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unhealthy relationship style

Was Your Divorce Caused By An Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style?

unhealthy relationship style

 

Aside from infidelity, which also has a slew of underlying causes of its own, divorce is frequently the final outcome of a relationship that was unhealthy, to begin with. Unfortunately, when neither person is aware of their issues, they can hardly invest time to heal or look for professional help.

Consider the reasons that caused conflicts or even the very divorce between you and your spouse. Ask any of your divorced friends, and they’ll likely come up with similar responses to yours. They typically resemble statements such as “We couldn’t stop arguing”, “He became insanely jealous”, or “She never really opened up to me.”

Although the problem is far more complex than what a simple blog can cover, it can at the very least give you invaluable insights into how your bond works and what goes wrong – so that you can prevent future conflicts. The theory of attachment styles dates back to the sixties, and it helps us unravel the intricate behavioral patterns in the dynamics of our relationships.

Here are a few pointers to spot your own style and that of your former or potential spouse, and ways to help yourself overcome the most common pitfalls of unhealthy attachment forms.

How an Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style Leads to Divorce

The paradox of anxious attachment

When you feel insecure and in constant need of affection and attention, accompanied by feelings of doubt in the love of your partner, you’re most likely developing an anxious attachment to them. These emotions are often expressed through anger, aggression, overwhelming sadness, and the partner will feel attacked as well as pressured into providing more care and affection.

The paradox lies in needing the affection of your partner while you simultaneously doubt its authenticity. When paired with a person prone to building avoidant attachments, the anxious partner will feel constantly tortured, especially when both fail to understand the underlying psychological factors at play.

Being complete before entering a relationship

No marriage dissolves because of one person, but because of the dynamics between two individuals. Likewise, no one is truly “complete” at any stage during their life, since we continue to evolve and change over the course of our entire existence. However, we can do so much on our part if and when we know how to take care of ourselves and grow as a person before and as we build our relationships.

This heavily depends on the society you are raised in, as in the Land of Down Under, there’s a great emphasis on the notion of wellbeing, self-care, and self-love. Their culture empowers people to care for themselves through healthy eating with the help of brands such as Australian Sports Nutrition paired with regular exercise. Taking good care of yourself is a great start in preventing highly dependent bonds in which you feel as if your very essence and value depend on the other person.

Perhaps we can learn something from a nation whose divorce rates have plummeted to their lowest in 40 years.

Avoidant attachment and its perils

The avoidant style presents itself in the form of a detached, emotionally unavailable person that prefers not to express their emotions or immerse themselves into an emotionally intense experience. One could say that they prefer no attachment at all.

However, you would be amiss to presume that this behavior is merely narcissistic or malevolent. It stems from fear of getting hurt and being vulnerable, and it serves as a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to communicate with someone who shuts down any attempt of close interaction, let alone form a long-lasting marriage with them.

Embracing the emotional learning curve

Although superficial bonds may have their appeal, marriages are never formed, nor sustained on sexual attraction alone or discussing the weather. It takes courage to recognize an opportunity to open up, and even more of it to actually take the risk of being hurt. Recognizing that you can safely express your feelings takes time. It also takes time to find appropriate methods for maneuvering those emotions that will protect your marriage.

You can embark on this journey alone, or you can work with a therapist to resolve your emotional troubles that have led to the end of your marriage. Even online options such as BetterHelp can serve you and your spouse well if you notice your issues in time. It’s important to note that we usually spend our entire lives recognizing our attachment style issues as they rear their not-so-attractive heads when we’re most vulnerable.

Feeling and forming secure attachments

Finally, secure attachments are formed only by individuals who feel good and confident in their own life, who might have had negative encounters, emotional and otherwise, but have been able to cope with them in healthy ways. When a person with avoidant or anxious attachment patterns connects with a secure partner, they are far more likely to embrace that secure mode of behavior over time. Still, that is not a promise, nor the best way to develop emotionally.

We all need to take responsibility for our own emotional wellbeing before we begin another marriage or start assigning blame for the mistakes of the past. It takes time, therapy, and proper self-care in our everyday lives to embrace new modes of acting and ways of connecting and bonding with our loved ones.

This article first appeared on DivorceMag.com

The post Was Your Divorce Caused By An Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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15 Things You Give up in a Relationship With a Narcissist

15 Things You Give up in a Relationship With a Narcissist

If you have experienced emotional abuse from a narcissist, it is okay for you to feel like you deserve better. It’s also okay to not know what better is, or what you deserve.

The post 15 Things You Give up in a Relationship With a Narcissist appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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How to Heal Your Relationship With Your Divorced Dad During the Holidays

How to Heal Your Relationship With Your Divorced Dad During the Holidays

Often people think they should feel a sense of warmth, togetherness, and gratitude on the holidays. By managing your expectations, keeping your situation in perspective, and choosing not to be victim, you can reclaim your power.

The post How to Heal Your Relationship With Your Divorced Dad During the Holidays appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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improve communication in a relationship

How To Resolve Conflict And Improve Communication In a Relationship

improve communication in a relationship

 

It may seem obvious to some, but not all, that the best relationships are ones born out of trust and vulnerability.  Each partner approaches one another as an equal. The relationship does not drain its participants: instead, it nourishes. Differences between partners are complementary. These differences are advantageous and desirable and do not create a hindrance to the relationship; instead, they contribute to its growth.

