When You Can’t Go No Contact; Other ways to Stay Sane

When You Can’t Go No Contact; Other ways to Stay Sane

What’s the best way to deal with a narcissist in a toxic relationship? To go no contact, of course.

But what if you can’t go no contact?

It’s hard to imagine, for some people, but the truth is that not everyone has the ability to leave or go no contact with the narcissist. At least not right away.

Maybe they’re in your family, or maybe they’re your boss. You may be financially dependent on them, and leaving them would mean financial ruin for you or your family.

It’s possible that you’re dealing with financial abuse – or any number of things that might stop or slow you down when you try to leave the narcissist. 

Heck, it’s also possible that you’ve tried going no contact with them in the past and it didn’t work out—maybe they stalked you, harassed you, threatened to hurt themselves if you left them, or worse.

So how do you deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact?

If this is the case for you, it can be incredibly difficult to find a way forward when someone is holding power over you in one way or another. But there are things you can do to help. Watch this video for additional information on dealing with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact. 

Try these simple tips for getting through the day without letting the narcissist’s tactics get under your skin:

Journal or Keep Notes So You Don’t Forget What Really Happened

Keep a journal of everything that happens with this person. Write down every interaction, every word spoken between the two of you (and any witnesses), and anything else that comes up as relevant information about how this person operates in their relationships with others.

This will help build up a body of evidence that backs up your claims against them if necessary (for example: if they threaten to sue).

Create a Support System

Get support from friends who understand what’s going on and have been through similar situations before—they’ll know what resources might be available to help. Alternatively, consider joining a narcissistic abuse recovery support group or getting coaching. 

Build Strong Boundaries

Give yourself permission to set boundaries. If you don’t want to talk about something or spend time with someone, that’s okay!

You don’t have to do what other people want or expect from you just because they think it’s “normal.” You are allowed to have your own preferences and values.

Recognize and Label Gaslighting and Other Manipulative Tactics

Learn how to recognize gaslighting tactics when they happen so that you know when the narcissist is trying to manipulate or control you. Learn how to call them out on their behavior so that they don’t get away with being abusive.

Ignore the Guilt Trips

Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by guilt-tripping (e.g., “You’re always leaving me alone!”) and pity-baiting (“No one cares about me!”). Focus on your own needs rather than those of others—and remember that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s.

You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say.

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Common Causes of Brain Fog in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Common Causes of Brain Fog in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

You’re feeling like it’s getting harder and harder to remember things. Maybe you have no idea where you put your keys, or if you already told your friend about a movie you watched.

As strange as memory loss sounds to people unfamiliar with brain fog, this is actually quite common among narcissist abuse victims.*

In fact, if you’ve ever experienced the ongoing abuse of a malignant narcissist in a toxic relationship, you’ve probably also experienced brain fog.

If you’re currently struggling with brain fog or any other symptom of C-PTSD, chances are that it’s at least in part due to the trauma the narcissistic abuser has caused you, and its symptoms are proof that you’re suffering from it.

What is “brain fog?”

Brain Fog is the feeling of dissociation or disconnectedness often experienced by victims of malignant narcissists during and after narcissistic abuse. Survivors describe it as feeling lost – like you’re not really there, or like you’re watching your life through a screen or a bubble.

The term is commonly used to describe short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, confusion and difficulty thinking. Brain fog is a common symptom of C-PTSD, or complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

In other words, brain fog is exactly what it sounds like. A fog that clouds your thoughts, memory, comprehension, and judgment. See this video for more.

What happens to you when you have brain fog?

Brain fog can affect your sleep, professional life, and personal relationships, and lead to other health problems such as obesity. When you lack mental clarity, you make poor decisions and may take inappropriate actions.

If you suffer from brain fog, you are not alone. Brain fog affects roughly one out of every nine Americas during their lifetime. Some people also call brain fog mental fatigue.

How do you know if you’re dealing with brain fog?

If you aren’t sure whether you’ve felt brain fog, stick with me – it is a little confusing. For many people, it feels like you’re sort of “cloudy,” or like you’re not really participating in life.

You might feel like you’re sort of inside a bubble, or like there’s a thin barrier between you and everyone else. 

Learning the symptoms of brain fog can also help you to understand if and when you’re having episodes.

What are the symptoms of brain fog?

Check out the symptoms of brain fog below. Keep in mind the symptoms will vary from person to person but usually includes one or more of the following symptoms.

  •  Anxiety
  • Body aches
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  •  Emotional detachment
  •  Forgetfulness
  •  Headaches
  •  Inability to focus
  •  Insomnia
  •  Irritability
  •  Mood swings
  •  Lack of mental clarity
  • Low energy
  • Low motivation
  • Poor concentration

Why do we experience brain fog in narcissistic abuse?

