How It Feels To Be in a Relationship with a Narcissist

Being in a long-term relationship with a narcissist can leave you with many complex emotions.

The pain from a relationship with a narcissist often comes from an accumulation of small actions rather than one significant event. Bottling up these negative feelings can harm your well-being, leading to stress or sadness.

Discovering that you are not alone and others have faced similar experiences can be incredibly comforting. It reassures you that the problem doesn’t lie with you.

In this article, I will explore with you how it will make you feel when you are in a long-term relationship with a narcissist.

#1 They Crush Your Confidence

A narcissist can shake your confidence to the core. Initially, they make you feel unbeatable, as if you’re the most important person in the universe.

They hang on to every word you say, heap on the praise, and you might feel like you’re in the perfect romance.

However, the moment you’re feeling secure, things change. They criticize the small things you’ve never worried about before, making you feel suddenly inadequate. You go from being their world to feeling wholly disregarded. 

This back-and-forth behavior is their game. They flip from hot to cold so fast, leaving you confused and lost. 

That confusion is part of their plan. Your insecurity makes you more likely to stay and search for the affectionate person you once knew. It keeps you dependent on them – and that’s just how they like it.

#2 They Make You Feel Lonely and Isolate You

Feeling lonely is common when you’re with a narcissist, and it creeps up on you. Initially, their full attention can make you feel complete. But gradually, you may feel alone, even when they’re next to you.

Narcissists often want to monopolize your time and isolate you from family and friends. They can become jealous, making it hard to maintain other important relationships.

They may suggest that your friends and family don’t understand your partnership, driving a wedge between you and your support network.

As a result, you might find yourself depending solely on the narcissist, exactly as they want. Yet, their support doesn’t match the understanding and empathy you’d get from others. It’s like they’re there, but not really there for you.

You end up feeling lonely. The narcissist’s intention is clear: keeping you reliant on them. 

#3 You Feel Exhausted

Being with a narcissist can redefine exhaustion for you. It’s an endless cycle of trying to fulfill their needs for attention and admiration, but no matter how much you give, it’s never enough.

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You constantly aim to keep them content, hoping to avoid their mood swings. However, the rules keep changing. What pleases them one day is wrong the next, leaving you perpetually guessing and perpetually weary.

All the while, your own needs get pushed aside as you focus on catering to their whims. Your energy dwindles from the relentless effort, yet their demands persist, leaving you perpetually running on empty.

This constant fatigue might not even register at first—it sneaks up on you as you fall into a routine of endless giving. 

#4 You Walk on Eggshells

Living with a narcissist can be filled with constant fear. You’re tiptoeing around, always on edge, never knowing when they’ll lash out or give you the silent treatment.

You’re left guessing what will upset them, something you say, don’t say, or even something totally out of your hands.

This fear quietly invades every part of your daily life. You change your behavior, words, and thoughts to avoid conflict. You’re always on the lookout, trying to prevent the next outburst.

This state of constant vigilance is exhausting. Simple choices become sources of anxiety. Picking out a movie or a place to eat feels risky, not fun or relaxing.

In the back of your mind, you understand that their responses are unpredictable, no matter how careful you are. This fear persists because the very person who should be your support system is the one causing you stress.

#5 You Feel Frustrated

Frustration is a constant when dealing with a narcissist. You might try to have an honest conversation about problems, but it often feels like talking to a wall. They dismiss your concerns, twist your words, or suggest you’re imagining things.

Getting through to them can seem like an impossible task. They don’t truly listen or reflect on your words. Instead, they may turn the tables and place the blame on you.

With no resolution in sight, issues compound, leaving you feeling trapped. You’re working hard to improve the situation, but it feels like a solo effort in a game they’re not even playing.

The normal back-and-forth of a healthy relationship doesn’t exist with a narcissist. It’s their way or no way, leaving you overwhelmed with frustration. 

#6 You Feel Hopeless

Feeling hopeless can envelop you in a relationship with a narcissist. No matter what you try, improvement seems elusive, leaving you to wonder whether this cycle of highs and lows is your new normal.

You’ve been through the motions, hoping for a stable, happy phase that doesn’t stick.

This constant state of hopelessness is draining. Days can feel gloomier, and the joy that should be part of your partnership feels distant. You’re left feeling like you’re barely staying afloat, exhausting yourself without moving forward.

