Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery and The Rule of Seven

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It’s essential for people to have a healthy level of self-esteem, but narcissism is when someone has too much of a good thing. Narcissists have an inflated sense of ego that makes them feel and act like they are better than the people around them. This trait can be irritating when you see it in coworkers, acquaintances, or that annoying person at the bar.

However, narcissism can be far more harmful when it’s a character trait of a person you’re close to because it often leads to emotional abuse. One of the keys to overcoming narcissistic abuse is learning the tactics these individuals use to control a relationship.

In this article, we’ll discuss narcissistic abuse recovery and the Rule of Seven.

Why Narcissists Play Mind Games

Being a narcissist is harder than it may seem. Most people understand that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes, and this knowledge can be comforting whenever we make an error. However, a narcissist can’t accept that they’ve made a mistake or that something is their fault since that would be admitting that they aren’t perfect.

To avoid this, narcissists will go through spectacular mental gymnastics to blame someone else for any situation. For narcissists in a relationship, the people closest to them are the usual scapegoats for any problem.

The victims of narcissistic abuse in a relationship suffer because one partner is using the other as a tool to boost their ego. This abuse can lead to feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness in the person who is always shouldering the blame for the problems in the relationship. Any relationship that makes one person feel worse about themselves isn’t healthy for either person in the relationship.

The victim is robbed of their self-esteem and the emotional support they should get from a relationship.

And the narcissistic member of the relationship refuses any opportunity for self-improvement or a chance to address the real issues that the pair needs to face.

How Narcissists Use Confusion to Convince Other People

Victims of narcissistic abuse are subjected to mental conditioning that can make them feel like they’re losing their grip on reality. Gaslighting is a common tactic used by narcissistic abusers to confuse their partners or other people in their inner circle. Gaslighting occurs when someone tries to confuse another party about a situation by insisting the other person is mistaken about the facts.

This trick can be used for something simple, such as who was the last person to use an object that’s now missing. It can also be used to confuse a partner about major financial or relationship issues. Narcissistic members of a relationship may use gaslighting to convince their partner that there was less money in the bank account than they thought, or that clear signs of an affair aren’t what they seem.

It’s like that Shaggy song “Wasn’t Me” from back in the year 2000, where a person who was clearly caught in affair replies to every piece of evidence by saying “Wasn’t me.” It’s a funny song, but a sad reality for people caught in an abusive narcissistic relationship. When someone keeps telling them that up is down, or that left is right, it’s easy for victims to feel like they’re going crazy.

How Narcissists Use the Rule of Seven

Convincing someone to ignore the truth isn’t easy, which is why narcissists often use the Rule of Seven to their advantage. Generally speaking, the Rule of Seven is a marketing concept. It’s said that consumers need to hear a marketer’s message seven times before the information begins to stick, and for the consumer to take action.

Narcissists can use repetition in a similar way to convince others to share their point of view on an issue. They know that as long as they’re consistent with their answers that their target will begin to believe it, too, even if their information is completely false and unwarranted.

Most people will start to question themselves a little if the repetition is consistent. When they’re up against a narcissist, most people in a relationship will begin to doubt themselves before the narcissist admits that they are wrong. It makes sense that narcissists would use an influential tactic to convince their partner. But unlike the marketer’s product which is probably helpful in most cases, narcissists are selling a version of themselves that isn’t grounded in reality. 

How to Overcome Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse relies on self-doubt and prevents the other party from getting independent verification of the facts. The first step to overcoming these abusive tactics is to learn to believe in yourself again.

Narcissists rely on self-doubt as a stepping stone to change the belief system of their target. Do whatever it takes to fortify your belief in the facts you observe for yourself. For example, use your phone to snap a picture of important receipts or to make notes of when certain events happened. This way, when the narcissist tries to deny things a month or two later, you have something concrete that you can use to prove to yourself that you remember things accurately.

Unfortunately, all the evidence in the world won’t convince some narcissists to admit their mistake, but at least you can prove to yourself that you aren’t mistaken.

