Surviving a Narcissistic Ex-partner

Posted · Add Comment

How do you survive a narcissistic relationship and ex-partner? Did you struggle in your relationship, told you are useless, hopeless, no one would ever want you again. You have been trodden on relentlessly for perhaps years, controlled, ordered around, had unrealistic demands placed on you and made to feel useless.

Finally, you gathered the strength to leave – now what? He /she will threaten to take the kids, tell everyone lies about you, convince everyone it was all you, how horrible you are, what a worthless mother/father you are, or how you can’t survive alone.

Therefore, you may start to think, are they right, did I make a mistake, should I go back or take them back?

STOP!!! You did the right thing. The next step is to learn how to manage this rath, and it could be there for a long, long time. Your ex, you discover, is a Narcissist.

What is a Narcissist?

Firstly the definition of a Narcissist is those that have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Secondly, a Narcissist is an individual who is incapable of feeling love, compassion, guilt or remorse. Third, they have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and entitlement, are selfish and suspicious. Narcissists need praise and recognition for everything. They are arrogant, self-centred, manipulative and demanding although at first, they are charming, charismatic and sweet.

After you have been in a relationship with a narcissist for a while, when you are connected, either living together, married or share a child, this is normally when the facade comes off and the true person is revealed. You were not stupid missing their mannerisms in those early days. They are truly clever mimics and the façade they use is very convincing. In fact, they can be nice people and friends, just don’t partner them or work for one.

Some of the behaviours the Narcissist will eventually display include:

• They belittle the way you feel and tell you how wrong you are
• Their blame always comes back to you
• They act differently towards you in public compared to you in private
• They do not expect you to understand their feelings
• They tell you how everyone agrees with them
• They make conclusions about what you are going to say or do
• They make you feel you need them
• If they cheat, it is obviously your fault
If you discover they cheated it is because you drove them to it, therefore, it is a problem you created.

The Mono-level Technique (MLT)

This is where I see those who have been subjected to a narcissist and teach the mono-level technique. A technique, once understood, can be successfully used to escape the words, behaviours and threats. It is used to remain monotone in speech, monotone in facial expressions, non-reactive in responses. Generally, be invisible and non-reactive to anything and everything they throw at you.

The Mono-level technique is based on kindness and respect as these are absent in the life, mind and feelings of the narcissist. MLT is based on control over self rather than allowing another person to control how you feel. We use the mono-level technique in all communications with a narcissist. Never let them into your world, keeping them external from your life.
While an ex-partner may learn from the children what you may be doing and who you are doing it with, when they ask and prod you for information, you courteously use brief monotone vocal or written responses while avoiding any details they seek. Ignoring a narcissist can escalate their wrath as it is deemed disrespectful and this is incredibly good fuel for a narcissist. Therefore, we communicate briefly without providing personal information.

Often when they do not receive the information they seek, they may become angry and start the attack on you personally again, making many statements you feel demeaning and cruel. This is where you learn to disregard, never defend or argue but use short mono-level responses such as ahhar…, right…, goodness…., really?…. interesting…. So we are protecting, not providing information and most importantly not reacting.

If you do not share children together, it is usually easier to cut all ties. Never ask about them, inquire into what they are doing, display any interest in their life, work or family. These enquiries will get back to them during their questioning of friends or colleagues. If you share children, it is more complicated. Be mindful, once the children reach about 16 years, you can become freer as their threats no longer will have the same effect.

Should I communicate with them?

Any communication that must be had, such as regarding children, is done with brief, direct responses such as ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘can it be earlier please’, ‘sorry running slightly late, 5 min will be there’.
Never respond to comments made about anyone, family, friends, children, you. They do this to entice a conversation which is fuel for them to continue to exacerbate you and the situation.
Cutting all unneeded communication is best. Never seeing them is beneficial. Not speaking directly with them is advantageous. Whatever contact you need to have, and only if you need to have it, is done briefly and respectfully.

How to recover

There is a great way to remove the baggage and hurtful experiences you carry around. You did nothing wrong. If you want to rediscover that feeling of freedom, feel light again, wake up happy and look forward to your day and week ahead, the Virtual Hypnotherapy session is a great way to start achieving this freedom.

The one take away from all this, apart from the further away you can remain the better, are these individuals can never change. No amount of therapy is any good for them as likely the therapist is stupid anyway, according to them. They are who are, unable to feel love, empathy, guilt or remorse.

Read more from Dr Karen