When you’re in the midst of a narcissistic relationship, it can be difficult to imagine a different kind of life, especially if your self-esteem is running low. 

However, finding a happier future is possible, and here we’re looking at 5 questions you can ask yourself in order to help break the cycle of a narcissistic relationship. 

What unhealthy patterns do you see in your relationship? 

Narcissistic relationships typically involve unhealthy behaviour patterns, emotional manipulation and abuse being just two of them. Identifying these behaviours whilst you’re still in the relationship can be incredibly difficult, but it’s doing so that’s so often the first step towards freedom. 

If you find yourself constantly having to justify your partner’s unkind behaviour with excuses such as “they’re just tired”, or “they’ve had a difficult day at work”, or even “I made them do it”, it’s time to take a step back and reassess whether the relationship is working for you. It’s also the perfect time to be honest with yourself about any other red flags, for example love bombing or gaslighting.

How can you break free from these patterns? 

If your needs aren’t being met in your current relationship, it’s time for change. Whilst in some cases, you might want to give the relationship another try, in others you’ll know that it’s time to call it a day and move on. 

Now that you’re able to recognise the unhealthy relationship patterns you’re trapped in, you can begin to break the cycle and question your partner’s behaviour. Once a narcissistic partner realises they can’t take advantage of you anymore, you’ll see the final stage of a narcissistic relationship play out and come to understand that you deserve better. 

Why are you holding onto the relationship? 

It’s completely normal to be scared of leaving your relationship, even if it’s causing you harm. You might be scared of being alone, worried that you won’t find anyone else, or even feel like you don’t deserve any better than your current partner. 

We’re here to assure you that you don’t have to settle for less, and that you’re not to blame for how your partner chooses to treat you. There is support out there and you’re definitely not alone. 

How will you make sure these unhealthy patterns don’t happen again? 

Although romantic relationships can bring you great happiness, it’s really important to have a strong support network outside of your love life. If you’re living with a narcissistic partner, this is a perspective that can easily be lost, as they may well try and isolate you from friends, family and other ‘outside’ influences. 

Where possible, talk to those you can trust about what you’re going through. If you’ve got a strong network of friends and family, you’ll be better equipped to not only leave the relationship you’re in, but also form healthier patterns when it comes to future relationships. 

What does your ideal relationship look like? 

To avoid slipping into old habits, it can be helpful to think about what you want out of a future relationship. Respect and honesty should be at the top of your list, along with good communication and healthy boundaries. 

It’s also a good idea to think about the characteristics and qualities you’d like to see in any future partner, so that you can recognise any warning signs that things might not be right early on. 

If you’re experiencing narcissistic abuse and need support in moving forward with your life, Harrogate Family Law is here to help you every step of the way. Our team are the experts when it comes to dealing with challenging behaviour from spouses, and will provide the expert legal advice that you need. 

There’s no need to struggle alone – contact us today to take the first step towards a happier future.