Narcissistic relationships are very powerful things, and not in a good way. Once you’ve recognised the signs and made the decision to leave, the effects of the abuse are long-lasting. They don’t simply disappear overnight.
Here, we’re taking a look at some of the changes you might see in your own personality, and the way in which you live your life as a result of being in a relationship with a narcissist.
You’ll start to see narcissism everywhere
The term narcissism often brings to mind thoughts of self-centered behaviour and an obsession with material and aesthetically pleasing things. Being in a narcissistic relationship, and more specifically leaving one, will fully open your eyes to narcissism as a form of abuse.
Your senses will be heightened, and you may find yourself recognising narcissistic behaviours in new relationships, or worrying about the relationships friends and family have with their partners.
It might be difficult to trust again
When you’ve been in a relationship with someone who was charm personified, but ultimately made you question your very sense of self, it takes its toll. You might find yourself feeling unsafe around new people and connections, and be unable to trust them for fear of history repeating itself.
As time goes on, and with the right support, you’ll learn to trust again. It’s important to take things step by step, and not rush into things you don’t feel comfortable with.
A diminished sense of confidence
Being with a narcissist can have a serious impact on your confidence. You may have become isolated from friends and family, had your achievements mocked or overlooked. In some instances, self worth has been completely destroyed.
As a result, looking to the future can be difficult, and you might be questioning your worth, abilities and talents across the board.
An inability to express yourself
Because narcissists thrive on putting others down, it’s not uncommon to lose sight of who you are. If you were bubbly and outgoing, you may be more withdrawn and cautious. If you were opinionated and forthright, you may have lost the confidence to say how you feel in any given situation.
Leaving a narcissistic relationship is a journey of rediscovery. It’s about going back to basics and figuring out who you really are and identifying the things that are going to make you happy.
A sense of instability
Perhaps one of the most unsettling things about being in a relationship with a narcissist is the feeling of instability. You might be left worrying about how to act, what to say and generally having no confidence in the decisions you make about your future.
There’s no doubt that experiencing a narcissistic relationship is a trauma. But always remember, leaving a narcissist isn’t an easy thing to do. If you’ve come this far, you’re already stronger than you realise.
Seeking counselling or therapy may well help to rebuild your sense of trust and your self worth. Getting the expert legal advice you need to guide you through your divorce or separation will give you the confidence you need to build strong foundations for the future.
At Harrogate Family Law, we’re the objective team you need in your corner and we’re here to help. Don’t worry alone, contact us today.