Before I get emails and texts from people telling me that brain fog is only about narcissistic abuse, I’ll remind you that I’m well aware that it can also manifest for countess other reasons. Learn more about brain fog in this video,

Common Causes of Brain Fog and What You Can Do to Alleviate Them

Brain fog can be part of many issues, conditions, and illnesses. Here are four common causes of brain fog and what you can do about them. These issues can be affected by or even caused by long-term and ongoing narcissistic abuse.

Inflammation and Hormone Imbalances

Poor diet and exercise routines can lead to poor nutrition and vitamin levels that cause inflammation. Inflammation is by far the number one culprit of many diseases and symptoms. It restricts oxygen and blood flow needed for your brain to function at its best.

Consult your physician and request a complete blood count if you suffer from brain fog. In addition, low blood levels of vitamins such as D, B12, and iron can cause inflammation, lack of mental clarity, and difficulty focusing.

Stress and Anxiety

Oxidative stress or free radicals caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and heavy metals damage your cells and tissues.

These free radicals are responsible for many symptoms of stress and anxiety worldwide.

Vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols are great resources to combat these free radicals. Chili peppers, whole grains, red wine, and fruits and vegetables are a few examples.

Poor Sleeping Habits

If you aren’t sleeping soundly and wake up feeling tired, you may have one or more sleep habits that are inhibiting a good night’s rest. For instance, you may be a night owl, suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia, have a varied sleep pattern, or have a poor sleep environment.

All of these can contribute to brain fog.

As an adult between 17 to 64 years old, your body needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to give your body time to repair itself on a cellular level.

In advanced cases, such as sleep abuse related to narcissistic abuse, sleep deprivation can cause mood swings, depression, and even permanent brain damage due to constant overstimulation.

Electromagnetic Radiation and Overstimulation

Smartphones, personal computers, or any technology that requires radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, x-rays, or gamma rays will cause problems when they are overused.

In other words, scrolling on social media or spending too much time in front of the television can cause strain on your eyes and affect your sleep patterns, ultimately leading to brain fog. Therefore, limiting time spent on or with technology is crucial.

Takeaway

Don’t let brain fog get in the way of living a successful, happy life. Many causes of brain fog can leave you with lifelong or permanent damage. Try these solutions with the consent of your doctor.

Be sure to seek the help of a physician or other medical professional to find the underlying cause of brain fog if you have it. 

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Nothing in this article or on this website should be taken as medical advice. Always check with your doctor or medical professional before attempting to use any advice found here or anywhere on the internet. 

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Narcissistic Husband?

Narcissistic Husband?

Are you married to a narcissist husband?

If you’re married to a narcissistic husband, chances are that you’re well aware that he is different than other husbands in a lot of very clear ways.

To allow us to break through the barriers that arise when we are unable to understand our partner, here are a few truths about narcissistic husbands.

What is a narcissistic husband?

If your husband is a narcissist, you might not feel very good about yourself and your relationship. Because of this, you’re probably wondering if you’re identifying with this article or if you’re just as crazy as you’ve been told. If that resonates with you, stick with me and take a look at a few traits of a narcissistic husband.

  • A narcissistic husband might have narcissistic personality disorder if he’d actually allow himself to be diagnosed; or at least has narcissistic traits.
  • If your husband is a narcissist, chances are that he’s self-centered, lacks empathy, and has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
  • In general, narcissists tend to think they are superior or special and are extremely jealous of others.
  • A narcissistic husband desires admiration and is preoccupied with thoughts of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and beauty.
  • Narcissistic husbands are highly defensive with low self-esteem, though you might see them as strong and powerful. Underneath it all, he’s still just a scared little boy doing whatever he needs to do to get his narcissistic supply needs met. 

If you are still with me, the next thing you need to do is to educate yourself a little more on what kinds of behaviors and traits you can see in a narcissistic husband.

 

Identifying Narcissistic Behaviors

If you’re living with a narcissist and aren’t sure what to do about it, you’ll want to learn how to identify them. After all, identifying narcissistic behaviors can help you realize and fully accept that you are being abused by a narcissist.

Plus, it offers validation of your experience, which can help you to leave the “FOG” (fear, obligation, and guilt) in the past and clarify your future. And when you know better, you do better.

What Are Some Signs of a Narcissist Husband?

If you think your spouse is a narcissist, there are several behaviors you should watch for to help solidify your suspicion.

