Q & A: How do I Begin to Move On After a Narcissistic Relationship?

Q: I am 18 months post-divorce from my narcissistic husband of 22 years which was extremely acrimonious. He is still with the person he cheated on me with. I cannot seem to detach from him even after the abuse and cheating. I am so lonely. How do I begin to move on?

A:  Congratulations on your successful 18 months of freedom from abuse. Although it may not seem like success right now because of the loneliness, at least now you have the chance to have a happy life. Although it sounds easy when people say “just move on”… it can be quite difficult to move on from an NPD relationship. When any relationship ends it is hard on the person who was left, but in an NPD relationship the narcissist abused and used brainwashing techniques on you…you are truly a victim.

Because you are stuck where you are- he still has his hooks in you- I would strongly suggest that you see a therapist to help you stop being a victim and take back control of your life. Do as much reading on NPD as you possibly can- the more you understand who he is and how he victimized you, the easier it will become to move on.Especially read up on “Narcissistic Victim Syndrome” as I think it will help you to see yourself as a victim and to realize you don’t have to remain a victim. And lastly, try to stay busy so you won’t keep obsessing about him and HIS life–take up old hobbies or interests (or find new ones), go out to more activities you enjoy, and re-establish old friendships.

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8 thoughts on “Q & A: How do I Begin to Move On After a Narcissistic Relationship?

  1. I’m in the middle of divorcing my narcissistic wife. We’ve been together for 17 years and have 3 school age kids. She suggested divorce about 6 months ago, and at first I resisted but I discovered she’s cheating on me, so I’ve agreed.

    If there was a 1-10 scale of narcissism she’s probably a 7. It’s all been very amicable so far (as she’s getting to pursue a new relationship I guess). I would like to know what tips you have for getting out of these things as unhurt as possible and also tips for how to talk to the kids about their mother without being too critical and making them feel like they spend half their time with a crazy lady.



  2. My wife was in a 14 year relationship with a narcissist before she married me. I tell her not to worry about the time lost; I remind her how strong she is for getting away. He probably would have kept her there forever if he could. She beat his tricks, she won. Now she is very happy, but I’m sure he never really will be.

  3. I have come across several websites on this topic, in my opinion this is one of the most effective ones I’ve read.

    I was married to a man with NPD for nearly 30 years. We’ve been divorced for almost 4 yrs. To this day, I thank God I came out with my life. As I’ve read article after article and testimonies, it is so unreal the hell I lived was not just in my head. My ex-husband came from a home that I’ve come realize bred little narcissists. They were all brought up in the church to believe their belief and way of life was superior to others. As a result, they all had a false sense of reality. But mainly, they never learned how to respect others. My ex-husband became a minister a few years after we were married. With this title, he felt more empowered to abuse.

    Out of the marriage came three children. Which he attempted to turn against me. Especially, my daughters. It’s one thing when your husband abuses and neglects you but it’s unthinkable when your own children learn to do the same thing to their mother. After I finally, divorced this minister of course it came with price. I moved as far as I could within the county to salvage my sanity and heal. My children alienated me. They kept my grandchildren away from me. Basically, they took on the characteristics of a passive-aggressive narcissists. This tore what was left of me into more pieces.

    This man had so many people in his corner it was unreal including some of my own siblings. All of the things he accused me of I learned, he was doing himself. Using ministry to hang out at all hours of the night and be with other women. I got no respect from him. And he certainly had no respect for the marriage. It would almost kill him to be nice to me and spend time with me after the children were grown up. He claimed he always had something to do or he had no money. I never understood why?

    He created so many lies until he stated believing his own lies. And it confused the mess out of me. After I recovered from a nervous breakdown while in the hospital, the abuse grew worse. He continued the games, verbal/emotional abuse, manipulation, and more lies. He move out of the house and rented an apartment. The next week, I filed for the divorce. After, he received his papers from the court, he attempted on several occasions to move back in.

    After the divorce was final, by choice I had to give the house up. This was the home I loved and ask God to give us to raise our family. It was devastating. About 2 years later, my ex-husband spent the entire time trying to pursue me. He had the biggest pity party. But I did the NO contact. He was blocked from my phone, emails, etc. Being a Christian, I allowed him to contact me every once in a while just to see if he was any better. The answer was NO. The conversation would start out cordial and at the end the name calling and belittling come out. Then I’d return to the No contact mode and block him out again.

    A year later, I heard he had a girlfriend he was parading around town. Supposedly a member of his church. An older woman of another culture who was a widow. She was a stroke victim and he apparently took her around his family. Including my own children while in OUR house. He sent me an email giving me the life and history of this woman. He clearly stated this woman is aware he still loves his wife and that they are just friends. Why he sent this to me, I have no idea?

    He may still be involved with this woman, I don’t know? And I try not to care. I do know; he no longer contacts me. And that I’ve come a long ways in the healing process, yet I have a ways to go. My children are coming around more. I rely on my faith, counseling and keeping busy to go on. I’m aware my ex-husband is a narcissist and overall this toxic disorder destroyed a beautiful family. But I still can’t understand how a man that knows Christ, spends a lifetime with a woman (his children’s mother) and they even bury a child together could turn around and treat her like a woman in the streets and be so kind, gentle and respectful to another woman?