In a healthy relationship, partners draw out untapped possibilities in one another.  So why does it seem so hard to maintain a blissful state of love with a partner over time?

Improve Communication In a Relationship

First of all, every relationship has its ups and downs, and conflict comes with the territory. Yet if you are a daughter of divorce, you may avoid conflict because it may have signified the end of your parents’ marriage. Marriage counselor, Michele Weiner Davis, explains that avoiding conflict backfires in intimate relationships. She posits that bottling up negative thoughts and feelings doesn’t give your partner a chance to change their behavior. On the other hand, she cautions that one of the secrets of a good marriage or romantic relationship is learning to choose battles wisely and to distinguish between petty issues and important ones.

Elizabeth’s Mother’s Day story provides a good example of a hot-button issue that needed to be resolved. Newlyweds Elizabeth and Zane have three children and have been in a committed relationship for many years.  One year, Zane picked up a quick Mother’s Day gift for her at a gas station, and Elizabeth’s feelings were deeply hurt. Because she placed great value on Mother’s Day, Elizabeth decided to take a risk and show her vulnerability to Zane by expressing her disappointment.  Since then, Zane has faithfully purchased a special Mother’s Day gift every year, and Elizabeth feels valued and loved by him.

Secondly, it’s important to stop keeping score and to try not to win every argument, even when you’re in the right. Instead, author Pat Love says, “think of winning an unofficial contest I like to call Who’s the Bigger Person? Resolving conflicts is about who wants to grow the most and what’s best for your relationship.” At the beginning of a relationship, couples tend to focus more on their similarities. Yet after a while, negative projections tend to surface and your partner may remind you of someone from your past. This may explain why some couples who seemed so compatible when they first get together, have more conflicts as time goes by.

Lauren, age 32, explains how identifying her part in communication breakdowns with her husband, Paul, helped save her marriage. “In the past, I used to focus on what Paul was doing wrong until a good friend reminded me that I may want to try harder to communicate my feelings to him without blaming him.”  Lauren realized that she hadn’t learned healthy ways of resolving conflicts from her parents who divorced when she was twelve, a pivotal age for adolescent development and observing your parents’ relationship patterns.

Like all smart women, Lauren realized that all relationships go through rough patches and that it takes two people to contribute to the difficulties. Since she liked being married overall, Lauren decided to focus more on Paul’s positive qualities – such as being a great father – rather than negative ones. “That’s when I noticed that I had a problem communicating. I expected Paul to know what I wanted without me telling him what I needed. When he failed, I’d punish him with the silent treatment, or blow up. When I let go of my efforts to fix him and started working on fixing myself, things began to get better,” she says.

The following steps to resolving conflicts and improving communication may be a starting point to building a fulfilling intimate partnership:

  • Take a risk and deal with hurt feelings – especially if it’s an important issue.
  • Approach conflict with a problem-solving attitude. Avoid trying to prove a point and examine your part in a disagreement.
  • Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements that tend to come across as blameful- such as “I felt hurt when you bought that gift.”
  • Don’t make threats or ultimatums. Avoid saying things you’ll regret the next day.
  • Take a short break if you feel overwhelmed or flooded. This will give you time to calm down and collect your thoughts.

Love also means risking occasionally getting your feelings hurt because it’s the price you pay for intimacy. In all intimate relationships there exist conflicting needs for closeness and space. When issues come up with either of those needs, it’s essential that you talk with your partner and find creative ways to make sure you both feel valued and listened to. Taking the time to work on resolving conflicts in a healthy way is hard work but the payoff is tremendous.

Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW

Follow Terry Gaspard on Twitter, Facebook, and movingpastdivorce.com. Her book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship is available on her website.

Terry’s new book, The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around, will be published by Sounds True in February of 2020.

More from Terry

This blog originally appeared on movingpastdivorce.com

The post How To Resolve Conflict And Improve Communication In a Relationship appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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stayed so long in psychologically abusive relationship

Why I Stayed So Long In a Psychologically Abusive Relationship

stayed so long in psychologically abusive relationship

 

It has been a little over 15 months since it occurred to me that I needed to escape.

That staying with a controlling, and psychologically abusive person was harming my kids more in the long run, than the effects of leaving and starting a whole new life would.

That maybe, just maybe, if I had the strength to endure this treatment for so many years, that I could find the strength to leave.

And so I left.. or started the grueling process of leaving.

Over a year later the most common question I’ve been asked, “Why did you stay?”

So for those of you that have never been in a relationship like this one, that sadly so many of us have been, I thought I would try to answer that burning question.

Why I Stayed So Long In a Psychologically Abusive Relationship

Many assume it is simply the idea of breaking up a family that keeps us in the cycle of abuse. But I am here to say .. no… that is not what made me stay.

Forgive me as my ability to express myself in writing has never been my strong suit.. but here goes.

We stay because we have been controlled and manipulated to believe that we have no other viable options. There are often elements of financial control among a lot of other seemingly simple reasons that keep us in “it”. But they are not simple…not simple at all.

I can only speak on my own behalf here but I suspect that others will be able to relate on some level.

Poor self-worth. Fear. The belief deep down, from years of damage, that we are not worthy of anything better. That we are not strong enough, on our own, to provide for ourselves and/ our kids. Our identity has been slowly taken away, piece by piece until we no longer know who we are, what we want, and most importantly, what we are capable of.

It began for me as small bits of mind control that left me dependent and uncertain.

