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  • Writer's pictureTracy Haynes

The Harrowing Experience of Narcissism in Relationships

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Narcissism in Relationships


Love should be a sanctuary, a haven where two souls can find solace, comfort, and understanding. But what happens when one of those souls is entangled in the dark, complex web of narcissism? The once bright light of love becomes dimmed, leaving the other partner feeling drained, manipulated, and alone. This is the haunting reality of being in a relationship with a narcissist.

A Hidden Monster:

In the beginning, the allure of the narcissist is magnetic. They are charming, confident, and seemingly perfect. They sweep you off your feet and make you feel as if you're the centre of their universe. The love that blossoms is vibrant and intoxicating, leaving you breathless and wanting more.

But as time goes on, the mask begins to slip. That captivating charm fades, revealing the true face of the narcissist—a face riddled with manipulation, control, and a persistent need for admiration. They become the puppeteer, and you, their unwitting puppet.

The Emotional Rollercoaster:

You find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster, one that you never wished to ride. The highs are dizzying, but the lows are crushing. You're left gasping for air, wondering how you got here and how to escape this never-ending cycle.

One moment, the narcissist showers you with love and affection, making you feel cherished and valued. But in the blink of an eye, they turn cold and distant, leaving you longing for the warmth of their embrace. You question your worth and doubt your sanity, as their words and actions become a confusing, chaotic mess.

Gaslighting: A Sinister Form of Control:

The narcissist's ultimate weapon is gaslighting, a sinister form of psychological manipulation designed to make you doubt your own reality. They twist your words, distort your memories, and constantly make you question your perception of events. You feel as though you're losing your grip on reality, leaving you vulnerable and susceptible to their control.

Alienation of Friends and Family: A Narcissist's Subtle Warfare:

In addition to the emotional turmoil experienced within the relationship, victims of narcissists often face the heartbreaking process of alienation from friends and family. This alienation is a calculated move by the narcissist, aimed at isolating the victim and making them more dependent on the narcissist's validation and affection.

The Slow Erosion of Support:

The alienation from loved ones can happen gradually and insidiously. The narcissist may plant seeds of doubt about the intentions of friends and family or make disparaging comments about them. They may also attempt to monopolise the victim's time, subtly discouraging them from maintaining relationships with others. Over time, these tactics erode the connections between the victim and their support system, causing them to feel even more trapped in the relationship.

Triangulation: A Divide and Conquer Strategy:

Another technique employed by narcissists is triangulation—creating tension between the victim and their loved ones by manipulating their interactions and communication. They may provoke arguments or share false information to turn people against each other. This serves to further isolate the victim and keep them under the narcissist's control.

The Victim's Complicity:

In some cases, the victim may inadvertently contribute to the alienation process. They may become defensive of the narcissist or downplay the severity of the relationship, making it difficult for friends and family to express their concerns. Fear of judgment or a desire to protect the narcissist may lead the victim to distance themselves from those who care about them.

Rebuilding Bridges:

Healing from a narcissistic relationship includes not only addressing the emotional scars but also rebuilding connections with friends and family. It's essential for the victim to recognise and acknowledge the alienation that occurred and to reach out to those they may have distanced themselves from during the relationship. Loved ones can play a crucial role in the healing process, offering empathy, understanding and support, as the victim regains their sense of self and autonomy.

Ultimately, the path to healing and rebuilding relationships after a narcissistic relationship takes time, patience, and understanding from all parties involved. By recognising the manipulation and control tactics that led to the alienation, victims can take steps towards repairing the relationships that were damaged during their time with the narcissist.

A Call to Action:

If you or someone you know is in a relationship with a narcissist, it's vital to seek help and support. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide guidance and understanding. Remember, you deserve to be loved and respected, and there is hope for a brighter, healthier future.

The Invisible Scars:

The damage caused by a narcissist in a relationship runs deep, leaving invisible scars on your psyche. You may feel broken, shattered, and lost, unsure of how to rebuild yourself and move forward. The journey to healing is long and arduous, but with time and support, you can rise from the ashes, stronger and wiser than before.


The harrowing experience of being in a relationship with a narcissist is one that no one should have to endure. It is a painful, emotional journey filled with manipulation, control, and self-doubt. But through awareness, support, and healing, you can reclaim your sense of self and find the love and happiness you truly deserve.

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