The Surprising Benefit of Being with a Covert Narcissist

Elizabeth Park
2 min readJul 24, 2022
dead-eyed woman as puppet with strings attached, bending arms
Photo by Kitsune99:

You want to know a secret?

Life with a covert narcissist is much easier than life after you leave him/her/them.

Are you surprised?

If you’ve lived with one and then escaped, you know the relief.

But you also know how hard it is to heal afterwards.

You know how drained you are, how empty, how broken, how FLATTENED your self-esteem is.

You’re roadkill. Beef jerky. Dried out, used up, TIRED.

You don’t realize how many wounds, scars, and triggers you have until you have time to take stock of them all, to FEEL them.

Why? Why wouldn’t you know? That’s stupid, isn’t it?

You’ve probably heard of the frog in boiling water scenario: if you put him straight into hot water, he’ll jump out.

But if you start out with cool water and GRADUALLY heat it, he adjusts and adjusts, until he’s boiled to death.

You’ve been boiled to death.

It’s EASY to sit there and just take it.

You know how to walk on the eggshells.

You know how to make the right noises when he’s talking.

And since you know where the lines are drawn, you feel “safe”. You know your role, you perform it.

And besides, you have the status of HAVING someone. You made it.

You’re not alone. At least, not outwardly. Society approves. Your family approves. You have a perfect-looking relationship. Maybe he mows the lawn, maybe you take family vacations, go to church, hold down jobs.

Now you ARE alone, and he’s made you the bad guy.

Your income is much lower. Your status is lower. He’s trashed you to people. You may be single parenting. It SUCKS being alone. He’s moved into a new relationship.

Is it worth it, leaving the narcissist?


Is it easier?

NO. Not for a very long time.

Healing is hard.


Elizabeth Park

Life coach for the spiritually dehydrated, survivors of narcissistic abuse, and neurodivergent

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