Breaking the Narcissist Relationship Pattern
My second husband was a narcissist (more specifically a legend in his own mind as the Emotional Vampires author put it). I very carefully read that Emotional Vampires book to try and make better decisions, but unfortunately, I got snagged by another one!
This one is much more slick and much quicker than ever before. I met him online on Plenty of Fish. We’re in our late 40s. His last marriage lasted a year. I am a very compassionate a person and have a strange attraction to helping broken people. Within about 6 weeks he figured out how to play my sympathy card and moved in. It’s been four months now.
About a month ago, I told him I was miserable, the relationship wasn’t working for me, and I thought it best that he find his own place. All serious conversations happen over text, because he can’t even look at me during a conversation about our relationship. Then he starts fixing a few things that were making me unhappy and pulls the great sex night card and figures the move-out subject is tabled. He has barely taken me out these four months except for a few dinners at the same restaurant. He’s never introduced me to his friends, and has blown off every outing I’ve tried to plan.
When I tell him he needs to move, he just tells me my hormones are raging or I’m upset because my dog just died. OMG! I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. It was another miserable weekend and I brought up the “I meet your friends or we part ways” conversation. Then he mows my lawn, edges the driveway, and buys all my groceries (he hasn’t paid or contributed to my household at all except picking up toilet paper and paper towels a couple times).
He owns his own business, and has expensive and watches. It was that charming smile and sparkling eyes that attracted me to this little chubby Irishman.
I’m a highly intelligent, successful woman (albeit with three divorces under my belt – never again!) with an apparent self-esteem issue in my personal life. If I’m so confident and assertive in my work life, how come I’ve got myself on the clearance rack in my personal life? Any suggestions?
You’re certainly well-informed about narcissists and men who treat women poorly. You ask a great question, “If I’m so confident and assertive in my work life, how come I’ve got myself on the clearance rack in my personal life?”
Ricky, unfortunately your brain and your emotions don’t always play nicely together. Your logical brain says, “This guy’s bad news. Kick him to the curb”, while your emotional brain says, “The sex is amazing, he’s so charming, and he mowed my lawn this week. Maybe he’ll change. Things aren’t as bad as they seem. Maybe I’m too sensitive.”
This man is chubby, stingy, mean, withholding, secretive, angry, and vengeful. Am I leaving anything out? He sucks you dry and leaves you wanting more. Isn’t it time to end the pattern of dating a narcissist for good?
The good news is that you are self-aware and have success in the rest of your life, especially at work. This is actually pretty common among the amazing women I’ve coached who succeed at parenting, work, and have great friends but attract men who treat them poorly.
Breaking the narcissist relationship pattern
My suggestion is that you kick this guy to the curb. Be clear and concise in your communication.
Here’s a sample script you can adapt to end your narcissist relationship:
“Ed, this relationship is not working for me. I want you out by the end of the day. This is not open for discussion. I’ve given you too many chances already. Just pack up and leave. I don’t want you in my life ever again.”
Alternately, if you think you’re in danger in any way, you don’t have to tell him in person. You can pack him up and leave his stuff outside. Call and let him know what you’ve done, and if he doesn’t come to get his stuff by the end of the day, you’ll get rid of it yourself. Sell his cars. Keep the cash. He owes you tons of money for freeloading for so long, doesn’t he? Make sure you have someone with you so you feel safe. If you need to call the police, do so.
Ricky, your brain knows exactly what to do. Please don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
When you truly own your value, you won’t allow anyone to treat you like this ever again. I don’t know what your family of origin was like, but often, people who attract toxic people into their lives were brought up in emotionally abusive homes. At the very least, there was benign neglect or a lack of clear boundaries.
You are a self-aware woman. Take a vacation from dating. This will be YOU time. I call this a DateCation.
The DateCation Dating Detox Program
During your DateCation, you will take care of the most important person in your life, Ricky.
- Pamper yourself (massages, mani-pedis, new outfits and new haircut), surround yourself with people who love you, and do things you love.
- Practice saying NO to anything that doesn’t feed your soul.
- Stop hanging out with anyone who drains you.
- Write in a Dating Detox Journal every day. The first thing you’ll write is a thank you letter to your ex-narcissist. You will thank him for all that he’s taught you. You’ll forgive him and yourself so you can move on. You will not send this letter. It is just for you. It will help you focus on healing and letting go so you can move on with grace and dignity.
Take three months off from dating and follow the dating detox program.
This is just a brief outline of the dating detox regimen I would recommend for anyone trying to leave a narcissist or break an unhealthy dating pattern. If you’d like more information on receiving in-depth support for healing after a breakup, you can schedule an hour consult with me to get started.
Wishing you a safe and healthy journey in life and love,
I am passionate about helping women over 40 attract and sustain a healthy, lasting, loving relationship. I made my coaching affordable to everyone, not just those who can pay for my exclusive one-on-one training. I also created a community for my clients to go for continued support after completing personal coaching with me. Join the Last First Date Inner Circle and receive monthly topic-based calls to learn effective dating skills, put them into practice, and have the support of myself and your peers who will help you laugh (and sometimes cry) through it all. I’ll help you stay focused and positive towards your goal of attracting the love of your life.