We have gone through some of the steps in a narcissistic relationship, from the love bombing to the discard phase. It can be hard to know if you are in a relationship with a narcissist when the head games are going on, but if there are head games (in any relationship), you need to get out anyway.
No one who loves you will play with or abuse your emotions.
A narcissist is not a person who will respect anything about you; they will not respect your boundaries, so how do you leave?
My story is I woke up one morning and I said, ‘I love you’, to my husband and his response was, ‘I do not believe in love’, so I drove straight to a psychiatrist. I had never been to one before, and I had no idea what to do. I just walked in and asked for help. They sat me down in a waiting room and I spoke with a therapist who immediately told me I was co-dependent and I needed therapy. I went and I left my husband.
This was hard. He was my first and only husband. I loved him like I loved air. He meant everything to me, but my world was upside down, and I had to save myself and my kids.
It can be done.
Leaving a narcissist is where narcissistic injury can come into play. Narcissistic injury just means their ego is hurt and they want revenge. It is probably going to happen, so be prepared for rumours and a smear campaign. They will attack you as a spouse, a partner, a parent; anything they think will hurt and do the most damage. It will be ugly, but the more you converse or argue, the more they will smear. Just let it run its course. These things are things you and people who really love and know you know to not be true.
You have to stop all contact. If you have no children, then do not speak to this person anymore. They will not respect new boundaries, and every time you let them in they will consider you weak for allowing them in, and they will destroy you all over again. If you have children together, I recommend getting professional help in dealing with this.
Co-dependents attract narcissists. We are giving and loving people. We are also manipulative, and we need help to change our own behaviour, so work on yourself before you get into a relationship again. Ultimately, co-dependents are the ‘love addicts.’ They know this, and the next one is usually right around the corner.
Remember, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and you can work on yourself and your own growth as you recover. You do not need anyone in your life who does not enhance it, and a narcissist does not enhance it. Love does not hurt, and love is an action as well as an emotion. Be well.