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A few years ago I was able to walk away from a relationship that involved narcissistic abuse. However, I was completely unaware of what was going to happen next. Because I wasn’t educated or prepared, I ended up falling for my ex’s tricks a second time.
Eventually, I was able to walk away for good but I’m not the only person who struggled to leave.
These days, I am constantly talking/working with victims that keep falling for the narcissist’s post-breakup tricks over and over again.
In order to leave, you need to be prepared for their manipulative tactics. Here is what you should expect when you leave a narcissist.
#1. They will beg for you to stay
When I broke up with my narcissistic ex, I went to see him in person. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it now, but I felt like I needed to be brave at the time.
Due to the physical violence I had endured earlier in our relationship, I took a friend with me who waited outside of his apartment.
He started shaking his head when I was done.
“I love you, we are going to get better, I’m going to change. You’re what I’ve been waiting for.”
For the first time in our relationship, I was in control of the situation.
“No, you’re not… you’re never going to change. I’m leaving and I’m done. I should have left after the night you laid your hands on me.”
I wasn’t falling for the games anymore. I meant every word that I said.
Suddenly, the listening and understanding stopped completely and his entire mood shifted which brings us to the second thing you should expect.
#2. They will go into a narcissistic rage
A narcissist is not used to being broken up with. In fact, they are usually the ones who discard and leave their victims.
At times, their victims will find the strength to stand up against them and walk away as I did.
The following is a diary entry from when I broke up with my narcissistic ex.
Instantly his demeanor changed. He jumped up and started cleaning in a way that could only be described as manic. I wanted to comment on his behavior but there was no point. There was no rationality to anything that he did.
I gathered up my things that were still at his place. As I did, he looked at me in a way that no one has ever looked at me before or since.
He wanted to strangle me, he wanted to ruin me, he wanted to kill me. Instead, he had to settle with giving me the middle finger while I walked out of his apartment.
#3. The love-bombing (hoovering) may begin
It’s important to remember that the Narcissist is well aware that they won’t get you back unless they put the charm back on.
Time and time again I receive messages from victims trying to leave the narcissist.
Often they will succeed but the moment they walk away, the love-bombing starts again. This is also known as hoovering which is when a narcissist tries to convince their victim to come back to the relationship when they have managed to finally escape.
They are bombarded with promises of change, that their ex has started therapy, and that things are going to be different this time.
The moment that they give in and accept the narcissist back, the cycle of devaluation and abuse normally begins again within a day or two.
#4. They will launch a smear campaign against you
Once the narcissist realizes that their hoovering attempt didn’t work… they will start playing dirty.
You have to understand that if you broke up with the narcissist, you took away their means of control and they will do anything to get it back.
The primary way they will do this is with a smear campaign.
The smear campaign launched against me was when my ex decided to tell all of our mutual friends that I had left him for another man and had been unfaithful our entire relationship.
This was completely untrue but before I knew it, I was getting messages (some meaner than others) that they couldn’t be friends with someone who cheated on their friend.
The reality is that my ex had been cheating on me the whole time, but I quickly realized that didn’t matter.
If you are about to leave your relationship and want to prepare for a smear campaign, all you can really do in this case is to prepare yourself for the narcissist to take on the victim role.
Do your best to not engage, and if you have children together and need to engage with them, then record/keep track of all communication.
This is no ordinary break-up
I’m not writing this to scare you. I’m writing this because I want to prepare you for what is most likely going to happen when you break-up with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder.
Time and time again I talk to victims who tried to leave and fell for their abuser's tricks once again. I fell for the same tricks once upon a time, and wish that someone would have warned me what I was up against.
You can do this. You can walk away from someone that is detrimental to your happiness and well-being.
Learning isn’t going to be easy, in fact, it may be one of the hardest things that you ever do but if you are ready and educated you will be able to protect yourself and break free for good.