What exactly is the narcissist's karma

Narcissistic violence in relationships "I felt emotionally raped"


It starts with a lot of endorphin and ends with emotional abuse: relationships with narcissists, people who want approval at all costs. Juliane fled such a relationship. She still suffers from it today.

From: Leonie Thim

Status: 04/13/2018 | archive

Juliane * is in her mid-30s and lives in Munich. She met Holger in 2014 while on vacation in Mallorca. "He's tall, blonde, has great blue eyes, a really nice smile, smells damn good, so for my nose. Yes, then we danced and suddenly we kissed. And that was absolute madness. It was that nicest kiss I've had so far. "

He knocks her down so much that she separates from her boyfriend, undresses and embarks on a new relationship with Holger. A long-distance relationship between Duisburg and Munich that started like a fairy tale.

"He touched or kissed me in a way that satisfied such a longing in me. And then there was this U-turn, where he then showed a face that I couldn't handle at all."


For Juliane, Holger was a man who tackled things. He brought her home, took care of her, was polite and accommodating. But that changed quickly. Holger changed, became dismissive, insulting. Juliane no longer knew what to do. She continuously tried to understand Holger's contradicting behavior, questioned her own perception and often doubted it. "This man was able to hit me at points, both positive and negative, that nobody else had hit before. He pricked me in exactly the right places."

The power of manipulation

Narcissists are empathetic seducers, explains Dr. Bärbel Wardetzki, psychotherapist and narcissism expert. If a narcissist wants to win someone over, "he feels exactly what the other person needs," she says. He gives everything: attention, charm, compliments, thinks up exciting new activities. Being together becomes a drug of happiness - but it turns into the opposite. Because as soon as a narcissist has emotionally attached to someone, "he can feel exactly where the other's hurtful points are," explains Wardetzki.

According to Report Psychologie, narcissists lack empathy. They see what others feel and think, but are not ready to acknowledge these needs - or they simply cannot. Instead, they tell the other person that it is crazy. That an argument wasn't as bad as the partner describes it.

Nobody talks about psychological violence in relationships

Relationship violence is still a taboo subject. If it is then still mental and not physical, it is difficult for outsiders to understand. With Juliane you don't see any bruises, no plasters, the body seems intact - nevertheless she tells of serious injuries.

"It went in waves. I had the best phase of being in love and then I suffered like never before in my life. Well, I felt so drained and actually felt, yes, emotionally raped."


Everything revolved around him in her relationship with Holger. There was no "we". If it didn't work the way he wanted, Holger has unpacked his repertoire of emotional weapons: manipulation and lies, deprivation of love and insults. "In principle everything that made up my life was bad or, let's say, less valuable than his life. My job somehow sucks, what am I doing there? My apartment is too small. I live in Munich, that is a snobby city, you can't get a foot on the ground there. "

There is a dependency

Narcissistic partners lose self-esteem over time, Dr. Wardetzki.

"Because of all these devaluations and accusations, there is no longer any feeling of having a right for oneself to be treated well."

Bärbel Wardetzki, psychotherapist

Why many stay anyway is often down to their own past. Many have had love relationships before that were not necessarily harmonious, good and supportive. They are used to fighting for love or having to pocket something, explains the psychotherapist.

According to Report Psychology, both partners usually have a narcissistic part. Often there are two psychological opposites: the helpless woman, whose self-confident partner takes care of everything for her. A dependency develops, from which even Juliane found it difficult to break free. "It's like an addict who suddenly has to give up cigarettes overnight. That's how I felt," she says today.

Violence has no place in relationships

The most important thing is to realize that emotional abuse is not normal and has no place in a relationship. After that, it's all about rebuilding your own self-esteem. To develop a healthy egoism, explains Wardetzki. "And then to look for someone who will help you on your way to releasing. Because it is really sometimes very, very difficult to mobilize your own strength again."

Juliane did just that, she looked for allies who would help her. She no longer wanted to be treated like that. Even if Juliane made the jump and left Holger - the emotional abuse still weighs heavily. It is not about creating a ranking of violence. What is worse? Physical or emotional violence? To recognize emotional abuse as violence in general, to listen to the victims, to take them seriously and to help them, that is important to Juliane.

How do I get out of there?

  • Admit to yourself that you are suffering and that the beautiful relationship you dream of doesn't exist.
  • That means: being realistic, even if it is painful
  • Get advice: from friends, in self-help groups or in therapy. Here you experience that you are not crazy, but that the violence in the relationship is real.
  • Seeking Help: Ask your friends for help. Because mobilizing your own strength again after being put down for a long time is difficult.
  • Foster your own self-esteem again.

* Name changed by the editor

Broadcast: Thursday, April 12th, 2018 - from 3 p.m.