Living with a narcissist is challenging and painful. I would compare it to being in the boxing ring with an invisible enemy. You love your partner and do your best to please them yet you keep getting blind sided by blows that you could not see coming. This is due to the fact that the feeling of wanting to get along in a peaceful and harmonic relationship is not mutual. Even worse, if you are unaware of the fact that your partner is a narcissist you cannot even block the punches because you do not know that there is a enemy in the ring. This is why there is so much power in knowing the person that you are with, this sounds obvious but it is not because before knowing that you are with a narcissist or other personality disordered individual you can be lead to feel like you are going crazy.
Narcissists are master manipulators and one of their main aims is to have a steady and reliable source of narcissistic supply which serves to boost their self esteem and bolster their false sense of self. Being a good source of narcissistic supply does not make you exempt from bad treatment by them, if anything you are more susceptible because narcissists are very good at wearing masks in public, this could be acting jovial and charming, yet when they get home with their nearest and dearest they let it all hang out.
You will notice that their behaviour gets progressively worse as they test the waters and see how much you are willing to accept. This is why it is important to always pay attention to red flags and you gut instincts it is very rare that they will lead you astray.
Never apologise for trusting your intuition. Your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind, but your gut is always right.Rachel Wolchin
When life is running at its normal pace it is easier to excuse unacceptable behaviour, or to distract yourself. Even living with a narcissist can be more bearable when you are busy because you both have your daily routines and may just spend the evening together. Lockdown has posed a dramatic stress on many relationships that were just getting by, or merely out of habit. In some cases it has brought people closer together but for people who live with narcissists it has been hard.
Narcissists are very self absorbed and happy to be the takers in relationships. This balance may go undetected when things are running smoothly, but if you are going through a stressful time; for example during the Covid- 19 pandemic, you may be home-schooling children, whilst working from home, worrying about job security and the future, keeping your home tidy, your body healthy, you are being pulled in many directions. This shift in your priorities can lead a narcissist to feel threatened, like they no longer matter and they are losing their narcissistic supply. The narcissist feeling threatened can result in them making your life a living hell, by becoming distant, giving you the silent treatment, name calling, criticsing you more and being generally unpleasant.
Living with an emotional abuser means that you are living in a constant state of stress.Anonymous
Living with someone who is actively trying to hurt your feelings or get a reaction from you can be very challenging and there is no easy way to deal with this situation. If you know that your partner is a narcissist then you may also know that the likelihood of them healing from this mental condition is very slim. Ending the relationship may not be an option for you, however if the relationship is physically abusive then you need to make a exit plan because abuse usually worsens with time and this is not a situation that you should remain in. Emotional and verbal abuse is equally damaging on a mental level but if you are not in a position to leave at the moment, they are not as life threatening.
Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Moving on does not take a day. It takes a lot of little steps to be able to break free from your broken shell.Unknown
As I have mentioned in previous posts the only person that you can change is yourself so that is where you will need to invest your energy. If you have been with a narcissist for a long time its possible that you may have lost your sense of self. But the good news is that you can always take the time to reconnect.