Breaking Up With a Narcissist

Breaking up with a narcissist is never easy but, with the right intention and the willingness to let a few things go, it certainly can be done. The good news is that the “rules” of breaking up with a narcissist are completely different than the rules that apply to even the most dysfunctional of “normal” relationships. When you break up with a narcissist, there are a whole slew of things that you simply don’t have to worry about.

For example, when you decide to leave a narcissist for good….

  • You don’t have to worry about hurting his feelings because he doesn’t have any
  • Because he’s never around, you really don’t even have to tell him you’re breaking up
  • Even if you do break up in person, he’ll likely be so insulted (narcissistic injury) that he’ll start giving you the silent treatment anyway
  • You don’t have to worry about running into him anytime soon because of his Houdini-like ability to vanish off the face of the earth
  • And so forth and so on…..

Of course, in order to really break up and truly let go of the narcissist, you, as the victim, have to be able to give up a few of the things that have been keeping you from breaking up with him in the first place including:

  • The need to have the last word because it will ever happen. The narcissist is a walking dictionary of last words and he’ll always have a better one.
  • The need to hear him admit to every awful thing he’s ever done to you because he won’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about
  • The need to first get reimbursed for all the money you’ve either spent on him or he’s “borrowed” from you because, again, he won’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about
  • The need to have him grovel for forgiveness because, in the blink of an eye, he’ll have you groveling for forgiveness and you won’t even know how he did it
  • The need to break-up but then still get closure-style revenge (somehow) because chances are he’s already thought ahead and his revenge on your revenge will be much worse
  • And so forth and so on
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Yes, ending a relationship with a narcissist is easier than you think because the reality of the situation is that you’ve been broken up the whole time! Just because the narcissist disappears without saying a word doesn’t mean he hasn’t broken up with you – because he has. Silent treatments are just break-ups in disguise intended to make you imagine that the possibility that you haven’t been dumped for good still exists.

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Recently, I received a heartfelt email from a reader who wondered if No Contact still counted if she decided to implement it during a silent treatment. Of course it does! You can turn a narcissistic silent treatment around anytime in your own mind just by saying “This is NOT a silent treatment. This is No Contact and I’ve just dumped YOU!” My point is that, since the narcissist is never around anyway, you can break up with him anytime simply by not being there when he gets back. You can just as easily block HIS phone and change YOUR phone number – as he does to you – but you must do it with one thing that’s different: the intention.

Again, the silent treatment is a narcissist’s way to avoid you dumping him by keeping you confused as to whether he just dumped you. He intends to return because his intention – always – is to keep you from moving on from the pain he has caused (although he’s been moving on the whole time). You have to understand how the narcissist is really thinking…the evilness and indifference of his plan…and accept it as truth – because it is! Once you grasp the facts…that he doesn’t and has never loved you, that he is going to play this cat and mouse game forever and ever, that he will never change and, therefore, wanting to get even and have closure and hear “I’m sorry’s” is just a waste of more time…once you “get” all of this, it will become amazingly clear to you that dumping the narcissistic partner is far easier than you ever thought possible.

Now, when you co-parent with a narcissist, things are slightly different but only technically. The truth is that narcissists are no better parents than they are partners. Narcissists walk out on their families to be with other partners all the time and don’t have the slightest problem doing it. No problem at all. So, if you don’t have the strength to end it while he’s still living with you, then wait for him to leave (and you know he will), change the locks, tell the kids, and start the process of divorcing his ass.

zari - narcissist-abuse-supportI’m not saying that your decision to finally break-up for good isn’t going to be sad – because it will be. What I am saying is that, if you stay focused and mean what you say and say what you mean, to actually break-up with the narcissist, to end it, to stop the insanity once and for all isn’t going to be that hard. The hard part is always within us – the victim – and it always has to do with our inability to be honest with ourselves about the intention of the “break-up”. If your plan, deep down, is to go No Contact in hopes that he will end his silent treatment, you may as well just sit and wait for the hoover and save yourself the trouble. He’s going to do all those awful things narcissists and sociopaths do whether you love him or not, remain loyal to him or not, wait for him or not, or break-up with him or not.

So you may as well break-up with the motherfucker!

