Why Do Narcissists Vanish And Do They Ever Come Back?

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I know how devastating it is to have someone vanish from your life without warning.

Without any explanation, you are left agonising over what might have been the reason for them to just get up and disappear from your life.

Before being able to break free from my terrible relationship with narcissist number 2, who was constantly ‘leaving me’, these were questions I used to constantly ask myself …

Why is he suddenly declaring ‘we have to break up’ when only a day earlier he professed that he can’t live without me?

Is he having an affair or trying to hide something he doesn’t want me to know about?

Is he going to hoover me and try to win me back?

Naturally, when a narcissist disappears from your life, the sudden halt of their attention and energy can feel traumatic. It’s almost like someone has ripped your oxygen mask off and you can’t get air. You don’t know which way is up or down, or how you are going to cope.

I believe, after personally suffering this horrifically with narcissist number 2, and then working with so many others, that there is a very effective way to get out of this cycle of desertion and heartbreak.

In this Thriver TV episode, it is my deepest wish that I can help get you clear about what these cruel discards are really about, why they happen, and how (thank goodness) you can stop them playing out in your life.


Video Transcript

Lots of people ask this question …

And in todays Thriver TV episode we are going to get right down to it.

And just before I do, let me say this: I promise you that when you get healed beyond this – you won’t care – but until then you will a lot.

The narcissist leaving can be devastating beyond measure. And maybe it’s happened to you so many times that you are now walking on broken glass, not knowing if you can relax into loving this person, or when they could just up and leave you again.

If you are going through this pattern, how can you have any certainty or security in your relationship or your life? The truth is you can’t.

So, let’s start off by talking about the ones that leave and come back and leave and come back again. I have known people who have been through discard after discard after discard. And then been love-bombed and coerced back into the relationship with a narcissist … time and time again.

Make no mistake this is a cycle of violence. The cycle of violence goes like this – blow-up (abusive episode), separation, reconnection (honeymoon period), tension builds, and then the blow-up (abusive period) happens again … and on it goes over and over again.

The blow-up situations intensify and the times between cycles generally shorten. Why? Because life has a way of showing us when we are not living aligned with the truth of our soul … and with narcissists things usually need to get horrific before we let go and do what we have always needed to – turn inwards to heal ourselves beyond being on the receiving end of these abusive cycles.

Discards, when a narcissist leaves, can be totally confusing as well as distressing because narcissists truly are the master of pulling the rug out from under you. The truth is if you are dispensing narcissistic supply in the way the narcissist’s False Self requires, or the narcissist is acting out their role perfectly whilst love-bombing (which is all about initially hooking you or not losing you as a source of narcissistic supply), the narcissist may act like they are totally in love with you – telling you that you are their one and only, their true soul mate and that they couldn’t ever think of living without you.

Yet, as soon as you hit that trip-wire that detonates an ego injury within the narcissist’s fragile inner identity, he or she despises you – even to the point of being hell-bent to replace you with another source of supply, or punish you or discard you.

Again the narcissist leaves emotionally, or in a fidelity sense, or literally.

This leaves you reeling, not able to comprehend what just happened when you have just gone from hero to zero with a narcissist. One moment you are the love of their life, and the next you are thrown on the scrap heap as if you never mattered and don’t exist.  You are adored and then abhorred on a dime – and it leaves your head spinning.

Then there are the narcissists who don’t come back. This can happen because the person that they have been sucking dry ends up so sick and emptied out that they serve absolutely no purpose to the narcissist anymore. The narcissist, in this case, is like an actor moving sets – the previous actors and scenes serve no purpose to him or her anymore. Many people have personally experienced the soul devastation of being rendered so sick and damaged that they have been suicidal, hospitalised or even given a shocking health diagnosis and the narcissist deserts them – for good. The only time the narcissist may reappear is if they find out that this person has had a miraculous recovery – which equates to ‘They will be able to grant me what I want from them again.’

The only case of a narcissist not deserting someone who we may not consider as a fertile source of narcissistic supply anymore, is when he or she is an altruistic narcissist who uses people’s sickness, reliance and dependency to get an ego feed ‘aren’t I a fabulous person?’ as well as control people ‘because of what I do for you, you owe me’, which can be a very sick and deadly game that keeps people sick and bonded to him or her. This plays out as the narcissist being both the abuser and rescuer to them.

