How to Leave a Narcissist

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Most victims of Narcissistic abuse waste years of their lives not knowing whether they should stay or leave, torturing themselves with self-doubt.  The reasons for this vary, but in the end, victims are groomed to not only accept abuse, but to crave the Narcissist when the relationship ends.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you suspect your partner of being a Narcissist.  It’s also likely that you’ve been emotionally abused for some time now and feel you have to settle for more of the same for the rest of your life.  But, the truth is, whether you stay or leave is a choice.  Although you might feel powerless to change your situation, all it takes is one decision to turn it all around.  People do it every day.

If you’ve been dreaming of a life where you feel hope-FUL instead of hope-LESS, following are the steps needed to turn your abuse into a thing of the past:

Steps to Freedom

1)      The first thing you need to do is accept the necessity to leave.  Regardless of the years invested and regardless of whether you still love them…(and perhaps ask yourself, do you really love them or love the crazy?)

The Narcissist will never change.  They will never love you the way you want to be loved, nor will they reciprocate the loving care you’ve given them. Everything that transpires inside of the relationship will continue to be for their benefit only.  Your only reason for existence is to serve their needs.  Narcissists operate solely from ego, which leaves no room for them to reflect on how their actions affect you.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakami

2)      Do not inform your partner of your intention to leave.  The reason for this is because they will begin to love-bomb you and hoover in order to keep you under their control.  Hoovering is aptly named because it’s their attempt to SUCK you back into the relationship and re-secure your attachment to them.  It takes time and effort for them to find a suitable replacement for you.  In order to avoid that, they will morph back into the “loving, caring, concerned” partner you knew from the beginning of the relationship.  Save yourself the heartache.  The time for mind games and second-guessing is over.  Any semblance of love or caring from their part is to fulfill something on their agenda, which doesn’t include you or your feelings.  Further, if they have aggressive tendencies, informing them of your decision to leave could cause them to become physically violent.

3)      If you are single and/or unemployed, think of any friends or family you might be able to move in with until you get on your feet.  If you don’t have anyone, contact your local Domestic Violence center and make an appointment.  They know that abuse can be emotional and verbal, and it’s considered Domestic Abuse.  They may be able to help you with transitional housing, as well as other services that might include job training/placement.

The abuse will never get better.  In fact, things will only get worse the longer you stay.

If you are employed, go out at your earliest opportunity and put a deposit on a new apartment.  If you don’t have the money… borrow it, sell some stuff at the pawn shop, sell plasma, sell on Ebay.  Do whatever is necessary to raise the money for the deposit.  Then, ask for a few days off from your employer.  When your partner leaves for work, or during one of their Silent Treatments, use the opportunity to get your things and leave.  Initiate No Contact and stick with it.  If they come around and won’t leave you alone, call the police.  Get a restraining order if necessary.

4)      If you are married with children, leaving will be hard, but necessary.  Staying in an abusive situation is not providing your children with stability.  It’s the opposite.  Divine Caroline states it eloquently:

“I can tell you personally, your children will be impacted and damaged. They will never know what a normal relationship and home life should look like. Your love and caring efforts to make it more stable and normal WILL GO UNNOTICED. He is always the center of attention, everyone walks on eggshells. He not only conditions you, but your children as well. The moods, temper tantrums, negative unhappy feelings he emits, the inappropriate angry responses to ordinary life problems, rages, unreasonable expectations placed on everyone but the Narcissist, creates an unhealthy environment to raise children. They have to adapt and develop unhealthy survival skills to live through it. They will carry those skills into their life and relationships.

Is it really worth staying in a comfy home if your children need counseling for the rest of their lives, or worse, end up as victims of their own abusive relationship?

Think of all the possibilities in which you can make it work.  Again, solicit your friends or family for a temporary residence.  If that won’t work, contact your local Domestic Violence center.  Tell them your situation and inform them of your desire to leave.  They might give you a court advocate, a case manager, and/or help you with transitional housing.  They may also be able to assist you with other services such as counseling and support groups.  Ask them how you should handle your disordered spouse when they come around pretending to be concerned about the children and claiming you’re violating their rights as a parent.

Many targets of Narcissistic abuse worry how their children will adjust to transitional housing.  99% of the time, they are relieved and will know that you have their best interests at heart.  And, according to the forums I’ve read, children think of the transitional housing as an adventure of sorts.  Of course, use your best judgment with your children because only you know them well enough to approach the situation in a way that will be comforting to them.

5)      Initiate No Contact.  This means blocking them from ALL means of communication.  If you give them an opportunity, they will commence to hoover.  Don’t fall for it.  It’s only to get you back under their control so you can serve them.

If you have children, you will need to go with modified contact.  Schedule a consultation with an attorney to see how you should handle the situation until custody is finalized through the court.  Don’t let the Narcissist intimidate you.  They will try.  Be prepared.

