Okay, so why do we stay with a narcissistic abuser even when we know better? Even when we, as smart, educated, and “normal” people, realize that something about this person is uncomfortably off? Even as we watch the last slivers of our former self – the person we were before the narc – fly out the window? Well, the answer is amazingly complicated and don’t let anyone outside of your relationship realm tell you differently.
Since nothing about a relationship with a narcissist is normal, there will be nothing normal about the break-up. The truth is that unless a person has experienced life with a narc first-hand, they will never understand exactly what you are going through. So, pay no mind to the incessant “friendly” advice from friends and loved ones (“Why can’t you leave!” or “I don’t understand you. Just walk out!”). Only you and you alone can write the ending to the story. It is up to you, as the narcissist’s victim partner, to come to your senses. The catch, however, is that you need to do it without guilt or self-judgment. Having guilt, shame or self-judgment will only keep you lingering in the loop. You must set all that aside in order to get the recovery ball rolling.
Get the Book…Change Your Life
Understand that the majority of the behaviors that get us into emotional trouble with a narc actually stem from our good qualities. Think about it…it’s our tendency to never quit that makes us stay past closing time and, under normal circumstances, we’d be praised for that! The same goes for our willingness to forgive and our penchant for being compassionate and patient. A person could certainly have worse qualities! The problem with a narc-situation is that none of this is ever reciprocated and this is where is gets mixed up. The human brain simply isn’t prepared to have feelings and emotions so completely rejected and, thus, the question of why we stay becomes a true source of personal angst. So, to start, lets take a look at just a few of the many complicated and crazy reasons why we do might to stay with a narcissistic abuser:
1. Because if we could only make them understand, everything would work itself out.
I don’t know about you but, as the years passed, I became more and more obsessed with making my ex – the narcissist – understand the awfulness of his own mind-boggling behaviors. His actions were often so hurtful that I thought surely if I could make him understand that pulling a month-long silent treatment for no reason at all was just wrong, we could live happily ever after. Obviously, this never happened. I do believe that 95% of us stay in the relationship just a little bit longer, allowing the narc to come back just one more time, for this very reason. We think that perhaps we didn’t explain it well enough the last time or maybe it’s that awful childhood with a narcissistic mother that gets him a pass or who knows but this time we’re going to make him understand that he just can’t do that! So we explain and explain – sometimes calmly and sometimes wildly – that it’s his sketchy cell phone antics, mysterious disappearances and reappearances, and all those pathological lies that are the root of the problems and cause of the break-ups. We figure that anyone with half a brain would understand that we are right (because we are!) and do their best to fix it. After all, doesn’t he want a normal relationship? So we explain, plead, and even bargain but all we get is the infamous blank stare. And then another year goes by.
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