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If you've just got out of a relationship with a narcissist, you should congratulate yourself. You tore yourself away from the abuse, the lies, and the mind-games, and you can finally start to heal.
If you ended the relationship, they might still be trying to get back into your life. This is why the "no contact" stage — where you completely erase them from your life — is so important for you to move on.
However, if they broke up with you, you might be still grieving for what you once had. It's important to remember that you're mourning the person you thought they were, not the abusive, cruel manipulator the really are.
A certain amount of time after the break-up — usually not long, when it comes to narcissists — your ex will find someone new. Whether you're happy they're out of your life or not, this can still be upsetting to hear.
The narcissist will go out of their way to ensure you know about their new relationship. This could be through social media posts, mutual connections, or even directly contacting you about it. They might even thank you, to tell you how much they appreciated your time together and how much they learned from the break up, to be a better person for their new partner.
If you can't resist the temptation to look the new love birds up on Facebook, you might see everything you thought you had in the beginning of your relationship. You'll see happy faces, gushing posts, and what looks like domestic bliss.
The person who made your self-esteem drop to the floor appears to have completely vanished.
You might start to question your own worth, and ask yourself questions like, "Why couldn't they be like that for me?," "Wasn't I enough?," or "Was it my fault?"
Yes, you were enough. No, it wasn't your fault. What you have to remember is this is all an act. When the narcissist met you, they put on the same mask. You had that smiling, happy face once, before the narcissist showed their true colours.
The same story repeats itself.
According to psychologists, therapists and neuroscientists, narcissists can never change. They are obsessed with the idealised image of themselves, which they believe to be superior to everybody else. They are deeply miserably people with low self-esteem, so they create an inflated version of themselves in their minds, giving them a false sense of superiority.
Small spats which all normal couples go through turn into never-ending circular arguments with narcissists, because they only see fault in others.
"They are perfect in their mind," Shannon Thomas, a licensed clinical social worker and author of the book "Healing from Hidden Abuse," told Business Insider. "So when we're trying to have a normal back and forth about how we're going to work through these bumps, psychological abusers will be very resistant to that, because there's 'nothing wrong with them.'"
This contempt they see for everyone else around them is deep-rooted. This means sooner or later, that hatred and disgust will be pointed towards the person they are in a relationship with. A romantic attachment doesn't protect you from being the target.
Narcissists can never really love anyone.
It doesn't matter how much they bombed you with love at the beginning with gifts, compliments, and undivided attention, because this wasn't their true self. That's why it's important to remember that no matter how happy and loved-up they look with their new partner, it's only a matter of time before they start being belittled and insulted too.
Narcissists can never really love anyone. Every relationship they have is transactional, meaning they are always looking into what they can get out of it. Sooner or later, they will suck their partner dry of money, enthusiasm, self-esteem, or all three, and they discard them without looking back.
That's why you should never be jealous of your narcissistic ex's new partner — they haven't changed. They aren't fixed. They aren't happier with this new person. They are merely going through the same first steps of the relationship you did, and you should be glad you're free from it.
After the idealisation phase, which the new relationship is in, devaluation starts, which is when the narcissist starts to tear down your confidence and makes you miserable.
So instead of worrying that you were the problem, tell yourself this: someone else's actions are never your fault. We are all responsible for what we say and how we act, and if your narcissistic ex decided to make you feel worthless and unloved, it was never because of something you did. It was because they can't deal with the fact that we are all imperfect.
You escaped the worst relationship you are ever likely to have, and you survived, because you are strong. You're likely to still feel an attachment to the relationship because of something called trauma bonding, but these feelings will eventually fade, and you'll look back one day and thank your lucky stars you got away.