It’s also crucial for victims of narcissistic abuse to remain connected to their friends and family. Friends and family can help spot narcissistic abuse by acting as an independent verification source. If you talk to friends and family members about the issues in your relationship, they can remind you of what you said when the abuser tries to confuse you with another version of events.

The perpetrators of physical and emotional abuse rely on isolation to keep their victims from the help they need. It’s bad if the only person you talk to is someone who will do whatever it takes to avoid admitting their flaws. It’s only a matter of time before the constant confusion and self-doubt lead to lower self-esteem.

Victims also need to make it clear that they know what the other party is doing and that they won’t accept it as part of the relationship. You have to make it clear that you will walk away from a bad relationship rather than stay with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

It can be difficult to summon the courage to end a relationship. And it only gets harder the longer the two have been together and if their lives have become intertwined. However, no one should have to spend their life being a pedestal to boost the self-esteem of a narcissist.

If you don’t stand up for yourself or let the narcissist know that such behavior is unacceptable, they will continue using you as their emotional punching bag.


Narcissistic abuse is more common than people realize, and it can have many adverse effects on the victim. It lowers their feeling of self-worth and makes them question their own sanity. It can also lead to depression issues and the adverse health effects that this can cause. Any relationship that has such an impact on a person is toxic. Victims can either work to fix the situation or get out of the relationship. Unfortunately, narcissistic abusers can’t or refuse to change.

Victims need to put their mental health needs first, even if that means leaving a long-time partner or friend. If there are kids involved, your children’s interests are better served by parents who are in emotionally stable relationships. The only person that benefits from a relationship with narcissistic abuse is the narcissist.

Even after you leave a relationship with narcissistic abuse, there may be long-term emotional damage that needs to be addressed. Narcissistic abuse changes the way people think about themselves and the things they believe in. It’s vital to undo that damage before embarking on a new relationship. It’s also essential to examine any personal issues that may have made it easier for the abuser to manipulate your emotions. 

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is hard, and it’s okay to admit you need help. Unfortunately, too many advisers and consultants respond to narcissistic abuse in a way that can leave the victim feeling confused and invalidated. If this sounds like your situation and you’re ready to go deeper, check out the preferred, therapist-approved online program for narcissistic abuse recovery.  It’s the best place to begin a journey toward renewed self-worth and an end to feeling worthless.

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Bruce says June 18, 2021

Thanks Kim. …The Rule of Seven is perfectly described ..As to what I experienced in my 15 month narcissistic adventure. … Keep the informative articles sent my way … And Thanks for your Services. …..

Jolie says June 18, 2021

I dated my husband for 3 years before he showed his true colors. He made sure that we were married and then the lies, cheating and mental abuse started. He made me question my existence and made me a shell of myself isolating me from family and made sure I didn’t have any friends. Fast forward 12 years and he beat me and the police were called. He lied and said that I hit him with his cane. Now to put this into context a little better. He was a disabled veteran. We lived in a military town with police that were former military. He I ended up going to jail. I was scared to death. I’d never even had a speeding ticket and here I was in jail for domestic abuse. Aggravated assault a misdemeanor. I was told by the public defender that it was just a misdemeanor not to worry about it I plead no contest just so i could go home and put this behind me. While I was in jail I said to myself I have to get out of this or im going to end up dead. I enrolled in school got a degree in a Healthcare field and thought I was on my way to freedom. I started taking care of me. I got gastric bypass surgery and lost a bunch of weight. Then found out that I can’t use my degree because of my record. Then his behavior was getting more and more erratic and strange. He was an alcoholic. On narcotics. And several depression meds. One night he grabbed me by my hair and dragged me. So I made plans to get out. He would text me randomly and say things like we can be buried together in a national cemetery. I was sure that I’d come home and ge would kill me and say he thought it was a intruder. I moved out got a Place to live got a restraining order. 3 months later I find out on Facebook that he gas terminal lung and brain cancer. He had made a will giving everything to the neighbors who were his flying monkeys. He got rid of all of my family possessions and died in a nursing home and he made sure that I couldn’t see him for closure. There is so much that he had done to me by the neighbors that I almost committed suicide from the stress. To this day I can’t get a job and have been diagnosed with C-ptsd, and am pretty messed up from it. That’s just a cliff notes version. I will be recovering from this mentally, physically, and financially probably for the rest of my life. I just want the old me where I wasn’t broken like this. Narcissists have to have their own special place in hell when they die because they are truly the most evil thing around. I hope everyone that ever has a Narcissist cross their paths to run the other way. I pray for all of us that are healing from this abuse. It’s not an easy road to travel I tell you that.

