Coping with Your Abuser
How to cope with your abuser? Sometimes it looks hopeless. Abusers are ruthless, immoral, sadistic, calculated, cunning, persuasive, deceitful - in short, they appear to be invincible. They easily sway the system in their favor. Here is a list of escalating countermeasures. They represent the distilled experience of thousands of victims of abuse. They may help you cope with abuse and overcome it.
Not included are legal or medical steps. Consult an attorney, an accountant, a therapist, or a psychiatrist, where appropriate. First, you must decide: Do you want to stay with him - or terminate the relationship? 1. I want to Stay with Him FIVE DON'T DO'S - How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him; Never offer him any intimacy; Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on); Never remind him of life out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity; Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence. The TEN DO'S - How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You If you INSIST on Staying with Him Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all.
Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual. Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary Narcissistic Supply for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you. Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace. Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition. Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion".
Treat your narcissist as you would a child. If your narcissist is cerebral and not interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy is of paramount importance. If your narcissist is somatic and you don't mind, join in on group sex encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist. If you do mind - leave him. Somatic narcissists are sex addicts and incurably unfaithful. If you are a "fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that you can fix the narcissist - it simply will not happen. If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their condition, with no negative implications or accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.
Finally, and most important of all: Know Yourself. What are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A codependent? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting? Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship. Define the things that you find harmful to you. Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful behaviors that affect you - but this can only be accomplished in a very trusting, frank and open relationship. (1a) Insist on Your Boundaries - Resist Abuse Refuse to accept abusive behavior. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities. Demand a just and proportional treatment.
Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behavior. If you are up to the inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him taste some of his own medicine. Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him. Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail. If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him (legally). Do not keep your abuse a secret.
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