When you manage to wriggle out of a narcissistic relationship, don’t assume you are out of the woods. Sadly, the worst is not yet over for you.
Depending on how long you have been in the narcissistic relationship and the nature of narcissistic abuse, the aftereffects are vast and varied. In some way or the other, this will also affect your future healthy relationships.
Narcissistic partners expect their victims to be absolutely devoted to them without questioning their authority and endure the abuse inflicted on them without a murmur. Years of conditioning this way will alter your behavioral patterns and even result in brain damage.
Difficulty in trusting, inability to build meaningful connections, trouble in offering and accepting love, paranoia, and more serious mental health problems are all consequences of a narcissistic relationship.
A narcissistic partner with deformed character traits subjects their victims to physical and verbal abuse besides emotional abuse. This can have a permanent impact on the behavior and thought patterns of the victims, making them unable to act normally.
The fallout of this situation is that you will treat your future partner the same way. That is bound to create trouble in your new relationship because there is no narcissistic element involved in it.
This article attempts to list the typical effects of narcissistic abuse on future relationships. Here you will also find tips and suggestions to overcome these aftereffects and lead a normal life.
Forms of narcissistic manipulation/abuse
When one of the partners in a relationship has narcissistic tendencies, they tend to take advantage of the other partner and subject them to various kinds of abuse. Narcissists are well-known for their inflated egos, exaggerated sense of self-importance, lack of empathy, and self-centered behavior.
The most common narcissistic abuses seen in relationships are criticism, gaslighting, and manipulation. Victims are belittled, trivialized, and emotionally blackmailed. Self-projection, silent treatment, twisting of facts, withholding and denial of affection, lying, sabotage, and neglect are commonly seen in narcissistic relationships.
Victims of narcissistic manipulation have to endure isolation, love bombing, and excessive control from their narcissistic partner. When they try to regain control of their lives or make efforts to end the relationship, the narcissistic partner will tone down their aggression and go back to the appreciation stage.
A narcissistic partner will use all tricks in their armor to keep their victims under their control. They make it impossible for their hapless victims to leave them for good.
How does narcissistic manipulation affect a person?
When one partner has narcissistic tendencies, they tend to take advantage of the other and often abuse them for personal gains. If you are at the receiving end of narcissistic manipulation, you would feel that you are being pulled down constantly, abused, criticized, gaslighted, and your feelings ignored and even ridiculed.
Narcissistic abuse involves the domineering individual taking over the reins of the life of the docile partner. Narcissists make victims feel worthless, humiliated, and powerless. Narcissistic manipulation will make you uneasy and distrustful of your partner.
If narcissistic manipulation continues for longer, you may withdraw into a shell and stop socializing and interacting with others. Slowly all these negative behaviors you developed as a result of narcissistic manipulation will become an integral part of your personality, which you will carry into your future healthy relationships as well.
Victims of narcissistic abuse often develop mental and emotional health issues. The most common among them are anxiety and depression. Low self-esteem, insecurity, and feeling of being isolated are also common. The victims have a hard time sticking to jobs and relationships.
In extreme cases of narcissistic manipulation, even brain damage can occur. A consistent and repeated onslaught of emotional and verbal abuse can have a permanent impact on your brain resulting in brain damage. Brain damage from narcissistic abuse symptoms includes lack of focus, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and difficulty in maintaining impulse control.
Healing after narcissistic abuse is vital. You should undergo narcissistic abuse recovery with counseling and therapy sessions.
How does narcissistic abuse hinder your future relationships?
The consequences of an abusive narcissistic relationship are not restricted to the particular relationship alone. It can have far-reaching consequences. You will have to bear the brunt of narcissistic abuse on future relationships.
1. Innocent remarks of the partner may trigger trauma
If the new partner is unaware of the full extent of the narcissistic manipulation you endured at the hands of your narcissistic ex-partner, they may be at a disadvantage when interacting with you. Something they innocently say may remind you of the dark old days. This can push you into depression and negative thinking.
This can make your new partner unsure of what to say or do. This may even end up causing permanent damage to the new relationship.
2. Your narcissistic ex-partner will be present as a third party in your new relationship
Whether you want it or not and like it or not, the trauma of narcissistic abuse will continue to haunt you for a long time to come. The more you try to shake it off, the more it will remain with you. It will continue to affect the way you think, feel, talk, and do things. You will feel your narcissistic ex-partner’s constant presence in your life and new relationship.
3. Your new partner will feel as if you’re accusing them.
The aftereffects of the narcissistic abuse you endured will make you say and do things that your new partner may consider insulting or accusatory. Unless they are mature and understanding, they may take this the wrong way, often resulting in a breakup.
Your new partner needs to understand that all your anger, despair, and frustration are not aimed at them but at your former partner. So long as your partner can realize this simple truth, all will be well. If not, your new relationship is headed for a disastrous end.
4. You might need constant reassurance.
During all the years you spent with your narcissistic ex-partner, you were completely lost, insecure, unstable, and in a mess of mammoth proportions. With your narcissistic ex-partner, you never knew where you stood the entire time you were together. You always felt on edge and unsure of what comes next. You never felt loved or cherished.
You are fully aware that your new partner is nothing like your old one. Still, there are moments when you need to be reassured of their love and affection. You would want them to remind you how important you are to them.
If your new partner doesn’t understand your need for reassurance, your relationship may end up in jeopardy.
5. You might feel an aversion to intimacy at times.
This is another serious fallout of narcissistic abuse. Why you feel so, most probably even you may not know. You may find it hard to make sense of this feeling. But unfortunately, you cannot control it or do anything about it.
At times, the pain of narcissistic abuse surfaces in your mind for no apparent reason and wreaks havoc there. When this pain becomes too intense, as a coping mechanism, you might develop a dislike for your new partner. You might not want to be touched by them or be anywhere near them.
Having a compassionate and thoughtful partner may help you overcome this situation.
Your new partner needs to understand that your insecurities are not frivolous; they are real. Despite ending the relationship a long time back, the narcissistic abuse will continue to haunt you. You may experience bad dreams, nightmares, and insomnia. Anxiety, depression, and anger may flare up in you for no reason without warning.
Once a victim of narcissistic abuse, you may suffer the consequences lifelong. It can wreak havoc and seriously harm your future healthy relationships. Unless you find someone who can accommodate your unpredictable behavior, a healthy relationship will remain a dream for you.