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The Truth About Getting Closure With A Narcissist

by | December 17, 2016

The concept of closure means different things to people. We can’t see it, touch it, or even agree on exactly what it is, but so many survivors of narcissistic abuse hang their whole relationship recovery on getting it. Unfortunately, you never get anything that resembles real closure with a narcissist. And even those folks who don’t want their ex back still believe it will help them to feel better, and make it easier for them to move forward if they could get closure in the form of knowing that their ex-narcissist misses them, wants them back or is at least sorry.

But, the sincere apology you’re waiting for isn’t going to happen, because narcissists just aren’t sorry. They lack the ability to feel real remorse for their actions. If they had that ability, you wouldn’t be left feeling the need for closure, or validation. They don’t take any responsibility for their actions, which is why on their way out the door, they will lay all the blame on you for the problems in the relationship, along with every crappy quality they own.

When they leave relationships or end them abruptly, there are often more questions than answers adding to the need to find closure. Mixed messages are their specialty. Creating confusion, and doubt is what sends their former partners into a closure seeking mission. With icy cold detachment, and completely void of any emotion they will deliver condescending, but seemingly caring, parting words. They may say things like,  I wish the best for you, or I never meant to hurt you, or I hope you find someone who makes you happy and they may even add, the break-up is as hard on me as it is for you. However, their actions will tell an entirely different story and reveal the truth.

Within days or weeks, they most likely will appear on social media with a new target, publicly flaunting how happy and in love they are with their new soul mate. This is only meant to drive the knife into your heart further, and reinforce the belief that the problems and the failure of the relationship were all your fault.

See how happy I am? See how wonderful my new soul mate is? The messages they’re sending you, and everyone else for that matter, are since they found a fantastic person who is capable of filling them with such joy, then clearly you’re the one to blame for the relationship’s problems and ultimate demise.

You’re left believing that if only you had tried harder, or were more generous, nurturing, understanding, more in tune with their needs, or whatever inadequacies they were trying to convince you of, things would have been different. Don’t fall into that rabbit hole. That’s exactly what they were hoping would happen.

In healthy relationships, both partners share the responsibility for the failure of the relationship. The break up is never sudden, or out of left field. Both partners usually have tried and tried, often spending months if not longer, discussing their problems, and trying to repair the issues in the relationship. In reality, narcissists don’t have any interests in finding solutions to fix the problems in their relationships. Frankly, the relationship works just fine for them the way it is. It’s just how they intended it. Fixing it would only cause them to have to start reciprocating, compromising, giving, and renouncing their control.

Healthy people don’t publicly flaunt their new relationships on social media within days, or weeks after a break up because they know that not only is it hurtful to their ex that they once loved, but it is immature, and doesn’t reflect positively on them at all.

There is no closure to be found with toxic people. Closure requires honesty, compassion, and accountability. And a person who could ghost you, blind-side you with a break-up, dump all the fault on you and replace you before the body has even had time to get cold, doesn’t possess the qualities necessary for proper closure.

Wanting your ex to miss you, want you back, or apologize to you, is prolonging your suffering, and impedes any hope of recovery. It’s hinging your future happiness upon external validation.

The more you develop a rock-solid sense of self, the less moved you’ll be by the opinions and affirmations of others. This is your starting point. This is where you need to focus on finding your closure. This is where you’ll find the only validation that matters. Yours!

For more on finding closure with a narcissist, click here.

Copyright © 2016 Bree Bonchay.  All Rights Reserved.

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A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert.
She is a dedicated advocate, educator and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.

GET THE BOOK “I AM FREE”

Healing stories about surviving toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths.

The concept of closure means different things to people. We can’t see it, touch it, or even agree on exactly what it is, but so many survivors of narcissistic abuse hang their whole relationship recovery on getting it. Unfortunately, you never get anything that resembles real closure with a narcissist. And even those folks who don’t want their ex back still believe it will help them to feel better, and make it easier for them to move forward if they could get closure in the form of knowing that their ex-narcissist misses them, wants them back or is at least sorry.

