At first, you thought your partner was just overly confident, maybe a little cocky at times. But now after several months or even years, you’re starting to understand the reality — you’re in a relationship with a narcissist.
You’re trying to work things out, but soon you realize that trying is not enough. Should you stay in this relationship or leave before it gets worse?
Two professionals share eight signs of when it’s time to leave a relationship with a narcissist:
1) Your mental health is suffering from being in the relationship.
For example, you may develop depression and anxiety, experience suicidal ideation, or experience health deterioration, according to Ramani Durvasula, a psychologist and author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist.”
2) Your self-worth has started to plummet.
Even if you aren’t struggling with noticeable psychiatric symptoms as a result of being with a narcissistic partner, you may notice that you've stopped advocating for yourself or valuing who you are, Durvasula said.
3) If you have children, you may notice they are suffering emotionally.
According to Durvasula, narcissists are generally “on again, off again” parents, which is clearly unstable for children to grow up with. Children can become devastated and confused as a result of the disconnection, neglect, carelessness and coldness of a narcissistic parent or guardian.
4) Your partner may be consistent, but not in a positive way.
Narcissists tend to repeat the same mistakes over again, such as cheating, apologizing and repeating the cheating, Durvasula said. Even if they don’t cheat, they may forget important events like birthdays or anniversaries, and they’re unlikely to change.
5) It’s been a while since you’ve seen family and friends.
Isolation is not only typical in abusive relationships, it’s also common when you have a narcissistic partner, Durvasula said. Narcissists don’t want their partners to have advocates that may turn against them.