9 Reasons Why You Are Still With The Narcissist

You’ve been in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, and things are anything but rainbows and butterflies.

In fact, you spend most of your days feeling quite miserable. You cry yourself to sleep, question your worth as a person, and walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting your partner.

Yet, you find yourself continuing the relationship. Why do you do this to yourself?

Why people stay with narcissists 

If you’re staying with a narcissist despite their abuse, it might be helpful to learn that you’re not alone.

Many people find themselves falling victim to the narcissist’s games. Despite knowing the relationship isn’t right, they simply cannot leave.

Perhaps this sounds exactly like you, and you’re trying to figure out what compels you to stay with your narcissistic partner. 

Usually, some or all of the following issues are at play. 

You fell hard and fast

At the start of a relationship, narcissists are great at pouring on the charm. They’ll shower you with love and affection, making you feel like the center of their universe. 

They do this strategically to get you hooked on their attention. This way, when they flip the switch and become the selfish, demanding creatures they actually are, you’ll already be attached.

If you stay in the relationship despite ongoing torture from the narcissist, it’s likely because you fell head over heels in love at the beginning of the relationship.

Since you’re already attached, you cannot bring yourself to leave. 

They’ve isolated you from all sources of support 

The narcissist will also strategically isolate you from friends and family, because they want to be your only focus. 

This not only gives them access to all your time and attention, but it also makes it less likely that you’ll leave them. 

With no one else to turn to, you’ll be hesitant to end the relationship with the narcissist. They might be mistreating you, but they’re the only friend you have left. 

You’re hoping for change

Since the narcissist wowed you with their charm offensive during the start of the relationship, you might be convinced that the loving, doting person they pretended to be was who they actually are.

Now that they’re showing you their dark side, you’re probably hoping they’ll change back into the person they were in the beginning.

Truthfully, they might go back to being that person from time-to-time. They’ll play nice just long enough for you to be convinced they’ll change.

Or, when they’re fearful you’re going to leave, they may make promises to change. 

This keeps you hanging onto the relationship. 

The narcissist has been gaslighting you

Narcissists are expert gaslighters. This means they can do a fantastic job of convincing you that your experiences and perceptions are distorted. 

So, instead of owning up to their bad behavior, the narcissist will tell you that you’re remembering incorrectly or being too dramatic.

This might leave you wondering if you are overreacting. Instead of leaving the relationship, you might tell yourself that it’s not really that bad, and you just need to toughen up! 

Your finances are in shambles 

Financial abuse is not unusual in relationships with a narcissist. In many cases, the narcissist will take advantage of you financially, because they feel entitled to do so. 

They’ll likely rely on you financially. Perhaps you live together, and they throw you a few bucks here and there, but you take on the majority of the bills.

Alternatively, perhaps they’re splitting bills with you, but they’ve caused you to accumulate debt. Maybe they run up your credit card bills or convince you to take out loans to fund their habits.

They may even promise to pay you back, but this never comes to fruition.

If this sounds like your situation, your financial instability may be holding you back. You probably don’t feel confident starting over on your own with your finances in such a mess. 

You’re fearful of retaliation 

The narcissist’s fragile ego simply cannot cope with abandonment or rejection, so if you threaten to leave, they are likely to become enraged.

Perhaps you’ve discussed with them that the relationship isn’t working, and they begin lashing out in anger. They might throw objects, physically assault you, or threaten to make your life miserable if you leave.

Fearful that you’ll never be able to make a clean break, you stay with the narcissist. 

You have developed a trauma bond

It’s common for people in relationships with a narcissist to develop a trauma bond. This occurs because of the highs and lows that happen when you’re with a narcissist.

The narcissist oscillates between hot and cold behavior. They may lash out in anger one day, only to go back to being overly affectionate the next day.

This leaves your emotions, hormones, and brain chemicals on a constant rollercoaster. When the narcissist is cold and callous, you feel as if you’re withdrawing.

On the other hand, when they show even the smallest crumbs of affection, you feel a temporary high. This causes you to develop a strong bond with the narcissist, making it painful to leave the relationship. 

Problems with low self-esteem

Being with a narcissist can take a significant toll on your self-esteem. Throughout the relationship, they will convince you that you’re highly flawed and deserving of all their poor treatment.

This leaves your self-esteem at an all-time low, and you’ll probably worry that no one else will ever want to be with you. The narcissist might even tell you that no one else would put up with you! 

With little self-esteem, you lack confidence in your ability to leave the relationship. You stay and maintain the status quo, convinced you don’t deserve better. 

The narcissist is future-faking 

Narcissists like to keep you hooked by future-faking. They’ll talk about a long, happy future together, even if they have no intention of making this future a reality. 

They might make comments about wanting to get married, having children, or buying a house together. When they talk like this, you’ll develop a sense of commitment to the relationship.

After all, you’re a genuine person. If the narcissist is talking about a future together, it’s only natural that you’d want to commit to this as well.

You might feel you cannot leave the relationship because you’ve discussed plans for this perfect life together. 

Should you stay or should you go?

Take a good hard look at the factors that are keeping you in the relationship. Now, I’m not telling you whether you should leave. I just want you to be realistic. 

If you’re staying because you’re convinced the narcissist will change, or you’re hanging on to the love they showed in the beginning, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment. 

Narcissists have a knack for selling people on the idea of a fairytale relationship. They will promise you the world, but the truth is they’ll never deliver.

If you choose to stay in the relationship, change probably isn’t coming. Recognize that the reasons you’re staying are largely based on a false sense of hope.

You might be convinced that you’ll never be able to do better, but that’s just another lie the narcissist is selling you. Don’t buy it. 

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