But, the sincere apology you’re waiting for isn’t going to happen, because narcissists just aren’t sorry. They lack the ability to feel real remorse for their actions. If they had that ability, you wouldn’t be left feeling the need for closure, or validation. They don’t take any responsibility for their actions, which is why on their way out the door, they will lay all the blame on you for the problems in the relationship, along with every crappy quality they own.

When they leave relationships or end them abruptly, there are often more questions than answers adding to the need to find closure. Mixed messages are their specialty. Creating confusion, and doubt is what sends their former partners into a closure seeking mission. With icy cold detachment, and completely void of any emotion they will deliver condescending, but seemingly caring, parting words. They may say things like,  I wish the best for you, or I never meant to hurt you, or I hope you find someone who makes you happy and they may even add, the break-up is as hard on me as it is for you. However, their actions will tell an entirely different story and reveal the truth.

Within days or weeks, they most likely will appear on social media with a new target, publicly flaunting how happy and in love they are with their new soul mate. This is only meant to drive the knife into your heart further, and reinforce the belief that the problems and the failure of the relationship were all your fault.

See how happy I am? See how wonderful my new soul mate is? The messages they’re sending you, and everyone else for that matter, are since they found a fantastic person who is capable of filling them with such joy, then clearly you’re the one to blame for the relationship’s problems and ultimate demise.

You’re left believing that if only you had tried harder, or were more generous, nurturing, understanding, more in tune with their needs, or whatever inadequacies they were trying to convince you of, things would have been different. Don’t fall into that rabbit hole. That’s exactly what they were hoping would happen.

In healthy relationships, both partners share the responsibility for the failure of the relationship. The break up is never sudden, or out of left field. Both partners usually have tried and tried, often spending months if not longer, discussing their problems, and trying to repair the issues in the relationship. In reality, narcissists don’t have any interests in finding solutions to fix the problems in their relationships. Frankly, the relationship works just fine for them the way it is. It’s just how they intended it. Fixing it would only cause them to have to start reciprocating, compromising, giving, and renouncing their control.

Healthy people don’t publicly flaunt their new relationships on social media within days, or weeks after a break up because they know that not only is it hurtful to their ex that they once loved, but it is immature, and doesn’t reflect positively on them at all.

There is no closure to be found with toxic people. Closure requires honesty, compassion, and accountability. And a person who could ghost you, blind-side you with a break-up, dump all the fault on you and replace you before the body has even had time to get cold, doesn’t possess the qualities necessary for proper closure.

Wanting your ex to miss you, want you back, or apologize to you, is prolonging your suffering, and impedes any hope of recovery. It’s hinging your future happiness upon external validation.

The more you develop a rock-solid sense of self, the less moved you’ll be by the opinions and affirmations of others. This is your starting point. This is where you need to focus on finding your closure. This is where you’ll find the only validation that matters. Yours!

For more on finding closure with a narcissist, click here.

Copyright © 2016 Bree Bonchay.  All Rights Reserved.

Suffering from Narcissistic Abuse?

Join Narcissistic Abuse & Toxic Relationship Recovery & Support Forum on Facebook

