Being in a relationship with a narcissist can seem like a never-ending cycle of pain, loneliness, abuse and many other feelings. You may have remained empathetic and forgiving throughout the relationship but perhaps at some point you realized it was important to stop this negative cycle and find your freedom.
Breaking the negative cycle of the relationship was probably the best thing you could have done for your emotional and mental well-being! Though, it may not feel like this immediately, it will get easier with time as you move on with your life. At the beginning it is time to focus on healing and self-care. Focusing on your own life and well-being after spending all your energy on your narcissistic partner can be difficult at first. But, there are a few things that you can do to make the journey easier so that you can heal, regain your self-worth and move on with your life.
Set Necessary Boundaries
Getting out of a relationship with a narcissistic person was the first step. But it can be tempting to allow them to come back into your life in some capacity. In doing so, you will be setting yourself up for more pain and more problems in the future.
Though it can be hard at first, it is important to set boundaries when it comes to your narcissist ex-partner contacting you. It may be beneficial to block them from calling you, sending you messages, etc. Another good idea might be to get rid of anything in your own home that reminds you of them and the negative experience. Cutting ties quickly and completely is never easy, especially if you were in a narcissistic relationship for a long time. But, it is the best way to start the healing process with less distractions.
Accept the Truth and Move On
You may have suffered both mentally and emotionally for years by your narcissistic partner. Maybe you denied it or refused to see it while you were with them. But, after the relationship is over, it is important to accept that truth. Accept the reality that the individual you were with was toxic to your life. It can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow, and it can often make people feel guilty or even feel ‘at fault’ for allowing such things to go on for so long.
That is why the next portion of this tip is equally-important: Learn to forgive yourself. It is not your fault that you stayed in a relationship with a narcissist. It just goes to show that you valued the relationship itself, and that perhaps you saw something in that person that may not have actually been there. Don’t blame yourself for how that person made you feel, and don’t blame yourself for staying in an toxic relationship. Forgiving yourself will allow you to move on and take control of your life again.
Listen to Yourself
There may be an underlying reason within you that initially drew you to a narcissistic person, and that same reason may be why you stayed with them for so long. Listening to your inner thoughts and feelings can help you to determine why that might be. Keep in mind that there is a difference between self-understanding and self-blaming. Keep listening to that inner-voice and ask yourself how you feel now, after you have left that narcissistic individual. Your intuition is stronger than you might think, as long as you open up and allow yourself to really listen to it.
Change Your Focus
As humans, it is not always easy for us to just forget the past and move on. This is especially true when it comes to relationships of any kind. But, after you have given yourself some time to heal, shifting your focus and becoming more mindful will be a big help. Start to focus on the present and on the future, and how these things make you feel.
Think about your goals and dreams, even if you haven’t considered what they might be in years. They will give you something to look forward to, something to feel excited about and also something to focus on, which will make it easier to pull yourself out of any negative thinking associated with your past relationship.
Be Patient With Yourself
Perhaps the most important tip to put into practice is to be patient with yourself after you end your relationship with a narcissist. Maybe you keep falling back into sadness when you think about the relationship. Maybe you feel like you are not moving forward quickly enough, and you want to “get over” those negative feelings that keep sticking with you. Everyone deals with the aftermath of a breakup differently. When you were in a relationship where emotional abuse was involved, dealing with that kind of trauma can make things even more difficult. Be kind to yourself, and try to eliminate any negative self-talk. This goes along with forgiving yourself, of course. But it is also necessary to be gentle with your own emotions as you continue to work through everything.
Don’t assume that one setback is going to drag you back to where you started. There is no set time limit you need to keep track of when it comes to your healing process. No matter how long it might take you, the most important thing is to be persistent and not to give up on yourself. Hopefully, some of the suggestions listed in this article will make the aftermath of living with a narcissist a bit easier for you.
Remember, this is an opportunity for you to take the reigns back on your own life. Though it may be a slow process at the beginning, you will feel so much better once you finally find personal freedom, and once you have moved on with your life after being in a relationship with a narcissist.