When a relationship with a narcissist ends you are left with hundreds of questions, and even though the focus should be on you and your healing, I understand the need for answers to all questions. Why did he do this? Did I deserve this? How did I let this happen? The list of questions about the narcissist’s behavior might feel endless. After months of research, I will do my best to answer all questions you might have – leave a question in the comments, and I will get back to you and add it to the list.
While I focus on people with a narcissistic personality disorder here, I can imagine you have these questions after a bad break-up, no matter if the other person has NPD or not. I hope this guide can give you some answers you desperately looking for, and I hope you will decide to focus on yourself, and the healing you deserve.
*I’ve written this from personal experience, and I chose to use the term ‘he’ but you can also read it as ‘her.’ This post contains affiliate links, for more information click here*
Questions everyone has after a relationship with a narcissist
How could he do this to me?
It’s not so much as what he did to you, but what he did for himself. Narcissists are NOT evil at heart, although it certainly feels that way, their behavior is all about them. Narcissists are wounded children that can’t grow up. Something happened to them to make them this way, they feel empty, alone, hurt and all they want is admiration and love, but they don’t know how to get it in a positive way. They don’t want people to know they are flawed, so they act like this fantastic person, but as soon as they have you hooked and you see them for what they are they start to act out more and more, and before you know it, they are bored and in need of new people to satisfy their needs.
You have to remember that it wasn’t you, it wasn’t something you did or didn’t do. Their needs are the only thing that matters to them, and whatever you do, it will never be enough, because new ‘supply’ is always more exciting and that’s what makes them feel alive, it’s what they need to survive their shallow, painful inner world.
What signs did I miss?
I don’t think it’s about signs you missed, but more about the ones you ignored. You don’t want to believe that the person you love isn’t so great as you once thought, so you ignore that little lie you caught them in or that time he made you feel stupid in front of your friends. You tell yourself it won’t happen again; this was just one time. Narcissists are skilled manipulators – they say you remembered it wrong or that it didn’t happen, after a while, you start to doubt yourself or even believe the narcissist.
The lesson to be learned here – It doesn’t matter what signs you ignored or missed as long as you learn from the experience and don’t let it happen again. Book an appointment with a therapist and figure out why you felt it was ok that he treated you the way he did, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Related – Relationship with a narcissist
Will the narcissist come back?
Ask yourself – do you want him to come back? He manipulated you into thinking he was this great person, the only person able to make you happy, but was he? Think about the fights, the cheating, the mind f*cks. It’s normal to miss him, you loved him, and a broken heart takes time to heal, but it will fade, and you will come out stronger- without him.
Now, to answer your question- Narcissists see you as property so they might shelve you, on the hunt for new prey, but they never truly discard you. You might not hear from him for a few weeks, months, or even years, but the chance of a narcissist coming back for your attention is big. You have to remember though – You are old supply, they already know you, so you aren’t that interesting. Think back to all the hurt he caused you and ignore them, forever.
Will he be happy with his new spouse?
No, he won’t. Narcissists don’t know real love; they know infatuation. They meet someone new and exciting, and they fall head over heels for them, but it has nothing to do with love. It will only take a few months before they are bored again and fall back into old patterns of cheating, gaslighting, and other toxic behavior.
A narcissist won’t change until they go through excessive therapy to heal their wounds and start working towards self-love and healthier coping patterns.
What does a narcissist look like without the mask?
Narcissists in daily life look like they have their life together – they have a great job, a lovely family and they look charismatic and kind, but beneath that mask is a lot of insecurity and pain. Pretending to be great and hiding the real you is exhausting. Narcissists often deal with this with addictions. They either use alcohol or gamble, and most of them have several relationships.
The life of a narcissist is pretty sad, they were hurt as children, and now they feel the constant need to protect themselves against everything and everyone. They are stuck in the behavior of a wounded child, nobody taught them healthy coping methods, and now they are too stubborn and proud to listen to someone else. They can’t reflect on their own behavior, and they will ‘attack’ if you do something that triggers them. In the end, they push most people away, and they will be more lonely than they already were.
What are some things all or most narcissists say?