It got so deeply ingrained into my subconscious mind that I was not good enough or strong enough. These small acts that I endured on a daily basis reaffirmed, in my damaged and vulnerable mind, exactly what my abuser wanted me to feel. Doubtful, scared, and unworthy.

But because each of these small bits of exposure are just that.. small.. especially at first… it became the norm for me. I forgot how to challenge my own thoughts. Forgot how my own beautiful intuition worked. The supposed “red flags” people warned me about. I was made to feel those were endearing ways that my abuser used to show his love. My value slowly changed .. it became based on pleasing my abuser as opposed to rocking the boat.

My own “gut” feeling was slowly reprogrammed to accept that this was love and totally normal.

Each incident, each cycle, that often ended with a “honeymoon” phase of attention, affection, and a brief break from the actual abuse, told me that I must be crazy to feel this was wrong. That he loved me, look at all he is doing to show me his love.

This is all part of the game of control.

The words of affirmation that came in those moments were used to fuck up my instincts. To make me convince myself that I must be wrong. And hence..”gut”, “intuition”, “red flags” were all my own broken thoughts. That there is no way that this could be bad when he clearly loves me soooo much. WRONG!!

Bit by bit the small bits became bigger bits. Looking in, looking back now from a safe and happy place, I can see that. But in those years and years that I endured this, when I thought I was becoming stronger I was actually becoming more and more used to this abuse. It became so normal and routine that it no longer even felt concerning. It was just how love worked.

In fact, if it was slightly muted because maybe he was distracted by a new job or business, it felt weird and uncomfortable for me. So then I would try harder to please and conform and seek the abuse and control that was slowly killing me on the inside because it was how I thought love was meant to be shown.

Abuse became my love language.

Insane right? How could that be? Well, friends, that is how it works. Manipulation and control slowly eat away at your soul until it no longer is your own soul at all.

In a strange twist of events, it finally occurred to me one day when my young child was verbally abusive and disrespectful and I thought to myself “how dare you treat another human, especially your mom, this way. Where do you get off thinking this is okay?”

OMG .. somewhere inside of me the “fight or flight” mode that humans are wired with, but abuse victims are rewired to deactivate, was switched back on. How on earth could I have been so stupid to not see what had been happening all these years until this very moment? And what the actual fuck do I do about it now that I have children, absolutely no financial control, and no self-esteem or self-worth.

I am the lucky one. The one that is surrounded by caring and loving friends and family. The one that finally found the strength to realize that the “how” and “when” didn’t matter anymore. Only the “why” mattered now.  Why I had to get the fuck out is the “why” that I mean.

Some of us are not so lucky.

Some of us may never have an “aha moment” that triggers that fight or flight mode back into action. The programming that is done day after day, year after year, is so damn hard to breakthrough. Some of us are not surrounded by loving and caring friends and family that we know will help us pick up the pieces of our broken lives and put them back together. Some of us are not so lucky, and that type of abuse turns into physical violence, and we feel even more trapped and damaged and afraid.

ALL of us need to remember that we never can tell what goes on behind closed doors. That one simple and kind gesture might be enough to show the “unlucky” one the real, kind, caring love that they deserve and be the switch flipper they need to reactivate fight or flight mode.

To this day I am struggling with uncovering more and more ways that this abuser scarred me. I am easily triggered, it is hard for me to know what real and healthy love and relationships feel like. It has been HARD AS FUCK to remember the fierce, confident, self-assured, smart, in control of her own thoughts, independent, and brave woman that used to live in this body.

So thank you to those that put up with my pushing them away year after year, and thank you to those that never gave up on that woman that was hiding away inside that scared and abused mind, and thank you to those that have pushed me to see my potential, and thank you to those that have shown me what true healthy love should feel like and look like, and thank you to those that remind me that I am worth it, and thank you to those that do not give up on me and my kids because they know we deserve to be surrounded by loving and caring and supportive people, and thank you to those that kick my ass on days that I forget all of this took so much fucking strength that getting through the rest of life should be a breeze in comparison.

I will tell you that it takes more courage and strength to leave and to find that woman again than it did to endure that abuse year after year.  I will also tell you that if any tiny part of this feels like your life, you are fucking worth it, and if I can do it, you can too.

The post Why I Stayed So Long In a Psychologically Abusive Relationship appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict

5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict

It is possible and best to look at working through difficulties and problems in relationships as something other than fighting. Sure fighting can and does happen, but there is a better approach that will help both parties come out ahead.

The post 5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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relationship with a narcissist

15 Rights You’ll Give Up In a Relationship With a Narcissist

relationship with a narcissist

 

The following is a list of basic rights that should always be present in any relationship, but are missing in a relationship with a narcissist.

What you will get in a relationship with a narcissist, however, is emotional abuse. That’s what narcissists do; they emotionally abuse others to get their needs met.

Victims of emotional abuse are unsure if their experience can be justifiably defined as emotional abuse. Simply put, emotional abuse can be defined as any kind of behavior that is meant to subjugate or control another person by using humiliation, fear, and verbal assaults.

It can be as obvious as constant criticism and verbal abuse or as subtle as manipulation, intimidations, and consistently being impossible to please. It works as a form of brainwashing, tearing away at a person’s levels of self-confidence, self-worth, their trust in their perceptions, and their general sense of self. It can be done through belittling, constant berating, or intimidation. Sometimes, it can be hidden and disguised as advice, teaching, or guidance.

