You’ll always have a hard time leaving a narcissistic relationship.
Narcissists begin to manipulate you as soon as they realize you like them and would want a relationship with them.
They unleash their trickery to make you dependent on them, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
Frankly, it doesn’t take them long to start their abuse. It only takes you a long to notice.
If you’ve ever considered leaving the narcissist, you’ve already made your decision. You were just waiting for the right moment.
But that moment is not right now.
It may seem poetic justice to walk out of your abuser’s house in the same dress you’re standing in right now. You ghost them and discard them forever.
To be honest, however, leaving that place without a plan for fixing your immediate and future issues is a doomed idea.
You can do better. Read on to find the most practical tips to free yourself from their clutches forever.
How to leave a narcissist with no money?
Realize that your narcissist will have their eyes on you, even if you depend on them for financial support. They go with the belief that you are always looking to leave them.
To prevent you from leaving, they will occasionally show you kindness and love, restart love bombing, or bring you gifts.
So, once you decide to abandon them, take extreme caution to keep your decision hidden from them. Because, even if they appear soft or weak, their minds are ready to snap into action at any time.
Have no pity for them. They don’t have any for you.
In fact, they would have taken all of your money and possessions long ago if they had the chance. They didn’t because they couldn’t trap another person to replace the narcissistic supply you provide them.
Here’s how to exit a narcissistic relationship when you have no money:
1. Prepare before it’s time.
Plan it over days and weeks. Make many lists—things to take, things to do, and things to undo. But do not warn them or have any inkling of it.
Gather your important documents. Gather every valuable thing.
Send the things to your new address, or ask the person you plan to move in with to carry your things with them. You may also make trips to your new place with few things each time.
Plan to leave when they are not in the house. That way, you may take everything with you that you packed surreptitiously.
Make sure that your exit is a quick one, and you must have everything thought out to the minutest detail.
Log out of all your internet accounts. Change all your passwords. Check your devices and bags for trackers.
If you can, then steal the things that you gave them as gifts. But leave behind any gift that they gave you.
2. Don’t look for closure.
People often look for psychological closure when they end their relationships.
They do so because they know it’s over forever and there is nothing to expect from the other person in the future.
Don’t make that mistake with a narcissist.
First, they will never give you closure. You would be fooling yourself if you expect a farewell party or a final ride with them to your new place.
Once again, don’t tell them you’re leaving the relationship.
You have to leave without any announcement. Don’t even bother leaving a goodbye note. You do that to keep yourself safe.
Once again, do not let get a whiff of it. If they know, they will make your life hell. They will leave you in such a pitiful state that only begging on the streets can get you to have your meals.
When you leave them, the only thought making rounds in their head: You discarded them before they could.
This unpleasant surprise of yours bites them viciously. That is the ultimate narcissistic injury.
3. Gather support.
Build your army in secret, months ago.
Abusive narcissists try to isolate you from your social support system. They turn you against your friends and family by lying, gossiping, and gaslighting.
Gather as much support as you can. Reach out to friends and family.
Reconnect with your family and old friends, even if it feels shameful because you cut them off when you got together with the narcissist.
If some of them would rather not reconnect, don’t bother them. They need to be pruned away from your life.
Get help from narcissist abuse survivor groups or women’s surviving groups when your friends or family cannot put you up.
First, if you feel the narcissist is behaving dangerously and stalking you or planning to harm you, let the police know beforehand. Report what they have done to you over the years and what they might do.
Don’t hesitate to call 911.
If you’ve never made any attempt to leave them, you may not realize how dangerous they can turn into upon feeling injured by your discard.
Don’t believe their flattery. Remember, you have to pay back all their flattery with your servitude to them.
Even if they become extra gentle to you, and stop their physical and mental abuse on you, don’t get hoovered back into the relationship.
Reach out to as many people as you can to help you move out of their clutches.
People may not help you directly or even indirectly, but they will know that you are leaving the narcissist. This leaves a trail of witnesses and supports your case if the narcissist ever attacks you.
If you cannot find a safe place to go, look for a domestic violence women’s shelter.
Emergency Domestic Violence Shelters mostly provide free stays of 30 to 90 days. Once there, register with your local HUD (Housing and Urban Development) office. They prioritize people leaving domestic abuse or with impairments on their subsidized housing availability lists.
You may consult a divorce attorney specialized in divorces of narcissistic and abusive relationships.
4. Get an income.
Their financials are opaque. You will never know how much they make or what amount they spend away.
Narcissists mostly make one-sided money decisions. Most likely, they have been dictating your financial budget and investments.