I’ve read hundreds of stories from narcissist abuse survivors, and they all have one thing in common- they all say the same things to manipulate and get what they want. Here is a list of commonly heard phrases from a narcissist;
- You remembered it wrong
- I never said that
- You are insane
- If you only tried harder
- I needed it; it has nothing to do with you
- Get over it already; it’s been 5 minutes
- I need you to stop talking about it now
- It was only one affair; it didn’t mean anything
- You need to look good if I’m going to take you out
- That woman is crazy, don’t listen to her
- I only lied because I didn’t want you to be angry
- I’m sure you are cheating on me
- She is more supportive of me, why can’t you be more like her
- Everyone says the same things about you
- Everyone agrees with me
The list goes on and on. Most phrases are manipulative, a way to control you and deflect, others are to make you insecure so you will stay with ‘the amazing’ narcissist.
Will I forget about him and heal?
You will! The amount of time you need depends on a few things;
- How long did the relationship last
- Your personality
- Keeping no contact
- Is he leaving you alone?
It can take a longer time to heal if you are married, have children together and need to go through a divorce. Staying in contact with a narcissist is very hard, but sometimes necessary if there are children in the picture. Make sure you communicate boundaries and try to avoid him as much as possible. Focus on healing your broken heart and the wounds you have from the abusive relationship.
Your mind will wander a lot- wondering what if? Hundreds of questions might pop-up in your head, and you will probably google all of them, but try to remember that you don’t have to understand him. It’s frustrating, but the focus should be on you. How are you going to heal?
Keep telling yourself it wasn’t you who did anything wrong. Avoid the narcissist as much as you can, don’t give him attention when he asks for it, it’s no longer your job to satisfy his needs. Every time your mind wanders and thinks about him, bring it back to the present moment and remind yourself you are better off.
Is my ex a narcissist?
It doesn’t matter if he is. If you are here reading this, it means you went searching for answers about narcissistic behavior; something must be wrong in your (ex)-relationship for you to wonder if he’s a narcissist.
But to answer your question – only a psychologist can determine if he is or not, but narcissists do have a particular set of personality traits you can recognize them in;
- They feel special, better and different than other people. Rules don’t count for them; they expect special treatment from everyone.
- They are highly sensitive to judgment or not getting what they want.
- They compete with others and devalue them.
- They manipulate people into admiring them if the narcissist doesn’t get his way he becomes angry.
- They are always on the lookout for people that can enhance them, people they believe are suitable for their status and ego.
- They have problems emphasizing with other people
- They get bored easily
- They see things as black or white. If they are mad at you, they forget all the good things you did for them. They also categorize people in good (high status) and bad (low status).
Did he love me?
Narcissists don’t love as healthy people do, they ‘fall in love’, or better they get infatuated with someone. If the narcissist chooses you it means you, are ‘someone special.’ They want your admiration and love, so you are special to them, unfortunately, it doesn’t last long. Real, lasting love requires empathy, mutual give-and-take, compromise, sacrifice and hard work– a narcissist simply isn’t capable of this.
What’s the best way to get revenge on a narcissist?
This is going to sound like a cliche, but it’s the truth– Heal from the experience and live your best life. The narcissist is miserable, that’s punishment enough. I understand the need for revenge but it won’t make you feel better, and he might come at you with threats and other unpleasant things. See the narcissist as a raging toddler and feel pity for him, he will get his karma one way or another.
You are angry and upset about what happened to you and that’s ok, but someone with NPD has known a lot of hurt too, you don’t develop a serious personality disorder for no reason. Everything they do is to protect themselves, to feel better. That doesn’t make it ok, but if you realize that – it can help you overcome your anger and focus on yourself.
Instead of thinking about revenge think about how you are going to heal. If you keep feeling anger towards the narcissist, you can try journaling, writing a letter (which you won’t send, cause he wouldn’t care anyway) or take a boxing class. Deal with that anger in a healthy way, one that benefits you.
Can a narcissist become a better person?
The problem with narcissism is that the person suffering from it doesn’t realize he is the problem, in his eyes, he’s the real victim. So how do you get a person with NPD to change?
First of all, it’s not your responsibility, don’t become codependent to their problem. There is a lot of research on this topic. Some say it’s possible once a narcissist realizes he’s the problem, but as I stated before– they see themselves as the victim. I’ve heard of narcissists reaching rock bottom that ended up in therapy and somewhat bettered there life, but it’s a difficult personality disorder to treat if the person doesn’t realize there is something wrong with their behavior.
If you have questions, you can ask them in the comments, and I do my best to answer them as quickly as possible!