My blood pressure rises every time I see quotes or memes like the one below, especially when they are written by individuals who provide relationship advice like the writer of the one included in this post.There are so many horrendous inaccuracies and faulty assumptions in the meme/statement below.And, sadly it’s these types of memes/beliefs that contribute to keeping narcissistic abuse victims stuck in and returning to abusive relationships. Statements like these echo the very WORDS of abusers. If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you know.Words that are deliberately delivered to distract the attention away from the abuser’s behavior and keep the victim focused on his/her alleged flaws. Also, if the statement was true, why is it that manipulative and controlling people are often not fooled or easily controlled by other manipulators?Is it because manipulative people have healthy self-love?Is it because they’re emotionally healthy and sovereign?Of course not. It’s because they can easily spot the tactics that they themselves use. Simple.When dangerous advice and memes like this are so negligently tossed around, it’s no wonder why there are so many victims of manipulators.This type of advice offers the wrong diagnosis, the wrong solution, and gives individuals a false sense of protection.Let’s remember that manipulation by its nature means that manipulation is invisible and occurs just below the level of consciousness. If manipulation could be easily detected, then it wouldn’t be manipulation. It would be obvious.I’m not knocking self-love. It’s critical to well-being, but if you’ve been in an abusive relationship for any length of time, your self-confidence and self-esteem has surely been attacked and insidiously diminished, meaning it’s inevitable that your self-love will suffer.If you know anything about manipulators and controllers, then you know that many of their victims are targeted for what they have, not for what they lack. And, according to research from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, many narcissistic abuse survivors have the same cluster of trait elevations- agreeableness, conscienceness and openness/empathy.So, if you’ve been the victim of someone who is highly manipulative, controlling, and/or has a personality disorder that impairs their empathy or conscience, don’t assume it’s because you’re lacking anything. Instead, consider what you have in abundance.Even the leading expert in psychopathy, Dr. Robert Hare, has said that he can still be fooled and conned.We need to get the correct information and helpful advice out there. That’s why I’m including a book plug in this post.If you are stuck in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, check out Kristen Milstead’s book, “Why Can't I Just Leave: A Guide to Waking Up and Walking Out of a Pathological Love Relationship”.Kristen asked me if I would review her book and here’s what I had to say:"Kristen Milstead provides a social psychological analysis of narcissistic abuse using the empathetic voice of a survivor. Survivors who read this book will be able to trust the "lightbulb" moments this rare perspective offers." Kristen has a doctorate in sociology and uses the stories of survivors and social psychological research on compliance, cognitive dissonance, and thought control.Here’s what the description on Amazon says, “Why Can’t I Just Leave? explains how relationships with pathological partners can create impossible dilemmas that trap you in a distorted dream-state and hijack your thoughts and emotions. Learn what those who are conscience-impaired don’t want you to know and find out how to wake up and walk out of your partner’s invisible prison forever.”Let’s empower ourselves and others and make 2022 the best year yet! XO ... See MoreSee Less
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Thank you, Grow Theraoy, for my #livelyroot Money Tree plant. 🌱 I think it looks great in my office. ... See MoreSee Less
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💯 🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯And, it’s equally not helpful to say “it takes two to tango”. #narcissisticabuseawareness #wnaad #ifmywoundswerevisible #narcissisticabuserecovery #narcissisticabuse #coercivecontrol ... See MoreSee Less
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“Have you been in a relationship with someone you think had narcissistic and/or psychopathic traits? If you are 21 years old and over and reside in the United States, you are eligible to participate in a research study investigating the impact of romantic relationships with narcissists and psychopaths. You can use the link: tinyurl.com/narcissist-survey to take the survey. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the psychological well-being and trauma-related symptoms of those who have been involved in romantic relationships with individuals with narcissistic and psychopathic traits. You will take an anonymous survey which will request basic demographic information, ask you to self-report on scales concerning information about your past relationship experiences, trauma and abuse experiences, the personality characteristics of an ex-partner or current partner you believe had narcissistic, and/or psychopathic traits, and trauma-related symptoms.Please note: this is a study conducted by Shahida Arabi, a graduate student at Harvard University. I am not affiliated in any way with the research being conducted nor am I part of the research study team. You are not obligated to take part in this study and should do so only out of your own interest in contributing to this research. You will not be paid for your participation or receive any benefits from me for taking part in the survey. All questions and concerns regarding the study can be directed to the principal investigator.”Thank you so much! ... See MoreSee Less
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Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

6 Comments

  1. Giving Up Drugs and Alcohol

    This couldn’t be closer to the truth if it landed right on it.

    Laughton changes his “feelings” about me dependent upon my responses – they have nothing to do with his feelings at all.

    The other day I said that I was struggling with Jess, he said told you so didn’t I? She’s spoilt. Then he further commented on me as a mother and said a couple of years back he worried about leaving me with the kids! I had never heard that before ever from him. Ever.

    The simple truth of this is that he saw and opening, he saw a wound open and got a whole kilo of salt and poured it in. Not seeing a satisfactory result, he rubbed it in.

    Then, just for good measure, he brought up how the house renovations broke us up. It was my fault, he always says that. He takes no responsibility at all in our relationship now or then.

