How did you leave?

How did you leave?

When you finally decided that you were DONE, what opened your eyes, how did you leave, how soon did you do it, and looking back what if anything would you have done differently?

8 thoughts on “How did you leave?

  1. I planned for months. I searched like crazy for any tips to help me from falling into staying. I wrote what I wanted to say and practiced it daily until I felt ready. The tips I found were super useful and his tactics to manipulate were exactly what I read up on. Being a person who was basically a doormat at the time I had to build my courage. What I learned from searching and my therapist. Say you need a divorce or to split up , not that you want one. You have to make it clear you have thought this through. I started with I need a divorce. Next came his why. My response was for my own mental health I need this it is something I have to do. I didn’t place blame on him because if you do they will see a way to manipulate it or fix the situation. Which he tried many times with love bombing , always falling back into his way after a month or two until the next year I would mention I was still unhappy and these things were still an issue. If he really had listened he would have worked with me. I let him ramble that part I would have changed only because he was not violent so I could have done without the guilt trips or pleas. He tried to be nicer. He wrote a guilt trip letter. It talked about all the things he did for me yet never mentioned love. He mentioned monetary things which to me have no value. I was lucky and I filed no contest , he signed. Because I made sure he knew there was nothing he could do to manipulate me anymore and I would be getting my divorce. He tried many times to convince me during the 3 month waiting period to not finalize. I should have had another place to go so I didn’t have to deal with it. I made it through and my health and happiness are much better off. It took time to adjust. I was hurting and it took months to start feeling happy instead of confused or scared. He had made me believe I couldn’t care for myself anymore due to health issues most of which got better when I left. The stress had taken it’s toll. When looking for what I could do to save my marriage failed me and a friend asked me if I had ever heard of emotional abuse my life changed. It was like being smacked awake. It hurts to realize what has been done to you. The hardest part of healing is forgiving yourself. I wondered why I was so stupid, how could I have wasted so many years. I lost a decade of my youth. When I start thinking about it I remind myself I have learned so much. I know what to look for good and bad in my next partner so I can ensure a healthy relationship. Until then I am now happy living life again.

  2. I had been living alone for several years when I met my narcissist. Red flags emerged very soon but I chose to ignore them as I figured I had been unsuccessful in relationships because I was too demanding. I let things go despite my gut feelings that several things weren’t right. He loved my independence, my determination, my steadfast opinions and the fact I loved to socialize and be among friends at parties, concerts, etc. As I’m sure many can relate, traits he claimed to fall in love with ended up becoming traits he despised. The term “nobody will ever love you the way I do” was spoken several times over the years we spent together, right until the end when he plead for us to stay together.

    I planned for months before we split…I knew it had to happen. I had several stressful things happening in my life at the time. I took a leave of absence from my job and started seeing a psychologist. This woman’s influence was what made it clear to me I had to end the relationship as it was causing me tremendous grief. Unable to express frustration and unhappiness to my family for fear they’d despise my partner led me to seeing someone who could offer a non-judgemental and objective opinion. Expressing my frustration, my unhappiness, my lack of respect for this man to this psychologist held me accountable. I felt I had to act if I was to move forward out of my depression and fog. I decided to wait for his busy work season to be over (again concerned about him first and trying to lesson what would be total drama). The end came sooner than planned as I went away for two nights to a festival with family. He was furious I went away, threatened to show up where I was, texted me and hounded me to ensure I had a horrible time. That was the straw that broke the camels back. I realized how dysfunctional my life had become. He was an insecure jealous man and had knocked me down to the point where I felt I wasn’t worthy and actually questioned my sanity at times.

    I summoned the courage to tell him it was over. He was devastated, begged me to reconsider, cried, sulked, talked about how he was avoiding work….basically anything he could do to make me feel guilty. He thought we’d be together forever. (Oddly that was the first I’d heard this) He expressed his family was shocked and saddened….nobody could understand how such a perfect couple could split. Within days of telling him I wanted him out he was using an online dating sight. I was shocked and despite the split being my decision I was hurt beyond belief that he would put himself out there within a couple weeks of ending a 4 year (2 living together) relationship. I shouldn’t have been surprised because he can’t be alone….he needs constant attention. A few weeks passed and I was sad, feeling weak when I saw him again. We connected for a couple of days and I believed that perhaps we could work things out. Very wrong on my part as I went against the “no contact” rule. After being together one evening I messaged him and he made it clear that he was interested in pursuing a relationship with a women he had started to date. I was furious as he led me to believe we could make amends. I believed he needed to have the satisfaction of hurting me to exact revenge. (This is where it gets a little juvenile)….I told his new girlfriend that he had fooled us both. He found out I told her and was furious, stormed over to my home, yelling and carrying on to the point I was going to call the police. He finally left and later let me know (in tears) his new woman ended things with him and that I had broken her heart. I felt I had saved her. Since then I found out they are together again and while it hurts a little, I feel truly sorry for his new woman who has a world of frustration and hurt in her future. He will never change as he doesn’t feel he has any issues. Oddly enough he boasted to me that she is “your evil twin” It won’t be long before he is threatened by her confidence, her independence, her love of socializing etc. Hopefully this woman will act on the red flags sooner than I did. If not, all I can say is “another bites the dust”.

    Speak to someone who is objective. Take all the strength you can muster to be accountable, not only to yourself but to everyone who knows your story. Be kind to yourself. We are bright, kind people who were blind-sided by someone who has issues that are wrapped up in a wonderfully glossy veneer. I refuse to beat myself up. It’s difficult to see now but I know I will find a reason this happened to me. I have already gained a lot of knowledge reading about narcissists and know what to avoid if I am to have a healthy relationship in the future. I have re-connected with friends, I stay close to my family and am pursuing interests that I thought I’d do in my retirement. No need to wait for what makes you happy. Keep moving forward.

