Home > Uncategorized > How a Relationship with a Narcissist Ends

How a Relationship with a Narcissist Ends

Businessman with trash can on headHow does  a relationship with a narcissist end? How does the once Disney fairy tale romance that’s gone Grimm conclude? How does a relationship with a person who’s chronically emotionally immature and unstable, self-absorbed, entitled and integrity-challenged play out?

Generally, not good.

These relationships start with a love bomb and end with a bang. As in, you bang your head against the wall of their pathology. You bang your head against the wall of your denial and cognitive dissonance. The narcissist or borderline bangs the door shut in your face. They cheat or have serial affairs. Or, a blood vessel bursts in your brain and bang you drop dead of a stroke. Sometimes they end with a disappearing act. The narcissist or borderline disappears. Your money disappears. Your dog disappears. Even children you share with the narcissist may disappear.

Like I said, not good.

Once you understand how narcissists work, their seemingly unpredictable behaviors become predictable. Ending a relationship with a narcissist or other toxic personality also follows some predictable patterns. As painful and crazy-making as the relationship was during the beginning and middle stages, the break-up often mirrors and intensifies their behaviors, emotions and attitudes.

And remember, they supposedly loved you during the marriage. Once you file for divorce or separate, you officially become the enemy. In reality, the narcissist has been your enemy throughout the relationship. It’s just more obvious once everything implodes as you’re vilified and smeared. After a Wagnerian soap opera of low notes, it’s extremely rare for these relationships to end on a high note. If you’re very lucky, it may end quickly if the narcissist or borderline has locked and loaded on their next victim and wants to legally secure the new relationship through marriage. Otherwise, a long, drawn out high-conflict battle that hemorrhages legal fees typically ensues.


  Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 30, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    So true. I’m currently six years into a divorce that hasn’t happened yet. Every move on her part has been calculated to cause maximum emotional damage and to delay the process. I just want this thing to end, but every time I go back to court, things get worse and I waste more money. I’m caught in an endless loop of court, delay, court, delay.

  2. Steve
    March 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Mine married a new guy after 4 weeks of dating and is still trying to take me out. Massive smear campaign and she’s now triangulating with the new guy. Doesn’t always end when they start a new relationship. I hoped it would.

  3. Not Proud
    March 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Wow, amazing, you have nailed my situation directly on the head. Currently in the middle of a divorce with a BNPD, and want to print out this article, highlight all the points, and run into the streets and say “yes, yes, yes, this is what is happening here.” As it is, she has alienated me from our neighbors, and I truly AM the enemy. Thank you so so much for all your help. I am almost out (within a week or two) and am lucky to have survived. I feel deeply for the other men who are just recognizing what they are involved in, or those who feel stuck because of kids. Again, thank YOU Dr. T – amazing work!

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