How To Leave A Narcissist Or Abuser

When it comes to leaving a narcissist or abuser, it can seem impossible to figure out how to take the first steps toward freedom. It’s not uncommon for those in abusive relationships to feel trapped or hopeless, unable to leave their abuser for various reasons. But no matter how difficult it may seem, it’s important to remember that leaving is possible and that a better life awaits on the other side. Here are some steps to take when leaving a narcissist or abuser:

Educate Yourself on Abusive Behaviors

The first step to leaving an abuser is to understand what behaviors are considered abusive. Just because physical abuse isn’t present, it doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t abusive. Mental and emotional abuse are just as damaging, if not more so. Learning about the different types of abuse can help you recognize the signs of abuse in your relationship.

Create a Plan

Leaving an abuser requires planning. It’s important to prepare before making any moves to leave. Some things to consider when creating a plan include:

  • Where will you go?
  • Who can you turn to for help?
  • What belongings do you need to take with you?
  • Do you need to secure a restraining order?

Having a plan in place can make leaving safer and more efficient.

Build a Support Network

It’s important to have a support system when leaving an abuser. This can include friends, family, support groups, or therapists. Having a support system can provide emotional support, a place to stay, and help with logistics.

Get Financially Independent

Money is often a source of control for abusers. Being financially independent can make leaving easier. This means having enough money to support yourself and any children involved. It may also mean securing a job, opening a separate bank account, and creating a budget.

Secure Personal Information

It’s important to secure personal information, especially if the abuser has access to it. This includes changing passwords, securing important documents, and protecting your privacy.

Reach Out for Help

Leaving an abuser can be daunting, and it’s essential to reach out for help. There are resources available, such as hotlines or shelters, that can provide support during the leaving process.

Set Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries when leaving an abuser. This means clearly communicating what is and isn’t acceptable moving forward. It’s also essential to stick to these boundaries and not allow the abuser to manipulate or control them.

Focus on Self-Care

Leaving an abuser takes immense courage and strength. It’s important to focus on self-care during and after the leaving process. This means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. It may include engaging in activities that bring you joy, getting enough sleep, or seeing a therapist.

Seek Professional Help

Leaving an abuser can be traumatic, and it’s important to seek professional help. This may involve seeing a therapist who can help you work through the trauma and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s also essential to seek medical attention if necessary.

The Importance of Leaving a Narcissist or Abuser

Leaving a narcissist or abuser is crucial for one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Staying in an abusive relationship can have long-term effects, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and physical health problems. Leaving can provide a sense of freedom, safety, and the ability to focus on personal growth and healing.

Final Thoughts

Leaving a narcissist or abuser can seem impossible, but it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to leave an abusive relationship. It takes courage, strength, and planning, but freedom and personal growth await on the other side. Remember to educate yourself on what behaviors are considered abusive, create a plan, build a support network, get financially independent, secure personal information, reach out for help, set boundaries, focus on self-care, and seek professional help if necessary. Remember that you are worth a safe and healthy relationship.


FAQ 1: What are some common signs of narcissistic abuse?

Common signs of narcissistic abuse include the narcissist constantly putting you down, belittling you, refusing to take responsibility for their actions, manipulating or gaslighting you, isolating you from family and friends, and controlling your every move.

FAQ 2: How do I leave a narcissist or abuser?

The first step is to create a safety plan. This may include finding a safe place to stay, gathering important documents, and informing friends or family members. It is also important to seek support from a trusted therapist, counselor, or support group. When leaving, it is important to have a clear plan in place and to follow through with it.

FAQ 3: What can I expect after leaving a narcissist or abuser?

While leaving an abusive relationship can be a challenging and emotional process, it is important to remember that you are taking an important step toward healing and rebuilding your life. In the immediate aftermath of leaving, you may experience a range of emotions including fear, anxiety, sadness, and anger. However, with time and support, you can overcome these feelings and begin to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.


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2. Fossati, A., Borroni, S., Eisenberg, N., & Maffei, C. (2010). Relations of proactive and reactive dimensions of aggression to overt and covert narcissism in nonclinical adolescents. Aggressive Behavior, 36(1), 21-27. doi: 10.1002/ab.20329

3. Li, K., Gong, X., Li, F., & Wen, Z. (2019). The relationship between narcissism and aggression: The mediating role of self-esteem and emotional regulation. Personality and individual differences, 144, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.02.001