If you have experienced emotional abuse from a narcissist, it is okay for you to feel like you deserve better. It’s also okay to not know what better is, or what you deserve.

The following list is not only rights you give up in a relationship with a narcissist, but they are also rights you’ll have when in a healthy relationship.

15 Rights You’ll Give Up in a Relationship With a Narcissist

1. The right to receive emotional support.

2. The right to make your own choices without fear of judgment or criticism.

3. The right to feel as though your partner has nothing but good intentions towards you.

4. The right to receive encouragement from your partner.

5. The right to not fear rage or any other form of angry outburst from your partner.

6. The right to not fear your partner blaming you or accusing you of things.

7. The right to be called only names that you approve of.

8. The right to have your own views and opinions, even if they differ from your partner’s.

9. The right to be asked to do things instead of ordered by your partner.

10. The right to not fear physical threats or emotional harm from your partner.

11. The right to receive concise answers that deliver clear information on any matter that is of any legitimate concern of yours.

12. The right to feel as though your personal experiences and the things that you feel are real and valid.

13. The right to feel heard by your partner and communicated with on a polite and equal level.

14. The right to resolve any conflicts and receive a genuine apology for jokes that hurt or offend you.

15. The right to feel as though your hobbies, interests, and work are respected.

It is common for those who’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist to have a warped view of what they deserve from a relationship. If you believe you deserve negative treatment, you’re more likely to find yourself in a position where you’ll end up in another emotionally abusive relationship.

The list above should cement, in your mind and heart what you are deserving of in a relationship. Your road to recovery from narcissistic abuse begins with how you feel about yourself.

Do you believe you are worthy of better treatment?

Do you believe you are worthy of value and respect?

Do you treat yourself kindly and desire the same from others?

If you answered yes to those questions, with the list above and the knowledge that you deserve better, you’re well on your road to recovery.

If those questions tripped you up, if you aren’t in a healthy place as far as self-esteem, I’ve gifted you a list of what you deserve, not only from yourself but a relationship partner. Now, take that list and go get to work on healing your damaged self-esteem.

The post 15 Rights You’ll Give Up In a Relationship With a Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Can A Narcissist Change In A New Relationship?

Can A Narcissist Change In A New Relationship?

 

Narcissists habitually move very quickly on to new partners. They seem SO loved up and happy with this new person!

Is it possible that your ex-narcissist can change and be different with someone else?  And what is it about, when your ex seems to LAST with another partner for years or even decades?

Is your prior partner CAPABLE of having a healthy and loving relationship with SOMEONE ELSE?

If these questions burn you up inside with the terror that perhaps another person is GETTING the man or woman that you wished you did… Please read this article.  I KNOW how much PEACE it will give you.

So many of you have asked, ‘Can a narcissist change in a new relationship?

I promise you this burning question used to be my own, too.

And understandably so, because when narcissists get into new relationships we believe they are totally loved up and everything is completely wonderful for them with the new partner.

But is this real?

Will the narcissist’s behaviour change and they become the wonderful partner who you missed out on?

In today’s article I am thrilled to be able to give you the REAL truths, in a way that can really help, about the question ‘Can a narcissist change In a new relationship?’

Let’s get started.

 

The Dichotomy of the Question ‘Can a Narcissist Change In a New Relationship?’

The answer to this question is both YES and NO.

The reason it is a YES is because narcissists can be distinctly ‘different’ from relationship to relationship.

The reason it is a NO is because happy, healthy, solid and durably loving relationships aren’t possible for a narcissist.

You will understand more about this soon!

 

Narcissists Being Completely Different With Different Partners

Let’s check out this example…

When Mandy joined the Thriver Community, I discovered she had married Sam three years prior and the poor lady had barely crawled away alive.

Sam, in his relationship with Mandy, was controlling, insecure and extremely jealous.

When Mandy went deeply inside to heal her trauma with Sam using the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP), she discovered many fractures from her childhood that were to do with her being controlled; having her boundaries violated; not being believed or trusted, and being continually questioned.

Growing up, Mandy had felt like she was constantly trying to prove her innocence, explain herself and reassure others in order to be awarded any freedom or rights.

When Sam, the narcissist, came into her life, he quickly worked out that she had been engulfed and distrusted, not just by her parents but also by other love partners. Knowing this, he professed he would trust her, give her space and never question her integrity.

Mandy thought she had finally hit the jackpot with Sam. She fell madly in love.

They got married within months, after a whirlwind romance, but before long the cracks appeared. Exactly what Sam had professed to be, became the exact opposite. He started hurting her with accusations, distrust and intense jealousy.

Mandy was devastated. At the time, she didn’t realise her original traumas were being ripped open yet again, with full ferocity. Mandy was trauma-bonded to Sam, fighting desperately not only for her sanity, but to get this ‘wonderful’ man, who had originally seemed to be the saviour of her traumas, back.

Of course, initially this was all deeply unconscious for Mandy. She just knew she was panicked and emotionally terrorised.

She felt like she would die, even after she did get away from him – which is how our big, unhealed traumas FEEL once activated by narcissists.

Holding ‘No Contact’ was originally very difficult for her, like it is for many of us when we still have trapped trauma within our subconscious programs.

Anyway, thank goodness Mandy started working with NARP. She found, released and healed herself from the exact traumas that needed healing, stayed away from Sam, and completely rebuilt her life.