6)      Start the work of healing yourself.  You’ve been through a lot.  Use your new-found freedom to focus on extreme self-care and try not to think too much about the abuse for a while.  Granted, you will have to process all the stages of grief and denial in order to gain closure, but for now, simply breathe, relax, and pamper yourself.  Start researching therapists that specialize in Narcissistic and Domestic abuse, learn how to release negative energy, and check out the healing tools here on the site.

It will be a journey, but you are now on the path to living true to yourself and you deserve it.

Let Me Reach Coaching Services:

Kim Saeed, B. Ed., provides confidential, fee-for-service, coaching services to help victims of emotional abuse work through their relationship issues via telephone, email, Skype, and Google chat. Her coaching combines practical guidance, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes.  She can be reached at [email protected]

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Ashley says February 10, 2018

This is essential! Once they know you are done accepting their violent episodes they start the charm up! I left 2 years ago and made the mistake of reading his emails to me. I fell for it all over again and now we have 2 kids and one on the way! Oh how I wish I would have stayed gone. Now I need a new plan to leave. He is so manipulative and controlling that I can’t even think about it without him tuning in to my distance and trying to hoover me again or just erupting in a rage! I need a plan.

Numpty Narcissists – 4 Signs Your Disordered Partner is a Nitwit with Nary a Clue | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says October 5, 2014

[…] There’s only one way to halt this monkey business and that’s by going No Contact and devising your exit strategy. […]

karmabaybee says August 18, 2014

Reblogged this on BEEN TO HELL & BACK BECAUSE I FOUND THE EXITS and commented:
Just keep reading, just keep reading….

oneloveinthe808 says August 9, 2014

Your right as that’s my plan. She came calling two weeks saying she needed a break…from what?..anyway I told her she no longer has permission to abuse me. The two weeks you were gone gave me a chance to release you from my heart. I no longer want you in my life.. Take care .

    oneloveinthe808 says June 28, 2015

    Gee thats funny Stephen Im not sure what the date is you are consorting on here but just today 6/27/15 you were telling me how much you love me, your sorry for all your narcissist abuse yourself and are promising me the world. You have never ever mentioned my abusing you and how could you? YOU ARE CLEARLY THE ABUSER its just that nobody hears my side and you lie and dont tell the whole story. Why do you do that? Does it make you happy? or to feel more like a man to involve outsiders in our personal lives then hide it and try to humiliate me publicly on top of LYING about the whole thing. YOUR WOMANIZING, DRUG USE, ONLINE CREEPING AROUND, X RATED DATING PROFILES, SECRET E MAIL ACCOUNTS, LYING, HIDING, AND SCHEMING FINALLY TOOK THEIR TOLL. THAT IS “WHY” I LEAVE YOU. who the hell wants to put up with this kind of thing? But im the narcissist? you have got to stop. Im gone again because of THIS EXACT THING, your attn seeking abilities are hurendous, un warrented and foul. TELL THE TRUTH!!!!! Shame on you and believe me buddy after coming across yet ANOTHER online site you have no business on much less talking about me and us AND LYING the chances you will ever hear from me again are very slim. please, please, please dont call me, dont send me packages in the mail, dont sent me gifts, dont email me. I just dont know how much you think one person can take.PLEASE FOR YOUR CHILDRENS SAKE AND YOUR HEALTH REASONS STOP SMOKING CRYSTAL METH!!!! Its absolutely making you dillutional and im now afraid of your craziness after reading this. No more!!!! you leave me alone and i mean this…

Anonymous says August 3, 2014

My n is in prison and was able to torment me from within..I noticed after 3 months she was cold and I did some digging and found out she has a girlfriend..when I confronted her she said it was over and hung up…I spent a week moping and crying till I found this page…I feel empowered but contact will be easy till she’s out and homeless in three months…what then?

Stephen Akaka says August 3, 2014

My n is in prison and was able to torment me from within..I noticed after 3 months she was cold and I did some digging and found out she has a girlfriend..when I confronted her she said it was over and hung up…I spent a week moping and crying till I found this page…I feel empowered but contact will be easy till she’s out and homeless in three months…what then?

    Kim Saeed says August 9, 2014


    She’s already set the pattern for the relationship. If I were you, I’d cease all contact and let her figure things out on her own. Easier said than done, I know, but things will only get worse from here.

    If you haven’t already, you may want to consider not contacting her any more and trying some of the meditations and healing tools I’ve included here on the site.

    Wishing you the best,


      oneloveinthe808 says June 28, 2015

      Kim I dont know what hes been telling you i am sure i probably have some of these qualities as do most people im sure but nothing to go online and blatantly LIE about. It seems once again like all his online activities he seems to leave out the part where he is in the wrong for MANY THINGS no one should have to put up with. I LEFT HIM if he wants to tell you the truth or the story from the begining that would be great. He tends to be an attn seeker and uses our personal lives to do it and after all he has done, and put me through im really very sorry i ever met him. The reply he left to your comment about letting me figure it out on my own NEVER EVEN HAPPENED thats a lie that he told me i was not to abuse him its really not funny and im mortified by seeing all of this.

