The term "grand finale" describes an over-the-top ending of a relationship with a narcissist, which is often characterized by an extreme amount of drama, chaos, lies, and overall outrageous, soap-opera type of behavior. The narcissist's behavior can be so intense that it rapidly esclates to becoming dangerous or even deadly. Leaving a relationship with someone who has such dramatic, erratic, and emotional behavior like this requires extreme caution, even if the person has never previously shown signs of violent behavior. Once the narcissist realizes they've lost power and control over their target, they begin to scramble and say or do anything they can to get that power back. Around this time, the narcissist's mask either slips or is taken off completely, and the target is shocked by what they see. They may be surprised by the level of contempt the narcissist has for them and realize that the narcissist does not love them or even like them. This can be hard to accept and leaves many targets feeling numb, devastated, and angry once they realize the narcissist is nothing more than an emotional con artist.
Example of Grand Finale
Beth and Mark had been married for ten years. During these ten years, Beth continually felt frustrated and outraged with Mark's financial irresponsibility. His addiction to porn and frequent trips to strip clubs, his chronic lying, his put-downs, and his continual indifference about his behavior also impacted her. She recently found out that he had been flirting with a woman through text messages. When Beth confronted him and asked him if he was cheating, Mark denied it and told her that he couldn't take these wild accusations. He insisted that he had female friends, and that's all this other woman was. Then the other woman, Jessica, contacted Beth, and it turned out that Jessica was pregnant. Confronted with Jessica's pregnancy, Mark said that they'd only had sex once, and it was during a time that he and Beth had been fighting. He claimed that Jessica meant nothing to him and that he would do anything to save their marriage, begging Beth to give him another chance and for them to get into couple's counseling. Mark seemed to say all the right things, and even the counselor thought they were making progress. Beth's best friend wasn't buying it and encouraged Beth to talk to Jessica to get her side of the story. Beth told Mark that she wanted to meet with Jessica, and after many fights about it, Mark reluctantly agreed. Then he came home and said that Jessica was too embarrassed and ashamed to meet with Beth, but that she'd be okay with texting. Mark gave Beth Jessica's number, and they began texting. Sure enough, Jessica confirmed everything in Mark's story. Jessica even said that Mark had told her how much he loved Beth and that she was a lucky woman. Beth believed the texts until she sent Jessica a text while Mark was in the bathroom. She heard a strange sound in Mark's jacket. It was a text notification, but not his normal one. She sent a few more texts, and sure enough, his phone kept chiming. She went into his jacket and saw that he'd bought a cheap phone and that she'd never been texting Jessica. She'd been texting Mark all along!
That was the final straw for Beth. She moved out that night. Over the next few months, she found out who the real Jessica was, and the two of them began to uncover lie after lie that Mark had told each of them. The more of the truth that came out, the more ridiculous the situation became. She found out about hidden bank accounts, other women, and debt, which she never knew. She learned of lies he'd told other people, including that she'd had cancer and that's why he'd stayed with her, and that he had tried to leave her before. Still, she continually manipulated him into coming back, claiming she needed him because of her illness. Jessica even showed Beth a text saying that he thought his son with Beth wasn't his! Jessica told her that Mark had vigorously pursued her and that the only reason he was pretending to work things out with Beth was so that he could divorce her and not get screwed over financially. Beth could hardly believe this was her life or that Mark could have been capable of so many lies and such a jaw-dropping level of deceit, disrespect, and disregard for her and their marriage. Mark's behavior was so outrageous that Beth felt like she was living a soap opera!