Breaking through from the aftermath of a narcissistic relationship is insanely confusing, frustrating, excruciatingly painful, and exhausting to say the LEAST. And many of us attempting to wake up from this nightmare are repeatedly slapped with similar questions, temptations, concerns, and weaknesses along the way…
Below are the most frequent “brain fights” I’ve had to deal with… and how Italk myself out of making HORRIBLE choices that could drag my butt right back under the surface regardless of the progress I’ve made so far… (of course, adjust the details for your own needs!)
Simply reacting to your emotions will only cause YOU more pain. TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOURSELF by thinking things through!!!
IMPORTANT: During recovery I always keep these intentional choices in mind:
- The Suffering I Want to BREAK FREE From: EXCRUCIATING PAIN, BETRAYAL, CONFUSION, SELF DOUBT, and ABANDONMENT that this narcissistic relationship has brought into my life.
- My Goal: To be TOTALLY FREE from this DAMAGING attachment and dependency… move past this LIVING HELL… and feel FREE to be happy, function like a normal person, and reclaim my self respect and value. (ALL decisions you act on regarding the Ex-N must bring you closer to achieving your goal. This will help keep you on track while you are healing.)
If he appears to be OVER THE MOON HAPPY with the new victim and his life... without any trace of our history together... how will that help me become TOTALLY FREE from this DAMAGING attachment?
It won't. I'll feel MISERABLE that while I've been left to pick up the pieces of my heart and my life, make sense of what the hell just happened, and put everything back together so I can begin taking steps forward... he's out there living life with a new person in my place; completely wiping out our past, present, and future together.
If he looks UNHAPPY... what difference would that make? (aside from the temporary satisfaction of seeing he's suffering) I don't want him to exist in my world anymore. And the fact that his happiness/unhappiness makes any difference to me proves I still have ways to go in order to free myself from that douchebag.
What Will Happen if I Choose to Act on This?
I'll still feel the INSANE PAIN. He doesn't give a flying crap about me, my feelings, my life, or how he's traumatized me... so by going out of my way to see how he's doing will make me feel much WORSE than if I chose NOT to.
His existence is none of your business, C. Don't even think about breaking your own heart... You will be the only one hurting. SUFFERING IS NOT FUN... Don't put yourself through that on purpose!!!
HE IS NOT REAL... TOTALLY IRRELEVANT. DO NOT UNBLOCK HIM!
Why? If I contact him just to say "Hi"... or ask about his babies... or how he's doing... will that help me move past this LIVING HELL? Will it bring me closer to becoming TOTALLY FREE from this DAMAGING attachment?
NO. And he'll end up doing one or more of the following:
- He will LIE
- He will try to play the VICTIM
- He will MANIPULATE
- He will be ANGRY
- He will LIE
- He will ACT with "kindness" but I will be left feeling empty and confused because his words will not match his actions as usual
- He will NOT RESPOND
- He will feign INNOCENCE
- He will LIE
- He will LIE
- He will LIE
- He will LIE
- He will LIE
The emotional part of his brain is BROKEN. He CANNOT love or care about me. I don't want to remain punished with that in my life.
What Will Happen if I Choose to Act on This? :
I will still feel the INSANE PAIN, BETRAYAL, CONFUSION, and ABANDONMENT. Doesn't matter if he responds or not... I'll feel like a DESPERATE, WORTHLESS, UNWANTED, NOTHING.
Missing him does NOT mean your heart needs him. The pain of completely breaking this trauma bond is NOTHING compared to constantly having to start over. SUFFERING IS NOT FUN... Don't put yourself through that on purpose. Stick with NC and you WILL break free!!! STAY STRONG!!!
Note: I have NOT experienced this because I COMPLETELY BLOCKED HIM several days after the breakup. I've also asked ALL my family, friends, colleagues, and connections to NOT share with me, any information about him or anything related to him (unless it affects me or my son's safety). If you haven't done this, I suggest you do the same!!!
First: Regardless of whether your ex is a narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, or just a lying/cheating jerk... parading their new relationship and flaunting they've been UNFAITHFUL to you shows their lack of integrity and reveals low-quality character. What loving & respectable human being would intentionally do that? And it doesn't matter whether you are a direct witness to this or not... they're shamelessly advertising this to your friends and connections. How they do "something" is how they do EVERYTHING.
Second: Narcissists (NPD) wake up each morning with a huge VOID inside them. They're unable to keep genuine, loving feelings and emotional bonds because the outside validation their identity depends on is shallow and fleeting. This is why they always have to have something going on... something planned... someone somewhere... something to think about... something to announce... something to show off... because only when they are able to draw admiration and approval from outside sources do they find TEMPORARY relief from their emptiness. So it doesn't even have anything to do with this next person... it TRULY is all about the Ex-N.
Finaly: This next person will get REHASHED words & actions... with a little upgrade from behavior learned from interactions with you... just like you got the rehashed stuff from the one before you... and the person after them will get rehashed garbage as well.
BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK!!! Stop sneaking peeks at ex-n's social media accounts. Stop asking friends what s/he is up to. It's a forever repeating cycle - just different victims. Shift your focus back to yourself like your life depends on it!!! SUFFERING IS NOT FUN... You deserve GENUINE love, respect, and admiration. S/he does not have even the basic tools to provide those things to you!!!
The fact that he can have something so seemingly deep, meaningful, and serious with YOU... then INSTANTLY have those same things with someone else, is possible only because of his inability to genuinely emotionally bond with another human being.