    I couldn’t tell you at the time, but that is why he sent that “nice” email. He was thinking that he didn’t want me to cut him off from my life (as that is his fear and again has nothing to do with me), so he tries to send things that he thinks will “affect” me. Bringing up the moon bear charity in China and my work with them. He probably did an internet search based upon things that mean a lot to me. EVERYTHING he does is completely calculated – nothing is “oh isn’t that nice” or “whoops”.

    It is all planned and manipulated for maximum effect.

    Fucker.

    Michelle +64 21 723-724

    ________________________________

    Reply
  2. Waithima Magu

    This is very true, you will never find any closure with an N. Mine actually told me that I am going to be a very strong woman as a result of his abuse – very sick indeed!

    Reply
  3. Nevaeh

    Mine said that he thanked me for everything and then rubbed the picture with his new suppy into my face.
    Personally I gave up on having closure with him- I’ve tried for over a year for him to be a responsible grown-up man and tried to get some sincere apology out of him.
    Now I am the one who made him do all those horrid things.
    If it helps him to move on and if he leaves me alone as a result of this- I am fine with being the “bad guy” here. 🙂
    I know the truth but I couldn’t care less about what he thinks. *shrug*

    Reply
  4. Holly

    I loved mine; I loved my life with him. 70% of the time it was wonderful, 20% of the time it was manageable, and 10% of the time it was so painful that it changed the very essence of who I was, and I felt he left me no choice but to walk away from a life most women would envy. The prenup protected him, so he wasn’t even dinged there.
    The bad times were usually alcohol induced, and he wouldn’t acknowledge he needed help. Wouldn’t go back to the therapist who said he was a narcissist and a bully, all provoked by me, of course. Had a new woman in my bed six days after our divorce, and had a veritable buffet of women since, yet continued to beg me back for well over a year when I finally had to get a lawyer to send a letter to no longer contact me. It’s been 19 months and I am still paralyzed.
    Here’s my question-since I left him, he claims that I was the one who discarded. Since I want no contact, I’m the one who is ghosting. Am I? I’m just trying to stop loving him and reinvent my life…which at 60 isn’t easy to do, especially since I had completely melded into his-moved, gave up friendships, church, volunteer work, interests, etc.
    I date, and my radar is seeing red flags everywhere. Makes me think that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
    Here’s hoping 2017 brings each of us closure!

    Reply
  5. Glenda

    This is the perfect description of a guy I dated for over a year. I really can’t say we dated. We did at first but then it just became nights at his house.
    He lied to me but never admitted it. He hurt my feelings and I’d confront him and he never once during relationship said, “I’m sorry”. He seems to have no conscience or empathy.
    I wised up and stopped seeing him.
    I still occasionally get text messages @ 10:30 or 11:00 at night asking me to come over but I don’t.
    What can I do to piss him off the most?
    We live at the Beach and I SEE HIM FREQUENTLY.
    What reaction to him would destroy his ego the most?

    Reply
  6. Nina

    I lived in emotional denial for about 11 years. Started dating my narcissistic partner at the age of 17, got married 9 months ago. All I thought was things would get better after marriage and that he needs me. Unfortunately, it just got worse. I didn’t even matter to him. He abused me physically and emotionally. He justified when his younger brother,mom n sis hit me. He isolated me from my friends and family. My achievements were belittled. He changed me from a chirpy to depressed person. Finally, I realised that this wasn’t love when he asked for a video statement when I attempted suicide that he is not responsible for my act and left me in the house just like that. On the same day, when he came back and argued with me again, I was chased out of our matrimonial home by my mil at 2am as she was so pissed that I made the son very angry. That was after he hit me with his belt, slapped till my glasses broke. All I did was, left for good. His family still not admitting their ill treatment n expects me to be back to him. For anyone that lives with a narcissist, all u need to do is, don’t be in their circle. They will make u doubt your conscience. They are very good at conditioning u mentally. Make sure u leave their environment. They aren’t normal. U don’t owe your life to them. Don’t worry. They will not miss you as they will manage to find a replacement supply soonest possible. Go out. The world is beautiful

    Reply

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Copyright © 2021 - Bree Bonchay/ Free From Toxic ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No material on this website may be reproduced in any format without prior written permission of Bree Bonchay.