Matt says June 18, 2021

For a decade I live, married and even had a child with my narcissist. She had got me to lose touch with family and friends and even my daughter from my previous marriage. Life was hard, then shortly after my 40th, she upped sticks with my son and said it was over and left. Then the next round of abuse came and went, from gas lighting, to hoovering. All this whilst still being married and her off seeing and doing things with many other men. Always giving me a glimpse of what life could be like to be suckered back in……
Then… I came across your site, I follow your emails and read them every day as they give and gave me that strength I needed especially during this pandemic, where the narc coerced me into being under the same roof as her for the 1st lock down, It was horrible, as I was seeing this person for a long time for what they truly are. They have since jumped into bed with their friends ex husband and now engaged, which says to me everything…. I had nothing more to give emotionally or financially so was discarded, but yet they still wanted to remains close friends. (which we aren’t after reading that article, was a friend with benefits, but felt cheap and dirty to be used physically that way).
After finally letting myself feel and know this, I followed your steps, No contact (limited cos we share a child), remove social media ties, avoid social places where we could meet but more importantly I moved away and rebuilt my relationships with lifelong friends and family and my daughter. Each day I feel so much happier, the anxiousness and worry has got, I don’t walk on egg shells anymore and feel calmness within.

Thank you Kim, your explanations around everything and what they all mean resonated with me for so long, it has matured me to a better person. I’m an empath and reading your emails, gives me strength to keep learning and seeing these patterns.

Onwards and upwards to a new life….

Toxic Free TV says November 20, 2019

Thank you for this article, narcissistic personality disorder and narcissism are very serious problems in our culture today. Television has become very narcissistic and narcissism is encouraged. Knowing the signs to look out for are crucial to a person’s safety and well-being. Thank you for such a great article, the more information available to those seeking help, the less chances that narcissists will continue to get away with atrocious acts against others without consequence.

Toxic Free TV says November 14, 2019

Wonderful article written on the subject of NPD traits and normalcies. Indeed this is a very difficult personality disorder of all of the personality disorders. It is important for all people to be able to identify narcissists in their midst at home, at work and on the street! Thank you for the great article really enjoyed reading it!

Angela Martin says October 29, 2019

I was the child of narcissistic parents and married a narcissist and stayed for ten years and was still under his control for another seven. I was 18 when I met him and 33 when I finally went no contact. It’s been 4 years and I’m still recovering