Predictably, life her life was better than ever, and she never again was attracted to men like Sam. The men that she started to meet and date, were not love-bombing her and Mandy was VERY clear that any signs of possessiveness and control were not something that she would ever have in her life again. Mandy started a committed relationship with a beautiful man who DID genuinely allow her space and grant her trust.

Two years later a woman named Corrine contacted Mandy, telling her that she was Sam’s partner after Mandy and that she had recently been discarded by Sam.

Corrine shared with Mandy how he was detached from her in their relationship, was never home, played up on her, and even threw other women in her face.

Mandy was shocked that Corrine said this about Sam’s behaviour. She couldn’t understand how he had changed so much – from being so possessive with her, always monitoring her, to not being around or giving a crap about what Corrine was up to!

I told Mandy this was normal; that narcissists commonly behave completely differently with different people, and that Corrine’s wounds would have most likely been from an absent father, a man who probably played up on her mother and who was completely unavailable and disinterested in Corrine as well.

Mandy checked in with Corrine and this was the truth. Corrine told Mandy that Sam had initially appeared in Corrine’s life as attentive, granting her love and devotion, which was what she had desperately been craving for.

He had worked out EXACTLY what was necessary to hook her in.

Then, of course, over time, he started HURTING her with the exact wounds that he had said he would HEAL for her.

Narcissists do this with every relationship.

Narcissists are not real, solid people with their own energy and identity. They are whoever they need to be to get people to trust them enough to gain narcissistic supply from them. Identifying and then carefully granting the missing piece to someone, is the fastest and most sure-fire way for a narcissist to get their fix.

Then, when that person inevitably falls from grace as a result of not supplying enough A-grade narcissistic supply, the narcissists turns on them. They have worked out the weak spot to hit – their partner’s greatest unmet, unhealed wounds.

 

Why the New Relationship Seems SO Loved Up

Narcissists usually love-bomb their targets in new relationships.

They ‘seem’ to have the same interests, values and want the same lifestyle as you.

They will say and do what pleases you to make you fall in love with them and trust them. They appear as your soul-mate; the life-partner who you have always dreamed of. This is so that they can quickly get into your bed, body and life.

All the while, they are being this delightful person only so they can identify your inner wounds and appear to be your saviour.

Narcissists, like fishermen with not much bait, have to hook a fish for a meal quickly. Otherwise, they starve.

Narcissists can’t manufacture their own emotional energy. They have No Self on the inside, which means the energy they expend quickly requires a payoff. This is a precarious balancing act. Narcissists will go over and beyond to do all that it takes to get their next love partner hooked. Champagne, flowers, trips, exotic experiences and expensive effort are extremely seductive to new potential partners.

And it doesn’t stop there.

When a drug addict secures a drug – they often binge on it. And it’s no different for a narcissist. He or she can get totally carried away with the high, the drug – you supply them with. But what this is really is self-medication for an inner tormented reality that the narcissist (drug user) doesn’t want to face – their true feelings about themselves and their unresolved trauma.

For the narcissist, narcissistic supply is their escape from the inner annihilating feelings of being defective, empty and self-loathing.

New partners are an excellent source of heady and high narcissistic supply, and a narcissist initially milks it for all it is worth.

If a narcissist has secured you as their next target, then they will be telling themselves that you are the BEST thing since sliced bread. You will be idolised to the point of the ridiculous, and the narcissist will tell you gushingly, and everyone else too, how you are the best sex, the most attractive, the smartest, the most successful – whatever it is that the narcissist is getting off on.

Of course, you are going to fall off this lofty pedestal – get thrown off, actually. It’s only a matter of time. A narcissist’s False Self is NEVER appeased for long.

This happens to all new sources … eventually.

 

But WHY Have They Lasted So Long?

You may think, because a narcissist was, or is in a long-term relationship, that they must have been successful in the relationship and maybe they really loved or love this person.

Please know, as I know, how wrong this is!

I know of so many people in this community who had been with narcissists for up to thirty plus years and had a horrific time much of the time.

The length of a relationship is absolutely no indication of its success. In fact, many Thrivers have had to dig very deep to heal the long years of abuse and painful programming.

Generally, the ending was terrible in these longterm relationships.  Because of being discarded, often brutally, by the narcissist for new and fresher supply, or they became so sick, including serious illness and emotional and financial devastation, that they had to get out to save their lives.

That is nothing to be envious of.

And I know that if they had stayed in the relationship, their lifeforce would have continued to be sucked out of them.

Okay, enough about the narcissist and the ‘what’ and ‘why’ – let’s now take your power back by talking about what YOU can do.

I hope I can help inspire you by sharing with you what I NEEDED to do.

 

Your Necessary Focus and Healing

Most of us have been through the agonising feelings of being replaced and someone else getting the life we were having or thought we should have.

This used to be VERY big for me – just the thought of it threw me into a panic both before and after narcissistic abuse. I had to dig deep and really focus on healing the parts of me that were:

  • Stalking exes on social media to see who they would hook up with next.
  • Trying to dissect the new partners to see what they had that I didn’t.
  • Obsessing painfully, and even having nightmares, about new partners and the wonderful life they were having with ‘my man’.

‘Can a narcissist change in a new relationship?’ used to be such a loaded and distressing question for me.

I KNOW, how many times I previously hung onto bad relationships because of the utter TERROR of being replaced by someone else.

