While some love can be blind, other love can be downright toxic and debilitating. As an adult, it is your responsibility to secure your well-being. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, the decisions you make today can dramatically impact the rest of your future.
Leaving the relationship is usually one of the best decisions you can make for your physical and emotional health. However, if you’re still ambivalent or apprehensive about leaving, you should definitely commit to holding off on any of the following choices.
Have you always envisioned your perfect wedding day? Have you already selected your stunning dress and created secret Pinterest boards full of nuptial bliss?
Many times, narcissists will try and “lure” in their partners by enticing them with the wedding of their dreams. Maybe they’ll go overboard with the fancy, surprise proposal and start love bombing you incessantly. Perhaps they’ll write out a sappy, tear-jerking Facebook status announcing their undying love to you. They may have you- and everyone around you- fooled into thinking you’ve found the perfect potential spouse.
If you’ve been dating for a while, marriage may seem like the next obvious step. You may be facing pressure from your family or friends. You may feel ready to “settle down” and start the family you always wanted.
Even if there have been conflicts or tension in the relationship, the narcissist may try and convince you that marriage will somehow fix these issues. This is a terrible misconception!
Narcissists may enter into the institution of marriage, but only because someone has passed the litmus test for being good supply. This means different things to different narcissists, but generally speaking, it means they’ve found someone who will tolerate their dysfunctional ways.
Or, if their mask hasn’t entirely slipped yet, they might temporarily commit to someone who will provide them a “home base”, if you will. A place to go to when they need to implement a few good silent treatments to their other supply sources or perhaps want to take a year or two off from work.
Alternatively, they will put on the appearance of having committed to someone to reduce damage control after an especially horrific discard of a former partner in order to maintain the narcissist’s image of being “normal”, while having others believe their former partner is the one who is unstable.
This is why we see them leave a relationship and quickly get engaged or move in with someone else. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean there is anything better about the new target. Again, it’s simply image maintenance (and a one-two punch at making you feel undeserving).
Marriage can already increase the risk for conflict and tension, but with a narcissist, the stakes are now legally and emotionally higher! The narcissist in your life will invariably have more power over you, your assets, and your future.
And because narcissists love nothing more than the feeling of control and power, you will continue to remain a pawn in their vicious game.
#2: Get Pregnant
If you’ve always had dreams of being a parent, then it’s time to dump your narcissistic relationship. Why? Having children when you’re dealing with a narcissist will only amplify the problems in your life- and it will bring infinite issues into your unborn baby’s life.
Narcissists are not capable of providing the nurturing, love, and attention that children need. Instead, narcissists like their children when it’s convenient to like them. In other words, children are a reflection of the narcissist’s success. They are praised and validated when they positively boost the narcissist’s image.
In narcissistic families, children experience repeated incidents of their toxic parent misattuning, misaligning, or downright ignoring their feelings. The narcissistic parent does not validate the child’s emotions; the narcissistic parent validates whatever is in their own best interest.
The narcissistic parent may punish children for crying, shame them for experiencing fear, and even quell them when expressing ‘too much’ happiness. In other words? Children learn that their feelings are erratic and unsafe. They learn that they are a source of problems.
For this reason, many children grow up believing that feelings must be suppressed. To achieve this suppression, we see many children of narcissists struggle with substance use, eating disorders, self-harm, and other impulsive or compulsive lifestyles.
These are the reasons we are now seeing, in many cases, a direct correlation between children having a narcissistic parent and then going on to become a narcissist themselves.
By having children with a narcissist, you risk creating a toxic home environment, which increases the chances for adverse childhood experiences for any children you have with them. Should you choose to leave the relationship after giving birth, you risk dealing with the utter nightmare of custody battles, visitation rights, and guardianship.
And because the narcissist loves power, control, and drama, you can bet the narcissist will go to every length to fight over your children.
#3: Buy A House
Buying a house may be the most significant financial decision you ever make. Homeownership can be a rite of passage in adulthood; it can evoke a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment.
However, buying a home with a narcissist may quickly become one of your greatest financial disasters. First, when you decide to plunge money into a house, you need to be methodical and logical with your decision. You need to consider your options carefully, and while it’s okay to “fall in love” with your house, it’s much smarter to lead with your brain rather than your emotions.
Narcissists tend to make decisions based on what they want. It has nothing to do with you. If they like the house, if they think it’s the right choice, if that’s where they want to live- that’s the home you’re getting! At this point, there may be very little to no room for negotiation.
If you end the relationship, you’ll be stuck with a legal and financial nightmare sorting out the next steps. Likewise, most narcissistic partners will try and scrounge for absolutely everything they can get their hands on.
#4: Quit Your Job And Move Away
Is your narcissistic partner trying to pressure you into moving somewhere new? Have they landed a new career that represents a seemingly perfect and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Or have they decided that it’s time for the two of you to have a fresh start away from all the people you love?
In healthy relationships, partners will need to compromise from time to time. However, these compromises are mutual. Both partners discuss their needs openly, and they speak from a place of respect and compassion.
Narcissistic partners only care about their needs. If they decide it’s time to pack up and relocate, then they expect you to be on board as well. If you give in, you risk abandoning your own identity. You risk losing your support system and your sense of fulfillment. Likewise, you risk losing the safety net that can rescue you if and when you decide to leave the relationship.
When narcissists suspect trouble in the relationship, they often resort to drastic measures to restore the power and control. This is why they will attempt to pressure you into making intense decisions that don’t take your needs into consideration.
#5: Put Your Future On Hold Waiting For Them To Change
This is perhaps one of the most insidious factors in narcissistic relationships. You want to be with your partner. You want the happy storybook ending. There’s just one thing: you want your partner to change. You know something is terribly wrong, and you believe that if that changed, all your problems would be solved.
This faulty thinking is dangerous. It prevents you from living to your full potential. You risk falling deeper into the bottomless abyss of narcissistic abuse.
There isn’t a narcissism cure. People change only if and when they want to change. Moreover, they change only if they are willing to put in the effort, work, and discipline needed to fix their flaws. Because narcissists do not recognize the need for change (or recognize any flaws whatsoever), there is no incentive for new behavior.
As a result, you end up wasting time and missing out on potential opportunities. You sacrifice your own sanity and well-being under the false pretense that something different will happen.
Final Thoughts On Dealing With A Narcissist
Dealing with a narcissist is obviously challenging. If you have already invested valuable time and resources into your relationship, it’s easy to continue justifying large decisions. But, the longer we stay in these toxic environments, the harder it is to leave and the more damage we receive to our bodies, minds, and souls.
Every one of us has had to consider these scenarios and make tough decisions. But, I guarantee you that no one has ever had a successful outcome with a narcissist after choosing to stay in that relationship. I know this because of the line of work I’m in. I know what happens behind the scenes and some of the stories I hear are utterly heartbreaking.
The difficult truth is, we must hold ourselves accountable for our future selves. If we jeopardize these areas in our lives, we risk severe consequences- both in the present and future.
Are you ready to break free from the emotional turmoil? Are you ready to have the marriage, family, and house- but you know you can’t do it with your current partner?
It’s vital to remember just how powerful you are. You have the power now to stand behind your boundary lines and distance yourself as far away from the narcissist as possible.
Don’t feel obligated to continue giving your power – and your life – away to them. Even if you are in one of the situations I discuss in this article (as I was when I discovered I was pregnant those many years ago), it is never too late to get your life back on track.
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If you’re ready to break free and get started on the stages of healing after narcissistic abuse NOW, there’s only ONE way to do it: Let me show you how to forget the narcissist and move on.