This is the last article in my series on emotional abuse and NPD. I must say that this has been a valuable learning experience for me but as enlightening as it has been it has also been very difficult at points to relive some of my own emotional abuse at the hands of my ex-husband. But I’ve also been very glad I have been able to help some women possibly understand, forgive and hopefully now choose to get on with their lives. It is not easy to do but it’s also not impossible and as you free yourself from the shackles of abuse and manipulation, you get to find out that there is a better life meant for you and better people that can love and care for you.
My first thought in telling how you get out of an emotionally abusive relationship is to seek help because I am warning you now, abusers are not fond of letting those that they’ve abused get away. You are vital to their survival, you are vital to them feeling okay about themselves as much as that is possible, you help boost the false sense they have of themselves, your abuse is useful to them and you’re letting them abuse you gives them much pleasure. I want you to think about that for a minute the next time you’re thinking of leaving but find yourself being manipulated back into staying because you think, if you just loved him a little more, if you just took the time to make him feel better about himself, he’d change, he’d be the man you first met. BUT THE MAN YOU FIRST MET WAS A LIE, HE NEVER EXISTED, THE MAN YOU’RE CURRENTLY LIVING WITH NOW THAT’S THE REAL HIM. First on your list is to get some help because sometimes it takes the voice of someone objective for you to see your situation differently and for you to know that you can leave and you’ll be able to make it and get the tools needed to do it. I’m not a psychologist, therapist or a counselor but I am a person who knows the hell that you may be living through now and I’m also a person that knows you can exit with mind, body, and soul intake. Some say you may need to stay and get counseling for your relationship, I can understand that we all want to do the right things by our partners and children, if you have any, making an effort to repair your relationship is certainly admirable but at some point you’re going to have to realize that you’ve probably tried to save your relationship a million times and he’s made empty promises about changing and he does for a little while, then goes back to whatever his real self is after a short amount of time. Been there, done that. He needs help and since you’re probably not a therapist either, your love is not going to change him. He has deep-seated issues and so do you probably and you each need help for whatever has been keeping you in that relationship. At this point it’s not your job to worry about or fix him. It’s your job to worry about you and your children (if you have any), they know what is happening when you are emotionally abused because they are being emotionally abused and narcissed right along with you. What do you think is going to happen to your son or your daughter as they watch as daddy emotionally abuses and manipulates mommy and mommy accepts it as if it’s the noble thing to do? What do you think they learn? You’re telling your daughter about being a strong, proud, and confident woman and showing her something completely different. We learn by what we see people doing, not by what they are saying. I can’t make people leave spouses, divorces are expensive and they are emotionally draining but you have to think clearly about what is going on in your marriage or relationship and be truthful about what it is costing you. Now I must admit it’s hard to realize that you’ve been duped and manipulated especially by someone you loved so deeply and you thought loved you but it’s harder to live it everyday. It’s hard to forgive yourself but you can and you will by getting the mental health help that you need to recover from this trauma. And that is what it is, trauma. I know you may be saying ‘well all this time’ ‘all we’ve shared’ ‘I feel like it’s been wasted’. Nothing is a waste if you learn from it but it’s a definite waste if you just stick around waiting for his ‘come to Jesus’ moment that will never happen and continue to let him abuse and narcise you and your kids. It is now up to you, how do you get out of this, as easy as you got into it, you get up and you leave. You take back your life and sanity and dignity. You may or may not get backing in regards to this from family or friends, if you do, great. If you don’t, fuck ’em. They don’t have to live this life and they don’t have to suffer it, you do. Get some help and do what you need to do. I’m going to give the names of a few good books that I’ve read regarding emotional abuse and NPD relationships and how you can get out of them, get on with life and recover.
Lantz PhD, Gregory L., Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse. Grand Rapids: Revell, 2009
Zayn, Cynthia and Kevin Dibble, Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On. Far Hills: New Horizon Press, 2007
Engel, Beverly, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002
Eddy LCSW JD, Bill and Randy Kreger, Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (please pick this one up if you’re in a divorce or thinking about divorcing. I wish I would have had while divorcing my ex-husband).
Ladies please be prepared that your abuser is not going to let you go without a dirty fight, he’s going to go low and going to say things about you, you probably won’t be able to believe. He is going to attempt to use anyone he can to go against you including your own children and he’ll tell anyone that will listen his sad story of how horrible you were. Don’t worry, don’t get mad, don’t react that just boost his false sense of self, leave him where he belongs in the muck and mire. He’s upset, his security is leaving, his punching bag is getting up, catching a clue and walking away. He’ll be mad but don’t let that deter you because at some point, you’ll be happy and relieved.
I really hope that these blog articles have been helpful to someone as they attempt to avoid a relationship like this, understand what may have happened to you, or leave this type of relationship. Empowerment and knowledge is the best defense. Blessing to you all.
Articles regarding emotional abuse and NPDs:
- Oh No! Am I Being Emotionally Abused and Don’t Even Know it?
- Emotional Abuse As A Quilt
- I Love Me, I Hate You, I Love You, I Hate Me-the World of the Narcissist
- How Did I End Up in This Mess?