Not all narcissistic abuse in relationships is covert.
Sometimes it’s more overt.
This tends to become more prevalent when the narcissist starts to feel as though they’re losing control.
There are many ways that this occurs.
One of the main characteristics of narcissistic abuse in relationships is controlling behavior.
Initially, they may only want to control your time and attention, but they'll eventually start demanding more from you.
They'll insist that you adhere to their likings and get you to only take part in events and activities that are beneficial or pleasing to them.
Some of this narcissistic abuse in relationships may occur subtly, but it's persistent.
Narcissists will lie, chat, and withhold information to get what they want.
For them, control is power.
Those who engage in narcissistic abuse in relationships attempt to isolate their partner.
They don't want them to see their friends and family.
This is especially true of anyone who may question how much you've changed since you started your relationship.
Typically, this occurs because the narcissist is making themselves your primary focus, which is a precursor of the harsher abuse that's to come.
They accomplish this by breaking bonds of trust, speaking poorly of your friends or family, being confrontational, or creating emergencies so you can't make plans with others.
This will make you look standoffish towards anyone whom the narcissist deems threatening.
When you do eventually leave the relationship, this type of narcissistic abuse in relationships will leave you feeling disoriented about social norms.
You won't know how to behave "appropriately" around other people.
Once the narcissist in your life starts socially isolating you, you'll feel like you can't trust anyone.
This is because they'll lie and manipulate fragile situations to ensure that you trust them more than you trust anyone else.
You may rely on them to verify the truth.
This gives the narcissist further opportunities to sow seeds of distrust in your mind.
Eventually, you'll find that you can't trust anyone but them.
You won't even trust your loved ones, authority figures, or professionals whose thoughts and opinions contradict the narcissist.
Physical isolation isn't the only type of narcissistic abuse in relationships.
Many of those who've been in a relationship with a narcissist will tell you they've experienced technological narcissistic abuse in relationships, too.
This happens when the narcissist does things like placing restrictions on your use of technological devices, blocking your use of social media, and stealing your passcodes.
They may even create a fake profile to interact with you to ensure your complete loyalty to them.
Invading your digital privacy in any of these ways or physically isolating you is equally intrusive and damaging.
When you're in a relationship where there's narcissistic abuse in relationships, you'll feel like you're walking on eggshells.
You'll become hypervigilant and your thoughts will race because you're constantly trying to determine how the person will react to your every move.
These actions become a part of everyday life.
Narcissists ingrain a code of conduct in you where censorship is normal.
Because of the narcissistic abuse in relationships, you'll think or say things like, "I don't want to say the wrong thing."
"I should ask them what's best."
"I shouldn't get involved."
These statements show how there's a power dynamic in the relationship that's clearly tipped in favor of the narcissist.
Those who are victims of narcissistic abuse in relationships report they can't make decisions on their own.
This is especially true regarding physical separation because codependency plays a major role in the control techniques that were mentioned in this article.
Unfortunately, this means that when you leave a narcissist, you may not be able to make your own decisions or create your own boundaries.
At Overcomers Counseling, we'll work with you to create a healthy future, so when you're ready, get in contact with us.
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