I was once married to a narcissist. It lasted 21 years. Only, I didn’t know it at the time. I only started to see him and his games for what they were when I got away.
“Nice people don’t necessarily fall in love with nice people.” ~ Jonathan Franzen
Getting away from a narcissist is not as easy as you think. The fact that they’ve manipulated you for so long, and done such a great job at it, has the power to paralyse you. You will be almost unable to:
- see it for what it is: pure manipulation, so you continue to do their bidding, even though you no longer want to be with them.
- just break the pattern the moment you step away; instead you’ll continue to jump through hoops, at least for a while.
- whether you like it or not, your relationship with him is like trying to get rid of an addiction.
Here are some of the stupid things you may do when you leave your narcissist. I know I did a few of them, but I’ll keep you guessing which ones I did.
- Being so caught up with them and their games, you still doubt yourself, even though you instinctively know you made the right choice. This self-doubt you take with you as you leave. You’ll need time to dissolve that bugger.
- You want to call your ex. That control thing that made you get out of there, has rubbed off on you. So you’re craving it because it’s familiar, something you know well. And you start doing that which you absolutely hate and want to escape: you try to control him. You try to control him by calling him day and night. But that’s just what he wants you to do. Because it proves to him you still need him. Ask yourself: who’s controlling who now? And — really— do you want to do that?
- When he calls or texts you with some genius ploy to get you riled up, the first thing you do is respond. And then get riled up. Your response will most probably not be something a sane, balanced person would give. No, you’ll most probably go full hysteria on him. Again, you do exactly what he wanted you to do in the first place. Again you feed his narcissistic need as you have done for so long.
- You get insanely jealous when you know he’s out on the town, in your mind hooking up with other women. Because let’s face it, even though he probably told you he never cheated on you, he wasn’t exactly the choir boy he pretended to be. Deep down you already knew it but preferred to stick your head in the sand and believe all he wanted you to believe.
Even though you no longer want to be with this man, even though you may be close to hating his guts, there’s something sick and twisted in your relationship. Which gives him the power to make you crazy with jealousy. And believe me, he loves it when you’re doing the crazy jealous bit.
- He goes out every night to bars and lets you know. You despair over that, because it’s part of that sick jealous thing you’ve got going on, which he knows. And then one night you’re brave enough to go out yourself, and… Bang!! … He saw you or your car. And … Bang!!… He calls you to get justification, which you are in no way obliged to give him. Still, you try to apologise. You make up for you doing “a bad, bad thing”. Only to get reprimanded like a child, accused of hitting on other men, and being called a “whore” again, what he used to call you when you were still with him.
- You may still have sex with him in what is an incomprehensible attempt to keep him in your control. Even you don’t understand why you’re doing it, yet it happens. And yet again you are giving him what he wants, control over you.
- You send the people who are by your side, trying to help you get through, into total desperation. They may even get real angry at you because they want to keep you from doing stupid things. And there you go. Doing exactly the stupid things they tell you not to do. You may lose a few people over this, but your real friends will stick it out. Though they may well want to slap you and shake the obsessive madness out of you.
In all honesty, even though your friends mean very well, it’s a good thing that you do your own stupid things. Because you need to bang your head into that wall a few more times before you’ll get it.
- You believe everything he says, does or threatens you with. Again this is normal because you were “trained” to be afraid of him for so long. And he has undermined your self-esteem in such a way, that it’s only normal you still consider him to be the fountain of all truth. So there you go, believing him when he threatens you. When he blackmails you. When he projects stories of a bleak future ahead if you don’t do what he says.
“Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.” ~ Sam Vaknin
Now all this may be quite upsetting. You may start to think that you’ll never be free of that man. And yes, in a way you’re still clinging on to him, which is your own doing. You’re still dancing to his tune. Because it’s scary out there on your own, especially with the narcissistic games on in full. In some way, you’re still addicted and we all know addictions need to be weaned slowly.
But the good news is, the more he continues to play you, the more you do the stupid things above, the sooner you’ll get it. The more he puts the pressure on, the sooner the day will come when he goes too far. That will be the day when you stop and think: “Hey, didn’t I leave him to get away from all this sh*t? Why do I let him still do that to me?”
When that moment comes, that’s it!
That’s when finally the little button in your head, the one he knows how to turn on and off so well, will just click to a new position. A position he can’t control. The position that says “Enough”.
I believe that doing these stupid things, which no rational or sane person comprehends, is part of the getting out process. I also believe that the day will come when enough really is enough. Time to end all the games and nastiness. And sometimes it’ll take you just a little bit longer, but at least you’re becoming aware that what you’re doing is not good for you.
That awareness is the first step to ending the pattern. The more aware, the less you’ll jump. The less you jump, the more confused he’ll become. And there comes a day when you’ll be able to face your demon unafraid. And you’ll understand that the “no-contact-rule” is the only way to deal with your narcissist, who’s been holding you in the palm of his manipulative hand for so long.
If you want out, you have to get rid of your addiction to him. You have to step away at all levels. You do that by no longer picking up the phone, not answering his texts or emails. The only reply you may give is “talk to my lawyer or to X-Y-Z”. But no longer let him connect with you in a direct way. That’s what the no-contact rule is all about.
And girl —or boy—, if you do that I guarantee you you’ve made the biggest step to winning. To winning yourself and your power back. To winning your freedom back. And you’ll make the first step to getting out completely, as now you no longer play his games.
That power —the knowledge that you did it, that you got rid of your addiction, and survived— that power will make you stronger than you thought you’d ever be.
“When you lose your ego, you win. It really is that simple.” ~ Shannon L. Alder
Are you currently going through a nasty divorce? Are you totally sucked into the “Olympic Games of Manipulation”? Do you do stupid things that scare you and your friends?
Well, I suggest you take the time to rethink your options and strategies.
Much wisdom to you!
Oh yes, and call me if you need help in figuring this out. I know what I did, I know what worked and didn’t. So I know I can help you.
Don’t wait until you give in, just make sure you get the right help and support.
Shout out and send me a mail!
More reading materials that can help you:
Preparing to leave? Here are some practical tips for you:
Are there kids involved in your break-up? there may be some manipulation going on. Read here what you can do:
When you leave a toxic relationship and you start over, please be aware of some stuff that’s for sure going to come up:
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