Many survivors of narcissistic abuse tend to say that narcissists are the hardest to break up with. While they are certainly difficult to break up with due to their many attempts to circle back around into our lives, I would like to disagree and say that the hardest person to break up with is ourselves.
But why is this so difficult to understand in the beginning?
To many of us, relationships give us a false sense of stability, wholeness, and identity which we, however, can only find within ourselves.
In non-toxic relationships, an unchanging long-term response to a sudden loss of a partner would be a proof of that. As for toxic relationships, however, we tend to fall into these situations, because we were conditioned to believe that wholeness can only be achieved with the love given by/to another person. It is the unruly ego that pretends this emotional void inside of us does not exist and, therefore, it does not allow to look at itself (or ourselves).
Our ego is, indeed, the hardest to break up with, as it will cling to old concepts, conditioning, belief and thought patterns. This early programming is bugged and needs to be broken to be able to live a happy and fulfilled life on our own and stop perpetuating our dependency and misery. Narcissists will continue their dependency and misery, because they are inept to self-reflect, keeping their egoic defenses and inner void alive and growing.
Healing from narcissistic abuse requires shadow or mirror work that can be quite painful (as the ego is dying), but it is necessary. The diminishing of our ego (and often our accompanying stubborn victim mentality), allows self-love to flow into our lives, but we can only achieve this by focusing on ourselves, not by clinging to people whose only agenda was to make us hate ourselves to begin with. The narcissist becomes pretty much irrelevant to our path and well-being as soon as he/she is out of the door.