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How to Leave a Narcissist:8 Things You Need To Do

Last Updated on 1 year by Iva Ursano

Let’s face it, leaving any relationship is hard to do but leaving a narcissist, for some reason, is super hard to do. I mean, they’ve spent so much time convincing us we need them. Today I want to talk about how to leave a narcissist so you can finally be happy and free. 

I’ll be honest. I just thought my ex was a real bully but little did I know he was a true narcissist. I remember the first time he showed signs of bad behavior I just told myself that none of us are perfect and we all have bad days. 

But his behavior was bad an awful lot. I dealt with a lot of emotional and verbal abuse. 

Even thinking about leaving him scared the crap out of me because I had relied on him for so much I wasn’t so sure I could live on my own. 

Ya, it was pretty pathetic. 

I thought about leaving him for almost two years. I had a million questions and no answers. I was sure I couldn’t do it. I battled the ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ dilemma. 

It started sucking the life out of me. He was sucking the life out of me. The relationship was exhausting, empty, and degrading to me. I knew the only way to save what little bit of Iva was left was to leave.

By the time I finally left, I had low self-esteem, no self-confidence, feelings of being unworthy and basically just a shell of a woman. 

(this post contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase, I make a small commission-affiliate disclosure)

What Are Some Narcissistic Traits?

Before we get into the depth of this article let’s first have a look at some traits of a narcissist just in case you aren’t sure if your partner is one. 

For years I had no idea what this word even meant. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized what the traits of a narcissist really were. It just so happened, I had many in my life. 

Here are a few traits of a narcissist. See if you recognize any of them in your partner.

  • a grand sense of self importance
  • exploit others with no shame or guilt
  • constantly need praise or seek admiration
  • always lying and deny it vehemently
  • make you feel worthless
  • make you feel you are to blame always
  • belittles others, bullies others
  • take advantage of others
  • feels entitled
  • lack of empathy

Any of those look familiar? 

Dealing with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder is not an easy feat. You have to keep in mind that it’s a no win situation. You will always be wrong, everything will always be your fault, they are always right and you pretty much just have to suck it up. 

What a shi**y way to live. 

You might like this video from my YouTube channel where I talk about how to leave an abusive relationship.

Are You In a Relationship With a Narcissist?

So I’ve covered some of the traits of a narcissist. Do you recognize any of these abusive behaviors in your husband/partner? Too often we just pass them off as ‘oh that’s just who/how he is’  but you need to know, that’s NOT normal or acceptable.

Maybe it is who they are but you don’t need to be a part of any of that. Those are serious red flags that you absolutely can’t and shouldn’t ignore!

If you have a narcissistic spouse it is important that you understand how damaging the emotional abuse is and what the long term effects of being married to a narcissist are.

The first step is recognizing what he/she is and if therapy or counseling is out of the question, you need to make a plan to leave. 

Remember, healthy relationships don’t make you sad, hurt you, and strip you of everything you are. 

Dealing With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

I think it’s important to keep in mind that no matter what, you will not change them. They are a result of their upbringing and the only thing that can truly help them is professional help.

But in order for them to even think about professional help, they have to admit they have a problem. And that in itself is a problem because remember, in their eyes, you’re the one with the problem. 

Now I’m not saying there isn’t help for them. Just know that you can’t help them. They have to want to help themselves. 

When dealing with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder you have to keep in mind, it’s a relationship you will never be happy in, and it will be a constant uphill battle. 

Is this the life you want to live? Really? I think not. 

So maybe you’ve decided to leave your narcissistic partner (yay you!!) but you’re concerned. Scared even. You’re not sure you can do this. I’m here to tell you, yes you can and yes you should!

So let’s get to this. 

Why is it so hard to leave a narcissist?

Because we feel worthless, stupid, incapable of anything, ever. Narcissists have a way of making us believe that we can’t live without them. 

Because we fear they will never let us go and will continuously convince us that everything is our fault and that we’re making things up.

Why is it so hard to leave a narcissist?

Because we don’t know what to believe anymore about anything, ever. We question ourselves daily. 

Before we go any further I do want to drop the National Domestic Violence Hotline number here just in case you are the victim of physical abuse/domestic abuse. 

How to leave a narcissist so you can finally be happy!

1 Decide you are leaving

The first thing you have to do is decide you are going to leave BUT stick to your decision. They are really good at convincing us that there’s nothing wrong and that we need them. You already know it’s in your best interest to gtfo.

Remember, you don’t need them. What you need is to get your life back and be happy. 

2 Stick to your decision

After you’ve made the decision to leave, tell your narcissist spouse you are leaving (obviously) but don’t let them sway your decision. Be firm, clear, and stand your ground. 

