Table of Contents:

The Narcissistic Relationship

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship


You’d think it funny to have someone write about what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship. I would have been amused myself, until a few months ago when a friend’s friend reached out to me.

She was unable to break up with her boyfriend, a narcissist in every way. Dealing with a breakup from a narcissist? Much, much harder than a regular breakup.

Now, I am no medical professional or expert to know when someone has a narcissistic personality disorder, but still, my friend felt I could be of some help to hers, by offering mindful ways to deal with the problem.

How long do narcissistic relationships last? The brutal truth is that it depends on how long it takes for the narcissist to grow bored with their games.

If you want to know the signs of a narcissist spouse or advice on how to deal with a narcissist partner spiritually, please read what Himalayan monk Om Swami says about dealing with a narcissist. I shared the article with both my friends, one of whom forwarded an article in return. We are in the middle of a narcissism epidemic, it said.

And there is advice aplenty on these games and the narcissism epidemic, but very little on what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship. Before we get to that though, what does a narcissist want in a relationship, in the first place?

Well. The same things we want – love, security, a sense of belonging. It’s just that a narcissist’s defense mechanism is much more brutal than the average traumatized human being’s mechanism. They seek validation and care, just like the rest of us. A narcissist and empath in a relationship is, in fact, one of the most difficult narcissistic relationship cycles to break because an empath provides these qualities in spades.

So, I thought I’d write about whatever I observed in the relationship I was asked to help out in, with the hope that it helps those affected. Once you know the signs, it is easier to deal with the problem.


Here are my observations (and some internet research) on what happens when a narcissist breaks up with you:


1. A narcissist ends the relationship, you don’t

If a relationship with a narcissist ends easily, it’s because they want it over. You don’t get to choose; they are expert manipulators. They would make it very obvious that they are done with you and the relationship, even going to the extent of flirting with others in front of you.

And if you break up, they would say it is your fault that you couldn’t even handle a relationship. 

If you consider breaking up on your own, they tell you it is a big loss for you, you’ll never find anyone who’ll love you as much. They fill you with doubts.

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship is that they make sure you are not desired anymore; they force you out. They leave you emotionally tattered, which makes the question of how to get over a narcissist one of the most challenging to answer. It’s a long, hard road. But doable.


2. A narcissist is a pro at gaslighting

When the relationship is coming undone, a narcissist emotionally and mentally exploits their partners into believing that they were the mean people in the relationship. A narcissist will gaslight their partner throughout the relationship, to the very end, making them question their own beliefs and sabotaging their self-esteem.

Allow me to remind you, they are making it obvious that you are not needed, but they won’t call it quits. They make you do it and ensure that you feel guilty for walking out. They are the charmers and the super-good guys.

The guilt pangs my friend’s friend suffered were painful; we had to make her ‘see’ the gaslighting games for her to cope with the feeling that she was breaking her promise of keeping the relationship alive. This was despite the narcissist disrespecting her in every way possible, in an attempt to oust her from his life.

This is a good place to ask this question – can a narcissist change?

Yes. But it is not your responsibility to fix them. It’s theirs.


3. A narcissist makes it almost impossible to move on

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship is that they don’t let you move on. The moment you seem to be getting hold of yourself and trying to build your life anew, they reel you back in by acting vulnerable and needy.

Let me give you an example.

Now, a broken relationship is already very hard to deal with. So, my friend’s friend took a lot of time to make peace with the fact that it was over for good. As soon as she posted a happy picture on her Facebook though, she’d receive a barrage of emotional texts from her narcissist ex, telling her how he missed all the good times, that he still missed her.

Right on cue, she would become an emotional wreck. It took a lot of effort for her to be mindful of what was happening.

Now, do narcissists know they are narcissists? Do they know they’re breaking someone’s emotional boundaries over and over? Sub-consciously, certainly, but consciously, they may have no control over their actions.

The truth is, narcissism is but a coping mechanism for vulnerable people to deal with life. And when they are living their coping mechanism as a second skin, it is virtually impossible to see it as anything but their reality.


4. A narcissist kills you with guilt

Suppose you have managed to stay afloat in this abusive relationship and you had the good sense to break up with a narcissist. What a narcissist then does is feed you a truckload of guilt, saying you ‘used’ them, you are ‘responsible for the relationship withering away’, that you are the ‘meanie’.

But, my friend, keep floating despite the manipulation, and float very far away. Remind yourself that this guilt is nothing but a very obvious sign of what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship.

But do narcissists themselves feel guilt over their actions?

No. In all likelihood, they will feel a sense of vindication and righteousness at having told you what’s what.


5. A narcissist keeps you on the leash

If you aren’t strong or mindful, they will still make you take care of them even after the relationship is over. They will call you up with a sense of entitlement to get their life running smoothly.

For instance, a narcissist would call you up and say, ‘In which drawer is my blue tie?’, or ‘Call the plumber to get the tap fixed, it is still leaking. You know how difficult it is to live with that’, or ‘My tooth is hurting. Could you fix up an appointment with the dentist, I am in so much pain…’ and so on.

You’d keep running errands and chores for them, because they are oh so ‘innocent’.

In the process, you are unable to breakup fully and move on, and also have little time to spend with your prospective partner because after all, who would tolerate your attachment with your ex? In short, what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship is that they keep you trapped. 

