I think a lot of people struggle with the question of whether or not to stay in their relationship once bad behavior surfaces. I know I have. After all, we are all human, we all make mistakes, and we’d want our partner to forgive us if we did something awful and were truly sorry about it. I think people who say that they would absolutely not tolerate certain behaviors, have probably never been in a situation where they’ve had to decide whether or not to tolerate those behaviors. But if those behaviors are reoccuring, or more bad behaviors keep coming, then there’s a problem.
It’s generally after forgiving a partner for some really bad behaviors, only to see them continue to do them, do people start wondering what is wrong. And that’s understandable. Very few people know what Narcissistic behavior looks like, or what a Narcissist is. And then once they do, they often have a had time fully accepting that their significant other might be one, because if you accept that you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, then you also have to accept that they will never change, and that your relationship isn’t fixable. If you don’t believe that you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, then it means that maybe they can change, and that your relationship can be fixed.
This is quite a hard line to walk, and I think it’s why many victims tend to stay stuck. They go with option B, and try to work on things in therapy, they read self help books, they go to marriage retreats, their partner finds God, they do all these things, and yet…nothing seems to change.I get it, I was there too. It’s uncomfortable to assign a label to another person. It just feels kinda extreme, and wrong someone. Or at least, that’s how I felt about the whole thing. And then there is the dilemma of what to do if you
So how do you when to throw in the towel? Honestly, outside of educating yourself about the warning signs (and seeing how many your partner has), all you can do is to pay attention to if their behavior is an event or if it’s a pattern. If you keep having the same issue every year or so, cheating for example, then it’s a pattern that they obviously don’t want to change, and they don’t really care how their actions impact you or their family. Of, if you keep seeing different bad behaviors that fall under the category of lack of empathy or remorse (cheating, lying, stealing), then that’s a huge problem too, and odds are you be better off trying to get out of that relationship.
I know it’s not easy–ending a relationship, even a bad one, never is. However, I’ve never heard someone who left their significant other of bad behavior say, “I really wish I would have stayed.” Seriously. Think about that. Ending it may be hard, but moving on, and building a good life full of happiness, peace, and stability is totally doable.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 30: Book Club Discussion on “Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse” by Joanna Moore - June 27, 2017
- Live Stream from June 21, 2017 - June 25, 2017
- Episode 28: Gratitude Can Help Keep You Grounded - March 21, 2017