be financially secure without them. You mental wellbeing comes at no cost. Also countless people I have supported find when they take that leap the universe opens up new doors and provides for them in ways they could not have imagined.
Planning to leave a narcissistic partner can be mentally draining. It is so important to seek professional help when you can. Whether that’s before leaving or after you have left, do not feel ashamed to say you need help. Sometimes you need the help of a professional to reorganize your thoughts and emotions as narcissists have a tendency to really break you down to your core and leave you feeling vulnerable.
Once you leave a narcissist will do everything and anything in his or her power to get you back – this is not only out of love or care, but because they want to regain that control over you so the best thing to do is to cut all contact. Block and delete numbers, social media accounts etc that are linked to him or her. This prevents you from being bombarded with attempts to bring you back into his or her life.
Of course this is not possible if you have children together. Then if you can have contact through mutual friends willing to take that role, parent’s or arrange for contact through legal channels. Again, this minimizes any contact you have to have.
When a narcissist has no access to you, they may try to slander your name to those around you in the hopes of getting a reaction. Instead of reacting to this, share your experiences only with people that will support you. Do not be ashamed to ask for support from them by asking them not to share anything with you or pass on any messages if your ex contacts your loved ones– do not be ashamed to share what you need. Speak up because firstly, it will help those around you support you better, secondly, you may encourage others to speak up who are in similar situations and thirdly, they can be prepared for the volatile or aggressive reaction from the person who may have previously portrayed themselves as an angel to your family and friends.
When you have been with a narcissist it can be really easy to lose yourself in the relationship and his or her narcissistic ways. Take some time to focus on you and really find yourself again. Figure out what you love to do, learn how to love yourself again and spend time doing activities that make you feel good about life. Create a plan of where you want to go and then take small steps towards it.
This is also a good time to work through your experience of being with a narcissist as it can be quite traumatic. You may find yourself experiencing symptoms of anxiety, low self-esteem, emotional eating or post-traumatic stress disorder, so definitely take time to address the things your body is trying to heal from.
Whether you decide to stay and work on your relationship with a narcissistic partner or you want to leave peacefully, it won’t be easy. However, I hope today I have given you some helpful tips on how to achieve either outcome.
I have helped countless couples work through narcissism as well as individuals who want to leave their narcissistic partners, so if you feel you want more personalized support then please book a free 30 minute session with me so we can work out how to support you better.
For more relationship support please check out the facebook group I have created to support one another through these difficult times