Mary says October 22, 2019

I feel like sharing my story with you, even though you might not read it.
I fell in love with my exhusband at the age of 17. He was extremely controlling, jealous nur at the same time he showered me with a very passionate, nearly aggressive kind of love, which i sometimes still miss.
He controlled every step of my life and i literally became addicted to those ups and downs and craved for his love and appreciation. My grades became worse and my behaviour changed dramatically. I lied to my parents all the time to hide the relationship from them and i began to miss school because i talked to him on the phone all night even though i was too tired, because he insisted and would become very mad, if i didn’t. I was stuck and felt as if i couldn’t breathe anymore. He pushed for intimacy only a few weeks after we started dating and i gave in only three months later, which was huge, given my cultural and religious background and the fact that i hadn’t even held hands with a man before.
I noticed that he was jealous when i was happy and put me down often but then again he was loving and caring and made me feel special.
My family didn’t like him and tried a lot of things to make me forget about him but finally they gave in and we got engaged when i was 20. For two years i had the greatest time of my life. I was showered with a lot of aporeciation, lots of love, gifts and everything you can dream of. He arranged a dream wedding and bought furniture and everything de would need to build a home.
I moved right after the wedding and bit by bit the person i knew before was gone. I was nothing but a burden to him and he suddenly didn’t even seem to like me. He would go to sleep hours after i went to bed, his cell phone was strictly private and i was never allowed to touch it. He never said nice things anymore and when i asked if he loved me, he would react very annoyed. I was the loneliest person on earth and began to feel very sad at times. Then i got pregnant and i wrote him letters and begged him to be nice to me and to remember that we wanted to be happy together and be a family. He didn’t even react or respond. We argued a lot and he began to scare me, throw things at me and screamed at me even though i was pregnant. After our daughter was born, it became even worse. He expressed disgust about breastfeeding or told me i wouldn’t do it the right way, the child would not be full because my milk was not enough and so on. I was constantly stressed out and became sick all the time. I suffered from headaches, and catched colds easily, suffered from gastric flus, once i even had shingles. He never supported me with our daughter or with cleaning the house Or whatever i had to do.
I went to university and i had always been a good student but suddenly i suffered from anxiety and wouldn’t attend class anymore, which made my marriage even worse because i didn’t earn any money and was completely dependent on him.
I don’t know exactly when he hit me the first time but after that nearly every fight ended with some form of physical aggression.
Meanwhile he had a relationship with a former classmate who was divorced. He lied about having anything to do with her. A few times i caught him hanging around at the university with her, which made me feel extremely small and humiliated. I found out that he texted her more than 200 times per month but he wouldn’t explain to me why he did that and he also wouldn’t stop. Since that girl was a hijab wearing muslim, i had doubts about my mistrust but my guts were telling me that this girl was a serious threat to my marriage. My husband became more and more religious and suddenly had knowledge about religious stuff. He started to pray regularly and i hated him because i somehow knew that he was doing that for her and because of her while he did nothing to improve our life or make me happy.
The last time he hit me was in front of my daughter. He choked me infront of her and grabbed a knife saying he would kill both of us. I called the police and he got scared and left together with our daughter and took her to the movies.
I still stayed in our appartement, called a counselor and tried to her help for both of us to save our marriage but he didn’t want to.
We slept separately and didn’t talk to each other but i still didn’t want to leave him.
One night he came to my bed and wanted to start something. When i pushed him away, he pulled my hair and threw my head on the pillow.
I stayed a whole month because my daughter went to school and i was too scared and i was still waiting for him to change and apologize but that never happened.
I left him after my family pushed me to because they were scared for my safety. He never tried to get me back but suddenly he discovered fatherhood and wanted to have our daughter regularly and did a lot of stuff to make her happy. He never explained anything and never wanted an explanation from me, so there was never any kind of closure. I felt guilty for leaving him and taking his child with me, so i made sure that my daughter talked to him every night.
1,5 years later my daughter confessed to me that he had introduced his girlfriend (guess who?!) to her 4 weeks after we had moved and she had to keep it a secret because he had told her that “mummy would be very sad”, if she told me. I can’t describe the shock and the kind of pain i experienced. I talked to two of his best friends, acting like a crazy person to find out if more people knew about his affair. They told me that they knew about her and that they had argued a few times with him, telling him not to mess up his marriage. He then told them that he had married that girl in a mosque and no one was allowed to talk badly about his wife.
That was in September 2017 when i found out and until january i had lost 40 pounds. I was in a shock and until today i suffer from a kind of ptsd reliving that moment i found out about him over and over again.
After that girls’ brothers found out about him and threatened him, he was forced to marry her and let her move in. He still kept texting me ambiguos texts like “you will always be nearest to me” , “I dreamed about you” and other stuff like that, which kept me from moving on and threw me back every time i read them, so i blocked him completely.
It’s heartwrenching to send my daughter there every other weekend knowing that this woman is also there but i still try to do what’s best for my child.
A few days ago that woman tied us, especially my daughter even closer to herself by giving birth to her twin sisters.
I thought i would die that day but i was doing surprisingly well.
One of the girls suffers from a serious heart condition and is still in hospital. I must admit that this made me believe in justice again even though i really want to forgive and just move on with my life but it’s so very hard.
I sometimes still wish for another ending, i still hope that he comes back to me, crying and realizing how much he loves me. Then again i have daydreams of marrying a much better man than he was and walk by him proud and happy. But in fact i feel inferior as a divorcee and single mom, i feel stupid for being betrayed, i feel like i’ve lost and they have won. I feel old and unwanted, needy and unattractive. At the age of 35 after nearly five years of being single i still haven’t found anyone to have something close to a relationship, let alone marriage. I can’t seem to stop reliving my story, feeling broken and empty, circling around his life like a shadow. When will this pain stop? When does god finally heal my shattered heart and give me peace?

