If you have been in a marriage or relationship with a narcissist and decided to leave, you are likely to be struggling to recover from the experience. There are many levels of narcissism. Some narcissists may let you off relatively lightly, while others will do everything they can - both during and after your relationship - to destroy you and your sense of self worth. Whatever your situation, you'll recognise that getting over it is not easy. And of course, that is their objective.
The best thing you can do to speed up the process of recovering from marriage to a narcissist is to work on yourself. Begin to learn about yourself: develop your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. This will greatly help the healing process.
And it is useful to see your marriage to a narcissist in a positive light. What are the good things that have come from you being in a relationship with a narcissist? There are many! They include:
- You have learnt from first-hand experience what it is like to be married to a narcissist. This means you can not only recognise narcissism, but you can help others in a similar situation to understand and cope with the experience that you yourself have been through.
- You have become a stronger person from being in a marriage to a narcissist. If you are honest, you will recognise that it was your own past weakness allowed yourself to become involved with a narcissist in the first place. Don't worry about that. It doesn't make you a weak or bad person. Many great people have been married to narcissists. But you know you won’t make that mistake again!
- You have had the courage to step out and leave a toxic narcissistic marriage. You will know that this is one of the most difficult things (if not the most difficult thing) you have had to do in your life.
- You have survived! You have learned a lot but you are still here. Great things are ahead of you!
However, it is also important to accept that you may never eliminate completely the effects of having been married to a narcissist. Accept that and don’t be too hard on yourself. Many people never have the courage to leave a narcissist - but you have! You should be proud of that. And your life will be better for the experience.
If you would like to learn more about narcissistic abuse, narcissistic personality disorder and how to cope with a marriage to a narcissist (both during and after), listen to my podcast episode on the subject (link below). I also cover other destructive disorders such as Borderline Personality disorder.