Narcissists are often angry and intimidating as well as charming, sexy, and exciting. They can be cruel, critical, and insulting on a moment’s notice. They have a sinister power to make partners (people) feel small, inadequate, and off-balance. They insist on being in control of everything. Many partners hang on for years waiting to hear remorse for the merciless behavior. Hoping a heartless narcissist will change and admit they have been terrible to you and will never hurt you again is not going to happen. The truth is there is nothing that is going to happen to make it all better. The narcissist refuses to take any responsibility for how their attacks make you feel. If you have children witnessing the mistreatment they will probably learn to abuse or that they are of little value. The soul is traumatized and lives are destroyed by narcissistic sadism.
Overtime a partner’s individual autonomy gradually erodes as self-esteem and the capacity to make independent decisions are affected. Fear of making it on your own is reinforced by the narcissist’s brutally coercive message in words and/or actions that you are worthless. The psychological abuse degrades and humiliates facilitating helplessness as a survival response. The narcissist treats you as the guilty partner believing you deserve the punishment and that you secretly must enjoy the mistreatment. They despise your inability to leave purgatory and relish in the sadistic power they have over you. Leaving an abusive relationship requires admitting what you know about your partners character, that you are being manipulated, not living your dreams, and are capable of thinking for yourself. Accepting things as they are and doing nothing may seem easier and feel less threatening. Doing nothing means you are subject to control and putting up with whatever your partner wants to dish out. It can also be a dangerous game to play because it is impossible not to disturb an abusive person and their behaviors are more likely to get worse than better.
The relationships breaking point usually occurs over a series of unresolved fights many times before the real separation. The decision to end a narcissistic attachment is significant and painful, leaving deep scars that can also become the source of wisdom and change. Relationships are tied to places, events, and histories making it difficult to let go. Often there is sadness and fear with the decision to escape and for most it is not made quickly or easily. Financial insecurity and having children keep many trapped. People pleasers (codependents) have an especially difficult time separating. They are reluctant to give up denial, to explore their emotions and scared of the anger that drives their caretaking behavior. People pleasers in the extreme have an undeveloped identity based on a false self and built on rules defined by others. They are the perfect hostage for evil control.
Escaping an abusive relationship requires acceptance of reality and changing how you relate to your inner and outer world. It involves creating a new identity and new interests. When you enter the final stage of anger, rage, and sadness you stop explaining away behavior that is unacceptable. You admit that your partner’s sickness is destroying any chance for joy and find the courage to leave. The repetitive endless arguments in your mind against abandoning the nightmare will end followed by immense release and relief. You then begin owning your power. Experiencing fear and resistance as you do this is normal. You may feel empty and lost for a time. Keep telling yourself that you want to stop denying reality. One day you will wake up and know it was the best thing ever to walk away. Most important of all is developing a compassionate relationship with yourself; you must take care of “you” now and always. Staying out of a new relationship is imperative until you recover and create an independent manageable life. You cannot be victimized and happy at the same time. The demoralization from psychological battering is devastating. Eventually you learn to stop fighting evil, simply because you cannot win. The more you focus on changing the narcissist, the more unmanageable life becomes. So stop the insanity and focus on loving yourself.
More power to you! You will never regret showing up for yourself. I would make sure to hire an attorney that has experience with narcissists. Please make sure to have a well thought out plan to protect yourself before you proceed with a divorce. You can let an attorney communicate with your husband. My heart goes out to you. I know you can handle what ever happens. I am wishing you and your children the best.
I appreciate your articles. Please continue to write & share more with us each day, as they guide us in the most confusing, scariest, loneliness, difficult, yet eye-opening time of our lives. Now that we spend more time with u & learn…we spend less time with the narc & detach. Being able to observe, not absorb the narc’s abuse any longer. Reading your advice confirms that we are not crazy, that we are not just being needy or too sensitive, that we are not alone and that there is hope to regain freedom & peace of mind, on the other side. I always look forward to scrolling down to the comments of your readers, as they share similar scenarios that another victim can bounce off, which makes us open our eyes to the realization that we r only left with two choices… leave & b free or stay & remained victimized. The best part is the reader sharing what happened after they finally left, & details of how they actually left, which motivates a victim to continue moving full steam ahead with the escape plan. Thank you for paving the way. I will keep u posted, once I’m on the other side. Pray for me.
You have what it takes to get to the other side. I can hear the wisdom in your words. I hope you are getting support for facing your fears. I’m certain you have had enough pain. Please be kind in your self-talk and don’t give up. We all make mistakes, it’s part of healing our lives. I am sending you an abundance of grace. Thank you for your supportive words.