You are in a relationship with a narcissistic spouse, and you want to know if he can change.
I feel you, and my heart goes out to you. You have history, a business, family, home, children, a life with this person, and your dream life is not turning out as you envisioned.
You feel stuck, because of all you’ve built, with the belief that you were building a partnership and joint life together.
And now, you feel angry, bitter, sad and lost about where to go from here.
All the talking and assertive communication isn’t working. You may have tired counselling, only to find that was also ineffective. You’ve researched for days online and read stacks of books to try and figure out the problems in your relationship.
But if you have a spouse with narcissistic traits or a full blown personality disorder, the issues are not about learning better communication. And turning things around is not a “we” issue, it his issue.
This is so important to understand. To save your sanity and serenity, you have to get this!
You cannot make him change, but you can focus on changing you. You can start to put a plan into motion that leaves you feeling more in control and empowered rather than controlled and trapped.
In this blog I’m going to share with you the 6 Phases of going from confused, lost and unsure of where to go from here, to having clarity, understanding of what you’re experiencing, your part in the dynamics, and a plan of action, including creating your exit plan ASAP, just in case it continues to go south.
Here are the 6 phases of ending the cycle:
Start Dreaming Again:
Being in a relationship with a narcissistically abusive partner will take over your life. You’ve been operating in survival mode for so long, any deep consideration about what YOU want for your life outside of this relationship is nonexistent. You’ve forgot who you are. It’s time to wake up. In order to transform your life, you have to have a vision and plan for where you’re going!
2) Get Clarity on the Cycle:
Understanding the abuse cycle in a covertly abusive relationship will bring you massive clarity. The tactics, patterns of behavior, and words are different with a manipulative covert narcissistic partner, than one who is outright and obviously abusive. The covert types can do a lot more damage, because they get away with a lot more. Once you’ve figured it all out, the game changes!
3) Know the 7 Main Types of Abuse:
This is important. What you may think is abuse, may be very limited. And you’ve come to get used to the ways your partner treats you, so you have lost sight on the multi-layered ways you are being manipulated, controlled and disrespected. Once you know the 7 types of abuse, you can arm yourself with boundaries, new limits, and self protection.
4) Shift From Victim to Power:
You cannot change your life when you are stuck in the same victim mentality that got you here, and has kept you in this relationship, despite what it is doing to you. There are some key mindset shifts that need to happen. You can’t solve a problem from the same level of consciousness in which it was created! One big piece to this is to stop getting into control around things that are not in your power, and focus on the areas you DO have power.
5) Develop Your Process For Change:
You need a plan. It’s time to stop spinning in the same circles, feeling like you’re living the same day over and over. If you’re stuck, and can’t see the light or a way out, it’s because you don’t have a plan, or any idea how to dig yourself out of this hole right now. But, that does NOT mean you actually are trapped with no way out! Having a plan of action, and knowing what to look for when it comes to a partner that keeps saying he will change (but doesn’t over the long term) will save you months, if not years of coasting and surviving day to day with no direction. Living like this feeds learned helplessness, codependency, and victimization mentality.
6) Develop Your No Matter What Goals and Exit Strategy:
Don’t wait until the next crises hits, and you need to get out fast, to plan your moves. Do it now. Prepare, and get things in order. Having a plan and strategy in place you are working toward quietly for yourself and children if you have children (just in case) gives you incredible comfort and allows you to stand up to the abuse in a more detached way, because you know you have a plan in place. Once you begin to shift the power dynamic, things start to get ugly, because he will sense it. Be prepared and ready for the backlash, and don’t get sucked back in the cycle with the love bombing and manipulation.
Having support as you navigate your transformation process is invaluable. If you’re working with a therapist, go on your own, and use this guide as what you’d like to cover in your work together. Also make sure the therapist understands covert narcissistic abuse! Or you’ll find it to be a waste of time, and often leads you nowhere.
Grab a note pad, and jot down some ideas for each of the 6 phases of transformation, and put it into action!
Want a step by step process to follow to get you from confusion and chaos to clarity about whether you want to stay or leave, and have a concrete plan for how you will leave, should the time come?