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  • Kendra

    August 4, 2017 at 11:12 am Reply

    Met my guy in 09 as…. Casual friends (sex partners basically). He eluded to feelings for me but I ran back into my ex at the time, arms. Kept mostly distant contact for several yrs bcuz yes I considered him a nice guy & friend. He always was, & is, so charming. Holds doors for women in general, helps old ladies with groceries loves kids & animals. Very well spoken & intelligent & intellectual. Every woman is dubbed “love” or “gorgeous” etc. 2015 after no contact for several yrs (just simply died off naturally) we became Facebook friends. Well last April I became single & started to date my N seriously. Started out great, spending weekends holed up in a hotel, jazz & drinks & of course intimacy. By Aug we were fully committed & I allowed him to move in with me. Not a month later he changed. Suddenly I was a liar about any & every thing. Accused of so much. Going tgru my phone emails etc. Talking about him to people. Couldn’t wash dishes right. Pork is disgusting so don’t kiss him if I eat any…. I’ve got him timed, once or twice a week for more than half of the relationship has been arguing. I ask what did I do he says don’t worry about it after acting like a 10yr old boy. And God forbid I say the words “I’m confused”….. Now I’m questioning my mom my best best friend….. When I grovel at his feet & beg please stay he’s on his throne I can see it. When I just say ok leave he wants to chat & doesn’t go. Once he moved out last month & somehow the keys to my home were stuck to him lol (insert sarcasm) I don’t want to believe he’s a N but I know it & he’s open about being one. Says it keeps him ahead of everyone. Like chess not checkers. Dear God help. I want him gone & with me at the same time. I’m a co-de

  • Melanie Gray

    July 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm Reply

    I realized 2 years ago I was involved with a narcissist. Part of me felt I should have known better because of my education level & experience in mental health. First time I realized is when I decided to be an unskilled detective while he was living with me for 4 yrs. Even though he had an apartment in the same building. When I met him my red flag level was 10 high but ignored them bcuz I thought ” I won’t get involved with this fool”. I found out through multiple venues… 2 yrs into it…. he was having a relationship with someone for 1 yr, 4 months another & 8 months with another person while living with me. I was devastated! I thought something was wrong with me. I kicked all his shit out, had conversations with the other girls… .I was done….I didn’t see it coming…..manipulation, hovering, fell back. 10 months later my mom dies & I need rush back to Illinois. It was Nov 11, 2015, lost mom. Got back home cuz I have 2 Great Danes to take care of…..he leaves that Thanksgiving to see his parents. Month October he went to see his parents. Thought that was strange considering his relationships with his sibling & mother are abusive. At any rate, he disappears Christmas and NY. I finally find out from his best friend (who is gay- which he is in total denial & homophobic at the same time). all these trips he was “at home” he was seeing seeing a girl in California. We break up again…I throw his shit out….He puts on the tears,buys me a diamond ring, I’m sorry. Blah blah….. I’m believing he is sincere so I begin seeing him 1 or 2 times a week. He finally moves into his condo which he bought 4 yrs ago. I was wrong…I find out 1 month ago…he’s been staying with a. Little friend & she’s been staying with him for the last 1 1/2. What I realize now ( haven’t had contact in17 days) even though he’s banged on my door, come with roses, money etc……he will never change. He is a pathological liar & gets a thrill from

  • Mimi

    January 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm Reply

    For 14 years I thought I met my soulmate my best friend but our relationship was like a roller coaster on and off arguing fighting there was no communication and he always made me feel like everything was my fault and I’m always paranoid. He never cared about my feelings or what I wanted. I thought maybe because we are still young and he needed to grow up. When I felt distanced and thought he cheated on me he constantly lied and denied everything even when there was evidence. I broke up with him so many times hoping he would change but instead to find out he jumps into a new relationship like it was nothing. Every single time we end it he is the one to start a new relationship then he would come back apologizing crying and tell me he loves me. Now I realize that our relationship was base on an illusion a lie. I always thought maybe I’m a drama queen or always picking a fight with him but to find out he constantly repeats the same action by abusing me mentally and verbally putting me down and calling me names I knew then something is wrong with him not me because love is not supposed to be like this. I’m in the no contact and healing process I have 3 kids with him hopefully this no contact will help I did it for 2 years on him but due to my father passing away my ex took that as a point to come back in my life and asked to start a family again but I knew he didn’t change he didn’t want a family he wanted to see that he still can hurt me. One a narcissist always a narcissist!!!!

