You’d think it funny to have someone write about ‘What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship’. I would have been much amused myself until a few months ago. That’s when a friend’s friend reached out to me because she was unable to breakup with her boyfriend who was narcissistic in every way.
Now I am no medical professional or expert to know someone has a narcissistic personality disorder when I spot one, but my friend suggested her friend to speak with me because the former felt I could offer the latter some mindful ways to deal with the problem.
If you first want to know the signs of a narcissist spouse or want advice on how to deal with a narcissist partner spiritually, please read what the Himalayan Monk Om Swami says about dealing with a narcissist. I had shared that article with both my friends. Then the same friend forwarded an article that said we are in the middle of a narcissism epidemic.
And there is advice aplenty on that, but very little on what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship. So, I thought I’d write whatever I observed in the relationship of my friend’s friend, with the hope that it helps those affected. Once you know the signs, it is easier to deal with the problem.
So, here are my observations (and some internet research) on what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship:
1. A narcissist ends the relationship, you don’t
If the relationship with a narcissist is ending easily, it’s because they want it over. You don’t get to choose, they are expert manipulators. They would make it very obvious for you that they are done with you and the relationship. They go to the extent of flirting with others in front of you. And when you breakup, they 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. What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship is that they leave you emotionally tattered.
2. A narcissist is a pro at gaslighting
When the relationship is coming undone, they emotionally and mentally exploit their partners into believing that they were the mean people in the relationship. A narcissist will gaslight their partner throughout the relationship and even to the very end, making them question their own belief, and sabotage 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 their partners do it and they ensure that the partner feels guilty for walking out. They are the charmers and the super-good guys, you see. And 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 to keep the relationship, despite the narcissist disrespecting her in every way to oust her from his life.
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 you try to build your life anew, they reel you back in by acting all vulnerable and needy. Let me give you an example.
Now, a broken relationship is already very hard to deal with. So, this friend’s friend took a lot of time to make peace with the fact that it was over for good. As soon as she will post a happy picture on her Facebook, she will receive a barrage of emotional texts telling her how her narcissist boyfriend missed all the good times and that he still missed her. She would become an emotional wreck on cue. It took a lot of efforts for her to be mindful of what was happening.
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, then what a narcissist does is they feed you a truckload of guilt saying ‘you used them’, ‘you are responsible that the relationship withered away’, ‘that you are the meany’. 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.
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 smooth. For instance, a narcissist would call you up and say, ‘in which drawer is my blue tie’, ‘call the plumber to get the tap fixed, it is still leaking, you know how difficult it is to live with that’, ‘my tooth is hurting, could you fix an appointment with the dentist because I am in so much pain… 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 who will 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 the friend’s friend is happy. She is taking therapy to deal with the trauma. But within weeks of her breaking up with that narcissist boyfriend, one could see the change in her personality. She looked happier, more confident and self-assured.
So, what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship could be equally emotionally abrasive as the relationship itself, but if you are mindful and watch out for the signs, you’d be able to liberate yourself. The scars will heal, too. I promise. And please know, you deserve all the happiness in the world. Their disorder is not for you to carry. You are precious.