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How to Leave a Narcissist: What You Need To Do

by | Oct 18, 2023 | 0 comments

The term “narcissism” on this blog is used to describe a specific set of personality traits. It is not intended to be used as a professional diagnosis.

As hard as it is to deal with a relationship with a narcissist, leaving your partner can be just as difficult.

During the relationship, your partner likely behaved in certain ways to ensure that you would become dependent on them to the point where you lost all confidence in living life on your own.

They may have purposely confused you through tactics such as gaslighting and love-bombing.

They probably cut off your support system and force you to turn to them for guidance and affection.

So if you ever beat yourself up for not leaving sooner, now you know why it is so difficult to get out.

It’s not because you are weak or stupid – it’s because they carefully created a situation that made it near impossible to leave.

But it’s not impossible!

Breaking up with a narcissist is completely doable, but you must approach the situation cautiously.

Here are some things you need to take into consideration when it comes to leaving your narcissistic partner:

Leaving the Narcissist: Knowing It’s Time to Go

Victims of narcissistic abuse don’t live in a fantasy world where they truly believe that everything is perfect. While they may excuse the narcissist’s behavior or try to fix things, they know that the relationship is bad.

Oftentimes, the struggle lies in determining the breaking point. When do you reach the “enough is enough” stage and start to take action to break up with a narcissist?

I became pregnant when I was in a relationship with my ex. I knew even up until that point that the relationship was toxic, but he thwarted every effort I made to break up.

Honestly, it got to the point where I did not have the mental strength to kick him out, so I resolved to keep him around – it seemed easier at the time.

After I found out I was pregnant, I gave him an ultimatum: Either you pull up your socks and put effort into the relationship, or I would leave.

We had an argument about something stupid that snowballed into threats and aggressive behavior. Then, I said, “Enough is enough,” and I left.

However, you may not have that “A-Ha” moment, but there are plenty of other signs you can look for to tell that it’s time to pack up and go:

  • You have a gut feeling that the relationship isn’t “right,” but nothing you do is making the situation better.
  • You excuse what your partner does and defend them to other people.
  • You are burning yourself out trying to give your partner love and support in hopes that they will change.
  • You walk on eggshells and are scared to make a mistake because you are afraid you’ll anger your partner.
  • Your partner never takes any responsibility for the way they treat and hurt you.
  • You are becoming an anxious and angry person you don’t recognize.
  • They have cut you off from friends and family, so you feel alone.
  • You exist in a constant state of stress.

The most important thing about leaving a relationship with a narcissist is not waiting for things to get “better” because they never will. In fact, they will progressively get worse.

So if you have recognized that your relationship is toxic to the point that it’s ruining your life and mental state, it’s time to start your preparations to leave.

Prepare To Leave the Relationship With the Narcissist

While you can certainly walk out on your partner if you absolutely need to, I would definitely recommend you don’t if you can help it.

Many narcissists are vindictive and aggressive, and they will lash out at you for leaving.

If the situation is safe enough for you to prepare, please do so. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Talk to a lawyer, especially if you have kids together. You will need to sort out custody and access, so it’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
  • Have a safe place to go. This can be with a friend, a family member, or even a shelter. Try to find a place that your partner doesn’t know about.
  • Tell someone you trust about your plan to leave. You need someone else to be aware of the situation in case things go south.
  • Set yourself up financially however you can. Look into social assistance programs if you need to, or consider getting a job if you don’t already have one.

Basically, you want to have everything ready so that you can walk right out the door and into a safe situation.

However, if the situation with your partner is abusive and you feel you are in danger, leave right away and go to the police.

Break-Up Via Text Message or Leave a Note

Don’t worry about etiquette when it comes to breaking up with a narcissist! The last thing you need is to deal with their reaction face-to-face.

They will either get extremely mad or extremely “apologetic” and further confuse you to convince you to stay.

Send them a short text that clearly states that you are leaving. Don’t offer an explanation, and don’t express any emotion.

Nothing you say will register with them anyway, apart from the fact that you are breaking up. So just stick to the facts.

When I left my ex, I simply packed up my stuff and moved out while I was at work. When he arrived home, the message was loud and clear.

Prepare For The Aftermath

Your narcissistic partner may not be happy when you break up with them. They may see it as an act of defiance and a personal attack – and they can become aggressive and even violent.

Expect to be threatened in some capacity. When I broke up with my ex, I was constantly harassed, as were my friends and family.

Contact the police and file a report. While they may not be able to do much, having it reported will help them track a pattern if the harassment escalates.

(Also, make sure you keep a record of what they are saying to you. After you leave your partner, keep all communication in writing – don’t answer phone calls and don’t speak with them face-to-face. If you end up in court, whether for custody or to divorce your toxic partner, this can all be used as evidence.)

Don’t tell them where you are staying, and if you have children together, meet in public places to exchange them for visitation. If possible, have someone come with you, and don’t engage in any conversation with your partner (stick to need-to-know information about the kids).

In fact, from here on out, you should only contact them in regard to your children through written means. Don’t share anything about your life, and don’t ask about theirs. This will help you better separate from your partner and get on with your life.

Take Care Of Yourself

After leaving a relationship with a narcissist, you will feel extremely hurt and confused. You may find yourself wondering what more you could have done to make the relationship work.

This is why keeping a journal is helpful. Take some time to write down exactly why you left them so you can remind yourself of your toxic situation.

Narcissistic abuse is real and also strips you of your sense of self, and healing from that abuse involves finding yourself again. Be sure to focus on your self-care and open yourself to doing the things you used to enjoy doing.

Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Trying to make sense of what you went through can be difficult, and talking to someone can help you gain clarity and heal.

You Can Leave a Relationship with a Narcissist

Although your narcissistic partner may have trapped you in a relationship, that doesn’t mean you are stuck and can’t leave.

Even if you don’t think you have the strength to leave, you have the ability to take the necessary steps to end the relationship and begin to repair your life.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking one step at a time and learning that getting away is possible.

I, unfortunately, did not have this sort of guideline when I left my ex. In the course of one day, I decided it was time to go, packed my stuff, and left. I had no idea what to expect afterward.

Now that you know how to prepare to leave a relationship with a narcissist and deal with the aftermath, it’s time to start getting your ducks in a row and peacing out of a garbage relationship.

You deserve better!

Are you stuck in a relationship with a narcissist? What is stopping you from leaving? Let us know in the comments below!

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