Please consider that the end result, whether or not the victim leaves or is discarded by the abusive narcissist, yields the same result. The relationship and bonding with an abusive narcissist is never love. This is difficult to face, but naming it is critical to the victim’s healing. When we ask ourselves was it love? And then proceed to layer blame and shame on ourselves for actually standing and protecting ourselves, consider that this may not be serving us and our healing.
In the end, there is no real difference in how the abuser “feels”. In the end, leaving vs. the discard ends the same.This relationship was unhealthy at the core. Abuse is not love.
Reconciling the many pieces and parts of a narcissistic abuser and pulling oneself away from the facade, the illusions, and the fantasy requires a clear vision and the wisdom to protect ourselves.
When we are ensnared and twisted up in the web of lies and deceit, it is difficult to see that what is happening is not love. This is why we expend so much energy punishing ourselves and wondering what could I have done differently?
How can I help him? I know he needs me. I can save him. I need to be responsible, stick with it, hang in there, do more, be more, be better… and on and on this list goes.
We can’t reconcile the two sides of the same coin. “How can a man who was once so charming, so loving, and “our soulmate” be a controlling and manipulative monster behind closed doors. . How can a man be so gentle with animals and turn into a raging maniac?”
I brought much suffering to myself trying to come to terms with these types of questions.
We think to ourselves. “ How can I just give up on this “wonderful” person? How can I hurt him? He/she had a terrible childhood. He/she is sick and needs my help. I can’t give up.” The truth is a man or woman who mercilessly terrorizes and controls his/her partner is an abuser. Full stop.
We have lost a sense of who we are. We have lost our protective instincts. We think we are in love. We are actually bonded to an abuser. This is not healthy love. It is incredibly difficult to hold these two apparent conflicting ideas in our minds and in our bodies.
Consider that we may love something that is toxic and incredibly damaging to us. Some people will sell their souls for a shot of heroin or another pill that will deaden the pain. These drugs of choice are incredibly self-destructive.
Your natural instincts to protect yourself from the “drug” that is literally destroying you are warped. Your habit and addiction to the abuser has developed with an intensity in the brain just like an addiction to heroin. You know it is harming you, but you continue seeking and pursuing with a relentless passion. The betrayal damages your self-esteem. You lose sight of the core of who you are.
Regardless of whether one leaves or one is discarded, does not change the fact that the meat and bones of the relationship was a fraud.
In the end, it is the healing that we bring to ourselves that shifts our recovery. Not the actions or the situation surrounding the discard.
How long will a narcissistic abuser stay?
a narcissistic abuser considers that the victim still brings value or some kind of currency to the relationship in terms of care-taking, organizing, or handling of all the chores, responsibilities, and perceived drudgery that come with life -AND the abuser continues coming and going as he or she deems fit (“business trips”) and returning home to where all children are cared for, all bills are paid, all social occasions are arranged, all food is cooked——-fill in the blank here , the abuser proceeds as he/she sees fits with all the freedom, privilege, control, catering and comfort in daily life. No consequences. All energy and efforts directed towards the abuser.
Then when the victim leaves:
the narcissistic abuser may attempt all types of manipulative tactics to get the victim to return. This includes a web of lies that can be difficult to untangle, when as a victim, you are under considerable strain and in the throws of indescribable trauma that is mired in distortion. These deceptive tactics to convince the victim that the abuser is “in love” include but are not limited to:
- letters, emails, texts, phone calls that appear to be “begging” you to return.
- enlisting the support of relatives, neighbors, friends to do this “begging”
- empty promises that appear, to an untrained eye, very genuine and heartfelt
- actual threats interspersed with all the attempted love bombing and meaningless apologies
- crocodile tears galore
The strength it takes for a victim to leave cannot be underestimated. It takes incredible courage to muster the energy.
If the victim leaves, the narcissist will proceed to protect his/her “reputation” and direct all actions, efforts and energy into WINNING. At all costs.
One last thought. When a victim garners the strength and courage to leave, they are taking the first step on the path to regaining and reclaiming their lives.
When an abuser leaves first, the victim can choose to shift their perspective and decide, this is my opportunity to take my first step to actual freedom and a new way of being.