We were together for almost 5 years and right up until the end of our relationship I didn’t know what a narcissist was. I knew his behaviour wasn’t right. I knew the way he made me feel about myself wasn’t right. I knew living with the compulsive lying wasn’t right. I knew that everything about our relationship wasn’t right. But I didn’t know that he was (and still is) a narcissist.
It was only after the relationship ended very badly, leaving me feeling completely lost with who I was and what to do with my life, that I started questioning his behaviour and actions during the relationship.
What is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of ego, needs excessive attention and admiration, and has trouble staying in a committed relationship.
Living with a Narcissist
Living with a narcissist is just not living a life. I know that sounds very dramatic, so let me explain a little more. Every single day I lived with my narcissist ex was like living with Jekyll and Hyde. And I had no idea which side of him I was going to get each day. Some days, he could be incredible – kind, thoughtful, caring, and romantic – just what you want from a partner. And then other days were an actual living nightmare. Walking on eggshells, worried that whatever I said was going to be the wrong thing, being blamed for everything that had gone wrong in his day.
It is so hard to put into words what it really is like living with a narcissist. The impact it had on me as a person was huge, and I didn’t even realise just how much of ‘me’ I had lost until after the relationship ended. I think one of the worst parts of living with a narcissist is the gas lighting I experienced. In case you don’t know what gas-lighting means, it’s a very typical trait of a narcissist and is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse. My ex used to gaslight me all the time. He would blame me everything, and when I say everything, I really do mean everything. He even blamed me for things that had happened to him before we even met! I would find myself apologising for things, but I was never even sure what I was saying sorry for – but to keep the peace and to stop him from getting angry and nasty – I would just say sorry.
I started to feel less and less like myself. I started hating myself more, I became very sensitive, crying and feeling anxious all the time. My ex took advantage of this to gaslight me even more. Telling me that he never really loved me, and was only ever with me out of pity, that no-one would ever want to be with me, and he was doing me a favour by being with me. I think one of the worst things he ever said to me was that my friends and family would be happier without me in their lives, and that I should do them a favour and just disappear. And the worst thing was – I actually believed him.
As I said earlier, living with a narcissist is just not living. I felt like I existed purely to be manipulated and controlled so as he could feel better about himself. If you think you are living with a narcissist partner, my advice would be to get out of the relationship. You will never ever change them, and all they will do is continue to drag you down until you hit rock bottom. So for your own sanity and your future, just walk away from the narcissist.