When you’re on the other side of a toxic relationship it can be so easy to look back and identify all of the red flags and signs that you missed.
However, when you are in the confines of a relationship it’s not nearly as easy. Normally we don’t go into a situation analyzing every single part of our partner’s behavior.
No, because instead we are getting excited when they call us and jumping at every chance to see them. We aren’t keeping a list of all the times we are putting forth effort while they reap the benefits because we like them. We aren’t keeping score.
The reality is that normally when you are in a relationship with a narcissist you aren’t going to realize it until you have a moment of clarity and start doing your own research.
However, if you aren’t sure, here are five signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
Something within you hesitates to make future plans
When my narcissistic ex mentioned getting an apartment together I remember a flood of emotions and thoughts that came into my mind but the main one that I could identify was fear.
My partner never followed through on our plans and his promises. He claimed that moving in together would change things but I knew in my gut that moving in together was not going to make it better.
Narcissists don't want to make plans because they want to be in full control. You can’t plan for a future unless you give up what you want because otherwise, it’s not going to happen.
Remember, when you are in a healthy relationship you will be excited to make future plans with your partner.
You are putting in 100% effort and getting nothing in return
Let me ask you if this sounds familiar.
You drive to their house
You are a slave to their schedule
You always apologizing and taking any blame
You are the only one fighting for the relationship
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist you will realize that your needs are never acknowledged or met and you will be putting them first. Yet, the less they acknowledge you, the more you will do to try to get their attention and “love” again.
Your body is telling you something is wrong
Every day I would wake up sick to my stomach. My anxiety was so high I constantly felt like I was on high alert.
Although I was telling myself in my head that I had met the love of my life and I was so happy, my body was reacting completely differently.
Our bodies often tell us what we don’t want to face.
My gut told me that we wouldn’t have much time together and that I needed to get out. I just didn’t want to listen to it right away.
You don’t feel like yourself but you can’t walk away
In a healthy relationship, your partner will want to encourage you to be your best self.
When I was in a relationship with a narcissist it was the complete opposite. I didn’t feel supported. He constantly encouraged toxic behavior and would get frustrated when I didn’t want to party every night. At work, he would tell me that I would never get a promotion.
I felt like my heart was tearing in two every day that I woke up. It was easy to admit that I wasn’t happy and at one point I walked away, but quickly let the narcissist back into my life for a second chance, and then a third.
I didn’t realize at the time that I was in a trauma bond and that is why I was struggling so hard to let go.
What can you do if you are in this situation?
Having a relationship with someone who had narcissistic personality disorder affected my mental state for years after. The gaslighting and manipulation left me with PTSD and trauma that I am still working through to this very day.
If you are in this situation you have to get out. The more time that you spend with them the harder it is going to be to break out of the cycle and reclaim your life.
Once you end the relationship and identify that you were in an unhealthy and often abusive situation there are steps that you can take to start healing.
It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to take a lot of work but I promise you that it’s so much better on the other side.