    • Zari Ballard

      January 31, 2017 at 11:42 pm Reply

      Hi Mimi,

      If you can, read my book When Love Is a Lie because my story is just like yours (sans kids). Narcissists love to make us feel like a “drama queen” no matter what they are doing at the time to make us feel that way. This is how they train us to be quiet, to say nothing, to look the other way, blah blah blah but it is all part of the plan. With three kids, you have a bit of a problem and hopefully you will maintain the upper hand. I hope you are getting him for child support, girl! Three kids is a lot and he shouldn’t be able to come and go as he pleases, disappearing and whatever, WITHOUT GIVING YOU SUPPORT. Do it legally if you haven’t already so that the courts have to deal with it and continue with only minimal communication.

      Stay strong and stay focused!

      Zari xo

  • Harley wilson

    November 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm Reply

    I met my N at a bar 3 yrs ago, ended up pregnant with his 1st child right away. He took me out for lunch everyday up until then. Once we knew, he changed, needing money and wanted to get an abortion. Of course I said no. That should have been a red flag but it got worse when I found out he was using drugs and made me choo and made me choose to move out of the place I was living to live with him. It’s been 3 years and now he is financially responsible I guess you would say. The apartment is in my name technically he is not allowed to live here and if I really wanted to be an a****** I could kick him out. He is cutting me off from everybody and the friends I have now he hates. Not to mention he is always right and I’ve even caught him talking to another girl and he even texted my sister by accident something he was supposed to text her and said that he set it up so that I would see it to see how I respond. Which is BS and I know better but with Thanksgiving with two families and my son’s birthday the day after I’m at a loss. We broke up a couple times and he’s always manipulated his way back. He still has an addiction and he blames it on me but I know for a fact it’s not because I got him help in the first place and I have never had problems with drugs. I guess I am waiting for an opportune time to kick him out. I know he’s a narcissist and of course he says he’s not but he’s violent he’s rude and he knows every button to push to get what he wants. I guess what I’m saying is that I really just need a good pep talk. My plan is to wait until he’s gone At work and maybe pack his things and throw them out. Problem is his mother is the very same way as he and she is terrifying. They call me a bad parent and I know I am not I’ve done everything for my child and all he does is sleep or yell at me or tell me something isn’t right even though I’ve done it well. His mother is gone to the lengths of children services on me and trying to keep my child from me and of course the police told her that she can’t do that. So do I cut both of them Off completely because it’s very complicated with children and I know he and she both do a lot for him too.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 3, 2016 at 2:08 am Reply

      Hi Harley Wilson,

      If you read through all the articles on my site, you will see all of the reasons to kick his ass to the curb. If you want a REAL pep talk, then consider booking some talk time with me so that I can do it properly. When it comes to narcissism in relationships, pep talks are what I’m all about:)

      If you’re not financially reliant on this guy, why are allowing him to stay there and treat you like that? We often hang around to see what happens next as if its happening to someone else but it’s not…it’s happening to us and to our families and, meanwhile, the narc just does what he wants. Do the right thing for your child and kick him out. That won’t make you an “asshole”, it will make you one smart girl!

      Book some time and we can talk!

      Zari xo

    • JJ

      August 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm Reply

      I just want to mention to people that anyone who has stayed at your home long enough (most judges use two weeks) has achieved legal tenant status and should be evicted if they do not move when you tell him or her. The person doesn’t have to an address change, the person doesn’t have to receive mail, the person doesn’t have to be on any type of agreement nor do they have pay anything for rent or utilities. If they want to be an ass, and they are knowledgeable enough in the law, they could sue you for an unlawful eviction just by you throwing their property out. Please be careful when taking legal matters into your own hands. I am a legal assistant with 5 years in real estate law.

      • Zari Ballard

        August 23, 2017 at 11:56 pm Reply

        This is so true and I hear about it all the time. Quite a few years back, a girlfriend of mine tried to have her abusive boyfriend (who basically came to stay one night and never left) “evicted” by the cops. We hid across the street watching in hopes that they would get the job done. Instead, and it was so long ago that I don’t remember exactly what transpired, the cops met us after speaking with him and told HER that she couldn’t return TO HER OWN HOME until he had left. She had to come with me instead of going home and it took him three days to leave. He had a little party and just a grande old time on the way out. I don’t remember the legalities but YES YOU ARE SO RIGHT!

