Signs Your Relationship May Be Narcissistically Abusive

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When you and your partner first started dating, it felt like a dream. Finally, it felt like you had found your person, your perfect match.

But as the months or years went by, their true colors started to show. Some days, you’re left feeling like you’re dating a completely different person than the one that you initially met.

Every relationship has good and bad days. The bad days are what make the good days even better. At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself.

But you can’t seem to shake the feeling that there’s a larger issue at play. If you have the feeling that something isn’t right, you’re usually correct. Here are some signs that your relationship may be narcissistically abusive.

You Feel Alone

Despite being in a relationship, you feel alone. This is one of the most common signs of narcissistic abuse in a relationship. A narcissist has a way of controlling you and absorbing not only all of your time but your energy as well. This means that you may feel like you don’t have the time or energy to hang out with family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors. Your time and energy are dedicated to making sure your partner feels loved, wanted, and needed. In extreme cases, a narcissist may even try to get in the way of your career and even encourage you to stop working completely so they have even more control over your life.

You Miss the Person You First Met

When dating a narcissist, it can take months or years for their true self to be exposed. A lot of people show up as the best version of themselves when they first start dating someone new. Narcissists take this to the extreme. Many narcissists can show up as a completely different person to reel someone in and get close to them. Over time, they’ll start to show their layers like an onion and slowly start to expose who they really are. This can leave their partners craving the person they first met. They may start to wonder what happened to the person they first started falling for or even blame themselves for their partner changing and acting differently.

You’re Constantly Second Guessing Yourself

If you’re involved in a relationship with a narcissist, you can start to feel like you’re going crazy. Narcissists have a tendency to gaslight and manipulate the people in their lives. Over time, you may feel like you’re actually making things up or going crazy because they won’t back you up on the memories you have, even though they’re factual. These are some common phrases or sayings that a narcissist may say to their partner:

  • Why are you reacting this way?
  • I was just joking.
  • You’re overreacting.
  • Your memory isn’t great.
  • Are you positive that happened?
  • Why are you acting crazy?
  • That didn’t happen.

You’re Walking On Eggshells

Relationships should be mutually beneficial to each partner. One partner shouldn’t feel like they’re constantly giving while the other partner is taking. A partner who is in a relationship with a narcissist can start to feel like they’re constantly walking on eggshells. You never know which version of your partner you may get when it comes to dating a narcissist. It’s hard to tell what type of mood they’re in, if they’re in a good mood, bad mood, or if they’re looking to gain more control.

Next Steps

If you suspect that you or a loved one are in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to seek additional help as soon as you can. The longer these signs go on, the harder it will be to remove yourself from this type of abuse. We’re here to help you identify and move forward in your life again. You deserve a life and relationship that is healthy and makes you happy. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.


Jeffrey Aviles, LCSW-C

Baltimore Counseling Center