If you’re reading my blog, you’ve probably found a plausible explanation for why you can’t seem to “quit” or finally end this crazy cycle. It is paradoxical situation, at the very least. This is finally the first step, and if you’re like me, your logical brain can help you emotionally detach – for good. This is an important first step: you know you can’t change a person with a personality disorder. For them, changes do not last, and no psychiatric drugs will repair their disordered thinking. If you keep entertaining their sudden ghosting, silent treatments, or disappearing acts, they will keep coming back after you’ve “learned your lesson.”
After having helped hundreds of men and women over the last few decades leave these relationships, many keep going back, and that’s okay. We’re not here to judge you. However, I hope that my personal experiences and professional work have helped you. I hope you find some comfort, even temporarily, as you read through our previous blogs, especially the ones regarding ghosting and disappearing acts.
As humans, we are not comfortable with uncertainty, pain, and feelings of abandonment that we experience when our romantic partners suddenly leave, without any consideration or remorse, and without any forewarning. The extreme highs that we feel during the make-up process make us crave that intensity again, and it seems that nothing can soothe the pain of that person’s sudden disappearance except for a reappearance. Imagine your child suddenly disappearing without any warning. Surely, this would devastate you and pain you until your child’s safe return. Now, what if your child did that to you to teach you a lesson because you asked your child to clear the table. It’s no different with a spouse. When your spouse suddenly disappears, it seems that the only way to stop the incredible pain we feel is their sudden return.
Very likely, your partner has been doing this disappearing stuff for as long as he/she has been in relationships. This isn’t new, and because this worked in the past, the narcissistic or other Cluster B disordered person is banking on it working again. There are numerous reasons for suddenly disappearing, and often, it has nothing really to do with you at all. It could be chasing a new promising lead, while simultaneously teaching you that asking for more intimacy, reciprocation, or even help around the house, will not be tolerated. You’ll learn to not ask for anything because of the inevitable discarding.
You’ll learn to avoid asking for anything because we, as humans, want to avoid the painful feelings of abandonment and anxiety. You may resort to begging for their return, and the person with narcissistic personality disorder will train you to not ask questions or ask for an apology because he/she may leave again. That threat is always looming.
Trust me, the pain is temporary. After rebuilding and healing from the aftermath of relational harm, you’ll figure out that the only way to avoid these repeated disappearances is to finally stop the make-up and break up cycle that is pervasive in pathological relationships. It is paradoxical because the more time you invest, and the harder you try to avoid these repeated disappearances, the more you become dependent on the intense cycles of abuse. Think of it as quitting a drug, like nicotine. If you’ve ever been a smoker, you’ll know how difficult it was to quit smoking, but the more days you stay away from cigarettes, the more you’ll invest into quitting smoking for good. You will not want to undo the progress that you’ve made, and distance and time will help you feel better.
One common thing I hear from my clients is that they put in more work in repairing these relationships that any other relationship they’ve had. Use this effort, instead, into improving yourself and becoming unstuck in this high-conflict situation.
I write these blogs as part of my own healing and as part of my goals to help others understand that there is so much more happiness on the other side of divorce. My own personal experience as well as my professional experiences have taught me that the cyclical nature of these relationships is a hallmark of a toxic relationship.
When a narcissist has no viable intimate relationships in her horizon to fulfill her narcissistic supply tank, she may attempt to come back to you, and again, the honeymoon period is very short-lived. Learn more about the cycle of abuse and setting firm boundaries with people. Be firm in your decision to no longer tolerate this type of abuse. Once you learn about the nature of toxic relationships, you will stop going back for abuse. A healthy relationship takes time, and anyone who professes their love to you within days or weeks is most likely very emotionally damaged. That person will never have the insight or honesty necessary to accept responsibility, and each relationship with another adult will end the same way for him/her.
Fairfax Family Law and Divorce Lawyer: An attorney with experience in divorcing a narcissist can help you redirect the blame to the narcissist, and help you understand that although people can fall out of love, it doesn’t happen so abruptly and silently, as it does in a marriage to a narcissist.
If you’re looking for an experienced Virginia family and divorce law attorney, contact Keithley Law, PLLC today by calling (703) 865-7710 and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office. We have decades of legal experience in high-conflict divorces.
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