The false-belief that we cannot live without our controlling partners is one reason many victims struggle when trying to move forward. Amid those horrible times, there were good times and we still love them—or who we though they were—or could be. The life we lived was familiar. The unfamiliar scares us—after all, things could be worse.
Think back to when you were a child. Did you have a blanket or stuffed toy that meant the world to you? You carried it everywhere, and slept with it tucked under your arm. When it was lost, you were hysterical. Frantic and in tears, you searched everywhere, terrified that you beloved companion was gone forever. When it was found you were elated.
Where is that toy today? Most likely it is packed away in a keepsake box or was tossed out years ago. While at that time it represented comfort. As you grew older, you learned to comfort yourself. You stopped carrying your precious toy or blanket because you matured beyond that stage of your life.
The same thing will happen when you cut ties to your ex. As you rebuild your life you will move beyond this relationship and create a stronger and healthier self-confidence. The time will come when you see your ex at some family function and not believe you were ever with that person.
Another reason some victims have trouble moving on is that they desperately want to be validated by their former partners. Survivors want their exs to admit they were monsters and be sorry. The truth is—narcissists will never, under any circumstances, face up to their wretched behavior or feel sorry for anything they did or anyone they hurt.
Empathy and compassion are not a part of their psychological makeup. Even if their victims becomes ill or homeless, narcissists will never take responsibility for their contribution to the problem. They feel no or shame. They are more likely to see the occurrences as validation of their low opinions of their victims.
If you find yourself thinking that your partner will come around and feel sorry for what they’ve done to you, see a therapist trained in helping victims of abuse and talk through this issue. Being stuck in this mindset can cause you to unintentionally sabotage your own success.
You cannot punish a narcissist by hurting yourself. The only way to punish a narcissist is to open you wings and soar. Once you accept your worthiness, you won’t need validation from anyone else—especially your ex.
Being kind and empathetic, victims can also be waylaid by exs who become intentionally homeless and impoverished to avoid paying support. They may try to manipulate their victims by asking to move in with them (or not move out) until they can “get back on their feet.” If that doesn't work, they may claim a trumped up illness to finagle their way back into their victims’ lives. Once they get a foot in the door, they will pull every stunt they can to stay and retake control.
Let’s be clear—success depends on one’s own efforts. It’s not easy, but it is doable. Having made the decision to end the relationship, you are no longer responsible to take care of your ex—for any reason. Focus on improving your life and let your ex take responsibility for his or hers.
I know that if you have children with this person, you are not able to totally cut off communication with your ex. Work on emotionally distancing yourself from him or her and holding your boundaries. A therapist can help you develop a plan to deal with your ex and protect your progress. You deserve a happy life.