Have you ever wondered why an ex might try to contact your family after a bad breakup? When a relationship ends bitterly, an ex behaving this way often shows narcissistic tendencies. Narcissists can try to control and manipulate even after the relationship ends.
If your ex was narcissistic, contacting your family could be for a few key reasons, including, primarily, trying to get power over you again, wanting to get you back, or getting revenge. Learning why they act this way helps protect against more harm.
This article outlines 9 top reasons a narcissistic ex might contact your family as well as also provides tips on setting boundaries if they cross the line.
Knowing why narcissists act in specific ways reduces confusion. It also helps respond in healthy ways, not reactive ones. That minimizes the risk they will try discarding or smearing you more.
9 Reasons Why A Narcissist Ex Might Contact Your Family
1. To get you back
Narcissists often contact your family to try to get you back after the relationship ends. Since they view you as a narcissistic supply, losing you is a significant blow to their ego.
Even if they discarded you, narcissists want you back under their control. Once you’re no longer together, they realize they no longer have power over you.
They may pretend to have changed or make promises to treat you better. But with their narcissistic personality, actual change is unlikely. Getting back together would resume the narcissistic abuse.
2. To get revenge
If you end things, a narcissistic ex can seek revenge through your family. Narcissists don’t handle rejection well because it’s a major wound to their ego. They may try to punish you by spreading lies or embarrassing information.
Narcissists know family relationships are essential to you. So they use that vulnerability to make your life miserable out of spite.
They may stalk and harass you both during and after divorce proceedings, too. It’s best not to engage if an ex tries manipulating others against you.
3. To maintain control over you
Narcissists hate losing their supply source and control over you. Even after separating, many keep trying to exert control in sly ways. One is using your family to monitor you or make you look bad.
If a narcissistic ex keeps trying to reach out to your family, recognize it for what it is. Don’t let them maintain control through flying monkeys. Ask your family not to speak to your ex if contact continues.
4. They are emotionally damaged
Narcissists often have low self-esteem and emotional damage from their past. This leads to extreme behaviors to prop themselves up. Their gaslighting and playing the victim is to cope with inner shame.
An emotionally damaged narcissist ex may monitor your every move through family members. They want to relay information back to the narcissist because they lack empathy.
Try to understand their pain without accepting the toxicity. Recommend counseling so they can make amends and break free from dysfunction.
5. To benefit somehow
Narcissists are exploitative and always looking for where they can extract a narcissistic supply. They may contact your family to benefit through money, favors, or insider information.
If you share vulnerable details about your family, the narcissist will try weaponizing it. Set boundaries and make sure your family knows not to share anything sensitive. Toxic people take advantage where they can.
6. To return belongings
Sometimes, a narcissist ex keeps touching base with your family for practical reasons. They may want to return belongings left behind after the breakup. Or if you’ve met someone new, their outrage oversteps to try getting items back.
If so, set up a neutral and public exchange place. Ask your family not to engage deeply with the narcissist ex, even if it’s to return things. Limit contact where possible.
7. Out of concern
In rare cases, a narcissist ex makes contact because they genuinely care in some way. They may have important news to share if something happens to mutual friends. Or they struggle with letting go since you were their source of validation for so long.
However, most times, the supposed concern is manipulation. Narcissists often hoover when they want you back as supply. Be wary of crocodile tears and insecurity used to manipulate. Getting sucked back in will restart the cycle of abuse.
8. To hurt your reputation
Narcissistic rage from getting dumped can fuel retaliation. Your narcissist ex may launch a smear campaign to ruin your reputation. They spread lies to family and friends through emails, texts, and social media.
Narcissists use triangulation to turn people against you. They know hurting your connections isolates you further under their control. Fight back by always taking the high road and setting records straight.
9. To reassert power
After you get out of the relationship, the narcissist feels they are losing grip over you. Narcissists see people as objects, not humans with free will. Though manipulative, keep boundaries firm.