The new "relationship" is just as phony as the one he had with you. Narcs are UNABLE to form emotional bonds with ANYONE. They CANNOT genuinely love or care about ANYONE.
We are strictly "objects" that serve a purpose for him. He depends on outside admiration to validate his self worth and esteem. Empty, desperate creatures feeding off of their surroundings to exist. You questioned him and no longer made it easy for him to feel like the "hero" he saw himself as... so he quickly found someone who can, before he would be forced to face his empty, miserable self. It's a sad, ongoing cycle...
It SUCKS and it's CONFUSING. How can someone who worked SO HARD to convince me we were soulmates INSTANTLY decide someone else was his soulmate? It's INSANE! But that is the REALITY of the narcissistic personality disorder. They cannot emotionally bond so they move from one supply to the next to fit their needs AT THAT MOMENT. You don't belong in his damaged reality... it'll just drive you CRAZY! You deserve GENUINE love & respect from whole human beings!!! FOCUS ON THE FACTS!
If I warned the new victim to tell her he was already in a committed relationship with me while he pursued her... that he's a liar and a cheater... would she believe me? Regardless... would it allow me to move past this LIVING HELL?
99.9999% chance NO. And NO.
As a matter of fact, your friends DID reach out to her, remember? She gave out an, "I'm so shocked - I had no idea!" and continued with the relationship. She was already made to feel like this cheating is "OK".
And remember all those people who tried to warn you, C? The marriage counselor... relationship coach... couples' therapist... psychologist... your girlfriends... REMEMBER? And remember how YOU responded to those warnings?
You went right back to ExN and told him you will always believe HIM and promised to stand by HIS side no matter what. You were SO IN LOVE WITH THE ILLUSION, you CHOSE to brush off the warnings and signs. You were so proud of yourself to stand by "your man"... like that guaranteed you the same loyalty in return.
Right now, the new victim is being idealized like you were back then... the only thing that will open her eyes is for her to go through the same crap herself... and end up where you are RIGHT NOW.
What Will Happen if I Choose to Act on This? :
I will CONTINUE feeling the PAIN, BETRAYAL, and ABANDONMENT. She won't believe me... he's very likely have told her I'm jealous and delusional like he told me his wife was when he was idealizing ME... and I'll feel even worse about everything.
SHIFT YOUR FOCUS BACK TO YOURSELF... YOU need your love and attention more than she does. You'll be left feeling like a fool when she doesn't believe you... SUFFERING IS NOT FUN... Don't put yourself through that on purpose!
This is part of the narcissist relationship cycle called "hoovering". Reaching this stage does NOT make you special. When he's bored, he'll begin scoping out for new victims (or recycle one or more from the past). This is FALSE HOPE because narcs CANNOT emotionally bond or feel guilt about how he's abused you. Giving him more chances will NOT make him "finally realize" how much you mean to him. You will CONTINUE to suffer like you have been... plus you'll end up hating yourself for falling for this crap AGAIN.
When you're trying to break an addiction, it's perfectly normal to crave for the good feelings... you don’t think about how it’s completely killing your body, how it hurts the people around you, or that it’s absolutely ruining your life. The relationship is your drug and the dealer is back offering you the fix you're trying to break free from. Knowing what you know about narcissistic personality disorder and how they are unable to have a genuine, loving relationship, do you HONESTLY want to hand this guy the same loaded gun he used to shoot you in the heart before?
It’s important that you consciously, intentionally work on breaking your attachment. Reminding yourself of the crappy, painful stuff will help you remain anchored to REALITY. Remember how nice he was while he was idealizing you? Remember how he was your best friend and soulmate in the beginning? And remember how he instantly decided he felt all those exact feelings for someone else?
BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK!!! YOU WILL BE DRAGGED THROUGH THAT HELL ALL OVER AGAIN... and left to feel even worse about yourself and your life!!! Shut him out and don't look his way like your life depends on it!!! SUFFERING IS NOT FUN... You deserve GENUINE love, respect, and admiration. S/he does not have even the basic tools to provide those things to you!!! DO NOT FALL FOR THIS AGAIN!
Recovering from a breakup is a lot like recovering from an addiction. And just like addicts must break their attachment to toxic substances, people ending relationships must break free from their unhealthy attachment to another person.
Will constantly thinking about him change him into a normal person who can emotionally bond and genuinely love and care about you? Will wracking your brain around all the unanswered questions in your head help you break free from this damaging attachment?
NO... and NO.
He's an empty shell of a person who cannot love or care about anyone... he doesn't even have his own identity... he depends on others to validate his self worth... HE IS IRRELEVANT.
What Will Happen if I Continue Obsessing About Him?
Time will pass... life will go on... and I will CONTINUE feeling the PAIN, BETRAYAL, CONFUSION, and ABANDONMENT. I will look back at the days, weeks, months, and years I wasted thinking about the empathy lacking non-human and feel HORRIBLE about myself because I could've done some FANTASTIC things during that time instead.
Shift your focus back on YOU!!! Wipe out his existence like he did yours by learning to replace thoughts about him with something that brings GENUINE JOY to your heart. (I recently fell in love with macarons... whenever the creep pops into my head, I immediately think of what new flavors I'd like to make. Or the exciting new place my son and I will relocate to once he decides on a college. Or the summer trips we have planned this year!) SHUT OUT CONTAMINATED THOUGHTS FROM YOUR MIND!!!
Let me know and I’ll try to include it.