Does your partner make you feel like your needs aren't as important as theirs? Does it feel like your entire relationship is about them?
Learn how to identify if you're in a narcissistic relationship, know when it's time to leave, and be aware of the steps you can take to end the relationship.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health diagnosis in which a person lacks empathy, expects admiration from others, and has a sense of entitlement.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, check out the Byte How do I deal with a narcissist partner?
How Do I Know If My Partner is a Narcissist?
You may be in a narcissistic relationship if your partner...
isn't empathetic to your needs
acts superior to others
thinks people are jealous of them
always blames others for their mistakes
has to be admired
focuses on their needs coming first
can't handle feedback
is obsessed with success
doesn't pay attention to your needs
How Do I Know It's Time to Leave My Partner?
ChoosingTherapy.com suggests that it's time to leave your narcissistic partner if you're experiencing any of the following:
You’ve withdrawn from friends and family
You're experiencing ongoing anxiety and/or depression because of your relationship
Your relationship is impacting school or work
You’re being physically or sexually abused
Your partner is constantly monitoring you
Your partner is excessively jealous
You're afraid to have your own interests
Stan's partner Walt hates it when Stan spends time with anyone else. He checks Stans phone to see who he texts with each day. Stan begins to avoid friends and family so Walt won't be angry with him. Which warning signs are present?
Why It’s Hard to Break Up With a Narcissist
Leaving a narcissist is challenging! When you try to leave, your partner may:
make you feel like they need you
make you feel like you'll be lost without them
manipulate you into feeling like you're the one with the problem
say/do things that lower your self-esteem
It's Time to Leave
If you decide that it's time to leave your narcissistic partner, these important steps will help support you during the break-up and beyond.
Make A List
Include examples of why you want to leave
Include examples of how your life has changed because of this relationship
Don't share the list with your partner
Have A Plan
Think through how you'll share the news with your partner
Know where you'll go or if you'll ask them to leave (if you're living together)
This will help you think clearly during a stressful time
Get Rid of Relationship Reminders
Pictures of trips and gifts can make it difficult to remember why you left your partner
Put items in a box if you want to keep them
Be mindful not to slip into the "it wasn't that bad" mindset
Reconnect with friends and family
Share your plans to leave your partner
Ask your supporters to check in with you daily for a few weeks
Spend time with friends and family during the first few weeks after you leave your partner
Find a Supportive Therapist
Will help you identify issues, even when unpleasant, in a way that feels supportive
Can guide you as you rebuild your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth
Will help you explore what led you to a relationship with a narcissistic partner
Can help you explore ways to experience a healthy relationship
After writing a pro/con list related to her relationship, Joan has decided it's time to leave her narcissistic partner. She has created a plan, connected with friends, and hidden all relationship reminders. What else can she do to prepare?
Leaving a narcissistic partner isn't easy.
If you decide to leave, remember that you'll get through this with a plan and support from those who care about you!