Or, if not an altruistic narcissist, perhaps the narcissist is hanging around like a vulture waiting to pick what they can from this person when they are completely incapacitated or pass over.

Another reason why narcissists may leave permanently is that the ‘game is up’, their mask has come down, they have been exposed and the person they are leaving fully knows who they are, and can’t be manipulated, threatened or abused by them anymore. This is very, very handy for Thrivers who do the inner work and truly want to get on with their abuse-free lives. Once the narcissist experiences there is no narcissistic supply to be gained from someone, then they simply can’t expend their own inner energy that is forever waning and can’t be self-sustained, to try to get it. They have to go for easier sources.

Speaking of other sources narcissists will generally when leaving temporarily or permanently, be hunting or be with others as sources of narcissistic supply. If the new source of supply doesn’t work out he or she may return to you as if nothing has happened and try to simply resume with you. Even if the new source of supply does work out there may be a time when the narcissist suffers from an ego injury from this new person and decides he or she wants to punish that person by hooking up with you again.

I have often said that narcissists are like crocodiles; they keep people on the hook for narcissistic supply just as crocodiles keep lumps of meat under rocks for a future chew if supplies get low. Narcissists are experts at triangulating people in this way ensuring that these people don’t get together and realise the truth.

When narcissists leave, they may not give you a reason, or just go missing, or tell you that they are away on business and that the work contract is extended or whatever else. Or he or she may just say ‘I need time to think’ which is narcissistic speak for: ‘I’m testing out another source of supply or returning to an ex right now to see how that turns out and stalling things with you just in case it doesn’t.’ Or he or she may incite an argument with you, get you to lose your temper, and turn it all back on you saying that is why they are leaving.

The truth was it is very easy for them to do this – it can happen at the drop of a hat – because the narcissist was never truly there in the first place.

It’s happened to me, especially with narcissist number 2, who regularly deserted and left, and I am sure it has happened to so many of you watching this too. And what I know now – apart from what I needed to heal – is that we need to show up asking questions and investigate if something feels off.  Don’t just take someone’s word for it if something feels wrong inside for you.

Often our intuition is correct, matters may be untoward, and truly if a person is not a narcissist as long as you stay calm and honest about your doubts, if they have nothing to hide it shouldn’t be an issue.

Ok … so now let’s get down to how to stop this devastating, heartbreaking pattern happening in our life.

We can’t change the narcissist. We can never appease or satisfy a False Self, it’s not personal – it’s just not possible. The only person we have the power to change is ourselves. And this is the thing about narcissists they bring to us (always) the parts of ourselves that are underdeveloped and unhealed that require our own attention, love, and devotion to heal into wholeness.

For me, my susceptibility was the terrors of abandonment, which because they were unhealed were throttling me again and again and again, by someone who delighted in regularly abandoning me.

Just as I thought things were going well, he would blow up and go from being the ‘luckiest man in the world’ to ‘breaking up with me’ (again).

I was devastated and in shock. I couldn’t eat, think or sleep. Of course, at these times he was seeing other sources of supply. Then he would hoover and come back, and again I would capitulate and believe the unbelievable and forgive the unforgivable.

That was until I finally said ‘Enough! No more!’ and healed my Inner Being regarding her terrors of abandonment, and then I lost all pulls and addiction to him and was able to let go fully, break all psychic ties with him and never experience that again.

In stark contrast, my partner now Brad is as solid as a rock. He never wishes to abandon me – that pattern is gone in my life and I promise you my new improved self would never tolerate it again!

So, maybe your deep unhealed traumas that are playing out here are about being replaced by another, or deemed insignificant, or overlooked, or deserted or fearing abandonment like mine … Whatever they are, they will keep coming at you until you heal them and clean them up.

If you know it is high time for you to finally get the bottom of why you are tolerating this or pining for someone who has cruelly discarded you – hoping they will return – there is a way out of this nightmare. And I would dearly love to show you how with my 16-day free course, which includes an invitation to a healing workshop with me, a set of eBooks and lots more. 

Also, I have an upcoming Facebook Live event this week, where I adore connecting with you to help answer any questions you may have about Narcissistic Abuse Recovery. I’d love you to join in CTA

So until next time … keep smiling, keep healing and keep thriving because there’s nothing else to do


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