It’s important to keep in mind this won’t be easy. Make sure you have solid true friends around you who can help you with the move (if it’s you that has to move). A cheerleading team behind you is crucial. 

These peeps will make sure you stay the course. 

3 Have a support system in place 

If you can afford professional help and feel you need it, secure it before you leave. You will need someone to talk to who will help you leave, grow, and heal from all the narcissistic abuse you’ve endured in this relationship. 

If you can’t afford professional help (don’t feel bad I couldn’t) find a support group or reach out to family members you trust that you can talk to or even a trusted friend. You’re not in this alone.

Kim Saeed has an amazing and affordable course to help you leave your narcissist. You can check it out by clicking here or the image below. 


4 Maintain no contact

The best thing to do is go no contact once you leave. Don’t let this person contact you or have any access to you whatsoever (unless children are involved and you need to maintain contact).

You may have a really hard time doing this at first but you need to know that in the long this is best for your mental health. Trust me on that.

You most likely have mutual friends so talk to them and ask them to respect this decision you’ve made so they won’t be likely to invite both of you to the same event/party.

5 Delete them from all social media accounts

Block their number, do not reach out to contact them at all, ever. You have got to let go completely so you can move on and heal.

Healing and growing will be extremely difficult if you keep contacting them or let them contact you. They have nothing new to say to you that’s going to fix things.

Trust me on that.

6 Surround yourself with things that bring you joy

Things that make you happy. You’ve been unhappy for so long it’s now time to start doing the things that bring you joy. You can finally just take care of your own needs and not have to worry about pleasing anyone else right now!

Things you probably haven’t done in a really long time because of your narcissistic ex. Making time to do things that will bring you joy will help keep you on track, heal, and take your mind off the sadness, grief and confusion you will feel.

7 Take time to go through the stages of grief

And yes, you will. You need to. You just closed a huge chapter in your life and you’re about to embark on a whole new life but you have to grieve the loss of the life you’ve known for the last x amount of years too.

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7 stages of grief

In case you aren’t familiar with the stages of grief, here they are:

  • Shock and denial.
  • Pain and guilt.
  • Anger and bargaining.
  • Depression.
  • The upward turn.
  • Reconstruction and working through.
  • Acceptance and hope.

Now while these stages of grief are geared to someone who has lost a loved one to death (either through illness or unexpectedly) they still apply to leaving a narcissistic relationship (or a toxic/abusive relationship).

We still have to grieve this loss. And you will. And you should. It’s so important to your healing and growth.

It’s your chance to learn so much about yourself, who you are, who you were and who you want to be. As you’re learning about yourself, things will come up, happy things, that will surprise you!

8 Work on your personal growth

Being in a relationship with a narcissist, chances are you’ve lost all these things:

  • self esteem
  • self respect
  • self confidence
  • self worth
  • happiness, and
  • so much more.

Now that you have the tools and know how to leave a narcissist, it’s important to start working on you and all the things you’ve lost in that toxic relationship.

I’ll be honest, this is gonna take some time. Maybe even a long long time. But I need you to know one very important thing:

If you don’t heal and grow, you will continue to attract toxic relationships.

Read that again.

You might also like these narcissist quotes that will really hit home hard!!!

10 Narcissistic Quotes That Will Hit You in the Feels

We have to heal our deep inner wounds that could very well have incurred in our childhood. Feelings of unworthiness. Limiting beliefs that were plugged in that we are no good.

Whatever the case, whatever the wound, it’s important to dig it out and heal it. Otherwise, you’ll never grow and you’ll never have the relationship you deserve and you’ll keep running into similar situations with narcissists.

Harsh words but true.

I started a mini self help eBook series and there are a few books in there I think you might like (or need to read!) Click the image below or this link here to grab the self help eBook that resonates with you.

mini eBook self help seriesPin

I think you might really like the following eBooks in this collection:

“How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You”

“How to Set Boundaries”

“How to Love Yourself”

Leaving a narcissist is hard

I know it’s a hard decision to leave a relationship, especially an abusive relationship or a toxic relationship because we have been programmed to believe everything is our fault and we are not worthy.

But it’s not your fault and you ARE worthy. Worthy of happiness, joy, inner peace, self respect, unconditional and mutual love and so much more.

Knowing how to leave a narcissist is only half the battle. You are now armed with tools and information. It’s up to you now to take the leap and go!!

For those of you who still want to fight to the end for your relationship, you may want to check out online-therapy.com. Click here to speak to find a relationship therapist to help you.

Your happiness is entirely up to you. But remember, you deserve happiness, not a life of misery.

xo iva xo

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