    Anonymous says November 22, 2019

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your incredibly painful story. Mine is almost close to yours. I want to tell you, it will get better. It will. It is really difficult to share custody with Narcissists. It’s easy to talk about No Contact when you don’t have small children involved. So what can you do? I can’t express enough the benefits of the Grey Rock Technique. Mostly it is just being so boring and flat in any interaction with them that they lose interest. It sounds simple,right? Oh…but it’s hard. But keep at it. It will work. Even now, my ex sends me messages that he loves me forever that one of my best qualities is my ability to forgive, blah, blah. Then I tell him, I appreciate him noticing but I am busy healing my wounds, I’m not interested in a relationship with him..The discussion will quickly escalate to him being angry that I stole his family from him, that I’m destroying him financially. Basically he lures me into a discussion by saying pleasant things then mid-conversation switches to abuse. So lesson learned. My next response will be , “When and where will we be doing hand off of the children? Let’s put that in our agenda’s and make it the standard. Then ignore the other messages. And please for your own wellbeing silence him on your phone. I do receive calls and messages but they do not beep or vibrate. I don’t allow him to interupt my daily activities.Its getting easier but it is a process. Be kind to yourself through this. As kind as you would be to your daughter. Much courage to you.

    TRAKELA ALDRIDGE says May 20, 2020

    Wow I Am So Sorry. I read you entire story most of the same things I have encountered with my husband. My God give you total peace and comfort

Linda says October 4, 2019

It warms my heart see the wonderful things you have posted.
After a decade together, I left my narcissist ex husband about 5 years ago and still have some issues.
I’ve been in a relationship for one year and it’s been quite a ride. Richard is an awesome guy. He is incredibly patient with me. I was unaccustomed to being the one in the relationship who was “misbehaving”. For some reason I knowingly did the wrong things; perhaps trying to push him away.
In this same time frame I would have PTSD flashbacks that hit me out of nowhere! Like when the evening news reported that an abusive husband killed his wife. Richard asked why she would stay. I froze inside. Tears immediately welled up in my eyes. I grabbed my car keys and ran away.
I have never spoken to him about my previous abuse and I never will. I’m not an open book. He knows something happened but no details. I’m still guarded.
I’d do anything for him and he for me but I doubt that I will let anyone get that close to me again. Call it self-preservation.
I’m very happy with my life today and so thankful that I got out when I did.
Keep up the good work.

Lisa E says September 19, 2019

Thanks for the info. My fiance’s mother has mentally abused him for many years, and now she is set on destroying our future marriage. I love him too much to leave. He is so sad and disappointed in her, but loves her too much to cut her out of his life. I must block her from mine to be emotionally well, and he agrees. I feel guilty of course.

Alex says September 13, 2019

Hi! Thank you Kim saeed for your help, I’m in Kenya but the something which is funny here is that many of naccists are women and many don’t notice them or don’t know about naccists,keep helping us, God bless u so much

Diana Everett says September 12, 2019

Excellent article and video, Kim. Am completing the Breakfree Bootcamp this month. Even though your wisdom is several decades late I’m finishing strong! Narcissistic parent, narcissistic extended family, narcissistic partners, one of whom murdered his final victims. Thank you for your work. You should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!

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