Guide: 6 Steps For Breaking Up with a Narcissist

Being in a relationship with a narcissist may be difficult to maintain, especially for long periods of time. Many times, narcissists will drive their partners to end the relationship due to their selfish nature and use of manipulation in order to meet their own needs. Narcissists are known for being egotistical, projecting any negative traits in themselves onto their partners, and lacking empathy for their partner’s personal feelings and perceptions. Ending a relationship with a narcissist can be a challenge, as their nature and behavior often give them a need for control.

In many cases, relationships involving narcissists are abusive either mentally or emotionally. According to reports, individuals in abusive relationships will attempt to leave their partner multiple times, often returning within a few days or weeks. It is only after multiple attempts that the individual can find the resolve and strength to terminate the relationship permanently. The same can be said for a relationship with a narcissist.

Individuals who find themselves in relationships with narcissists are often manipulated to the point of feeling as though they need the narcissist. This type of emotional attachment resembles addiction complete with a drive and need for their approval and attention. The narcissist will use manipulation tactics such as gaslighting and triangulation which instills a sense of blame in their partner.

When a romantic partner attempts to end the relationship with the narcissist, challenges will arise, making the final break hard to accomplish. The narcissist will turn on their charm, becoming the person that the partner was initially attracted to. If the partner manages to leave the relationship, he or she can begin to miss this idea of the person they were initially attracted to.

They say that breaking up is hard to do, even harder when your partner is a narcissist. When attempting to end a relationship with a narcissist, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Be aware of their manipulation

When ending a relationship with a narcissist, they can and will try everything to avoid the negative repercussions of their own behavior. A relationship ending disrupts the narcissists’ idea of themselves and forces them to recognize the responsibility they have for their behavior. Often, the narcissist will attempt to use manipulation tactics to gain control over the relationship. They believe that a relationship should only end if it is their choice, and any other ending is a poor reflection on themselves.  It is important that you be aware of the manipulative attempts to convince you to stay in the relationship.

Stand your ground

If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know that they will often make you question your own feelings and perspectives. Once you have found your resolve to end the relationship, it is important that you stick to your convictions. Remind yourself of the many reasons you have decided that the relationship should end. Avoid listening to the pleas and cries from your partner, begging you to change your mind. A narcissist will use any tactic they can to convince you that your reasons for leaving are invalid or overdramatic. Keep in mind that these are simply attempting to governor your decisions and maintain their abusive hold on you for their own gain.

Establish boundaries and maintain them

Once you have ended the relationship, it is important that you avoid running into them by chance. If there is a favorite bar or restaurant they attended often, make a boundary for yourself to avoid those places. Do not drive down their street or by their workplace. Ending a relationship with a narcissist is a lot like ending a bad habit and it is critical for you to avoid those situations where you might find yourself vulnerable to succumbing to their manipulative nature and charm.

Focus on Yourself

After ending a relationship with a narcissist, it may be difficult to think about yourself and your needs. Narcissists often steal the spotlight in a relationship and use their partner almost as a servant to fulfill their own goals, needs, and desires. However, once you have walked away from that toxic relationship, it is time for you! Go try things you have wanted to try, get that gym membership or even take an exotic trip. Do the things that will make you feel good.

Forgive yourself and grieve

As with the end of any relationship, it is natural to feel sad and think of all the things that you might have done that could have saved the relationship. But unlike other relationships, being with a narcissist has an unusually cruel way of making ex-partners feel as though they were wrong or that they overreacted to the behaviors they found damaging. It is important that you are kind to yourself and recognize that you did not ask for your ex to be a narcissist and you couldn’t’ have done anything to change their behavior. Allow yourself to mourn the loss of the relationship with the recognition that your needs and wants are just as important as your partners.

Look ahead

Now that you’ve ended the relationship, it’s time to start thinking about your future. Don’t dwell on the past or fixate on every detail of the relationship that ended. Instead, start working toward your own goals and dreams. Staying in the past, focusing on your relationship will only make you second-guess your decisions and could be the gateway needed for your ex to work their way back into your heart and life. Look ahead and think about the things you want to accomplish or the partner you want to be with.

Ending a relationship with a narcissist can be a traumatic experience, particularly if the relationship had been established for a long period of time. The damage caused by being in a relationship with a narcissist can be overwhelming and linger even after the relationship has ended.  In some cases, it may be a good idea for you to seek out the assistance of a therapist or counselor to help you close those wounds and heal.

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