  • Marie

    September 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm Reply

    I’m not sure that I was a narcissist but it feels like it… I met a boy online back in February. We hit it off right away and even though there’s a big age difference (i’m 33 and he’s 25), we got along great. We have opposite work schedules but he would make time for me as much as possible. He asked me to be his girlfriend within a week, but after the 3rd week, he was feeling very distant. When I asked him (via text), he completely blew up and ignored me for about a week. I didn’t contact him then finally he texted me accusing me of ignoring him. We talked, got back together, and in the middle of March he told me he was getting kicked out of the house he was living in. A woman about my age owned the house, and he said that he was renting the basement but her ex husband had shown up and brought in inspectors saying she didn’t have the right to rent it out. So you guessed it, he moved in with me… Everything was going fine, but in May he started to act cold and distant again, so one day, I checked his phone. He was sexting and exchanging dirty pics with several women… I also figured out that when he had given me the silent shortly after we met that he had tried to date another girl (talking online, met up with her and her friends, etc…), saying that I was great and amazing in bed but that the heart knew what the heart wanted… I confronted him and told him he had to move out. He apologized and promised it would never happen again, and I forgave him… Things from then on were like a roller coaster. I was emotional and didn’t trust him at all, so we frequently got into arguments. I often felt awful about my mood swings and worked very hard to forgive him completely, and eventually I did. Then in August he started acting distant again, even changed the code on his phone, and was constantly watching porn and I believe he was talking to other women online but have no proof. We stopped having sex entirely and when I would bring it up he would just change subjects. About a week ago, he was texting me that he was confused. That he had been “looking” at another girl. He said he felt really guilty for being attracted to her and that he was going to go get a drink after work to calm down because he was upset. After waiting for him for hours, I realized that he was probably not coming home… I gathered his clothes and put them in the basement, with a note asking him to move out in September. He has given me the silent treatment ever since. He had loaned me the book “Women” by Charles Bukowski. The book goes on a on about this man using woman after woman for anything and everything, and having sex with any woman that would even get near him, and completely treating them like they were objects. I think he was telling me what he was: a whore who was using me for my house… A narcissist… I’m upset and now believe that the woman he was living with when I met him was actually his girlfriend (even though he denied ever having any relations with her), and that he’s already dating the new girl. I can’t tell what is real, and what is my paranoia. I also understand that I will probably never get the truth… Is he a narcissist or am I crazy?!?

    • Zari Ballard

      September 25, 2016 at 11:30 am Reply

      Hi Marie,

      Good God…is he gone now? I hope so, girl. Whether he’s a narc or not (which it certainly sounds like he is) you have to know he is just a piece of shit. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!!! I have no doubt that the girl he was living with was his girlfriend – of course she was. You are not paranoid nor are you crazy and you are NOT the problem.

      As for getting the truth, no…you will never get it from him. However, you should be comfortable and confident in the truth that you know. Your instincts were right every time you had that little doubt about something. Hopefully he is gone from your life and blocked from ever being able to contact you again.

      Stay strong!

      Zari xo

  • Sharon

    August 29, 2016 at 11:08 am Reply

    Hi Zaria. I am reading your book for the second time. I relate to everything you say. I had a low level narcissist. Lived in my home and I started a business and took him in as a partner. He wouldn’t do his share of the work on the business and never did his share in the home. We had to buy separate food because he didn’t want to share the expense of the food for my teenage daughter. He wanted everything of mine but didn’t want to share any thing of his. He had other narc characteristics. Never ever took responsibility for his hurts. Never and he gaslight end often. Said things then denied. But I want you to know i kicked him to the curb 8 months ago. Slowly led dooming contact now virtually contact free. Only occassionally to pick up my monthly check. I sold him my company.
    My question is that you talk a lot about cheating and other woman. On that front I’m sure there was no other woman but he was still a full fledge parasitic narcissist. After I read your books I sometimes questioned whether he was because there was no other woman. But I was totally used. He occassionally helped fix things around the house but always with an attitude

    • Zari Ballard

      September 3, 2016 at 12:08 am Reply

      Hi Sharon,

      Oh, narcissists always cheat or have something going on. None of us ever thought that or wanted to believe it. But, look, even if he didn’t “cheat”, so what? He treated you and your daughter like shit and used you beyond belief!!! You did the right thing and good for you!!!! Enjoy your freedom and don’t have any doubts – not a single one!

      Be free and happy, sister!

      Zari xo

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