We’ve all been there, falling for someone who is toxic for us or who is using us in general. While it might seem like we’re in love, that love is very one-sided whether we can see it or not.
Being with someone who is a narcissist or master manipulator is not something those who have not experienced it can understand properly. While you might want to leave them, you feel like that isn’t an option for a number of reasons. Being with someone who is toxic changes the way you see the world, yourself included.
Partners of narcissists feel very conflicted because they are in pain but also love the person they’re with. They want to be with this person but are also unable to find happiness while with them. They feel like the person they care the most for doesn’t care for them at all, and they’re most likely quite right in thinking that. They are ignored, manipulated, broken down, and used.
These people go out of their way to do all they can for their partners and it is never good enough. Their needs and wants are never considered by their manipulators and their emotions are invalidated and overlooked completely. It’s like they’re just toys for these toxic people and in the end once the toxic person is done with them, they will throw them away as if they never meant anything to them at all.
Partners of narcissists feel betrayed that the considerate, attentive and romantic person they fell in love with disappeared as time went on. They feel unseen and lonely, and long for emotional connection. In varying degrees, they find it difficult to express their rights, needs, and feelings and to set boundaries. The relationship reflects the emotional abandonment and lack of entitlement they experienced in childhood. Because their boundaries weren’t respected growing up, they’re highly sensitive to criticism and defenseless to narcissistic abuse.
As their relationship progresses, partners admit feeling less sure of themselves than they once did. Uniformly, their self-esteem and independence steadily decline. Some give up their studies, career, hobbies, family ties, or friends to appease their partner.
Occasionally, they experience remembrances of the warmth and caring from the person with whom they first fell in love — often brilliant, creative, talented, successful, handsome or beautiful. They don’t hesitate to say that they’re committed to staying in the relationship, if only they felt more loved and appreciated. For some people, divorce is not an option. They may be co-parenting with an ex, staying with a spouse for parenting or financial reasons, or they want to maintain family ties with a narcissistic or difficult relative. Some want to leave, but lack the courage.
Narcissists use defenses to hide their deep and usually unconscious shame. Like bullies, they protect themselves through aggression and by wielding power over others. Malignant narcissists are maliciously hostile and inflict pain without remorse, but most narcissists don’t even realize they’ve injured those closest to them, because they lack empathy. They’re more concerned with averting perceived threats and getting their needs met. Consequently, they are unaware of the hurtful impact of their words and actions.
There is nothing easy about being with a narcissist or leaving a narcissist. When you finally find the courage to venture off on your own you are faced with a lot of trauma and have to work through many issues before you can truly find yourself again. To learn more on this topic please take the time to check out the video below, this kind of thing will never be easy but it is something most people have to experience at some point in their lives.