The Aftermath of a Relationship with a NarcissistBy Dr. Margaret Paul
February 22, 2016
Have you been in love with a narcissist? Are you now going through pain and confusion as a result of the relationship ending?
Have you been in a relationship with a narcissist? Many people are very vulnerable to getting into a relationship with a narcissist because narcissists often know how to temporarily – at the beginning of the relationship - give you the love and attention you have yearned for your whole life. These relationships are often intense, compelling, alive, passionate – and confusing. And there is often much turmoil when they end.
Andra asked me for help with the aftermath of her relationship:
"I ended a relationship a month ago that was short but intense. I was shocked by his reaction and what he has subsequently done, and I happened to find that article you wrote about NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), and to my dismay all but one of your listings describe him and us almost exactly. I have tried to get over it by telling myself that the relationship wasn't sustainable anyway and better that I got out of involvement with an NPD, but I still feel hurt and in pain about it that leaves me unable to focus on the things I need to do in my own life - basically abandoning myself. I have tried to do Inner Bonding, but not been able to alleviate the hurt, and additionally the shame I feel about being so taken advantage of by what he's done with my belongings. I'd be grateful for any helpful advice and suggestions."
First, Andra needs to move into compassion for herself rather than shaming herself. She needs to accept that, as I stated above, many people are vulnerable to narcissists due to not giving to themselves the love and valuing that they need. Due to their own self-abandonment, they are vulnerable to narcissistic charm, and rather than judging herself for it, Andra needs to learn from it. She needs to discover why she was vulnerable to the narcissist. When she learns to give herself the love she needs, she will be able to focus on her own life.
Andra is dealing with problems regarding her belongings, which is difficult, but sometimes people who have been married to a narcissist also find themselves going through intense emotional and financial trauma. The aftermath of a marriage with a narcissist can be one of the worst experiences of your life, so it's very important to do the inner work necessary to no longer be vulnerable to the charms of a narcissist.
"At the beginning of this year I ended a very intense and also dysfunctional relationship, and later found out that my ex was a typical narcissist. I've had a lot of learning and healing….but I still have my ex on my mind a lot….Why do I keep recalling him? What can I do to complete my healing?"
What Ronda is experiencing is the result of the intensity of the connection that can occur with a narcissist. She likely fell in love with his soul, but then could not tolerate his narcissistic wounded self. She misses the fun and connection she had with him, and she likely thinks of him when she is feeling lonely. Ronda needs to be compassionate with herself when she is lonely, and make it okay to miss the intensity and the connection, and learn to give herself the experience of meaningful connection,with Spirit or with others, in a healthy way.
Stuart asked me in a session:
"I know leaving the relationship was the right thing to do. I now see that she is a narcissist. Most of the time, I feel great about my new life. But there are times I feel heartbroken even though I know the relationship was not good for me. I'm wondering why?"
Like Ronda, Stuart fell in love with the essence of his former partner. He loved the love, attention and passionate sex she gave him, and he ignored the red flags that showed up along the way. He is heartbroken because he misses her essence, but he could not tolerate her wounded self. His partner turned out to be a major liar and extremely manipulative. She hurt him deeply, but that doesn't mean that he isn't heartbroken at losing the wonderful parts of the relationship. Like everyone who ends up in a relationship with a narcissist, Stuart needs to heal his own wounded self who is vulnerable to the kind of attention and passion that narcissists often offer. He needs to learn to give the love and attention to himself that he seeks from others. He needs to learn to stop abandoning himself.
If you are susceptible to the charms of the narcissist, then you need to explore the self-abandonment that is the underlying cause of this vulnerability. The more you learn to love yourself, the more you become tuned into the manipulative energy of the narcissist. Energetically, there is a big difference between the 'love' the narcissist offers and the love offered by a genuinely loving person. There are many red flags along the way, which become apparent to you when you are connected with your feelings and your spiritual guidance.
Start learning how to love yourself, with my 30-Day at-home course, Love Yourself.
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Pain and joy are in the same place in the heart. You cannot put a lid on pain without putting a lid on your joy as well. Are you opting for the flatness of the illusion of safety, or are you willing to experience both the lows and the highs of life? Today, cry and laugh with your whole heart.
By Dr. Margaret Paul