The way an experience with a narcissist can taint the world of love forever is nothing short of evil. Those who have been in a relationship with a narcissist, or have even just known one in life, know how aggressive their tactics can be and how it can leave an ex of theirs feeling lost or alone.
Their methods work so well because they well a series of elaborate lies that they use to construct their own version of reality. These lies can involve anyone and anything, but one very common subject is their exes.
Under this warped reality, victims of narcissistic abuse can feel smothered. Once they're free from the one controlling them, they can feel lost, dropped back into a world they were ripped out of. That type of trauma can have lasting effects on the mind and soul.
If you want to free yourself from the barriers caused by trauma, you can start by taking this simple quiz. It will help identify the roots of your worries so you can overcome them and start a new chapter of your life unburdened.
What's The Truth?
To anyone who knows just how sly a narcissist can be, it comes as no surprise that they tell a lot of lies. The truth doesn't really matter to them, they'll say anything so long as it fits the narrative they want to spin or if it will help keep a victim of theirs under their control.
Types of lies they'll often use as a means of manipulation are ones about previous relationships or a most recent ex. Here you'll find some common lies about exes that narcissists will tell, plus what they really mean when they say them.
"They were crazy/They were obsessed with me."
When a narcissist calls their ex crazy or insists that they were being obsessed over by this person, they're masking the true nature of their past relationship. They outright lie about who was the instigator and the source of their issues, burrying the psychological torment they put their ex partner through.
This is usually done as a means of lashing out at that partner. They're still upset that their ex managed to break up with them/cut contact at all, so they'll continue to insult them and assure you that they were never the one at fault.
Putting It In Reverse
Every accusation they make of their partner will actually be a confession of their own behavior. Statements like, "They constantly overstepped my boundaries and made me uncomfortable," or, "They made me jealous on purpose so I would feel more conviction to stick around," have been flipped on their head, with the narcissist who did those things now painting themselves as the victim.
If their ex ever tries to reach out to you or whoever the narcissist's current partner is to warn them of their behavior, the narcissist will remind you of their tales, explaining that their ex can't be trusted as they were clearly a terrible person.
"They cheated on/betrayed me."
Here's the thing with this one, it might actually be true. Their ex-partner might have cheated on them, but what's important to consider here is how and why that partner was driven to cheat.
Narcissists slowly take total control of their victims. They purposefully make their partners jealous and insecure, while also totally neglecting their emotional needs, belittling them and leaving them with no sense of support or love in the relationship. Narcissists build up big promises or love, growth, and change, then never deliver. All of this combined with any other torment the narcissist inflicts is meant to make their victims feel isolated and alone.
With all this at play, it's not all that shocking that some people would feel driven to cheat on their narcissistic partner in search of any genuine, kind, non-abusive human contact.
Not to mention that when a narcissist claims their ex-partner 'cheated', that might not even be the real case. It's possible the partner simply went to another friend for emotional support, an act a narcissist would find just as egregious as cheating.
No matter the truth, their insistence that they were 'betrayed' by their ex will be brought up often so you feel the pressure to not do the same, or write off their terrible behavior as a result of what they've been through.
"They were insecure, they controlled me."
Once again, every accusation is a confession for narcissists. Many are so genuinely unable to see what they've done as wrong, but are also aware enough to know its what dissolved their past relationship, so they'll pin whatever took place on their ex instead.
Narcissists are known for intense bouts of jealousy, exercising extreme possessiveness that leaves their partners feeling trapped in the relationship. They start by being very affectionate, smothering a new partner in all the love they could ever ask for, then ripping it away as a means of making them dependent.
Keeping Their Head Down
Any time their actions were questioned, they lashed out, now accusing their rightfully concerned partner of being combative, of being 'crazy', or of not trusting them. They would make every confrontation a nightmare that left their ex only feeling worse so that they'd never want to question the narcissist's behavior again, meaning they got to act as they pleased without recourse.
While the narcissist will say that their ex did all this because they were insecure, it was all born out of the narcissist's own sense of superiority and their twisted desire for complete and utter control.
"They were the love of my life/I can't get over them."
In this instance, even though we're talking about narcissists who treat their partners very poorly, they may not be lying. Narcissists don't have well-regulated emotions, so the way they experience things like love or anger are greatly overinflated and warped beyond recognition. So, for them, even though they treated their ex terribly and did awful things throughout the relationship, it's very possible that they still believe they truly loved that person.
That's not to excuse their actions, of course. It's just a look into how they perceive the world differently than their victims.
A Different Origin
Besides, them saying things like they can't get over their ex or that person was their one and only still isn't good. Here, they're just being open about their obsessive tendencies. This latching onto an ex isn't done out of sorrow, it's rage. They're furious that someone was able to leave them, and will now continue to think of that person until they find a suitable new victim, stewing with anger over how somebody bested them.
Their dreams of their ex don't involve a rekindled romance and a chance to grow together again, they involve revenge.
"We're just friends now, I want what's best for them."
This one is the most subtle at its face, as it seems to be a very well-adjusted view to have. We likely all have an ex we feel this way about. Things don't always work out and some breakups happen amicably, so we wish that person the best and thank them for what they provided while the relationships was ongoing.
For a narcissist, though, even a statement as innocuous as this has hidden meaning. Their peace with the matter is a farce.
Evoking The Past
It could be that they're still very much obsessed with their ex and are trying to hide it. This is especially true if that one particular ex gets brought up often, or if the narcissist continues to disparage them despite them 'still being friends.' By bringing them up so often, it proves that they're still regularly keeping tabs on them, refusing to let them go or give them distance.
The other possibility is that they're using this figure of an friendly ex to make you jealous. They'll speak affectionately about them often, especially when you two are facing troubles, as if threatening to leave you and return to their previous partner.
Their True Desires
Narcissists see relationships as less of a bond formed out of love and more as a game to be played. They're not actually interested in romance, they're interested in control, so when looking for a next partner they try to seek out those they think will be easy to shape into the worshiping subject they wish them to be.
Their tactics are pervasive, they slowly build up so that by the time you realize something is wrong, you've already lost the easiest avenues of escape. It could happen to anybody, so no one is weak or small for ending up under a narcissist's thumb.
A Life Beyond
In the wake of such abuse, it's best not to dwell on what you could have done differently, it's already too late for that. Hindsight will always be 20/20, but you can't blame your younger self for not seeing signs the narcissist deliberately covered up.
Instead, focus on a future of freedom, a future of healing and love and growing away from who that person turned you into. Just like we're all capable of becoming a victim, we're also all capable of healing from being a victim. You're not alone in your journey.
Love is a struggle we all face. It's wonderful, but frustrating if we constantly wind up in less-than-ideal relationships when all we want is to find the true love of our life. If you want to attract the love you've been waiting for, now's the time.