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When A Narcissist Leaves You For Someone Else

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

In contemporary relationships, it is sadly common for narcissism to play a role, and this can really affect the experience and future happiness of one or both of the people in the relationship. 

When A Narcissist Leaves You For Someone Else

Most narcissism involves people trapped in a relationship characterized by power imbalance, unhappiness, and control.

But what happens when this narcissistic relationship breaks down, and it is actually the narcissist themselves who leaves to find a new partner? 

What Does A Narcissistic Relationship Look Like? 

When we talk about narcissistic relationships, we could categorize them by the dynamics of power and agency within the relationship itself. 

Most normal, loving relationships employ give and take, a thoughtful compromise that sees both parties having their needs met, and having the freedom to engage with their own lives outside of the relationship.

Of course, the exact ratios of this depends on the individuals themselves, and plenty of variations can occur. 

When we see narcissistic relationships, this tends to revolve around one partner controlling the other – be it with neglect, manipulation, or simply by putting their own needs and wants above the other person’s. 

Narcissistic relationships are based around control and selfishness, and this can of course manifest itself in many unpleasant (and unhealthy) ways. 

What Do Narcissists Want? 

When it comes to relationships, narcissists characteristically want attention, control, power, and their needs to be prioritized and met.

This of course differs depending on the extent of the person’s narcissism, and can vary from person to person. 

While narcissism is generally associated with vanity, and loving your own reflection, this is only really one facet of the problem.

Narcissists will generally think they are better than other people, even their partners, and that their needs deserve more focus than other people in their circle. 

This means that narcissistic people ultimately want someone who will validate and cater to their feelings and needs, and who will treat them in the manner that they wish to be treated.

This can obviously lead to some unhealthy relationships and dynamics after time. 

Why Do Narcissists Leave Relationships? 

Why Do Narcissists Leave Relationships 

Narcissists will always tend to leave a relationship when they have another one lined up.

This is because they do not tend to enjoy being alone – as this leads to them not receiving the attention they think they are entitled to. 

The reasons behind them leaving in the first place will obviously vary depending on the situation, and the specific needs of the person, but some common reasons could include their partner’s long term illness, aging (which they deem unattractive), or their partner receiving promotions – the latter of which they would feel threatened by, due to it affecting the hierarchy in the household. 

Generally speaking, a narcissist would always look for someone they can a) control, b) feel superior to, and c) get the attention and love they feel they deserve.

This means that they will tend to select partners with lower self esteem, who they consider to be less attractive than themselves, or who they are more successful than in day to day life. 

What To Do/Think If A Narcissist Leaves You? 

If you suspect your partner is a narcissist, or if you have been left by one who has gone on to pursue another relationship, then there are several things you need to bear in mind. 

It Is Their Loss

First and foremost, you need to reassure yourself that it is indeed their loss, and that you have not done anything wrong. 

Based on the examples given above, the reasoning behind a narcissist leaving a relationship tends to be based on two factors – a) the responsibility is too much, or b) you are becoming too successful/confident. 

In either situation, you are neither in the wrong or at fault, and it is important to accept that fact. 

A Lucky Escape

You also need to see it as a lucky escape from an unhealthy situation.

In a mutually loving relationship, it is healthy and important for partners to encourage each other’s promotions at work, support one another through times of illness, and accept one another as they naturally age. 

If none of these are being met by your narcissistic partner, then this is not an equal and fair relationship built on love.

It is something far more unhealthy, and you are far better off without them. 

A Time For Self Care

You could also use time as a period of much needed self care.

Relationships with narcissists can often damage our own self esteem, and we can often leave them feeling worthless – both of which can damage us for future romantic prospects. 

By taking the time to come to terms with the end of the relationship, and by examining where things went wrong and what actually happened, we can learn to see what the healthy and unhealthy aspects of our relationships are, and how to pursue the right things in the future. 

Also, if your partner left you because you are becoming too confident or successful, then this is cause for celebration, not commiseration, and you should take the time to congratulate yourself.  

It can also be good to take an inventory of what you want moving forward, and then you can actively look out for key traits you would like to see in future relationships.  

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about narcissists, and what to do if they leave you for another partner. 

It’s true that narcissism is common and prevalent within contemporary relationships, and this can make it difficult and unpleasant for those involved.

However, there are ways and means to understand and protect yourself in such situations, no matter how confusing they can become. 

So if you are experiencing narcissistic relationships, then be sure to give some of these a try. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories

Canada

UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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