It has been months, and my friend’s friend is finally happy. She is in therapy to deal with the trauma. But within weeks of her breaking up with her narcissist boyfriend, one could see the change in her personality.

She looked happier, more confident and self-assured.

The question then arises – can a narcissist love at all? Do narcissists cry or feel genuine emotion? Or is it all one big act?

Of course, they love and feel real feelings. It can be hard to perceive because of our own turmoil and the games we are sucked into. But they love just as deeply as the rest of us.

It’s just that the emotional rollercoaster they put themselves and you through, overrides it all.

So, what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship could be as equally emotionally abrasive as the relationship itself, but if you are mindful and watch out for the signs, you’ll be able to liberate yourself.

The scars will heal, too. I promise.

Please know, you deserve all the happiness in the world. Their disorder is not for you to carry.

You are precious.



The only thing harder than staying in a relationship with a narcissist is ending a relationship with a narcissist. It can be traumatic.

The following FAQs outline the real-life experiences of women who are members of How long does narcissist stalking last? What does it feel like, divorcing a narcissist? Why is leaving a narcissist so, so hard?

These women answer all this and more, showcasing how, in the end, they emerged better, more compassionate and kinder for the experience. There is hope, there is healing, there is glorious light at the end of the tunnel. Every answer below has a link to the original post shared by the victim.

As one of our members so eloquently put it, “I succumbed to the societal norms in an abusive relationship for almost 25 years by putting up with a narcissist, demeaned at every step as worthless, while being emotionally and financially strapped.

“The true healing occurred when I decided to snap the cords of superficial attachment to fearlessly acknowledge and let my scars breathe., I could now hear myself loud and clear. Life granted me eternal wings of gratitude and I found my long-lost ability to joyfully fly in all peace and serenity after years, for I no longer had to bargain with my loving kindness.

1. How do I overcome the mental abuse of a narcissistic stalker?

It started happening in mid-2019, when I started getting anonymous e-mails. This person confessed all his love for me, in his 25-30 emails spread over 1 year. I didn’t reply back, of course, thinking that he’s some creep who got my email from somewhere! This was nothing new to me.

He made different fake IDs on Instagram, and started following me, all my friends and family. He used to send me message requests from different IDs and I used to just ignore it and delete it, hardly ever getting bothered. Over the span of 3 years, he collected all the data from social media, like who my friends are, who my family is, where I am from, which cafes I go to around my city, with whom I work etc., etc.

4 days ago, he sent long abusive, full of slangs and threatening messages to my best friend, asking him to stay away from me, otherwise he’ll cause harm…

2. What is an example of narcissistic abuse?

…Shubha could not believe that this was a man who loved her so much. Had he changed? She put up with his abusive nature, thought he was struggling to make it big and faced all the stresses of his day-to-day life. She further put up with physically getting tortured by him, as he kept saying that his family pressure (of sisters, brother and mother) made him go crazy.

He isolated her from the outer world, declaring each time that it was unsafe to get associated with anyone, (“it’s a bad world”, was his all-time slogan) though he himself had a great social life. But him being so hideous to the degree of even robbing his daughter’s jewelry, this truly was not normal. Was he just operating from a pretentious participation all these years?

For the first time she felt so trauma bonded in this relationship. She felt she was truly in a dark pit. Was it time for her to take charge of her life seriously?

How had she ended up in a relationship with a typical narcissist? The Wizard called Life had tricked her.

3. What is the worst form of abuse a narcissist has inflicted on you?

“How dare you disrespect any of us, what do you think of yourself? This attitude of your parents’ house is not going to work here.” Hurling all kinds of abuse, he got up furiously from his chair, came right up to my face and slapped me.

Before I could even understand anything, I saw myself on the floor, and even before I got up, he hit me again on my head. It was the most shocking moment for me.

I was totally dazed, and my mind was not able to comprehend why this man hit me. I got up with great difficulty, as I was hurt badly on the ear. What kind of life is this… I cried inconsolably.

My little baby was fast asleep, as I looked at his innocent, cute face. “What kind of fate I have given to you, my child…”

After sometime the man entered my room. “Did I hurt you badly! I don’t know what went wrong with me, there is so much pressure of the new business I am working for. I hope you understand and know that I love you dearly…please forget about this incident…”

A certain thought plagued my mind…was I digging a pit or already living in it? My husband was a narcissist abuser and I was only just figuring it out.

4. Why is narcissistic abuse worse every time you let them back in?

“Please forgive me, how could I hurt you so badly? Oh, you have a big lump on your forehead and it’s bleeding too, let me take you to the doctor,” he was almost choking. The house was in a mess…

In that state, seeing his reaction, I felt sad for him. Was he so helpless?

He ordered food and kept pampering me for the rest of the week with some surprises full of gifts and joyful time. It felt like a big change, a big relief and seemed the good old days of when I met him were back. Strange but true, we were both die hard romantics.

I had no idea what to do with this unexpected endearment and attention. It took me back to the moments when we initially got together.

I reasoned enough with myself, pondered many times, having sailed through this long with him through all the trials and rare good moments. Whatever my failed decisions were in choosing to be with him, I knew I gave it my best shot.

I did believe him and gave in. And was it really brighter out there?

This is why narcissistic abuse is worse, each time. Because the repeated hope that things will be better this time around, when it will never be, shatters us in every way possible. Because the narcissist will rarely change.

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