Healing from a Relationship with a Narcissist

Few people intentionally enter a relationship with a narcissist. People with this personality disorder often appear to be the partner of your dreams at first. Over time, the charm and chemistry may wear off to reveal an ugly side beneath the surface.

Relationships with narcissists tend to deteriorate over time. As your partner begins pulling away and becoming more self-centered, the toxicity in the relationship is likely to increase. Consider the following tips for healing from a relationship with a narcissist.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Many people feel shame or embarrassment after the end of a relationship with a narcissist, but there is no shame in loving someone. Relationships with narcissist are almost always exciting and filled with promise in the early stages, and there is no shame in mourning the loss of what could have been. It’s best to embrace your grief with compassion instead of punishing yourself for being in a relationship with a narcissist.

Set Boundaries to Cultivate Self-Respect

Some people are naturally vulnerable to narcissism. Whether they are drawn to people who need “fixing” or simply enjoy being with someone who has a strong personality, some individuals are more likely than others to repeatedly enter toxic relationships with narcissists. Setting steadfast boundaries can help prevent that from happening in the future.

Every relationship requires different boundaries to be successful. When it comes to dealing with narcissistic behavior, it’s best to simply leave a situation when it becomes uncomfortable or dangerous. This often means leaving a relationship entirely, which can be difficult. In the end, boundaries do not mean anything unless there are consequences to follow through on.

Build a Strong and Reliable Support System

A lot of people who are married to narcissists have been literally or figuratively beaten down, their psyche is beaten down, their self-esteem is eroded. Narcissists tend to isolate their partners from family and friends over time, so it’s normal to leave this kind of unhealthy relationship feeling like you have to deal with everything on your own. Dealing with the fallout of a narcissistic relationship is tough, and it can be especially draining to take on this process alone. What’s worse, feelings of loneliness or isolation could push someone back into the toxic relationship they worked so hard to exit.

It’s crucial to get a team in place besides just your legal team. Your legal team is critical because they’re acting on your behalf in court and throughout the legal process. But you need a team to back you up through the process to help you take your power back.

It’s important to know that your friends and family still love and care for you. Even if you haven’t talked to them in a while, reach out to them; you will be pleasantly surprised at how excited they are to have you back fully in their lives.

A strong support system can help anyone healing from a narcissistic partner. Building up a network of loved ones can draw a clear distinction between healthy relationships and bad relationships. This support system could include building new relationships or rekindling old ones.

An unfortunate part of narcissism is that a lot of people around you may think your spouse is wonderful. They may be surprised that the marriage is struggling and that they have these issues. A team of people, including a well-trained therapist, your family and your close friends, will assist in breaking the cycle. Get them on your side and help them help you through the process, whether that’s emotionally, financially, or in any way they can.

A good strategy is to actually list out who’s on your team. It’s such a wonderful thing to really think about who’s on your team in life. It is also strategically viable, in a high-conflict, dramatic divorce, to sit down and list your team to your attorney to let them know who you can count on. This could make our options a little bit more flexible in terms of where you could go while we’re in the heat of the process, who you could confide in, etc.

The Importance of Self-Care

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be taxing on many levels. Priorities tend to center around their needs exclusively. When they give their partner attention, it is typically harmful or negative. Focusing on self-care after exiting this type of relationship is necessary to unlearn the lessons of low self-worth.

The purpose of a self-care routine is to soothe and mend the wounds left by a traumatic event. Every person’s needs are different, so your self-care regime should focus on your pleasures and hobbies above anyone else’s. There are many ways to focus inward and heal after a traumatic relationship with a narcissist. Some examples include:

  • Counseling;
  • Group therapy;
  • Journaling;
  • Yoga;
  • Meditation; and
  • Starting new hobbies.

It may take time to find a self-care routine that works for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t feel pressured to take up something you don’t enjoy. The healing process is different for everyone, so indulge your senses.

Ask a Georgia Lawyer about Healing from a Relationship with a Narcissist

Healing from a relationship with a narcissist can be harder for some people than others. The good news is that you do not have to face these challenges on your own. An experienced family lawyer in Georgia can help you with the process of recovering emotionally from a toxic relationship. Call our team to learn more.

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