How To Finally Move On From The Narcissistic Ex You Can't Stop Thinking About

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FINALLY Move On From The Narcissistic Ex You Can’t Stop Thinking About

You’re happier without him. (Trust us.)

Recently, I received a letter from a reader who's hurting after her breakup with her toxic, narcissistic ex. Her ex-husband learned how to move on, as narcissists are often masters of, and started a relationship with a new woman. She's wondering: Can a narcissist change? Did he ever truly love me? Does he love his new girlfriend?

First, I have to mention something I think a lot of people miss when they're thinking back about an ex that really hurt them and comparing their relationship to their ex's new flame. Whether he's truly got a narcissistic personality disorder or he's a just a garden-variety malignant jerk, what matters is how he treated YOU. 

RELATED: 11 Things A Narcissist Says (And What They Really Mean)

It matters how your relationship went off the rails. It might have been decent to even amazing in the beginning, but isn't that true for 99 percent of all relationships? Isn't that what gets us hooked in the first place? That feeling of buoyant happiness, lust, and excitement where we can't think of anything else?

Otherwise, we wouldn't find ourselves so deliciously entangled in someone else's world. No one would wake up one day and wonder what happened for them to get there.

And therein lies the rub. You're seeing that fresh beginning that graces a relationship with someone new, and every bit of it reminds you of what it was like when it was actually good between you and him.

The idea that someone else is getting that instead of you — it's gut wrenching. It doesn't help that in order to get through the bad times, you likely went through the memories of the good times over and over in your head like a talisman that you wished would protect you from the danger of the true realization that this situation was not at all how you pictured it would turn out to be.

You see, questions about new flames after abuse are really questions about whether or not there is something flawed about YOU and whether you could have gotten a different result by changing your behavior somehow. You find yourself asking real, raw questions like:

  • If I was someone else (like this new girlfriend of his), would this still have happened?
  • Was it my fault that he abused me?
  • What's wrong with me that he treated me this way?
  • Did he just throw me away because I'm not ____ (young, pretty, thin, enough of something... else)?
  • If he's a narcissist, can we just get him therapy and cure him, and maybe turn back the clock to the good 'ol days?

RELATED: The 8 Stages Of Emotional Pain You Go Through When Breaking Up With A Narcissist

You get the point. Being on the receiving end of narcissistic abuse doesn't say anything about YOUR character, but it says a lot about the abuser. Whether he really loved you or not is NOT the final word on whether or not you are lovable.

The bottom line is, the fact that he's moved on with someone else just means that he's chosen someone else to unleash his lackluster relationship skills on. You and I have no idea what is going on there, and frankly, it's none of our business.

Analyzing what he's doing with the new woman just keeps you stuck and thinking potentially ugly thoughts about yourself. He could be doing all sorts of bizarre behavior with her or he could be a perfect angel (for right now). It doesn't matter.

Believing that you did something to bring all of this on is simple victim-blaming. It's a fruitless quest for control over what happened. Unfortunately, this control isn't coming. All you can control is your choice to heal, move on, try to pick better next time and cherish the people in your life who truly treat you well.

Allow what he's doing now to remain deeply, completely, 100 percent irrelevant as long as he continues to stay far away from you. If you're feeling generous, toss out the occasional prayer that he isn't hurting anyone else. Feel happy and safe with the simple knowledge that now you're free.

RELATED: Your Answers To These 50 Questions Will Reveal If Your Guy Is A Narcissist

Elizabeth Stone is an author, relationship coach and founder of Attract The One. Are you struggling with feeling disconnected, dumped and disregarded by your man? Get to the bottom of it with a free copy of her book, Why Men Lose Interest, and free daily email series here.

This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc.. Reprinted with permission from the author.