8 Reasons Why it’s So Hard to Leave a Narcissist

Narcissists make it initially easy to love them. With that comes the challenges behind leaving them. 

I often refer to the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

The lure and promise of sweetness before they lock you up and throw away the key. (Yes, that can have an emotional meaning too!)

Narcissists want you to stick with them and be miserable forever. There are reasons why they make it so hard to leave them though.

I bet you haven’t even considered them, until now…

#1 Finances – a MAJOR Red Flag

Finances are one of the main reasons those who are in a narcissistic relationship are afraid to leave. Narcissists make their spouses fearful of money in a few different ways. 

Taking Away Your Financial Freedom

Narcissists can and will change your opinion about your job if you have one. They will slowly manipulate you into cutting your hours, or persuade you to quit altogether.

Their end game is simple – they want you to be financially dependent upon them. They want to be the breadwinners (so they can also complain about how much they have to work and provide for you).

It is not past them to also make you clueless as to how things work. Bills being paid, any tax or insurance – they purposely shield you from it to keep you clueless. 

Make You Scared of Spending

Being fearful of spending any money that is earned can be a terrible thing to have hanging over you.

You need to cut back on grocery shopping – you’re spending too much. (Usually followed by, “Why is there nothing in the food cupboards?”)

You went clothes shopping? Do you think I work to “keep you?”…

It’ll always be thickened with guilt so you feel bad for spending anything. In the end, you just don’t bother at all. When relationships end, people can be petrified of spending money.

Sadly, many feel it’s often safer for them to stay unhappy rather than be unhappy and scared of being alone.

#2 They Strip You of All Confidence

You know the phrases:

You’re impossible to love the majority of the time.

I don’t know how I put up with you.

You eat a lot – watch your calorie consumption.

That sweater/top/dress/hat doesn’t suit you at all.

I don’t want you coming with me. I’ll go alone.

I really don’t like the chili you make. 

I mean, I could write a thousand examples of ways narcissists make their victims feel small. Sad. Low. Not good enough in general. 

They do it to make themselves feel good, but also, rather darkly:

They do it to prevent you from leaving. 

Not having the confidence to do something so big will keep you with them forever (as they will never leave you).

#3 They Make You Think Nobody Else Will Want You

Do you honestly think anybody else would want you?

I’m doing you a favor by not ending this. Otherwise you’d be sad, pathetic and alone.

You’re lucky to have me. You’re lucky I stay.

These are terrible things to say to somebody you’re supposed to love. Any time you hear anything remotely similar – know that it is abusive –just like everything else they say or do.

Narcissists are great at convincing you that you’re not worthy enough for another partner – ever. The way they convince you that nobody would look your way if things were to end is a way of ensuring you are too scared to leave them.

It’s awful – and I can’t stress that enough.

It breaks a person’s heart. It rips apart their soul and leaves a horrible emptiness where it once was. 

#4 You’re Isolated – Who Do You Call?

They’ll cut you off by spreading lies or rumors. They’ll convince you that you’re too good for your family. They may even describe their disdain for them because they ‘don’t bother with you.’

It’s all a plan to cut you off from people who genuinely care about you. 

You see, the narcissist’s biggest fear is that you’ll leave them first. If you have people to talk to, you may be persuaded to check out and go. 

Without anybody loving to rely on, they can shield you from your reality and keep you under their toxic spell.

#5 The Pseudo Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are overrated. In fact, they’re really not good places to be, especially if you want to grow and keep loving yourself.

Fear overrides so much in life, so if a narcissist is creating this idea of a comfort zone – know this:

Living in fear can become a comfortable normality that you must escape from. 

Narcissists trick you into thinking your dynamics are normal, but there’s no such thing as normal. There’s no such thing as comfort where narcissists linger. 

It’s a trick. Real comfort comes from taking chances and leaving what is not serving you. 

#6 You’re Scared of the Repercussions

What will people say if I leave?

Will others think bad of me for stepping out of the relationship?

Will (the narcissist) say or do anything to make this difficult for me?

I know what they can be like when they’re angry. I don’t want the hassle.

It’s just easier if I stay…

It’s natural to wonder what will happen after the break up. 

I will let you into a little secret though (free of charge, of course)…

It is more scary to stay with a narcissist than it is to break free, deal with the aftermath, and move on. 

I know. I know it’s easy for me to say. When you’re on the outside looking in, advice can seem so ‘simple.’

Alos, when you’re on the outside looking in, it’s also very evident how toxic narcissistic relationships are. 

If your ultimate goal is to get better, don’t stay in the same environment that made you sick. 

#7 You Enjoy the Highs

And that’s the worst part of any abusive relationship. 

The lows are excruciating.

The highs are euphoric. 

Some may say they’re addictive

Don’t be a person who settles for all the abuse and toxicity just because you have one perfect day in every 30. 

It’s not enough to make it all better.

#8 You Fear the Unknown – and Assume Change is Terrible

Change is scary – I get that. Too many of us resist it because they don’t know what is going to be different.

Ask yourself this – could it be any worse?

The truth belongs to everybody, not just me.

No. It couldn’t.

The unknown is a gift. It’s a blank page you have the power to write on.


Because you’re holding the pen.

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