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Leaving a narcissist

Community Member
I have been married for nearly 9 years and together in total for 16 years. I have only admitted to myself that this relationship is an emotional abusive one and he is narcissistic.
I have known it I think subconsciously but didn't want to admit it. Now I see it for what it is and I'm ready to make a move. We have a 4 year old girl as well together.
I want to leave. I know I need to. But I'm scared I honestly don't even know how to start- I have contacted a lawyer whom I will talk to on Monday (it's Friday)
I am scared to have the conversation in person because I know how it will go- not well. I already told him (blurted out) earlier this week in an argument that I don't think I want to be married. It went exactly how I thought- he back peddled everything, told me I am his world without me and our daughter he has nothing and that he will do everything to make it better. Now I know none of that is true but I wasn't prepared. My daughter was home and I wasn't ready to just go.
Is it wrong to just leave ...no words..but then how do I tell him? Do I leave a letter stating where we are (or not where we are) I know he will not react well. I also know I want him out of the house (my parents paid for it ) but he has set up his work and it's a whole warehouse of stock and he has no where to put it.
I can't stop worrying about how he will react and what he will do. I've been conditioned to do that.

Any advice. Anything words will help. I'm just so lost. And I don't want to just stay cos it's easier that way.
9 Replies 9

Community Member
I’m so sorry you’re going thru this right now. Please get some support from your family and line up where you will go and what to take with you before you leave. If he makes any threats at all call the police. Narcs can be dangerous when their narcissistic supply leaves.
best of luck. You’ve made the right decision.

Community Member

I’m so sorry this is happening. I am in a very similar situation, although I have a 14yr old from a previous relationship who lives with her father, as well as my 1yr old son.

Lately I have found that I am doing everything, and I don’t just mean for my son, I mean the cooking, cleaning, gardens, mowing, washing, shopping... literally everything! I also work full time and Study too.

i asked one of his friends today to look at something for me because I didn’t have the first idea of how to fix it and I am now the devil for making him look “inadequate”.

If you can leave, do it!
mom too scared to, I left my ex after HE cheated on me and I lost my daughter in court. So I’m terrified of leaving my toxic relationship as I refuse to leave my son.

My psych just about has bets that I’ll either end up walking out or land myself in hospital from doing something stupid. DON’T let this be your fate!

Hi ImJinxed, 
It sounds like you're feeling really stuck in your situation. We're sorry to hear the impact this has had on you in recent years. Please know that there are options and support for you, particularly in times where you feel you might be at risk of harm. 

We strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with out friends at LifeLine (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467). You may also like to contact 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) for counselling and support related to family violence or abuse with the aim of achieving positive and respectful relationship dynamics. 

Please keep reaching out through the forums whenever you feel up to it. 

Community Member

Hi Haveyoumet_jo

How did you go at your lawyer appointment? Are you any clearer on what you need to do?

Deciding to leave is so hard because of the fallout. I hope you received some helpful advice to get you through. I'd love to know how you went from someone who is struggling to come to terms with a marriage that is also struggling.

Hi, welcome

My thoughts on your situation.

Assuming he is a narcissist that doesn’t affect his rights as a parent, an equal parent to you. He still has rights like fighting for shared/sole custody etc. This is where legal advice is crucial.

Just because you think he is narcissistic doesn’t mean going about things in the correct way first eg leaving him a letter rather than a face to face discussion, to give him the opportunity to work out a road map in the separation and visitation arrangements with the child. Also living arrangements.

I did justvthis with the ending of a 10 year relationship. Yes it was hard but it worked. One hour of discussion where I spoke slowly with low volume saying I’ve made the decision to separate, she relented and we walked through the house dividing assets. It might not work for you but believe me, it is the correct first step rather than a note. Notes are bad.

Tske care


Community Member

Hi haveyoumet_jo

I'm sorry I have come to this post a little late but I hope I can help in some way. I have just gone through a 4 year process of divorcing a narcissist (and yes he checks the boxes, and some) after a 12 year marriage.

If the marriage is abusive and he is a narcissist (and no doubt you have read up on it), then you will need specialist support. Please check out the divorcing a narcissist online community on FB and YouTube. There is a wealth of information.

The thing is, most people don't understand the hell that this is, until they have experienced it. From the outside they are wondering why you are complaining because they don't see it.

You need to prepare yourself psychologically and financially before you leave the narcissist. But most of all, do not trust them to behave rationally or fairly. When I left, it was only the beginning of the abuse. Make no mistake, this is war and you must prepare yourself accordingly. Stash money, see a lawyer, keep notes of all financials, emails and anything you will possibly need like passports, birth certificates. Being a nice normal person this will feel like overkill but better safe than sorry. He will use your child to hurt you so be prepared. I hope for your sake that it's not bad for you and all goes well, but in retrospect I wish I had just been a compete b*** to start with (instead of being 'nice' and 'fair') and I would be better off now.

However when you get through it, you will be stronger and better, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

All the best.

Community Member
How did you go? Did you manage to get out? I lived with someone whom I believe most definitely had NPD (Narcissist Personality Disorder) and he was living in my house. We were together just five years and I paid for everything and worked, he did nothing. I broke it off but he refused to leave (sense of entitlement) and I ended up having to leave for a bit, to get my strength up before facing him a second time to reclaim my home. I'm now stuck in a prolonged separation proceeding which has already cost $60K in legal fees and we haven't made it to mediation yet. That's the NPD kicking in - he needs to maintain control over me in whichever way he can. It's awful. Get out, stay out and NO CONTACT unless you have to due to kids etc

Community Member

I wonder how you are going?

I have been married to a NPD for 22 years, and I am still too afraid to leave (4 children) - The longer you stay - the harder it is to leave - I do know that much!

Hi SunriseOverSea and hi to others reading,

Hugs, all this stuff is so hard.

Welcome to the forums, I'm sorry for the reasons that brought you all here.
I hope you find the forums a supportive and safe space to share and receive support.

I wouldn't want your precious first few posts to get 'lost in the mix' of threads that were started a while back and not revisited. I encourage you to begin your own threads so that others can support you more individually and specifically.

I've been free of the narcissistic psychopath for a few years now.
It took so long to be rid of him... more than 5y in several Courts.

The "marriage" which never truly existed to this demon, was c20y duration.
I tried many times to get demon out of my house, nothing worked.

I agree with getting yourself linked in with as many support systems as humanly possible.

One of the most valuable free legal supports for me was the Women's Legal Service.
Our case was so "sensitive" and unique due to the reporting I had to do, including the Royal Commission, that I needed the best supports available.

We all do.

I'm free now, got the house, got the kids 100% care.

Then recovery from C-PTSD ongoing.
I'm almost completely recovered now, thank God.

The whole thing from the moment we met was one long, incredibly hard work, relationship.

I'd go through it ALL again in a heartbeat to be free.
Every godforsaken moment was worth it.

Bestest wishes
Love EM