    Is it safe to accredit all of his disgusting and shameful behavior on this personality disorder? Maybe someone can help me.

    God Bless and Thank you for listening.

  4. I’ve found this website quite helpful. I am the daughter of a tyrant narcissistic father, and only really discovered NPD in the last few months. My mother, brother and I left my father while I was still in high school and I am now graduated from university. We are still waiting for the divorce to be finalized, and as you can imagine, it is a nightmare. My poor mother had to sit and listen to him on the stand (representing himself, because he’s that arrogant) saying how his children are better off because of him and how we are all criminals (he is an ex-policeman…go figure). He thinks he is above the law, that the rules do not apply to him. At first I couldn’t understand how I had such a nasty father. I know that I’m so far from being a criminal that to say so is simply ridiculous, that any normal father would be so proud of my achievements and strength, so why was he trying to destroy his children’s lives? I read the character trait list from “Children of the self absorbed” and find that my father has every trait listed minus physical/sexual abuse, however he has thrown things and smashed things in fits of rage/tantrums. It’s actually remarkable to me that his personality has been so carefully studied, I really had no idea and never knew what narcissism could mean apart from vanity. Everything down to the money spending, grandiosity, cheating, bragging, belittling, selfishness, I’m right you are wrong, never apologizing, guilt tripping, blaming, lying, scheming, and being above the law is true true true! My concern now is getting myself, mother and brother professional help. We haven’t been to therapy and we desperately need it to get on with our lives without feelings of depression, anger, and anxiety. I only now understand how being raised in such a negative environment has affected my life. Why do I lack assertiveness, seek perfection in academia, crave love and attention, have social anxiety, fear that my boyfriend/friends will abandon me, and always think that something bad will happen? The most troubling for me, is not caring enough about other people. I don’t reach out to others, I’m seldom there for people when they need me, I don’t ask how they are doing or let them talk. I’m so fixated on my own issues, I rarely notice other peoples. I know that I grew up in an environment where my own issues weren’t important, that I was ignored and my needs were not met. How do I, as an adult with some understanding, resolve these burdens and teach myself new behaviours and ideals? I do not want my father’s personality to influence me for the rest of my life, and certainly want to be the best person I can be. I hope these reflections might be useful to other adult kids, I know that it helps me to know that there are others like me and fathers like mine.

  5. Wow, it is amazing how all the relationships have the exact same format.
    I wish this was more public information as it seems to be an epidemic in our culture.
    My wife of 16 years left with her boyfriend to live right across the street from me and my 12 year old daughter. She stated” I do not care how much it hurts” Really Really bad person. Makes me wonder what God thinks of these emotional vampires.
    I know this disorder was born from pain, but what a horrible wake of emotional destruction is left. I pray for her, no point in carrying anger.
    All we can do is, do the healing work on ourselves, cut off all contact and love our children with our intact hearts.

    What a mess,


  6. I am very shocked to learn there are so many stories like mines! I do know what I am dealing with and planning to put him out and all his lies! Never caught him cheating but suspected it in many occassions! But a liar Whoo wee! I just can’t! He makes public outbursts and is very verbally abusive! Also he even said he was god lol crazy but I just need help to get out! In public he’s perfect to the normal eye but at home he sets up lies n asks like I said n did things I never did n gets violent! I’m afraid no one believes me he lies so well! Many suggestions? I planned on letting him go to work then pack all his lil stuff n never talk to him again! Will this make him leave me alone?

    1. You can get a protection order from the police and say you fear for your life. Then he won’t be allowed to come bacl and harass you. If you don’t have children then after that go no contact. It will be hard at times, but then you have to think of everything he has done and said. You deserve a happy life
      When you are alone you can begin to heal,join a support group and research narccism traits/qualities so you never fall in another narccists trap. Also therapy will help. Kust getting out of almost 12 yr relationship with a narc. They will never change! Don’t believe the lie that they “changed” because they only tell you what you want to hear to get back with you, and right back to the same things. I learned this lesson the hard way..Good luck!

  7. I discovered this site and I think my girlfriend soon to be ex is a narcissist. We were toghether for almost 4 years. A month ago I got really really sick and became a” no-fun person” as she put it. She starting going out at parties and not coming home. We had a fight and she said she needed some space because she was going through something. So I did. She still contacted me saying we ll get back together. Then a week later she told me she met someone and that we should date other people for awhile but still be together. This ruined me as it was a year after she already cheated on me. I haven’t recovered yet as I agreed to let go of it that time because she said it was a mistake and wanted me back. I love her she told me she wants me back but that she can t be with me right now but that we had something unique and doesn’t want to lose it. I told her I got really sick and am in an almost terminal state (did not lie to her) she told me she s sorry and that she wants to be there for me but still wants to see the other person and as begun seeing on a regular basis. I asked if she did know this is hurting me so much and why doesn’t she quit seeing that other person if she loves me and wants to be back with me at some point but right now I am in a dire situation and I needed her by my side. She said she cares but that s just who she is and can t change it that she knew I would suffer but did it anyway because that s just something she does. I decided to end it because the stress is beginning to aggaravate my health. Do you think she is a narcissist?

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