      oneloveinthe808 says August 2, 2015

      Kim this is Helen and while i was in prison thats true having a “girlfriend” is not!!! The reason I was in prison is because both of us were on drugs and i got in trouble. I am no longer on drugs and he is still using. I cant seem to figure out why he so chronically lies about exactly what happened or how it initially started but im so so tired of his online escapades. He is on various xrated dating sites and has been caught VARIOUS times going as far as to send emails of “himself” to nasty sites such as EZLAY. COM causal encounters. I have been battling his womanizing since the day we met. He talks about our personal life anywhere and everywhere he can and LIES then gets babied by people who think they feel sorry for him when they dont have any idea the true person he is. We very recently got into an online argument on Zari Ballards site and she was mortified by him, after she too has been babying him and all his complaints. She emailed me that same day and told me point blank she as everyone else that was reading the comments knew HE WAS THE ABUSER and to have no contact. I just feel that if your going to council it should be neutral unless you know the true facts. I never had a girlfriend in prison and why he would say such a ghastly thing un nerves me to no end. Really??? Stephen are you that hard up for female attention that you have to go so low? Im so so sorry i ever even met you.

Lee says August 2, 2014

Hi Kim,
Great piece! For those who can’t do full no-contact due to shared children: I was taught a good concept that helped me get it into perspective: “You are now in a business relationship with the other parent for the purpose of raising your children.” The more I was able to think of it that way, the more it took the emotion out of it so that I could focus on doing what was best for the children.

    Kim Saeed says August 2, 2014

    Wonderful input, Lee! Viewing it as a business relationship certainly helps, though I’ve discovered that sometimes the Narcissist doesn’t always want to follow through with what’s expected of them…in that case, legal modifications would be in order.

      Lee says August 2, 2014

      Right. It’s not for the narc. It’s for you, to help in dealing with the narc. Businesses do sometimes have to use the courts to deal with broken contracts. But it’s not personal (or doesn’t have to be). It’s just business.

        Kim Saeed says August 2, 2014

        Great response 🙂

Laurie says August 2, 2014

After a couple of weeks of the silent treatment he calls and I don’t answer. A few days later, late on a Saturday night, he calls again and again I don’t answer. A week later after not leaving a message, a text, a note, anything, he calls again. He keeps using different numbers but if I don’t know the number I know it’s him. Im driving and my bluetooth is on. This time I answer and here him “say hello it’s me”. I say, and Im so proud of myself, “who is this?” “I don’t recognize this number” “it’s an awful connection I can’t hear what you’re saying”. He’s doing his usual crap, asking me questions and being distant and weird as usual. I don’t say anything but, “I can’t hear you, who is this?” Finally I say, well whoever you are if you want to call some other time feel free.
He is an awful man. He is a phantom, he is a classic N in every way. I allowed him in and he took full advantage of my naive, gullible self. This ignoring him and then pretending to not know who was on the phone must have hurt his ego and shocked his sick system. I’m over him, I’m done, I’m working on loving myself and when I think of the hurtful and sick things this man did to me, I’m disgusted. I’ve learned from this, a wake up call, be secure on my own and don’t lean on a fantasy to get me through life.
Okay, rant over, I wish you all peace of mind and strength.

theinfiniterally says August 2, 2014

Reblogged this on gambolinthegrammar and commented:
A taste of where I’m at. Unfortunately, I’m being hoovered and love-bombed pretty hard right now with this “this is the real me, not the person you’ve known all these years” and it’s driving me BAT-SHIT CRAZY.

Carrie Reimer says August 1, 2014

Great article Kim.! Another good reason to not inform the N of your plan to leave is financial, they will love bomb you to throw you off while they clean out the bank accts and secure their next target. The only reason they are upset is because they haven’t secured your replacement yet and God forbid you leave with anything to start over with.
Also the victim should be aware that 70% of domestic homicides happen within 2 years of the victim leaving. I do offer a safety plan on my site for free if any one wants to download it, especially if there has been physical violence. I always found that James got the scariest when I was planning to leave. You are so right about not letting the N know of your plans to leave and the No Contact!! I wish I would have known that when I left so many times. No contact seems impossible and I fought it myself but now I think it is the number one step to healing.

exploreredrose says August 1, 2014

thank you.

    Kim Saeed says August 1, 2014

    You’re very welcome. Hope it helps you!

dianaiannarone says August 1, 2014

Well done indeed! Great advice and true to the core. Loved the Rumi message too!

    Kim Saeed says August 1, 2014

    Thank you, Diana!

    (Rumi is one of my favorite poets, and mystics for that matter). 😉

      dianaiannarone says August 1, 2014

      Mine too:) And your welcome!

      Auren says August 2, 2014

      I found this fantastic quote from Rumi that I think reflects in such a beautiful way the work that you do, your gift to us:

      “You have no idea how hard I’ve looked
      for a gift to bring You.
      Nothing seemed right.
      What’s the point of bringing gold to
      the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
      Everything I came up with was like
      taking spices to the Orient.
      It’s no good giving my heart and my
      soul because you already have these.
      So I’ve brought you a mirror.
      Look at yourself and remember me.”


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