And yes, ‘being replaced’ happened to me.

The first time it did, I felt like I was going to DIE, the grief and trauma was so bad.

I had to go inside and FACE these fractures and HEAL them. (As well as the ones that had led me into narcissistic relationships in the first place!)

Like many women, I carried deep in my DNA the fractures of my female forebears. Fractures that were primarily based around: ‘Without a man, I can’t survive.’

Supporting these deep fractures was the fact that my mother and her female relatives had NEVER not been in a relationship. And it was the same for the females on my father’s side.

Every time a relationship had ended in my life, narcissistic or non-narcissistic, my terror of being alone or replaced was off the Richter scale – no matter how successful, financially sound and capable I was.

Thank god I healed from THIS!

When you heal your fear of being replaced and alone, as myself and other Thrivers have, you will know THIS following truth:

Your ex-narcissist’s new partner is doing a soul contract dance with the narcissist just as you did – to have their unconscious wounds become conscious so that they can heal them.

And you will deeply bless his or her journey with the ex-narcissist, and hope for their soul’s sake that they awaken – just as you have – to not only relief from trauma with that person, but also to no longer needing to play out your same unhealed patterns with other people in their future.

For you, the relief that this relationship is NOT WITH YOU any more is indescribable! And you can become INCREDIBLY grateful that finally you can go inside, heal what has been limiting you and generating terrible trauma in relationships (just as Mandy did in our example today) and get free into a whole new Love Code that is healthy and happy for you.

Are you ready to heal and get out of the agony of being replaced?

It’s wonderful on this side, let me tell you! I and SO many Thrivers are here, and we want nothing less for YOU than to help you get here too!

If you are ready to heal, please sign up to my free Course where you will learn how to release yourself from the agony and how to attract and sustain relationships that are filled with love, truth and honesty instead.

And as always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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11 Signs of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

11 Signs of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Emotionally abusive relationships cause untold pain and stress on both our bodies and our minds. But how do we know what one looks like?  

 

 

“It is not the the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind.”
― Aisha Mirza

 

Emotional abuse doesn’t start from day one. There is that lovely first stage when they are wonderful, everything you have ever wanted.  It seems you both want the same things out of life and yes, things move fast, but when it’s right it’s right. Right?

 

Sadly, that initial rush of excitement is often a chemical response and once you settle into a steady relationship, those exciting chemicals are replaced with calmer but more long lasting ones such as Oxycontin – the love drug.

 

Healthy relationships can thrive with this change.  Both parties feel secure and comfortable and are excited by the future.

 

Emotionally abusive relationships however can flounder at this point because the abuser craves the high of the start of the relationship and so they can change almost overnight.

 

Sometimes the arrival of a child can be the catalyst.  Suddenly they aren’t the centre of attention any more and this creates anxiety in them and they feel rejected.  Or they can become obsessed with the child and push you away. This can result in anger, resentment and even a breakup.

 

In both cases the other party, you, is left wondering where the great person they originally met went to.

 

For those who stick at the relationship, an insidious type of abuse can emerge.  Physical abuse is more overt and victims recognise it as unhealthy even when they aren’t in a position to leave.  But covert, emotional and psychological abuse is less easy to recognise and victims can stay for years before the realisation occurs.

 

This article will provide you with 11 signs of an emotionally abusive relationship with the hope to at least give you the awareness of what is going on.

 

11 Signs of a Emotional Abuse

 

  1. There is a lack of an emotional connection

    You never turn to each other for emotional support. You look to other people first. Or you have to mind read their emotions and put yours in a box. Certain personality types, including narcissists, are emotionally unavailable and can struggle with not just their own but also with their partners emotions.  This can lead to outbursts of either rage or silence as they become overwhelmed. They will also belittle or ignore your emotions and your emotional needs leaving you feeling lonely and unheard
  2. One person is dominant in the relationship

    They control everything.  The money. The decisions. The child care.  And they refuse to listen to your opinion. They send a very clear message that they know best and a subtle message that you are unable/incapable of doing anything.

    Or they set you up to fail by giving you all the control but constantly belittling you for your “mistakes”. They refuse to do anything and you often feel like you are parenting them.  Either way, their personality is dominant and everyone knows where the power lies.


    In family systems theory this is known as differentiation of self and all family members lose their own identity and become almost cult like in their following of the leader.
  3. You don’t have a sense of relationship security

    All relationships go through tough times but healthy individuals stay and work things out or end it to work on themselves.  Emotionally insecure people threaten to leave regularly so you feel like you have a noose around your neck all the time. This is another aspect of control and power over you.

    They want you to know the consequences of disagreeing with them or not adhering to their requests in any way.