Before you move out, make sure you have the money to pay off your debts. Arrange to have some spare cash on you.
If you owe your creditors but do not have the money, then borrow from friends or take a personal loan to settle their credit.
Get a job. There are many online remote jobs these days. Get a second job, if necessary.
Determine how much it will cost to rent an apartment for three months, including all associated expenses.
Keep some extra money, so you can buy yourself something in an emergency.
If you need to, borrow money via a loan, start a separate account, liquidate your assets, and put it in that account.
If you can’t get a loan or borrow money, put money aside every paycheck – even if it is only a few dollars.
When you get a job, you can start paying off your debts and loans.
When you start to pay everyone on time, it will give you time to think over what you want to do. It will let you peacefully plan how you can add to your skills, so you may use them to increase your income.
Make sure you can pay for your child support, health expenses, and alimony.
Setting down in financial comfort is often a long rollercoaster ride.
Don’t rush into anything. Practice patience as much as you can.
5. Don’t rush into another narcissistic relationship.
This is quite common—walking into a rebound affair with another narcissist.
Narcissists wrap you in trauma bonding, so you feel empty without their presence.
Once you leave them, they have conditioned you such that you will often fall back on remembering the good things you have done together.
You even fantasize that if they come begging to get you back, this time you will control them and heal them after you accept them.
But it won’t happen. Neither with your old narcissistic relationship nor with any new narcissist.
A narcissist is like a scorpion; they will all attack you at the first instance they get.
They don’t take time to insult you. It is only you who fails to take notice of those behaviors as abuse.
Don’t give any narcissist a second chance. They will do you bad things even if you’re visibly hurting because they do not have empathy.
Your mind might replay the pleasant memories you had with them, and nudge you to go back. However, know that you don’t have to always go by what your thoughts tell you.
A narcissist doesn’t like you because they love you. They like you because you provide the narcissist with what they need – their narcissistic supply.
All their acts of “liking and loving” you are their tolerating you so that they can manipulate you. It’s like, “I did these for you, now you do these for me.”
They are hypocritical, entitled people who believe the rules do not apply to them, letting them take advantage of you without shame.
Actually, they dislike you. Devaluation, manipulation, and discard are all they will ever have for you.
Why can’t some people leave the narcissist?
When the narcissist loses a job or a business and can no longer support you, it may be easy to leave them.
However, it is hard to exit the relationship when they provide a steady income for the entire family. It is even harder when you do not have any money to call your own.
Here are some reasons victims may not leave a narcissistic relationship:
- Financial Dependence: Victims stay in violent relationships because the abuser has money to support the family, whereas the victim does not, and they are fully dependent on the abuser.
- Fear of Abandonment: Victims live through their narcissist’s lies, cheating, gaslighting, triangulation, and bullying, and stick with them because of the fear of being abandoned, homeless, alone, and starving.
- Lack of Social Support: They keep tolerating their narcissist’s cruel actions because they have already alienated themselves from those who supported them. Now they have no one left to discuss the realities of leaving the narcissist.
- Indecisive Temperament: It may seem impossible to have a life outside the relationship, since the victim may lack the courage to take independent decisions, like what to eat for dinner tonight.
You continue to live with them because they shaped you in that way, training you into learned helplessness. Look at it this way:
- You endured their insults and abuses because they gave you financial support.
- That destroyed your courage and will to face them, especially in financial matters.
- Then you hated yourself for giving up your own financial support system since you met them.
- You might have even left them for a while, then talked yourself out of it before returning to them.
- You kept telling yourself you were putting up with it all for the sake of your kids until they grow up.
- Through it all, you kept hoping they would accept their mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and propose to become better. But it never happened.
A narcissist will never admit to their hurtful behavior, as it would deflate their bloated ego and crush their fragile self-esteem.
Remember that calling out a narcissist before you’re safe and away is dangerous. They may erupt in narcissistic rage.
Even if from a safe distance, calling them out is a waste of time and energy.
Holding a grudge against an obstinate person is self-destructive.
Rather, focus on your happiness in life. Allow yourself to heal. Take the time to create a wonderful life for yourself.
The crucial thing is to enjoy the little joys of life as you make that healing journey. Try smiling, relaxing, and spending time with friends to feel better.
Take it easy while you put your life back in order, as it will take some time to feel more proactive and less nervous after such a long trauma.
You may contact a mental health professional to help you begin your post-traumatic healing. They can also help you to properly articulate your reactions during the estrangement or divorce process.
This would make you seem sane and wise, not the “unbalanced” person that the narcissist claims you are.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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