Seeing you move forward independently damages their supreme ego. Narcissists can’t stand when supply pulls away, so they try to think up schemes.
Recognize these ploys for what they are instead of thinking they might help or change. Stay strong and consistent – it’s their most challenging to overcome.
What To Do When A Narcissist Ex Contacts Your Family
Communicate with your family
Many narcissists try keeping in touch with your family long after the relationship ends. They may feed lies or embarrass you out of insecurity from the breakup. Staying close to relatives helps them know you’re doing okay.
Give your family a heads up so they understand if your ex contacts them. Ask them, and they give only vague, boring details that reveal nothing. This minimizes the narcissist’s satisfaction from meddling.
Confront your ex
Don’t ignore a narcissist ex pestering your family – confront early and firmly—demand to know precisely why they keep contacting your parents or relatives. Getting specifics avoids assumptions and helps you respond better.
Confronting also conveys you have firm boundaries against further manipulation. Just don’t get drawn into excess drama or back-and-forth. State your piece, then ghost.
Apologize if you were at fault
If you contributed to the breakup, apologize to the ex for wrongdoing. Own what you did, and make amends if reasonable. This isn’t to warrant more abuse – to take responsibility before moving forward.
However, don’t over-apologize out of guilt, either. Narcissists never think they’re at fault so that they won’t validate you. Talk to a counselor first to process things healthily.
Get support if needed
Getting out of a narcissistic relationship is tremendously difficult. The aftermath can leave you questioning everything. It’s perfectly normal to need extra support while rebuilding your life.
Seek counseling specifically for narc abuse. The validation and coping strategies help enormously. Join communities of those recovering too. You’ll realize many ex-partners exhibit the same craziness. Know that you’re not alone.
After getting out of a narcissistic relationship, strict boundaries are essential. Narcissists continually overstep what ordinary people respect.
Be clear about what contact with your family is unacceptable. Get relatives to block them on social media and group chats. Ask friends not to relay information that could get back to the narcissist ex.
Setting firm boundaries disrupts their attempts to isolate and control you. It also sends the message their manipulative tactics won’t work.
Keep records if the narcissistic ex continually contacts or harasses your family. Save texts, emails, and voicemails documenting their behavior.
This creates a paper trail in case authorities get involved down the road. It also helps reveal patterns to the narcissist about their unhealthy behavior. Maybe seeing it in writing will deter further boundary crossing.
Involve authorities if necessary
If pleading with a narcissist ex to stop contacting family doesn’t work, get authorities included. Primarily act swiftly over threats, violence, or endangerment concerns.
Involving the police or courts via restraining orders carries weight narcissists try avoiding. The repercussions make them think twice about further harassment. But be prepared for backlash or retaliation from them feeling cornered.
Focus on yourself
The most crucial part of disentangling from a narcissist is focusing inward on your needs. Their disorder will probably always manifest in pathological behaviors. But you are not responsible for fixing or managing their emotions.
Work with a counselor or support group specializing in narcissistic personality disorder trauma. Build resilience against further manipulation. Surround yourself with people who show genuine care and empathy. Prioritize re-stabilizing your mindset first.
When a narcissist ex keeps contacting your family, it provokes confusion and anxiety. Their persistence, even post-breakup, shows they’re still seeking control. But knowledge of their typical tactics reduces powerlessness.
Over time, firmer boundaries get set, enabling your family to go on vacation or celebrate occasions without dreading unwanted contact. As coping strategies get implemented, turmoil subsides, letting everyone slowly return to normal.
While narcissists remain fixed in their manipulative ways, focusing on yourself surrounded by genuine support systems charts the healthier path.
Prioritize healing instead of over-analyzing a narcissistic ex’s behavior. Invest energy into the new life chapter rather than what’s longer serving you.
Stay vigilant yet calmly consistent – this combination helps disentangle from narcissists’ grasp for good. You deserve so much better; this painful experience makes you wiser for future relationships.