For many men and women, finding that perfect person seems like a dream come try. They meet a person who likes the same music, films, and hobbies and seems to enjoy virtually everything they do, making a perfect match.
At the same time, the new partner showers them with gifts, attention and lovely, romantic gestures. Slowly, the new partner also inserts themselves into all aspects of their lives, pushing out friends and family. While this is often done subtly and with rationalization, before long, the individual finds they are on their own, dependent on Mr. or Ms. Right for all of their love, attention, and social interactions. And at this point, they might start realizing the risks of being in a relationship with a narcissist.
This is the point where the relationship often changes. The once Mr. or Ms. Right is now an egocentric and, often, verbally abusive partner. They need to be at the center of everything, and what they want to do is all that matters. The partner is no longer on the pedestal; it’s the narcissist that demands center stage.
Staying in a relationship with a narcissist is not just challenging; it can be very dangerous and damaging. When relationships become toxic and destructive, the healthy partner is always the one taking the risk, while the narcissist continues on with their self-centered and toxic behavior.
Emotional Risks of Being in a Relationship with a Narcissist
Staying in a narcissistic relationship means hiding your own emotions and becoming the person the narcissist wants. The demands for perfection from the narcissist make this an impossible task, and anything that is not done to his or her expectations is seen as an intentional slight.
The narcissist typically becomes more emotionally abusive over time, quickly picking up on any areas of sensitivity or insecurities of the partner and preying on them. This decreases self-esteem and self-worth, while the isolation factor adds to feelings of loneliness and unimportance. The intentional undermining of your self-worth is one of the hardest realities of loving a narcissist.
Physical Risks of Being in a Relationship with a Narcissist
Narcissists can become more than just verbally or emotionally abusive. They can become violent and may have explosive anger outbursts. Some narcissists may also be addicts or alcoholics, which can further increase the risk of physical confrontations and injuries.
One should be very aware of this line being crossed and should do all you can to remove yourself from a situation that endangers your physical and emotional safety.
Spiritual Risks of Being in a Relationship with a Narcissist
The lack of caring about the partner’s emotional well-being or spiritual outlook is a key factor in a narcissist relationship. If the partner is spiritual, the narcissist can use this as a weapon to control or belittle their partner. The purpose is to further undermine their partner by taking away a core element of their connection to their universal sense of connection and well-being.
Tips for Letting Go
Getting out of a relationship with a narcissist is the most important step to reduce these risks. This can be difficult, but the following strategies provide help and support through the process:
- Make a clean break – move out, get away, and do not continue to talk to or contact the narcissist, including through social media. Getting away removes the control, manipulation and the charm factor these individuals use to their advantage in holding onto the relationship.
- Build a support network – reach out and reconnect with family and friends, join a support group, work with a therapist or counselor with experience in helping people out of toxic relationships.
- Take time to heal – stay away from mutual friends of the narcissist, work on your own personal growth and development and give yourself time to heal and recover.
Getting away from a narcissist is not easy, but it is essential for your emotional, physical, and spiritual health and well-being. Do everything you need to let go and walk away. A better partner, a better future, awaits.
Sherry Gaba helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re a love addict, sign up for a 30-minute strategy session, or learn more about how to get over a break up. She maintains a private practice in Westlake Village, and is a sought after online dating and relationship coach. For more information visit www.sherrygaba.com or sign up today for Sherry’s online group coaching program. Buy her books The Marriage and Relationship or Infinite Recovery