NPD does not evaporate with a change in relationship partners, counsel, nor a job change or new home, etc. There’s no new person or thing that makes the narcissist suddenly normal, rational, or better behaved. For those of us who dealt with a drug/alcohol-affected abuser, the eradication of intoxicants makes no difference–the personality disorder and its resulting abuse remain.
The disorder is ever present, and it is poured out into every relationship and interaction the narcissist has, not merely the romances–their children, parents, co-workers, service providers in the community, anyone and everyone (and yes…they are capable of manipulating therapists with their toxicity).
Loving them doesn’t melt NPD away, never has over all of the history of abusiveness in humanity, and never will. There’s no surgery, therapy, psych med, or book/video series that cures this. It does not change with new living situations or changing jobs or partners…this is permanent.
An illustration of what “hard-wired” means in the human brain: Dr. George Simon, a psychologist who specializes in personality disorders, likens full-blown personality disorders to severe Autism. The likelihood of a severely Autistic individual changing is the same as someone with a full-blown personality disorder ever-changing – none.
The Cancer Illustration
Another illustration would be to imagine he has an inoperable malignant cancerous tumor–nothing can be done to eradicate or treat this. You are literally standing in front of this person, frantically saying, “But I love you…can’t you just not have cancer?”
There was a time when you were the shiny new relationship…and some previously discarded person was in pain as you are presently. She wondered if he’d somehow be perfect with you. Was he?? And the persons before her all wondered the same thing in reverse succession, and this will go on & on now with every new victim until he dies.
Patterns speak. Patterns shout.
We glibly toss around the word “evil” and think of monsters in movies…but no, the malevolence we have witnessed is the very heart of darkness itself.
The longer a victim continues to fight the truth of this, the longer the victim suffers. It is what you tell yourself now that matters, so change your internal dialogue to factual truth.
I’m living proof that it works.
Further Resources for Dealing with and Understanding the Narcissist’s New Relationship from Our Coaches
Jenney Moore is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW, and a survivor of a 25-year abusive marriage. She stayed as long as she did simply due to being unaware of personality disorders.
“I’d never even heard the term, and was incredibly naïve…at every promise he made to change, I tearfully bought in again and again”, she remembers.
Finally leaving in 2012, she now works giving support in multiple Facebook abuse victims’ support groups including one she and several fellow admins started at New Year of 2019, and works as a senior administrative assistant for a major utility company.
She is a singer/musician, visual artist, fitness enthusiast, and shares her home with her daughter and son-in-law.
Imagine this: you’ve left your toxic narcissist after years of mental and emotional abuse, and you’re finally starting to breathe again. You are finally free of this horrible, selfish energy and you feel like you’re a brand new person! Life is just starting to get really, really good.
And then it happens.
As you’re humming to yourself in the grocery store, you spot your former would-be soulmate two aisles over – and there’s something different about him. He seems happier, brighter. Relaxed, even. He’s laughing, talking, and even being charming. That bastard!
You’re confused. You’re hurt. You’re angry, maybe. A far cry from the man you recently knew, he’s somehow transformed himself back into the amazing guy you once loved.
(Note: I’m writing from the female perspective because 75 percent of my readers are female. With that being said, this could apply to either a male or a female narcissist.)
But seconds later, almost as if time is moving in slow motion, you realize what is happening. Your narc has found his next victim – he’s in the process of love bombing her, and for a moment, you get a front-row seat.
I know it stings. I know it hurts when you see that guy who you fell in love with re-emerging after you’re away. And I know that you wonder (at least a little bit) if somehow he was right all along – and if it really WAS just you.
Why the Narcissist Becomes the Person You Fell In Love With When You Leave
Time for a reality check, my darling: you were not the problem. First, let me acknowledge that while every step in the process is very painful, this one is probably one of the most confusing. See, while the bigger part of you knows that he is never going to REALLY change, this other little part of you still loves him – or the version of him that you once believed was real. And that’s the part of him he’s parading around now – so it’s like you’re mourning “that version” of him all over again.
But let me repeat: the problem was NOT you! The problem was that the narcissist started taking you for granted. He got used to having you around. Maybe he got shiny new object syndrome, or he said life was too boring and left you to pursue whatever it was he wanted. Maybe you just finally had enough and you left him.
This is normal. And sadly for her, you already know how this story is going to go. Now, as you know, narcissists are very hard to live with, and even a reasonably intelligent person would feel ashamed that she tolerates the bullshit – so she may keep it under wraps, like you probably did. So you might never know for sure.
But if I’m in your shoes at this point, I’m going to make use of the no-contact/low-contact thing and use it to my advantage. That means block them both on Facebook so you don’t have to see it when you’re torturing yourself by stalking their profiles. It means you will not listen when some well-meaning flying monkey tries to offer you updates on him.
It means you’re going to move forward and focus ONLY on what you can control (not what you can’t), and since you couldn’t control him while you were together, you sure as hell can’t now (nor should you want to – he’s no longer your problem!).
How to Deal With Your Ex Being Perfect for a New Love
So, how do you deal with the painful reality of watching your narcissist be perfect for someone else?
Start by remembering what you dealt with and by recognizing what she will deal with soon enough. (And even if you’re tempted to warn your narcissist’s new supply about what she’s getting herself into, don’t do it – even if your intentions are good.)
Read more: Should I warn the new supply about the narcissist?
Don’t sit around thinking that the narc’s new supply will end up getting the benefit of all the work you did trying to fix him. It doesn’t work like that. He is what he is, and even most experts will tell you: a narcissist can’t change (not for long, anyway).
Remember too that you’re not really mourning the person you lost; you’re mourning your illusion of who you believed he was. It’s an ever-turning cycle that the narcissist will repeat in varying iterations for the rest of his life. Be glad you’re off the wheel.
Stay focused on you, and on making your own life better. You have already been tortured enough – if you let this situation keep making you miserable, you’re only allowing him to continue the abuse from afar. Take back your life, my friend, and choose to be happy, in your own way. Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t.
Heal and release the anger. As one of my beautiful SPAN group members said: “Work on your healing and the layers of anger will soon disappear. One of the hardest things for me, was mourning the illusion of that perfect relationship I wanted to truly believe. Letting that go was a big step for me.”
NEVER compare yourself to the new supply, unless it’s to feel sorry for her as you take note of the pattern that you’re thankfully no longer subjected to in your life. Don’t do yourself the disservice of trying to think she’s somehow “better” than you; the truth is that narcissists are very picky, so chances are, if she “seems” better somehow, it’s only because he hasn’t ruined her yet.
Don’t “if only” and “what if” yourself to death. It’s common to have feelings of regret after any relationship ends, and you wouldn’t be human if you wonder what you could have done differently or whether something you did or said could have been the trigger that caused it all to go downhill. But that’s not helping you – it’s only causing you more pain – and chances are, you couldn’t have changed the situation without going completely insane trying to make him happy. Now it’s time to live in the moment and to think about how you want the future to go.
A Better Way to Deal: Move Forward Without the Narcissist (Stop Obsessing!)
I know it’s easy to obsess over the narcissist and what they’re up to now. Believe me, trauma bonding is no easy thing to overcome. But the very best way you can deal with the narcissist and their new supply is to NOT deal with them. What I mean is that maybe it’s time to focus on yourself – on your healing and on creating your brand new life as you navigate narcissistic abuse recovery. This video offers insight and help on exactly how to stop obsessing about the narcissist and what they did to you. It will help you to finally let go and start moving forward.
What about you? Have you ever experienced watching your ex-narcissist get involved with a new person, or even just appear to return to the person he once was?
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.