Closure &Narcissists

People often think it’s necessary to have some sort of closure at the end of a relationship, & it’s impossible to move on without it.  Sometimes, however, closure isn’t a possibility.  When it comes to narcissists, that is absolutely the case.

When an average relationship ends, it comes after two people have tried to work out their differences yet were unable to do so.  They agree that the best solution is separation.  Maybe some harsh words are said & the people decide to move on, each in their own direction.  Each person also grieves, but in time, they do move on.

When a relationship with a narcissist ends, none of this happens.  Narcissists see this as a rejection & narcissists’ simply can’t handle rejection in any form, ever.  It’s a narcissistic injury.  In other words, it is a direct blow to their self esteem.  Rather than risk feeling not good enough or people finding out someone thinks the narcissist isn’t good enough, narcissists rage.  The rage may be  either a physical or verbal attack on the person ending the relationship, creating a smear campaign to discredit anything their victim says, recruiting flying monkeys to attack the victim, harassment & stalking or they simply pretend the victim never existed & meant nothing to them.

However the narcissist handles the relationship ending, it leaves no opportunity for real closure for the victim.  The reason being the victim is too busy trying to process the trauma from the narcissist, survive the pain of people the victim thought cared turning on them, dodge the flying monkeys’ attacks, finding ways to protect him or herself from the narcissist’s harassment or stalking or processing the pain of the narcissist moving on as if the victim never existed.  Such situations prohibit victims from being able to get closure in the traditional way.

None of this means that a victim can’t have closure after ending a relationship with a narcissist, however.  It just has to come in different ways.

One way to help get closure is to accept the fact you won’t get it in the normal ways, & there is nothing you can do about that.  Narcissists are far from normal people, so why would getting closure after ending the relationship with one be normal?

Another helpful thing you can do is accept the fact that the relationship meant nothing to the narcissist beyond what you could do for him or her.  There was absolutely nothing you could have done to make that relationship healthy or loving, & that is NOT your fault!  The blame for that lies on the narcissist.

It’s also common for people to beat themselves up after ending a relationship with a narcissist.  Whether the narcissist was a spouse or parent, people often get angry with themselves for tolerating the abuse for too long or making excuses for it.  That is nothing to be ashamed of!  Any normal person wants to believe the person they love is a good person, which makes it hard to believe otherwise.  Plus, narcissists are excellent manipulators.  By being good sometimes, it thoroughly confuses victims.  It makes them want to think the bad times aren’t the norm, that the good times are.  This is known as Stockholm Syndrome or trauma bonding.

Since narcissists are so good at manipulation, that is why even some people close to you go to the side of the narcissist.  If someone has their own issues, they may blindly fall for the narcissist’s manipulations.  Someone abused as a child yet not facing their pain may side with your narcissistic parent because siding with you reminds them of their own pain & issues they fail to face.  Or, they may be cowardly & see siding with the narcissist as the easiest path.  The narcissist may benefit them somehow & not being on his or her side would mean losing that benefit.  People like these are easy for narcissists to manipulate.

Lastly, as always I recommend praying.  Ask God to help you.  He will show you what you need to do as well as help you to heal.  He will do so gladly, so why not let Him?

Closure with narcissists is difficult, but it is possible.  It just isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word “closure.”


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

14 responses to “Closure &Narcissists

  1. ibikenyc

    Kinda like a psychic / emotional Whack-A-Mole.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was the key phrase for me, “the relationship meant nothing to the narcissist beyond what you could do for him or her.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. martijwis

    My goodness, Cynthia! Once again you come through with an article or video that addresses something I’m just going through with “one of the narcissists” in my life. My nephew just asked me for “advice” on getting the “closure he wants” w/ his narciss dad, my brother. I wrote back to my nephew w/ many “caveats” why this would likely NOT turn out as satisfying closure for him, the nephew. He appears determined to go full steam ahead anyway. Your article was helpful for me to read and I will probably send part or all of this article to my nephew after he makes yet another failed attempt to get closure w/ my narciss brother who is worse than ever these days. Thank you!!!


    • Wow, thank you so much! You’re so kind to say that! ❤

      Your poor nephew.. he doesn't quite grasp what it means that his dad is a narcissist yet, does he? I hope he does! It's so good he has you in his corner to offer advice & insight!


      • martijwis

        Yes, my nephew doesn’t understand still what/who he’s dealing with with my brother. So, hope he will listen to some of the insights from me and my knowledge base (which includes you, Renee, and others). If not, I’ll have to detach from him too eventually if he won’t face reality and if he tries to base his own self-worth on “approval and closure” from a narciss who’s incapable of giving it to him. Keep up your helpful work for us all Cynthia! Now, I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day here in the upper Midwest and blow off yucky thoughts of narciss and the like for the rest of today 🙂


        • Hopefully he’ll understand soon. Not doing so is only hurting him & setting him up for a lot of disappointment & pain.

          Thank you so much! I plan to keep writing until God tells me it’s time to stop. Hopefully that won’t be for a long time yet!

          Enjoy the rest of your day!! ❤


          • martijwis

            Yes, that is my wish for my nephew too but will, of course, be up to him. It CAN be a valuable learning experience for the few who want to apply it in life in general as well as with our families. Yes, keep writing as long as you are led! And you enjoy the rest of your day too and thanks for helping to make mine!!


  4. I just wrote a post about getting over those pesky Narcissists. I think that I have a good plan and agree, there will never be closure. Asking them why or trying to figure out what the heck happened is a waste of time and just brings them joy because they still have you on lockdown. The ultimate closure? Zero contact. Block them on social media and on your cell. Walk away and never turn back.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s