What Happens When a Narcissist’s Partner Becomes Emotionally Detached?

Well, the narcissist loves a rollercoaster of psychological drama! They will stop at nothing to have you buckled up next to them, waiting for the ride to start.

They will even press the button.

I want to delve into how narcissists face the unthinkable: emotional detachment from their once-adoring partners. 

Ouch, I hear you say.

There will be desperate ploys for attention. You will bear witness to explosive tantrums. Most of all, you’ll be privy to their cunning manipulation tactics. 

This is just the start!

You won’t believe the lengths they’ll go to, but sadly, you’ll likely not be surprised.

Let’s read on.

Narcissists: A Quick Reminder

Before we get to the real start line, let’s do the prep work to prepare you to read the juicy stuff.

Narcissists are not your friend. They are not your lover. They can claim to be, and you can label them as such – but they don’t meet the actual criteria. 

The reason for this, is that underneath the thin yet convincing layer of charm, lies a pool of cold, callous behavior.

Narcissists are a little like a frozen lake. They look safe to approach, yet the ice is thinner than it appears. If you don’t leave soon, you’ll go crashing into the frozen water, and struggle to get out. 

Don’t for one second think you’re safe with a narcissist. 

Everything from your self-esteem to your version of reality will be taken.

But mostly – your emotions are taken full advantage of.

So how do you get them back?

By detaching.

The Narcissist’s Nightmare: Facing Emotional Detachment

You might decide to detach emotionally for a plethora of reasons. Let’s look at a few:

  1. You’ve had enough. It can be that simple. You have bounced from one day to the next with this person, and gradually, you’ve discovered you know yourself less and less. 
  1. You’re finally taking care of yourself. This can never come too soon, nor is it ever too late to put yourself first. Taking care of yourself can look like letting go of everything the narcissist caused you to hold onto. Those emotionally negative aspects of your relationship. 
  2. You want to leave the relationship because you know it has no future. What a big step in self-awareness. Knowing a relationship has no future is the first step in getting out. First, emotional detachment is a must. 
See also  Do Empaths Really End Up With Narcissists?

Losing Control: The Narcissist’s Response to Emotional Distance

When you check out emotionally, the narcissist is left at reception holding the key and the bill. They don’t like holding either, because they know their time at Hotel Manipulation is up. 

The initial period where they realize they’ve lost control is inner turmoil to them. The storm that is created in their minds is unfathomable. They’ve been so used to a dynamic that worked for them.

You are there, with unlimited supply.

They take said supply.

They do what they want.

You put up with it.

They mess up.

You somehow apologize and always defend them.

It all stops, and when it does, it won’t be long before you witness the response. 

The Narcissist’s Crumbling Facade

As the narcissist crumbles without having you to tease, mock, ridicule, criticize, complain to, blame or prod – their facade crumbles with it.

You’re still there, but you’re no use without your fight back, or protests of innocence. 

You’re no good to them. 

When the Spotlight Fades

The spotlight has been on you all this time.

To deliver the lines.

To deliver the supply.

To deliver the conflict through your very innocent remarks or gestures.

You’ve been emotionally invested for so long because you want it to work. And I get it. Love is blindsiding, but it isn’t meant to hurt you.

If love feels unbearable aching in your chest, it isn’t love. It’s grief.

The narcissist is alive, but the relationship you thought you had has long died. 

See also  Why Do Narcissists Pretend to be The Perfect Partner?

So now you have no choice but to detach. You pick up your emotions that you value, and you realize the person you’re giving them too no longer deserves them. 

It’s not a crime to do this.

It’s overdue self-preservation. 

You’re turning the spotlight off, and that’s okay.

Just don’t expect the narcissist to be okay with it, nor to understand. 

Narcissists React to a Partner’s Emotional Detachment

When a narcissist reacts to your emotional detachment, expect them to:

#1 Keep trying to push your buttons. 

Initially the narcissist won’t give up without a fight. They will continue their usual tricks hoping you will eventually bite back. They want to return to familiar grounds because that’s where they feel comfortable.

It’s where they also feel you belong. 

Not anymore!

A narcissist feeds off your attention. If you lack it, they lack being emotionally fed. 

#2 Want revenge

Narcissists won’t tolerate you going against the grain, and they will want their payback. If you step out of line and treat them disrespectfully, expect them to do worse, act worse, and generally be worse.

They’re hurting underneath it all. You’ve figured out that they are damaging people. You have discovered that life would be better without the toxicity. Now you have uncovered the monster in them, and they will want to go out and do their worst. 

Narcissists don’t show pain, confusion, or embarrassment. They are far too fragile to be vulnerable and ask you where you’ve emotionally disappeared to.

They certainly won’t take any blame for your actions. 

See also  How to Make a Narcissist Miss You & Regret Losing You?

So what’s left?

Revenge, of course!

Batten down the hatches!

#3 They will blame you

You’re quiet. You’ve checked out. You’ve detached. The narcissist will want to know why, but they won’t ask you. Instead, they will see what you are doing, and throw the blame your way.

You’re obviously going through your own stuff right now, and I am getting the blame for something I haven’t done. Perhaps you should think about your treatment of me.

Words to this effect are known to spin around with a narcissist. They do this to:

  • Hope you agree with them and find another reason for your detachment other than them.
  • Consciously blame somebody or something else. They refuse to take it themselves.
  • Remind you that they deserve the best treatment – and you aren’t providing it.

The narcissist will do what they can to make you feel guilty for letting your emotions go in this relationship. Daring to do something for yourself, and prioritizing your wellbeing should be commended. Because it’s out of their control, they will always look at it as a huge problem. 

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