  4. You are experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, PTSD or substance abuse issues.  It is toxic stress and can be really damaging to your whole body
  5. Your partner is defining your reality by saying one thing and then denying it.  This is known as gaslighting and is psychological manipulation, a tactic often used by narcissists.
  6. They are extremely jealous and want to know where you are and who you are with constantly.  They don’t trust you to go to the shops and make constant accusations, some subtly, some outright. This is designed to isolate you and for them to maintain control of you
  7. They “surprise” you with changes to plans you already made under the guise of it being special, or better.  Really this is coercive and covert control.
  8. You feel sorry for them even though they are hurting you.  You blame it on stress, money, work – anything you can think of.  The reality is you care more about them than you do about yourself.
  9. They keep mentioning another person’s name but claims they are just friends

    Triangulation is a very powerful tool in creating jealousy and maintaining power.  They also do it to test boundaries and show how omnipotent they are. They get a kick out of seeing you uncomfortable and now knowing how to react.  If you question them you may get mocked or even accused of being abusive for not letting them have friends. They will say you are paranoid and so you will second guess everything.
  10. You are walking on eggshells

    Sometimes you don’t even want to go home because you don’t know what to expect and haven’t got the energy to manage it.  So you find yourself sat in the car in the car park or lingering in the shop just to delay walking into uncertainty. You even jump for joy when they aren’t in!
  11. You are questioning your sanity

    One of the biggest signs is when you start to think that you must be the problem.  You have been repeatedly told you are crazy, paranoid, miserable and they are so convincing that they are innocent, projecting it all onto you, that you begin to wonder if they are right. This isolates you and prevents you from opening up to anyone else for fear of being judged and it also provides a strong narrative for them to recruit family and friends to make you feel worse and imply you have problems.  This deflects all blame from them and no matter what you tell anyone, they have already stabbed you in the back and created their own version of the truth.

All of these signs are recognised in abuse models. This is known as the Duluth power and control wheel and is used to “diagnose” abusive relationships.

unhealthy relationship model
Duluth power and control wheel

 

If you recognise all of these signs, you are definitely in an emotionally abusive relationship and may even be in a relationship with a narcissist.  That may be the first time you have heard that. Take a minute. It’s not easy to hear.  It’s also up to you what you do with that.

 

I also understand that it isn’t easy to label the person you love as a narcissist.  You see all the good in them and believe that deep down they are a good person. I believe that too.  But right now you are suffering. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. And so something for you to consider is do you love them more than you love yourself?

 

I understand that what you want more than anything is for things to go back to how they were at the start.  For them to be the loving, fun and attentive person they were. Sadly we don’t have a time machine. And you can’t unknow what you know.  But you can make some conscious choices. The first of which is

 

  1. A) Do nothing, store this information away in your brain to perhaps recall at a later date but just get on with things
  2. B) Learn more.  Find out the reality of where you are at. Find out whether they are narcissistic.

 

If you choose B, we can help. You can read through our blogs for more information. We also have a quiz to help you know whether or not you are dealing with a narcissist.  It’s totally free.

Take our free “Is my partner a narcissist quiz?”

The post 11 Signs of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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What A Narcissist Does At The End Of The Relationship

What A Narcissist Does At The End Of The Relationship

 

Breaking up with a narcissist can be one of the most devastating and traumatising times of your life.

So in today’s article, I want to explain to you what a narcissist does at the end of the relationship – and how that can affect you.

I really want you to be armed with this information so that you know how to emotionally and practically survive this difficult time.

 

Sense of Entitlement and Lack of Compassion or Consideration

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship exposes their true colours – being a self-absorbed and entitled person who lacks empathy.

How does this translate in real terms?

You will be shocked at how this person will throw you metaphorically under a bus. They are not at all concerned about your welfare; how you will get through the breakup; or how you will move forward in the future.

If you haven’t already realised it, the narcissist’s thinking is: ‘It’s every person for themselves’. No-one is able to play that philosophy dirtier than a narcissist.

This ability comes with lacking a conscience and having the pathological entitlement to take whatever is not nailed down, literally.

When breaking up, so many people are shocked at how the split happened. Things like not being able to get back into their own home; how their possessions are taken away or hidden; how money goes missing from bank accounts; and the terrible lies that are spread about them to all and sundry.

These are things that normal humans, with a sense of humanity, just can’t do.

And they happen regardless of whether you are the one ending the relationship or the narcissist has discarded you.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If you suspect the end is coming with a narcissist, take the following necessary steps to protect yourself.

Leave when the narcissist is not around – take what is yours while you can still get at it. If you are leaving the house, know that you probably won’t be able to get back in – even if the house is in your name. So many people, myself included, were devastated to discover that the police just threw their hands up and said, ‘You need to see a solicitor because this is a civil manner.’

Many a narcissist knows this because it is not the first time they have played these games.

Seek legal advice as to where you stand in regard to your property, start creating your own bank account, and see a solicitor in private. Also, most importantly, don’t let people close to the narcissist in on your plans.

I’d like to grant you the link to this blog so that you have lots of resources to help you plan how to leave safely and healthily – Is there a right way to leave a narcissist?

 

Why the Narcissist Wants to Punish You

According to the narcissist, you are now a devalued, awful and horrible human being. This perception is regardless of whether you have left them or they have thrown you away (because you are too hard to extract supply from now, there is no more to take from you, or a more abundant source has turned up).

To a standard narcissist, life is either ‘black’ or ‘white’. You are either wonderful (supplying brilliant, idealised narcissistic supply), or you are a piece of dirt (you serve no purpose to them anymore) who needs to be discarded and treated like a piece of dirt.

(Some narcissists may be able to apply some shades of grey – but not many.)

It will be likely that you are classified and treated by the narcissist as a piece of dirt – and it doesn’t even matter whether you have had a life, family or allegiances with this person for the last 30 years or just months.

Narcissists will usually go after the money, property, businesses, pets and even the children. They know that the things and Beings that matter to you is where they can hurt you the most.