  • He may have an excessive interest in himself.
  • He is unconcerned with your feelings and you can tell because he says the most profoundly painful things you can imagine and often leaves you hanging when you really need him (at least emotionally).
  • He puts his own needs and even wants above you and everyone else, regardless of the level of severity in need.
  • He feels very entitled and expects special privileges. 
  • He might even think he’s above the law.
  • He cheats on you, or you suspect he would if given the opportunity.
  • He makes you feel more like an employee or servant than a wife. 
  • You walk on eggshells and base most of your decisions on whether or not he will be upset by your choice.
  • He wants to be seen as the best at everything, and even if he doesn’t really believe it, he expects you to believe and will demonstrate serious narcissistic injury and/or narcissistic rage if you do not support this delusion. 
  • Speaking of delusions, he probably has delusions of grandeur. 
  • If you have kids, he may act jealous of the attention you give them, or he may use them against you in other ways.

These are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, but they’re enough to feel concerned that you might be married to a narcissist.

Are narcissists capable of loving?

This is a hard pill to swallow because while narcissists can seem to love you in some ways, especially early in the relationship, they’re also very emotionally stunted; as in they have the emotional capacity of a toddler – or at best, a teenager.

The fact is that when a narcissist declares his love for you, he might really mean it in the moment. But he doesn’t fully “get” love. He sees you more as an object – sort of like how you see your smartphone

When you get a new smartphone, it’s powerful and amazing, packed with new features. It’s pretty and doesn’t have any scratches – and you love it for exactly what it is.

But after a while, you drop it a few times. It gets a little beat up, and before you know it, you hear about the latest and greatest NEW smartphone. 

Right around then, your current phone becomes a little less functional – it slows down and doesn’t quite run as smoothly as it once did.

And that’s right around the time you break down and get a new one. You don’t miss the old one, and you pretty much don’t think of it again. Because it’s a smartphone, not a person. 

But the narcissist sees you like a smartphone – disposable and dispensable. They love what you DO for them, but they’re not really capable of loving YOU as a person, at least not in the same way as you may have once loved THEM.

How long can a narcissist stay married?

Narcissists, both male, and female, sometimes stay married for decades. Many male narcissists won’t leave ever, at least not physically. Others will jump from relationship to relationship.

Those who cheat will often want to keep their wives around as their “mother figure,” if possible. Then they go out and do what they want with other women (and/or men), and they seem to really lean into the whole “Madonna/Whore” complex

Long story short, a narcissist can stay married for the rest of their lives, and many will unless their wives finally have enough and initiate the divorce themselves. Often, the narcissistic husband will repeat the whole cycle of abuse over and over in their marriages.

So you may never be permanently discarded, but you’ll be temporarily discarded repeatedly through painful manipulations like the silent treatment, for example.

Will a narcissist ever change?

The way I see it, it’s possible for a narcissist to change, but I’ve never seen or heard of it happening on a meaningful level.

In fact, if a narcissist husband were to successfully change, it would require him to engage in long-term therapy and to really do the work required – and it’d be no picnic.

  • He’d have to first discover and acknowledge his core wounds, those traumas that caused his personality to develop this way. ( He’d have to recognize that his core wounds probably began as early as birth, if you believe in attachment theory, which I do.)
  • Then, he’d need to accept and meaningful work through what happened to him and the fact that it caused his personality flaws (which, of course, must also be seen, acknowledged, and resolved).
  • Finally, he’d need to go to the next level and learn emotional and compassionate empathy. This would require the work of a skilled specialty psychologist/therapist and may even involve certain prescriptions and additional therapies, depending on his comorbid mental health issues. 

Bottom line, maybe it’s possible, but it doesn’t happen by the very nature of narcissistic personality disorder.

How do you deal with a narcissist in a relationship?

Once you identify the problem, it’s time to take action. You’ve got choices here – you can stay, or you can go.

If you stay, prepare yourself to continue to deal with emotional and psychological abuse for the rest of your life. It may never get better and if it does, it could be because you’ve resigned yourself to accepting the abuse. 

Of course, there are plenty of ways you can make the narcissist less difficult. You can even sort of train them to treat you with more respect.

But these tactics will only make your life more tolerable, and only if you’re willing to actively play the narcissist’s game. Trust me when I tell you that it’s only worth it if you’re also actively planning to get out of the relationship. 

That said, I know it isn’t always possible to leave right away, thanks to things like financial abuse and having kids.

In these cases, I’d recommend that you try my ethical method of making the narcissist be nice to you. It works, but it’s exhausting over a long period of time.

Otherwise, you’ll want to use the gray rock method when they try to gaslight and manipulate you, and you’ll want to get busy planning your exit. Even if it’s going to take a while, you’ll feel more empowered when you know you’re working toward your freedom.

You can get your free PLAN (Planning to Leave the Narcissist toolkit) right here.

Still not sure? Take our free Is my husband a narcissist? quiz to gain additional insight and to be given resources to help you recover from narcissistic abuse.

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