  3. It took me close to 5 years to finally decide it was time to go. I stayed because of my daughter and because I still could not accept the fact that the person I loved so much was such a bad person. I began looking for a place to move and opened up a separate bank account to save money. I then found a place, when and looked at it and chose to rent it without even giving it a second thought. I knew I needed to take a leap and not think about it if I was ever going to leave. Putting down a deposit and signing a lease forced me to face my ex. I wish I would have left sooner…

  4. I married my abuser when I was 16 and he was 28. I survived 2 decades with him. I knew early on that I needed to leave, but growing up in the church I also knew I had made a commitment. I had 2 decades of constant emotional abuse. If he saw me enjoying a book? Next day I would find it missing. I spent all day making homemade spaghetti sauce? He wasn’t hungry and it smelled horrible. I got out of the shower one day and he smiled at me. He smiled and told me he had destroyed my body and no man would ever desire me again. That comment gave me chills. I took our 4 children and fled 2 weeks later. I knew once I left I would have no financial help, it’s one of his control tactics. The harassment continues to this day, 6 Years later. And I was finally able to obtain a restraining order after hiring an attorney. But I find myself still hearing my ex in my head telling me I’m a failure. I’m in treatment for PTSD. I can only tell someone going through something similar that you are not crazy… and don’t give up. I tried to reach out for help for years along the way. How do you explain what’s it’s like to live with someone who will cancel his own daughters surgery as payback for “siding” with me. Most people don’t understand the severity of abuse you endure while living with a sociopath(he was clinically diagnosed) since it is mental. I love my life now. Now I just work on forgiving myself for hearing and believing that I was less than… and for allowing it to continue as long as it did.

  5. Mine was at the workplace (a manager). I’d suffered in silence and bottled up 18 months of regular workplace abuse (on average maybe a couple incidents a week, in what was later called psychological harassment), such as veiled threats, insults and put-downs, covert and overt humiliation and denigration), until the point where I had a nervous breakdown at work. I stuck it out for another couple of months, when my manager left on vacation. I had to have a wisdom tooth extracted, and booked a Friday afternoon off. I walked out, and never went back.

    Looking back, barring getting out sooner, there’s not much I could have done differently. Adjacent managers were as toxic as mine was, and therefore of no help (if anything, they perpetuated the situation), and HR had very little influence. My only advice — and regret, through not having known then what I know now — would be to be vigilant of the signs of abuse. If something hurts you physically, you pay attention. Your body is trying to tell you something. Same principle with the mind, but we seem to put up with too much. Take note of problematic interactions, bounce them off people you trust, gain and retain perspective. Life’s too short.

  6. This article speaks to those who left their relationship. It’s a good article. But what those that were left, divorced ( he remarried the day after the divorce) and you are never spoken to again. This is after 17 years of marriage.

  7. I left my narc after just 6 months. He didn’t cheat, but I knew he was going to. I was out if state within 10 days, would have been 6, but had to have a quick surgical procedure before I left.
    I’m strong, and don’t put up with bullshit.

  8. We were together for four years. I had tried so many times to break things off amicably, but everytime he threatened, intimidated or guilt tripped me into allowing him to stay. In many ways I was lucky, because he lived in MY home, and depended on me to support him.

    At the end of last year, I was tired of watching my life spin out of control. I felt like I was worthless. I had spent a couple years looking into NPD, and knew I needed to go no contact, but I wasn’t strong enough. I decided if I couldn’t get rid of him, I needed to at least work on myself. I set goals and made plans, that had nothing to do with him. As I began to see progress, I started to realize I wasn’t worthless. The more I accomplished, the stronger I got.

    One day he lied to my face, about something I had seen with my own eyes. I confronted him, and he denied it. I loved myself too much by that point, to let anyone treat me that way anymore. I wanted more proof however. One night he was so intoxicated that he entered his pin to his phone right in front of me. I locked that piece of information into my brain, and about a week later, I got in his phone to discover he had slept with five other women that week alone

    I spent the next couple weeks sneaking my house key out of his wallet (he was always losing my key anyway, so he didn’t suspect me), and finding the right timing. One day he asked for a ride somewhere. I took him where he wanted to go, and pretended all was fine. When he texted for a ride back, I didn’t respond.

    I still couldn’t bring myself to block him entirely. I felt like as long as I knew what he was thinking, I was safe. The only messages I responded to were ones where he asked to get his things. My response was simply “when and where?”.

    There was one CD that got left behind, however. About a month after we split, he contacted me to ask for it. My son was with his dad, and I made the mistake of answering the phone when he called. I let him come pick it up, and got sucked back in. His mom had passed away while we were separated, and I felt badly for him.

    For the next two weeks he visited nearly everyday. We weren’t back together, but I was happy we could remain friends. We talked about his mom’s passing, and what a bachelor pad his dad’s house had become. Then it happened. Two weeks in, and he gets a phonecall while sitting at my kitchen table. I could hear his mother on the other end. When he hung up, he asked what the look on my face was about. I flatly said, “That was your mom”. He called me an evil c***, got up and left my home. Everytime he’s tried to contact me since, I’ve blocked that path. Be it calling, texting, fb…. Even dating sites of joined. When he contacts me, I block him.

    I’ve been in therapy for almost a year now. I don’t hate him anymore. I realize I learned so much about myself and people through knowing him. I just want him to leave me alone.

    He’s now facing felonious assault charges for beating up a girl he went to hook up with. I’m lucky I got out when I did.

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