However, because narcissists have a disastrously unstable inner identity, all this nasty behaviour can change. Abhorring you can switch to adoring you on the turn of a dime.

This change often happens when the narcissist is low on narcissistic supply. But also it can happen when he or she has conjured up some sort of agenda to suck you back in to get your trust, before extracting something more from you and then pulling the rug out for under you again. This is known as hoovering, and it is a common and very serious threat when splitting up with a narcissist.

Of course, if you fall for it, as many of us have, you will only be brutalised further.

 

Switching the Truth of the Ending

Narcissists are great at conjuring their version of reality. If you leave a narcissist, they will tell you they were going to break up with you anyway. And to preserve their ego, they will tell other people they left you – that is unless there is wonderful narcissistic supply for them to glean as a result of telling people how horribly you left them. Generally, however, it is only the more covert-victim-type narcissist who plays this out.

 

Showing Off the New Supply

Narcissists are incredibly childish when it comes to new relationships. They idealise this person as the new source of narcissistic supply. In reality, however, this means the narcissist’s newest drug to take away the pain of the inner screaming demons.

There is one thing for certain – when a relationship ends, the narcissist starts scouting for a new source without delay. In fact, if they are the one who ended the relationship, they are likely to have been grooming someone even before the end came. It’s even common for narcissists to get engaged and married very quickly afterwards.

Usually, this new person is introduced to people immediately – even the narcissist’s children (who may have endured partner after partner) – and taken to major social events with friends, family and colleagues.

By comparison, normal, healthy adults usually take their time to get to know someone before introducing them to family and friends. They have more consideration for everyone concerned, including their new partner and themselves.

It’s also common for the narcissist to display photos on social media of how ‘loved up’ they are. ‘Instant relationship’ is the narcissist’s motto.

Narcissists can even be so cruel as to contact you and tell you how wonderful this new person in their life is. Who does that? Only someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder could have such a lack of empathy.

What is this about? I have no doubt, in some cases, it is to punish the ex-partner. Or maybe it is to prove to the world ‘I am a great partner no matter what he or she says’. And, of course, it is because a narcissist without narcissistic supply has to be alone with their own self-annihilating critic – which is their worse possible nightmare.

Naturally, the trauma from being replaced with ‘new supply’ is devastating for you. It’s one of the worst things anyone can experience. It is usual for people, who have been narcissistically abused, to be no-where near starting another relationship. Before Thriver Healing, some people have been sworn off relationships for decades, as a result of the trauma that impacted them so badly.

 

Being Discarded Like You Don’t Exist

This can be as painful as being replaced.

But, before I get into the details, I just want to make one thing VERY clear. If you have gone No Contact with a narcissist (discarded and turned your back on them) because of abuse, pathological lies, adultery (and the list goes on), you have NOTHING to feel guilty about.

You know how you tried to converse, reason and deal with this person to NO avail – and truly you were never going to be able to reclaim your soul and your life unless you made this move.

There is a huge difference between someone who goes No Contact for these reasons and how a narcissist does it. With a narcissist it is often a brutal act as a result of, for example, them being caught out doing something horrific or as a response to you trying to assert boundaries and rights.

What marks a narcissist’s behaviour compared to yours is that there is no trying to reason, work with facts or be accountable for anything – it is just ‘switch and ditch’ – and of course it leaves you reeling.

 

How YOU Can Rise Like the Phoenix Out of the Ashes

Now let’s get very clear about something.

I’m passionate about YOU healing. And for that reason, I don’t want you to use this article as a ‘sharing of war stories’ about what happened at the end of your relationship. That is NOT my purpose.

This article, as all of mine are, is about healing towards true solutions rather than staying mired in the trauma. Moving forwards and away from narcissists can only happen by investigating and healing the screaming traumas that have been ignited within you.

This is the thing… All of us in narcissistic relationships were treading water. We were walking on broken glass, suffering unresolvable issues that just would not stop. We were constantly trying to survive our life with another person, who simply did not have the resources to be a sane and healthy partner.

This is what I know about your soul’s mission to evolve – if you are living in a Life that does not represent your True Self and True Life, then the heat gets turned up until you get booted out of it. It is irrelevant whether you chose to leave or were left. You were NOT living life as Who You Really Are.

After the end of your relationship, the recovery work is about confronting the things within you that HURT that are triggered off in order to cross your threshold into your True Self and True Life.

When you start Thriver Healing and go inside and start releasing your traumas and False Beliefs, you will find all sorts of survival fears, such as abandonment terrors and false beliefs that were causing you to try to seek your wholeness, love, and approval from another source.

How you find these, is simply by going to ‘what hurts’ inside you when the relationship ends; all of the heartbreak, fear, panic and associated traumas that have been activated.

It truly is a complete illusion, that by focusing on the narcissist and what they are or aren’t doing, that your salvation comes. It doesn’t; it’s only created by going inside yourself and doing the work there.

I promise you, with all of my heart, that the end of your narcissistic relationship is where your True Self and Life can finally begin.

And I want to hold your hand and help you get to exactly where I am now – thriving, self-generating, completely able to forge my own life regardless of what specific people are or aren’t doing – and living the joy of having Life itself back me up and support me endlessly.

This is what Thrivers experience and I KNOW it is what awaits you too.

Please join me in my 16 Day free Recovery Course, where you will learn exactly what is deeply going on, how to get your power back and defeat the narcissist’s attempts to hurt and confuse you.

 

 

 

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