At first, it was a perfect relationship. You thought you had finally found the one you were going to spend forever with. But over time, you realized it was a trap. Set by a manipulative narcissist who read you like a book and made you fall hard. When you finally walk away, you’ll be in thousands of pieces. Your outlook on love has changed. You won’t love the way you did before.
Nothing is worse than heartache. When we experience it, it impacts us in a huge way. We become jaded. Closed off. Determined not to let anyone else get too close. Every move is analyzed, every decision questioned. Nothing is taken at face value. Especially tales of love spoken by a new partner. Once you’ve escaped a narcissist, you’ll find yourself doing these eight things in your future relationships.
1. You’ll have trust issues.
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s a common occurrence to be lied to and manipulated. This imprints on your brain and from now on, you’ll find it impossible to trust anyone else. Including yourself. Not being able to rely on your own judgment is one of the worst ways that a narcissist affects your life. You doubt everything and everyone, most of all your own heart.
2. You’ll constantly apologize, even when you don’t need to
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, every problem that happens is your fault. Even when it wasn’t. It’s a common technique used by manipulators called gaslighting. This is when they get so deep into your head that you begin to question your own mind. You think you’re crazy for noticing red flags. And he’ll make you think that anything he’s done wrong is somehow related to something you did first. Once you get out of that cycle, you still have those feelings of inadequacy. You’ll find yourself apologizing for everything, even if it’s nothing to be sorry for.
3. You’ll keep your distance
Once you escape Hell, you’ll do everything in your power to keep from going back. This means keeping yourself closed off on future chances of love. You no longer trust your own judgment. You got it wrong once before. It could happen again. And you can’t risk going back into the darkness. If you get lost this time, you’re scared you won’t be able to break free again. So you build up walls. You don’t let anyone too close. You can’t risk it. No matter how much you may think you love someone. It’s too dangerous to give in.
4. You’ll crave the feeling of security
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they become your whole world. You’ve isolated yourself from everyone around you who might try to talk you out of your relationship. You become dependent on your captor because for so long, that’s what your life consisted of. When it’s over, you’re free from the torturous abuse cycle. Yet you still crave the feeling of having someone to be your protector. Your shield from the harsh reality of the world. A champion to save you.
5. You’ll be waiting for Hell to start
The problem with falling for a narcissist is that you don’t realize their true self until you’re too deep to escape. Things were great in the beginning. Amazing. And then the switch flipped. Your fantasy life became your nightmare. Once you get into a new relationship, you become nervous when things seem to be going good. You’ll find yourself on pins and needles, waiting for things to turn sour, like they always do.
6. You’ll keep everyone at arm’s length
Once you start falling for someone new, the fear and insecurity of your past relationships will haunt you. You’ll find yourself pushing your partner away, terrified of being hurt again. Because it’s turned so rotten before, you’re preparing yourself for it to happen again. You don’t want to lose them, but you’ve been so hurt before, you’re scared to try again.
7. Being treated right is a foreign experience
Narcissists know how to get into your mind without you even being aware of it. At first, it’s incredible. They’ll sweep you off your feet with all their charm. And once you’re hooked, their true nature shows. Then, you’re constantly being treated like crap. You’ll suffer abuse in some form: physical, psychological, or emotional, or even all of the above. Once you start getting treated properly by your new beau, you won’t know what to think.
8. Time and effort will pay off.
For now, you’re broken. Don’t be afraid to admit this. It takes true strength to rebuild yourself after a traumatizing relationship. Go at your own pace. And don’t be closed off to a man who constantly shows he truly cares for you. How will you know? Look for these signs.
It will take time for you to let anyone get past your walls but if a man truly loves you, he’ll put in whatever effort is necessary to get through. He’ll be patient and constantly show you he’s sticking around for the long haul. He’ll understand that you’re not cold-hearted and emotionless. You’re just protecting yourself from the chance of future heartbreak. From the crushing pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back.
Things will get better
If you’re trying to recover from loving a narcissist, the first step is to forgive yourself. There is nothing wrong with you for not figuring out what he was really like. Narcissists are skilled at manipulation. They can get to anybody. It takes time but one day, you’ll be able to love again like you’ve never been hurt. Once you’re free, you’ll learn these things.
Trust me. I’ve lived through 10 years of Hell and it took a long time to get myself back to normal. I still do some of these things, even though I’m certain my new man is nothing like my tormentor. He understands. He doesn’t get mad. He’s patience and kind and supports me while I rebuild myself and learn how to love again. The right way this time. You can too.