As I point out in Character Disturbance, the most severely disturbed characters come in two forms: narcissists (non-aggressive egoists), and the various types of aggressive (aggressive-narcissistic) personalities. And these personality types don’t take the notion of “losing” very easily. For narcissists, it’s too big an insult to their monumental and pathological pride to think that someone they viewed as not only their possession but also their “extension” has claimed their own life. And for the aggressive personalities, the thought of someone else “winning” and therefore sabotaging their endless quest for domination is simply abhorrent. So when you leave one of these impaired characters, you can almost always expect that there will be some kind of hell to pay.
One of the more insidious consequences of being in a toxic relationship is getting into the habit of focusing externally and investing precious energy attempting to control things in your external environment. I’ve counselled hundreds of individuals who found themselves constantly wondering what their character-impaired partner might do next, what mess they might create, what might have to be done to appease them or minimize the damage they might do, etc. And these individuals eventually not only desensitized themselves to destructive habit of focusing externally but also in the process became deluded that they’d somehow achieved a level of control over the dysfunctional behavior of their partner and other things over which they had no real control.