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#7 They Make You Feel Guilty About Everything

Being with a narcissist often means living with an unwarranted sense of guilt. They seem to have a special talent for making you feel at fault for everything, trivial or not. 

For instance, if you’re a tad late, you might be accused of neglecting the entire relationship or wanting to see friends may be portrayed as abandoning your partner.

This sense of guilt can creep into your daily life, making it seem as though any misstep is monumental. The narcissist doesn’t hesitate to bring up old mistakes just to ensure the guilt doesn’t fade.

You might end up in a cycle of apologies, trying to make amends for supposedly wrongful actions. This can happen even when you know, logically, you’ve done nothing wrong. 

#8 You Feel Ashamed

Bearing shame is often an unwelcome part of being involved with a narcissist. 

They excel at making you feel ashamed for things you shouldn’t blame yourself for, like failing to meet their lofty, unrealistic expectations.

Think of times when you’re excited to share a tale with friends, and the narcissist interjects with mockery or criticism. 

These cutting remarks aim to demean and are often used in private as well, undermining your self-confidence by targeting your actions, choices, and personality.

Such constant shaming can break down your sense of self-worth. You might withdraw, fear judgment and feel like you can’t measure up. 

It’s challenging to maintain self-esteem when the person you care for continuously highlights your perceived faults.

#9 You Feel Like Losing Yourself

As you navigate a relationship with a narcissist, you may start to feel like you’re losing the essence of who you are. 

The passions, hobbies, and unique outlooks you once held dear gradually get pushed aside as the narcissist’s demands take precedence.

Your interests and desires might end up on the back burner, with the narcissist’s needs mapping the course of your life. You might even give up your favorite activities because you’re too drained to pursue them.

The changes can be so gradual that you don’t realize they’re happening until one day, you barely recognize yourself. 

Your style, voice, and what you once stood up for might change because they’ve convinced you they’re unimportant.

This erosion of your identity is a profound burden. It can feel like you’re becoming a mere outline of the person you once were. 

#10 You Feel Trapped

Feeling trapped is often part of being with a narcissist. It’s an emotional bind that makes you feel confined without bars.

Wanting to escape or change your situation may seem a distant possibility because they’ve convinced you you’re too dependent on them.

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They plant ideas in your mind that you’re incapable of managing alone or that you won’t find anyone else who will tolerate you. These thoughts can feel like invisible shackles, keeping you bound to the relationship.

Attempt to break away, and you might be met with an outburst designed to drag you back into the fray. This leverage they wield can make you fearful of taking any steps toward freedom, trapping you in a cycle of control and helplessness.

#11 You Feel Invisible

Feeling invisible can become your reality in a relationship with a narcissist. You might be right next to them, yet you feel overlooked and unheard as if what you have to say or think doesn’t matter.

They might interrupt or discount your views during talks. Your accomplishments could be ignored or outshined by their need for attention. This can leave you feeling like you’re just a shadow, unseen and unheard in your own life.

But it’s more than just feeling neglected. It’s losing the sense that your voice counts. You may think you don’t have a right to be noticed, which is far from the truth. Being recognized and valued is a basic need.

#12 You Feel Like Everything is Your Fault

In a relationship with a narcissist, you may frequently feel that “Everything is Your Fault.” 

They expertly shift blame onto you for any and every mishap. If you accidentally break something or if they’re simply in a bad mood, somehow it becomes something you elicited.

Living under a microscope where every action is criticized can make you feel perpetually wrong and always on the defense. The narcissist often dodges responsibility, leaving you to pick up the pieces and shoulder the blame.

Carrying this emotional load is overwhelming and unfair. You’re nudged into a corner where you’re constantly apologizing and attempting to amend even the most minor missteps. This endless blame wears away your confidence and can make you doubt your worth.

Conclusion

Understanding how being in a relationship with a narcissist affects you is the first step towards healing. The mixed emotions of confusion, isolation, self-doubt, and the sense of being undervalued or invisible can be deeply scarring. 

Recognizing the patterns of narcissistic behavior, the often invisible emotional binds that hold you is a powerful act of self-awareness.

Healing from a relationship with a narcissist is possible, and it’s never too late to start that process. 

It begins with the belief that you deserve a healthier, balanced life. Support is available, and seeking it out is a brave and self-affirming decision.

The scars may not disappear completely, but they no longer have to define your path. You have the strength to grow beyond them and to write a new, hopeful narrative for yourself.

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